Dr. Gill's first words at the Carter Lane Meeting House.

The Meeting House at Carter Lane, Southwark, was opened on Oct. 9 1757. The Carter Lane Declaration of the faith and practice (based on the 1729 Goat Yard Declaration) had been drawn up. At the opening meeting John Gill, preached from Exodus 20;24. In the course of his message he made the following comments.

"As we have now opened a new place of worship, we enter upon it recording the Name of the Lord by preaching the doctrines of the grace of God, and free and full salvation alone by Jesus Christ; and by the administration of gospel ordinances, as they have been delivered to us. What doctrines may be taught in the place after I am gone is not for me to know; but as for my own part, I am at a point; I am determined, and have been long ago, what to make the subject of my ministry. It is upwards of forty years since I entered into the arduous work; and first sermon I ever preached was from these words of the apostle, 'For I am determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified:' and through the grace of God I have been enabled, in some good measure, to abide by the same resolution hitherto, as many of you here are my witness; and, I hope, through divine assistance, I ever shall, as long as I am in this tabernacle, and engaged in such a work. I am not afraid of the reproaches of man; I have been inured to these from my youth upwards; none of these things move me."


John Gill was born on Nov.23 1697 of Godly, Particular Baptist, parents, Edward and Elisabeth Gill. He proved himself to be an extremely able student, outstripping even his schoolmaster. By the age of twelve years he was proficient in Latin and Greek and was entering into the study of Hebrew. He was a scholar of tremendous ability, but received little formal education, partly because he, nor his parents, could submit to the religious programs of the Anglican dominated education establishments. However, he was awarded a D.D by Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 1748, which he never flaunted and of which he said, "I neither sought it, nor thought it, nor bought it."

Dr. Gill read most extensively and was, probably, the most acclaimed Hebraist ever to adorn the Christian scene. However, he was a retiring peaceable man, but would enter into controversy when 'The Cause of God and Truth' was assailed and, in fact, wrote a definitive work under that very title. His best writing is, probably, his 'Exposition of the Song of Solomon'. However, his greatest work is certainly the monumental exposition of the Old and New Testament, that is, dealing with every single word in the Bible. No other Christian writer has ever succeeded in such a task, not Calvin, nor Henry, in fact no one before and no one since. The last great writing of this venerable scholar was his work 'A Body of Divinity', published in 1769 just two years just prior to his death; this is probably the most complete Body of Divinity ever written; it is packed with doctrine and unpolluted with philosophy. The list of Gill's writing and attainments is too long for this brief resume. Dr. John Gill, in addition to meeting regularly with many Christians and preaching several times each week, wrote over ten million words, with an ordinary pen, and did his own proof reading. Just think about it!

Augustus Toplady wrote, "If any one man can be supposed to have trod the whole circle of human learning, it was Dr. Gill. --- --- It would, perhaps, try the constitutions of half the literati in England only to read, with care and attention, the whole of what Gill wrote."

"To all those who feel that they are greatly superior to John Gill, we extend our condolences. Surely they have lost their senses," Jay Green