Dr. John Gill ( 1697-1771)

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Rippon, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    I thought I would start a separate thread on Gill . There has been a lot of misinformation ( intentional at times ) on that grand servant of Christ . I am not claiming he was free of mistakes . I could point out errors at another time . But this hyper-Calvinistic charge is so bogus . That's like saying Charles Finney was a five-point Calvinist .

    I will give some quotes from Dr. Thomas Nettles . The following are from his book : By His Grace And For His Glory .

    Although Gill's theology differs little from that of Keach and Bunyan ( and at points is even less radical ) , he has doubtless been judged more harshly and even maliciously than any man of comparable repute in Baptist history . ( p.85)

    It is unfortunate that such an onus of suspicion has arisen around a man of such sound gospel knowledge , simply because his application of the material does not fit a certain emotive framework . (p.87)

    The nomenclature of hyper-Calvinist in speaking of Gill must be questioned seriously in light of his clear , perceptive zeal for the gospel , his earnestness of desire for the salvation of his hearers , his statements regarding the perpetuity of the law as exhibited in the gospel , and his belief concerning the blameworthiness of rejecting the gospel message and all it contains . And perhaps , rather than imputing blame upon Gill for the leanness of the times , he should be credited with preserving gospel purity , which eventuated in the efforts to use means for the comversion of the heathen . (p.107)
     
    #1 Rippon, Jun 1, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2006
  2. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    The following are Gill quotes that Nettles cites .

    ... the harvest is great and the faithful and painful ministers are few . There are scarcely any that naturally care for the estate and souls of men , and who are heartily concerned for their spiritual welfare : all comparatively seek their own things , their honor and applause from men , their ease , reputation , and riches ; and none or few the things that are Jesus Christ's , or which relate to his honor , glory , kingdom , and interest in the world . (p.99 )

    [ Gill commenting on Matthew 11:28 -- against that of Joseph Hussey ]

    ... by which is meant , not a local coming , or a coming to hear him preach ; ... nor is it a bare coming under the ordinances of Christ ... but it is to be understood of believing in Christ , the going out of the soul to him , in the exercise of grace on him , of desire after him , love to him , faith and hope in him : believing in Christ , and coming to him , are terms synonymous John vi. 35 . Those who come to Christ aright , come as sinners , to a full , suitable , able , and willing Saviour ; venture their souls upon him , and trust in him for righteousness , life , and salvation , which they are encouraged to do , by this kind of invitation ; which shews his willingness to save , and his readiness to give relief to distressed minds . ( p.101-102 )

    The ministry of the word is for the conversion of sinners; without which churches would not be increased nor supported , and must in course fail , and come to nothing ; but the hand of the Lord being with his ministers , many in every age believe and turn to the Lord , and are added to the churches ; by which means they are kept up and preserved : and hence it is necessary in the ministers of the word , to set forth the lost and miserable estate and condition of men by nature , the danger they are in, the necessity of regeneration and repentance , and of a better righteousness than their own , and of faith in Christ ; which things are blessed for the turning of men from darkness to light , and from the power of Satan unto God . ( p.106 )
     
  3. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    A couple of items here . John Gill was the dominant Baptist of his time . He did not come under the influence of John Brine ( 1703-1765 ) , but Brine came under his larger sway . I don't have any books of Brine's sermons -- just some print-outs from the internet . I find him wonderfully uplifting and solidly biblical . John Ryland Sr. ( very wronglyvillified ) said that Bunhill Fields had the ashes of three great Johns -- John Bunyan , John Gill and John Brine . Dr. Gill was 6 years older than Brine though Brine died 6 years earlier than Gill . For almost 30 years Gill delivered lectures at Eastcheap . In 1759 he asked Brine to take it over . That lecture series was attended by not only Baptists , but Anglicans and Independents . So Gill and Brine had considerable influence over much of the English speaking Christian community at that time . At a later time I will cite a Spurgeon quote about Brine which is very favorable . ( Spurgeon even liked Crisp ! ) . But even Joseph Ivimey said that Brine was a holy man and a faithful minister of Christ .

    William Carey ( 1761-1834 ) was not influenced by Dr. Gill because they were not adult contemporaries . It was easier for Fuller to be influential in Carey's life because he was just about 7 years older than the famous missionary .

    Andrew Fuller released his " Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation " in 1785 . That's 14 years after Gill's death . The so-called " Modern Question " regarding duty-faith was not even addressed by Dr. Gill . It , for the most part , was dealt with by all sides after Fuller's major work was published .
     
  4. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    Back to Nettles' book , and specifically his chapter on Dr. Gill called : " Bridge Over Troubled Waters " . BTW , his subheading for the chapter is "John Gill : A correction to modern caricatures and misrepresentations " .

    Here are some of Gill's words quoted by Nettles regarding the evangelistic work of the public ministry .

    In general ; its use is for the enlargement of the interest of Christ in the world ; and it is by means of the gospel being preached to all nations in all the world , that the kingdom of Christ has been spread everywhere ; not only in Judea , where the gospel was first preached , but throughout the Gentile world , multitudes were converted , and churches were set up everywhere , Christianity triumphed , and heathenism everywhere abolished .

    Nettles refers to J. M. Cramp's book and says that Cramp devotes 6 pages that are praiseworthy of Dr. Voluminous , but then says things that convey that Gill wasn't anxious for the conversion of souls .

    I get suspicious when I hear statements like " these eminent men and all their followers , went far astray from the course marked out by our Lord and his apostles . " Really ? All those men ? That is rather categorical -- does someone have absolue knowledge here aside from the Lord Himself ?! " They did not call upon men to repent and believe the gospel . " The words " and all their followers . " are tricky . Dr. Gill did not rightly fall under that silly charge .
     
  5. 4His_glory

    4His_glory
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    0
    I appreciate this info about Gill. It seems that he has been mis-represented. Perhaps it is the followers of Gill that lacked evangelistic zeal, not Gill himself, and these are the ones that Fuller and Carey withstood.

    However Fuller and Carey though, were 5-point calvinists. That is another part of baptist history that is is mis-represented.
     
  6. Kiffen

    Kiffen
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    641
    Likes Received:
    0
    :thumbs: John Gill's Commentaries are excellent. I have them on CD Rom. I use them all the time.
     
  7. 4His_glory

    4His_glory
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have used them as well, they come with the Online Bible software. I also have read Gill's Body of Divinity, a very interesting work.
     
  8. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gill

    Many people who are not calvinist read and enjoy Gill. Gill like any other writer was human. We eat the cherries and spit out the pits.
     
  9. 4His_glory

    4His_glory
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is true and good to hear. I read authors that I disagree with. I am gald that you do not neglect the great wealth of blessing in Gill's work even though you are not calvinistic. I just happen to like more of the pits that you do when it comes to Gill.:smilewinkgrin:
     
  10. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr. John Gill

    Many non calvinist read not only Gill, but also Barnes,Mathew Henry,Spurgeon,and Calvin himself. These were all briliant men of God.

    Many who are not calvinist do not consider themselves arminean and especially do not consider themselves wesleyan in doctrine or theology.Some of us think in terms that God is soveriegn but that it is He who gives the choice so we may love Him freely.We know that it is God who seeks us out. We know that it is the Holy spirit who convicts us of sin and shows us our need of a savior.We know there is nothing good in us when we make a choice for the Savior.So the difference is slight but it is different.We know we are also splitting hairs on the OSAS and persaverance issue. We are closer to calvinism then you think but we are not calvinist because we disagree somewhat slightly.
     
  11. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,077
    Likes Received:
    102
    Please keep C-A debates in the theology forum.

    Gill's soteriology is certainly a point for discussion in this forum, but C-A debates proper belong elsewhere.
     
  12. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    The Gill Pill For Today Is ...

    ... found in his book The Cause Of God And Truth , section 3 : Of Redemption , page 172 .

    I shall only oberve , that by the doctrine of particular redemption , the honour of God is more consulted , and his love to souls is more demonstrated , than by that of general redemption ; for according to the former , all the gracious purposes and designs of God , respecting the salvation of men , are fully accomplished ; his justice is fully satisfied by the obedience and sufferings of his Son ; his grace and mercy are wonderfully displayed , and all his people are certainly saved with an everlasting salvation ; whereas , according to the latter , the gracious purposes and designs of God , respecting the salvation of men , are , with regard to a large , if not the largest number of them , entirely frustrated ; his justice does not appear to be satisfied with the sacrifice of his Son for their sins ; nor are his grace and mercy displayed in the application of salvation to them ; this doctrine not providing for the sure and certain salvation of any , but leaving it upon a precarious bottom , to be procured upon conditions of men's own performing ; so that if it is obtained , it is rather to be ascribed to the free will of man , than to the free grace of God ; and if so , how is the honour of God consulted by this doctrine ? And that the love of God is more demonstrated by the doctrine of particular , than by that of general redemption ...
     
  13. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    Well , It's Anniversay Time -- So ...

    I thought I would give this thread a bump due to a continual misunderstanding of Dr.Gill .
     
  14. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    I truly did not note a debate of any kind going on here or one being prodded or started.:godisgood:
     
  15. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,635
    Likes Received:
    45
    Did Gill insist on "multiple elders" in a church?

    Practical Divinity, Book II, Chap.1:
    "though there may have been, where churches were large, more bishops or pastors in one church (Phil. 1:1)"
    Practical Divinity, Book II, Chap. 3:
    "an unpreaching pastor, bishop, or elder, is a contradiction in terms"
     
  16. EdSutton

    EdSutton
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd say Dr. Gill is wrong on the last point in doing, as do so many today, the confuting the office of bishop/ elder with the Spiritual gift of pastor. I Tim. 5:17 should settle this 'question' Gill raised, here.

    But I would like to add this. John Gill had little formal schooling, only to the age of 11. Yet he was awarded a well deserved Doctorate. And, yet he is the first, and as far as I know, the only person in history to write commentary on every verse in the Bible. [W. A. Criswell (and maybe others) preached on every verse in the Bible, but that is somewhat different.]

    Anyway, I'd say that (Gill's effort) is quite an undertaking. And that is an understatement.

    Ed
     
    #16 EdSutton, Jul 20, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2007
  17. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2000
    Messages:
    9,651
    Likes Received:
    312
    Matthew Henry?
     
  18. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    Squire , Matthew Henry died before completing his commentary of the Bible . Others stepped in for about the last third of the New Testament ( someone correct that ) .
     
  19. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    Bump , bump , bump ! Note the first 4 posts in particular .
     
  20. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Rippon, you have proven yourself as an able historian. Soli Deo Gloria.
     

Share This Page

Loading...