Henry Ward Beecher

Henry Ward

American Clergyman, Editor, Writer

Author Quotes

Vigilance is not only the price of liberty, but of success of any sort.

True politeness is the spirit of benevolence showing itself in a refined way. It is the expression of good-will and kindness. It promotes both beauty in the man who possesses it, and happiness in those who are about him. It is a religious duty, and should be a part of religious training.

Truthfulness is godliness.

True elegance becomes the more so as it approaches simplicity.

True obedience is true liberty.

There never was a person who do anything worth doing that did not receive more than he gave.

Thorough selfishness destroys or paralyzes enjoyment. A heart made selfish by the contest for wealth is like a citadel stormed in war, utterly shattered.

There is tonic in the things that men do not love to hear; and there is damnation in the things that wicked men love to hear. Free speech is to a great people what winds are to oceans and malarial regions, which waft away the elements of disease, and bring new elements of health. And where free speech is stopped miasma is bred, and death comes fast.

There is nothing that is so wonderfully created as the human soul. There is something of God in it. We are infinite in the future, though we are finite in the past.

There is nothing which vanity does not desecrate.

There is no such thing as white lies; a lie is as black as a coalpit, and twice as foul.

There is not a person we employ who does not, like ourselves, desire recognition, praise, gentleness, forbearance, patience.

There is no such thing as preaching patience into people unless the sermon is so long that they have to practice it while they hear. No man can learn patience except by going out into the hurly-burly world, and taking life just as it blows. Patience is but lying to and riding out the gale.

There is no such thing as white lies; a lie is as black as a coal-pit, and twice as foul.

There is no faculty of the human soul so persistent and universal as that of hatred.

There is no friendship, no love, like that of the parent for the child.

The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.

There are joys which long to be ours. God sends then thousand truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away.

The whole of life and experience goes to show, that right or wrong doing, whether as to the physical or the spiritual nature, is sure in the end to meet its appropriate reward or punishment. Penalties may be delayed but they are sure to come.

The truest self-respect is not to think of self.

The way to avoid evil is not by maiming our passions, but by compelling them to yield their vigor to our mortal nature. Thus they become, as in the ancient fable, the harnessed steeds which bear the chariot of the sun.

The soul is a temple; and God is silently building it by night and by day. Precious thoughts are building it; disinterested love is building it; all-penetrating faith is building it.

The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.

The rarest feeling that ever lights a human face is the contentment of a loving soul.

The reason that men are so slow to confess their vices is because they have not yet abandoned them.

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Henry Ward
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American Clergyman, Editor, Writer