24 June 2011

Happy Birthday Henry Ward Beecher

While listening to the Writer's Almanac this morning I was reminded that today is the birthday of Henry Ward Beecher - a great American Protestant preacher.


Beecher was an amazing man, a lover of flowers & jewels, a great jokester, and, and he usually did not prepare his sermons until the last minute! (The last statement amazes me).

I read the biography by Debby Applegate this Spring. My favorite section follows,

" On one occasion Mr. Beecher, riding to one of the stations of his mission, was thrown over his horse's head in crossing the Miami, pitched into the water, and crept out thoroughly immersed. The incident, of course, furnished occasion for talk in the circle the next day, and his good friend the Baptist minister proceeded o attack him the moment he made his appearance.

" ' Oh, ho, Beecher, glad to see you ! I thought you'd have to come into our ways at last ! You have been immersed at last ; you are as good as any of us now.' A general laugh followed this sally.

" ' Poh, poh ! ' was the ready response, '
my immersion was a different thing from that of your converts. You see, I was immersed by a horse, not by an ass/

"A chorus of laughter proclaimed that Mr. Beecher had got the better of the joke for this time.

(by the way today is also my father's birthday, he would have been 68).

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