Gill, John

Gill, John D.D., an eminent Biblical scholar, was born at Kettering, England, November 23, 1697. He received his education at the grammar-school in his native town. But the tuition of the school was only one of the means of education that he availed himself of. "As sure as that John Gill is in the bookseller's shop," became a proverbial expression. He left school and began preaching at the age of nineteen, and was pastor successively of the Baptist churches in Higham-Ferrers and Kettering. In 1719 he was settled at Horsleydown, Southwark, where he ministered for fifty-one years. He died October 14,1771. Short as was his term of preparatory study, he must have laid a good foundation, and have been diligent in his subsequent studies. He made himself an excellent Latin and Greek scholar, and a learned Orientalist. His Rabbinical studies were extensive and profound. The fruits of his learning are chiefly deposited in his commentary, a work valuable to consult, but so heavy and prolix in style as to repel any but very courageous readers. He was a voluminous author. For a time he exerted a commanding influence in his own denomination, and enjoyed high consideration with the religious public generally. In theology he was a Calvinist of the Supralapsarian type, and his peculiar doctrine concerning the relation of Christians to the law of God occasioned, though it scarcely justified, the charge of Antinomianism. His principal writings are,

1. Exposition of the Song of Solomon:

2. Prophecies respecting the Messiah fulfilled in Jesus:

3. The Cause of God and Truth, being an examination of the several passages of Scripture made use of by Arminians (4 vols. 8vo, 1735; new ed. Lond. 1838, 8vo): —

4. Exposition of the New Testament (3 volumes): —

5. Exposition of the Old Testament (6 volumes): —

6. Dissertation on the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, Letters, Vowel Points, and Accents:

7. A Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity:

8. Sermons and Tracts. He also wrote several treatises on Baptism, one of which, entitled Infant Baptism a Part and Pillar of Popery, has been republished in America. His Body of Divinity has also had some circulation in this country, and has been abridged. He received the degree of doctor of divinity from the University of Glasgow. (L.E.S.)

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