Page images


DR. CHALMERS ON APOSTOLICAL mock heroic way, he would repeat SUCCESSION.

Scott's lines“ With visitors from England, the O woman, in our hours of ease,' &c. conversation at the breakfast-table A spirit of chivalry ran through all his turned frequently upon the English intercourse with his daughters: they Establishment, of which Dr. Chalmers not only ministered to his comfort in had been an ardent admirer, but whose the hours of relaxation, he made them cause he felt less confidence in advocat companions, as it were, of his public ing after the inroad of Puseyism, and life, and sought their intellectual symthe absence or the impotence of all pathy with his even highest exercise of attempts to check it. 'In speaking of thought.” – Dr. Chalmers's Memoirs, Apostolic Succession,' says one of bis vol. iv. English visitors,' he told us of a sum

DR. CHALMERS'S YOUTHFUL FEELING. mary which Dr. Campbell of Aberdeen had made of tbe difficulties of that

“His youthful freshness of feeling question, which had always appeared to imparted a singular charm to his man

ners and conversation. Even when him most excellent. Campbell conducts his inquiry relative to Apostolic Suc- verging on old age, he was very strikcession by putting three questions: ingly characterized by the simplicity of Where is it ? how is it? and what is of this peculiarity he was himself quite

vivacious and unsuspecting boyhood. it?-and, after a learned disquisition,

conscious, and I have heard him more concludes in some such terms as these :

than once allude to it. Having equipped We find, therefore, that it is a some

himself one evening to go to Edinburgh, thing nobody knows where, contrived and

he appeared to have outgrown his orproduced nobody knows how, and leading

dinary dimensions--the pockets of his to consequences nobody knows what.'.

great-coat being well stuffed, I think Dr. Chalmers's Memoirs, vol. iv.

with books and pamphlets. This oc

casioned some merriment, in which he "In his domestic intercourse with heartily joined. Placing his hands on his daughters, there was much playful his sides, he went on to say, 'I have familiarity. Finding one of them sit

now somewhat of the solidity and ting alone in a room, — Well, my dear gravity, and somewhat also of the little howlet

breadth of middle age, but I can scarcely "Hail, mildly pleasing solitude, shake off the feeling of my boyhood. Companion of the wise and good;"

I remember, Mr. Cowper, when I was a but I'm no for us growing perfectly student at St. Andrew's, with what prouncoguizant of one another, sitting in found veneration I regarded the Procorners like sae mony cats.' After some fessors; when I came to be a Professor of his public appearances, when he there myself, I used to wonder if these came home exhausted, his daughters gilpies could have the same feeling towould gather round him as he lay at wards me.' ease in his arm-chair. One would play “I may give another instance equally Scotch music, another shampoo his characteristic. A steep, wooded bank, fect, (a very frequent, and to him always overhanging the sea, commences about a very agreeable operation,) a third a mile and a half to the west of Burntwould talk nonsense and set him in island, and terminates near the village fits of laughter. At such times, in a of Aberdour. Here Dr. Chalmers de


lighted to ramble, and great was his back into the scenes of his boyhood, satisfaction when he had one or two and, looking blandly down upon thio friends along with him to explore the companions of his walk, gave vent to Haws—for such is the name of the his feelings in a very curious and racy locality. One day, on reaching the strain of observation: the purport of it west end of the Haws, we found the was that he felt it very difficult to realgate locked, and as we intended to pro- ize his progress in life, and that there ceed to Aberdour, we had to scale the was often a groat contrast between his wall. Dr. Chalmers declined the offer feelings and his years. · When I meet,' of assistance, feeling assured that he he said, 'a respectable matron, who is was quite competent to the task himself. perhaps a dozen years younger than He soon succeeded in planting himself myself, I feel quite disposed to look up on the top of the wall, but felt it ex to her with the same sort of veneration pedient to rest for a little before attempt that I felt when I was a boy.'"-Dr. ing to come down. Perched on this Chalmers's Memoirs, vol. iv. rustic eminence, he felt as if carried

Review of Religious Publications.

MEMOIRS OF THE LIVES OF ROBERT HAL- | sea, with a mind impressed with the littleness

DANE, of Airthrey, and of his Brother, of time and the magnitude of eternity. In JAMES ALEXANDER HALDANE. By ALEX- 1785 he was married to a daughter of ANDER HALDANE, Esq., of the Inner Tem- Richard Oswald, Esq., M.P. for Ayrshire. ple, Barrister-at-Law. 8vo., pp. 676. The union was destined to prove long and Hamilton, Adams, & Co.

happy. It lasted nearly fifty-seven years, THESE are Memoirs of no ordinary men. and Mrs. Haldane was singularly adapted to Endowed with great mental energy, well be a true help-meet in all his future plans educated, and highly connected, they occu- and designs of usefulness. pied positions of eminence, both in general “For three generations the family had society and in the Church of Christ. They possessed the chief interest in one of the were the sons of Captain James Haldane, East India Company's regular chartered and the nephews of Admiral Duncan. Mr. ships. At the time when James Haldane Robert Haldane succeeded his father in the first went to sea, Captain Dundas held the valuable estate of Airthrey, near Stirling command of the Melville Castle, Indiaman; In his seventeenth year he entered the Royal but an arrangement provided, that as soon as Navy; as did also his brother, at the same James Haldane attained the age which qualiage, five years afterwards. Both the brothers fied him for the command, Captain Dundas distinguished themselves by their courage should retire. He went his first voyage as and their skill, and were soon regarded as midshipman in the Duke of Montrose,' officers of great promise by their superiors in where his conduct was highly exemplary. command.

He made, in all, four voyages to India and "Between 1779 and 1787, Gosport was the China. In less than a month after his return head quarters of Lord Dancan, their uncle, from his fourth voyage, he attained the age and thus they were brought much into con- of twenty-five, and having passed the necestact with Dr. Bogue, to whom they became sary examinations, he was pronounced fully much attached. They attended his ministry, qualified to command an Indiaman. Shortly and by him they were directed in their afterwards he was nominated to the Melville course of reading, and in their choice of Castle ;' and the ship was ordered to be in books, both on shore and at sea.

the Downs at the beginning of the following " Robert Haldane was only in his twentieth January: and it was expected to sail with the year when the peace of 1783 brought his East India fleet, then consisting of twentyshort but active and eventful career in the five ships. But after all was ready, there navy to a close. The real business of his

were various circumstances which combined useful life did not begin for twelve years for their detention.” afterwards, when his brother also quitted the Soon after his appointment to the " Melville VOL. XXX.

2 E


Castle,” Mr. James Haldane was married to attractions—seemed gradually to efface the the daughter of Major Joass, Deputy Governor impressions of early piety. But although of Stirling Castle, and nearly related to Sir the incorruptible seed was thus buried, it Ralph Abercrombie. It was now the earnest was not destroyed. It was still destined to desire of his brother, Mr. Robert Haldane, spring up, through the life-giving influence that he would settle at home. “When, of the Holy Spirit." The elder used to say, therefore, he heard that an opportunity oc- that " although he traced his turning to God curred of disposing of the command for the instrumentally to the early instructions of sum of £9000, being at the rate of £3000 a his mother, and never had been entirely voyage, exclusive of the captain's share in without some convictions, from the time he the property of the ship and stores, which was nine years old, yet that if he were to amounted in all to £6000 additional, Mr. | point out the individual from whom he deR. Haldane wrote, strongly recommending rived most spiritual light at the beginning of that this offer should be accepted. His letter his career, he would mention a journeyman decided the matter, and Captain Haldane re- mason, who was employed on some of the turned with his wife to Scotland, early in the works at Airthrey." summer of 1794.” After residing for some At the commencement of the fifth chapter, time at Stirling Castle and at Airthrey, Mr. the biographer makes the following weighty and Mrs. J. A. Haldane took a house in and discriminating remarks. “The current Edinburgh, and were led to attend the of the narrative has now conducted us to the ministry of the excellent Dr. Walter Buchan. middle of 1795. In regard to each of the an, of whom it was said by Mr. Simeon, that two brothers, the grand crisis of his life was he was a minister whom he thought it one of decided, and a change had come over both, the greatest blessings of his life to have the results of which stretch into eternity. known. They were also introduced to the Each of them, by the rich mercy of God, Rev. David Black. These good men found had now passed from death unto life. Old him an earnest inquirer into the things of things had passed away. The strength of God, but his progress was gradual. On a their natural character was now to be dereview of this period of his life, at the time veloped in relation to nebler and more enof his ordination to the ministry, he thus during ends." expressed himself :-“Many things were then “ Between the brothers there was much brought to my remembrance which I had similarity in point of talent and disposition, learned when young, although they seemed but there were also strong shades of differwholly to have escaped while I was living in ence. Both were bold, ardent, and energetic; forgetfulness of God. Instead of those deep but in the elder there was a greater infusion convictions which are experienced by some, of habitual caution. In both there was a with much horror of mind, the Lord has deep, natural spring of genuine benevolence ; rather shewn me the evil of sin in the suffer- but in the younger brother it was more ings of bis dear Son, and in the manifestation apparent, and his affectionate friendship was, of that love which, whilst it condemns the in its generosity and disregard of self, in his past ingratitude, scals the pardon of the be- earlier years, prone even to overleap the lieving sinner. In short, I now desire to strict bounds of prudence. Robert was more feel, and hope in some measure that I do wary and prudent. Yet such are the contrafeel, as a sinner who looks for salvation dictions that meet us in the analysis of freely by grace, and who prefers this method character, that it sometimes happened that of salvation to every other, because thereby Robert Haldane seemed to act upon impulse, God is glorified and the pride of human when James hesitated and considered." glory stained.”

Mr. Robert Haldane soon began to feel the In many respects, similar were the stages obligation under which every Christian is of the progress by which his elder brother laid, to promote the glory of God and the was brought to the knowledge of Christ and salvation of his fellow-men. “It struck me," to full decision of character.

“ His conver- he himself said, "that I was spending my sion," says his biographer, “.

was neither time in the country to little profit, whilst sudden nor violent. It was the act of God, from the command of property which, through and, as such, mysterious in its origin, de- the goodness of God, I possessed, I might be cisive in its character, and effectual in its somewhere extensively useful.” In one of results. The good seed had been deeply im- his publications he said :-"I had seen the planted in his own heart, and that of his accounts of the Baptist Mission in Bengal, brother, by the loving piety of an affection- and a strong desire occupied my mind to ate and God-fearing mother. Both seemed engage in the honourable service. The obto take pleasure in heavenly things, and ject was of such magnitude, that compared the elder expressed an inclination for the with it the affairs of time appeared to sink ministry. But time went on. The world— into nothing, and no sacrifice appeared too with its anzusements, its temptations, its great in order to its attaininent." About

the end of 1795, the London Missionary which these talented and devoted men were Society was instituted, and Mr. Haldane was earnestly solicitous to impart !

" For soine among the first in Scotland to enrol himself ! time after this,” says Mr. Haldane, “I did not as a member, with a subscription of fifty lay aside my endeavours to go out to Bengal, pounds."

and in the mean while was busied in selling To his friend Dr. Innes, an excellent and my estate. I at length found a purchaser; attractive minister at Stirling, he proposed, and with great satisfaction left a place, in the that they should “ go to Bengal and spend beautifying and improving of which my mind the remainder of their lives, in endeavouring lad once been much engrossed. Instead of to communicate the precious truths of the being engaged in such poor matters, my time gospel to the Hindoos." “ To render the is more at my command; and I find my mission as efficient as possible, I wished," says power of applying property usefully very Mr. Haldane," to take others with me. After considerably increased. I am satisfied in Mr. Innes agreed to form one of the Mission, having made the attempt, although it apI went to England on purpose to see Mr. peared the will of God that we should not go Bogue. I saw him at the mecting of the out." Missionary Society, and afterwards spent The sixth chapter recalls the attention of some time at liis house at Gosport. I was the reader to the change wliich had taken satisfied with his qualifications for the work, place in the views and the pursuits of the and it was late one night, after the rest of the younger brother. “ When Captain James family bad retired, that I opened to him my Haldane," says his biographer, “ quitted the design; and without cither hesitation or delay, Melville Castle' he would have been greatly he gave his consent to accompany me, and startled, had he been then informed that is expressed the fullest approbation of the plan." was to become a preacher of the gospel. So lle obtained also the consent of Mr. Greville | far as he had any fixed plan, it was to become Ewing, who was in high repute for bis zeal a landed proprietor, and to lead a quiet, useand eloquence as a minister of the gospel, and ful, unambitious life.” While, however, he also for his critical acquaintance with the was residing in Edinburghi, le became acScriptures in their original languages. Others quainted with Dr. Walter Buchanan and were to be engaged as schoolmasters, cate- several other distinguished ministers and chists, and printers. “For every one con- active laymen, who were intent on doing cerned, Mr. Haldane was to supply the outfit good. Among the latter, “the foreniost and passage money, and also to provide an place is due to Mr. John Aikinan and Mr. independent competence. For each of his Jolin Campbell,” afterwards minister of three ministerial coadjutors the sum of £3500 Kingsland Chapel, London. In writing to was to have been appropriated. In addition Jr. Campbell, he said, “ there is no one to this, and to secure the Mission from the whose preaching, conversation, or writings, consequences of his own death, a further have been so useful to me as yourself in sum of £25,000 was to have been invested in the hours we have spent together.” the names of trustecs."

About this time the progress of Mr. J. This was one of the noblest instances of Haldane, in the spiritual life, was promoted Christian benevolence, personal devotedness, by the sermons and the society of Mr. and Missionary ardour, which the history of Simeon, of Cambridge, who visited Edinburgh the church of Christ, in our day, records. at the invitation of Dr. W. Buchanan, and Yet the benignant scheme was entirely who was accompanied by Mr. Haldane on a frustrated by the stern refusal of the East tour in the Ilighlands. It was about this India Company to grant permission to carry period also that Mr. Campbell began to it into effect! Although Mr. Wilberforce establish Sabbath-schools in Edinburgh and and Mr. Grant, and some other influential its vicinity. Mr. Haldane accompanied him men, befriended it, and altlıough Mr. Secre- on some of his visits to these schools; and at tary Dundas and the Lord Chancellor Ross- length he agreed to take a tour with him for lyn were family connections of Mr. Haldane, a week to the west of Scotland. On this all the efforts and pleadings employed were journey they distributed some thousands of ineffectual. In the answer of the Court of tracts. “In three months afterwards," Mr. Directors to Mr. Haldane's application, it Campbell wrote in his journal, “ we heard was stated, that “however convinced the that the result of this one week's exertion Court may be of the sincerity of your was the formation of sixty Sabbath evening motives, and the zeal with which you appear schools." to be actuated, -yet the Court have weighty Not long after this Mr. Haldane preached and substantial reasons, which induce them his first sermon at a village near Edinburgh, to decline a compliance with your request.” where a Sabbath-school had been established,

Thus this great trading company ventured, and a deep iinpress.on was produced. Having by their authoritative prohibition, to exclude been informed of the very low state of relithe light and truth of the gospel of Christ, I gion in many parts of the north of Scotland,

[ocr errors]



Mr. Haldane and Mr. Aikman resolved on years, he expended between £50,000 aud undertaking a tour with the hope of doing £60,000 on objects connected with the propagood. “ This was the first of a scries of gation of the gospel at home. This noble itinerancies in which Mr. Haldane, at first scale of expenditure in promoting the cause accompanied by Mr. Aikman, afterwards by of Christ, included his efforts to educate for Mfr. Innes, or by Mr. Campbell, preached in the ministry a large number of young men almost every town and populous village in of acknowledged piety and competent talents. Scotland." The details of these tours, and Some of these he placed under the able tuiespecially of that in 1797, form a most in- tion of Dr. Bogue, at Gosport. He supteresting part of this valuable and spirit- ported classes of students, successively, under stirring volume. The attention awakened by Mr. Ewing, at Glasgow ; Mr. Innes, at DunMr. Haldane's powerful appeals to the con- dee ; and Messrs. Aikman, Wemyss, and science and to the heart, and by his clear and Cowie, at Edinburgh. It is no small evisimple statements of the truth of the gospel, dence of the success of these arrangements, was singularly great ; and very numerous that among the men of God thus trained for were the instances of conversion by which the gospel-ministry, there were Dr. Paterson; he was honoured. Many who came from Dr. Russell, of Dundee ; Mr. Orme, and Mr. curiosity to hear " the sea captain” were Smith, of Rotherham ; as well as many others brought under the powerful influence of the eminently useful in the church of Christ. word and of the Spirit of God.

Many of the ministers thus educated, and His labours in the Orkney Islands, and the churches over which they presided, enespecially in Caithness, were signally ho- joyed a very encouraging degree of prosperity noured and blessed. Such was the interest and usefulness. It is to be regretted, howexcited, that his congregations consisted fre- ever, that, after some years, discussions arose quently of not less than three or four thou- which greatly agitated many of the churches, sand persons; and multitudes ascribed their regarding some of the usages of the primitive turning to God to his faithful and awakening churches, and the duty of aiming at an entire

“ Several years later, the Rev. Mr. conformity to their practice. The questions Cleghorn names, as within his own know- regarding a plurality of elders or ministers in ledge, in the small town of Wick alone, forty every church, the importance of mutual excases in which there had been a solid work of hortation on one part of the Lord's-day, or in conversion."

a weekly service, and of weekly communion Soon after this time, the Circus at Edin- in the Lord's supper, were occasions of painburgh was engaged for a few months by Mr. ful diversity of opinion, and, in some places, Haldane and some of his friends, as a place of a great diminution in the number of for worship, with the intention of inviting a hearers. Witlı great candour these things succession of ministers from England as are admitted and regretted by the biographer. preachers. It was opened by the Rev. Row- “ The attention,” he observes, " which at land Hill, whose preaching attracted a great one time they directed to the revival of a concourse of hearers, both there and in many primitive form of church polity, is the only other places, especially on the Calton Hill. part of the career of the Haldanes, in regard

This led to the erection, by Mr. Robert to which success was not proportioned to Haldane, of a spacious chapel, which was their efforts. Perhaps it was necessary that called the Tabernacle, in Leith Walk, Edin- there should be something practically and burgh, capable of containing more than two visibly to remind those who revered their thousand persons. Of this chapel Mr. James character, an marked their self-devotion, Haldane became the minister. A church was that they were but fecble and fallible men." formed, consisting of more than three hun. One of the most important periods of the dred members, and Mr. Haldane was solemnly life and labours of Mr. Robert IIaldane was ordained as its pastor. His ministry proved that which he passed at Geneva. He went attractive, edifying, and successful. The to reside in that city at the close of the year blessing of God evidently accompanied his 1816. He found there a most deplorable labours, and rendered them in a high degree state of religion. Arianism and Socinianism effective.

prevailed, both among the Pastors, the ProMr. Robert Haldane now proceeded to fessors, and the Students in Theology. Mr. purchase the Circus at Glasgow, at a cost of Haldane invited the students to his house, £3000, and converted it into a Tabernacle, which, in the best sense, became a Theoloof which Mr. Ewing was to be the pastor. gical Seminary. To use the words of one of Not long afterwards, he built a spacious their number :- Around the venerable chapel at Dundee, of which Mr. Innes became Haldane, their true Professor, there gathered the minister; and he proceeded to the erec- habitually more than twenty pupils. He tion of several others in the principal towns knew the Scriptures like a Christian who has of Scotland. Such was the extent of his had for his Master the same Holy Spirit by liberality and zeal, that in the course of nine whom they were dictated. Never had so

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »