"WHO BEING DEAD YET SPRAKETH"
One step farther, but some slight response from his church or his age, and Raymund Lull would have anticipated William Carey by exactly seven centuries." George Smith.
NEANDER does not hesitate to compare Raymund Lull with Anselm, whom he resembled in possessing the threefold talents uncommon among men and so seldom found in one character: namely, a powerful intellect, a loving heart, and efficiency in practical things. If we acknowledge that Lull possessed these three divine gifts, we at once place him at the front as the true type of what a missionary to Moslems should be today.
He, whom Helfferich calls "the most remarkable figure of the Middle Ages" being dead yet speaketh. The task which he first undertook is still before the Church unaccomplished The modern missionary to Islam can see a reflection of his own trials of faith, difficulties, temptations, hopes, and aspirations in the story of Lull. Only with his spirit of self-sacrifice and enthusiasm can one gird for the conflict with this Goliath of the Philistines, who for thirteen centuries has defied the armies of the Living God.
Lull's writings contain glorious watch-words for the spiritual crusade against Islam in the twentieth century. How up-to-date is this prayer which we find at the close of one of his books. Lord of heaven, Father of all times, when Thou didst send Thy Son to take upon Him human nature, He and His apostles lived in outward peace with Jews, Pharisees, and other men; for
never by outward violence did they capture or slay any of the unbelievers, Or of those who persecuted them. Of this outward peace they availed themselves to bring the erring to the knowledge of the truth and to a communion of spirit with themselves. And so after Thy example should Christians conduct themselves toward Moslems, but since that ardor of devotion which glowed in apostles and holy men of old no longer inspires us, love and devotion through almost all the world have grown cold, and therefore do Christians expend their efforts far more in the outward than in the spiritual conflict."
England's war in the Sudan cost more in men and money a hundred times than all missions to Moslems in the past century! Yet the former was only to put down a Moslem usurper by fire and sword; the latter represents the effort of Christendom to convert over two hundred millions
of those who are in the darkness of Islam. There was a thousandfold more enthusiasm in the dark ages to wrest an empty sepulcher from the Saracens than there is in our day to bring them the knowledge of a living Savior. Six hundred years after Raymund Lull we are still "playing at missions" as far as Mohammedanism is concerned. For there are more mosques in Jerusalem than there are missionaries in all Arabia; and more millions of Moslems unreached in China than the number of missionary societies that work for Moslems in the whole world.
In North Africa, where Lull witnessed to the truth, missions to Moslems were not begun again until 1884. Now there is again daybreak in Morocco, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Egypt. Yet how feeble are the efforts in all Moslem lands compared with the glorious opportunities How
vast is the work still before us, six hundred years after Lull.
According to recent and exhaustive statistics, the population of the Mohammedan world is placed at 259,680,672.1 Of these 11,515,402 are in Europe, 171,278,008 are in Asia, 19,446 are in Australasia, 76,818,253 are in Africa, and 49,563 are in North and South America. Three per cent. of Europe's population is Moslem; Asia has 18 per cent., and Africa 37 per cent. Out of every 100 souls in the world 16 are followers of Mohammed. Islam's power extends in many lands, from Canton to Sierra Leone, and from Zanzibar to the Caspian Sea. Islam is growing today even faster in some lands than it did in the days of Lull. And yet in other lands, such as European Turkey, Caucasia, Syria, Palestine, and
1 Dr. Hubert Jansen's "Verbreitung des Islams," Berlin.
1897 a marvel of research and accuracy.
1 Dr. Hubert Jansen's "Verbreitung des Islams," Berlin. 1897 a marvel of research and accuracy.
Turkestan, the number of Moslems is decreasing. In Lull's day the empire of Moslem faith and Moslem politics nearly coincided. Nowhere was there real liberty, and all the doors of access seemed barred. Now five-sixths of the Moslem world are accessible to foreigners and missionaries; but not one-sixtieth has ever been occupied by missions. There are no missions to the Moslems of all Afghanistan, Western Turkestan, Western, Central, and Southern Arabia, Southern Persia, and vast regions in North Central Africa.
Mission statistics of direct work for Moslems are an apology for apathy rather than an index of enterprise. The Church forgot its heritage of Lull's great example and was ages behind time. To Persia, one thousand years after Islam, the first missionary came; Arabia waited twelve centuries; in China Islam has eleven hundred years the start. This neglect appears the
more inexcusable if we consider the great opportunities of today More than 125,000,000 Moslems are now under Christian rulers. The keys to every gateway in the Moslem world are today in the political grasp of Christian Powers, with the exception of Mecca and Constantinople. Think only, for example, of Gibraltar, Algiers, Cairo, Tunis, Khartum, Batoum, Aden, and Muskat, not to speak of India and the farther East. It is impossible to enforce the laws relating to renegades from Islam under the flag of the "infidel." One could almost visit Mecca as easily as Lull did Tunis were the same spirit of martyrdom alive among us that inspired the pioneer of Palma. The journey from London to Bagdad can now be accomplished with less hardship and in less time than it must have taken Lull to go from Paris to Bugia.
How much more promising too is the
condition of Islam today! The philosophical disintegration of the system began very early, but has grown more rapidly in the past century than in all the twelve that preceded. The strength of Islam is to sit still, to forbid thought, to gag reformers, to abominate progress. But the Wahabis "drew a bow at a venture" and smote their king "between the joints of the harness." Their exposure of the unorthodoxy of Turkish Mohammedanism set all the world thinking. Abd-ul-Wahab meant to reform Islam by digging for the original foundations. The result was that they now must prop up the house! In India they are apologizing for Mohammed's morals and subjecting the Koran to higher criticism. In Egypt prominent Moslems advocate abolishing the veil. In Persia the Babi movement has undermined Islam everywhere. In Constantinople they are trying to put new wine into the old skins
by carefully diluting the wine; the New Turkish party is making the rent of the old garment worse by its patchwork politics.
In addition to all this, the Bible now speaks the languages of Islam, and is everywhere preparing the way for the conquest of the cross. Even in the Moslem world, and in spite of all hindrances, "it is daybreak everywhere." The great lesson of Lull's life is that our weapons against Islam should never be carnal, Love, and love alone, will conquer. But it must be an all-sacrificing, an all consuming love - a love that is faithful unto death.
"Taking him all in all," says Noble, "Lull's myriad gifts and graces make him the evening and the morning star of missions." He presaged the setting of medieval missions and heralded the dawn of the Reformation The story of his life and labors for Moslems in the dark ages is a
challenge of faith to us who live in the light of the twentieth century to follow in the footsteps of Raymund Lull and win the whole Mohammedan world for Christ.
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