Puritan analytical method accounts for the length of Puritan expositions: Joseph Caryl’s 6,000 quarto pages on Job; 2,000-plus in folio on Hebrews from John Owen; Hildersam’s 152 sermons on Psalm 51.1-7; over 800 pages of small print in all modern editions of William Gurnall’s treatment of Ephesians 6.10-20, The Christian in Complete Armour, etc.!  What led the Puritans into such long-windedness was their passion for thoroughness in extracting all doctrines and developing all applications.  Clearly, once they started drawing out implications and applications, they found it hard to stop.  Yet, their variety of matter is great, repetition is minimal, the sense that they begin in the middle rather than at the beginning is soon overcome, and interest, once gained, does not fade.  You doubt that?  Taste and see! – J. I. Packer (born on July 22, 1926)


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