Allein, Joseph

, an English non-conformist divine, was the son of Mr. Tobias Allein, and born at the Devizes, in Wiltshire, 1633. He discovered an extraordinary tincture of religion, even in his childhood; at eleven years of age he was much addicted to private prayer; and on the death of his brother Edward, who was a worthy minister of the gospel, he entreated his father that he might be educated for that profession. In four years he acquired a competent knowledge of Greek and Latin, and was declared by his master n’t for the university. He was, however, kept some time longer at home, where he was instructed in logic, and at sixteen was sent to Lincoln college, Oxford. In 1651 he was removed to Corpus Christi college, a Wiltshire | scholarship being there vacant. While at college he vras remarkably assiduous in his studies, grave in his temper, but cheerfully ready to assist others. He might in a short time have obtained a fellowship, but he declined that for the sake of the office of chaplain, being pleased with the opportunity this gave him of exerting his gift in prayer, the liturgy being then disused. In July 1653, he was admitted bachelor of arts, and became a tutor. In this arduous employment he behaved himself with equal skill and diligence; several of his pupils became very eminent non-conforming ministers, and not a few attained to considerable preferment in the established church. In 1655 he became assistant in the ministry to Mr. G. Newton, of Taunton, in Somersetshire, where he married the same year. His income was small, but was somewhat increased by the profits of a. boarding-school, which Mrs. Allein kept. During seven years that he lived in this manner, he discharged his pastoral duty with incredible diligence; for, besides preaching and catechising in the church, he spent several afternoons in a week in visiting the people of the town, and exhorting them to a religious life. These applications were at first far from being welcome to many families; but his meekness, moderation, and unaffected piety, reconciled them to his advice, and made him by degrees the delight of his parishioners. He was deprived in 1662, for nonconformity. He preached, however, privately, until his zeal and industry in this course brought him into trouble. On the 26th day of May, 1663, he was committed to Ivelchester gaol, and was with seven ministers and fifty quakers confined in one room, where they suffered great hardships; tut they still continued to preach till the assizes. These were held before Mr. justice Foster, and at them Mr. Allein was indicted for preaching on the 17th of May preceding; of which indictment he was found guilty, and sentenced to pay a hundred marks, and to remain in prison till his fine was paid. At the time of his receiving sentence, he said, that he was glad that it had appeared before his country; that whatever he was charged with, he was guikv of nothing but doing his duty; and all that did appear by the evidence was, that he had sung a psalm, and instructed his family, others being there, and both in his own house. He continued in prison a year, which broke his constitution; but, when he was at liberty, he applied himself to his ministry as earnestly as ever, which, brought on him a painful | disorder. The five miles act taking place, he retired from Taunton to Wellington, where he continued but a short time, Mr. Mallack, a merchant, inviting him to lodge at a house of his some distance from Taunton. In the summer of 1665, he was advised to drink the waters near the Devizes, for his health. But before he left Mr. Mallack’s house, viz. on the I Oth of July in that year, some friends came to take their leave of him; they were surprised praying together, and for this were sentenced to sixty days imprisonment, which himself, seven ministers, and forty private persons, suffered in the county gaol. This hindered his going to the waters; and his disease returning, he lost another summer. At length, in 1667, he went, but was far from receiving the benefit he expected. After some time he went to Dorchester, where he grew better; but applying himself again to preaching, catechising, and other duties, his distemper returned with such violence, that he lost the use of his limbs. His death was then daily expected; but by degrees he grew somewhat better, and at length went to Bath, where his health altered so much, that his friends were in hopes he would have lived several years; but growing suddenly worse again, he died there, -in the month of November, 1668, being somewhat above thirty-five years old. He was a man of great learning, and greater charity; zealous in his own way of worshipping God, but not in thft least bitter towards any Christians who worshipped in another manner. He preserved a great respect for the church, notwithstanding all his sufferings; and was eminently loyal to his prince, notwithstanding the severities of the times. His writings breathe a true spirit of piety, for which they have been always and deservedly esteemed. His body lies in the chancel of the church of St. Magdalen, of Taunton, and on his grave-stone are the following lines

Here Mr. Joseph Allein lies,

To God and you a sacrifice.

His principal works are, 1. “A familiar Explanation of the Assembly’s Catechism,” 8vo, 1656. 2. “A call to Archippus,1664, 4to, in which he advises the ejected ministers to continue their public services. 3. “An Alarm tothe unconverted,1672, 8vo and 12mo, afterwards published under the title of “A sure Guide to Heaven;” but the original title was resumed, and it has been reprinted oftener, even to this day, than almost any book of the kind. 4. “Christian Letters,1672, afterwards given as an | appendix to his life. 5. “Cases of Conscience,1672. G. “Remains, being a Collection of sundry Directions, Sermons, &c.1672. Besides these, he wrote several small practical pieces, which are printed among the works of Mr. Richard Allein. He left also, imperfect, a “Body of Natural Theology,” in Latin. One section, “De Providentia,” was prepared for the press and licensed; but, according to Wood (who, it may here be noticed, gives a very unfavourable account of our author), was never printed, for want of encouragement. 1

1

Life, 8vo. 1671. Bio. Brit, -—Calamy. Ath. Ov. Vol. II. p. 420.