The 'Akká Diary
19 June to 27 August 1909
19 June 1909
In Naples. In an old palace on the bay--the Via Partenope. Palaces around us, ruined palaces on the hills. Vesuvius to our left, Capri before us. This is the view from our window, Alice Beede's and mine. Yet all the rich beauty of Italy is as fantasy to me. The Reality of the Master glows beyond. It is to the Master's heart I would fly! And we are going to fly there! We arrived this noon and sail tomorrow night for Egypt.
As I write I look out on Mount Carmel, the flat-roofed white houses of the East with their bright blue blinds in immediate view.
What can I say? I am speechless.
Jesus from the ground suspires. This line has been singing and singing in my head all morning. And yet, it is more--oh, far more--than that. The Spirit of the Living Redeemer is breathing its peace into the air. As I sat side by side with Alice this morning in our high whitewashed room, gazing and gazing toward Carmel looming up in its great bare grandeur just before our eyes, suddenly I felt that heart-consuming Spirit and melted into tears.
28 June 1909
(We are still here in the hotel at Haifa, Nassar's hotel. I am sitting in the hall, looking through the wide window at the end, across twelve miles of the bay to the Holy City. 'Akká, dreamed of for nine long years--the Mecca of my prayers--is before my bodily eyes! I am absolutely inarticulate. What I have felt, what I have seen, is too vast to be expressed in human language. I can find no words great enough to convey the impressions of these last three days--or two days, I lose track of time! And as yet, I have not see 'Akká! In His infinite mercy and wisdom
and love the Master is preparing us; in his gentleness. Yet even the preparation has been almost too much for the human heart.
That first sight of Carmel, with its Mystery, the Holy Mountain, "the Mountain of the Lord," broke me down. I am still overpowered when I look at it, and as I grow more sensitized I will surely feel it more and more. Here the Divine Spirit breathes and reveals itself. I know now. Ah, the poor human hearts to whom that Spirit is not revealed, to whom the material is everything, who cannot know of the Spiritual Kingdom surrounding them, who have not rent the veil! Will they believe me when I return to testify? I would "ascend to the cross" for them! To breathe this Truth into the world I would give my own last breath with joy. I can now understand the ecstasy of the martyrs. I pray to be one of them, to be worthy of their destiny. I know now what the Master means by the Holy Fragrances. I have come to the centre of their emanation. The air is laden with the Divine Incense--verily, the Breath of God. It is almost unbearable. I am immersed, lost in it. My prayers used to grope through space. Now I am conscious of a close communion with a heart-consuming Spirit of Love, a Spirit more intensely real than the earth and all the stars put together, than the essence of all human love, even than mother-love.
28 June 1909
I have been sitting close to the window--my window into Heaven!--my eyes fixed on 'Akká. The phenomenal world has faded away. This is indeed, indeed the Reality. That City in the distance, white in the sunlight, has
been drawing the very soul out of me. I have been feeling the Power of the Magnet there.
Although we were to go to 'Akká today with the Holy Mother and the Holy Leaves, dear Carrie's illness, which began last night, has prevented it. (It is hard to write; the two little boys, Sandy and Howard Kinney, are playing around me.) Carrie will surely be well in a few days and in this illness of hers some meaning must be hidden. We are all drawing closer through it. An intensely devoted, united group will enter the Presence of our Lord. Now I shall try--only try--to tell you of what I have seen. These privileged eyes ...
Friday afternoon, the day we came, Amín and 'Ináyatu'lláh took us to the latter's house on Mount Carmel, just below the Tomb of the Báb. A simple house, flat roofed, square, white, its doorway an arch above rough stone steps; at each side of the arch a cypress tree.
Two women were standing in the arch waiting to greet us. One seemed to be a young girl. She wore a straight white gown, and a white veil half covered her heavy dark hair with its two thick braids hanging forward down her breast. Set in the midst of that frame of hair was a little pale drooping face with eyes too big for it. This was Khánum Díyá, daughter of martyrs, the wife of 'Ináyatu'lláh. The other was a tiny old lady. Her gown
was blue and her veil draped close, like a nun's, around her withered aquiline face, which was the colour of old parchment. I seemed to be back in the days of Jesus. Both received us with real love.
Soon Mírzá Asadu'lláh came in: a frail old man, his eyes so luminous that they lighted his whole face and made him appear like a spirit. His smile was full of humour. Then his wife entered. She approached us with a glowing love and took each one of us into her arms. Her dear little daughter, Farah-Angíz, served us with tea: honey-coloured tea in delicate glasses. Then Mírzá Asadu'lláh, in his turban and his long black 'abá, sitting by a grated window with a stone water jar on its sill, taught us in simple words pearls of wisdom. And I thought of what Percy Grant had said to me: "It is not what the Master will say, not even His life, which will influence you, but His personality." For it was not the words, not the wisdom, but a great sanctity emanating from them all that overwhelmed me--a tangible strong holiness, a heavy perfume of Spirit in the air pressing down upon my senses. I cannot express it.
As well as I can remember, these were the words of Mírzá Asadu'lláh, interpreted by Amín: "Your work is the work of the disciples. You are the educators in America. And you must not be discouraged that you have not yet seen results. It is like the work of the parents who give the best years of their lives to their children and perhaps die before the children are grown.
An ignorant person would say: 'How foolish are these parents to give their best years to their children rather than to themselves and their pleasures.' Likewise an ignorant bystander, watching a farmer sowing in his field--let us say almond seed--might think: 'What a foolish man to take this almond, which he could eat and enjoy, and bury it beneath the ground, where it will only disintegrate.' Yet one who has knowledge of seed sowing would at once see that the farmer is sowing one almond to reap one-hundred-fold.
"The most effective teaching is that which is accomplished by deeds, not the intellectual teaching. Words have their station, but the station of deeds is higher. The effect of good deeds is certain to appear in life. It may not be perceptible at first, but will be so at the appointed time. As a famous poet has said: 'Achieve good deeds and cast them into the River Euphrates. Some day their effects will bloom in the Sahara of Arabia.'"
Then spoke the wife of Mírzá Asadu'lláh, her strong face glowing, her eyes full of tears: "I know from my own case that this is true. Did I not forsake my whole family in Persia, to be richly rewarded now in this kinship with you from the West? For each dear one I gave up in Persia I have found many in America, more precious to me now even than my own kin, since the true relationship is of the Spirit. In Persia my little son was stoned: and see, Mr Kinney, what a father he found in America--in you!"
"Love," she added, 'is the basis of life."
Her intense emotion as she spoke penetrated into the core of our beings. We wept. I rose, bent over her and kissed her and she clasped me in her arms and held me
close. Then something within me opened. A fire of love never before experienced in my superficial existence was kindled in my heart from that flame, her heart. By the light of these saints, these torches of God, I see how, even in my deepest moments, my life has been but a shallow stream.
Mr Kinney asked a question: "Although a life of good deeds is certainly pleasing to God, is not a life given to the Cause of greater value?"
Mírzá Asadu'lláh smiled and answered: "These are synonymous."
"The divine qualities," he continued, "should be real and innate. They should well up spontaneously from the heart. One cannot prove brotherhood by intellectual proofs. Is a man your brother because Isaiah or Ezekiel said so? Two brothers do not need to prove that they are brothers. So all you have to do is to truly love one another. That love will accomplish all things."
From this blessed household we went to the Holy Household to visit the Holy Leaves. I shall never forget that little procession as they entered the room with the dignity of queens, led by the Greatest Holy Leaf. She was all in white: the Greatest Holy Leaf, the daughter of the Blessed Perfection. Her face had the look of one who had passed through crucifixion and was resurrected in another world. In it shone great blue eyes, eyes that had looked upon many sorrows and now were ineffably tender. Behind her came Túbá Khánum, Munavvar Khánum,  and Edna Ballora.
[Photograph: The Greatest Holy Leaf with the Ladies of the household. Haifa, early 1900s.]
Ah, what can I say? Nothing but this: As a bud that was little and hard opens in the sunlight, so my heart opened to a wealth of love inconceivable to the human mind.
That night we went again to see the Holy Leaves. They are staying in the house that Madame Jackson built. We sat on the broad marble steps, Mount Carmel looming, a dark mass, above us. Above the mountain hung the moon. Down in the village the little white dice-like houses, each with its pointed black cypress tree, were a pale blue in the moonlight. The bay to our right splashed its waves on the beach.
I whispered to Munavvar Khánum: "What is that--it cannot be imagination--what is that breathing from Mount Carmel? It is too strong for me. It is unbearable!"
I covered my face with my hands. Munavvar pressed close to me.
"Ah, you feel it too?" she whispered back.
I have not yet spoken of Rúhá Khánum, the youngest daughter of our Lord: beautiful, like a strong Madonna--with a great outgoing warmth--and so human. Next day we had tea in her house. The high, airy room in which we were received is painted white. A linen-covered divan runs around the walls. There are no decorations--no furniture even--just white simplicity. The Greatest Holy Leaf was there, Túbá and Munavvar Khánum, and two little women in blue with blue veils on their heads, relatives of the Báb.
We had already had tea at 'Ináyatu'lláh's with Asadu'lláh and his family. Mr Kinney had asked a question the answer to which I must keep. "Some of the
Theosophists claim that Christ was taught by the Súfís. How are we to reply?"
Mírzá Asadu'lláh smiled. "Could the sun be lighted from a lamp? If such knowledge originated with Súfís, why is it that they did not manifest it as Christ did? The churches, the hospitals, the illumined souls that sprang up from the seeds of Christ's teachings, why is it that these effects did not appear from the teachings of the Súfís, if Christ's teachings were born of theirs?"
After these blessed visits, Amín took Alice and me to an olive grove on Mount Carmel where our Lord often walks. Elijah, too, had walked in that same grove and among those very trees, so ancient are they. The sun was setting behind the mountain. The sky was opal. Flocks of sheep and of goats driven by singing shepherds passed us on the road. Men in flowing dress and the circleted kaffíyyih approached and passed us. A woman rode by on a donkey, a long blue veil on her head, in her arms a baby.
That evening the ladies of the Holy Household came to see us and we had a heavenly hour with them. Later in the night Carrie developed a serious illness. The doctors (called in the next day), Amín and a doctor from the British Hospital, said that it was typhoid fever. There were unmistakable symptoms.
Carrie had been taken ill on Sunday night. On Monday we were to have driven to 'Akká with the Holy Family. Early Monday morning I hurried to their house to tell them of Carrie's illness and that, of course, we could not go with them now. Immediately Túbá and Munavvar returned to the hotel with me and we all went up into Carrie's room, where she lay tossing on her bed with a terrifically high fever. Munavvar and Túbá, standing by
the bed, bent over it with the tenderest love. "We will all pray for you, Carrie," they said. "Our Lord will pray for you. His prayers are always answered."
As Túbá bade me goodbye at the door of Nassar's hotel, she said, "Tonight this will pass."
Munavvar too whispered, "Tonight."
At midnight it "passed". I was with Carrie when she woke up free from fever. Tomorrow we leave for 'Akká.
But I have been very happy just staying here--perhaps too happy. I have been afraid to meet my Lord. I long to see Him but feel unutterably shy. How unworthy I am to stand in His Presence I realize with my whole being. I remember a dream I had once in which I was standing in Percy Grant's house and heard that the Master was coming there soon--and I hid that His holy eyes might not see me. That is the way I feel now.
2 July 1909
I know I can only write brokenly, here in this Palace of the King.
We came here (can it be?) day before yesterday only.
My life is overturned by a cataclysm of the soul. Love for the Face of my Lord fills my breast. This is REALITY, all else--a dream!
At sunrise of the day we came I climbed with Amín to the Tomb of the Báb.
When we entered the Tomb the mystery of the Holy Mountain revealed itself to me. Here was an essence, a concentration of holiness diffused from this Secret Spot like rays shining from a veiled sun. Yet, is the sun wholly veiled? I have never been able to look long at the Tomb. It dazzles some inner sense in me.
After I returned: a knock on my door--and the voice of X! She had just arrived, a complete surprise, from Egypt. How often I had prayed that she might be with me in the healing Presence of our Lord--and here she was in answer to my prayers! As she had come without the required permission, we were obliged to leave her in Haifa waiting for word from the Master. But He sent for her almost at once, and now she is in 'Akká.
Never shall I forget that afternoon's journey. I was dazed, numb, unable to realize--yet, afraid. For one thing I did realize--and that was my own unworthiness. But the scenes through which we passed should have helped me to realize, to sense, some of the divine joy toward which we were travelling.
We were in the Holy Land. We were in a bygone age. We drove along a wide white beach, so close to the sea that its little waves curled over our carriage wheels. To our right, a long line of palm trees. Before us, its domes and flat roofs dazzling white beneath the deep blue sky: 'Akká, the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. Camels approached us on the sand, driven by white-cloaked Bedouins, their veils bound by circlets; or sheep, led by shepherds in tunics and carrying crooks, striped head-cloths framing their faces. And once there came a family, the woman riding a donkey, a child in her arms, while a man walked beside her. The woman was wrapped in a dark blue veil.
We forded the river Kishon, then Hebron, and at last reached the walls of the Holy City, the City of Peace. Walls: walls within walls, menacing walls. Tall, prison-like, chalk-white houses, leaning together as they rose toward a rift of sky, slits of barred windows set here and there in their forbidding fronts. Streets so narrow that our carriage wheels grazed the buildings on either side,
streets sometimes bridged over by houses that met in an arch at their second stories.
Suddenly a wide expanse before us. A garden. The seawall. The sea. Our carriage stopped. I knew we were at the door of the Master. My heart almost ceased to beat. I felt we had arrived too soon, too suddenly, that I was too unprepared.
The curtains of the carriage were raised. In front of a great stone house, very picturesque and rambling, stood a group of men in turbans, long white robes, and dark 'abás (cloaks) with faces miraculously pure--shining, smiling--whose hearts seemed to welcome us. Then one with a very tender face: Siyyid Asadu'lláh, an old man, led us through an arch to a great inner courtyard open to the sky, where two giant palm trees stood in the midst of flower beds. Two stairways of old worn stone, one on either side of the courtyard and diagonally opposite each other, led directly to the third floor, on which the Holy Household lived. The railing of the stair leading to the Master's room was vine covered.
As I entered the court, a great spasm of feeling convulsed me. My unworthiness overwhelmed me. The light of the inner court was too strong. I sobbed and bowed my head.
The Kinneys and Alice had gone ahead of me. I followed them up the stairs with the vines, across a small open court with low white walls, to a room next to the Master's. This room I was to share with Alice.
Soon Edna Ballora came in. She took me to the window. Outside was a large square of bare ground, four trees in a row at a little distance; beyond these a street of tall houses, and to the right, at the foot of the double sea wall, a long, narrow garden.
[Photograph of Siyyid Asadu'lláh]
"The Master is in the garden," said Edna.
He was in white, seated at the side of a wall in the centre of the garden, surrounded by guests.
My first thought as I saw that Figure was God Almighty!--such was the majesty and purity. I then thought: King of men! Lion of the tribe of Judah!
Soon He came into our room. He burst into it like the sun, with His joyous greeting, "Marhabá! Marhabá!" (Welcome! Welcome!) And His effulgence struck me blind.
Alice fell at His feet. I could not kneel. I could not do anything. At last, I knelt for a moment. Then He led us to the divan by the window and, speaking formally to me, placed me at a distance from Him; while to Alice, again at His feet, He spoke with smiling tenderness.
Sitting in the corner of the divan, now surer than ever of my unworthiness, I prayed: O God, remove this thing which separated me from my Lord!
Suddenly He changed His seat. "Bíyá!" (Come!) He called to me lovingly, drawing me close to His side.
He asked me many questions, answered by Alice, for still I could not speak. When the father of John saw the angel, he was struck dumb for days, and I was in the Presence of the Lord of angels--of the long expected One, heralded for ages from the mountain of the Lord.
The great overwhelming Spirit in Him, the Divinity of His Being deprives one of all one's powers, even the power of sensation, for a time. Yet He makes Himself so simple: in the mercy of His Love, in His great God-tenderness, bends so close to us.
Suddenly my heart burst open to the outpouring from
His Heart, like a rose beneath strong sunbeams. A beam seemed to pierce my heart. At that instant He flashed a lightning glance at me. When He left the room, as He did almost at once, my breast dilated as if a bird were spreading wings in it. I went to the window. Just as I did so, Munavvar appeared in the doorway. "The Master is calling you, Juliet," she said, and she led me to His room.
That dear little room, wood panelled, with its white-canopied bed, its divan, its simple little dressing table, and on the windowsill two stone water jars: nothing more. He was sitting on the divan at the end nearest the door, and when I entered, He beckoned me to His side. As I passed Him to take my seat I wanted to kneel at his knees--my own knees almost drew me down. But, fearing to be insincere, I would not yield. He took my hand in His--His so mysterious Hand--so delicately made, so steely strong, currents of life streaming from it.
"Are you well? Are you happy?"
But my lips seemed to be locked. I was helpless to open them.
"Speak--speak to Me!" He said in English.
A sacred passion had been growing in my heart: my heart was almost breaking with it.
"Is not my heart speaking to Thee, my Lord?"
"Yes, your heart is speaking to Me and your spirit is speaking to Me. I hear, I know."
Then he inquired for the two believers I cared for least.
Of one I could honestly say when he returned from 'Akká he was on fire.
"And he remained but a few days," said our Lord. Then: "Do not think your services are unknown to Me. I have seen. I have been with you. I know them all. Do
not think I have not known. I have known all. For these you are accepted in the Kingdom."
My "services"--and He knew them all! He had "seen": seen their pitiful smallness and the lack of real love with which I had tried to serve. I bowed my head with shame.
"Forgive my failures."
"Be sure of this." After a moment He said again, "Be sure of this." Then He dismissed me.
As I passed Him the second time, my knees did draw me down; my heart drew me down to His feet.
Later that evening He came to our door, a blue door in the whitewashed wall, leading out into the open court. We knelt in the doorway, Alice and I.
"We are at home, Lord," I said, "at home, for the first time."
"Yes. Home, home. It is your home."
That night at dinner I sat on His left. Ah, the little dining room! It opens on the court, at right angles with the Master's door. It is simple and small and white and its two windows face the sea.
This is what He said at table, looking again and again toward the window, sometimes raising those wonderful eyes to the sky, sometimes closing them, waiting--communing with One Whom we could not see, then speaking.
Mr Kinney had said to the interpreter: "We have no questions to ask. We wish Him to fill our spiritual needs."
Then our Lord: "The most important thing is that which comes through the Spirit--the Breath of the Holy Spirit. The soul through the Spirit can realize the Kingdom. The soul can recognize and feel the Love of God. Distance cannot prevent the receiving of spiritual
bounties. Hills and mountains cannot check that! Why? Because of the chains and bonds of the Spirit. The sun is very far, in the highest position. There is a great distance between earth and sun, yet remoteness and distance cannot prevent its rays from shining on us.
"Without firmness there will be no result. Trees must be firm in the ground to give fruit. The foundation of a building must be very solid in order to support the building. If there be the slightest doubt in a believer, he will be without result. How often did Christ warn Peter to be steadfast! Therefore, consider how difficult it is to remain firm, especially in the time of trials. If man endure and overcome the trials, the more will he become firm and steadfast. When the tree is firmly rooted, the more the wind blows the more the tree will benefit; the more intense the wind the greater the benefit. But if weak, it will immediately fall.
"As Christ foretold, we will take the real food in the Kingdom with the Father. That is the real meeting. It has no limit, no end, no separation."
1 July 1909
The next morning at six we were called to early tea.
I wish I could give you a picture of this dear old shabby, beautiful palace, become the most intimate of homes to me.
Opening from the little court, that chalk-white court, so glaring in the sun, a great grey hall with stone walls and a mosaic floor. A bare hall, except for the richness of the floor and two high perches, a macaw on each--splashes of scarlet and emerald and blue against the expanse of grey. Little birds hopping about on the floor like
familiar spirits. Opening from the hall, to the right--a wall full of arched windows opposite its entrance--a very high whitewashed room with linen-covered divans lining its walls and a large straw mat on its stone floor. This was the room where every day we had prayers and early tea with our Lord.
That wonderful tea hour in the fresh morning! First there was the Persian chanting. Then tea was served. The Master always sat in the right-hand corner of the divan by one high window, correcting the Tablets dictated to His secretaries, the small, glazed, ivory-coloured leaf of parchment in His left hand. Around Him on the divan we sat with the Holy Family. Along the divan and on the floor sat the families of martyrs, a number of children among them, whom the Master had taken under His own care. The samovar stood on the floor at the entrance on a Persian tea-cloth, a beautiful happy-faced woman behind it serving the tea. She had deep dimples in her cheeks and her hair hung in thick black braids, a white veil partly covering it.
Her story was this: Years before in Persia, when she was a bride fifteen years old, she was with her mother-in-law in a room of their house on the ground floor when suddenly they heard a howling mob outside. And then a severed head was thrown through the window and rolled to the young bride's feet. It was the head of her husband, a boy of nineteen. The girl fainted, but the mother quietly rose, took the head of her son to the washstand and washed off the blood, then carried it to the window and threw it out to the mob. "What we have given to God," she said, "we do not ask back."
As we entered the tea-room the Master asked how we were. Were we happy? Had we slept well? "Here," He
said, "you cannot be very comfortable. In New York it is better and more beautiful than here." He smiled and added, "There it is beautiful. You have parks and trees. But here the heart is good."
"You have all received letters from me," He said, continuing to correct a Tablet. Then, handing one to Munavvar Khánum, "This is a Tablet to an American believer which I have just corrected."
In the Tablet He had said, "Thank God you are all helpers." And I had just been thinking: Never can we hope to help this All-Powerful Being. He had spoken of the Word of God as having created unity among Muslims, Jews, and Christians and said that through the power of the Blessed Perfection we had all been made as one soul in many bodies, one light in many lamps; therefore we should strive to spread and increase this unity and love.
Then He began to speak to us: "Thank God that He has gathered us all together here. Before this Cause was established the East and the West never met. But now, since the Cause is established in Persia and America, the East and West are united, happy, and in perfect love with one another. It is only a great Power that can accomplish this. Formerly in Persia it was impossible for Christians, Muslims, and Jews to be friends and to meet lovingly; but now, in this same Persia, all creeds come together in perfect love. I hope all will make an effort that this love and union may progress." Then, turning away and gazing out of the window as though He were looking into the future: "That all religions may become one; all people be of one creed; all nations as one; that all differences may be removed. And this is what I hope."
At luncheon Our Lord asked for news of Mr MacNutt. Mr Kinney spoke of the unity in New York.
Our Lord said: "You have been the bearers of such good news that I want to make you very happy. Good news indicates good deeds. Unity is the result of good deeds and action. At the present time there are good believers in America--sincere and firm in the Covenant.
"Man first is like a pupil. He becomes learned. Then he becomes a teacher. First he is a patient. He must attain perfect health. Having attained it, he may become a doctor. At first you are children. You become mature. Now you must be like fathers and mothers." Each time He made a point He smiled His marvellous smile, looking at one or another of us.
"I desire that each of you become so great that each may guide a nation. Now the friends must endeavour to attain such stations so as to teach the people of America. Divine qualities are unlimited. For this reason you must not be satisfied with one quality, but must try to attain all. Each of us must improve himself, that he may attain nothing short of the best. When one stops, he descends. A bird, when it is flying, soars; but as soon as it stops, it falls. While man is directed upward, he develops. As soon as he stops, he descends. Therefore I wish the beloved of God always to ascend and develop.
"There exist in man two powers. One power uplifts him. This is divine attraction, which causes man's elevation. In all grades of existence he will develop through this power. This belongs to the spirit. The other
power causes man to descend. This is the animal nature. The first attracts man to the Kingdom. The second brings him down to the contingent world. Now we must consider which of these will gain more power. If the heavenly power overcome, man will become heavenly, enlightened, merciful; but if the worldly power overcome, he will be dark, satanic, and like the animal. Therefore he must develop continually. As long as the heavenly power is the great force, man will ascend.
"I have met many of the beloved of God this year. Therefore I am very happy."
2 July 1909
Early morning tea
After those first dear fatherly questions--Were we well? Were we happy? Had we slept well?--He said: "Our real happiness is of the Kingdom. Here we seek no happiness, because in this world happiness does not exist. If you consider, you will see that people are all in trouble. The majority of people whom you question have nothing to tell you but of their troubles! Their hearts are not at rest. And they cannot have this rest of heart but through the Love of God. Therefore we must know that happiness exists in the other world and not in this."
Still correcting the Tablets, He said: "There are many letters I should write, because I have to communicate with the East and West."
Handing a Tablet to Munavvar Khánum: "This is the Tablet in regard to events that have happened in Persia."
He asked me not to take it down. It referred to political conditions in Persia and prophesied that unless these changed and union was effected between the opposing sides, foreign powers would step in and divide the country. After this, He said lovingly: "It is very nice to see you here--that you have at last reached here. Tomorrow I am going to take you, Myself, to the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh. I was going to take you today, but as I am busy and have to take the Governor out, I cannot do so."
2 July 1909
Later in the morning
He sent for me. My self-consciousness, my shyness had made me feel shut out from Him, but my heart had been continually crying out, with ever-increasing love, to Him. When I entered His little room and knelt at His feet and looked up into eyes of Love which I suddenly found I could meet, He put out His hand and said, "Now; now!"
I laid my head on His knee. The tears came. He lifted my face and wiped them away. "God shall wipe away all tears." Ah, this blessed Day!
I cannot remember exactly what happened, only that Love immeasurable flowed out from Him and was reflected in my poor heart. One thing I do remember. When He lifted my face, while He was wiping away my tears, He said in a voice of infinite sweetness, like the sighing of the wind which "bloweth where it listeth and
we know not whence it cometh or whither it goeth": "Speak. Speak to Me!"
His words in English sink into your very soul. What I lose by not understanding Persian!
"O my Lord, may my life speak to you!" I cried.
Then I presented Him with the petitions:
First I gave Him Lua's and read Him a portion of one of her letters, speaking of her tests and difficulties.
"You love Lua?" He asked in that voice of heart-piercing sweetness, that voice which is indeed the calling of the Spirit, the instrument of Divine Love. "She is dear to you? Your friend?"
"She is my mother. I love her with my whole soul. Thy Love," I said, "has united so many hearts in eternal bonds." I spoke of my love for May Maxwell.
"Your sister?" He asked.
"My sister and my mother too."
"Your mother." He said it was this that made Him happy: to see that the sisters loved one another.
"Help me to love all," I begged. "In this I have failed."
"This is what I wish for you: that you will love all."
"With Thy help."
I gave Him the letter from Mr MacNutt. He smiled at the name. I mentioned Laura Barney's beautiful goodness to me and prayed for blessings for her.
"Khaylí khúb. Khaylí khúb," (Very good.) He said.
I gave Him Mother Beecher's message.
Munavvar Khánum translated: "Our Lord will pray for her that she will attain to all she wishes."
I gave Him Mrs Parsons' message, that she longed to establish a spiritual city on the Potomac, the inhabitants of which would live for the good of the whole rather than the one, and asked that the way might be opened for her to come to see Him; also whether she should come alone or bring her family.
"My lord, you know Mrs Parsons?"
"I know. I know." Then he said, "That city I hope will be a spiritual city and that the people of such a city will be perfectly united. In a physical city, of course, it is impossible to have everyone united. But in a spiritual city it is possible that all be united and in every way cemented. The spiritual city is like the sea, and the inhabitants of this city are like the waves of the sea. In every way they are connected and united. I hope she will be able to build such a city as this. I hope she will be able to do all the services she wishes and that the way will be opened for her to come."
His eyes were half closed as He gave this message. He seemed to be communing with her.
I read Him Bernard Ginzig's message, that "He had heard the voice of the Spirit in the realm of art; that he was a seeker of truth in the world of mysteries."
"Tell him: Give thanks to God that you are a seeker after the mysteries of existence and ask God that He reveal to you the Mystery of the Kingdom. Should you know all the mysteries of the world and know nothing of the Mystery of the Kingdom, it is useless. To know the
mysteries of the world is very good when this knowledge is joined with the knowledge of the Mystery of the Kingdom."
He also said it was good for Bernard Ginzig to follow the art of designing.
In my hand, among the supplications with which I had been entrusted, was a letter from Barakatu'lláh to me. As he had not known, when he wrote, that I was going to 'Akká and as his letter therefore contained no message, it was just in remembrance of him that I had taken it to our Lord. In it he said he feared I had forgotten him. I did not read it to our Lord, only held it up, saying: "This is my last letter from Mr Barakatu'lláh."
"You love Mr Barakatu'lláh?"
"Oh yes, my Lord!"
"Write to him and say that you are in 'Akká and say that you wish very much to have him here too. Tell him you have not forgotten him!" (with a sudden captivating smile, tipping His head to one side, and looking at me very knowingly). "Tell him you have not forgotten him and that you wish he were here with you. Say that you mentioned his name in the Presence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and He gave you this message for him: that 'Abdu'l-Bahá says He loves him very much and He will pray for him that he may be assisted to do some work in Japan. Until now the Word of God has not been raised in Japan. Perhaps he may become the cause of its being proclaimed there. In every country in which a new founder appears who will raise there the words of the Kingdom,
[Photograph: A group of New York Bahá'ís (c. 1912)]
that man will be greatly helped. Therefore 'Abdu'l-Bahá hopes that he (Mr Barakatu'lláh) will become wonderfully assisted."
I gave Him Claudia Coles' message.
"Give My salaams to Claudia Coles and say: I will pray for her that she may obtain all her desires and that everything, including herself, will be exactly as she wishes."
I read Him Mrs Ives' long message.
"Say that she must continue to do to this man as she has been doing, she and Mother Beecher both. She must not change. She must try to be kind to him.
"First: herself. She must make every effort to enlighten her soul and to attain to such a condition where no sorrow or disappointment will have any effect upon her. The condition of entire and complete submission is the best one, for when one reaches this condition one is perfectly submissive to everything. And when she will be so, she will entirely forget her own will and ask nothing but the Will of God. Whatever is done in this world is the Will of God. And since one, when in this condition, has no will of his own, his will is the Will of God and whatever he does is the Will of God."
I supplicated that she might come and look upon His face.
"Khaylí khúb," He said. (Very good; very well.)
To Mary Little: "I will pray for her and ask help from the Kingdom for her and pray that she may become as she wishes."
To Bertie Warfield: "Give her my greetings and love. Tell her I have accepted her love."
"How do you like all these messages?" He said, smiling His smile of enchantment. "I give you such long messages because of the love in your heart. It is for this I love you--because you are so sincere and have a great love in your heart and love many of the believers. I see a great love in your heart. That is why I love you."
I said: "If I have any love, it is Thy gift to me. I pray for the universal love, that I may love all, my Lord."
"Inshá'lláh! That is what I desire for you: that you love each and all; that you love all the people of the world. This is My wish for you."
Just then X was announced. Our Lord asked Munavvar Khánum to bring her in.
Then Munavvar returned with X. We two had a sacred meeting with our Lord. She spoke so tenderly of me. He answered tenderly. He then sent for Alice Beede. As she entered the room He said, with His enchanting smile: "Friends? Friends?"
Alice spoke up in her impulsive way. "If people are your friends they are mine."
"All are My friends. Each; every one." (In English:) "My friends. My friends."
I was moved to take X's hand.
"She is mine?" I asked. "Mine forever?"
He smiled and said, "Yes. Yes."
Next He sent for Carrie. And when we were all at His feet, Munavvar interpreting for us. He said: "I hope a great love may be established among you and that day by day this love will increase. I have gathered you all together here that you may be gathered in the same way in the Kingdom of God, and that you may love one another very, very much. If you love one another as you should, it is just as though you had loved me as you should. The more you love one another, the nearer you
get to Me. I go away from this world, but Love stays always. Therefore you should love one another very much. And I hope that you will become the cause of establishing great love among humankind and that, through the help and assistance of God, you will be able to establish in this world the Love of God. Bahá'u'lláh endured all these hardships and difficulties only for the sake of establishing Love in this world."
X said: "I wish I might be like this rose and exhale such fragrances."
Our Lord: "One could be much more beautiful than this rose. For the rose perishes. Its fragrance is just for a time. No winter has any effect upon such a Rose as Man."
"I wish," said Alice, "that when we go home we may be able to diffuse what we have received here."
Our Lord: "As I have said before: Man first is like a pupil. He becomes a learned man; then he becomes a teacher. First he is a patient. He must attain perfect health, and, having attained it, he can become a doctor. What I wish to say is that those who have attained the Kingdom of God will themselves become doctors. All the people of the world are patients, are ill. They are in great need of doctors, so that through the help of the doctors they may be cured of their spiritual diseases.
"The life of man will at last end in this world. We must all take out of this life some fruit. The tree of one's existence must bear fruit. If a tree has not fruit you must cut it down and burn it. It would be useless for other purposes. And what is the fruit of the human tree? It is the Love of God. It is love for humankind. It is to wish good for all the people of the earth. It is service to humanity. It is truthfulness and honesty. It is virtues and good morals. It is devotion to God. It is the educa-
tion of souls. Such are the fruits of the human tree. Otherwise it is only wood, nothing else."
"Thou hast been so merciful, my Lord, to permit X to come while I am here."
"It is for your sake. You must be sure when you are with her to say only those things that will help her, for should she do anything wrong again it would not be good for the Cause."
"My Lord," I said, weeping, "I am so conscious of my own imperfections I can never feel hers are greater than mine."
"You must never think of your own imperfections, but of the Power of Bahá'u'lláh which can free you from all."
I was kneeling at His feet. Raising my hands I said: "Dear Lord, free me from this terrible self-consciousness." (For the fact, often proved, that he knew every thought in my mind had put me into a dreadful state. Thoughts I could never really have thought would come flying into my head like evil, fantastic birds--and I knew He read them!)
"I will pray for you that you may be freed from it."
Again the tears came to my eyes and again He wiped them away, smiling His divine smile.
"I supplicate for X, dear Lord. I love her with all my soul."
"I hope she may overcome and be exactly the opposite of what she has been in the past. I will pray for her."
3 July 1909
Early morning tea
Our Lord: "I want to tell you that most of the nations and the majority of the people are in perfect ignorance.
They are trying night and day to do something to destroy the foundation of man. There are among them political fights and wars. There are conflicts and disturbances. Every day they are inventing new instruments for the destruction of human life. There are among them also religious disputes and conflicts and disputes of patriotism. You hardly find two men between whom there is real harmony and sympathy.
"Now you must do your best, so that you may be able to remove all these conflicts and disputes. You will change this darkness into light; you will change this hatred and menace into love and harmony, because your aim is a glorious one.
"It is sure you will have to endure many difficulties in this Cause and that great obstacles will come before you. You will have many hindrances. But you must confront all and you must endure all these difficulties.
"You must give up all differences among you--differences of opinion--and all work for the same aim. You must be qualified with divine attributes, so that the Word of God may assist you, so that the bounties of God may descend upon you. And know that without the help of the Holy Spirit you will not be able to do this. And the magnetism of the Word of God is sincerity of intention. And until you are entirely severed from yourself and emptied of yourself, you will never be sincere enough.
"You must entirely sacrifice yourself. You must close your eyes to all rest. You must give up even your happiness and your enjoyments so that you may be able to do this.
"It is true that you will be blamed very much and you will have some difficulties and troubles. It is sure that people will show enmity toward you, and it is possible
your own relatives even will try to oppose you. But you must be firm. And if you will be firm and steadfast, be sure that you will become victorious. You will be the cause of the union of the world of humanity.
"As Christ said to a rich man: 'Go, and give all you have, and take up your cross and come and be My follower.' This saying of Christ's indicates that unless one is free from everything, one cannot be a real follower of Christ."
3 July 1909
Our Lord: "Jesus Christ said: 'Freely have ye received; freely must ye give.' That is to say: Man has received the bounty of the Kingdom for nothing, so you must give it to others as you have received it. That is to say, not to wish for any reward or compensation from the people. You should ask your reward of God.
"But in this new Revelation many of the believers have attained the Kingdom of God with great difficulty. They gave much to obtain it.
"The Blessed Báb and Bahá'u'lláh were the Possessors of the Kingdom. They gave the Kingdom to the people. But they had many trials and difficulties. The Báb exposed His breast to thousands of bullets from the enemy. Bahá'u'lláh, too, spent all His life in the prisons. The beloved of God obtained the Kingdom by the sacrifice of their lives, under calamities and oppressions. Their houses were destroyed and their honour lost. All their properties were pillaged. Their families and children were
taken as captives, and at last they themselves were martyred. Now consider how difficult it was for these people to obtain the Kingdom. Not withstanding this, the Kingdom is so great that still they received the Kingdom freely!
"Now the purpose is this: that you also should procure the Kingdom with so many sacrifices. It is possible you may have these calamities and difficulties. The people will accuse you, blame you and injure you, but you must show forth firmness and steadfastness. And should there be no trials, nothing will be accomplished. But when trials appear many will greatly develop. That is to say: those who are sincere believers, firm in the Cause, will develop and advance; but, on the contrary, those who are weak in their faith will escape. But My hope is that you will show forth firmness."
"Tell Miss Juliet Thompson," He said suddenly, laughing, "that I am going to strike her. Others are delicate, but she is strong and can stand it." He laughed again. "I am going to beat her."
"It has seldom happened in any age or cycle that women have been killed as martyrs, but in this great Revelation many women have been martyred. It happened many times that enemies among the women collected together, striking and beating a Bahá'í woman. Still they could not appease their hostility, their rage, by striking. They bit with their teeth. And this was due to their great rage."
The Master laughed all through this, from the time He mentioned my name to the end, a strange laugh. I was sitting by His side at this meal.
Our Lord: "All animals and birds sleep early. This is the creative law of God. The birds sleep early. The rule is to sleep very early. This is God's wish. Children wish to go to bed early. Gradually man acquires the habit of sleeping later. To sleep at sunset is the law of God. All children, birds and animals sleep involuntarily.
"His Holiness Christ manifested in these countries, but in the beginning His Cause was spread in Europe and it superseded all other religions, notwithstanding that in Asia there were many religions, such as Zoroastrianism, Judaism, the star-worshippers and idolaters, who are still existing in India. But in Europe and America His Cause overcame all others. Now it is our hope that although this Truth was revealed in this part of the world, it will be spread and promulgated throughout America and Europe.
"His Holiness Christ said: 'The Children of the Kingdom will go out from it, but from the uttermost parts of the earth many will come and enter into it.'
Now the inhabitants of Syria are bereft, for they have no capacity, but you, who live in remote countries, have caught this Light. The people from around here are deprived, but you from such far countries have attained.
"A blind man, though he sit near the light, cannot see it; but a clear-sighted man can see from afar. A man afflicted with a cold, if he be in a rose garden, cannot inhale the fragrances, but one whose nostrils are pure can inhale from a long distance. The people who are in these
cities are deaf and blind, but you, having an open eye and a pure nostril, can see the Light from afar and inhale the fragrances of this Rose Garden.
"Is this clear to you?"
4 July 1909
Early morning tea
Munavvar Khánum chanted a prayer.
Our Lord: "In this prayer which we have just read, Bahá'u'lláh meant 'Abdu'l-Hamíd, the Turkish Sultán who has lately been deposed, and the verses are:
'I implore Thee, O My God and the King of the nations, and ask Thee by the Greatest Name, to change the throne of tyranny into a centre of justice and the seat of pride and iniquity into the chair of humbleness and justice. Thou art free to do whatsoever Thou wishest and Thou art the All-Knowing, the Wise!'"
"A Power above the power of kings," I whispered to Munavvar.
"And still," she whispered back, "and still we ask for miracles."
I realize now why the Gospels are written so simply. I find I am only able to state bare facts. But these surely are more eloquent than all human comment on them. Let me give them to you, then, simply:
First, with a father's tender care, He came to the carriage with us and watched us start. At the house in Bahjí
He joined us in a cool, whitewashed room, its door and window-trimmings painted blue, the usual linen-covered divan lining its walls, under three wide windows. Outside stood wonderful trees, like still sentinels guarding the Tomb. Sanctity hung in the air, a brooding spirit. Nowhere else in the world is the beauty of nature so impregnated with the soul of Beauty, a reflection from another world. In the air of 'Akká and Carmel is--Life.
On a table was [a] single photograph, Lua's. Our Lord called me to sit by His side, then, pointing to the photograph, said: "Your friend!"
I got it and placed it on a little table close to His elbow, between the couch where He sat and my own chair. As I did this His face lit up with a smile of heaven.
Tea was brought in--in the little clear glasses always used in 'Akká--and He served us with His own hands. Then, seating Himself again on the divan, He called the four children who were with us: two of his own little grandsons (Shoghi Effendi and Rúhí) and the two Kinney boys, and with a lavish tenderness, a super abundance of overflowing love, such as could only have come from the very Centre and Source of Love, He drew all four to His knees, clasped them in His arms, which enclosed them all, gathered and pressed and crushed them to His Heart of hearts. Then He set them down on the floor and, rising, Himself brought their tea to them.
Words absolutely fail me when I try to express the divine picture I saw then. With the Christ-love radiating from Him with the intensest sweetness I have yet witnessed, He stooped to the floor Himself to serve the little children, the children of the East and the children of the West. He sat on the floor in their midst, He put sugar into their tea, stirred it and fed it to them, all the while
smiling celestially, an infinite tenderness playing on the great Immortal Face like white light. I cannot express it! In a corner sat an old Persian believer, in a state of complete effacement before his Lord, his head bowed, his eyelids lowered, his hands crossed on his breast. Tears were pouring down his cheeks.
Then our Lord took a chair and, facing the windows, pointed out these beautiful trees to us. In His spread white robes, with His majesty of pose--a sudden overwhelming majesty, after that tender humility (in a way Michaelangelesque, only far transcending that), yet with the divine sweetness that is never absent, no matter how tremendous the Power displayed--He appeared at first glance as the King of kings to me; the next instant once more the Spirit of the Christ, the Son, flashed upon me. Then, the two aspects were one.
He said: "We cannot in this world realize the bounty of God, nor can we appreciate His Love, but in the next world we can do so.
"When man is in the world of the womb, God showers upon him all blessings. He gives him all the organs, eyes, ears, etc. But man cannot put this favour into use there; it is not manifest there. When the child is born from the world of the womb into this world, then all those blessings and gifts which God showered upon him in the world of the womb become manifest and useful. His gifts were not known in the world of the womb, though men did possess them there, but the world of the womb had not the capacity to receive the manifestation of these gifts. Similarly with the gifts and blessings which God showers upon man in this world. This world is not fit and has not the capacity for the manifestation of these gifts and blessings. But when man enters the
[Photograph: Bahá'ís visiting the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh (c. 1900).]
World of the Kingdom, then those gifts will be manifested.
"For example, one of the gifts of God is to be able to pay a visit to the Holy Tomb, but man cannot fully realize it while in this world. But when he enters the World of the Kingdom, there the blessings and gifts will become evident and clear.
"Is this clear to you?"
Then, giving us each a handful of jasmine, He led us one by one to the jasmine-strewn threshold of the Holy Tomb. As He led me, His hand quickened me. Never can I forget its vital, tingling pressure.
We knelt at the Divine Threshold. Suddenly, He was beside us: luminous, silent. Bending, He anointed our foreheads with attar of rose. Then He lifted each of us to our feet. And then, in a voice which struck across my heart, causing my entire being to quiver, the memory of which even now pierces and wrings my heart, He chanted.
When He had finished He asked Mr Kinney to chant. I could scarcely bear the thought of a human voice following His. Yet Mr Kinney sang beautifully: "O Lord, make us pure and without desire." My whole being echoed this prayer.
Our Lord then requested us all to sing, and the hymn we chose was "Nearer, My God, to Thee."
While our Lord was chanting I could not look at Him, but during the singing that followed, I kept my face turned toward Him. I still see Him standing by the window, the translucence of that majestic profile, the grandeur of that luminous head, white turbaned against the white wall.
We left the Holy Tomb.
"Come and I will show you My garden," said our Lord. "Come, follow Me."
With the little children--Sandy pressed close to one side, Howard to the other--He led us. In folds indescribably graceful, His white robes blew about His Figure. Divineness breathed from it. That which He manifested then was the tender Love of the Good Shepherd. We followed in His Footsteps over the stony field: His garden?
"Other sheep have I that are not of this fold ... My sheep shall know My voice ... And there shall be one fold, one Shepherd." As I followed, my heart chanted this.
Having gone about a quarter of a mile, He stopped and pointed out over the Mediterranean.
"Look," He said, "the sea, the sea!"
Mr Kinney said, "America lies beyond."
Then our Lord: "America and this land are one. The world is one--is one!" (in His ringing English). "America and this land are one. The five continents of the world are one. All the nations are one, through the Power of Bahá'u'lláh."
By "His garden" did He not mean the united world-to-be?
Later in the day, after our return from the Tomb, another sort of talk was going on in our room. Someone said something off-colour. It was carried on by someone else. Remembering our sacred morning, my soul rebelled against it. Again came the tap at the door. We were not dressed, not ready to receive our Lord, to open to Him.
That night He called us into His room--His small, dark, wood-panelled room, very dark now with only two candles burning in it, their little flames flickering as a breeze blew through the window. He looked so mysterious, so unearthly in the dim light. We seated ourselves at His feet.
"How are you?" He asked, "Are you happy? You should be happy after your visit to the Blessed Tomb today. Did you think of Lua?"
X and I told Him that we had. Carrie said she had thought of each and all the believers as they sat in the hall during the meetings. His face lit up with that marvellous smile with which He always blesses us when we speak of our love for others.
"Very good. Very good. That is what pleases God."
Alice said, "It is the Fourth of July, the day we Americans celebrate our independence."
Our Lord: "Yes, it is a good day in America, the day of your physical freedom. But today you celebrated your spiritual freedom. Physical freedom is a good thing, but spiritual freedom is of greater importance. Really the first thing is to have the soul free. And you must be very happy to have attained spiritual freedom on the same day when you attained physical freedom. I hope that as on this day you attained the physical freedom, in the same way you will be free from all passionate desires and human inclinations.
Then He went on: "The world is in prison and bondage through the leaders of religions who have taken the Spirit captive.
"The Jewish rabbis have always tried to convince the people that their religion is the true one, that they are the chosen nation by being descendants of Abraham, and that they are the only people who can enter the Kingdom.
"Likewise the Catholic priests. What they say to the people is this: that they possess the true religion, they are the accepted people of God and they alone can be saved.
"Likewise the Shaykhs. They speak against the Christians and say: 'God had a Son and the people crucified this Son of God!' They say: 'What a foolish thing these Christians teach--that God could have a Son and He, the Son of God, was crucified by human hands!'
"You see how the heads of each of these religions have captured the souls of man and brought them under this narrow control.
"Now Bahá'u'lláh has come and given freedom to these captive souls and released them from their bondage."
We talked of our walk behind Him--in His Footsteps--over the stones and thorns. I quoted: "My sheep shall hear My voice and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd." Then X referred to His serving the little
children. "Suffer the children to come unto Me." I said it was a symbol of His serving us, who are His little children.
"They are My sons. You are My daughters, My descendants by the Spirit, which is the nearest relationship. This day you are spiritually free." Then He dismissed us, saying, "Go and rest."
As we were leaving the room I told Him it was my mother's birthday.
"God will bless her. God will bless her," He said. "I have a message for your mother. I will give it to you tomorrow."
Alas for the sin of disobedience! He had said "Go and rest." But we were so anxious to write down His words while they were fresh in our minds that we stayed in the dining room until late, and--shameful to confess after our day in Heaven!--began to argue about the New York Assembly: as to whether or not it was united! Mr Kinney declared that it was. I said it was not. I even went so far as to mention the breeder of the discord, to condemn her destructive work!
But when X and I crept off to the room we were temporarily occupying--crept through the black, vaulted halls and rooms, over the old stone floors, to the rear wing of the house--a feeling of guilt such as I could hardly bear consumed me.
Next morning when I met our Lord outside the dining room door, in the sunny little court I so love because it is associated with His footsteps, with the benediction of
His Presence, looking with eyes that ... forgave? ... no, that understood ... deep, deep into my eyes, He put out His hand and took mine in a clasp of love.
On the night of 3 July, when I was on the housetop with Munavvar Khánum: a little miracle! One of countless miracles I experienced while in the Palace of the Divine Magician.
That housetop--roof of the House of the Lord--surely the place for the revelation of mysteries! I find I can scarcely speak of it. Yet I long to make a picture of it. To me it represents the summit of my existence.
When we first came to 'Akká, every night we would all go up to the housetop to walk or sit in the moonlight, Túbá and Munavvar Khánum, Edna Ballora, Carrie, Alice, X, Miss Gamblin the governess, and myself. Later this changed and I went up alone with Munavvar. On the stones of the roof was spread a Persian rug and on this we would lie together, Munavvar and I, and under the midnight sky, talk of deep things till our Lord appeared.
And indeed on that roof He was an Apparition. I can see Him now, pacing up and down, up and down, with that swift, free tread which is somehow like floating, His white garments blowing about Him in long, sweeping lines. His background: millions of stars.
On the night of that third of July, Munavvar and I were alone, sitting on a parapet, looking out beyond the strong double sea wall to the sea; to our right, in the moonlight, the dome and minaret of the mosque and a tall palm tree; to the left, the garden of the Master; behind us, the grim, square barracks, first prison in 'Akká of the Blessed Perfection and His Family.
"I have such a funny little message for our Lord from my mother," I said. "I don't know how I shall ever give it to Him!"
"I wonder," Munavvar laughed, "if it is like the message of the mother of Laura Barney!"
"I shouldn't be surprised! It is about my art. She wants me to give up teaching in the Cause--my precious little mother!--and devote all my time to my art."
"Well, isn't that funny!" said Munavvar, "That is just what our Lord was saying to me yesterday. He said He had a message for your mother. That she did not understand your giving up everything for the Cause, neglecting your art to devote yourself to the Cause. Europeans, He said, did not understand these things. He was going to speak to you about it."
5 July 1909
Early morning tea
Our Lord to X, who was to leave that morning: "This is the third time you have been here. It has been a great pleasure for you to have been with your friends each time. Now a long trip is before you. If throughout this trip you are always sincere in your intentions you will enjoy it very much. This ought to be a spiritual and not a physical journey. You must always do your best to behave spiritually, not physically, so that everyone who meets you will know that your intention is to do good to mankind and your aim to serve the world of humanity.
Whatever you do, let the people know you are doing it for good, not only to earn you own living. By doing thus you will be able to serve every city to which you go. Now associate with good people. You must try to associate with those who will do you good and who will be the cause of your being more awakened, and not with those who will make you negligent of God. For example, if one goes into a garden and associates with flowers, one will surely inhale the beautiful fragrance, but if one goes to a place where there are bad-scented plants, it is sure he will inhale an unpleasant odour. In short, I mean that you will try to be with those who are purified and sanctified souls. Man must always associate with those from whom he can get light, or be with those to whom he can give light. He must either receive or give instructions. Otherwise, being with people without these two intentions, he is spending his time for nothing, and, by so doing, he is neither gaining nor causing others to gain.
"You must keep these words very well. This is the third time you have come here. Fruits must be the results of these visits. Patients go to a hospital. Some leave but slightly improved. Some leave more ill than when they entered. And some leave entirely cured. I hope you will be of those who are entirely cured. You must be very thankful that you have come."
In His room fifteen minutes later
To X: "You have made your third visit here. Know that We have been very kind to you and We love you very much here. It is rare that believers come here three times. You must appreciate and be very thankful for this. You must appreciate this great blessing and act as is
worthy of a spiritual daughter, so that when I hear news of you I shall be happy.
"May God protect you under all circumstances."
5 July 1909
He sent for me. Taking off my shoes, I entered the beloved room and sat in my place at His feet, on His left. My place. May I be there forevermore in spirit! It was always to this place He beckoned me. First I would kneel, then sit in the Oriental way. He would draw me close, would gather my hand into His, would sometimes press my head against His knee.
"I am going to give you a message to your mother today," He said with His smile of love. "Now, give Me her message. Speak. Say. Do not be afraid."
"She told me to give You her dearest love."
"Ah!" He smiled.
"And to tell You I was her dear, precious child ..."
"Ah, very good!" He pressed my hand, smiling.
"And to say ..."
"Speak. Go on."
"That she did not wish me to be a teacher in the Cause. She wished me to devote my time to my art, which was a gift from heaven. That I was not qualified to teach. That I was too sympathetic to enter into peoples' lives to the extent I did. That I let people make inroads into my home for the sake of what I thought my duty. That she wanted me to change all this and become devoted to my art."
"Is there anything else?" He asked.
"No; I think not."
"Give your mother My best love. Tell her you are her
dear child; you are her daughter. But though you are her physical child, you are My spiritual child, and I love you and you are dearer to Me than you are to her, and I am kinder to you than she is and I want your good more than she does and I think of you more than she does.
"As to your art: It is one of the Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh that art is identical with an act of worship. And you must go on with your art and improve in it. And through this very Cause you will be able to make great progress in your art, for you shall be helped from Above.
"But as to your being a teacher: In a short time your mother will be proud that you are a teacher. This is an eternal honour upon your family. Lately I have seen that God is looking upon your family with eyes of Providence. Though your mother does not realize it now, in the future she shall know that this is a cause of eternal honour to your family.
"You must do both. You must be a teacher and go on with your art. And give some time to your mother.
"What do you think of these messages to your mother?"
"What do I think of the rays of the Sun that give Life?"
"I am glad to see so much love in your heart."
"How is it that the Lord of mankind has drawn to Himself such a tiny atom, such a little piece of nothing?"
"My wish for you is that you make spiritual progress, more and more."
When He spoke of my art, He pressed the palms of my hands. When he spoke of my teaching, He pressed my head and shoulders.
To be so near, so near that great Dynamo of Love, to
have been lifted up out of the mass of God's needy creatures and drawn to the Heart of the Divine Magnet--may my life blood flow in gratitude!
5 July 1909
Our Lord: "There are two kinds of changes and alterations. One causes descent and one ascent. The one which causes descent is not good, but on the contrary. The other change, which causes ascent, is acceptable.
"For example, a child from the time of being in the womb of its mother until it grows to maturity, changes in many stations, and this change is accepted and praiseworthy. For instance, 'Mr MacNutt'" (smiling toward little Howard Kinney, whom He always called "Mr MacNutt" after his godfather, Howard MacNutt, a very dignified man who looks something like George Washington) "after many years will grow up and pass through many changes and will get moustaches and a beard and will be a man!
"Consider the bread. It changes and changes until it gives power to the body--and then it becomes man. This change is acceptable, because it replaces what has been eliminated from the body. The mineral carbon changes in many stations until diamonds are produced from it.
"But the change which is hated in all cases is, for example, as follows: A man is faithful; he gives up his faith. A just man becomes cruel. A seer, a clear-sighted man, becomes blind. Or: to be alive and then to die; to be steadfast in the Covenant and, for some idea, to become the enemy, like Khayru'lláh. At first he was a
very firm man and was in the utmost faith. Then he wavered. Such a change is hated.
"Many firm souls had the greatest capacity and were like the wick and fire. As soon as they came in contact with the fire they received light. By a single meeting they were so improved and converted that they were entirely changed. While others were for a long time My companions, yet never changed. You find a man will be wakened by a single call. Another is never quickened even if you discharge a cannon! As soon as the ray of the sun shines through crystal it will burn, but if the same ray fall on a stone, no effect is produced."
When He spoke of Khayru'lláh I looked at my Lord, startled and anxious. Could He mean that I might prove weak? He smiled at me--oh, with such sweetness. My fears vanished before that sun!
He called Mr Kinney's attention to the rice.
"Rice. Rice," He said in English, "very good." Then looking at me and laughing: "She is smiling at My English!"
"I smile because Your voice makes me happier than anything in the world."
Soon, sensing my wish to speak to Him, only for the sake of speaking to Him: "Speak. Speak."
But I had really nothing to say! I brought forth this: "Even this physical food is the best in the world."
"That is because of your intense love. A poison given by a friend is like honey. A Persian poet says: 'The poison which comes from Thee to me is my antidote. A wound from Thee is remedy.' Certainly these physical dishes are tasteful to you because you have the greatest love."
I supplicated that He might give me poison and wound me in His Cause, that I might be found worthy of this.
"I will. When afflictions and bitter conditions taste sweet to man, this shows that he is favoured in the sight of God."
Mr Kinney said: "I am not eating now, but my Master is feeding me."
Our Lord: "I, Myself, am the Food."
As He spoke His head was bowed, His hands upturned, like cups, in His lap. He sat, the embodiment of Divine humility. A great Mystery flooded the room, and a tremendous Power.
"How like Jesus that sounds!" whispered Mr Kinney.
"Jesus," said our Lord, His head still bowed, "was the Bread that came down from Heaven, but I am the Food prepared by the Blessed Beauty, Bahá'u'lláh."
After a moment of dazzling silence, little Sandy said, "Why are you crying, mother?"
I could not cry. I seemed to be translated into the Spiritual Kingdom.
In few moments the Master turned to me and smiled. "Eat. Eat, Juliet."
Because He had told me to eat, I felt that I must. I did so; finished the food on my plate to the last morsel, though I could scarcely swallow it. For the time, I was of the Heavenly Kingdom, made of other elements. The physical food was like dust and ashes in my mouth. Coarse grained, too, it seemed.
Later I understood what He had really meant by "Eat, Juliet." He had invited me to partake of the Food prepared by the Blessed Beauty.
5 July 1909, 5 p.m. Afternoon tea.
Our Lord: "We ought to pray for Miss X, that she may become just as God wishes her to be. If she be so, it will be very good, because God always loves those who repent and are sorry for what they have done. Such people are ashamed before God and become very humble.
"Once a Pharisee and a Publican entered the Temple to pray. The Pharisee said: 'Thank God I am not as other men.' The other said: 'God have mercy upon me, a sinner!' Christ said of these two: 'The Pharisee is not acceptable in the Kingdom of God, but the other is acceptable, because the Pharisee is trusting in his own action, but the other is depending upon the forgiveness of God.'
"But the only thing is this: One should remain firm in his repentance. I will pray for her."
In His room
6 July 1909. Morning.
He sent for me, called me into His room this morning. Taking my hands in His Life-giving hands. He asked me those first dear questions: "Are you happy, Juliet?"
"Are you well?"
"Thou knowest, my Lord."
He told me He was pleased with me. Then He asked me for the verbal messages. He forgets nothing.
I gave Him dear Sylvia Gannett's message.
"She is such a beautiful spirit," I said. "She is a peacemaker. She never criticizes anyone"
"It is a very good quality that she does not talk about others' faults, for many troubles are caused by speaking against one another. Because to talk badly behind the people is very bad."
I spoke of Herbert Rich and received a wonderful private message for him.
To Miss Colt (who had sent the humblest of supplications): "Give My kindest love to Miss Colt and say: You are worthy of everything. Tell her that if she were not a worthy soul she would not have been blessed with entering this Cause and she could not be able to follow the Word of God. She was not unable to hear the Words of the Kingdom. I will pray for her."
"What do you think of all these messages? I give them to you because of the love in your heart."
I spoke of May Maxwell and Mariam Haney and said they were beautiful.
"You are all beautiful," He replied. "And Mrs True?" He then asked.
"I don't know Mrs True, except through letters."
"I love Mrs True very much."
I spoke of Mr MacNutt and Mr Harris, and also mentioned Mr Hoar. "They have borne so beautifully," I said, "their ordeals of the past winter."
He was silent for a moment, then asked: "Cannot you unite these two factions?"
"O my Lord!" I gasped. "I! I have longed for years to see them united."
"I know. That is why I love you so. You can do it because you have love."
"If it is Thy command, I can do it, for Thou wilt help me. I have not been able in the past because I had not enough love and was not patient enough with those who see less clearly than others." (I meant those who belittled His station, comparing Him with the apostle Peter.)
"You must become more patient. It would be well if some others would help you. For instance, Lua Getsinger, Miss Barney, Mrs Brittingham, Mrs Maxwell, also Mrs Kinney, and anyone else you think would promote harmony. If you could have feasts and meetings in your houses and bring together the chief speakers in the utmost love; and if, when you have the opportunity, you would speak to them on the importance of unity, it would be very well. You will be assisted in this."
"Why is it the Lord of mankind has been so bountiful to this atom?"
"If you all could know how I love you, you would fly away with joy!"
"Think of Me often," He said. "Think of the times you have spent here. I hope you will become the daughter of the Kingdom; that you will become the essence of purity and very heavenly; that you will become enlightened by the light of the Love of God and the cause of the enlightenment of other maidservants. Is there anything else?"
"There are three little things in my heart, my Lord."
"What are they?"
"I have a little godchild named for me, who was born under very unfortunate circumstances."
"I will pray for her that she will be blessed both in this
world and in the spiritual world." The love and the understanding beaming from His face set my heart forever at rest for the little Juliet.
His smile became brilliant. "Your brother!" (in His ringing English). Every one of His words in English burns into your soul. Oh, if I only knew Persian! "Well, what is it for your brother? Speak!"
"My Lord, he is like a beautiful rose bud: not yet opened."
Looking at me with divine loving kindness, He said: "I hope this bud will become a beautiful full-blown rose and exhale the sweetest fragrance. What else?"
"My Lord," I said, "I pray that Percy Grant may become a believer."
He pressed my hand two or three times and laughed, and smiled down at me.
"Do you want this very much?"
"Oh my Lord, yes! So much!"
"I will pray for this. I will pray for this. But," and He smiled again, indulgently, "you too must make an effort. You must help him. I will pray for him."
Then He dismissed me. Kissing the hem of His garment, I left Him.
6 July 1909
Our Lord: "Afflictions and troubles are due to the state of not being content with what God has ordained for one. If one submits himself to God, he is always happy. A man asked another: 'In what station are you?' The other answered: 'In the utmost happiness.' 'Where does
this happiness come from?' 'Because all existing things move according to my wish. I do not find anything contrary to my desire. Therefore I have no sorrow. There is no doubt that all the beings move by the Will of God, and I have given up my own will, desiring the Will of God. Thus my will became the Will of God, for there is nothing of myself. All are moving by His Will, yet they are moving by my own will. In this case, I am very happy.'
"When man surrenders himself, everything will move according to his wish."
Mr Kinney: "There is only one question in my soul. How can I love you more?"
Our Lord: "I will answer you later."
Mr Kinney: "The Board of Council has met for three years past in my studio and I am very proud of it."
Our Lord: "It is indeed worthy to be proud of. I hope your home may always be the place of the gatherings; that the beloved of God may always come together there, be engaged in commemoration of God, have heavenly talks and speak through the confirmation of the Holy Spirit. Your home will be one of the heavenly constellations, Inshá'lláh, and the stars will gather there."
Mr Kinney: "What could I ask for more?"
Our Lord: "There is nothing superior to this."
Our Lord (through an interpreter): "The spiritual food is the principal food, whereas the physical food is not so important. The effect of the spiritual food is eternal. Through the material food the body exists, but through the spiritual food the spirit will be nourished. The material food, that is, the food for the body, is simply water and bread, but the food for the intellect is knowledge and the food for the spirit is the significances of the Heavenly Words and the bounties of the Holy Spirit.
"If there were no love, nothing would be pleasing. Many come here and eat, but they do not appreciate it."
The Master had written a Tablet to the believers in Tihrán that they should organize a meeting in which Bahá'í women will teach and train others to teach the Cause. Now they have written the news to the Master that they have arranged this meeting and nineteen girls and women attend. This meeting will advance directly, and will be the cause of developing the girls in every way.
In our Lord's room
7 July 1909. Morning.
While Munavvar Khánum, Carrie, Alice, and I were in the room of our Lord this morning, suddenly smiling at me, He said: "Do you think your mother will like My message to her?"
"Her heart is so pure she must love it, Lord." My hand was in His.
"She will like that part about your art," He said, with His witty smile.
"She said you would straighten out my life."
"Say to her: I have two arts: one physical, the other spiritual. The physical one is that I draw the images of men. My spiritual art is that I draw the images of the angels, and I hope that at last I shall be able to draw pictures of the Perfections of God. My physical art will at last end, but my spiritual art is everlasting. My physical art can be done by many, but my spiritual art is not the work of everyone. My physical art makes me dear to men, but my spiritual art makes me dear to God. Therefore I work to perfect both of them."
"Thou hast straightened out my life!"
With his smile of light He said: "I am the Heavenly Artist. Although I am sitting here, my pen is working in every part of the world, over the pages of the hearts."
7 July 1909
At this meal I was sitting beside Him.
Our Lord (through an interpreter): "The Master's love for you is like an ocean and your love is like a drop. The distress and calamities which the Master has endured for your sake for many years, you could not endure for one day. And now, should anyone offer Him the entire existent world in exchange for one of you, He would not accept it. This means that one of you is dearer to Him than the whole world. If a thousand swords be used on the Master's neck, or against Him, He accepts that, but would not be content that one hair of your head should be taken away.
"About two years ago some spies came from Constan-
tinople and it was a terrible day for the Master. He sent all the believers from 'Akká that none should be harmed but Himself. He sent them all away that no one should stay in 'Akká except Himself--that if there were any kind of calamity, it should be for Him alone.
"You must realize by this expression how much He loves the believers."
The Master groaned, and left the table.
Scarcely had I finished this pitiful little plea when I saw Him standing at my door. That Holy Figure in white in the sunlit court! I gave Him my supplication. He took it and, calling Munavvar Khánum, beckoned us both to follow Him to His room. Then He asked Munavvar to translate it. When she had done so, He simply said, "Khaylí khúb," (Very well) and dismissed me.
Later in the afternoon, the Master struck me the first blow! The beginning of the shattering of my earthly hopes. After this, He took from the inside pocket of His long, flowing cloak my supplication. Unfolding the paper and looking at me with grave sweetness, he
pointed to the last paragraph, "May my heart open wider and wider to the rays of Thy sacred Love." He then folded it again and put it back in His breast-pocket.
Still later in the afternoon
"My daughter! My dear! My soul! My spirit!"
"Lord, anything You send me I will bear."
I was on my knees. I looked up to see the Christ-Face yearning over me, His hands raised in blessing above my head. I shall never forget that Face. It was lifted as though in prayer, His eyes closed, His lips apart.
Then He held my head against His heart, and I heard the Heart of 'Abdu'l-Bahá beat.
I went to my room. Standing, facing His room, I reached out my arms and my heart cried: I love You. But I made no sound. Almost instantly He appeared at my door. I knelt in the doorway. "I love You; I love You," I said. He looked at me with unearthly luminous eyes, then turned away. Once more I held out my arms. He looked back.
The night of the seventh of July we all sat on the roof. He was in His little room on the roof. He sent out His cloak to put around Carrie, who felt cold, and she shared it with me. My tears fell on His cloak. I had realized this: "With His stripes are we healed."
7 July 1909, 9 p.m.
Our Lord: "Since the day you arrived you have daily progressed and you have almost changed.
"Some souls come here and return unaltered. It is precisely like one who comes to a fountain and, not being thirsty, returns exactly as he came. Or, like a blind man who goes into a rose garden: he perceives not, and, being questioned as to what he has seen in the rose garden, answers, 'Nothing.'
"But some souls who come here are resuscitated. They come dead; they return alive. They come frail or ill in body; they return healed. They come athirst; they return satisfied. They come sorrowing; they return joyous. They come deprived; they return having partaken of a share. They come athirst; they return satisfied!
"These souls have in reality done justice to their visit. Praise be to God, you are of these souls and you must be exceedingly happy.
"If a cow should go to a prosperous town, a city full of bounties and divine blessings, and should be asked as to what it had found in this town, it would say, 'Nothing but cucumber peels and melon rinds.' But if a nightingale should fly to a rose garden, when it returns the reply would be, 'Verily, I have scented delicious fragrances, seen most beautiful flowers, most delightful verdure, drunk most refreshing water from gushing fountains; and I have found new life!' Now the reply of a beetle would be, 'All you have heard concerning the rose garden is false. There is neither a delightful fragrance nor beauty of verdure, nor is it joyous. In fact, when I entered it, I was displeased. All you have heard is false. Had I not escaped, I should have died!'"
In the morning of 8 July, the Master rushed with tremendous energy into my room and placed me with His two hands on the divan, then, going down to the garden and into a little house below my window, He dictated Tablets all morning, every now and then coming to the window, standing in the sunlight and looking up at me. Never shall I forget the Face of my King at the window. Just before He left the house in the garden, once more He looked up. I was faithful at my post; in fact, I had not dared even to move.
In His room
Afternoon, 7 July 1909
Munavvar, Carrie, Alice, Juliet
"All this trouble and hardship is just for this end: that you may love one another as you should, so that you may be perfectly united."
To Carrie Kinney: "Let Me give you the good tidings that your family and your children will be greatly helped; and you must be very happy for this. I love your 'Mr MacNutt' very much. It is good that you have two Mr MacNutts! Others have one Mr MacNutt, but you have two! Of course you love Mr MacNutt, because he has been the cause of your spiritual life. The physical father is the cause of the material life, but Mr MacNutt was the cause of your spiritual life. Therefore you owe him much."
The Master spoke of the many letters He had answered that morning and of the packages still unopened. Mr Kinney said: "I will write Your letters for You!"
Our Lord: "Very good; very good. Write a letter and answer it yourself. Look into your heart and see the answer. The answer is what is written on the tablet of your heart. That which is written upon paper is subject to corruption and various accidents, such as consumption by fire and moth, but that which is inscribed on the tablet of the heart is imperishable and everlasting. A day will come when all My communications upon paper--all My writing--will be effaced. But that which I have inscribed upon the hearts will not be effaced. There is no end to it. For I write the Word of the Love of God upon the hearts, and the Word of God is eternal."
The Master said He was exceedingly happy because of Mr Kinney's presence at the table (after a short illness), "for we are all assembled together."
"Just consider what the Bounty of Abhá has achieved! Just observe in what a condition we are! Imagine not that if you were to sacrifice all upon earth, you could produce this attitude."
Little Howard (aged four) from his high chair: "Won't the Master come to New York?"
Our Lord: "Perhaps you do not know that I am always there with you, for though My body is absent, My heart is there; My Spirit is there."
Mr Kinney (to the interpreter): "Tell the Master He will always be an honoured Guest."
Our Lord: "I am the Host, not a guest. For to be a guest is to be there temporarily, whereas the Host stays forever."
"He is never allowed it at home," laughed Carrie.
In the Master's room
8 July 1909
In the early afternoon He called us all into His room. Beckoning me to sit in my accustomed place and taking my hand in His, He began: "You are fortunate that during these few days I have not been very busy, for to some others it happened I had less time to give them.
"The desire of My heart is that each of you, when you return to America, will be just like a torch flaming with the Love of God, and that your speech will be wonderfully loosened, so that when you enter the meetings, you will enter them with full eloquence and with perfect courage. I kiss the mouth of Sandy so that he may have wonderful speech, especially for this purpose."
He then dictated messages to various believers. On our expressing regret at burdening Him with so many, He
said: "Everything that is a sign of your love toward one another, though it take my time, yet it makes me happy. And if you will realize how much I love you all, you will know that even were I occupied day and night with your affairs, I would never tire. For My Love is not a physical one to make Me tired. My Love is purely spiritual and divine. Therefore I am never tired."
Through Carrie to Mrs Gibbons: "You must always look forward to My will and desire. My will and desire are that you should honour and respect all humankind, especially the believers. Never try to be the cause of hurting anyone's feelings. On the contrary, make every effort to become the happiness of hearts. There is no greater sin than the breaking of hearts and there is no greater action than to be the cause of the happiness of hearts. If you want My happiness, try to be kind to Dr Fischer," (as I caught my breath in wonder at His knowledge, He smiled down at me) "and do something that no ill-feeling may exist any more between you."
Carrie asked for a message for Mrs MacNutt, "if it is not too much."
(To us:) "I love you all so much that the more I mention you the happier I become. Say to Mrs MacNutt: Though you stayed in 'Akká a short time, it is as though you had stayed one year, for in that short time the instructions and teachings of God were revealed to you and you have accepted them with a pure heart, for you had the capacity for receiving the divine bounties. Therefore, in a short time you have attained to a new spirit. I ask God that you make progress day by day and that you
may have a greater portion of the bounties of Bahá'u'lláh."
Through Alice to Robert Rich: "Give My love to him and say: Mrs Beede mentioned you here and said good things about you. I know you have gone through sufferings in your life, but the sufferings and troubles in this world are the cause of awakening one. Therefore, you must be thankful for what sufferings you have and give thanks to God that you have not been shaken by your tests. For the tests are very great and sometimes will be the cause of one's being quite neglectful. But, thanks be to God, you have faced them firmly. I will pray for you, so you may obtain the desire of your heart."
Through me to Thorton Chase: "Give My greetings to Mr Chase and say: Miss Juliet mentioned you here with love and with a face full of light. And she mentioned your kindness to her. I am pleased with you. And for your endeavour and zeal in serving the Kingdom of God I am very happy. And I hope you will yourself become the embodiment of the instructions of Bahá'u'lláh, so that each one who sees you and knows your actions will know that the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are manifesting through you."
To Mr Windust through me: "Give Mr Windust My kindest love and say: Though physically I have not met you, in reality I have seen you often. Why? Because in Spirit and heart I am always with you. I am inseparable from you. And I know your desire is My good-pleasure. Therefore I am pleased with you."
Through me to Annie Boylan: "Your message was delivered and the good tidings of the union and harmony
among the believers of New York caused a happiness in My heart. For each one in this world has a desire. But My desire is the realization of the perfect love in the world of humanity. The mention and thought of all the believers day and night, must be love, union, and brotherhood. This union will be the cause of their progress in all conditions."
Through Alice to Mason Remey: "Give My greatest love to Mr Remey and say: You are very dear to me. You are so dear that I think of you day and night. You are My real son. Therefore I have an idea for you. I hope it may come to pass."
He turned to me and, smiling, said: "Do you love Mr Remey?"
It crucified me, but I answered, "Yes." Again the Master smiled.
Later, while I dwelt in anguish on the significance of His words--while the pencil with which I was taking them down slipped from my hand--He turned to me smiling again and, pointing to my notebook, said: "Write; write!"
Soon He dismissed us.
Just before we went He came to our room--Alice's and mine--and, seating Himself on the couch, while as usual I sat at His feet, He said: "Now I am sending you to the Tomb, and you should ask there all you wish and desire. And I will pray also, here, for what you pray. And there you will pray for everything you wish."
In that unutterably holy place I prayed for unity in New York. I prayed to be strengthened to fulfil His Will. I implored for strength to meet my great tests. I prayed for my father, mother, and brother and for every friend I could
think of. Then I took from my heart the love of my life and gave it into the hand of Bahá'u'lláh. I asked but one thing: that this once-beloved of my heart might know His Beauty and might serve His Threshold.
8 July 1909
Dinner, 9 p.m.
Our Lord, smiling: "Are you happy owing to your visit to the Tomb? Mrs B. [Beede]?
Alice, with a face all shadows and tragedy: "You must feel that I never was so happy."
Our Lord: "Although our assembly tonight numbers only ten outwardly, in reality it is representative of all the beloved of God. Why? Because it pictures the Bahá'í community. The seed, no matter how small, in the estimation of the perceptive mind, is a veritable tree. The mind images the tree and the tree is revealed from the seed. Likewise, when I see you it is as though I were seeing all the beloved of God. The Teachings I give to you are the Teachings I would give to all the beloved of God.
"Today when you visited the Holy Tomb, I during that very time directed My attention to the Supreme Concourse of the Kingdom of Abhá and supplicated confirmations in your favour.
"Praise be to God, your hearts are overflowing with the Love of God and you have no great attachment to this world. The thing which is necessary for you now is discourse. It is My hope that you will attain an eloquent discourse, for I have loved you exceedingly. Consequently I anticipate an eloquent, expressive, and excellent discourse on your part after your arrival in America. Rest assured in the fact that the breaths of the Holy Spirit will
aid you, provided no doubts obtain in your hearts. Is not this so, Juliet? Is not this so, Mrs B.?"
He helped each of us from His plate. To me He gave His bread. I was sitting beside Him.
"You will remember these nights very often. These nights are rare. They are not obtained always.
"I hope the party that has come, Mr and Mrs Kinney, Mrs B., and Juliet, will be real Bahá'ís and that your deeds and actions will manifest this when you return to New York. I have given you so many blessings. I hope you will be able to speak fluently and with great power in the meetings and share with the rest of the friends what you have received here."
That night (8 July) I went to the housetop alone with Munavvar Khánum.
"Dear," I said, "do you remember my supplication that Percy Grant might become a believer? I have had only one strong love in my life: for him. We both knew it the moment we met. Then a blow came, and I refused to see him any more. I even left New York for a time because, really providentially, only a day or two after that blow, I was called to Washington to paint a portrait. And in Washington, Munavvar, Ahmad showed me a Tablet just arrived from the Master to a friend of mine, who had mentioned Percy Grant in one of her supplications--merely mentioned his name in a prayer for him--a Tablet in which was a message to him and to myself:
'Say to Percy Grant and Juliet Thompson: O ye intelligent ones, there is no rest or tranquillity in this world. There is no composure of mind. The world is in need of the Heavenly Glad-Tidings. Therefore, turn
ye to the Kingdom of Abhá and seek after spiritual attraction, for life without this is death and this evanescent world like the mirage in the desert.'
"Why did you do this, dear?"
"Because I believed it to the be the Master's Will."
"What made you think that?"
"Don't you know?"
"Yes, dear, I think I do. Something He said this afternoon?"
"Our Lord has asked me to speak about this to you, Juliet. He seems to wish it very much. He knows this other man too, but He thinks Mr Remey would be better. But He also wishes to know your own feelings."
"He knows my own feelings, Munavvar darling. There is no flinching in me that He does not know. But I have prayed to make any sacrifice and I could have no greater opportunity. I could make no greater sacrifice than in marrying a man I did not love. But for the Master's sake I would do it joyfully."
"But, dear, He would not wish you to go against your inner feelings. Tell me about it."
"Perhaps I am too much attracted by people of brilliant intellect. And this man I love has such a powerful one! But how can I think of my own preferences when the Master wishes something else for me?"
Suddenly our Lord appeared on the housetop. Walking
up and down like a king, He began to talk to us. I listened in breathless wonder. Most of what He said has escaped me. I can only write fragments.
He told me He wished me to have a great power of discourse. He spoke of love. He said I had a great capacity for love, that this was the promising sign in me. "Qurratu'l-'Ayn," He said, "had nothing but her love. This was her power."
I spoke of how deeply I felt my unworthiness.
"Capacity attracts," He answered. "The greater your capacity, the more you will be filled. When the child is hungry and cries for milk, the milk of the mother begins to flow rapidly."
I could scarcely speak after all He said. When His bounties are pouring upon me I always feel paralyzed. All my senses are numb, dead. It kills me to be so, beneath the outpourings of His generosity. To be in the Presence of the Lord and not aglow! I am filled with shame and the sense of my utter unworthiness. I murmured to Munavvar Khánum: "Say to our Lord for me: What matters the physical life now? I can do nothing for Him, for Whom I want to do everything, but follow His commands and wishes to the minutest detail."
He then came and sat on the rug beside us and began to speak of Mason Remey. Oh, to picture Him as He was then--no longer the Lord, the King, but the tender Father--a something eager (if I may use the word) in His manner and tone.
He told me He loved Mason Remey so much and He loved me so much that He wished us to marry. That was
the meaning of His message to Mason. He said it would be a perfect union and good for the Cause. Then He asked me how I felt about it.
I answered: "I will gladly fulfil Thy wish."
"But what are your inner feelings?"
"Lord, Thou knowest my inner feelings."
"You love this other man? You love?"
"It is secondary now. My only desire is to fulfil Thy Will. Thou knowest best. My only desire is to give all I have for Thee--to give my dearest. I can do this now. This is my opportunity."
"But, my daughter, My wish is for your happiness. You must be frank with Me about it. The inner feelings cannot be forced. In speaking with you just now I was giving you spiritual commands. This is different; this is material, and, in regard to it, I am not commanding but suggesting. This union with Mr Remey is merely an idea, a suggestion of Mine."
"Thy suggestions and ideas come from the Infinite Wisdom."
"But--understand Me--I wish your happiness."
"I should rather follow Thy wish. I should be happier following Thy wish than in marrying the man I love."
"Well, is it possible for you to love Mr Remey as you do this other man?"
"Is it possible, Lord?"
"If it is possible to love Mr Remey equally well, for him to take the place of the other, then I should be glad." He paused a moment. "But your marrying the other is very good, if you can make him a believer. And you must pray for it. If you see that he has an inclination to become a believer, even before he does so, you can
marry him. If you can lead him to the Cause this is very, very good. Am I not a kind Father?" He asked.
I spoke brokenly of His Love.
"I am the Essence of Love."
I remember His saying later: "Appreciate this night. Many a soul, both now and throughout the ages, would give their lives for five moments of such a night on this roof with Me--and with Munavvar Khánum."
During the tender talk that followed, I asked: "May I come here again?"
"Yes; yes!" He replied. "You have permission to come whenever you find you can do so."
Ah, "many a soul, both now and throughout the ages, would give their lives for five moments of such a night on the roof with Him--and with Munavvar Khánum."
9 July 1909
He called me to His little room. Túbá Khánum interpreted for me. What He said to me I cannot tell--only a tiny part.
"You have stood a very great test. I love you dearly. Your tests have been very, very great. And when they came you did not flinch" (raising His hand with a strong gesture) "but stood firm and met them bravely. And they were very great."
"My Lord, I have been grieving for not having met them more perfectly."
Then followed what I cannot tell. Only my Lord, Túbá and myself, and Beings in the Unseen World who live in the Presence of the Master, know what He said to me then. I wept at His feet.
"What I have told you is because of this," He said, "this condition of your heart."
"Be happy," He continued. "Think if you were at the feet of Christ in His time, His hand covering yours."
"I am so unworthy. I am so dead. Quicken me into Life!"
"I will. Be at rest, and I will. I will widen you. I love your love."
"Perhaps I feel so dead in order to realize that everything comes from Thee, that without Thee I am indeed dead. Without Thee I can do nothing."
At the end He said: "Go, and be My light in America."
Kissing the hem of His garment, I left Him.
A little later, still on the housetop, He pointed to the waning moon. "The moon ... the stars ... the East ... no! I am the Sun of the West!" He said.
"For us? Us Christians?"
"Yes. For you."
After an interval: "I am not worthy, Lord, that Thy Glory should be revealed to me yet?"
"But some day?"
There was a flash from His eyes. For an instant they were like brilliant stars before which the stars in heaven paled. Then He veiled them with His lids. Two more flashes, and they became as usual. Unworthy though He had found me, He, in His mercy and love, gave me three glimpses of His Glory.
"My Spirit loves your spirit. I love your heart." He touched my heart; and it leapt beneath His fingers.
"The strings of my heart vibrate," I said, "beneath the fingers of the Divine Musician."
He touched it again; and again it was strangely stirred. "Ahh!" I breathed.
"This heart will sing for Thee forever!"
He covered my lips with His hand.
"Love," He said. For a moment he lifted His hand.
"Love," I repeated. His hand closed again on my lips.
"Love!" He said, lifting His hand.
"Love," I repeated. He made me repeat it many times.
He touched my eyes and my forehead.
"I am Thy new creation," I said. "Keep me unspotted from the world." I had been kneeling at His feet. I raised my face and looked up. That Face of Grandeur, the long grey hair blown about it, under the stars!
"Yes!" with incredible majesty.
There was no answer.
"Word of God!"
"King of the Seen and the Unseen!"
"Prince of Peace!"
"Ah. Peace ..." He seemed to sigh the word: from that housetop, across the world. I shall never forget the heartbreak in the sigh.
Then, turning to me: "I am thy Father. Say: Thou art my Father."
"Thou art my Father."
"I am thy King. Say: Thou art my King."
"Thou art my King."
"I am thy Beloved."
"Thou art my Beloved!"
9 July 1909
Our Lord: "How spiritual are our meetings! In the utmost love are we set aglow! The hearts are all attracted to each other. It is just like being one soul, one body. Such a meeting as this is impossible and cannot be organized save through the Love of God. There is no material interest whatsoever. There is no worldly desire at all. In the utmost purity and holiness has the Force of Divinity assembled us. All, with perfect sincerity, are directing our attention to the Kingdom of Abhá, and our greatest desire is His good-pleasure.
"New pilgrims have arrived from Persia. Souls firm in the Covenant have arrived. They have come in the utmost love. The Light of the Love of God is radiant in their countenances.
"Yesterday Mr Kinney asked me concerning music and I promised I would answer him today:
"Music is of the important arts. It has a great effect upon the human spirit. Musical melodies are a certain something which prove an accidental upon ethereal vibrations. For voice is nothing but the expression of vibrations, charged therewith, which affect the nerves of the ear. Musical melodies are therefore those peculiar effects which are produced by vibrations. However, music
has the keenest effect upon spirits. Although it is a material affair, its tremendous effect is spiritual and its greatest attachment is to the realm of the spirit.
"If a person desires to deliver a discourse, it would prove more effective after musical melodies. The ancient Greek philosophers, as well as the Persian, were in the habit of delivering their discourses in the following manner: First, there would be musical melodies, and when the audience had been influenced to a certain extent thereby, they would leave their instruments and begin their discourse.
"Among the most ancient musicians of Persia was one named Barbad. When a great question was asked at the court of the king and the ministers failed in persuading the king, the matter would be referred to Barbad. Whereupon Barbad would go with his instrument to the court and would play the most appropriate and touching music: and the end would at once be gained. Because the king would immediately be affected by the musical melodies. Certain feelings of generosity would swell in his heart, and he would give way.
"You may try this. If you have a great desire for something, if you wish earnestly to attain your end, try to attain it in a musical audience. But there are people who are like stones, and music cannot affect a stone.
"Now let us go back to the original subject: Music is an important means for the education and development of humanity. But the main cause for the development of humanity is the Teaching of God.
"Music is like this glass which is perfectly pure and polished. It is precisely like this clear chalice before us. And the Teachings and Utterances of God are like the water. When the chalice is in the utmost state of purity, absolutely clear and polished, and the water is perfectly
fresh, then it will confer life. Wherefore, the Teachings of God, whether they be Utterances in the form of homilies, or prayers and communes, when they are melodiously chanted will proved most impressive. It is for this reason that His Holiness David sang the psalms with melody in the Holy of Holies at Jerusalem.
"In this Cause the art of music is of paramount importance. The Blessed Perfection, Bahá'u'lláh, when He first came to the barracks often repeated this statement: If among His immediate followers there were some who could play some musical instrument, for instance the flute or the harp, or who could sing, it would have charmed everyone.
"In short, musical melodies play an important role in the outward and inward qualities of man, for music is the inspirer and motive power of both the material and the spiritual susceptibilities. What a motive power it is in feelings of love! When man is attracted to the Love of God, music will have a great effect upon him."
The Master turned to the window and pointed to a ship on the sea.
"See: a ship!" He said to Alice, who was sitting beside Him at this meal.
"If we build the Temple quickly," she asked, "and send a ship for You, will you come to America?"
"I will come of My own volition to America if they build the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár quickly. But," (sadly and very gently) "they will not build it quickly."
I was sitting next to Edna Ballora. Taking her hand, I said to our Lord: "May Edna help me with the meetings in my studio when we return to New York?"
"Khaylí khúb. Khaylí khúb. You love Edna Ballora?" He asked, His eyes--so holy, so shining--fixed on me.
"Oh yes, my Lord!"
"Oh so much!" The love already in my heart for Edna was fanned to an intense flame. It burned; it hurt me.
"Very, very much?"
The Master was still gazing at me, and now I could scarcely bear that flame in me, in which my heart itself seemed to be melting away. Tears rained down my cheeks.
"Edna," cried the Master, "behold your friend! It is possible for fathers and mothers to weep when their children are in trouble, but it is rare that they weep merely for love of their children, as Juliet has wept for love of you."
Oh, Heavenly Artist! For one brief moment he had created in me the Love of God; He had given me a foretaste of that Love--other-dimensional, superhuman --which with my whole soul I pray I may attain some day. For without this universal love how can we hope to work for the Kingdom of God, the oneness of man on earth?
And, in that mysterious moment, I understood that the universal love is not "impersonal". I loved not only Edna's soul, but all of her. I could have died for her.
9 July 1909
Dinner, 9 p.m.
Our Lord: "Tonight Mr Sprague is going to speak to you, because he has been to Persia and has spent a year in Tihrán. Hence he shall speak."
Mr Sprague: "It is impossible to speak when our Lord is here."
On being further pressed by our Lord, he referred to a meeting where a Jew, a Christian, and a Muslim were present and, remaining for the night, shared the same bed.
Our Lord: "Consider what the power of the Covenant has done! It was an impossibility for a Zoroastrian to unite with a Sid and a mullá with a Jew. And for these to assemble with a Christian was an absolute impossibility. But the power of the Covenant has even so gathered them that they are accounted as one spirit. Although the bodies are numerous, the spirit is one.
"About thirty or forty years ago, in the province of ... , the Muslims assaulted the Jewish colony and began a wholesale slaughter, and only those Jews who, narrowly escaping, could get to the mosque to confess were saved. The rest were subjected to wholesale murder. And those who apparently were converted are in reality, up to the present time, Jews. But many became Bahá'ís.
"Mírzá 'Azízu'lláh Khán whom you met: his father was martyred, and his brother at the age of twelve gave his life for the Cause."
At the table that night was a boy from India, brought to 'Akká by Sydney Sprague, who was taking the child to his own school in Turkey to educate him. The father of the boy had given his life for Mr Sprague. It happened in this way: Mr Sprague was then in India, teaching the Cause and, in his enthusiasm, he remained till too late in the summer in Calcutta. A plague broke out and the people died by hundreds. Every hospital was crowded, the doctors and nurses were all busy. Even the Bahá'ís had their hands too full. Mr Sprague came down with typhoid fever. One of the Bahá'ís wrote to another in a
nearby town, to a shopkeeper named Kay-Khusraw, asking his help. Kay-Khusraw immediately closed his shop and made his will. Then he said goodbye to his family--forever in this mortal life--and went to Calcutta to nurse his American brother, whom he had never seen. Under his tender care, Mr Sprague recovered, but scarcely was he convalescent when the plague overtook Kay-Khusraw and within a day or two he died.
Mr Sprague told me the whole story. He knew that he must pay a visit to Kay-Khusraw's family, but he dreaded facing them, more than anything, he told me, that he had ever had to do. But when he entered their house, they greeted him with outstretched arms. "Do not feel sad," they said. "It was right that Kay-Khusraw should give his life for his brother. Besides, Mr Sprague, you are a great teacher and Kay-Khusraw was a humble shopkeeper. He could never have served the Cause as you can."
He touched my arm, smiling with the utmost sweetness.
"The Persian believers do not look at the dress, My child. They look at the heart."
10 July 1909
Our Lord has just called me into His room with Munavvar.
"I love you very dearly," He said. "That is the reason I am speaking so freely to you. To others I do not speak so freely. This is just for you.
"Do you know Miss __________? She came here and was full of love and aglow. Then she returned and married and her love for the Blessed Perfection grew cold. Now I want to tell you," (and He put His arms around me and held me close, and never shall I forget those protecting arms!) "I want to tell you not to marry this man until you have made him a believer. Because afterward it would be more difficult. First make him a believer. You can. Then he will be a good husband to you and will make you very happy. And he will be a good believer. I speak to you so freely because I love you so much. To others I say: 'Do as you like.' But to you I am more explicit and I say: Do not do this. You only see the beginning. I see the end. But do your best to make him a believer. You can. He will become one out of his love for you. He loves you now. The first love is very strong. After you were married it might not be so easy. Then he might influence you. I will pray for you and assist you and you will do this. But do not yield. Do not marry him, though it take years to make a believer."
Those strong arms of Love gathered me closer--my refuge, my shelter, my eternal protection. I know that whatever may come in the future I shall feel in the moment of test: those arms, those great tender, tender arms. No one knows what such a clasp is save those who have been in the arms of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
"It is because I love you so that I say this," He repeated. "When you return," He continued, "say to him: If you will go yourself to 'Akká, you will see that which is beyond conception. If you go you will find all your conceptions useless in comparison with the Real-
ity. If you go you will be given that for which you would not exchange all the kingdoms of the world."
"Shall I tell him this from Thee?"
"It is wiser not to--yet," with that wonderful witty smile. "If you see some softening you may."
"You know him?" I asked.
"I know everyone in the world."
"You love him?"
"Yes, I love him. As you are my daughter, I want him to be my son."
"Is he not the material martyrs are made of?"
"Make him so!" He smiled. "Am I not a kind Father, Juliet?"
"Thou art too kind. I am crushed beneath Thy love and generosity."
"You had a great test about this and you passed it well. Speak; speak," He said. "Tell Me all you wish to tell Me."
I began to speak of Percy Grant and of his lifework, carried on in the face of strong opposition and at the risk of his worldly career. But I stopped very soon, feeling that words were so futile. My Lord knew all.
When I left Him I kissed the hem of His garment.
How can such a pen as mine write of superhuman things?
On the morning of 10 July, our Lord Himself took us to the room where are kept the pictures of the Báb and the Blessed Perfection, Bahá'u'lláh.
The room is very long and bare. At the further end of it stand three easels and on each easel a picture. We approached those Sacred Pictures from afar. To the left, as we approached, was a miniature of the Báb; to the right a miniature of the Blessed Perfection and, in the centre, a photograph of the Blessed Perfection.
The instant I saw that photograph I fell with my face to the ground, trembling and sobbing. It was as though the Picture were alive and Something had rushed from it and struck me a blow between the eyes. I cannot explain it. The power and the majesty were terrific.
Soon the Master touched me on the shoulder. (I had already risen to my knees and was staring at the photograph.) He drew my attention to the miniature of Bahá'u'lláh. "This is a painting. This will interest you, Juliet."
But my eyes were fastened on the photograph. I could not remove them, except for a brief moment, from that omnipotent Face.
Yet--dare I say it? I love the Face of 'Abdu'l-Bahá more. When I ventured to tell Munavvar this, she answered, "But if you could have seen Bahá'u'lláh! That photograph is not good. If you could have seen His eyes!"
(Footnote. Brumana. Ríyád Effendi has just told me a wonderful thing which explains this feeling of mine. He told it to me in answer to my guilty question: "Why do I love the Face of the Master more than the Face of Bahá'u'lláh?" In a hadíth, he said, there is a marvellous prophecy: that in the Latter Days God would reveal Himself as God; would come, announcing, "I am God." Then, when this proved too strong for the hearts of the people, He would change His Manifestation and appear once again in the Form of "The Servant", that all men might draw nearer to Him.)
He leaned forward and looked at me with great solemnity. "That was a true vision," He said, "and you will see it again."
Our Lord: "The Bahá'í news from Persia is very good. I cannot tell it to you--it is not permissible; but it could not be better. The news of the country is bad, but that of the Cause is exceedingly good. This is glad-tidings to be given to you.
"Today you had a visit to the Blessed Báb and the Blessed Perfection."
Mr Kinney: "I shall always see the Face of the Blessed Perfection."
Our Lord: "At the time of prayer one must hold in one's mind some object. Then he must turn his face and direct his mind to this picture. But whatever form is produced in the mind is imagination, that is, one's own conception. There is no connection between it and the Reality. Therefore people worship imagination. They think of an imaginary God. That of which they think is not God. God can never be comprehended. That which man thinks is comprehended by man, but God is comprehensive. All that comes under comprehension is outside God. The Reality of Divinity is holy, lofty, sacred beyond comprehension. All nations worship their images of a god and these imaginary gods are superstitious phantoms. Hence they are worshipers of superstitions.
"Therefore the Objective Point of all is the Manifestation of God. And whosoever directs his attention in prayer to that Focal Point has directed his attention, verily, to God.
"At the time of His Holiness Jesus Christ the Jews for-
sook Him, and would imagine a phantasmal god and would adore that!" (The Master laughed, continuing to laugh heartily.) "On a certain occasion the famous heroine of this Movement, Qurratu'l-'Ayn, chanced to meet a devout Muslim who was praying and questioned him thus: 'To whom art thou praying, may I ask?' 'I am praying to the very Essence of Mercy and the Reality of Divinity.' And she, smiling, said: 'Oh, away with your god! Away with him! Your god is an imagination! Come, and I will show you the God of today! It is the Báb! Your god is a phantom, while this is a certainty. Can the Sea be contained in a little glass?'"
In reply to a question asked by Alice regarding the personality of the Manifestation: "The Blessed Perfection does not mean His body. This body is now interred in the Holy Tomb. When we say the Blessed Perfection we mean the Reality, and the Reality of the Blessed Perfection is living and everlasting.
"Just as in the time of Christ: the disciples were agitated when they saw the body of Jesus crucified. Then Mary Magdalene came to them and said: 'Why are you agitated?' 'Because,' they replied, 'Jesus has been crucified.' 'Oh,' she said, 'that was the body of Jesus, but the Reality of Jesus is living and eternal. It is not subject to corruption.' And now so it is with the Blessed Perfection.
"When I pray I turn My thoughts and My face to the Blessed Perfection."
10 July 1909
He sent for Alice and me to come to His room to have tea.
First He gave us a beautiful talk about devotion and
love toward each other. "If you show this love toward one another," He said, "it is just as though you showed it toward Me." He spoke of the time of Christ, how no one paid any attention to Him while He was on earth; how He was even spit upon in the streets, yet now His disciples, and also the women who followed Him, are greatly glorified.
"In the time to come," He said, "queens will wish they had been the maid of Juliet."
Then He sent Alice away to dress for a visit to the Ridván, where, a little later, we were all going--but detained Munavvar and me.
"Remember, Juliet," He said, "one hair of Mason Remey's head, or any other believer's, is worth all the unbelievers in the world."
"Dear Lord," I replied, "I am ready at this moment to do what You spoke of the other night."
"No, it is not for that I say so; you have passed that. But I want you to remember that it is a fact. If all the kings and queens of the world were to come and stand outside My window and offer Me everything in exchange for you, I would say: 'I should rather keep Juliet.' You must be like that. A believer at first is like a lamp, then like a star, then like the moon. And in the Kingdom of God like the sun. An unbeliever is first like a lamp; then he becomes extinct! And that is the difference between them! But you will make the man you love a believer.
"Only," He added, "wait till you do."
He went out of the room. Munavvar and I remained, sitting on His bed, talking. Almost at once He returned to us.
"You must read Miss Barney's book and Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl's a great deal, Juliet. I want you to progress spiritually and to be a real daughter of the Kingdom. I want you to be entirely severed from the world."
Later, after our heavenly evening in the Ridván, He came to the door of my room, while I was talking with Munavvar Khánum. She told Him what I had been saying, that I longed to stay forever and ever, but knew that, even if I could, it would be selfish; but I felt like a crying baby when I thought of going away.
"If you should stay forever," He laughed, "what would you do with the one you left behind?"
"I forget many things in the Light of Thy Face! I am inconstant to the world here!"
"Yes, if you should remain, you would forget many things."
On the morning of 10 July, a blessed experience which I had forgotten to record. Our Lord called Carrie, Alice, and me separately to His room and gave us the priceless privilege of seeing Him dictate Tablets.
I sat on the divan, my eyes upon His white-robed figure--I could scarcely raise them to His Face--as He paced up and down that small room with His strong tread. Never had the room seemed so small; never had He appeared so mighty! A lion in a cage? Ah no! That room contain Him? Why? As I felt that great dominant Force, that Energy of God, I knew that the earth itself could not contain Him. Nor yet the universe. No! While the body, charged with a Power I have seen in no human being, restless with the Force that so animated it, strode up and down, up and down in that tiny room, pausing
sometimes before the window, below which the sea beat against the double seawall, I knew that the Spirit was free as the Essence itself, brooding over regions far distant, looking deep into hearts at the uttermost ends of the earth, consoling their secret sorrows, answering the whispers of far-off minds.
Often in that walk back and forth He would give me a long, grave glance. Once He smiled at me.
At last He called Alice and Carrie back and, taking a seat Himself on the divan while we gathered around Him on the floor--I in my place on His left, at His feet--He said: "Letters shower as rain on me. I write the answers and they are not finished!
"Many come that are difficult to read. Here is one that cannot be read at all. The man could not write. But he wished to supplicate to His Master, so he simply made marks."
Alice interrupted with: "May I pray to You?"
Our Lord: "To pray is to supplicate to God."
Dear Carrie had just had a cruel experience with her father, which, however, she had not mentioned to the Master. Taking a supplication in His hand, He began to dictate, saying: "This is the answer to the letter of a person whose father drove him out because he was a Bahá'í. But God granted him a high position. His work has become very good. His father does not even speak to him, while the son is very kind to the father.
"This," the Master said to Carrie, "is for you too:
"Though thy father was not kind to thee, praise be to God thou hast a Heavenly Father. If the earthly father forsook you, it was the cause of your obtaining the
mercy and kindness of the Spiritual Father. All that father can do is to be kind to you, but this Father confers upon you eternal life. That father will become angry for the slightest disobedience, but this Father forgives the sins, overlooks the faults and deals with Bounty and Favour. Thank thou God thou hast such a Heavenly Father. And I hope thou mayest attain, through the Divine Mercy, to the greatest Bounty.
"I remember thee; do not be sorrowful. And I am in communion with thee in every world; grieve not.
"I hope thou mayest become, through the Favour and Bounty of the Blessed Perfection, the means of guiding others, and in the community of the world light a candle whose effulgence shall be everlasting."
We all held our breath, for Carrie's father had driven her out because she was a Bahá'í. Carrie's father would "not even speak to her".
10 July 1909
"It is very good to be able to meet Mr Sprague here, directly from Persia. He has been in Persia one year. He knows about the believers very well there. And he enjoyed it very much, because the believers there are very beautiful. They are in the utmost condition of sincerity. "Last night I did not eat at all. I only took a little bread and cheese. Therefore I could not sleep. So I passed the hours in prayer and communion, walking back and forth."
Munavvar, Carrie, and I were sitting in the Holy Mother's room. My thoughts had strayed to the Master's promise for Percy Grant. Suddenly the door opened, and His luminous Face appeared in the sunlight against the white wall. He turned upon me His eyes, overflowing with infinite sweetness, overflowing with the Holy Love of God. He kept His eyes fixed on me until I could bear no longer that Divine Love, and, to my shame, I glanced away. But I pray now that always, when my thoughts stray to earthly things, His Face will come to me--like this.
Later He sent for me. I sat close at His feet. Folding my hands in His, looking down with that smile of God, He said: "How many days have you been here?"
I knew what was coming!
"How many days have you been here? Nine is the utmost. How many days have you stayed?"
"Twelve, my Lord."
"Three more than the utmost!" Then He told me we must go tomorrow.
Struggling to keep back my tears, I said: "I shall never leave Thee!"
"No. I shall always be with you in spirit and in heart. You will always be present with Me. I want you to be happy."
"I can never be unhappy again."
"Those who come to 'Akká in the spirit never can be unhappy again."
"All I want is to serve Thee. Nothing could make me unhappy but to fail."
"You must never forget what you have heard here. You must never forget My words to you."
"Do you think I could, my Lord?"
"No, I know very well that you could not." (The divinity of His Face was almost more than my eyes could bear.) "I want you to live more and more for the Spirit. I want you to forget everything save God. Make your meetings as beautiful as you can. They are beautiful; they are warm, for you have love; but they must progress in spirit. Read the Tablets first. Read the recent Tablets and the news of 'Akká. Then speak, yourself, for the strangers who may be there. I want you to give strong, logical proofs. Read Miss Barney's book. It will help you. Others also can speak."
11 July 1909
A strange thing had happened that morning. Alice has always insisted on calling our Lord "Jesus Christ", and gives the Message in this way, which is very bad for the Cause. Some of the Persian believers had heard of this.
How it happened that they gathered in the Kinneys' room I don't know. All I know is that suddenly Carrie ran into our room, saying: "Come, girls, hurry, something important is going on."
We followed her into her room, to see Mírzá Munír and his brother Amín and 'Ináyatu'lláh, a young Persian whose name I don't know, and Mr Kinney all sitting around looking very grave. As I took a seat, Mr Kinney whispered to me: "We want to thresh this thing out--about the Master's Station. These Persian brothers may convince Alice when we cannot."
"I don't believe," I whispered back, "that the Master would want us to do that. He will straighten it out Himself."
Scarcely had I spoken the words when our Lord sent for Alice. As far as I know He said nothing to her on the subject.
At luncheon He gave this surpassingly wonderful talk. His Power, as He spoke, I shall never forget. It flashed from Him. His translator could hardly keep up with Him. In the midst of His talk, He rose and paced the small room from door to barred window with that caged-lion motion, sometimes pausing at the window with its clear outlook of sea--ah, and its outlook to Him of Heaven and the hosts of Heaven!--then turning, resuming the strong, rapid stride, letting flow again the torrent of His utterance.
He wore a black 'abá that day with His flowing white robes and white turban. The picture is vivid to me still and will ever be: the strong, black-and-white-clad Figure, the luminous, ivory-coloured Face against the white wall.
"In the days of the former Manifestations of God no addresses were given for the kings and no clear warnings were given. If you read the whole of the Gospel you will be unable to find a single warning to a crowned head. No prophetic statements were made. No prophecies of the future were given except in a general way, as, for example, the prophecies you will find in Isaiah concerning the destruction of Babylon and the abomination of desolation in Jerusalem. However, there is not one of the kind addressed to an individual. But the Blessed Perfection addressed all the kings. When 'Abdu'l-'Azíz, the former sultan of Turkey, was at the climax of his sovereignty, He, Bahá'u'lláh, arraigned him severely and clearly foretold the upheaval of his kingdom on account of the oppression he had committed. So this was an address to a distinguished and well-known man. It is not an address to the general nation.
"Today the greatest nations of the world are Great Britain and America. It is easy for a man to prophesy that the British Empire may some day undergo a reverse change, that is to say, become disturbed, revolutionized, and utterly destroyed. This is also applicable to France, to Germany, to America--to any of the nations of the world. For every nation has its day of degradation. Consider how greatly developed was the Roman Empire and what became its final condition. Likewise Greece, how she rose and finally also was degraded.
"The purpose is this: there is no nation exempt from this natural condition. Namely, it shall have its rise and again it shall have its fall. It shall have its climax and again its abyss.
"The purport is this: A man can easily address a nation thus: 'O ye people, verily the day shall come when you shall find yourselves in degradation!' For example, in Isaiah there is a prophetic reference to Tyre, also to Babylon, saying: 'O thou Tyre! O thou Babylon! Boast ye not! The day will come when ye shall find yourselves abased, destroyed, and scattered.' His Holiness, Isaiah, prophesied this inspirationally. But any man can thus prophecy. For instance, a person can easily address Paris and say: 'O thou Paris! Be not proud of thy glory, for verily the day shall come when thou shalt be brought low.'
"These prophecies of Isaiah were fulfilled two thousand years after they were uttered, but the Blessed Perfection addressed the very person of 'Abdu'l-'Azíz when he was in the utmost power. He likewise addressed Napoleon III in person. He said, 'I addressed thee and thou didst not accept. The Lord Almighty will take away thy sovereignty from thee.' And exactly as it was prophesied it happened.
"When the Blessed Perfection was a prisoner of 'Abdu'l-'Azíz, when He was in the dungeon of his majesty, He prophesied his downfall and arraigned him severely.
"The revolution now rampant in Persia was foretold by the Blessed Perfection forty years ago. Read the Book of the Kings. It is also to be found in the Book of Laws. And this prophecy was made when Tihrán was in the utmost quietude and the government of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh was well established. It is clearly stated thus: 'O Tihrán! There will be a great upheaval in thee. The government will be affected and the disturbance will affect all Persia.' This was prophesied forty years ago. It was
printed thirty years ago and is to be found in the Book of Kings, the Súriy-i-Haykal and the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
"This prophecy, so clearly and evidently stated, printed and published, is well-known among the people. Therefore, when the Constitution was granted in Persia, the mullás who took the Royalist side proclaimed from the pulpit that 'whosoever accepted the Constitution had necessarily accepted the Bahá'í Religion, because the Head of this Religion, His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh, had prophesied this in His Book, and the Bahá'ís are agitators and promoters of Constitutionalism. They have brought about the Constitution in order to fulfil the prophecy made by their Chief. Therefore, beware, beware lest ye accept it!'
"But whatever I write is inspired by the Blessed Perfection, is the confirmation of the Blessed Perfection. Mr Sprague was in Tihrán and knows; is informed. I have prophesied all these occurrences clearly, without need of interpretation, not in one letter or two, but in numerous letters. When the divines overcame the Sháh, the Sháh commanded the Prime Minister to go to Qum (?) and bring the mullás to Tihrán. When the divines, with the Prime Minister, arrived in Tihrán, the people showed them the highest respect and for three nights illuminated the whole city of Tihrán as a welcome to them. They held the reins of the parliament in their hands. They began to disagree with the Sháh. A member of the parliament threw a bomb at him. The
Sháh was brought so low and made so powerless that he was incapable of governing the assembly. However, he summoned the agitators from among the divines. The 'Ulamá refused to deliver the perpetrators of the act and said that they did not recognize the Sháh.
"At that time I wrote letters to nearly all the cities of Persia, to Tihrán, to Rasht, Tabríz, Qazvín, Khurásán, and many other cities. I clearly prophesied this condition. You may see the letters. Mr Sprague knows about them. He has seen them.
"The Muslim clergy had held the forces at work so completely that the Bahá'ís everywhere were extremely alarmed because of the apparent clerical supremacy. Notably the Bahá'í teachers of Tihrán, especially Mullá 'Alí-Akbar, sent me a letter which I have now, in which is this statement: 'When the clergy of Persia were dispossessed of any power or political influence they persecuted us unmercifully. Now that they have attained this apparent supremacy what will they do to us? How great will be our persecutions and ordeals!' In response I wrote: 'Know ye of a certainty that this seeming influence and power will vanish.' It was clearly stated in the most perspicuous terms, and Mr Sprague can testify to the validity of this. 'The result of this influence is the greatest degradation and loss. This supremacy will prove the greatest defeat.' In that very letter I played on these words 'stable' and 'ultimate,' which in Persian are the same, with the slight difference of a dot. 'They have held to this stable (stability?) but they have not seen the ultimate of things. They will become so defeated and conquered that their sighs, moans, and lamentations will reach the very heavens.
This is a summary. You may find it in detail in My letters. Even so it was that suddenly the page turned. Their foundation was razed.
"But I did not write this of Myself. Nay, the confirmation of Bahá'u'lláh wrote this! Of Myself I did not write it.
"Therefore the beloved of God must refer to Me only as 'Abdu'l-Bahá. This is My glorious crown! This is My eternal sovereignty! This is My everlasting life! Whosoever questions Me concerning My Name, My answer is: 'ABDU'L-BAHá!
"And thus it ends!"
When our Lord had gone from the room--like lightning--Mr Sprague spoke. He said that when the Tablets came from 'Abdu'l-Bahá it was a great test to some of the believers. They did not see how these Tablets could be fulfilled literally, because the Sháh was so low that everyone laughed when he was mentioned. No one had any respect for him. And the mullás were so powerful and the Constitution so well established it seemed against all reason and absolutely impossible that the situation should be reversed.
11 July 1909
Our Lord sent Túbá Khánum for me and together we entered the beloved room. Often as I paused outside to
take off my shoes, He would call: "Come, come, Juliet."
Túbá and I sat on the floor at His feet.
"You are going tomorrow?"
Struggling with my tears, conquering them, smiling at Him: "Yes, my Lord."
"This is your last day?"
"Yes, my Lord."
As I threw back my head to look up at His wondrous Face, my veil slipped off.
"I will fix it for you Myself," He said tenderly. "I will fix it nicely My daughter." And with His electrifying fingers He arranged it all around my face, crossed it at the throat and spread it on my shoulders.
My mind flashed back to a dream--I had it in Paris eight years ago. In this dream I stood in the air with 'Abdu'l-Bahá, opposite Him in the air. His eyes were plunging LOVE through my eyes into my heart, the unimaginable Love of God, a new Revelation to my heart. Then He drew from the breast of His robe a white veil, laying it upon my head, arranging it around my face, crossing it on my shoulders with fingers that charged me with his life--just as He was doing now.
Now, sitting in His room in 'Akká, sitting on the floor at His feet, raising my eyes to that incomparable Face, so beautiful in age, I saw behind its lines the exact structure of the young Face--the never-to-be-forgotten Face of my dream, when I had met Him in the air.
"My Lord," I cried. "Once in a dream you put a white veil on my head."
"That I did long ago," He answered.
After a pause He said, so gently: "Tomorrow it will be goodbye."
"Yes, my Lord."
"When can you come again?" Ah, what a sudden sunbeam!
"My Lord, how can I tell? Thou knowest. And I should like to say this: though dear Laura Barney was Thine instrument, it was through Thee that the doors were opened for me to come home to Thee. So, when Thou wishest me to come again, I know that again Thou wilt open the doors for me."
Then happened something of which I must not speak, only--He opened the doors.
"Come in the spring," He said. My King! "What do you want to ask? Speak."
"Only for the strength to serve Thee. I have realized the meaning of this prayer: 'Except Thy concealing veil cover us and Thy Preservation and Protection favour us, this weak soul has not enough power to employ herself in Thy service and this indigent one not enough wealth to present a rich appearance.'"
"I am glad you see this now."
"I pray that I may give my life--that I may suffer--and sacrifice everything in Thy Path."
"You are suffering now."
"But I pray to sacrifice all in Thy Path."
"I would sacrifice everything for unity in New York."
"You will bring about unity in New York."
"Oh, how can I thank Thee, my Lord! I can do nothing for Thee without Thee!"
Then I begged that I might see His Face in vision.
Once during this interview, as twice before, He had looked for a long, long time deep into my eyes, His face inscrutable.
He had said that I was suffering. I knew it. Never had I been so conscious that my body was a dark prison. My soul yearned toward Him and beat against bars. There He sat, overflowing with Divine Love, tender past all comprehension--past expressing in human language--the Centre, the Focus of that Love which holds all worlds in its mighty grasp. And I, an atom at His feet, the worthless recipient of such Love, not only was utterly impotent to return it (the word "return" is sacrilege!), but could not even realize That for which my poor heart was breaking with gratitude. Oh to be grateful enough! my soul cried.
To be blind in the Presence of the Sun; that is not what I mean. To be a blind beggar, loving my so munificent King to Whom I owed life, love, all--to whom I owed even this burning love for Him--that is nearer. No where could I find a gift for Him, for Whom my heart longed to expand its very lifeblood--nowhere could I find a gift for Him that He had not first given me!
"Think of Me often," He said. "Think often of what I have said to you. Appreciate these moments. Think! If you were living in the time of Christ, if you were Mary Magdalene at His feet."
Covered with shame, I made an effort to realize this. All I seemed able to realize was a consuming love for that wondrous Face. What it was my poor mind could not grasp.
"Some day I shall realize?"
"My Lord, I no longer look forward to life, but to service for a few years and to meeting my Lord in His Eternal Kingdom."
"This is as it should be. We will be together forever in the Spiritual World. But My Spirit will be with you here always--My daughter."
Lifting the hem of His garment, I pressed a long kiss upon it.
11 July 1909, 9:30 p.m.
That night our Lord gave a feast for the Persian and the American believers. It was held in the rear wing of this great old house, in a beautiful long hall with many arched windows and many palms.
Seventy Persian believers had come, marching across the stony mountains--a procession of seventy, chanting as they marched. The had come on foot, had walked for three months, because to their reverent spirits there was no other way humble enough to approach the Presence of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Among them were Jewish Bahá'ís, Muslim Bahá'ís, Zoroastrian Bahá'ís, all united in the passionate belief that the Promised One of his own Sacred Book had at last appeared on earth.
And when all were seated at the long table, our Lord became our Servant. Passing the platters around the table, course after course, He manifested His Servitude, while the seventy pilgrims from Persia sat with bowed heads, silent in the most profound humility. In that Feast, it seemed to me, I was having a foretaste of the future, when all mankind will be one in devotion to the Greatest Name.
When it was over and all had partaken of the food served by the hand of the Servant of God, the aspect of the Master changed. Now He paced up and down the full length of the table, His tread the tread of a conquering King, His white robe, His white hair, His white turban in the soft candlelight enhancing His ethereally. Ah, like the Christ He was then! In that soft candlelight, His Face was eternally young. Serenity shone on the brow of the Prince of Peace. He was like silver!
"Tonight," He began, "is a beautiful night because, al-hamdul'illáh (Praise be to God!), the believers of America and Persia are joined here at one table. This is one of the great fruits of the Word of God.
"In the future the East and the West shall become one. They shall be united. I have said in My letters that the East and the West will become as two lovers. That each is beloved of the other. That the East and the West will take one another in their arms will give one another their hands, each as the beloved of the other, each embracing the other.
"The unity of mankind will be the beginning of the radiation of this Light. Our gathering tonight around such a table is one of the evidences of the human unity. Generally speaking, such a gathering would have been impossible, that is, that Persian and Americans should sit around the same table. Praise be to God, such things have taken place through the power of the Word of God.
"Verily, since the early days of childhood I have devoted Myself to the Word of the Beauty of Bahá'u'lláh, and have forborne every difficulty and calamity, among these imprisonment for all My life, to lay the foundation of the oneness of mankind.
"All the different sects of the world hate and antagonize one another. Were it possible, they would kill one another. Each of these sects pretends that it is established and is acting according to the law of God. Exactly the opposite is the fact. All the Divine Words lead the people to unity, because they were spoken for life, not for death! And the Divine Teaching is a Power that attracts the hearts, through which all the different sects and nations will be attracted.
"You find that the different sects are in hatred toward one another. But you should be lovers of all sects and nations and all the different parties of people. You should love them and consider them as of your own families. Do not look upon them as separated from you. Bahá'u'lláh has said that all of you are as branches of one tree, leaves of one branch. That is, all the people are of one tree. Therefore, all things that cause opposition should be removed. Consider everyone, of every nation or sect, as one of your own family. Deal with them with love and harmony. Never be the cause of any sorrow to anyone, neither the cause of any embarrassment. Bear all sorrow, for yourselves and to please all hearts, even the hearts of your enemies. Be true to all the different parties or nations and act toward them with faithfulness. Take care of the properties of others more than you do of your own, and never do any harm to those who show animosity. If you do thus, you are a true Bahá'í. Be submissive and try to control self. Follow the ordinances of God--do not follow your own desire--that ye may be ready always to be helped by God.
"Be sure that the different nations will curse you, blame you, bear animosity toward you and harm you.
They will even act in such a way as to shed your blood. Beware not to cause any sorrow to them, not even to injure the feelings of anyone with a word. Do nothing to cause any sorrow within any heart. These are the qualities of the Bahá'í people."
He left the room. Our Sun set. Oh, how intensely, intensely I love Him! I can scarcely see for my tears at the memory of that silver, shining Figure! May my life be His sacrifice!
After His Words I cannot write the words of others! Dear Mírzá Haydar-'Alí, "the Angel", spoke. Then one of the Persian pilgrims recited a stirring chant which he and his companions had sung as they journeyed from Persia to 'Akká, the refrain of which ran thus:
Praise be to thee, powerful
Hand of 'Abdu'l-Bahá!
May my life be a sacrifice to the mighty
Hand of 'Abdu'l-Bahá!
Munavvar and I went to the housetop alone that night and, so tired were we, we slept under the stars till our Lord came and woke us.
To me He said: "Your heart is Mine. Your eyes are Mine. Your brow is Mine. Your lips are Mine, for speech. Today you are My new creation. Say: Thank God."
"Say: Thank You."
"Ah ... 'Abdu'l-Bahá," He repeated.
He put a ruby ring on my finger.
12 July 1909
She anguish of parting. Blind with tears, I kissed His door. No one saw me. Blind with tears, I descended the dear stairway, my ladder to God, the irregular steps of it worn by His feet. Each step in the beloved court, as I crossed it for the last time, was unspeakably precious to me.
In the passage leading from that Heavenly Shelter to the outer world, I met Mírzá Haydar-'Alí.
"I shall await your call from America," he said.
My voiced was choked. I could scarcely answer. To dear Husayn Rúhí I could only nod.
My Lord was in His garden, but He left it, came forward, and hurriedly passing our carriage as He turned toward the house, said "Goodbye"--smiling in the sunlight. The pure profile, the grandeur of His head, a sweep of His shining robe--and He was gone!
I am glad I have written to the very end in this book. I am glad that no words will follow His, that no figure will pass through these pages after His Sacred Figure has so passed out.
When Mary had anointed the feet of her Lord with the precious ointment she broke the alabaster box.
7 August 1909
Permission that has just come from my Beloved, from my Lord and King to return to Haifa! This Tablet is in His own hand. We sail tomorrow!
Miss Juliet Thompson. Upon her be Bahá'u'lláh.
HE IS GOD!
"O thou who art attracted by the fragrances of the Love of God! I pray for thee and seek help and assistance from the favours of God. ... Come to Haifa. Go directly to the Household, or to Mírzá 'Ináyat'ulláh's house ...
(signed) Abdul Baha Abbas
13 August 1909
Oh day of days! This morning I gave up my will; I silenced my heart's last murmur. Three days I had waited on the rack to hear from my Lord at 'Akká hoping--not daring to pray for it--yet longing unutterably to be summoned. But no word came. Then, after I had prayed at dawn, I felt a wonderful peace. When all things are left to His Will, I said to myself, the design takes perfect shape. Beauty undreamed of blossoms upon our days. So, at noon, while Farah-Angíz was reading English with me, suddenly Khánum Díyá ran into the room crying: "Juliet, our Lord!"
I flew to the door and saw, at the door of Madame Jackson's house, where the Family lives in Haifa, the Master's carriage. With the Great Afnán, the only companion of the Báb now living, my Lord was entering the House.
I went to my, room and put on fresh clothes. Then I came out and sat on the steps, riveting my eyes on the House that enclosed Him. At least in my love I may be like Mary who sat at the feet of the Christ of her day; and the little house of 'Ináyatu'lláh, so associated with our Lord, might be the house in Bethany: flat-roofed, low, white, with its arched doorway and its two cypress trees. So I sat, looking, longing, loving, till He sent for me.
He was sitting in His cool, airy room, in a large chair. How He smiled as I entered and knelt! Taking my place at His feet, I kissed the hem of His garment. When I
looked up, once more, into His magical Face, I received a new revelation. Never had it looked so beautiful, beautiful to me! He gazed down at me with the smile of Divinity.
"How are you?"
"So happy. Oh, so happy! How can I ever thank Thee for Thy Love and Protection? May I pour out my life in servitude to Thee!"
"I have come from 'Akká," He said, "especially to see you." He talked smilingly for a while about my unexpected return. "No pilgrim," He said, "has come back after such a few days. But you have."
But again He said: "How long were you in Brumana?"
"Years, my Lord!"
And He answered: "Yes, that is true!"
"I learned much in Brumana, my Lord."
"And when you return to America you will see greater results of your visit. I knew you would not like it in Brumana." He continued, "I knew you would have some trouble there, but you had to go somewhere for the vacation and I knew that Haifa would not be well."
"Did you hear my heart crying to You, my Lord?"
"Yes, I heard. I knew."
It is impossible to imagine the consolation of those words, so often repeated: "I know; I knew."
"When you go back to America, you must hide all that has happened. You must say nothing about it. Never speak of it to anyone."
"No; oh, no!"
He asked about Carrie Kinney, what she was doing in Brumana; and on my saying, "Many good works," 'Ináyatu'lláh explained, told our Lord of our helping Dr Manasseh with the poor and sick. We had nursed till she died a poor girl who had been fatally, horribly burned and had assisted the doctor at a number of operations performed without anaesthetics.
"Bravo! Bravo!" said our Lord.
He then spoke of X, said He had sent for me for my sake. Not that He did not forgive, for He always forgave. Not that He did not feel sorry for her. He would never have spoken of it but for my sake. He always forgave. But He wanted to save me from an ordeal. Then He told me of things she had done in Cairo, by which she had broken her promise to Him, and mentioned the unpaid bill of Nassar in Haifa.
"My Lord," I said, "there is one thing I want to supplicate for. For the sake of the Cause, may I pay that bill?"
At first He refused to let me, but later consented. Then He looked at me with divine sweetness and said in a voice like a breeze from Heaven: "I love you."
"Oh my Lord," I cried, "make me good; make me good!"
Still looking me at with that sweetness, with that smile of magical charm, He answered: "I will make you good."
Then He sent for Rúhá Khánum. She came in and sat on the floor beside me.
"Your sister," He said. "Your sister! Do you love her?"
When He called His own daughter my sister, tears sprang to my eyes.
"Do I love you, Rúhá Khánum?" I asked.
He spoke much more about X, said when I saw her I must always be kind to her and give her money if I could, but that I must not travel with her or associate with her as a companion. I must only associate with those who would help me to become spiritual, who would help me to sever myself from everything save God.
"I was trying to run before I could walk!" I smiled. "I thought I could help her, when all the time I needed to be helped myself."
He laughed in that wonderful way, humorous beyond human humour, with a wealth of sweetness in it.
"Even Christ cannot help some people," He said. "How can you expect to?"
But He said He felt very sorry for X. He forgave her and He would pray for her.
"Did she say she was going to America?" He asked. "She cannot go to America! If it were not for you and for Mrs Maxwell, who got her out of America, she would have been arrested. And you might have gotten into trouble there, too, with the government--ah?--if it had not been for the protection of God. God protected you because your purpose was good. I know many things!"
Just at that moment someone came to the door. He told me to remain in the house and that He would send for me later. So I stayed in the great white hall with its slender columns, looking out toward the blue Bay of Haifa, though no longer did I need to look toward 'Akká, the casket that had lost its Pearl--its Pearl of great price. And at last He sent for me.
I went into His room to find Him on the divan, having tea with His sister, the Greatest Holy Leaf, His half sister, Furugh Khánum, and Rúhá.
The majestic profile, touched with the Divine sweetness, which, as I sat on the floor at His left, I saw against the light of the window, is graven forever on my memory. The sweep of its line; the compassion in the forehead and lift of the brow; the wonderful pure, strong line of the large aquiline nose; the delicacy of the upper lip and mouth--that strong, strangely sweet mouth with the full, but straight lips; the sensitive modelling of cheek and temple; the perfect ear.
Then began a play of humour.
"How much money did Miss X take from you?"
"Not very much, my Lord."
"How much? I know she took it, but I just wanted you to confess! How much?"
"Too little to mention. And through her I have received a great blessing--the greatest of all my joys--this day with You."
He laughed. "And now you are going to pay her debts! If you are as wealthy as that, why don't you pay My debts? That would be something to do!"
We all laughed at this.
"You cannot," He continued after a moment, "love May Maxwell enough, or Mrs Brittingham.
"Or," He added, "Mrs Kinney. For I love them, and to associate with them will cause you to advance spiritually."
15 August 1909
That was a happy visit to Him--may my soul forever be His sacrifice! In the evening again He sent for me.
He was sitting on Rúhá's balcony in the starlight. Rúhá and I sat behind Him in the room on the window seat. As He spoke to us He turned His profile. Once He turned almost fully around and, with a kingly glance, said: "I love you."
"My Lord!" I said softly. Then in a moment, gaining courage, leaning through the window: "I love You. I love You, my Lord!"
The royal look changed to divine sweetness. He smiled.
With Rúhá translating, he began to talk to me:
"As Christ said, the Word is like seed. Some seed falls upon barren ground and withers; some upon stony ground. This springs up, but as the soil is not deep, it too soon dies. Some upon ground full of weeds which choke it. These weeds are like the ideas that fill the minds of some men. They hear the Word, but their own ideas choke it. But some seed falls upon good ground and brings forth a hundred-fold. I hope that the seed of My word will bring forth a hundred-fold in you. Now it is just beginning to sprout. This is just the beginning. Now I am blowing the Breath of Life into you. If you adhere to My Words, if you obey My Commands, you will become entirely illumined. Some visit 'Akká who have no depth, no capacity. They go back and deny, like ..."
"Thou alone knowest the hearts," I said, for a moment terribly afraid. "Could I ever be like her?"
"No, I did not mean to compare your heart with hers. Your heart and hers could not be compared. In yours is a great love. From the beginning she had no love. This is the balance: the Love of God. By this balance you may
know the people: if they love God." After a silence, "Look at Queen Victoria. She was the greatest woman in the world--and what do you hear of her now? But the maidservants of God are like stars in the horizon. This you cannot see today, but in the future it will become clear. Consider the disciples of Christ."
Looking up at the stars, far up into the heavens, He added, "The maidservants of God in the other world are like stars. They shine and radiate.
"Queen Victoria was a great woman, but what do you hear of her now, after these few years! But upon your head God has placed an eternal crown. He has bestowed upon you eternal sovereignty. He has given you eternal life!"
"Dear Lord, if I were to sink into oblivion, if I were to be forgotten like Victoria, still I should want to pour out my life as a sacrifice to Thee for love of Thee."
"It is not the name I meant. It is not for that. I know you do not want to serve for that. I meant the results. Queen Victoria has no results. But see the results of Christ's disciples!"
"The Kingdom of God," He continued, "is like a market. Some go home poor at the end of the day, having lost what they had. Others come and gain great wealth. Now you have come to the marketplace ..."
He was interrupted just then and, after the interruption, began another theme: "From what city are you? From what city are We? You are from the West; We are from the East; yet you are Our intimate friend. You are the sister of Rúhá Khánum. I am kinder to you than your own father. You are dearer to me than a daughter. What greater proof do we need of the power of the Word of
God, that the East and the West are united in such a way?
"Now if you want to please Me," He said suddenly, "you must make Mrs B. happy. That is the next thing you have to do! You must do everything you can to please her. You must make her so pleased with you that she will write Me a letter about you! Try as hard to make her happy as you tried with Miss X," he laughed. "Your friendships must not be for personal reasons, but you must love the people because they are beloved my Me. But it is easier to please God than to please people! I must go now," He said. "Would you like to come and have supper with Me?"
I followed Him to Madame Jackson's house. There He called me into the reception room and motioned to me to sit beside Him.
Then, one by one, with bowed heads, with hands crossed on their breasts, the Persian believers entered. I was the only woman in the room. He invited each one of them to sit near Him, but their reverence would not allow it. I felt mortally ashamed of myself for my own temerity--and yet it had only been obedience--and I had left one chair between! They sat, their hands still crossed on their breasts and with lowered eyes, while our Lord, the majestic Centre of the Covenant, with His matchless simplicity, talked to them--laughing, smiling, evidently seeking to put them at their ease and make them more natural with Him--yet never for a moment losing His sublime majesty.
Ah, such a King the world has never seen! When He walks it is with the step of the Conqueror of the world. He seems treading earth in triumph, the whole earth
under His feet. Yes, "the earth is His footstool"--no more! The ring of His step I shall never forget. It will ring through my life!
That afternoon I had watched Him ascend Mount Carmel. As I stood in the arched doorway of the little Palestine house between the two cypress trees, watching His carriage start from His house filled with pilgrims, He, a Monarch, in the centre. He looked long and intently at me. Later, while I still stood gazing up the hillside toward the Tomb of the Báb, I saw Him appear at the door of the Tomb, luminous in His white robes with the sunlight full upon Him: like the resurrected Christ!
"How beautiful upon the Mountain are the feet of Him Who bringeth glad-tidings, Who publisheth Peace."
Though the others had not raised their eyes, my love (and my ignorance) had given me courage and I had been feasting mine on Him.
"I see!" was my presumptuous answer. Oh, I know I am crude and an infant in such things, or I too would have kept my eyes lowered.
At the table that night He talked to Miss Gamblin, a young Protestant ex-missionary who is acting as govern-
ess now to the children of the Holy Household--a poor girl resisting with all her little strength the great sweetness and wisdom and love of the Lord. It was wonderful to hear Him talk with her. There was something eager in His kindness, a beauty of compassion, which she could not see as compassion.
"Miss Gamblin! Which do you like better: Haifa or 'Akká?"
"Haifa, I think. I like Haifa for some things and 'Akká for others."
"For what reasons do you like Haifa more?"
"Because here we are free to go out. Here we have liberty."
"But in 'Akká there is a beautiful Garden."
"I have never seen a garden in 'Akká."
"And here there is no Garden. In 'Akká the Water is very good."
"And here," said Miss Gamblin jeeringly, "there is no water!"
"In 'Akká," our Lord went on, "there is a Meadow. Here there is none." He spoke of the unbelief of the Jews when Christ came. With His consummate wisdom He made her say that they were veiled by the prophecies because they were waiting to see them literally fulfilled.
"Did not Christ say He would come like a thief in the night?" He asked.
"Ah! But He also said 'every eye should see Him!'"
There was quite a note of triumph in her voice!
"Every eye, yes," smiled the Master. "Those who do not see Him are spiritually blind. You love Christ?" (gently).
I had never before seen that cold little face light up.
"So do I," said the Master gravely and with great tenderness. "No one in this world loves Christ so much as I."
"How do you think Christ will come?" He went on. "Have you studied the science of the skies? You know what clouds are composed of? How do you think Christ will come?"
"Oh, I don't think that Christ will come from a material heaven, but from that place--no one knows what it is--where the imperishable part of us goes."
"Bravo! Bravo!" said our Lord. "I am very much pleased with your answer."
After supper He went to call on the French Consul.
The next day our Lord was to leave us, to return to 'Akká. He had planned to take me with Him, but He changed this. He thought it wiser, Rúhá explained to me, that I should remain in Haifa till the Kinneys came.
In the morning I rose with a bleeding heart--with a hunger and thirst to see our Lord, to crawl in the dust behind Him all day, kissing His every footprint if I might. Once He passed the house and went up the mountain little way. Ah, "beautiful upon the mountain, His feet"! I crept to the corner of the wall and gazed down the road into which He had turned. That day He was wearing a gold-brown camel's hair coat over His white flowing robe. His coats are the Persian 'abá, sweeping almost to the ground. And no 'abá hangs like the Master's. He was on His way to see a sick boy.
Later He sent for me. I found Him at Rúhá's house. As He was tired, He said, would I excuse Him if He lay down? And He lay on the linen-covered divan, while Rúhá and I sat at His feet.
Taking my hand in His, holding it close, pressing it with those vital fingers, He looked at me, smiling divinely. I burst into tears. I could not control them.
"What is it?" He tenderly asked.
"I love You so. I love You so. It kills me to separate from You."
"I am never separated from you. I am with you always, in every world."
"I know. But I want to see You. Oh why do You go away today?
I should have been sent from the room, but instead He answered me with the infinite patience of the Divine Love. "Because I am busy. Because I am busy. I am invited to something this evening. Otherwise I would not go. But I will come to see you again, Inshá'lláh."
Again I burst into a flood of tears. "His Love is too great. I cannot bear it," I said to Rúhá Khánum. Quietly He rose and left us, but He told Rúhá to follow with me.
First, however, she took me into the room of the Holy Mother, who had been ill. But there too I cried. I could not help it, though it distressed me terribly to be so inconsiderate.
"Don't cry so much. You are not used to it," said the dear Holy Mother. "If you cry you will become like us, pale."
"If by crying I could become like you, I would cry till I died!"
Tears came to the Holy Mother's eyes. "I am weeping," she said, "at the thought of the great calamities for which I wept once."
Just then our Lord sent for me. He placed me at His feet and with those exquisite fingers wiped away my tears, looking down with the tenderness of God on me.
"Don't cry! Don't cry!" He said in English, in that voice of piercing sweetness, of heart-wringing Love. "If you cry, I cry!"
"Today I lunch with you," (smiling, trying to comfort me). "Don't cry! Don't cry! I love you."
"Ah, that is it!" I replied. "Your love is too strong for the human heart. My heart breaks under it."
Still trying to comfort me, He said: "Mariam Haney spoke much of you. She said you were beautiful, but I find you more so."
Little Maryam, His grandchild, came in. "I give you Maryam!" He smiled.
Oh wealth of Love--as I felt it, again my tears flowed.
"If you cry, I will slap you!" And He did! Then He held out His hand to me.
"Which will you have: slap, or fist?" (In English, laughing). "Which is better?"
"Whichever you give me."
He took my hand, held it, pressed it. He had risen from His chair and now began walking back and forth. Every moment or so He stopped beside me and with a strange gravity gazed into my upturned face. Never shall I forget the Christ-Face shining above me then, its celestial purity. The sunbeam of His smile had vanished. He was like a vision, like a star! Oh, ever-varying Face, manifesting all God's Beauties!
I lunched with Him, at His side. After lunch once more He called me.
"See how I love you!" He said. "I have sent for you three times today. Three times." He held up three fingers. "Now this is a secret. Go to My sister, Khánum, and ask her to supplicate that you may come to 'Akká. There is a wisdom in this."
I lifted my eyes to His, speechless, in ecstasy. "I had given it up!" I said at last. "When shall I ask Khánum?"
Soon Khánum came in. As she sat on the floor near me, He said: "You love Khánum?"
To my shame, I began to cry--again!
"See! She cries from love," the Master said. "Of love. From love?" (in His dear English). "You very much love, Juliet. Khánum too loves you."
Then the others came to have tea with Him. And after this, He left for 'Akká.
When His carriage had gone, I climbed the mountain alone. I climbed very high and sat on a rock facing toward 'Akká, so that I could watch that blessed carriage moving along the crescent beach till it disappeared in the distance. And from my seat on the rock I spoke out loud to my Lord, Who by that time was miles away.
"In all things I submit to Thy Will, my Lord, for Thy Will is the Will of God. Thou art the Lord of Hosts. Thou art the Word of God."
very words I had spoken to Him from Mount Carmel--those words of recognition--when His carriage was miles away.
O thou who art attracted to the Kingdom of God!
Thy letter was received. Its contents proved firmness and steadfastness. Thank God that thou hast believed in the Lord of Hosts, were attracted to the Word of God and became the manifestation of Godly Favours. Realize these heavenly gifts and serve the Holy Spirit.
(signed) Abdul Baha Abbas
18 August 1909.
It is weary waiting, this waiting to see my Lord.
18 August 1909
Day before yesterday, in the blessed company of Khánum and the Holy Mother, we climbed Mount Carmel to the Holy Tomb and the Carmelite monastery. We went into the chapel of the monastery. On the altar, surrounded by candles, sat the Madonna, a crudely carved wooden doll, life-size, with a scarlet spot painted on each cheek and draped in jewels and satin. From a rose-window high in the opposite wall--a window that faced 'Akká--rays streamed to a pool of light on the floor. Then, in marched the brown-robed monks and knelt in the pool of light, their backs turned to 'Akká, their bowed heads to the altar. The rays poured on their backs as they prayed to the wooden doll. My thoughts were running on this, condemning the monks, when Khánum slipped her arm through mine.
"It is good," she whispered, "to be here together in a place built for worship."
Later, in the Cave of Elijah, I saw her standing by the altar there, that wonderful face, second only to the Master's, raised to the crucifix; her eyes lowered once or twice to the image of the Virgin prostrate beneath it. Ah, well could she understand such suffering. My tears flowed as I watched her.
21 August 1909, 6:30 a.m.
The King, with His court, come yesterday to stay in Haifa till we sail, for the Kinneys and Alice also came yesterday.
A king and his court? Faint comparison! What king ever moved with such majesty and glory? What court ever followed with such love and submission?
I am sitting on the steep, rough steps of 'Ináyatu'lláh's house, between the two cypresses, and on the steps of the beautiful House opposite--that white and stately House opposite--sits the King! With Him are Mírzá Asadu'lláh and 'Ináyatu'lláh.
Yesterday He came at sundown. He sent for us all. We found Him in the reception hall, surrounded by those wonderful Persian believers. Yúnís Khán, Badí' Effendi, and Mírzá Munír sat by me. He gave us a heavenly talk which I shall have to include in my notes, for in this little book there is just room left for His words of love to myself, those tender and exquisite personal talks of which I would not lose one word.
One of these I had last night. I entered His room and sat at His feet.
"I hope you were not hurt, Juliet," He said, Rúhá Khánum translating, "that I did not let you come to 'Akká. You must be happy because I am so unconstrained with you and feel that I can be frank."
"Every command of Yours, since it comes from You, is dear to me."
"That is the sign of true love. I know your heart!"
"I pray that my capacity may be widened so that I may appreciate more and love more."
A wonderful look came into His Face. He bent over mine and wiped my eyes. This is what He always does when I am yearning to love more, when my heart is bleeding because it cannot love enough. Even when my eyes are dry He does this. Is He--when my eyes are dry--wiping future tears away?
"I have been suffering," I said, "because I can give You nothing."
"You have given Me your heart."
"What is this heart to give! It is not pure enough. Dear Lord," I asked, "would it be good for the Cause if I should marry Mason Remey?"
"It would be very good for the Cause," the Master answered me, "if you could do it from your heart."
"I will marry him gladly," I said--my heart as heavy as lead!
"You ought to want to love him, because he is so beloved by Me."
"Yes," I repeated, with a dead voice! "I will marry him gladly."
"Try to love him little by little. Little by little," (in English).
Then He dismissed me. As I was leaving, He went to His table and, taking a Persian sweetmeat from a box, put it into my hand.
"I give you sweets," He said.
He asked me to come back and dine with Him. "But don't tell Mrs B! Do everything you can," He said, "to make Mrs B. happy."
Outside in the road, in the light of the crescent moon shining above Mount Carmel, I ate the sweets from His hand. "All that comes from Thy hand is sweet," I said aloud. "Lord, help me to love Mason Remey!"
The great figure of Percy Grant, with his strong beauty and magnetism and his distinguished mind, I resolutely put away from me. To give my body to one of His beloved: could I do more than this? I thought. Then I laughed at the thought. After all, what is this body? As He said once: "What does it matter what happens to the body?"
22 August 1909
My heart is breaking. Today I must leave Him. The Kinneys have had some trouble with their money--their cheque from New York has been delayed--and having too little to travel with, they asked permission last night to stay on in Haifa till the cheque came.
27 August 1909
Just at that moment our Lord sent for me.
My heart is almost too full this morning to write. If I write brokenly, it will be but a truer expression of my heart--my life--as I journey away from my only Beloved into a future of suffering, of utter sacrifice, into the Valley of Death. Yet if I suffer, it is for Him. If I sacrifice all, the sacrifice is for Him. If my goal is the Valley of Death, I die but to live in Him. This morning I have felt those delicate, vital fingers wiping the tears from my eyes.
The thought of marriage with Mason Remey has been a torture to me. When, the other day, my Lord spoke once again of my marrying "His son", with a new note of significance which woke in me a sharp awareness of all that this implied, I writhed in agony. But in a moment I lifted my face to His and said, "Thy Will be done."
To give my body to be burned would be easier, when I think of the years and the years ... Yet I glory in the martyrdom. I desire no less. "My body is yearning to ascend the cross." I pray that it may come quickly. "A wound from Thee, Lord, is remedy and poison from Thy hand is honey." If only I could suppress these tears, or rather, rise above shedding them. On the death of her youngest son, the Mother of our Lord smiled. She knelt
at the feet of Bahá'u'lláh and asked: "Is my sacrifice accepted?" Oh, to sacrifice in such a spirit!
I know now why my Lord called Rúhá my sister. She was married in the same way. But why am I so weak? I am going forth to serve Him. Why should I think of myself? How can I think of myself at all? In the ages to come, if this pitiful record should remain, how my sisters of the Future will wonder that a thought of self should have entered my mind, that I could have wasted one thought on my human body. And since I am doing this thing to be freer to spread the Faith, for them too I am going through with it. I feel a great surge of love in my heart toward them.
Two Tablets I received last winter come back to me now, two that reached me together, in the same envelope. In the one I read first was this: "I hope that the utmost love may be realized between you and that person (Percy Grant) and that thou mayest be assisted to cause him to enter the Kingdom of God." And in the second: "I have supplicated and entreated at the Threshold of Oneness that thy utmost desire may become realized. The desire of the sanctified souls is always sacrifice in the Path of God ..."
May God strengthen me to face Percy Grant when I return to New York! May God strengthen me in my future relation with him! And as I recall that second Tablet I know that a fierce ordeal is before me. Surely this "utmost desire" of mine, this burning desire of my heart now--"sacrifice in the Path of God"--must be proven. God help me! Perhaps only through such a sacrifice could Percy Grant be brought to the Kingdom. So let me die for my Lord and His beloved ones.
On the morning of 21 August, I had waited long and hungrily, with a burning heart, for my Lord to send for me. Waited in the little doorway between the two cypress trees, my eyes fixed on the white House opposite, on the stately steps, watching for Him to appear upon them--on the long windows of His room. As the hours went by, the fire in my heart grew unendurable. My heart was scorched, seared: consumed. Suddenly, just at that instant when I felt I could bear it no longer, He came out and stood on the steps. He showed Himself only for a moment, but Khusraw at the same time ran to call me. I eagerly followed. When I reached the House the Master was in His room with Rúhá and Munavvar Khánum.
"Did you hear my heart crying to You, my Lord?"
"Yes. That was why I sent for you. I should like you to be with Me every moment," He said. "I want you with Me all the time. If it were according to wisdom, I would have you here with Me always. But it is not wise. Otherwise, you should be always with Me. I want you to feel this."
He spoke much of Alice and His desire that I make her happy. He told me He wished me to be His real daughter, not a daughter in name but in very reality, so that if "His daughter in America" were mentioned, all would know that I was that daughter. Then: "In regard to Mr Remey," He said, "you need not do this thing. It is not
compulsory. No one has the right to force your feeling. I have not the right. But if you can do it from your heart, if you can love him, I wish it very much."
"I wanted to speak about this, my Lord. I have only loved deeply once and I could never give such a love again. But since I have seen Thy Face, I have learned the reality of Love. I have learned that the human love is unnecessary, that it is only a step to the Divine Love, so that I can put it aside. Now, on the other hand, there is this man I have loved, his feeling for me and my hope to make him a believer ..."
"It would be very difficult to make this man a believer and you know this," said the Master. "I am sorry," He added gently, "but I must say these things to you.
"And if I should marry Mr Remey," I asked, "it would mean a great opportunity to serve the Cause? It would be good for the Cause if I should marry him?"
"Most certainly," answered our Lord, "such a union would be productive of great good in the Cause. We will see," He continued, "how he feels about it, and if you and he both wish it, it is My wish. I love Mr Remey very much."
"I have always loved him," I said. "He did so much to bring me into the Cause."
"He has brought many into the Cause."
He kept me to lunch and all through the afternoon, and His daughters and I had tea with Him. After tea, He went up to the Tomb.
For a while I sat in the big white hall, facing the blue Bay of Haifa, talking with the Holy Mother and Rúhá, Munavvar, and Díyá Khánum. They mentioned Fu'ád, a nephew of the Holy Mother's who is ill, and who lives
near the top of the mountain with his beautiful sister, Ridváníyyih.
"How is he?" I asked. Rúhá and I had lately visited him.
"I haven't heard for the last few days," said Rúhá.
"I believe I will go and see," I said.
"Will you go alone to the mountain?"
"Yes, unless you can come too."
She could not, so I went alone. To be alone with Mount Carmel is always a thrilling experience to me. As I approached Fu'ád's house, Ridváníyyih ran out of the door to meet me, her veil and her braids flying, her face all aglow. "Our Lord is coming, Juliet!" she cried. I looked up and saw Him, His Persian disciples behind Him, coming through a grove of fig trees. How I had prayed to be with Him on Mount Carmel! With Ridváníyyih, I went into Fu'ád's room and it was there the Master found me.
"You here, Juliet!" He exclaimed. Then He called me to sit beside Him. Fu'ád knelt at a little distance. Almost at once our Lord rose and crossed over to Fu'ád. He lifted the bandage from his eye, felt his pulse with a tender touch, looked at him long and lovingly. So I saw the Christ healing the sick.
Later He sat for some time on the broad stone terrace in front of the house: Ridváníyyih, the Persians, and I grouped around Him. He sat silent, gazing toward the Bay. Then suddenly, up went His hand--high, His eyes rolling strangely upward with such a breathtaking, seeing look, as though He were greeting Someone in the sky!
At last He left us. Ridváníyyih and I, our arms around each other, watched Him descending the mountain. Two
or three times He turned and waved to us. In the distance, in the sunset light burnishing His long white robes, He appeared like a "pillar of fire".
I soon followed Him. But before going home, I wanted to say goodbye to Núru'lláh Effendi's wife, who, because she has consumption, lives on the mountain alone, in a little house made of branches. But I lost my way and had to stop an Arab to ask if he could direct me. He was a wild-looking creature, in a short tunic and a long head-cloth, and with a sort of satyr's leer. He seized my hand and began to skip with me! I must say, he frightened me. Still I felt a lovely exhilaration as we skipped lightly along, the satyr and I, till he safely deposited me at the little house made of branches. The wife of Núru'lláh was radiant. Our Lord had just visited her, and the fragrance of His Presence lingered in her hut.
Going home in the dark, I met Mírzá Hádí. "The Master," he told me, "has sent me to find you. He says you should not be alone on the mountain."
When I reached 'Ináyatu'lláh's house, the Master had just left it.
"He was here asking for you," said 'Ináyatu'lláh. "He paced up and down the garden, repeating: 'Juliet should not be alone on the mountain.'"
I went flying to Him to let Him know of my safe return, and of something else. One of the Persian believers had told me that if a group of Americans should stay here too long as guests of the Master, it might make trouble for Him with the still-watchful Turks. So the Kinneys' decision to wait in Haifa till their cheque came had worried me very much and I had thought of a plan which I wanted to speak of to our Lord.
But when I entered the reception room I found Mr Kinney there with Him, Mr Kinney kneeling and in tears, our Lord bending over him lovingly.
"I told you to go tomorrow only because you pressed me for a date, but stay. Stay. I want you to be happy" (with the sweetest glance). Then He dismissed Mr Kinney.
When I was alone with the Master and Shoghi Effendi--that beautiful boy--who was also in the room, translating, I spoke of the Kinneys' financial troubles and of some money I had--treasured up--for the most sacred purpose. If my Lord approved, I said, I would lend this to the Kinneys.
"No," He replied, "they are waiting for a large sum of money, a very large sum: five thousand francs. You have been troubled about this." He rose and walked up and down, but soon seated Himself. "The Kinneys," He said, "may be here for a long time yet--for a month or two. Their money may not come very soon. Could you stay so long? Would you have to return to your affairs?"
"Oh no!" I said. "No, I shouldn't have to return. But I will do as you think best."
A month or two in Haifa--near His Presence!
"I want you to be happy," He said, "to do what makes you happy."
Just at that moment Munavvar came in and our Lord took us into His room. Again and again He questioned me. What did I want to do? Did I want to stay? Would it make me happy to stay? He wanted me to be happy.
"To do Your will makes me happy. I cannot express a
wish. I only wish what You wish, my Lord. I want to leave everything now in Your hands."
"Then I will tell you what I want you to do, and I want you to do this for Me very much. I want you to take Mrs B. home. Take the boat tomorrow night. Go to Cairo and then straight home. Take to the believers what you have received here." He gave me many instructions about Alice.
That night He kept me very late. First I had supper with Him. Afterwards Rúhá, Munavvar, and I sat in His room.
"I wanted to keep you here all night, your last night. I wanted you to be with us. But there is no unoccupied room in the house."
"I have heard that once a believer stood all night outside Your door. I wish I might have that privilege," I said.
"It will be the same," He answered gently. "You will be watching with Me while you are at 'Ináyatu'lláh's house."
I shall never forget that last night. The candle burned dimly in the room. Rúhá, Munavvar, and I sat on the floor at His feet. At times He was silent. At times He talked tenderly with us.
Though I should have remembered His words that I was "watching with Him", all night I tossed and turned, tortured by the thought of the marriage before me--tortured because I must leave my Lord so soon, so soon, must leave the protection and comfort of His Presence--the Heaven of His Presence--and go back into the world to face that marriage.
At six-thirty in the morning He sent for me. He met me with a grave face.
"How are you?" He asked. "Did you sleep well? You should have slept well. It is cooler at 'Ináyatu'lláh's than here." Then He waved His hand toward the House. "Find Munavvar Khánum."
When I found her, she said: "Our Lord called you just to see you, just to see how you were."
He left the House then and went to 'Ináyatu'lláh's. Pacing up and down my room, as 'Ináyatu'lláh told me later, He began to speak of me. He asked how to spell my first name and said it was a beautiful name. He spoke very beautifully of me, 'Ináyatu'lláh said.
"Is she happy and content in this simple room?" He asked.
I see now that in this room He was gathering up my thoughts of the night: registering my misery.
Soon He returned and invited some of us to tea--the Ladies of the Household and Edna and myself. First He spoke to me, then to Edna.
Oh, if only I had written down those last few talks, taken them down from His lips! The sufferings of the days since have blurred them in my mind. I had been thinking, during that last awful night at 'Ináyatu'lláh's, of my wonderful life in New York, a life of such thrilling interest mentally. I had thought how complete the sacrifice would be in having to return, the wife of Mason Remey, to the city I have always hated: Washington. Yet one ray of truth had dawned on me: Percy Grant, so gifted, so powerfully magnetic, so dominant, might, because of my weakness and humanness and the strength of my attachment to him, veil my heart from my Lord. This, Mason Remey, the angel, could never do. So, that last morning in Haifa, the Master answered these two thoughts. Physical things, He said, interfered with
spiritual development. Then: "When you travel you must shake from your shoes the dust of every city through which you pass."
I shall never forget the surpassing sweetness of His smile that morning. He kept me in the House for hours. Later I went with Rúhá to her house. While we were talking we heard His voice. "Our Lord!" cried Rúhá. We sprang up to meet Him at the door and He led us to Rúhá's living room.
Ah, infinitely tender He was that day, that last day! Brokenly I thanked Him for all His Bounties. "And for all Thou hast done to sever me. I want nothing now but Thy Will."
"Yes. I know," He said, bending over me, looking profoundly into my eyes. Grave, ineffably loving, sorrowful, that look. That He suffered for me, with me, was intolerably clear to me.
Oh, I must stop suffering! When our hearts bleed, the Divine Heart bleeds. It is true. I had one more evidence of this a little later.
While I was with Him at Rúhá's house, the Master had invited me to lunch, and as soon as He left us, I hurried to 'Ináyatu'lláh's to change my dress. But people were in my bedroom, which is also the living room--a believer was calling on Khánum Díyá--and I couldn't suggest to them to go! When at last they did, Khánum Díyá assured me I had time to dress. But then, the devil got into me: I wanted to make myself as beautiful as I could! And everything went wrong; it was like a nightmare! I chose an elaborate white lace dress, fastened in the back with hooks-and-eyes and my fingers couldn't find the right
hooks. I tried to put on my veil, a rose-coloured one with a border, in the most becoming way, and couldn't arrange it becomingly enough! And before I was through adorning myself, Khusraw ran in with an appalling message: the Master and the Holy Household were already at the table!
By the time I reached the House and the dining room, the Master had risen from His seat and was washing His hands in a basin near the window. He asked me to please excuse Him for leaving so soon, He had only taken a little soup.
I sat stricken with an awful shame: speechless with shame, as I realized overwhelmingly the disrespect I had shown to our Lord in keeping Him waiting--and all because of my vanity!
He came back to the table and repeated: "Ask Juliet to excuse Me for leaving her so soon. I only took soup today." And while He spoke He looked at me, such grief in His eyes as I could hardly bear, such grief because He had to punish me. Then He turned and went out of the room, having had nothing to eat. To inflict that so necessary punishment He had sacrificed His midday meal.
The rest of the meal was, of course, pure agony to me. I could not hold up my head in the presence of the Family. Besides, a great geyser of tears kept rising in me and it was all I could do not to burst out crying. At last I escaped and returned to 'Ináyatu'lláh's.
But no sooner had I taken off my miserable finery than the Master again sent for me. I slipped on a simpler dress and rushed back to the beloved House, where Munavvar met me.
"Our Lord," she said, "just wanted to know where you were and wanted you here."
We had our afternoon rest, Munavvar and I, in the reception room. Suddenly the Master stood in the doorway, beckoning us to His room.
There, He led me to the mirror and standing close to my side, took my face in His hand and pressed my cheek against His, then told me to look in the mirror. So majestic He was, He appeared stern and His Face shone with a white glory beside my flushed, earthly face. Again He reminded me of a Star. So I saw myself in the clasp of the Good Shepherd, and, in that ineffable picture in the mirror, I saw my Lord's promise that He would be always protecting me, always watching over me.
Once, during the morning, while I was alone in the reception room, the Master came from His room into the hall and, standing in the shadow against the white wall, like a Spirit in His white garments, He looked at me long and steadfastly. Suddenly love welled up in me and I smiled. A smile of intensest sweetness, of heavenly brightness, broke over His Face; He tilted His head to one side with tenderest charm, as though He were playing with a child. Once more He came out, gazed gravely at me, gazed almost longer than I could bear--so frail is the human spirit before the Force of Divine Love--and then, like lightning, vanished.
"Happy," I answered, through tears!
He looked at me with questioning, smiling eyes.
Still, underlying my anguish, there was happiness, that my sacrifice had been accepted.
"I love you," He said gently. "I love you very much."
Then He began to talk to me, His aspect abruptly changing to one of great majesty. If only, only I had writ-
ten down those last instructions! All I can do now is to quote fragments of them.
"How many days were you in 'Akká?"
"Twelve, my Lord."
"How many days have you been in Haifa?"
"Twelve. Always twelve. You have received in those twelve days that which was given by Abraham to the twelve tribes of Israel. You have received that which was given by Moses. You have received that which was given by Christ to the twelve apostles; that which was given by Muhammad to the twelve Imáms. ... You have served me in America. Your house has been the centre for the believers. You have loved them and shown kindness to them. Now I want to give you some instructions.
"The time you devote to your art is your own; you are free to use it as you wish. But when you enter the meetings, I want you to concentrate upon spiritual things. Read the prayers, the Tablets, sing hymns, give the proofs. I want you to give strong, logical proofs. ... Never let anyone speak of another unkindly in your presence. Should anyone do so, stop them. Tell them it is against the commands of Bahá'u'lláh; that He has commanded: 'Love one another.' Never speak an unkind word, yourself, against anyone. If you see something wrong, let your silence be your only comment. ... Be firm and steadfast. Do not waste your time with light people."
There was more: much more. How could my memory serve me so cruelly?
Soon afterward Alice and Carrie arrived at the House. As Alice came in, our Lord continued: "Be firm and
steadfast, and if you are firm and steadfast, be sure that no one who really belongs in your life will be lost to you."
He then told Alice that He wished us to love each other. His words were so heavenly that Rúhá, as she listened, wept.
Just before we drove to the ship Rúhá called me, alone, to our Lord. I knelt at His feet.
"Don't let me cry! Don't let me cry!" I implored, catching hold of His 'abá.
He took both my hands, and God's Love gazed through His eyes into mine. "Remember My words to you, obey My commands," He said, "and you will marvel at the results."
I dare not attempt to quote Him; everything else He said has escaped me. All I can bring to my mind now is that Face of divine compassion looking down at me, the strong hands that clasped mine, the grief that consumed my heart.
"I have given you so much, Juliet," (this comes back to me) "because I have desired your spiritual progress. You can make spiritual progress. Now you need the power of discourse. When you begin to speak in the meetings, never think of your own weakness, but turn to Me."
"My only desire is to follow Thy Will. But there is one thing I long for, Lord. May I become worthy to always keep the vision of Thy Face?"
He bent over me with a look of profoundest love, and of assent.
"My mother and brother, Lord: protect them--under all circumstances."
Again that low bending over me, that assent. "I will pray."
"I am bound to Thee, Lord, with a cord that can never be cut."
And with this I broke down, and hiding my face on His knee, I wept. After a moment He lifted my face and, for the last time, wiped away my tears with His fingers.
When He dismissed me, I raised to my lips the hem of His robe and pressed a long, long kiss upon it.
He followed me to the door of His room. Taking my hand, He held it against His side. "Give My love to Lua," He said. "Tell her I am always with her in spirit."
To me He said: "I want you to return a new creation, so that all will see that you are another Juliet, with another attraction."
"Forevermore, my Lord, is my heart linked to Thee by this suffering. Forevermore," I cried, "am I chained to Thee!"
I remembered His words of a few days before: "I suffer. You must suffer with Me." And my suffering became my treasure of treasures.
Mary broke the alabaster jar and poured all her precious ointment over the feet of her Lord. And last Sunday I broke my heart over the feet of my Lord--poured out all the love it contained at His feet. No more love have I now to give. It is given--to Him.
He told me that He would strike me, and, as He said it, He laughed. So many I "endure the cross, despising the shame."