Open main menu

Carlile, James (1784-1854) (DNB00)


CARLILE, JAMES, D.D. (1784–1854), theological writer, born in 1784 at Paisley, was educated at Glasgow University, from which he received his degree of D.D. In 1813 be became minister of the Scots church at Mary's Abbey, Dublin, and in 1880 he was appointed resident commissioner to the Irish board of education. In this situation it fell to him to take the leading part in preparing and editing school books, and in organising the school system. His aim was to avoid all that might be counted sectarian, and introduce as much wholesome religious matter as possible. He was associated in the educational board with Archbishop Whately, who held him in high esteem, and also with Archbishop Murray, whose liberal spirit made him an agreeable fellow-worker. The educational fabric which was thus reared, however, displeased Cardinal Cullen and his successors. Having resigned the post of educational commissioner in 1889, he devoted the years of his life to an enterprise for the conversion of Roman catholics to the protestant faith. He had felt the ordinary methods of dealing with Roman catholics to be unsatisfactory, and so early as 1825 had published a memorial, in which he advocated a plan on the model in some degree of the Moravian missions. In 1839 he prevailed on his Dublin congregation, which was a collegiate charge, to allow him, while still maintaining his relation to it, to act as their missionary to Parsonstown in Birr, and for more than twelve years he laboured with no little success among the Roman catholies, and used to say that the spiritual fruits of his labour were at least equal to those of his much longer ministry in Dublin. He took an active part in the of the presbyterian church of Ireland, was twice moderator of its supreme court, and on one occasion made a speech which was eminently useful at a critical turn of the church's history. He died at Dublin 31 March, 1854. Carlile was a man of high character and scholarly acquirements, and of considerable literary activity. His works are: 1. ‘Examination of arguments for Roman Catholic Episcopacy,' Dublin, 1815. 2. ‘Sermons on Faith and Repentance,' London, 1821. 3. ‘The Old Doctrine of Faith asserted,’ London, 1823. 4. 'The Apocryphal Controversy summed up,' Glasgow, 1827. 5. ‘On the Constitution of the Primitive Churches,' Dublin, 1581. 6. ‘Letters on the Divine Origin and Authority of Scripture,’ 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1837. 7. ‘On the first and Second Advents,' Edinburgh, 1848. 8. ‘Fruit gathered from among Roman Catholics in Ireland,' London, 1848. 9. ‘The Papal Invasion: how to repel it,’ London, 1850. 10. 'Manual of the Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Mind,' London, 1851. 11. ‘Station and Occupation of Saint in Final Glory,’ London, 1854.

[Introductory notice prefixed to the last-named work by his nephew, Rev. James E. Carlile; Thirty-eight Years of Minion Life in Jamaica, Sketch of Rev. Warrand Carlile; Catalogue of New College Library and of Advocates' Library, Edinburgh; Killen's History of the Irish Presbyterian Church.]

W. G. B.