Friday, November 1, 1912
Among those visiting `Abdu'l-Bahá for the first time was a man from Russia. When he was admitted into the Master's room he began to complain about Russia. The Master said to him:
Do not speak ill of Russia. Render good to friend and foe alike. Say that you are one with all. Be a true well-wisher of people. Give up your evil thoughts and pray for all. Be at peace and make peace with all. Do not express hatred or resentment toward anyone. Be a proclaimer of peace and say, `Now I feel no enmity toward anyone.' Praise all and be mindful of the story of Christ. When everyone expressed disgust on seeing the body of a dead dog, Christ said, `What white teeth it has!'
The visitor was so overwhelmed that he cried out, `Today I have found the way to salvation and safety.' The Master replied, `If you follow these teachings you will see things greater than this.'
A minister came to see `Abdu'l-Bahá. The Master spoke with him about the sanctity of God. When a crowd had gathered, the Master went into the hall of the hotel and continued His conversation with the minister on the same subject, explaining that God's holiness is beyond imagination or likeness. Afterwards, after repeated invitations from a prominent man, the Master went to a private museum. This man had collected in a magnificent building specimens of antique art, pictures, drawings and other relics of past craftsmanship. When the Master returned to the hotel, He said: `This man took us to his house to show pictures and other objects. I was greatly surprised to find that people go to view things which are nothing more than children's toys but they fail to examine this divine system.'
Dr Milburn, the minister of the Congregational Church, with his wife and others came to see the Master with the utmost humility. `Abdu'l-Bahá said: `I have not forgotten our previous meeting or your talk in the church. There is not a shadow of a doubt that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. It will remain for eternity in the history of this Cause.' He then told them about the zeal and enthusiasm of the friends in California. Mrs Milburn begged Him to come to their summer home. He replied, `It is impossible because we must soon return to the East.'
On seeing their sincerity and interest, the Master said:
Chicago has great capacity. I hope that the banner of the unity of mankind will be unfurled in this city and that the believers here will be united and be as the different flowers of one divine garden and become the adornment of the world of humanity, so that the dormant pulse of this country will beat vigorously.
`Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about receiving assistance in the Cause of God:
My health was absolutely not up to traveling but the assistance of the Blessed Beauty helped me. All affairs advance with His aid. Without His aid, all would come to naught. When I left Syria I was ill and weak and also was not used to traveling. All were astonished. But now I am in Chicago and have other journeys ahead of me. You must continue to follow these teachings and promote universal peace and the unity of mankind so that misfortunes and calamities such as the Balkan disaster may cease and wars and massacres disappear completely. Observe: it is the children who are orphaned and families which are destroyed. The flames of the fire of war are day by day becoming more intense. You must become the cause of quenching this fire so that the light of love may enlighten the world.
The Master addressed some socialists, saying:
Bahá'u'lláh delivered us from all prejudices. It is prejudice that destroys the world. Every enmity, war, misunderstanding and suffering that has ever occurred in this world has been from either religious, patriotic, racial or political prejudice. Prejudice is contemptible and injurious in whatever form it may be. When these prejudices are removed from the world then will the world of humanity find salvation. We are striving for this mighty purpose. Twenty thousand persons have been sacrificed for this great Cause. With the utmost meekness they were martyred in order that these prejudices be eliminated and so that brotherhood and unity would be established. Our endeavors and self-sacrifice have been in order to unite diverse nationalities and to bring the various denominations under the shade of the one Word. Some may speak while others may even labor for good causes but they do so to obtain personal benefits and to gain a name for themselves. Even these works are of a limited nature. But Bahá'ís strive day and night for the public weal and in order to render service to humanity and to gain eternal honor.
With a merry twinkle in His eyes, He continued:
If the socialists succeed they would seize the world's wealth and then divide it. But the Bahá'ís sacrifice their lives and properties. Socialist principles would annul class differences and distinctions and thus cause disorder in the system. But Bahá'u'lláh has laid down a great foundation for a system which, although it advocates the oneness of humanity and upholds the common weal, will preserve the various ranks. Every rank should perform its duties. Rights should be equal and all are the servants of one kind God. He who performs righteous acts is nearer to God and he whose efforts are more virtuous is more bountifully confirmed.
Turning towards the ladies He said with a smile:
I have said in America and Europe that there is only the question of votes in which women have been held back and claim equality with men. In California they even have this right. In all other respects it is men who must demand equality of rights. How many men in Europe and America work from morning until evening and whatever they save is spent on adornments and jewelry and colorful clothes and the latest fashions for their wives who spend their time in pleasure and enjoyment? In reality, these poor men are servants of their wives.
Once a respectable gentleman came with his wife to see me. A little dust had settled on the wife's shoes. She instantly asked her husband to clean them. As the poor man was cleaning her shoes he glanced at me. I said, `Madam! Do you also clean your husband's shoes?' She replied that she cleaned his clothes. I said, `No, that is not equality. You, too, must clean his shoes.' Now then, it would be better if you occasionally stand up for the rights of men.340
One time an American woman had gone on a long trip to Europe, all in great comfort, while her poor husband was back in America, working hard and sending his earnings to her. This is the case with most of the wealthy and middle classes of the West, whereas there must be equality. A condition must be realized in which the man and woman sacrifice their rights for each other, serve each other with heart and soul and not through force and violence. This condition cannot be realized except through the power of faith. Hearts must be attracted to the divine fragrances so that each one prefers the other to himself and does not consider himself above the other.
A Parsi Bahá'í came to `Akká to ask me to make honorable mention of his deceased wife. He was lamenting piteously saying, `That woman worked hard for forty years in my home but as I had no wealth she never had any comfort.' To put it briefly, spiritual susceptibilities must reach this stage, they must become heavenly. Physical susceptibilities are of an animal nature and it is heavenly enlightenment which is worthy of man.
Such detailed explanations were given daily. They were so numerous that if collected in a book, it would be a volume of immense size.
Saturday, November 2, 1912
A public meeting was held in the evening at the home of Mrs True.341
The Master delivered an impressive address concerning the majesty of the Manifestations of the Pre-Existent Beauty, the opposition of the people of the world and the final victory and influence of the Cause and the Covenant of God.
Great numbers of people came to see the Master and each in turn was ushered into His private room. Most of the friends, both old and new, brought their children to be blessed by Him. He embraced each of them with the utmost kindness, anointed them with some attar of rose and gave them fruit, sweets and flowers.
When the crowd became too large He went to the hall of the hotel and spoke to the guests about the aims and intentions of the Manifestations of God:
The divine religions were revealed for love and amity and have brought about harmony among the different peoples and nations. But as time passed dogmas and imitations crept in and caused differences and enmity. Praise be to God that now the doors of the Kingdom are open, the sun of truth is resplendent and casting its rays upon all, the cloud of mercy is bestowing the utmost favors and the sea of bounty is surging. Know then the value of this bestowal and the worth of these days.
He was invited to have lunch at the home of Mrs Russell. Among the guests were some of Dr [Susan] Moody's relatives. Addressing them `Abdu'l-Bahá said:
Behold how the power of Bahá'u'lláh has connected the hearts and has joined the East and the West. When Dr Moody first went to Tihrán she did not know the Persians and they, too, did not know her at all. But the moment they heard of her intended journey from America to Persia, hundreds prepared to receive her with utmost love. With great esteem they welcomed her in Tihrán. All the friends are now like brothers and sisters to her -- even more than that and kinder. She is well-known as a Bahá'í in Tihrán and is respected and loved within and without the community.
In the evening the Master gave an impressive talk at a gathering of blacks. Many white people were also present. He spoke on love and brotherhood among the different races and nationalities. He talked about Isfandíyár, the black servant of the Blessed Beauty, referring to his faithfulness, obedience and goodness of heart, saying: `If a believer in God prays for piety, it does not matter whether he is robed in black or white.' Both black and white were affected by His words and came one after the other to shake His hand and express their gratitude for His blessings.
He then went to Mrs True's home where the friends had gathered for consultation. They asked Him about the duties of a board of consultation. He said:
The first duty of the members is to be in harmony and unity among themselves, for this will bear good results. If there is no unity or -- God forbid! -- if it becomes the cause of differences, then of course its non-existence is better than its existence. If Assemblies of consultation or the general meetings of the friends become the cause of ill feelings, they must be abandoned.
How pleased I was with the believers in California who said, `We do not want any board of consultation because it would lead to striving for leadership and power and will become the cause of differences. Now, praise be to God!, we are serving as much as we can, having no other thought than the diffusion of the divine fragrances.'
Then, when the unity of the members has been achieved, their second duty is to recite verses and prayers in a state of contriteness and spiritual awareness so that they will feel themselves to be in the presence of God.
Third, their thoughts and discussions must be directed to the teaching of the Cause of God in all areas and regions. They must arise with all their strength for this great matter and make the necessary arrangements and prepare for the teaching of the Cause.
Fourth, they must be occupied and concerned with rendering help to the poor, the needy and the sick.
Fifth, they must improve and administer the affairs of the believers and other matters.
The Master spoke on similar topics and the meeting concluded in an extraordinary spirit of happiness among the friends.
Sunday, November 3, 1912
Today was the last day of `Abdu'l-Bahá's stay in Chicago. He was invited to speak at four gatherings. In each meeting the power of His utterances and His explanations produced great interest and enthusiasm in the audience.
In the morning, in the hotel's main hall, the Master encouraged the friends and others to be united and to create within themselves the utmost love and harmony. He ended His talk with praise and gratitude for the assistance of the Abhá Kingdom and left for one of the churches.
The pastor of the church introduced the Master in glowing terms and was full of praise and admiration. He referred to Him as the Persian apostle and Prophet of the East and described His 40 years of imprisonment and hardship, His freedom, His travels to Europe and America, His addresses in churches and large gatherings in both continents and lastly his own conviction of the value of `Abdu'l-Bahá's explanations and talks.
`Abdu'l-Bahá stood and put forward decisive proofs and arguments, describing the appearance of the Manifestations of God, the veils and opposition of the people, the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh to the kings and the influence of the Cause of God among the people. His words were so penetrating that every soul was stirred and informed of the circumstances prevailing in this day of the Manifestation.
There was a meeting in the afternoon at the Congregational Church. Its pastor, Dr Milburn, expressed his great joy to the Master for blessing and honoring the church with a second visit. `Abdu'l-Bahá delivered a magnificent address on the greatness of this age, the necessity of achieving the oneness of humanity, universal peace, the oneness of creation, and concluding with explanations of the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. His address was delivered with such majesty and power that all hearts were quickened with the love of humanity and became lovers of peace and harmony, abandoning prejudice and disunity. After the talk, people rushed to the stage and surrounded the Master as He left the pulpit for His automobile, supplicating His spiritual blessings and assistance.
From there He went to Dr Milburn's home where a number of people met Him. Among them was an editor who asked that a message from the Master be given through his journal to the whole of humanity. The Master's message was this:
Praise be to God that the centuries of darkness have passed and the age of enlightenment has arrived!
Praise be to God that all traces of superstition and imitation have vanished and the minds and thoughts of men have broadened, inventions have gained new life, the arts and sciences have been revived, new plans have been evolved, discoveries have increased, all things have been revitalized, the rulings that regulate the world have been renewed! Thus it was necessary that the laws of God also be changed and the reality of divine religions be renewed, for divine teachings had been forgotten and there was nothing left but dogmatic imitation. The foundation of the divine religions is one and that is the truth which generates love and affection and is the cause of the unity of mankind. But imitations vary and they are the cause of disagreements and are the destroyers of spiritual foundations.
Glad tidings, glad tidings, that the Sun of Truth has shed its radiance!
Glad tidings, glad tidings, that the heavenly light has encompassed all regions!
Glad tidings, glad tidings, that the gates of the Kingdom have been opened!
Glad tidings, glad tidings, that the melody of the Supreme Concourse has been raised.
Glad tidings, glad tidings, that the breaths of the Holy Spirit are giving life and the world of humanity is reborn!
Awake, O people of the world, awake! Give heed, O peoples and nations, give heed! Destroy the root of conflict and strife; abandon imitations and prejudices which lead to cruelty, so that you may acknowledge the Truth and the light of the oneness of humanity may shine brilliant and manifest as the sun; the standard of universal peace be hoisted; perfect love and harmony may reign among the races, religions and nations; and the world of man may find peace and acquire a divine image and likeness. This is my message.
That night He went from there to the home of Mrs Davies where, through the generosity of whose daughter a splendid banquet had been arranged for the Nineteen Day Feast. Several people visited the Master on the second floor of the house, among them some engineers who wanted His comments about the House of Worship. The Master answered:
kár is circular in shape. It has nine paths, nine gardens, nine pools with fountains and nine gates. Each path will lead to a center such as an orphanage, a hospital, a school, a university and other buildings that are dependencies of the Mash
kár. In the building there will be an organ, balconies and a rostrum especially for prayers and devotional programs but addresses may be given there as well.342
Later the Master spoke of the importance of the House of Justice and the significance of the laws of this Dispensation, stating that each is a complete and powerful proof for the unity of the peoples of the world.
He then went downstairs for a public meeting and gave a farewell address to the believers in which He described the harmfulness of imitations and superstitions.
`Imitations', He said, `destroy the edifice of human prosperity and conflict with the religion of God. Beware lest you occupy yourselves with such superstitions.'
It is not possible to describe the impact on the minds, the exhilaration of the spirits and delight of the souls. When His automobile left, everyone wept and expressed their sorrow at their separation from their beloved.
Monday, November 4, 1912
[Chicago -- Cincinnati]
The Master left for Cincinnati in the morning. At the request of the friends there who longed for a glimpse of His face, the Master sent a telegram informing them that He would stay with them one night in order to visit the believers. At the Chicago train station the friends of God, both men and women, wept as they saw their Master depart. It was a grand occasion and a testimony to the greatness of the Cause of God and the influence of His Covenant. Well-respected people of the West have been attracted to the Beloved of the East. They hovered like moths around the divine lamp and wept at their friend's departure. Among those who accompanied `Abdu'l-Bahá to the next station was Mrs True with whom the Master spoke about the Tarbíyat Schools in T
In the evening Cincinnati was blessed by the arrival of the Master. With eagerness and excitement, the believers anxiously awaited a glimpse of His face. Mrs Farmer and other believers had arranged a public meeting at the Grand Hotel after which a beautiful banquet was given. Arriving at the hotel, `Abdu'l-Bahá first went to the hall where some five hundred had assembled to hear Him. He spoke about the sovereignty and endless bounties of God and concluded with explanations of the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh from the holy writings. His words captivated the hearts of His listeners.
The Master then went into the dining room of the hotel where He was delighted to see the beaming faces of the friends, the brightness of the electric lights, the table decorated with colorful flowers and the hearts immersed in the love of God. More than 50 people were seated around the table. The Master sat at the head of the table while the Persian friends sat nearby. In great happiness `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke these heavenly words:
It is an excellent table for we have assembled here through the love of Bahá'u'lláh. Tonight I am exceedingly happy to be with you. You must be very happy and in a prayerful attitude for no better meeting could be held. The holding of meetings at which people from the East come to the far West and sit together with you with such love and affection was impossible but through His penetrative power Bahá'u'lláh has made this easy and has joined the East and the West. Would that the friends of Persia were here now and could see this!
When the conversation turned to Los Angeles, the Master spoke about Mr Chase and the nobility of his spirit. He chanted a prayer in life-giving strains:
O Thou kind Lord, we render thanks unto Thee that Thou has brought us from the farthest lands of the East to the most distant lands of the West and gathered us at this table arrayed with the finest, most diverse, sweetest and most delicious material foods. We thank Thee especially for the presence of those who have turned toward the Kingdom of Thy favor and have fixed their eyes upon the horizon of Thy kindness.
O Lord! These souls have turned toward Thee, they desire Thy pleasure and are grateful for Thy blessings. They walk in the ways of Thy will.
O Lord! Grant them heavenly food; enable them to partake of the Lord's supper. Exalt this noble lady in Thy Kingdom, bestow everlasting life upon her and grant her Thine eternal favor.344
As Thou hast given us these earthly blessings so, too, give us heavenly food. Bestow upon us Thine everlasting grace. Strengthen us to arise in praise and gratitude to Thee that we may be aided and assisted to do that which beseems Thy glorification.
Thou art the Mighty, the Generous, the Compassionate.
About 40 of the friends stayed at the hotel rather than return to their homes that night.
Tuesday, November 5, 1912
Early in the morning `Abdu'l-Bahá called His attentive lovers to Him and bestowed kindness on everyone. Several representatives of the press came to see Him and recorded His words about the history of the Cause and the teachings of the Abhá Beauty. Their reports appeared in various newspapers and publications.
Although the Master had planned to leave in the morning, the crowd of seekers and the attraction of the friends caused Him to prolong His stay until noon. Today He spoke about the Universal House of Justice and the International Parliament of man, where representatives from all the parliaments of the world will resolve conflicts between nations, such as that in the Balkans. This organization will cure the chronic diseases of the nations.345
He then gave an account of how Constantine embraced Christianity and came under the shelter of Christ. He said, `Although he wore a crown as a monarch, yet he had to offer his all to the Son of Mary.' He spoke at length on such topics until He was tired. Then the friends invited Him for a drive through the public parks.
At noon the Master left for Washington DC. At the time of departure, the friends were happy as they recalled their visit and reunion with Him but wept because of His departure from their midst. These opposites, happiness and sorrow, like heat and cold, were both felt and seen.
A few stations beyond Cincinnati, a doctor sitting near the Master asked permission to speak with Him and inquired about the object of His journey. The Master said to the doctor:
My aim is to create harmony and concord among the different groups and to eradicate prejudice, hatred and enmity so that the peoples and nations of the world may become brothers and well-wishers of mankind and not engage in wars and massacres, and that catastrophes such as that in the Balkans with their bloodshed and annihilation of families may not occur again. Until such events cease, humanity will find no rest, the tabernacle of universal peace will not be raised and the oneness of the world of man will not be realized. We are all the flock of God, members of the same human race and the creatures of one Creator. God is kind to all and His bounties are equally bestowed upon all.
Sixty years ago Bahá'u'lláh instituted the foundations of such teachings in Persia. He advocated the establishment of universal peace and the oneness of humanity. The Sh
áh of Persia and the Sult
án of Turkey threw us into prison. They killed twenty thousand of us hoping that this Cause would be annihilated and that these teachings of Bahá'u'lláh would be forgotten. But in spite of these obstacles the religion of Bahá'u'lláh progressed day by day. Then there was a revolution and the constitution was established and I was set free.346
Leaving the prison of `Akká, I traveled to countries in Africa, Europe and America, called people to these blessed teachings and invited nations and religions to the oneness of the foundation of all religions and the abandonment of prejudices, wars, dogmatic imitations and superstitions.
The doctor was delighted and very impressed by the Master's words and thanked Him sincerely. The Master replied:
I, too, am very pleased to make your acquaintance. I, a Persian, am delighted to meet an eminent Westerner like you in utmost harmony and fellowship. This meeting of ours is an example of the joining of the East and the West.
In the afternoon Washington was again blessed by the arrival of the Master. The friends eagerly hastened to meet Him and accompanied Him to a house rented especially for Him. In the evening great numbers of friends gathered around Him like moths around a brilliant candle. The Master spoke about His journey to California, the influence of the Word of God and the devotion of the friends to the Abhá Beauty.
Wednesday, November 6, 1912
In the morning `Abdu'l-Bahá addressed an assemblage of friends concerning the spread of the Cause of God in both the East and the West and the union of the various sects and denominations under the shadow of the Word of God. He stated:
Soon after the ascension of the Blessed Beauty I wrote:
Erelong ye shall see the banner of the Covenant
Hoisted over the world.
Shed splendors on the East,
In the West scatter perfumes,
Invest the Slav with life.
Carry light unto the world.347
Some of the ignorant scorned us, saying, `How can the East and the West be illumined with the light of the Cause and the whole world be perfumed by the sweet fragrance of the Word of God?' Now behold how this great union has come about and how the hearts of the people of the East and the West have been enlightened with this manifest light. The Blessed Tree has taken firm root in the earth and the signs of its greatness have encompassed all regions.
He then gave an account of the appearance of the Manifestations of God. `Outwardly', He said,
the holy Manifestations of God were completely humiliated and despised. They were mocked by all. But in a short space of time the penetrative influence of their words filled the hearts and the sun of their greatness and majesty illumined the world.
As news of the situation in the Balkans reached us, the tenor of the Master's speech inclined towards explanations of the verses of the Manifest Book.348
At a public meeting at Mrs Parsons's home, He held the book in His hands and explained Bahá'u'lláh's admonition to Sult
and the prophecies about the change of circumstances in Adrianople, asserting that these prophecies were certain to be fulfilled. He also explained the prophecies about the change of circumstances in T
ihrán and the uprising of its inhabitants, saying that the fulfillment of those prophecies was a clear proof of the vastness of knowledge and the penetrating influence of the Word of God.350
In the evening He spoke on the spread of the Cause of God despite imprisonment by the enemies and the supremacy of the divine Word notwithstanding endless afflictions and troubles. He said:
Bahá'u'lláh, without earthly power and worldly means, laid the foundations for eternal glory and promoted divine teachings. Notwithstanding that all earthly powers and antagonistic peoples and religions arose against Him in order to thwart His efforts and executed twenty thousand of His followers, yet with divine power and heavenly majesty He made His Cause to be all-conquering and His blessed Word to have pervasive influence. And today we see diverse groups from different countries and of various nationalities have found sincere love and true unity within the refuge of His laws and teachings.351
Thursday, November 7, 1912
Each hour people came to receive bounties from `Abdu'l-Bahá's presence. The Master answered many important questions.352
He had lunch at Mrs Parsons's home. At the table, He joyfully offered thanks for the confirmations and assistance of the Abhá Kingdom. As well giving interviews at Mrs Parsons's home, He also spoke to a large gathering at the Universalist Church.353
On behalf of the congregation the pastor thanked the Master for coming and then reminded the audience about the importance of knowing something about all religions and abandoning prejudice, which would broaden their horizons. He then gave an account of the Cause, how it had become the target for the persecution and sacrifice of so many souls in its path and concluded by reading a few passages from the Book of Isaiah. The audience was thus prepared to hear the Master's discourse.
The Master rose and delivered an impressive address, at the beginning of which He said:
In truth, I have found much love and justice in the people of America. I have observed that they have complete freedom of thought in all matters, which is deserving of praise. So I am greatly pleased with the pastor and thank him for his expression of love for us. The leaders of religions must be like this so that people may become broad-minded. They must be kind to all nationalities for God is kind to all and His love is infinite. Therefore, the love of His servants must also be universal and without limitation.
In His address He dealt with brotherhood and the oneness of humanity, explaining some of the teachings and principles of Bahá'u'lláh. The audience was so impressed and moved that the pastor again came to the pulpit to express thanks and praise on their behalf. He was honored that this was the second occasion on which the Master had given an address in the church. He said that the Master's words would become the cause of honor and happiness to humanity, especially since we are all sheep of God's flock, each other's brothers, and that God is our real shepherd and protector. The pastor then requested a prayer which the Beloved recited in Persian.
One by one members of the audience came to shake the Master's hand, begging for His assistance and blessings.
Such meetings in the churches of Washington and the influence and impact of the Master's talks have excited envy in the hearts of certain ministers who have neither interviewed nor heard Him and they distributed leaflets full of calumny and criticism to the people coming out of the churches.
Friday, November 8, 1912
`Abdu'l-Bahá spoke in the morning to a gathering of the friends:354
I am very happy to have met you. I hope that through the favors of the Blessed Beauty you shall become the instruments for the glorification of the divine Cause and the spread of the Word of God so that this city may take precedence over all the other cities of America. As this city is the capital of America, so shall it, God willing, become the center of divine signs. When you arise to teach the Cause of God it will soon be firmly established and will spread because this city has capacity, as there is resistance and some ministers are opposing the Cause. It has been established by experience that when the cry of opposition is raised by leaders of religion the Cause of God gains strength. I always beg assistance for you and my heart is ever with you. You must trust in the favors of the Blessed Beauty which can change a gnat into a phoenix, a drop into an ocean, a stone into a diamond and an atom into a world-illuminating sun. You must not look to your own capacities but to the bounties of the Abhá Kingdom.
In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá took a stroll along the boulevard and remarked that `The city of Washington is better planned and laid out than the other cities of America.' In His view the plan of this city was very pleasing because in other cities the buildings were too high and the population too congested. The buildings in Washington were mostly of four to five stories and its boulevards straight, well-proportioned and exquisitely landscaped. Each house has a front yard with flowers and bushes so that in the springtime the entire city becomes like a beautiful garden. All of the squares there have beautiful parks and gardens. In contrast, some of the streets and boulevards of New York and Chicago, with their tall buildings looming like steep mountain peaks, seem like narrow gorges or deep mountain passes and the crowd of humanity like the files of an army. It is difficult to pass through some of those streets either on foot or in a vehicle.
To resume. The Master's address at the Jewish synagogue in Washington created a commotion among the listeners and the force of His argument caused the hearts of many to throb. On His arrival He said:
I shall repeat the same subjects I spoke on in the Jewish synagogue of San Francisco, and I shall illustrate more clearly the evidences to prove the reality of Christ and the strength and truth of Islam. It is therefore not necessary to repeat them here.355
Such was the force of His explanations that both friends and seekers felt that some might take exception and object. `If the Jews will not speak,' they said, `the Christians, at least, will not remain silent.' Some of the Jews sitting near the pulpit actually made signs to the interpreter that the time was over. But the Master ignored this and went on to give detailed, decisive proofs and plain arguments to prove the truth of Christianity and Islam.
After the address, the chairman of the meeting, a person of much integrity and one of the fair-minded rabbis, came to the pulpit to thank the Master for His admonitions and exhortations. He then asked the audience not to become agitated or excited. `We must not', he said, `be perplexed at what goes against our own convictions and beliefs. Rather, we must, with perfect composure and sincerity, investigate the truth so that we may discover the reality of everything.'
In brief, the firmness and courage of `Abdu'l-Bahá and the force of His argument were noted by everyone both inside and outside the synagogue.
Saturday, November 9, 1912
The Master called on the Jewish rabbi, showered him with kindness and countless blessings, and spoke to him regarding peace and harmony among the Jews, Christians and Muslims as well as the need for respect for the leaders of each other's religions. The Master said:
Whenever these people mention each other's leaders with due reverence then all sufferings and contentions shall cease and instead of hatred there will be love and instead of enmity and disunity there will be harmony and affection. This is my purpose.
The Master continued to speak in this vein with the rabbi, who left His presence with humility and respect.
Several distinguished persons visited the Master on the second floor of Mrs Parsons's home, to whom He spoke about various spiritual and important issues. The eternal bounties poured forth like refreshing rain, beautifying the gardens of the hearts and causing the world of the spirit to triumph and to overflow with glad tidings.356
In the evening the band of lovers observed the Feast of the Covenant with a magnificent banquet in one of the city's largest halls. The sounds of their congratulations and praises created a festive and beautiful celebration. Large tables were arranged in the center of the hall in the shape of the figure nine. At the head of the tables was the Master's chair, on two sides were the chairs of His companions, while the remaining chairs were occupied by the friends. The tables were decorated with flowers and other ornaments and the doors and walls were decorated with screens, flags, festoons, lanterns and banners. Above all of these was the symbol of the Greatest Name. More than three hundred guests were present, apart from those serving as hosts. Almost everyone at the banquet was in formal attire and their attention focused on the Master.
As soon as the Master arrived they all sang with one voice a song in praise of `Abdu'l-Bahá. When He had taken His seat, Mr Remey stood in the center of the hall facing the Master and devoutly read a paper, afterwards congratulating the Master on behalf of the friends and assuring Him of their obedience and renunciation of the world. Before eating `Abdu'l-Bahá rose and recited the following prayer:
He is God! O Lord! We are assembled here in the utmost love and are turned toward Thy Kingdom. We seek none other but Thee and desire not but Thy good pleasure.
O Lord! Make this food heavenly and make those assembled here of the hosts of Thy Supreme Concourse so that they may become life-giving and the cause of the enlightenment of the world of man, that they may arise to guide all the peoples of the world.
Thou art the All-Powerful, the Almighty, the Forgiving and the Kind.
He then invited everyone to begin their dinner, saying, `Tonight I myself wish to serve the friends of God.' He therefore made several rounds, distributing sweets and flowers and anointing each person with attar of rose. When the Master completed one round, the friends sang songs of praise to the accompaniment of the piano. After supper, the Master rose and spoke about the preeminence and distinction of the gatherings of the friends of God, saying that the actions and services of the people of Bahá would be everlasting.357
This gave further encouragement to the friends to burst enthusiastically into wonderful songs and melodies, giving renewed joy to the hearts and to the souls a new delight. This was one of those great gatherings that demonstrate the majesty and power of the Center of the Covenant.
The Master then went into another room where a number of people were granted private interviews. Among them was a gentleman who had lost both legs in a railway collision and wore artificial limbs. To him the Master said:
Mutilation of the body brings no harm to the soul. This is one of the proofs of the immortality of the soul, for death consists of the change and dispersion of the members and elements of the body. As a bodily change does not bring about change in the soul, it is evident that the soul is unchanging and imperishable.
When the Consul General of Turkey and others came to see Him, `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke to them about the Universal House of Justice.358
Sunday, November 10, 1912
This was the last day of the Master's stay in Washington. An enthusiastic crowd assembled early at His residence. His talk covered various subjects. He encouraged the friends by assuring them that divine assistance and confirmations would descend upon them; then He counseled them to show firmness in the Cause of God. He also mentioned the book written by Mírzá Abu'l-Fad
l in answer to the objections of a Christian minister.359
The friends and seekers continued to come to see Him until noon, at which time Mrs Parsons invited a number of them to dine with Him. Private interviews were granted in the afternoon on the second floor. He responded to questions about the interpretation of dreams, firmness and steadfastness in the Cause of God, the futility of opposition, the teachings of the Abhá Beauty, economic issues and so on.
The Master then came downstairs to a public meeting where He spoke on the oneness of the Divine Essence.360
At the close of His address, He bade everyone farewell.
A spirit of longing spread over the audience and with the utmost humility and reverence they begged His assistance and blessings. The fire of love blazed within them. After the meeting several people pleaded with Him to grant them private interviews. They were overjoyed when permission to ask a few questions was given. Some brought their children to receive His blessings.
In the evening a meeting attended by both blacks and whites was held at the home of Mr and Mrs Hannen.361
As this was the last night of His stay, the meeting had a significance of its own and more than ever the hearts were filled with enthusiasm. When the Master arrived He was so tired that He went upstairs to rest for a brief time. When He heard the audience's restlessness and impatience, He allowed them to come to Him group by group. They came, kissed His hand and requested His assistance and blessings. Even though He was tired, each person received His kindness and blessings. He counseled them to be firm in the Cause of God and to hold fast to the mantle of love and union.
When all these people concluded their visit, grateful for His bestowals, the Master came downstairs and spoke about unity and amity between the blacks and whites, expressing His happiness at seeing both races present in the meeting. During His talk He mentioned the sincerity, honesty and services of Isfandíyár, the black servant of Bahá'u'lláh.
He took supper with a number of the friends. The host and hostess, Mr and Mrs Hannen, were overjoyed beyond measure because their services were accepted by `Abdu'l-Bahá and He bestowed upon them His special favors.362
Monday, November 11, 1912
[Washington DC -- Baltimore]
The believers were so eager to see `Abdu'l-Bahá that they began to arrive at His residence from early morning. Their hearts were burning with the fire of separation and each craved His assistance and bestowals.
The believers had already assembled when `Abdu'l-Bahá arrived at the railway station at 9:00 a.m. To the amazement of onlookers, they gathered around Him, their hearts filled with sorrow and anguish. This happened in every city of America when `Abdu'l-Bahá arrived and departed. Onlookers were at a loss to understand how a person from the East in Iranian dress had won the veneration and respect of the men and women of America.363
Some of the friends accompanied the Master to Baltimore where He stayed at a hotel. Among the many visitors who came to see Him was a newspaper reporter who was given a detailed discourse on universal peace and the ability of the American people and government to enforce it. The Master's words were noted down for publication.
Later, `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke at the Unitarian Church of Baltimore regarding the oneness of the world of man, the immutability of the principles of the divine religions and the changing of the social laws according to the demands of the time.
When `Abdu'l-Bahá left the church He went to lunch at the home of Mr [Howard] and Mrs [Hebe] Struven.364
The Baltimore believers were overjoyed to see their Master. In one of His talks to the friends He said:
Praise be to God! I have spent time with you in utmost happiness. I am very pleased with you and will not forget you. I pray that you may daily become more illumined and more spiritual. When I reach the Holy Land, I shall lay my head on the threshold of the Blessed Shrine and, weeping, I shall supplicate on your behalf for assistance and heavenly favors, eternal honor and everlasting joy.
The Master and the friends then left for the station in two automobiles. On the way `Abdu'l-Bahá embraced Mr Struvens as a kind father embraces a son and with the utmost kindness thanked him for his many services to the Cause in such glowing terms that the others were astonished.365
A message from the friends in Philadelphia was relayed to `Abdu'l-Bahá expressing their hope and expectation that since it was on His way, He might be able stop in their city. He replied, `We have been there once. Now we have neither time nor possibility. Send them a telegram saying that they may come to the station so that we can meet for a few minutes.'
At 6:00 p.m. when the train reached the station, the friends, both men and women, were on the platform. When the train stopped, they immediately rushed towards the Master's seat and fell upon His feet, fulfilling their hearts' desire. With great eagerness and enthusiasm, many of them accompanied the Master to the next station, honored to be in His presence. They begged His assistance that they might render service to the Cause of God and then, weeping, left Him. When the other passengers saw these 30 or so friends from Philadelphia hovering near the Master with such heartfelt emotions, their curiosity to know more was aroused. Fascinated by His majesty and grandeur, they surrounded the Master to hear explanations of the divine teachings. They were transformed and attracted to the teachings and asked for the addresses of the friends and assemblies. Teaching the Cause of the God and guiding the people along the road gives so much joy and excitement that there are no words to describe it.
At about 1:00 a.m. the city of New York was once more graced with the presence of `Abdu'l-Bahá. He stayed at the same house which had previously been rented at His instruction. Thus for the second time this house became the court of the Center of the Covenant and the threshold of bounty and favor. The owners of the house and their relatives had joined the group of sincere and devoted believers and were counted among the lovers of `Abdu'l-Bahá.366
Tuesday, November 12, 1912
Early in the morning, Mrs Champain, the owner of the house, and her relatives came to see `Abdu'l-Bahá and to receive His blessings. They were at a loss to know in what language they could express their gratitude for the fact that their home had become the residence of the Master and the point of adoration for His lovers. The house is located on Riverside Drive near the Hudson River. Each morning and evening the Master walks in the gardens on the banks of the river.
As there is a war raging between the Balkan states and Turkey, it is the main topic in all the newspapers and people look upon these visitors in their Persian garments with eyes full of prejudice. We have even been refused accommodation in some of the large hotels because they thought we were Turks. The Master remarked, `Observe how much enmity and hatred prejudices have produced among various parties and peoples and what suffering and hardship have been caused by them.' But whenever those who feel enmity towards us have been informed of the Cause of God and entered `Abdu'l-Bahá's presence, they become humble and are honored to meet Him.
`Abdu'l-Bahá had been repeatedly asked by some of the New York Bahá'ís to see some of the wealthy people who wanted Him to visit them in their homes, but each time He said:
I deal with the poor and visit them, not the rich. I love all, especially the poor. All sorts of people come here and I meet them all with sincere love, with heart and soul. Yet I have no intention of visiting the homes of the rich.
On another occasion, a famous man, Mr Andrew Carnegie, humbly requested an interview with the Master. Although he was one of the millionaires of America, his request was granted and is recorded in one of His writings.367
In the afternoon was the usual weekly meeting of the Bahá'í women at the home of Mrs Krug. When the Master arrived, Mrs Krug was reciting a prayer. When she finished, `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke:
He is God!
This is the assemblage of my daughters in the home of my daughter, Mrs Krug. Therefore I am very happy with this gathering. It is a good gathering, very illumined. It is a spiritual assembly, a heavenly assemblage, the glances of favor surround this meeting and the Supreme Concourse looks down upon it. They heard the prayer that you read and it made them joyous. They thank Bahá'u'lláh saying, `We thank Thee, O Bahá'u'lláh, that these maidservants are attracted to Thee and are turned to Thy Kingdom. They have no purpose but Thy Will; they wish for no station but that of service to Thy Cause.'
O Bahá'u'lláh! Assist these noble maidservants; make these worldly daughters heavenly; inspire their hearts and gladden their souls.
O Bahá'u'lláh! Make these bodies as light-giving candles, these beings the envy of flower gardens and fill their souls with a melody which will enrapture the Supreme Concourse and make them dance for joy. Make each of them a brilliant star so that the world of existence may be illumined with their light.
O Bahá'u'lláh! Give them heavenly power, bestow on them the inspiration of the Kingdom and vouchsafe to them divine assistance so that they may be enabled to render service unto Thee.
Thou are the Compassionate, the Merciful and the Lord of Bounty and Favor.
There was a gathering in the evening at the home of Mr Kinney which was attended mostly by black people. At the meeting the Master likened the faith of Mr [Arthur] Dodge to that of Peter and expressed His admiration for that sincere and true servant who was so firm in the Covenant. The Master showed similar kindness to Mr [Hooper] Harris who was permitted to speak to the public gathering before the Master's address. The Master's talk was a confirmation of Mr Harris's speech, an explanation of the prophecies of the Book of Daniel concerning the Most Great Manifestation and the statement in the New Testament about the Promised One.368
Wednesday, November 13, 1912
The Master described for the friends His journey to California and His talks at the university and at gatherings in San Francisco. He said:
As they were delivered in scientific terms and with rational arguments, none could deny them and not a single voice was raised in opposition. In fact, in the gatherings like that at the university where one hundred and eighty professors and teachers and eighteen hundred students were present together with other notable people, if one had spoken using religious terminology and expressing religious opinions and imitations which are wholly contrary to science and reason, none would have paid any attention; rather, they would have scorned and mocked us.
One reason that people despair of the world of religion is this very matter of superstitions and imitations practiced by religious leaders. When intelligent and learned people see these imitations and customs as being contrary to reason and knowledge they forsake the divine religion and are not aware that these are idle fancies of the leaders and have nothing to do with divine principles. The foundations of divine religion do not negate sound reason and true science. The principles of divine religion do not contradict knowledge and insight, except for some principles and minutiae of the law which were given according to the exigencies of the time and age. Of course, the second or social laws suited to the Mosaic dispensation and useful for the Jewish people at that time are now purposeless and ineffective and seem futile, but they were pertinent and useful at the time.
Now, praise be to God, Bahá'u'lláh has solved these difficulties. All His teachings and laws are in keeping with the spirit of this age and the needs of the people. And greatest of all is the abandonment of religious superstitions and dogmas and the conformity of spiritual matters with scientific and rational arguments.
`Abdu'l-Bahá spent the afternoon at the home of Mr Kinney. As was His daily custom, the Master went for a walk in the morning and afternoon in the gardens along the bank of the river on Riverside Drive.
His public talk at Mr Kinney's home concerned the immersion of the friends in the sea of bounty and favor. `Abdu'l-Bahá encouraged them to remain firm and constant in the Covenant of God. After the meeting another group came to visit. He also encouraged them to arise, teach and spread the fragrances of God and inspired them to render service to the world of humanity so that others might arise from among the friends, girding their loins to bring about unity and harmony among the nations.
When some of the friends requested that the verses of the holy writings and divine Tablets be translated into English, He said: `A committee consisting of experts in several languages is essential for the translation of the Sacred Writings.'
Several friends brought their children to Him. He took the little children in His arms and showered them with His kindness and affection. Among them was the little daughter of Mr Jones, who ran to the Master in all the meetings and did not wish to leave His side. She was always sad when she had to leave Him.
The Master spoke this evening on the importance of the friends striving to detach themselves from earthly passions and worldly desires and to remain aloof from the doubts of selfish persons who outwardly appear faithful but who are inwardly the cause of confusion to others. He gave a lengthy discourse on firmness in the Covenant of God, obedience to the Center of His Covenant, the unity of the believers, the afflictions and tribulations of the Abhá Beauty and the martyrdom of the Manifestations in order that unity and harmony might be brought to the nations of the world.
During this talk two large rooms at Mr Kinney's were filled to capacity. At first the Master sat on a chair between the two rooms but He later arose in a majestic and dignified manner, speaking with such forceful tones that everyone was delighted and full of admiration.
Thursday, November 14, 1912
After granting private interviews to some of the friends, the Master came downstairs to the gathering. Among His statements were these words:
The most blessed moments of my life are those which I spend in the company of the friends of God. These are the best times. Therefore, I am extremely happy to be with you now. Praise be to God that your faces are illumined, your hearts and souls are rejoicing and all are turned toward the Abhá Kingdom. This is the utmost happiness for me.
I pray to the threshold of Bahá'u'lláh that He may grant all of you eternal happiness, honor you in His Kingdom and bestow upon you everlasting life. Thus, the friends of New York may be freed from all limitations and become the cause of the enlightenment of the world of man. This is my greatest wish and Bahá'u'lláh will assuredly assist you.
Most of the evening meetings were at the home of Mrs Kinney and while the daytime meetings were at Mrs Krug's home. There was always a crowd of visitors at His residence and whether He was in or out, a multitude was always there waiting.
At the meeting this afternoon at Mrs Krug's home, He spoke of the exalted station of the people of Bahá given them through the bounties and confirmations of the Abhá Kingdom, which can turn black dust into a brilliant ruby, a grain into a harvest, a fisherman into a Peter and a village woman into a Mary Magdalene, the pride of men.
As they passed before Him one by one, they received His bestowals and blessings. He returned to His residence on foot. Near Central Park a gentleman approached Him and said, `I have heard much about you and have been waiting for the moment to see you. I am thankful that now I have attained the honor of meeting your Excellency.' He followed the Master to His residence, greatly interested in His explanations and the wonderful Bahá'í teachings.
This evening friends and seekers immensely enjoyed and benefited from hearing the Master's explanations of the mysteries of the Books of God and other important issues. He was asked about music and singing in the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár. He replied, `Singing and chanting of scripture and prayers in verse or in prose should be used but I do not interfere in matters not expressly stated in the Text. Whenever and whatever the Universal House of Justice ordains, that will be the criterion.'
Later in the evening He spoke at length to a Christian Science lady who was quite fanatical in her beliefs. The Master explained to her the meaning of the assertion that there is no evil in existence. He said:
By saying there is no evil in existence is meant that what has come from the Origin of existence and being is good and useful. It is good in its time and place and not evil. For example, I can say that there is no darkness in the sun because darkness is the absence of light and has no existence in itself. Oppression is the absence of justice and ignorance is the lack of knowledge. Hence, the imperfections and defects of the world of creation, the contingent world, are merely the absence of virtues and the lack of perfections. These defects have not come from the Source; rather, the essential properties of the world of matter which are change and transformation cause the training of all things and the manifestation of perfections of realities and spirits.
Saturday, November 15, 1912
Mr Wilhelm and other friends heard these words from `Abdu'l-Bahá:
Education and training are the most important issues in the world of existence. Without an educator, little progress can be made in material affairs, still less in spiritual affairs and divine morals. How can humanity find composure and eternal happiness without an educator? Apart from the human world observe the rest of creation, how each and every created things is in need of training by an educator. Without education they will not attain perfection. For instance, this flower cannot by itself reach this perfection and attain this charm, color and loveliness. Thus, there are two great blessings in the world of existence: one is innate capacity which is bestowed by the Creator; and the other, acquired perfections which depend upon training by a teacher and educator.
The Master went downstairs to join the assembled friends. Among His words were these: `The whole world is like a physical body and the power of Bahá'u'lláh may be regarded as the main artery in the body of existence.'
Today He called on Mr MacNutt and spoke to him in strong terms about his relationship with the Covenant-breakers and showed him a letter Mr MacNutt had written to Chicago offering help to and praising Dr Nutt, a friend of Kheiralla. The Master asked, `Is this your writing?' Mr MacNutt replied, `Yes, but my intention was something else.' He tried to give a different angle to his purpose but could not. The Master was saddened about Mr MacNutt but His purpose was to admonish and warn him against his own conduct.
In the afternoon, after seeing Mr Topakyan, the Persian Consul General, and other prominent people, the Master went to a meeting of the Divine Knowledge Club, whose members are mostly women. The president of the club is an educated woman who claims divine knowledge and heavenly inspiration through Bahá'u'lláh. Spiritualists, astrologers and Christian Scientists frequent her club meetings. She spoke with closed eyes, as if she were sleeping and receiving inspiration. She appeared to be in a trance and in a state of total absorption. Because she is known among the Bahá'ís for her sincerity and is a supporter of the Cause of God, the Master was very kind to her.
Today, at this lady's request, the Master went to a meeting of her club and delivered an address concerning the circumstances of the time and the different seasons in the contingent world. He said:
The day of the Manifestation of God is the divine and spiritual springtime when the trees of human souls become green and flourishing, new beauty and freshness are brought to the gardens of the hearts and new inspiration and fresh bounties are bestowed.
His talk commanded their complete attention and all bowed their heads in humility and respect. On the way home, He remarked, `Observe what idle fancies and vain imaginings are still prevalent in America!' The Master's guidance on removing the superstitions and vain imaginings of these people is as follows:
Man explains things in two ways. One explanation originates from his personal feelings, thoughts and understanding. This cannot stand as proof or criterion for all and does not satisfy the hearts. The other is a statement supported by proofs. It produces significant results and promulgates momentous matters which are necessary to the world of man. It is like the explanations and proofs of the Bahá'ís, who invite all to the oneness of humanity and to universal peace. This explanation has proofs and is effective.
The Master continued with a story of the Jewish rabbis:
In Jerusalem every now and then they broadcast a promise giving a specific time based on the holy scriptures and say that on such a date the Promised One will appear to deliver the Jews. They say, `We have derived these from the holy texts.' But when that time and day approach they cast a doubt over their promise and give another. Thus they keep the Jews under the influence of their wish and desires and deprive them of the truth. Now they refer to the time of Daniel [Dan. 12:12] and hold out a promise that the Promised One will appear in the year 1335 [AH, i. e. 1963].
There was a public meeting in the evening at the home of Miss Juliet Thompson. The Master spoke about the greatness of this cycle, the victory of the Cause and the influence and importance of the teachings and laws of Bahá'u'lláh. His talk was delivered in such awe-inspiring tones that the minds were dazzled and the hearts captivated by the grandeur and majesty of the Center of the Covenant. Both before and after the meeting many people were honored to visit with Him in a separate room.369
Saturday, November 16, 1912
After morning prayers and meditation, the Master spoke of the afflictions and persecutions of the believers in the East and their perseverance and steadfastness in the Cause of God. He spoke graciously of the family of Had
and other old Persian friends. Later, at a gathering of the friends, He spoke these words:
The holy Manifestations endured great afflictions and persecutions and at every moment accepted torment and oppression. Christ suffered violent persecutions, accepting the suffering of the Cross and the most glorious martyrdom. The results of these persecutions were eleven disciples who were truly blessed souls. They became luminous and heavenly; they became the cause of the enlightenment of the people of the world.
I hope that you, too, may reach such a station, that it will be said that you are the fruit of the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh; that it will be said, `It is these people who are the aim of this new revelation; they are the jewels of existence; they are illumined, divine, spiritual and heavenly.' If someone asks what Bahá'u'lláh has done, they will be told, `He has educated these people.'371
`Abdu'l-Bahá then spoke about the divine laws and religions:
Divine religions consist of two parts. One aspect is that of spiritual laws which constitute the foundation of all divine religions. They are immutable and unalterable. The second aspect consists of social laws and relates to material affairs, and changes according to the exigencies of the time.
To a new group He said:
Gracious God! Although people see with their own eyes that in the dispensation of Christ the eleven disciples were ordinary men who, because of their faith in Him, found eternal life and shone from the horizon of perpetual honor; and that the Jews, with all their worldly honor, became contemptible; and that Caiaphas, the greatest enemy of Christ, was, together with his whole family, obliterated from the face of the earth while a simple fisherman, because of his belief in Christ, became the great Peter, yet, despite all this, still they take no heed.
In the afternoon meeting His address on the reality of God and the victory of the Manifestations of God threw the entire audience into an extraordinary state of excitement and attraction, especially the friends from New Jersey, who with Mr Hoar, after the meeting went to the Master's room and became the recipients of His grace and special bestowals.
Sunday, November 17, 1912
Early in the morning `Abdu'l-Bahá voiced His thankfulness to the Abhá Kingdom, saying:
Praise be to God! His divine help and assistance have enveloped us and the confirmations of the Abhá Kingdom have surrounded us. The Cause of God has reached every ear and the divine fragrances have spread throughout all regions. The East and the West are illumined with the light of the most great guidance. The foundation of the Cause of God is firmly and securely established. The friends of the Blessed Beauty have risen in faithfulness and occupied themselves in proclaiming the Word of God. The foundation of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár is laid. I have no further desire. I wish to reach Haifa and to settle again in the Holy Land. It is now your turn to serve, to render your servitude to the holy threshold. Occupy yourselves day and night in the diffusion of the divine fragrances. All confirmations encircle those who are engaged in rendering services to the court of oneness. Nothing avails except servitude to the Blessed Beauty. If, after the ascension of the Blessed Beauty, I had not risen in servitude to Him, these confirmations would not have descended.
After a short pause, He continued:
Had there not been this servitude, constancy and confirmation the affairs would have fallen into the hands of the ambitious and the standard of the Cause would have fallen forever. Unseemly matters would have ensued. The story of Yahyá would have been repeated. Had it not been for the firmness and power of the Ancient Beauty, the mainstay of the Cause would have fallen apart. Nothing would have been witnessed but the propagation of selfish desires and, apart from these, nothing would have been witnessed but the propagation of selfish desires and, apart from these, nothing would have remained but some words and phrases.
Today He mentioned the passing of Áqá Rid
and spoke about the greatness of his station, saying, `I must go myself to the Holy Land to build his effulgent tomb with my own hands and read there a prayer of visitation.'
From morning until the afternoon every room of the Master's residence was full of people. All were recipients of His everlasting bounties and bathed in the surging waves of the love of God.
This evening the Master spoke to a gathering of the friends regarding the maturity and perfection of the world and gave an account of Bahá'u'lláh. He concluded His address with the chanting of a prayer in a melodious voice, immersing the hearts in a sea of ecstasy and rapture. Many new people attended the meeting and were impressed and moved by the blessings of `Abdu'l-Bahá. They remained in His presence until He left, expressing their sincerity and reverence.373
Monday, November 18, 1912
In the morning the Master was occupied revealing Tablets in answer to letters from the believers. He permitted some friends and newcomers to interview Him in His own room. When the visitors grew too numerous, He appeared in the gathering and showered love and kindness upon all.
Whenever the Master became tired, He would go alone to the nearby gardens along the bank of the river to rest. He said, `When I am alone, I do not talk, my mind is not busy and I can rest a little. But when I am not alone I must speak; I perspire and feel exhausted.'
These were the final days of His stay in America and there was a great rush of visitors. There was not one moment when people were not present.
In the afternoon, while talking to a group of the friends, `Abdu'l-Bahá suddenly said: `We wish to build a House of Worship on that side of the water.' Later He said: `This city shall become good when the call of "Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá" shall reach the highest heaven from it. If the believers arise as they should erelong the word of God will envelop all these regions.' He also added, `As the United States of America is far and free from the arena of the prevailing political turmoil, this government and country can prevent war between the nations and bring about peace and harmony among them.'
The Master was invited by the poet Mr Moxey and Mrs Moxey for supper. The hosts were among the devoted friends of `Abdu'l-Bahá and they were eloquent in their praise of Him. During the Master's previous visit to New York Mr Moxey had written a book of poetry, describing the demeanor, majesty and power of the Master. Mrs Moxey, who was a famous musician, opened the gathering by playing the piano and singing a melodious song of praise in His honor. The Master began His address with these words:
I praise God that I am with you. Such an assembly would be utterly impossible to hold through worldly power and outward means because you are Westerners and we are Easterners. There was nothing to connect us. We had neither patriotic, racial, commercial nor political connections with you. But Bahá'u'lláh removed all these estrangements and prejudices and invited all to divine love. He joined all under the shade of the blessed Word. Hence, we are united and assembled here in such love. This love is the greatest of all means, as all other means and ties are limited; but harmony that comes about through the love of God is infinite and everlasting.
These impressive words transformed the hearts. After the meeting several of the friends and His companions were honored to have supper with Him. Everyone was grateful and showed great devotion in that home.374
Tuesday, November 19, 1912
The Master spent the day at the home of Mrs Krug in the utmost happiness. A number of the believers and His companions were also very happy to witness the Master's joy, the influence of the Cause of God and the power of the Covenant of God.
In the afternoon, at a public meeting attended chiefly by women, `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke on the equality of the rights of women and their education and progress through the Manifestation of this supreme age. He encouraged them to acquire the perfections and virtues of the world of humanity.
Later, at the home of Mr and Mrs Kinney, He asked Mr Harris to speak at the meeting of the friends.
As Mr MacNutt's apparent equivocation and lack of firmness seemed to be causing his degradation in the eyes of the friends, he came to the Master and implored Him to recommend him to them. The Master replied, `The remedy depends upon your sincere repentance and your open denouncement of the violators in the meetings of the friends.' In compliance, Mr MacNutt rose and gave an account of his journey to Chicago and his meeting with Kheiralla. Some felt that he spoke ambiguously. The Master asked him to explain his actions in plain words so that the friends might be satisfied and this blemish on his character be removed. Again he testified in clear terms of his faith in the Covenant and his rejection of the Covenant-breakers. The Master went to the podium and expressed His pleasure at Mr Harris's talk and for Mr MacNutt's words of repentance. The Master then went upstairs and called Mr Hoar, Mr Harris, Mr Dodge and other friends to Him and asked them to embrace Mr MacNutt and exhorted them to have the utmost love and unity among themselves. He encouraged and inspired them to spread the divine word and to diffuse the fragrances of God. He told them that they must sacrifice all other affairs for the accomplishment of this great affair.375
Despite this, the Master and the friends, in their inmost hearts, were saddened by Mr MacNutt's earlier actions. Some felt that he was not trying hard enough to show his humility and firmness in the Covenant. After the Master's departure from America, Mr MacNutt went to California and other regions of America. The believers stayed away from him. He wrote many letters of repentance to `Abdu'l-Bahá, who sent him many encouraging and kind words.
Wednesday, November 20, 1912
The Master again called some of the friends and asked them to show kindness and love to Mr MacNutt and to be patient with him. Some of His words were these:
You must all arise in unison to serve the Cause of God. You must work hand in hand to teach the Cause and know that the confirmations of Bahá'u'lláh will descend upon you. My hope is that New York will excel all other cities because at the beginning it had precedence over them. God willing, it shall be so again. The favors of the Kingdom of God are great, the attention and bounties of the Blessed Beauty are fixed upon you and His hidden hosts are assisting you. Arise in this arena and you shall see what will transpire.
I am but one of His servants. After the ascension of the Blessed Beauty, the Ottoman people and government arose against me as did enemies of the area from different nations and religions. In such a state everyone was attacking me from outside and even my brothers from inside opposed me. But in a short time the enemies were frustrated and brought low so that some of them cried, `Would to God that Bahá'u'lláh had not ascended because this Cause has become even greater, its fame has spread to more places, and its support has become stronger.' Therefore, we must arise in servitude so that His confirmations may surround us from all sides. Undoubtedly whenever you arise to serve and proclaim the Cause you shall be assisted and shall attain success. Rest assured.
In the afternoon the friends gathered at the home of Mr Harris, each one eager and delighted to see the Master and to listen to His words. While He was leaving His residence, some school children saw the Master and rushed towards Him. They asked, `Who is this man who looks like Christ?' Miss Juliet Thompson spoke to them outside the house about the Cause and the life of `Abdu'l-Bahá. They asked to meet Him and they were invited to come to Mr Kinney's home, where `Abdu'l-Bahá spent most of His days, the following Sunday.
Both private and public meetings were held in that home. The first to third floors were filled with people, some even standing on the stairs. From this day forward a spirit of steadfastness in the Covenant of God, unity and faithfulness appeared among the friends as the Master burnt away the veils and the hearts of the believers attained the highest degree of love and union. This was the Master's purpose in staying so long in New York. Furthermore, many wonderful friends became humble and sincere in His presence.
He spoke this evening to a large gathering about the influence of the Cause and the victory of the Supreme Word over the nations and powers of the world.
Thursday, November 21, 1912
The Master was occupied revealing Tablets to the friends until about noon when the crowd downstairs became too large. He appeared in this gathering of eager souls, greeting and extending His kindness to all, saying: `I have been busy since early morning and am tired. I do not feel like speaking at all and wish to go out for a walk.' After a short talk in which He encouraged the friends to establish love and harmony among themselves and to make every effort in the Cause of God, He walked to Broadway and then to Central Park. He was not pleased with the dense population and the height of the buildings, saying: `These are injurious to the public's health. This population should be in two cities, the buildings should be lower and the streets should be tree-lined as they are in Washington. How can these two places compare?'
Indeed, the condition of New York City is strange and its population so large that in addition to surface streets, there are three railway lines running the entire length of the city; one underground, another on the surface and a third above the streets on bridges about two stories high. These railway lines are continuously filled with people and are their mode of transportation. On some of the streets, automobiles and carriages have to stop for some 10 to 15 minutes because of the congestion until the traffic officers give them permission to continue.
Most buildings are from 17 to 18 stories high and each floor has some 20 to 30 apartments, most of which have bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, bathrooms with hot and cold running water and many comforts.
There was a large gathering this evening at Mr and Mrs Kinney's attended by both old and new friends. The Master's talk was mainly admonitions to the friends about love and unity among themselves and the propagation of the divine Cause. The hearts and souls were ignited by the fire of the love of God and their tongues praised the Beloved.
Friday, November 22, 1912
The Master spent the morning until noon at His residence. In the afternoon He went to a gathering at the home of Mrs Krug. The meeting with such eager friends was very enjoyable. A feature of the afternoon was the visit from a Christian minister. He was a just and fair-minded man who visited with the Master before the meeting in a separate room. His first question to the Master was, `What are the new teachings in this Cause?' The Master replied, `The fundamental principles of all religions are one. They are unchangeable and do not differ. This is what Christ meant when He said, "I am not come to destroy the law of the Torah but to promote it."'376
The minister: `Yes, I understand. Do you mean that at the beginning the followers of all the religions were pure and undefiled but grew polluted and negligent?'
The Master: `If there is no change or alteration, then there is no renewal. Not until night falls will a new day dawn. If the religion of Moses had not changed, Christ would not have appeared.'
The minister: `Thank you, I understand this well. Now tell me, will there be another cycle after this Bahá'í cycle.'
The Master: `The sovereignty of God has no beginning and no end and the outpouring of His bounties is endless.'
The minister said, with relief, `Now my doubts are wholly removed with nothing left but certainty.'
He was so sincere and humble that the Master was pleased with him and said, `I wanted to give detailed answers to each of your questions but you quickly realized the outcome of each answer right from the beginning. Thus must a person have aptitude and a pure motive.'
Appearing at the meeting, the Master held the minister's hand and praised him very highly as an example of justice. To the friends He said: `Beware, beware lest you follow your prejudices and selfish interests. You must always be just in all matters and investigate the truth.'
This evening in similar language the Master vividly described the harmfulness of prejudice, alienation and disunity and the advantages of love and friendship, concluding with strong appeals to the friends to propagate the guidance given by God and to associate in a spirit of love and kindness with all denominations and the servants of God.
Saturday, November 23, 1912
The friends arranged a banquet in commemoration of the Day of the Covenant and the journey of the beloved of all hearts. Today many came to the Master with bouquets of flowers in their hands. The banquet was held in the ballroom of New York's Grand Northern Hotel. The hall was decorated similarly to that in Washington with festoons, banners, ornaments and exquisite screens, with the Greatest Name suspended above all on the stage in its customary calligraphy.
In the center of the ballroom were two rectangular tables, between which was another large table exquisitely set. Around these tables on both sides were placed small circular tables bedecked with colorful flowers, a variety of sweets and crystal glassware. The electric lighting reflected the glassware and caused the whole room to shine brilliantly. More than three hundred guests, formally attired, attended. Several friends and specifically Miss Lany Lead served at the banquet.
When the Master appeared, all rose from their seats and with smiling faces cried out, `Alláh-u-Abhá!' Many of the hotel guests saw the banquet and were astonished to see the grandeur of the Master and the sincerity and enthusiasm of the friends. After the Master took His seat, Mr Hoar, on behalf of the Bahá'ís, read an address of welcome expressing obedience and firmness in the Covenant. The Master rose and responded with an address about the divine teachings and the oneness of humanity. He then walked around the tables and perfumed the heads and faces of the friends with attar of rose. When He returned to His chair, the friends, accompanied by the piano, sang songs of praise to Him.
Later the Master spoke about the wars and massacres of the nations and the need for the teachings of the Greatest Name. He encouraged all towards peace, harmony and sincere love for all the people of the world.377
After His talk, the Consul General, Mr Topakyan, and others gave short speeches praising `Abdu'l-Bahá.
This evening's banquet was so grand that the hotel staff were curious to know about the Cause. They came to see the Master to ask about the banquet and why so many distinguished Americans were praising and glorifying a person from the East. Indeed, it was a banquet for a king and a source of awakening to every person of insight.
Two photographs were taken with a good quality glass and special lighting. Although the photographs do not show the entire group, they tell much about the banquet.378
Sunday, November 24, 1912
A gathering of black Bahá'ís was held at the home of Mrs Kinney. They had been invited by the New York Bahá'ís to attend the banquet of the Covenant but when the proprietor of the hotel heard about it, he was not pleased. The more the friends endeavored to persuade him, the more vehement was his refusal. He said, `If the people see that one colored person has entered my hotel, no respectable person will ever set foot in it and my business will go to the winds.' Such is the depth of prejudice between blacks and whites. Since it was impossible to invite the black Bahá'ís to the banquet, the friends arranged today's feast for their black brothers. Many white women came forward to serve their black guests, showering them with love. The Master approved of this meeting very much and He said:
Today you have carried out the laws of the Blessed Beauty and have truly acted according to the teachings of the Supreme Pen. Behold what an influence and effect the words of Bahá'u'lláh have had upon the hearts, that hating and shunning have been forgotten and that prejudices have been obliterated to such an extent that you arose to serve one another with great sincerity.
The Master's words made a great impression. The meeting embodied the grandeur of the Covenant and demonstrated the power and influence of the Cause in uniting, in sincerity and love, two races of humanity.
In the afternoon the children who had earlier seen the Master on the way from school, had been so attracted and had asked to see Him, came to visit Him. He spoke to them with deep affection and kindness, asking about their health and welfare. To each He gave candies and flowers and then sprinkled them with attar of rose. He then gave them kindly counsels and encouraged them to acquire knowledge, science, good morals and sincerity, saying:
I hope that you will be educated as you ought to be and that each of you will become the pride of your family. May God assist you to acquire divine knowledge in the school of the world of humanity. I shall pray for you and beg assistance for you. Truly, the hearts of the children are very pure. This was why Christ said, `Be ye like children.'379
Praise be to God who created you illumined children. Praise be to the Lord who hath created His creatures perfectly. God has created you as human beings so that you may daily acquire better morals and human virtues. You must obey your parents so that they may be pleased with you, and so that God will be pleased with you, and that you may become the children of the Kingdom and mirror forth the words of Christ.
Although these young visitors were children, they took their leave in an attitude of sincerity, reverence and attraction that astonished all.
This evening `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke at a public meeting of the friends on the underlying unity of creation and the oneness of humanity. His sweet words and explanations attracted the hearts and souls, as in other meetings, leaving them much attached to the Center of the Covenant.
Monday, November 25, 1912
Some of the friends came to `Abdu'l-Bahá's residence early this morning, asking that they be admitted into His presence during His prayers so they could be blessed and their souls cleansed. As soon as they reached Him they fell into transports of joy, awe-struck at the august spirit of that moment.
Later a Christian minister came into His presence in the utmost humility and, weeping, held the Master's `abá in his hands and begged that his wife and children be healed. The Master showered him with kindness, consoled him and prayed for him. Although the minister was not a Bahá'í, he showed the reverence and respect to `Abdu'l-Bahá that is usually reserved for Christ.
The Master's fame, grandeur and holiness has spread so far that in every city of the United States of America prominent people become in His presence like humble servants, while knowledgeable and well-known scholars refer to Him as the Prophet of the East and the Messenger of Peace, even though He has always forbidden the use of such terms for Himself in writing or speech. He always explains to them His servitude to the Threshold of the Abhá Beauty.
As the multitude grew, and the Master could not easily see everyone individually, He went downstairs to apologize for not being able to see them owing to the volume of His work, His preoccupation with other matters and His fatigue and frailty. He prayed for all and inspired and encouraged the friends to put all their energy into propagating and spreading the fragrances of God.
In the afternoon, the Master was invited to two meetings. The first was at the Women's Club of New York where He spoke on the education of women, their acquisition of good morals and the equality of their rights. The audience was interested and excited and everyone came to shake His hand, begging confirmation that they might better serve and acquire human perfections.
The Master then went to Mrs Cochran's home where most of the visitors were newcomers who had not previously been in `Abdu'l-Bahá's presence. He appealed to them to abandon harmful prejudices and to acquire heavenly virtues and eternal perfections through spiritual power. The address appeared to breathe a new spirit into all those present.380
Tuesday, November 26, 1912
In the morning, after revealing Tablets and granting interviews, the Master joined the gathering of the friends with these words:
I always derive great pleasure from being with you. I shall always remember these gatherings. I shall never forget them. If I cannot see each one of you individually every day that should not undermine our real love. See how much work I have to do! It is more than a week since I received this letter from my sister, the Greatest Holy Leaf [Bahíyyih Khánum], and other members of the household, but I have not had the opportunity to open it yet. I was looking for another letter when I came upon this unopened letter. Then I heard that you were waiting here and I came downstairs to see you because I have no time to see you individually. In spite of this, if anyone has an urgent matter I will see them privately, even if only for a few minutes. Had I time I would always be with you. My happiness lies in seeing you, for in your faces are apparent the glad tidings of the Abhá Kingdom and in your hearts heavenly love and attraction. If outwardly we fail to meet, it does not weaken our real love. God willing, you shall all be assisted and immersed in the sea of bounty and the favor of Bahá'u'lláh.
In the afternoon at a meeting of the friends, the Master turned towards Mrs Krug and said:
A believer in Bahá'u'lláh is he who is firm in the Covenant. He who is firm in the divine Covenant is a believer, a servant of the believers, a seeker of Bahá'í harmony and unity and a promoter of fellowship and amity among the friends of God. Is it possible that one can accept a book and refuse to accept him who teaches it? Is it possible to accept the sun and to reject its rays? He who rejects the rays is a rejector of the sun, too.
Furthermore, many say, `We have no need of divine Manifestations; we ourselves have direct communication with God.' They do not know that the divine Manifestations are the bright rays of the Sun of Truth and a means of educating the realities of man. Therefore, he who rejects the bounty of the Sun of Truth and thinks himself not in need of it is like the one who says he is not in need of God and rejects both God and reality, in spite of the fact that all creation is receiving incessant bounty from God and is dependent on Him, as the body is dependent upon the soul.
In the evening the Master spoke to the gathering on man's ability to understand the reality of certain things using his intelligence because man's intelligence is the discoverer of reality. For instance, through the process of reasoning, intelligence can comprehend the existence of God and understand that this magnificent universe cannot exist without a Creator. These works are not without a Maker and this garden of creation cannot exist without a Gardener.
Wednesday, November 27, 1912
In the morning the Master gave several talks to the Bahá'ís, one of which was the following:
The purpose of the divine Manifestations has been the education of holy souls. Some have imagined that their purpose was to found temples and churches or to establish a new nation or to gain personal fame and that for these considerations they accepted severe degradation and became targets for the arrow of fate. These are idle fancies because those holy Beings knew well that the dominion of God existed when there was no trace of them and that it shall continue to exist when no trace of them remains. Thus fame or oblivion, honor or degradation are one and the same to those Gems of existence. Indeed, their ultimate desire is selfless devotion to the one true God and absolute nothingness in His court. Their only motive has been the education of blessed souls and sanctified beings who are the foundation of divine education and promoters of the most great guidance and the supreme favor.
The people of Bahá must endeavor day and night to promulgate this lofty purpose. They must endeavor and strive strenuously to educate themselves and other sanctified souls. They must awaken the peoples and nations of the world and free them from dogmas and imitations. They must pass beyond the world of names and fix their gaze on realities and inner meanings.
At the end of the meeting some friends gave Him written petitions asking for spiritual assistance. He said, `We have received so many letters that there is no time to read them; how, then, is it possible to answer them?'
In the afternoon again the friends and seekers arrived in groups. The Master's talk mainly concerned the need for both a spiritual and a material civilization. `The coming of age and maturity of man', He said, `will appear when these two civilizations become entwined.'
The Master spoke to a leader of the socialists on economic issues, the brotherhood of humanity and the Bahá'í teachings. The man was overwhelmed to hear such solutions to questions upon which the well-being of the world depend.
The Master spoke to a group of women about education, training, virtues and the rights of women. In brief, every day and night, to a greater and greater extent, the faces shone with the fire of the love of God and the souls beamed with the radiance of the beauty of the Beloved.
Thursday, November 28, 1912
Several friends came at dawn to the Master's residence, begging admission into His presence and saying that watching Him at prayer would be its own spiritual lesson. We were astounded to see how eager they were, proof that the power of the Word of God has dispelled old habits and opened the gates of bounty such that at so an early hour these souls had taken leave of their comfortable beds and sought refuge at the majestic gate of the Center of the Covenant.
These were the last few remaining days of the Master's sojourn in America as He planned to leave for England soon. At dawn and in the evening a stream of believers and prominent people, in a spiritual and prayerful attitude, came into His presence. They came to offer supplications, to turn to the Eternal Face, to look upon the Dawning Place of the Divine Covenant and to cling to the mantle of His grace and favor. At every moment the cries and ardor of His lovers increased and the fire of love in their breasts glowed more fiercely. There was not a moment's rest day or night for the Master. He was either delivering addresses at various public and private gatherings or talking to a friend in His private room. He gave joy to every sad one, hope to the hopeless and was a flame of fire to the heedless while guiding those who strive onto the right path.
Today the Master's public address concerned the spiritual capacity of the Americans. He said:
Although they are engrossed in material civilization and physical pursuits, still, unlike people in some European countries, they are not wholly devoid of spiritual susceptibilities. They are seekers and desire to investigate reality. They wish for peace and tranquillity and they desire fellowship and love among humanity.
In the evening He expressed His happiness at the spirituality and services of the friends in their efforts to diffuse the fragrances of God.
Friday, November 29, 1912
At the request of Mrs Emery, the Master moved to her home. The time of His departure was drawing near. On reaching the house, He said, `Today I must rest for I am extremely tired.' Nevertheless, the friends and seekers continued to come to visit Him at the homes of Mrs Emery and Mrs Kinney. One of His discourses today was this:
One of the bounties of religion and faith is the attainment of peace of the heart and soul and the joy of spirit and conscience. This station can only be gained through faith and understanding. Peace of mind is the soul's delight, as it is the means of acquiring that extraordinary state in which man finds happiness in times of affliction and tranquillity in trouble. In spite of poverty he acquires a sense of affluence and in a state of riches and power he offers help and protection to the weak because the well-assured soul is like a tree which has strong roots and is not shaken by any event. This cannot be attained except through complete faith and understanding. How many are the people who have all means of comfort, luxury, security and wealth and every means of enjoyment and good living, yet they have no peace of mind and are ever anxious and uneasy! If outwardly they are happy one day, they become depressed and anxious the next. If they find physical rest at one moment, they face suffering and misfortune the next, until the time comes to leave this world, then they will do so with utmost regret and distress.
But those who have faith in God act according to the divine teachings; even though they need a little food to survive, they will pass their lives in the utmost happiness and joy. This is one of the bounties of religion; this is eternal happiness, life everlasting and real affluence. Without this all riches lead to woe and all power and strength are the cause of hardship and affliction. Therefore, offer praise unto God that you are endowed with this imperishable wealth and have attained this supreme blessing.381
Today some of the friends offered money to the Master but He would not accept it despite their pleading. Instead He told them, `Distribute it among the poor on my behalf. It will be as though I have given it to them. But the most acceptable gift to me is the unity of the believers, service to the Cause of God, diffusion of the divine fragrances and adherence to the counsels of the Abhá Beauty.'
The believers were saddened because He did not accept their gifts. However, since these were the last days of His visit and He was about to leave, the New York Bahá'ís collected several gifts for the women of the holy household and for the Greatest Holy Leaf.
Saturday, November 30, 1912
Some of the believers agreed among themselves to go to `Abdu'l-Bahá and cling to His robe until He accepted their gifts. They came and begged He accept their offerings. The Master called them, saying:
I am most grateful for your services; in truth you have served me. You have extended hospitality. Night and day you have been ready to serve and to diffuse the divine fragrances. I shall never forget your services, for you have no purpose but the will of God and you desire no station but entry into the Kingdom of God. Now you have brought presents for the members of my family. They are most acceptable and excellent but better than all these are the gifts of the love of God which remain preserved in the treasuries of the heart. These gifts are evanescent but those are eternal; these jewels must be kept in boxes and vaults and they will eventually perish but those jewels remain in the treasuries of the heart and will remain throughout the world of God for eternity. Thus I will take to them your love, which is the greatest of all gifts. In our house they do not wear diamond rings nor do they keep rubies. That house is sanctified above such adornments.
I, however, have accepted your gifts; but I entrust them to you for you sell and send the proceeds to the fund for the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in Chicago.
When the friends continued to plead with Him, He said: `I want to take from you a present which will endure in the eternal world and a jewel which belongs to the treasuries of the heart. This is better.'
No matter how much the friends supplicated and pleaded, He would not accept their gifts and instead asked them all to contribute towards the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár fund. He did this everywhere He traveled.
Mrs Goodall and Mrs Cooper asked the Master, as He had not accepted their gifts -- which would have drawn blessings and confirmations upon them -- to give them permission to render Him some service on His travels. They even wrote letters to some of His companions, asking them to intercede on their behalf that they might render a service and share the Master's travel expenses. However, He would not accept their offer and refused all entreaties.
There was a public meeting at the home of Mrs Kinney. `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about love, loyalty, unity, the amity of the believers, spreading the Word of God, the promotion of universal peace and the brotherhood of humanity. The excitement and joy of the believers were beyond description.