Allen, Benjamin

Allen, Benjamin a Protestant Episcopal minister, was born at Hudson, N. Y., September 29, 1789, was bred a Presbyterian, and obtained his education under many difficulties by strenuous exertion. In 1814 he entered the Protestant Episcopal Church, and was licensed as a lay reader in Charlestown, Va., where he gave special attention to the instruction of the colored people. He was ordained deacon in 1816 and priest in 1818. In 1815 he published (for one year) a weekly paper called the "Layman's Magazine," and in 1820 an Abridgment of Burnet's History of the Reformation (1 vol.), which had a very large sale. In 1821 he was chosen rector of St. Paul's Church, Philadelphia, as successor to the Rev. Dr. Pilmore. Here his labors as pastor and preacher were incessant, and he added to them a great deal of literary work. In 1822 he published Christ and Him Crucified (12mo), and Living Manners, a tale (12mo); in 1823 - 4, a History of the Church of Christ (2 vols. 8vo); in 1825, The Parents' Counsellor; a Narrative of the Newton Family; and a Sketch of the Life of Dr. Pilmore. In 1827 he established a publishing house, called "The Prayer-book and Missionary House," to cheapen prayer-books, tracts, etc., and wrote for publication several small practical and biographical works. Under these accumulated labors his health broke down, and he sailed for Europe in March, 1828. In England he imprudently allowed himself to be called into frequent service at anniversaries and public meetings, and his strength failed entirely by midsummer. He died on the return voyage to America, Jan. 13, 1829. Besides the publications above named, he published also a number of separate sermons, and several small volumes of poems, written in early life. — Sprague, Annals, v. 591.

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