Raymond Lull was born on the island of Majorca, in the year 1236. Until his thirtieth year he led an entirely wordly life at the court of the king of the Balearic Isles, without any higher aims. Even after his marriage, he continued to indulge his passions in disregard of the marriage tie. His poems were inspired by sensual love. He himself, in his work on the contemplation of God, thus bewails the loss of the first half of his life; "As, O Lord, we first see the trees bring forth leaves and twigs, and then flowers, and after the flowers fruits, a sign is hereby given to us that we should first display the tokens of a good life, and, then good works: as we see the flowers follow the leaves, and afterwards the fruit succeed the flower, so also the results which flow from our good deeds should be seen. If those trees are beautiful and good which bring forth leaves, branches, flowers, and fruits, how much better and more beautiful are men when they perform works of love, praising their Lord, their Maker and their God. Trees and plants obey the law of their destiny in that which they do, -- step by step bringing forth leaves, and flowers, and fruits; but with us it is not so, but we do the opposite, for we see daily that men do in their youth what they should do in old age, and in old age what they should have done in youth. I see, O Lord, that the trees bring forth, every year, flowers and fruits, by which men are cheered and nourished; but with me, a sinner, it has not been so. For during thirty years I brought no fruit to the world, yea rather injured my neighbours and my friends. If, therefore, the tree, unendowed with reason, bears more fruit than I have borne, well may I be ashamed, and acknowledge my great guilt. To Thee, O Lord my God, I thy servant offer many thanks, in that I perceive a wide difference between the deeds of my youth and those of my declining age. For as then all my works consisted in sin and the partaking of sin, so now, I trust that, through Thy grace, all my works, my thoughts, and my wishes will tend to Thy glory." But the emotions of Christian piety, which influenced his age and his nation, had also by education been imparted to him, and although overwhelmed by sensuality, had not yet lost all power over him. In this, as in so many other instances, is seen the great blessing of those pious influences on the growing child, which, even in a life hurried away by sensual desires and passions, will in the end spring forth again. It was so with Raymond Lull. From these influences arose a sense of contrast to all which had formerly animated his life. One night, when he was lying on his bed composing a love-song, the image of the crucified Christ came before his eyes and made so strong an impression on him that he could proceed no further with his love-song. Still, he would not give up, and began afresh, but yet again that Form came before him with fresh power, until he was at length compelled to desist from the completion of the song. Day and night that Form floated before his eyes, and he could not free himself from the impression. For considering the manifold ways which Divine grace pursues with the souls of men in order to save them, -- we must indeed acknowledge, that although the power of the Divine over the heart is ever the same, yet the manner in which men become conscious of this impression is determined by individual intellect and temperament, as also the mode of conversion, whether more gradual, or resulting from a great and sudden convulsion. With Raymond Lull, a man of a poetic mind, in whom imagination was predominant, in whom the power of the Divine manifested itself in opposition to the hitherto ruling power of sensual passion, the Divine power of the impression which the image of Christ had made on his heart, displayed itself in visions. He recognised in these an admonition to fly from the world and consecrate himself wholly to the service of Christ. But now the question arose within him: "How can I turn from my hitherto impure life to so holy a vocation?" By night even this thought allowed him no rest. Then he said to himself: "Christ is so gentle, patient, and compassionate. He calls all sinnners to him, he will not then east me out, notwithstanding my sins."
Thus he became assured that it was God's will that he should leave the world and devote himself with his whole heart to the service of Christ.
Resolved, therefore, to consecrate himself wholly to the service of Christ, he began to take counsel with himself as to the best mode of doing this, -- and he attained the firm conviction that there could be no work more acceptable to the Lord Christ than to sacrifice his life in the proclamation of the Gospel, and hence his thoughts were especially directed to the Saracens, whom the Crusaders had vainly endeavoured to subject to the power of the sword. But then the thought occurred to him how could he, an unlearned layman, be capable of such a work. Whilst he was filled with deep grief on this account, the idea seized him of writing a book which should tend to manifest the truth in opposition to all the errors of infidels. He believed this to be a Divine call, (and this was of importance as regarded the direction which his deep meditations thenceforth took,) to show the harmony between the revealed truths of the faith and what is founded in the nature of the human mind.
The heavenly power of love by which he was now penetrated, also gave a new impulse to his thoughts. Yet he questioned himself further, even if he should succeed in writing such a book, what use would it be to the Saracens, who understood no language but Arabic? Thus, the plan developed itself in him of applying to the Pope and the Christian princes to found schools in the convents, for instruction in Arabic and other languages spoken amongst the infidels. Philological science was to minister to the work of grace. If such institutions were founded, Raymond Lull thought, missionaries might go forth from them to every region. This was the commencement of missionary colleges, in which instruction should be given in various languages. The next day he repaired to a neighbouring church, and besought the Lord with many tears, that He who had breathed this thought into his soul, would enable him to complete this work in defence of Christianity, to effect the institution of these missionary and philological colleges, and at last to sacrifice his life for the cause of the Lord. This happened in the beginning of July; but the higher life in Raymond Lull had yet many storms to pass through, ere it could become a steadfast thing. Old habits were still too powerful with him, and thus it happened that during three months he occupied himself no further with the thought, which had possessed him so strongly. Then came the fourth of October, the festival of St. Francis d Assisi, and he heard a bishop, in the Franciscan church at Majorca, preach on St. Francis's renunciation of the world. This re-awakened what had been slumbering in his soul. He resolved immediately to follow St. Francis's example; he sold his possessions, only retaining what was requisite for the maintenance of his wife and children, devoted himself unreservedly to the Lord Christ, and left his home with the determination of never returning to it. He first visited many churches, in which he called on God to bless the execution of the projects which possessed him with such power. He then wished to proceed to Paris, in order, by studying at the university there, to obtain the requisite scientific information for the execution of his plans. But he was withheld from carrying out this plan, by the influence of his relations and friends. He therefore remained in Majorca, and commenced his studies there. He purchased a Saracen slave, from whom he learned Arabic. The defence of Christian truths was the great object of his researches. If, he thought, he could succeed in controverting the objections of the Mohammedan doctors against Christianity, whilst they could not controvert the arguments which he brought forward in its favour, they would be constrained to come over to Christianity; a process of reasoning in which he certainly relied too much on the power of his arguments. The promotion of missions was the first thing with him; the acquisition of languages was to minister to that. He succeeded so far with James, king of Majorca and Minorca, that in the year 1275 an Abbey was founded on the first of these islands, in which thirteen Franciscans were constantly to be instructed in Arabic, in order to be able to labour as missionaries amongst the Saracens. In the year 1286, he repaired to Rome, in order to gain over Pope Honorius IV. to his project, that similar missionary colleges might be instituted in every country; but he found that Pope no longer alive, and the Papal throne vacant. Even when he made a second journey to Rome with the same object, he did not succeed in attaining it. How earnest his desire was that schools should be founded amongst the monks, for the promotion of missions, is shown in these words, in which he laments that amidst so much pious zeal so little was done for the conversion of the infidels: "I see," he says, in his work on the contemplation of God, "pious monks, Franciscans, Dominicans, and others, daily distressing themselves on account of our failures and sins; seeking, day and night by their preaching, to withdraw us from our sins, to lead us to what is good, and to produce love amongst us. I see monks fix their abode in desolate and desert places, in order not to be seduced by the sins which prevail amongst us; and I see them plough and till the ground, in order to maintain themselves and the poor; I see them rise at midnight to sing Thy praises, O Lord. I see hermits fly all the vanities of this world, retire to mountains and uninhabited places, eat herbs, abandon all the pleasures of this world, and pass all their life in loving and praising Thee, O Lord, in praying to Thee, and in the contemplation of Thy goodness and holiness. I see monks and nuns renounce this world, in order to be made partakers of glory in the next; and although they endure many sufferings and toils in their bodies, yet they thus escape much anguish and want, which we men of the world endure in our souls, because we are of the world, and love the world. Yet, whithersoever look, and wherever I search, I find scarcely one, who, from love to Thee, O Lord, is ready to meet the martyr's death, as Thou halt done from love to us. It seems to me, that it would be reasonable that monks should learn various languages, that they might go forth, and from love to Thee offer up their lives: since in these days we see many monks of holy life and great wisdom. I pray Thee, Lord, let me also see, in my time, that they found institutions wherein to learn divers languages, in order to be able to preach to the heathen. O Lord of glory, when will that blessed day arrive, when I shall see that thy holy monks are so inflamed with zeal to praise Thee, that they go forth into foreign lands in order to bear witness to Thy Holy Trinity, Thy blessed Incarnation, and Thy bitter Passion? That were a glorious day, a day on which the fervour of piety would return, with which the holy Apostles went to death for their Lord Jesus Christ."
As Raymond Lull was not able to institute, as he wished, an association for this holy enterprise, he felt himself constrained to go forth alone amongst the infidels, and in the year 1287 he sailed to Genoa, in order to cross thence to Northern Africa. As people had heard so much of the remarkable change that had taken place in him, of his fervent zeal for the conversion of the infidels, and of his new, and according to his idea, so promising method of conversion, his project excited high expectations. But he had yet many a severe conflict to pass through; the natural man asserted his power in him. The same imagination which was filled with enrapturing images of the holy cause which inspired him, in which the glory of his inward life was mirrored, could also be set in motion by the natural man, and reflect images of another kind; the terror of the natural heart could also be mirrored in it. Thus it would operate in various ways on Raymond Lull, according as it was in the service of the higher or the lower power. Already was the ship which was to convey him ready for departure, already were his books packed up in it, when his fervid imagination pictured to him so strongly the fate which awaited him amongst the Mohammedans -- whether a torturing death, or a lifelong captivity -- that he could not prevail on himself to go on board the ship. But when she had sailed, fierce torments of conscience seized him, that he had been so unfaithful to the holy purposes which God had awakened in him, and had given so great a scandal to the believers in Genoa. A severe illness was the consequence of this inward strife. Whilst he had thus much to suffer both in body and soul, he heard that a ship had arrived in the harbour, which was on the point of sailing for Tunis. Although he seemed to be nearer death than life, he caused himself to be carried on board with his books. But as his friends deemed it impossible that he could bear the voyage in such a state, full of anxiety they sent and fetched him back. His health, however; was not to be restored by any bodily care, for the root of the disease lay in his soul. When therefore, some time after this, he heard of another ship bound for Tunis, nothing could prevent him from being carried on board. And when the ship had set sail, he soon felt himself delivered from the burden which weighed on his conscience; for he found himself in his element -- he was fulfilling the vocation which he was assured of being from God. With health of soul he was also restored to health of body. He who narrates these incidents in Raymond Lull's life, expresses himself thus: "That health of conscience which under this beclouding of his soul he believed himself to have lost, he suddenly recovered, rejoicing in the Lord on account of this merciful illumination of the Holy Ghost, together with the restoration of his suffering body." To the amazement of all his fellow-voyagers, in a few days he found himself as well and strong as he had ever been in his life.
When, at the close of the year 1291, or at the beginning of the year 1292, he arrived at Tunis, he assembled the Mohammedan doctors, and declared to them that he was come in order to institute a comparison between Christianity, with which he was thoroughly acquainted, and which he had excellent arguments to defend, and Mohammedanism. If he found the arguments in favour of Mohammedanism the stronger, he would become a convert to it. A great number of Mohammedan doctors assembled, hoping to succeed in converting him to Mohammedanism; and he disputed with them. But one of the Saracen doctors, who was full of fanaticism, directed the attention of the king to the danger which threatened the Mohammedan faith from the proselyting zeal of Raymond, and procured an edict of death against him. He was thrown into prison and already sentenced to death, when one of the Saracen doctors themselves, who was more unprejudiced and wise than the rest, interceded for him. He commended the spirit of Raymond, and said, that as they should admire the zeal of a Mohammedan who ventured amongst the Christians to convert them to the true faith, so also they could not refrain from honouring in the Christian a similar zeal for the diffusion of the religion which he believed to be true. These representations caused Raymond's sentence to be softened from death to banishment. When he left the prison he had much ill-treatment to suffer from the fanatical people. He was then conveyed to the Genoese ship in which he came, and which was again on the point of departure; and it was signified to him at the same time, that if he was seen again in the territory of Tunis, he would be stoned to death. But as he hoped by continuing his labours to convert many of the Saracen doctors with whom he had disputed, and as his desire for the salvation of their souls was so strong, he could not make up his mind to see this hope so soon frustrated. Gladly would he have sacrificed his life at this price. He suffered the ship to which they had conveyed him; to set sail, proceeded to another, and watched for an opportunity of returning thence unobserved to Tunis. In the month of September, 1292, whilst he was thus lying in the bay of Tunis, he had composure of mind enough to labour at a scientific book. After having waited there three months in vain, he at length departed in the ship and repaired to Naples. There he lingered many years, delivering lectures on his original system of philosophy, until the pious hermit, Peter of Murrhone, -- who had become Pope, under the name of Celestin V., -- revived his hope of at length accomplishing what he had so long desired -- the promotion of missionary enterprise. But Celestin's reign was too brief, and his successor, Boniface VIII., was too indifferent to the interests of religion, for this hope to be realized.
During his sojourn in Rome with that object, in the year 1296, Raymond Lull composed a book which was also connected with his interest in missions, in which he sought to state the fundamental truths of Christianity in an incontrovertible manner. If he esteemed his arguments too highly, it was the strength of his faith which caused him to rely on them so confidently. We cannot but sincerely admire the firmness of his conviction that there must be no dissension in the soul of man -- that the truth, which was the highest thing for him, must correspond to all the wants of his spirit, and be in harmony with his reason and his heart. He says at the close of this book, "We have composed this treatise that believing and devout Christians may perceive that, whereas the doctrines of no other sect can be proved true by its adherents, and none can reasonably assail the Christian faith, the Christian faith on the contrary can not only be defended against all its foes, but proved to demonstration. Thus inspired by a fervent zeal for the faith, and convinced that nothing can stand against the truth which is stronger than all things, may they seek by the force of argument, and by the help and strength of God, to lead back the infidels to the way of truth, so that the glorious name of the Lord Jesus, which is yet unknown in most countries and amongst most nations, may be manifested and may obtain universal homage. This method of converting the infidels is easier than all others. For it must seem hard to them to abandon their faith for an unknown religion; but who will not feel himself constrained to exchange falsehood for truth, the self-contradictory for the self-evident?" And finally he adds, "Wherefore we humbly pray the pope and the cardinals to adopt this method; for of all the schemes for the conversion of the infidels and the re-conquest of the promised land, this which is most according to love is the easiest and the quickest, -- as much mightier than other ways and methods, as spiritual weapons are stronger than carnal." "This treatise," he writes, "was completed at Rome in the year 1296, on the eve of the Feast of John the Baptist, the forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ. May he intercede with our Lord, that as he himself was the herald of the light, and pointed to Him who is the true light, and as in his time grace had its beginning, so it may please the Lord Jesus Christ to diffuse new light over the world, that -unbelievers may walk in the brightness of this light, and be converted and go confidently forth with us to meet Him, the same Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and praise forever and ever."
As he was thus hindered from attaining his object in Rome, he laboured through a series of years wherever occasion called him. He sought to convince the Saracens and Jews on the island of Majorca by his arguments. He went to the island of Cyprus and thence to Armenia, endeavouring to restore the various divided parties of the Oriental Church to orthodoxy. He undertook all these things alone, only accompanied by one attendant, without being able to gain the support he desired from the powerful and influential. In the intervals of his journeys, he delivered lectures on his system at the French and Italian universities, and wrote books.
Either in the year 1806 or 1307 he again sailed for North Africa, and proceeded to the city of Buggia, which was then the metropolis of a Mohammedan kingdom. He came boldly forward, and declared in Arabic that Christianity was the only true religion, and that Mohammedanism was false. This he was ready to prove to any one. A great multitude of people gathered around him, and he addressed exhortations to the assembly. Many were already raising their hands to stone him, when the Mufti, hearing of it, rescued him from the crowd, and caused him to be brought before him. He asked him how he could have acted so madly as publicly to stand forth against the doctrine of Mohammed; and if he did not know that according to the laws af the land he deserved to die. Raymond replied, "A true servant of Christ, who has himself experienced the truth of the faith, can fear no peril of death, if he may only lead souls to salvation." Thereupon they entered into a disputation on the relation of both religions to each other. Raymond testified with confidence for his faith. It was at length decided, according to his proposition, that both parties should write a book in defence of their respective religions, and that it should then be shown who won the victory by the arguments which each brought forward. Raymond composed such a book, and sent it to the Mufti, in order that he and the other wise men might test the book and reply to it. In a few days an edict was issued, banishing Raymond from the country, and he was immediately conveyed by the Saracens to a ship which was bound for Genoa. Not far from Pisa this ship was wrecked, part of the voyagers perished in the waves, and the rest were stripped of everything. Raymond rescued himself, losing all his books and property. At Pisa, he wrote down from memory what he had stated in his book in defence of Christianity. He sent this to the pope and the cardinals, and at its close once more lamented the lack of zeal for the conversion of the infidels. "The Saracens," he says, "write books against Christianity. I myself saw one when I lay in prison; they bring many arguments together to convert Christians to Mohammedanism. And as the minds of those Christians are not sufficiently grounded in knowledge to be able to discover the nullity of these arguments, the Saracens succeed by means of such arguments, with the promise of riches and wives, in converting many Christians to their law. The Christians do not trouble themselves about this, and will offer no assistance to those Mohammedans who become Christians; and thus it happens, that where one Mohammedan becomes a Christian, ten Christians and more become Mohammedans. Those in authority would do well to consider what the end of it will be. God is not to be constrained or mocked."
And after speaking of the great peril which threatened Christendom from the infidels, he makes some propositions for defence. One was, that four or five convents should be founded in perpetuity, in which monks and learned secular priests who were ready to sacrifice their lives for the glory of God might learn the languages of the infidels, and then go forth into the whole world, as Christ had commanded, and preach the Gospel. The second proposition referred to the union of the various religious orders of knighthood into one, for the recovery of the lands wrested from Christendom by the infidels; with a further scheme how best to effect this. In the year 1308, in the month of April, he completed this book in the Dominican monastery, at Pisa. That which he had so often recommended in the book just quoted, he at length accomplished at the Council of Vienne, in the year 1311; when a decree was issued by the pope for the institution of colleges for the Oriental languages, requiring that at the Universities of Paris, Oxford, and Salamanca, as well as in all cities where the Papal court was represented, professorial chairs should be founded for Arabic, Hebrew, and Chaldee, in order to promote the conversion of the Jews and Saracens. As regards the other proposition, Raymond became even more convinced that the infidels were not to be overcome by the swords of Christians, but to be won by the force of truth; that Christians must not bring death amongst the heathen, but rather be ready to sacrifice their own lives in order to lead them to salvation. He says in his work "On the Contemplation of God," in which he reviews the various classes of Christendom and exposes their failings, "I see many knights cross the sea to the Promised Land, imagining that they can subdue it by force of arms: but it ends in their all being swept away without attaining their object. Wherefore it appears to me that the Holy Land is to be won in no other way than that, O Lord Christ, by which thou and thy Apostles did win it -- by love and prayer, by the shedding of their tears and their blood. Since the Holy Sepulchre and the Promised Land can better be recovered by preaching than by force of arms, let pious spiritual heroes go forth, filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May they go thither to bear witness to thy sufferings before the infidels, and from love to Thee to pour out the last drop of their blood, as Thou didst do from love to them. So many knights and noble princes have journeyed to that land across the sea to conquer it, that if this method pleased thee, Lord, they would surely have wrested it from the Saracens long ago. The pious should therefore perceive that Thou dost daily wait to see them do from love to Thee what Thou hast done from love to them. And they may be certain that if they expose themselves to the martyr's death from love to Thee, Thou wilt prosper them in all that they shall undertake in this world to Thy praise." And in another passage in this book, he says, "Because Christians and Saracens are involved in a spiritual war on account of the faith, a carnal warfare is the consequence; whence many are wounded, taken captive, or slain, which would not happen, if there were no such war; whosoever therefore, O Lord, desires to establish peace between Christians and Saracens -- whosoever desires that the great evils which result from this war should cease, must first put an end to the bodily conflict, that this outward peace may be a preparation for spiritual peace. And when the spiritual strife shall end, then will peace and concord reign amongst them, in that they will be of one faith. For because, O Lord, the Christians have no outward peace with the Saracens, they do not venture to dispute with them concerning the faith; but could they do this, they might, by the force of truth and the grace of the Holy Spirit, lead them to the way of truth. O Heavenly Father, Father of all ages! When Thou didst send thy Son into the world, causing Him to appear in our human nature, He and His disciples were outwardly at peace with the Jews and Pharisees; for they took no man captive, they put none to death, they constrained none of the unbelievers to follow them by bodily force. As therefore thou, O Lord, and thy disciples, did not fight with carnal weapons, although assailed with such, it is surely reasonable that Christians should ever remember this and ever seek to maintain outward peace with the Saracens in order to glorify thee, who vanquishing the flesh didst bring spiritual peace into the world. But since the fervour and devotion which there was in elder times in Apostles and holy men is well-nigh extinguished in us and in the whole world, and love and piety have grown cold, therefore is it that Christians rather spend their strength in carnal than in spiritual warfare, and from the dread of bodily strife will not go forth to seek spiritual peace as ye did seek it with tears and sighs, pouring out your blood and enduring a bitter death for the glory of God." "O Thou true light," he says, "Light of all lights, since Thy grace has blessed Christians beyond infidels in giving them the true faith, they are in duty bound to carry forth the true faith amongst the infidels. But because we, O Lord, are occupied with vain things, and forget our bounden duty to love, and help, and guide the infidels, so that through our fault they remain in the darkness of unbelief; on this account, O Lord, will they complain to thee at the day of judgment of this, our wrong to them -- that we preach not to them, neither instruct them, that they may abandon their error. And they who have nothing wherewith to excuse themselves against this, shall incur damnation. If, O Lord," he adds, "those churches which are built of wood, and stone, and earth, are beautiful, because they contain many beautiful pictures, -- far more beautiful would be that holy Church which consists of the spirits of just men, if there were those in it who, knowing various languages, would go forth through all lands to lead the heathen to glorify Thee." "Blessed," he says, "are all those who, from love to Thee, O Lord, give alms of their goods; they help others with that which thou hast given them, and happy may he esteem himself whom thou dost help. But far more blessed are they, who offer up themselves amongst the heathen, and in proclaiming the way of truth become martyrs. Mightier help wilt Thou bestow on them."
He is constantly lamenting, that men should seek the Lord in outward things and endeavour to glorify Him by them alone, and He points from the outward to the inward. "He who will find thee, O Lord," he says, "needs not to abandon his country, his friends, and his kindred, for he may find thee close at hand, and win thee in his own home." "We see," he says, "how pilgrims go to seek Thee in distant lands, and Thou meanwhile art so near, that whosoever will may find Thee in his own chamber. Why, therefore, are many so ignorant that they go to seek Thee in distant lands, and yet carry the devil with them, in that they are laden with sins? The things which a man would find he must seek diligently, and seek in the place where they may be found. If, therefore, the pilgrims would find Thee, they must seek Thee diligently, and seek Thee not in beautiful images and pictures in the churches, but in the hearts of holy men, in which Thou dwellest day and night. If thy Image on the Cross is fair to see, far fairer is thine image in holy men who love thy truth; for the form of such an one is more akin to thy humanity than the images of the Cross." "Often," he says, "have I sought thee on the Cross, and my bodily eyes could not find thee there, although they found there thine Image and the likeness of thy death. And when I could not find thee with my bodily eyes, I sought thee with the eyes of my soul; and whilst my soul thought of thee she found thee; and when I found thee, my heart began at once to glow with love, my eyes overflowed with tears, and my mouth could only speak thy praise." This fervour of love left him no rest, until summoning his last strength he had sacrificed his life in the proclamation of the Gospel: "As the needle," he says, "naturally turns to the north when it is touched by the magnet, -- so must Thy servant turn whithersoever he may praise, and magnify, and serve his God and Lord; willing, nay longing, from love to Him, to endure bitter pain and heavy trials here in this world." "Men who die of old age," he says, "die from lack of natural heat, and, therefore, would Thy servant, if it pleases thee, not die such a death, but die from the fervour of love, since Thou didst die thus. Often have I trembled with cold and terror, -- but when will that day and hour come when my body shall tremble from the warm glow of love and longing to die for my Saviour?"
We will, in conclusion, collect some short axioms in which the deep fervent spirit of this man expresses itself, -- words which contain in them a whole world, and into which we must ever dive more deeply in order rightly to understand them, and thus shall discover more and more in them. "He who loves not, lives not; he who lives by the Life cannot die." "He who gives his friend love gives him more than gold. He who gives not, lives not. He who gives love, gives what he gives to himself." "All gold is not to be compared with one sigh of holy desire. The more a man desires, the more he lives. To be destitute of desire is to die. Long and thou wilt live. He is not poor who desires; he lives sadly who lives without desire." "A holy hermit stands higher in the sight of God than a king upon his throne. Elevate thy understanding and thou wilt elevate thy love -- heaven is not so high as the love of a holy man. The more thou labourest to soar on high, the more thou wilt soar." He perceived that man has in his own being the key to all things. "He who will search and understand the mysteries of other men's hearts," he says, "must first look into himself and his own nature. For as a mirror shows in itself the likeness of another object, so does a man comprehend the mysteries which he seeks to know in others, by comprehending his own nature."
On the 14th of August, 1314, he once more sailed over to Africa. He repaired to Buggia, and at first laboured there in secret amongst the little band, whom, during his last sojourn there, he had gained over to Christianity. He sought to strengthen their faith, and to lead them on in Christian knowledge. He might have continued to labour on a while in quietness; but he could not resist his longing for the martyr's death. He came forward publicly with the declaration that he was the same man who had formerly been banished from the country. He exhorted the people with menaces of the Divine vengeance, to abandon Mohammedanism. The Saracens fell furiously upon him, and after much ill usage he was dragged out of the city and stoned by order of the king. According to one account, some merchants from Majorca obtained permission to remove the body of their countryman from the heap of stones under which it was buried, and carried it home to their native country. According to another narrative, they found some remains of life still existing in him, and succeeded in rekindling the dying embers; but he died on the ship within sight of his native land. This was on the 13th of June, in the year 1315.