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Henry Ward Beecher (1813 – 1887)


Theologically liberal American Congregationalist clergyman and reformer, and author.
Henry Ward Beecher
Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into.
Beecher quotes
It is with the mind as it is with the body, in this respect. The physician says to a household: "Here is a great realm of food. Eat that which agrees with you. The same kinds of food do not agree with all people. If you grow healthy on the food that I loathe, that is the food for you, although it disagrees with me; and if I grow healthy on the food that you loathe, that is the food for me, although it disagrees with you." And it is very much so in the matter of believing. All cannot believe the same things, or cannot believe things in the same way.
"But," say men, "believing amounts to nothing if one man may believe one thing, and another man another thing." Well, let me ask, then, is it not possible for truth to be so large that ten men shall believe it differently, and yet each one of them so sectionally believe it, that they shall be all true though none of them has more than partial truth, and that all of them shall compass the whole truth?
Beecher
Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry.




Beecher Henry Ward quotes
The common schools are the stomachs of the country in which all people that come to us are assimilated within a generation. When a lion eats an ox, the lion does not become an ox but the ox becomes a lion.
Beecher Henry Ward
The Scriptures make the test of believing to lie in the life and in the disposition. They nowhere require men, as the condition of acceptance and salvation, to be technically and philosophically right on all points of belief; but they do require that a man, in the presence of truth, using it as he pleases, selecting it according to the analysis and attractions and repulsions of his own nature, should live right. They hold men accountable for the development of their manhood on the pattern of Christ Jesus. They say, "Here are the truths of God; sort them, use them, every man according to his own liberty, in the spirit, and not in the letter." You are called to liberty; but it is that every one of you may become men in Christ Jesus. Men are held accountable for manhood, but not for the way in which they use the instruments by which the manhood is produced.
Henry Ward Beecher quotes
Oh, tell me not that they are dead that generous host, that airy army of invisible heroes. They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation. Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society, and inspire the people with nobler motives, and more heroic patriotism?
Ye that mourn, let gladness mingle with your tears. It was your son, but now he is the nation's. He made your household bright: now his example inspires a thousand households. Dear to his brothers and sisters, he is now brother to every generous youth in the land. Before, he was narrowed, appropriated, shut up to you. Now he is augmented, set free, and given to all. Before, he was yours: he is ours. He has died from the family, that he might live to the nation. Not one name shall be forgotten or neglected: and it shall by and by be confessed of our modern heroes, as it is of an ancient hero, that he did more for his country by his death than by his whole life.
Henry Ward Beecher
We would walk with Thee when Thou smitest us, and we would walk with Thee when Thou smilest upon us; for, smiling or smiting, it is in love. We take chastisement because we are sons, and Thou art Father. O grant that we may never feel Thy hand as Judge! Restrain us with Thy love. Wean us from our sin, and from the love of it, and bring us back to Thine own self.
Beecher Henry Ward quotes
A man is a fool who sits looking backward from himself in the past. Ah! what shallow, vain conceit there is in man! Forget the things that are behind. That is not where you live. Your roots are not there. They are in the present; and you should reach up into the other life.
Beecher
Success is full of promise till men get it; and then it is last year's nest from which the bird has flown.
Beecher Henry Ward
It is not to come in any particular way, or with any particular experience, but to arise and come to your Father, and say unto Him, "Father I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and am no more worthy to be called Thy son; make me as one of Thy hired servants."
Henry Ward Beecher
Where is human nature so weak as in a book store?




Henry Ward Beecher quotes
Caution and conservatism are expected of old age; but when the young men of a nation are possessed of such a spirit, when they are afraid of the noise and strife caused by the new applications of the truth, Heaven save the land! Its funeral bell has already rung.
Henry Ward Beecher
It is a view of God that compensates every thing else, and enables the soul to rest in His bosom. How, when the child in the night screams with terror, hearing sounds that it knows not of, is that child comforted and put to rest? Is it by a philosophical explanation that the sounds were made by the rats in the partition? Is it by imparting entomological knowledge? No; it is by the mother taking the child in her lap, and singing sweetly to it, and rocking it. And the child thinks nothing of the explanation, but only of the mother.
Beecher quotes
Difficulties are God's errands; and when we are sent upon them, we should esteem it a proof of God's confidence, as a compliment from God.
Beecher Henry Ward
Whoever lives a noble life for Christ and God he is one of God's workmen, working on that building of which God is the supreme Architect.
Beecher Henry Ward quotes
And now we beseech of Thee that we may have every day some such sense of God's mercy and of the power of God about us, as we have of the fullness of the light of heaven before us.
Henry Ward Beecher
Evil men of every degree will use you, flatter you, lead you on until you are useless; then, if the virtuous do not pity you, or God compassionate, you are without a friend in the universe.
Henry Ward Beecher quotes
Our yearnings are homesicknesses for heaven; our sighings are for God, just as children that cry themselves asleep away from home, and sob in their slumber, know not that they sob for their parents. The soul's inarticulate moanings are the affections yearning for the Infinite, and having no one to tell them what it is that ails them.
Henry Ward Beecher
May we feel after Thee; still calling out in the darkness, as children waking in the night call "Father," so may we call out for God; and, at times, even if we do not hear Thy voice, may there be the form of a hand resting upon us, and that shall be enough; for we shall take hold of it, though it be in the dark, and it shall guide us to the growing light; for the day shall come, and the release and triumph.
Beecher Henry Ward
The one great poem of New England is her Sunday.


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