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Edward Payson
1783-1827

      Edward Payson, an American Congregational preacher, was born on 25 July 1783 at Rindge, New Hampshire, where his father, Seth Payson (1758-1820), was pastor of the Congregational Church. His uncle, Phillips Payson (1736-1801), pastor of a church in Chelsea, Massachusetts, was a physicist and astronomer. Edward Payson graduated at Harvard in 1803, was then principal of a school at Portland, Maine, and in 1807 became junior pastor of the Congregational Church at Portland, where he remained, after 1811, as senior pastor, until his death on 22 October 1827.

      The most complete collection of his sermons, with a memoir by Asa Cummings originally published in 1828, is the Memoir, Select Thoughts and Sermons of the late Rev. Edward Payson (3 vols., Portland, 1846; Philadelphia, 1859). Based on this is the volume, Mementos of Edward Payson (New York, 1873), by the Rev. E. L. Janes of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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SermonA Class of Sinners Excluded from Mercy
       "It is a people of no understanding; therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will show them no favor" Isaiah 27:11 My hearers, there is no error or mistake into which the wayward mind of man can fall, against which a warning or caution is not given us in the Bible. The passage which has just been read, ...read
SermonA Dissuasive from Ambition
       "Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not; for behold I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord; but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey." Jeremiah 45:5. In a preceding chapter, we are informed, that God directed Jeremiah to write in a book all the warnings and threatenings which he had previously uttered, that they mi ...read
SermonA Festival Kept to the Lord
       "When ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord" Leviticus 23:39 If we review attentively the religious ordinances which God has appointed, we can scarcely fail to perceive, that he has usually passed by all the inventions of men, and adopted institutions which were exclusively his own; institutions which h ...read
SermonAll Things Created for Christ
       "All things were created by him and for him" Colossians 1:16 By whom were all these worlds and beings made? is probably the first question, which a view of the created universe would excite in a seriously inquisitive mind. For what purpose and with what view were they created? would no less probably be the second. There are two inspired passag ...read
SermonAmiable Instincts Not Holiness
       "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" 1 Thessalonians 5:23 This prayer of the apostle for the universal sanctification of the Thessalonian Christians, leads us to notice a distinction in the natural constitution of man, ...read
SermonAn Assembly Convoked Against Sinners
       "And I set a great assembly against them" Nehemiah 5:7 When Nehemiah came to Jerusalem, with a commission from the Persian monarch, appointing him governor of Judea, after the return of the Jews from captivity, he found that many evils and abuses had crept in among them, which it required all his wisdom and firmness to rectify. But as he was a ...read
SermonAn Early Interest in God's Mercy Essential to a Happy Life
       "O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14 My hearers, should all the youth in this assembly express sincerely their secret wishes and inclinations, it can scarcely be doubted, that many of them would say something like this; I should wish to live a long life, to be allowed to spend it in wor ...read
SermonAn Unjust Imputation Repelled by Jehovah
       "Have I been a wilderness to Israel? A land of darkness?" Jeremiah 2:31 To an ingenuous mind God never appears so irresistible, so overpowering, as when he addresses his creatures in the language of tender expostulation. He may speak in the loftiest accents of uncontrollable authority and almighty power; and such a mind, though awed, will too ...read
SermonAnguish of Parents at the Perverseness of Children
       "And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and Wept; and as lie went, thus he said, O my son Absalom! my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" 2 Samuel 18:33 With the character of Absalom, his unnatural rebellion, and his untimely, but merited fate, you are all I presume ac ...read
SermonCharacter Affected by Intercourse
       "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." Proverbs 13:20 We have often reminded you that the terms wisdom and folly, wise and foolish, have a very different signification in the writings of Solomon, from that which they bear in the works of uninspired men. By wisdom, he means something of which ...read
SermonCharacter of Daniel
       "O Daniel, a man greatly beloved." (Daniel 10:11). One of the great excellences of Scripture is, that it points out to us the path of duty, not only by precept, but by example. Not to mention the perfect pattern of a holy life, which it sets before us in the character and conduct of Christ, it presents to our view men of like passions with our ...read
SermonChildren to be Educated for God
       "Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages." Exodus 2:9 These words were addressed by Pharaoh's daughter to the mother of Moses. Of the circumstances which occasioned them, it can scarcely be necessary to inform you. You need not be told, that, soon after the birth of this future leader of Israel, his parents were com ...read
SermonChrist a King
       "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power; for he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet" 1 Corinthians 15: 24, 25 Nothing can more powerfully tend to give us just and exalted conceptions of Christ, than a due consi ...read
SermonChrist a Man of Sorrows
       "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for ...read
SermonChrist and His Harbinger Compared and Distinguished
       "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is mightier than I; whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire; whose fan is in his hand and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" ...read
SermonChrist Rejects None Who Come Unto Him
       "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out" John 6:37 I need not tell you, my friends, that these are the words of Christ for who but he would or could utter such words? Who but the compassionate Friend of sinners, the Shepherd, who came to seek and to save that which was lost, would say this? And who but he, in whom all fullness dwe ...read
SermonChrist's Ascension
       "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven, as he went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into ...read
SermonChrist's Joy in the Church Before His Incarnation
       "Rejoicing in the habitable parts of the earth, and my delights were with the sons of men" Proverbs 8:31 This chapter contains an authoritative and affectionate address to mankind, uttered by a speaker who is called Wisdom. It is evident from the language of this speaker, and from the description which he gives of himself, that he is a real, a ...read
SermonChrist's Love for the Church
       "Christ loved the church and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" Ephesians 5:25-27 In his epistles to the Corinthians, St. Paul info ...read
SermonChrist's Mission and Return
       "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: Again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." John 16:28. No words, uttered by our Saviour during his residence on earth, appear to have given his disciples greater satisfaction than these. He had just before said to them, A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again a little ...read

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