Henry Alline: Selected Writings

Henry Alline: Selected Writings

Henry Alline: Selected Writings

Henry Alline: Selected Writings

Excerpt

I was both genuinely surprised and delighted when, a few years ago, Dr. John Farina asked me to prepare a volume about Henry Alline for the Sources of American Spirituality series. I was surprised that another scholar, especially an American historian, shared my conviction that the late eighteenth century Nova Scotian charismatic preacher-theologian and hymn-writer was indeed significant and noteworthy not only within the narrow confines of Canadian Evangelicalism but also within the larger context of North American spirituality. Moreover, as might have been expected from a Canadian who has, for almost twenty-five years, been dealing with aspects of Alline's career and legacy often on the periphery of even Canadian historiography, I was delighted that the Paulist Press would make Henry Alline available to an American audience.

Since 1962, when, as a graduate student, I wrote a research paper on Henry Alline and Nova Scotia's response to the American Revolution, I have been intrigued and indeed haunted by Alline. I have been eager to try to understand what made the Nova Scotian farmer-tanner tick in order to come to grips with the essential nature of the Evangelical tradition and ethos in the evolution of Maritime Canada. In my Hayward Lectures, given at Acadia University in October 1983 and published the following year under the title Ravished by the Spirit, I was particularly interested in tracing how Alline profoundly shaped the religious contours of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick not only in the late eighteenth century but throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In these Hayward Lectures, for . . .

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