87 Henry Ward Beecher Quotes from American Social Reformer

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) was a prominent U.S. Congregational minister renowned for his oratorical prowess and social advocacy.

The eighth child of Rev. Lyman Beecher, Henry’s potential shone at Amherst College, though he was not a noted scholar.

After studying at Lane Theological Seminary, where his father was president, he served as a minister in Lawrenceburg and Indianapolis, Indiana.

He believed that effective sermons aimed to morally transform listeners.


His book, “Seven Lectures to Young Men,” discussed challenges faced in frontier communities.

By 1847, Beecher led Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, attracting crowds of 2,500 weekly by the early 1850s.

His increasing opposition to slavery and other public statements made him a figure of national and sometimes global, interest.

He supported Reconstruction, Grover Cleveland’s presidential run, women’s suffrage, evolutionary theory and scientific biblical critique, using platforms like the Independent journal and Christian Union magazine.

In the 1870s, Beecher faced accusations of adultery from Theodore Tilton. Despite ecclesiastical bodies absolving him and inconclusive civil trial outcomes, his influence persisted.

His writings spanned topics like evolution, Jesus’s life, preaching techniques and even a novel titled “Norwood.”

Here are the top quotes by Henry Ward Beecher.

Best Henry Ward Beecher Quotes


Genius is a steed too fiery for the plow or cart. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


It is not the going out of port, but the coming in, that determines the success of a voyage. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Storms purify the atmosphere. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Theology is a science of mind applied to God. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Laughter is not a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is the best ending for one. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

God has made sleep to be a sponge by which to rub out fatigue. A man’s roots are planted in night as in a soil. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Truth is the bread of a noble manhood. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Heaven will be inherited by every man who has heaven in his soul. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

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. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

A door that seems to stand open must be a man’s size, or it is not the door that Providence means for him. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Repentance is the turning of the soul from the way of midnight to the point of the coming sun. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Famous Henry Ward Beecher Quotes

We should not judge people by their peak of excellence but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Of all the earthly music, that which reaches farthest into heaven is the beating of a truly loving heart. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

No man is sane who does not know how to be insane on the proper occasions. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


It’s easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

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. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

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. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Every man should keep a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


There is no friendship, no love, like that of the mother for the child. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Great Henry Ward Beecher Quotes

I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Alas! Where is human nature so weak as in the book-store? ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


What I spent, I had; What I kept, I lost; What I gave, I have. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one will forgive in others, and no one is without himself. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

God sends experience to paint men’s portraits. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

A man in the right, with God on his side, is in the majority, though he be alone, for God is multitudinous above all populations of the earth. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

The dog is the god of frolic. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Suffering is part of the divine idea. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

When God wanted sponges and oysters He made them and put one on a rock and the other in the mud. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Top Henry Ward Beecher Quotes

There is a power in the human mind… to see things as they are… but there is equally a power to see things as they might be. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

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


When laws, customs, or institutions cease to be beneficial to man, they cease to be obligatory. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

It’s not the work which kills people, it’s the worry. It’s not the revolution that destroys machinery it’s the friction. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

You are called to be an eagle, and to fly sun to sun, over continents. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is in the heart that makes a man rich. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

That is true culture which helps us to work for the social betterment of all. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Popular Henry Ward Beecher Quotes

The imagination is the secret and marrow of civilization. It is the very eye of faith. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Fear secretes acids. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

A man that does not know how to shaken to his heart’s core with indignation over things evil, is either a fungus or a wicked man. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

There is so much that is deaf and dumb in man, and so much that is paralyzed, so much that is shrunken, that nothing short of a miraculous touch of re-creation can make them at death perfect beings. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Our life is in the loom; it rolls up and is hidden as fast as it is woven. It is to be taken out of the loom only when we leave this world; then only shall we see the pattern. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


There is nothing which vanity does not desecrate. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

A man without ambition is like a beautiful worm – it can creep, but it cannot fly. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Powerful Henry Ward Beecher Quotes

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


What a mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Love is the river of life in the world. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men and animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

If a man cannot be a Christian in the place where he is, he cannot be a Christian anywhere. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Wise Henry Ward Beecher Quotes

A cunning man overreaches no one half so much as himself. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Faith is a recognition of those things which are above the senses. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

The first hour of the morning, is the rudder of the day. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Courage is like love it must have hope for nourishment. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

A man that does not know how to be angry does not know how to be good. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Inspiring Henry Ward Beecher Quotes

A Christian is nothing but a sinful man who has put himself to school for Christ for the honest purpose of becoming better. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


Death is the dropping of the flower, that the fruit may swell. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

God asks no man whether he will accept life. That is not a choice. You must take it. The only question is how. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Clothes and manners do not make the man; but, when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

That endless book, the newspaper, is our national glory. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

The soul is often hungrier than the body, and no shops can sell it food. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

The head learns new things, but the heart forever practices old experiences. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.


We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

When a nation’s young men are conservative, its funeral bell is already rung. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Not that which men do worthily, but that which they do successfully, is what history makes haste to record.

So these were the 87 top Henry Ward Beecher quotes and sayings on slavery, greatness and gratitude.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Henry Miller quotes and Howard Zinn quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar