Henry Ward Beecher

Henry Ward Beecher
Henry Ward Beecher
  • Born: June 24, 1813
  • Died: March 8, 1887
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Congregational Clergyman, Abolitionist









Quote Topics Cited
... organized, institutional liberty—liberty through law, and laws for liberty. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
[The American flag] ... means the rising up of a valiant young people against an old tyranny, to establish the most momentous doctrine that the world has ever known, or has since known—the right of men to their own selves and to their liberties. Flags & National Anthems
A conservative young man has wound up his life before it was unreeled. Liberals & Conservatives
A law is valuable, not because it is law, but because there is right in it. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
A man without a vote is in this land like a man without a hand. Voters, Voting & Elections
A traitor is a good fruit to hang from the boughs of the tree of liberty. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Action is the right outlet of emotion. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
All true ambition and aspiration are without comparisons. Human Nature
Any law that takes hold of a man’s daily life cannot prevail in a community, unless the vast majority of the community are actively in favor of it. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Any law that takes hold of a man's daily life cannot prevail in a community, unless the vast majority of the community are actively in favor of it. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Brought up in the strictest state of New England, brought up in the most literal style of worship, … I passed all my youth without any knowledge of Christmas, and so I have no associations with the day. Religion & God
Do not prove things too much. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Doctrine is nothing but the skin of truth set up and stuffed. Religion & God
Farmers who are legislators are the easiest to buy and seduce. Lobbying & Special Interests
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. Freedom & Liberty
He is the most brilliant speaker of the English tongue of all men on this globe Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I am a peace man except when I wish to fight. Human Nature
I do not say a dollar a day is enough to support a working man, but it is enough to support a man. Not enough to support a man and five children if a man insists on smoking and drinking beer. Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs
If every man in New York tonight who had broken the Seventh Commandment voted for Cleveland, he would be elected by a 200,000 vote majority. Voters, Voting & Elections
Imagine your own daughters being sold into a life of rape and bone crushing labor. Work, Workers & The Labor Force ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
In America there is not one single element of civilization that is not made to depend, in the end, upon public opinion. Public Opinion & Polling
Is the great working class oppressed? Yes, undoubtedly it is. God has intended the great to be great and the little to be little. Equality & Equal Opportunity
It usually takes a hundred years to make a law, and then, after it has done its work, it usually takes a hundred years to get rid of it. Legislating & Legislative Process
Laws are not masters but servants, and he rules them who obeys them. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Liberty is the soul's right to breathe. Freedom & Liberty
Not parties, but principles. Political Parties & Machines
Nowhere on the globe do men live so well as in America, or grumble so much. Miscellaneous
Public men are bees working in a glass hive. Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
Take all the robes of all the good judges that have ever lived on the face of the earth, and they would not be large enough to cover the iniquity of one corrupt judge. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The abetters of slavery are weaving the thread in the loom, but God is adjusting the pattern. They are asses harnessed to the chariot of Liberty, and, whether they will or no, must draw it on. Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man and never fails to see a bad one. The cynic puts all human actions into two classes — openly bad and secretly bad. Human Nature
The real democratic idea is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other, but that every one shall have liberty, without hindrance, to be what God made him. Democracies & Republics
The trade union, which originated under the European system, destroys liberty. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
The worst thing in this world, next to anarchy, is government. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
There are times when self defense is a religious duty. Defense & National Security ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
There is always somebody to believe in any one who is uppermost. Leaders & Leadership
There is nothing that makes more cowards and feeble men than public opinion. Public Opinion & Polling
There is tonic in the things that men do not love to hear. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
They are not reformers who simply abhor evil. Such men become in the end abhorrent themselves. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Too much looking backward ... is bad for progress. History
When a nation's young men are conservative, its funeral bell has already rung. Liberals & Conservatives
When laws, customs, or institutions cease to be beneficial to man, they cease to be obligatory. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Work is not the curse, but drudgery is. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
You might just as well read the Bible to a herd of buffaloes as to those fellows ... but they have a supreme respect for the logic ... embodied in Sharp's rifles . Minorities & Women ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
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.
A church debt is the devil's salary.
A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life. Life
A man that does not know how to be angry does not know how to be good.
A man's true state of power and riches is to be in himself. Power
A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road. Humor
A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.
All ambitions are lawful except those that climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind.
All men are tempted. There is no man that lives that can't be broken down, provided it is the right temptation, put in the right spot.
Beware of him who hates the laugh of a child.
Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.
Books are not men and yet they stay alive.
Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.
Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they are going to catch you in next.
Clothes and manners do not make the man; but, when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.
Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.
Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. Nature ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Every charitable act is a stepping stone toward heaven. Inspiration
Every man should keep a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.
Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. Religion & God
Every young man would do well to remember that all successful business stands on the foundation of morality. Business, Commerce & Finance
Expedients are for the hour, but principles are for the ages.
Faith is spiritualized imagination. Religion & God
Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into. Nature ;Religion & God
Gambling with cards or dice or stocks is all one thing. It's getting money without giving an equivalent for it. Money, Coins & Minting
God appoints our graces to be nurses to other men's weaknesses. Religion & God
God asks no man whether he will accept life. That is not the choice. You must take it. The only choice is how. Life ;Religion & God
God made man to go by motives, and he will not go without them, any more than a boat without steam or a balloon without gas. Religion & God
God pardons like a mother, who kisses the offense into everlasting forgiveness. Religion & God
Good nature is worth more than knowledge, more than money, more than honor, to the persons who possess it. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Nature
Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.
He is greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.
He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.
Heaven will be inherited by every man who has heaven in his soul.
Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Leaders & Leadership
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.
I don't like these cold, precise, perfect people, who, in order not to speak wrong, never speak at all, and in order not to do wrong, never do anything.
I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Religion & God
I pray on the principle that wine knocks the cork out of a bottle. There is an inward fermentation, and there must be a vent.
If a man cannot be a Christian in the place where he is, he cannot be a Christian anywhere.
In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich. Success
In this world, full often, our joys are only the tender shadows which our sorrows cast.
It is not the going out of port, but the coming in, that determines the success of a voyage. Success
It is not well for a man to pray cream and live skim milk.
It is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich.
It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship. Truth ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Friendship
It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.
It's easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top.
It's not the work which kills people, it's the worry. It's not the revolution that destroys machinery it's the friction. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Laugh at your friends, and if your friends are sore; So much the better, you may laugh the more.
Laughter is day, and sobriety is night; a smile is the twilight that hovers gently between both, more bewitching than either.
Laughter is not a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is the best ending for one. Friendship
Law represents the effort of man to organize society; governments, the efforts of selfishness to overthrow liberty. Society
Love cannot endure indifference. It needs to be wanted. Like a lamp, it needs to be fed out of the oil of another's heart, or its flame burns low. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Love is the river of life in the world. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Mirth is the sweet wine of human life. It should be offered sparkling with zestful life unto God. Life ;Religion & God
Never forget what a person says to you when they are angry.
Next to ingratitude the most painful thing to bear is gratitude.
No man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.
No matter what looms ahead, if you can eat today, enjoy today, mix good cheer with friends today enjoy it and bless God for it. Religion & God
Now comes the mystery.
Of all escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient. Death
Of all the music that reached farthest into heaven, it is the beating of a loving heart. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Romantic
Our best successes often come after our greatest disappointments. Failure
Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.
Riches are not an end of life, but an instrument of life. Life
Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one will forgive in others, and no one is without himself.
Suffering is part of the divine idea.
Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven. Inspiration
The ability to convert ideas to things is the secret of outward success. Success
The advertisements in a newspaper are more full knowledge in respect to what is going on in a state or community than the editorial columns are. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Respect
The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things. Power ;Happiness & Unhappiness ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The babe at first feeds upon the mother's bosom, but it is always on her heart.
The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't.
The dog is the god of frolic. Religion & God
The dog was created specially for children. He is a god of frolic. Religion & God
The head learns new things, but the heart forever practices old experiences.
The humblest individual exerts some influence, either for good or evil, upon others.
The ignorant classes are the dangerous classes.
The moment an ill can be patiently handled, it is disarmed of its poison, though not of its pain.
The most dangerous people are the ignorant.
The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom.
The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next.
The real democratic American idea is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance. Religion & God
The real man is one who always finds excuses for others, but never excuses himself.
The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.
The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world's joy.
The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.
The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!
The world's battlefields have been in the heart chiefly; more heroism has been displayed in the household and the closet, than on the most memorable battlefields in history. History
Theology is a science of mind applied to God. Religion & God ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten thousands 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. Religion & God
There are three schoolmasters for everybody that will employ them - the senses, intelligent companions, and books.
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. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Friendship
To array a man's will against his sickness is the supreme art of medicine. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
To become an able and successful man in any profession, three things are necessary, nature, study and practice. Nature
To know that one has a secret is to know half the secret itself.
We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things. Religion & God
We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Families, Children & Parenting
We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.
We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning. Life ;Morning
We steal if we touch tomorrow. It is God's. Future ;Religion & God
Well married a person has wings, poorly married shackles. Families, Children & Parenting
What a mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin.
What we call wisdom is the result of all the wisdom of past ages. Our best institutions are like young trees growing upon the roots of the old trunks that have crumbled away.
When a nation's young men are conservative, its funeral bell is already rung.
Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore? Nature
You and I do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.
You cannot sift out the poor from the community. The poor are indispensable to the rich.
You have come into a hard world. I know of only one easy place in it, and that is the grave.