FULLER, ANDREW: English Baptist preacher and author; b. at Wicken (12 m. n.e. of Cambridge), Cambridgeshire, Feb. 6, 1754; d. at Kettering (13 m. n.n.e. of Northampton), Northamptonshire, May 2, 1815. He was of humble rural parentage. About Nov., 1769, he experienced conversion and in Apr., 1770, he was baptized into the fellowship of a hyper-Calvinistic Baptist church, of antinomian tendencies, at Soham. The pastor of the church was shortly afterward compelled to resign for teaching that men have the power to follow or resist God's will, the majority denying absolutely any freedom on man's part and regarding as impertinent and heretical any human effort for the salvation of sinners. Fuller, who had received only a moderate education, became greatly interested in the theological questions that were being discussed, and from 1771 onward read whatever pertinent literature was accessible. He early became familiar with the hyper-Calvinistic works of John Gill and John Brine (Baptists) and was profoundly influenced by the writings of John Owen, the Puritan, and of Jonathan Edwards, the American divine. In 1772 he was invited to preach in the Soham church and in 1774 became its pastor, sound Evangelical sentiments having by this time gained ground in the community. The influence of the Evangelical revival in England and America (led by the Wesleys, Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, and others) soon gained the mastery over Fuller, and he became the protagonist of the Evangelical and missionary movement among British Baptists. Such was his industry and strength of mind that, without academic training, he became a master in theological thinking and writing and acquired a working knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew languages. His tract entitled The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation (Northampton, 1784) was widely circulated among dissenters and Evangelical churchmen and produced a profound impression. His moderate, sane, Evangelical Calvinism was embodied in effective form in The Calvinistic and Socinian Systems Examined and Compared as to Their Moral Tendency, London, 1794. His writings on Sandemanianism were occasioned by his coming in contact with this type of religious thought during his Scottish tours on behalf of foreign missions. He was one of the founders of the Baptist Foreign Missionary Society formed for the support of Carey and his coadjutors in India, and by far the most influential home promoter of its objects. His activity in visiting the churches throughout Great Britain in this cause diffused widely his interest in missions and his sane Evangelical and Baptist views. His influence on American Baptists has been incalculable.
ALBERT H. NEWMAN.