Page:Historical account of Lisbon college.djvu/41

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HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF LISBON COLLEGE.

thews, previously an alumnus of the English College of Rome, but now an apostate from the Catholic Faith. To him on one occasion Sergeant communicated his doubts as to the truth of the Protestant Faith, and disclosed to him the impression which the palpable falsehoods contained in the Bishop s writings had made upon his mind.

Matthews expressed no surprise at what he heard, but smiling apparently at his friend s simplicity, replied, that such artifices were common in the writings of those who impugned the truth. This acknowledgement on the part of an apostate influenced Sergeant even more powerfully than the bad faith of his Patron, and he became anxious to find some able and secure guide to the truth. In this he succeeded, through the recommendation of this very Matthews, who directed him to the Rev. Dr. Gage.

The result of the interview was his own conversion and that of Dr. Godden to the true faith. "Thus," observe the College Annals, " did God by means of one sheep which had determined to perish, conduct two others to His Fold."

After completing his Theological studies, Dr. Sergeant was ordained priest, March 12, 1650, and in the same month of the following year was nominated Master of Humanities. In April, 1652, he was appointed Procurator, an office he held for only six months, resigning it for that of Prefect of Studies.

At the pressing instance of his friends and Superiors he returned to England in 1653, and his missionary labours were crowned with wonderful success. In addition to his own relatives he reconciled to the Church innumerable others; and during this period gave a specimen of his controversial powers, which inspired his opponents with a salutary dread of crossing swords with him. The famed Dr. Hammond, Archdeacon of Chichester, had lately published a bitter invective against the Catholic Church, attempting to prove that the Bishop of Rome was the real author of the schism. Sergeant