Harry Emerson Fosdick Quotes

Most popular Harry Emerson Fosdick Quotes

Preaching is personal counseling on a group basis.

clergy

It is magnificent to grow old, if a man keeps young.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick
War's tragedy is that it uses man's best to do man's worst.

war tragedy

Liberty is always dangerous—but it is the safest thing we have.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick

freedom

A person completely wrapped up in himself makes a small package.

egotism self-centered

No man is the whole of himself; his friends are the rest of him.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick

friendship

Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick

freedom

Don't simply retire from something; have something to retire to.

retirement

Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.

hate

God is not a cosmic bell-boy for whom we can press a button to get things done.

God

Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick

democracy

Life is like a library owned by an author.  In it are a few books which he wrote himself, but most of them were written for him.

life

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.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick

faith mystery universe

Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack, and subconsciously, beneath their condescension, deeply wish they had.

cynicism

Self-pity gets you nowhere. But insight to see that something can be done with the second-bests and adventurous daring to try might be a handle to take hold of.

self-pity

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.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick in Time

theology

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.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick
There need not be in religion, or music, or art, or love, or goodness, anything that is against reason; but never while the sun shines will we get great religion, or music, or art, or love, or goodness, without going beyond reason.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick
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.

discipline

No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed.  No steam 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.

focus

The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are made of the same water. It flows down, clean and cool, from the heights of Herman and the roots of the cedars of Lebanon. the Sea of Galilee makes beauty of it, the Sea of Galilee has an outlet. It gets to give. It gathers in its riches that it may pour them out again to fertilize the Jordan plain. But the Dead Sea with the same water makes horror. For the Dead Sea has no outlet. It gets to keep.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick

charity