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Tryon Edwards Quotes


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

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.
 

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

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.
[Reason]
 

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.
[Religion]
 

The religions we count false, may, for a time, have had their use; being, in their origin, faint, though misunderstood echoes of an early divine revelation, and also as Emerson says. "affirmations of the conscience, correcting the evil customs of their times."
[Religion]
 

The secret of a good memory is attention, and attention to a subject depends upon our interest in it. - We rarely forget that which has made a deep impression on our minds.
[Memory]
 

The slanderer and the assassin differ only in the weapon they use; with the one it is the dagger, with the other the tongue. - The former is worse than the latter, for the last only kills the body, while the other murders the reputation and peace.
[Slander]
 

The study of mathematics cultivates the reason; that of the languages, at the same time, the reason and the taste. The former gives grasp and power to the mind; the latter both power and flexibility. The former, by itself, would prepare us for a state of certainties, which nowhere exists; the latter, for a state of probabilities, which is that of common life. Each, by itself, does but an imperfect work: in the union of both, is the best discipline for the mind, and the best mental training for the world as it is.
 

The word "miser," so often used as expressive of one who is grossly covetous and saving, in its origin signifies one that is miserable, the very etymology of the word thus indicating the necessary unhappiness of the miser spirit.
[Miser]
 

There are many times and circumstances in life when "Our strength is, to sit still."
 

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

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.
[Mind]
 

There is often as much independence in not being led, as in not being driven.
[Independence]
 

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.
[Reading]
 

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.
 

This world is the land of the dying; the next is the land of the living.
[Death]
 

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

Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.
[Destiny]
 

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.
[Goodness]
 


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