Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Five Reasons to Read John Gill

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on November 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Perhaps fewer men have been more neglected than John Gill (1697-1771). In fact, few Reformed Baptist read Gill, often associating him with Hyper-Calvinism and Antinomianism. Yet, it has been my experience that few people have read Gill for themselves, often merely taking for granted what they’ve heard. What Spurgeon said of Gill’s Song of Solomon could be said of his works as a whole: “Those who despise it, have never read it, or are incapable of elevated spiritual feelings.” Now, on the front end, I confess Gill was not without faults. He was a good man, not perfect.[1] Yet, as I shall attempt to show, John Gill deserves a far greater respect and esteem than he often receives.[2]

1. He was Reformed. Gill tirelessly defended that system commonly called Calvinism. “Perhaps, no man, since the days of St. Augustine, has written so largely, in defence of the system of Grace; and, certainly, no man has treated that momentous subject, in all its branches, more closely, judiciously, and successfully” (Toplady). Thus if you love to read those doctrines that best extol God and His free grace—read Gill.

2. He was Baptistic. He wrote several major works on baptism: The Ancient Mode of Baptism by Immersion (1726), and Antipedobaptism, or, Infant Sprinkling an Innovation (1753). His Reformed and Baptist convictions are fully seen in his Body of Divinity, the first systematic theology written from a baptistic perspective. “John Gill can be claimed to be the first and greatest Baptist who stood in the traditions of the Reformers and Puritans to work out a definite systematic theology for his own church and the Baptist movement as a whole” (Ella). Thus if you love to read works from our Baptist forefathers—read Gill.

3. He was theological. No man defended the truth more in the eighteenth Century, than did John Gill. He wrote against Deism, Liberalism, Catholicism, Pedobaptism, Anglicanism, Arminianism, and Antinomianism. “The Doctor considered not any subject superficially, or by halves. As deeply as human sagacity, enlightened by grace, could penetrate, he went to the bottom of every thing he engaged in” (Toplady). Gill’s theological works are characterized by precision and profound Scriptural and logical arguments. Thus if you love to read works that defend the old paths—read Gill.

4. He was pastoral. “Gill was a prolific author and it is commonly assumed that he spent most of his time writing with a view to publication, thus spending far less time on sermon preparation and pastoral work. The fact is that most of the over 10,000 pages of his works started life as sermon notes or grew out of conversations with his church members and fellow ministers” (Ella). He pastored the same church for 51 years, receiving the deepest love and adoration from his people. His sermons are characterized by pastoral care and sensitivity. Thus if you love to read sermons that emphasize warm-hearted experimental religion—read Gill.

5. He was Christocentric. This is perhaps the greatest reason to read Gill. His commentaries, sermons, tracks, and Body of Divinity are full of Christ. This becomes evident by merely considering his sermon titles: The Fullness of the Mediator; Christ the Savior from the Tempest; The Necessity of Christ’s Making Satisfaction for Sin, Proved and Confirmed; The Appearance of Christ in Human Nature, and His Discoveries of Himself to His People, Comparable to the Light of the Morning; The Manifestation of Christ as a Savior to his People a Cause of Great Joy. Furthermore, Gill excelled at preaching Christ from the OT Scriptures: The Meat-Offering Typical both of Christ and of His People; The Table and Show-Bread, Typical of Christ and His Church; The Wave-Sheaf Typical of Christ; Solomon’s Temple a Figure of the Church: and the Two Pillars, Jachin and Boas, Typical of Christ; David a Type of Christ. Thus if you love to read Christ-exalting and glorifying material—read Gill.

In short, while Gill was not without his faults, it is my opinion, his writings deserve a larger reading than they presently have. In the words of Augustus Toplady: “While true religion, and sound learning, have a single friend in the British empire, the works and name of Gill will be precious and revered.”

Mike Waters
Heritage Reformed Baptist Church
North Canton, Ohio
 

[1] Gill’s strengths were often his weaknesses: (1) in emphasizing God’s eternal purposes he may have failed to stress their application in time, and (2) in attempting to interpret the OT he is accused of finding Christ where He was never intended.

[2] There are fundamentally three sources of Gill’s writings: (1) his commentary on the Old and New Testaments, (2) his Body of Divinity, which consists of two parts, Doctrinal and Practical Theology, and (3) a multivolume set of Sermons and Tracks which includes a selection of sermons and his major theological works. Much, if not all of these writings can be purchased at www.gospelmissionbooks.com

  1. Logos Bible Software has the works of John Gill in community pricing. Still needs more people to commit before they will start producing it, but hoping to see it go through!

    http://www.logos.com/product/8514/the-works-of-john-gill

  2. [...] Watters posts reasons to read John Gill. Twitter Facebook Del.icio.us Google November 18, 2011 | Posted in: Uncategorized | No [...]

  3. Here is a sight which contains much (if not most) of Gill’s writings for free.

    http://www.pbministries.org/books/gill/gills_archive.htm

  4. Mike, do you believe Gill should accurately be labeled a Hyper-calvinist?

  5. Pat.

    Thank you for your question. As you likely know, defining a Hyper-Calvinist is not easy. Historically, there seems to be two marks: (1) the denial of the church’s responsibility to preach the gospel to every creature, and (2) the denial of the sinner’s responsibility to repent and believe that gospel when heard. If judged by these two points, no, Gill should not be accurately labeled a Hyper-Calvinist.

    Yet, while I believe this is a proper answer, I would offer these two clarifications or admissions:

    1. Gill’s Calvinism is “higher” than mine. By this I simply mean, I do not agree with his understanding on every text. He often interprets texts more “narrow” than I would, yet, remaining well within the orthodox reformed and puritan tradition. Thus, I refer to him as a “high” Calvinist, similar to that of Turretin and Owen, in contrast to to what we might call the “lower” Calvinism of Boston and Spurgeon.

    2. Gill’s evangelistic preaching did not match that of Boston and Spurgeon. Admittedly, Gill lacked the exhortative abilities of the Marrow men and many of the puritans. Yet, contrary to popular opinion, he did exhort poor sinners to repent from their sins, believe on Christ, and be saved.

    “Knowing, therefore, the terrors of the Lord, let me persuade you to close with Christ., and never rest, till you can say, the Lord our righteousness. who knows, but the Lord may have mercy on, nay, abundantly pardon you? Beg of God to give you faith; and if the Lord give you that, you will by it receive Christ, with his righteousness, and his all. You need not fear the greatness or number of your sins. For you are sinners? So am I…For Christ’s sake, arise and come home! Your heavenly Father now calls you. See, yonder the best robe, even the righteousness of his dear Son awaits you… Consider at how dear a rate it was purchased, even by the blood of God. Consider what great need you have of it. You are lost, undone, damned for ever, without it. Come then, poor, guilty prodigals, come home.”

  6. Classic Bible Commentaries are online. The first one that apperas is Matthew Henry but then, when you select the passage you can choose Gill. I have found it very useful. He knew a lot about several ancient bible versions like ethiopic, arabic and was very learned about the hebraic and talmudic comments and traditions as well. If you are not able to buy the commentaries (as in my case) take a look here:

    http://www.ewordtoday.com/comments/genesis/gill/genesis1.htm

    Blessings in Christ

    Alexander

  7. I read Gill regularly in both studying theology and sermon preparation.

  8. Gill is the man! And no, he was not a hyper Calvinist…

    http://feileadhmor.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/calvinism-chart/

  9. [...] Five Reasons to Read John Gill « Reformed Baptist Fellowship [...]

  10. “When Gill’s writings are considered, the weight of the evidence supports the traditional view that he was a Hyper-Calvinist.” Robert W. Oliver’s review of By His Grace and for His Glory, A Historical, Theological and Practical Study of the Doctrines of Grace in Baptist Life by Thomas J. Nettles in The Banner of Truth, 284 (May 1987), 32.

    See also the assessment Gill’s Calvinism by Tom Ascol, Michael Haykin, Erroll Hulse, and Iain Murray here.

  11. George Ella, “Though contemporary American works such as Thomas J. Nettle`s By His Grace and for His Glory and Timothy George`s essay on Gill in Baptist Theologians show clearly that Gill was no Hyper-Calvinist but a great Reformed 18th century defender of orthodoxy and Baptist apologist, he is being displayed in modern British evangelical circles as a Hyper-Calvinist heretic with not an ounce of evangelical acumen in him. Jack Hoad in his book, The Baptist, maintains that “Dr John Gill was the prince of the hypercalvinistic preachers “, calling those Hyper-Calvinists whom he believes adopt “a supralapsarian view that God`s decree of election preceded his decree to permit the Fall of man .” Hoad is convinced that it was Gill`s influence ´which was a major factor in the retention of a High Calvinist theology` in the Baptist churches.”

    http://evangelica.de/articles/biographies/john-gill-and-the-charge-of-hyper-calvinism/

    Turretinfan on Curt Daniels pop theological thesis about hyper Calvinism with a mentioned to Gill:

    http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2010/03/curt-daniels-thesis-hyper-calvinism-and.html

    A short review of Robert Oliver’s work titled, “Emerging Deconstructionism”

    http://www.go-newfocus.com/pages.php?section=25&subsection=7&artID=168

  12. Dr Bob.

    Thank you for the link. I fear it largely proves what I have above asserted, namely, that most men fail to give Gill a fair reading, but merely pass on previous opinions. Because Gill’s writings are so numerous, it’s rather easy to make him say anything. This is a problem we have often seen with Calvin. Some have proven Calvin was a Hyper-Calvinists others an Arminian. I fear very few men have read Gill widely for themselves. Furthermore, simply because Gill’s Calvinism is higher than ours, does not make him a Hyper-Calvinist. This is what becomes evident in both Ascol and Haykin. They admit that Gill believed the gospel should be preached to every creature, yet, because he did not like the term “offer” they label him a Hyper-Calvinist. I speak as one who is an unashamed “lower Calvinist.” That is, of the Spurgeon type. Yet, speaking as one who reads Gill first hand (I read him more than any other author), I believe I am able to defend him from the faulty accusations of both Hyper-Calvinism and Antinomianism. I am convinced that if more read Gill for themselves, they too would come to appreciate the defender of “THE CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH.”

  13. Mike,

    I’m aware of the distinctions some make between “hyper-” and “ultra high-” Calvinism. But I don’t believe Calvin would have denied God offers the gospel to fallen men indiscriminately or that God desires the sinners, whether elect or non-elect, comply with the terms of his law and/or his gospel. In this sense, Gill goes beyond Calvin and, I believe, beyond, Moses, Jesus, and Paul. So the hyper/ultra-high distinction doesn’t make a whole lot of difference in my mind. They’re both forms of “uber-Calvinism.” Both are movements away from a more biblical Calvinism. For this reason, I’m more sympathetic to the cautions of Ascol (who did his dissertation on Gill), Haykin, Hulse, and Murray.

    Of course, my distaste for Gill’s uber-Calvinism doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate any of his contributions. He was a very learned man. His commentaries are helpful. Some of this theology is good. But due to his imbalances, I don’t usually recommend him to the average layperson–at least not without serious qualifications.

    Grace and peace,
    Bob G.

  14. Dr Bob.

    For an expanded and well-documented defense of Gill I would recommend Tom Nettles’ THE BAPTISTS, volume 1, pages 195-242. It is both an accurate and fair treatment. Yet, far better than this, read Gill first hand. Read his sermons wherein his pastoral heart is made evident.

    For example: in a sermon on Matt.8:25, “Lord save us; we perish,” after proving that Christ has power to save, he then turns to the unconverted:

    …Every man and woman are liable to the curses of the law, and to the wrath of God, for the violation of it. God’s elect themselves are, by nature, the children of wrath, even as others; equally deserving of it, as being in their nature-head, and in their nature-state…

    …Now, where should such poor, perishing creatures apply but to Christ, as the disciples, in their distress; and say to him, as they did, Lord, save us; we perish. Should they not go in an humble manner, as Benhadad’s servants did to the king of Israel, and prostrate themselves at his feet; and day, as the Publican did, God be merciful to us sinners? Should they not go to him with the resolution of Esther saying, If we perish, we will perish at the feet of Jesus? Such souls have a great deal of reason to believe they shall find this man, this God-man, and Mediator the Lord Jesus Christ, an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest. Whither should they go, whither can they go, but unto him, who has the words of eternal life? God has appointed him to be his salvation unto the ends of the earth; he sent him, and he came to be the Savior of the world. It is faithful saying, deserves credit, and is worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save the chief of sinners: He is become the author of eternal salvation to all that obey him: his name is called Jesus, because he saved his people from all their sins, and from all the dreadful effects of them; He saves them from the law, from curse, and and condemnation by it; from Satan and the world, from hell, the second death and wrath to come: He is mighty to save, able to save to the uttermost, all that come to God by him: AND HE IS AS WILLING AS HE IS ABLE; for he has said, Look unto me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none other…

  15. The question is whether or not Gill believed such “willingness” on the part of God was to be taken literally or figuratively.

    Commenting on Psalm 81:13, 14, where God expresses his wish that Israel had listened to him so that God might bless them
    , Gill says,

    “Such a wish can only be ascribed to him in a figurative sense…. a human way of speaking; … and expresses God’s compassionate concern for the temporal welfare of Ephraim and Israel, and not transports of affection, and desire after the spiritual welfare of any, much less of all mankind.”

    So it turns out (1) we can’t take God’s wish at face value. It may mean that God approves of faith and obedience in the abstract but it doesn’t mean he actually desires any saving response from the people of whom he speaks (see his treatment of Deut 5:29; 32:32). (2) Whatever response God’s words are intended to provoke and whatever attendant blessings, Gill limits these to the temporal sphere (see his comments on John 5:34).

    There are more examples from his The Cause of God and Truth I could cite.

    Once again, I’m not discounting all value in Gill’s writings. I think pastors should read them. Nevertheless, I share the same concerns as Spurgeon. Even if Gill were only “ultra-high” and not quite full-blown “hyper,” some of this theology tends to breed hyper-Calvinism. Indeed, Spurgeon refers to him as the “Coryphaeus [head, leader] of Hyper-Calvinism.” So writes Spurgeon, The system of theology with which many identify his name has chilled many churches to their very soul for it has lead them to omit the free invitations of the gospel.”

  16. The following is a section taken from an article by a Primitive Baptist defending Gill from the charge of Hardshellism or Hyper Calvinism.

    From Gill’s Commentary

    Commenting on Proverbs 11:30:

    Again Christ’s ministers are called ‘fishers’ of men, and are said to ‘catch’ men, Matt. 4:19, Luke 4:10; and which they do by casting and spreading the net of the Gospel; the Gospel is the net; the world is the sea into which it is cast: where natural men are in their element, as fishes in the sea; the casting of the net is the preaching of the Gospel; and by means of this souls are caught and gathered in to Christ and his churches, Matt. 13:47 (Volume 3, page 28).

    Commenting on Mark 16:16:
    ‘To every creature,’ that is, to every man; and particularly the Gentiles, as distinguished from the Jews, are often intended by this phase . . . Now to these, Christ would have the Gospel preached, as well as to the Jews; even to all, without distinction of people, Jews and Gentiles, Barbarians, Scythians, bond and free, male and female, rich and poor, greater or lesser sinners, even to all mankind (Volume 5, page 401).

    Romans 1:16:
    It (the gospel) is the power of God organically or instrumentally; as it is a means made use of by God in quickening dead sinners, enlightening blind eyes, unstopping deaf ears, softening hard hearts, and making of enemies friends (Volume 6, pages 5, 6).

    Romans 10:14:
    On this passage, Gill says that “it was absolutely necessary that the Gospel should be preached to the Gentiles, as well as to the Jews.” He goes on to say, “There is no hearing of Christ, and salvation by him, without the preaching of the Gospel; the usual and ordinary way of hearing from God, and of Christ, is by the ministry of the word: this shows not only the necessity and usefulness of the Gospel ministry, but also points out the subject-matter of it, which is Christ, and him crucified” (Vol. 6, page 90).

    Romans 10:17:
    ‘So then faith cometh by hearing’ & c. That is, by preaching; for the word hearing is used in the same sense as in the preceding verse; and designs the report of the Gospel, or the preaching of the word, which is the means God makes use of to convey faith into the hearts of his people; for preachers are ministers, or instruments, by whom others believe (Vol. 6, p. 9).

    I Corinthians 1:18:
    ‘It (the Gospel) is the power of God;’ organically or instrumentally; it being the means of quickening them when dead in sin, of enlightening their dark minds, or unstopping their deaf ears, of softening their hard hearts, and of enemies making them friends to God, Christ, and his people: and it is likewise so declaratively, there being a wonderful display of the power of God in the ministration of it; as may be seen when observed who were the first preachers of it, men of no figure in life, of no education, illiterate mechanics, very mean and abject; into these earthen vessels were put the treasure of the Gospel, that the excellency of the power might appear to be of God, and not man (Volume 6, page 155).

    I Corinthians 4:15:
    ‘For in Christ Jesus have I begotten you through the Gospel;’ which is to be understood of regeneration, a being born again, and from above; of being quickened when dead in trespasses and sins; of having Christ formed in the soul; of being made a partaker of the Divine nature, and a new creature: which the apostle ascribes to himself, not as the efficient cause thereof, for regeneration is not of men but of God; not of the will of the flesh, of a man’s own free-will and power, nor of the will of any other man, or minister; but of the sovereign will, grace, and mercy of God, Father, Son, and Spirit.
    The Father of Christ begets us again according to his abundant mercy; and the Son quickens whom he will; and we are born again of water and of the Spirit, of the grace of the Spirit; hence the washing of regeneration, and renewing work, are ascribed to him; but the apostle speaks this of himself, only as the instrument or means, which God made use of in doing this work upon the hearts of his people; and which the other phrases show; for he is said to do it ‘in Christ;’ he preached Christ unto them, and salvation by him, and the necessity of faith in him; he directed them to him to believe in him, and was the means of bringing of them to the faith of Christ:
    And it was the power and grace of Christ accompanying his ministry, which made it an effectual means of their regeneration and conversion; and which were brought about ‘through the Gospel;’ not through the preaching of the law; for though by that is the knowledge of sin, and convictions may be wrought by such means; yet these leave nothing but a sense of wrath and damnation; nor is the law any other than a killing letter; no regeneration, no quickening grace, no faith nor holiness come this way, but through the preaching the Gospel; in and through which, as a vehicle, the Spirit of God conveys himself into the heart, as a Spirit of regeneration and faith; and God of his own will and rich mercy, by the word of truth, by the Gospel of grace and truth, which came by Christ, so called in distinction from the law which came by Moses, begets us again as his new creatures; which shows the usefulness of the Gospel ministry, and in what account Gospel ministers are to be had, who are spiritual fathers, or the instruments of the conversion of men (Volume 6, page 174).

    I Corinthians 1:21:
    This (preaching), through efficacious grace, becomes the means of regenerating and quickening men, showing them their need of salvation, and where it is, and of working faith in them to look to Christ for it (Vol. 6, p. 156).

    I Corinthians 4:20:
    Gill says that the “power” spoken of in this verse has reference to “the powerful efficacy of the Spirit, attending the preaching of the Gospel to the quickening of dead sinners, the enlightening of blind eyes, and unstopping of deaf ears; the softening of hard hearts, the delivering of persons from the slavery of sin and Satan, the transforming and renewing of them both inwardly and outwardly (Vol. 6, p. 176).

    I Corinthians 9:22:
    ‘That I might by all means save some;’ that is, that he might be the means of saving some of Jews and Gentiles, and of all sorts of men; by preaching the Gospel of salvation to them, and by directing them to Christ, the only Saviour of lost sinners; thus he explains what he means by so often saying that he might ‘gain’ them (Volume 6, page 208).

    I Corinthians 15:2:
    It (the Gospel) was the means of their salvation, and had been made the power of God unto salvation to them. Salvation is inseparably connected with true faith in Christ as a Saviour, etc. (Volume 6, page 255).

    II Corinthians 3:6:
    It (the Gospel) is a means in the hand of the Spirit of God, of quickening dead sinners, of healing the deadly wounds of sin, of showing the way of life by Christ, and of working faith in the soul, to look to him, and live upon him; etc. (Vol. 6, p. 293).

    II Corinthians 10:16:
    ‘To preach the Gospel in the regions beyond you,’ etc. Here the apostle clearly expresses what he hoped for, and explains what he meant by being enlarged according to rule; namely, that he should be at liberty to preach the Gospel elsewhere; and hoped he should be directed by the providence of God, to carry it into the more remote and distant parts of the world, where as yet Christ had not been named,” etc. (Volume 6, page 336).

    Galatians 4:13:
    ‘I preached the Gospel unto you at the first;’ not the law, but the Gospel; and this he did at his first entrance among them, and was the first that preached it to them; and was the means of their conversion: and therefore, being their spiritual father, they ought to be as he was, and follow him as they had for an example (Volume 6, page 394).

    James 1:18:
    Gill says that “the Word of truth” of this passage means “The Gospel, which is the word of truth, and truth itself, and contains nothing but truth; and by this souls are begotten and born again; see Eph. 1:13, I Pet. 1:23; and hence ministers of it are accounted spiritual fathers. Faith, and every other grace in regeneration, and even the Spirit himself, the Regenerator, come this way (Volume 6, page 783).

    I Peter 1:23:
    Gill says that “the word of God” of this verse is “the Gospel, the word of truth, which is made use of as a means of begetting souls again (Volume 6, page 783).

    Much more can be found here:

    http://feileadhmor.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/gill-on-the-use-of-means-in-the-new-birth/

  17. Dr Bob,

    It seems we are not going to agree on this one. I appreciate your honesty and the fact that you do not discount Gill’s usefulness in total. I admit that Gill interprets several texts more narrow than me (as does Calvin, Owen, Turretin, and many others), yet, (1) I don’t think this warrants the treatment he has received, and (2) I don’t think many/most read him wide enough to see the full Gill. He did believe God has a general love for mankind lost and did warn and woo sinners to come to Christ. Spurgeon (as you know) mostly spoke well of Gill. Concerning his commentaries he said, “In some respects, he has no superior. For good, sound, massive, sober sense in commenting who can excel Gill”?

    Gill was largely esteemed by his contemporaries, who viewed him as a champion for truth. For example, in order to hear Gill themselves, several churches throughout London implored him to give a weekly lecture which he did from 1729 to 1756. “The ministry of Mr Gill being acceptable not only to his own people, but likewise to many in other churches, and of other denominations; some gentlemen moved among themselves to set up a lecture on some day in the week, that they might have the opportunity of hearing him” (Rippon). Gill had a large heart for the whole church, and was greatly loved by a single church which he faithfully pastored for 51 yrs.

    IN 1770 as death drew near, Gill took to his pen to write his Dying Thoughts. The question he asked himself was, “Wherein lies this readiness and preparation for death and eternity”? He provides several faulty grounds: (1) a well-spent life, (2) having treated men justly, (3) alms giving to the poor, (4) a blind hope in God’s mercy, (5) confidence they’ve made peace with God without knowing “Christ ONLY is the peace-maker,” (6) “others make their readiness for death to lie in a little negative holiness, and thank God, as the Pharisee did, that they are not as other men are,” (7) “others, please themselves with a profession of religion they have made and held,” and (8) “Not any external righteousness whatever makes a man ready for death and eternity. For by it he is not justified before God, and by it he is not saved. Except he has a BETTER righteousness, he will never enter into the kingdom of heaven. And it should be our concern, with the apostle, to be found in Christ, and in His righteousness, and not in our own, which will leave us short of heaven and happiness.”

    Gill died and entered his eternal rest on October 14, 1771, at 74 yrs of age. He was buried in Bunhill Fields along side Bunyan, Goodwin and Owen.

  18. Mike,

    I respect your appreciation for Gill. Confessedly, I haven’t read as much of him as you have. I still think the dangers of hyper and ultra-high as well as some elements of high-calvinism are real and strike at the way one views God and the gospel. But I’m willing to concede that there’s plenty of good to be gained from Gill’s writings.

    Thanks for your post, brother, and for your love of the truth.

    BG

  19. Dear Mike

    Can you provide a source for your quote (ending “Come then, poor, guilty prodigals, come home”) from Gill? It is word-for-word the same as a George Whitefield sermon which is easily found through google search.

    I would second Bob Gonzales’ comment about the dangers of very high (or even hyper) calvinism. But Gill is my favourite whole-bible commentator. Above Henry, Poole, Calvin.

    Jonathan

  20. I would be less concerned with Gill and more concerned with the weak theology of the Marrow Men…their hyper evangelism and their similar to Amyraldism. If one is concerned that Gill’s high Calvinism leads to hyper Calvinism, one should also be concerned with Marrowism leading to Amyraldism.

  21. Jonathan.

    It appears you are right. The quote (ending, “Come then poor, etc”), was Whitefield. I took it from Nettles’ Chapter on Gill in Baptist History in the section where he was contrasting the two men. I quoted Whitefield instead of Gill. Gill’s quotation follows, in which Nettles attempts to show that Gill (like Whitefield), was not “opposed to such encouragements (to the sinner) as characterized Whitefield’s ministry.” Please accept my apologies for the oversight (it was not intentional). The second quotation above (see post directed toward Bob G), is taken from Sermon and Tracts, Volume 2, 39-40.

    By the way, the quotation provided by Nettles (showing Gill’s willing to encourage sinners to come to Christ), sounds similar to Whitfield (which was Nettles’ point):

    …What encouragement is here for poor sinners from hence to hope for grace and mercy through Christ? What though, poor soul, thou seest the abounding of sin in thy nature, and in every power and faculty of thy soul; yet look up and view the super-abounding grace of God streaming through the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ; it is a mercy that thou seest the plague of thine own heart, and art not left to thy native blindness, to a vain conceit of the goodness of thy estate, when thou were poor, wretched, miserable, and blind and naked; take heart, therefore, and do not be discouraged; Christ’s grace is sufficient for thee; and where sin abounded, grace has much more so; there is enough in Christ for thee; there is righteousness to clothe, and bread to nourish, grace to sanctify, strength to support, and every thing needful for thee; go to him as a poor perishing sinner, implore his grace, and venture on Him, I dare say He will not reject thee…

    Such quotations as these (provided by me in these posts) are common throughout Gill’s sermons. Let us read Gill widely (beyond commentaries) before coming to any dogmatic conclusions. Let us, dear brethren, read Gill FOR OURSELVES.

  22. […] John Gill! I'd encourage everyone to read him. Also check out this blog: Five Reasons to Read John Gill | Reformed Baptist Fellowship Josh Williamson Pastor – Craigie Reformed Baptist Church Perth, Scotland (from September 2013) […]

  23. […] The following was originally posted at Reformed Baptist Fellowship, November 18, 2011 by Mike Waters of Heritage Reformed Baptist Church, North Canton Ohio.  This is merely a summary, for the full text click here. […]

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