Andrew Fuller - 'English Baptist Divine'

Fuller’s theology was never relegated to the confines of sermons or books. Instead, he lived out his beliefs in the real world. No where is this better seen than in Fuller’s friendship with William Carey, the first of modern-day foreign missionaries. Most Baptist pastors had rejected Carey’s call to missions and needless to say missions to foreign lands did not exist as a result but Fuller was a firm believer in Carey's ideas. Carey found in Fuller, the theological foundation for his own leaning toward missions. Fuller became, as Carey called him, the rope holder. Carey would go to India but Fuller and others would hold the other end of the rope that supported Carey in England. The modern missions movement was thus grounded in the solid moorings of God’s grace:

"Andrew Fuller not only championed the cause of foreign missions but strongly defended the Doctrines of Grace. The modern foreign-mission movement was founded upon thoroughgoing commitment to the absolute sovereignty of God, coupled with uncompromising insistence upon the full responsibility of man."

"Andrew Fuller’s work … made perhaps the most notable contribution towards providing a missionary theology and incentive for world evangelism in the midst of a people both Calvinistic and Church oriented. He helped to link the earlier Baptists, whose chief concern was the establishment of ideal New Testament congregations, with those in the nineteenth century driven to make the gospel known worldwide. His contribution helped to guarantee that many of the leading Baptists of the 1800s would typify evangelism and world missions. Charles Spurgeon and J.P. Boyce would be fervent evangelical Calvinists…"

The two previous quotes mark what makes Andrew Fuller so very important. He proved to his peers and Baptists to come that solid theology and evangelism go hand in hand. For that alone, we owe him a great debt!

Several editions of his collected works have appeared, and a Memoir, principally compiled from his own papers, was published about a year after his decease by Dr Ryland, his most intimate friend and coadjutor in the affairs of the Baptist mission. There is also a biography by the Reverend J W Morris (1816); and his son prefixed a memoir to an edition of his chief works in Bohn’s Standard Library (1852).


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