More from and about
Henry Ward Beecher
(biographical info at bottom of page)

  

God asks no person whether he or she will accept life.
That is not the choice.  You must take it.
The only choice is how.

   

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 people turn the word of God into a vast arsenal, filled with all manner of weapons, offensive and defensive.

      
Any law that takes hold of a manís daily life cannot prevail in a community, unless the vast majority of the community are actively in favor of it. The laws that are the most operative are the laws which protect life.
  
  
A little library, growing larger every year, is an honourable part of a man's history. It is a man's duty to have books.  A library is not a luxury, but one of the necessaries of life.
  
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.
  
  
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.
   

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you.  Never excuse yourself.  Never pity yourself.  Be a hard master to yourself--and be lenient to everybody else.

     

There are a great many doors open; but a door must
be of a man's size or it is not meant for him.

   

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

   

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 never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.

   
    
Henry Ward Beecher, the eighth son of the Rev. Lyman Beecher, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, on 24th June, 1813.  The brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, he was educated at the Lane Theological Seminary before becoming a Presbyterian minister in Lawrenceburg (1837-39) and Indianapolis (1839-47).  His pamphlet, "Seven Lectures to Young Men," was published in 1844.

Beecher moved to Plymouth Church, Brooklyn in 1847.  By this time he had developed a national reputation for his oratorical skills, and drew crowds of 2,500 regularly every Sunday. He strongly opposed slavery and favored temperance and woman's suffrage.

Beecher condemned the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska bill from his pulpit and helped to raise funds to supply weapons to those willing to oppose slavery in these territories.  These rifles became known as Beecher's Bibles.  John Brown and five of his sons, were some of the volunteers who headed for Kansas.

He supported the Free Soil Party in 1852 but switched to the Republican Party in 1860.  During the Civil War Beecher's church raised and equipped a volunteer regiment.  However, after the war, he advocated
reconciliation.

Beecher edited The Independent (1861-63) and the Christian Union (1870-78) and published several books including the Summer in the Soul (1858), Life of Jesus Christ (1871), Yale Lectures on Preaching (1872) and Evolution and Religion (1885). Henry Ward Beecher died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 8th March, 1887.
  

  

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