JOHN GILL (1697-1771), English Nonconformist divine, was born at Kettering, Northamptonshire. His parents were poor and he owed his education chiefly to his own perseverance. In November 1716 he was baptized and began to preach at Higham Ferrers and Kettering, until the beginning of 1719, when he became pastor of the Baptist congregation at Horsleydown in Southwark. There he continued till 1757, when he removed to a chapel near London Bridge. From 1729 to 1756 he was Wednesday evening lecturer in Great Eastcheap. In 1748 he received the degree of D.D. from the university of Aberdeen. He died at Camberwell on the 14th of October 17 71. Gill was a great Hebrew scholar, and in his theology a sturdy Calvinist. His principal works are Exposition of the Song of Solomon (1728); The Prophecies of the Old Testament respecting the Messiah (1728); The Doctrine of the Trinity (1731); The Cause of God and Truth (4 vols., 1731); Exposition of the Bible, in 'co vols. (1746-1766), in preparing which he formed a large collection of Hebrew and Rabbinical books and MSS.; The Antiquity of the Hebrew Language - Letters, Vowel Points, and Accents (1767); A Body of Doctrinal Divinity (1767); A Body of Practical Divinity (1770); and Sermons and Tracts, with a memoir of his life (1773). An edition of his Exposition of the Bible appeared in 1816 with a memoir by John Rippon, which has also appeared separately.
Gill. (I) One of the branchiae which form the breathing apparatus of fishes and other animals that live in the water. The word is also applied to the branchiae of some kinds of worm and arachnids, and by transference to objects resembling the branchiae of fishes, such as the wattles of a fowl, or the radiating films on the under side of fungi. The word is of obscure origin. Danish has giaelle, and Swedish gal with the same meaning. The root which appears in "yawn," "chasm," has been suggested. If this be correct, the word will be in origin the same as "gill," often spelled "ghyll," meaning a glen or ravine, common in northern English dialects and also in Kent and Surrey. The g in both these words is hard. (2) A liquid measure usually holding one-fourth of a pint. The word comes through the O. Fr. gelle, from Low Lat. gello or gillo, a measure for wine. It is thus connected with "gallon." The g is soft. (3) An abbreviation of the feminine name Gillian, also often spelled Jill, as it is pronounced. Like Jack for a boy, with which it is often coupled, as in the nursery rhyme, it is used as a homely generic name for a girl.
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