Tryon Edwards


American Theologian best known for compiling the "A Dictionary of Thoughts"

Author Quotes

Speculate not too much on the mysteries of truth or providence. - The effort to explain everything, sometimes may endanger faith. - Many things God reserves to himself, and many are reserved for the unfoldings of the future life.

The insane, for the most part, reason correctly, but from false principles, while they do not perceive that their premises are incorrect.

There are two kinds of charity, remedial and preventive. - The former is often injurious in its tendency; the latter is always praiseworthy and beneficial.

True art is reverent imitation of God.

Superstitions are, for the most part, but the shadows of great truths.

The laws of nature are but the thoughts and agencies of God - the modes in which he works and carries out the designs of his providence and will.

There is nothing so elastic as the human mind. Like imprisoned steam, the more it is pressed the more it rises to resist the pressure. The more we are obliged to do, the more we are able to accomplish.

True conservatism is substantial progress; it holds fast what is true and good in order to advance in both. - recast away the old is not of necessity to obtain the new. - To reject anything that is valuable, lessens the power of gaining more. That a thing is new does not of course commend; that it is old does not discredit. The test question is, "Is it true or good?"

Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts; the sight of the deep-blue sky and the clustering stars above seems to impart a quiet to the mind.

The leaves in autumn do not change color from the blighting touch of frost, but from the process of natural decay. - They fall when the fruit is ripened, and their work is done. - And their splendid coloring is but their graceful and beautiful surrender of life when they have finished their summer offering of service to God and man. And one of the great lessons the fall of the leaf teaches, is this: Do your work well, and then be ready to depart when God shall call.

There is often as much independence in not being led as in not being driven

True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us.

Temperance is to the body what religion is to the soul, the foundation and source of health and strength and peace.

The mortality of mankind is but a part of the process of living - a step on the way to immortality. - Dying, to the good man, is but a brief sleep, from which he wakes to a perfection and fullness of life in eternity.

Think as well as read, and when you read. Yield not your minds to the passive impressions which others may make upon them. Hear what they have to say; but examine it, weigh it, and judge for yourselves. This will enable you to make a right use of books - to use them as helpers, not as guides to your understanding; as counselors, not as dictators of what you are to think and believe.

True religion extends alike to the intellect and the heart. Intellect is in vain if it leads not to emotion, and emotion is vain if not enlightened by intellect; and both are vain if not guided by truth and leading to duty.

The agrarian would divide all the property in the community equally among its members. - But if so divided today, industry on the one hand, and idleness on the other, would make it unequal on the morrow. - There is no agrarianism in the providence of God.

The most we can get out of life is its discipline for ourselves, and its usefulness for others.

Think not rightly to examine yourself by looking only to your own inner motives and feelings, which are the hardest of all things to analyze if looked at in the abstract, and apart from outward actions. But ask, "Do I believe all that God teaches, and endeavor to do all that God commands?" For in this is the evidence of true love to him.

Unbelief, in distinction from disbelief, is a confession of ignorance where honest inquiry might easily find the truth. - "Agnostic" is but the Greek for "ignoramus."

The benefit of proverbs, or maxims, is that they separate those who act on principle from those who act on impulse; and they lead to promptness and decision in acting. - Their value depends on four things: do they embody correct principles; are they on important subjects; what is the extent, and what the ease of their application?

The object of punishment is three­fold: for just retribution; for the protection of society; for the reformation of the offender.

This world is the land of the dying; the next is the land of the living.

We never do evil so thoroughly and heartily as when led to it by an honest but perverted, because mistaken, conscience.

The best rules of rhetoric are, to speak intelligently; speak from the heart; have something to say; say it; and stop when you've done.

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American Theologian best known for compiling the "A Dictionary of Thoughts"