Who was Edward Payson?

Edward Payson (1783-1827) was ordained at Portland Maine in 1807. Payson had completed twenty years in his Portland pulpit when he died in October 1827.

“Edward Payson entered deeply into the love of Christ, and reflected it to an eminent degree.” Ian Murray

“Among the preachers of previous eras, Edward Payson stands tall. His profound meditations on God’s Word gave his preaching and writing an unction that can lead men and women to be taken up more and more with the glorious being that is the triune God.” Michael Haykin

Legacy of a Legend: Spiritual Treasure from the Heart of Edward Payson, introduction by Iain Murray (link to amazon used books, copy available for $1.95)

The Memoirs of Edward Payson by Asa Cummings (link to google books electronic version)

The Complete Works of Edward Payson Link to Cumberland Valley Bible Book Store (www.cvbbs.com) who sell Sprinkle publications.


Posts From the Memoirs of Edward Payson

The following series of quotations are from The Memoirs of Edward Payson edited by Asa Cummings

Lord, why is it that thou art never weary of heaping favors on ungrateful perverse, stubborn wretches who render thee only evil for good? Because I am never weary of gratifying my dear Son, and showing the greatness of my love to Him. Till I am weary of him, and cease to love him, I shall never be weary of heaping favors on his friends, however unworthy. p222

The sword of the Spirit will not wound if it has a scabbard on it.

Every Christian ought to love God in proportion to what has been forgiven him. But eveyr Christian knows more evil of himself than he can know of any other being. He ought, therefore to feel as if more had been forgiven him, and as if he were under greater obligations to love God than any other human being; as if it were worse for him to sin against God than it would be for any other. p437

The reason why the men of the world think so little of Christ is, they do not look at Him. THeir backs being turned to the sun, they can see only their own shadows; and are therefore, wholly taken up with themselves. While the true disciple, looking only upward, sees nothing but his Savior, and learns to forget himself. p280

I am more and more convinced that the knowledge of Christ cruscified is the one thing needful, and the grand source of peace, and joy and growth in grace. Count all things loss for the excellency of this knowledge, and pray for it more than for anything else, and you will fint it to be so. p366

I find it requires almost constant rubbing and chafing to make the blood circulate in such frozen souls as ours; and after all it avails nothing if the Son of Righteousness does not shine. p391


Tonight, after a long day at work, during which time I encountered some rather large messes that required tending to, and to which I responded, may we say, without delight, I  sat and read the following:

At no point does the way of Jesus diverge more sharply from the way of the world than on the question of greatness. Jesus does not exactly repudiate prominence and greatness, but he redefines them. The challenge is to be great in things that matter to God. Nothing is greater in God’s eyes than giving, and no vocation affords the opportunity to give more than that of a servant (10:43). . . In Jesus’ teaching . . . the concept of service grows out of his concept of love for one’s neighbor.  Jesus’ selfless service of others fills the concept of servant with entirely new content; the posture of the servant is a visible manifestation of the reality of God’s love. Greatness in God’s economy is not reserved for the gifted and privileged; rather, it presents itself to every believer in the common and simple tasks of serving others. Indeed, the more common and humble the task, the greater the deed for humility is the essence of him who said, “For I am among you as one who serves'” (Luke 2:27). Service to others is the primary way in which believers imitate and fulfill the mission of Jesus (10:43-45). – The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Mark 9:36-37

I stand guilty as charged. Especially during the Christmas season God presses home the true meaning of diakonos . How easy it is to judge those hard hearted disciples who sought greatness.  “Jesus speaks of surrendering his life; the disciples speak of fulfilling theirs. He counts the cost of discipleship; they count its assets. The disciples have yet to learn that the rewards of discipleship come only as a consequence of following Christ on the costly way to Jerusalem.” Tonight, I sit silently rebuked alongside them. I praise God that I serve a sovereign Father who rebukes those whom He loves.