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John Gill

John Gill was born on Nov.23 1697 of Godly, Particular Baptist, parents, Edward and Elisabeth Gill. He proved himself to be an extremely able student, outstripping even his schoolmaster. By the age of twelve years he was proficient in Latin and Greek and was entering into the study of Hebrew. He was a scholar of tremendous ability, but received little formal education, partly because he, nor his parents, could submit to the religious programs of the Anglican dominated education establishments. However, he was awarded a D.D by Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 1748, which he never flaunted and of which he said, "I neither sought it, nor thought it, nor bought it."

Dr. Gill read most extensively and was, probably, the most acclaimed Hebraist ever to adorn the Christian scene. However, he was a retiring peaceable man, but would enter into controversy when 'The Cause of God and Truth' was assailed and, in fact, wrote a definitive work under that very title. His best writing is, probably, his 'Exposition of the Song of Solomon'. However, his greatest work is certainly the monumental exposition of the Old and New Testament, that is, dealing with every single word in the Bible. No other Christian writer has ever succeeded in such a task, not Calvin, nor Henry, in fact no one before and no one since. The last great writing of this venerable scholar was his work 'A Body of Divinity', published in 1769 just two years just prior to his death; this is probably the most complete Body of Divinity ever written; it is packed with doctrine and unpolluted with philosophy. The list of Gill's writing and attainments is too long for this brief resume. Dr. John Gill, in addition to meeting regularly with many Christians and preaching several times each week, wrote over ten million words, with an ordinary pen, and did his own proof reading. Just think about it!

Augustus Toplady wrote, "If any one man can be supposed to have trod the whole circle of human learning, it was Dr. Gill. ― It would, perhaps, try the constitutions of half the literati in England only to read, with care and attention, the whole of what Gill wrote."

His principal works are:

Exposition of the Song of Solomon (1728)
The Prophecies of the Old Testament respecting the Messiah (1728)
The Doctrine of the Trinity (1731)
The Cause of God and Truth (4 vols., 1731)
Exposition of the Bible, in 10 vols. (1746-1766), in preparing which he formed a large collection of Hebrew and Rabbinical books and MSS.; The Antiquity of the Hebrew Language Letters, Vowel Points, and Accents (i 767)
A Body of Doctrinal Divinity (1767)
A Body of Practical Divinity (1770)
Sermons and Tracts, with a memoir of his life (1773).

An edition of his Exposition of the Bible appeared in 1816 with a memoir by John Rippon, which has also appeared separately.


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These maxims are certainly true and indisputable: (1) That nothing in time can be the cause of what was done in eternity. To believe, to do good works, and persevere in them are acts in time, and so cannot be causes of election, which was done in eternity. And (2) That nothing out of God can be the cause of any decree or will in him. He is no passive Being, to be wrought upon by motives and inducements outside of himself. If his will is moved by anything outside of him, that must be superior to him, and his will must become dependent on that; which to say of God is to speak very unworthily of him. God wills things because it so pleases him. Predestination is according to the good pleasure of his will. Election is according to his foreknowledge, which is no other than his free favor and good will to men (Eph.1:5; 1 Pet. 1:2). No other reason can be given of God's will or decree to bestow grace and glory on men, for his own glory, and of his actual donation of them, but what our Lord gives: "Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight" (Matt. 11:25-26).

JOHN GILL AT CARTER LANE
Dr. Gill's first words at the Carter Lane Meeting House.

The Meeting House at Carter Lane, Southwark, was opened on Oct. 9 1757. The Carter Lane Declaration of the faith and practice (based on the 1729 Goat Yard Declaration) had been drawn up. At the opening meeting John Gill, preached from Exodus 20;24. In the course of his message he made the following comments.

"As we have now opened a new place of worship, we enter upon it recording the Name of the Lord by preaching the doctrines of the grace of God, and free and full salvation alone by Jesus Christ; and by the administration of gospel ordinances, as they have been delivered to us. What doctrines may be taught in the place after I am gone is not for me to know; but as for my own part, I am at a point; I am determined, and have been long ago, what to make the subject of my ministry. It is upwards of forty years since I entered into the arduous work; and first sermon I ever preached was from these words of the apostle, 'For I am determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified:' and through the grace of God I have been enabled, in some good measure, to abide by the same resolution hitherto, as many of you here are my witness; and, I hope, through divine assistance, I ever shall, as long as I am in this tabernacle, and engaged in such a work. I am not afraid of the reproaches of man; I have been inured to these from my youth upwards; none of these things move me."

John Gill's Confession
A Vindication of John Gill
Summary of the Life, Writings & Character of John Gill
Exposition of the Entire Bible
Sermons & Tracts
Doctrinal Divinity
Practical Divinity
The Cause of God and Truth
Solomon's Song
Miscellaneous Writings
Of the Nature of a Gospel Church
Infinite Condescension of Jehovah Dwelling on Earth
The Justice or Righteousness of God
Eternal Sonship of Christ [106 kbs]
Antipaedobaptism [88 kbs]
Infant Baptism, Part & Pillar of Popery

 
 
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