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Quotes by Henry Ward Beecher

1

There never was a person who did anything worth doing, who did not receive more than he gave.

2

If a man cannot be a Christian in the place where he is, he cannot be a Christian anywhere.

3

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.

4

A sermon is not like a Chinese firecracker to be fired off for the noise it makes. It is a hunter’s gun, and at every discharge he should look to see his game fall.

5

It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.

6

Every man should keep a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.

7

Suffering is part of the divine idea.

8

I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note – torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.

9

A man who does not know how to be angry does not know how to be good. And a man that does not know how to be shaken to his heart’s core with indignation over things evil is either a fungus or a wicked man.

10

God asks no man whether he will accept life. This is not the choice. You must take it. The only questions is how.

11

Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith.

12

What the mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin.

13

When God wanted sponges and oysters He made them and put one on a rock and the other in the mud. When He made man He did not make him to be a sponge or an oyster; He made him with feet and hands, and head and heart, and vital blood, and a place to use them and He said to him, “Go work.”

14

The strength and happiness of a man consists in finding out the way in which God is going, and going that way too.

15

Living is death; dying is life. On this side of the grave we are exiles, on that, citizens; on this side, orphans, on that, children; on this side, captives; on that, freemen; on this side, disguised, unknown; on that, disclosed and proclaimed as the sons of God.

16

Life would be a perpetual flea hunt if a men were obliged to run down all the innuendos, inveracities, insinuations and misrepresentations which are uttered against him.

17

It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.

18

The elect are whosoever will, and the non-elect, whosoever won’t.

19

In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich.

20

He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.

21

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.

22

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

23

There’s not much practical Christianity in the man who lives on better terms with angels and seraphs, than with his children, servants and neighbors.

24

Happiness is not the end of life; character is.

25

There are a hundred men hacking at the branches of evil to every one who is striking at the roots of evil.

26

No physician ever weighed out medicine to his patients with half so much care and exactness as God weighs out to us every trial. Not one grain too much does He ever permit to be put in the scale.

27

There is no faculty of the human soul so persistent as that of hatred. There are hatreds of race, sect and social and personal hatreds. If thoughts of hatred were thunder and lightning, there would be a storm over the whole earth all the year round.

28

Faith is spiritualized imagination.

29

Sink the Bible to the bottom of the ocean, and still man’s obligations to God would be unchanged. He would have the same path to tread, only his lamp and guide would be gone; the same voyage to make, but his chart and compass would be overboard!

30

A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.

31

If there’s a job to be done, I always ask the busiest men in my parish to take it on and it gets done.

32

The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones.

33

The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next.

34

The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.

35

The test of Christian character should be that a man is a joy-bearing agent to the world.

36

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.

37

Whatever is only almost true is quite false, and among the most dangerous of errors, because being so near truth, it is the more likely to lead astray.

38

We are always in the forge, or on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things.

39

Watch lest prosperity destroy generosity.