Sprague, William B. Causes of an Unsuccessful Ministry: Two Sermons, addressed to the Second Presbyterian Church in the City of Albany, August 30, 1829; The Sabbath Immediately succeeding the Author's Induction as their Pastor. Albany: Packard and Van Benthuysen, 1829. First Edition. 
Gray printed wrapper, top right corner torn with loss (wrapper only), 8 3/4 x 5 1/2 inches, untrimmed edges, 49 pp. Good. Pamphlet.
Dr. Sprague treats with two causes, first, improper emphasis in preaching, of which he lists seven kinds, and second, failures of ministerial character and private duties. He examines five examples. In the second sermon he delineates common reasons why a faithful ministry might not have an effect on some persons in a congregation, and gives examples.
William Buell Sprague (1795-1876), born in Andover, Connecticut; graduated at Yale in 1815, and afterwards studied at Princeton for two years. He was ordained in the Congregational Church at West Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1819 and was pastor there for ten years. In 1829 he accepted a call to the Second Presbyterian Church in Albany and served in that congregation as pastor for forty years.
“He has been well and truly described as an ‘illustrious man; a cultivated, elegant, voluminous, useful and popular preacher; an indefatigable and successful pastor; an unselfish and devoted friend; loving, genial, pure, and noble; an Israelite, indeed, in whom there was no guile; one of the most childlike, unsophisticated, and charitable of men.’ While he never relaxed his pulpit and pastoral duties, his added literary labors were prodigious, and their fruits exceedingly great.” – M’Clintock & Strong.