Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Allen, John (fl.1764)

For works with similar titles, see John Allen.

ALLEN, JOHN (fl. 1764), nonconformist divine, became minister in 1764 of the Baptist church in Petticoat Lane, having been previously a preacher at Salisbury. On settling in London he opened a linendraper's shop in Shoreditch. He failed in business, and passed some time in the King's Bench. He was acquitted on a trial for forgery; but his church gave him up for bad behaviour. His next congregation, at Broadstairs, Newcastle, had also to dismiss him; and he retired to New York, where he preached to large congregations till his death at an uncertain date. ‘It is to be feared that he was deficient in principle,’ or rather in practice; but he published a good many tracts, which have been frequently reprinted, some of them with commendatory prefaces by W. Romaine. One of these was the ‘Spiritual Magazine,’ which originally appeared in sixpenny numbers in 1752, and professes to contain a ‘compleat body of divinity.’ Others are: 1. ‘The Door of Knowledge opened in a Spiritual Campaign;’ 2. ‘The Christian Pilgrim; or the Travels of the Children of Israel Spiritualised;’ 3. ‘A Chain of Truths; or a Dissertation upon the Harmony of the Gospels;’ 4. ‘A compendious Descant of the Autogenial and Theanthropos Glories of Christ; or the Crown of Crowns set upon the head of King Jesus.’ Allen called himself a ‘strict Trinitarian,’ and was a high Calvinist, with an attachment for some of Hutchinson's opinions. His works, we are told, were in high repute with supralapsarians.

[Wilson's Dissenting Churches, iv. 426.]