Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Tryon Edwards

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

"Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt."

"People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher or better than themselves."

"A holy life is not an ascetic, or gloomy, or solitary life, but a life regulated by divine truth and faithful in Christian duty. - It is living above the world while we are still in it."

""Never think that God's delays are God's denials." - True prayer always receives what it asks or something better."

"A large part of the discussions of disputants come from the want of accurate definition. - Let one define his terms and then stick to the definition, and half the differences in philosophy and theology would come to an end, and be seen to have no real foundation."

"A deserved and discriminating compliment is often one of the strongest encouragements and incentives to the diffident and self-distrustful."

"A sound mind in a sound body, if the former be the glory of the latter, the latter is indispensable to the former."

"Accuracy of statement is one of the first elements of truth; inaccuracy is a near kin to falsehood."

"Abuse of any one generally shows that he has marked traits of character. The stupid and indifferent are passed by in silence."

"Age does not depend upon years, but upon temperament and health. Some men are born old, and some never grow so."

"All things are ordered by God, but his providence takes in our free agency, as well as his own sovereignty."

"All the world's ends, arrangements changes, disappointments, hopes, and fears, are without meaning, if not seen and estimated by eternity!"

"Always have a book at hand, in the parlor, on the table, for the family; a book of condensed thought and striking anecdote, of sound maxims and truthful apothegms. It will impress on your own mind a thousand valuable suggestions, and teach your children a thousand lessons of truth and duty. Such a book is a casket of jewels for your household."

"Anxiety is the rust of life, destroying its brightness and weakening its power. A childlike and abiding trust in Providence is its best preventive and remedy."

"Anxiety is the poison of human life; the parent of many sins and of more miseries. In a world where everything is doubtful, and where we may be disappointed, and be blessed in disappointment, why this restless stir and commotion of mind? Can it alter the cause, or unravel the mystery of human events?"

"Anecdotes are sometimes the best vehicles of truth, and if striking and appropriate, are often more impressive and powerful than argument."

"Apothegms are the wisdom of the past condensed for the instruction and guidance of the present."

"Any act often repeated soon forms a habit; and habit allowed, steadily gains in strength. At first it may be but as the spider's web, easily broken through, but if not resisted it soon binds us with chains of steel."

"Attention to a subject depends upon our interest in it."

"Appreciation, whether of nature, or books, or art, or men, depends very much on temperament. - What is beauty or genius or greatness to one, is far from being so to another."

"Between two evils, choose neither between two goods, choose both."

"Bad books are like intoxicating drinks; they furnish neither nourishment, nor medicine. - Both improperly excite; the one the mind; the other the body. - The desire for each increases by being fed. - Both ruin; one the intellect; the other the health; and together, the soul. - The safeguard against each is the same - total abstinence from all that intoxicates either mind or body."

"Change of opinion is often only the progress of sound thought and growing knowledge; and though sometimes regarded as an inconsistency, it is but the noble inconsistency natural to a mind ever ready for growth and expansion of thought, and that never fears to follow where truth and duty may lead the way."

"Commerce has made all winds her messengers; all climes her tributaries; all people her servants."

"Common sense is, of all kinds, the most uncommon. - It implies good judgment, sound discretion, and true and practical wisdom applied to common life."

"Compromise is but the sacrifice of one right or good in the hope of retaining another -- too often ending in the loss of both."

"Conscience is merely our own judgment of the right or wrong of our actions, and so can never be a safe guide unless enlightened by the word of God."

"Contemplation is to knowledge what digestion is to food - the way to get life out of it"

"Constancy to truth and principle may sometimes lead to what the world calls inconstancy in conduct."

"Deference is the instinctive respect which we pay to the great and good. - The unconscious acknowledgment of the superiority or excellence of others."

"Conversion is but the first step in the divine life. - As long as we live we should more and more be turning from all that is evil, and to all that is good."

"Credulity is belief on slight evidence, with no evidence, or against evidence. In this sense it is the infidel, not the believer, who is credulous. "The simple," says Solomon, "believeth every word.""

"Death has nothing terrible which life has not made so. A faithful Christian life in this world is the best preparation for the next."

"Do all that you can to stand, and then fear lest you may fall, and by the grace of God you are safe."

"Doctrine is the necessary foundation of duty; if the theory is not correct, the practice cannot be right, - Tell me what a man believes, and I will tell you what he will do."

"Doubt, indulged and cherished, is in danger of becoming denial; but if honest, and bent on thorough investigation, it may soon lead to full establishment in the truth."

"Do not despise the opinion of the world; you might as well say you do not care for the light of the sun, because you can use a candle."

"Deviation from either truth or duty is a downward path, and none can say where the descent will end. - "He that despiseth small things shall fall by little and little.""

"Duty performed gives clearness and firmness to faith, and faith thus strengthened through duty becomes the more assured and satisfying to the soul."

"Early instruction in truth will best keep out error."

"Duty performed is a moral tonic; if neglected, the tone and strength of both mind and heart are weakened, and the spiritual health undermined."

"Errors of theory or doctrine are not so much false statements, as partial statements. - Half a truth received, while the corresponding half is unknown or rejected, is a practical falsehood."

"Emotion which does not lepd to and flow out in right action is not only useless, but it weakens character, and beĀ­comes an excuse for neglect of effort."

"Facts are God's arguments; we should be careful never to misunderstand or pervert them."

"Few men are more to be shunned than those who have time, but know not how to improve it, and so spend it in wasting the time of their neighbors, talking forever though they have nothing to say."

"Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven."

"Fables, like parables, are more ancient than formal arguments and are often the most effective means of presenting and impressing both truth and duty."

"Features are the visible expression of the soul. - the outward manifestation of the feeling and character within."

"Fiction is not falsehood, as some seem to think; - It is rather the fanciful and dramatic grouping of real traits around imaginary scenes or characters. - It may give false views of men or things, or it may, in the hands of a master, more truthfully portray life than sober history itself."

"Firmness is adherence to truth and duty is generally most decided when most intelligent and conscientious, and is sometimes mistaken for obstinacy by those who do not comprehend its nature and motive."