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BY THE LATE
REV. EDWARD PAYSON, D. D.
PASTOR OF THE
SECOND CHURCH IN PORTLAND.
SHIRLEY AND HYDE, 7, EXCHANGE-STREET.
SOLD BY PEIRCE AND WILLIAMS, BOSTON: JOHN P. HAVEN,
NEW YORK : AND E. LITTELL, PHILADELPHIA.
DISTRICT OF MAINE, ss.
States of America, Ann Louisa Payson, of the said District, has deposited in this office, the title of a book, the right whereof she claims as proprietor, in the words fol. lowing, to wit :
“ Sermons, By the late Rev. Edward Payson, D. D. pastor of the second Church in Portland."
In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled, “An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned ;” and also to an act, entitled, " An Act supplementary to an Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned ; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching historical and other prints."
Clerk of the District
Court of Maine.
JOHN MUSSEY, Clerk D. C. Maine.
The history of this volume is quickly told. On the death of its lamented author, an extensive and urgent desire was expressed for the publication of some of those pulpit addresses, the delivery of which had been so greatly blessed. This desire, though perfectly natural and reasonable, would have been unavailing, but for the confident belief, that the publication would subserve the cause of religion. The thought, that his labors should be lost to the rest of the world, was so irreconcilable with the feelings of some of Dr. Payson's most judicious bearers, that, long before his last sickness, they solicited him to prepare a selection of his Sermons for the press ; but his strong and uniform aversion to printing his own productions, prevented his compliance, till a few days before his decease. He then, from his general recollection of their contents, directed a number to be separated from the mass, out of which he was willing a selection should be made, and to which it must be confined. It is not known, that his restriction has been violated ; thongh, from causes which need not be mentioned, it became impossible to identify every one, thus separated, with absolute certainty.
Should any glance at the volume, and inquire, Are these the Sermons, which procured for their author such astonishing popularity, and wrought with such power upon his numerous audience ?-it must be conceded, that many things accompanied their delivery, and contributed to their effect, which do not appear in print. There was an unaffected earnestness, a glowing intensity of feeling, a peculiarity of expression and utterance, a manner wholly original and indeg. cribable, which will not attend their perusal, except in the minds of those, who were accustomed to bear him. The reader will not feel the immediate influence of those prayers, which disarmed criticism, which awed the most thoughtless, which brought them directly before Infinite Majesty, and made them feel that they had business of greater importance, than to criticise or cavił.
It should also be stated, that, in several instances, the manuscripts ended in the midst of a sentence, or near the commencement of a paragraph ;-leaving the editor this only alternative, either to pause, before coming to the defective portion, or else to supply the defect himself,—the latter he has rarely had the presumption to attempt. These absent portions, as supplied by the preacher, were probably the most impressive parts of these discourses.
It was Dr. Payson's practice to preach, at least, half the time without writing.