Andrew Fuller: A Shamgar

I’m not sure whose idea this blog was, but I look forward to the interaction it will bring. Up until now I have been an occasional blog-reader, but never a blogger. I have been tempted to post before, but never did. This temptation was too strong to pass up. I’d like to test the potentional of the format as a research assistant.

I’d like to see if this new blog can help me trace the source of an unidentified quote. In a 1920 article in The Review and Expositor, W.W. Everts cites William R. Williams without providing documentation. He credits Williams as saying of Fuller: “A mere Shamgar, as it might seem, he entered the battlefield with but an ox goad against the mailed erroists [sic] of his time . . . The man who encountered him in argument generally bore from the encounter the marks of a bludgeon.” (The Review and Expositor 17 (1920): 414. I have tried to track that citation in Williams. I can find only the second portion of it, in an 1877 edition of Williams’s Lectures on Baptist History. Does anybody know where Williams wrote the Shamgar part, if he did at all?

In a related matter, John T. Christian’s baptist history also gives the Shamgar-line. Christian put the sentence in quotes, but gives no source at all. To make matters worse, he uses the second part of the cite–the marks of the bludgeon phrase–with no quotation marks or hint that it was cited.

After researching Fuller for several years, I think that I have seen the same quote used elsewhere. So far, though, I cannot find it again. Does anybody know anything more about the line?

Paul Brewster
Hampstead, NC


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5 responses to “Andrew Fuller: A Shamgar

  1. Anonymous

    Bro. Paul,

    I do not know the source of the quote, but I would suggest you contact Jason Fowler in the archives at Southern Seminary. William William’s papers are located in their archives, and it may well be that Jason would have access to your missing quote. You can email him at or call the main seminary 800 number and ask for the archives.


  2. C G

    Paul, what’s your area of interest in Fuller?

  3. Paul Brewster

    Dear CG:

    At present, finishing a dissertation entitled: “Andrew Fuller: A Model Baptist Pastor-Theologian.” I would like to do additional study on Fuller in the future, especially on his impact on American Baptists. I have already conducted research and done some writing on Fuller’s defense of closed-communion.

    Paul Brewster

  4. Paul Brewster

    Back to good ol’ Shamgar…
    So we have no William R. Williams experts out there? I did find that Thomas Armitage concurs that Williams used the Shamgar line. Once again, he provides no documentation. I think that was the other reference I had recalled seeing. I guess that means following Nathan’s tip and throwing myself at the mercy of a library archivist. Cruel fate!

  5. Anonymous

    We can be cruel people, Paul.

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