Skip to main content

Full text of "Memoirs of the lives of Robert Haldane of Airthrey, and of his brother, James Alexander Haldane"

See other formats





Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 












"There is no man that hath left house, or lands, for my sake, and the Gospel s, but he shall 
receive an hundredfold now in this time, with persecutions, . . . and in the world to come 
eternal life." MARK x. 29, 30. See Address to the Public in 1800, by R. Haldane. 

"This is the last day of the year, and the last letter I shall write this year. My life has been 
wonderfully preserved, much beyond the usual course of nature. Goodness and mercy have fol 
lowed me all the days of my life ; and without the shadow of boasting, I can add, I shall dwell 
in the house of the Lord forever." Extract from a Letter of J. A. Haldane, December 31, 1850. 




if. tm 10 1256 




ON the death of Mr. Kobert Haldane in December, 1842, a 
very strong desire was in many quarters expressed for a memoir 
of his remarkable career. There were, however, several objec 
tions to an immediate publication. It appeared that if a record 
of his life were calculated to be generally useful, and not merely 
designed to attract an ephemeral interest, it would be better, in 
regard to some of the scenes in which he had been engaged, to 
await, at least for a few years, the mellowing influence of time. 
Besides, it would have been impossible to record his life without 
blending with it that of his then surviving brother, as they had 
been uniformly associated together in nearly all of their plans and 
operations for the diffusion of the Gospel. The death of Mr. J. 
A. Haldane, in February, 1851, and the lapse of more than nine 
years, have removed the chief of these objections. The desire 
for a Memoir has been renewed, and it is now committed to the 
Christian public. 

The compiler is not insensible to the delicacy of his position, 
as the biographer of relatives so greatly beloved and revered. 
But if his position has its disadvantages, these are not without 
compensation. N~o stranger could so well delineate their charac 
ter, or, at all events, detail the facts of their lives, as one who 
from childhood enjoyed their intimacy and confidence; whilst a 
close and continuous correspondence for nearly thirty years, in 
connection with all their plans, works, and writings, together with 
the possession of numerous other letters and documents, extending 
over a period embracing the whole of their career, must afford 


more than ordinary means for illustrating their motives, their 
opinions, and their acts. 

It will require no recondite skill in criticism to detect in these 
Memoirs many imperfections, some of which will be attributed 
by the candid reader to the circumstances under which they have 
been written, at intervals snatched from the continuous engage 
ments of professional pursuits. Amongst these imperfections 
will be found two or three unimportant repetitions in the use of 
documents available for different parts of the narrative. 

If, however, the work shall in any measure present the two 
brothers such as they were in faith and love and zeal, it will have 
answered its design, and may, it is hoped, tend to promote the 
glory of God by stimulating others to follow their example in so 
far as they followed Christ. 




Their BirtJ- Gleneagles Anecdotes and Early Characteristics . . 13 



Robert Haldane joins the Monarch Action between the Foudroyant and 
Pegase Lord St. Vincent s Prediction Influence of Dr. Bogue Loss 
of the Royal George Relief of Gibraltar Chase of the Leocadia Sails 
to Newfoundland Quits the Navy Tour of Europe His Marriage 
fmprovements at Airthrey Anecdotes 36 


James Haldane joins the Duke of Montrose East India Ships Anecdotes 
Religious Impressions Conviviality of the Times Duel Anecdotes 
The Contrast Appointed to command the Melville Castle Marriage 
Sir Ralph Abercromby Detention of the Indian Fleet Quells the Mu 
tiny on board the Dulton Begins to study the Bible Quits the Melville 
Castle Death of his Father-in-law Goes to Edinburgh . . .51 


[1794. 95.] 

"Grasps at a Shadow, catches the Substance" Effects of the French Rev 
olution on Robert Haldane Freeholders Meeting at Stirling Confer 
ences with Ministers near Airthrey Studies the Evidences of Christianity 
Progress of the Change Conversation with a pious Stonemason . 81 




Robert Haldane plans a Mission to Bengal Determines to sell Airthrey - 
His intended Associates, Dr. Bogue, Dr. Innes, and Mr. Ewing Other 
Preparations Benares Visits Dr. Bogue Applies for Consent of the 
East India Company Letters to Mr. Secretary Dundas Errors in the 
Life of Mr. Wilberforce Disclaims Politics Interviews with Members 
of the Government Mr. Wilberforce Bishop Porteus Approval Re 
fusal of the Court of Directors Further Applications Meetings at Mr. 
Newton s Letter to Mr. Campbell Final abandonment of the Design 94 


Introduction to Mr. Campbell and Mr. Aikman State of Religion in Scot 
land at the end of the Eighteenth Century Mr. J. A. Haldane s Tour 
with the Rev. Charles Simeon Visit to Rev. A. Stewart, of Moulin 
Important Results Accident to Mr. Simeon Return to Edinburgh 
Letter of Mr. Simeon Death of Colonel Duncan, of Lundie Mr. J. A. 
Haldane s first Plans of Usefulness Distribution of Tracts Sabbath 
Schools Lay Preaching at Gilmerton Tour to the West of Scotland- 
Sixty Sabbath Schools founded Preaching .at Gilmerton Dr. Charles 
Stuart Miss Aikraan s Letter Approval of Mr. Simeon . . .119 



Mr. James Haldane s first Tour through the North of Scotland and the 
Orkneys in 1797 Prayer Meeting at the Rev. Mr. Black s Lay Preach 
ing Leaves Edinburgh on the 12th July Letter from Banff Aberdeen 
Magisterial Interference Preaching at Banff Its Effects State of Re 
ligion in the Orkneys Conversion of an old Man of ninety-two Preaches 
to Crowds at Kirkwall Accident to Mr. Aikman Blessing on Mr. J. 
Haldane s Labors in Caithness Letter of Mrs. M Neil, of Elgin Battle 
of Camperdown State of Religion at Inverness Conclusion . .144 


Effects of the Tour of 1797 Discussions as to Lay Preaching Letters 
from Mr. Simeon Mr. Simeon s second Visit to Scotland Tour in the 


West and South of Scotland in 1798Meeting with Rev. Rowland Hill 

. Mr. Haldane induces Mr. Z. Macaulay to bring over a number of Af 
rican Children from Sierra Leone to be educated 177 



Mr. Haldane sells his paternal estate Correspondence and Challenge of 
Professor Robison Mr. Rowland Hill opens the Circus Preaches to 
immense multitudes on the Calton Hill Makes several Tours Returns 
to England with Mr. Haldane Correspondence with Mr. Macaulay about 
the African children Mr. Rowland Hill s Journal 193 


Mr. Haldane plans a Seminary for the education of Preachers Plan for 
erecting places of worship, to be called Tabernacles, in the chief towns 
in Scotland Mr. Ewing resigns his post as a minister of the Church of 
Scotland Formation of the Tabernacle Church Mr. J. A. Haldane 
unanimously solicited to become the Pastor His Ordination Blessing 
on the Tabernacle preaching Opening of the Glasgow Circus Mr. 
Haldane s classes, or seminaries for preaching . . . . 213 


Opposition to the new plans Pastoral Admonition Opposition of Relief 
Church and of the Anti-Burghers Deposition of the Rev. George Cowie, 
of Huntley Character of Mr. Cowie His testimony to Mr. James Hal 
dane Second Tour to the North, joined by Mr. Innes and Mr. Aikman 
Visits the Orkneys and Shetlands Preaches at Fulah, the Ultima 
Thule of the Romans Returns to Caithness Inverness Edinburgh 234 



Mr. Haldane attacked by the " Anti-Jacobin Review" Mr. Haldane s " Ad 
dress on Politics" Views of the duty of Christians as to politics, similar 
to those of Joseph Milner Mr. Pitt s threatened measure to put down 
unlicensed preaching Preparations for Tour in 1800 Mr. J. Haldane 
visits Arran and Kintyre with Mr. Campbell Arrested and sent to the 



Sheriff, under an escort of Volunteers Important result of the Tour 
Dr. Lindsay Alexander s sketch of Mr. J. Haldane s character . .251 



Mr. J. A. Haldane s labors Rev. Andrew Fuller Mr. R. Haldane s First 
Sermon Anecdote of Sermon at Stilton Opening of the Edinburgh 
Tabernacle Mr. Aikman s Chapel Labors at Dumfries Tour in Ire 
land Mr. Buchanan Rev. Thomas Scott Catherine Haldane Do 
mestic Character Captain Gardner Death of Sir Ralph Abercromby 268 


Mr. James Haldane visits Buxton Accompanied by a Clergyman Preaches 
at Macclesfield, Castleton, Matlock, &c. Revival in Breadalbane Tour, 
in 1803, from Edinburgh to the Orkney Islands Tour to Berwick, Aln- 
wick, Carlisle, Dumfries, arid Glasgow Mr. Fuller s Second Journey- 
Groundless Rumor Mr. Haldane s Economy His Seminaries . . 287 


Mr. James Haldane preaches on the Death of Lord Camelford, and on Du 
elling Mr. James Haldane visits Buxton and Dublin Preaches in the 
Bethesda Chapel Mr. Walker, Fellow of Trinity College Mr. James 
Haldane goes to London Death of Admiral Lord Duncan Tour to 
Breadalbane, Inverness, Caithness, &c. ...... 304 


Progressive changes the result of circumstances Mr. Ewing s zeal for 
Congregationalism, and Weekly Fellowship Meetings Constitution of 
Churches at Glasgow Discussions about Church order Apostolic 
Practice and Baptism Disruption in the New Connection in 1808 Its 
consequences Controversy with Mr. Ewing Anecdote of Dr. Stuart 
and Lord Brougham Letter from Montauban Sentiments of the two 
Brothers on Church Order . . .321 





Mr. Haldane purchases Auchingray as a Country Residence His Improve 
ments Plans for the Continent Airdrie " Evidences of Christianity" 
Letters of Mr. Hardcastle and Mr. Hill " Edinburgh Christian Instruct 
or" Mr. J. A. Haldane continues to preach in the villages round Edin 
burgh Usefulness at Portobello Sir David Milne Scene at North 
Berwick Visit to Harrowgate The Highlands Anecdote Death of 
his Mother-in-law Abercromby Family Captain Gardner Death of 
Mrs. J. A. Haldane . 346 



Mr. Haldane s Visit to Paris Geneva Letter to Rev. E. Bickersteth 
Glory of Geneva in the Sixteenth Century Its Apostasy State in 1816 
Mr. Haldane s successful Labors Testimony of Dr. Pye Smith Mr. 
Haldane expounds the Epistle to the Romans to the Theological Stu 
dents Letter to Professor Cheneviere Righteousness of God Sov 
ereignty of God Views of Forbearance Mr. Rieu s Triumphant Death 
Excitement at Geneva Dr. Malan s Conversion His Sermon Con 
flict at Geneva Remarkable Conversion of nearly all of the Theological 
Students Persecution Mr. Haldane prepares to quit Geneva Parting 
Advice Arrival of Mr. Henry Drummond His Zeal Conversion of 
Dr. Merle D Aubigne M. Gaussen s Testimony 372 



Mr. Haldane passes through Lyons to Montauban French Commentary 
on the Romans Letter to Mr. Bickersteth Montauban M. Encontre, 
Second Mathematician in France M. Bonnard, Dean of the Faculty 
Low State of Protestantism in France M. Gachon Mr, Haldane s La 
bors Professor Pradel Anecdote of M. Le Villele and Lord Stuart de 
Rothsay Continental Society Henri Pyt Conversion of a Pelagian 
Pastor Mr. Haldane quits Montauban M. Bonnard accompanies him 
to Paris Joseph Wolff Letters of M. Marzials Testimonies of Dr. 
Merle D Aubigne and M. F. Monod Returns to Scotland Continental 
Society Visits Ireland Mr. J. E. Gordon Account of Peter Heaman, 
executed for Piracy Mr. J. A. Haldane s Occupations Testimonies to his 
Usefulness His Writings " Scripture Magazine" Revelation of God s 
Righteousness Strictures on Mr. Walker of Dublin Duel between Sir 
Alexander Boswell and Mr. Stuart of Dunearn Letter of Rev. R. Hill 411 





fmportance of the Apocrypha Controversy as involving the Canon of Scrip 
ture Origin of the Controversy in 1821 Failure of Mr. Haldane s en 
deavor to obtain an amicable adjustment Intermingled Apocrypha Rev. 
John Owen Vacillating conduct of the Committee First Edinburgh 
Statement Cambridge Protest Mr. Simeon and Mr. Gorham Doubts 
as to the Sacred Canon Mr. Haldane s first Review Toulouse and 
Montauban Bibles Second Edinburgh Statement Character of Dr. 
Andrew Thomson Dr. Thomson personally attacked Dr. Steinkopffs 
Pamphlets Mr. Haldane s second Review Haffners Preface M. Bost 
Foreign Bible Societies oppose the Preachers of the Gospel Dr. 
Gordon s Testimony Letter of Mr. Haldane 441 


Discussion respecting the Canon and Inspiration of Scripture Dr. Pye 
Smith s Defence of Dr. Haffner Dr. Carson s Reply Mr. Haldane on 
Inspiration Extracts from Dr. Carson Professor Gaussetf s Theop- 
neustia, or " It is written" Progress of right views on Inspiration 
Progressive Reformation of the Bible Society Dismissal of Van Ess 
Anglicanus Mr. Haldane s Pamphlets Dr. Thomson s Speech His 
Visit to Paul s-cray Deplores the prevailing laxity of Christian princi 
ple Friendship between Dr. Thomson and the two Brothers . . 472 



Rise of Irvingism Rev. Edward Irving Mr. J. A. Haldane s Refutation 
of the Erroneous Doctrines Discussion with Mr. Drummond Dr. 
Thomson s Letters as to the Gift of Tongues Mr. J. E. Gordon Death 
of Dr. Thomson His Character by Dr. Chalmers and Dr. M Crie Dr. 
Thomson s Farewell Speech Captain J. E. Gordon Annual Meeting 
of the British and Foreign Bible Society, 1831 Institution and Failure 
of the Trinitarian Bible Society Pamphlets of Rev. J. Scott Mr. J. J. 
Gurney and others answered by Mr. Haldane Mr. Wilks accuses Mr. 
Haldane of being the author of a furious Theological war in Switzer 
land Mr. Haldane s Answer Character of Mr. Haldane s Pamphlets 
Progressive purification of the Bible Society Mr. Bickersteth s Motion 
Good effects of the Controversy . . . ... . .488 




The\ ***&A> iSein.hAiy in Paris Publication addressed to the Rev. Daniel 

Wireon Preparation <u his " Exposition of Romans" Mr. James Hal- 
dantrs Engagements His Letters Respecting Rev. Ebenezer Brown s 
Sermon before Lords Brougham and Denman Respecting Dr. Colqu- 
houn and Ministerial Popularity Respecting Dr. Stuart s Death Re- 
specting the Row Doctrine of Universal Pardon Mr. James Haldane s 
Preaching Tours in 1829-30 Death of his eldest Son, James Dr. 
M Crie s approval of Mr. James Haldane s Doctrine of Personal Assu 
rance Mr. Howels Death Mr. Aikman s Death, and Rowland Hill s 504 



Mr. Haldane publishes an Enlarged Edition of his " Evidences" Anecdote 
of David Hume s Death-bed Anecdote of Adam Smith Publication 
of " Exposition of Romans" Dr. Chalmers Opinion of the Work Let 
ters to Dr. John Brown on his Refusal to Pay the Annuity-tax Letter 
to Mr. Macaulay on his Speech on the Ballot Letter to the " Edinburgh 
Christian Instructor" Commences his Last Labor .519 



Mr. Haldane s Last Labors in Revising his " Exposition of Romans" 
Visit to Auchingray His Sermons Completes his Revision Returns 
to Edinburgh Publishes his " Exposition" Plan of Circulating the 
Bible in Selected Portions Mr. Haldane s Last Illness and Death Ex 
tract from the Witness" Testimony of the Edinburgh Bible Society- 
Death of Mrs. Haldane . 533 



Mr. J. A. Haldane opposes Errors respecting the Atonement Mr. Hinton, 
Dr. Jenkyn, Dr. Payne, and Dr. Wardlaw Letter to the " Evangelical 
Magazine" Labors as an Octogenarian Letter on the Death of Mr. 

Cleghorn Visit to London and Buxton Death of his Eldest Daughter 

Letter on Miss Hardcastle s Death Death of Dr. Abercrombie Treatise 

on Christian Union Publishes " Exposition of Galatians" His Letters 553 




Mr. J. Haldane as an Octogenarian Sentiments as to Public Fasts His 
own Practice La Mancha Marriage of his Daughter Isabella Mr. 
Burden Sanderson Letter describing West Jesmond Visit to the 
Manor House, East Ham Sermons at Woolwich Death of Major John 
Gordon, and of his Mother, Mrs. Haldane Gordon Visit of the Rev. 
James Gordon Jubilee Illness, 1849 Winterfield Letter to Colonel 
Anderson Romaine s Letters "Exposition of Hebrews" Letter to 
Lady Stair Personal Reign Papal Aggression Close of 1850 Ill 
ness and Death His Funeral Testimonies to his Character and Use 
fulness Conclusion . .... 577 






EOBEKT HALDANE was born on the 28th of February, 1764, in 
his father s house, on the north side of Queen Ann-street, Caven 
dish-square, London. His younger brother, James Alexander 
Haldane, was born at Dundee, on the 14th of July, 1768, within 
a fortnight after his father s death. 

Both on their father s and their mother s side, they were 
descended from an ancient Perthshire family, for many centuries 
possessors of the free barony of Grleneagles, a valley in the Ochill 
hills, opening upon the moor of Tullibardine, and the fertile 
plains of Strathearn, towards the distant Grampians, whose tower 
ing summits bound the prospect. In old charters, in the rolls of 
Parliament, and in other public documents, by the caprice of 
orthography, the family name is variously written Halden, Hal 
dane, Hadden, or Hauden. There is no doubt that it is of Norse 
origin. It is still common in Denmark, and from Haldan Hill, 
near Exeter, to Halden Rig, near Kelso, the Danish chiefs, who 
were driven beyond the Humber by King Alfred, have indented 
many local and unmistakable traces of their leader s name, as 
recorded by the Saxon chroniclers. There is no doubt that the 
lands of Halden Rig were called after the Northern warrior. 
But, passing by the mist-enveloped traditionary legends of a 
barbarous age, and approaching the light of modern records, 
when surnames became hereditary, it is on record that, three 


centuries later, a younger son of the border family of Halden, 
near Kelso, migrated into Perthshire, and married the heiress of 
Gleneagles, adopting the armorial bearings of that family, instead 
of his own, but retaining his surname, as derived from his pater 
nal lands. In Scotland, oral tradition runs into the deep and far 
recesses of legendary antiquity. Its written documents are of 
comparatively modern date. "Nowhere," says a great Scotch 
legal antiquarian, Mr. Eiddell, "nowhere is ancestry more 
prized or paraded than with us, and yet in no country are the 
means of elucidating it so scanty." In proof of this, a charter of 
the lands of Frandie, forming part of the Gleneagles estate, 
granted in the twelfth century to Roger de Halden, by King 
William the Lyon, and still in possession of the family, is noticed 
by Sir James Dalrymple, in his Collections (page 392), as 
amongst the earliest extant. 

Rather more than a hundred years later, Aylmer de Haldane, 
of Gleneagles, in Strathearn, is found amongst the barons, who, 
in 1296, swore fealty to Edward I. of England ; and Nisbet, in 
his " Critical and Historical Remarks" upon the Ragman Roll, 
observes that the Haldanes were "even then barons of consider 
able consequence," adding, "the house of Gleneagles have vouch 
ers for instructing their antiquity beyond most families in 
Perthshire." It would be alike tedious and unprofitable to trace 
their descent, from that period to the beginning of the last cen 
tury, through seventeen successive marriages, with the noble or 
baronial families of Graham, Arnott, Mar, Seton, Menteith, Mon- 
trose, Lawson, Mar (2), Perth, Glencairn, Hume, Marchmont, 
Tullibardine, Wemyss, Grant, Strathallan, and Erskine of Alva. 
In fact, there would be nothing very remarkable to arrest atten 
tion, for they have left behind them little more than the record 
of their names, their knighthood, or their offices; and in this, as 
in most other genealogies, we are reminded of what the celebrated 
Sir Thomas Brown quaintly observes : " There is no antidote 
against the oblivion of time, * * generations pass while some 
trees stand, and old families last not three oaks. * * * The 
greater part of men must be content to be as though they had 
not been, to be found in the register of God, not in the record 
of men." 

It will be sufficient to state, that the most eminent of the medi 
aeval Barons of Gleneagles was Sir John Haldane, who held, in 
very troublous times, several of the highest offices in the kingdom, 


and became successively Ambassador of James the Third to the 
Court of Denmark, Master of the King s Household, -Sheriff Prin 
cipal of Edinburgh, until, finally, as "Lord Justice-General of 
Scotland beyond the Forth," he attained a dignity next to that 
of the Lord Chancellor. In 1460 he married Agnes Menteith, 
of Euskie, a descendant of the old Earls of Menteith, and one of 
the two co-heiresses of the half of the lands and honors of her 
maternal great-grandsire, Duncan, last of the ancient Saxon Earls 
of Levenax or Lennox, who was beheaded on Stirling Castle, in 
1424, with his son-in-law, the . late Kegent Albany, and his own 
three sons. 

This marriage entailed upon the Gleneagles family long and 
arduous litigation with Lord Darnley, who finally established his 
claim to the peerage and one half of the lands, in right of his 
grandmother, the Duchess of Albany, whose priority in age, as 
the elder daughter of the Earl of Lennox, had been disputed by 
Sir John Haldane.* 

In 1482, when the Duke of Gloucester, afterwards Kichard the 
Third, invaded Scotland, Sir John Haldane was appointed, with 
George Lord Seton, Alexander Kamsay of Dalhousie, ancestor of 
the Marquis, and Kobert Logan of Kestalrig, "joint Captains, 
Chieftains, Keepers, and Governors of the town of Berwick, and 
to defend it against the invasion of our old enemies of England. 7 
The campaign was speedily decided by the defection of Douglas 
(Bell the Cat) Earl of Angus, and the other rebellious Barons, at 
the Bridge of Lauder ; and Berwick, left unprotected, was forced 
to capitulate to the Plantagenet, never more to be retaken or re 
stored. Sir John died in 1493, and was succeeded by his son, 
Sir James, who, shortly before his death in 1505, was, at a time 
of national alarm, nominated by King James IY. to be keeper of 
the King s Castle of D unbar. His successor, another Sir John, 
had scarcely won his gilded spurs when he fell, in early man 
hood, on the fatal field of Flodden, along with a great part of 
the chivalry of Scotland, rallying round their rash but gallant 

It was soon after these times of turbulence and war that the 

* See the History of the Partition of the Lennox, by Mark Napier, Esq., a de 
scendant of the celebrated inventor of Logarithms, and as such from the other 
co-heiress of Menteith, who divided with Agnes Haldane the other half of the 
Lennox. See also the learned Reply of John Riddell, Esq., the celebrated Scottish 
legal antiquary. 


translation of the Scriptures into the vulgar tongue was preparing, 
both for Scotland and England, a moral and religious revolution 
more complete and decisive than any which had yet occurred. 
It was on the 4th February, 1526, that the first copy of the New 
Testament, translated and printed abroad in English, arrived in 
Britain. From that day may be traced the increasing progress 
of the Protestant Eeformation, and in no country did it take a 
deeper or firmer root than in Scotland. In the vain attempt of 
Kome to arrest the circulation of the Bible, to stop the preaching 
and crush the truths of the Gospel, the whole nation was con 
vulsed. In that long and arduous struggle the Haldanes seem to 
have taken a consistent part, on the side of religious freedom. 
The name of G^eneagles appears amongst the Lords of the Con 
gregation, and during the reign of James VI. they stood by the 
Protestant cause, both in its prosperity and adversity. In 1585, 
when the Earl of Angus and the other banished Lords returned 
from England, to take advantage of the popular indignation 
roused by the persecuting acts of the Earl of Arran, the Laird of 
Gleneagles is mentioned by Calderwood as prominent in what 
was called " the raid of Stirling." He was a prisoner in the town 
when it was attacked, but was enabled to join the assailants, and 
assisted in the armed remonstrance with the King, which brought 
back the exiled ministers, and drove Arran and his abettors into 
disgrace and banishment. It is mentioned, that when Sir William 
Stewart, Colonel of the Koyal Guard, and brother of the obnoxious 
Earl, was repulsed from the west port of Stirling, he was so hotly 
followed, "that Mr. James Haldane, brother-german to the Laird 
of Gleneagles, overtook him ; and as he was laying hands on him, 
was shot by the Colonel s servant, Joshua Henderson."* 

In the following century another Knight of the family was, in 
1650, a leader in the Presbyterian army of the congregation op 
posed to Cromwell, and fell in the rout at Dunbar. His lady 
received from one who alleged that he was his messenger his own 
ring (which is still preserved), with an assurance that he was safe, 
but detained with other prisoners of rank in the castle of a noble 
man near the battle-field. . The chiefs said to be his companions 
in captivity were found as described, but Sir John had never been 
amongst them, and returned no more. 

He was succeeded by Sir John Haldane, the last of the Knights 
of Gleneagles in the male line. In truth, the country was becom- 

* 4 Calderwood, 390. 


ing more civilized and less turbulent, so that war ceased to be the 
chief occupation of those not compelled to till the soil. The 
change in the times was also manifested in the family arrange 
ments, by which he transgressed the feudal notions of the exclusive 
rights of primogeniture, and in order to favor a mother s partiality 
for a younger son, occasioned the separation of a large section of 
the Menteith or Lanrick estates from those of Gleneagles.* 

His successor, Mungo Haldane, who derived his not very 
euphonious Christian name from the noble house of Murray, was 
a Member of the Scottish Parliament ; obtained a charter of his 
lands from Charles II., reciting his own services to the Crown 
and those of his progenitors ; and is mentioned by Kisbet, in 
his account of the gorgeous procession of the Lord Chancellor 
the Duke of Rothes public funeral in 1681, as bearing the 
banner of his relative, the Earl of Tullibardine, afterwards Mar 
quis of Athol. 

He died in 1685, and was succeeded by his son, John Haldane, 
who served in the Scottish and British Parliaments for nearly 
forty years, and occupied a conspicuous place in public affairs, 
both at the Revolution and at the Union. 

From the time of Cromwell the change in the history of Scotland 
becomes more decided. The Reformation had been the grand 
crisis of the nation, but, during its glorious progress, there was a 
long and deadly struggle between the despotic tendencies of the 

* This offshoot of the Gleneagles stock only remained at Lanrick for two genera 
tions. Patrick, the first proprietor, died young, having married Miss Dundas of 
Newliston, who was, through her mother, one of the younger co-heiresses of the 
original stock of Halden of Haldenrig, in the South. The eldest co-heiress of that 
family was married to John, first Earl of Stair, who in her right acquired the lands 
of Newliston. Patrick Haldane left two younger sons, one of whom was a Professor 
at St. Andrew s, and was burned to death whilst reading in bed. John, his eldest, 
took part in the rebellion of 1745, .but contrived to escape forfeiture, and returned 
after many years of exile, to die at Lanrick, in 1765, at the age of 85. He survived 
his two sons, but left six daughters, of whom five were married and have numerous 
descendants. Some of the male heirs of Lanrick are said to be still found in the 
north of Scotland. James Oswald, Esq., of Auchencruive. is the male representa 
tive of the eldest daughter of John Haldane. The Rev. James Haldane Stewart, 
Vicar of Limpsfield, is descended from the Lanrick family, his grandfather, Stewart 
of Ardshiel, who commanded the right wing of the rebel army at Culloden, having 
married a grand-daughter of Patrick. Mr. Stewart of Ardshiel on one occasion 
fought with and disarmed Rob Roy. Sir Walter Scott has borrowed the incidents 
of this adventure in his tale, giving the catastrophe a turn more suited to the dig 
nity of his hero. It is the scene at the clachan of Aberfoyle. The warlike ances 
try of the Vicar of Limpsfield strikingly contrasts with the gentleness of his own 
beautiful Christian character. 



Crown, the turbulence of the old feudal Barons, and the civilizing 
influences of advancing Christianity. The strong bond of Protes 
tantism, with its common dangers and common blessings, had been 
gradually drawing together the great mass of the Christianity, the 
intelligence, and the respectability of the English and Scottish 
nations, for more than a century before its consummation in the 
act of Union of 1707. 

At this period, John Haldane, of, Gleneagles, sat as one of the 
four Barons for the county of Perth in the last Scottish Parlia 
ment. He had been previously representative for -Dumbarton 
shire, and, in 1688, a Member of the Convention Parliament. 
He was also the first Member for the county of Perth in the first 
British House of Commons, and one of the Commissioners for 
settling the equivalents at the Union. He was a man of great 
energy and ability, a good speaker,* and much occupied with 
public affairs. One of his sisters was married to Sir William 
Murray, of Ochtertyre, and another to Mr. Smythe, of Methven. 
He was himself twice married, first to Mary, third daughter of 
David Drummond Lord Maderty, elder brother of the first Vis 
count Strathallan ; secondly, to Helen, only daughter of Sir 
Charles Erskine, of Alva, ancestor of the Earls of Rosslyn, and 
grandson of John, Earl of Mar. He had a numerous family by 
both marriages. His eldest son, Mungo Haldane, was successively 
M. P. for the counties of Perth and Stirling, and died in 1757, at 
the age of seventy-three, unmarried. He was well remembered 
by a tenant of the Gleneagles estate, who lived to be more than a 
hundred years old, and was known to many of the present gen 
eration. He used to tell how the Laird put an end to Sunday 
trading in the neighborhood, by means not very consonant with 
the modern voluntary principle. It seems that Sunday trafficking 
was then prevalent in Scotland, in consequence of the packmen, 

* In " Worlrow s Correspondence" we find the following anecdote : " The Sep- 
" tennial Bill is passed the Commons by a vast plurality. There is a story here of 
"Mr. Haldane, of Gleneagles, and one Snell, an English gentleman. Mr. Haldane 
" had a very handsome speech in favor of the Bill. Mr. Snell said he did not 
" much wonder to hear that gentleman and others of his nation speak after that 
" fashion, for their nation was sold and enslaved, they would have their neighbors 
" so dealt with ; whereon were great heats. Sir David Dalrymple (of Hailes, and 
" grandfather of the celebrated Sir D. Dalrymple, Lord Hailes) said the gentleman 
" who spoke (Mr. Snell) knew well where he spoke, and that the House was his 
"sanctuary. Others said, more plainly, that he durst not speak so without doors. 
" Mr. Snell was brought to the bar, and to crave pardon, May 1st, 1716." From the 
" Wodrow Correspondence," vol. ii. p. 165. 


or itinerant hawkers, bringing their goods for sale to the church- 
doors on the Lord s day. As chief magistrate in the neighbor 
hood, the Baron of Gleneagles issued an order prohibiting the 
practice. On the following Sunday he did not happen himself 
to go to Blackford Church, but, meeting his servants returning, 
he inquired whether the packmen had obeyed his mandate. 
Being informed ttfat they had not, the old tenant used to tell, 
with great emphasis, how "the Laird clapped his hand on his 
sword," and declared that, if he lived over another Sabbath, he 
would make the packmen repent of their perversjsness. Accor 
dingly, on the following Sunday, he himself went to the church, 
and, finding the packmen assembled as usual and spreading out 
their goods for sale, he drew out his sword and scattered them in 
an instant. Having pursued them down the hill, as they fled in 
trepidation before the irate and portly Baron, he returned to the 
church-gates and tossed their wares into the adjoining lake. This 
exercise of a " rigor beyond the law," which in those days was 
not very nicely weighed, had the desired effect, and Sunday 
trading has never been again attempted near Gleneagles, from 
that day to the present. Mungo Haldane was succeeded by his 
next brother, Patrick, an able, active and bustling politician, who, 
in his youth, was Professor of History at St. Andrew s; then 
M. P. for the St. Andrew s Burghs ; then Solicitor-General ; a 
Koyal Commissioner for selling the forfeited estates ; and at one 
time appointed a Lord of Session.* He survived for ten years 
his only son, Brigadier-General George Haldane, of the Guards, 
who was also Member of Parliament for the Dundee and Forfar 
Burghs, and died, in 1759, Governor of Jamaica. 

Many ancient Scottish families were ruined by the change in 
their style of living and expenditure, consequent on being called 

* This appointment was made in 1721, during his father s life-time, and gave rise 
to a curious law-suit as to the right of the Crown to appoint a Judge or Senator of 
the College of Justice, " without the concurrence of the College itself." The mat 
ter was carried by appeal to the House of Lords (See "Robertson s Appeal Cases," 
422), and decided in favor of the Crown ; but Patrick Haldane s right was not 
insisted on, and he received another appointment. He was objected to as not 
being a practising advocate, but the pamphlets which appeared on the occasion, 
one of them attributed to the celebrated Duncan Forbes, of Culloden, indicate 
strong political and personal rancor. Mr. Patrick Haldane is, amongst other 
things, not only charged with bribery at his elections, but with having induced 
his younger brother, James Haldane, then under age, the grandfather of the sub 
jects of this memoir, to assist in carrying off and imprisoning hostile voters, on 
pretended charges of high treason and Jacobitism. 


to attend a Parliament, sitting in London instead of Edinburgh. 
Patrick Haldane s electioneering expenses, and those of his 
son, had not been compensated by their public appointments. 
"When, in the same year he succeeded his elder brother, and 
survived his son, he found himself encumbered with debt and 
unable to retain his estates with comfort. Under these circum 
stances Gleneagles, being unentailed, might have passed, like 
Lanrick, entirely out of the family, had it not been purchased 
by a younger brother of the half-blood, who had just returned 
from India with a large fortune, being the first Scotchman who 
ever commanded an East India Company s ship. This Captain 
Robert Haldane married a daughter of Sir John Oglander, of 
Nunwells, in thp, Isle of Wight, and becoming himself M. P. for 
the Stirling Burghs, is referred to in the letters of Junius. He 
died at Airthrey, on the 1st of January, 1768, without leaving 
any surviving issue, and was buried at Gleneagles, by his own desire, 
under the shade of four majestic spruce-firs, which he had him 
self planted in front of the old chapel near the ruins of the castle. 
His elder brother was still living at his death, as well as his 
nephew, Captain James Haldane, the only son of another brother. 
But Captain Robert having acquired both the estates of Airthrey 
and Gleneagles by purchase, unfettered by any entail, they were 
entirely at his own disposal, and he determined to divide them. 
To Captain James Haldane, who had acquired a fortune of his 
own, and was averse to a residence on the northern side of the 
Ochils, he left the estate of Airthrey, with its southern exposure, 
beautifully sloping down into the Carse of Stirling, charged with 
a debt of 14,000?. ; whilst the lands of Gleneagles and of Trinity 
Gask, charged with the remainder of his debts, were, in the first 
instance, entailed on the male descendants of his two sisters of 
the fall blood, with remainder "to my Nephew, Captain James 
Haldane, of the Duke of Albany East Indiaman." It was thus 
upon condition of merging his own name and arms, and assuming 
those of Haldane, that George Cockburn, only son of Mrs. Mar 
garet Cockburn, of the family of Ormistown, in East Lothian, 
succeeded to Gleneagles, but on his death and the failure of his 
male issue, in 1799, it devolved on the celebrated Admiral 
Yiscount Duncan, as being then the eldest surviving son of the 
entailer s other sister of the full blood, Helen Haldane, wife of 
Alexander Duncan, of Lundie, and also the maternal grandmother 
of the subjects of these Memoirs. 


Their father was the only son of Colonel James Haldane, who 
married Margaret Pye, a lady belonging to a well-connected 
family then resident in the county of Durham, some of whom 
held considerable preferment in the Church of England. 

Colonel James Haldane, like the rest of his generation, was a 
man of great stature and physical strength, and served from 
1715 to 1741 in that squadron of the Royal Horse now known 
as the 2d Eegiment of Life Guards. He died at sea on the 9th 
December, 1742, near Jamaica, on the Carthagena expedition, in 
command of General Guise s regiment of Infantry. 

On the 15th December, 1762, their only son, Captain James 
Haldane, married his first cousin, Katherine, daughter of Alex 
ander Duncan, of Lundie, and Helen Haldane, commonly called 
Lady Lundie, by the courtesy of Scotland then allowed to the 
wife of a minor baron. Of this marriage there were three chil 
dren ; namely 1, Robert, who succeeded his father in the estate 
of Airthrey ; 2, Helen, born in 1765, who died in childhood ; 
and, 3, James Alexander Haldane, his youngest and posthumous 



THE family history of six centuries and more than twenty 
generations, has been compressed into a very narrow space in 
the foregoing pages. Such matters have in them more of private 
curiosity than public interest. The quality or exploits of a 
remote ancestry belong to the passing things of time, and are but 
bubbles on its rapid stream, rolling down into the gulfs of 
oblivion. But the character, the instructions, the example, and 
the prayers of Christian parents, belong to the things that are 
immortal, on which God himself has been often pleased to sus 
pend the destinies of children. The means as well as the end 
are under the control of Him who gives no account of his mat 
ters, but determines all things by the council of his own will. 
Occasionally He sees fit, in a wonderful and unexpected manner, 
to assert the sovereignty of his electing grace ; yet for the most 
part it will be found, that He works by instruments, and puts 
especial honor on the use of his own appointed ordinances. It 
was the privilege of the two brothers to be enabled, practically to 


sympathize with the sentiments expressed in the noble lines of 
Cowper, when he exclaims 

"My boast is not, that I deduce my birth 
From loins enthroned, or rulers of the earth, 
But higher far my proud pretensions rise, 
The son of parents passed into the skies !" 

Of their father, Captain James Haldane, his elder son knew but 
little, and the younger nothing, except from the testimony of 
others. He is reported to have been a man of much worth, of 
popular manners, good sense, and ability, who was generally 
respected and beloved. It is related of him, that at sea he was 
remarkable for his attention to moral discipline, and particularly 
for putting down profane swearing in his ship. The late Mr. 
Scrimgeour, of Tealing, and a son of Mr. Callender, of Craig- 
forth, who both sailed with him, used to tell how he cured his 
midshipmen of this profane and, as it has been justly termed, 
"profitless vice," by compelling any one who thus transgressed 
to carry a clog fastened around his ankle for the remainder of the 
watch. He was also more particular than was then common at 
sea, in accustoming the young men to act like gentlemen, and 
when inculcating the duty of politeness, would jocularly remark, 
that he had himself spoiled a laced hat in taking it off to two 
French officers, whom he had brought home as prisoners from 
India, during Lord Olive s wars. He completed his last voyage 
at the close of 1767, and was on the eve of being elected an East 
India Director, when an inflammatory sore-throat, said to have 
been improperly treated, and ending in violent fever, carried him 
off, after a few days illness, on the 30th June, 1768. He died 
whilst on a visit to his father-in-law, at the old house of Lundie 
(now Camperdown), near Dundee, where he had arrived a few 
days before. When asked, shortly before his death, as to his 
hopes for eternity, his reply, "I have full confidence in Jesus," 
indicated the simplicity as well as the sincerity of his faith. His 
attached and afflicted widow was not, therefore, left to sorrow as 
those without hope, but it was a severe shock to her health, and 
brought on her confinement nearly two months before it was ex 
pected. It took place at Dundee, on the 14th of July, just a 
fortnight after her bereavement, and, combining the name of 
the husband whom, she had lost, with that of her father, who sur 
vived, she called her infant son James Alexander. 


In order to be near her parents, Mrs. Haldane took up her 
residence at Dundee, in a house which belonged to the celebrated 
George Dempster, so well known as a leading Member of Parlia 
ment, and the friend of Mr. Fox, who had named him as one of 
the Commissioners of his famous India Bill. It was a large, old 
baronial mansion, now pulled down, pleasantly situated in a gar 
den sloping down to the Tay. An ancient and well-remembered 
pear-tree, which still remains, was visited by her younger son not 
many years before his death. 

Mrs. Haldane belonged to a family in which there had been 
much true religion.* Her father was distinguished as a strenu 
ous supporter of the Protestant succession, and, as Provost of 
Dundee, did good service to the Government during the 
rebellion in 1745. Towards the close of his life he left the fine 
old family residence at Lundie Castle, to reside nearer the town, 
at Gourdie House, a name for which his eldest son substituted 
that of Lundie, but which was destined to be again changed to 
Camperdown upon the erection of a new and splendid edifice by 
his grandson. His second daughter, Mrs. Haldane, was herself a 
decided Christian. "She lived," said her eldest son, "very near 
to God, and much grace was given to her." When left a widow, 
it became her chief concern to bring up her children in "the 
nurture and admonition of the Lord." From their infancy she 
labored to instil into their minds a sense of the importance of 
eternity, particularly impressing upon them the necessity of 
prayer, and teaching them to commit to memory and understand 
psalms, portions of the shorter catechism, and of Scripture. 

"Her instructions," says her youngest son, in a memorandum 
found amongst his papers, " were so far useful, that even when 

* An ancestor of the Lundie family, William Lundie, of Sea Side, left in his own 
handwriting a narrative of his remarkable preservation from shipwreck in the 
North Seas in 1631, after being tossed about for forty days in a small boat. He 
thus begins: " My Lord God has put it into my heart to leave a record, how that 
" he has been so extraordinarily merciful to me by sea and land, how in many 
"dangers, and from many perils, he did work my deliverance, and particularly in 
" that miraculous one hereafter described ; that my successors may think on it, and, 
" with God s assistance, it may be a mean to teach them to be humble and thankful 
" to God for having so protected and preserved me, and made his fatherly love in so 
" many ways known to me." At the conclusion of the narrative he mentions his 
first meeting with his grandfather after his escape, and then with his mother, and 
adds, " Who was very glad to see me. and thanked my Lord God for my preser- 
" vation, who has been erer since very gracious to me. Blessed be his name, and 
" the praises which I give are due unto him, desiring all those who shall succeed me 
not to be unthankful to God for his great mercies." 


"she was not present I made a conscience of prayer. What she 
u said concerning sin and punishment also produced a considera- 
" ble impression on my mind. I was desirous of avoiding sin, 
"yet frequently committed those sins to which children are 
"particularly exposed. I well knew that this was wrong, and 
" having been told that infants would go to heaven, I regretted 
"that I had not died before I had sense to discern what was 
" wrong." 

He proceeds : " My mother died when I was very young, I 
" believe under six, yet I am convinced that the early impression 
" made on my mind by her care was never entirely effaced ; and 
" to this, as an eminent means in the hand of God, I impute any 
" serious thoughts which, in the midst of my folly, would some- 
" times intrude upon my mind, as well as that still small voice of 
" conscience, which afterwards led me to see that all below was 
" vanity without an interest in that inheritance which can never 
"fade away." He adds: "I mention this more particularly, be- 
"cause it may lead Christian parents to sow in hope the seed of 
" Divine truth in the minds of their children, and may prevent 
" their considering their efforts unavailing, even where the things 
" which they have taught seem to have been uttered in vain. No 
"means of grace is, I apprehend, more, perhaps none is so much, 
" countenanced of God as early religious instruction." 

The instructions of this devoted mother were not weakened or 
counteracted, as often happens, by apparent inconsistency. Her 
life was a life of practical godliness and of cheerful trust in 
the Saviour. Often when she had seen her children in bed, and 
supposed that they were asleep, she was overheard by them, and 
particularly by her elder son, on her knees by their bed-side, 
earnestly praying that the Lord would be pleased to guide them 
through that world which she felt that she was herself soon to 
leave.; .that their lives might be devoted to His service upon 
earth ; and, finally, that they might be brought to His everlasting 

She died in 1774, of an attack of illness commencing with a 
cold which she caught when on a visit at Ferntower, near Crieff. 
Her medical attendant, Dr. Willison, although himself an avowed 
unbeliever, emphatically declared that such a death-bed was 
enough to make one in love with death. It was another obser 
vation of the same physician, himself the son of the celebrated 
divine of the same name, and a melancholy example of his own 


remark, that grace was a very extraordinary moral phenomenon ; 
that there was no doubt either of its existence or of its influence, 
or of the fact that it ran in families ; but that it resembled certain 
constitutional diseases which are hereditary, and yet overleap 
particular generations. He was thus, in effect, bearing an unwill 
ing testimony to the degenerating tendencies of our fallen and 
corrupt nature, as well as to the unfettered sovereignty and 
electing love of God. Shortly before she expired she was 
asked if she would like once more to see her children, but she 
declined, saying that it would only agitate her; that she had 
been enabled implicitly to surrender them into the hands of 
God, and she would rather leave them there. Her faith was 
strong, not only for herself, but for them ; and that faith was not 

She was buried in her husband s grave, at Lundie, in the burial- 
place of the Duncans, next to the vault where the ashes of her 
brother, the great Admiral, now also repose. The church-yard 
is situated in a retired and romantic spot on the slope of one ex 
tremity of the Sidlaw range, just below the Hill of Lundie, from 
whose commanding summit the eye wanders over one of the most 
extensive and picturesque prospects of varied magnificence and 
beauty. The Carse of Gowrie on the one side, and Strathmore 
on the other, with an array of castles, towns, churches, planta 
tions, lakes, and streams, are bounded to the east by the ocean, 
to the south by the Lowland hills, and to the north-west by the 
wooded mountains of Dunkeld, Athol, and Braemar. 



N death, which had previously robbed them of the guardian 
ship of a father, now deprived them of the tender solicitude of 
their mother, the three children were scarcely old enough fully to 
appreciate the extent of their loss. The elder brother was ten 
years old, his younger scarcely six, whilst their only sister was 
eight. The union of parent and child is a bond, of which it has 
been finely said, by a celebrated orator, that it strengthens with 
life, acquires vigor from the understanding, and is sealed and 
rendered perfect in the community of love. Once severed, it is a 
tie too sacred and holy to be replaced. But, in the present be- 


reavement, there were several compensations to be found in the 
paternal watchfulness, the unremitting affection, and the superior 
qualifications of the kind relatives who undertook the guardian 
ship of the youthful orphans. 

Their grandmother, Lady Lundie, had, after her husband s 
death, resided with her daughter on the banks of the Tay, at 
Dundee. She had been, in her younger years, famed for her 
beauty, not only in Scotland, but in the gay circles of Bath, at 
the period of its greatest renown. From these scenes of pleasura 
ble excitement she had, however, long retired, and at the time 
of her daughter s death the care of her grandchildren became her 
chief occupation during the peaceful retirement of her remaining 
years. Her eldest son, John, a young man of great promise, died 
early, in China, in the service of the East India Company. Her 
next son, Colonel Alexander Duncan, married his second cousin, 
Miss Smythe, of Methven, but had no family, and was now a war 
worn veteran, retired from the army, after having earned consider 
able distinction by his good and gallant service in the rebellion 
in 1745, in the campaigns on the Continent, and in Canada. His 
younger brother, Adam, afterwards Viscount Duncan, had also 
served for more than a quarter of a century in different parts of 
the world. At this time, and until the breaking out of a new 
war, he was enjoying the repose of peace, and, with his mother, 
resided in Mrs. Haldane s house and managed all her affairs. 

Both of the uncles had seen much of the world, and therefore 
knew more of the value of a good education than most of the 
Scottish aristocracy of that period. The learning of the two boys 
was well attended to. At home they had a superior resident 
tutor, the Eeverend Dr. Fleming, who afterwards became one of 
the ministers of Edinburgh ; and they were also sent to the gram 
mar-school at Dundee, that they might at the same time mingle 
with other boys, and profit by the stimulus of competition. Little 
James was destined for the sea, and it was important to push him 
forward in his education ; but his progress was speedily arrested 
by a dangerous fever, which long confined him to the house, and 
of which he nearly died. An anecdote concerning him, which 
relates to this period, used to be told by his aunt, Lady Duncan. 
He was a boy of great spirit, and recited poetry with much of 
sentiment and animation. The Admiral had taught him, amongst 
other things, to repeat the celebrated speech of Cassius, in Addi- 
son s "Cato," beginning: 


" My voice is still for war ! 
What ! can a Roman Senate long debate 
Which of the two to choose, slavery or death 1" 

To enable him to give due effect to this piece of declamation, 
which certainly does not altogether accord with the views of the 
Peace Society, his uncle was accustomed to place him on a side- 
table, and, after his task had been accomplished, make him jump 
down. During the delirium of his fever, whenever the Admiral 
came to see him he immediately started up, and began, with great 

" My voice is still for war !" 

In the year 1776 his sister s health, which had never been 
strong, finally gave way. It Avas customary in those days, as it 
now is in Switzerland, to resort to places in the country " for the 
goat s whey." During Mrs. Haldane s lifetime she had for one 
summer occupied the house of Kinnaird, in Strath-Tay, near 
Dunkeld.* Lady Lundie took her grand-daughter for the same 
reason to the Kallender of Crieff, in Strathearn, where she hired 
a house, near Ochtertyre, the residence of Sir William Murray, 
to whom she was doubly related, both as a Haldane and a Dun 
can. Whilst residing here they were much at Ochtertyre ; and 
the two boys found great enjoyment, in riding about on their 
ponies, or, attended by their tutor, in fishing for perch in the 
lovely lake of Monivaird, embosomed amidst the hanging woods 
and romantic hills which embellish those beautiful pleasure- 
grounds. The renowned General, Sir George Murray, was then 
a boy, under five years of age, probably dreaming as little of 
those fields of blood in which he was afterwards to be engaged, as 
did his young cousins of the more peaceful warfare they were to 

The two boys were much attached to their drooping sister, and 
it was long remembered how young James, whose warm, affec 
tionate disposition was remarked from his boyhood, never took his 
ride without dismounting to gather for her the blue-bells and the 

* Her elder son had here a narrow escape from being kicked to death. One of 
the carriage horses was rather violent in the stable, and, knowing this, in a sportive 
mood he put down a stick from the loft and touched it on the back. The animal 
was so much excited, that he plunged and kicked till the loose flooring of the loft, 
being very low, was shaken to pieces, and the youthful author of this piece of mis 
chief was himself knocked about like a ball, and expected every moment to fall 
down amongst the horses. Providentially he was unhurt. 


cotton-flowers, growing on the wild neaths and moors of Strath- 
earn. . A little while before Helen s death, she was taken to Ed 
inburgh by her aunt, Miss Duncan, for medical advice, but it was 
of no avail. She died on the llth. of July, 1776. The Admiral 
was with them at the time, and Colonel Duncan was sent for, so 
that once more, at their early age, the orphan boys stood beside 
their two uncles at another funeral, when their only and much 
loved sister was committed to the dust, in the vault of the Mur- 
rays, in the ancient and romantic churchyard of Monivaird, which 
is now included in the park of Ochtertyre, and, with its little 
chapel, is exclusively used as the mausoleum of the family.* 

There is a story concerning their boyhood which belongs to 
this period. They were spending a day at Ferntower with their 
uncle and tutor, who were together, when the Admiral, turning 
towards the window, suddenly started up with an exclamation of 
mingled alarm and indignation. It happened that his carriage 
was standing before the door, although the horses had been taken 
out. Dr. Fleming had been instructing his pupils in the mysteries 
of the ancient battering-ram and catapulta. There was a steep 
bank in front, and a garden- wall below, which presented a most 
inviting object on which to try an experiment. With consider 
able exertion the two boys had turned the carriage round, and 
having given to the pole a suitable direction for a point blank 
charge, were just in the act of launching it down the precipitous 
declivity, when their uncle descried their danger and that of his 
own carriage. It was too late to avoid the catastrophe ; the 
chariot rolled down the bank with all the majesty of an engine of 
war, acquiring increased velocity at every step, and did the work 
of a battering-ram with so much effect, as to dash through the 
wall in an instant. Happily a broken pole was the total amount 
of the actual damage, besides the displacement of some masonry 
or brickwork. 

In the following year they lost their kind grandmother, Lady 
Lundie, who was rather suddenly taken from them, at an advanced 
age, in May, 1777. In the same year Lord Duncan married the 
daughter of the Lord President Dundas, a lady the remembrance 
of whose charming vivacity, warm-hearted kindness, and many 
admirable qualities, the two brothers cherished with the grateful 
feelings of almost filial affection. Her friendship they enjoyed to 

* The modern church of Monivaird is now situated at a considerable distance 
from the old churchyard. 


the close of her long and happy life in December, 1832, and dur 
ing many of her later years, it was the privilege, especially of her 
younger nephew, to minister to her spiritual comfort. After the 
marriage, it was necessary to make new arrangements, and the 
house in Dundee having been relinquished, it was determined 
that the two boys should go to the High School of Edinburgh. 
Accordingly, in September, 1777, they were boarded with the 
Eector of the High School, the celebrated Dr. Adam, the author 
of the " Roman Antiquities," and other valuable works. His 
house was in Charles-street, fronting the entrance into George- 
square, and overlooking the large mansion with the court in front, 
afterwards Lord Duncan s, but then occupied by the Lord Advo 
cate, the Right Hon. Henry Dundas, the first Lord Melville. In 
a letter written many years afterwards, by Mr. James Haldane to 
his son, he says, "I have told you of Lord Melville, how, in win- 
" ter, Dr. Adam, when he called your uncle and myself in the 
" morning, used to point to his candle, burning in the room, where 
" he had been laboring for a couple of hours before we were 
"awake." There were along with them at Dr. Adam s several 
other boarders, also attending the High School, some of whom 
became publicly known, such as the Earl of Rossmore, General 
Sir William Erskine, who commanded the cavalry in Spain ; two 
Yandeleurs, one of whom became a titled General, and the other 
an Irish Judge ; also the eldest son of Lord Decies, then Arch 
bishop of Tuam, George Ramsay of Barnton, &c. 

Robert at once joined the fifth or Rector s class in the High 
School, James (although more than four years younger) the third 
class, then taught by Mr. French, a pious and estimable man, with 
whom he remained till August, 1779, when he, too, reached the 
fifth or highest class, according to the Scottish mode of reckoning, 
where the lowest is the first, instead of being the highest, as in 
the great English public schools. 

There were at the High School several contemporaries, who 
afterwards became distinguished in the fields of literature, law, or 
politics. Boys of all ranks, from the sons of the noble to the sons 
of the tradesman, were there associated. There were also two 
with whom both the brothers were afterwards to be connected in 
the religious movement in Scotland, but with neither of them had 
they at the time any personal acquaintance. The one was the 
well-known Mr. John Campbell, the African Missionary, who 
used graphically to describe the time when he first saw his future 


friend and fellow-laborer, James Haldane, then buoyant with life 
and frolic, an energetic and high-spirited boy, ever foremost in the 
race of fun and frolic. The other was Mr. Greville Ewing, the 
son of a respectable teacher of mathematics in Edinburgh. Mr. 
Campbell, who was born in 1766, was in the class of Nicholl, the 
friend of Burns, and a partaker both of Burns genius and vices ; 
Mr. Ewing, although fifteen months older, was in the same class 
with James Haldane, consisting probably of nearly an hundred 
boys, placed in order, according to their respective merits. Mr. 
Ewing, in spite of an interrupted education, afterwards became, 
chiefly through his own exertions, esteemed for his scholarship, 
but at that time he only occupied a place about the middle of 
Mr. French s class. James Haldane was near the head, a position 
which does not always guarantee the same superiority in after-life, 
although it is no doubt indicative of natural quickness. In noti 
cing their course of study, it would be unjust to omit the name of 
their French master, Mr. Cauvin, more usually named Mr. Gavin, 
who died some years ago, leaving a large sum of money to found 
an hospital at Duddingstone, where he resided. With him they 
were favorite pupils, and after they left the High School were 
accustomed to go to his residence, and make very agreeable 
excursions with him, when nothing but French was spoken. 

On the Saturdays, Sundays, and other casual holidays, the two 
brothers had a happy home at Nellfield, near Edinburgh, where 
their uncle then resided, until the war again summoned him to 
sea. Their long vacation was spent at Lundie House. 

In connection with their visits to Nellfield, there is a little 
anecdote which is indicative of the manners of the times, and also 
used to furnish some amusement. When James Haldane hap- 
perred to be walking out to his uncle s, he was overtaken by a 
young minister on horseback, who asked him where he was going. 
With great simplicity, the. boy replied, " To Nellfield," which 
sounding very much like Melville, the minister supposed, from 
the nearness of their age, that the young gentleman was the son 
of the great dispenser of Scottish patronage, both lay and ecclesi 
astical, and was going to Melville Castle, near Lasswade. He 
was immediately invited to mount behind the saddle, according 
to the fashion of the day, when there were few wheeled vehicles, 
and was thus very pleasantly conveyed along the road. Arriving 
at the gate of Nellfield, James informed his conductor that they 
must now part. The disappointment manifested was inexplicable 


to the unsophisticated mind of a boy, but the story amused his 
friends, and was probably enjoyed by none more than by that 
busy statesman, from whom both of the brothers received much 
kind notice, and who had himself so deeply studied human nature, 
and so well understood the springs of influence. 

In his boyhood it was for several years the desire of Kobert 
Haldane to fit himself for the ministry in the Church of Scotland, 
and at Lundie House he used regularly every Sunday to exhibit 
this inclination by addressing, or, as it might be called, preaching 
to the domestics in the servants hall. This might be considered, 
perhaps, as rather savoring of boyish sport, but he himself spoke 
of it far otherwise near the close of his life, and stated, that from 
the time when he was nine years old, he had more or less of 
serious convictions as to the things of God. It was also a fre 
quent custom of the two boys, after they had retired to bed, to 
converse together about the things to which their departed mother 
had attached so much importance, and this habit was, no doubt, 
in itself beneficial to both, tending to cherish in their hearts a 
hidden spark of love to Jesus Christ and the things of heaven. 
But whatever were his inclinations as to the ministry, it was then 
deemed quite contrary to ordinary usage in Scotland, that one of 
his fortune and position should become a minister. He himself 
was probably easily persuaded on the point, more especially as 
the exploits of his uncle kindled in his breast a desire to follow 
him into the navy and share in the glories of the ocean. The 
result was, that, rather abruptly leaving his studies at the College 
of Edinburgh early in 1780, he joined the Monarch at Portsmouth. 

The departure of his uncle and aunt from the vicinity of Edin 
burgh, followed by that of his brother, were circumstances of 
disadvantage as well as discomfort to James. In the memoran 
dum from which we have already quoted, and which will be 
again referred to, he marks this period as one from which he 
began more openly to depart from an outward attention to per 
sonal religion. 

In 1779-80 and 1780-1 James passed through the Kector s 
class, remaining there two years. He was reckoned a clever, 
shrewd boy, observant, and of quick perception, possessing a 
retentive memory and the capacity of application, although his 
love of adventurous sport strongly preponderated, whether it was 
exhibited in his dangerous rambles on the Salisbury Craigs 
climbing what was termed the " Cat s nick" in summer, or, dur 


ing the winter, in skating at Buddingstone or Lochend. Although 
younger than the generality of the boys of his standing in the 
school, his usual place during his last year at the Eector s class 
was about third, but on the final adjustment of places the industry 
of some of those usually below him, and his own indifference on 
the subject, made him only seventh. When Dr. Adam, before 
the public examination, went through his usual plan of asking 
the upper boys if they were satisfied with their places, he put the 
same question to James Haldane, and being answered in the 
affirmative, the Kector very significantly shook his head, and 
remarked, that if he were satisfied, it was not much to his credit. 
Two or three years before, when he was under Mr. French, Dr. 
Adam met him in the street returning from school, and proposed 
to give him the pleasure of accompanying him to some show or 
exhibition. But observing that his clothes had been soiled in the 
boisterous amusements of the High School yards, the Kector re 
proved his little pupil, and said that he did not himself choose to 
be seen in such company. Before dismissing th^ boy, he asked, 
however, what was his place in his class, and being told that he 
was Dux, or first, the enthusiasm of the learned Kector was kin 
dled, and affectionately grasping the hand of his scholar, he 
exclaimed, "I would walk with you although you were clothed 
in rags I" 

In 1781-2 he went to the College, and for three sessions con 
tinued, under the obse rvation of Dr. Adam, to attend the different 
professors of Greek, Latin, mathematics, logic, metaphysics, and 
natural philosophy, in their usual order. 

In 1783 Colonel Duncan took him to London, on a visit to 
Gosport, where the future Admiral resided for five years with his 
family, during the peace, in command of the Edgar guardship. 
The interest of the journey, which in those days was a formidable 
affair, with the novelty of a new country and new places, became 
enhanced by the spectacle of a remarkable meteor which then 
passed over England. After seeing the wonders of the great me 
tropolis, they proceeded to Gosport, where an acquaintance was 
begun with the great and good Dr. Bogue. which ripened into 
Christian friendship, only terminating with death. 

It was the wish of both his uncles that he should enjoy the ad 
vantage of seeing as much as possible of their own country before 
going to sea. Accordingly it was arranged, that in August, 1784, 
Dr. Adam should take James Haldane, and his schoolfellow, the 


late George Eamsay, of Barnton, on a tour through, the North of 
England. They travelled on horseback, and the commencement 
of their journey was rather auspicious, for, stopping at Hadding- 
ton, they accidentally made acquaintance with a gentleman of the 
name of Haldane, who, although an entire stranger, was so much 
pleased with his young namesake, that he presented him with a 
very handsome and well-bred horse, in order that he might not 
be worse mounted than young Ramsay, who had been furnished 
by his uncle, who was then the Tattersall of Scotland. 

They travelled by Berwick, Newcastle, York, and Hull, into 
Derbyshire, returning by Lancashire and Cumberland to Edin 
burgh. They were accompanied on this tour by the Rev. Dr. 
Macknight, the well-known commentator, whose practical disre 
gard of the Lord s-day made a deep impression on James Haldane. 
Although Dr. Adam was not an enlightened man in spiritual 
things, and then attended the very moderate teaching of the min 
ister of St. Cuthbert s Chapel-of-Ease, yet he had been accustom 
ed to reverence the outward symbols of religion. But when they 
had crossed the border, and arrived in an Episcopalian country, 
Dr. Macknight persuaded his learned friend that, being now out 
of the bounds of Presbytery, and under no obligation to counte 
nance Prelatical worship, it would be very absurd to allow their 
journeying plans to be deranged by the intervention of the Sab 
bath. This convenient doctrine at first surprised, but at last 
proved very palatable to the young travellers. For a time, Dr. 
Adam felt very much ashamed when they entered a town or vil 
lage when the church-going bells were calling the people to the 
services of the sanctuary. But these scruples were soon overcome 
by the doughty commentator, who was thus in effect giving a 
practical warning against that frigid scheme of rationalistic Armin- 
ianism which pervades his writings. There was no writer whom 
the two brothers in after-life regarded as a more dangerous cor- 
rupter of the truths of the Gospel. 

On their return to Edinburgh, James Haldane bade farewell to 
Dr. Adam and the house in Charles-street, where he had now 
spent nearly seven years of his life. The months during which 
he remained in Scotland before going to sea in the East India 
service were spent at Lundie House, and the Colonel s unremit 
ting kindness was always cherished by him with grateful recollec 

He was now in his seventeenth year, and before noticing the 



chief incidents in his life at sea, it may be natural to ask, what 
now was his spiritual condition, and what were his prospects as 
to an eternal existence ? 

For a long time after their mother s death, both the* brothers 
were much solemnized by a sense of the importance of those 
things which she had so earnestly inculcated. Their sister s death 
had doubtless for a time tended to deepen the impression. When 
they came to Edinburgh they used to be remarked, and even 
laughed at, for their reverence for sacred things. Robert Hal- 
dane s inclination for the ministry has been already noticed ; and 
two elderly ladies from Durham, who then lived in Edinburgh, 
the cousins of their deceased grandmother, the widow of Colonel 
Haldane, often lamented that young James should be destined for 
so rough a profession as that of a sailor. They did not desire him 
to be a Presbyterian minister, but said that it would be much 
better were he to enter the English Church, to which they them 
selves belonged, in which he might possibly become a Bishop, 
and added, as interfering with this airy castle, the expression of 
their regret at the death of their brother, who had in his gift an 
excellent preferment, which would have admirably provided for 
their young relative. But whatever appearances of seriousness 
continued for some years, they were not enduring, as will be seen 
from the following extract from the manuscript already quoted : 

" Till I was twelve years old I continued to pray, go to church, 
" and read my Bible or other good books on the Sabbath, but it 
" was only from a principle of duty, and was indeed only that 
" kind of bodily exercise which profiteth little. I had no pleasure 
u in any religious duty, but conscience retained a certain influ- 
u ence, and made me afraid to give them up. I was well pleased 
" if any slight illness, or anything occurred which seemed a suffi- 
" cient excuse to myself for staying at home on the Lord s-day. 
" Indeed, I hardly attended to one word I heard when at church, 
" but only made a form of joining in the different parts of the 
" worship. Sometimes, however, I had serious thoughts ; occa- 
" sionally, on a Sabbath evening, after reading the Scriptures or 
" other books, I felt a kind of flow of the natural passions, and 
" had a good deal of pleasure in prayer. This always puffed 
"me up with thoughts that I was very good. But to show how 
" much I considered prayer as a task, if I had bowed my knee in 
" such a frame as this before supper, I considered it unnecessary 
" to pray again when I went to bed. About that time, that text 


" of Proverbs xxvi. 12, Seest thou a man wise in his own con- 
" ceit, &c., struck me a good deal. I had just been thinking that 
" I was in the right road to heaven, but that text rather cast a 
u damp upon my hopes, for it seemed to describe my character. 
u I generally used a form of prayer, but when I felt such emotions 
" as I have described, I prayed in such words as occurred. From 
" about 13 to 16, I became more careless, often spending the Sab- 
" bath evenings in idle conversation with my companions, and I 
" was pleased to find my conscience become less and less scrupu- 
" lous. I also began to swear, because, according to the fashion 
" of the times, it seemed to be manly, and except a form of prayer, 
" which I still kept up, every serious idea seemed to have fled. 
" Some things, however, occurred, which led me back to a kind 
u of decency. Some vexation I met with from a quarrel with 
* some companions, caused me to pray to God, and I began again 
" to read my Bible on the Sabbath, and completely gave up 
" swearing for a season. They laughed, and I endured some ridi- 
" cule for thus spending the Sabbath, but the opposition rather 
" confirmed than altered my determination. I do not mention 
" this as anything praiseworthy ; it certainly proceeded more from 
" pride than any other principle." 

Are we, then, to suppose that the instructions of his sainted 
mother had not fallen like the good seed into good ground ? Had 
it been scattered by the wayside, or on stony ground, or amongst 
thorns, and so perished without yielding fruit ? Had her prayers 
been offered up in vain ? Had the confidence of that faith, which 
burned so bright in the hour of her departure, been on behalf of 
her children a vain trust in the promises of the Gospel ? Had 
she miscalculated the meaning of those declarations made on be 
half of the offspring of believing, prayerful, and persevering 
parents ? It will be seen that the blossoms of early piety had in 
deed nearly disappeared, that they had proved like the early 
cloud and the morning dew. But yet the faithful labors of the 
trustful mother had not been in vain. Her prayers had ascended 
before the mercy-seat, " perfumed with much incense," and were 
registered in heaven. The good seed was only buried, not lost ; 
and by and by, after a long winter, it was destined to spring up 
in "the power of an endless life," instinct with blessings for her 
children and her children s children, nay, for thousands who were 
to receive the Gospel from their voice or from their writings. 



THE current of this narrative has cond acted the reader down to 
1785, when, in his seventeenth year, James Haldane went to sea. 
It is now time to notice the career of his elder brother, from the 
period when he rather unexpectedly quitted his studies in Edin 
burgh, and in the spring of 1780, being then too in his seven 
teenth year, entered the Royal Navy. 

The revolt of the American Colonies was the first great public 
event which excited the interest of the two brothers, and even 
the younger used to mention his boyish recollections of the 
excitement, produced by the sudden arrival of the declaration of 
independence, and the prospect of the war with Erance. It was 
in 1779 that the establishment at Nellfield was broken up, and 
their uncle once more entered on active service. It may easily be 
supposed with what interest his two youthful and affectionate 
nephews followed the history of his exploits; how their ardent 
spirits exulted in the renown he obtained in Rodney s action oil 
Cape St. Vincent, where the Monarch, outsailing all the fleet, 
bore the brunt of the engagement, disabling two line-of-battle 
ships and capturing a third ; how they sympathized with the 
burning indignation expressed by him, when the Channel fleet 
was afterwards compelled to retreat before the French, and he 
himself could only " stand looking over the stern gallery of the 
Monarch," sea-sick as well as heart-sick through contending emo 
tions of shame and vexation. It was shortly after this, that Robert 
Haldane himself joined the Monarch, and remained in that ship 
until the spring of 1781, when it was ordered to the West Indies, 
and Lord Duncan s health having previously severely suffered 
from the climate of the Ilavannah, he was persuaded to relinquish 
a tropical expedition for active service nearer home. 


Before be was enabled to commission the Blenheim, of 90 guns, 
in order to prevent loss of time, he transferred his nephew to the 
Foudroyant, of 80 guns, commanded by his friend and contem 
porary, Captain Jervis, the future Earl St. Yincent. 

Of the Foudroyant, Mr. Haldane was accustomed, even in old 
age, to speak with something of youthful enthusiasm. It had 
been captured from the French, and was the finest ship in the 
British Navy. It was not only a model of naval architecture, 
but was gilt to the water s edge ; whilst its height between decks 
was greater than that of the Britannia of 100 guns, which carried 
the flag of the renowned Admiral Barrington, to whose squadron 
it belonged. He used to mention that on visiting the Admiral, 
whose younger brother was the well-known Bishop of Durham, 
and whose elder brother had been one of his father s guardians, 
he found himself obliged to stoop between decks of the flag-ship, 
whilst in the Foudroyant, although standing nearly six feet high, 
he was able to walk upright. 

But a short time after he joined the Foudroyant he was called 
to take part in the celebrated action with the Pegase, which was 
the foundation of all Lord St. Vincent s great fame. It was a 
night engagement. A French fleet of six sail-of-the-line were 
retreating before Admiral Barrington with twelve. The chase 
began at noon on the 19th of April, and the Foudroyant, out 
sailing all the rest, and leaving them as if at anchor, singled out 
the Pegase at 10 at night, and at 47 minutes past 12, having 
run at the rate of eleven knots an hour, brought her to close 
quarters. The respective forces of the two ships were nearly 
equal; for although the British had six guns more than the 
enerny, yet the latter had sixty more men, with a greater weight 
of metal, carrying forty-pounders on the lower decks, and a crew 
of seven hundred sailors. These particulars Mr. Haldane used to 
say had been omitted in narratives of the action, although Admi 
ral Barrington s despatch mentions, in general terms, that the two 
combatants were in point of force nearly equal. He often referred 
with pleasure to an instance of his gallant Commander s magna 
nimity. Just as the ships were about to open their fire, the 
officer on the forecastle called out that the enemy had "put her 
helm up to rake." Captain Jervis instantly exclaimed, " Then 
put the helm a-starboard," meaning to deliver his broadside from 
the starboard guns. At that critical moment one of his midship 
men, a friend of Mr. Haldane s, the gallant Bowen, who fell by 


the side of Nelson at Teneriffe, saw that an opposite manoeuvre 
would give to the Foudroyant the advantage of the first fire, and 
enable her to rake, instead of being raked. On the moment, this 
gallant young man, standing by the wheel, called out, "Port, port; 
if we put our helm to port, we shall rake her." His eagerness 
admitted of no denial. The helm was brought to port; the 
broadside of the Foudroyant was poured into the Pegase ; and 
when the smoke cleared off, Captain Jervis, in the enthusiasm 
of the moment, pulled off his hat on the quarter-deck ; and turn 
ing to the young officer, exclaimed, " Thanks, Bowen : you 
were right." 

The battle lasted three quarters of an hour ; and the skill as 
well as the zeal which directed the guns under Robert Haldane s 
charge, attracted the notice of his observant Commander. At 
one time, holding a lantern in his hand, he was seen directing 
the proper elevation of a gun. An old sailor warned him that 
he was making himself a mark fop the enemy ; but he indignantly 
repelled the admonition, telling his well-meaning and sensible 
adviser that, in the discharge of duty, he should disdain to think 
of personal danger. At one time the ships almost touched each 
other, and a gunner being asked why he did not withdraw the 
rammer, replied that he could not on account of the Frenchman. 
The gun was discharged with the rammer undrawn. 

After the Pegase was laid on board, and had struck, the ships 
separated ; and it blew so fresh, and there was so much sea, that 
it was with great difficulty and the loss of two boats that an 
officer and eighty men could be sent into the prize and bring off 
forty prisoners. During the action, the watchful eye of the hero 
of St. Vincent had marked the zeal and gallantry of Robert Hal- 
dane, and he indicated his approval by appointing him to accom 
pany one of the lieutenants who was going to take possession of 
the Pegase, with orders to bring back its commander, Le Chevalier 
Cillart. There was another reason which prompted the selection. 
He had discovered Robert Haldane s talents and attainments, and 
often employed him as his amanuensis, and he was the only 
officer on board who understood French. The duty assigned to 
him was discharged with characteristic courtesy, determination, 
and zeal. On boarding the Pegase, he found the decks floated 
with blood, seven men lying dead at one gun. Having been 
conducted through this scene of slaughter to the Chevalier, he 
explained the nature of his orders, but the Frenchman protested 


that it was out of the question to get into an open boat in such a 
sea and at such an hour. The necessity of the case was explained, 
the weakness of the captors in point of numbers as compared 
with the vanquished. Still the captain demurred, when the 
lieutenant, who had charge of the prize, by drawing his sword 
added a very significant argument, wliich fully compensated for 
his inability to express himself in French. The Chevalier then 
submitted, and was conducted safely to the Foudroyant, amidst 
murmurs which promised to bear in mind this treatment when 
he returned to France. 

After the action Sir John Jervis wrote to Captain Duncan, 
congratulating him on the determined spirit and ability of his 
nephew, and predicting that Robert Haldane would one day be 
an ornament to his country. This prediction was destined to be 
fulfilled in a manner far different from that which the hero of St. 
Vincent then imagined. His renown was not to be won on the 
quarter-deck of a British man-of-war, or amidst such scenes of 
blood as those which had, for the first time, somewhat solemnized 
the exulting joy of the young warrior. But even then, amidst 
the satisfaction derived from the applause of the great officer 
under whom he served, there was one circumstance, the recol 
lection of which interested his mind during the very last days of 
his mortal career, although sixty long years had elapsed. He 
mentioned that, on that night, on going into action with the 
Pegase, when his heart beat high with ardent zeal, he breathed 
out an earnest prayer to God, that he might now be strengthened 
to discharge his duty as became a British sailor, in defence of his 
country. It was not that he then made any open profession of 
religion, or had any settled or abiding principle of godliness in his 
heart. On the contrary, pride, ambition, the love of distinction, 
and other forms of wordliness, were all in the ascendant. But, 
beneath this heap of rubbish, there was still germinating in the 
hidden recesses of his inmost soul, the incorruptible seed, im 
planted by a mother s hand, and watered by a mother s prayers. 
Invisible to mortal eye it there existed, and, on such an occasion 
as that of his going for the first time into battle, seemed like a 
spark of life ready to burst out, and make the gallant vouth act 
not as a reckless unbeliever, but as a Christian hero. 

After the return of the Foudroyant to Spithead, and during the 
period which elapsed before the relief of Gibraltar, he had frequent 
opportunities of spending much of his time at Gosport, and 


attending the ministry of the late David Bogue, whose influence 
on his own mind and that of his brother, both intellectually and 
spiritually, was greatly blessed. Dr. Bogue was a Scotch Pres 
byterian minister, educated for the Established Church, who 
ultimately settled, in 1778, at Gosport, where he continued until 
his death, in 1825, the pastor of an Independent congregation, 
but still foremost, throughout the land, in all those great objects 
of Christian philanthropy, which marked the close of the eigh 
teenth century. 

Between 1779 and 1787 Gosport was the head-quarters of Lord 
Duncan. Till the peace of 1783 he was attached to the Channel 
Fleet, successively commanding the Monarch of 74, and the 
Blenheim of 90 guns, and chiefly cruising between Spithead and 
Gibraltar. After the peace, he commanded the Edgar guard-ship 
until he obtained his flag, in 1787. These circumstances are to 
be numbered amongst the providential links in the history of 
both the brothers. It was thus, that they were both brought 
much into contact with Dr. Bogue, to whom they became much 
attached. They attended his ministry, and by him they were 
directed in their course of reading and in their choice of books, 
both on shore and at sea. Thus is it that the Lord is pleased to 
work out his designs of mercy and of love, in a way which we 
cannot comprehend, subordinating all the changes and chances 
of life to the purposes which he has foreordained, leading his 
dependent creatures by a way which they know not, until the 
mystery of God shall be accomplished, and the events which 
seemed only accidental, shall be seen to have been guided by the 
unerring hand of Infinite Wisdom. 

During the summer of 1782, Admiral Barrington s squadron 
was placed under the orders of Earl HOWE, whose duty it was to 
protect our shores and our commerce, menaced, as they were, on 
the one hand by the Dutch, and on the other by the French and 
Spanish fleets. Towards the end of the summer preparations 
were made for a great expedition to relieve Gibraltar.. At this 
period, when the grand fleet lay at Spithead, Mr. Haldane was a 
witness of the loss of the Royal George, which happened on the 
29th of August, 1782. On the morning of that memorable day, 
soon after breakfast, he was looking through a telescope, watching, 
with interest, the operation of heeling over of the ship, when, on 
a sudden, it overset, filled, and sunk. There were at least twelve 
souls on board, including women and children, and, in 


charge of a boat from the Foudroyant, he was one of the most 
active in picking up and saving the drowning crew. Of those 
who went down not more than three hundred were rescued ; and 
at Portsea and the Isle of Wight so many dead bodies were in 
terred, that it is calculated that nine hundred must have perished. 
On the next Lord s-day, Dr. Bogue preached a sermon, which 
produced a deep and general impression, from Psalm xxxvi., 
" Thy judgments are a great deep." 

The state of public affairs at this juncture may be inferred from 
the fact, that the catastrophe of the Eoyal George was regarded 
as a national calamity, not merely involving the loss of an admiral 
and a gallant crew, but diminishing the strength of the grand 
fleet, then under orders for Gibraltar, and expecting to encounter 
a greatly superior force, belonging to the navies of France and 
Spain. On the llth of September following, Lord Howe sailed 
with thirty-four ships-of-the-line ; besides frigates, and a great con 
voy of one hundred and forty transports, carrying troops, stores, 
and provisions. The relief of Gibraltar forms one of the most 
striking incidents in that memorable siege, in which the united 
resources of the Bourbons of France and Spain were vainly lavish 
ed, for the recovery of that celebrated fortress. It was a great 
crisis, and it was generally believed that its reconquest would 
have ruined the influence of Britain to the eastward of the Pillars 
of Hercules, and given to her rivals the command of the Mediter 
ranean. Lord Howe s fleet was greatly inferior to the enemy. 
But Mr. Haldane, in after-life, used often to dwell on the remark 
able interposition of Providence, by which he believed that the 
disparity of force was, in some degree, neutralized, and the con 
voy enabled to land their supplies. On the 10th of October a 
look-out frigate returned to Lord Howe, with the formidable in 
telligence that the combined fleets, anchored in Algesiras Bay, 
consisted of fifty sail-of-the-line, besides frigates. On that night 
a sudden and violent tempest scattered and disabled the French 
and Spanish fleet, whilst the British rode secure under the lee of 
the African mountains. Several of the enemy, including some 
three-deckers, were driven ashore, others were compelled to rur< 
to the eastward, and all were, more or less, damaged ; so that, 
when Captain Curtis arrived from General Elliott on the 12th, he 
was enabled to inform the Admiral, that there then remained in 
the bay only forty sail-of-the-line, and three of 56 guns. But this 
was not all. On the 13th the enemy put to sea, partly to protect 


his scattered ships, and partly to intercept the British convoy. 
He cleared Europa point, and passed the night perfectly becalmed ; 
whilst Lord Howe being to the eastward of the rock, taking ad 
vantage of an easterly wind which sprung up, carried the convoy 
safe into Gibraltar, amidst the cheers and acclamations of the 
garrison. In the performance of this manoeuvre the Foudroyant 
was the leading ship, and bore the chief part- in the affair. The 
gallant Earl s movement was no doubt masterly, but the storm 
which burst with fury on the combined fleets on the 10th, and 
the calm which paralyzed them on the 12th, together with the 
sudden change of -the wind, were all contingencies enabling the 
British to effect the grand object of the expedition. To those 
who would banish the remembrance of God from their own hearts, 
and exclude the Almighty from the government of His own 
creation, such incidents will appear the result of accident, and a 
reference to an overruling Providence will provoke the smile of 
ridicule. But to those who delight to trace the finger of God in 
the smallest as well as the greatest of human affairs, such facts 
will furnish in after-life, as they did to Mr. Haldane, fresh mat 
ter of grateful meditation on the character of Him, who is won 
derful in working, who tl holds the winds in his fist, and the 
waters in the hollow of his hands," and who does amongst the in 
habitants of the earth according to His own good pleasure. 
" Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall 
understand the loving-kindness of the Lord." 

After the relief of Gibraltar, Lord Howe gave orders to return 
from the Straits, but so intent on action were the crew of the 
Victory that they refused to put round the wheel, and their mur 
murs almost amounted to open mutiny, until the noble Admiral 
assured them that they should fight in the open seas. An action 
did take place, in which the Foudroyant took part, and in which 
the British loss amounted to 276 in killed and wounded. Sir 
John Jervis was much dissatisfied, and pacing the quarter-deck 
in great excitement, with his hat in his hand, continued to ex 
claim, " For shame ! Lord Howe." But the enemy had ten sail- 
of-the-line more than the British, with friendly ports in case of a 
defeat, whilst Lord Howe was not only inferior in force, but had 
no shelter for damaged or disabled ships. Mr. Haldane used also 
to state, that in passing Lord Howe s orders for closer action from 
ship to ship, some mistake occurred, which caused them to haul 


their wind, and so separated the fleets. In the morning the enemy 
did not choose to renew the corn-bat. 

After this affair the fleet sailed for England, and an incident 
occurred which again discovered the young sailor s force of charac 
ter. The Leocadia, a Spanish sixty-gun ship, was chased by the 
fleet, and the Foudroyant, as usual, far outsailing the rest, was 
rapidly coming up with her, when a signal from Lord Howe in 
duced Sir John Jervis at once to abandon the chase. It was, 
however, when the Foudroyant was carrying a press of canvas in 
pursuit, that Robert Haldane was ordered to take his post on the 
fore-top-gallant mast, and remain on the look-out till recalled. 
The mast sprung, and as there was no order to descend, he ex 
pected at every blast to be hurled into the deep. Another mid 
shipman thought himself justified, under the circumstances, in 
retiring to a safer position. Not so his companion, who remem 
bered his commander s maxim, u never to make a difficulty" in 
carrying out an order. He therefore heroically remained, as did 
an old seaman, who advised him to lay hold of the lower parts 
of the ropes, so that, in the event of the anticipated plunge, there 
might be a better chance of keeping hold of the mast with their 
heads uppermost. At this moment there arose a cry of " A man 
overboard !" Sir John Jervis instantly gave an order to shorten 
sail, and then for the first time discovering the perilous situation 
of those on the look-out, they were commanded to come down. 
Those who remember the character of Lord St. Vincent will easily 
imagine the impression produced by the determination with which 
his orders had been obeyed at all hazards. 

On its arrival at Spithead the Foudroyant was paid off, and 
Sir John Jervis was appointed to commission the Salisbury, of 
fifty guns, and to hoist his broad pennant as Commodore of a 
squadron, bound on an expedition, intended to combine a voyage 
round the world for purposes of discovery, with an attack on the 
Spanish settlements in South America. Eobert Haldane was one 
of those whom he expressly selected to accompany him, as a young 
man of whom he entertained high expectations, and whose servi 
ces he valued both on the deck and in his cabin. Long before 
this Sir John Jervis had won his regard, and when the fleet sailed 
for Gibraltar he had declined his uncle s kind proposal to remove 
to the Blenheim, justly considering that the comforts of being 
with a relation were counterbalanced by its necessary disadvan 


The peace put an end to the South American expedition. The 
Salisbury went to Newfoundland, but not under Sir John Jervis, 
who, for a time, retired into private life. Mr. Haldane made this 
voyage, but having no longer the promise of immediate promo 
tion, returned in the ^Eolus frigate to Lisbon, and thence rejoined 
his uncle at Grosport. 

All incitement to enterprise being thus withdrawn, he bade 
adieu to a service to which he was enthusiastically attached to 
the very last. Even to the end of his career, nearly sixty years 
after his retirement, it was interesting to observe how easily his 
youthful predilections seemed to revive when the British navy 
was the topic of conversation. To everything which concerned 
its efficiency, as an arm of national defence, or the moral welfare 
and comforts of sailors, his sympathies were always alive. He 
was never an egotist, and talked little of his own exploits, even 
to his nearest relations. But there were occasions when, in the 
confidence of friendly intercourse, he might be drawn on to 
speak of his adventures at sea ; how he had been on one occa 
sion reproved by a lieutenant for taking the wheel from the 
helmsman, and how Sir John Jervis, ascertaining that it was in 
order to learn to steer, applauded his zeal, and issued orders 
that all the midshipmen should take their turn at the wheel ; 
how he was employed as the amanuensis of his captain ; or how, 
in his uncle s ship, when pursuing some French men-of-war, the 
Monarch, outsailing the rest of the fleet, got into the midst of a 
convoy, but the discipline of the ship was such, that boats were 
let down on each side without swamping, filled with armed crews 
to take possession of the prizes, whilst the Monarch never slack 
ened her speed, but with studding-sails set, bore down on the 
flying ships of war. 

When the subject of manning the navy was in 1840 so promi 
nently brought before the public by Admiral Hawker, writing 
under the signature of "A Flag Officer," he read and made notes 
on his pamphlets, and used to say that undermanning was the 
worst possible economy, and that Lord Duncan always denounced 
the system. He would also tell how, in his own time, an econom 
ical order had been sent down from the Admiralty, to the effect 
that the line-of-battle ships should carry water-casks on deck to 
supply other vessels at sea ; and how Lord Duncan had indig 
nantly declared, that whilst he obeyed the order as in duty bound, 
yet it was his intention to avail himself of his own discretion, as 


soon as he got to the back of the Isle of Wight, by staving every 
cask on the deck of the Monarch, the moment he descried a 
strange sail. But there was nothing of this kind on which lat 
terly he talked with greater interest than on the care which Lord 
Duncan took of the health and comfort of his men, and of his 
efforts to prevent the necessity of their being subjected to the 
constant wear and tear of keeping "watch and watch." One of 
the chief evils of undermanning consisted, he thought, in the 
necessity thus imposed on the commander, of constantly requiring 
his men to keep "watch and watch," even when drenched with 
wet, instead of allowing them alternately the opportunity of eight 
hours of repose. On this subject he spoke with much earnest 
ness not long before his death. It was an indication of his natu 
ral benevolence, and of his continued interest in a body of men 
amongst whom he had spent his early years. 

In fact, his natural bent towards the navy was remarkable ; 
and considering his energy and force of character, his foresight 
and powers of combination, together with that faculty of inspiring 
confidence which he eminently possessed, it is no matter of sur 
prise that two of the greatest British Admirals under whom he 
served, should have concurred in the prediction that he would 
himself rise to renown. His career was to be distinguished, but 
not in the way which attracts the admiration of the world. The 
blood-stained laurels of the conquering hero were not to encircle 
his brow, nor was he to merit and achieve stars, coronets, or rib 
bons. But as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, he was to fight the 
good fight of faith, to wrestle with principalities and powers 
and spiritual wickedness in high places, and finally, finishing 
his course with joy, to lay hold of the crown of righteousness 
and the palm of victory, but only to cast them all before the 
throne of God and the Lamb. 

Robert Haldane was only in his twentieth year when the peace 
of 1783 brought his short but active and eventful career in the 
navy to a close. The real business of his useful life did not be 
gin for twelve years afterwards, when his brother also quitted the 
sea, with a mind impressed with the littleness of time and the 
magnitude of eternity. 

He remained for some months at Gosport, enjoying the advan 
tage of Dr. Bogue s society and tuition, and then proceeded to 
Edinburgh, where, during the ensuing session, he resumed his 
studies at the University. The summer of 1784 he spent partly 


at Lundie House, and partly in a short tour to Paris and the 
Netherlands, accompanied by Dr. Bogue, who had also another 
young man under his charge. In that eminent minister s private 
journal, as published in his life by Dr. Bennett, he says, " We 
spent a month in wandering through France and Flanders. It 
was not good for my soul." On his return home, Dr. Bogue adds, 
" I bless God that my lot is cast in a land of Gospel light, and 
adore him for the care of his providence over me in this expedi 
tion, and desire to live to- his glory." 

The winter of 1784-5 was again spent in attending the profes 
sors at Edinburgh, and in the spring he set out upon what used 
to be called "the grand tour." Embarking at Harwich, accom 
panied by a naval officer who had been with him in the Fou- 
droyant, and soon afterwards became Admiral of the Turkish 
fleet, he passed through the principal cities of Holland and Ger 
many to Vienna, where he remained for some time. Thence, 
crossing the Tyrolese Alps, he visited Venice and the chief cities 
in Northern Italy, Rome and Naples, returning home by Florence, 
Marseilles, Lyons, Switzerland, and Paris. He was naturally an 
acute and penetrating observer, a great admirer of scenery, par 
ticularly of mountains; and the interest which he took in his 
travels was always manifest, whether he spoke of the Alps, the 
Pyrenees, or the Apennines, or discoursed of the antiquities 
which he had examined at Nismes, at Lisbon, at Herculaneum, or 
at Rome. , 

On the "28th February, 1785, whilst he was abroad, he had 
attained his majority, and in the month of April in the following 
year, shortly after his return home, he married Katherine Coch- 
rane Oswald, then only in her eighteenth year, second daughter 
of the late George Oswald, Esq., of Scotstown, by his wife, the 
daughter of Mr. Smythe, of Methven, in Perthshire. Mrs. Hal- 
dane was the younger sister of the present Miss Oswald, of 
Scotstown, as well as of the late Richard Oswald, Esq., of Auch- 
incruive, long M. P. for Ayrshire. The union was destined to 
prove long and happy. It lasted nearly fifty-seven years, and 
Mrs. Haldane was singularly adapted to be a true helpmeet in 
all his future plans, participating in his designs of usefulness, 
aiding him by her prudent counsel and sympathy, and never 
interposing her own personal wishes or comforts as an obstacle to 
their accomplishment. 

In September, 1786, they settled at his residence at Airthrey, 


near Stirling, and in the month of April, 1787, their daughter 
and only child was born. 

For nearly ten years after his marriage, his time was, in a great 
measure, occupied with country pursuits, partly in improving his 
estates, and partly in ornamenting his pleasure-grounds, at a time 
when landscape gardening was less common in Scotland, than it 
has become during the last fifty or sixty years. In these, as in 
other things to which he turned his energies, he was eminently 
successful, and those most acquainted with the subject were, in 
after-years, often glad to consult him on the best method of lay 
ing out grounds, overcoming natural difficulties, or transplanting 
trees. At Airthrey there were many fine old trees, chiefly 
beeches, elms, and lirnes, but in some places they had been 
planted at the beginning of the last century with too much for 
mality. This he undertook to remedy, at a period when the 
practice of transplanting full-grown trees had scarcely been at 
tempted in Scotland. His experiments in this way were gener 
ally successful, and at the time attracted so much wonder as 
to give rise to the absurd report amongst the people, that he 
was contemplating the removal of the old house to a preferable 

The situation of Airthrey, on the last slope of the Ochill range 
of hills, is singularly picturesque. Water was the one thing 
wanting to complete its beauty. This want Mr. Haldane deter 
mined to remedy. Before he had been settled there six months 
he commenced the excavation of an artificial lake, covering thirty 
acres of old pasture land in the park, into which he conducted an 
abundant supply of water from the hills. He also erected, in 
1791, a new house, in a castellated form, which was designed by 
Adarn, father of the late Lord Chief Commissioner, and the 
grandfather of Sir Charles and Sir Frederick Adam. Mr. Adam 
was the architect of the day, but his mansions do not impress us 
with a high opinion of his taste or skill. Mr. Haldane also built 
a stone wall, extending four miles round the park, enlarged the 
gardens, conducted walks through the woods which cover the 

* When the site of the Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh was changed, more than 
twenty years ago, Dr. Robert Graham, the Professor of Botany, was indebted to 
Mr. Haldane. for much useful advice and assistance as to the transfer of a large 
number of forest trees, of various kinds and considerable dimensions, some of them 
from thirty to forty feet in height, which were removed from the old ground to the 
new, a distance of two miles or upwards. Dr. Graham was an old friend of Mr. H. 


overhanging rocks and hills, and erected summer-houses on such 
elevated and commanding positions, as overlook the most pic 
turesque views of the surrounding scenery. Eastward, the silver 
Forth, winding through one of the richest agricultural valleys in 
the world, seeks the far-off German Ocean, lingering in its prog 
ress through woods and rocks, villages, towers, and towns, whilst 
westward its source is hidden amidst the grandeur of the lofty 
Grampians. Stirling Castle, Craig Forth, the Abbey Craig, and 
other striking objects, with the ruins of Cambuskenneth, all so rich 
in historical recollections, lend a deeper moral interest to the va 
ried magnificence of the scene, more especially when the glow of 
the setting sun gilds the purple mountains with its changing hues, 
and diffuses a softer radiance over the varied realms of natural 

Amongst the erections in the woods of Airthrey, there was one 
which excited considerable interest, and existed for many years 
after Mr. Haldane left the place, but which has long ago tumbled 
into ruins. It was an hermitage, constructed after the model of 
the woodland retreat to which Goldsmith s Angelina is led by the 
"taper s hospitable ray," and discovers her slighted lover, who 
had sought for consolation in a hermit s life away from the haunts 
of men. " The wicket opening with a latch," " the rushy couch," 
"the scrip with herbs and fruits supplied," all the other sylvan 
articles of furniture described by the poet, were there, whilst on 
the sides of the adjacent rock, or within the hut itself, the lines 
of Goldsmith were painted at proper intervals, the invitation to 
" the houseless child of want to accept the guiltless feast, and the 
blessing and repose," concluding at last with the sentimental 

" Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego, 

All earth-born cares are wrong, 
Man wants but little here below, 

Nor wants that little long." 

The erection of this hermitage had nearly cost Mr. Haldane 
his life, for, standing too near the edge of the rock on which it 
was placed, giving directions to the workmen, his foot slipped, 
and but for a post which he was enabled to grasp, would have 
been precipitated to the bottom. The celebrated Henry Erskine 
with his usual ready wit, exclaimed, "It was a post for life!" 
But not content with the erection of this ideal hermitage, Mr. 
Haldane, who in his younger days always delighted in a practical 


joke, advertised for a real hermit, specifying the conditions, which 
were to be in accordance with the beau-ideal of Goldsmith s, 
including the prohibition of animal food. But the restrictions 
did not prevent the author of the jest from being obliged to deal 
seriously with applications for the place, and one man, in particu 
lar, professed himself ready to comply with all the conditions 
except one, which was that he should never leave the wood. 
To the doom of perpetual seclusion the would-be hermit could 
not make up his mind to submit, and the advertisement was not 

Shortly after the construction of his beautiful lake, Mr. 
Haldane was again placed in imminent danger. It was winter, 
and, during the frost, there was a large party of visitors and 
others on the ice, enjoying the amusement of skating and curling. 
He was himself standing near a chair on which a lady had been 
seated, when the ice suddenly broke, and he was nearly carried 
under the surface. With his usual presence of mind he seized 
on the chair which supported him, and quietly gave directions to 
send for ropes, as a rash attempt to extricate him might have 
only involved others in the impending catastrophe. Providen 
tially there was help at hand, and by laying hold of the ropes 
brought by a gamekeeper and an old servant, he was happily 
extricated from his perilous position. 

It is said, that before the time of Charles the Second, there 
was not one inclosed park in Scotland, and this fact may assist 
us in estimating the amount of improvement which has since 
been accomplished. By those who remember how many of the 
principal mansions and parks in Scotland are of modern date, or 
who consider what must have been their state at the period when. 
Sir Walter Scott describes the old chateau of the Baron of Brad- 
wardine, and down to the time of Dr. Johnson s tour to the 
Hebrides, it may easily be supposed that Mr. Haldane s doings 
at Airthrey excited a great deal of interest in the country, and 
stirred up a disposition both to embellish and improve. 

It was, moreover, impossible to be in his society without ad 
miring his great abilities, his originality of thought, his vivacity, 
and general information. His superiority was never disputed, 
and he was reckoned a young man of rising character and great 
promise. The probability of his coming into Parliament for the 
county was commonly spoken of, not only because of his own 
merits, but because, in those days of oligarchy in Scotland, his 



abilities and force of character seemed to be appreciated by the 
most influential men in the county, and particularly by the late 
Duke of Montrose, the Lord-Lieutenant, at whose residence both 
the brothers had been accustomed to visit from their boyhood, 
and who was himself an occasional guest at Airthrey. His near 
neighbor, the celebrated Sir Ealph Abercromby, who was always 
remarkable for his sagacity and quick discernment of character, 
used often to say, that he never was in Mr. Haldane s company 
without hearing something worth remembering. 

In the winter of 1792-3, both Sir Ralph and Mr. Haldanc 
being in Edinburgh, agreed to attend Dr. Hardy s lectures on 
Church History, and as Mr. Haldaue s house was then in 
Frederick-street, and Sir Ralph s at the west end of Queen- 
street,* the General used every day for many months to call for 
Mr. Haldane, and walk with him across the bridges to the 
College, and return together. 

It may be easily supposed that these daily meetings were long 
remembered. It was to enter on a course of foreign service, 
which continued with little intermission till his death at Alex 
andria, that Sir Ralph Abercromby was called away from the 
peaceful and instructive lectures, to which both he and his 
young friend listened with so much interest. 

But a new career was also about to open on Mr. Haldane, 
a career in which he was not to command the applause of listen 
ing senates, or, like his gallant friend, " to close a life of honor by 
a death of glory," but a career in which all his talents, all his 
energies, regenerated, renewed, and sanctified, were to be conse 
crated to the service of God, and the promotion of that kingdom 
for whose coming we are taught to pray. 

* Connected with Sir Ralph Abercroraby s House, in Queen-street, there is a 
recollection which marked the simplicity and benevolence of that great man s 
character. The Commander-in-chief in Scotland usually had two soldiers as sen 
tinels before his door, but Sir Ralph ieclared that it was a * : custom more honored 
in the breach than in the observance," and, considering it to be a useless parade, 
he would not allow the men to be thus fatigued. The sentry-boxes therefore stood 
untenanted at his door during all the time he held his command. His boundless 
popularity as a general was due as much to his consideration for his men iu their 
quarters as to his own conspicuous gallantry in the field. 



HAVING sketched the history of Kobert Haldane down to the 
year 1794, it next becomes necessary to trace that of his brother 
down to the same period. 

James Haldane was in his seventeenth year when he entered 
the service for which he had been destined from his infancy. 
For three generations the family had possessed the chief interest 
in one of the East India Company s "regular chartered ships," 
the property of which was shared with other connections or 
friends of the Gleneagles and Lundie families, including Mr. 
Coutts, the banker, and the Dundases of Arniston. At the time 
he went as midshipman in the Duke of Montrose, the command 
of the Melville Castle was held by Captain Philip Dundas, half- 
brother of the late Viscountess Duncan, and father of the Eight 
Honorable Eobert Adam Christopher, M, P., lately appointed 
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. But an arrangement pro 
vided, that as soon as James Haldane attained the age which 
qualified him for the command, Captain Dundas should retire. 
Before he sailed, an offer was made to his uncles, which, had it 
been accepted, would, humanly speaking, not only have insured 
a splendid fortune, but changed the current of his life. Mr. 
Coutts had been on terms of much intimacy with his father, to 
whom it is said that the great banker reckoned himself to have 
been indebted, at a time when he was. a junior in a house in St. 
Mary Axe, near Leadenhall-street, before he migrated westward 
to the Strand. Mr. Coutts, therefore, offered to take him into his 
bank, with a view to a share in the business, but added that he 
scarcely liked to recommend the experiment, as there would 
probably be more of drudgery than would suit a high-spirited 
young man with such prospects of his own. The tempting pro- 


posal was declined, and the circumstance is now only noticed a3 
one of the incidents in a life, in which the guiding hand of an 
overruling Providence was uniformly conspicuous. Mr. Coutts 
always continued to evince the same friendly feeling, and not long 
before his death, told Mr. James Haldane that few things would 
confer on him more pleasure than to be of use to any of the 
family of his old friend. 

The Duke of Montrose, East Indiaman, was bound on a voyage 
to Bombay and China. The commander was Captain Gray, a 
well-known officer, who, many years afterward, perished near 
Madagascar in the Blenheim, along with Sir Thomas Troubridge 
and a crew of six hundred men. The third officer, Mr. Patrick 
Gardiner, was the son of one of the tenants of Gleneagles, and 
had gone to sea under the patronage of the family. He was 
reckoned a first-rate navigator and practical seaman, so that on 
every account it was a great advantage for the young midshipman 
to be under the care of one whose own personal interests were 
likely to conspire with kind feeling in his favor. This expecta 
tion was not disappointed ; and the opportunity of quietly study 
ing in Gardiner s cabin, as well as of receiving his practical in 
structions, not only contributed to James Haldane s future skill 
in seamanship, but also to his proficiency in general knowledge. 

The voyage was tedious, even in those days, when a great 
monopoly prevailed, and economy in time was of little conse 
quence. The charge for freight in an East Indiaman then ranged 
as high as forty pounds sterling per ton, and upwards. The 
same freight now ranges as low even as forty shillings. In 
like manner, the crew of an Indiaman varied from a minimum 
of 126 up to 180 men. That of the Duke of Montrose was 145 ; 
whilst little more than a third of that number would now be 
deemed adequate. The armament of the Company s ships used 
to be on the same scale, each carrying from twenty -six to thirty- 
six guns, and in time of war sometimes successfully beating off, 
or even capturing ships of war. Many of the captains, such as 
the Elphinstones, Lindsays, Eamsays, and Trenches, were the 
younger sons of the nobility. Some of them were baronets, most 
of them were either connected with the landed aristocracy or the 
great merchants, and all of them frequently indulged in expen 
sive habits, which rendered them rather objects of jealousy to the 
juniors in the Eoyal Navy, who had not the same means of 
acquiring fortune. These matters are all so much changed since the 


alteration of the Company s charter in 1814, and the complete over 
throw of the monopoly in 1834, that this notice of a splendid ser 
vice now extinct, may neither be wholly useless nor uninteresting 

In many respects, it might be said that James Haldane s con 
duct on board the Montrose was highly exemplary. He resolutely 
set himself to master the details of his profession ; his attention 
to his duties attracted the approbation of his superiors ; and his 
zeal and energy were always combined with good sense, intelli 
gence, and skill. He had also been furnished with a valuable 
store of books, consisting of the most useful histories of ancient 
and modern times, besides a good selection of the poets, drama 
tists, and writers on general literature. These books, which filled 
a large sea-chest, and afterwards occupied a considerable space in 
his library, were chosen by the discriminating taste of Dr. Bogue, 
of Gosport, who also took care to add a few well-selected useful 
religious works, amongst which was Doddridge s "Eise and Pro 
gress." It was often in after-life matter of surprise, that a sailor 
should have been so well-read and well-informed. The fact was, 
that not only did he go to sea at a later period than usual, but he 
was always fond of reading, so that, whilst ploughing the ocean 
or visiting distant regions, he was also deep in history, biography, 
voyages, and travels, diversifying these pursuits with the best 
of our poets, not omitting some of the French authors, and 
the most distinguished writers on Philosophy, Ehetoric, and 

It is on the 12th January, 1785, that the log of the Montrose 
begins. In one of his letters towards the close of his life, which 
recalls early scenes, he observes that the ship came round to Ports 
mouth in March, when he spent a short time at Gosport, and 
sailed on the day after his cousin, the present Earl of Camper- 
down, was there born. 

In the course of this voyage several incidents occurred, calcu 
lated to make a deep impression on his mind. On the 2d of June 
it was blowing very hard, and it became necessary to take in sail. 
For this purpose James Haldane was ordered to go aloft with a 
party of men. Just as he was beginning to mount the rigging, 
Captain Gray called out to him to stop, and ordered an able sea 
man to go first. The log notices that, in taking in the main-top 
sail, " James Duncan fell from the yard, and was unfortunately 
drowned." He was struck on the head, and knocked overboard. 
Toung Haldane was immediately behind, and had he been first, 


would doubtless have found a watery grave. He saw the drown 
ing seaman amidst the billows, and never forgot the anxious look 
which eagerly sought, but sought in vain, for succor. He used 
also to mention that this sailor was the only man, in the whole 
course of his experience at sea, of whom he ever heard or knew 
anything which indicated the possession of a vital acquaintance 
with true Christianity. It was the general remark that it would 
be well if all on board were as fully prepared for death as James 
Duncan. On the 6th August the ship arrived at Bombay, where 
it remained more than two months, and he was much on shore 
with the late Mr. Crawford Bruce, who had come out in the Mon- 
trose as a passenger, as well as with the Hon. William Fullarton 
Elphinstone, then the captain of an Indiaman, but afterwards a 
director and chairman of the Company. 

Exactly a year from the date of their arrival at Bombay, they 
reached Macao, in China ; and after remaining there four months, 
the Montrose proceeded homewards, and arrived at Deptford on 
the 16th June, 1787. 

It may here be proper to introduce the continuation of Mr. J. 
Haldane s interesting manuscript already quoted, intituled, "Deal 
ings of God with my Soul." 

" After going to sea, I went on much in the same way for about 
" a twelvemonth, having no, more fear of God than others around 
" me, excepting that I abstained from taking His name in vain, 
u and that I read my Bible on the Sabbath, and still used a form 
" of prayer. During that voyage, which lasted above two years, 
"I just recollect one occasion on which my prayers deserved the 
" name. A man had been murdered, another severely wounded, 
" by some savages on an island (North Island, near Bantam), and 
" as I had been the last who had been with them, before it hap- 
" pened, I considered my preservation as an instance of God s care 
" of me, and with some gratitude I gave him thanks. Indeed, I 
" had cause. For some hours before it happened, attracted by 
" curiosity, I went alone into the woods, on purpose to converse 
" with the same people who soon afterwards committed the mur- 
"der. They had been all day about us, while getting water for 
" the ship. I came to their fire, but they were not there, or prob- 
" ably I had returned no more. During the same voyage I fell 
" overboard from a boat. As I could not swim, I thought I should 
" have been drowned, but was so hardened, that, although I rec- 
" ollect what passed in my mind while in the water, I never con- 


1 sidered the consequences of death. Providentially I had an oar 
1 in my hand when I fell from the boat, but remembering that an 
1 old sailor had told me that no one need be drowned who could 
1 keep hold of an oar, this proved the means of preservation. 
" Some other things occurred, which might have struck me, but 
" my conscience was becoming seared, as with a hot iron. On my 
" return I never thought of going to church in London, because 
" they had not the same form of worship there as in Scotland. 
" This shows how easily the mind finds an excuse for a neglect 

I i of duty. My conscience, even at that time, would have testified 
" against me, had I stayed away from public worship in Scotland, 
" yet the difference of form in England easily silenced its rebuke. 
" I now began more fully to surrender myself to what is called a 
" life of pleasure, yet however inconsistent, I still had sometimes 
" a form of prayer, but this became gradually less frequent. In- 
" deed, it was wholly given up in the morning, and often at night 
"I fell asleep in the midst of this duty, while pleasing myself 
" with the thought, that such prayers might be of some avail. 
" When I felt any check of conscience, I satisfied myself with 

II thinking, that I was at least as good as any in the ship in which 
" I sailed ; that probably no one else even made a form of prayer, 
" and thus that the balance was in my favor, and I thought, 
" Surely God would never cast so many into misery. On my 
" first voyage I was brought under more than common concern, 
"by Doddridge s Eise and Progress, which I read, like some 
" other religious books, as a task. I found I was not right, and 
" resolved to begin to amend, but my resolution was like" the 
"morning cloud and early dew. I now quieted my conscience 
" with the consideration that I wronged no one, and therefore 
" could not be very criminal. The Lord laid his hand on me 
" during one voyage, and I was supposed by all to be dying. I 
"thought so myself, but was at that time perfectly hardened, and 
" sometimes considered how I should talk to those around me, 
" when dying, determined, although I might feel it, I would show 
" no unmanly signs of fear. The Lord however restored me, and 
"preserved me from other dangers in which I had plunged my- 
"self by my folly, and all the return I made was to harden my- 
" self in my rebellion." 

The allusions in the above memorandum to his further depar* 
tures from God, have particular reference to his future voyages, 
and to the life of pleasure which he afterwards led both in Gal- 


cutta and in London. His second voyage was in the Phoenix, 
also commanded by Captain Gray, his friend Gardner being chief 
officer, and himself fifth. During its continuance he spent nearly 
six months on shore at Calcutta, at a time when the state of soci 
ety in that great city was such that it would have required the 
power of the highest principle to have escaped its seductions. 
There were also peculiar circumstances which rendered his posi 
tion in this respect more difficult. There was at Calcutta a friend 
and relation high in the service, and expending a great income, 
who welcomed him with the most affectionate hospitality, and 
loaded him with kindness. Mr. John Haldane, with his younger 
brother, the late General Eobert Haldane, were the sons of a de 
ceased relative, who held an office in the Excise in London, and 
had been originally nominated one of the executors of Captain 
James Haldane s will. Mr. John Haldane lived in splendor, hav 
ing a great establishment in Calcutta, and another at Garden 
Reach, which, from its luxurious magnificence and the number 
of lustres with which it was adorned, used to be jocularly called 
u the illustrious house of Haldane." Living with him and intro 
duced to all the gaiety of Calcutta, James Haldane s life was at 
this time one constant round of excitement and fashionable dissi 
pation. His society was much sought after, and he derived some 
eclat from the attentions he received from the Marquis of Corn- 
wallis, at whose residence he was a frequent visitor, and by whom 
he was noticed, as a well-informed, agreeable, and superior young 
man. On his leaving Calcutta, a most splendid entertainment 
was given to him by his friends, which was attended by the prin 
cipal civil and military officers, and his return as Captain of the 
Melville Castle was anticipated as an accession to their social 
gaiety. The convivial habits of the times were at that period 
sufficiently bad in England. In the climate of India they were 
hardly tolerable, and instead of wondering at the mortality which 
then prevailed, it is only marvellous that it was not greater. As 
an example of the state of society, it is said that a little before the 
time of which we are speaking, Mr. John Haldane being persuad 
ed that he had amassed a sufficient fortune, had resolved to return 
home, but the ship in which he had taken his passage having been 
wrecked at the mouth of the Ganges, he was received with some 
other passengers into the house of a gentleman in the neighbor 
hood. After supper they sat down to cards and played so high, 
that before morning, Mr. John Haldane, being a gr^at loser, de- 


termined to return to Calcutta, which he never left, except in the 
discharge of his public duties, till his death in 1803. After James 
Haldane s eyes were opened to the folly of that giddy round of 
pleasure, in which he had been himself involved, he wrote repeat 
edly and most affectionately to his friend, at Calcutta, setting the 
truth before him, and earnestly entreating him to remember that 
life was too short even for such follies as the world deems inno 
cent. The celebrated Dr. Carey, in a letter, dated 27th of Sep 
tember, 1804:, thus writes : 

"I am favored with yours of January 4th, of the present year, for which I 
return you my hearty thanks. I trust that every expression of that regard 
which is borne to the cause in which I am embarked, has an effect upon my 
spirit of a salutary nature. 

" I am sorry to say, that John Haldane, Esq., departed this life about two 
months before I received yours. I delivered the letter and parcel to Rev. Clau 
dius Buchanan, who undertook to communicate the same to the gentleman who 
has the disposal of Mr. H. s affairs, who, I understand, is Forsyth, Esq. 

" Your intention of coming to this country engaged my heart in love to you, 
though I am now convinced that the Lord has abounded in goodness to you by 
preventing your taking that step." 

Mr. James Haldane made in all four voyages to India and 
China, and in the fourth, which lasted fifteen months, as second 
officer in his old ship, the Duke of Montrose. A circumstance 
occurred in connection with his third voyage, which, for the time, 
made an impression on his mind, and led him to think of an over 
ruling Providence. Through the late Sir Robert Preston, a con 
temporary of his father s, who had himself laid the foundation of 
his great fortune as an East India captain, he unexpectedly re 
ceived an appointment as third officer of the Foulis Indiaman. 
Owing to some inevitable circumstances he was detained in Scot 
land, and not having been fully informed of the urgency of the 
case, he found to his surprise and mortification, on his arrival in 
London, that the Foulis had sailed, and his place had been filled 
up. He was immediately nominated third officer of the Hills 
borough, under Captain Coxwell ; but the loss of the first appoint 
ment was, on several accounts, very mortifying, and occasioned 
at the time much vexation. He little thought of the guardian 
arm that was around, the child of many prayers. The Foulis was 
never again heard of, and is supposed to have foundered or been 
burned at sea. 

There was another occasion on which he ran some voluntary 


risk of a different kind, in consequence of the shortness of the 
time which had been allowed for his outfit. The ship was in the 
Downs, and having stayed in London till what he considered the 
last safe moment, he posted down to Deal with great rapidity, 
and arrived in the middle of the night. There was a gale of wind, 
occasioning great difficulty and no little danger in the way of 
getting on board, but a high bribe soon tempted the daring boat 
men of Deal to take him alongside his ship. It was his object to 
report himself as present to the Company s officer, specially ap 
pointed for that purpose. It was found that he had already sent 
off his report, notifying Mr. Haldane s absence. The official was 
called up, and requested to despatch another letter intimating the 
arrival. By no means in good humor at the untimely disturb 
ance the man on duty peremptorily refused, but at last, after 
some altercation, admitted that it might be proper to make the 
announcement, if there were any means of doing so. But in those 
days there were no electric telegraphs, the mail was gone, and the 
night was most tempestuous. The young officer urged that he 
would himself be responsible for the safe conveyance of the de 
spatch, and in the sequel carried it on shore, and posting up to 
London delivered it at the India House, and again returned with 
equal rapidity to the Downs. It may be noted as characteristic 
of the India service, that it was then unusual for an officer of any 
East India ship to travel with less than four horses. 

When appointed to the Duke of Montrose, in 1792, he was in 
his twenty-fourth year. A skilful navigator, a good seaman, and 
as an officer distinguished alike for his firmness and suavity, he 
was looked up to by his companions as a fortunate young man, 
of superior talents, attainments, and prospects. The chief officer, 
Mr. Charles Dundas, was in bad health, and the captain, although 
a man of worth and respectability, had not much confidence in 
himself, so that, in a certain sense, the command of the ship sub 
stantially depended on Mr. J. A. Haldane. In every emergency 
of difficulty or of danger, it was to his dauntless resolution and 
experienced seamanship that all eyes were turned. The Captain 
himself acknowledged that, when it blew hard at night, or the 
navigation was difficult, he never slept with comfort unless he 
knew that James Haldane was on deck, and when the voyage 
terminated he testified his sense of these services by the presenta 
tion of a costly collection of charts, as a grateful acknowledgment. 
On one occasion it happened, as appears by the log, that on the 


12th of June, 1792, the ship had nearly struck on the rocks in 
the Mozambique Channel, under circumstances similar to those 
which, about the same time and in the same seas, occasioned the 
loss of the Winterton, with a great part of the crew, including its 
commander, Captain Dundas of Dundas.* The promptitude and 
decision of James Haldane saved the Montrose from a like catas 
trophe. It was soon after midnight, or very early in the morning, 
when a passenger, walking upon deck, became alarmed at some 
conversation amongst the older seamen, which he overheard. He 
instantly went to Mr. Haldane s cabin, and awakening him from 
sleep, told him of his fears, and brought him immediately upon 
deek. The officer of the watch apprehended no danger, but the 
Captain having been called by Mr. Haldane s order, and the lead 
heaved, it appeared that, instead of being out of soundings, the 
depth was only nine fathoms. The Captain was undecided, when 
Mr. Haldane, considering that there was no time for further par 
ley, put a speaking-trumpet to his lips, and the cry, " Every soul 
upon deck this instant, 77 sent alarm through the whole ship, and 
in a moment brought the men from their hammocks. To put the 
ship about was the work of a few minutes, and this was scarcely 
accomplished, before the shout, from the main-top, "Breakers 
ahead," warned them of the imminence of their danger, and it 
was discovered that another quarter of an hour s sailing in the 
same direction, would have probably left the Montrose a wreck 
on u the Barren islands." 

The Montrose arrived at Deptford on the 19th June, 1793. 
The commencement of the war with France had been announced 
before the ship reached St. Helena, and from that island a large 
fleet of Indiamen were in company under convoy. This circum 
stance occasioned a frequent interchange of hospitality between 
the officers of the different ships, and in those days of convivial 
excess the result was anything but favorable to habits of sobriety. 
Happily James Haldane was never, even in his early days, in 
clined to exceed the bounds of temperance. He was, on the 
contrary, naturally rather abstemious : but, for a young man fond 
of society, full of life and spirit, it was almost impossible to escape 
without sometimes being carried away by the stream. In fact, it 
was considered a reproach to the hospitality of any ship which 

* An interesting account of the loss of the Winterton was some years ago pub 
lished by George Buchan, Esq., of Kelloe, who was one of the passengers, and an 
attache to Sir George Staunton s embassy. 

60 DUEL. 

sent a party away sober. When the Duke of Wellington went 
to India, as Colonel Wesley, the same practices prevailed. But 
we have lived to see the time when such degrading scenes are 
deemed low and immoral, when a young man is not inevitably 
shut up to insobriety, unless he chooses to make himself peculiar, 
and when religion and virtue are no longer treated only as objects 
of ridicule. 

It was, however, upon one of those occasions that James 
Haldane, on returning to his own ship, very narrowly escaped 
falling down the hatchway, which must have proved certain 
death. He was only slightly injured, and his preservation was 
almost miraculous, but the circumstance awakened serious 
thoughts, and made a lasting impression on his mind. To him 
it was at the time the more mortifying, as the captain, who was 
himself reckoned rather an austere man, had previously been 
kindly cautioning him against these convivial meetings, telling 
him that the inebriety to which they were sure to lead might be 
well enough for some others, but in one of his superior mind, and 
with his resources, was altogether unworthy and unpardonable. 

It might seem, perhaps, scarcely necessary to allude to such 
things, except to show the greatness of the change afterwards 
wrought on his moral character by the grace of God. But, for 
the same reason, it may be necessary to mention a duel in 
which he was involved on his voyage from India in the Hills 
borough. The facts are chiefly derived from the information of 
his own second and that of two of his brother officers. The ship 
was crowded with passengers ; amongst these there was a cavalry 
officer, who was returning home, a notorious shot, a successful 
duellist, and much of a bully. It afterwards appeared that he 
had been forced to leave the King s service, in consequence of his 
quarrelsome temper and aptitude for such brawls. In the course 
of the voyage he made himself very disagreeable, and was rather 
an object of dread. On one occasion some high words occurred 
between him and Mr. James Haldane, arising out of a proposal 
to make the latter a party to a paltry trick, designed to provoke 
an irritable invalid as he lay in his cot with his door open, and 
was, in fact, actually dying. Mr. J. Haldane s indignant refusal 
issued in this captain s taking an opportunity deliberately and 
publicly to insult him at the mess-table, when, in return for a 
somewhat contemptuous retort, the aggressor threw a glass of 
wine in Mr. Haldane s face. He little knew the spirit which hu 

DUEL. 61 

evoked. To rise from his seat and dash at the head of the assail 
ant a heavy ship s tumbler was the work of an instant. Provi 
dentially the missile was pitched too high, pulverized against the 
beam of the cabin, and descended in a liquid shower upon the 
offending dragoon. A challange ensued, and Mr. J. Haldane 
consulted with a friend as to the propriety of accepting it. That 
the challenger was under a cloud with his own regiment was 
certain, although the particulars were unknown, and it was 
decided that it was optional to accept or decline the cartel. But, 
as the matter was then doubtful, it was ruled that, in obedience 
to the code of honor, it was safer to give the captain the benefit 
of the doubt ; and he was himself the more clear on the point, as 
the reputation of the challenger as a shot might probably be 
regarded as having influenced a refusal. 

The preliminaries being arranged, it was agreed that they 
should meet at the Cape of Good Hope; but the captain of the 
ship suspecting mischief, refused leave to land. The meeting 
was accordingly postponed till they arrived at St. Helena, when 
they all went ashore, unobserved, very early in the morning. 
The night before James Haldane made his will, wrote a letter of 
farewell to his brother, in the event of his death, and then went 
to bed, and slept so soundly that he did not awake till he was 
called. It happened that, owing to the apprehension of being 
observed and detained, the duellists had only one case of pistols, 
which belonged to Mr. Haldane s second, a naval officer of some 
distinction, afterwards better known, during the war, as Admiral 
Donald Campbell, who commanded the Portuguese fleet, and .also 
enjoyed a pension for services rendered to Lord St. Vincent and 
Lord Nelson. The two antagonists were placed at twelve paces 
distant, and were to fire together and by signal. Before the 
pistol was given into Mr. J. Haldane s hand, his second, in a low 
tone, repeated what he had before told him, that this was a case 
in which he must have no scruple about shooting his challenger ; 
that it was not a common duel, but a case of self-preservation, 
and that one or the other must fall. The signal was given, and, 
as Mr. J. Haldane raised his pistol, with strange inconsistency he 
breathed the secret prayer, " Father, into thy hands I commend 
my spirit ;" thus verifying the observation of Tertullian, that in 
moments of imminent danger men involuntarily call upon God, 
acknowledging his presence and his providence, even when they 
seem practically to forget his existence and trample on his laws. 


With this prayer in his heart, and, as Admiral Campbell testified, 
with his eye fixed on his antagonist, without a symptom of trepi 
dation, he calmly drew the trigger, when his pistol burst, the 
contents flying upwards and a fragment of the barrel inflicting a 
wound on his face. The other pistol missed fire, and the chal 
lenger immediately intimated, through his second, that he was so 
well satisfied with the honorable conduct of Mr. Haldane, that he 
was willing that the affair should terminate. This message was 
accepted as sufficient. Bowing to each other, they parted with 
civility, but, as might be anticipated, without reconciliation. To 
such matters he scarcely ever alluded, but the facts were known 
to his brother, and by him repeated not long before his death. 

As a contrast to the spirit manifested in this affair, it may be 
mentioned that, about ten years after this duel, Mr. James Hal 
dane happened to be at Buxton, in the public room of one of the 
great hotels. There was a window open near the place where 
Mrs. J. Haldane was seated, and fearing, on her account, the 
effects of the draught, he shut it. A swaggering young man, 
more intent to display his self-consequence than his gallantry, 
with great rudeness immediately reopened it. Mr. J. Haldane 
said, " There was a time, Sir, when I should have resented this 
impertinence, but I have since learned to forgive injuries and to 
overlook insults." 

At the period of which we write, " affairs of honor," as they 
are miscalled, were of frequent occurrence, and those who chose 
to live under the tyranny of the world felt it frequently impos 
sible to escape. Indeed, from his ardent temperament and almost 
prodigal courage, it is perhaps matter of surprise, considering the 
spirit of the times, that such a young man was not oftener thus 
involved. It has been said by his contemporaries, that this was 
partly owing to the fact that his known determination usually 
shielded him from provocation, and partly that his natural dispo 
sition being amiable, the spirit which would not brook an insult 
was equally averse to offer provocation. In themselves, duelling 
and personal quarrels were abhorrent to his nature, and, more 
than once, when his co-operation as a second was requested, he 
was the means of effecting reconciliation without bloodshed. In 
one of these cases, both of the intended belligerents had requested 
to be allowed to place their honor in his hands, and refusing to 
act against either as an antagonist, he was enabled to arrange the 
matter to their mutual satisfaction. 


There was, indeed, one occasion, some years afterwards, which 
attracted much attention at the time, when he was the means of 
preventing a duel between a friend of his and a very notorious 
colonel, who, not many years ago, wrote his own memoirs, under 
the title of a Baronetcy, which he had assumed, without legal 
authority, on the ground of collateral descent. This colonel had 
fought more duels than most men, and was equally expert at his 
pistol or his rapier. He had frequently wounded, and, at least 
in one affair, killed his antagonist. Sitting in a large party at a 
dinner-table, after the ladies had withdrawn, at the house of his 
brother-in-law, in the neighborhood of Stirling, the belligerent 
colonel engaged in a trifling dispute with an elderly and much 
respected gentleman, at whose head he finally levelled a decanter. 
This act of violence had been preceded by a torrent of abuse 
which moved the indignation of the whole company, although 
every one, including their host himself, seemed paralyzed. 
Scarcely had the decanter sped its way, when, at the same mo 
ment, the colonel s own collar was seized by the muscular arm of 
a young man sitting by his side, and he himself and his chair 
were suddenly projected into the middle of the room. Kising 
from the ground, his paroxysm of rage now sought another 
object of attack, but he was so calmly confronted by the steady 
eye and determined bearing of James Haldane, whose character 
was well known to him, that he involuntarily and obviously 
cooled. Pie contented himself by hastily demanding the mean 
ing of this uncalled-for interference in a quarrel that was not his, 
and being briefly but emphatically told that it was to prevent 
violence in his company, the irate duellist once more turned his 
reproaches on the original object of his ungovernable fury, and 
with great skill adopting the words of the unwelcome pacificator 
as a satisfactory explanation, walked out of the room, exclaiming, 
" As for my friend, Captain Haldane, his object was only to pre 
vent violence." The gentleman who had been so rudely insulted 
was himself an old colonel, and at first considered that he was 
obliged "to demand satisfaction," but the two brothers went to 
his house the next day and succeeded in convincing him that he 
was absolved by the subsequent rencontre from any such obliga 
tion. So far as the aggressor was himself concerned, it seemed 
as if a spell had been broken ; the terror which was connected 
with his name was dissipated. He shortly afterwards went 
abroad, and never again returned to reside in Scotland. 


It will be seen, in a future part of these Memoirs, with what 
power and effect Mr. J. Haldane assailed the practice of duelling. 
There is no doubt that the attention he then excited, and the 
crowds who came to hear him when, in 1804, he preached on the 
death of Lord Camelford, were partly due to the knowledge of 
the fact, that he himself had been a votary of the so-called laws 
of honor, and had been seen to brave the wrath of one of the 
most notorious duellists of his time. 

A little before the occurrence just related, there was another, 
which had attracted some notice in the county. It happened that 
a warrant had been issued for the apprehension of a tenant on 
the Airthrey estate, who was a very desperate character, and had 
committed an act of swindling, accompanied by forgery. When 
the officers went to apprehend him they were severely beaten, 
and came to the house of Airthrey in the evening to report the 
result and solicit additional aid, as well as the authority of Mr. 
Haldane s presence. Both he and his brother accordingly went, 
taking with them some of the servants. On arriving at the 
house of the culprit, at the mill near the Bridge of Allan, or the 
modern village of Airthrey Wells, they found the doors and 
windows barricaded, and the man, with his dogs and some of his 
sons and servants, armed with guns and bludgeons, threatening 
death to any one who dared to break in. The officers were them 
selves alarmed, but neither of the two gentlemen whose aid they 
had claimed chose to be thus ignominiously repulsed. Whilst 
considering how to proceed, Mr. Haldane, with characteristic gen 
eralship, walked round the premises, and suddenly called out to his 
brother that there was an unguarded window, which had been 
overlooked by the besieged in their plans of defence. James 
Haldane, with determination equally characteristic, no sooner 
heard the announcement than he sprung through the window, 
which dropped behind him, just as the men and dogs, attracted 
by the noise, were hurrying to the point of attack. Pausing for 
a moment to produce his pistols, looking his intended assailants 
steadily in the face, warning them as to the consequences of 
assailing him in discharge of his duty, he coolly walked to the 
front door, which he unlocked, and then left the peace officers 
to remove their prisoner. The culprit was convicted, and sen 
tenced either to transportation or imprisonment. 

The change of social habits since the last generation passed 
away, is a fit subject of congratulation and thankfulness. In 


the higher ranks of society the vices of drinking, swearing, and 
duelling, are now nearly as vulgar as they were once fashionable. 
Three centuries ago swearing was so common, that a chaplain, 
preaching the funeral sermon of a titled lady of the noble house 
of Berkeley, belonging to the Court of Queen Elizabeth, men 
tions it as a proof of her virtue, that she was never heard to use 
a profane oath. Within a much shorter period than sixty years 
ago, it was difficult for any young man who did not affect singu 
larity, to escape from the contamination of that convivial intem 
perance which disgraced the age. It was not every one who 
could act like Dr. Johnson, who, unable to resist the temptation, 
at last substituted lemonade for wine, so as to enjoy social inter 
course and yet avoid excess. Even Mr. Pitt could enter the 
House of Commons so much intoxicated, that Mr. Fox, who 
could well sympathize with the indiscretion, moved an adjourn 
ment ; and, as connected with these Memoirs, it is rather a curious 
circumstance that this historical fact occurred after the great Pre 
mier, in company with his friend Mr. Dundas, had been dining 
at Deptford, on board the Melville Castle, with Captain Philip 
Dundas, shortly before Captain Haldane assumed the command. 
It is not wonderful that profane swearing and duelling should be 
connected with deep potations, and that vices should have been 
fashionable in the last generation, which would now be reckoned 
vulgar and discreditable. The pious Colonel Blackadder, in his 
remarkable diary, which includes the wars of Marlborough, be 
wails an occasion when he had himself, in his old age, been be 
trayed into intemperance, and even persons having a reputation 
for religion were known to be not wholly exempt from the habit 
of infringing on the third commandment. 

If such topics have been glanced at in connection with Captain 
Haldane s early life, it is for the purpose of furnishing a just 
representation of the character which he had by nature, but 
which was changed by grace. In reading these incidents, who 
would believe that this is the same person of whom Mr. Simeon 
not many years afterwards writes : "The Lord has favored you 
with a meek nnd spiritual mind?" The gentleness and benevo 
lence of his character seemed to grow as he advanced in age, 
even to the last. 

His elder brother, a short time before his own death, during 
a well-remembered and most agreeable walk at Auchingray, was 
relating some of the facts which have been just recorded, and 


finished his interesting details by saying, "See, then, the power 
of grace. 7 

There was a time when few seemed to be more " stout-hearted 
and far from righteousness, " when the dread of the world was 
the only fear which seemed to influence his actions, and God was 
not in all his thoughts. But neither the world, the flesh, nor the 
devil, were destined long to retain their prey. He was "a chosen 
vessel," ordained to be himself a monument of Divine mercy, and 
an instrument to convey that mercy to others. His whole nature 
was to undergo renovation. The good seed, still lodged in his 
breast, was soon to burst forth and produce its glorious fruits. 
The proud heart which would not bend before his fellows, or be 
fore the world itself, was to become broken under a melting sense 
of the Saviour s love. That lofty spirit which would not quail 
even at the approach of death, and which could not brook a word 
or a look that menaced it with insult, was to abandon its stubborn 
rebellion and become lowly, humble, and contrite before the Lord. 
His energies, his courage, his determination, were indeed to re 
main, but these energies, that courage, that determination, were 
to be directed into a nobler channel. They were to be consecra 
ted to the service of another and a better Master. They were to 
be no longer the attributes of a haughty rebel, but a part of the 
glorious panoply of the Christian hero, the devoted, self-denying, 
faithful champion of the cross. 

Mr. James Haldane s fourth voyage in the Duke of Montrose 
ended on the 19th June, 1793. In less than a month he attained 
the age of twenty-five, and having passed the necessary examina 
tions, he was pronounced fully qualified to command an India- 
man. Shortly afterwards he was nominated to the Melville Castle, 
bound to Madras and Calcutta, and the ship was ordered to be in 
the Downs at the beginning of the following January. But before 
the time arrived he had taken another step, which exerted an 
important influence on his future life. 

Soon after he went down to Scotland, he met at Airthrey a 
young lady, to whom he was married on the 18th of September 
following. She was the only child of Major Alexander Joass, of 
Culleonarcl, in the county of Banff, by Elizabeth Abercromby, 
second daughter of George Abercromby, of Tulliebody, in the 
county of Clackmannan. Major Joass, through his grandmother, 
the daughter of George, the second Lord Banff, was the heir 
general of the fourth Baron, who died without issue. In early 


life he had served in the Koyals, with his brother-in-law, Colonel 
Edmonstone, of Newton, but having been disabled for active ser 
vice by rheumatic fever, he accepted the appointment of Fort Major 
and Acting Deputy-Governor of Stirling Castle, which was confer 
red by his uncle, General James Abercromby, of Glassaugh. Thi 
office placed him, with very easy duties, in an agreeable residence, 
in the centre of his own friends and his wife s, where, for thirty 
years, although much of an invalid, he made the old palace at 
Stirling Castle famed for its hospitality. Major Joass, having no 
male issue, had sold his paternal estate of Culleonard, near Banff, 
to the Earl of Findlater and Seafield, some years before the great 
rise which took place in the value of land in Scotland. His only 
daughter was a general favorite, and such was the charm of her 
vivacity and the sweetness of her disposition, that it was naturally 
expected she should make what is called " a good marriage." It 
is not, therefore, matter of surprise that there should have been 
some hesitation as to the proposed union of an only child with a 
younger son, whose prospects were, indeed, excellent, but whose 
fortune was still to come from the ocean and from foreign climes. 
Difficulties, however, gave way before strong attachment, aided 
by the affectionate zeal of Mr. Robert Haldane, who was anxious 
that there should be a new attraction to help on the arrangement 
by which he hoped to detain his brother at home. 

Sir Ralph Abercromby, then on foreign service with the Duke 
of York in France, also -expressed his approval ; and the follow 
ing letter, written in the heat of a busy campaign, is at once inter 
esting as coming from so distinguished a General, and as indicating 
the good sense of his manly character. 

" Lieutenant- General Abercromby to Major Joass. 

" CAMP BEFORE DUNKIRK, August 27, 1793. 

" MY DEAR MAJOR, You may easily conceive that in a matter 
in which your family is so nearly concerned, an old friend and 
near relation cannot but be interested. If your daughter likes 
Mr. Haldane, which is the case, there is no difficulty. They have 
and will have abundance. He is a young man in a profession 
which will command fortune ; and allow me to say, it is a better 
match for real happiness than if Miss Joass had married an 
idle country gentleman, let his character be what it may. I 
warmly congratulate you on this event ; and from the good prin- 


ciples of the family into which, your daughter goes, I ha^e DO 
doubt of her happiness. 

" We are now preparing for the siege of Dunkirk. I hopo it 
will be of shorter duration than that of Valenciennes. That of 
Bergens will follow, so that we shall have no idleness. I keep my 
health wonderfully well. Sir Robert Laurie is here with us. He 
begs his compliments. I am sorry it has not been in my power 
to pay as much attention to several young gentlemen from our 
country as I could wish. Young Duff is a fine lad ; so is young 
Shawfield. My love to you all. 

" Ever yours, affectionately, 

" EH. AY." 

Shortly after their marriage, Captain and Mrs. James Ualdane 
repaired to London, where, for some months, they resided in Sack- 
ville-street, Piccadilly. Between the bustle of preparing for the 
voyage and the gaieties of the metropolis, there was not much 
opportunity for serious thought. Mrs. James Haldane had been 
well brought up, and had also been accustomed to the excellent 
ministry of Mr. Simeon s friend, Dr. Walter Buchanan, and more 
recently to that of Dr. Innes. She was, therefore, a good deal 
shocked at the disregaid for the Lord s-day, and the abandonment 
of public worship. It is a striking thought, that her husband was 
then borrowing the arguments he had learned from Dr. Macknight 
on his tour with Dr. Adam, as to the difference between neglect 
ing these duties in Scotland and in England, adding, at the same 
time, that it was much easier to get to heaven than she imagined. 
Such arguments are not, it is to be feared, out of date, in the 
present age, but they were formerly much more common. In 
illustration of this, Mr. James Haldane used himself to tell of a 
scene to which he was witness, at the house of a noble Earl in the 
north of Scotland. It happened that a celebrated and somewhat 
ec centric Duchess arrived rather unexpectedly on a Sunday. Out 
of compliment to her Grace and her London habits, she was 
offered in the evening the amusement of cards. This improper 
compliance was contrary to the usages of the family; and her 
instant and emphatic reply, "Not on this side of the Tweed, my 
Lord," whilst it rebuked the complaisance of her noble host, 
almost implied that she felt ashamed of the proposal. 

The preparations for the voyage were completed before the end 
of December, including the arrangements for Mrs. J. Haldane s 


return and safe convoy to Scotland. Their separation was the 
only dark spot in the horizon, as all things seemed to smile on a 
bright future. They had met with kindness from all their family 
connections and friends in London, including Mr. Secretary and 
Lady Jane Dun das. Captain Haldane also visited that distin 
guished Minister at Walmer Castle, and received from him the 
hearty and unsolicited assurance of his support and interest. Mr. 
Hobart, afterwards Earl of Buckinghamshire, was then going out 
as Governor of Madras, and he informed Mr. Coutts, the banker, 
that he had been requested by the President of the Board of Con 
trol to regard Captain Haldane as one in whom he took a per 
sonal interest. The fact of his wife s uncle, Sir Robert Aber- 
crornby, having been Governor and Commander-in-chief at Bom 
bay, and being then at the head of the whole Indian army, was 
another circumstance in his favor, whilst above all, his own repu 
tation was sure to give full effect to all his family and personal 
influence. As the value of a command greatly depended upon 
the number and quality of the passengers returning home, it may 
be easily supposed that few of his contemporaries took leave of 
the East India House with brighter prospects. 

The Melville Castle had been maimed with unusual rapidity, 
the popularity of the captain rendering employment in that ship 
an object of competition with seamen. It arrived at Portsmouth 
on the 31st December, 1793, and it was expected that the East 
India fleet, consisting of no less than twenty-five ships, would 
shortly sail under a strong convoy. But after all was ready, there 
were various circumstances which combined for their detention. 
In the first place, the Government then entertained a plan for 
availing themselves of the Indiamen to reduce the Mauritius ; and 
in the next place, there was a continuance of westerly winds for 
such an unusual period, that the fleet, which should have sailed 
in January, did not weigh anchor till the month of May, Upon 
these contingencies was suspended the future history of Captain 
Haldane s life. 

But before relating, chiefly from his own notes, the revolution 
which took place in his religious state, it may be proper to re 
count a circumstance which occurred at this time, strongly illus 
trating the same force of character and dauntless energy which al 
ways marked his career. The part he took in quelling the mu 
tiny on board the Dutton has now become " a history little known." 
For many years it was remembered by all connected with the 


great East India fleet, finally amounting to thirty-six ships, which 
were then collected at Portsmouth. The following account was 
kindly furnished by the Kev. Christopher Anderson, not long be 
fore he rested from his useful labors. His brother was a surgeon 
on board the Dutton, and kept a journal, ^ whir>h the facts were 
noted. There are a few other incidents which were gleaned from 
Mr. Haldane s own conversation, but they were in full accordance 
with Dr. Anderson s narrative, and add but slightly to his vivid 
description of the scene. 

At the close of 1793, a large East India fleet was detained, from 
various causes, in the Downs and at Spithead, from Christmas to 
April following. A mutinous disposition was detected in three 
or four men on board the Dutton, Captain Samson, in December ; 
but the captain, with his officers, after consultation, released those 
men from confinement, on promise of good behavior. On the 
31st, the Melville Castle and two other East Indiamen anchored 
at Spithead. The Carnatic and many others followed, till they 
came to be styled * the grand fleet. By the 19th March, how 
ever, in paying off certain men at Portsmouth from the Dutton, 
such a spirit was shown as made it necessary for the Captain to 
apply for assistance to his Majesty s ship the Kegulus.* On the 
evening of the 19th, Lieutenant Lucas, of the Begulus, with his 
boat s crew came on board, to demand four of the ringleaders, the 
same men formerly mentioned, when the greatest part of the crew 
hastily got up the round shot on deck, threatening that they would 
sink the first boat that came -alongside. The crew emboldened 
and increasing in fury, the Lieutenant thought it prudent to leave 
the ship, as did also the Captain, under the impression that their 
absence might assist in restoring peace and quietness. The crew, 
however, getting outrageous, were going to hoist out the boats. 
The Carnatic Indiaman hearing the confusion, fired several alarm 
guns, and armed boats from the other ships were now advancing. 
By this time the crew of the Dutton being in a most serious state 
of mutiny, had begun to arm themselves with shot, iron bars, &c., 
and made a determined attack on the quarter-deck. The officers, 
having lost their command, were firing pistol-shots overhead, 

* The men complained that, owing to their detention, their stores were exhausted, 
and they demanded an additional advance of pay to purchase tea and other com 
forts. The crew of the Melville Castle had received this indulgence, as a boon 
which it was reasonable to grant. It was refused by the captain of the Button, and 
hence the mutiny. 


when one seaman, getting over the booms, received a wound in 
the head, of which he died six days after. 

It has been said that the mutineers threatened to carry the ship 
into a French port, but at this moment, far more serious appre 
hension was felt lest the men should gain access to the ship s gun 
powder, and madly end the strife by their own death, and that of 
all on board. One of the two medical men on board had serious 
thoughts of throwing himself into the water to escape the risk. 
It was at this critical moment that Captain Haldane, of the Mel 
ville Castle, appeared at the side of the vessel. His approach 
was the signal for renewed and angry tumults. The shouts of the 
officers, "Come on board; come on board," were drowned by 
the cries of the mutineers, " Keep off, or we ll sink you." The 
scene was appalling, and to venture into the midst of the angry 
crew seemed to be an act of daring almost amounting to rashness. 
Ordering his men to veer round by the stern, in a few moments 
Captain Haldane was on the quarter-deck. His first object was to 
restore to the officers composure and presence of mind. He per 
emptorily refused to head an immediate attack on the mutineers, 
but very calmly reasoning with the men, cutlass in hand, telling 
them that they had no business there, and asking what they hoped 
to effect in the presence of twenty sail of the line, the quarter 
deck was soon cleared. But observing that there was still much 
confusion, and inquiring at the same time from the officers where 
the chief danger lay, he was down immediately at the very point 
of alarm. Two of the crew, intoxicated with spirits, and more 
hardy than the rest, were at the door of the powder magazine, 
threatening with horrid oaths that whether it should prove 
Heaven or Hell they would blow up the ship. One of them was 
in the act of wrenching off the iron bars from the doors, whilst 
the other had a shovel fall of live coals, ready to throw in ! Cap 
tain Haldane, instantly putting a pistol to the breast of the man 
with the iron bar, told him that if he stirred he was a dead man. 
Calling at the same time for the irons of the ship, as if disobe 
dience were out of the question, he saw them placed, first on this 
man and then on the other. The rest of the ringleaders were 
then secured, when the crew, finding that they were overpower 
ed, and receiving the assurance that none should be removed that 
night, became quiet, and the Captain returned to his own ship. 
Next day, the chief mutineers were put on board the Eegulus, 


King s ship, and the rest of the crew went to their duty 

u Had any one," said the venerable narrator, "then foretold 
that this daring captain of the Melville Castle would ere long be 
come a minister of Christ, the pastor of a large Christian Church, 
and of a larger congregation, and that this surgeon on board the 
Button now bound for India, and well known afterwards as Dr. 
James Anderson of Edinburgh would, after returning home, one 
day join that Church, where he remained for years until his dis 
solution, nothing would have appeared so incredible." 

This was the last of the perils of his life at sea, in which his 
bold and adventurous spirit seemed to take pleasure. The time 
had now come when he was to enter on a holier calling, and to be 
engaged in occupations of more enduring importance. The change 
was not, however, sudden, but gradual ; not the result of enthu 
siastic excitement, but of calm reflection. " Marriage," it has been 
said, " sobers even the soberest." It operated on his moral feel 
ings with a most beneficial influence. He had been thoroughly 
disgusted with the bacchanalian joviality of his last voyage from 
St. Helena ; he also felt the responsibility of his new position, as 
Commander of a ship with a numerous crew of officers and men, 
besides passengers and soldiers. He resolved that his influence 
should be exerted for good, and that he would set an example 
befitting his station, by having Divine worship on board. To all 
this it may be added, that the idea of parting so soon and for so 
long a time from his young wife, to whom he was tenderly attach 
ed, was justly assigned by some of his friends as one circumstance 
that made him for the time at least more thoughtful and reflec 
tive. To borrow from his manuscript memoranda, which still 
serve us as .a guide : 

" Some circumstances which took place tended, before I left 
" the sea, to render me more circumspect ; yet was my heart still 
" unchanged. I lived on board ship nearly four months at Ports- 
" mouth, and having much spare time and being always fond of 
" reading, I was employed in this way, and began, more from a 
" conviction of its propriety than any real concern about eternity, 
" to read the Bible and religious books, not only on the Sabbath, 
" but a portion of Scripture every day. I also began to pray to 
" God, although almost entirely about the concerns of a present 
" world. During all ithis time I did not go on shore to public 
" worship above once or twice, though I could have done so, and 


11 heard the Gospel with the same form of worship (at Dr. Bogue s) 
" as in Scotland. At length some impressions seemed to be made 
" on my mind, that all was not right, and knowing that the Lord s 
" Supper was to be dispensed, I was desirous of being admitted, 
" and went and spoke with Dr. Bogue on the subject. He put 
" some books into my hand on the nature of the ordinance, which 
" I read, and was more regular in prayer and attending public 
* worship. An idea of quitting the sea at this time was suggest- 
" ed, apparently by accident, and literally so, except in so far as 
" ordered of God. The thought sunk into my mind, and, although 
" there were many obstacles, my inclination rather increased than 
"abated. Being now in the habit of prayer, I asked of God to 
" order matters so that it might be brought about, and formed 
" resolutions of amendment, in case my prayer should be heard. 
" Several circumstances occurred which seemed to cut off every 
" hope of my being able to get away before the fleet sailed ; yet 
" the Lord overruled all to farther the business, and I quitted the 
" ship about two days before she left England. A concern about 
" my soul had very little influence in this step ; yet I was now 
" determined to begin to make religion a matter of serious consid- 
"eration. I was sure I was not right. I had never joined at 
" the Lord s Supper, being formerly restrained partly by conscience, 
" while living in open sin, and partly by want of convent- 
" ent opportunities, and I had been prevented by my engage- 
" ments in the week of quitting the sea, from joining at Gosport, 
" as I had proposed. However dark my mind still was, I have 
" no doubt but that God began a work of grace on my soul while 
"living on board the Melville Castle. His voice was indeed still 
" and small, but I would not despise the day of small things, nor 
"undervalue the least of His gracious dealings towards me. 
" There is no doubt that I had sinned against more light than 
" many of my companions who have been cut off in their iniqui 
ties, and that I might justly have been made a monument of 
" His wrath." 

The chief obstacles to his leaving the sea, arose from the oppo 
sition of his own uncles, and from his wife s relatives. They 
naturally considered it to be an act of folly to relinquish prospects 
of fortune such as he had before him, and the idea of a young 
man sitting down as "an idle country gentleman" was one which 
Sir Ralph Abercromby had in his letter particularly singled out 
as unfavorable for happiness. But the advice of his brother de- 


cided the matter. Mr. Haldane had previously labored earnestly, 
although without success, to induce him to settle at home, and in 
the neighborhood of Airthrey. When, therefore, he heard that 
an opportunity had occurred of disposing of the command for the 
sum of 9000Z., being at the rate of 3000/. a voyage, exclusive of 
the Captain s share in the property of the ship and stores, which 
amounted in all to 6000/. additional, Mr. Haldane wrote strongly 
recommending that this offer should be accepted. His letter deci 
ded the matter, and Captain Haldane returned with his wife to 
Scotland early in the summer of 1794. 

During that summer they resided chiefly at Stirling Castle and 
at Airthrey. On the 6th October, their first child, Elizabeth, 
was born, and in less than a month afterwards the death of Major 
Joass dissolved their connection with Stirling Castle, and all its 
agreeable associations. A letter from Sir Ralph Abercromby on 
the marriage of his niece has been already given. The following, 
addressed by him to his sister on the removal of her husband, 
was written in the midst of the disastrous campaign in Holland, 
and a few days after his wound in the successful sally on the 
French at Nimmegen : 

" ELST, November 16th, 1794. 

"Mr DEAR SISTER, From my not writing, I trust you will not 
accuse me of unkindness. With Mrs. Abercromby alone I cor 
respond, and it sometimes happens that I have not an opportu 
nity. She has regularly informed me of everything that related 
to your family. I cannot but feel severely a change that has 
lately taken place in it. I have lost an old and a most worthy 
friend. It would have given me the greatest satisfaction had 
providence so ordered it, that we should hve met once more 
after the end of all these troubles. He is gone to a better world, 
and is relieved from the pains of this. It is an event which you 
and all his family foresaw. Still that does not diminish the 
severity of the stroke. I am told Mr. Haldane is an excellent 
young man, with a great share of humanity, and that his conduct 
at this trying time has been most praiseworthy. I hope it will 
always be so, and that he and his wife will be a comfort and con 
solation to you. Knowing your sensibility I much fear your 
health must have suffered. You must endeavor to support your 
self from such motives as reason and religion will suggest. I 
have a distant hope that I may see you this winter. I shall prob- 


ably find you near us all. I beg to be kindly remembered to Mr. 
and Mrs. Haldane. Believe me to be. my dear Sister, 
" Yours, ever most affectionately, 


On leaving Stirling Castle, Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Haldane at first 
took a house in George-square, Edinburgh, and were led to attend 
the ministry of the excellent Dr. Walter Buchanan, who, as al 
ready remarked, had formerly been minister of Stirling, and of 
whom it is said by Mr. Simeon, that he was a " Scotch minister, 
" whom I think it one of the greatest blessings of my life ever to 
" have known." They were also introduced about the same time 
to the Eeverend David Black, the minister of Lady Tester s 
Church, who was eminently a man of God and a promoter of all 
good works. These good men found him an earnest inquirer into 
the things of God, and were no doubt useful in directing his 
spiritual studies. But his progress was gradual, as will be seen 

The history of James Haldane s life has now been conducted 
to the end of 1795. In the summer of that year he had made a 
visit of some length to his uncle, on board the Venerable, when 
the North Sea fleet was in the Downs. His frequent reference, 
more than fifty years afterwards, to the incidents which then oc 
curred, indicated the pleasurable excitement he enjoyed as a guest 
under the flag of his distinguished relative. It was about the 
time when Admiral Cornwallis made his celebrated and success 
ful retreat with only five ships, which repulsed and kept at bay 
twelve French sail of the line with as many frigates. He used to 
relate how Admiral Duncan, on a visit to Walmer Castle, found 
Mr. Pitt in deep despondency, considering the capture of Corn 
wallis and his little fleet inevitable ; and how the Premier was re 
assured, although still half-skeptical, when his gallant visitor 
scouted his apprehensions and forbade him to think so meanly of 
five British men-of-war. " What," said Mr. Pitt, " do you think 
that, against such odds, they have a chance?" "A chance, Sir!" 
exclaimed the veteran chief, " Frenchmen do not yet know how 
to take a British ship." Mr. Pitt was cheered, though incredu 
lous, and invited the Admiral to dine with him a day or two after 
wards. On the morning of that day the news of the repulse of 
the French, and the safe arrival of the intrepid Cornwallis, reach 
ed the Downs, but, by some mistake, the welcome intelligence had 


not been forwarded to Mr. Pitt. On going in the afternoon to 
dinner, the Admiral, on entering the reception-room and shaking 
hands with Mr. Pitt, exclaimed, "Give you joy, Sir!" Mr. Pitt, 
oppressed with anxieties, had relapsed into his former despon 
dency, and observed, " Joy ! Admiral what joy ? Nothing is 
yet known of the fate of Cornwallis." An explanation soon put 
Mr. Pitt in possession of the agreeable tidings, that Frenchmen 
did not yet know the art of taking British ships, and British sea 
men did not know when they ought to consider themselves beat 
en. He declared that the Admiral had taken a load from off his 
mind, and that he never sat down to dinner with a lighter heart. 
It was at Walmer Castle that the celebrated Marquis of Wellesley 
used to meet Lord Duncan, at the time when he describes the 
Premier s admiration of the joyous and gallant bearing of the hero 
of Camperdown. 

Mr. J. A. Haldane used also to tell how it happened, about the 
time of his visit to the Venerable, that Admiral Duncan had been 
the means of pressing the services of Sir John Jervis on the notice 
of the Premier, and overcoming his prejudices against an officer 
who had joined in characterizing the war as " unnecessary, im 
politic, and lamentable." On Sir Charles Hotham s recall, the 
appointment of Commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean was 
first offered to Lord Duncan. But he was so well satisfied of the 
importance of the command in the North Seas, that he the more 
easily allowed other considerations to weigh in his determination 
to decline the proposed change. He was next consulted by Mr. 
Pitt, Lord Melville, and Lord Spencer, as to the fittest officer for 
that post, and he told them that, beyond all doubt, it was Sir 
John Jervis. It was objected that he had too much mixed him 
self up with politics, and too strongly reprobated the war, to 
render it expedient to nominate so decided an opponent of the 
Government. But Lord Duncan still insisted that his friend s 
qualifications were paramount to all party considerations, and 
Mr. Pitt was at length convinced. To this circumstance Lord St. 
Vincent s career of distinction may probably be traced. This fact 
is not generally known, and is not mentioned in any of the Lives 
of Lord St. Vincent ; but it rests on the undoubted evidence of 
Lord Duncan s nephew, who was with him about the time, and 
heard all the details of these discussions after the appointment 
had been confirmed. Lord Duncan was himself so unostentatious, 
and so little disposed to boast, that even his own early services at 


the Savannah, Belleisle, St. Yincent, and Gibraltar, would nave 
been comparatively unnoticed, had it not been that Lord Spencer, 
without a prompter, remembered " Keppell s Captain." His 
Lordship s choice was rewarded by the undaunted firmness which 
maintained the blockade of the Dutch fleet during the mutiny of 
the Nore, and by the splendor of his victory off Camperdown, 
which at once crushed the naval power of republican Holland, 
and effectually warded off the intended invasion of Ireland. 

When Mr. J. A. Haldane returned to Edinburgh, his mind 
became more and more occupied with religious inquiry ; and a 
reference to his own recollections will enable us to trace its 

" On my return to Scotland, I continued to inquire about 
religion more from a conviction of its importance than any deep 
conviction of sin. I was, however, sensible I had been a great 
sinner, but my views of God s mercy were such that I was under 
no great alarm. A Socinian minister with whom I met was of 
use to me (a Mr. Edwards), not from conversation, but because 
his opinions brought the great mystery of godliness under my 
consideration. When I heard of the controversy respecting the 
person of Christ, it did not seem to me of very great importance. 
I had what the world calls charity for both parties, thinking 
both were Christians. When the matter was discussed I took 
the side to which I had been accustomed, but I had hardly any 
opinion on the subject. A conversation I heard between a person 
who was arguing, if not in favor of Socinianism, at least taking 
from them any degree of guilt or danger for their opinions, and 
an eminently pious man, now in glory, struck me much. The 
latter was not disputing for victory, but maintaining that truth 
which was sweeter to his soul than the honeycomb. Christ was 
precious to him, and he justly considered that those could not be 
his friends who degraded his character. I shall never forget the 
earnestness with which he said, If I did not know my Saviour 
to be God, I should this night lie down in despair ; the Scriptures 
could, in this case, convey no comfort to my mind. The ex 
pression struck me much, and led me to compare my views of 
Christ with his. I compared the Scriptures which he and others 
quoted, and the result was a conviction that Jesus was indeed the 
Son of the living God. I took some opportunities of conversing 
with the person to whom I have alluded, and, being desirous of 
having my mind satisfied and of submitting to the truth, I soon 


became more established in this fundamental and most impor 
tant of all truths. Conversations I had with two pious ministers* 
were also very useful to me. They saw I was inquiring, that I 
was indeed desirous to know the truth, and bore with much self- 
confidence, which I displayed in argument, of which, at that time, 
I was particularly fond. Fuller s " Comparison of Calvinism and 
Socinianism" was peculiarly useful to me, not so much from the 
general argument, which is admirably conducted, as that it brought 
into my view that text in Job where he expresses self-loathing 
and abhorrence. I saw that my views of sin must be very inade 
quate, and I asked of God to teach me all he would have me to 
know. I shall here remark, that the principal benefit I received 
from reading other books than the Bible was, that they explained 
to me more fully those doctrines of which I was before satisfied, 
for I was too fond of my own opinions to read those books which 
opposed them. I did, however } consider the Scripture as a cer 
tain authority. As soon as I found it against any of my opinions, 
I readily gave them up. My thoughts began now to be particu 
larly turned to election, a doctrine which, indeed, was foolishness 
unto me ; it seemed so irrational, that I thought I should never 
embrace it. A good minister, with whom I frequently conversed 
on the subject, told me, I should by and by change my opinion. 
I thought it impossible : and so much attached was I to my own 
way of thinking, that I could hardly suppose that sensible, good 
men, did really believe the contrary. I always thought that I 
had the better in argument on this subject. I was well pleased 
to enter upon it, and although every conversation left me more 
established in my own opinion, yet they were afterwards of use. 
Once in particular that minister read to me the first chapter of 
the Ephesians, and said, if the doctrine was not clearly established 
by that passage, any meaning whatever might be affixed to Scrip 
ture. This passage made some impression on my mind. But 
however erroneous my views were, my whole thoughts were en 
grossed about religion. Having nothing particular to occupy my 
attention, I meditated on these things and gave myself wholly to 
them. I hardly read any but religious books, and it was my 
chief concern to know the will of God. This, however, afforded 
food for pride, I thought my attainments were great, and had 
much self-righteousness. Although I professed that my hope was 
fixed in Jesus Christ, yet my doings were not wholly forgotten. 
* Probably Dr. Innes and Mr. Shireff. 


1 gradually, moreover, got clearer views of the Gospel ; and, in 
reading the Acts of the Apostles, xvii. 4-8, As many as were 
ordained to eternal life believed/ my whole system, as to free will, 
was overturned. I saw that being ordained to eternal life was 
not the consequence of faith, but that the children of God believed 
koo ause they were thus ordained, This gave a considerable blow 
to m^ self-righteousness, and henceforth I read the Scriptuies 
more in a childlike spirit, for hitherto I was often obliged to 
search for sorrio interpretation of Scripture which would agree 
with my system. I now saw more of the freeness of the grace 
of the Gospel, and the necessity of being born again, and was 
daily looking for satisfactory evidence of this change. My desire 
was now set upon frames and feelings, instead of building on the 
sure foundation. I got no comfort in this way. Gradually be 
coming more dissatisfied with myself, being convinced especially 
of the sin of unbelief, I wearied myself with looking for some 
wonderful change to take place, some inward feeling, by which 
I might know that I was born again. The method of resting 
simply on the promises of God, which are yea and amen in Jesus 
Christ, was too plain and easy, and like Naaman, the Syrian, 
instead of bathing in Jordan and being clean, I would have some 
great work in my mind to substitute in place of Jesus Christ. 
The Lord gradually opened my eyes ; He always dealt with me 
in the tenderest manner, and kept me from those horrors of mind 
which, in my ignorance and pride, I had often desired as a proof 
of my conversion. The dispensations of his providence towards 
me much favored the teaching which lie has vouchsafed to afford. 
The conversations of some of the Lord s people with whom I was 
acquainted were helpful to my soul ; and, in particular, I may 
here add, that the knowledge of Scripture which I acquired in 
early life was very useful to me when my views were directed to 
the great concerns of eternity. Many things were then brought 
to my remembrance which I had learned when young, although 
thev seemed wholly to have escaped while I was living in forget- 
fulness of God. Instead of those deep convictions which are 
experienced by some with much horror of mind, the Lord has 
rather shown me the evil of sin in the sufferings of his dear Son, 
and in the manifestation of that love which, whilst it condemns 
the past ingratitude, seals the pardon of the believing sinner. In 
short, I now desire to feel, and hope, in some measure, that I do 
feel, as a sinner who looks for salvation freely by grace ; who 


prefers this method of salvation to every other, because thereby 
God is glorified through Jesus Christ, and the pride of human 
glory stained. I desire daily to see more of my own unworthi- 
ness, and that Jesus Christ may be more precious to my soul. I 
depend on him for sanctificadon as well as for deliverance from 
wrath, and am in some measure (would it were more !) convinced 
of my own weakness and his all-suflaciency. When I have tnost 
comfort, then does sin appear most hatful; and lam In some 
measure made to rejoice in the hope of being ~~^ r ,Vo iely delivered 
from it by seeing, in all his beauty, Him who was dead and is 
alive, and liveth for evermore. Amen." 

These were the notes of Mr. J. A. Haldane s confession of faith 
on the occasion of his ordination. He held fast the beginning 
of his confidence steadfast to the end, and with unswerving 
consistency maintained the same doctrines down to the very close 
of life. 



THE ten years which immediately followed Robert Haldane s 
abandonment of the naval profession, after the peace of 1783, was 
a period of much activity and interest. But like the first twenty 
years of his early life, it was one of peculiar training for loftier 
and more enduring objects. For two years he had chiefly devoted 
himself to a voluntary course of study at Gosport and at Edin 
burgh. He had next made the tour of Europe, and after his 
marriage, he turned, with characteristic intensity, to country pur 
suits, determined to master agriculture, both practically and as a 
science, in this respect setting an example to his neighbors, and 
acquiring the reputation of being a better farmer than many, 
with whom it had been the business of their lives. His skill 
in landscape-gardening and in planting was exhibited at Airthrey, 
as it was afterwards still more conspicuous at Auchingray, where 
the resources of art were not so much favored by the beauties of 

But the spell by which his mind had been bound to the world 
and the passing things of time was now to be broken, and the 
same process of spiritual renewal which, during the winter of 
1794, had been at work in the heart of his younger brother, was 
soon to operate on his own. It is a singular but a remarkable 
fact, which he has himself left on record, that he was aroused 
from the sleep of spiritual death by the excitement of the French 

That great moral and political convulsion was not unforeseen. 
Its approach had been discerned in the demoralization of a profli 
gate Court, a corrupt aristocracy, an infidel priesthood, and an 
overburdened people. The social disruption of France had been 
foretold by Lord Chesterfield and other keen political observers. 


Yet it came upon Europe like an earthquake, casting down 
thrones, coronets, and altars, mingling in one heap of ruins the 
trophies of feudal grandeur and the monuments of sacerdotal 
tyranny. Like most young men of ardent, generous, and ener 
getic minds, Eobert Haldane was roused as from a lethargy by 
the events passing around him. He saw, or imagined he saw, 
through the gloom, the prospect of a new and better order of 
things, when oppression and immorality would cease, and Gov 
ernments would be regulated by a paramount regard for the wel 
fare of the people. He admitted that good and evil were wildly 
contending for the mastery, but he was sanguine as to the result, 
and dropped out of his calculations the corruption of human 
nature, and the hopelessness of any renovation apart from the in 
fluence of a Divine agency. But he was neither discontented him 
self, nor impatient of any real or fancied grievances, and was there 
fore practically little disposed to disturb the order of society in his 
own country, or to countenance levelling principles, either in regard 
to rank or property. He stood aloof from all political societies, 
and steadily refused every invitation to countenance, either by his 
name, his presence, or his purse, the meetings or the plans of the 
" friends of the people." So far .as property was concerned, he 
had everything to lose, and little to hope for, in the event of 
change. In regard to social rank, he was himself satisfied with 
his own position, and by no means ambitious of distinction. 
"Whilst he did not envy those above him, as little was he disposed 
to countenance the encroachments of levellers. He valued 
ancient descent and old nobility, not as things possessing any 
intrinsic value in themselves, but as links in the chain which help 
to secure stability to the State, or, in the words of Burke, " pro 
tect it against the levity of Courts, and the greater levity of the 

His supposed democratic tendencies were afterwards studiously 
exaggerated and misrepresented by those, who wished to cast dis 
credit on his designs for the propagation of Christianity. Beyond, 
however, all doubt, he was for a time somewhat dazzled with the 
delusive prospect of a new order of things. It is remarked by 
Mr. Alison, in speaking of the French Eevolution : " The young, 
the ardent, the philosophical were sanguine in their expectations 
of its success ; a new era seemed to have dawned upon the world, 
from the rise of freedom in that great empire ; the fetters of slav 
ery and the bonds of superstition seemed to be dropping from the 


hands of the Imman race. It was not merely the factious, the 
restless, and the ambitious who entertained these opinions ; they 
were shared by many of the best and wisest of men ; and in 
England it might with truth be said, what an eloquent historian 
has observed of Europe in general, that the friends of the French 
Eevolution comprised at that period the most enlightened and 
generous of the community."* 

But if the bold, the ardent, the enlightened, the generous, and 
the speculative, who had life before them, looked with pleasurable 
interest on these revolutionary changes, and " hoped even against 
hope" in the midst of sanguinary violence, another and still more 
influential portion of the community regarded these movements 
with unmixed horror. For the most part, those who had passed 
through life and had property to lose, as well as the timid and 
the peaceful, trembled lest the political contagion should spread ; 
whilst the adherents of the Established Churches, both in England 
and Scotland, and a great majority of the landed aristocracy, 
were united with the holders of office in deprecating all political 

Society was thus divided, and in no part of the empire did the 
divisions rise to such a pitch of violence as in Scotland. Had Mr. 
Haldane been generally met by men of large and enlightened 
minds, his ardent wishes for the amelioration of mankind, as 
expressed in private, would have been more candidly judged, 
and he would not have been tempted occasionally to defend 
measures or principles tending to excess. The most eminently 
pious ministers within a wide circuit round Airthrey eagerly 
sought his society, and discerned in his impatience of "all the 
oppressions done under the sun," and in his repugnance to follow 
the beaten track, the hope of a blessed change, when, with a 
ripened understanding and a renewed heart, the same generous 
impulses would direct his steps into the paths of Christianized 
philanthropy. They rightly judged that even then he was nearer 
the kingdom of God than many of the alarmists, who were most 
shocked at the freedom of his sentiments, and his aversion to a 
war with France, which, like his old comma,nder, Lord St. Yin- 
cent, he regarded as "unnecessary, impolitic, and lamentable. 7 
With secular men of enlarged views, whom he valued and 
respected, there was indeed no serious collision of sentiment. 
With Sir Kalph Abercromby, who belonged to Mr. Pitt s party, 

Vol. i. p. 321. 


his intercourse up to the middle of 1793 had been intimate and 
mutually satisfactory. At a still later period it is evident, from 
the letter already quoted, that he had not lost the confidence of 
that great man, when he alluded to " the good principles of the 
family 7 into which his niece was about to marry. There are other 
circumstances from which it is clear that Eobert Haldane s san 
guine hopes of the French Revolution had not interrupted his 
intercourse even with some of the chief members of the Govern 
ment. With Mr. Pitt s bosom friend, Mr. Secretary Dundas, he 
continued to be on very excellent terms, and was a visitor at 
Dunira when party spirit had begun to run high. Even after his 
brother s return home, so late as the summer of 1794, the Duke of 
Montrose, then Lord-Lieutenant of the county, and an active 
member of Mr. Pitt s Government, was himself a guest at Airthrey. 
These facts are scarcely necessary to refute the exaggerations 
afterwards industriously circulated, concerning his extreme polit 
ical opinions, and anything so ridiculous would not now have 
been referred to, had it not been for the revival, hereafter to be 
noticed, of old and forgotten misrepresentations in the unsatisfac 
tory Life of Mr. Wilberforce, by his sons. 

But Mr. Haldane was fond of argument, and often took a kind 
of pleasure in startling the prejudices of narrow-minded squires, 
for whom prospects of social amelioration had no charms. Impa 
tient of any semblance of sympathy with the changes in progress, 
they were yet eager to engage him in debate, and, conscious of 
his superiority, they would invite some man of ability or skill, 
generally a lawyer on circuit, such as Mr. Maconochie, the first 
Lord Meadowbank, or Mr. Graham, of Meiklewood, to meet him, 
and act as the champions of their own opinions. It was to one 
of these occasions that he alluded on his death-bed, in 1842, when 
reviewing his past historj^, and extolling that watchful providence 
which had preserved him during his early life, whilst living at a 
distance from God. He had been dining at Ardoch, then the 
residence of a well-known Baronet, some miles to the northwest 
of Airthrey. According to the custom of the times, the gentle 
men had sat long after the ladies had left the dinner-table. Mr. 
Haldane had argued much. It was late, and the night was dark. 
He had intended to ride across the Sheriff Moor, but Mrs. Hal 
dane, apprehensive of the danger, remained longer than she 
would otherwise have done, to convey him home in her carriage. 
He had, however, ordered his horse, and would not be persuaded 


to go by the circuitous highway road through Dumblane and the 
Bridge of Allan. Heated with wine, and excited by argument, 
he mounted and galloped off, crossing the open moor, and dash 
ing through the broken ground and woods of Pendrich and 
Airthrey, regardless of the imminent risk to which he was ex 
posed. He reached home more speedily, and in safety, but it 
may indicate the impression which this recollection made upon 
the mind of a man not much disposed to talk of dangers, that in 
the weakness and exhaustion of ebbing life, he mentioned this 
preservation as one of the leading events in his history, on the 
review of which he was filled with mingled emotions of humble 
penitence and adoring gratitude. He said, that on this and other 
occasions, he felt that he must have perished had he not been 
held in the grasp of Omnipotence. 

It will be at once understood, from what has been said of his 
political opinions, how easy it was, at a time of such party vio 
lence, to exaggerate and pervert them, especially after his religious 
movements had provoked opposition. But his own account of 
the matter, published in 1800, has completely disposed of what 
he himself termed the "gross misrepresentations of his conduct 
and views."* The narrative is the more interesting, as it, in fact, 
contains the history of that spiritual change of heart through 
which he was enabled to discover the only true source of happi 
ness, whether personal, social, or political. 

After stating that there could be no vanity in asserting that he 
was amongst the foremost of those whose political opinions were, 
at that period of religious excitement, misrepresented, he pro 
ceeds : " Until the commencement of the French Ee volution, I 
had never particularly turned my attention to political discussion. 
I had read Delolme s Treatise and Blackstone s Commentaries on 
the laws of England, and was a sincere admirer of the British 
Constitution. I had also perused with much satisfaction Smith s 
Inquiries into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. 
The first books I read upon the subject of government, after the 
change that took place in France, were Mr. Burke s Eeflections, 
Mackintosh s Vindicias Gallicas, and afterwards several of the 
pamphlets by Christie, Paine, Barlow, Priestley, and others, which 
appeared in such great numbers about that time. Although I 
did not exactly agree with these writers, nor, indeed, with any 
that I happened to meet with, a scene of melioration and im- 
* " Address on Politics." 1800. 


provement in the affairs of mankind seemed to open itself to my 
mind, which, I trusted, would speedily take place in the world, 
such as the universal abolition of slavery, of war, and of many 
other miseries that mankind were exposed to, which appeared to 
me wholly to result from the false principles upon which the an 
cient governments have been constructed. I exulted in this 
prospect from motives of benevolence, and, as far as I know, 
without any allowed mixture of selfishness. I rejoiced in the 
experiment that was making in France, of the construction of a 
Government at once from its foundation upon a regular plan, which 
Hume, in his Essays, speaks of as an event so much to be desired. 

"In every company I delighted in discussing this favorite sub 
ject, and endeavored to point out the vast advantages that I 
thought might be expected as the result. At this time I was in 
habits of intimacy with some very worthy clergymen, residing at 
and in the neighborhood of Stirling. They were acquainted 
with a principle I did not then admit, and which, although a 
fundamental part of the creeds of the Established Churches both 
of England and Scotland, is not generally admitted, I mean, 
the total corruption of human nature. Reasoning from their firm 
persuasion of this truth, they assured me that such effects as I 
expected, unquestionably so desirable in themselves, could not 
flow from any change from government, and that the cruelties in 
France, then beginning to be exercised, were the natural effect of 
certain circumstances in which the people of that country stood, 
and would, in a greater or less degree, take place in any country 
in a similar situation. I widely differed from them, and con 
tinued to manifest my own opinions, ascribing all, or most of the 
enormities of the French, solely to the state of degradation to 
which I thought their minds had been reduced during the ancient 
despotic Government. 

" Numerous political Societies, about the same time, were estab 
lished in England and Scotland, but of these I expressed my 
decided disapprobation, and never went near a single one of 
them. I always thought, that by them the minds of the people 
were much more likely to be inflamed than informed, and that 
they were calculated to produce confusion rather than reforma 
tion. Besides, as I saw so many well-informed men, who had 
at first approved of the French Revolution, beginning to set 
themselves directly against any change in this country, I was 
persuaded it would ensure the most dreadful consequences were 


any attempt to that purpose to be made by these Societies or 
their leaders. The French were making the experiment upon 
themselves; from them I wished to see its effects. I thought 
that these would be so good as soon to convince other nations, 
and make them willing to follow their example, and I hoped that 
this might one day take place without either bloodshed or loss of 

"I am sure these were distinctly my sentiments at the time my 
mind was most filled with political speculations ; as I recollect, 
when the Societies were set on foot, that I wrote a letter to a 
friend, expressing my strong disapprobation of them, containing 
also the other opinions I have just mentioned. This letter he 
showed to several persons at the time, and, for aught I know, it 
may remain to this day. I there took pains fully to declare my 
sentiments, and kept a copy of it, and of another letter, in which 
1 expressed my abhorrence of all secret cabals or open violence 
against the Government, and these, together with a speech I de 
livered at Stirling in a County Meeting, which I had accurately 
written, I should have been inclined to have inserted here, had 
I not a considerable time ago committed them all to the flames, 
as treating of a subject which I had renounced forever. 

"Having mentioned that speech, it may be proper to say 
something concerning it, as it made some noise at the time, and 
being the only circumstance in my public conduct that could be 
taken hold of, has been carefully kept in remembrance, much miss 
tated, and made a ground of accusation against me to this very day. 

"A meeting of the freeholders of the county of Stirling was 
called on the 1st of July, 1794, to consider the propriety of arm 
ing corps of volunteers throughout the county, at which his 
Grace the Duke of Montrose was in the chair. I had never 
before in public delivered my sentiments respecting any political 
subject; but when called upon in my place, I thought it proper 
to come forward and explicitly to avow them. The view I took 
of the question before the meeting was, that all those who disap 
proved of the present war must, to be consistent, oppose the 
measure of forming volunteer corps, as arming the men who 
should compose them would only enable Government to send 
more of the regular forces out of the kingdom, and so to persist 
in the war ; but would add nothing to the internal security of 
the country, the professed object of the measure. Besides that, 
as it was said many were disaffected to Government, the measure 


itself must be dangerous, by putting arms into the hands of such ; 
and, at any rate, that it seemed an attempt to govern the country 
by force, which, if the majority of the people were disaffected, 
would be impossible, if otherwise unnecessary. I then delivered 
my opinion upon what I conceived the impolicy and unjustness 
of the war. I afterwards described what I considered to be the 
true character of a person properly called a democrat, as a friend 
of his country, a lover of peace, and one who cherished the sen 
timents of general benevolence, and contrasted it with that of 
persons who held opposite sentiments, who were desirous of hug 
ging their prejudices, and of adapting the maxims of Government 
belonging to the seventeenth to the end of the eighteenth century, 
a period so much more enlightened. I next endeavored to describe 
the bad effects of prejudice and of un distinguishing resistance to 
everything new, although confessedly far the better, as exempli 
fied in the history of all nations, and particularly in the history 
of the Reformation. I afterwards took a view of the advantages 
which I was confident the world would derive from the principles 
of freedom being better understood in the universal peace and 
security that would consequently prevail ; although I observed 
an attempt to strangle these principles in their birth, by the con 
vulsed grasp of the expiring monster despotism, had caused the 
most .dreadful disturbances in Europe. I then declared to the 
freeholders, that I thought they would have been much better 
employed had they been meeting to consider how all abuses that 
were generally allowed to be such might be reformed, than in 
following the example of those Societies, who had most improp 
erly intended to arm, but who might easily be prevented from 
doing mischief by that power which Government already pos 
sessed. I added, that from their situation in life, they would as 
suredly have much more influence with their countrymen in any 
other way than as armed men. And I concluded the whole with 
a solemn declaration of my conviction of the propriety and truth 
of the sentiments I had stated. 

"The above is an accurate account of the leading features of 
what I said that day, and I am persuaded those who were present 
will bear witness to the faithfulness of this report. The above 
speech created to me many enemies, and caused much misrepre 
sentation, but the consequences of it, I reckon, were eventually 
very happy. It produced, indeed, a considerable coolness and 
distance on the part of some of the neighboring country gentle- 


men ; but this led me into the company of others, from whom I 
derived more advantage. 

" I have mentioned above that I was frequently in company 
with several respectable clergymen, who lived in my neighbor 
hood. However much, from knowing more of the actual state of 
human nature, they might perceive the improbability of attaining 
universal peace and justice in the world, and of all human affairs 
being conducted upon these principles, they nevertheless thought 
me sincere; and instead of withdrawing from rriy company, con 
stantly attempted to lead my mind to infinitely higher concerns 
than those I had hitherto pursued. 

" With this view, they persevered, and often sat till a late hour 
at night (when, perhaps, they had to rise early to depart to their 
parochial duty), conversing after the period above alluded to 
(viz., the meeting of freeholders of the county of Stirling), not 
always on political arrangements, on the government of this 
world, as was commonly supposed, and falsely reported, although 
of these we also spake, but chiefly upon the concerns of our im 
mortal souls, and the things that belonged to our everlasting 
peace. The effects have been profitable to them and to me, and 
such, I trust, as they and I shall mutually rejoice in when time 
shall be no more. 

" Conversing with these gentlemen, and reading a good deal 
upon the subject of religion, I was brought gradually to perceive 
in some measure the glory of the doctrines held out in Scripture, 
and the consistency of the truth as it is in Jesus. I became 
anxious to be better informed, and daily gave myself more and 
more to the investigation of it. I happened to be at a friend s 
house two winters, in a situation where I had much leisure for 
such inquiries. I enjoyed great comfort in pursuing them, and 
think I can truly say, that under a deep sense of my own ignor 
ance in the things that related to God, and considerable perplexity, 
amidst opposite opinions on the subject, I earnestly besought the Lord 
that he would enable me to distinguish between truth and falsehood. 

" I know it has been said that at one period I was a Socinian. 
The report is not true. A Socinian clergyman, who accompanied 
a friend of mine (a Mr. Edwards, whose brother was an officer in 
the Foudroyant) upon a visit to England, was some time in the 
year 1793 at my house; we often discussed his sentiments, I 
constantly endeavoring, with the little knowledge I had upon 
the subject, to maintain the Trinitarian views, in which, in the 


language of the pastoral admonition, I had been tl bred up." 1 
used often to retail his arguments, partly to learn from others 
better informed than I was, what could be urged against them, 
and also to dispute upon the subject as a matter of speculative 
inquiry, without any proper impression of its awful solemnity or 
importance. Indeed, the fact was, I neither understood the one 
side of the question nor the other. But I recollect, when I carne 
seriously to consider the matter, I was three or four days really 
in doubt whether it much signified what I believed concerning 
this doctrine : but I did not long continue uncertain respecting 
its importance, although it was some time before my mind was 
settled, and I never did profess to be a Socinian. 

"After I returned home, the same subjects chiefly occupied 
my attention ; and whatever good or harm the study of politics 
may have done to others, they certainly led the way to much 
good to me. 

" Before the French Revolution, having nothing to rouse my 
mind, I lived in the country, almost wholly engaged by country 
pursuits, little concerned about the general interests or happiness 
of mankind, but selfishly enjoying the blessings which God, in 
his providence, had so bountifully poured upon me. As to reli 
gion, I contented myself with that general profession which is so 
common and so worthless, and that form of godliness which com 
pletely denies its power. I endeavored to be decent, and what is 
called moral, but was ignorant of my lost state by nature, as well 
as of the strictness, purity, and extent of the Divine law. While 
I spoke of a Saviour, I was little acquainted with his character, 
the value of his sufferings and death, the need I stood in of the 
atoning efficacy of his pardoning blood, or of the imputation of 
his perfect obedience and meritorious righteousness, and of the 
sanctifying influences of the Eternal Spirit to apply his salvation 
to my soul. When politics began to be talked of, I was led to 
consider everything anew. I eagerly catched at them as a pleasing 
speculation. As a fleeting phantom, they eluded my grasp ; but 
missing the shadow, I caught the substance and while obliged 
to abandon these confessedly empty and unsatisfactory pursuits, 
I obtained in some measure the solid consolations of the gospel ; 
so that I may say, as Paul concerning the Gentiles of old, He 
was found of me who sought him not. " 

It will be seen from these extracts, that Mr. Haldane s con- 
version was neither sudden nor violent. It was the act of God, 


and, as such, mysterious in its origin, decisive in its character, and 
effectual in its results. The good seed had been deeply implanted 
in his own heart, and that of his brother, by the loving piety of 
an affectionate and God-fearing mother. To her latest breath it 
had been watered by the earnest and anxious prayers with which 
she devoted her orphan children to the Lord, and, strong in faith, 
called down upon their heads the blessing of God Almighty. For 
a time the impression made upon their hearts by her instruction 
and example seemed indelible. Their nightly prayers by their 
bed-side were followed by conversation about their Saviour, such 
as their mother had delighted to encourage. Both seemed to take 
pleasure in heavenly things, and the elder expressed an inclina 
tion for the ministry. But time wore on. Their mother was no 
longer near to warn, to admonish, to instruct. The world, with 
its amusements, its temptations, its attractions, seemed gradually 
to efface the impressions of early piety. By degrees all profession 
of religion was abandoned, and from an early period of their his 
tory till the time when the elder brother had attained the age of 
thirty, and the younger the age of twenty -five, there was nothing 
in their religious character to distinguish them from the great 
majority of their friends and associates, who were living in the 
discharge of what they regarded as their social duties. They 
were at least as moral and correct in their deportment as their 
neighbors, but in other respects without any concern about Christ 
or eternity. 

But although the incorruptible seed was thus buried in the 
gaieties, the pleasures, the vanities, and the pursuits of the world, 
it was not destroyed. It was still destined to spring up through 
the life-giving influence of the Holy Spirit. It is remarkable 
that this change took place on both brothers, nearly at the same 
time, although it was in the younger first developed. From the 
moment when in January, 1794, he began to study his Bible on 
board the Melville Castle, his mind had become more and more 
intensely interested with Divine things. "When he arrived at 
Airthrey, he found politics, rather than religion, the engrossing 
theme of conversation. With these subjects he could no longer 
exclusively occupy himself. A more glorious object had begun 
to engross his mind, and doubtless his change of character had its 
share of influence on his brother, who was yet occupied with the 
world. Him he accompanied to the Freeholders Meeting in the 
County Hall at Stirling, and heard him deliver that remarkable 


speech which was to be so much talked of, and to produce such 
results. It was chiefly distinguished for the boldness with which 
the speaker came forward, single-handed, in his place, in opposi 
tion to the Lord-Lieutenant and principal landholders, to express 
with equal force and eloquence sentiments which were admired 
by many of the lookers-on, but which were no doubt dangerous 
in their tendency, and eminently distasteful to the aristocracy of 
the county. The personal coldness which ensued was not likely 
to elicit concessions from Mr. Haldane, and he was not the man 
to quail before what was called the reign of terror in Scotland. 
But it threw him more into the society of pious and learned min 
isters, such as Dr. Campbell of Kippen, afterwards of Edinburgh, 
much famed for his solid piety and massive theology ; Mr. Somer- 
ville of Stirling, and Mr. Shireff of St. Ninian s, each eminent for 
his masculine turn of thought and decision of character ; and Dr. 
Innes, chaplain to the Castle, and second minister of Stirling, 
whose agreeable conversation, pleasing manners, and attractive 
style of preaching, added weight to the influence of his consistent 
character and genuine Christianity. 

With these or others he often conversed, as he says, "till a 
late hour at night." It might rather be said till an early hour 
in the morning, for it was in the evening that he always most 
delighted to converse, and the lateness of the hours, both at 
night and in the morning, was one of the peculiarities for which 
Airthrey was in those days celebrated. His habits were in some 
degree the same till the close of his life ; and if he had a friend 
or a visitor with whom he particularly desired conversation, he 
generally chose the evening, immediately after family prayers, 
and seemed to lighten up with fresh vivacity and earnestness 
when others had retired to rest. 

No sooner was his mind directed to "the concerns of his 
immortal soul," than he pursued the subject with characteristic 
intensity. He was not a man to take things for granted, or to 
adopt superficial views of any subject which interested his mind. 
He began by reading much and deeply on the evidences of Chris 
tianity, including not only Butler, Paley, Watson, and other 
popular writers, but such learned repositories of information as 
the ponderous volumes of Lardner. The fruits of his studies were 
long afterwards given to the public in his work on the Evidences 
of Christianity. But at this time they were greatly blessed to his 
own soul, for they were pursued with deep humility, and with 


much prayer that the Lord would enable him " to distinguish be 
tween truth and falsehood." No wonder, then, that he should 
have proved another instance of the Lord s gracious declaration, 
" If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, 
whether it be of God." 

There was a considerable similarity between the history of his 
spiritual illumination and that of his younger brother. In 
neither case was it to be attributed to any sudden impulse 01 
external influence. It was not to be traced to the ministry or the 
instructions of any one in particular. From the conversation of 
several clergymen he derived light amidst the perplexities which 
impeded his inquiries. It was Dr. Innes who first induced him 
to commence family worship at Airthrey. But he used also to 
say, that although he traced his turning to God instrumentally to 
the early instructions of his mother, and never had been entirely 
without some convictions, from the time he was nine years old, 
and although he did not attribute his conversion to any other 
human agency, yet that, if he were to point out the individual 
from whom he derived most spiritual light at the beginning of 
his career, he would mention a journeyman mason, of the name 
of Klam, or Clam, of Menstrie. This good man was employed 
on some of the works at Airthrey 3 and was, like many of his 
class, especially in former times, not only remarkably intelligent, 
but well read in his Bible, and in the writings of the best old 
Scotch divines. With him Mr. Haldane once walked several 
miles through the woods of Airthrey to a distant part of the estate 
called Pendrich, and on the way the conversation turned from 
the subject of masonry, to the glory of the great Architect of the 
universe. The views of Divine truth, and of faith in the finished 
work of Christ, which this humble but intelligent and well-taught 
Christian unfolded, as they went along, were so plain and scrip 
tural, and above all, so much divested of those balancing state 
ments of truth by which Mr. .Haldane had been perplexed, that 
he saw the Gospel to be indeed glad tidings, and ever afterwards 
looked back with thankfulness to that memorable walk, in which 
he began to discern more clearly that, in the matter of justification, 
faith must cast away all reliance on the shifting sands of frames 
or feelings, and fasten only upon the Kock of Ages. To recall 
the name of the almost forgotten stone-mason of Menstrie is a 
pleasing duty. It is one which will be found in the register of 
God, although lost in the records of man. 



THE current of the narrative has now conducted us to the 
middle of 1795. In regard to each of the two brothers, the grand 
crisis of his life was decided, and a change had come over both, 
the results of which stretch into eternity. No longer engrossed 
with the passing vanities of this transitory world, its pleasures, 
its gains, or its glories, all their energies had become concentrated 
on a new and absorbing object. Each of them, by the rich mercy 
of God, had now passed " from death unto life," and from the 
bondage of Satan into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Each was 
in Him " a new creature." " Old things had passed away." The 
strength of their natural character was now to be developed in re 
lation to nobler and more enduring ends. 

Between the brothers there was much similarity in point of tal 
ent and disposition, but there were also strong shades of differ 
ence. Both were bold, ardent, and energetic; but in the elder 
there was a greater infusion of habitual caution. In both there 
was a deep, natural spring of genuine benevolence; but in the 
younger brother it was more apparent, and his affectionate friend 
ship was in its generosity and disregard of self, in his earlier 
years, prone even to overleap the strict bounds of prudence. This 
had often been remarked by their schoolfellows ; for whilst both 
were daring, James was most ready to carry his object by a sud 
den dash, whilst Kobert was more wary and thoughtful. Yet 
such are the contradictions that meet us in the analysis of charac 
ter, that it sometimes happened in the course of their lives that 
Robert Haldane seemed to act upon impulse, when James hesi 
tated and considered. This was in some measure the case with 
the scheme for a foreign mission, which Mr. Haldane adopted be 
fore his brother had yet made up his mind as to any plan of active 


It was at the period when, to use his own words, he had " ob 
tained in some measure the consolations of the Gospel," that his 
attention was called to the importance of more decidedly attempt 
ing to promote that " kingdom," for whose coming we are taught 
to pray. Dr. Innes has recorded the fact, that " having received, 
when in Stirling, the first number of the periodical accounts of 
the Baptist Mission in India," he sent it to Mr. Haldane, then liv 
ing at Airthrey. He was exceedingly struck with this memorial 
of the first of those modern Missions to the heathen, which shed 
a ray of light over the moral darkness of a century then closing 
upon Europe amidst political and social convulsion. He was 
deeply impressed with the grandeur of the enterprise, and with the 
purity of the motives which had induced Dr. Carey to quit his 
native land to make known the Gospel in foreign parts. His mind, 
enlightened by a spark of heavenly fire, took a right estimate of 
the man whom the Marquis of Wellesley afterwards promoted to 
a Professorship in the College of Fort-William, but whom Syd 
ney Smith, in his spiritual blindness, could ridicule as a " conse 
crated cobbler." The Serampore Mission made a deep and indel 
ible impression on Mr. Haldane s mind ; but Dr. Innes is mistaken 
in supposing that it was now for the first time, that he entered on 
the investigation of the evidences of the Christian faith. Mr. 
Haldane s own words are conclusive on this point, if there were 
no other record on the subject: "Some time after this (namely, 
after he had obtained the solid consolations of the Gospel), when 
I trust that I had been led to choose the good part which cannot 
be taken from any one, and to adopt the views of religion I now 
hold, I first heard of the Baptist Missionary Society, and their 
Mission to Bengal." But the amiable and excellent Dr. Innes 
recollections are quite accurate, when he goes on to state the man 
ner in which his friend became impressed with a sense of the ne 
cessity of devoting himself his life, his talents, his fortune to 
the cause of God. "Christianity," he said, "is everything or 
nothing. If it be true, it warrants and commands every sacri 
fice to promote its influence. If it be not, then let us lay aside 
thehy pocrisy of professing to believe it." " It immediately struck 
me," says Mr. Haldane, in his own narrative, " that I was spend 
ing my time in the country to little profit, whilst, from the com 
mand of property which, through the goodness of God, I pos 
sessed, I might be somewhere extensively useful." In another 
publication he says, that after his attention had been called to the 


salvation of Jesus Christ, "I had seen the accounts of the Bap 
tist Mission in Bengal, which pointed out both the condition of 
the natives as destitute of the Gospel, and also the wide promising 
field then opened for the exertions of Christians. A strong de 
sire occupied my mind to engage in the honorable service. The 
object was of such magnitude, that, compared with it, the affairs 
of time appeared to sink into nothing, and no sacrifice seemed too 
great in order to its attainment." 

Still, although pondering this great design, he came to no sud 
den determination. For nearly six months he considered the 
matter deliberately, and having proposed it to his wife, who had 
also been led to " choose the better part," and in whose hereditary 
prudence he placed much reliance, he obtained her cordial con 
sent. About the end of 1795, the London Missionary Society 
was instituted by several eminent Christians, some of them mem 
bers of the Church of England, some Presbyterians, and some 
Independents. Amongst these was his old friend David Bogue, 
of Gosport, whose thrilling appeal on behalf of the Heathen had 
before this time roused a missionary spirit throughout the coun 
try. Mr. Haldane was amongst the first in Scotland to enroll him 
self as a member of the Society, and in a brief summary of the 
chief incidents of his life, which he himself drew up in 1839, 
there is the following memorandum : 

"1796. January. Subscribed 50 to the London Missionary 
Society. Attended it (General Meeting) in May. In winter, in 
George s-street, North-side." 

It may be added, that his brother also marked his adhesion to 
the good cause by another donation of the same amount. 

About the time that the London Missionary Society was excit 
ing the attention of Scotland, Dr. Innes, whose ministry at Stir 
ling attracted much attention, was a frequent guest at Airthrey, 
and his mind was much occupied with the cause of Missions. To 
him, therefore, after conversing on the subject, Mr. Haldane pro 
posed that they should "go to Bengal and spend the remainder 
of their lives in endeavoring to communicate the precious truths 
of the Gospel to the Hindoos who were living under the British 
Government." " To render the Mission as efficient as possible, I 
wished," says Mr. H., "to take others with me, others in whose 
devotedness to the service of God I had confidence, and who, by 
their knowledge and previous habits at home, might be useful in 
the undertaking. Mr. Innes, with whom I had then frequent in- 


tercourse, Jtppeareu to be well qualified for the work, arid I had 
long been acquainted with Mr. Bogue, of Gosport, who also 
seemed qualified for it, whilst the warm recommendations of Mr. 
Ewing by (his brother-in-law) Mr. Innes, directed my attention to 
him as a third associate. After Mr. Innes agreed to form one of 
the Mission, I went to England on purpose to see Mr. Bogue. 
When formerly in habits of intimacy with him, I bad been unac 
quainted with the Gospel, and although, from recollection, I be 
lieved his sentiments respecting it corresponded with mine, I 
thought it was necessary, in so important a matter, fully to ascer 
tain that this was the case. I accordingly went to London, and 
saw him at the meeting of the Missionary Society, and afterwards 
spent some time at his house at Gosport. ... I never gave 
Mr. Bogue a hint of the business till having been some time with 
him. I was satisfied with his qualifications for the work, and it 
was late one night (22d May, 1796), when he and I were sitting 
together, after the rest of the family had retired, that I opened to 
him rny design, and without either hesitation or delay, he gave 
his consent to accompany me, and expressed his fullest approba 
tion of the plan." 

The plan was grand and comprehensive, and, by the sale of Air- 
threy, ample funds were to be provided by Mr. Haldane. The 
venerable name of David Bogue, then in his forty-seventh year, was 
in itself a tower of strength, and would have added weight to any 
Christian enterprise. A man of Johnsonian character, capacious 
intellect, unflinching courage,* commanding stature, and dignified 
appearance, he added the reputation of a scholar and a philoso 
pher to that of an experienced Christian and great theologian. 
Mr. Innes, although twenty years younger, was respected and be 
loved by all who were capable of appreciating his devoted piety, 
his consistent practice, and his attractive preaching. His brother- 
in-law, Mr. Greville Ewing, also under thirty, was not yet or 
dained to a particular charge, but was assistant minister to the ex 
cellent Dr. Jones, of Lady Glenorchy s Church, and, at a time of 
great spiritual deadness, was in high repute for his ardent zeal in 
the cause of truth, as well as for his literary tastes and his critical 
acquaintance with the Scriptures. Each was a regularly educated 

* Dr. Bennett, in his Life, mentions that he (Dr. Bogue) had not much of natural 
courage. Mr. Haldane often remarked that Dr. Bennett was greatly mistaken, and 
mentioned instances which he had witnessed of Dr. Bogue s courage, particularly on 
one occasion, when they were travelling at night, and met with some interruption 
on the road. 



minister, the one ordained, the other licensed by the Church of 
Scotland, and both willing to devote their lives and talents to the 
Indian Mission. 

But they were not to have gone alone. Mr. John Ritchie, a 
highly respectable and pious printer in Edinburgh, was to have 
superintended a well-equipped printing establishment, whilst others 
were to have gone out as catechists, city missionaries, or school 
masters. In short, no expense was to have been spared in fur 
nishing all that was needed to make the Mission useful, whether 
as the means of publishing translations of the Scriptures and tracts, 
educating native teachers, or instructing native children. For 
every one concerned Mr. Haldane was to supply the necessary 
outfit and passage money, and also to provide an independent 
competence for those whose co-operation involved the loss of their 
means of subsistence. For each of his three ministerial coadjutors 
the sum of 3,500?. was to have been appropriated, as compensa 
tion for the sacrifice of their incomes or prospects in a Church 
which did not promise great worldly emolument, and of which 
Lord Melville once said, that it was " founded on the rock of 
poverty." In addition to this provision and the first outfit, and 
to secure the Mission from the consequences of his own death, a 
further sum of 25,000?. or upwards was to have been invested in 
the names of trustees. 

Benares was the spot on which they were to unfurl the stand 
ard of the cross, Benares, the metropolis of Oriental Paganism, 
the holiest of the holy cities of the Hindoos, Benares, with its 
glorious temples and gorgeous shrines, dedicated to the countless 
idols, worshipped beneath the burning sun, which sparkles in its 
crystal fountains, and gilds the glittering domes and minarets of 
its benighted population. It was a bold selection, characteristic 
of the founder of the Mission ; but although the time was not yet 
come for such an aggression on the empire of the prince of dark 
ness, although a massacre which happened a few years after 
wards might have immolated these missionaries, although near 
ly thirty years later, Bishop Heber, in practical contradiction of 
the noble spirit which breathes through his Missionary hymn^ 
pronounced a Mission to Benares "Utopian," yet have we lived 
to see that Pagan city occupied by Christian missionaries, who 
can tell of converts to the Gospel, rebuking the doubts of the ac 
complished Prelate, and fully justifying the determination of 
Eobert Haldane. 


The sacrifice of talents, of property, and of self, was to have 
been unreserved. Mr. Haldane was to sell his beautiful estate of 
Airthrey, much of which was ornamental, and productive of ex 
pense rather than of income, whilst India was to have been the 
scene of his future labors and earthly existence. 

But man proposeth, God disposeth. To embark on such a 
mission without the consent of the East India Company and the 
Government, was an act of imprudence not likely to be commit 
ted by a man of foresight and caution. Mr. Haldane went to 
London in May, 1796, partly to consult Dr. Bogue and solicit the 
needful permission, and partly to attend the first General Meeting 
of the Missionary Society. 

Mr. Haldane remained in England during the summer, and in 
the following November Mrs. Haldane, with their only child, a 
girl then under ten years of age, joined her husband, having post 
ed to London, under the escort of Mr. Ewing, who had been sent 
for to meet Dr. Bogue in London. 

Dr. Bogue s diary for May 22, 1796, contains this entry : " Mr. 
Haldane spoke to me about going on a mission to Hindostan." 
From* the meetings in London he accompanied his old friend to 
Gosport, but for some time cautiously abstained from mentioning 
his own plans. The feelings with which he once more visited 
that warlike seaport were very different from those by which he 
had been actuated on former occasions, when full of naval zeal he 
had sailed from the same harbor in pursuit of victory, in the Mon 
arch or in the Foudroyant, with Duncan or Jervis for his captains, 
and Barrington or Howe for his admirals. An anecdote is told 
of him, connected with an old Scotch lady, from whom he had 
before received much kindness, and whose husband long filled a 
naval station at Portsmouth. It is only worth referring to as cal 
culated to illustrate what was the natural gaiety of his character. 
He called on her one evening soon after his arrival at Gosport in 
1796, and was most kindly welcomed. Desirous to be useful to 
his old acquaintance, he asked Mrs. , before he rose to de 
part, whether she would allow him to conduct family worship. 
The old lady herself had a great deal of humor ; she had been 
accustomed to Mr. Haldane from the time he was a boy, and knew 
the playfulness of his disposition, and how much he delighted in 
good-humored, practical jokes. Ignorant of the change which 
had taken place in his feelings and pursuits, she imagined when 


she now heard him propose to conduct family worship that he 
was in jest, and gravely rebuked what she justly deemed the im 
propriety of trifling with sacred subjects. "Family worship!" 
she exclaimed, in broad Scotch accents ; " none of your jokes, 
" Mr. Haldane ; that s o er serious a subject." Mr. Haldane with 
some difficulty convinced the good lady of her mistake, and that 
he was in earnest. Great was her astonishment. Those who only 
knew Mr. Haldane from the gravity of his writings and public 
character, could have no idea of the buoyancy of his spirit, and 
of his natural love of what was playful and jocose. At a late 
period of his life, many were the amusing anecdotes which his 
venerable aunt, Lady Duncan, used to tell of his own and his 
brother s youthful days at Gosport ; and he himself would some 
times smile at the recital of some of the jokes, of which he was 
reminded, quietly adding some new point of interest which had 
been forgotten. 

The great objection to the evangelization of India, was to be 
found in the fears and the prejudices of the East India Company. 
That powerful commercial body had long ruled over India, with 
out seeming to imagine that their mission extended beyond the 
material arrangements necessary for the acquisition of wealth, and 
the dispensation of patronage. At that period they had subjected 
themselves to the indignant eloquence of Burke, when, in his 
speech on the India Bill, he exclaimed, " With us no pride erects 
stately monuments which repair the mischiefs which pride has 
produced, and which adorn a country out of its own spoils. Eng 
land has erected no churches, no hospitals, no palaces, no schools. 
England has built no bridges, made no high roads, cut no navi 
gations, dug out no reservoirs. Every other conqueror, of every 
other description, has left some monument, either of state or benefi 
cence, behind him. Were we to be driven out of India this day, 
nothing would remain to tell that it had been possessed during 
the inglorious period of our dominion by anything better than the 
ourang-outang, or the tiger." 

Mr. Pitt s Board of Control had introduced the commencement 
of a better system, so far as concerned civilization, but against 
every attempt to christianize the people there had been arrayed a 
dismal front of ghastly opposition. In 1793, when a new charter 
was granted, Mr. Wilberforce had succeeded in persuading the 
House of Commons, in general terms, to pledge themselves to the 
duty of " promoting, by all just and lawful means, the religious 


improvement of the natives." Two days afterwards, he ventured 
on specific resolutions for establishing schoolmasters and chaplains 
throughout India, and he again succeeded. But the Court of 
Directors "met and strongly reprobated my clauses," and the re 
sult is told in a letter to Mr. Gisborne : " The East India Direc 
tors and proprietors have triumphed. All my clauses were last 
night struck out in the third reading of the bill (with Dundas 
consent ! ! This is honor !) and our territories in Hindostan, 
twenty millions of people included, are left in the undisturbed and 
peaceable possession, and committed to the providential protection 
of Brama." (Life, vol. ii. 267.) 

Under these circumstances, for Mr. Haldane to have gone to 
India, as some advised, without the consent of the Company, was 
a proposal which would have been at variance with the wise fore 
sight which always marked his character, and was discerned in 
the successful management of his own worldly affairs. The result 
might have been anticipated ; he was not disposed thus to peril 
his property, his time, or his character, on such a foolish errand. 
It was one thing for a few obscure but noble-hearted men, like 
him who was sneered at as " the consecrated cobbler" to steal into 
a Danish settlement at Serampore, and begin those translations 
of the Bible which have already shaken the superstition of India 
to its foundations. It was quite another for a man of position to 
devote a fortune to an object, which the House of Commons ac 
knowledged as a duty, which they had not dared to perform. 
Was it likely that the spirit which crushed the humane efforts of 
the friend of Pitt, and tempted Lord Melville into a breach of prom 
ise, would have yielded to Mr. Haldane, had he chosen to set at 
defiance the India House and Board of Control ? 

With a prudence which marked through life all his boldest 
measures, Mr. Haldane resolved to go to India if he could obtain 
the consent of its Government ; but if that consent were withheld, 
not to go at all. To Mr. Dundas (Lord Melville), then at the 
head of the affairs of India, being President of the Board of Con 
trol, as well as Chief Secretary of State, he had been known from 
his childhood. He addressed him boldly, and with candor, 
explaining to him all his past or present views, political and reli 
gious, as he afterwards did to the public in his address on politics. 
Mr. Wilberforce thought that more of reserve, and what might be 
deemed finesse would have been most prudent ; but this was not 
the character of Mr. Haldane s mind, and had Mr. Wilberforce 


been aware of Lord Melville s ample means of knowing every 
thing concerning the intending missionary, he would have him 
self admitted that in honesty and frankness consisted the best 

In a letter addressed to the Eight Honorable Mr. Secretary 
Dundas, dated Sept. 21, 1796, he solicits an interview, and at 
once tells the wily statesman that he is prepared to give him the 
fullest explanations of his political sentiments. " I mean not," he 
says, " to retract anything I have ever said, or deny what I now 
hold ; but if, in consequence of the following communication, you 
should be desirous, as, indeed, you will be entitled to know 
what my views are, I am happy I have it in my power completely 
to satisfy you by answering any questions you may please to pro 
pose to me on the subject." He adds, " that, even if I be deemed 
mistaken, my stake in the country might be regarded as a guaran 
tee for the sincerity of my attachment to the present order of 
things." He then tells the Minister that he had never obtruded his 
opinions, whatever they were, on the public, " except once, when 
he considered himself called upon in his place," as one of the 
freeholders of the county, at that time a very select body, con 
sisting of the principal landed proprietors, whose numbers, it may 
be worth while to state, did not exceed sixty. " Whatever fear 
may be expressed, with regard to the political sentiments of any 
of us, as making it dangerous to send such persons to India, will 
not apply here. As citizens of this country, we conceive that we 
have a right, and we esteem it a duty, to . speak freely our senti 
ments about Government. As missionaries abroad we have no 
such business. Our mouths, on that subject, will be sealed for 
ever, when we devote ourselves to preach only the Gospel of 
Jesus Christ and what it contains. in a foreign land. On all men 
it enjoins peaceable and quiet lives, which we shall uniformly 
inculcate. Indeed, I trust we shall be found useful in no common 
degree (should God grant us success) in promoting the peace and 
happiness of the country and the stability of the Government, 
which we believe to be the best, in India. We are fully con 
vinced that nothing will tend to bind India so closely to England 
as the introduction of the Gospel among the natives. (While the 
heathen slaves in the West Indies have united in insurrection, the 
converted Africans have continued peaceable and faithful, such 
is the natural influence of Christianity on its votaries.) And, at 
the same time, we are confident that nothing will provoke God to 


deprive England of the Empire in the East and the benefits result 
ing from the possession of it, so much as neglecting to send the 
Gospel to them, and especially refusing to allow it to be sent, 
when you are humbly entreated to grant permission. 
Our business and our aim is to propagate the Gospel and save 
the souls of the miserable heathen, and we should think ourselves 
culpable in the highest degree were the rulers, or those who are 
entrusted with the direction of commerce, ever to have any just 
cause of complaint of us. Surely it can never be thought that 
we have any sinister views in this business, or any other than 
what we hold out. To it we dedicate our all ; we leave very 
many comforts in this country (for I assure you that it is not dis 
content that carries us away), and we risk nay, almost certainly 
view, bad health and many inconveniences and disagreeable cir 
cumstances that natives of the opposite side of the globe must 
necessarily encounter. Indeed, considering everything, if we do 
not go with pure views and from good motives, in the language 
of the apostle, I have no hesitation to say, We must be of all 
men most miserable. " 

In another letter, dated London, September 30th, 1796, it is 
further said, "Many thousands have gone to India to attain a 
decent competency or splendid affluence ; we go with a direct 
view, not to enrich ourselves, but to save the souls of men. And, 
surely, Sir, it is no unreasonable request that at least we may be 
permitted to go out quietly and enjoy the protection of the Gov^ 
ernment of India while we demean ourselves well. If we do not 
act there as we propose, the Government can at any time send us 
home ; we shall be sufficiently in their power. I am persuaded, 
however, they would never hear of us, but as inculcating quiet 
ness and peace." 

In the above letters Mr. Haldane, with characteristic manli 
ness, avowed his previous political opinions, and, without pro 
fessing to retract them, only protested against those exagge 
rations which had falsely represented him as a democratical 
revolutionist, eager to overturn every monarchical Government. 
His own explanations, which have been just quoted, sufficiently 
refute this calumny. On his state of mind in regard to politics, in 
1796, he says himself, in his " Address on Politics," published in 
1800 :- 

" I had not seen at that time, indeed, as I have since, that it 
was my privilege to abstain from all political interference in this 


country ; nor was I so deeply and practically convinced of the 
corruption of human nature, as I trust I have since been, so as to 
expect less from it, under any political arrangement. Yet, as a 
missionary, I had determined to renounce the subject, thinking that, 
at least in that situation, I might with a good conscience give it up 
altogether." " This," he emphatically adds, "this was expressly 
settled and agreed upon as an essential condition, to be observed by 
all of us who joined in the intended Mission." 

In reply to this letter the President of the Board of Control 
very politely invited him to his house, personally to explain his 
views and intentions in private. He had, in fact, several inter 
views, at one of which Mr. Pitt came into the room before their 
conference was ended. Mr. Pitt no doubt regarded the scheme 
as a well-meant Utopian ebullition of youthful zeal. In the 
"Life of Mr. Wilberforce," his sons, from want of information, 
have given a very erroneous and partial account of Mr. Ilaldane s 
designs for an Indian Mission and the part their father took in 
the matter. It is, perhaps, not to be wondered at, for they 
have themselves in so many instances misunderstood the 
character and ignored the objects of their illustrious parent, that 
it would have been singular had they been more successful in 
the case of a stranger. But, in the preface to a subsequent pub 
lication, they have expressed their regret in terms which must 
silence censure. " In particular," they observe, " they feel that, 
for want of full information, they have not done adequate jus 
tice to the designs of Mr. Haldane for the establishment of a 
Mission in the East Indies." So far as concerns their own 
motives or conduct in the affair, this acknowledgment is ample, 
but it is not an antidote to the misrepresentations for which it as 
an apology. 

The allusions to these designs are brief and unsatisfactory. 
First comes a detached extract from their father s diary : 
" 8th October, 1796. Very busy seeing Pitt and Dundas about 
abolition convention plan and East India Missions. Pleased with 
Dundas s .candor." Then comes the following sentences : 

" Having failed three years before in his endeavors to obtain a 
national provison for Christianizing India, he was eager to for 
ward those individual efforts which, though a poor substitute for 
his proposal, were all that could at present be attempted. Mr. 
Haldane and some other Scotch gentlemen were at this time 
desirous of engaging in such a mission, and he exerted himself to 


obtain Mr. Dundas s assent to the undertaking." Then follows 
the following extraordinary sentence : u In this he would probably 
have succeeded if their extreme political opinions had not alarmed the 
Government." If Mr. Wilberforce, as a member of the Church 
of England, failed in his modest efforts three years before to 
establish chaplains for our own countrymen and schoolmasters in 
India, it was not likely that he should now succeed on behalf of 
a member of the Church of Scotland, whose politics had been op 
posed to the Government. But the narrative of the biographers 
is continued by an extract from his diary of earlier date than the 
first which they quoted. It runs thus : "I am sorry to find that 
all perfect democrats, believing that a new order of things is 
dawning, &c. Haldane very open. I told him I thought that he, 
by imprudence, had injured the cause with Dundas." This entry, 
dated 4th October, if accurately copied, is glaringly unjust. Even 
if it were conceded as fully as it is disproved, that Mr. Haldane 
was a democrat in the proper sense of the term, Mr. Wilberforce 
had at this time never seen Dr. Innes or Mr. Ewing. Dr. Innes, 
in fact, never came to London about the matter, and Mr. Ewing 
not till November. Now, in regard to both these two gentlemen, 
the tongue of calumny never found any ground to charge them 
with interfering in politics. Indeed, after commenting on his 
letters to Mr. Secretary Dundas, it is remarked by Mr. Haldane, 
that the expressions, " as citizens, &c., we deem it our duty, 
&c., did not apply to my two associates in Scotland, who, as 
ministers of the Gospel at home, always thought it their duty to 
act in the same manner, in every respect, as they would have 
done if missionaries abroad, and as having nothing to do with 
politics." It may be added, that so much was this the case, that 
Dr. Innes was appointed to the chaplaincy of the Castle instead 
of the senior minister at Stirling, the excellent Mr. Somerville, 
because some exception was taken to the politics of the latter, 
in consequence of an unguarded and partly jocular speech made 
at his own table, which had been reported and misrepresented, 
after the manner of these evil times, by the wife of an officer, who 
was his guest. 

That Mr. Haldane had at first taken a favorable view of the 
French Revolution has been already seen, but his sentiments 
were never publicly expressed on any occasion, except in his 
place as a freeholder at the Stirling meeting, and he had at all 
times carefully eschewed connection with disaffected or violent 


Keformers. His own words are conclusive : " My principles, at 
all times, were too well known for any one to solicit my attend 
ance in the self-created political societies. I never had any pri 
vate intimation of what was going on among them. At that 
time I often publicly declared, had I ever known of anything 
dangerous to Government, even if I had lived in Turkey, where 
they have one of the worst governments, I should have accounted 
it my duty immediately to reveal it. The only solicitation of 
this kind ever made to me was a request, by letter, to subscribe 
money for those persons (Hardy, Home Tooke, and Thelwall) 
who had been tried in England for sedition, and acquitted. Al 
though acquitted, 1 highly disapproved their conduct. I wrote an 
answer to the person soliciting me, to the effect that he had 
wholly misunderstood what my political sentiments had always 
been, otherwise he would not have made such a proposal to me." 

"From these extracts," continues Mr. Haldane, "it 

may be seen what my views at that time were. Indeed, offering 
to go to Bengal, was certainly declaring in language sufficiently 
strong, that it was not politics I had in view, when I wished to 
place myself, my family and property entirely under the power 
of a Government which is so strong as that in India." 

Such was the refutation which Mr. Haldane published of the 
calumnies by which his private opinions were misrepresented 
during the heat of the French Revolution. Mr. Wilberforce 
probably little imagined that, after more than forty years had 
elapsed, the same calumnies would reappear under cover of his 
time-honored name, by means of fragments of his private diary, 
perhaps, as in some other cases, inaccurately copied, and by loose 
memoranda of conversation, inconsistent both with Mr. Haldane s 
sentiments, acts, and opinions, as well as those of his colleagues. 
" Much," say his biographers, " as he disliked their views, and 
earnestly as he argued against their revolutionary principles in a 
long talk about government, he yet, on every ground, regretted 
the decision of Mr. Dundas." " I could not persuade him, though, 
as I told him, it is on your own grounds the best thing you can 
do. In Scotland such a man is sure to create a ferment. Send 
him, therefore, to the back settlements, to let off his pistol in 

"Well may the Bishop of Oxford, and his brother, the Arch 
deacon, admit that, "for want of full information, they have not 
done full justice to the designs of Mr. Haldane." The most pre- 


judiced reader Las before him sufficient means to enable him to 
detect the misrepresentations, no doubt unintentional, of which 
they have been guilty. To transpose short isolated fragments 
from a diary without regard to the order of time, to take one 
fragment of the entry on the 8th of October, and then, after some 
interpolated and inaccurate statements of their own, to serve up 
another isolated fragment from an earlier entry on the 4th of Oc 
tober, and, finally, to wind up these unsatisfactory mutilated ex 
cerpts with a melange of disparaging conversational recollections, 
reflecting on the chief of a mission which their father, more than 
forty years before, strove to forward, is a method by which any 
design, however noble, might, together with its author, its 
origin, and its objects, be easily overwhelmed with obloquy and 

To suppose that Mr. Wilberforce labored in common with Mr. 
Charles Grant and Mr. Pitt s brother-in-law, Mr. Eliot, to send 
men of " revolutionary principles" as missionaries to India, is a 
libel on their memory, while it throws an air of ridicule over the 
whole of the imputation. Certain it is, that Mr. Haldane s inter 
course with Mr. Wilberforce produced on the mind of the former, 
a far different impression from what his biographers would lead 
us to imagine, and we shall now give his own account of his first 
interview with the illustrious abolitionist. 

When Mr. Haldane had secured the co-operation of his friend 
Dr. Bogue, he next proceeded to seek the best means of operating 
on the Directors and the Government. He solicited the influence 
and support of the leaders both of the religious community and 
the political world. Mr. Wilberforce was by no means the first 
nor the principal auxiliary, whose aid he sought. He was him 
self personally acquainted with several members of the Govern 
ment, including not only Mr. Secretary Dundas and the Duke of 
Montrose, but the Lord Chancellor Rosslyn, who was a family 
connection, and whose brother-in-law, Lord Alva, had been a 
trustee of the estate of Airthrey, and taken an active part in the 
management of his young relative s concerns. He was received 
with kindness and hospitality by Mr. Pitt s brother-in-law, Mr. 
Eliot, the father of the first Earl of St. Germains, whose early 
death was a loss both to the State and to the Christian commu 
nity. He experienced much courtesy from the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, and was treated with more than courtesy by Dr. 
Porteus, the Bishop of London. Mr. Erskine, afterwards Lord 


Chancellor, also showed great kindness, although the value of his 
admiration for the humanity of the enterprise, was somewhat 
lessened by the inappropriate appeal to his Maker s name as the 
guarantee of his support. It was not till four months after his 
arrival in London that he saw Mr. Wilberforce, who was during 
that time at Buxton, nor did a meeting with him take place until 
after Mr. Haldane had written to Mr. Secretary Dundas, and fully 
conversed with that distinguished member of the Government. 
When introduced, along with Dr. Bogue, for the first time, on 
the 4th of October, 1796, to Mr. Wilberforce, the latter apolo 
gized for not rising, as his feet were wrapped in flannels, and he 
was suffering under a fit of the gout. He strongly and cordially 
approved of the plan, and became so much animated and elated 
as Mr. Haldane unfolded his designs, that, forgetting his gout in 
his admiration of the grandeur of the design, the philanthropist 
kindling into positive enthusiasm, jumped up, and to the enter 
tainment of his guests, skipped about the room entirely free from 
pain. When he came to talk over the difficulties that impeded 
their plan, and heard of the frank open manner in which Mr. 
Haldane had written and talked to Mr. Dundas, Mr. Wilberforce, 
whose turn of rnind was more inclined to diplomacy, expressed 
his doubts whether greater reserve might not have been more 
prudent; and this is probably the meaning of the little disjointed 
extract, " Haldane very open. I told him I thought that he, by 
imprudence, had injured the with Dundas." But Mr. Hal 
dane maintained the superior wisdom of straightforward, out 
spoken honesty and frankness in such a matter, and urged that 
suspicions are always excited by that unsuccessful finesse which, 
in after-life, often brought on Mr. Wilberforce the taunts of 
worldly politicians, such as Mr. Canning, who compared him to a 
waterman looking one way and rowing the other. They were 
also led to talk on politics. No doubt they differed in opinion 
from Mr. Wilberforce, more especially with regard to the war, 
and as yet he entertained a lingering hope as to the grand politi 
cal experiment, of which France was the scene. But nothing 
took place to damp the pleasure with which Mr. Haldane always 
spoke of this inter vie.w, and of his subsequent and repeated social 
intercourse with Mr. Wilberforce, and certainly nothing ever oc 
curred to sanction the cold and disparaging tone of the Biography, 
unless the monstrous supposition be assumed, that Mr. Wilber 
force was himself insincere in his professions. Mr. Haldane s 


own remark upon the Biography was this, that far from having 
to complain of any sharpness in debate with Mr. WiTberforce, he 
had only been surprised at the marked deference with which the 
sentiments of one who had neither the same advantages of age 
and Parliamentary position, had been treated both by Mr. Wil 
berforce, Mr. Eliot, and the rest. There are other extracts from 
the Diary, which cumulatively prove how warm and true an in 
terest Mr. Wilberforce took in the East India Missions: e. g.j 
"23d Dec. Breakfasted early with Dundas and Eliot, on Mis 
sion business ; Dundas complying, when Grant and David Scott 
also sat long." Again : " 26th. Grant, Eliot, and Babington, 
at dinner. Consultation on East India Missions, and discussing 
all evening." Once more : " 18th January, 1797. To town and 
back, to dine at Henry Thornton s, where Simeon and Grant, to 
talk over Mission scheme." 

Is it possible to believe that all the interest in Mr. Haldane s 
Mission scheme expressed by Mr. Wilberforce, was nothing better 
than shallow pretence, and that his communing with Grant, Eliot, 
Thornton, and the rest, was to issue in nothing more than the ex 
pression of vague opinion, that, on Mr. Dundas s own princi 
ples, it was better to "send him to the back settlements, to let off 
his pistol in vacuo f n Mr. Newton writes, " Assure Mr. Haldane 
I love, honor, and pray for them all." Mr. Wilberforce mani 
fested a kindred feeling then, and several years afterwards. It 
may easily be seen how Mr. Wilberforce said in free conversation, 
something which, torn from its connection, or in itself misunder 
stood, could thus be easily perverted. But both Mr. Wilberforce 
and Mr. Eliot, who was a member of the Government and Mr. 
Haldane s chief supporter, knew what his biographers overlook, 
that it was not in reality politics that "alarmed the Government." 
Politics did not stand in the way of Mr. Wilberforce s own scheme, 
and yet it too had signally failed. But politics furnished a good 
excuse. It was vain to tell Mr. Dundas that Mr. Haldane was a 
young man, that he had never publicly engaged in politics ; that 
he had now renounced them forever, and was occupied with 
nobler objects. The shrewd, worldly-minded Secretary of State 
had no sympathy with the things of heaven. He had no sympa 
thy with Missions to the heathen abroad, or Missions to the un 
converted at home. He was himself a family connection of Mr. 
Haldane s, the cousin of Mr. Haldane s grandfather, and uncle by 
marriage to Lord Duncan. He had known Robert Haldane from 


his boyhood ; and whilst he disliked the scheme in itself, he also 
contended that Kobert Haldane was no weak and simple enthu 
siast, but a man of shrewdness and good sense, a cool reasoner, 
of acute and vigorous intellect, backed by high courage and un 
tiring energy. He knew also one of Mr. Haldane s associates, as 
a minister of no ordinary character, to whom he himself had 
been induced, on the solicitation of his niece, when residing at 
Gosport, to offer a living, which, on Dr. Bogue s refusal, he con 
ferred on the only baronet of the Scottish Church, the late Sir 
Henry Moncrieff, so long the leader of the Evangelical party. 
It is very likely that the wily Secretary, of whose duplicity Mr. 
Wilberforce so often and bitterly complains, did on this occasion 
also penetrate the philanthropist s reserve, and tell him more of 
Mr. Haldane s character than he knew before. It was also prob 
able, that Mr. Wilberforce, trying to parry the force of the Secre 
tary s objections, observed, that a man such as Mr. Dundas de 
scribed Mr. Haldane, would surely be more dangerous in Scotland 
than under a despotic and powerful government like that of India. 
He might have playfully added, If you reckon a man of such 
qualities dangerous in these exciting times, would it not be safer 
on your own principles to send him to the back settlements? 
The esteem and respect which Mr. Wilberforce expressed towards 
him, not only at that period but near the close of life, must be 
regarded as hollow, slippery, and insincere, before we can believe 
that the conversational memoranda of the biographers convey a 
true impression of Mr. Wilberforce s sentiments. How little they 
understood their father s impressions on this subject, may be 
gathered from the following extract from a letter of one of his 
friends, the late Dr. Porteus, Bishop of London. His Lordship, 
in writing from London House to Hannah More, on the 16th of 
January, 1797, says: 

" What think you of the noble sacrifice Lord Cornwallis has made, of domes 
tic ease and happiness, and of every blessing the world can give, to the interests 
of his country ? This is genuine patriotism indeed ! None but he himself 
could quiet the military commotions in India, and he himself made the offer 
of his services. I hardly ever heard of such an instance of self-denial. He is 
past sixty, and has nothing to wish or hope for from Government. Yet, on 
recollection, there is another instance of heroism with respect to the same 
country not less honorable to the actors in it than this. I lately saw three 
Scotchmen (Mr. Haldane, Dr. Bogue, and Mr. Ewing), who are all going to 
India without support, and without protection, to make converts to Christianity. 
When we hear of these, and some other instances of disinterested feeling and 


benevolence that I could mention, who will dare say that there is no religion or 
virtue in the world ?"* 

It was but a few days before the date of this letter that Mr. 
Haldane received from the East India Directors the following 
official answer, refusing the permission which had been solicited: 

" GENTLEMEN, The Court of Directors of the East India Company have had 
under consideration your letter of the 29th ultimo, requesting permission to 
proceed to India, with your families, and reside in the Company s territories for 
the purpose of instructing the natives of India in the knowledge of the Chris 
tian religion ; and I have received the Court s commands to acquaint you, that 
however convinced they may be of the sincerity of your motives, and the zea } 
with which you appear to be actuated, in sacrificing your personal convenience 
to the religious and moral purposes described in your letter, yet the Court 
have weighty and substantial reasons which induce them to decline a compli 
ance with your request. I am, Gentlemen, 

" Your most obedient humble Servant, 


To Robert Haldane, Esq. 

" The Rev. David Bogue. 

" The Rev. Greville Ewing." 

But although thus baffled in their first attempt, they did not 
regard the matter as settled. The following letter, from Dr. 
Bogue to a clergyman at Bristol, exhibits his views of the Mis 
sion, and proves that it was neither lightly taken up nor lightly 
abandoned : 

"The plan of sending out young men unaccustomed to the task of religious 
instruction never appeared to me calculated to produce the end we had in view. 
I always thought it the duty of more experienced men to lead the way, and 
offer themselves for the service of the heathen ; but. like you, I thought myself 
too old for the office of a missionary. But about eight months ago, I received 
an invitation from my friend, Mr, Haldane, to accompany him to Bengal, to 
assist him, along with two others, in carrying into execution a plan for the con 
version of the heathen, which he had formed about a year before. After 
weighing the subject maturely, I accepted his call, and declared my readiness to 
go : the two others we had in view, Mr. Ewing and Mr. Innes (whom some of 
your Bristol people know), have likewise engaged to go with us. What you 
mention as to age, and the uncertainty of the climate agreeing with me, is just. 
But these things must be left in the hands of the great Head of the Church. 
I am a necessary link of the chain. As we are to live in the close union of 
brothers, it would not do unless we knew each other, and from what we know, 
could place some dependence on suitableness of disposition, &c. Though a 
more suitable and a younger person could be found, he wants the qualification 
of old friendship and acquaintance which I possess." 

* Memoirs of Mrs. Hannah More, by Mr. Roberts, 3d vol. 


A few months afterwards, a long and very powerful memorial 
was drawn up and presented to the Board, urging them, by every 
motive of policy and of duty, to review their decision. It is 
signed, Kobert Haldane, David Bogue, William Innes, and 
Grreville Ewing. It appeals to all the principles most likely to 
operate on the human mind, to their justice, their interests, 
their humanity, their love of literature, their philanthropy, their 
religion, their hopes and fears for this world and the next. The 
advantages to be gained from a permission, the shame consequent 
on a refusal, are all powerfully set forth. 

But the warning as well as persuasive voice of this memorial 
was as ineffectual as the first. The "extent of their petition," with 
their "plan and their design," are set forth in the following words : 

" If we obtain leave from your Honorable Court, we propose to go out to 
Bengal, with our families; to take a few persons with us as cateehists, and to 
settle in a part of the country which may be found most convenient, both on 
account of a healthful situation, and for furnishing opportunities of communi 
cating instruction to the natives. When we have made ourselves masters of 
the language, we design to employ our time in conveying the knowledge of 
Christianity to the Hindoos and Mahommedans, by translating the Sacred 
Scriptures for their use, by conversation, and by erecting schools to be kept by 
the cateehists for teaching the children the first principles of religion. Such is 
our object, and we have sufficient funds for its support. 

" The favor we ask of you, Gentlemen, is leave to go out to Bengal, and pro 
tection there, while we demean ourselves as peaceable subjects of the Govern 
ment, and good members of the community." 

But this leave was denied. " It was," says Dr. Bennett, in his 
Life of Dr. Bogue, " it was said at the time that one of the Direc 
tors declared he would rather see a band of devils in India than a 
band of missionaries." Whatever may be alleged of the impiety 
of this speech, there is no reason to doubt its sincerity. " The 
things which, "the Gentiles sacrifice," said the inspired apostle, 
" they sacrifice to devils and not to God ;" and the interest of 
Paganism was warmly espoused by men who would have deemed 
themselves insulted if they had been denied the Christian name. 
The controversy which soon after arose on this subject, proved 
that nothing truly Christian could obtain the sanction of the ma 
jority of those who then ruled the affairs of India. In pamphlets 
and periodicals, the most embittered hostility to the propagation 
of Christianity was openly avowed by some of the civil and mili 
tary agents of the British East India Company. But it was all 
perfectly natural, for not only were many of those who fought so 


zealously for Juggernaut and the Suttees against Christ and his 
Cross a disgrace to the Christian name which they affected to 
bear, but a leader in their ranks actually wiped off the very 
name as a foul blot from his dishonored brow, and at an im 
mense price purchased the privilege of becoming a worshipper 
of Bramah. 

Happily, we have lived to see the day when these restrictions 
on the propagation of the Gospel have been swept away ; and 
great as is the glory which belongs to the name of Wilberforce 
for his labors in the cause of Africa, it may be said to have been 
eclipsed by the results of his zeal for Asia. The battle fought at 
the renewal of the charter in 1812 was fiercely contested, and 
even Warren Hastings came forward, in his old age, to lend the 
lustre of his genius to the enemies of Christianity. In spite of his 
transcendent talents, his moral character was low, and his career 
of selfish ambition unhappy. As contrasted with that of Wilber 
force, we are reminded of the declaration of the Almighty, "Him 
that honoreth me I will honor, but he that despiseth me shall be 
lightly esteemed." The progress of Christianity in India since 
1812 has been more than commensurate to all the cost bestowed 
upon it, and has done much to wipe away the reproach of Edmund 
Burke, when he contrasted the conquests of England with those 
of Tamerlane. Amongst those who have since governed India, 
the name of Lord William Bentinck ought never to be forgotten. 
He assumed his office under great disadvantages, and more espe 
cially as his appointment was the act of Mr. Canning, in opposi 
tion to the wish of the Court of Directors. He was compelled to 
carry out some of the most unpopular measures, which had been 
evaded by his predecessors, such as the reduction of the army 
allowances, and he was left to bear the odium it entailed, as if the 
act had been his own. But in the face of every difficulty, the 
influence of Christian principle was always paramount in the 
Government House at Calcutta whilst occupied by Lord and Lady 
William Bentinck. With one stroke of his pen, he abolished the 
inhuman practice of Suttees, and left an example to future rulers, 
demonstrating the folly of those who imagine that there can be 
danger in forbidding the violation of the plainest statutes of the 
Almighty. The success which attended this measure will for 
ever rebuke the enmity of his detractors, and immortalize the 
name of Lord William Bentinck. He went out to India, as he 
told Sir Fowell Buxton before he sailed, resolved to abolish 



Suttees ; and without swerving from bis purpose, it was carried 
into effect, in spite of all the sinister predictions of the enemies 
of the Gospel. 

Before taking leave of the India Mission, it would be improper 
to omit the fact, that Mr. John Campbell was one of those whom 
Mr. Ilaldane desired to take with him as a catechist. In writing 
to the Countess of Leven, Mr. Campbell says: "I have never 
hinted, but to Mr. Newton, what I now mention. Mr. Haldane 
and his associates in the intended Mission to Bengal have applied 
to me to accompany them on their humane enterprise. . . . 
After thinking upon it for a few nights and days, I told Mr. H. 
that my mind was reconciled to go, but that I had voluntarily 
promised Mr. Newton not to engage in any Mission without 
apprizing him. . . . Should I go, I shall use all means to 
prevent my home plans from falling to the ground. I am not in 
the least dissatisfied with my present station, trade, or success. 
None have less cause to murmur." The Countess, as well as Mr. 
Newton, opposed the design, as taking away a most valuable 
laborer out of a field of usefulness at home for an uncertain bene 
fit abroad. Mr. Newton wrote : "I have no doubt but Satan 
would be glad to see you shipped off to India, or anywhere, so 
that he might be rid of you, for you stand in his way where you 
are." This answer neither satisfied Mr. Campbell nor Mr. Hal 
dane ; and at the desire of the latter, the question was referred to 
the deliberate and devotional judgment of the Eclectic Society, 
or, as Mr. Campbell was wont to call it, the " Newtonian tea 
party," which then met around Mr. Newton s chair, and was after 
wards connected with St. John s Chapel, Bedford-row. The appeal 
brought down an answer, too long for insertion here, which Mr. 
Philip has, however, preserved in his Life of Mr. Campbell, be 
cause he thinks " it throws light upon the spirit of that holy but 
not heroic circle." 

It seems that there were fifteen present at the Eclectic meeting, 
that all were unanimous in admiring the generosity and disinter 
estedness of Mr. Haldane s offer and design, but that none of them 
approved of the plan for carrying it into effect. They considered 
that the difficulties in the way should be regarded as a providen 
tial intimation against it, and that an attempt to overcome those 
difficulties by endeavoring to make the mission " a common cause 
with all serious people, was more likely to excite public disturb 
ance than to prevail on the Company " 


Mr. Newton and his friends seemed also to think that in 
determining on a mission to the heathen, it was not proper to 
fix on Bengal, or to name a particular city, which he then sup 
posed to be Patna. The answer is obvious. The neglected state 
of the millions of India was the object which had stirred up Mr. 
Haldane, and he did not insist on going to a particular city, 
excepting so far as it was useful to name some spot for the satis 
faction of the Company, and finally, whilst he was prepared to 
succumb to difficulties, if found to be insuperable, he did not 
think it right, slothfully to take it for granted without a struggle 
that the lion in the way could not be chained, or the obstacles 
surmounted. Had Mr. Wilberforce and his friends yielded to 
the argument derived from difficulties at the outset of the Church 
Missionary Society, it would have been strangled in its cradle, 
and never accomplished the great work by which it has been dis 

With such arguments Mr. Haldane was not satisfied. His 
powers of influencing the wills of others was great, and the fol 
lowing appeal which he addressed to Mr. Campbell, for a time 
made the good man s mind "like a windmill": 

" If you think, from what your friends have said, that you 
ought to stay at home, I certainly have no title to desire you to 
go to India. At the same time, I must say, that this is the most 
important step you ever took in your life. The argument of your 
friends cuts deep the other way. They advise you not to go, be 
cause, they say, there are so many able friends at the head of the 
mission. Surely they have not considered that you, and another 
Christian under your direction, would have the entire oversight 
of an Indian city ! The men at the head of the mission can assist 
but little. Almost the whole will depend upon the person they 
send. "We think you eminently qualified for such a station; 
The Lord has much people in Edinburgh to carry on all your 
plans. An imprudent missionary in Bengal might injure the 
cause of Christianity for an age. An individual leaving Edin 
burgh could not affect it materially. I say all this, because you 
told me that you were easily impressed with a thing at first. Be 
not therefore led away by the advice of your friends at once ; 
weigh the matter well yourself, with prayer to God, and a single 
eye to His glory. Call no man on earth father, but decide for 
yourself this most eventful question that ever did, or probably 
ever will come before you." 


No wonder that Mr. Campbell was shaken by this powerful and 
disinterested appeal ; but the advice of Mr. Newton and Lady 
Leven prevailed, and the simplicity of his motives were fully ap 
preciated by Mr. Haldane, who soon afterwards found other work 
for Mr. Campbell to superintend at home. His biographer adds 
"But how he managed to do it all, I cannot explain ; for at 
this time he was extending his business, and multiplying his cor 
respondents at home and abroad, and originating Sabbath-schools, 
by letters and tracts all over Scotland. Soldiers and sailors wrote 
to him for advice ; the needy and greedy for money ; the unclaim 
ed outcasts for prayers and counsel ; dark villages for itinerants, 
and chapel-builders for help ; besides the hundreds, who ordered 
their Missionary Magazines, books, and Scott s Commentary, and 
paid their accounts through him. Mr. Newton knew all this, and 
would not hear of any other mission for him. Mr. Haldane saw 
much of this, and as naturally thought him just the man for a city 
in Bengal." 

The honored circle of good men who crowded round the vene 
rable John Newton had been, so long obliged to succumb before 
adverse influence, that in such matters they were timid rather than 
heroic. They were conscious that they were but a minority, and 
they shrunk from difficulties with which a bolder spirit fearlessly 
grappled. Still, there is no doubt that their conclusions were 
just, although their reasons were such as would have crushed 
any attempt to do good when obstacles interposed. It seems that 
Mr. Ewing also retired from the undertaking, a considerable time 
before Mr. Haldane and Dr. Bogue abandoned the noble struggle. 
Towards the end of 1798, Dr. Bogue having been invited by the 
late Mr. Hardcastle to undertake the charge of the students of the 
London Missionary Society, thus writes " Mr. Haldane is now 
with me, and we are preparing for a repeated application to the 
East India Company, relative to the mission to Bengal. While 
that remains undecided, I cannot with propriety think of another." 
In a previous communication, he says, 

GOSPORT, April 27, 1798. 

" Your kind letter, relative to our India business, I received, and immediately 
communicated the contents to Mr. Haldane, recommending him to postpone 
application to the Company till they had leisure to attend to it, and till Mr. 
Grant had delivered in his remarks on the business. The proposal met with 
his approbation, and he expressed himself willing to wait for a considerable 
time. I have some hopes that he will be at the meeting of the Missionary So 
ciety, when we shall have an opportunity of consulting personally on the busi 


ness. Perhaps the state of public affairs may prevent the rulers both of England 
and India from attending to such things at present. Events succeed each othei 
so rapidly, as to leave us at utter uncertainty even to conjecture what God is 
going to do." 

In Mr. Haldane s address already cited, we have the final ac 
count of the termination of the whole scheme. 

" For some time after this (1797), I did not lay aside my en 
deavors to go out to Bengal, and in the mean while was busied 
in selling my estate, that there might be no delay on my part, if 
obstructions from without should be removed. I accordingly at 
length found a purchaser, and with great satisfaction left a place, 
in the beautifying and improving of which my mind had once 
been much engrossed. In that transaction I sincerely rejoice to 
this hour, although disappointed in getting out to India. I gave 
up a place and a situation, which continually presented objects 
calculated to excite and gratify * the lust of the eye and the pride 
of life. Instead of being engaged in such poor matters, my time 
is now more at my command ; and I find my power of applying 
property usefully, very considerably increased. I can truly say, 
I experience the accomplishment of the gracious promise, that 
leaving house and lands (although in a very restricted sense), as 
I trust, for the Gospel s sake alone, and what I esteemed my duty, 
I have received manifold, though, as it is added, with persecu 
tions. .... For my own part, I am satisfied in having made 
the attempt, although it appeared by the event clearly the will of 
God that we should not go out. I have not a doubt that this was 
ordered for good, and our being prevented, whether from un- 
worthiness, or from whatever other cause which we know not 
now, we shall know hereafter. I could not, however, help par 
ticularly observing the massacre of the Europeans that lately took 
place at Benares, where it is probable we should have been, had 
we obtained our desire. With the apostle, then, I would here 
thankfully exclaim, l O the depth of the riches, both of the wis 
dom and knowledge of God ! how unsearchable are his judgments, 
and his ways past finding out/ " 

Such was the termination of a scheme, of which it is impos 
sible not to commend and admire the motives, and of which even 
the failure was calculated to excite additional interest on behalf of 
millions of our fellow-subjects, thus excluded from the sound of 
the Gospel by the self-interested policy of their commercial rulers. 
From this period Dr. Bogue co-operated with Mr. Haldane in 


several important plans ; and although in some things they did 
not always see " eye to eye," yet their mutual friendship and 
esteem remained unshaken and unabated to the last. In the year 
1821, during his last visit to England, Mr. Haldane, after his re 
turn from the Continent, visited Dr. Bogue at Gosport, on pur 
pose to converse with him on the great subjects connected with 
the kingdom of Christ, concerning which they were both so deep 
ly interested ; and one of the very last letters, written by the 
venerable Pastor of Gosport, a few days before his death in Oct., 
1825, was addressed to his old friend, with whom, for the sake of 
Christ, he had once designed to spend his life in India. It was a 
letter introducing one of his pupils, to whom, in the note with 
which the introduction is accompanied, he says, " Robert Hal- 
dane s country residence is between Glasgow and Edinburgh. 
There is scarcely such a man in the world. You will find his 
counsels very useful." 



WHEN Captain James Haldane quitted the Melville CastJe, ne 
would have been greatly startled had he been then informed that 
he was to become a preacher of the Gospel. So far as he had any 
fixed plan, it was to become a landed proprietor, retire to the 
country, and lead a quiet, useful, unambitious life. At one time 
he was in treaty for the estate of Garnkirk, near Glasgow, which 
was some years later sold for several times the amount for which 
it could then have been purchased, had his wife approved of the 
locality. Subsequently he had, with her consent, almost conclu 
ded a nearly equally advantageous treaty for the estate of Ches- 
terhall, about ten miles to the south of Edinburgh, a place which 
has been since purchased by the Earl of Stair, who has pulled 
down the house and included a large portion of the lands within 
the splendid domains of Oxenford Castle. But circumstances in 
terfered, and he was prevented from completing an arrangement 
which might have hampered his future plans of usefulness. A 
life of leisure was never to be his, and when he sketched out the 
prospect of settling as a country gentleman, he neither knew him 
self nor the mission he was destined to fulfil. But whilst residing 
in Edinburgh, and associating with such men as Dr. Walter Bu 
chanan, Mr. Black, Dr. Erskine, and others, he soon became in 
terested in their Christian objects, and still more in those of cer 
tain active and devoted laymen whom he met in their society. 

Amongst the latter, the foremost place is due to Mr. John.! 
Aikman and Mr. John Campbell, two men who were afterwards 
his own coadjutors in the Gospel, and whose holy zeal and inde 
fatigable labors were continued, although in different spheres, to 
the termination of their lives. It was with Mr. Campbell that the 
two brothers first became acquainted ; and in a letter from Banff, 


dated 28th July, 1797, Mr. J. A. Haldane bears this honorable 
testimony to the spiritual benefit received from Mr. John Camp 
bell. " There is no one," he says, " more interested in our success 
than yourself, and none, I am persuaded, who remembers us 
more at a throne of grace. Therefore, be assured that when we 
are long in writing to you, it is not owing to forgetfulness. For 
I believe you are in each of our hearts. You ought to be on 
mine, for there is no one whose preaching, conversation, or writ 
ings have been so useful to me as the hours we have spent 
together." The man to whom this testimony is borne is entitled 
to peculiar notice in this Memoir, and his name has been already 
introduced in connection with the Indian Mission. Mr. Campbell 
had enjoyed the benefit of a good education at the High School, 
but he was designed for trade, and had a large ironmonger s shop 
then overlooking the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, a spot which 
reminds the classical traveller of the ancient Eoman Forum. He 
was a little man, active, with an intelligent benevolent counte 
nance, and a quick dark eye, of a very practical turn, and a mind 
far superior to his position. Without pretending to commanding 
talent or much learning, he had a large stock of strong common 
sense and knowledge of human nature, combined with impulsive 
zeal, and a heart overflowing with love to God and man. Earnest, 
single-hearted, prayerful, and devoted to his Heavenly Master, this 
indefatigable and laborious man was enabled to achieve more for 
the kingdom of Christ, and the welfare of his fellow-creatures, 
than many other Christians of far loftier station and more com 
manding abilities. To him belonged pre-eminently the character 
of a man of God, a simple yet sublime title, and one which still 
lingers in the East, even in countries where the knowledge of 
Jehovah has long since disappeared. He was in Edinburgh the 
living model of a City Missionary, a district visitor, a Scripture 
reader, a tract distributor, a Sabbath-school teacher, and a Sab 
bath-school founder, long before Christians had learned to unite 
themselves together in societies to promote these objects. His 
warehouse was then the only repository in Edinburgh for re 
ligious tracts and periodicals, and became a sort of house of call, 
or point of reunion, for all who took an interest in the kingdom 
of Christ. 

Mr. Campbell was afterwards to become a preacher, an author, 
a minister, and a missionary traveller, in the unexplored interior 
of Africa. But at "the time of which we speak, he was occupy- 


ing a post far more laborious, and, perhaps, as useful. His 
biographer, the Kev. Mr. Philip, has given a striking and unex- 
aggerated account of his labors at Edinburgh, when he says, that 
"besides the care of his business, and of the sick and orphans, he 
carried on a correspondence, enough of itself to waste the health 
of any man who had only the night at his command for writing. 
The number of his letters was incredible ; and they are all upon 
exciting subjects, and many of them to persons whose rank or 
talents called for deliberation." Once in every week he wrote to 
the venerable Countess of Leven and Melville, the friend of Whit- 
field, and the associate of the celebrated Countess of Huntingdon. 
Mr. Campbell was her almoner, and whilst her purse enabled him 
to cheer many a lonely pilgrim in Edinburgh, " his reports of 
dying Christians and of reclaimed wanderers, and of Evangelical 
movements cheered her Ladyship in Melville House." With the 
venerable John Newton, the friend of Cowper, he maintained a 
close personal intimacy for nearly twenty years, whilst with 
Thomas Scott, the commentator, Charles, of Bala, Andrew Fuller, 
and Abraham Booth, he regularly corresponded, as well as with 
many eminent laymen in London, such as Macaulay, Hardcastle, 
Grant, and Wilberforce. His friendship and information were 
rendered valuable by his knowledge of all the public movements 
of truth and philanthropy in Scotland. " He had thus," continues 
his biographer, "to watch the public mind in Edinburgh, and to 
consult with all who led it, and to mingle in all the deliberations 
and efforts by which new objects were brought before it. And 
then he transcribed, for private circulation, copies of whatever 
English or foreign letters he received, which were likely to multi 
ply or confirm the friends of Evangelization, besides answering 
many a long letter from the tried or tempted on Christian experi 
ence. After this description, it may be understood how it was 
that the good Countess of Leven, in writing to Mr. Grant, the 
father of Lord Glenelg, playfully styled him " one of the wonders 
of the world." 

At the period at which this narrative has arrived Mr. Campbell 
was rejoicing in the light of the Gospel with an assured confi 
dence, which till then he had not before experienced, but which 
never left him to the end of his protracted and chequered course. 
For many years he had known and believed the truth, but his 
views of Christ had been rather sought in the reflection of the 
inward work of the Holy Spirit in his heart than in the finished 


righteousness of Christ, and he had neither peace nor joy in be 
lieving. It was a subjective rather than an objective faith. 
Doubts, fears, and actual backslidings, had often shaken his hope, 
and driven him almost to despair, even at the time he was esteemed 
by other Christians and regarded as a pattern. At last, to use his 
own earnest words in a letter published by Mr. Newton, " The 
cloud which covered the mercy-seat fled away, Jesus appeared 
as he is ! My eyes were not turned inward, but outward. The 
Gospel was the glass in which I beheld him. In the time of my 
affliction, the doctrine of election appeared irritating and confound 
ing ; now it appears truly glorious and truly humbling. . . . 
I now stand upon a shore of comparative rest. Believing, I 
rejoice. When in search of comfort, 1 resort to the testimony of 
God ; this is the field which contains the pearl of great price. 
Frames and feelings are, like other created comforts, passing 
away. What unutterable source of consolation is it that the 
foundation of our faith and hope is ever immutably the same I 
the sacrifice of Jesus as acceptable and pleasing to the Father as 
ever it was I To this sacrifice I desire ever to direct my eye, 
especially at the first approach of any gloom or mental change." 

One more extract from this striking document which so de 
lighted Mr. Newton must suffice. 

"After my deliverance," continues Mr. Campbell, "my ideas 
of many things were much altered, especially about faith. I per 
ceive that this principle in the mind arises from no exertion in the 
man, but the constraint of evidence from without. The Spirit 
takes the things of Christ, and discovers their reality and glory 
in such a manner to the mind of man, that it is not in his power 
to refuse his belief. It is no mighty matter, nor is it any way 
meritorious, to believe the sun is shining when our eyes are daz 
zled with its beams. The internal evidences of the truth of revela 
tion had ten thousand times more effect upon my mind than all 
its external evidence. There is a divineness, a glory, and excel 
lence in the Scriptures, perceived by enlightened minds, which 
they cannot so describe as to make it intelligible to an unregene- 
rate person. Formerly the major part of my thoughts centred 
either upon the darkness I felt or the light I enjoyed. Now they 
are mainly directed to Jesus, what he hath done, suffered, and 

It was when Mr. Campbell was thus exulting in the first joys 
of his spiritual emancipation that Mr. J. A. Haldane became ac- 


quainted with him, and after reading these extracts, it is more 
easy to understand how his experience was then made useful to 
the young disciple by exhibiting those refreshing views of the 
Gospel as glad tidings, proclaiming freedom from the condemna 
tion of the law, and showing that our hopes are to be fixed only 
on the work which Christ has finished, although our conduct is to 
be regulated by what Grod has commanded. Mr. Campbell used 
in after-life to speak with pleasure of those communings with his 
new friend, and then modestly to add, "But very soon he got the 
start of me, and left me far behind." 

It was in Mr. Campbell s shop that Mr. James Haldane was also 
first introduced to Mr. John Aikman. Mr. Campbell, with that 
good-humored cordiality and attractive drollery which formed one 
of his characteristics, and to which he was indebted for much of 
his popularity, addressed Mr. J. Haldane somewhat to this effect : 
" You, Sir, are from the East Indies, and my friend here is from 
the West. You belong to the same prayer-meeting, and should 
be united." The introduction was mutually agreeable, and the 
commencement of a Christian friendship which no circumstances 
ever interrupted. 

Mr. Aikman was a man of good talents and education, who was 
fond of reading, and so well acquainted with some of the modern 
languages, that in after-years he was able to preach in French to 
the prisoners of war at Pennycuick, near Edinburgh. He had 
been brought to the knowledge of Christ by reading Newton s 
" Cardiphonia ; or, Utterance of the Heart," which he purchased 
at a book-stall in London, under the supposition that it was a 
novel, and would do for a circulating library he was then estab 
lishing in Jamaica. He relinquished a lucrative business in that 
island from reluctance to be associated with traffic on the Lord s 
day ; and having arranged with his partner, returned to Scotland 
with a moderate competence. At the time of which we are now 
speaking he was studying at the College, and attending the 
Divinity lectures, with a view to the ministry. He had neither 
the energy nor the physical strength of his new friend, and his 
health had suffered from residence in a tropical climate. But 
added to very agreeable social qualities, and general information, 
there was in him that warmth of piety, that constraining ]ove to 
Christ, that earnest zeal to advance his kingdom, which prompted 
him to efforts even beyond his power, and soon won the heart of 
James Haldane. 


This is not the place to descant on the low and melancholy 
state of religion at that time in Scotland. But some reference to 
it is necessary to this narrative. It has been called " the midnight 
of the Church of Scotland ;" and although here and there might 
be seen a burning and a shining light, as in Stirling and its 
neighborhood, yet it served only to make the gloorn more visible. 
It was a darkness that might be felt, and the infidelity of David 
Hume, Adam Smith, and their coadjutors, first infecting the 
Universities and seats of learning, had gradually insinuated its 
poison into the ministrations of the Church. Some had altogether 
thrown off the mask, like the eminent and scientific Professor 
Playfair, under whose ministry James Haldane himself had sat 
as a boy when living at Lundie House. He would sometimes 
smile at the recollection of the bow from the pulpit, which, accord 
ing to the ancient usage of feudal times, was then directed at the 
close of the service to the pew of the chief heritor in the parish 
church, even when the youthful occupier happened to sit alone. 
Others, with more of inconsistency, exhibited the same infidelity 
as the amiable Professor Playfair, whilst they still ate the bread 
of orthodoxy, and in practice trampled on the doctrines and pre 
cepts of the Church. Dr. M Gill, of Ayr, had published a Socinian 
work, of which the Kev. John Newton declared that it alarmed 
him "more than all the volumes of Priestley ;" yet even he was 
absolved by the Assembly. Dr. Robertson, the friend of Hume 
and Adam Smith, was, not without reason, more than half sus 
pected, whilst Dr. Blair s moral sermons had shown how, in 
Scotland as well as in England, the professed ministers of Christ 
could become, in the words of Bishop Horsley, little better than 
" the apes of Epictetus." 

The following extract may serve to show a state of things 
which modern historians sometimes try to ignore, although it 
proves the need that existed for a voice to rouse the people from 
the sleep of death. It is taken from the " Autobiography of the 
Rev. Dr. Hamilton, of Strathblane," the father of the well-known 
and esteemed minister of the Scotch Church, Regent-square, 
London : 

" Principal Hill and Dr. Finlayson," says Dr. Hamilton, " ruled the Assem 
blies, and the parishes were occupied by the pupils of such divines as Simpson, 
Leechman, Baillie, and Wight. Many of them were genuine Socinians, Many 
of them were ignorant of theology as a system, and utterly careless about the 
merits of any creed or confession. They seemed miserable in the discharge of 


every ministerial duty. They eagerly seized on the services of any stray 
preacher who came within their reach. When they preached, their sermons 
generally turned on honesty, good neighborhood, and kindness. To deliver a 
Gospel sermon, or preach to the hearts and consciences of dying sinners, was 
as completely beyond their power as to speak in the language of angels. And 
while their discourses were destitute of everything which a dying sinner needs, 
they were at the same time the most feeble, empty, and insipid things that ever 
disgraced the venerated name of sermons. The coldness and indifference of 
the minister, while they proclaimed his own aversion to his employment, were 
seldom lost on the people. The congregations rarely amounted to a tenth of 
the parishioners, and the one half of this small number were generally, during 
the half-hour s soporific harangue, fast asleep. They were free from hypocrisy. 
They had no more religion in private than in public. They were loud and 
obstreperous in declaiming against enthusiasm and fanaticism, faith and reli 
gious zeal. Their family worship was often confined to the Sabbath, or, if 
observed through the week, rarely extended to more than a prayer of five or 
three minutes. But though frightfully impatient of everything which bore the 
semblance of seriousness and sober reflection, the elevation of brow, the ex 
pansion of feature, the glistening of the eye, the fluency and warmth of speech 
at convivial parties, showed that their heart and soul were there, and that the 
pleasures of the table and the hilarity of the light-hearted and gay, constituted 
their paradise and furnished them with the perfection of their joy." 

This is the testimony, not of a foe to the Church of Scotland, 
but of a friend ; of a faithful minister, who lived and died in its 
communion. If we were disposed to add further corroborative 
evidence to the truth of his melancholy picture, it would be found 
in the graphic sketch which has been drawn of the dominant 
party by the brilliant pen of Mr. Hugh Millar, in his masterly 
review of the almost Infidel debate in the General Assembly, on 
the subject of Christian Missions. It furnishes, as he remarks, a 
better illustration of the true character of Moderatism than the 
reader will be able to find for himself almost anywhere else. Dr. 
John Erskine, of Edinburgh, was for many years the revered 
leader of the evangelical party of the Church of Scotland, and is 
thus described by Bishop Hurd, " Erskine, next to Warburton, 
is the deepest divine I have yet known." But Mr. Millar s noble 
portrait of this venerable man might have acquired some fresh 
touches of interest had the report from which he draws his mate 
rials enabled him to state the precise point in the speech of the 
minister of Gladsmuir which called forth the crushing reply of Dr. 

The overture under debate and the Resolution so vehemently 
opposed amounted to this, " That it is the duty of Christians to 
carry the Gospel to the heathen world." After describing the 


character of Dr. Erskine and some others,. Mr. Millar thus 
proceeds : " The bruit goeth shrewdly, said De Bracj to his 
companion in arms, the Templar, ( that the most holy order of 
the Temple of Zion nurseth not a few Infidels within its bosom. 7 
Hume, intending on one occasion to be very complimentary, said 
nearly the same thing of the Church of Scotland. Was the com 
pliment deserved ? And if so, what peculiar aspect did the Infi 
delity of the Scottish clergy assume? Was it gentlemanly and 
philosophic, like that of Hume himself? or highly seasoned with 
wit, like that of Yoltaire ? or dignified and pompous, like that of 
Gibbon ? or romantic and chivalrous, like that of Lord Herbert, 
of Cherbury ? or stupid in ruffianism, like that of Paine ? or 
redolent of nonsense, like that of Kobert Owen ? or was it not 
rather of mark enough to have a character of its own, an Infi 
delity that purported to be Antichristian on Bible authority, 
that, at least, when it robed itself in the habiliments of unbelief, 
took the liberty of lacing them with Scripture edgings ? May I 
crave the attention of the reader, instead of directly answering 
any of these queries, to the facts and reasonings employed by the 
Eev. Mr. Hamilton, of Gladsmuir." 

Copious extracts are then given from the speech of Mr. Hamil 
ton, who was rewarded for his services with the office of Moderator ; 
He argued, with a glozing affectation of reverence for the Word 
of God, " that the gracious declarations of Scripture ought to lib 
erate from groundless anxiety the minds of those who stated in 
siish moving language the condition of the heathen." He went 
further, and ventured even to borrow the Infidelity of Rousseau, 
and more than insinuated that, in communicating Christianity to 
the Indian or Otaheitan, we should only introduce the vices of 
European nations, whilst the influence of our religion would not 
refine his morals or ensure his happiness. Mr. Hamilton con 
cluded, " Upon the whole, whilst we pray for the propagation of 
the Gospel and patiently await its period, let us unite in resolutely 
rejecting these overtures." But there was one point which this 
" Moderate" had especially labored, and it was to show the 
absurdity of making revelation precede civilization. " Men," he 
said, " must be polished and refined in their manners, before they 
can be properly enlightened in religious truths." And, as he 
drew to the close of his flowery harangue, he demanded, with an 
air of triumph, where did we find the great Apostle of the Gen 
tiles ? Was it amongst barbarians, such as those to whom it was 


now proposed to carry the Gospel ? or was it not rather in the 
polished cities of Corinth, of Athens, and of Rome ? It was when 
this orator sat down that Dr. Erskine rose, with a dignity worthy 
of the descendant of Lord Cardross, a dignity to which his char 
acter, his learning, and his age, added weight, and, in a calm, 
firm, energetic tone, uttered those crushing words which thrilled 
through the Assembly, "MODERATOR, RAX ME THAT BIBLE" 
(Reach me that Bible). There was something before which even 
his opponents quailed in the appeal thus made to the silent wit 
ness for God s truth, which still lay upon the table. The Bible 
was handed to him, and the Assembly seemed awed and electrified, 
and a death-like silence reigned whilst the aged man of God turned 
up the sacred volume and read, in a distinct and audible voice, 
the account of Paul s reception at Melita, when "the barbarous 
people showed us no little kindness." " Do you think," said Dr. 
Erskine, "that when Paul wrought his miracles at Malta, and 
was supposed to be a god, he did not also preach Christ to the 
barbarians, and explain who it was through whose Name such 
power was given unto men ?" The rest of his speech was equally 
effective ; but if the Moderates felt abashed by the discomfiture 
of their champion, they consoled themselves with the strength of 
the majority, by which they rejected the appeal on behalf of Mis 
sions to the Heathen. 

It may be imagined with what feelings this debate was listened 
to, by him from whose lips these reminiscences were derived. 
But there was one favorite argument of the Moderator which sunk 
into his heart, and to which his future life returned a conclusive 
answer. They tauntingly asked, why not look at home ? Why 
send missionaries to foreign parts, when there is so much igno 
rance, unbelief, and immorality, at your own doors ? He felt the 
force of the appeal; and when he afterwards himself carried the 
Gospel into the parishes of Inveresk, or Gladsmuir, or Messel- 
burgh, or preached at the Cross of Ayr, in the presence of Dr. 
M Gill himself, or in the College Close of Aberdeen, or in the 
town of Thurso, he could not forget the exhortations of the Mod 
erate ministers in the General Assembly, when they resisted 
foreign missions by insincerely talking of the necessities of their 
own people. 

Other, although less public proofs, of the degraded state of the 
dominant party in the Church might be mentioned, particularly a 
Presbytery dinner to which Mr. J. H. was invited in Edinburgh 


upon a special occasion, and to which he had gone, hoping for 
useful, perhaps spiritual, or, at least, rational conversation on 
those topics in which he was now chiefly interested. Instead of 
this the company were treated to Bacchanalian songs, the folly of 
which was aggravated into something approaching to wickedness 
by an admixture of ridiculous, if not profane, allusions to their 
own sacred calling and functions. The burden of one song was 
the prescription of " a bumper of Nottingham ale," in the pulpit 
at the different stages of a Presbyterian discourse. If, in the 
heyday of youth and fblly, while God was not in all his thoughts, 
he had been disposed to turn away from the convivial excesses 
of his associates at sea, how was he likely now to appreciate such 
approaches to the same intemperance, in connection with eternal 
realities, amongst the professed heralds of the Cross, whose duty 
it was to warn men to flee from the wrath to come ? 

Shortly after the debate on Missions and the exhibition of what 
Bishop Warburton, in writing to Dr. Erskine, termed "Paganized 
Christianity," the visits of the Rev. Charles Simeon, of Cambridge, 
communicated to Mr. Haldane another and holier impulse. At 
the close of the Assembly of 1796, Mr. Simeon, invited by Dr. 
Walter Buchanan, arrived in Edinburgh. It was his wish to 
make a short tour of pleasure in the Highlands, and it was 
arranged that he should meet Mr. James Haldane at Airthrey, 
and proceed by Balgonie, Melville House, Perth, Dunkeld, Blair 
Athol, to Glasgow. He went in the first instance to the house 
of Mr. Innes, in Stirling, and, as it was the sacramental week, he 
attended the preparatory services on the Saturday, and himself 
communicated on the Lord s day. At Airthrey he found Mr. and 
Mrs. James Haldane expecting him, their brother being himself 
in London, privately and quietly engaged about his Indian Mission. 
Mr. Simeon s visit to Airthrey, although only for a few days, was 
not without fruit, as it was marked by the blessing which it 
brought to a young lady, to whom, after listening to her music, 
he spoke on the importance of consecrating this and every other 
gift to the glory of God. 

It was on that occasion that Mr. Simeon took part, for the first 
time, in the Scotch Church, as a communicant at the Lord s table, 
thus marking the catholic spirit by which he was animated ; but, 
after all, only following the example of the great Archbishop 
Usher and other distinguished ornaments of the English Church. 
The celebrated Dr. Claudius Buchanan mentions in his diary, that 


he spent his last Lord s day in England, with Dr. Bogue, at Gos- 
port, and partook of the Lord s Supper with his Church at Gosport. 
Mr. Simeon was, however, fatigued by the extreme and injudi 
cious length of the services ; and, in his journal, bitterly complains 
of the preparatory service on Saturday, which lasted four hours and 
a half. The first preacher, Mr. Eobertson, discoursed for an hour 
and a quarter. He was followed by Dr. Campbell, whose "ser 
mon was admirable," but lasted an hour and a half. " Had I," 
says Mr. Simeon, "been fresh and lively, I should greatly have 
enjoyed this excellent sermon, but I had no ears to hear ; the 
length of the service wearied me exceedingly. Nor was I singu 
lar: the whole congregation were much like myself; many were 
asleep, and all the rest had a stupid, unmeaning stare, that evi 
denced them to be altogether unmoved by the precious things 
that were spoken. After Mr. C. had finished, Mr. Shireff, the 
minister of St. Ninian s, went up and (as they call it) gave 
directions respecting the time and manner of administering the 
sacrament next day. To this he added a word of exhortation." 
In talking of it at Airthrey, Mr. Simeon said, that Dr. Campbell s 
and Mr. Shireff s sermon and exhortation seemed as if turtle and 
venison had been served after he had dined well on roast-beef and 
plum-pudding. Mr. Simeon s journal proceeds : 

" Sunday, 19th. Went with Messrs. Innes and Campbell to St. 
Ninian s. Mr. Shireff began the service, arid preached a useful 
sermon from Hebrews x. 10. After preaching above an hour, 
besides prayer and singing, he left the pulpit, and went to the 
head of the tables. There he gave an exhortation respecting the 
sacrament, which to me was more excellent than his sermon. 
* * * I communicated at the second table, where Mr. Camp 
bell exhorted. His exhortation was exceedingly precious to my 
soul. I was quite dissolved in tears. I made a full, free, and 
unreserved surrender of myself to God. Oh, that I may ever 
bear in mind His kindness to me, and my obligations to Him! 
After communicating I left them, and saw, as I came into the 
church-yard, one preaching there in a tent. I walked home 
(three miles to Airthrey) alone by choice, and met numbers com 
ing to the sacrament, which, as I understood, lasted till about 
eight in the evening. They had about a thousand communicants, 
a fresh exhortation to each table, and a sermon to conclude. 
They who could stay there from beginning to end, with any 
profit to their souls, must be made of different materials from me." 



It had been determined that the tourists should proceed on 
horseback, and Mr. Simeon, in an entry in his journal, soon after 
his arrival in Edinburgh, exclaims: "Everything that I could 
wish, and much more than I could have expected, has taken place 
On Thursday, Sir John Stirling offered me his own mare for my 
northern tour, and this day Mr. (James) Haldane has offered to 
accompany me." It seems, however, that Sir John Stirling s offer, 
for some reason, was ultimately declined, for he bought a horse at 
Stirling, which, from its color, was playfully named Dun Scotus, 
but which did no great credit to his country, as appears from one 
of his letters, written some months after his return to Cambridge. 
"Dun Scotus," he says, " fell lame seventy miles from home, but 
brought me home safely. I kept him two months, with a farrier 
to attend him most of the time, and then sold him for nine 
guineas, so that I was not any great gainer by him." Mr. J. 
Haldane was better mounted, and attended by one of his broth 
er s servants, carrying the saddle-bags of both the travellers, after 
the fashion of the times : thus equipped, they left Airthrey on the 
20th June. They proceeded down the valley of the Forth, by 
the road which beautifully winds along the southern base of the 
Ochil hills, by Alloa and Dollar, to Balgonie, in Fife, where they 
were hospitably received by Lord Balgonie and his Lady, the 
daughter of that Mr. Thornton "about whose head," as the great 
Scottish missionary, Dr. Duff, has eloquently said, " the poet 
Cowper has woven a garland of imperishable renown," On the 
following day, Lord Balgonie himself rode with them to Melville 
House, the seat of his father, the Earl of Leven and Melville, 
under whose roof they found " something infinitely better than 
mere worldly pomp and grandeur." They then proceeded by 
St. Andrew s across the Tay to St. Madoe s, and thence to Perth 
and Dimkeld. From this beautiful place, which Mr. Kobert 
Haldane used, in the words of the Psalmist, to call " the city of 
the wood," they proceeded on the Saturday to Blair Athol, re 
turning the same evening to Moulin, where the Kev. Mr. Stewart, 
afterwards of Dingwall, and then of Edinburgh, at that time 
ministered. The results of this visit were very memorable. Mr. 
Stewart had been previously earnest about his work from a sense 
of duty, but in himself coldly orthodox ; and like Luther, before 
lie knew the glad tidings of the Gospel of justification by the 
finished work of Christ, groaning under a spirit of bondage and 
of fear. They reached Moulin on the Saturday morning prepara- 


tory to the Sacrament, and remained over the first service, which 
was by no means edifying. The next service was to be in Gaelic, 
and on this account they proceeded to Blair. At Blair there was 
no room in the inn, so that they were glad to avail themselves of 
Mr. Steward s kindness, and return in the evening to his hospita 
ble mansion. It was the occasion of revival to Mr. Stewart s soul ; 
rather, as he himself says, " It was no revival ; I never was alive 
till then." But his own letter to Mr. Black, written immediately 
afterwards, will best tell its interesting tale. 

" What thanks do I not owe you for having directed my two late visitors to 
call at my cottage, as I have thus had the honor and blessing of entertaining 
angels unexpectedly. Messengers of grace I must reckon them, as their visit 
has been thus far blessed to me, more than any outward dispensation of Provi 
dence that I have met with. They were so kind as to put up with such accom 
modation as we could afford them, though our house was a good deal out of 
order on account of Mrs. Stewart s illness, and spent two nights with us. Mr. 
Simeon gave us his friendly assistance on occasion of dispensing the Lord s 
Supper, and frankly preached two discourses on the Sabbath, besides serving a 
table in English. This was the whole of the English service for that day. His 
sermons, and the conversation and prayers, I have no doubt, of both gentlemen, 
have indeed been eminently blessed to me. Since I first entered on my sacred 
office, 1 have not felt such a lively season as the last week has been. I had 
some private conversation, too, with my kind friend Mr. Haldane, which proved 
not a little edifying to me. I shall not fail to return his visit when I go next 
to Edinburgh. When I have such friends as him and you to see, with the 
prospect of being introduced perhaps to Dr. Buchanan, possibly to Dr. Davidson 
and C., I shall think it will be incumbent on me to make my visits to Edinburgh 
more frequent than they have been hitherto. And I am sure I shall have vastly 
more enjoyment in collecting spiritual knowledge, and deriving vigor and ani 
mation from the Fountain of life, through the conversation and counsel of the 
servants of the Lord, than ever I found, or can find, in the conversations of all 
the literati or metaphysicians that your University contains." 

In another letter, addressed to Mr. Simeon, and dated Novem 
ber 25, 1796, Mr. Stewart begins : " Ever since the few happy 
hours in which I was blessed with your company, I have daily 
thought, with pleasure and gratitude, of the Lord s loving-kind 
ness to me, in sending two of his chosen servants, so unexpectedly 
and so seasonably, to speak to me the words of life." 

In another letter, he speaks of the impression produced by 
" the short interview" in Mr. Simeon s bed-room. This alludes 
to the manner in which his pious guest wished "good night" to 
his kind host, when the latter conducted him to his apartment. 
In doing so, Mr. Simeon briefly expressed his prayer that Mr 


Stewart might be fitted for the important and responsible charge 
which he held as a minister of Christ. But the words were with 
power, and Mr. Stewart, under the influence of emotions produced 
by that memorable " good night," having next gone to Mr. James 
Haldane, and also conducted him to his room, they sat down 
together, and talked much and long concerning that Gospel which 
had been so recently revealed in all its glory and its grace to Mr. 
Simeon s fellow-traveller. The next morning was the Sacramen 
tal Sabbath, and Mr. Simeon himself not only communicated, but 
served one of the tables. The novelty of his position as an Eng 
lish clergyman made him, however, rather nervous, and occasioned 
some slight blunders. 

In Mr. Simeon s interesting letter to Mr. Stewart, published in 
his Life by Rev. "W. Carus, there are one or two little matters of 
detail which are inaccurate, but which are only worthy of notice 
as showing how difficult it is to secure minute certainty in the re 
lation of facts. The reason of their leaving Moulin upon the 
Saturday was their ignorance of Gaelic, and the reason of their 
return was simply the want of accommodation at Blair. Still, in 
any case, the circumstances were such as fully to warrant Mr. 
Simeon in saying, "It has often brought to my mind that expres 
sion of the evangelist, He must needs go through Samaria. 
... It is our privilege to expect those invisible interpositions, if 
we commit our way to Him ; and every instance that comes to 
our notice should encourage us to acknowledge Him in all our 

It is only proper to add, that Mr. Stewart s conversion was 
followed by a remarkable revival in his parish and neighborhood, 
and that he gave so much countenance to itinerant preaching that 
his biographer, the Rev. Dr. Sievewright, from fear of giving of 
fence, actually deemed it prudent, more than twenty years after 
ward, to veil Mr. James Haldane s name under the initial H., al 
though the biographer was recording letters in which Mr. Stewart 
himself expressly names him as a " messenger of grace" to his 

On the following Monday they proceeded to Taymouth, a place 
with which Mr. J. A. Haldane was well acquainted, having in his 
youth resided there as a guest at the Castle, and gathered many 
interesting and fresh reminiscences of the pious Yiscountess Glen- 
orchy, whose husband did not live to attain the Earldom. Whilst 
halting their horses at Killiecrankie, to view that magnificent and 


rocky defile, where, amidst shouts of victory, the Viscount Dun 
dee passed from the battle-field to the tribunal of God, Mr. Simeon s 
horse was seized with a fit arid came to the ground, throwing his 
rider nearly to the edge of the precipice. On recovering himself, 
and after a time remounting, instead of being ruffled by the oc 
currence, he spoke in the most striking and beautiful manner of 
the sudden transition he had nearly experienced. They had been 
speaking a little while before of the things of heaven, and he re 
marked how wonderful it would have been to have been transport 
ed in a moment, beyond the bounds of time and space, to that 
place of which they had been discoursing, and so leaving this 
world of trouble and sin, to have joined the general assembly and 
church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven. 

From Taymouth they rode to Inverary, and thence to Arro- 
quhar and Luss, whence, after three hours walking, they reached 
the summit of the lofty Benlomond. " There," says Mr. Simeon, 
" amidst mountain scenery, inexpressibly majestic, we went to 
prayer together, and dedicated ourselves afresh to God." Nine 
teen years later, Mr. Simeon, for the third time, visited Scotland, 
and once more he ascended Benlomond, although not with Mr. 
Haldane, and with feelings of sacred and solemn delight, recalled 
the fond recollection of that act of dedication in which his com 
panion and himself, the one in his twenty-eighth, and the other 
in his thirty-eighth year, had devoted themselves to the service 
of the Lord. 

On the following Lord s-day, Mr. Simeon preached twice at 
Glasgow; and, after visiting Mr. Dale s establishment, at New 
Lanark and other places, particularly the residence of Sir John 
Stirling, they arrived at Edinburgh on the following Saturday, 
" crowned with loving-kindness and mercy," and in time for the 
sacrament in the Canongate, at which he was next day a commu 
nicant. He preached in the evening at Lady Glenorchy s church, 
to three thousand people. He adds, " Mr. Haldane gave me a 
parting prayer." Next day he says : " After sermon this morn 
ing, my dear friend, Mr. Haldane, left me, after having been my 
companion three weeks. We were mutually affected with fer 
vent love to each other, and with thankfulness that we had been 
permitted so to meet together." 

Mr. Simeon arrived at Cambridge on the 30th of July, but not 
without incurring the risk of another fall with Dun Scotus, such 
as he experienced at Killiecrankie. He was fond of riding on 


horseback, but in these days of railways, it is curious to look back 
to the customs of a period, little more than half a century ago, 
when a clergyman and a college-fellow reckoned the purchase of 
a horse at Stirling, to be the most satisfactory method not only of 
accomplishing a Highland tour, but of returning from Edinburgh 
to Cambridge. 

Shortly after Ms arrival, he addressed the following letter to 
his friend : 


" Aug. 17th, 1796. 

" MY DEAREST FRIEND AND BROTHER, Though I have been arrived at home 
no less than ten days, I am far from having got through all the business which 
so long an absence has entailed upon me : I cannot, however, any longer delay 
the just expressions of my gratitude to you, lest I should appear to be unmind 
ful of the many obligations which you have conferred upon me, and of the hap 
piness I enjoyed in your company and conversation. I was called away from 
Edinburgh somewhat sooner than I had fixed for my departure from it; and ex 
cepting one more such little accident as I experienced in your presence, near 
Moulin, I was brought in safety and comfort to the end of my journey. But I 
greatly missed my fellow-traveller. Now and then my mind was enabled to 
soar a little ; but having no opportunity of communicating its ideas, it grew 
torpid and dull. It was soon wearied in its flights, and distracted in its medi 
tations. Even natural curiosity dozed, for want of some friend to whom one 
might express one s sense of the surrounding objects ; nor did I find any occa 
sional relief from conversation with any pious person, for, except a Methodist 
preacher, whom I overtook on my road, about five miles south of Dunbar, I die 
not see so much as one person that feared God between Edinburgh and Leeds. 

" And now what have I to do, but to devote myself more than ever unto God \ 
Surely this, my dear Brother, should be the effect which the Divine mercies 
should produce. I trust they have wrought thus on you, and I hope they wih 
on me. 

" I rejoiced greatly to see the amiable and spiritual dispositions of your dear 
partner, and ardently do I wish, for your sake, for her sake, for your family s 
sake, that she may increase in the knowledge of her God and Saviour. Bid her 
take courage, and press forward with more and more alacrity. She will have 
much to conflict with, no doubt : but she will find it an inexpressible advantage, 
that she has an husband that will go hand in hand with her, as a fellow-heir of 
the grace of life. Pray present my very affectionate respects to her, and tell 
her that my heart s desire and prayer to God, on her behalf, is, that she may 
come forth into the full light and liberty of the Gospel, enjoying a spirit of 
adoption, and an earnest of her eternal inheritance. 

" I cannot conclude without begging you to accept my warmest aeknowledg 
ments for the kind attention which you showed me, during the whole of oui 
continuance together. I trust that He who will not suffer a cup of cold water 
to go unrewarded, will one day recompense to you all the love which you show 
ed towards tlis most unworthy of all his prophets, and I earnestly pray that Ho 


may be your Companion and Guide through life, and after death your everlast 
ing portion. 

"To hear of your welfare, and especially to hear of it from yourself, will be 
a rich gratification to 

"Your very affectionate and most indebted friend, 

" James Haldane, Esq., Airthrcy, Stirling" 

Soon after the termination of the tour with Mr. Simeon, the 
two brothers were called to mourn the loss of their elder uncle 
and guardian, who died of gout, at Lundie House, at the begin 
ning of August. He was a man of a very noble, gallant, and 
energetic character, whose services were so highly prized by the 
Government, that it was with difficulty he obtained leave to retire 
from the army. His name still lingers in America, in connection 
with the campaigns in Canada, as appears from the fact, that it is 
prominently introduced in one of the historical romances of Coop 
er, the American novelist. It has often been said of Colonel 
Duncan, that had opportunity offered, he would, in all probabil 
ity, have been as distinguished on land as was his brother at sea. 
To both of his nephews he well performed the part of a kinsman. 
In the management of the elder brother s property he showed 
peculiar judgment, and the estates of Lochton and Keithock, 
which he purchased for him out of their father s personalty and 
the savings of the minority, more than doubled in value. An 
anecdote, in connection with a riot, which took place at Dundee,, 
was often told by his nephews, as strongly indicative of his courage 
and military strategy. The mob had come out to burn down cer 
tain mills, which were unpopular. The civil power was quite un 
able to restrain their fury, and there were no soldiers at hand. 
The Colonel, in whose neighborhood the mills were situated,, 
mounted his horse, and skirting the line of the mob, rode briskly 
along, calling out as he passed his brother magistrates, in a deter* 
mined tone, to offer no obstruction to the advance of the mob,, 
but to allow the soldiers to get between them and Dundee. The 
word passed through the crowd, that soldiers had arrived, and the 
Colonel was gone to intercept a retreat. A panic arose,, and the- 
rush to regain Dundee soon left in tranquillity the scene of their, 
intended devastation. In his county he was one of its most in 
fluential aristocracy, and very shortly before his death turned the 
election in favor of the late Sir James Carnegie, of Southesk, in 
his contest with Sir David Scott. Having no issue^ Colonel Dun- 


can was succeeded by his younger and only brother, then Corn- 
mander-in-Chief of the North Seas. 

From Mr. Simeon s letters and the account of his tour, it is not 
difficult to conclude, that his companion s progress in the Divine 
life had been both rapid and decisive. With him Christianity 
had become all in all, and his whole soul absorbed in the love of 
Christ, went forth in an ardent desire to promote his glory. For 
some time he had been a constant attendant at a meeting, held at 
the Kev. David Black s house in North Eichmond street, where 
prayer was wont to be made by a few earnest Christians, influ 
enced by a desire for spreading the Gospel, and promoting the 
glory of their Lord and Master. One of these prayer-meetings 
was held on Friday evening, and another on the Lord s-day morn 
ing. The former is described, in November, 1795, as "now in 
creased, and conducted on such a plan as not to interfere with the 
duties of the family or the closet. They assemble at seven 
o clock on Sabbath mornings, and continue about an hour and a 
half, during which time three or four members usually pray, after 
having sung part of a psalm, and read a portion of Scripture." 

The Edinburgh Tract Society, which preceded the great Society 
in London by several years, had been formed, chiefly through the 
active zeal of the indefatigable Mr. John Campbell. But the first 
public distribution of tracts in Scotland seems to have been made 
by the Rev. Charles Simeon, who, during his tour, scattered both 
in the streets and highways, " The Friendly Advice." Different 
opinions will be formed as to the wisdom of this practice. Much 
depends on time and circumstances. But there is no doubt that, 
during the early part of his career, James Haldane witnessed 
much good fruit, as the result of following the example of his 
Cambridge friend. The venerable Countess of Leven, who looked 
with alternate doubts and satisfaction on lay preaching, gave her 
unqualified approbation to this novelty, and offered Mr. Campbell 
ten or twenty pounds, to be laid out in tracts. She pleasantly 
reproves her faithful correspondent, for not reporting more con 
cerning Mr. Simeon s tour, and asks, "Is it accident or design ? 
why, especially as your friend Captain Haldane was his travelling 
companion?" He replies with his wonted drollery, "I am sat 
isfied to be nailed to the Grass Market, till Providence draw the 
nail. When Captain Haldane was talking of the tour, I told him I 
envied him : but in a minute I saw my blunder, and checked myself." 


About the same time Mr. Campbell began to institute Sabbath- 
schools in Edinburgh and its neighborhood. To promote this 
object a new Sabbath-school Society was in 1797 formed in Edin 
burgh, independent of clerical superintendence, which had for its 
object the establishment of Sabbath-schools in destitute localities. 
Connected with each teacher there was to be a committee, who 
were to aid him in the devotional exercises, and one of them was 
in rotation to deliver a short address to the children, parents, and 
any poor destitute persons that could be induced to attend. One 
of these schools was set up by Mr. Campbell at Loanhead, a col 
lier village with a neglected population. Mr. James Haldane 
rode out with him to witness its commencement, but such was his 
reluctance to make himself conspicuous, that he could not be pre 
vailed on to address a few words to the assembly of parents and 
children who crowded the Cameronian Meeting-house which had 
been lent for the benevolent object. On the following Lord s-day 
evening, this was done by Mr. Aikman, and Mr. Campbell adds, 
" Oh I how many precious addresses proceeded from the silken or 
silver lips of that man of God during the following forty years." 
Hitherto his plans had been confined to Edinburgh. Mr. James 
Haldane began to think that he might himself do something to 
extend Sabbath-schools in the north of Scotland, although without 
any idea of preaching. But before making this attempt, which 
would have been incompatible with Mr. Campbell s occupations, 
he agreed to accompany that good man on a tour for a week to 
the west of Scotland. The following is the account of it extracted 
from Mr. Campbell s autobiography 

" We set off on Monday morning, taking some thousands of tracts with us, 
in a one-horse chaise, distributing tracts to rich and poor as we proceeded. We 
obtained a meeting in Glasgow from a few friends of the cause of God, who 
were recommended to us as active and zealous. We laid before them the gen 
eral neglect of giving religious instruction to the youth of our country, except 
in pious families described the plan pursued in Edinburgh for educating the 
youth in the principles of the Gospel, by the formation of schools on the Sab 
bath evenings, and the countenance that was given to the plan, and the ease 
with which children were collected, with the trifling expense that attended its 
execution. After some conversation, those present were formed into a Society 
for establishing and conducting Sabbath-evening schools in Glasgow and the 
surrounding towns and villages. We acted in the same way and with the same 
success in Paisley and Greenock. We also called on ministers of different de 
nominations in the towns through which we passed, and conversed with them 
on the subject of Sabbath-schools, all of whom, I think, approved of the plan. 
I remember all the persons to whom we offered tracts on the road, whethei 


they were in carriages, or on horseback, or on foot, received them, except in 
two cases, the one a gentleman on horseback, who would not condescend to 
stretch forth his hand to receive the proffered tract, but rode sullenly on; 
the other was that of three gentlemen on horseback, to whom we held out 
tracts on both sides of the gig ; two took no notice, the third partly held out 
his hand to receive them, but immediately drew it back, as if they had been 
infectious. We left them lying upon the road, which was then dry, that if they 
repented they might still have them. We afterwards looked back, when we 
saw them halting in a group at the top of a rise, and receiving them from a 
boy, whom they had sent back to bring them to them. I found afterwards that 
they were three Burgher ministers who were returning from the Synod ; for 
the Rev. John Brown of Whitburn, eldest son of John Brown of Haddington, 
called upon me about three months afterwards to apologize for their rejecting 
our tracts. He said they heard who we were at the next town they came to 
(viz. Selkirk), and were sorry that they so treated us, but they thought they 
were papers on politics, for these were the sad days of Tom Paine, and the 
French Revolution, when the nation was on the very verge of rebellion. We 
arrived at home on Saturday evening. In three months afterwards we heard 
that the result of this one week s exertion was the formation of sixty Sabbath 
evening schools ! The Christian zeal that had been excited in Scotland by the 
lately-formed Missionary Society in London, greatly helped to the success of 
our week s experimental journey." Life of Campbell, p. 129. 

This journey to the west of Scotland in the spring of 1797, 
was the commencement of an active career of usefulness, which 
continued for no less than fifty-four years. But a reference to 
his own notes will once more enable us to trace the steps by 
which he was gradually led to become himself a preacher of the 

" For some time after I knew the truth, I had no thoughts to 
wards the ministry. My attention was directed to the study of 
the Scriptures and other religious books, for my own improve 
ment, and because I found much pleasure in them. "When I first 
lived in my own house, I began family worship on Sabbath even 
ings. I was unwilling to have it more frequently, lest I should 
meet with ridicule from my acquaintance. A conviction of duty 
at length determined me to begin to have it every morning, but 
I assembled the family in a back-room for some time, lest any one 
should come in. I gradually got over this fear of man, and 
being desirous to instruct those wuo lived in my family, I began 
to expound the Scriptures. I found this pleasant and edifying to 
myself, and it has been one chief means by which the Lord pre 
pared me for speaking in public. About this time, some of my 
friends remarked that I would by and by become a preacher. A 
person asked me whether I did not regret that I had not been a 


minister, which made a considerable impression on my mind. I 
began secretly to desire to be allowed to preach the Gospel, which 
I considered as the most important as well as honorable employ 
ment. I began to ask of God to send me into his vineyard, and 
to qualify me for the work. This desire continued to increase, 
although I had not the most distant prospect of its being gratified, 
and sometimes in prayer my unbelieving heart suggested that it 
could not be. I had no idea of going to the highways and 
hedges and telling sinners of the Saviour. However, I enter 
tained some distant hope that the Lord would direct. Things 
which passed in conversation tended to increase my expectation, 
and a tour I proposed to undertake to the north with a view of 
establishing Sabbath-schools, at length opened a prospect of being 
allowed to speak for Jesus. The success of a journey to the west 
country, increased my desire of going through the north, not to 
preach, but to establish schools, while I was to be accompanied 
by a minister from England, who should preach in the towns and 
villages. Before we set out, our plan was enlarged. Another 
Christian brother (Mr. Aikman) with whom I had become partic 
ularly intimate in a prayer-meeting, who had studied for the min 
istry, agreed to accompany us, and both he and I began to preach 
in a neighboring village about the same time. The journey to 
the north is pretty generally known, and ever since the Lord first 
allowed me to speak of him to others, I have found increasing 
pleasure in the work, and seen, I hope, more of the inward work 
ings of my corrupt heart, while I have found His grace all 

Mr. Campbell s account of the " Origin of Lay preaching at 
Gilmerton, near Edinburgh," is written in his own plain matter- 
of-fact style, 

" I had," says Mr. Campbell, " an acquaintance in the large collier village of 
Gilmerton, and one who lived near it. They were frequently telling of the 
ignorance and irreligion of the inhabitants ; and no wonder, for they had noth 
ing like the Gospel in the Parish Church for at least forty years. These 
reports made me often feel compassion for them, and I remember calling on 
Dissenting ministers of different denominations, urging them to supply poor 
Gilmerton with a sermon now and then, which they were to mention to their 
presbyteries; but it came to nothing. Soon after this, a worthy friend of mine, 
a Mr. Buchan, one Monday morning introduced me to a Mr. Joseph Rate as a 
preacher from Dr. Bogue s academy at Gosport. On asking him what stay he 
intended to make in Edinburgh, he said for some weeks. I immediately related 
the circumstances of Gilmerton, and asked if he would preach to them while h 


remained, on Sabbath evenings. He said he would, if I could get him a place 
to preach in and people to preach to. I said I had no doubt but I should pro 
cure both, for they had a kind of thatched town-house capable of containing at 
least two hundred persons; but Mr. Salmon comes to the Corn Market on 
Wednesday, and always calls upon me. I shall then be able to tell you posi 
tively about both the place and congregation. On mentioning the matter to 
Mr. S., he said, If you will assure me of a preacher on Sabbath evenings, I 
will insure you of a place and congregation, which I cheerfully engaged to do. 
I mentioned the matter to Mr. James Haldane and Mr. Aikman, who were de 
lighted with the circumstance, and as I was obliged to attend to my own 
bishopric at Loanhead that evening, they engaged to walk with Mr. Rate to 
Gilmerton, where they were glad to find a house full of people waiting for 
them. After sermon he intimated that he would preach there regularly on the 
Sabbath evening for some time, or until further notice. The next evening the 
congregation was increased, by persons coming from a greater distance. During 
the succeeding week Mr. Rate was called to leave Edinburgh, as he expected 
only for a few days, of which the next Sabbath was one : but who was to sup 
ply Gilmerton for that Sabbath evening? There was no one, and yet a con 
gregation would assemble. In our dilemma Mr. Haldane recommended to Mr. 
Aikman to do it; but he would not consent. However, he was afterwards 
gained upon to consent to preach, by Mr. Haldane telling him that if he would 
consent to preach the next Sabbath, and Mr. Rate did not return during the 
week, he would engage to supply the succeeding Sabbath. This offer, coming 
from a sailor, touched the right chord in Mr. Aikman s warm heart, and con 
strained him to comply with the solicitation to preach, and he did preach, greatly 
to the satisfaction of the judicious Christians who were present, and no Mr. 
Rate making his appearance the following week, Mr. Haldane was obliged to 
take his place on the Sabbath evening, much to the satisfaction of the 

Mr. J. Haldane s first sermon thus alluded to was preached at 
Gilmerton, on the 6th May, 1797, and on the same day his third 
daughter was born. Amongst those who were present at the ser 
mon was the well-known Dr. Charles Stuart, of Dunearn, whom 
it may be proper here to introduce to the reader. Dr. Stuart was 
a lineal descendant of the good Regent Murray, and at one time 
stood third in prospective succession to that ancient Earldom. 
He was a man of deep piety, and induced to enter on the study 
of divinity, at a time when the ministry of the Church of Scotland 
presented few temptations to a man of birth and family. He was 
presented to the parish of Cramond, near Edinburgh, and married 
a daughter of the venerable Dr. Erskine, who was himself par 
tially disinherited by his father (the Blackstone of Scottish juris 
prudence) because he had declined the profession of the law and 
assumed that of a minister, which, in the judgment of the Scot 
tish aristocracy, was then a choice unworthy of a descendant of 


the noble houses of Buchan and Mar. Dr. Stuart did not, how 
ever, remain long satisfied with the Church of Scotland. In his 
thirst for general information and the society of good men, Dr. 
Stuart had gone from the Divinity Hall in Edinburgh to some of 
the Dissenting Academies in London, and there imbibed notions 
unfavorable to the union between Church and State. For some 
time these opinions lay dormant, but at length he became con 
vinced that he ought not to baptize the children of unbelievers, 
or admit to the Lord s table those who did not make a consistent 
profession of Christianity. Acting on this persuasion, he found, 
on examining his parishioners, that there was hardly a family 
whose children he could baptize, or whose adult members he 
could admit to the Lord s table. The pain of his scruples was 
aggravated by his hypochondriacal constitution, and an alterna 
tion of high and low spirits, which made him at one time as 
melancholy in his solitary hours as he was at other times joyous 
as a companion. The result was that he resigned his charge, 
quitted the Church of Scotland, studied medicine, took his degree 
as a physician, and became a zealous Baptist. Still it was his 
more peculiar honor to be "a lover of good men" of every name, 
and a promoter of every enterprise which had for its object the 
diffusion of the Gospel. 

When Mr. James Haldane preached his first sermon, Dr. Stuart 
was at once surprised and delighted with the power, the energy, 
and the earnestness of the preacher. He pronounced him a 
Boanerges, and became from that moment an admirer and friend. 
There is no doubt that Dr. Stuart s influence on Mr. James Hal 
dane was considerable, as it was also on several other eminent 
men ; and it would have been remarkable if it had not been so, 
considering Dr. Stuart s active zeal, affectionate friendship, as well 
as his elegant scholarship, critical acuteness, general knowledge, 
and attractive qualities. In the preceding year the " Missionary 
Magazine" had been commenced, under the auspices of Dr. Stuart, 
with Mr. Ewing as the editor. 

The preaching at Gilmerton was attended with a blessing. The 
people flocked in crowds to hear Mr. Aikman and the Sea-Captain. 
The parish minister, who had been at first quiescent, now burned 
with indignation, and took means to deprive them of the school- 
house, in which they had hitherto preached, and which had been 
filled to overflowing. But Mr. Falconer, a pious tradesman, pro 
cured a spacious loft as a substitute, and when this was found 


insufficient, a large barn, which continued to be filled to excess 
by the people, who nocked from the neighborhood, and listened 
with interest to their earnest and affectionate appeals. About 
this time an incident occurred, which Mr. James Haldane men 
tioned with emotion not long before his death, in conversing with 
the surviving sister of Mr. Aikman, who was one of the last 
persons he visited. He was crossing the High-street near the 
market, then held round the Tron Church, when a countryman, 
dressed like a miller, with a whip tied over his shoulder, rushed 
across the street, and eagerly holding out his hand, said, " Oh 1 
Sir, I m glad to see you." Mr. J. Haldane, surprised at this 
familiarity, replied, "I do not know you." "Ah! Sir," ex 
claimed the honest carter, as the big tear rolled down his manly 
cheek, " but I know you, for you preached the Gospel to me at 

Miss Aikman, who records this touching anecdote, goes on as 
follows: U A considerable degree of general excitement arose 
out of the preaching at Gilmerton, and some even of the Evan 
gelical ministers in Edinburgh became afraid of the consequences 
of lay preaching. But the two preachers increased in boldness, 
and hearing of the death-like state of the north of Scotland, and 
the carelessness and immorality of the ministers, resolved to make 
a tour, and examine personally into the state of religion, and 
preach the Gospel in the streets of the different towns and popu 
lous villages visited. They made this plan the subject of prayer 
and consultation, and when it was fixed that they should go, each 
of them wrote an address to the congregation at Gilmerton, and 
got a large impression printed for distribution on the road. In a 
letter I had from Miss Stuart (Dunearn), she says, c My father has 
read both your brother s address and the Captain s with great de 
light. They also reprinted a tract, written by the Eev. Charles 
Simeon, of Cambridge, entitled, An Advice to all whom it may 
Concern, and these tracts they gave away at every place where 
they preached, to all who would receive them, two years before 
the London Tract Society was formed in 1799. On the evening 
before their departure for the north, there was a special meeting 
for prayer held in the Eev. David Black s house, North Richmond- 
street, where they were recommended by the brethren to the grace 
of God for the work in which they were about to engage." 

It was a memorable tour, the first of a series of successive itin 
erancieSj in which Mr. James Haldane, at first accompanied by Mr. 


Aikman, afterwards by Mr. Innes, or again by Mr. Campbell, 
preached in almost every town or populous village in Scotland, 
from Berwick-upon-Tweed and the Solway Frith to John o Groat s 
and the northern islands of Orkney and of Shetland. Good men 
may differ in their opinions as to the general question of the law 
fulness of lay preaching, but no well-judging Christian will think 
it wise to condemn that on which the Lord has stamped the seal 
of his approbation. Upon the tour to the North in 1797 there 
was poured out a blessing which never can be mistaken, and 
whatever may be said of the regularity of their commission, it 
will be safer to adopt the sentiments so beautifully expressed in 
one of Mr. Simeon s letters to Mr. James Haldane after his 

"With respect to your excursion, I am far from having entertained the 
opinion you suppose. I must acknowledge that I think immortal souls of such 
value, that I should rejoice if all the Lord s people were prophets. With re 
spect to regularity, propriety, &c., the most godly men in all ages have differed 
in their judgment; and I find it so difficult precisely to draw the line in any 
ease of my own, that I do not presume to judge for others. Some think they 
may eat meat, and others not ; I neither judge nor despise, but leave all to 
their own Master. We certainly must not do moral evil, that good may come. 
But if mercy and sacrifice stand in opposition to each other, we may choose 
mercy ; and if David and his men be fainting with hunger, they may eat the 
forbidden bread. I love all good men of all descriptions, and rejoice in the 
good they do, whether they do it in my way or not. I think for myself and 
act for myself, and leave others to do the same. As a minister who has a flock 
that is dear to him, I stand more aloof from those who might injure them than I 
should if I were a private individual. But if I must err on one side, I wish it 
to be on the side of love and zeal." 



WHEN Mr. James Haldane and Mr. Aikman commenced their 
first preaching tour through the North of Scotland, they took 
their commission from the obligation imposed on every believer 
to proclaim to others the Gospel of salvation, and from the pray 
ers with which they were solemnly commended to the grace of 
God in the house of their pastor, the much honored David Black, 
the Minister of Lady Tester s Church. Disputes there may be as 
to the lawfulness of what is called lay preaching, and assuredly 
the great body of private Christians have neither the opportunity, 
the ability, nor the leisure, to preach in public. But the office of 
an Evangelist is, in some sense, imposed upon every Christian in 
whatever sphere he moves. For surely it cannot be denied that 
every believer is bound, in his family and amongst his friends, to 
make known to others the glad tidings of salvation. Accordingly 
we read (Acts viii. 1, 4), that when " the Church were all scat 
tered abroad, except the apostles" " therefore they that were scat 
tered went everywhere preaching the word." "If," says an able 
divine, "if the Gospel be true, can there be any danger of sin in 
proclaiming its truths ? If the Gospel be salvation, and if God 
wills the salvation of men, can it be sinful to tell them of that 
which saves from hell ?" But the question was fully and warmly 
debated at the time Mr. J. Haldane entered on his itinerancies, 
and the arguments which he has himself so ably drawn from 
Scripture in the introduction to the Journal of his Tour in 1797, 
cannot now be easily refuted. " "We would not," he says, " here 
be understood to mean that every follower of Jesus should leave 
the occupation by which he provides for his family to become a 
public preacher. It is an indispensable Christian duty for every 
man to provide for his family ; but we consider every Christian is 


bound, wherever lie has opportunity, to warn sinners to flee from 
the wrath to come, and to point out Jesus as the way, the truth, 
and the life. Whether a man declare those important truths to 
two, or two hundred, he is, in our opinion, a preacher of the 
Gospel, or one who declares the glad tidings of salvation, which 
is the precise meaning of the word preach" 

Having very forcibly asserted the right of every man who 
knows the Gospel to proclaim it, he next disclaims any design of 
usurping or intruding into the PASTOR S office, an office which was 
quite distinct from that of an EVANGELIST, as evidenced by the 
apostolic declaration that there were " some evangelists, and some 
pastors and teachers." (Ephes. iv. 11.) 

His reasoning is powerful, and its force was substantially ad 
mitted by Mr. Simeon, Mr. Scott the Commentator, as well as the 
venerable John Newton, and others of his correspondents. He 
winds up his able defence with the following words : " Such are 
some of the arguments which have satisfied our minds that we 
have a right to preach the Gospel, founded both on reason and 
on the Word of God. We formerly hinted that our situation in 
life enabled us to undertake the journey without interfering with 
necessary avocations, and we deemed the low state of religion a 
sufficient call for us to go to the highways and hedges, and en 
deavor to compel our fellow-sinners to lay hold on the hope set 
before them in the Gospel. The writings of laymen in defence 
of Christianity have always been considered peculiarly important, 
as there is less ground to suspect such men of interested motives, 
and the clergy are naturally led to refer to such writings when 
the enemies of the Gospel have ascribed their zeal to ambition 
and priestcraft. Strange, then, if we might not speak on subjects 
on which we might have written !" 

Besting on these principles, actuated by these motives, encour 
aged by the prayers of their brethren, and stimulated by an ear 
nest and affectionate zeal to promote the Gospel of their Lord and 
Saviour, Mr. J. A. Haldane, accompanied by Mr. Aikman and 
Mr. Joseph Rate, left Edinburgh on Wednesday, 12th July, 1797, 
having firr-t addressed the following as a manifesto of their de 
signs : 

* To the Edilo; of the * Missionary Magazine? from the persons engaged in the 
Scotch Itinerancy. 

" The advantage of missionary schemes, both in England and Scotland, has 
emarkably appeared, not only in exciting the zeal of Christians to send the 



Gospel of Jesus to the dark places of the earth, but to use means to extend it 
influence at home. With this view a missionary journey has been undertaken 
to the northern part of Scotland, not to disseminate matters of doubtful dispu 
tation or to make converts to this or the other sect, but to endeavor to stir up 
their brethren to flee from the wrath to come, and not rest in an empty profes 
sion of religion. Accordingly, they are now employed in preaching the word 
of life, distributing pamphlets, and endeavoring to excite their Christian breth 
ren to employ the talents committed to their charge, especially by erecting 
schools for the instruction of youth. As the Lord alone can crown their en 
deavors with success, and, as He has declared, that for all the blessings He be 
stows on his Church and people He will be entreated, they earnestly request 
the prayers of the friends of Jesus. That their object may be misrepresented, 
they have no doubt. It has already been said, they are going with a design of 
making people dissatisfied with their ministers; but they can appeal to the 
great Searcher of hearts, that they are determined, in their conversation or 
preaching, to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. If they should 
meet with teachers who do not follow the apostolic rule, they will not bid them 
God speed, lest they become partakers of their evil deeds ; but they love no 
man more or less because he is of the Establishment or of the Secession. 
They would therefore request, that intercession should be made for them by the 
Church of Christ without ceasing, that they may have a prosperous journey ; 
and that many who are now disobedient may be, by means of them, turned to 
the wisdom of the just, that God in all things may be glorified through Christ, 
to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen." 

They travelled at their own expense, in a light open carriage 
purchased for the occasion. They were largely provided with re 
ligious tracts and pamphlets, which they also themselves printed 
for the purpose ; and fresh supplies were forwarded to different 
stations on their route. Of Mr. Simeon s " Friendly Advice to 
all whom it may concern," they circulated 5,000 ; of Mr. Hal- 
dane s " Address," 4,000 ; of Mr. Aikman s, 3000 ; besides 8,000 
short sermons and other tracts. They were also accompanied by 
Mr. Joseph Eate as far as Inverness, where he was usefully occu 
pied for more than two months, while his colleagues proceeded to 
the Orkney Islands and to Caithness. The account of this tour, 
as well as the Introduction and Appendix, were chiefly written 
by Mr. James Haldane. It is marked by his characteristic manly 
simplicity, and is singularly devoid of egotism or self-seeking. 
Even the good that was done is scarcely noticed, and, in one of the 
few instances where it is just glanced at, it is said, u To the name 
of Jesus we would desire to render all the glory of the undeserved 
honor and happiness of beiDg instrumental in plucking any of 
our fellow-sinners as brands from the burning." 

The Journal begins : 


" July 12. Left Edinburgh (after frequent, earnest, and united prayer t< 
God for direction and support), and arrived at Northfeery, where we immedi 
ately began our labors. Preached in a school-room to about fifty persons 
Came forward to a village called Keltic Bridge about ten at night, where thev 
preached next morning." 

Having, on the 14th, preached at Perth, Scoon, and Cupar, 
they proceeded to Meigle, Glamis, and Kerrjmuir, preaching in 
hospitals, at market-crosses, and in churchyards, attracting some 
attention, but not so much at first as afterwards. In order to fur 
nish an idea of their plan, and as this was the first occasion on 
which the false doctrines of the parish ministers were openly at 
tacked, we shall insert Mr. J. Haldane s own entry in the pub 
lished Journal : 

" Lord s-day, July 16th. Kerrymuir. Preached in the morning, at eight 
o clock, in the market-place, to upwards of 200 people. Went to church and 
heard sermon. The minister preached from 1 John iii. 8. The sermon did not 
appear to us* glad tidings to sinners. The object of it was to show, that the 
Son of God came into the world to instruct and enable men to destroy the 
works of the devil. He represented the Gospel as a contract between God and 
man, of which the equitable condition was repentance and sincere, although im 
perfect, obedience, which God, he added, was too just and too good not to 
accept. As he read the sermon, and repeated every passage of the smallest 
importance, it was impossible for us to mistake the meaning of any of them. 
The Lord s Supper was then dispensed ; and it surely must affect the minds of 
all who know the importance of the Gospel and the value of men s souls, to 
learn that, immediately afterwards, upwards of 1,500 persons, daily acquiescing 
in such doctrine as has been mentioned, professed to commemorate the death 
of Christ. We heard one table served by a neighboring minister. This per 
son, to guard the communicants against the commission of sin, told them that, 
if they fell into any after that day, there remained no more sacrifice for them. 
. . . When the Church was dismissed in the evening, went to the top of a 
walled-stair in the market-place, which the congregation had to pass, and imme 
diately began as usual by singing. There might probably be near 1,000 people 
who stopped. Preached to them from Mark xvi. 15, 16, Go ye into all the world, 
and preach the Gospel to every creature, &c. Explained to them the Gospel, 
and the circumstances which rendered it glad tidings to every creature ; showed 
that it was a dispensation wholly of grace, and that it was completely contra 
dictory, both to Scripture and to fact, to represent a man as capable of doing 
anything in order to render himself acceptable to God. ... Told the people, 
plainly, that what they heard was not the Gospel, and urged them to search the 
Scriptures for themselves, mentioning, at the same time, that our only motive 
in making these observations was love to their immortal souls, whose final state, 
we were convinced, depended upon their belief or rejection of the Gospel. As 
to their minister, we could have no ill-will towards him; but, on the contrary, 
sincerely prayed to God that He might give him repentance to tlie acknowledg 
ment of the truth." 


They again preached on the Monday morning, at Kerrymuir, 
to a large congregation, many of whom came in purposely from 
the country ; and then proceeded to Forfar, where they preached 
in the street to a very attentive congregation, and took occasion 
to warn the people against Paine s u Age of Reason," which had 
been there extensively circulated and obtained some footing. At 
Brechin they preached to a crowded and attentive auditory, and 
where, for the first time, they availed themselves of the town- 
drummer to announce the sermon. The Itinerants apologized for 
this mode of publishing their sermons, expressing a fear lest it 
might shock the feeling of some serious persons. " But," says Mr. 
H., " these emotions ought certainly to subside when we consider the 
vast importance of using every means to assemble careless sinners 
to hear the Word of God, and the impossibility of our adopting 
any other mode equally effectual for giving general notice in our 
limited time." Accordingly, the bellman, or town-drummer, as 
the case might be, was generally charged with an intimation ; 
and in the Orkney Islands the people, of their own accord, sum 
moned their more distant neighbors by lighting beacon fires on 
the hills. 

At Montrose, where they preached twice, they observe, " We 
were sorry to learn that many of the children in Montrose were 
unable to read, in consequence of going to the cotton manufactory 
at a very early age. They are greatly neglected by their parents, 
and crowd the streets on the Lord s-day." This remark shows 
how soon the establishment of factories and the employment of 
young children began to corrupt and demoralize the people. 
With reference to the ignorance of the children there is the fol 
lowing note : 

" This is by no means to be considered as the unavoidable consequence of 
attending a cotton manufactory. In the cotton mills at Lanark, established by 
Mr. Dale, the greatest attention is paid, both in teaching the children to read 
and in instructing them in the principles of Christianity. It would be well if 
those who imitate that friend of his country in employing children in their 
manufactories, would imitate him also in his earnest care to communicate the 
blessings of religious knowledge to their tender minds." 

From Montrose the tourists proceeded to Bervie, and thence 
to Stonehaven, where, amidst the remnants of Popery and non- 
juring Episcopacy, they "noticed the greatest indifference to the 
concerns of eternity that they had anywhere remarked," although 
there were two Episcopal chapels besides the parish church. 


The insertion of the following letter from J. A. Haldane to Mr. 
Campbell, although hastily written, may be more interesting, and 
have in it more of freshness, than extracts from a journal pre 
pared for the public. It is dated, Banff, July 28th, 1797 : 

" MY DEAR FRIEND, It gave us much pleasure to hear of your welfare this 
morning, by your letter to Mr. Aikman. I received your other letter at Aber 
deen, and it gave us cause to glorify God on your behalf when we heard he had 
so strengthened and countenanced you at Gilmerton. I hope and believe, that 
your labors there will not be in vain. But, while I am on this subject, I would 
say a few words as to your exerting yourself too much. You say you are 
sometimes at a loss what is duty, but I imagine all your friends see clearly that 
you ought to spare yourself. I do not mean to say what you ought to do and 
what not, but you ought to be guided by the state of your body and not ex 
haust your strength. By following this plan you will, humanly speaking, do 
more in the Lord s service in the long run ; and therefore here is a proper open 
ing to exercise self-denial. Mr. Newton says, in one of his letters, that the 
devil would be glad to have you out of Edinburgh. I believe he would be glad 
to have you out of the world, although it were to remove you to a better. You 
will think it hard that I should first wish you to take more work and then find 
fault, but you know that nothing but unfeigned affection for yoju and desire to 
promote the Redeemer s glory can actuate me in this matter. I therefore think 
that you should endeavor to get some one to assist you at Lonehead, and you 
can give an exhortation at the end, and sometimes at Gilmerton. Perhaps you 
may get a curate. But you wish me to tell you what we are doing. I should 
have written to you before now, but I wrote to Mr. Ewing and told him to ac 
quaint you of our progress, and really our time is so short that we cannot em- 
ploy much of it in writing letters. I know there is no one more interested ir* 
our success than yourself, and none, I am persuaded, who remembers us more 
at a throne of grace. Therefore, be assured, when we are long in writing to 
you it is not owing to forgetful ness, for I believe you are in each of our hearts. 
You ought to be on mine, for there is no one whose preaching, conversation, or 
writings, have been so useful to me as the hours we have spent together. The 
letter to Mr. Ewing was from Stonehaven. We went on next day to Aberdeen 
and saw several brethren, who were very kind, but seemed to think we were 
going rather too far in preaching in the streets, &c. We spoke to them at sup 
per about schools, &c., but there were so many objections, that unless we had 
stayed and taught the schools ourselves, little good seemed likely to be done. 
But I hope what we, said will bring the matter under consideration, and that 
hereafter something of that kind may be established. The parties are not much 
united, which is a vast loss. We preached twice on Saturday at Old Aberdeen, 
once there on Sabbath morning ; twice on Sabbath, and once on Monday morn 
ing, at Gilhomston, a small town in the neighborhood. ... So that in two 
half-days we preached ten times in that town and neighborhood. ... I am 
to stay here all Sabbath. Intend preaching to-morrow nigfyt at M Duff town, 
within about a mile from this place. To preach on the Green Sabbath morn 
ing, at M Duff town afternoon, and here in the evening. I have not found the 


least inconvenience from preaching, although sometimes I have been obliged to 
raise my voice a good deal. The people are really perishing for lack of knowl 
edge. Pray, then, that what we say may be blessed, and lead them to search 
the Scriptures for themselves. We shall not have too many pamphlets. In 
deed I suppose we shall need to have sent us what we have left at Edinburgh, 
We shall hope to hear from you by the time we get to Inverness. We were 
much refreshed by your letter this morning, and some others which we received. 
We need something to encourage us, although we have met with enough of 
the Lord s goodness to put to shame our unbelief. He sometimes brings us 
down that we may look to Him, but He has disposed the hearts of all to behave 
to us with much civility and respect in every place. It is a great comfort to 
know that so many of the Lord s people are praying for us. We have, I am 
persuaded, experienced the benefit of their prayers. It is now past five. You 
will soon, I suppose, meet at Mr. Black s. May the Lord meet with you. I 
know. you will remember us. A. and R. will, I suppose, be preaching at the 
very time. I am much obliged by your kindness to my wife. She is very sen 
sible of it. I expected to have heard from her to-day. Remember me to Mr. 
Evving kindly. I have got his letter. I shall write to him some time hence ; 
you can give him what information there is in this letter. It is written in a 
very hurried manner, as you will see. I cease not to pray for you and the 
people of Gilmerton and your colleague. May your labors be crowned with 
abundant success. Remember us most kindly to Mr. and Mrs. Black and all 
our friends. The brethren salute you much. 

" I am, my dear Sir, 

" Yours very affectionately, 

" (Signed) J. A. HALDANE. " 

At Aberdeen a circumstance occurred, which, many years 
afterwards, gave rise to a gross exaggeration, to the effect that 
they had been arrested at the instigation of some of the Profes 
sors, for preaching to the students in the College-close. When 
this idle tale was mentioned in a letter to Mr. J. Haldane, in the 
year 1842, as an old story still circulated on the authority of the 
widow of one of the Professors, then living at Brighton, he replied 
as follows : 

"The matter at Aberdeen was simply this. Intending to 
preach out of doors on the Lord s-day evening, I was told that the 
College-close would be an excellent place, so tlje town drummer 
was sent round to give notice. On Sunday morning, before 
breakfast, I received a message from one of the Magistrates, who 
was also a Professor, that he wished to see me. On presenting 
myself, he inquired how I came to intimate preaching in a place 
which was not public. I replied that I had been informed that 
there would be no objection in any quarter. Who told you so? 
I replied that I was told it and believed it, but would not say by 


whom. He pressed the matter very much, but saw I was firm. 
I had been so told by one highly respectable, who spoke in good 
faith, but whom I would not implicate. But I said, Since it ap 
pears that I was misinformed, I have no wish to persist, and I 
will preach elsewhere. No, said the Baillie, that will be worse; 
it will occasion a riot, and our windows will be broken. l Then, 
said I, as you wish it, I will preach, and accordingly I did so to 
a very great congregation. For this the place was well adapted. 
It is not impossible that the widow s story may be correct in re- 
gard to my telling the Professor that the Gospel was of more 
importance than the studies of the young men, though I do not 
recollect it. At all events, they were not engaged in their studies, 
atf least within the College, on the Sabbath evening. There is, 
however, an episode to the story of the sermon. The Magistrates 
called their drummer to account, and fined him a guinea. He 
was obliged to pay, or would have lost his office. When I heard 
it, I sent him the money, with which he was very well pleased, as 
he had no expectation of it. Not long after my preaching, the 
Magistrates of Aberdeen sent a complaint to the Admiralty of 
their trade not being duly protected. The Admiralty referred 
their letter to Lord Duncan (as Commander-in-chief of the North 
Seas), who told me that he wrote a very sharp letter to the Magis 
trates on the occasion. Of course, he knew nothing of any dif 
ference between them and me, but in those days they attributed 
the sharpness of his rebuke to their interference with me, and I 
met with no farther interruption at Aberdeen." 

The sermon in the College-close was the more remarkable on 
this account, that although Mr. J. Haldane had before preached 
to the colliers at Gilmerton, and ako at various places between 
Edinburgh and Aberdeen, this was the first occasion on which he- 
addressed a crowded audience, composed of persons of all conditions 
in life. It might be said that the whole population of Aberdeen 
turned out by thousands to hear an East India Captain. There 
was novelty in the fact ; but his powers as a preacher wei?e also 
beginning to be known, and the multitude was so great that even 
in the spacious court which they occupied they "almost trod upon 
each other." The people listened with deep attention as the speaker 
addressed them from Bom. i. 16, " I am not ashamed of the Gos 
pel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every 
one that believeth." He spoke with that earnest fervor of spirit 
which gives wings to thought, and inspires eloquence in those 


who are least solicitous about oratory. On a subsequent occasion 
lie preached in the streets of Aberdeen on a Sabbath evening, and 
next morning one of his hearers was found dead, but on his knees, 
in the attitude of prayer. 

In the above letter Mr. J. Haldane alludes to his intention to 
remain at Banff, to preach once on the Saturday at a little village 
in the neighborhood, as w ell as three times on the Lord s-day. 
These intentions were fulfilled, and his ministrations produced a 
deep sensation in the town and district. ,On the Sunday evening 
the Battery -green was usually crowded by multitudes, attracted 
by the military band which during the summer performed for 
two hours every evening. But on this occasion the commanding 
officer, in compliment to Mr. Haldane, very politely intermitted 
the parade, so as to leave the green undisturbed, and more par 
ticularly to give the soldiers an opportunity of attending sermon. 
But there is another circumstance connected with his preaching 
on the Saturday evening, which is still more interesting. It was 
unknown to himself, and is one of the many instances which 
prove how little a preacher can be aware of the effect of the mes 
sages he delivers. It was communicated by the Kev. Dr. Morison, 
of Chelsea, after the death of Mr. James Haldane, of whom he 
said that a remarkable sermon of his, preached on a certain sum 
mer s evening in 1797, on the banks of the Dovern, near Banff, 
had been blessed to his excellent and pious wife. The details are 
given in the following letter, written by Mrs. Morison : 

"April 29, 1851. 

** MY DEAR SIR, When the news reached us of your venerable and beloved 
father s removal from this vale of tears, I did indeed feel (though I never had 
the honor of a personal acquaintance with him) that I had lost a true friend, 
one to whom I shall owe much in eternity, where, through the mercy of God 
our Saviour, I hope yet to meet him, and to converse on all the way in which 
the Lord hath led us, to prove us and to try us, in this wilderness. I do not 
know that the incident to which my husband referred, in a late note, is worthy 
of being formally recorded, yet to me it must always be so interesting that I 
cannot decline communicating it, as well as memory will permit at this distance 
of time. 

" In the summer of 1797, Captain Haldane, as he was then called, visited my 
native town, in -company with one or two other gentlemen, whose names I do 
not remember. By the usual mode of advertisement, the tuck of drum, a ser 
mon was announced, not at the usual place, the Battery-green, but at a neigh 
boring tillage, on the green banks of the gentjy-flowing Dovern. The reason 
for the selection of this spot was the fact, that the Battery-green had been 
previously engaged by a company of equestrians. I was then a very little child, 


and I well remember I had been invited by a school-fellow to accompany her 
to see the equestrians. 

" We had actually set out to go to the place ; but before reaching the spot, 
a worthy lady, who knew us both, met and accosted us, Where are you going, 
my young friends ? My companion replied, To the Battery-green, to see the 
horsemen. Oh, said she, * you had better go with me to the green banks, 
and hear Captain Haldane ; it will do you more good. My companion said, 
No ; I can hear a sermon at any time, but I cannot see the horsemen. She 
determined to execute her purpose, and went to the Battery-green ; and so far 
as I have heard, she has never entered on the narrow path. Young as I was 
then, I was influenced by an unseen hand to accept the pressing invitation to 
go to the sermon on the green banks, and quitted my companion. Captain 
Haldane arrived on horseback at the place where the people were assembled to 
hear him. He dismounted, and gave his horse to the charge of another gentle 
man who stood by. He was then a young man, under thirty years of age, and 
had on a blue great-coat, braided in front, after the fashion of the times. He 
also wore powder, and his hair tied behind, as was then usual for gentlemen. 
And I can never forget the impressions which fell on my young heart, as your 
father, in a distinct, clear, and manly tone, began to address the thoughtless 
multitude that had been attracted to hear him. His powerful appeals to the 
conscience, couched in such simple phrase, at the distance of more than fifty 
years are still vividly remembered, and were so terrifying at the time, that I 
never closed an eye nor even retired to rest that night. I cannot be quite sure 
what was your father s text ; but from the frequent and pointed repetition of 
the words, " Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish," I have reason to be 
lieve that these must have been the subject of discourse. One thing I know, 
that the impression produced by what I heard was never effaced from my mind ; 
for though I did not fully embrace the Gospel for years after I had listened to 
your honored father, yet I never relapsed again into my former state of care 
lessness and indifference to eternal things. 

" And oft, amid the giddy throng, 

Did conscience whisper, thou art wrong, 
Thou art not fit to die. 

" Thus, my dear Sir, very imperfectly, but truthfully, have I endeavored to 
comply with your request; and praying that every blessing may rest on you 
and yours, I am," &c. 

The sermon thus referred to produced a very general impres 
sion. The preacher drew the character of various classes of man 
kind, the rich, the poor, the learned, the ignorant, the old, the 
young, the sinner and the self-righteous, exposing the various 
subterfuges under which the deceitfulness of the human heart 
shrouds itself, and concluding, in regard to each, " Except ye 
repent, ye shall all likewise perish." 

In speaking of Banff and the neighborhood, Mr. J. H. observes, 
in the Journal : 


" Religion appears at all those places to be at a low ebb. A minister of thi> 
town published a Catechism, in which he openly avowed Socinian principles, 
and his opinions, we understood, had made considerable progress among the 
people. The Catholics here, as in some other parts of the north, are said to be 
upon the increase, partly owing to the zeal of their clergy, and the want of zeal 
in others. There is also here an Episcopal meeting. 

"July 31. Met at Cullen, and after preaching and distributing tracts, as 
usual, went on to Fochabers (a village in the neighborhood of Gordon Castle). 
This place is notorious for its laxity of morals and indifference to religion. Of 
these we saw evident tokens in the carelessness and indifference of those to 
whom we preached. 

"August 1. Arrived at Elgin. The magistrates and ministers here prohib 
ited the bellman from giving intimation of sermon ; but though public notice 
was prevented, some friends of the truth were abundantly active, and at the ap 
pointed hour we had a congregation of about 600 persons, to whom we preached 
in the street from the steps of the church. Preached again in the morning. 
We found that the Socinian Catechism formerly mentioned had been introduced 
into the grammar school of Elgin. At a public examination, however, upon 
one of the ministers of the Presbytery, who preaches the Gospel, remonstrating 
against this innovation (in which he was opposed by the ministers of the town 
who were present), the Provost ordered this new Catechism to be discontinued, 
and the shorter one of the Westminster Assembly to be restored." 

From 1 Elgin they proceeded to Forres, and thence to Nairn, 
where they " met with a most affectionate reception from some 
friends of the Gospel, of the Anti-burgher congregation," amongst 
whom " the interests of the kingdom of Christ seemed to flour 
ish," and where there were monthly prayer-meetings and Sabbath- 
evening schools. At Fort- George, the Governor declined permis 
sion to preach to the soldiers, on the ground that " he never heard 
a sermon in any fort on a week-day." Mr. Eate, therefore, re 
mained behind, and his two friends, having preached at Campbel- 
town on the way, arrived at Inverness on the 5th of August. 
Next day being a sacrament Lord s-day, both of them preached 
twice, at different hours, on a hill adjoining the town, and on the 
Monday they again addressed " very great multitudes," morning 
and evening. They also held a meeting to form a Society for 
establishing Sabbath Schools. Three were shortly after erected, 
and instantly met with great success. 

On the 7th August, after once more preaching in the open air 
to a congregation of 500 anxious listeners, who stood all the time, 
although it rained, Mr. J. Haldane and Mr. Aikman left Inver 
ness, with the design of visiting the Orkney Islands. This plan 
was arranged under the following circumstances, thus detailed in 
the Journal : 


" Having heard while at Elgin that a fair was soon to be held at Kirk wall, at 
which there were usually great numbers of people from the different Isles of 
Orkney ; and having also heard of the deplorable state of many of those Islands 
from the want of religious instruction, we resolved that two of us should em- 
brace the opportunity of going thither with the merchants from Elgin, and then 
return through Caithness, Sutherland, and Ross-shires, to Inverness, in which 
place and neighborhood we thought it most advisable for one to stay and labor 
till the other two should return." 

At Nairn they again preached to a numerous congregation, and 
were refreshed by the intelligence received from their Christian 
friends at that place, as to " tokens of Divine presence" already 
manifested in connection with this missionary tour. Having 
again preached at Nairn, Auldearn, and Forres, they arrived at 
Elgin, and again, morning and evening, addressed congregations 
varving from 700 to 1000 persons. 


The visit to the Orkney Islands, in 1797, brought to the inhab 
itants a large outpouring of spiritual blessings. In a memoir of 
James Haldane, it demands peculiar notice. 

In these days, when railroads, steam, and electricity have 
brought us into close contact with almost every corner of the 
world, the Orkneys are still to a considerable extent separated 
from the rest of Britain. But fifty or sixty years ago, a tour to 
the northern islands of Scotland was an undertaking, so much 
more formidable than one to the Hebrides, that it was seldom at 
tempted. The Pentland Frith, which connects the German Ocean 
with the Atlantic, from John o Groat s House to Cape Wrath, 
was in itself a formidable barrier. It is the roughest and most 
dangerous of the Scottish seas, where the waves roll onwards, 
presenting a front, not sloping as in the ocean, but perpendicular 
as a wall, and where foaming whirlpools, powerful eddies, and 
startling waterspouts, produced by strong currents rushing in op 
posite directions, or by sunken rocks, have given occasion to de 
scriptions in which poets and artists have vied with each other in 
painting the sublime and terrible. The impetuous tides of the 
Pentland run at a velocity varying from three to nine miles an 
hour, and the currents are often most dangerous in fogs and calms. 
These tides are, however,, equalled by those in the intersecting 
friths or sounds, 


Where restless seas 

Howl round the storm-swept Orcades, 
Where erst St. Clair bore princely sway 
O er isle and islet, strait and bay ; 
Still nods their palace to its fall, 
Thy pride and sorrow, fair Kirkwall ! 

The commencement of this missionary tour is thus chronicled 
in Mr. J. Haldane s Journal : 

" August 11. Left Elgin and came to Brough-head, where a good many of 
our friends from Elgin and the people of the village assembled, to whom we 
preached. We then embarked for Kirkwall. Several of our brethren accom 
panied us to the boat, and bade us farewell, most affectionately commending us 
to the grace and care of the Lord Jesus. Sailed with a fair wind. It fell calm 
in the afternoon, and the wind seemed likely to become foul, but by the kind 
ness of Providence a fair and brisk gale sprung up, which brought us safely 
into Scalpa Bay, about a mile from Kirkwall, by eight o clock next morning. 
The merchants who freighted the boat, and the sailors in general, behaved to 
us with much kindness and respect. Preached in the boat on Friday evening. 
They listened with much attention, and frequently attended afterwards, during 
our stay at Kirkwall. 

" August 12. Arrived at Kirkwall. Were providentially directed to a friend 
of the truth (Baillie Jamieson), who received us with much kindness. Intima 
ted sermon by the bell at half-past six in the evening, in the Palace Close, 
where we (Mr. Aikman) preached to a congregation of about eight hundred 
persons. This is a square, formed by a large and ancient edifice on the south, 
supposed to have been the palace of some of the Norwegian kings, and on the 
north by another, termed the Bishop s palace. On the east is the church of St. 
Magnus, and on the west it is bounded by a wall. It is capable, probably, of 
containing ten or twelve thousand persons. Having heard that there had been 
only two or three sermons preached in the Island of Shappinshay (a few miles 
distant from Kirkwall), from the time of the last General Assembly, when their 
minister had left them, we resolved that one of us should spend the Lord s-day 
in that island, while the other remained in Kirkwall. The minister of Shappin 
shay was at this time detained in Edinburgh, as an evidence in a trial ; but it is 
well known to be the practice of ministers from that country, to take a consid 
erable vacation at the time of the General Assembly. 

" Before proceeding further in the account of our labors, we shall here offer 
a few remarks on the former and present religious state of Orkney. The 
islands of Orkney, according to our information, which is rendered strongly 
credible by what we actually witnessed, have been, for a period beyond the 
memory of any man living (except in one or two solitary instances), as much 
in need of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, so far as respects the preaching of 
it, as any of the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Many of the parishes compre 
hend two or three different islands. In each of these the minister should 
preach occasionally; but owing to the want of churches, or rather to the 
churches being in want of repair, as well as to the occasional trouble and diffi- 


culty of crossing the Friths which intersect these islands, to say nothing of the 
want of zeal, many of the people see their pastor but seldom in the course of 
the year. It is a fact, that in some cases where there are two islands in a par 
ish, or two parishes annexed in one island, and a church in repair only in one 
of them, the minister preaches in it on one Sabbath, but the next, when it falls 
to the turn of the other island or parish, he neither preaches there, nor in his 
other church, though it may adjoin his manse. 

" It can occasion no surprise to those who know the Gospel and are acquainted 
with that enmity and opposition which the human mind naturally bears to its 
humiliating doctrines, to learn that the sermons of such pastors do not contain 
glad tidings to perishing sinners. At the same time, one would think that the 
most inconsiderate could scarcely fail to be struck with the strange inconsis* 
tency of teaching others that they will be saved by a diligent discharge of the 
duties of their station, while they themselves so openly neglect their own. 
The manners and conduct of the people, as in every other place, are corrupted 
in a due proportion to their ignorance of the Gospel, and to no part, in Orkney, 
as we learn, did this remark more justly apply, than it did about five or six 
years ago to Kirkwall, where, excepting two or three individuals, the great body 
of the people were utter strangers to the doctrine of justification by faith in 
the death and resurrection of Christ without works. It pleased God, however, 
in the riches of his grace, to look down with tender compassion upon the de 
plorable situation of this place, and to send them help out of his holy heaven. 
A native of Orkney, who had been apprentice to a pious tradesman in Kirkwall, 
went to Newcastle, where he attended with profit the ministry of Mr. Graham, 
the Anti-burgher. He returned to Kirkwall, and having experienced the benefit 
of religious society in the south, upon finding another person of views similar 
to his own, he proposed a weekly meeting for prayer and religious fellowship. 
This was immediately formed. One and another, whose minds it pleased God, 
by means of conversation or reading books, which were put into their hands, to 
bring under impressions of the infinite worth of their immortal souls, were 
added to their little meeting. Their numbers continued from time to time to 
increase. These persons now began seriously to feel their state of bondage, 
with regard to religious privileges. They found it was a yoke which they were 
not able to bear, and therefore determined, looking up to God for his counte 
nance, to open a subscription for erecting a place of worship, where they might 
enjoy the blessing of the preaching of the Gospel. Their means were indeed 
but very slender, and appeared little likely to accomplish the end, especially in 
the view of that opposition, with which they knew they must contend. But 
he, whose glory it is to choose the weak things of this world to confound the 
mighty, appeared most eminently in their behalf, and they were enabled both to 
begin and to finish a house for the worship of God, They then applied to the 
Anti-burgher Synod for a minister to preach to them. A minister was accord 
ingly sent, and others successively since that time, all of whose labors appear 
to have been remarkably blessed. Many who were living altogether careless 
of Divine things, since the Gospel was preached in the new church, as it is 
called, have been brought under serious concern, and give good evidence, by 
their conduct, that they are passed from death unto life, and some who were 
avowed enemies have become the friends of the cause. The Lord appears evi- 


dently to have been preparing a people in this place for himself: and it is re 
marked, that since the time that this uncommon concern has been excited, a very 
considerable external reformation has taken place, even amongst those who do 
not appear to be under the influence of the truth. That the Lord s arm hath 
been made bare in behalf of these destitute isles in no common way, -vill 
appear from the fact, that two hundred persons were admitted to the Lord s 
Supper, upon the first celebration of that ordinance in the new church, in July 
last, after a strict arid individual examination, in which the ministers enjoyed, as 
we are informed, much satisfaction. Several also were kept back, of whom 
good hopes are entertained. When the circumstance just stated is contrasted 
with the situation of Kirkwall but four or five years since, the friends of Christ 
may well exclaim with joy and gratitude, What hath God wrought! The 
wilderness hath truly rejoiced; it hath blossomed as the rose. The Lord s 
hand is not yet shortened that it cannot save, neither is his ear heavy that it 
cannot hear. " 

On the next Lord s-day, Mr. Aikman preached twice, to con 
gregations of twelve hundred and three thousand persons, whilst 
Mr. J. Haldane, who was always the first to undertake the more 
laborious duties, for which his physical health and energy better 
fitted him, crossed over to Shappinshay, in a boat sent for the 
purpose by the people, and preached twice by the sea-side, to 
congregations comprising the greater part, of the population of 
the island. But this visit was rendered memorable by the con 
version of an old man, of ninety-two, who had been born in the 
reign of Queen Anne, and was now confined to bed. Mr. J. Hal 
dane visited him after sermon, and found him hardly able to 
speak, although quite sensible. In the Journal he says, "Asked 
him what was to become of him after death? He replied, he 
was very ignorant, could not read, but had sometimes prayed to 
God. On being asked whether he knew anything of Christ, he 
acknowledged his entire ignorance." The old man stated, that 
he remembered how, when a lad, herding cattle, under a sense of 
darkness as to his future state, he once prayed to God that some 
teacher might be sent to enlighten his ignorance. This prayer 
seems to have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and, 
after being treasured up for nearly eighty years, was answered 
almost at the last hour of parting life. Mr. James Haldane came 
to the old man as the messenger of peace, and preached to him 
the Gospel, declaring that now the Lord was waiting to be gra 
cious, and that if he believed what the word of God testified of 
his guilt and misery, and of the person and work of Christ as 
that of an Almighty Saviour, he should be saved. He " seemed 
much affected, and grasped the speaker eagerly by the hand. He 


cried to God for the pardon of his sins ; and being informed that 
his prayers could only be heard through Jesus Christ, who came 
to save the very chief of sinners, he called upon the Saviour for 
mercy, and repeatedly exclaimed, 1 believe, I believe. This recalled 
strongly to our mind the case of the blind man, who, as soon as 
he knew the Son of God, worshipped him." 

The same evening Mr. Haldane returned to Kirkwall, but did 
not fail, as we shall presently see, once more to visit Shappinshay, 
and the dying old man. It was a case to which he often referred 
in after-life, and it was obviously near to his heart at the time, as 
appears from his correspondence, and particularly from the fol 
lowing letter to Mr. Campbell : 

" KIRKWALL, August 14th, 1797. 

"MY DEAR FRIEND, You did not expect to hear from me from this place 
when I left you, but the Lord does all things well. I have written to Mrs. Hal 
dane to-day. You will hear from her some account of us since we came here. 
If, as there is reason to hope, our coming has been useful to the old man, there 
was a needs be for our coming. We intend to stay till Monday. There is a 
great fair here, which begins to-morrow. We intend to preach twice a-day, 
and visit some of the neighboring islands. We go to-morrow to Stromness, 
which is the next largest town on this island, to preach, and visit Mr. and Mrs. 
Hamilton, with whom we intend to stay all night. I was much obliged to you 
for your letter. It increases my respect for Mr. Newton, that he should find so 
little difficulty in resolving the knotty point (as to lay preaching). If the Lord 
spares me to return, I shall write to him. We have left Rate at Inverness. I 
hope he may be the means of doing good there. The Lord has, I am persuaded, 
much people in that place. We received a supply of pamphlets there, which 
we needed, as we were quite run out. You was afraid we had too many, but 
this is not the case. I must request you to desire Mr. Ritchie to throw off two 
thousand more of my Address immediately, and to forward one thousand of 
them to me at Aberdeen, first ship, together with all the other pamphlets he has 
belonging to me." 

The letter here breaks off. and Mr. Aikman takes up his pen, 
and proceeds 

" Our dear friend having written thus far, was obliged to begin to prepare for 
preaching. He therefore handed me over the paper, that I might tell you a 
little of the goodness of the Lord, in his late dispensations towards us in this 
place, and in bringing us to it. Truly this has been the work of God, and not 
of man. We were led to think of coming here by hearing that a multitude of 
" idle vagrants," or busy vagrants rather, assembled here at these times, and that 
an easy opporturity was afforded us by the boats from Elgin. . . . Yester 
day, being Lord s-day, Mr. Haldane went to a neighboring and desolate island, 
and preached two long sermons, and afterwards visited an old man of ninety- 
two, who knew nothing of Jesus, but appeared wonderfully affected. The Lord 


grant that the issue may be to the praise of his grace. I heard a shocking ser 
mon in the Established Church in the forenoon, after preaching to about one 
thousand five hundred people, and was strengthened of God to bear an open 
and explicit testimony against it, from Pilate s question, John xiii. 38, before 
three thousand persons, I suppose. I told them that I accounted it an unspeak 
able happiness to have stood upon that place, and to have declared that there 
was no other name given under heaven, by which men could be saved, but the 
name of Christ . . . Blessed be God, things are much changed (at Kirk wall) 
since the ministers of the secession were sent hither, and of this I hope we shall 
be able to bring you such accounts as shall fill the hearts of our brethren with 
gratitude to Him, who gave his life for the sheep, and who will call the hire 
lings to a strict account. The people in this, as in other places, receive us with 
much affection. Our love to all our dear brethren. Remember us affectionate 
ly to Mr. and Mrs. Black, and to our friend, Mr. Balfour. 

" We are just going to preach ; a great multitude is assembled. Our dear 
friend, Mr. H., officiates. Remember us on Friday (at Mr. Black s prayer- 

" Ever yours affectionately, 


Mr. Haldane adds a postscript to what he calls " the Company 
Letter." He says, 

" Thus far the Company letter. I preached to a large congregation, who were 
much affected. Truly the concern among people here is wonderful. Cease 
not to pray for us, and praise the Lord for his goodness. 

"Yours truly, 

J. A. H." 

On the 15th August they proceeded to J3tromness, where the 
minister, Mr. Hamilton, and his wife, the sister of Mr. Zachary 
Macaulay, received them courteously. After preaching they re 
turned to Kirkwall, where, the fair having begun, multitudes both 
from the islands and mainland were assembled. There, whilst 
the fair continued, their sermons from day to day were an object 
of attraction, and were frequented by congregations amounting to 
3,000 and 4,000, and, on the Lord s-day, even to upwards of 6,000 

" We have here," says Mr. J. Haldane, " much reason to remark the goodness 
of God in disposing the people, the whole time the fair lasted, to continue with 
regularity in their attendance. The fair was, in a measure, emptied every eve 
ning. May He, whose blessing alone giveth the increase, be pleased gracious 
ly to water the seed which hath been sown with the dew of heaven, causing it 
to take root downward, and to bring forth fruit upward, to the praise of the 
glory of his own rich and sovereign grace !" 

But amidst the excitement incident to preaching to thousands 


who hung upon the lips of the preacher, many of whom drank in 
the words of eternal life, the poor, solitary, dying nonogenarian 
at Shappinshay was not forgotten. Once more Mr. J. II. visited 
him, but found him unable to speak, although still sensible and 
capable of expressing intense pleasure in once more seeing his in 
structor. He was supported in his bed whilst Mr. J. Haldane 
spoke, and showed that he understood what was said, by his clasp 
ing his withered hands, and raising them to heaven as if in the 
attitude of thanksgiving. Upon asking him whether he wished 
that prayer should be made, he showed his desire, as far as possi 
ble, by attempting to speak. " His wife said that he had wept 
much after our leaving him on the former day. She had occa 
sionally read to him parts of the Scriptures." He died on the 
next Lord s-day, and the joy with which he received the Grospel, 
the earnest delight with which he welcomed the second visit of 
his spiritual teacher, and the devout peace in which he departed, 
left no room to doubt that he slept in Jesus. 

Eendal and Eva, forming one parish, were next visited. It was 
found that in the latter island there had been no sermon for eight 
or nine years, and that at Rendal there was no Church service ex 
cept on alternate Sabbaths. Eggleshay and Rousay were in a 
situation as to spiritual things, nearly as destitute, although the 
proprietor, when at home, was accustomed to read a sermon to 
the people in church. Kirkwall continued to be the head-quar 
ters of the preachers until -the 23d, when they separated, Mr. Hal 
dane taking the cluster of islands to the right r and Mr. Aikman 
the cluster of islands to the left. Mr. Haldane embarking for 
Eday, was obliged, by the force of the tide r to land at Shappin 
shay, where, during the two hours he was detained, he went into 
a house and expounded the .Scriptures and prayed. After preach 
ing at Eday, and visiting some sick persons, he crossed the Frith 
to Sanday, where he had some difficulty in procuring any lodg 
ing, but preached next day morning and evening to 750 persons, 
at two opposite sides of the island. At North Ronaldshay he 
found that there was no school, and that there had only been a 
sermon five times since the year before. He sent to the proprietor 
a proposal to erect one at his own expense, provided a site and 
grass for a cow should be supplied. This disinterested proposal 
was, however, ultimately declined. At Stronsay, whose mineral 
waters made it a place of resort in ancient times for the Danish 
chiefs, he met with a man who appeared to be a true Christian.. 



" Thus," he observes, " one and another of the sheep of Christ are 
occasionally found in places where they are least expected." After 
preaching to 800 people, or about three fourths of the whole popu 
lation, he took a boat for Shappinshay, and having walked across 
that island and taken another boat, he arrived before midnight on 
Saturday at Kirkwall. Next day, being Sunday, he preached in 
the Palace-close to 2,500 people, and on the Monday again preach 
ed at Kirkwall, and at Deerness and Tankerness, to large congre 
gations. These services were exclusive of family prayer, with an 
exposition of Scripture, which was daily attended by as many as 
their room could hold whilst residing at Kirkwall. 

After a stay of sixteen days they left Kirkwall on the 29th 
August, and having preached on that day and the following at 
different islands, they crossed the Pentland Frith in about two 
hours, being favored with moderate weather. They had preach 
ed no less than fifty-five times in ten days, so that each must have 
preached nearly three times every day. Mr. J. Haldane adds : 

" It becomes us here to remark the goodness of God to us, both in crossing 
the different Friths, and during the whole of our stay in Kirkwall, having never 
once been incommoded, while preaching, with rain, although sometimes the 
clouds had a lowering aspect. Walked two miles from the place of landing to 
Hoonah, to the great inconvenience of one of us (Mr. Aikman), who bruised 
his leg in coming from Eggleshay, a circumstance which, though apparently 
trivial at first, yet afterwards materially altered the plan of our journey, detain 
ing us six weeks in the county of Caithness, instead of a fortnight, as we had 
at first intended." 


The number of inhabited islands in Orkney is now twenty-nine. 
The missionary tourists had preached in nearly all of them ex- 
.cepting Walls and Flota, which Mr. James Haldane took occasion 
-to visit during his detention at Thurso. The detention which 
arose from Mr. Aikman s accident was providentially overruled 
for good, and probably there was no period of his life more dis 
tinguished by unmistakable marks of the Lord s favor than the 
six weeks during which Mr. J. Haldane labored in Caithness. 
In consequence of his excellent companion s confinement to the 
house, he was, in the public ministrations in Caithness, the sole 
laborer ; and if any one desire to estimate the force of his zeal, 
=and the ardor of his desire to speak for Christ, let his labors in 
Caithness at this time be regarded. The state of religion in that 


coanty was then most deplorable. The town of Thurso, contain 
ing between 2,000 and 3,000 inhabitants, had not been catechized 
for forty years, a circumstance which then implied great neglect, 
and "in all the shire of Caithness, consisting of ten parishes," 
there was scarcely an instance of the Gospel being faithfully 
preached. At Thurso, a pious Anti-burgher minister labored 
with some good results, and there were a few of those belonging 
to the Established Church who attended the Secession place of 
worship, without themselves joining its communion. But the 
good that was done by these Anti-burghers was on a very limited 
scale, and no effort was made to extend the Gospel beyond the 
bounds of their own chapels or the families of those by whom 
they were attended. 

" It is," says the Journal, " a mournful fact, that it was the universal practice 
to commute fora sum of money the public profession of repentance enjoined 
by the Church of Scotland on those guilty of adultery or other open transgres 
sions. When such persons have paid the fine, they are admitted to the com 
munion-table without scruple. When such practices as these take place to any 
extent, no wonder if the land mourn, and that the Lord threaten to visit us with 
his sore judgments. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord. Nor 
can it at all surprise those who know the Gospel to learn, that while the name 
and ordinances of God are thus profaned, men should in general be living with 
out God and without Christ, and, consequently, without any well-grounded 
hope in the world. It gives us much pleasure, however, to remark, that the 
Lord hath not wholly left himself without a witness, even in those places which 
are most desolate. It is said that in this shire, about fifty or sixty years ago, 
the whole of the ministers were faithful preachers of Christ. Their testimony 
has been transmitted, and the instructions and example of hutnble individuals 
have been blessed of God for keeping alive a spirit of real religion in some of 
the interior parts of the country. It is remarked that those persons are, in 
general, such as live at the greatest distance from the churches, and who, in 
consequence, meet together by themselves for the purposes of religious confer 
ence and worship on the Lord s-day." 

Such was the state of Caithness at the time wh-en Mr. James 
Haldane preached, on Thursday, the 31st August, 1797, his first 
sermon in the yard of the Anti-burgher Meeting-house to not 
more than 300 persons, " who seemed rather unconcerned." The 
town was crowded with strangers who had come up to the fair. 
The next day he preached twice in a large yard, in the open air, 
to congregations " which seemed more attentive." Next day the 
congregation had increased to 800 persons in the morning, and 
about 1,500 in the evening. On the Lord s-day morning atten 
tion had become so much aroused, that before the usual church 


hours, lie preached at half-past nine o clock to 1,700 people, and, 
although it began to rain, " no person moved." He then went to 
church, where a melancholy sermon was delivered, in which the 
minister cautioned the people against trusting for acceptance with 
God to" the blood of Christ. " His peace-speaking blood," says 
Mr. Haldane, " was only for the holy and the good !" But against 
this false doctrine he testified in the evening to no less than 8,000 
persons, assembled from places far and near, to whom he pro 
claimed the true Gospel of the grace of God. During the follow 
ing week-days he preached morning and evening each day at 
different places in the county. The Journal contains the following 
entry on the next Lord s-day : 

" Lord s-day, September Wth. Preached at ten o clock to from 
2,000 to 3,000 people, many of whom had come from the country. 
Preached again at two o clock, to upwards of 3,000 persons, from 
the Second Epistle of John, verses 10 and 11." 

Another letter to Mr. Campbell, dated 16th September, will 
give a short summary of his proceedings up to this date. 

"THURSO, Sept. 16th, 1797. 

" MY DEAR FRIEND, This is Saturday night, and I am just returned from 
the Island of Walls, one of the Orkney Islands. It was the only one of any 
size we had not visited, and, being the nearest to this place, I thought it a duty 
to visit it, as we have been so long detained here by our dear brother s acci 
dent. After preaching, I left this place on Wednesday morning, preached at 
Walls and the Island of Flota on Thursday, returned at night to Walls, where 
I preached yesterday, and should have been here last night had not the wind 
been too strong. I. desire to be thankful I am now arrived safe and may again 
set up my Ebenezer. I had this journey in contemplation when I wrote to 
Mrs. Haldane on Monday, but as I was not determined, and thought it might 
make her uneasy to hear of my crossing the Pentland Frith again, I said noth 
ing about it. Indeed, I did not fully determine to go till it was time on 
Wednesday to set off. We have now preached in fifteen of the Orkney Islands, 
and in all of them the people have seemed affected under the preaching of the 
Gospel. T this evening received a letter from my wife without a date, but it 
seems, by the post-mark, to be about the 10th of August. It is directed to 
Inverness, and was written before our journey to Orkney was known in Edin 
burgh. Our dear brother s, Mr. Aikman s, leg is not yet quite well, and, as we 
do not intend to run any risk of hurting it by early travelling, I cannot fix the 
day on which we are to leave this. There is much need of the Gospel here. 
I have been strengthened to preach twice a day here since we came, except two 
or three days, during which I have been in the country parishes. When we 
came here we could find no room in the inn, but the Lord directed us to a pri 
vate house ; both our host and hostess (Mr. and Mrs. George Millar) are most 
attentive. May the Lord grant our visit may be useful to them for one thing 


they lack. Remember me kindly to Mr. Newton when you write to him. 
Remember us affectionately to our dear friends with you. I am sure you do 
not cease to pray for us. I have, I am persuaded, felt the benefit of your pray 
ers, especially on Friday evening. Give our love to Mr. and Mrs. Black and 
Mr. Balfour. I am, my dear friend, 

" Yours, ever affectionately." 

Mr. George Millar, of Thurso, is again noticed in the Journal, 
with this prayer attached, " May the Lord recompense their 
kindness by bestowing on them blessings which perish not with 
the using." This prayer on behalf of their kind hosts was 
answered, and they too were brought to Christ, and found that, 
in entertaining strangers, they had " entertained angels una 

On the 17th September, being the Lord s-day, he preached in 
the morning to about 1,500 people, and afterwards heard the par 
ish minister preach from Titus iii. 8. He seemed much afraid of 
people abusing the doctrines of grace, and therefore told them 
that, though they were to be justified freely by grace, yet that 
afterwards they must be justified partly by faith and partly by 
works. He then gave intimation that there would be no sermon 
in the afternoon during the remainder of the season. It is the 
regular practice, it seems, through this part of the country, as it 
is, indeed, in other places farther south, to have only one dis 
course, of half an hour s length, in the day during nearly nine 
months of the year. 

On the evening of the same Lord s day Mr. Haldane preached 
to about 3,000 persons, from Eph. ii. 8-10 : " For by grace are 
ye saved, through faith ; and that not of yourselves : it is the gift 
of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast," &c. " Took 
particular notice of the sermon that had been preached." He 
then told them, that he had found it to be his duty, however 
unpleasant, to bear testimony against the doctrine which he had 
heard from their minister ; but that, though he might be de 
tained another Sabbath in Thurso, he would not again attend 
their church. 

On the Lord s-day, September 24th, the weather being uiuom- 
monly fine, Mr. J. H. preached in the yard to about 3,000 people 
in the morning. Mr. Aikman was still confined, but, as it ap 
peared likely that he would be able to travel in the course of a 
few days, it was determined that his friend, on whom all the 
public laboi had devolved, should spend the remainder oi the 


time they should remain in Caithness in visiting the town of Wick 
and its neighborhood. In the view, therefore, of leaving Thurso 
on the next day, Mr. J. Haldane preached in the evening a fare 
well sermon to a congregation of 4,000 persons, of whom there 
were individuals from every parish in Caithness. It was a solemn 
occasion, and one calculated to stir the heart of the preacher. 
His text was from Acts xx. 32, " And now, brethren, I com 
mend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to 
build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them 
that are sanctified." 

" The parish minister was present, and as it was generally understood that 
he had in view the doctrines we preached, when cautioning the people against 
their being taught to separate faith from works, occasion was taken briefly to 
recapitulate the apostle s doctrine, and plainly to show the absolute necessity of 
completely separating faith from works in the important article of a sinner s jus 
tification before God. At the same time the speaker appealed to those who had 
heard him, whether he had not uniformly insisted on the absolute necessity of 
works, on the other hand, as the never-failing fruit and evidence of faith, with 
out which the faith which any man might say he had would never save him. 
Took occasion also to refer particularly to the lives and conversations of many 
of those who were such strenuous advocates for the doctrine of works, and 
asked whether the total and open neglect, both of personal and family religion, 
afforded them any ground so greatly to glory in their pretended good works ? 
Finally, told them, that he was pure from their blood (referring to the discourse 
connected with his text), which could not have been had he not faithfully 
warned them against the false doctrines which he had heard preached to them." 

The sermon thus referred to was one of great power and ear 
nest solemnity, which was long remembered in Caithness. 

Having preached on his way to Wick, he arrived there on the 
25th, and was most hospitably entertained by another, Mr. A. 
Miller, the chief inhabitant, to whom he was a messenger of grace, 
under circumstances of deep interest, which will presently be no 
ticed. He preached during the week to large congregations, and 
on the market-day twice to 1,000 persons, morning and evening. 

" Lord* s-day, October 1st. Preached in the morning to about 2,500 people. 
Heard the minister, in the forenoon, preach from Matt. xxii. 5, And they 
made light of it. He represented that men, in becoming Christians, first began 
to work out their own salvation, and that when God wrought in them, &c. He 
spoke much of the criminality of such as found fault with ministers, who were, 
he said, the successors of the apostles, the ambassadors appointed to carry on 
the treaty of peace between God and man ! In the afternoon preached to about 
4,000 people, and took notice of what appeared contrary to the Gospel in the 
minister s sermon, Hmself being present." 


During the week days he continued as usual to preach at differ 
ent places, sometimes once, and sometimes twice a day, in the 
country parishes, and again on the Lord s-day at Wick, to congre 
gations who came in crowds from all quarters, amounting in the 
morning to more than 2,000, and in the evening to upwards of 
4,000 people. On the 5th October there is an entry where he no 
tices having preached at Freswick, in the parish of Canisbay, 
where there was a small society of Baptists, who had been formed 
into a Church by means of a pious Baronet, a Sir William Sin 
clair, who had preached amongst them for several years. 

Mr. Aikman being now partially recovered, was enabled to join 
Mr. Haldane, although still rather feeble and worn out by his la 

The results of this tour in Caithness will be again more particu 
larly noticed, but perhaps it cannot at present be more fitly con 
cluded than by the insertion of the following letter. It is writ 
ten by the wife of an excellent minister at Elgin, a venerable lady, 
who was one of those to whom Mr. J. Haldane was then the mes 
senger of peace. She was the daughter of that Mr. A. Miller, of 
Staxigo, near Wick, whose hospitality he so gratefully acknowl 
edged. Mrs. M Neil s letter was written shortly after Mr. Hal- 
dane s death, and is dated 20th March, 1851. It is addressed to 
the excellent surviving sister of Mr. Aikman, whose own recol 
lections have furnished some valuable incidents for this and the 
preceding chapter : 

" I now come to that part of your letter wherein you mention my dear and 
much loved and respected friend, Mr. James Haldane, a name very dear to me. 
I have often thought that there was something of idolatry in my affection for 
that good man. If I have ever felt or known anything of the truth, he was the 
blessed instrument ; and not to myself only, but he was the instrument used 
by God for the conversion of my dear brother and sister, in his first visit to 
Caithness. Both the latter died of typhus fever, in the hope of a glorious im 
mortality, a few months after his visit to Caithness. I had a married sister, who 
died of fever about two years previous to your deaj brother (Mr. Aikman s) 
and dear Mr. Haldane s visit to Caithness. At the time of her being seized 
with illness, I was young, thoughtless, and lively. 

" The fever being deemed infectious, the doctor persuaded my parents not 
to allow either of my sisters or myself to see her. However, early in the 
morning on which she died, my eldest sister and myself were sent for to see 
her before her death. She had early in life been made a partaker of Divine 
grace, and was a most affectionate sister. We lived in the country. She lived 
in the town of Wick. Her husband brought us into the room where she lay; 
she was then in the agonies of death. I had never seen one in that state 


before, and being much attached to her, it made a very deep impression upon 
my mind, and I became much concerned about my soul. My health gave way, 
and I was wasted to a shadow. I concealed from every person the state of my 
mind, and always sought retirement, but did not know where to flee for deliv 
erance from the guilt of sin. I had relations who lived within a few miles of 
Thurso. They wished me very much to visit them, in the hope the change 
might be useful to me, and my parents and their friends were equally anxious 
for this. But it was health to my soul which I needed and longed for. How 
ever, as they wished it, I went. Some days after I went there, my aunt had 
gone into Thurso, and when she returned, she said the town seemed in an 
uproar, or something to that effect, about a remarkable preacher who had 
come there, and that he seemed very zealous, and was preaching in the open 
air. I immediately set off, accompanied by one of my cousins. It was on a 
Saturday evening. I went with my cousin to the place. He was standing on 
the top of an outer stair, dressed in a gray coat, with tied hair, and powdered. 
But I think I shall never forget the fervor and divine unction with which he 
proclaimed the Gospel of mercy. It rained very heavily, and although very 
wet and miry where the congregation stood, no one, I think, moved to go away 
until sermon was over. I felt very unwell, but was rivetted to the place, and 
sorry I was when he finished his subject. 

" On Sabbath, I went in the forenoon to the parish church. The minister s 
text was 4th and 5th verses of the sixth chapter of Galatians. In the evening 
Mr. Haldane preached in a yard, where it was thought there were 4,000 people 
assembled. He took occasion to show the fallacy of the doctrine preached in 
the forenoon. I was standing beside a number of the genteel people, but not 
religious people. Some of the gentlemen called out, Stone him! others, 
Stop him! However, no person obeyed their commands, and Mr. Haldane 
went on with his subject. At last these gentry all left the place, and I was 
very glad to be rid of them. This minister, of whose erroneous teaching Mr. 
Haldane had said so much, was a particular friend of my dear father. My mind 
was in distress lest my father should take any dislike to Mr. Haldane; and that 
if Mr. Haldane should go to Wick, I might not have the liberty to hear him. 
I next day wrote to my sister, giving an account of the whole matter, and said 
all I could in Mr. Haldane s favor. Your dear brother (Mr. Aikman) had hurt 
his leg in coining out of a boat. This confined him to his lodgings, in Mr. 
George Miller s house, for several weeks, so that I did not see him in Thurso. 
Owing to your brother being confined so long, they determined that Mr. Hal 
dane should come to Wick until Mr. Aikman should get better. It seems they 
had previously no intention of stopping at Wick, but the Lord had purposes 
of mercy for some there. When Mr. James Haldane arrived, an express was 
sent to my father to let him know. When I heard this information given, my 
heart trembled between fear and joy. I was afraid my father would not allow 
my sisters and myself to go to hear him, because he had said so much about 
his favorite minister; and I was just saying to my eldest sister that I feared 
we would not be allowed, when my father came into my room, and said, Make 
yourselves ready to go and hear Mr. Haldane, and your mother and myself will 
also go. I could not describe my joy. We went, and the people were assem 
bling. It was in a large yard. Mr. Haldane, after singing and prayer, gave 


out the 7th verse of the first chapter of Haggai, Thus saith the Lord of 
hosts, Consider your ways. My father heard with deep attention. As for my 
self, I was completely rivetted; my eyes could see nothing but Mr. Haldane, 
and my ears hear no sound but his voice. Well, that was the text and sermon 
which the Lord blessed for the conversion of my dear father. After sermon, 
my father said to my sister and me, Go in to Mr. Craig s, and give your mo 
ther s compliments and my own, and ask Mr. Haldane if he will kindly come 
out to Staxigo with you. (Mr. Craig was my brother-in-law.) My joy was 
great, and I thought, surely the Lord has heard my prayers. Mr. Haldane very 
kindly consented at once, and he came, and for two weeks, if not more, he 
remained in my father s house, indeed, as long as he was in the place, except 
when he went into the town to preach, which he did every day, and we always 
walked in and out again with him. My eldest sister then alive, and my young 
est brother, were both at that time also brought to Christ, so that there were 
four of us who I trust were all brought out of darkness into God s marvellous 
light. Could I but love that worthy man 1 ? He threw his whole soul into his 
subject, and commended the truth to every one s conscience, as in the sight of 
God. Your brother only came to Wick the day before they left the country, 
so that I only saw and heard him once at that time. Both of them, with Mr. 
Innes, came round again in 1799; but whenever they came, my father s house 
was head quarters with the whole of them. 

" I recollect the last sermon Mr. Haldane preached in our chapel in Wick 
(some years afterwards, in 1805, on his fourth tour to Caithness) was on these 
words, Finally, brethren, farewell. I thought, shall this be the last sermon 
he shall preach here ? and I felt my spirits sink within me. 

" This was indeed the last. The last night he was in our house he read the 
4th of Philippians, and made some remarks. He wrote me several letters, one 
of which I now inclose, and a very short one, mentioning that he had sent me 
some books for my Sabbath-schools. 

" I may add, that I believe there was not a district in Scotland where their 
labors were so much blessed as in Caithness. In Orkney, too, the Lord made 
them very useful. But the good done by those godly men was remarkable. 
Under God, they were the means of bringing the Gospel to Wjck and Thurso. 

" When Mr. Haldane came first to Wick in the year 97, it was in the harvest 
time, in the month of October. One gentleman, at that time a very careless 
man, gave liberty to the shearers to leave the field and go to hear Mr. Haldane, 
which they did, and reaped the field by moonlight. This I believe was only 
once. But from that time he paid more attention to religion, and, I believe, 
under Mr. Cleghorn s ministry, was savingly converted to the truth. Often did 
my dear brother Benjamin say to me upon his death-bed, that he blessed God 
he had ever known and heard dear Mr. Haldane. He died in February, 98, and 
my sister about three weeks after. My sister was twenty-four years of age, 
and my dear brother eighteen years. They were lovely and pleasant in their 
lives, and in death were not long divided. Both were beautiful and handsome, 
and both, if there were any favorites, were the favorites with my father, and 
were loved by all who knew them. I, too, was lying ill, and despaired of at 
the time. You may believe what a trial this was to our parents, but God won 
derfully supported them. 


" The deep distress of mind I was in when I first heard Mr. Haldane I could 
aot describe ; and when the Gospel was revealed to me in all its glory, my joy 
was great, so much so that I was sometimes so overcome with it, I thought 1 
could contain no more. Often do I wish 1 now felt the same brokenness of 
heart, and the same lively hope which I had in the days of my youth. Often, 
when these good men were in Caithness, many would walk twenty miles to 
hear them, and return home in the evening. 

" Worthy Dr. Innes has lived to see all those who then were fellow-helpers 
with him consigned to the house appointed for all living, while their emanci 
pated spirits are now rejoicing before the throne of God. I trust he may be 
spared a long while yet, to labor for the good of souls. May he yet have many 
given him for his joy and crown ! Mr. Campbell was only once in Caithness. 
He, too, was an excellent minister. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. 
May it be our happiness, my dear friend, to meet those holy men of God at His 
right hand, when we go hence and are no more ! 

"My letter is not fit for any eye but that of a friend; but though I write 
confusedly, perhaps Mr. Haldane may find some interesting things in it, to show 
how his worthy father was esteemed, and the good he was the means of doing 
in Caithness. 

"All my blunders I hope he will kindly overlook. At my advanced age, on 
the borders of seventy-five, I cannot expect to be very free from blunders in 
my way of stating what I have, but I can vouch for all as facts which I have 

Mr. James Haldane left Wick on the llth of October, 1797, 
thus concluding his labors in Caithness, on a day memorable as 
that on which the great naval victory was gained off Camper- 
down. On that day he had preached twice, probably little think 
ing of the very different scenes, amidst which his gallant relative 
was engaged ; although private memoranda, never intended for 
any other eye but his own, show how much that relative was 
habitually in his heart, and in his prayers before the throne of 
grace. He did not know of the victory for some time, although 
the booming of the guns was actually heard on that coast. On 
arriving at one of the towns, the public rejoicing announced the 
event. The place was in a great bustle, and the itinerants were 
shown into an inferior room. Having addressed a letter to his 
uncle, he desired the waiter to convey it to the post-office. The 
direction struck the man, and the letter was carried to the land 
lord, who, in a few minutes, entered, and apologizing for the mis 
take, begged the gentlemen to follow him to another room, as he 
was resolved that any friend of the Admiral s should have the 
best accommodation his house could supply. 

It may now be hardly worth while to notice that amidst the 
many jibes and sneers to which, as a matter of course, both the 


brothers were subjected, and which they bore with much good- 
humor, there was one relating to Lord Duncan s victory. It was 
reported that, instead of congratulating their uncle, they had both 
written to him a kind of expostulatory sermon on the horrors of 
war, and, instead of rejoicing in his success, had spoken of laurels 
stained with blood, and watered with tears. It is almost needless 
to state, that such ridiculous inventions could only receive cre 
dence amongst those who knew nothing of the Haldanes, or who, 
in their ignorance, imagined that too much religion had made 
them mad. So far from there being any foundation for the story, 
their letters of congratulation both to the Admiral and Lady 
Duncan, expressed their genuine feelings of thankfulness to the 
God of battles, who had enabled their gallant relative to triumph 
in the defence of his country, and by the destruction of the Dutch 
fleet to be an instrument in the hands of the Almighty, for saving 
the nation from the invading expedition with which Ireland was 

In particular, Lord Duncan himself declared, that of all his let 
ters of congratulation, none had gratified him more than that of 
his nephew, Eobert Haldane. Mr. Haldane, in his letter, had not 
merely indulged in general topics, but, with the critical eye of a 
sailor, who had been enthusiastically attached to the navy, and 
who possessed a mind equally penetrating and acute, entered on a 
review of the whole affair. He noticed the inferior and undisci 
plined state of a great part of the North Sea fleet, some of the 
ships being old Indiamen and undermanned, as well as the bold 
ness of the manoeuvre in braving the dangers of a lee shore, 
breaking through the enemy s line, and cutting off his retreat ; 
and, above all, considering the superiority of the Dutch, as sailors, 
over the French and Spaniards, he gave the battle of Camper- 
down the preference over all the previous great naval actions. 
The imperfect results of the battles of the 1st of June, 1794, 
23d of June, and 13th of July, 1795, were afterwards noticed by 
Lord Exmouth, whose remarks corroborated Mr. Halclane s opin 
ion, that, taking into account the difficulties of the position, and 
the energy with which the Admiral dashed at the hostile fleet, 
the completeness of the victory, and the numbers as well as the 
skill of the Dutch, when compared with the Spaniards or even 
the French, with whom Eodney, Howe, and St. Vincent himself 
had been engaged, Camperdown was the greatest of all the naval 


victories up to that period of the war.* When Lord Duncan re 
turned home, no one conversed with him more fully and famil 
iarly, or with greater interest, than his nephews, on the details of 
the action, or of his proceedings during the previous more appal 
ling Mutiny at the Nore, which Mr. Pitt always considered to be 
the brightest part of the Admiral s conduct, and, on account of 
which, a patent of nobility, as an Irish peer, was in preparation 
even before the victory of Camperdown. Mr. Pitt s sentiment 
was repeated in the speech of the Lord Chancellor, expressing the 
thanks of the House of Lords, and announcing that this was one 
reason why the " unprecedented honor," of summoning all the 
peers, had been adopted on that occasion. 


Mr. J. Haldane, once more accompanied by Mr. Aikman, hav 
ing taken leave of Caithness, entered Sutherland, and came to 
Dornoch, the county town, where they heard a melancholy ac 
count of the state of religion. But whilst the people were with 
out the blessing of a preached Gospel, it was comforting to hear 
of the good done at u prayer-meetings," instituted about the time 
of the Eevolution of 1688. 

" Their origin is not very well known, but they began at a time when much 
of the power of godliness was experienced. They generally met at first in the 
minister s house, or in some private house in the parish. The parochial fellow 
ship meetings are now all so numerous, that they meet in churches. The min 
ister acts as moderator. He begins with singing, and then prays. In many 
places, especially if the meeting be thin, he reads a portion of Scripture, and ex 
plains it. He then asks if any person has a question, or a case of conscience. 
to propose for the consideration of those who are to speak at the meeting. A 
passage of Scripture is then mentioned, and a question proposed from it, rela 
tive to experimental religion, by some person present. The moderator eluci 
dates the passage, and states the question as intelligibly as possible. The 
speakers then deliver their sentiments with an earnestness suited to the impor 
tance of the subject, and the moderator collects their different ideas, corrects 
anything that may be improperly stated, and gives his own opinion. The man 
who proposes the question never speaks to it. In many pLc*s Jiere is a prayer 

* Admiral Sir Charles Ekins, in his able Critical Dissertation on all the Naval 
Battles, has this remark. In the action off Camperdown " Eleven ships of war were 
captured by ten ships of the British squadron ; as not more than that number were 
seriously engaged. More was accomplished in proportion to the ineans, than in any 
naval engagement of modern times." Sir Charles Ekins adds, " Nelson, although 
not acquainted with Lord Duncan, after the Battle of the Nile wrote to tell him 
how he had profited by his example." Ekins Battles, 4to., pp. 234, 235. 


offered up about the middle of the service. One of the speakers prays after the 
service is over, and a psalm is sung. Occasions of this nature are highly and 
deservedly valued by the people. In many places, we understand they are the 
chief means of maintaining and carrying forward the work of Christ. It is 
here also worthy of particular remark, that until within these few years that 
some ministers have discountenanced them, it was the practice of a great part 
of the north country to hold public fellowship meetings on the Friday previous 
to the administration of the Lord s Supper. Experienced Christians here dis 
coursed freely of the manner of the Lord s dealing with them, and we are en 
abled often to speuk much to the comfort and edification of their weaker breth 

The above extract is inserted the rather, because it indicates 
that, even before the Haldanes, or Mr. Aikman and Mr. Ewing, 
had left the Church of Scotland, the old Scottish "Fellowship 
meetings" had found much favor in their eyes. It will also show 
the origin of certain of the plans of social worship, which after 
wards produced s.o much excitement amongst the Scotch Congre- 

Having left Dornoch, where the Gaelic was so generally spoken, 
that the people did not understand English, they came to Tain, 
where they found the people "highly favored, being blessed with 
a zealous and faithful minister of the Established Church, who is 
the fifth of that character, in immediate succession. After 
preaching at Tain, Milton, Invergordon, and Drummond, they ar 
rived at Dingwall, where they preached, both in the street and in 
the Town-hall, and then crossed the Ferry, "and by the Lord s 
good hand upon us, arrived in safety at Inverness, in the after 
noon of the 18th October, where we had the happiness to meet, in 
good health, the brother (Mr. Eate) whom we had left. And here 
we joined in setting up an Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto God hath 
helped." Mr. Eate had been most usefully employed, during 
their separation, in preaching in the neighborhood. In the fol 
lowing year he was again engaged in itinerating in the county of 
Fife, and ultimately became the minister of a Scotch Presbyte 
rian congregation at Alnwick, where he labored in the Gospel till 
his death, in 1844. He married a daughter of Mr. Mackintosh, 
of Eagmore, near Inverness, and the sister of Lachlan Macintosh, 
Esquire, of Montague-square, London, long known as an eminent 
East India merchant, who has devoted his influence to the best 

With reference to the state of religion in Inverness, in 1797, 
the following paragraph in the Journal is interesting : 


" We are informed, that the power of religion greatly prevailed in this town 
and country round for several generations. The celebrated Mr. Bruce, who 
was in exile here about a hundred and fifty years ago, and who was a faithful 
and zealous preacher of the Gospel, was instrumental in leading multitudes of 
perishing sinners to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

" At that period, the North Highlands of Scotland were in a state of greater 
barbarity than some of the more civilized parts of Africa are at this day. By 
the blessing of God, however, on the labors of that good man, and many able 
and faithful successors, the wilderness was made to rejoice, and to blossom as 
the rose. But, alas ! * how is the gold become dim, and the most fine gold 
changed! The present generation, having in general had a religious education, 
retain their opinions, but have forsaken the practice of their fathers. It is 
hoped, however, that this knowledge may yet serve to promote the revival of 
real religion in this place, if it shall please God to send zealous ministers among 
them, of which many of the people are truly desirous. It is remarkable to ob 
serve the number which flock to hear any of the neighboring Gospel ministers, 
of whom there are several, when they come to this place or its neighborhood. 
It is not at all uncommon on such occasions to see three or four thousand peo 
ple assemble in the open air to hear the word of life. This serves to account 
for what appears, at first view, rather surprising, namely, that a number of 
young persons are prospering in religion, in circumstances so very disadvanta 
geous. There is no parochial visitation or examination performed by the clergy 
of this town.; but the parish are in the habit of paying a catechist, a godly 
man, who visits from house to house, and examines the servants and lower 
classes of people on the Sabbath evenings in summer. There are some pray 
ing societies here, which meet weekly, and their members in general travel ten 
or twelve miles to hear the Gospel. There is an Episcopal meeting here, over 
which a bishop presides, but religion is much in the same state amongst them 
as in the rest of the Scotch Episcopal meetings. There is also a meeting of 
Methodists, and a small one of Antiburgher Seceders." 

The itinerants arrived at Huntly on the 26th of October, hav 
ing preached at Auldearn, Forres, Elgin, Fochaber, and Keith, 
and met with a most affectionate reception from Mr. Cowie. 

On Lord s day, 29th October, they preached five times at Aber 
deen, and on the Monday proceeded by Stonehaven to Montrose, 
where they found Sabbath-schools established in the interval 
since their first visit, and that, the Burgher minister had himself 
begun to itinerate his neighborhood. At Brechin, after preach 
ing, a minister of the Established Church, before unknown, came 
up to them and wished them God speed. From Forfar they went 
to Glamis, where they preached to a comparatively small, but 
very attentive audience. At Kerry muir and Cupar Angus they 
had overflowing congregations, and on Monday, the 6th of No 
vember, arrived and preached at Perth, and on the following day 


at Auchterarder, near .Gleneagles, whence they drove on to 
Airthrey, where the tour ended. 

Mr. James Haldane, upon whom the labor had chiefly fallen 
during this long and memorable tour, began now to find that 
even his physical energies were unequal to his zeal. Of his voice, 
Mr. Rate said, that he had known one louder, but never one that 
combined such strength and compass ; but powerful as it was, it 
had been over-labored. In chapels, in town-halls, and covered 
places, or in the open air, at market-crosses, by the sea-shore, or 
by the river s side, he had preached to crowded audiences, and 
even when addressing multitudes, sometimes estimated at 6,000 
and upwards, he had commanded silence and been heard with 
attention. He thus closes his narrative : "Preached (at Auchter- 
arder) in the school-house to about 800 persons, and then came 
forward to a friend s house in the neighborhood of Stirling, one 
of us being much indisposed by a sore throat, in consequence of 
the fatigue of much speaking. The condescension and goodness 
of God were also strikingly displayed in this, that though he had 
had frequent attacks of this complaint in the course of the journey, 
he had never been once disabled by its violence from preaching 
till he had fully completed the circuit." 

In closing the Journal, Mr. James Haldane submits some strik 
ing observations to the consideration of those who love the Lord 
Jesus Christ in sincerity, with the view of exciting them to greater 
zeal for Home Missions. He describes the people, with the Scrip 
tures in their hands, as perishing for lack of knowledge, as taught 
to put their trust in refuges of lies, which the hail shall sweep 
away in the day of God s wrath. "Surely," he exclaims, "their 
miserable circumstances are now proclaiming in the ears of all 
who know the worth of a Saviour and of immortal souls, Come 
over, and help us ! 

The details of this memorable tour in 1797 may be forgotten, 
and even the recollection of the excitement it produced through 
out Scotland may be ignored by ecclesiastical historians more 
zealous for party than for truth. But the blossoms did not "go 
up as dust," and the fruits cannot perish. Some accounts will be 
given in these Memoirs of the actual results, as seen after time 
had tested their reality. But the extent of the blessing will never 
be known till the number of the elect shall be accomplished, and 
the Lord shall hasten his coming. Multitudes dated their turning 
to God from the period of this awakening. Several years later, 


the Rev. Mr. Cleghorn names, as within his own knowledge, in 
the small town of Wick alone, forty cases in which there had 
been a solid work of conversion. But it is not merely from such 
instances that the good done must be estimated. It was far 
more visible in the impulse given to the Established Church, and 
to the other denominations in Scotland. This very circumstance 
may occasionally have tended to prevent the due acknowledgment 
of the services of these laborers, but as they did not look for 
human applause, or a crown of earthly glory, they were not dis 
appointed. Their ambition soared to a loftier end than the appro 
bation of their fellow-men. They desired to sacrifice all for Christ, 
and doubtless the labors and services which they were privileged 
to render are recorded in the book of Grod, and will one day be 
acknowledged in the presence of angels and of men. 



AFTER Mr. James Haldane s return from his first northern tour 
his position was completely changed. The idea of leading the 
retired life of a country gentleman was at an end. He had 
assumed a new character, incurred new responsibilities, and 
attracted to himself the notice of all Scotland. He had "put his 
hand to the plough" in the Gospel field, and to have drawn back 
after such encouragement would have seemed an act of spiritual 
rebellion and deep ingratitude. The slumbers of a careless and 
worldly clergy had been broken, the attention of the people had 
been aroused ; and whilst the Gospel had been received by many, 
a still greater number began to inquire, What must we do to be 
saved ? There was great excitement, and withal not a little irri 
tation. Some derided his zeal as the ebullition of a distempered 
brain, whilst by those who knew that he spoke " the words of 
truth and soberness," the question was eagerly canvassed, What 
confers authority to preach ? Various opinions were expressed 
even by good men, and by enemies to the truth lay preaching 
was loudly and bitterly denounced. In a qualified degree it had 
been already sanctioned by the father of the Evangelical clergy, 
the learned and pious Dr. Erskine, who, in the preface to one of 
his works, bears testimony to the blessing which had attended the 
labors of a zealous lay preacher in the Highlands, in convincing 
and converting many who would not otherwise have listened to 
the Gospel. Other instances of remarkable revivals brought about 
by lay preaching were appealed to, and particularly those men 
tioned in the Appendix to the valuable " Historical Collections" 
of the late Dr. Gillies, of Glasgow. 

But in regard to Mr. James Haldane, the blessing which had 
attended his labors was to himself, as to others, the best evidence 



of his call to the work. The celebrated Mr. Cowie, of Huntly, 
familiarly styled the Whitfield of the north, thus wrote: " No 
honest pastor has anything to dread from the friendly visits of 
such men. They come not to shake his influence, but to place 
him higher in the affections of his people, by spreading the light 
of truth among them." And in a long letter, dated November, 
1797, published in the " Missionary Magazine," the same expe 
rienced and able minister thus records his testimony : " I and 
several other ministers heard Mr. Haldane on his late tour ; and 
I confess, though I have been little short of thirty years a minis 
ter, have heard many excellent preachers, and laid my hand on 
many heads, I have very seldom heard anything so much to my 
satisfaction, and nothing that could exceed Mr. Haldane s dis 
courses. I could even say more, but I forbear. HE CARRIES HIS 


LETTERS. (2 Cor. iii. 13.)" 

Under all these circumstances, was it probable that he should 
falter in his course, or that he should not persevere in his prac 
tical answer to the question of Dr. Carlyle and the rest of the 
Moderates, when they opposed Foreign Missions by asking if we 
had not " enough of heathen at home ?" He felt that he had 
been forgiven much, and knowing, in his own experience, the 
Lord Jesus as the only and Almighty Saviour, he spoke from the 
heart to the heart, and was honored to become one of the chief 
instruments of that movement by which Scotland was roused 
from a state of spiritual death. But in carrying out these Home 
Missions it was needful to make some systematic effort to provide 
other preachers, to continue and extend the work which he had 
himself begun in the summer of 1797. A plan for training young 
men had for some time been in agitation. Dr. Bogue, always 
foremost in every attempt to promote the kingdom of Christ, had 
established an Association in Hampshire, the design of which was 
to make the Gospel known in the neighboring towns and villages. 
Following in the wake of the Hampshire Association, a Society 
was established in Edinburgh, consisting of Christians of different 
denominations, under the name of " The Society for Propagating 
the Gospel at Home." A preliminary meeting was held on the 
20th December, 1797, and the first General Meeting on the llth 
January following, when a Committee of twelve Directors was 
appointed, all of whom were laymen, and nine of them engaged 


in secular pursuita, The following is the list as they appear 
in order : 

" Mr. James Christie, 
Mr. Robert Haldane. 
Mr. A. Johnstone. 
Mr. John Campbell. 
Mr. George Gibson. 
Mr. John Aikman. 

Mr. Robert Morris. 
Mr. Walter Russell. 
Mr. James Haldane. 
Mr. John Greig. 
Mr. George Peattie. 
Mr. Andrew Rochead. 


Mr. John Ritchie, Secretary. 
Mr. Alexander Steel, Treasurer. 
Mr. George Wilson, Clerk." 

In their first address they declare, "It is not our design to 
form or to extend the influence of any sect. Our sole intention 
is to make known the Evangelical Gospel of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. In employing itinerants, schoolmasters or others, we do 
not consider ourselves as conferring ordination upon them, or 
appointing them to the pastoral office. We only propose by 
sending them out, to supply the means of grace wherever we 
perceive a deficiency." The labors of this society were greatly 
blessed. It was one of its principles that its itinerants and cate- 
chists should make no public collections, or take money privately 
from those amongst whom they preached, and it undertook to 
defray the expenses of stated ministers desirous of extending 
their sphere of labor. Public subscriptions for its support were 
received, but to a very limited extent, for by far the greater part 
of the funds were supplied by Mr. Haldane. 

The principles and plans of this Society were materially aided 
and recommended by the pen of Mr. Cowie and other ministers, 
through the pages of the " Missionary Magazine." Of that pub 
lication the Editor, Mr. Ewing had not then left the Established 
Church, although his position was every day becoming more un 
tenable. On the 24th December, 1797, he delivered a powerful 
and eloquent sermon in defence of field-preaching, which pro 
duced a great sensation, and served still more to alarm the Mod 
erates. The occasion of this sermon was a request to preach on 
behalf of the Edinburgh Sabbath-evening Schools, which had 
been rapidly increasing under the influence of a new impulse. 
Mr. Ewing undertook to prove that the unfettered preaching of 
the Gospel was one of those characters of universality which dis- 


tinguish the Christian from the Jewish dispensation, and he ably 
contended, that in the closing words of the Apocalypse, the 
whole system of revelation, and the whole mystery of God, seem 
to be resolved into the provision made for the universal propaga 
tion of the Gospel. "The Holy Spirit and the Church unite their 
voice, and continually cry to sinners, COME. This precious invi 
tation is so necessary to be known, and known without a mo 
ment s delay, that every one that heareth is commanded to repeat 
it. Like a multiplying and never-dying echo, the joyful sound 
must be on all sides transmitted from one to another, that in this 
accepted time, in this day of salvation, he that is athirst may 
come, and whosoever will, may take the water of life freely." 

The publication of the " Journal of the Tour to the North," 
prepared and edited by Mr. J. A. Haldane, served still more to 
swell the mingled tumult of censure and approval which the new 
proceedings had called forth. The "Journal" went rapidly 
through three large editions, of which, at least one consisted of 
5,000 copies, which were eagerly bought up and read with inter 
est. In the spring of 1798, Mr. Bate was commissioned by the 
new Society to itinerate as their agent in Fife, whilst Mr. John 
Cleghorn and Mr. Ballantyne, originally belonging to the Scotch 
Secession Church, who had also studied under Dr. Bogue, were 
despatched to the North, there to labor in those places where so 
great an awakening had followed the preaching of Mr. J. Hal 
dane during those memorable weeks, when the illness of Mr. 
Aikman had detained him in Caithness. 

It was the privilege both of Mr. Haldane and Mr. Aikman, to 
be able to preach the Gospel without charge, and their move 
ments were therefore independent of the Society. They re 
solved, in the course of the approaching summer, to visit the 
south and west of Scotland upon the same errand of mercy as 
that which had previously conducted them to the north. Before 
setting out, they addressed the following letter to the " Missionary 
Magazine." It indicates the spirit in which their labors were 
undertaken : 

" To the Edtiar of the Missionary Magazine 

" SIR, We last year requested the prayers of our Christian brethren through 
the channel of your valuable publication. The favor we met with, and the 
many opportunities we enjoyed of preaching salvation, through Jesus Christ, to 
multitudes of our northern brethren, proved that their prayers were heard on 
our behalf. There has been, it would appear, in some places a shaking among 


the dry bones ; and the anxiety which many have since expressed to hear the 
Word of God, we would hope is a token that the Spirit of life has entered into 
the hearts of some. 

" Two of those who went out last year are about to set off for the western 
and southern parts of Scotland, with a view of calling upon the careless to 
consider their ways. While we take this opportunity of requesting a renewal 
of the prayers of our brethren for our direction and success, we would observe 
that it is our intention to adopt a different line of conduct from that which we 
formerly pursued, in animadverting on the sermons of particular ministers. 
This afforded a handle to those who did not approve of our design, to repre 
sent us as actuated by party spirit and ill-will to individuals. While we can 
safely say our consciences bear us witness that our motives were very different, 
yet we now see the propriety of cutting off occasion from those who seek 
occasion, as well as of removing prejudice from some of our brethren who, in 
this particular, disapproved of our conduct. We accordingly take this oppor 
tunity to state, that we are resolved to confine ourselves in our intended jour 
ney, to the declaration of what we consider as the truth of God, without 
making personal remarks on any individual. 



The itinerating system had become decidedly popular with the 
multitude, and during the winter and spring of 1797-8, the 
preachers had not been idle. There was a great awakening and 
general spirit of inquiry, and the Moderates were filled with indig 
nation. Even some of the friends of the Gospel began to trem 
ble for the whole fabric of the Establishment, and dreaded the 
approach of a disruption. "Our good clergy," writes Mr. Camp 
bell to the Countess of Leven, "have different opinions about it. 
The majority are in favor of it. Dr. Erskine thinks that the 
preachers should not take a text, but just give an exhortation. 
The gentlemen say that they could not keep up variety in this 
way. Dr. Stuart thinks that they ought to have a formal com 
mission from some Church. As for myself, I did not give an 
opinion at first ; but now their plan vindicates itself to me, for 
they are not preaching to the Church, but to the world." The 
venerable Countess closed her life just before the second tour, 
made in the summer of 1798. Her Ladyship was one of those 
who dreaded the consequences to the constitution of the Estab 
lished Church which might result from so openly and plainly 
exposing the faithless clergy. In her younger days she had en 
couraged Whitfield boldly to denounce and rebuke "hirelings," 
but age had rendered her more timid, although, amidst her fears, 
she observes, that, " after all, anything is better than dust gather 
ing through drowsiness and indolence." 


The boldness with which the itinerants had attacked the false 
doctrines of unfaithful ministers, seemed to Dr. Erskine and other 
fathers of the Church, subversion of order. To the judgment of 
such men they were willing to bow, and therefore, in the fore 
going letter, published at the outset of their tour in 1798, they 
announced that they did not intend in future to pursue that plan, 
although there were those who considered that the necessities of 
the times rendered the bolder course preferable for its faithful 
ness, as well as its efficiency. The outcry which it produced 
was the best proof of its results, and from no tour were more 
abundant fruits gathered than from the first. 

The following letters from Mr. Simeon contain his views at that 
mature period of his life, in regard to lay preaching and the re 
cent tour. Between Mr. Simeon and Mr. James Haldane there 
long subsisted a close and affectionate correspondence. 

Copy of a Letter from the Rev. Charles Simeon to J. A. Haldane, Esq. 

"KING S COLLEGE, Cambridge, April 13, 1798. 

" MY VERY DEAR FRIEND, I have been long intending to write to you, and 
though my manifold engagements might, in a measure, plead my excuse for the 
delay, yet the true reason has been, that I have been in a state of utter uncer 
tainty with respect to my projected journey, and was unwilling to write till I 
could speak something positively with respect to it. ... If I can have my 
God to go before me in the pillar and the cloud, I long exceedingly to visit you 
once more ; but if I cannot see my way clear, I am better where I am. Had 
my plan been finally settled, you would have heard from me long since ; but I 
have dreaded any appearance of fickleness. A minister s word should never be 
yea and nay; he should plan with wisdom, and execute with firmness. O that 
God would direct my way. I hope I can truly say, Thy will be done. 

" With respect to your excursion, I am far from having entertained the opinion 
you suppose. I must acknowledge that I think immortal souls of such value, 
that I should rejoice if all the Lord s people were prophets. With respect to 
regularity, propriety, &c., the most godly men in all ages have differed in their 
judgment ; and I find it so difficult precisely to draw the line in any case of my 
own, that I do not presume to judge for others. Some think they may eat 
meat, and others not; I neither judge nor despise, but leave all to their own 
Master. We certainly must not do MORAL evil, that good may come. But if 
mercy and sacrifice stand in opposition to each other, we may choose mercy ; 
and if David and his men be fainting with hunger, they may eat the forbidden 
bread. I love all good men of all descriptions, and rejoice in the good they do, 
whether they do it in my way or not. I think for myself and act for myself, 
and leave others to do the same. 

" As a minister who has a flock that is dear to him, I stand more aloof from 
those who might injure them than I should if I were a private individual. . . . 
But if I must err on one side, I wish it to be on the side of love and zeal. 


" As for more union among the different parties of Christians, I do not much 
expect to see it. Every man, said Luther, has a Pope in his own belly. 
People of different sentiments may coalesce for a time, but there are few who 
will not be endeavoring to proselyte others. I have almost invariably found it 
so, especially among the different classes of Dissenters; but among the Mora 
vians far less than any other sect. There is another bone of contention which 
at this time renders such a union more difficult than ever. A great multitude 
of men, whose piety we cannot reasonably doubt, have sadly hurt their own 
spirit by dabbling in politics. . . . You, my dear friend, I trust, have steered 
clear of this rock. The Lord has given you a meek and spiritual mind, and I 
earnestly pray that you may ever have it occupied with the best things. There 
is, indeed, danger, even to the best of men, lest their minds should be soured 
by opposition and disappointment. I hope your brother s disappointment (about 
India) and the opposition you may have met with in your itinerancies have not 
produced this effect. Let us look through second causes, and then we shall be 
prepared to say, at all times, It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth Him 
good. I promise myself much pleasure in the perusal of your Journal; and, 
if we live to meet again, much delight in your conversation and prayers. Pre 
sent my very affectionate respects to Mrs. Haldane, and believe me, yours, &e., 

" C. SIMEON." 

A few days later the following letter was written, and indicates 
the substantial satisfaction, with which the patriarch of evange 
lism at Cambridge viewed the proceedings of his younger and 
more unfettered friend. . It shows, too, how Mr. Simeon was him 
self stimulated to follow in the very same track, with this differ 
ence, that he would restrict himself to Presbyterian Churches and 
Episcopalian Chapels. 

Rev. Charles Simeon to James Haldane, Esq. 

" MY DEAREST BROTHER, My mind is now, with God s permission, fully made 
up to visit you, and to be at Edinburgh the 16th, or more probably 17th, of 
May. I have been reading your Journal, if not with unqualified approbation, I 
may truly say with exceeding great joy and delight. I bless and adore my God, 
who has stirred up your soul to seek the salvation of His people, and I earnest 
ly pray that a blessing may attend your labor of love. 

" Thus far I have no objection to have known. But what I am going to say 
must be kept secret from every living creature.* . . . 

* The secret which Mr. Simeon did not wish to be divulged, applied only to that 
time, and related to his plan of going northward, with Dr. Walter Buchanan, over 
the same ground as that which had been so lately traversed by Mr. James Haldane, 
yet not so as to appear altogether to be publicly identified with his friend. He 
therefore wished Mr. J. H. privately to prepare the way for him, by sending letters 
to his acquaintance in all the principal places where there were Churches belonging 
either to Presbyterians or Episcopalians, with the view of procuring pulpits where 
he might be allowed to preach. He adds, however, that he was not going to preach 
in the open air, or in opposition to false teachers. " It is not my plan to preach as 


" I again request you," he says, " not to judge me before you know my rea 
sons, but to believe that my heart is with all those who love our Lord Jesus 
Christ in sincerity. If I cannot do the good which you did, be thankful that I 
wish to glean your leavings, and to move in somewhat a more confined path, 
rather than do nothing. With most fervent love, I remain (with affectionate 
respects also to Mrs. H.,) 

"Yours in the Lord, 

"April 16, 1798. C. SIMEON." 

Mr. Simeon did come to Scotland, and received from Mr. James 
flaldane all the affectionate aid and co-operation in his power. 
The motives which actuated Mr. Simeon in withholding a public 
avowal of his approbation of lay preaching were fully appreciated, 
and did not for a moment cause any umbrage to his friend. It 
was, however, on this occasion that, preaching in the Tolbooth 
Church, Mr. Simeon prayed that the Assembly " might do no 
evil," a prayer which might have been most appropriate in pri 
vate, considering the composition of the Assembly, but one which 
did not fail to produce irritation. Mr. James Haldane used play 
fully to remark that he generally observed that there was more of 
true wisdom in a simple and straightforward course, and that those 
who valued themselves on their own prudence often signally erred 
in this particular. In his opinion, Mr. Simeon s prayer did much 
to precipitate the exclusion from the Scottish pulpits of the clergy 
of the Church of England and other non-Presbyterian bodies. 

The venerable John Newton, of St. Mary Woolnoth, still more 
openly gave his countenance and blessing to the itinerants. "If," 
he writes to Mr. Campbell, "if all were like-minded with Messrs. 
Haldane and Aikman, I would pray the Lord to increase their 
number a hundred-fold. Give my love to them, and tell them 
that I rejoice in their zeal, their acceptance, and in their success. 
Why should not the Orkney and the Shetland Islands deserve 
attention as much as the Islands of the South Sea ? I hope Gos 
pel zeal will, in due time, sail northward to Shetland, and west 
ward to St. Kilda, and all the intermediate islands." 

Encouraged by past success, and by the prayers and good wish 
es of Christians of many denominations, Mr. James Haldane and 
Mr. Aikman set off on their second extensive tour on Thursday, 
the 14th June, 1798, travelling by Peebles, Biggar, Hamilton, 
Greenock, &c., into Ayrshire and Galloway, preaching the Gospel 

you did. and therefore I wish nothing to be said tome upon that subject. If I were 
alone, or with you, I might act differently ; but circumstanced as I shall be, my 
mind is made up." 


in all these districts, and finally completing their circuit home by 
way of Berwick. The attention which they excited was as great 
in the west and south of Scotland, as it had been in the north. 
Multitudes flocked to hear the Gospel, and to the hearts of many 
it was brought home with power. In some places they encoun 
tered more opposition than before, and especially at Ayr, where 
Mr. J. Haldane was interrupted in preaching at the market-cross, 
and summoned before the magistrates, who had been incited to 
interfere. But he had done nothing unlawful, and he was not a 
man to yield to intimidation. He was threatened with imprison 
ment if he should preach on the following day, as he had an 
nounced ; but he assured the magistrates that menaces without 
lawful sanction were of no avail. He would not indeed preach at 
the cross, or at any place to which just exception might be taken, 
but simply in preaching he infringed no law, and, on the contrary, 
was protected by the Toleration Act. "Depend upon it," said 
one of them, " depend upon it, that you will be arrested." Mr. 
Haldane replied, " And depend upon it, Sir, I shall be punctual 
to my appointment." He was on the ground at the appointed 
time, and preached to a great audience without molestation. One 
of the gentlemen most eager in opposition was a county magis 
trate, lately returned from India with a large fortune. In the 
course of this altercation, having discovered who the preacher 
was, and that they had mutual friends, he was disposed to treat 
him with greater courtesy, although still persisting in the deter 
mination to put down field-preaching. He appeared on the ground 
next day, with some other magistrates, as if intending to carry 
their threat into force. Mr. J. Haldane proceeded, fearless of 
their menaces. They listened in silence, offered no interruption, 
and went away seemingly awed and solemnized. 

An account of Mr. J. Haldane s first sermon at the cross of Ayr 
has been written by a survivor, who himself owed his own soul 
to the blessed words which then for the first time reached his 
conscience. That good man, Mr. Watson, afterwards minister of 
Dumfries, and long a valuable itinerant round Edinburgh, and 
forward in every good work, writes as follows : 

" 15 CALTON-STREET, EDINBURGH, April 9, 1851. 

" Although unwilling to put in writing the unpremeditated narration made 
by me two years ago, at a public meeting held in the Tabernacle, yet at your 
urgent and reiterated request I comply, rather than assume a position of refusal 
in a matter relating in some respects more to your father than to myself. The 
facts are simply these : 


" In the year 1798, your late venerated father, along with the late Mr. Jonn 
Aikman, whose praise is in all the churches, visited my native place, the ancient 
town of Ayr. 

" On their arrival, one Saturday, intimation was publicly made by the town 
bell-man that Mr. Haldane was to preach at the cross the same evening, at seven 
o clock. I received this information from a good old woman, who asked if I 
would go and hear. I replied, No, no ; I never go to hear men who preach 
in the streets for bawbees. In answer to which she assured me they were 
independent gentlemen, who did na preach for siller. This appeared to me 
so extraordinary, that I at once resolved to go and hear for myself, which I 
accordingly did. 

" His sermon was delivered with such fervor and earnestness as to produce a 
deep impression on the listening multitude. 

" Intimation was also given that he would again preach, with the Lord s per 
mission, on the same spot on the following morning (Sabbath), at nine o clock. 
I was at the cross, along with my father, before the hour, where large numbers 
soon assembled. The text was in John iii. 3, Except a man be born again, 
he cannot see the kingdom of heaven. 

" About the middle of his sermon, the town-officers came from the magis 
trates, and said, * You must go with us to the Council-room, where the authori 
ties were then assembled. Mr. Haldane went, but requested the people to 
remain, as he hoped he should not be long detained. He soon returned, and 
informed the people that he was commanded to preach no more in that place, 
but he told them he would finish his discourse. Before doing so, however, the 
officers were again sent to stop him ; but when they came near, instead of put 
ting their orders into execution, they stood respectfully behind until he had 
finished, and they were heard to say that they were ashamed to execute the 
orders against such a gentleman. 

" I should explain that the cross stands, or rather stood, in a corner of the 
street where there was an open space, which afforded accommodation for the 
assemblage, and therefore the thoroughfare was little, if at all, interrupted. 

" On dismissing the people, Mr. Haldane intimated that he would preach that 
evening on the other side of the river, on the Newton Green. 

" The report of such treatment gave general offence to the inhabitants of the 
place, and brought a still greater multitude to hear him in the evening. On 
Monday morning, Mr. Aikman preached to a large assemblage on the Town 
Green. A private individual, who rented a part for grazing cattle, had with 
generous indignation offered his portion of the Green for the public accom 

" In the following year Mr. Haldane again visited Ayr, and the report of his 
former visit and treatment having spread over the county, brought together 
immense numbers to hear him. 

" To the honor of my friend and then minister, the late Dr. Peebles, let it be 
told, when sermon was announced on one of the evenings unfavorable to out-of- 
door preaching, he offered Mr. Haldane the use of his church (the Newton 
parish church upon Ayr), where he accordingly preached to a full house, from 
1st Peter i. 18, 19, Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with 
corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as 


of a lamb without blemish and without spot. These were seasons of refresh 
ing from the presence of the Lord, and long remembered by many. 

"Mr. Haldane s visits to the west of Scotland were the means of awakening 
not a few out of their spiritual slumbers, and of infusing fresh life into the 
languishing souls of many of God s own people connected with other denom 

"Although more than fifty years have run their course since these things 
were done, the remembrance is as fresh on my memory as if they were only 
the transactions of yesterday. In my imagination I see Mr. James Haldane s 
manly form and commanding attitude, in youthful but dignified zeal, pouring 
out of the fulness of his soul a free, full, and everlasting salvation to the won 
dering multitude, who by the expression of their faces seemed to say, We 
have heard strange things to-day. 

"And I may well remember that first sermon of Mr. Haldane s, in 1798, 
standing as he did on the steps of the old cross of Ayr, as it may be said to 
have been the pivot on which the events of my after-existence all turned. It 
was that sermon that led me to Christ, and eventually to the relinquishment 
of my business and other engagements in Ayr. It was that sermon that led 
me to your uncle s academy at Dundee and Edinburgh, from thence to the 
pastorate of the Congregational Church at Dumfries, which I voluntarily re 
signed after Mr. Robert Haldane s change to Baptist sentiments, a circumstance 
which more than forty years ago brought me again to Edinburgh, where I have 
since resided. It is far from my wish to convey the idea of any undue inter 
ference on the part of your late respected uncle, as proprietor of the Chapel. 
That gentleman ever acted towards me as a friend and a Christian. 

"And now, my dear Sir, allow me to close this narration with my earnest 
prayer that the Lord God Almighty, who blessed Abraham and your father 
also, and made them blessings, may also bless you and yours, and all the house 
of your father, both small and great. And for his sake, I remain, 

" Your most affectionate friend and well-wisher, 

" A. Haldane, Esq. WILLIAM WATSON." 

There are many incidental evidences of the blessing which 
attended the tour of 1798, although no printed record of it has 
been published. In a letter from Annan, in the "Missionary 
Magazine," it is said: "Since Messrs. Haldane and Aikman vis 
ited our part of the country, a Sabbath-school has been erected at 
Annan, containing about eighty scholars, who appear to be doing 
well." Again, with reference to the same tour : "At Longtown 
there appears to be a spirit of inquiry after Divine things. At 
Cannanby there have been five Sabbath-schools erected within 
these two months, containing about one hundred and thirty chil 
dren." At Berwick they also preached with great acceptance, 
and were hailed with joy by the friends of the Gospel. The peo 
ple generally came out to hear in crowds, and numbers found, in 
these opportunities, a message of peace to their souls. 


It was whilst prosecuting this second extensive tour, that a 
stranger appeared, whose arrival added fuel to the flame which 
had already blazed up, both in the north and south of Scotland. 
The two preachers had repaired to Langholm, in the county of 
Roxburgh, in the hope of doing some good to the multitude 
assembled at the annual fair. It was a summer s evening, on the 
26th of July, when, walking on the romantic banks of the river 
Esk, they passed by an English clergyman, also enjoying the re 
tirement of the scene, but engaged in close conversation with the 
minister of the parish. His person and his errand were alike 
unknown to them. In such a place and at such a time, it was 
impossible not to be struck with his appearance. His tall, com 
manding figure, piercing eye, and aquiline nose, gave effect to a 
countenance beaming with intelligence, on which there was withal 
the indication of a natural and irresistible vein of humor. It was 
the celebrated Rowland Hill, the brother of the well-known and 
pious Sir Richard Hill, of Hawkestone, M.P. for Shropshire, and 
uncle of that gallant peer, who, after having fought on almost 
every field, from Alexandria to Waterloo, was for so many years 
the Commander-in- Chief. Mr. Hill shall himself relate, in his 
own quaint style, the manner of his introduction to his new 
friends. The narrative is contained in his journal of his first tour 
in Scotland : 

" Having had no opportunity to appoint different stages at 
which to preach between Carlisle and Edinburgh, I spent the 
Thursday evening at Langholm. It happened to be the time of 
their public fair, and a sad example it exhibited, on my first 
night s lodging in Scotland, the opposite to what I expected to 
find of decency and good behavior among the people in those 
parts. The fair was a downright revel ; dancing, drunkenness, 
and lasciviousness, seemed to be the principal motives which had 
brought them together. In England I scarce ever saw a more 
disgraceful assemblage; and in some parts of Wales I have 
passed through large fairs, when it was pleasant to behold the 
innocent and well-ordered bustle of the day. After that traffic 
had ended, all returned at an early hour, with scarce an instance 
of a sober person being disgusted by a reprobate, or insulted by 
a drunkard. 

" As the same horse, with a light vehicle, conveyed me and my 
servant from stage to stage, the next being a long one, I was under 
the necessity of spending the night in this temporary hell, but 


that I might enjoy a little respite from the wretched tumult, 1 
took my evening s walk out of the town, by the side of a roman 
tic river. Here I was very kindly accosted by a gentleman, who, 
I conceive, was the minister of the parish, and who, with much, 
hospitality, offered me every accommodation his house could 
afford from the confusion of the town ; but having already pro 
cured a private lodging, I declined his very friendly offer. While 
we were in conversation, Messrs. J. Haldane and Aikman passed. 
These gentlemen were then unknown to me. I was told, but in 
very candid language, their errand and design ; that it was a 
marvellous circumstance, quite a phenomenon, that an East India 
captain, a gentleman of good family and connections, should turn 
out an itinerant preacher ; that he should travel from town to 
town, and all against his own interest and character. This infor 
mation was enough for me. I immediately sought out the itiner 
ants. When I inquired for them of the landlady of the inn, she 
told me she supposed I meant the two priests who were at her 
house, but she could not satisfy me of what religion they were. 
The two priests, however, and myself soon met ; and, to our mu 
tual satisfaction, passed the evening together." 

Mr. Hill next morning went forward towards Edinburgh, 
whilst his two friends remained to complete their itinerating labor 
of love. 


Before Mr. Hill s visit to Scotland, and contemporaneous with 
the institution of the Circus as a place for preaching, there was 
another plan, which originated in the same ardent philanthropy 
and zeal for the glory of God, which marked the renewed char 
acter of Kobert Haldane. It was a scheme for bringing over 
young Africans to Britain, with the view of educating them in 
this country in the principles of Christianity, and sending them 
back to their native land imbued with a knowledge of civiliza 
tion, and, as far as human efforts could avail, with a knowledge 
of the Gospel. 

This scheme originated with Mr. John Campbell, and will be 
best told in the simple though somewhat quaint style of his own 
autobiography : 

" The formation of the London Missionary Society for extending the knowl 
edge of the glorious Gospel to all ends of the earth, and the Society being 


composed of Christians of all denominations, had a most electrifying effect on 
the Christians of the North. We were like men who dreamed. From the 
days of George Whitfield till then, the Christians on both sides of the Tweed 
had been fast asleep. . . . 

" In a short time a similar Society was formed in Edinburgh, and I was 
chosen to be on the direction. The first field they fixed on for the theatre of 
their operations, was the Continent of Africa ; to commence in the vicinity of 
Sierra Leone ; to which some missionaries were sent, and several pious young 
men volunteered to the Sierra Leone Company to go to their settlement as 
clerks, &c., and one as chaplain. Death carried off the chaplain and some of 
the young men, and terminated the Mission. Musing on the unhealthiness of 
the climate to European constitutions one morning, this thought occurred : 
Might we not bring over Africa to England, educate her, when some, through 
grace and Gospel, might be converted, and sent back to Africa? If not con 
verted, yet they might help to spread civilization, so all would not be lost ! The 
amount of which was to bring over twenty or thirty, or more, boys and girls, 
from the coast of Guinea, through the influence of Governor Macaulay ; edu 
cate them in Edinburgh, and send them back to their own country, to spread 
knowledge, especially scriptural knowledge. 

" I laid my proposed scheme before two or three judicious friends, who ap 
proved of it, as did also Henry Thornton, M.P., Treasurer of the Sierra Leone 
Company, and Mr. Wilberforce; but I entered more fully into the consideration 
of the matter with the late Charles Grant, Chairman of the East India Com 
pany, who had not been long returned from India, and had come with his 
family to Scotland on a visit to the Leven family. Having exchanged letters 
once a-week with the venerable Countess of Leven for a considerable time, she 
got Mr. Grant to promise to call upon me as he passed through Edinburgh to 
London, which he condescended to do, and invited me to spend the only two 
evenings he was to be in Edinburgh at his hotel with him and family. This I 
considered to be a most favorable opportunity for consulting a wise, good, and 
experienced man, in regard to my then favorite plan. I was delighted to ob 
serve the interest he took in it, and the minuteness of his calculations regarding 
the expense of bringing them over from Africa and sending them back five 
years later." 

Mr. Campbell s first efforts resulted in a correspondence with 
Mr. Wilberforce, Mr. Thornton, and others, of " the Clapham 
Sect," who highly approved of the plan, but hesitated as to the 
expense, and judged it better to postpone the scheme until at 
peace with France, when it might be hoped that the removal of 
the war- taxes would render it easier to obtain subscriptions. 

About a year and a half later, it happened in the month of 
March, 1798, that Mr. Campbell was invited to meet a few ex 
cellent Christians at supper at Mr. Haldane s house, then in 
Prince s-street, Edinburgh. " At one time," says Mr. Campbell, 
" there was a pause in the conversation. Mr. Alexander Pitcairn, 
who sat opposite to me, said, * Mr. Campbell, what has become 


of your African scheme ? I have not heard anything of it for a 
long time. To which I replied, * It is put off to the peace, 
which created a general smile. Mr. Haldane asked from the 
head of the table, what scheme I had, never having heard of it." 
Mr. Campbell then relates how he explained his project, and how 
the conversation next turned upon the idea of having a place of 
worship built on the plan of Mr. Whitfield s tabernacles, and 
that, having mentioned that the Circus might then be obtained, 
as the Relief congregation had left it, Mr. Haldane looked to a 
lawyer who was present, and said, " Mr. Dymock, will you in 
quire about it to-morrow ? and if it be to let, take it for a year." 

" It was believed," continued Mr. Campbell, " by many that 
this system of tabernacles was a scheme laid for overturning the 
Established Church. Now there was not one Dissenter present 
at that supper, where the matter was proposed and approved. 
All were members of the Establishment, and I believe the object 
of all, when they approved of the proposed scheme, was the col 
lecting of sinners to the Saviour. When the meeting was con 
cluded, every one returned to his own home, very prayerful. 

" Next morning I received a note from Mr. Haldane, wishing 
me to call on him as soon as I could. I went to him directly. 
He said that my African scheme had occupied his waking thoughts 
ever since I mentioned it last night, on which the following con 
versation took place : What is the real reason why you were 
advised to defer commencing the Institution? Entirely the 
dreaded difficulty of obtaining funds to defray the expense. 
" Have you calculated the probable amount of these expenses? 
Yes; the probable expense of bringing over thirty children, 
lodging, supporting, and educating them for five years, and their 
passage back to Africa, will cost from 6,000 to 7,000?. Sup 
posing you were to write to the Governor of Sierra Leone, stating 
that you had sufficient funds for supporting such an Institution, 
and requesting him to collect thirty or forty of the sons and 
daughters of the African chiefs over whom he had influence, and 
send them over to you, do you think he would have sufficient 
confidence in you to fulfil your commission ? ( I think he would. 
* On what do you ground that expectation ? * When the French 
destroyed the Settlement, or Free-town, Governor Macaulay came 
to London to lay the state of things before the Company. After 
finishing the business there, he visited Scotland, to see his rela 
tions. On coming to Edinburgh, he called upon me with a letter 


of introduction from the Kev. John Newton, which would be a 
sufficient passport to any Christian in Scotland, so highly were 
his works prized. The Governor had four sisters in Edinburgh 
living together, and as they had no particular friend to advise 
with, he requested me to engage to be their adviser ; to which 
proposal I readily consented. In the course of a year after they 
came under my wing, I was bridegroom s man to three out of 
the four. On hearing this statement Mr. Haldane was satisfied, 
and volunteered to be responsible for the whole expense, and 
gave me a letter to that effect. Accordingly I wrote by that day s 
post to Governor Macaulay, Sierra Leone, requesting him to ob 
tain thirty or thirty -five African boys and girls, and send them 
to Edinburgh, as I had obtained sufficient funds to defray all ex 
penses. I sent it to the care of Henry Thornton, M.P., Treas 
urer to the Sierra Leone Company." 



"JUNE 16, 1798, was the last night I paid the laborers at 
Airthrey." Such is the entry found in the short memorandum 
of the dates of the principal events of Mr. Haldane s life. Dr. 
Innes, who was then Minister of Stirling, mentions, that on that 
evening, in the prospect of quitting forever his paternal estate, 
Mr. Haldane assembled all his domestics, including the gardeners 
and laborers, in the servants hall, where supper was provided 
for them and their families. On that occasion, after attending 
himself to their comforts, he addressed them personally, and took 
a kind farewell of them all, asked them to forgive anything in 
which he had failed in his duties as a master, and expressed his 
desire for their temporal and eternal welfare. For some of those 
who were old or infirm, or had been long on the estate, he secured 
small pensions. There was one aged person who was much 
attached to the family, who could not bear the disruption of the 
tie, whose forebodings were dissipated by her own death on the 
very day when the family left Airthrey. In Sir Eobert Aber- 
cromby they all found a most benevolent and indulgent master, 
and more than twenty years afterwards it was his pride to mention, 
that there was not one of Mr. Haldane s people who had not been 
attended to as much as if their old master had remained. 

It might seem rather improbable that Mr. Haldane s farewell 
to Airthrey should be associated with Mr. Rowland Hill s visit to 
Scotland. Yet such was the fact. It was on Mr. Haldane s invi 
tation, and that of his brother, that Mr. Hill came, with a view to 
ulterior proceedings for the propagation of the Gospel at home. 
The field of his operation was changed, but the forces to be em 
ployed were the same. 

-Airthrey had been for nearly two years for sale, when it was 



purchased by an uncle of Mrs. James Haldane s, the late Sir 
Kobert Abercromby, G.C.B., then lately returned from India. 
The whole of the estate was not, indeed, at this time disposed of, 
but the sale included the house, park, woods, and principal farms, 
composing all that was either ornamental or useful to a place of 
residence. The lands retained, amounting to nearly a third of 
the value of the whole property sold, were let on leases, like his 
other estates in Forfarshire, which gave little trouble as to manage 
ment, and could only be regarded as an investment for money. 
He used himself to relate, that after he had resolved to sell 
Airthrey, he sent for Mr. Morison, of Alloa, to survey the estate 
and make an estimate of its value. On the morning when Mr. 
Morison arrived to begin his work, the chapter read in the usual 
course of family worship was the second of Ecclesiastes, con 
taining the following verses : " I made me great works ; I builded 
me houses ; I planted me vineyards ; I made me gardens and 
orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruits ; I 
made me pools of water." It was impossible not to be struck 
with the coincidence. Mr. Morison was much liked by Mr. 
Haldane, who greatly esteemed his judgment, and always con 
sulted him about his works at Airthrey, as he did afterwards at 
Auchingray.* His own account of his leaving his estate, in the 
embellishment of which he had taken so much pleasure, runs 
thus : 

* Mr. Morison was the father of General Sir William Morison, K.C.B., who 
became M.P. for Clackmannan and Kinross, after a brilliant course in India, where 
he attained the rank of Senior Member of Council, and was for some months Acting 
Governor-General. He owed his original appointment to Sir Ralph Abercromby, 
and the story is worth recording. Sir Ralph was going abroad, and a question 
having arisen as to the division of one of the farms on his father s estate of Tully- 
body, he consulted Mr. Morison, who undertook to procure a sketch of the fields 
in question. He did so, and Sir Ralph was much pleased with the plan ; and on 
inquiry, he discovered that it was done by his son, then a youth of sixteen. Sir 
Ralph said he should like to have a portable plan of each farm on the estate exe 
cuted in the same manner, so that, when on foreign service, he might be able to 
correspond with confidence on any question that arose. The order was executed 
with equal precision and alacrity, and Sir Ralph, who was a great discerner of 
character, discovering that the young man was ambitious of a military appoint 
ment, procured for him the cadetship which was the means of his attaining fortune 
and distinction. Shortly after Sir William Morison s return from India in 1840, 
the writer of these Memoirs met him both at his own house at Alloa and under the 
late Lord Abercromby s roof at Airthrey. It was pleasing to observe how little Sir 
William had been changed by prosperity. The man who had occupied the palace 
of the Governor-General of India had preserved the lowly mansion of his father un 
altered, and was delighting himself with the early recollections of his honorable but 


" For some time after this I did not lay aside my endeavors to 
get out to Bengal, and in the meanwhile was busied in selling 
my estate, that there might be no delay on my part if obstructions 
from without should be removed. I accordingly at length found 
a purchaser, and with great satisfaction left a place, in the beauti 
fying and improving of which my mind had been once much 
engrossed. In that transaction I sincerely rejoice to this, hour, 
although disappointed in getting out to India. I gave up a place 
and a situation, which continually presented objects calculated to 
excite and to gratify * the lust of the eye and the pride of life. 
Instead of being engaged in such poor matters, my time is more 
at my command, and I find my power of usefully applying prop 
erty very considerably increased. I can truly say I experience 
the accomplishment of the gracious promise, that leaving house 
and lands (although in a very restricted sense), as I trust, for the 
Gospel s sake alone, and what I esteem my duty, I have received 
manifold more, though, as it is added, * with persecutions. " 

" The persecutions" here alluded to refer, first and chiefly, to 
the calumnious, and now ridiculous reports, which, in accordance 
with the evil spirit of the times, industriously attributed a demo 
cratic or revolutionary design to all his movements, whether 
Christian or philanthropic. One of these "calumnies" gave rise 
to a curious correspondence with a distinguished Professor of 
Natural Philosophy in Edinburgh. To insert the whole of it 
might be tedious. But as Professor Eobison s reply to Mr. 
Haldane s first letter contained the offer of " satisfaction" in the 
usual way, it is proper to observe how he dealt with this chal 
lenge. The letters are to be found in Mr. Haldane s " Address 
on Politics," and are thus introduced : 

" While there remained any expectation of our going to Bengal 
I did not relinquish the object, but continued to use all proper 
means for that purpose. While I was thus engaged, a very unex 
pected and cruel attack was made upon me and my associates, in 
a well-known book, published by Professor Eobison, although 
I had never been a Freemason, and knew nothing of the Illu- 
minati. The first calumny was afterwards retracted by him in 

comparatively humble origin. At Airthrey he remarked, that few things had 
struck him more than the reduced size of the rooms, which the vivid impressions 
of his youthful imagination had during absence magnified. He died in 1851, and 
in token of his gratitude to his early patron, left out of his ample fortune a large 
legacy to the grandson of Sir Ralph, the present possessor of Airthrey, Lord Aber- 


the newspapers. He introduced this accusation by calling me 
a very ejninent friend and abettor of Dr. Priestley ; but he could 
not have been more unfortunate in his epithet, as there was no 
person to whom I stood more opposed in religious principles, nor 
did I ever agree with him in his political sentiments. I believe 
Dr. Priestley s religious system to be practical Atheism, and that 
it will lead its unhappy votaries to eternal destruction. If a man 
does not acknowledge the God of the Bible, in the emphatic 
language of Scripture, he has made God a liar ; whilst the idea, 
set up in the mind, is a mere caricature of the imagination, and 
no God." 

NO. I. 

"AiRTHREY, September 21st, 1797. 

" SIR, I have just been informed that a book, lately published by you, con 
tains the following paragraph : 

" I grieve that he (Dr. Priestely) has left any of his friends and abettors 
among us. A very eminent one said in company a few days ago, " that he 
would willingly wade to the knees in blood to overturn the establishment of 
the Kirk of Scotland." I understand that he proposes to go to India, and there 
to preach Christianity to the natives. Let me beseech him to recollect, that 
among us Christianity is still considered as the gospel of peace, and that it 
strongly dissuades us from bathing our feet in blood. 

" As it is supposed that I am the person alluded to in these sentences, I musf 
request that you will inform me whether it is so or not. 

" I am, Sir, &c., &c., 

" To Professor Robison" 

NO. H. 

From Professor Robison. 

" STIRLING, 29th September, 1797. 

SIR, I received your favor of the 21st instant on Wednesday, in the cow*- 
try, where I have been confined for some time by bad health. The moment * 
received it, I set off for this place to give you all the satisfaction in my power ; 

and expected to find here , to whom I have the pleasure of being we i 

known. His absence has disappointed my hopes of a friend, who might be a 
witness of what passed between us. 

" I do not presume to judge why you suppose that you are the eminent dis 
ciple of Dr. Priestley alluded to in the passage which you have fairly quoted. I 
have not said that you are ; but I cannot at present give you more satisfaction 
by answering your question, which I am sorry for, because it is required with 
politeness. Could I have found a proper friend to accompany me, I should 
have had an interview; but having had the honor of serving my King and 
country, as an officer in the Royal Navy, for several years, I have the stronger 


reasons for being cautious how I act, and must not yield to my wishes to give 
you more satisfaction at present. 

" I can only say, that, if you still find yourself aggrieved, I am ready with 
my life to give you that satisfaction which one gentleman is entitled to require 
of another. 

" Permit me to say, as an author, that inclination, as well as duty, makes me 
also wish to correct any mistakes that 1 have fallen into. I am therefore sparing 
no pains to come at the truth of several things which were repeated to me as 
the current talk of the country, both here and in England; and if I find that I 
have misrepresented anything, I will rectify it in the most public manner with 
out loss of time. But this may require a few days, because my health is very 
indifferent, and I cannot bear the fatigue of travelling without a little interval 
of rest. This may retard, but shall not prevent my discharging, to the utmost 
of my power, the duty that I owe to the public. 

" I am, with due regard, Sir, your most humble servant, 

(Signed) "JoHN ROBISON. 

"To Robert Haldane, Esq., of Airlhrey." 


Copy of the Answer to the above, dated Airlhrey, September 3Qth, 1797 

" SIR, I have this moment received your letter, dated from Stirling. You say 
you do not presume to judge why I suppose that I am the disciple of Priestley 
alluded to in the passage I quoted ; by this, seeming to insinuate that it may be 
some other person. I certainly could have no wish to apply to myself such a 
charge as your book brings against one who is desirous, you say, to go to India 
to teach Christianity there, were it possible for either me or my friends to sup 
pose that you meant any other. It was upon this ground that my supposition 
was founded. If you, however, declare that I was not the person alluded to, 
that is quite sufficient; and, on this supposition, I am certainly entitled to 
require and expect, that you make this declaration (as you know that it is gen 
erally applied to me) upon every principle of candor and justice. 

" I now beg leave to inform you, that I never made use of such expression 
as the one referred to, nor ever said anything at all like it ; that the sentiment 
appears to me shocking in itself, and the most remote possible from every idea 
I entertain on the subject. No, Sir ; I would not spill one drop of human blood 
to support or destroy all the religious establishments in the world. I should 
consider such a way of attempting to advance the interests of Christianity as 
infinitely mad and infinitely wicked. I have, over and over again, declared this, 
both in public and private; and it is well known by all my friends, afid those 
who are intimate with me, to be my decided and fixed principle. 

" I observe you say, that if you find you have misrepresented anything, you 
will rectify it in the most public manner, without loss of time. This is all that 
I require; and I have even no objection to your taking some days to gain all 
the information you desire. But then it must be done in the most explicit 
manner. No name should be mentioned, as there is none in your book; but it 
should be said, after quoting the sentence, that the author finds, upon inquiry, 
that it was totally void of foundation, and, therefore, that he takes the earliest 


opportunity of contradicting it. This, or something equivalent, must be put 
into the Scotch newspapers, and a note must also be written to the reviewers, 
lest they retail it. 

" I feel that a regard to myself and associates, as standing, in some measure, 
on public ground, requires this. Had I not been in this situation I should very 
possibly have taken no notice of it, but should have let it pass, with many other 
unfounded calumnies that have been repeated against me. 

" I should also imagine, that, as soon as you are satisfied of the assertion 
being unfounded, your own candor and feelings will dictate the very course 
here pointed out. 

"As to your saying, that, if I feel myself aggrieved, you are ready with your 
life to give that satisfaction which one gentleman is entitled to require of another, 
it appears to me a very strange way of talking in this business. If you have 
publicly repeated a false calumny against one who never interfered with you, 
ought you not to desire, as soon as possible, even without being required, to 
make him reparation by as publicly contradicting it? which is the only rational 
satisfaction that can be obtained or given in such a business. If you mean the 
term, however, in any other acceptation, I must beg to inform you, that, what 
ever the maxims of the world in such a case might dictate, Christianity, which 
I consider as the gospel of peace, has taught me that it would be no satisfaction 
to bathe either my feet or my hands in your blood. 

" I have only to add, that I think an interview would be very proper ; and 
that it need not be prevented by your not having a fi lend to accompany you. 
I shall be happy to see you here this day, if you rind it convenient. I am per 
suaded the business might be amicably settled in a few minutes. It is not in 
my power to call upon you, as I am confined to-day by a cold and swelled face. 

" I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

"Professor Robison. 

" P.S. I have not yet seen your book, but am happy to find the passage is 
fairly quoted." 

The servant who carried the last letter, brought it back, with 
the information that Professor Eobison had left Stirling the day 
before. Mr. Haldane, therefore, inclosed it in a short note to the 
learned gentleman s country residence, Boghall, near Glasgow. 
Before they reached the Professor, Mr. Haldane received the fol 
lowing letter: 

NO. IV. 

"EDINBURGH, October 2d, 1797. 

" SIR, I have not lost a moment s time in my endeavors to perform my 
promise in my letter of the 21st, and have been wheeled from place to place, 
tracing back my authorities for the passage quoted by you from my publica 
tion, till I am quite exhausted and obliged again to take to my bed. I was in 
hopes of inserting the correction of my mistake in the Edinburgh papers of 


this day, but the particulars of an eager and desultory conversation are so 
twisted and transformed in every repetition, that hardly two accounts agree 
with sufficient precision. I have been at half a dozen places, at a considerable 
distance from each other, in chase, and almost in sight, of the person with 
whose evidence I shall finish my inquiries, and it will be on Thursday before 
the result can appear. 

" To Robert Haldane, Esq., of Airthrey" 

In the meantime the Professor promised to insert in the news 
papers an advertisement, containing a general acknowledgment 
of "a mistake of which he has been guilty in a work just pub 
lished by him, entitled, Proofs of a Conspiracy. " 

To this Mr. Haldane replied, telling the Professor, that if he 
wished to make reparation, it would not do to insert such a modi 
fied retractation as would leave the impression that there was some 
foundation, however slight, for the calumny ; but that he must 
add, that " nothing could be more abhorrent from the ideas or 
principles of the gentleman alluded to than the sentiments im 
puted to him." He concludes, "I am sorry that you have trav 
elled about so quickly as to have injured your health. I would 
much rather have waited some days before the explanation had 
taken place." 

To the handsome terms in which Mr. Haldane expressed him 
self as ready to save the Professor from the shame of an ignomin 
ious acknowledgment of his calumny, the Professor writes: 
" Your letter most agreeably surprised me ; and had I known 
what Mr. Haldane could do, I should have saved myself and him 
some trouble." What follows places the tyranny of the world 
and the immorality of duelling in a striking light. The Profes 
sor s reluctance to confess his error arose from the dread of being 
branded as a coward. When he found that Mr. Haldane had no 
intention of having recourse to pistols, the amiable but hasty 
Professor does not hesitate to make his apology: 

" I was sensible that I was the aggressor, and that your demand was most 
reasonable. The very demand made me suspect that I had misrepresented 
things. Yet I could not answer it without great risk, whatever might be my 
determination to do you justice. It was natural to expect that my refusal 
would draw on me expressions which, by the tyrannical rules of society, I could 
not bear with patience, and afterwards show my face in the world, and my wife 
and family would have been involved in my disgrace. I acknowledge that I 
could not bear that thought, and no way occurred to me for preventing this but 
the one I took, and afterwards to meet you or correspond with you, in sight of 
a friend. You will, I dare say, allow, that when I could charge you with the 


sentiment expressed in my book, these were natural fears. But I woifld gladly 
hope that you did not misunderstand me when 1 said that I would give you 
what the world calls the satisfaction of a gentleman. I can only give you my 
solemn assurance that I never would have added the guilt of hurting you to 
that of slandering you, and that I would have stood your passive mark. I beg 
you to think of my situation, with all the extenuating circumstances that attend 
it. Even if I had had the courage to bear with opprobrious names, how could 
I remove the distress from the wife and children of a coward in the eye of the 
world? I did not know you, Sir, and my ignorance was innocent, for you were 
much misrepresented. Allow me to say, further, that you might do more ser 
vice, perhaps, and have as great probability of success, if you would try to 
win over the infidels among ourselves. Also, one of these would, by his influ 
ence, be of more value than fifty Hindoos. Let me beseech you not to give 
up this thought. There are yet remains of religion among us, and I imagine 
there are still more obstacles in your way in India. The division into castes is 
next to insurmountable ; for a religion which asserts the equality of all in the 
sight of God, will be called rebellion or sedition. But I ask your pardon. 
You have no doubt reflected deeply on it. I can only pray, May God be with 
you, and give you comfort. I am, with sincere wishes for your health and 
happiness, Sir, 

"Your most obedient, humble servant, 

(Signed) "JOHN ROBISON. 

" RobL Haldane, Esq., of Airthre y." 

The Professor s final retractation of his error was not so hand 
some and complete as he had promised. He was ashamed to pro 
claim to the world the full extent of the error into which he had 
been betrayed, by collecting promiscuous gossip, and publishing 
it under the title of "Proofs of a Conspiracy." It may give 
some idea of the times, when it is remembered that the Professor s 
book was then actually held in high repute. But he was not the 
only person who urged the importance of encountering Infidelity 
at home rather than Paganism abroad. Whether all were as 
sincere in their exhortations as this learned and amiable but hot- 
tempered philosopher, may well be doubted. But, at all events, 
the advice was not thrown away either on Mr. Haldane or his 
younger brother; and like Mr. James Haldane s tour to the 
north, Mr. Rowland Hill s visit to Scotland had been one of its 
results. The express object of his coming was to open the Circus 
of Edinburgh as a place of preaching. It had been for some 
time used by a congregation belonging to the Belief Secession 
while their own chapel was rebuilding. During this interval the 
preaching of their minister, the Bev. Mr. Struthers had attracted 
much attention, and the novelty of the place, as well as his elo 
quence, had drawn around him out of all classes of the commu- 


nity, many who had not been previously accustomed to listen to 
the Gospel. Mr. Haldane s own account of the opening of the 
Circus may be found in his "Address," so often cited. The fol 
lowing is an extract : 

"The next thing that took place among those plans which 
seemed to have caused alarm, was the employment of the Circus 
as a place of worship, after it had been left by the Relief congre 
gation, who first used it as such. A few persons who wished to 
see the interests of religion more extended in Edinburgh, con 
versed together about forming a Tabernacle there, a thought 
suggested by a minister from England (Mr. Simeon, it is believed), 
when on a visit to this place, not upon my invitation, but em 
ployed in preaching in the Established Churches. The general 
idea affixed to these houses called Tabernacles is that of large 
places of worship, where as great variety as possible is kept up 
in the preaching, by employing different ministers, in order to 
excite and maintain attention to the Gospel, especially in such as 
are living in open neglect of religion. Such are the different 
Tabernacles in London, to which, when they were erected about 
fifty years ago, very great opposition was made, and great alarm 
excited. Those of us who met to consult about this business 
were uncertain how such a plan might answer in Edinburgh. 
We therefore invited from England only three ministers at first. 
The Circus, as being a large and commodious place, was engaged 
for a few months, and Mr. Rowland Hill, so well and so long 
known in England as a successful and able preacher of the Gos 
pel, opened the place. The multitudes that heard him, and the 
spirit of attention that seemed to be excited, encouraged us to 
go on." 

It was on his way to open the Circus that Mr. Rowland Hill 
met Mr. J. A. Haldane and Mr. Aikman at Langholm. He left 
them on the morning of the 27th of July, and on the day follow 
ing his Journal announces his arrival. Mr. Haldane having then 
no residence at Edinburgh, Mr. Hill was received, as he says, " at 
the hospitable abode of Mr. James Haldane, in George-street,* 
where nothing was wanting but more gratitude and thankfulness 
on my part for such a kind and affectionate reception." Mrs. 

* In the adjoining house, No. 14 George-street, there resided at that time Henry 
Brougham, the future Lord Chancellor of Britain. He was then in his twentieth 
year, having been born in 1778, in the house where David Hume died, in St. David- 
street, so named after the historian. 


James Haldane fully appreciated the worth of the honored guest, 
whom in her husband s absence she entertained, and always 
spoke with peculiar pleasure of this memorable visit. Next 
morning Mr. Hill opened the Circus, a fact which he thus 
announces in his Journal : 

" Lord s-day, July 29. Preached for the first time in the Circus. 
The building is large, and supposed to contain above 2,500 
people. It gave me pleasure to find that expounding, or lecturing, 
as it is there called, is the general practice in Scotland. The rich 
ness and glory that rest upon the language of inspiration are pe 
culiar to itself; and I have always found that weighty, warm, 
applicatory remarks immediately therefrom, come with a peculiar 
influence to the heart. Surely, therefore, nothing less than a 
whole chapter, or at least a considerable portion, should be selected 
for these occasions. We are never so assured that we make 
people wise unto salvation, as when we lead them to the pure 
Word of God itself. 

"My morning subject was the prayer of Moses, If thy pres 
ence go not with me, carry us not up hence. (Exodus xxxiii. 
15.) I preached to the people the feelings of my heart. I felt 
the call to this city to be solemn and important. Without our 
God we can do nothing. A much larger congregation attended 
the evening service, and I took another subject just suited to the 
frame of my own mind, 1 Cor. i. 22-24 ; and I employed some time 
in showing Paul s method of treating his proud Corinthian hearers." 

On the Thursday Mr. Hill preached to 2,000 people at Leith, 
in the open air. His text was, u The Son of Man is come to 
seek and to save that which was lost;" and he adds, * Plain Ian 
guage is the only profitable language for sinners like these." On 
Friday, he preached to 4,000 on the Calton Hill. He observes, 
" The loveliness of the situation, the stillness of the evening, 
and the seriousness of the people, produced all that was desirable. 
Oh, for more of the life and unction and power of the Spirit of 
God on my soul, that I may not disgrace the blessed cause I 
wish to uphold." 

Such was the commencement of the preaching in the Circus, 
which produced so much excitement, but was so little intended 
to interfere with the stated places of worship that the early ser 
vice at first began in the morning at seven o clock, and another 
in the evening at six o clock. 

It was arranged, however, that Mr. Hill should not be 


during the week, and "Mr. Haldane," says the Journal, "kindly 
commenced my companion in travel." Stirling was the first place 
to which Mr. Hill was conducted by his friend, who had then 
scarcely left his own place in the neighborhood. Crieff. Dun- 
keld, and Perth were the next towns where Mr. Hill preached in 
this their first circuit. At Perth he met his old friend, the Eev. 
Mr. Gary, at one time the chaplain to the excellent Lady Glen- 
orchy, of whom Mr. Hill observes: "He is a man universally 
respected, not being less pure and holy in his life and conversa 
tion than evangelical and sacred in his views of the Gospel." He 
had been licensed as a probationer of the Church of Scotland, 
but was not permitted to enjoy its preferments. Through the 
recommendation of two noblemen, he was presented to the Crown 
living of Brechin, but his evangelical sentiments and holy life 
rebuked the levity and indifference of the Moderate ministers. 
His sentiments were therefore opposed, and he was ultimately 
rejected by the General Assembly, on the pretext he had not 
passed through the seven years academical attendance then re 
quired at the Scotch universities. This case produced a strong 
sensation. It was the means of inducing the purchase of the 
chapel for the use of Mr. Gary, and was also one of the occasions 
of the Tabernacle secession. 

From Perth the itinerants proceeded to Kinross, where Lord 
and Lady Balgowny were amongst those who listened to Mr. 
Hill, as he preached to a large congregation under a rising ground, 
on the banks of Lochleven. Having returned to Edinburgh on 
the Saturday after this rapid tour, he preached again in the Cir 
cus, and set off with Mr. Haldane on Monday morning, so as to 
be in time to preach in the evening in the churchyard of the old 
cathedral of Glasgow. " The scene," he remarks, " was solemn. 
The old cathedral stands externally in perfectly good repair ; and 
much it is to the honor of the city that it should so stand, as it is 
the only one left in a perfect state of preservation in that part of 
the kingdom." " Underneath," he adds, " were the remains, I 
may venture to say, of millions waiting for the resurrection. 
Here I stood on a widely-extended space, covered, or nearly cov 
ered with the living, all immortals, 5,000 I should suppose, at 
least. What solemn work to address such multitudes! Who is 
sufficient for these things ? I attempted to illustrate that passage, 
Isaiah ix. 19, Thy God thy glory. Could we but explain to sin 
ners, and make them feel that God, a God in Christ is their glory, 


and that it is their privilege to glorify God in return, we should 
have more than abundant recompense for all our little toil in a 
work so glorious." 

The above passage discloses something of the secret of Mr. 
Hill s usefulness as a preacher. Those who have merely amused 
themselves with anecdotes illustrative of his humor and eccentri 
cities knew nothing of the man, nor of the power that accompa 
nied the word that he proclaimed. Near the spot on which that 
sermon was preached by Rowland Hill is the vault which now 
contains all that was mortal of Kobert Haldane. His dust reposes 
within the walls of that cathedral which Rowland Hill then sur 
veyed with admiration, whilst he spoke with so much feeling of 
the millions of the dead who were there awaiting the trump of 
the archangel. 

He finally returned to Edinburgh, on Saturday evening, in time 
to preach at the Circus, at seven o clock in the morning, again at 
eleven o clock, and in the evening, under the canopy of heaven. 
"It was now," he says, "quite out of the question to preach 
within doors on the Lord s-day evenings. On the Calton Hill I 
addressed the most solemn congregation I have seen for many 
years fifteen thousand, on the most moderate computation, were 
said to attend, some suppose a larger multitude. I know on these 
occasions one principal aim should be to alarm the sinners. This 
I attempted from Mark viii. 36, 37, from the consideration of the 
immortality of the soul, and the awfulness of eternity." 

Mr. Hill had now officiated for three Lord s-days at the Circus, 
but he was disposed to make another tour through Fife to Dun 
dee, returning by St. Andrew s. " Hitherto I was favored with 
Mr. Haldane as my companion in travel. His brother, Mr. James 
Haldane, was the kind friend who next conducted me to other 
parts of the country. Our first visit was to Melville House, the 
seat of the Earl of Leven, who scarcely three months before had 
lost his venerable Countess." On the Lord s-day he again preach 
ed in the Circus and on the Calton Hill to great congregations, 
the latter supposed to amount to 15,000 or 20,000. On the fol 
lowing Tuesday he was, from fatigue, unable to preach at Mussel- 
burgh. " Mr. James Haldane," he says, " kindly undertook that 
office on my behalf." His account of his last Lord s day in Edin 
burgh is a picture of Rowland Hill, his earnestness, his sincerity, 
and zeal, his quaintness, and yet his realizing views of eternity, 
and his dedication of himself to Christ : 


u Lord s-day, September 2d. My last Sabbath in Edinburgh. The Circua 
could scarcely contain the early or noon congregation. I conceived the most 
serious part of the hearers came together like those of old, Early, my God, 
will I seek thee. I therefore dealt with them from that fine prayer of the 
Apostle Paul, Ephesians iii. 16-19. Reader, mark that prayer; who can tell 
the worth of a Bible, if it were only for the sake of those four verses who can 
describe the bleasedness of the man who feels and enjoys its sacred contents ? 

" At the second service, I preached from Genesis xlviii. 22, 23, 24, on Joseph s 
blessing. I thought the subject would well suit the lecture. It is time that 
simple-hearted ministers should bestir themselves. Once was I young, but 
now I begin to be old. I never had too much of the Seraph, but always too 
much of the snail, having been shot at by many an angry archer; though I fell 
so short I was willing to encourage a young Society to itinerate far and wide. 
May their zeal, guided by the Saviour s wisdom, surprise the north : that many 
a dry formalist may blush for shame under the humiliating reflection, how little 
has been done by them, while so much has been accomplished by instruments 
they so completely despise ! May these be blessed with the boldness of the 
lion the meekness of the lamb the wisdom of the serpent and the harmless- 
ness of the dove. 

" On the evening of the day I preached my last sermon save one in this vi 
cinity on the Calton Hill (to 18,000). Shame forbade me a thousand times to 
take a text, once the language of Paul, Acts xx. 24. I believe, however, that 
a spark was felt of the same flame which he enjoyed, therefore I ventured. 
Had I a thousand lives, I trust they would be spent in the Lord s blessed work. 
1 dare not be fettered by human laws while I am under a Divine command to 
preach the Gospel to every creature, and to spend and be spent for Jesus 

" I have been somewhat a sufferer by such a conduct, but laws like these ap 
pear to me not better than the statutes of Omri, and I dare not renounce the 
Lord s standing rule to all his ministers, while under the conjoined promise, I 
am with you always, even to the end of the world. " 

On the 3d of September he set off for ^England, " favored with 
the company of Mr. Haldane." At Dunbar, after he had preached 
in the Methodist meeting-house, "Mrs. Cunningham," he pro 
ceeds, " came to meet us on that occasion, and took us home in 
her carriage. Mr. Cunningham, though a gentleman of fortune, 
dedicated himself to the work of the ministry, and for many 
years has labored in connection with the Anti-burghers. We 
found the order of the house to be hospitality and friendship to 
the very utmost." 

It was on this occasion and at this place, that a circumstance 
occurred, which, with many exaggerations and embellishments, 
has been related as an illustration of the eccentricities of Eowland 
Hill. The story shall be told as related by Mr. Haldane, with 
his usual accuracy. On the Wednesday morning, after spending 


the preceding night at Mr. Cunningham s, they were about to 
proceed southward, when Mr. Hill s carriage being brought to 
the door, his horse was found to be dead lame. A farrier was 
sent for, who, after careful examination, reported that the seat of 
the mischief was in the shoulder ; that the disease was incurable, 
and that they might shoot the poor animal as soon as they pleased. 
To this proposal Mr. Hill was by no means prepared to accede. 
Indeed, it seemed to Mr. Haldane as precipitate as the conduct of 
an Irish sailor on board the Monarch, who, on seeing another 
knocked down senseless by a splinter, and supposing his comrade 
to be dead, went up to Captain Duncan, on the quarter-deck, in 
the midst of the action, and exclaimed, " Shall we jerk him 
overboard, Sir?" On that occasion the sailor revived in a short 
time, and was even able to work at his gun. In the present in 
stance the horse, too, recovered, and was able to carry his master 
on many a future errand of mercy. Meanwhile, however, the 
travellers availed themselves of Mr. Cunningham s hospitality, 
and remained for two days more at his place, near Dunbar. In 
the evening Mr. Hill conducted prayers at family worship, and 
after the supplications for the family, domestics, and friends, add 
ed a fervent prayer for the restoration of the valuable animal, 
which had carried him so many thousands of miles, preaching 
the everlasting Gospel to his fellow-sinners. Mr. Cunningham, 
who was remarkable for the staid and orderly, if not stiff, de 
meanor, which characterized the Anti-burghers, was not only 
surprised but grieved, and even scandalized at what he deemed 
so great an impropriety. He remonstrated with his guest. But 
Mr. Hill stoutly defended his conduct by an appeal to Scripture, 
and the superintending watchfulness of Him without whom a 
sparrow falls not to the ground. He persisted in his prayer during 
the two days he continued at Dunbar, and although he left the 
horse in a hopeless state, to follow, in charge of his servant, by 
easy stages, he continued his prayer night and morning, till one 
day, at an inn in Yorkshire, while the two travellers were sitting 
at breakfast, they heard a horse and chaise trot briskly into the 
yard, and, looking out, saw that Mr. Hill s servant had arrived, 
bringing up the horse perfectly restored. Mr. Hill did not fail to 
return thanks, and begged his fellow-traveller to consider, whether 
the minuteness of his prayers had deserved the censure which 
had been directed against them. 

At Berwick, Alnwick, Newcastle, Dunbar, Leeds, Kotherham, 


and Sheffield, Mr. Hill successively preached, sometimes in chap 
els, sometimes in churches, and sometimes in the open air, espe 
cially at Newcastle, where thousands congregated near the city 
walls. From Sheffield they went by Derby, Coventry, Warwick, 
Painswick, Wotton-under-Edge, in Gloucestershire, which was 
Mr. Hill s home during the six months in the year that he spent 
out of London. 

During his journey with Mr. Hill through Scotland and into 
Gloucestershire, Mr. Haldane had been deeply pondering on all 
that he saw and heard with reference to Mr. Whitfield s plans for 
the revival of the Gospel in England. It became more and more 
his desire to attempt something of a decided character for Scot 
land. His brother s movement in the previous year, and the in 
creasing success which was attending him as a preacher, still 
further stimulated Mr. Haldane s zeal, and passing through Lon 
don, he therefore proceeded to Gosport, to consult his old friend, 
Dr. Bogue, as to the aspect of affairs in relation to the kingdom 
of Christ, and his own future operations. The Indian Mission 
was fully and finally abandoned, and plans for building a number 
of chapels throughout Scotland and educating preachers, were 
resolved on and discussed, as is shown by Mr. Haldane s corres 
pondence, and the events which soon afterwards took place. Nor 
were the poor African children overlooked, as appears from the 
following letter to Mr. Campbell at this time, in consequence of a 
communication which that good man had received from Mr. Ma- 
caulay : 

" GOSPORT, October 6th, 1798. 

" MY DEAR SIR, I was favored with your letter of the 24th September, 
which had lain some days here before I arrived, and it gives me great joy to be 
informed of its contents. I trust the Lord indeed intends to use us as instru 
ments in this business ; and, oh ! that he may, by means of it, glorify Himself 
by giving these children the adoption of sons and daughters in his own family, 
and in making use of them to awaken and enlighten others who are sitting in 
great darkness and under the black shadow of death in their own country. 

" Mr. Macaulay s letter is a very sensible one, and he seems cordially to enter 
into the plan, and also to think this time the fittest that could be chosen. In 
deed, how could it be otherwise, if (as I trust) it has been fixed by Him who 
does all things well ? 

" I think it a favorable circumstance that he has most of the children with 
him, as he will be best able to judge of natural tempers and dispositions, 
which it is of great consequence to be attended to. I forget the age we fixed 
upon, but think about twelve years old the best; and he seems to say the 
same, towards the end of his letter. Were they to come much earlier they 


might forget their native tongue, which I should consider a great loss. It will 
be of the greatest consequence that most of them be the children of the chief 
people in the country, and who are most likely to succeed in the Governments, 
as they, in the course of Providence, will have much more in their power in 
diffusing the knowledge, both of Divine truth and of civilization, than a great 
number of any other rank. They may make as good smiths and carpenters at 
Sierra Leone as at Edinburgh, but the manners of civilized life, which are in 
timately connected with the diffusion of the Gospel, can be best learned here. 
I am persuaded Mr. M. must be very sensible of this. Tell him, by no means, 
if possible, to fall below the number fixed, but rather to exceed it. I do not 
think, however, that the number of girls should be much increased, as there are 
many temptations in their way, and it would increase the expenses, as the 
mode of their education must differ. As to inoculation, my reason for having 
it done there was, that no blame might attach if any of the children should die 
under it, so as to prevent others from coming home ; but this, it seems, cannot 
be done there, but must be as Mr. M. proposes. 

" If possible, there should be some provision for ten or twelve following 
every year, to make a regular rotation and keep it up ; but all these things we 
must leave to Mr. M., and it is happy we are in so good hands. At all events, 
I repeat it, he may exceed, but let him not come short of the number. So much for 

" You say that churches were provided in Glasgow. It would be much better 
if you would provide fields ." 

Mr. Campbell, in his " Autobiography," states, that, " for two 
long years he heard not a syllable from Africa." But this only 
shows how little reliance is to be placed on history depending on 
the memory of an individual. The letter from Mr. Haldane, 
guaranteeing the payment of all the charges, still exists, and is 
dated 30th March, 1798. Within six months from that date Mr. 
Macaulay s reply to Mr. Campbell had arrived, and it will pres 
ently be seen that Mr. Campbell found the children in London 
in the month of June, 1799. 

Soon afterwards a journal of Mr. Hill s tour was published by 
that zealous clergyman, which gave great offence. This little 
volume consisted of two parts ; the first of which contained the 
dedication to " Kobert Haldane, Esq.," as the person at whose 
invitation he both ventured on his visit to Scotland and now 
printed his " Journal." It concludes thus : 

" I trust, my dear Sir, it is the prayer of my heart that you may be blessed 
with the most abundant success in all your attempts to promote the glory of 
God and the salvation of mankind. And may your brother and his worthy 
colleague, Mr. Aikman, in their disinterested zeal and the devotedness of their 


spirits, continue to preach Jesus among thousands in those parts where multi- 
tudes are perishing in complete ignorance, till they are crowned with all the 
success their hearts could wish. 

" I am, with much affection, 
" Yours, in the love and fellowship of the Gospel, 


The second part, which contained his strictures, both on the 
Established and Secession Churches in Scotland, was that which 
gave most umbrage ; and it was prefaced by the following char 
acteristic dedication, which embodies so much of eccentric humor 
with solemn seriousness as to afford a better portraiture of the 
mind and character of Eowland Hill than many of the elaborate 
efforts of affectionate biographers. It is addressed, 

" To James Haldane, Esq. 

" MY DEAR SIR, Or rather, my much respected brother and fellow-laborer in 
the Gospel of God our Saviour ! Directed by my high esteem of your brother, 
I ventured on the publication of my Journal. From my respect to your 
ministerial labors, I am now happy to address these remarks on my visit to 
Scotland to your more immediate attention. I am now an old stager in the 
itinerant s work, and I bless God for the line in which I have been called, being 
assured I have followed the will of God therein ; and I am satisfied the salva 
tion of many souls has been promoted thereby. 

In preaching through England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, I always con 
ceived I stuck close to my parish. We are to * preach the Gospel to every 
creature, even to the end of the world. Go on, my dear Sir, be the maul of 
bigotry, and of every sectarian spirit among all denominations ; declare ven 
geance against the unscriptural innovations of narrow-minded bigots, who, finding 
the Word of God uncompliant to designs like theirs, have combined together 
to support their dogmas, according to certain rules of their own creating ; and 
all these as contrary to the sacred designs of God, that all Christians should be 
brethren and love as such, as the designs of Christianity can be to those of 
Mahomet, the Pope, or the devil. 

" In the name of God, my beloved brother, with the sword of the Spirit in 
your hand and the life of God in your heart, pursue those hideous monsters 
even unto death. 

" But you have given sufficient evidence how much you respect the Christian 
wheresoever you find him and however disfigured, not only by the wart, but 
by the wen of bigotry. 

" I will not say that to a fraction all my observations on this subject may 
correctly comport with yours, though I flatter myself you and I are pretty near 
the mark, if we differ. I am sure we cannot disagree. Our hearts, I am per 
suaded, are congenial, though our original calling was completely different. 

" You were educated for the maritime life, and from a situation creditable 
and lucrative, commenced a peddling preacher, crying your wares from town to 
town at a low rate, indeed without money and without price, and scattering 



religious tracts as you travel from place to place ; while it was my lot to be bred 
to the trade and to serve a regular apprenticeship for the purpose ; but, being 
spoilt in the manufacturing, I never received but forty shillings a story too 
trivial to relate by my own occupation as a Churchman. Affluence is a snare ; 
a decent independent competence is a blessing, a blessing, indeed, if thereby 
we can preach Jesus freely, and prove to the poor of the flock that we can 
sacrifice our own profit if we can be profitable to them. 

" Let it, then, be our glory to suffer shame and contempt for the sake of Him 
who * hid not his face from shame and spitting for our redemption ; * holding 
forth the Word of life amidst the dead in trespasses and sins ; meekly content* 
ed to suffer even the loss of all things, should we meet with such a day of 
tribulation, provided we are but enabled to win Christ and are blessed * with 
souls for our hire. 

" With much sincerity of affection, I am, and ever hope to remain, your affec 
tionate brother and fellow-laborer in the Gospel of our salvation, 


Mr. Hill was, by education and by principle, attached to an 
Established Church, and esteemed the Church of England, with 
its Articles, Liturgy, and Formularies, far beyond any other 
denomination; but it was such "a reduced Episcopacy" that he 
desired "as was recommended by the Archbishops Usher and 
Leighton." He greatly preferred it to Scottish Presbytery ; and, 
referring to the Cameronians, denounced the old Solemn League 
and Covenant,, as containing more of bigotry and persecution 
than the Act of Uniformity. He then glances at the Secession 
Church, founded by the two Erskines ; afterwards divided 
amongst themselves into Burghers and Anti-burghers, with refer 
ence to the lawfulness and unlawfulness of the Burgess oath. 
Next, the Relief Secession comes under review ; a body that arose 
out of the grievance of patronage, and which then contained 
sixty-seven congregations, whilst the Burghers had 123, and the 
Anti-burghers 125. 

Having dealt somewhat roughly with the peculiarities and 
"bigotry" of all the Presbyterian bodies, he devotes a passing 
note to the Scottish Episcopalians, which was, of course, at that 
time anything but complimentary. He describes them as allied 
to the Moderates in their evangelical doctrine, and adds, " As a 
proof of this, that good and truly spiritual and respectable man, 
Mr. Simeon, of Cambridge, being asked to preach but once in 
their chapels, after one sample given was asked no more, though 
he strictly adhered to a most regular conduct, so far as only 
preaching in the Established churches deserves that name. And, 
if the prevailing whisper be true, he is, on the next Meeting of 


the General Assembly, likely to meet with a very coarse compli 
ment for his regularity. Not that the thunderbolt of their high 
priestly indignation will be levelled directly against him, a slant 
stroke will do the business the most effectually." 

Having also lashed " the Moderates" in the Church of Scotland, 
describing them as "moderate in religion" " moderate in their no 
tions of Christ," " moderate in their use of their Bibles," "moderate 
in their love to God," and practically teaching the people to be 
" moderate in their morality," he next assails the Baptists and 
Independents, concerning whom, as his " brethren," he expresses 
his thankfulness that they had never been, as yet, favored with 
the " civil sword," and therefore never tempted to persecute. He 
considers Congregationalism to be a modern innovation, which 
took its first rise in the Church at the beginning of the seven 
teenth century, when good men, disgusted with the turbulent 
political preachers of the times, were induced to retire from the 
strife and congregate among themselves. 

Scarcely has he done with the faults of his " Independent and 
Baptist brethren," than Mr. Hill turns round once more on the 
High Church Episcopalians, blames their unwarrantable preten 
sions to apostolic succession, and states the advantage of reviving 
the apostolic injunction : " Exhort one another daily while it is 
called to-day." " By this primitive mode of procedure," he adds, 
" a great number of very valuable ministers have been raised up, 
some from the army, others from the navy. We bless God for 
the names of a Captain Scott and a Captain Joss; for captains 
may have tongues and brains and grace as well as doctors, and 
men of inferior ranks in the same line, if not superior, have been 
equal to them in a wise conduct, a holy walk, and extended use 
fulness in the ministry of the word. Others also shall I mention ? 
Stonemasons, butchers, tailors, shopkeepers, and shoemakers, 
and a certain tinker, who lived a century and a half ago (the 
Eight Rev. Bishop Bunyan, the apostle of Cambridgeshire and; 
Bedfordshire, and, though a Baptist, admitted all to communion* 
with him whom he believed to be children of God), all of whom 
gave evidence that grace, good sense, and knowledge of the- 
Word of God may so far possess the minds of plain mechanics,, 
as to render them abundantly useful, at least in their own 
sphere" &c. 

Having thus launched out into a variety of animadversions on 
Episcopalians and Presbyterians* Baptists and Independents,, all 


of whom he considers as having some shred of Popery, which he 
terms the " incurable abomination," Mr. Hill proceeds to give his 
advice as to what should be done for Scotland. " If," he says, in 
Edinburgh, " another place of worship should be built, what 
should be its glory ? Let it embrace all who love the Lord Jesus, 
and be the centre of union among them who are now disunited. 
Let it, then, be called the Union Church, and let her prove she 
deserves the name. Let her pulpit be open to all ministers who 
preach and love the Gospel, and her communion equally open to 
all who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity. I would allot at least 
half the area of the Church to the poor, that they may attend it 
with as much freedom as they attend a field preaching." 

Other admonitions he gives as to an ideal Church, which was 
to be a kind of Evangelical Alliance of all the disciples of Christ. 
It was in journeying with Mr. Hill that Mr. Haldane conceived 
the idea of opening other places of worship at Glasgow and 
Dundee as well as at Edinburgh. So far as these schemes were 
confined to the conversion of sinners, they were blessed in a way 
which commended them, in a greater or less degree, to the appro 
bation of such men as Mr. Newton, Mr. Simeon, and Mr. Scott. 
But so far as they involved a new system of ecclesiastical polity, 
in the end they signally failed. To the poor the Gospel was 
preached ; sinners were saved, and Christ was glorified. But when 
new Churches were established on the fancied model of primitive 
times, they only flourished for a time. In 1799 they braved the 
artillery of the General Assembly s pastoral admonition, fulmi 
nated against them like a Bull from the Yatican, and they rose 
unscathed by the anathemas levelled at them by the Presbyterian 
seceders. It was when opposition from without died away that 
the internal instability appeared. The sequel of this narrative 
will exhibit the self-devoted zeal of men of God, and may stimu 
late others to multiply City Missions and Scripture-readers. But 
probably it will rather tend to abate the ardor of those who, like 
Kowland Hill in 1798, think it as easy to reform wisely as to 
censure sharly, to apply the antidote as well as to indicate the 
disease, whether practical or theoretic, in any system of eccle 
siastic polity. 



THE plan for educating the children of African chiefs was but 
an episode in the midst of Mr. Haldane s efforts for the extension 
of the kingdom of Christ. His correspondence on his journey 
with Mr. Hill shows how his mind was directed towards the objects 
and welfare of the Circus and of the Society for Propagating the 
Gospel at Home. Mr. Parsons, of Leeds, Mr. Boden, of Sheffield, 
Mr. Burder, of Coventry, Mr. Slatterie, of Chatham, Mr. Simpson, 
of Hoxton, Mr. Taylor, of Ossett, Mr. Griffin, of Portsea, are 
amongst the names of those who were invited to preach in the 
Circus. The difficulty, however, of obtaining a regular supply 
of ministers was considerable, and for the Society suitable Evan 
gelists could not easily be found. It was under these circum 
stances that, when in England in the year 1798, Mr. Haldane 
conceived the idea of educating a number of pious young men 
for the ministry, who might be selected, as in primitive times, 
from the various occupations of life, on account of their piety and 
promising talents, and receive instruction with a view to the 
ministry. Natural ability was to be one requisite, but evidences 
of a state of grace were to be the first and indispensable con 
sideration. "With the exception of his brother, the only person 
to whom he at first communicated his intention was Mr. Campbell ; 
and at the end of the letter, dated 6th October, 1798, already 
cited, relative to the African children, he thus writes : " I intend 
to give one year s education to ten or twelve persons, of any age 
that may be fit for it, under Mr. Bogue, with a view to the 
ministry. Will you and my brother be looking out for suitable 
persons to be ready by the time I return ?" This marks the origin 
of those seminaries for preparing Evangelists, which were after 
wards carried out by Mr. Haldane on so great a scale. 


But there was another circumstance connected with Mr. Hal- 
dane s visit to England which was contemporaneous and associated 
with the institution of the Seminary, namely, the erection of 
places of worship, after the manner of Whitneld s tabernacles, in 
different parts of Scotland. He reckoned that he might certainly 
calculate on his brother to supply the Edinburgh tabernacle, 
whilst possibly Mr. Ewing and Mr. Innes might occupy two 
other chapels, the one to be provided or erected in Glasgow, the 
other in Dundee. 

The announcement of Mr. Haldane s determination to erect 
tabernacles, after the Whitfield model, in the great towns in Scot 
land, was followed by events which added to the prevailing ex 
citement in the public mind. No sooner had he returned from 
Gosport, than, after fully conferring with his brother, he next 
proposed his plans to Mr. Ewing and Mr. Innes. On the 29th of 
November a sermon was preached by Mr. Ewing, in Lady Gle- 
norchy s Chapel, Edinburgh, on the duty of implicit obedience 
to human authority in civil matters, although, in regard to religion, 
Christians ought only to obey God; and on the Saturday follow 
ing, December 1st, Mr. Ewing resigned his charge, and retired 
from the communion of the Church of Scotland. Next Lord s- 
day that minister remained in retirement, but on the 14th of 
December he undertook a short tour to Dunkeld, from which Mr. 
J. Haldane had just returned, bearing the tidings of a large 
spiritual harvest. Mr. Ewing s secession, although thus sudden 
at the last, was not wonderful ; for no one can even now peruse his 
earliest contributions to the " Missionary Magazine" without seeing 
that his principles in regard to Ecclesiastical polity, like those of 
his Baptist friend, Dr. Stuart, strongly tended to Congrega 
tionalism. The storm that had been excited against Mr. Simeon, 
Mr. Hill, the Itinerants, and the Circus, quickened his move 
ments, and his adhesion to Mr. Haldane s plan, in regard to Glas 
gow, was sealed by the resignation of his place in the Establish 
ment. A few days afterwards, about twelve of the parties 
principally interested in the Circus and the Society for Propa 
gating the Gospel at Home, including the two brothers, Mr. 
Ewing, Mr. Aikman, Mr. Campbell, Mr. George Gibson, and Mr. 
John Ritchie, began to meet in private for consultation, when, 
after prayer and deliberation, they resolved to form themselves 
into a Congregational Church. Mr. Ewing, as most familiar with 
such matters, was requested to draw out a plan for its govern- 


ment, and, after repeated conferences, they with one voice invited 
Mr. J. A. Haldane to be their pastor. Hitherto he had aspired 
to no other office than that of an Evangelist, preaching in the 
villages round Edinburgh, occasionally making distant and ex 
tensive tours, and more recently, drawing around him crowds of 
attentive listeners on the Calton Hill. But having given himself 
wholly to the study of the word, " meditating upon these things," 
he had become " mighty in the Scriptures;" "his profiting had 
appeared to all ;" whilst his unction in prayer, the solemn and 
unpretending eloquence of his pointed, direct, and telling addresses, 
his persevering zeal and remarkable success, his unwearied attend 
ance on the sick, and his spotless consistency of practice, seemed 
to mark him out as " a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost," 
well qualified for the pastoral office. It was not, however, without 
deliberation that he accepted the call, nor until he had explained 
that he considered his own gifts to be better adapted for the office 
of an Evangelist. But the call being persisted in, he yielded to 
what he deemed the voice of Providence, and assumed a post 
from the labors and responsibilities of which he never shrunk for 
the remaining years of his active and eventful life. 

Mr. Aikman, who was one of the few who composed the origi 
nal Circus Church, and was afterwards himself ordained co-pastor, 
has given the following account of the principles on which it was 
formed : 

" The chief principle which influenced the minds of the brethren who, I be 
lieve, constituted the majority of the small company first associated for observing 
Divine ordinances in the Circus, was the indispensable necessity of the people 
of God being separated in religious fellowship from all such societies as permit 
ted visible unbelievers to continue in their communion. This was a yoke under 
which we had long groaned ; and we hailed, with gratitude to God, the arrival 
of that happy day when we first enjoyed the so much wished for-privilege of 
separating from an impure communion, and of uniting exclusively with those 
whom it was meet and fit that we should judge to be all the children of God. 
Some of our dearest brethren, however, did not unite with us on this principle. 
They were attached, indeed, to the fellowship of the saints, and would by no 
means consent to the admission of any amongst us who did not appear to be 
such ; yet they were not then convinced of the absolute unlawfulness of their 
continuing in connection with societies confessedly impure. Our brethren 
were well aware of our decided difference of sentiment, not only respecting the 
great inconsistency, but also unlawfulness, of any persons connected with us 
continuing to go back to the fellowship of those societies from which they had 
professed to separate, and they knew that our forbearance did not imply any 
approbation of this conduct. Persuaded, however, that they did not intend by 


this to countenance anything they judged to be contrary to the mind of Christ, 
we deemed it our duty to forbear, in the hope that that Saviour, whom we trusts 
ed it was their supreme desire to serve and to please, would grant us the happi 
ness of being like-minded in this as in our other views of promoting the honor 
of his adored name." 

The simplicity of the motives which influenced these holy men 
can never be disputed by those who marked their public course, 
or more narrowly watched their private walk with God. But 
whether the attempt succeeded, whether it indeed secured that 
purity of communion after which they panted, is a question 
which it might not be difficult to answer, but one which it is not 
the object of these pages to discuss. 

Nearly three years subsequent to the opening of the Circus as 
a place of worship, Mr. Haldane gives the following account of it 
in his " Address to the Public :" 

" After some time a Church was formed, of which, at first, we had no inten 
tion. The Gospel continues to be preached in the Circus to this day in an 
earnest and faithful manner. With respect to the doctrines taught, they are 
essentially the same as those contained in the Confession of Faith, and in the 
Articles of the Church of England, and preached by those in the Church of 
Scotland denominated Evangelical or Gospel ministers. The form of Church 
government is what has b een called Congregational, a form long known and 
acted upon in England. A strict discipline is maintained* The characters of 
all persons admitted as Church members are particularly examined, and great 
numbers have been rejected, either from ignorance of the Gospel, or from not 
appearing to maintain a becoming walk and conversation. Disloyalty, as being 
one of those things which are contrary to the express precepts of Scripture and 
to the spirit of Christianity, would be a complete disqualification, and some have 
been rejected on this very ground. The Church members are exhorted to watch 
over each other in love ; if any one be overtaken in a fault, he is reproved, but 
if convicted of departing from the faith of the Gospel, of deliberate immorality, 
or allowed and continued indulgence in sin, he is put away, and restored only 
upon credible proofs of repentance. Such regulations we believe to be accord 
i-ng to Scripture, and calculated to promote edification. 

" After a trial for a considerable time, I must say I rejoice in this Institution. 
Many advantages, I think, have attended it. At the Circus the seats are free to 
all ; the ministers at present who officiate, either statedly or occasionally, as 
those from England in summer, receive no pay for their labors, and all sorts of 
people are welcome, without either expense or inconvenience. By this means 
many in Edinburgh, I believe, have attended the worship of God, who, although 
they could afford it, would not have been at the trouble to procure a seat in any 
church where they are let. I have heard of several such people coming first 
from curiosity, or because they got a place without difficulty or expense, who 
afterwards have become sensible of the value of the preaching of the Gospel. 
I have heard of others who had been violent in their political sentiments, and 


abusive against the Government (not belonging to the Circus Church, for such 
would not be admitted there, but among the hearers), who, after attending there 
some time, have learned to respect lawful authority, to forbear speaking evil 
of dignities, and to turn their attention from other men s faults to the corrup 
tions of their own hearts. I have understood that ale-houses had been emptied 
and shut up, which used to be full on the Lord s-day, by the frequenters of 
them going to the Circus. There are, besides, many serious people who attend 
regularly, from deliberate preference of it to other places. In the evenings, 
also, a large place is thus open when most other churches are shut, and many 
stragglers occasionally drop in. Upon the other hand, I am often grieved when 
I think of the difficulty of procuring seats, almost to the total exclusion of the 
poor, in many churches of Edinburgh ; and that so many of these, especially 
when they are collegiate charges, are shut up in the evenings, when they might 
be occupied, and the seats free. I am sure I shall be happy, as I often declare, 
to see the Circus thinned in the evenings, by more places of worship being 
opened. If good be done, and sinners converted to Jesus Christ, I care not 
where it may be." 

The Tabernacle, or Circus Church, having been constituted in 
the month of January, 1799, no less than 310 persons almost im 
mediately signified their desire to unite in its communion. Of 
these, however, thirty continued members of the Establishment, 
and only desired to be admitted occasionally to the Lord s table 
by their Circus brethren. Not a few of these 310 were persons 
who were first led to behold Christ as their Saviour by the preach 
ing, in and around Edinburgh, of Mr. J. A. Haldane himself, or 
of Mr. Rowland Hill. But a very considerable number were old 
established Christians, who had grown up under the admirable 
teaching of Dr. Erskine, Mr. Black, Dr. Colquhoun, Dr. Walter 
Buchanan, and other faithful ministers of the Established Church, 
who could not be expected to look with satisfaction on this se 

Mr. J. A. Haldane s ordination took place on the 3d February, 
1799, being the Lord s-day. It was an occasion memorable for 
its solemnizing influence, and the impression it produced upon 
crowds of spectators. A sketch, from the pen of Mr. Ewing, is 
given of this event in the "Missionary Magazine," from which 
the following extracts are taken : 

" On Sabbath, the 3d of February, Mr. James Haldane was ordained in the 
Circus of this city to be pastor of a Church which has been recently formed 
here on the Congregational plan, and in connection with the institution of a 
Tabernacle. By desire of the Church, the service was conducted by Messrs. 
Taylor, of Osset, Yorkshire ; Garie, of Perth ; and Ewing, of Edinburgh, minis 
ters of the Gospel. Mr. Taylor began by giving out a part of Psalm cxxii. Ha 


then prayed, and read the following portions of Scripture, as suited to the pecu. 
liar occasion of the meeting, viz., Isaiah Ixii., Ezek. xxxiii. 1 11,1 Tim. iii.; 
after which he gave out the remainder of Psalm cxxii. He next introduced the 
solemn business of the day by preaching an appropriate sermon from John 
xviii. 36, * Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world ; if my kingdom 
were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered 
to the Jews ; but now is my kingdom not from hence. 

" After sermon, Mr. Ewing gave out the 64th hymn of the second book of 
t)r Watts s hymns, entitled God the glory and the defence of Sion. 

" Happy the Church, thou sacred place, 
The seat of thy Redeemer s grace ; 
Thine holy courts are His abode, 
Thou earthly palace of our God. 

" Thy walls are strength, and at thy gates 
A guard of heavenly warriors waits ; 
Nor shall thy deep foundations move, 
Fix d on His counsels and His love, &c., &c. 

" Mr. Garie of Perth, next went into the pulpit, and after prayer and a short 
introduction, solemnly asked Mr. Haldane the following questions : 

" 1st. As an unconverted ministry is allowed to be a great evil, will you, 
Sir, be pleased to favor us with some account of the dealing of God with your 

" 2dly. Will you inform us what are the circumstances and motives which 
have led you to preach the Gospel, and to desire to engage in the work of the 
ministry ? 

" 3dly. Will you favor us with your views of the leading truths of the 
Gospel 1 

" 4thly. Will you explain your views and purposes respecting the duties and 
trials before you in the pastoral office ? 

" To these questions Mr. Haldane replied at considerable length, and in a 
manner that seemed to make a very deep and general impression. His account 
of the dealings of God with him contained a historical sketch of his whole life, 
in which there appears to have been many remarkable displays of providential 
mercy, as well as the most satisfying evidence of a saving change. His account 
of the circumstances and motives which concurred in leading him to preach the 
Gospel, were such as, in the unanimous opinion of the Church, and of many 
others, established a very clear call to the work of the ministry. The declara 
tion of his faith was scriptural, explicit, and uncommonly striking. His views 
and purposes as to the work before him shewed a strong sense of insufficiency, 
and a becoming dependence on promised Divine aid. Mr. Haldane here ex 
pressed his intention of endeavoring to procure a regular rotation of ministers 
to assist him in supplying the Tabernacle. He declared his willingness to open 
his pulpit for the occasional labors of every faithful preacher of the Gospel, of 
whatever denomination or country he might be. He signified his approbation 
of the plan of the Church which had chosen him for their pastor, as being sim 
ple and scriptural, but disavowed any confidence in it as a perfect model of a 
Church of Christ, to the exclusion of all others. He wished to remember him- 


self, and ever to remind his hearers, that the kingdom of heaven was not meat 
and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Finally, 
he declared that he meant not to confine his exertions to that Church, but to 
devote a portion of his time, every year, to the labors. of itinerancy, to which 
he conceived himself, in the providence of God, to be especially called." 

Thus far the " Missionary Magazine." Happily the notes of 
Mr James Haldane s answers to the ordination questions were 
found among his papers in a drawer where they had lain undis 
turbed for nearly forty years. The substance of his reply to the 
first question, concerning " God s dealings with his soul," has been 
already inserted in the account given of his early life and con 
version to God. The answer to the second question, as to his mo 
tives in engaging in the work of the ministry, is shorter. 

" For some time after I knew the truth, I had no thoughts to 
wards the ministry. My attention was directed to the study of 
the Scriptures, and other religious books, for my own improve 
ment, and because I found much pleasure in them. When I first 
lived in my own house, I began family worship on Sabbath even 
ings. I was unwilling to have it more frequently, lest I should 
meet with ridicule from those with whom I was acquainted. A 
conviction of duty at length determined me to begin to have it 
every morning, but I assembled the family in another room for 
some time, lest any one should come in. I gradually got over 
this fear of man, and being desirous to instruct those who lived 
in my family, I began to expound the Scriptures. I found this 
very pleasant and edifying to myself, and this has been one chief 
mean by which the Lord prepared me for speaking in public. 
About this time, some of my friends remarked that I would by 
and by become a preacher. A person asked me whether I did 
not regret that I had not been a minister, which made a consider 
able impression on my mind. I began secretly to desire to be al 
lowed to preach the Gospel, which I considered as the most im 
portant, as well as honorable, employment. I began to ask of God 
to send me into his vineyard, and to qualify me for the work. 
This desire continued to increase, and although I had not the 
most distant prospect of its being gratified, and sometimes in 
prayer rny unbelieving heart suggested it could not be, I had 
then no idea of going to the highways and hedges, and telling 
sinners of the Saviour. However, I entertained some distant 
hope that the Lord would direct. Some things which passed in 
conversation tended to increase my expectation, and a journey I 


proposed to take to the north, with a view of establishing Sabbath- 
schools, at length opened a prospect of being allowed to speak for 
Jesus. The success of a journey to the west country increased 
my desire of going through the north, not to preach, but to estab 
lish schools, while I was to be accompanied by a minister from 
England (Mr. Kate), who should preach in the towns and villages. 
Before we set out, our plan was enlarged. Another brother (Mr. 
Aikman), with whom I had become particularly intimate in a 
prayer-meeting, who had studied for the ministry, agreed to ac 
company us, and both he and I began to preach in a neighboring 
village about the same time. The journey to the north is pretty 
generally known, and ever since the Lord allowed me to speak of 
him to others, I have found increasing pleasure in the work, and 
seen, I hope, more of the inward workings of my corrupt heart, 
while I have found His grace sufficient. The Church which 
has been lately formed were pleased to invite me to be their pas 
tor. The charge I would accept, in dependence on the grace of 
Jesus Christ, not, however, relinquishing the idea of laboring as 
an itinerant, to which I think the Lord has especially called me." 

Mr, Ewing states that the answers to the third question, in re 
gard to views of doctrine, were uncommonly striking, but it 
is to be regretted that the notes are exceedingly scanty. Their 
brevity indicates how firmly the speaker already felt himself 
established in an acquaintance with the great truths of Scrip 

" The Scriptures reveal God. Three bear witness in heaven, 
might be known by his works, man perfect, now lost, root unholy, 
prone to evil. Enmity against God. Willingly ignorant. God 
pitied. The Gospel preached. In the fulness of time God sent 
forth Word made flesh. Jesus Christ is the true God as well as 
man ; suffered wrath due to us ; died, rose, ascended, ever liveth. 
The necessity of regeneration produced by Holy Spirit, which, 
shed on us through Christ ; he had received the Spirit beyond 
measure, and all his members are partakers. Baptism, Lord s 
Supper, Justification, Sanctification, Election." 

These brief notes sufficiently indicate his views of doctrine, 
which he consistently held, without swerving, to the end of life. 

The notes of his answer to the fourth question are as follows : 

" I consider the Christian life as a warfare. There is a constant 
struggle between the flesh and the Spirit, and renewed supplies 
of strength are constantly necessary from Jesus Christ. This is 


peculiarly the case in the ministerial work. No man is sufficient 
for these things. A minister, in an especial manner, should 
habitually cherish a spirit of humility and dependence on the 
head of the Church. His situation and temptations are peculiar; 
he must not only keep his body under, and bring it into subjec 
tion, lest, preaching to others, he be himself cast away; but he 
must watch over the flock over which the Holy Ghost has made 
him overseer, as one who would give an account. I do not expect 
my trials to be few, but to meet with many difficulties, especially 
if the Lord should honor me in the work. I should desire to 
give myself much to the Word of God and prayer, to study the 
Scriptures with attention, that my doctrine may ever be agreeable 
to the Word of God, and that I may rightly divide it, giving a 
portion to all who may attend my ministry. It should be my 
study to comfort the feeble-minded, and to lead the weak to the 
rock of ages. I should endeavor to alarm the careless, reprove 
the backsliders, and to edify the body of Christ. To instruction, 
I should desire to add my example in every Christian grace, never 
rendering railing for railing, but in meekness, instructing those 
who oppose the truth. I should wish to act with tenderness to 
all who profess the faith of the Gospel, to possess much of that 
love, which thinketh no evil, and which covereth a multitude of 
sins. To bear with those who are weak in the faith, and may 
manifest an improper spirit on any occasion, to point out their 
error in love and meekness, and to be patient and gentle towards 
all men. To study to get acquainted with the cases of those 
amongst whom I minister, that I may speak to them a word in 
season, in public or private. To visit the sick and afflicted, and 
sympathize with all, but especially with the friends of Jesus, 
as members of the same body. To study to maintain the ordi 
nances of Christ pure. To study that discipline be maintained, 
without preferring one above another. To exhort or reprove, 
agreeably to the commands of Christ and his apostles, and espe 
cially to endeavor to cultivate a spirit of love, not only amongst 
our own members, but in myself, and then towards every disciple 
of Jesus. I consider all Christians as members of one body, and 
that schisms and divisions consist in giving way to or cherishing 
a narrow party spirit. I consider the constitution of this Church 
to be plain and scriptural ; but I dare not turn my back on those 
who, holding the head, differ in lesser matters. I would desire 
to remember that the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but 


righteousness; and that the Christian who is most spiritually- 
minded is acting most agreeably to the will of his Father in heaven 
I value purity of communion as calculated to promote much 
spirituality; but can easily suppose, what often happens, thai 
men, while gazing on, admiring, and adjusting the scaffolding, 
forget the building. I shall cheerfully bid every minister of 
Christ God speed, and hope our pulpits shall never be shut 
against any who teach the apostles doctrine. Agreeably to our 
rules, I shall gladly receive, as an occasional communicant, every 
brother in Christ, whether he be of the Establishment, or of any 
other denomination of Christians. I shall endeavor to point out 
to parents, children, subjects, and others, their respective duties, 
and ever to maintain the necessary connection of a knowledge 
and belief of the truth with purity and holiness. Finally, as it 
is proposed that a tabernacle should be united with the Church, 
I shall study to get supplies of such ministers as may be most 
calculated to rouse the careless, and edify believers. This will, 
of course, afford me time to preach the Gospel in the highways 
and hedges, which, I trust, I shall gladly embrace, testifying to 
all repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 
I lay my account with trials and difficulties in the undertaking, 
but would desire to commit myself in well-doing to the God and 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to pray that, with all bold 
ness, I may speak his word with success. Such are some of the 
important duties to which I think myself called. While I would 
consider myself bound to spend and be spent for Jesus, that I 
might win souls, I would remember that a special relation subsists 
between me and the Church now present. I would willingly 
account myself their servant, for Jesus sake. I would crave 
their counsel, their love, and their prayers. I would put them 
in mind of the apostle s advice to the Church at Colosse, that 
they should say to their minister, in a spirit of love, Take heed 
to the ministry that thou hast received from the Lord, that thou 
fulfil it. After what I have said, I confess my unfitness for the 
work, and request the earnest prayers of my brethren in Christ, 
that I may find the grace of Jesus and his strength sufficient for 

The narrative in the "Missionary Magazine" proceeds: 

" Having heard these full and edifying answers from Mr. Haldane, Mr. Garie 
turned to the Church, who were all seated round the pulpit, and asked an 
account of the steps they hal taken in order to establish a pastoral relation 


between Mr. Haldane and themselves. Mr. Aikman, one of the members, hav 
ing been appointed by the Church to answer this question, in the name of his 
brethren, rose, and stated, That it had long been the desire of several serious 
persons in this place, to enjoy the benefit of Christian fellowship on a scriptural 
plan, and, at the same time, to avoid that contracted spirit, which would exclude 
from the pulpit, or from occasional communion, any faithful preacher of the 
Gospel, or sincere lover of the Lord Jesus ; that some time ago, a number of 
the members present had, after frequent prayer and conference, agreed upon 
certain regulations, which appeared to them agreeable to the Word of God; 
and had thereupon formed themselves into a Church, by solemn prayer; giving 
themselves to the Lord, and to one another, to walk in Christian fellowship, 
and to observe all the ordinances appointed by Jesus Christ ; that they then 
proceeded to the election of a pastor, and had unanimously chosen Mr. James 
Haldane, one of their number, to that office, and appointed his ordination to 
take place on that day, the 3d of February. 

" Mr. Garie then addressed the Church again, and desired that if they still 
adhered to their choice of Mr. Haldane, and their desire that he should be their 
pastor, they should now signify that desire, by holding up their right hand. 
This being accordingly done by the members, Mr. Garie asked Mr. Haldane, 
after what he had heard and seen of the desire of his brethren respecting him, 
whether he would now finally declare his acceptance of their call? This ques 
tion being answered by Mr. Haldane in the affirmative, Mr. Ewing gave out 
Psalm cxxxii. 12, 17, while Mr, Garie descended from the pulpit, in order to 
engage in the ordination prayer. Mr. Haldane was then solemnly set apart to 
the work of the ministry, and to the pastoral office in that church, by prayer 
and imposition of hands. 

"After prayer, and giving Mr. Haldane the right hand of fellowship, Mr. 
Garie gave out the following hymn, entitled The People s Prayer for their 

" 1 With heavenly power, Lord, defend 

Him whom we now to thee commend ; 
His person bless, his soul secure, 
And make him to the end endure. 

" 2 Gird him with all sufficient grace 

Direct his feet in paths of peace ; 
Thy truth and faithfulness fulfil, 
And help him to obey thy will. 

" 3 Before him thy protection send ; 

love him, save him to the end ! 
Nor let him as thy pilgrim rove, 
Without the convoy of thy love. 

" 4 Enlarge, inflame, and fill his heart, 
In him thy mighty power exert ; 
That thousands yet unborn may praise 
The wonders of redeeming grace ! 

* During the singing of this hymn, Mr. Ewing went to the pulpit, and, after 


p-y , er, preached a sermon from 1 Peter v. 1-4, * The elders which are among 
you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, 
and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed : Feed the flock of God 
wnich is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but wil 
lingly ; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind ; Neither as being lords over 
God s heritage ; but being ensamples to the flock. Arid when the chief Shep 
herd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory, that fadeth not away. At 
the conclusion of this sermon, he addressed himself particularly to the pastor, 
to the church, and to the congregation ; and then closed the service in the usual 
manner. After the last prayer, he gave out three verses of the fiftieth hymn 
of the second book of the Olney Hymns, entitled A Prayer for Ministers. 

The service lasted near five hours, during all which time a crowded audience 
showed the deepest attention, and some seemed much affected. We hope this 
was a token for good, and the beginning of many happy days to this new 
formed Church, while it may, perhaps, have been the blessed occasion of 
awakening some who may yet be added to it." 

Mr. James Haldane never aspired to be the leader of a sect. His 
ambition was of a higher and holier order. But he was the first 
minister of the first church formed amongst the new Congrega- 
tionalist Churches of Scotland. The biographer of Mr. Ewing, 
who has written her father s Life with filial affection, bears the 
following pleasing and truthful testimony, derived from contem 
poraries, as to " the state of things in Edinburgh, particularly in 
connection with the congregation and services of the Circus :" 

" With many souls it was the season of first love ; and even those who had 
long known the grace of God in truth, looked back to it ever after, as a time 
of life from the dead. There was a fervor of spirit ; a love to each other for 
the truth s sake ; a delight in all the ordinances of the Gospel, which makes it 
resemble more perhaps the Pentecostal period in Jerusalem, than any that has 
succeeded it. The fear of singularity, and the love of the world, seemed alike 
for the time to have lost their power. The work of God in seeking the con 
version of sinners, was made the business of life." ..." The multitudes, also, 
who crowded to the Circus, the zeal and activity of those engaged in Sabbath- 
schools, and various other useful institutions ; the intelligence received from 
others, sent forth to more distant labors : all these were animating in the high 
est degree. They furnish in abundance topics for the most improving conver 
sation, while they became alike the source of thanksgiving and encouragement 
to prayer." ..." To warn, to beseech, or to exhort their fellow-sinners, was a 
spontaneous delightful employment; to describe the blessedness of peace with 
God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, was but to express the overflowings of 
their actual experience. And to crown all, they were at peace among them 
selves."- Life of Gremlle Ewing, p. 186. 

It would be delightful to linger over the memory of " those 
times of refreshing," of which the recollection was so long cherished 


by those associated with the Edinburgh Circus. As yet there 
were no discussions about the order of primitive churches, about 
their discipline, about modes of baptism, or those other perplex 
ing questions, which afterwards necessarily arose, and served to 
divert the force of that artillery, which was at first exclusively 
concentrated against the strongholds of Satan. There are now 
but few survivors to speak from personal remembrance of that 
memorable season. There is but one testimony, borne both by 
the living and the dead, as to the fervor of devotion and the over 
flowing of Christian love, which marked the period. These were 
not the characteristics of a few fleeting weeks or months. They 
continued, more or less, for years, and the description of them 
will not soon be forgotten by those who were present at the com 
memoration of Mr. J. A. Haldane s Jubilee, in 1849, as given 
by the late Rev. Christopher Anderson. That venerable minister, 
who has now gone to his rest, then stated that numbers were 
awakened or converted by almost every sermon, whilst even those 
who had themselves known the truth, looked back to the period 
as one of revival from spiritual deadness to a quickening life. 
The Circus first, and then the Tabernacle, were crowded by 
thronging multitudes, hanging upon the preacher s lips, joining 
with earnestness in the prayers, singing the praises of the Lord 
with their whole hearts, remaining during long services without 
wearying, and retiring in solemn silence, afraid, as it were, to 
desecrate the place where the Lord himself was present, and that 
presence was felt. Those tokens of a work of grace, extended far 
beyond the narrow limits of a sectarian inclosure. The impulse 
vibrated throughout Scotland, and served to reanimate the expi 
ring flame of that noble Church, whose chosen emblem is still the 
bush that burned, but never is consumed. 

Immediately after Mr. J. Haldane had agreed to officiate in 
Edinburgh, his brother proceeding on his original plan, next 
purchased the Circus in Jamaica-street, Glasgow, at a cost of 
3000^., and converted it into a Tabernale for a congregation, of 
which Mr. Ewing was to be the^ pastor. From Glasgow, Mr.. 
Haldane, accompanied by Mr. Ewing, proceeded to Stirling, to 
propose to Mr. Innes the arrangement with regard to Dundee 
Mr. Innes did not, at once, see it to be his duty to leave the 
Church of Scotland, but having been ordered, by a majority of 
the General Assembly to assist, personally, in the ordination of a 
minister, who was a profane swearer, and charged as such in open 


226 REV. DR. BOGUE. 

congregation, he left the communion in which he could no longer 
continue with a good conscience, and availed himself of the offer 
made by Mr. Haldane, although the exchange involved not only 
prospective but immediate pecuniary loss. 

" The Tabernacle of Glasgow," says Mr. Haldane, " was to be 
put into Mr. Ewing s hand during his incumbency. I promised 
to execute a deed for this purpose, and to fix his salary at 200?. 
a year, to arise out of the proceeds of the house. In order to 
make this salary the more secure, I was to become bound, in case 
of a short-coming, to pay the pew duty, or ground rent, the ordi 
nary expenses, and the necessary repairs. On the 1st of Decem 
ber, after all the foregoing business was arranged, Mr. Ewing left 
Lady Glenorchy s Chapel, and began, January 2d, to teach the 
iirst class of students. In May, 1799, he removed to Glasgow, 
and, in the month of July following, I delivered to him the above- 
mentioned deed." It is necessary to add, that the surplus to arise 
from the Tabernacles at Glasgow and Dundee was not to belong 
to Mr. Haldane, but to be applied to the training and education 
of young men for the ministry of the Gospel in Scotland, under 
the superintendence of the two brothers, in unison with Mr. 
Innes and Mr. Ewing. As Mr. J. A. Haldane stood in need of no 
salary, the whole of the income of the Edinburgh Tabernacle, 
after payment of expenses, was devoted to the Society for Prop 
agating the Gospel. 

It was Mr. Haldane s intention to have established his first 
seminary at Gosport; an intention which, had it been accom 
plished, would have been far more agreeable to his own feelings 
and conducive to Mr. Ewing s future usefulness and comfort. In 
the prospect of the Mission to India, Dr. Bogue, in his private 
correspondence, stated, that he considered his own long acquaint 
ance and friendship with its chief, as indispensable to the stability 
of the plan. Mr. Haldane had, from boyhood, been familiar with 
Dr. Bogue, and regarded the veteran champion of the Gospel 
almost with filial affection. The friendship thus begun was ce 
mented by Christian principle, and never was interrupted. Both 
were men of ardent mind, shrewd observation, strong intellect 
and determined will. Each was conscious of his own strength, 
remarkable for self-reliance, confidence in his own opinion, and a 
disposition rather to lead them than to follow. But each was im 
bued with much, also, that was kind and gentle, as well as with 
a feeling of mutual respect, esteem and forbearance. There was 


also on both sides great command of temper, and a tact which 
teaches a wise man how to maintain his independence, without 
showing jealousy lest it should be unintentionally assailed. Mr. 
Haldane knew the points, in regard to which Dr. Bogue s scho 
lastic theology and other attainments gave him an advantage. 
But Dr. Bogue also knew the strength of his younger friend, as 
well as Mr. Haldane s superior acquaintance with the world, and 
his advantages of position. There, consequently, was no jeal 
ousy between them, but, acting towards each other in the spirit 
of mutual esteem and Christian forbearance, they were enabled 
to journey on to the close of life, exhibiting, in relation to each 
other, how good men can even differ in opinion and still preserve, 
unbroken, the ties of friendship. 

It was, however, ordered, that the young men should not go to 
Gosport. During the visit made to Glasgow and Stirling for the 
purpose of completing the arrangements about the Tabernacles, 
it was represented by Mr. Garie, and, with greater force, by Mr. 
Ewing, that if the students were sent to Hampshire, the friends 
of the new movement in Scotland would be exposed to that oblo 
quy which attached to the exaggerated representations made of 
Dr. Bogue s liberal politics. Politics were the bugbear of the age ; 
Mr. Haldane s had been attacked. Mr. Ewing was then with 
out occupation, and the Glasgow circus could not be opened for 
six months. The objections to Dr. Bogue were plausible, and, 
with less than his usual caution, Mr. Haldane yielded a decided, 
though reluctant, consent to the remonstrances of his two fellow- 
travellers ; and an immediate arrangement as to the students was 
deemed so urgent, that he agreed to place the first class under Mr. 
Ewing before he had the opportunity of even consulting his 
brother. It was unfortunate, both for Mr. Haldane and Mr. Ew 
ing, who were not at all calculated for such mutual co-operation. 
If anything were wanted to enhance the character of Dr. Bogue, 
it is to be found in the fact, that, although conscious of his own 
superior scholarship and experience, and by no means acquiescing 
in the wisdom of the reasons which dictated this change of pur 
pose, he nobly merged all idea of personal advantage in the impor 
tance of the sacred object which both had at heart. Mr. Haldane 
did, however, endeavor to make compensation for the disappoint 
ment, by procuring the institution of another class for students, 
to be educated under his venerable friend, for the ministry in 
England. Partly through his influence, and partly by his pecu- 


niary aid, ten young men were placed under the tuition of Dr 
Bogue, whose own future character and usefulness, as the tutor of 
the London Missionary Seminary, proved a sufficient refutation 
of the objections with which he was at first so often assailed. 
When the name of the Kev. John Angell James, of Birmingham, 
is mentioned as one numbered amongst those whom Dr. Bogue 
always termed " Mr. Haldane s students," at Gosport, it will be 
seen that Dr. Bogue s political disqualifications were more imagi 
nary than real. Of the Scotch students, the first class was placed 
under Mr. E wing s care, in Edinburgh, within a month after he 
ceased to be a minister of the Church of Scotland and assistant to 
the Eev. Dr. Jones. It commenced with twenty -four (according 
to Mr. Campbe 1 !, afterwards increased to about thirty), all of 
these being Presbyterians, and none Congregationalists, in senti 
ment. " Some of us," says Mr. Munro, of Knockando, " belonged 
to the National Establishment, others to the Belief, and not a few 
were Burghers and Anti-burghers. The only qualifications for ad 
mission to the seminary were, genuine piety, talents susceptible 
of cultivation, and a desire to be useful to our fellow-sinners by 
preaching and teaching the words of eternal life. The grand ob 
ject proposed by the zealous originators* of the scheme was, to 
qualify pious young men for going out literally to the highways 
and hedges to preach the Gospel, unconnected with the peculiari 
ties of any denomination." " Such," continues Mr. Munro, " were 
the materials placed under Mr. E wing s tuition ;" but he adds, 
with great naivete, before the termination of our prescribed course 
of study, we found ourselves decided and intelligent Congrega 

To this class the excellent Mr. Cowie, of Huntly, sent " four of 
his spiritual children." One of the first students was the Rev. 
Mr. Maclay, who went out as a missionary to America, and be 
came a very useful and popular Baptist minister in New York. 

* The worthy writer of the above extracts, in using the word " originators, " seems 
to imply that the origin of this benevolent scheme was to be attributed to several. 
Mr. Haldane never looked for human applause, or for any earthly reward, and there 
fore was not disappointed when his benevolence was either overlooked or unappre 
ciated by those who experienced it. But it is due to his memory to state, that he 
was the sole originator of these academies. It was by him alone that the idea was 
first conceived, when away from Scotland. It was through his exclusive liberality 
that it was carried out. But for him years might have elapsed before it would have 
been attempted. And when his bounty ceased to flow in this direction, it was long 
before anything systematic was done in the same way by the Congregational Union. 


His eldest son is an eminent lawyer and Member of Congress in 
the United States. 

The students were all maintained at Mr. Haldane s expense, 
according to a scale for each married and unmarried student, 
drawn up at the time by those well acquainted with such matters 
at Gosport and Kotherham. Before their admission they under 
went a strict examination as to their abilities and qualifications. 
But, next to the importance of engaging in the work on purely 
Christian principles, nothing was more strongly impressed upon 
their minds, than the assurance that there was no design to ele 
vate them in their social position ; that it was not intended to 
make gentlemen of such among them as were mechanics, but 
catechists or preachers ; and that, after their term of study was 
over, they must not look to their patron for support, but to their 
own exertions and the leadings of Providence. That this caution 
was needful must appear obvious to every observer of the ways 
of the world, and Mr. Haldane afterwards found that all his 
munificence was insufficient to protect him from the charge of 
covetousness. The Dundee Tabernacle was not opened till the 
19th of October, 1800; but, during the interval, Mr. Haldane 
collected another class of missionary students and catechists, 
whom he placed under Dr. Innes, intending that these should 
also go to Glasgow to be instructed by Mr. Ewing for fifteen ad 
ditional months. Their tutor, the 1 venerable Dr. Innes, thus 
writes : " The second class was placed under my care for the first 
year, at Dundee, in which the number was about forty. This 
class was transferred, in the second year of their studies, to Mr. 
Ewing, at Glasgow. The third class was also, for the first } r ear, 
under my care. The number was twenty-two. This will give 
you some idea of the singularly liberal, I would say, magnificent 
scale, on which Mr. Haldane undertook to promote the preaching 
of the Gospel, as all of these students were supported entirely at 
his own expense." 

Dr Innes adds, " In the Tabernacle at Dundee it was proposed, 
that whilst the first part of the proceeds, to a certain amount, 
should go to the minister, yet the surplus, if any, should be de 
voted to the education of young men for the ministry. On one 
or two occasions the funds of the Tabernacle fell somewhat short 
of the amount specified, and I think it due to the memory of Mr. 
Haldane to say, that that deficiency, though not a part of our 
agreement, he made up." 


Whilst these arrangements were in progress Mr. Macaulay 
arrived in England, bringing with him twenty-four African chil 
dren. The following is the narrative of Mr. Campbell : 

"At length," says Mr. Campbell, writing of the month of June, 1799, "a 
letter reached me one Monday morning, from Governor Macaulay, dated Ports 
mouth, informing me of his arrival there, and that he had twenty boys and four 
girls on board ; and he expected that, by the time the vessel got round to Lon 
don, I should be there to take them off his hands. I hastened with this intelli 
gence to Mr. Haldane. In thirty hours after receiving the information of the 
children s arrival, I found myself seated in the London mail-coach, galloping to 
the south. 

" I found that the African children had arrived a few days before me, and 
were lodging in a house behind a tavern at Clapham, where I soon visited 
them, and found there were twenty boys and four girls, all jet black, cheerful 
and happy. I walked with them across the Common to Mr. Henry Thornton s. 
While going along, they scattered, chased and pushed each other, diverting 
themselves in the same way as a similar number of English boys would have 
done. On reaching Mr. Thornton s gate I counted their number, and found, as 
was uniformly the case afterwards on similar occasions, some were missing. It 
arose from companies dining in the neighboring mansions, astonished to see a 
cloud of young Africans, sending out their men-servants to try and catch some 
of them, and bring them before them. When they observed me returning in 
search of the strayed, they always sent servants with them to meet me. Peo 
ple being pleased to look at them as curiosities, they fancied all were their 
friends, and most willingly went with any who asked them. 

" I had a letter of introduction to the late Joseph Hardcastle, of whom I was 
to take counsel in anything relating to the Africans, and we almost settled for 
their passage to Edinburgh in a Leith smack. It was well we had not finished 
the bargain, for the next time I met Messrs. Thornton and Macaulay, I found 
they had learned that the small-pox was in Clapham, which rendered it indis 
pensably necessary to have the children all inoculated, lest they should take it 
when on board the ship, and their lives be lost. Such a detention in London 
was very unexpected by me, but Mr. Hardcastle and I both saw the importance 
of the measure recommended; wherefore I consented to wait till they should 
recover from the inoculation. They were soon all received into the Small-pox 
Hospital at St. Pancras." 

It is to Mr. Macaulay s characteristic caution that the inocula 
tion of the children is to be attributed. He had mentioned inocu 
lation to their parents, through ignorance of the superior safety 
of vaccination, and he preferred running a considerable risk, of 
which he had given notice, to a much smaller one, which he had 
not mentioned. But, in truth, the delay in sending down the 
children to Edinburgh proved to have in it something more 
diplomatic than a dread of the small-pox. Mr. Macaulay had no 
doubt become alarmed at the ecclesiastical aspect of affairs in Ed- 


inburgh, and wished to detain the children at Clapham. He 
therefore objected to their education being under Mr. Ilaldane s 
sole management. The objection might, under the circum 
stances, have appeared to some equitable. Not so the attempt to 
fix Mr. Ilaldane with the sole expense. Mr. Macaulay evidently 
mistook the character of Mr. Ilaldane, who was not simply an 
amiable philanthropist, bat a cool reasoner and a shrewd man of 
business. On the first intimation of a design so unceremoniously 
to take the education of the children out of his hands, whilst he 
was expected to pay the entire cost, he thus wrote to Mr. Camp 
bell, with his usual decision : 

" As to the other proposal, I confess I am not a little surprised at it. The 
gentlemen were surely not exercising their usual consideration when they made 
it. It seems proper, however, distinctly to state, what might have been under 
stood, that I shall intrust no part of the children to any but those who act 
under me, and that this was my intention, as you know, from the first, when, 
upon the promise of your assistance, I commissioned you to write for them to 
Africa. Mr. Macaulay, in none of his letters, expressed the smallest expectation 
of any other result. Indeed, this seems only reasonable, when I am to be at 
the sole expense of their education in Britain. ... 1 eonsider this a very solemn 
and important charge, and hope the Lord will enable me to act to those children, 
while placed, in the course of His providence, under my care, with all the regard, 
solicitude, aud affection which I could exercise towards my own." 

Mr. Macaulay was too sagacious not to discover, very shortly, 
the mistake he had made in trying to make Mr. Ilaldane a cypher 
in the management of the children, for whom, according to the 
new plan, he was to have the privilege of paying a sum estimated 
at 7000?. But he did what he could to retain the children, and 
yet secure the aid of Mr. Ilaldane s purse. A modified proposal 
was therefore made, both as to expense and management. But 
although Mr. Haldane distinctly stated that he had always in 
tended to advise with others, and " especially with Mr. Macaulay," 
he peremptorily declined coming under any such engagement as 
a matter of bargain. 

In a letter, dated Jane 18, 1799, he thus expresses his feel 

" I must say that this is a very extraordinary business. However, I am 
satisfied. The Lord seems to intend a different plan for the children. His 
will be done! I am sure my intentions were right in the business. Conscien 
tiously, and to the best of my power, it was my resolution, through His grace, 
to educate these children, and tenderly to have cared for them. 

" As to Mr. Macaulay and the gentlemen of the Company, who knew the 


whole for nearly eighteen months, and never even hinted what they now desire, 
till after the children were in England and you in London, I think it would be 
much better for them to say, in plain terms, that they have altered their minds, 
than to make such proposals. That I should be at the whole or greatest part 
of the expense, and be allowed to be an overseer under a Committee, and this 
under another in London, or that I should act, according to Mr. Maeaulay s 
undefined plan, in concert with other gentlemen, they adding to my subscrip 
tion what was deficient, and I having my due weight in directing, &c., are pro 
posals singular in the extreme, which now come too late, and which, if they 
were in my circumstances, they would not themselves agree to. I distinctly 
meant, from the first, that I should have the sole management, and in conse 
quence pledged myself to the sole expense. 

" Mr. Thornton, Mr. Grant, and Mr. Hardcastle knew this, and there was 
time enough for Mr. Macaulay to have known it too, and I rather think he did 
know, from your letter to Sierra Leone, informing him that the children were 
to be educated at Edinburgh, from funds wholly provided there ; and if he had 
entertained any suspicion, he should have stated his objections before he left 
Africa, and inquired more minutely into it. ... But it is needless to say more 
on the subject, except to put him right in one particular. Had I died, the burden 
of the children could not have fallen on the Company, but funds to complete 
their education would have been found amply provided by my will. Mr. Row 
land Hill and Mr. Ewing, to whom I have communicated your letters, and also 
Mr. Maeaulay s, coincide with me in my opinion of the whole." 

In fact, there was little room for serious difference of opinion 
amongst candid men, and Mr. Macaulay found that Mr. Haldane s 
views were adopted even by some of the most influential Directors 
of the Sierra Leone Company, and very decidedly by Mr. Hard- 
castle, one of the leading Directors, to whom Mr. Macaulay at 
that time considered himself under personal obligations. Had it 
been otherwise, the attempt to restrict Mr. Haldane s powers to 
the privilege of continuing to pay, whilst he ceased to direct, 
would assuredly have failed ; for he finally wrote to Mr. Campbell, 
in most distinct terms, warning him not to undertake the care of 
the children without a written avowal on the part of the ex- 
Governor, that the manner and direction of the children s education 
were to be free from any control on the part of Mr. Macaulay or 
ithe Company. " We will not," says Mr. Haldane, in writing to 
Mr. Macaulay, " we will not so mix the work. Either you or I 
shall have the whole charge." For fifteen months Mr. Haldane 
ihad been allowed to act, on the assumption that he was to be 
solely responsible. Under this impression, he had taken the lease 
of a house in the King s Park, Edinburgh, afterwards used for 
the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, which Sir Walter Scott has immor- 
.talized in his Heart of Mid-Lothian as that of "the Laird of 


Dumbiedykes." He had painted it, furnished it, and made all 
the other arrangements needful for the comfortable reception of 
the children, who were to be under the superintendence of Mr. 
Campbell, whose judgment and prudence were held in such esteem 
that Mr. Macaulay had himself entrusted to him the guardianship 
of his four unmarried sisters. If there had been a mistake at the 
beginning, it was too late to remedy it, except by a frank avowal 
of the error, and an offer to exonerate Mr. Haldane from all past 
or future charges. But funds were at last found by the Com 
pany, and the friends of Mr. Wilberforce and Mr. Thornton, for 
the education of the children ; and although they were not 
taught as Mr. Haldane had advised, and more attention was paid 
to their secular than religious education, yet some good was ac 
complished. They carried out with them to Africa many of the 
arts of civilized life. Whilst at Clapham, they convinced Mr. 
Pitt that the African race is not naturally inferior to the Euro 
pean. It may also be mentioned, to the credit of Mr. Macaulay, 
that in after-years, both in public and private, he expressed his 
respect for the character and talents of Mr. Haldane. One of his 
sisters was for many years a member of the Church, under Mr. J. 
A. Haldane s pastoral care, and was the occasion of frequent com 
munication with Mr. Macaulay. Mr. Campbell s biographer, in 
dismissing the subject of the African children, observes : " But 
although Mr. Campbell s African School, like Whitfield s Orphan 
School, came to nothing, it pledged his own heart to Africa, and 
revealed in his friend, Mr. Kobert Haldane, a depth of benevo 
lence which he never forgot nor ceased to imitate in his subse 
quent zeal for Africa." 



THE visit of the celebrated Charles Simeon, of Cambridge, 
had, in 1796, been only intended as a tour of recreation. Its 
effects at Moulin had, however, considerably discomposed the 
Moderates of the Church of Scotland, many of whom were doing 
the work and adopting the language of David Hume and his suc 
cessors. Their "death-like silence" and their "dread repose" 
had been still more rudely disturbed the following year, by the 
first tour to the north by Mr. Simeon s companion in travel, Mr. 
J. A. Haldane, in company with Mr. Aikman and Mr. Bate. 
But the second visit of Mr. Simeon, in 1798, to some of the very 
places where Mr. James Haldane had already produced so great 
a sensation, followed as that visit was by the tour of Mr. Eowland 
Hill, and free strictures of his Journal, brought matters to a 

For a long time the leaders of the Moderates had been medi 
tating a blow at the itinerants. They had rejoiced to see Mr. 
Simeon excluded from the Nonconformist Episcopalian Chapels, 
and were determined that the Gospel which he preached should 
no longer find a refuge in the pulpits of the Established Presby 
terian Church of Scotland. The General Assembly holds its 
annual sittings in May, and the friends of the Gospel looked with 
well-founded alarm on its convention in 1799, whilst the mutter 
ing of the coming storm did not prevent Mr. J. Haldane and his 
companions from setting out on a new tour, and one more ex 
tended than ever. 

The " Edinburgh Advertiser" of that week announces, under 
the head of Tuesday, May 28, 1799, " Overtures from the Synod 
of Aberdeen, and that of Angus and Mearns, respecting vagrant 
teachers and Sunday-schools, irreligion and anarchy." A strange 


medley is this announcement, and in our days ludicrous ; but it is 
added : " The Assembly unanimously agreed to the overtures, 
and prohibited all persons from preaching in any place under their 
jurisdiction, who were not licensed as above ; and also, those who 
are from England, or any other place, and who had not first been 
educated and licensed in Scotland. And resolved that a pastoral 
admonition be addressed by the Assembly to all the people under 
their charge." 

The declaratory acts of the Assembly passed on this occasion, 
the one against u vagrant teachers," and the other against unau 
thorized teachers of Sabbath-schools, were, in May, 1842, re 
scinded by the unanimous act of the last General Assembly held 
before the Disruption in 1843. Dr. Cunningham, who moved 
the overture, spoke of it as " eminently discreditable to the 
Church of Scotland." He said, "It was passed for temporary 
purposes, and upon motives and grounds which, he believed, 
were now regarded by a great majority of the Church of Scotland 
as of the most erroneous and improper kind, and as amounting 
to nothing less than a hatred to the cause of evangelical truth. 
Another noble champion of the Gospel, the Rev. Mr. Guthrie, 
declared that he looked upon the Act of 1799 "as one of the 
blackest acts the Church of Scotland ever passed ; and he rejoiced 
with all his heart that such an overture had been made as that 
introduced by Dr. Cunningham. The Act was passed not to 
exclude heresy from our pulpits, but to exclude truth." Dr. 
Candlish added the weight of his great name and character to 
this condemnation, and remarked that it was notorious that that 
Act was framed for the very purpose of excluding from the pul 
pits of the Church men whom it would have been an honor to 
any Church to employ in preaching the unsearchable riches of 
Christ. Such is the contrast between the spirit which animated 
the Blairs, the Carlyles, the Moodies, and the Hills of 1799, and 
that which characterized the majorit} r which, in 1842, rallied 
round the illustrious Chalmers, the heavenly-minded Gordon, and 
their other distinguished compeers. 

On the day after the passing of the Act of 1799, a Committee, 
appointed for the purpose, presented to the Assembly, on the 3d 
of June, a pastoral letter relative to missionary and itinerant 
preachers, which was carried, after a feeble resistance by a minor 
ity overborne by numbers and authority. Four thousand copies 
were ordered to be printed and circulated, and it was appointed 


to be read from the pulpit of every parish on the first Sunday 
after being received. The same Committee also gave in a report 
hostile to Sunday-schools, which was also adopted, but of it only 
1,600 were ordered for the use of the Church. 

The whole of these proceedings were worthy of the period 
when David Hume said that the Scottish Church was more favor 
able to Deism than any other religion, a period which Dr. Cun 
ningham termed "one of the most deplorable of the Church s 
history." The pastoral letter was signed by Dr. Moodie, but was 
said to be the composition of Dr. Hugh Blair, whose intimacy 
with the unbelieving philosophers of his day, significantly con 
trasts with his aversion to enthusiasm in religion. A mutual 
admiration of genius and intellect was in his case, as in others, 
considered to be a bond of friendship sufficient to overbear any 
objections which sprung from any difference of sentiment in re 
gard to God or to eternity. The admonition has no merits in 
point of composition, and does as little credit to the intellectual as 
to the moral qualities of the Professor of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres. 

The Procurator of the Church was, in the next place, author 
ized to proceed legally against unauthorized teachers of Sunday 
Schools, on the strength of some obsolete Acts of the Scottish 
Parliament directed against "Papists and malignants." In short, 
itinerants and Sunday-school teachers were delivered over to the 
hands of the civil power, and it was not through any forbearance 
on the part of the Assembly, that this power was not exercised 
in the form of open persecution. 

In a letter written at the time by Miss Stuart, of Dunearn, to 
her friend, Miss Aikman, it is said: "You will probably have 
heard of the pastoral admonition which is to be read in all the 
churches, warning their congregations against the Circus preachers. 
Mr. Balfour (the late eminent Dr. Balfour, of Glasgow) was one 
of the Committee appointed to draw it up. I saw him for a few 
minutes after it was done. He appears in great distress about it. 
He says that he smoothed as many rough corners of it as possible, 
but that none of us will find out that when we see it. My grand 
father (Dr. Brskine, of Carnock) and he agree that they are doing 
all they can to build up the cause they meant to destroy. I won 
der what the ministers will do, who are known, like them, in the 
main to approve the design. It really brings them to the trial. 
Oh ! may God grant them to be faithful to light received, should, 
I think, be the prayer of all at present." 


The pastoral admonition attacked by name the " Society for 
Propagating the Gospel at Home," and charged the itinerant 
teachers with " intruding into parishes without any call," " erecting 
in several places Sunday-schools," and "connecting these schools 
with certain secret meetings," "censuring the doctrine of the min 
ister," as " opposed to the Ecclesiastical Establishment of the 
land," and acting "as if they alone were possessed of some secret 
and novel method of bringing men to heaven." The people are 
further warned not to follow up and down a sect of men "whom 
you know not whence they be." When Mr. Haldane read their 
Bull, he quietly remarked, that the venerable Assembly did not 
seem to be aware that, in using these words, they were uninten 
tionally appropriating to themselves the words, as well as the 
character of Nabal, when he sent his railing message to David in 
the wilderness. 

The anticipations of Dr. Erskine and Dr. Balfour were, how 
ever, realized, and the bigotry of the Moderates only tended to 
the furtherance of the Gospel. Rowland Hill arrived at Edin 
burgh the following Friday, and found, as he says, "all the city 
quite thunderstruck at the fulminating Bull which had been 
issued." "But," he said, in his own quaint way, "we shall shine 
all the brighter for the scrubbing we have got from the General 
Assembly." He adds, in a note to his second Journal: "Three 
reasons alone can be assigned for their conduct ; these are mad 
ness, malice, or an attempt to discover our treasonable plots ; and 
the first of these reasons should seem the most probable, the pas 
toral admonition being dated on the day of the full moon !" Mr. 
Hill assailed the Assembly, both in print and in his sermons, with 
all the weapons of sarcasm and ridicule which so abundantly filled 
his quiver. But it too much engrossed his mind, and for the time 
injured his usefulness. It was often remarked by Mr. Campbell, 
that he never heard of any conversion as the fruit of this tour, 
and he attributed this to the effect of the Assembly s Bull, in 
distracting the good man s mind, disturbing the solemnity of his 
feelings, and leading him to launch out against the bigotry of the 
Moderates, to the exclusion of that Gospel which he so much 
loved to preach. This is a fact worthy of record, told as it is of 
a man whose whole career was so eminently useful. It was other 
wise with Mr. J. A. Haldane, Mr. Innes, and Mr. Aikman, who, 
in the islands of the far north, thought little of the Bull that was 
fulminated against themselves, but much of the destitute people 


who hung upon their lips and drank in the words of eternal 

Many answers were published to the Assembly s Manifesto 
besides that by Mr. Eowland Hill. Probably the best was a plain 
but telling letter in the newspapers from the Rev. George Burder, 
who was then supplying at the Circus, and which he addressed in 
self-defence to the newspapers. A few sentences will suffice. 

" It has been my practice in England, for more than twenty years, to itinerate 
on the week-days, as far as the duties of a settled charge would admit, a prac 
tice not new in the South. Good Matthew Henry, author of the Commentary 
on the Bible, and many other valuable men, followed the same course. In the 
tolerant country of England, and under the benign influence of the Toleration 
Act, we have enjoyed this liberty unmolested, except, occasionally, by certain 
lewd fellows of the baser sort, who have been generally excited to persecution 
by envious men who believed not the truth. But it was reserved for me to find 
in Scotland men, sustaining the ministerial character, who scruple not to brand 
their brethren, of both countries, with the name of vagrant teachers ; and to 
insinuate that they are all enemies to the State, because they presume to preach 
the Gospel to perishing sinners without their authority ; though it is now with 
an ill grace that they complain of our preaching out of doors, when they have, 
by their late act, shut the doors of all their churches against all the world but 
their own body. Nor is this all. Threats have been thrown out, that if the 
good people of Scotland will not regard their high admonition, if they will 
still assert their liberty to hear whom they please, and to judge of religious 
matters for themselves, and if the good work of instructing poor children, 
and converting poor sinners, shall yet make l an alarming progress? then they 
will apply to his Majesty for assistance. What is this but the avowal of an 
intention to persecute a resolution to solicit the civil power to suppress reli 
gious liberty ? . . . For myself and my brethren, I beg leave to say, We 
depart from this Council, rejoicing that we are counted worthy to suffer shame 
for the name of Jesus, and determined, wherever we have opportunity, to teach 
and preach Jesus Christ. " 

But the established Church of Scotland was not singular in 
its efforts to crush the itinerant preachers. In 1796, the Anti- 
burghers, or General Assembly Synod, had passed a Resolution 
against the constitution of Missionary Societies, and testified 
against co-operating with persons in religious matters against 
whose opinions they were opposed as a Church. The Camero- 
nians at Glasgow declared some of their body, who had attended 
a missionary sermon preached by Dr. Balfour, to be guilty of con 
duct "sinful and offensive," and this censure not being acquiesced 
in, they proceeded to actual excommunication. The Relief Synod, 
at their Meeting in 1798, forgetting that their founder, Gillespie, 
had finished his theological education at Dr. Doddridge s academy 


decreed, "that no minister shall give, or allow his pulpit to be 
given, to any person who has not attended a regular course of 
philosophy and divinity in some of the Universities of the nation, 
and who has not been regularly licensed to preach the Gospel" 
This was levelled at the English ministers and itinerants, who 
thinned their chapels. "But," says Dr. Struthers,* "this illiberal 
act was, in 1811, allowed to drop out of their code of regulations, 
as something of which they were ashamed." 

To the same effect, in 1798, the Anti-burgher Synod passed a 
decree against "attending upon, or giving countenance to, public 
preaching, by any who are not of our communion ; " and in 1799, 
they went so far as to bring to their bar, and finally to depose 
and excommunicate, one of the brightest ornaments that ever 
adorned their Church, the Kev. George Cowie, of Huntly, of 
whom it has been eloquently said by the Eev. Dr. Morrison, who 
knew him well, 

" He had no competitor, no equal in the north of Scotland. He was a man 
of genius, bold and fearless in all his movements, and, in his feelings of charity 
and liberality, half a century at least before the ecclesiastics of his day. In 
the pulpit Mr. Cowie was truly great. His appearance was that of dignified 
simplicity. He could declaim, and he could be pathetic. His discourses par 
took of the colloquial. He had studied human nature, and he knew how to 
approach it at every avenue. The power he had over an audience was great 
beyond description. He could make them smile or weep. His appeal to the 
conscience was unceremonious and direct. He never lost sight of the theme 
of the pulpit. All things were by him counted loss for the excellency of the 
knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. He was a stern reprover of sin ; but he 
melted with tenderness over the sinner, beseeching him to be reconciled unto 
God. I have seen hundreds dissolved in tears under his ministry, and I have 
wept from pure sympathy when I was too young to understand the message." 

Such was the man whom, in September, 1799, the Associate 
Synod deposed "for countenancing the ministrations of what are 
called missionary preachers, by hearing them preach, and in vari 
ous other ways." Mr. Cowie, on being asked whether he had 
heard the itinerant preachers, declined to answer ; but in a speech 
made on the occasion, he voluntarily acknowledged that he had 
heard both Mr. J. A. Haldane and Mr. Eowland Hill, and said 
that he considered the conduct of the Synod as a species of per 
secution, and as joining with the General Assembly in their 
opposition to a great work of God. Other proceedings were 
taken upon this confession, the result of which was that in April, 
* Struther s " History of the Relief," p. 465. 


1800, lie was deposed from the office of the ministry, and, with 
his whole Kirk Session, formally excommunicated. This intoler 
ant and monstrous sentence, which now almost provokes a smile, 
was publicly intimated at Huntly, by the Eev. Mr. Mitchell, on 
the 18th May, 1800. 

In relating to this affair, Mr. Kinniburgh remarks : "Mr. Cowie, 
when deposed and excommunicated, wrote thus to a friend: This 
is not the first time I have been excommunicated by men upon 
earth, and richly do I deserve to be forever excommunicated by 
Him whom I have offended more than any other ; but instead of 
frowning on me when the world have, he meets me in love, as he 
did my brother the blind man of old. His Church adhered to 
him almost like one man, and his popularity was not impaired." 

The testimony of this holy, venerable, and eloquent preacher 
to Mr. J. A. Haldane s preaching, has been already noticed. It 
may be added, that although deposed for countenancing him, yet, 
on the first occasion when Mr. J. Haldane visited Huntly in 1797, 
Mr. Cowie would not go into the chapel, but sat at the windows 
of the contiguous manse, where he could hear distinctly. Mr. 
James Haldane preached a solemn and striking sermon from John 
v. 28, 29 : " Marvel not at this : for the hour is coming, and now 
is," &c. Mr. Cowie was so overcome by the earnestness, the 
power, and the unction with which the unlicensed Evangelist then 
spoke, that he felt ashamed of his backwardness, and could no 
longer resist holding out to him the right hand of fellowship. 
He exclaimed, that such a preacher "carried his credentials with 
him," accompanied him into the chapel in the evening, and from 
that hour lent to the preaching of the Itinerants the sanction of 
his official character and influence. In manuscripts which he left 
behind him, he records the impressions on different occasions 
made on him by Mr. Haldane s sermons, sometimes speaking of 
himself as at once "humbled and inspired by the unction from 
the Holy One" which attended the preacher, and at another 
declaring that after such a sermon he felt "as if he could never 
again ascend his own pulpit-stair." 


When Mr. J. A. Haldane undertook the pastoral care of the 
Circus Church, in Edinburgh, he expressly stipulated that this 
should not prevent his laboring as an evangelist in " the high- 


ways and hedges." Before this event, the summer and autumn 
of 1797 had been memorable for his tour, with Mr. Aikman, to 
Caithness and the Orkney Islands. In the summer of 1798 he 
had traversed the west arid the south of Scotland ; and, after his 
return, again visited Dunkeld and other places in Perthshire, 
where his preaching had been greatly blessed. In 1799 he deter 
mined to make a second tour to the north with Mr. Aikman. 
Accordingly, Tuesday, the 7th of May, was appointed for their 
departure from Edinburgh, a short time before the issuing of the 
Meeting of the General Assembly. A sketch of this tour is 
recorded in the "Missionary Magazine," from which it appears 
that he set out alone, Mr. Aikman being at first detained at home 
by severe indisposition. Beginning at Dunfermline, and going 
on, through Kinross, to Perth, he preached twice in each place 
to large congregations, which assembled in spite of unfavorable 
weather, and was welcomed with much cordiality by those who 
heard. On the Saturday he arrived at Dundee, where he preached 
on the Lord s-day in his native town, in the Relief Presbyterian 
chapel, to overflowing congregations. "Many," he says, "were 
obliged to go away." He adds, " The spirit of hearing in this 
place is remarkable. May they not be forgetful hearers, but 
doers of the Word." During the week-days intervening between 
the next Sunday, he preached at Kerrymuir, Forfar, Glamis, 
Brechin, and Montrose. On the Lord s-day he preached, by 
request, at Inchture, in the Carse of Gowrie, near Rossie Priory, 
the beautiful seat of Lord Kinnaird. There, in this country vil 
lage, not less than a thousand people assembled in the afternoon 
to hear the Word; after which he returned to Dundee, and 
preached in the open air in the evening to a vast multitude. 
Thousands occupied the ground, listening in silence with solem 
nized feelings and deep attention. 

Before Mr. J. Haldane left Edinburgh he had received a letter 
from Meigle, expressing the determination of the people to hear no 
more itinerants and accept of no more tracts. Accordingly, he 
went thither on Monday, when " all the village turned out to hear, 
and the people expressed their strong disapprobation of the letter." 
It had been signed by several under the pressure of strong influ 
ence, but they now declared their earnest desire to hear the Gos 
pel and receive tracts. 

On Tuesday, accompanied by Mr. Innes, who joined him at 
Dundee, he preached at Arbroath. After sermon they were over- 


242 HUNTLY. 

taken by Mr. Aikman, who, having lost his place in the mail- 
coach on the Monday, did not arrive at Dundee. This accident 
is marked as providential, for, had he accomplished his purpose 
on the Monday, Mr. Innes would not have gone further ; a cir 
cumstance which, as matters turned out, might have prevented 
the tour to the Shetland Islands. It was now determined that 
they should all continue their route together, travelling in a post- 
chaise towards the north. At a small village, near Lawrence 
Kirk, they were amused by the bellman s refusal to announce 
sermon. He gave two reasons : the one, that he was himself a 
Jacobite ; the other, that he understood the preachers to be Lati- 
tudinarians. Being asked the meaning of this long word, he said, 
that it was preaching gratuitously, or, as he expressed it, " for 
God s sake," of which he disapproved. They proceeded to Aber 
deen and Banff, preaching as they journeyed, both in the open 
air and in chapels, to large congregations. But, on this occasion, 
to adopt the words of Mr. Eobert Haldane, remonstrating, in a 
letter to his younger brother, against his excessive labors, Mr. J. 
A. Haldane received a practical intimation that " his strength was 
not of iron, nor his bones of brass." Although he had been out 
only four weeks, he had preached more than sixty times, often in 
the open air to great multitudes ; and continued exertion, as well as 
exposure to the rainy weather, brought on a sore throat, which at 
last confined him to his inn, at Huntly. His fellow-laborers, waiting 
for his recovery, preached in some of the neighboring towns and 
villages, where they spent the following Lord s-day. On their 
return to Huntly, they found Mr. J. A. Haldane so ill that he had 
determined to return home next morning. His portmanteau was 
packed, and a post-chaise bespoke for the next morning to carry 
him to Aberdeen. About ten o clock the same evening the quinsy 
burst and gave instant relief. No sooner was the pressure of ill 
ness removed, than his plans were immediately changed. The 
post-chaise was countermanded, or, rather, was employed to carry 
his friends the next day to Elgin and Forres. He himself remain 
ed quiet during .the week ; but on the -following Sunday evening 
he actually preached in the open air, at Huntly, to a very large 
congregation. At Forres he rejoined his party, and accompanied 
them to Inverness, preaching, as they went, to multitudes earnest 
ly drinking in the words of eternal life. 

At Inverness they heard, on the Lord s-day, " The Assembly s 
Bull" against vagrant preachers read in the church, and afterwards 

DR. M CRIE. 243 

preached on the hill to a large congregation, from the words of a 
" vagrant preacher," formerly well known in Judea, Matt. iii. 10. 
On the 30th of June they arrived at Wick and Thurso, where 
they had satisfactory evidence of the blessing that had accompa 
nied the former tour. On the following Tuesday, 2d July, they 
crossed the Pentland Frith to Walls, and commenced their circuit 
of the Orkneys. Next day they went by sea to Kirkwall, where 
they found the Gospel flourishing. In the year 1798, after their 
first tour to Caithness, the Eev. Dr. M Crie, the celebrated histo 
rian of John Knox, was sent to Kirkwall to ordain a minister. 
The impression made on his mind by the earnestness of the people 
and their interest in the Gospel never was effaced, and is said to 
have altered the tone of his preaching and given to it more of that 
pointed simplicity and directness of personal appeal which charac 
terized the preaching of Mr. J. Haldane and Mr. Aikman. The 
following is an extract from a sermon preached to Dr. M Crie s 
own people, in 1798 ; it is taken from his Life, as written by his 
son, who inherits the talents of his father : 

" In the country from which I have lately come," he said, " thank God, it is 
otherwise. There you will see persons hearing as those who have souls which 
must be saved or lost. There you may see the most lively concern depicted 
on every face, and hear the important question put from one to another, What 
must I do to be saved ? Here it is a miracle to see one in tears when hearing 
the Gospel ; and if, at any time, we witness the solitary instance, we are tempt 
ed to think the person weak or hypocritical. There it is no uncommon thing 
to see hundreds in tears, not from the relation of a pathetic story, nor by an ad 
dress to the passions, but by the simple declaration of a few plain facts respect 
ing sin and salvation. Here it is with difficulty that we can fix your attention 
on the sublimest truths during a short discourse. We must contrive to amuse 
you with some striking form of address. We must keep you awake by min 
gling amusement with instruction. There, in order to be heard with the most 
eager attention, one has only to open his mouth and speak of Christ, and, after 
he is done, they will follow him to his house and beseech him to tell them more 
about Christ. Here it is only certain preachers that can be patiently heard 
there, so far as we know, there has not been one from whom they have not re 
ceived the Word gladly, nor one sermon preached that has not brought tears 
from the eyes of some." 

At Kirkwall Mr. Aikman stopped, being disabled by inflamma 
tion in his eyes, and Mr. J. A. Haldane and Mr. Innes proceeded 
towards the Shetlands, preaching at several islands on their way. 
On the 10th of July they reached Fair Island, the first of the 
Shetlands, and the people heard, with thankfulness, the only ser 
mon that had been preached there for six years. From the Fair 


Island they embarked in an open boat, and were out all night, 
"most of the time in heavy rain." On such occasions, and in all 
his tours, Mr. J. A. Haldane s boat-cloak was through life a con 
stant companion. He used to say that it had been with him three 
voyages to India, and often proved a friend in need, although, in 
his maritime career, he had then little dreamed of the nature of 
the services in which it was to be afterwards employed. They 
were hospitably received on the mainland of Shetland by a gen 
tleman of the name of Ogilvy, and commenced their labors by 
preaching in a barn. Thence they proceeded to Lerwick, the 
principal town in Shetland, where they spent the Lord s-day. The 
people had then little connection with Scotland, and a respectable 
woman inquired if Edinburgh was as large as Lerwick. Having 
next preached in Nesting, they visited the islands of Whalsy, 
Skerries, Tettar, Unst, and North Yell. The Kev. Mr. Mill, a 
venerable clergyman, of eighty-eight years of age, gave Mr. J. 
Haldane his church to preach in ; and after the service stood up 
and, in a commanding tone, warned the people to take heed to 
the words they had heard, more especially as this visit was a new 
and unprecedented occurrence in their history. At Unst they 
found that the minister had been captured on his voyage from 
Leith and carried to Bergen. Having next gone to Mid and 
South Yell, and crossed over to North Maven, preaching especial 
ly to the fishermen, who were very eager to hear, Mr. Haldane 
and Mr. Innes separated, in order that together they might take 
in a wider circuit. Mr. J. Haldane himself went to Fulah, which 
is supposed, both from situation and the name, to be the Ultima 
Thule of the Eomans. It is twenty miles from the main land, 
contained about 200 inhabitants, and had no resident minister. 
On this island he preached four times, as well as in the parishes 
of Sandness and Walls ; after which he joined his excellent col 
league at Scalloway, and returned to Lerwick, where they spent 
five days, preaching each day, both in the town and neighboring 
country. At Lerwick one of them heard the Gospel faithfully 
preached in the parish church. In the account of the tour they 
mentioned the great kindness they received from a gentleman to 
whom they had no introduction, and who insisted on their making 
his house their home. This was the more worthy of notice, as 
Mr. Hay was not himself, at that time, much interested in the 
truths of the Gospel, but he appreciated their motives and enjoy 
ed their society. Mr. J A. Haldane, speaking in his own name 


and that of Mr. Innes, says, " They express the highest sense of 
gratitude for the hospitality they uniformly received from Shet 
land." " They laid their account," he adds," with no other accom 
modation than the cottages afforded, instead of which they were 
kindly received, and frequently urged to accept the best accom 
modation the gentlemen and ministers houses afforded. There 
was one, and but one exception, which, they believe, arose from 
misapprehension of their intentions, and which they would never 
have mentioned had they not imagined prejudiced persons might 
have misinterpreted their silence." 

The exceptional case alluded to was one of which both the 
tourists were wont to speak with much good-humor, as a little 
incident in their travels which, so far as they were personally 
concerned, only afforded matter of mirthful recollection. They 
had landed one afternoon, weary and famished, at an island 
where there was only one respectable house, which was near the 
beach, and where they had hoped to have found a stranger s, if 
not a prophet s, welcome. Here they were very coldly received, 
with a strong intimation that the people had no need of more 
than the occasional preaching which was already provided. 
Leaving Mr. Innes in the house, Mr. Haldane had gone down to 
disembark from their boat a large package of tracts for distribu 
tion, but, on returning and observing the same frozen manner, he 
took Mr. Innes aside, told him that it was time to return, and, 
briefly apologizing to the inhospitable group for the intrusion, 
left the house with his friend. Soon after he preached on the 
sea-shore, when some of the party, who were themselves visitors, 
added to their incivility by sending for their own boatmen, who 
were listening to the sermon. After it was over, it was too late 
to think of again putting to sea, but, having obtained shelter in 
a fisherman s hut, they procured some salt-herrings and oat-cake 
for their meal and a dry floor for their bed. This circumstance 
occasioned great indignation amongst the upper, as well as the 
lower, classes in Shetland, and not only brought much reproach 
on the ungracious family, but induced others to redouble their 
kindness towards the missionaries, in order to wipe off the stain 
which had been, in their estimation, cast on the hospitality of 
the Shetlands. 

Mr. J. A. Haldane preached his last sermon at Lerwick, on the 
7th of August, to "a large and attentive congregation," when 
the people expressed much gratitude and a strong desire for 


another visit. " It is to be hoped," he says, " that the seed sown 
here, as well as in more distant parts of the country, will not be 
in vain." 

Having left Lerwick, they came to Dunrossness, preaching on 
the way at Coningsburgh, Sandwich, and Bigton, and were again 
received with much affection by their patriarchal friend, Mr. Mill. 
On Friday and Saturday they preached to large congregations, 
and on Sunday, the llth, one went to Sandwich and the other 
remained at Dunrossness. The Bull of the General Assembly 
was powerless in this distant region, and the parish church, as 
well as the rocky beach, became a temple both to the itinerants 
and the inhabitants of this district. They were now only waiting 
for a fair wind to return to the Orkneys, but were detained by 
thick and rainy weather until the Saturday, when they could not 
resist the invitation to spend the Lord s-day in a place where 
their preaching was so much prized. The 18th of August saw 
the conclusion of their labors in Shetland. They had spent 
nearly six weeks there, but still regretted that they could afford 
so little time to those who came in crowds to hear and were such 
earnest listeners. " The people were often much affected, and it 
is to be hoped," says Mr. J. Haldane, " that lasting impressions 
have, in some instances, been made. The Lord s word cannot 
return to Him void ; and surely He did not send it in this 
unusual way to these distant islands, without having purposes of 
mercy to some." This hope was not to be disappointed. In 
going to the Shetlands, Mr. J. A. Haldane had but fulfilled the 
wish expressed by his venerable friend, John Newton, that the 
Norsemen, belonging to these remote and neglected isles, might 
not be forgotten, whilst we were sending Missions to the South 
Seas. At that time the Shetlands contained a population of 
26,000, occupying thirty scattered parishes, placed under the care 
of twelve ministers, of whom not more than two or three preach 
ed the Gospel. Long before the close of his own life there were 
joyful tidings of the blessings that rested on these labors in Shet 
land. The religious state of the people had been previously de 
plorable, and much of the revival of religion which then took 
place may be distinctly traced to the Mission of himself and Mr. 
Innes. To adopt the words of a recent writer, " the earnest and 
rousing addresses of our brethren broke in upon the dangerous 
repose of the people, exciting a spirit of inquiry there before un- 


known, when, by the blessing of God, not a few were turned to 

On the evening of the Lord s-day, after preaching at Sandwick 
and Dunrossness, they embarked in a six-oared fishing boat be 
longing to the Commissioners of the Northern Fisheries, hoping 
to reach the Fair Island before dark, and cross over to Orkney in 
the morning, so as to arrive in Kirk wall in time for the great fair. 
" They could not," says Mr. James Haldane, " but feel regret in 
parting with their kind host and his family. He took leave as 
one who was to meet us no more below, but expressed his joy in 
the prospect of meeting in the presence of Jesus, no more to 
part." Their voyage, although in fact prosperous, was not unat 
tended with some anxiety, and was, at all events, sufficient to try 
a landsman s courage ; but Mr. Innes felt he was in the path of 
duty, and did not hesitate to embark. Although in his sketch 
of the tour, Mr. J. A. Haldane speaks of the wind as fair and the 
weather fine, the swell of the ocean was heavy, and the embarka 
tion so difficult that the wives of the boatmen besought their 
husbands not to venture on a voyage to which it appeared they 
were not accustomed, and which was so different from their usual 
fishing excursions. The night overtook them before they reach 
ed the Fair Island, and they missed it in the dark. The men be 
came themselves uneasy, but were encouraged to proceed, whilst 
Mr. J. A. Haldane took the helm, and, guided by the stars, steer 
ed for North Konaldshay. In the gray of the morning, one of 
the boatmen, anxiously looking out, intimated in a doubtful tone 
that he thought he saw the land. The welcome sound was at 
first received with incredulity, when, as Dr. Innes relates, his 
friend, quitting his post at the helm and going forward, looked 
for a few moments with the practised eye of a seaman, and cheer 
ed them with the words, "Yes, it is." It was the height on 
which stands the North Konaldshay light-house, and soon after 
wards, the boat being steered in that direction, they landed on 
the Island of Sandy, after a run of fifty-four miles. The mis 
sionaries retired to bed, but the boatmen, having taken counsel 
among themselves, determined to lose no time in returning to 
Shetland. Mr. J. A. Haldane was called up in order to pay for 
the hire of the boat, and they then set out, contrary to his urgent 
advice, as the wind was not favorable, and the currents in these 
seas are dangerous. The result was, that the boat being no 
* " Kinniburgh s Historical Survey," p. 55. 


longer properly steered, they were carried out of their course, 
away to the north-east of Scotland, where they were picked up 
by a coasting vessel, at the mouth of the Moray Firth. Being 
unaccustomed to any but fishing excursions, and doubtful as to 
their course, they lost all presence of mind, and such was their 
panic, that in their haste to get on board the friendly ship which 
saved them, they forgot to make fast their boat, so that it drifted 
away and was lost. A futile claim was made on the tourists by 
the Northern Fishery Commissioners, for compensation for their 
loss, but of course it could not be maintained, and was almost 
immediately abandoned. 

On Monday evening, the 29th August, the itinerants arrived 
at Kirkwall, where they found Mr. Aikman at his post engaged 
in preaching. He had itinerated throughout a great part of the 
Orkneys, and everywhere had been kindly received. In the en 
suing week they preached, morning and evening, during the fair, 
and visited several of the islands, as well as some of the parishes 
on the mainland. Mr. J. A. Haldane preached the last sermon 
on Sabbath, August 25, " to a very large congregation." On 
Monday they went to Stromness, on Tuesday to Walls, preaching 
twice or three times at each place, as well as at South Ronaldshay 
and Flota. On Wednesday they crossed the Pentland Frith in 
safety, and once more were gladly welcomed by their friends in 
Caithness. The Journal concludes as follows : 

" They also saw many pleasing fruits of their labors on a former tour. The 
desire of hearing is rather increased than diminished in Caithness ; at the coun 
try places where they preached they always found large congregations. Those 
who have been already gathered in seem only to be a kind of first fruits of a 
more abundant harvest of souls in Caithness. What cause of thankfulness to 
Him who has raised up and placed in such a situation two ministers, whose de 
sire for the increase of the kingdom of Jesus leads them not only to preach in 
their churches, but to go to the highways and hedges to compel sinners to 
come in. 

" They preached at several country places during the week, as well as Thurso 
and Wick, and on Sabbath assisted at the dispensation of the Lord s Supper in 
Mr. Ballantyne s meeting-house. It is large and commodious, but not yet 
finished. The number of communicants was about 180, including upwards of 
eighty from Wick, most of whom have been brought to the knowledge of the 
truth since the itinerants first visited Caithness. They spent a most comforta 
ble day ; the multitude of people who attended obliged them to have sermon 
without as well as within, and in the evening the congregation was larger than 
any they had seen in Caithness. By desire of the people, Mr. Haldane preached 
at eight next morning. He then set out for the south, leaving his brethren, 


Messrs. Aikman and Innes, who were to remain two or three weeks longer. 
On Wednesday, he reached Inverness, preached there on Thursday, on Friday, 
and Saturday at Nairn and Campbeltown, and spent the Sabbath at Inverness. 
The congregation in the evening was large, although the weather was threaten 
ing. On Monday he preached at Elgin, on Tuesday at Huntly, on Wednesday 
at Aberdeen, and on Friday, the 20th, returned to Edinburgh, after an absence 
of four months and a-half. His fellow-laborers arrived in town a few days ago, 
and confirm the account above detailed. They bear testimony to the remarka 
ble work of grace evidently begun in Caithness, and give the pleasing intelli 
gence, that at least thirty young people of Inverness appear to have been 
brought to the knowledge of the truth by attending the Sabbath-schools and 
itinerant preaching in that place." 

Such was the conclusion of Mr. J. A. Haldane s third tour, 
which was also his second to the north. He had now preached 
the Gospel in every part of Scotland, and abundantly distributed 
religious tracts from the Solway Firth in the south round about 
to the Tweed, and thence beyond Caithness and the clustering 
Orkneys and Shetlands, even to the Ultima Thule of the Romans. 
He had also skirted the fastnesses of the Highlands from Dunkeld 
to Sutherland, but had felt the difference of language an obstacle 
to his progress in these districts, an obstacle which often induced 
him to speak of the value of the miraculous gift of tongues 
which, in apostolic times, so wonderfully facilitated the diffusion 
of the Gospel. 

During his absence from the Circus Church, his place had been 
supplied partly by the Rev. Rowland Hill, who made a second 
tour into Scotland, partly by the Rev. George Burder, the cele* 
brated author of the "Village Sermons," and partly by the Rev. 
George Collison, of Walthamstow, and other preachers. 

This year was memorable for the institution of the London 
Religious Tract Society, of which Mr. George Burder, after his 
return from Edinburgh, was one of the honored founders, and for 
many years the useful and laborious Secretary. But in connection 
with this great Institution, which has circulated so many millions 
of religious tracts, and whose usefulness daily increases, it must 
be mentioned, that before its establishment, the Edinburgh Tract 
Society had been formed, and that religious books and tracts had 
been circulated in myriads by the itinerants, chiefly at the expense 
of Mr. Haldane. Mr. Simeon, of Cambridge, first showed the 
example in 1796. In 1799, Mr. J. A. Haldane and Mr. Aikman, 
at their own cost, printed and circulated twenty thousand, and 
afterwards the elder Mr. Haldane, with his accustomed munifi- 


cence, furnished an unlimited supply for all who had the will and 
the opportunity to avail themselves of his liberality in Scotland. 
But although the Haldanes, with Mr. Campbell and the Edinburgh 
Tract Society, were the precursors of the great Institution in 
Paternoster-row, they never claimed to be the originators of the 
system. At the Keformation, an immense collection of tracts was 
sold and distributed in Germany, of which a perfect set has been 
arranged by Mr. Bandinell, of Oxford, in the Bodleian Library. 
At the English Keformation much, too, was effected by religious 
tracts ; and at a later period, the Puritans laboriously promulgated 
their opinions by the same efficient means. John Wesley also 
well understood the value of the press as a moral agent, and 
employed it accordingly. The publication of religious tracts was 
nearly contemporaneous with the invention of printing, and helped 
to shake the Papacy to its foundation. To combine for their gra 
tuitous circulation was the idea of a later age. 



THE pertinacity with which the opponents of Evangekcal 
preaching continued to impute political motives to the originators 
of the plans for propagating the Gospel at home, is characteristic 
of the angry spirit which disturbed the close of the eighteenth 
century, and arose out of the panic produced by the French Eev- 
olution. The proposal to put down field-preaching by legislative 
interference, was not then an unmeaning threat, and it was no 
fault of the leaders of the Moderate party, that the power of Gov 
ernment was not exerted in support of the pastoral admonition. 

The correspondence with Professor Eobison records his deep 
regret for the error he had committed, and his promise to publish 
a full apology. The editor of the "Anti-Jacobin Review," whilst 
appearing to correct the Professor s unintentional calumny, was 
still eager to keep up the excitement, by suggesting that Mr. Hal- 
dane s conduct, in sacrificing his estate, was to be attributed to the 
frenzy of revolutionary zeal. 

" We have reason to be assured," says the editor, " that a sect is just now 
forming in Scotland for the avowed purpose of sapping the foundation of the 
Presbyterian Church, as established by law. At the head of that sect is the 
gentleman, who, in the first edition of Professor Robison s Proofs of a Con 
spiracy, &c., was said to have expressed his readiness to wade to the knees in 
blood for the purpose of overturning every establishment of religion. From 
the postscript to the second edition of the Professor s valuable work, we learn 
that Mr. H. disclaims all sanguinary proceedings ; and we doubt not, but, before 
the breaking out of the French Revolution, D Alembert, Diderot, and Condor- 
cet, would have said the same. The zeal, however, of Mr. Haldane against 
Establishments, must be very ardent ; for it has prompted him to sell a beautiful 
estate, and to apply part of the price to the endowment of a seminary in Glas 
gow, for the express purpose of educating itinerant preachers, who may propa 
gate the Gospel in purity, wherever it is contaminated by the baleful influence 
of Establishments." 


To this disgraceful and injurious calumny, Mr. Haldane wrote 
an indignant contradiction, which the " Anti- Jacobin" was com 
pelled to insert. A few extracts may suffice. 

" You have asserted that there is a sect now forming in Scotland, at the head 
of which I am, for the avowed purpose of sapping the foundation of the Pres 
byterian Church, as established by law. You have also said that zeal against 
Establishments has prompted me to sell my estate. These assertions, Sir, are 
both absolutely false. The public whom you have misled, must therefore be 
undeceived, and, although you have no title to any concession from me, I now 
inform you, that while I use the liberty of every British subject, to judge for 
myself in matters of religion, so far from avowing it, / never entertained, in my 
mind, the most distant idea of sapping the foundations of the Established Church; 
and that it was not for this purpose I sold my estate. 

" I must request you to insert this letter in your next number ; and thus at 
least show yourself as ready to vindicate where you have injured, and to retract 
where you have been misled, as to censure and make public what you conceive 
to be reprehensible. 

" I am, Sir, &c., 


"Edinburgh, June 26Z/>, 1799." 

These reiterated, persevering, and malicious attacks at last 
determined Mr. Haldane to yield to the advice of his friends, to 
publish a narrative of his proceedings, and a statement of his 
opinions. He did so, in a widely circulated pamphlet, alike 
remarkable for its clearness, its candor, and its ability, entitled, 
"Address to the Public, by Robert Haldane, concerning Political 
Opinions, and Plans lately adopted to promote Eeligion in Scot 
land." The first edition was issued when the General Assembly, 
for 1800, was sitting, and it produced a strong impression, greatly 
tending to put to shame the machinations of those, who had 
calumniated the Home Missionaries and their benevolent designs. 
It bears the stamp of truth on every page, whilst, with manly 
frankness, he sketches his past history with as little of egotism 
as was compatible with its object, and traces to their source every 
one of the plans in which he was engaged. It is now chiefly 
interesting as the record of his early career, and a considerable 
part of the narrative has been introduced into the foregoing pages, 
as containing the most authentic account of his conversion to God, 
and the progress of his opinions. 

" After I had fully, as I trust, desired to submit to the will of God, revealed 
in his Word, I had many conscientious scruples respecting my conduct, as it 
regarded politics. I saw that nothing external so much influenced human af 


fairs as civil government, and that to it, in a great measure, might be traced the 
various opinions, situation, and character, of the different nations in the world, 
while these again had a reciprocal effect, and stamped the character of the other. 
I reflected that, becoming a Christian, I did not cease to be a citizen ; and I 
thought that, especially under the British Constitution, where public opinion is 
so much and so justly regarded, it was my duty to be well-informed in that 
science, which regulates and directs every public movement. I was persuaded 
that good general principles upon that subject were of great service to the 
world, and therefore thought it my duty to inform myself, as far as possible, 
concerning these, and carefully to store them up in my mind. 

I however began clearly to perceive that the Scriptures require the most 
conscientious and cheerful submission to the Government of the country, 
whatever it may be, stating it to be the ordinance or appointment of God him 
self to mankind for good. 

" Soon afterwards it forcibly struck my mind, that the Lord Jesus himself, 
and his apostles, whose example we are called to imitate, though living in their 
own country of Judea, had not at all intermeddled with the subject: then why 
might not, or rather why ought not I, to follow them in this respect ? This 
entirely satisfied my mind. I reflected further, that such conduct appeared in 
itself the best, as Christians could do much more good, by calling men s atten 
tion to the concerns of a future world, than to their own depravity, and to the 
Gospel of salvation, than in being so much occupied with the arrangements of 
time, or turning their attention so often to the faults or defects of the king 
doms of this world. I immediately perceived the good effects that flowed from 
the Apostles conduct in this respect. The doctrine which they preached 
wrought a rapid, and though gradual, yet a powerful change ; arid what philoso 
phy, humanity, and political science, had been unable to accomplish, the preach 
ing of the Cross, and the noble moral principles connected therewith insensibly 
effected. The cruel treatment of prisoners, the shows of gladiators, the ex 
posing of infants, domestic slavery, and many other glaring evils which dis 
graced society, but which the Apostles had never directly attacked, fell before 
the irresistible energy of their peaceful doctrine. The example of the Apos 
tles then, in this respect, I resolved to endeavor steadily to pursue. I have 
since done so, and of this resolution I do not repent. I was even much in 
clined to follow it a considerable time before the period above mentioned, and 
before I could fully satisfy my mind of the propriety of doing so, I perceived 
that, in this world, Christians should beware, as much as possible, of adding to 
the offence of the Cross, and this strongly inclined me to it. The humilia 
ting method of salvation through a merciful Saviour, not by works of right 
eousness that we have done, but by the washing of regeneration, and renewing 
of the Holy Ghost, will, of itself, be sufficiently offensive and irritating to the 
proud, unhumbled heart of an unconverted man." 

Mr. Haldane next declares his views of the Scriptural doctrine 
of obedience, founded not on the Divine right of a particular 
dynasty, but on the character of the existing Government, as 
" the ordinance of God." The firmness and consistency of his 
opinions, when once formed, will be seen by reference to the last 


edition of his Commentary on the Eomans, which he published 
in 1842, shortly before his death, and in a letter to the " Edin 
burgh Christian Instructor," published in 1840. They are the 
same sentiments as those which Joseph Milner represents, as the 
opinions of the primitive Christians, and adopts as his own. 

Mr. Haldane steadily adhered to his principle of imitating the 
early Christians, in not intermeddling with politics, till the year 
1837, when, under a conviction that the spirit of Keform unsatis 
fied by the large concessions obtained in 1832, was rather tending 
to revolution, he rode to Airdrie, from his house at Auchingray, 
and undeterred by popular excitement, after an interval of more 
than forty years, gave his vote as a freeholder. The Lanarkshire 
election turned upon a single vote, and as Mr. Haldane not only 
voted himself, but influenced the votes of twelve other electors, 
there is no doubt that the decision of the election was justly 
traced to him. It may be, that he carried his views of non-inter 
vention too far, and he himself admitted that, as a magistrate, a 
legislator, or a freeholder, a Christian had political and social 
duties to perform. But, in reality, he only argued that to abstain 
from interfering was a privilege, and that if a Christian did inter 
fere, he was bound to remember that government is not the ordi 
nance of man but of God. 

In the second edition of the " Address," Mr. Haldane states 
his views with regard to National Church Establishments. His 
sentiments on that subject indicate the ruling principle which 
guided all his movements, from the time that he was brought un 
der the influence of the truth. 

" In the first edition, I announced my intention of a second publication. At 
that time I had not a doubt that this would be rendered necessary by the proceed 
ings of the General Assembly, then sitting. I meant in it to have stated more 
fully my sentiments respecting ecclesiastical establishments, but especially to 
have taken notice of the pastoral admonition, the conduct of the clergy in that 
business, and of any further steps they might have taken on the same subject 
in the last Assembly. I was happy, however, to find this unnecessary, a differ 
ent line of conduct from what was expected having been adopted by the As 
sembly, and the charges formally advanced, I trust, finally abandoned. With 
regard to ecclesiastical establishments, it is sufficient in this place to declare, 
that whatever my sentiments respecting the good or evil attending them may 
be, I have no hostile designs (as has often been said) against the Established 
Church. I have avowed, in the strongest manner, my decided persuasion, that 
all violence in religion is criminal and absurd. Besides, / would much rather 
build up than pull down, and, if possible, add to the means of instruction to my 
fellow-creatures, than in any way diminish them. While every man, in re 


ligious matters, ought conscientiously to abide by his opinions derived from 
Scripture, there is room enough in the world for all to exert themselves in doinp 
good, without different parties devouring each other." 

From these views Mr. Haldane never departed, and, on the 
contrary, towards the close of life, became less and less disposed 
to pull down systems, differing from those of which he more par 
ticularly approved. His "Address" forever silenced the calum 
nies, which had been circulated with reference to the political 
designs of the Society for Propagating the Gospel at Home. 
There is no doubt that the publication was very useful, as there 
was a most alarming project in contemplation for curtailing the 
right of preaching, and otherwise interfering with religious liber 
ty. Apart from other evidence, this intention appears from 
papers found in Mr. Wilberforce s repositories, and mentioned in 
his Diary, as well as from other documents. Indeed it was twelve 
years afterwards openly stated in the House of Peers, by Lord 
Redesdale, that Mr. Pitt s Bill was much stronger than the subse 
quent abortive measure of Lord Sidmouth. In fact, it would 
have put an end to all unauthorized preaching, and rendered it 
difficult to obtain a license. Mr. Haldane was not easily suscep 
tible of fear, but in a letter, dated the 14th of April, 1800, he 
wrote to his friend, Mr. Hardcastle, urging that every effort 
should be made to avert the threatened blow. He offers to pro 
ceed himself to London, in order personally to put Mr. Wilber- 
force and Mr. Thornton in possession of all his views and plans. 
He adds: " Should not an earnest address be circulated to all the 
Dissenters in every part of England, calling on them to join so 
many evenings every week for fervent prayer, to avert this catas 
trophe. The Lord reigns, and can easily stop it. This morning 
I read, in course, of the repentance of Nineveh, and of the 
Lord s averting judgment. He may do the same on our behalf, 
for the sake of his own cause." 

It was not necessary for Mr. Haldane to wait on Mr. Wilber- 
force to instruct him as to the danger. Mr. Wilberforce himself 
declared, that he was " never so much moved by any public 
measure," and that, if carried, it would have been u the most fatal 
blow, both to Church and State, which had been struck since the 
Restoration." Through the blessing of Grod, on the remonstrances 
addressed to Mr. Pitt, the menaced evil was averted, and the 
crisis passed over. 

Mr. Pitt s threatened Bill for preventing unlicensed preaching 


put no arrest on Mr. James Haldane s itinerating plans. In a 
letter to Mr. Hardcastle, in the spring of 1800, Mr. Campbell re 
marks, " We are preparing in the course of next summer to 
make another attack on the kingdom of Satan." He was antici 
pating the campaign in which he was about to become the sub 
stitute of Mr. Aikrnan. Mr. Campbell had now altogether relin 
quished secular pursuits, and, at the solicitations of his two 
friends^ entirely devoted his time and energies to that cause to 
which his heart had long been consecrated. He had gone to 
Glasgow, where, in watching over the interests of the Seminary, 
he himself enjoyed the advantage of Mr. E wing s tuition and 
the scientific lectures of Dr. Birkbeck. Mr. Campbell had not 
rashly adopted this step, but had consulted with such men as 
Newton, Scott, Booth, Fuller, Charles of Bala, Stewart of Moulin, 
Claudius Buchanan of India, and other Christians, both Church 
men and Dissenters. 

It was on the 9th June, 1800, that, pursuant to the proposed 
plan, Mr. James Haldane set out on his fourth summer campaign, 
accompanied by Mr. Campbell. The usual request for the pray 
ers of the Lord s people, which always preceded these excursions, 
is inserted in the " Missionary Magazine," that the Lord of the 
harvest may render the important object of this journey effectual 
in the conversion of many sinners." The next number of the 
same magazine, dated 21st July, mentioned that the journey ap 
peared to be prosperous, " by the will of God ;" that after leaving 
Edinburgh, they had preached that evening and next morning in 
Peebles, and proceeded by Biggar and Douglas to Ayr, preaching 
every day in the intervening towns and villages. In his Journal, 
Mr. Campbell, in his usual graphic style, writes : "I hope I shall 
bless God forever for this journey. We are really a gazing-stock 
to men. Wherever we go in a town, doors and windows are 
everywhere thrown open to allow those within to examine our 
appearance as we pass along. When we enter a town we gen 
erally disperse a few pamphlets, to notify that the missionaries are 
arrived ; then, after putting up our horse, we take a walk through 
the town, to tell the people of the sermon. This, along with drum, 
horn, or bell (according to the custom of the place), makes our 
intention generally known. Last night I heard some of the hear 
ers, after the sermon, expressing their surprise that there was no 
collection. * They cannot be poor men, said another. I cannot 
tell what they are, said a third." The reader will remember the 


magisterial opposition which Mr. James Haldane had, two years 
before, encountered and surmounted at Ayr. At this time he 
there spent two Sundays, and instead of experiencing opposition, 
was recognized and welcomed by one of the magistrates, whilst the 
people flocked in crowds to hear, so that congregations in the 
open air, amounting to 3,000 and even 5,000 souls, "heard the 
word with much attention." On one of these occasions Dr. M Gill, 
whose Socinianism had brought a scandal on the Church of Scot 
land and the General Assembly, was amongst Mr. Haldane s au 
dience. It was of Dr. M Gill that it is reported that he proposed 
to sign the Confession of Faith with the letters E. E. appended, 
meaning, errors excepted. At Ayr, on Sunday, 29th June, Mr. 
Campbell writes: "Mr. H. preached in the evening to about 
4,000. Many of the gentry were present. His text was 1 Cor. 
i 18. God gave him the opening of the mouth. He told them 
part of his own history. I sat at the outside. I believe not above 
forty people went away till after the blessing was pronounced, 
which was at nine o clock. Afterwards a gentleman called on 
Mr. H., who had been much affected by the sermon. Understood 
that a good many had been brought under concern about the 
world to come by the last visit of Mr. Haldane and Mr. Aikman." 
At Ballintrae, " the Excise officer said, that since Mr. J. Haldane s 
last visit the people had become much more orderly on the Sab 
bath." "At Portpatrick," says Mr. Campbell, "Mr. Haldane 
preached at the bottom of a stupendous rock at the north-west side 
of the town. The waves were rolling mountains high about a 
hundred yards below us. The scene was solemn. Mr. H. made 
many allusions to the troubled sea. The people were VQTJ atten 
tive. About eight people belonging to the inn attended worship." 
At Stranraer Mr. H. preached to about 1,000 people. At Stoney- 
kirk, after he concluded, " I overheard a woman telling her neigh 
bor that she had heard him before at Mauchline, and never was 
so, impressed with a sermon in her life." " They are now," says 
the magazine, citing a letter from these Home Missionaries, " on 
their way to Dumfries, but their progress must be slow, as each 
of them preaches once, and very often twice every day. We have 
mentioned these circumstances merely to remind our readers of 
the necessity of being instant in prayer for the Divine blessing on 
the seed of the word." Several instances " of the happy effects 
of the preaching of the Gospel in the Circus" are then alluded to ; 
and it is added, in the spirit which always from first to last char- 

258 ARRAN. 

acterized their labors, " The Lord works by whom he will ; and 
we rejoice in hearing of the conversion of sinners by whomsoever 
the Lord is pleased to effect it." 

There was little of egotism on the part of James Haldane, and 
he has left few written traces of his extensive labors in his own 
country. But happily Mr. John Campbell kept a journal, and 
from his MSS., as well as from conversational memoranda and 
epistolary correspondence, many interesting details have been pre 
served of these tours. It was during the summer of 1800, that, 
after visiting the little island of Cumbray, and the beautiful shores 
of Bute, Mr. J. Haldane sailed over to Arran and preached in all 
its villages. The ignorance of the Celtic inhabitants was great, 
and as an instance of their rude manners, he mentioned, at his 
Jubilee Meeting, in 1849, that on a sacramental occasion he had 
been present in a parish church, where there was a pause, and 
none of the people seemed disposed to approach the tables. On 
a sudden he heard the crack of sticks, and looking round, saw one 
descend on the bald head of a man behind him. It was the ruling 
elders driving the poor Highlanders forward to the table, much 
in the same manner as they were accustomed to pen their cattle. 
Had this happened in a remote corner of Popish Ireland it would 
have been less wonderful, but the Gaelic population of Arran 
seemed accustomed to submit to this rough discipline without a 

Mr. Campbell s Journal supplies a continuation of the narrative 
of their tour. He says : 

" On reaching the west side of Arran we observed a long neck 
of land stretching towards the northern coast of Ireland. On in 
quiry we found it was Kin tyre ; towards the south end of which 
was Campbelton, the chief town, having a considerable population. 
As our parish extended to wherever there were human beings, 
and hearing that there was not one Gospel preacher in the whole 
range of seventy miles, except in the chief town, we determined 
to pay it a visit. "We engaged a boat, and left Arran in the after 
noon, making towards that part of the coast where there was a 
little inn, which we did not reach till about ten o clock at night, 
and dark. After scrambling over the rocks on the beach, the 
seamen led us to the inn, where we found the inmates fast asleep ; 
but the landlord was easily roused, struck a light, and soon cook 
ed us a Highland supper, which is universally ham and eggs. He 
seemed to be quite exhilarated, being evidently willing to do his 


best to make us comfortable, so tha t it would have been cruel to 
have found fault with anything. He had been in the army, and 
readily joined us in our evening worship. He informed us that 
there were people living not far from him, who would come to 
sermon in the morning in front of his house. But only three per 
sons came, with whom we had a little conversation. We then 
proceeded to Campbelton, where we stopped for several days, 
preaching mornings and evenings on the green slope of a hill, to 
about 1,000 people in the morning, and about 1,500 in the even 
ing, and twice in the neighboring villages during the day. I re 
member on a lovely summer evening, while preaching to a very 
large congregation, a female not far from me stood up, and, with 
a stentorian voice, said, Who are you ? Speak Gaelic ! You 
are like our Pinkerton, we do not understand you ! Speak 
Gaelic ! I was surprised that no one came forward to compel 
her either to be silent or to go away, though there were several 
respectable persons around the chair on which I stood. So I was 
obliged to stop and reprove her ; and Mr. Haldane came from a 
distant part of the congregation, took her by the arm, led her out, 
and ordered her away, with which she complied. When the ser 
vice was over, I expressed surprise that none of the persons near 
me had interfered. They said they durst not, for she would have 
rushed upon them and torn their faces with her nails. That 
woman, said one of them, rules the town magistrates, and all of 
us. She knows the history of us all as far back as our grand 
fathers at least. In most families something wrong has happened ; 
if any offend her, she publishes over the town whatever bad things 
have been done by any of their progenitors during past genera 
tions. In that way she rules the town. The cause of her in 
sanity was very affecting." 

But their progress was not destined to be so peaceful, nor their 
interruptions so easily removed. By the advice of friends at 
Campbelton they had employed a messenger to go down to Kin- 
tyre, and intimate four sermons each day at the different villages: 
The clergy were all Moderate. They were, for the most part, 
deeply immersed in farming, fishing, or trading in sheep and cattle. 
Their official duties, if performed at all, were performed in the 
most careless manner, and many of them were Socimans.* At 
their instigation the Highland chiefs combined to put a stop to 
the itinerancies in their neighborhood. One of the gentlemen, 
* Struther s History, p. 399. 


more zealous than the rest, a military man and heir to a baronetcy, 
encountered the missionaries at a place where he had intended to 
stop them, but had not arrived in time. It was there that he first 
gave notice that the magistrates had resolved to allow of no more 
field-preaching. Mr. James Haldane plainly told the gallant Ma 
jor, as he had told the magistrates at Ayr, that the justices were 
exceeding their powers, that such an illegal mandate would not 
be obeyed, and that he should certainly preach at the places where 
sermons had been already intimated. The Major, although some 
what disconcerted by the calm determination with which he was 
met, repeated his prohibition, and said he should be at their next 
place of meeting before them. He was as good as his word, but 
faltered in his own resolution. He sat on horseback during Mr. 
J. Haldane s sermon, in a scarlet hunting-coat, witnessed tracts 
distributed amongst the people ; but without mustering courage 
to offer any interruption, saw both of the itinerants mount their 
horses and depart. Soon after, the Major, attended by his groom, 
passed them at a hand gallop, and then pulling up, turned round 
once more, apparently resolved on putting in force the arrest 
which he contemplated. But as often as his eye encountered Mr. 
J. Haldane s unflinching glance, his courage seemed to fail, and he 
passed on. Arriving at Whitehouse, which was the next preach 
ing station, the Major was joined by the parish minister and 
several magistrates, all on horseback, and full of excitement. 
Field-preaching was one of those things which seemed beyond the 
reach of their philosophy, and to persist in it after their prohibi 
tion, appeared to these little chieftains like " bearding the lion in 
his den, the Douglas in his hall." It was evident that a great 
blow was meditated. Still Mr. James Haldane, in sight of the 
assembled magistrates, left the inn to preach in the middle of the 
town, and, strange to say, against him none of all the party ven 
tured to execute the arrest. The people were, however, so much 
intimidated by the dread of their chiefs and of the magistrates, 
that, for the most part, they stood and listened at a distance. Mr. 
Campbell s duty was to preach at an adjoining village, and although 
his friend was left unmolested in the town, yet no sooner did he 
set out, than, to use his own words, he was " followed by the per 
son in the red coat, and ordered by him, as a justice of the peace, 
to return to Whitehouse. which I did, and put my horse into the 
stable till Mr. Haldane returned from preaching." Mr. Campbell 
was a man of great faith and strong passive courage, but he was 


little of stature, and had not much of that bearing which, more 
especially on occasions of difficulty, characterized his companion. 
On his return from preaching, Mr. J. Haldane was surprised 
to find Mr. Campbell a prisoner at large. But to bring matters 
to an issue, he coolly ordered their horses to be saddled, whilst he 
advised Mr. Campbell to go to the gentlemen who were assembled 
in the adjoining room along with the parish minister, and inquire 
by what authority he was ordered to return to Whitehouse. They 
replied, pointing to a sealed paper, " There is a warrant to send 
you to the Sheriff of Argyll ; and the volunteers who are to attend 
you will be ready in a few minutes." The parish minister had, 
on the previous Sunday, silenced their messenger, who was an 
nouncing the preachings to the people as they were coming out 
of church. Standing with a heavy leaded whip in his hand, he 
exclaimed, " If you repeat that notice, with one stroke of my 
whip I ll send you into the eternal world !" 

Mr. Campbell s Journal continues the narrative of their pro 
gress under arrest : 

" A sergeant, with a party of volunteers in their uniforms, be 
ing arrived, we were told we might stop where we pleased ; that 
the soldiers had only directions to see that we went to the Sheriff. 
As the soldiers had no horses, of course our progress was slow. 
After dark, we arrived at the town where we should have 
preached, and learned that a congregation had assembled, and 
did not disperse till it was almost dark. We took up our quar 
ters at a good inn. As it was our custom to have worship at all 
the inns where we halted, we had it there, and desired the land 
lord to invite as many of his neighbors to attend as he pleased. 
The room, which was of a good size, was well filled, and our vol 
unteers all attended. A chapter of the Bible was read, and an 
address founded upon it being given, and prayer offered, the 
company dispersed. Next morning, at seven o clock, we set off, 
and had about fifteen miles to march to Lochgilphead to break 
fast. While at breakfast an old man called, who said, * We heard 
of your coming, and of your having arrived at the inn ; and 
though I have been a soldier in the German wars of 56, and 
seen many prisoners, yet never having seen any prisoners for 
preaching the Gospel, I thought it was my duty to call upon you, 
and therefore am I come. But you will have some things to con 
verse about among yourselves, I therefore wish, you good morn 
ing. On conversing a little with him, he withdrew. After an 


interview with a Justice of Peace, to whose care we had been 
committed, we went on to the Sheriff s, about seven miles farther, 
under the care of the postmaster." 

To the Sheriff they were very unwelcome visitors. He was 
an old man, and having been apprized of their coming, was by 
no means disposed to commit himself to the violent proceedings 
of the anti-preaching chiefs. He put several questions, which 
were satisfactorily answered, and after consulting with a gentle 
man who sat with him as his adviser, he said, " But have you 
taken the oaths to Government?" Mr. James Haldane replied 
that they had not, but that they were ready to do so instantly. 
The Sheriff said that he had not a copy of the oaths, and that 
they must therefore go to Inverary for the purpose. The words 
of the Toleration Act were quoted, to show that, " if required to 
take the oaths, they were to be administered before the nearest 
Magistrate." " Now," said Mr. J. Haldane, "you are the nearest 
Magistrate. We are peaceable, loyal subjects, transgressing no 
law, and prepared to do all that the law requires, but to Inverary 
we will not go, except as your prisoners and on your responsibil 
ity." The Sheriff had wished to make the affair a drawn battle, 
and to screen the magistrates from blame, at the same time that 
he declined to act against the preachers. But Mr. J. Haldane 
felt the importance of refusing all compromise, and of bringing 
the question to issue. The Sheriff was therefore obliged to give 
way, and after once more consulting with his friend, said, " Gen 
tlemen, you are at liberty." 

The consequences were important. A great right had been 
vindicated, and the lawfulness of field-preaching admitted by the 
highest judicial authority of the country. The itinerants return 
ed and preached at all the villages where they had been previous 
ly expected. The people who had been before intimidated from 
attending, now flocked in crowds to listen. " At Whitehouse," 
says Mr. Campbell, "when Mr. Haldane returned, the whole 
town seemed to have turned out." "He was," said another who 
was present, " in one of his finest keys," and preached with an 
eloquence, a fervor, and animation, which seemed to have acquir 
ed redoubled force from the circumstances in which he had been 
placed. Mr. Campbell, too, preached with good effect in the 
neighborhood ; and in his Journal records the following anecdote, 
which serves to show the ignorance of the Moderate ministers of 
that day. He says : "I remember a curious intimation which a 


parish minister gave to his people on the preceding Sabbath. It 
was told me by a lady who was present. I have to inform you 
that those preachers who have been for some time disturbing the 
peace of the country are expected here also, but I hope you will 
give them no encouragement. It is possible they may preach 
and pray better than I do, but sure I am they have not a better 
heart: " 

The arrest was clearly illegal, and the Magistrates concerned 
in it might have been prosecuted, more especially the gentleman 
who, to use the words of a Scotch Judge concerning another 
affair of a similar kind, acted more like a constable than a Justice 
of the Peace. It is believed that they were informed of their 
mistake by the then Lord Chief Justice Clerk, who had met the 
party on the road, and on inquiring the meaning of the formida 
ble escort, was no doubt much surprised. But there was no desire 
to be litigious or revengeful. It was, however, a remarkable co 
incidence, and one which will not be overlooked by those who 
remember that nothing happens by chance, that the very next 
time that Mr. Campbell met the fox-hunting Magistrate, who had 
acted towards him with so little chivalry, was within the pre 
cincts of the Abbey of Holy rood at Edinburgh, where the Major 
was himself a prisoner at large within the asylum for debtors. It 
may be added, as one of the little anecdotes which have escaped 
oblivion, and flit across the scene amidst the lights and shades of 
these bygone days, that on the morning when they left the 
Sheriff the whole party were drenched in a heavy shower of rain. 
Arriving at a small Highland inn, they called for breakfast and a 
fire, where they might dry their wet clothes. There was but one 
fire-place in the hut, and they were all crowding round it, with 
their coats off, some wrapped in tartan plaids or blankets, whilst 
ham and eggs were in preparation. Mr. James Haldane, whose 
naturally joyous spirit quickly caught the ludicrousness of the 
scene, exclaimed, What a fine subject for a caricature: Field- 
preachers refreshing themselves after a shower ! 

The results of that tour to Kintyre were not evanescent, as will 
be seen from Mr. Campbell s account of a visit which he made to 
the same district two years after his arrest. It appears that, on 
their return to Edinburgh, they prevailed on a worthy preacher, 
who was a native of the place, to go and labor in Kintyre. He 
had just finished his studies at Mr. Haldane s seminary at Glas 
gow, besides attending the College, and he keenly felt the spir- 


itual destitution and ignorance of his countrymen. Before Mr. 
James Haldane s visit, Kintyre was, as Mr. Campbell says, a kind 
of heathen part of Scotland. But Mr. Macallum agreed to go and 
occupy the fallow ground, now for the first time broken up. His 
labors, although at the beginning attended with little effect, were 
after a few months crowned with signal success, as will be seen 
by Mr. Campbell s interesting narrative : 

"It was arranged that his head-quarters should be at the very town where 
we were arrested, and that he should regularly visit out-stations in the region 
round about. I remember the first evening I preached there, that the sergeant 
of the party who guarded us to the Sheriff sat at my right hand in his regi 
mentals, which he had previously put on for the occasion, and was now a con 
verted man ; and on my left sat the minister s man, also converted, whose case 
was somewhat singular. When Mr. Macallum first went there, of course this 
man was prohibited from ever going to hear him, but one evening Mr. Macal 
lum preached in a barn adjoining to the minister s stable, indeed only separated 
from it by an old gable. The man being in the stable when Mr. Macallum was 
preaching, and observing a hole in the gable, he naturally put his ear to it, for 
stolen waters are sweet. The Gospel passed through this hole to his ear, up 
to his understanding, and down to his heart, so he became a new man, and his 
soul not being able to live without food, he was obliged to attend the ministry 
of Mr. Macallum, and consequently lost his situation at the manse or parsonage 

" The people had been very anxious to build a place of worship, but no pro 
prietor could be found willing to part with a piece of ground for that purpose ; 
but in a singular way their work was accomplished. There happened to be a 
contested election, in which the minister took a different side from the landed 
proprietor in his immediate neighborhood, which so incensed that gentleman, 
that, to be revenged on him, he gave to Mr. Macallum an acre of ground to 
build a chapel and a house for himself upon it, and assisted the people to erect 
them. There was also room on the ground for a garden. I have slept in the 
house. So thus God can make even the wrath of man to praise Him. 

" I paid a visit with Mr. Macallum and a young man to the western side of 
the Island of Arran, in order to preach at a few places, and to return to a sta 
tion of Mr. Macallum s to preach on the Sabbath. The case of the young 
man was not a common one. He had been, like his companions, very ignorant 
and careless. He heard Mr. Haldane preach after being freed from his arrest, 
and went home greatly alarmed about the state of his soul. He could neither 
sleep nor work; his poor friends did not know what to make of him, some 
recommending one medicine, others to make trial of another. All failing, they 
were recommended to take him to the parish minister of a town a few miles 
off. His mother did so. He inquired of the mother what was the matter with 
him. She said she could not tell, but he could neither sleep nor work for fear 
of the day of judgment and hell. The minister informed her that a person had 
very lately come to the town to teach the people to dance, and was only to re 
main for a short time ; he therefore advised her to put him for a month under 


his tuition ; he had little doubt but he would be relieved. She took lodgings 
for her son, and placed him under the dancing-master for a month. Of course, 
lie began to teach him how to make one foot point to the east, and another to 
the west, and so on. About the second day he got tired of the foolish work, 
jumped out of the window of the dancing-room, ran home to his mother, de 
claring it made him worse instead of better; so he gave up the dancing. 

"Not long after this Mr. Macallum arrived, and commenced preaching in the 
neighborhood. The young man went to hear him, and was greatly relieved 
under the first sermon. During our visit to Arran I had several conversations 
with him, and found his mind peaceful, and very desirous to be educated for the 

" The Saturday being stormy, none of the sailors would venture to take us 
across the water to Kintyre. On rising early on the Sabbath morning, we found 
the wind very little abated, and the sailors determined not to venture. Hearing 
of a larger boat about two miles along the shore, we walked to it, and prevailed 
on the sailors to whom it belonged to attempt the passage, which turned out to 
be a very rough one. But the greatest difficulty was when we got within a 
hundred yards of the shore, which was strewed over with huge rocks, and foam 
ing billows dashing over them. The sailors of course had taken down the sail, 
after which they paused for some time till a large wave had retired past us, 
when all immediately exerted their utmost strength at the oars, and the helms 
man steered the boat in a serpentine course among rocks before the succeeding 
wave overtook us. It was the most skilful piece of seamanship I have ever 
witnessed. We preached near the spot where Mr. Haldane and I landed two 
years before, when only about three persons came to hear; now we had a con 
gregation of upwards of 400, the effect of Mr. Macall urn s labors among them. 
On leaving them, about a dozen of the people walked on each side of my horse, 
telling what miserable creatures they were when I first visited their country. 
One said he then acted as fiddler at all the dancing weddings round about, 
which he immediately gave up when his eyes were opened. The people said 
I had broken my fiddle to pieces, but that was not true. An aged, gray-headed 
man then said, I was at that time chairman of a whisky-toddy meeting, that 
regularly met for the purpose of drinking whisky and water in the evenings. 
After Mr. Macallum came amongst us, one ceased to attend, then another and 
another did the same, till I was left alone in the chair. I began then to wonder 
what it could be that they liked better than good Highland whisky. This de.- 
termined me to go and see; so I went and attended the ministry of our friend t 
and also found that which I liked better than whisky-toddy. Thus the chair 
was vacated, and the meeting dissolved by the force of Gospel truth. Various 
others related their experience as we walked along, which I cannot now recollect, 
and have no written memorandum to help me. What was rather a novelty to me, 
was that I found the conversions as numerous among those who might be called 
the aged as among the young, which is seldom the case where the Gospel has 
long been preached. But in that part of the country I did not hear of any Gos 
pel preacher having been there in that generation, or that of their fathers, con 
sequently it was a kind of heathen part of Scotland. So it was, as among the 
heathens abroad, under our missionaries : conversions are as frequent among 


the old as the young ; for if the Gospel does not soften it hardens ; it is either 
the savor of life or death." 

It is also related, that one of the parish ministers having in vain 
tried to oppose the preaching of the Gospel and to counteract its 
effects, became so miserable in witnessing its success, that, in a fit 
of despair, he threw up his living and emigrated to America. 

Such were the direct or collateral results of Mr. James Haldane s 
first visit to Kintyre with his excellent friend, for whose earnest 
faith, practical usefulness, and amiable qualities, he always enter 
tained much true regard. It was with reference to such scenes 
as that with the magistrates of Kintyre and the Sheriff of Argyll, 
that Dr. Lindsay Alexander thus spoke in his eloquent funeral 
sermon, preached in February, 1851 : 

" Of all the influences which have been operating upon our 
people during the half-century just closed, none, perhaps, has been 
more powerful and extensive in all its bearings than that which 
commenced when God touched the heart of James Haldane with 
evangelic fire, and sent him from secular occupations to the streets 
and highways of his native country to proclaim to his fellow-men 
* the unsearchable riches of Christ. 

" It needed such a man to accomplish such a work as he had to 
undertake. Men educated in the retirement of Colleges, men of 
timid, sensitive, or delicate tastes and temperament, men infirm 
of purpose or hesitating in action, would have been bent and scat 
tered before the storm which interest and prejudice, and the old 
hatred of the human heart to all that is earnest in religious life, 
everywhere stirred up against the itinerant preachers. It needed 
a man who had been trained amid scenes of danger and of strife, 
and whose spirit was accustomed to rise with opposition, to en 
counter and brave the tempest. Such a man was found in Mr. 
James Haldane. The habits he had acquired at sea, in battling 
with the elements and with the untamed energy of rude and fear 
less men, stood him in good stead when called to contend for 
liberty of speech and worship in opposition to the bigotted and 
tyrannical measures of those who would fain have swallowed up 
alive the authors of the new system. He was not a man to quail 
before priestly intolerance or magisterial frowns. Dignified in 
manner, commanding in speech, fearless in courage, unhesitating 
in action, he everywhere met the rising storm with the boldness 
of a British sailor and the courtesy of a British gentleman, as well 
as with the uprightness and the unoffensiveness of a true Chris- 


tian. To the brethren who were associated with him, he was a 
pillar of strength in the hour of trial ; while, upon those who 
sought to put down their efforts by force or ridicule, it is hard to 
say whether the manly dignity of his bearing or the blameless 
purity of his conduct produced the more powerful effect in para 
lyzing their opposition, when he did not succeed in winning their 



FROM the 6th of May, 1797, when Mr. James Haldane preached 
his first sermon to the rude colliers of Gilmerton, down to the 
middle of the year 1800, the work which he accomplished might 
have been sufficient for a life-time. Within that period were in 
cluded his three first itinerancies, which, taken together, occupied 
little short of twelve months of incessant exertion ; during which, 
for the most part, he preached at least once every day, generally 
twice, often thrice, and occasionally four times. While stationary 
in Edinburgh, even before he was ordained, his labors in the 
surrounding villages, and his occasional excursions to a greater 
distance, were frequent and unwearied. After his ordination, his 
Mission "to the highways and hedges," as he called it, was not 
abandoned ; and on the Calton Hill, of Edinburgh, or beneath an 
overshadowing rock in the King s Park, or on the links of Brunts- 
field, Newhaven, or Leith, his voice was heard by thousands, in 
terested, solemnized, or awed by his direct and earnest appeal to 
the heart and conscience. To his old friends and companions it 
was a marvel which they could not comprehend ; whilst the 
masses, partly attracted by novelty, and partly touched by a 
sympathetic feeling of the powers of the world to come, were dis 
posed to listen with delight to a voice which stirred their inmost 
soul and brought the gospel of salvation to their door. 

But, although so much engaged in public duties, no man was 
more exemplary in all the private relations of domestic life. 
With his children he was playful as if himself a child, yet with 
out losing sight, for a moment, of the reverence and authority 
due to a parent. With an increasing family, his affectionate wife 
could not but feel the discomfort of the protracted tours of a hus 
band so much beloved, and of the dangers, real and imaginary 


with which, they were associated. Even the threats of magiste 
rial influence, although proved to be unauthorized by law, were 
not then deemed groundless ; nor did she feel altogether reassured 
by the compliment paid to her own amiable qualities, when told, 
by some of her relations, that regard for her feelings had been a 
shield both to her husband and his brother. Still she endeavored 
to console herself by the thought of the service in which he was 
engaged, and by reflecting on the necessity of patience and self- 

But, if the younger brother was thus actively employed, the 
exertions of the elder were not less arduous, although in a differ 
ent way. He had made a noble effort to found a Mission in India, 
and one which he did not abandon until good men began to fear, 
lest the continued agitation of the plan might be considered as 
attempting to coerce the Government. Before he disposed of 
Airthrey, it was for. several years the centre of attraction to 
Christians of all denominations. Clergymen and Dissenting min 
isters from England and all parts of Scotland there found a cor 
dial welcome. A kind of temporary chapel was fitted up at the 
stables within the wood, where such men as Dr. Bogue, Mr. Simp 
son, Mr. Ewing, and others, were wont to preach on the week 
days. The most animating and interesting topics connected with 
the progress of Christianity were discussed at Mr. Haldane s table ; 
and often did their host sit up, with one or more of his guests, 
until the morning sun put to shame the candles, which had been 
once and again lighted to show them to their apartments. In all 
his plans his wife became nearly as much interested as her hus 
band ; and when he sold his estate and reduced his establishment, 
in order that his means of usefulness might be increased, it is due 
to her to state, that she voluntarily resigned her carriage, and 
would never again allow of this expense. They had but one 
child, a much-loved daughter, who was in her twelfth year when 
they left Airthrey, and was married before she was eighteen to a 
nephew of Dr. Stuart s, of Dunearn, the late J. F. Gordon, Esq. 
There were, therefore, fewer domestic occupations to absorb Mrs. 
Haldane s attention, and this enabled her to devote much of her 
time to assisting her husband in the preparation of his works, by 
copying his manuscripts and making extracts from other writers. 
The venerable Dr. Innes, speaking of Mr. Haldane s early life, 
thus writes: 

" In his latter days I had less of intercourse with your uncle. In early life 


he was easy and pleasant, and could enjoy an innocent joke as much as any 
one. Many a happy day did I spend at Airthrey. And when I was engaged 
with your father, along with the late Mr. Aikman, in our itinerancy to the north 
of Scotland, Orkney, and Shetland, in the summer of 1799, Mrs. Innes remained 
with Mrs. Haldane three months. Often did she speak of the pleasure she 
enjoyed in his and Mr. Haldane s society, and of the advantage with which he 
appeared in the relations of domestic life." 

Eeckoning from the time lie left Airthrey, in the summer of 
1798, down to the summer of 1800, when he published his "Ad 
dress on Politics," he had been the means of brirging over from 
Africa about thirty children of native chiefs, to be educated in 
the principles of Christianity. He had also opened the Circus, 
and made arrangements for large places of worship to be estab 
lished, at his own expense, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, 
Perth, Thurso, Wick, and Elgin. He had, even at that early 
period, selected about eighty students, and placed them in a 
course of education, to continue for two or three years, under 
Dr. Bogue, Mr. Ewing, and Mr. Innes. He had printed for circu 
lation myriads of religious tracts, and distributed Bibles and Tes 
taments, when as yet there was no London Tract or British and 
Foreign Bible Societies. He had formed, or assisted in forming, 
many Sabbath-schools ; and, finally, by bringing the well-known 
Andrew Fuller to Scotland, had given an impulse to the Seram- 
pore translations of the Scriptures, which were then languishing 
for want of funds, and were scoffed at as the abortive efforts of 
"a nest of consecrated cobblers." 

It was on the 13th of October, 1799, that Mr. Fuller first 
preached in the Circus of Edinburgh. He was previously known 
by his able defence of the truth against Socinianism, in that work 
which Mr. Wilberforce lent and commended to the study of Mr. 
Pitt, " The Gospel its own Witness." As an earnest of further 
aid and an inducement to visit Scotland, Mr. Haldane presented 
him with 100?. for the Serampore translations.* In reference to 
this visit Mr. Fuller used to say, that, till Mr. Haldane sent him 

*The origin of this donation is thus told by Mr. Fuller s biographer:" Mr. R. 
Haldane happening to inquire of Dr. Stuart, what intelligence he had from the 
Baptist Missionary Society, the Doctor replied, Dismal intelligence ! The funds 
are low; and no success as yet. As to funds, said Mr. H., I always intended to 
give them something, but never did. Could you desire Mr. Fuller to draw on me 
for 100?., and tell him, that if he would come down and preach, I am persuaded 
that my brother would welcome him, and so would Mr. Ewing. The Doctor wrote 
by the next post. Mr. Fuller went down, and met with a kind reception." 


his donation, he had not before known that it would be worth 
while to come to Scotland ; but that he now saw, in his own case, 
the truth of Sir Kobert Walpole s maxim, "That every man has 
his price." " I was present," says Dr. Innes, "at the first sermon 
delivered by Mr. Fuller in the Circus. It was on a Sabbath 
morning, when there was a large audience of both sexes, of dif 
ferent classes in society. The impression produced at that time, 
both by his preaching and Dr. Bogue s, was powerful." 

Mr. Fuller s impressions are t,hus depicted in one of his first 
letters: "I have been in company with Messrs. Robert and 
James Haldane, Aikman, Innes, Kitchie, and some other leading 
men in the Circus connection. Certainly these appear to be excel 
lent men, free from the extravagance and nonsense which infect 
some of the Calvinistic Methodists in England, and yet trying to 
imbibe their zeal and affection. Eobert Haldane seems a very 
disinterested, godly man, and his wife as disinterested and amia 
ble as himself. They have agreed to sell a large estate, and to 
live as retired as possible, in order to have the more to lay out for 
the furtherance of the Gospel." In another part of his journal 
Mr. Fuller observes: "The characters principally engaged in 
this new denomination, as far as we can judge, seem to be some 
of the best in Scotland; excepting a few in other connections, 
such as Dr. Erskine, Mr. Black, &c. The two Haldanes, with 
Messrs. Innes, Aikman, and Ewing, appear to us very intelligent, 
serious, and affectionate in their work ; active, liberal, and, indeed, 
almost everything that we could wish. No drollery in their 
preaching, but very desirous to be and do everything that is 

But Mr. Haldane, whilst busy in directing great plans and in 
inducing others to make known the Gospel, was not himself indis 
posed to assist in field-preaching. The success which attended 
his brother s tour in the summer and autumn of 1797 had also 
induced him, in the following spring, to follow that example. 
His first sermon was preached in the month of April, 1798. Dr. 
Innes was present, and gives the following account of it : 

"After becoming thoroughly acquainted with the leading doctrines of Divine 
truth, he felt a strong desire publicly to preach them to others. I was with him 
at his first attempt of this kind. We proceeded to Dunkeld on the Saturday 
evening, and next morning rode up to Weem, a few miles from Taymouth. After 
hearing sermon in the church, I requested the people, as they were dismissing, 
to remain, as a gentleman who was there wished to address them. This was 


something altogether new, especially as Mr. Haldane wore colored clothes. We 
got the accommodation of a barn from a good woman in the neighborhood, 
when he expounded the first eight or ten verses of the second chapter of the 
Epistle to the Ephesians with great clearness and force. This specimen showed 
how well he was qualified for public address. He, two years afterwards, took 
a house in one of the Straths (I think, Strath Bran) above Dunkeld, when he 
began to preach the Gospel to all around. But, with his characteristic vehe 
mence and energy, he spoke so loud and so frequently, that he ruptured a blood 
vessel, which made it necessary for him to desist." 

Mr. Haldane s voice was not naturally loud, but no doubt he 
preached too frequently, and to congregations which required 
more strength of lungs than it was safe for him to employ. His 
voice had neither the force nor the compass of his brother s, and 
he did not vary his notes in the way which often enabled the lat 
ter to keep up attention and impart so much of solemnity and 
emphasis to his preaching. But it was calm, mellow, and pleasing, 
combining much both of power and pathos. 

Mr. Haldane himself used to relate an anecdote in reference 
to a sermon which he preached under cover of a large shed, be 
longing to one of the principal inns on the Great North-road. 
He was posting from London to Edinburgh, probably in 1798, 
as he does not seem to have been in London for several years 
afterwards. Arriving on the Saturday evening at Stilton, in 
Huntingdonshire, he resolved there to spend the Lord s-day. He 
found that the Gospel was not preached in the church, and, in 
fact, that it was scarcely heard in any part of the country. He 
proposed to the landlord to preach in the evening, in the yard 
of the hotel. The landlord expressed himself much gratified at 
the suggestion, cleared out the carriages, which stood under a 
spacious and convenient covering, and desired intimation to be 
given of the sermon. Mr. Haldane then addressed a numerous 
and very attentive congregation, and proceeded on his journey 
next morning. A few years afterwards, probably in 1802, he 
again spent a Sunday at the same inn, but hearing that there was 
then a Methodist, or Wesleyan Chapel, he went there to worship. 
The Gospel was faithfully preached, and he was retiring, at the 
close of the service, when an old woman, looking at him, ex 
claimed, " Here s the beginning of it all !" It turned out, on ex 
planation with the minister and others, that the sermon he had 
preached some years before had been blessed to the awakening 
and conversion of some who heard ; that, in consequence, they 
were anxious to learn more of the truth and enjoy the blessing 


of a faithful ministry. They applied to the Wesleyans, and the 
chapel in which he had that morning worshipped had been erected. 
In 1799 Mr. Haldane was so much occupied with the Edin 
burgh, Glasgow, and Dundee Tabernacles, as well as with the 
institution of his seminary and the selection of the students, that 
he does not appear to have been, for any lengthened period, ab 
sent from Edinburgh, where he had a house at the west end of 
Prince-street, and with Dr. Bogue paid a visit to Lundie House, 
as is mentioned in that good man s biography. During the same 
summer he also accompanied Mr. Rowland Hill, during a part of 
his second tour in Scotland, along with the Rev. Mr. Slatterie, of 
Chatham. In 1800 he spent the summer in Strath Bran, at a 
place called Balaloan, and preached much there, and in Dunkeld 
and the vicinity. It was in the month of September, 1800, that 
he was obliged to desist from speaking in public, in consequence 
of the hoemorrhage in his throat, to which Dr. Innes alludes. It 
was not, however, of much consequence ; and, in after-years, he 
sometimes spoke for two or more hours continuously at public 
meetings; and, at Auchingray, used to conduct double service, 
lasting, according to the custom of the country places in Scot 
land, three hours, every Lord s-day. The year 1800 was one of 
great scarcity, and provisions were very dear. The supplies of 
food and clothing provided for the temporal wants of the people 
by Mr. and Mrs. Haldane caused their residence in that district 
to be long remembered, by even those who did not so much 
value the spiritual instruction which they were so desirous to im 

No sooner had Mr. James Haldane accepted the office of stated 
minister of the Circus, than his brother proceeded to erect for 
him a spacious place of worship, on a site purchased at the head 
of Leith Walk, Edinburgh, which, after the fashion of Mr. Whit- 
field s chapels, was called the Tabernacle. It was built by Mr. 
Adam Black, a member of the Circus Church, and father of the 
eminent publisher, so long Lord-Provost of Edinburgh. It was 
larger than any of the city churches, and calculated to accommo 
date a greater congregation even than St. Cuthbert s. The en 
trance was a descent of some steps, which conducted to three 
doorways, leading into the vestibule of a spacious area, rising like 
an amphitheatre, at a little distance from the pulpit. Above, 
there were two galleries, each capable of seating about eight 



hundred people. It was estimated that the whole place furnished 
sittings for three thousand two hundred persons, whilst, on spe 
cial occasions, four thousand might be crowded within the building. 

The cost was entirely borne by Mr. Haldane, and when the 
building was finished, he offered to make it over in perpetuity 
to his brother. This Mr. James Haldane declined, alleging that, 
so long as it was a property devoted to religious purposes, it was 
as well in his brother s hands, who could, at his death, make 
what arrangements he pleased. But it was never contemplated 
by either of them that the property should become vested in 
trustees, so as to take it away from their own control, or expose 
it to the risks which have befallen so many orthodox endow 

In May, 1801, the Tabernacle was opened, and the congrega 
tion, which had for nearly three years occupied the Circus, took 
possession of this new and commodious building. In that place 
did Mr. J. A. Haldane labor for nearly fifty years, and counted 
it his privilege, from first to last, to minister in the gospel of 
Christ. The accommodation which it supplied was at first par 
tially, and in after-years entirely, free to the public, and whatever 
was produced by collections or otherwise, after paying the cur 
rent expenses of the building, was appropriated to the propaga 
tion of the Gospel. One of the last religious services performed 
in the Circus, was the ordination of Mr. Aikman, on the 17th of 
May. It was conducted by the late Rev. Mr. Moodie, of War 
wick, and Mr. Ewing, of Glasgow, in concert with Mr. James 
Haldane, who preached the sermon from the words of our Lord s 
message to the Church of Philadelphia (Rev. iii. 2), " Hold that 
fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." The " Mis 
sionary Magazine" remarks : " The congregation assembled on 
this occasion was immense, the services of the day were solemn 
and interesting, much fitted to impress the minds of the audience 
with the incalculable value of the Gospel of peace." 

Mr. Aikman, aided by ministers from England, had for some 
time generally supplied the Circus congregation in Mr. J. Hal- 
dane s absence. But the increasing number of Church members 
and the duties incident to such a vast congregation, rendered a 
plurality of elders almost indispensable. The two pastors labored 
together most harmoniously ; but it was not long before they 
saw the expediency or necessity of a second place of worship, 
As the Tabernacle was in the New Town, Mr. Aikman resolved 


to build for himself a chapel in the Old, which obtained in Ed 
inburgh the soubriquet of the Temple. This was done entirely at 
his own expense, unless a donation of three or four hundred 
pounds from Mr. Haldane be excepted, which was designed as a 
recompense for Mr. Aikman s trouble in assisting to teach the 
seminary after it was brought to Edinburgh. The " Missionary 
Magazine" for June, 1802, thus notices the event: 

" On Lord s-day, the 30th of May, was opened a new chapel, lately erected 
in the street leading to Argyle-square, Edinburgh. This chapel has been built 
upon the same principles as the Tabernacle in this city, in the most perfect 
harmony with those connected in that important institution. The services of 
the day were in the following order : Mr. Parsons, of Leeds, preached in the 
morning, from Matthew xvii. 20 ; Mr. Haldane in the afternoon, from Psalm 
cxlix. 2; and Mr. Aikman in the evening from Psalm xxii. 30, 31. A Church 
has since been formed of persons in communion with the Church at the Taber 
nacle, for the observance of ordinances in this chapel, to be under the pastoral 
care of Mr. Aikman. Their formation was publicly recognized on Wednes 
day evening, the 2d of June, when, after an introductory discourse on the na 
ture and order of a Christian Church, Mr. James Haldane commended the 
Church and pastor to the Divine blessing by prayer, and gave a very suitable 
and affectionate address to both. The service was extremely interesting. It 
presented a scene not frequently witnessed, a Church separating in love, in the 
hope of the extension of the Redeemer s kingdom. May the Lord realize 
their most enlarged desires !" 

The students who had now finished their two years course of 
preparation under Mr. Ewing, were now deemed fit for active 
service. Some went to Ireland, but for the most part they were 
scattered over Scotland. A letter to Mr. Haldane, dated Sligo, 
January 21st, 1800, gives an interesting account of the labors of 
one of them, a Mr. Morrison, who had been sent to itinerate in 
the north of Ireland. A letter is introduced from a correspond 
ent of Mr. Haldane, thanking him for his liberality in furnishing 
the means for itinerating in Ireland, and praying that he may be 
" enriched with all the blessings of that joyful sound, which you 
are so blessedly instrumental in communicating to others." The 
success which attended this first Mission to the north of Ireland, 
was such as to stimulate further exertions in that quarter, against 
the strongholds of ignorance, error, and superstition. 

In May, 1801, Mr. James Haldane once more proceeded to the 
south, but on this occasion he took with him his wife and chil 
dren, having established himself at Dumfries, as a centre from 
which he might radiate on preaching excursions. " For four 


months," says the Magazine, u he preached in Dumfries every 
Lord s-day, to large congregations, in the open air, or under a 
tent, and he also preached once every day in the neighboring towns 
and villages, except in one week in the beginning of harvest." 
He was fond of riding, and had a powerful and excellent little 
gray horse, which seemed as patient of fatigue as its rider. Some 
times in his excursions from Dumfries, he would make a circuit 
of fifty miles in one day, and preach three times. To the good 
effects of these labors there was abundant evidence during his 
life, and since his death some pleasing testimonies have been 
added, as to permanent results in the neighborhood of Dumfries, 
of which he probably never heard. 

At the close of his residence at Dumfries, he resolved to cross 
over to Ireland, and did so in the month of September, in com 
pany with the late Eev. George Hamilton, of Armagh. Almost 
on his first landing he was admitted into the parish church of 
Portadown, and on several occasions exhibited the remarkable 
spectacle of one not in episcopal orders, and not even belonging 
to the Episcopal Church, preaching to large audiences in a,n Epis 
copal diocese. The " Missionary Magazine " for the 19th of Oc 
tober, 1801, observes: "We have been informed, that he has 
proached to crowded congregations in different parts of the north 
of Ireland ; and in a letter from himself of the 5th instant, dated 
Armagh, he says, I stayed a few days in Belfast, and preached 
in the neighborhood. There is a great desire to hear in many 
places, and the people are uncommonly attentive. From all ac 
counts, I hear that religion is at a low ebb. Alluding to the 
young men prepared and sent over by his brother he adds, The 
Lord seems to have prepared the country for the young men, who 
will prove, I trust, eminently useful. " 

There is a letter in the " Missionary Magazine" for December, 
1801, which is signed " J. H.," in which he mentions "some dis 
plays of the. power of God," in his late journey to Ireland, which 
appeared well calculated to excite gratitude and thanksgiving to 
the Lord. The dead chill of Arianism or Socinianism, to which 
he then alludes, no longer rests on the Presbyterians in the north 
of Ireland. A great revival has taken place during the fifty 
years which have elapsed since Mr. J. Haldane s first visit to 
Ulster, and nearly thirty years since, chiefly through the indefat 
igable and fearless efforts of the Kev. Dr. Henry Cooke, of Bel 
fast, a separation was made between those who profess to believe 


in the Lord as their Almighty Saviour, and those who regard 
him only as a man. 

" I had the happiness," says Mr. James Haldane, " of visiting a family of re 
spectability as to worldly matters, where I also met with a signal display of 
Divine grace. They were Dissenters, but a Dissenting minister, in many parts 
of Ireland, is only another name for Arian or Socinian. They were remarkable 
for gaiety ; and as the family was large, the young people sometimes amused 
themselves by acting plays. This went on until within the last two or three 
years, and now salvation has come to that house, so that almost the whole 
family are truly devoted to God. 

" Much as this account pleased me, I was not less gratified in hearing the 
means God had employed. He sent a pious young woman there, as a servant. 
She was ridiculed for her religion by the young ladies, but she did not render 
evil for evil, but would allow them to laugh at her, and then mildly reason with 
them. She made it her study to be attentive and useful, and would offer to 
read the Scriptures to them, when they went to bed. They soon fell asleep un 
der the sound, but she was not discouraged. Having exemplified Christianity 
in her life, the Lord sent a fever to call her home to himself; and although the 
young ladies were not permitted to see her during her illness, they heard of 
her behavior, and it did not lessen the impression her conduct had made. 
Soon after, the two eldest began to make a profession of real religion ; the lit 
tle leaven spread, and now all the nine young ladies appear truly pious. Nor is 
religion in this highly-favored family confined to them. Other means were em 
ployed by God in producing this great change, but one of the two who first be 
came serious informed me, that she chiefly ascribed it to the life and death of 
the servant-maid. What a proof of the power of practical Christianity ! What 
encouragement to servants, to all, to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour ! 

" This house is now open for the preaching of the Gospel. Any pious min 
ister, whether Established, Itinerant, or Methodist, finds a hearty welcome. A 
very short warning brings hundreds of the country people together, arid the 
spacious rooms are thrown open for their accommodation. May the blessing 
of Obed-Edom rest on the house ! 

" But the Lord did not stop here. Another family in the neighborhood, 
nearly connected with them, heard the tidings of all their young friends having 
run mad about religion. It occasioned much anxiety, and apprehension of the 
contagion spreading. At last, the mother of the latter family went to see how 
things were. She belonged to the Established Church, and when she visited 
her friends, Mr. Mathias (of the Bethesda Chapel, Dublin), a pious and able 
clergyman, was there. His preaching and conversation were much blessed to 
her, and now that family rivals the other in singing, Oh, to grace how much 
indebted ! I preached in the latter house to about two hundred people, al 
though the neighbors had only been warned in the course of the day. The 
kindness I met with in both families was great, and it was doubly pleasant as 
it was conferred for His sake, who is able to reward it, and who will not suffer 
a cup of cold water given in his name to pass unnoticed." 

During his visit to the north of Ireland, Mr. J. Haldatx was 


most kindly welcomed at the residence of his cousin-german, 
Colonel O Hara, of O Hara Brook, whose father, an Irish gentle 
man of family and of fortune, when quartered with his regiment 
at Dundee, had married one of the sisters of Mr. J. Haldane s 
mother. The Colonel was the eldest son, and inherited his 
father s estate, and there were others of the family from whom 
also Mr. J. Haldane experienced much kindness, particularly 
Miss O Hara, a sister of the Colonel, who resided at Coleraine, 
where one of her nephews, the Rev. James O Hara, an excellent 
Evangelical clergyman, is now the Incumbent. It was at Cole 
raine that Mr. J. Haldane first made acquaintance with Dr. Alex 
ander Carson, then chiefly known as having lately seceded from 
the Presbyterian Synod, of which his genius and scholarship, and 
great critical acumen, had promised to render him one of the 
brightest ornaments. At Omagh he was kindly received by the 
late James Buchanan, Esq., who was for many years so well 
known as the British Consul at New York. 

The following is extracted from a letter from Mr. Buchanan, 
dated Quebec, Canada, June, 1851 : 

" I first had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Haldane in 1804, who stayed a night 
at my house. I recollect, on his being requested to lead our family worship, 
he read the first chapter of 1st Peter, and his observations were deeply im 
pressed on my wife. I have reflected often upon the many blessings I have 
derived from Bible friends. All other friendships or favors are deficient in 
those feelings which affect the heart. They are fleeting, and pass away. It 
was from that meeting I became acquainted with his brother, Robert Haldane, 
and through him with your ever valued and esteemed father r Mr. Hardcastle. 
I am now in my eightieth year, and am declining fast, but I have my tomb built 
near my house. I believe I told you I have engraved on it, God forbid I should 
glory, save in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord lead us to 
hold fast our trust in him ! With unabated affection and regard for your hus 
band, yourself, and family, I remain, my esteemed friend, your truly sincere 
friend, J. BUCHANAN. 

" Mrs. Haldane." 

Mr. Buchanan died a very few months after the date of this 
letter, in the hope of the Gospel which he had so long professed. 

It might be tedious to dwell longer on the tour to Ulster, but 
some extracts from a curiously characteristic letter from Thomas 
Scott, the Commentator, just before Mr. J. Haldane set out for 
Dumfries, will show the favorable light in which that good man 
regarded proceedings which so many would condemn as irregular. 
The letter is dated Chapel-street, May 1st, 1801 : 


" DEAR Sm, I think you must have misunderstood my answer to your 
brother s invitation, in which I stated myself entirely incapable of accepting, 
consistently with my present situation and engagements in the Lock Hospital 
and the Asylum, which must be entirely suspended if I leave home, as I have 
no resource in this respect, and never can get any person to fill up my place 
Indeed, I do not think it possible for me to procure any supplies in the chapel, 
and in my other places where I preach, which would satisfy the congregations, 
for all the ministers in our line are fully employed, and many more wanted. 
Add to this that my continuance in my present situation is very doubtful, and 
if I do continue, I shall obtain the whole service. This is now in agitation, 
and my presence here will be peculiarly needful through the summer, as all the 
usefulness of my future life as a preacher seems greatly to depend upon my 
success in this concern, which is too complicated to admit of explanation. At 
present I have more encouragement in my ministry here than formerly, but as 
absence from his work is one of the charges brought against Mr. De Coetlogon, 
who preaches in the evening, which first gave occasion to the motion for dis 
missing him, has put matters on the present uncertain footing, so it would be 
extremely imprudent in me to give up my principal strong ground, that / am 
always in my place at my work. If I am enabled to stand my ground, my field 
of usefulness will be considerably enlarged, and my prospects improved, but if 
the opposite interest carry it against my friends, I shall have to begin anew in 
some other place, and at my time of life this appears to me very unpromising. 
It does not appear in the least likely, that if I continue at the Lock, it will even 
be practicable for me to leave home so long as a journey to Scotland implies ; 
as I keep no curate, and no one can supply for me but a regular Episcopal 
clergyman, and the services daily required of me cannot be intermitted without 
violating my engagements, and acting contrary both to my conscience and credit. 
Should I be dismissed by the majority of the Governors, I should be set afloat, 
and I cannot tell whither the tides and currents might carry me. 

" But besides this I am engaged in a new edition of the Family Bible, on my 
own account, and, contrary to what you suppose, it will cost me quite as much 
labor as at the first, and with this peculiar circumstance, that if I do not go on 
with it steadily, it will ruin, in all probability, me and my family, and injure my 
creditors. If I never leave it for a week, I shall not finish in less than four 
years from the beginning, perhaps from this time, and I deem myself bound to 
apply as much as possible, as health and other duties will permit, and to under 
take nothing inconsistent with it. If I am enabled to bring it to a conclusion 
I shall consider it as the main business of my life; but while it is in hand I am 
decided against any journeys but what are absolutely needful. I shall not enter 
on the subject of improvements, but they will be as many as I am capable of 
making. The marginal references will be printed in the clearest manner I ever 
saw any. Many of other persons will be left out, many original added. I do 
my best. 

" I have no fear lest the circumstances of my not being able to come to Edin 
burgh should in the least prevent good in your line ; you will find more accept 
able and suitable preachers. Every man has his talent, and preaching a few 
sermons among strangers with effect is less my talent than some other things, 
and that of some otber men. 


"I rejoice to hear that you have encouragement in your work and design. I 
sometimes hear of you, and more frequently think of you. I pray God to direct, 
assist, and prosper you more and more. My Christian respects to your brother 
and all friends. 

" I remain, dear Sir, your obliged friend and servant, 


In October Mr. and Mrs. James Haldane returned from Dum 
fries. Their second child, a little girl, then rather under six years 
old, was in a delicate state of health. She died on the 5th of June 
following, but not before giving very pleasing evidence of the 
grace of that Saviour, who said, " Suffer little children, and forbid 
them not, to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." 
Her affectionate father published an interesting little memoir, in 
tituled, "Early Instruction recommended, in a Narrative of Cathe 
rine Haldane, with an Address to Parents on the Importance of 
Religion." It is remarkable for its truthful simplicity. There is 
no attempt to paint or embellish, and it is not possible to read it 
without discerning the only motive which prompted the writer, 
a desire to bring glory to Christ and be useful to children. It 
ran through eleven or twelve very large editions, and was widely 
circulated by the venerable John Newton, who admired it much, 
and considered it well calculated for usefulness. It was also trans 
lated into Danish by Dr. Henderson some years afterwards, and 
was rather popular in Denmark, where the name, which is com 
mon in that country, was an attraction. But the narrative is 
deserving of notice in these memoirs, because it in some measure 
discloses a little of the domestic life of a man much before the 
public. There are touches in it which indicate the tenderness of 
the fond parent, and the confiding affection with which that ten 
derness was always reciprocated. Multitudinous as were his 
labors, especially during the years when he itinerated, he never 
found them an apology for the neglect of a single domestic duty, 
and on the contrary, he was exemplary, in no common degree, in 
all the relations of life. A few extracts may be given : 

" From the time she could understand anything, Catherine was informed that 
she was to give an account of her thoughts, words, and actions, to God. She 
was early taught to listen to the rending of the Scriptures, and to such little 
religious books as are adapted to the capacities of children. She soon began 
to attend to the parables, and some of the stories of the Old Testament. Her 
mother usually spent two hours daily in reading, and talking on what she read, 
to Catherine and her elder sister. They were never led to regard this as a task, 
and as they found it entertaining, and were not desired to continue when they 


began to tire, they always looked forward to it with pleasure, and were disap 
pointed if anything occurred to prevent it. One or two of Mr. Newton s hymns 
generally formed a part of this exercise. Catherine was fond of them, and, of 
her own accord, committed some of them to memory from hearing them read. 
Accounts of pious children also early attracted her attention. 

" No particular impression appeared to be made on Catherine s mind by the 
Word of God till she was five years of age. She had listened to some parts 
of Scripture with seeming attention, but never appeared to consider herself 
particuhirly interested in what she heard till one Sabbath evening, when her 
younger sister was asking the meaning of being born again ; Catherine imme 
diately replied, To get a new heart from God. Her mother said she feared 
she did not know what a change of heart meant, and spoke to her seriously. 
Catherine was much affected, and after she went to bed said to her maid, I 
have just been thinking on that verse, " The soul that sinneth it shall die." 
From this time Catherine always seemed to be much more concerned about 
religion than formerly. . . . 

"In February, 1801, Catherine s health began to decline; but" for a consid 
erable time her complaints appeared trifling, and hardly ever interrupted her play 
or her ordinary occupations. In May she went with us to Dumfries, and whilst 
there became gradually worse. . . . 

" She now spent more time at prayer than formerly, and took much pleasure 
in hymns, and hearing of Jesus. She had long been accustomed to hear a 
chapter of the Bible read to her after she was in bed. She would never allow 
this to be neglected, either before or after she became ill. . . . 

"Instead of playing on the Lord s-day, the children were taught to repeat 
hymns to one another when alone. One Lord s-day, her mother, on going out, 
desired her to keep a Sabbath-school. When she returned she heard Catherine 
praying, along with the rest, that if it were the Lord s will, he would restore 
her to health ; if not, to prepare her for death, and take her to himself. . . . 

" She got food frequently as she was able to receive it, and we observed that 
she never took anything without silently asking a blessing from God. One day 
I noticed this to her mother, in Catherine s presence, and said she was a good 
child. She was vexed to have it spoken of, and cried, till I changed the subject. 
This showed a spirit very opposite to ostentation. A child may talk about 
religion to please its parents ; but Catherine at this time had not spirits for any 
thing of this kind, and, indeed, the truth of God had evidently before her illness 
made an impression on her heart. 

"Although we had pleasing evidences of her mind being impressed about 
eternity, had noticed a remarkable change in her temper, and had observed that 
she never neglected prayer, yet we were anxious that she might be brought to 
speak freely, and tell us the present state of her mind. This was more de 
sirable, as she did not show the same pleasure in hearing about religion as 
formerly, and seldom spoke on the subject. This led us to pray to our gracious 
Lord ; he heard us, and gave us every satisfaction we could have desired. In 
April, her mother took her into a room by herself, and asked her if she should 
pray with her, told her she was dying, and spoke to her of the love of Christ. 
. . . In the evening her maid asked her why she cried when her mamma 
spoke to her. Catherine said, she was sorry she had cried. Being asked, Was 


it because you are afraid to die V No, replied she. Why V said the maid. 
4 Because, said Catherine, * I have a good Saviour. 

" After she went to bed, she desired her maid to read a hymn, which she had 
heard sung a little time before. When she read these lines 

" He takes young children to his arms, 
And calls them heirs of heaven, 

she saw Catherine crying. Being asked why she cried, she said she was sorry 
for her sins. She said, she would like to see papa. I went and spoke with her, 
and prayed. She told me she loved Jesus Christ. She ever afterwards enjoyed 
comfort of mind, and never expressed a fear of death. 

" Thus was the Lord graciously instructing this dear little child, and, in some 
measure, perfecting praise from the mouth of a babe. Those who know their 
own hearts, and have been engaged in instructing children, will best judge 
whether mere human teaching could have so deeply impressed the truths of God 
on the mind of a child little more than five years of age. It is true the minds of 
children are tender and flexible, but the religion of Jesus Christ is not suited to 
their taste. They will not contradict you, tell them what you will on the sub 
ject; but unless they are taught of God, they will soon show the natural alien 
ation of their hearts from him, by total indifference about religion. 

" Two days afterwards, when she was much reduced, she desired to see her 
sister, of whom she was very fond. She put her arms round her neck and 
kissed her, saying, Love your Saviour : I am happy. 

" There were several hymns in which she particularly delighted, and which 
she would often desire to be read to her, such as that beautiful hymn of 
Cowper s, 

" There is a fountain filled with blood, 

Drawn from Immanuel s veins ; 
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, 
Lose all their guilty stains. 

She was particularly fond of the hymn, 

" In evil long I took delight," &c. 
And of the hymn, 

" Descend from heaven, immortal Dove, 

Stoop down, and take us on thy wings ; 
And mount, and bear us far above 
The reach of these inferior things." 

" The Sabbath but one before her death, she asked for the hymn, 

" * There is a house not made with hands, 

Eternal, and on high ; 
And here my spirit waiting stands, 
Till God shall bid it fly. 

Before it was finished, she became too ill to listen to it. 

" The last Lord s-day she was on earth her mother read to her several 
hymns of her own choosing. She desired Catherine to speak to her sisters, 


and sent for am- youngei than herself. Catherine put her arms round her neck, 
and bade her love Jesus. 

" Though she was so ill, she came every morning, by her own desire, to fam 
ily worship. She said little, but the remarks she afterwards made showed she 
was not inattentive. A short time before her death, she said to her maid, I 
have just been thinking how happy I shall be when papa, mamma, Elizabeth, 
and the rest, meet me in heaven. She added, It was a pretty chapter and 
hymn that papa read this morning, that there would be no need of candle 
light there. 

" Two days before her death, she asked for the hymn, beginning, 

" Bitter indeed the waters are 
Which in this desert flow ; 
Though to the eye they promise fair, 
They taste of sin and woe. 

This had long been one of her favorites. She hardly spoke at all after this, 
but next day asked for the hymn, 

There is a land of pure delight, 
Where saints immortal reign ; 
Infinite day excludes the night, 
And pleasures banish pain. 

The last words she uttered were to ask for the hymn, 
u Jesus, I love thy charming name. 

On the 5th June, having for the last twelve hours been in a kind of slumber, 
she fell asleep in Jesus. 

" Thus lived and died a child, whose story is an illustration of our Lord s 
words, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast 
hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes ; 
even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. She appeared indeed to 
have been taught of God. She had heard the Gospel, and had been made par 
taker of that precious faith, which is the gift of God. She had been affected 
with the weight of eternal things during the winter before she became ill. We 
observed a remarkable change in her before her disease got to a great height. 
For some time after she was taken ill, she said she would not be afraid to die 
if she got a new heart ; but from the time she sent for me to pray with her, 
nearly two months before her death, she always expressed full confidence of 
going to Jesus. From that period I always went and prayed with her after 
she was in bed. If at any time I was later than usual, she kept awake, and 
frequently asked for me. She one day told her mother that she had not got a 
new heart at Dumfries, nor for a long time after ; but that lately she knew that 
she had got one, although she could not tell on what day. Her confidence did 
not arise from thinking all children went to heaven. In order to ascertain this, 
I one day asked her if she thought her elder sister would go to heaven if she 
died immediately. Catherine replied she did not know. She suffered much 
with great patience. Her illness was tedious and uncommon; her head was 
much affected. Frequently when in bed she would repeat, My head, my 
head ! But the Lord gave her the victory over the fear of death, and gracious- 


ly gave us satisfactory evidence, very uncommon at her age, that the instruc 
tion she had received was not in vain. My reason for writing an account of 
her is, that other little children may be led to love the Saviour. How happy 
will she and I both be in the day of God, if we shall meet some children at the 
right hand of Jesus, who were brought to him by reading the account of 
Catherine !" 

The address to children and the address to parents which are 
subjoined to the account of Catherine are both earnest, practical, 
and striking. But this little narrative, so far as it concerns the 
present Memoirs, is chiefly valuable as showing the character of 
the man. Occupied as he was with a numerous Church and a 
larger congregation, called upon, even when at home, to preach 
in the villages and towns within a wide circuit round Edinburgh, 
pre-eminently exemplary in visiting the sick and comforting the 
afflicted, he never forgot that his first duty was at home. There 
all his affections were centered, and there it was his study to win 
the confidence and love of his children by the most endearing 
sympathy, both with their amusements and studies, whilst it was 
his grand object to train them up in the nurture and admonition 
of the Lord. Every night did he pray beside the bed of his 
drooping child, and gently lead her to the feet of that Saviour 
whom he served. With this no public duty was ever suffered to 
interfere when within reach of home, and neither fatigue nor 
business were apologies for its omission. It was the same to the 
very close of his prolonged life, and he who had by nature the 
dauntless spirit of the lion, would at the same time evince the 
gentleness of the lamb, combined with all the tender affection of 
a sympathetic and loving heart. Great was the joy which 
reigned through the house whenever it was announced that, 
owing to any rare circumstance, he was to remain at home on a 
Lord s-day evening. His children gathered round his chair, 
whilst he examined them as to their knowledge of the Bible, lis 
tened to the hymns or portions of Scripture which they repeated, 
or interested them by the recital of stories after the manner of 
the parables, in which the imagination was gratified, whilst truth 
was imprinted on their hearts. But above all, it may be said that 
in nothing was the nearness of his habitual communion and walk 
with God more distinctly visible than in the surpassing value 
which, at all times and under all circumstances, he constantly at 
tached to prayer. With prayer he parted with any of his family 
on going to a distance ; with prayer and thanksgiving he wel- 


corned them on their return ; with prayer he taught them to ask 
the blessing of God in regard to everything that concerned 
them ; whilst his own unclouded faith was that which imparted 
peace and joy to his heart, throwing the sunshine of cheerfulness 
around his path, so as to make his home happy and religion 

During his residence at Dumfries, he addressed a remarkable 
letter to his old friend, Captain Patrick Gardner, under whose 
care he had originally gone to sea, and with whom he made two 
voyages to India. To Gardner he had already written, as he had 
done to several of his old friends, but had received no reply. 
When at Dumfries, he was informed that he was then in London, 
about to sail in command of the Scaleby Castle. The letter was 
carefully preserved, and found among the papers of him to 
whom it was addressed. The following are some extracts : 

"DUMFRIES, June 29, 1801. 

. . . " My giving up the sea at the time I did was, I believe, thought 
strange by many ; but I have never repented it, nor do I find my time hang 
heavy on my hands. We are all apt to imagine ourselves of great conse 
quence, and I believe we often think we are occupying the attention of others 
when they hardly think of us. Perhaps this is the reason of my supposing 
you have heard of a considerable change in my views since we met. If I can 
judge by what I feel towards you, you would inquire about me ; and I could 
smile at the answer you might probably receive, and the surprise it might excite 
in you. Perhaps you might figure me gloomy and melancholy, incapable of en 
joying the comforts of life, from fear of hell ; or I might be represented as a 
wild enthusiast, considering myself inspired or favored with particular revela 
tions. On either of these suppositions, I could not blame you for not renewing 
our correspondence ; but neither the one nor the other is the case. I never 
was acquainted with solid, rational happiness till my attention was turned to 
religion. My former merriment was really like the crackling of thorns under a 
pot. I was governed by passion, and under such a guide no wonder if I missed 
my road. Although I believe I had as few qualms of conscience as any one, 
being completely unconcerned about religion and eternity, my own mind was 
not altogether satisfied. I knew I must die, yet it was a subject I banished 
from my thoughts. The peace of mind I enjoyed did not arise from any 
good reason. I had to hope either that I should be happy or be annihilated 
after death, but from total inconsideration, like a person who should stop his 
ears and shut his eyes when danger was approaching, and then fancy himself 
safe. My present peace of mind does not arise from any vision or supposed 
new revelation I have received. I had a book by me which, from prejudice of 
education, and not from any rational conviction, I called the Word of God. I 
never so far surmounted the prejudice of education as to profess Infidelity, but 
I was a more inconsistent character. I said I believed a book to be a revela 
tion from God, and treated it with the greatest neglect, living in direct contra- 


diction to all its precepts, and seldom taking the trouble to look into it, or if I 
did, it was to perform a task, a kind of atonement for my sins. I went on 
thus till, having much time on my hands when the Melville Castle lay at the 
Mother Bank, I began to think I would pay a little more attention to this book. 
The more I read the more worthy it appeared of God ; and after examining the 
evidences with which Christianity is supported, I became fully persuaded of its 
truth. There is no man who considers the evidences with the smallest impar 
tiality but must come to the same conviction. Even Rousseau admits the 
strength of the evidence, but he says he remains in suspense, because there 
are many doctrines which he thinks unworthy of God. In other words, he will 
not submit his pride of understanding to a book which himself allows is sup 
ported by the strongest evidence as coming from God. This suspense is now 
over, and neither he nor any other man shall be able to complain they have 
been hardly dealt with. Infidels, whether by profession or practice, shall be 
convinced that they meet with no more than they deserve. The error lies in 
their heart, not in their understanding; they choose the darkness; they deter 
mine to live in sin, and they persuade themselves while here, being blinded by 
passion, they shall escape punishment. My paper, and I fear your patience, is 
done, but the subject is important. I beg you would seriously consider it. I 
hope to hear immediately from you, and am, 

" Very sincerely yours, 

" Patrick Gardner, Esq., Commander of the Scaleby Castle" 

A few months earlier in the same year, Mrs. James Haldane lost 
her uncle, Sir Ealph Abercromby, who died on board the Fou- 
droyant, of the mortal wound received in the great battle of Alex 
andria, which led to the conquest of Egypt. The letter of sym 
pathy which her husband wrote to Lady Abercromby on this 
event was striking and beautiful. Whilst in a tone of becoming 
sympathy it did homage to the private virtues and illustrious 
character of the departed hero, whose name will go down with the 
history of his country, it displays the surpassing importance of 
heavenly things, and unfolds the consolations of the Gospel in 
language alike distinguished for its directness, its simplicity, and 
its truth. This letter was mentioned by Lady Abercromby with 
the interest of one who valued the truth it set forth, when on an 
evening at the house of Mr. James Haldane in George-street, near 
ly sixteen years afterwards, the late Hon. and Kev. Gerard Noel 
had been, at her request, invited to be present, and deliver cne 
of those beautiful expositions which made his visit to Edinburgh, 
in 1817, so pleasantly remembered. 


[1802, 1803.] 

DUKING- five summers, beginning with that of 1797, Mr. James 
Haldane had devoted himself to long and laborious itinerancies, 
for the purpose of preaching the Gospel. In the summer of 1802 
he sought no repose ; but to recruit the health and spirits of his 
wife, after the loss of their little daughter, they went, with their 
eldest child, to Buxton, in Derbyshire. The younger children 
were left at the seaside, under the kind care of their uncle and 
aunt ; but wherever Mr. James Haldane went, it was in the spirit 
of one whose lips had been touched as by a live coal from the 
altar, and in whose breast there burned a flame of love for Christ 
which could not be extinguished. His visit to Derbyshire was a 
season of revival and awakening. At the hotel at which he stay 
ed there were many strangers, to whom he had the opportunity 
of making known the Gospel. He also preached in the ball-room, 
and was welcomed by a pious Irish Bishop, whose son, a zealous 
clergyman of the United Church, did not scruple to accompany 
him on several preaching excursions in the neighborhood. 
Amongst other places, they went to Macclesfield, in Cheshire, by 
invitation of the Eev. Melville Home, who offered the use of his 
church and pulpit. But when the two friends arrived at Maccles 
field, it turned out that some demur had been made to the irregu 
larity of this proceeding on the part of one of the churchwardens. 
The sermon was therefore adjourned from the church to the church 
yard, where the good Incumbent attended, along with the Bishop s 
son, and took part in the service by invoking the blessing of Al 
mighty God on the word spoken by his Scottish friend. At Cas- 
tleton-of-the-Peak they also met with Episcopal sanction, as the 
Vicar not only heard the sermon, but after it was over, begged to 
offer his personal thanks to the preacher. At one place, near 


Buxton, tnere was a good but somewhat eccentric man, who, 
amidst surrounding darkness, for many years stood alone as a 
missionary to the poor. When he first heard Mr. James Hal- 
dane s faithful and energetic declarations of the Gospel of free 
salvation, he was so moved with surprise and delight that he 
could not contain his exultation. He afterwards introduced 
himself, and said that he had an " independency" of 20/. a-year, 
which enabled him to devote himself to the cause of Christ. 
There were several other interesting occurrences connected 
with the visit to Buxton, Matlock, and other places; and he 
did not leave the neighborhood before he had proclaimed the 
message of salvation in many a hamlet, village, and town, as 
well as on the green hill-sides of the romantic county of Derby, 
and the neighboring districts of Staffordshire. Everywhere 
his preaching was acceptable, and often it was made manifest 
that the word was with power. 

In the summer of 1803 he prepared for another excursion into 
a part of Scotland from which he had hitherto considered himself 
excluded by his ignorance of the Gaelic language. But a very 
remarkable revival had taken place in Breadalbane, through the 
instrumentality of one of the Dundee students, who had been sent 
there by Mr. Haldane. In the neighboring district of Blair Athol, 
Mr. Stewart, of Moulin, had been enabled to report that, since 
Mr. Simeon and Mr. James Haldane visited his manse, about 
eighty people had been awakened by his own preaching to a deep 
and abiding sense of the Gospel of salvation. The account he 
published was very striking ; but the revival in Breadalbane, al 
though begun by a humbler instrument, was not less plainly the 
work of God. 

The awakening which followed the labors of Mr. Macallum in 
Kintyre was ushered in by the preaching of Mr. James Haldane 
and Mr. Campbell. That in Breadalbane was entirely begun by 
a devoted catechist, of lowly origin, a Mr. Farquharson, who. had 
been recommended on account of his earnest zeal and godliness 
to Mr. Haldane s class at Dundee, but whose capacity of learning 
seemed, on trial, hardly to warrant his persevering in academical 
studies. He was therefore sent away to Breadalbane, at the end 
of his first six months, with the view of trying whether he might 
not be of use as a Scripture-reader amongst the poor and unedu 
cated Highlanders. The district was at that time destitute of 
Evangelical preaching. There were actually no Bibles, scarcely 


any Testaments, and the people lived without prayer. So great 
was the opposition to the devoted catechist when he commenced 
his labors, that, in a circle of thirty-two miles round Loch Tay, 
there were only three families that would receive him, whilst 
every mn or public-house was shut against him. But it often 
pleases the Lord to work by the feeblest instruments, and " to 
choose the weak things of the world, and things which are de 
spised, to confound the things that are mighty." Despite of oppo 
sition and neglect, he went from village to village during the 
winter, reading the Bible, and speaking the words of salvation to 
all who would listen. In the spring of 1801 there was some 
awakening, and early in 1802 so extraordinary a revival took 
place, that in a very short time there were about one hundred 
persons, previously ignorant of the Gospel, who seemed to be 
truly converted. These conversions produced a great sensation, 
and occasioned much opposition. It brought on in these High 
land glens a kind of religious persecution. 

" Families," says Mr. Kinniburgh, in his " Historical Sketch," " were divided, 
false reports were raised and circulated for the purpose of bringing the new 
converts into disrepute. Violent measures were devised and accomplished to 
deprive them of their houses and farms, and in not a few were their lives in 
jeopardy ; but they took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing that in 
heaven they had a better and enduring substance. They thought less of their 
sufferings than of the happiness of suffering for Christ. Here it deserves to be 
noticed, that when the work was going on in Breadalbane, there were instances 
in which, when the converts acted with decision, persecution gradually subsided, 
but when there was apparent wavering it increased." 

Amongst the anecdotes of the new converts and of their altered 
conduct, the following is an example : a number of young men 
had been addicted to poaching on the Earl of Breadalbane s 
estates, and were generally brought annually before his Lordship, 
who usually dismissed them, with a threatening rebuke. One of 
these, who was also a smuggler, had his attention directed to the 
Gospel and was converted. The next time the poachers were 
brought before the great Earl, he missed the smuggler, and asked 
what had become of him. The game-keeper replied, " My Lord, 
he has become a missionary, and will never trouble .us again." 
His Lordship observed, " I wish all these young men were mis 
sionaries." The same young man had been in the habit of ille 
gally making malt, but, after he embraced the Gospel, he had no 
psacs of mind until he had informed upon himself and delivered 
to tlie Excise all the malt which he had on hand. 



In 1802, the humble and holy man through whose instrumen 
tality this revival took place was himself sent a prisoner to Aber 
deen, for preaching the Gospel in Braemar. Mr. Farquharson 
had not been many hours in gaol before a lawyer waited upon 
him and put a book into his hand, stating that a part of it was 
written in the very cell in which he was confined. " Bead it," 
said the gentleman, a and you will soon be liberated," and imme 
diately retired. To his no small surprise, Mr. Farquharson found 
it to be " Eutherford s Letters." This led him to muse on the 
sufferings of the godly author, and he thought his own but light 
in comparison. Mr. Farquharson was soon released, in conse 
quence of the intervention of his friendly visitor, who was better 
acquainted with the Toleration Act than Mr. Farquharson s igno 
rant persecutors. 

The good work was not confined to Loch Tay. The pastor of 
the Tabernacle, at Dunkeld, in a letter, dated April 14th, 1803, 
reports that, exclusive of those who had been called under Mr. 
Stewart s ministry, at Moulin, he could himself speak of 145 who 
had experienced the power of Divine grace around Dunkeld since 
Dr. Bogue preached there as the first itinerant. By that sermon 
he knew of one who was converted. The rest were the fruits of 
the labors of the two Messrs. Haldane, Aikman, Ewing, Innes, 
Hey, Garie, and Campbell (of Dunkeld). From Aberfeldie Mr. 
Dewar, one of Mr. Haldane s students (but not the same who is 
now the Principal of Marischal College, Aberdeen), writes, in 
April, 1803, that no less than fifty-seven in that neighborhood 
attributed their salvation to Mr. Haldane s missionaries. Two 
years before this time, Lady Glenorchy s chaplain, the good Mr. 
Garie, of Perth, had died, and, in a beautiful letter, written shortly 
before his death, he mentions having, within a few weeks back, 
received seventeen out of twenty-one applicants for Church mem 
bership, u most of them young persons, and lately awakened." 
He adds, "A young man, last week, received his first impressions 
under a sermon preached by Mr. James Haldane, in the mill at 
Inver ; and a young woman,, who had made considerable advance 
ment under one he preached in the chapel here upon the jailor." 
The good man adds, " Although, in general, I feel a willingness 
to leave the world, whenever my Master shall call me, yet I have 
often, on a Saturday, felt a peculiar unwillingness to die till the 
Sabbath was over." 

The accounts from Caithness were, if possible, still more de- 


lightful. At the same time tliat the missionaries in Breadalbane 
were writing home the intelligence just noticed, the excellent 
Mr. Cleghorn, the pastor of the Church at Wick, was detailing 
the blessings that had attended the previous itinerancies in Caith 
ness. Whilst he reckoned at least forty cases of conversion 
which, at Wick alone, had come under his own knowledge, as 
the -first-fruits of Mr. James Haldane s preaching in that place in 
1797, he mentions, that now he reckons 120 as giving evidence 
of the power of Divine truth. He adds, that at Thurso the Gros- 
pel had been as successful, " if not more so." 

It is not, then, to be wondered at, that Mr. James Haldane 
longed to visit, not only the scene of his own first itinerancy, but 
also Breadalbane and its vicinity. Accordingly, Mr. Campbell 
relates how he received a sudden summons to return to Edin 
burgh from the west, where he was preaching, and that, on his 
arrival, he found the object was, " to see if I would consent to go 
on a preaching tour of three or four months with Mr. James Hal 
dane, to visit all the cities, towns, and large villages, in the north 
of Scotland, from Edinburgh to the Orkney Islands." Mr. Camp 
bell adds, " Being the employment which, at that time, I loved, I 
instantly complied, and commenced making preparation for the 

On this occasion they travelled on horseback, attended by Mr. 
James Haldane s faithful servant, Daniel Macarthur, a pious High 
lander, whose knowledge of Gaelic made him particularly service 
able in the Celtic districts. They left Edinburgh early in May, 
and Mr. J. Haldane preached on the first Lord s-day a striking 
sermon in the Tabernacle of Perth, from a text appropriate to the 
errand of mercy on which he was bound, Jeremiah iii. 12, 13 : 
"Gro and proclaim these words unto the north, and say, Eeturn, 
thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord ; and I will not cause my 
anger to fall upon you : for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I 
will not keep anger forever." One of his hearers, and that for 
the first time, was Mr. Lachlan Macintosh, who was soon after 
wards admitted into the seminary at Edinburgh, and has been 
long respected as the travelling agent of the Baptist Home Mis 
sionary Society. Mr. Macintosh relates how it happened that, 
after the sermon, whilst a group of ministers and others were 
gathered round the preacher, he was introduced to Mr. J. Hal 
dane, who kindly spoke to him, and engaged him to announce 
the sermons as far north as Mr. M. had to go and twenty miles 


further, beginning at Bankfoot, Dunkeld, up to Logie Eate, where 
they turned aside to Breadalbane. 

" Though, at this distance of time," says Mr. Macintosh, "I cannot remember 
the sermons, I well remember their effects, both on myself and others. First 
our views were brightened and our hearts encouraged in the ways of the Lord. 
The sermons I had been used to hear were a complete jumble of grace and 
works, our endeavors and the sufferings of the Son of God. Often nothing 
about Christ at all, but that God was merciful, so that I could not tell on what 
I was to trust for salvation. But in the sermons I heard from Mr. Haldane the 
distinction was made in the clearest and most solemn manner. The sinner was 
shown to be a guilty, helpless rebel, and all his righteousness as filthy rags. 
Then Christ was proclaimed as a glorious and all-sufficient Saviour, his righteous 
ness free to all who believed, whilst all who believe would be constrained by 
love to obedience, end in order to save themselves, but because they were saved 
by his blood. The text which he quoted to me, on parting, I never can forget: 
Cleave to the Lord with purpose of heart. It was a text which might have 
been the motto of both the brothers from the day when they knew the grace 
of God in truth." 

On the occasion of the sermon at Perth there was one little 
incident annoying at the moment, but in after-years only remem 
bered as amusing. Mrs. James Haldane, in her affectionate anx 
iety for her husband, had strictly charged his servant to watch 
over the comforts of his master, and, amongst other things, to be 
careful to make him take a glass of port wine immediately after 
preaching, to strengthen his throat. At the close of the sermon 
the faithful attendant, true to his orders, but interpreting them 
somewhat too literally, instantly walked from the vestry up the 
pulpit-stairs, carrying with him a glass of port, and very unsea 
sonably interrupted his master, who had just sat down after con 
cluding a very solemn appeal, by saying, "Here s the wine, Sir." 
The short reply was, "Go away, Daniel." Some years afterwards, 
when Daniel had left his master s service, he became a messenger 
in the house of the Edinburgh Commercial Banking Company, 
by whom his punctual attendance to orders and strict Christian 
fidelity were for many years greatly valued. 

On arriving in Breadalbane they were enabled to report, that 
"there had been no exaggeration ; and that there really was a 
cloud of witnesses to the power of Divine truth, who were living 
by the faith of God, waiting for his second and glorious appear 
ing." A pestilential fever was raging in the country, and pre 
vented many from hearing the preachers, but it did not prevent 
either of the itinerants from visiting the sick and dying. 


The venerable Mr. William Tulloch, pastor of the Highland 
Church, at the Bridge of Tilt, in Athol, thus writes : 

" Nearly fifty years ago Mr. James Haldane made his first tour through the 
Highlands. He arrived in Breadalbane, where my wife s family resided. Her 
mother, who was a good woman, was at that time dangerously ill of fever, 
which was very prevalent in that part of the country. When Mr. Haldane ar 
rived, he was made aware of this pestilence, and referred to it in preaching. 
When the sermon was ended, he entered the house and prayed at the bed-side 
of Mrs. Sinclair, who was so ill that not one of her neighbors would enter the 
door of her house for fear of infection. Before Mr. Haldane left that quarter 
he urged upon those that feared God to meet for prayer, that the Lord might 
remove the pestilence, and it was observed by all, that in a very short time the 
fever greatly abated, for many had died of it ; and not long afterwards it dis 
appeared altogether, And that visit was much blessed to many, both in soul 
and body. 

" Mr. Sinclair was very much opposed to anything that had the appearance 
of dissent from the Established Church, but he was overcome by the kindness 
of Mr. Haldane, remarking, when he left, If that had not been a man of God, 
he would not have come into my house when there was so much danger. 
From that time Mr. Sinclair showed the greatest kindness to Mr. Haldane ; and, 
after his death, his son, Donald Sinclair, opened his house to him and the other 
preachers, when they were in that part of the country. Upon Mr. H. s second 
visit to Breadalbane (in 1805), many thousands heard from his lips the Gospel 
of peace, and many came from a great distance to hear. 

" When he arrived in Blair Athol, he put up at the inn at Old Blair, and re 
quested the landlord to allow him the use of the inn-hall, that he might preach 
the Gospel to the people. This was most pointedly refused. But Mr. Hal 
dane was not to be discouraged. He went over all the village, but could not 
find a place. At last a man named Donaldson, a wright (carpenter) to the old 
Duke of Athol, offered him the use of his house and barn, where Mr. Haldane 
preached to multitudes, who came from all parts of the glens round about 
Blair. It is worthy of remark, that when the Duke turned out all the people 
from Old Blair, Donaldson was allowed to remain, which he did till his death, 
which took place only two years ago, at the advanced age of 102 years. When 
this circumstance was stated to Mr. J. Haldane, by one of our Highland friends, 
he was very much interested, and said that he remembered the circumstance, 
and expressed a great desire to know all about Donaldson s death." 

Mr. Tulloch s letter closes by stating, that " the name of Hal 
dane will long be remembered with veneration throughout the 

After being separated for some time, preaching and visiting in 
several districts, the itinerants met at Dalwhinnie, where, in the 
month of June, " the snow was deep on the hills, and falling 
thick ; we had a great fire of peats, but : t was so cold that great 
coats were put on. Yet, next day, at Baldeu, we preached to 


about four hundred people, at the side of a birch- wood, which 
kept off the cold wind. Mr. Haldane preached in the wood of 
Aviemore." They passed through Badenoch, Inverness, Ding- 
well, and Cromartj, preaching as they went. The north side of 
the frith was once called the Holy Land, " because of its faithful 
ministers." They could not then hear of " one who preached the 
Gospel. Such was the length of the days, that, from a very small 
New Testament, Mr. J. H. could read on the mountain at eleven 
o clock at night. 

Onwards they proceeded, preaching as they went, till they 
arrived at John o Groat s house, where they saw only the founda 
tions of the old castle, and thence crossed in the mail-boat, by 
South Konaldshay, to Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkneys, where 
large and listening congregations, in front of the Bishop s Palace, 
welcomed the return of itinerant preaching. One morning Mr. 
Campbell was surprised to find only a congregation of women at 
the place where he preached. But on returning to the town, the 
mystery was solved, by meeting Captain Gourlay, K. N., who. 
had come ashore, but not, as was supposed, with the intention of 
pressing the men. The Captain breakfasted with them. He was 
himself, for many years, a member of the Tabernacle Church, 
whilst flag-captain to the Admiral on the Leith station. " On a 
lovely morning," says Mr. Campbell, " Mr. Haldane and I left 
Kirkwall in two boats, he to visit the western half, and I the east 
ern, of the group of islands." It would be easy to fill pages with 
a recital of hardships and privations experienced in these islands, 
of which Mr. J. Haldane however seldom spoke, and never, ex 
cept as a subject of amusement. At one place, before they sepa 
rated, they were in the street of a small town, at ten o clock at 
night, seeking in vain a place of refuge for the night. At last 
they were directed to a farm-house, where they asked for shelter, 
and were cordially received. Next day, as Mr. Campbell tells, 
that, after preaching, they went into a house, hoping to be offered 
refreshment, yet afraid to offend by tendering payment, but got 
nothing but a cup of milk and water. " They then walked about, 
intimating another sermon, until they were tired." At length 
they called at the house of a slater, who hospitably provided them 
with bread, milk, and cheese. Damp sheets, hard beds, or none 
at all, and a scanty supply of food, were amongst the luxuries of 
these remote itinerancies. But they had both learned " to en 
dure hardness, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ," to sympathize 


with, the far greater privations of the first missionaries of the 
Gospel, and to regard these discomforts only as trifles incidental 
to their campaigns in the service of the King of kings. 

Mr. Campbell was to have preached at an island between 
Kirkwall and Stronsay, but a heavy gale of wind arose, which 
prevented his arrival. However, he reached Kirkwall the day 
after, when he found, says his biographer, that Mr. James Hal- 
dane, who, like "an old sailor, had seen, from the state of the 
weather, that it would be impossible to reach it," had, with char 
acteristic energy, not only discharged his own duties, but pro 
cured a boat from Kirkwall, and having the gale blowing in his 
favor reached the island, and preached himself to the people. 
From Kirkwall they proceeded to Hoy, and then crossed the 
Pentland Frith, of whose tumultuous waves, rushing tides, gurg 
ling whirlpools, and perpendicular rocks, Mr. Campbell gives a 
graphic description. 

After leaving Thurso, they preached on their way to Edin 
burgh at all the principal towns in their route. 

Shortly after their return in September, of the same year, Mr. 
James Haldane undertook a short tour with Mr. Campbell to the 
south of Scotland and north of England. On this occasion Mrs. 
James Haldane accompanied her husband, and with them Mr. 
Campbell posted to Berwick, where he remained to preach on the 
Lord s-day, and Mr. and Mrs. J. Haldane next day proceeded to 
Alnwick, where they were hospitably entertained by Mr. and 
Mrs. Eate. On the following Wednesday, having been joined by 
Mr. Campbell, they journeyed to Carlisle, by Flamlingham and 
Chaullingford to Glenwhilt, where Mr. J. Haldane, as usual, gave 
an address, at the inn, to all who chose to attend at prayers. 
Passing through Gilsland, they arrived at Carlisle on the follow 
ing day, when Mr. Campbell proceeded by the mail to Longtown, 
where, however, he was refused the chapel to preach in, " though 
Mr. J. Haldane s preaching, and mine, had been the means of its 
being built." It was now attached to the Establishment. Mr. 
and Mrs. J. Haldane arrived at Longtown on the following day, 
and proceeded by Annan to Dumfries, where a Tabernacle had 
been built, of which Mr. Haldane became the sole proprietor, al 
though it was originally built at the joint expense of the two 
brothers. After a sermon, which Mr. J. Haldane preached at 
Garlieston, the Earl of Galloway, who invited them to his house, 


announced his willingness to grant a site for a chapel in the vil 
lage, as the church was three miles distant. 

At Wigton the Provost supped with them at the inn. He had 
been previously in the habit of giving to Mr. James Haldane the 
use of the Town Hall. But, on the first occasion, when he asked 
permission to announce sermon by the bellman, the Provost re 
plied, " No, no, Sir ; you cannot preach here." Mr. J. Haldane 
answered, "I do not ask liberty to preach, but to ring." "Then 
you will preach." "Yes, certainly." "Very well, you may send 
out the bellman." At Sanquhar, one of the places on their route, 
the Anti-burgher minister had inflicted Church discipline upon 
some of his people five years before, for hearing Mr. James Hal 
dane. "But to-day," says Mr. Campbell, "some Anti-burghers 
broke through to hear me, and one of them told the minister yes 
terday that they would hear us." 

They returned through Ayrshire, preaching as they went. On 
Saturday, the 24th of September, they arrived at Greenock, and 
on the following Lord s-day Mr. J. H. preached in the morning 
at Auldkirk, and in the evening at the Burgher meeting-house 
of Greenock. "The crowd," says Mr. C., "was great." On the 
27th, Mr. Campbell having gone to Bishoptown, Mr. J. Haldane 
went to Paisley. There " he preached to a full house." On the 
following evening he preached at the Tabernacle, at Glasgow, to 
a large audience, although a week-day. On the 30th, they all 
breakfasted at Mr. Ewing s, and, having left at eleven o clock, 
arrived in Edinburgh at half-past five in the afternoon. Mr. 
Campbell seems thus to announce the time, as indicating the ra 
pidity of posting, as compared with the heavy coaches, to which he 
was accustomed in 1808. The same journey can now be per 
formed within an hour by steam. Mr. Campbell used to mention 
it as a remarkable fact, that Mr. J. Haldane had told him, that 
the invention of coppering ships had brought India several months 
nearer to England. The discovery of steam has brought India 
within little more than a month from our shores. But great as is 
the power of steam, it is already, in one respect, eclipsed by the 
lightning speed of electricity. Mr. Campbell thus concludes his 
journal of this little tour : " During this tour we travelled about 
four hundred miles, had fine weather the whole way, excepting 
two days, preached in many dark corners, conversed with many 
disciples, I hope to their comfort and stirring up, and not one 
accident happened. Praise the Lord, O my soul." 


Mr. Campbell did not long remain in Edinburgh, although this 
was not his last tour with Mr. James Haldane. He was within a 
few weeks afterwards invited to occupy a chapel at Kingsland, 
near London, where he remained till his death, in 1840. He 
stipulated that his settlement in Kingsland should not interfere 
with his itinerating labors, and two years later he made another 
tour with his old friend, whose popularity, as a preacher, con 
tinued unabated. The marvel had, indeed, in a great measure 
passed away ; yet his unwearied labors, his solid attainments, and 
added experience, gave him a weight of character, which was 
daily increasing. It is in speaking of him at this period, that one 
who, to say the least, is by no means too partial, makes the fol 
lowing remarks :* 

"At this time Mr. Haldane was a highly-gifted and deservedly popular 
preacher, in the best sense of popularity. Mr. Campbell often says of his ser 
mons, they were solemn and striking, and the people all attention. It will 
both illustrate and verify this, to say, that the late Mr. Cowie, of Huntley, him 
self the Whitfield of the north, in the estimation of Rowland Hill, says, in 
manuscripts in my possession, that he was often both humbled and inspired 
by Mr. Haldane s unction from the Holy One. This fact, I recollect well, al 
though I was too young to understand the sermons it refers to. Besides, he 
could not have been popular in Mr. Cowie s circle, had he not been a powerful 

The Eev. Andrew Fuller made a second visit to Scotland in 
1802, and his letters contain an account of his progress, during 
which he was accompanied by the now venerable and distin 
guished Dr. Wardlaw, then described as " a young man, of prom 
ising character," brought up for the Burgher Secession, which he 
had " left for the Tabernacle connection." In the same letter we 
find the following extract, given by Mr. Fuller s biographer, under 
the date of Stirling, September, 1802 : 

"On Friday, the 17th, I rose early, and went to see the town and castle be 
fore breakfast. This (Stirling) is a most romantic situation, the finest spot I 
have seen in Scotland. Here the Scottish kings used occasionally to reside. 
I suppose it was their sumn er-house. Near this is the late seat of Robert 
Haldane, Esq., a seat, which a Scottish nobleman has pronounced to be a 
perfect heaven upon earth ; but which he sold, and has ever since lived in a 
recluse style of life, laying out thousands every year for the propagation of the 
Gospel, in Scotland and Ireland. Oh ! (say the gentry), he must have some 
deep scheme in his head. Some of the clergy cannot endure him ; but he has 
great interest with the common people. He is a great economist, in order to 

* Philip s Life and Times of John Campbell, p. 356. 


be generous. He has saved 30,0007., I am told, by the advance of the funds 
since he bought in." 

The statement with reference to Mr. Haldane s gains in the 
funds was an idle piece of gossip, which a wise man might possibly 
have written in the confidence of friendship, but which a judi 
cious biographer should hardly have published without inquiry, 
especially in the lifetime of a gentleman, the privacy of whose 
personal affairs was thus unceremoniously invaded. There was 
not even a foundation for the report, and in point of fact, al 
though Mr. Fuller was not aware of it, the rumor was one of the 
many forms of calumny, by which an envious spirit of detraction 
vainly tried to impeach motives which it could not fathom, and 
disparage a liberality which it could not reach. Mr. Campbell 
tells of a Highland Laird, who exhorted the people not to hear 
the missionaries, adding, " Haldane is making ten per cent, of his 
Tabernacles. " The answer of the poor Highlander was admirable. 
He did not contradict his chief, but said, " Weel, Sir, if he were, 
he is doing gude to the people." Probably neither the Laird nor 
his clansman were aware, that the surplus arising from the Taber 
nacles never returned to the proprietor, but was all appropriated 
to the preaching of the Gospel. 

The first outcry against Mr. Haldane was raised on the ground 
of politics. But no sooner was this silenced, than another equally 
futile, but infinitely more absurd, was pressed into the service of 
the opponents of Home Missions. Here was a gentleman of ac 
knowledged talents, the very reverse of an enthusiast, and in all 
worldly matters distinguished for his calm judgment, and shrewd, 
calculating turn of mind, who had sold a fine estate, and was 
educating missionaries at a vast expense, besides building or pur 
chasing large places of worship in most of the principal towns of 
Scotland. Everywhere, from Thurso and Wick in the north, to 
Dumfries in the south, these chapels were crowded, and as there 
were collections made at the door, partly for the poor and partly 
for the spread of the Gospel, and as rents were paid for some of 
the pews, the rumor went abroad, that in these schemes the origi 
nator was, after all, by no means neglecting his worldly interests. 
Seven years later, the gossip of 1802, for a brief period, obtained 
renewed currency, in consequence of expressions hastily used by 
Mr. Ewing, writing unadvisedly with his pen. In the heat of con 
troversy that gentleman so far forgot himself, as to speak in the 
tone of one, who really believed that Mr. Haldane was " adding 


thousand to thousand in the funds." Nay, he then actually went 
so far as to publish, that a deacon of his own Church, who was 
afterwards separated from it, but who at one time attracted some 
notice, by his speculations and what he termed the " Harleian 
Diary," had made "much greater exertions, proportionally, than 
ever had been made" by the projector of the Indian Missions, the 
founder of the Tabernacles, the supporter of the Seminaries, and 
the main prop of the Home missionaries. The actors in these 
busy scenes are now all removed from the haunts of living men, 
and the clamor of prejudice or of passion is silenced in death. 
Such statements as those referred to are now known to be ridicu 
lous, and the bitterest opponent of Mr. Haldane s measures would 
no longer venture to impeach the sincerity of his loyalty, the ex 
tent of his sacrifices, or the purity of his motives. Such state 
ments would, in fact, be unworthy of notice, were it not that 
future ecclesiastical historians might be disposed to mistake si 
lence for admission. At the time of Mr. Fuller s journey to 
Scotland, in 1802, the portion of Airthrey which he retained un 
sold, exclusive of his lands in Forfarshire, exceeded in value the 
whole of his stock in the public funds. Mr. Haldane s liberality 
was. however, always under the control of a wise economy, and 
but for this and his calculating foresight, it would have been im 
possible to effect what he did with the same means. But it is no 
matter of surprise that this very prudence sometimes proved dis 
tasteful to those, who were not themselves accustomed to the 
management of property. Mr. L. Macintosh, who has been al 
ready mentioned, was on one occasion alluding to the fact, that 
Mr. Haldane s generosity was often regarded rather as a proof of 
his wealth than of his liberality, and he added, that there were 
those to whom Mr. Haldane had shown great kindness, who, in 
stead of feeling gratitude, seemed to look upon his fortune " as a 
wreck cast upon the shore, to which all ought to be allowed to 
help themselves." The same excellent minister was, on another 
occasion, much grieved to hear one, whom Mr. Haldane had 
raised from the station of a mechanic, censuring his patron s 
economy. " You seem," said the new-made preacher, in a flip 
pant tone, " to wince when anything is said against Mr. Haldane." 
" Yes," replied Mr. Macintosh, " I always feel ashamed to hear 
him found fault with by those whom he made gentlemen, and 
who, but for his purse, would still have been cobbling shoes." 
In the year 1802 the studies of Mr. E wing s second class ended, 


when the Glasgow seminary was closed, and another was imme 
diately opened in Edinburgh on a larger scale, more under the 
control of Mr. Haldane and his brother. In theology the students 
had the advantage of the personal instructions of Mr. Aikman, 
aided by the practical good sense and Christian experience of Mr 
John Campbell. To them was added, as Classical Tutor, Mr 
Thomas Wemyss, "a gentleman," says Dr. Lindsay Alexander, 
"who has secured to himself a very respectable place amongst 
biblical scholars by his work on the Symbolical Language of 
Scripture, and his translation of the Book of Job." Towards the 
end of their course Mr. Campbell retired, but his place was sup 
plied by Mr. William Stephens, whose very striking history is 
detailed in the " Missionary Magazine." He was a man of good 
parts and fine elocution, who had been at one time on the stage, 
but was brought to the knowledge of the truth, and became a 
powerful and useful preacher. He was at first a minister at Aber 
deen, and then came to assist in the Tabernacle at Edinburgh, 
where he remained until he adopted Baptist sentiments. He then 
proceeded to England, and settled at Eochdale, where he preached 
for many years until his death. In 1803, the Rev. Mr. Cowie, of 
Montrose, originally a licentiate of the Church of Scotland, took 
Mr. Aikman s place, and also assisted at the Tabernacle. He was 
a man of deep piety and very amiable and agreeable manners, pos 
sessed of considerable talent, although his usefulness was some 
what impaired by unequal spirits and a tendency to depression. 
The following is the account given of these Seminaries by one 
who was indebted to them for his education, and became not only 
an occasional preacher but the able instructor of the Edinburgh 
Deaf and Dumb Institution. It is extracted from the lamented 
Mr. Robert Kinniburgh s " Historical Survey of Congregational 
ism in Scotland," which contains the only accurate narrative that 
has yet appeared of the early proceedings of the originators of 
the Circus and Tabernacle system: 

" I. The first class began in January, 1799, under the tuition of Mr. Ewing. 
In December, 1800, this class completed their term of study, and were sent to 
different stations as preachers. In it were John Munro, George Robertson, &c. 

"II. The second class commenced in January, 1800, at Dundee, under Mr. 
Innes. In this class were a few who had been catechists, and who were found 
to possess talents capable of being trained for the ministry. In the early part 
of 1801, all of this class were removed to Glasgow, and were under Mr. Ewing 
for fifteen months. In it were .Dr. Paterson, Alexander Thomson, &c. 

"III. In 1801, the third class began at Dundee, under Mr. Innes, but its stu- 


dents met with a very serious interruption, being sent for a time to supply sta 
tions with preaching at the end of the first year. They, however, came to 
Edinburgh in 1804, and finished their term of study. In this class were Francis 
Dick, Alexander Kerr, &c. 

"IV. The fourth class began in Edinburgh, in 1802, under Messrs. Aikman 
and Wemyss, with the addition of Mr. Stephens, towards the close of the sec 
ond year. In it were William Newry, Peter M Laren, &c. 

"V. In 1803, a fifth class was organized under Messrs. Aikman, Wemyss, 
and Stephens, Mr. Cowie taking Mr. Aik man s place during the second year. 
In it were Dr. Russell (Dundee), John Watson (Musselburgh), &c. 

"VI. The sixth class began in 1804, under Messrs. Wemyss, Stephens, and 
Cowie, for the first year, but were under Mr. Cowie alone during the second 
year. In this class were Alexander Knowles, John Black, &c. 

"VII. The seventh class assembled in 1805. In it were William Orme, John 
Neave, &c. This and the next class were under Messrs. Cowie and Walker. 

"VIII. The eighth class met in September, 1806. In it were Thomas Smith 
(Rotherham), Robert Aikenhead, &c. Mr. Cowie resigned the tutorship in the 
spring of 1808. 

"IX. A ninth class was formed in the end of 1807, and was under the care 
of Mr. William Walker till December, 1808, when the Seminary was given up, 
after having sent out nearly 300 preachers. 

" The course of study of these classes generally extended over two years, 
with a vacation of six weeks in each year, and embraced English grammar and 
rhetoric, the elements of Greek and Hebrew, the last three classes had Latin 
in addition, lectures on systematic theology, and essays upon prescribed sub 
jects. Each student in rotation delivered sermons before the class, the tutor 
making his remarks. One day in each week all were required to speak in rota 
tion from a passage of Scripture appointed for that purpose, the tutor making 
concluding observations. The students were supported, had medical attendance 
when needed, their education and class-books were given them, and they had 
access to a large and well-selected library, all at the expense of Mr. Robert 
Haldane. Although, in consequence of the urgent demand for laborers, the 
young men were sent out with more meagre attainments than would have been 
proper in other circumstances, yet among them there were very many who 
would have done honor to any of the religious bodies of the day. Dr. Struth- 
ers, speaking of these seminaries, says, Among the 300 sent forth from these 
classes, before they were altogether given up, there were some choice spirits 
who, having got a start in learning, pushed on their private studies with vigor, 
and obtained success. This is quite correct. There were choice spirits among 
them, some of whom subsequently made attainments in actual scholarship equal 
to and beyond the attainments of many who boast of their University educa 
tion ; while others of them, although they did not aspire to be erudite scholars, 
yet, by diligent application, rose to eminence as preachers and writers. Speak 
ing generally, those sent out from the seminaries were men befitting the times 
in which they lived. They were raised up in mercy to a perishing world ; and 
if they did not succeed in drawing multitudes to their chapels, it must be 
ascribed, in a great measure, to the unbending principles which they ever main 
tained. Thus a succession of efficient preachers was secured, on a plan adapted 


to the necessities of the times, and which provided for the supply of their wants, 
without presenting any temptation to those to embark in the cause whose ava 
rice was greater than their zeal for doing good."* 

In addition to the nine classes enumerated above, as conducted 
at Mr. Haldane s expense during ten years, there was another 
taught by the Eev. Mr. Hamilton, at Armagh, and at least two 
others in Scotland, of which Mr. Kinniburgh does not seem to 
have been aware. The one was at Elgin, under Mr. Ballantyne, 
and the other was at Granton, under Mr. L. Macintosh, in 1820 
and several subsequent years. There was another on a smaller 
scale, instituted at Paris, under the care of the amiable and excel 
lent ministers, MM. Francois, and Henri Olivier, of Lausanne, 
during the time when, in 1824, they were for three years banished 
from the Canton de Vaud. Both Mr. Haldane and his brother 
also contributed to the maintenance of theological students, at a 
later period, taught by Dr. Carson, in Ireland. The arrangements 
connected with the erection or management of the Tabernacles 
and Missionary Seminaries, in themselves involved a large amount 
of labor and responsibility. But Mr. Haldane had also on his 
hands the chief direction of the "Society for Propagating the 
Gospel at Home," besides the labor of corresponding with many 
parts of Scotland, England, and Ireland. 

Even at this early period, he was not indifferent to the claims 
of the continent of Europe. At one time he endeavored to pre 
vail on a pious and judicious merchant at Leith, William Alex 
ander, Esq. (the father of the Kev. Dr. Lindsay Alexander, the 
eloquent and distinguished ornament of the Congregational Union 
in Scotland), to proceed to Leghorn, which was a free port, with 
the view of trying what could be done in the way of introducing 
Bibles or tracts into Tuscany and other parts of Italy. A few 
years later, he also proposed to an able Irish clergyman, for whom 
he entertained a high regard, to settle at Hamburg, with a view 
to establish a missionary station for promoting the Gospel in Ger 
many. Both of these designs failed. But it was doubtless well 
that they were in his heart ; and when in after-years we find him 
at Geneva and at Montauban, instructing the students of these 
Protestant Colleges in the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, 

*Dr. Struthers, in his "History of the Eelief Church," observes: "He (Mr. R. 
Haldane) set up academies in Glasgow, Dundee, and Edinburgh, under Messrs. Ew- 
ing, Innes, and Haldane." This is a mistake, excepting so far as Mr. James Haldane 
assisted his brother in watching over and superintending the progress and education 
of the students. 


it will not be forgotten that at the outset of his career, and during 
the space of ten years, he had been accustomed to draw around 
him those young men whom he educated in Scotland, for the pur 
pose of enlarging their views as to the glory of the person of 
Christ, and the great doctrines of the ever-blessed Gospel. From 
these details, it will be seen that his ardent and energetic mind 
was as much engaged in the missionary work as if he had accom 
plished his original plan, and as an evangelist had expatriated 
himself amongst the heathen at Patna or Benares. 


[1804, 1805.] 

EARLY in the spring of 1804, Mr. James Haldane preached a 
remarkable sermon on the death of Thomas Pitt, second Baron 
Camelford, who was mortally wounded in a duel by Captain Best, 
and died in great agony four days afterwards. This fatal catas 
trophe had produced an extraordinary public sensation, more 
especially following as it did on another duel, in which Colonel 
Montgomery, not many months before, fell by the hand of Captain 
Macnamara, in a wretched quarrel about their dogs. These events 
were calculated to arouse attention to the miserable fruits of the 
world s code of honor, in submission to which a young nobleman, 
at the age of twenty-nine, nephew to the great Earl of Chatham, 
and cousin to the Prime Minister, had forfeited his own life, ex 
tinguished a peerage, and sacrificed a great fortune, which chiefly 
fell to his sister, the wife of the celebrated Lord Grenville. Lord 
Camelford was not one of the common run of fashionable men, 
living upon town. He had fine natural talents. His illustrious 
uncle had bestowed much pains on his education, and addressed 
to him a series of letters with a view to his improvement, which 
have been since published. He had been passionately fond of 
science, and in many subjects connected with literature was no 
mean proficient. But in those unhappy days, when duelling was 
reckoned a mark of spirit, he had acquired in the navy and in the 
world of fashion the reputation of a first-rate shot. He had pro 
voked and been concerned in many duels, and on one occasion, 
where the death of a superior officer in the West Indies had left 
some doubt as to the seniority of the next in succession, he brought 
the matter to an issue by giving certain orders to his rival, a Lieu 
tenant Peterson, on disobedience of which he shot him dead on 
the sea-beach, although at the head of an armed boat s crew, ready 


to uphold their commander. For this rash act he was tried by a 
court-martial, but being found in the right as to his seniority, and 
consequent title to give the order, he was honorably acquitted. 

The notoriety thus acquired was not diminished by the fact, 
that he had returned Mr. Home Tooke to Parliament for his 
pocket borough, and threatened to substitute his own black ser 
vant in case of his nominee being declared by the House of Com 
mons disqualified as a clergyman. Lord Camelford and Mr. Best 
were both in the navy, and intimate friends ; but they had at the 
time a bet of 200/. depending, as to which was the better shot. 
The meeting took place through the instigation of an abandoned 
woman, then under the protection of Lord Camelford, who falsely 
accused her former protector, Mr. Best, of having spoken disre 
spectfully of his Lordship. This greatly incensed the irascible 
peer, who went up to Mr. Best at the Prince of Wales Hotel, in 
Conduit-street, where they usually dined, and after some alterca 
tion, pronounced him " a scoundrel, a liar, and a ruffian." Mr. 
Best observed that these were expressions which admitted but of 
one answer, and a meeting was arranged for the next morning. 
But in the course of the evening he conveyed to Lord Camelford 
the assurance, that the information on which his Lordship spoke 
was unfounded, and that a retractation of the words used under a 
wrong impression would be perfectly satisfactory. They again 
met in the morning at a coffee-house in Oxford-street, and once 
more Mr. Best pleaded for reconciliation, adding, "Do not persist 
in expressions under which one of us must fall." At this very 
moment Lord Camelford knew that he had been imposed on, and 
had written a declaration on his will that he was the " aggressor 
in the spirit as well as letter of the word." But false pride would 
not allow the haughty peer to listen to a remonstrance, which 
might impeach his courage, and he replied: "Best, this is child s 
play ; the affair must go on." On proceeding to the ground be 
hind Holland House, he reiterated to his second, the Hon. W. 
Devereux, the statement he had appended to his will, but said 
that he was fearful that his reputation would suffer, if he made 
any concession to one whom he rather thought was the best shot 
in England. They were placed at fifteen paces from each other, 
fired together, and Lord Camelford fell, to all appearance dead. 
In an instant he recovered the shock, so far as to exclaim, " I am 
killed, but I acquit Best ; I alone am to blame." Captain Best 
and his second instantly rode off; and Lord Camelford s friend r 



on pretence of going for a surgeon, did the same as soon as a 
countryman came up, who found his Lordship lying on his back, 
in the lower part of a field overflowed with water. His Lordship 
was unwilling to be moved, but was at last placed in a chair and 
conveyed to Little Holland House, where he lingered in great 
pain till the following Saturday, and then died. The ball had 
penetrated his right breast passing through the lungs, and lodging 
in the backbone. He sent for his solicitor, and made a codicil 
to his will, in which he stated, that although most people desire 
that their remains might be conveyed to their native land to be 
interred, "I wish my body to be removed, as soon as maybe 
convenient, to a country far distant, to a spot not near the haunts 
of men, but where the surrounding scenery may smile upon my 
remains." The place he chose was on the borders of the Lake of 
St. Lemprierre, in the Canton of Berne, where three trees stood 
on a particular spot. The centre tree he desired to be taken up, 
and his body being there deposited, to be replanted. He added, 
"Let no monument or stone be placed on my grave." At the 
foot of this tree, his Lordship said he had passed many hours, 
meditating on the mutability of human affairs. He left 1000Z. as 
compensation to the proprietors. 

In the spirit evinced by Lord Camelford may be traced some 
thing resembling that unhappy, morbid tone of mind that charac 
terized Lord Byron. But it was not merely the circumstances of 
this remarkable duel, nor yet the conduct of this unhappy noble 
man, that determined Mr. James Haldane to call attention to it 
from the pulpit. "What seemed far more to demand special notice 
and animadversion, was the style in which the event was pub 
lished, and the character of the deceased drawn by his Lordship s 
intimate friend, a reverend gentlemen, then a Fellow of St. John s 
College, Cambridge. That clergyman painted Lord Camelford 
as " a curious mixture of much that was virtuous and much that 
was vicious, all in extremes." He described him as irascible in 
temper, "which brought him into many broils," but "warm in 
his affections, and almost unexampled in his benevolence." He 
did not " distribute less than 4:0001 a year in the purchase of com 
missions for gallant young men, and in the relief of decayed sea 
men and soldiers." He was " a stern adversary, but the mildest 
and most generous of friends," often the dupe of the designing 
and crafty supplicant, but oftener " the soother of real sorrow and 
unmerited woe." He had read skeptical books for the purpose of 


puzzling the chaplains on board the ships in which he served," 
and thus his mind had become tainted with infidelity ; but yet he 
" was not without a proper sense of religion, at the awful moment 
when the levities of imagination give way to the solemn convic 
tions of the mind." There was thus a balance struck between 
vice and virtue, infidelity and faith, which was followed up by an 
assurance, that " in the worst moments of his pain, he cried out 
that he sincerely hoped the agonies he then endured might expiate 
the sins he had committed." Mr. Cockburn also informed the 
public that he had enjoyed many conversations with his Lordship, 
who little more than a week before his death had said, " No sen 
sible and well-informed man can presume to say that Christianity 
is false. I do not yet venture to assert that it is true, but I con 
fess the probabilities are in its favor." It was thus that Mr. 
Cockburn, whilst unable to palliate the vices of Lord Camelford, 
down to the moment when he plunged into eternity, still endeav 
ored to paint what he termed "his counter-balancing virtues/ 
and seemed to give countenance to the hope of the dying peer, 
that the agonies of his death-bed might be an expiation for his sins. 

No one who knew Mr. James Haldane can wonder that his 
spirit was stirred within him, when he saw such statements circu 
lated and read with avidity, whilst the public mind was fixed with 
intense interest on the romantic character of Lord Camelford, as 
drawn by his reverend apologist. He thought that the opportu 
nity was one for being useful to those who at other times might 
not be disposed to listen to the Gospel. He knew the censure to 
which it might expose him, but he publicly announced that, with 
out the possibility of injuring the dead, and in the hope of doing 
good to the living, it was his intention to preach, on the next 
Lord s-day, on the death of Lord Camelford. Of the multitude 
that thronged to hear that sermon there are now comparatively 
few survivors. Some have lately departed, and amongst these 
the venerable Christopher Anderson. In reference to this sermon, 
he wrote, not long before his own death : " It was understood 
that Mr. James Haldane meant to examine and expose this mel 
ancholy affair. Familiar as he had been for years with sea life, 
and once himself under tyranny of these miserable laws of honor, 
there was no man better qualified. The fear of God was now his 
governing principle, yet it required no common fortitude to meet 
such a case before such an audience." 

The spacious building in which he preached, then capable of 


seating more than 3,000 persons, was crowded to the doors. It 
was at the time of the threatened invasion, when the whole nation 
resounded with the clang of arms, and the most peaceful civilians 
were often arrayed in military costume. When he entered the 
pulpit, there rose before him, not only the usual congregation, 
but officers in full uniform from Piershill barracks and the Castle, 
cavalry, infantrj^, artillery, and volunteers, officers on Lord 
Moira s staff, magistrates, men of letters and philosophers, men 
of business and retired gentlemen, all assembled to hear what was 
to be said in reprobation of duelling, and of the account circula 
ting in print, from the pen of the Eev. Fellow of St. John s, Cam 
bridge, who attended the death-bed of Lord Camelford. 

It was a grej.t occasion, and Mr. James Haldane s MS. notes 
give a rough outline of the manner in which he treated the sub 
ject. He took for his text no passage of Scripture, but holding 
in his hand the " Edinburgh Advertiser," which was found 
amongst his papers at his death, he began by stating, that in de 
viating from the usual practice of discoursing on a portion of 
Scripture, it was not his intention to lead his hearers away from 
the Word of God, but rather to call their attention to a subject 
which strikingly illustrated its truth. " Thus," he said, " we find 
the Lord taking for the subject of his discourse the fall of the 
tower of Siloam, and the apostles speaking to the people from the 
events that occurred. Lord Camelford," he continued, "was 
mortally wounded in a duel, and after languishing some days, 
expired. He was attended by a clergyman, who gives the follow 
ing account." He then read the whole of the extract, with mark 
ed emphasis, adding, "Let us, by the help of God, attend to some 
considerations which this melancholy statement naturally suggests." 
The following MS. notes can furnish but a faint idea of the topics 
handled, and none at all of his impressive manner : 

" 1. The manner of his death. 

" What a striking proof is there in the practice of duelling 1 that duellists have 
not the fear of God ! Can anything more plainly show that they prefer the 
praise of men to the praise of God, and that in the most deliberate manner? 
It does not arise from a sudden gust of passion, but the great bulk of men in a 
certain rank of life live in the habitual determination in this way to set God at 
defiance. They even plead that it is necessary, or they would forfeit their 
honor. Now, every man holding such sentiments is habitually guilty of de 
liberate rebellion against God, and, according to the Lord s exposition of the 
law, is a murderer. Matt. v. 28. It has been observed, that perhaps there is 
no other sin which men habitually resolve to practise, whenever a temptation 


shall occur. In consequence of the great increase of the army, this is likely to 
become more frequent. Every one in the rank of an officer, or even of a private 
in some corps, considers himself as a man of honor, that is, a man who is bound 
by his character to trample on the laws of God; to set Him at defiance, and to 
risk rushing into His presence a murderer or a suicide. Psalm x. 13." 

The second topic discussed was " Lord Camelford s character, 
as drawn by his clerical friend, and the notes proceed : 

"His character. Great vices counterbalanced by great virtues, especially 
benevolence. Here notice the false views of benevolence. There is a kind of 
instinct which leads us to pity distress. Without this, society would be a Pan 
demonium, and could not exist. But this is very different from true benevo 
lence ; for men pity others when in great distress, who would have been grieved 
to see them in great prosperity. True benevolence is a universal principle, and 
necessarily connected with love to God, the greatest and best of beings. False 
benevolence is confined to ourselves, and perhaps a few connected with us. 
True benevolence is a steady principle, discovering itself in various ways, ac 
cording as there is opportunity to do good to others. False benevolence is 
partial, leading us, according to our caprice, to do some acts of seeming kind 
ness, while we can at pleasure deliberately gratify our passions at the expense 
of the happiness of others and the good of society. Here we see a man con 
fessedly guilty of very great improprieties, who lived in habitual contempt of 
God. yet munificent in his charities, &c. 

" 3. The awful levity and contempt with which he treated revelation. The 
Almighty God, in compassion to man, condescends to send a revelation of 
mercy, and a creature to whom it is addressed shall actually read books to find 
arguments for the sake of proving it to be false. Thus the madman scatters 
arrows, firebrands, and death, and says, Am not I in sport ? Here is the mind 
capable of the most lively efforts of active benevolence, who would pour contempt 
on the Son of God, who would jest with his sufferings and death, and rob mankind, 
as far as his puny arm was able, of what sweetens life, and supports in death. 

" 4. But it seems, he was not, however, without a proper sense of religion 
at the awful moment, &c. There is a moment when reckless unbelief gives 
way to the solemn convictions of the mind. These, although stifled, are not 
effaced. All men hold the truth in unrighteousness; their own hearts condemn 
them, knowing the just judgment of God, that they who do such things are 
worthy of death. By indulging in sin they drown, but do not satisfy, their con 
science, which will, sooner or later, testify against them and stop every mouth. 

" 5. Here, in Lord Camelford s own words, we see the natural conviction in 
the. mind of man that sin deserves punishment. He knew he needed some ex 
piation. In wealth, and in the midst of his pleasures, he might have smiled at 
the idea that God would be so strict as to call him to account, or he might con 
sider the money he lavished as a sufficient atonement for any improprieties of 
conduct ; for such is the deceitfulness of the human heart, that men, amidst the 
commission of the grossest sins, seek to establish their own righteousness. It 
is said, he gave away thousands yearly, yet conscience demanded another ex. 
piation, and he found that, even in his own judgment, all these acts of benevo 
lence were insufficient to entitle him to the favor of God. 


" 6. Notice the blindness of the human heart here discovered, he hoped that 
the pain produced by his own conduct, by perishing in a duel, although con 
vinced he was completely wrong, that the immediate consequence of this crime 
would * expiate 1 his guilt. Alas ! how do they mistake who imagine that a few 
Hours of pain will satisfy the infinite demands of Divine justice. 

" 7. This, however, could not give relief. It was but like a drowning man 
snatching at a straw. He was driven to appeal to the mercy of God, and to de 
sire it might be sought for him by prayer. Here we see how in distress the 
stoutest heart fails, and the convinced sinner, feeling his need of God, would 
appeal to his mercy. But, ah ! he had neglected the great salvation, over 
looked the only way of obtaining mercy ; and, in this dreadful situation, with 
an awakened conscience, it appears he had none to inform him how God is just, 
yet justifies the ungodly. Without the knowledge of Christ, all is uncertainty, 
groping in the dark. Without the knowledge of Christ, mercy can only be 
expected by overlooking the justice and truth of God. Men may vainly imagine 
that repeating prayers, or expressing sorrow for the past, will recommend them 
to the mercy of God ; but a deceived heart turns them aside, nor have they un 
derstanding to say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? 

" 8. How many methods do men employ to ruin themselves, sheltering them 
selves under the opinion of others ! Mr. Cockburn says : I have heard it as 
serted, by those who would fain shelter their own follies under the authority 
of others, that Lord Camelford, after the most serious reflection and inquiry, 
doubted a life hereafter. I wish, with all my soul, that the unthinking votaries 
of dissipation and infidelity could all have been present at the death-bed of this 
poor man ; could have heard his expressions of contrition for past misconduct, 
and of reliance on the mercy of his Creator ; could have heard his dying exhor 
tations to one of his intimate friends, to live in future a life of peace and virtue. 
I think it would have made impressions on their minds, as it did on mine, not 
easily to be effaced. It is evident he doubted, when in health, and could then 
ridicule religion : but now, all this was over. The skeptic and the scoffer stood 
appalled in the presence of the King of terrors. Infidelity may harden the mind 
in prosperity, but is a miserable comforter in the hour of trial. It vanishes 
when its aid is most needed. Now he acknowledges a God, laments his own 
misconduct, and places his reliance on mercy. But what is the foundation of 
that confidence ? Is it the death of Christ 1 Alas ! his name is not once men 
tioned. Was it founded on the pain he endured or the prayers he offered ? 
How awful if the conscience be thus lulled. It is like sleep produced by opium, 
which nowise diminishes the force of disease, and is only the forerunner of 
fresh pain and anguish. 

" 9. Notice the excellence of that conduct which flows from religion, living 
soberly, righteously, and godly. It receives testimonies from friends and ene 
mies. To it the dying servant of Jesus, finishing his career with joy, looks 
back with delight. (2 Tim. iv. 6.) To it the degraded courtier testifies, Had 
I but served my God as I have served my King, He would not have left me in 
my old age. To it this man, who had no longer opportunity of indulging in 
sin, and, consequently, being able to judge impartially, condemns his own con 
duct and recommends a life of peace and virtue. 

" Improvement. First, the cause of taking this subject. It is objected, that 


it is improper to notice the dead. Scripture does so. I have done so for the 
sake of the living. I have taken the account given of him by his friend. No 
wish to hurt his character, nor can what I or others say affect his eternal state. 

" 1. The madness of treating Christianity with contempt, without giving it a 
serious hearing. 

" 2. Folly of putting off thoughts of death to sick-bed, when racked with 
pain or stupefied with medicine. 

" 3. The amazing goodness of God in the gift of his Son, and the satisfac 
tion which the knowledge of this imparts to the mind. No conjecture, but the 
word and oath of God." 

In the following words the Eev. C. Anderson thus concludes his 
own personal recollections of the soul-stirring sermon preached 
on this striking occasion : " In his address Mr. Haldane took up 
the statement given in the public prints, paragraph by paragraph, 
exposing and reprobating it, as he went on, in a manner which 
such a man alone could do. The immense audience was still 
throughout, in awe before his earnest manner and thrilling lan 
guage ; and some then present, and yet alive, well remember that 
solemn scene even to this hour." 

In the summer of the same year Mr. James Haldane again 
visited Buxton, with his wife and eldest daughter. He availed 
himself of every opportunity of preaching, as on the former oc 
casion, as well as of speaking on the concerns of eternity to those 
whom he met at the hotel. But he also left Mrs. James Haldane 
at Buxton for a few weeks, whilst he made an excursion to Dub 
lin, where he frequently preached at the Bethesda Episcopal 
Chapel, of which the excellent Mr. Mathias and the learned Mr. 
Walker, of Trinity College, Dublin, were then ministers, occasion 
ally assisted by the Eev. Thomas Kelly, the well-known Christian 
Poet, the Eev. George Carr, and by the Eev. Dr. Thorpe, whose 
eminent talents as a popular preacher soon afterwards pointed 
him as the fittest associate of Mr. Mathias, when Mr. Walker re 
signed his fellowship and left the Established Church. At that 
time religion was at a low ebb in the Church of Ireland, and 
evangelical men were made the objects of ridicule and reproach.. 
The Bethesda Chapel was like a beacon-light in the midst of 
darkness, and although some of the good men who fed that holy 
flame felt compelled to dissent, yet others remained and lived to 
see the wilderness and the solitary place rejoice and blossom as 
the rose. But, at the time when Mr. James Haldane preached in 
the Bethesda, at Dublin, there was a little band who had a sepa 
rate meeting, such as Mr. Simeon had at Cambridge, to which 


none but those who appeared consistent believers were admitted, 
and where they prayed together and exhorted one another, re 
ceiving the Lord s Supper at an hour when it was not publicly 
administered. These facts are worth noticing, as throwing light 
on the steps by which the Haldanes were afterwards gradually 
led to adopt plans of mutual exhortation in their own connection. 

From Buxton Mr. James Haldane proceeded, with his wife and 
daughter, to London, preaching at Manchester, Sheffield, and 
many other places at which they stopped on their route. During 
their stay in London they paid several visits to friends in the 
neighborhood, but a great part of their time was spent at Hat- 
cham House, the residence of the late Mr. and Mrs. Hardcastle. 
At this period Mr. J. Haldane was much followed, and preached 
to great crowds in the Tottenham Court Chapel, Mr. Whitfield s 
Tabernacle, in the City-road, and in Camden Chapel, Camberwell, 
afterwards the scene of the Rev. Henry Melvill s great popularity. 

Mr. James Haldane had hoped to have reached London in 
time to have offered himself to accompany Lord Duncan on his 
journey to Scotland. An alarming paragraph in the newspaper, 
relative to the Admiral s health, had, however, been contradicted, 
and prevented his fulfilling his first intention of hastening to 
town. But scarcely had he arrived in London than he heard of 
his uncle s death, at the inn at Cornhill on the Tweed, which he 
reached on the 4th of August, 1804, attended only by a servant. 
He went to bed in his usual health, but soon afterwards rang his 
bell, and expired. In his will he showed his unabated confidence 
in his nephews, by including Mr. Haldane as one of the trustees 
and guardians of his children, with Lord Melville and the Lord 
Chief Baron Dundas. 

In the spring of 1805 Mr. J. A. Haldane made another ex 
tended tour, accompanied by Mr. John Campbell, who returned 
from Kingsland for that purpose. They proceeded by Perth and 
Dunkeld into Breadalbane, where they separated. The people 
on this occasion came out by thousands to listen to Mr. J. Hal 
dane. At Killin, in 1803, they could not hear of one earnest 
Christian. Now there were a goodly number of true disciples. 
Mr. Peter Grant, a pious preacher, who is also styled, amongst 
his countrymen, the Gaelic poet, gives the following account of 
Mr. J. H. s progress from Breadalbane through Strathspey : 

" The novelty of a field-preacher, especially a gentleman, attracted multi 
tudes. In a short time the whole country was in a stir. Many said, that we 


were all in a lost condition ; others endeavored, by arguments and ridicule, to 
banish all their fears ; but the Gospel kindled a flame at that time which I hope 
is not yet extinguished. May the Lord continue it for ages to come ! 

" I was young and had little concern about my own soul when Mr. Haldane 
visited this place. All that I remember is, having seen himself and John 
Campbell preach at Granton, on a market-day. They took their station a little 
out of the village, where a church has been since built. Almost the whole 
market gathered to hear. At first they thought to drown his voice by laughing 
and sporting, but, in a short time, his powerful and commanding voice over 
came all their uproar, and a solemnity prevailed till the end of his discourse ; 
some have since acknowledged to me, that they received their first impression 
there on that occasion. 

" But my wife, though as young as myself, was better acquainted with Mr. 
Haldane. The children not being accustomed to strangers, especially a gentle 
man, would hide themselves in holes, but my wife somehow saw something in 
his smiles that encouraged her to come near him ; and often did she show me 
how, with his hand, he stroked her head, and endeavored to impress upon her 
young mind the importance of attending to the concerns of her soul in the days 
of her youth. He sometimes endeavored, by signs, to make her understand 
what she could not otherwise understand, being very deficient in the English. 
She was not certain whether she was truly converted at this time, but the im 
pression then made never was effaced. 

* Another circumstance not to be forgotten is, that he induced my father-in- 
law to set up a Sabbath-school, especially to teach the people to read the Scrip 
tures in the Gaelic language, for hitherto the children were only taught to read 
English, of which they did not understand one word. Thus Mr. Haldane was 
the founder of the first Sabbath-school that ever was in our country, and, as 
far as I have heard, the first in all the north of Scotland. Now there are about 
ten in this country, five of them belonging to our own denomination. I think 
Mr. Haldane helped my father-in-law to get up a small meeting-house for the 
schools and other meetings. This house was set on fire on a Sabbath morning, 
by parties whom we will not mention. This made a great stir. When the 
proprietor (Sir James Grant, predecessor of the Earl of Seafield) heard of it, he 
was much displeased, and showed much favor to my father-in-law as long as he 
lived, for the family of Grant were always favorable to religion, virtue, and 

" I was told that Mr. Haldane, while here, met with a captain with whom he 
was acquainted on his sea voyages. This captain invited him to his house, but, 
in the invitation, made use of a great oath. Mr. Haldane faithfully admonished 
him, but went for a night to his house, and the captain never again manifested 
hostility to religion. 

" Ever after this Mr. Haldane felt a lively interest in the cause of God and 
truth in Strathspey. In every letter he sent salutations to the Church, and de 
sired an interest in our prayers. For many years he and his brother supported 
Mr. Macintosh, as our faithful and beloved pastor, when we could do nothing 
ourselves to support him ; and without him I fear our prosperity would soon 
have come to an end. He felt a great interest in our late revival, and gave us 
many wise counsels regarding the young people who newly professed the truth. 


We sought his advice in all trying circumstances, and we believe his wise coun 
sels, as a father in Israel, were at least one means of the measure of prosperity, 
unity, and love, that remained among us when many other Churches divided 
and separated till they made themselves a by-word and a proverb among the 

It would be tedious to pursue every step in their tour to In 
verness, Dornoch, Tain, Portmuch, to Wick and Thurso. But 
there are two letters written in the simplest style and in very 
short words, to his eldest child, a little girl of eight years old, 
which may perhaps exhibit some glimpses of his character. The 
first is dated June, 1805 : 

" MY DEAR ELIZABETH, I wrote to your mamma, from Dun- 
keld, and hope she received the letter. I left Dunkeld on 
Monday, and preached at Logic Kait, where the river Tummel 
joins the Tay. The Tay is the largest river in Scotland, and 
runs out of Loch Tay. I rode up the side of the river to Ken- 
muir, which is situated at the end of the Loch. Tay mouth, where 
Lord Breadalbane has a house, is within a mile of Kenmuir. It 
is a pretty place, and has a large park, with deer. After preach 
ing I walked to the house, but it was very late, and I saw little 
of it. The old house is now almost taken down, and a new one 
is building, in a castellated style, somewhat like that of the house 
at Airthrey. 

" I rode up the south side of the Loch to Killin, which is just 
at the other end of it. The Loch is sixteen miles long, and is 
very pretty, but it has no islands. Killin is a very beautiful sit 
uation, and might be made a finer place than Taymouth. On the 
north side of the Loch is Ben Lawers, one of the highest moun 
tains in Scotland. It is above four thousand feet above the level 
of the sea. But what pleased me more than the beauty of the 
place was, to see many believers in Christ, where there were 
hardly any a few years ago. The Gospel has greatly civilized 
them. They are full of affection to all who love the Lord Jesus. 
I preached three times, at different places, on Monday, for they 
are much scattered. The Psalmist says, God maketh the wrath 
of man to praise him. This is illustrated by what has happened 
here. A man who had a small farm was brought to a knowledge 
of the truth. He at the same time carried on a linen manufac 
tory, and the Highland Society for encouraging improvements, 
had given him the use of four looms. When he became acquaint 
ed with Christ, false reports were raised of him, as having become 


idle, and the Society ordered the looms to be taken from him. 
This was accordingly done, and by this means a large place was 
emptied, which has served the church to meet in, in winter, ever 
since. Is not the Lord excellent in counsel, and wonderful in 
working ? Had it not been for this, they would not have met in 
winter at all. 

" On Tuesday we breakfasted with this man, who lives near 
Kenmuir, and proceeded north to Dalnacardoch ; we were obliged 
to walk a good part of the way, on account of the hills, and 
dined at a place, where we could hardly get anything but eggs. 
Dalnacardoch is the next stage to Blair, on the Highland road. 
It is situated in Athol, and is very high, and cold, and disagree 
able. Next day we crossed the Grampion Hills, which run quite 
across Scotland. They take their rise at Aberdeen. The dis 
tance from Blair to Aviemore is fifty miles, but people on foot can 
go through the mountains (Glentilt), so as to save half the dis 
tance. The road runs through an opening in the mountains, or 
it would be impassable for carriages. It rained on us very much, 
but with the umbrella we were kept pretty dry. In the middle 
of the mountains we called at the house of a poor woman, whom 
God lately brought to a knowledge of the truth, by means of a 
preacher who called to get some refreshment, and spoke to her the 
word of the Lord. She was very glad to see us, was very con 
tented and happy ; but told us she was praying to the Lord to 
open some way for her to remove where she might be nearer the 
Gospel and the people of God. Some time after we passed her 
house, we found we were at the summit, by observing a small 
stream running north. We dined at Dalwhinnie, and afterwards 
crossed the Spey, a little below its source. It becomes a consid 
erable river, and is the most rapid in Scotland. We slept at Pit- 
main, and while supper was getting ready, walked to a small vil 
lage, where we knew there were some believers. The Duchess 
of Gordon lately sent for one of them, a blacksmith, and asked 
him many questions about religion. He told her what the Gos 
pel was, and referred to some passages in his Bible, which he took 
out of his pocket, which struck her much ; but I must conclude, 
for my paper is full. I trust you are all well. I hope to get a 
letter from your mamma, at Forres, to-day. Write to me as soon 
as you receive this, at Wick. We intend to be there next Lord s- 
day. Give my kind love to all, and to your grandmamma, if she 


is at Portobello, as I suppose. How are the boys doing? are they 
good scholars ? Farewell, my dear. 

" Yours affectionately, 


" Tell your mamma to desire Mr. Ritchie to send to Caithness 
some copies of the book." 

When they arrived at Wick, Mr. Campbell observes that, be 
fore Mr. J. Haldane s tour in 1797, only three families " wor 
shipped God," but now they heard the voice of melody in almost 
every dwelling. Such was the change effected in that destitute 
country. Both of his former tours were well remembered, and 
some of the people now came twenty miles to hear. His second 
letter to his daughter is as follows : 

"WiCK, June 22, 1805. 

" MY DEAR ELIZABETH, As I began to give you an account 
of our journey, I shall conclude it in this letter, instead of 
writing your mamma, as I intended. I left off at Pitmain. We 
preached there in the morning, and proceeded to Aviemore, 
where we left the Inverness road, and came on to Granton. On 
our way to Aviemore, we called at the house of one of the con 
verts, who had been in the Artillery, and lost both his hands, by 
the going off of a gun. He was* brought to a knowledge of the 
truth, by a sermon of Mr. Campbell s, the last time we were north. 
We did not find him at home, but just as we were setting off, 
after dinner, he came running to see us, and appears to be very 
happy in waiting for the coming of Jesus. He occasionally ex 
horts his fellow-sinners, and sometimes holds out his arms, and 
calls their attention to the goodness of God, in not allowing him 
to die when he was ignorant of Christ. 

" When we arrived at Granton, we found a number of people 
assembled at a fair, and the town also almost full of volunteers, at 
that time quartered there. We preached, although it was late. 
Granton is a village situated on the banks of the Spey. Near it 
Sir James Grant has a house (Castle Grant), and the whole is his 
property Next day we came to Forres, a very pretty place, about 
four miles from the sea. It is in Morayshire, which is one of the 
best corn countries in Scotland, and the harvest is, in general, as 
early as about Edinburgh. If your mamma would have the trav 
elling map brought down to Portobello, you might trace the 


journey we have taken, and this would help to teach you the 
geography of Scotland. I left Mr. C. at Forres, and went on the 
same evening (Saturday) to Elgin, where I spent the Lord s-day. 
On Monday I returned by Forres to Nairn. Several young 
people are under much concern about eternal things. May the 
Lord, my love, manifest His glory to you, as he does not to the 
world ! On Tuesday we preached at Fort George, which was 
erected after the Kebellion in 45, for the security of the High 
lands. We crossed the Murray frith, which is there very narrow, 
and, after crossing another ferry, got to Invergordon, a small vil 
lage, and from thence to Tain, the capital of Koss-shire. Owing 
to our being detained and missing our road, it was between twelve 
and one before we arrived. We found the town quite full, owing 
to a review of volunteers, and a company of players who were 
there. We could get no beds. At last, the landlady got some 
blankets spread for us on the floor, where we slept very comfort 
ably. Next day we attempted to cross the Frith of Dornoch, at 
what is called the Muckle Ferry, but as there was too much wind, 
we were obliged to return to Tain. By this means we preached 
there in the evening ; perhaps the Lord had some wandering 
sheep to gather, and sent us back to proclaim the joyful sound. 
All His ways are wonderful. Next day we crossed the frith, 
dined at Dornoch, the capital of Sutherland, which was all bustle 
about the election of a member of Parliament. A few miles from 
it we crossed the little ferry, and passed Dun Eobin Castle, be 
longing to the Marquis of Stafford. It is a pretty place, and has 
a good many trees, which are not plentiful in that country. We 
went along the sea-shore to Helmsdale, where we arrived late. 
The house was very bad, and their best room was occupied. Next 
morning we entered Caithness, and crossed the Orde, as it is 
called, which, I am told, signifies hammer. It is a great preci 
pice, almost perpendicular, from the road to the sea, some hun 
dred feet. The roads were so bad, that we were obliged to walk, 
and lead our gig. We breakfasted at Berrydale, where Sir John 
Sinclair has built a pretty good inn. It is a very romantic place, 
surrounded with mountains. We found here, that a part of the 
ironwork of the gig was broken, and therefore proceeded on foot, 
and slept at a small house, about twelve miles from this, and 
arrived here to-day, in good health. Mr. C. is gone to Thurso. 
Thus we have cause to say, hitherto the Lord has helped us. I 
am sorry to hear you have been unwell, but hope you are better, 


and that -the Lord will make the illness useful to you. Our life 
is but a vapor. Let us live for eternity. I received your mamma s 
letter at Forres, and expect one here from her. Yours, &c. 

" J. A. HALDANE." 

They remained in Caithness for a fortnight, and went by the 
sea-shore to Dun Eobin Castle, where Mr. James Haldane ad 
dressed a regiment of volunteers, who, although out on a field- 
day, were dismissed early, that they might hear him preach. 
They returned, by Inverness and Huntly, to Aberdeen, and 
thence to Edinburgh, preaching along the line of road. 

This was the last of his prolonged and very extensive summer 
tours. In the following year and at various other times, he made 
many shorter tours, both in the Highlands and the west and north 
of Scotland. But he was never again absent for many weeks 
together. The number of faithful ministers throughout the 
country was now greatly increased, and, not to dwell on the great 
awakening in the Establishment, and in the other Presbyterian 
bodies, there were already dispersed through the country, from 
Mr. Haldane s seminaries, nearly two hundred preachers, exclu 
sive of those who had retired from the service, gone to America, 
or died, or become disqualified. That number was still augment 
ing, for, in 1805, there were sixty-four students in Edinburgh, 
besides those at Elgin and Armagh. It is also proper to take 
into account the growing cares of a large Church and congrega 
tion, the former probably then consisting of six hundred mem 
bers, irrespective of those belonging to Mr. Aikman s. 

The late Dr. Kussell, of Dundee, who was one of the chief or 
naments of the seminaries formed after their removal from Glas 
gow, has left on record the following testimony : 

" By means of the movement which took place at that period, there was 
awakened a spirit of greater zeal in various religious bodies. A more pointed 
manner of preaching was adopted by many. There came to be more discrim 
ination of character. The empty flourish of the instrument gave place to the 
well-defined tones and melodies, which awaken all the sympathies of the soul. 
The unfettered freeness of the Gospel was more fully proclaimed, while its 
practical influence was more distinctly unfolded. In the course of time, there 
appeared an increased and increasing number of Evangelical ministers in the 
Establishment, and a beneficial influence was formed to operate upon other 

When the Haldanes and their early coadjutors entered the field 
they were almost the only preachers of the Gospel in the destitute 


parts of Scotland, such as Caithness, Kintyre, Arran, or Breadal 
bane. They were almost the only promoters of Sabbath-schools, 
which the General Assembly denounced, and the only distribu 
tors of religious tracts. But now, Scotland was placed under a 
new spiritual agency. The "missionaries," as they were called, 
were found preaching in every village and Highland glen, and 
in every locality they had their schools and lay agency. At first, 
they had all the prestige which belonged to Eeformers in the 
Church in which they were educated, but after the institution of 
Congregationalism they lost this advantage, and became shackled 
by divisions in their own camp. 

" There are," says a well-informed minister belonging to the Congregational 
Union, writing in 1849, "there are now, spread over the length and breadth 
of Scotland, perhaps a thousand preachers of the Gospel more than when our 
Evangelists first went forth, and unier no small obloquy, misrepresentation, 
and opposition broke up the fallow ground. Such is the change now, that 
some of our itinerants and country pastors can get a good congregation in 
their preaching excursions only by obtaining permission to occupy a Free- 
Church pulpit." 

Provided Christ was preached, it mattered little to either of 
the Haldanes what instrumentality was employed. To them 
Churchmen or Dissenters, Baptists or Independents, were alike 
welcome, if they proclaimed the Gospel in its purity and power. 
An extract from a letter of Mr. Simeon, written at this time, will 
show how he too, in the maturity of his judgment, continued to 
overlook party distinctions : 

"Mv VERY DEAR FRIEND AND BROTHER, I have just received from you a 
parcel containing some books and tracts, both of your own and others, for 
which I most sincerely thank you. ... I suppose that you may have seen 
my sermon on the Churchman s confession, and apprehended, from the note that 
is in it, that I am become an Arminian and a Methodist, in the strict sense of 
the word. I am happy to assure you, if this be your fear, that you may dismiss 
it utterly. My sentiments are precisely the same as when I had the happiness 
of travelling with you. But persons in North Britain are not aware of the use 
that is here made of the word Calvinism ; they do not know that all religion is 
now scouted under that term, and that there is a necessity here for showing that 
Christianity existed before Calvin. This matter also has been so strongly taken 
up (especially of late) in this University, that I was compelled, for the Lord s 
sake, to insert the challenge there given to the great champion, a challenge he 
has never dared to accept. I merely say thus much to counteract by truth what 
I know to be the impression on the north side of the Tweed. My object is to 
inculcate the truth, the very truth of God, and not to stand up for this or that 
name. As to Calvin, I certainly unite with him in many things, but not in all : 
he carries his ideas of reprobation much farther than I. 


" You, my dear brother, have been stirred up to activity in the service of youi 
God ; and I rejoice unfeignedly in all the good that you have been enabled to do. 
You alone can judge how far your original design (somewhat according with 
the first intentions of the Methodists) has been kept in view ; but I apprehend 
that it is almost impossible for such weak creatures as we to execute any new 
projects in such a manner as not to find, at a future period, that there was some 
room for improvement. 

" You will be glad to hear that, all things considered, we have great reason 
for thankfulness at Cambridge. The work, on the whole, is going on both in 
the town and University, and souls are added to the Lord. 

" I hope your good lady is prospering, both in soul and body, and that oui 
gracious God will continue both to you and her his richest blessings. 

" Believe me, my dear friend, most affectionately yours, 


"Rev. J. Haldane" 



THE institution o^ the Congregational Churches separate from 
the Scottish Establishment was the result of unforeseen circum 
stances, and not of a preconcerted plan. For a long time after 
the formation of the Tabernacle Church, questions of ecclesiasti 
cal discipline never seemed to impede the hallowed object to which 
its pastor had consecrated his life. To use his own language, " It 
was, in fact, no separation from the Establishment. It was merely 
opening another place of worship for preaching the Gospel with 
out regard to forms of external arrangement or Church order, and 
where the pastor and many of the members showed their catholic 
spirit by going to the Sacrament in the Established Church. Add 
to this, that the preaching was almost entirely addressed to the 
people of the world." It might have been well, had it been pos 
sible, that these views and objects had always remained the same. 
But in the very nature of things this was not to be expected, 
although years elapsed before attention to the apostolic order of 
primitive Churches seriously distracted attention,, and necessarily 
produced difference of opinion, accompanied by divisions. 

Mr. Ewing, as might be anticipated, was foremost in the pro 
motion of a new system of Church order, and to him, no doubt, 
may be conceded the title which has been claimed for him as "the 
Father of modern Congregationalism in Scotland." No one can 
turn over the early pages of his " Missionary Magazine" without 
discovering something more than the germ of every progressive 
change which afterwards took place in trying to approximate to 
the ideal model of primitive Christianity. His intimacy with his 
Baptist friend, Dr. Charles Stuart, tended to this result, as well as 
his early partiality for the works of Glas and Sandeman. In 1801, 
Mr. James Haldane addressed to him a letter from Dumfries, 



amongst other things, warning him against their introduction into 
the Seminary, and complaining of his "enthusiastic manner" of 
speaking of these frigid and bitter theologians. Mr. Ewing replied, 
that he had so much approved of this letter as a whole, that he 
had read it all to the class, excepting that part of it which related 
to Glas and Sandeman. 

In 1808, Mr. Aikman declared, that before the secession from 
the Establishment, mixed communion in the Lord s Supper, that 
is, communion with inconsistent or worldly professors, had been 
to him and others an "intolerable burden." It became, therefore, 
one of the first principles of the new Church, that none should 
be admitted whose sentiments and consistency of conduct did not, 
in the judgment of charity, evince the truth of their own vital 
Christianity. It was asked, with much force, whether this was 
not a vain and Utopian endeavor after a beautiful ideal purity, 
which never can be attained until the day when the tares and the 
wheat shall be forever separated. Such, however, was their lead 
ing principle, and it necessarily involved an implied protest, which 
gradually became more distinct, against an alliance with the State 
as interfering with pure communion. It was next assumed by 
the new Church as a principle, that Christians are religiously 
bound to conform their ecclesiastical usages to the practice or cus 
toms of the apostolic Churches. Proceeding on this assumption, 
Mr. Ewing first introduced at Glasgow the practice of celebrating 
the Lord s Supper every Lord s-day. This innovation on the 
Scottish custom of having it only twice a-year was adopted in 
Edinburgh not long afterwards, and finally in all the new churches 
in Scotland from the date of Mr. James A. Haldane s treatise, 
published in 1802, to prove that it was agreeable to the apostolic 
order and the practice of the primitive Churches. Mr. Ewing, 
in his published " Rules of Church Government," next added, 
" Besides the ordinary public worship of the Lord s-day, there 
shall be a Church-meeting weekly, for the purposes of social wor 
ship, discipline, and mutual edification." In social worship, Mr. 
Ewing intended to include the practice of the pastor s occasion 
ally asking any private member, who appeared to have a gift in 
prayer, to lead the devotions of the Church. The " mutual edi 
fication" was to be carried on by any private member, sponta 
neously or by appointment, offering an "exhortation," or address 
to the Church, on a passage of Scripture. This last plan was, no 
doubt, an innovation calculated to usurp the pastor s office, but it 


was originally proposed by Mr. Ewing, as his amiable biographer 
records, " as affording what lie had long before wished for, namely, 
a fellowship meeting on a large scale." 

In 180, Dr. Innes published his "Reasons for separating from 
the Church of Scotland, in a Series of Letters, chiefly addressed 
to his Christian Friends in that Establishment." About the same 
time, Mr. Carson, who had left the General Synod of Ulster in 
Ireland, published a pamphlet containing his reasons for separa 
tion. Mr. James Haldane, in 1805, next produced a volume, 
which quickly ran through two editions, entitled, "Views of the 
Social Worship of the first Churches," &c., "a work," says Mr. 
Orme, "which contained much important truth, in a spirit with 
which even the adversaries of his system could scarcely be 

These publications drew forth replies from the Eev. Mr. Brown, 
parish minister of Langton, and some other writers, which were 
answered by Mr. J. Haldane, Mr. Ewing, and Mr. Carson ; but it 
was not till 1807 that there was any open manifestation of divis 
ion in the new Churches. At length, however, to use the words 
of Mr. Kinniburgh, in his very candid "Historical Survey," 
"A withering blast came from the north, which was attended with 
direful consequences. We refer to the circulation of Ballantyne s 
Treatise on the Elders Office. " Mr. Ballantyne had been at 
first placed in Thurso, but afterwards removed to a Tabernacle 
at Elgin, also built by Mr. Haldane, capable of holding 1,500 
people, where, also, a class of missionary students was under his 
tuition. In 1805 Mr. James Haldane s "View of Social Wor 
ship" had indicated his decided opinion, that, instead of having, 
what Mr. Ewing termed "fellowship meetings on a large scale," 
only on the week-days, when many of the Church could not 
attend, they should be held on the day consecrated to the worship 
of the Lord. He argued that, if "exhorting one another" was 
really one of the means positively appointed by Christ for the 
public edification of the Church, as Mr. Ewing had contended, it 
was difficult to comprehend why it should be observed in a cor 
ner, and not be deemed proper on the Lord s own day. The Rev. 
John Newton himself, in the third letter of his "Apologia," con 
sidered mutual exhortation to be so clearly an apostolic practice, 
that he there states the neglect of it to have been one reason for 
his not having joined the Dissenters ; and he argued, that, if they 
did not observe this apostolic practice, Dissenters could not 


blame him for, in other respects, deviating from the primitive 

But the views propounded by Mr. James Haldane were never 
intended by him to have been prematurely forced into practice at 
the risk of fomenting division. In these matters he felt it his 
duty honestly to state his own convictions, and then to leave 
them to work their way, acting on the apostolic model, " Where* 
unto we have attained, let us walk by the same rule." His brother 
had the same convictions as to apostolic usages, and was, more 
over, less disposed to delay the experiment of carrying them into 
actual operation. In 1805, accompanied by Mr. Ballantyne, he 
made a journey to England, preaching at different places ; and, 
both at Newcastle and in London, remained for some time, prac 
tising the views of social worship which were developed in his 
brother s book, and which both of them then thought calculated 
to call into exercise the gifts of the private members, and to min 
ister to the edification of the Church. The late Rev. James Har 
rington Evans appears, at a much later period, in the maturity of 
his judgment, to have entertained the same views which so many 
years before commended themselves in theory to the two Hal- 
danes. It was probably well for the Church in John-street, Bed 
ford-row, that "only occasional addresses were given," although 
his recently published and interesting Memoirs show that he con 
sidered his Church incomplete in its constitution, because it had 
not a plurality of elders " to labor co-ordinately with, or subordi- 
nately to him," and did not enjoy the supposed advantage of mu 
tual exhortation by those of the deacons and members who were 
supposed to be peculiarly gifted.* In the midst of these debates 
the paramount importance of preaching the Gospel was upheld 
as firmly as ever by both the brothers, whilst their views of Chris 
tian forbearance remained unshaken to the close of life. Mr. 
Ballantyne s pamphlets, which also contended for a presbytery, 
or plurality of elders, in every Church, were circulated by Mr. 
Robert Haldane, and embodied his own views. 

Into a discussion of these topics it is needless to plunge. 
"Whether the Lord s Supper should be observed twice a year, 
once a month, or once a week ; whether the mutual exhortation 
of brethren, by means of public speaking, be, or be not, a bind 
ing duty ; whether a plurality of elders be, or be not, imperative 
in every properly constituted Church ; whether collections should 

* " Memoir of Rev. J. H. Evans," p. 61. 


be made at the doors from the public, or only privately amongst 
the communicants ; these were questions which may be weighed 
and decided in their proper place, but must be regarded but as 
the tithe of mint, anise, and cummin, compared with those great 
arid saving doctrines of the Gospel with which the time, the tal 
ents, and labors of the two brothers were, after all, supremely oc 
cupied. It is enough for the purposes of these Memoirs, to give 
an outline of the facts faithfully and without partiality. 

After these debates had been for some time in agitation, Mr. 
James Haldane, in a letter, dated February 19th, 1808, informs 
Mr. Campbell, that at various intervals he had entertained doubts 
as to the scriptural authority for infant baptism, although he had, 
again and again, come to the conclusion, that the presumptive 
evidence in its favor preponderated. Still the recurrence of these 
doubts led him to suspect that he had not fully fathomed the 
subject, and. therefore, after his return from England, at the 
end of 1804, he had determined fully to examine the Scriptures 
at his leisure, with prayer for direction and a desire to be led to a 
right conclusion. He felt that, on former occasions, his examina 
tions had been conducted under the influence of a fear of dimin 
ishing his usefulness, if he were obliged to renounce infant bap 
tism, but at last he was " delivered from this snare," and became 
satisfied that the more simply he followed the Lord, the more 
useful he should in reality be. In short, he now viewed the con 
flict of duty and usefulness as one that was absurd. The result 
was, that, after mature deliberation and reading deeply on the 
subject, his doubts so much increased that, on an occasion when 
he was requested to administer infant baptism, he was obliged to 
inform the Church, that, although his mind was not made up to 
become himself a Baptist, yet that, at present, he could not con 
scientiously baptize children. He concludes his letter: "If I 
had not been compelled to baptize, I should never have men 
tioned my doubts till they were fully satisfied. At the same 
time, I informed the Church that, although I were baptized, I 
should be of the same mind as formerly, that the Baptists and 
Pasdo-baptists might have fellowship together." 

On the 21st of April he again addresses Mr. Campbell, inform 
ing him that the crisis was past, and that he had been baptized, 
but that, with regard to the Church, this was to be a matter of 
forbearance. He adds, "If we are all acting on conviction, and 
both desiring to know the will of Jesus in this and in all other 


respects, I have no apprehension of disunion. Of one thing I 
am sure, that all who love the Lord Jesus should, so far as they 
agreed, walk by the same rule and mind the same things ; and if 
it be improper for Baptists to be in fellowship in the same Church, 
it must be equally improper to have occasional fellowship in 

These letters, and much more that might be produced, indicate 
Mr. J. Haldane s anxiety to prevent disunion on a point upon 
which Christians differ. But these fond hopes were doomed to 
disappointment. His views of mutual forbearance, however 
strongly urged, were not reciprocated, and a rupture took place 
in the Edinburgh Tabernacle Church, which, to use the words of 
Mr. Orme, severed " one of the most numerous and respectable 
Independent Socities that had ever been in Britain." 

The manner of the disruption is detailed in the following ex 
tract from Mr. Haldane s " Answer to Mr. Ewing :" 

" Some of the members went back to the Established Church, some to the 
Church in College-street (Mr. Aikman s), others to that in Niddry-street (Mr. 
Maclean s), while a considerable number determined to become a separate 
Church and rent a large room to meet in. The rest remained with my brother, 
in the Tabernacle. These, which were more numerous than any of the other di 
visions, were of one mind, except on the subject of baptism, which they thought 
might be made a matter of forbearance." 

The division spread, not only in the Edinburgh Churches, but 
throughout the whole of Scotland. In Edinburgh the excitement 
was great. Nearly 200 members followed their pastor ; and, 
within a year, his elder brother also embraced Baptist sentiments. 
Still it might be a matter of surprise that the separation between 
the Baptists and Psedo-baptists in the new connection should 
have been so complete. But the numbers who followed their 
pastor, and the great influence of both the brothers, as well as 
the proselytizing zeal of some of the more forward and inexpe 
rienced of the students and preachers, probably alarmed Mr. Aik- 
man, and urged him to take a more decided line of opposition 
than appears consonant with his amiable spirit and the strong 
personal respect and attachment with which he still regarded hi? 
old friends. The , following letter will exhibit the views which 
actuated the leaders of that large and respectable section of the 
Tabernacle Churches which declined forbearance : 
From Mr. Aikman to Mr. Campbell 

"EDINBURGH, 15th April, 1808. 

" MY DEAR BROTHER,Had ability been afforded me, I would certainly have 


written you before this, to communicate to you the very painful situation in 
which the Churches have been placed for some months past." 

After speaking of his own health, and the suffering state of his 
eyes, he proceeds, 

" I have seen it my duty totally to withdraw from the connection at the 
Tabernacle, as well as a number of the most respectable members of the 
Church, who now assemble at Bernard s rooms. My stipulated supplies from 
th*e Tabernacle are now cut off. Indeed, I kave now completely given them up, as I 
perceive it to be of much importance for the general good of the cause to have 
no visible, or Church fellowship with brethren who have for years past, at New 
castle and London, been acting upon a system which appears to be destructive, 
both of the pastoral office and of all order in the house of God. This I have 
fully stated to both our dear brethren and to our Church, who have, after long 
and painful discussion, decided to continue to act upon their acknowledged 
principles, and to decline the relation of a sister Church with a Church com 
posed of Baptists and Paedo-Baptists, under a Baptist pastor." He adds, " Our 
necessity is now very great, and I can no longer reckon on supplies." 

The allusion, in the foregoing letter, to the schism at Newcastle, 
is to Mr. Eobert Haldane s proceedings on the journey, in 1805, 
already noticed, when he first introduced the practice of mutual 
exhortation, three years before it was commenced in Edinburgh. 
Mr. J. A. Haldane was, in this matter, rather more cautious than 
his brother. But, although he gave no countenance to the meet 
ings at Newcastle or London, he never, like his colleague, Mr. 
Aikman, dreamed of stigmatizing them, as "schism, for which 
Mr. Haldane and Mr. Ballantyne ought to have been excommuni 
cated." " A sinful respect of persons," says Mr. Aikman, " pre 
vented his brother (Mr. J. A. Haldane), as I believe, and certainly 
myself, from making that business a matter of Church discipline." 
Such were the views of Christian liberty entertained even by so 
good and holy and amiable a man as Mr. Aikman. Mr. Haldane s 
own defence of his conduct is contained in a letter to Mr. Camp 
bell, dated December 26, 1807 : 

"Everything," he says, "ought, indeed, to have its proper place in our es 
teem. But is it reverential to God to suppose that He has enjoined some things 
which have a tendency to lead us away from heaven, or that everything He has 
revealed is not in itself directly subservient to his glory and our salvation? 
Are the things spoken of not a part of his revelation? Then let them not be 
called small things and non-essentials. Let them be called nothing, and then 
we ought decidedly to oppose them, as forming no part of our duty. But, if 
:hey are a part of it, then it is surely both irreverent and unwise to set them 
iside under any name whatever. This is changing times and laws. It is taking 
too much upon us." 


But, in order to comprehend clearly how it was that the shock 
arising out of these divisions was so fatal to the progress of Con 
gregationalism in Scotland, it is necessary to observe how much 
the whole of the recent ecclesiastical movement depended on the 
two brothers. It was easy for Mr. Ewing to complain, that it was 
improper that their theological seminary should be dependent on 
the will of "an individual ;" and it was quite open for him and 
other leaders to Unite in the declaration, that they have " no visi 
ble or Church fellowship" with Mr. Haldane or his brother. But 
it was not so easy to neutralize their influence, or to get on with 
out it. One important part of this influence is stated by the Eev. 
Dr. Lindsay Alexander, whose own talents and weight of char 
acter have now made himself a chief pillar of "Scottish Congre 
gational Union." 

" In estimating," says Dr. L. Alexander, " the causes which furthered the 
rapid growth of Congregationalism in Scotland at the first, beyond what the 
intrinsic energies of the system, left to their own operation, would, in all proba- 
bility, have effected, something must be assigned to the excitement of the 
public mind at the time; something, also, to the novelty of the plans adopted 
by the founders of that system ; and not a little to the sympathy which was 
felt for men of high character and talents, who were made the objects of ec 
clesiastical censure and personal obloquy, simply in consequence of their zeal 
for the spiritual welfare of their countrymen. The chief of these extrinsic 
causes of prosperity, however, was, beyond all question, liberal pecuniary aid 
afforded to the party by Mr. Robert Haldane. 

" The establishment of a new religious sect in such a country as this is al 
ways, of necessity, connected with heavy expenses, or a serious weight of 
pecuniary obligation. Places of worship must be built, and funds for carrying; 
on the cause must be provided ; and where the adherents of the new party are 
neither numerous nor wealthy, the impediment thus thrown in the way of their 
progress is often insurmountable. From all such difficulties the first propaga 
tors of Congregationalism in Scotland were, in a great measure, exempted, by 
\\\ liberality with which Mr. Haldane employed his great wealth* in advancing 
the interests of their cause. By the support of itinerant preachers, by money 
advanced to erect chapels, and by aid rendered to Churches that were unable 
of themselves adequately to support their pastors, Mr. Haldane contributed 
very materially to give Congregationalism a prosperous footing in Scotland. 
The influence, however, thus exerted was rather from without than within ; it 
was a system rather of forcing than of natural growth ; and the consequence 

* Great and small are comparative terms. But the term, great wealth, by no 
means applied to Mr. Haldane s fortune, according to the scale of modern opulence. 
The amount which he devoted to the cause of the Gospel was, indeed, very large, 
but it was still more remarkable as contrasted with the comparatively moderate 
extent of his income. 

MR. EWING. 329 

was, a show of flower and fruit much greater than the plant, when left to itself 
and to ordinary influences, could sustain." 

All this seems to have been forgotten or overlooked, when the 
disruption, on account of questions of ecclesiastical polity, was 
precipitated, in spite of the earnest public and private remon 
strances of both the Haldanes. But was it reasonable to suppose 
that, when the body was thus torn asunder, Mr. Haldane should 
continue to lavish his fortune upon that section of it which had 
thus peremptorily resolved to have " no visible Church fellow 
ship" with him or his brother? Had he at once withdrawn his 
support from all the Churches by whom he was practically excom 
municated ; had he at once shut up all the chapels in the posses 
sion of those who came to such a violent conclusion, who could 
have justly blamed him? Was it not rather strange that those 
who, for such trivial reasons, refused all "visible connection" with 
him in Church fellowship, should have consented to avail them 
selves of his property ? 

But, unhappily, there was also another "root of bitterness," 
which had in fact secretly tended to precipitate the disruption, 
connected with a personal misunderstanding between Mr. Robert 
Haldane and Mr. Ewing. For the first few years of their inter 
course, Mr. Haldane had admired the persevering industry of 
Mr. Ewing, as well as his natural talents and ardent character. 
But almost from the moment when a pecuniary relation was estab 
lished between them, conferring on Mr. Haldane the rights inci 
dent to the management of his own property, and the oversight 
of the students whom he supported, almost from that moment 
Mr. Ewing became jealous of Mr. Haldane s relative position and 
impatient of his control. The removal of the Seminary from 
Glasgow was the natural consequence, but the management of the 
Glasgow Tabernacle still left occasion for painful collision. The 
details of Mr. Ewing s complaints, for the most part in themselves 
unimportant, were contained in a pamphlet of 206 pages, which 
it is impossible to read, at the distance of more than forty years, 
without something like a feeling of " melancholy mirth" at the 
jaundiced medium through which a grieved or troubled spirit 
riewed Mr. Haldane s motives, not only in regard to the Taber 
nacle and the Seminary, but even as to the proposal that Mr. 
Ewing should have a distinguished place in the Indian Mission. 
Mr. Haldane had already printed letters addressed to Mr. 


on the subject of the matter in discussion, but probably the annals 
of controversy never produced a more complete and detailed ref 
utation than was published by him in the year 1810, in a volume 
of 406 octavo pages, which was sold for the nominal sum of one 
shilling, and gives a minute history of every one of his transactions 
with Mr. Ewing from the beginning of their acquaintance. . It 
would be far more agreeable to allow the whole to sleep in ob 
livion, and yet it seems needful, as a matter connected with the 
ecclesiastical history of Scotland, to offer a few words of brief 
explanation. Happily these are to be found under Mr. Haldane s 
own hand, written not long before his death, when every spark 
of irritation against Mr. Ewing had been long extinguished, and 
he was looking forward to his own departure at no very distant 
neriod. Mr. Haldane writes as follows : 

" The unhappy difference which arose between Mr. Ewing and me was not 
matter of private discussion. Every particular, even the minutest and most 
ridiculous, was, thirty years ago, brought before the world, and into every single 
one of his charges I entered fully and particularly, in a volume which was widely 
circulated, which was never answered, and which, I fearlessly add, was unan 

"With Mr. Ewing I became acquainted in the year 1795, when he was intro 
duced to me by his brother-in-law, then minister of Stirling, as one whose talents 
and character fitted him to be a coadjutor in a plan, which I at that period 
entertained, for the promotion of Christianity in Bengal. Mr. Ewing was then 
the assistant minister of Lady Glenorchy s Church in Edinburgh, with a salary 
of 120/. per annum. In arranging the scheme of the Bengal Mission, I thought 
it right to secure the temporal interests of those whom I designed to carry with 
me to India. I therefore agreed to pay to Mr. Ewing, as well as my other 
coadjutors, 3,500Z. before leaving England, and also to convey them to Calcutta 
at my own expense. The design failed, in consequence of the opposition of the 
East India Company Directors and of the Board of Control. Baffled in my 
endeavor to be useful in India, I turned my attention to the state of religion 
in Scotland, and among other plans to which it is unnecessary to advert, I pur 
chased a building at Glasgow, which I converted into a chapel, or, as it was 
called, a Tabernacle, and there placed Mr. Ewing. The cost of the building 
was 3,000/., and I secured it to Mr. Ewing for life, on the condition that he 
should fulfil certain stipulations connected with the preaching of the Gospel, the 
celebration of Divine ordinances, and othej objects of a similar character. 

" For some time the plan answered exceedingly well. Mr. Ewing preached 
to a large congregation, and formed an Independent Church. He also, in con 
nection with his other engagements, taught a theological seminary, which was 
a sort of appendage to the Tabernacle, where a number of young men were 
educated for the ministry, solely at my expense. By the bond securing the 
chapel to Mr. Ewing, I made myself responsible that he should receive, at all 


hazards, 2007. a year from the Church, but that the surplus of the seat-rents, if 
any, should be devoted to the maintenance of the seminary, for conducting 
which Mr. Ewing <vas also to have an annual payment of 200/. In the course 
of time, however, u.fferences arose between us. Mr. Ewing was unwilling that 
I should exercise that control over the class which I never felt it my duty to 
abandon, and by degrees he also deviated, in several important particulars, from 
the views which he had undertaken to support. In the midst of the discussions 
to which these differences gave rise, Mr. Ewing intimated his opinion that I 
should not only leave him in the full control of the seminary, but that I should 
also resign to others the property which I retained in the Tabernacle. The 
absurdity of such a proposal is self-evident, more especially when viewed in 
connection with the fact, that the Church and congregation being numerous, 
were well able to defray the expenses of a building in which to meet for divine 
worship. But while I at once rejected the unreasonable proposal, it immediately 
occurred to me that it would be in every way preferable that Mr. Swing s wish 
as to his independence of me should be carried into effect, although not by the 
uncalled-for sacrifice of my property. I therefore offered to part with the 
Tabernacle to his Church ; and in order to make the matter easier, I intimated 
my willingness to sell it for two thirds of the price which it cost. This might 
have been enough to satisfy both Mr. Ewing and his supporters, but the offer 
was rejected, and I was still urged to surrender it into their hands, and without 

" It was at this stage of the business that I began to see the unsatisfactory 
character of the arrangement we had originally entered into, and, in my turn, I 
requested Mr. Ewing to resign his interest in the house, and to call upon his 
Church to provide accommodation for their minister and themselves at their 
own, and not at my expense. To prompt Mr. Ewing s determination, I assured 
him that the price which I was willing to accept should not be employed for my 
own private advantage, but should be devoted to some public object connected 
with the translation and distribution of the Scriptures. 

" Such is the history of this transaction. I never, as Mr. Ewing at one period 
chose to imagine, intended to deprive him of his life-rent interest in my property 
by any legal process. My appeal was solely to his sense of justice and his 
Christian principles, and in the sequel he did resign the chapel, although not till 
after a painful discussion, in which, as I have already said, I did not leave unan 
swered one charge, however minute, that was brought against me. Mr. Ewing 
had departed publicly from the views on which we had agreed to act. He had 
Attacked the seminary which he had engaged to conduct, and which was to have 
oeen supported out of the surplus produce of the house. He had attacked the 
Society for Propagating the Gospel at Home. He had fomented the schism in 
my brother s Church in Edinburgh, of which I was a member. He was im 
patient of my retaining my property in the chapel. Was it wonderful, then, 
that I should seek to put an end to a connection which was only calculated to 
occasion pain to both parties ? And was not my conduct in desiring the termi 
nation of our disputes, by the means there pointed out, at least as reasonable 
as the conduct of those who were willing to maintain possession of the chapel, 
and to enjoy, at my expense, that accommodation which they were so well able 
to procure for themselves, at the same time that they were publicly and violently 


opposing the principles, on the profession of which it was dedicated to their 
use ? It is unnecessary to enter on the particulars of some of the charges 
then brought against me by Mr. Ewing. My answer to these charges will be 
found in the history of the thirty years which have passed over me since they 
were first advanced. But as almost all of these charges resolved themselves 
into some form of covetousness, I may add that, at the time when they were 
advanced, I had in the course of nine years (from 1799 to 1807) expended be 
tween 50,OOOZ. and 60,OOOZ. on objects connected with the propagation of the 
Gospel at home, with which Mr. Ewing was well acquainted." 

Such was the outline of these painful differences. To this ex 
penditure must be added that of the other years not included in 
the co-operation with Mr. Ewing, besides the loss on loans, on 
which interest ought to have been paid. Eeckoning from 1798 
to 1810, the years of Mr. Haldane s extraordinary exertions, it 
appears that, in round figures, he had given away within that pe 
riod considerably more than seventy thousand pounds. 

The difference with Mr. Ewing was one which occasioned pain 
to Mr. Haldane in proportion to the pleasure he had taken in 
their mutual co-operation. The following is an extract from one 
of Mr. Haldane s letters to Mr. Ewing, before the latter published 
on the subject : 

" On looking back on the intercourse you and I had, I see many things amiss 
on both sides, while I trust there is also cause for thanksgiving. But while we 
should be humbled in the dust on account of all that has been wrong, we 
should remember with gratitude that the door of mercy and pardon through a 
Redeemer stands open, and we ought to be ready mutually to explain, to 
repent, and to intercede for one another. Should the matter for the present 
unhappily end otherwise, I should regret it exceedingly, but I thus exonerate 
myself; and in order to make the return on your part to the path of duty, al 
any time afterwards, as easy as possible, I declare it is my determination, 
through grace, that no sinful distance or interruption to the maintenance of 
peace and love shall in future rest with me." 

With reference to the charge, which at this distance of time 
seems so utterly absurd, that in reclaiming the Glasgow Taberna 
cle Mr. Haldane was influenced by mercenary motives, the follow 
ing is an extract from another letter : " I have informed Mr. 
Harley and you that pecuniary reimbursement is not my object. 
If you now purchase the house, or give it up, it is my intention 
to apply, without delay, what I receive from the property in 
translating and multiplying copies of the Scriptures." This vol 
untary pledge was faithfully observed. After some delay, the 
Glasgow Tabernacle was restored by Mr. Ewing, and a new one 


built by his congregation. The old one was sold to Mr. Mac- 
gavin at a price below the original cost, but rather above that at 
which it had been offered to Mr. Ewing s Church. The produce 
was devoted by Mr. Haldane to the translation and circulation of 
the Scriptures. Interest was added every year on the capital not 
expended, and the whole account was settled by auditors, so scru 
pulous was he with reference to the matter, in which his motives 
had been, in the heat of passion, so unwarrantably assailed. But 
there is one lesson which Mr. Haldane was anxious to enforce, 
which it may be right to mention. It is this : " I wish solemnly 
to warn others, who may be afterwards placed in circumstances 
similar to those in which I stood, never to deviate so far from the 
line of duty, under the idea of doing a service acceptable to God, 
as to place their talents by a legal instrument at the disposal of 
another person, however highly they may esteem him. This is a 
very different thing from laying down property at the feet of an 

After what has been said, it is scarcely needful to allude to 
another of the charges frequently brought against Mr. Haldane 
in the heat of controversy, namely, that of distressing the 
Churches which did not embrace his views, or suddenly with 
drawing his support from their preachers. No doubt the cessa 
tion of his bounty was, in itself, "distressing," bat it was attribu 
table to those who refused to practise mutual forbearance, and 
was to a considerable extent compensated by the contributions 
which it prompted from the Congregationalists in England, as 
well as Scotland. It might be contradiction enough, to state one 
broad fact, that out of a sum amounting to 26,295?. expended 
upon chapels, excluding the original cost of that at Edinburgh, 
Mr. Haldane never received back more than 5,596?. But to the 
groundless charge of harshness, in recalling his property from 
those who rejected his communion, he published two conclusive 
answers, the one in 1810, and the other in 1816. The whole of 
his pecuniary transactions with the Scottish Congregationalists 
had been managed by the late excellent and respected William 
Dymock, Esq., of George-square, Edinburgh, W.S., who himself 
adhered to Mr. Aikman, and was opposed to Mr. Haldane s sen 
timents, both on baptism and Church government. Mr. Dymock s 
testimony was therefore the more important, because it was not 
only backed by knowledge, but characterized by candor. By de 
sire of Mr. Haldane, his letter-books were opened to full exami- 

334 DR. IXNES. 

nation, and it was proved by the exhibition of his correspondence 
and the chapel accounts, that none of the complaints had any 
just foundation. Never, in any solitary case, had Mr. Haldane 
resorted to coercion, in order to recover his money. On the con 
trary, he often remitted a great part of the capital due, and still 
oftener all the interest. In regard to the chapels, the real griev 
ance was this, that he did not convert into a gift what was only 
intended as a loan ; and so far as the preachers were concerned, 
he distributed amongst them no less than 700Z. out of his own 
purse, in the year following the disruption. Dr. Eyland had 
heard of subscriptions being called for in England, to repay Mr. 
Haldane s demands on chapels, and, as if it had been intended 
that this charge should be published, in order to secure a public 
refutation, the good Doctor mentioned the report in his " Life of 
Andrew Fuller." But when called upon for his authoruy, he 
had none ; and, after a full examination of Mr. Dymock s evi 
dence, he appended an apology to his volume, saying, "I am 
now convinced that the report there stated (in the "Life of Ful 
ler") is utterly without foundation. 1 1 The part which Dr. Innes, 
from a high sense of duty, took in satisfying Dr. Eyland, unfor 
tunately gave umbrage to his brother-in-law, Mr. Ewing ; but Dr. 
Innes testimony to Mr. Haldane was all the more valuable, be 
cause, without any breach of friendship or angry disputation, he 
had voluntarily relinquished a bond, securing to him an income 
out of the Tabernacle of Dundee, similar to that which Mr. Ew 
ing held in respect of Glasgow. On quitting Dundee, Dr. Innes 
came to Edinburgh, in the first instance to assume the care of the 
seceders from the Tabernacle, but shortly afterwards he himself 
having changed his own sentiments on infant baptism, became 
the pastor of a Church composed of Christians holding various 
views on this subject, but not practising exhortation on the 
Lord s-day forenoon. To that Church he has since ministered, 
attracting round him the respect and the love which are due to 
his consistent holiness of life, his devoted zeal, and his great sac 
rifices for the sake of the Grospel, as well as to his ministerial 
faithfulness and amiable character. 

It may now seem almost unnecessary to have even referred to 
the complaints made against Mr. Haldane, but as they have been 
more or less publicly hinted at, in Mr. Orme s "Historical 
Sketch," published in 1819, it might seem as if there really had 
been some just ground for them, if in the Memoirs of his Life 


they had not been glanced at and repudiated on evidence which 
is beyond all dispute. More recently, the Kev. Dr. Struthers, in 
a "History of the Relief Church," has, from a deficiency of in 
formation, in several instances been betrayed into grave errors, 
one of which is too glaring to be omitted. At page 405, he ob 
serves : 

" It is impossible to look at the extent and expensive nature of the apparatus 
which was set up, without perceiving that Mr. Haldane had involved himself in 
obligations which he would soon be unable to meet. I felt, says he, the 
calls on me, from different quarters, increasing very fast. This led him to take 
measures to diminish the expense of the seminaries, by offering Mr. Ewing 
100/. annually, instead of 200/. ; to be more sparing in the sums given from the 
Home Mission Fund, and to suggest that the Glasgow congregation should re 
lieve him of the purchase money of the Circus, at 1000Z. less than it cost him." 

It may be observed, with reference to these statements, that 
they furnish a new instance of the little dependence that can be 
placed on what is often called history. Here is a statement ap 
parently supported by extracts from Mr. Haldane s own writings, 
whereas, the historian has omitted to observe, that his authorities 
by no means support the weight of his precipitate conclusions. 
The quotations from Mr. Haldane s answer to Mr. Ewing refer to 
a period before the commencement of his greatest expenditure, 
when he was just beginning to discern the vastness of the field 
on which he had entered, and the necessity of economizing his 
gifts to individuals, in order to have more to bestow upon the 
masses. He commenced by securing to Mr. Ewing 200/. a year 
for the Tabernacle, and adding 200/. more for the seminary. 
But, as he increased the number of his seminaries, Mr. Haldane 
began to think that 3001. a-year was enough, and therefore pro 
posed to reduce the allowance for the seminary, more especially 
as he had just given Mr. Ewing a further allowance of 1001. a- 
year for an assistant in the Tabernacle. In like manner the pro 
posal that Mr. Ewing s congregation should take the Glasgow 
Tabernacle, was riot a measure of retrenchment, but an attempt 
to terminate all occasion of dispute, by a very handsome con 
tribution of 1,000?., or, more strictly, 1,160?., to a plan, which 
would have gratified Mr. Ewing s desire, that he, with his large 
and wealthy congregation, should be independent of the private 
bounty of an individual. 

But, apart from these details, it is proper to observe, what can 
be proved to demonstration, that Mr. Haldane never involved 


himself, as Dr. Strutters supposes, " in obligations," either im 
mediate or prospective, which he was not fully able to meet. The 
Tabernacles were all paid for, and free from debt to any one but 
himself, and in regard to those chapels on which he lent money, 
he generally paid off all the other creditors, as in the cass of Perth, 
where he became sole proprietor ; and as in the case of Dum 
fries, which had been built by himself and his brother, at the joint 
cost of nearly 2,000. It was the same with regard to the semi 
nary. The " obligations" he undertook were not in perpetuity, 
but simply for a particular class of students, for one, two, or at 
most, three years. In fact, it never was and never could have 
been his intention, that a man of Mr. Haldane s income should 
have gone on giving away nearly 7,000 a-year. On the con 
trary, he only designed to meet a great exigency, and to give the 
Home Mission a fair start. He always made his prospective cal 
culations with the systematic minuteness of an official budget, and 
by different wills left to his brother ample funds to carry out 
every " obligation" into which he had himself ever entered, 
whether it related to the chapels, the African children, the semi 
nary, or the Propagation Society. The sum varied according to 
circumstances, but at the period of which Dr. Struthers speaks, 
Mr. Haldane estimated that 12,000 would have amply fulfilled 
all his engagements. 

But although Dr. Struthers is so much mistaken on these points, 
yet the spirit which characterizes his work, is truly praiseworthy. 
His observations on the disruption are as follow : 

" Though too many, no doubt, chuckled over this rupture, which, in a great 
measure, laid in ruins one of the noblest schemes which modern times have 
witnessed for diffusing religion, and evangelizing the population of the coun 
try; yet the good and the liberal of all parties, who rejoiced in the spread of 
religion, grieved over-it, and could have wished it had been obviated." 

Happily in very few cases did these divisions interrupt the con 
tinuance of the mutual friendship and esteem of the parties con 
cerned. Even in that of Mr. Ewing, although the bitterness of 
his attacks might have seemed to render any advance on the part 
of Mr. Haldane impossible, terms of reconciliation were, year 
after year, proposed by the latter. Mr. Aikman, as a mutual 
friend, was the mediator, but unhappily without success. Mr. 
Haldane desired a reconciliation on the ground of burying the 
past in oblivion, and assuming that there might have been faults 


on both sides. Mr. Ewing, on the contrary, demanded an ac 
knowledgment of error, and as if to render the acknowledgment 
impossible, also required the payment of a sum of money, " were 
it only a shilling," in token that the Glasgow Tabernacle had been 
unjustly reclaimed. Mr. Haldane s last attempt at reconciliation 
ought not to be omitted in a Memoir of his life, were it only as an 
illustration of his Christian principle, and of the depth of kindly 
feeling which was sometimes concealed under a manner that to 
strangers appeared rather stately and reserved. Indeed, when it 
is remembered how- much there was in his composition of a spirit 
naturally lofty and unbending, the pathos with which he pleads 
for reconciliation, both on the ground of principle and of feeling, 
will appear all the more remarkable. The following letter was 
written at Montauban a few months before he left that field of 
useful labor. It is as follows : 

" Montauban. 

" MY DEAR SIR, Having had the other night a pleasing dream respecting an 
interview which I thought I enjoyed with you, and which recalled all the tender 
ness of affection I once had for you, I cannot let the feeling it excited pass 
without sending you these lines. Life is too short for such a prolonged conten 
tion. A great portion of yours and mine has passed since the unseemly strife 
began. Peace be with you ! 

" I would not, however, desire to place so important a matter merely on the 
foundation of feeling, but it appears to me, considering the complication of cir* 
cumstances which were, and perhaps still are, viewed by us in different lights, 
and the long period that has elapsed since we met, that while to each of us 
there are strong grounds of searching of heart, all real or supposed offences 
may now be mutually set aside and give place to peace and cordial good-will. 
May He, who, I trust I may say, has loved us both, and washed us in his blood, 
subdue all our iniquities and cast our sins behind him into the depths of the 
sea ! Being at such a distance, it is uncertain if we shall ever meet on earth. 
May we enjoy a blessed eternity in his presence. 

" I am, my dear Sir, yours, 


This letter was not sent from Montauban, but carried over to 
Scotland, and delivered, through Mr. Aikman, in 1821, to whom 
Mr. Haldane writes : " The feeling it expresses towards Mr. 
Ewing has long possessed my mind, and, I trust, will never be 
effaced." Mr. Ewing replied with courtesy, and even kindness, 
adhering to his refusal of a public reconciliation, and yet, with 
strange inconsistency, concludes: "Aid us with your prayers." 
Mr. Haldane replied in an elaborate letter to Mr. Aikman, stri 
ving to prove, that although he could not conscientiously com- 


338 SERMON IN MARCH, 1808. 

ply with the unreasonable demand to acknowledge himself to be 
in the wrong, whilst he believed himself to be right, yet that rec 
onciliation was surely a duty. "If," he said, "we both expect 
to meet together in the presence of God and the Lamb, surely 
we ought to be able to live in peace and love in the presence of 
men." He began this letter by noticing, that " it was with no 
small emotion I once more saw a letter from Mr. Ewing addressed 
to me in the style of former affection and reciprocal regard, after 
so long an interruption of friendship." And he concludes : "The 
time cannot now be very distant when reconciliation between us 
in this world will be in our power no more. May we not only 
enjoy together a blessed eternity in the presence of God, but be 
once more again united in the presence of men !" These efforts 
were in vain so far as concerned a public reconciliation, but it 
may be charitably concluded, from the tone of Mr. Ewing s reply 
to the Montauban letter, that all personal bitterness and animosity 
was at an end. 

There was another circumstance connected with the disruption 
which is worthy of record. It was the manner in which Mr. J. 
A. Haldane evinced his unchanging conviction of the infinitely 
superior importance of the Gospel itself as compared with any 
point of controversy in regard to its ordinances. The public ex 
citement produced by the announcement of his change of senti 
ment in regard to baptism, was proportioned to the notoriety of 
his character and his popularity as a preacher. He announced his 
intention of stating his reasons on the following Lord s-day, and 
the Tabernacle was crowded as when he preached with reference 
to Lord Camelford s duel, or more recently on the death of his 
venerable friend, John Newton. He observed many persons 
present, chiefly attracted by motives of curiosity, some of them 
men of station, others men of literature or science, professors, 
philosophers, and magistrates. It was not in his heart to allow a 
congregation of 4,000 souls to feed on the husks of a barren con 
troversy about the meaning of ^UTITW and ftumi c.w, or vm-ua^ or 
even about the proper objects of Christian baptism. Looking 
round, therefore, on the vast assemblage with a solemn and scru 
tinizing glance, he pointedly asked, and paused as if for an an 
swer to the question, what were the motives which had drawn 
them together ? "Was it," he inquired, " to hear a man who had 
changed his opinion? Ah! my friends, there is something of 
infinitely deeper importance, which concerns the present and 


eternal welfare of the immortal soul of every one now present." 
Starting from this point, he pressed home upon them a sense of 
their lost and ruined state, and called on them to behold the 
Lamb. of God, who taketli away the sin of the world. He then 
noticed the differences which subsisted between believers, and the 
stumbling-block which these differences proved to the world. It 
was, in fact, a sermon in which he found no opportunity to speak 
particularly of baptism, and he postponed his promised statement 
till the following Lord s-day. The effect was solemnizing and 
striking, and the sermon might have been sufficient in itself to 
have stayed the impending disruption. 

Such was not the will of God. The two brothers had been 
raised up as extraordinary instruments to effect an extraordinary 
work. They were not, however, ambitious to be the founders of 
a new sect, or the leaders of a new party. Much good service 
was still reserved for them, both at home and abroad, but it was 
not to be in reviving apostolic usages or primitive Church order. 
What would have been the history of Congregationalism in Scot 
land, had no division taken place, it may be difficult to conjec 
ture. But as its popularity was already on the wane, so it may 
be fairly surmised that its star had culminated, and that, even 
if Mr. Haldane s pecuniary support had been continued for some 
years longer, the results would have been far from realizing the 
sanguine expectations of those who have spoken of their " fling 
ing away of Evangelical reform, which the prayerful in Scotland 
had hailed with rapture, and which both awed and improved the 
Kirk and the Secession." The work of Evangelical reform had 
indeed begun, but it was to be shared with other instruments, 
nor did it comport with the will of God, that the new party should 
rise on the ruins either of the Kirk or the Secession. 

In a very able and faithful review of the position and prospects 
of the Scottish Congregational Union at the end of fifty years, 
the Eev. W. Swan candidly admits, 

" It is evident, from the history of our Churches, that they have never been 
popular, and the present aspect of things around them gives no indication of 
their rising in public favor. It is stated that these Churches numbered, in 1849, 
less than 100 in all, comprising a membership of between 8,000 and 9,000. 
During the first years of our history, Churches multiplied rapidly, but then it 
was because conversions were frequent, and the accessions to the Churches so 
planted were numerous." 

The disruption not only divided and diminished the Church, 


but shattered the great congregation in Edinburgh to which Mr. 
James Haldane was wont to preach, and probably reduced it to 
one third of its former average number. This must have been a 
subject of regret to him, but it was one to which he seldom allu 
ded, and seemed not at all to feel as a personal mortification, 
11 1 am the Lord s servant" was a striking expression of his, and 
whether he preached to thousands or to hundreds, seemed only 
to concern him so far as it afforded the opportunity of proclaim 
ing the everlasting Gospel. To the love of popularity he was 
insensible, and considered any sacrifice made for this end to be 
derogatory to the profession of the Gospel and degrading to the 
character of a minister of Christ. 

In October, 1810, Dr. Charles Stuart, always in extremes of 
joy or depression, thus wrote to Mr. Campbell: "All here is 
dark indeed. I once thought, that if Mr. James Haldane was but 
convinced that none but disciples should be baptized, 1 should see 
the consummation of my earthly bliss ! But, alas ! this conviction 
has been attended with causes of misery, which have ever since 
broken my heart." Much pains had Dr. Stuart taken to incul 
cate his own views on his friend. He had attended his ministry, 
listened to his preaching with rapt admiration, and called on him 
two or three times in every week to discuss the topics which were 
delivered from the pulpit. He had gone so far as to say he would 
sacrifice half his fortune to see Mr. James Haldane a Baptist. 
But much as he had contributed to force on the attention of his 
friend this and other subjects, his cultivated taste was not pre 
pared for what he very justly stigmatized as " useless talk, under 
the name of exhortation, by persons quite unqualified." 

Dr. Stuart was, no doubt, in one of his gloomy frames when 
he thus wrote, and gravely added that the changes which he so 
much contributed to promote were " bringing some of us to our 
graves." It was about this period, and very probably at the 
very date of the foregoing letter, that the good Doctor had been 
much mortified by an interview with the celebrated Henry 
Brougham, whom he met at his son s house in the country. 
The great orator and future Lord Chancellor, well knowing Dr. 
Stuart s connection both with Mr. Ewing and the Tabernacle, 
and probably not at all sorry to dwell on the divisions which had 
taken place, would only talk about Mr. Haldane s controversy 
with Mr. Ewing. He professed to have read the pamphlets with 
great interest, and particularly noticed the acuteness and argu- 


mentative power of Mr. Haldane s reply. All this was gall and 
wormwood to Dr. Stuart, but his low spirits did not long con 
tinue, for suddenly Dr. Chalmers shot like a brilliant meteor 
across the northern hemisphere, and that great man, great in 
intellect as in Christian attainments, together with Dr. Gordon, 
Dr. M Eie, and other Presbyterian ministers, absorbed the sym 
pathies and admiration which at one time Dr. Stuart seemed to 
have concentrated on Mr. James Haldane and the Tabernacle. 
Indeed, it is a circumstance not without instruction, that Dr. 
Stuart ended his career where it began, if not as a communicant, 
at least as a worshipper within the pale of the Church, of Scot 
land. Still it will be seen hereafter, that in his unabated regard 
for Dr. Stuart, there was another instance of the steadiness of 
Mr. James Haldane s friendships. 

There was for some years a lack in the Edinburgh Tabernacle, 
according to the views entertained of apostolic times, and that 
was a Presbytery, or plurality of elders, " in every Church." It 
was not easy to find one whom the Church in Edinburgh would 
permanently endure as a colleague for their pastor. At last the 
office was, in a manner, forced upon his brother, but with the 
express understanding that it should, in his case, be deemed only 
temporary and provisional till others were appointed. Many able 
discourses, particularly an Exposition of the Epistles of Peter, 
were delivered by him during the few years he thus officiated. 
After he went to the Continent another attempt was made to 
secure a Presbytery, or plurality of elders, for the Church, but it 
did not succeed, and furnished one of the grounds of the frank 
and candid admission made in 1821 by Mr. Haldane to his friend 
Dr. Bogue, that "the system did not work." What were Mr. 
James Haldane s sentiments on this subject might be seen from a 
letter written to his son on his going to reside in London. The 
following are extracts, which exhibit the simplicity of his aim, 
and his earnest desire, like Caleb of old, to follow the Lord wholly. 
After plainly stating that he had no wish to influence his son to 
unite himself to the communion of any of the Churches whose 
order resembled that observed in his own, he proceeds : 

" There is something in the conduct of Divine Providence, in regard to the 
Churches, which I do not understand. I am sure all the Lord s ways are right, 
and it is our folly and ignorance which prevents us from seeing His wisdom and 
goodness in them all. I think it evident that the apostles were most jealous 
of any deviation from the ordinances delivered by them to the Churches, and 


that they foretold that this would issue in the establishment of the Man of Sin. 
. . . I would wish you to be connected with that Church in which most of 
the religion of Jesus was exemplified, where the deepest impressions of the 
value of your soul, and the importance of eternity, the riches of the love of 
God, the freeness of His salvation, and the glory and beauty of holiness, should 
be maintained in your heart, where you would have fewest temptations to con 
formity jto this present evil world, and where the doctrine you heard was most 
scriptural and impressive. Perhaps you go too far about bigotry and illiberal- 
ity. These are terms which are bandied about among all sects, and not without 
reason. There is much party spirit among all. The Churchman really thinks 
the Dissenter a great bigot; the Dissenter conscientiously returns the compli 
ment. The Independent is impatient of the illiberality of the Baptist, and he 
is at a loss to reconcile the unfairness of the Independent s arguments with a 
good conscience. The liberality which chiefly prevails, I think, in England is 
most unscriptural. It is an idea that Scripture has laid down no rules for 
Church order, and that we are to do what appears to us most calculated for 
usefulness. If I adopted this sentiment, I should myself be much disposed to join 
the Established Church, for in many respects the field of usefulness there is 
greatest. But I see plainly that the order of a Church is not unimportant, and 
that, although at present there are many defects in all parties, we ought to love 
all who love the Lord Jesus Christ, and that our love to them ought to abound 
in proportion as we see the great features of the kingdom of God, righteous 
ness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost abounding in them, and when these 
are observed it ought to enable us to throw a mantle of love over their defects. 
There is much more apology for what is commonly called bigotry in those who 
think they are obeying the Word of God, than when people are acting under the 
idea of expediency or usefulness. The former think they are obeying God, the 
latter are confessedly acting upon their own judgment. The former may think 
an opposite course dishonoring to God, but if the latter have not much forbear 
ance, it must arise, in a great degree, from self-will and dissatisfaction that 
others will not agree with them. May the Lord look on his Church on earth ! 
Its state is very low, and He alone can send times of refreshing. . . . 

"May the Lord Himself abundantly bless you, and guard you from every 
danger, and preserve you to His kingdom, is the prayer of yours, most affec 
tionately. J. A. H." 

Other letters of a similar purport might be produced, teaching 
the same important lesson, and proving how little there was of 
bigotry in his views, how his heart glowed with love to all the 
Lord s people, whilst, at the same time, he held fast by what he 
believed to be the will of his Master, without looking to conse 
quences or regarding the opinions of men. His brother, on his 
death-bed, spoke more strongly on this subject. He said, that he 
perceived no flaw in his principles, but had come to the conclu 
sion, that the Church was in the wilderness, and that it was vain 
to go before the leadings of Providence or hasten the time when 
the Lood himself should appear for its deliverance. He added, 


that lie saw that the Lord had always blessed the preaching of 
the true doctrines of the Gospel in sincerity and truth ; that this 
blessing had sometimes rested on one denomination and sometimes 
on another : but that, whilst an endeavor to restore apostolic order 
had failed, a blessing had never failed to attend the faithful preach 
ing of sound doctrine. 

It must not be forgotten, that, from first to last, both of the 
brothers adhered firmly to a belief in the communion of saints, 
of whatever denomination they may be in this imperfect world. 
In every public prayer Mr. J. Haldane uniformly offered up inter 
cession for all the people of God upon earth, " by whatever name 
they are known amongst men;" and he never allowed the ques 
tion of baptism to become a term of communion. His brother s 
views were the same. " It appears to me," he says, in a letter, 
dated August 1, 1810, "that the following may be laid down as 
a principle, that there is nothing in the New Testament which 
authorizes us either to do anything that God has forbidden, or to 
neglect anything that he has commanded, for the sake of main 
taining fellowship with others. But the maintenance of this prin 
ciple does not prevent our acting with others whom we believe to 
be Christians on the things on which we are agreed. It appears to 
me, that the whole of the New Testament proceeds upon this 
principle, and enforces it. Our fellowship is with the Father and 
the Son, and must be maintained by constant obedience on our 
part, and application to the blood of sprinkling when we come 
short. Our fellowship with each other arises out of this fellow 
ship, and can only be maintained so far as fellowship with God 
is maintained. We are never to attempt to maintain Christian 
fellowship with each other at the expense of fellowship with 

Mr. J. A. Haldane s efforts to promote union amongst believ 
ers union without compromise, were not discouraged by their 
ill-success at the time when even Mr. Aikman could not forbear 
with those who denied the validity of infant baptism. Three 
years later he published, in 1811, a treatise on the duty of forbear 
ance. It was answered by Mr. William Jones, the pastor of a 
strict communion Baptist Church, in London, author of the "His 
tory of the Waldenses," and a writer of considerable talent, but 
much asperity. Mr. Jones considered Mr. James Haldane s argu 
ment as covertly levelled at the Scotch Baptists, with whom Mr. 
Jones was associated ; and, at almost the same moment, one of 


Mr. Haldane s late students, an Independent pastor, of Mr. Ew 
ing s class, wrote another pamphlet, to show that the real object 
was to subvert the Congregational preachers. In 1812 Mr. James 
Haldane replied, in a pamphlet, which, is a model of good spirit. 
Unmoved by the ill humor of the strict communion Baptist, or 
the doleful imaginings of the Independent, he, in the first place, 
mildly remonstrates against the evils of controversial irritation, 
and the mistaken supposition that harsh, contemptuous, or sarcas 
tic language, is calculated to promote the cause of Christ. He 
then alludes to the supposition that he was "haunted by the idea 
of these preachers day and night;" but, with much good-humor, 
assures both his assailants that they are mistaken. "I am fully 
satisfied," he says, "that, in so far as either the Paedo-baptist 
preachers, or the Churches to which Mr. Jones refers, oppose the 
will of God, their system will come to naught ; and, in so far as 
they do his will, I heartily wish the prosperity of both." He 
adds, that he had referred, not to Churches, or individuals, but to 
principles, in his previous treatise. "But, if I had any Churches 
particularly in view, it was those which bear the name of Mr-. 
Glas, because I believe they carry the principle of non-forbear 
ance further than any other." To many of the principles of Glas 
and Sandeman, and especially to their bitter intolerant spirit, it 
has been already stated, that both the brothers were at all times 
strongly opposed. There were, indeed, some parts of their wri 
tings which were regarded as exhibiting noble views of the free- 
ness of the Gospel and the simplicity of faith, but, as a whole, 
the .Glasite, or Sandemanian system, was most abhorrent to their 
principles and feelings. On one occasion Mr. Haldane was speak 
ing on this subject whilst walking by the side of one of his plan 
tations on the undrained moss at Auchingray. He stopped and 
pointed to the slow and stunted growth of these young trees, as 
contrasted with the rapid growth of those which had been planted 
on a prepared soil, and said, with a smile, " There is a picture of 
Sandemanianism. There is life, but its expansive powers are con 
tracted and dwarfed." 

On the subject of faith it may be mentioned, that one of the 
most useful and valuable of Mr. J. A. Haldane s practical works 
is a treatise on the " Doctrine and Duty of Self-Examination." It- 
contains the substance of two sermons preached in 1806. A new 
edition was published in 1823. Both the brothers have remarked 


with, regard to faith, that trust, or confidence, in Christ, seemed 
substantially to express the meaning of the term. It was the dy 
ing declaration of their father, " I have full confidence in Jesus;" 
and they both adopted the terms as their own definition of faith. 
It is at once simple and comprehensive. 



FKOM the time when Mr. Haldane first planned his mission to 
India down to the summer of 1810, the variety and extent of his 
occupations were such as to render it surprising that he had been 
able to devote so much of his time to private reading and study. 
After he left Airthrey, in 1798, and embarked in plans for propa 
gating the Gospel at home, he had been employed in widely cir 
culating Bibles and tracts, in establishing Sabbath-schools, build 
ing chapels, and sending out home missionaries, as well as in 
superintending the education of young men as preachers, cate- 
chists, and Scripture-readers. All this was done under his own 
superintendence and at his own expense, so that, in fact, there 
is hardly an object to which he at first devoted his individual 
energies for which there has not since been established a special 

In the midst of all these engagements there was much to dis 
tract, and there can be no doubt that an interval of leisure was 
desirable for calm repose and quiet meditation. This interval 
seemed to be graciously vouchsafed ; whilst his labors on the Con 
tinent, as well as his after-writings, indicate how wisely he spent 
the comparative leisure which intervened between the close of his 
earlier labors and his first visit to Geneva in 1816. 

Towards the end of 1809 he bought the estate of Auchingray, 
in Lanarkshire, on which he soon afterwards erected a comfort 
able and spacious residence. Amongst those who watched his 
career with an unfriendly eye were some who criticized his con 
duct in retiring to the country, as if it were inconsistent with the 
motives which influenced him in the sale of Airthrey. But such 
critics usually seize upon points that seem open to their censure, 
without taking a view of all the circumstances. There was a 


great difference between occupying a place like Auchingray and 
one like Airthrey. The original cost of Auchingray amounted to 
a very inconsiderable portion of the price of Airthrey. Some 
farms adjoining Airthrey had been reserved by Mr. Haldane out 
of the original contract of sale, but these, too, were disposed of 
before the new purchase. The manner in which he acted in re 
gard to the last sale, was often mentioned by Sir Eobert Aber- 
cromby as stamping Mr. Haldane s character as a gentleman. 
The farms unsold were much more valuable to Sir Kobert, as the 
owner of Airthrey Castle, than to any one else. It would, there 
fore, have been easy to have extracted a considerably larger price, 
to prevent annoyance, had this element of value been brought 
into the calculation. But Mr. Haldane declined taking advantage 
of this circumstance, and having obtained an estimate from his 
land-surveyor, Mr. Morison, he sent the result to Sir Robert, 
offering the forms at the price there named, which was 30,000. 
A proposal so liberal was at once gladly accepted, and these lands 
became reunited with Airthrey. 

It was after the sale of these lands and of the estates of Loch- 
ton and Keithock, that Mr. Haldane purchased Auchingray. 
Some country residence was necessary for the purposes of health, 
retirement, and recreation. For himself and Mrs. Haldane, the 
selection proved both agreeable and convenient, although the 
place was not adapted to persons dependent on society. At a 
comparatively small cost he obtained a large tract of land. Its 
wildness pleased his taste, and its improvement furnished an 
agreeable refreshment to his energetic spirit. A great part of 
Auchingray was then a moor, lying on the bleak summit level 
between Edinburgh and Glasgow. His plans for draining, and, 
in some instances, cutting away the moss, were conducted with 
equal skill and enterprise. He covered several hundreds of acres 
with larch, firs, birch, ash and coppice. As he had been one of 
the first to transplant full-grown trees at Airthrey, so at Auchin 
gray, he was one of the first to attempt planting on the moss. 
On an estate consisting of upwards of 2,000 British acres, there 
was but one solitary tree, a weather-battered ash, which stood be 
side the door of the farm-house in which the Principal of the 
University of Glasgow, Dr. Macfarlane, was born. Mr. Haldane 
found the greater part a barren wilderness. He left it a waving 
forest, studded with slated cottages -and new farm-homesteads, an 
ornament to the surrounding country, the improvement of which, 


by drainage and the application of lime, had been stimulated by 
his example. The grounds and farm-buildings were laid out and 
planned chiefly by himself, sometimes aided by his old friend, 
Mr. Morison, of Alloa, with whom he had arranged most of the 
improvements at Airthrey. The walks through the plantations 
were also made with so much science that a stranger might lose 
himself amidst winding foliage, where, formerly, there was nothing 
to interrupt the sweep of the north-eastern blast from the estuary 
of the Forth to the estuary of the Clyde. 

But these pursuits were merely the pleasant relaxation of a 
mind at peace with God and able to enjoy the temporal bounties 
of His providence, in consistency with the pursuit of far higher 
objects. His establishment was but little increased, whether he 
lived at Edinburgh or Auchingray. He kept only one riding- 
horse, and no carriage. Whenever it was necessary, a post-chaise 
was ordered from the inn at West Craigs ; and, whilst he main 
tained an abundant hospitality, nothing was sacrificed to orna 
ment or show. To live in this quiet, unostentatious way, at 
Auchingray, was something very different from occupying Air 
threy and keeping up its park, its ornamental woods, and walks, 
and pleasure-grounds. The following letter will show how little 
his new occupations at Auchingray diverted his thoughts from 
the great missionary works he had in view when he parted with 
Airthrey. It is addressed to Mr. Campbell, and dated 25th De 
cember, 1810 : 

" I now trouble you with this, to ask you if there be any translation of the 
Scriptures which you think would be useful and is not likely to be carried into 
effect by the secretaries in London ; or if you have any opportunity of an en 
larged distribution of the Scriptures which you are not able at present to em 
brace ? I should be glad to consider anything of this kind that you should rec 
ommend. In giving, perhaps, considerable assistance to such objects,, I would 
wish to do it in such a way as would be an addition to what is at present going 
on. Do you know if anything in this way could be done on the Continent ? 
Can anything more be done for Spain and Portugal, &c. ? I suppose nothing 
could be attempted as to France, or would it be possible to send over more 
copies of the Bible to that country? When convenient, I shall be happy to 
hear from you on the subject; and, as I am writing to other places, I should be 
glad that it were soon. All your friends here are well." 

For two summers after he purchased Auchingray, he occupied 
the house of Hillend, belonging to the Monkland Canal Company, 
situated at the eastern extremity of the great reservoir, a sheet 
of water extending along the high road, two miles in length, in 


front of Aucliingray, and said to be the largest artificial lake in 
the world. The capabilities of ornament connected with this 
beautiful lake, no doubt, constituted one of Mr. Haldane s chief 
inducements to select Auchingray as a place of residence. After 
the house was finished, it was his usual retreat during those months 
which he spent away from Edinburgh. On the Lord s-day he 
was for several years in the habit of going to Airdrie, where there 
was a Church formed on the model of that with which he was 
connected in Edinburgh. He generally himself delivered an ex 
position, in the forenoon, of some part of Scripture, which was 
always carefully studied, and full of useful practical instruction 
and profound theology. In the offices at a little distance from 
the house, he had a chapel fitted up, where Mr. James Haldane 
used to preach two or three times a- week when he visited his 
brother, and where he himself, after his return from the Continent, 
usually conducted public worship every Lord s-day. On the 
week-days, after the family worship and breakfast at nine o clock, 
he generally remained in his own room, with his door bolted, de 
clining to be disturbed till one or two o clock, studying the Scrip 
tures and other books, or writing. In the evenings he generally 
was occupied with lighter reading, including the newspapers, the 
periodical publications, and new books of useful information. He 
was also at this time preparing his work on the Evidences and 
Authority of Divine Eevelation, the first edition of which he 
published in 1816, and contained the fruit of his early and labori 
ous inquiries. 

His motive for writing that book was his own dissatisfaction 
with most of the works which professed to exhibit the evidences 
of Christianity. Looking along the whole line of the most popu 
lar defenders of its historical truth, it was too manifest that the 
most eloquent and argumentative had not always been the most 
evangelical of its apologists. Warburton, Paley, Lardner, and 
Watson were great names, but of which of these distinguished 
writers could it be said with confidence, that he received the Gos 
pel in its native power and simplicity ? Bishop Warburton was 
a giant in learning, but his views of the Mosaic economy were 
sufficient to indicate his unsoundness. Archdeacon Paley, in his 
latest days, is said to have been greatly changed for the better ; 
but speaking of him as a writer on Christianity, his principles ex 
hibit a man groping in the dark, whilst his system of morals falls 
below the standard of a virtuous Pagan. Dr. Lardnei was an 


Arian, disbelieving the Deity and atonement of Christ; whilst 
Bishop Watson s own sentiments were as heterodox as his charac 
teristic worldliness was inconsistent with his apostolic office. The 
works of such writers, although admirable in composition, unan 
swerable in argument, or valuable as a mine of information, be 
tray in every page the absence of vital acquaintance with those 
truths, whose outward strength and glory they profess to establish. 
It appeared also to Mr. Haldane that these, and such like books 
of evidences, were generally addressed to Infidels, and assumed 
the possibility that Christianity might prove a fable. On the 
contrary, he believed that the proofs of Christianity could only 
be properly set forth by those of whom it may be said, that the 
eyes of their understanding have been enlightened to know the 
exceeding riches of the grace of God in Jesus Christ ; and further, 
that the evidences of the truth of Revelation ought to be peculiar 
ly studied by disciples, not because they doubt, but because they 
desire to know more of the certainty of those things, which they 
most surely believe. 

The work was considerably enlarged and improved at a much 
later period of his life. The first edition, although less complete, 
contained a body of conclusive evidence in favor of Christianity, 
written by a powerful reasoner, who had himself doubted, and 
profoundly fathomed the subject, whilst it was also an admirable 
exposition of the Gospel of salvation. One of his reviewers just 
ly points out the singular skill and adroitness, with which he in 
volves the antagonists of Christianity in the most awkward en 
tanglement of self-contradiction. Out of the insinuations of 
Gibbon and the subtleties of David Hume, which he had scanned 
with an eye that pierced through all their sophistry, he elicits, by 
a masterly examination, a conclusive answer of their own objec 
tions. He strips them of their boasted claims to candor and 
philosophy, reduces them to that most humiliating of all discom 
fitures, self-refutation, and shows triumphantly not only the weak 
ness, but the malice of their aggression. From his youth up, he 
excelled as a reasoner in the Socratic method ; and it will be found 
that at Geneva and Montauban it was by the same process that 
he was enabled, most successfully to convince inquirers of the 
hollowness of their anti-scriptural doctrines. The concluding 
chapter, addressed to the various classes who hear the Gospel, 
was described by the same reviewer as " an impressive compen- 


dium of glorious and awful truths, forcibly, and sometimes elo 
quently, written." 

Before lie left this country for the Continent, Mr. Haldane re 
ceived many tokens of the estimation in which his work was held, 
and especially from some of those old friends with whom he first 
set out in his plans for propagating the Gospel. The two follow 
ing letters are amongst the few which he deemed peculiarly 
worthy of preservation. The first is from Joseph Hardcastle, 
Esq., the Treasurer of the London Missionary Society, with whom 
he had taken so much counsel in connection with his Mission to 
India, the education of the African children, and the establish 
ment of a Village Itinerancy Society in London. It was in a suite 
of rooms connected with Mr. Hardcastle s counting-house, as a 
Eussia merchant, that most of the religious Societies established 
at the end of the last century were instituted, and for several 
years carried on. There the London Missionary Society, the Ke- 
ligious Tract Society, the Hibernian Society, and the Tillage 
Itinerancy Society, were long conducted at Mr. Hardcastle s ex 
pense. There, too, the British and Foreign Bible Society held 
its first meetings. 

"HATCHAM HOUSE, October 2, 1816. 

" MY DEAR SIR, Your important and very valuable publication on the Evi 
dence and Authority of Divine Revelation, was sent to me about a fortnight 
ago, and I received it with much pleasure, as an acceptable token from a friend 
whom I have not had the satisfaction of seeing for many years, but for whom I 
have not ceased to retain an affectionate remembrance. 

" But although I felt the obligation due to your kindness, yet I thought it 
best to delay my acknowledgments till I had perused the work, which I have 
now done, and I can say, with the greatest sincerity, that it has afforded me 
very much pleasure, and I hope improvement also. I regard it as a work of 
great importance, admirably adapted for much usefulness, and I hope the bless 
ing of God will accompany its perusal, and fulfil your wish in rendering it the 
occasion of promoting His glory, the honor of His word, and of that glorious 
Messiah, to whose person, offices, and salvation it bears, through all its parts, 
so full and complete a testimony. 

" With what satisfaction and thankfulness must we contemplate the aspect 
of the times in which we live, and especially the operations and success of our 
Bible and Missionary Institutions. I have lately read over the last Report of 
both Societies, and am induced to think that we are witnessing the effects of a 
remarkable effusion of the influences of the Holy Spirit, and that we are prob 
ably discerning the dawn of that bright day which is predicted to shed Divine 
light on all the nations of the earth. 

" An energy seems to pervade the Christian world, unknown for several pre 
ceding ages ; and a generation appears springing up, who are likely to follow 
up with increased zeal the measures of their predecessors. 


" I consider myself as standing on the verge of the eternal world, and the 
decays of nature frequently admonish me that the time of my departure cannot 
be very remote. But I am cheered sometimes with the contrast which the pres 
ent state of things exhibits, compared with that which existed when I first be 
came acquainted with society ; and I am thankful to God for the privilege I have 
enjoyed of associating with so many excellent friends, who have been made in 
strumental in producing results so beneficial and so extensive. 

" All my family unite in the desire of being kindly remembered by yourself 
and Mrs. Haldane, and by your brother and sister, whose interviews occasion, 
ally at our house afforded the greatest pleasure, the recollection of which is 
cherished in all our minds. Believe me, my dear Sir, 

" Respectfully and affectionately, 

" Robert Haldane, Esq. " JOSEPH HARDCASTLE." 

The second letter is from his venerable friend, Eowland Hill, 
whose attachment remained unshaken by the changes that had 
taken place : 

" MY DEAR SIR, I feel much ashamed that I have not before now sent my 
very affectionate acknowledgment of your present of your volumes on the 
Evidences of Revelation ; but I first read them over attentively myself, and 
then lent them to others, before 1 ventured to pass my estimate on them ; and 
however feeble my testimony may be, and highly worthy as your work may be 
of approbation of superior minds, yet a better compilation of the evidences of 
Christianity, because so perspicuous and so easy to be understood, to the best 
of my recollection I never read before. 

" You have done, dear Sir, not only, I trust, the most essential service to 
the general cause of Christianity in what you have written, but also to the spirit 
and temper of the Gospel, by wisely dropping all those inferior differences that 
are of no essential importance when compared to the cause itself. 

" Yes, dear Sir, and the older we get, and the riper we grow in the Divine 
life, the less we shall regard matters that are disputations and non-essential, 
because not so much the positive subject of Divine revelation, and consequently 
the cause of minor differences among those who are the happy recipients of 
the same grace, and partakers of a Divine union with the same spiritual Head. 
And in this I desire to express my thankfulness before God for the concluding 
pages of your volumes. 

" While some have vindicated Christianity as a mere nominal religion, you 
have not only pleaded for the Temple of Truth, but shown that God himself 
is to be the inhabitant of His own temple, and that men are to be unspeakably 
blessed in Him. 

" On a subject similar to this. I cannot express what high satisfaction and 
delight my mind has received in perusing a recent publication by Dr. Mason, of 
New York. As it is sold in Edinburgh, I should suppose it has attracted your 

" If all the world were of his opinion, what a peaceable, united Church 
would be exhibited on earth, and what a strong argument against the sacred 
cause of Christianity would its enemies lose, if all manifested it by being 


possessed of the same delightful mind which is so evident through the whole 
of that invaluable publication ! Believe me to be, dear Sir, 

" Most faithfully and respectfully yours, 


There was a review of " The Evidences" which appeared ii\ 
the " Edinburgh Christian Instructor," in 1820, from the pen of 
the celebrated Dr. Andrew Thomson, before Mr. Haldane was 
personally known to that great champion of the Bible and of the 
Church of Scotland. The review was written with somewhat of 
that vivacity which was characteristic of the author, but which 
for a religious periodical, seemed to border too closely on the flip 
pant gaiety of the early numbers of the " Edinburgh Review." 
Dr. Thomson bestowed considerable praise on the excellences of 
the book, but dropped some good-humored jokes about " lay 
preaching," and warned the author that he could not expect to 
gather many " laurels of triumph," or much of " popular acclaim," 
on a field which had been already traversed by so manv " cham 
pions of renown." There was nothing in the review to cause an 
noyance, although the article was in the style of one who adhered 
closely to the Presbyterian Church, and was not without suspicion 
of those connected with any other denomination. It was not, 
therefore, from any feeling of resentment towards his future friend 
and coadjutor in defence of the integrity of the Bible that Mr. 
Haldane on this occasion addressed a letter to Dr. Thomson. It 
was rather from a desire to draw attention to the danger connected 
with books of evidence written by men who had not themselves 
a living belief in the Gospel. The celebrity both of Dr. Andrew 
Thomson and of his magazine, seemed to present a favorable oppor 
tunity for interesting the public mind on the very subject which 
had induced Mr. Haldane to write a book of evidences. The 
publication of his pamphlet, entitled, "A Letter to the Editor of the 
Christian Instructor" was, however, an instance of his fearless 
nature, for Dr. Thomson was then in the vigor of his colossal fac 
ulties, and in the full blaze of his great popularity. It may well 
be doubted whether it was worth while to reclaim against the 
judgment of the review with regard to AYarburton, Paley, Watson, 
and Campbell, as people were sure to imagine that the remon 
strance was, at least in some measure, dictated by personal dissatis 
faction with Dr. Thomson s criticisms. But whether this was the 
case or not, the Letter was a powerful exposure of the unfitness 
of those great "champions of renown," in whose hands, for the 


most part, the defence of Christianity had been left, and it con 
tained a forcible remonstrance against the lawfulness of seeking 
for "laurels of triumph" in any work connected with the Gospel. 
The concluding passage is characteristic of Mr. Haldane. He 
tells Dr. Thomson that he was the more anxious to deliver this 
warning, because, although "I have not the pleasure of being 
personally acquainted with the Editor of the Christian Instructor, 1 
I have had the satisfaction of hearing what is calculated to pro 
duce respect for him." The passage thus concludes, 

" Dismiss, then, your champions of renown, your popular acclaim, your 
laurels of triumph. Give them back to him who has such base and unworthy 
considerations ever at hand, to dazzle and seduce his votaries to their ruin. Ex 
pressions like these become not so sacred a subject. We are all too prone to 
pursue lying vanities But shall we for a moment allowedly entertain such 
ideas ? Shall a Christian Instructor gravely hold them up as objects of am 
bition, or ends of legitimate pursuit? If it be not a desire to be useful that 
prompts us to whatever we do in the service of the Gospel, we had better em 
ploy our time and our labor in any other way, than in acting upon principles 
which debase its nature, and divert from its proper object all its tendencies." 

Meanwhile nothing had occurred to damp Mr. James Haldane s 
zeal for the propagation of the Gospel. In some respects his labors 
were increased, because he had less assistance at command ; but 
he was no longer able to make wide tours, occupying two, three, 
or four months in duration. Since 1799, and the formation of 
the Circus Church, Mr. Aikman had, for the most part, ceased 
from his labors as an itinerant in the summer months. Mr. Rate 
was now quietly and usefully settled as minister of a Presbyterian 
Church at Alnwick. Mr. Innes could seldom absent himself 
from his own duties at Dundee, or Mr. Ewing from Glasgow. 
Mr. Campbell was removed to Kingsland, and, although Mr. 
James Haldane was the last to quit the field, which he was the 
first to enter, yet he too began to experience the increasing diffi 
culties connected with a prolonged absence from home, and from 
the Church of which he was still the sole pastor. The necessity, 
too, had become less urgent, and the Gospel was now flourishing 
in districts where it had been almost unheard of by the present 
generation. Under these circumstances, home duties having in 
creased, he felt himself less called upon to continue his missionary 

During the summers of 1808 and 1809, he was particularly 
zealous in preaching, sometimes on the Calton Hill, sometimes 


under a rock, near St. Anthony s Well, in the King s Park; 
sometimes on Bruntsfield Links, and, at other times, at JSTewhaven, 
Leith, Portobello, Musselburgh, Dalkeith, Lasswade, and other 
places, either in the open air, or under shelter, as the weather, 
the audience, or convenience dictated. 

In 1809, he was also much occupied with the formation of the 
Edinburgh Bible Society, of which he was always an active mem 
ber, and afterwards became a Yice-President. 

The village of Portobello, to which he was frequently accus 
tomed to resort, with his family, during the summer months, was 
the scene of many of his occasional labors, for a period of no less 
than half a century. The following letter, referring to his preach 
ing there, is from the daughter of a well-known magistrate of 
Edinburgh, the late Baillie Jamieson, whose name is associated 
with the rise of that favorite and now populous marine appendage 
to Edinburgh : 

" SUMMERFIELD, March 22d, 1851. 

"DEAR Miss HALDANE, I have read with the deepest interest the little sketch 
of the life and labors of your venerated father, which you had the goodness to 
send me, and have been reminded vividly of many circumstances in his history, 
which, long ago, I had often the happiness to hear from his own lips. Few, 
comparatively, are now alive, who remember your dear father, in the full force 
of his early zeal and success, who witnessed the crowds that then attended his 
preaching, or who had the privilege of enjoying his friendship and conversation. 
To me, who was so favored, the details of the sketch are peculiarly interesting, 
and I am glad to understand, that a narrative, still more extended, is in contem 
plation, which, I have no doubt, will, by the blessing of God, be most useful to 
many inquirers. Will you allow me to suggest, that, in the event of a more 
complete memoir being published, some notice should be taken of Mr. Hal- 
dane s ardent, affectionate labors at my native village, Portobello, where, for a 
series of years, his efforts for the spiritual good of the people, by preaching and 
private ministration, were unwearied and highly appreciated. The more so, 
perhaps, that, at the outset, he had to contend with certain prejudices, which 
the enemies of pure, evangelical preaching had created in the minds of some 
of the friends of the Government, by insinuating that he was inimical to the 
Powers that be, and that he did not even pray for the King, or the minister 
of the parish ! 

" The oldest proprietor at Portobello, on whose lands most of the village was 
then built, who had many of the common people in his employment, and enjoyed 
their implicit confidence, had heard these rumors. He was a zealous supporter 
of the Government, and he was advised by certain parties about Edinburgh 
that, in their unsettled state of political feeling, he should use any influence he 
had, to suppress Mr. Haldane s efforts, as calculated, they said, to set the minds 
of the people adrift, and to unhinge the institutions of the country. It was 
reported that Mr. Haldane was, on a certain day, to preach near the high road, 


and the proprietor referred to appeared on that occasion among the numerous 
audience collected around him, and of whom many had come from Dudding- 
stone, and other neighboring districts. 

" His purpose (agreeably to the information he had received) was to remon 
strate, at least, with the people under his own care, or even, if necessary, to 
exert his authority as a justice of the peace in dispersing them. He had not 
listened, however, but a few minutes to the fervent discourse which was then 
being delivered, so suitable to the circumstances of the audience, before he saw 
that he had been misinformed and mistaken ; and with that contrition which 
honest minds feel when they perceive they are about to act unjustly, my father 
at once confessed his error. Fortunately, the falling of a heavy shower afforded 
him an opportunity of requesting Mr. Haldane and his congregation to adjourn 
to a large barn, which had been lately furnished with coarse benches, and where 
the minister of the parish occasionally met his people. The offer was cheer 
fully accepted, and the services of the evening were peacefully concluded. 
Thus began, my dear Miss Haldane, an acquaintance, which I still look upon, 
as one of the happiest circumstances of my life. In the same place Mr. Hal 
dane continued his labors on many a winter as well as summer evening for 
years, sometimes alternating afterwards with Mr. Ewing or Mr. Aikman, and 
having frequently for his auditor the amiable and pious Mr. Bennet, then min 
ister of Duddingstone, who felt delighted to encourage, by his presence and 
example, any effort which was likely to arouse, or quicken the piety of his peo 
ple. Your excellent father resided with his family in the village for several 
seasons, when, in addition to his exertions in the pulpit, by Christian counsel 
and advice he was the means of awakening and comforting many an afflicted 
mind. In my own case, I owe much to Mr. Haldane. He was fully alive, I 
think, to the gratitude I felt to him, for early leading my attention to those 
views which, he told me, could alone give peace to the conscience, and which, 
in my declining age, I find now my chief solace. You will forgive me, there 
fore, for the wish I have expressed, to see in the record of his life some notice 
of his devoted labors in a sphere to which I once felt much attached. Since 
the time I speak of, what was a mere village has grown into a sizable town; 
the population, I dare say, more than quadrupled, and a number of churches 
have been built. I question, however, if more real good is now effected than 
when Mr. Haldane labored unostentatiously by himself, in the way of private 
ministration, or when, on the summer evenings, his warm and thrilling appeals 
to the heart and conscience were listened to by a deeply-impressed audience, in 
the old barn at Portobello." 

There is a postscript to Mrs. Eobertson s letter, which recalls Mr. 
James Haldane s intimacy, when at sea, with one who was in early 
life a kindred spirit, the late gallant Admiral Sir David Milne, 
whose achievements in the navy, and especially as second to Lord 
Exmouth at Algiers, have rendered his name justly celebrated. 
The other gentleman alluded to, sailed in the same ship with Mr. 
James Haldane : 

"On reading over the above, incidents occur to my mind connected with your 


dear father, during the time of his valuable labors at Portobello. His old friends 
and shipmates, Admiral Sir David Milne and Mr. Chalmers, had just returned 
from abroad, and hearing of Mr. Haldane s fame as a preacher of the Gospel, 
expressed a desire again to meet with him. This they soon did in my fathers 
house, and heard from himself how the change in his views and habits had been 
brought about. He did not hesitate to state, with his usual firmness, simplicity, 
and candor, the circumstances which had led to the unlooked-for change. The 
detail was interesting, and the evening passed most happily, with interchange 
of kind feelings towards each other; for, although differing, alas! from Mr. 
Haldane on spiritual subjects, the gallant Admiral and his friend found that the 
manly worth and affection which had always distinguished their old acquaintance, 
were in nothing impaired." 

Long afterwards, Mr. J. A. Haldane, in a letter, dated May 10, 
1845, notices the sudden death of Sir David Milne, in the steamer 
on his way to Scotland, and observes : " Many years ago we were 
at Bombay. He was second mate of the General Elliot, and I of 
the Montrose. He was five years older, but we were then rather 
intimate friends. When we got home, war had broken out, and 
as he had previously passed as lieutenant, he joined the Boyne 
under Sir John Jervis." * 

In connection with Mr. J. Haldane s preaching in the neighbor 
hood of Edinburgh, there is another incident, which belongs to 
an early date. It relates to an excursion which he made to North 
Berwick, as it is believed, in 1798. He had announced the in 
tended sermon in the usual manner, and had begun to preach one 
summer s evening not far from the shore of that beautiful bay, 
stretching nearly twenty miles along the coast, at one extremity 
of which the Bass Eock and North Berwick Law rise, as from the 
ocean, to confront the ancient Castle of Edinburgh and the majes 
tic rocks of Arthur s Seat. At that period the convivial habits 
of East Lothian were notorious, even in an age when Scottish 
hospitality had become stained with the vices of riotous excess. 
There were many of the East Lothian squires who drank so hard 
and so habitually, that it is said by those who knew them well, 
that they never went to bed sober. It happened that the officers 
of the East Lothian yeomanry, and certain justices of the peace, 

*In the action between the Blanche and a French frigate in 1795, the gallant 
Captain Faulkner was shot through the heart, just as Lieut. Milne and himself had 
fastened with their own hands the enemy s bowsprit to the capstan of the Blanche. 
The boats of the latter being all destroyed, Lieut. Milne, with ten men, swam to 
the Pique, and hoisted the British flagon board the captured frigate. "For his 
consummate intrepidity" in this desperate action, Lieut. Milne was promoted, and 
from that time his career became conspicuous in the annals of the British navy. 


including one who long sat in Parliament for the county, were 
dining with the Provost and magistrates of North Berwick. Ac 
cording to the wretched habits of the times, they were already 
deep in their potations, when they were informed that Mr. J. Hal- 
dane was preaching in their immediate vicinity to the assembled 
people of North Berwick. The sound of the Gospel had no 
charms for them, nor were they willing that others should hear 
it. Already heated with wine, they began to consult in what way 
they should put down this missionary invasion of their own terri 
tories. One of them, more reckless than the rest, said that it 
would be a capital plan to seize on the preacher, as had been done 
in the case of some political lecturers in England during the sus 
pension of the Habeas Corpus Act, and send him at once on board 
a man-of-war. It was replied, that this would be rather danger 
ous, and besides, that it would be awkward, as the Admiral of 
the North Seas was Mr. J. Haldane s uncle by blood, whilst it was 
again observed, that the Commander of the King s Land Forces 
was his uncle by marriage. But as they drank on, they became 
more and more resolved that in some way he should be put down, 
and open-air preaching crushed in North Berwick. Eising from 
the table, the Provost and magistrates sallied forth, threatening 
that if the preacher did not desist, they would make a law to stop 
him if they did not find one. In this infuriated mood they rushed 
forward to the spot, a boisterous throng, not omitting oaths, with 
horrid imprecations, and other melancholy proofs of their half- 
inebriated state. Mr. J. A. Haldane received them with calm 
self-possession, and in reply to their demands, intimated that he 
was infringing no law and interrupting no thoroughfare. He said, 
at the same time, that if as magistrates they required him to desist 
from preaching in that particular spot, he would certainly obey, 
but added, that when he heard men in authority setting such an 
example of profane swearing " What !" exclaimed the magis 
trates, eagerly interrupting the half-finished sentence, " what do 
you say of us?" "I would not," he replied, with firmness, "I 
would not say what I think of you." "Conscience," it has been 
truly said, "makes cowards of us all;" and the same determined 
composure of spirit, which a few years before had overawed the 
intoxicated mutineers at the door of the powder magazine of the 
Button, seemed now to have paralyzed the godless throng who 
had rushed from their revel to seize upon the preacher. In the 
meantime, great was the indignation that arose amongst the peo- 


pie who witnessed this wanton and indecent interruption, and it 
is difficult to say what might have been the result, had not a 
respectable farmer come forward and requested Mr. J. Ilaldane 
to adjourn to his field, which was private property, and where the 
jurisdiction of the Provost ceased. He did so, and drawing a 
moral from the enmity to the Gospel just witnessed, preached a 
powerful and impressive sermon, which sent away the people 
awed and solemnized. It was long remembered at North Ber 
wick and in the neighborhood. That sermon was not, however, 
permitted to end without interruption, for such was the rancorous 
feeling of the Provost and magistrates, that, nettled at the defeat 
they had sustained, they prevailed upon one of the county gen 
tlemen who commanded the Yeomanry to lend his drum, for the 
purpose of drowning the preacher s voice. This undignified act 
of magisterial interference did not, however, succeed, as the drum 
mer was not allowed to enter the field, and the interruption was 
more vexatious than successful. 

There was, however, a sequel to the story. Shortly afterwards 
Mr. James Haldane was returning home, and as he reached his 
house in Edinburgh, No. 16 (then No. 8), George-street, he ob 
served the unusual spectacle of a great funeral procession with 
two hearses passing his door. He inquired whose funeral it was, 
when he was shocked to learn that it was the funeral of the 
Provost of North Berwick, and his wife, who had both died sud 
denly, and were about to be buried in the same grave. Another 
and more pleasing reminiscence has been since associated with 
this scene of interruption. Twenty years afterwards, when walk 
ing one summer s evening near Portobello, with some of his chil 
dren, Mr. J. A. Haldane met a tall, portly gentleman, of com 
manding presence, who, on seeing him, immediately left the foot 
path, and uncovering, made a profound bow, and passed on. Mr. 
J. Haldane returned the unlooked-for courtesy of the stranger, 
and next day discovered that it was the officef who lent the drum 
at North Berwick. Since that evening he had never met the 
preacher, but had deeply repented of the part which he was 
tempted to take in that affair ; it was a recollection that lay heavy 
on his conscience ; and he afterwards charged his sons to do what 
in them lay to show respect for Mr. J. Haldane and kindness to 
his family. It is still more pleasing to think that this officer him 
self was a trophy of divine grace, and that the preacher to whom 
he had once refused to listen, and whose voice he had tried to 


drown, spoke to him the words of peace and prayed by his side 
when laid on the bed of death. Four gallant sons of his had 
engaged in defence of their country ; one of them distinguished 
himself as the colonel of a Highland regiment, and another re 
ceived promotion for his zeal and conduct on the field of Waterloo. 
Both became, what was far better, good soldiers of Jesus Christ. 
The last time that Mr. James Haldane preached near London, 
was in the year 1848, when he proclaimed the gospel to a crowded 
military audience at Woolwich, where he had been invited by the 
excellent Minister of the Scottish Free Church, at the request of 
Colonel Anderson, who holds an important command in that 
garrison, and is the eldest surviving son of him who, just fifty 
years before, had been a party to the interruption at North Ber 

The occurrence of such incidents naturally grew less common, 
as Mr. J. Haldane s work fell more within the usual routine of an 
ordinary laborer in the ministry of the Gospel. But seldom has 
there been a man of whom it might be more truly said, that he 
was " instant in season and out of season." As a visitor of his 
own people, and of all who sought his spiritual aid, he was an 
example even in old age, down to the close of his lengthened 
days. Misery or wretchedness only constituted a fresh claim on 
his sympathy, and the dread of contagion or infection never inter 
rupted his errands of mercy. On one occasion a pestilential fever 
was raging in a house at Stockbridge, and Dr. Alison, the eminent 
brother of the distinguished historian, left a person in charge, 
expressly to stop Mr. J. A. Haldane s entrance into a house where 
the danger was imminent. But the warning made no impression. 
He said he was in the path of duty, and ought not to be deterred 
from it by any personal apprehension. If the desertion of duty 
would be deemed an act of cowardice on the part of a soldier or 
sailor, why should there be less of loyalty or boldness in a soldier 
and servant of Christ ? 

His gentle and soothing manner in a sick-room was the index 
to the sympathy of his heart, and contrasted finely with the natu 
ral energy of his fearless nature. His experimental knowledge 
of the truth, his wonderful familiarity with Scripture, and his 
remarkable unction in prayer, rendered his visits peculiarly ac 
ceptable to those who sought for and valued spiritual comfort. 
Often was he invited to attend on those who were not connected 
with his Church, and it was remarked by many who had seceded 


from it at the time of the disruption, that in seasons of affliction 
they still gladly turned to him who had been their pastor in the 
Circus and the Tabernacle. 

In the summer of 1810 he visited Harrowgate, on account of his 
wife s health, and during the weeks he remained there embraced 
frequent opportunities of preaching in the Assembly-room and in 
the neighborhood. In 1811, he took his two eldest boys a short 
Highland tour, but whilst introducing them to the beauties of 
Dunkeld, or the wild grandeur of Killiecranky and Blair Athol, 
and beguiling the journey, as they returned by Perth to Stirling 
and Linlithgow, with tales of other times and reminiscences of his 
own and his brother s boyish days, he never forgot his one great 
vocation. At every place where they stopped he endeavored to 
be useful, whether by preaching as at Dunkeld, by distributing 
tracts, or speaking a word in season as opportunity offered. One 
day, when stopping at a rude country inn in the Ochill Hills, not 
far from the Bumbling Bridge, there were two gentlemen in the 
same room, with whom he entered into friendly conversation. At 
that time French brandy was scarce and costly, unless it happened 
to be smuggled, and some was brought which one of the gentle 
men pronounced to be "excellent upon his salvation." Mr. J. 
Haldane did not notice this profanity, but continued to converse 
with him until their carriage was announced. They took leave 
with politeness, when Mr. James Haldane, following them to the 
door, requested the gentleman to accept of a tract of his own, 
entitled "The Great Salvation." "You were talking, Sir," he 
said, " of your salvation ; perhaps you will permit me to offer 
something that I have written upon that important subject." The 
stranger colored at the implied rebuke thus delicately conveyed, 
but expressing his sincere acknowledgments, drove off. 

In the spring of 1812 he made a journey to Newcastle, where 
the pastor of a Church, who had been educated at Mr. Haldane s 
early class in Glasgow, had apostatized into Socinianism. This 
was one of the comparatively few amongst all these students whe 
actually denied the faith. Mr. J. Haldane preached with great 
power " on the Person of Christ," and the substance of his sermon 
was afterwards published in a very excellent little treatise, em 
bodying the testimony of Scripture both to the Godhead and 
manhood of the Saviour. His labors at Newcastle and in the 
neighboring towns were highly prized, and were deemed most 
important on this occasion. 

362 BUXTON. 

In the following year he made another tour through the south 
of Scotland to Carlisle, where he was as indefatigable as in his 
earlier years in fulfilling his commission to preach the Gospel. 
He also visited the late Kev. John Fawcett, of Stanwix, an excel 
lent clergyman of the Church of England, under whose tuition he 
was desirous of placing his eldest son, now deceased. Mr. Faw- 
cett s numbers were complete, but he recommended his friend, 
the Eev. L. Grainger, of Wintringham, who had been the much- 
esteemed curate and usher of Joseph Milner, the historian, and 
the tutor of Henry Kirke White. With him Mr. James Haldane 
successively placed his two eldest sons, a circumstance worthy of 
record as exhibiting, in a practical form, his love for good men 
and his superiority to mere sectarian prejudices. 

In 1814, he repaired, first to Buxton, and then to Harrowgate, 
for the health of his beloved .wife, taking with them their eldest 
daughter, and his second son, then on his way to Wintringham. 
On their journey he stopped at Millbank, near Warrington, the 
residence of Mr. Eobert Spear, an eminent merchant, who took a 
deep interest in objects connected with the propagation of the 
Gospel. He had then repeated opportunities of preaching both 
at Millbank and in the neighborhood of Warrington, where he 
once more enjoyed an agreeable meeting with Mr. Eowland Hill, 
then a septuagenarian, and engaged on what he intended to be 
his last tour for the Missionary Society. On the following Sunday 
Mr. J. Haldane went by request to preach in the open air, in a 
village where there was a large manufacturing population and no 
Gospel ministry. He was accompanied by Mr. Thomas Smith, 
one of his brother s students, who was then tutor in Mr. Spear s 
family, and afterwards Professor at the Rotherham Academy. On 
arriving at the place where the sermon was to have been, on the 
village-green, the constable, addressing Mr. Smith, told him that 
he could allow of no preaching. Mr. J. A. Haldane, with great 
presence of mind, took out his Bible, and uncovering his head, 
observed, that, at all events, there could be no objection to his 
reading a portion of the Word of God. The constable seemed 
perplexed, and was struck, as it was said, with the bearing and 
appearance of the stranger, who thus quietly assumed his un 
doubted right to read the Scriptures to the people. The result 
was, that from reading he began to expound, and by and by to 
speak, without interruption, directly and forcibly to the assem 
blage, and concluded with prayer. 

BUXTON. 363 

At Buxton he constantly officiated on the Lord s-day, and 
occasionally on week-clays, in the chapel at that place, attracting 
a large number of the visitors, as well as of the ordinary inhab 
itants. The war had then scarcely ceased, and such watering- 
places as Buxton were much frequented by the aristocracy. In 
his old age Mr. James Haldane became more silent in mixed 
company, or with strangers ; but, in his earlier years, he had a 
happy faculty of introducing interesting conversation, and fre 
quently turning it to good account. As he remained at Buxton 
long enough to rise, according to usual rotation, to the head of the 
public table, his influence was more and more felt, and although 
there had been, at first, a dread of his Methodism, he afterwards 
became a general favorite with the most intelligent portion of 
the company, which comprised Judges, Members of Parliament, 
counsellors, clergymen, general officers, and country squires. 
There was there a Welsh rector, from Anglesea, the uncle of a 
well-known Baronet and Member of Parliament, who, knowing 
nothing at the time of Mr. James Haldane, observed that " these 
poor devils, the Calvinists, make their people believe that every 
thing, whether good or evil, is of God." AVithout appearing to 
take any umbrage at the worthy and good-humored rector s un* 
ceremonious description of the Calvinists, and, in reality, smiling 
at his prejudices, Mr. James Haldane quietly replied, "Ah! Sir, 
that is a grave subject. Do you not remember the vision which 
the prophet told to King Ahab, how he saw the hosts of heaven 
standing around the throne of God, on the right hand and on the 
left ; and how the lying spirit received his commission to go forth 
and persuade Ahab to go up to Ramoth Gilead ; and how Ahab 
went, and fell, although warned of his folly and his danger ?" 
Before Mr. J. A. Haldane had finished, the portly and well-mean 
ing but not well-instructed divine, coloring red as crimson, pro 
fessed himself more than convinced, and gladly turned the con 
versation. When he left Buxton he received letters of acknowl 
edgment from several of the visitors, thanking him for his tracts, 
or expressing their gratitude for spiritual instruction they had 
received. The few weeks he remained at Harrowgate were spent 
in the same manner, preaching, as opportunity offered, wherever 
there was an open door, and trying to introduce the Gospel into 
his conversation, without forcing it on others in such a way as to 
increase the offence of the cross. 

In December, 1814, Mrs. James Haldane lost her mother, who 


had survived her husband more than twenty years. She was a 
very superior woman, and had much of the character which be 
longed to her family. She was in her seventy-seventh year, and 
died without any illness or previous warning, but leaving behind 
her a good hope that she had entered into the rest that remains 
for the people of God, Her father, Mr. Abercromby, of Tullie- 
body, who was born in 1704, and died in 1800, was remarkable 
for his strong sagacity, as well as for his longevity. There was 
something remarkable about this family. He had four sons and 
four daughters by his wife, Mary Dundas, of Manor, a niece of 
the celebrated Bishop Burnet. " He lived," says General David 
Stuart, of Garth, in his "History of the Highland Regiments," 
" to see all his four sons honored and respected, and at the head 
of their several professions. At one time, whilst his eldest son, 
Sir Ralph, was commanding in chief in the West Indies, his 
youngest son, Sir Robert, held the same station in the East Indies, 
each having the red ribbon and star of the Order of the Bath. 
Another son, Burnet Abercromby, commanded an East India- 
man, and retired with a large fortune ; whilst his remaining son, 
an eminent, learned, and accomplished Scotch Judge, by the title 
of Lord Abercromby, was also much distinguished as a writer 
in the literary circles of Edinburgh." After stating these facts, 
General Stewart adds, " Three of his (Mr. Abercromby s) daugh 
ters were married to gentlemen of family and fortune, who resi 
ded so near him that he could dine with either any day he chose ; 
and his fourth daughter, continuing unmarried, devoted her days 
to the declining years of her father. Latterly he lived with his 
son." Of these daughters, Elizabeth married her cousin, Major 
Joass, the grandson of General Abercromby, of Glassaugh, and 
great-grandson and heir of line to George Lord Banff. Two 
other daughters were married, the one to Colonel Edmonstone, of 
Newton, and the other to Mr. Bruce, of Kennett, whose family 
claim the mail heirship of the Royal house of Bruce, but who was 
himself better known by his title of Lord Kennett, as an eminent 
and much respected Scotch Judge. Had General Stewart lived, 
he might have added the remarkable fact, that two of Mr. Aber- 
cromby s grandsons, who had both reached manhood before his 
death, were destined to sit at the same time as Peers of the realm. 
General Stewart s account of Sir Ralph s departure on the expe 
dition to Egypt is interesting : 

"I happened," he says, "to be in .Edinburgh in May, 1800, and dined with 


Lady Abercromby on the day Sir Ralph left her to embark on that expedition 
from which he never returned. A King s messenger had arrived from London 
the day before, and Sir Ralph, only waiting for a few family arrangements, set 
out on the following morning. When at dinner with the family, after his de 
parture, I was affected, in a manner which I can never forget, by the respectable 
old gentleman s anxiety about his son, and his observations and inquiries about 
his future intentions, and what service was intended for him. His particular 
destination was not known at that time, but it was suspected that he would 
be immediately employed. * They will wear him out, said he, too soon (the 
son was then in his sixty-eighth year), and make an old man of him before his 
time, with their expeditions to Holland one year and the West Indies the next ; 
and if he would follow my advice, he would settle at home and take his rest. 
And when Lady Abercromby observed that she was afraid that he must go 
abroad, Then, said he, ; he will never see me more. The verification of this 
melancholy prediction w T as to be expected, from his great age, being then in his 
ninety-seventh year. He died in the month of July following, eight months 
before his son, whose absence he regretted so much." 

In 1816 Mr. J. Haldane spent some weeks at Gilsland, in Cum 
berland, in the hope of recruiting his wife s drooping health. On 
that occasion he met a well-known Roman Catholic Archbishop, 
the late Dr. Everard, titular of Cashel. He was one of the old 
school of Irish priests, before the well-educated and well-mannered 
race, trained in France, had been changed for the coarser and 
more turbulent pupils of the College of Maynooth. Dr. Everard 
was a man of very cultivated mind, who had lived in the fami 
lies of some of the highest English aristocracy, and had seen 
much of the world. His character was described in glowing 
colors by Lord Glenelg, in one of his speeches on the Roman 
Catholic emancipation question. At first he appeared at the hotel 
simply as Mr. Everard ; and the only circumstance which created 
any suspicion, in regard to his rank, was the awe with which he 
was obviously regarded by a priest, who was also staying at the 
hotel, and whose reserved conversation and altered habits denoted 
a restraint, to which he had not been previously subjected. 

On the very first day that they met at table, Dr. Everard 
singled out Mr. James Haldane from the crowd of visitors, and 
in the evening made up to him and engaged him in very interest 
ing conversation. Next day his attentions became more marked, 
and, at dinner, it appeared that the Doctor s servant had received 
orders to wait on Mr. and Mrs. Haldane as much as on himself. 
The intimacy increased, and every day hours were spent in the 
walks or drives around Gilsland, discussing the claims of the 
Romish Church and the doctrines of the Gospel. Mighty in the 


Scriptures, and armed in Christian panoply, Mr. James Haldane 
repelled every argument drawn from the traditions of the Church 
or the authority of man ; and, on the other hand, assured his new 
acquaintance, that, if Eomanists refused an appeal u to the law 
and to the testimony," it must be because there was no light in 

These friendly discussions were carried on with intense earnest 
ness, and in a spirit that inspired mutual respect. Dr. Everard 
confidentially disclosed his rank and position in the Eomish 
Church, but solemnly appealed to heaven, that he sought only the 
truth, and was indifferent to all secular considerations. The con 
versations became daily more interesting. On the Lord s-day Mr. 
James Haldane preached in the assembly-room. Before the ser 
mon, Dr. Everard begged the daughter of his Protestant friend to 
persuade her father to preach in the drawing-room, and tell him 
how much he himself desired to listen. After the service was 
over, Dr. Everard asked why his request had not been complied 
with, and why Mr. J. Haldane had not preached in the drawing- 
room, " where," he said, " I could have remained and listened 
without any breach of discipline or canonical law, although, of 
course, it was impossible to follow you to another place." Mr. J. 
Haldane explained that many servants and cottagers would have 
been excluded from hearing, had he conducted the service in the 
drawing-room, but offered to go over all the leading topics of his 
discourse. This he did, and discussed them with his usual can 
dor. A few days before he left Gilsland, Dr. Everard confined 
himself to his room and did not appear in public. He afterwards 
sought a parting interview with his Protestant friend ; it was at 
once solemn and affecting. The Archbishop told Mr. J. Haldane 
that the conversations he had enjoyed with him, and particularly 
his appeals to the Bible, had shaken him more than anything he 
had ever before heard, and that it had made him very uneasy ; 
that he had, therefore, determined, with fasting and prayer, once 
more to seek counsel of God, in order that his error, if he were 
in error, might be shown to him. He added, that his medita 
tions, during his hours of fasting and retirement, had led him to 
this train of thought : " Here is a man who is certainly mighty 
in the Scriptures, but who interprets the Bible for himself and 
depends on his own private judgment. The case is different with 
myself. If I err, I err with a long line of holy men who have 
lived and died in the bosom of the Catholic Church." Mr. James 


Ilaldane endeavored to show the danger of trusting to the exam 
ple or opinions of fallible men, although some of those named, 
such as Pascal and Fenelon, had been themselves persecuted for 
their Protestant tendencies ; and he contrasted the opinions based 
on the shifting sands of human opinion, with the certainty that 
belongs to the written Word of God, read by the light of God s 
Holy Spirit shining on its pages. He also said something about 
"the traditions of the apostles." "What," said Dr. Everard, 
* do you speak of traditions ? I had thought you discarded them 
entirely." The reply was, " The traditions of fallible men I re 
ject, but the traditions of the apostles, as recorded by the finger 
of inspiration, are to be received as every other part of the in 
spired Word of God." Mr. James Haldane added, " Pardon me, 
but I must tell you, in faithfulness and love, that it is my firm 
conviction, that the Church which you so much esteem is no 
other than the woman which the apostle John beheld in the 
Apocalypse drunken with the blood of the saints and martyrs 
of Jesus. " Again he said, " Do not think me rude." The 
Archbishop affectionately pressed his hand, and said, " No, my 
dear Sir ; I know you too well to think so. I am persuaded that 
you only speak for my good." Mr. James Haldane once more 
urged on the Archbishop, the necessity of further investigation of 
the Bible with prayer. A compliance with this request was 
promised, coupled with an urgent entreaty that his Protestant 
friend would do the same. Mr. James Haldane replied that 
his convictions were based upon a rock too solid to be shaken, 
and one which would admit of being again and again examined 
with minute attention. But he reminded Dr. Everard, that all 
the claims of Popery rested on human testimony ; on principles 
that would not bear the light of God s Word, and around which 
there was, at best, a lurid halo of doubt and uncertainty. They 
parted with mutual expressions of regard, and Dr. Everard died 
a few years afterwards, at Cashel, where there were whispers in 
the neighborhood, which intimated that his dying room was care 
fully watched to prevent the intrusion of those / whose presence 
was not desired, and that the mystery which was kept up, as to 
his illness, arose from suspicions that he did not continue stead 
fast in the Romish faith. The death-bed of the celebrated Bishop 
Doyle, at Carlo w, was attended with similar suspicions, which 
have been since confirmed by the narrative published by his 
nieces, who were not suffered to enter his chamber until the life- 


less corpse was laid out in state, in his Episcopal robes, attended 
by monks, with lighted torches, chanting his requiem, amidst all 
that pompous ceremonial with which Home strives to make the 
senses the slaves of the imagination. 

In 1817, Mr. James Haldane received an unexpected visit from 
his old friend, Captain Patrick Gardner, under whose care he had 
gone to sea, and to whom, in 1801, he had so earnestly written, 
pressing on him the concerns of his immortal soul. The pleasure 
with which Captain Gardner was welcomed, the interest taken in 
recalling the names and pursuing the history of their old ship 
mates and early friends, seemed to renew the days of their youth. 
But Captain Gardner s health was broken ; and after an absence 
from Edinburgh of some weeks, on inquiring for him at his hotel, 
it was found that he had returned dangerously ill. During his ill 
ness he was daily watched by his friend, who did everything to 
promote his comfort, and particularly sought opportunity to call 
his attention to the Word of God. Captain Gardner at first inti 
mated that he was unable to listen long, and proposed about five 
verses. This request was punctually attended to, and the parable 
of the Pharisee and the publican was read, followed by a short 
prayer, founded on the cry, " God be merciful to me, a sinner." 
By degrees Captain Gardner came to listen with greater interest, 
and after he returned to London he wrote to his old friend, thank 
ing him for all his unremitting kindness, and telling him that he 
was now able himself to pray. He died rather unexpectedly in 
April, 1818, leaving behind the hope that his visit to Edinburgh 
had not been in vain. His will had been made many years be 
fore, but Mr. James Haldane was the chief executor, a circum 
stance which called him to London, where he had the opportunity 
of renewing his acquaintance with some of his old friends, and 
particularly at Hatcham House, with the late Mr. Eardcastle, who 
was then fast approaching the confines of the eternal world. He 
was also present at some of the principal meetings in May, and 
particularly took part at the anniversary of the British and 
Foreign Bible Society, in Freemasons Hall, where he delivered a 
short but effective speech. He also preached as usual, whenever 
there was opportunity, bat nowhere with great interest to himself 
or with more acceptance to his audience, than in the Seaman s 
Floating Chapel, then recently established on the Thames. 

On his return from London, it was with deep feeling that he 
found his beloved wife, the mother of nine children, more than 


ever suffering from shattered health. Again he conducted her to 
Harrowgate, in quest of renovation. The change of air and 
scene, which always cheered her bright spirit, appeared beneficial 
for a time, and there, too, her husband enjoyed the opportunities 
in which she delighted, for preaching, or conversing amongst 
strangers concerning the things which pertain to the salvation of 
the soul. On this, as on former occasions, he had much pleasure 
in the society of the Eev. Mr. Hardy, of Thorpe Arch, a clergy 
man of the Church of England, with whom he had frequent in 
tercourse during several visits to Harrowgate. In the winter, the 
chronic ailments of Mrs. James Haldane gradually became more 
serious, and in February a course of mercurial treatment was pro 
posed by three eminent physicians, under which her constitution 
rapidly gave way. Nothing could exceed the tenderness with 
which her husband watched over her dying couch, and the ear 
nestness of his prayers for her recovery. It was not, however, 
till within thirty hours of her death that any immediate appre 
hensions were entertained. The moment that the danger became 
imminent, he gathered all his children together, and kneeling 
down in the midst of them, offered up a prayer never to be for 
gotten, in which the most pathetic and earnest supplications for 
her recovery, if consistent with the Lord s will, were mingled 
with expressions of unreserved confidence in the love of God, 
and submission to the Divine pleasure. In particular, he gave 
thanks that on a former occasion of dangerous illness, in 1803, 
the Lord had been pleased to answer prayer, to rebuke the fever, 
and to prolong her life during the sixteen years that had inter 
vened. He therefore prayed as one who knew the Lord as the 
hearer of prayer, very pitiful and full of compassion. It was a 
night much to be remembered. It exhibited the struggle and the 
triumph of faith, contending with the fondest earthly affection, 
the tenderest and deepest feelings of the husband and the father 
controlled by the resignation of the believer, enabled to way, 
" Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." It was the decla 
ration of a heathen, that a good man struggling with adversity 
was a sublime spectacle, and so it might be said of him, whose 
faith in a covenant God enabled him to triumph over the agony of 
an impending calamity. Prayer was at all times the weapon which 
he grasped in every hour of need. It was not, however, the will 
of God on this occasion to listen to his cry to spare the wife of liis 
youth, or to hear the supplications of those whose aid he soughf tn 



intercession with their heavenly Father. On Saturday evening, the 
27th of February, 1819 ; in the presence of her husband and 
eight surviving children, she fell asleep in Jesus. The blow was 
severe, but her husband knew whence it came, and where to look 
for comfort. He deeply felt his loss, but he sorrowed not as those 
who have no hope. In writing shortly afterwards to her only re 
maining uncle, who had addressed to him a sympathizing letter 
of condolence, he touchingly remarked : " As I closed her eyes, 
a tear trickled down her cheek, and I thought that it was the last 
she would shed, for she had gone to Him who wipes away all 
tears from the eyes of His people." On the very evening of her 
death, he wrote to the following effect, in answer to the affection 
ate inquiries of his oldest friend, who had watched over him as a 
boy : 

" MY DEAREST AUNT, It has pleased Almighty God to remove 
out of this vale of tears my beloved wife. The stroke is heavy, 
but she is done with pain and sorrow, and is gone to be present 
with the Lord. And shall we murmur because another tie to 
earth is cut away ? Not surely those who have learned to wait 
for the appearing of their Master, and to account themselves 
strangers and pilgrims in this world, who declare that they have 
here no abiding city, but that their hearts and their treasures are 
in heaven." 

It was remarked that at this time it seemed as if he had taken 
another step within the veil, and as if his communion with the 
Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, had become closer and more 
intense. His feelings on the vanity of the world, as contrasted 
with the solid resting-place which belongs to the citizens of that 
city which is stable as the mount of Grod, are well expressed in a 
letter which, many years afterwards, he wrote on the death of his 
friend, Mrs, Hardcastle, the mother of his daughter-in-law, Mrs. 
Alexander Haldane : 

" It is a beautiful remark of Leighton s, that the apostle contrasts the disper 
sion of believers in this world with their election in heaven. They are spiritu 
ally alienated from the world, and interested in the new Jerusalem. Let us, 
my dearest Alexander, highly prize our privileges. Let us live to God. The 
night is far spent, and the day is at hand, and the nearer we approach to the 
full enjoyment of blessedness, the more may we feel the attraction of Him whom 
our soul loveth ! Many years ago, I read in the Arabian Nights of a moun 
tain of loadstone. Ships at a great distance felt its influence. At first their 
approach to it was scarcely perceptible. There was a declining from their course 
hardly to be noticed, and it excited little apprehension. But the attraction 


gradually became stronger, until the vessel was irresistibly impelled onwards 
with increased velocity. At last it drew all the nails and ironwork to itself, and 
so the ship fell to pieces. * The path of the just is as the shining light. When 
first the believer feels the love of Christ, it is like a mustard seed; but it in 
creases, and he is constrained by its influence to press more earnestly after the 
full enjoyment. At last the spirit can no more be kept at a distance from Him 
whom it loves. It flies to His embrace, and the body is dissolved." 


[1816, 1817.] 

TWENTY chequered years of failure and success had not damped 
the youthful ardor with which the two brothers had devoted 
their lives to the spread of the Gospel. Their zeal was not the 
offspring of wild enthusiasm, and its energy was not dependent 
on human contingencies. After a brief period of comparative re 
pose, the termination of the great revolutionary war opened up to 
Mr. Haldane a new field of enterprise, which he was not slow to 
occupy. In the summer of 1816, he hastened through the press 
his work on the Evidences of Christianity, for which he had been 
long collecting materials. The reason of his urgency was not very 
obvious to his printer, the late excellent Mr. Eitchie, who, although 
willing to go to India as the superintendent of a missionary press, 
was not so prompt to change the slow-going habits of the olden 
time. But the explanation shortly followed, when Mr. Haldane 
announced his intention of making a missionary tour on the Con 
tinent of Europe. The results of that Mission stretch into eternity, 
and will forever connect the name of Robert Haldane with the 
revival of the Gospel in France and Switzerland. The distinguish 
ed historian of the Reformation, himself a trophy of this work of 
grace, has said that a narrative of this revival would form " one 
of the most beautiful episodes in the history of the Church." 

The materials for such a narrative are much scattered, for it 
was characteristic of both the brothers, that they always seemed 
to dread the appearance of egotism, or of anything that savored 
of glorying in man. Nothing was more cheering to their spirits 
than the success of their labors, but each was deeply and habitu 
ally persuaded that, in regard to the things of God, they were but 
the feeble instruments employed by Him, who has determined to 
stain the pride of all human boasting, and cause "him that glorieth 


to glory only in the Lord." If there were a shadow of boasting, 
it was only in the success with which the Lord vouchsafed to 
honor the exhibition of the light of God s Word, unclouded by 
man s wisdom and man s devices. 

Apart from the scattered notices of Mr. Haldane s Continental 
labors, which are to be found in the history of many faithful pas 
tors in Switzerland and France, there are several sources from 
which something like a connected account of his proceedings may 
be gathered. One is contained in his own letter to the Arian 
Professor of Divinity at Geneva, published in 1824, both in French 
and English, which is replete with massive theology, as well as 
with valuable and delightful particulars connected with the results 
of his visit to Geneva. The other is a friendly letter to the late 
Rev. Edward Bickersteth, correcting some mistakes of the Rev. 
Richard Burgess, of Chelsea, published in a little volume, entitled 
; A Voice from the Alps." Previous to that publication, Mr. 
Haldane had resisted all the importunity used to induce him to 
furnish a connected narrative of his labors at Geneva and Mon- 
tauban. But when he saw so erroneous an account of a great 
work of God, not only as to its extent, but as to the manner in 
which it had been carried on, he felt that some contradiction was 
necessary, lest silence should be mistaken for acquiescence. It 
was always his conviction that the blessing on his labors was de 
signed as an encouragement to those who should cast away world 
ly policy, and in the strength of God, rest boldly on the blessing 
promised, both to the written and spoken word. Prejudices are 
not needlessly to be offended. Opposition is not needlessly to be 
encountered. But neither prejudices nor opposition were, in Mr. 
Haldane s reckoning, any just apology for keeping back the whole 
counsel of God. 

" AUCHINGRAY, Sept. 4, 1839. 

" MY DEAR SIR, Among the valuable books with which you 
kindly presented me during your late visit to Edinburgh, I turned 
with interest to the work you have published under the title of 
A Voice from the Alps. I rejoice to find that, in the midst of 
your other useful labors in the missionary cause, you have not 
been unmindful of Continental Europe, and that you are desirous 
of stimulating the zeal which has of late years been kindled in 
the breasts of British Christians, in behalf of those countries 
where the candle of the Lord had been well nigh extinguished. 

" In the Voice from the Alps, I found an address to a clerical 


meeting by the Kev. K. Burgess, of Chelsea, which contains an 
account of my own proceedings at Geneva altogether erroneous. 
Mr. Burgess has doubtless been misinformed on the subject ; but 
his mistakes have been shared or adopted by Mr. Meston,* in his 
recent Observations on the Present State of Eeligion in France/ 
To prevent the further currency of these misstatements, which, if 
uncontradicted, will be repeated by others, I shall first notice the 
errors into which these gentlemen have fallen, and then briefly 
relate the leading circumstances connected with my residence on 
the Continent, in which the hand of the Lord may be clearly seen, 
to the praise of the glory of His grace. 

" The narratives of Mr. Burgess and Mr. Metson alike confound 
dates and circumstances. It was not in 1818, as stated by both 
of these gentlemen, but in 1816, that I went to Geneva. Mr. 
Drummond and I did not labor there together, as it would appear 
by their accounts. Mr. Drummond did not arrive at Geneva till 
two days before I left the place. I was not armed with religious 
tracts and addresses, as Mr. Burgess affirms, but with the Word 
of God. The distribution of tracts is in general highly to be com 
mended ; but in the circumstances in which I was placed at that 
period in Geneva, I should have considered such weapons but ill- 
fitted to assault the strongholds of Satan. Far from finding but 
few voices to respond to my appeal, as Mr. Burgess and Mr. Mes- 
ton both intimate, by the blessing of God, I found many. And 
instead of not appearing to have met with success, during my 
stay, according to Mr. Meston, the success with which the Lord 
was graciously pleased to accompany the testimony borne to his 
truth was very remarkable ; and perhaps the more so, because it 
was, so far as I know, the first, after the termination of the war, 
systematically and publicly borne on the Continent, by any one 
from Britain, to the grand distinctive doctrines of the Gospel. Dr. 
Malan raised his voice in behalf of the truth, not, as they assert, 
1 after, but before I left Geneva. The following brief narrative 
of my proceedings on the Continent may illustrate the gracious 
providence of God, and prove an encouragement to others to 
speak out boldly and fully, as they may have opportunity of 
declaring the whole counsel of God. 

" For many years I had cherished the idea of going to France, 
with the view of doing something to promote the knowledge of 

* Mr. Meston is a valuable preacher at Lille, who afterwards explained that he 
had implicitly trusted the narrative of Mr Burgess. 


the Gospel in a country in which I had been three times before 
as a traveller. Accordingly, when the return of peace rendered 
my design practicable, I went to the Continent. Being, however, 
unacquainted with a single individual there, and therefore unable 
to arrange any particular plan of action, I feared that my object 
might prove abortive ; and, in consequence, when asked, before 
I left Scotland, how long I expected to be absent, I replied, Pos 
sibly only six weeks. The Lord, however, was pleased to open 
a wide and effectual door, leading me in a way that I knew not, 
and my residence abroad continued about three years. 

"On arriving at Paris, involved, as it appeared, in Egyptian 
darkness, I soon perceived that I had no means of furthering the 
object of my journey in that great metropolis. Unexpectedly, 
however, I met with Mr. Hillhouse, a gentleman from America, 
of whom I had not before heard. He had landed at Bourdeaux, 
and travelling through the south of France, had gone to Geneva, 
and thence to Paris. Having passed through Montauban, where 
the French Theological Protestant Faculty was founded by Na 
poleon, he had there, and in other places, inquired respecting the 
Protestant ministers, and he communicated to me all his infor 
mation on the subject. He told me that at Geneva there were 
only two individuals to whom I could have access, the one a 
pastor, in advanced years, the other not a pastor, but what is 
termed a minister, and that nearly the whole of the other pastors 
were Arians or Socinians." 

Thus far the letter to Mr. Bickersteth. It was on the 9th of 
October, 1816, that Mr. and Mrs. Haldane left Edinburgh, trav 
elling by way of London, Dover, and Calais. At Paris he re 
ceived from Mr. Hillhouse, a gentleman attached to the American 
Embassy, a very melancholy account of the state of religion, both 
in France and Switzerland, but he supplied a list of Protestant 
pastors and laymen, which had been originally furnished to him, 
for the purposes of his tour, by M. Martin, President of the Con 
sistory at Bourdeaux. The solitary pastor mentioned as an ex 
ception to the general apostasy at Geneva, was the late M. Mou- 
linie, who is described, by M. Gaussen, as a pious man, but re 
served in his manners, an Arminian, and a mystic. The minister 
was M. Galland, who was at that time an inquirer, but still far 
from enjoying the Gospel light. "With these explanations, Mr. 
Haldane s letter to Mr. Bickersteth will now be continued : 


" Finding no opening at Paris, I immediately set out for 
Geneva, hoping that something might be done through the two 
individuals referred to by Mr. Hillhouse. On my arrival I called 
on the pastor alluded to, the late M. Moulinie , and conversed 
with him on the Gospel. He was very kind, but appearing to 
acquiesce in all that I advanced, discussion on any point was out 
of the question, and no progress was made. Being, therefore, un 
able to discover means of usefulness at Geneva, and finding on 
inquiry that the young man also spoken of by Mr. Hillhouse, 
had some time before removed to Berne, I repaired to that city, 
where I found he had been ordained a pastor. He was not an 
Arian or Socinian, but although very ignorant respecting the 
Gospel, he was willing to inquire and hear concerning the great 
truths which it reveals. I remained in Berne about eight days, 
during which he came to me every morning at ten o clock, and 
continued till ten at night in fact, as late as it was possible for 
him, the gates of the city, beyond which he lodged, being shut at 
that hour. During the whole day I endeavored to set before him, 
as far as I was enabled, everything relating to the Gospel, and 
have good reason to believe that the word spoken was accom 
panied with the blessing of the Lord. I was afterwards informed, 
that subsequently to my departure he conversed with his col 
league, the other pastor of the Church, on the subject of our dis 
cussions, and that in considering what had been advanced, they 
arrived at the conclusion that it must be the true doctrine of sal 

" I hesitated whether I should return to Geneva, but at last 
resolved to do so, having heard of two Prussian clergymen,* who 
had recently been in England, and were passing through that 
town, with whom it was supposed I might have an opportunity 
of conversing on the Gospel, and also of a pastor at a little dis 
tance in the country, who, my new acquaintance at Berne in 
formed me, would listen to my statements, but would draw him 
self up, and not answer a word. To Geneva I accordingly re 
turned. With the Prussian clergymen I found no satisfaction in 
conversing, and, although I subsequently did not experience the 
reserve I anticipated in the pastor just referred to, yet I had not 
the gratification of meeting him till after the lapse of some time. 

" I, however, again visited M. Moulinie , with whom I had 
before conversed, who, as formerly, was very kind, but with 

* Professor Sack and his brother. 


whom I could make no progress. From all I could learn from 
him, Geneva was involved in the most deplorable darkness. It 
was, as Mr. Burgess observes, an unbroken field of labor, with 
a fallen Church. Calvin, once its chiefest boast and ornament, 
with, his doctrines and works, had been set aside and forgotten, 
while the pastors and professors were in general Arians or Socin- 
ians. Some exceptions among them there were, including M. 
Moulinie, who held the divinity of our Lord Jesus, and, I believe, 
loved and served him according to their light ; but that light 
was so obscure they were on the whole so ignorant, so incapable 
of rightly dividing the word of truth, that their preaching was 
without fruit. They preached neither law nor Gospel fully, 
and their doctrine did not seem to affect the consciences of their 
hearers. A small prayer-meeting had for some time been held, 
in consequence, I believe, of a visit of Madame Krudener to 
Geneva ; and by one belonging to it, I was told, that, sensible of 
their want of knowledge, they had prayed that an instructor 
should be sent to them, and that their prayer, they now believed, 
was answered. 

"Being unable to meet with any other person with whom I 
might converse on the Gospel, I resolved to quit Geneva without 
delay, and proceed to Mo ntauban. The Lord, however, is often 
pleased to overrule our purposes, by occurrences which, in them 
selves, appear trifling, and thus to bring about results that could 
not have been anticipated. M. Moulinie had politely offered to 
conduct Mrs. Haldane to see the model of the mountains, a little 
way out of town, and with this object he promised to call on us 
the day following. In the morning, however, we received a note 
from him, saying, that, having suffered from a severe headache 
during the night, he was himself unable to come, but had sent a 
young man, a student of divinity, who would be our conductor. 
On this providential circumstance depended my continuance at 
Geneva, which I had been on the point of leaving. With this 
student I immediately entered into conversation respecting the 
Gospel, of which I found him profoundly ignorant, although in a 
state of mind that showed he was willing to receive information. 
He returned with me to the inn, and remained till late at night. 
Next morning he came with another student, equally in darkness 
with himself. I questioned them respecting their personal hope 
of salvation, and the foundation of that hope. Had they been 
trained in the schools of Socrates or Plato, and enjoyed no other 


means of instruction, they could scarcely have been more ignorant 
of the doctrines of the Gospel. They had, in fact, learned much 
more of the opinions of the heathen philosophers, than of the 
doctrines of the Saviour and his Apostles. To the Bible and its 
contents their studies had never been directed. After some con 
versation, they became convinced of their ignorance of the Scrip 
tures, and of the way of salvation, and exceedingly desirous of 
information. I therefore postponed my intended departure from 

During the short interval that elapsed between Mr. Haldane s 
first visit to Geneva and his return to that city, as noticed in the 
letter, he traversed a great part of Switzerland. At Lausanne he 
met a pious and zealous English lady (Miss Greaves), who was 
subsequently very instrumental in persuading him to return to 
Geneva. The eloquent, excellent M. Galland was the young pas 
tor, with whom he had so much interesting discussion at Berne, 
and who was then led to embrace the truth. Thence Mr. Haldane 
proceeded to Basle, where he met M. Empeytaz, in the household 
of the celebrated Baroness Krudener, the friend of the Emperor 
Alexander. "With that lady," says M. Gaussen, "Mr. Haldane 
had a long conversation. He found in her, as he said, much of 
the spirit of charity, but very little knowledge." After consid 
erable hesitation, he was induced to abandon his intention of leav 
ing Switzerland and to return to Geneva, partly in the hope of 
conversing with Professor Sack on the religious state and pros 
pects of Germany, to which country, despairing of Switzerland, 
he was also turning his attention, but chiefly with the view of 
seeing M. Gaussen, whom M. Galland has described as a young 
minister, living six miles from Geneva, "who would listen to his 
statements, draw himself up, but not answer a word." Soon after 
his arrival at Geneva the second time, Mr. Haldane inquired for 
M. Gaussen, who had been licensed, in 1815, as a minister, and 
ordained on Good Friday, in 1816, as the pastor of Satigny, a 
delightful little village, five or six miles beyond the walls of Ge 
neva. "I had already," says M. Gaussen, "submitted my faith 
to the great doctrines of the Word of God, but the gravity of 
Mr. Haldane, the authority with which he always appealed to the 
Scriptures, and his profound acquaintance with them, made an 
impression on me never to be effaced, and that just before the 
time when the Lord, by a sudden stroke, took from me all the 
joys of this world. When I paid him my first visit, it was on 


the invitation of Charles Rieu, and when he said to me, in the 
middle of our conversation, that he had returned to Geneva pur 
posely to see me, I looked at him with astonishment, and his 
countenance became so red. I love to recall these little details, 
because all the souvenirs of that excellent man, and of the good 
which he did amongst us, are dear and precious. His visit to 
Berne was blessed to M. Galland, and his visit to Geneva was 
blessed to us all." "I visited him," adds M. Gaussen, "only 
occasionally, but I make bold to number myself with those 
who cherish his memory with the fondest and most affectionate 
gratitude." Such were the providential circumstances under 
which, at the close of the year 1816, Robert Ilaldane took up his 
abode in the city of Calvin, of Farel, and of Beza. 

Geneva is one of those names which symbolizes something far 
more glorious than the little town, whose ancient battlements 
were at once the monuments of the defensive skill of Yauban, 
and of the persecuting tyranny of the house of Savoy. Geneva 
has been for ages a term antagonistic to Rome. Placed at the 
extremity of its own placid and beautiful lake, where the blue 
waters of "the arrowy Rhone" rush onwards to the ocean, this 
free city, as if designed to be a witness for God against Popery, 
whether Ultra-montane or Gallican, stood between the Jura and 
the Alps, themselves the types of beauty and sublimity. Within 
its hospitable gates were received several of the distinguished 
Italian families, proscribed for favoring the Reformation. It was 
the city where Knox, with other exiles from Scotland, found an 
asylum, and whence he imported into his own favored land that 
form of Church government, to which Scotland has so fondly 
and firmly adhered. At a later period it welcomed many of the 
French, who fled from the persecution which followed the revo 
cation of the Edict of Nantes. Geneva was, indeed, the glory 
of the Reformation, the battle-field of light and darkness, the 
Thermopylae of Protestantism, from whose Alpine heights the 
light of Gospel truth once streamed forth with brilliant lustre, 
athwart the blackness of Papal superstition. But Geneva fell 
from its ancestral faith, and proved how vain are historic names, 
orthodox creeds, and scriptural formularies, where the spirit ceases 
to animate the lifeless frame. The younger Turretine, the degen 
erate son of an illustrious sire, is said, more than a century ago, 
quietly to have laid aside the doctrine of the Trinity, when he 
was Professor of Theology. In 1777, Professor Yinet allowed 


Arian theses to be maintained before him by the students of the 
university. And it may be added, as a crowning evidence of 
their apostasy, that twenty years before that period, the Infidel 
D Alembert complimented the Venerable Company,* in the 
French Encyclopaedia, in an article, in which he observes, " To 
say all in one word, many of the pastors of Geneva have no other 
religion but a perfect Socinianism, rejecting all that they call mys 
teries" The answer of the pastors was unsatisfactory and equivo 
cal, and the questions afterwards put to them received no explicit 
reply. Their apostasy was indeed clandestine rather than avowed, 
and D Alembert remarked, with bitter sarcasm, "I should be ex 
tremely concerned to be suspected of having betrayed their secret." 
But in the writings of the " self- torturing sophist," Jean Jaques 
Rousseau, there is a still more melancholy picture of the lapsed 
condition of Geneva. In one of his "Letters from the Moun 
tains," he thus writes: 

" It is asked of the ministers of the Church of Geneva, if Jesus Christ bo 
God ? They dare not answer. It is asked, if he was a mere man. They are 
embarrassed, and will not say they think so. A philosopher, with a glance of 
the eye, penetrates their character. He sees them to be Arians, Socinians, 
Deists ; he proclaims it, and thinks he does them honor. They are alarmed, 
terrified; they come together, they discuss, they are in agitation, they know not 
to which of the saints they should turn, and, after earnest consultations, de 
liberations, conferences, all vanishes in amphigore ; and they neither say, yes or 
no. Oh ! Genevans, these gentlemen, your ministers, in truth are very singu 
lar people ! They do not even know what they believe, or what they do not 
believe. They do not even know what they would wish to appear to believe 
Their only manner of establishing their faith is, to attack the faith of others." 

The citizens of Geneva have done homage to Rousseau, and, 
amidst the modern improvements of their city, have placed his 
statue by the side of the bridge, which spans the Rhone at the 
spot where that river rushes from the lake. 

The presence of Voltaire for two years at Ferney, within a 
pleasant walk from the gates, was not likely to improve either 
the theology or the morals of the Consistory. Lausanne is little 
more than twenty miles further up the lake, and the fact that 

* In the national Church of Geneva there are about twenty-five pastors, who serve 
the five churches of the city, according to a system of rotation. These, with the 
country pastors of the canton, constitute the Venerable Company, and with the addi 
tion of some lay elders and government officers, constitute the consistory. Before a 
student can become a pastor, he must be licensed as a minister. These distinctions 
acquire to be kept in view in speaking of the Qenevese Church. 

GENEVA IN 1816. 381 

Gibbon selected that place for his residence, may probably deepen 
the shadows of this picture of surrounding infidelity. Gibbon 
announced to his friends, that the first stroke of a rebel drum 
would be the signal of his departure from the Canton de Yaud. 
He himself had been sounding the tocsin of rebellion against the 
King of kings, and was as intolerant of a true Christian as he 
was of a revolutionary leveller. 

During the reign of Napoleon, Geneva was incorporated with 
France, but .the Emperor permitted the Consistory to resume its 
functions, and maintain its lifeless form of Protestantism. At the 
close of the war, it was annexed to the Helvetic Confederation, 
but with French intercourse, French manners had crept in. The 
theatres were opened on the Sunday evenings, and even the pas 
tors, on certain solemn festivals, dismissed their congregations 
earlier, in order that they might themselves participate in the fes 
tivities of the Lord s-day, which was closed with fireworks on the 

It was at this period of its history that Robert Haldane entered 
Geneva, and, as he passed its ancient gates, observed to one who 
travelled in his carriage, that he had been pondering on the di 
visions which would infallibly ensue, if the Lord should see good 
to make the Gospel of his grace the power of God unto salvation. 
But by whatever means the Lord is pleased to work, it is impor 
tant to observe, how all the glory exclusively belongs to Him, 
who is the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty God. 

For several years before Mr. Haldane was so unexpectedly 
conducted to that famous city, through no wisdom or foresight of 
his own, some smoking embers had been collected, and some 
sparks of light already kindled amidst the darkness of its spiritual 
apostasy. Even so early as 1810, MM. Empeytaz, Bost, and a 
few other youthful but earnest inquirers after truth, had become 
impatient of the wretched food supplied by their spiritual pastors, 
and instituted a reunion, called " La Societe des Amis" " They 
knew," says M. Guers, " the way of salvation very imperfectly," 
but it is impossible to read the close of the First Annual Report, 
written by M. Empeytaz, without seeing that he, at least, had 
even then been led to soar far above the chilling mists of Socini- 
anism, and to feel somewhat of the same adoring love, which 
burned in the heart of the convinced Thomas, when he fell at the 
feet of Jesus, exclaiming, " My Lord, and my God !" But this 
little Society was frowned upon by the Arian clergy, and had. 

382 GENEVA IN 1816. 

in 1814, even ceased to exist. Its more seriously-disposed mem 
bers, in quest of spiritual nourishment, joined themselves to a 
little Moravian flock, possessing exacter notions of the truth as 
it is in Jesus. " Still," continues M. Guers, in his interesting Life 
of Henri Pyt, " the time of the pure light had not arrived, either 
for him or many of his friends. It was only for them the twilight 
of the Gospel day." In 1813, Madame Krudener had induced 
M. Empeytaz to enter her household as chaplain, but her own 
views of Divine truth were very indistinct, and, in some respects, 
visionary. At the beginning of 1816 a pious English or Welsh 
mechanic (industrial), of the Calvinistic-Methodist persuasion, es 
tablished himself on the ruins of the ancient convent of Hive, 
where, for the first time, the Reformation had been proclaimed, 
in 1534, by William Farel. There a few of the defunct Societe 
des Amis met this good man, whose name was Richard Wilcox, 
and conversed with him about the deep things of God, but, 
according to M. Guers, Wilcox seems to have insisted chiefly on 
the eternal love of the Father, and on the certainty of the salva 
tion of the elect, " elevating the building, without taking sufficient 
care to lay the foundation." In short, he appears to have un 
wisely directed his preaching exclusively to the elect, instead of 
adopting the scriptural proclamation of the Gospel, which, leaving 
secret things to God, is like the fan in the hand of the husband 
man, separating the wheat from the chaff, revealing pardon only 
to faith, which is the gift of God, but declaring even to the vilest 
of sinners, " Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life 
freely." M. Guers adds, " whilst he strengthened those who knew 
the Gospel a little better than their brethren, he did not open to 
others the gate of salvation." 

These earnest inquirers were, however, feeling after truth, and 
for some time used to hold in concert a sort of agape, or love- 
feast, after the manner of the early Christians, which was termed 
Le Repas des douzes (the repast of the twelve), on account of the 
number who gathered round the board, and conversed about 
the things that belonged to their eternal peace. 

Thus it was, that by all these means the Lord was opening the 
way for another of his servants, a deeply experienced and estab 
lished Christian one who was strong in faith, mighty in the 
Scriptures, full of zeal for Christ, well instructed in the relative 
proportions of the doctrines of the Gospel, and able rightly to 
divide the Word of truth. Mr. Haldane was conducted to the 


place at the riglit time. M. Empeytaz, one of the leaders of the 
little band, had quitted the field of his unequal combat, with a 
consistory determined to crush him. His colleague, M. Bost, had 
assumed the post of Suffragan Pastor at Moutiers Grand Yal, in 
the Canton of Berne, so that his genius and piety no longer 
"electrified" his young friends by "his noble aspirations after 
God and holiness." AVilcox, the humble artisan, was himself 
leaving Geneva, no more to encourage these inquirers by raising 
them to the contemplation of the eternal love of the Father. But 
the prayers of those who were hungering and thirsting after 
righteousness were graciously answered, and the instructor for 
whom they were anxiously supplicating the throne of grace, had 
been actually brought, "by a way which he knew not," to prove 
to them a messenger of everlasting peace, and not only to them, 
but to many others in Geneva. 

Nearly contemporaneous with the arrival of Mr. Haldane, was 
the publication of "Considerations on the Divinity of Jesus 
Christ," by Henri Empeytaz, a pamphlet which appeared about 
the middle of November, 1816.* Falling amongst the students 
of theology, to whom it was addressed, it produced great excite 
ment, and "an impression difficult to describe." The students, 
siding with the pastors, assembled in the grand hall of the con 
sistory, and choosing for their president one of their own num 
ber, himself destined to receive the Gospel from Mr. Haldane, 
and to become an illustrious champion of the faith, addressed 
to the Venerable Company a letter, in which they solemnly pro 
tested against what, in their ignorance, they termed the " odious 
aggression" of the "calumnious" pamphlet of M. Empeytaz. The 
state of the students may be judged of from two facts first, that 
M. Henri Pyt and M. Guers were the only individuals amongst 
them who refused to sign this anti-christian protest ; and, next, 
that their chosen president was no other than M. Merle D Aubigne. 

The arrival of Mr. Haldane has been already mentioned in his 
own simple narrative. The following are the more glowing 
terms in which it is described by the pious biographer of Henri 


"The English friend mentioned above, departed in January, 1817, leaving 
his brethren hungering after a better acquaintance with the counsels of God. 
But at that very moment, the Lord, touched by their prayers, sent them one of 

* " Histoire Veritable des Momiers des Geneve," anonymous, but written by M. 
Empeytaz, 1824. 


his most eminent servants. Richard Wilcox had not quitted our walls, before 
Robert Haldane was within our gates. The chosen instrument in the hands of 
God to confirm the faith of Pyt and his friends, he was destined to become the 
source of blessings to many others. In a very short time a striking revival, 
effected by his means, was manifested in the school (I auditoire) of theology. 
Around the venerable Haldane, their true professor, there gathered habitually 
more than twenty pupils of that auditory, converted (alteres) by the instruc 
tions of that blessed Word, which they began immediately to distribute at 
Geneva, or at a later period to carry to neighboring countries, and amongst 
the latter may be named Henri Pyt, Jean Guillaume Gonthier, Charles Rieu, 
who died pastor at Frederica, in Denmark. It was on Thursday, the 6th Feb 
ruary, 1817, that Mr. Haldane undertook to read and explain to them the Epistle 
of St. Paul to the Romans.* * He knew the Scriptures, says Pyt, * like a 
Christian who has had for his Master the same Holy Spirit by whom they were 
dictated. He spoke in English ; first M. Rieu, then M. Fred. Monod, of Paris, 
or M. James, of Breda, interpreted. Never, we venture to say, since the days 
of Francis Turretine, and Benedict Pictet, of holy and happy memory, never 
had any doctor expounded the whole counsel of God with such purity, force, 
and fullness never had so bright a luminary shone in the city of Calvin" 

The student of theology who came to Mr. Haldane s hotel, and 
was the unconscious means of detaining him at Geneva, little 
thought how he was then employed as the messenger of grace, 
both for himself and others. It wa