Quotes by Henry Ward Beecher

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Henry Ward Beecher (June 24, 1813 - March 8, 1887) was a theologically liberal American Congregationalist clergyman and reformer, and author who was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the eighth of nine children of Lyman Beecher by his first wife (and the eighth of thirteen children in all). One of his elder sisters was Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

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Do not be afraid of defeat. You are never so near to victory as when defeated in a good cause.

Well married a person has wings, poorly married shackles.
God made man to go by motives, and he will not go without them, any more than a boat without steam or a balloon without gas.
The moment an ill can be patiently handled, it is disarmed of its poison, though not of its pain.
It is not well for a man to pray cream and live skim milk.
God's providence is on the side of clear heads.
A library is but the soul's burying ground. It is a land of shadows.
Nothing dies so hard, or rallies so often as intolerance.
He is greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.
The real man is one who always finds excuses for others, but never excuses himself.
Heaven will be inherited by every man who has heaven in his soul.
The head learns new things, but the heart forever practices old experiences.
He who hunts for flowers will finds flowers; and he who loves weeds will find weeds.
Giving The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men.
In things pertaining to enthusiasm, no man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.
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.
No man is such a conqueror, as the one that has defeated himself.
It is defeat that turns bone to flint; it is defeat that turns gristle to muscle; it is defeat that makes men invincible.
Interest works night and day in fair weather and in foul. It gnaws at a man's substance with invisible teeth.
That is true culture which helps us to work for the social betterment of all.
The ignorant classes are the dangerous classes.
The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones.
A Christian is nothing but a sinful man who has put himself to school for Christ for the honest purpose of becoming better.
Any law that takes hold of a mans daily life cannot prevail in a community, unless the vast majority of the community are actively in favor of it. The laws that are the most operative are the laws which protect life.
When we borrow trouble, and look forward into the future and see what storms are coming, and distress ourselves before they come, as to how we shall avert them if they ever do come, we lose our proper trustfulness in God. When we torment ourselves with imaginary dangers, or trials, or reverses, we have already parted with that perfect love which casteth out fear.
A tool is but the extension of a man's hand, and a machine is but a complex tool. And he that invents a machine augments the power of a man and the well-being of mankind.
A grindstone that had not grit in it, how long would it take to sharpen an ax? And affairs that had not grit in them, how long would they take to make a man?
Theology is but our ideas of truth classified and arranged.
Theology is a science of mind applied to God.
To array a man's will against his sickness is the supreme art of medicine.
It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.
Private opinion is weak, but public opinion is almost omnipotent.
The meanest, most contemptible kind of praise is that which first speaks well of a man, and then qualifies it with a But.
Expedients are for the hour, but principles are for the ages.
Repentance is another name for aspiration.
Riches are not an end of life, but an instrument of life.
A man's true state of power and riches is to be in himself.
Success is full of promise till one gets it, and then it seems like a nest from which the bird has flown.
Suffering is part of the divine idea.
In this world, full often, our joys are only the tender shadows which our sorrows cast.
Gambling with cards or dice or stocks is all one thing. It's getting money without giving an equivalent for it.
What a mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin.
The humblest individual exerts some influence, either for good or evil, upon others.
We are not to make the ideas of contentment and aspiration quarrel, for God made them fast friends. A man may aspire, and yet be quite content until it is time to raise; and both flying and resting are but parts of one contentment. The very fruit of the gospel is aspiration. It is to the heart what spring is to the earth, making every root, and bud, and bough desire to be more. -
The world's battlefields have been in the heart chiefly; more heroism has been displayed in the household and the closet, than on the most memorable battlefields in history.
It's not the work which kills people, it's the worry. It's not the revolution that destroys machinery it's the friction.
Next to ingratitude the most painful thing to bear is gratitude.
God appoints our graces to be nurses to other men's weaknesses.
True obedience is true freedom.
The babe at first feeds upon the mother's bosom, but it is always on her heart.
Defeat is a school in which truth always grows strong.
Death is the dropping of the flower that the fruit may swell.
We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.
When a nation's young men are conservative, its funeral bell is already rung.
The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next.
The test of Christian character should be that a man is a joy-bearing agent to the world.
The real democratic American idea is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance.
All ambitions are lawful except those that climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind.
Affliction comes to us, not to make us sad but sober; not to make us sorry but wise.
Let a little preliminary exultation of a new man in a new place be forgiven, ye who are now established! Remember your own household fervor on first setting up, while we recount our economic joy, and anticipations of modern conveniences that would take away all human care, and speed life upon a downhill path, where it was to be easier to move than to stand still!

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