Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Haliday, Samuel

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HALIDAY or HOLLYDAY, SAMUEL (1685–1739), Irish non-subscribing divine, was son of the Rev. Samuel Haliday (or Hollyday) (1637–1724), who was ordained presbyterian minister of Convoy, co. Donegal, in 1664; removed to Omagh in 1677 (MS. Minutes of Laggan); fled to Scotland in 1688, where he was successively minister of Dunscore, Drysdale, and New North Church, Edinburgh (Scott, Fasti); and returning to Ireland in 1692, became minister of Ardstraw, where he continued till his death. Samuel, the son, was born in 1685, probably at Omagh, where his father was then minister. In 1701 he entered Glasgow College, his name being enrolled in the register as ‘Samuel Hollyday, Hibernus,’ among the students of the first class under John Loudon, professor of logic and rhetoric. He graduated M.A., and went to Leyden to study theology (19 Nov. 1705). In 1706, whilst at Leyden, he published a theological ‘Disputatio’ in Latin. In the same year he was licensed at Rotterdam, and in 1708 received ordination at Geneva, choosing, he said, to be ordained in this place, ‘because the terms of communion are not narrowed by any human impositions.’ He now became chaplain to the Scots Cameronian regiment, serving in this capacity under Marlborough in Flanders. He was received by the synod of Ulster in 1712 as ‘an ordained minister without charge,’ and declared capable of being settled in any of its congregations. For some time, however, he lived in London, where he ‘appears to have been highly esteemed and well known to the leaders of the whig party both in and out of the government’ (Reid, History of Irish Presbyterian Church, iii. 213), and used his influence to promote the interests of his fellow-churchmen. In 1718 he took a leading part in obtaining a considerable augmentation of the regium donum; the synod of Ulster thanked him for his zeal in the service of the church, and voted him 30l. to aid in covering his outlay in opposing the extension of the Schism Bill to Ireland. In 1719 he was present at the Salters' Hall debates, and in the same year received a call from the first congregation of Belfast, vacant by the death of the Rev. John McBride. He was at this time chaplain to Colonel Anstruther's regiment of foot. A report having arisen that he held Arian views, the synod in June 1720 considered the matter, and unanimously resolved that he had ‘sufficiently cleared his innocency.’ His accuser, the Rev. Samuel Dunlop, Athlone, was rebuked. On 28 July 1720, the day appointed for his installation in Belfast, he refused to subscribe the Westminster Confession of Faith, tendering instead to the presbytery the following declaration: ‘I sincerely believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the only rule of revealed religion, a sufficient test of orthodoxy or soundness in the faith, and to settle all the terms of ministerial and Christian communion, to which nothing may be added by any synod, assembly, or council whatsoever: and I find all the essential articles of the Christian doctrine to be contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith, which articles I receive upon the sole authority of the holy Scriptures’ (preface to his Reasons against Subscription, p. v). The presbytery proceeded with the installation, in violation of the law of the church, and in the face of a protest and appeal from four members. The case came before the synod in 1721; but though Haliday still refused to sign the Confession, the matter was allowed to drop. A resolution was, however, carried after long debate that all members of synod who were willing to subscribe the confession might do so, with which the majority complied. Hence arose the terms 'subscribers' and 'non-subscribers.' Haliday continued identified with the latter till his death. A number of members of his congregation were so dissatisfied with the issue of the case that they refused to remain under his ministry. After much opposition they were erected by the synod into a new charge. The establishment of this congregation called forth 'A Letter from the Revs. Messrs. Kirkpatrick and Haliday, Ministers in Belfast, to a Friend in Glasgow, with relation to the new Meeting-house in Belfast,' Edinburgh, 1723. The subscription controversy raged for years, Haliday continuing to take a foremost part in it, both in the synod and through the press. In 1724 he published 'Reasons against the Imposition of Subscription to the Westminster Confession of Faith, or any such Human Tests of Orthodoxy, together with Answers to the Arguments for such Impositions,' pp. xvi and 152, Belfast, 1724. A reply to this having been issued by the Rev. Gilbert Kennedy, Tullylish, co. Down, Haliday published 'A Letter to the Rev. Mr. Gilbert Kennedy, occasioned by some personal Reflections,' Belfast, 1725, and in the following year 'A Letter to the Rev. Mr. Francis Iredell, occasioned by his "Remarks" on "A Letter to the Rev. Mr. Gilbert Kennedy,"' Belfast, 1726. To end the strife the synod in 1725 adopted the expedient of placing all the non-subscribing ministers in one presbytery, that of Antrim, which in the following year was excluded from the body. Haliday also published 'A Sermon occasioned by the Death of the Rev. Mr. Michael Bruce, preached at Holywood on 7 Dec. 1735,' pp. 35, Belfast, 1735. A correspondence between him and the Rev. James Kirkpatrick of Belfast on the one side, and the Rev. Charles Mastertown, minister of the newly erected congregation there, on the other, with regard to a proposal that the two former and their congregations should communicate along with the hearers of the latter, may be found in the preface to Kirkpatrick's 'Scripture Plea,' 1724, p. 5, &c. Haliday married the widow of Arthur Maxwell, who brought him considerable property. He died on 5 March 1739 in his fifty-fourth year (Belfast News Letter, ii. 157).

[MS. Minutes of Laggan; MS. Minutes of Synod of Ulster; Narrative of Seven Synods; Peacock's Leyden Students, p. 45; Reid's Hist. of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, vol. iii.; Witherow's Memorials of Presbyterianism in Ireland, vol. i.]

T. H.