BODY OF DIVINITY, Dr. John Gill. Published by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Mich. 1,023 pages. Price $10.00.
Dr. John Gill was an English divine of the eighteenth century. He is known to many of us because of his pronounced views on predestination and the sovereignty of God.
In his Body of Divinity he offers us a complete system. It is divided into two parts: 1. A Body of doctrinal Divinity; 2. A Body of Practical Divinity.
In the first part he treats five loci of dogmatics: theology, anthropology, Christology, soteriology, and eschatology. The doctrine of the church and the means of grace is not treated under the first, but under the second part. We cannot discover a reason for this order.
On the whole, I gladly recommend this work of Dr. Gill, not only to our ministers, but to all who are interested in sound doctrine and who do not hesitate to put on their thinking-cap. The work is rather scholarly yet not so that it is beyond the reach of the average reader. It is comparable to the work of Brakel, well-known to our older Dutch readers.
The work is doctrinally sound. But this statement must be made with certain restrictions.
1. Under the attributes of God, Dr. Gill speaks of common grace, p. 82 ff.
2. As a pronounced Baptist he vehemently opposes infant baptism, which he considers “a part and pillar of popery.” Cf. pp. 856, 896 ff.
3. He offers a very peculiar view of the “millenium”, which, according to him, is a personal reign of Christ with all His saints on the new earth, before the resurrection of the wicked and the final judgment, p. 643 ff.
With these restrictions, I heartily recommend the book to the discerning reader.