Reference > Quotations > S.A. Bent, comp. > Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men
S.A. Bent, comp.  Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men.  1887.
Robert Hall
        [An eloquent Baptist minister; born in Leicestershire, England, 1764; educated at Aberdeen; preached at Cambridge, Leicester, and Bristol; died 1831.]
The battle of Waterloo and its results appeared to me to put back the clock of the world six degrees.
          GREGORY: Life, note A.
  He said of Bishop Watson, “He married public virtue in his early days, but seemed forever afterwards to be quarrelling with his wife.”—Ibid.
  He called John Wesley “the quiescence of turbulence;” because, while he set all in motion, he himself was perfectly calm and phlegmatic.
  Of a nervously modest man, Mr. Hall remarked, “Poor Mr. —— seems to beg pardon of all flesh for being in this world.”
  To a man who asked him for a glass of brandy and water, he said, “You should ask for liquid fire and distilled damnation.”—Ibid.
  Reviewing Mrs. Hannah More, he called “throwing soft peas against a rock.”—Ibid.
I keep my nonsense for the fireside, while you publish yours from the pulpit.
          To a minister who expressed his surprise at Mr. Hall’s frivolous conversation after preaching a serious discourse.
  He said of a certain clergyman, “His head is so full of every thing but religion, that one might be tempted to fancy that he has a Sunday soul, which he screws on in due time, and takes off every Monday morning.”
  When a lady replied, to a request for a subscription, that she would wait and see, Mr. Hall said, “She is watching, not to do good, but to escape from it.”
  Being told that his animation increased with years, he replied, “Then I am like touchwood,—the more decayed, the easier fired.”
  Some one said that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s chaplain came into the room to say grace at dinner, and then retired; Mr. Hall remarked, “His grace, not choosing to present his own requests to the King of kings, calls in a deputy to take up his messages.”
  He called Tom Paine’s writings against the Bible, “a mouse nibbling at the wing of an archangel.”
  When told that it was reported he was about to marry, he replied, “I marry Miss ——! I would as soon marry Beelzebub’s eldest daughter, and go home and live with the old folks!”
  He called Owen, the geologist, “a valley of dry bones.”
  A tedious friend visited him at the asylum during a temporary aberration of mind, and asked him what brought him there: “What’ll never bring you, sir,” replied Hall,—“too much brain, sir; too much brain, sir!”
  The only passage in an egotistical clergyman’s discourse which Mr. Hall pronounced very fine was “the passage from the pulpit into the vestry.”

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