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(A.D. 1275-1298)

"I have one passion and it is He. He only. Zinzendorf

"In his assertion of the function or reason in religion and his demand that a rational Christianity be placed before Islam, this Don Quixote of his times belongs to our day." - Frederic Perry Noble.

IT is difficult to follow the story of Lull's life in exact chronological order because the sources at our disposal do not always agree in their dates; However, by grouping the events of his life, order comes out of confusion Lull's lifework was three fold: he devised a philosophical or educational system for persuading non-Christians of the truth of Christianity; he established

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missionary colleges; and he himself went and preached to the Moslems, sealing his witness with martyrdom. The story of his life is best told and best remembered if we follow this clue to its many years of loving service. Lull himself, when he was about sixty years old, reviews his life in these words: "I had a wife and children; I was tolerably rich; I led a secular life. All these things I cheerfully resigned for the sake of promoting the common good and diffusing abroad the holy faith. I learned Arabic. I have several times gone abroad to preach the Gospel to the Saracens. I have for the sake of the faith been cast into prison and scourged. I have labored fortyfive years to gain over the shepherds of the church and the princes of Europe to the common good of Christendom. Now I am old and poor, but still I am intent on the same object. I will persevere in it till death, if the Lord permits it."

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The sentence italicized is the subject of this chapter: the story of Lull's effort to found missionary schools and to persuade popes and princes that the true Crusade was to be with the pen and not with the sword. It was a grand idea, and it was startlingly novel in the age of Lull. It was an idea that, next to his favorite scheme of philosophy, possessed his whole soul. Both ideas were thoroughly missionary and they interacted the one on the other.

No sooner had Lull completed his "Ars Major," and lectured on it in public, than he set to work to persuade the king, James II., who had heard of his zeal, to found and endow a monastery in Majorca where Franciscan monks should be instructed in the Arabic language and trained to become able disputants among the Moslems. The king welcomed the idea, and in the year 1276 such a monastery was opened and thirteen monks began to study Lull's

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method and imbibe Lull's spirit. He aimed not at a mere school of theology or philosophy: his ideal training for the foreign field was ahead of many theological colleges of our century. It included in its curriculum the geography of missions and the language of the Saracens! "Knowledge of the regions of the world", he wrote, "is strongly necessary for the republic of believers and the conversion of unbelievers, and for withstanding infidels and Antichrist. The man unacquainted with geography is not only ignorant where he walks, but whither he leads. Whether he attempts the conversion of infidels or works for other interests of the Church, it is indispensable that he know the religions and the environments of all nations." This is high-water mark for the dark ages! The pioneer for Africa, six centuries before Livingstone, felt what the latter expressed more concisely but not more forcibly:

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"The end of the geographical feat is the beginning of the missionary enterprise."

Authorities disagree whether this missionary training-school of Lull was opened under the patronage of the king, at Palma, or at Montpellier. From the fact that in 1297 Lull received letters at Montpellier from the general of the Franciscans recommending him to the superiors of all Franciscan houses, it seems that he must have formed connections with the brotherhood there at an early period.

Montpellier, now a town of considerable importance in the south of France near the Gulf of Lyons, dates its prosperity from the beginning of the twelfth century. In 1204 it became. a dependency of the house of Aragon through marriage, and remained so until 1350. Several Church councils were held there during the thirteenth century, and in 1292 Pope Nicholas IV., probably at the suggestion of Lull, founded a

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university at Montpellier. Its medical school was famous in the Middle Ages, and had in its faculty learned Jews who were educated in the Moorish schools of Spain.

At Montpellier Lull spent three or four years in study and in teaching. Here, most probably, he wrote his medical works, and some of his books appealing for help to open other missionary schools. In one place he thus pleads with words of fire for consecration to this cause: "I find scarcely any one, O Lord, who out of love to Thee is ready to suffer martyrdom as Thou hast suffered for us. It appears to me agreeable to reason, if an ordinance to that effect could be obtained, that the monks should learn various languages that they might be able to go out and surrender their lives in love to Thee.... O Lord of glory, if that blessed day should ever be in which I might see Thy holy monks so influenced by zeal to glorify Thee as to go to foreign

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lands in order to testify of Thy holy ministry, of Thy blessed incarnation, and of Thy bitter sufferings, that would be a glorious day, a day in which that glow of devotion would return with which the holy apostles met death for their Lord Jesus Christ."1

Lull longed with all his soul for a new Pentecost and for worldwide missions. Montpellier was too small to be his parish, altho he was but a layman. His ambition was, in his own words, "to gain over the shepherds of the Church and the princes of Europe" to become missionary enthusiasts like himself. Where should he place his fulcrum to exert leverage to this end save the very center of Christendom? Popes had inaugurated and promoted the crusades of blood; they held the keys of spiritual and temporal power; their command in the Middle Ages was as a voice from

1 "Liber Contemplationis in Deo," cx. 28 Tom. ix., 246.

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heaven; their favor was the dew of blessing. Moreover, Lull's success with the king of Aragon led him to hope that the chief shepherd of Christendom might evince a similar interest in his plans.

He therefore undertook a journey to Rome in 1286, hoping to obtain from Honorius IV. the approbation of his treatise and aid in founding missionary schools in various parts of Europe. Honorius was distinguished during his brief pontificate for zeal and love of learning. He cleared the Papal States of bands of robbers, and attempted, in favor of learning, to found a school of Oriental languages at Paris. Had he lived it is possible that Lull would have succeeded in his quest. Honorius died April 3, 1287

Raymund Lull came to Rome, but found the papal chair vacant and all men busy with one thing, the election of a successor. He waited for calmer times, but impediments

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were always thrown in his way. His plans met with some ridicule and with little encouragement. The cardinals cared for their own ambitions more than for the conversion of the world. Nicholas IV. succeeded to the papal throne, and his character was such that we do not wonder that Lull gave up the idea of persuading him to become a missionary. He was a man without faith; and his monstrous disregard of treaties and oaths in the controversy with the king of Aragon, Alphonso, struck at the root of all honor1. He believed in fighting the Saracens with the sword only, and sought actively but vainly to organize another Crusade. Not until ten years after did Lull again venture to appeal to a pope.

Disappointed at Rome, Lull repaired to Paris, and there lectured in the university on his "Ars Generalis," composing other

1 Milman : "History of Latin Christianity," vi. 175.

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works on various sciences, but most of all preparing his works of controversy and seeking to propagate his ideas of world conquest. In one of his books he prays fervently that "monks of holy lives and great wisdom should form institutions in order to learn various languages and to he able to preach to unbelievers." The times were not ripe.

At length, tired of seeking aid for his plans in which no one took interest, he determined to test the power of example. Altho in his fifty-sixth year, he determined to set out alone and single-handed and preach Christ in North Africa. Of this first missionary voyage our next chapter contains an account.

On his return from Tunis, 1292, Lull found his way to Naples. Here a new Influence was brought to bear on his character. He made the acquaintance of the alchemist and pious nobleman, Arnaud

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de Villeneuve. Whether Lull actually acquired skill in transmuting metals and wrote some of the many works on alchemy that are attributed to him, will perhaps never be decided. I rather think this part of the story is medieval legend. But surely a man of Lull's affections imbibed a great deal of that spirit which brought down on Arnold of Villeneuve the censure of the Church for holding that "medicine and charity were more pleasing to God than religious services." Arnold taught that the monks had corrupted the doctrine of Christ, and that saying masses is useless; and that the papacy is a work of man. His writings were condemned by the Inquisition, as were also the works of Lull. Perhaps these brothers in heresy were really Protestants at heart, and their friendship was like that of the friends of God.

For the next few years the scene of Lull's labors changed continually He first

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went back to Paris, resumed his teaching there, and wrote his "Tabula Generalis" and "Ars Expositiva." In 1298 he succeeded in establishing at Paris, under the protection of King Louis Philippe le Bel, a college where his method was taught. But all France was in a ferment at this time because of the war against the Knights Templars and the struggle with Pope Boniface VIII. There was little leisure to study philosophy and no inclination to become propagandists among the Saracens.

Lull's thoughts again turned to Rome. But, alas! Rome in the thirteenth century was the last place of all Europe in which to find the spirit of self-sacrifice or the spirit of Christian missions. About the year 1274 the cessation of Church miracles was urged by an upholder of the crusade spirit as compelling the Church to resort to arms. Pope Clement IV. (1265-68) advised fighting Islam by force of arms. As a rule, the

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popes clung to the crusade idea as the ideal of missions.

Lull visited Rome the second time between 1294 and 1296. He had heard of the elevation of Celestine V. to the papal chair and with some reason hoped that this would favor his cause. Celestine was a man of austerity and the founder of an order of friars, and zelous for the faith. On the fifteenth of July, 1294, he was elected, but, compelled by the machinations of his successor, resigned his office on December 13 of the same year. He was cruelly imprisoned by the new Pope, Boniface VIII., and died two years later. Boniface was bold, avaricious, and domineering. His ambitions centered in himself. He carried his schemes for self-aggrandizement to the verge of frenzy, and afterward became insane. Lull found neither sympathy nor assistance in this quarter. From 1299 to 1306, when he made his

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second great journey to North Africa, Lull preached and taught in various places, as we shall see later.

In 1310 the veteran hero, now seventy-five years old, attempted once more to influence the heart of Christendom and to persuade the pope to make the Church true to its great mission. Full of his old ardor, since he himself was unable to attempt the great plans of spiritual conquest that consumed his very heart, he conceived the idea of founding an order of spiritual knights who should be ready to preach to the Saracens and so recover the tomb of Christ by a crusade of love.1 Pious noblemen and ladies of rank at Genoa offered to contribute for this object the sum of thirty thousand guilders. Much encouraged by this proof of interest,

1 Not as wrongly stated in some articles about Lull, a proposal to use force of arms. Cf Noble, p. 116 and Maclear p.366. with footnote in latter from Liber Contemplationis

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Lull set out for Avignon to lay his scheme before the pope, Clement V. He was the first pope who fixed his residence at Avignon, thus beginning the so-called "Babylonian Captivity" of the papacy. Contemporaneous writers accuse him of licentiousness, nepotism, simony, and avarice. It is no wonder that, with such a man holding the keys of authority, Lull again knocked at the door of "the vicar of Christ" all in vain.

Once more Lull returned to Paris, and, strong in mind altho feeble in frame, attacked the Arabian philosophy of Averroes and wrote in defense of the faith and the doctrines of revelation.1 At Paris he heard that a general conference was to be

1 See the bibliography and consult Renan's "Averrhoes et l'Averrhoisme" for particulars of his method and success. The Averroists from the thirteenth century onward opposed reason to faith. Lull's great task was to show that they were not irreconcilable, but mutually related and in harmony, It was in fact, the battle of faith against agnosticism.

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summoned at Vienne, three hundred miles away in the south of France, on October 16, 1311. A general council might favor what popes had scarcely deigned to notice. So he retraced the long journey he had just taken. Nearly three hundred prelates were present at the council. The combat of heresies, the abrogation of the order of Templars, proposals for new crusades, and discussions as to the legitimacy of Boniface VIII. occupied the most attention. Nevertheless the council gave heed to at least one of Lull's proposals, and passed a decree that professorships of the Oriental languages should be endowed in the universities of Paris, Salamanca, and Oxford, and in all cities where the papal court resided.

Thus, at last, he had lived to see one portion of his lifelong pleadings brought to fruition. Who is able to follow out the result for missions of these first Oriental language chairs in European universities

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even as far as saintly Martyn and Ion Keith Falconer, Arabic professor at Cambridge? For this great idea of missionary preparation in the schools Lull fought single handed from early manhood to old age, until he stood on the threshold of success He anticipated Loyola, Zinzendorf, and Duff in linking schools to missions; and his fire of passion for this object equaled, if not surpassed their zeal.

Raymund Lull

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