As regular readers of this blog probably know, I am very interested in the life and thought of Andrew Fuller (1754–1815), the famous English Baptist pastor-theologian. If you aren’t familiar with him, you can read the short blog post about him that I wrote for Desiring God several months ago. I am part of an international team of scholars who are collaborating on a new critical edition of Fuller’s Works that will be published by Walter de Gruyter beginning later this year. In 1988, Sprinkle Press published the best edition of Fuller’s corpus that is currently available. The “Sprinkle Edition,” which is comprised of three volumes, is a reprint of an 1845 edition of Fuller’s writings. Unfortunately, the Sprinkle Edition retails for about $100 and is double columned, making it both expensive and difficult to read.
I was delighted to learn recently that Logos publishes an electronic version of The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller. The Logos Edition sells for $59.95. The Logos Edition includes the entirety of the Sprinkle Edition, including Tom Nettles’s brief introduction at the beginning of volume 1. Of course, it also provides all the benefits of the Logos platform as well. I am grateful to the folks at Logos for providing me with a review copy of The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller.
I have enjoyed working with the Logos Edition in recent days. I appreciate that it shows the page numbers of the Sprinkle Edition, which is helpful for citation purposes and is an advantage over other available electronic editions of Fuller’s writings, which do not include any sort of pagination. I also like how Logos allows for a single column format, which makes for much easier reading. This is especially helpful when I read on the Logos app on my iPad. It is comparable to reading a work on my Kindle or iBooks apps. The note-taking feature of Logos is very useful, especially for folks like me who are interested in both edifying reading and scholarly research.
Of course, if you are familiar with Logos, you know that hands-down the search function is the biggest plus about the Logos Edition of Fuller’s Works. The Sprinkle Edition has a serviceable index, but it pales in comparison to electronic word search capability. For example, I am currently working on a critical edition of Fuller’s 1810 book Strictures on Sandemanianism. My edition will include a lengthy introductory essay of 20,000 to 25,000 words. Being able to search for all the references to “Sandemanianism” and other key phrases in Fuller’s Works is an invaluable tool for me as I work on that essay.
If you are a Logos user and you are interested in Andrew Fuller, Baptist historical theology, or the history of missions, British evangelicalism or Calvinist theology, I would highly recommend you pick up a copy of the Logos Edition of The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller. I would recommend you begin your reading of Fuller with his groundbreaking The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation (2nd ed. 1801), which is available in volume II. This defense of evangelistic preaching from an Edwardsean Calvinist perspective is Fuller’s most influential work. Another good entry point is some of Fuller’s sermons, which are available in volume I. Start with “The Nature and Importance of Walking by Faith,” “Soul Prosperity” or his many ordination sermons (these typically have the words “minister” or “ministry” in the title). Still another place to begin is with Fuller’s circular letters written for the Northamptonshire Association, which are found in volume III. I would recommend “Causes of Declension in Religion, and Means of Revival,” “The Practical Uses of Christian Baptism” and “The Promise of the Spirit the Grand Encouragement in Promoting the Gospel.”
Those of you who are interested in systematic theology should take a look at his “Letters on Systematic Divinity” in volume I, wherein Fuller begins sketching out a crucicentric theological method. Unfortunately, he died just a few letters into his work. His shorter writings on imputation, justification, substitution and particular redemption in volume II provide a constructive (and sometimes controversial) understanding of salvation from an Edwardsean perspective. His Memoirs of the Rev. Samuel Pearce, found in volume III, is a warmhearted introduction to Fuller’s friend and fellow missions advocate. Pearce has been called “the Baptist Brainerd.” Pastors especially will appreciate Fuller’s homiletical commentaries on Genesis and Revelation, also found in volume III.
I’m grateful that Logos has made Fuller’s writings available on their platform. I hope the Logos Edition helps familiarize many modern pastors and scholars with the life and writings of the most famous heir of Jonathan Edwards among the Baptists. If you are not currently a Logos user, I would highly recommend the product to you. I have been using Logos for about three months and have found it to be a fantastic tool research, sermon preparation and general reading. You can find out which Logos package best fits your needs at the Logos website.