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Robert Haldane
Robert Haldane (28 February 176412 December 1842) was a Scottishmarker churchman.


Haldane was born in London, the son of James Haldane of Airthrey Housemarker, and his wife Katherine Duncan. His younger brother James Alexander Haldane was also a clergyman. After attending classes at Dundee Grammar Schoolmarker and in the Royal High Schoolmarker and University of Edinburgh, in 1780 he joined HMS Monarch of which his maternal uncle, Adam Duncan, was in command. In the following year he was transferred to HMS Foudroyant on board of which, during the night engagement with the French ship Pegase, he greatly distinguished himself. Haldane was afterwards present at the relief of Gibraltarmarker, but at the peace of 1783 he finally left the Royal Navy, and soon afterwards settled on his estate of Airthrey, near Stirlingmarker.

His tutor was David Bogue of Gosportmarker. The earlier phases of the French Revolution excited a sympathy which induced him to avow his strong disapproval of the war with Francemarker. As his over-optimistic visions of a new order of things to be ushered in by political change disappeared, he began to direct his thoughts to religious subjects. Resolving to devote himself and his means wholly to the advancement of Christianity, his first proposal for that end, made in 1796, was to organize a vast mission to Bengalmarker, of which he was to provide the entire expense; with this view the greater part of his estate was sold, but the British East India Company refused to sanction the scheme, which therefore had to be abandoned.

In 1797 Haldane sold his castle, left the Church of Scotlandmarker and travelled around Scotland preaching. In December of that year he joined his brother and some others in the formation of the "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel at Home," in building chapels or "tabernacles" for congregations, in supporting missionaries, and in maintaining institutions for the education of young men to carry on the work of evangelization. He is said to have spent more than £70,000 in the course of the following twelve years (1798-1810). He also initiated a plan for evangelizing Africa by bringing over native children to be trained as Christian missionaries. In 1816 he visited the continent, and first at Genevamarker and afterwards in Montaubanmarker (1817) he lectured and interviewed large numbers of theological students with remarkable effect; among them were Malan, Frédéric Monod and Jean-Henri Merle d'Aubigné. Returning to Scotland in 1819, he lived partly on his estate of Auchengraymarker and partly in Edinburgh, and like his brother took an active part, chiefly through the press, in many of the religious controversies of the time.

In 1816 he published a work on the Evidences and Authority of Divine Revelation, and in 1819 the substance of his theological prelections in a Commentaire sur l'Epitre aux Romains. Among his later writings, besides numerous pamphlets on what was known as "the Apocrypha controversy," are a treatise On the Inspiration of Scripture (1828), which passed through many editions, and a later Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans (1835), which has been frequently reprinted, and has been translated into French and German.


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