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HENRY WARD BEECHER
American Congregational clergyman, religious writer and reformer
(1813 - 1887)
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Theology is but our ideas of truth classified and arranged.
      - [Theology]

There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten 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.
      - [Joy]

There are many persons of combative tendencies, who read for ammunition, and dig out of the Bible iron for balls. They read, and they find nitre and charcoal and sulphur for powder. They read, and they find cannon. They read, and they make portholes and embrasures. And if a man does not believe as they do, they look upon him as an enemy, and let fly the Bible at him to demolish him. So men turn the word of God into a vast arsenal, filled with all manner of weapons, offensive and defensive.
      - [Bible]

There are many troubles which you cannot cure by the Bible and the hymn-book, but which you can cure by a good perspiration and a breath of fresh air.
      - [Exercise]

There are some men's souls that are so thin, so almost destitute of what is the true idea of soul, that were not the guardian angels so keen-sighted, they would altogether overlook them.
      - [Soul]

There are sorrows that are not painful, but are of the nature of some acids, and give piquancy and flavor to life.
      - [Sorrow]

There can be no barrenness in full summer. The very sand will yield something. Rocks will have mosses, and every rift will have its wind-flower, and every crevice a leaf; while from the fertile soil will be reared a gorgeous troop of growths, that will carry their life in ten thousand forms, but all with praise to God. And so it is when the soul knows its summer. Love redeems its weakness, clothes its barrenness, enriches its poverty, and makes its very desert to bud and blossom as the rose.
      - [Love]

There have been many men who left behind them that which hundreds of years have not worn out. The earth has Socrates and Plato to this day. The world is richer yet by Moses and the old prophets than by the wisest statesmen. We are indebted to the past. We stand in the greatness of ages that are gone rather than in that of our own. But of how many of us shall it be said that, being dead, we yet speak?
      - [Past]

There is a good day coming for the South. Through darkness and tears and blood she has sought it. It has been an unconscious Via Dolorosa. But, in the end, it will be worth all it has cost. Her institutions before were deadly. She nourished death in her bosom. The greater her secular prosperity the more sure was her ruin. Every year of delay but made the change more terrible. Now, by an earthquake, the evil is shaken down. Her own historians in a better day shall write that from that day the sword cut off the cancer she began to find her health.
      - [Emancipation Day]

There is a patience that cackles. There are a great many virtues that are hen-like. They are virtue, to be sure; but everybody in the neighborhood has to know about them.
      - [Ostentation]

There is always work, and tools to work withal, for those, who will.
      - [Labor]

There is an army of memorable sufferers who suffer inwardly and not outwardly. The world's battlefields have been in the heart chiefly. More heroism has there been displayed in the household and in the closet, I think, than on the most memorable military battlefields of history.
      - [Heroism]

There is an ugly kind of forgiveness in this world,--a kind of hedgehog forgiveness, shot out like quills. Men take one who has offended, and set him down before the blowpipe of their indignation, and scorch him, and burn his fault into him; and when they have kneaded him sufficiently with their fiery fists, then--they forgive him.
      - [Forgiveness]

There is but one easy place in this world, and that is the grave.
      - [Death]

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

There is no friendship, no love, like that of the parent for the child.
      - [Parents]

There is no part of government which cannot better suffer derangement than the ballot. If you strike the ballot with disease, it is heart disease.
      - [Government]

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.
      - [Patience]

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

There is not a single heart but has its moments of longing.
      - [Aspiration]

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.
      - [Soul]

There is nothing which vanity does not desecrate.
      - [Vanity]

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.
      - [Free Speech]

There ought to be such an atmosphere in every Christian church that a man going there and sitting two hours should take the contagion of heaven, and carry home a fire to kindle the altar whence he came.
      - [Churches]

These appetites are very humiliating weaknesses. That our grace depends so largely upon animal condition is not quite flattering to those who are hyperspiritual.
      - [Appetite]


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