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Biographical Sermon on Ignatius Loyola

Biographical Sermon on Ignatius Loyola

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Published by glennpease


HEBREWS xi. 4.


HEBREWS xi. 4.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 14, 2013
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BIOGRAPHICAL SERMO O IGATIUS LOYOLABEJAMI JOWETT, M.A.HE BEIG DEAD YET SPEAKETH.HEBREWS xi. 4.IF there are sermons in stones, much more are theresermons in the lives of men. The great multitudeof human beings pass away unnoticed, yet to thosewho knew them there was something to be gatheredfrom their faults and their virtues, from their weak ness or their strength. Some words fall even fromthe lips of commonplace persons, which are longremembered and valued by their relatives or friends.A very few rise to distinction by their abilities, theirindustry, their integrity, and are much talked of bytheir fellow-men in their own circle. Still fewer findtheir way into the page of history : not more than twoor three in a century can be said to have set theirmark upon the world. Many have been great menduring a part of their lives, but have outlived themselves. They have in a manner become deaf anddumb. They do not understand the younger genera-1 Preached in Balliol College Chapel, April 24, 1881.n.J LOYOLA 21tion which has grown up since their day, and havenothing to say to them ; nor does the sweet sound of their own popularity any longer enter into their ears.The memories which have lasted longest in thisworld are those of men who have imparted, whetherby speaking or writing, new ideas to mankind, or whohave founded new institutions : and these two are thecomplement of each other. The spoken word is but
an animating breath which passes away and is gone ;the written word too is fleeting, and requires to beembodied in a system and to have a place assignedto it in human thought. And how can the teacherdiffuse his new ideas unless he gather around hima band of disciples ? and how can the disciples continue after he is withdrawn from them, unless theyhave a local habitation and are formed into a society ?There is the life of Christ and the Christian Church,and in these two all Christianity and all theology iscontained. They are the most general and also themost scientific divisions of the subject which can beframed. They may be regarded as the very typesof Christian and of other societies. There is the lifeof the man within and without the system, the school,the college, the institution, the building which he hascreated for himself. The one may be called in afigure, the house made with hands, the other thehouse not made with hands. And we find by experience, that the outer investiture or environmentnever exactly expresses the inner life or idea ; it22 SERMOS, BIOGRAPHICAL [11.limits, it cramps, it perverts it; it sometimes eventurns it into its opposite. Such has been the historyof all churches, of all monastic orders, of all schoolsand colleges at some time in their existence. Theyhave begun in poverty, they have ended in wealth ;they have begun in industry, they have ended insloth ; they have begun in love, they have degeneratedinto hate ; they have begun with the intention of promoting religion and education, and they haveended by being an incubus on them. They have beenadapted to the age which gave them birth ; they havecontinued when they were only doing harm. Andthen if the idea of their founders was true and pure,we can sometimes appeal from their works to them :
and breathe a new life from time to time into theinstitutions which are called by their names. Whenwearied with superstitious rites and ceremonies, wecan return to the simple teaching of Christ, from theChurch to the Gospel. And there have been othergreat teachers (though we do not place them ona level with Him), who have been better than theirfollowers, to whose life and works posterity mayappeal against the traditions and practices which havegrown up under their authority.I propose in this sermon to speak to you of a remarkable man. I wish that it was in my power toconceal his name ; for he would then have a fairerchance of being truly estimated. So many enmitieshave gathered around his memory, such crimes haveii.] LOYOLA 23been perpetrated in his name, that his holiness of life,his self-devotion, his far-reaching- and elevated aimsare no longer remembered, and both in this and othercountries he has passed into a byword, and hasbecome a sort of outcast from both the Church andthe world. While by some he has been regardeda greater benefactor to Christianity than the Apostlesthemselves, by others he has been considered almostas the spirit of evil. He was not a great literarygenius like Augustine, or Bunyan, or Luther ; nor wasthere any 4 sweet reasonableness in him or l gentlegoodness which would attract mankind : nor was hea thinker, like St. Thomas Aquinas, who sought tosystematize theology and reconcile it with secular knowledge. He himself was, as his biographer says, homoplane illiteratus, 4 a man without education ; his greatpower was an indomitable will absolutely devoted towhat he believed to be the service of God. He felthimself during the whole of life to be endowed with

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