Monday, September 07, 2009

Elegy for John Gill


I just recently discovered an elegy given for John Gill upon his death by Benjamin Francis. It is contained in Sprinkle Publications’ reprint of A Brief Memoir of the Life and Writings of the Late Rev. John Gill, D. D., by John Rippon. I have included here two brief excerpts from this lengthy piece. Though we don’t speak in these forms today, we will have been faithful in our callings if our people can say these sorts of things about us one day. Seeing the result of ministries of the past helps us in aiming our efforts today. Let us give ourselves to our callings that we too might love our people, faithfully teaching and caring for them.

“To part with thee,- our ever watchful guide,-
To part with thee prompts our succeeding tears
Excites our sorrow, and our fear alarms.
No more we see thy venerable face
In sacred Zion, at her solemn feasts,
Exciting pleasure, reverence and love.
No more we hear they heart-reviving tongue,
Touch’d with a coal of bright celestial fire,
Unfold the wonders of redeeming grace!
No more new streams of truth divine we taste,
From thy unwearied and exhaustless quill!
Thy learned pen, incessantly employ’d,
For half an age, in they great Master’s cause,
Thy hand has chang’d for never-fading palms;
And thy vast labours in the gospel field,
For fifty-five revolving suns, receive
The bright reward of an immortal crown.

So glow’d thy bosom with the sacred fire
Of love supreme to thy redeeming God,
Divinely kindl’d in thy tender mind,
Nor ought abated with advancing age:
Hence thy loud praise for abounding grace,
Thy deep concern for never-dying souls,
And tender feelings for each brother’s woe:
Hence, for thy savior, thy unwearied zeal,
Thy various labors, and incessant toil:
And hence, thy relish and supreme esteem
For ev’ry stream of sacred truth, that flows
From revelation’s hallow’d spring, unmix’d
With muddy error, and insipid forms.

1 comment:

Adam Winters said...

I certainly hope words like these could be said of us when we come to the end of our Christian pilgrimage. I hope these words will be able to especially comfort you during this trying time, Dr. Van Neste.