Patterson, John Brown
Patterson, John Brown an English divine, celebrated as a student of antiquities, especially those of Greece, was born at Alnwick, Northumberland. Jan. 29, 1804, of pious parentage. From his earliest years John gave indications of superior talents, of fine taste, and of a pure and elevated tone of moral feeling, qualities which, as he advanced in age, became more and more conspicuously developed in his character. In 1810 his father died, and his mother removed to Edinburgh, and John was entered a student at the high school of that northern Athens. He rose to the first place in his classes, and at graduation carried off the highest honors. At the university he sustained these early acquired distinctions, and, having become deeply convinced of his call to Gospel labors, he entered, in 1824, the divinity hall, then under the charge of the able and learned Dr. Ritchie. He now considered all other pursuits secondary to the study of theology, and applied the full energies of his mind to the subjects of that sacred science. He endeavored by unremitting application to increase his stock of theological acquirements, and engaged successively in the study of natural history, chemistry, and anatomy, both human and comparative, from an anxiety to render all the talents he possessed and all his acquirements subservient to the duties of that holy profession to which he had dedicated his future life. Mr. Patterson, after becoming a licentiate, deferred all thoughts of an immediate settlement, and accepted a proposal made to him, in 1828, to superintend the studies of the young lord Cranstoun at Oxford. After a brief absence Mr. Patterson returned to Scotland, and had not been long established at home, when Mr. Peel, then the home secretary, made him an unexpected offer of the vacant parish of Falkirk; and from the moment of entering on the duties of the parish, which Patterson did in 1830, his ministry fully realized the highest expectations that had been formed of him. The exquisite beauty, the sparkling imagery, and the fine taste displayed every Sabbath in his pulpit compositions; the laborious visitations he made from house to house, in the town as well as in the country; the lively interest he took in the religious education of the young; and the many judicious plans he formed for the temporal as well as the spiritual well-being of the people, rendered him every day more dear to the affections of all. But his bright career on earth was destined to be brief. He died suddenly, June 29,1835, greatly mourned by all his people. Patterson wrote, besides a prize essay On the National Character of the Athenians (Lond. 1828; new ed. with Memoir by Prof. Pillans, Lond. 1859, cr. 8vo), Lectures on St. John's Gospels (Lond. 1840, 12mo). His other Literary Remains were published with a Life (Edinb. 1837, 2 vols. 8vo). See Jamieson, Cyclop. of Relig. Biogr. s.v.; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.