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Henry Ward Beecher Quotes


A theologically liberal American Congregationalist clergyman and reformer, and author.
(1813 - 1887)

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"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.
[Against]
 

"Many of our cares," says Scott, " are but a morbid way of looking at our privileges." - We let our blessings get mouldy, and then call them curses.
[Care]
 

A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counsellor, a multitude of counsellors.
[Books]
 

A book is good company. It is full of conversation without loquacity. It comes to your longing with full instruction, but pursues you never.
 

A Christian is nothing but a sinful man who has put himself to school for Christ for the honest purpose of becoming better.
[Christian]
 

A church debt is the devil's salary.
[Debt]
 

A cunning man overreaches no one half as much as himself.
[Cunning]
 

A door that seems to stand open must be of a man's size, or it is not the door that providence means for him.
[Opportunities]
 

A fortune is usually the greatest of misfortunes to children. It takes the muscles out of the limbs, the brain out of the head, and virtue out of the heart. In this world, it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich.
[Riches]
 

A helping word to one in trouble is often like a switch on a railroad track ... an inch between wreck and smooth, rolling prosperity.
[Helping Other People]
 

A law is valuable not because it is law, but because there is right in it.
[Law]
 

A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.
 

A man in old age is like a sword in a shop window. - Men that look upon the perfect blade do not imagine the process by which it was completed. - Man is a sword; daily life is the workshop; and God is the artificer; and those cares which beat upon the anvil, and file the edge, and eat in, acid-like, the inscription on the hilt - those are the very things that fashion the man.
[Age]
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A man in the right, with God on his side, is in the majority though he be alone.
[Majority]
 

A man may be outwardly successful all his life long, and die hollow and worthless as a puff-ball; and he may be externally defeated all his life long, and die in the royalty of a kingdom established within him. - A man's true estate of power and riches, is to be in himself; not in his dwelling, or position, or external relations, but in his own essential character. - That is the realm, in which he is to live, if he is to live as a Christian man.
[Character]
 

A man might frame, and let loose a star, to roll in its orbit, and yet not have done so memorable a thing before God, as he who lets go a golden-orbed thought to roll through the generations of time.
[Thought]
 

A man ought to carry himself in the world as an orange tree would if it could walk up and down in the garden, swinging perfume from every little censer it holds up to the air.
[Manners]
 

A man should fear when he enjoys only the good he does publicly. - Is it not publicity rather than charity, which he loves? Is it not vanity, rather than benevolence, that gives such charities?
[Charity]
 

A man that does not know how to be angry does not know how to be good.
 

A man that puts himself on the ground of moral principle, though the whole world be against him, is mightier than them all; for the orb of time becomes such a man's shield, and every step brings him nearer to the hand of omnipotence. - Take ground for truth, and justice, and rectitude, and piety, and fight well, and there can be no question as to the result. - We are to feel that right is itself a host. - Never be afraid of minorities, so that minorities are based on principles.
[Minorities]
 


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