The need for a faithfully preached Gospel was at that time particularly urgent in Scotland, and here it was that Haldane directed his main work. While the population had doubled, the number of churches had largely remained the same; and even if additional churches should be built, the difficulty of supplying them with a proper minister still remained. There was little hope at the time that government would supply what was needed, so the issue was allowed to drift. To build or hire churches was Haldane's first target. He first of all built the Tabernacle or Circus Church in Edinburgh in 1798. John Aikman, who was later co-pastor of the church, writes, “The chief principle which influenced the minds of the brethren…..was the indispensable necessity of the people of God being separated in religious fellowship from all such societies as permitted visible unbelievers to continue in their communion. This was a yoke under which we had long groaned. The form of Church Government was Congregational, the first such church to be built in Scotland. The new pastor of this church was to be Robert’s brother James.
This was taken from an 1823 map which can be found online at the National Library of Scotland. The Tabernacle is the shaded building on the south side of the High Street.