NOT WITH CARNAL WEAPONS.
The horror of the Great War which has carried its disastrous consequences into every part of the world is not yet ended. Long after the armistice and the peace treaties men's hearts are still at enmity against each other. We write Anno Domini 1924, but we seem to live in a medievalism of international suspicions and intrigue without a parallel in the long history of the sinful world. Has the shadow on the dial moved backward? All the earth seems to prepare for war, to awake up its mighty men and to proclaim, "Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning-hooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong." Yet as in the days of Joel, the Lord is the Hope of His people and the Strength of His Church. The only apostle of peace whose commission is world-wide is the apostle of Jesus Christ.
Just as the Crusades were coming to a disastrous close, there was born on the island of Majorca, in 1236, the man who proclaimed the true method of warring the Lord's war, and through it became the first and greatest missionary to the Mohammedans. On June 30th, 1315, he was stoned to
death at Bugia, North Africa. Six hundred years dead, he still speaketh. What is his message to us to-day? The world war involved the Moslem World, and compelled Moslems everywhere, often unwillingly, to choose sides in the great conflict by showing their distrust and suspicion of or by declaring their wholehearted loyalty to colonial governments. It is good to emphasize once more the message of one who lived during the earlier struggle for the destiny of the Near East. Raymund Lull was profoundly convinced that the only weapon which Christians can rightly wield is prayer and love. He wrote in his Contemplation of God
"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; never by outward violence did they capture or slay any of the unbelievers, or those who persecuted them. This outward peace they used to bring the erring to the knowledge of the truth. So, after Thy example, should Christians conduct themselves towards the Saracens."
Lull saw the futility of authority in matters of religion at a time when other men were busy, as Robert E. Speer says, "with the most devilish expression of belief in authority ever conceived-the Inquisition." He was the greatest missionary to the Moslem world because of his catholicity, a lover of men everywhere and of the Christ. "The image of the crucified Christ," said he, "is found much rather in men who imitate Him in their daily walk than in the crucifix made of wood." "Better is a life spent in instructing others than one spent in fasting."
Raymund Lull not only loved Moslems and preached to them the love of Christ, but he was willing to lay down his life for their sake. If, after the War, there is to be a new day of liberty for Turkey and the Near East, that liberty will also be a call to the deepest self-sacrifice. We have complained that the harvest in Moslem lands is delayed. Have we forgotten the words of Sabatier, "That the furrow be fecund, it must have blood and tears such as Augustine called the blood of the soul ?
The present situation in the Moslem world is a call to new heroism, a heroism such as we saw exemplified on many a battlefield, but for a higher cause and in a higher service. Some years ago a missionary wrote to me, "If a Moslem Turk were to come to you and say that he wanted to confess Christ openly, what would you say to him? Is it your purpose definitely to lead your Moslem students
to an open confession of Christ, or is it your purpose merely to instil Christian ideas into their lives ? Will the Cross ever become a real or vital influence in Turkey before our missionaries are willing to face the fact that if Moslems openly confess Christ, it may mean the closing of our schools and bitter persecution; and that the history of Christianity is the record of conquests made because men dared face these issues? " Raymund Lull dared to face them at Rome, at Montpelier, in North Africa, and also, first and most of all, when he made his great decision at Palma. "To thee, Lord God, do I now offer myself and my wife and my children and all that I possess." In his own words, he "hurried day and night to complete his work, in order to give up his blood and tears to be shed for Christ." Who follows in his train ?
Many might object to the use of a military vocabulary in our work for Moslems, but let us never eliminate the spirit of unselfish heroism, of a dauntless faith, and such conviction of the Truth as calls for unconditional surrender to Jesus Christ our Lord. This is the message of the life of Lull after six centuries, and his message is never so appropriate the message of an apostle of peace-as in these days after the War. Raymund Lull, too, was a Crusader, but not with carnal weapons. He fought the good fight and kept faith against fearful odds. Shall we do so to-day? Even for such a spiritual warfare against unseen foes we may well pray:
we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world darkness, against spiritual wickedness in high places." "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God" . . . and pray.
Call to Prayer
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