Page:Historical account of Lisbon college.djvu/37

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27
HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF LISBON COLLEGE.

of the College, whilst their eminent virtue did honour to their mental acquirements. Dr. Godden before he completed his course maintained three public Theses, two in Philosophy and one in Theology, all of which were attended with the most flattering success. Nature had gifted him with powers of reasoning of the highest order, and the laurels which he afterwards gained in his many contests with the adversaries of the Faith, fully justified the favourable presages, which were made thus early of his abilities. He revisited England in 1650, and the first happy fruit of his labours was the conversion of his mother to the Catholic Faith. He returned however to the College in the same year, where he commenced a Course of Philosophical Lectures and continued in this employment till 1653. In the February of the following year, he was appointed Professor of Theology and in that capacity gave lectures till the month of May, when his disciples were by order of the English Chapter transferred to a Seminary of the Oratorians in France, a measure dictated by the impoverished state of the College finances. Having successively filled the offices of Prefect of Studies and Vice-President, he undertook, on the death of Dr. Clayton, the entire management of the House, acting at the same time as Procurator. He was afterwards appointed President by a regular diploma of Bishop Smith who died the same year, 1654.

An accident however prevented Dr. Godden from receiving this first Official Deed of his nomination, and it was not until after the death of the above mentioned Prelate that he was by official letter from the Chapter, bearing date June 29, 1655, formally invested with the Presidency.

From this period Dr. Godden applied himself with redoubled assiduity to promote the interests of the establishment entrusted to his care. The Annals of the College record a number of improvements which the charitable donations of his friends enabled him to carry out. These occupations however did not hinder him