Hall was a Calvinistic bishop in the Church of England and remarkable in his literary achievements. Hall also was chosen as a delegate to the Synod of Dort, though he could not attend due to illness.
Contemplations on the Historical Passages of the Old and New Testaments, as reprinted by Old Paths Gospel Press, no date
God needed not have given these men [before the flood] any warning of his judgment; they gave Him no warning of their sins, no respite; yet that God might approve his mercies to the very wicked, He gives them a hundred and twenty years respite of repenting [Gen. 6:3]. How loathe God is to strike, that threats so long! He that delights in revenge surprises his adversary; whereas he that gives long warnings desires to be prevented. If we were not willful [in our sins], we should never smart [from pain and judgment].
…but now, as they [the people in Noah’s day] formerly rejected God, so are they justly rejected of God. Ere vengeance begin, repentance is seasonable; but if judgment be once gone out, we cry too late. While the gospel solicits us, the doors of the ark are open; if we neglect the time of grace, in vain shall we seek it with tears. God holds it no mercy to pity the obstinate.
Those that care not to please God, yet care for the outward favors of God [such as Esau], and are ready to murmur if they want [lack] them; as if God were bound to them and they [were] free. And yet so merciful is God, that He has second blessings for those that love Him not, and gives them all they care for. That one blessing of special love is for none but Israel; but those of common kindness are for them that can sell their birthright. This blessing was more than Esau could be worthy of…
There is no earthly proof of God’s love to any nation, comparable to the substitution of a wise and pious governor…
How graciously does Jesus still prevent [precede] the publican [tax collector, Zaccheus], as in his sight, notice, compellation [address], so in his invitation too! That other publican, Levi, bade Christ to his house, but it was after Christ had bidden him to his discipleship. Christ had never been called to his feast, if Levi had not been called into his family. He loved us first, He must first call us; for He calls us out of love. As in the general calling of Christianity, if He did not say, “Seek ye my face,” [Ps. 27:8] we could never say, “Thy face, Lord, will I seek,” so, in the specialities of our main benefits or employments, Christ must begin to us. If we invite ourselves to Him, before He invite Himself to us, the undertaking is presumptuous, the success unhappy.
What means this strangeness [the commotion during Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem]? Was not Jerusalem the spouse of Christ? Had He not chosen her out of all the earth? Had He not begotten many children of her [Hosea 1], as the pledges of their love? How justly may you now, O Savior, complain with that mirror of patience, “My breath was grown strange to my own wife, though I entreated her for the children’s sake of my own body!”
Even now, O Savior, when You were within the view of your Calvary [the mount of crucifixion], You can foresee and pity the vastation [purification through the burning away or destruction of evil attributes] of your Jerusalem, and give a sad prophecy [Matt 23:37-38] of the imminent destruction of that city, which lately had cost You tears [Luke 19:41], and now shall cost You blood. Not all the indign [undeserving] cruelty of men can rob You of your mercy.
Every man [at Jesus’ crucifixion] has a scorn ready to cast at a dying innocent. A generous nature [such as Jesus’] is more wounded with the tongue [ridiculing words] than with the hand. O Savior, your ear was more painfully pierced than your brows, or hands, or feet. It could not but go deep into your soul, to hear these bitter and girding [encircling] reproaches from them you came to save. [see John 5:34; Matt 23:37, Acts 3:26; etc.]