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Significant Scots
James Gordon


GORDON, JAMES, a member of the noble family of Gordon, and distinguished for his erudition, was born in the year 1543. Having been sent to Rome for his education, he there became a Jesuit, while yet in the twentieth year of his age, and such was his extraordinary progress in learning, that in six years afterwards (1569) he was created doctor of divinity. He next became professor of languages and divinity, in which capacity he distinguished himself in various parts of Europe, particularly in Rome, Paris, and Bourdeaux. In these duties he was occupied for nearly fifty years, during which time he acquired such reputation for learning and acuteness. Gordon was frequently deputed as a missionary to England and Scotland, and was twice imprisoned for his zeal in attempting to make converts. He was also, on account of his superior abilities, often employed by the general of his order in negotiating their affairs; a duty for which his penetration and knowledge of the world especially qualifed him.

Alegambe describes Gordon as a saint; but with all his talents and learning, he does not seem to have had any very great pretensions to the honour of canonization, since it is beyond doubt that he led, notwithstanding Alegambe’s account of him, an exceedingly dissipated life. He, however, rigidly practiced all the austerities of his order, and, with all his irregularities, rose every morning at three o’clock. His only writings, are "Controversiarum Fidei Epitome," in three parts or volumes; the first printed at Limoges, in 1612, the second at Paris, and the third at Cologne, in 1620.


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