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James Alexander Haldane

1768-1851. Scottish evangelist. Born in Dundee two weeks after his father's death, he lost his mother when he was six; he and his brother Robert* were placed under the guidance of two kind and understanding uncles. After schooling in Dundee and Edinburgh, he studied at Edinburgh University, then in 1785 joined the navy, and at an early age attained command of an East Indiaman, achieving fame as an officer of coolness and resource. After spiritual self- questioning he left the sea in 1794 and settled in Scotland. Later he was converted, and this led eventually to a series of remarkable itinerancies during which he preached the Gospel in every part of Scotland. In 1797 he founded the Society for Propagating the Gospel at Home, after discovering that the Church of Scotland was as little interested in home as in foreign missions. In 1799 he became the first Congregational minister in Scotland, and two years later was installed in the new “Tabernacle” in Edinburgh-an impressive building with seating for more than 3,000, where he was to minister for almost fifty years. Like his brother Robert, he embraced Baptist principles. Concerned with restoring the life and conditions of the apostolic church, he was an advocate of the kind of church fellowship which in the next generation was developed by the Christian Brethren.

See A. Haldane, The Lives of Robert... and James Alexander Haldane (1856).