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harry emerson fosdick Quotes

Harry Emerson Fosdick Quotes



    • 'I renounce war for its consequences, for the lies it lives on and propagates, for the undying hatred it arouses, for the dictatorships it puts in place of democracy, for the starvation that stalks after it. I renounce war, and never again, directly or indirectly, will I sanction or support another. '
    • 'A good sermon is an engineering operation by which a chasm is bridged so that the spiritual goods on one side- the 'unsearchable riches of Christ' -are actually transported into personal lives upon the other.'
    • 'A person wrapped up in himself makes a small package.'
    • 'Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it. Bitterness paralyzes life; love empowers it. Bitterness sours life; love sweetens it. Bitterness sickens life; love heals it. Bitterness blinds life; love anoints its eyes.'
    • 'Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.'
    • 'Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people. '
    • 'Don't simply retire from something; have something to retire to. '
    • 'Every human life involves an unfathomable mystery, for man is the riddle of the universe, and the riddle of man is his endowment with personal capacities.'
    • 'God is not a cosmic bell-boy for whom we can press a button to get things done.'
    • 'Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.'
    • 'He who cannot rest, cannot work; he who cannot let go, cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.'
    • 'He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determine the end.'
    • 'He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles. '
    • 'Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind's eye, and you will be drawn toward it.'
    • 'I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.'
    • 'It is by acts and not by ideas that people live. '
    • 'Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.'
    • 'Life consists not simply in what heredity and environment do to us but in what we make out of what they do to us.'
    • 'No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.'
    • Our power is not so much in us as through us.
    • 'Picture yourself vividly as winning, and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success.'
    • 'Preaching is personal counseling on a group basis.'
    • 'Rebellion against your handicaps gets you nowhere. Self-pity gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world- making the most of one's best. '
    • 'Religion is not a burden, not a weight, it is wings.'
    • 'Some Christians carry their religion on their backs. It is a packet of beliefs and practices which they must bear. At times it grows heavy and they would willingly lay it down, but that would mean a break with old traditions, so they shoulder it again. But real Christians do not carry their religion, their religion carries them. It is not weight, it is wings. It lifts them up, it sees them over hard places. It makes the universe seem friendly, life purposeful, hope real, sacrifice worthwhile. It sets them free from fear, futility, discouragement, and sin---the great enslaver of men's souls. You can know a real Christian when you see him, by his bouyancy.'
    • 'The fact that astronomies change while the stars abide is a true analogy of every realm of human life and thought, religion not least of all. No existent theology can be a final formulation of spiritual truth.'
    • 'The half is greater than the whole.'
    • 'The men of faith might claim for their positions ancient tradition, practical usefulness, and spiritual desirability, but one query could prick all such bubbles: Is it scientific? That question has searched religion for contraband goods, stripped it of old superstitions, forced it to change its categories of thought and methods of work, and in general has so cowed and scared religion that many modern-minded believers... instinctively throw up their hands at the mere whisper of it... When a prominent scientist comes out strongly for religion, all the churches thank Heaven and take courage, as though it were the highest possible compliment to God to have Eddington believe in Him. Science has become the arbiter of this generation's thought, until to call even a prophet and a seer 'scientific' is to cap the climax of praise.'
    • 'The steady discipline of intimate friendship with Jesus results in men becoming like Him.'
    • 'The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.'
    • 'To keep the Golden Rule we must put ourselves in other people's places, but to do that consists in and depends upon picturing ourselves in their places. '
    • 'Whatever you laugh at in others, laughs at yourself.'
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