The Collected Works of Theodore Parker/Volume 02/Theodore Parker's Prayers/Preface
Since the death, of our minister many of his friends have expressed an earnest desire for the publication of some of his prayers, copies of which were secured during the whole period of his ministry at the Music Hall, and the latter half of that at the Melodeon,—caught in the air as they fell from the lips of the speaker, and faithfully daguerreotyped by friendly hands, and now choicely treasured. From these accumulations of so many years the forty prayers which are included in this volume have been selected, the one at the close being the last that Mr Parker delivered in public.
A greater variety might have been given to the character of this volume by the insertion of other prayers, to the exclusion of some that it now contains; but it is thought that those here given best represent the earnest devotion and the highest aspirations of him who uttered them, presenting, as they do, those themes upon which he most loved to dwell, in sermon or in prayer; and while there is not a very wide range of topics included in the selection, it will be observed that there is much variety in the expression of ideas on the same topics.
The only alterations that have been made in the prayers as originally delivered are, the omission, here and there, of phrases often repeated, the introduction of a few passages from other prayers, and the correction of such slight errors of expression as are incidental to extemporaneous speaking.
It is believed that this little book will be dearly welcomed, not only by those at whose instance it has been prepared, but by thousands of others who have been “lifted up and strengthened” by these lofty utterances of a great and noble soul.
Boston, September, 26, 1861.