Harry Emerson Fosdick

Harry Emerson
Fosdick
1878
1969

American Liberal Protestant Minister, Teacher, Author

Author Quotes

Always take a job that is too big for you.

No man need stay the way he is.

The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are made of the same water. It flows down, clean and cool, from the heights of Herman and the roots of the cedars of Lebanon. the Sea of Galilee makes beauty of it, the Sea of Galilee has an outlet. It gets to give. It gathers in its riches that it may pour them out again to fertilize the Jordan plain. But the Dead Sea with the same water makes horror. For the Dead Sea has no outlet. It gets to keep.

At very best, a person wrapped up in himself makes a small package.

No steam or gas ever drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined.

The steady discipline of intimate friendship with Jesus results in men becoming like Him.

Consider how impossible nobility of character would be if our goodness were untried innocence instead of victorious virtue.

Nothing in this world is more inspiring than a soul up against crippling circumstances who carries it off with courage and faith and undefeated character—nothing!

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.

Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable.

Of all mad faiths maddest is the faith that we can get rid of faith.

Whatever the situation and however disheartening it may be, it is a great hour when a man ceases adopting difficulties as an excuse for despondency and tackles himself as the real problem. No mood need be his master.

God has put within our lives meanings and possibilities that quite outrun the limits of mortality.

One watches people starting out in life quite adequately, handling life with active vigor, as they run, one after another, into experiences where something deeper than vigor is needed. Serious failure, for example. Some night in his lifetime everyone comes home to find a new guest there-disappointment. What he had set his heart on has gone. . . . If one is to come through difficult experiences unembittered, unspoiled, still a real person, one needs deep resources. . . . Not alone in such experiences as sorrow and failure does this need arise but in man's search for the indispensable spiritual requirements of a satisfying life - inner peace, for example, some serenity in the soul to come home to at night and to out from in the morning. Who does not need that? But no one can get inner peace by pouncing on it, by vigorously willing to have it. Peace is a margin of power around our daily need. Peace is a consciousness of springs too deep for earthly droughts to dry up. Peace is an awareness of reserves from beyond ourselves, so that our power is not so much in us as through us.

Granted the endless variations of moral customs, still the essential standards persist. As in a scientific laboratory, all else may change but the standards are unalterable- disinterested love of truth, fidelity to facts, accuracy in measurement, exactness of verification-so, in life as a whole, the towering ethical criteria remain unshaken. Falsehood is never better than truth, theft better than honesty, treachery better than loyalty, cowardice better than courage.

Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Great living starts with a picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like to do or be.

He is a poor patriot whose patriotism does not enable him to understand how all men everywhere feel about their altars and their hearthstones, their flag and their fatherland.

Preaching is personal counseling on a group basis.

He is a poor son whose sonship does not make him desire to serve all men's mothers.

Religion is not a burden, not a weight, it is wings

I hate war for its consequences, for the lies it lives on and propagates, for the undying hatreds it arouses, for the dictatorships it puts in the place of democracies, and for the starvation that stalks after it. I hate war, and never again will I sanction or support another.

Religion is something that only secondarily can be taught. It must primarily be taught.

I renounce war for its consequences, for the lies it lives on and propagates, for the undying hatred it arouses, for the dictatorships it puts in place of democracy, for the starvation that stalks after it. I renounce war, and never again, directly or indirectly, will I sanction or support another.

Self-pity gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world -- making the most of one's best.

It is going to be a long, hard haul; it will require patience, courage, faith that hangs on when hope fails, if we are to tame the rude barbarity of man, so that the atomic age becomes a blessing, not a curse. There never was such a day for the Christian gospel. God help us all in these years ahead to make that gospel live in men and nations!

Author Picture
First Name
Harry Emerson
Last Name
Fosdick
Birth Date
1878
Death Date
1969
Bio

American Liberal Protestant Minister, Teacher, Author