The Watchman’s Answer to the Question, What of the Night? is a 48 page pamphlet measuring 4 1/4 inches X 7 inches. It is printed on laid paper and sewn together with linen thread.
John Gill’s “The Watchman’s Answer to the Question, What of the Night?” gives the reader an interesting look into how an 18th century Baptist preacher interpreted the signs of the end of times. Based on Isaiah 21:11-12:
“The burden of Dumah (we today would translate this as addressing Edom). He calleth to me out of Seir, watchman, what of the night, what of the night? The watchman said, the morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye; return, come.”
Gill interprets this passage in regard to the question of how much longer were the people in Isaiah’s time to expect to live in a world ruled by darkness before the Messiah would bring forth the light of morning. Gill, writing this in England in 1750, saw all around him the darkness brought on first by Constantine’s creation of the Roman church and, in his time, the Enlightenment. Gill proclaims that “a sleepy frame of spirit has seized us; ministers and churches are asleep; and being so, the enemy is busy sowing the tares of errors and heresies, and which will grow up and spread yet more and more Coldness and indifference in spiritual things”.
The remainder of Gill’s sermon answers the question, “what time it is with us now? whereabout we are? and what is yet to come of this night?” You will want to read this sermon to discover Gill’s answer to the 18th century Baptist church. How is it similar and how does it differ from the message preached from today’s pulpit? This pamphlet should be of special interest to those who reenact as an 18th century parson.
Dr. Gill was a very well educated and well respected Baptist minister, in an age when Baptist ministers were on the whole not well regarded. Despite his learning, Gill seems to write in a relatively simple style for a wide audience.
You may purchase this pamphlet for $9.95 from my Etsy Store at the following link: Purchase Here