Allein, Richard

, the son of a clergyman of the same name, rector of Ditchet, Somersetshire, for fifty years, was born at that place in 1611; the first part of his education under his father fitted him for the university in 1627. That year he entered a commoner of St. Alban’s hall, in Oxford, where he took the degree of bachelor of arts. Thence he removed to New Inn Hall, where he took his master’s degree, and entering into orders, became an assistant to his father, who bei,;g inclined to puritanism, die son fell into the same opinions; and possessing great zeal and learning, he soon acquired a proportionable reputation. In March 1641, he succeeded to the living of Batcomb, in Dorsetshire, the duty of which he performed with much industry and fidelity, but being a zealous covenanter, had some disturbances with the king’s forces in those parts. He was, however, a great enemy to that enthusiastic spirit which prevailed in this country, on the ruin of the established church; this appears by his subscribing a representation, entitled “The Testimony of the Ministry of Somersetshire to the Truth of Jesus Christ, and to the Solemn League and Covenant,” printed in 1648. His industry and affection to the cause procured himself and his father to be constituted assistants to the commissioners appointed by parliament, for ejecting scandalous ministers. This was in 1654; and Mr. Wood tells us, what is probable enough, that they acted with great severity. However, on the Restoration, Mr. Allein shewed a disposition to yield obedience to the government, but could not accede to the terms of conformity, which occasioned his being ejected from his living, after he had held it upwards of twenty years. After this, he continued to exercise his function privately, preaching sometimes in his own house, at others in the | houses of gentlemen in the neighbourhood. He was once apprehended at the seat of Mr. Moore, who had been a member of parliament, and who had invited him thither to preach to his family and some of his neighbours. Mr. Moore paid the tine, which was rive pounds, for him. He still went on in the way of his profession, notwithstanding he was often summoned to the quarter sessions, and severely reprimanded as the keeper of a conventicle. He, however, escaped imprisonment, as his great learning, piety, and exemplary life, had gained him so high a reputation, that it would have been very unpopular to have sent him to a gaol. After the five mile act passed, he was obliged to leave Batcomb, and retire to Frome Selwood, where he continued in the constant exercise of his ministry, notwithstanding the dangers he was exposed to. He died the 22d of December 1681, being upwards of 64 years of age. He was distinguished for his plain, practical manner of preaching, and for the delight he took in the pastoral office. His writings, which were mostly tracts on religious subjects, were much esteemed and often printed. The principal of these is a work entitled “Vindicise Pietatis, or a Vindication of Godliness,” which was, and is, in high reputation among persons of Calvinistic sentiments. It consists of three parts, published 1664 6. As it was printed without a licence, the king’s bookseller caused the copies to be seized, but afterwards purchased them from the king’s kitchen, where they were sent as waste-paper, and bound them up and sold them; being however discovered, he was obliged to make submission to the privy council, and the hooks were ordered to be destroyed. This occasioned the first edition to be long scarce, and created the mistakes as 10 date into which both Wood and Calamy have fallen, and which are not rectified by the editor of the Biographia Britannica, who does not appear to have examined the book. Although a zealous non-conformist, Mr. Allein was not tinctured either with spleen to the church, or disloyalty to his prince; on the contrary, he lived in a fair correspondence with the clergy of his neighbourhood, and the gentry paid him great respect, although of opposite sentiments. 1

1 Biog. Britannica. —Calamy.Ath. Ox. vol. II. 689.