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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Henry Ward Beecher Quotes

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Henry Ward Beecher
(24 Jun 1813 - 8 Mar 1887)

American clergyman and lecturer.

Science Quotes by Henry Ward Beecher (23 quotes)

A tool is but the extension of a man's hand, and a machine is but a complex tool. He that invents a machine augments the power of a man and the well being of mankind.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 44. It appears as one of the quotations featured in one of the hallways of the first floor of the U.S. Capitols House wing, which are known as the Cox Corridors, after Allyn Cox, the artist who decorated them.
Science quotes on:  |  Augment (3)  |  Complexity (51)  |  Extension (12)  |  Hand (34)  |  Invention (174)  |  Machine (56)  |  Man (258)  |  Mankind (111)  |  Power (103)  |  Tool (30)

All human affairs follow nature's great analogue, the growth of vegetation. There are three periods of growth in every plant. The first, and slowest, is the invisible growth by the root; the second and much accelerated is the visible growth by the stem; but when root and stem have gathered their forces, there comes the third period, in which the plant quickly flashes into blossom and rushes into fruit.
The beginnings of moral enterprises in this world are never to be measured by any apparent growth. ... At length comes the sudden ripeness and the full success, and he who is called in at the final moment deems this success his own. He is but the reaper and not the labourer. Other men sowed and tilled and he but enters into their labours.
— Henry Ward Beecher
Life Thoughts (1858), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogue (3)  |  Blossom (5)  |  Calling (2)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Entering (2)  |  Enterprise (6)  |  Fruit (31)  |  Growth (70)  |  Human (168)  |  Invention (174)  |  Invisible (10)  |  Labour (27)  |  Labourer (2)  |  Measurement (112)  |  Moral (38)  |  Nature (534)  |  Research (360)  |  Ripeness (2)  |  Root (19)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Soil (24)  |  Sowing (4)  |  Stem (7)  |  Success (114)  |  Vegetation (12)

Astronomers have built telescopes which can show myriads of stars unseen before; but when a man looks through a tear in his own eye, that is a lens which opens reaches into the unknown, and reveals orbs which no telescope, however skilfully constructed, could do.
— Henry Ward Beecher
Life Thoughts (1858), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomer (28)  |  Building (34)  |  Construction (36)  |  Eye (67)  |  Lens (8)  |  Man (258)  |  Myriad (8)  |  Opening (8)  |  Orb (3)  |  Reach (30)  |  Revelation (24)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Showing (3)  |  Skill (27)  |  Star (132)  |  Tear (11)  |  Telescope (44)  |  Unknown (40)  |  Unseen (4)

At the bottom of every leaf-stem is a cradle, and in it is an infant germ; the winds will rock it, the birds will sing to it all summer long, but the next season it will unfold and go alone.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (13)  |  Bird (57)  |  Cradle (3)  |  Germ (16)  |  Infant (6)  |  Leaf (22)  |  Season (8)  |  Song (7)  |  Stem (7)  |  Summer (10)  |  Unfolding (5)  |  Wind (28)

Business men are to be pitied who do not recognize the fact that the largest side of their secular business is benevolence. ... No man ever manages a legitimate business in this life without doing indirectly far more for other men than he is trying to do for himself.
— Henry Ward Beecher
Defining what makes a business legitimate. In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 44.
Science quotes on:  |  Benevolence (3)  |  Business (27)  |  Fact (325)  |  Himself (9)  |  Legitimate (3)  |  Life (460)  |  Manage (5)  |  Pity (2)  |  Recognition (38)  |  Secular (3)

Flowers are the sweetest things that God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887),8.
Science quotes on:  |  Flower (24)  |  Forget (10)  |  God (234)  |  Making (18)  |  Soul (54)

Genius unexerted is no more genius than a bushel of acorns is a forest of oaks.
— Henry Ward Beecher
Louis Klopsch, Many Thoughts of Many Minds (1896), 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Acorn (3)  |  Effort (40)  |  Forest (54)  |  Genius (92)  |  Oak (7)

In engineering, that only is great which achieves. It matters not what the intention is, he who in the day of battle is not victorious is not saved by his intention.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (73)  |  Battle (10)  |  Engineering (60)  |  Greatness (24)  |  Intention (20)  |  Victory (10)

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.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Atlas (2)  |  Bend (3)  |  Carrying (3)  |  Crush (2)  |  Flat (5)  |  Man (258)  |  Morning (11)  |  Night (26)  |  Noon (3)  |  World (231)

Intelligence increases mere physical ability one half. The use of the head abridges the labor of the hands.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 44.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (37)  |  Hand (34)  |  Labour (27)

It is the triumph of civilization that at last communities have obtained such a mastery over natural laws that they drive and control them. The winds, the water, electricity, all aliens that in their wild form were dangerous, are now controlled by human will, and are made useful servants.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Tryon Edwards, A Dictionary of Thoughts (1908), 75.
Science quotes on:  |  Civilization (90)  |  Community (27)  |  Control (41)  |  Dangerous (11)  |  Electricity (82)  |  Mastery (10)  |  Natural Law (7)  |  Obtain (14)  |  Servant (5)  |  Triumph (21)  |  Water (122)  |  Wild (12)  |  Wind (28)

Leaves die, but trees do not. They only undress.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Death (183)  |  Leaf (22)  |  Tree (88)

Maple-trees are the cows of trees (spring-milked).
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 10. Presumably referring to maple syrup production.
Science quotes on:  |  Cow (18)  |  Milk (8)  |  Spring (17)  |  Tree (88)

October is the opal month of the year. It is the month of glory, of ripeness. It is the picture-month.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Glory (20)  |  Month (7)  |  Picture (25)  |  Ripeness (2)

Of all man’s works of art, a cathedral is greatest. A vast and majestic tree is greater than that.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (80)  |  Cathedral (9)  |  Greatness (24)  |  Majesty (4)  |  Tree (88)

Some have supposed that the mosquito is of a devout turn, and never will partake of a meal without first saying grace. The devotions of some men are but a preface to blood-sucking.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Devotion (12)  |  Grace (7)  |  Meal (9)  |  Mosquito (4)  |  Preface (2)

Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven.
— Henry Ward Beecher
Life Thoughts (1858), 178.
Science quotes on:  |  Far (9)  |  Heaven (55)  |  Seeing (29)  |  Tear (11)  |  Telescope (44)

The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope, then he sees worlds beyond; but, if he looks at his telescope, then he does not see anything but that.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Bible (43)  |  Seeing (29)  |  Telescope (44)  |  World (231)

The elms of New England! They are as much a part of her beauty as the columns of the Parthenon were the glory of its architecture.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Architecture (24)  |  Beauty (88)  |  Column (4)  |  Elm (3)  |  Glory (20)  |  Parthenon (2)  |  Tree (88)

The imagination is the secret and marrow of civilization. It is the very eye of faith. The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Civilization (90)  |  Imagination (130)  |  Observatory (7)  |  Secret (44)  |  Soul (54)  |  Telescope (44)

The monkey is an organized sarcasm upon the human race.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887),8.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (342)  |  Human Race (29)  |  Monkey (26)  |  Organization (51)

The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.
— Henry Ward Beecher
Life Thoughts (1858), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  Imagination (130)  |  Observatory (7)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Soul (54)  |  Telescope (44)

To array a man's will against his sickness is the supreme art of medicine.
— Henry Ward Beecher
In Thomas Wallace Knox, Life and Work of Henry Ward Beecher: An Authentic, Impartial and Complete (1887), 274.
Science quotes on:  |  Medicine (185)  |  Sickness (15)  |  Treatment (61)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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