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as my thankfulness for it, are so mixed with selfishness, that they are worse than nothing. In the afternoon attended the funeral of my oldest deacon. Wished to be suitably affected, and to see others so. Found a large concourse of people assembled; made a few observations to them, but was much straightened.
"May 5.-Completed my sermon. Felt much dissatisfied with it. Prayed that it might be blessed to convey more to the minds of others, than it did to my own. the evening preached; a most oppressive air, and I spoke with difficulty. Concluded, from observations made after meeting, that the sermon might have done some good; if so, to God belongs all the glory, and to him may I be enabled to ascribe it."
Portland, May 24, 1814.
"Not long after you receive this, you may expect a a letter in print; that is to say, a discourse, which I have been compelled, sadly against my will, to give into the hands of the printer. It is a discourse lately delivered before the Bible Society. Fifteen hundred copies were subscribed for, and a promise made, that the profits should go to purchase Bibles. Finding, that the profits would be sufficient to purchase, at least, one hundred and fifty Bibles, I could not, in conscience refuse. So, as soon as it comes from the press, which will be in a very few days, you will probably receive one. Do, my dear parents, pray, pray earnestly for the poor orphan, that it may do good in the world. I have never been assisted to pray so much for any one sermon, as this; and that encouraged me to let it see the light. If it never does any other good, it will be the means of giving the Bible to many, who would otherwise remain without it."
A very excellent Thanksgiving Sermon was also given to the public, in 1820, for a similar reason, viz. a proinise, which was amply fulfilled, that it should be made to produce something for missionary purposes.
His "Address to Seamen" was the next, in order, of his publications. Men, affecting considerable pretensions to
literature, have been heard to speak of this production, as a gross violation of good taste. But the author knew his object, and the way in which he could best accomplish it. He was not writing an oration for the alumni of a college, nor an article for a Quarterly Review, nor a "pretty discourse" for a fashionable auditory, but an address to seamen. He had enjoyed more than common advantages for studying the character of this class of his fellow men; and understood their vocabulary, almost as well as themselves so well, that an experienced sea-captain was able to detect, in the whole address, but a single nautical term, whose application involved a misconception of its use. As a model, it would be dangerous to imitate it—the attempt, indeed, would be ridiculous. But if it is not a good address, the public is strangely erroneous in its "taste," and the effect which it produced, not only on its hearers, but on its readers, far and wide, is wholly unaccountable. Its popularity, from the very first, has been unrivalled by any thing of its kind; copies of it have been multiplied to an extent past computation. It has been translated into some of the languages of the old world, and pretty extensively circulated on the coasts of the Mediterranean, the press at Malta. And if report be true, some divines of the mother country have not thought it disgraceful to claim a parental relation to it. Still, it was no labored production; it was happily conceived, but the author does not appear to have laid himself out to produce any thing very extraordinary-it was thrown off, almost at a sitting, and at a time when he was "encompassed with infirmities," and heavily pressed by other labors. This is evident from his private record:
"Oct. 22, 23, 1821.-Very unwell, these two days. Could do nothing, though I have four sermons to prepare this week. Was, for a moment, tempted to murmur; but the recollection of God's past kindness and faithfulness prevented me, and caused faith to revive.
"Oct. 24.-Was better to day; and wrote almost the whole of an address to seamen, to be delivered Sabbath* evening. Felt some degree of gratitude, and resolved never to refuse to improve any opportunity of doing good, because I seemed not to have time for it.
"Oct. 25: Was furnished with a suitable text and sermon for this evening, without much labor. How gra ciously and wisely does God deal with me! How much I ought to love and trust him. Tried to preach my sermon to myself. Went to the house of God in much such a frame as I should wish to go; but had no assistance in preaching, and got through with difficulty. But felt satisfied that it should be so, and was enabled to rejoice in the Lord.
"Oct. 26.-Was assisted, to day, in writing, and had a precious season in prayer.
"Oct. 27.-Sick, to-day-a violent head-ache, with some fever. Did not see how I could complete my preparation for to-morrow, but felt satisfied and easy. Saw it was best I should have some rebuff; took courage from it, and hope, that God meant to bless my labors, tomorrow. In the evening wrote considerable, notwithstanding my head-ache; and after I retired, was almost painfully happy, rejoicing in God with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
"Oct. 28, Sab.-Some better, this morning. Finished a sermon for the afternoon, on increasing in the knowledge of God. Was almost insupportably happy, and could hardly refrain from shouting aloud for joy. Was assisted in praying for others; yet had no assistance in public prayer or preaching. In the evening, preached to seamen-an overflowing house; aisles and pulpit stairs full, and hundreds went away, who could not get in. enabled to go through tolerably. As soon as I came down, was beset so importunately for a copy for the press, that I could not refuse."
Portland, Nov. 25, 1821.
"My address to seamen is published, and I shall send you one with this. They have printed nine thousand copies; three thousand in the sermon form, and six thousand in the form of a tract. They mean to send them to every sea-port in the United States. I know you will pray, that a blessing may go with it. It produced a great effect upon seamen and others for a time; but I do not know that any have been really awakened by it. One
hundred and forty sailors applied, the next day, for Bi bles, most of whom paid for them. I could not but wonder to see God work by it. I had only ten days' notice, and, during that time, had to prepare and preach six sermons, besides the address and another sermon, which I did not preach."
"If I do not feel thankful for any other favor, which God gives me, I do feel some gratitude, when he enables me to do any thing, which gives pleasure to the heart of my mother. If you were dead, one half the gratification I feel, when I publish any thing, which is well received, would be gone. I should also lose one half of my hopes, that any thing I publish will do good; for I build my hopes very much on your prayers for a blessing. I suppose you, or H. sent me the Keene paper, which contains my address. It has been published in two other papers, and in a Baptist Magazine, at Boston; and I have just received a letter from Professor P's wife, at
in behalf of a number of ladies there, who wish to publish a large edition, in the form of a tract. I have requested our church to pray, that a blessing may go with it, and I doubt not you will continue to pray. If it does any good, it will be owing to prayer."
His other publication was a sermon, preached before the "Marine Bible Society of Boston," entitled "The Oracles of God"—a much more labored production than either of his other published discourses, and yet, for some cause, it has been far less popular.-Besides these, he furnished a manuscript sermon for the National Preacher, which appeared soon after his decease.
His exertions without the bounds of his parish-Influence on his ministerial associates—in resuscitating and edifying other churches-Visits "The Springs"-effect of his example, conversation, and prayers on other visiters -Excursions in behalf of Charitable Societies-Translation of ministers-He is invited to Boston and NewYork.
It is not easy to estimate the usefulness of a man in public life, whose numerous relations bring him into contact with his fellow men, in a great variety of circumstan
A minister of the gospel, especially at this day, is not an insulated individual, whose influence is limited by parochial bounds. His presence, counsel, example, prayers, give shape, tone, direction, energy to public institutions for enlightening the human species, alleviating its sufferings, and extending the empire of holiness. It is, indeed, no slight honor, to be permitted to feed and build up a single branch of the church of God. To see the number of believers multiplied, and converted sinners joining themselves to the people of God, as the fruit of his labors, is an adequate reward for the pastor's most ardu. ous toils, and for all the solicitude, with which his anxious bosom is afflicted. And yet the increase and edification of his own particular charge, may be only a small part of the good, which is to be traced, more or less directly, to his instrumentality. The many hundreds, to whom Mr. Payson's labors were blessed in the place of his residence, and whom it was his happiness to welcome to the church under his special supervision, are only a part, and may be found a small part of the gems, which will embellish his crown of rejoicing in the day of the Lord. To ascertain the whole amount of his usefulness, we must know the nature and degree of his influence upon his fellow laborers in the ministry,—the effect of his occasional labors in different and distant parts of the country, his agen