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
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.