Tryon Edwards


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

Author Quotes

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.

The philosophers, as Varro tells us, counted up three hundred and twenty answers to the question, "What is the supreme good?" How needful, then, is a divine revelation, to make plain what is the true end of our being.

Thoroughly to teach another is the best way to learn for yourself.

We never reach our ideals, whether of mental or moral improvement, but the thought of them shows us our deficiencies, and spurs us on to higher and better things.

The certainty of punishment, even more than its severity, is the preventive of crime.

The prejudiced and obstinate man does not so much hold opinions, as his opinions hold him.

Thoughts lead on to purpose, purpose leads on to actions, actions form habits, habits decide character, and character fixes our destiny.

We should be as careful of the books we read, as of the company we keep. The dead very often have more power than the living.

The devil has at least one good quality; that he will flee if we resist him. - Though cowardly in him, it is safety for us.

The province of reason in matters of religion is the same as that of the eye in reference to the external world: not to create objects; nor to sit in judgment on the propriety of their existence, but simply to discern them just as they are.

To be good, we must do good and by doing good we take a sure means of being good, as the use and exercise of the muscles increase their power.

We weep over the graves of infants and the little ones taken from us by death; but an early grave may be the shortest way to heaven.

The first evil choice or act is linked to the second; and each one to the one that follows, both by the tendency of our evil nature and by the power of habit, which holds us as by a destiny.

The religion of the gospel has power, immense power, over mankind; direct and indirect, positive and negative, restraining and aggressive. Civilization, law, order, morality, the family, all that elevates woman, or blesses society, or gives peace to the nations, all these are the fruits of Christianity, the full power of which, even for this world, could never be appreciated till it should be taken away.

To live happily with other people, one should ask of them only what they can give.

What we gave, we have; what we spent, we had; what we left, we lost.

Sincerity is no test of truth - no evidence of correctness of conduct. - You may take poison sincerely believing it the needed medicine, but will it save your life?

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