Bishop Hall

In my previous post, CH Spurgeon referred to one ‘Bishop Hall’. I had not heard of Joseph Hall who lived from 1574 to 1656. He was the Bishop of Exeter in the 1630s. The church historian, Thomas Fuller, said he ‘was commonly  called our English Seneca, for the purenesse, plainnesse, and fulnesse of his style’.

I’ve discovered that many of Bishop Hall’s writings are available to read online. It’s fascinating to read his short biography and to browse his summaries and commentary on the biblical stories. They are certainly easy to read. Here is a snippet from his account of David’s defeat of Goliath:

“The vast forehead was a fair mark; but how easily might the sling have missed it, if there had not been another hand in this cast besides David’s! He, that guided David into this field and raised his courage to this combat, guides the stone to his end, and lodges it in that seat of impudence.

There now lieth the great defier of Israel, grovelling and grinning in death; and is not suffered to deal one blow for his life; and bites the unwelcome earth for indignation, that he dies by the hand of a shepherd. Earth and hell share him betwixt them: such is the end of insolence and presumption! O God, what is flesh and blood to thee, which canst make a little pebble-stone stronger than a giant; and when thou wilt, by the weakest means canst strew thine enemies in the dust?”

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