Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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PAYSON, Phillips, clergyman, born in Walpole, Massachusetts, 18 January, 1736; died in Chelsea, Massachusetts, 11 January, 1801. He was graduated at Harvard in 1754, studied divinity, and from 1757 until his death was pastor of the Congregational church in Chelsea, Massachusetts Mr. Payson was a zealous patriot during the Revolution. He was of scholarly attainments, and an eloquent preacher. Harvard gave him the degree of D.D. in 1800. He published tracts on astronomy and natural philosophy in the " Transactions of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences," and several sermons, the best known of which is that on the "Battle of Lexington" (1780) and on the "Death of Washington " (1800). --His brother, Seth, clergyman, born in Walpole, Massachusetts, 29 September, 1758; died in Rindge, New Hampshire, 26 February, 1820, was graduated at Harvard in 1777, and from 1782 until his death was pastor of the Congregational church in Rindge, New Hampshire Dartmouth gave him the degree of D.D. in 1809. He published numerous sermons, and a work against secret societies, entitled "Proofs of the Existence and Dangerous Tendencies of Modern Illuminism" (Rindge, New Hampshire, 1802). -Seth's son, Edward, clergyman, born in Rindge, New Hampshire, 25 January, 1783: died in Portland, Maine, 22 October, 1827, was graduated at Harvard in 1803, taught in Portland, Maine, for three years, studied divinity under his father, and from his ordination until his death was pastor of the Congregational church in Portland. Bowdoin gave him the degree of D.D. in 1821. He was of exalted piety, and, although almost without worldly ambition, is described by his contemporaries as having left a lasting impression of his life and work on the community in which he lived. He frequently was invited to accept charges in New York and Boston, but refused to leave his Portland congregation. His sermons were collected and published, with a memoir, by Reverend Asa Cummings, and an introduction by Reverend Calvin E. Stowe (3 vols., Philadelphia, 1859). Rufus W. Griswold says of this work: " It is more read at home and abroad than the writings of any other New England divine except Dr. Timothy Dwight."
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