JOHN BALL (1585-1640), English puritan divine, was born at Cassington, Oxfordshire, in October 1585. After taking his B.A. degree from St Mary's Hall, Oxford, in 1608, he went into Cheshire to act as tutor to the children of Lady Cholmondeley. He adopted Puritan views, and after being ordained without subscription, was appointed to the small curacy of Whitmore in Staffordshire. He was soon deprived by John Bridgeman, the high church bishop of Chester, who put him to much suffering. He became a schoolmaster and earned a wide and high reputation for his scholarship and piety. He died on the 20th of October 1640. The most popular of his numerous works was A Short Catechisme, containing all the Principal Grounds of Religion (14 editions before 1632). His Treatise of Faith (1632), and Friendly Trial of the Grounds tending to Separation (1640), the latter of which defines his position with regard to the church, are also valuable.
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