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BOOK XIV.

1. Saul in David's Cave

2. Nabal and Abigail

3. David and Achish

4. Saul and the Witch of Endor

5. Ziklag Spoiled and Revenged

6. The Death of Saul

7. Abner and Joab

BOOK XV.

1. Uzziah, and the Ark Removed

2. Mephibosheth and Ziba

3. Hanun, and David's Ambassailors

4. David with Bathsheba and Uriah

5. Nathan and David

6. Ammon and Tainar

7. Absalom's Return and Conspiracy

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224

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BOOK XVI.

I's

CONTEMPLATION 1. Shimei Cursing

232

2. Ahithophel

234

3. The Death of Absaloin

236

4. Sheba's Rebellion

239

5. The Gibeonites Revenged

242

6. The Numbering of the People

244

BOOK XVII.

1. Adonijah Defeated

247

2. David's End, and Solomon's Beginning

249

3. The Execution of Joab and Shimei

252

4. Solomon's Choice, with his Judgment upon the two Harlots

254

5. The Temple

256

6. Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

259

7. Solomon's Defection

261

BOOK XVIII.

1. Rehoboam

264

2. Jeroboam

267

3. The Seduced Prophet

270

4. Jeroboam's Wife

273

5. Asa

276

6. Elijah with the Sareptan

279

7. Elijah with the Baalites

283

8. Elijah Running before Ahab, Fleeing from Jezebel

287

BOOK XIX.

1. Ahab and Benhadad

291

2. Ahab and Naboth ...

295

3. Ahab and Micaiah, or the Death of Ahab

299

4. Ahaziah Sick, and Elijah Revenged ...

302

5. The Rapture of Elijah

306

6. Elisha Healing the Waters---Cursing the Children-Relieving the Kings 310

7. Elisha with the Shupamite

314

8. Elisha with Naaman

318

9. Elisha Raising the Iron, Blinding the Assyrians

324

70. The Famine of Samaria Relieved

327

BOOK XX.

1. The Shunarmite Suing to Jehoram-Elisha Conferring with Hazael 330

2. Jebu with Jehoram and Jezebel

3. Jehu Killing the Sons of Abab, and the Priests of Baal

338

4. Athaliah and Joash

342

5. Joash with Elisha Dying

345

6. Uzziah Leprous

348

7. Ahaz with his New Altar

351

8. The utter Destruction of the Kingdom of Israel

352

9. Hezekiah and Sennacherib

334

10. Hezekiah Sick, Recovered, Visited

358

11. Manasseh

362

12. Josiah's Reformation

366

13. Josiah's Death, with the Desolation of the Temple and Jerusalem 369

BOOX XXI.

1. Zerubbabel and Ezra

972

2. Nehemiah Building the Walls of Jerusalem

378

3. Nehemiah Redressing the Extortion of tae Jews

382

4. Ahasuerus Feasting-Vashti Cast off-Esther Chosen

385

5. Raman Disrespected by Mordecai ---Mordecai's Message to Esther 389

6. Esther Suing to Ahasuerus

394

7. Mordecai Honoured by Haman

397

8. Haman Banged - Mordecai Advanced

399

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INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR OF THE AUTHOR:

WITH NOTICES OF HIS OTHER WORKS.

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T is felt that the reader will proceed with greater advantage to the

study of the following “ Contemplations” when he has made some acquaintance with the life of the holy man who was the author of

them, and with the circumstances of the times in which they were composed. It is also felt that among the many eminent divines who have adorned the Church of England, there is no one who deserves to be commemorated more gratefully on account both of the varied productions of his industrious pen, and of the instructive example of primitive faith and patience which he left behind him for the benefit of succeeding ages.

More than two hundred years have now elapsed since his death; and we cannot but regret that during that long interval no biography of him has appeared which has succeeded in obtaining a permanent place in our ecclesiastical literature. He was one whose memory was well entitled to be embalmed by the hand of a contemporary and congenial author such as Izaak Walton; and when we remember the single sentence in the life of Sir Henry Wotton in which Walton has occasion to mention Hall, and describes him as “the late Bishop of Norwich, whose many and useful works speak his great merit,”+ how naturally do we wish that the writer of that sentence had been led to employ his pen upon a portraiture which might have ranked with those matchless memoirs of Hooker and George Herbert, of Donne and Sanderson-a portraiture which we may be sure would have proved worthy of its subject, and would have been drawn with a fulness of knowledge and of insight into the character of the man and of the times which we must not now hope to attain. As it is, however, we have only the more reason to be thankful for the contributions which our auth himself has made towards his own biography: chiefly by two publications, one posthumous, entitled, “ Observations of some Specialities of Divine Providence in the Life of Joseph Hall, Bishop of Norwich ;"I the other, “Bishop Hall's Hard Measure.”§ It is to these, to his letter from the Tower, and to some passages in his “Epistles,” || that we are indebted for almost all the information that is now to be obtained concerning him.

Joseph Hall is one among numberless instances of English bishops who have attained to that eminence from no other recommendation than their own deserts. He was born on July 1, 1574, at Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire. His father, though an officer in the army, and governor of the town (under Henry, Earl of Huntingdon, then President of the North), was barely in a condition to allow him, being a younger son and one of twelve children, a learned education. In the autobiographical memoir before mentioned, he speaks of both his parents with gratitude and affection ; but especially of his mother, Winifride, whom he describes as a woman of rare sanctity, and worthy to be compared with Monica, or any other of those pious matrons anciently famous for devotion. He also informs us that they had destined him from his infancy to the sacred ministry; and with that view he was placed at the grammar school of his vative place, where he remained till his fifteenth year. In a passage, which may remind the reader of the Confessions of St. Augustine, he explains how nearly, at this point, he had missed the benefits of a university education, in consequence of an endeavour on the part of his schoolmaster to persuade his father to place him for the next seven years under the charge of Mr. Pelset, then public preacher at Leicester, and a man of some eminence as a scholar and divine, who undertook to superintend the completion of his studies, and at the same time to prepare him for ordination :-“There and now were all the hopes of my future life upon blasting. The indentures were preparing; the time was set; my suits were addressed for the journey. What was the issue ? O God, thy providence made and found it. Thou knowest how sincerely and heartily, in those my young years, I did cast myself upon thy hands; with what faithful resolution I did, in this particular occasion, resign myself over to thy disposition, earnestly begging of thee in my fervent prayers to order all things to the best, and confidently waiting upon thy will for the event. Certainly, never did I in all my life more clearly roll myself upon the Divine Providence than I did in this business; and it succeeded accordingly.” A beautiful example of youthful piety carrying out into practice from the very first the lessons it had learned at a mother's knee !

* No life has been attempted in either of the three more recent editions of his collected works-viz., Mr. Pratt's, published in 1808; Mr. Peter Hall's, in 1837–39; Dr. Wynter's, at the Oxford University Press, in 1863. The references in the following memoir have been made to the second of these editions, except where otherwise stated. + Wordsworth's “ Ecclesiastical Biography,” vol. iv., p. 99.

Hall's Works, edit. 1837, vol. i., p. xi; “ Ecclesiastical Biography," vol. iv., p. 259. & Works, ibid., p. xliv; “Ecclesiastical Biography,” ibid., p. 296. I Works, vol. vi.,

p. 123.

It was due to the generous conduct of an elder brother who happened about that time to pay a visit to Cambridge, and who interceded with his father that the young Joseph might not be disappointed of his cherished hopes, that the arrangement with Mr. Pelset was broken off, and the prayer which the boy bad prayed so earnestly received its accomplishment. He was entered (A.D. 1589) at Emmanuel College (then recently founded) under the tuition of Mr. Nathaniel Gilby, who was also a native of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, and who, having heard of him as a youth of promise, had already interested himself in his favour. He had only resided there two years, however, when his father's means being insufficient to bear the expense he was called home, and would have been permanently withdrawn from the university, if God had not raised up to him a benefactor in a distant relative, who kindly undertook to provide one half of the sum necessary for his maintenance until he should attain to the degree of Master of Arts. He was thus secured a second time in the great object of his desire; and it is delightful to read the simple, heart-felt testimony he gives to the advantages he derived from the course of education then pursued at Cambridge, and especially at his own“ strict and well-ordered college”- -so he describes it—"which," he adds, “ if it had any equals, I daresay had none beyond it for good order, studious carriage, strict government, austere piety.”* At Emmanuel he became first a Scholar, and afterwards was elected to a Fellowship rendered vacant most unexpectedly through a combination of circumstances, in which again he did not fail to discern and

* See also Epistle to Mr. J. W., Works, vol. vi., pp. 125–127. Emmanuel College had, at first, a character for Puritanism, though the founder, Sir Thomas Mildmay, denied the imputation to Queen Elizabeth. And it has been suspected that Hall received some bias in that direction during the earlier years of his life.

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