Henry Ward Beecher

Henry Ward

American Clergyman, Editor, Writer

Author Quotes

The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one. He is a human owl, vigilant in darkness, and blind to light, mousing for vermin, and never seeing noble game.

The Bible stands alone in human literature in its elevated conception of manhood, in character and conduct.

The blossom cannot tell what becomes of its odor, and no man can tell what becomes of his influence and example, that roll away from him, and go beyond his ken on their perilous mission.

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

The art op being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.

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

Success surely comes with conscience in the long run, other things being equal. Capacity and fidelity are commercially profitable qualities.

So it is that men sigh on, not knowing what the soul wants, but only that it needs something. Our yearnings are homesickness 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 saint standing in a golden niche.

Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one is without in himself.

Reason is a permanent blessing of God to the soul. Without it there can be no large religion.

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

Private opinion is weak, but public opinion is almost omnipotent.

Providence is but another name for natural law. Natural law itself would go out in a minute if it were not for the divine thought that is behind it.

Pushing any truth out very far, you are met by a counter-truth.

Poverty is very good in poems, but it is very bad in a house. It is very good in maxims and in sermons, but it is very bad in practical life.

Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place in the contents. New harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort. Nothing ever happens twice alike. The most familiar people stand each moment in some new relation to each other, to their work, to surrounding objects. The most tranquil house, with the most serene inhabitants, living upon the utmost regularity of system, is yet exemplifying infinite diversities.

Poetry is the robe, the royal apparel, in which truth asserts its divine origin.

Not what men do worthily, but what they do successfully, is what is history makes haste to record.

Of all earthly music, that which reaches the farthest into heaven is the beating of a loving heart.

No man is prosperous whose immortality is forfeited. No man is rich to whom the grave brings eternal bankruptcy. No man is happy upon whose path there rests but a momentary glimmer of light, shining out between clouds that are closing over him in darkness forever.

No matter what looms ahead, if you can eat today, enjoy the sunlight today, mix good cheer with friends today, enjoy it and bless God for it. Do not look back on happiness - or dream of it in the future. You are only sure of today; do not let yourself be cheated out of it.

No emotion, any more than a wave, can long retain its own individual form.

No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.

Never forget what a man has said to you when he was angry. If he has charged you with anything, you had better look it up. Anger is a bow that will shoot sometimes where another feeling will not.

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Henry Ward
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American Clergyman, Editor, Writer