James Allen (1734-1804)

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Hymn #252 (written in 1757).
This writer was son of Oswald Allen, and was born at Gayle, Yorkshire, England, on June 24, 1734. Just how he was led to Christ is not known, but he early had his conscience aroused as to evil flagrantly allowed in the Church of England. He became an itinerant “Inghamite” preacher after embracing the Methodist beliefs. Once when “field preaching” a mob threatened his life and he was saved by the local magistrate who was an old friend of his. One of his hymns is a real challenge to the conscience: —
“Sinners, will you scorn the message?”
Charles Wesley says of him (Oct. 17, 1756), “A young preacher came to spend the evening with me at Mr. Grimshaw’s. I found love for him, and wished that all our sons in the Gospel were equally modest and discreet.”
In Scotland he along with Christopher Batty compiled a hymn book. This included 71 of Allen’s hymns or 50% of the book. At that time he wrote what is now #252 in the Little Flock. This hymn, however, was helpfully revised by Walter Shirley (a cousin of Lady Huntington). It then began, “Sweet the moments, rich in blessing.” He returned to the place of his birth at Gayle and there continued to preach the gospel until his death on October 31. 1804. He has truly “found the dawn of heaven.”