Henry Alline

Henry Alline: 1748-1784

J. M. BUMSTED
Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1971
Pages: 116
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt15jvvv0
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Henry Alline
    Book Description:

    To Canadians of this century the name of Henry Alline is almost unknown. This biography introduces him to the general reader. Through the story of his life it also recreates the early settlement of the Maritime provinces, and examines the origins of one of the most dominant and continuing themes in Canadian life, evangelical pietism.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3270-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-viii)
    ALAN WILSON

    These small volumes are designed primarily to interest the general reader, and they will be published in two languages. They seek to fill a gap in our knowledge of men who seemed often to be merely secondary figures, frequently non-political contributors to our regional and national experience in Canada. Our social, educational, and economic history may perhaps be better understood in their light.

    In theseStudies, the emphasis is upon an interpretation rather than a life. The limitation in size challenges the author to consider the best use of anecdote, description of place, reference to general history, and use of...

  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. 1 “The Scenes and Pleasures of a Country Life”
    (pp. 1-28)

    Henry Alline was born in Newport, Rhode Island, on 14 January 1748, and he died in North-Hampton, New Hampshire, on 28 January 1784. His lifespan thus fell far short of the biblical ‘three score and ten,’ but this was hardly deserving of comment in the 18th-century America of which Alline was a part. Life was hard, to call a doctor was more likely to kill than cure, and the risk of violent death was ever present. A bare recital of Alline’s vital statistics fails totally to reveal how much accomplishment he had packed into a short life, or to indicate...

  5. 2 “Redeeming Love Broke into My Soul”
    (pp. 29-49)

    The ultimate result of Henry Alline’s evangelical career was to undermine and virtually destroy the Puritan orthodoxy which his family and most of their fellow Englanders had brought with them to Nova Scotia. Despite his subsequent on Calvinistic doctrine the practices of the Puritan churches, however, process by Alline achieved personal spiritual truth was entirely the Puritan tradition. Indeed, Alline’s conversion experiences, which he recorded at length as part of his legacy to the world, were so typical of New England Puritanism that his account of them seems almost stereotyped. If anything out of the ordinary was present in Alline’s...

  6. 3 “The People Being Much Engaged and Awakened”
    (pp. 50-74)

    In April of 1776 Henry Alline began an itinerant preaching career which ended only with his death on 2 February 1784 in New Hampshire. At the time of his decision to answer the call to preach, Alline was 28 years old. Neatly but plainly dressed, he did not present a prepossessing public figure, being of ‘medium size, straight, thin of body, light complexion, light curly hair, and dreamy blue eyes.’¹ However ordinary in physical appearance, Alline had nevertheless certain in tangible qualities of charisma and leadership which made him long remembered by Nova Scotians. Even before his conversion, he had...

  7. 4 “Some things in these Few Lines”
    (pp. 75-96)

    Henry Alline has received little recognition as a literary and intellectual figure who must be taken seriously. For most of the chroniclers of evangelicalism in Nova Scotia, many of whom wrote in the 19th century, Alline was simply a pioneer itinerant evangelist. In this historical tradition, his literary activity was made to appear a peripheral and unimportant happenstance. To many commentators, Alline has thus appeared an anti-intellectual revivalist; to others, who recognized that he had attempted to grapple with what were for him the critical issues of his time, his thinking was confused and wrong-headed. But Henry Alline was more...

  8. 5 “A Burning and Shining Light, and Justly Esteemed the Apostle of Nova Scotia”
    (pp. 97-102)

    Late in 1783 the dying Henry Alline resolutely set forth to New England, insisting ‘I would go and proclaim my Master's name, where I never had preached, as long as I could ride or stand, if it was even to the last expiring breath.’¹ He quite literally lived up to this promise, preaching his last sermon only a week before his death. What impelled Alline to leave the Maritimes for the United States? Perhaps, as has recently been suggested, he felt it the duty of an awakened Nova Scotia to bring the gospel to a fallen New England.² But there...

  9. NOTES
    (pp. 103-106)
  10. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 107-112)
  11. INDEX
    (pp. 113-117)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 118-118)