Ballantyne, John (1778-1830) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 03
Ballantyne, John (1778-1830)

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BALLANTYNE, JOHN (1778–1830), divine, was born in the parish of Kinghorn 8 May 1778; entered the university of Edinburgh in 1795, and joined the Burgher branch of the Secession church, though his parents belonged to the establishment. He was ordained minister of a congregation at Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, in 1805. In 1824 be published ‘A Comparison of Established and Dissenting Churches, by a Dissenter.’ In 1830 this pamphlet, which had failed to excite notice, was republished with additions during the 'voluntary church' controversy of the period. Ballantyne's partisanship in the controversy is said to have injured the reception of his ‘Examination of the Human Mind,’ the first part of which appeared in 1828; two further parts were intended, but never appeared. The failure, however, may be accounted for without the influence of party spirit. It is the work of a thoughtful but not very original student of Reid and Dugald Stewart, with some criticism of Thomas Brown. It is recorded that Ballantyne managed to pay for publication out of his own savings, handing over a sum bestowed on the occasion by a generous patron to some missionary purpose. Ballantyne suffered from indigestion brought on by excessive application, and died 5 Nov. 1830.

[McKerrow's Church of the Secession, pp. 913-16; Recollections by T. Longmuir, Aberdeen, 1872; McCosh's Scottish Philosophy, pp. 388-392.]