Allen, Solomon

Allen, Solomon a useful minister of the Gospel, brother of Moses Allen (q.v.), was born at Northampton, February 23, 1751. He, with four of his brothers, entered the army in the Revolutionary war, and rose to the rank of major. At 40 he was converted, and was made deacon of the church at Northampton. Soon after he felt it his duty to preach the Gospel, but the neighboring clergy discouraged him, on account of his great age and his want of theological learning. But he was not to be hindered; he devoted himself to the study of the Bible, and went for his theology to the works of Hoar and Baxter. At fifty years of age he entered upon a career of voluntary labor as a preacher, which lasted, chiefly in the new settlements in Western New York, for 20 years. "He rejoiced in fatigues and privations in the service of his beloved Master. Sometimes, in his journeys, he reposed himself with nothing but a blanket to protect him from the inclemency of the weather. But though poor, he was the means of enriching many with the inestimable riches of religion. Four churches were established by him, and he numbered about two hundred souls as by his preaching reclaimed from perdition. Though poor himself, there were those connected with him who were rich, and by whose liberality he was enabled to accomplish his benevolent purposes. From such sources he expended about a thousand dollars in books and clothing for the people in the wilderness." In 1820 he returned to Massachusetts. "At Pittsfield, where some of his relations lived, and where his brother had been the minister, Mr. Allen went through the streets, and entering each house, read a chapter in the Bible, exhorting all the members of the family to serve God, and praying fervently for their salvation. In like manner he visited other towns. He felt that the time was short, and he was constrained to do all the good in his power. With his white locks, and the strong, impressive tones of his voice, and having a known character for sanctity, all were awed at the presence of the man of God. He went about with the holy zeal and authority of an apostle. In prayer Mr. Allen displayed a sublimity and pathos which good judges have considered as unequaled by any ministers whom they have known. It was the energy of true faith and strong feeling. In November he arrived at New York, and there, after a few weeks, he expired in the arms of his children, Jan. 28,1821." — Allen, Biog. Dictionary, s.v.

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