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Henry Ward Beecher Quotes


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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. - Precise knowledge is the only true knowledge, and he who does not teach exactly, does not teach at all.
[Error]
 

When a man has no longer any conception of excellence above his own, his voyage is done; he is dead; dead in the trespasses and sins of blear-eyed vanity.
[Vanity]
 

When a nation's young men are conservative, its funeral bell is already rung.
 

When flowers are full of heaven-descended dews, they always hang their heads; but men hold theirs the higher the more they receive, getting proud as they get full.
[Pride]
 

When once a concealment or a deceit has been practiced in matters where all should be fair and open as day, confidence can never be restored, any more than you can restore the white bloom to the grape or plum that you once pressed in your hand.
[Deceit]
 

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.
[Anxiety]
 

When we think of saints we are apt to think of very pale, still persons, who are all the while wishing they weren't alive, and all that. My ideal of a saint is a brown woman, with red arms, who gets up early in the morning and goes to work for others - who stands the brunt of household work, and who bears with children that she did not bear. That is my saint. Rather a busy, bustling saint, but she is a saint. People say of her, "What a homely, good creature she is." To my mind that is more complimentary than to have the pope put her in the calendar.
 

When young men are beginning life, the most important period, it is often said, is that in which their habits are formed. - That is a very important period. - But the period in which the ideas of the young are formed and adopted is more important still. - For the ideal with which you go forth to measure things determines the nature, so far as you are concerned, of everything you meet.
[Ideas]
 

Whenever education and refinement grow away from the common people, they are growing toward selfishness, which is the monster evil of the world. 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.
[Selfishness]
 

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?
 

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.
 

Words are pegs to hang ideas on.
 

You and I do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.
 

You cannot sift out the poor from the community. The poor are indispensable to the rich.
 

You cannot teach a child to take care of himself unless you will let him try to take care of himself. He will make mistakes; and out of these mistakes will come his wisdom.
[Children]
 

You have come into a hard world. I know of only one easy place in it, and that is the grave.
[Acceptance]
 

You never know till you try to reach them how accessible men are; but you must approach each man by the right door.
 

You pray for the graces of faith and hope and love; but prayer alone will not bring them. - They must be wrought in you through labor and patience and suffering. - They are not kept put up in bottles for us, to be had for the mere asking; they must be the outgrowth of the life. - Prayer for them will be answered, but God will have us work out each one in the way of duty.
[Grace]
 

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable.
[Love]
 


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