By Michael A.G. Haykin
John Codman (1782–1847) was an American Congregationalist minister who graduated from Harvard in 1802. His grandfather, also John Codman (1719–1792), was converted under and nourished by the preaching of George Whitefield and Gilbert Tennent. After his graduation from Harvard, the younger Codman decided to study in Scotland and made the trip across the Atlantic in July and August, 1805—the voyage took a month. While on board ship Codman read what he called “an excellent little pamphlet by Andrew Fuller, on the question, “What shall I do to be saved?” This must have been Fuller’s The Great Question Answered, a 19th century copy of which I have published by the American Tract Society and that was kindly given me in 2008 by Nathan Harmon, when he was studying at SBTS.
Codman later met Fuller with John Ryland at an ordination in the fall of 1805. He described Fuller to a correspondent as “our much admired Andrew Fuller” and observed after this meeting that the English Baptists were “highly intelligent and respectable, and they unite with the most evangelical sentiments the true spirit of charity.” (William Allen, Memoir of John Codman, D.D. [Boston, MA: T.R. Marvin and S.K. Whipple & Co., 1853], 12, 20, 35, 45).
Michael A.G. Haykin is the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He also serves as Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Haykin and his wife Alison have two grown children, Victoria and Nigel.