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(A.D. 1301-1309)

"In an age of violence and faithlessness he was the apostle of heavenly love." - George Smith.

"Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation." - Paul.

FROM 1301 to 1309 Lull made several missionary journeys which are the more remarkable if we consider that he was now sixty-six years old and if we think of the conditions of travel in the Middle Ages. The Mediterranean Was beset with pirates and the Catalan Grand Company were fighting the Byzantines, while Genoa and Venice waged a war of commercial rivalry. The Knights of St. John were fighting for Rhodes and the rival popes were quarreling.

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Travel by sea was dangerous and by land was full of hardship. In the Middle Ages the use of carriages was prohibited as tending to render vassals less fit for military service. As late as the sixteenth century it was accounted a reproach for men to ride in them, and only ladies of rank used such conveyances. Men of all grades and professions rode on horses or mules, and sometimes the monks and women on she-asses. Highway robbers infested the forests, and the danger from wild animals had not yet ceased even in the south of Europe.

In spite of all obstacles, however, we read that Lull "resolved to travel from place to place and preach wherever he might have opportunity." His purpose seems to have been to reach Jews and Christian heretics as well as Saracens.1 After laboring for

1 Accessit ad regent Cypri affectu multo supplicans ei, quatenus quosdam infideles atque schismaticos videlicet Jacobinos, Nestorinos, Maronites, ad suam praedicationem necnon disputationem coarctaret venire."- Maclear.p. 364 n.

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some time with the Jews in Majorca he sailed for Cyprus, landing at Famagosta, the chief port and fortress during the Genoese occupancy of the island. Cyprus at that time had a large population of Jews as well as of Christians and Moslems. Lull's preaching probably did not meet with success, for he soon left the island, and, attended only by a single companion, crossed over to Syria and penetrated into Armenia, striving to reclaim the various Oriental sects to the orthodox faith.

Armenia, in the thirteenth century, was the name of a small principality to the north of Cilicia, under a native dynasty. With Cyprus it formed the last bulwark of Christianity against Islam in the East. For fear of being crushed by the Moslem powers the Armenians formed alliances with the Mongolian hordes that overran Asia and shared in the hostility and vengeance of the Mamelukes. Among this

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brave remnant and bulwark of the faith that even to our own day has resisted unto blood the aggressive spirit of Islam, Lull labored -for more than a year. It was in Armenia that he wrote his book entitled, "The things which a man ought to believe concerning God." Written in Latin, it was afterward translated for his Spanish countrymen into Catalan.1

From Cyprus Lull returned once more to Italy and France, where from 1302 to 1305 he traveled about lecturing in the universities and writing more books. Before we speak of his second journey to North Africa, a few words should set forth the character of his love and labors for the despised Jew.

Scattered throughout every kingdom and island of Europe, the Jews had attained in many lands power and influence both because of their learning and their wealth. In Spain under the Saracen

1 See Helfferich, p.86. note, and No.225 in Bibliography A.

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supremacy they enjoyed ample toleration, but, in proportion as the Moors were driven out and the Christians became powerful, the Jews suffered. As early as 1108 a riot broke out in Toledo against the Jews and the streets streamed with their blood. All through the twelfth and thirteenth centuries dark stories were told of the hostility of the Jews. It was said that they poisoned wells, stole the consecrated wafers to pierce them with a needle, and crucified infants at their Passover festivals and used their entrails for magic and secret rites In 1253 the Jews were expelled from France and in 1290 from England. Many Were put to death by the Inquisition, and there were very few Christians who dared to defend a Jew in court. A child could not be missed without some foul play being suspected on the part of a Jew. In vain a few pious monks protested against such accusations and tried

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to befriend the outcast race The whole spirit of the times was to class Jews and Moslems as infidels and as worthy of hatred and contempt. If possible, the hatred against the Jews was stronger in Spain than elsewhere. During the closing years of Lull's life there were already kindled in Spain the fires of bitter, cruel persecution which at last, under Torquemada, consumed the entire race of the Jews in that country.1

In the thirteenth century, in almost all lands, the Jews were compelled to wear an insulting badge, the so called "Jew's hat," a yellow, funnel-shaped covering on the head, and a ring of red cloth on the breast. They were also compelled to herd together in the cities in the ghetto or Jewish quarter which was often surrounded by a special wall.2

1 Maclear, p 381 et seq.

2 Kurtz "Church History." vol. ii., p.23.

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This despised, race however, was not outside the circle of Lull's love and interest. He wrote many books to prove to them the truth of the Christian religion.1 He showed them that their expected Messiah was none other than Jesus of Nazareth. His great mission to the Saracens in Africa did not blind him to the needs of missions at home, and we read how, in 1305 and even earlier, he labored to convince the Jews in Majorca of their errors. In an age when violence and faithlessness were the only treatment which Jews expected from Christians, Raymund Lull was the apostle of love to them also.

There is a story or legend to the effect that, about this time, Lull paid a short visit to England and wrote a work on alchemy

1 Of these works the following are extant :"Liber contra Judaeos," "Liber de Reformatione Hebraica," and "Liber de Adventu Messiae."

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at St. Catharine's Hospital in London.1 But we have no good testimony for this event, and the legend probably arose from confounding Lull the missionary with another Lull who was celebrated for his knowledge of alchemy. In the "Acta Sanctorum" a special article is devoted to prove that Lull never taught or practised the arts of medieval alchemy.

We now come to his journey to North Africa, on which he set out in 1307, probably from some port in France or from Genoa. This time he did not go to Tunis, but to Bugia. Some say he visited Hippone and Algiers as well. A special interest attaches to the town of Bugia in the story of Lull's life as it was here he preached to Moslems in his old age and here was the scene of his death

Bugia, or Bongiah, is a fortified seaport

1 See Maclear. p.367 note, who quotes authorities for the legend.

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in Algeria between Cape Carbon and Wady Sahil. Its most important buildings at present are the French Roman Catholic church, the hospital, the barracks, and the old Abdul Kadir fort, now used as a prison. At present it has but a small population, yet conducts a considerable trade in wax, grain, oranges, oil, and wine.

Bugia is a town of great antiquity; it is the Salda of the Romans and was first built by the Carthaginians. Genseric the Vandal surrounded it with walls. In the tenth century it became the chief commercial city of all North Africa under the Beni Hammad sultans. The Italian merchants of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries had numerous buildings of their own in the city, such as warehouses, baths, and churches. In the fifteenth century Bugia became a haunt for pirates; after that time it lost its prosperity and importance.

Our photograph shows the ruins of the

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old gateway from the harbor, which dates from the eleventh century, and through which Lull must have entered the town.1

Altho there were Christian merchants in Bugia, they were a small minority, and were able to secure commercial freedom and favor only by avoiding all religious controversy and keeping their light carefully under a bushel. One can read in the history of the Mameluke dynasty, which ruled Egypt at this period, how Christians were regarded and treated by the Saracens So far as possible the odious edict of Omar II. was reimposed and its intolerant rules enforced.

The Mameluke sultan Nasir, "a jealous, cruel, suspicious, and avaricious tyrant," extended his power over Tunis and Bugia from 1308-1320. He was fanatical as well as cruel, and one has only to read how Christian churches were destroyed, Christians burned or mutilated, and their property

1See page 140.

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confiscated in the capital, to know what must have been the state of the provinces.1

Raymund Lull no sooner came to Bugia than he found his way to a public place, stood up boldly, and proclaimed in the Arabic language that Christianity was the only true faith, and expressed his willingness to prove this to the satisfaction of all. We know not what the exact nature of his argument was on this occasion, but it touched the character of Mohammed. A commotion ensued and many hands were lifted to do him violence

The mufti, or chief of the Moslem clergy, rescued him and expostulated with him on his madness in thus exposing himself to peril.

"Death," Lull replied, "has no terrors whatever for a sincere servant of Christ who is laboring to bring souls to a knowledge

1Sir William Muir "The Mameluke Dynasty," pp.67-87.

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edge of truth." After this, the mufti, who must have been well versed in Arabian philosophy, challenged Lull for proofs of the superiority of Christ's religion over that of Mohammed.

Ond of Lull's arguments, given in his controversial books, consists of presenting to the Saracens the Ten Commandments as the perfect law of God, and then showing them from their own books that Mohammed violated every one of these divine precepts. Another favorite argument of Lull with the Moslems was to portray the seven cardinal virtues and the seven deadly sins, only to show subsequently how bare Islam was of the former and how full of the latter! Such arguments are to be used with care even in the twentieth century; we can imagine their effect on the Moslems in North Africa in Lull's day.

Persecution followed. He was flung

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into a dungeon and for half a year remained a close prisoner, befriended only by some merchants of Genoa and Spain, who took pity on the aged champion of their common faith.

Meanwhile riches, wives, high place, and power were offered the Christian philosopher if only he would abjure his faith and turn Moslem. This was Lull's reply, from the depth of his dungeon, to all their enticements: "Ye have for me wives and all sorts of worldly pleasure if I accept the law of Mohammed? Alas I ye offer a poor prize, as all your earthly goods can not purchase eternal glory. I, however, promise you, if ye will forsake your false and devilish law, which was spread by sword and force alone, and if ye accept my belief, Eternal Life, for the Christian faith was propagated by preaching and by the blood of holy martyrs. Therefore I advise you to become Christians even now, and so

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obtain everlasting glory and escape the pains of hell."1 Such words, from the lips of a man seventy-three years old, in perfect command of the Arabic tongue, learned in the wisdom of the Arabian philosophy, and from whose eyes flashed earnest zeal for the truth, must have come with tremendous force.

While he tarried in prison, Lull proposed that both parties should write a defense of their faith. He was busy fulfilling his part of the agreement when a sudden command of the governor of Bugia directed that he be deported. Whether the reason of this command was the results that followed Lull's preaching, we know not. His biographers indicate that Lull was visited in prison by Moslems who again and again urged him to apostatize. "During his imprisonment they plied him for six months

1Keller: "Geistkampf u.z.w. pp.59,6O. Maclear. p.365.

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with all the sensual temptations of Islam."1

This must have been a bitter experience for the missionary in recalling the sins of his youth and the vision of his early manhood.

"But amid the torture and the taunting
- I have had Thee!
Thy hand was holding thy hand fast and faster,
Thy voice was close to me:
And glorious eyes said, 'Follow Me, thy Master,
Smile, as I smile thy faithfulness to see"

Raymund Lull left Bugia practically a prisoner, since the Moslems did not wish to have repeated the incident that followed his embarking at Tunis. During the voyage, however, a storm arose and the vessel was almost wrecked off the Italian coast near Pisa. Here he was rescued and received with all respect by those who had heard of his fame as a philosopher and

1 "Promittebant ei uxores, honores, domum, ei pecuniam copiosam." - "Vita Prima," chap iv.

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missionary From Pisa, Lull went by way of Genoa to Paris; of his work there and at the Council of Vienne we have already given an account.

Raymund Lull

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