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"As a hungry man makes despatch and takes large morsels on account of his great hunger, so Thy servant feels a great desire to die that he may glorify Thee. He hurries day and night to complete his work in order that he may give up his blood and his tears to be shed for Thee" Lull's Liber Contemplatonis in Deo

"Is not devotion always blind? That a furrow be fecund it must have blood and tears such as Augustine called the blood of the soul" - Sabitier

THE scholastics of the Middle Ages taught that there were five methods of acquiring knowledge : observation, reading, listening, conversation, and meditation. But they left out the most important method, namely, that of suffering. Lull's philosophy had taught him much, but it was in the school of suffering that he grew

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into a saint. Love, not learning, is the key to his character. The philosopher was absorbed in the missionary. The last scene of Lull's checkered life is not at Rome nor Paris nor Naples in the midst of his pupils, but in Africa, on the very shores from which he was twice banished.

At the council of Vienne (as we saw in Chapter V.) Lull had rejoiced to see some portion of the labors of his life brought to fruition. When the deliberations of the council were over and the battle for instruction in Oriental languages in the universities of Europe had been won, it might have been thought that he would have been willing to enjoy the rest he had so well deserved. Raymund Lull was now seventy-nine years old, and the last few years of his life must have told heavily even on so strong a frame and so brave a spirit as he possessed. His pupils and friends naturally desired that he should end his days

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in the peaceful pursuit of learning and the comfort of companionship.

Such, however, was not Lull's wish. His ambition was to die as a missionary and not as a teacher of philosophy. Even his favorite "Ars Major" had to give way to that ars maxima expressed in Lull's own motto, "He that lives by the life can not die."

This language reminds one of Paul's Second Epistle to Timothy, where the Apostle tells us that he too was now "already being offered, and that the time of his departure was at hand." In Lull's "Contemplations" we read: "As the needle naturally turns to the north when it is touched by the magnet, so is it fitting, O Lord, that Thy servant should turn to love and praise and serve Thee; seeing that out of love to him Thou wast willing to endure such grievous pangs and sufferings." And again: "Men are wont to die, O Lord,

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from old age, the failure of natural warmth and excess of cold; but thus, if it be Thy will, Thy servant would not wish to die; he would prefer to die in the glow of love, even as Thou wast willing to die for him,"1

Other passages in Lull's writings of this period, such as the words at the head of this chapter, show that he longed for the crown of martyrdom. If we consider the age in which Lull lived and the race from which he sprang, this is not surprising. Even before the thirteenth century, thousands of Christians died as martyrs to the faith in Spain; many of them cruelly tortured by the Moors for blaspheming Mohammed.

Among the Franciscan order a mania for martyrdom prevailed. Every friar who

1 "Liber Contempiationis," cxxix., 19; "Vita Sceunda." cap. iv., and "Liber Contemplationis," cxxx., 27. Cf. Maclear p. 367.

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was sent to a foreign shore craved to win the heavenly palm and wear the purple passion-flower. The spirit of the Crusades was in possession of the Church and its leaders, even after the sevenfold failure of its attempts to win by the sword. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote to the Templars: "The soldier of Christ is safe when he slays, safer when he dies. When he slays it profits Christ; when he dies it profits himself"

Much earlier than the end of the Ages the doctrines of martyrdom had taken hold of the Church. Stories of the early martyrs were the popular literature to fan the flame of enthusiasm. A martyr's death was supposed, on the authority of many Scripture passages,1 to cancel all sins of the past life, to supply the place of baptism,

1Luke xii. 50: Mark x. 39 Matt x 39, Matt V.10-12. Compare the teaching of Roman Catholic commentaries on these passages.

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and to secure admittance at once to Paradise without a sojourn in Purgatory. One has only to read Dante, the graphic painter of society in the Middle Ages, to see this illustrated. Above all, it was taught that martyrs had the beatific vision of the Savior (even as did St. Stephen), and that their dying prayers were sure of hastening the coming of Christ's kingdom.

But the violent passions so prevalent and the universal hatred of Jews and infidels made men forget that "not the blood but the cause makes the martyr."

Raymund Lull was ahead of his age in his aims and in his methods, but he was not and could not be altogether uninfluenced by his environment. The spirit of chivalry was not yet dead in the knight who forty-eight years before had seen a vision of the Crucified and had been knighted by the pierced hands for a spiritual crusade. Like Heber he felt:

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The Son of God goes forth to war,
A kingly crown to gain;
His blood-red banner streams afar
Who follows in His train?

Who best can drink his cup of Wo
Triumphant over pain
Who patient bears His cross below
He follows in His train.

A glorious band, the chosen few
On whom the Spirit came:
Twelve valiant saints, their hope they knew
And mocked the cross and flame.

They climbed the steep ascent of heaven
Through peril, toil, and pain;
O God, to us may grace be given To follow in their train.

The dangers and difficulties that made Lull shrink back from his journey at Genoa in 1291 Only urged him forward to North Africa once more In 1314 His love had not grown cold, but burned the brighter "with the failure of natural warmth and the weakness of old age." He longed not only for the martyr's crown, but also once more to see his little band of believers.

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Animated by these sentiments, he crossed over to Bugia on August 14, and for nearly a whole year labored secretly among a little circle of converts, whom on his previous visits he had won over to the Christian faith.

Both to these converts, and to any others who had boldness to come and join them in religious conversation, Lull continued to expatiate on the one theme of which he never seemed to tire, the inherent superiority of Christianity to Islam. He saw that the real strength of Islam is not in the second clause of its all too brief creed, hut in its first clause. The Mohammedan conception of the unity and the attributes of God is a great half-truth. Their whole philosophy of religion finds its pivot in their wrong idea of absolute monism in the Deity. We do not find Lull wasting arguments to disprove Mohammed's mission, but presenting facts to show that Mohammed's

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conception of God was deficient and untrue If for nothing else he deserves the honor, yet this great principle of apologetics in the controversy with Islam, as first stated by Lull, marks him the great missionary to Moslems.

"If Moslems," he argued, "according to their law affirm that God loved man because He created him, endowed him with noble faculties, and pours His benefits upon him, then the Christians according to their law affirm the same. But inasmuch as the Christians believe more than this, and affirm that God so loved man that He was willing to become man, to endure poverty, ignominy, torture, and death for his sake, which the Jews and Saracens do not teach concerning Him; therefore is the religion of the Christians, which thus reveals a Love beyond all other love, superior to that of those which reveals it only in an inferior degree." Islam is a

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loveless religion. Raymund Lull believed and proved that Love could conquer it. The Koran denies the Incarnation, and so remains ignorant of the true character not only of the Godhead, but of God (Matt. xi. 27).

At the time when Lull visited Bugia and was imprisoned, the Moslems were already replying to his treatises and were winning converts from among Christians. He says: "The Saracens write books for the destruction of Christianity; I have myself seen such when I was in prison.... For one Saracen who becomes a Christian, ten Christians and more become Mohammedans. It becomes those who are in power to consider what the end will be of such a state of things God will not be mocked."1

Lull did not think, apparently, that lack of speedy results was an argument for

1 Smith, "Short History or Christian Missions," pp, 107-108.

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abandoning the work of preaching to Moslems the unsearchable riches of Christ.

High failure, towering far o'er low success,
Firm faith, unwarped by others' faithlessness,
Which, ken day brightest at eventide,
Scented never half so deathless, till he died."

For over ten months the aged missionary dwelt in hiding, talking and praying with his converts and trying to influence those who were not yet persuaded. His one weapon was the argument of God's love in Christ, and his "shield of faith" was that of medieval art which so aptly symbolizes the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. So lovingly and so unceasingly did Lull urge the importance of this doctrine that we have put the scutum fidei on the cover of this biography.1

Of the length, breadth, depth, and height of the love of Christ, all Lull's devotional writings are full.

1 Copied from an old woodcut of the scutum fedei in the south transept of Thame Church, Oxfordshire.

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At length, weary of seclusion, and longing for martyrdom, he came forth into the open market and presented himself to the people as the same man whom they had once expelled from their town. It was Elijah showing himself to a mob of Ahabs! Lull stood before them and threatened them with divine wrath if they still persisted in their errors. He pleaded with love, but spoke plainly the whole truth. The consequences can be easily anticipated. Filled with fanatic fury at his boldness, and unable to reply to his arguments, the populace seized him, and dragged him out of the town; there by the command, or at least the connivance, of the king, he was stoned on the 30th of June, 1315.

Whether Raymund Lull died on that day or whether, still alive, he was rescued by a few of his friends, is disputed by his biographers. According to the latter idea his friends carried the wounded saint to

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the beach and he was conveyed in a vessel to Majorca, his birthplace, only to die ere he reached Palma. According to other accounts, which seem to me to carry more authority, Lull did not survive the stoning by the mob, but died, like Stephen, outside the city. Also in this case, devout men carried Lull to his burial and brought the body to Palma, Majorca, where it was laid to rest in the church of San Francisco.

An elaborate tomb was afterward built in this church as a memorial to Lull. Its date is uncertain, hut it is probably of the fourteenth century. Above the elaborately carved panels of marble are the shields or coat of arms of Raymund Lull; on either side are brackets of metal work to hold candles. The upper horizontal panel shows Lull in repose, in the garb of a Franciscan, with a rosary on his girdle, and his hands in the attitude of prayer.

May we not believe that this was his

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attitude when the angry mob caught up stones, and crash followed crash against the body of the aged missionary? Perhaps not only the manner of his death but his last prayer was like that of Stephen the first martyr.

It was the teaching of the medieval Church that there are three kinds of martyrdom: The first both in will and in deed, which is the highest; the second, in will but not in deed; the thin in deed but not in will St. Stephen and the whole army of those who were martyred by fire or sword for their testimony are examples of the first kind of martyrdom. St. John the Evangelist and others like him who died in exile or old age as witnesses to the truth but without violence, are examples of the second kind. The Holy Innocents, slain by Herod, are an example of the third kind. Lull verily was a martyr in will and in deed Not only at Bugia, when he

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fell asleep, but for all the years of his long life after his conversion, he was a witness to the Truth, ever ready "to fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ" in his flesh "for his body's sake which is the Church."

To be stoned to death while preaching the love of Christ to Moslems that was the fitting end for such a life. " Lull," says Noble, "was the greatest of medieval missionaries, perhaps the grandest of all missionaries from Paul to Carey and Livingstone. His career suggests those of Jonah the prophet, Paul the missionary, and Stephen the martyr. Tho his death was virtually self-murder, its heinousness is lessened by his homesickness for heaven, his longing to be with Christ, and the sublimity of his character and career."

Raymund Lull

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