John Ball (Puritan)
After taking his BA degree from St Mary 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 20 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. His A Tryall of the New-Church Way in New-England and Old, written in 1637 but published in 1644, was a reply to the responses of the New England puritans to nine questions which he had posed to them concerning the constitution and doctrine of their churches. His Treatise of the Covenant of Grace (1645) was also published posthumously.
- A Tryall of the New-Church Way in New-England and Old (Printed by T. Paine and M. Simmons, for Thomas Underhill in Great Wood-street, London 1644). Full text at Umich/eebo. (open)
- A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace... by John Ball... Published by Simeon Ash (Printed by G. Miller for Edward Brewster on Ludgate-Hill neer Fleet-bridge at the Signe of the Bible, London 1645). (Internet Archive).
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ball, John (puritan divine)". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Schaff Herzog article on John Ball
- Works by John Ball at Post-Reformation Digital Library
- A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace (1645) Posthumous work by John Ball - first few chapters only in this online text.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article - this is a subscription service but many UK library users can access it with their library card number.