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Henry Ward Beecher

Geburtstag: 24. Juni 1813
Todesdatum: 8. März 1887

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Henry Ward Beecher war kongregationalistischer US-amerikanischer Prediger.

Zitate Henry Ward Beecher

„My life lies beyond the present.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: Christ is the ideal of what a man should be. He has my ideal portrait, as it were, drawn out in His own thought and feeling. There is an exaltation and a grandeur for myself in the time to come, which Christ knows, and I do not; but I am following after. I am pressing up toward that thought that Christ has of what I am and ought to be; and I am determined that I will apprehend it as Christ Himself does. Not that I have it; but I will strive for it. My manhood is in the future. My life lies beyond the present. p. 109

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„The cynic puts all human actions into two classes — openly bad and secretly bad.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness and blind to light, mousing for vermin, and never seeing noble game. The cynic puts all human actions into two classes — openly bad and secretly bad. Lectures to Young Men: On Various Important Subjects (1856) Lecture IV : Portrait Gallery

„Humor is the atmosphere in which grace most flourishes.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: Humor is, however, nearer right than any emotion we have. Humor is the atmosphere in which grace most flourishes. Unjust Judgments (1874)

„Oh, tell me not that they are dead — that generous host, that airy army of invisible heroes. They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation. Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language?“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: Oh, tell me not that they are dead — that generous host, that airy army of invisible heroes. They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation. Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society, and inspire the people with nobler motives, and more heroic patriotism? Ye that mourn, let gladness mingle with your tears. It was your son, but now he is the nation's. He made your household bright: now his example inspires a thousand households. Dear to his brothers and sisters, he is now brother to every generous youth in the land. Before, he was narrowed, appropriated, shut up to you. Now he is augmented, set free, and given to all. Before, he was yours: he is ours. He has died from the family, that he might live to the nation. Not one name shall be forgotten or neglected: and it shall by and by be confessed of our modern heroes, as it is of an ancient hero, that he did more for his country by his death than by his whole life. "The Honored Dead" (1863) memorialized the Union dead; a popular piece for declamation among schoolchildren, also published as "Our Heroes Shall Live"

„So men turn the word of God into a vast arsenal, filled with all manner of weapons, offensive and defensive.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: 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 men turn the word of God into a vast arsenal, filled with all manner of weapons, offensive and defensive. p. 38

„This is unquestionably a contrast between an enforced and a free religious condition. It is a transfer from a life compelled by fear, through conscience, to a life that is inspired and made spontaneous by love.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." — John XV 15 This is unquestionably a contrast between an enforced and a free religious condition. It is a transfer from a life compelled by fear, through conscience, to a life that is inspired and made spontaneous by love. The strength of the phrase does not come out in that term servant. It is slave in the original. To be sure, the condition represented by the term slave was not at that time marked so sharply by the contrast of its misery with surrounding circumstances, as it is in our own day; nevertheless, it was a condition to be deprecated; and throughout the Scripture it is spoken of both as a misfortune and a disgrace. Our Savior looked upon his disciples as if they had, as Jews, and as worshipers after the manner of their fathers, been tied up in a kind of bondage. He was a member of the Jewish commonwealth, and was of the Jewish church; he had never separated himself from any of its ordinances or observances, but was walking as the fathers walked; and his disciples were bound not only to the Mosaic ritual, but to him as a kind of Rabbi; as a reform teacher, but nevertheless a teacher under the Jewish scheme. And so they were servants — slaves; they were rendering an enforced obedience. But he said to them, "Henceforth I shall not call you my servants — persons obeying me, as it were, from compulsion, from a sense of duty, from the stress of a rigorous conscience; I shall now call you friends." And he gives the reason why. A servant is one who receives orders, and is not admitted to conference. He does not know about his lord's affairs. His lord thinks first about his own affairs, and when he has consummated his plans, he gives his directions; so that all the servant has to do is to obey. But a friend sits in counsel with his friend, and bears a part in that friend's thinking and feeling, and in the determinations to which he comes; and Christ said to his disciples "Ycu come into partnership with me hereafter, and you stand at friends, on a kind of equality with me. There is to be liberty between you and me hereafter." Christ, then, raised men from religion as a bondage to religion as a freedom. I do not like the word religion; but we have nothing else to take its place. It signifies, in the original, to bind, to tie. Men were bound. They were under obligations, and were tied up by them. Christianity is something more than religion— that is, religion interpreted in its etymological sense, and as it is popularly esteemed. Christianity is religion developed into its last form, and carries men from necessity to voluntariness — from bondage to emancipation. It is a condition of the highest and most normal mental state, and is ordinarily spontaneous and free. This is not an accidental phrase.

„The truth is larger than any one man's thought of it. The truth of God usually has relations that stretch out in such a way that men may see it very differently, and all of them be true in spots, although they do not have the whole truth.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: I look at a large tree on the lawn, and say to my neighbour: "What is that tree to you?" He looks at it, and says: "Well, I think that would cut about twenty cords of wood. You could work in a good many branches, and as the price of wood is in the market, I think I could make fifty dollars out of that tree easily, and perhaps more than that." His answer shows what the tree is to him — and it is that." I call up a boy, and say to him: "What do you think of when you look at that tree?" "Ah!" he says, "there will be a bushel of hickory-nuts on that tree, anyhow; and he begins to think how he will climb it, and shake them down, and what he will do with them. That is what the tree says to him. I say to another person: "What is that tree to you?" He says: "I would not take fifty dollars for it. Under it my cows stand in summer. The shade of that tree has stood me instead of a shed ever since I owned this farm. That tree is worth its weight in gold." He values it for its economic uses. I ask a painter: "What is that tree to you?" At once he says: "Do you see what an exquisite form it has? How picturesque it is? If you were to take it and put it in the foreground of the landscape that I am working on, what a magnificent effect you would get!" It has an aesthetic value to him. I ask another man: "What is it to you?" He goes into an explanation of its structure and qualities. He is a botanist, and he has his peculiar view of it. I ask myself: "What is that tree?" It is everything. It is God's voice, when the winds are abroad. It is God's thought, when in the deep stillness of the noon it is silent. It is the house which God has built for a thousand birds. It is a harbour of comfort to weary men and to the cattle of the field. It is that which has in it the record of ages. There it has stood for a century. The winter could not kill it, and the summer could not destroy it. It is full of beauty and strength. It has in it all these things; and as different men look at it, each looks at so much of it as he needs; but it takes ten men to see everything that there is in that tree — and they all do not half see it. So it is with truths. Men sort them. They bring different faculties to bear in considering them. One person has philosophical reason; another has factual reason. One man brings one part of his mind to it; another brings to it another part of his mind. The truth is larger than any one man's thought of it. The truth of God usually has relations that stretch out in such a way that men may see it very differently, and all of them be true in spots, although they do not have the whole truth.

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„A man is a fool who sits looking backward from himself in the past.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: A man is a fool who sits looking backward from himself in the past. Ah! what shallow, vain conceit there is in man! Forget the things that are behind. That is not where you live. Your roots are not there. They are in the present; and you should reach up into the other life. p. 566

„What is evidence to a man will depend upon those of his faculties whk at work upon the things which are presented as evidence.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: Now, evidence to a man is that which convinces his mind. It varies with different men. An argument to a man who cannot reason is no evidence. Facts are no evidence to a man who cannot perceive them. A sentimental appeal is evidence to a man whose very nature moves by emotion, though it may not be to his neighbor. So then, when men come to the investigation of truth, they are responsible, first, for research, for honesty therein, for being diligent, and for attempting to cleanse their minds from all bias of selfishness and pride. They are responsible for sincerity and faithfulness in the investigation of truth. And when they go beyond that to the use of their faculties, the combination of those faculties will determine very largely, not, perhaps, the generic nature of truth, but specific developments of it. And as long as the world stands there will be men who will hold that God is a God of infinite love and sympathy and. goodness with a residunm of justice; and there will be men who will believe that God is a God of justice with a residunm of love and sympathy and goodness; and each will follow the law of his own mind. As a magnet, drawn through a vessel containing sand and particles of iron, attracts the particles of iron but does not attract the sand; so the faculties of a man's mind appropriate certain facts and reject others. What is evidence to a man will depend upon those of his faculties whk at work upon the things which are presented as evidence.

„Ye that mourn, let gladness mingle with your tears.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: Oh, tell me not that they are dead — that generous host, that airy army of invisible heroes. They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation. Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society, and inspire the people with nobler motives, and more heroic patriotism? Ye that mourn, let gladness mingle with your tears. It was your son, but now he is the nation's. He made your household bright: now his example inspires a thousand households. Dear to his brothers and sisters, he is now brother to every generous youth in the land. Before, he was narrowed, appropriated, shut up to you. Now he is augmented, set free, and given to all. Before, he was yours: he is ours. He has died from the family, that he might live to the nation. Not one name shall be forgotten or neglected: and it shall by and by be confessed of our modern heroes, as it is of an ancient hero, that he did more for his country by his death than by his whole life. "The Honored Dead" (1863) memorialized the Union dead; a popular piece for declamation among schoolchildren, also published as "Our Heroes Shall Live"

„The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man and never fails to see a bad one.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness and blind to light, mousing for vermin, and never seeing noble game. The cynic puts all human actions into two classes — openly bad and secretly bad. Lectures to Young Men: On Various Important Subjects (1856) Lecture IV : Portrait Gallery

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„Christ is the ideal of what a man should be.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: Christ is the ideal of what a man should be. He has my ideal portrait, as it were, drawn out in His own thought and feeling. There is an exaltation and a grandeur for myself in the time to come, which Christ knows, and I do not; but I am following after. I am pressing up toward that thought that Christ has of what I am and ought to be; and I am determined that I will apprehend it as Christ Himself does. Not that I have it; but I will strive for it. My manhood is in the future. My life lies beyond the present. p. 109

„A servant is one who receives orders, and is not admitted to conference. He does not know about his lord's affairs.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." — John XV 15 This is unquestionably a contrast between an enforced and a free religious condition. It is a transfer from a life compelled by fear, through conscience, to a life that is inspired and made spontaneous by love. The strength of the phrase does not come out in that term servant. It is slave in the original. To be sure, the condition represented by the term slave was not at that time marked so sharply by the contrast of its misery with surrounding circumstances, as it is in our own day; nevertheless, it was a condition to be deprecated; and throughout the Scripture it is spoken of both as a misfortune and a disgrace. Our Savior looked upon his disciples as if they had, as Jews, and as worshipers after the manner of their fathers, been tied up in a kind of bondage. He was a member of the Jewish commonwealth, and was of the Jewish church; he had never separated himself from any of its ordinances or observances, but was walking as the fathers walked; and his disciples were bound not only to the Mosaic ritual, but to him as a kind of Rabbi; as a reform teacher, but nevertheless a teacher under the Jewish scheme. And so they were servants — slaves; they were rendering an enforced obedience. But he said to them, "Henceforth I shall not call you my servants — persons obeying me, as it were, from compulsion, from a sense of duty, from the stress of a rigorous conscience; I shall now call you friends." And he gives the reason why. A servant is one who receives orders, and is not admitted to conference. He does not know about his lord's affairs. His lord thinks first about his own affairs, and when he has consummated his plans, he gives his directions; so that all the servant has to do is to obey. But a friend sits in counsel with his friend, and bears a part in that friend's thinking and feeling, and in the determinations to which he comes; and Christ said to his disciples "Ycu come into partnership with me hereafter, and you stand at friends, on a kind of equality with me. There is to be liberty between you and me hereafter." Christ, then, raised men from religion as a bondage to religion as a freedom. I do not like the word religion; but we have nothing else to take its place. It signifies, in the original, to bind, to tie. Men were bound. They were under obligations, and were tied up by them. Christianity is something more than religion— that is, religion interpreted in its etymological sense, and as it is popularly esteemed. Christianity is religion developed into its last form, and carries men from necessity to voluntariness — from bondage to emancipation. It is a condition of the highest and most normal mental state, and is ordinarily spontaneous and free. This is not an accidental phrase.

„I ask myself: "What is that tree?" It is everything. It is God's voice, when the winds are abroad. It is God's thought, when in the deep stillness of the noon it is silent. It is the house which God has built for a thousand birds. It is a harbour of comfort to weary men and to the cattle of the field. It is that which has in it the record of ages. There it has stood for a century. The winter could not kill it, and the summer could not destroy it. It is full of beauty and strength. It has in it all these things ; and as different men look at it, each looks at so much of it as he needs ; but it takes ten men to see everything that there is in that tree — and they all do not half see it.“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: I look at a large tree on the lawn, and say to my neighbour: "What is that tree to you?" He looks at it, and says: "Well, I think that would cut about twenty cords of wood. You could work in a good many branches, and as the price of wood is in the market, I think I could make fifty dollars out of that tree easily, and perhaps more than that." His answer shows what the tree is to him — and it is that." I call up a boy, and say to him: "What do you think of when you look at that tree?" "Ah!" he says, "there will be a bushel of hickory-nuts on that tree, anyhow; and he begins to think how he will climb it, and shake them down, and what he will do with them. That is what the tree says to him. I say to another person: "What is that tree to you?" He says: "I would not take fifty dollars for it. Under it my cows stand in summer. The shade of that tree has stood me instead of a shed ever since I owned this farm. That tree is worth its weight in gold." He values it for its economic uses. I ask a painter: "What is that tree to you?" At once he says: "Do you see what an exquisite form it has? How picturesque it is? If you were to take it and put it in the foreground of the landscape that I am working on, what a magnificent effect you would get!" It has an aesthetic value to him. I ask another man: "What is it to you?" He goes into an explanation of its structure and qualities. He is a botanist, and he has his peculiar view of it. I ask myself: "What is that tree?" It is everything. It is God's voice, when the winds are abroad. It is God's thought, when in the deep stillness of the noon it is silent. It is the house which God has built for a thousand birds. It is a harbour of comfort to weary men and to the cattle of the field. It is that which has in it the record of ages. There it has stood for a century. The winter could not kill it, and the summer could not destroy it. It is full of beauty and strength. It has in it all these things; and as different men look at it, each looks at so much of it as he needs; but it takes ten men to see everything that there is in that tree — and they all do not half see it. So it is with truths. Men sort them. They bring different faculties to bear in considering them. One person has philosophical reason; another has factual reason. One man brings one part of his mind to it; another brings to it another part of his mind. The truth is larger than any one man's thought of it. The truth of God usually has relations that stretch out in such a way that men may see it very differently, and all of them be true in spots, although they do not have the whole truth.

„The Scriptures make the test of believing to lie in the life and in the disposition. They nowhere require men, as the condition of acceptance and salvation, to be technically and philosophically right on all points of belief“

— Henry Ward Beecher
Context: The Scriptures make the test of believing to lie in the life and in the disposition. They nowhere require men, as the condition of acceptance and salvation, to be technically and philosophically right on all points of belief; but they do require that a man, in the presence of truth, using it as he pleases, selecting it according to the analysis and attractions and repulsions of his own nature, should live right. They hold men accountable for the development of their manhood on the pattern of Christ Jesus. They say, "Here are the truths of God; sort them, use them, every man according to his own liberty, in the spirit, and not in the letter." You are called to liberty; but it is that every one of you may become men in Christ Jesus. Men are held accountable for manhood, but not for the way in which they use the instruments by which the manhood is produced.

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