Getting to Know Andrew Fuller . . . and Ourselves

An excellent place to begin reading Fuller is with his letters as compiled in The Armies of the Lamb: The Spirituality of Andrew Fuller which were edited by our own Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin. After offering a brief biographical sketch, Haykin then gives the actual text of the letters, along with footnotes to describe particular people and events to which Fuller refers and with which the reader may be unaware. As one might expect, there are a number of recurring themes in Fuller’s letters. I’ve noted at least three such themes. These themes include a recognition of his own inadequacies, a sense of dependence upon the Holy Spirit and prayer, and an emphasis on the preciousness of Christ.
The forty-six letters by Andrew Fuller contained in The Armies of the Lamb are not ordered by Dr. Haykin in the chronological order in which they were written. Instead Dr. Haykin seems to have organized the letters in such a way that their content more or less follows the chronology of Fuller’s life. For example, the first two letters included were written in 1798 and the third in 1815 (the year of Fuller’s death), but all three of these letters describe various details relating to Fuller’s own conversion as a young man years earlier.
In the days ahead I would like to explore the spirituality of Andrew Fuller through looking at some of his personal letters. The reading of these letters has hopefully made an impact upon my own spiritual life. I have been convicted by my failure to recognize my own inadequacies, challenged to depend more upon the Holy Spirit and prayer, and encouraged to look to Christ and Him crucified. In the posts which follow I would like for us to see each of these themes in Fuller’s own words while making personal application of these themes to our own lives.

More to come . . .

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Getting to Know Andrew Fuller . . . and Ourselves

  1. Chris Chun

    Dear Steve,

    Thanks for pointing out the chronology of Fuller’s letter. I have a question though for you or anyone else who might have answer to the following query. Please correct me if I am wrong, but the general consensus of the secondary literature on Fuller (e.g. Clipsham, Morden, Oliver) indicates that throughout his life he altered his theological viewpoint. For example, Clipsham articulated that these changes took place over three stages: before 1787 (earlier view), between 1787-1799 (intermediate view), and after 1806 (mature view). If what Clipsham has argued is historically accurate, then the dating of Fuller’s writings becomes extremely significant for my research. Unfortunately, the Sprinkle editions, with which I am currently working, do not have all the dates. Would you or anyone happen to know where I could find the publication dates for Fuller’s entire corpus? Alternatively, if you or anyone to have easy access to such information, would you mind sharing if with me?

    kind regards,
    Chris Chun

  2. Paul Brewster

    Dear Chris,

    John Ryland’s biography of Fuller gives an overview of his writings together with dates for many; J. W. Morris’s biography does also. Putting the two together, you’ll have most of them. Starr’s bibliography will fill in just about anything that’s left.

    Blessings,

    Paul Brewster

  3. Steve Weaver

    That’s exactly what I would have said. 🙂

  4. Chris Chun

    Thank you Paul, that’s quite helpful.
    Actually, I was unaware of Starr’s Bibliography… May I get more information on this Bibliography?

    Kindly,
    Chris

  5. Paul Brewster

    Dear Chris,

    The series is found in most good reference sections of Baptist institutional libraries:

    EC Starr, A Baptist Bibliography: Being a Register of Printed Material by and About Baptists. 25 (?) volumes.

    Don’t feel bad–I didn’t know about it until the last few months, and that due to a tip from Dr. Haykin. A rather dramatic failure of my Baptist seminary master’s degree, which institution shall remain nameless to protect the innocent.

    By the way, how on earth do you use italics in this little blog-comment window?

    Paul Brewster

  6. Paul Brewster

    Dear Chris,

    I forgot to mention that Starr’s bibliography is also available online at: baptistheritage.com

    The nearly all-knowing Baptist librarian & historian Nathan Finn pointed this out to me recently. To his credit, he managed to stifle his “well, duh.”

    I’d create the neat-o link to the baptist heritage website but that knowledge, like italics, is too high for me.

    Blessings,

    Paul Brewster

  7. Allen R. Mickle, Jr.

    Paul,

    Thanks for the tips. Just to let you know, all those things like italics and links, etc. can be done in comments by using HTML tags. If you are unsure about common tags, just do a google search for HTML tags and it will tell you all about them.

    God bless (I know I’m a show off!).

    Allen Mickle

  8. Paul Brewster

    Dear Allen,

    Thanks, pal. I got it all except for the “google,” “HTML,” and “tag” parts.

    I’ll check my yellow-legal pad help manual one of these days and get up to speed.

    Paul

  9. Chris Chun

    This is fabulous! Especially, since I never studied in Baptist college or seminary. Thanks for managing to hold your “well, duhs” as well.
    Regarding the italics, I am afraid, I’m still in the dark ages…

    Advent Greetings,
    Chris

  10. Warren

    This book has been an outstanding blessing to me. I’ve read it through three times — twice because Dr. Haykin required it for class, and once just because I wanted to review some of what Fuller wrote. I’ve told just about everyone I know to get a copy, and learn from it.

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