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Henry Ward Beecher Quotes


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Private opinion is weak, but public opinion is almost omnipotent.
[Opinion]
 

Refinement is the lifting of one's self upwards from the merely sensual, the effort of the soul to etherealize the common wants and uses of life.
 

Repentance may begin, instantly, but reformation often requires a sphere of years.
[Repentance]
 

Reputation is sometimes as wide as the horizon, when character is but the point of a needle. - Character is what one really is; reputation what others believe him to be.
[Reputation]
 

Riches are not an end of life, but an instrument of life.
[Riches]
 

Sects and Christians that desire to be known by the undue prominence of doing some single feature of Christianity, are imperfect just in proportion to the distinctness of their peculiarities. The power of Christian truth is in its unity and sympathy, and not in the saliency or brilliancy of any of its special doctrines. The spirit of Christ is the great essential truth.
 

Self-denial does not belong to religion as characteristic of it; it belongs to human life. - The lower nature must always be denied when you are trying to rise to a higher sphere. - It is no more necessary to be self-denying to be a Christian, than it is to be an artist, or an honest man, or a man at all in distinction from a brute. - Of all joyous experiences there are none like those which spring from true religion.
 

Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one will forgive in others, and no one is without himself.
[Selfishness]
 

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 his guide would be gone; - the same voyage to make, but his chart and compass would be overboard.
 

So it is that men sigh on, not knowing what the soul wants, but only that it needs something. - Our yearnings are homesicknesses for heaven. - Our sighings are sighings for God, just as children that cry themselves asleep away from home, and sob in their slumber, not knowing 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.
 

Some of God's noblest sons, I think, will be selected from those that know how to take wealth, with all its temptations, and maintain godliness therewith. It is hard to be a saint standing in a golden niche.
[Riches]
 

Some one has said that in war providence is on the side of the strongest regiments. And I have noticed that providence is on the side of clear heads and honest hearts; - and wherever a man walks faithfully in the ways that God has marked out for him, providence, as the Christian says, - luck, as the heathen says, - will be on that man's side. - In the long run you will find that God's providence is in favor of those that keep his laws, and against those that break them.
[Providence]
 

Success is full of promise till men get it, and then it is as a last year's nest, from which the bird has flown.
[Success]
 

Suffering is part of the divine idea.
 

Sunday is the common people's great Liberty day, and they are bound to see to it that work does not come into it.
[Sabbath]
 

Tears are often the telescope through which men see far into heaven.
[Tears]
 

Temptations without imply desires within; men ought not to say, "How powerfully the devil tempts," but "How strongly I am tempted."
[Temptation]
 

That is true cultivation which gives us sympathy with every form of human life, and enables us to work most successfully for its advancement. Refinement that carries us away from our fellowmen is not God's refinement.
 

The ability to convert ideas to things is the secret of outward success.
 

The advertisements in a newspaper are more full of knowledge in respect to what is going on in a state or community than the editorial columns are.
[Advertising]
 


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