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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Henry Ward Beecher

  • [An American pulpit-orator, born in Litchfield, Conn., 1813; pastor of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, from 1847.]
  • Doctrine is nothing but the skin of truth set up and stuffed.

  • From sermons and addresses collected in “Life Thoughts:”—
  • Happiness is not the end of life: character is.
  • Mozart and Raphael! as long as the winds make the air give sounds, and the sun paints the earth with colors, so long shall the world not let these names die.
  • “I can forgive, but I cannot forget,” is only another way of saying, “I cannot forgive.”
  • The truest self-respect is not to think of self.
  • Flowers are the sweetest things that God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.
  • What we call wisdom is the result, not the residuum, of all the wisdom of past ages.
  • Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry.
  • Anger is a bow that will shoot sometimes when another feeling will not.
  • Reason can tell us how love affects us, but cannot tell what love is.
  • Refinement which carries us away from our fellow-men is not God’s refinement.
  • There is somebody to believe in anybody who is uppermost.
  • The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.
  • Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one will forgive in others, and no one is without in himself.
  • The real man is one who always finds excuses for others, but never for himself.
  • The elect are those who will, and the non-elect those who won’t.
  • Success is full of promise till men get it; and then it is a last-year’s nest, from which the birds have flown.
  • In the morning we carry the world like Atlas; at noon we stoop and bend beneath it; and at night it crushes us flat to the ground.
  • A cunning man overreaches no one half so much as himself.
  • The philosophy of one century is the common-sense of the next.
  • Men are called fools in one age for not knowing what they were called fools for averring in the age before.
  • Not that which men do worthily, but that they do successfully, is what history makes haste to record.
  • There are many people who think that Sunday is a sponge to wipe out all the sins of the week.
  • Some men are like pyramids, which are very broad where they touch the ground, but grow narrow as they reach the sky.