less. One great secret of his power is, that he feels deeply himself the great truths that he utters, and therefore makes his audience feel them too.'

Mr. Beecher was married in 1837 to Miss Bullard, sister of the late Rev. Dr. Bullard, of St. Louis, and of Rev. Asa Bullard, Boston.

Mr. Beecher's only publications are Letters to Young Men, and Star Papers, or Experiences of Art and Nature. But there have been published for him two very remarkable books, Life Thoughts gathered from the Extemporaneous Discourses of Henry Ward Beecher, by Edna Dean Proctor; and Notes from Plymouth Pulpit: a Collection of Memorable Passages from the Discourses of Henry Ward Beecher, by Augusta Moore. Few books can be found containing such rich gems of deep thought, brilliant fancy, and devotional feeling.

It is impossible to do Mr. Beecher justice by any extracts from his sermons or essays. One must hear him preach or lecture to feel his power, or to understand it. The following selections, however, will give some idea of his style, sentiments, and inexhaustible wealth of thought and illustration.


A sermon that is dry, cold, dull, soporific, is a pulpit monster, and is just as great a violation of the sanctity of the pulpit, as the other absurd extreme of profane levity. Men may hide or forsake God's living truth by the way of stupid dulness, just as much as by pert imagination. A solemn nothing is just as wicked as a witty nothing. Men confound earnestness with solemnity. A man may be eagerly earnest, and not be very solemn. They may also be awfully solemn, without a particle of earnestness. But solemnity has a reputation. A man may be a repeater of endless distinctions, a lecturer in the pulpit of mere philosophical niceties, or he may be a repeater of stale truisms; he may smother living truths by conventional forms and phrases, and if he put on a very solemn face, use a very solemn tone, employ very solemn gestures, and roll along his vamped-up sermon with professional solemnity above an audience of sound men; men, at least, soundly asleep,— that will pass for decorous handling of God's truth. The old pharisaism is not dead yet. The difference between Christ and

1 In 1850, Mr. Beecher made a brief trip to Europe; and the impression he produced is described in the following spirited paragraph in the "British Banner," written by Dr. Campbell :-"Mr. Henry Ward Beecher is by far the most amusing and fascinating American it has ever been our lot to meet. He is a mass of flaming fire,-restless, fearless, brilliant,-a mixture of the poet, the orator, and the philosopher, such as we have seldom, if ever, found in any other man to the same extent." For a good notice of Mr. Beecher, see "Fowler's American Pulpit."

2 This is composed of the communications he has given to the "Independent," his signature in that paper being a star (*). He continues to write for it; and his contributions are one of the many attractions of that admirable journal.

His contemporary teachers was, that He spake life-truth in lifeforms, with the power of His own life in their utterance. The rabbis spake old orthodoxy, dead as a mummy;--but they spake it very reverendly. They might not do any good, but they never violated professional propriety. Nobody lived, everybody died about them. But, then, their faces were sober, their robes exact, their manner mostly of the Temple and the Altar. They never forgot how to look, nor how to speak guttural solemnities, nor how to maintain professional dignity. They forgot nothing except living truths and living souls. And fifty years of ministration without any fruit in true godliness gave them no pain. It was charged to the account of Divine Sovereignty.

Nothing can more sharply exhibit the miserable imbecility. which has come upon us, than the inability of men to perceive the difference between preaching "politics," "social reform," &c., and preaching God's truth in such a way that it shall sit in judgment upon these things, and every other deed of men, to try them, to explore and analyze them, and to set them forth, as upon the background of eternity, in their moral character, and in their relation to man's duty and God's requirements.

Shall the whole army of human deeds go roaring along the public thoroughfares, and Christian men be whelmed in the general rush, and no man be found to speak the real moral nature of human conduct? Is the pulpit too holy, and the Sabbath too sacred, to bring individual courses and developments of society to the bar of God's Word for trial? Those who think so, and are crying out about the desecration of the pulpit with secular themes, are the lineal descendants of those Jews who thought the Sabbath so sacred that our Saviour desecrated it by healing the withered hand. Would to God that the Saviour would visit His Church and heal withered hearts!


Religion-it is the bread of life. I wish that we appreciated more livingly the force of such expressions. Why! I remember when I was a boy, I could not wait till I was dressed in the morning, but ran and cut a slice from the loaf, and all round the loaf, too, in order to keep me till breakfast; and at breakfast-if diligence earned wages, I should have been well paid; and then I could not wait till dinner, but had to eat again, and again before tea, and then at tea, and lucky if I did not eat again after that. It was bread, bread, all the time, which I ate, and lived on, and got strength from. And so religion is the bread of life. You make it the cake. You put it away in your cupboards, and you never have it but when you have company, and then you cut it up

into little pieces and pass it round on your best plates, instead of treating it as bread, to be used every day and every hour.


Every one must come to Christ and say, "If you will not take me with all my failings, I cannot be saved!" And why does God forgive us? For the same reason that the mother forgives her child, because she loves it. Just as the sun shines on decaying flowers and shrivelled fruit, because it is his nature -the sun, which never asks a question, but says, "If any thing wants to be shined on, let it hold itself up." And so God says, "I will forgive you, for your repeated transgressions." Do you ask what becomes of them? What becomes of the hasty words you spoke yesterday to her you love? "I don't know where they are," says the wife. "I am sure I do not," says the husband. They are gone. They are sunk to the bottom of her heart. No! not to the bottom, for there she keeps her love. There is only one thing that can be annihilated, and that is wrong-doing to one who loves you.

The following selections are from that remarkable book-Life Thoughts-so full of the richest gems that one hardly knows which to take.

PARENTAL INDULGENCE. I heard a man who had failed in business, and whose furniture was sold at auction, say that when the cradle and the crib and the piano went, tears would come, and he had to leave the house to be a man. Now, there are thousands of men who have lost their pianos, but who have found better music in the sound of their children's voices and footsteps going cheerfully down with them to poverty, than any harmony of chorded instruments. Oh, how blessed is bankruptcy when it saves a man's children! I see many men who are bringing up their children as I should bring up mine, if, when they were ten years old, I should lay them on a dissecting-table, and cut the sinews of their arms and legs, so that they could neither walk nor use their hands, but only sit still and be fed. Thus rich men put the knife of indolence and luxury to their children's energies, and they grow up fatted, lazy calves, fitted for nothing, at twenty-five, but to drink deep and squander wide; and the father must be a slave all his life, in order to make beasts of his children. How blessed, then, is the stroke of disaster which sets the children free, and gives them over to the hard but kind bosom of Poverty, who says to them, "Work!" and, working, makes them men!

CHILDREN. Every child walks into existence through the golden gate of love; else it would seem wonderful that the helpless thing should be born. Yet children are not playthings, as we too often seem to think they are,-mere gifts of God to fill up the hours with cheer. They were surely meant to be a pleasure to us, but that is not the final end. Nor were they meant to be cares and burdens alone. To speak of them as if they were shackles and fetters upon our freedom; always in the way; "children, children, everywhere," is a shame and a sin. They are to be regarded as a part of our education. Men cannot be developed perfectly who have not been compelled to bring children up to manhood. You might as well say that a tree is a perfect tree without leaf or blossom, as to say that a man is a man who has gone through life without experiencing the influences that come from bending down and giving one's self up to those who are helpless and little.

Children make men better citizens. When your own child comes in from the street, and has learned to swear from the boys congregated there, it is a very different thing to you from what it was when you heard the profanity of those boys as you passed them. Now it makes you feel that you are a stockholder in the public morality. Of what use would an engine be to a ship, if it were lying loose in the hull? It must be fastened to it with bolts and screws, before it can propel the vessel. Now, a childless man is like a loose engine. A man must be bolted and screwed to the community before he can work well for its advancement; and there are no such screws and bolts as children.

THE TWENTY-THIRD PSALM is the nightingale of the psalms. It is small, of a homely feather, singing shyly out of obscurity; but, oh, it has filled the air of the whole world with melodious joy, greater than the heart can conceive. Blessed be the day on which that psalm was born!

What would you say of a pilgrim commissioned of God to travel up and down the earth, singing a strange melody, which, when one heard, caused him to forget whatever sorrow he had? And so the singing angel goes on his way through all lands, singing in the language of every nation, driving away trouble by the pulses of the air which his tongue moves with divine power. Behold just such an one! This pilgrim God has sent to speak in every language on the globe. It has charmed more griefs to rest than all the philosophy of the world. It has remanded to their dungeon more felon thoughts, more black doubts, more thieving sorrows, than there are sands on the sea-shore. It has comforted the noble host of the poor. It has sung courage to the army of the

disappointed. It has poured balm and consolation into the heart of the sick, of captives in dungeons, of widows in their pinching griefs, of orphans in their loneliness. Dying soldiers have died easier as it was read to them; ghastly hospitals have been illumined; it has visited the prisoner and broken his chains, and, like Peter's angel, led him forth in imagination, and sung him back to his home again. It has made the dying Christian slave freer than his master; and consoled those whom, dying, he left behind mourning, not so much that he was gone as because they were left behind, and could not go too. Nor is its work done. It will go singing to your children and my children, and to their children, through all the generations of time; nor will it fold its wings till the last pilgrim is safe, and time ended; and then it shall fly back to the bosom of God, whence it issued, and sound on, mingled with all those sounds of celestial joy which make heaven musical forever.

A CHRISTIAN MAN'S LIFE is laid in the loom of time to a pattern which he does not see, but God does; and his heart is a shuttle. On one side of the loom is sorrow, and on the other is joy; and the shuttle, struck alternately by each, flies back and forth, carrying the thread, which is white or black, as the pattern needs; and in the end, when God shall lift up the finished garment, and all its changing hues shall glance out, it will then appear that the deep and dark colors were as needful to beauty as the bright and high colors.

HELP THE SLAVE. Do you ask me whether I would help a slave to gain his freedom? I answer, I would help him with heart, and hand, and voice. I would do for him what I shall wish I had done when, having lost his dusky skin and blossomed into the light of eternity, he and I shall stand before our Master, who will say, "Inasmuch as ye did it unto him, slave as he was, ye did it unto me."

EVERYDAY CHRISTIANITY.-As flowers never put on their best clothes for Sunday, but wear their spotless raiment and exhale their odor every day, so let your Christian life, free from stain, ever give forth the fragrance of the love of God.

THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH.-Christian brethren, in heaven you are known by the name of Christ. On earth, for convenience' sake, you are known by the name of Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, Congregationalists, and the like. Let me speak the language of heaven, and call you, simply, Christians. Whoever you has known the name of Christ, and feels Christ's life beat


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