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Henry Ward Beecher Quotes HENRY WARD BEECHER QUOTES


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)

U.S. congregational minister

He who is false to present duty breaks a thread in the loom, and will find the flaw when he may have forgotten its cause.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men and animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Star Papers

The dog was created especially for children. He is the god of frolic.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

God is like us to this extent, that whatever in us is good is like God.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

Success is full of promise till men get it, and then it seems like a nest from which the bird has flown.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The imagination is the secret and marrow of civilization. It is the very eye of faith.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day. It is a blessed baptism which gives the first waking thoughts into the bosom of God.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

A man without ambition is worse than dough that has no yeast in it to raise it.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The ignorant classes are the dangerous classes. Ignorance is the womb of monsters.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

October is Nature's funeral month. Nature glories in death more than in life.... Every green thing loves to die in bright colors.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

There is so much that is deaf and dumb in man, and so much that is paralyzed, so much that is shrunken, that nothing short of a miraculous touch of re-creation can make them at death perfect beings.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

A man is a great bundle of tools. He is born into this life without the knowledge of how to use them. Education is the process of learning their use.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The best lessons a man ever learns are from his mistakes. It is not for want of schoolmasters that we are still ignorant.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

A man without ambition is like a beautiful worm--it can creep, but it cannot fly.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

There is nothing which vanity does not desecrate.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

In regard to the great mass of men, anything that breaks the realm of fear is not salutary, but dangerous; because it takes off one of the hoops that hold the barrel together in which the evil spirits are confined.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

God plants no yearning in the human soul that he does not intend to satisfy.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

There are materials enough in every man's mind to make a hell there.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

There is no man that lives who does not need to be drilled, disciplined, and developed into something higher and nobler and better than he is by nature. Life is one prolonged birth.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

There is an equator that runs just under the nose: all that live below the equator are animals; all that live above it are men.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

We ought to be ten times as hungry for knowledge as for food for the body.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

A man who cannot get angry is like a stream that cannot overflow, that is always turbid. Sometimes indignation is as good as a thunderstorm in summer, clearing and cooling the air.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Nature would be scarcely worth a puff of the empty wind if it were not that all Nature is but a temple, of which God is the brightness and the glory.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The way to avoid evil is not by maiming our passions, but by compelling them to yield their vigor to our moral nature. They should be to spiritual sentiments what the hot-bed is to early flowers.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

No man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The man who perceives life only with his eye, his ear, his hand, and his tongue, is but little higher than the ox or an intelligent dog; but he who has imagination sees things around and above him, as the angels see them.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The human soul is God's treasury, out of which he coins unspeakable riches.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

God made every man to have power to be mightier than the events round about him; to hold by his firm will the reigns by which all things are guided.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The manly man is one who always finds excuses for others, but never for himself.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

A man that is afraid is never a man.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

It is part and parcel of every man's life to develop beauty in himself. All perfect things have in them an element of beauty.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Sometimes fear is wholesome and rational; it is well to swing fear as a mighty battle-axe over men's heads when no other motive will move them.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

A practical, matter-of-fact man is like a wagon without springs: every single pebble on the road jolts him; but a man with imagination has springs that break the jar and jolt.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

All the wide world is but the husbandry of God for the development of the one fruit--man.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Perverted pride is a great misfortune in men; but pride in its original function, for which God created it, is indispensable to a proper manhood.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

People of too much sentiment are like fountains, whose overflow keeps a disagreeable puddle about them.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Every man is full of music; but it is not every man that knows how to bring it out.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

It takes a man to make a devil.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Words are but the bannerets of a great army, a few bits of waving color here and there; thoughts are the main body of the footman that march unseen below.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Tyrannies are overthrown by ideas. Armies are defeated by ideas. Nations, and Time itself, are overmatched by ideas.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Flowers are the sweetest things that God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Men go shopping just as men go out fishing or hunting, to see how large a fish may be caught with the smallest hook.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Man is at the bottom an animal, midway a citizen, and at the top divine. But the climate of this world is such that few ripen at the top.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The sphere that is deepest, most unexplored, and most unfathomable, the wonder and glory of God's thought and hand, is our own soul!

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Genius is a steed too fiery for the plow or the cart.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Every man carries a menagerie in himself; and, by stirring him up all around, you will find every sort of animal represented there.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The mere wit is only a human bauble. He is to life what bells are to horses--not expected to draw the load, but only to jingle while the horses draw.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Life is a plant that grows out of death.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

All our other faculties seem to have the brown touch of earth upon them, but the imagination carries the very livery of heaven, and is God's self in the soul.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Rain! whose soft architectural hands have power to cut stones, and chisel to shapes of grandeur the very mountains, as no artist could ever do!

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

God has made sleep to be a sponge by which to rub out fatigue. A man's roots are planted in night as in a soil.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Like waves, our feelings may continue by repeating themselves, by intermittent rushes; but no emotion any more than a wave can long retain its own individual form.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Clothes and manners do not make the man; but, when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The soul is often hungrier than the body, and no shops can sell it food.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

All words are pegs to hang ideas on.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The strong are God's natural protectors of the weak.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

He will see most without who has the best eyes within; and he who only sees with his bodily organs sees but the surface.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

One might as well attempt to calculate mathematically the contingent forms of the tinkling bits of glass in a kaleidoscope as to look through the tube of the future and foretell its pattern.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

There is no such thing as preaching patience into people, unless the sermon is so long that they have to practice it while they hear. No man can learn patience except by going out into the hurlyburly world, and taking life just as it blows. Patience is but lying to, and riding out the gale.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

Many men want wealth--not a competence alone, but a five-story competence. Every thing subserves this; and religion they would like as a sort of lightning rod to their houses, to ward off, by and by, the bolts of divine wrath.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

Private opinion is weak, but public opinion is almost omnipotent.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

All things in the natural world symboliZe God, yet none of them speak of him but in broken and imperfect words. High above all he sits, sublimer than mountains, grander than storms, sweeter than blossoms and tender fruits, nobler than lords, truer than parents, more loving than lovers. His feet tread the lowest places of the earth; but his head is above all glory, and everywhere he is supreme.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

The way to begin a Christian life is not to study theology. Piety before theology. Right living will produce right thinking. Yet many men, when their consciences are aroused, run for catechisms, and commentaries, and systems. They do not mean to be shallow Christians. They intend to be thorough, if they enter upon the Christian life at all. Now, theologies are well in their place; but repentance and love must come before all other experiences. First a cure for your sin-sick soul, and then theologies. Suppose a man were taken with the cholera, and, instead of sending for a physician, he should send to a bookstore, and buy all the books which have been written on the human system, and, while the disease was working in his vitals, he should say, "I'll not put myself in the hands of any of these doctors. I shall probe this thing to the bottom." Would it not be better for him first to be cured of the cholera?

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

We sleep, but the loom of life never stops; and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up tomorrow.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

Our life is but a new form of the way men have lived from the beginning.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

There are apartments in the soul which have a glorious outlook; from whose windows you can see across the river of death, and into the shining city beyond; but how often are these neglected for the lower ones, which have earthward-looking windows.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

There is a kind of indignation excited in us when one likens our grief to his own. The soul is jealous of its experiences, and does not like pride to be humbled by the thought that they are common. For, though we know that the world groans and travails in pain, and has done so for ages, yet a groan heard by our ears is a very different thing from a groan uttered by our mouth. The sorrows of other men seem to us like clouds of rain that empty themselves in the distance, and whose long-travelling thunder comes to us mellowed and subdued; but our own troubles are like a storm bursting right overhead, and sending down its bolts upon us with direct plunge.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

You have seen a ship out on the bay, swinging with the tide, and seeming as if it would follow it; and yet it cannot, for down beneath the water it is anchored. So many a soul sways toward heaven, but cannot ascend thither, because it is anchored to some secret sin.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

When a man unites with the church, he should not come saying, "I am so holy that I think I must go in among the saints," but, "O brethren, I find I am so weak and wicked that I cannot stand alone; so, if you can help me, open the door and let me enter."

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

Men who neglect Christ, and try to win heaven through moralities, are like sailors at sea in a storm, who pull, some at the bowsprit and some at the mainmast, but never touch the helm.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

A week filled up with selfishness, and the Sabbath stuffed full of religious exercises, will make a good Pharisee, but a poor Christian. There are many persons who think Sunday is a sponge with which to wipe out the sins of the week. Now, God's altar stands from Sunday to Sunday, and the seventh day is no more for religion than any other. It is for rest. The whole seven are for religion, and one of them for rest.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

Now, men think, with regard to their conduct, that, if they were to lift themselves up gigantically and commit some crashing sin, they should never be able to hold up their heads; but they will harbor in their souls little sins, which are piercing and eating them away to inevitable ruin.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

Amid the discords of this life, it is blessed to think of heaven, where God draws after him an everlasting train of music; for all thoughts are harmonious and all feelings vocal, and so there is round about his feet eternal melody.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

It is often said it is no matter what a man believes if he is only sincere. This is true of all minor truths, and false of all truths whose nature it is to fashion a man's life. It will make no difference in a man's harvest whether he thinks turnips have more saccharine matter than potatoes--whether corn is better than wheat. But let the man sincerely believe that seed planted without ploughing is as good as with, that January is as favorable for seed sowing as April, and that cockle seed will produce as good a harvest as wheat, and will it make no difference?

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts


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