Open main menu

CARNE, ROBERT HARKNESS (1784–1844), theological writer, son of John Carne, of St. Austell, Cornwall, mercer, was baptised at St. Austell parish church on 10 Oct. 1784, matriculated from Exeter College, Oxford. on 16 Jan. 1803, and graduated M.A. on 19 Nov. 1806. He afterwards served as curate of Crediton, Drewsteignton, and Torbryan in succession, and, the bishop then refusing to renew his license, he removed to Berkshire, where during twelve months he acted as a curate without holding any license. In 1820 the corporation of Marazion on Mount's Bay elected him to the lectureship of the chapel in that town, and the mayor wrote to Dr. Pelham, bishop of Exeter, announcing the election. The bishop in reply said: 'Mr. Carne knows that to his moral conduct I have nothing to object, indeed I have every reason to believe it exemplary, but to my conception the doctrines he maintains are not those of the church of England, nor are they, as I conceive, according to its discipline. I therefore cannot conscientiously license him, and without a license no clergyman is authorised to preach.' Carne then withdrew from the established church, giving as his chief reasons for his action the violence done to conscience and the invasion of the rights of private judgement. He held high Calvinistic doctrines 'upon conviction,' and had objections to some portions of the Athanasian Creed. After this Carne for some time acted an minister of the High Street Chapel, Exeter, and then withdrew to Jersey, where he spent the remainder of his days, and, dying of apoplexy on 12 July 1844, was buried at St. Heliers on 18 July, in the sixtieth year of his age. He was the author of the following works: 1. 'Substance of Discourses delivered in the Churches of Crediton and Drewsteignton,' 1810, 2. 'A Series of Letters in Refutation of the Socinian Heresy,' 1815. 8. 'All the Elect People of God contemplated as Members of One Body,' 1817. 4. 'The Proper Deity and Distinct Personality, Agency, and Worship of the Holy Spirit,' 1818. 5. 'Reason for withdrawing from the National Establishment, with a Brief Statement of Doctrinal Sentiments,' 1820. 6. 'Sabellianism Revived.' 7. 'The Scripture Doctrine of Sanctification.' 8. 'The Two Covenants, or Law and Gospel.' 1828. 9. 'Examination of Pædo-baptism for the Satisfaction of Pædo-baptists,' 1830. 10. 'The Gospel Herald, a series of Discourses on the Glad Tidings of the Kingdom of God,' He was also a writer in the 'Morning Watch' in opposition to Edward Irving's opinions on 'The True Humanity of Christ.'

[Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. i. 61, 62, iii. 1114; collected information.]

G. C. B.