Alline's Influence

Alline's message was incredibly influential to the people of Nova Scotia. As discussed earlier, the colony of Nova Scotia was fragmented. The wave of republican ideology which was swarming throughout the thirteen colonies had little effect on the people of Nova Scotia. So it is safe to say that the Nova Scotia Yankees were somewhat clueless as to the events happening in the south. The fact that the colony of Nova Scotia was so disoriented to the Revolutionary mind-set, helped provide Henry Alline with a very receptive audience. His message struck hard and deep into the hearts and minds of the Nova Scotia Yankees. Alline claimed to understand what the people were going through, and accepted the truthfulness of the pains brought to bear on the people by the Revolution. He explained the significance of the colony's predicament which was the total confusion running rampant in the colony. (Stewart & Rawlyk 155). The Nova Scotian's were doubtful, discouraged, pessimistic and confused. Alline's message was confident, assertive, optimistic and in their critical situation, the people turned to him for reassurance, explanations and solutions. In his sermons, Alline propagated the view that the New England colonies were wrong to indulge in war and urged the Yankees to see that they had performed a salutary act by staying out of such illegal and sinful undertakings (Ibid 154). At one point, Alline was approached and asked to join the militia. His response was:
"I utterly refused to take one step in pursuit of it"
(qtd in Stewart p232). According to Alline, "War is a sad consequence of the Fall of man and his subsequent apostasy." (qtd in Stewart & Rawlyk p157). Further, man was sinful and living in a disordered world; when he indulged in wars he was letting loose even more sin and this in turn produced even greater disorders in the world (Ibid 157). To the Americans, the Revolutionary War was necessary in order to gain religious and political freedom. In marked contrast to this American attitude, Alline urged the people of the outsettlements of Nova Scotia to view the struggle as a "most inhuman war" which was "Spreading desolation throughout the world" (qtd in Ibid p160). Alline's popularity and his message of pacifism towards the Revolution, ultimately led the Nova Scotian's to neutrality.