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striking light that predilection for Presbyterianism, to which we have alluded, as forming a strong feature in the Scottish mind.
When Mr. James A. Haldane and his brother evangelists began their itinerancies, they were almost the only preachers of the gospel in the many districts they visited, especially in the Highlands and Islands, and crowds attended them in every place; their friends, too, were almost the only supporters of Sunday schools and distributors of tracts, as they stood alone in sustaining village missions.
But since the organization of the Free Church, Scotland has been placed under a new spiritual agency; missionaries are found in every village and highland glen, and in every locality they have their schools and lay agency. “There are now spread over the length and breadth of Scotland,” says a Congregational minister, writing in 1849, “ perhaps a thousand preachers of the gospel more than when our Evangelists went forth, and under 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.”
When Mr. Robert Haldane broke off all connection with the Congregationalists in 1808, he was too active a man to remain idle; having sold, and so far realized the proceeds of his church property, he purchased the estate of Auchingray, and set about extensive improvements on it; his leisure he devoted to study, the result of which was his “Evidences and Authority of Divine Revelation.” There was a small Baptist church in his neighborhood with which he communed, and at times took a part in its service by expounding some passage of Scripture; thus he continued engaged until the peace of 1815 opened up the continent.
Soon after, he went thither and took up his residence in Geneva; there he drew together a number of students of Divinity, formed them into a class, and delivered to them as lectures his exposition of the Epistle to the Romans.
* Memoir, p. 319.
Here he was the right man in the right place,—he propounded his views ex cathedra, -his hearers were intelligent, they were exposed to the influence of erroneous teaching elsewhere, and he set himself with his wonted energy and decision to counteract this, and to impress upon them the distinguishing doctrines of the gospel. In this praiseworthy disinterested effort, his labors were signally blessed; he stemmed the current of false theology, which had been flowing in that city of ancient orthodoxy, by imparting clear views of the truth to his students, several of whom embraced it, in the love of it, and became instruments in the hands of God in bringing about a revival of true doctrine and the resuscitation of vital godliness in the hearts of very many.
“The hand of the Lord was with them, and much people were turned to the Lord.”
Having been honored to do this good work, he returned to Edinburgh and employed himself in literary labor, until what was called “the Apocrypha controversy,” arose. Into this he entered with a zeal and fervency peculiar to himself. He had a coadjutor in this in the Rev. Dr. Andrew Thompson, a man of great powers, but of an acrimonious spirit; and they conducted the controversy with a bitterness which certainly did not hasten the abandonment of the course on which the Earl Street Committee had unfortunately entered. The result, however, eventually was, that the circulation of the Apocrypha was abandoned, and the Committee acting for the British and Foreign Bible Society adopted the resolution, that none but bound copies of the Scriptures should be issued from the re positories. Thenceforward Mr. Robert Haldane was little heard of in public, though his time was still busily employed in revising his works and making his last corrections. These are all able, but all evince that dogmatism in stating his own views, and that impatience, to give it no harsher name, with which he discussed and condemned what he considered the erroneous views of others.
The evening of his days was clouded by an event which, to a man of his proud spirit, must have been peculiarly distressing, though no notice is taken of it in these memoirs, namely, the absconding of the husband of his only child, Farquhar
Gordon, Esq., and that, under circumstances of peculiar baseness. Mr. Gordon was a writer to the Signet, and from the early connection of his own father with the movement, soon came into an excellent business, which was greatly extended when he married the daughter and heiress of Mr. Robert Haldane. For many years he moved in the first circles of society, and as he continued in membership with the Congregational Church, under the Rev. John Aikman, he was looked up to, and greatly trusted by all in fellowship with it. He appeared in every respect a wealthy, thriving man,-lad a splendid house, a showy equipage, and his liberality kept pace with his seeming prosperity. When, however, apparently in the possession of ample means, and enjoying the confidence of all parties, he suddenly disappeared from Edinburgh—and whither he had fled no one knew—the cause of his flight was only ascertained when his affairs came to be examined, for he was found a defaulter to the extent of sixty thousand pounds, or three hundred thousand dollars.
What rendered his conduct singularly disgraceful was the fact that a large proportion of his defalcations were the savings of elderly persons, mostly Congregationalists and Baptists, who lodged them in his hands for investment, but which he had appropriated to his own use, paying them the interest, until his affairs became hopelessly involved. · It appeared, afterwards, that he had gone to the south of France, and settled in Bourdeaux,---and there his hypocrisy was still in exercise,-for, many years afterwards, a paragraph appeared in the papers, that “the English residents in that city now worshiped in a neat chapel, which had been built and presented to them by a Scotch gentleman, Farquhar Gordon, Esq., who had long been an inhabitant, and sympathized with his countrymen in the privations to which they had long been subjected.”
No severer trial could befall Mr. Robert Haldane, and it certainly, in some measure, brought his gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. His grandchildren, however, grew up to be a solace to him, and those of them who still survive are worthy of their relationship to him.
He died December 12th, 1842, after a short illness, aged seventy-eight years, and was buried in Glasgow Cathedral. His brother, Mr. James Alexander Haldane, survived him nine years, dying February 5th, 1851, aged eighty-three. He continued, as we have said, to the close of his long life, as actively engaged as ever. If his church diminished to a handfull, there was no diminution of his zeal and fervency. He was ever ready to coöperate in every good work, and few men went down to the grave more highly honored or more sincerely lamented.
It is a beautiful trait in both, that their affectionate intercourse never seems to have been for an instant disturbed, but a genuine love bound them together while life lasted. They were, in truth, remarkable men, and deserve to be held in lasting remembrance.
The estimation in which the public held them, respectively, was shown in their funerals. Mr. Robert Haldane died and was buried without any expression of sorrow being called forth, though few have passed away from earth leaving such a record as he left, of princely liberality in the cause of Christianity, and of labors and contributions for the upholding and confirming the faith of God's people, But his unfortunate hauteur separated him from the sympathies of his fellow men.
But when Mr. James Alexander Haldane was borne to the grave, his was in every respect a public funeral. It was felt that one of the worthiest of the inhabitants was being carried to his last resting place, -and thousands voluntarily joined the procession to testify their veneration. An Edinburgh paper thus speaks of it: “Although in
: tended to be strictly private, his funeral drew together a large concourse of the citizens of Edinburgh, anxious to do homage to his public character and private worth. No man was less disposed to court the applause of men, or indulge the semblance of ostentation ; but the respect shown to his memory
u by the ministers and members of different religious communities in this city, is a noble demonstration of Christian sympa
a thy with all that is exemplary in a long and consistent career of Christian devotedness." So strong was the hold which his life and labors had taken on the public mind.
ARTICLE II.—THE PRESENT ATTITUDE OF THE CHURCH TOWARD CRITICAL AND SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY.
The Limits of Religious Thought Eramined. In eight Lec
tures, delivered before the University of Oxford, in the year 1858, on the Bampton Foundation. By HENRY LONGUEVILLE MANSEL, B.D., &c., &c. First American, from the third London edition. With the Notes translated. Boston:
Gould & Lincoln. 1859. Pp. 364. Recent Inquiries in Theology, by eminent English Church
men; being “EssAYS AND REVIEWS.” Reprinted from the second London edition. Edited, with an Introduction, by Rev. FREDERICK HI. HEDGE, D.D. Boston: Walker, Wise and Company. 1860. PP. 480. .
WERE Christianity not true, divine and absolute, it would have perished, ere now, at the hands of its very friends. By damaging assumptions and suicidal concessions, the partisans of the Church have repeatedly jeopardized her interests, distorted her theology, and heaped upon her obloquy and shame.
Time was, when theologians assumed for their interpretation of the Bible an absolute infallibility on all points of science, chronology, history, and metaphysics. Then men believed, on scriptural authority, that the world was fixed; that it was the center of the universe, around which sun, moon, and stars revolved, set in the solid firmament of heaven, To doubt this was heresy. Galileo was thrown into a dungeon, and compelled formally to recant his propositions. Astronomy was branded Antichrist. Still the planet went spinning and whirling along its orbit; and Pope, Bible, and Astronomer went spinning and whirling with it; and