Lyman Beecher's recommendatory blurb for the works of Andrew Fuller

The writing of advertising blurbs has a long, interesting history that goes back well into the 18th century. This is not the place to enter into that. But I did recently come across the following fascinating blurb by Lyman Beecher (1775–1863)—all of whose seven sons entered the ministry, including the famous Henry Ward Beecher (there is a new bio of him that I need to read), and whose daughter, Harriet Beecher Stowe, wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin—the friend of Asahel Nettleton and an Edwardsean divine. It comes on page 8 of the ads at the back of James D. Knowles, Memoir of Mrs. Ann H. Judson (10th ed.; Boston: Gould, Kendall, & Lincoln, 1838) and is Beecher’s recommendatory blurb for Gould, Kendall & Lincoln’s two-vol. edition of the Works of Andrew Fuller. This Boston publishing house had published Fuller’s corpus in “two large octavo volumes on fair type and fine paper” at a cost below former editions, which were selling for $14 US (then!).

Beecher was thrilled to lend his name to the selling of this work. As he wrote—and note his linking of Fuller’s name with that of Jonathan Edwards:

“Gentlemen:—I cheerfully accord the testimony of my high approbation to the Works of Andrew Fuller. He is one of the few great, original, and holy men, whom God occasionally raises up to dispel the mists which gather about the truth, and bring out the unobscured illumination of the Word of God. No human mind has ever been unerring in all its expositions of revealed truth; but Edwards and Fuller have comprehended, in my opinion, both the letter and spirit of the Bible in an eminent degree. With both I have been deeply conversant, from the commencement of my ministry to the present day, and have uniformly and earnestly recommended to theological students and young ministers, to imbue their minds with their heavenly dispositions, to acquire their habits of accurate definition and discrimination, while they possess themselves of their judicious opinions and powerful arguments. A better service for the truth, to the present day, can scarcely be done, than by the extensive circulation of the Works of Andrew Fuller. May it please the Lord to give you great success in the enterprise.”