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William White, of Haddington (1811-1871)


William White, of Haddington (1811-1871)

James Dodson

Biographical Sketch

William White was born in Harthill, near Whitburn, Scotland, December 17, 1811. He entered the Seceder Divinity Hall, in 1831, where he studied under George Paxton. In 1834, the Seceder congregation, in Haddington, which adhered to the Constitutional Presbytery (formed in 1806), petitioned for an assistant and successor for their aging minister, Robert Chalmers. Mr. White was licensed by the Presbytery of Edinburgh, in 1834, and received two calls, one of which was to the congregation of Haddington. In 1835, Mr. White was ordained in a service presided over by Thomas McCrie. In 1836, Mr. White was appointed his assistant minister and, upon the death of Mr. Chalmers, in 1837, Mr. White became his successor as minister of that congregation. His connection with this congregation continued until his death. In 1847, he was chosen by his brethren to be the editor of the Original Secession Magazine and remained in this capacity until 1852. At first, Mr. White had been an opponent of union, however, in 1852, he and his congregation united with the Free Church of Scotland. He died at the age of sixty, in the 37th year of his ministry, October 13, 1871. He was said to be one of the most learned historians of the Secession church and his skills were widely sought in partisan controversies. His published works, besides these lectures, include several sermons on Sabbath keeping, the binding obligation of covenants together with some synodic sermons. He also published a well-respected volume on the prophecies of Daniel, another volume on Christian union and a very interesting collection of scripture studies.