Saturday, February 17, 2007

JOHN GILL

(17th Century English Baptist Pastor and Commentator)

HISTORICAL NOTE: "He was one of the most learned men that the Baptist denomination has ever produced. His great work, The Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, is still held in the highest esteem even by those whose sentiments widely differ from the author’s. His Body of Divinity is also a masterly condensation of doctrinal and practical theology, and his Cause of God and Truth is highly esteemed by many. The system of theology with which many identify his name has chilled many churches to their very soul, for it has led them to omit the free invitations of the gospel, and to deny that it is the duty of sinners to believe in Jesus: but for this, Dr. Gill must not be altogether held responsible, for a candid reader of his Commentary will soon perceive in it expressions altogether out of accord with such a narrow system; and it is well known that, when he was dealing with practical godliness, he was so bold in his utterances that the devotees of Hyper-Calvinism could not endure him. "Well, sir," said one of these, "if I had not been told that it was the great Dr. Gill who preached, I should have said I had heard an Arminian." (C. H. SPURGEON writing about John Gill. 4 Volume Autobiography Vol 1 p.335)