Tryon Edwards

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Tryon Edwards

Tryon Edwards (7 August 1809, Hartford, Conn.; 4 January 1894, Detroit, Mich.)[1] was an American theologian, best known for compiling A Dictionary of Thoughts,[2] a book of quotations. He published the works of Jonathan Edwards (the younger) in 1842. He also compiled and published the sixteen sermons of his great grandfather, Jonathan Edwards, on 1 Corinthians 13, the "Love Chapter", titling the book "Charity And Its Fruits; Christian love as manifested in the heart and life", which was thought by some[citation needed] to be the most thorough analysis of the text of 1 Corinthians 13 ever written. An original quote of Tryon Edwards is: “Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.” ~ Tryon Edwards

He was minister of the Second Congregational Church in New London, Connecticut, from 1845-1857, after having served in Rochester, New York.

Some representative entries from A Dictionary of Thoughts are:

  • "Between two evils, choose neither; between two goods, choose both."
  • "The first step to improvement, whether mental, moral, or religious, is to know ourselves—our weaknesses, errors, deficiencies, and sins, that, by divine grace, we may overcome and turn from them all."
  • "Science has sometimes been said to be opposed to faith, and inconsistent with it. But all science, in fact, rests on a basis of faith, for it assumes the permanence and uniformity of natural laws – a thing which can never be demonstrated."
  • "If you would know anything thoroughly, teach it to others."
  • "Right actions for the future are the best apologies for wrong ones in the past."[3]
  • "True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit ; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us."


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