John Gill's First Words at Carter Lane

    Many have read and justly quoted Spurgeon's first words in the Metropolitan Tabernacle. They are worthy to be inscribed upon every pulpit in the world. It should be required of every preacher that he put into practice what Spurgeon said on that momentous occasion. But few have read or heard the first words spoken by his venerable predecessor, John Gill, at the opening of the house of worship at Carter lane more than 100 years earlier. A comparison of the two will show that Spurgeon followed Gill in doctrine and practice as well as in the pastoral office.

    The meeting house at Carter Lane was opened on October 9, 1757. The pastor, John Gill, preached from Exodus 20:24. In the course of his message he made the 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 of 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 this 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 the first sermon I ever preached was from those 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 witnesses; 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."


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