Alline, Henry

Alline, Henry a remarkable character in the religious history of the last century, was born in Rhode Island in 1748. In 1760 he went to Nova Scotia and settled at Newport. Six years after he commenced preaching without ordination, although, in 1779, he received the imposition of hands at Cornwallis as an itinerant preacher. He preached in Nova Scotia from 1776 to 1784, then went to the United States, where he died at the residence of Reverend David M'Clure, Northampton, N.H., February 2 of the latter year. He travelled throughout the provinces, preaching with remarkable fervor and power, assailing all denominations, causing divisions in the churches, and making many converts. Alline rejected the doctrine of creation, denied that man possessed a material body before the fall, and affirmed that all souls were actually created at the beginning of the world and sinned in. Eden. He also denied the resurrection of the elemental body. He had a keenly metaphysical mind and a love of speculation. Some of his writings were published, now very rare, viz., Mites on Some of the most Important and

Disputed Points of Divinity Cast into the Treasury (Halifax, N.S., 1781): — Sermons (1782-83): — The Anti-Traditionists (1783): — Life and Journals (Boston, 1806, 12mo). Of the first-mentioned work it has been said, "In its statement of doctrine it is a confused medley, almost resembling a sick man's dreams, and yet it is varied with the most impassioned and eloquent appeals, when he touches upon some of the grander or more tender topics of religion." His autobiography is a book of thrilling interest. Alline had an agreeable manner and a natural eloquence. He never left the Congregational ranks, in which he was brought up. He was indifferent as to the mode of baptism, and cared little for the ordinance at all. Some of his followers joined the Baptists, but the majority united with the Free-will or Free Christian Baptists. See his Life and Journals; Morgan, Biblioth. Canad. s.v.; Smith, Hist. of Methodism in East British America, volume 1; Bill, Hist. of the Baptists of the Maritime Provinces (St. Johns, 1881), pages 13-18.

 
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