Sayfadaki görseller
PDF
ePub

those parishes which distract themselves with frequent mutations of their spiritual guides, and which seem “ to nothing fixed, but love of change.” When we consider the ordinary uncertainty of health and life, and how much this uncertainty is enhanced by the exhausting nature of faithful ministerial labor, we shall not deem it strange that there should be but eight p:istors in all Massachusetts who have survived to preach on the fifiieth anniversary of their ordination. Besides this, one half of the Orihodox churches in this Siate have been organized within five and twenty years; and many more were not in existence fifiy years ago. Ministers of the gospel are the cheapest and pleasan'est conservatives of social order. If they be not the guardians of public morals, then magistrates must be. The people must choose between pastors with their deacons, and lawyers with iheir deputy.sheriffs. Hence we regard a celebration like that at Wrentham, as an event of real importance to the political scholar; while such as that ai Malden claims the attention of the student in the philosophy of history.

ORDINATIONS.

[ocr errors]

Apr. 11. Mr. William Olmstead, Mason Village, N. H.
May 1. Mr. Charles A. Downes, Evangelist, Pembroke, N. H.

16. Mr. John Merrill, Sedgwick Village, Me.
17. Mr. William L Hyde, Gardiner Village, Me.

Mr. Williain Clarke, Orford West, N. H.

Mr. Edwin R. Hodgman, Evangelist, Orford West. " 25. Mr. Isaac Wetbrell, Nortli Chelsea, Ms. June 14. Mr. George Gamnett, Bootlıbay Harbor, Me.

INSTALLATIONS.

Mar. 21. Rev. Matthew D. Gordon, Hollis, N. H.

“ 29. Rev. Silas Aiken, Rutland, Vt. Apr. 19. Rev. W. B. Hammond, South Braintree, Ms.

" 25. Rev. J. H. Pettigill, Second Churclı, Saybrook, Con. May 9. Rev. Joseph D. Hull, Plynionth Hollow, Con.

16. Rev. S. S. Drake, Biddeford, Me.

17. Rev. Stillman Pratt, Melrose Church, Malden, Ms. June 6. Rev. Joshua L. Tucker, Holliston, Ms.

7. Rev. Joseph H. Beckwith, Middleton, Vt.

Rev. B. F. Clarke, Rowe, Ms.

DEATIIS OF MINISTERS.

Apr. 24. Rev. Benjamin Wood, Upton, Ms., æ. 76. .

25. Rev. Hezekiah Packard, D. D., Salem, æ. 87. May 9. Rev. Moses Elliot, Bosca wen, N. H., æ. 74.

10. Rev. Malachi Bullard, Jr., Winchendon, Ms., æ. 32. “ 11. Rev. Jasou Park, Barry, Jackson Co., Mich., æ. 70. June 9. Rev. Silvester Dana, Concord, N. H., æ. 79.

19. Rev. William B. Tappan, Grantville, Ms., æ. 54.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

the 16

At the close of the fifteenth century, man of sin" seemed destined to a complete overthrow, by the labors of Martin Luther and his associates. An open Bible, and civil and religious freedom went abroad in company; state after state threw off their allegiance to the Papal church, and Papacy herself shunned the eye of man. Many thought the hour had arrived, in which the

ord would destroy the “ mystery of iniquity” by the “ breath of his mouth,” and tho“ brightness of his coming.”

When all seemed lost to Rome, and opposition arose on every side, an order of men appeared, zealous, severe, and indomitable; who threw themselves at the Pontiff's feet, ready to do his will, without reserve or reward. The founder of this new order was Ignatius Loyola, whose history we propose to sketch.

Loyola was born in the old castle of Loyola, in Biscay, Spain, in 1491, - eight years after the death of Luther. His father was a Spanish nobleman, who introduced him at an early age, and in the character of a page, to the Court of Ferdinand, surnamed the Catholic. The court of a King not suiting his restless nature, he was soon transferred to the army. He rose rapidly. Glory and gallantry were his ruling passions, and he was distinguished for his bravery and his vices.

At the siege of Pampeluna, by the French, he was wounded in both his legs. An incompetent person having set them badly, he had them broken again, that the work might be better done. His friends attest, that St. Peter himself became his surgeon on the second trial. If so, the sequel shews that Peter was VOL. III.

30

[ocr errors]

not very competent to set broken limbs, how well soever he might do other things. The work was so unskilfully done, that the bone protruded, and the limb was shrunk, shortened, and crooked. To restore the fair proportions of the limb, he was literally stretched on a rack, hoping again to become the champion in knightly combat. But it was all in vain, and he was doomed to be a cripple for life.

As he lay upon his couch of sickness and pain, he read the lives of St. Francis and St. Dominic. More than all the others, he read the “Flower of the Saints," a book full of the most extravagant tales of men who founded new orders to serve the church, and were canonized and adored,- who wandered about without food, and without clothes,— who girded their loins with iron chains,— who toiled, suffered, and died for the church, who dwelt far away from human habitations, in horrid dens, or in caverns dark and drear.

New visions arose before the mind of Loyola. All was not lost to him. He could be a knight and cavalier still. He could be the champion of the church, and throw his shield over a dishonored religion, and bathe his sword in the blood of her foes. He could found an order such as the world had never seen; and reach the highest position in the church by suffering and sorrows, which would cause Dominic and Francis to be forgotten. He would be canonized and worshipped in the church through all coming time. Around his banner none should gather, who were not willing to share his disgrace and toil; and all such should participate in his triumph and fame.

Loyola arose from his couch to execute his purpose. He sought the church of “Mary, the mother of the Lord,” and before her image hung up his lance and shield. His knightly robes were exchanged for a beggar's garb, which he lined with thorns; and so departed, to consecrate his days to the church.

In a Dominican cell, not far from Montserrat, the foundation of the order was laid. He began a personal consecration of himself to the great work on which he was to enter, devoting three entire days to fasting, and general confession of his past life. From Sabbath to Sabbath he lived without food. He constantly arose at midnight, and passed seven hours, kneeling on the cold stones. Three times each day he scourged himself till the blood came. He refused to eat his meals, to comb his hair, or cut his nails.

in rags.

He appeared in the presence of those who had known him in his palmiest days, a cripple and a beggar, steeped in filth, and clothed

Sometimes he was in rapture, and often apparently in despair. Sometimes his joy was ecstatic; and often he would rend the air with wailings, from self-inflicted torture. He fasted to the very verge of starvation, till his confessor bade him fast no more; and as obedience was to be the cardinal doctrine of the new order, the penitent submitted at once. He lay in a trance for eight days, and was supposed to be dead; and they were about to prepare him for burial. Recovering from the trance, he assumed the attitude and aspect of an idiot ; and becoming too loathsome and offensive to dwell with men, fled from human society into the desert.

Near Mamesa, is a cave hewn out of a rock, and more like a sepulchre than a human habitation. It was the cradle of Loyola's “ Christian infancy,” as his eulogists inform us. Here, for ten months, he maintained a conflict with the devil. At length his friends had compassion, and brought him out of that horrid den. The fever was still upon him; but his insane ravings were carefully written down as inspired words. The distinguished lady to whom he had devoted his life, at length took pity on her devotee ; and Mary appeared to him in person. She allowed him to see her son, Jesus Christ, face to face. She permitted him to see transubstantiation take place in the sacrifice of the Mass. She led him to the steps of the church of St. Dominic, and shewed him the “ Trinity in Unity,” on which he looked with his bodily eyes, “and wept with joy and wonder."

The Convent of the Theatines, one of the severest orders of that day, was chosen by Loyola as his abode. He tended the sick, went about in rags, flogged himself daily, and disfigured his person. He would often leave the convent, and run hooting into the street; or, mounting a pile of stones, would wave his hat to collect an audience, and preach with great vehemence and power. The discipline of the Theatines, was too tame and feeble for Loyola, who resolved to go to Rome, and he performed the journey on foot, amid great privations and suffering. He was supposed to have the plague, or to be just recovering from that disease ; was seldom allowed to enter a house, or even lodge within the walls of a city. Most of the nights were passed in the open air, and upon the cold ground. Arriving at Rome, at last, obscure and without introduction, he bowed before Adrian VI., kissed his feet, obtained his blessing, and went out from the presence of the Pope to begin his work. His activity, zeal, and determination bore down all opposition; and his friends multiplied daily. It would be difficult to follow his restless career. At one time he was found in the Syrian desert, at another, in the chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, and then in France or Spain ; and in all places astonishing the world with his penances, vigils, and sufferings.

To attain the position be resolved to occupy, a better education was needed. He entered the college, at Barcelona ; placed himself under the rules of the institution, at the age of thirty-three years ; and begged, as a favor, that the tutors would flog him as

they would any boy.” He attempted, while in college, to reform the females in the Convent of St. Agnes; but was bastinadoed, and stabbed, and left for dead.

The hour for action had, at last, arrived. To found an order, such as he resolved to found, Loyola must become notorious, and must exceed both St. Dominic and St. Francis. He had done all this, and the world was full of his fame. He had only to choose his associates, and set out on his mission. At Paris, Loyola met two persons, fit to be his associates, and companions in toil,— Faber, a Savoyard, and Xavier, a Navarrese. The latter was a noble youth of an ancient house. These companions in study, became the disciples of Loyola. His mode of making converts was novel, and gave assurance that all such would be true

To show a libertine how one could conquer the passions when so disposed, he stood for a time, immersed to the neck, in a pool of frozen water. He would play at billiards with a gambler, on condition that, if the gambler lost the game, he should agonize a month with him. The timid, the confident, the gay, the ardent, were drawn to his standard. To Xavier he imparted his own spirit, and made both Faber and Xavier the confidants of all bis emotions. They dwelt in a single cell, and exercised over each other a vigilant watch. Loyola granted his two disciples no indulgence or relaxation ; but in the coldest weather, exacted of them all their vigils and fasts. His own countenance was haggard in the extreme. His flagellation was cruel, his diet sordid, his person filthy, his body lacerated and bleeding.

In the church of Mont-Martre, six persons met to organize their band, and take upon themselves, the vows of the holy order.

men.

[ocr errors]
« ÖncekiDevam »