Ellen G. White Writings

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History of the Reformation, vol. 3, Page 354

the wretched man, a prey to overwhelming terrors, filled the cloister with his groans. HRSCV3 353.5

Strange thoughts then entered into his heart. Finding no consolation in confession or in the various ordinances of the Church, he began, like Luther, to doubt their efficacy. But instead of forsaking the works of men, and seeking the all-sufficient work of Christ, he asked himself whether he should not again pursue the pleasures of time. His soul sprang eagerly towards the delights of the world he had renounced, but immediately recoiled with affright. HRSCV3 354.1

Was there, at that time, any difference between the monk of Manresa and the monk of Erfurth? Unquestionably,—in secondary points: but the state of their souls was the same. Both were deeply sensible of the multitude of their sins. Both were seeking for reconciliation with God, and longed to have the assurance in their hearts. If a Staupitz with the Bible in his hand had appeared in the convent of Manresa, possibly Inigo might have become Luther of the Peninsula. These two great men of the sixteenth century, these founders of two spiritual powers which for three centuries have been warring together, were at this moment brothers; and perhaps, if they had met, Luther and Loyola would have embraced, and mingled their tears and their prayers. HRSCV3 354.2

But from this hour the two monks were destined to follow entirely different paths. HRSCV3 354.3

Inigo, instead of feeling that his remorse was sent to drive him to the foot of the cross, persuaded himself that these inward reproaches proceeded not from God, but from the devil; and he resolved never more to think of his sins, to erase them from him memory, and bury them in eternal oblivion. Luther turned towards Christ, Loyola only fell back upon himself. HRSCV3 354.4

Visions came erelong to confirm Inigo in the conviction at which he had arrived. His own resolves had become a substitute for the grace of the Lord; his own imaginings supplied the place of God’s Word. He had looked upon the voice of God in his conscience as the voice of the devil; and accordingly the remainder of his history represents him as given up to the inspirations of the spirit of darkness. HRSCV3 354.5

One day Loyola met an old woman, as Luther in the hour of his trial was visited by an old man. But the Spanish woman, instead of proclaiming remission of sins to the penitent of Manresa, predicted visitations from Jesus. Such was the Christianity to which Loyola, like the prophet of Zwickau, had recourse. Inigo did not seek truth in the Holy Scriptures; but imagined in their place immediate communication with the world of spirits. He soon lived entirely in ecstasies and contemplation. HRSCV3 354.6

One day, as he was going to the church of St. Paul, outside the city, he walked along the banks of the Llobregat, and sat down absorbed in meditation. His eyes were fixed on the river, which rolled its deep waters silently before him. He was lost in thought. Suddenly he fell into ecstasy: he saw with his bodily eyes what men can with difficulty understand after much reading, long vigils, and study. He rose, and as he stood on the brink of the river, he appeared to have become another man; he then knelt down at the foot of the cross which was close at hand, and prepared to sacrifice his life in the service of that cause whose mysteries had just been revealed to him. HRSCV3 354.7

From this time his visions became more frequent. Sitting one day on the steps of St. Dominick’s church at Manresa, he was singing a hymn to the Holy Virgin, when on a sudden his soul was wrapt in ecstasy; he remained motionless, absorbed in contemplation; the mystery of the most Holy Trinity was revealed to his sight under magnificent symbols; he shed tears, filled the church with his sobs, and all day long continued speaking of this ineffable vision. HRSCV3 354.8

These numerous apparitions had removed all doubts; he believed, not like Luther because the things of faith were written in the Word of God, but because of the visions he had seen. “Even had there been no Bible,” say his apologists, “even had these mysteries never been revealed in Scripture, he would have believed them, for God had appeared to him.” Luther, on taking his doctor’s degree, had pledged his oath to Holy Scripture, and the only infallible authority of the Word of God had become the fundamental principle of the Reformation. Loyola, at this time, bound himself to dreams and visions; and chimerical apparitions became the principle of his life and of his faith. HRSCV3 354.9

Luther’s sojourn in the convent of Erfurth and that of Loyola in the convent of Manresa explain to us—the first, the Reformation; the latter, modern Popery. The monk who was to reanimate the exhausted vigor of Rome repaired to Jerusalem after quitting the cloister. We will not follow him on this pilgrimage, as we shall meet with him again in the course of this history. HRSCV3 354.10

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