Ball, John (1665?-1745) (DNB00)

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BALL, JOHN (1665?–1745), presbyterian minister, was one of ten sons of Nathanael Ball, M.A. [q. v.] ejected from Barley, Herts. He was educated for the ministry under the Rev. John Short at Lyme-Regis, Dorset, and finished his studies at Utrecht, partly under the Rev. Henry Hickman, ejected fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, who died minister of the English church at Utrecht in 1692. He was ordained 23 Jan. 1695, and became minister in 1705 of the presbyterian congregation at Honiton (extinct 1788), where he united two opposing sections, and ministered for forty years, being succeeded by John Rutter (d. 1769). He was a laborious scholar, and ‘carried the Hebrew psalter into the pulpit to expound from it.’ His learning and high character caused a seminary, which he opened prior to the Toleration Act, to be not only connived at, but attended by the sons of neighbouring gentry, though of the established church. Ball is remarkable for retaining the puritan divinity unimpaired to a late period. He had no sympathy with any of the innovations upon Calvinism which, long before his death, became rife among the presbyterians of the West. He published:

  1. ‘The Importance of Right Apprehensions of God with respect to Religion and Virtue,’ Lond. 1736, 8vo.
  2. ‘Some Remarks on a New Way of Preaching,’ 1737 (this was answered by Henry Grove, the leader of the more moderate school of presbyterian liberalism).

He died 6 May 1745, in his ninety-first year.

[Calamy's Account; Palmer's Nonconf. Mem. i. 191; Funeral Sermon by John Walrond, 1745; Records of Exeter Assembly; Murch's Hist. of the Presb. and Gen. Bapt. Churches in West of England, 1835, p. 316; Davids' Ann. of Nonconf. in Essex, 1863, p. 596.]

A. G.