Jul 30, 2011

Gill on Invitations


Dr. John Gill wrote:

"Faith is a motion of the soul unto Christ; having looked and gazed at him with wonder and pleasure, it moves towards him; this is expressed by coming unto him; "He that cometh to me", says Christ, "shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me", which explains what is meant by coming, "shall never thirst", John 6:35 which coming to Christ is upon an invitation given, encouraging to it; not only by others, by the Spirit and the bride, who say "come", Rev. 22:17 and by the ministers of the word; "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come!" and who, through the gospel trumpet being blown with power, and the sound of it attended with efficacious grace, they that are "ready to perish" come, Isa. 55:1 27:13 but also by Christ himself, who says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest!" Mt 11:28 such souls come, being influenced and powerfully wrought upon by the grace of God; "All that the Father giveth me", says Christ, "shall come to me"; efficacious grace will cause them to come, will bring them to him, through all discouragements, difficulties, and objections, and which are all removed by what follows; "and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out", John 6:37." (A Body of PRACTICAL Divinity, Book 1, Chapter 6 - "Of Faith in God and in Christ," section 2b2b)

One of the criticisms of the great Calvinistic Baptist theologian, Dr. John Gill, is that he was guilty of Hyper Calvinism, but this is a false charge. That some Arminians would claim such is not surprising, for they call any Calvinist, moderate or otherwise, a Hyper Calvinist. But, that any Calvinist or honest Arminian would do so, after reading Gill thoroughly, is shocking and unjustified. The major criticism and justification for calling Gill a Hyper Calvinist lies in his supposed denial of giving "invitations" or "offers" of grace and salvation to the lost and unregenerate. Now, Gill may have said some things in some places where he may have seemed to deny such offers and invitations, he certainly endorses them in the above words from his "Body of Divinity," that work which he wrote later in his life.

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