This was a momentous day. From the pulpit of the Unitarian Church, the voice of the Center of the Covenant was broadcast afar. As He prepared to leave for the church, He asked me to sit by Him in the carriage. I said that there was room on the other seat. He replied, `Come and sit here. When I see someone who is ambitious and selfish, I observe these formalities merely for his correction. Otherwise, everyone may sit wherever he wishes. These things are entirely unimportant.' When the carriage arrived, the pastor, who had been waiting at the entrance, came forward, took the Master's arm with the utmost reverence and courtesy, led him to the pulpit and offered Him his own chair. After the music, the pastor stood and read verses from the Book of Isaiah which allude to the appearance of a promised one from the East. Everyone listened with rapt attention to these verses and felt that they had been specifically written for this day.
We are honored today with the presence of the Prophet of Peace whose message is the Message of God. God has raised Him to exterminate war and bloodshed. His presence in this church is the cause of eternal honor and the fulfillment of our long-cherished hopes and desires. He is the sign of love among the people and the promoter of oneness and brotherhood among the sons of men. His object is to free people from the shackles of imitation and to unfurl the banner of the oneness of humanity. He is the temple of kindness, the possessor of the greatest news, the inspirer of the new thoughts and the expounder of the happiness of this great cycle. Although He has suffered violence and affliction for many years and has seen persecutions, His spiritual power is still flowing like the water of life. Although His body has felt the cross, yet His spirit, which is life-giving, has not been crucified. He has journeyed by land and sea to come to these western countries. We extend Him a sincere welcome and offer the incense of gratitude for His teachings which are the cause of the recovery of hearts and are the source of eternal blessings and happiness. Now His Holiness `Abdu'l-Bahá will speak to you.
The Master's address on the unity of humanity and the oneness of the Manifestations of God, together with an explanation of the new teachings, was so enthusiastically received by the audience that it is difficult to describe adequately, especially the effect of the prayer He chanted. As well as the local residents, some Turks and Arabs came to the church to pay their respects to the Master.
A wonderful change came over the hearts of the people of the city and a new excitement was felt in the public meetings. One person asserted that the only religion which was worthy to be acknowledged today was the Bahá'í religion while another thanked God that he was granted life to hear the great message.
In the afternoon a number of people of different nationalities, having obtained permission by telephone, came to visit the Master. Some of the Turks became so attracted to Him that they were continually to be found in His presence, both day and night.
As He left for His room, some asked for a private interview with Him. Everyone had a request to make and expressed his sincerity and humility and each received His bounties. One of the ladies said that her young son places the Master's picture in front of him and cries out, `O Thou, my Beloved.' The Master replied, `It is a proof of your own love.'
Later the Master said to us, `Tomorrow we should move to a hotel. A traveler should stay in a hotel.' Mr and Mrs Maxwell tried their utmost to dissuade Him but did not succeed.
After the morning obligatory prayer Mrs Maxwell came to`Abdu'l-Bahá and said that the people were changing and becoming interested. Her neighbor, who had previously reproached her, was so enchanted after visiting `Abdu'l-Bahá that she telephoned to request that He visit her home. She also suggested that `Abdu'l-Bahá use her carriage every day.
After the Master visited and encouraged this neighbor, He went to the hotel [the Hotel Windsor] and rented three rooms. On the way back to the Maxwell home, the Master bought some valuable rings to give as gifts. A large number of people were waiting for Him and attained new spiritual heights and powers through His discourses.
One of His talks concerned the abandonment of blind imitation and the elimination of those customs and dogmas that are contrary to the fundamental truth of the religion of God. He said:
When educated people see the priests taking bread and wine in their hands, blowing a few breaths over them and saying that the bread and wine are now changed into the flesh and blood of Christ, or hear them saying that by making a confession before a priest their sins are pardoned, they will begin to despair of their religion and become totally irreligious.
At lunch time the Master invited a number of people to the table, saying: `Come! We are in Montreal, Canada, in this home, eating Persian rice which has been cooked by Mírzá Ahmad. This has a relish all its own; what a tale it makes! Continuing, He said:
To be grateful for the blessings of God in time of want and trouble is necessary. In the abundance of blessings everyone can be grateful. It is said that Sultán Mahmúd cut a melon and gave a portion of it to Ayáz who ate it cheerfully and expressed gratitude. When the Sultán ate a little of the same melon, he found it bitter. He asked, `How did you eat such a bitter melon and show no sign of disliking it?' Ayáz answered, `I had eaten many sweet and palatable things from the hands of the Sultán and I thought it very unworthy of me to express dislike on eating a slightly bitter thing today.' Thus man, who is immersed in the blessings of God, should not be grieved if he experiences a little trouble. He should not forget the manifold divine bounties.
In the afternoon, professors, clergy and press representatives came one after another to visit `Abdu'l-Bahá. The samovar was steaming and fruits and sweets were served to all. That His Persian servants in their Eastern attire served the guests was considered a social novelty and was reported in the press.
Because of material civilization, industry has progressed and sciences and arts have burgeoned but at the same time weapons of war and bloodshed designed for the destruction of the edifice of humanity have multiplied and political problems have vastly increased. Hence, this material civilization cannot become the means of comfort and ease for all until it acquires spiritual power and the attributes of a divine civilization. Rather, the difficulties will increase and the troubles will multiply.
The government of the United States of America has recently provided fifteen million dollars toward the cost of building new battleships. Before international peace is established, a great war will in all certainty take place. `Abdu'l-Bahá made many such important addresses and all who heard Him were eloquent in their praise and adoration of Him.
Today `Abdu'l-Bahá moved into the Hotel Windsor. As He was leaving for a meeting at Mr and Mrs Maxwell's home, he took the tram. We asked whether we could call for a carriage. He said: `Oh, it matters little. This saves expense. There is a difference of one dollar in the fare.' He was very careful over this type of personal expense but when He reached the home of Mr and Mrs Maxwell, He gave one pound to each of their servants.
The morning was cloudy and rainy. At the hotel the Master was presented with some newspaper articles reporting last night's meeting and giving an account of His talk. Dr Faríd arrived today from Boston to join us. As some professors and clergymen had come by to visit the Master, He spoke to them on the relationship of human souls, universal peace and the harm caused by prejudices. His words were particularly enjoyed by the professors from the university and the ministers showed their humility. After giving a detailed description of the teachings of the Supreme Pen, He said:
This is the purpose of the people of Bahá. Would you not like to serve such an ideal? I hope you will put forth effort in this direction so that the world of men may find real unity, become released from prejudice and be freed from war and bloodshed. Our efforts are for this. Bahá'u'lláh has opened a broad vista to humanity. For instance, when the people of different religions, races and nations were reviling each other, He addressed the people of the world saying, `O people! Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch.'
The minister from the black church extended an invitation to the Master to speak at his church. Because of the lack of time, the Master gave His apologies. Although the Master had intended to stay in Montreal for only two or three days, His visit had lengthened into a week. The fame of the Master had spread throughout the vicinity. Newspapers printed accounts of the meetings and many of the tributes to `Abdu'l-Bahá. The Master had requested copies of the news stories to be sent to the friends in the East. The response was so generous that one room was completely filled.
During the afternoon, while cheering the friends, He also attended to the mail and read petitions from the friends of the East and the West. At one moment He was answering important questions and the next He was dictating words conducive to the betterment of the social status of women and their confirmation in the Kingdom of God.
When the guests had left and the Master was completely exhausted, He went out alone for a walk to refresh Himself. He then boarded a tram which took Him far out of the city, then another tram which went out of the city by another route and finally took a taxi. The driver asked for the name of the hotel but `Abdu'l-Bahá did not know. He pointed to him to go straight ahead and, suddenly, there was the hotel. With His hair dishevelled and His smiling face, He told us how He had gotten lost. `Once in the Holy Land,' He said,
That evening He spoke to a meeting of the Socialist Club with majesty and dignity. The audience lined His way and the chairman, who was speaking as the Master arrived, stepped forward, grasped His hand and led Him to the podium. The president introduced the Master in most glowing terms, concluding, `Now, `Abdu'l-Bahá will teach us the principles of brotherhood, prosperity and the upliftment of the poor.'
As the Master was delivering His address on economics and the adjustment of society according to the principle of moderation, the audience broke into spontaneous applause, clapping their hands with joy and excitement. At the end, the chairman sought `Abdu'l-Bahá's permission for those who had questions to ask them. Every answer evoked further applause and admiration to such an extent that the walls of the building seemed to vibrate to their foundations.
The meeting continued to such a late hour that the audience itself began to realize that to continue would not only be impolite but might also be injurious to `Abdu'l-Bahá's health. As the Master moved towards His carriage, the people surrounded Him, demonstrating their heartfelt reverence and humility. `Abdu'l-Bahá, often moved to express His thankfulness for the help and assistance of the Blessed Beauty, said, `Praise be to God that the confirmations of the Kingdom of Abhá are descending continually. Mr Woodcock used to say that Montreal was a city of Catholics and the center of intolerance. Now let him come and see what has transpired here. Not a sound can be heard from the Catholics.'
An account of the Master's talk at the Socialist Club and its influence was published in glowing terms in the newspapers. The force of His explanations and the persuasiveness of His proofs were the talk of the day. Many newcomers came to visit Him. The friends told the Master how happy they were to see the extent to which the Cause of God had penetrated the hearts. `Abdu'l-Bahá said in reply:
The greatness of the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh will be known when they are acted upon and practiced. Not one of a hundred has as yet come into force. All of your thoughts should be turned toward bringing these blessed teachings into practice.
When the translations of some of the newspaper articles were read to `Abdu'l-Bahá, He said, again, `This is all through the confirmations of the Blessed Beauty. Otherwise, even if the king of Persia had come here he would not have been able to bring about even one such meeting.'
In the afternoon, for a change of routine, the Master took the elevator down from the seventh floor and went for an automobile ride to the foot of a mountain outside the city limits. It is a fine place where people go for recreation. It has a cable car, which took the Master and His companions up the mountain. The side of the mountain was perpendicular like a wall. The Master said, `This cable car is like a balloon flying in the air.' It made one nervous to look down. When we reached the top, the Master walked around. It was a magnificent sight, with a view of the whole city stretched before us. The canals, streets and orchards of the town were below. It appeared as if a beautifully painted picture had been spread before one's eyes.
While we were here, translations of other accounts of the meetings that had been published in the evening newspapers were read to Him. Suddenly He cried out:
O Bahá'u'lláh! May I be a sacrifice for Thee. O Bahá'u'lláh! May my life be offered up for Thee. Thou hast spoken the Word which cannot be refuted. What a wonderful Cause Thou hast founded! It satisfies every assemblage! Each group testifies to its greatness. In the churches it shakes the souls; it excites the Theosophists; it imparts spirituality to the spiritualists; it makes the Unitarians aware of the reality of unity; it makes the socialists contented and grateful and inspires joy and happiness in the peace meetings. There is no refuge for any denomination except in submission to it. It is a miracle! It is the greatest force in the world of existence. This is all through the assistance of the Blessed Beauty. If healing the lame and crippled is a miracle, it can also be produced by a dose of medicine. This is no great achievement.
From here the Master and His companions went to the home of Mr and Mrs Maxwell where letters from the East were given to Him. He read the petitions of the friends. Among them was a letter from Mírzá Haydar-`Alí, in which he dwelt on the greatness and significance of the journey of the Master. The Master said:
Yes, the value and greatness of these travels are not known now but will be apparent later on. As we had no other intention except to offer devotion to the Threshold of the One True God, we were assisted and the brightness of divine favor and grace appeared.
At a meeting in the evening at Mrs Maxwell's home, `Abdu'l-Bahá gave an address on spiritual brotherhood and the economic principles upheld by the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh which will be the cause of the salvation, prosperity and liberation of the nations of the world. This meeting was very special because the Master's talk was so influential. The audience was invited to light refreshments of sweets and beverages. Among the guests were Americans, as well as Turks and Arabs clothed in their splendid robes, all of whom were attracted to `Abdu'l-Bahá and fascinated by His demeanor and words.
The Bishop of Montreal came to visit the Master to express his admiration and gratitude for the Master's address concerning the purpose of the appearance of Christ and the other Manifestations. He was pleased to learn about other meetings and talks. The Master said to him, `Tonight I shall speak at the Methodist church. You may come if you wish.'
The editor of an illustrated Toronto magazine was announced. He happily recorded a detailed account of the history and teachings of the Cause. Another visitor was a Jewish rabbi who became very enthusiastic when he heard the Master's explanations.
The degree to which these different denominations testify to the greatness of the Cause of God has never been seen in past history. Even socialists say that although so many philosophers have written books on economic questions, the Bahá'í Cause has the solution.
When we arrived at the Methodist Church in the evening, we saw an electric illumined sign reading: `This evening the Prophet of the East will speak on the principles of the Bahá'í Faith and the salvation of the world of humanity.' When the translation of this announcement was read to the Master, He said, `So, people are calling me a prophet. Oh, would that they had omitted that word!' In order to correct this impression, in the course of His address He emphasized His devotion to Bahá'u'lláh.
`Abdu'l-Bahá went to the vestry where a number of ministers came to greet Him with such reverence and humility that it was really something to be seen. He then went into the auditorium and took a seat on the platform. The minister welcomed Him by motioning the audience to rise, which they immediately did to show their respect. The minister then made an introductory speech about the world's apathy to the commandments of the Gospel and the urgent need for laws of peace and harmony among the peoples of the West. Finally he urged the audience to listen carefully to the address and the new teachings given by `Abdu'l-Bahá.
The Master then chanted a prayer and publicly thanked the judge. Later, in the vestry, the clergymen were so deferential in His presence, they could not find words to express their gratitude. Of particular note was the judge, who repeatedly expressed his desire to become a Bahá'í.
In the morning `Abdu'l-Bahá came into our room. When He saw the pile of newspapers which had been collected to send to the friends in the East, He asked, with surprise, `What have you done? What are all these newspapers for?' We replied that they were the signs of the power and influence of the Cause of God. After leaving the church last night, the Master had caught a cold and His voice was hoarse, so even though He had planned to leave Montreal, His departure was delayed for a few days. During this time He went nowhere except to the home of Mr and Mrs Maxwell. However, many came to visit Him at the hotel.
Mrs Maxwell said that her husband had used to say to her: `You have become a Bahá'í. Very well, you are responsible for this yourself. I have no hand in it. You must not speak to me about it anymore.' But now, she added, he was so proud of the Master's visit that if kings had come to their home he would not have felt so exalted. The room in which the Master stayed was considered by him to be holy and he would not allow anyone to enter it.
You must cling to those things which prove to be the cause of happiness for the world of man. You must show kindness to the orphans, give food to the hungry, clothe the naked and offer help to the poor so that you may be accepted in the Court of God.
It is because the friends of California, and particularly those of San Francisco, have so frequently called and pleaded, expressed despair and wept and sent incessant supplications, that I have determined to go to California.
Today `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke to a group of people who came to visit Him at the hotel. Here is some of what He explained:
As in the physical world there are four seasons, so in the realm of religion there is the season of heavenly and spiritual springtime. When its outpourings gradually diminish, the trees of existence cease to be verdant and creeping torpor spreads, it will become like winter. The souls will become withered and distressed and the soil of the hearts will become full of thorns and thistles. There will be no flowers, no hyacinths, no greenery, no pleasure, no freshness and no cheer. Then, once again, the divine spring will raise its tabernacle. The gardens of the world of humanity will become green and verdant, full of freshness and purity. The flowers of reality will open and the trees of existence will bring forth enduring fruit. This is the law of God and is in accord with the world of creation and this is the cause for the reappearance of holy Manifestations Who effect renewal and change in religious laws and commandments.
In the afternoon the Master spoke about the oneness of the fundamental truths of the religions of God and the vain imaginings and beliefs of various peoples, saying:
The foundation of all religions is one and the aim of all creeds of the world is also one. All are believers in the oneness of God. All believe that a mediator between the Creator and the creatures is needed. The question is that to the Jews Moses is the last, to the Christians it is Christ, to the Muslims it is Muhammad and to the Parsis it is Zoroaster. But their differences are only those of names. If these names are set aside, it is evident that their aim is one. Every divine religious law was complete for its time. The renewal of the laws of God and the appearance of the Manifestations of the bounties of the Lord in each cycle are necessary. Thus the people who seek truth and inner meanings can discover the divine mysteries and become aware of the secrets of the Books of God. They know God to be the Supreme, His bounties infinite and the doors of His mercy unbarred. They believe in all the Prophets and affirm `No difference do we make between any of them' [Qur'án 2:130]. But those who adhere to outer meanings only, who worship outer form, cling to imitations and follow their superstitions. They use the allegories set forth in the verses of God to deny the Cause of the Lord of Signs. Therefore, offer thanks to God that you have attained unto reality, have responded affirmatively to the Call of God, have given up dogmatic imitations and have become cognizant of the mystery of oneness. Offer thanks to God. Be grateful to your Lord.
`Abdu'l-Bahá's discourses today consisted of divine exhortations, admonitions and expressions of farewell to the friends. `I have sown the seed,' He said. `You must water it. You must educate the souls in divine morals, make them spiritual and lead them to the oneness of humanity and to universal peace.'
In the afternoon He gave an account of His imprisonment in the Most Great Prison and of His return to the Holy Land. Someone suggested that His return to `Akká might bring trouble to Him and again cause His imprisonment. `Oh no,' He replied,
that organization has been rolled up; that system has been rendered null. Those days were so hard that all had believed that when the Commission of Investigation returned to Constantinople `Abdu'l-Bahá's life and name would be effaced. But God did not will it. As we were imprisoned for the Cause of God and not for political reasons, while in prison we were not perturbed and had no worries. However, the others thought that after I was set free I would raise the banner of independence among the Arabs and unite them with me! See, how ill-informed was such a judgment!
As this was the last day of His stay in Montreal, all the friends, both old and new, expressed their sorrow. `Abdu'l-Bahá consoled them with the glad tidings of certitude, spiritual nearness, assistance and heavenly grace.
In the morning the bill for $700 for the week's stay at the hotel was paid. As usual, `Abdu'l-Bahá directed me to take personal charge of His bags and move them myself. I fell short of my duty as the hotel stewards carried His bags with the other luggage. When He saw that His bags were not with me, He said: `In spite of these repeated reminders, you were neglectful. I would not have asked you to be so careful had it not contained valuable documents and writings which I wish to present to the libraries of London and Paris. Otherwise, material things are not important to me.'
All luggage sent through the railway station had to be examined by the Customs officers; but the chief officer at the Customs and his assistants passed our baggage, indicating that they were perfectly satisfied and had no reason to examine the effects of the Bahá'ís! When the Master was told this, His face opened up like a rose and He expounded on the stations of truthfulness and trustworthiness, which are the sources of the prosperity and assurance of the people of the world.
The enthusiasm and ardor of the friends knew no bounds. They surrounded `Abdu'l-Bahá like moths. Until the train pulled out of the station at nine o'clock, the friends continued to sigh and express their sorrow at His departure.
It is astonishing to see that `Abdu'l-Bahá does not want any comfort and will not take any rest, even while traveling on the train. When translations of the newspaper articles and letters from the friends were read to Him, He immediately answered and bestowed His bounties upon them. To some He wrote in His own hand. When He was tired of writing, the Master spoke about the coming of Christ from the heaven of holiness:
The Gospel expressly records that in His first coming, although Christ was born to Mary, He Himself said that He came from heaven. Thus, the meaning of `heaven' is the greatness of the Cause and eminence and might of the Manifestation of God Who spreads this divine Cause by His heavenly power and divine strength and not through material means.
Whenever His eyes fell on the luxuriant beauty of the lakes and rivers along the route He would remember the Blessed Perfection.
At noon He said to us: `You have lunch. I will not eat anything until I am hungry.'
The air in the coach was stifling and, owing to the speed of the train, even though the windows and doors were closed, the dust was heavy. `Abdu'l-Bahá felt tired. When the train reached Toronto to change tracks, He walked a little on the platform, saying that He was exhausted. `We have not gone far, He said, `yet we feel tired. How will the great distance to California be traversed? We have no choice, as in the path of God we must regard troubles as blessings and discomforts as greatest bounties.' We reached Buffalo late at night but, in obedience to His request, the friends were not informed.
Tuesday, September 10, 1912
The moment the news of the Master's arrival in Buffalo became known, the friends eagerly hastened to meet Him, grateful that their city had been blessed with His presence. Journalists came one after the other and left happy and satisfied, which surprised everyone. Owing to articles about the Cause in the city's newspapers, a great number of people came to visit on the morning of `Abdu'l-Bahá's arrival. The teachings so touched the hearts of the people that when the Master went out in the afternoon, passersby who saw Him pointed to Him, saying: `Look! There goes the Messenger of Peace, the Prophet from the East!'
At the request of some of His companions, after a short walk He took the trolley to Niagara Falls. It was far away and the round trip fare cost 50 cents per person. We had never seen or heard such huge, magnificent waterfalls. It was a beautiful sight. The great river feeding the falls is flanked on both sides by lakes, fields, mountains and woods. At some places the river falls from a height of a hundred meters. Because of the height of the falls and the crash of the water, small droplets of water form sprays which appear like a great sand storm. Below is a very large lake where people entertain themselves in barges and sailboats.
`Abdu'l-Bahá went to the edge, admired the great falls and recalled the days of the Blessed Perfection:
There were small waterfalls in Mázindarán which Bahá'u'lláh liked so much that He used to camp near them for several days.
Continuing, He said:
So much electricity can be generated from this water that it will suffice the whole town and it is also very good for the health.
While sitting on the bank of the river He ate some pears and grapes and then walked for some time in the park. We suggested that He should stay here a few days but He replied, `Even half a day is not possible. We have no time for amusement. We must keep ourselves engaged in our work.' He sat down on a bench in the center of the park and said, `I washed my hair with warm water without applying soap. It is much cleaner and takes longer to become dirty. Come and see how clean and soft it is.' We touched His hair, which was like silk, very soft and absolutely clean. On this occasion `the place of His lovers was noticeably vacant'.272
On the trolley ride back to the hotel, newspaper articles about His arrival in Buffalo were read to Him. The headline read: ``Abdu'l-Bahá, the Prophet of Peace, has arrived in Buffalo. The Bahá'ís are very happy to see Him among them in their homes. Their great longing for His arrival is fulfilled. Our hearty congratulations to the Bahá'ís.' When the Master reached the hotel He met a number of journalists who were waiting for Him.
This evening `Abdu'l-Bahá's talk was about unity and amity among the peoples of the East and the West and also about the degrees of love which bring the whole creation into existence. His message breathed a new spirit of love and joy into friends and seekers alike. They all gathered around Him, shook His hand and expressed their humble appreciation. He then went into another room, followed by some journalists who made a note of His words.
Later in the evening He strolled along the store fronts with us. The gas and electric street lamps, as well as the brightly lit theaters and coffee shops, were picturesque. We reached a spot where several poor people had gathered. He gave a sum of money to each. Seeing the grandeur, nobility, generosity and grace of the Master, a huge crowd, with the utmost courtesy, lined up near Him and He showered kindness on all. It was a strange sight for them to see Him walking in the street accompanied by His Persian servants in Eastern attire. Everyone said, `This is the same Prophet of Peace who has been acclaimed in the newspapers!'
For dinner `Abdu'l-Bahá ate a little bread and cheese and went to bed for the night.
Wednesday, September 11, 1912
People from all walks of life came to visit Him, including friends from Spokane and Mr Collins from Ottawa, who said that there were two thousand people in his city who believed in this golden age and in `Abdu'l-Bahá and who wanted to have a glimpse of the Master. The Master entrusted him with a special Tablet and sent him, now ablaze like a ball of fire, back to his home.
Today the newspapers appeared with a new title for the Master, `The Prince of the East', which `Abdu'l-Bahá did not welcome. He spoke with the reporters about the beginning and end of creation:
If we determine a beginning and an end for creation, it is as if we determine a beginning and an end for God. There can be no creator without a creation. The sun without light and a king without subjects and a country are simply inconceivable.
Here are some of His words to the friends:
I am exceedingly pleased because I see you firm and unwavering in the Cause of God. Some individuals are like rootless plants, they are pulled out by the slightest breeze. But those who are steadfast are like trees that have strong roots and foundations. Storms cannot shake them; rather, they add to their freshness.
The minister of the Church of the Messiah was greatly pleased hear the Master's teachings. He stated that they could not be contradicted by anyone. After thanking the Master for accepting his invitation to come to his church, the minister left.
In the afternoon the Master went to see two of the friends who were ill. When he arrived at their home, the neighborhood children crowded around Him, gazing at Him with reverence. Some asked about His native country and why He had come here. The friends explained it to them. The Master asked one of the friends to get change from a five dollar bill. He then distributed the coins among the children, who rushed to receive them, causing the Master to drop the rest of the coins. He then went into the home of Mr Mills where a number of friends had assembled. Refreshments had been prepared. The friends enthusiastically listened until the early evening hours as the Master unfolded the divine mysteries and encouraged them. Everyone begged His assistance and blessings and the desire of each for a few words from His own pen was granted. He then said, `Tomorrow we leave for Chicago.' As soon as these words were uttered, the friends became downcast. Men and women, young and old, surrounded Him, supplicating Him for His blessings and confirmations in His absence.
When `Abdu'l-Bahá arrived at the Church of the Messiah, the minister received Him at the entrance and led Him to a study where he humbly expressed his gratitude. He presented the Master with the official church newsletter in which he had published an extensive article about the history and teachings of the Cause. It had been written in a scholarly style and concluded with words in praise of the Master. When the article was translated for the Master, He turned to the minister and said, `You have left nothing for me to say here tonight. You have published everything in his booklet.' We remarked that there could be no miracle greater than this, that clergymen were testifying to the greatness of the Cause of God with their own tongues and pens. The Master replied, `I have told you repeatedly that the Blessed Perfection is assisting us. All these confirmations which descend continually are from Him.' He then went to the stage, stood before the audience and became the center of attraction for friends and seekers alike. The minister introduced `Abdu'l-Bahá in these words:
It is my great honor to present to you the prophet of peace, the leader of the Bahá'í Cause. A short history and teachings of this Cause was published in today's issue of the church newsletter and distributed this evening. I need not therefore dwell on these subjects. I propose to give as much time as possible to this eminent speaker. This great personage has traveled to many parts of the world and has delivered innumerable talks on the question of international peace. In Washington He gave a unique address in a church of our creed. The essential principles of this religion are the same as ours. I feel it an honor that I have been given the privilege of introducing to you the prophet of peace, His Holiness `Abdu'l-Bahá.
The Master stood and spoke on the divine teachings and the unity of the diverse nations under the canopy of the Word of God. The audience was so fascinated that although `Abdu'l-Bahá wished to leave the church early, it was not possible. The people came one after the other to meet Him and to give Him their regards. In return each received illumination from the Branch of the Ancient Root.273
An unusual and outstanding feature of this evening's experience was that at the conclusion of the meeting, the minister encouraged the congregation to go to the Bahá'í meetings to investigate and discover truth. This caused `Abdu'l-Bahá to express gratitude for the assistance of the Blessed Beauty and He continued to speak about the importance of this great journey until about 2:00 a.m. when He finally rested.
Thursday, September 12, 1912
[Buffalo -- Chicago]
`Abdu'l-Bahá called us before dawn. He had already packed and readied His bags. We packed our belongings in readiness for our departure. Because the chambermaid for His room was not there, He left a dollar for her with the hotel manager. When He reached the railway station, the driver wanted more money than the usual fare. `Abdu'l-Bahá paid no heed to him, saying, `A man may give $1,000 without minding it but he should not yield even a dollar to the person who wishes to take it wrongfully, for such wrongful behavior flouts justice and disrupts the order of the world.'
As articles from the Buffalo newspapers were being translated for `Abdu'l-Bahá in the train, He again offered thanks for the assistance and protection from the Abhá Kingdom. He said:
The confirmation and assistance of the Abhá Kingdom are more manifest than the sun. No eye or ear has seen or heard of such confirmations. Christ went into the Temple of the Jews where He spoke on the teachings of the Torah prohibiting buying and selling in the house of God. Up to the present time Christians glory in this and rejoice over it. But today through the assistance of the Abhá Beauty the Cause of God is proclaimed with the utmost openness in the churches and assemblies of the West.
The train passed by Niagara Falls. Beautiful villages and factories nestled in green fields and wooded mountain valleys came into view. As midday approached, and as the number of passengers increased at every station, the heat grew more and more intense, causing `Abdu'l-Bahá to become tired and weary. He commented that, `The friends in America expect me to visit each city. How would this be possible? It is impossible to sit in a train every day from morning until afternoon; the body cannot stand it.'
Today the train traveled through several states. At 8:00 p.m. the lights from Chicago appeared in the distance like brilliant stars and the train pulled into the station.
The Master waited until all the passengers had left the train and then He slowly disembarked. The spacious train station was crowded with His friends. As soon as His feet touched the ground their hearts were stirred. One person hurried forward to shake His hand; another ran to kiss the hem of His robe; another held a bouquet of flowers to present to Him; and yet another raised his voice in praise and gratitude on attaining the bounty of meeting Him. It was an impressive sight, a field of yearning lovers canopied by heavens resounding with songs of joy. The friends formed two lines and `Abdu'l-Bahá walked majestically between them showering His blessings on each one. He then went by automobile to the home of Mrs True, the maidservant of the Mash
There one of the Japanese friends bowed at His feet and received His blessings.
After a brief rest, `Abdu'l-Bahá appeared before the gathering. His eyes fell on Mr [Saichiro] Fujita, the Japanese gentleman. He remarked:
So, how is our Japanese Effendi? Recently the government of Japan has undergone a change. A new emperor has come to the throne. The sovereignty of the former Mikado has come to an end; all the hue and cry have ceased, a handful of dust was thrown over him and covered all his imperial regalia. Such was the kingdom of the Mikado. The same is true of all the other kings.
But as you are a believer in God, you have a kingdom which will never collapse and will be everlasting. Offer thanks to God, Who has bestowed upon you such a kingdom, greater than that of the Mikado. The first Bonaparte was a famous man and a great general who conquered most of the countries of Europe and became the emperor of France. The whole of Europe trembled before his command. The star of his prosperity set and it shall never rise again. At last a trifling incident obliterated his dominion and he became a prisoner in a state of extreme hardship in St Helena where he lamented until his death. One day as he was talking with his generals, they said that Christ, too, was a wise man like Napoleon. He replied, `No, you are mistaken. There is a vast difference between Him and me.'
The sovereignty of Napoleon ceased as soon as he died but the Kingdom of Christ is eternal. The former established his mortal kingdom with bloodshed and the sword while Christ established the Kingdom of God with the life-giving breaths of the Holy Spirit. Napoleon established his kingdom through the power of oppression while Christ established His through the power of the love of God. A hundred thousand Napoleons may be effaced but the Kingdom of Christ will remain forever. Such is the Kingdom of God.
Friday, September 13, 1912
Mrs True prepared tea for us. When some of the Persian friends remarked to `Abdu'l-Bahá that `there was better tea' than this, the Master replied, `This tea is very good because it has been prepared with love.' Referring to His expenses, He said:
Sometimes I give away as much as $1,000, if I have it, but at another time I do not spend even a single dollar. This is so that affairs are regulated. Thus it is that I say that I want the friends to become divine and godly under the shadow of the favor of the Abhá Beauty. Through the teachings and bestowals of the Blessed Perfection happiness and prosperity can be gained. I swear by God, besides Whom there is no other God, that although we might have traversed America from the east to the west, had not His confirmations and favors been with us, no one would have paid any heed to us. It is all through His aid and assistance that these doors have been opened. It is with the power of faith that we ascend to the highest apex and attain honor in the all-glorious Kingdom. So it is that these honorable souls serve us with such love and sincerity.
Visitors began to arrive. The friends from surrounding communities pleaded with Him to come to their cities. But because of the limited time and His plan to journey to the West, He did not accept their invitations. Reporters also came. He spoke on various subjects relating to the Cause and they took notes for publication in their newspapers.
At the meeting `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about the establishment of the divine civilization through the power of Bahá'u'lláh and about the world's need for the divine teachings:
Without divine civilization the mysteries of the Kingdom are not revealed and the bounties of heaven are not ascertained; supernatural wisdom and power do not manifest themselves; the intelligence of humanity does not reach maturity; the world of humanity does not become the mirror of the world above; spiritual powers fail to overcome animal influences of nature. These perfections are attained through divine civilization of which the world of man is in need.
After the meeting one of the friends who came to see Him was Mr Jackson of Kenosha, Wisconsin.275
He told `Abdu'l-Bahá that the believers and seekers were anxiously awaiting His visit and that a minister had asked Him to promise to speak in his church.
Since the friends were allowed to visit en masse, each morning there was such a crowd that there was no way up or down the stairs. When the Master got tired, He would take a walk outside and then return to the house.
Today another group, including some of the black believers, visited `Abdu'l-Bahá. Here are some of His words to them:
If a man has spiritual characteristics, be he white or black, he is near to God. Some have protested to me, asking why I seek to cultivate love between the whites and the blacks. Yet what a great error they make. You see people who love their dogs because of their faithfulness and the protection they provide. If but one good trait endears a dog to a human, why shouldn't praiseworthy qualities cause a man to be loved and respected? Why should fellowship with an upright person be avoided? When people are prepared to fondle an animal day and night, why should they shun association with an intelligent human being?
My hope is that you will rid and purify yourselves of imitations so that your thoughts and minds will be broadened and elevated, that you will be seekers of the truth, the lovers of the servants of God and the cause of the oneness of humanity.
Today an important philosopher together with the president of the Worker's Union, a socialist, visited the Master. They were so moved by the Master's explanations and proofs of the existence of God and His divine laws that the friends' hearts were overjoyed to see their sincerity and humility before Him.
This evening the three large rooms on the ground floor of Mrs True's home were filled with so many visitors that people were standing in the hallways. The Master walked among the crowd and spoke about the assistance of the Blessed Beauty, the spread of the Cause of God and the impact of the Word of God on the churches and meetings. The gist of His talk was this:
Look at the history of the world and try to find a parallel instance in which a native of the East has come to the countries of the West, particularly America, and called out to them in the churches and meetings there, raised the divine call in many of the large cities and invited everyone to the Abhá Kingdom, with no one taking exception. Nay, on the contrary, those present at the gatherings have heard him with patience and unbounded joy. These things have been achieved solely through the confirmations of the Abhá Kingdom.
Saturday, September 14, 1912
Among `Abdu'l-Bahá's words were these:
If the Blessed Perfection had not exerted Himself to raise up the Cause of God, the Cause of the Primal Point [the Báb] would have been completely effaced. Similarly, had it not been for the power of the Covenant after the ascension of the Ancient Beauty, it is evident what the people would have done, how they would have spent their time, like Mírzá Yahyá, taking many wives and satisfying their lusts and desires. They would have destroyed the divine standard.
He then gave an account of the fruitless Kheiralla.
When someone remarked that the Tablet of Ish
had been translated and published in German, the Master said:
All the affairs and conditions of the world serve the Cause of God. If they had driven me out of the United States or had refused me entry, it would have been a good thing. Opposition serves to promote the Cause of God, how much more helping the Cause accomplishes!
Then He said, `Let us go for a walk before everybody arrives.'
He walked along the shore [of Lake Michigan] and spoke about the sacrifice of a Japanese admiral:
With this type of sacrifice they attained success. But remember, if he had lived, it would have been better for his nation and government. Observe, a general sacrificed himself and his children for the emperor and became renowned for sincerity and faithfulness. From this example it becomes obvious what we should do in the path of the Abhá Beauty. If you view it in the light of justice, you will see that the emperor did not bestow upon his general a thousandth portion of the grace that the Blessed Beauty bestows upon us.
Returning to the house, He found several believers and seekers from Chicago and surrounding communities. All were grateful to hear His divine words and teachings.
In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá was invited to speak at the Theosophical Society where He ignited a fire of spirituality in the minds of the audience. The president of the society introduced the Master with great respect, saying:
Gentlemen, today it is a great bounty and high honor for us to be in the presence of a person who is the greatest prophet of peace and harmony. There is no doubt -- and I feel and say on behalf of the audience -- that to the present time we have not had the honor of hearing the life-giving words from the tongue of a living prophet. Therefore, with unbounded happiness and heartfelt honor I present to you His Holiness `Abdu'l-Bahá, the prophet of peace and the founder of universal brotherhood.
The Master rose and spoke brilliantly about the distinction between spiritual realities and the animal nature of man, and the appearance of the perfection of man in the image of God. He explained some of the teachings of the new Manifestation. The audience applauded with so much excitement and joy that it felt as though there were an earthquake in the auditorium.
The president thanked the Master and acknowledged the truth and greatness of `Abdu'l-Bahá. To show their concurrence with the words of their president, the members of the audience rose together in great excitement, a clear proof of the extraordinary powers of the Center of the Covenant. `Abdu'l-Bahá again arose and spoke:
I am very happy with your warmth and consideration. God be praised that there exist in America such societies founded on human principles, the appreciation of spiritual values and the investigation of truth. I am most grateful to this society and hope that your inner perception may increase and that the bounties of God will be with you.
When the Master went into another room the people rushed into it. Most of them wished to tell Him, `We testify to the truth of this Cause.' The degree of excitement in the hearts of such a large gathering cannot be imagined. That such a transformation can occur in such a country is beyond belief.
Sunday, September 15, 1912
[Chicago -- Kenosha]
In the morning `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke to Dr [William Frederick] Nutt about Kheiralla in such majestic and forcible tones that both the hearer and the translator trembled with fear. Finally, He said:
He wants me to send for him. As a visitor to this country, the great and lowly of this land come to see me. If his intention be good, he also should come with utmost sincerity.277
The Blessed Being was very tired after His talk.
The Master had an appointment in Kenosha and was preparing to go there. He was accompanied by Dr Nutt, a Japanese believer and these companions. On the way we had to change trains. Although we hurried, we missed the second train. The friends were saddened but `Abdu'l-Bahá said, `Oh, it matters not. There is a wisdom in this.' We left by the next train and found that the train we had missed was wrecked and some of the passengers injured. It was clear that it had collided with another train. `Abdu'l-Bahá said, `This, too, was the protection of the Blessed Beauty.' He then narrated the episode of His leaving Alexandria for America:
Some proposed that we leave via London by the S. S. Titanic, which sank on the same voyage. The Blessed Beauty guided us to come direct.
The friends were waiting with their automobiles at the railway station to take the Beloved to the hall of the Mash
The Master went onto the stage of the auditorium and sat on a chair. It was a divine and joyous festival, the people like heavenly angels of the utmost spirituality, prayerfulness and gratitude. `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke briefly but effectively about the victorious power and penetrating influence of the Cause of the Blessed Beauty. He then went to a long table that extended the length of the hall which was covered with a variety of multicolored flowers.
As lunch was being served, the young friends, having received `Abdu'l-Bahá's permission, sang songs of praise to Him, accompanied by a piano. The Master then gave an account of the persecutions and hardships of Bahá'u'lláh, the time spent in the Most Great Prison, the Turkish revolution and the changes that took place after the establishment of a constitutional form of government in Turkey. `God removed all obstacles', He said, `and provided all the necessities, thus enabling `Abdu'l-Bahá to reach this place and have the pleasure of seeing you.'
The friends then brought their children to Him to be blessed. He took the children onto His lap one by one and gave them flowers, fruits and sweets. Mr Jackson said:
Every time we have held a public entertainment for the friends we have left two seats vacant at each end of the table, one in the name of Bahá'u'lláh and the other in that of `Abdu'l-Bahá. We constantly longed to witness a day such as this. We have now attained our highest hopes and our eyes have seen the light of the Master.
Another person said, `When the clergymen were informed of your arrival, they announced in the churches that this evening the prophet of the East will speak at the Kenosha Congregational Church.'
After lunch `Abdu'l-Bahá left the hall of the `Mashriqu'l-Adhkár' and went to Mrs [Henry] Goodale's home, where the friends were overjoyed and uplifted to hear Him speak. He said to them, in part:
The Cause of God has always appeared from the East but it has been more effective in the West. Once Badrí Pásh
said in an address, `Gentlemen, Westerners have taken everything from us: the sciences, the arts and the laws they took from the East. Now we fear that they may wrest from us the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh, as well.' Those were his words. But Bahá'u'lláh is neither of the East nor of the West, neither of the South nor of the North. He is holy above all these directions. He is heavenly and godly.
`Abdu'l-Bahá's address in the evening at the Congregational Church was on the unity of the Manifestations of God, that they are one in essence and that the differences among their followers is due to obsolete imitations. His explanation of the divine teachings gave new life and insights to the audience. After His talk, everyone came to Him to pay Him their respects.
Monday, September 16, 1912
[Kenosha -- Chicago]
In the morning `Abdu'l-Bahá prepared to leave for Chicago. The believers, `like iguanas', gazed at Him with eyes like those of parting lovers. He remarked:
See what the power and influence of Bahá'u'lláh have wrought. Consider how He has brought the Japanese, the Americans and the Persians all under the shadow of one word and caused them to love one another.
Along the way He spoke of the steadfastness of the believers of the East. He arrived in Chicago in the evening and a continuous stream of friends came to see Him. Some of them wanted to give Him some money but, despite their pleading and entreaties, He would not accept it and instead requested that the money be distributed among the poor. Some reporters had published their articles in the newspapers, which the Master appreciated.
At a gathering of the believers in the afternoon, some of the friends had arranged a musical program at which poems written by Mrs [Louise] Waite (who had been given the Persian name Shánaz Khánum by the Master) were sung to piano accompaniment as the Master descended the stairs. The Master walked among the friends in such a manner that everyone was moved, overcame their reserve and shed tears of joy and love. A clergyman came forward and supplicated `Abdu'l-Bahá: `O Thou Prophet of God, `Abdu'l-Bahá, pray thou for me.' The Master bestowed His blessings upon him.
The Master spoke to the friends about the bonds of love which unite the hearts.280
At the conclusion of the meeting, He called to Mrs True, saying, `Because of your desire and insistence we came to this house but now we must go to a hotel.'
In the evening He exhorted the friends in sweet and expressive words to spread the fragrances of God, to proclaim the Words of their Lord and to show kindness to His friends. Afterwards, some were privileged to have private interviews with Him. After dinner He told us to pack our things to move to the hotel. In the automobile, He seemed to be depressed. He said:
I am bearing the discomforts of this journey with stop-overs so that the Cause of God may be protected from any breach. For I am still not sure about what is going to happen after me. If I could be sure, then I would sit comfortably in some corner, I would not leave the Holy Land and travel far away from the Most Holy Tomb. Once, after the martyrdom of the Báb, the Cause of God was dealt a hard blow through Yahyá. Again, after the ascension of the Blessed Beauty, it received another blow. And I fear that self-seeking persons may again disrupt the love and unity of the friends. If the time were right and the House of Justice were established, the House of Justice would protect the friends.
He then spoke about how disunity began in the Islamic cycle, saying, `Because of certain people who sought to fulfill their personal desires and who yet counted themselves among the supporters of the religion, the foundation of Islam was completely uprooted.' He continued in this vein until the automobile arrived at the hotel.
Tuesday, September 17, 1912
[Chicago -- Minneapolis]
The Master bade farewell to the friends and promised to come back to Chicago on His return from California. Here are a few of His remarks to the friends:
I ask the Blessed Beauty to assist you and confirm you. Wherever I go, you will be in my thoughts. I shall not forget any one of you. I beg of God that you may become more enlightened, more severed, more spiritual, more aflame and that you may be humble and submissive, for as long as man does not consider himself to be good but regards himself as weak and deficient, he progresses; but the moment he considers himself good and says, `I am perfect', he falls into pride and retrogresses.
To another gathering, He spoke about socialism:
The principles of socialism are outstripped in the religions of God. For instance, God commands, `But [they] prefer them [the poor] before themselves, although there be indigence among them' [Qur'án 59:9]. That is, the believers spend of their substance and share their possessions and prefer others to themselves willingly and with utmost spirituality. Socialists, however, desire to enforce equality and association by compulsion. Although the preference for others which is the exhortation of God is more difficult because the rich are enjoined to prefer others to themselves, this will become common and will be the cause of tranquillity and an aid to the order of the world, because it depends upon the inclination and willingness of the giver. But socialism and egalitarianism, although easier, as those who have are made equal with others, yet such a system will not become widespread and is the cause of disturbance and tumult because it rests on compulsion and coercion.
In the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh it is mentioned that if a rich man neglects the duty of educating his children, the House of Justice is authorized to compel him to assist financially and to educate them. But this is a matter for the family of that wealthy man and comes under the jurisdiction of the House of Justice. The point is that there are matters greater than equality and socialism in divine religions. In the Cause of God there were persons like the King of Martyrs [Mírzá Muh
who, in the days of tribulation, expended all their wealth and property to relieve the sufferings of the poor and the weak. In Persia the Bahá'ís were willing to sacrifice themselves for one another to such a degree that once when one of the Bahá'ís was a guest in the home of another believer, and the authorities demanded the arrest of the guest, the host gave the guest's name as his own and surrendered himself to them, was martyred in his place, thus sacrificing his life for his guest and brother.
Turning to the editor of the Police Journal, `Abdu'l-Bahá said,
A newspaper must in the first instance be the means of creating harmony among the people. This is the prime duty of the proprietors of newspapers, to eradicate misunderstandings between religions and races and nationalities and promote the oneness of mankind.
Mírzá `Alí-Akbar Nakhjavání, who had been granted permission to accompany `Abdu'l-Bahá on His journey to California, arrived from Malden, joining Mr Fujita, the Japanese, and the other servants. The train left Chicago at 10:00 a.m. Many of the friends had gathered at the railway station and surrounded the Master, begging for divine confirmations, blessings and assistance to render services to the Cause of God.
Although the air was cool and the train was clean and free of dust, still `Abdu'l-Bahá was tired and weak. In the afternoon we observed a strange phenomenon. We heard moaning from the seat on which the Master was reclining. When we came close to Him we saw that His eyes, like beautiful tulips, were open and that He was chanting a prayer in mournful tones. As we drew even closer, He paid no attention nor looked at us. Although He was awake, He appeared to be sleeping. We tried to understand what He was saying but it was impossible. Meanwhile the train stopped and one of us had the audacity to ask the Master whether He would like to step outside and take a little walk. He came out of His state of reverie and said, `No, we won't go out.'
During this time `Abdu'l-Bahá appeared to be sad and depressed. At one time He said, `I did not sleep at all last night. The ark of the Cause is beset by tempests and storms on all sides. But the confirmations of the Ancient Beauty are with us.'
At 9:00 in the evening, when the train was but a few stations away from Minneapolis, we were joined by Mr [Albert Heath] Hall and some friends. When we reached Minneapolis another group of friends and journalists received the bounty of seeing the Master. He told them that He was very tired and would see them the following morning to answer their questions and to give them material for their newspaper articles.
He went to the Hotel Plaza which faces a lovely park with a beautiful lake. The friends said that many ministers and other prominent people of the city had tendered invitations to the Master. He said:
We cannot stay more than two days. We come and in each city we create a stir, scatter some seeds, awaken the people, inform them of the Most Great Call and then leave. In this short space of time our work is to proclaim the Cause of God and, praise be to God, the results are evident day by day and accompanied by great confirmations.
Wednesday, September 18, 1912
The assembly hall of the hotel became a joyous meeting place for the friends. With great happiness and excitement the friends eagerly listened to the Master's words.
Praise be to God that He has given you a prosperous country. Towns are flourishing, commerce is progressing and the outward evidences of prosperity are displayed with utmost beauty and perfection. But all these things are as nothing when compared to the bounties of God. The whole globe is nothing before one ray of the Sun of Truth. Thus it is said in the Gospel that Satan took Christ to the top of a high mountain, showed Him the world outspread and told Him that he would give Him all these things if he would follow him. But Christ refused.
He then answered questions from the audience about socialism and gave interviews to some newspaper reporters about various subjects, such as the necessity for a spiritual civilization, spiritual guidance and the principles and life history of Bahá'u'lláh.
Later, a Jewish rabbi visited the Master and requested that He speak in his synagogue. `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke with him, saying, `I have come from your original homeland, Jerusalem. I passed forty-five years in Palestine, but I was in prison.' The rabbi said, `We are all prisoners in this world.' The Master added, `But I was imprisoned in two prisons. Even then I was contented and was completely happy and grateful.' The rabbi then said, `The Prophets of God have always been imprisoned and now His Holiness `Abdu'l-Bahá, the chosen one of God, is imprisoned.' The Master stated, `I am but the servant of God; but the practice of people has always been to persecute all the Prophets and the holy ones and then later to prostrate themselves at the mention of their names.' When they finished their conversation, the rabbi expressed his sincere thanks and requested permission to leave. The Master embraced Him and said, `We desire that all religions unite in bonds of brotherhood, to love one another. May they join hands and embrace each other, and honor and respect one another's masters.'
The Master was invited to the Commercial Club this morning. As He drove through the city's parks and boulevards on the way, He remarked:
Tonight when we speak in the Jewish synagogue we shall bring proofs and arguments in support of the Spirit [Christ]. This is the wish and confirmation of the Blessed Beauty. It is as if the Abhá Beauty were present in the Mansion at `Akká and I went into His presence and said that I wished to speak in a Jewish synagogue. It is clear that His wish would be that the truth of Jesus should be demonstrated.
Several newspaper reporters asked Him questions about the principles of the Faith. He told them:
The laws and commandments of God are of two kinds: one set is composed of those essential spiritual principles which are the basis for human prosperity, praiseworthy morals and the acquisition of the virtues and perfections of man. These never change. The other kind are subsidiary laws related to our material life. These are revealed to regulate transactions and to meet the exigencies of the time. These change in keeping with the requirements of the age.
While He was giving a detailed explanation of the laws of God, prominent members of the Club gathered around Him. They listened with rapt attention to His words concerning the failure of the four criteria [for establishing reality] -- namely, the senses, the intellect, tradition and inspiration -- to arrive at the correct conclusions and the efficacy of all-encompassing power of the command of God. They expressed their sincere admiration for His blessings and kindness, particularly for His talk.
Today a billboard outside a building announced: ``Abdu'l-Bahá, the venerable Prophet of the East and the Leader of the Bahá'ís, will speak here at noon today.'
In the evening the Master delivered a brilliant address at the Jewish synagogue, providing decisive proofs of the validity and truth of Christ and the Cause of Muhammad. It was so persuasive that men and women came to `Abdu'l-Bahá with the utmost humility and admiration. One of them said openly that he would no longer be a Jew.
Thursday, September 19, 1912
[Minneapolis -- St Paul]
It was reported to `Abdu'l-Bahá that the proceedings of the Bahá'í meeting the night before had been published in today's newspapers. He said:
Notwithstanding this, the Muslims and the Christians alike are not satisfied with us. They are engaged in pleasurable diversions and enjoyable pastimes in their homes while we are laboring to prove the truths of the divine Manifestations in these great temples. So it is with the mischief-makers and Covenant-breakers. Behold how they are preoccupied with themselves and with the satisfaction of their selfish desires, while I am so wholly occupied with spreading the Cause of God in America that I have not had a moment's rest.
After a visit with friends and seekers, the Master went to a museum.282
Among its many antiques objects were some small tear vials from ancient Phoenicia in which people had preserved their tears at the time of the death of their loved ones and then buried with the dead bodies. `Abdu'l-Bahá said, `See how these bottles have outlasted the bodies of men under the earth.' He continued:
When people of the West become wealthy, they begin to collect antique objects in order to render a service to the world of art. But when Persians become wealthy, they keep one hundred horses in their stables, give themselves up to pomp and show, engage themselves in satiating their selfish desires. But in comparison with service to the Cause, both attitudes are barren, producing no result. For example, if the effort these people put into gathering these objects, and the millions of dollars spent acquiring them, were employed for the Cause of God, their stars of happiness and prosperity would shine evermore from the horizon of both worlds. If in this city they brought ten persons into the Cause of God, it would gain momentum and would become the cause of eternal honor and happiness as well as the source of everlasting life.
After returning to the hotel, telegrams reporting the good news were prepared and dispatched to the Assemblies of the East.
Among the friends assembled to meet `Abdu'l-Bahá were several philosophers and clergymen. The Master spoke about the oneness of mankind, universal brotherhood and the teachings of God. Everyone expressed their admiration and sincere appreciation. The friends were delighted to see `Abdu'l-Bahá's influence and power and pleaded with Him to prolong His stay. He replied, `We have little time. We must go everywhere to announce the Cause of God. We have called the people here and now we must hasten to other places until we reach California.'
There was a splendid meeting in the afternoon at the home of Mr Hall. Several people were there, including some philosophers, professors, clergymen and women, all of whom listened to the Master's words with great pleasure. The Master spoke about the oneness and unity of mankind and the increased capacity of this enlightened century. After He spoke, a number of the guests requested the privilege of having a private interview with Him.
Dr [Clement] Woolson brought his automobile to take the Master to a meeting in St Paul, some 15 miles from Minneapolis. The distance was covered in comfort and at a good speed. The Master praised the cleanliness and beauty of the Mississippi River and the greenness of the hills, plains and gardens along the way. He arrived at Dr Woolson's home and there addressed the assembled friends who were very taken with His words. His explanation of nature's lack of perfection and its recreation through divine education gave the audience a new perspective.283
The Master took a walk in the garden. Several children approached Him and politely asked Him about His country and the purpose of His visit. He spoke with them kindly. They then followed Him in respectful silence and when He approached the house, they asked permission to come inside. To each He gave some coins and showered them with kindness. One tiny child slipped off his father's lap and ran to the Master, saying. `I love you first and then my father.'
When it was time to leave two automobiles were at the door. One belonged to some enthusiastic women who were new to the Cause. The Master sat in their automobile. Then Dr Woolson came out to say that the automobile meant for the Master was the other one. The Master then went to that automobile and they drove to Minneapolis at full speed to attend the meeting being held in the evening at Mr Hall's home.284
The other automobile did not reach its destination and it was later learned than it had broken down on the way and that the women had had to make other arrangements. Because they arrived late, they had the honor of having dinner with the Master.
Friday, September 20, 1912
[Minneapolis -- Denver]
Today we departed from Minneapolis. In the morning friends and seekers surrounded `Abdu'l-Bahá like moths. He spoke to them in these words:
You must have deep love for one another. Go to see each other and be consoling friends to all. If a friend lives a little distance from the town, go to see him. Do not content yourselves with words only but act according to the commandments of God. Hold weekly meetings and give feasts. Put forth your efforts to acquire spiritual perfections and to spread the knowledge of God. These are the attributes of the Bahá'ís. Otherwise, what use is there in being a Bahá'í in word alone.
At 8:00 a.m., after packing the parcels to be sent to the East, the Master left the hotel for the train station. The assembled friends were sad and dejected owing to His departure from their midst. He consoled them until the train left the station, saying:
I shall never forget you. You are always in my mind. Convey to all the friends my kind regards. I love all. I exhort you to be kind to the poor and love them. Help them, for the poor are broken-hearted. If you sacrifice yourself for the rich, they think you do it because you are obliged to. But if you love the poor, they feel joy and are sincerely grateful. To help the poor is essential. May you be under the protection of God.
When the train reached St Paul station, Dr Woolson came to say goodbye and received the Master's blessing. He was showered with bounty.
On the way `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about teaching the Cause of God in America and remarked:
In this country it is essential to have teachers who are attracted, wholly severed and learned like some of the self-sacrificing Persian teachers. The Cause of God must become firmly established in these regions. The teachers must move continually, one after another, from one place to another to raise the divine call. Then will the confirmations of the Abhá Kingdom envelop these nations and wonders will be achieved. This desire of mine has not yet come about. It depends on the confirmations of the all-glorious Kingdom and on the sanctified breaths of the friends. The one true God is my witness! If a person draws only one pure breath in a state of severance, it will be effective for a thousand years.
Later He related many stores about the days in Baghdád. In the afternoon He spoke about Mr [Edward Granville] Browne and said:
I wrote to him, saying, `You are the first European teacher and author to have attained His Blessed Presence. Do not lose this distinction.' He did not understand me and his loss will be known when the lights of guidance shine in England with supreme brilliancy.
Two hours after midnight the train reached Omaha. As the Master was extremely tired, as soon as He arrived at the hotel He retired immediately, without eating.
Saturday, September 21, 1912
[Omaha -- Lincoln]
In the morning, as we were having tea served by `Abdu'l-Bahá, the latest news from the Balkan war was relayed to Him. He commented, in part:
Our own `war' is good because it conquers all. When a crown of thorns was placed on the head of Christ, He saw with His own eyes the crowns of kings under His feet. Now, when I look, I see all the powers and nations defeated, scattered and lost in the wilderness while the Cause of God is victorious over all and subdues all. All future events are evident and visible to the eyes of the holy Manifestations.
He illustrated this by narrating the historical events from the digging of ditches285
to the victory of Islam over the treasuries of Anush
írván and Kh
The hypocrites, who disbelieved in the promises of Muh
ammad in their hearts, saw these victories and cried out: `This is that which God and His Messenger have promised us.'
The translation of an article regarding universal peace was read to the Master. He said:
If the republics of the Americas assembled and agreed on the question of peace, and if all of them would turn to the [Peace] Assembly287
at the Hague, most of the powers of Europe would follow suit. But looking at it from another point of view, if an international war breaks out in Europe, international peace will be established more quickly. Also, if these ideas regarding peace spread among the public, the financiers will refuse to give loans for wars and the manufacture of armaments, the railway companies will abstain from transporting instruments of destruction and the armed forces will not engage in carnage and the spilling of blood. Also the boundaries should be established.
Later the Master was interviewed by two journalists and spoke to them about the pernicious attitudes of politicians, the destructiveness of war, the validity of the divine teachings regarding universal peace, the unity of religions and the oneness of mankind.
In one of the Tablets revealed by `Abdu'l-Bahá in honor of a friend in Mázindarán, these words were recorded:
The light of Bahá'u'lláh has shone to such a degree on the continent of America that in every city where a number of believers reside, the call of `Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá' has been raised. In great churches and meetings `Abdu'l-Bahá cries out and proves the truth of the Prophet of God [Muh
ammad] and of the Báb and of the rising sun of Bahá'u'lláh. Most of the newspapers express praise in glowing articles. Where are the Persians, that they may behold the splendors of the Luminary of the World [Bahá'u'lláh] Whose light has shone forth from the horizon of Mount Awrang288
and now illumines the mountains and plains of America? In spite of all this, the people of Núr are still asleep and do not know what an honor has been showered upon that region.
`Abdu'l-Bahá had soup prepared especially for Him for lunch. The Master instructed us to have lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon after tea, the Master left for Lincoln to visit Mr [William Jennings] Bryan, the [future] Secretary of State of the United States, and said:
During Mr and Mrs Bryan's last visit to Haifa, we were, while in `Akká, in great danger, and the enemies were rebellious and increasingly perverse in those last days, thus he was unable to see us. So now we are going to see him.
The train had left just as the Master reached the station. He decided to wait for the next train. A few minutes later, a man who had seen our Persian dress and kuláhs came to us and said, `We received a telegram from the friends in Minneapolis and have been looking for `Abdu'l-Bahá.' He immediately ran to give the news to the other friends and brought them to Him. They were extremely grateful that He had not left by the first train. The Master spoke to them about the major calamities that had befallen the Cause of God, saying:
Up to now, whatever has occurred has had the effect of spreading the Cause of God. When the Blessed Beauty left Tihrán and when He departed from Baghdád for the Holy Land, it was so devastating that the friends shed tears of blood. Now it has become evident what mysteries were concealed in that event and what victories lay in store; even the prophecies of the holy books regarding the Holy Land and the promised Manifestation were fulfilled through that banishment.
A professor who had heard of some of the principles of the Bahá'í Cause was very happy and grateful to have visited the Master. At midnight the Master left Omaha and three hours later arrived in Lincoln.
Sunday, September 22, 1912
In the morning the Master spoke about the animosity of the enemies and their evil intentions towards the Blessed Beauty. Then the conversation turned to the corruption and iniquity of the Covenant-breakers. He said:
u`á of darkness289
wrote to his father quite openly that his purpose was to amass wealth and worldly property. With reference to me he stated that he was waiting for the fulfillment of the promise in the verse, `God will assuredly send down one who will deal mercilessly with him.'290
Two newspaper reporters came to interview Him and recorded the interview with the utmost courtesy and respect. The Master instructed us to telephone and inquire about Mr Bryan and his wife. Expressing regret that Mr Bryan was not at home, Mrs Bryan said she and her daughter would be pleased to receive `Abdu'l-Bahá in their home. The Master and His entourage hired a large automobile and drove a long distance outside of the city until they reached a large estate which is located in one of the finest places in the region. Mrs Bryan hurried towards the automobile to greet `Abdu'l-Bahá. She and her daughter expressed their joy and happiness for His blessings. After they had had tea and listened to Him, they begged Him to visit some of the rooms of the house, particularly the library and Mr Bryan's study. They showed Him a book compiled by Mr Bryan and asked Him to pray for the success of his endeavors. Mr Bryan was currently on a campaign tour on behalf of [the future] President Wilson and was to lecture in many cities. In honor of the occasion, `Abdu'l-Bahá took a notebook and in His own hand wrote a prayer for assistance. He then said a few words which increased their happiness, devotion, assurance and honor. With that He departed.
Among those visiting the Master at the hotel in the afternoon were some Arabs. They had read about His arrival and His speeches in the newspapers and wished to see Him. The newspaper articles about His arrival and the Manifestations of God were translated and read to Him. It made Him happy to know that a stay in the city of only 12 hours had become the cause of spreading the teachings of God.
At 8:00 p.m., just before leaving the city, the Master came and sat in the lobby of the hotel. A number of people who had read about the new teachings in the newspapers approached and were introduced to Him. They all listened carefully to His explanations and expressed their pleasure. At 11:00 p.m. the train left Lincoln. His companions tried to persuade Him to take Pullman accommodation for Himself but He would not allow it, saying:
We must all be together. The only purpose of this journey is to serve the Cause of God. We have no other aim. We will all sleep in our coach seats.
He spent the night in the chair car with the rest of us, sometimes sleeping and sometimes awake. And in this way His time passed.
Monday, September 23, 1912
The Master reached Denver around two o'clock in the afternoon. Mr and Mrs Ashton and some friends came to the station to meet Him. The moment they saw Him they became excited and full of joy. They took Him to the Hotel Shirley where we had made reservations on the third floor of this lovely building. He said to some newspaper reporters who had come for an interview: `I had no rest last night and am very tired. Give me a little time.' They returned at 5:00 p.m. and were permitted to take His photograph and to ask questions. At eight in the evening He went to the home of Mrs [Sidney] Roberts where friends both old and new had gathered.291
There were so many people that they were seen standing as far the front entrance. He spoke to them about the power of the Abhá Kingdom which had enabled Him to travel far in spite of His weak constitution and which had gathered the friends in the assemblies of the love of God. After His talk He bestowed His special blessing on each person. As the Master was leaving the meeting, the pastor of the Church of Divine Science approached Him with the utmost humility and invited Him to speak at his church. `Abdu'l-Bahá accepted. Since so many people wished to have an interview with Him, He announced that during the few days He would be in Denver, He would see anyone who would call upon Him at the hotel between nine and twelve in the morning.
Regarding His health, He said:
In the early stages of our long journey to California my health was affected. But as the journey was made for God and to diffuse the divine fragrances, my longstanding indisposition has been cured without any medicine. The confirmations of Abhá are descending from all sides.
It is written in the Hadíth [Islamic traditions] that cities shall draw nearer to each other. Besides spiritual nearness and communications between the cities of the hearts and friendships between diverse people in the promised Day, how physically close have the cities and countries also become. Truly, if not for railroads and the power of steam, how could these long distances be traversed with such ease? This is one of the miracles of this promised century of our current age.
Tuesday, September 24, 1912
There was a rush of people from early morning until noon. Friends, seekers, professors, clergymen and philosophers all came to see Him. They each raised questions and were filled with joy on hearing the Master's words.
He was invited by some clergymen to speak in their churches. He tendered His regrets, saying, `My stay here is brief.'
Today the newspapers published `Abdu'l-Bahá's picture along with those of His companions, as well as articles describing His talks.
After the meeting He went for a walk and strolled through parks and boulevards. As the Master passed by the government buildings, monuments and statutes of American heroes, He remarked: `Their victories are trifling in comparison with the first victories of Islam, yet they are famous and a source of honor to all who know them. But these great victories have been completely forgotten.' All eyes were attracted to `Abdu'l-Bahá, to His glory, dignity and grandeur, as He walked with His companions dressed in their kuláhs and Persian clothes. One of the Master's companions remarked that the people viewed this picturesque sight as an amusing comedy. He replied, `Yes, it is a heavenly act, a performance of the Kingdom, a wonderful pageant.'
Those who had read the newspapers about the arrival of the Master were heard saying to each other, `He is the Prophet of the East, the Messenger of Peace. Those who had cameras took the Master's photograph as He walked by.
In the afternoon He was invited to the suburban home of Mrs Clark. As we rode on the train some passengers were seen to be whispering about us. He said, `Tell them we are neither Turks nor Arabs, neither of the East nor of the West, rather we are of heaven and of God.' One of the companions said, `Being of that is good but being of God is better.'
When the Master arrived at Mrs Clark's home, several of the friends had already gathered to see Him. He spoke to them about the confirmations of the Abhá Beauty and the power and influence of the Word of God. `See how He has made the Easterner and the Westerner friends', He said, `and has bestowed sincere love and true friendship. Otherwise, what connection would there be between us and Americans, between this Japanese youth292
and Mírzá Mah
múd-i-Zarqání? Mrs Clark said: `I have frequently dreamt that my home would become honored with the footsteps of the Beloved Master. I am extremely thankful and grateful that my dreams have come true. My heart is now freed from ego, whereas before I used to consider myself better than anyone else.' The Master said:
Thank God, because the first self-conceited one was Satan. A man must never consider himself greater than others. Rather, he must always be humble and self-effacing. The bird, as long as it sees itself at a low level, is given impetus to soar and progress; but the moment it fancies itself high in the air, it begins to descend.
Someone in the audience asked, `What shall I do to become a true servant?' He replied:
Act in accordance with the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. Do not only read His teachings but put into practice in your lives the Hidden Words and the other holy writings. Whatever I say is not even a drop from the ocean of the Supreme Pen and the treasure-filled sea of the bounty and favor of the Abhá Beauty.
I have brought the message of Bahá'u'lláh to this country in order to teach people to investigate truth, to render service to humanity, to endeavor to bring about international peace, to exert every effort to guide humanity, to show kindness to all creatures and to raise the Call of the Kingdom. Man must be endowed with divine attributes and must enter the concourse of the exalted ones. These teachings are only a drop from the sea concealed in the Hidden Words. We must pray for each other. If we act according to the divine teachings, by God besides Whom there is none other God, we shall shine like lamps. But woe betide those people who are aware of the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh and know them to be the cause of eternal salvation and divine nearness but still do not bring their actions into conformity with them. Such is a source of great distress. Thus it is incumbent upon us to endeavor day and night to follow the teachings of God. This is the cause of eternal esteem, this is divine favor, this is the honor of mankind and this is everlasting life.
Another person asked about telepathy or communication from mind to mind. He replied:
It is evident. If a lover holds the hand of a beloved, it is obvious what feelings ensue. They communicate face to face and speak heart to heart, as this light is communicating now with human eyes, the sun with the earth, the cloud with the land and the breeze with the tree. This process is found in all things.
The Master was asked about His health and comfort, to which He replied:
I have not come for rest and diversion. I have come to raise the call of the Abhá Kingdom in order to diffuse the divine fragrances. Had I desired rest, I would have secured it more easily in the East. Now I must journey to various cities and countries and call people to the divine Kingdom. Suppose I had rested for a few years, what results would it have had?
Early in the evening when He returned to the hotel the Master discovered that the editor of The Post had placed an automobile at His disposal. On the way to the Church of Divine Science, He remarked:
Behold the power and confirmation of the Blessed Beauty: The pastor comes in person with all humility to invite us and the proprietor of a leading journal sends his automobile for our use, so that we may raise the call of God in the church. Truly, such confirmations have never been seen in other dispensations and in no age have the Manifestations of the Cause of God met with such reverence and honor. But these things should be the cause of humility and self-effacement. We must not consider that they are due to our addresses or our eloquence. These shining lights which you see will instantly darken if the origin of their bounty is severed from them.
When the Master's automobile reached the church, a crowd of people was seen standing outside. Immediately the pastor came forward, and taking the Master's arm, led Him to the pulpit. The pastor reverently introduced the Master to the audience. Then `Abdu'l-Bahá stood and delivered an address on the reality and condition of the Manifestations of God.293
After His talk, the people came to the pulpit to see Him and shake His hand, surrounding Him like moths. Another clergyman, with the utmost humility, asked the Master to speak at his church. He was so persuasive that every tongue was forced to say, `All heads are bowed before Him.' With great courtesy, the Master tendered His apologies because of His limited time but promised to return.
As the Master left the church He was perspiring so much that His companions were concerned about His health and tried to keep Him warm with His `abá, shawl and blanket. Indeed, the guidance and protection of the Abhá Beauty prevailed and His assistance bestowed. Everything relating to this journey has been the cause of joy and a sign of the power of the King of Manifestations.
Wednesday, September 25, 1912
Most of the people coming today to see the Master were prominent and well-known. Because they so were attracted and transformed by His talks on the divine teachings of the oneness of humanity, universal peace and the principles of the religions, today I wrote to the friends in the East inviting them to come and see how people who had previously had no appreciation for those from the East, especially the Persians, now come in groups to the threshold of the Master and stand waiting their turn to become the recipients of His favor. They consider an interview with Him a source of pride and glory. Many philosophers, professors, clergymen and lecturers come with bowed heads to show their sincere humility. The people from churches and other organizations are also attracted and fascinated, happy to see His life-giving countenance. The Center of the Covenant has caused the Persians to be renowned for their respectability and has crowned the peoples of the East with eternal honor and glory. And how the newspapers of this region praise the Master and the learned and literary people of the West emphasize the importance of these teachings! Notwithstanding this, most of the Persians are asleep and do not understand the cause of their greatness and honor. They are asleep on the bed of negligence and resting in the lap of pride.
After the meeting the Master took a walk. His heart was filled with joy as He said:
Did you see what a fire was set aglow in the hearts? A person must first be happy and attracted himself to be in a position to transform others. He himself must be impressed in order to impress others. You must act in a way that will make me happy, then you will see what will happen.
To one who visited Him at the hotel, He remarked:
I have come to your city and found tall buildings and advancement in material civilization. Now I will lead you to my own city which is the world above. Its administration is the oneness of humanity, its law is international peace, its palaces are ever shining with the lights of the Kingdom, its season is always spring, its trees are ever green, its fruits are fresh and sweet, its sun is ever ascending, its moon is always full, its stars are ever brilliant and its planets are ever circling. That is our city and the Founder is Bahá'u'lláh. We have enjoyed the pleasures of this city and now I invite you to that city. I hope that you will accept this invitation.
To another He said:
Man must take flight from the cage of the body and become pure spirit, for the body is a cage which causes difficulties for man and makes him the captive of nature and involves him in all types of misfortunes. But when a person discards all his physical habits, he is freed from all fetters. As physical powers attract the world of nature, so spiritual powers must break these chains. This condition is not realized by thought alone. The powers of nature are ever alert to allure man. The eye is fascinated by beautiful scenery; the ear is entranced by music; the heart is attracted by delights and human passions. A man may be rich but still he wants more because he is attracted by the world of nature; he has means of livelihood yet he desires more. Therefore, the spiritual powers must dominate so that he may be freed from these fetters and attain salvation. Man is like a bird in a cage. A bird cannot attain freedom merely by knowing that in the free world there are pure breezes, spacious skies, beautiful gardens, pleasant parks and fountains; rather, the bird must find a power to break the cage and soar into the wide firmament.
He then narrated a story about detachment:
The Persian friends travel mostly on foot. They sleep whenever they get tired. They rest wherever they see a shady tree. Once a person came to an Amír. The Amír wished to present him with a gift and with insistence gave him a robe. Later, when he became tired, he lay down under a tree in the forest with the robe folded under his head. But he could not sleep as he repeatedly imagined that a thief was crouching nearby to take away the robe. At last he rose, threw the robe away and said, `As long as this robe is with me, I shall not find rest. To find rest I must give it up.' How long will you desire a robe for your body? Release your body that you may have no need for a robe.294
A public meeting was held in the afternoon at the home of Mrs Roberts. `Abdu'l-Bahá walked awhile in the garden outside the house. Although most of the friends watched Him respectfully from a distance, when several ladies from Washington DC saw Him, they ran towards Him, expressing their faith and happiness in the divine teachings which they had heard from His own lips in Washington.
In brief, the Master's talk that afternoon was to say farewell to the friends, to encourage them in their endeavors to diffuse the fragrances of God and to explain issues related to teaching. They were all set ablaze by His words.
In the evening the proprietor of the Hotel Shirley and the publisher of a newspaper announced that there would be a public meeting in the large hall of the hotel. The spacious room was filled to capacity. I will never forget the joy and excitement of the audience. At times the audience was plunged into a state of sadness and wonder and then into a state of such happiness and joy that peals of laughter could be heard outside the building. It is not possible to describe the excitement and attraction of the people. They all expressed their sadness that the Master was leaving the city. Those men and women staying at the hotel who because of their wealth and pride had previously not deigned to look at us, now sought us out. Everyone was fascinated by the majesty and grandeur of `Abdu'l-Bahá and gave their hearts to Him.
Thursday, September 26, 1912
As He intended to leave Denver, His talks with the believers became exhortations. He said:
I hope that you will be under the protection of God, will succeed in rendering service to humanity and will always be a source of happiness to every heart. The best person is he who wins all hearts and is not the cause of grief to anyone. The worst of souls is he who causes hearts to be agitated and who becomes the cause of sadness. Always endeavor to make people happy and their hearts joyful so that you may become the cause of guidance to mankind. Proclaim the Word of God and diffuse the divine fragrances.
Someone asked Him about eating meat. He replied:
God has appointed provision for every living creature. To birds He has given beaks so that they pick up seeds. To animals such as cows and goats He has given teeth like scythes in order that they may eat grass. To carnivores He has given claws like forks and canine teeth so that they may prey because they cannot eat grass. Their food is meat. But man's food is not meat for he has not been created with means to eat flesh. God has given him beauty of form and has created him blessed and not rapacious and bloodthirsty.
The Master's train left Denver at 9:00 a.m. Some of the articles that had been published in the Denver newspapers were translated for Him. They made His heart very happy as they described the spread of the teachings of God in that city and contained translations of `Abdu'l-Bahá's words. Among them was the translation of these words:
The contingent world is like the human body that has grown from the embryonic state and reached maturity and perfection. It may be said that the development of the human being from the beginning of life to the age of maturity is but a preparation for the appearance of the power of reason. This is the age of maturity and the time of the manifestation of the Most Great Intellect and the Most Ancient Bounty so that divine and material civilizations may be joined and the perfection of the human world may dawn.
Around midnight `Abdu'l-Bahá became fatigued owing to the speed and motion of the train. We proposed that because California was still some distance away, if He would consent, it might be a good idea to stop for two or three days. At 2:00 a.m. the train reached Glenwood Springs, beautifully situated near many hot springs. We stayed at the Hotel Colorado, which is a fine hotel overlooking the river, nestled among green parks and wooded mountains.
Friday, September 27, 1912
After morning tea, the Master left the hotel for a walk. Three magnificent mountains stood in the distance on three sides, each crowned with trees and adorned with flowers of many hues. They were like peacock feathers and had a unique beauty from every viewpoint. `Abdu'l-Bahá strolled in the spacious garden and boulevard adjacent to the hotel until He reached the river where there were bath houses and hot springs. On the other side of the river, spanned by a two-story bridge, the tall buildings of the city could be seen rising high on the horizon. At the insistence of His companions the Master went to the baths with the entire party, thus bestowing upon us everlasting honor. The rooms and bathing facilities were magnificent. In a special room hot water gushed from a natural cave. It was so hot that a person could not stay more than 15 minutes. Coming out of the bath, the Master said:
Today I am relieved of fatigue. We have been to many lovely places during this journey but because of our work we had no time to look at the scenery. We did not even think of a moment's rest. Today, however, we have had a little respite.
As the Master viewed the clear, transparent waters of the river shining like pure pearls and the majestic mountains and parks, He said, `May God not have mercy on the tyrants who kept the Blessed Beauty imprisoned between four walls in `Akká. How such scenes were loved by Him! Once He said that He had not seen greenery for several years.'
When He returned to the hotel He stood outside in the garden and said, `It would be good to eat here.' The garden was adjacent to a large pond with fish of various colors and was enclosed on three sides by the hotel structure. Having seen the Denver newspapers, the hotel manager recognized the Master and us from photographs. Without waiting for the Master's request, the manager instructed the waiters to serve lunch in the garden. A large table was spread with beautiful chairs. The Master sat down and instructed His companions to do the same. Both before and after lunch the Master generously tipped the waiters. When the residents of the hotel saw the majesty and glory of the Master they told others. Groups of people approached Him. Others watched from their rooms and balconies. Many were heard to say, `How nice to dine this way. It is evident that this is a very prominent person.' Gradually the purpose of `Abdu'l-Bahá's mission dawned upon the hotel guests as they were informed of the Cause of God.
In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá took a walk in the garden and to some shops. While we were crossing a bridge, a messenger approached with some telegrams for us. One of them informed the Master that Mr [Thornton] Chase was seriously ill in a Los Angeles hospital. This made the Master and us very sad. He repeatedly mentioned the faithfulness of Mr Chase. Later He said:
To turn to the Covenant is to obey the Blessed Beauty which is a cause of gathering together the people of Bahá. Let me explain clearly. The command to the people of Islam to prostrate before the black stone295
was simply a command to obey the Prophet of God and to prove the influence of the Cause of God. Now, were it not for the Word of the Blessed Beauty, we would be like everyone else and not different in the least.
The Master and His party left Glenwood Springs at about midnight.
Saturday, September 28, 1912
[En route to Salt Lake City]
The train passed through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Some of these rose precipitously like walls from the railway bed, formidable and immense. Gazing at their summits one felt as if the mountains would fall down. There were some special roofless observation cars on the train so that passengers might have a full view of the majestic mountains. In these observation cars the passengers could see the mountains on the right and the serene river on the left. As the train passed through these beautiful scenes, the Master said:
Dear friends, the waves of the bounties of the Blessed Beauty are surging. As I look I see the ocean of His favor swelling and saying, `I am with you.' Truly, were it not for these glad tidings and His assistance, what could I have done? Just one person alone in the east and west of America, in the mountains and wilderness --it is no light matter. It is easy to say these things but it was unimaginable that they would let us into these churches. See how His aid and favor descend upon us. This trip fills us with wonder! Offer thanks to the Blessed Beauty that He has bestowed such confirmations upon us.
Later, the Master told stories about the time of Muh
ammad, the Messenger of God, and mentioned the cave and His words, `God is indeed with us'.296
The train reached Salt Lake City in the afternoon. The Master decided to stay in the city for one night. By chance, even as the city was being blessed by His footsteps, a large national agricultural convention was being held and the entire city was festively decorated.
Sunday, September 29, 1912
[Salt Lake City]
In the morning several newspaper reporters who had heard of His arrival came to see the Master. They were fascinated with `Abdu'l-Bahá's words concerning the history and teachings of the Cause of God. To one of them He said:
When I entered this city, I saw there was quite a stir. I asked the reason and was told that an agricultural convention was being held. I remarked that Bahá'u'lláh, too, organized a convention in Persia. The difference is that your congress is of this world but Bahá'u'lláh's is divine. Great persons have come to the congress but their motive is earthly as they have assembled to consider questions concerning agriculture. But in that other congress holy ones have gathered who irrigate the field of hearts with the water of eternal life, as their motive is heavenly. This congress is decorated with earthly lamps while that is embellished with heavenly lights. The music of this is terrestrial while the strains of that are celestial. This convention meets in a private hall while that gathering is held under the tent of the unity of mankind and international peace. The queen of this congress is a lady bedecked with ornaments and embellishments of this mortal world but the king of that congress is the King of the Throne of Eternity, Whose sovereignty is divine. When I compared these two congresses I became extremely glad and prayed that God may bless your farming and bestow upon you spiritual strength and capacity for life everlasting.
Today many were attracted by the Master's visit with us to the State Fair.297
He had been invited to the hotel by some delegates while others pleaded with Him to prolong His stay. Because of the shortness of time, He could not accept their invitation. `If we had time,' He said, `some seeds would have been sown in this city, too. But the people are enjoying the celebration and we have no time at our disposal.'
This city is called the City of the Mormons because the majority of its inhabitants are of the Mormon denomination which allows polygamy and divorce.
In the afternoon the Master went to the place specifically set out and decorated for the agricultural exhibition. Alighting from the tram, He went to the exhibit of agricultural machines for plowing, planting and harvesting. He asked about their usage and cost. He then went to the vegetable and grain section and the fruit section. The Master praised the agricultural progress of America. The fruits and vegetables exhibited were among the finest specimens of grapes, apples, pears, pomegranates, cabbages and very large pumpkins, all of many colors and of varieties that we had not seen before.
The section manager saw the Master among the visitors and came towards us and the interpreter, asking to be introduced to Him. He accompanied the Master, offering Him samples of many fruits (even though the purchase, sale and consumption of these items was strictly prohibited). He described to `Abdu'l-Bahá the various methods of agriculture and then concluded the tour at the grain and mineral display. The Master told us to purchase seeds of some of the fruits and flowers so they could be sent to the Holy Land to be planted at the Most Holy Shrine.
As He was returning to the hotel, the Master saw a Cardinal walking proudly with people on his way to dedicate a church. This Cardinal had heard about the Master and had spoken about the false Christ, thus he was often mentioned by the Master in His meetings.
Monday, September 30, 1912
[Salt Lake City, en route to California]
The Master left the Keynon Hotel in Salt Lake City to continue His journey to California. He spoke on various subjects. The following are some of His words:
The Cause of God is penetrating. It will encompass the whole world. Now as I observe the wilderness of America, I see it full of Bahá'ís. Formerly, when we asserted in the East that international peace and unity of nations was a necessity, the people laughed at us. Now behold the congresses of peace that have come into existence. The law of God is the panacea for all ills because it is in accordance with the needs of the realities of creation. Legislators have devoted considerable discussion to this point. The most distinguished of them concluded that the laws must be derived from the necessary relations inherent in the reality of things. But the divine Manifestation asserted that to institute such laws is beyond human capacity, for human intelligence cannot encompass the realities of things, nor can it comprehend the essential relationships of such realities. Therefore, divine law is necessary, as it embraces the realities and penetrates all things.
Today the Master was in the best of health and happiness. In spite of all the hardships of the long journey, He was as charmingly fresh as a flower. With unmitigated joy He mentioned the Blessed Beauty, Bahá'u'lláh.
In the afternoon He spoke about spiritual education and intellectual training:
Peter was devoid of all schooling and so untrained that he could not remember the days of the week. He would tie up seven loaves of bread and open one each day. When he opened the seventh parcel he would know that it was the seventh day and that he had to go to the synagogue. However, under Christ his spiritual education was such that he became the cause of the enlightenment of the world. Indeed, what holy beings are raised up under the shadow of the Word of God!
I remember once in T
ihrán when I was a child, I was sitting by Áqá Siyyid Yah
when Mírzá `Alíy-i-Sayyáh299
came in wearing the táj and carrying the rod of a dervish and with his bare feet covered with mud. Someone asked him where he was coming from. He replied that he had come from the fortress of Máh-Kú, from the august presence of the Báb. Vah
íd arose immediately and threw himself at the feet of Sayyáh
, and with tears streaming down his face he rubbed his beard on Sayyáh
's feet saying, `He has come from the court of the Beloved.' Although Vah
íd was a renowned and illustrious person, still he was humble before the servants of the Threshold of God.300
Among the interesting things we saw along the way were the wooden covers over the railroad tracks. For a distance of some 50 miles deep passes are snow bound during the entire winter and become impassable for the trains. Now, owing to these covers, the difficulties are removed and the train can pass easily through the area. In English, these covers are called snow sheds. The history of California records that in olden times many people became snowbound and perished in these parts. One example is the the Donner party, the story of whose demise is very sad.