Skip to main content

Full text of "Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Rev. Andrew Fuller"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 




/•^ w^^ %^^#j7S "^^ 

by Linfabt tEibmmdj-B 




t . 










Houtnn : 


Sold ako by J. Leavitt, New- York ; at the Tract Depository, 118 
North 4th Street, Philadelphia; by Jofleph Jewett, Baltimore ; and 
S. M. Noel, Frankfort, Kentucky. 




• • - / 


7r. lil 


District Clerk^$ OJiee. 

BB IT BBMBMBBRBD, Tbtfoa tte tlxteenth day of July, A. D. 183O, la. the Aftr-fotnth 
year of the la<lepeiideBce of the Ualled State* of Ameria, LINCOLN & BDMANB8,of the 
•aid Oatrict, haw deposited la this ofllcethetttleof aBook,tlie rl^t whevcof they dalm ai Pro- 
filttora. In the woidi ^aDotrlag, t» witt 

** Memotn of the Life sad WriUaga of the Rev. Aadrew Fuller, Ute Pastor of the Baptist charch 
at KeCteriag,aBd lint SecieUry of the Baptist Mlsdoaary Society. By J. W. Morris, first 
Aaicrlcaay from the last Loadoa Bditloa. Edited byBaffoa BiliooGk,jr. 

la Coafonnity to the Act of theCoagress of the Ualted States, eatltled,**Aa Act for the 
eaoouragemeat of Ltaraiag, by secorlag the copies of M^ia, Charts aad Books, to the Authors 
aad Proprietors ofsoch copies dnrlag the times thcrela meatioacd {>* aad also to aa Act catlUed 
** Aa Act sapplrnaeatary to aa Act, eatltled, Aa Act for the Baoouraaeafieat of Learalag, by ae. 
aoflag the Coplea of Maps, Charts aad Books to the Authors aad Proprietors of such Copies dMriag 
thetloiestheiela aieatloaed: aadezteadlagthe Beaeftts thereof tothe ArU ofDesigaing, Kn- 
paylag aad Btchlac Htotorkal, aad other Prlats.^ 

JNO. W. PAVIS, Clerh of the Dtttriet of Mauadautlts. 


In presenting to the American Public, another Memoir 
of the illustrious individual whose life and writings form 
the subject of this volume, a brief exposition of the object 
intended to be accomplished, may not be inappropriate. 

To lead the minds of the thoughtful and ingenuous to a 
consideration of the doctrines and duties which Mr. Fuller 
stated with such lucid distinctness, and defended with such 
force of Scripture and reason — to excite in all whose cir- 
cumstances will possibly allow its exercise, the same ar- 
dent thirst for intellectual and biblical attainment which 
he exhibited, and to hold up in full relief, the example of 
industry, enterprise and perseverance, furnished in his life 
and labours, to the imitation of Christians, and especially of 
Christian Ministers, has seemed of sufficient importance to 
warrant the sending forth of another volume from the press. 

It will naturally be asked. Has not the Life of Fuller, 
by the late Dr. Ryland, which was some years since repub- 
lished in this country^ accomplished the object here pro- 
posed t To some extent it undoubtedly has ; but the more 
judicious and discriminating, on both sides of the Atlantic, 
have earnestly desired a more striking delineation of those 
powers of mind and habits of life, which, by the grace of 
God, raised the subject of these Memoirs from obscurity, 
and enabled him to confer favours so immense on British 
and American Christians, and on the idolatrous millions in 

Such a delineation is here presented. I has been re- 
ceived-— especially the enlarged and greatly improved edi- 
tion from which this is printed— with most decided appro- 
bation by those who are best qualified to judge of its faithful- 
ness and ability. To render it more generally acceptable 

i? editor's prbfacb. 

and useful in this country, some omissions have been made, 
both of incidents possessing a mere local interest, and of 
remarks and reflections, arising from a relation and bias of 
decidedly personal character. The omission of some sen- 
tences and paragraphs of this description will certainly not 
be regretted, especially as the space which they occupied, 
has been filled by a selection from valuable materials, to 
which the author in composing the work, could not have 
had access. 

In preparing this edition, besides consulting the most 
able and impartial reviews of the work, in the contempora- 
ry English journals, the Editor has availed himself of the 
information of individuals in this country; and particularly 
of one, who, as the pupil and successor of Dr. Ryland — the 
neighbour of the Author of these Memoirs — and the inti-' 
mate and confidential friend of the subject of them, till 
his death — possesses advantages for rendering assistance in 
this service, of a most valuable character, and for whose 
kindness in imparting the necessary information, this 
slight acknowledgment is felt to be a very inadequate 

Two classes of individuals, it is believed, will deriv^ 
very important advantages from the perusal of these Me- 
moirs. Those who have already been constrained, by cir- 
cumstances beyond their control, to attempt discharging 
the duties of the Christian ministry, with but very slight 
literary or theological attainments, and with minds but 
imperfectly disciplined, will here see what may be done, 
even in the most discouraging circumstances, to prepare 
them more perfectly for their great work. They will learn 
from the example here presented, that it is not in the want of 
College Halls, extensive libraries, uninterrupted and digni- 
fied leisure, and able instructers, to prevent the progress of 
one whose soul thirsts for divine truth, and who is consci- 
entiously impelled to possess himself of clear and correct 
views of it, in order to inculcate it effectually. Let but 
this spirit animate all the ministers of the gospel, and ig- 
norance would not long disgrace their sacred office. They 
will see too, in the zeal and self-denying efforts for the 
Missionary Society, here described, what can be done in 
a great and good cause, by the persevering devotedness of 
a Christian pastor, who never conceived of his duty as cir* 

editor's prefacs. t 

cumscribed by the limits of his own parish, but who felt 
the force of the mandate, " Go ye into aJJ, the world, and 
preiich the gospel to every creature,** 

The examples of self-improvement, and enlarged evan- 
gelical efforts, which are presented in the lives of such 
men as Fuller and Baldwin, and the still surviving and 
venerable Dr. Carey, should not be lost. On the younger 
class of ministers, whose circumstances in the commence- 
ment of the work are similar to theirs, such instances of 
success present the most cheering encouragement 

The other class of readers, for whom this volume, espe- 
cially the reviews, it contains, seems admirably adapted, 
consists of by no means an inconsiderable number, who, 
having imbibed a violent prejudice against the doctrines 
which they suppose that Fuller advocated, have never 
been candid enough to read the very works which they so 
loudly condemn. They will here find, within limits so 
reasonable, that none need be repelled from making the 
experiment of their perusal^, such an outline of his real 
sentiments, as will probably lead them to reverse their un- 
favourable opinions, and read at length, some of the ad- 
mirable treatises, both doctrinal and practical here brought 
to their notice. Should this result be extensively effected 
in the churches of Christ throughout our country, their 
best interests would in a very high degree be promoted. 

The eloquent Robert Hall, in one of his controversial 
works, having incidentally mentioned the subject of these 
Memoirs, proceeds with his usual felicity and discrimina- 
tion, to characterize him in the following manner: <*I 
cannot refrain from expr^ing in a few words the senti- 
ments of affectionate veneration with which I always re- 
garded that excellent person while living, and cherish his 
memory now that he is no more ; a man, whose sagacity 
enabled him to penetrate to the depths of every subject he 
explored ; whose conceptions were so powerful and lumin- 
ous, that what was recondite and original appeared familiar; 
what was intricate, easy and perspicuous in his hands ; 
equally successful in enforcing the practical, stating the 
theoretical, and discussing the polemical branches of the- 
ology. Without the advantage of early education, he rose 
to high distinction among the religious writers of his day ; 

A 2 

vi editor's prefacs. 

and in the midst of a most active and laborious life, left 
monuments of his piety and genius which ^ will survive to 
distant posterity. Were 1 making his eulogium, I should 
necessarily dwell on the spotless integrity of his private 
life, his fidelity in friendship, his neglect of self-interest, 
his ardent attachment to truth, and especially the series of 
unceasing labours and exertions in superintending the mis- 
sion to India, to which' he most probably fell a victim. He 
had nothing feeble or undecisive in his character, but to 
every undertaking in which he engaged, he brought all the 
powers of his understanding, all the energies of his heart ; 
and if he were less distinguished by the comprehension, 
than the acumen and solidity of his thoughts : less emi- 
nent for the gentler graces, than for stern integrity and 
native grandeur of mind, we have only to remember the 
necessary limitation of human excellency. While he en- 
deared himself to bis denomination by a long course of 
most useful labour, by his excellent works on the Socinian 
and Deistical controversies, as well as his devotion to the 
cause of missions, he laid the world under lasting obliga- 

That the Saviour whom this greal and good man served 
with so single an eye, and such distinguished success, 
may. make this memorial of his servant extensively useful, 
is the humble desire of 

The Editor. 

Sakm, July, 1830. 


The frailty of human nature, the lapse of time, and the 
incessant recurrence of other objects, possess a most fatal 
tendency to efface the remembrance of those once dear to 
us, or whose virtues and achievements require to be per- 
petuated for the benefit of posterity. Ere many years have 
fled, the minuter parts and finer traits of character are ob- 
literated ; nothing remains but the rude projecting outline, 
which affords but little to gratify the taste, or increase the 
aggregate of public information. There have been nu- 
merous instances in which the lives of eminent persons 
have died away from the page of history, and of whom 
little more has been recorded than that they once were, but 
now are not.* 

** Full many a gem of purest ray serene. 
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear." 

The world has thus lost some of its most valuable treasures, 
and history some of brightest ornaments. A remote suc- 
cessor may attempt to retrace and complete the portrait ; 
but of the correctness of the execution, who shall judge T 
Cotemporary biography has, therefore, important advan- 
tages, which subsequent compositions do not possess ; it 
must, at least, furnish the ore, by which the latter are to 
be enriched. The history of persons who have lived in 
the same age and nation with ourselves, excites also an in- 
terest which we do not feel respecting others who have 
flourished at a distant period. 

It is not every cotemporary, however, not every one ac- 
quainted with departed worth, who is qualified for the re- 
quisite delineation. There is an identity of character, as 
real and as certain as the identity of persons ; but it is 
such as can only be distinguished and described by the 
most perfect kind of familiarity. The author of the f<"^- 

Till auth6r'8 preface. 

lowing sheets pretends to no other qaalification than this, 
except that he also claims an inflexible fidelity. He pro- 
fesses to have enjoyed a long and intimate acquaintance 
with the distinguished individual whose Memoirs he now 
submits to the public — an acquaintance more intimate and 
unreserved than was enjoyed by any other person. . He has 
seen him in every shape and attitude, amidst his multifa* 
rious labours, and in the moments of relaxation ; has 
^known him in every difficulty, and shared with him all the 
pains and pleasures of life. How such intimacies origi- 
nate, is not easily accounted for ; the most genuine and 
the most gratifying are generally unstudied and unsought, 
and are both the cause and the effect of an unremitted in- 
tercourse. Such was the case in the present instance. 
The interchange of thought and feeling, by conversation, 
by letter, by preaching, by every mode of expression, was 
continued almost daily for a number of years, during the 
most active and enterprising period of life ; and accompa- 
nied with a freedom, a collision, and a confidence that knew 
no bounds. Had the author employed the vigilance of a 
Lauterbach or a Boswell, amidst the innumerable opportu- 
nities which occurred, greater intellectual treasures might 
have been added to the present compilation ; but they are 
now 'Mike water spilled upon the ground, which cannot be 
gathered up." He can only present to the candid notice 
of the reader, the little which he happened to preserve, or 
which his recollection has been able to supply. 


Preface to the American Editioo, ..... {jj. 
Extract from the Author's Preface, vii. 


Mr. FuUer^s Parentage— Eariy Life — Conversion— Gall to the 
Ministry — Change of Sentiment— -Labours and Difficulties at 
Soham> -- 18 


His Removal to Kettering — Domestic Afflictions — ^Ministerial 
Labours — Efforts in the cause of Religious Liberty — Personal 
and Relative Afflictions — Counsel and Correspondence — The 
French Invasion — ^Interference on Behalf of the Slave Popula- 
tion — Hints to Periodical Editors — Sending out a Female Mis- 
sionary — Labours Continued , 30 


Mr. Fuller's ministerial Talents— Style of Preaching— Pastoral 
Labours— and general Usefulness, - - • - . 68 


Origin of the Baptist Mission — Early Notices of Dr. Carey — ^His 
Designation to India — Mr. Fuller's Missionary Labours — His 
First Visit to Scotland — Congratulatory Letter to the Missiona- 
ries — ^Answer to some Objections — Second Tour into Scotland 
—His Visit to Ireland — State of the Irish Baptists — Catholic 
Emancipatioa— Missionary Labours Continued, - - 78 



Journal of a Tour through Scotland in 1806, to Collect for the 
Printing of the Scriptures in the Eastern Languages : Written 
by Mr. Fuller — Opposition of the Anti- Missionaries — Proceed- 
ing at the India House — Persian Tract about Mahomet — Con- 
duct of the Bengal Government — Mr. Fuller's vigorous Inter- 
ference for the Mission — His Last Visit to Scotland, - 106 


Extracts from Mr. Fuller's Diary, and Narrative of the Death of 
his Child, 126 


Review of Mr. Fuller's Doctrinal and Practical Writings : — Ser- 
mon on Wallcing by Faith — Ordination Sermon at Thome — 
Funeral Sermon for Mr. Beeby Wallis — Association Sermon at 
St. Albany— Collection Sermon at Edinburgh — Memoirs of Rev. 
Samuel Pearce — Sermon at the Bedford Union — ^The Back- 
slider — Ordination Sermon at Birmingham — Remarks on Church 
Discipline — Vindication of Protestant Dissent — ^The Great Ques- 
tion Answered — Discourses on the Book of Genesis — Sermon 
on the Pernicious Influence of Delay, ... 137 


Review of Mr. Fuller's Doctrinal and Practical Writings : — Dia- 
logues and Essays on various subjects — Jesus the True Mes- 
siah — Sermons on various subjects — Funeral Sermon of the 
Rev. John Sutcliflfe, with a Brief Sketch of his Character — 
Narrative of the Baptist Mission — Adams's View of Religions, 
with an Essay on Truth — Discourses on the Apiocalypfle, 166 


Review of the Controversy on Faith, with Brief Notices of Mr. 
Fuller's several Opponents : — Rev. William Button — Rev. Dan 
Taylor— Rev. John Martin— Tlie Hyper-calvinists — Rev. Arch- 
ibald Maclean» 189 



The Sodnian Ckmiroveny : — Calvinistic and SodnUn Syitemt 
Examined and Compared — Reply to Dr. Toulmin and Mr. 
Kentish — UmversaKat Chntroverty : — Mr. Wincheiter—LeV 
ters to Mr. Yidler— Scrutator's Review— Z)«i#<Ma< Cantro* 
veny : — ^French Infidels — ^English Deists— Tiie Gospel its own 
Witness— .^fwnonary CofUroverty : — Mr. Twining — Major 
Scott Waring — A Bengal Officer — Dr. Barrow— Edinburgh 
Reviewers — Sodnian Barrister— Apology for the Mission — Ob- 
jections to an Episcopal Establishment in India» - • 228 


Cootroversy with Mr. Booth — ^Letter to Dr. Hopkins— Remarks on 
some American Writers — Mr. Booth's notion of Regeneration 
by the Word Examined — ^Particular Redemption — Conversa- 
tion with a Friend at Edinburgh on the same subject — ^Doc- 
trine of Atonement and Substitation — Letter to Dr. Erskine on 
the Merits of Christ — Letter to Mr. Maclean on Faith and Jus- 
tification — ^Validity of Lay Ordination — Lay administration of 
the Lord's sapper — Strict Communion, .... 264 


Last year of Mr. Fuller's Life— His Reflections on the Death of 
Mr. SutclifiRs — Attends a Missionary Ordination at Leicester — 
Commencement of his Last Illness — ^Sketch of his Last Ser- 
mon in London — Ordination at Clipstone — ^His Last Sermon at 
Kettering — ^Farewell Letter to Dr. Ryland — ^Particulars of his 
Death — ^Extracts fron& Mr. Toller's Sermon on the occasion — 
Funeral solemnities of Mr. Fuller — Monumental Inscription, 288 

Brief Review of Mr. Fuller*s Character, ... - 306 


The Publishers have issued this approved Memoir of the 
distinguished Fuller, with an intention of giving the public 
an edition of his Works in the same neat and cheap style. 

When the public shall have read the able Reviews of all 
his Works, which tliis volume contains, it must excite a wish 
in every bosom, to possess the valuable treasure which they 
comprise. Each volume will be prefaced with an Introduc- 
tory Essay, by American divines of acknowledged talents. 

Bosioti, July, 1830. 



Mr. Fuller's Parentage — Early life — Conversion — Call to the Min- 
istry — Change of Sentiment — Labours and Diffici^ities at Soham. 

LrKE many other great and original characters, Mr. 
Anbrew Fuller arose out of obscurity, without any flat- 
tering prospect of future eminence. When he first made 
his appearance on the theatre of public life, there was little 
to attract the notice, or excite the esteem of his cotempo- 
raries. Regardless, however, of adventitious circumstan- 
ces, he was propelled by the force of his own native genius, 
and owed as little to artificial culture, as he did to the smiles 
of opulence, or the honours of descent. 

He was born at Wicken, a small village in Cambridge- 
shire, about seven miles from Ely, on the 6th of February, 
1754 ; and in his youth received only the common rudi- 
ments of an English education, at the free school at So- 
ham. His father, Mr. Robert Fuller, at the period of his 
son Andrew's birth, occupied a small farm at Wicken, and 
was the parent of three sons, of whom the subject of this 
Memoir was the youngest. His brothers were Mr. Robert 
Fuller, a farmer at Isleham, born in 1747 ; and Mr. John 
Fuller, born in 1748, who resides 'at Little Bentley in Es- 
sex, both of them deacons of Baptist churches. 

Eminent as Mr. Andrew Fuller aflerwards became for 
piety and usefulness, his youthful days were spent in 
sin and ranity ; and the history of this period affords a 
lamentable proof of the depravity of human nature, while 
it illustrates the sovereign efficacy of renewing grace, and 
its richness and freeness to the chief of sinners. It will 



be seen in the following narrative, drawn up by Mr. Fuller 
himself, about the year 1798, and communicated in a letter 
to a friend, how deeply he fHt himself indebted to the 
grace of God, and what were the grounds of his attach-v 
ment to that doctrine which became the theme of his fu- 
ture ministry. 

" My parents," says he, " were Dissenters, of the Gal- 
▼inistic persuasion. They were engaged in husbandry^ 
which occupation I followed till the twentieth year of my 
age. At this distance of time it is not easy to recollect 
all that happened ; but I remember many of the sins of 
my childhood : among which were, lying, cursing, and 
swearing. It is true, as to the latter, it never became 
habitual. I had a dread upon my spirits to such a degree, 
that when I uttered an oath, or any imprecation, it was 
by a kind of force put upon my feelings, and merely to 
appear manly, like other boys with whom I associated. 
This being the case, when I was about ten years old I en- 
tirely left it off, except that I sometimes dealt in a sort of 
minced oaths and imprecations, when my passions were 

** In the practice of telling lies I continued some years 
longer ; at length, however, I began to think this a mean 
vice, and accordingly left it off, except in cases where I 
was under some pressing temptation. 

"I think 1 must have been nearly fourteen years old, 
before I began to have any serious thoughts about futuri- 
ty. The preaching which I attended was not adapted to 
awaken my conscience, as the minister had seldom any 
thing to say except to believers ; and what believing was, 1 
neither knew, nor greatly cared to know. I remember, 
however, about this time, as I was walking alone, I put the 
question to myself, What is faith ? There is much made 
of it, — what is it? I could not tell; but satisfied myself 
in thinking it was not of immediate concern, and I should 
understand it as a grew older. 

** Sometimes conviction laid fast hold of me, and ren- 
dered me extremely unhappy. One winter evening in 
particular, I went to a smith's shop, where a number of 
other boys sat round the fire. Presently they began to 
sang vain songs. This appeared to me so much like revel- 
ling, that I felt something within that would not suffer me 
to join them ; and while I tat silent, in- rather an unpleas- 
ant muse, these words sunk deep into my mind : ' What 


doest thou here, Elijah T ' They had such an effect upon 
me, that I immediately left the company ; yet, shocking to 
reflect upon, I walked away murmuring in my heart against 
God, that I could not be let alone, and suffered to take my 
pleasure like other 'youth. 

'' At other times I was greatly affected by reading or 
thinking of the doctrines of Christianity. One day in 
particular, I took up Mr. R. Erskine's ' Gospel Sonnets/ 
and opening upon a piece called * A Gospel Catechism for 
young Christians, or Christ all in all in our complete Re- 
demption,' I read ; and as I read, I wept. Indeed, I was 
almost overcome with weeping, so interesting did the doc* 
trine of eternal salvation appear to me ; yet, there being 
no radical change in my heart, these thoughts passed 
away, and I was equally intent on the pursuit of folly as 

'' Sometimes I felt a strange kind of regard towards good 
people, such of them especially as were familiar in their 
behaviour to young persons, and would occasionally talk 
with rae about religion. I used to wish I had many thoufr' 
and pounds, that I might give some of it to those of them 
who were poor in their worldly circumstances. 

" I was sometimes the subject of such convictions and 
affections, that I really thought myself a converted person^ 
and lived under that delusion for some years. The ground 
on which I rested this opinion was as follows : — One day 
as I was walking alone, I began to think seriously what 
would become of my soul ! I felt myself the slave of sio. 
Till now,^ I did not know but that I could repent at any 
time ; but now 1 perceived that my heart was wicked, and 
that it was not in me to turn to God, or to break off my 
sins by righteousness. I saw that if God would forgive me 
all the past, and offer me the kingdom of heaven on the 
condition of giving up my wicked pursuits, I should not 
accept it. This conviction was accompanied with great 
depression of heart. I walked sorrowfully along, repeating 
these words, — Iniquity will be my ruin ! Iniquity will be my 
ruin ! While pouring over my unhappy case, those words of 
the Apostle suddenly occurred to my mind : ' Sin shall not 
have dominion over you ; for ye are not under the law, 
but under grace.' Now the suggestion of a text of Scrip- 
ture to the mind, and especially if it came with power, 
was generally considered by religious people, with whom 
I occasionally associated, as a promise coming immediately 


from God. I therefore so understood it, and thought that 
God had thus revealed to me that I was in a state of sal- 
vation; and that, therefore, iniquity should hot, as I had 
feared, be my ruin. The effect was, 1 was overcome with 
joy and transport. I shed, I suppose, thousands of tears 
as I walked along, and seemed to feel myself as it were in 
a new world. It appeared to me that I hated my sins, and 
was resolved to forsake them. Thinking on my wicked 
courses, I remember using those words of Paul : * Shall 
1 continue in sin that grace may abound ? God forbid! ' 
I felt, or seemed to feel, the strongest indignation at the 
thought. But strange as it may appear, though my face 
was that morning swelled with weeping, yet before night 
all was gone and forgotten, and I returned to my former 
vices with as eager a gust as ever ; nor do I remember 
that for more than half a year after it, I had any serious 
thoughts about the salvation of my soul. 

" About a year afterwards, however, I was again walk- 
ing by myself, and began to reflect upon ray course of life, 
particularly upon my former hopes and affections, and how 
I had since forgotten them all, and returned to all my 
wicked ways. Instead of sin having no more dominion 
over me, I perceived that its dominion was increased. 
For some minutes I was greatly dejected, but was instant- 
ly relieved by what I accounted another promise from God. 
These words were suggested to my mind : * I have blot- 
ted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions, and as a cloud 
thy sins.' By this, as by the former, I was overcome with 
what I considered to be God's great love to me, and shed a 
multitude of tears, not of sorrow, but of joy and gratitude. 
I now considered myself as having been in a backsliding 
state, and that God had graciously restored me ; though 
in truth I have every reason to think that the great deep 
of my heart's depravity had not yet been broken up, and 
that all my religion was mere transient impression, without 
any abiding principle. Amidst it all, I had lived without 
prayer ; and was never, that I recollect, induced to deny 
myself of one sin when temptations were presented. I 
now, however, thought, surely 1 shall be better for the time 
to come. But alas 1 in a few days this also was forgotten, 
and I returned to my evil courses with as much eagerness 
as ever. 

" 1 now began to draw towards sixteen years of age ; 
and as my powers and passions strengthened, I was more 
and more addicted to evil. Nor was I merely prompted 


by my own propensities ; for having formed connexions 
with other wicked youths, my progress in the way to 
death was thereby greatly accelerated. Being of an 
athletic frame, and of a daring spirit, I was often engaged 
in sach exercises and exploits as might have issued in 
death, if the good hand of God had not preserved me. 
I also frequently engaged in games of hazard, which, 
though not one to any great amount, they were very be- 
witching to me, and tended greatly to corrupt my mind. 
These, with various other evil courses, had so hardened 
my heart that I seldom thought of religion. Nay, I recol- 
lect that on a Lord's day evening, about this time, when 
my parents were reading in the family, I was shamefully 
engaged with one of the servants, playing idle tricks, 
though I took care not to be seen in them. These things 
were nothing to me at that time ; for my conscience, by 
reiterated acts of wickedness, had become * seared as with 
a hot iron :' they were heavy burdens, however, to me a^ 

" Having persisted in this course for a time, I began 
to be very uneasy, particularly in a morning when 1 first 
awoke. It was almost as common for me to be seized with 
keen remorse at this hour, as it was to go into bad com- 
pany in the evening. At first I began to make vows of 
reformation, and this for the moment would afford a little 
ease ; but as the temptations returned, my vows were of 
no account. It was an enlightened conscience only that 
was on the side of God : my heart was still averse to eve- 
ry thing spiritual or holy. For several weeks I went on 
in this way ; vowing, and breaking my vows ; reflecting 
on myself for my evil conduct, and yet continually repeat- 
ing it. 

** It was not now as heretofore : my convictions fc^low- 
ed me up closely. I could not, as formerly, forget these 
things, and was therefore a poor miserable creature, like 
a drunkard who carouses in the evening, but mopes about 
the next day like one half dead. One morning, as I was 
walking alone, 1 felt an uncommon load upon my heart. 
The remembrance of my sin, not only on the past even- 
ing, but* for a long time back,-*the breach of my vows, 
and the shocking termination of my former hopes and affec- 
ti<mSy all uniting together, formed a burden which I knew 
not how to bear. The gnawings of a gailtv conscieace, 
seemed to be a kind of hell within me. Nay, I really 

B 2 


thought at the time, that this was the fire and brimstone 
of the bottomless pit, and that in me it was already 
kindled. I do not write in the language of exaggeration. 
I now know that the sense which I then had of the evil 
of my sin, and the dreadfulness of God's righteous dis- 
pleasure against me on account of it, came. ?ery far short 
of truth f though they seemed more than I was able to 
sustain. When I thought of my broken vows, they serv- 
ed to convince me that there was no truth in me, and that 
I was altogether wicked. I subscribed to the justice of 
my doom, if I were sent to hell ; and plainly saw that to 
hell I must go, unless I were saved of mere grace, and 
as it were in spite of myself. 1 sensibly perceived that 
if God were to forgive me all the past, I should again doi- 
stroy my soul, and that in a very little time : I never be- 
fore felt myself such an odious and helpless sinner. I 
seemed to have nothing about me that ought to excite the 
pity of God, or that I could reasonably expect should do 
so ; but every thing disgusting to him, and provoking to 
the eyes of his glory. 

''And now the question would turn in my mind, six or 
seven times over, What must 1 do ? What shall I do? In- 
deed, I felt utterly at a loss what to do. To think of 
amendment, and much more to make vows concerning it 
as heretofore, were but a mockery of God and my own 
soul ; and to hope for forgiveness in the course that I was 
in, was the height of presumption. So I had no refuge. 
For a moment, despair took hold upon me, and I even 
thought of returning, and taking my fill of sin, let the con- 
sequences be what they might ; but then again the thoughts 
of being lost, and lost forever, sunk into my soul like lead 
into the waters. While thinking on this, my past hopes 
also recurred to my mind, and aggravated tlie idea of eter- 
nal punishment. What, thought I, shall I at once bid adieu 
to Christ, and hope, and heaven — and plunge my soul into 
endless ruin ! At this my heart revolted. What shall I 
do 1 What can I do ? This was all I could say. 

''It is difficult at this distance of time to recollect with 
precision the minute workings of my mind ; but as near as 
I can remember, I was like a man drowning, looking every 
way for help, or rather catching for something by which he ^ 
might save his life. I tried to find out whether there were 
any hope in divine mercy— any in the Saviour of sinners ; 
but felt repulsed in the thoughts of mercy having been so 
basely abused already. In this state of mind, as I was 


moving slowly on, I thought of the resolution of Job : 
' Though he sJay me, yet will I trust in him/ And fora»- 
much as it yielded me a faint ray of hope, I repeated the 
words many times over ; and at each repetition, I seemed 
to gather a little strength, it excited a sort of perad venture, 
that the Saviour of sinners may save my life, — mixed with 
a determination, if I mighty to cast my perishing soul upon 
him for salvation, to be bcfth pardoned and purified, for I 
felt that I needed the one as much as the other. 

** I was not then aware that any poor sinner had a warrant 
to believe in Christ for the salvation of his soul ; but sup* 
posed there must be some kind of qualification to entitle 
him to do it ; yet I was aware that I had no qualifications. 
On a review of my. resolution at that time, it seems to re- 
semble that of Esther, who went into the king's presence 
' contrary to the law,' and at the hazard of her life. Like 
her, 1 seemed reduced to extremities ; impelled by dire 
necessity to run all hazards, even though I should perish 
in the attempt. Yet it was not altogether from a dread of 
wrath that I fled to this refuge ; for I well remember that 
I perceived something attracting in the Saviour. I must--^ 
I will — ^yes, 1 will trust my soul — my sinful lost soul — in 
his hands. If I perish, I perish 1 Such in substance were 
my resolutions. In this state of mind I continued nearly 
an hour, weeping and supplicating mercy for the Saviour's 
sake ; (my soul hath it still in remembrance, and is hum- 
bled in me 1) and as the eye of my mind was more and 
more fixed on him, my guilt and fears were gradually and 
insensibly removed. 

"I now found rest for my troubled soul, and I reckon that 
I should have found it sooner, if I had not entertained the 
notion of my warrant to come to Christ, without 
some previous qualification. This notion was a bar that 
kept me back for a time, though, through divine drawings, 
I was enabled to overleap it. As near as I can remem- 
ber in the early part of these exercises, when 1 subcribed 
to the justice of God in my condemnation, and thought of 
the Saviour of sinners, I had then relinquished every 
false confidence, believed iny help to be only in him, and 
approved of salvation by grace alone, through his death : 
and if at that time I had known that any poor sinner might 
warrantably have trusted in him for salvation, I conceive I 
should have done so, and have found rest to my soul sooner 
than I did. 1 mention this because it may be the case 
with others, who may be kept in darkness and desponden- 


cy by erroneous views of the gospel much longer than 
I was. 

** I think also I did repent of my sin in the early part of 
these exercises, and before I thought that Christ would ao 
cept and save my soul. I conceive that, justifying God in 
my condemnation, and approving the way of salvation by 
Jesus Christ, necessarily included it ; yet 1 did not think 
at the time that this was repentance, or any thing truly 
good. Indeed I thought nothing about the exercises of my 
own mind, but merely of my guilty and lost condition, and 
whether there were any hope of escape for me. But having 
found rest for my soul in the cross of Christ, I Was now 
conscious of my being the subject of repentance, faith and 
love. When 1 thought of my past life, I abhorred myself, 
and repented in dust aud ashes; and when of the gospel 
way of salvation, I drank it in, as cold water is imbibed by 
a thirsty soul. My heart felt one with Christ, and dead to 
every other object around me. I thought that I had found 
the joys of the gospel heretofore ; but now I seemed to 
know that I had found them, and was conscious that I had 
passed from death unto life. Yet even now my mind was 
not so engaged in reflecting upon my own feelings, as upon 
the objects which occasioned them. 
*'From this time my former wicked courses were forsaken. 
I had no manner of desire after them. They lost their in- 
fluence upon me. To those evils, a glance at which before 
would have instantly set my passions in a flame, I now felt 
no inclination. My soul, said I, with joy and triumph, is 
as a weaned child. I now knew experimentally what it 
was to be dead to the world by the cross of Christ, and to 
feel an habitual determination to devote my future life to 
God my Saviour. 

From this time I considered the vows of God as upon 
me. But ah ! I have great reason for shame and bitter re- 
flection, in reviewing the manner in which they have been 
fulfilled. Nevertheless, by the help of God I continue in 
his service to this day : and daily live in hope of eternal 
life, through Jesus Christ my Lord and only Saviour." 

The above simple and aflecting narrative abounds with 
that sound discrimination, for which the author was so re- 
markable. That which passes very currently for true con- 
version, was with him no better than reprobate silver, and 
nothing would suffice but the religion of the heart. There 
is also in this^ as in all his other compositions, that severity 


of saspicion, that inflexible demand for incorruptness and 
purity of principle, which indicates a deep insight into hu- 
man nature, and is well adapted to warn against the danger 
of self deception, ratlier than afford encouragement to those 
feelings which commonly precede conversion. 

Mr. Fuller's family had now resided at Soham several 
years, where he was employed by his father in the farming 
business, and milked a dairy of cows every morning. One 
of the servants, a pious man, began to converse with him 
very freely on religious subjects, and he soon afterwards 
attended the meetings for prayer, and took a part in the ex* 
ercises. Afraid of being drawn aside by former tempta* 
tions, he made it a practice for several years, whenever a 
feast or holiday occurred, to go to a neighbouring village, 
to visit some christian friends, and returned home when al} 
was over. Thus he was delivered from participating in 
those follies which had given him so much uneasiness, and 
turned the season of temptation into a season of spiritual 
improvement. In the month of March, 1770, he for the 
first time witnessed the administration of the ordinance of 
believers' baptism ; and in the following month was himself 
baptized on a profession of repentance and faith, being 
then in the seventeenth year of his age. He endured the 
scoffs and revilings of his former associates with great 
calmness, and returned his pity for their contempt. 

Having become a member of the church at Soham, un- 
der the pastoral care of Mr. John Eve, who was a retired 
man and fond of reading, he cultivated an acquaintance 
with Mr. Joseph Diver, who was baptized at the same time, 
and soon became his intimate and bosom friend, though 
much his senior in point of years. The intercourse became 
highly interesting to young Fuller, whose powers were be- 
ginning to expand ; and which were no sooner directed 
towards the important objects of religion, than he pursued 
them with all his might. The attachment between him 
and the church was also warm and mutual, and he was 
singularly happy in his new connexion. 

A case, however, soon occurred, which changed the 
scene, and turned the gladness into grief and trouble. He 
happened to be the first who knew of an offence having 
been committed by one of the members, and went to ad- 
monish him according to the rule given in Matt, xviii. 15 — 
18. The excuses alleged by the offender, and the steps 


which followed, brought the matter before the church. In 
the course of the discipline, a discussion took place of va- 
rious doctrines respecting the power of ^falIen man to obey 
God, and keep himself from sin, with other relative senti- 
ments. Great disagreement arose out of this, and many 
disputes, which ended in the division of the church, the 
resignation of the pastor, and his removal from among them, 
in October, 1771. 

Young and inexperienced as Fuller then was, these dis- 
putes deeply engaged his attention, and were the means of 
suggesting to him the consideration of many topics on 
which his pen was afterwards employed. He used to call 
them "the wormwood and the gall of his youth;" yet to 
these, under God, he ascribed almost all his future views, 
and the leading events of his life. If he judged or wrote 
to any good purpose, it was then he would say, ** he learned 
to do so by bitter experience." Nothing now was looked 
for, but the dissolution of the church. For several weeks, 
he went to another place. Those members, however, 
who kept together, appointed a day for fasting and prayer, 
and invited all who were scattered to unite in this. He 
accepted the invitation, and from that time continued with 

The church at Soham having become destitute, and be- 
ing scarcely in a condition to obtain or support another 
minister, it was found expedient to supply this lack of ser- 
vice by engaging the assistance of some one of their own 
members. Mr. Joseph Diver, being now one of the dea- 
cons of the church, generally took the lead in conducting 
public worship. He was a man of some ability, had an 
extensive acquaintance with the Scriptures, and possessed 
considerable piety and prudence. His practice was, to 
read a chapter or a paragraph, and attempt a short illustra- 
tion of the pasl»age, (or the edification and instruction of 
bis brethren. It seems, however, that this was not to the 
entire satisfaction of young Fuller, who longed for the 
privilege of having the pastoral office once more filled up 
among them. 

A proposition was, about this time, made to him to be 
apprenticed to some business, to which be had formerly 
been inclined ; and his mother, judging the " candlestick 
to have been removed " from Soham, mentioned to him a 
vacancy of which she had heard, and which if he choosed 
to accept, would afford him the opportunity of hearing the 
gospel preached every Lord's day. But, slender as were 


the advantages to be derived from his religioas connections 
tt Soham, be felt reluctant to leave them. Compassion for 
their destitute circumstances, and a wish like that which 
Jonah experienced, '^to see what would become of the 
city/ induced him to continue where he was. 

In this state of things, a singular occurrence in Provi- 
dence paved the way for his being himself introduced into 
that important station. Having occasion, on a Saturday 
in the nionth of November, 1771, to go to one of the neigh- 
boaring villages, his thoughts became fixed, during the 
journey, on the words of the Psalmist : " Weeping may 
endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.'' PsK 
XXX. 5. His mind was led out into a pleasing meditation 
on the passage, and a thought suggested itself to him that 
he cdnld possibly say something upon it that might be in- 
structive to others. On the following morning, when he 
met bis brethren for public worship, it was found that the 
deacon who usually presided, and engaged in reading and 
exhortation, was unable to attend ; in consequence of 
which, Mr. Fuller was solicited by the other deacon, to 
read the Scriptures and say a few words to the congrega- 
tion. The request, as we may naturally suppose, not a 
little surprised him, and occasioned some hesitation ; but 
he at length yielded to their importunity, and delivered a 
discourse of about half an hour, on the words which had 
occupied his thoughts the preceding day. He was invited 
on a subsequent occasion, again to deliver an exhortation ; 
but as volubility of speech, rather than any other qualifi- 
cation, is generally considered as the principal requisite 
for a pulpit orator, Mr. Fuller's strong sense and sterling 
piety, accompanied as they were, with a rough and heavy 
manner of address, were scarcely sufficient to secure his 

From this time to the end of 1772, Mr. Puller does not 
appear to have been called upon to occupy his talent in 
the way of public teaching. Mr. Diver is said to have 
(too hastily) remarked, that it was needless to encourage 
him, for that he would never make a preacher 1 Happily, 
for the world at large, however, about the beginning of the 
year 1773, an opportunity was again afforded him by the 
absence of Mr. Diver, to address his brethren, which he 
did from Luke xix. 10. ** The Son of Man is come to seek 
and to save that which was lost.'' He spoke at this time 
with great freedom, arrested the attention of his audience. 


and was the happy means of producing conviction in the 
minds of several young persons who afterwards united 
with the church. 

In the course of the following year he baptized two per- 
sons, and was invited by his brethren to accept the pasto- 
ral office. The invitation was several times repeated, and 
on his part declined, from the sense of unfitness and incom- 
petency. His mind was nevertheless intensely occupied 
in the pursuit of truth, and in viewing the progress of a 
controversy which was going on in his neighbourhood. 
Mr. Robinson of Cambridge, and some other Baptist min- 
isters, were writing in favour of Open Communion ; and 
though Mr. Fuller did not venture to publish any thing in 
reply, he composed a few pages in defence of Strict Com- 
munion, in which he endeavoured to meet the objections 
of the opponent party. The manuscript, written in his 
twentieth year, was not intended for general inspection. 
The substance of it has since been incorporated in a post- 
humous pamphlet, published by Dr. Newman ; and some 
notice will be taken of it in a succeeding chapter, in a gen- 
eral review of the author's works. 

In January, 1774, one of the members died, and it was 
requested by the surviving relatives, that if not disorderly, 
Mr. Fuller should preach a funeral sermon, which he did ; 
and on the 26th of the same month, the church, having 
previously held a day of fasting and prayer, gave him a 
unanimous invitation to become their pastor. Labouring 
under many disadvantages, among a poor people who 
possessed but a moderate acquaintance with divine truth, 
and agitated by religious disputes and speculations, he 
deeply felt the importance of the work to which he had 
been called. He was much and earnestly engaged in prayer 
to Him, who alone could qualify him for the undertaking, 
and coniided with great delight in that promise : " In all 
thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." 
This, indeed, never ceased to be his refuge, in every re- 
newed difficulty of his future life. 

In the spring of 1775, February 19, after a probation 
of more than twelve months, he accepted the call of the 
church, and was ordained on the 3d of May, in that year. 
Mr. Hall of Arnsby, father to the present Mr. Robert 
Hall, delivered the charge, from Acts xx. 28i • Mr. Pilley 
of Luton, and Mr. Emery of Little Stoughton, near Kim- 
bolton, were also present and took part in the ordination. 


They were led to ioqaire into the difference of sentiment 
which had occasioned the removal of their former pastor^ 
and requested Mr. F. to state the particulars. Mr. Hall, 
for whose judgment Mr. F. always entertained the highest 
regard, expressed his satisfaction with this statement ; 
and recommended it to him carefully to read Edwards on 
the Will, as the most able work on the subject of natural 
and moral inability. So little acquainted was he with 
authors, that though this book had been much read for 
several years, and reprinted in England, he confounded 
it with a work of Dr. Edwards of Cambridge, entitled, 
" Veritas Redux." He read this work, and approved of 
it, but it did not seem to bear on the object of Mr. HalPs 
recommendation. Nor did he, till 1777, discover his mis- 
take. He got now into a different and far less profitable 
course of reading, though his mind continued much exer- 
cised, respecting the objects of the Christian ministry. — 
Bunyan, Gill, and Brine, were the authors he principally 
perused ; and though he received instruction from them 
all, and most from Dr. Gill, he could not fail to observe, 
that their views on some subjects did not accord. Bunyan, 
while maintaining that individuals are chosen and pre- 
destinated to eternal life before the world began, solely in 
consequence of the sovereign grace of God, presents the 
invitations of the gospel to sinners without distinction, and 
dwells on the Father of mercy, stretching out his hands to 
the disobedient and gainsaying, having no pleasure in their 

He could not reconcile these things ; but judged the 
honest Bunyan inconsistent with himself, and with the scrip- 
tures, and thought the other writers clearer in their views. 
Becoming better acquainted however with the elder Puri- 
tans, as well as with some of Bunyan's cotemporaries, 
particularly Dr. Owen, he found them harmonize much 
more with him, than with Dr. Gill or Mr. Brine. He was 
not a stranger to those passages of the word of God which 
contain pathetic invitations to sinners ; nor with many of 
those addressed to them by Jesus, during his personal min- 
istry, inviting and beseeching the guilty to come to 
Him — ^setting forth the suitableness and freeness of Divine 
mercy — ^and the exceeding great and precious promises 
to every one who repents and believes the gospel. But 
such were the prejudices of his mind, that he supposed 
there must be two kinds of duties : one binding on man in 



innocence, and on all his posterity : the other derived from 
Christ, and obligatory only on his people. He was not 
aware that the language of the scriptures concerning the 
inability of man to perform the latter, is just what men 
use in common discourse, to express resolute obstinacy 
and aversion to do any thing desired of them ; nor had he. 
observed that it is always employed in scripture, not to 
palliate or excuse disobedience, but to describe the depth 
of human depravity. 

In the autumn of 1775 he was in London, where he met 
with some writings on what was called ** The Modem 
Question ;" which had been agitated many years before, 
by Mr. Maurice, pastor of the Independent congregation 
at Rowell,* and Mr. Waymanof Kimbolton. The former 
of these writers, being struck with the boldness of the 
innovation that could call in question the obligations of 
men to repent and believe the gospel, gave to the contro- 
versy this name, and pleaded with considerable success 
the sentiments afterwards adopted by Mr. Fuller. This 
was the first time in which he knew that these views had 
been the subject of debate. The proofs he there met with, 
that the addresses of John the Baptist, of Christ and the 
Apostles, to many who heard them, were directed to the 
impenitent and the ungodly, and that the object of their 
address wjis to excite them to flee from the wrath to come 
— ^to repent and live — to believe and be saved — very much 
impressed his mind. He set about examining the subject 
afresh, and the more he read, the greater doubts he enter- 
tained of the opinions he had been holding. He now per- 
ceived himself unsettled, on subjects which affected both 
his personal religion, and his ministry. He became very 
unhappy ; but his distress produced close meditation, dili- 
gent searching of the Scriptures, and earnest prayer. 

Those acquainted with his works need not be informed^ 
that he soon became rooted and established in views op- 
posite to those with which he set out,* and they will here 
learn the immediate occasion of his first treatise, entitled, 
** The Gospel worthy of all Acceptation," which was writ- 
ten in 178 J, when he was only twenty-six years of age. 
This work, though he judged it afterwards inconclusive in 
some parts, and improved it, as he thought, in a subse- 
quent edition, contains most important reasonings, and un- 

* Mr. Maurice was also the author of a very estimable work, entitled 
« Social Religion Exemplified." 


doDbtedly displays talents which were afterwards generally 
acknowledged on the subjects that obtained greater and 
more universal attention. 

On the 28th of May, 1776, the annual Association of 
ministers and messengers, belonging to the Baptist 
churches in Northamptonshire, was held at Olney, where 
Mr. SutclifTe had been settled a few months before. This 
was the first interview that Mr. F. had with that excellent 
man ; and from that day to the very last, an endearing 
and reciprocal friendship existed between them, the bonds 
of which were divided only for a short time, to b^e-unit- 
ed and drayirn more close for ever. It was then, too, that 
his acquaintance commenced with the late Dr. Ryland, of 
Bristol, who at that time had entered on his ministry at 

These young associates having begun to drink deep in- 
to the writings of President Edwards, introduced that ex- 
cellent author, and others of the New England school, to 
the acquaintance of their new friend. His works, their 
conversation and inquiries, and the able observations of 
Mr. Hall of Arnsby, who in a supplement to his Associa^ 
tion Letter of that year, on the doctrine of the Trinity, 
added some thoughts on the causes of salvation and dam- 
nation, closely connected with those subjects, served to en- 
large and establish Mr. Fuller's mind, and to give a di- 
rection to bis sentiments and preaching, discernible in all 
his future ministry and writings. 

In December, 1776, Mr. Fuller married Miss Gardiner, 
who was a member of the church at Soham, and whose fa- 
ther resided chiefly at Newmarket. She was an amiable 
woman, singularly meek and retired in her deportment, 
and greatly beloved by her connections. By this first mar- 
riage, he had a numerous family, most of whom died in 
infancy, or in early life. 

That he might give himself more unreservedly to the 
.duties of his office, Mr. Fuller relinquished his business, 
the prosecution of which he found, as every one will find, 
who has scriptural views of the pastoral office, inconsis- 
tent with, or at least very unfavourable to, a becoming de- 
voted ness to its duties, and to an acquirement of the re- 
quisite qualifications. The support he received from the 
church, not through parsimony, but from their slender cir- 
cumstances, became inadequate to provide for the ex- 
penses of a rising family. He set up a school in aid of his 
asefolness and kis income ; but afler trying this for a 


year, he did not succeed, and relinquished it in April^ 
1780. Discouraged by these things, though a roan of a 
disinterested mind and frugal habits; but far more discourag- 
ed by the dissatisfaction which some expressed with his 
change of views, by the lukewarmuQ^s of many, and the 
little appearance of edification — and it is said, by unkind- 
ness on the part of a few — he was greatly depressed, and 
nearly brought down by sorrow and sickness to the grave. 

He had preached occasionally at Kettering, where the 
church had been destitute of a pastor for a considerable 
time, ffid was heard by them with great profit and ac- 
ceptance. It was soon discovered that they were desirous 
of his removal, and suggestions to that effect were con- 
veyed to him through Mr. Wallis, their excellent deacon, 
of whom some further notice will be taken in a succeed- 
ing chapter. 

In fact, though his connections at Soham were endeared 
to him by first impressions, and early attachments, it was 
not to be expected that a situation so unsuitable to his 
talents should eventually be preferred. The exalted Head 
of the church intended and prepared him for more ex- 
tensive usefulness ; and by a series of disappointments 
and discouragements was gradually paving the way for 
his removal to a wider sphere of action, where his great 
and varied talents might be exerted with more effect, 
in promoting the interests of religion, both at home and ' 

Mr. Fuller had indeed the opportunity of leaving his 
situation much sooner than he did ; but his attachment to 
the place where he had spent his early days, to the people 
with whom he was first united in Christian love, his dis- 
interested regard for their welfare, the deep sense he en- 
tertained of his obligations, and of his own unfitness for a 
more important station, prevented his listening to the invi- 
tations of other churches, till he was in a meagre compell- 
ed, by apcumulated difficulties, to think of tendering his 

^ The first intimation of this was given to the church at 
Soham, in July, 1781, which occasioned great sorrow of 
heart, and various consultations with ministers and others ; 
till at length, being overcome by the prayers, the tears, 
and entreaties of the people, Mr. Fuller consented to stay 
with them another year. 

When the period of his departure was drawing nigh, 
the scene became still more painful^ and his courage fail- 



ed him. The most unfeigned sorrow prevailed in almost 
every heart. ** For my own part," said Mr. Fuller, " I 
found it exceeding difficult to go on in preaching, and to 
keep from weeping guite out. 1 hastened, as soon as wor- 
ship was over, to get* alone, and there to give full vent to 
all my sorrows. We had a private evening meeting, Au« 
gust 11th, 1782, which was more trying to .me than the 
public services of the day. I saw a spirit in the church in 
general, which, had I seen a half a year ago, I could never 
have left them, come what would, whatever I do ^pw. I 
went home to my house, with a heart full of distress, and 
my strength nearly exhausted with the work and weeping 
of the day. 

" The next day, August 12, 1 devoted to fasting and 
prayer ; and 1 scarcely remember such a day in my life, 
for tenderness and importunity in prayer. Two days after, 
I felt my spirits all the morning exceedingly depressed ; 
but I got alone, and found a heart to pray with greater 
fervency than I had done before. It seemed as if I must 
have my petition granted, or I could not live. Nothing 
bat the thoughts of an open door for greater usefulness in 
Christ's cause, and my having been so much engaged to 
pray fo^ the coming of Christ's kingdom, could have kept 
me from dropping all opposition, and yielding to the desire 
of the church." He afterwards added, ''I do hope the 
hand of God is in all this. I feel a secret longing to have 
my time, my soul, my all, devoted to Christ's interest, in 
some res[)ects different from what I can here." 

Mr. Fuller's delicate, prudent. Christian conduct, on 
this occasion, was very conspicuous. It is evident that his 
mind was greatly distracted with suspense and uncertain- 
ty ; the apprehension of erring on the one hand, and of 
neglecting a call to greater usefulness on the other, threw 
him inio peqplexity and agitation. Unexpected considera- 
tions started suddenly upon him; he found he had been 
an instrument of doing more good, and that there was 
more attachment towards him among the people, than had 
hitherto been discovered. About thirty persons had join- 
ed the church, nearly as many were awakened under his 
ministry, and the last year was still more promising of use- 
fulness and comfort. A conflict of contending passions 
raised as great a tumult .within him, as perhaps the revolu- 
tions of empires ever wrought in an ambitious breast. In 
this dilemma he had recourse to counsel from friends, and 



from meetings of ministers ; the question whether he 
should leave the first scene of his usefulness, or occupy a 
larger, and in some respects, a more comfortable sphere, 
was referred by the church and by him, to arbitration. He 
corresppnded with those whom he thought likely to give 
him good advice ; but above all, he resorted on this occa- 
sion, to fasting, and prayer to the Father of lights. He 
did not, however, ascertain the path of duty so clearly as 
could be wished, and therefore concluded on staying a 
year loiiger at Soham. At the end of this period he made 
up his mind to remove, and all parties agreed that he 
should accept the invitation of the church at Kettering. 
On this decision, the church at Soham wept much, but 
said, " The will of the Lord be done." 


His Removal to Kjetterin^ — Domestic Afflictions — Ministerial La- 
bours — Efforts in the Cause of Religious Liberty — Personal and 
Relative Afflictions — Counsel and Correspondence — Labours con- 

Among dissenting churches, where the right of choosing 
and retaining their own ministers is tenaciously regarded, 
there is always some danger of sacrificing the general good 
to the supposed claims of a particular society. And though 
Mr. Fuller was influenced by the purest motives, in pro- 
longing his connection with the church at Soham, and had 
no worldly interest or ambition to gratify ; yet it is pretty 
evident that a considerable part of his usefulness would 
have been lost, by complying with the wishes of the people 
and acknowledgmg their exclusive right to his services, 
had not Providence removed those scruples by imposing a 
necessity from which there could be no appeal. 

In the early part of Mr. Fuller's public life, he had the 
happiness to become acquainted with the excellent Mr. 
Hall of Arnsby, whose peculiar delight it was, to encour- 
age any promising talents which he discovered among his 
junior brethren in the ministry. Mr. Hall had long fixed 
his eye on Mr. Fuller, as likely to render important ser- 
Tices to the cause of truth at some futvire period, and anx- 
iously waited to introduce him to a situation more adapt- 
ed to the range of his abilities. Amidst the difficulties at- 


tending his early labours^ both from the pulpit and the 
press, and those which arose out of his religious connec- 
tions, Mr. Hall was his counsellor and friend ; and to the 
latest hour of his life, Mr. Fuller cherished the memory of 
that eminent man with filial affection and reverence. 

It has already been stated, that the Baptist church at 
Kettering was destitute of a pastor during the greater part 
of the time Mr. Fuller was exercising his ministry at So- 
ham ; and by the advice of Mr. Hall, they waited several 
years in the hope of obtaining him. In the me^i time, 
Mr. Fuller occasionally visited and preached at Kettering, 
where his character and talents were held in the highest 
estimation, and where a more extensive field of usefulness 
invited his attention. The interval, however, was equal- 
ly painful to himself and to his friends. The church at 
Soham was distressed by the fear of losing him, and the 
church at Kettering for the want of him, while he himself 
was equally distressed by the influence of contending 
motives. "Oh that it had never been my lot," said he, 
" to undergo the trial of a remove ! Such things not only 
kindle my affections, but my fears. I am not without my 
fears, that if I do remove, 1 shall sin against the Lord ; 
and rather than do that, I would go softly all my years in 
the bitterness of my soul. Truly his favour to me is bet- 
ter than life. On the other hand, I am not without hope 
that I should not offend the Lord in so doing. Yet if T 
go, I shall take upon me a greater charge than I have 
hitherto had ; and that greater charge is attended with 
greater obligations to diligence and faithfulness. When 
greater opportunities of doing good are put into our hands, 
it is but having more talents to improve, and more souls 
to be accountable for. These things make me fear and 

This painful conflict ended in October, 1782, when Mr. 
Fuller removed with his family to Kettering. He became 
pastor over that church on the 7th of October, in the fol- 
lowing year. Mr. Evans, Mr. Sutcliffe, Mr. Ryland, jr. and 
several other ministers, assisted on the occasion. Mr. Hall 
delivered what is usually called the Charge, from the last 
words of Paul to Timothy : " The Lord Jesus Christ be 
with thy spirit." 

On coming to this new situation, it was Mr. Fuller's 
good fortune to find in the senior deac9n of his church, 
Beeby Wallis, Esq. one who duly appreciated his talents 
and his worth ;^ and who, by his superior discernment and 


the transcendent excellency of his character, acquired and 
employed the most extensive influence in conducting the 
concerns of the society for the mutual honour and benefit 
of the pastor and the flock. The connection from first 
to last, allowing for those incidents inseparable from the 
present imperfect state of human society, was a source 
of great comfort and satisfaction to both parties. And 
though the eminence of Mr. Fuller's pulpit talents could 
not fail to attract the attention of moie numerous and 
more opulent congregations than that over which he 
presided ; yet he never felt any temptation to leave a 
people to whom he was so much attached, and from whom 
he received so many proofs of affection and esteem, in 
order to gratify the pride of popularity, or the love of fil- 
thy lucre. 

Alluding sometimes to what are called the more '* re- 
spectable '' churches in the connection, and observing the 
very humble situation of some of their ministers, whose 
influence and authority are absorbed in the more dignified 
office of the lay elders, he used to say, " I love to be 
where I can have plenty of elbow room ;'** and certainly 
he was inspired with sufficient terror of that worst of all 
animals, "a lord brother." Referring once to the salary he 
received for his ministerial labours, which was at no time 
fully adequate to his support, he remarked, " If I had con- 
sulted my temporal interest, 1 might have doubled what I 
have had for the last twenty years ; yet I might not have 
been better off than I am now." He was therefore con- 
tented and happy in the situation which Providence had 
assigned him. 

Mr. Fuller's removal to Kettering seems to have been 
the commencement of a distinct era in his public life. 
Here he was brought into closer union with a circle of 
ministers to whom he was greatly attached, and who were 
equally ardent with himself in the investigation of truth, if 
not alike successful in its defence and propagation. Here 
also his labours took a wider range, and were directed to^ 
wards a more definite object. 

Whether it be owing to a congeniality of mind, produc- 
ed by frequent intercourse ; to the collision of sentiment ; 
to the influence which insensibly pervades the same socie- 
ty ; to a spirit of emulation excited by comparison, or to 
any other assignable cause, it seems pretty evident that no 
great man ever existed alone in any age or country ; and 
if others, equally eminent with himself be not produced hy_ 


his impalsey he is the means, somehow or other, of elevating 
from the common level many around him, and of imparting 
an energy of mind and character which otherwise they had 
not possessed. The social influence was never more sen- 
sibly felt, Dor ever more visible than in the present instance; 
where the prophet's mantle seems to have descended suc- 
cessively, and to have endued each with a considerable 
portion of the same spirit, the same giils and talents for 

The venerable Mr. Hall of Arnsby, the senior Mr. Ry- 
land of Northampton, Mr. Fuller, and Mr. Pearce, to say 
nothing of Dr. Carey, and other surviving cotemporaries, 
were men of no ordinary standard, and they seem to have 
been planted together for no ordinary purpose. Each shone 
in his turn with unusual brightness ; and that part of the 
religious hemisphere, more especially, in which they mov- 
ed, has been long and successively irradiated with the splen- 
dour of their talents and piety. 

The first two or three years after Mr. Fuller's removal 
to Kejtering, were passed in great comfort and tranquillity. 
In 1784 he agieed, in conjunction with several other min- 
isters, to devote th*e second Tuesday in every other month 
to private fasting and prayer, for the revival of religion in 
their respective congregations, which was soon followed 
with a monthly prayer meeting, for the extension of Christ's 
kingdom in the world. During this period he was much 
occupied in revising and publishing his treatise on Faith, 
written chiefly while he was at Soham, where he had to 
explore his path amidst theological difficulties, unaided and 
alone. In this employment, however, he found much sat- 
isfaction and delight, and entered upon it in the confidence 
of ultimate success, though he anticipated no small degree 
of opposition and reproach fiorn his hyper-calvinistic breth- 
ren, who did not fail to represent his statements as adverse 
to the doctrines of grace. 

Trials and afflictions of another kind still awaited him ; 
and the first that seriously affected him was the death of 
a beloved daughter, at the age of six years and a half, on 
the 30th of May, 1786. He had buried several children 
in their infancy, but this was a heavier stroke, and it made 
a deep impression on his heart. The prospect of this 
bereavement occasioned an agony of grief which he was 
scarcely able to sustain, attended with a bilious fever which 
confined him to his bed for several days. When the con- 
flict was over, his spirits revived ; and calmly approaching 


the grave of the departed, he dictated the following tender 

« The Child is not!— and I, whither shall I go? 
My pensive soul thought thus to urge its grief: 
To what retreat betake me, high or low. 
Where burdened hearts might nnd some short relief. 

Shall I betake me to the grove, or field. 
Or walk, or hill, or dale, or glassy plain ? 
Alas, what joy can all creation yield ! 
Creation mourns where death and sorrow reign. 

So far from easing, prospects aggravate ; 

Ah, here she walked— ^Aere ran — there plucked the opening flower : 

Turn, turn away my eyes, nor irritate 

The wound that's now too deep for earth to cure. 

But stop.... the child is not... hence will I go, 
To God, who (hough he frowns, is still the same. 
She was not mine, (hough fond I called her so; 
He gave — He took away — I'll bless his namoi 

Look neither inward, on thy griefs to pore. 
Nor outward, for relief in creature joys ; 
Look upward, to thy God, thence help implor0, 
And help will come, and good from ill arise. 

Nor mourn to excess her loss, but say "'tis well ;" 
What mat(er when she died, if but to God. 
If reared tor Him, though young or old she fell, 
His bosom is her last and blest abode. 

Here oft she read of infant piety ; 

She read, and loved, and paused at every breath, 

Till dire affliction wore her strength away, 

And quenched her powers, and sealed her lips in death. 

What then ! her powers we trust do now expand ; 
Our views compared with her's are childish now. 
She needs not little toys t'amuse her mind ; 
Christ, whom she sought, will be her all to know. 

Surely her sorrows x^ow to joy are turned. 
Yes, sure h^r infant cries were heard and sped. 
Her tender hopes, to blest fruition changed. 
And all her fears in disappointment fled. 

But must we part ? — and can I bid farewel ? 
We must — I can — I have — I kissed her dust— 
I kissed the clay-cold corpse, and bid farev^l, 
Until the resurrection of the just. 

Return, my soul — ^the works of life attend—' 
A little while to labour here is given ; 
Meanwhile, a new attractive thou shalt find. 
To draw thee hence, and fix thine heart in heaven. 



These lines are not inserted for the sake of their poetic 
beauty ; but because they serve, in an eminent degree, to 
develope the paternal character of their Author, and evince 
the strength of his sensibilities, notwithstanding the stern- 
ness of his general aspect. '* Natural affection/' says 
Melancthon, ''is peculiarly forcible in minds of a superior 
order;" and he himself was an instance of the justness of 
the remark. When an eminent literary character called 
one day at his house to see him, instead of finding him as 
he expected, remote from his family, and secluded in his 
study, he was introduced to him, rocking his child's cradle 
with one hand, and holding a book in the other. It is also 

7 Op 

somewhere remarked of that illustrious statesman, Mr. Fox, 
that afler having held the British Senate for hours togeth- 
er during the night, in delightful ^astonishment, charmed 
by the splendour of his talents, and the blaze of his over- 
powering eloquence, he might be seen the following morn- 
ing at trap-ball with a little boy on the lawn, before his 
parlour window, and entering eagerly with him into all his 
juvenile amusements. It is by the facility with which 
superior minds descend from their elevation, and mingle 
with us in the ordinary occurrences of life, that under one 
view we estimate their greatness. And when we contem- 
plate the Son of God himself, taking little children up in 
his arms and blessing them, we have before us a pattern of 
grace and condescension which may well put the highest 
mortal to the blush. 

In the autumn of 1790, Mr. Fuller rode over to Everton 
in Bedfordshire, accompanied with his friend Mr. Sutcliffe, 
on a visit to the venerable Mr. Beradge. The interview 
was highly gratifying on all sides, though only of short con- 
tinuance. The good old man having given his two friends 
a brief history of his life, they requested him to pray a few 
minutes before they parted. He, however, desired. Mr. 
Fuller to engage in that exercise ; and afterwards, without 
rising from his knees, he took up the petitions which had 
been offered, with great fervour and enlargement, and dis- 
missed his brethren with the most cordial benedictions. 
Mr. Fuller returned home much refreshed by the interview, 
and ever afler menti5ned it as one of the happiest circum- 
stances of his life. 

Early in March, 1791, he lost his friend and counsellor, 

the kev. Robert Hall of Arnsby ; to whose memory he paid 

the last tribute of respect, by delivering the funeral oration 

• at his grave. The death of this great man was severely 


felt, especially by the ministers and churches in his imme- 
diate connexion, which afterwards looked up to Mr. Fuller 
as his successor in wisdom and ability. An Elegy which 
he composed on this occasion is closed with a wish, which 
is happily realized in him who bears the name, and inherits 
the virtues of his venerable predecessor. 

" ^Here's Elijah's mantle : may there too 

A double portion of his spirit rest 

Upon us all ; and might I be indulged 

In one more special wish, that wish should be, 

That he who fills his father's sacred trust. 

Might share the blessings of his father* s God, 

And tread his steps ; that all may see and say, 

Elijah's spirit on Elisha rests." 

The revolution of another year brought with it fresh tri- 
als, which exercised the faith and patience of the minister 
and the church at Kettering. Death removed an inestima- 
ble friend, who had been the principal means of introduc- 
ing Mr. Fuller to his new situation, and whose cordial 
co-operation had afforded him the greatest assistance and 
encouragement in discharging the duties of the pastoral 
office. Mr. Beeby Wallis, who had been a deacon of 
the church four and twenty years, died on April 2d, 1792. 
In commemoration of so excellent a character, and* the ten- 
der care with which he watched over the interests of religioa 
in that society, which had been founded and prospered by 
the labours of his pious ancestors, Mr. Fuller composed the 
following epitaph, which was afterwards inscribed upon his 

"Kind sycamoiFe, preserve beneath thy shade, 
The precious dust of him who cherished thee : 
Nor thee alone ; a plant to him more dear. 
He cherished, and with fost'ring hand upreared. 

Active and generous in Virtue's cause. 
With solid wisdom, strict integrity. 
And unaffected piety, he lived 
Beloved amongst us, and beloved he died. 

Beneath an Allon-Bachuth, Jacob wept : 
Beneath thy shade we mourn a heavier loss." 

About six months after the death of this valuable man, 
the Baptist Missionary Society was formed under the roof 
of his hospitable mansion, and wariply patronized by his 
pious widow. This important event afforded the most 
lively satisfaction, and called forth all the energies of their 
able Secretary. Here he found an object commensurate 



with the magnitude of his powers ; and with the most un* 
wearied assiduity he devoted the remainder of his life to 
the advancement of its interests. 

Bot providence was preparing a still greater trial of heart 
and iDtellect, in the affliction and removal of his amiable 
wife ; and during the progress of the disease he was ago- 
nized with poignant grief. " My family afflictions/' said 
he, " have almost overwhelmed me ; and what is yet be- 
fore me I know not ! For about a month past, the affliction 
of my dear companion has been extremely heavy. On 
reading Job iv. 3 — 5 this morning, I was much affected. 
* My words have uphold en many : oh that now I am touch- 
ed, I may not faint V Oh Lord, I am oppressed : undertake 
for me. My thoughts are broken off, and my prospects 
seem to be perished. I feel, however, some support from 
such scriptures as these : * All things work together for 
good to them that love God — God, even our own God, shall 
bless us — It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not con- 
sumed.' One of my friends observed, that it is difficult in 
many cases to know wherefore God contendeth with us. 
But 1 thought there was no difficulty of this kind with me. 
I have sinned against the Lord ; and it is not a little af- 
fliction that will lay hold of me. Those words have im- 
pressed «ne of late : * It was in my heart to chastise them."'' 

Mrs. Fuller died Aug. 23, 1792, under very afflictive 
circumstances, scarcely in the possession of her reason ; 
but when the trial came he was enabled to bear it with be- 
coming fortitude.* 

* We copy from Dr. Ry1and*s Meindirs of iTuller, the following ia- 
terestiog letter, giving an account of Mrs. Fuller's decease. ■ Ed. 

*' Aug. 15, 1792. 

" Dear and honoured Father, 

" You have heard, I suppose, before now, that my dear companion 
is no more ! For about three months back, our afflictions have been 
extremely heavy. About the beginning of June she was seized with 
liysterical affections, which, for a time, deprived her of her senses. 
In about a week, however, she recovered (hem, and seemed better ; 
but soon relapsed again : and during the months of July and August, 
&very few intervals excepted, her mind has been constantly derang- 
ed' In this unhappy state, her attention has generally been turned 
upon some one object of distress : sometimes, that she had lost her 
children \ sometimes, that she should lose me. For one whole day, she 
huDg about my neck weeping, for that I was going to die, and leave her, 
l^euext morning, she still retained the same persuasion ; but, instead. 



. He abo found relief in devoting himself closely to writp 
ing ; and it was during this period that he composed his 
Dialogues and Letters, on the fundamental principles of the 
gospel, and his celebrated work on the Calvinistic and So- 
cinian systems, examined and compared, as to their moral 
tendency. The intenseness of his application brought on a 
paralytic affection in his face and head, which created con- 
siderable alarm among his friends ; but happily it subsided 
in the course of a few months. 

Fond of nature and the woodland scenery, Mr. Fuller 
had occasionally taken his late companion and » friend, in 
the autumnal season, to spend a day in wandering among 
the bushes of the forest, to gather nuts. Riding alone 
through Corby woods, a year after his bereavement, he 

of weeping for it, she rejoiced with exceeding joy. * My husband/ 
said she, * is goinj^ to heaven .... and all is well ! . . . I shall be pro* 
vided for/ &c. Sometimes we were her worst enemies, and must 
not come near her ; at other times, she woald speak to me in the 
most endearing terms. Till very lately, she has heen so desirous of 
my company, that it has been with much difficulty that I have stolen 
away from her, about two hours in the twenty-four, that I might ride 
out for the air, my health having been considerably impaired. But 
lately, her mind took another turn,which to me has been very afflicting. 
It is true, she never ceased to love her husband. * I have had,' she 
would say, ' as tender a husband as ever woman had .... but you 
are not my husband ! ' She seemed, for the last month, really to 
have considered me as an impostor, who had entered the house*, and ta- 
ken possession of the keys of every place, and of &11 that belonged to 
her and her husband ! Poor soul ! for the last month, as I said, this 
and other notions of the kind have rendered her more miserable than 
I am able to describe. She has been fully persuaded, that she was 
not at home ; but had wandered somewhere from it, had lost herself, 
and fallen among strangers ! She constantly wanted to make her es- 
cape ; on which account we were obliged to keep the doors locked, 
and to take away the keys. ' No,' she would say to me, with a coun- 
tenance of inexpressible anguish, ' this is not my home .... you are 
not my husband .... these are not my children. Once I had a good 
home .... and a husband who loved me ... . and dear children . . . 
and kind friends .... but where am I now ? I am lost ! I am ruin- 
ed ! What have I done P Oh ! what have I done ? Lord, have 
mercy upon mo ! ' In this strain, she would be frequently walking 
np and down, from room to room, bemoaning herself, without a tear 
to relieve her, wringing her hands, first looking upwards, then down- 
wards, in all tiie attitudes of wild despair. You may form some con- 
ception what must have been my feelings, to have been a spectator 
of all this anguish, and at the same time, incapable of afibrding her 
the smallest relief. 

« Though she seemed n«t to know the children about her, yet she 
had a keen and lively remembrance of those that were taken away. 
One day, when I was gone out for the air, she went out of the 
house. The servant, missing her, immediately followed, and found 
her in the grave yard, looking at the graves of her childj'en. ^She 



commeniorated the afflictive event by dictating the follow- 
ing lines, which are not less affecting by their artless sim- 
phcity, than by the air of solemnity which they impart to 
the sarrounding scene. 

" I wKo erenrhile was blessed with social joys, 
With joys that sweetened all the ills of life, 
And shed a cheerful light on all things round-^ 
Now mourn my days in pensive solitude. 

There once did live a heart that cared for me ; 
I loved, and was again beloved in turn ; 
Her tender soul would soothe my rising griefs, 
And wipe my tears, and mix them with her own. 
But she is not — and I forlorn am left. 
To weep unheeded and to serve alone ! 

I roam amidst the dreary woods. Here once 
I walked with her who walks no more with me. 
The fragrant forest then with pleasure smiled. 
Why wears it now a melancholy hue P 
Ah me ! nor woods, nor fields, nor aught besides, 
Can grateful prove, where grief corrodes the heart. 

God of my life, and guide of all my years ! 
To thee may I again my soul commend. 
And in thee find a friend to share my griefs. 
To give me counsel in each doubtful path, 
And lead me on through every maze of life. 
Till I arrive where sighs are heard no more ! " 

Having been a widower more than two years, he married , 
Miss Coles, Dec. 30th, 1794, the only daughter of the Rev. 
William Coles, pastor of the Baptist church at Maulden in 

said nothing ; but with a bitterness of soul, pointed the servant*s eyes 
to the wall, where the name of one of them who was buried in 1783, 
was cut in the stone. Then, turning to the graves of the other chil- 
dren, in an agony, she, with her foot, struck off the long grass which 
had grown over the flat stones, and read the inscriptions with silent 
anguish, alternately looking at the servant and at the stones. 

" About a fortnight before her death, she bad one of the happiest 
intervals during the affliction. She had been lamenting, on account 
of this impostor y that was come into her house, and would not give 
her the keys. She tried, for two hours, to obtain them by force, in 
which time she exhausted all her own strength, and almost mine. 
Not being able to obtain her point, as I was necessarily obliged to 
resist her in this matter, she sat down and wept — ^threatened me, that 
God would surely judge me, for treating a poor helpless creature in 
such a manner ! I also was overcome with grief: I wept with her. 
The sight of my tears seemed to awaken her recollections. With 
her eyes fixed upon me she said, .... * Why, are you indeed my 
husband ? ' * Indeed, ray dear, I am !' ' Oh ! if I thought you 
were, I could give you a thousand kisses !' * Indeed^ my dear, I am 
your own dear husband.' She then seated herself upon my knee, 
aa4 kissed me several times. My heart dissolved, with a mixture of 



Bedfordshire. Averse to the usaal manner of comniemo- 
rating such events, and desirous of acknowledging God in 
all his ways, he invited only one or two pious and intimate 
friends, to unite with him in prayer and supplication for a 
blessing on the important connection which had been form- 
ed. By this second marriage Mr. Fuller had six children, 
three of whom died in infancy^ and two only now survive 
to do honour to hi^ memory. Mrs. Fuller, after giving to 
the public a new and uniform edition of his works, has 
since followed him to the grave, Oct. 29th, 1825. 

grief and joy. Her senses were restored, and she talked as rationally 
as ever. I then persuaded her to go to rest, and she slept well. 

** Aboat two in the morning, she awoke and conversed with me as 
l^ationully as ever she did in her life : said, her poor head had been 
disordered, that she had given me a deal of trouble, and feared she 
had injured my health ; begged I would excuse all her hard thoughts 
and speeches ; and urged this as a consideration — * Though I was 
' set against you, yet I was not set against you as my hvxhand* She 
desired I would ride out every day for the air ; gave directions to the 
servant about her family ; told her where this and that article were 
to be found, which she wanted ; inquired after various family con- 
cerns, and how they had been conducted since she had been ill ; and 
thus we continued talking together till morning. 

" She continued much the same, all the forenoon ; was delighted with 
the conversation of Robert^whose heart also was delighted,as he said, to 
see his mother so well. * Robert,' said she, ' we shall not live togeth- 
er much longer.' *■ Yes, mother,' replied the child, * I hope we shall 
live together for ever.' Joy sparkled in her eyes, at this answer : 
she stroked his head, and exclaimed, ' bless you, my dear 1 how 
came such a thought into your mind ? ' 

" Towards noon she said to me, * We will dine together, to-day, my 
dear, up stairs.' We did so. But while we were at dinner, in a few 
minutes her senses were gone ; nor did she ever recover them again I 
From this happy interval, however, I entertained hopes, that her 
senses would return when she was delivered, and came to recover 
• her strength. 

" On Thursday, the 23d instant, she was delivered of a daughter, 
but was all the day very restless, full of pain and misery, no return 
of reason, except that, from an aversion to me which she had so long 
entertained, she called me < my dear,' and twice kissed me : said she 
'must die,' and * let me die, my dear,' said she, *■ let ine die !' Between 
nine and ten o'clock, as there seemed no immediate sign of a change, 
and being very weary, I went to rest ; but about eleven, was called 
up again, just time enough to witness tlie convulsive pangs of deaths 
which in about ten minutes carried her ofit 

''Poor soul I What she aften said ia now true. She was not at 
home .... I lam not her husband . . . these are not her children . . . 
but she has round her liome .... a home, a husband, and a family 
better than these. 

" It is the cup which my Father hath given me to drink, and shall I 
not drink itP Amidst all my afflictions, I have much to be thankful 
fiar. I have reason to be thankful^ that though her intellects were sa 


Mr. Fuller's ministerial labours, though not distinguish- 
ed bj any remarkable success, were very highly esteemed, 
and procured for him an increasing degree of reputation 
and influence. Hitherto there had been another Baptist 
congregation at Kettering, over which Mr. Satchell, fot 
many years, presided ; but towards the close of 1795, be 
and bis friends requested to be incorporated with the 
church under Mr. Fuller's care ; and the union became a 
source of mutual satisfaction. Mr. Satchell was the an* 

deranged, yet she never uttered any ill language, nor was dis- 
posed to do mischief to herself or others ; and, when she was at the 
worst, if I fell on my knees to prayer, she would instantly be still and 
attentive. I have also to be thankful, that though she had been gea* 
erally afraid of death, all her life time, yet that ^ar had been remark- 
ably removed for the last half year. While she retained her reason, 
she would sometimes express a willingness to live or die, as it might 
please God ; and about five or six weeks ago, she now and then pos* 
sessed a short interval, in which she would converse freely. One of 
our friends, who stayed at home with her on Lord's-days, says that 
her conversation, at those times, would often turn on the poor and im- 
perfect manner in which she had served the Lord ; her desires to serve 
bim better ; her grief to think that she had so much and so often sin- 
ned against him. On one of these occasions she was wonderfully 
filled with joy, on overhearing the congregation, while they were 
singing over the chorus, * Glory, honour, praise^ and power,' &c. 
She seemed to catch the sacred spirit of the song. 


** I mean to erect a stone to her memory, on which will, probably, 
be engraved the following lines : 

The tender parent wails no more her loss, • 

Nor labours more beneath life's heavy load; 
The anxic»us soul, releas'd from fears and woes, 
Has found her home, her children, and her God. 

" To all this, I may add, that perhaps I have reason to be thank- 
ful for her removal. However the dissolution of such an union may 
affect my present feelings, it may be one of the greatest mercies both 
to her and to me. Had she continued, and continued in the same state 
of mind, (which is not at all improbable,) this, to all appearance, would 
have been a thousand times worse than death. 

"The poor little infant is yet alive;* and we call her name Satho* 
ni; the same name, except the difference of sex, which Rachel gave to 
her last born child. Mr. West preached a funeral sermon last night* 
at the interment, from 2 Cor. v. 1. 

" I am, dear and honoured father, 

« Yours, in great affliction, 

«*A. FULLER." 

* It died aboat three weela afterward*. 

D 2 


thor of an ingenious work,* afterwards published bjr his 
Son, and which has passed through several editions. Some 
of the public journals have inadvertently attributed this 
performance to the pen of Mr. Fuller; l^t all that he 
did was to write a recommendatory preface, as a testimo- 
ny of respect to the memory of his departed and amiable 

Preaching in the villages within a convenient distance, 
was an employment in which Mr. Fuller greatly delighted, 
and the solicitations of his friends afforded frequent oppor- 
tunities. In the spring of 1796, a reputable grazier at 
Bray brook, in Northamptonshire, who has since emigrated 
to Ameiica, lost his eldest son, and requested Mr. Fuller 
to preach a funeral sermon at his interment. When the 
services were about Ho commence, the little meeting house 
in the village was found by far too small to contain the -con- 
gregation ; the weather, also, was too cold to admit- of 
preaching in the open air, and no convenient place was at 
hand. An urgent request was presented to the aged vicar 
for the use of the parish church, presuming that the solem- 
nity of the occasion, and the want of accommodation for 
Uie crowds which were flocking from all parts of the neigh- 
bourhood, would be admitted as some excuse for a viola- 
tion of the Episcopal sanctuary, and that the canon law 
would for once relax a little <9f its severity in favour of the 
superior interests of religion and morality. The parent of 
the deceased youth was willing to engage for any pecunia- 
ry cdhsequences that might ensue, while the preacher prom- 
ised to make his best apologies to the bishop, if they should 
be demanded. The interment took place in the church 
yard ; and the aged and infirm vicar, having performed the 
burial service at the grave, actually introduced the Non- 
conformist to his pulpit, and became himself a hearer, 
while Mr. Fuller delivered a most impressive discourse, 
from Jer. xxxi. 18 — 20, to a numerous and deeply affected 
audience. Should the time come, when Episcopalians and 
Dissenters shall behave towards each other as brethren^ 
forgetting the differences and distinctions which subsist 
between them, in cases demandfng the sacrifice of minor 
interests, a most important advantage would be gained to 
the cause of their common Christianity. 

* Thornton Abbkt: consisting of a series of letters on religious 
subjects, in 3 vols. 12mo. 


When the service was over, the clergyman, whose name 
was Chapman, shook hands with the preacher before all 
the people, and thanked him *for his serious and pathetic 
discourse ; saying, *' I hope that no ill consequences will 
befal either thee or me." It is but justice to add, that no 
unpleasant notice was taken of this singular occurrence 
by the bishop, though it happened to be no other than 
Dr. ToMLiNE himself, who so soon afterwards wanted to 
abridge the provisions of the act of toleration. At a fol- 
lowing visitation, however, the bishop inquired into the 
fact, which was freely admitted by th^ clergyman ; and 
particularly asked whether the preacher prayed for the 
, king ; for possibly his lordship imagined that none but 
bishops pray for royalty. The answer was, " Yes, very 
fervently.'' And what did he preach about, said the dio- 
cesan. ** Why, about the common salvation,'' was the re« 
ply. The bishop only added, that he must not do so 

Mr. Fuller began to acquire considerable celebiity as an 
author, and some of his works were reprinted and circulat- 
ed beyond the Atlantic. The American divines especially, 
having entered pretty deeply into theological controversy, 
regarded him as a very able polemic, dnd set a high value 
on his publications. Desirous of expressing their esteem 
for his talents and charactef, they conferred on him the 
honorary title of Doctor in Divinity. 

In a letter to Dr. Hopkins of New-England, dated 
March 17, 1798, Mr. FulJer expressed himself in th^ fol- 
lowing manner. ''One of our ministers has told the world 
that a diploma was conferred on me by the College of New 
Jersey. I do not know that it was so, as I have received 
DO direct account of it. If I had, I should have written 
them a respectful letter, expressive of my gratitude for 
their having offered such a token of respect, and acknowl- 
edging what is the truth, that I should esteem it as coming 
from that quarter which, beyond any other in the world, I 
most approved ; but declining to accept it, partly because I 
have not those qualifications which are expected to accom- 
pany such titles, and partly because I believe all such titles 
tn religion to be contrary to our Lord's command. Matt, 
xxiii. 8." The ill-fated diploma was, nevertheless, at 
length received, afler it had been taken by the French on 
its passage from America, and sent over to England by the 
agents of the French government; but it was never appro- 


Early in 1798 the country was much alarmed by the 
prospect of a threatened invasion, and Mr. Fuller very 
feelingly participated in the general concern. Much as he 
disapproved of many of the measures of administration, 
he was a most decided friend to his country, not merely 
on the common principles of political patriotism, but from 
higher motives. With the amiable Cowper, he could truly 
say, ** England, with all thy faults, I love thee still.'' At 
this period, in particular, he was under ''^ strong apprehen- 
sions that a time of sore trial was at hand, and that the 
meditated attack would prove an awful test to great multi- 
tudes of professed christians. I pray God, says he, that it 
may be averted, and that this cup may pass from us. If 
however such a calamity be permitted, it may be. for the 
sake of destroying our antichristian corruptions ; but who 
shall live when God doth this1 Oh that we might all forget 
every character but that of the christian, and be only atten- 
tive to our immediate duty! 'Seek the peace of the city where- 
in ye dwell,' said the prophet to the captives in Babylon ; 
*and pray to the Lord ibr it.' Yes, even of that city which 
oppressed them and oppressed the world. However advan- 
tageous it might be to the Jewish C2[ptives,that Babylon should 
be overturned, they were to do nothing to promote the design 
of Cyrus ; but attend to duty in their own little circle, and 
leave God to manage things on the larger scale." 

The close of this year was marked by the commencement 
of a domestic calamity, which in its progress affected him 
morfe deeply than any other event in the course of his whole 
life. His nerves were naturally firm and unshaken ; he 
seldom gave away to paroxysms of grief, scarcely indeed in 
any case where religious principle had not a deep concern; 
and when this was blended with other interests, the afflic- 
tion became too poignant to be long endured. 

Writing to an intimate friend on this trying occasion, he 
says, "My heart is almost broken. Let nothing that I said, 
grieve you ; but make allowance for your afflicted and dis- 
tressed friend. When I He down a load almost unsupportable 
depresses me. Mine eyes are kept waking ; or if I get a 
little sleep, it is disturbed ; and as soon as I awake, my load 
returns upon me. Oh Lord, I know not what to do ; but 
mine eyes are up unto thee. Keep me, oh my God, from 
sinful despondency. Thou hast promised that all things 
shall work together for good to them that love thee : fiiffil 
thy promise, on which thou hast caused thy servant to 
hopd. Oh^ my God, this child which thou hast given me in 


charge is. wicked before thee, is disobedient to me, and is 
plunging himself into ruin. Have mercy upon him, oh 
Lord, and preserve him from evil. Bring him home to me, 
and not to me only, but also to thyself. • 

** If I see the children of other people, it aggravates my 
sorrow. Those who have had no instruction, no pious ex- 
ample, or warnings, or counsels, are often seen to be steady 
and^trasty : but my child, who has had all these advantages, 
is worthy of no trust to be placed in him. Oh, my God, 
take away his heart of stone, and give him a heart of flesh; 
oh, give him a broken and sincere heart. I am afraid he 
will go into the army, that sink of immorality ; or if not, * 
that being reduced to extremity, he will be tempted to steal. 
And oh^ if he should get such a habit, what may not these 
weeping eyes witness, or this broken heart be called to en- 
dure ! Oh, my God, whither will my fears lead me ? Have 
mercy upon me, a poor unhappy parent : have mercy upon 
him, a poor, ungodly child. Oh Lord, I am oppressed ; 
undertake for me V* 

About ten days afterwards, when the scene began to 
brighten, he sings of mercy and judgment. ** I fouAd 
much relief," says he, " in prayer, and was persuaded that 
God would hear me, and bring it to pass. I have now 
much cause to be thankful, though my chief concern is not 
accomplished. I must go at last to Leicester and Notting- 
ham, to collect for the mission, but my strength and spirits 
are so broken with what I have suftered this last week, that 
1 feel almost unable to undertake any thing. How soon 
the stoutest heart is appalled by trouble ! I never before 
perceived the force of those words in Isaiah Ixv. 23, 24, 
which seem to be a prophecy of the latter day glory. As 
ministers and as parents, we appear to labour almost in vain : 
we bring forth children for trouble, and our prayers are not 
answered on their behalf But then the labours of the 
Lord's servants shall be successful ; children shall be con- 
verted in early life, and prayer bear a quick return of bless- 
ings in variety." 

The particulars of this grievous affliction, which the 
Editor could not prevail upon himself to lay before the 
reader, are detailed with sufficient minuteness in another 
publication. It is well remembered, that Mr. Fuller him- 
self abstained from mentioning the subject, except only to 
two or three of his most intimate friends; the recollectiou 
filled him with so much bitterness, that he was often com- 
pelled, as he said, to seek relief in trying to forget his 


trouble, and turning his attention to other subjects. With 
various alternations of hope and fear, his mind was exer- 
cised for several years by the unhappy conduct of his eldest 
SOIL,' till at length, in the spring of 1809, the hope that he 
had obtained mercy in his dying hour, assuaged the grief 
of the bereaved and disconsolate parent 

No man's religious sentiments were more constantly lia- 
ble to misrepresentation than Mr. Fuller's, though scarcely 
any one had the faculty of rendering them more intelligioley 
or of placing them in a stronger light. When he insisted 
so successfully on the gospel being " worthy of all accepta- 
tion,' the hyper-calvinists represepted him as an Arminian ; 
and after his controversy with the deists and Socinians, oth- 
ers as perversely said that he had given up the doctrine of 
the atonement, and of endless punishment. - A rather sin- 
gular instance of this kind occurred in the summer of 1799, 
the sequel of which shows in what manner Mr. Fuller was 
accustomed to treat an evil report, and may serve as a. 
warning to those who take pleasure in aspersing the prin* 
ciples or the characters of others. 

A young Independent minister in Northamptonshire had 
heard that Mr. Fuller denied certain fundamental doctrines, 
and went down to Scotland and spread the report among 
some friends at Aberdeen, who wrote to Mr. Fuller on the 
subject. On the minister's return, his apology was, that 
" he did not circulate the report which he had heard, he 
only inquired whether it was true," and should be sorry if 
Mr. Fuller's mind was hurt by it. In the following ex- 
tracts from his reply, it will be seen what Mr. F. thought 
of such inuendoes, and of the distinction pleaded in de- 

** I cannot find time," says he, " to contradict every idle 
tale, nor have I any inclination to do so. By letting it 
take its course, I shall be better able to distinguish friends 
from enemies. If a friend hears it, and fears lest there 
should be some truth it, he will write me a line, and I 
shall give him satisfaction. If an enemy hears it, he will 
report it, and let him report it. A friend in Edinburgh 
has indeed informed me, that a person from England vsaid 
it was reported, that I had changed my sentiments on cer- 
tain important subjects. I replied that I was not surpris- 
ed ; but he might rest assured there was no truth in it, and 
that he was at liberty to say so in any form he thought 
proper. Having thus, as I supposed, sufficiently set the 
matter straight, I thought little more about it horn that 


time to this. You maj perceive, therefore^ that my mind 
has not been greatly * hurt ' by the report. My views of 
the atonement, and of future punishment, are the same as 
when I wrote my letters on Socinianism. 

" If you heard the report you mention, I do not blame 
you for suspecting that there might be some truth in it. 
Friendship itself might have feared ; but friendship, and 
even justice, would either have dropped me a line of in- 
quiry, or have remained silent on the subject, till farther 
light had been cast upon it. At least, it would have for- 
borne to inquire at a distance from home, afler the truth 
of a report which originated in your neighbourhood. 
* Great men,' you say, * have fallen ; ' yes, greater and bet- 
ter .than either of us; but it does not follow from hence^ 
that we should lightly take up an evil report against anoth- 
er. You should not ha^e reported your doubt, my b(oth- 
er, where there was no probability of obtaining information 
on the subject, but merely of making work for me to con- 
tradict you. 

"But you only 'inquired,* it seems. Ask an English 
tradesman who has connections in Scotland, what he would 
think of a brother tradesman, who, having heard that he 
was certainly on the point of stopping payment, should go 
immediately to Edinburgh and Aberdeen amongst his 
creditors, and inquire into the truth of the report ! The 
suspected party might have it in his power to prevent such a 
report doing him an injury, and so might not think it worth 
his while to prosecute the libeller ; but what would he think 
of him ? 

" I have no wish to bear hard upon a young minister ; but 
if you think my good opinion of any account j or let that b^ 
as it may, if you wish for peace in your own mind, there is 
but one course open to you ; and that is, without any far- 
ther attempts to apologize for what will admit of no apolo- 
gy, frankly to acknowledge that you have done that to a 
brother, which you would not be willing he should do to 
you, and that, therefore, you are sorry for it. This would 
be to youT honour, and would raise you much in my esteem. 
The matter would then -go no neither than to the few who 
are already acquainted with it ; but if you go about to pal- 
liate, and appeal to this and that friend, whether you are 
not blameless, it will only be making bad worse. It is al- 
so very possible that my Edinburgh correspondent may in- 
sert my letter to him in some magazine, unless I desire 
him not to do so. Should this be the case, though I have 


made no mention of your name, nor oast a single refleo 
tion on the reporter, yet as it will be known to hare pro- 
ceeded from you, it may operate to your disadvantage." 

The report being traced to its source, by a circuitous 
route, was found to have originated in the misapprehension 
of a single sentence, contained in a sermon which Mr. Ful- 
ler had delivered at Birmingham ; and like many other idle 
or wilful mistakes, it was magnified till it amounted to a 
denial of the efficacy of the atonement. On making this 
discovery, Mr. Fuller addressed the following letter to the 
editor of a public journal, who had thus misrepresented his 
sentiments, in order to subserve the detested cause of So- 

" Sir, you once informed me, if I remember right,, that 
any thing I might send for the Universalist Miscellany 
would readily be inserted. This day, (June 5th, 1799,) I 
had the second volume of that work put into my hands, and 
which I had not seen before. In page 39 I met with the 
following passage, in an extract of a letter from Birming^ 
ham. * Mr. Fuller, in a sermon at Ctiin non-street meeting, 
asserted, that the most pungent reflections of the miserable 
in hell were and would be, to remember that Christ died 
for them.' — Now sir, I affirm, that this is a falsehood. It 
is very possible that 1 might assert, that the most pungent 
reflections of the miserable were and would be, that they 
had rgected the gospel way of salvation. T he other expres- 
sion I am certain 1 did not use, nor do I believe what it 
would import. I think this circumstance ought to make 
you cautious of printing things from hearsay. I ipay add, 
that whatever a minister may advance, in the pulpit, it 
•)ught not to be printed, without its being first shown to 
him, and deliberately avowed by him. By inserting the 
above in your next number, you will evince your regard 
to truth, and do justice to your well-wisher, A. F." 

Mr. Fuller's multiplied and arduous engagements, which 
would have been too much for almost any other man, did 
not often produce discouragement; yet there were times 
in which his ardent mind felt oppressed by the accumulated 
load. In March^ 1800, |^en engaged in controversy, and 
also in compiling his Memoirs of Mr. Pearce, he was soli- 
cited to give his assistance to a new periodical work ; but 
being obliged to decline it, he tenderly expressed himself 
in the following manner : 

'' My labours unll increase, without any consent on my 
part. As to Magazines, tliere are several to which I con- 


tribute, fer the sake of the mission and other public inter- 
ests ; and through such a number of objects as press upon 
me daily, my own vineyard, my own soul, my fitmily, and 
congregation are neglected. Every journey I take, only 
makes way for two or three more ; and every book I write, 
only occasions me to write others, to explain or defend it. 
All is vanity and vexation of spirit 1 gave my heart to 
know wisdom : 1 perceived that this also is vexation of 
^irit. For in much wisdom is much grief; and he that 
increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow. Some are press* 
ing me to write more largely on the mediation of Christ ; 
and others, to review the second edition of Mr. Booth's 
Glad Tidings. Controversies perplex me ; and I am al- 
ready engaged with a gross and subtle sophist. My northern 
correspondents are ever raising objections against my views 
of faith, d&c. ; all of which 1 could answer, but cannot 
get time. I have sent your remarks to my friend at 
Edinburgh ; they will serve as a tub for the whale to play 
with, and perhaps for a time he will let me alone. 

** Pearce's Memoirs are now loudly called for — I sit down 
almost in despair, and say. That which is crooked cannot 
be made straight, and that which is lacking cannot be 
numbered. My wife looks at me, with a tear ready to 
drop, and says, 'My dear, you have hardly time to speak 
to me.' My friends at home are kind, but they also say^ 
* You have no time to see or know us, and you will soon 
be worn out' Amidst all this, there is, ' Come again to 
Scotland—- *come to Portsmouth — come to Plymouth— ^ome 
to Bristol' — 

** Excuse this effusion of melancholy. My heart is willing 
to do every thing you desire, that I can do ; but my hands 
fail me. Dear brother Ryland complains of old age com- 
ing upon him, and I expect old age will come on me, 
before 1 am really old. Under this complicated load, my 
heart has often of late groaned for rest, longing to finish 
my days in comparative retirement." 

The weight of these oppressive cares, however, did not 
prevent his feeling the most anxious concern for the pres- 
ervation of civil and religious Hbeity, whenever its interests 
seemed to be in danger; and early in the year 1800 
his zeal and activity were called into exercise on their 
behalf. An alarm was spread, that a bill was preparing to 
be brought into parliament, founded on a Report which had 
originated with the bishop and clergy of the diocese of 



Lincoln, complaining that great irregularities had arisen 
out of the practice of Village Preaching, and that the Tol* 
oration Act had been perverted by persons taking out a 
license to preach, merely for the purpose of being exempt 
from civil and military service; though the project had 
chiefly in view the restriction of the itinerant labours of the 
Methodists and others, which proved an annoyance both to 
the indolent and the active enemies of Christianity. 

It is gratefully recollected that the mischievous project 
was defeated, and that it eventually led to an enlargement, 
instead of an abridgment, of the Act of Toleration : never- 
theless, as much of what transpired at that period is illu^* 
trative of the state of the established church, of the means 
employed in its defence, of the spirit of the anti-evangelical 
clergy, and of the rapid progress of dissent, the surest 
guarantee of our liberties ; the active and energetic inter- 
ference of the Secretary of the Baptist Mission, will be 
briefly noticed in the following paragraphs. 

In a letter respectfully addressed to a distinguished 
member of the senate, since retired from public life, Mr. 
Fuller observes, '* The object of the Report, lately put into 
my hands, appears to be, to furnish a pretext for abridging 
reli^ous liberty, in reference to Village Preaching. It is 
drawn up with great caution, and an afiected moderation 
towards the privileges of Dissenters. Much is said of other 
evils, as well as that of village preaching ; but if thai evil 
had not existed, nothing I am persuaded would have been 
said or done concerning any others. This is the eye sore, 
for the removal of which every thing else is introduced as a 
cover. Dissenters are allowed in this Report to be decent 
and sober people, and all the complaint is made of the 
^ ''wandering tribes" of Methodists. What then have the 
Methodists done, to deserve the restraint of the legislature? 
Have they not wrought much good by their wanderings? 
There may be some things among them which we do not 
approve ; but still we should be very sorry to see their re- 
ligious liberties abridged. The Act of Toleration might 
not originally be intended to include them ; but if it were 
now construed so as to exclude them, the consequence 
would be that they must become Dissenters, in order to be 
comprehended under its provisions. 

** The clergy complain in their Report, of the small num- 
ber of worshippers in their diocese, and well they may ; 
for those counties are almost in a state of heathenism ; not 
owing indeed to village preaching, but rather to the want of 


it. Hanlingdonshire, Rutland, Lincolnshire, and the Isle 
of Ely, are remarkable for profaneness, beyond any other 
district in the kingdom ; yet the clergy hare nearly had 
these counties to themselves, there being very few Dissent- 
ers in them. Why then do they want to punish us for the 
effects of their own remissness ? 

*'If thete are to be no places licensed for public worship, 
which are occupied as dwelling houses, it will seriously af* 
feet great numbers of the branches of our congregations^ 
Ibrty or fifty of whom meet together for worship on a Lord's 
day evening, and at other times. If no ministers are eligi- 
ble to be licensed before the age of twenty three, and until 
they are pastors of congregations ; what are we to do with 
probationers, and how are our young men to be formed for 
the ministry but by exercise ? If it^e left with the magis- 
trates to withhold licenses for either places or persons, they 
being generally clergymen, we shall have very little justice 
done as. 

'^ You will excuse, dear Sir, the freedom of these re- 
marks. I cannot persuade myself that you, or any friend 
to evangelical religion, will concur in such an enactment, 
but will rather use all your influence against it. Is |t not 
manifest, that evangelical religion is the only thing that will 
suffer by this bill ? The clergy talk of deism and Socinian- 
ism ; but they will not be affected by it. What then has 
evangelical preaching done against the state, to provoke this 
treatment ? It cannot be that it fosters political principles 
which give offence ; for the friends of evangelical preach- 
ing, both in towns and villages, are not the men who have 
distinguished themselves in political disputes. Nor has 
political dispute any thing to do among village preachers. 
Neither do they who go into the villages, so far as my 
knowledge extends, ever rail at the clergy, or at the church ; 
they direct their whole aim in promoting repentance towards 
God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

** The whole of the projected measure appears to origi- 
nate in the jealousy of the anti-evangelical clergy, who wish 
to curry favour with the state, that they may be permitted 
once more to renew the work of persecution, from which 
for upwards of a century they have, sorely against their 
inclination, been compelled to desist. 

** The Toleration Act may have been infringed by per- 
sons obtaining licences to preach, merely to be exempt from 
civil offices : but if no persons were eligible to apply for a 
license, without the recommendation of three respectable 


BiiniflleTS of their own deDominatiOD, it woald aufficientlj 
guard against the abuse. And if any have gone into the 
Tillages, and railed against the clergy or the church, there 
is no remedy for this but what would equally affect > others. 
Let the clergy act in character, and it will not hurt them^ 
but fall on the head of the accusers." 

The eminent individual to whom this appeal was made, 
expressed his opinion that the Dissenters and Methodists 
need not be at all alarmed, for that no such measure as 
the one in contemplation, would be likely to meet with 
support from the legislature, or be countenanced by the 
generality of the clergy. But should it be introduced into 
parliament, he conceived that in resisting it to the utmost 
of his ability, he should promote the true interest of the 
established churchy no l^s than those of the dissenting body, 
which were in his view inseparably united. 

Happily the apprehensions which gave occasion lo this 
conespondence were never realized; the government, 
though it listened to the fears of the clergy, did not suffer 
itself to be influenced by them. The Dissenters, grateful 
for the enlargement and additional security given to their 
privileges, have not pressed forward with any new petitions^ 
nor attempted to embarrass the councils of state by taking 
a decided part in any public question. The repeal of the 
Corporation and Test Acts cannot be long delayed, but 
they have shown no signs of impatience ; and amidst the 
career of missionary labours, more important objects have 
engaged their attention. 

Mr. Fuller was subject to an affection of the lungs, e»- 
pecially from exposure to easterly winds, which never failed 
to produce some degree of inflammation. With all his 
constitutional strength and firmness, he was never able to 
meet this enemy ; but whenever the wind was in that quar- 
ter, he used to confine himself to his room for weeks to- 
gether, not daring to venture out. In August, 1801 , he 
had a severe attack of this kind, of which he gave the fol- 
lowing account in a letter to a friend, and of the state of 
his mind under the affliction : 

** I suppose you will feel anxious to know how I am, 
and so will many whom I cannot gratify. Indeed I can 
hardly inform you of my present state: but many have 
whispered that I am just in the situation of poor Pearce, 
when he had been at Harborough. The means used to 
remove the cough and fever, have brought me well nigh to 
the grave ; and the cause is not removed. I can just walk 

MBMOlllS or ANDJfcBW Fuxjun. 63 

jGrom one room to another, and ereep tip and down stairs ; 
but ray strength and spirits are gone. 

** Id reviewing my past life, I feel much cause for shame 
and self-abasement. I have been an unprofitable servant ; 
and if the Lord discharge me from his work, he is righteous. 
Tet while I feel abased, my hope, as a poor perishing sin^ 
ner, is fixed upon the Rock of Ages. Into his hands I have 
committed my spirit; willing to live or die, as it pleaseth 
him. Pray for me, that I may be fitted for whatever is 
belbre me.'' 

His ardent aliection for the memory of the excellent Mr. 
Pearee of Birmingham, expreesed itself on every occasion; 
and being still heavily afHicted, he repeats on the 5th of 
S^tember following, similar sentiments and feelings. ** I 
am,'' says he, ** exceedingly feeble : the cough is not re- 
moved, and the fever remains, with loss of appetite, strength 
and spirits. I am teased with blisters about the stomach ; 
bat perhaps they are necessary. They still say, I am go- 
ing after Pearee. Well, if it should be so, I hope to go 
whither he is gone. I feel at present calm, and resigned 
to the will of Ood. I remember at the time when that 
dear man was wasting away at Plymouth, I was riding out- 
lide the coach firom London ; and turning my back on the 
company, I wept for several miles, and put up this prayer : 
Let the God of Samuel Pearce be my God !" 

Mr. Fuller's sickness at this time, though nearly fourteen 
years before the final attack, bore so strong a resemblance 
in some respects to his last dying illness, that it seemed 
like a foretaste of that event. The tidings having reached 
Scotland, produced general alarm amongst his friends in 
that quarter : and to relieve their anxiety, Dr. Stuart kindly 
undertook a journey to Kettering. On first receiving the 
intelligence, this distinguished friend expresssed himself as 
follows : ** With what feelings I perused your letter this 
morning, He only knows who knows my heart. I had 
some painful anticipation from a letter which our afflicted 
firiend wrote to me August 5th, I heard no more, and re- 
mained anxious ever since. Previous to your letter, I had 
just perused the Periodical Accounts at one sitting, with 
sadi emotions as I scarcely ever felt ; my heart drawn forth, 
I knoir not whether with greater and more tender affection 
to tfa% author of the Preface, or to the chosen and devoted 
band in Bengal. Alas, thus prepared, how deeply am I 
cut, even to the quick, by your intelligence. Well — see 

F 3 

S6 imioiBS or anbrew fullek. 

" Sweet Btbe ! why fix thy wifhfoi eyes on us ? 
We feel thy load — ^but cannot give thee aid ! ^ 
Didst thou know aught, we would direct thine eyes 
To HIM, from whom alone thy help must come. 
Bat, what shall we do now ? — We will convey 
Thy looks eipresnve, tt)» to Heaven's high tiirone ! 
And plead on thy behalf with him, who gave 
A blessing, when on earth, to babes in arms. 

On babes in arms, our Jesus laid his hands ; 
And at the instance, too, of others* prayers. 
Were they not parents ? Be it so, or not ; 
If others' suit prevailed, why should not ours ? 
A mother pleaded once a daughter's cauMg 
And, ' Be it to thee even as £ou wilta' 
Was Jesus' answer ! 

Oh, our Redeemer, and our God, our help 
In tribulation — ^hear our fervent prayer ! 
To THBB we now resign the sacred trust, 
Which thou ere whUe didst unto us commend. 
Soon we must quit our hold, and let her fall : 
Thine everlasting arms be then beneath ! 
In THEE a refuge may she find in death, 
An^in thy bosom dwell when torn from ours I 
Into thy hands her spirit we cpmmit. 
In hope ere long to meet, and part no more !" 

Daring the following winter his langs continued to be 
tnueh affected, attended with frequent attacks of bilious 
fever ; so that he was able to preach but littloi and com* 
plained of being very susceptible of cold from east winds 
and damp air. In March, 1802, he ventured to attend an 
ordination in Bedfordshire, and suflfered a relapse. A 
friend suggested that he required some repose. He replied, 
'* Yes, I do indeed want repose ; but so long as I am in 
the world there is none for me. I am worse afler my 
journey than I was before, and am ill able to endure an 
additional load of labour ; yet I am inundated with letters 
from Scotland and India. Two of my northern corres- 
pondents have attacked me with sheetful upon sheetfrU, 
and sent me also Mr. M'Lean's new publication ; but I 
have thrown the letters aside for the present, and placed 
the book upon the shelf without looking at it, nor do I 
know that I shall be able to read it for some months to 
come. Here is a volume of missionary intelligence, which 
requires immedicttely to be sent into various quarters ; and 
I must take my work moderately, or I can do nothing at 
all. I had a good deal of fever last night.'' The church 
at Kettering began to be so much alarmed about the state 
of his health, that they held special prayer-meetings lor his 

wintmag or Ammtrnw fixlijuu Si 

In the month c^ Augnst he was so fiur restoied u to be 
able to undertake a second missionary tonr into Scotland. 
Beukg detained all day at Market Deqping, waiting for a 
passage across the Humber, he drew from his pocket Mr. 
McLean's publication, and began to examine it. Having 
dcAe so, he exclaimed, ** What a hopeless mass of miscon* 
ception and misrepresentation ! Lo, that which is crook- 
ed cannot be made straight, and that which is lacking can* 
not be numbered." 

Daring the present year Mr. Fuller was consulted in a 
case of some difficulty, respecting a minister's separation 
from his people, where considerable dissatisfaction prevail- 
ed, but without coming to a decided or unanimous wish 
for his removal. The sentiments which Mr. Fuller deliv- 
ered on this occasion, evinced the sacred regard he enter- 
tained for the liberty and independence of the churches, 
and the importance he attached to an upright and disinter- 
ested conduct in their pastors. His decisbn may serve as 
a guide to other ministers in similar circumstances ; or if 
not, it will at least be thought deserving of their serious 

'' It is a princi'i^e," says Mr. Fuller, " from which T can 
never recede, that when a minister has lost the confidence 
of his people, he has lost the power of doing them good, 
and must on no account be imposed upon them. Why do 
we talk of a church having the right of choosing their own 
minister, if other ministers are to interfere with the exer- 
cise of that right 1 Even though the pastor may happen 
to be right in the dispute, and the people wrong, they must 
suffer tfaHB consequences of their error ; but our hand must 
not be to impose a minister upon them beyond their own 
free choice." On another occasion he observed, ** The 
best minister in the world should not wish to stay with a 
people contrary to their desire. Christ himself, when the 
Gadarenes entreated him to depart, departed out of their 
coasts." And when he heard of a minister who lorded it 
over God's heritage, setting the pec^le at defiance, and 
boasting of his independence, he exclaimed, ** I tremble 
to think what many ministers would prove, if once their 
worldly circumstances rendered them independent of the 
people. The Lord keep us dependent on himself! That 
ministers are made for churches, and not churches fur 
Biinisters^ I infer from 1 CJor. iii. 21, 22, aa well as from 
the nature of things. But I think the same of rulers with 
respect to nations, who yet when in office, and execiuing 


the laws with fidelity, must and ought to be obeyed ; and 
I do not know that 1 have ever enconraged any church to 
withstand or neglect their pastor, in the faithful execution 
of his office." 

With all his inflexibility in the cause of rfghteousness 
and truth, he was still the advocate of peace and unity, 
and deeply lamented the divisions and separations which 
sometimes occurred in his own connections. A very inti- 
mate friend of his, after enjoying many years of peace and 
comfort, was anxious to leave his situation, in consequence 
of some unkindness which he had received from the peo- 
ple, and a want of exertion on their part, which tended, as 
he conceived, to impede his usefulness. Mr. Fuller, who 
narrowly watched the progress of events, and viewed every 
thing with godly jealousy, addressed to his friend an ex* 
postulation, equally remarkable for its tenderness and fidel- 
ity ; and though he afterwards acknowledged, that in some 
respects both himself and the people had erred, in the 
view they had taken of the subject, the following extracts^ 
which do so much credit to his discernment, can scarcely 
be read without interest, and may serve as acaution to min- 
isters who are tempted too readily to leave a pious and a^ 
fectionate people, on account of present difficulties. 

** You know I love you; and because I love you, 1 must 
be free and open in imparting my fears concerning you. 
I am afraid, then, that the whole of this has not originated 
in the love of God, and a desire to be and do that which 
shall be most for his glory and the good of his cause, but in 
certain uneasinesses which attend your present situation, 
and which will more or less attend all situations in this 
world, accompanied with some flattering prospects of 
worldly prosperity. I do not pretend to be certain that 
this is the case, because I do not know another's heart : 
but so far as my observation extends, it appears so to me. 
Now if this be the case, the present is, to you, an hour 
of temptation, sent to try you. If you comply with the 
temptation, you may be unhappy to the end of life. Say 
not, this and that minister have removed, and improved 
their circumstances. Were I as intimate with them as 1 
am with you, I would say the same to them, for I suspect 
the same. 

*' My heart bleeds to think of the state of some of our 
churches : the state of your congregation especially affects 
me the more, when 1 recollect that only two years ago, 
God seemed to be working a great work among you, and 


many iveie ^diered into his fold. And now, how will 
yon answer that question : * With whom hast thou left 
these few sheep in the wilderness ? ' 

''When a minister is unable to maintain his family, some- 
thing may be said in favour of his removal. But when it 
is fiur otherwise, what can be said? You have had a 
peaceable and affectionate people; they have not been 
without their failings, nor you without yours ; but you have 
learned to bear with each other. Be assured that you will 
neyer be so loved in any other place ; and it is doubtful 
whether yoa will continue long where you are going, un- 
less it be merely from worldly considerations, and this will 
afford you neither happiness nor peace. There is no con- 
siderable body of serious Christians among them, though 
there may be two or three excellent individuals ; and he^ 
sides, a spirit of Antinomianism pervades the neighbour- 
hood. Where you are, you are respected and beloved : 
but there you will be in danger of being blown upon by 
the flesh-flies of carnal professors. Do not be ofli^snded — 
do not be grieved with your affectionate friend." 

In the summer of 1803, the country was again threaten- 
ed with a French invasion, more formidable than the first, 
and Mr. Fuller readily became one of the alarmists. He 
accordingly entered into a public subscription for the de« 
fence of the country, preached and printed a sermon in 
support of the measure, and encouraged the young men 
of his congregation to enter the volunteer corps, which in 
the town of Kettering amounted to upwards of two hun- 
dred. Some of his brethren thought the latter proceeding 
a little too miUiaire for a minister of the gospel ; but he 
considered a general- armament to be " wise and necessa- 
ry," more on account of the prevalence of internal disaf^ 
fection, than of any immediate danger to be apprehended 
from a foreign enemy. His fears were also excited by a 
recent attempt to assassinate the king in his procession to 
the house of lords, and by the report of an intended insur- 
rection. He had heard, and he believed, that at the time of 
the abortive regicide '* there was a strong party of malcon- 
tents ready to seize the tower, another to take possession 
of the bank, and a third to disperse the parliament. Also 
that all the aristocrats, and ministers of every denomina- 
tion, were to be put to death afler the French fashion ; and 
that one of the standing toasts of the revolutionary party 
was, A guillotine large enough to be worked by the waters 
of the Thames ! " 

6ft mifcnitB OF andebw fol»b. 

No wonder, therefore, tint he feh so deeply, and expreMh 
ed himself so decidedly as he did on this occasion. He 
adqiitted, indeed, that the measures of Mr. Pitt, in silenc- 
mg the clamours of the people, and pre?enting the free- 
dom of dehate, by his imperious enactments, gave just oo> 
casion for dissatisfaction ; and that it was not inconsistent 
m a good man to utter his complaints, wben he felt himself 
aggrieved. ** Paul himself did so before the magistrates 
at Phi]ippi; but habitual 'murmurers and compTainers,' 
he observes, are those who * walk after their own lusts.' " 
It happened, too, about that time, that an Antinomian 
preacher in Leicestershire had rendered himself obnoxious 
to the laws, by same expressions which were deemed se* 
ditious; and Mr. Fuller was the more anxious to guard 
those of his own connection against the danger of revolu- 
tionary principles, which had originated, as he supposed, 
in the infidelity of the French democrats, whose principal 
object was, the total extinction of the Christian profession. 
** We have not known," says he, ** a hundredth part of the 
dark deeds that have been perpetrated under the name of 
liberty. Ms infidelity in disguise. Oh, that God mayde* 
liver us from it ! '* 

On the appearance of his printed sermon, a pamphlet was 
published against it, complaining that a war upon the lib- 
erties of France was in itself unjust, and had provoked the 
threatened aggression. Mr. Fuller, without pronouncing 
any thing on this point, maintained the lawfulness of repell- 
ing an invasion, whatever might be the original grounds of 
dispute between the two governments. He afterwards 
wrote a short piece in a monthly journal, on '* The inflo* 
ence of the conduct of religions people on the well-being 
of a country ;" and some '' Reflections on the Epistle of 
Jude," in reference to the same subject. 

Mr. Fuller had no time to study astronomy, or any odier 
branch of natural philosophy ; but he had sufficient sagac- 
ity to detect and expose the fallacious reasoning of some 
pretended philosophers,who seek to undermine the evidences 
of revelation by deductions from the principles of science. 
Of this he gave abundant proof in his masterly work on 
Deism, particularly in reply to Paine's objection, arising 
from the magnitude of creation. And one day in conver- 
sation, a similar instance occurred, not unworthy of being 
recorded. A person had been remarking on the immeas- 
urable distance of the fixed stars, and that according to 
the known properties of light, and the time required fw its 


mmmema op aicdrsw pitllbb* A1 

reaching our eartb, they must have existed premudj to 
the Mosaic acooaat of the creation, or the etars themselves 
would not now be visible. " Why," says Mr. Fuller, in the 
same way I could prove from the time it takes to learn a lan« 
guage that Adam and Eve must have been so long in the gar- 
den of Eden, before they could speak to one another. The 
truth is, that in creation every thing was produced in a state 
of maiurity, and ready ibr action. It was aftenoards that 
tbey were lefl to move on according to the laws of nature." 

Early in ISM.his activities were called fcHth in favour of 
religious liberty, among the slave populatioo in the West 
Indies. The Moravians and the Wesley ans had missionap 
ry stations in several of the islands for a number of years, 
and much good had been effected, without in the least en- 
dangering the peace and safety of the colonies. Mr. Reid, 
a pious Scotch missionary, and Mr. Sweigle, an excellent 
Baptist minister, had also laboured in the island of Jamai- 
ca with great success. But by a new act of the Jamaica 
Assembly, no public worship was to be tolerated, no social 
or domestic religion allowed among the slave population. 
" We have now," says Mr. Fuller, ** five or six thousand 
poor Baptist negroes in the island of Jamaica, who are 
not suffered to speak to their ministers, nor their ministers 
to them. We have therefore determined on addressing his 
Majesty's Privy Council, who are now in consultation on 
the business." 

He accordingly drew up a memorial, which was signed 
and presented by some of the London ministers, and fit- 
vourably received. The persecutions which have since 
followed are too well known to need recital ; and that they 
have originated in an utter aversion to Christianity itself, 
under the calumnious pretext of its tending to promote in- 
subordination, cannot for one moment be doubted. 

Still ardently pursuing his missionary career, of which 
a sketch will be given in chapter IV. Mr. Fuller paid a visit 
to Ireland in the summer of 1804 ; and during the follow- 
ing months, he was occasionally occupied in preparing for 
the press his two volumes of Expository Discourses on the 
book of Genesis, the first edition of which consisted of no 
less than two thousand copies. 

Attentive to the claims of friendship, and to the voice of 
affliction, he would always find a little time to bind up the 
broken-l»earted, and give suitable advice in seasons of dis- 
tress. An intimate friend having lost his companion, one 



wh(Hn Mr. Fuller much respected, he wrote the following 
affectionate letter ; which, whilst it was adapted to comfort 
others with the same consolation wherewith he himself had 
been comforted of God, evinces ia happy degree of wean* 
edness from the world, and a growing meetness for the in- 
heritance of the saints in light. 

'< September 19, 1805. 
" My very dear Brother, 

** 1 have just now received a line informing me that Mrs. 
M. is now more 1 I feel much for you and your family. 
There are few events of this kind that occur to my breth- 
ren, but they call to my remembrance the words of Aaron : 
* Such things have befallen me.' The most intimate of 
earthly unions are dissoluble, and formed to be dissolved. 
We know these things at other times, and repeat them for 
the reconciling of others : but God will cause us all, soon- 
er or later, to feel them. How often have you and I ac- 
companied the mourners to the grave, as a matter of course, 
and conciliated their minds with the consolations of the 
gospel. And in our turn we are glad of the same conso- 
lations ourselves. Things which otherwise would be deem- 
ed mere common place, shall thus become meat and drink 
to us. 

'^Oh, my brother ! though it may have been said a thous- 
and times over, it will bear being said ten thousand times 
over again, ' Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.' 
What a blessed thing it is to give up our dearest relatives 
to Christ, instead of burying them without hope. When I 
have seen a pious young man marry an irreligious woman, 
it has occurred to me. How will you be able to bury her ? 
You may lay your bones, or have them laid some day by 
her side, or even mingle dust with her ; but you will be 
parted at the resurrection. But when I see two who have 
been fellow-heirs of the grace of life, walking together in 
the fear of the Lord, though one must expect to be taken 
first, yet how cheering the hope of meeting again to part 
no more ! 

*' We have several friends near the mouth of the grave, 
and it will soon be our turn to follow. And soon let it be, 
if we may but be found ready. I seem of late to have the 
end of my life more constantly in view than formerly. The 
words of Paul have been sweet to me : ' For me to live is 
Christ, and to die is gain.' 


^^ When I lost iDy^ late dear Mrs. F. I found it good to 
keep near to God, and to eixiploy my mind constantly in 
my work. In this way I enjoyed a calmness and peace of 
mind which issued in comfort. We cannot come to see 
you ; but we will pray for you, and sympathize with yotr. 
The Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and your affectionate 
brother, A. F." 

The private remarks which Mr. Fuller made about this 
time, on the manner in which, according to his apprehen- 
sions, a monthly journal ought to be conducted, may not 
be undeserving the attention of some of our periodical edi- 
tors ; and his well-known aversion from all affectation and 
parade, will perhaps be deemed a sufficient excuse for the 
simplicity and plainness of his observations. ** Pieces ought 
to be written, (he says,) with energy, by men of talent ; and 
not by such kind of authors, who, ijf their names appeared 
to a publication, would not be able to sell enow to pay the 
printer. It is not sufficient to dress up a page somewhat 
cleverly, which when dressed is only like the light of the 
moon, which plays and amuses, but never burns. Such 
writing leaves no impression, the heart never glows, nor is 
the mind instructed after reading it. To affect to be pro- 
digiously learned and polite, is not the way to be thought 
so by men of erudition ; and among the generality of read- 
ers it is of no account. 

" With regard to principle, (he farther observes,) a work 
will seldom prosper by attempting to combine the oppo- 
site systems of Calvinism and Arminianism. It is not by 
trying to please two parties, that such an undertaking will 
succeed ; but by being decidedly of one, and treating all 
others with candour and fairness. There is indeed a peri- 
odical work that might seem to be an exception to this 
role, by combining Calvinism and Arminianism together ; 
yet it does not succeed on that account, but notioithstandr 
ing it. It is partly the ability which it displays, and partly 
its being decidedly episcopal, that makes it read among the 
church people ; and others buy it to see how they are 
going on. 

** Let us have a Review then, whose prominent features 
shall be divinity, and that decidedly Calvinistic, while 
it treats all other publications with frankness and good 
will ; and it would be read by religious people. Let us 
have no such silly critiques as have been made on the 
words of the* apostle, 'be ye angry, and sin not,' as if they 
were an interrogation instead of a precept, and anger in 


itself sinful ; a work pervaded with such puerile remarks, 
under the pretence of learning, would soon become con- 
temptible. Let others excel us in the arts and sciences ; 
religion ought to be our forte ; and if It Review were ably 
conducted on this principle, it would be read on that 

It was hardly to be expected, after a residence of twenty 
four years, and so much well-earned popularity, that Mr. 
Fuller would meet with interruption in the exercise of bis 
ministry, especially in such an enlightened neighbourhood. 
Yet in January, 1806, a number of disorderly persons 
crowded into his place of worship, while he was delivering 
a funeral sermon for a respectable member of his church, 
and greatly alarmed the worshippers by their riotous be- 
haviour, and crying out that the galleries were giving way. 
Mr. Fuller, found it necessary to summons them before the 
magistrates ; but not wishing to have the penalties inflict- 
ed, he devised another mode of punishment. The offend- 
ers were all made to stand up in the midst of the congre- 
gation on the following Sabbath, and ask pardon for their 
behaviour, while he read their confession to the people. At 
the same time, a paper, with their signatures, expressing 
their contrition, was read in the other places of dissenting 
worship in the town. 

In the autumn he was very unwell, and not able to preach 
often; but found some relief in taking short excursions on 
horseback. He complained that his correspondence was a 
heavy load, and the application required itf the day time 
prevented his resting at night. He had often written him- 
self ill in answering letters, and dreaded the very sight of 
a postman. 

In the summer of 1807 a very delicate piece of business 
fell into Mr. Fuller's hands, and which few men could have 
managed with so much success. A missionary in India, 
since deceased, had taken with him a pious young woman 
lor his wife. Some time after their arrival at Serampore, 
the missionary was stationed at a great distance, about four 
hundred miles up the country. For want of necessary 
medical aid, which the neighbourhood did not afford, he lost 
his amiable consort. He afterwards married the widow of 
one of the missionaries who died at Serampore,and sustained 
a second bereavement under similar circumstances. Render- 
ed disconsolate by his misfortunes, and still anxious of re- 
taining a situation where his missionary efforts had been sue* 


cessfuly he addressed a letter to an intimate friend in Eng- 
land, imploring him^ if possible, to send some pious female 
to his assistance. He was surrounded with Bengal natives, 
not a single religious European was known to him in all 
that part of the country, his labours were extremely ardu- 
ous, his habitation was lefl to him comfortless and desolate, 
and he had no hope of relief but from England. 

Mr. Fuller was on a journey to London soon after this 
letter arrived, and the minister who had received it put it 
into his hands. After reading it he said, ** Well, he is a 
valuable missionary, and in such a trying situation fully en- 
titled to pur sympathy. There are many pious females in 
your congregation, and surely some one of them might be 
willing to share his labours and his friendship. The min- 
ister stated the insuperable difficulty attending such an ap- 
plication, the person of the missionary being unknown ; and 
that as Mr. F. was going to London, inquiry might there be 
made with a better prospect of success. He might, per- 
haps, be as fortunate as Abraham's servant, who sought a 
wife for Isaac. " Well, then," said Mr. P. "I will try what 
I can do ; and if I do not succeed I will leave the whole 
to your management." 

On his arrival in town, he mentioned the subject to a 
minister, who quickly intimated that he could furnish he 
believed the very article that was wanted. " There is," 
says he, " at this time in our church, a godly young woman 
who has long wished to go to India to serve the mission in 
any capacity ; and she can be well recommended for char- 
acter and ability." An interview was accordingly appoint- 
ed, and Mr. Fuller introduced the subject somewhat in the 
following manner : 

" Well, Mary, and so you would have no objection to go 
to India ?" ." No, Sir : if I could be of any servite to the 
family at Serampore I should wish to go, were it only to 
wash the disciples' feet." " Do you happen to know Mr. 
C?" With some hesitation, " Yes, I know him." "And 
have you heard of his bereavement ? " "I heard of it 
lately, but wished to go to Serampore, long before I knew 
of that event." " Well, we do not say that you should 
join Mr. C.'s society ; we hope you will be advised in eve- 
ry thing by the family at Serampore, after your arrival ; 
and if Mr. C. should offer you his friendship, you will be 
at ail liberty to act for yourself But should you be inclin- 
ed in that case to accede to his wishes, and to join hand 

F 2 


and heart in his missionary labours, it will give us great 
pleasure and satisfaction." 

The sequel of this singular adventure developes some 
of the mysteries of Providence, aiifecting the tenderest in- 
terests of human life ; for it appeared afterwards, that this 
pious young woman was the first object of attachment to 
the devoted missionary ; but that she had declined his ac- 
quaintance in consequence of his determination to labour 
in the work of the Lord among the heathen. Mr. Fuller^ 
however, in a letter to a friend, tells the tale with an air of 
pleasantry, which it is hoped will not be displeasing to the 

" It appears," says he, " that Mr. C. had proposed mar- 
riage to the young woman, before his acquaintance with 
his first wife ; that she at that time did not accept his o^ 
fer, or rather as it should seem, said ' No,' as women oflen 
do, to save their modesty, and to try whether he was in good 
earnest; that he, like some other men, expecting to be sure 
that she would have made a low courtesy, and said, * Yes, 
and thank you Sir,' took her * No ' as final, and so they 
parted. Now, however, the young woman's heart is strong- 
ly inclined to missionary service, and would go to India, 
free from all engagements respecting the missionary. I 
told her all that I knew of him, and of his failings ; but 
she is still willing to go, if the Committee should ap- 

In the course of a few weeks, August, 1807, the female 
adventurer embarked with a few pious friends for Philadel- 
phia, where she was detained a considerable time, in con- 
sequence of a national rupture with America ; but arrived 
eventually at Serampore, and was soon afterwards married 
to the missionary, who had been the first and only object 
of her attachment. It is scarcely necessary to add, that 
since the missionary cause has been better understood, and 
diffused a more lively interest, the zeal of pious females 
has not been wanting ; but in the commencement of the 
undertaking, the amiable Mr. Ward and some others had 
to forego every prospect of this kind, and to forsake all for 
Christ's sake and the gospel's. Dr. Carey himself, in the 
first instance, embarked with only two of his sons ; but 
having at length prevailed withiiis wife and family, they 
accompanied him to India. 

In March, 1808, Mr. Fuller met with a serious accident. 
Travelling homewards from Bedfordshire, his horse sud- 
denly took fright, while on a full trot, and threw him over 


his head. He fell unfortunately on a large stone in the road, 
which produced a yiolent contusion on the left side, and for 
some time he was unable to rise, but no bones were broken. 
The effects of the accident were painfully felt for some 
months, but at length he returned to his usual course of 
labour. The interval was occupied in preparing for the 
press his able Apology for the Mission, and in the autumn 
he paid another visit to Scotland, to replenish its resources. 
His great exertions evidently impaired his health, and he 
began to complain of being distressed with the multiplicity 
of his private and public labours. 

During the few remaining years allotted to this indefati- 
gable man, the same unwearied course was pursued to the 
end of life. In 1809 he was greatly encouraged by a revi- 
val in his congregation ; many were awakened under his 
ministry, and added to the church. In 1811 he took fre- 
quent colds from journeying, which brought on inflamma- 
tion of the lungs, attended with bilious fever, and he was 
obliged for some time to desist from preaching. Having 
recovered a little strength in the autumn, he took his usual 
excursion into the north of England, where he travelled six 
hundred miles with great rapidity, collected upwards of six 
hundred pounds for the mission, and preached nearly eve- 
ry evening in the week. In November he caught a violent 
cold on his journey to London, and was again laid aside 
from preaching. 

Though unequal to the fatigue of such a journey, he ven- 
tured to go into Wales in 1812, but was able to preach but 
little, and began to be fully aware that his time was short. 
In a letter to a friend he says : 

" I seem to be near the end of my course, and hope 
through grace, and grace only, to finish it with joy. I 
have no transports, but a steady hope of eternal, life, on the 
ground of my Saviour's death. I feel some freedom in my 
applications for mercy in his name. If 1 should die, I 
shall be able to say to the rising generation, 'God will sure- 
ly visit you.' A work is begun that will not end until the 
world be subdued to the Saviour. We have done a little 
good, accompanied with much evil. The Lord grant that 
it may not be laid to our charge in that day 1 " 



His Ministerial Talents — Style of Preaching— Pastoral Labours— 

And general Usefulness. 

This excellent and valuable man entered on the minis- 
try in early life, as vfe have seen, with few advantages ; his 
mind had received but little culture, and his unpolished 
appearance made no great impression in his favour. He 
had to encounter every difficulty by an effort of his own, 
and to trust ' more to his strong native sense, than to any 
auxiliary aid. His mental and moral improvement was 
rapid and extensive ; and without waiting for the ordinary 
process, by which men attain to high degrees of eminence, 
he marched forward, and restched the goal in haste. 

As a preacher he soon became popular, without any of 
the ordinary means of popularity. He had none of that 
easy elocution, none of that graceful fluency, which melts 
upon the ear, and captivates the attention of an auditor. 
His enunciation was laborious and slow ; his voice strong 
and heavy ; occasionally plaintive, and capable of an 
agreeable modulation. He had none of that eloquence 
which consists in a felicitous selection of terms, or in the 
harmonious construction of periods : he had a boldness in 
his manner, a masculine delivery, and great force of ex* 
pression. His style was oflen deformed by colloquialisms 
and coarse provincials ; but in the roughest of his compo- 
sitions, " the bones of a giant might be seen." 

In entering the pulpit he studied very little decorum, 
and often hastened out of it with an appearance of precip- 
itation ; but while there he seldom failed to acquit himself 
with honour and success. His attitude, too, was sufficient- 
ly negligent. Not aware of its awkwardness, in the course 
of his delivery he would insensibly place one hand upon 
his breast, or behind him, and gradually twist off a button 
from his coat, which some of his domestics had frequent 
occasion to replace. This habit was in process of time 
much corrected, and many other protuberances were smooth- 
ed away by the improvement of his taste, and the collisions 
of society ; but certainly in these respects he was not the 
exact model of an orator. 

His presence in the pulpit was imposing, grave, and 
manly ; tending to inspire awe, rather than conciliate es-. 
teem. His general aspect was lowering and cloudy^ giving 


indications of a storm, rather than affording hopes of se- 
renity. Yet there was nothing boisterous, loud, or declam- 
atory ; no intemperate warmth, or sallies of the passions ; 
aU was calm, pathetic, and argumentative, overcast with a 
kind of negligent grandeur. He was deeply impressed 
with his subject, and anxious to produce a similar impres- 
sion on his hearers. 

To an acute and vigorous understanding were united 
a rich and fertile imagination, an even flow of feeling, 
seldom rising to an ecstasy, and an awful sense of eternal 
realities ; these, accompanied with an energetic manner 
of speaking, supplied every other defect,' and gave to his 
ministry an unusual degree of interest. He could never 
be heard but with satisfaction : if the heart were not at 
all times affected, yet the judgment would be informed, 
and the taste gratified, by an unexpected display of some 
important truth, ingeniously stated, and powerfully ap- 
plied. His own ideas were strong and lucid, and he had 
the faculty of placing them in the clearest light : if he 
failed to produce conviction, he was rarely deficient in evi- 

Though his writings enter deeply into controversy, in 
his ministry it was far otherwise. There he took the high 
places of the field; here he tarried at. home and divided^ 
•the spoil. The least disputable [>oints of religion, which 
are at all times the most essential, were the leading theme 
of his ministry. The cros»of Christ was the doctrine that 
lay nearest his heart ; this, in all its tendencies and bear- 
ings, in all its relations to the government of God and the 
salvation of the soul, he delighted to elucidate in every di- 
versity of form, and on this he dwelt with growing zeal and 
ardour to the close of life. It was a subject that met him 
in every direction, that beautified and adorned every other 
topic, that lived and breathed in all his preaching, and laid 
the foundation of all his hopes. 

As there are many who must have observed the concen- 
trated effect of Mr. Fuller's sermons, it may not be amiss 
briefly to notice the principle on which they w^re avowed- 
ly constructed ; if it do not excite to general emulation, it 
may afford to some, at least, a hint of instruction. One of 
the first books that Mr.. Fuller read, after entering on the 
ministry, and which he frequently recommended to others, 
was Claude -s Essay on the composition of a Sermon ; 
and to that work he acknowledged himself indebted, for 
any just ideas which he entertained upon the subject. <tjni* 


tj of design,' was apparent in all his discourses ; there 
were no vagrant sentiments, nothing foreign or irrelevant ; 
and though his preaching exhibited a rich variety of re- 
mark, all was made to bear upon one point, and to facili- 
tate the end he had in view. His sermons were never des- 
titute of what Aristotle requires in every discourse — a be- 
ginning, a middle, and an end. 

Every intelligent hearer must also have noticed, wUh 
what admirable dexterity the preacher would avail himself 
of the attributes of his text, — time, place, persons, and 
other adventitious circumstances ; with what care he 
would investigate its terms, ascertain its meaning, explore 
its recesses, mark its gradations, trace its connections, and 
poize its different parts ; and how, when he had provided 
the repast, he would make a distribution like the master 
of a feast. The simplicity of his ideas, their correspon- 
dence with truth and nature, and the luminous order in 
which they were arranged, produce the effect of enchant- 
ment ; every one beheld the beauties contained in Scrip- 
ture, and were surprised that he did not discover them be- 

The composition of a sermon seldom cost Mr. Fuller 
much trouble ; owing to his constant habits of thinking, 
it was generally the easiest part of all his labours. And 
though it would be highly improper to propose such an ex- 
ample for imitation, especially to young ministers, and 
those less competent to the undertaking, yet an hour or 
two at the close of the week would commonly be sufficient 
for his purpose ; and when much pressed for time, as he 
oflen was, his preparations would be made on the Sabbath , 
during the intervals of preaching; yet it required more 
than common strength of mind to digest such discourses 
as he was in the habit of delivering. It should also be ob- 
served, that Mr. Fuller's sketches for the pulpit consisted 
only of a few brief outlines, committed to memory, and 
enlarged at the time of preaching. He never filled up any 
written discourse, except when it was intended for the press^ 
and after it had been delivered. 

Those who heard him only occasionally, or but seldom, 
did not hear him to the best advantage ; for though he 
\irould oflen excel on great occasions, he was. generally 
most happy at home with his own people. Having but lit- 
tle relish for a stale subject, it was seldom pleasant to him 
to deliver the same discourse twice over ; he would rather 
Qome directly from his closet^ and brin^ out of his treasury 


things new as well as old. His mind retained a verdant 
freshness, capable of new productions ; and his daily con- 
verse with the Scriptures rendered it an agreeable task, to 
combine the varieties of thought which they suggested. 
Several of his discourses on particular occasions were print- 
ed at the request of those who heard them ; and had he lis- 
tened to the solicitations of his friends, their number would 
have been greatly multiplied. 

Expounding the Scriptures was an employment in which 
Mr. Faller delighted, and in which he eminently excelled. 
He did not, however, undertake any thing like a critical 
exposition, nor did he profess himself a critic on any sub- 
ject. Indeed, he had no great liking to the generality of 
critical commentators; and he soinetimes expressed an 
opinion, that the practice of attempting to illustrate the 
Scriptures on the principles of philosophy, or by frequent 
allusions to natural history and eastern Qustoms, in which 
coincidencies were imagined that never existed, tended to 
darken counsel by words without knowledge, and to betray, 
rather than support, the true interests of revelation. 

The application of sound criticism, to obviate the diffi- 
culty and elucidate the meaning of some obscure passages, 
be approved as much as any one ; but he had no. idea that 
a right understanding of the scriptures in general was to 
be attained in that way, any more than that the principal 
facts in English history were to be decided by the help of 
a dictionary. It was not words so much as things to which 
he attended ; and for a just conception of these he trusted 
more to common sense, well applied to the subject, and 
guided by moral feeling in a highly cultivated state, than to 
mere literary acquirements. 

He greatly deprecated the learned trifling of some good 
men, who are said to have taken up more time in their ad- 
dresses to a<^ountry congregation, in ascertaining the form 
and dimensions of an oriental tea-kettle, than in showing 
to men the way of salvation.* His contempt of such kind 
of learning might in some instances carry him too far ; 
but no man had a quicker discernment of its misapplica- 
tion, or could judge nlore worthily of the proper objects of 
the Christian ministry. Instead of employing his time, or 
engaging the attention of his hearers, on the superficies of 

* An anecdote to this effect was told him by the late Mr. Hickman 
of Wattesfield, in reference to his ingenious and learned predecessor, 
die celebrated writer on Oriental Customs. 


a text, or its imaginary references, he was all intent <m 
searching out its riches, sounding its depth, comparing it 
with the analogy of faith, pointing out its application , and 
deducing consequences, seldom obvious to the hearer^ but 
meeting his judgment in all their force, and carrying con* 
viction to the heart. 

In this way he went over a great part of the scriptoresy 
in a course of morning lectures for a number of years, tak- 
ing first one book, and then another, without any regard to 
chronological order ; and had his life been continued, he 
would, in all probability, have completed his exposition of 
the sacred volume. These lectures, as they were delivered 
from the pulpit, exhibited great variety and extent of ob- 
servation ; but as they were not composed with a view to 
publication, and were often delivered without any prepara- 
tory notes whatever, the greater proportion of them are lost 
beyond recovery ; and little remains besides a few general 
outlines, which cannot be filled up to advantage by any 
other hand. All that is saved of this valuable store, con« 
sists of the Expository Discourses on the Book of Genesis^ 
published in 1805 ;' and which, though little more than a 
miniature of the living lectures, are likely to perpetuate the 
usefulness of their invaluable Author. The rest are buried 
in oblivion, except his Expository Lectures on the Book of 
Revelation, announced for publication after his decease, 
and which have since made their appearance in print. 

In discharging the duties of the pastoral ofiice, Mr. Ful- 
ler was not equally successful, nor in this did he excel. 
There was no want of diligence or fidelity ; but his numer- 
ous, and, perhaps, still more important engagements, did 
not afford him sufficient opportunity ; nor was his turn of 
mind adapted to that easy and gracious kind of intercourse 
which these duties would require. He was not backward 
in spiritual and edifying conversation ; not unmindful of 
the poor, the sick, or the afflicted ; nor inattentive to the 
welfare of individuals ; but his element was in deep waters, 
and he seemed to demand a wider range for his faculties 
than the limits of an individual society. Those who wish- 
ed for more of his pastoral advice, were fearful of breaking 
in upon his retirements, or of interrupting the career of his 
labours; while he himself often felt and lamented the ne- 
cessity which required the suspension of several of the 
humbler duties of the christian minister. It might truly 
be said of him in measure, as of Paul : The Lord sent him 
not to baptize, but to preach the gospel. 


He was severely circamspect, however, in the execution 
of church discipline ,* a subject he had studied from the 
Scriptures, and on which he published his thoughts in a 
widely-circulated pamphlet. His manner of administering 
the ordinances of the gospel was peculiarly solemn and im- 
pressive. At the Lord's table he generally spoke but little, 
but that little was appropriate and affecting. He strongly 
objected to the practice of engaging the whole of the time 
in addressing the communicants; instead of devoting some 
part of it to silent and solemn meditation. 

Tenacious as he had alw^ been of the independent 
rights of a Christian soci^y, and the popular election of its 
officers, he observed much evil to arise out of the exercise 
of tliose rights, which he wished if possible to correct. 
Deacons, in particular, are oflen appointed to office by the 
people, iK>t for their superior wisdom or spirituality, but on 
account of their rank in society, or the influence and prop- 
erty which they possess ; and by this means the hands of 
the minister are weakened, and the interests of religion 
suffer. Mr. Fuller therefore preferred that the nomination 
of new deacons should proceed from the pastor and other 
deacons already in office, having previously obtained a vote 
for that purpose ; and that out of several thus recommend- 
ed, the church should make its own election. The follow** 
iog is the outline of an Address which Mr. Fuller once de- 
livered to his own church, in order to direct their choice 
of suitable persons to the office. 

** Much of the purity of the church," he observes, " de- 
pends on the conduct of its deacons, seeing it is impossible 
for a pastor to maintain proper discipline without their con- 
currence ; much of the pastor's comfort also was involved, 
as it would be necessary for him to act in concert with his 
brethren in office, and therefore they should be careful to 
choose such men as are mentioned in Ezra x. 4 ; and as 
the comfort of the poor was also concerned, such characters 
should be appointed as would be ready to discover and re- 
lieve their wants." 

After these preliminary remarks, he proceeds to consider 
the qualifications for the office of deacons. *' These," says 
he, ** you will find in Acts vi. 3, and 1 Tim. iii. 8. They 
must be men of 'honest report,' in their general character ; 
men of integrity and honour — ' Full of the Holy Ghost,' 
spiritually-minded men — 'And of wisdom ;' men of solidity 
and discretion, who are well skilled in counsel, and have a. 
tarn of mind for composing of differences. 



"Such is the account given in the first of these passages. 
One cannot but observe here, that no mention is made of 
opulence, as a qualification. A man certainly is not the 
worse for this, but neither is he the better ; nor is he on 
that account to be esteemed more eligible than another. 
This is a very common practice, but it is highly injurious. 

'* But what says Paul ? He enumerates the qualifications 
of a deacon, in 1 Tim. iii. 8. Here are gravity, sincerity, 
sobriety, generosity, soundness in the faith, purity of man- 
ners, a good conscience, men of some standing, whose fi- 
delity had been proved. ^ 

" Alas ! I hear you say, wnere are such characters to be 
found ? True ; and I am afraid this is a melancholy proof, 
how short we come of the primitive churches. But still 
we must choose those who, in our judgment, approach the 
nearest to this model. Perhaps even they had not men in 
whom all these qualifications were united ; some excel in 
one thing, and some in another ; and as I would not wish 
the church to be discouraged, nor those who may be chosen 
to office ; let every one be willing to be what his brethren 
wish him to be. We should neither aspire to be what we 
are not called to, nor refuse to occupy that post to which 
we are called. Only let us be of the spirit of the good 
woman, of whom our Lord said, ' She hath done what she 
could.' " 

This Address affords one instance amongst many others, 
of the inflexible integrity of Mr. Fuller's mind ; of his de- 
sire to do nothing by partiality ; and that in what related 
to the glory of God, he knew no man after the flesh. If 
he erred in any thing, it was in his honest zeal to do what 
seemed to him to be right : no one can doubt his incor- 
ruptness, though his infallibility may be fairly questioned. 

Considering the piety and the talents of such a man, his 
ministry might be expected to produce important efiects ; 
and certainly, such efiects were really produced. The 
number of persons apparently converted in Mr. Fuller's 
own congregation, and by his occasional labours in other 
places, was not, however, greater than in ordinary cases, 
and bore only a common proportion to the multiplicity and 
extent of his engagements. During the two and thirty 
years he preached at Kettering, the members of his church 
seldom exceeded a hundred and fifty ; and though the 
place of worship was once enlarged, and afterwards rebuilt 
in 1805, the number of stated hearers scarcely amounted 
to a thousand. This may be said, indeed, to have borne 


11 tolerable proportion to the population of the town and 
neighbourhood, where other respectable congregations also 
existed ; nor is this statement intended to detract from 
Mr. Fuller's usefulness, but merely to convey that kind 
of infornnation which persons living at a distance from 
the seat of his labours would naturally expect, in a work 
which professes to give the history of so extraordinary a 

Nor can it be denied that many of his brethren, of very 
inferior talents, have been equally if not more successful, 
in turning men from darkness to light, and from the power 
of Satan unto God And though at times it seemed im- 
possible to resist the wisdom and spirit by which he spake, 
the human heart was often impenetrable to his attacks, 
and his weapons fell [>ointless to the ground. If strong 
mental powers, exerted in all their force ; if unusual fidel- 
ity and zeal, accompanied with consummate skill, in di- 
recting appeals to the understanding, and pungent ad- 
dresses to the conscience,* could have insured a large por- 
tion of success, it might have been expected in the present 
instance ; but in reviewing the lives and labours of the 
most distinguished characters, we are constantly reminded 
of that humbling truth : 'Paul may plant and Apollos 
water, but it is God that givelh the increase." " It is not 
by might, nor by power," that the temple shall be built ; 
** but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts." 

There is, however, no need to resolve these things into 
religious phenomena, while there is any rational way lefl 
of accounting for them. If Mr. Fuller possessed superior 
ability, his preaching did not display greater warmth of 
affection or of holy zeal, than that of many of his breth- 
ren ; nor was it attended with that remarkable unction, 
which precedes and accompanies eminent success. 

Among the faithful departed, few were more successful 
in converting sinners unto God, than the excellent Mr. 
Pearce of Birmingham ; and considering the shortness of 
his ministerial career, his usefulness in this respect was 
rather extraordinary. In what consi5itent way is this to be 
accounted for t " The governing principle in Mr. Pearce, 
beyond all doubt," says his biographer, " was holy love. 
To mention this is sufficient to prore it to all who knew 
him. His friends have often compared him to that disci- 
ple whom Jesus loved. His religion was that of the heart. 
Almost every thing he saw, or heard, or read, or studied, 
W&9 converted to the feeding of this divine fiame. Every 


subject that passed through his hands, seemed to have 
been cast into this mould. His sermons were generally 
the effusions of his heart, and invariably aimed at the 
hearts of his hearers." It is no wonder, therefore, if un- 
der the influence of such holy fervour, when the preacher 
" could scarcely speak for weeping, nor the people hear for 
Interrupting sighs and sobs," great moral effects should be 
produced. The gospel can only be imparted by that Spir- 
it which is of God ; no zeal, no talents, can supply its place; 
and the enmity of the human heart can only be overcome 
by the omnipotence of love. 

There were seasons in which Mr. Fuller deeply partici- 
pated in these feelings, though the general cast of his min- 
istry was more masculine and less fervid, less tender, than 
that of his amiable friend. The judgment was often in 
exercise, when the affections were not ; and in the minis- 
ter, the man was sometimes more visible than the Chris- 
tian. This no doubt is a defect to which men of strong 
powers are more particularly liable. Towards the latter 
part of life, however, when afflictions and trials had im- 
parted greater sensibilities, and given a mellowness to his 
general habit, he would serve the Lord with many tears, 
and put on bowels of mercies, kindness, and long-suffer- 
ing, while beseeching sinners to be reconciled to God. It 
is of the utmost importance, however, that more of this 
spirit be imbibed, in order to any real or extensive useful- 
ness. Those who can impart not the gospel of God only, 
but their own souls also, because the salvation of men 
is dear to them, will generally find that their labour is not 
in vain in the Lord. 

*' It may be laid down as a rule," said Mr. Fuller on 
one occasion,* '* that eminent spirituality in a minister is 
usually attended with eminent usefulness. It is true, our 
usefulness does not depend on our spirituality, as an effect 
depends upon its cause, nor is it always in proportion to it. 
God is a sovereign, and frequently sees it proper to con- 
vince us of it, in variously bestowing his blessing on the 
means of grace : yet he is not wanting in giving encour- 
agement to what he approves, wherever it is found. Our 
want of usefulness is oilen to be ascribed to our want of 
spirituality, much oflener than to our want of natural abil- 
ity. God lias frequently been known to succeed men of 
but rough parts and abilities, where they have been emi- 

* His Ordination Sermon, delivered at Thome, in Bedfordshire. 


neatly hcrfy ; while he has blasted others of much superior 
talents, where that was wanting." 

On another occasion Mr. Fuller also remarks, '* that in 
proportion as we lean upon our gifts, or preparations, we 
slight the Holy Spirit ; and no wonder that, being grieved, 
he should leave us to do our work alone. Besides, when 
this is the case, it is, humanly speaking, unsafe for God to 
prosper ys, especially those ministers who possess superior 

Mr. Fuller's ministry was, however, attended with con- 
siderable usefulness, though not altogether in the way that 
has been mentioned. There were others who could lay 
the foundation, and teach what are the first principles of 
the oracles of God ; it was his to rear the superstructure, 
and to build up the saints on their most holy faith ; and in 
this he performed the work of a wise master-builder. His 
preaching was distinguished for depth of thought, a ful- 
ness of scriptural truth, and great perspicuity and force in 
stating and defending it. It was like a blazing torch in the 
midst of the churches ; and by the incessant intercourse 
which he maintained, its Jight was diffused in every direc- 
tion. Its effects were also powerfully felt in keeping alive 
those principles on which the interests of vital and practi- 
cal religion depend ; in strengthening the weak hands and 
confirming the feeble knees, and in exciting and encour- 
aging the exertions of all his brethren. He had a bishop- 
ric, without any of its titles or emoluments ; and the care 
of all the churches, within the immediate sphere of his ac- 
quaintance, came upon him daily. In their formation, in 
the ordination of their pastors, and in every case of diffi- 
culty, his assistance was required, and in these important 
services he excelled. The interest he felt in the peace and 
prosperity of the societies around him, was deep and last- 
ing ; and when any of them were left destitute, or in low 
circumstances, he would ardently exclaim, ** Oh, Lord, 
what wilt thou do for thy great name 1" 

Abundant as were his labours in disseminating the gos- 
pel among the villages in his immediate vicinity, and among 
the churches of his own connection, their effect was not to 
be estimated by his personal exertions. His influence was 
seen operating on the general mass of that religious com- 
munity to which he belonged, purging out the old leaven, 
infusing principles of truth, and fermenting it with holy 
zeal and ardour. It was seen operating in various parts 

G 2 


of England, amongst different denominations; in Scotland^ 
in Ireland, across the Atlantic, beyond the boundaries of 
the Indian Ocean, and the mountains of Tibet. The wil- 
derness and the solitary place were made glad for him^ and 
the desert began to rejoice and blossom as the rose. 


Origin of the Baptist Mission — Early Notices of Dr. Carey — His Dc-* 
signation to India — Mr. Fuller's Missionary Labours — His first Vis- 
it to Scotland — Congratulations of the Missionaries — His Answer 
to some Objections — Second Tour into Scotland — Visit to Ireland — 
State of the Irish Baptists — Catholic Emancipation — Missionary La- 
bours continued. 

To Mr. Fuller was reserved the distinguished honour 
of becoming one of the first in his own denomination, who 
opened the door of faith to the modern idolatrous Gentiles, 
and prepared the way for a mission to the east. Here a 
scene presented itself, of sufficient extent to afford the most 
ample scope for his abilities, and setting before him an ob- 
ject commensurate with the boundless desires of his heart. 
This was the commencement of a new era in the life of 
this great man. Henceforth his labours took a new direc- 
tion ; his preaching, his prayers, and his correspondence, 
all had reference to this great subject ; and his character be- 
gan to unfold itself in a still more interesting and magnifi- 
cent form. 

The Baptist Mission in India has been described by per- 
sons who had no immediate concern whatever in the un- 
dertaking, to have been " as disinterested in design, and 
as strenuous in exertion, as any that the Christian world 
ever did or ever can employ for the illumination and con- 
version of idolaters; and surpassing, beyond comparison, 
all former missions, and all other undertakings, in the grand 
article of translating the Bible into the languages of the 

The justice and propriety of this encomium may be ap- 
preciated by the results which are already before the pub- 
lic. Twenty missionary stations were formed in^various 
parts of India, in the course of as many years ; some of 


them more than three thousand miles apart ; upwards of 
forty missionaries, Europeans and natives, are constantly 
employed ; more than five hundred persons, of different na- 
tions, have been baptized, and formed into distinct church- 
es ; the Scriptures are translated and printed in more than 
thirty of the oriental languages, and are circulating, in con* 
nectioa with the itinerant labours of the missionaries amongst 
an immense population, and over an extent of country, 
equal to that of the whole of Europe.* 

Such are the present fruits of this mission : its future 
consequences who can calculate ! But its humble origin, 
in which the hand of God is so visibly displayed, deserves 
to be distinctly traced ; nor can the unostentatious charac- 
ter of its principal agent be duly appreciated without mark- 
ing the results of this stupendous undertaking. 

The Baptist Missionary Society is stated to have been 
formed at Kettering, in 1792; and its formation to have 
been occasioned by the suggestions and frequent solicita- 
tions of the present Dr. Carey ; to whose indefatigable 
zeal and unparalleled exertions, the mission and the church 
of God, will doubtless be under perpetual obligations. There 
was, however, a principle operating which led to this result, 
though its effects were not immediately observed ; and the 
fire which Carey kindled, was in effect taken from a coal 
which had been burning upon another altar. 

On a subject of such general importance, even its mi- 
nutest circumstances become interesting ; and viewed in 
connection with an efficient cause, they tend to show by 
what gradual and humble means it pleases God frequently 
to accomplish his great designs. *' The kingdom of heav- 
en Cometh not with observation ;'' its coming is generally 
unobserved, and the lowly form which it assumes, gives 
but little notice of its approach. Its fiist appearance is as 
imperceptible as a *' grain of mustard seed, which indeed 
is the least of all seeds ; but when it is grown it is the 
greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree ; so that the 
fowls of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof" ^ 

Several years previous to • the existence of the Baptist 
Mission, and before any ideas were entertained of such an 
undertaking, the low state of religion in general, and of 
the Baptist churches in particular, had become a subject 

* Brief View of the Baptist Missions and Translations, drawn up 
gratuitously in 1815, by a member of another denominaUou. 


of deep lamentation among many of the ministers. At an 
Association held at Nottingham, in 1784, it was resolved 
to set apart an hour on the first Monday evening in every 
month, for extraordinary prayer for the revival of religion, 
and for extending the kingdom of Christ in the world. Mr. 
Fuller at the same time delivered a sermon on "The Nature 
and Importance of walking by Faith," which he afterwards 
published ; and to this were added, "A few Persuasives to 
a General Union in Prayer, for the Revival of Religion/' 
This Address, though unaccompanied with any design be- 
yond what it immediately specifies, operated as a powerful 
stimulant, and produced effects which in reality contained 
the germ of the future mission. 

The lapse of time, and a succession of other interesting 
occurrences, have in great measure defaced the recollec- 
tion of the minuter parts of this history ; for the sake, there- 
fore, of many readers, it is necessary to recapitulate some 
of the leading topics urged on this occasion, and observe 
their tendency to excite to renewed exertions in the cause 
of God. 

After considering Christ's readiness to hear prayer, espe- 
cially in what relates to the enlargement of his kingdom, 
the writer of these Persuasives adverts to the existing de- 
clensions in religion, and urges the consideration of what 
the Lord had done in ages past, as an incitement to united 
and fervent prayer. 

'* When Israel was in Egypt, and things looked very dark indeed, 
they cried, and the Lord heard, and came down to deliver them. 
Their deliverance was the extending of Christ's kingdom; and God 
overthrew Pharaoh and all his host for setting themselves against it. 
The church, in after ages, when in her low estate at Babylon, is rep* 
resented a» making use of this as a plea with God. Thus they say to 
him : * Awake, awake, put on thy strength, oh arm of the Lord — awake 
as in ancient days, in the generation of old. Art thou not it that hath 
cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon ? Art thou not it which hath 
dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep : and hath made the 
depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over ?' And was 
their prayer answered ? Yes ; the Lord presently replied, * I am the 
Lord thy God that divided the sea, whose waves roared ; the Lord 
of Hosts is his name.' Yea, as a kind of echo to their request, he 
adds, * Awake, awake, stand up, oh Jerusalem, which hast drunk at 
the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury. Thus saith thy Lord Je- 
hovah, and thy God that pleaded the cause of his people ; behold I 
liave taken out of thy hand the cup of trembling, the dregs of the 
cup of my fury, and thou shalt no more drink it again.* 

<* While Judsih groaned beneath fiabei's yoke, Daniel set his face 
three tlpaes a day towards Jerusalem. At length his prayers and 


nipi^catioiis are beard, and an angel is sent to comfort him ; yea, and 
to inform him that at the beginning of his supplications the command' 
ment in favour of Judah came forth. And now, God's conduct towards 
Pharaoh and his host shall be acted over a^ain, towards Belshazzar 
and bis. Yes, he not only gave Egypt and Ethiopia, but Babylon al- 
so for their ransom. 

" The church of God was reduced exceedingly low, just before the 
coming of Christ ; but what was the conduct of those who were on 
God's side ? Some of them are distinguished by the character of 
those who ' looked for ' redemption in Jerusalem ; and others are said 
to have continued in prayer night and day. At length, through the 
tender mercy of God, their prayers were answered, and the day- 
spring from on high visited them. 

" Just before that great outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pen- 
tecost, the church was in a low and disconsolate condition, having 
lost Christ's personal presence : however, they united with one accord 
in ardent prayer, in an upper room, to the number of about a hundred 
and twenty. Presently, and their light brake forth as the morning — 
a little one becomes a thousand, and a small one a strong nation. 
Thousands are converted by a single sermon, and satan falls before 
the gospel of Christ like lightning from heaven." 

The writer then applies these apposite cases in the fol- 
lowing impressive manner : 

" May we not make the same use of these glorious works of God, 
with some others in that day, that Judah did in Babylon of what God 
had done for them in Egypt? May we not plead now with Christ, — 
*Awake, awake, put on strength, oh arm of the Lord : awake, as in 
the ancient days ! Art thou not it that didst cut the foe, when hanging 
oathe cross; that didst wound his interest on the day of Pentecost .^ 
And may we not plead, that as God destroyed Babylon, and delivered 
his church ; so he would destroy the power and principles of mystical 
Babylon? He preserved a people, namely the Wuldenses, who in the 
worst of times bowed not the knee to the image of this idol ; and when 
they were nearly exterminated by persecution, he raised up a host of 
men at the reformation, who gave it a deadly wound, — a wound from 
which it has never recovered to this day. Let us then pray to the 
Lord Jesus, that the work may be carried on ; that antichrist may be 
consumed with the spirit of his mouth, and destroyed by the bright- 
ness of his coming; that the king<loms of this world may become the 
^ngdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and that he may reign for ever 
»nd ever ! 

Christianity has not yet made its way, even in name, over one fifth 
pirtof the world. Out of seven hundred and thirty millions who are 
supposed to inhabit our globe, not above one hundred and twenty two 
inillions profess the Christian name. All the rest are Heathens, Jews, 
or Mahometans ; and of those who do profess it, the far greater part 
>re either of the apostate church of Rome, or of the Greek church, 
which is nearly as corrupt Add to this, what great numbers of real 
heathens abound in Christian lands, and unbelievers even in the con- 
gfegations of the faithful. Surely it is high time for us to awake out 
of sleep, and to send our united cries to Heaven in behalf of our fellow 


Having considered the melancholy state of the world , 
the general aspect of providence, and the promises of God 
concerning his church in times to come, as affording ad- 
ditional motives for prayer, the Address concludes with as- 
surances that it would not he in vain, whatever might be 
the immediate or apparent issue. 

" Could we but heartily unite to make a real earnest effort/' said 
this laborious man, " there is reason to hope that great good might 
follow. Whenever those glorious outpourings of God's Spirit shall 
come over the whole world, no doubt it will be in answer to the prayers 
of his people. But suppose we should never live to see those days, 
still our labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. To say the least of 
it, God would be glorified, and that would be no small matter. It would 
at least convey this piece of intelligence to the world, — That God had 
yet some hearty friends in it, who continue to pray to him in the dark- 
est times. And if, as in the case of David's building the house, he is 
not pleased to grant our requests, yet he will take it well at our hands: 
and who can be said to have lost his labour, who obtains the approba^ 
tion of his God ? 

** But this is not all : our petitions may prove like seed in the earth, 
that shall not perish, though it may not spring up in our days. The 
prophets laboured, and the apostles entered into their labours ; and 
what if we should be the sowers, and our posterity the reapers ; shall 
we think much at this? Perhaps as great an honour at the last day 
may attend Isaiah, who hardly tnew who had believed his report, as 
Peter, by whose sermon thousands were converted in an hour. 
Neither is this all ; there are different degrees of prosperity bestowed 
upon different parts of Zion, and these favours are often granted to 
those particular communities where ardent prayer, love, and holiness 
most prevail. — Add to this, the prosperity of our own souls is general- 
ly connected with an earnest pursuit of God's glory and Chrisrs king- 
dom. Consolation, like reputation, will not do to be sought directly 
for its own sake. In that case it will flee from us. But let us seek 
first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things 
will be added unto us. One great reason perhaps why so many chris- 
tians go destitute of divine comfort is, because they care so little about 
any thing else: God, therefore, justly withholds it from them. ^If 
they were more to seek his glory, and the extending of his kingdom 
in the world, they would find consolation come of its own accord. 
He that cannot lie when speaking of his church, hath said. They 
8haU prosper that love thee,** 

These sentiments, sufficiently important at all times, 
derive additional interest from the circumstances in which 
they were delivered, and the great results to which they 
ultimately tended. They had their influence on the 
churches and individuals to whom they were more imme- 
diately addressed. Monthly prayer-meetings became 
simultaneous, and were now attended to with renewed 
zeal and importunity, till the example was followed by 
other denominations, and continued to the present day. 


In less than two years, another erent followed, in close, 
though undiscerned, connection with the preceding, tending 
still farther to prepare the way for the eventual designs 
of Providence. Early in 1786, Mr. Fuller published his 
treatise, which he had written four or five years before, 
eQtitlecl,"The Gospel worthy of all Acceptation ;"in which 
he undertook to explain the nature of saving faith, and 
to prove the obligations of men to believe in Christ, where- 
erer he was made known. This performance made a 
considerable impression on the churches and ministers in 
immediate connection with the Author, and occasioned 
discussion in other parts of the same denomination. In 
some quarters it excited great opposition and alarm, and 
brought on a long and animated controversy. It was the 
means however of awakening the attention of several of 
his brethren to the important duties of their ofhce, of giving 
a more practical turn to their preaching, and a new face 
to their religious interests ; and in connection with the 
monthly prayer-meetings, it produced an impulse which 
would be favourable to missionary undertakings. 

Mr. Carey was born into the religious world about the 
time that these things were going on, and soon became an 
interested spectator. He was baptized in 1783, was called 
to the ministry two or three years afterwards, and ordained 
pastor of the church at Moulton, near Northampton, in 
1787. At his first setting out, he was much perplexed be- 
tween the statements of the Arminians, on some theologi- 
cal points, and the crude representations of some Calvin ists ; 
but having adopted a satisfactory medium between the two 
extremes, ^is mind was fully prepared for the doctrine so 
successfully pleaded by Mr. Fuller. 

From his entering on the work of the ministry, if not 
from an earlier period, Mr. Carey appears to have been 
deeply impressed with the state of the heathen world. In 
reference to this, he made himself acquainted with the ge- 
ography, population, and religion of the various nations of 
the earth ; and with the labours of christians, both of early 
and later ages, in propagating the gospel. He also acquir- 
ed considerable knowledge of various languages, particular- 
ly Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, by his own efforts, without 
the aid of any instructor ; and could read his Bible in six or 
seven versions before he embarked for India. He one day 
purchased for a few pence an old book, which happened to 
be Ditton on the Resnrrection, printed in French ; and 
not having learned that language, he, in the course of three 


weeks, made himself so far master of it, that he could read 
Ditton with great satisfaction. The learning of a languag^e 
to such a man as Carey, seemed to require but little effort ; 
he would accomplish it by laying a book before him, while 
engaged in some laborious employment, as a mere matter 
of amusement. 

His thoughts meanwhile were brooding over the subject 
of a mission, without assuming any specific form, or digest- 
ing any future plan of operation. The appearance of Mr. 
Fuller's work, just mentioned, came directly in aid of his 
inquiries, and fixed his attention more deeply on the sub- 
ject. The point of contact may be thus described. Mr. 
Carey, who cordially admitted his friend's position, seemed 
to deduce from it an unavoidable inference : — * If it be the 
duty of all men where the gospel comes, to believe unto 
salvation ; then it is the duty of those who are intrusted 
with the gospel, to endeavour to make it known among 
all nations for the obedience of faith.' Though this is not 
affirmed to have been the formal operation of thought, it 
would be difficult if not impossible to conceive, how the 
latter conclusion should stand on any other ground than 
that of a previous admission, that an obligation to believe 
is co-extensive with the proclamation of the gospel ; and 
this was not avowed by any of Mr. Fuller's connections, 
until he had written his unanswerable treatise on the 
subject. He himself was indeed so fully aware of the par- 
alyzing tendency of the opposite system, that in his early 
correspondence on missionary subjects he in effect admits, 
that no mission could have been called into existence on 
hyper-calvinistic principles. " I feel a sacred saf^faction," 
he says, " in the principles 1 have endeavoured to state and 
defend ; they are such in the main, that I can venture 
upon them for eternity. Those which I have attempted 
to refute, still appear to me, and that with abundantly in- 
creasing evidence, to be the bane of the churches : they 
unnerve the Christian for spiritual activity." * 

Before the end of 1786, Mr. Carey, accompanied by 
another minister of the same age and standing with him- 
self, went to a ministers' meeting at Northampton. To- 
wards the close of the evening, when the public services 
were ended, and the company engaged in a desultory ccm- 
versation, Mr. Ryland senior entered the room; and with 
bis accustomed freedom insisted that the two junior minis- 

*Bapfist Magazine, 1816, p. 455. 


ters, Mr. Carey and his friend, (the writer of these M^ 
moirs) should each propose a question for general discus- 
sion. His friend, with much reluctance, proposed for con- 
sideration the latter part of 2 Pet. ii. 1 ; and was very lu- 
dicrously told to go hope and read Gill and Brine, and va- 
rious other commentators, and not to come there with his 
Arminian questions. Mr. Carey next pleaded several ex- 
cuses — but a question was imperiously demanded. At 
length he submitted, " Whether the command given to the 
apostles to 'teach all nations,* was not obligatory on all suc- 
ceeding ministers, to the end of the world, seeing that the 
accompanying the promise was of equal extent." 

Without waiting for the judgment of the company, the 
same person said, he ought certainly to have known, that 
nothing could be done before another Pentecost, when an 
effusion of miraculous gifls, including the gift of tongues, 
would give effect to the commission of Christ as at first ; 
and that he was a most miserable enthusiast for asking 
such a question. This was the first time Mr. Carey had 
mentioned the subject openly, and he was greatly abashed 
and mortified ; but he still pondered these things in his 
heart. Mr. Fuller sympathized with him, as soon as Mr. 
Ryland senior had withdrawn, and offered several encour- 
aging remarks, recommending him to pursue his inquiries. 

Mr. Carey never lost sight of ^is object ; it was always 
uppermost in his thoughts. Whenever he met with his 
brethren in the ministry, he never failed to converse with 
them on the importance and practicability of missions. 
These conversations, together with the monthly prayer- 
meetings, considerably impressed the minds of the minis- 
ters. It seemed scarcely reconcileable with sincerity, to 
pray month afler month, and year afler year, for the en- 
largement of Christ's kingdom, and use no means for that 

About the year 1790, Mr. Carey visited Birmingham, 
and became acquq.inted with the excellent Mr. Pearce, 
whose kindred soul entered with ardour into all his views. 
Some of the leading members of Mr. Pearce's church were 
also much interested in his proposals, and promised to 
assist him. One in particular, urged him to prepare his 
thoughts for publication, and made an offer of ten pounds 
towards the printing. On his return to Northamptcm, he 
met with Mr. Fuller, and two other brethren, to whom he 
conunaDicated what had passed, and requested that one 

• H 


4if them would undertake the pnblicaUon. This they de- 
elined, but recommended him to keep his object still in 

In the spring of the year 1791, a meeting of ministers 
was held at Clipstone, which brought the matter to a crisis. 
Two sermons were preached on that occasion, and after- 
wards printed. The first was by Mr. Sutcliffe, from 1 
Kings xix. 10, on "Jealousy for the Lord of Hosts." The 
other was delivered by Mr. Fuller, from Haggai i. 2, on 
" The Pernicious Influence of Delay in Matters of Reli- 
gion.'' The latter of these sermons made such an impres- 
sion on the minds of the ministers present, and the audi- 
ence in general, as will not easily be forgotten. Every 
heart was penetrated with the subject ; and the ministers 
retiied, scarcely able to speak to one another. A scene 
of such deep solemnity has seldom been witnessed. Mr. 
Carey, perceiving the impression on all around him, could 
not suffer the company to separate until they had come to 
some resolution on the forming of a Missionary Society ; 
and a society would then have been formed, but for the 
well known deliberative prudence of Mr. Sutcliffe. The 
resolution made at that time was, that as Mr. Carey was 
known to have a manuscript by him on the subject, he 
should be requested to publish it at an early opportunity. 
His pamphlet appeared soon afterwards, under the title of 
"An Inquiry into the Obligations of Christians to send the 
Gospel to the Heathen." 

The annual association was held at Nottingham, in the 
spring of 1792, and Mr. Carey was appointed to preach. 
His sermon was founded on Isaiah liv. 2, 3. Having ob- 
served that the church of God is there addressed as a des- 
olate widow, dwelling alone in a little cottage ; that the 
command to enlarge her tent contained an intimation, that 
there should be an increase in her family ; and that to ac- 
count for so unexpected a change, she was told, that her 
"Maker was her husband," who should be "called the God 
of the whole earth," he took up what he conceived to be 
the spirit of the passage in two exhortations ; namely, ex- 
fect of this discourse was considerable. A resolution was 
passed, " That against the next meeting of ministers at 
Kettering, a plan should be prepared for the purpose of 
forming a society for propagating the gospel among the 
heathen." Mr. Carey at the same time generously propos- 


ed to devote the profits which might arise from his late pub- 
KcatioDy to the use of such a society. 

The ministers accordingly assembled at Kettering, Oct. 
2, 1792. After the public services were over, they retired 
for prayer, and pledged themselves most solemnly to Ood 
and to one another, that they would make an attempt to 
evangelize the heathen. Hitherto there were no openings 
for a mission in any particular direction, no missionaries 
provided, nor any funds to meet the expense. The sum of 
thirteen pounds only was subscribed, and soon after seven* 
ty pounds were collected by Mr. Pearce at Birmingham ; 
bat until a more specified object was proposed, no appeal 
could with any propriety be made to the public. At two 
subsequent meetings, in October and November, Mr. Carey 
offered himself as a missionary, and was accepted. 

While things were thus proceeding, Providence was pre- 
paring the way to India, by the most unexpected means. 
Mr. John Thomas, who had formerly been a surgeon in 
London, and who was totally unknown to the Society, had 
been several years in Bengal, preaching the gospel occa- 
sionally to the natives. On his return to London, he en* 
deavoured to establish a fund for a mission to that country, 
and called on the Rev. Abraham Booth for his advice, who 
immediately communicated the information to the newly 
formed Society, and recommended Mr. Thomas to their at* 
tention. The Society invited Mr. Thomas to their meet- 
ing, on Jan. 10, 1793, after having received a satisfactory 
answer to their inquiries; and late in the evening, while 
they were in full deliberation, his arrival was announced. 
Impatient to behold his colleague, he entered the room in 
haste ; and Mr. Carey rising from his seat, they fell on 
each other's necks and wept. The committee, then assem- 
bled at Kettering, accepted their joint services, and engag- 
ed to do ail in iheir power to provide the means of sending 
them to India. 

" From Mr. Thomas's account we saw," says Mr. Fuller, 
'' there was a gold mine in India, but it seemed almost as 
deep as the centre of the earth. Who will venture to ex- 
plore it ? M will venture to go down,' said Carey to his 
brethren ; * but remember that you must hold the ropes.' 
We solemnly engaged to do so, nor while we live shall we 
desert him." 

The holy confidence which Mr. Fuller felt on this occur 
sioOy was expressed in his correspondence with distant min- 

88 'memoirs of ANDREW FULLER. 

isters, whose co-operation he solicited on behalf of this 
great undertaking.'' * 

** Our hearts and hands," says he, " are full. We have 
not gone about this business in a hurry ; we have been 
praying for it, by monthly prayer-meetings, for these eight 
or nine years ; and now we wish to do something more 
than pray. Some have questioned whether the mission can 
be supported. For my part, I believe in God, and have 
not much doubt but that a matter begun as this was, will 
meet his approbation ; and that he who has inclined the 
hearts of our brethren hitherto so much beyond our expec- 
tations, will go on to incline their hearts, ' not to lose the 
things which they have wrought.' I confess I feel sanguine 
in my hopes; but they are fixed in God. Instead of fail- 
ing in the enterprise, I hope to see not only that, but many 
others accomplished. I hope the Society will never slack- 
en its efforts, while there are such vast numbers of 
heathens in almost every part of the world. It would do 
your heart good to see the love to Christ, and the souls of 
men, discovered in many parts of the country, in readily 
contributing to the mission. I feel an exquisite satisfac- 
tion that we have made the attempt; the isssue is in His 
hands whose cause it is."* 

On the 20th of March, 1793, previous to the departure 
of the missionaries, a day of holy convocation was held at 
Leicester. The former part of it was wholly devoted to 
prayer. In tJie aflernoon, Mr. Thomas preached from Psl. 
xvi. 4. ** Their sorro\vs shall be multiplied that hasten af- 
ter another god ;" and a public collection was made for 
the mission. In the evening, Mr. Hogg of Thrapstone 
delivered a suitable discourse on the solemn occasion, from 
Acts xxi. 14. *' And when he would not be persuaded, 
we ceased, saying. The will of the Lord be done." Mr. 
Fuller addressed the missionaries from John xx. 21. 
"Peace be unto you ; as my Father have sent me, even so 
send I you." 

** Every part of the solemnities of this day," said he, 
"must be affecting; but if there be one part which is more 
so than the rest, it is that which is allotted to me, deliver- 
ing to you a solemn parting address. But the hope of your 
undertaking being crowned with success, swallows up all 
my sorrow. I could myself go without a tear, (so at least 
I think) and leave all my friends and connections, in such 

* Baptist Magazine, 1816, pp. 453, 454. 


a glorious cause." After a striking illusttation of the 
words of his text, in which he adverted to the ends ,of 
Christ's own mission, *' to offer himself a sacrifice for sin, 
and by his blood to obtain eternal redemption for poor lost 
sinners," he called the attention of the missionaries to— 
the objects they must keep in view — ^the directions they 
must observe — the difficulties they would have to encoun- 
ter — and the reward which they might expect. " QO| 
then," said Be, in closing the address, " my dear brethren, 
stimulated by these prospects. We shall meet again. 
Crowns of glory await you and us. Each, I trust, will be 
addressed in the last day, * Come, ye blessed of my Father 
— enter ye into the joy of your Lord.' " 

This affectionate address was printed before the mission- 
aries lefl England, and Mr. Carey has the following refer- 
ence to it in his diary under the date of Jan. 29, 1794. 
" This evening, after a day of dejection, I had much relief 
in reading over Mr. Fuller's charge to us at Leicester : the 
affection there manifested almost overcame my spirits."* 

It was doubtless an affecting stroke, both to Mr. Carey 
and the church at Leicester, to separate, never more to see 
each other in the flesh. They esteemed him highly for his 
work's sake ; but though greatly affected at the thought of 
losing a faithful pastor, they offered no objection to his 
going. " His church mourns," said Mr. Fuller, " but no 
one murmurs." " We have been praying," said one of 
them, ''for the spread of Christ's kingdom among the 
heathen ; and now God requires us to make the first sacri- 
fice to accomplish it." They also vindicated his conduct 
individually, when censured by the adversaries of the 

A mission to Bengal having now been decided on, a 
great difficulty arose as to the means of conveying the mis- 
sionaries to the place of their destination. Mr. Thomas 
having been in the service of the East India Company, 
could go in one of their ships ; but for Mr. Carey no such 
liberty could be obtained. Mr. Thomas ventured, however, 
to take him on board, witli the leave of the captain ; but 
when they arrived at the Isle of Wight, they were com- 
pelled to quit the vessel, the captain having understood 
that an information would be laid against him for taking 
them without the Company's permission. They immedi- 

* Periodical Accounts, vol. i. p. 106. 

H S 


ately repaired to Mr. Carey's dwelling, at HackletoD, near 
Northampton, and after a little time prevailed on Mrs. 
Carey and the family to accompany them on the voyage, as 
soon as a safe conveyance could be provided. In the 
course of a few days, a Danish East Indiaman arrived in 
the Downs from Copenhagen, and leave was obtained from 
the Danish Court to take the missionaries and their fami- 
lies to Serampore, where they would be under the protec- 
tion of the Danish Governor. On the 13th of June, 1793, 
they embarked in the Kron Princesse Mariae, captain 
Christmas, commander ; and on the I7th of October follow- 
ing, the vessel arrived in the Bay of Bengal. 

The Baptist Mission having thus arisen out of the labours 
and writings of Mr. Fuller, powerfully seconded and ap- 
plied by his coadjutor, he immediately became the life and 
soul of the undertaking; replenishing its resources, and 
directing all its movements. The labours of these emi- 
nent men had a reciprocal influence on each other ; the 
successful and zealous Missionary imparted to the Secre- 
tary fresh energies, while the latter provided for the former, 
the means and the hopes of success. Never were two 
minds more congenial, more powerfully directed towards 
one object, or less ambitious of the honour arising from its 
attainment. Mr. Hinton, with great propriety, in his ser- 
mon at the Spa-Fields Chapel, compared the mission to a 
chain, of which Fuller and Carey constituted the two end 
links, one fixed in the east, and the other in the western 

Those who knew Mr. Fuller will not be surprised that 
so much must be said of this Mission, in the shortest Me- 
moir of him that can be written. It was inseparable from 
his mind, and depended under God chiefly on his exertions. 
For several years, though these were unremitted, they seeiT>- 
ed unavailing, so far as respected its great and ultimate 
object. No success attended the labours of the inissiona- 
ries. Both parties, however, at home and abroad, cultivated 
the field, and waited patiently for the influences of heaven 
to water the seed sown. Friefldless, and often pennyless, 
in a strange land, surrounded by those, and by scarcely 
any others but those, who were engrossed with the pursuit 
of wealth and ambition, and who lived in luxury and vain 
show, Carey, unseduced and undismayed, laboured in the 
acquisition of the native languages ; in addressing the Hin- 

* Anniversary Meeting, June 21, 1815. 


doos and Mussulmans, not neglecting his own countrymen, 
and in translating the scriptures into Bengalee, the language 
which three fourths of the natives best understood. But 
for seven long years he was not gladdened by the existence 
of one consistent convert, though oflen disappointed by the 
most .promising appearances. We shall form an improper 
estimate of the importance of these measures, great as they 
are in themselves, if we limit our view to their own direct 
and intrinsic value. They, in fact, first suggested and gave 
the impulse which produced those movements that have 
since issued in the erection of missionary societies on a 
much larger scale — in itineracies at home — in societies for 
the distribution of religious tracts — and in the mighty en- 

its numerous auxiliaries, of which chain of admirable un- 
dertakings they were the first link. 

So far from arrogating to himself apy preeminent dis- 
tinction, or of attaching to his own services any peculiar 
importance, Mr. Fuller not only admitted his brethren to 
an equal participation, but ascribed the success of the 
whole undertaking, under God, to their exertions- Pearce's 
activities in the first instance, and Sutcliffe's abiding coun- 
sels, were considered by him as the pillars of this spiritual 
temple. It is true, they were to. him like Aaron and Hur; 
while he himself was Moses, the leader of the host. If 
others assisted in forming plans, or in giving their advice, 
he was the agent in every bold exertion f and to his ener- 
gies they were indebted for the performance of an enterprise. 

The labours which the barren years of this mission, as 
well as its future periods of success and extension, occa- 
sioned to Mr. Fuller, it is not easy to enumerate. They 
were witnessed and reported by others, though he dwelt 
little upon them in his own conversation. But the consul- 
tations which he held — the correspondence he maintained 
— the personal solicitations which he employed — the con- 
tributions he collected — the management of these and oth- 
er funds — the selection, probation, and improvement of in- 
tended missionaries — the works which he composed and 
compiled on these subjects — the discourses he delivered — 
and the journeys he accomplished to extend the knowledge 
and to promote the welfare of the mission, required energy 
almost unequalled. Or if we retract this word, it is only 
on account of the next to supernatural talents and applica- 
tion discovered by a native of England, under thirty years 
of age^in the torrid zone, without lil^rai educatioDy patronage 


or friends, anfornished with money, and scarcely supplied 
with the necessaries of life ; often involved in domes- 
tic affliction, and suffering from ill health ; who acquired the 
knowledge of numerous, and these the most difficult, orien- 
tal languages, dissimilar in structure and genius to those of 
Europe; who translated the scriptures in whole or in part into 
alj of these ; who printed, published, and circulated them; 
who composed and printed large and voluminous grammars 
of these languages in English ; who has translated some of 
the principal works into English, from these languages, 
not one word of which he knew for more than twenty years 
before he began these tasks : all which acquisitions and 
employments were carried on without any view to emolu- 
ment, receiving only bare support from the funds of the 
mission, while throwing into these his own salary of near- 
ly two thousand pounds a year, as Professor of Sanscrit, 
Bengalee, and Mahratta, in the College of Fort William, 
and while engaged in cares, undertakings, and personal 
labours, of themselves more than sufficient for most other 
men, living in their native country, and in the most favour- 
able circumstances ! But to return : 

The pecuniary concerns of the mission involved consid- 
erable expense and difficulty ; all would depend on a sue* 
cessful appeal to the religious public, and the means must 
be provided by their voluntary contributions. Mr. Fuller, 
however, said at the commencement of the undertaking, 
*' Only let us haf e faith, and we shall not want money ;" 
and his indefatigable labours verified the truth of the re- 
mark. The sum of five hundred pounds was required to 
be raised in the space of three or four months, for the 
equipment of the first two missionaries ; and more than 
twice the amount was readily provided. Encouraged by 
such an auspicious introduction, Mr. Fuller travelled and 
preached in almost all parts of the kingdom, collecting for 
the mission, and rousing attention to its concerns. During 
the whole of his career, he kept up a continual intercourse, 
presented the subject before the public in every variety of 
form, circulated intelligence with the utmost celerity, con- 
ducted all the correspondence between the missionaries and 
the society, generally made the annual collections in the 
city, superintended all the consignments, and was, in fact, 
the minister both for the foreign ai)d home department. 

Mr. Fuller's invitation to visit Scotland arose from the 
interest which the mission there created among Christiaoi 
of all denominations. He had indeed been previoasly 


known to the excellent Dr. Erskine, and was highly es- 
teemed by several other persons ; a correspondence con- 
nected with the subject of the first edition of ** The Gospel 
worthy of all Acceptation," having been kept up for some 
time. His volume also on the moral tendency of Socinian- 
ism, had been very generally read, and was much admired 
and recommended by the friends of vital and practical re- 
ligion ; particularly by Dr. Erskine, Dr. Hunter, Professor 
of Divinity, Mr. M'Lean, and many others ; but for two or 
three years the mission excited iittle attention among the 
Christians of the north. Nor did it obtain any support, 
until similar societies and undertakings were set on foot, 
which brought it into notice and consideration. 

The Rev. Archibald M'Lean, pastor of the oldest Bap- 
tist church in Edinburgh, was one of the first persons in 
Scotland who took any particular interest in the Baptist 
Mission ; but his labours in various ways tended much to 
engage the attention of the people of that country towards 
it. About the close of the year 1795, he preached a ser- 
mon to his own congregation on the subjection of all nations 
to Christ, from Psal. xxii. 27, 28 ; and urged upon his 
brethren the duty of using means for its accomplishment. 
The subject was at this time in a great measure new to 
the Baptist churches in Scotland, among whom the senti- 
ment of Christ's ^ersone?/ reign upon earth, during the mil- 
lenial period, had hitherto been almost universally preva- 
lent. But the publication of that discourse, which the 
author followed up by a Narrative of the proceedings of 
the. Baptist Society in England for propagating the gospel 
among the heathen, and which was accompanied by an 
earnest address to the people of God in Scotland, to use 
means for the universal spread of the gospel, tended emi- 
nently to engage the attention of the religious public to 
the subject. - Shortly aflerwards, Mr. M'Lean. preached a 
sermon at the Circus, and collected more than a hundred 
pounds, which he remitted to the Baptist Missionary Soci- 
ety. The church of which he was the pastor, with several 
others, now made collections also, and remitted jointly 
about a hundred and fifty pounds more ; a display of Chris- 
tian liberality which called forth the gratitude of Mr. Carey 
and his missionary brethren. The subject was soon taken 
up generally- throughout Scotland, both among the dissent- 
ing classes, and the members of the established church. 

The concerns of the mission beginning to expand upon 
a wider scale, and demanding larger supplies than British 


benevolence conld conveniently furnish, Mr. Fuller made 
his first tour into Scotland in 1799. But being intimidated 
by the prospect of meeting these sons of the north, for 
whose intellectual abilities he always entertained a very 
high opinion, he took with him Mr. Sutcliffe of Olney, in 
whose wisdom and prudence he placed the utmost coafi- 

' The first idea of visiting Scotland was suggested to Mr. 
Fuller by a gentleman who at the same time remitted a 
hundred pounds for the service of the mission, when its 
funds were in a low state. He accepted the invitation, 
and arrived at Edinburgh in company with Mr. Sutclifiey 
Oct. 11,1 799. Here he met with a reception due to his 
talents, his character, and the magnitude of the object in 
which he was engaged. To no class of Christians is the 
mission more indebted, than to our Scottish brethren, 
whose liberality not only essentially contributed to its 
prosperity, and gave a powerful stimulus to the activities 
of its principal agent, but whose multiplied kindnesses 
made a deep and lasting impression on the heart of the 

But our mercies come not without our trials. During 
this journey, the mournful tidings of Mr. Pearce's death 
overtook Mr. Fuller at Glasgow; and it was chiefly in 
contemplation of that event, that he engaged to supply 
this lack of service on the part of that eminently pious 
and active man. And in a letter from that place, dated 
Oct. 19th, 1799, Mr. Fuller expressed his first feelings of 
the irreparable loss, in the following abruf^ exclamations. 
— **Pearce is dead ! Oh, Jonathan, thou wast slain upon 
thy high places ! I am. distressed for thee, my brother 
Jonathan ! Oh that we may all emulate him ! Try while 
your mind is warm to draw his character. Write all you 
can remember of him. Memoirs of his life must be publish- 
ed : he is another Brainerd." The Memoirs were publish- 
ed ; and the religious world has long had an opportunity of 
judging of their merits. 

Writing from Liverpool, on his return from the north, 
Mr. Fuller says, "I have now been out nearly thirty days ; 
have travelled about eight hundred miles, and collected 
nearly as many pounds. I never saw such numerous 
congregations as at Edinburgh and Glasgow. My heart 
was dismayed at the sight, especially on a Lord's day 
evening. Nearly five thousand people attended ; and some 
thousands it was supposed went away, unable to get in. 


To-morrow I preach here three times, administer the Lord's 
supper, and make a collection for the mission. Consider- 
ing my constant labours, preaching almost every evening in 
the week during my journey, my health is singularly go<xl." 
After his return home, he found that he had travelled nine 
hundred miles, and collected full nine hundred pounds. 

Agreeable intelligence having arrived from India, a day 
of public thanksgiving was held at Leicester, August 19^ 
1801. The warm and lively feelings which this event excited 
in the mind of Mr. Fuller, may be seen in the following 
extracts of a letter, which was dictated by him on that 
occasion, and sent from the Society to the Missionaries. 

"Dearly beloved in our Lord ! 

''All your communications are grateful ; but the last, up 
to Feb. 14, 1801, are peculiarly reviving to our hearts. 
And v/e are met this day to give thanks unto the Lord 
because he is good, for his mercy towards Israel endureth 
for ever, and because the foundation of the Lord's house is 

''The friendship of Messrs. Browne and Buchanan, and 
of people in general — the kindness of Governor Bie, and 
the Danish magistrates — the recovery of such of you as 
were afflicted — the finishing of the New Testament — the 
instances of mercy towards Europeans who have visited 
you — ^the effectual work among the Hindoos — in short, the 
prosperity and harmony of the church and family — are 
events for which we as well as you, brethren, are con- 
strained to say, 'The Lord hath done great things for us, 
whereof we are glad.' 

"We can easily conceive how a sense of your unworthiness 
and unfitness for the work, should render the grace which 
has appeared to you overwhelming. We feel the same. 
It is truly astonishing, that God should work at all by 
such unworthy instruments as we are. But his mercy 
endureth for ever. He worketh for his great name's sake. 
To him be the glory for ever and ever ! 

" Under God we feel the most perfect confidence in you 
all. Your fidelity, your prudence, your zeal, and unwearied 
diligence, refresh our spirits. Though absent from you in 
the flesh, yet we are with you in the spirit; joying and 
beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in 
Christ. Your sorrows and your joys are ours. It affords 
us great satisfaction, that afler having waited so long in 
the choice of .missionaries, those who were last sent out 


have proved so acceptable.* God seems to be binding as 
all to one another, by new and endearing ties. To those 
who first encountered the work, the brethren that followed 
looked up as their guides and directors, rejoicing in the 
day that enabled them to take their stand by their side ; — 
while on the other hand, to those who followed afler, the 
brethren that first arrived, have now to look, as the instru- 
" meats by which they have been blessed. To their going 
may be attributed, your present comfortable settlement, 
the printing of the New Testament, &/C. How precious 
are God's thoughts, thus to interweave our interests, and 
sweetly compel us to love one another ! 

*' Be assured that we will do our utmost to meet your 
pecuniary wants ; and such is the confidence which the 
religious public in Britain have in you, that we are per- 
suaded they will never suffer you to fail for want of support. 
Many hundreds esteem it a privilege to give their annual 
token of love, and would feel sorry to be deprived of it. 

"Present our grateful acknowledgments to Governor 
Bie for all his kindness. The Lord grant that he may 
partake of the blessings of that gospel, over the publishers 
of which he has extended his protection. Also to Messrs. 
Browne and Buchanan. May the richest of blessings rest 
on them in their respective labours for Christ ! Present 
also our brotherly love to Mr. Forsyth, for the kindness he 
has shown in the days of afiliction : also to Mr. Cunning- 
hame, and Mr. Udney, for their manifold expressions of 
love towards the cause of Christ in Hindostan. We could 
wish to come ourselves, and give the right hand of fellow- 
ship to all the brethren. Accept our tenderest regards. 
The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirits !" 

After such an effusion of gratitude and love, afler so 
much zeal, expended in so good a cause, we should hardly 
have expected that an enemy, under the Christian name, 
would presume to show his face, or attempt to damp the 
ardour by which the Baptist Missionary Society was ani- 
mated. But the great exertions of their Secretary moved 
the envy of some masked individual, who addressed the 
following letter to him in the beginning of 1801, in which 
he endeavoured to press some objections, too frequently 
entertained by the doubtful friends of Christianity. 

*Dr. Marshman and Mr. Ward. 


"Rererend Sir, 

*' Varions and costly hare been the exertions made for 
the propagation of the gospel among foreign nations. How- 
ever laudable this labour of love may be, yet very consider- 
able blame is attached to it; since the probability of 
greater success was in favour of a region far less distant, 
and more deserving, if charity begins at home. The wilful 
neglect of so large a part of our own land, is certainly un- 
pardonable. It is true, that many an expensive and fatigu- 
ing jonrney has been undertaken, from south to north 
Britain, which has been well repaid by that which has 
taken, and is likely to take place. Yet you, sir, have rode 
post down to the Scotch metropolis, for the purpose of 
witnessing the state of that country, with a view to aid in 
concerting the best means, by which good might be done : 
but neither yourself, nor others, who at least ought to have 
had more consideration, did condescend to halt by the way, 
either to preach or inquire into the truly deplorable state of 
ignorance and irreligion, of that large and populous tract of 
country situated between York and Newcastle-upon-Tyne ; 
or, in your flight back again, to give one thought towards 
the reformation of Cumberland, or heathenish Westmore- 

" If we may judge of the success which attended the 
labours of Paulinus, the first missionary sent into these parts 
from Rome, the most pleasing benefits would be the conse- 
quence, upon the application of proper means. Paulinus 
is said to have baptized in one day, ten thousand persons in 
the river Swale, near Richmond in Yorkshire. The fair 
Otaheitan, the filthy Hottentot, and cruel East Indian, have 
each been sharers in missionary boon, at the expense of 
"nany thousands of pounds, many valuable lives, and the 
earnest labours of pious and zealous characters : and after 
all this, it cannot be said that one convert has been made ; 
^hen, in all probability, if a tenth part had been done in 
favour of our own nation, some scores, perhaps hundreds, 
Would have been praising God, and thanking you, which 
fey might have done to all eternity. That the time for 
the calling of the Gentiles may be fast approaching, is the 
earnest prayer of one who is no director in these matters, 
Dtttonlyan Observer." 

Mr. Fuller in reply, stated, that he should not have 
nought it necessary to notice this letter, had it not afforded 
™ an opportunity of answering an objection to foreign 



missions which had been more than once advanced;—* 
namely, that it interferes with exertions in favour of our 
own countrymen. It is on this account that the above letter 
finds a place in these pages, and with a view of preserving 
Mr. Fuller's valuable remarks upon the subject. 

" J shall say but little/' says he, ''of the gross mistate- 
ment in the letter, as that my going to Scotland in 1799, 
was to 'witness the state of that country,' and to 'concert 
measures for doing good ; that I did not condescend to halt 
and preach, between York and Newcastle ;' and that ' it 
cannot be said that one convert has been made' in foreign 
missions. Such assertions must have arisen from the want 
of information. - My journey was merely owing to a kind 
invitation given me to go and receive the donations of a 
number of my fellow Christians, who were willing to con- 
tribute to the giving of the holy scriptures to a great nation 
which had them not, as all the country between York and 
Newcastle have. My excursion was not a preaching one, 
though I did preach, and that to the utmost extent of my 
power. If I had taken half a year, I might have stopped 
much oftener than I did ; but then it is possible my own con- 
gregation would have reminded me, that ' charity begins at 
home.' Whether success has or has not attended foreign 
missions, the accounts which have been printed of them, 
so' far as human judgment can go in such matters, will en- 
able us to decide. 

" The only question that requires attention is. Whether 
the spirit which, within the last ten years, has prompted 
Christians of different denominations to engage in foreign 
missions, has been favourable or unfavourable to the propo" 
gation of the gospel at home ? 

" It is a fact which cannot be disputed, that within the 
above period there have been far greater exertions to com- 
municate the principles of religion to the heathenised parts 
of England and Scotland, than at any former period within 
the remembrance at least of the present generation. If I 
were to say, they have been five times greater than before, 
I think I should not exceed the truth, Nor has that part 
of the kingdom to which the writer of the letter alludes, 
been overlooked. 

"And how is this fact to be accounted for ? Will this 
firiend to village preaching, unite with Bishop Horsley, and 
say, it is the effect of political motives ; and merely a new 
direction of the democratic current, which was interrupted 
by the treason and sedition bills in 1795 ? If so, we might 



ask, How came it to commeDce two years before those 4)ills 
were passed ? How is it, that it should have prevailed, not 
so much among those Dissenters who took an eager share 
ia political contention, as those who had scarcely ever con- 
cerned themselves in any thing of the kind ? And finally, 
How is it that it should have extended to other nations 
as well as Britain, and other quarters of the world as 
well as Europe? 

'' But I suppose the writer of this letter would not at- 
tribute it to this cause. How then will he account for it ? 
The truth most n^anifestly is, that the very practice of 
which he complains has been more conducive to that which 
he recommends, than all other causes put together. It is 
natural that it should be so. A longing desire afler the 
spread of the gospel, when once kindled, extends itself in 
all directions. The same principle which induces some to 
leave their native land, to impart the heavenly light, in- 
duces others to contribute and pray for their success. 
And while they are doing this, it is next to impossible to 
forget their own countrymen ; who, though they have ac- 
cess to the written word, yet live without God in the 
world. ^ 

" It is very singular that the example of * Paulinus,' who 
came to Britain as a missionary from Rome, about the 
year 596, and is said to have baptized ten thousand people 
in the river Swale, should be alleged against foreign mis- 
sions. Allowing his' converts to have been real christians, 
which however is very doubtful, according to the Observer, 
there was much blame attached to his labours of love, since 
the probability of greater success was in favour of Italy ; 
a country far less distant than Britain, and more deserving 
of his charity, 'which should have begun at home.' 

" Unfortunately for this proverb, I do not recollect ever 
hearing it alleged but for a selfish purpose. Go and ask 
relief n>r some distressed object, of a wealthy man. His 
answer is, 'Charity begins at home.' True, and it seems 
to end there. And by the reasoning of this Observer, his 
would do the same. So long as there are any sinners in 
Britain, we must confine our attention to them. A person 
of a contracted mind, once objected to the exportation of 
our manufactures. We have many poor people in England, 
said he, who are half naked, and would be glad of them ; 
and ' cfiarity begins at home.* He was informed however 
hy a merchant, that to send our commodities abroad is 
Dot the way to impoverish, but to enrich ourselves, and 


evei^to furnisli the poor with clothing, by protiding them 
with plenty of good employment."* 

In the beginning of June 1804, Mr. Fuller embarked for 
Ireland, to visit the Baptist churches in that part of the 
kingdom, and collect for the mission. Two of his children 
being dangerously ill at the time, he lefl home under great 
depression, and took an affectionate leave of his people. 
In a letter written at the close of the Sabbath, he says, '< I 
have baptized five persons to day, and preached my fare- 
wel sermon to the church, from John xvii. 21. I consid- 
ered, (1.) The object prayed for — ^union — 'that they all 
may be one.' (2.) The model of it — the union between the 
Father and the Son, or between the Lawgiver and the 
Saviour, in the work of human redemption — ' as thou 
Father art in me, and I in thee.' (3.) Its influence on man- 
kind — * that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.' " 

Arriving in Dublin, he found himself in a new state of 
society, and was much struck with the appearance of the 
lower classes^ who seemed to be immersed in poverty and 
superstition. On the first Sabbath his heart was dismayed 
at seeing only a few genteel people, not more than forty 
or fifly, scattered about in a place of worship that would 
hold four hundred ; in the aflernoon, not two hiftdred, in 
a place that would contain nearly two thousand ; and in 
the evening about forty more. These congregations were 
so different from what he had seen in Scotland, that he 
said, having no body of common people mixed with them, 
they appeared " like the heads at Temple Bar." After- 
wards, however, his hearers increased to between fifleen 
hundred and two thousand. 

The congregations, he observes, are almost exclusively 
composed of Protestants, for scarcely any of the Catholics 
will attend ; and those of them who are servants in Protes- 
tant families are seldom known to unite in domestic wor- 
ship. The Protestants are of various denominations, as in 
England ; but amongst the generality there is a great want 
of spiritual religion, and a lamentable indifference towards 
the fundamental truths of the gospel. Those who are lax 
in doctrine, appeared to be equally so in point of morals ; 
pleading for a harmless game of cards, for the innocence 
of the stage, and the virtue of theatrical performers. Mr. 
Fuller was requested to administer the Lord's supper to 
one of the churches in his own connection, where these 

* Biblical Magawne, vol. ii. pp. 165^168, 


thingfl were tolerated; but he cetild not conscientiouflly 
comply^ and therefore declined to hold fellowship with 

During his stay in Dublin, some of the Sandemaniand 
wanted to dispute with him ; and others represented that 
he did not preach Uhe gospel.' But their cold speculations 
by no meahs suited the genial warmth of his own system, 
nor comported with the object he had in view ; he there* 
fore avoided controversy, and laboured to cultivate the re^ 
ligion of the heart. He acknowledged that they were very 
calm, conversant with the scriptures, and adroit in argu- 
tnent ; but, says he, 

*Ti3 Athens* owl, and not mount Sion*8 dove. 
The bird t>f knowledge, not the bird of love. 

One of the most distinguishing traits in the Irish San- 
demaaians, he observed, was, the marked separation made 
in public worship, between those whom they reckon be- 
lievers and unbelievers; not merely in their doctrine, 
which ought to be discriminative, but in the very seats they 
occupy. Unbelievers must not sit with believers, nor will 
they engage in public prayer where they are mixed. " I 
asked one of them," said Mr. Fuller, ** whether he would 
engage in family prayer, if his wife, being present, were in 
his account an unbeliever? He answered. No: and I find 
that family worship is nearly, if not wholly neglected a- 
mong them. A respectable minister from Edinburgh, who 
had much intercourse with these professors, afterwards 
confirmed to me this statement. He also told them and 
me, that Sandemanianism as a system was, in his opinion^ 
the most destructive of pure religion of any thing in any 
sect ; acknowledging at the same time, that very little re- 
gard was paid to family worship ; that their children were 
brought up without discipline, and in habits of dissi- 

It may be inteiresting to know what opinion Mr. Fuller 
entertained on the much agitated question of Catholic 
emancipation, especially as that opinion was formed during 

* It may be proper to remark, that the persons here denominated 
*Sandemanians,' are rather a distinct branch of that description, who 
are otherwise called Separatists, and are chiefly the followers of M n 
John Walker, late fellow of Trinity college, Dublin ; and perhaps, 
should not be confounded with the ge Aral body of Sandemanians in 
other parts of the United Kingdom. 

1 2 


bb stay in Ireland, and while he had an opportunity of 
becoming acquainted with the actual state of the country. 
Probably, also, the expedient suggested for adjusting those 
claims, will approve itself to the judgment of the more tem- 
perate and reflecting part of the community. A letter 
from which the above extracts are made, contains the fol- 
lowing judicious paragraph : 

'< I can perceive," says Mr. Fuller, " that the galling 
circumstance to the Irish is, that abput a seventh part of 
the population rule the rest ; and hence they are ever med- 
itating some sort of revenge. If Ireland could be consid- 
ered as insulated from Britain, it would seem right that so 
great a majority should have the rule ; but if it be only an 
integral part of one great empire, the case is quite altered ; 
for if the Catholics could gain the ascendency, there ap- 
pears to be no doubt but they would persecute, if not mas- 
sacre the Protestants ; and such a state of things would 
endanger the British empire. If, indeed, they would tol- 
erate the Protestants, in the same manner as the Protest- 
ants tolerate them, it would be reasonable that the Catholic 
population should have the ascendency. But if not, they 
are like a mob in one of our counties, which, though they 
may have the great mass of the people on their side, ought 
not to be suffered to bear rule. Yet I should rejoice to 
see the Catholics emancipated, and placed on an equal 
footing with the Protestants, England at the same time 
keeping up a strong military force to prevent their doing 
any mischief I wish at least that the experiment should 
be tried. If they attempted to abuse their privileges, let 
them be afterwards curtailed. It has been said by some, 
that the zeal for Catholic emancipation has nearly subsided ; 
and that if they had their liberty, they would now be friend- 
ly. Yet it is a fact, that though when the Dublin Catholics 
collect for a public charity, they invite Protestants, and 
they go and give ; yet at Protestant charities, the opulent 
Catholics, when invited in return, will neither go nor give, 
at least but very rarely." 

Having collected about a hundred and fifty pounds for 
the mission, and preached in several parts of the country, 
Mr. Fuller returned home the first week in July, and found 
his family in very painful circumstances ; one child died 
during his absence, and another, the source of his greatest 
troubles, was dangerous^ ill at a distance from home, and 
not likely to recover. Reflecting on his late excursion, he 
says, '* I have enjoyed but little pleasure in my visit to 


Ireland. The state of my family at home, the contentions 
of the Sandemanians at Dublin* the disorders among th« 
Baptists — all together, overwhelmed my spirits. Yet I 
hope I have derived some profit. The doctrine of the 
Cross is more sweet to me than ever, and some of my best 
times in preaching have been from such tex,ts as these ; 
' Unto you that believe, he is precious — ^That they all may 
be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee — He hath 
sent me to preach the acceptable year of the Lord — He 
that hath the Son hath life — ^Now is the Son of Man glori- 
fied, and God is glorified in him.' Oh that for me to live 
may be Christ ! I f^ish never to preach another sermon but 
what shall bear some relation to him. I see and feel more 
and more, that except I eat the flesh and drink the blood 
of the Son of Man, I have no life in me, either as a Chris- 
tian or as a minister.'' 

This visit also produced some good effects on the general 
interests of religion in that part of the kingdom. Mr. Ful- 
ler attempted a reformation among the Baptists ; and not 
succeeding in this, he assisted in forming a new society, 
founded on better principles. . Afler his return he drew up 
some '' Remarks on the State of the Baptist Churches in 
Ireland ;" alleging in particular, that several members of 
the church in Swill's Alley, Dublin, *' had disowned some 
of the most important doctrines of the gospel ; such as the 
Trinity, the atonement, and justification by the imputed 
righteousness of Chrtst ; that not only the church of which 
they were members refused to exclude them, but that a 
motion for that purpose was rejected by their general 
Association ; and that on this ground a considerable part 
of the church in Swift's Alley separated, and in August, 
1804, formed themselves into a new church." 

This Report was read and approved at a meeting of the 
Baptist ministers in London ; it was aflerwards adopted by 
a committee of the Baptist Missionary Society, and ordered 
to be printed. The Irish churches published their Circu- 
lar Letter in 1805, and admitted in reply, that there was a 
great deficiency among them, both in regard to vital godli- 
ness and church discipline, which they deeply lamented. 
At the same time they made a declaration of their religious 
sentiments, with the view of vindicating themselves from 
the charges contained in the ''Remarks," and complain- 
ed that they had been greatly misunderstood and misrep- 

104 1IBM0II»9 09 AHDRIW Pm»L«.. 

Their statement having been admitted into a periodical^* 
Mr. Fuller made his animadversions upon it through the 
same medium. " In this Vindication, (he says^ it is obser- 
vable, (1.) That the 'declaration of their religious senti- 
ments' makes no mention of an atonement, or of imptUed 
righteousness, (2.) That the article on the Trinity if* word- 
ed in so cautious a manner, as to be capable of being un- 
derstood of a modal or Swedenborgian trinity. (3.) That if 
this * declaration' of their sentiments be not intended to 
leave room for those who disown three divine Persons in 
the Godhead, the vicarious sacrifice of Christ, and justifica- 
tion by his righteousness imputed ; and If, while they warn 
their members against * conformity to the world,' they do 
not mean to retain such characters among them as plead 
for the innocence of the theatre and the card table ; but 
are in good earnest resolved to disown them, the breach at 
Swift's Alley would at once be healed. For those who 
have withdrawn, have declared in their letter to the church 
'that if at any future time the church should restore that 
purity of communion which is essential to a christian soci- 
ety, they shall be ready to join heart and hand with them.' 
But (4.) If this declaration of their sentiments he intended 
to leave room for such characters, the whole is a mere sub- 
terfuge ; and instead of proving the 'Remarks' erroneous, 
or the separation schismatical, it abundantly justifies both 
the one and the other.'' ^ 

Since, then, a partial reformation has been effected, true 
religion has in some measure been revived, and fresh efforts 
are making by an Itinerant Society in England, to dissemi* 
nate the gospel in various parts of the sister kingdom. 

To detail the numerous missionary engagements which 
followed, during the last ten years of Mr. Fuller's life, 
would be no easy task ; they admitted of but little inter- 
mission, and the same unwearied course was pursued till 
he finished it with joy. It was not usual with him to 
make any Journal of these occurrences. Once, however, 
he did so, at the request of a friend ; and the substance of 
it given in the following pages, in connection with various 
subsequent events, will furnish a specimen of his general 
labours in the missionary cause. 

It will be seen that wherever he went, he was always 
endeavouring to disseminate the knowledge of the truth, by 
conversation as well as preaching ; exciting a spirit of in- 

"" Theolog. and Biblical Mag. for 1806, pp. 887—892. 


quiry, and roosing the atteation of all around him. Va- 
rious instances of this kind are exhibited, in connection 
with his missionary pursuits ; and the mind is regaled with 
the detail of several interviews with persons of different 
sentiments, the wisdom and prudence with which they 
were conducted, and the strong sensation which his pres- 
ence and his labours every where produced. From the 
time that he left home on this occasion, till his return, 
scarcely an hour seems to have elapsed, without finding 
full employment for his faculties, and putting all his ener- 
gies to the test. The Journal also presents us with much 
interesting information on the general state of religion in 
the north. 


Joumal of a Tonr through Scotland, in July, 1805, to collect for the 
Printing of the Scriptures in the Eastern Languages : Written hy 
Mr. Fuller — ^his Labours in counteracting the Opposition of the 
East India Company — Fourth and Fifth Visits to Scotland — Mis- 
sioDary Labours continued. 

" Having made collections at Lincoln, Hull, Scarborough, 
and Alnwick, I arrived at Edinburgh, on Saturday night 
at eleven o'clock, June 29 ; where I was very kindly re- 
ceived by my respected friend and his family. 

" Lord's day morning, June 30, I received an invitation 
from the little Baptist church, meeting at Cordiner's Hall, 
to preach to them in the afternoon, and administer the 
Lord's Supper ; and to continue these services during my 
stay at Edinburgh. In the forenoon I preached at Mr. 
Aikman's Tabernacle, where a second church of the new 
Independents assemble. In the afternoon I went to Cor- 
diner's Hall, where we had about two hundred hearers ; 
but the church members were not more than twelve or 
fourteen. They were baptized by Mr. Page, while a stu- 
dent in Edinburgh. 1 hope their study is to cultivate 
christian love, and to avoid contention. One of the Tab- 
ernacle preachers lately joined them ,- but their thoughts 
are turned towards a young man as their pastor, who is 
now with brother SutcliSe at Olney. I preached this after- 
noon firom 1 John iv. 10, and enjoyed more solemn pleas- 
are than at any other time while I was in Scotland, In 


the evening I preached at Mr. Haldane's Tahernacle to 
about three thousand people, and had an interesting op- 

"In the week I travelled in company with my friend, and 
preached at Dalkeith and Haddington. On the former of 
these excursions, we had an interesting conversation on 
some points lately in dispute between myself and Mr. 
Abraham Booth.* 

"During my week's stay at Edinburgh, I perceived that 
some who had been highly serviceable in carrying on the 
work of God, were verging fast towards Sandemanianism^ 
and I trembled for the consequences. The warmth with 
which they contend that there is no difference between 
the faith of devils and that of christians, as to the nature 
of it, will render faith a mere bone of contention, and their 
zeal will all be consumed in the tithing of mint and cum- 
min. Perhaps also this will be the last time that I shall 
be admitted into their pulpits. 

"One afternoon we had the company of six or seven of 
the leading men of this connection, and they all beset me 
on these topics, but in perfect good humour. They con- 
tended for what they call 'the exhortations of the brethren ;' 
that is, that in the public worship of the Lord's day some 
part of the time should be taken up by one, two, or more 
of the private brethren, standing up one by one, and speak- 
ing from a text x)f scripture. The officiating pastor for the 
time, stands up and says, ' If any of the brethren have a 
word of exhortation, we shall be glad to hear him.' Then 
one rises, and speaks a few minutes ; then another, and 
sometimes a third. Afler this, the pastor preaches. 

"I asked the company what scriptural authority there 
was for this practice. They referred me to Heb. x. 25. 
' Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the 
manner of some is,l>ut exhorting one another; and so much 
the more, as ye see the day approaching.' I said I always 
thought that this was meant of exhorting one another to 
assemble^ and not when assembled. I might also have add- 
ed, that according to the preceding verse, there is the same 
reason for appropriating a part of public worship to ' con- 
sidering one another,' and so of having a silent meeting, 
as for appropriating another part to exhorting one another ; 

* A few partiGalars of this conversation, and of some others in the 
eourse ot the Journal, will appear in a subsequent Chapter, 


and the former might as well be made a christian ordinance 
as the latter. 

*' It is true, mention is made in the New Testament of 
'exhortation.' But it was not common to the brethren : it 
was the work of persons in office. ' He that exhorted was 
to attend to exhortation,' as well as he that teacheth, on 
teaching. It is a branch of the pastoral office, which was 
* to teach, and to exhort, and to reprove, with all longsuffer- 
ing and doctrine.' 

*' There was a practice indeed in the primitive churches, 

called ' prophecying,' which they might all engage in, one 

by one : but this, if it contained nothing extraordinary, was 

nevertheless a gifl which every one did Hot possess. See 

1 Cor. xiv. 1. And the words, *ye may all prophesy, one 

by one,' means only those who had the gift of doing so to 

edification. To leave it to every one who chooses to stand 

up, and engage in public worship, is neither to edify the 

church, nor tending to the conviction of unbelievers : yet 

such was the design of primitive prophesying, 1 Cor. xiv. 

24. Another evening when in company, I was asked by a 

warm Sandemanian, Whether God was to be known, or a 

sinner convinced of sin, by any other medium than the 

cross* of Christ. I answered, God is not to be known /«%, 

through any other medium ; but he has made himself known 

in part, by the works of creation and providence ; so much 

so, as to leave the heathen 'without excuse.' The moral 

law is also a medium, through which is * the knowledge 

of sin.' 

''One of the company denied, that the law alone could 
convince men of sin. But as he acknowledged a few days 
afterwards, that he was betrayed into some extremes in 
that conversation, I do not know that I ought to consider 
it as his settled opinion. Yet 1 have been since informed 
that it is almost a fixed principle among them, that there is 
no conviction of sin but by the gospel. I have no doubt, 
indeed, but that all hope of mercy arises from the gospel, 
and that the death of Christ is adapted to convince of sin ; 
but then it is as honouring the law. Nothing can be more 
self-evident than what is expressly asserted in the scrip- 
tures ; that ' by the law is the knowledge of sin.' Disown 
the law, and there is nothing in the death of Christ, or in 
the gospel, which has any such tendency. 

** During the week, I called on Mr. M'Lean, and talked 
over our controversy. He was very friendly, and thanked 
me for calling on him. I told him I was not sure that I 


ihoald never take any notice of his perfimnance ; bat my 
hands had hitherto been too foil, and perhaps might con- 
tinue to be so. I mentioned to him some things which I 
thoaght were far from brotherly. He replied, If it were to 
do again, there are some things which I should omit.* 

" On Lord's day evening, July 6, 1 made a collection at 
Mr. Haldane's Tabernacle, where nearly four thousand 
people attended. I was given to expect but a small col- 
lection, as the Tabernacle churches were then sending out 
two missionaries to Tranquebar. There were, however, a 
great many Kirk people present, who were very cordial, 
and helped much, as was supposed, to augment the sum, 
which amounted to one hundred and twenty six pounds. 
One of the Kirk ministers at Edinburgh did all in his pow- 
er to promote the object. 

" On Tuesday, July 8, 1 set off, in company with my 
friend, on a tour of three weeks ; preaching and collecting 
every night except Saturdays, and commonly three times 
on a Lord's day. On Tuesday we reached Dunfermline, 
where I preached in the pulpit of the celebrated Ralph 
Erskine, and collected about thirty pounds. 

" Wednesday, we went to Kirkaldy, where I met with 
extraordinary kindness, both from the Kirk ministers and 
the Seceders, who seemed to vie with each other in good- 
ness. 1 named this place Kind Kirkaldy, We collected 
about forty pounds, and afler preaching went a stage. 

" Thursday, the 10th, travelling through Fifeshire, we 
breakfasted at Cupar, where my companion had a friend, 
who called upon us at the inn. I suppose I was unknown 
to the stranger, who was a warm Sandemanian, and I en- 
joyed the treat of their conversation incognito. Afler it 
was over, I said to my friend. Verily, the faith of a Sande- 
manian ought not to be charged with being dead or* inop- 
erative : it operates like fire under a cauldron, causing his 
his blood to boil against all that do not think with him ! — 
About noon we crossed the Tay, and soon arrived at 
Dundee ; where we presently found ourselves in the midst 
of a circle of friends, who had come to meet us. During 
the interview, I was asked to give my ideas of the atone- 
ment and substitution of Christ, and a long conversation 

* The Editor does not nnderstand this of the general sentiments in 
dispute between these two eminent men, but of those insinuationB 
which Mr. Fuller thought ** were far from brotherly ;" several of 
which were afterwards alluded to in his Strictures on Sandemani' 


easoed. After the sermon, at which twenty three pounds 
were collected, a large company came to spend the evening. 
I found they had laid their accounts with a conversation on 
various subjects till midnight ; but I was entirely worn out 
with labour, and obliged to go abruptly to bed. 

"Friday, the 11th, we proceeded to Montrose, where we 
were treated very kindly ; and after the sermon, about 
fourteen pounds were collected. 

" Saturday, the 12th, reached Aberdeen at about six in 
the evening. Paid my respects to several of the ministers, 
and adjusted the work of the Sabbath. I agreed to spend 
the forenoon with a few Baptists, who meet in an upper 
room ; the afternoon, to preach and collect at the Indepen- 
dents, in Mr. Haldane's connection ; and in the evening, 
at the Independents' place, called the Lock Chapel. 

'' Lord's day. At the morning meeting I found eight or 
ten Baptists, residing in Aberdeen. They were not in a 
state of fellowship ; and whether they were sufficiently 
united to be formed into a church, appeared rather doubtful. 
At the same time, three persons applied to me for baptism. 
The first was a young man who had been a Socinian, but 
professed of late to be convinced of the way of salvation 
throucrh the atonement of Christ, and of all the other cor- 
responding doctrines. The next was a simple hearted 
man, with whose religious profession I was well satisfied. 
The third was a woman, and her's was a singular case. 

"As 1 was going to the morning meeting, I was called 
aside by a respectable minister, and told to this effect — 
* You will be requested to baptize a woman before you 
leave Aberdeen. I have no prejudice against her on ac- 
count of her being a Baptist ; but I think it my duty to tell 
you that she was a member of one of our churches in 
this neighbourhood, and was excluded for bad conduct.' 
What conduct ? * Dishonesty towards her creditors.' Very 
well ; 1 thank you for the information, and will make a 
proper use of it. 

" Though I was applied to at the morning meeting to 
baptize these persons, I did not hear their personal profes- 
sions till afler the evening sermon. They then came to 
my inn, where I conversed with each one apart. When 
the woman was introduced, the following is the substance 
of what passed between us. Well, Margaret, you have liv- 
ed in the world about forty years ; how long do you think 
you have known Christ ? *A little more than a year.' What, 
no longer ? 'I think not.' And have you never professed 



to know bim before that time ? 'Yes, and was a member 
of an Independent church for several years.' A member 
of a church, and did not know Christ ! How was that ? 
' 1 was brought up to be religious, and deceived myself and 
others in professing to be so.' And how came you to leave 
that church ? * I was cut off.' What, because you were a 
Baptist ? ' No, because of my bad conduct.' Of what then 
had you been guilty ? ' My heart was lifted up with vanity, 
I got in debt for clothes and other things ; and then pre- 
varicated, and did many bad things.' And it was for these 
things they cut you off ? * Yes.' And do you think they 
did right ? * Oh yes.' And how came you to the knowl- 
edge of Christ at last ? ' When 1 was cut off from the church, 
I sunk into the deepest despondency — I felt as an outcast 
from God and man — I wandered about, speaking as it were 
to nobody, and nobody speaking to me. My burden seem- 
ed heavier than I could bear. At that time a passage or 
two of scripture came to my mind, and I was led to see 
that through the cross of Christ there, was mercy for the 
chief of sinners. 1 wept much, and my sin was very bit- 
t^. But I saw there was no reason to despair, for the 
blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin. It is from 
thence I date my conversion.' And do the minister, and 
the church of which you were a member, know of all this? 
* Yes.' Why did you not go and confess it before them, 
and be restored ? * Partly because I have removed my situ- 
ation, some miles from them ; and partly because I felt in 
my conscience that I was a Baptist.' 

''After the conversation I saw the minister who had told 
me of her, and informed him of the whole; adding, that 
the church in his connection had done well in excluding 
Margaret, and the Lord I hoped had blessed it to her sal- 
vation. He could not object to the propriety of my con- 
duct in baptizing her, on my own principles. Next morn- 
ing I rose at five o'clock, and baptized the three persons at 
a mill dam, about five miles from the city ; whither we 
went in a post chaise, and returned about eight o'clock. 
There were upwards of a hundred people present. 

" At nine we set off on our return from the north ; and 
after travelling about forty miles, I stopped and preached 
at the Methodist chapel at Brechin. 

"Tuesday morning, July 15, set off for Perth ; where 1 
preached and collected for the mission. The clergyman 
of the parish, a venerable old man, was very kind to us. 


Here also I received a donation of twenty poands from a 
gentleman in the neighbourhood. 

'^ Wednesday, set off for Stirling, about forty miles. I 
preached and collected at the Burgher meeting-house ; bat 
it seemed to them a strange thing fdr a Baptist to be in 
their pulpit. The minister was not present; but he after- 
wards appeared at my lodgings, and supped with us. 

•' Thursday, by dinner time, we reached Glasgow, where 
we met with an affectionate reception. Soon after dinner, 
I received an invitation from the Baptists, to be present 
at their church meeting that afternoon, and to give them a 
word of exhortation. With this^ cheerfully complied; 
and at the conclusion, requested to commune with them 
on the following Lord's day, which was as cheerfully 

" Friday, the 18th, I preached at the Tabernacle in the. 
evening, for Mr. Ewing. Spent the next day partly in 

'' Lord's day the 20th. In the forenoon I preached 
at Albion chapel, the second Independent church, and col- 
lected nearly eighty pounds. In the afternoon I preached 
for the Baptists, and communed with them. They are a 
poor people, and but few in number ; yet they, collected 
about eight pounds. This little church also supports a 
mission in the Highlands of Scotland, where a new society 
has lately been formed. I have since had a letter from 
their missionary, in which he writes as follows : 

, " * Bellanock by Inverary, Argyleshire. We have raised 
a little church here ; the number of our members is otdy 
twelve ; but I hope they are fully convinced of the insu& 
ficiency of any thing to save them but the righteousness of 
Christ. ' There is one case rather remarkable ; namely, 
that of a notorioas swearer and drinker, who prided him- 
self in excelling every other person in these practices. He 
heard me occasionally for three y^ars, without any effect. 
At length it pleased God to show him the evil of his way, 
and also the way of escape through Jesus Christ. He was 
added to our church in May, 1804. The concern of this 
man was observed by all around him ; his change of char- 
acter was very manifest. He had the courage to set up the 
worship of God in his master's family, where he had so 
often profaned his holy name. This had a happy effect in 
the end : it led his master, who had hitherto lived as care- 
less and ignorant as himself, to consider his way, to search 
the scriptures, and to attend more closely to the preaching 


of the gospel. The issue is, I trust, that it has been bless- 
ed to his soul. Now he not only worships God in his fam- 
ily, but recommends Jesus to his friends as the only 
Saviour, urging them to flee to him for refuge from the 
wrath to come. I hope he will be shortly added to our 

'' In the evening at Glasgow, I preached at the Taber- 
nacle, to nearly four thousand people. They had lately 
collected for the Bible Society, yet their contributions for 
the mission amounted to a hundred pounds. 

"Monday, July 21, I went to the country seat of Mr. 
David Dale, who add^ fifty pounds to the collection. I 
preached with much interest that evening at Cambuslang, 
where many of the Glasgow friends were present : but my 
strength began to fail me. 

" Tuesday, after dinner, I took leave of Glasgow, and 
went and preached that night to about sixteen hundred 
people at Paisley. The collection amounted to nearly for- 
ty pounds. I here met with another Tabernacle minister, 
who had become a Baptist, and about half his church with 
him ; but them I saw not. I could not get alone that 
night ; but lose early in the morning, and walked the fields 
with him before breakfast. He wished me to write to him 
after my return ; but I was afraid to promise, for want of 

'* Wednesday, the 23d, set of for Greenoch. I was press- 
ed to call and preach, and collect at Port Glasgow, and that 
by the clergyman of the place, who wrote to me at Paisley ; 
but I could not accomplish it At Greenoch we had a 
good auditory and collection ; but after preaching, all my 
strength was dried up as a potsherd. 1 here found three 
or four young people who were Baptists, and of whom the 
Tabernacle Independents of the place, where we bdged, 
spoke in the highest terms. Understanding that I was to 
spend the next Lord's day to Kilwinning in Ayrshire, with 
another Baptist minister from the Tabernacle connection, 
they resolved to walk over, and join with us at the Lord^s 
table, though it was above thirty miles distant. 

" Thursday, July 24, travelled nearly forty miles to day 
along the western coast, bearing southward. About six 
o'clock we reached Saltcoats. Here I found that the 
parish minister, on hearing that I was to collect at the 
Burgher meetinghouse, resolved to have a sermon at the 
same hour in the church, and a collection for the Bible 
Society. He said^ however, that if 1 chose to preach the 


sermon in the church, and let the collection be applied to the 
Bible Society, I was welcome to do so. As soon as this 
was mentioned to me by another person, I immediately 
sent to the clergyman, offering to relinquish my own ob- 
ject, and if he was agreeable, to preach the sermon in the 
church, in favour of the Bible Society. This he acceded 
to, and I called on him before worship. I then observed, 
that he must be aware of what he had proposed being 
contrary to the rules of the Assembly of the Church of 
Scotland ; and that I should be sorry, if any ill consequen- 
ces were to follow on my account. He replied, that his 
presbyters were well disposed, and he had no fears on 
that head. I then preached the sermon, and pleaded with 
all the energy 1 could for the Bible Society. After wor- 
ship, I went to my inn ; then called to sup and lodge with 
the clergyman. (Such is the custom in Scotland.) While 
sitting in his house, 1 told him £ felt happy in the oppor- 
tunity of expressing my regard for the Bible Society, and 
requested him to add my guinea to the collection. But 
during my call at the inn, after worship, he had consulted 
with his friends, on the subject of my having been deprived 
of a collection. He therefore answered me by saying, 'I 
cannot except your guinea ; and moreover, I must insist on 
your accepting half the collection for your object ; and you 
must make no objection whatever to it. Such is the con- 
clusion of our Session.' Finding him quite resolute, I 
yielded and t6ok half the collection ; which however did 
not amount to six pounds. 

*' At Saltcoats 1 met with one of the Baptist ministers 
from the Tabernacle connection, of whom there are nine or 
ten, who have lately been baptized. They have formed 
new churches, which are the only ones in Scotland with 
whom either myself or any other English Baptist would 
be admitted to communion. The New Baptists from the 
Tabernacle connection do not unite with the old Scotch 
Baptists ; indeed many have come off from the old con- 
nection to join them. I trust they are not striving to make 
Baptists, but to make christians ; and God is greatly bless- 
ing them in several places. 

'' In the course of my journey, 1 made inquiry of several 
persons amongst them, why they did not unite with the 
old Baptists? Some answered, because many of them 
disbelieve the vicarious nature of Christ's active obedience, 
considering all that Christ did in obeying the law, as only 



qualifying him for making an atonement; and that the 
whole of that for the sake of which we are justified, is his 
sacrifiee. Besides this they alleged, there was Jittle or 
nothing of the life of religion amongst them. 

'* Meeting with an intelligent man who had separated 
himself from the old Baptists, 1 asked him why he had left 
them. He answered, 'partly because there was scarcely 
any zeal amongst them for the promotion of Christ's king- 
dom, or the conversion of sinners ; and partly because the 
principle on which their members were received into fel- 
lowship was such, that the great body of them must needs 
be men of no religion.' What principle is that ? ' To 
become a member with them, it is only necessary to de- 
clare your creed, and conform to their rules. They dis- 
claim all inquiry at that time, as to the effects which their 
faith has had upon them.' I understood by this, that 
they disclaimed what we in England call a relation of ex- 
perience, as necessary to church communion. 

"Whether these accounts be accurate, I cannot say ; but 
they agree with what struck me on n)y former visit to 
Scotland, in 1799. Being then requested to baptize a 
Pedobaptist minister, and several of his people, 1 asked 
them individually for some account of their personal Chris- 
tianity. They all, if I recollect right, began by telling me 
Iheir creed ; or what they believed about the fall of Adano, 
and the way of salvation ; and if I had been content, they 
would have gone on and ended in things of that nature. 

"In conversing with two or three others of the Tabernacle 
Baptists^ I also found there were many among the Baptists 
of the old connection, who paid no regard to family worship, 
to family gOTernment, or to the sanctification of the Lord's 
day ; judging that when the worship was over, it was as 
lawful to talk or deal in worldly matters as on another day. 
Indeed I met with one of them who was of that opinion, 
and who demanded proof from the New Testament, of the 
obligation of christians to refrain from labour on the first 

"I answered (1.) It appeared to me to be a mora/ duty 
to keep a sabbath, or it would not have made a part of the 
ten commandments ; and that which is moral is of perpet- 
ual obligation. (2.) I asked, whether he did not consider 
what in the New Testament is called 'the Lord's day/ as 
meaning the first iday of the week ? He said he did. f 
then olMserved, its being called the Lord's day, implies that 
it should be devoted to the Lord. The same phraseology 


is used of the ordinance of breaking bread. And as Pau) 
argaed from its being the Lord's supper, that they ought 
not, while attending to that, to eat their own supper; 
so on the same principle we may argue from its being the 
Lord's day, that we ought not, during that day, to pursue 
our own affairs. 

" Friday, July 25, we went to Kilmarnock, where we met 
with much friendly treatment. I preached at the Burgher 
meeting-house, and collected about eleven guineas. 

" We had a good deal of conversation at the inn, between 
a Baptist minister of the new connection, my fellow travel- 
lers, and myself. As we sat at supper, the minister ad- 
dressed himself to my Sandemanian companion, and said, 
I should like to hear some fair meaning given to such pas- 
sages of scripture as these : ' Repent and believe the gospel 
— ^They repented not^ that they might believe — If God 
peradventure will give them repentance, to the acknowledg- 
ing of the truth.' How does this language comport with 
the notion of repentance being the effect of faith ? I know 
there must be faith in God, and in his law, ere we can 
repent of having sinned against him. I know also that 
&ith in Christ as a Saviour, is followed by continued re- 
pentance : but I do not see how the above passages can be 
explained, consistently with no repentance preceding it. 

" I had no idea till then, that this minister entertained 
views on this subject so congenial with my own. My com- 
panion, however, seemed desirous of evading the conver- 
sation, or to turn it into another channel. Nay, said I, 
answer him. This he did not attempt ; but merely alleged 
some consequences which he supposed would follow from 
the statement just given. Finding his mind a little ruffled, 
we dropped the subject. 

** Saturday, we returned to Irvine, where we slept. 

" Lord's day, July 27, went to Kilwinning, and heard 
preaching in the morning at the Baptist place of worship, 
which consisted of an upper room, and was much crowded. 
I preached in the aflernoon, and the pastor administered 
the Lord's supper : our travelling company joined as occa- 
sional communicants. In the evening, 1 turned out, and 
preached to seven or eight hundred people on the green. 
We afterwards called on the parish minister, and were 
treated with kindness and respect. 

" Monday morning, we visited several of the members of 
the Baptist church, who resided at Irvine. Afier dinner 


we took leave of them , and proceeded to Ayr, where I was 
to preach that evening. At Ayr, we met with great kind- 
ness from the Burgher minister. As soon as the service 
was ended, I took an affectionate leave of my fellow trav- 
ellers, who, after journeying with me three weeks, and 
rendering me every accommodation in their power, noiv 
returned home ; and I was obliged, in order to reach Liver- 
pool in time, to travel nearly two hundred and fifty miles 
by Thursday night. 

'* Tuesday forenoon, having travelled all night from Ayr, 
I reached Dumfries; preached, and collected there that 
evening. The Tabernacle minister treated me with much 
brotherly kindness. Twenty-five pounds from his friends 
were added to our collection ; and as soon as the preaching 
was over, and we had taken a little refreshment, he travel- 
ed post with me all night to Carlisle. 

''Arriving at Carlisle on Wednesday morning, July 30th, 
I there took the stage for Lancaster, where 1 stopped for 
the night. Reached Liverpool on Thursday, where I met 
with kind attentions. But as my remarks were meant only 
for the tour of Scotland, I here conclude them, only with 
observing that I travelled nearly thirteen hundred miles, 
and collected about as many pounds. 

*' One thing struck my mind in Scotland more especially, 
which I must just mention. The Scottish Independents 
are more rigid than the English ; so much so that they have 
generally excluded the Baptists from their communion. 
Yet when expelled from their churches, they seem, to retain 
no bitternfess, nor contempt towards them ; but on the con- 
trary appear to respect them for acting up to their convic- 
tions. At many places in England, if I had gone among a 
few Baptists, meeting in an upper room, and communed 
with them, at the same time that I was to preach and col- 
lect among the Independents on the other parts of the day, 
it would have given offence ; and they would have been 
ready to say, especially if those Baptists had lately gone off 
from them, ' If you go among the Baptists, and encourage 
them, have your collections there also.' But neither at 
Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, nor Greenoch, was this 
the case. They seemed to consider me as acting the part 
of an honest man, by encouraging those whom I thought to 
be in the right ; and when I lodged with Independent minis- 
ters, they would invite the Baptist friends to visit me at 
their houses. I have, indeed, seen something of the same 


spirit in England ; but not so much of it as in Scotland. 
The latter seem generally to act more from principle, and 
less from temper than we do." 

After having made collections in various parts of Eng- 
land, Scotland, and Ireland, for several years, and the 
mission had met with the most liberal support fVom Chris- 
tians of all denominations, both among churchmen and 
dissenters, and from several of the nobility and gentry, an 
event occurred which involved the Society, and its Secre- 
tary in particular, in great trouble and perplexity. Two 
missionaries having arrived in India, in 1806, they were 
not allowed to join their brethren at Serampore ; and for 
the first time, the Government seemed disposed to act a 
hostile part towards them. When the news arrived in 
England, Mr. Fuller drew up a " Statement" of all the pro- 
ceedings in the name of the Society ; and went to London 
in June, 1807, " to sound the depth of the danger." On 
this occasion, he waited on several persons of high dis- 
tinction, who were likely to favour the propagation of Chris- 
tianity, and kept his station at the helm, till the storm ap- 
parently died away. 

Soon another storm arose, which filled the friends of the 
mission with great dismay, and furnished its adversaries 
with a momentary triumph. Mr. Fuller was accordingly 
called up to town in December following, and found on his 
arrival that Mr. Twining had printed a pamphlet, on the 
danger of interfering with the religious opinions of the na- 
tives of India, and intended to bring the subject before a 
Court of Proprietors. The Rev. Mr. Owen, Secretary to 
the Bible Society, replied to the pamphlet, as far as that 
institution was concerned ; and its noble President pre- 
sented a memorial to the Directors of the East India Com- 
pany, and also to the Board of Control. Mr. Fuller in- 
voked in vain the assistance of one or two eminent writers 
of his own denomination ; he, therefore, " shut himself 
up," and in the course of two or three days produced his 
answer to Mr. Twining. Another pamphlet, by Major 
Scott Waring, speedily made its appearance, "full of all 
mischief and subtilty," and containing a preface of 76 
pages, directed against the mission in India. 

On hearing that some of the Directors at the India House 
contemplated the recal, not only of Professor Carey, but of 
Dr. Buchanan, and Mr. Browne, the Episcopal clergyman. 


who were patronized by the Bible Society, Mr. Faller 
obtaiaed ao audteDce of Marquis Weliesley, who had kind- 
ly afforded protection to the missionaries, during his Presi- 
dency in Bengal. At a second interview the noble Marquis 
avowed his decided opinion against the recal of the mis- 
sionaries, " even if they had been in fault," because such a 
measure, he said, would be injurious to the interests of our 
eastern dominions ; but he had no idea of any blame 
whatever attaching to the missionaries, nor of any alarm 
existing in India on their account. He also promised, that 
if the Ministry should ask his opinion, he would give it in 
this way without reserve. 

The friends of the Indian missions were all on the alert, 
and employed their influence with the Proprietors of East 
India stock ; they also called a general meeting at the new 
London Tavern, and appointed a committee to watch the 
motions of the enemy. A General Court of Proprietors 
was soon held at the India House, and Mr. Fuller, with 
many other friends, attended. '^ I got a good place in the 
gallery," says he, "where I could see and hear all that pass- 
ed. The chairman and deputy chairman appeared supe- 
rior to all the rest, in point of intelligence and manly 
firmness ; and I could not but feel thankful that we had 
two such able men on our side. Some other business 
having been dispatched, up rose Mr. Twining, who after a 
speech of about ten minutes on the danger of interfering 
with the religious opinions of the natives of India, full of 
trembling and fear of not being thought a Christian, and 
after deprecating discussion on the subject; took the 
liberty to ask the Chairman, whether he would assure him 
that in future no such interference should be encouraged. 
Chair. 'The subject on which the honourable gentleman 
has touched, has by no means escaped our attention. We 
are alive to every thing which affects the wellbeing of the 
Company ; and we ask for the confidence of the Proprietors, 
that we shall do every thing tending to promote it.'. On 
the Chairman sitting down, an aged gentleman rose up to 
answer Mr. Twining ; and he would indeed have answered 
him, but was interrupted by the Chair, * Sir, there is no 
question before the court, and I cannot allow of any dis- 
cussion at present' Then rose up an alderman, one of 
Mr. Twining's friends, complaining of the general nature of 
the Chairman's answer, and hoping that the court would 
not break up without an assurance from him, that the 
religious opinions of the Hindoos should not be interfered 


with. Chair. 'Sir, having stopt a gentleman on the 
other side, on the ground of informality, I cannot allow 
of your proceeding. I move that this court do now adjourn.* 

"The court was accordingly dissolved by a show of 
hands ; the designs of the enemy are for the present de- 
feated, and we all came away in good spirits. I was 
pleased to find that we had so decided a majority of Pro- 
prietors, who all got together on one side of the house, 
which for distinction sake was named by some of the gallery 
critics, * Methodist Corner.' The proceedings of this day 
will have an effect on the measures of the antichristian 
party, similar to that of a demonstration by a great army, 
when it barely makes its appearance, just letting them see 
that this country has some christians yet left in it. It is 
necessary however that the public mind should as much 
as possible be impressed with the subject, as the unbe- 
lievers will still be at work, and a watchful eye must be 
kept upon their movements." 

These apprehensions were but too well founded ; in the 
course of a few months the enemies of Christianity renewed 
their operations, and found a pretext highly favourable to 
their ultimate design. The missionaries at Serampore had 
long been in the habit of distributing large quantities of 
religious tracts among the natives, in connection with their 
itinerant labours, and the circulation of the scriptures. It 
so happened, however, that in one of these tracts the blessed 
Mahomet was unfortunately called "a tyrant!" The infi- 
dels in India seized on this circumstance, to show how 
the religion of the country v^as abused ; and by infusing 
fearful apprehensions into the government, they endeav- 
oured to overwhelm the mivssion. The infidels at home 
re-echoed the song, made their appeal once more to the 
Court of Proprietors, in order to render their enmity more 
effective ; and thus cut out fresh work for the indefatigable 
Secretary of the Baptist Society. 

In the spring of 1808 he went again to London, "to 
sound the depth of the danger," and took his moorings 
accordingly. On his arrival, he obtained an interview with 
one of the East India Directors, who expressed his fears 
that the mission, if not rooted up, would be lopped of all 
its branches. At that instant letters arrived from the mis- 
sionaries, containing all the particulars of what had trans- 
pired, together with a copy of their correspondence with 
the government of Bengal. From these documents it ap- 
peared, that in the month of June preceding, they had given 


to a Persian convert a small tract, containing the life of 
Mahomet, to be translated into Persic, and which in the 
hurry of business was printed at Serampore, without having 
undergone the usual revision. The zeal of the translator, 
newly converted to Christianity, had induced him to substi- 
tute, unobserved, the word tyrant for the proper name of 
the impostor. Early in September one of the converted 
natives in Calcutta gave the tract to a Mussulman interpre- 
ter, bidding him to read and answer it. The Mussulman 
took a readier way of defending the founder of his religion. 
He put the tract into the hands of one of the government 
Secretaries, who was glad of an opportunity of showing 
his opposition to the mission. He, therefore, sent to the 
college for Dr. Carey, demanding whether he knew of the 
tract in question being printed at Serampore. He replied 
that he did not ; and on its being shown him, he expressed 
his concern, and promised to inquire how it happened. 

The Secretary, mean while, laid it before the Governor 
General in Council, and a letter was immediately address- 
ed to the Danish Governor of Serampore, making heavy 
complaints about the tract. Before this could be answered, 
another letter was sent to Dr. Carey, ordering the mission- 
aries to desist from preaching at Calcutta, and to remove 
their press to that city, if they wished to circulate their 
tracts in the British territories. The missionaries were 
greatly distressed. They met for prayer, and tried to sing 
a hymn ; but were stopped in the midst of the song by 
their own feelings, which turned all into sighs and sobs. 
Having replied to the letter addressed to the Governor of 
, Serampore, they at length obtained an audience of the 
Governor General of Bengal. Dr. Carey presented a copy 
of the Ramayuna,* which his lordship was pleased to ac- 
cept, and afterwards very mildly observed, ' that the zeal of 
a missionary might induce him to oppose whatever hindered 
the progress of his undertaking, and that his ideas on many 
subjects would probably be different from those to whom is 
intrusted the affairs of government.' The missionaries 
answered, * that they had no wish to oppose government, 
nor to utter any thing inflammatory.' They then explain- 
ed the circumstance attending the Persian tract, which 
applied some derogatory epithets to the sublime Mahomet, 

* One of the Puranas, or sacred poems of the Hindoos, translated 
and printed by the missionaries, and sold by Black and Parry, Lead- 
enhall Street. 


aod acknowledged the inadyertence m suffering it to be 
printed, before the translation had been properly examined. 

The Governor politely admitted the apology, and said that 
he entertained no unfavourable prejudices against the mis* 
sionaries ; but as such publications might prove injurious, 
their circulation must not be suffered. They were after* 
wards allowed to present to the Governor in Council a me- 
morial, which met all the allegations against them in the 
most inoffensive, respectful, but effectual manner. 

The memorial was attended with the desired effect. 
The order was revoked, the press was allowed to remain at 
Serampore, and preaching at the Loll Bazar was again re- 
sumed. The government, however, required to have the 
inspection of any new tracts, before they were printed and 
circalated ; and though this was a little mortifying to men 
of such unquestionable learning and probity, it turned out 
to their advantage, by giving an implied authority to the 
circulation of the Scriptures and also of religious tracts 
issuing from the mission press. The missionaries waited 
on the Governor, to present their thanks for the revocation 
of the orders in council, and were handsomely received. 
The Governor politely acknowledged to the missionaries, 
'that nothing more was necessary than a proper explanation 
of the subject, to place every thing in a clear and favoura- 
ble light/ The enemies of the mission in India, who had 
endeavoured to awaken the fears of the government, were 
thus defeated y and the mission itself jsras brought more im- 
mediately under the protection and patronage of the 

Mr. Fuller, having made himself acquainted with these 
particulars, communicated them to a powerful friend in 
the Directory ; made repeated appeals to the public, on 
behalf of the mission, and relaxed none of his exertions 
till the machinations of the enemy at home were completely 

In the month of June, when another Court of Proprietors 
was to be called, he was found at his post. The meeting, 
however, passed over without any material occurrence. 
^nly one proprietor appeared in opposition, and he was 
8oon neutralized by some information previously given by 
tbe chairman. There did not appear to have been any 
official communications from the Government in India to 
the Directors at home ; but a number of private letters 



excited a strong sensation, not only at the India House, 
bat among some of the members of administration. The 
President of the Board of Control, even pressed upon the 
Chairman of the Directory to recal the missionaries. The 
Chairman, and other powerful friends to religious liberty, 
made a noble stand on this occasion. One of thesi in par- 
ticular, of high rank, and possessing the superior means of 
information, represented to the government, that the best 
way of preserving its eastern dominions would be to afford 
ample protection to the missionaries. These noblemen and 
gentlemen expressed their intention of resisting the renew- 
al of their chapter, if the East India Company should per- 
sist in excluding Christianity from India. The Bishop of 
London also felt indignant at such an attempt The 
opposition appeared at length to die away, and the indefat- 
igable Secretary of the Baptist Society continued his efforts 
till another calm succeeded. 

Happily relieved from the anxieties which this opposition 
had excited, Mr. Fuller made his fourth excursion into the 
north, in the autumn of 1808. His visits to Scotland were 
always very pleasant to him, and he usually went once in 
two or three years, afler the commencement of the inter- 
course ; but he was now assured that '* he might reap more 
than a triennial harvest, if he would but go and put in his 
sickle." In no part of the empire were his services more 
highly esteemed, or rendered more generally useful ; and 
he used to say of the Scottish Christians, that their liberal- 
ity was unbounded. In the early part of this journey he 
complained of being much exhausted, having travelled a 
hundred and fifty miles in three days, and preached every 
evening on his way. Arrived at Edinburgh, he found his 
labours greatly multiplied; arrangements were made for 
preaching, visiting, and collecting, the whole of the week ; 
but he was soon obliged to desist from such engagements. 
Illness threatened to impede his progress, and called forth 
the attentions of a medical friend ; but he still went forward, 
and every where met with the utmost kindness. His la- 
bours and success during this journey were unexampled, 
and he himself was surprised to find how God had prosper- 
ed his way. At Glasgow, he observed, that the interest 
which religious people took in the mission, together with 
their expressions of affection and liberality was quite over- 
whelming ; and instead of being weary in well-doing, they 
pressed the assiduous Secretary to pay his visits a little 


oftener. Returning home in November, he says, '' I have 
been enabled to collect as much as two thousand pounds 
in the course of six weeks, after a journey of twelve hun- 
dred miles. God be praised for all his goodness, and for 
the abundant kindness shown towards me, and towards the 
mission. H 

In February and March, 1813, Mr. Fuller renewed his 
visits to London, to promote the interests of the mission. 
Accompanied with two other ministers, he obtained an 
interview with several noblemen, to solicit their influence 
in making some provisions in the new Charter of the East 
India Company , for the toleration of Christian missionaries. 
These applications were followed with petitions to parlia- 
ment, from the general body of dissenters ; and both the 
government and the legislature did thenoselves the honour 
to become the patrons of Christianity in India. 

In the summer of this year Mr. Fuller paid his fifth and 
last visit to Scotland, where he was assisted by the arrival 
of two of his brethren from England. Besides his usual 
labours, he sometimes preached to a large concourse of 
people in the open air, in places where the doors of the 
kirk wefe closed against him ; but though in tolerable 
healthy he was scarcely equal to such exertions. He never- 
theless continued his career with unabated ardour, was 
every where hailed as the agent for the mission and trans- 
lations in India, and met with good success. The kindness 
he received at Glasgow " was almost overwhelming," an^ 
be took his final leave of Scotland with sentiments of the 
most grateful affection and esteem. 

Up to the last year of his life, his labours were continued 
with very little' intermission. In a letter dated. May 11, 
1814, he says, " I have much journeying before me ; first, 
to Olney and Bedford next week ; then to the Association 
at Leicester, in Whitsun-week ; then into Essex, on June 
6th, where I must be at a missionary meeting, of that 
county, at Booking, on June 8th ; and collect what I can 
between that and our London annual meeting, which I sup- 
pose is on June 22. I must then return, and be at Ketter- 
ing by the 26th, which is our Lord's supper day. Then I 
must set off and be out all July in the north of England : — 
the first Sabbath at Liverpool, the second at Manchester, 
third at Leeds, fourth at Newcastle, and fifth at Hull. May 
the Lord^^trengthen me for these labours." 


In short, the history of Mr. Fuller's life for the last three 
and twenty years, was so completely identified with that 
of the mission, that all its principal transactions must be 
referred to his agency. It was in great measure his own 
production; he formed and moulded it with exquisite skill, 
watched over and directed all its movements, ai^ seemed 
to be present in every place wherever its effects were visible. 
It grew up with him, and was inwrought into the very ele- 
ments and constitution of bis mind ; he seemed to have no 
thoughts, no cares, but what related to its interests. It 
may even be doubted, whether, after the commencement of 
this great undertaking, he wrote a single letter to any of 
his numerous correspondents, that did not bear some refer- 
ence to that subject. In serving the mission, he had no 
idea of sparing himself; but while his health was con- 
stantly impaired by the greatness of his exertions, he per- 
severed in them with unabatiug ardour to the . very last. 
He appears, indeed, to have expected that these labours 
would cost him his life, but it affected him not ; and had 
it not been for the unusual strength and vigour of his con- 
stitution, he would have fallen a sacrifice much sooner than 
he did. The sentiments which he delivered in his Sermon 
at Bedford, May 6, 1801, exactly fourteen years before 
his death, were highly characteristic and premonitory of 
^ that event. 

" It is not impossible," said he, '' that we may live to 
see things of which at present we have scarcely any con- 
ception : but whether we do or not, Jesus lives, and his 
kingdom must increase. And what, if while we are scal- 
ing the walls of the enemy, we should a few of us lose our 
lives ? We must die some way ; and can we desire to die 
in a better cause ? Probably many of the Israelites, who 
vent up with Joshua to possess the land, perished in the 
attempt ; yet this was no objection to a perseverance in 
the cause. In carrying the glad tidings of eternal life to 
Jews and Gentiles, Stephen and James, with many others, 
fell sacrifices at an early period : yet no one was discourag- 
ed on this account, but rather stimulated to follow the 
^ example." 


HEalOm» OF ANDftlW FI7IXBB. 1\ 




The following select extracts, from a very copious diary of Mr. Ful- 
ler, to which Mr. Morris had not access, are here inserted to in- 
crease the value of the present edidon. It has not been thought 
necessary to preserve the respective dates. Each day's entry is 
distiog^isbed by commencing with a dash. 

" — O that I might feel more of the power of religion, 
and know more of the love of Christ, which passeth knowl- 
edge ! 1 think 1 see divine excellence in such a life. O 
that thou wouldst bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast ! 
I am going, God willing, to visit a friend to-day. O that a 
spirit of watchfulness, savour, and fellowship with Christ, 
may attend me ! 

" — I see what a strait course it is to steer between le- 
gality and libertinism. I have been for some time, trying 
to walk more closely with God ; and now I find the sparks 
of self-righteous pride begin to kindle. I have been think- 
ing to-day of Isaiah ik 11. I have reason to be humbled 
for having so little humility : yet I think I have tasted a 
sweetness in that plan of redemption which stains the pride 
of all flesh. 

" — Have found my heart tenderly affected several times, 
especially to-night, in prayer respecting my critical situa- 
tion. Oh ! Providence, how intricate ! If rough roads are 
marked out for me, may ray shoes be iron and brass ! I 
ftund, to-day, a peculiar sympathy towards poor people un- 
der trying providences ; thinking I may have ' to go that 
road. * Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God : 
thy Spirit is good, lead me into the land of uprightness V 

" — It is good to visit the poor, that we may know their 
cases, exercise sympathy and charity towards them, and 
learn gratitude, and many a lesson in the doctrine of prov- 
idence. O what a horrid depth of pride ai\d hypocrisy do I 
find in my heart ! Surely 1 am unfit for any company. If 
I am with a superior ^ how will my heart court his praise^ 
by speaking diminutively of myself, not forgetting to urge 
the disadvantages under which I have laboured to excuse 
my inferiority; and here is a large vacancy lefi, in hope he 



he will fill it up with something like this — ^< Well, you must 
have made good Improvement of what advantages you have 
enjoyed.' On the other hand, when in company with an 
inferior^ how full of self am I i While I seem to be instruct- 
ing him by communicating my observations, how prone to 
lose sight of his edification, and every thing but my own 
self-importance ; aiming more to discover my own knowl- 
edge, than to increase his ! 

** While I make these observations, I feel the truth of 
them. A thought has been suggested to write them, not 
as having been working in my heart to-day, but only as 
discovered to-day. Oh horridly deceitful and desperately 
wicked heart ! Surely I have little else in my religious ex- 
ercises but these workings. I am afraid of being deceived 
at last. If I am saved, what must the Son of God have 
endured ! 

'' — 1 had an aiSecting time to-night, in going a road^ 
where, about twelve or thirteen years ago, I had many a 
season of sorrow and joy. O here I saw myself lost, there 
I had a sight of the Saviour ; here I went bowed down with 
fear and despair, there L was sweetly cheered with a view 
of the faithfulness of God ; in this place I mourned my des- 
olate state, in that the state of the church lay heavily upon 
me; yonder my hopes respecting the church were excited, 
by thinking of Psa. cxxii. 1, 2, 8, 9. O what strange 
events since ! by the help of God I have continued to this 
day. When my soul is cast down within me, may I ' re- 
member thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermon- 
ites from the hill Mizar.' 

'^ — Surely 1 do not sufficiently study the cases of the 
people, in my preaching ! 1 find, by conversation to-day, 
with one seemingly in dying circumstances, that but litfle 
of my preaching has been suited to her case. Visiting the 
sick, and conversing sometimes even with the unconverted 
part of my hearers, about their souls, and especially with 
the godly, would have a tendency to make my preaching 
more experimental. 

" — Religion appeared to me to be full of greatness, A 
great God, possessed of great excellencies, whence arise 
great obligations ; hence the great evil of sin ; and lience 
the need of a Saviour, and a great one. All in religion la 
great, O that I had a great sense of the importance of 
divine things ! Lord, increase my faith ! 

'' •— Thought, to-day, on account of fiimily circnmstances, 
what a matter of importance is the. birth of a child. Here 


its life begios, bat where shall it end? Ahl no end to Ita 
existence 1 But, O that God would accept of my new-born 
child, and let its end be * to glorify God, and enjoy him 

** — Thought what an awful day will that be, when God 
searches Jerusalem, as with candles ! O how many will 
then appear to have been religious through custom, shame, 
pride, or something short of the fear of God 1 Alas ! how 
many have proved hypocrites, by the breaking up of a 
church ! When the restraints of church communion have 
been taken off them, how have they turned out! O to walk 
as in the sight of God ! That is a spirit which would teach 
us to be holy, though there were no creature upon earth to 
watch us. 

" — Observed our proneness to think of ourselves as oth- 
ers speak of us. For example, if I am praised at any par- 
ticular place as a preacher, how prone am I, at that place, 
to keep pace with their esteem, if not to outgo it, in the 
estimation of myself! On the other hand, at such places 
where I have felt myself embarrassed, how prone to despair 
and so to take no delight in the work ! O how much of 
self have I in me ! how far from that excellent character, 
of being dead to the smiles and frowns of men ! 

" — I think I have never yet entered into the true idea 
of the work of the ministry. If I had, surely I should be 
like Aaron, running between the dead and the living. 1 
think I am in the ministry, as I was in my life as a Chris- 
tian, before I read Edwards on the Affections, I had nev- 
er entered into the spirit of a great many important things. 
for some such penetrating, edifying writer on this sub- 
ject ! or, O rather that the Holy Spirit would open my 
eyes, and let me see into the things that I have never yet 

" — A pulpit seems an awful place. An opportunity for 
addressing a company of immortals on their eternal inter- 
ests — O how important I We preach for eternity. We, in 
a sense are set for the rising and falling of many in Israel. 
And our own rise or fall is equally therein involved. 

" — I think, when we are in company and address our- 
selves to any one in particular, it too oflen happens, that 
the applause of the company, rather than the edification of 
the person or ourselves, is the object. Hence, witticisms, 
uid sQcii sayings as sting the party addressed, are intro- 
duced. Pride, how pernicious ! 

128 • HBHoma of anbrbw fullsr. 

«( ^This aflernooDy being on a nsit, as I stepped aside 

from the company, I overheard one of them saying, * I love 
Mr. Fuller's company, it is so diverting ! This expression 
moved me much. O wretch that I am I Is this to have my 
speech seasoned with grace ? O Lord, forgive me I some 
humbling thoughts to-night, for the above, in prayer. 

« I found my soul drawn out in love to poor souls, 

while reading Millar's account of Elliot's labours among 
the North American Indians, and their effect on those poor 
barbarous savages. 1 found also a suspicion, that we 
shackle ourselves too much in our addresses to sinners ; 
that we have bewildered and lost ourselves, by taking the 
decrees of God as rules of action. Surely Peter and Paul 
never felt such scruples in their addresses as we do. They 
addressed their hearers as men — fallen men % as we should 
warn and admonish persons who were blind, and on the 
brink of some dreadful precipice. Their work seemed 
plain before them. O that mine might be so before 


« How apt are we to think ourselves rather pitiable 

than blameable, for having such remains of corruption in 
us ! Perhaps one cause of this may he our viewing sin in us 
as an army, or something we have to oppose and press 
through. These ideas are good, provided we remember, 
that they are figurative, and that this army is nothing ex- 
ternal, but internal; and that the opposition is not like that 
wherein the combatant's inclination is all one way, but he 
finds himself wholly overcome, against his will; were this 
the case, we should be wholly pitiable. But it is as if a 
debtor, were going to pay his creflitor ; but, by the way, 
found great struggles, whether he should go forward, and 
behave like an honest man, or whether he should turn aside, 
and spend his money in riot and luxury. In this case, he 
certainly ought to have had no struggle, nor to have made 
a moment's scruple. Neither ought we to make a mo- 
ment's scruple about loving the Lord with all our hearts, 
and refraining wholly from sinning against him. We may, 
indeed, be pitiable with respect to each other ; but, in the 
sight of God, we are wholly blameable. 

" — My mind to-day seems bewildered. The lives of 
some poets have taken up my thoughts. The grandeur and 
stretch of thought in their writings seems rather to flatten 
my mind towards the simple truths of Christianity. But, 
alas! what am I after? what ami admiring? Pompoas 
trifesl Great soulsemployed in dressing atoms I O religion! 


thy joys are substantial and sincere ! When shall I awake, 
and find myself where nothing else shall attract the soult 

" — I find it is observed, that persons in my condition, 
without greater advantages as to learning, are generally apt 
to be more censorious than those whose learning is far 
greater. I wish I may be always on the Avatch here. 

" — This evening, I felt tender all the lime of the 
prayer meeting for the revival of religion ; but in hearing 
Mr. Beeby Wall is pray for me, I was overcome ; his having 
a better opinion of me than I deserve, cuts me to the heart ! 
Went to prayer myself, and found my mind engaged more 
than ordinarily in praying for the revival of religion. I 
had felt many sceptical thoughts ; as though there were 
room to ask — What profit shall I have if I pray to God ? 
for which I was much grieved. Find a great satisfaction 
in these monthly meetings, even supposing our requests 
should not he granted, yet prayer to God is its own 
reward. Felt many bitter reflections for my stupid, carnal 
way of living. 

*' — Impressed, this morning, in thinking on the wants 
of the people, how they would probably be coming from 
many places round, in quest of spiritual food, while I was 
barren, and scarcely knew what to say to them. Affected 
in thinking of Micah vii. ' Feed thy people with thy rod/ 
&rC. Preached from it this morning with some freedom. 

" — We had a Ministers' Meeting, at Northampton. 
The best part of the day was, I think, in conversation. A 
question was discussed, to the following purport: To what 
causes, in ministers, may much of their want of success be 
imputed? The answer turned chiefiy upon the want of 
personal religion; particularly, the neglect of close dealing 
with God in closet prayer, Jer. x. 2 1 , was referred to : 
* Their pastors are become brutish, and have not sottght the 
Lord ; therefore they shall not prosper, and their flocks 
shall be scittered.' Another reason assigned was, the 
want of reading and studying the Scriptures more as Chris- 
tians, for the edification of our own souls. We are too apt 
to stndy them, merely to find out something to say to others, 
without living upon the truth ourselves. If we eat not the 
book before wo deliver its' contents to others, we may ex- 
pect the Holy Spirit will not much accompany us. If we 
study the Scriptures as Christians, the more familiar we 
tre with them, the more we shall feel their importance; 
but, if otherwise, our familiarity with the word will be like 
^hat ^ soldiers, doctors or, grave-diggers, with death — it 


will wear away all sense of its importance from our minds. 
To enforce this sentiment, Prov. xxii. 17, 18, was referred 
to : ' Apply thine heart unto knowledge — ^the words of the 
wise will be pleasant, if thou-J^eep them within thee ; they 
shall withal be fitted in thy lips/ To this might be added, 
Psl. i. 2, 3. Another reason was, our want of being emp- 
tied o^ self 'Sufficiency, In proportion as we lean upon our 
own gifts, or parts, or preparations, we slight the Holy 
Spirit ; and no wonder that, being grieved, he should leave 
us to do our work alone. Besides, when this is the case, 
it is, humanly speaking, unsafe for God to prosper us, es- 
pecially those ministers who possess considerable abilities. 
Reference was also made to an Ordination Sermon, lately 
preached, by Mr. Booth, of London, to Mr. Hopkins, Dr. 
Gifford's successor, from ' Take heed to thyself.' O that I 
may remember these hints for my good ! 

" — For these last three weeks I have* too much again 
relapsed into a kind of thoughtlessness. I have felt a little 
in preaching, but not much. One day, I was looking over 
Dr. Owen on the Mortification of Sin. Speaking of the 
evil of sin in the soul unmortified, he says, — 'It will take 
away a man's usefulness in his generation. His works, his 
endeavours, his labours, seldom receive a blessing from 
God. If he be a preacher, God commonly blows upon his 
ministry, so that he shall labour in the fire, and not be hon- 
oured with success. This, in a great degree, is realized 
in me. 

" — Some weeks ago I thought I felt myself to gain 
ground by closet prayer ; but I have lately relapsed again 
too much into indifference. Yesterday I read Jonathan 
Edwards's two Sermons, On the importance of a thorough 
knowledge of divine truth, from Heb. v. 12. I felt this ef- 
fect — a desire to rise earlier, to read more, and to make 
the discovery of truth more a business. This morning 1 
have read another of his sermons, on God, tJtt Christian's 
portion, from Psl. Ixxiii. 25. The latter part comes very 
close, and I feel myself at a loss what to judge as to 
God's being my chief good. He asks, whether we had 
rather live in this world rich, and without God, or poor, and 
with him ? Perhaps I should not be so much at a loss to 
decide this question as another ; namely. Had I rather be 
rich in this world, and enjoy but little of God ; or poor, and 
enjoy much of God P I am confident the practice of great 
numbers of professing Christians declares, that they pre- 


fer the former ; and in some instances I feel gailty of the 
same thing. 

" — Within the last two years I have experienced per- 
hapSy as much peace and calmness of mind^ as at any for- 
mer period, I have been enabled to walk somewhat more 
near to God than heretofore; and 1 find that there is 
nothing that affords such a preservative against sin. ' If 
we walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfil the lusts of the 
flesh.' This passage has been of great use to me, ever 
since I preached from it> which was on June 3, 1792. 
The idea on which I then principally insisted was, that sin 
is to be overcome, not so much by a direct or mere resistance 
of ity as by opposing other principles and considerations 
to it. This sentiment has been abundantly verified in my 
experience : so far as I have walked in the Spirit, so far has 
my life been holy and happy ; and 1 have experienced a 
good degree of these blessings, compared with former times, 
though but a very small degree, compared with what 1 
ought to aspire afler." 

The following narrative of the loss of his first daughter, Sarah, who 
died May 30, 1786, aged 6 years and nearly 6 months ; was drawa 
up by her afflicted father, and strikingly evinces his piety and pa- 
rental tenderness. It is inserted nearly entire, from Ryland's 
Life of Fuller. 

" Sarah Fuller was born at Soham, Dec. 7, 17V9. At 
the time of her birth, I committed her to God, as 1 trust, I 
have done many times since. Once in particular, viewing 
her as she lay smiling in the cradle, at the age of eight 
months, my heart was much affected : I took her up in my 
arms, retired, and in that position, wrestled hard with God 
for a blessing ; at the same time, offering her up, as it 
were, and solemnly presenting her to the Lord for accept- 
ance. In this exercise I was greatly encouraged by the 
conduct of Christ towards those who brought litUe children 
in their arms to him, for his blessing. 

" I have frequently, when carrying her in my arms, 
sung over her such lines as the following, with much af- 
fection : 

' M«^st thou live to know and fear him, 

Trust and love him all thy days : 
Then go dwell forever near him. 

See his face, and sing his praise.' 


"Or this: 

* O may'st thou live to reach the placb 
Where he unveils his lovely face ; 
There all his glories to behold. 
And sing his name to harps of gold.* 

" She was a child of great vivacity of spirits ; but noth- 
ing remarkably vicious. The only time in her life that I 
had any occasion to use a rod, was when she was about 
four years old, for telling a lie. Having, one day, a great 
inclination to go out, she asked leave, and then said she 
had obtained it, when she had not. 

" About Michaelmas, 1785, she was invited, by our kind 
friends Mr. and Mrs. Ryland, and Miss Tyler, to pay a vis- 
it to Northampton. She went, and stayed eleven or twelve 
weeks : during which time, Mrs. Trinder kindly took her 
into her school. Her proficiency in reading, spelling, &c. 
gave us much pleasure. But, alas for us ! how long will it 
be, ere we cease to set our eyes upon that which is not ! 
Death was then preparing to blast our rising hopes ! 

" About December she was taken ill, at Northampton : 
our friends (bought her illness to be the measles. After a 
while, she seemed to get better, and on the 16th of Decem- 
ber I brought her home. From the time of her return, we 
perceived a remarkable seriousness in her, with an uncom- 
mon delight in reading, and in our apprehension, her fac- 
ulties ripened much beyond her years. But still her illness 
hung about her. In the beginning of February, she had 
the measles of a certainty ; and we hoped she would have 
recovered her health afler the" turn of the disorder ; but, 
from that time, she grew weaker and weaker, and her 
complaints grew more and more alarming. A hectic 
fever preyed upon her perpetually. At this time, how- 
ever, she took great delight in reading accounts of the 
conversion of little children, and seemed to love those chil- 
dren for their godliness. She would read these narratives 
aloud, when she was obliged to pause at every few words 
to get breath, till indeed we were obliged to restrain her, 
lest it should overcome her. At the same time, she dis- 
covered great tenderness of conscience, in respect of speak- 
ing the truth, and keeping holy the Lord's day. She would 
chide her brother Robert, if he discovered any inclination 
to play on that day. 

'Mn March, I took her to Northampton, for the advice 
of l)r. Kerr. This cheered her spirits ; as she loved Mr. 
and Mrs. Ryland^ and wanted to go and see them. She 


Stayed there a fortnight, and her aunt with her. The doc- 
tor was very attentive and kind to her, and we still hoped 
she might recover. During this fortnight, I went two or 
three times to see her ; and one evening, being with her 
alone, she asked me to pray for her. ' What do you wish 
me to pray for, my dear V said I. She answered, * That 
God would bless me, and keep me, and save my soul,' 
*Do you think then, that you are a sinner V 'Yes, father.' 
Fearing lest she did not understand what she said, I asked 
her, * What is sin, my dear?' She answered, ' Telling a 
story.' I comprehended this, and it went to my heart. 
' What then,' I said, 'you remember, do you, my having 
corrected you once, for telling a story?' 'Yes, father.' 
' And are you grieved for having so offended God V* * Yes, 
father.' I asked her, if she did not try to pray herself. 
She answered, ' I sometimes try, but I do not know how 
to pray ; I wish you would pray for me, till 1 can pray for 
myself.' As I continued to sit by her, she appeared much 
dejected. I asked her the reason. She said, ' I am afraid 
I should go to hell.'* * My^ear,' said I, ' who told you so?' 
'Nobody, (said she,) but I know if I do not pray to the 
Lord, I must go to hell.' 1 then went to prayer with her, 
Vith many tears. 

" After her return to Kettering, we soon saw, with heart- 
rending grief, evident symptoms of approaching dissolution. 
Her mind seemed to grow, however, in seriousness. She 
had some verses composed for her, by our dear friend Mr. 
Ryland.* These, when we rode out for the air, she often 

* Lord, teach a little child to pray, 
Thy grace betimes impart, 
And grant thy Holy Spirit may 
Renew my infant heart. 

A helpless creature I was bom, 

And from the womb I stray'd ; 
1 must be wretched and forlorn, 

Without thy mercy's aid. 

But Christ can all my sins forgive, 

And wash away their stain, 
And fit my soul with him to live, 

And in his kingdom reign. 

To him let little children come, 

For he hath said they may ; 
His bosom then shall be their home, 

Their tears he'll wipe away. 

For all who early seek his face. 

Shall surely taste his love, 
Jesus will guide them by his grace. 

To dwell with him above. 


requested me to say over to her. She several times request- 
ed me to pray with her. I asked her again if she tried to 
pray herself: 1 found by her answer that she did, and was 
used to pray over the hymn which Mr. Ryland compose^ 
for her. 1 used to carry her in my arms, into the fields, 
and there talk with her upon the desirableness of dying 
and being with Christ, and with holy men and women, 
and with those holy children, who cried, ' Hosanna to the 
Son of David.' Thus I tried to reconcile her, and myself 
with her, to death, without directly telling her she would 
soon die. One day, as she lay in bed, I read to her the 
last eight verses of Rev. vii. * They shall hunger no more, 
nor thirst,' &c. I said nothing upon it, but wished to ob- 
serve what effect the passage might have upon her ; I should 
not have wondered if she had been a little cheered by it. 
She said nothing, however ; but looked very dejected. I 
said, ' My dear, you are unhappy.' She was silent. I 
urged her to tell me what was the matter. Still she was 
silent. I then asked her, whether she was afraid she 
should not go to that blessed world of which 1 had been 
reading. She answered, * Yes.' * But what makes you 
afraid, my dear V * Because, (said she, with a tone of 
grief that pierced me to the heart,) I have sinned against 
the Lord.' * True, my dear, (said I,) you have sinned 
against the Lord , but the Lord is more ready to forgive 
you, if you are grieved for offending him, than I can be to 
forgive you, when you are grieved for offending me ; and 
you know how ready I am to do that.' I then told her of 
t^e great grace of God, and the love of Christ to sinners. 
1 told her of his mercy in forgiving a poor wicked thief, 
who when he was dying, prayed to him to save his soul. 
At this she seemed cheered, but said nothing. 

"A few weeks before she died, she asked her aunt to 
read to her. *What shall I read, my dear?' said her aunt. 
'Read,' said she, 'some book about Christ.' Her aunt read 
part of the 21st chapter of Matthew, concerning the chil- 
dren who shouted ' Hosanna to the Son of David.' As her 
death drew nigh, I was exceedingly affected, and very ear- 
nest in prayer for her soul, having now no hope of her life. 
I used frequently to anticipate her death, when I could think 
of nothing but the language of Reuben — 'The child is not : 
and I, whither shall I go!' I thought at that time, if any thing 
were said at her funeral, it must be from some such passage 
as this. In short, I am sure I was affected to excess, and in 
a way that I ought not to have been, and, 1 believe, should 


not have been, if I had loved God better. About this time 
1 threw myself prostrate on the floor, and wept exceedingly, 
yet pleading with God for her. The agony of my spirit pro- 
duced a most violent bilious complaint, which laid me quite 
aside for several days. I then reflected that I had sinned, 
in being so inordinately anxious. From this time I felt a de- 
gree of calmness and resignation to God. On the morning of 
the 30th of May, 1 heard a whispering in an adjoining room. 
I suspected the cause, and upon inquiry found that the 
child had expired about six o'clock, with a slight convul- 
sive motion, without a sigh or a groan. I called the fam- 
ily to me, and, as well as I was able, attempted to bless a 
taking as well as a giving God; and to implore that those 
of us who were left behind, might find grace in the wilder- 
ness. The words of the Shunamite were at that time 
much to me — 'It is well.' These words were preached 
from at her funeral, by Mr. Ryland. My aflliction had 
prevented my seeing her the last few days of her life ; but 
T just went and took leave of her body, before the coflin was, 
fastened down ; though that was almost too much for me 
in my weak and afflicted state. She was very patient un- 
der her afflictions, scarcely ever complaining, even when 
her bones penetrated through her skin. If ever we were 
obliged to force her medicines upon her, though she would 
cry a little at the moment, yet she would quickly leave off, 
and kiss us, saying, ' 1 love you, I love you all ; I love you 
for making me take my medicines, for I know you do it 
for my good.' Her constitution was always rather delicate, 
her temper amiable, and her behaviour engaging. 

" Surely, it will now be our concern to flee from idolatry, 
and to hold all created comfort with a loose hand ; remem- 
bering the counsel of the apostle — ' The time is short : it 
remaineth, that those who have wives be as though they 
had none ; and those that weep, as though they wept not ; 
and those that buy, as though they possessed not ; and they 
that use this wbrld, as not abusing it; for the fashion of this 
world [or, this world, which is but a flgure, fashion, or 
form, without substance — ] passeth away.' 

I }> 

The following extract of a letter.from Mrs. Fuller to the Rev. Dr. Ry- 
land, will sufficiently explain what to many might appear inconsis- 
tent with his true character. 

^< I cannot forbear adding my testimony to my late dear 
husband's conduct in his domestic character ; which, so 
far as his mind was at liberty to indulge in such enjoy- 


ments, I must testify to have been, ever since J had the 
happiness of being united to him, of the most amiable and 
endearing kind. But to so great a degree was he absorbed 
in his work, as scarcely to allow himself any leisure, or re- 
laxation from the severest application ; especially, since of 
late years, his work so accumulated on his hands. I was 
sometimes used to remark, how much we were occupied ; 
(for, indeed, 1 had no small share of care devolved upon 
me, in consequence;) his reply usually was, 'Ah, my dear, 
the way for us to have any joy, is to rejoice in all our 
labour, and then we shall have plenty of joy.' If I com- 
plained, that he allowed himself no time for recreation, he 
would answer, * O no ; all my recreation is a change of 
work.' If I expressed an apprehension that he would soon 
wear himself out, he would reply, ' I cannot be worn out in 
a better cause. We must work while it is day;' or, ' What- 
ever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might.' 

" There was a degree of bluntness in his manner ; which 
yet did not arise from an unsociable or churlish disposition, 
but from an impatience of interruption in the grand object 
of his pursuit. In this sense, he seemed not to know his 
relations or nearest friends. Often, when a friend or an 
acquaintance, on a journey, has called, when they had ex- 
changed a few words, he would ask, < Have you any thing 
more to say? (or something to that effect ;) if not, I must 
beg to be excused ;' at the same time asking them to stay, . 
and take some refreshment, if they chose. Yet, you know, 
dear Sir, he had a heart formed for the warmest and sincer- 
est friendship, with those whose minds were congenial with 
his own, and who were engaged in similar pursuits ; and I 
never knew him to be weary of their company. I am fully 
persuaded, that my dear husband fell a sacrifice to his un- 
remitting application to the concerns of the Mission ; but I 
dare not murmur. The Lord has done as it pleased him ; 
and I know that whatever he does is right." 



Review of Mr. Fuller's Doctrinal and Practical Writings— ^Sermon on 
waiking by Faith — OrdinatioQ Sermon at Thorne — Funeral Sermon 
for Mr. B. Wallis — Association Sermon at St. Albans — Collectioo 
Sermon at Edinburgh — Memoirs of the Rev. S. Pearce— ^Sermon 
at the Bedford Union — the Backslider — Ordination Sermon' at Bir^ 
miogham — Remarks on Church Discipline — ^Sermon on Christian 
Patriotism — Vindication of Protestant Dissent — ^The great QuestioQ 
answered — Discourses on the Book of Genesis — Sermon on the per- 
nicious Influence of Delay. 

The universal interest and importance attached to reli- 
gious subjects have called into existence a greater number 
of writers in this department than in almost any other, and 
therefore might naturally be expected to furnish a larger 
proportion of an inferior description. To write on other 
subjects, learning, genius, taste, or science of some sort, 
is generally thought requisite ; but on theological theses, 
piety alone is too often deemed a sufficient qualification. 
Here also every man who becomes the leader of a party, 
however insignificant ; or the abettor of a creed, however 
inconsistent or absurd, thinks himself called upon at some 
time or other to appear as an advocate, if he can but man- 
age to hold a pen ; besides innumerable others, who from 
less suspicious motives, and with much better pretensions, 
are induced to offer themselves to public notice. 

Amidst such a crowd of disputants, theologians and re- 
tailers of divinity, a writer of real merit would not easily 
be distinguished ; and for such a writer as Mr. Fuller, espe- 
cially, more than ordinary ability would be demanded. For 
though he possessed a deep and penetrating judgment, and 
a mind capable of a mighty grasp, there was a certain neg- 
ligence and coarseness in his style, a grotesque familiarity 
and quaintness of expression, especially in his earlier pub- 
lications, which was far from being inviting even to readers 
of moderate taste. There was also an inflexibility in his 
religious system which could never coalesce with any 
other, or adapt itself to the size and dimension of hu- 
man prejudices, ^ith him all was inexorable truth and 
justice ; he had no idea whatever of religious accommoda- 
tion, and but cautiously admitted even that of forbearance. 

Buttoned up and laced in a plain puritanic garb, he makes 
his appearance as an Author, and is soon recognized aa 
one of former times; as a man who lived with Owen, 

M 2 


thought with Bunyan, and wrote with the pointed pen of 
Baxter. His earlier performances met with a cordial recep- 
tion from the general class of serious and devotional readers, 
who preferred plain solid truth to the ornaments of style, 
and the wholesome words of sound doctrine to the soothing 
language of a deceitful and worldly religion. With readers 
of this description, the works of this able and faithful wri- 
ter will long be held in deserved estimation. 

The present chapter is devoted entirely to the Doctrinal 
and Practical writings of Mr. Fuller ; those on Controver- 
sial subjects being reserved for another section. Without 
regard to size or merit, these are placed as nearly as possi- 
ble in the order in which they were written, and accompa- 
nied with brief notices of their contents, for the informa- 
tion of those who have not had the opportunity of consult- 
ing his various works, a new edition of which has lately 
been completed in eight volumes octavo. In giving an 
opinion of their respective merits, the author could do no 
other than follow his own judgment ; and this he offers with 
becoming deference to the decision of the reader. 

Hie Nature and Importance of Walking hy Faith ; A 
Sermon delivered at Nottitigham, June 2, 1 784. 

This was Mr. Fuller's first appearance in print, and there 
is in this performance much sound thinking, on a subject 
which was afterwards to form the basis of a lengthened 
controversy ; but in this Sermon the points of discussion 
are wholly restricted to practical and experimental purposes, 
and with a view of ascertaining the nature, as well as pro- 
moting the designs of true religion. 

In the introductory part of this discourse, the preacher 
confutes several erroneous sentiments on the subject of be- 
lieving, and exposes that delusive confidence which is too 
often substantial in its stead. 


All true faith," he observes, " must have truth for its fbundation ; 
and if faith is the belief of the truth, then whatever I believe ought to 
be a truth, and a truth supported by evidence, prior to and indepen- 
dent of my believing it This is certainly th4«case respecting the 
excellency and all-sufficiency of Christ. He is what he is, whether I 
believe it or not. However I may disallow of him, he is chosen of 
God and precious. Whatever real excellence I may at any Un&e dis- 
cern or believe to be in him, I only believe the truth, and what would 
have been the truth if I had never believed it. Faith therefore draws 
aside the veil, and discovers things in some measure as they are. So, 
if the persuasion 1 have of my interest in Christ, have any right to 
the name of faith, it must be a truth, add a truth capable of being 
proved by scriptural evidence at the time." 


This discourse also contains some interesting remarks 
on the nature of direct applications to Christ ; on the best 
means of obtaining satisfactory evidence of an interest in 
him ; and on the use to be made of past experience. 

Mr. Fuller then considers ' walking by faith/ as denoting 
religious progression, under the influence of those invisible 
objects, of the reality of which we have no evidence but 
from the testimony of God. This is first opposed to the 
idea of walking by corporeal sight, and illustrated in the 
case of Noah and Abraham ; it is afterwards distinguished 
from the discoveries of unassisted reason, whose province 
in matters of religion is clearly defined ; and from ultimate 
vision, where faith in full fruition dies. 

Ailer a careful exposition of terms, the subject is more 
fully illustrated, by its application to various periods of the 
christian life ; such as — those dark seasons in providence, 
when we can perceive no way of escape, nor find any 
source of comfort, but what arises from the divine testi- 
mony — ^those approaches to Christ, and that fellowship with 
him, which depend on the record that God hath given of 
his Son — the numerous sacrifices we are required to make 
of present enjoyments, where we have no prospect of future 
recompense, but what is set before us in the gospel — the 
various low and distressing seasons to which the church of 
Christ is subject, in which there is scarcely any ground of 
encouragement, but what is revealed in the promises — the 
hope of a better state, which is founded solely on the testi- 
mony of God. In each of these the Christian is required 
to live and ' walk by faith,' and not by sight. 

The importance of such a life is represented as consist- 
ing in its tendency to glorify God — to advance the good of 
man — and heighten the bliss and glory of the world to 

The "Persuasives to a General Union in extraordinary 
Prayer, for the Revival of Religion," appended to this Ser- 
mon, have been noticed in a former part of these Memoirs. 
See Chap. iv. 

The Qualifications and Encouragement of a faithful Min- 
ister : An Ordination Sermon , delivered at Thome , Bed'^ 
fordshire, Oct. 31, 1787. 

From the fear of assuming too much, or of undertaking 
a work of supererogation, that which here forms the lead- 
ing theme of discussion, and which of all others is of the 


greatest importance, is but spariogly introduced into the 
.«, generality of ordination sermons ; on which account^ they 
' possess but little comparative interest. 

In the discourse before us, the man of God is portrayed 
in lively colours, as forming the only proper character for 
the christian ministry, and a large portion of personal re- 
ligion is with infinite propriety inculcated as constituting 
the most essential qualification for the pastoral office. 

Taking for an example, Barnabas, who was 'a good 
man, full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith,' the preacher 
insists on the nvcessity of piety in domestic life, in the 
duties of retirement, in the exercises of public worship, and 
in general behaviour, as indispensable in the character of 
. * a good man,' and a faithful minister. Next to this, the 
cherishing of spiritual affections, being ' full of the Holy 
Ghost,' or abounding in the fruits of the Spirit, is shown to 
be the best preparative for the duties of the sacred office ; 
for imbibing the genuine doctrines of the gospel, giving a 
savour to the ministry of the word, preserving a consisten- 
cy between precept and example, disposing the mind to a 
spiritual and edifying conversation, and regulating every 
part of the exterior deportment. The necessity of being 
also ' full of faith,' having the mind deeply imbued with 
• religioua. sentiment, being fully persuaded of the truth of 
what is proposed to others, and of living upon that truth, is 
enforced with considerable energy. 

The connection between piety and usefulness is well 
accounted for; and on this part of the subject, which is 
intended to afford encouragement to the faithful discharge 
of the ministerial office, several important remarks are ex- 
hibited towards the close of the address, which deserve the 
serious attention of all who are engaged in testifying the 
gospel of the grace of God. Eminent spirituality, rather 
than talents, is shown to have the greatest influence on 
ministerial success. 

** In almost all the great works which God hath wrought in any 
period of time, iie has honoured men of this character, by making them 
his instruments. In the midst of a sore calamity upon the murmur- 
ing Israelites, when God was inclined to show mercy, it was by 
means of his servant Aaron, running with a censer of fire in his hand, 
and standing between the living and the dead. The great reforma- 
tion that was brought about in the days of Hezekiah, was by the in- 
strumentality of a man, who * wrought that which was good and right, 
and true, before the Lord his God, and then it follows — * And in every 
work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law. 


and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it tmth aU his heart, 
and prospered,** 

'* There was another great reformation in the Jewish church, 
ahout the time of their return from Babylon. One of the chief instru- 
ments in this work was Ezra, * a ready scribe in the law of his God ;' a 
man who had ' prepared his heart to 3eek the law of the Lord, and to 
do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments ;* a man who 
' fiisted and prayed at the river Ahava/ previous to his great under- 
taking ; a man who was afterwards * sorely astonished, and in heavi- 
ness, and would eat no meat, nor drink water, but fell upon his knees, 
and spread out his hands unto the Lord his God, on account of the 
transgression of the people.'t Another great instrument in this work 
was Nehemiah, a man that wholly devoted himself to the service of 
Gfod and his people, labouring night and day ; a man who was not to 
be seduced by the intrigues of God's adversaries, nor intimidated by 
their threatenings : but who persevered in his work till it was finish- 
ed, closing his labours with this solemn prayer and appeal : * Think 
upon me, oh my God, for good, according to all that I have done for 
this people. 't 

'^Barnabas also was * a good man, full of the Holy Ghost, and of 
faith ; and much people was added to the LordJ*^ 

The blessedness of the dead who die in the Lord: A 
Sermon delivered at the funeral of Mr, Beehy Wallis, 

The preaching and publishing of funeral sermons is a 
practice so very common, and the praise bestowed on the 
pious dead has generally been so indiscriminate, that men 
of reflecting minds have been led to suspect whether these 
orations be not the effect of religious complaisance, rather 
than of wisdom and fidelity ; and whether by reducing the 
standard of moral excellence so as to give to the generality 
of modern christians a kind of gigantic stature, or a high 
degree of commendation for the most ordinary virtues, be 
not adapted to injure rather than promote the interests of 
true religion. 

Mr. Fuller seemed aware of this objection ; he, therefore, 
states and obviates it in a manner that suflSciently justified 
his own procedure. His words are : " I have commonly 
declined saying much of deceased friends, and still think, 
that, generally speaking, it is right to do so, because the 
generality of characters, even of good men, have nothing in 
them very remarkable, or worthy of being held up for our 
imitation. But for this very reason, I think, in some cases, 
it would be wrong to omit it. Perhaps no human writings 
have had a better effect, than the Lives of eminently holy 

• 2 Chron. xxxi. 20, 21. t Ezra vil. 10. viii. 10. Ix. 5. x. 6. 
X Nehemiah, chap, iii— -vi. § Acts xi. 24, 


men. When, therefore, any such characters appear among 
us, 1 think it is right to collect as much as we can, the 
remembrance of which may be of general use " And cer- 
tainly, the little that is here said of the good man whose 
funeral solemnities occasioned this apology, was fully de- 
manded by the eminence of his character. 

One thing is noticed of him in this discourse, which Mr. 
Fuller frequently repeated in conversation with peculiar 
pleasure, as affording singular evidence of that sincerity 
and uprightness which had marked his general conduct, 
and it is worthy of being recorded for general instruction. 
About a week before Mr. Wallis died, he requested a few 
Christian friends to visit him, and to pray with him. 

" Five of us went to see him," says Mr. Fuller. " When ther^, he 
told us that he did not wish us to pray for his life ; he considered it as 
the will of God that he should die ; and added, 'his will be done !' 
* But pray,' said he, ' that if there be any sins of which I have been 
guilty, and have not yet repented ; any sins for which God hath any 
controversy with me, that he would give nie a proper sense of them 
before 1 die ; or if not, that I mi^ht enjoy the light of his countenance 
in death.* We were all exceedingly affected. After praying with 
him for about an hour, he gathered up what little strength he had, 
and addressed himself to us with a kind of solemn farewell." 

The Sermon itself, founded on Rev. xiv. 13, is far from 
being one of Mr. Fuller's best, and will scarcely bear a 
comparison with his later productions. It is plain and 
serious, very well adapted to the occasion ; but possesses 
very little pathos, or originality of thought. 

The Importance of a deep and intimate Knowledge of 
Divine Truth : A Sermon delivei^ed at an Association 
of Baptist Ministers and Churches ^ at St, Albans, June 
1, 1796. 

This masterly discourse is founded on the Apostle's re- 
proof of those professors, who, when for the time they ought 
to be teachers, have need that one teach them again what 
are the first principles of the oracles of God. Heb. v. 

For the better elucidation of his text, the preacher ob- 
serves, that it supposes all divine knowledge to be derived 
from the oracles of God ; that they include a complete sys- 
tem of divine truth ; and that believers should not be sat- 
isfied with the attainment of the first principles of the doc- 
trine of Christ, which require little or no investigation in 
order to their being understood, but search into the mean- 


ing of those deep jktpgs of God, which lie beyond the reach 
of superficial observation. 

He then deduces, as the leading sentiment of the pas- 
sage, '' The importance of a deep and intimate knowledge 
of divine truth ;" previously inquiring wherein it consists. 
Here he introduces a necessary caution to persons, in the 
present imperfect state, to beware how they presumptuous- 
ly attempt to explore such subjects as are in their own 
nature ' unsearchable,' and which the highest order of in- 
telligences are described as ' desiring to look into,' with the. 
deepest reverence and awe. He neither uses the terms 
absolutely, to express the real conformity of our ideas to 
the full extent of the things themselves ; nor comparatively, 
as respecting saints on earth and saints in heaven ; but 
merely in reference to the degrees of knowledge among 
good men in this life ; the acquirements of some, bein^ so 
superficial, that others, compared with them, may be said 
to have a deep and intimate acquaintance with divine 

To attain this, though we are not to stop at first princi- 
ples, we must be well grounded in them, since in religion, 
as in every other science, they are the foundation on which 
the whole structure rests. — We are not to content ourselves 
with knowing what is truth, but must acquaint ourselves 
with its evidence, and trace its wisdom and harmony ; for 
nothing tends more to establish the mind, and interest the 
heart in it, than a preception of its being adapted at once 
to display the glory of the divine character, and meet the 
necessities of guilty man. We are to learn it immediately 
from the oracles of God, and not to be content with seeing 
it in the light in which some great and good men place it ; 
for though their writings and preaching are not to be des- 
pised, they must not be considered as oracular. We must 
view it in its various connections, in the great system of 
redemption, and not renounce the study of systematical 
divinity because it has of late years been derided ; since to 
be without sy&tem is nearly the' same thing as to be with- 
out principle ; for even principles, while they continue in 
a disorganized state, will answer no valuable purpose in 
the religious life. 

Having considered the means of attaining the knowl- 
edge which he. recommends, he powerfully evinces its aw- 
poriance, by showing that a neglect of God's word is re- 
presented as a heinous sin ; that the word itself is a means 
of sanctification, and the great source of Christian enjoy- 
ment, but that no efiecfc of this kind can be produced any 


&rther than the trath kaelf is imbibed ; that as a principal 
object in the religious life is to diffuse the gospel around 
us, according to our capacities and op^rtunities, tve can- 
not discharge our duties as parents, masters, and neigh* 
hours, to our children or servants, the church or the world, 
unless we ourselves acquire the knowledge we are bound 
to communicate ; that the pernicious doctrines propagated 
by some, the infidelity avowed by others, and the apostasy 
of many from the truth, render a deep acquaintance with 
the Scriptures necessary, if we would stand fast in the 
faith, and be the means of preserving others from falling, 
especially the rising generation, for whose souls, in this 
age of peculiar trial, we ought to express the most benev- 
olent concern. 

The Christian Doctrine of Rewards : A Sermon delivered 
at the Circus, Edinburgh, on LorCps day evening, Oct* 
13, 1799. Published by Request. 

This Sermon is justly entitled to rank among the ablest 
productions of Mr. Fuller's pen. The text is Gal. vi. 7, 8. 

" Perhaps there is nothing," says our author, " to which depraved 
creatures are more addicted, though nothing be more dangerous, than 
»df deception. It is from this predilection in favour of some thins that 
shall prophesy good concerning them, that the truth is disrelished, i^ 
those doctrines and systems o? religion which flatter their pride and 
cherish their security, are so eagerly imbibed. The human heart 
loves to be soothed. The pleasing sounds of peace, peace, though 
there be no peace, will be gratefully received. But let us not be our 
own enemies. To impose upon ourselves is all that we can do : God 
is not mocked. When all is said and done, WTuztsoever a man sow- 
eth, that shall he also reap.** 

Adverting to various refuges of lies, to which the un- 
believing and impenitent repair, he particularizes some of 
the most prevalent. Some men venture to hope that there 
is no hereafter, no harvest to follow ; or that though they 
BOW to the flesh, yet that they shall not of the flesh reap 
corruption. Others admit a future state, yet hope to es- 
cape the just reward of their evil deeds, from an idea ot 
the general mercy of God, — while a third class, as in popish 
countries, derive a hope from the performance of certain 
superstitious rites, or the hestowment of a portion of their 
wealth on some religibus object. The preacher sifts each of 
these pleas to the bottom, exposes their vanity, and in 
reference to the last of them, thus strikingly addresses his 
hearers : — 


'* We shaRlMive a colleetion this eveninf for the printing of the 
New Testament in the Bengalee languag;e. If I only wished' for 
your money, I misht say. Give, whatever be your motive ! No, I am 
not so concerned for the salvation of the heathen as to be regardless of 
that of my own countrymen ! I ask not a penny from such a motive ; 
and moreover, I solemnly warn you that if you give all your substance 
in this way, it will avail you nothing. Be not deceived : God i» not 
mocked : for whatsoever a man sowethy that shall he also reap,'* 

The preacher then lays down the following position, as 
comprising the doctrine of his text, namely, "That all which 
is done in this life is preparatory to another ; or that the 
sorrows and joys of a future world hear a similar relation 
to what is wrought in this, as the harvest bears to the seed 
sown." This general doctrine he then proceeds to illus- 
trate at large, beginning with the subject of sowing to the 
flesh, and marking the relation which the future punishment 
of the wicked will bear to it. 

*' Corruption,*' says he, <* does not consist in the destruction of being, 
but of well-being : in the blasting of peace, joy, and hope ; and, conse- 
quently, in the enduring of tribulation, anguish, and everlasting des- 
pair. This dreadful harvest will originate in the sin which has been 
committed in the present life. Even here we see enough of its de- 
structive tendency. We see intemperance followed with disease ; 
idleness with rags ; pride with scorn ; and indifference to evangelic 
truth with the belief of a lie. We see nations desolated by wars, 
. neighbourhoods and families rendered miserable by contentions, and 
th# minds of individuals sinking under the various loads of guilt, re- 
morse, and despair. Great is the misery of man upon him ; yet this 
is but the blade proceeding from this deadly seed ; or, at most, the 
ear: the full com in the ear is reserved for another state." '* 

Mr. Fuller remarks, that future misery will greatly con- 
sist in reflection. Abraham said to the rich man^ Son, 
remember! If the memory could be obliterated, a great part 
of the torments of hell would be extinguished. But it must 
remain ; and he instances four things in particular, pertain- 
ing to sin, which will continue to be the objects of reflec- 
tion, and consequently prove the source of future misery. 
These are — the character of the Being against whom it has 
been committed — the folly of it — the aggravating circum- 
stances attending it — and its effects on others with whom we 
have been connected. Under the third of these particulars 
he justly observes, that the same actions committed under 
different circumstances possess very different degrees of 
guilt. The heathens in pursuing their immoralities are 
without excuse; but those who are guilty of the same 
things amidst the blaze of gospel light are much more so» 


Having illastrated the conseqaences of sowing to the 
flesh, Mr. Fuller next offers some remarks on sowing to the 
Spirit, in which he points out the relation that subsists 
between what is done for Christ in this life, and in the joys 
of the life to come. With great propriety, however^ he 
guards his hearers against supposing, that the connection 
which exists between sowing to the Spirit, and reaping 
everlasting life, is of the nature of due desert, or that it 
bears a strict analogy to that which subsists between sin 
and its penal sanction. No; the wages of sin is death; 
but ' eternal life is the gift of God, through Jesus Christ 
our Lord.' This point on which so many mistakes abound 
in the world, is very satisfactorily illustrated by an induc- 
tion of particulars, in which it is shown — that nothing 
performed by a creature, however pure, can properly merit 
everlasting life — but that God, having designs of mercy 
towards his rebellious creatures, sent forth his Son to obey 
and suffer in their place lesolving to bestow eternal life bn 
all that believe in him, as the reward of his undertaking — 
that he now accepts believing sinners for the sake of his be- 
loved Son, and not only blesses them with all spiritual bless- 
ings * in him, through him, and for his sake,' but also re- 
wards their services, in his kingdom, through the same 
medium — their services become impregnated with his 
worthiness, their petitions also being offered up with tibe 
^ much incense' of his intercession. Thus God in approv- 
ing the services of believers, approves of the obedience and 
sacrifice of his Son, of which they are the fruits ; and in 
rewarding them, continues to reward him, or to express his 
good pleasure in his mediation. 

Thus the apparent difficulty is removed, and the way 
paved for establishing the position, '* that the joys of futuri- 
ty will bear a relation to what is done for Christ in the 
present life, similar to that between the seed and the har- 
vest." And here the preacher expatiates as in a boundless 
ocean of infinite delight — a subject to which his own powers, 
gigantic as they were, appear to have been felt inadequate. 
He takes a rapid glance at the labours of prophets, apostles, 
and the first ministers of the word ; and witnessing their 
effects upon the general cause, finds ample encouragement 
for himself and his brethren to tread in their sacred steps. 
** We can form no competent ideas," says he, " at present, 
of the effects of good, any more than of evil. What we do 
of either is merely the kindling of a fire; how far it may 
burn we cannot tell, and, generally speaking, our minds 


are but little occupied about it. Who can calctilate the 
effects of a modest testimony borne to truth, of an impor- 
tunate prayer for its success, of a disinterested act of self- 
denial, of a willing contribution, of a seasonable reproof^ 
of a wholesome counsel, of even a sigh of pity, or a tear 
of sympathy ? Each, or any of these exercises, may be 
the means in the Lord's hand, of producing that in^ the 
bosoms of individuals, which may be communicatecl to 
their connections, and from them to theirs, to the end of 

Memoirs of Rev, Samuel Pearce, Pastor of the Baptist 
Church f Cannon-'Street, Birmingham; with Extracts 
from some of his most interesting Letters, 1800. 

We have sometimes read, and sometimes heard of a few 
such men as Mr. Pearce ; but it is so rare a thing to see 
so much real excellence embodied in a living character, 
that some have even doubted whether these Memoirs ex- 
hibit a correct and impartial delineation. Those, however, 
who were best acquainted with Mr. Pearce, and his able 
Biographer, have the most ample assurance that a truer 
description was never given of any man, than is to be. 
found in the pages of this interesting work. Partiality 
did nothing ; it added no flattery to the portrait, gave no 
colouring to a faded countenance, nor concealed any of its 
defects ; the charms of moral goodness drew the writer to 
his subject, fixed his admiration, and diiSused themselves 
over every page. 

Mr. Fuller, nevertheless, compiled these Memoirs under 
several advantages. He had a personal and intimate ac- 
'quaintance with the subject, who lived long enough to 
anveil the splendour of his character, and died before a 
cloud had intervened ; he was able, therefore, to give a full 
view of the interior, and to lay open the richest treasures 
of the heatt. He was also amply provided with such re* 
sources as are rarely obtained, though very desirable in 
every similar undertaking ; he had access to a variety of 
interesting letters, as well as the private journals written 
by Mr. Pearce. But one thing which eminently contributed 
to the acceptability of these Memoirs, and which has gained 
for them so high a place in the public estimation, is the 
judicious selection which the writer made of his materials : 
not suffering any thing to appear that was trite or unin- 
teresting, or that tended to lessen the general effect. He 


bad no idea that every thing which coald be said of a good 
man ought to be obtruded on the public, and was not a 
little disgusted with the nauseous manner in which certain 
editors continued from time to time, to retail '' the offals " 
of the celebrated Mr. Romaine.* He, therefore, threw 
aside, as he afterwards acknowledged, a great number of 
unimportant anecdotes, while compiling the Memoirs of Mr. 
Pearce, and retained nothing but what was worthy of gen* 
eral regard. To this just discrimination we are indebted 
for one of the best specimens of christian biography, and 
perhaps, for the most useful of all Mr. Fuller's writings. 

In forming an estimate of the character of his amiable 
friend, he fixes on what he calls the governing principle, 
which was holt love ; he then traces its various opera- 
tions, throughout the tenor of his life. No one can properly 
view this picture, without discovering in it the hand of a 
master, nor without desiring an equal assimilation to the 
divine likeness. 

" It is not enough to say of this affectionate spirit, that it formed a 
prominent feature in his character ; it was rather the life blood that 
animated the whole system. He seemed, as one of his friends observ- 
ed, to be baptized in it. It was holy love that gave the tone to bis 
general deportment : as a son, a subject, a neighbour, a Christian^ a 
minister, a pastor, a friend, a husband, and a father, he was manifesUy 
governed by this principle ; and this it was that produced in him that 
fovely uni&rmity of character, which constitutes the true beauty of 

By the grace of God he was what he was ; and to the honour of 
grace, and not for the glory of a sinful worm, bo it recorded. Like 
yi other men, he was the subject of a depraved nature. He felt and 
lamented it, and longed to depart that he might be freed from it : but 
certainly we have seldom seen a character, taking him altogether, 
whose excellencies were so many and so uniform, and whose imper- 
fections were so few. We have seen men rise high in contemplation, 
who have abounded but little in action. We have seen zeal mingled 
with bitterness, and candour degenerate into indifference ; experimen- 
tal religion mixed with a large portion of enthusiasm ; and what is 
called rational religion, void of every thing that interests the heart of 
man. We have seen splendid talents tarnished with insufferable 
pride; seriousness with melancholy; cheerfulness with levity; and 
great attainments in religion with uncharitable censoriousness towards 
men of low degree : but we have not ^en these tilings in our brother 

* An eloquent writer has observed, " that there are in truth very 
few particulars in any man's life worthy of being recorded ; and of 
those who really have lived, a very short memoir indeed will serve 
all the valuable porposag of history." ffmtef$ Biography. Vol. 
vi. p. 883. 


Fin^y : la him we fee thtt the way to tnie ezcellenee ii not to 
afifect eccentricity* nor to aspire after the performance of a fevr splen- 
did actions ; but to fill up our lives with a sober, modest, sincere* t& 
fectionate, assiduous, and uniform conduct. Real greatness attaches 
to character ; and character arises from a course of action. The soUd 
reputation of a merchant arises not from his having made his fortune 
by a few successful adventures ; but from a course of wise economy* 
and honourable industry, which gradually accumulating, advances by 
pence to shillings, and by shillings to pounds. It is much the same 
in religion. We do not esteem a man lor one, or two, or three good 
deeds, any farther than as these deeds are indications of the real state 
of his mind. We do not estimate tbe character of Christ himself so 
much from his having given sight to the blind, or restored Lazarus 
from the grave, as from his going about continually doing good,** 

God's Approbation of our Labours necessary to the Hope 
of Success : A Sermon delivered at the annual meeting 
of the Bedford Union, May, 6, 1801. 

The text chosen as the fouadation of this discourse, vi 
Numbers xiv. 8, and its discussiou is well suited to the 

X Considering the object of the present meeting" says the preacher, 
« you will probably suppose that my thoughts have been employed in 
drawing a parallel between the undertaking of Israel to subdue the 
Canaanites, and take possession of their land in the name of Jehovah, 
and our undertaking to subdue to the obedience of Christ the hearts 
of his enemies both at home and abroad, and in this manner, take 
possession of the world for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ It is 
true, they have : and in discoursing upon the subject, I shall first 
attempt to justify the application by tracing the analogy between the 
two cases, and then consider the proviso on which we are given to 
expect success." 

Under the former proposition, disclaiming all fanciful 
accommodations, Mr. Fuller considers the gift of Canaaa 
to the Israelites as designed to prefigure the dominion 
promised to the Messiah, as well as preparatory to that 
glorious e?ent. In both dispensations, the service of the 
true God was to supersede the kingdom of Satan ; both 
undertakings were authorized by a divine command, and 
encouraged by a divine promise ; both were to be accom- 
plished gradually i and by means of ardent, deadly, and 
persevering struggles. 

«A11 that Israel gained was by dint of sword. It was at the expense 
of many lives, yea, many thousands of lives, that they at last came to 
die fall possession of the land, and that the promises of Qod wenl 
fulfilled towards them. The same may be said of the establishment 
of Christ's kingdom. It was by ardent and persevering struggles thtt 
the gospel was introduced into yarious nations, cities, and towns^ 

N 2 


where it now is ; and in meny Instances it the expense of life. Bnf 
we have been so long inured to act under the shadow of civil protectioBv 
and without any serious inconvenience to our temporal interests, that 
we are startled at difficulties which the ancient Christians would have 
met with fortitude. They put their lives in their hands, * standing in 
jeopardy every hour,* and though we cannot be sufficiently thankful 
for the protection we enjoy, yet we must not make this the condition 
of our activity for Christ. *He that observeth the wind, shall not 
sow ; and he that regardeth the clouds, shali not reap.' If ever God 
prosper us in any great degree, it will be in the exercise of that spirit 
by which the mar^rs obtained a good report." 

The proviso on which we are warranted to hope for 
Baccess is this — If the Lord delight in us, then will he 
bring us into the land ; and by this is understood, *' a com- 
placency in our character and labours." It requires, that 
the object we pursue must be simply the cause of God, 
unmixed with worldly policy, or party interest ; that the 
doctrine we teach must be that of Christ and him crucified ; 
that the motive of our undertakings must be pure, not 
sordid nor vain ; that in promoting them we must be sensi- 
ble of our own insufficiency, and depend upon God ; only 
that we must persevere in them to the end, and maintain 
the exercise of a lively faith in the power and promises of 

In applying these several topics to the exertions made 
to spread the gospel, both among our ignorant countrymen 
around us, (which is the leading object of the Union formed 
at Bedford,) and in heathen nations, the same perspicuity, 
simplicity, and force of argument, are displayed, which 
have so strongly recommended Mr. Fuller's larger publi- 

Prefixed to this animating discourse, is a brief account 
of the religious association to which it was addressed, and 
at whose request it was printed. 

The Backslider ; or an Enquiry into the Nature ^ 8ymp» 
toms, and Effects of Religious Declension, with the Means 
of Recovery. 1801. 

Though Mr. Fuller was much engaged in theological 
controversy, it seems to have been a duty imposed upon 
him by the circumstances t)f the times, and occasioned 
by the strong reasoning powers with which he was endued, 
rather than any preference he entertained for polemical 
divinity. Had he been left to his own choice, he would 
have produced several other Essays, like the present, of 


great practical importance ; but there was an almost in- 
cessant demand upon his time and attention for other 
discussions, which left him but little opportunity to pursue 
his favourite design. 

Like many others of some standing in the ministry, he 
had observed 'Uhat several persons, of whom he once en- 
tertained a favourable opinion, and with whom he formerly 
walked in christian fellowship, had fallen, either from the 
doctrine or the practice of pure religion ; and this it was 
that furnished an occasion for the present performance. 
He had also noticed, that the efforts which were making 
to spread the knowledge of the gospel, tended both to 
increase the number of persons who profess to believe its 
doctrines, and to call into activity many who make that 
profession, without believing with the heart unto righte- 

Perhaps it is not possible, that zeal and activity should 
be generally excited among real Christians, without being 
exposed to the intrusion of some who are destitute of 
genuine religion ; and of others who are very imperfectly 
acquainted with its power. The former will gladly cloak 
their hypocrisy with a show of zeal ; and the latter, through 
ignorance of themsielves, will aspire to the honour of teach- 
ing others what they need themselves to be taught. Hence, 
at such a period, instances of backsliding are likely to be 
not only more frequent, but more notorious, and more awful 
in proportion as means are used for the advancement of 
the gospel. Hence also those professors, whose luke- 
warmness and contractedness of mind are proof aga^ist 
all example and argument for exertion, are likely to avail 
themselves of the apostasy or declensions of some who 
have appeared zealous for a time, to harden their own 
hearts, and to settle the more complacently upon their lees. 
These dangers, which are but too strongly corroborated by 
lamentable facts, were sufficient to evince the necessity of 
"an inquiry into the nature, symptoms, and effects of relig- 
ious declension, with the means of recovery." 

Mr. Fuller distinguishes between the total backsliding 
of a hypocrite, and the partial backsliding of an unstable 
believer. He adds, however, the very needful caution, 
" that it will be difficult if not impossible, for the party 
himself, at the time, to perceive the difference :" — " The 
scriptures know nothing of that kind of confidence which 
renders men easy in their sins.'' He defines as various 
species of backsliding — a relinquishment of evangelical 


doctrine — falling into some gross immoraHty— lo?e of the 
world — conformity to it — and an eager and deep interest in 
political disputes. 

The description given of the symptoms of this spiritual 
disease^ is of the utmost importance in discovering its dif- 
ferent stages ; and perhaps there are few Christians who 
will not find their state, at one time or other, deeply impli- 
cated in some of those gradations which the Author has 
marked. Those, however, who are happily growing in 
grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ, will do well to observe \ht first signs of declension, 
that they may constantly be on their guard. Many who 
are least aware of a decline, may have made considerable 
progress in a departure from God ; and it is often very 
difficult for a backslider to make himself sensible of his 
dangerous condition. 

In pointing out the means of recovery, the Author dwells 
on the injurious and dangerous effects of sin lying upon 
the conscience unlamented; urges several considerations 
tending to excite repentance, and to awaken the mind to 
watchfulness and prayer. No one can attentively read 
these pungent remarks without deriving some spiritual 
benefit, and many have expressed their thankfulness to 
God for them. In an age when so little has been written 
on casuistical or experimental subjects, or written to so 
little purpose, this pamphlet is peculiarly acceptable ; and 
though several large editions have already been disposed 
of, there can be no doubt but so long as the religion of the 
heart is cultivated, more will still be demanded. 

The Obedience of Churches to their Pctstors : A 8ermon 
delivered at the Ordination of the Rev, T. Morgan^ JBir^ 
mingham. 1802. 

Among Protestant Dissenters in general, but more es- 
pecially in some denominations, the doctrine of 'obedience* 
and 'submission' to pastoral authority is as little under- 
stood or inculcated, as is that of religious equality in an 
ecclesiastical hierarchy. Between these wide extremes 
there is certainly a wholesome medium ; but such is the 
imperfection of human nature, that it does not seem to be 
constituted for any medium. If we reject the domination 
of an antichristian priesthood, we are also required to reject 
with it every idea of subordination amongst the members' 
of a christian churcfa, and to level down all distinctioii9' 


between the fanctions of an office and the common privi- 
leges of private individuals. This is an error which requires 
to be corrected, though Mr. Fuller, from the practical sys- 
tem which he generally adopted in reference to other 
churches and ministers, was not the most likely person to 
apply the remedy. 

On the present occasion, however, he undertakes, from 
Heb. xiii. 17, to explain the nature of that ''obedience and 
submission which is required of a people towards their ' 
pastor :" and having premised, that his being freely chosen 
by the church, his ruling agreeably to the laws of Christ, 
and his walking himself according to the same rule, aie 
essentia] to the exercise of legitimate authority ; he finds 
the obedience of the people to consist in a cordial reception 
of his doctrine, a respect for his conversational advice, a 
deference to his judgment in the assemblies of the church, 
and a submission to bis reproofs. 

All this sounds very well, and accords with the dictates 
of reason and revelation : how it is reduced to practice, is 
quite another question, if the power of religion were duly 
felt, and our social habits a little more refined, no doubt 
these principles would freely operate ; but there is a ten- 
dency in the present state of the dissenting discipline (q 
neutralize, if not to render them perfectly nugatory ; and 
in too many cases, ministers are expected to yield obedience 
rather than receive it. 

The motives urged by the apostle are well illustrated 
in this sermon, and they are such as demand the most 
serious attention. Ministers are required to watch, with 
the most assiduous care, over the flock committed to their 
charge; to watch ybr them, with the tender solicitude of a 
father ; while Satan, the world, and innumerable enemies, 
are watching against them, and waiting to take an advan- 
tage. Others may be intrusted with their property, their 
health, or their life ; but ministers watch for the souk of 
their people, a charge of higher importance than that of 
kingdoms and empires. They do it also as those that 
must give account, not only of the manner in which they 
have discharged their trust, but likewise of the people corn* 
mitted to their care. Under this head are the following 
pungent interrogations : 

*' And what will be the account of your pastor ? Will he be able to 
Bay to the chief Shepherd, * Here am I, and the children whom the 
Lord hath given me?' O that he might ! But it is much to be feared 
that some of you who are this day committed to his charge, will in 


tibat daj be mining ; and what account will he then have to give ? 
Will he not have to say, 'Lord, some of them neglected thy word : 
some have resisted it; some have reproached me for preaching it; 
some have deserted it, and turned aside after lying vanities ; some 
who have continued, have not received the love of the truth that they 
might be saved ; hearing, they have heard, and not understood ; see- 
ing, they have seen, and not perceived ; their heart is waxed gross, 
and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed ?* 
And how if, when interrogated, he should not be able to acquit him- 
self? How if it should prove, that he did not warn you. nor seek after 
you, nor care for you ? Ah, then you will perish, and your blood will 
be required at his hand ! Who, alas, who is sufficient for these things ? 
At all events, for your own sake, and for his sake, do not hinder him 
in his work. Wo unto him, if he preach not the gospel ; and wo 
unto you, if you oppose him in it. In short, if you have any regard to 
your own souls, or the souls of others, obey the counsels of Heaven, 
•which are communicated to you through his ministry, and submit 

This is one of the Author's best sermons ; it is remark- 
ably condensed, and full of interesting sentiment. 

Expository Remarks on the Discipline of the Primitive 

This small but valuable' tract, originally written at the 
request of the Baptist Churches and Ministers of the 
Northamptonshire Association, was afterwards printed in 
another form, and passed through several large editions. 
At the time of composing it, the Author went through the 
whole of the New Testament, in order to collect all the 
passages which bore upon the subject ; and hence he en- 
titled his performance, '* Expository Remarks." Under the 
term ' Discipline," however, he did not intend to include 
the whole of the order of a christian church ; but only that 
part of it which consists in the members having a mutual 
care over one another, and the conduct we are directed to 
pursue in cases of offence. 

The points of forbearance in a religious community, he 
restricts to such as may exist without being an occasion of 
dispute and wrangling ; such as do not enter into the es- 
sence of Christ's kingdom ; do not supersede his authority, 
subvert the gospel, or destroy the work of God. In dealing 
with offenders, he points out the motives which ought to 
guide the conduct of the society ; he also guards against 
the extremes of false tenderness and unchristian severity, 
and distinguishes between faults which arise from sudden 
temptation, and such as are the effect of habit. The duties 
of church members individually, one towards another, and 


of the pastor in his official capacity, are next explained. 
On this point some important sentiments occur, not more 
remarkable for their justness, than for the undeserved man* 
ner in which they are too generally neglected* 

" In all our admonitions, regard should be had to the age and char- 
acter of the party. An elder, as v^ell as other men, may be In fault, 
and a fault that may require noticed ; but let him be told of it in 
a tender and respectful manner. While you expostulate with younger 
men on a footing of equality, pay a deference to age and office. * Ke- 
bake not an Elder, but entreat him as a Father, and the younger men 
as brethren.* In cases of evil report, where things are said of a 
brother^ which if true must affect his character, and the purity of the 
church, it cannot be right to go on to report it. Love will not lead to 
this. Many reports we know are unfounded ', or if true in the main, 
they may have been aggravated; or there may ^e circumstances 
attending the case, which, if fully understood, would make things ap- 
pear very difierent from the manner in which they have been repre- 
sented. Now it is almost impossible that any one but the party him- 
self should be acquainted with all these circumstances, or able to give 
a full jiccount of them. No time, therefore, should be lost, ere we 
inquire at the hand of our brother." 

Better counsel than this could not by given : it is founded 
in the truest equity. But it might be asked, where is the 
practical example? Instead of *' inquiring immediately at 
the hand of an accused brother," he is often the last person 
of whom any such inquiry is made. 

The objects of direct and unqualified censure, as here 
stated, are — a departure from the faith of the gospel, or 
any of its leading doctrines — and cases of notorious and 
complicated wickedness. Much excellent advice is offered 
on the manner of conducting the censures of the church, 
the treatment proper to be observed in cases of excommu- 
nication, and on several other topics connected with prim- 
itive discipline. Certainly, nothing is more wanted to- 
wards the improvement of the general state of christian 
fellowship, than a practical exhibition of these Expository 

Christian Patriotism; or, the Duty of Religious People 
towards their Country. A Discourse delivered at Ket* 
tering, Aug. 14, 1803. 

The spirit of Christianity, which breathes nothing but 
peace and good will towards men, is so repugnant to the 
profession of arms, that it required something like scrip- 
tural arguments to satisfy the consciences of " religious 
people," that it was their duty to enrol themselves in the 

156 Mmon» ov ambrbw fvixbb* 

volonteer corps, which at that time began td laake so 
jformidabie an appearance throughout the country, and 
which the dread of invasion had called into existence. 

To accomplish this purpose, the preacher chose the 
words of Jeremiah to the Jews in captivity ; ' Seek the 
peace of th^ city, whither I have caused you to be carried 
away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it ; for in the 
peace thereof ye shall have peace/ Having observed that 
the Jews were at that time enslaved, abused, and insulted 
by their enemies, he asks ; ** If such was the duty of men 
in their circumstances, can any doubt with respect 
to ours ?" — " The invader was to them a deliverer : but to 
us, beyond all doubt, he would be a destroyer." 

The duty of Christians is then first considered, and after- 
wards the motive by which it is enforced. 

In explanation of the former, it is observed, that our 
duty consists in ' seeking the peace of the city,' and ' pray- 
ing to the Lord for it.' Those who do this, will not dis- 
turb the public peace by inflammatory speeches, by spread- 
ing discontent, exciting disgust against public measures, 
and contempt of magistrates. They will do all they can to 
promote its welfare ; and whatever be their political system, 
will support government as long as it answers the great 
ends of its existence ; they will sacrifice their private in- 
terest, and in case of imminent danger expose their lives in 
its defence. 

The Author here refutes the idea, that defence is wrong 
in all cases. He cites the example of Abraham in the Old 
Testament ; and in the New, the conduct of Paul at Philip- 
pi. At the same time he condemns tlie modern notions of 
honour, and maxims of revenge. He also remarks, that 
Christians are not to use the sword in defence of their own 
principles ; and that such as have, on this ground, taken 
the sword, have usually perished by the sword ; instancing, 
as examples, the Albigenses, the Bohemians, and the 
French Protestants. But the defence of civil order stands 
on different grounds ; and if -all were thus to neglect their 
duty, the magistrate would indeed ^bear the sword in vain.' 
It is no sin, says he, to be a soldier ; witness two believing 
centurions. John did not reprove the soldiers for bearing 
arms, but instructed them in their duty as soldiers. 

With respect to the injustice of a war, it is observed, 
that it is of a very complex nature, and that we are unac* 
quainted with many facts, the knowledge of which is ne- 
cessary to enable us to decide the point. One thing we 


know, whether it be right that one nation should seek the 
utter ruin of another — it is evidently our duty to resist 
such an attempt, however it may have been provoked. 

Another part of our duty consists in * praying to the 
Lord/ for public peace and prosperity. We should beware 
that all our dependence as a nation is upon God, and that 
a great load of guilt lies upon our country. 

In considering the motive, we are told that our duty is 
graciously interwoven with our interest : * Ye shall have 
peace.' The preacher then draws a picture of the miseries 
which all ranks of life would endure, as citizens, as rela- 
tions, and as Christians, if the public tranquillity were 
disturbed. Happily, these groundless apprehensions have 
long since passed away; and the sermon only remains, 
unsatisfactory as it is, to perpetuate the '^ Christian Patriot^ 
ism " of its Author. 

A Vindication of Protestant Dissent, from the Charges of 
the Rev, Thomas Robinson, Vicar of St, Mary^s, Lei" 
cester, 1804. 

At the time this little pamphlet was written, a spirit of 
opposition ran high against the evangelical clergy; and 
some of their bitterest enemies were found amongst the 
members of the established church. A long and acrimoni- 
ous controversy had been maintained, for and against an 
evangelical construction of the Articles, and on the ten- 
dency of the evangelical ministry ; and though the adverse 
party failed in their proof, and were eventually defeated, 
they did not fail to get preferments in the church for their 
hostilities to the truth, nor to inspire their more enlighten- 
ed brethren with the terrors of dissent. 

Mr. Robinson, though in other respects a man of great 
excellence, was at all times a rigid churchman, entertain- 
ing high notions of Episcopal prerogatives, and of the pre- 
cedeace due to the establishment. No man more carefully 
avoided an approach to the contaminating principles of 
dissent ; and while he honoured a few eminent individuals 
with his friendship, among whom Mr. Fuller himself was 
one, he maintained a chilling distance from the general 
body of nonconformists. But the particular class to which 
he himself belonged, having fallen under severe suspicion, 
unjustly enough, that they had crept within the pale under 
an Episcopal disguise, as their adversaries insinuated, 



merely for the purpose of lowering character, and calum- 
niating the arguments which they could not answer, Mr. 
Robinson was tempted to give an immoderate display of 
his attachment ; and in the warmth of bis zeal in defence 
of Episcopacy, he made some foul attacks on the opposite 

Though Mr. Fuller was the advocate of union, rather 
than of dissent, and bore towards Mr. Robinson a consid- 
erable share of esteem ; yet he could not suffer any per- 
sonal considerations to interfere with the obligations he 
owed to truth, nor that the imposing authority of so re- 
spectable a clergyman, in bis own neighbourhood, should 
obtrude upon the public attention without examining its 
claims. He, nevertheless, entered upon his "Vindication" 
with great reluctance, and suffered it to appear without a 

His defence of Protestant Dissent seems reducible to 
two positions : — That the Church of England is not agree- 
able to the scriptural and apostolic form ; and that if it be, 
it is not exclusively ; so as to have any right to claim the 
universal obedience of a particular tract of country. 

In reply to the charges which had been exhibited, he 
observes that while Mr. Robinson attempts to prove the 
established church apostolical in its " order of ministers," 
he neither cites any scripture, nor any authority for the 
office of arcA-bishops, arcA-deacons, deans, or priests; 
nor shows that the rank was in use, even though the name 
were not recorded ; nor that ope set of pastors were con- 
trollable by another. 

He then examines and refutes the position, *' That it is 
the duty of the subject to obey the ordinances of the church, 
unless they can be proved contrary to divine injunction." 
He remarks, that if the apostles, like the popish church, 
had attempted to convert whole nations at once, and had 
acted on Mr. Robinson's principle, they would have fram- 
ed different modes of worship in different places; they 
would have examined how much of the old materials of 
heathen superstition, " not directly contrary to divine in- 
junction," would do to work up again ; they would also 
make as few alterations as possible, and introduce old 
things under new names. 

Mr. Robinson's defence of the English church, he ob- 
serves, would as well apply to the church of Rome. It 
might be said, ' She has her bishops, priests, and deacons; 
that her chain of subordination from the laity through the 


clergy, and the bishops to the pope, is *' reasonable and 
expedient ;" that these, and many other *' decent and edify- 
ing" things ought not to be rejected, unless they can be 
proved '^ contrary to express divine injunction.'' But, says 
the Author, to believe a doctrine, or practise a form, even 
if it may be innocent, merely on the ground of human au- 
thority, destroys the very principle of christian obedience. 
He answers Mr. Robinson's encomiums on the doctrinal 
purity of the church by saying, that the Articles do not 
show f^hat the church is, but what the church was ; and 
that not one in ten believes them in their obvious meaning. 
The disputes among dissenters having been alleged, Mr. 
Fuller rebuts the objection in the following manner : 


The clergy put various meanings on their own articles ; and the 
peace which is boasted by the church, is perhaps not so much the 
fruit of meekness and brotherly love, as the cause of indifference, and 
the stillness of ecclesiastical despotism. We see in the great body of 
the members of this community, not * saints, and faithful in Christ Je- 
sus;' not 'a congregation of faithful men,' as the Articles define a 
church, but men of the world ; men who would be ashamed to be 
thought saints, and who deride all spiritual religion. Where the 
spirit and conduct are evidently diverse from Christianity ; where no 
pretence is made to. any other than traditional assent, which in Turkey 
would have made them Mahometans, and in China, Pagans ; where 
the very idea of 'being bom of God ' is derided, and all spiritual relig- 
ion regarded with contempt : to consider such persons as believers, is 
an abuse of charity and candour ; and to treat them as such, is to foster 


This little piece abounds with manly sense, good hu- 
Oiour, precision of thought, and a perspicuity and force of 
reasoning, corresponding with Mr. Fuller's other publi- 
cations. Mr. Robinson read this performance, acknowl- 
edged that it was written in a good spirit, but said he 
was not convinced. No, replied the Author, nor did I 
expect it : it will be enough, however, if others should be 

The Cheat Question Answered, 

This small pamphlet was written at the request of a 
very worthy gentleman, who wished to distribute among 
the inhabitants of the north, a plain, practical piece, tend- 
ing to awaken the consciences of the careless, and excite a 
serious inquiry about the salvation of their souls. The 
writer has, therefore, very suitably chosen for his subject, 
the question of the Philippian jailer : ' What must I do to 




be saved r' And, the apostle^s answer : ' Believe on the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' 

In writing this pointed address to the unconverted, Mr. 
Fuller also intended to display the practical efficacy of 
those views of faith which he had so frequently contended 
for in his polemical works, and their adaptation to the case 
and conscience of the perishing and unbelieving. In this 
attempt he has been happily successful, and some of his 
warmest opponents are said to have expressed their 
satisfaction in the views that are here exhibited. The 
tract has had an extensive circulation, in a variety of 
forms, and has been translated into some of the foreign 

Expository Discourses on the Boole of Genesis^ interspers- 
ed with Practiced Reflections, 2 vols. 1 806. 

The contents of these volumes, consisting of fifty-eight 
short discourses, were not, originally, intended for the 
press. The Author had been in the habit of delivering 
expository lectures for several years to his own congrega- 
tion, on various parts of Scripture ; and after proceeding 
a considerable way in the book of Genesis, without having 
preserved any thing more than a few short notes occa- 
sionally, which served as an index to his intended dis- 
course, he was earnestly requested by a friend to give the 
substance of his commentary to the public. With this 
request he reluctantly complied ; and after delivering his 
discourses from the pulpit, he copied the general outline for 
the press. 

In executing this performance, he selects a chapter or a 
section of convenient length, and furnishes a concise ex- 
position of its leading circumstances, accompanied with a 
few pointed reflections. This method, though necessarily 
too limited for the expansive powers of the writer, is pur- 
sued with the happiest effect ; and it is difficult to con- 
ceive of a larger quantity of pithy matter being compressed 
within so small a compass. He is, perhaps, more success- 
ful when a freedom from such restraints enables him to 
explore widely, to examine minutely, and to contend in 
open ground with the oppositions of enmity and error ; but 
of all Mr. Fuller's writings, none have a higher claim to 
genera] regard, for their utility and pr-actical importance^ 
than his volumes on the Book of Qenesis, 


The historical and deBcriptire parts are peculiarly inter- 
eating, and exhibit some of the finest specimens of moral 
painting. We are not only made acquainted with the 
principal events and transactions in the lives of the ante- 
diluvian patriarchs; but we seem to be present at the 
scene, to behold them with our eyes, to develope the secrets 
of character, the springs of action, and to become intimate 
at once with the generations before the flood. The trial 
of the original transgressors, after their fall, and the doom 
denounced upon them, are among the distinguishing fea- 
tures of this performance. The effects of sin in perverting 
the understanding and polluting the heart, introducing 
prevarication and deceit, bringing guilt and shame upon 
the offenders, and ruin upon an unborn world, are depicted 
in the most vivid colours, and adapted to make a deep and 
lasting impression. 

The violence which preceded and introduced the flood, 
with all its tremendous consequences, is traced to an anal- 
ogy with some of the awful events of the portentous period 
in which the lectures were delivered, and accompanied 
with a seasonable admonition to the kings and rulers of 
the earth. 

*' From the influence of corruption in producing violence," says the 
Expositor, of Gen. vi. 11, " and bringing on the deluge, we may see 
the importance of pure religion, and those who adhere to it, to the 
well-being of society. They are the preserving principle, the salt of 
the earth ; and when they are banished, or in any way become ex- 
tinct, the consequences will soon be felt. While the sons of God are 
Icept together, and continue faithful, God would not destroy the world 
for their sakes ; but when reduced to a single family, he would, as in 
the case of Lot, take that away, and destroy the rest. The late con- 
vulsions of a neighbouring nation, may, I apprehend, be easily traced 
to this cause: all their violence originated in the corruption of the 
true religion. About a hundred and thirty years ago, the law which 
protected the reformation in that country was repealed ; and almost 
all the religious people were either murdered or banished. The con- 
sequence was, as might have been expected, the great body of the 
nation, princes, priests, and people, sunk into infidelity. The protes- 
tant religion, while it continued, was the salt of the state ; but when 
banished, and superstition had nothing left to counteract it, things soon 
hastened to a crisis. Popery, aided by a despotic civil government, 
brought forth infidelity ; and the child as soon as it grew up to matu- 
rity, murdered its own parents. If the principal part of religious peo- 
ple in this or any other country were driven away, the rest would soon 
become infidels, and practical atheists ; and what every order and de- 
gree of men would have to expect from the prevalence of these prin- 
ciples, there is no want of examples to inform them." 

O 2 


In remarking on the corenaot made with Noah after 
the flood Mr. Fuller finds occasion to illustrate a principle 
of fundamental importance to the system of revelation ; 
and shows that God's exercising mercy towards the un- 
worthy, for the sake, of one that was righteous, and as 
the means of expressing his love of righteousness, was 
fully recognized in the divine economy, and exhibited 
under every dispensation. Many interesting observations 
on this subject appear in different parts of the work. • 

Abraham's entertaining angels unawares, is introduced 
with good effect, as an instance of patriarchal hospitality 
and politeness. His condescension towards Lot, and the 
amiable manner in which he prevents a disagreement be- 
tween them, are adduced as an example highly worthy of 
imitation, in settling disputes among brethren, and ac- 
companied with a happy display of the pacific tendency 
of Christianity. Abraham's being transformed into a war- 
rior to save Lot, his military movements and exploits, his 
interview with Melchisedek and the king of Sodom, are 
well supported, and give a peculiar interest to this part of 
sacred history. 

But as the life of Abraham was more prolific of im- 
portant events, than that of any other of the patriarchs, 
and afforded an opportunity of illustrating some of the 
leading principles of the gospel to the greatest advantage, 
the preacher seizes on one of these ; and with the hand 
of a master, gives the following sketch of the doctrine of 
Justification by faith, from Gen. xv. 4 — 6. 

*' Much is made of this passage by the apostle Paul, in establishiog 
(he doctrine of justification by faith ; and much has been said by others, 
as to the meaning of both Paul and Moses. One set of expositors, 
consLilering it as extremely evident that by faith is here meant the 
act of believing, contend for this as our justifying righteousness. 
Faith, in their account, seems to be imputed to us for righteousness 
by a kind of gracious compromise, in which God accepts of an iiAper- 
feet, instead of a perfect obedience. . Another set of expositors, jealous 
for tlie honour of free grace, and of the righteousness of Christ, contend 
that the faith of Abraham is here to be taken objectively, for the righte- 
ousness of Christ believed in. To me it appears that both these expo- 
sitions are forced. To establish the doctrine of justification by the 
righteousness of Christ, it is not necessary to maintain 'that the faith 
of Abraham means Christ in whom he believed. Nor can this be 
maintained : for it is manifestly the same thing, in the account of the 
apostle Paul, as believing* which is very distinct from the object be- 
lieved in. The truth appears to be this : — It is faith, or believing, that 
is counted for righteousness ; not as a righteous act, or on account 

* Rom. iv. 6. 


of any inherent virtue contained in it, but in respect rf Christ, on 
wkoae righteousness it termineUes* 

That we may form a clear idea, both of the text and the doctrine, 
let the following particulars be considered. 

1. ^Iiough Abraham believed God when he leftUr of the Chaldees,t 
yet bis faith in that instance is not mentioned in connection with his 
jitsHfieation : nor does the apostle, either in his epistle to the Romans, 
or in that to the Galatians, argue that doctrine from it, or hold it up 
as an example of justifying faith. I do not mean to suggest, that 
Abraham was then in an unjustified state ; but that the instance of his 
faith which was thought proper by the Holy Spirit to be selected as 
the model for believing unto justification, was not this, nor any other 
of the kind ; but those only in which there was an immediate respect 
had to the person of the Messiah. The examples offaith referred to in 
both these epistles, are taken from his believing the promises relative 
to his seed ; in which seed, as the apostle observes, Christ was includ* 
ed.t Though Christians may believe in God with respect to the 
common concerns of this life, and such faith may ascertain their being 
in a justified state ; yet this is not, strictly speaking, the laith by which 
they are justified, which invariably has respect to the person and work 
of Christ. Abraham believed in God m promising Christ : they believe 
in him as having raised him from the dead. <Sy him all that believe, 
(that is in him) are justified from all things, from which they could 
not be justified by the law of Moses.' It is through faith in his blood, 
that they obtain remission of sins — He is just, and the justifier of him 
that believeth in Jesits.^ 

2. This distinction, so clearly perceivable both in the Old and New 
Testament, sufficiently decides in what sense faith is considered as 
justifying. Whatever other properties the magnet may possess, it is 
as pointing invariably to the north that it guides the mariner : so 
whatever other properties faith may possess, it is as pointing to Christ 
and bringing us into union t^if^ him, that it justifies. || It is not that 
for the sake of which we are accepted of God : for if it were, justifica- 
tion by faith could not be opposed to justification by works, nor could 
boasting be excluded ; neither would there be any meaning in its being 
said to be by faith, that it might be of grace. But believing in Christ, 
we are considered by the Lawgiver ofthe world as one with him, and 
so are accepted and forgiven for his sake. Hence it is, that to be 
justified by faith is the same thing as to be justified by the blood of 
Christ, or made righteous by his obedience.l! Faith is not the grace 
wlierein we stand, but that by which we have access to it.*** Thus it is, 
that the healing of various maladies is ascribed, in the New Testament, 
to faith ; not that the virtue which caused the cures, proceeded from 
this as its proper cause ; but this was a necessary concomitant, to give 
the parties access to the power and grace of the Saviour, by which 
only they were healed. 

3. The phrase, 'counted it for righteousness,' does not mean that 
God thought it to be what it was, which would have been merely an 
act of justice ; but his graciously reckoning it what in itself it was 
not; viz. a ground for the bestowraent of covenant blessings. Even 
in the case of Phinehas, of whom the same phrase is used in reference 

* Calvin's Inst. b. iii. ch. xi. sect. 7. t Heb. xi. 8. 

t Rom. iv. 11. Gal. iii. 16. § Rom. iv. 24. Acts xiii. 39. 

Rom. iii. 25, 26. || Rom. viii. I. 1 Cor. i. 30. Phil. iii. 9. 

ir Rom.v. 9, 19. "* Rom. v. 2. 


to his zeal for God, it has this meaning ; for one single act of zeal, 
whatever may be said of it, could not entitle him, and his posterity 
after him, to the honour conferred upon them.* And with respect to 
the present case, ** the phrase, as the apostio uses it, (says a great 
writer) manifestly imports that God of his sovereign grace is pleased, 
in his dealings with the sinner, to take and regard that which indeed 
is not righteousness, and in one who has no righteousness, so that the 
consequence shall be the same as if he had righteousness, and which 
may be from the respect it bears to something which is indeed righte- 
ousne8s."t The faith of Abraham, though of a holy nature, yet con- 
tained nothing in itself fit for a justifying righteousness; all the 
adaptedness which it possessed to that end was the respect which it 
had to the Messiah, on whom it terminated. 

Though faith is not our justifying righteousness, yet it is a neces- 
sary concomitant and means ox justification ; and being the grace 
which above all others honours Christ, it is that which above all others 
God delights to honour. Hence it is that justification is ascribed to 
it, rather than to the righteousness of Christ without it Our Savioar 
might have said to Bartimeus, * Go thy way, / have made thee whole.' 
This would have been truth, but not the whole of the truth which it 
was his de^gn to convey. The necessity of faith, in order to healing, 
would not have appeared from this mode of speaking ; nor had any 
honour been done, or encouragement been given to it. But, by his 
saying, * Go thy way, thy faith hath made die whole/ each of these 
ideas is conveyed. Christ would omit mentioning bis own honour, as 
knowing that faith having an immediate respect to him, amply provid- 
ed for it." 

The discourse on Abraham's offering up his son, in 
which the triumph of faith over the feelings of nature is 
80 affectingly recorded, affords one of the finest specimens 
of the preacher's ability. The expository form is dropped^ 
and a regular discussion is assumed ; in which peculiar 
skill is discovered in investigating the different parts of 
the subject, placing them all in a strong light, and tracing 
their relations to each other, and their reference to distant 
and neglected objects. The whole of this discourse is 
unusually pathetic, and cannot be read without the liveli- 
est interest. 

The life of Isaac, which produced but few incidents, is 
dismissed with consistent brevity ; but that of the illus- 
trious Joseph occupies more than half the second volume. 
Mr. Fuller acknowledges that he entered on the narrative 
with some dismay, and felt in the course of his composi- 
tion that no human hand could touch the subject without 
deteriorating the divine original. There are, notwithstand- 
ing, many affecting passages in this part of the work, many 
indications of ingenuous sensibility blended with a variety 
of acute and original remarks. The prudence and the 

* Psl. cvi. 31, compared with Num. sxv. 12, 13. 
t President Edward's Sermons on Justification, Disc. i. p. 9. 


policy of Joseph, the dangers of pre*eminence, Jacob's 
interview with Pharaoh, and that of Joseph with his 
brethren, are illustrated with singular felicity ; and in 
Judah's oration on behalf of his brother Benjamin, the 
preacher finds one of the finest specimens of eloquence 
any where to be met with either in ancient or modern 

The conclusion of this exposition is highiy forcible and 
argumentative : the doctrine of human depravity, and of 
salvation by free grace, are shown to have an insepara- 
ble connection, and to he interwoven with the history of 

** None can deny the fact, that men are what they ought not to be ; 
but how they came to be so, cannot be told. To say, as many do, that 
the stock is good, but that it gets corrupt in rearing, is to reason in a 
manner that no one would have the face to do in any other case. If 
a tree were found, which in every climate, every age, every soil, and 
under every kind of cultivation, brought forth the fruits of death, no 
body would hesitate to pronounce it oi a poisonotis nature. Such is 
tile account given us by revelation, and this book informs us how it 
became so. ft is true, it does not answer curious questions on thia 
awful subject. It traces the origin of evil as far as sobriety and hu- 
mility would wish to inquire. It states the fact, that God ' made man 
upright, and that he hath sought out many inventions :* but there it 
leaves it. 

If the doctrine of the fall, as narrated in this book be admitted, that 
of salvation by free grace, through the atonement of Christ, will 
follow of course. I do not say that redemption by Christ could be 
inferred from the fall itself; but being revealed in the same sacred 
book, we cannot believe the one, without feeling the necessity of the 

Finally : Look at the antipathy which is every where to be seen 
between the righteous aqd the wicked, between them that fear God 
and them that fear him not. All the narratives which have passed 
under our review, as those of Cain and Abel, Enoch and his cotem- 
poraries, Isaac and Ishinael, Jacob and Esau, are pictures of originals, 
which the world continues in every age to exhibit. But this book 
traces this antipathy to its source, and gives us reasqn to expect ita 
continuance, till Satan apd his cause shall be bruised under our 

The Pernicious Influence of Delay in Religious Concerns .• 
A Sermon delivered at Clipstone^ Northamptonshire^ 
April, 1791. 

This sermon has already been mentioned, as preparing 
the way for missionary undertakings, and as having pron 
difced a powerful effect at the time it was delivered t"*^ 

^ See CJhQpter iv. 


Various excuses had been urged in favour of delay^ and 
some of them apparently prudential ; but Mr. Fuller ex- 
poses their futility, and shows that they had their origin 
in carnal policy, and indifference to the best interests of 
religion. This sermon gave an impetus to the missionary 
spirit that was already afloat, and brought the subject to a 
crisis in the minds of those who heard it ; its subsequent 
publication had a similar happy effect upon multitudes who 
were not present at the time of its delivery. 


Review of Mr. Fuller's Doctrinal and Practical Writings — Dialogaes 
and Essays on various Subjects — Jesus the true Messiah — Sermons 
on various Subjects — Funeral Sermon for the Rev. John Sutcliffe, 
with a Brief Sketch of his Character — Narrative of the Baptist 
Mission — Adam's View of Religions, with an Essay on Truth — 
Discourses on the Apocalypse. 

The advantages which Mr. Fuller derived from polemi- 
cal discussion, are very apparent in his subsequent writings 
on doctrinal and practical subjects. There is a stronger 
nerve and a higher tone in his moral system, than is com- 
monly found in coteraporary writers ; for though the same 
truths might be generally acknowledged, few men had the 
faculty of placing them so full in view, or investing them 
with such high and fearful importance. Controversy not 
only deepened his penetration, and added keenness to his 
discernment, but stamped a greater value on those princi- 
ples which he had recovered from the Amorites with his 
sword and his bow. 

The article which introduces the present chapter, result- 
ed principally from those laborious investigations in which 
he had been previously engaged, and was chiefly compos- 
ed in the serious hours of sickness and retirement, afler 
the tumult of debate was over, and when his thoughts had 
ripened to maturity. Religious sentiment never was with 
him a matter of speculation. He had long seen that the 
interests of personal religion were involved in the princi- 
ples which he had endeavoured to defend ; and being left 
m full possession, he employed them in every variety of 
form that could give proof of their practical efficacy. 
Hence in his preaching, and in his writing, there is a sort 
of mandatory style, which bespeaks a conviction of their 


vital importance, and a pungency of appeal from which the 
reader cannot easily escape. 

Dialogues^ Letters, and Essays, on various Subjects, 

Thoogh this work did not admit of a systematic arrange-* 
Dienty it nevertheless illustrates and defends many of the 
leading doctrines of the gospel in a very satisfactory man- 
ner, and may properly be considered as a compendious 
body of divinity. The papers which compose this volume 
are classed under three principal divisions. Part the First 
is on FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES,* and cousists of nine 
Dialogues and five Letters, between Crispus and Gains — 
on the peculiar turn of the present age — importance of 
truth — connection between doctrinal, experimental, and 
practical religion — ^moral character of God — free-agency 
of man — antinomianism — goodness of the moral law — total 
depravity of human nature — and the consequences result- 
ing from it. 

The first dialogue, which admirably describes the pecu- 
Har turn of the present age, concludes with this just and 
striking discrimination of character : 

" Crispus, What evidence have we, that religious people are in- 
flueoced by a spirit of indifference ? 

Gaius, The crying up of one part of religion at the expense of an- 
other. You may often hear of practical religion as being every thing ; 
and of speculative opinions (which is the fashionable name for doe* 
trinal sentiments,) as matters of very little consequence. Because 
they are not cognizable by the civil magistrate, they treat them as if 
they were of no account; and by opposing them to practical religion, 
the unwary are led to. conclude that the one has no dependance on 
the other. The effect of this has been, that others, from an attach- 
ment to doctrinal principles, have run to a contrary extreme. They 
write and preach in favour of doctrines, and what are called the 
privileges of the gospel, to the neglect of subjects which immediately 
relate to practice. In other circles you may hear experience, or ex- 
perimental religion, extolled above all things, even at the expense of 
christian practice, and of sound doctrine. But, really, the religion of 
Jesas ought not thus to be mangled and torn in pieces. Take away the 
doctrines of the gospel, and you take away the food of Christians. In- 
sist OQ them alone, and you transform us into relio^ious epicures. And 
you may as well talk of the pleasure you experience in eating, when 
you are actually deprived of sustenance, or of the exquisite enjoy- 
ments of a state of total inactivity, as boast of experimental religion, 
unconnected with doctrinal and practical godliness. The condifct of 
a man who walks with God, appears to me to resemble that of the in- 
dustrious husbandman, who eats that he may be strengthened to la- 
bour, and who by labour is prepai*ed to enjoy his food." 


The consequences resulting from the doctrine of human 
depravity, in the fiflh Letter, are pointed out in the Au- 
thor's best manner ; and his exposure of the Hyper-calvin- 
istic scheme, is very masterly and decisive. The duty of 
ministers relative to their unconverted hearers, is here ex- 
hibited in a style of reasoning that justly challenges the 
most serious regard of all who desire to ' make full proof 
of their ministry.' Mr. Fuller very forcibly remarks, 

" Instead of its being a question, whether ministers should exhort 
their carnal auditors to any thing spiritually good, it deserves to be 
seriously considered, tohether it be not at their peril to exhort them to 
any thing short of it. 

" If all duty consists in the genuine operations and expressions of 
the heart, it must be utterly wrong for ministers to compromise mat- 
ters with the enemies of God, by eihorting them to mere external 
actions, or to such a kind of exercise as may be performed without 
the love of God. The truth is, there is no way for a sinner to take» 
in which he can find solid rest, but that of returning«home to God by- 
Jesus Christ. * Repent and believe the gospel. Believe in the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.* If the answer be, We cannot 
comply with these things, our hearts are too hard ; — the servant of 
God having warned them, that what they call their incapacity is no 
other than a wicked aversion to God and goodness ; that they judge 
themselves unworthy of everlasting life, and that their blood will be 
upon their own heads, — must there leave them. His soul may weep 
in secret for them, but it is at his peril to compromise the matter." 

Part the Second consists of miscellaneous pieces, — 
on the nature of regeneration — different degrees in glory 
— the unpardonable sin — on the ministry — the manner in 
which divine truth is communicated in the Holy Scriptures 
— connection in which the doctrine of election is introduc- 
ed in the Scriptures — on evil things which pass under 
specious names — the deity of Christ essential to atone- 
ment — the Sonship of Christ — obedience and death of 
Christ — necessity of seeding those things first which are 
of the first importance — the proper and improper use of 
terms. • 

The piece on Regeneration, proving that the Spirit of 
God produces a new principle in the heart, and not merely 
imparts a new light to the understanding, is highly inter- 
esting and important. That on the manner in which Di- 
vine Truth is communicated in the Scriptures, contains 
the following impressive passage : 

**It is not very difficult to discern the wisdom of God in introducing 
truth in such a manner. If every species of plants and flowers wese 
to grow together, instead of the whole being scattered 9ver th^ earth, 
the effect would be very different, and much for the worse : and if all 


truth relatiog to one sulijeet» were to be found only in one book, 
chapter or epistle, we should probably understand much less than we 
do. There are some divine truths which are less pleasant than others. 
Even good men have their partialities, or favourite principles, which 
would induce them to read those parts of Scripture which favoured 
them, to the neglect of others. But truth being scattered throughout 
the Scriptures, we are thereby necessitated, if we read at all, to read 
the whole mind of God ; and thus it is that we gradually and insen^- 
bly imbibe it, and become assimilated to the same image. The con- 
duct of God in this matter, resembles that of a wise physician, who, 
in prescribing for a child, directs that its medicine be mixed up with 
its necessary food." 

On the Deity and Sonship of Christ, a number of origin- 
al remarks occur, highly worthy of attention. The writer 
has successfully driven the Socinians and Arians from their 
strong holds, and entrenched himself so skilfulJy in the 
fair plains of reason and revelation, that the utmost fury of 
the enemy can never dislodge him. 

Christians of all denominations might read his piece on 
Seeking those things First which are of the First Impor- 
tance, to great advantage, and cannot but admire the lib- 
erality with which his sentiments are stated. 

" If we wish to promote the Dissenting interest, it must not be by 
expending our principal zeal in endeavouring to make men Dissenters, 
but in making Dissenters and others Christians. The principles of 
dissent, however just and important, are not to be compared with the 
glorious gospel of the blessed God. If we wish to see the Baptist 
denomination prosper, we must not expend our zeal so much in en- 
deavouring to make men Baptists, as in labouring to make Baptists 
and others Christians. By rejoicing in the prosperity of every other 
denomination, in as far as they accord with the mind of Christ, we 
shall promote the best interest of our own." 

Part the Third, which consists of original pieces, not 
before published, contains, amongst other things, three 
conversations on imputation — substitution — and particular 
redemption. On the first of these topics, Mr. Fuller op- 
poses the notion of Christ's becoming guilty by imputation ; 
and states his own views of the subject in the following 
manner : 

"The terra, guilty, I am aware, is often used by theological writers, 
for an obligation to punishment ; and in this sense it applies to that 
voluntary obligation which Christ came under, to sustain the punish- 
ment of our sins. But, strictly speaking, guilt is the desert of punish- 
ment; and this can apply to none but the offender. It is the opposite 
of innocence. A voluntary obligation to endure the punishment of 
another is not guilt, any more than a consequent exemption from 
obligation in the offender, is innocence. Both guilt and innocence 


are transferable in their effects ; but in themselves they are intraos- 
ferable. To say that Christ was reckoned or counted in the divine 
administration, oLsifhe were the sinner, and came under an obligation 
to endure the curse or punishment due to our sins, is one thing : but 
to say he deserved that curse, is another. Guilt, strictly speaking, is 
the inseparable attendant of transgression, and could never therefore 
for one moment, occupy the conscience of Christ. If Christ by impu- 
tation bec4me deserving of punishment, we by non -imputation eease 
to deserve it ; and if our demerits be literally transferred to him, his 
merits must of course be the same to us ; and then, instead of ap- 
proaching God as guilty and unworthy, we might take consequence to 
ourselves before him, as not only guiltless but meritorious beings." 

He quotes Calvin's opinion in support of his own, and 
exposes the absurdity of some of Dr. Crisp's sentiments. 
On Substitution, Mr. Fuller gives the following statement^ 
relative to the sufficiency of the atonement : 

** It is a fact, that the Scriptures rest the general invitations of the 
gospel upon the atonement of Christ. But if there were not a suffi- 
ciency in the atonement for the salvation of sinners without distinction, 
how could the ambassadors bf Christ beseech them to be reconciled 
to God, and that from the consideration of his having been made sin 
for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of 
God in him P What would you think of the fallen angels being invited 
to be reconciled to God, from the consideration of an atonement having 
been made for fallen men? You would say, it is inviting them to 
partake of a benefit which has no existence ; the obtaining of which, 
therefore, is naturally impossible. 

" Upon the supposition of the atonement being insufficient for the 
salvation of any more than are actually saved by it, the non-elect are 
in the same state, with respect to a reconciliation to God through it, 
as the fallen angels ; that is, the thing is not only morally but natural- 
ly impossible. But if there be an objective fulness in the atonement 
of Christ, sufficient for any number of sinners, were they to believe in 
him, there is no other impossibility in the way of any man's salvation 
to whom the gospel comes, than what arises from the state of his own 
mind. The intention of God not to remove this impossibility, and so 
not to save him, is a purpose to withhold not only that which he was 
not obliged to bestow, but that which is never represented in the 
Soriptures as necessary to the consistence of exhortations or invita- 

The conversations on these subjects, between " Peter, 
James, and John," who personated Mr. Booth, Mr. Fuller, 
and Dr. Ryland, were intended to illustrate the points in 
dispute between the two former, and to remove some in- 
jurious misrepresentations which then existed. The dis- 
cussion of these topics is conducted with consummate 
ability, and forms a most interesting part of the Author's 
writings. The conclusion, which proceeds very properly 
from the umpire, is in the true spirit of the gospel. 


*' 1 conceive, my dear brethren/* says John, ** that you have each 
said as much on these subjects as is likely to be for edification. Per- 
mit me, alter having- heard, and candidly attended to all that has 
passed between you, to assure you both of my esteem, and to declare 
that in my opinion, the difference between you ought not to prevent 
yoar feeling towards and treating each other as brethren. The greater 
part of those things wherein you seem to differ, may be owing either to 
a difference in the manner of expressing yourselves, or to the affixing 
of consequences to a principle which yet are unperceived by him that 
holds it. I do not accuse either of you with doing so intentionally : 
but principles and their consequences are so suddenly associated in 
the mind, that when we hear a person avow the former, we can scarce- 
ly forbear immediately attributing to him the latter. If a principle be 
proposed to us for acceptance, it is right to weigh the consequences ; 
but when forming our judgment of the person who holds it, we should 
attach nothing to him but what he perceives and avows. If by an 
exchange of ideas you can come to a better understanding, it will 
afford me pleasure : meanwhile, it is some satisfaction that your visit 
to me has not tended to widen, but considerably to diminish your 
differences. Brethren, there are many adversaries of the gospel 
jroond you, who would rejoice to see you at variance. Let there be 
no strife between you , you are both erring mortals; but both, I trust, 
the sincere friends of the Lord Jesus. Love one another !" 

Jesus, the true Messiah : A Sermon delivered in the Jews' 
Chape!, Church Street, Spital Fields, Nov, 19, 1809. 
Printed for the Society for promoting Christianity 
among the Jews, 

On such an occasion it might be expected that the preach- 
er would endeavour to substantiate the evidence in favour 
of the Messiahship of Jesus; and though the subject was 
pretty well exhausted, that such a preacher as Mr. Fuller 
would be able to advance something new and interesting, 
or would select some topic for discussion that should carry 
conviction to the understanding of his hearers. 

Haviog chosen for his text, Psalm xl. 6 — 8, he encoun- 
ters Jewish unbelief by observing, that the coming of the 
Messiah is represented in this passage, as distinguished by 
the abolition of sacrifices and ceremonies ; by the accom- 
j[^ishment of the great body of Scripture prophecy, and by 
the perfect fulfilment of the will of God. 

He disputes the perpetuity of the ceremonial law, from 
the depreciating language of Scripture respecting it, and 
from the fact of its having ceased to be observed. On this 
subject, he addresses the Jewish part of his audience in 
the following manner : . 

<^ In maintaining the perpetuity of the sacrifices and ceremonies of 
the Mosaic law, your writers are not only opposed by Scripture but 
by tact. Whether Messiah the prince be eome or not, sacrifice and 


oblation have ceased. We believe they virttialhf ceased when Jesus 
offered himself a sacrifice, and in a few years afterwards they aeiwU- 
ly ceased. Those of your nation who believed in Jesus, voluntarily, 
though gradually, ceased to offer them ; and those who did not believe 
in him, were compelled to desist, by the destruction of their city and 
temple. You may adhere to a few of your ancient ceremonies ; but 
it can only be like gathering round the ashes of the system ; the sub* 
stance of it is consumed. ' The sacrifices of the holy temple,' as one 
of your writers acknowledges, * have ceased.' 

'*The amount is, whether Jesus be the Messiah or not, his appearance 
in the world has this character pertaining to it, that it was the period 
in which the sacrifice and the oblation actually ceased. And it is 
worthy of your serious inquiry, whether these things can be accom- - 
plished in any other than Jesus. Should Messiah the prince come at 
some future period, as your nation expects, how are the sacrifice and 
the oblation to cease on his appearance, when they have already 
ceased nearly eighteen hundred years ? If therefore he be not come, 
he can never come, so as to answer this part of the Scripture account 
of him." 

Under the second division, Mr. Fuller notices the pro- 
phecies concerning the time of the Messiah's advent, the 
place of his nativity, the family from which he should 
spring, the kind of miracles he should perform, his lowli- 
ness, death, resurrection, and rejection by his own coan- 
trymen. He then notices the striking fulfilment of these 
prophecies, supposing Jesus to be the Messiah, and in- 
sists on the impossibility of their being fulfilled at all on 
any other hypothesis. He afterwards proceeds to point out 
tbe full accomplishment of the divine will, both of precept 
and purpose, in the obedience of Christ. He refutes sev- 
eral objections which are current among the Jews ;. and 
concludes with a pressing appeal to their consciences, and 
an earnest exhortation to professed Christians to adorn the 
doctrine of God their Saviour. The whole sermon carries 
with it convincing evidence, that Jesus is indeed the Christ, 
the Son of the living God ; and if it failed to produce 
its end and design, it would leave the unbelievers without 

Sermons on various Subjects, 1814. 

The Author's numerous active engagements, which call- 
ed him frequently from home, and especially in his later 
years, lefl him but little time for retirement, prevented his 
writing any large work ; and this, which was one of the 
last of his publications, was several years in compiling. 
Had it been otherwise, several more volumes of sermons, 
equally excellent with the present^ might have been ex** 


pecied. The christiaii world, however, has reason to be 
thankful for the legacy which is left, enriched as it is with 
a maturity of thought, on subjects of the highest impor- 
tance. Doctrinal, practical, and experimental divinity, 
are here blended in equal proportions, free from controver- 
sy, but full of point, and just discrimination. 

The Sermons are sixteen in number, and on the follow* 
ing topics — Solitary Reflection, or the sinner directed to 
look into himself for conviction — Advice to the Dejected, 
or the soul directed to look out of itself for consolation — 
the Prayer of Faith, exemplified in the woman of Canaan 
— the future Perfection of the Church, contrasted with its 
present imperfections— rthe Gospel, the only effectual 
means of producing universal peace amongst mankind — 
the Reception of Christ, the turning point of salvation — on 
Justification — the Believer's Review of his past and present 
state — the Nature and Importance of Love to God— *con- 
formity to the Death of Christ — the Life of Christ the secu- 
rity and felicity of his church — Christianity the antidote to 
presumption and despair — ^the Sorrow attending wisdom 
and knowledge — ^the Magnitude of the heavenly inheri- 

Amidst such a variety, where each invites attention, 
the selection is difficult ; but the sermons on Justification, 
while they are confessedly on a subject of pre-eminent im- 
portance, are distinguishable for perspicuity and closeness 
of reasoning. The last sermon, in particular, abounds with 
an originality of thought seldom to be met with, on one of 
the most difficult passages in the inspired volume. His at- 
tention was more immediately directed towards it, by a let- 
ter which he received from a highly respectable clergyman , 
who requested his thoughts upon the subject. 

In ascertaining the meaning of the term Justificatioriy 
Mr. Fuller distinguishes it from sanctification, and consid- 
ers it as the opposite of condemnation ; and though amongst 
men it is not only opposed to condemnation but even to 
pardon, yet in the justification of a sinner with God it is 
not so opposed, though distinguishable from it. 

"From these dissimilarities, and others which might be pointed 
out, it must be evident to every thinking mind, that though there are 
certain points of likeness, sufficient to account for the use of the 
term, yet we are not to learn the scripture doctrine of justification 
from what is so called in the judicial proceedings of human courts, 
and in various particulars we cannot safely reason from one to the 

N 2 

174 MSMonts or audrbw fvluek. 

other. The prindpaljpoiDti of Ukenoie reipect not the graumdM of the 
proceediog, but its effects. Believing in Jesus, we are united to him -, 
end being so, are treated by the Judge of all as one with him ; his 
obedience unto death is imputed to us, or reclconed as ours ; and we 
for his sake are delivered from condemnation as though we had been 
innocent, and entitled to eternal life as though we hud been perfectly 

But let us farther inquire. What U fo»pel justification t Alluding to 
justification in a court of judicature, it has been common to speak of 
it as a sentence. This sentence has been considered by some divines, 
as passings-first, in the mind of God from eternity — second, on Christ 
and the elect considered in him when he rose from the dead — third, in 
the conscience of a sinner on his believing. Justification by faith, in 
the view of these divines, denotes either justification by Christ the 
object of faith, or the manifestation to the soul of what previously 
existed in the mind of God. 

Others, who have been far from holding with justification as a 
decree in the diyine mind, have yet seemed to consider it as a mani- 
festation, impression, or persuasion in the human mind. They have 
spoken of themselves and others as being justified under such a ser- 
mon, or at such an hour ; when all that they appear to mean is, that 
at such a time they had a strong impression or persuasion that they 
were justified." 

The reply to these different hypotheses, is as follows — 

'* In respect to the first, it is true that justification, and every other 
spiritual blessing, was included in that purpose and grace which wa^ 
given us in Christ Jesus before the world began ; but as the actual 
bestowment of other blessings supposes the existence of the party, so 
does justification. Christ was * raised again for our justificatiotn>* in 
the same sense as he died for the pardon of our sins. Pardon and 
justification were virtually obtained by his death anil resurrection ; 
and to this may be added, our glorification was obtained by his ascen- 
sion ; for we were not only * quickened together with him, and raised 
up together, but made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ 
JesuA.' But as this does not prove that we were from thence actually 
glorified, neither do the other prove that we were actually pardoned 
or justified. 

Whatever justification is, the scriptures represent it as taking place 
on our beliemng in Christ. It is not any thing that belongs to predes- 
tination; but something that intervenes between that and glorincation. 
* Whom he did predestinate, them he also called ; and whom be called, 
them he Hso jiutified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.* 
That which the scriptures call justification is by faith in Christ Jesus ; 
and is sometimes spoken of as future, which it could not be if it were 
before our actual existence. For example: 'Seeing it is one God 
who shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision 
by faith — Now it was not written for Abraham's sake alone, that it 
was imputed to him ; but for us also, to whom it s?mII be imputed, if we 
believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. The 
scriptures foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through 
faith, &c.' If justincation were God's decree finally to acquit, con- 
demnatioi> must be his decree finally to condemn. But every anbe- 
liever, whether elect or non-elect, is under condemnation, as the 
scriptures abundantly teach : condemnation, therefore, cannot be 
God's degree finally to condemn. Saul of Tarsus, while an unbe- 


fiever, was under condeinnatioii ; yet God had not a]>poiiited hint to 
wrath, but to obtaio salvation by Jesus Christ. The sum is, neither 
condemnation nor jastification consists in the secret purpose of God, 
but in his will as revealed or declared, as by a sentence in an open 

And as justification is not a purpose in the divine mind, neither is 
it a manifestation to, an impression on, or a persuasion of, the human 
mind. That there are manifestations to believers, is admitted. God 
manifests himself unto them as he doth not unto the world. The 
things of God, which are hidden from the wise and prudent, are re- 
vealed to them. But these are not things which were previously locked 
up in the divine purposes, but things which were already revealed in 
the Scriptures, and which were previously hidden from them, as they 
still are from unbelievers, by their own criminal blindness. God does 
not reveal his secrect counsels to men otherwise than by fulfilling 
them. To pretend to a revelation or manifestation of that which is 
not contained in the Scriptures, is pretending to be inspired in the 
same extraordinary manner as were the prophets and apostles. 

**If justification consists in a manifestation, impression, or persuasion 
that we are justified, condemnation mus( be a like impression or per- 
suasion that we are condemned : but this is not true. The Jews who 
opposed Christ were under condemnation ; yet so far from being im- 
pressed or persuaded of any such thing, they had no doubt but God 
was their Father. Believers in Jesus, on the other hand, may at 
times be impressed with strong apprehensions of divine wrath, while 
yet they are not exposed to it. Neither justification, therefore, nor 
condemnation, consists in the persuasion of the mind that we are un- 
der the one or the other. Besides, to make a thing consist in a per- 
suasion of the truth of that thing, is palpable absurdity. There can 
be DO well-grounded persuasion of the truth of any thing, unless it 
be true and evident, antecedently to our being persuaded of it." 

Having cleared away these errors, which tended to in*^ 
volve the subject in a mist, the Author states justification 
to be; a relative change, not in, or upon, but concerning 
us ; that it consists in our standing acquitted by the re- 
vealed will of God, declared in the gospel ; so that he 
whom the scriptures bless, is blessed, and he whom they 
curse^ is cursed. The inquiry then amounts to this : 
" What is it in the redemption of Christ, to which the 
scriptures ascribe its efficacy — what concern faith has in 
our justification — and whether justification includes the 
pardon of our sins, past, present, and to come 1" The 
ans^r to the last inquiry, is too important to be over- 

'< That justification includes the pardon of sin, has already been 
proved^ from Rom. iv. 6, 7 : and seeing it is promised of him that be- 
fieveth, that he * shall not come into condemnation,' it must in some 
way secure the pardon of all his sins, and the possession of eternal 
life. Yet to speak of sins as being paxtloned before thev are repented 
of, or even committed, is not only to maintain that on wnich the Scrip- 
tures are sQent,but to contradict the current language of their testi- 


ding and industrious, a great economist of time, and stu- 
dious of frugality in every department. Such was his 
uniform circumspection, that he seldom spoke unadvisedly 
with his lips, and was never known to deviate from the 
strictest honour and integrity. The whole tenor of his 
life was calm and unruffled, exempt from extraordinary 
trials, and exhibiting a scene of placid piety. He dis- 
covered more candour^ greater tenderness in judging of 
character, than his superior friend ,* had fewer prejudices, 
and less suspicion of human nature. There was a natural 
asperity in his temper, which religion had greatly softened ; 
but very little of that urbanity, or spontaneous benevolence 
which gives the charm to social intercourse, and embellish- 
ment to character. His mental faculties were plain and 
strong, but not versatile in their application ; his moral 
qualities were of solid worth, but neither brilliant nor al- 
luring. In labours the most arduous and important, he was 
Mr. Fuller's friend and associate ; they acted together with 
the greatest harmony, and their varied talents were alike 
consecrated to the mission, and the public interests of relig- 
ion. If one was more fitted to preside in council, the other 
was prepared to tak^ the field, and to do exploits ; and 
while Moses could answer all the hard questions, Aaron 
bore the censer, and was the saint of the Lord. Mr. Sut- 
clifie was a man of deep devotion, of consummate prudence, 
and unsullied fame ; and Mr. Fuller having performed the 
last act of friendship, in the last sermon he ever published, 
soon follows him to the house appointed for all living. So 
much harmony in life and in death, was highly honourable 
to their characters, and leaves a fragrance upon their 

Brief Narrative of the Baptist Mission in India, 

Nearly all the Periodical Accounts of the Society were 
compiled by their able Secretary, from the letters and 
journals transmitted by the missionaries ; but as this in- 
creasing compilation soon became too ponderous and ex- 
pensive for general distribution, it was found necessary, in 
order to give a wider circulation to the missionary intelli- 
gence, to compress the whole into a small pamphlet. This 
acceptable service was performed by Mr. Fuller, in his 
'' Brief Narrative," which produced important advantages 
to the mission* 


Its origin is here traced with greater accuracy and mi- 
nuteness than in any former publication, and the succeed- 
ing events are stated with singular precision and fidelity. 
The whole of the subject was so familiar to the writer, 
that, perhaps, no other person could have condensed such 
a quantity of intelligence into so small a compass. 

Having in a former chapter of these Memoirs traced 
an outline of the origin of the mission, it is unnecessary 
to repeat it in this place ; but it may not be altogether 
impertinent to remark, that important as it has now be- 
come, the mission to India was at first generally regarded 
as chimerical, and but few thought it a matter of duty. 
Speaking of it upon one occasion, Mr. Fuller remarked, 
that '' some of our ministers considered the plan to be 
like a proposal to make a turnpike road to the moon." 
He added, '* I acknowledge that I also said in effect. If 
the Lord should make windows in heaven, might this 
thing be." But he soon entered heartily into the mea- 

Besides these various publications by Mr. Fuller, chiefly 
on doctrinal and practical subjects, he edited a work 
formerly published by an American lady, under the 
title of 

A View of Religions : By Hannah Adams. A new edi^ 
tion, with corrections and additions. To which is pre- 
fixed an Essay on Truth. 

The introduction, by the American author, presents a 
concise but comprehensive view of the state of religion 
and philosophy at the time of our Lord's appearance. 
The First Part of the work comprises an alphabetical 
compendium, not only of the denominations existing among 
Christians in the present age, but also of the several divis- 
ions and heresies that have appeared since the earliest 
times of Christianity. The Second Part contains a brief 
description of Paganism, Mahomedism, Judaism and Deism. 
The Third exhibits an account of the religions that now 
prevail, among the different nations of the earth. 

Many of the articles in the latter part are miserably 
defective, while those of the first are equally redundant. 
Only six or seven lines each are devoted to the history of 
religion in Ireland, and in Wales, while ten times the same 
quantity of letter press is given in descriptions of several 


ibrgotten religionists ahd heretics, who perished fiom the 
earth a thousand years ago. On the article, Church of 
England, eight whole lines are bestowed ; and on the Ma- 
hometans, nearly as many pages ! The work, which affords 
a quantity of valuable materials, might have been rendered 
useful, in the hands of a careful editor, who had more time 
at command than Mr. Fuller could afford to bestow upon 
it ; but in its present state, it is disfigured by so many ano- 
malies, as to be entitled to very slender commendation.* 

But whatever be its delects, they are not properly im- 
putable to the English editor ; as the utmost that he en- 
gaged for, was to ' correct ' some errors which the Amer- 
ican writer had committed, with respect to the English 
denominations, and to make some 'additions' to those 
articles which chiefly related to the same subject, without 
at all interfering with the general plan of the work. Mr. 
Fuller accordingly inserted a fresh account of the Calvin- 
ists, Baptists,f Friends o> Quakers, Methodists, Moravians, 
and several others ; some of which had not only been im- 
perfectly stated in the American edition of this work, but 
grossly misrepresented in Mr. Evans's Sketch of the differ- 
ent denominations. 

The Essay on Truth, (a page of which was omitted by 
the carelessness of the compositor, and since inserted in a 
recent edition, with the parade of ' corrections and addi- 
tions,') exhibits all the characteristic qualities of Mr. Ful- 
ler's other writings. It embraces three principal inquiries, 
suggested by the work itself, and tending to relieve those 
perplexities which the perusal of such a multitude of dis- 
cordant sentiments would naturally occasion. 

After examining the first question — *' What is truth V — 
and pointing out some of its distinctive properties, Mr. 
Fuller observes, 

"If language have any determinate meaning, it is plainly taught us 
in the Scriptures, that mankind are not only sinners, but in a lost and 
perishing condition, without help or hope, but what arises from the 
free grace of God through the atonement ; that Christ died as our 
substitute ; that we are forgiven and accepted only for the sake of 
what he hath done and suncred ; that in his person and work, all 
evangelical truth concentrates ; that the doctrine of salvation ibr the 

* A new and improved edition of this work has since been publish- 
ed by Mr. Thomas Williams, the Author of several valuable pub- 

t Both these were written by Mr. Fuller himself. The following 
article was drawn up by Mr. Sevan, at that time connected with the 
Society of.Friend8. 


chief of riDners tbrongh his death, was so familiar in the primitive 
times as to become a kind of Christian proverb, or ' saying ;' that on 
our receiving and retailing this, depends our present standing and fi- 
nal salvation. When this doctrine is received in the true spirit of it 
— which it never is but by a sinner ready to perish — all those fruitless 
speculations, which tend only to bewilder the mind, will be laid aside; 
just as malice, guile, and envies, and evil speakings, are laid aside by 
him who is bom of God. 

"True religion is with great beauty and propriety called *walkincin 
die truth.* A life of sobriety, righteousness, and godliness, is Christian 
principle reduced to practice. Truth is a system of love, an overflow 
of divine blessedness, as is intimated by its being called < the glorious 
gospel of the blessed God;* a system of reconciliation, peace, and 
forgiveness ; full of the most amazing condescension, and of spotless 
rectitude. To walk in truth like this, is to walk in love ; to be tender 
hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath 
forgiven us ; to be of the same mind with him who made himself of 
no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant ; and to b6 ho* 
ly in all manner of conversation.*' 

To the second inquiry — ** How is it to be accounted for, 
that there should be so many diversities and contradictions 
among Christians^ both in regard to sentiments and modes 
of worship " — the answer is : 

<* That there is an important difference between diversity and contra- 
riety. The former belongs to men as men, which the latter does not. 
One man comprehends more of truth, ano^er less; this has a talent 
for discovering one part of truth, and that another. But in all this 
there is nothing discordant, any more than in a diversity of features, 
or in the variegated face of the earth, which abound in divers kinds 
of flowers, every one of which contributes to the beauty of the whole. 
It is not so with respect to truth and error, which are as opposite as 
right and wrong. True doctrines are the plants, and false doctrines 
the weeds of the church. They cannot both flourish in the same mind. 
The one must be rooted up, or the other will be overrun, and rendered 
unproductive. The causes which the Scriptures assign for the cor* 
ruption of Christian doctrine are principally, if not entirely, of a moral 
nature. They represent evangelical truth as a holy doctrine, and as 
that which cannot be understo^ by an unholy mind. An unrenewed 
person, whatever be his education, talents, or natural temper, can 
never fall in with Christianity, as it is taught in the New Testament. ~ 


The answer to the third question — " Why is error per' 
mitted" — is equally clear and satisfactory: 

<* This is an awful subject ; and if we were left to our own conjec- 
tures upon it, it would be our wisdom to leave it to the great day, 
when ail things will be made manifest; but we are not. The evidence 
in favour of true religion is sufficient for a candid mind, but not for 
one that is disposed to cavil. If we attend to it simply to find out 
truth, and obey it, we shall' not be disappointed : but if our souls be 
lifted up within us, the very rock of salvation will be to us a stone of 



*' The Tiilble kingdom of Christ is a floor containiac a mixture of 
wheat and chaff; and every false doctrine is a wind, which he whose 
fan is in his hand, makes use of to purge it. There is a great num- 
ber of characters who profess to receive the truth, on whom, notwith- 
standing, it never sat easily. Its holy and humbling nature galls their 
spirits. In such cases the mind is prepared to receive any represen- 
tation of the gospel, however fallacious, that may comport with its 
desires ; and being thus averse to truth, God frequently in just judg- 
ment suffers the wind of false doctrine to sweep them away. 

*'There is a way of viewing the corruption and depravity of mankind, 
so as to excite bitterness and wrath, and every species of evil temper ; 
and there is a way of viewing them, that, without approving or con- 
niving at what is wrons, shall excite the tear of compassion. It does 
not become us to declaim against the wickedness of the wicked in a 
manner as if we expected grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles : but while 
we prove ourselves the decided friends of GcS, to bear good-will to 
men. It becomes those who may be the most firmly established in the 
truth as it is in Jesus, to consider that a portion of the errors of the 
age, in all probability, attaches to them ; and though it were otherwise, 
yet they are directed to carry it benevolently towards others who may 
err : * In meekness instructing those that oppose tiiemseives ; if God, 
peradventure, will give them repentance, to the acknowledging of the 

"There is an important difference between razing the foundation, 
and building upon that foundation a portion of wood, and hay, and 
stubble. It becomes us not to make light of either : but the latter naay 
be an object of forbearance, whereas the former is not. With the 
enemies of Christ, we ought, in religious matters, to make no terms ; 
but towards his friends, though in some respects erroneous, it behoves 
us to come as near as it is possible to do, without a dereliction of 
principle. A truly Christian spirit will ieel the force of such language 
as the following, and will act upon it : * All that in every place call 
upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours, grace 
be unto them, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Je- 
sus Christ — Grace be with them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in 

The sentiments contained in these brief extracts cannot 
fail to meet the approbation oFthe sincere and enlightened 
believer ; and a happy combination of charity and chris* 
tian zeal is conspicuous throughout the whole of this valu- 
able Essay. 

Expository Discourses on the Apoccdypse^ interspersed with 
Practical Reflections. 1815. 

This posthumous publication, consisting of thirty-one 
discourses^ delivered in 1809 and 1810, after undergoing 
several revisions, was finished by the Author within six 
weeks of his death, and of course contains his mature 
thoughts on the most mysterious part of sacred prophecy. 
There is, however, but little novelty in the work, but little 


to gratify the anxioas curiosity of the age, or to elaeidate 
the unfulfilled and more difficult parts of the Revelation* 
The general outline of the prophetic -scheme is boldly 
sketched, and its various ramifications are marked with 
that precision which was common to the writer ; but in 
general there is an extreme of modesty and diffidence^ 
with scarcely any attempts to pass the usual boundaries of 
thought on these subjects, or any adventurous flight of 
speculation. The plan of the work differs in some respects 
from that of Lowman and Newton, while it embraces their 
views of the Eastern church and the Ottoman empire, with 
the exception of making Mahomet the / false prophet ' of 
the apocalypse ; yet whether it be owing to the condensity 
of these discourses, or the singular perspicuity of the writer, 
so that what was intricate becomes familiar in his hands, 
the whole assumes an interesting form, and there is not a 
line but what is intelligible to the plainest reader ; which 
is not commonly the case with commentaries on this mys- 
terious book, for they oilen leave us more perplexed than 
we were before. Little notice is taken of the celebrated 
performances of Mr. Faber, except to rectify a few of his 
mistakes ; and none at all of a certain popular writer on 
prophecy, w^iom Mr. Fuller used to denominate ''the 
Fortune-teller of the church," except to intimate that in 
the delirium which prevailed a few years ago, some ridicu- 
lous attempts were made at interpreting prophecy with a 
view of establishing a political hypothesis. It must be 
acknowledged, however, that Mr. Bicheno's writings con- 
tain a great deal of useful information, especially on the 
subject of the Eastern Antichrist, and that they interested 
the attention of a larger portion of the christian world, than 
those of his successors in the same department. 

Mr. Fuller seems fully aware of the difficulty attending 
his undertaking, but found encouragement to pursue his 
inquiries, from the blessing promised to those who ' read, 
and hear, and keep the words' of this prophecy, which he 
considers as analogous to the cloudy pillar in the wilder- 
ness, guiding the New-testament saints through the laby- 
rinths of antichristian errors and corruptions. 

His remarks on the Epistles to the Seven Asiatic 
Churches are brief, but full of point, and abounding with 
important discriminations. The reader is struck with the 
admirable use that is made of scripture phraseology, in 
adapting it to character and circumstances, though it is no 
other than the usual manner of the writer. Contrary to 

184 MSMoims or andrbw rvLLER. 

tbe general current of exposition, these Epistles are not 
considered as predicting the state of Christianity at so many 
future periods, symbolizing with that of the seven churches ; 
but as descriptive of the actual state of the christian profes- 
sion in the Apostle's time, and designed to furnish encour- 
agements, reproofs, warnings, and counsels, to other 
churches and individuals, in all future ages, as their cases 
may require. Some important observations occur on the 
subject of. brotherly admonition, which ought never to be 
forgotten, though they have little more than a theoretical 
existence. The character of the Son of God, in address- 
ing the seven churches, is given with great effect, and 
ought to be considered as the model of all christian pastors ; 
blending commendation with reproof^ and the tenderest 
compassion and forbearance with the most inviolable love 
of righteousness. 

The introductory vision to the opening of the sealed 
book, in chap. vi. is peculiarly grand and affecting ; and 
there is a majesty and simplicity in the style and manner 
of the writer which comport with the nature of the subject. 
The exposition of the symbolical prophecy, though not 
original, is very satisfactory, and developes the basis on 
which the subsequent remarks are founded. 

« We are not to conceive of the seals," says Mr. Fuller, " as con- 
taining one series of events, the trumpets another, and the vials an- 
other ; but as being all included in the seals : for the seven trumpets 
are only subdivisions of the seventh seal, and the seven vials of the 
seventh trumpet — This division into seals, and subdivision into trum- 
petB and vials, appears to be the only one which the prophecy requires, 
or even admits. Not to mention its division into chapters, which are 
sometimes made in the midst of a subject, the scheme of dividing it 
into periods, which Mr. Lowman and many others have favoured, 
seems to be merely a work of the imagination. There are doubtless 
some remarkable periods in the prophecy, such as that of the twelve 
hundred and sixty years, &c. But to make them seven in number, 
and for this purpose to reckon the day of judgment, and the heav- 
enly state, as periods, is fanciful. It is by the division of the proph- 
ecy itself into seals, and the subdivision of the seventh seal into 
trumpets, and of the seventh trumpet into vials, that we must flteer 
our course." 

Contrary also to the scheme of Mr. Lowman and others, 
who considered the opening of the first seal as not taking 
place till after the death of John, Mr. Fuller offers good 
reasons for concluding that it should be dated from the 
ascension of Christ; and by considering the visions of 
John as retrospecting to the commencement of the chris* 


tfan dispensatioQ, the sealed book is made to contain a 
perfect system of New-testament prophecy, from the time 
of the ascension to the final end of all things. By this 
means also we are furnished with an easy interpretation 
of the division of the book^ into ' things which the sacred 
writer had seen, things which toere, and things which should 
be heretifter.' 

Assuming this obvious principle of interpretation^ the 
first six seals are supposed to include the principal events 
of the first three hundred years, or to the commencement 
of the reign of Constantine. The seventh seal, which 
includes the trumpets and the vials, extends from that 
period to the end of the world. The first four trumpets 
under the seventh seal, relate to the subversion of the papal 
Roman empire ; and the last three, which are wo trumpets, 
to its final dissolution. 

Chapter xi. of the Revelation is considered as giving a 
general representation of this corrupt and persecuting 
power, with the state of the Christian church under it, 
during the 1260 years. Chapter xii. gives a second, and 
Chapters xiii. and xiv.*^ a third general representation of 
it daring the same period. Chapters xv. and xvi. give a 
more particular account of that part of the subject which 
co^nmences at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, and 
contains a subdivision of that trumpet into seven vials, 
the pouring out of which brings us down to the Millen- 
nium. Chapters xvii. xviii. and xix. contain what in 
modern publications would be called Notes of Illustration, 
givi|ig particular accounts of things which before had only 
been generally intimated. Such is Mr. Fuller's general 
distribution of the prophecy. 

The Slaying of the Witnesses, concerning which, so 
much has been written to little purpose, he considers as 
having taken place before the Reformation; though he 
does not relieve us from the dread of some future persecu- 
tion. The former of these events took place,, as the writer 
supposes, on the suppression of the Bohemians ; afler 
which, no society of Christians was to be found for nearly 
a hundred years, who dared to oppose the general corrup- 
tion ; and that the resurrection of the Witnesses, and their 
ascension to heaven, took place at the time of the Reforma- 
tion, when, by a special providence, the parties concerned 
in it were placed out of the reach of their enemies. The 
prospect of another popish persecution, afler the second 



jUght of the ehweh into the wilderness, which ftw com- 
mentators ha?e noticed, is thus described : 

" From the times of the Reformatioa, the church of Christ had in a 
manner come oat of the wilderness. Having obtained a degree of 
legal protection in several nations, its members were not obliged as 
heretofore io retire into woods and mountains and caves, nor to have 
recourse to midnight assemblies for the purpose of hearing the goqpel : 
but after renewed persecutions, the woman is oblieed a second tune to 
fly into the wilderness, as to her wonted place of refuge. Such has 
been the state of Protestants in all Popish countries ; such has been 
their state in France, from the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 
1686, to the revolution in 1789,> though of late they were treated with 
less severity than formerly, being allowed to meet in the day time, 
only under military inspection. Nor was it in Popish countries only 
that the wratifi of the dragon vented itself. A portion of the poison of 
a persecuting spirit was found among Protestants, even in our own 
country, from the reformation to the revolution of 1688. If one |dace 
was more distinguished than another, as affording a shelter for the 
woman at the time of this her second flighty I suspect it was North 
America ;* where the church of Christ has been nourished, and may 
continue to be nourished, during the remainder of the 1260 years. And 
as to those parts of the church which still exist in a state of insecurity, 
the serpent has not been suffered to make a full end of them : they 
are nourished by the word of God, and ^hall doubtless survive the 
reign of antichristian corruption and persecution. 

" The flood of waters csst after the woman by the dragon, and the 
war made on the remnant of her seed, referring, as it appears, to the 
latter end of the 1260 years, may be something yet to come. It is not 
impossible that persecution may yet be revived. The antichristlhn 
cause can hardly be supposed to expire without some deadly struggles. 
Indeed it is in the very act of < making war on Him that sitteth upon 
the horse, and his army, that the beast and the false prophet will be 
taken ;' and which seems to be the same war which is made with the 
'remnant of the woman's seed.* — Should a flood of persecution yet be 
in reserve for the church of Christ, it may be the last eflbrt of an ex- 
piring foe ; and from that, the earth will preserve her, by swallowing 
it iy> ; it may be in some such way as the invasion of the Philistines 
preserved David ; or as political struggles have often proved favourable 
to Christians, by furnishing those who wished to persecute them with 
other employment. The dragon, provoked by his want of success 
against the woman, may vent his malice on the remnant of her seed 
that are within his reach : but his time is fehort. His agents, ' the 
beast and the false prophet,' will soon be taken ; and the Angel, with 
a great chain in his hand, shall next lay hold on him, and cast him in- 
to the bottomless pit." 

* Should this conjecture be well founded, it may possibly account 
for the singular mercy vouchsafed to the churches on the western 
continent, where, during the last twenty-five years, while Europe 
has been deluged with blood, remarkable revivals in religion have 
taken place, and the Spirit has been poured out from on high. The 
same band which has been punishing the enemies of the churohj has 
been rewarding the inhabitants of the wilderness, who nourished her 
in the day of her calamity. Editer* 


Cki tke Name of the Beast, and the namfaer of his name 
in Rev. xiii. 18, a passage which has puzzled all the 
commentators, Mr. Fuller gives no additional light ; but 
offers the stale common-place exposition of an abraca- 

The first prediction which the writer meets with, as 
applicable to the present times, is that which describes an 
' angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting 
gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to 
every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people ;• which 
he thinks is fulfilling in the zeal which has been kindled 
of late years to carry the gospel among the heathen, both 
by Missionary and Bible Societies ,* an object not unworthy 
of a place in prophecy. 

Every one will feel anxious to know what were the 
sentiments of this discerning writer on the subject of the 
pouring out of the Seven Vials, in Rev. xvi. ; and many 
will be disappointed to find, that instead of five or six, as is 
commonly supposed, only the first two are poured out ; and 
that no less a space than a hundred and fifty years is al- 
lowed for these vials of wrath, commencing from the be- 
ginning of the French Revolution in 1789. This leaves a 
dismal* prospect, for at least three or four generations to 
come ; during which time, Europe is still to be an acelda- 
ma ! The exposition is briefly as follows : 

<< It is a fact very remarkable, that the seven trumpetB have each a 
point of resemblance with the seven vials. For example : the first 
trumpet affected the earth ; and so does the first vial. The second 
trumpet turned the sea into blood ; and the second vial was poured out 
upon the sea, which became as the blood of a dead man. The third 
trumpet affected t?ie rivers and fountains of u>aters; and so does the 
third vial. The fourth trumpet affected the stm; and the fourth Vial 
does the same. The fifth trumpet was followed by darkness and 
pain ; and such are the effects of the fifth vial. The sixth trumpet 
was complex, relating partly to the depredations of the Euphratean 
horsemen in the east, and partly to the idolatries and persecutions of 
the beast and his associates in the west ; and so is the sixth vial ; re- 
lating partly to tiie Euphratean waters being dried up, and partly to • 
the hattle of Armageddon, by which the cause of the beast will be 
ruined. Finally : the seventh trumpet presents a dosi$^ scene ; and 
so does the seventh vial.* These resemblances cannot be accidental. 
Though Uiey refer to events, therefore, more than a thousand years 
distant from each oth^r, yet there must be some important points of 
likeness between thera ; and as the trumpets are all fulfilled, except 
the last, we may by means of them form some judgment of the vials 
which may yet be unfulfilled." 

* Compare Rev. iz. 1, 8, with xvi. 10. Chap. iz. 14— zL 14, with 
xvL 12—16. Ch«p. zi. 15, with zyL 17. 


After qaoling the sentiments of Dr. Gill, who gave a 
nmilar exposition of the vials, in 1752, Mr. Fuller proceeds 
with the text : 

'**And the first aDgel went, and poured out his vial upon the earth* 
If by the earth be meant the continent, as France and Germany, es- 
pecially the latter, we have certainly seen a succession of evils falling 
Xn the men who * had the mark of the beast ;' first in France, and 
r that in Germany, grievous as the * most noisome s<»'e8,' and 
like them indicative of a state of corruption and approaching dissolu- 

** 'And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea.* If this 
vial respect the papal maritime nations, particularly Spain and Por- 
tugal, we have seen a commencement of things in those countries, 
but have not yet seen the issue. What it will be God knoweth ! 
Whether this or that political party prevail, it will be a plague, and 
a plague that will tend to accomplish the ruin of the antichristian 

"*And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers andfoun^ 
tains ofwateis* If these denote Italy and Savoy, these counties may 
be expected to be the scene of the neorf great convulsions which shall 
agitate Europe. And if it be so, it may be a just retribution for the 
blood of the Waldenses, which was there shed in shocking profusion, 
for many successive centuries. 

"'And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun,* By the 
sun is undoubtedly to be understood the supreme secular govemmeixt 
of what is called the holy Roman empire^ which is denominated the 
heasti and distinguished by its carrying or supporting the harlot. Its 
scorching heat cannot be understood of the persecution of the faithiul; 
for they would not blaspheme under it. It seems tlierefore to denote 
the galling tyranny by which the adherents of the beast will be op- 
pressed, while yet they repent not of their deeds. 

"'And the fiuh angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast* 
By the beast we have all along understood that secular government 
which, at the head of the other European governments, has supported 
the Papal Antichrist. This certainly has not been the imperial gov- 
ernment of France, but of Germany, to which therefore the character 
of the bean belongs. The supporters of the Papal ciEiuse will eventual- 
ly be confounded : darkness and anguish will come upon them. Yet 
being given up, like Pharaoh, to hardness of heart, they will continue 
to blaspheme the God of heaven, and will not repent of their deeds. 
These blasphemies, and this perseverance in impenitence are sure 
signs of its being the determination of Heaven to destroy them. In- 
dividuals may repent and escape ; but as a community they are ap- 
'Iwinted to utter destruction. 

" * And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river 
JBtqahrates* This vial, so far as respects the temporal dominion of 
Christ's enemies, possesses a final character ; and seems partly to 
respect the overthrow of the Turkish power, signified by the 'drying 
up of the Euphrates,' and partly that of the Papal, signified by the 
battle of ' Armageddon.' The second part of this vm is the most 
tremendous. This is the last struggle of the beast and his adherents, 
and which will issue in their utter ruin. This is ' the great day of 
God Almighty ;' the same as the harvest and the vuitage in chap- 
ter xiv. and the taking of the beast and the false prophet, in chap- 
ter xix. 


"^And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air,* The 
moral atmosphere of the world' has long been polluted by false reli* 
gion, from which it is the object of this vial to cleanse it as by a 
thunder storm ; which thunder storm produces a great earthquake, 
and this the falling to pieces of the great antichristian city and other 
cities with it The face of the world from hence becomes changed ; 
and the wrath of God pursues, as by a terrible hail storm, the men 
who repent not of their deeds. And now a voice out of the temple 
of heaven, even from the throne of God is heard, saying, It is done! 
The threatening of the augel in chapter z. 7, is accomplished — the 
1260 years are ended — the mysteby^op God is finished — and 
now commences the Millennium !" 


Review of the Controversy on Faith, with Brief Notices of Mr. Ful- 
ler's several Opponents — Rev. William Button — Rev. Dan Taylor — 
Rev. John Martin — Advocates of Hyper- Calvinism — Rev. Archibald 

The distinction which Mr. Fuller acquired among the 
theological writers of the day, arose chiefly from the 
talent which he displayed in controversy ; for though his 
other writings were generally well received, and obtained 
an extensive circulation, yet in this department he particu- 
larly excelled. He was sometimes weary of disputation, 
and wished to decline it ; but when tho interests of truth 
invited him to the field, he seldom quitted it but with 
honour and success. He carefully took his station in some 
fixed, invulnerable principle, whence he annoyed the ad- 
versary, and bid defiance to his attacks. His under- 
standing was not more powerful than rapid in its exercise, 
grasping a subject almost intuitively, and fixing on the 
point of an arguitient with singular precision and accuracy. 
As the talents of his opponents were various, and the 
subjects in debate more or less interesting, his polemical 
pieces of course possess different degrees of merit ; and 
where the host was feeble, the conquest though decisive 
could not be eminent. 

With respect to the present controversy, though it re- 
lated more immediately to one particular class of Christians, 
it was pregnant with great practical results, and fully 
demanded by existing circumstances. At the time Mr. 
Puller commenced a public profession of Christianity, and 


entered on the work of the ministry, the state of the Bap- 
tist denomination in this country was .truly deplorable. 
The writings of Hussey, Gill, and Brine,* were all in 
Togue : and such was the veneration in which their names 
were generally held, that the system of doctrine which they 
contended for, almost universally prevailed; and their 
works, not the scriptures, became in effect the standard of 
orthodoxy. It is not affirn^ed, that there is nothing valua- 
ble in the writings of these authors ; on the contrary it is 
readily admitted, that all the leading truths of the gospel 
are maintained in them. At the same time, it is manifest, 

* The following remarks from the pen of Mr. Fuller himself, rela- 
tive to this point, deserves insertion here. 

" I lielieve no writer of eminence can be named before the present 
century, who denied it to be the duty of men in general to believe in 
the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of their souls. I think Mr. 
Hussey was the first person, who by the general tenor of bis writings 
laid the foundation for this sentiment And yet even Mr. Hussey cUd 
not, that I recollect, expressly avow it. On the contrary, he allowed 
it to be * the duty of those who were not effectually called, to hear 
spiritually y and open their hearts to Christ ; though, as he justly as- 
serted, the preaching of this as their duty would not effect a ctire.' 
Operations of Grace-, p. 442. 

** Mr. Hussey was doubtless a man of considerable eminence in 
some respects. Mr. Beart, in his Eternal Law and Everlasting 
Gospel, I think has given as fair and as candid an account of his wri- 
tings as could well be given. But Mr. Hussey, though in some re- 
spects a great man, was nevertheless possessed of that warm turn of 
mind, which frequently misleads even the greatest of men, especially 
in defending a favourite sentiment. 

** Mr. Brine is the only writer of eminence who has expressly de- 
fended the sentiment. Dr. Gill took no active part in the controver- 
sy. It is allowed that the negative side of the question was his avow- 
ed sentiment, and this appears to be implied in the general tenor 
of his writings. At the same time it cannot be denied, that when en- 

faged in other controversies, he frequently argued in a manner favoura- 
le to our side ; and his writings contain various concessions on this sub- 
ject, which if any one else had made them, would not be much to the 
satisfaction of our opposing brethren. However they may be inclin- 
ed to represent us as verging towards Arminianism, it is certain Dr. 
Gill in nis answer to Dr. Whitby, the noted Arminian, frequentiy 
makes use of our arguments ; nor could he easily have gone through 
that work without them. (See his Cause of God and Truth, Part i. 
pp. 68, 69, 118, 159, 160, 165. Part ii. pp. 88, 211, 215, 222, 226. 
First edition.) And the very tiUe of Mr. Brine's chief pamphlet 
against our sentiment, which he called. Motives to Love and Uhitu 
among Calvinists differing in opinion, as well as the most ezpHcit 
acknowledgments therein contained, might teach those who pay any 
deference to his judgment, not to claim to themselves the titie of Cal- 
vinists, exclusively/* Drfence of a Treatise, entitled^ The Gosp^ 
if Christ worthy rfaU JieeeptaHon, pp. 18, 14. 


that by stfetching what are usually called the doctrines of 
grace, heyood the scripture medium, they introduced a 
system of j£(y|>6r-Calvinism, which extended its baleful in- 
fluence over nearly all the churches, and covered them with 
a cloud of darkness. 

** From the moral inability which the oiacles of truth 
ascribe to man in his fallen state, these divines were in- 
duced to divide moral and religious duties into two classes, 
natural and spiritual; comprehending under the latter, 
those which required spiritual or supernatural assistance 
to their performance ; and under the former, those which 
demand no such assistance. Agreeable to this distinction, 
they conceived it to be the duty of all men to abstain from 
the outward acts of sin, to read the scriptures, to frequent 
the worship of God, and to attend, with serious assiduity, 
to the means of grace ; but they supposed that repentance, 
faith in Christ, and the exercise of genuine internal devo- 
tion^ were obligatory only on the regenerate. Hence their 
ministry consisted almost entirely of an exhibition of the 
peculiar mysteries of the gospel, with few or no addresses 
to the unconverted. They conceived themselves not war* 
ranted to urge them to repent and believe the gospel, those 
being spiritual duties, from whose obligation they were 
released by the inability contracted by the fall."* 

As a necessary consequence, the calls and invitations 
of the gospel were entirely overlooked ; the scriptural view 
of saving faith, as consisting in the cordial reception of 
the record that God hath given of his Son, exchanged for 
the doctrine of appropriation; and the duty of man to be- 
lieve whatever God reveals, totally denied. Nothing was 
now to be heard but the privileges of believers, or rather 
the privileges of those who had wrought themselves up 
to an assurance that they were of the number of the 
elect; and all attempts to call sinners to the obedience 
of faith, were stigmatized as savouring of Arminian l&r 

The reflecting mind of Mr. Fuller was struck with this 
heterogeneous mixture of truth and error, and more ei^ 
pecially when he contemplated its pernicious eflects upon 
the churches. Like the chilling touch of the torpedo, it 

* Hdp to Zion^a Trapetlfrf : a new edition, by Rev. Kobert Hall : 
p. xiz. Preface. 


seenied to paralyze every arm that came in eontaei with 

It was Mr. Fuller's misfortune, however, to have been 
initiated in these sentiments ; and he afterwards lamented, 
as we have seen in the early part of his history, that he 
had long been kept in distress and darkness for want of 
clearer views of the nature of faith, and from having sat 
under a ministry which disavowed all direct addresses to 
the unconverted. For a time also his own preaching was 
greatly deficient in this article ; and though he did not 
wholly refrain from such addresses, he sensibly felt their 
inconsistency with the notions entertained of human ina- 
bility. He began to discern, that love was the fulfilling of 
the law ; and that, in fact, men owed npthing to their 
Creator, or to one another, which is not comprehended in 
the exercise of love. He perceived that every thing short 
of the perfection of love, constituted men sinners ; and 
that though depraved, we are as capable, if we were but 
inclined, to bestow our hearts upon God as upon the 
things of this world. He anticipated the effects which 
these views, if he should become confirmed in them, mast 
produce on the strain of his preaching, and, therefore, 
moved on with slow and trembling steps. 

It was a great injury to him, at this early period of his 
ministry, that his attention was diverted to other subjects 
of far inferior importance. The writings of Mr. Johnson 
of Liverpool were recommended to his notice, as well as 
some others on speculative points. The style of that 
author, he used to say, seemed to him then, very imposing, 
and much calculated to carry away young and inexperi- 
enced readers. His professed purpose to vindicate the 
Creator from being the author of sin, greatly prepossessed 
Mr. Fuller in favour of his opinions ; but he soon found 
them destitute of scriptural authority. He ■ saw, that as 
the grace manifested by Christ Jesus proceeded on the 
ground of the entrance of sin, and was purposed before 
the world began, that the permission of sin must also be 
the subject of divine determination ; and as sin has in hci 
entered, prevailed, and reigned upon earth, he was satis- 
fied that it could be no reproach to the holy Blajesty of 
heaven and earth, decretively to permit what has actaaUy 
taken place. The inconsistency with the divine perfec- 
tions, if any there were, he perceived must be in permitting 
evil to exist, and not in his decree to do so : and he was 


afraid that Mr. Johnson's hypothesis rather arraigned than 
justified the ways of God to men. He thought he discov- 
ered that Mr. Johnson, and those who adopted his views, 
were misled by the ambiguity of the word permit, which 
denotes not merely " not to obstruct, without implying ap- 
probation ;" but also '* to give leave," in a different sense. 
These questions being put to rest in his mind, he henceforth 
thought little more about them ; but in reviewing his ex- 
periencQi he saw reason to bless God for preserving him 
from the idle and unprofitable employment in which others 
were engrossed, and from the pernicious effects which he 
observed these and similar things to have on some Chris- 

Had the mind of Mr. Fuller been only of an ordinary 
cast, he would probably have remained much longer, if not 
throughout the remainder of his life, perplexed and bewil- 
dered amidst these jarring elements of theological contest. 
But happy for himself and for the Christian world, he burst 
asunder the enslaving fetters of human dogmas, emanci- 
pated himself from their paralyzing influence on his re- 
searches afler truth ; and taking the word of God alone for 
his guide, he determined to call no man master upon earth, 
but to follow with a firm and cautious step, the dictates of 
an enlightened understanding. 

In the year 1781, at the age of twenty-six, he composed 
his first treatise, which was published about five years af^ 
terwards, entitled — 

The Gospel worthy of all Acceptation ; or the Duty of 
Sinners to believe in Jesus Christ, 

The leading design of this performance is to prove, that 
men are under indispensable obligations to believe what- 
ever God says, and to*do whatever he commands ; and a ' 
Saviour being revealed in the gospel, the law in effect re- 
<)uires those to whom he is made known, to believe in him, 
seeing it insists upon obedience to the whole revealed will 
of God : * That no rational creature can justly claim exemp- 
tion from obligation, or is at liberty to do what he pleases, 
to believe or not believe what God declares, to comply or 
not comply with what he enjoins ; otherwise he would not 
be called to give account of himself to God ; that the ina- 
bility of man to comply with the divine requirements is 
wholly of a moral nature^ and totally distinct from the 



want of natural faculties ; that it consists in the prevalence 
of an evil disposition, or in blindness and hardness of heart; 
that though, while this disordered state of mind exists, it 
will prevent a compliance with the divine requirements as 
certainly as any physical privation, yet being voluntary, it 
becomes in the highest degree criminal ; — and that legit- 
imate commands, enforced by proper sanctions, being 
amongst the strongest motives, and tending in their own 
nature to incline the will, they cannot be withheld, with- 
out virtually relinquishing the claim of divine authority 
and dominion. 

These sentiments are discussed in several distinct prop- 
ositions, and supported by a weight of scriptural evidence, 
sufficient to silence all objections. The author then ad- 
verts to the doctrine of divine decrees — the nature of man's 
original holiness — particular redemption — the covenant of 
works — the inability of man — and the necessity of a divine 
principle in order to believing ; proving the consistency of 
the indefinite calls of the gospel, with these and other ad- 
mitted parts of the Calvinistic system. 

Great opposition, however, was made to this publication 
at its first appearance, from various quarters ; and the au- 
thor himself was regarded with suspicion among several 
of his friends. In fact, so blind was the enmity directed 
against him, that one of the churches in his own neigh- 
bourhood refused for seven years to hold communion with 
him, or to allow any of their members to have fellowship 
with his church. The Dissenters in general, notwithstand- 
ing, and the Baptists in particular, are under great obliga- 
tions to his memory, for his faithful and persevering exer- 
tions, in emancipating them from the servility of such a 
system as that already described, and giving free scope to 
the publication of the gospel. A considerable revolution 
has in consequence taken place in the sentiments of the 
Baptist denomination, and a greater relish excited for spir- 
itual and practical religion. A wider separation has been 
made between real and nominal Christians of the same com- 
munity ; between Antinomian Calvinists and Calvinistic be- 
lievers ; while a closer union has been effected amongst the 
genuine friends of evangelical truth. " The excrescences 
of Calvinism have been cut off; the points of defence have 
been diminished in number, and better fortified ; truth has 
shone forth with brighter lustre ; and the ministry of the 
gospel been rendered more simple^ more practical, and 
more efficacious." 


Bat as troth is slow in its process, and the reformation 
of public bodies is generally effected with great difficulty, 
it was not to be expected that such an innovation upon the 
system which had prevailed for more than half a century, 
would be suffered to pass unnoticed. The book must be 
answered : or Calvinism, it was thought, would be ruined. 
The first opponent who presented himself, and to whom, 
as one of the successors of Dr. Gill, the conservation of re- 
puted erthodoxy properly belonged, was 


Pastor of the Baptist church, meeting in Dean-street, Bo- 
rough. This gentleman published ^'Remarks" on Mr. Ful- 
ler's performance, in refutation of its leading sentiment ; 
which simply related to the nature of saving faith, and its 
obligations on fallen men. 

In managing this dispute, Mr. Button admits, what in- 
deed no sober friend to revelation could deny, "that every 
man is bound cordially to receive, and heartily to approve 
of the gospel ;" but then he imagines there is something 
in saving faith very distinct from this, though he does not 
contend for appropriation as essential to its existence. Re- 
jecting Mr. Fuller's definition, as deficient, he wishes to 
substitute for ** a belief of the truth," a reliance on Christ 
for scdoatian, and to include both cause and effect in the 
nature of true believing. He appears to lay much stress 
on the distinction between believing the divine testimony, 
and believing in or on Christ for salvation ; though it is 
well known that this phrase is sometimes expressive of an 
essentially defective and temporary faith.* It is true, that 
to believe the apostles is not the same thing as to believe 
on tliem, because the apostles did not preach themselves ; 
but as Christ is the subject of his own testimony, to believe 
him, and to believe on him, are expressions of the same 
import, and are used indiscriminately, the one for the oth- 
er. John iii. 36. 

This kind of special faith, however, Mr. Button does 
not consider as obligatory on all men, but that only which 
consists in giving credit to the word, and which requires 
no spiritual principle or supernatural assistance in order to 
its performance. In proof of this he offers copious extracts 

*John U. 23, 24. Chap. viU. 8(K-33. 


from the commentary of Dr. Gill, on the various scriptares 
urged on the other side^ and leaves Mr. Fuller's argaments 
to shift for themselves. The evidence in favour of faith 
being commanded in the scriptures, is all disposed of with 
the utmost ease, and without the labour of an argument. 
Commands, Mr. Button affirms, do not always imply duty. 
He is of opinion they are sometimes used to denote an ex- 
traordinary exertion of divine power, as when God said to 
the Israelitish nation, ''live ;" and sometimes they are sim- 
ply intended to afford direction and encouragement. Ap- 
plying this principle generally to the preceptive parts of 
scripture, all the mountains sink into a plain, and every 
thing is levelled down to the moral, or rather immoral ca- 
pacity of the unregenerat^. 

Mr. Button enters into some curious distinctions relative 
to " natural and spiritual holiness," and " legal and evan- 
gelical spirituality,'' in order to evince the incapacity of 
our first parents for spiritual duties, and to invalidate the 
obligation of their sinful descendants to such sort of re- 
quirements. Other topics are also urged in the usual man- 
ner, — ^that the doctrine of particular redemption, of di- 
vine decrees, and man's dependence on divine influence 
for the performance of holy duties, are inconsistent with 
indefinite invitations, and the unqualified requirements of 
repentance and faith. 

The amiable and lamented Mi^ Button, though not pos- 
sessed of much logical lore, conducted his part of the con- 
troversy with that Christian candour and good-will which 
pervaded all his'conduct ; and though not successful in the 
undertaking, he uniformly cherished a spirit of brotherly 
affection towards his opponent, and was a man of truly 
catholic principles, in spite of the theoretical circumscrip- 
tion of his creed. 

Before any reply was made to Mr. Button's "Remarks," 
another opponent presented himself from a very different 
quarter, under the title of Philanthropes, who published 
his '' Observations " on Mr. Fuller's treatise, in the hope 
of bringing him over to the Arminian system. This re- 
spectable individual, who was long a distinguished charac- 
ter among the General Baptists, was 


Those who had watched the progress of controversy, 
must have observed the coincidenoe which is oflen found 


betwijLt systems that appear at first view at the utmost vari- 
ance i^ith each other. Some modern Arminians, who de* 
ny the doctriae of total depravity, maintaia that it is the 
duty of all mea to repent and helieve the gospel, hecause 
all possess an inherent power of so doing, without any spe- 
cial divine assistance ; while others who believe that as- 
sistance to be offered or put within the reach of every man, 
ground the obligation to faith and repentance on this su- 
perinduced ability. The high Calvinists, on the contrary, 
deny that any man in a state of unregeneracy is under an 
obligation to perform those duties, because they are not 
possessed of the requisite ability. Thus both concur in 
making moral ability the measure and the ground of obli- 
gation ; a position which, when the terms are accurately 
defined and cleared of their ambiguity, conduct us to this 
very extraordinary conclusion, — that men are obliged to 
just as much of duty as they are inclined to.* 

This singular sort of coincidence is to be met with in 
several parts of the present controversy. Mr. Taylor, as 
well as Mr. Button, insists that saving faith is something 
more than believing the divine testimony, and that it in- 
cludes the actual coming to Christ for life ; but Mr. T. of 
course contends, that the obligation to believe is co-exten- 
sive with the publication of the gospel. They are also 
agreed on another point ; and that is, if regeneration pre- 
cedes believing in Christ, as Mr. Fuller and Mr. Button 
both admit, then sinners are excusable in not believing, 
and that it is absurd to exhort them to believe, while in a 
state of unregeneracy. Mr. Taylor allows that men are 
born in sin, and that their inability to do things spiritually 
good is real and total ; yet he contends that they ought 
not to be punished for it, or for any of its necessary ef- 
fects, if the former were unavoidable, and the latter with- 
out remedy. Natural power he does not consider to be 
power, so long as there is a total want of moral capacity 
for using it, or for doing what is good ; so that in his opin- 
ion it comes all to one, that " what we cannot do, we can- 
not do," whatever be the cause. 

Mr. Fuller had admitted the infinite sufficiency of the 
death of Christ, while he pleaded for a limited design, and 
rested on the former the consistency of general calls and 
invitations. Mr. Taylor urges some strong objections to 

* Hall's Help to Zkm's Travellers ; ed. 181S, p. zzv. Preface. 


this, and hopes to convince his o[^nent that ttoiversal 
invitations necessarily imply universal provision. At the 
same time, by including the forgiveness of sins in the doc- 
trine of redemption, Mr. T. uses the term in the same re- 
stricted sense as that of salvation ; and consequently, what- 
ever his ideas might be on the extent of the dc^th of Christ, 
he could not properly be considered as the advocate of uni- 
versal redemption. 

Mr. Fuller replied to Mr. Button's ** Remarks," and to 
Mr. Taylor's '* Observations,' ' at the same time in his 

Defence of a Treatise, entitled, The Gospel of Christ 
worthy of all Acceptation. 1787. 

Granting to Mr. Button various principles, common to 
them both as Calvinisis, Mr. Fuller explains himself on 
the nature of true believing, and says it never was his de- 
sign to exclude from it the idea of trust or confidence in 
Chrijst. Whether that be of the essence of faith itself, or 
an effect which immediately follows, he always considered 
them as inseparable. 


Faith, in its most general sense, he says, signifies the credit of 
some testimony, whether that testimony be true or false. When we 
speak of the faith of the gospel, as ' a belief of the truth,' it is not to 
be understood of all kinds of truth, nor even of all kinds of scripture 
truth. A true believer, so far as he understands it, believes all scrip- 
ture truth ; and to discredit any one truth in the Bible, knowing it to 
be such, is a damning sin : yet it is not the credit given to a chrono-, 
logical or historical fact, for instance, that denominates any one a 
true believer. The peculiar truth, by embracing of which we become 
believers in Christ, is the gospel, or the good news of salvation through 
his name. The belief of this implies the belief of other truths ; such 
as the goodness of the divine government, the evil of sin, our lost and 
ruined condition by it, and our utter insufficiency to help ourselves ; 
but it is the soul's embracing, or falling in with the way of salvation 
by Christ, that peculiarly denominates us true believers.'' 


On the obligations of men to believe in Christ, Mr. Ful- 
ler refers to the body of evidence produced in the second 
part of his former Treatise, which had remained unan- 
swered. He then passes on to various other topics which 
had been noticed in the course of the debate ; such as — 
the causes to which the want of faith is ascribed — the 
punishments threatened and inflicted for not believing — 
the state of man in innocence — divine decrees — ^particular 
redemption — and the nature of spiritual dispositions ; ob* 
viating the objections arising from some of these particu* 


larSy and placing others in a strong position of defence 
He at the same time evinces the tendency of his own 
principles to establish the doctrines of human depravity^ 
divine grace, and the work of the Holy Spirit ; closing this 
part of the discussion with a few admonitory hints to his 
friendly opponent, on the fatal consequences of a ministry 
which declines all direct addresses to the unconverted, to 
repent and believe the gospel, and on the tendency of a 
principle which required such an exposition of .the scrip- 
tures as had been exhibited in his performance. Fully per- 
suaded however of the purity of Mr. Button's design, what- 
ever might be his opinion of the part he had taken in the 
present controversy, he participated in the high esteem so 
generally entertained for his character. 

Mr. Fuller entered on the defence of his Treatise on 
Faith, in reply to the objections of the Rev. Dan Taylor, 
with considerable satisfaction ; feeling, as he said, that he 
had in his hand a two-edged sword, with which he could 
do some execution on the opposite systems of his adversa- 
ries. It is evident that his sentiments are hostile to both ; 
and they provoked an equal degree of opposition in return. 
He was now placed, however, between two fires ; the Hy- 
per-Gal vinists on the hills, and the Arminians in the vallies; 
and it was to be seen whether he could keep his ground be- 
tween them. 

Desirous of shortening the debate as much as possible, 
and of bringing the main question to a speedy issue, he se- 
lected only such topics as bore immediately upon it ; but 
in the hands of Mr. Taylor, the controversy soon involved 
nearly all the points of difference in the adverse systems. 
The principal arguments, however, related to — the prece- 
dence of regeneration to faith — the inability of fallen man 
— and the extent of the death of Christ. 

On the first of these, Mr. Fuller observes that, 

** Not only scripture, but common observation, might teach us the 
need of a bias of mind, different from that which prevails over men 
in general, in order to our coming to Christ. Whoever be the cause 
of such a bias, let that at present be out of the question ; suppose it is 
man himself, still a turn of some sort there must be ; for it will hardly 
be said, that the same thoughts and temper of mind which lead a man 
to despise and reject the Saviour, will lead him also to esteem and 
embrace him ! That a turn of mind is necessary to our coming to 
Christ, is evident from the nature of things ; and if so, our mistake 
must Ue, if any where, in ascribing it to the Spirit of God." 


As Mr. Taylor was very tenacious for the priority of fiuth, 
and for considering regeneration as including the whole of 
that change which is necessary in order to denominate any 
one a Christian, and not merely its first commencement, 
Mr. Fuller was willing to allow that the term may be thus 
comprehensively understood in some parts of the New Tes- 
tament ; and that in this enlarged sense, regeneration is by 
the word. Still the great question is, 

'* Whether the Holy Spirit of God is the proper and efficient cause 
of a sinner's believing in Christ ; or whether it be owing to his holy 
influence, and that alone, that one sinner believes in Christ rather 
than another. If this were but allowed, we should be content. If 
the first beginning of God's work upon the mind is by the word, let it 
but be granted that it is by the agency of the Holy Spirit, causing that 
word to be embraced by one person so as it is not by another, and so 
to become effectual, and we are satisfied. If this be but granted, it 
will amount to the same thing as that which we mean by regeneration 
preceding our coming to Christ, since the cause always precedes the 

The substance of what Mr. Taylor advanced on the sub- 
ject of human inability, is as follows — That man was so re- 
duced by the fall, as to be *' really and totally unable to do 
good" — that if he had been left in this condition, he would 
not have been to blame for not doing it, but that his inabil- 
ity would have been his excuse, ''let his practices have been 
as vile as they might " — but that God has not left him in 
this condition. He has sent his Son to die for all men uni- 
versally ; and by giving, or at least offering grace to all 
men, he removes the inability which- they derived from the 
fall ; and from hence they become accountable beings, and 
are inexcusable if they do not comply with spiritual re- 

" If these things be true, it must follow," says Mr. Fuller, " that 
^Christ did not die for the sins of any man, except it were Adam, since 
none of the fallen race could have sinned if he had never died. The 
reasonings of Mr. Taylor suppose that men are not chargeable with 
sin, or blameworthiness, independently of the death of Christ, and the 
erace of the gospel ; and if so, it could not be to atone for $in that he 
laid down his life : for prior to the consideration of this, there was bo 
sin for which he could have to atone. 

*' It seems if men had but power to comply, every idea of injustlee 
would subside. Well, we affirm they have power. They have the 
same natural ability to embrace Christ as to reject him. They eauid 
comply with^the gospel if they woitld. Is any tiling more neceasaiy 
to denominate them accountable beings ? We believe not ; and per* 
haps in fact, Mr. Taylor believes the same. In some places however 
he appears to think there is. Well, what is it ? If any thing, it must 
be an inclination, as well as an ability. But would he be wiUing to 


have his objectipa so stated, that it is hard that new obligations 
should be laid upon persons who have no inclination to what they al- 
ready lie under ? If so, it will afford a powerful plea to final unbe- 
lievers at the last day. No, it will be said, they might have had an 
ineUnation tf they uxndd. But let it be considered, whether any 
thing like this is revealed in scripture, and whether it be not repug- 
nant even to common sense. J^ they had been willing^ they mighty 
or would have been willing! 

"The whole force of Mr. Taylor's arguments, rests upon the suppo- 
sition of that being true which is a matter of dispute ; namely, that 
natural power is not power, and is not sufficient to denominate men 
accountable beings. His statement of the above objection takes this 
for granted ; whereas this is what we positively deny, maintaining that 
natural power is power, properly so called, and is to all intents and 
purposes sufficient to render men accountable beings ; that the want 
of inclination in a sinner is of no account with the Governor of the 
world ; that he proceeds in his requirements, and that it is right he 
should proceed, in the same way as if no such disinclination existed. 

"After all, it is doubtful whether Mr. Taylor means any thing more 
by his notions of grace than we do by natural ability. We allow that 
men can come to Christ, and do things spiritually good, if they will. 
He is not satisfied, it seems, with this ; they must have something of 
grace given or offered ; otherwise they cannot be accountable beings. 
Well, what does it amount to ? Does he mean that they must have 
something of real good, or a holy inclination in them ^ I question 
whether he will affirm this. Does he mean that this supposed grace 
does any thing effectual towards making them willing ? No such thing. 
What then does he mean ? Nothing that I can comprehend more than 
this ; that men may come to Christ if they will. His whole scheme of 
grace, therefore, amounts to no more than our natural ability. We 
admit that men in general are possessed of this ability ; but then we 
have no notion of calling it grace. If we must be accountable beings, 
we apprehend this to be no more than an exercise o{ justice. What 
end they can have in calling this power by the name of grace, it is 
difficult to say, unless it be to avoid the odium of seeming to ascribe 
to divine grace nothing at all." 

In proof of a limitation of design in the death of Christ, 
Mr. Fuller adverts to the promises made to Christ, of the 
certain efficacy of his death — the characters under which 
he died — the effects ascribed to his death, being such as do 
not terminate on all mankind — the intercession of Christ, 
founded on his death, not extending to all — the doctrine of 
personal and unconditional election as necessarily connected 
with a special design in his deatb-7-and the character of 
the redeemed in the world above. 

The consistency of particular redemption, or of a limited 
design in the death of Christ, with the general calls and 
invitations of the gospel, and the comparative advantages 
of the opposite systems, are stated in the following man* 
ner : 



The provision made by the death of Christ is of two kinds, — a 
provision of pardon and acceptance for all believers — and a provision 
of g^race to enable a sinner to believe. The first affords a motive for 
returning to God in Christ's name ; the last excites to a compliance 
with that motive. Now in which of these has the scheme of Mr. T. 
any advantage of that which he opposes ? Not in the first : we sup- 
pose the provisions of Christ's death altogether sufficient for the ful- 
filment of his promises, be they as extensive as they may — ^that full 
and free pardon is provided for all that believe in him — and that if all 
the inhabitants of the globe could be persuaded to return to Ood in 
Christ's name, they would undoubtedly be accepted of him. Does 
the opposite scheme propose any thing more ? No ; it pretends to no 
such thing as a provision for unheliecers being forgiven and accepted. 
Thus far at least, therefore, we stand upon equal ground. 

"But has the scheme of our opponent the advantage in the last par- 
ticular ? Does it not boast of a universal provision of ^oce, sufficient 
to enable every man to comply with the gospel ? It does ; but what it 
amounts to, is difficult to say. Does it effectually produce in manlcind 
in general any thing of a right spirit, any thing of a true desire to come 
to Christ for the salvation of their souls .'* No such thing is pretended. 
At most it only amounts to this, that God is ready to help them out 
of their condition, if they will but ask him; and to give them every 
assistance in the good work, if they will but be in earnest and set about 
it. Well, if this is the whole of which our opponent can boast, I see 
nothing superior in this neither, to the sentiment which he opposes. 
We consider the least degree of a right spirit as plentifully encouraged 
in the word of God. If a person do but truly desire to come to Christ, 
or desire the influence of the Holy Spirit to that end, we doubt not but 
grace is provided for his assistance. God will surely * give his Holy 
Spirit to them that ask him.' Where then is the superiority of Mr. 
Taylor's system ? It makes no effectual provision for begetting a right 
disposition in those who are so utterly destitute of it that they will not 
Reek after it. It only encourages the well disposed ; and as to these, 
if their well-disposedness is real, there is no want of encouragement 
for them in the system he opposes. 

"According to Mr. Taylor's scheme, the redemption and salvation of 
the whole human race is left to uncertainty ; to such uncertainty as 
to depend upon the fickle, capricious, and perverse will of man. It 
supposes no effectual provision made for Christ to ' see of the travail 
of his soul,' in the salvation of sinners. Mr. T. has a very great ob- 
jection to a sinner's coming to Christ with ?i per adventure ; but it seems 
he has no objection to his Lord and Saviour coming into the world, 
and laying down his life with no better security. Notwithstanding 
any provision made by his scheme, the Head of the church might have 
been without a single member, the King of Zlon without a subject, and 
the Shepherd of Israel without any to constitute a flock. Satan might 
have triumphed for ever, andthe many mansions in glory have re- 
mained eternally unoccupifed by the children of men. 

"Though Mr. Taylor's scheme professedly maintains that Christ cUed 
to atone for the sins of all mankind ; yet in reality it amounts to no 
such thing. The sin of mankind may be distinguished into two kinds ; 
that which is committed simply against God as a Lawgiver, antece- 
dently to all considerations of the gift of Christ, and the grace of the 
gospel ; and that which is committed more immediately against ^e 
gospel, despising the riches of God's goodness, and rejecting his way 
of salvation. Does Mr. Taylor maintain that Christ made atonement 


for both these ? On the contrary, his scheme supposes that he atoned 
for neither. Not for the first ; for he abundantly uisists that ttiere could 
be nothing 4)f the nature of blameworthiness in this, and consequent- 
ly nothing to require an atonement. Not for the last ; for if so, atone- 
ment must be made for impenitency and unbelief; and in that case 
surely, these evils would not prove the ruin of the subject." 

Mr. Taylor, however, was not to be silenced by this Re- 
ply ; he therefore continued his " Observations," in Thir- 
teen additional Letters, repeating the same objections to 
Mr. Fuller's hypothesis, but without casting any addition- 
al light upon the subject. He entirely overlooks Mr. Ful- 
ler's explanation and concession on the subject of regene- 
ration ; that if understood in a sense which includes not 
only the passive reception but the actual effects of Chris- 
tian principle, there could be no objection to its being 
produced "by the word of truth;" nor would it be object- 
ed that the former should be ascribed to the same means, if 
the agency of the Holy Spirit were but admitted. Instead 
of meeting this statement, or complying with the requisite 
admission, Mr. Taylor contents himself with denying that 
the change of heart implied in the reception of truth is 
called regeneration, and insists that his opponent's candid 
explanation has altered the state of the question. He 
believes in the universality of divine influence, but in 
none that is effectual ; and therefore does not teach us to 
what cause the previous disposition is to be ascribed, or 
how it comes to pass that any one is inclined rather than 
another to receive the truth. It would save much trouble 
in this controversy, and relieve the subject of many un- 
necessary distinctions, if the advocates of Mr. Taylor's 
scheme would at once inform us how it is, that while God 
bestows grace alike on all men, it is he that makes them 
to differ. 

It is not a little extraordinary, that in the early part of 
the debate, Mr. Taylor highly approved of the perspicuous 
manner in which Mr. Fuller had stated the difference be- 
tween natural and moral inability in fallen man : and was 
fully persuaded, '^that a good understanding of this distinc- 
tion would contribute to the establishment of the doctrine 
he had undertaken to maintain ;" yet when the effects of 
this distinction began to operate powerfully on his own 
system, he changed his mind, and imposed another mean- 
ing on the terms. There appears, however, to be no other 
way of accounting for the inconsistencies and contradic- 
tions to be met with in his various remarks on this subject 


He writes like one who saw and was afraid to meet this 
flaming sword ; and lest his own troops should be put to 
flight, he would not acknowledge that the Hyper-Calvinists 
had been defeated. 

"Natural ability" is now the power of performing natu- 
ral actions, and ** moral ability " the power of performing 
those which are spiritual ! This is an attempt to distin- 
guish the use of these terms by the objects to which they 
are applied, as if the same faculties were not competent to 
both good and evil, and could not perform natural and spir- 
itual actions, according as the will may be inclined. Mr. 
Taylor therefore concludes, that if God require any thing 
of a moral or spiritual nature of any man, it is but right 
that he should furnish him with moral power for its perform- 
ance. Thus he represents moral ability as if it were a dis- 
tinct faculty, formed by the Creator for the performance of 
moral actions, while natural power is given for the perform- 
ance of natural actions ; and the reader is led to imagine 
that God is as much required to provide the one as the oth- 
er, in order to render sinful men accountable for their con- 
duct. But as moral ability is nothing more than the power 
of the will, improperly so called, or a disposition to employ 
our natural faculties in a right manner, it cannot be neces- 
sary that a person should be actually disposed to what is 
right, in order to render him accountable, but merely that 
he should be capable of performing right actions, if he be 
so inclined. 

Mr. Fuller admitted the universality of the atonement, 
both in his first and second treatise ; or that the death of 
Christ had opened a way, whereby God could, consistently 
with his justice, forgive any sinner whatever who returns to 
him by Jesus Christ ; and that in this sense he died for the 
sins of all mankind, and therefore all are invited to come 
unto God by him, assured that whosoever cometh he will 
in no wise cast out. But while a way is thus prepared for 
the salvation of sinners without distinction, Mr. Fuller at 
the same time maintains that an eflectual provision is "made 
for all who are finally saved, and that their salvaticm is the 
consequence of a special design. 

This hypothesis, as has been observed, appears to pos- 
sess every advantage of which the opposite one can boast ; 
and notwithstanding all that Mr. Taylor has written about 
universal provision, he has at length but little to object. 
" It is so plain, (he says,) that Christ might absolutely de- 
sign the salvation of some, and yet lay down his life for 


all, that 1 think the consistency of these two positions was 
hardly ever denied by any man of consideration, whatever 
were his senticpents respecting either of them."* After 
this there is no need for quotation, nor for any farther dis- 
pute on this head. 

Mr. Fuller felt extremely unwilling to continue the con- 
troversy with such an invincible opponent, who would 
demand more of his time than could conveniently be 
spared from more important engagements ; he, therefore, 
chose to print his next tract in the name of a third person, 
and for many years it was supposed to be the production 
of Dr. Ryland. This piece was entitled. 

The Reality and Efficacy of Divine Grace, with the cer^ 
tain Success of Christ's Sufferings in behalf of all who 
are finally saved: containing Remarks upon the Ohservor 
tions of the Rev, Dan Taylor on Mr, Fuller's Reply to 
Philanthropos, By Agnostos. 

This performance, which displays as much acumen as 
either of the former, and evidently bespeaks the same 
hand to have been employed, takes a review of the prin- 
cipal topics in debate, and ably refutes the various objec- 
tions advanced by Mr. Fuller's opponent. Driven from 
every other refuge, Mr. Taylor fixes on the following ap- 
parently strong position as his dernier resort, in defence 
of the supposed innocence of moral impotence ; namely, 
" If men could never avoid it, cannot deliver themselves 
from it, and the blessed God will not deliver them, surely 
they ought not to be punished for it, or for any of its ne- 
cessary effects." On this and on every other occasion, 
Mr. Talyor found it convenient to represent moral inabili- 
ty, not only in terms inapplicable to the subject, and 
which imply misfortune rather than blame, but so as to 
confound it with every just idea of natural and involuntary 
weakness. Tn this way his positions have the appearance 
of plausibility, and the incautious reader is stunned by his 
objections. ''Agnostos" unravels the sophism at consider- 
able length, and affords a satisfactory solution of the diffi- 
culties it had occasioned. His pamphlet indeed is chiefly 
occupied in detecting the inconclusive reasonings and 
tergiversations of Mr. T.'s productions, and in exhibiting 
the real points of difference between the two antagonists. 

* Thirteen L«tten, pp. M. 92. 


Mr. Taylor at length terminated this tedious controversy, 
by publishing his '* Friendly Conclusion/' in reply to the 
Letters of Agnostos ; in which he in effect congratulates 
himself in having brought Mr. Fuller so nearly to his own 
views of the evangelical system ! This unseasonable and 
unfounded triumph was so completely disgusting, that it 
was some time before Mr. Fuller could be induced to read 
this last act of the drama, and longer still before he could 
forget what appeared to him at the time, an instance 
of disingenuousncss, but which was clearly capable of 
being attributed to a more honourable motive. It /was 
not very grateful indeed to his feelings, that at the time 
he was encountering the system of corrupted Calvinism, 
a stranger passing by should seem to intermeddle with 
strife that did not belong to him ; and though this stranger 
set out very pleasantly, appearing rather as a coadjutor, 
and entertaining considerable expectations, he evidently 
lost much of his candour and good temper in the progress 
of the debate, and got deeply embroiled in the contest 
which his thankless services were intended to adjust. 
Independently of the disadvantages of the system which 
he had undertaken to defend, it may be doubted whether 
he well understood the true grounds of the controversy ; 
at any rate, he was but ill prepared to meet the close 
metaphysical reasoning of Mr. Fuller, or to defend him • 
self against the pugilistic efforts of such a gigantic ad- 

The discussion, however, with all its imperfections, was 
productive of important advantages. It had its effect on 
some of Mr. Taylor's connections, in giving a more evan- 
gelical tone to their preaching ; and on Mr. Fuller's, in 
rendering the doctrine of the Cross more generally inter- 
esting. The universality of the atonement was more fully 
acknowledged, as the ground of general invitations; 
addresses to the unregenerate were applied with less re- 
serve, and with greater pungency and force. Mr. Taylor 
had ventured to suggest, that Mr. Fuller could not, on his 
own principles, fasten a conviction of blame on the con- 
science of any sinner, for not turning to God, and believing 
in Jesus Christ. A similar hint was afterwards given by 
another of his opponents ; and it was partly with a view 
of refuting these insinuations, and of exhibiting the prac- 
tical efficacy of his own system, that he wrote his admirable 
tract, entitled, *' The Great Question answered ;'' in which 
the principles maintained in the present controversy, di- 


rested of all their polemical attire, and barbed by the hand 
of a master, are directed with inconceivable force to the 
consciences of the unconverted. 

It must also be acknowledged, that contrary to the 
spirit of most controversialists, who seek to widen the 
breach rather than to heal it, there was a disposition on 
both sides to approximate, and to sink the minor differ- 
ences between them. Mr. Taylor had no wish to controvert 
the doctrine of election, of divine decrees, or of final per- 
severance, nor even to deny the speciality of design in the 
death of ' Christ, with respect to those who are finally 
saved ; provided his opponent would admit that provision 
was made for all, and that no insuperable impediment 
arising from moral impotence should be placed in the 
way of any roan's salvation. Mr. Fuller on his part also 
was willing to concede the universality of the death of 
Christ, the general indirect influences of the Holy Spirit, 
and regeneration by the word; provided his opponent 
would admit of divine agency, and that the difference 
made in the conversion of a sinner is to be ascribed to 
free and effectual grace. 

This reciprocal disposition is highly amiable ; and dis- 
covers, not an undervaluation, but a just discrimination 
of the comparative importance of christian principles. 
Amongst the temperate and well informed, who are fully 
aware of the difficulties attending each hypothesis, there 
can scarcely be a moment's hesitation in admitting, that 
the points in which these two good men were agreed are 
of infinitely higher moment than those in which they differ, 
whatever be their supposed magnitude; and that upon 
either system the foundations of human hope remain un- 
shaken. Nor is there any thing in the contrariety of views 
entertained on these subjects, which ought to obstruct the 
most cordial affection and harmony among real christians. ' 

Mr. Fuller's doctrine however was destined to undergo 
another trial ; and before he had retired from the scene of 


made his appearance, thundering across the ground with 
a p<mderous load of polemics, and threatening to give his 
system to the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the 


Mr. Martin was formerly pastor of the Baptist church 
at Sheepshead in Leicestershire, ivhere he lived on terms 
of intimacy with the venerable Mr. Hall of Arnsby. He 
afterwards removed to London, and became pastor of the 
Baptist church first in Grafton street, and more recently 
in Keppel street, Russel Square. In the earlier part of 
his ministry, Mr. Martin acquiesced in the sentiments 
adopted by Mr. Fuller, and stated them in some of his 
printed sermons ; but having changed his mind upon the 
subject, without any direct avowail of the fact, he com* 
menced hostilities with his former connections, who had 
not shown him that deference which his imaginary pre- 
eminence demanded. 

Neither satisfied with the labours of Mr. Button, nor 
with those of Mr. Taylor, in this field of controversy, 
though differing but little in sentiment from the former, 
Mr. Martin comes forward with his ''Thoughts on the 
Duty of Man, relative to Faith in Jesus Christ," and en- 
ters on the discussion with a great swell of language ; giving 
gratuitous information of his own advantages, of his su- 
perior experience and attainments, of the reputation he 
anticipated from the contest, and of his opponent's incon- 
sistency and incompetence, towards whom he perforins a 
haughty condescension, in noticing the writings of such 
an obscure individual. This part of the present contro- 
versy, though amusing enough, is altogether the least satis- 
fiictory, since it abounded with personalities which it is 
painful to recollect, and still more so to repeat. Mr. Ful- 
ler, we are informed, did not wish this piece to appear in 
any future edition of his works. Justice however to the 
interests of truth, and to the memory of so able an advo- 
cate, will not admit of its being wholly consigned to 
oblivion ; the course of argument is too memorable to be 

Omitting what is extraneous in Mr. Martin's publication, 
there are only three points which come under any thing 
like a regular discussion ; these are — ^love to God— divine 
efficiency — and human endeavour. 

Understanding by the term, 'disinterested love,' an 
exclusive affection for those properties of the divine nature 
which bear no relation to creatures, or in which they have 
no immediate interest, if such there be, Mr. Martin easily 
and pompously announces it a mere nonentity ; and as the 
love of an amiable object cannot be separated from the 
pleasure which such an affection must necessarily produce, 


be is equally confident that disinterested love can have 
no place among creatures ; and even reproaches Mr. Fuller 
with having imported this contraband article, not from 
the island of Utopia^ but from a certain market in America. 
He also represents Armenians, Mystics, and Deists, as 
its chief detailers and defenders. 

The question arising from Mr. Fuller's statement was 
simply this : 'Is it possible for us to take pleasure in an 
object for its own sakef Mr. Martin answers, No. — 
Wherefore? Because, says he, that object affords us 
pleasure ; that is, we cannot take pleasure in an object, 
because we can and do find pleasure in it ! 

** When I speak of loving God for himself," says Mr. Fuller, ** I 
neither suppose it is on account of some excellencies in his nature, 
which have no relation to our welfare ; nor that we feel, or ought to 
feel, regardless of our best interests, honour or happiness. Each of 
these may, and ought no doubt, to be pursued in subordination to the 
divine glory ; and a proper pursuit of them, instead of setting aside 
the idea of love to €rod for his oivn excellency, necessarily implies it. 
Am I, for instance, in search for true honour ? If I am, it is of that 
honour which arises from being approved of God. But in order to 
his approbation being the summit oi my ambition, I must necessarily 
love him for what he is in himself. What gratification could the ap- 
plause of a person afford me, of whom I had but a mean opinion, and 
towards whom I had no previous regard ? — Am I in pursuit of sub- 
stantial happiness ? If so, I am seeking the enjoyment of God, as ray 
everlasting portion. But how could I conceive of Grod as a portion 
worthy to be sought, or at all adapted to make me happy, unless I 
loved him for what he is in himself, antecedently to my enjoyment of 
him ? Do men ever seek a portion in earthly things, without viewing 
that portion as good and desirable in itself, whether they have it or 
not ? " 

On the subject of * divine efficiency,' Mr. Martin allows 
th9.t we need the Spirit of God to enable us to do our duty, 
but is unwilling to admit that faith comes under that des- 
cription. He wishes to consider it as a gift, rather than a 
duty ; or not a duty, because it is a gift ; and censures Mr. 
F. for confounding blessings with requirements, and dis- 
positions with acts of obedience. To heighten this absur- 
dity and confusion, he labours to represent it as an assump- 
tion of divine efficiency : requiring men to be what God 
alone can make them, as if it was their duty, rather than 
his prerogative, to produce spiritual principles. By a 
similar perversion of the intellect, he considers men as 
voluntarily active in cases where their passiveness is neces- 
sarily implied ; and then represent^ Mr. Fuller's system as 
requiring the unregenerate to quicken themselves, to make 

S 2 



the word effectoal to salration, to convince themselves of 
sin, to be born again, and to be the sons of God ! 

It is not easy to witness the tenor of Mr. Martin's 
reasoning on this point, and at the same time preserve that 
gravity of countenance which his friends might imagine 
to be due to the station he held in society. From the 
period when he first entered on the present controversy, 
even to hoary years, he had one short argument against 
its being the duty of men to believe the gospel, which he 
brought forward a thousand times, both from the polpit 
and the press, with little variation j and it was generally 
couched in the following short and elegant sentence, ac- 
companied with an extraordinary swell of utterance : Will 
any man tell me, that it is my duty to do that without 
divine assistance, which 1 can only do with 1 — This ques^ 
tioii ever appeared to him to possess all the properties 
of an axiom, or self-evident demonstration ; and beyond it, 
the good man was never able to advance a single step ; but 
when he lifled up his feet, as Fuller said, he was always 
careful to put them down again in the same place. No 
reasoning, however cogent, could lead him to understand, 
that though faith is the gift of God, it is not less the duty 
of men on that account, since the same things under dif> 
ferent views are both God's gift and men's duty. It is 
God's work to 6es^af£? faith and repentance; but it is man's 
duty, in obedience to his will, to repent and believe the 
gospel. God in bestowing these, makes men only to see 
things as they ought, and to be affected and disposed 
towards them as they ought. He may do this or not, 
according to his sovereign good pleasure ; but men's obli- 
gations remain still the same, whether they will hear or 
whether they will forbear ; and the gospel revelation leaves 
them without excuse. John xv. 22 — ^24. 

Though Mr. Martin did not directly deny faith to be 
the duty of the unregenerate, nor attempt to invalidate 
the evidence by which that position is supported, yet he 
was for bringing the matter a little more within the com- 
pass of human ability, and for including the sum total of 
obligation under the whimsical notion of 'endeavour;' so 
that it is not man's duty to repent and believe the gospel, 
but to * endeavour' to do so, and to use means for that 
purpose. Yet he did not pretend that these endeavours 
would be successful, or issue in the possession of the good 
desired ; but after all hi^ endeavours, the sinner may perish 


The recital of such unmeaning distinctions and refine- 
ments can now answer no other purpose than that of af- 
fording additional evidence of what is every day but too 
apparent — ^the weakness of the human understanding, and 
the power of prejudice in resisting the clearest dictates 
of reason and revelation. A short quotation, in answer 
to this sort of logic, is quite sufficient. 

" The grounds on which Mr. Martin supports his denial of its being 
the cUity of a bad man to be a good man are such, that if they prove 
any thing, they will prove that it is not the duty of a villain to be an 
honest man ; but barely to make certain 'endeavours' towards it, 
which may or may not be effectual, as God shall please to bless them. 
But if such a character were a debtor to Mr. Martin, and were to 
urge that though he had 'endeavoured' to his utmost to become of an 
honest mind, yet it had not pleased God at present to crown his * en- 
deavours ' with success, it is well if he did not treat him a little un- 
civilly ! " 

Mr. Puller's Reply is entitled. Remarks on Mr, Martin's 
Publication, in Five Letters to a Friend, 1789. And though 
the reader would think that this performance contains a 
sufficient quantity of nitre, yet Mr. Hall of Arnsby, to 
whom these Letters were addressed, and who was well 
acquainted with Mr. Martin, afterwards . told the Author 
that he had been too sparing of his adversary, whose 
supercilious airs had merited the severest chastisement. 

Still writhing under the lashes of his antagonist, Mr. 
Martin continued his lucubrations for two years longer, 
in a Second and a Third Part, successively written on the 
same subject ; but the contempt which Mr. Fuller felt and 
frequently expressed, for such a writer, prevented his 
making any farther reply; and Mr. Martin afterwards 
construed this silence into a presumption, that he had 
'' said much that could not be refuted I " 

The tottering cause of Hyper-calvinism now called forth 
a tribe of advocates of various descriptions. Some of them 
had learned to write, and others could read English ; but 
they all helped to sound the alarm, and to preserve the 
stump of dagon. The productions of these men are too con* 
temptible for criticism, and would not have been noticed 
in this place, but for the sake of marking the progress of the 
present controversy, and of exhibiting more of its effects. 

Another of these Norfolk Baptists, Mr. Hupton of 
Claxton, took up his pen, and aimed what he called " A 
Blow at the Root of Fullerism, in a Letter to a Friend.'* 
And though this "blow" was struck, as another person 


observedy " with a wooden hatchet/' and was perfectly 
harmless, we shall let the reader see Mr. Fuller putting 
bis fingers to the edge, and examining the obtuseness of 
this wooden instrument. '' To call the principles opposed 
in this piece I\tUerism, (says he,) shows but little acquaint- 
ance with thiogs. If the doctrine which Mr. Fuller has 
defended contained any thing new, or different from what 
has been taught by all our divines, except a few in the last 
century, there might have been some colour for giving it a 
new name. But it does not : and therefore it might as well 
be called Calvinism, Owenism or Bunyanism, as Fuller- 

We are happy to find, however, that Mr. Hupton has 
learned some things, which many of his brethren havie not 
learned ; namely, that it is no just objection to this view of 
things, that the unconverted cannot of themselves believe, 
or that faith, wherever it exists, is the gift and operation of 
God. We wish him to go on in this track of just thinking, 
and he will, ere he is aware, agree with the author whom 
he opposes. It is true, he several times recals these con- 
cessions, or what amounts to it, and reasons on the contrary 
principles : but we can make allowances for this. It is no 
easy matter, when a man is once bewildered in a &lse 
scheme, to find the way out of it. In consideration of the 
concessions he has made, and of a hope that it may not be 
lost upon him, we are willing to give what he advances a 
more particular examination, than it might otherwise re- 

What he alleges, of natural men being under a cove- 
nant of works, is obviated in the treatise entitled, ''The 
Gospel worthy of all Acceptation," second edition, pp. 

Mr. Hupton allows that faith is required by the moral 
law, but not that which stands connected with eternal life. 
We would recommend him seriously to inquire, whether 
a real compliance with any duty required by God's word, 
be not connected with salvation. We do not mean to say 
that every, or indeed any other duty, has the same kind of 
connection with salvation as faith has ; but connected it 
certainly is. Whosoever obeyeth any one of God's com- 
mands, 'doeth righteousness ; and he that doeth righteous- 
n^s is righteous,' and that in an evangelical sense, though 
liot on account of so doing. 1 John iii. 7. 

*Th60l. and Biblical Mag. 1804, p. 112. 


Mr. H. should have known, that Mr. F. does not pretend 
that faith is a requirement of the law, as a covenant of works ; 
but .merely that the love of God, which the law, as the 
eternal standard of right and wrong, is allowed to require^ 
would lead any fallen creature, who lives under the light of 
revelation, to embrace the gospel.* He should not there- 
fore have attempted to reason from such passages in which 
faith and the law are opposed, as a medium of obtaining 
eternal life. To insist, as Mr. H. seems to do, that the 
moral law is the rule of duty to unbelievers, and the gospel 
to believers, is Neonomianism with a witness ! He should 
have considered, that when the gospel is called a la#, it is in 
a figurative or improper sense, as taking place of the Mo- 
saic dispensation, perhaps in some such manner as Christi- 
anity, if God should continue to bless it in Hindostan, may be 
termed a new caste. 

It does not follow from faith being required by the law 
as a rule of dut y, and bestowed by grace according to the 
divine purpose, that the covenant of works and the covenant 
of grace are the same. Mr. H. should have recollected here, 
what he conceded in his preface, that ** it is the duty of 
every man to love God with all his heart, though he cannot 
do this of himself Therefore if any of the apostate children 
of Adam love God at all, he must work in them both to will 
and to do of his own good pleasure. But then it does not 
folloWy that because he must circumcise their hearts to love 
him, or else they will hate him, that it is not their duty to 
love him.'' This reasoning is just, and amounts to the same 
thing as saying. That which was required by the covenant 
of works, and is still required by the law as an eternal rule 
of right and wrong, is produced only by the Holy Spirit, as 
given in the covenant of grace. 

We shall not join the outcry of which Mr. H. complains, 
" Away with your niceties and particularities ! " We only 
wish him to distinguish justly , and not to attempt to build 
again the things which he destroyed, lest he make himself 
a transgressor. 

It does not follow, because the law revealed no Saviour, 
that therefore it makes no requirements on his behalf, when 
revealed by the gospel. If it did, it must also follow, that 
there can be no transgressions committed against him by 
unbelievers : for sin is a transgression of the law. 

* See Gospel worthy of all Acceptation, pp. 49-^«^« 


Mr. H. thinks that the doctrine he opposes may be over- 
turned, from the immutability of the law ; by which he 
seems to mean, that what it required of man in innocence, 
it must still require of fallen man, neither more nor less. 
But if so, we are not obliged to obey any other parent than 
our Creator, nor to provide for our children ; for man in in- 
nocence was not obliged to either of these duties. Nor is 
any sinner bound to be sorry for what he has done amiss, 
or to give any kind of credence to the gospel, or even so 
much as to attend upon the preaching of it ; for none of 
these things were binding upon man in innocence. But 
** if the law required faith in Christ, it must have revealed 
the object." If it had formally required it, it certainly 
would have required that the object should be revealed : 
but its virtually requiring it, which is all that is pleaded 
for, renders the revelation of the object no more necessary, 
than its virtually requiring obedience to parents rendered 
it necessary for a parent to exist at the time. 

Mr. H. talks of our "justifying infidels:" but if he do 
not relinquish this reasoning, he will not be able to con- 
demn them. Are they not required to believe things, 
which were not revealed to man in innocence ? He ac- 
knowledges, however, before he has done, that "every par- 
ticular required by the law was not clearly and fully ex- 
pressed by Moses, in the first accounts he has given of it.'* 
But then, why does he reason as if it were otherwise? He 
contends that since that time, " all the fulness of duty re- 
quired by it has been revealed in the scriptures." Very 
good : and if these sacred oracles do not enforce faith in 
Christ on unbelievers, even that faith which, where it ex- 
ists, has the promise of eternal life, let the idea of its being 
a duty be rejected. 

Mr. Hupton calls upon his correspondent to show where 
the law (he must mean, as it is expounded by the whole 
tenor of the scriptures) "teaches and commands us to be- 
lieve in Jesus Christ and his salvation, and to trust in bim 
for life eternal." For ans^wer, he might be referred to the 
whole of the second part of " The Gospel worthy of all Ac- 
ceptation/' which he does not appear to have read. 

Upon the whole, though we have pointed out the above 
instances of what we count false reasoning, yet we are glad 
to find so much of truth in the performance as we do ; and 
would seriously recommend the author to pursue his own 
concessions, with a desire to know the truth, and pray to 
God to guide him into it, without being affrighted at the 


nickname which he has given to the doctrine he opposes, 
wherewith he might affright others."* 

The last, but not the least considerable of Mr. Fuller's 
opponents, on the subject of Faith, was 


one of the Pastors of the Baptist church, then meeting in 
Niddry-street, Edinburgh. 

In Mr. Fuller's first treatise, and during the preceding 
part of the controversy, he defined faith to be a belief of 
the truth, or a cordial reception of the gospel ; maintaining 
at the same time that it is a holy exercise, arising from a 
renewal of the heart. But as this did not directly include 
a reliance on Christ for salvation, though that was stated 
to be a necessary consequence of true believing, the defi- 
nition was objected to by his former opponents, as not 
coming fully up to the idea of saving faith. 

Mr. Maclean, on the contraiy, considered the latter part 
of the definition as including too much ; and especially that 
the doctrine of a previous disposition in order to believing 
was wholly inadmissible. He therefore added to a second 
edition to his treatise on ** The Commission of Christ," 
several pages of animadversion, charging these sentiments 
with a tendency to subvert the great doctrine of justifica- 
tion by grace alone, but without mentioning the name of 
the author. This charge fell, of course, on each of Mr. 
Fuller's former opponents, equally with himself, though he 
alone must bear the burden and heat of the day. 

These consequences are examined by Mr. Fuller, in an 
Appendix to a new and improved edition of his Treatise 
on Faith, published in 1801, fourteen years afler the first 
appearance of the work, and subsequently to his having 
been engaged in other arduous controversies. 

In the course of a year, Mr. Maclean came forward with 
**A Reply to Mr. Fuller's Appendix; particularly to his 
doctrine of antecedent holiness, and the nature and object 
of justifying faith." In this Reply the author very modest- 
ly intimates, that Mr. Fuller was " much his superior in 
polemical talents, and that it was with great reluctance he 
entered on the present controversy," which in fact origina* 
ted in a previous conversation and epistolary correspon* 

* Biblical Magazine. 1803. pp. 112— 114. 


dence between the parties, of which each complained that 
undue advantage had been taken. Mr. Fuller however 
had no cause to be ashamed of his antagonist ; for he 
found him *' an acute reasoner, and mighty in the scrip- 

But in the progress of their theological warfare, this 
sort of complaisance was easily declined ; for, as a shrewd 
writer observed, when expressing his dislike of controversy, 
it generally begins with * Dear Sir,' and ends with * Sir !' 
These formidable antagonists nevertheless enjoyed some 
friendly interviews with each other, which afforded oppor- 
tunity for mutual explanations and expressions of esteem. 
In the autumn of 1796, Mr. Maclean visited Kettering, 
and preached for Mr. Fuller ; when a conversation ensued, 
which prepared the way for future discussion. On the 
arrival of the stranger, Mr. Fuller pleasantly intimated, that 
though it was not the custom of the English churches ' to 
wash the saints' feet,' yet if he would allow him, he would 
very cheerfully clean his boots, and bring him a dry pair 
of slippers. On other occasions Mr. Fuller called on his 
friend at Edinburgh, who offered an apology for some ex- 
pression in his last performance ; and though Mr. Fuller 
professed to the very last that he was ** unconscious of any 
unbrotherly feeling " towards Mr. Maclean, yet he neither 
admired the reflections contained in some part of his 
writings, nor those notions of uniformity which excluded 
him from the pulpit of his opponent, whenever he visited 
the northern metropolis. It is said that this unbrotherly 
exclusion was contrary to the mind of Mr. Maclean, and 
that it was imposed by his more rigid colleagues ; yet it is 
very well known that the Scottish Baptists in general re- 
fuse communion to their English brethren. 

Mr. Fuller look no notice of Mr. Maclean's " Reply " 
to his Appendix, for upwards of seven years ; not only on 
account of his missionary avocations, and other superior 
engagements ; but from feeling disgusted, as he said, with 
the illiberality of his opponent, in repeatedly arraigning his 
motives, accusing him of intentional misrepresentation, and 
insinuating that he could *'take either side of a question, 
as he found occasion." This long continued silence in- 
ducing a suspicion on the other side, more than once or 
twice repeated, that Mr. Maclean's performance was 
found to be unanswerable, Mr. Fuller at length produced 
his admirable 


Sirieiuns an Sandemanianism, in Twdve Letters to a 

Friend. 1810. 

In this work, which discovers an intensity of thought^ 
and cost the Author more labour than any other of his 
compositions, he does not undertake a direct answer to Mr. 
Maclean ; nor did he intend that its contents should be 
considered as generally applicable to him, though he takes 
frequent occasion to notice the principal arguments. Mr. 
Fuller acknowledges, indeed, what his eager partizans 
seem not to observe, '' that in the Appendix to the last 
edition of his Treatise on Faith, he was guilty of an over- 
fiight, in attributing to Mr. Maclean many sentiments which 
did not belong to him. This mis-statement," says Mr« 
Fuller, " was owing to ray having at the time entirely for- 
gotten his piece on Tkt Ccdls of the Gospel, and my con- 
sidering an anonymous performance as his which was 
written by a Mr. Barnard: It is true I had the means of 
knowing better, and should have been more attentive to 
them : in this, however, lay the whole of ray fault. It 
never was my design for a moment to misrepresent Mr. 
Maclean, or any other man ; nor did 1 ever feel the least 
reluctance to make the most explicit acknowledgment. 

" I may add, though I am sorry that 1 mistook him, yet 
I am glad I was mistaken. The difference between us is 
80 much the less, which to any one who wishes to unite 
with all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, as far 
as possible, must afford a degree of satisfaction."* 

In conformity with these benevolent sentiments, it wiH 
be our first pleasure to notice the points of coincidence 
between these two eminent men, especially as they are of 
higher importance than the things in which they differed. 
And it is not a little gratifying to find, that notwithstanding 
the warmth of the discussion, they were well ctgreedivL^ 
the following particulars, relative to the present contro- 
versy — 

1. That faith is the belief of whatever God hath reveal- 
ed in his word, and that upon his authority alone ; that the 
faith which has the promise of eternal life, is the belief of 
the gospel, or the good news of the fulfilment of the Old- 
testament prophecies, in the coming, life, death, resur- 
rection, and exaltation of the Son of God, and of the 

* Strietwes itn Sandemaniamsm, pp. 59, 00. Note. 



salvation which he has thereby obtained for sinners of aH 

2. That as true faith is always represented as afTecting 
the heart, and influencing the life, it roust, therefore, be a 
belief of the quality, as well as the reality of its object ; 
that it includes a perception of the excellency and glory 
of the gospel, as exhibiting a scheme of salvation full of 
God, every way worthy of him, and declarative of his true 
character ; and of the amiableuess and suitableness of 
Christ as a Saviour, according as he is revealed in the 
gospel ; and that without this, the truth is not believed. 

3. That though trusting in Christ, or relying on him 
for salvation, is not properly included in the nature of faith, 
seeing it is the effect of believing the divine testimony con- 
cerning him ; yet that it is inseparable from true believing, 
is oflen considered as equivalent, and that there is no sav- 
ing faith without it. 

4. They both contended that it is the indispensable 
duty of all who hear the gospel to believe it to the saving 
of the soul ; that it is expressly commanded in the scrip- 
tures, and essential to true obedience. 

5. That unbelief is a great and heinous sin against 
God ; that it arises from an evil heart, from voluntary igno- 
rance, love of the present world, and aversion from the 
things of God ; that it makes him a liar, rejects his amazing 
love and grace, as revealed in the gospel, and is threatened 
with eternal damnation. 

6. That men's inability to believe, where the light of 
the gospel is enjoyed, is not natural, but moral, and, there- 
fore, culpable ; that it arises not from the want of informa- 
tion, or natural capacity, but from wilful depravity, and en- 
mity against the truth. 

7. That in consequence of this depravity, and the blind- 
ness of the mind, a divine energy is necessary to make men 
know and believe the truth as it is in Jesus ; and that sav- 
ing faith is the giflof God, and an effect of the regenerating 
influence of his word and Holy Spirit. 

8. They also both maintained, though sometimes slight- 
ly misunderstanding one another, that faith has revealed 
truth only for its object, or that which is true antecedently 
to its being believed, and whether it be believed or not ; 
that the finished work of Christ, exclusive of every act, 
exercise, or thought of the human mind, is that for the 
sake of which a sinner is justified before God ; that no 
qualifications of any kind are necessary to warrant our 


believing in hirn ; and that the first scriptural consolation 
received by the believer arises from the gospel, and not 
from reflecting on the feelings of his own mind towards it. 
The points on which they differ, though of some con- 
sequence, are merely collateral to these subjects ; and re- 
late more to metaphysical distinctions, than to any leading 
article of the christian system. 

1. Mr. Maclean, though he does not consider faith as 
a passive admission of the truth, but allows it to be an act 
or exercise of the mind j yet is for excluding the influence 
of the will and affections^ and making it a mere believing 
exercise of the understanding. 

It is admitted by Mr. Fuller, that fkith has its seat in the 
understanding, yet that it may be influenced by the dispo- 
sition. Unbelief is seated in the understanding, as much 
as belief; yet it is not denied that this is influenced by the 
disposition. Mr. Maclean himself admits that unbelief 
arises not merely from ignorance, but also from the aversion 
of the will, whereby the judgment is blinded, and most un- 
reasonably prejudiced against the truth. Mr. F. of course 
concludes, that the opposite of this cannot be a mere exer- 
cise of the understanding. 

% Mr. Maclean pleads for such a belief of the gospel 
as has nothing in it of a holy nature, nothing of conformity 
to the moral law ,• and contends that it is holy only in ref- 
erence to its objects and eflects, and not in its own nature ; 
though be admits that it is the root of all christian virtues, 
and that which gives glory to God, and without which it is 
impossible to please him. He also allows that faith is a 
duty of the highest obligation, and unbelief a great and 
heinous sin. 

Mr. Fuller on the contrary contends that as faith is a 
duty, it must be a holy exercise, because God can require 
nothing but what is holy, and nothing but what comes 
under the influence of the will ; that if faith be the root of 
all christian virtues, it must itself be virtuous, for that no 
holy eflects can arise from a principle that is not holy ; 
and t)iat if there be no holiness in faith, there can be no 
sin in its opposite, which nevertheless is allowed to be ex- 
ceedingly sinful. He also pleads that if faith be a duty, 
and yet includes in it '' nothing of conformity to the moral 
law," it must then be a requirement of a new and remedial 
law ; and if the love of God, which is required by the old 
law, would not lead any sinner to believe in Christ, as he 
is revealed in the gospel, he asks, Why is unbelief alleged 


to the Jews as a proof that they had not the love of God io 
them. John v. 42—47. 

3. Mr. Maclean's objection to the holy nature of faith is 
thus stated : 

" When men include in the very nature of justifyiog faith such good 
^positions, holy affections, and pious exercises of heart, as the moral 
law requires, and so make them neeessary (no matter under what 
eonsldeTationB) to acceptance with God, it perverts the apostles * doc- 
trine upon this important subject, and makes justification to be aa it 
toere by the works of the law."* 

To this Mr. Fuller replies. — 

** I know not of any writer who has given such a definition of faith 
as this statement would represent. No more holy affection is pleaded 
for in faith, than unholy disaffection is allowed to be in unbelief. But 
the design is manifestly to exclude cUl holy affection from faith, as being 
fevourabk to self righteousness. 

If therefore repentance be considered as necessary io forgiveness, 
seeing it must be allowed to include holy affection, it will be consider- 
ed as favourable to self-righteousness. And as to distinguishing 
between what is necessary in the estabHshed order of things, and isrhat 
is necessary as a procuring cause, this will not be admitted ; for it is 
< no matter under what consideration.* If any thing required by the 
moral law be rendered necessary, it makes justification to be * as it 
were by the works of the law.' 

As Mr. Maclean, however, in his piece on "The Calls and Invitations 
of the Gospel," has gone pretty far towards answering himself, I shall 
transcribe a passage from that performance. ** It is an unscriptural 
refinement upon divine grace, (he there says) and contrary to the doc* 
trine of the apostles, to class faith and repentance with the works of 
the law, and to state them as equally opposite to free justification. 
Indeed neither faith nor repentance are the meritorious or procuring 
cause of a sinner's justification, any more than the works of the law 
are; (and who that really believes and repents will imagine that they 
are ?) But still the one is opposed to free justification, ^e other not. 
To him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt ; 
and faith and repentance corresponding exactly with the manifestation 
of divine grace, as freely justifying the guilty through the atonement, 
are in their very nature opposite to all self-dependence, and lead men 
to elory only in the Lord.'* p. 26. 

We see here, adds Mr. Fuller, that there is nothing in the nature of 
repentance that clashes with a free justification, which yet must be 
allowed to include a portion of holy affection. Why then object to the 
same thing in faith f Is it because hot}* affection is < required by the 
moral law ?' Be it so ; it is the same in repentance as in faith ; and if 
the one may * in its very nature* agree with a free justification, so may 
the other. The truth is, the moral law materially considered, is not 
opposed to free justification. The love of God and man is in its own 
nature as opposite to self-righteous pride, as faith and repentance are. 
It id not the * law that is against the promises,* but those works of the 
law done by a iinful creature unth a view of obtaining life^ or of pro* 

, second edition, Note. 


twing aee^anee with CM m$ the reward pf them. If holjr affectk»Q 
were urged with such a view, then were it opposed to the free 
grace of the gospel ; but white this is not the case, all such reasonings 
are * unscriptural refinements.' 

If men make a righteousness of their faith, it is not owing to these 
representations of it, but to their own corruptions; for let faith include 
what good disposition it may, it is no part of the meritorious cause of 
justification ; and let it be simplified as it may, even till it shall con- 
tain DO more of the holy nature of God than a glance of the eye, yet 
it is not on this accoant more friendly to the doctrine of grace, nor 
less liable to become the food of a self-righteous spirit. The way in 
which this spirit is cut up in the New Testament is, not by reducing 
faith to an unfeeling speculation, but by denouncing the curse against 
everyone who comes short of perfect obedience. Gal. iii. 10.'** 

4. There is also some difference between these writers, 
on the subject of a previous principle in order to believing^ 
but which appears to have been magnifiied beyond its 
real importance. Considering faith as a moral^ rather 
than an intellectual exercise, Mr. Fuller maintained that 
it is the effect of the regenerating influences of the Holy 
Spirit, or a persuasion of divine truth arising from the 
state of the heart; alleging that the same state of mind 
which disposes men to reject the gospel, could not incline 
them to embrace it; and that except a man be horn ctgain^ 
he cannot see the kingdom of God. He, therefore, in the 
order of nature, placed regeneration before faith, though 
not in the order of time; and while he admitted the 
instrumentality of the word in elOfecting this change, he 
insisted that it could not be by the word believed, for then 
faith would be the effect of itself. 

Mr. Maclean, considering faith rather as an intellectual 
than a moral exercise, reverses this order ; making regen- 
eration to be the effect of faith, and spiritual dispositions 
to follow upon right perception. 

"What I maintain, says he, is briefly this: That in regeneration, 
the Holy Spirit, in the first instance, by his inexplicable energy, gives 
the mind a believing or realizing perception of the truth as revealed in 
the word, and thereby operates on the will and affections, not only 
in the beginning of the change, but in all the subsequent progress of 
sanctification ; for men are not only born again of the incorruptible seed 
of the word, but are also sanctified through the truth, which is the 
word of God."t 

Yet in another of his performances, he says : 

« It is a doctrine clearly taught in the scriptures, that none have 
a true understanding of the goopel but such as are taught of Gad, by 

• Strietweti pp 37^^. t Repllf, p. 35^ 

T 2 


die iDdfial illuminttiDg influences of the Holy SjHiit. We are ex* 
pre«ly told, that ' the natural man receiveth not the things of the 
Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know 
them, because they are spiritually discerned.* Adding, "It is not 
pleaded that any truth or sentiment is communicated to the mind by 
the Spirit, besides what is already clearly revealed in the word ; and 
the illumination of the Spirit is to make menpereewt and vndentand 
that revelation which is already given, in its true light But as to 
what that true light is, no man by any form of expression can effectu- 
ally communicate that to his neighbour, any more than he can give 
him a tpirituai discernment, which would be to perform the peculiar 
office ot the Holy Spirit.*** In another place he acknowledges, that 
«tbe scriptures always represent the regenerating and sanctifying 
influences of the Spirit as exerted upofi the heart; which includes not 
only the understanding, but the will and affections, or the prevalent 
inclinations and dispositions of the soul."t 

According to these statements, the difference between 
the two controversialists, on this point, could not be con- 
siderable. They both maintain the idea of a previous 
principle, or of the souPs being rendered spiritual in order 
to its believing in Christ ; and the dilTerence lies not in the 
necessity, but in the nature of a previous change of mind ; 
or whether it be proper to call it a principle, and to suppose 
it to include life as well as light. Mr. Fuller determines it 
to be a holy susceptibility ; and Mr. Maclean, a spiritual 
perception ; but both ascribe it to divine influence. 

Mr. Fuller's " Strictures " are occupied on other topics, 
relative to the practices of the Sandemanian churches, 
which have no immediate connection with the present con- 
troversy, and ought not to be confounded with it. It is true 
the writer was clearly of opinion, that the Scottish Baptists, 
in general, had imbibed too much of the Sandemanian sys- 
tem, and was confirmed in that opinion by observing its 
effects among them, as well as amongst other denomina- 
tions, during his repeated excursions to the north, as has 
already appeared from his Journal in a former chapter ; 
yet it is evident that his leading design was rather to ex- 
pose the antichristian spirit of the system, wherever it pre- 
vailed, than attack any particular class of its professors. 
And though he thought that Mr. Maclean retained so much 
of the savour of these principles, *' as often to reason upon 
the ground of them, and to involve himself in numerous 
inconsistencies ; yet he did not mean to suggest that his 
system was precisely that of Mr. Sandeman.''| Justice, 
also', requires it to be said, that in several important articles 

* Workp, vd. iv. pp. 78, 80, 81. t Works, vol. ii. p. 91. 
t Strictures, p. 151, Note, 


there was a total disparity : and if the statement in^the for- 
mer part of this paper be found correct, Mr. Maclean was 
more nearly allied in sentiment to his opponent, than to 
the opposite party, with which he has been classed. 


The Socinian Controversy — Calvinistic and Socinian Systems examin- 
ed and compared'— Reply to Dr. Toulmin and Mr. Kentish — Univer- 
salist Controversy — Mr. Winchester — Letters to Mr. Yidler — 
Scrutator's Review — Deistical Controversy — French Infidels — 
Thomas Paine — ^The Gospel its own Witness— Missionary Coutro- 
troversy — Mr. Twining^— Major Scott Waring — A Bengal Officer 
— Socinian Barrister — Dr. Barrow — Apology for the Missions. 

It seldom falls to the lot of any author, however eminent, 
to be called into so wide a field of controversy, or to en- 
gage upwards of a dozen writers in succession, each dis- 
tinguished in their several departments, and on a variety of 
subjects, connected, indeed, with religious interests, but 
demanding the most vigorous exercise of an acute and pen- 
etrating judgment, and an intimate acquaintance with the 
whole circle of polemical theology. Here it was that Mr. 
Fuller found himself at home ; and the sacred scriptures, 
in which he constantly delighted, both supplied the place 
of science, and furnished him with those weapons which 
he wielded with such wonderful success. 

In the preceding chapter, we saw him engaged in those 
minor disputations which exist among Christians; in this 
we behold him at war chiefly with the adversaries of reve- 
lation, with deists and semi-deists of various descriptions ; 
some under the garb of Christianity, and others naked to 
their shame. There he endeavoured to rectify the errors 
of a mistaken friend ; here he sounds the alarm of an ene- 
my in the camp, and wishes to unite all parties in the 
cause of God and truth. Nor were his zealous exertions, 
in conjunction with those of other denominations, vain or 
ineffectual. Infidelity has ceased to stalk in open day, and 
like the nightly pestilence, it is compelled to walk in dark- 
ness. The enemies of evangelical truth, if not reduced in 
number, are in full retreat ; and instead of the vauntings 
of an arrogant and vain philosophy, are now heard the 
tender recitels of Missionary adventures, and the full chb- 


rus of ^ible institutions ; whose sound is gone orth into 
all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. 


Modern Socinianism, it has been said, is so unlike to 
Christianity, that it seems a matter of surprise it should 
ever haj^ assumed the name, unless for the purpose of pro- 
curing' for it a little religious reputation, and giving it a 
freer currency among the credulous. It contains, indeed. 
Some portion of scriptural truth, and so does Judaism and 
Deism ; but it has none of the features of genuine Christi- 
anity, and even Socinus himself would not have known by 
what name to distinguish it. It is evidently a system of 
scepticism, and not a religion of belief. It commences 
doubting — it lives by doubting — and it dies doubting. Un- 
certainty is connected with all its inquiries, and attends it 
in all the stages of its progress. The less you believe re- 
specting Christ, the less you are afraid of Satan and of hell 
— the greater freedom you use with the Scriptures, and the 
more indifference you show to divine institutions — the bet- 
ter christian you become. 

Yet at the commencement of the present controversy, 
the pretensions of its advocates were the most inordinate ; 
and nothing but the exclusive title of Rational Christians 
would satisfy them. The great Goliah of the party. Dr. 
Priestly, was in the meridian of his days ; and by a series 
of publications which were every year coming forward in 
rapid succession, he astonished the christian world by the 
boldness of his style, and his daring attacks upon the or- 
thodox system. From calling in question the divinity of 
the Son of God, and the doctrine of his atonement for sin, 
he proceeded by regular gradations to undermine every 
important and valuable truth pertaining to the christian 
revelation, until he fearlessly impugned the inspiration of 
the holy scriptures — questioned the divine authority of such 
parts of them as militated against his hypothesis, represent- 
ed the Saviour as peccable, and his apostles as inconclusive 
reasoners ! Christians of all denominations stood aghast at 
the novelty and audacity of these speculations, and were 
literally panic struck at beholding this bold blasphemer de- 
fying the armies of Israel. 

There had also been a previous union among Protestant 
Dissenters, in their application to Parliament for the repeal 
of the Corporation and Test Acts, of which the Socinians 


had availed themselves, and which soon hecame the source 
of various misconceptions. Serious men of the Established 
Church expressed their surprise, that some Dissenters could 
unite with others so opposite in their religious principles : 
not considering that the union was merely civil, and not of 
a religious nature. Others supposed that the majority of 
Dissenters had either imbibed the Socinian system, or were 
hastily approaching towards it. The famous Bishop 
Horsley was one who appeared to entertain this opinion. 
Dr. Priestly, at the same time, though he allowed the or- 
thodox to be the most numerous body of Dissenters, insiou- 
ated that nine tenths of the general population would pre- 
fer a Unitarian to a Trinitarian liturgy. The arrogance of 
the Socinian party, in calling themselves The Dissenters, 
The modern Dissenters, together with their insidious at- 
tempts to disseminate their principles, and charging Calvin- 
ism with having an immoral tendency — produced a new 
state of things in the religious world. 

At this juncture, an anonymous pamphlet made its 
appearance, written by the Rev. Samuel Palmer of Hack- 
ney, in a style remarkable for its temperance and candour, 
calling upon the friends of orthodoxy to stand forward and 
defend their principles, and to state clearly the genuine 
articles of the christian faith ; pointing out at the same 
time the propriety of reviewing calmly and dispassionately 
the system of their venerable predecessors. It was also 
modestly hinted, that some things would be found scarcely 
tenable ; and which, as belonging to the outposts, it would 
perhaps be wise in them to give up, for the sake of pre- 
serving the citadel. 

This pamphlet made a strong impression on the public 
mind. It obtained high commendation from the Monthly 
Reviewers, in conducting whose journal at that time, Mr. 
Babcock had a considerable share, and who evidently 
took pains to second the object of this pamphlet. Mr. 
Fuller was now rising into public notice as a theological 
writer ; and being alive to the interests and importance of 
divine truth, he felt the call thus made upon him as an in- 
dividual, to attempt a defence of those doctrines which So- 
cinianism was labouring to destroy. He had at that time 
many senior brethren in the ministry, to whom he looked 
up with becoming deference of respect Little indeed was 
to be expect^ from the acute and ingenious Robinson, the 
versatility of whose mind had become sufficiently conspiou- 
ottSy and whose fondness for novelty and paradox had given 


him a predilection for the writings of Priestly ; nor can it 
be doubted, that the treatment he received from the ortho- 
dox^ contributed not a little to lessen his regard for their 
interests, and attach him to any society rather than their 

Dr. Stennett, also, but from different motives, remained 
a silent spectator of the contest Mr. Fuller determined, 
however, to make an effort ; and having applied in vain to 
several of his brethren in the ministry for their assistance, 
he at length, in 1793, produced his celebrated work, en- 

The Calvinistic and Socinian Systems examined and com- 
pared, as to their moral Tendency : in a Series of Let- 
ters addressed to the Friends of Vital and Practical Re- 

The clear and satisfactory nature of the argument em- 
ployed, and the important offocts resulting from this per- 
formance, have placed it in very high esteem, and procured 
an extensive circulation. For its appearance, however, in 
its present state, the public are much indebted to the ven- 
erable Booth, for a hint which he suggested to the author ; 
who when he first undertook to examine the Socinian con- 
troversy, had sketched only a small pamphlet, divided into 
twelve sections. On viewing the manuscript, Mr. Booth 
recommended him to enlarge his plan, and to devote a whole 
letter to each topic : this he afterwards did, and carried on 
the series to the number of fifteen. Dr. John Fawcett, of 
Hebden Bridge, near Halifax, also concurred very hearti- 
ly in the design, and communicated some valuable thoughts 
on ' Love to God,' which appear in Letter vii. This, how- 
ever, is the sum total of the author's obligations. 

Upon these topics he professedly reasons, both on the 
consequences that might naturally be expected from the 
adverse systems, and on the actual effects which they 
appeared to produce. He at the same time fairly con- 
siders the conduct of the general body of people that 
profess each system. He also finds occasion to examine 
and refute the pretension of Socinians to a great number 
of converts ; and towards the conclusion, he detects the 
resemblance and tendency of Socinianism to Infidelity. 
Most of his arguments are deduced from matter of fact, 
obvious in itself, and often acknowledged by Socinian 


A summaiy of this able performance is given with sacb 
force and precision, after having established all his posi- 
tions, by a close and equitable comparison of the two 
systems, that we cannot better be made acquainted with 
its contents or the tenor of the reasoning, in so small a 
compass, than by quoting the words of the Author in his 
two concluding reflections. 

"First: If that system which embraces the deity and atonement 
of Christ, with other correspondent doctrines, be friendly to a life of 
sobriety, righteousness, and godliness ; it must be of God, and it be- 
comes us to abide by it ; not because it is the doctrine of Calvin, or of 
any other uninspired man, but as being the gospel, which we have re- 
eeived from Christ and his apostles ; wherein we standy and by which 
we are gated. 

Secondly : If that system of religion which rejects the deity and 
atonement of Christ, witli^ other correspondent doctrines, be unfriendly 
to the conversion of sinners to a life of holiness, and of professed un- 
believers to faith in Christ ; if it be a system which irreligious men 
are the first, and serious christians the last to embrace ; if it be found 
to relax the obligations to virtuous affection and behaviour, b)' relaxing 
the standard of virtue itself; if it promote neither love to God under 
his true character, nor benevolence to men, as it is exemplified in the 
spirit of Christ and his apostles ; if it lead those who embrace it to be 
wise in their own eyes, and instead of humbly deprecating God's 
righteous displeasure^ even in their dying moments, arrogantly to 
challenge his justice ; if the charity which it inculcates be founded in 
an indifference to divine truth : if it be inconsistent with ardent love to 
Christ, and veneration for the holy scriptures ; if the happiness which 
it promotes be at variance with the joys of the gospel ; and finally, if 
it diminished the motives to gratitude, obedience, and heavenly minded- 
ness, and have a natural tendency to Infidelity, — it must be an im- 
moral system, and consequently not of God. It is not the gospel of 
Christ, but another gospel. Those who preach it, preach another Jesus , 
whom the apostles did not preach ; and those who receive it, receive 
another spirit, which they never imbibed. It is not the light which 
Cometh from above, but a cloud of darkness that hath arisen from be- 
neath, tending to eclipse it. It is not the high way of truth, which is 
a way of holiness, but a by*path of error, which misleads the unwary 
traveller ; and of which, as we value our immortal interests, it be- 
comes us to beware. We need not be afraid of evidence, or of free 
inquiry. For if irreligious men be the first, and serious christians the 
last who embrace the Socinian system ; it is easy to perceive, that the 
avenues which lead to it are not, as its abettors would persuade us 
to think, an openness to conviction, or a free and impartial inquiry 
after truth ; but a heart secretly disaffected to the true character of 
God, and dissatisfied with the gospel way of salvation." 

The Socinians have never been able fairly to meet this 
performance, or to defend their own system, on the prin* 
ciple which it adopts ; but pretending to rest their cause 
on the literality of scripture evidence, they have betrayed 
a conviction that it would be more easy to puzzle plain 

9SIB MBMoms or andrbw pitllbr. 

and serious Christians by overbearing assertknis and plau- 
sible subterfuges, about the sense of detached passages 
in the Bible, than to persuade them that the body of Socin- 
ians in general is to be set in competition for practical god* 
liness with that of Calvinists. 

The religious world at large will doubtless retain a last- 
ing sense of their obligation to the Author, for his vivid 
representation of the leading doctrines of the Christian 
System, and for his perspicuous and striking display of 
an argument in their defence, so accessible to geaeral 
comprehension and observation ; and will gratefully ac- 
knowledge, that the manner in which the investigation was 
conducted, happily comports with the genius and the spirit 
of genuine Christianity. The Author himself felt peculiar 
satisfaction in the part he had taken on this occasion. 
" By what I have read and written," said he, " in the So- 
cinian controversy, I feel more attached to the great doc- 
trines of Christ's deity and atonement, together with that 
of salvation by grace alone from first to last. These truths 
are not merely the objects of my faith, but the ground of 
all my hope ; and administer what is superior to my daily 

Socinianism Tndefensibk, on the Chround of its moral Ten^ 
dency : containing a Reply to Dr. Toulmin and Mr. 
Kentish. 1797. 

After having exhibited several heavy charges against the 
Calvinistic system, as being unfriendly to benevolent affec- 
tions and virtuous behaviour, it was not to be expected 
that the advocates of Socinianism would all at once decline 
to make good their charges, or to accept the challenge of ex- 
amining their own system upon the same ground ; much 
less that they would hesitate to admit the validity of such a 
test. At the time that Mr. Fuller's examination of the 
Calvinistic aad Socinian systems first made its appearance, 
so much regard was entertained for moral principle, that 
some of the most respectable characters among them ac- 
knowledged that the work was " well worthy of their at- 

Dr. Priestly, it was said, refused to read it, notwith- 
standing it contained frequent reference to what he had 
published ; and not till afler three years, when several 

Baptist Magazine, 1816. p. 455. 


editions were in circulation, was any answer attempted. 
Dr. Toulmin, indeed, had no doubt, ** that the gentlemen^ 
on passages in whose writings many of our Author's reflec- 
tions were grounded, were every way equal to the contest, 
if they saw fit to enter the lists with him." Their not 
having done this, Dr. Toulmin comes forward with his 
*' Practical Efficacy of the Unitarian doctrine ;" but he 
was scarcely a breakfast for his antagonist He completed 
his answer to Dr. Toulmin and Mr. Kentish in a few days ; 
observing at the time he was writing it, that he could 
see his way clearly through the subject ; and that it would 
cost him more labour to reply to a single letter, such as 
he was in the habit of receiving from some close think- 
ing Scots, than to answer half a dozen such writers as 

Before Dr. Toulmin could undertake what he thought 
so easy of achievement, he was obliged to shift the ground 
of the contest, and virtually to give up the principle, that 
the moral tendency of a doctrine is a fair criterion . of its 
truth ; and to maintain on the contrary, that we are not 
to ask by whom any system is professed, but to confine our- 
selves to the single inquiry, by what evidence it is support- 
ed. The doctor, and his coadjutor in the same cause, had 
a right to rest the evidence in favour of their system on 
what ground they pleased ; but neither in truth, nor in lit- 
erary justice, had they any right to consider their work as 
an answer to Mr. Fuller's performance. 

In a new edition of bis pamphlet. Dr. Toulmin is at 
length reduced to the necessity of acknowledging, that *'he 
did not intend to give a full and minute answer" to his op- 
ponent, but only to bring the Unitarian doctrine to the test 
of scriptural facts. Mr. Fuller afterwards noticed the un- 
fairness of Dr. Toulmin's conduct, exposed the futility of 
his arguments, and established the legitimacy of the princi- 
ple on which he had rested his performance, in a postscript 
to a new and enlarged edition of his Calvinistic and Socin- 
ian Systems compared, as to their moral tendency ; and 
here ended the part he had taken in this controversy. 

Three or four years afterwards, an ignorant and intem- 
perate man, who formerly professed orthodox principles 
which he never understood, as he himself acknowledged, 
went over to the Socinian standard, and addressed a print- 
ed Letter to Mr. Fuller. This auxiliary publication falling 
into the hands of one of the most distinguished characters 



amongst the Socinians, he was pleased to recommend it to 
some of his brethren, and hoped that it would convert even 
the Author of the Systems compared ; though it abounded 
in false assertions, misrepresentations, and the lowest spe- 
cies of scurrility. 

Perceiving the complete triumph which had been gained 
over his opponents, who, having felt to their cost, the dis- 
advantage of bringing their scheme to the test of its moral 
efficacy, and afterwards appealing to the Scriptures, ''right- 
ly understood, and critically explained," could, notwith- 
standing, descend from these heights to fraternize with a 
scribbler who was really unable to write a single paragraph 
of common sense, and exalt him to the rank of a champion, 
provoked the risibility of Mr. Fuller to such a degree, that 
he could not forbear exclaiming — ** Poor Socinianism I 
Through tlie ^traitness of the siege wherewith thine ene- 
mies have besieged thee, an ass's head is sold for fourscore 
pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung 
for Jive pieces of silver !" 
. This controversy may now be considered as settled, so 
far, at least, as relates to the present ground of argument. 
Mr. Belsham used to make great boast of the practical 
efficacy of their system ; but after Dr. Toulmin and Mr. 
Kentish had received their quietus, he was willing to relin- 
quish that point, or, at least, did not defend it ; but said on 
behalf of himself and his coadjutors, that "they would not 
trespass upon the holi/ ground." There is, therefore, no 
longer any necessity for carrying on this warfare ; the 
friends of evangelical truth are in legal possession, and 
have only to improve those advantages which the contest 
has ensured, by adding to their faith, virtue, brotherly kind- 
ness, and charity. If Socinianism still lives, it owes its 
existence to controversy, and maintains itself by the logical 
dexterity of its defenders. Like the apocalyptic beast, it 
appears with its head wounded to death, and is going fast 
to perdition. 


The apostle of Universalism was Mr. Winchester, min- 
ister of a dissenting congregation in London ; and being a 
man of rather popular talents, and pleasing manners, he 
drew together a considerable number of hearers, and made 
some proselytes. Novelty, in any dress, always finds ad- 
mirers ; but when adorned in the garb of Universal Salva- 


tioD, — promising eternal life to those who die in their sins, 
after safifering a paternal chastisement in a future state, to 
qualify them for heaven, it cannot fail of obtaining many 
votaries. Yet, however corrupt men may be in practice, 
and however desirous of believing a doctrine so congenial 
with their depravity, they do not all at once give up those 
opinions in which they have been educated, and which ap- 
pear to be sanctioned by the word of God itself. In order, 
therefore, to effect any considerable success, all those plain 
and numerous passages of scripture which threaten destruc- 
tion to the finally impenitent, must first be disposed of. 
The expedient is easy. It is only necessary to intimate, 
that the Bible, as it is in common use, is not the language 
in which the scriptures were ©riginaliy written ; then to 
assert that the men who translated the Bible into English 
were strongly prejudiced in favour of many false doctrines, 
a)id that they have given such an interpretation as best 
suited their own errors : moreover, that they were ignorant 
men, who knew nothing of modern improvements in learn- 
ing, and have committed many of the grossest mistakes. 
This done, all confidence in the English Bible is taken 
away, and nothing more is necessary but to affirm that it is 
so and so in the original. 

This expedient Mr. Winchester adopted : he professed 
as great a .veneration for the Bible as any man ; but not 
the Bible as it is read by Englishmen, but in Hebrew and 
Greek. By these and similar means he made a number of 
converts; and universal salvation, among a certain class, 
became the order of the day. Mr. Winchester however 
did not formally renounce what are usually considered the 
essentials of Christianity, though the arguments by which 
he supported universalism tended to their subversion. He 
also paved the way, perhaps undesignedly, for what has 
since taken place. He taught, by his frequent references 
to the original, in support of his doctrine, that no depen- 
dence was to be placed on the English Bible, and prepared 
his hearers to receive whatever sentiments the learned 
should think right to declare were contained in the origi- 
nal scriptures. By this means they found, that ojie doctrine 
which seemed to be plainly enough taught in their Bibles, 
was false ; and then, why might not others be false, which 
seemed equally plain. 

Mr. Vidler, who had formerly been pastor of the Baptist 
church at Battle, in Sussex, afterwards succeeded Mr. 
Winchester, and found a people exactly prepared for him. 

its«ot&9 oi* ANDMBW pwmam. 

This geatleiiitti to iofiaiteij dii^idallthe dotng^'of fais 
predecessor, as to cause the name of Winchester soob to 
oe forgotten. Universal salvation is now scarcely ever 
heard of, except as the first step which lead to greater dis- 
coveries. They now see that there is no troth in the doe- 
trine of Christ's satisfaction for sin ; that Jesus was no more 
than a man, and the son of Joseph ; that the soul is materi- 
al, and sleeps till the morning of the resurrection. They 
are also learned in the doctrine of philosophical necessity ; 
and as for Greek, it is perfectly familiar; even some^of the 
ladies speak it as grammatically as they do English. It is 
no wonder therefore that this new Hterati should style 
themselves the avowed enemies of bigotry, and the iri^ads 
of free inquiry: they are candid, rational, and liberal, and 
entertain the most benevolent sentiments towards infidels; 
pitying them as being driven to infidelity, by the absutdities 
maintained by what we are called orthodox chrtsdaos. 
They entertain the most sanguine hopes of bringing these 
well-disposed, but mistaken unbelievers, over to rational 
religion — if these should not get the start of them, and 
bring them over to infidelity. How near Mr. Vidler ap- 
proached to this system of impiety, it is impossil^e to say ; 
but in his progress he acknowledged to one of his most in- 
timate friends, that he considered j^ra^er to be a most unphi- 
losophical exercise ; and that if the prejudices of his congre- 
gation did not prevent, he should wish to dispense with it 
altogether in public worship. 

As soon as it was understood that Mr. Vidler had em- 
braced the doctrine of universal salvation, Mr. Fuller was 
desirous of arresting his progress : accordingly, in Febru- 
ary, 1793, he addressed to Mr. V. an expostulatory letter, 
entreating him to consider the pernicious tendency of those 
principles, and to '* beware of the whirlpool of Socinian- 
ism." Mr. V. made no reply ; and as the letter contained 
nothing of a private nature. It was inserted in the Evan- 
gelical Magazine two years afterwards, under .the signature 
of Gains. Presuming that Mr. V. would attempt to main- 
tain his new system on the ground of his predecessors, 
this letter embraced the following questions — (1) Whether 
Mr. y.'s change of sentiment did not arise from an idea 
that endless punishment was in itself t^n/us/ — (2) Whether 
the genius of the sentiment in question be not oppoi»te to 
that of every other sentiment in the Bible — (8) Whether 
Mr. y.'s ministrations, on this principle, will not savour 


of bis who Caaght oar first ptfontiy '^ye shall not surely 

In 1797, when Mr. V. commenced editor of the UniTer* 
salist Miscellany, he was anxious to engage Mr. F. in a 
controTersy, and inserted a letter in the first two numbers 
of the work, stating that Mr. F.'s questions had no more 
reference to the doctrine of the Universalists, than to that of 
election. Supposing also that the doctrine of endless pun* 
ishna«it rests entirely on the meaning of the words ever, 
everlastings 6fc. he attempted to prove that these are words 
of indefinite meaning, which cannot be ascertained but by 
the subject to which they relate. He then brought for* 
ward the reasons which induced him to adopt his present 

Proceeding in the discussion, Mr. V. endeavours to evade 
the first inquiry, maintaining that the question is not wheth* 
er endless punishment be in itself jusi, but whether God 
has any where threatened any description of sinners with 
it. Mr. Fuller meets this inquiry in his Fifth Letter, con- 
taining fi>ur sources of scriptural proof of the doctrine of 
endless punishment, with his remarks on each ; and it may 
be doubted whether such a mass of striking and satisfact<H 
ry evidence on this subject has ever been exhibited, within 
the same compass, in the English language. The first 
source of evidence is derived from those passages of scrip- 
ture which describe the future states of men in contrast ; 
from which Mr. Fuller reasons, that the state of the right- 
eous, which is opposed to that of the wicked, is allowed to 
be final, and if that of the wicked were not the same, it 
would not have been contrasted with it, for it would not be 
a contrast. He also pleads that the passages quoted are to- 
tally silent, as to any other state of following that of con- 
demnation and future punishment ; and that the phraseolo- 
gy of the greater part of them is inconsistent with the notion 
of any other state following that which they describe. His 
second species of evidence consists of those scriptures which 
SQsak of the duration of future punishment by the terms 
* everlasting, eternal, for ever, and for ever and ever.* His 
third, all those passages which express the duration of 
future punishment by implication, or by forms of speech 
which imply the doctrine in question. The last body of 
evidence is drawn from those scriptures which teach that 
the change of heart, and a preparedness for heaven, are 
confined to the present life. 



Mr. V. had preTioadiy allowed that the future state of 
the righteous was final ; and that as their life and blessed* 
ness flow, naturally from God, in whom are all our springs, 
it would be like hira, eternal in duration. But being over- 
whelmed with the evidence which his oppcment had ad- 
duced, he had now no other way of extricating himself^ 
than by alleging that the statue of the righteous had not been 
proved to be final, nor that if the state of the wicked be not 
final; it would not be contrasted with that of the righteous. 
He was willing indeed to admit, that the final state of the 
righteous might be elsewhere expressed, and taught on 
other grounds ; but contended that the words ^ eternal ' and 
' everlasting ' proved nothing to the purpose. 

The remainder of the controversy is chiefly occupied in 
investigating these and similar terms, in reference to the 
doctrine of future punishment. The words 'ever, ever* 
lasting, and eternal, ' meaning no more in Mr. V.'s creed 
thai^ * age, agelasting, or ages,' he was requested to fix on 
a term that would better express unlimited duration. He 
therefore selects for this purpose the word endless, and pro- 
fesses that he should have been satisfied of the truth of his 
opponent's doctrine, if this term had been associated with it 
in the Scriptures, referring at the same time to Heb. vii. 16; 
where, unfortunately, it is used in a limited sense, and 
restricted to the period of Christ's mediation. Mr. F. shows 
that it is not in the power of language to convey any definite 
idea, according to Mr. V.'s code of interpretation ; and if a 
subject is not to be understood by the terms in which it is 
expressed, but the terms by the previous ideas which any 
one attaches to the subject, or if terms themselves have no 
specific or proper meaning, there is no hope of understand* 
ing any thing, either in common speech or in holy writ. 

The various shifts and evasions attempted by Mr. V. in 
the course of this disputation, rendered it extremely irksome 
to Mr. F. to proceed, and he did it with great reluctance. 
He found that he Itad to do, as he said, with a ' gross and 
subtle sophist,' whose understanding was perverted by^a 
system, which rendered him inaccessible to evidence. He 
was also much disgusted with the literary pretensions of his 
antagonist, whose utmost acquirements he thought did not 
go far beyond the Greek alphabet ; and not professing a 
critical acquaintance with the original languages himself, he 
judged it would become then) both to write in English. 
Mr. V. took fire at this, and scornfully suggested to Mr. F. 
that he might have been contented in confessing his ovm ig- 


aoranee. In sptte of this counsel, he continued to figure 
away in Hebrew and Greek ; and poor Mr. F. was obliged 
to follow him as well as he was able. After the dispute 
was ended, his papers were reprinted in a separate pamph- 
let, entitled — 

Letters to Mr, Vidkr, on the Doctrine of Universal Sal' 
vation. 1802. 

This publication closed Mr. Fuller's part in the present 
contest. But a clergyman, under the title of Scrutator, 
who. had been a strict observer of every thing that passed, 
and had watched the direction of every blow, being pro-» 
voked at the groundless pretensions of Mr. V. and hurt 
hy bis ignorant and irreverent freedoms with holy writ, 
resolved to expose him to the religious and literary world. 
He therefore published "Letters to a Universalist ; con- 
taining a Review of the Controversy between Mr. Vidler 
and Mr. Fuller on the Doctrine of Universal Salvation." 
And true it is, he has stripped the sciolist of'all his plumes, 
and turned him out, and his cause with him, naked to their 
shame. — The following are some of his concluding reilec-^ 
tious : 

"What are we to think of the mao, who with such consummate 
effrontery, not only charges the commonly received translation with 
being false, — but appeals to *e very proper judge' for the genuineness 
of a translation, the most glaringly contradictory, ungrammatical, 
and absurd, that perhaps ignorance ever ventured to publish ; and 
that too, when he must have known that the authority of the greatest 
names that ever adorned real science, was directly against him ; and 
without the suffrage of a single scholar to keep him in countenance. 
Let him hide his face in confusion. His trash did not deserve so 
much attention ; but I measured its importance by the mischief it 
might do amongst unlettered readers. I cannot help expressing an 
an nonest indignation against the man who undermines the common 
christian's faith, by insinuating that his English Bible is ^ false trans- 
cript of the original. When I contrast their venerable names and real 
iearning with the half-taught scholars of modern times, who, having 
just learned to distinguish alpha from beta, take upon them to criti- 
cise, and unceremoniously to cashier them, I blush at the mention of 
learning, and loathe the name of science. 

Were I to recal to your recollection the proofs I have given of his 
misrepresentation, his ungenerous disavowal of sentiments, which he 
maintained at the beginning of the controversy, his petulant illiberal- 
ity, his unsupported pretensions to candour and impartiality, it might 
look like indulging a Vindictive spirit, against which I solemnly ap- 
peal. I have no enmity whatever against the man : it is simply 
against the writer that all my animadversions are aimed : and if the 
representation here given of the disputant, should operate to the ad* 
vantage of the man, I shall think myself well repaid for the trouble I 



bare taken in tliii Review. I eotieet yoo, look w^ to yenieelt 
Make a voluntary attrrender* if you pleaae, of your understanding ; 
take the self-confident, the smatterer in knowledge, the noisy boaster 
of superior candour and discernment, as your guide, in things that 
pertain to the present life ; sacrifice every thing that is dear to you of 
a finite duration ; but, make a reserve of your soul /" 


A spirit of infidelity has existed in all ages of the world ; 
trat it was not till within a century after the Reformation 
that it made its appearance in this country under a syste* 
matic form. Lord Herbert is said to have been the first 
English deist who inveighed against the inspiration of the 
Scriptures, and openly defended the principles of infidelity ; 
but to avoid the odium of such a proceeding, his publica- 
tions were both in Latin, and first printed on the continent. 
He maintained that there is but one God, that he is chiefly 
to be worshipped, that piety and virtue are the principal 
parts of his worship, that God will pardon sins on repen- 
tance, and that there are rewards for the good, and pun- 
ishments for the wicked in a future state ; and that these 
were sentiments commonly acknowledged by all nations. 

Lord Herbert was soon followed by a number of other 
writers, who, each in his turn, assailed the bulwarks of 
Christianity. Among the principal of these, in later times, 
were Lord Shaftesbury, Lord Bolingbroke, Morgan, Gib- 
bon, and Hume. Deism now assumed a grosser form; 
not only was the sufficiency of the light of nature acknowl- 
edged, and the necessity of a supernatural revelation total- 
ly denied, but along with it the existence of a providence 
and of a future state, and every distinction between moral 
good land evil. Christianity, and even common morality, 
being assaulted by such inveterate adversaries, numerous 
defenders arose for their support; amongst the most dis- 
tinguished of whom, are Chandler, Lardner, and Leland, 
whose voluminous writings have acquired the highest ce- 

Soon after the commencement of the French Revolution, 
the spirit of infidelity again revived, and Christianity was 
outrageously treated as an imposture. The prevailing par- 
ty in France, having possessed themselves of the power of 
the state, made every exertion to efface from the public 
mind, all ideas of religion and morality ; and in one instance, 
an attempt was made for restoring something like the an- 
cient idolatry. The doctrine of the immortality of the soul^ 


or a fotore state of rewards and punishtRents, was pabiick- 
ly ridiculed, and the people were taught to believe that 
death was an everlasting sleep. 'The Temple of Reason' 
was inscribed on the churches, in contempt of Divine Rev- 
elation ; atheistical and licentious homilies were published 
instead of the old service, and a ludicrous imitation of the 
Greek mythology exhibited under the title of the ' Religion 
of Reason.' Infidelity was carried to such an excess, that 
they even dressed up a common harlot with the most fan- 
tastic decorations, whom they blasphemously styled * the 
Croddess of Reason :' and having placed her on an altar in 
the church, whither she was escorted by the constituted 
authorities, they harangued the people, who in return pro- 
fessed the deepest adoration, and sung several songs in 
honour of the goddess. This horrid scene was concluded 
by burning the prayer-book, the confessional, and every 
thing appropriated to the use of public .worship. 

Amidst the temporary triumphs of ' the Temple of Rea- 
son,' * the Religion of Reason,' and * the Goddess of Rea- 
son,' Thomas Paine's 'Age of Reason ' made its appear- 
ance ; and, favoured by various political circumstances, it 
diffused a spirit of infidelity throughout the country. The 
low state of religion in general, the long reign of darkness 
in the Established Church, the prevalence of Hyper-calvin- 
ism amongst one class of Dissenters, the bold and daring 
efforts of Socinianism in another, together with the eager 
interests felt by political partizans, in the revolutionary 
movements of the day, left but little to resist the torrent 
of infidelity, which poured in from the neighbouring con- 

Several able answers were written to Paine's popular 
and pernicious pamphlet ; but its effects were widely and 
deeply felt. The general qualities of this writer, both in 
reference to his political and deistical publications, were 
once described by Mr. Fuller in the following terms. '' He 
possesses strong powers of mind ; but his prejudices are 
stronger than bis faculties. His imagination is vivid, but 
extremely impure : his language is forcible, but grossly of> 
fensive ; his endowments are chiefly natural, and on this 
account his vanity is intolerable. The strength and energy 
of his conceptions would render him a convincing reason- 
er ; but the nxM^al qualities of his mind in most cases forbid 
it. Malignant passions, violent prejudices, and a vain de- 
sire of displaying his wit, must, in proportion as they oper- 
ate, disqualify him for just reasoning, let his talents be what 


they may. Tn fine, his genius is much more adapted to 
demolish, thau to build up. His talents are formed for 
exposing the ills of human society, rather than for encour- 
aging the good. Reproach is his element : if he can find 
truth on which to ground it, it is very well ; but if not, his 
jaundiced mind can supply that deficielicy, and give a 
colour to every object of dislike according to his wishes. 
He is a plant that will not flouiish either by the rains of 
heaven, or the natural fertility of the earth : it is only by 
the putrid effluvia of the dunghill that he can live." 

In publishing an answer to this profane and sarcastic 
writer, Mr. Fuller takes occasion to review the principles 
of deistical writers in general, in contrast with the doc- 
trines of revealed religion ; and omitting various points in 
dispute between Christians and Infidels, relative to histori- 
cal facts which had been ably discussed by other writers, 
he confines himself chiefly to the internal evidence which 
Christianity possesses, and brings the opposite system to 
the test of its moral tendency. His valuable work on this 
subject is accordingly entitled, — 

The Gospel its oton Witness; or the Holy Nature and 
Divine Harmony of the Christian Religion, contrasted 
with the Immorality and Absurdity of Deism. 1800. 

In reviewing the lives and the labours of deistical au- 
thors, he finds that while they acknowledge the existence 
of one Supreme Being, they overlook or deny his moral 
character, ascribing to him little more than the attributes 
of power and wisdom, and with admirable consistency 
refusing to worship him. Such, also, is the tendenc]^ of 
their system, that it loosens all the bonds of society, by 
subverting the principles of moral obligation, placing the 
essence of virtue in self-love, or, at most, in the love of our 
species, without any reference to supreme authority, and 
reducing vice merely to what is personally inconvenient, or 
socially injurious. 

Lord Shaflesbury says, virtue is an affection for the 
whole of our species : Lord Bolingbroke says, it is only 
the love of ourselves : Volney says, it is every thing that 
tends to preserve and perfect man : Hume says, it is what- 
ever is useful in society : Paine says, it is endeavouring to 
make our fellow creatures happy. But God is not in all 
their thoughts. 


In the lives of these men every species of iniquity is 
tolerated, and their enmity to the Gospel is found to arise 
from its holy nature. Herbert, Hobbes, Shaftesbury, Mor-* 
gan, Chubb, and Voltaire, the decided enemies of Chris- 
tianity, were all guilty of the viiest hypocrisy, and justified 
themselves in the most deliberate falsehoods. Woolston 
was a gross blasphemer ; Tindal was infamous for vice in 
general; Rousseau was a thief, by his own confession; 
Paine was a profane swearer, and a drunkard ; and Hume 
died as a fool dieth. The day before his death he spent 
in a pitiful and affected unconcern about this tremendous 
subject, playing at cards, reading profane books, and 
making silly attempts at wit, concerning his interview with 
Charon, the heathen ferryman of Hades. Paine, also, 
flattered himself that his principles would bear him up in 
the prospect of death ; but recent accounts have testified 
that he died under deep remorse, and in the agonies of 

in opposition id the immorality of these men, and the 
absurdity of their sentiments, in making virtue to consist in 
something independent of the dispositions of the mind, Mr. 
Fuller observes, that it is a distinguishing property of the 
Bible, that all its precepts extend directly to the heart : it is 
the heart that they require : and all the different forms of 
worship and obedience which they prescribe, are only so 
many modifications or varied expressions of it. Consider- 
ing the evil of sin as arising merely from the mischief it 
does to society, these writers make the essence of it to con- 
sist, not in the intention, but the action. Mr. Fuller, on 
the contrary, considers the action as nothing, any farther 
than as it carries the intention into execution. After hav- 
ing proved that the divine law is summed up in love^ and 
that this principle is competent to the government of the 
whole creation, and, if obeyed, would render every intelli- 
gent creature happy : he demands of his adversaries wheth- 
er they can produce any principle to be compared with it. 
The answer is. No : their deity takes no cognizance of the 
heart. According to them, there is neither merit nor 
crime in intention ; their morality only goes to form the 
exterior of man. It allows the utmost scope for evil desires, 
provided they be not carried into execution. Mr. F. then 
exhibits, at full view, the pure and holy principles of the 
gospel, their influence on society, and in the formation of 
character ; their tendency to promote benevolence, to alle- 
viate the sorrows, and enhance the felicity of the present 


glate. On the latter of these subjects is the foUowiog im- 
pressive paragraph : 

'* Where but in the gospel, will you find relief under the innumera- 
ble ills of the present life ? This is the well known refuge of Christians. 
' Are they poor, afflicted, persecuted, or reproached ? They are led to 
consider him who endured the contradiction of sinners, who lived a 
life of poverty and ignominy, who endured persecution and reproach, 
and death itself for them ; and to realize a blessed immortality in pros- 
pect. By a view of such things their hearts are cheered, and their 
afflictions become tolerable. Looking to Jesus, who for the joy that 
was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is 
now set down at the right hand of the throne of God, they run with 
patience the race that is set before them. — But what is the comfort of 
unbelievers ? Life being short, and having no ground to hope for any 
thing beyond it, if they be crossed here, they become inconsolable. 
Hence it is not uncommon for persons of this description, after the 
example of the philosophers and statesmen of Greece and Rome, when 
they find themselves depressed by adversity, and have no prospect 
of retrieving their fortunes, to put a period to their lives. Unhappy 
men! Is this the felicity to which ye would introduce us? Is it in 
guilt, shame, remorse, and desperation that ye descry such charms ? 
Admitting that our hope of immortality is visionary, where is the in- 
jury ? If it be a dream, is it not a pleasant one ? To say the least, it 
beguiles many a melancholy hour, and can do no mischief: but, if it 
be a reality — what will become of you !" 

The harmony of the christian religion is next considered , 
as an evidence of its divinity ; and the agreement of pro- 
phecy with the historical fact is strikingly pointed out. 
The same events must have been noticed by former writers, 
but perhaps at no time with so much effect ; the evidence 
is irresistible. The correspondence of the Holy Scriptures 
with living truth, or with things as they actually exist in 
the mind, and in the world ; the simplicity and sublimity 
of their style, the holy unction that rests on every pa^, 
all furnish sources of argument in favour of their inspira- 
tion. There is nothing in the sacred writings to gratify 
presumptuous speculation or idle curiosity, nothing to excite 
levity or folly ; they are free from affectation and vanity, are 
never known to flatter the great, and discover no anxiety to 
guard against seeming inconsistencies ; but leave the truth 
to commend itself to every man's conscience in the sight of 
God. " There is something in all they say, which leaves 
behind it a sensation produced by no other writings ; some- 
thing peculiarly suited to the mind when in its most serious 
frames, oppressed by affliction, or thoughtful above a future 
life ; some thing which gives melancholy itself a charm, and 
produces tears more delicious to the mind than the most 


higb-flaFoured earthly enjoyments. It is a savour of life, 
a savour of God, an unction from the Holy One.*' 

The elucidation of the scripture doctrine of salvation 
through a Mediator, and its consistency with sober reason, ' 
is singularly clear and satisfactory ; but the last chapter 
of the work, which maintains its consistency with the 
modern opinion of the magnitude of creation, exhibits a 
train* of thought which may bear a comparison with any 
thing that has been written on this subject in the English 
language. The Christian here attacks the deist in his strong 
hold, takes complete possession of it, and plants the banner 
of the cross on the very spot where infidelity had presented 
its brazen front. The magnitude of creation, let it be as ex- 
tensive as it may, serves only to illustrate the sublimer doc- 
trine of redemption and forms a temple for its praise. — The 
work concludes witl\ faithful and affectionate actresses to 
Deists, Jews and Christians, on their obligations towards 
the Gospel revelation. 

This publication was received with very general applause. 
The excellent Mr. Wilberforce expressed his cordial ap- 
probation of it, and deemed it the most important of all the 
author's works. The Rev. John Newton, of St. Mary, 
Woolnoth, said he had so often recommended it, that he 
thought at least a hundred copies had been purchased by 
his acquaintances. Some gentlemen made pecuniary offers 
for a cheap edition at a reduced price, in order to give it 
a more extensive circulation ; but Mr. Fuller declined ac- 
cepting their contributions. The Rev. Rob. Hall observed, 
that this work ''displayed an extraordinary force of under- 
standing ; and-that the two chapters on the atonement, were 
alone sufficient to make the writer immortal.'' 


The Peists have had their day, and it is over. If they 
make any appearance now, it is under the garb of Chris- 
tianity. Unable to keep their ground in the field of open 
controversy, they were for trying what they could effect by 
means of a practical opposition on the plains of India, and 
by imparting to the government their apprehensions for the 
&te of the eastern empire, if the true religion should be suf- 
fered to prevail. Some of them who had had the mortifica- 
tion of beholding the successful exertions of the Missiona- 
ries, about the time that the massacre happened at Velore, 
seized on this and other cotemporary circumstances, for the 



pnrpofle of spreading an alann ; though in £ict they had no 
more connection with the mission, than the building of 
Tenderten steeple in Latimer's time had with the flowing 
of the tide upon the Kentish shore. 

Several of these gentlemen returned to England, with 
indictments ready prepared, and only wanted the assistance 
of some able advocates. The first who presented himself 
was Mr. Twining, of famous memory, who addressed 
a Letter to the Chairman of the East India Company 
protesting against ''interfering in the religious opinions of 
the natives of India, and deprecating the consequences 
which might arise from such an attempt." 

Next foliowed Major Scott Waring, with " Observations 
on the present state of the East India Company;" and hav- 
ing received alarming intelligence from gentlemen lately re- 
turned from India, he ''humbly submits to the consideration 
of his Majesty's Ministers, the East India Company, and 
the Legislature, a plan for restoring that confidence which 
the natives formerly reposed in the justice and policy of the 
British government, as to the security of their religion, 
laws^ and local customs ;" and this plan was, "the imme- 
diate recal of every English missionary,* and a prohibition 
to all persons dependent on the Conaf^any from giving as- 
sistance to the translation or circulation of the Holy Scrip- 
tures." And what have these missionaries done, said Mr. 
Fuller, that they are to be immediately recalled i and these 
Holy Scriptures, that they are not to be translated 09 circu- 
lated by any one dependent on the Company ? As to the 
former, it is not pretended that they had any hand in the 
tragical event at Velore ; and as to the latter, no accusa- 
tion has yet been brought against them. The impolicy of 
Dr. Buchanan's visit to the Syrian Christians, is also urg- 
ed ; and it gave serious offence to the Major, that the epi- 
thet "important," should be attached to any inquiry relating 
to Christianity. He calls it " the most trifling of all pos- 
sible subjects connected with the welfare of our oriental 
empire." He likewise speaks of this empire as being 
" coi^quered by British valour." Ood and religion, there- 
fore, could have nothing to do with it. No, let the mis- 
sionaries go to Africa, to the South Sea Islands, or to the 
wilds of America ; but let them not come hither ! Oh 
thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, a$id 
there eat hreadi and prophesy there ; but prophesy not again 
any more in Bethel: for it is the king's chapel, and it is the 
king's court. Yet this gentleman would be thought after 


all, to be a Christian ; and ^'trusts it will not be imputed to. 
indifference for the eternal welfare of the people of India/' 
that he advises what he does ! He farther alleges that the 
*^ late Bishop of St. Asaph, a sound and orthodox divine^ 
and one of the main pillars of our good old Church of Eng- 
land, deprecated all such interference.'' His Letter to the 
Chairman concludes with several invectives against the mis- 

. A Bengal Officer completes the triad, by publishing *' A 
Vindication of the Hindoos;" stating the excellency of 
their moral system, and the danger of interfering with 
their customs or religion. And in the true style of Brah- 
manism, he becomes the apologist, and even the admirer of 
their shasters, their temples, and their idols. He calls for 
the persecution of Christianity in the east, more loudly than 
his coadjutors ; and expresses his apprehensions that if the 
Bible be not proscribed, and the missionaries expelled, all 
the Europeans in the east will become the victims of Dhoor- 
ga. As if on an expedition against some rebellious rajah, 
this Bengal officer dashes after the missionaries tbnbiltgh. 
thick and thin, determined at all events to vindicate hfe be- 
loved Hindoos, and to exterminate the adversaries of their 
exalted religion. Tli#se gentlemen are all of them suffi- 
ciently alarmed for their como^erclal interests in India, but 
are utterly regardless of the souls of fifty millions of heath- 
ens, living under the same government with themselves. 
Whether the real devil, or the "imaginary Cali, take them, 
appears to be no part of their concern, provided Jesus Christ 
has nothing to do with them. 

These publications were soon folloived by a second and 
a third pamphlet from the pen of Major Scott Waring, 
repeating and affirming the same things, with a profusion 
of additional invective. An anonymous '' Letter " also 
made its appearance, addressed to " the President of the 
Board of Control, on the propagation of Christianity in 
India;" recommending that the vigilant control of the 
India Governments, should keep pace with the growing 
zeal of this country, for the conversion of the natives of 

About the same time, Dr. Barrow published his '' Ser- 
mon," which had been delivered before '' the University 
of Oxford ; on the propriety of confining Missionary un- 
dertakings to the Established Church ;" and recommend^ 
ing '' one uniform and general attempt, to the excktsion 
of aU others^ where we have the power to exclude them, 


to be made by tbe mioistera of the natkma] churchy un- 
der the authority and regulations of an act of the legisla^ 

Among thoee who contributed their aid in the present 
contest, were the Edinburgh Reviewers, who professed a 
desire to ** ase their feeble endeavours in assisting the 
public judgment on those topics to which its attention was 
actually directed ; and for this purpose they make their 
first attack on Methodism, and the next on missions. Un- 
der the former term they include in one undistinguished 
mass, ** the sentiments of the Arminian and Calvinistic 
Methodists, and of the eoangelical clergymen of the church 
of England ;" whom they describe as three classes of fa- 
natics, '' engaged in one general conspiracy against com- 
mon sense and rational orthodox Christianity !" 

Anxious for the preservation of Paganism and Mahom- 
etanism abroad, and of Heathenism at home, from* the at- 
tacks of Evangelical ministers and missionaries, A Bar- 
rister joins this goodly fraternity, and offers his ** Hints 
to the public and the legislature, on the nature and effect 
of evangelical preaching ;" while the rest were employed 
in submitting ** A plan to his Majesty's Ministers, the 
East India Company, and the Legislature," proposing to 
recal every English missionary, and to limit the circulation 
of the scriptures. Not knowing what to do with these 
Evangelical men, tliey humbly request the government to 
take them in hand ; while they themselves wish to be thought 
the friends, and almost the only friends of reason and tol- 

This collision of parties produced considerable agitation 
in the public mind ; and Mr. Twining having promised to 
bring the missionary business before a Court of Proprie- 
tors at the India House, called up Mr. Fuller to town, in 
December, 1807, where he answered Mr. Twining's pam- 
phlet, and watched the progress of the enemy. The Court 
dismissed Mr. Twining's proposition, declining to interfere 
with the propagation of Christianity in India; and Mr. Ful- 
ler resumed his pen, in answer to Major Scott Waring, and 
the rest of the anti-missionaries.* Three pamphlets quick- 
ly succeeding each other, under the previous inspection of 
some gentleman of high distinction, made their appearance 
in 1808, entitled-— 

* Farther particulars of this campaign are given in Chapter v. 
pp.*141— 146. 


Am Apology for the hxte Christian Missions to India, 

After reading the publications of these anti-missionaries, 
Mr« Fuller said he had rather pray for them than Write 
against them; but being compelled to enter this" field of 
literary warfare, he expressed his opinion of the impor- 
tance of the controversy in the following just and striking 
remarks — 

** It appears to be the design of Providence, by a succession of 
events, to effect a more marked distinction between the friends and en* 
emies of religion, than has of late years subsisted. Through a varie- 
ty of causes they have long been confounded. As though there were 
no standard for either side to repair to, they have each mingled with 
the other in a sort of promiscuous mass. 

The effect of this junction has been more unfavourable to the cause 
of Christ, than to that of his enemies. Hence it appears to be the will 
of Grod, by his inscrutable providence, to effect a closer union among 
christians, and a more marked separation between them and their ad- 
versaries. As though some decisive conflict were about to take place, 
the hosts on each side seem to be mustering for the "battle. 

The French Revolution, (that mighty shaking of the church and of 
the world) has been productive of this among other effects. Great 
numbers, who had before passed as Christians, perceiving infidelity to 
be coming into fashion, avowed their unbelief. Many oT these, how- 
ever, finding afterwards that they had mistaken the road to preferment, 
turned about, and assumed to be the patrons of rational and orthodox 
Christianity. Serious Christians of different denominations, on the 
other hand, felt a new motive to unite in defence of the common faith 
in which they are agreed. 

The same effect has been produced by the sending out of missions 
to the heathen. The efibrt itself excited a correspondence of feeling, 
a communication of sentiment, and a unity of action, and that to a great 
extent : and now that success has in some measure attended it, it has 
drawn against it a host of adversaries. As the assembling of Israel 
before the Lord in Mizpeh, though they had neither sword nor spear 
among them, excited the jealousy of the Philistines, and drew forth 
their armies in the hope of crushing them at the outset ; so it is at 
this day. It is remarkable what a tendency the genuine exercises of 
true religion have to manifest the principles of men, and to draw them 
into union, either on the side of Christ, or on that of his enemies. 
You may now perceive Deists, Socinians, and others, who retain the 
form of Christianity but deny the power, naturally falling into their 
ranks on one side : and serious Christians, almost forgetting their 
former differences, as naturally uniting on the other. I question whe- 
ther there ever was a controversy since the days of the apostles, in 
which religion and irreligion were more clearly marked, and their 
respective adherents more distinctly organised." 

The solemn warning addressed to those in authority, in 
the author's letter to the Chairman of the East India Com- 
pany, relative to the insidious attempts of unbelieTcrs, to 

W 2 

346 Msuonw of anorsw fvixeji. 

prerent the erangelizinc of the iddatroiu Hindoos^ u too 
important to be overlooked, and affords an instance of fi- 
delity worthy of the cause in ijirhich it was exerted. 

** Whatever measiires may be taken by men who have become 
aliens from that which is the glory of their country," says Mr. Fuller, 
*' I trust there will be found a sufficient number of the rulers and 
inhabitants of this land to counteract them. If not, let us talk as we 
may against French atheism, we are fast sinking into it. — If, Sir, there 
be a God that judgeth in the earth, the danger lies in making Him 
oar enemy. It is a principle which cannot be disputed, however 
it may be disregarded, that whatever is rights is wise; and whatever 
U wrong, is foolish and dangerous. Sir, the tombs of nations, suc- 
cessively buried in oblivion, have this truth inscribed on every one of 
them : — It was by forbidding christian ministers to speak unto the Gen- 
tiles that they might be saved, that the most favoured nation upon 
earth filled up the measure of its sins, and drew upon it the wrath of 
heaven to the uttermost.' 

At a time, Sir, when many and great nations are overthrown ; na- 
tions which have not possessed our privileges, and therefore have not 
incurred our guilt; when we are engaged in the most tremendous 
struggle that this country ever knew ; and when on certain occarions 
we profess to fast, and to humble ourselves before Almighty God; 
shall we raise from its slumbers the wicked system of persecution f 
* 00 we provoke the Lord to jealousy ? Are we stronger than he ?* 

Mr. Twining may be disgusted at the idea of the Eastern empire 
being given us by Providence, for the very purpose of introducing the 
gospel ; but if it be so, it is no more than uoid's having formerly given 
It to Cyrus/or Jacob his servant's sake. Men may scorn to be subser- 
vient to their Maker; but whether they consent or not, it will be so. 
The conquests of Rome made way for the introduction of Christianity 
into Britain ; and those of Britain may make way for its general intro- 
duction in the East Should Britain be friendly to this object, it may 
be the lengthening of her tranquillity; but as an eloquent writer ob- 
serves, " If we decline the illustrious appointment, God may devolve 
on some less refractory people those high destinies which might have 
been ours. Who knoweth whether we are come to the kingdom for 
such a time as this f If we altogether hold ow peace at this time, 
then may there enlargement and deliverance arise to them from 
another place ; and we and our father's house may be destroyed."* 

While engaged in this arduous contest, Mr. Fuller re- 
ceived no material assistance, except from one quarter, 
much as he desired it ; but was lefl to maintain the con- 
flict alone, and had to produce his voluminous pamphlets in 
the course only of a few weeks. The Rev. Adam Clarke, 
L. L. D. kindly tendered his " Remarks " on the Vindica- 
tion written by a Bengal Officer, which appear, duly ac- 
knowledged, in the second part of Mr. Fuller's Apology, 
under the title of Audi et Alteram Partem, At the close 

* Addressed to the Chairman of the East India Company, by the 
Bev. Rob. Hall. 


of his strictares, after having sufficiently exposed the ini« 
morality and shocking absurdity of the Hindoo mythology, 
which the officer had so shamelessly attempted to *' vindi- 
cate/' Dr. Clarke mentions the missionaries in the most 
honourable terms. 

** It may be supposed, (says he,) from the preceding Remat-ks, that 
we are parties io the Baptist mission in the East Indies, and that there- 
fore our testimony may be justly liable to the charge of undue par- 
tiality. To remove every impression of this kind, we here declare that 
we never had ^ nor have we now, any religious connection whatever 
with the missionaries abroad, nor with their directors at home. We 
have, with many others, admired their zealous labours, their inofifen- 
sive, irreproachable, and exemplary conduct, and have been astonished 
at their various attainments ; and particularly so at the deep, extensive, 
solid and unostentatious piety and learning of the Rev. Dr. Caret, 
who is at their head ; a gentleman, whom we scruple not to say, is an 
honour to religion, lilerature, and his country ; a blessing to our 
Eastern possessions, and a credit to human nature. 

Here ended the contest with the British Triad, except 
indeed, that Major Scott Waring, incapable of conviction 
or impression, went on raving, in company with the Socin- 
ian Barrister. Having done with Mr. Fuller, and the Bap- 
tist mission in India, his next attack was on two clergymen, 
who had preached before the Universities in favour of a 
translation of the Scriptures into the oriental languages ; and 
also on lord Teignmouth, for having urged the policy and 
obligation of Britons to communicate to the natives of In- 
dia the knowledge of Christ. The Major still continued 
his old trade, repeating and repeating, throughout a hundred 
and twenty more pages, the phrases and sentences of ''ma- 
nia of conversion — ignorant sectarian bigots — mad Baptists 
— mad Calvinistic missionaries — I am decidedly of opinion 
that the conversion of the Hindoos is impracticable — these 
proceedings will end in the destruction of our eastern em- 
pire," and a few more such sayings, till by his total invin- 
cibility he reduced his opponents to despair, and no farther 
operations were undertaken against him. Some* of the 
critics indeed compared him to a Hindoo yogi, who had 
fixed himself on the top of a post, under a vow to repeat 
some one word or phrase millions of times;' and them- 
selves to persons sent repeatedly to reconnoitre him, and 
report what he is at, and who must every time return with 
the same story. 

-In reply to Dr. Barrow, who pleaded for an exclusive 
ecclesiastical establishment in India, and that missionary 
undertakings should be confined to the national church. 


Mr. Faller stales the illiberality and total inadeqaaey of 
such a plan ; but declined giving^ on that occasion^ any 
opinion on the propriety of such an establishment^ inde- 
. pendently of its becoming exclusive. The extravagant prop- 
osition of Dr. Barrow, whose avowed intolerance knows no 
limits but the want of power, was happily never entertain- 
ed by the rulers either in church or state ; but some time 
afterwards, when a renewal of the East India Company's 
Charter was contemplated, several eminent individuals, in 
the Directory and in the Senate, who had witnessed and 
deplored the various obstacles thrown in the way of the 
Baptist missionaries, were desirous of giving a legal cur- 
rency to Christianity in India, by obtaining the adoption of 
an Episcopal establishment. 

On this subject, the Secretary of the Baptist Mission 
would certainly not have obtruded his opinion, any more 
than on the former occasion; but the con Bdence these gen- 
tlemen had in his judgment, and the satisfaction they felt 
in reference to the able and prudent manner in which the 
concerns of the mission had been conducted, induced them 
to solicit his thoughts on their leading object, as well as on 
others connected with it. 

A gentleman in the Directory, a member of parliament, 
having compiled a quarto volume on the affairs of India, 
sent it to Mr. Fuller for his revision. The work was print- 
ed, but not published, and consisted of — "A brief History 
of the British dominions in Hindostan — Evidences of the 
extreme immorality of the Hindoos — An inquiry into its 
causes — and the best means of providing an adequate rem- 
edy." Among the latter, an Episcopal establishment, un- 
der the direction of the East India Company, formed the 
principal feature. 

In compliance with the request of the distinguished au- 
thor of this performance, Mr. Fuller communicated some 
free remarks upon the subject, the principal part of which 
will now be quoted from his private correspondence, in or- 
der to show what was his opinion on the general affairs of 
India, and the faithful manner in which he acquitted him- 
self on this delicate occasion. 

"I feel a pleasure," says he, "in being able to acquit the 
Company, and their servants, of some things concerning 
which I had thought unfavourably. 1 am especially grati- 
fied in seeing more fully established, an idea which I had 
already entertained ; viz. that from the time of Marquis 
Cornwallis's presidency, the governtnent of that country 


has sustained a very important change for the better, die 
impartial administration of justice being its grand object 
Nevertheless, it appears to me, even from your own ao- 
connt, that there is still a world of iniquity attached to the 
affairs of India. 

** Passing all this, I would remark a few things on your 
proposal to introduce Christianity, by means of the East 
India Company ; and that the Christianity so introduced, 
should be an established Episcopacy. Your scheme will 
constantly be in danger of being thwarted, notwithstanding 
the control of the government and parliament at home ; 
for what else can be expected from men of mere worldly 
wisdom ? We do not gather grapes from thorns, nor figs 
from thistles. Or if your plan be not entirely defeated^ 
that which would be propagated would not be Christian- 

" But were it otherwise, still the Directors would not be 
the most proper persons to introduce the gospel into India, 
unless they would consent to restore all that they have un- 
justly taken away from the natives, or at least adopt an 
equal and benevolent system for the future. If in addition 
to a well regulated government, a principle of reciprocal 
advantage could be adopted as* the ground of Indian com- 
merce ; if instead of draining and impoverishing their coun- 
try, we could seek their good in connection with our own ; 
in a word, if the system of justice and benevolence in tem- 
poral things, for which you plead, could be realized, there 
would then be some hope of doing them good in other mat- 
ters. But without this, it is impossible to convince them of 
your sincerity. We must treat them as fellow men, before 
we can hope to be instrumental in making them fellow 
Christians. If Christ himself did good to men's bodies, 
as a means of gaining access to their minds, it is presump- 
tion in us to expect to accomplish this great object by oth- 
er^ and especially by opposite means. 

" Suppose an intelligent Hindoo should meet with one 
of the Missionaries appointed or patronized by the Com- 
pany ; suppose him to be well acquainted with the history 
of his country for the last thirty or forty years ; that he 
has read your performance, and being now addressed on 
the subject of Christianity, should reply to the following 
effect — 

" *You tell us that we are bad, and you tell us the truth. 

You offer us a religion which you say, if embraced, will be 

* proactive of a purer mwality. Has it produced this effect 

350 MBMOntf OF AlimtBW WVUMM* 

upon jfour people f It is true, as yoar writers assert, *'Aii 
Englishman cannot descend to those Uttk practices of op- 
pression or extortion, so familiar to the natives of Hin<* 
dostan ; his mind revolts at the idea of them." But yon 
make no scruple of practising oppression and extortion on 
a larger scale. You have conquered our oppressive nabobs, 
and have taken their place. You have purchased the rer- 
enues of the country ; and soon after you got them in pos- 
session, you withheld the stipulated price. You have pow* 
er on your side, and you call it right. And have you then 
a right to render the existence of eighteen millions of men 
subservient to the enriching of a few thousands? Does the 
God you profess to adore, and the Saviour whom you re- 
commend to us, approve of these things? If so, we are as 
well as we are. 

" *You have given us some good regulations in govern- 
ment, and we are thankful for them : but all that you have 
done amounts to little more than " a correction of your own 
abuses." And even since that period of improvement, you 
have carried on offensive wars, to the great injury of our 
country ; ''not for our sakes, but for your own." The very 
nature of your government tends to impoverish us, and we 
feel it to our cost. It is true, for the advantages of a reg- 
ular and good government, we could contentedly part with 
something : and if in your commerce you acted on the 
principle of reciprocal advantage, and sought our good 
along with your own, all would be well enough. But this 
is not the case : your people not only " fill all the offices of 
government, but all the first lines in commerce." In this 
way you have drained our unhappy country already of more 
than fifty millions sterling, and are every year continuing 
to drain us, without any adequate return. And now to 
make us amends for this complicated mass of injury, you 
offer us your religion.' 

"Thus might an intelligent Hindoo retort upon the Com- 
pany's agents, in their attempts to evangelize the country. 
Excuse me, therefore, if I say, unless your meliorating 
scheme of commerce could also be adopted, Christianity, 
through such a medium, must appear to the Hindoos like 
the bishop's blessing in the fable ; of which they might be 
tempted to say with the jester, 'If it were worth a farthing, 
you would not have given it to us !' 

" 1 admit and admire your arguinents in favour of our 
being 'more and more secure in our possession of India, in 
proportion to the improved state of society- among the in* 


habitants :' but their fitness rests entirely upon the ground 
of the government being just and good, and the commer- 
cial system equalized. In other words, they depend for 
their validity upon its being the interest of Bengal as well 
as Britain to continue united. If a contrary system be 
pursued, the introduction, though not perhaps of Christian- 
ity, yet of the means by which it is communicated, namely, 
oifir language, and other intellectual improvements, would 
endanger our sovereignty. And as far as I can judge of 
right and wrong, it is right it should. It would be the 
height of wickedness for us to wish to compel and continue 
a union on opposite principles. 

''As to an established religion in Bengal, I presume you 
do not expect my concurrence. If pious Episcopalians 
wished to go over, to spread the gospel which they believe, 
and stand on no other ground than the goodness of their 
cause, in the main of their undertaking, I should cheer- 
fully wish them God speed ; and would, if they needed it, 
according to my ability, contribute to their assistance, as 
several of them have done to ours : but an established reli- 
gion is somewhat different. I have as great an objection 
to my own principles being an established religion as any 
other ; yea, greater ; for if some one religions system must 
be pressed into the service of the state, I had rather it were 
one 1 did not so well approve, that what I do approve might 
remain at liberty to serve the Lord without the imposition 
of human authority. 

*^1 have no other objection to an establishment in Bengal 
than I have in England, or any other country. I believe 
all human establishments of religion to be injurious, as 
tending to set aside the authority of Christ in his church, 
and to introduce in its place unscriptural traditions, world- 
ly pomp, and unmeaning ceremonies ; all which being ' of 
human invention, cannot,' as you justly reason in another 
case, 'be approved of God.' 

" It amounts to a moral certainty, that so long as the 
world continues to lie in wickedness, a great majority of 
every government will consist of irreligious characters. 
Btit a religion established and supported by such charac- 
ters, roust be supposed to partake of their spirit, and to 
be framed in subserviency to their ends. Whenever it 
ceases to comply with the will of the power that gave it 
an establishment, it must cease to be ; or, which would 
be worse^ itself will become a power, tyrannizing over its 

253 MBMonts OP amdebw puller. 


'Id this direction proceeded the great apostacyof Rome. 
Until Christianity was adopted by the state, it was com- 
paratively pure. The church, though oppressed by great 
afflictions and reproaches, grew and multiplied, and was 
then Hhe bride of Christ;' but from that time she began to 
sustain a very different character. You know the represen- 
tations given of her in the records of truth — that of 'a wo- 
man arrayed in scarlet— decked with gold, and pearls, alld 
precious stones — and sitting upon a scarlet coloured lieast.' 
In her first stages she was the servant, and in her last, the 
master of the beast on which she rode. Good men in 
power, like Constantine, may have thought that by raising 
the Christian clergy to worldly honours, and by creating 
offices in the church to wliich princely emoluments should 
be attached, they did God service : but they were mis- 

'Terhaps you, Sir, may not propose to yourself any thing 
more than a number of serious and pious clergymen being 
properly provided for, and encouraged in their work ; but 
should your plan succeed, its issue will be in a greater or 
less degree as above described. ' All establishments,' as 
you yourself acknowledge, ' carry in them a principle of 
progressive degeneracy.' Religion in any form is in dan- 
ger of degenerating ; but in this form it is morally impossi- 
ble that it should be otherwise. In short, 1 object to an 
established religion, because it must necessarily be a 
creature of the state ; and like every other creature, must 
be formed after the pleasure, and live upon the smiles of 
its creator. 

'' I approve of a religion that shall be peaceable, but 
chaste ,* favourable to order and good government, but not 
dependent on it ; a faithful friend to those in power, and 
to those out of power, but not the retained advocate of 

''Notwithstanding the freedom of these remarks, there is 
still much in your plan which I apptove. It appears to me 
to be quite in character for the East India Company to 
provide means for teaching the Bengalese the English lan- 
guage, arts and sciences, and to send out schoolmasters for 
that purpose. This, if accomplished, would be a very im- 
portant object It would give them access to our Bible^ as 
well as to many other things. Here also would be room 
for you and others to use your influence in procuring pious 
men, who might be great blessings in that capacity. And 
as to missionaries, I could be glad if you, as well as 

we^ eottld cb^n the lea?e t^ ike CSompany to send them, 
aad that they might eajay - their prottcti^n when there. 
More than this I dare not ask, or even accept at their 

'* I know your object is to do something on an enlarged 
scale, I revere jour motives, bat would enU-eat jou to 
consider the words of an apostie, 2 Cor. vi. It-— '18. Chris- 
tian enlargement, according to this passage, and according 
to &ct/does not consist in uniting with, or drawing into 
oar religious measures, great numbers of worldly men ; but 
rather in the reverse. The forming of such connections, 
is the same thing as being ' unequally yoked.' To unite 
the sprightly horse with a tardy ass would be to straiten 
rather than to enlarge him ; and must impede the object, 
instead of promoting it. Half a score Christians, cor* 
dially united, will accomplish more than thousands of het- 
erogeneous characters, possessed of mere discordant prin- 

^' But if your scheme were not thwarted by such a con- 
nection, it would certainly be corrupted, and so in great 
measure be defeated. Every body of men, lik^ every spe- 
cies, if they propagate any thing, it will be their own like- 
ness. True religion may be accidentally propagated by 
those who are destitute of it ; but that is all. God often 
makes use of instruments in this way ; but it is a work 
above our hands. If we attempt it, there is infinite da^ 
ger of the work being marred. They may indeed be used 
in furnishing some c^ the materials, as Tyrian workmen 
furnished materials, and aided in the building of the tem- 
ple : but they must not be invested with the power of di- 
re^ion. In this case the answer of Zerubbabel to those 
who offered to unite in rebuilding the temple, is worthy 
of example. ' You have nothing to do with us, to build a 
house unto our God ; but we ourselves together will build 
unto the Lord God of Israel, as Cyrus, the king of Persia, 
hath commanded us.' 

<*You suppose the number of pious ministers that could be 
ccdlected, and supported by voluntary subscription merely, 
would be smalL Be it so : a small number, if they could 
eoH>peral;e with several pious schoolmasters, might do 
great things. I may also add, the number of characters 
suitable for such an undertaking, is smaU. You hope for 
thirty ; I wish you may find so many. It is more than we 
can find amongst as. If you can muster ten, without farid- 



ing Qp Tery handsome peeuskry prospects to aUnre them, 
it will be a good specimen of the prevalence of true religion 
in your connections. 

''Finally : Notwithstanding all I have said, I had much 
rather see the doctrine of Christianity introduced among 
the Hindoos, even though it were under the form of an 
Established Episcopacy, than that they should continue as 
they are ; and if you should persevere in your scheme, I 
shall pray that it may prosper in all that is good about it^ 
and which 1 am persuaded is not a little." 


Controversy with Mr. Booth — Letter to Dr. Hopkins — Remarks on 
some American Writers — Mr. Booth's notion of Regeneration by 
the Word examined — Particular Redemption — Conversation with a 
friend at Edinbureh, on the same subject — Atonement and Substi- 
tution of Christ— Letter to Dr^ Erskine on the Merits of Christ- 
Letter to Mr. Maclean on Faith and Justification — Validity of Lay 
Ordination— ^Propriety of administering the Lord's Supper without 
a Minister — ^and Strict Communion. 

It was grief of heart to Mr. Fuller, to have any disagree- 
ment with a man whom he so highly esteemed, as the ven- 
erahle Abraham Booth. But on some minor points there 
was a difference between them, though not such as would 
justify the slightest alienation, or require any painful exer- 
cise of mutual forbearance. During the controversy on 
Faith, in which Mr. Fuller was several years engaged whh 
various opponents, who marched forward from the ranks 
both of Arminians and Calvin ists, to meet this redoubtable 
champion, Mr. Booth watched jts progress with considera- 
ble anxiety; and finally concluded that he could find a 
middle path between those Calvinists who admit and those 
who deny the obligation of sinners to believe the gospel. 
He at the same time suspected that Mr. Fuller and his 
friends were too inuch attached to the sentiments of l^resi- 
dent Edwards, and other American divines of later ^ate; 
and that by importing their metaphysical refinements, ihere 
would be some danger of relaxing that muscular sys- 
tem of theology to which he himself was so ardently de- 

Mr. Booth, therefore^ published, in 1796, bis first edition 
of *' Glad Tidings to perishing Sinners ;'' the object of 


which is to prove that " the genuine gospel 'Contains a 
complete warrant for the ungodly to beiieve in Jesus." 
This is a proposition which Mr. Fuller never denied, and 
which needed but little proof; and it is rather extraordina- 
ry that so acute a writer as Mr. Booth should seem to con- 
found the " warrant " to believe, with a disposition to be- 
lieve, or that state of mind which induces faith. Had the 
question been, what is it that warrants a sinner to believe 
in Christ ; the obvious answer is, the gospel and that only. 
But if it were asked, what is it that inclines a sinner to be- 
lieve ; the only answer is, that sacred influence by which 
he is renewed in the spirit of his mind. Yet both in the 
title and tenor of the work, this necessary and important 
distinction is too much overlooked. 

In the progress of his inquiry, Mr. Booth did not fail to 
animadvert pretty severely on some of the American writers 
whom he mentioned rather in terms of contempt ; and the 
sentiments of Dr. Hopkins in particular, on the subject of 
regeneration and justification, he considered as *^ perni- 
cious,*' and tending to " corrupt the gospel." His pamph- 
let soon crossed the Atlantic, where it was attentively ex- 
amined by Dr. Hopkins, who transmitted to a friend on 
this side the water, a complete refutation of several of Mr. 
Booth's positions, accompanied with some pointed strictures 
on the temper of his performance, and the inconclusive 
nature of his reasonings. The respect entertained for Mr> 
Booth, did not permit the printing of this valuable manu- 
script, and it obtained only a private circulation ; for, what- 
ever difference of opinion might exist on some speculative 
points, all parties were agreed in paying homage to his 
character. Mr. Fuller apologized to Dr. Hopkins, for Mr, 
Booth's manner of writing, and his seeming contempt for 
cotemporary authors, in a letter dated March 17, 179S ; 
while he at the same time expressed his own opinion of the 
manuscript in question. 

** I sincerely thank you," says he, " for your remarks on 
Mr. Booth's performance; which every person of judgment 
who has seen them, within my knowledge, considers as a 
decisive refutation. When his piece first came out, I was 
in London. I looked into it, and soon afier called upon 
him. I told him, as to his first part, I had no objection to 
it, except this ; that it seemed to imply that sinners were 
very willing to come to Christ, if the door was but open ; 
and all that appeared to be wanting was a right or * warrant' 
to come. But as to his second part, I was fully persuaded 


that he was wrongs and that I could prove him so. To 
which he made acarcely any other refdjr than saying be sup- 
posed I should not approve of it. 

I have remarked the effects of his pamphlet on the pub- 
lic mind. Some of oor^ monthly editors have bestowed 
indiscriminate praise, without at all understanding the 
ground of the controversy. People in general do not seem 
to comprehend his design. They can see no object he has 
in view, or who, or what he means to oppose, exci^t one. 
They think his first part savours of an agreement with me ; 
and reckon, therefore, that the whole book was written in 
order to ftivour my sentiments on the duty of sinners to be- 
lieve in Christ. I have been asked for a copy of my first 
piece on that subject ; and when I have answered, it is out 
of print: 'Well,' it has been said, *1 will get Idr. Booth's 
book ; 1 reckon they are pretty much alike.' In short, I 
do not think it will do any harm, owing chiefly to its ob- 

You are mistaken, however, in Mr. Booth's character ; 
and as for his manner of writing, it may admit of some 
apology. He is an upright, godly, learned man. But — 
(1.) He is a generation older than Sutcliffe, Pearce, or 
myself; and perhaps it may be owing to this that he is less 
attentive to any thing we write.*— (2.) He is a great ad- 
mirer of Owen, Vitringa, Venema, &c. and seems to sup- 
pose that they have gone to the ne plus ultra of discovery. 
(8.) Having written a pretty large and valuable work, en- 
titled, " Pedobaptism Examined on the Principles, Conces- 
sions, and Reasonings of the most learned Pedobaptists," 
he ther^e got into such a habit of quotation^ that he seems 
unable to write half a dozen pages without it And though 
I believe him to be as honest a man as any in the world, 
I will not say that he is destitute of what on both sides of 
the water, for aught I know, may be called ' British pride.'* 
I attribute his misrepresentations of your sentiments to this 
spirit, by which he was prevented from a patient and can- 
did examination of the wbd^- of what you say, rather than 
to any unworthy design; for of this he is utterly inca- 

Mr. Fuller and his connections certainly had a very high 
esteem for the writings of President Edwards, and others 
of the New*Engknd school, which they ^ead with consid- 

* This alludes to Mr. Booth's frequently calling his opponent the 
'* American Doctor." ^ 


siderable advantage; and to that bulwark of the Calrinistio 
system, Edwards's treatise on the Freedom of the Will, 
Mr. Fuller acknowledged himself indebted for his first 
right views on the subject of moral obligation. But that 
he indiscriminately adopted the sentiments of these writers, 
or admitted all their reasonings, is far from being true. In 
the same letter to Dr. Hopkins, from which the above ex- 
tracts are taken, are the following paragraphs : 

*' I am not sure that your idea of God being ' the author * 
of sin/ is essentially different from the notion of those 
Calvinists who consider sin as the object of divine decree : 
but 1 am satisfied of this, that to say ' God is the author of 
sin,' does so naturally convey to almost every mind the ideas 
that God is the friend and approver of sin ; that we are 
mere passive instruments, and that he himself being the 
grand agent, ought only to be accountable for it, — ^that I 
should think, by using it, I conveyed ideas directly contra- 
ry to James i. 13. And I must say, that the whole of that 
passage, taken together, appears to me to represent an im- 
portant truth, which your manner of writing seems to over- 
look ; and which is thus expressed by M'Laurin, in his 
sermon on the passage, — * Whatever dishonourable thoughts 
sinful men may have of God to the contrary, yet it is a 
truth clearly evident, that God is infinitely free from the 
blame of their sins.'* Your observations on the passage, 
in vol. i. p. 213, of your system, go only to prove that your 
views do not represent God as tempting men to sin, or as 
being tempted himself to sin : but you do not observe the 
opposition in the context, that evil is not to be ascribed to 
God, ver. 13 — 15; that every good and perfect gift, 
especially regeneration, is to be ascribed to God, ver. 16 

I have enjoyed great pleasure in reading many of your 
metaphysical pieces, and hope those who can throw light 
on evangelical subjects in that way, will continue to write. 
But I have observed that wherever an extraordinary man 
has been raised up, like President Edwards, who has ex- 
celled in some particular doctrines, or manner of reasoning, 
it is usual for his followers and admirers too much to con- 
fine their attention to his doctrines or manner of reasoning, 
as though all excellence was there concentrated. I allow 
that your present writers do not implicitly follow Edwards, 
as to his sentiments, but that you preserve a spirit of free 

* Sermons aad Essays, p. 81. 



inquiry : yet I most say, it appears to me that several of 
your younger men possess a rage of imitating his raeti^bys- 
ical manner, tiH some of them become metapbysic mad. 
I am not without some of Mr. Scott's apprehensions, lest 
by such a spirit, the simplicity of the gospel should be lo^, 
and truth amongst you stand more in the wisdom of men, 
than in the power of God." 

There were also some half taught geniuses at home, 
who were smattering away on the subject of human obliga- 
tion« to the neglect of the great doctrines of the gospel ; 
and of this, Mr. Fuller Was sufficiently aware. In a letter 
which he addressed to the President of the Bristol Acade- 
my, he thus expressed himself ''I earnestly wish the 
students may steer clear of the ditch and the quagmire. It 
is of vast importance for a minister to be decidedly on the 
side of God, against himself as a sinner, and against an 
apostate world. Nor is it less important that be have an 
ardent love to Christ, and the gospel of salvation by free 
grace. I wish they luay so believe, and feel, and preach 
the truth, as to find their message an important reality, 
influencing their own souls, and those of others. Let them 
beware of so preaching doctrine as to forget to declare aii 
the counsel of God, all the precepts of the word. Let them 
equally beware of so dwelling upon the perceptive part of 
Scripture, as to forget the grand principles on which alone 
it can be carried into effect." In reference also to this 
subject, he afterwards delivered a sermon at the Oakham 
Association, on the importance of making the common sal-> 
vation the leading theme of the ministry, and the first object 
of christian attachment. '* It has frequently been the case, 
(said he,) that some one particular topic has formed the 
character of an age or generation of men ; and this topic 
has been hacknied in almost every place, till the public 
mind has become weary of it ; while other things of equal 
importance have been overlooked. Both preachers and 
hearers are in danger of making light of comm(Hi truths, 
and of indulging in a spirit of curious speculation. This 
will render preaching rather an entertainment, than a ben* 
efit to the soul. We are commanded to feed the church of 
God ; not their fancies, or imaginations, nor merely their 
understandings, but their renewed minds. It indicates a 
vicious taste, and affords a manifest proof of degeneracy, 
where the common salvation is slighted, and matters of re- 
finement eagerly pursued. The doctrine of Christ crucifi- 
ed is full of the wisdom of God, and will furnish materials 
for the strongest powers : let this, therefore, be our darling 


theme." This advice was exemplified in a high degree by 
the person who gave it ; scarcely any one in Mr. Fuller's 
connections dwelt so frequently and with so ranch delight, 
on the great principles of the gospel as he did himself: and 
it was matter of grief to him that* they were not more re- 
garded in the general strain of preaching. 

On other occasions also Mr. Fuller dissented from the 
opinions of the American writers, and as freely stated his 
own convictions. The Sermon he preached af the Bedford 
Union having found its way to America, Dr. Hopkins 
oflfered some strictures upon it, which elicited the following 
remarks from the author. *' Dr. Hopkins thinks, (says he,) 
that 1 have given up the doctrine of disinterested love, 
because I have observed concerning David, when he said 
' Here I am, let him do with me as seemeth good in his 
sight,' that he could not mean by this. If God have no 
love to my soul, I submit to be for ever separated from him : 
for SQch suhmission is not required of any who lives under 
a dispensation of mercy .-^I have written an answer to Dr. 
Hopkins, in which I have defended that position. He is a 
mighty reasoner : but on this subject I feel my ground. 
Should he furnish a reply, the correspondence nlay hereaf- 
ter be published." 

Much as he approved of the able Discoures of Dr. Jona- 
than Edwards, on the consistency of the atonement with 
the doctrine of free grace, "I object,, (says he,) to Edwards's 
account of public justice ^ as being too indefinite. It compri- 
ses, he says * all moral goodness, and properly means the 
righteousness or rectitude of God, by which all his actions 
are guided, with a supreme regard to the greatest good.' 
But Lf public justice comprises ' all moral goodness,' it com- 
prises the exercise of goodness or good will to his creatures. 
But to say that Christ died to satisfy goodness, would be 
strange. Public justice is that expression of the divine 
character which has a special regard to what is right : its 
province is to guard the rights of moral government, and 
take care that the divine authority be not impaired." 

Had it not been for the insinuations alluded to at the be- 
ginning of this Chapter, and for the wish which some others 
discovered, to identify Mr. Fuller with the American 
writers for the purpose of reproach, and to represent him 
as being the importer of a foreign system of theology, it 
could not have been necessary to adduce these extracts 
from his private correspondence, to show that he could not 
juatiy be so identified, or that he was capable of thinking 

5M0 MSMOims or audbew foixbe* 

for himaelf ; nor indeed is it even now neeessary ; for set* 
ting aside all party prejudices, no one acqaainie4 with Mr« 
FuDer's writings can doubt that they di^lay an independent 
and original cast of mind, rarely to be met with in modern 
anthers. The reader, therefore, will excuse this digresetcni, 
and we will turn again to Mr. Booth. 

Having published his Glad Tidings, under the full 0(^- 
viction that Mr. Fuller's sentiments were defective and 
erroneous, be rested satisfied in having taken up an invul- 
nerable position in the doctrine of regeneration by the word 
of God ; and herein, as he supposed, lay the main strength 
of his performance. In conversation with a friend upon the 
subject, January, 1796, Mr. Booth observed, that he had 
consulted nearly twenty bodies of divinity, all of which con- 
firmed his statement of the connection between faith and 
regeneration ; and that if any one could % fairly answer his 
reasoning in page 1«55 of the first edition of his Glad 
Tidings, he would give up the whole of his performance ; 
for on that reasoning, the strength of his position depended. 

This implied challenge being reported to Mr. Fuller, he 
very attentively re-examined the passage, and communi- 
cated his thoughts to the Editor of these Memoirs, who 
afterwards submitted them to Mr. Booth's inspection, but 
without receiving any answer. The reader will find some 
interest in pursuing this little piece of controversy between 
these two eminent men, which has not before transpired, 
though the substance of it may have been wrought into 
some of Mr. Fuller's later publications. 

The invincible position, on which Mr. Booth so con- 
fidently relied, is as follows : — 

'' If satan laid the foundation of his kingdom amongst 
men, by the use of language replete with infernal false- 
hood ; it cannot be absurd to maintain, that the spiritual 
dominion of Christ in the hearts of sinners commences 
under the salutary operation of divine truth. If the father 
of lies, by words of deceit, without any previous physical 
influence on the mental powers, polluted the imagination, 
obscured the understanding, and corrupted the heart of 
Eve, when in her primitive state, and under a strong bias 
to obedience ; why should it be denied that the Hqiy Spirit, 
by the word of truth, without any preparatory agency on 
the soul, enlightebs the mind, impresses the conscience, and 
gives a new turn to the heart of one that is dead in sin 1 

As the first inclination to evil, in the human heart, when 
perfectly pure, was produced without any previous pby- 


skttl iflflaeaee by the lie of Satan ; we are led by analogy, 
equally as l^ the language of scripture, to consider the 
first \kAj tendency, in a heart that is totally corrupt, as 
plrodoced by the truth of God, without any preparatoiy 

Mr. FuUer rtpUes to this notion of Regeneration by the 
Word, in the fotiowing manner, 

Mr. Booth's argument is entirely drawn from two sup* 
poeed opposites. Arguing from opposites is very safe, 
provided there be an opposition in that poiqt wherein the 
argument consists. Let us examine whether this be the 
case in the present instance. 

The cases are, — the origin of evil in a creature free from 
sin, and the origin of good in a creature free from righte- 

According to Mr. Booth, the origin of evil is found in a 
discredit^ of the word : Ergo, the origin of good will be 
found in a credit of the word. 

Again : There was no evil bias antecedently to Eve's 
discrediting the word : Ergo, there is no holy bias given 
to the heart antecedently to believing the word. 

Thus far Mr. Booth : let us now proceed a step farther. 

Eve was wrought upon, for aught appears, merely by 
moral suasion, without any supernatural influence : she 
was influenced by words, or motives, as creatures influence 
one another. Ergo, we are wrought upon in regeners^tion 
merely in the same way, by moral suasion only ; by words, 
or motives, and without any supernatural influence what* 

This is worse than Arminianism itself, which admits at 
least of some kind of divine influence. Here Mr. Booth 
would dissent : but why should he ? It is an argument 
airising from' his own principles. 

He would however admit a diflerence between the two 
cases. Eve's mind, he would say, though free from sin. 
Was not invulnerable to evil : but the heart of a sinner, who 
is far from righteousness, is invulnerable to every thing 
hot the a^m of Jehovah. Isaiah liii. 1. And by admitting 
this, he would destroy his argument from opposites ; see* 
wg the opposition does not hold in that part wherein the 
argument consists. 

But is it not true, that the human mind is in all cases 
drawn into exercise by motives t I believe it is. The 

9n HUfoiBS or JMBtmw vollbr. 

qiwilioii thea will tara upon tliis hinge : In whtt HMiniier 
does the Holy Spirit infloenoe the mind, so as to gire effi- 
cacy to those powerful motives which are addressed to it 
in the gospel ? Is it by giving an additional energy to the 
motives, which they do not in themselyes possess ; or as it 
by giving to the spui a susceptibility of truth f — The an- 
swer to this question must be decided by the scriptures. 

Now the scriptures represent blindness of mind, and 
hardness of heart, as the reason why men cannot believe. 
John xii. 39, 40. But if these things be the only bar to 
believing, is it unreasonable to suppose, that divine inflo-" 
ence should be exerted in the removal of them ? Does not 
the manner of speaking which the scriptures use, convey 
to us this idea ; — ^That in turning a sinner to himself, Grod 
not onJy presents the light before him, but gives him eyes 
to see ; that he not only proclaims to him the joyful sound, 
but gives him ears to hear it? Or, to speak without a figure, 
that be not only presents the truth, but gives him a heart 
to understand it, in order that he may convert and be 
healed ? 

Nothing can operate as a motive, unless the mind be 
susceptible of it: the most powerful motives furnished by 
the gospel are therefore no motives to an unrenewed mind. 
But if the Lord open the heart, we attend to the things 
that are spoken. He has also promised to put his law 
into the inward parts, and to write it in the hearts of sin- 
ners. Jer. xxxi. 33. But seeing their hearts are repre- 
sented as stone, on which nothing makes impression, how 
could this be affected ? By taking away the heart of stone, 
and giving a heart of flesh. Ezek. xxxvi. 26. 

Mr. Booth accuses this sentiment of " enthusiasm :" 
but why so ? Perhaps he can form no idea of any divine 
influence, except that which is by means of the word. And 
can he form an idea of any influence by the word ? We 
can conceive of the influence of motives upon the mind, 
that is, of the word itself; but not of any additicmal energy 
being given to those motives, which they did not in them- 
selves possess. 

But are we not said to be begotten 'by the word of truth V 
We are : but the terms begotten, regenerated, quickened, 
born again, do not appear to be used by the sacred writers 
in a metaphysical sense; that is, they are not designed 
to convey the idea merely t>f that ' heart to understand,' 
which is given in order to conversion ; (Deut. xxix. 4. 
John xii. 40.) but the whok of that change by which a, sin- 


ner becomes a saint. I do Dot think that in seripturey 
regeneration denotes one stage of that change^ and conver* 
sioD another ; but that they are figaratiFe representations of 
the same thing, which is sometimes called regeneration, 
sometimes conversion, sometimes a resurrection, and some* 
times a creation. In this sense, therefore, I believe regen- 
eration to be by the word of God ; and which I think is con- 
sistent with a divine influence, giving a heart to understand, 
that we may be converted and be healed ; or that this in- 
fluence is exerted previously to a voluntary and cordial re- 
ception of the truth. 

I know not how Mr. Booth will make it appear, that 
faith and regeneration are coeval in the order of nature. 
In whatever sense he considers faith, his argument from 
opposites, and maintaining that regeneration is by the word, 
renders this coexistence inconsistent. If he considers faith 
as the belief of the word, which his argument from oppo- 
sites requires, and yet ascribes regeneration to it, then 
faith must precede regeneration, as the cause necessarily 
precedes the effect. 

But if he considers faith as *' a reliance on Christ for 
salvation," and the belief of the word as a matter "pre* 
supposed," as he has stated it in page 3 ; then regenera- 
tion must precede faith. Ete he considers as being d^ 
praved by the belief of a lie, and a sinner as being regen- 
rated by the belief of the truth : but if so, regeneration is 
effected by that which is even previous to faith, or which is 
" presupposed by it :" it must therefore itself be previous 
to faith, or to " a reliance on Christ for salvation." 

Not deeming the above remarks worthy of attention, 
Mr. Booth published a new and enlarged edition of his 
pamphlet, in 1800. The Rev. Thomas Scott, author of a 
valuable commentary on the Bible, having laid before the 
public his thoughts on " the nature and warrant of faith," 
in reference to Mr. Booth's performance, Mr. Fuller was 
solicited to give a review of both these pamphlets in one 
of the monthly journals ; and when he had done so, it gave 
considerable offence to Mr. Booth. He also noticed some 
of his arguments in a new edition of his treatise on Faith, 
which made its appearance soon after, and which was by 
no means palatable to the author of Glad Tidings f who by 
this time began to complain that his antagonist " was al- 
ways in pursuit of him." 

A few friendly explanations, however, were sufficient to 
adjust the present misunderstanding between the parties, 


wbo coDtiaaed lo ^aintaio their respective diflbroicee of 
eentimeDt, without any hinderance to a cordial iotercoorse* 
But unfortttnately, another subject for coutroversj started 
up, which placed them again in a state of opposition. 
8ome of the monthly editors, as well as others, endearoor- 
ed to represent Mr. Fuller as having abandon^ his princi- 
ples on the subject of Particular Redemption ; placing its 
peculiarity not in the degree ol Christ's sufferings, or in 
any want of sufficiency as to the nature of the atonement, 
but merely in the sovereignty of God respecting its appli- 
cation. This was reckoned an error of such magnitude, 
as ought to sink him in the esteem of religious people ; 
and had the words of Calvin himself been quoted on this 
subject, they would have been sufficient in the account 
of some modern Calvinists, to prove even him an Armin- 

Instead of abandoning his former views, Mr. Fuller 
avowed the same principle at the commencement of the 
present controversy, as he afterwards maintained in his 
later publications. In his Reply to Mr. Dan Taylor, pp. 
63, 64, his words are : 

'*I suppose Philanthropes is not ignorant that Calvinists 
in general have considered the particularity of redemption 
as consisting not in the degree of Christ's sufferings, as 
though he must have suffered more, if more sinners had 
been finally saved, or in any insufficiency that attended 
them ; but in the sovereign purpose and design of the Fa- 
ther and the Son, whereby they were constituted, or ap- 
pointed, the price of their redemption ; the objects of that 
redemption ascertained, and the ends to be answered by 
the whole transaction determined. They suppose tlie sul^ 
ferings of Christ, in themseives considered, are of infinite 
value ; sufficient to have saved all the world, and a thous- 
and worlds, if it had pleased God to have constituted 
them the price of their redemption, and made them effec- 
tual to that end. These views of the subject accord with 
my own." 

It is true, Mr. Fuller at the same time represents Christ 
as dying in the character of a shepherd for his flock, as a 
husband for his church, and a surety for his people ; but 
each of these particulars is adduced merely in proof of 
a speciality of design in the death of Christ, and not of 
the want of any sufficiency in the nature of the atonement 
itself. Every charge, therefore, of his having relinquished 
his sentiments, founded on these arguments, must be nuga- 


tory. It is manifest he then thoaght, ub he did afterwards, 
thai the obedience and death of Christ, in themselves con- 
sidered, were like the sun in the heavens, necessary for an 
individual, but sufficient for a world ; sufficient for all, hut 
eflTectual only to the elect, and thtzi in consequence of the 
sovereign design of the Father and the Son respecting the 

On the appearance, however, of the second edition of 
Mr. Fuller's treatise on Faith, in which these sentiments 
were reviewed, and subsequently to a clamour raised by 
the dread of an imaginary innovation, Mr. Booth classed 
himself amongst the body of alarmists ; and in September, 
1803, preached a sermon at the monthly meeting, which 
was afterwards published, under the title of "Divine Justice 
essential to the Divine Character." Desirous of prevent- 
ing any future misunderstanding, and of continuing in 
friendship with a man whom Mr. Fuller so highly esteem- 
ed, he addressed the following letter to the author of the 
sermon, soon afler its delivery, and previous to its publica- 

October 19, 1803. 
** Dear Sir, 

"I am informed that in a sermon which you lately deliv- 
ered at the monthly meeting, you were understood to have 
made ' a smart attack upon me ;' that you were requested 
to print the sermon ; and that you expressed a design to 
publish something more substantial on the subject than a 
single sermon, or to that effect. From the account I have 
received of your sermon, I should conceive there is noth- 
ing in it but what I believe and approve, except the mis- 
statement given of my sentiments. 

'' In the letter which I wrote to you last May, previous 
to my calling upon you as you desired, I assured you that 
a cordial reconciliation would give me great pleasure, and 
1 expressly requested that it might be cordial, or not at all. 
Such it was on my part, and such I understood it to be on 
yours. It is true, that in your letter of April 1, 1803, 
while you expressed your sorrow for having misunderstood, 
and so misrepresented me, you intimated that you were 
" exceedingly averse from the necessary consequences of 
certain tenets, which, if you rightly understood me, I had 
avowed." But in the same letter you proposed, if provi-» 
dence should permit, to ' lay your sentiments on these sab^ 
jecta before me.' To this I replied in my letter of May 


S66 MiMons or Andrew fvllbr 

8th, that * as to any thing yon might find leisare and ineli* 
nation to communicate, I shoold be happy to read and con* 
aider it' 

" Now, Sir, after all this, and without any thing new oc* 
earring, that I know of, I should not have expected to hear 
of your publicly attacking me, as having advanced what 
was ' near to nonsense,' and proposing to write largely on 
the subject. I should have thought, if truth had been 
your only object, you would have tried whether I might 
not be convinced of my supposed error by the means 
which you first proposed ; namely, that of " laying before 
roe your sentiments.' If, however, you determine other- 
wise, so be it. 

'' In order to prevent as far as possible any unnecessary 
disputation that might arise from misapprehension, I will 
add a few things respecting the sentiment which I presume 
you mean to oppose. Of this, I think, you cannot com* 
plain, as it will save you some unpleasant reflections. If 
my information be correct, you define redemption to be 
* deliverance by price.' To this I have no objection. I 
also freely allow, that 'the application of redemption is not 
redemption :' it is the carrying of the work of redemption 
into effect, and is accomplished by the agency of the Ho- 
ly Spirit. Nor does the peculiarity of redemption consist 
in such application. To say it did, would indeed be deny- 
ing the doctrine ; and not only approaching ' near to non- 
sense,' but plunging into it. But whether I have always 
happily expressed myself or not, it never was my design to 
convey any such idea. 

*' It is true, that from what I have heard of your objec- 
tions, I really thought I must have somewhere stated, Uhat 
the peculiarity of redemption lay in the sovereignty of its 
application ;' and I possibly may have admitted this state- 
ment in conversation, if not in writing. But if I have, I 
meant to use the word redemption not in a proper, but 
metonymical sense ; not for deliverance, but that by which 
it was obtained ; in which sense it is used, if I mistake 
not, in Romans iii. 24, as being that through which we 
are justified. 

** On looking over what I have written, however, in the 
second edition of my treatise on Faith, p. 109, 1 find what 
I have stated to be this : ' The peculiarity which attends 
the atonement, consists not in its insufiiciency to save more 
than are saved ; but in the sovereignty of its application.' 
And what this sovereign application of the atonement is 


1 have explained in more places than one ; namely, the 
purpose or design of the Father and the Son concerning it ; 
whose intention it was that what was sufficient for al], 
ehould be appropriated or applied to a part, the atonement 
being offered and accepted as the price of their redemp- 
tion. Whether every passage I have written on this sub- 
ject be so clearly expressed as to be incapable of any other 
construction or not, I never meant to place the peculiarity 
of redemption in its application ; but in the previous de- 
sign of which it is the result. If you look into my reply 
to Philanthropes, you will find the same sentiment ; and I 
never understood that you objected to it till afler I had re- 
viewed your Glad Tidings. 

" To say that the peculiarity of redemption consists la 
the design of the Father and the Son, that the atonement 
ahoald be effectual to the redemption of the elect, is very 
different from saying ' the peculiarity of redemption lies in 
its application ;' and it is only by this misstatement that 
you have made 'nonsense' of it. The distinction which I 
Always from the time of writing my reply to Philanthropes 
meant to hold out was, between what the decUh of Christ 
was in itself adapted to, and sufficient for^ and what it was 
designed hy the Father and the Son actucdly to accomplish ; 
a distinction which, you must know, belongs not to the 
system of Arminius, but to that of his opponents. 

"You may easily conceive, Sir, it cannot be agreeable to 
me to repel public attacks by private explanations. It is 
what I would not do to any man of the same age with my- 
self. I have done so, however, to you, now a second time. 
I hope after this, if I am publicly opposed, whether from 
the pulpit or the press, my sentiments will not be misrep- 
resented. If when fairly stated^ they can be overturned, 
so let them be/' 

Mr. Booth, after a few months, published his Sermon on 
** Divine Justice ; to which is subjoined an Appendix/' 
containing a repetition of the identical misstatements point- 
ed out in the above letter, and which were afterwards quot- 
ed with applause in other publications. Hapless indeed is 
the fate of such an author, who must be compelled to be- 
lieve against his will, and to admit of sentiments which he 
utterly disavows ! 

Between Mr. Fuller and Mr. Booth, however, there was 
no contrariety of opinion as to ''divine justice being essen- 
tial to the divine character," nor as to the absolute neces- 
sity of the atonement to reconcile the exercise of mere/ 


with the rights of justice, and the grounds on which the be- 
liever is accounted righteous before God. On these points 
they were perfectly agreed. The diffefence chiefly relates 
to what precise ideas ought to be attached to the terms sub- 
stitution and imputation. Mr. Booth conceived that Mr. 
Fuller had expressed himself in too general terms respect- 
ing the extent of the atonement, as opening a way where- 
by the whole race of man might be saved, as far as respects 
sufficiency in the atonement, though the number who shall 
ultimately receive the advantage of it, is limited by the di- 
vine sovereignty. He therefore contended that Christ rep- 
resented a certain number only, whose sins and deserved 
punishment were transferred to him ; and to whom, on the 
contrary, his obedience and sufferings are imputed, as form- 
ing their justifying righteousness. 

On the subject of imputation, Mr. Fuller repeatedly in- 
sisted that there could be no medium between Christ's be- 
ing really considered as a sinner, in his substitutional ca- 
pacity, and his being treated for our sakes as though he 
were one ; and that as Mr. Booth rejected the latter as too ■ 
vague and indeBnite, he must of necessity embrace the 
former alternative. Mr. Booth, however, with just abhor- 
rence abjures the idea of charging the Redeemer with guilt 
in any other sense than by imputation ; yet he speaks of 
him as being every thing but a sinner, and uses some ex- 
pressions too nearly akin to those which make him really 
such. He also insinuates as if Mr. Fuller had denied the 
imputation of Christ's righeousness, while he maintained 
the imputation of its effects, and represents this as an ab- 
surdity. Whereas Mr. Fuller had said, that the imputa- 
tion of Christ's righteousness to a believer, is the treating 
him as righteous through Christ, by justifying and glorify- 
ing him, as if he were really righteous ; and so far as re- 
lates to treatment, he is accounted righteous, but in his re- 
o/ character, God must ever view him as a sinner. 

In the Appendix to this Sermon, where the points in dis- 
pute are more directly investigated, there is a total misap- 
prehension of Mr. Fuller's meaning, and indeed a total mis- 
representation of his words. In spite of all remonstrance, 
he again represents him as saying, that *' the particularity 
of the atonem.ent consists in the sovereign pleasure of God, 
with regard to its application ;" leaving it implied, that Mr. 
Fuller had not included the existence of any predetermin- 
ation, or that God had any special design to aeoomplish by 
the death of Christ. 


This hopeless piece of business issued in a correspon* 
dence, not between Mr. Fuller and Mr. Booth, (for with 
the former the latter declined to communicate) hut between 
Mr. Booth and Dr. Ryland^ through whom he received Mr. 
Fuller's statements. The substance of this correspond- 
ence was afterwards given to the public, in a dialogue be- 
tween "Peter, James, and John ;"* in which the points in 
dispute are fairly stated. It is true indeed that this mode 
of writing is liable to strong objections, as it invariably 
gives to the dialogist the palm of victory ; but that Mr. 
Booth's sentiments and reasonings are not misrepresented, 
there is the fullest assurance from the well known integ- 
rity of the writer, and the unimpeachable veracity of his 
friend, the late Dr. Ryland, who addressed to Mr. Booth 
a private remonstrance, from which the following are ex- 
tracts : 

^ As to Mr. Faller, if 1 should find any thing in which 
he has expressed himself inaccurately, I will tell him of 
it myself; bat I will not have the remotest hand in furnish- 
ing the many professors, who dislike him for opposing their 
attempts to annihilate duty, with a term of reproach, that 
has with them far more weight than twenty scriptural ar- 
guments. That a man who is continually employed for 
God, and has ably defended the cause of God against the 
most mischievous foes of the truth, should be held up as 
an object of suspicion and dislike, while the most injudi- 
cious and inconsiderate distortions of Calvinism are suf- 
fered to pass unnoticed, is to me«a matter of unspeakable 

The only design of the writer in reviewing these recol- 
lections, is to do justice to the memory of his departed 
friend, and to prevent as far as possible, the repetition of 
those misstatements, rdative to Mr. Fuller's sentiments, 
which have already been too often encouraged. No one 
acquainted with the character of Mr. Booth, can forbear to 
venerate his memory ; but it is undeniable, that his tenaci- 
ty for a system, and his dread of innovation, subjected him 
to impressions not the most favourable to free and candid 
inquiry. It was a matter of grief to Mr. Fuller, that he 
had to encounter opposition from a man whom he could 
never approach but with sentiments of reverential esteem^ 

* Vide Dialegaes, Letters, and Esiayf. Ghtp. viL Memoiiv, pp. 
189, liW. 



the gospel being sent to thousands who never receive it, as 
a waste of love. 

Another Conversation, on the Atonement (snd Substitution 

of Christ, 

Arriving at Dundee, I presently found myself amidst a 
circle of friends, ministers, and others, who requested me 
to give my ideas of the Atonement and Substitution of 
Christ. The substance of what passed, as nearly as I 
can recollect, was as follows : 

I consider the atonement as a divine extraordinary expe- 
dient, for the exercise of mercy consistently with justice. 

With respect to the Saviour being our Substitute, perhaps 
my ideas may appear by a few connected observations. 

Ood, as the moral governor of the world, delights to im* 
part his favour in reward of obedience ; like a wise and good 
parent, who not only loves his children, but loves righte- 
ousness also, and therefore bestows his gifts in reward of 
it. — « Well." — If man had continued in obedience, God 
would have poured forth all the fulness of his heart, all the 
blessings of eternal life in reward of it. — " Well." — But 
man became a rebel, and God hath nothing left in our 
world to reward. 

" True ; and what then V* 

God must either withhold his favours, and instead of 
them, inflict his displeasure ; or bestow them in some other 
way. — " Well." — He has not withheld his favour, but has 
bestowed it in some other way. — " In what way t" — He 
has given his own Son, from mere self-moved goodness ; and 
not as the reward of any thing done by any one. — " Well." 
— He has also blessed a certain number of the human race 
with all spiritual blessings, in reward of his obedience unto 
death. He being made a curse, all who believe in him are ex- 
empted from it ; and yielding full obedience to the law, God 
rewarded him by justifying and saving them at his request, 
and for his sake. The death of Christ was a satisfaction to 
justice ; not by the letter of the law having taken its 
course ; but God having hereby expressed his displeasure 
against sin, the spirit of it is preserved and honoured, 
though the believing sinner is pardoned. God is so well 
pleased with the obedience and death of his Son, that he 
gives him all he asks; and he asks oar salvation. There 
is no sin so great, but he can forgive it; nor blessing so 


rich, but he can bestow it for his sake. Every petition 
presented in his name is sure to succeed. 

*' But is there nothing in the substitution of Christ which 
renders our salvation a matter of right 1" 

It is certainly consistent with right, and an exercise of 
remunerative justice towards Christ, But it is not so a 
matter of right, as not to be in every part of it an exercise 
of free grace towards us ; nor does it to us become a matter 
of claim. The only right or title that we have to it is in 
virtue of promise; and God never promises that which he 
could not in justice withhold. 

''£ have heard some persons speak of christians as claim- 
ing salvation in virtue of Christ's death, and of sueing out 
their right to it." 

So have I, and have been greatly surprised at their arro- 
gance. Could 1/ou talk in that strain upon your knees ? 

" If our salvation be an exercise of remunerative jus- 
tice towards Christ ; why is it not the same towards us V 

The union between Christ and us, though sujfficiently 
close to afford a foundation for what we did, to be reckoned 
as if it were his, and what he did and suffered, as if it were 
ours ; yet is not so intimate as for the actions of either to 
be those of the other. We talk of guilt being taken away 
by the death of Christ ; and if by guilt we mean obnozious"^ 
ness to punishment, it is so. But if we mean desert of pun- 
ishment, it is not so. Guilt in this sense is untransfera- 
ble, and must for ever attach to the offender. Sin and 
righteousness are imputable, but not transferable, except 
in their effects* The imputation of our sin to Christ con- 
sists in the transfer of its effects ; and the imputation of 
his righteousness to us consists in the same. God did not 
think his Son a sinner, and us innocent ; but he treated 
each as if they were so. 

" But did not Christ ask for our being with him, in a 
way of claim V* 

Not so as if it were not of grace : but God being so well 
pleased with his Son, desired him, if I may so speak, to 
ask what he would — and he asked our salvation. 

'' But is not God s&id to be just, as well as faithful, in 
forgiving our sins V* 

Yes ; and he is said to be righteous, or rather, not un^ 
righteous to forget our labour of love. Yet you do not 
claim such rewa^ as an exercise of essential justice, or 
80 as to supersede grace. 



In a Letter to the Rev. Dr. John Erskme. 

In Mr. Fuller's work on Deism, eotitled, " The Gospel 
its own Witness/' he intimated in a Note, that be had "no 
doabt of the atonement of Christ being a perfect satisfac- 
tion to divine justice ; nor of his being worthy of all that 
was conferred upon him, and upon us for his sake ; nor of 
that which to us is sovereign mercy being to htm an exer- 
cise of remunerative justice : but he wished it to be con- 
sidered, whether the moral Governor of the world was laid 
nnder such a kind of obligation to show mercy to sinners 
as a creditor is under to discharge a debtor, on having re- 
ceived full satisfaction at the hands of a surety ? If he 
be, the writer was unable to perceive how there could be 
any room for free forgiveness on the part of God ; or bow 
it can be said that justice and grace harmonize in a sin- 
ner's salvation." 

Dr. John Erskine of Edinburgh, as well as some others, 
hesitated to admit this statement ; and the following is 
Mr. FuUer'-s answer to his objections : 

** February 25, 1800. 
« Dear Sir, 

" I thank you for your free and friendly remarks upon 
my late publication. Your approbation of what I write, 
I can truly say, gives me great satisfaction ; and your dis- 
approbation of a certain part of it, induced me carefully 
to re-examine it, lest I should be mistaken. If I could 
perceive that any thing I have written, detracts from the 
giory of my Redeemer's mediation, I should be very un- 

"You suggest an apprehension that the sentiment thrown 
out is inconsistent with our being directed to pray in the 
name of Christ, or on the ground of his merits^ which you 
consider as our title to eternal life. Whether any thing I 
have written, really clashes with this sentiment or not, be 
assured that all my prayers and hopes are in the name of 
Christ ; and his merit or worthiness is my only title to eter- 
nal life. Perhaps, however, I may affix to these terms, ideas 
different from yours, and therein may consist all the differ- 
ence between us. 

" 1 never liked to deal in scholastic terras, unless I could 
perceive they had a clear sense in them. I have tbereifore 
said nothing of the distinction between the merit of con- 


dignity, and the merit of congruUy ; but so far as I under* 
stand these terms, they express what I mean. I appre^^ 
hend that merit of the first kind is not only inapplicable 
to the virtuous exercises of creatures towards God, but 
such as cannot possibly be exercised towards an all-per- 
fect Being by any one, whatever be his nature or charac^ 
ter. Who hath given unto him ? Even the goodness of 
Christ ' extendeth not to him, but to the saints that are in 
the earth.' 

** After the most serious and attentive application to the 
subject, it appears to me that there is a real difference be- 
tween satisfaction, merit, d&c. as made in cases of debt and 
credit, and in cases of cnme, where the injury respects 
character and government. In the one case, a full satis* 
faction made by a surety to a creditor, precludes the exer- 
cise of forgiving mercy on his part towards the debtor. But 
it is not so in the other, as I suppose, is sufficiently mani-> 
fest by the similitude in chapter iv. Part ii. The Scrip- 
tures also appear to me always to represent the death of 
Christ as making perfect satisfaction to divine justice ; not 
as conferring a benefit, which should lay the Father under 
a natural obligation, in some form to repay ; but as doing 
that which was well pleasing in his sight, and which his 
infinite love of righteousness would necessarily induce him 
to reward. Ps. xv. 7. Isa. liii. 10 — 12. John x. 17. Ephes. 
V. 2. Phil. ii. 6—11. 

Christ was ' made under the law, to redeem them that 
were under the law.' By the law here I understand the 
covenant of works ; for in no other character are we re- 
deemed from under it. The covenant of works contained 
a threatening of death, in case of disobedience ; and by 
implication a promise, in case of disobedience. Christ by 
his sacrifice atoned for our breach of that covenant ; and 
this being connected with a course of unspotted obedience, 
he obtained for us a title to eternal life. But as it would 
have been only by a merit of congruity, had we kept the 
covenant, that we should have enjoyed eternal life ; does it 
not follow, that it was the same kind of merit by which we 
are reinstated in the divine favour? 1 do not mean to com- 
pare the merit of Christ and that of the purest creatures, 
in point of worth, but merely as to its nature and kind ; and 
which appears to me to be the only possible kind that can 
be exercised towards God. 

'* Such, my dear and venerable friend, are the reasons 
for what I have advanced. You have wished me to revise 

376 KUfonus ov anbrcw wmajuu 

the Note, and to express myself a little diflerently^ or put 
k into a hypothetical form, if I can do so consistently with 
my own views. 1 thank you lor the interest you take in the 
acceptableness of my writings. It has also been suggested 
from another quarter, that by acknowledging spiritual bless- 
ings bestowed on us, to be acts of remunerative justice to- 
wards Christ, I have retracted, rather than explained the 
Note. Be it so then : if what I said before be inconsielent 
with this truth, I do retract it ; though I must assure you 
that I never intended any thing different A. F.'^ 

Id a Letter to Mr. Maclean. 

In December, 1796, the Rev. Mr. Simeon of Cambridge 
was at Edinburgh, and preached a sermon from Mark xvi. 
15, 16. After it was printed, an anonymous writer ani- 
madverted upon it in a pamphlet, entitled, " David and 
Jonathan ;" which a gentleman in Edinburgh transmitted 
to Mr. Fuller, with his own remarks upon the subject. 
Mr. Fuller replied to his letter, and soon after received 
one from Mr. Maclean, who was supposed to be the author 
of the pamphlet ; and to him the following letter was ad- 
dressed, in answer to his objections. It is possible that 
most of the sentiments have been given under another 
form, in some of the Author's later publications ; but as 
the letter itself is unpublished and entire, and contains a 
concise view of the principal points in dispute, it was 
judged expedient to give it an insertion in this place. 

"July, 1797. 
*« Dear Sir, 

''If your letter had barely contained a statement of your 
ideas on certain subjects on which I have already fully 
written my mind, I might have declined a particular reply; 
and on account of bodily indisposition, and various neces- 
sary avocations, this would have been much more agreeable 
to me. But by the consequences which you charge on my 
views of Faith and Justification, 1 am constrained to be ex- 
plicit on that subject. 

"The substance of what has been advanced, in reference 
to these points, is reducible to three questions; namely, 
whether faith includes in it an exercise of the heart — if it 
does, whether it be not confounded with love and hope — 
and whether it renders justification, after all, to be by works? 


*^I had asked, fif faith he a mere assent of the understand- 
iBg, and have nothing of moral' good in it, how can it be the 
object of commcmd ? How can it be a duty 1 * You answer, 
*^By a mere assent of the understanding, you must mean 
a belief of the testimony of God, grounded upon his au- 
thority and faithfulness. This you think has nothing of 
moral good in it." That I think a mere assent of the un- 
derstanding has nothing of moral good in it, i« true ; but 
why must I mean by a mere assent of the understanding, a 
belief of the testimony of God, grounded upon his authority 
and faithfulness? The very point in dispute is, whether 
such a belief does not include more than a mere assent of 
the understanding. To suppose, therefore, that I must 
mean this, is to suppose that I must grant you the very 
point in dispute. 

** The intellectual faculty, I suppose, is capable of nothing 
more than knowledge ; but that faith or credence is some- 
thing more than knowledge. A man may understand that 
which he does not believe ; yet he cannot be said to dis- 
believe it, if he understand nothing about it. An assent 
of the understanding is a matter of judgment, which re- 
gards the meaning of the testifier, rather than of faith, 
which relates to the truth of the testimony. And if it be 
merely an exercise of the understanding, that is, if it be 
not influenced by any bias of heart, it contains neither 
good nor evil of a moral kind, but is purely natural. Such 
an assent is not an object of command, is not a duty, nor 
is the opposite of it a sin. Diligent and impartial exami- 
nation is a duty ; but knowledge itself, I conceive is not. 
It is true there is a knowledge to which eternal life is 
promised, which is duty; and an ignorance which is 
threatened with divine vengeance, 2 Thes. i. S, and which 
therefore must be sin. But neither is the former a mere 
exercise of the intellectual faculty, nor the latter a mere 
defect of that exercise. That ignorance which is threat- 
ened with divine vengeance, you will allow, is a voluntary 
ignorance, which includes a mixture of that evil temper 
which hateth the light. John viii. 43. Hence it is called 
the blindness of the heart. Ephes. iv. 18. Hence also 
' David,' in his dialogue with * Jonathan,' p. 15, very prop- 
erly describes it as an evil eye. And I suppose that the 
knowledge to which eternal life is promised includes a 
mixture of holy love. When the terms ignorance and 
knowledge are used in this sense, which they frequently 

STB mifouui OF andbsw fvllkh. 

are in Scriptare, I consider them as used, not in a literal 
but in a figurative sense, as when God is said not to know 
certain characters at the day of judgment 

"David in his dialogue admits of the distinction between 
spiritual knowledge, and that which is merely speadativcy 
though he contends, and very justly, that the latter " im- 
plies some very essential imperfection and error." The 
reason of this imperfection and error is also very properly 
suggested by David. His words are — " After all that we 
can say of the speculative knowledge of practical truth, we 
must still remember that it implies some very essential im- 
perfection and error." David here seems to intimate, that 
practical truth is not discernible by speculative knowledge. 

'' Now what David calls speculative knowledge, 1 call a 
mere exercise of the intellectual or speculative faculty ; 
and so for once we are agreed, that the knowledge of 
practical truth is more than a mere exercise of intellect. 
Again : what he calls spiritual knowledge, and which is 
the only true knowledge of practical trulh, is the same as 
that which I have mentioned as having eternal life con- 
nected with it. But that which is spiritual^ whether it be 
knowledge or faith, cannot be a mere exercise of the in- 
tellectual faculty, for the term spiritual denotes as much as 
holy ; but holiness necessarily includes some affection of 
the heart, and is not predicable of simple intelligence. 

" That which distinguishes faith from a mere exercise of 
the intellectual faculty, and which constitutes its morality, 
is, that it includes a treating of God either as the God of 
truth, or as a liar. Hence, as you very properly express 
it, " it is right to believe all that God says, and exceeding 
wrong to hold him as a liar." You go on to ask, *' why 
may not belief be an object of command as well as love ?" 
Do I deny then that it is so ? If indeed belief included 
nothing more than an exercise of the intellectual faculty, 
I should deny it, because 1 am persuaded that the heart, 
and its genuine expressions, are the whole of what God 
requires ; but viewing belief as I do, I readily admit it to 
be an object of command. You add, '' and if it be both 
right in itself, and the object of command, it must certainly 
be a duty J' Very true, sir, and in this short passage you 
have said all 1 wish to plead for : whether you will allow 
the terms, moral good, moral excellence, or virtue, to per- 
tain to the nature of faith, or not ; while you adhere to Uiis, 
I am satisfied. 


*^ If these be your views of faith, which I am persuaded 
is the case, say what you will, you do not consider it as 
a natural but as a moral exercise. And while you allow 
faith to be rights you need not argue as you do, '' that 
though it shoijAd contain no intrinsic virtue or moral ex- 
cellence in itself, yet it does not follow that unbelief could 
contain no sin.'' Nor do I think this argument conclusive. 
You plead, that though there may be no virtue in a thing, 
yet there may be sin in its opposite ; and instance in *^ the 
abstinence from various crimes, eating when we are hun- 
gry, and believing a human testimony." There may in- 
deed be no virtue in these things as they are generally per- 
formed by apostate creatures : but if they were performed 
as God requires them to be, (which they should, in order 
to be the opposites of the sense you mention,) they would 
contain real virtue. God requires us to abstain from all 
ein^from a regard to his name ; to eat and drink, and do 
whatsoever we do, to his glory ; and we are to credit the 
testimony of a friend when we have reason to do so." 
These things thus performed, would be truly virtuous-^ 
Whatever is capable of being done by a moral agent, with 
an eye to the glory of God, ought to be so done; and if 
it be so done, it is right or virtuous : if not, it is wrong or 

'^ It appears to me that the idea against which you argue 
is merits rather than duty. I plead only for duty^ which is 
the very principle by which, according to the reasoning of 
oar Lord, merit is excluded. Luke xvi. 10. If it be ne- 
cessary in order ''to refuse some praise to the creature," to 
deny that faith is an exercise of virtue ; it must be equally 
necessary to deny that it is a right exercise, a commanded 
exercise, and what is a part of our duty ;" for these are 
the same things. 

'' While you allow faith to be both * right in itself, and 
air object of command, and consequently a dtUy ;' to what 
purpose do you object against my contending for its moral- 
ity ? ''If we are not justified by faith as a virtue, you say, 
of what importance is it to contend for the moral excellence 
of faith ? Why so solicitous to find something in it more 
than belief? Why is that held insufficient for justification?" 
This, by the by, is a misstatement. I do not pretend to 
find any thing more in faith than belief. Belief itself, I 
suppose, includes in it all that I contend for. And as to 
the importance of the morality of faith, ask yourself: If 
we are not justified by faith as a compliance with what ''in 


itself is righi/' as obedience to *Hhe command of Oo^," or 
as the performance of ** a (kdy" of what iinportaBce is ft 
to contend for it as being either this of that ? Yoa can 
easily give an answer to this question ; and by so doing, 
you wUl answer that which yon have put to me. 

" And if while you allow faith to be right, you attribute 
* all the virtue and influence which is ascribed to it in jus- 
tification, to its object/ rather than to any intrinsic Tight- 
ness which itself contains, you do what I heartily approve ; 
and in so doing, whether you can understand my distin- 
guishing between justification by faith on account of its re- 
lation to its object, and justification by it as a virtue or not, 
you maintain the same thing. 

** You seem certain that I consider faith * as a temper or 
disposition of heart corresponding to the truth believed.' 
If you be certain of it, it is more than I am. 1 say it tit- 
ehides such a temper ; but I do not suppose it would be a 
proper definition of faith, to call it a disposition of the 
neart corresponding with revealed truth. To give God 
credit or discredit, seems better to agree with the idea of 
tm ixercise of the soul, than of a temper or disposition. It 
is actually treating God either as the God of truth, or as 
a liar. It has more of a disposition in it than you seem 
willing to acknowledge ; and more of an assent to truth 
than the notion of it which you ascribe to me. It is what 
the Scriptures call a receiving of the love of the truth, that 
we may he saved. 2 Thess. ii. 10. You may easily per- 
ceive that I do not consider it either as an exercise of the 
understanding to the exclusion of the will, or of the will 
to the exclusion of the understanding. To distinguish the 
powers of the soul is in many oases very proper, and to dis- 
tinguish the natural from the moral powers, is of import- 
ance : but I conceive there are several mental exercises, 
and perhaps all those which are of a spiritual or holy na- 
ture, which cannot be said to be exercises of a single pow- 
er, hut of the soul, without distinction of its powers. Such 
are repentance, hope, and fear ; and such I conceive is 

" As to my confounding faith with hope and love, which 
the apostle declares to be three, I have already answered 
this objection; and I must say that your reply is hx fi'om 
being satisfkctory^ Whether my considering them as dis* 
tinct with regard to their objects, include ^I the distino- 
tioa that there is between them or not, you admit " hope 
to include desire," which is the same thing as its including 

ttftMOtitd 0^ ANDREW FULL15R. 2^1 

tdVe. Hope, you say, ' is a modification of love.' Hope, 
therefore, according to your own acknowledgment, though 
distinguished from love^ yet is not so distinct from it, hut 
that it includes a portion of it. But if this may be said 
of hope, there is no good reason to be drawn from this pas* 
sage why it may not also be said of faith. 1 Cor. xiii. 13. 

" If faith include an exercise of the will, David ' would 
be at a loss to account for the superiority of love.' (pp. 
18> 19.) By the same rule he must be at a loss to account 
for its superiority to hope, since he allows hope to " in- 
clude desire," that is to say, it includes love, and is '* a 
modification of it." Does not the apostle himself suggest 
wherein consists the superiority of love ; namely, its per* 
pettdty 7 * Love never faileth.' Faith shall terminate in 
vision, and hope in fruition ; but love shall rise and in<^ 
crease to all eternity. 

" Again : if faith include ' the assent of the will, with the 
concurrence of the warmest affections, David would be 
unable to see why faith, and not love, unites us to Christ.' 
(p. 19.) This objection proceeds upon the supposition that 
faith not only includes love, but that it is love ; or that faith 
and love are the same thing. In this case, no doubt^ 
it would be impossible to discern why faith should unite us 
to Christ rather than love, seeing there would be no differ- 
ence between the one and the other. But though faith 
may include a portion of love, it does not follow from 
thence that it is in no respect distinguishable from it ; or 
that there are not some effects ascribable to faith, on 
account of its peculiar properties, which are not to be 
ascribed to love. Justification includes the forgiveness of 
sins, yet it is not the same thing as forgiveness ; and there 
are some things ascribable to the former, namely, a title to 
eternal life, which do not belong to the latter. Rom. 
v. 18, 21. 

** You seem greatly jealous on the subject of meetness ; 
and so does Dr. Stuart, who fears my views on this sub- 
ject will * impair my preaching and experience.' I am 
truly obliged to both him and you, for your anxiety on this 
head. Both your letters on this subject made a deep im- 
pression on my heart. I could have watered each of them 
with tears. There would however have been some differ- 
ence. Over his I could have shed tears of trembling selA 
diffidence, lest what he suggested might be true, ana lest 
I should in any degree, though unwittingly, dishoiiour 

Z 2' 

382 mMoots or Atmnxw fvlleb. 

Him whom my soul ioveth. Orer j^ours I oooU have wept 
for grief. The mixture of tartness, and unkind insinuation, 
which on some occasions accompany your reasonings, was 
not the most pleasant It seemed to me unsuitable to 
brotherly discussion. But this I pass over, and attend to 
the subject. 

** By a few rough notes which I have of my letter to Dr. 
Stuart, I think, among other things, I asked, ' May not 
faith include the acquiescence of the heart, and so be a 
moral exercise ; and may there not be a fitness in God's 
justifying persons who thus acquiesce, without any foun- 
dation being laid for boasting ? Though foith be a naoral 
exercise, yet I do not consider that it is on account of its 
morality, but its relation to Christ, that justification is 
ascribed to it.' 

" On this you remark, that ' the distinction between this 
and being justified by fiiith as a virtue, is too fine ; for if 
this fitness in God's justifying arises from the moral excel- 
lency of faith, we must undoubtedly be justified by faith 
as a virtue in some sense or other.' 

'* You will admit, I think, of a fitness between justifica- 
tion and believing ; or that it is wisely ordered, that be- 
lievers should be justified rather than unbelievers. Other- 
wise you must suppose that God does what there is no 
reason or fitness in doing. 

** Farther, you suppose believing to include a knowledge 
ofChrbt, at least such a knowledge as 'perceives and 
realizes the object ;' and this you will admit to precede 
justification, and that there is a fitness in its doing so. 
Yet you do not maintain that our realizing perception of 
Christ's righteousness, but Christ's righteousness itself, is 
that on account of which God justifies us. Now why 
may I not maintain the same, though I ccHxsider the belief 
of the gospel as including a cordial acquiescence in it ? 

" If you allege, there is no other Jitness in God's justifying 
a person on hia believing, in your sense ^f the term, than 
a Jitness of wisdom; none which -undermines the fireeness 
of grace, or which bears any resemblance to the notion of 
those who talk of a m^rit of congruity ; and that for this 
reason, — there being nothing of moral good included in the 
qature of faith, there can be no ground for a moral ^fitness 
in the sinner being justified by it. 

*' To this I answer — (1.) You do allow faith to include 
moral good, though in some places you write as though you 
did not. You allow it to be ''right in itself^ a eommafu/ 


of GK)d, a duty, and the contrary a sin, as niakiog God a 
liar/' You must admit, therefore, that though we are justi- 
fied by that which is right, is a command, is a duty ; yet 
it is not on account of its rightness, or of its being au 
obedience to the divine command, or a compliance with 
duty ; but merely on account of the object in which it ter- 
minates. And if this distinction be not *' too fine'' for you, 
neither will that to which you object in me ; for it is the 
same thing. — (2.) A fitness of wisdom is the whole for 
which I plead. It appears to be wisely ordered that no 
person should share the blessing of justification through 
the righteousness of Christ, till he heartily acquiesce in 
that way of savings sinners. Yet it is not his acquiescence 
that is any ground of his acceptance, but that in which he 

" I will try and state another case or two, which may 
throw some light upon that in question. Let us suppose 
Pharaoh's daughter, who was married to king Solomon, to 
have been a poor outcast, and even defiled ; yet Solomon 
sends his servants to invite her to the most intimate and 
honourable union. At first she feels attached if to her lov- 
ers, and refuses — ^at length, however, her mind is changed. 
She is married to him ; and that moment becomes interest- 
ed in his crown and possessions. Perhaps you would ad- 
mit the fitness in this case, that she should first be united 
with Solomon, ere she become interested in his possessions; 
and with such a kind of union too, as should include a re- 
nunciation of all her former lovers and illicit practices^ Yet 
virtuous as this union might be, and wicked as it would 
have been in her to have still adhered to her lovers, you 
would never imagine that she was put in possession of the 
crown on account of her marriag^, considered as an €%er» 
cise of virtue, or as a reward for it. Nor would she, if a 
true penitent, ever think of arrogating to herself any merit 
for acquiescing in the king's proposal, or consenting to do 
as she had done ; but rather be confounded on account of 
her former wickedness, and especially that she should have 
been so attached to it as for a time to despise the riches of 
his goodness. If a question had been put to her in the 
height of her glory, by one that had known her in former 
times, ' And what is this that is come to you ? On what 
ground or title have you the possession of all these richest 
She might have answered to this effect : ' They were not 
Qiitte ; I neither laboured for them, nor inherited them 
from any one that was naturally related tome. They were 

984 MttHotBa oP ANDREW FuiLen. 

king Solomon's ; and he, from a wonderful attachment to 
me, in which he seems to have heen determined, bj an act 
of overwhelming kindness, to display his native generosity^ 
conferred them upon roe. I have them in virtue of marriage. 
That which accomplished my union to the king, at the 
same time put me in possession of these riches. All that I 
enjoy is by marriage : for what was If It is of marriage, 
that it might be of grace.' 

" 1 do not pretend to say, that this case will throughout 
apply to that of Christ and bis church ; but I conceive they 
are sufficiently alike to illustrate the argument. Union with 
Christ is that which in the order of things precedes justifi- 
cation. ' Of him are ye in Christ Je^us, who of God is 
made unto us righteousness — ^that I may be found in kirn, 
not having mine own righteousness, but that which is by 
the faith of Christ.' 1 Cor. i. 31. Phil. iii. 9. David ad- 
mits this in his dialogue, p. 19. This union with Christ is 
to be of one spirit with him ; and this being by faith, it is 
hence that by faith were are justified. 

" It is here I think 1 can perceive the peculiar relation 
that faith bears to Christ. Such a belief of the gospel as 
that whereby we embrace his way of salvation with our 
whole soul, renders Christ and us ' po more twain,' but 
tme spirit. 1 Cor. vi. 17. This is analogous to the joining 
act in marriage. Whatever love there might be in such 
an act, and however necessary such love might be to ren- 
der it sincere, or whatever love might follow after, it is 
not this, but the act of marriage, that so unites the parties 
as that the one shall be interested in the possessions of the 

** In short, by the above representation, I can see a cor- 
dial and virtuous acquiescence necessary to the enjoyment 
of an advantage, and a fitness in its being so ; yet not such 
a fitness as those maintain, who speak of a meiit of con- 
gruity, but a fitness of wisdom. 

"Again : there is a fitness of wisdom in the established 
connection between repentance and the remission of sins. 
That such a connection exists throughout the Scriptures, I 
imagine you will not deny. Neither can you doubt wheth- 
er repentance be a moral exercise of mind : yet you will 
not say that this moral exercise is that on account of which 
we are forgiven ; but that it is wholly /or ChrisVs sake, as 
much as we are justified wholly for the sake of his righte- 
ousness. Here again, you must make- use of the distinc- 


tion which yoa say is Hoo fine.' It is true^ repentance does 
not occupy the same place with respect to forgiveness, as 
faith does with respect to justification, for we are not said 
to be forgiven by repentance; yet the connection is as real 
in the one case as in the other. Forgiveness follows upon 
repentance, which is a virtue^ and it is fit it should, rather 
than go before it : and yet it is not for the sake of that 
virtue, but of the blood-shedding of Christ, that we are 

** You allow, and that rightly, that justification includes 
the forgiveness of sins : if there be no forgiveness therefore 
without repentance, which the Scriptures abundantly teach, 
there can be no justification without repentance. Conse- 
quently, repentance must be implied or included in the 
very nature of justifying faith, as much as the forgiveness 
of sin is included in justification. Nor does this idea con- 
found faith and repentance, any more than the other con- 
founds justification and pardon. 

" Once more : there is a fitness of wisdom in the estab- 
lished connection between receiving Christ, and having 
power, right or privilege, to become the sons of God. John 
i. 12. And receiving Christ, I think you will admit to be 
a holy or moral exercise, including the concurrence of the 
will. It is the direct opposite of rejecting him, or receiving 
him not, verse 11. Yet you will not say that it is a reward 
for having received him, that he confers upon us the bless- 
ing of adoption. We are predestinated to that relation 
merely of grace, by Jesus Christ ; and not as the reward 
of any thing good in us. Here then you must again admit 
of a distinction which you say is 'too fine.' Adoption fol- 
lows upon receiving Christ, which is a virtue ; and it is 
wisely ordered that it should ; yet it is not for the sake of 
that virtae, but from the free grace of God through our 
Lord Jesus Christ, that we of aliens are made sons. 

** If can find opportunity, I may take some notice of the 
other parts of your letter at some future time. Meanwhile 
I only say, that writing upon subjects of difference is as 
unpleasant to me as it can be to you, and perhaps more 
so, on account of the indisposition that attends me ; and 
having stated my views, I do not intend to keep up a con- 
troversy. If I can receive any fresh light from your com- 
munications, I shall be obliged to you ; but probably 1 shall 
not largely reply any more. 

286 MBMonts OP andrsw fuixbr. 


'^ While I was at Aberdeen, I was waited upon by a dep- 
utation, consisting of the pastor, a deacon, and another 
member of a little Baptist church, lately formed at New 
Byth, near Old Deer, Aberdeenshire. A Baptist minister 
now in Norfolk, was the Episcopal minister at Old Deer, 
till the year 1799. At that time his views were altered 
concerning baptism ; and he went to London, and was bap- 
tized by Mr. Booth. Soon after a Baptist church of ten 
members, out of his former congregation, was formed in 
the neighbourhood. The church then proceeded to choose 
one of their members to be their pastor : and on March 
26th, 1803, they set him apart to that office by prayer. 
Some of the members, however, were not satisfied as to the 
validity of his ordination, seeing there were no pastor or 
pastors from other churches present to join in it. A few 
of them had communed together at the Lord's table ; bnt 
the rest stood aloof, merely on this account. Their errand 
to me was, to request my judgment on the validity of his 
ordination ; and if I thought it invalid, that 1 would come 
and ordain him. 

'' I told them, if there had been any other pastors of 
churches within their reach, it would have been proper to 
request their concurrence and assistance ; and that if I had 
been there at the time, I should have had no objection to 
have joined in prayer, and in the laying on of hands. But 
as things were, I could not see how they could have acted 
otherwise than they had done. And aa to my now or- 
daining him, I could do no such thing ; partly because it 
would imply that I thought him not as yet their pastor, 
which was not true ; and partly because it would convey 
an idea of my having to impart to another minister some 
power or authority, of which I had no conception. My 
advice was, that they should all be satisfied with what was 



When Mr. Fuller was in Edinburgh, in the year 1805, 
he communed with a newly formed Baptist church in that 
city, not then provided with a pastor ; and at thehr request 
he administered the Lord's supper among them. Previous 
to thb, they had been in the habit of commemorating the 


death of Christ in this ordinance, without a minister ; but 
wished to know his opinion on the subject. 

" I told them," says Mr. Fuller, " that probably there 
were few of my brethren who might be of my mind ; but 
1 had long been of opinion, that there was no scriptural 
authority for confining the administration of the Lord's 
supper to a minister. I had no doubt but that the primi- 
tive pastors did preside at the Lord's table, as well as in 
the reception and exclusion of members, and in short in 
all the proceedings of the church ; and that where there 
was a pastor, it was proper he should continue to do so. 
But that when a pastor died, or was removed, the church 
was not obliged to desist from commemorating the Lord's 
death, any more than from receiving or excluding mem- 
bers ; and that it was as lawful for them to appoint a dea- 
con, or any senior member, to preside in the one case as 
in the other. 

''Neither did I recollect that any minister is said to have 
administered the Lord's supper, unless we consider our 
Saviour as sustaining that character at the time of its in- 
stitution ; and this silence of the Scriptures concerning the 
administrator, appeared to me to prove that it was a matter 
of indifference. Finally, I told them that it was not the 
practice of our English churches : that they, many of them, 
would send for the pastors of other churches to perform 
this office ; and that I for one had often complied with such 
requests. I could wish, however, it were otherwise, and 
that every church, when destitute of a pastor, would attend 
to the Lord's supper among themselves. 

"It is the practice of this and all the Baptist churches in 
Scotland, to commemoiate the Lord's death every Lord's 
day. 1 do not 'think this to be binding, but am persuaded 
there can be nothing wrong in it, and that 'probably it was 
the practice of the primitive churches." 


The subject of Strict Communion, which has of latd 
been so much agitated, more than once engaged Mr. Ful- 
ler's attention ; and had he lived to see the able pamphlets 
which have since been written, there is no doubt but he 
would have entered more deeply into the subject. During 
the first year of his public ministry, as has already been 
observed, p. 24, he wrote some " Reflections" on a small 
pamphlet published by Mr. Browne of Kettering, and on 


another by Mr. Robiaflon of Cambridge, both of them in 
favour of open commanion. These gentlemen became ad* 
▼ocates for the practice on rather different grounds ; the 
former alleging that it was most agreeable to Christian 
charity, and the latter that it ought to be allowed on the 

Sound of religious toleration ; while both maintained that 
iptism, in some form or other, was indispensably necessa- 
ry to Christian communion. Mr. Fuller availed himself of 
this admission, and remarked that it was fatal to their ar- 
gument ; for in dispensing with what in their judgment is 
essential to baptism, they in effect dispensed with the or- 
dinance itself; and then with marvellous inconsistency, 
made it a term of communion. 

The substance of this manuscript, written in 1774, was 
embodied in a posthumous pamphlet, prepared by the au- 
thor a few months only before his decease, and contains of 
course his mature thoughts upon the subject. In attempt- 
ing to prove ** the admission of unbaptized persons to the 
Lord's supper, inconsistent with the New Testament," Mr. 
Fuller states the question to be, whether baptism has any 
such instituted connection with the Lord's supper, as to be- 
come an indispensable prerequisite ? And certainly, noth- 
ing short of express divine authority can be allowed to de- 
cide a case of such vital importance to the interests of 
practical and social religion. Mr. Fuller finds this insti' 
tuted connection, first in the literal order of the apostolic 
commission, which gives a precedence to baptism, but with- 
out specifying the supper ; and neat, in the order of events. 
'' All the recorded facts in the New Testament, place bap- 
tism before the celebration of the Lord's supper." 


Last yenr of Mr. Fuller's Life — His Reflections on the Death of Mr. 
Sutcliffe — Attends a Missionary Ordination at Leicester— Com- 
mencement of his last Illness — Sketch of his last Sermon in Lon- 
don — Ordination at Clipstone — His last Sermon at Kettering — ^Fare- 
well Letter to Dr. Ryland — Particulars of his Death — Extracts from 
Mr. Toller's Sermon on the occasion — Funeral solemnities of Mr. 

Notwithstanding his stout athletic frame, Mr. Falter 
appears to have been constitutionally bilious, and sascepti« 
ble of those distressing complaints usually considered as 
arising from diseased liver. His vital organs, in other re- 


spects, were sound and vigorous ; and he bath required and 
enjoyed, strong muscular exercise, intermixed with his se-> 
dentary employment. When long at home, he was subject 
to distressing head»aches and bilious affections, excited by 
intense application to writing, but from these he was gene- 
rally relieved by travelling. Yet the remedy, in the issue, 
if it did not aggravate the disease, demanded those resour- 
ces which the human constitution was unable to supply. 
When in the best state of health, Mr. Fuller used to say, 
he did not expect a long life, and that probably he should 
never live to the age of three score and ten ; and the event 
too well justified these forebodings. 

At a later period, he often laboured under various attacks 
of difficult breathing, cough, indigestion, bilious sickness, 
and feverish symptoms ; which were greatly increased by 
fatigue, exposure to cold or humid air, especially after 
preaching, and exertions of this kind too frequently re- 
peated, and sometimes too long continued. He was scarce- 
ly ever mindful of his health, except in reference to two 
things, — damp beds, and an easterly wind. These he 
anxiously avoided ; and the latter especially he considered 
as his most dangerous foe. All the rest took their chance, 
while he pursued his labours unapprised of any danger. 
Though he was not at any time very corpulent, yet of Tate 
years he sunk considerably in flesh ; and it was remarked 
at the first annual meeting of the Baptist Missionary Soci- 
ety, held in London, ''that he brought all his soul with him, 
but only half his body." 

During the last year of his life, he visited Olney, Bed- 
ford, Leicester, and some parts of Essex ; and, on his 
return, attended the annual meetings in the city, June 22, 
1814; where on the preceding evening, he preached from 
Titus i. 15. His intimate Criend, Mr. Sutcliffe, of Olney, 
died on the following evening. On the 28th he went to 
his interment, and preached his funeral sermon, of which 
a brief review has been given in page 177. It was natural 
enough to notice the words of a dying friend, and especial- 
ly for such a mind as Mr. Fuller's to attempt some improve- 
ment of them. He accordingly remarked in conversation, 
a little while afterwards— 

*' I have been thinking of what brother Suteliffe said to 
me a few days before his death : — 'I wish I had prayed 
more.' So I wish that I had prayed more. I do not sup- 
pose that brother Suteliffe meant that he wished he had 

A A 


prtyed mofe frequently, but more sfirUuaUy, I wish I 
Md prayed more for the influenceB of the Holy Spirit ; I 
might have enjoyed more of the power of vital godliness. 
I wish I had prayed more for the assistance of the Holy 
Spirit, in studying and preaching my sermons ; I might 
have seen more of the blessing of God attending my min- 
istry. I wish I had prayed more for the outpouring of the 
Holy Spirit to attend the labours of our friends in India; I 
might have witnessed more of the effects of their efforts in 
the conversion of the heathen." 

Much as he felt this bereavement, together with his own 
increasing infirmities, it did not damp the ardour of his 
exertions. In the course of the following month, he made 
a tour through Lancashire and Yorkshire, preaching the 
•gospel, communicating information of the mission, and 
endeavouring to impress the churches and Christians in 
general with just sentiments of its importance, and to ob- 
tain funds for its support. On his return from this excur- 
sion, he was observed to be less animated in his preaching 
than formerly ; and the altered appearance of his health 
gave painful indications to his friends, that his labours 
were drawing to a close. 

On the 31st of August following, he was a second time 
at Leicester, assisting in the ordination of Mr. Yates, who 
was preparing to join the Baptist missionaries in India. 
He appeared remarkably solemn, and was deeply affected 
on the occasion, preaching and praying as one standing 
on the verge of eternity. He was then in an ill state of 
health, and felt a strong presentiment that he should see 
his Leicester friends no more. But nothing moved him : 
his only wish was, to finish his course with joy, and the 
ministry which he has received, to testify the gospel of 
the grace of God. During the interview at Leicester, he 
was overwhelmed with anxieties and cares about the mis- 
sion, an object ever near his heart, so that few of his 
friends could have any conversation with him. At every 
interval he laid his pocket book before him, as was usual ; 
and then, forgetting every other subject, religious intelli- 
gence of one kind or other was communicated. Before 
the services of the day were ended, he sunk under the 
weight of his infirmities, and was obliged to send for med- 
ical assistance ; but his disorder, which is said to have 
arisen from a scirrhous liver, admitted only of a little tem- 
porary relief. He acknowledged that '* he was very ill," 


adding that ''his work was nearly done ; bat that he coald 
not spare time to nurse himself, and he must labour as long 
as he could." 

Early in September, after preaching on a Lord's day 
morning, he was taken so ill as to be unable to attend pul^ 
lie worship in the afternoon. On the 30th, he wrote to a 
friend as follows : 

'* Since I saw you I have been brought very low. About 
a month ago I had a bilious attack, from which, having 
often had it before, I expected no serious consequences ; 
but, after two or three days, I was seized with violent in- 
flammation, I suppose in the liver. I had a high fever, 
was bled, blistered, and confined to my bed for a week. I 
took calomel medicines ; after this the fever abated, and 
my medical attendant considered the danger as over. My 
appetite has returned, and I have been out in the air pret- 
ty much ; but the soreness in my right side is still such 
that I know not how to sleep upon it, and my strength re- 
cruits very slowly." 

Three weeks afterwards, writing to another friend, be 
says : 

''I have preached only twice for the last five or six weeks; 
but am gradually, though slowly recovering. Since I was 
laid by from preaching, I have written out my sermon, and 
drawn up a Memoir of my dear brother Sutcliffe. Your 
partiality for the Memoir of dear Pearce, will ensure me 
one reader at least for that of Sutcliffe. I hope the great 
and good Mr. Charles of Bala, will find some one who will 
do justice to his memory. Mrs. Sutcliffe died on the 3d 
of September, less than eleven weeks after her husband. 
Death has swept away almost all my old friends ; and I 
seem to stand expecting to be called for soon. It matters 
not when, so that we be found in Christ." 

In another letter, written about the same time, he says : 

'' Brother Sutcliffe's last end was enviable : let mine be 
like his ! Death has been making havoc of late amongst us. 
Yesterday I preached a funeral sermon, if so it might be 
called, for three of the members of our chnrch, lately de- 
ceased. I feel as one who has the sentence of death, and 
whose great concern it is, whether my religion will bear 
the test 1 Almost all my old friends are dead or dying 1 
Well, I have a hope that bears me up ; and it is through 
grace. In reviewing my life, I see much evit— ' God h% 
merciful to me a sinner !' " 

9B2 MiMonts OF amdrbw nnxsR. 

In a very weak state of health, he still persevered in hia 
endeaToars to serve the mission. In the preceding Jaly, 
he had been a journey into Yorkshire ; but being obliged 
to return before he could fully accomplish his object, he 
determined to complete his progress in that quarter, and 
to visit the churches which he had not then visited. Ac- 
cordingly, on the 10th of October, he took with him two 
junior ministers for this purpose ; but having reached 
Newark upon Trent, he become feverish the first night, 
and could take no rest. He was therefore obliged to re- 
turn home, and requested his companions to proceed on 
their journey. 

On the 5th of November following, he said : 

'' I mend a little, keeping free from all fatigue and wet 
weather ; but I can preach only once a day — twice leaves 
a soreness in the place where the inflammation was. I 
feel the force of Eccles. xii. l,last clause; and have lately 
preached with much feeling on Psalm Ixxi. 9. ' Cast me 
not off in old age : forsake me not when my strength fail* 
eth.' " 

Notwithstanding the delicate state of his health, and the 
unfavourable season of the year, he ventured on a journey 
to London in the month of December, which added fresh 
excitement to his disorder. This was his last visit to the 
metropolis, and it is highly probable that his own mind was 
deeply impressed with a presentiment that such would be 
the case. He continued there only one Lord's day ; viz. 
Dec. 18th, in the evening of which he preached a dis- 
course at the meeting house in Carter Lane, for the benefit 
of ** The British and Foreign School Society f and as this 
may be regarded as his farewell sermon to his London 
friends, it may not be uninteresting to give a brief account 
of it in this place. 

His text was, Daniel xii. 4. ^' Many shall run to and 
fro, and knowledge shall be increased.'^ This he consid- 
ered to be a prophecy which had an immediate respect 
to the present time ; and in order to illustrate the subject, 
lie proceeded to explain**the kind of knowledge there 
referred to*^and the means by which it was to be in- 

''As to the first of these," said he, ''we have heard much 
of late years of phUosaphicai illumination, which, by ex- 
cluding the Bible, is to meliorate the condition of man ,* 
and we have seen some of its effects. It is something re- 
markabie, that from the time when the Bible was to be 

thrown adide as useless, it has been moi'e in request, and 
more extensively circulated. Partial as unbelierers may 
be to their own kind of knowledge, they cannot expect 
that its prevalence should be an object of Scripture proph- 
ecy. No : the knowledge of which the Scriptures make 
account, is that of which the fear of the Lord is the begin- 
ning. We may depend upon it that it is Bible-knowledge, 
or the Bible would not have predicted it with approbation. 
It is that which ' the wicked will not understand, but the 
wise shall understand it/ It is the knowledge of the only 
true God, and of Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. With 
this, however, must be included the first principles, at least, 
of human science, as subservient to it ; inasmuch as the 
end includes the means which lead to it. 

" It is the glory of Christ's kingdom, that it is established 
and promoted by knowledge. It invites examination, &nd 
courts humble inquiry. Is it thus with paganism, or ma- 
hometanism, or apostate Judaism, or deism, or corrupt 
Christianity? No: these are works of darkness, for the 
dispelling of which many shall run to and fro, as with the 
lamp of truth in their hands. 

'' We have vl written religion : and though it is not essen- 
tial to salvation that we should be able to read and write, 
yet these are essential to our making any considerable pro- 
ficiency in the knowledge of God. Without being able 
to read we cannot ' search the scriptures,' nor ' meditate in 
the law of the Lord by day and by night' It is a great 
disadvantage to a hearer of the gospel, to be unable id 
compare what he hears with the word of God. Nor is it 
less so to a minister, or a missionary, in addressing such 
auditors. It might therefore be presumed, that prior to the 
general spread of the gospel, there would be a general diffo*- 
sion of knowledge even amongst the lower classes of man- 

" Secondly. Respecting the means by t^hich knowledge 
shall bt increased — ' many shall run to and fro ; ' that is, 
they that possess it shall be desirous of imparting it to 
others. There may be a desire to impart knowledge with^ 
OQt possessing it : some good men, like Ahimaaz, are eager 
to run while yet they have no tidings, and some vain men 
hare &n itch to'^be teachers, when it would raither become 
them to learn. Those who possess knowledge, however^ 
would do well to impart it according to their ability. 

" It is chiefly by means of instruction that men are 'Wtfif^f 
Atn the beasts of the ildd.' We are born, it is true, witb 

A A 2 


capacioua and mmortal powers; but while the mind ia 
aninformedy they are of bat small account. Knowledge 
enters principally at the door of the senses. To what do 
we owe the gift of speech? It may seem to be natural to 
us ; but if we are born deaf, we shall also be dumb ; and if 
with this we are blind, there would be but little difference 
in point of knowledge, between us and other animals. 
Why is man so long in growing up to maturity 1 Other 
animals attain theirs in a short time compared with him. 
Is it not that there may be opportunity for instruction? 
Both may possess like powers : but the one is instructed, 
while the other is not Many poor boys and girls in a 
country Tillage, who cannot read, and never hear the gos- 
pel, nor converse with wise men, are very little if any 
thing superior to savages. Who can read the pathetic lines 
of Gray, when looking at the graves of the poor in a coun- 
try church-yard, without dropping a tear of sympathy ? 

" Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid 
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ; 
HModfl that the rod of empire might have swayed. 
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre. 
But knowledge to their eyes her ample page. 
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll ; 
Chill penury repressed their noble rage. 
And finose the genial current of the soul." 

" A portion of this evil may always continue to be the lot 
of the poor in the present life ; but it may be considerably 
diminished ; and when the knowledge of the Lord shall 
cover the earth as the waters do the sea, it will be so. God 
hath so ordered things, that we should be blessings to one 
another. One generation passeth not away, till he has 
jeared another to take its place. We might all have been 
called alone and blessed, like Abraham ; but as in blessing 
him« God made him a blessing to the nations, it is in some 
respects the same with us. If he gives us the cup of sal- 
vation we must hand it round. If he gives us knowledge, 
or riches, or any other gift, we must not keep it to our- 
selves, but ' run to and fro' that we may impart it. 

'' If it be the design of God to diffuse the knowledge of 
himself over the earth in these last days, it might be ex- 
pected that suitable means and instruments would be em- 
ployed to accomplish it. When he meant to rear a taber- 
nacle in the wilderness, be raised up Bezaleel and Aholiab, 
and other wise-hearted men, in whom he put wisdom and 
understanding. Thus we might expect men to be gifted 


and qualified for the work appointed them, and to be stirred 
up to engage in it. It might be expected, supposing a great 
work was designed to be accomplished, that societies would 
be formed, some to translate the sacred Scriptures into the 
languages of the nations, some to give them circulation, 
some to scatter tracts which shall impress their leading 
principles, some to preach the gospel, and some to teach 
the rising generation to read and write. 

*' Who can observe the movements of the piesent times, 
without perceiving on them the finger of God ? They may 
not have risen just in the order above described. The in« 
stitution of Sunday Schools, as they are called, for the 
children of the poor, took the lead about thirty years ago; 
since then other institutions of various kinds have follow- 
ed ; but they have all risen nearly together, and all indicate 
a divine design. They form a whole, and like the different 
parts of a machine, all work together. 

^' Among those institutions, which have already attracted 
the attention of Europe, and not of Europe only, that 
which is now called * The British and Foreign School 
Sdciety' claims our attention. And such a Society is want- 
ed, to give success to all other institutions for the diffusion 
of knowledge; for if the world were full of Bibles, it would 
be of little avail if the people were not taught to read them* 
Is not the British system of education an engine capable of 
moving the moral world ? From what little I know of it, £ 
am persuaded it is; and that God has caused it to be 
brought forward for this purpose. Its principle appears to 
to me to be military. We shall know that astonishing ef- 
fects are produced in the political world by forming and or- 
ganizing a number of men, every one filling the most advanta- 
geous post, and all acting together in concert. If this prin- 
ciple has been brought to bear in war, why should it not 
rather be employed in promoting knowledge, and diffusing 
the blessings of peace ? It is of but small account whether it 
originated with a Bell or with a Lancaster, and whether 
the societies act in concert or not, so that they do but act. 
It may be a useful rivalry, and serve to provoke to good 
works. It requires to be supported, and I trust it will be 
so. If the nations of Europe who have sent and are sending 
messengers to learn the principles of our operations, should 
perceive our hands to slacken in the use of them, it must 
not only sink us in their esteem, but impede the progress 
of the work. It is only to be a little more economical, 
denying ourselves a few of the superfluities of life, and we 

umuQum OF ambrmw wvluol 

may support all these institutioas. The expense of one 
last is greater than all the taxes of henerolenee and 

From this imperfect abstract of his sermon, it is not diffi« 
colt to trace out something of the vigorous mind of Mr. 
Poller ; but to be able to appreciate in any tolerable degree 
the height to which the preacher rose upon this occasioUi 
it is necessary to hare both heard and seen him. Accord* 
ing to the report of several persons of indisputable judg- 
ment and veracity, who were favoured with this opportiini<^ 
ty, it was one of the greatest of his ministerial efforts, and 
might have reminded one of the case of Samson, summon* 
ing all his remaining strength, in order, by one decisive 
effort, to subvert the pillars of the house, and bury his ad- 
versaries in its ruins. Just so the soul of Fuller--««11 his 
mental powers, with their varied energies, appeared to have 
been collected and concentrated in the delivery of this his 
ferewell sermon. Never will it be forgotten by some who 
heard him, how impressive and energetic was the whole ; but 
there were parts of it, in which the preacher seemed to resem* 
ble the setting sun, at the instant he is about to sink behihd 
the western hills — ^when, as though loth to quit the horizon, 
he rekindles his beams, expands his surface, and blazes 
forth in all his majesty. 

In January, 1815, Mr. Fuller considered his health to 
be much recovered, except that he had taken cold during 
the frost, which at first affected his lungs, and afierwards 
almost deprived him of hearing. He was advised to go 
to Cheltenham, but deferred it to a milder season ; in the-- 
meantime he took a saline medicine, recommended by Dr. 
Janner as a substitute for the waters. In the course of this 
month he revised his piece on Strict Communion, which 
had originated in a verbal but warm discussion with a 
highly respected friend, who had frequently opposed his 
views on this subject, and which was now left for posthu- 
mous publication, if circumstances should so require. 
These few pages afford evidence that his faculties were un- 
impaired, notwithstanding the declining state of his health. 
His correspondence also was at this time continued, with 
but little interruption. 

Though incapaMe of any great exertion, his spirits re- 
vived as the spring approached ; and on the 29th of Mardi 
he ventured as far as Clipstone, eleven miles from Ketter- 
ing, to assist at the ordination of the Rev. Job» Madk, 
but was much &tigaed with the journey. His address to 


the chareh on this occasion, from 3 John 8, was peculiarly 
solemn and impressive ; and some of the ministers who 
were present observed, they never heard him to greater 
advantage. From the manner in which he expressed 
himself, several of his friends foreboded it would be the 
last time they should hear him, and that they should see 
his face no more. Being asked how he found himself after 
he left the pulpit, his reply was, " I am very ill — a dying 
man." On a second interview with the same person, he 
added, " All is over — my work is nearly finished — 1 shall 
see you no more; the blessing of the Lord attend you. 

On the following Sabbath, April 2nd, he appeared for 
the last time in his own pulpit, where in the afternoon he 
preached his last sermon, from Isai. Ixvi. J, 2. * Thus 
saith the Lord : the heaven is my throne, and the earth is 
my footstool : where is the house that ye build unto me ? 
and where is the place of my rest ? For all those things 
hath my hand made, and all those things have been, saith 
the Lord. But to this man will I look, ev«n to him that 
is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.* 
The last time of administering the Lord's supper, he was 
remarkably solemn and tender. His words were few, for 
he was very ill at the time ; his friends were much affected, 
and foreboded that he would not be able to appear among 
them any more on such an occasion. He seemed to be 
absorbed in the thoughts of a crucified, risen and exalted 
Sariour ; and never at any time appeared so much in his 
<el^ment, as when dwelling on the doctrine of the atone- 

Serious apprehensions were now entertained of the issue 
of his complaints ; and the anxiety of his friends to pro- 
long if possible his eminently useful life, urged upon his 
attention the medical advice which had been repeatedly 
suggested, to make trial of the Cheltenham waters, if so 
there might be hope. His congregation also, as an ex- 
pression of their affection and esteem, presented him with 
iifly pounds towards the expenses of the journey. While 
he was making his arrangements, he wrote to a minister 
in the north, on the ninth of April, informing him that 
''his health was in a low state ; that it was hard work for 
him to wt^te'^a letter; but he must go to Cheltenham, 
where he should be obliged to all his friends to let him rest 
from correspondence." And even to the nineteenth, the 
same idea is repeated; when in another letter he says, 


*'I am ordered to go next Monday for Cheltenham. I 
ahoald be happy to come and see you before 1 go, if the 
weather and my affliction would permit When I shall 
return is uncertain. My times are in the Lord's hands ; 
but to me all is uncertainty." The pressure of disease 
now rapidly increasing upon him, frustrated the intentions 
both of himself and his friends, and the journey was found 
to be impracticable. 

Every succeeding day brought with it additional pro(^, 
that the time of his departure was at hand ; but he con- 
templated the hour of its arrival without dismay. He soon 
became so weak as to be unable to bear an interview with 
his most intimate friends, more than a few minutes at a 
time. The warm bath was twice applied without effect, 
and neither food nor medicine could be administered. 
His liver was found to be greatly enlarged and hardened. 
Amidst unusual depression from bodily disease, he enjoyed 
great calmness of mind, a solid hope, and resignation to the 
will of God. 

The last day he was down stairs was on the 28th of 
April; when he dictated the following letter to Dr. Ry- 
land, which was written by an amanuensis, and subscribed 
with his initials. 

** My dearest Friend, 

'' We have enjoyed much together, which I hope will 
prove an earnest of greater enjoyment in another world. 
We have also wrought together in the Lord's vineyard, 
and he has given us to reap together, in a measure, in his 
vintage. I expect this is nearly over ; but I trust we shall 
meet, and part no more. I have very little hope of recov- 
ery ; but I am satisfied to drink of the cup which my heav- 
enly Father giveth me to drink. Without experience, no 
one can conceive of the depression of my spirits; yet I 
have no despondency. ' I know whom I have believed, and 
that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him 
against that day.' I am a poor guilty creature ; but Jesus 
is an almighty Saviour. I have preached and written much 
against the abuse of the doctrine of grace, ibut that doc- 
trine is all my salvation, and all my desire. I have no other 
hope than from mere sovereign, efficacious grace, through 
the atonement of my Lord and Saviour. With this hope 
I can go into eternity with composure. Come, Lord Jesus ! 
Come when thou wUt ! Here I am ; let him do with me u 
•eemeth him good. 


''We have some who' have been giving it outof late^that 
'if Sutcliffe and some others had preached more of Christ, 
and less of Jonathan Edwards, they would have been more 
useful.' If those who talk thus, preached Christ half as 
much as Jonathan Edwards did, and were half as useful 
as he was, their usefulness would be double what it is. It 
is very singular that the Mission to the East should have 
originated with men of these principles ; and without pre- 
tending to be a prophet, I may say, if it ever falls into the 
hands of men who talk in this strain, it will soon come to 

** If I should never see your face in the flesh, I could 
wish one last testimony of brotherly love, and of the truth 
of the gospel, to be expressed by your coming over, and 
preaching my funeral sermon, if it can be, from Romans 
viii. 10. I can dictate no more, but am ever yours, 

A. F." 

As his end drew near, he complained of great depres- 
sion and sinking, saying he must die. A friend replied, 
** I know of no person. Sir, who is in a more happy situa- 
tion than yourself; a good man, on the verge of a blessed 
immortality." Mr. Fuller humbly acquiesced, and hoped 
it was »o. He afterwards lifted up his hands, and ex- 
claimed, " I am a great sinner, and if I am saved it must 
be by great and sovereign grace — by great and sovereign 
grace !" 

His mind continued full of hope ; and though he felt 
nothing approaching to rapture, yet the closing scene 
was such as strikingly displayed the triumphs of faith. 
Dropping now and then a few words, he was heard to say 
that he had nothing to do but to die — and again repeated, 
'' I know whom I have believed." At another time he 
expressed himself in his o\yn energetic manner, saying, 
"My hope is such, that I am not afraid to plunge into 

The general vigour of his constitution providing a resist- 
ance to the violence of disease, rendered his sufferings pe- 
culiarly severe ; and towards the last, the conflict assumed 
a most formidable aspect. Placing his hand on the dis- 
eased part, the sufferer exclaimed, ''Oh, this deadly wound." 
At another time, ''All misery centres here" Being asked 
whether he meant bodily misery, he replied, " Oh yes : I 
can think of nothing else." His bilious sickness becom- 
ing almost incessant, allowed but few opportunities of con- 
versing with his friends ; and of course, little could be 


known of his dying experience. The following detaehed 
sentences, which dropped at different intervals, indicate 
the general state of his mind daring the last days of his 

** I feel satisfaction that my times are in the Lord's 
hands. I have been importuning the Lord, that whether 
I live it may be to him, or whether I die it may be to him. 
Flesh and heart fail ; but God is the strength of my heart, 
and my portion for ever. Into thy hands I commit my 
spirit, my family, and my charge. I have done a little for 
God ; but all that I have done. needs forgiveness. I trust 
in sovereign grace and mercy alone. God is my supporter 
and my hope. I would say, not my will, but thine be done. 
God is my soul's eternal rock, the strength of every saint. 
I am a poor sinner^ and my only hope is in the Saviour of 

He repeated more than once, " My l^eath is corrupt — 
my days are extinct." Frequently during his affliction, he 
said, " My mind is calm ; no raptures — no despondency." 
At other times he said, '' I am not dismayed. My God, my 
Saviour, my Refuge, to thee I commit my spirit. Take 
me to thyself — Bless those I leave behind." 

On the morniifg of his departure, aware of its being the 
Sabbath, he said to an attendant, just loud enough to be 
heard, " I wish I had strength to worship with you." He 
added, " My eyes are dim :" and he appeared to be nearly 
blind. From eleven till about half past eleven o'clock, 
sitting up in bed, he was observed to be engaged in prayer. 
Only two words were distinctly audible — ** Help me ! " At 
the close of the prayer, he struggled — fell back — sighed 
three times — and in ^ve minutes expired. His eyes were 
fixed upwards, and his hands clasped in death, as in the 
attitude of prayer. Thus the summons came, to call him 
to his rest. May 7th, 1815, in the sixty-second year of his 
age. The tidings spread with great rapidity throughout 
the town and neighbourhood, and every voice mournfully 
re-echoed, " He is gone ! " 

On the following Sabbath, a day previous to the inter- 
ment, the Rev. T. N. Toller, pastor of the Independent 
church at Kettering, and the highly respected friend of 
the deceased, delivered a discourse on the occasion to. his 
own congregation; and chose for his text the pathetic 
exclamation in 1 Kings xiii. 30. Alas, my brother / The 
just and discriminating remarks, which appear in the fol* 


lowing extracts from the sermon, are not less honourable 
to the preacher than they will be gratifying to the pious 
and intelligent reader. 

" With regard to the much respected friend and Chris- 
tian minister, lately removed/' says Mr. Toller, " it might 
appear unbecoming and indelicate in me to enter far into 
bis character and case, particularly as this will be done to 
so much greater advantage on the approaching day : but 
thus much I could hardly satisfy myself without advancing 
on this occasion. 

** I trust I am sincerely disposed to join in the general 
and just tribute, which his friends and the public are in« 
clined to pay to his abilities, his sound sense, and solid un- 
derstanding ; and to his unwearied diligence and uncon- 
querable ardour, in supporting and pursuing the interests 
of the best of causes ; and that, not only in the common 
duties of his profession, but more particularly in the prop- 
agation of Christianity in the foreign climes of India. Per- 
haps no individual, next to the unequalled Carey, no indi- 
vidual at least at homey has done so much to promote that 
cause ; and considering the few advantages of early edu- 
cation which he enjoyed, the eminence to which he has 
risen, the influence he had acquired, and the means of use- 
fulness which he had collected and secured, are so much 
the more extraordinary, and reflect the greater credit on 
his memory. 

" The variety and compass of his writings, though all 
bearing on one grand point, yet serve to show what sheer 
abilities, sound principle, ardent zeal, and persevering ap- 
plication can do. I have read his works, (some of them 
more than once) with much satisfaction, and I trust with 
same improvement ; that such improvement has not amount- 
ed to more, ought to be attributed to myself. I have-not a 
doubt but that they have been of real and extensive use in 
the Christian church, in support of the radical principles 
of evangelical religion, and will continue to -be so after his 
dust shall mingle with the clods of the valley. It is a sat- 
isfaction to me to reflect, that in the great leading views of 
vital Christianity, he expresses very nearly my own senti- 
ments ; though it is not to be expected that persons who 
think for themselves on sacred subjects, should on every 
point ' see eye to eye.' You will not, therefore, expect 
that I should' profess myself able to subscribe to every ar- 

B B 


tide ID hit theological creed : still, however, it is a pleasure 
to me to reflect now, that difiering only on points of sub- 
ordinate importance, wherever that was the case, we always 
agreed to. differ. 

** Though living in the same town, engaged in the same 
profession, and that under the banners of different denom- 
inations, for about thirty years, I do not recollect that 
ever an angry word passed between us, or a single jar 
occurred, by our means, among our respective connections. 
At the same time, I would not mention this in the spirit 
of a vain compliment, either to him or to myself, but 
desire to be deeply sensible of a thousand deficiencies 
and errors in other respects ; nor would l%e understood, 
in a servile spirit of fulsome flattery, as representing him 
as 9i faultless character ; or holding him up in all respects 
as a model of the Christian temper ; for alas ! of whom 
can you say, ' be ye followers of him,' unless you insert 
the restrictive clause, so far as he was ' a follower of 

*' While, then, I think him an eminent loss to his family, 
a general loss to society and the church of Christ, and ]>er- 
haps an irreparable loss to his own denomination, I trust I 
can, with truly Christian cordiality, follow him up to the 
footstool of his Master's throne, and congratulate him on 
that ' Well done, good and faithful servant,' which I have 
no doubt he has received. 

** I conclude with remarking, that in no one point, either 
from his writings which 1 have read, or the sermons I have 
heard from him, or the interviews and conversations I have 
had with him, — in nothing can I so fully join issue with 
him, as in the manner of bis dying. Had he gone off full 
of rapture and transport, I might have said, ' Ob, let me 
die the triumphant death of the righteous !' But it would 
have been far more than I could have realized, or expect- 
ed in my own case : but the state of his mind towards the 
last, appears to have been, if I may so express it, ' after 
my own heart.' He died as a penitent sinner at the foot 
of the cross. At my last parting I shook hands with him 
twice, and observed, with some emotion, not expecting to 
see him more, ' we have lived harmoniously many years 
in the same place ; 1 trust we shall one day meet above." 
I think the last religious sentence he dropped to me was, 
* Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto 
eternal life.' 


" Being reminded of his missionary labours, he replied, 

* Ah ! the object was unquestionably good ;' but adverted 
to the mixture of motives, to the infiueace of which we are 
liable in supporting the best of causes. To another friend, 
who was congratulating him in a similar style, he replied, 

* I have been a great sinner ; and if I am saved at all, it 
must be by great and sovereign grace.' Here the dying 
minister — the dying friend speaks all my heart : here I 
come nearer to him at his death than I have ever done 
through the whole course of his life. The testimony of a 
Christian conscience is at all times invaluable ; but in the 
dying moments of a fallen creature, it can afford no more 
than auxiliary support ; the grand prominent hold of the 
trembling soul, must be * the golden chain that comes down 
from heaven.' It is the immediate, personal, realizing ap- 
plication ; it is the broad palpable hope of salvation for pen- 
itent sinners, through the riches of divine grace in Christ 
Jesus our Lord, that throws every thing else to the shades. 
It is not the voice of congratulation on the best spent life, 
however just, that is most acceptable in those awful mo* 
ments, to pious minds ; that is often heard with trembling 
diffidence and conscious apprehension, of contaminating 
motives and counteracting effects. The sweetest music iti 
the ears of expiring piety, must be struck from another 
string : ' This is the record, that God hath given unto us 
eternal life, and this life is in his Son — The wages of sin 
is death ; but the gifl of God is eternal life, through Jesus 
Christ our Lord.' 

** In all probability, my bones will be deposited not far 
from his. God grant that I may die in the same temper, 
and in the same hope ; and that our spirits may be united 
in the day of the hotd ! Amen." 

On the following day. May 15, 1815, the mortal remains 
of Mr. Fuller were interred in the burying ground adjoin- 
ing the place of worship, where he had preached for two 
and thirty years. The funeral so]emnities«were numerous- 
ly attended by persons from all the adjacent towns ; the 
mourning resembled that in Egypt when Jacob died, and 
both ministers and people vied with each other in paying 
the last token of respect to his memory. Crowds of peo- 
ple rushed into the meeting house, the galleries of which 
had been propped in several places to prevent any accident 
or alarm, and still there were many who could not be ad- 
mitted. At a quarter before five the funeral procession en- 


Brief Review of Mr. FuUer'i Character. 

After what has been advanced in the preceding pages, 
on the subject of Mr. Fuller's abilities as a preacher and a 
writer, his missionary pursuits, general labours, and useful- 
ness — all of which demand, and will receive, the tribute of 
esteem from Christians of every denomination, and be 
long and gratefully remembered by posterity — it is presum- 
ed that little more will be expected than a few remarks 
on some of the promineni features of bis character, for the 
purpose of deriving instruction from the excellencies and 
defects which they exhibit, and of discharging the duty of 
a faithful and impartial biographer; especially as these 
Memoirs have already extended beyond the limits which 
the author had prescribed, though without exhausting the 
materials he had prepared to lay before the reader. 

The favoured individual, whose life and character we 
are now contemplating, and who was so eminently formed 
for active and important services, was evidently endowed 
with great mental and corporeal strength, and possessed, 
according to his own expressive phrase, *' a large portion 
of being," — 

'^ A frame of adamant, a soul of fire, 

No dangers friglit liim, and no labours tire." 

In person, he was above the middle stature, tall, stout, and 
muscular ; his sombre aspect impressive of fear, and repuU 
sive to approach. And being, as he said, ''of an athletic 
frame, and of a daring spirit, he was often in early life en- 
gaged in such exercises and exploits as might have issued 
in death, if the good hand of God had not preserved him.'' 
Alluding to those days of vanity, he would quote with sen- 
sible emotion the words of the prophet; ''let not the 
mighty man glory in his might;" but having been a fa- 
mous wrestler in his youth, he seldom met with a stout man 
without making an ideal comparison of strength, and pos- 
sessing some of his former feelings in reference to its ex- 
ercise. If necessity required, he was still by no means 
deficient in courage, of which some evidence was given 
after he removed to Ketterhig, When his rest was disturb- 
ed by the conduct of disorderly persons, he would some- 
times rise in the night, rush alone into the street, half 


dressed, and qaell the disturbance, without any apprehen- 
sion of danger. 

His nerves were uniformly so firm, that he seemed to be 
made almost without fear; and such was his invincibility 
and perfect self-command, that it may be doubted whether 
he was ever seen in a state of agitation. Oflen would he 
divert himself with the saying of old lady Huntingdon's, 
who, on noticing the effeminacy of modern times, would 
''thank God that she was born befote nerves were in fash- 
ion ;" and whether Mr. Fuller also enjoyed this singular 
felicity or not, no man was less troubled with nervous sen- 
sibilities than himself. About the year 1793, the shock of 
an earthquake was felt across the kingdom, a little before 
eleven o'clock at night. Mr. Fuller had preached that 
evening at Braybrook, a few miles from Kettering, and was 
just retired to rest. The friend at whose house he lodged, 
being much alarmed, awoke him, by reporting the dreadful 
tidings of an earthquake! "Very well," said he, " I must 
sleep," and with perfect composure and satisfaction he con- 
tinued his devoirs to Morpheus, while the frightened fam- 
ily were penetrated with dread and consternation. 

His mode of living had an air of patriarchal simplicity ; 
he seldom indulged in any thing more than the plainest 
food, and was very moderate in the use of fermented liquor. 
He carried his idea of economy to an extreme, deeming it 
scarcely allowable to eat animal food more than once a 
day : and when he occasionally departed from this rule, he 
would remark that it was a luxury somewhat like that of 
the prophet, who had ' bread and flesh in the morning, and 
bread and flesh in the evening.' Possessing a robust con- 
stitution, and having been brought up, nearly, in habits of 
rusticity, he was unable to make due allowance for those 
whose manners were differently formed, or whose health 
required another mode of treatment. Hence he was in 
some instances severe in his reflections upon others, equal- 
ly economical with himself, though in a different way, but 
who could not exactly adopt his ideas of frugality, or con- 
form to the unrefined nature of his regimen. Free from 
parsimony and selfishness, the rigid sentiments and feelings 
which he carried into every department and into all the 
duties of life, left but little room for the expressions of hos- 
pitality, or even the ordinary forms of civility. Nature had 
formed him to endure hardness ; and as a good soldier of 
Jesus Christ, he found a higher motive for his obedience 
and self-denial. 


He was generally regular in his hours of rest, and po»- 
sessed an even flow of spirits, bordering upon cheerfulness. 
Being requested to publish something on religious melan« 
cboly, for the relief of persons afflicted with it, he replied, 
** I know little or nothing about it ; and what could any 
body write on such a subject?" In the early part of life, 
when in company with a chosen friend, he was fond of Hhe 
heel of an evening ;' and while engaged on religious topics, 
he would sometimes indulge in close and ardent conversa- 
tion till the dawning of the day. He seldom allowed him- 
self in night studies, or made any great efforts in early 
rising. He was a disciple of nature, and loved the order 
established in her empire. When some persons wondered 
how he wrote so much, preached so often, and entered up- 
on such a multiplicity of engagements, he used very pleas- 
antly to tell a tale about Dr. Gill. A gentleman having 
heard of his great learning and voluminous writings, called 
upon him to inquire by what extraordinary means he had 
achieved so much, and wherein his peculiar habits consist- 
ed. The doctor answered, he did not know that there was 
any thing extraordinary about it ; for he ate, and drank, 
and rose, and slept, like other people. And though Mr. 
Fuller may be said to have done the work of almost ten 
men, he never seemed to be hurried, or to use any extraor- 
dinary means to accomplish it. 

In domestic life he was calm and tranquil, reposing in 
the bosom of his family with great contentment and satis- 
faction. No man more enjoyed the soflened pleasures of 
** home, sweet home," or entered with greater feeling into 
its interests and concerns ; yet he never returned from his 
numerous fatiguing journeys to indulge himself in ease, or 
like one who sought a refuge from the intensity of labour, 
but solely with a view of renewing and multiplying his ef- 
forts in another form. Instead of requiring a total seclusion 
from every interruption, or burying himself six feet deep 
in his study, in order to prepare the numerous publications, 
which in one shape or other were constantly issuing from 
his pen, he generally sat at his desk, surrounded with the 
members of his family, in their common sitting-room, where, 
with astonishing rapidity, he composed his various papers 
for the press, and maintained at the same time, a most ex- 
tensive and unremitted correspondence with the four quar- 
ters of the globe. He needed no excuse for delay, nor 
had any one cause to complain of his want of punctuality. 
If he wanted time to answer the numerous letters address^ 


ed to him/ he made it by some exercise of self-denial, and 
was in every thing the determined enemy of procrastiua- 
tion. Such was his plan of operation, that he had no oc- 
casion to exclaim with a heathen emperor, ** I have lost a 
day ;" every hour was fully occupied in the duties of his 

His spirit was ardent and invincible, displaying an almost 
uaequalled decision of character. His judgment on most 
points, whether of a religious or temporal nature, was gen- 
erally formed with such force and precision, that he seem- 
ed a stranger to hesitation, and seldom found occasion to 
review any of his resolutions. In difficult cases he some- 
times consulted a few friends ; but his conduct was invari- 
ably determined by his own judgment. In missionary con- 
cerns, which belonged not to himself only, and which in- 
volved the public interests of religion, he was much in the 
the habit of advising with his friend and coadjutor, Mr. 
Sutcliffe ; into the texture of whose mind, caution was so 
thickly interwoven as nearly to destroy its elasticity, and 
who in some cases needed to be cautioned against caution 
itself. When Mr. Fuller received any intelligence from 
India which perplexed him, he would tie up his papers, get 
upon his horse, and ride over to Olney ; where he could 
see things better, he used to say, than he could at Ketter- 
ing. But having once settled in his own mind the ques- 
tion of right, on whatever subject, he would pursue his 
course with undeviating perseverance. There was a firm- 
ness in his principles and proceedings, which neither admit- 
ted relaxation nor delay. Difficulties and disappointments, 
instead of producing discouragement, affiDrded a fresh ex- 
citement to action, and in a good cause he never despaired 
of success. He had no idea of ease or rest, but seemed to 
contemplate life only as a scene of perpetual activity, in 
which he was to serve his generation by the will of God. 
Even to the very last, he spoke of death, not as the termi- 
nation of a mortal existence, but as the end of all those la- 
bours, in which he had found his chief delight. He was 
not a man to whom mediocrity, in any sense, could be at- 
tributed. Promptitude, vigour, and resolution, marked his 
entire character. Cluick in apprehension and discernment, 
he was no less speedy and ardent in action. Never did any 
man appear more fully to realize the worth of time, or to 
enter more practically into Solomon's maxim : ** Whatsoev- 
er thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might ; for there 
is no work^ nor devicoi nor knowledge^ nor wisdom in tho 


grt?e whither thou goest." He worked while it is called 
to-day, like one who seemed continually aware that the tiight 
Cometh, when no man can work. 

Mr. Fuller possessed considerable taste ibr reading ; but 
as he had not time to consult many authors, his knowledge 
of course was less various than profound ; and for the gen- 
erality of modern publications especially, he entertained no 
▼ery high esteem. His library for sereral years was not 
much larger than John Bunyan*s, consisting chiefly of a 
scanty collection of the writings of the Puritans, and those 
of the New-England school. He was very partial to Owen 
and Bunyan. The Holy War he considered as the ablest 
of Bunyan's works, written on true metaphysical princi- 
ples, without any of the parade of argument. Owen on 
Indwelling Sin, and on Spiritual Mindedness, displayed, as 
he thought, a depth of judgment, and a knowledge of hu- 
man nature, scarcely to be found in any other author. 
President Edwards on the Will, and also on the Afiections, 
he constantly recommended ; the one as containing the 
ablest defence of theological theses, and the other as delin- 
eating the genuine nature of experimental piety. As for 
himself, who stood less in need of auxiliary aid, the Bible 
was his library, his treasury of knowledge/ from whence 
he derived with the happiest success, his numerous allu'^ 
sions and illustrations. While the elegant scholar was 
studying to become acquainted with the Greek and Latin 
poets, his intimacy was with David and Isaiah, and the rest 
of the sacred classics. What he read of human authors 
was merely subordinate, and with a view to some critical 
illustration of the inspired writings. The fire of original 
genius was constantly fed by this boundless source of in** 
telligence; and this it was that rendered his preaching 
and conversation peculiarly interesting, affording fresh ex- 
citements to zeal and diligence in the study of the holy 

But if spirituality consists in an aptness for spiritual ex- 
ercises, or in the prevalence of devout afiections, in this 
Mr. Fuller was not eminent. His turn of mind led him to 
cultivate the intellectual and practical parts of religion, 
rather than the devotional ; and the want of fervour and 
enlargement, especially in the duty of prayer, was noticed 
and lamented by several of his brethren. He discovered 
an habitual and commendable disposition to converse on 
religious subjects, and appeared to have but little relish for 
any other ; but it was his remarks on their consistency and 


propriety, their harmony and tendency, as affording grounds 
lor rational belief, and motives to holy obedience, that be^ 
came the subject of admiration, rather than any remarka- 
ble degree of spirituality displayed in the discussion, or any 
immediate or successful efibrt to impress the heart and kin- 
dle the fire of devotion. To this cause has already been 
attributed the want of adequate success in the discharge of 
his professicmal engagements ; and with the exception aris- 
ing from late experience, such was the general complexkm 
of his religious constitution. 

The fertility of his genius is universally acknowledged ; 
and his aptness to improve the occurrences of life to sacred 
purposes, was conspicuous on various occasions. Scarcely 
any thing passed under his notice without affording a les- 
son of instruction, and many of his sermons had their ori- 
gin in local circumstances, which furnished both the topic 
of discourse, and the medium of illustration. Previous to 
the Association at Nottingham, in 1784, he was going to 
preach at some distance from home, afler a heavy fall of 
rain,. which had inundated a part of the road, so as nearly 
to render it impassable. Depending on the information of 
a guide who went with him, he ventured to cross the flood 
to some distance ; but as he advanced, the danger increas- 
ed, and the water soon reached his horse's saddle. Mr. 
Fuller thought they were plunging into certain destruction, 
and was unwilling to proceed. But his guide called out, 
** Go forward, go forward — all will be well ;" and still de- 
pending on his testimony, they were landed safe on the 
other side. This singular occurrence suggested to him 
the necessity of a guide, and the importance of '' walking 
by faith, and not by sight," in our passage to the heavenly 
world ; a subject which he afterwards so happily illustra- 
ted, in the earliest, and one of the best of his printed ser- 

Few persons possessed a larger share of genuine wit 
than Mr. Fuller, or were more apt at repartee. In some 
instances he was severely sarcastic, and the propensity 
to satirize was one of his besetting sins. Earlier in life he 
allowed himself a latitude which his maturer years disap- 
proved ; but he was at all times utterly averse from pollut- 
ing the sanctity of religion with the levity of a jest. The 
application of Scripture phraseology to common purposes, 
implying a comparison between sacred and secular con- 

* See page 138. 


cerns, grated upon his ear, and sometimes greatlj wound- 
ed his feelings. He was once travelling in company to St. 
Ives and St. Noets, a little undetermined which of the 
places he should visit first, both being in the same neigh- 
bourhood. Arriving at two cross roads, with one of the 
towns on his right and the other on his left, he was asked, 
'' To which of the Saints wilt thou turn V Instead of 
smiling at the question, his heart was grieved ; and to the 
end of the journey, he lectured on the impropriety of such 
irreverent allusions. In the pulpit especially, he could not 
endure any thing that had the appearance of lightness ; and 
severely condemned the meanness that can avail itself of 
the silence which decency imposes upon an audience, to 
render it the vehicle of personal invective ; yet he could 
on some occasions convey a pointed reproof with perfect 
good humour, and in a way that indicated the shrewdness 
of his observation. On a Lord's day in the afternoon, per- 
ceiving some of his hearers to be drowsy as soon as he had 
read his text, he struck his Bible three times against the side 
of the pulpit, calling out, '* What, asleep already? 1 amo^ 
ten afraid I should preach you adeep ; but the fault cannot 
be mine to-day, for I have not yet begun !" 

" It is very well known," says a monthly editor, " that 
Mr. Fuller was generally candid and forbearing towards 
young ministers, and ready to assist them in the explica- 
tion of a subject, or in the composition of a sermon ; but 
be also knew how to chastise vanity, ignorance, and con- 
ceit, and was not very sparing with persons of this de- 
scription. A young man calling -on him on a Saturday, 
and announcing rather consequentially, that he was going 
to preach on the morrow at a little distance ; Mr. Fuller 
asked him for his text. He readily answered that he was 
going to preach from, " One thing is needful." And what 
is that one thing, said Mr. Fuller. Tyro replied without 
hesitation, Christ, certainly. Why then, said he, you are 
worse than the Socinians. They do allow him to be a 
man, but you are going to reduce him to a mere * thing.' 
This unfortunate remark spoiled Tyro's sermon ; and when 
he arrived at the place of his destination, where the flock 
was waiting for his sage instructions, he had not courage 
to bring forward what he had provided with much study 
and care."* On another occasion, after. delivering a ser- 
mon to a distant congregation, he was rather rudely 

*New Evan. Mag. 1815, page 365. 


accosted by one of the would-be judges of evangelical 
preaching, who said to him, as he descended the pulpit 
stairs, " You left Christ at home, sir 1 " "Did I indeed V 
replied Mr. Fuller : '' then I shall hope to find him there 
when I return.'' Repartees of ll(is kind abounded in his 
conversation ; and both in his sermons and writings there 
is a greater variety of apophthegms than is usually to be 
met with in modern authors. 

It was asserted by the ingenious bishop Atterbury, " that 
there never was a good writer who had not the art of trans- 
planting into his own writings, the beauties of his prede- 
cessors ; and that tlie man who imitated nobody, would, 
probably find no imitators." Whether this remark be just 
or not, it was totally inapplicable to Mr. Fuller, who had a 
stronger claim to the praise of originality than most of those 
who are denominated men of genius. It has been insinua- 
ted, however, by some of his opponents, that he borrowed 
his religious system from Richard Baxter, and that he pub- 
lished as his own, some ingenious sentiments which are to 
be found in the writings of President Edwards.* That he 
never availed himself of the labours of others, need not 
be afl^rmed ; nor would it be creditable to his understand- 
ing ; but every one acquainted with him must know, that 
he looked at every thing with his own eyes, and that his 
mind was habitually occupied with his own thoughts; and 
it would be marvellous in the extreme, if every coincidence 
between two or three thinking and powerful minds must 
be liable to the charge bf plagiarism. Mr. Fuller assured- 
ly believed many things which Baxter and other good men 
believed ; but to call him on that account a Baxterian, or 
to affirm that he took his leading sentiments from that wri- 
ter, is just as equitable as to makf a Socinian of him be- 
cause he happened to believe in the humanity of Christ, 
and in the doctrine of the resurrection. The fact is, that 
he had not seen the polemical writings of Baxter, till after 
he had published what others called his Baxterianism ; and 
then, to meet the charge, he for the first time took the 
trouble to examine them. Having done so, he observed 
in a letter to a friend, " I have lately been reading the con- 
troversial pieces of Baxter, and found them tedious and 
crabbed in the extreme. It is true, they contain some of 

New Evan. Mag. 1815, p. 277. 
C c 


017 sentiiiieiits^ bot much that I disapprove." It is obvioas 
enoagh, that bis turn of thinking and mode of expression 
were entirely his own ; he had no models, nor did he so 
ffinch as possess the power of imitation. When a friend 
had revised one of his earlier manuscripts, with a view of 
BOggesting a few literal alterations previously to its being 
sent to press, Mr. Fuller observed, " that in no instance 
where the meaning would be affected, ought any alteration 
to be made for the sake of rendering the sentence more 
elegant, without the concurrence of the author. No one 
but him can perceive the shades of meaning with exact- 
ness. I would not suffer a work of mine to be corrected 
by the best writer upon earth, unless I had the revision of 
his corrections. He might write a work more correctly 
than T, but he would make my work more incorrect" He 
could seldom reconcile himself to the drudgery of quota- 
tion, even where it might have been done to advantage ; 
but used to say, in allusion to the spider, that he liked best 
to publish what he had spun out of his own bowels. In 
the composition of his sermons, his rule was, to consult no 
commentator on his text, till after he had formed his own 
judgment, and then but very rarely, and in the way which 
he himself has mentioned in his posthumous discourses on 
the Apocalypse.* The praise of originality cannot be de- 
nied to him, without the most manifest injustice. 

There was an -independence and an ingenuousness about 
him, which could not escape the most transient observer. 
He scorned every thing that was mean and selfish, and was 
one of the last men in the world to plume himself with 
borrowed feathers. He hated all manner of guile and de- 
ceit, and whatever is assumed as a disguise to sentiment 
and feeling. Affectation and vanity were the objects of 
bis supreme contempt. Vanity, he used to say, was the 
sin of little minds, and pride of great ones ; and when any 
instances of this kind obtruded upon his attention, they did 
not fail to awaken his keenest satire. Yet, much as he ab- 
horred the appearance of conceit and arrogance, especially 
in religious characters, he took pleasure in giving counte- 
nance and encouragement to real and modest worth. He had 
no envious or rancorous feelings about him ; his constitution 
was unproductive of the meaner vices. Disinterested and 
selMenied, he had no wofkUy ambition to gratify, no sor- 

* Preface, p. xi. 


did appetites to indulge. There was a transparent sin^ 
cerity in all his actions, and even the misguided parts 
of his conduct were entitled to the praise of good inten- 

The patience and the fortitude with which Mr. Fuller 
sustained the various trials of heart and intellect, have been 
in part exemplified in the former pages of these Memoirs. 
We have witnessed the oyerflowings of his soul under the 
most painful bereavements, and the agonies produced by 
some of his living sorrows ; we have also seen that his grief 
was generally moderated as well as sanctified by the influ- 
ence of religious principle, which not only prevented des- 
pondency and discontent, but conducted him to the only 
source of hope and consolation. In seasons of deep dis- 
tress, he would sometimes set himself apart for fasting and 
prayer ; and afflictions, though oflen grievous, seldom fail- 
ed to produce in him the peaceable fruits of righteousness. 
Towards the latter part of life especially, these eflects be- 
came more visible. The memoranda of his experience on 
these occasions, which he was in the habit of preserving, 
might, in the hands of a judicious biographer, have fur- 
nished much valuable instruction to the friends of vital god- 
liness, and discovered more of the genuine exercises of his 
heart than can be known through any other medium. But 
there was one feature in his domestic afflictions, too amia- 
ble and interesting to be overlooked. Instead of sending 
to a distance for some minister of his own denomination, 
to conduct the usual solemnities attendant upon mortality, 
he almost invariably resorted to his truly respectable and 
reverend brother, the late Mr. Toller, minister of the In- 
dependent congregation in the same town, in whose symp 
pathy and friendship he found that succour and relief 
which we look for in a day of trouble. Nor did Mr. FuUer 
fail to return equal expressions of regard, when it came 
to the lot of his amiable friend to experience similar be- 
reavements. This lovely conduct was dictated, not only 
by reciprocal aflection and esteem, but by the words of in- 
spiration, which Mr. Fuller ofi;en quoted on these occasions : 
** Go not into thy brother's house in the day of thy calami- 
ty : better is a neighbour that is near, than a brother 
far off:" 

Courage and resolution, we have already remarked, were 
constituent to his nature ; they also received an imfietas 
from his moral system, and the, importance which he at- 
tached to an upright and decided conduct. In advocating 


the cause of God and truth against open and disguised in* 
fidels, and against the enemies of missions at home and 
abroad, he evinced the boldness of a lion ; regarding neith- 
er the frowns of the great, nor the combinations of the pow- 
erful. He would have admonished a wicked prince with 
the courage of a Latimer, had he been called to it ; and 
gone in before Pharaoh, not fearing the wrath of the king. 
The heroism blended with his character is strongly mark- 
ed in the style and tenour of his writings, and in the siroi- 
lies employed in the illustration of his subjects ; all breathe 
a martial air, and bid defiance to the enemy. He appear- 
ed most in his element when surrounded with difficul- 
ties, and exposed to the attack of numerous opponents ; 
then he oould ** ride in the whirlwind, and direct the 

It is not surprising, that talents of so high an order should 
have acquired a most extensive influence ; superiority of 
mind contains a warrant for command, and men in general 
are willing to pay the tribute due. Mr. Fuller did not a's- 
sume the dictatorship, it was freely given to him ; the def- 
erence shown to his judgment decided every thing, and from 
it there was no appeal. Probably many other circles in the 
religious world enjoy a similar advantage, where the think- 
ing ot one man saves the trouble to all the rest ; yet it may 
be doubted whether this easy expedient be not productive 
of some injurious effects, and amongst others, that of pros- 
trating the human faculties before the object of their admi- 
ration, till it ceases to be tangible, and becomes invested 
with some imaginary grandeur, which it would be awful to 
approach. Hence arises the timidity in examining charac- 
ter, the disposition to give too high a colouring to biograph- 
ical sketches, and to confound every just distinction with 
indiscriminate and unmeaning praise. It is better for us to 
know that every thing pertaining to man is imperfect, and 
that where we see much positive excellence, we may expect 
to find some positive defects ; then only are we placed in a 
situation to contemplate the lives of the best of men to ed- 
ification and advantage. It was on this principle that Mr. 
Fuller conducted his expository lectures on the book of 
Genesis ; and in examining the history of the patriarchs, 
he unreservedly exposed the spots and blemishes that were 
to be found in their characters. It cannot be pretended 
that he was himself more exempt from the infirmities of 
our fallen nature, than were those illustrious worthies ; and 
certain it is, that Mr. Fuller had no such views of bis own 


character, any more than of the character of others, who 
were most celebrated for their piety. 

** The most perfect instruction for the generality of man- 
kind, which history famishes/' says an able writer, '* is 
supplied from the exhibition of the mixed ; that is, of im- 
perfect characters. Unvarying scenes of fraud, violence 
and blood ; the repiesentation of undeviating, unrelenting, 
unblushing profligacy, must of necessity create disgust, or 
diminish the horror of vice. The real annals of mankind 
present no model of pure and perfect virtue but one ; and 
from its singularity, it cannot in all respects serve as a pat- 
tern for imitation. We contemplate it at an awful distance; 
we feel ourselves every moment condemned by it ; we turn 
from the divine excellency which covers our faces with 
shame, and casts us down to the ground, towards the mercy 
which has sealed our pardon, and the grace which raises 
us up again."* 

Though Mr. Fuller's natural temper was neither churlish 
nor morose, it was not distinguished by gentleness. There 
was a sturdiness about him, which gave an appearance of 
roughness and severity to his behaviour, oflen forbidding 
to strangers, and sometimes disagreeable to his friends. A 
vigorous constitution and uncultivated habits, allied to an 
independent and ardent mind, occasioned an excess of free- 
dom and fidelity, hot unfrequently at variance with the soft- 
er passions, and producing a luxuriance of the severer vir- 
tues. *' Men of a rough and unsparing address,'' as the 
amiable Cowper observes, " should take great care that 
they are always in the right ; the justness ahd propriety of 
their sentiments and censures being the only tolerable apol^ 
ogy that can be made for their severity ;" but this kind of 
infallibility could no more be predicated of Mr. Fuller, than 
of any other man. He had too much dignity to be offend- 
ed on trifling occasions, was never fond of litigation, and 
seldom engaged in personal disputes ; his mien and aspect 
afforded him the most ample protection from the intrusions 
of petulance and conceit. Having been oflen reminded of 
his stern behaviour, which had become rather a general 
subject of complaint, he ventured one day to mention it in 
a company of ministers, by way of appeal. One of them 
replied, " Why, Sir, you do not appear likely to make war 
without some just occasion ; but it is pretty evident (point- 
ing to his eyebrows) that you keep up a formidable 

* Hunter's Sacred Biography, vol. ir. p. 225. 
Cc 2 


peace establbhrnent." The company of course enjoyed 
the pleasantry of this remark, till another of them perceiv'> 
ing the effect it was likely to produce, added, '< We had 
better stop ; or we shall be in danger of putting brother 
Fuller's troops into motion." 

Every one acquainted with Mr. Fuller's powers of de- 
scription, and who has noticed the accuracy and fidelity 
with which he has delineated some of the scripture char- 
acters, in his discourses on the book of Genesis, would 
feel a sort of eager curiosity to inspect some of the moral 
profiles of cotemporary characters, which he occasionally 
executed. The following is one of this description. Al- 
luding to an eminent minister, whose life and labours 
adorned the last half century, he says, " His character, 
you may suppose, has often passed before my mind ; and 
as it passed, I drew the following short sketch of it. — He 
is in genera] a man of great integrity ; but his prejudices 
are strong, and when once imbibed, in great danger of 
becoming inveterate. His integrity also is too much con- 
fined to doing right, while Ac is right: let him but once 
commit a fault, and he is one of the last men from whom 
you may expect an ingenuous acknowledgment. The 
pride of consistency is his easy besetting sin." — With the 
exception only of the last part of this description every 
one acquainted with his character must see, that Mr. Ful- 
ler in this instance, though undesignedly, drew a most 
correct likeness of himself^ as well as of the respectable 
individual for whom it was intended. 

It is but justice however to add, that he was so deeply 
sensible of the ruggedness of his natural disposition, of 
his want of forbearance and moderation, and of his prone- 
aess to undue severity, notwithstanding the gratuitous 
assertions of some of his injudicious and inconsiderate 
friends, who claim for him attributes which he never pos- 
sessed, that he often made these failings a subject of au- 
dible lamentation ; and no man more severely condemned 
what was wrong in his temper and conduct than be did 
himself. Having been freely admonished, he thus wrote 
in a letter afterwards : 

** 1 do most sincerely thank you for your remarks on my 
proneness to err in that way, and hope it will be ray con- 
cern to watch and pray against it. If I have thereby lost 
the love of my brethren, I must bear it as well as I can. 


I do not doubt your love to me ; and the greatest proof lies 
in your having pointed out to me my faults* 1 hope you 
will not withhold this kind of remarks in future." 

On another occasion he acknowledged, in a style of 
great pleasantness, his want of urbanity and politeness in 
his general deportment. 

** I seldom deal much/' says he, *' in complaisance ; and 
when I do I seem to make poor work of it. I took a lib- 
erty with my friend, which I afterwards thought was too 
much, and so I begged his pardon. But begging pardon is 
a thing so unusual with me, that it has well nigh thrown 
my friend into a melancholy ; so I promise not to attempt 
any more apologies." 

These failings, however, though they cast a shade over 
his brightest performances, and diminish the esteem that 
is otherwise due to the most splendid talents, did not affect 
the grand motives by which hi» general conduct was direct- 
ed. His entire character was formed of sterling integ- 
rity, ramified into all his actions. In principle, as well as 
in doctrine, he " showed incorruptness," and great ** sin- 
cerity." The severest suspicion could never reach him ; his 
elevation on this part of the moral scale placed him far be- 
yond the keenest eye of jealousy, and nearer to the throne 
of eternal justice than is common to the most distinguish- 
ed mortals. His sense of honour and fidelity, allowed of 
no resort to the schemes of interest, or the too common 
arts of dishonest temporizing. No hopes, no fears, no 
considerations whatever, could cause him to deviate from 
what he judged to be the path of uprightness. Never was 
human integrity found more inflexible, or honesty more 
true to her intention. For this inestimable quality, he 
would have been admired and revered by Aristides the 
Just, whatever might be his deficiencies in the milder 
graces, or in the more superficial, though ornamental parts 
of the hhman character. Unlike as he was, in many re- 
spects, to *^ that disciple whom Jesus loved," he bore a 
strong resemblance to that prince of apostles, who cut off 
the ear of Malchus. 

It may be doubted whether, since the time of John Knox, 
q^y man could be found on this side the globe, who labour- 
ed more to cultivate and extend the knowledge of the truth 
than Mr. Fuller ; and to that eminent reformer he bore a 
striking likeness, both in his excellencies and defects. 
Nor can there be any hesitation in subscribing fiilly to the 


aentiment that has been expressed by his venerable friend, 
the late Dr. Ryland, — ^That he was probably '* the most ju- 
dicious and able theological writer that eier belonged to the 
Baptist denomination ; and that he will be highly esteem- 
ed for his able defence of the truth as it is in Jesus, and 
for his zeal for the propagation of the gospel, not only by 
his cotemporaries of various religious persuasions, but by 
posterity, as long as the English language, and the history 
of the Baptist Mission to India shall endure." 



Lincoln &r Edmands are publishing neat and cheap 
editions of a number of practical theological works, with 
elegant frontispieces, to be sold separately and also in sets, 
entitled the christian library. The following are al- 
ready published. 

Vol. I. BAXTER'S CALL. A new and beautiful ste- 
reotype edition of Baxter's Call, with Chalmer's 
Introductory Essay, and several Minor Works 
of Mr. Baxter, 18mo. with an elegant frontis- 
piece — $4 doz. in boards — $6 bound* gilt. 

{TF This invaluable work has rendered signal benefit to the cause 
of Christ, and been the happy means of awakening multitudes ; and it 
is now presented in a cheap and attracting form, and will no doubt ex- 
cite the attention of charitable distributers of religious works. The 
testimonies to its inestimable worth are numerous. We select the fol- 
lowing from a Sermon delivered before the Society for promoting Re- 
ligious Knowledge, by — 


*' Baxter's Call to the Unconverted has been a successful publica- 
tion. The Call seems to have been the most useful of Mr. Baxter's 
works. It was drawn up at the earnest request of Archbishop Usher. 
Six brothers in one family were converted by it. Twenty thousand 
copies wei'e printed in about a year, by the Author's consent. It was 
translated into French and Dutch, and learned foreigners in Poland, 
Hungary, and Helvetia, and in other parts, were very earnest to obtain 
it. In thirty-seven years, it passed into twenty-six editions. Mr. El- 
liot, the Apostle of the Indians, when he had translated the Bible into 
their language, translated for them the Call to the Unconverted. But 
I will terminate this article with a very flattering opinion of the value 
of the Call, on the authority of the late truly amiable Dr. Gibbons. 
Dr. Watts said to him, * I would rather be the author of Baxter's Call 
to the Unconverted, than the author of Milton's Paradise Lost.' " 

From the Sabbath School Treasury, 

'*This Call, is too well known to need the approbation of a re- 
viewer. We rejoice to see the book in its present neat, cheap dress. 
Its intrinsic worth, and form, will doubtless soon ^ive it a place io 
most of the Sabbath School libraries in our l&nd. This and the Saints' 
Rest are worth hundreds of the moral and religious fictions of the 
present day." 

The Publishers invite the attention of the Christian coaimuQity to 
this neat and portable edition. 


Rev. Mr. Malcom, of Boston, says to the Publiflhera : — " I sincere- 
ly wuh, that a work so excellent in itself, and which has received the 
seal of God's blessing, not only in the instruction and comfort of saints^ 
but in the conversion , by its instrumentality, of hundreds of souls, will 
now receive a very extended circulation." 

Rev. Dr. Watj-aitd, President of Brown University, says : — •* I 
am gratified to percerve that you have published a handsome editien of 
Baxter's Saints' Rest Of the value of the work itself it is superfluous 
to speak. It has few equals in any language. The ordinary copies 
are most palpably beneath the value of the woik." 

From the Sabbath Schoox. Treasury : — ^*'This work, known 
and prized so generally, is now stereotyped, by Lincoln & Eldmaods, 
and sold for the very small sum of 37-^ cents. Every Sabbath School 
Library should be furnished with at least one copy." 

a Kempis, with Dr. Chalmer's Introductory Es- 
say. A new edition, edited by Rev. Howard 
Mai com. 

O* This work has for three hundred years been esteemed one of 
the best practical books in existence, and has gone through a vast 
number of editions, not only in the original Latin, but in every lan- 
guage of Europe. Because, however, the author, a popish monk, 
intermingled many Roman Catholic peculiarities in the work, it has 
been recommended by Pastors to their flocks, with some reservations. 
The late excellent Dr Payson, of Portland, warmly recommended it, 
in a letter to a young clergyman, with the above exceptions. That 
the benefit of the work may be universally enjoyed, the translation of 
Payne, which best agrees with the original, has been revised by the 
Rev. Howard Malcom, and such retrenchments made, as adapt it to 
general use ; and in its amended form it is receiving a very extensive 

edited by Rev. J. O. Choules. Third edition, 
enlarged, from the last London edition. Price 
$5 per dozen. 

A distinguished minister in South Carolina writes to the Publishers 
thus : '< 1 shall try to encourage the churches in this section of the 
State, to aid in the circulation of this invaluable work." 

A sentleman in Virginia writes : « I wbh every Christian to pos- 
sess the Church Member's Guide.** 

Almost every religious periodical work, has most cordially recom- 
mended its distribution in tne churches. 

I The London Evangelical Magazine remarks, that Deacons would 
render an invaluable service by procuring a dozen to circulate among 
those who are unable to purchase. 

The respected pastor of a Congregational church in the vicinity of 
Boston, under date of Jan. 19, 1830, thus writes to the PubKshers : 

** I haye seldom foued bo much, and so valuable instruction of a 
practical kind, adapted to the use of church members, as such, com- 
prised within so small a compass ; and I verily believe that the best 
interests of the church of Christ, and of the individuals who compose 
it» require its extensive circulation. I sincerely wish that every pro- 
fessor of religion in the land may possess this excellent manual." 

Vol. 5. JAY'S LECTURES. The Christian Contem- 
plated in a Course of Lectures. By William 
Jay. Second Edition. 75 cents. 

. Encouraged by the sale of the octavo edition of this valuable work, 
the publishers have been induced to print it in the present neat and 
cheap form. By thus placing it in the list of books to comprise the 
Christian Library they also answer the requests of many of their friends, 
who wish that &is excellent and interesting book should be as widely 
circulated in this community, as it is in England, where the venerable 
author is now preaching witli distinguished success. 

A late London periodical, remarks : ** It is an interesting publication 
— it abounds with valuable instruction ; and the man who can take up 
the book, and read a dozen pages of it, without being the wiser and the 
better for it ; without being convicted, instructed, or reproved, must 
be a singular character." 

From Rev. Francis JVayland,jr. JD. D. President of Brown 


** I have read through Jay's " Christian Contemplated," with very 
great pleasure. It abounds with piety and good sense, and is remark- 
ably adapted to improve the tone of piety in the present state of our 


Benjamin Keach. Revised and. improved. 
With a Memoir of his Life. By Howard Mal- 
com, Pastor of Federal-Street Baptist Church, 

lO* The lovers of allegorical writings will be highly gratified with 
the perusal of this interesting work. It presents a striking delineation 
of the obstacles which youth and old age, riches and poverty, formali- 
ty and legality, present' to true religion, and the necessity of thought- 
fulness and serious consideration, to the acquisition of truth, and the 
cordial reception of the gospel. 

The above works are the commencement of a series, which the 
Publishers propose to prosecute, till they have comprised the greatest 
part of the popular practical religious publications of this class, and 
they are happy to witness that the public are disposed to patronize 
them in the undertaking. Already three or four editions of some of 
the preceding works have been called for. Sabbath School and fam- 
ily libraries should all be supplied with a copy. 



The rapid sale of the first edition of this useful work has 
seldom been equalled, and is a good commentary on its 
merits. It has been the great aim of the Author to render 
this second edition still more acceptable to the Christian 
public, by a close revision, and by copious additions. 

JFrom the Classical Journal and Scholar^ s Review, 

" This book, which is ' intended principally for youth,' is 
a valuable companion to all, (and we trust that the number 
is not small,) who take delight in the perusal of the word of 
God. It is not an expression of doubtful texts or doctrinal 
points, but a plain matter of fact account of many plants, an- 
imals, and other objects mentioned in the Bible, as well as of 
several of the most interesting circumstances recorded in the 
Old and New Testaments. To Sabbath School teachers and 
scholars, it is an invaluable work ; indeed it should form part 
of the library of every one who values, and would proceed 
understandingly in the study of the ' Book of Books.' " 

JFVom the Boston Recorder, 

" It has been a source of regret to many, who have watch- 
ed the progress of Sabbath School instruction, that while 
much attention has been justly paid to modifying and im- 
proving the system of questions, the means of investigating 
and answering these questions have been hitherto compara- 
tively neglected. That there are Biblical Dictionaries, which 
afford adequate assistance to the student in the Scriptures, 
none will deny ; but it it equally true that their size and ex- 
pense render them wholly inaccessible to the great body of 
the community. Most of them are deficient also in that 
simplicity and plainness, which are calculated to arrest the 
attention and instruct the minds of children and youth. 

"It is with feelings of no ordinary pleasure, that we no- 
tice this publication. It is a neat little volume, ornamented 
and illustrated with thirteen wood cuts, and containing 
brief definitions of the most important names, objects, and 
terms, which occur in the Holy Scriptures. A hasty peru- 
sal is sufficient to show, that the author has admirably sucr 
ceeded in his plan. His definitions are brief, yet comprehen- 
sive ; simple, yet displaying much research and ingenuity. 

" The work is well calculated to afford assistance to the 
youthful investigator of the Bible, and we thereiQ|;9/<^eer- 
fully recommend it to Sabbath Schools. 



. ♦ B