Beattie, David (1794-1839)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Thomas Morgan


David Beattie was born in 1794, at Ceannoby, in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. His parents, who occupied a small farm, trained him up to industry, and, as far as their knowledge went, in the fear of the Lord.

He was brought up in the Scotch kirk. But as he grew up, he took delight in reading; especially in the bible; the contents of which shook his faith in the “predestinations” of the kirk, and led him ultimately to believe that Jesus Christ. “tasted death for every man.” Notwithstanding this change in his religious opinions, his heart remained unchanged, and consequently his life and conduct, were not “according to the gospel.” He had, however, to resist powerful strivings of God’s Spirit, and was made sensible of the interposition of Divine Providence in several striking deliverances.

At one time, a large stone fell from a high building, and descended close by his head to the ground. At another time, he sunk to the bottom of a river, more than once; but recovering a little presence of mind, he crawled on the bottom, towards the side, till he could raise his head above water.

This deliverance appears to have made a powerful impression on his mind, but did not issue in his conversion. But, though he thus fought against God, his early moral training, and the preventing grace of God, made him remarkable for uprightness and integrity; characteristics which were conspicuous in him through life. About 1816, his conviction became heavy, and he was brought into great distress of mind. But being ignorant of the nature of a present salvation, he suffered much before he obtained a sense of God’s pardoning love. Having, however, obtained the long-looked-for blessing, “Redemption through the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins,” he went forward in the way to heaven in good earnest.

On hearing our missionaries, he became attached to them, and cast in his lot amongst our people. After sustaining for some time the office of class-leader and local preacher, he was (in 1826) taken out as a travelling preacher. A few extracts from his journals will show the spirit which he breathed in this important station. On leaving Scarborough branch, in 1829, he says, “I can say I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Blessed be God, I have reason to believe my labours have not been altogether in vain.

Keyingham.- Glory be to God, thou hast kindly preserved me through many dangers, and given me journeying mercies.” On leaving Keyingham, he says, “I leave this place in peace with all mankind, and I feel a good hope of immortality and eternal life. Not much fruit of my labour here; but, thank God, I have had some.”

Barton Branch.- I am determined by grace to live to His glory. I long to be more devoted to God. May the Lord so bless me that my life may confirm the gospel I preach. Amen.”

Driffield.- On leaving this place, he speaks of the kindness of the people, and is deeply affected. 

Though useful in all his stations, his labours seem to have been most owned of God in the Winster circuit. His usefulness was great amongst that people, and their kindness to him was great also. In his journals he makes warm mention of Winster circuit, and of the kindness of several families therein. From Winster he removed to Barnsley, where he speaks of trials, suffering, and troubles. From Barnsley he removed to Donnington, where, after suffering much affliction of body, he, in January, 1839, finished his course, gloriously triumphing over the last enemy.

He was a man of a weakly constitution, which had been giving way some years; and during which, it must be admitted, he did not always keep fully clear of the evil of long preaching. He was a good man, and remarkable for integrity and firmness of character. His talents were rather useful than brilliant. He possessed strong common sense, with considerable penetration, and much industry, and was a pious, sound, and successful preacher of the gospel. His last words were, “I am more than conqueror.”

Dec. 21, 1841.

(Approved by the Nottingham Circuit)


There is a recorded baptism of a David Beattie at Canonby, Dumfries, on 3 March 1793. This David had parents John Beattie and Isobel Johnstone.

David died on 14 April 1839 at Donington, Lincolnshire.


  • 1827 Hull
  • 1834 Winter
  • 1836 Barnsley
  • 1838 Donington


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1842/165

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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