Page:Historical Lectures and Addresses.djvu/110

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pathised with all things, and also show the power of parabolic teaching which that sympathy gave him. As he walked about and observed everything, he gathered materials for preaching sermons of infinite pathos, and in that way he carried his message home to men's hearts. He died, quite worn out, on 4th October, 1236, long before his time, and, as he died, he sang a song in which he again repeated his sympathy with all created things.

     Praised be the Lord by our brother Death of the body,
     Whom no living man can escape.
     Woe to them who die in mortal sin,
     Blessed are they whose wills are at one with Thine
     For the second death can work them no ill.

If we are to estimate Francis aright, we must think of him as a poet, whose life was his poem. He was a man full of sentiment and emotion, but his life was absolutely consistent. Full of deep poetic feeling, but never sinking below the ideal which he pursued, he saw Christ everywhere, in everything upon earth, in flower and in beast. His belief was to him absolute joy. He may have been exaggerated, but he was certainly sincere. His one idea was love, absorbing love. His morality was not according to rule and regulation. He sometimes caused dismay amongst his followers by his actions, as when, for instance, he gave a poor woman his book of hours, with the remark, "Greater is love even than prayer". He broke the fasts of the Church, and encouraged others to do likewise when he thought it was necessary. He was lively, humorous, enthusiastic in prayer, loving to pray most often in lonely churches or woods. It was said