EDWARDS, BELA BATES: American theologian; b. at Southampton, Mass., July 4, 1802; d. at Athens, Ga., Apr. 20, 1852. He was graduated at Amherst in 1824 and at Andover Theological Seminary in 1830. From 1828 to 1833 he was assistant secretary of the American Education Society. In 1837 he was ordained and appointed professor of Hebrew in Andover Theological Seminary, succeeding Moses Stuart as professor of Biblical literature eleven years later. In 1846, in consequence of enfeebled health, he made an extended tour of Europe, visiting England, France, Germany, and Italy; and five years later he was again compelled to absent himself from Andover, and spend the winter in the South. Edwards originated and planned many philanthropic institutions, among others, that which has resulted in the Congregational Library at Boston. He was likewise active in editorial work, and in 1833 established The American Quarterly Observer, took the sole care of it for three years, and then merged it with The American Biblical Repository, which he edited from 1835 to 1838. In 1844, together with E. A. Park, he established the Bibliotheca Sacra, and remained its editor-in-chief until 1852. Mainly through his influence The Biblical Repository, then published in New York, was merged with the Bibliotheca Sacra in 1851. To all these periodicals he contributed numerous articles and reviews. In addition to several educational books, he wrote The Missionary Gazetteer (Boston, 1832), and The Biography of Self-Taught Men (1832), besides editing the Memoir of Henry Martyn; (1831). A selection of his sermons and addresses was published with a memoir of the author by E. A. Park (2 vols., Boston, 1853).
Bibliography: Besides the Memoir by Park, ut sup., consult: W. B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, ii. 735-743, New York, 1859; L. Woods, History of Andover Theological Seminary, Boston, 1884.