Henry Ward Beecher

An American congregational minister of the 19th century, Beecher was one of the most
influential Protestant clergymen of his day, and his message of a practical religion that
would help us to lead practical and happy lives are timeless, much in line with what
Jesus taught about living life, as opposed to what many churches have taught about it.

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A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs, jolted by every pebble in the road.

There's not much practical Christianity in the person who lives on better terms with angels and seraphs, than with his or her children, servants, and neighbours.

Prayer covers the whole of our lives.  There is no thought, feeling, yearning, or desire, however low, trifling, or vulgar we may deem it, which, if it affects our real interest or happiness, we may not lay before God and be sure of sympathy.  His nature is such that our often coming does not tire him.  The whole burden of the whole life of every person may be rolled on to God and not weary him, though it has wearied the person.
Victories that are cheap are cheap.  Those only are worth having which come as the result of hard fighting.

It is defeat that turns bone to flint; it is defeat that turns gristle to muscle; it is defeat that makes people invincible.  Do not then be afraid of defeat.  You are never so near to victory as when defeated in a good cause.

We are not to make the ideas of contentment and aspiration quarrel, for God made them fast friends.  A person may aspire, and yet be quite content until it is time to rise; and both flying and resting are but parts of one contentment.  The very fruit of the gospel is aspiration.  It is to the heart what spring is to the earth, making every root, and bud, and bough desire to be more.

Happiness is not the end of life; character is.


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The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that
one comes from a strong will, and the other comes from a strong won't.


Education is the knowledge of how to use the whole of oneself.
Many people use but one or two faculties out of the score
with which they are endowed.  A person is educated who knows
how to make a tool of every faculty--how to open it,
how to keep it sharp, and how to apply it to all practical purposes.


Adversity, if for no other reason, is of benefit, since it is sure
to bring a season of sober reflection.  People see clearer at
such times.  Storms purify the atmosphere.


The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom.


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.



"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.


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 blessing!


Every charitable act is a stepping stone toward heaven.


A helping word to one in trouble is often like a switch on a railroad track. . .
an inch between wreck and smooth, rolling prosperity.

It is not well for a person to pray cream and live skim milk.

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.
Failure is a school in which the truth always grows strong.

Every young person would do well to remember that all
successful business stands on the foundation of morality.


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