The Notable Dr. John Gill

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by ReformedBaptist, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    I have been encouraged by the seeming loss of knowledge of such an eminant and revered Baptist (and despised) to post what I wrote in another forum because I believe this man of God deserves a thread of his own. I have in my days when I mention the name of Dr. Gill been met with mixed responses. Sadly, many of them are negative.


    In my early days as a Christian such an impression was given me of John Calvin, and for the large part of my Christian life I stayed away from his writings because of that impression. After the Lord convinced me of the doctrines of grace from Scripture, I obtained some of Calvin's works to see what kind of terrible man he may have been, since I was being called a calvinist after all. lol What I found was that my impression of him was in error. Calvin's commentaries, sermons, and works of theology are some of the greatest gifts God has given the church. If one disagrees with Calvin in almost anything, I am certain they would find some benefit from the introductions to the books of the Bible in his commentaries.

    As a blessing to me, I learned of John Gill, not from the testimonies of those today who dislike him, but from C.H. Spurgeon's words about him that put my mind in a ready place to see what such a man wrote that earned the admiration of the Prince of Preachers. I hope the short words I present here will dispose many to look into what Gill wrote, and by the grace of God, bless you in some way.

    True it is when one reads commentary they must know they are reading the works of men. Gill's Exposition of the Old and New Testaments is the most thorough commentary on the Scriptures I am aware of. There is not a single verse Gill left untouched.


    At the end of my words I have included a lengthy quote from Spurgeon on Gill that provides a balanced view I think. One kind word requesting a kindness: Please do not judge me too harshly for writing a thread on this great Baptist. It is in this way that I wish to honor a man whom God used, and by so writing give thanks to God for him.

    "“A man of profound learning and deep piety, he was notable as a divine for the exactness of his systematic theology in which he maintained the doctrines of grace against the innovations of Arminian teachers. His Body of Divinity has long been held in the highest repute. As the fervent exposition of an entire and harmonious creed, it has no rival. His famous treatise entitled The Cause of God And Truth, obtained for him the championship of the Calvinistic School of Divinity.” C.H. Spurgeon

    "Many sneer at Gill, but he is not to be dispensed with. In some respects, he has no superior. He is always worth consulting." - C. H. SPURGEON Autobiography (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1897) Volume 1, Page 220.

    And you want to know in detail about such an eminant Baptist you can go here: http://www.reformedreader.org/rbb/gill/summary.htm

    Dr. Tom Nettles wrote of him, ""He has doubtless been judged more harshly and even maliciously than any man of comparable repute in Baptist history." I suggest one reads what Dr. Nettles wrote in his book, By His Grace and For His Glory to get a balanced view of Gill.

    Gill once wrote, ""Souls sensible to sin and danger, and who are crying out, What shall we do to be saved? you are to observe, and point out Christ the tree to live to them; and say, as some of the cherubs did to one in such circumstances, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, Acts 16:31. Your work is to lead men, under a sense of sin and guilt, to the blood of Christ, shed for many for the remission of sin, and this name you are to preach the forgiveness to them."

    Seems the calumny that Gill was not evangelistic is misdirected. Maybe because of those who followed Gill. In an article written on Gill we read:

    "He was the first Baptist to write a complete systematic theology and the first to write a verse-by-verse commentary of the entire Bible. Gill wrote so much that he was known as Dr. Voluminous. Tom Nettles writes. "His loss was felt keenly by the whole denomination of Baptists, a group still small and despised ... His outstanding scholarship, zeal for truth and pious polemics had greatly encouraged Baptists ..."


    The article also said, "There is no doubt that his followers so emphasized God’s sovereignty that they forsook evangelism and missions. Spurgeon rightly saw that as a travesty to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At the same time, Gill’s powerful presentation of the God with Whom we have to do is needed in every generation."

    You may read it here in its entirety for our edification http://www.siteone.com/religion/bapt...raits/gill.htm


     
    #1 ReformedBaptist, Sep 5, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2007
  2. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Good words from Gill on elders:

    "an unpreaching pastor, bishop, or elder, is a contradiction in terms"

    "they, as the apostles of Christ, give themselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word; do not preach a sermon only now and then; but preach the word constantly"

    (from his A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity; or, A System of Evangelical Truths Deduced from the Sacred Scriptures)
     
  3. Rippon

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    RB : Who wrote the article which said : " There is no doubt that his followers so emphasized God's sovereignty that they forsook evangelism and missions." ?
     
  4. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    It came from here, http://www.siteone.com/religion/baptist/baptistpage/about.htm

    Seems that the link above was broken. See if this works http://www.siteone.com/religion/baptist/baptistpage/Portraits/gill.htm

    I by no means am saying it is authoritative. It seems that many have such a view of Gill's "followers" and I would be glad to be proven wrong. Many have said Gill was a Hyper-calvinist. I have read a lot of Gill. I don't see it yet.
     
  5. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    1. I've not been exposed to Dr. Gill much. I guess it is because of that Hyper-Calvinism charge, but I'm glad you haven't come across that in his writing.

    2. Good to know that he has impacted you so much.

    Soli Deo Gloria
     
  6. Allan

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    I have found that Gill wasn't so much a hyper as he was a definate unadulterated Supra :)

    I have read him somewhat and enjoyed much of it and some disagreed with. But his passion is compelling I will say that much for sure. :)
     
  7. Rippon

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    Misinformation Alert

    John Gill can not with certainty be tagged as a supralapsarian . ( Not that there's anything wrong with the position as such ) . Toplady and John Rippon ( the original -- not the BB Rip ) both insisted Gill was a sublapsarian -- which is the same as an infralapsarian . Gill lands on both sides of the issue . He can't be pegged with either position with unadulterated certitude .

    I probably lean to the supra side of things -- but either view involves too much speculation and is a waste of time really . It can be spent on more constructive things .
     
  8. David Lamb

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    No, I have not seen it either. What I found very interesting when doing a Google search was the following description of hypercalvinism, or "Hight Calvinism" as it is called here:

    'High Calvinism' was a theological system which would appear to have co-ordinated two denials. First, there was the denial that God calls all who hear about Christ to believe in him; no man is obliged as a matter of duty to trust in Christ as a condition of salvation. This denial applied to both the reprobate and to the elect. The 'reprobate' are all those who were not originally chosen in Christ before the world began, for whom Christ did not die, who will be left in their sinful state by God, and who therefore will never repent and believe. The 'elect' are all those who were originally chosen by the Father to form the church of God, for whom Christ did die, and who will certainly come to a living faith in the Saviour. The reasoning was that if God alone can, and sometimes does, give repentance and faith, such should be demanded of no man, whoever he might be; sovereign grace is irresistible. Second, high Calvinism denied that it is the responsibility of the churches to call upon all men indiscriminately to repent and to believe in Christ for the salvation of their souls .​


    That can be found at: http://www.evangelica.de/John_Gill_and_Hyper-Calvinism.htm

    Having read that, it made me wonder how many of the posts on this board that argue against calvinism are in fact arguing against hypercalvinism.
     
  9. Allan

    Allan
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    Gill a Sublaps? Come on, Rip?

    I have not read volumes on Gill but what I have read of his own work and other of him that he couldn't be considered a Sub, maybe at the least a modified Supra.

    But hey that is of course - IMO
     
  10. Rippon

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    Well , at least you're modifying your "definite unadulterated" view . You don't want to rescind your qualification now , do you ?
     
  11. Allan

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    I modified it for YOUR benifit.

    But what I have seen and heard, that shall I speak ;)

    If it is truly different, I will change it but have not seen anything that truly says I need to. So it was for your benifit it was modified but as I also stated "AT LEAST a modified Supra" but still at most a "definite unadulterated Supra". :thumbs:
    Is that so bad?
     
  12. Jerome

    Jerome
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    This seems to be Gill's response to that idea (from The Cause of God and Truth):
    "This author goes on to observe, that "hence it will follow, that neither the elect, nor non-elect, can rationally be exhorted to, believe; nor they who are not elected, because Christ died not for them; nor the, elect, for he that knows himself to be one of that number, hath believed and repented already; if he do not know this, he cannot know that Christ died for him, and so he cannot know it is his duty to believe in him for salvation."
    I reply, that ministers, in exhorting men to believe in Christ, do not, and cannot consider them as elect or non elect, but as sinners, standing in need of Christ, and salvation by him; and that either as sensible, or as insensible of their state and condition; not as insensible of it; for I do not find that any such are exhorted to believe in Christ for salvation; but as sensible of it, as the jailer was, who trembling said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? When the apostle exhorted him, saying, Believe in the lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:30, 31). Besides, such who have believed already, and do know that Christ has died for them, and that they are of the number of God’s elect may be rationally exhorted to walk on in Christ, as they have received him, and to go on believing to the saving of their souls."
     
  13. Brother Bob

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    Seems he believed in a "sorrow" over your sins before salvation? I guess I am not in too bad of company.
     
  14. ~JM~

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    Gill is a master theologian.
     

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