A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died” (10/20)
“I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage” (10/20)
“Work for a cause, not for applause” (10/20)
Gaphattan (Gap + Manhattan) (10/20)
“Welcome to New York. Duck, Mother Fucker!” (10/20)
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Entry from August 30, 2014
“God gives every bird its food, but does not throw it into the nest”

"God gives every bird its food, but does not throw it into the nest” is a popular proverb, meaning that God provides, but one must still work hard. The saying was printed as a Danish proverb and translated into English in an 1857 book.

Josiah Gilbert Holland (1809-1881), a popular American novelist and poet, is often credited with the saying. Holland wrote in 1859:

“God gives every bird its food, but does not throw it into the nest. He does not unearth the good which the earth contains, but He puts it in our way, and gives us the means of getting it ourselves.”


Wikipedia: Josiah Gilbert Holland
Josiah Gilbert Holland (July 24, 1819 – October 12, 1881) was an American novelist and poet who also wrote under the pseudonym Timothy Titcomb. He helped to found and edit Scribner’s Monthly (afterwards the Century Magazine), in which appeared his novels, Arthur Bonnicastle, The Story of Sevenoaks, Nicholas Minturn. In poetry he wrote “Bitter Sweet” (1858), “Kathrina”, the lyrics to the Methodist hymn There’s a Song in the Air, and many others.

Google Books
A Polyglott of Foreign Proverbs, Comprising French, Italian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Danish, With English Translations
By Henry George Bohn
London: Henry G. Bohn
1857
Pp. 371-372 (Danish Proverbs):
Gud giver liver Fugl sin Fode, men caster den ei i Reden til Ham.
God gives every bird its food, but does not throw it into the nest.

Google Books
Gold-Foil, Hammered from Popular Proverbs
By Timothy Titcomb (Josiah Gilbert Holland)
New York, NY: Charles Scribner
1859
Pg. 89:
God gives every bird its food, but does not throw it into the nest. He does not unearth the good which the earth contains, but He puts it in our way, and gives us the means of getting it ourselves.

Chronicling America
19 February 1862, The Potter Journal (Coudersport, PA), “Varieties,” pg. 1, col. 2:
God gives every bird its food, but does not throw it into the nest.

Google Books
Many Thoughts of Many Minds:
A Treasury of Quotations from the Literature of Every Land and Every Age

Compiled by Louis Klopsch
New York, NY: The Christian Herald
1896
Pg. 156:
God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into the nest. He does not unearth the good that the earth contains, but He puts it in our way, and gives us the means of getting it ourselves.—J. G. HOLLAND.

Chronicling America
2 March 1896, The Record-Union (Sacramento, CA), pg. 1, col. 4:
God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into the nest.—J. G. Holland.

Google Books
The Speaker’s Quote Book:
Over 5,000 Illustrations and Quotations for All Occasions

By Roy B. Zuck
Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic & Professional
2009
Pg. 544:
God gives every bird its food but does not drop it into the nest. —Danish proverb

Andalusia (AL) Star-News
Work: 1 of God’s 1st commands to man
By Jan White
Published 12:01am Saturday, August 30, 2014
(...)
There’s an old saying about work, “God gives every bird its food but does not drop it into the nest.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Saturday, August 30, 2014 • Permalink