Posted by: Jonny | March 5, 2009

Did Gill Read Edwards?

It appears that Jonathan Edwards at least read Gill’s Cause of God and Truth (footnote on p. 374, Freedom of the Will, Yale University Press).

The question I have is, was Gill familiar with Edwards and did he read Edwards? Phil Roberts, in his book, Continuity and Change, wrote that Gill read Edwards avidly (p. 138). However, there is no footnote and Dr. Roberts, although confident there was a reason for making such a statement, has been unable to recall what specific research led him to this conclusion.

This is interesting since the distinction between natural and moral in regard to man’s ability/freedom was made by Gill years before Edwards made the distinction in Freedom of the Will. The distinction likely predated Gill. Is anybody aware of any evidence that points to Gill reading Edwards?



  1. I can’t recall where I read it, but I’m almost positive that John Gill and Johnathan Edwards were aware of each other. However, I also know that Gill read JOHN Edwards, author of “Veritas Redux”, who was an English theologian. I’ve seen more than one writer who confused the two. I haven’t been able to determine whether this is the same John Edwards who is sometimes described as an “Cambridge Platonist”. I think perhaps this is yet another man with the same name. I’ll see if I can find the exact references when I get some free time.

  2. Steve,

    Thanks for your comment. I also would tend to think they were both aware of each other. But it would be nice to see some evidence of this. I think you are right about John Edwards. It appears Andrew Fuller confused the two. Please let me know if you find the references.

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