Monday, July 1, 1912184
During the Master's stroll in the park near the house, a person of Greek ancestry walked by. When he saw `Abdu'l-Bahá, he was attracted and approached Him. The passerby immediately summoned his friends, who were in the park, to gather round. In those green surroundings the Master spoke to them about Greek philosophers and about the progress and civilization of their country in ancient times. He then exhorted and encouraged them to acquire the virtues of the world of humanity. He was so compelling that they were immediately influenced. That evening they came to the Bahá'í gathering and became yet more links in the chain of lovers.185
Every night after the public meeting, seekers are invited to visit `Abdu'l-Bahá in His own room. As they listen to His solutions to complex spiritual problems, to His convincing arguments and to answers to their questions, they are drawn towards the Kingdom of God and attracted to the Abhá horizon. Although it is summer and intensely hot, every day and night a new group of inquirers is introduced.
Tuesday, July 2, 1912186
After the usual morning prayers and thanksgiving to God, `Abdu'l-Bahá sent for us and offered thanks and praise to the Most Great Name for the assistance and protection vouchsafed by the Ancient Beauty.
The Master spoke with seekers and visited with friends until noon. After some milk and bread for lunch, He rested for awhile but the friends and `Abdu'l-Bahá's companions remained to enjoy the generous lunch.
In the afternoon, a prominent gentlemen invited the Master to the Plaza Hotel, which is one of the most elegant hotels and a gathering place for the American elite. We went there to see the building. The Master sat in one of the small rooms. When the manager of the hotel offered to show Him the rest of the hotel, He did not accept. Afterwards the Master said to the friends: `When I see magnificent buildings and beautiful scenery, I contrast them with memories of the prison and of the persecutions suffered by the Blessed Beauty and my heart is deeply moved and I seek to avoid such sightseeing excursions.'
Tonight He spoke about God and creation: `The Kingdom of God', He said, `is pre-existent and, since He is the Creator, without doubt He has always had a creation.'
Wednesday, July 3, 1912187
Today was the anniversary of the Independence of the United States from England. There were celebrations everywhere. The Master was invited to attend the Fourth of July parade to which the mayor was also invited. A special messenger had been sent to the Master at Montclair with the invitation. He replied then that He would come if His schedule would permit. As it was not a spiritual occasion, the Master did not go but in order to show His interest, He sent us, His companions, wearing our Persian hats and `abás. We arrived before the mayor, were received with great honor as representatives of `Abdu'l-Bahá, and were given seats near the mayor's chair. There were people there from many nations including China, Japan, Turkey and India, as well as members of the American military and businesses carrying flags and decorations for the celebration. All of these passed before the mayor and were followed by parades of men, women, boys and girls in gala dress and singing sweetly. As they passed by the mayor's stand, he spoke to all gracefully and kindly. After the parade it was the turn of the poets and speech-makers.
When we returned from the event to the Master, we described all that had taken place. It was well that He did not go because the excessive heat and crowds would have been a strain to His strength and health. Whenever it is beneficial to the interests of the Cause, He endures every kind of hardship. For example, on certain days during this journey, in spite of exhaustion and fatigue, He went to faraway places and attended many gatherings in the course of one day. He said, `I am continually speaking from morning until evening. Not even the strongest person would have such patience and fortitude.'
In the afternoon, at the request of friends, He went for an automobile ride into town. In the evening He spoke at length in His home about the coming of the Promised One.188
Thursday, July 4, 1912189
A number of people met `Abdu'l-Bahá in the morning. He spoke to them about divine knowledge and the spiritual stations which lead to eternal life -- the ultimate goal of human existence. A black youth was there, to whom the Master gave the name `Mubárak' [`happy'], and to a black woman He gave the name `Khush Ghadam' [a person who brings good fortune, welcome news, good omen]. He spoke to them about the importance of harmony between the white and black races of America and described the various meetings attended by both blacks and whites and the talks given at them which dealt with this question.
Mrs Kaufman asked about the influence of heavenly bodies on the affairs of humanity. `Abdu'l-Bahá replied:
The words of the astrologers are for the most part doubtful and unreliable. But the whole of creation is interrelated like the different parts of the human body which have a complete affinity from the toenail to the hair on the head. Every part is perfectly connected with the other. Similarly, the whole of creation forms a chain composed, as it were, of many links connected with each other. It is therefore obvious that they all greatly influence each other and are part of organized, regular cycles.
He was then asked about the connection between the soul and the body. He replied, `It has the same connection as the sun has with the mirror. Death consists of the severance of this connection.'
`Some say that your prayers and promises for us have come true and are being completely fulfilled.'
`I always pray with complete self-effacement and humbly implore confirmations from the Kingdom of Abhá.'
`Do you feel the excessive heat? Does it affect your health?'
`I am so absorbed that I feel neither the heat nor the cold. It is all the same to me.'
Today the Master was occupied in revealing Tablets for the Eastern friends. Notwithstanding the heavy pressure of work, He does not delay His answers to important questions.
There was a large crowd in the evening to whom He spoke about the various kingdoms of creation and the virtues of the world of existence. After the meeting several seekers visited the Master in His room. He answered their questions regarding the stations of divinity and the journey in the path of knowledge and servitude. Everyone was pleased and delighted and joined us in offering praise and glory to God.
Friday, July 5, 1912
Some Tablets were revealed for friends in California, consoling them because of their separation from Him since He was not traveling to that state at the present time. Most of the friends on the West Coast of America had not yet had the honor to see Him. When they learned of His intention, they were saddened and sent telegrams begging Him to visit their state.
Today, at the invitation of Juliet Thompson, `Abdu'l-Bahá went to a museum near His house.190
On the first floor there were statues, figures of animals and a collection of relics of early American civilization. On observing these objects, `Abdu'l-Bahá said, `From these things it appears that America had a great civilization in ancient times.'
In the evening, He spoke to a large number of friends and seekers at His home about detachment from physical desires and the attainment of everlasting life. Everyone was delighted.191
Saturday, July 6, 1912
After morning prayers and visits with some Bahá'ís and non-Bahá'ís, the Master went for a long walk. It was His custom to go out for a walk before lunch and dinner.
A person of Greek ancestry invited the Master to go to a park outside of the city where a number of his friends, who desired to meet `Abdu'l-Bahá, had gathered. The Master went to the park. While traveling on the subway, He said:
In man's nature there must be a desire to ascend and not to descend. The underground air is suffocating. It would have been better if we had gone by road above. The Blessed Beauty used to say that it is even a pity that the dead body of man should be buried under the ground.
When the Master entered the park, He sat on the grass and those who wished to meet Him came to Him.
Much of the time was spent listening to a translation of a long article that appeared in today's issue of The Sun concerning `Abdu'l-Bahá's talk at a church. The reporter had been present when the address was given and had published the translation, adding a brief history of the Cause. In his article, he emphasized the force of `Abdu'l-Bahá's reasoning in establishing the truth of all of the Manifestations of God, and in particular of Islam and this mighty Cause.
The newspaper was sent to the Assemblies in the East so they would be informed of the influence of the Cause and the prestige of `Abdu'l-Bahá. In addition to such articles and comments in the newspapers of many cities, both Bahá'ís and non-Bahá'ís wrote eulogies and poems in praise of the Master. Everyone was full of praise for Him, which demonstrates the influence of the Cause in the West. There were even short, sweet poems written in English about His manners and mode of speech. Foremost among such poets was Mr McSway. When the Master was staying in New York, Mr McSway had written a booklet eloquently praising Him, which he intends to publish in the near future.
This evening the Master explained that the distinction of the world of humanity is due to its relationship to the world of the spirit.192
For some time the Master had repeatedly instructed Lua Getsinger to return to California. She delayed her journey and then became ill. When the doctor's medications proved of no avail, the Master gave her pomegranate preserve with an apple and she recovered.193
Sunday, July 7, 1912
Lua Getsinger was again instructed by the Master to leave for California. His words to her were very emphatic and clear; among them was this admonition:
The Blessed Beauty entered into this Covenant for obedience and not for opposition. I say this merely for the protection of the Cause of God and for the purpose of safeguarding unity among the friends. Were it not for the removal of vain imaginings and the eradication of differences, I should not have asserted that I am `the Center of the Covenant'. We must obey the Blessed Beauty. We must never forget His favors and exhortations. If even a breath of egotism is found in us, we shall perish at once. The friends must be alert. Everyone who expresses a word not from the texts sows discord among the believers. The Blessed Beauty entered into this Covenant for obedience; that is, that no one should utter a word from his own self or cause any conflict. If it were not so, everyone would open a way for himself and expound the Words of God in his own manner. One would say, for instance, `As I have the power of the Holy Spirit, I have a greater capacity for understanding.' Others, even these old ladies, would at once retort, `We, too, have the power of the Holy Spirit.'
The power of the Holy Spirit is limited to the Blessed Beauty and the interpretation thereof to none but me. If it is so, then there will be no differences. We must occupy ourselves with thoughts of spreading the Cause. Know that whoever has any thought other than this will become the cause of discord among the friends.
`Abdu'l-Bahá sent Lua with Mrs [Georgia] Ralston, a new believer who had been very much welcomed by the Master. He gave Mrs Ralston a beautiful small Persian carpet.
In the evening at a public meeting `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke of the animosity shown by a Catholic priest towards the Cause of God. The Master called the friends to His presence and emphatically exhorted them to associate with one another with love and unity.
Monday, July 8, 1912
After His prayers, `Abdu'l-Bahá called to Him, one by one, the friends, old and new, who had assembled at His house. Each had a particular request or question. They came into His presence and each had a portion of this bounty. Mr Hoar's family was invited to dine at `Abdu'l-Bahá's home. As it was very warm and because of His heavy schedule, the Master did not get any rest until the afternoon when He went for a walk in a park adjacent to His house. He walks in the park, situated on the bank of the river, every day. Mr Moxey described `Abdu'l-Bahá's walks in that park in a beautiful poem.
Several friends came to see the Master in the afternoon. The name of Mr Barakat'u'lláh of India was mentioned. `Abdu'l-Bahá said:
This man culls the teachings of the blessed Cause and publishes them in the name of Islam in the illusive hope of building an imaginary castle and of deriving some profit by deceiving the Muslims. But in the long run he will see nothing but manifest loss.
At the public meeting this evening `Abdu'l-Bahá's talk was on the dual nature of man. He said: `There are two natures in man. The realization of human virtues and perfections depends on the ascendancy of the spiritual over the animal nature in him.'
Tuesday, July 9, 1912
A number of friends were waiting for `Abdu'l-Bahá when He arrived with a paper from Mírzá Abu'l-Fad
l in His hand. He gave it to us and said, `Read it. It is very interesting.' It was an answer to criticisms of one Siyyid `Abdu'lláh, an enemy of the Cause. These criticisms are themselves more proof of the greatness of the Center of the Covenant than are the praises of the friends. Mírzá Abu'l-Fad
l has recorded the very words of this critic in his book.194
Although that Siyyid had embraced Christianity, thus retrogressing, he appeals in his pamphlet to the nationalities of the world, even the Zoroastrians and Jews, to cooperate with him in his opposition to the Bahá'í Faith. The English press of Cairo published his pamphlet in the month of Naisan195
1912. In his pamphlet, he attributes the success of the Cause to the virtues and perfections of the Center of the Covenant. Below is a passage from the second chapter of his pamphlet:
And when we reflect upon his [the Master's] work and the work of his father, we find a great difference between the two. The foundation laid down by Bahá'u'lláh did not rise except very little. It was not even apparent to the eyes of outsiders. But what has been built upon it by `Abbás [`Abdu'l-Bahá] since the time of the passing of his father, which does not exceed twenty years, is really striking. We see millions of people of various religions and diverse denominations such as Muslims, Christians, heathens, Buddhists and Hindus drawn and attracted to His Cause from such remote countries as America, Caucasia, Russia, Great Britain and the shore of India.
In the fifth chapter, he wrote:
What vast genius, striking intelligence, consummate opulence and tried virtue has enabled `Abbás Effendi to attract multitudes of people from diverse denominations and languages? Even this month he received hundreds of letters from his American friends, supplicating him to visit them. They sent 1,000 guineas196
to defray the expenses of his journey. He granted their request as he had promised them last year, but sent back their guineas with thanks and apology, saying that it was not his custom to accept such things. Consider this great opulence which was related to me by one of his followers and also spoken of by some Egyptian papers. Look to this virtue and piety which is the cause of love and affection as is said by our ancestor, the author of Islamic law: `Be indifferent to what the people possess and the people will love you.'
At the table the Master read this paper and smiled. He remarked that according to the words of the Qur'án, the deniers said to the Messenger of God, `Verily, Thou art an insane one.' But now, according to the words of the deniers of the Cause, `vast genius, striking intelligence, consummate opulence, tried virtue' and the majesty of the Center of the Covenant have become a cause for the attraction of hearts. The preeminence and power of the Cause is established even by the words of its enemies. Today the services of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl were mentioned repeatedly by `Abdu'l-Bahá.
Wednesday, July 10, 1912
People from many different backgrounds continuously visited the Master. It seemed He was not silent for a moment. At one time He spoke of the discord among the various branches of Christianity, and at another, the degrees of oneness. He spoke of the despair of the material world and advanced decisive proofs of the necessity for divine power. The next moment He discussed the tribulations and persecutions suffered by the Ancient Beauty and the eventual victory of the Cause of God over all the powers of the world. At yet another moment He spoke of the veils which obscure the people at the time of the appearance of the Manifestation of the Preexistent Beauty. One of the explanations given today concerned the meaning of the Tablets of chrysolite mentioned in the Hidden Words
about which one of the friends had asked. The Master replied:
What is meant is one of the holy Tablets. But it also alludes to the fact that the divine Tablets should be engraved on precious stones. In addition, there is a saying in the East by which the color white symbolizes divine will; red, divine decree and martyrdom; green, predestination; and yellow, execution of the decree.
The day was cloudy and rainy. The weather in New York is like the rainy season in India. The evening was cooler, and when the rain stopped, a large number of friends and seekers came to visit the Master. He spoke to them about the outpouring of the showers of mercy and divine bounty and the fact that the bounties of the All-Bounteous God will never cease.
Today Mr and Mrs Clark said they wished to visit the Master and to obtain permission to go to Tabríz in Persia. The Master asked Valíyu'lláh Khán-i-Varqá to write and ask them to wait a little while. But as they came so eagerly and quickly to New York to secure permission, saying that they had been invited by the people of Tabríz, He permitted them to leave for Persia.
Thursday, July 11, 1912198
After morning prayers and meditation, `Abdu'l-Bahá bestowed His favors upon the friends and well-wishers, especially on Mrs Goodall and Mrs Cooper and other friends from California, confirming and assisting them. While He conversed with the friends, He also wrote Tablets in response to petitions from the believers.
Among those who visited Him today were two eminent clergymen: one was Dr Grant, the minister of the Church of the Ascension, and the other Dr Ives of the Brotherhood Church of New Jersey. They have frequently visited the Master showing Him the utmost respect and reverence.
In the afternoon there was a meeting of the friends at the home of Miss Juliet Thompson.199
`Abdu'l-Bahá encouraged them to hold as many meetings as possible. `Promise each other', He said, `to visit one another's homes so that it may be the cause of promoting love and happiness.' After His eloquent discourse, sherbet and sweets were served and then He left the meeting.
At the evening gathering at His house `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke on the degrees and station of creation, the maturity of the world and the magnitude of the Dispensation of the Ancient Beauty. The meeting lasted until dinner was ready. He sat at the table and invited all the friends from America to dine with Him. At this point a lady asked, `Up to the present time, not a single woman has appeared as a Messenger from God. Why have all the Manifestations of God been men?' `Abdu'l-Bahá replied:
Although women are equal to men in abilities and capacities, there is no doubt that men are bolder and physically more powerful. This distinction is also apparent in the animal kingdom, for example among pigeons, sparrows, peacocks and others.
Friday, July 12, 1912
As the heat was excessive and because He had been revealing Tablets and visiting with the friends, `Abdu'l-Bahá was tired. We said that there was a bath in the house and that the Master could have His bath every day. He said: `We are like soldiers; we must not form any habits or have a care for anything.'
At another time He was asked how He liked the large buildings of America. He replied:
I have not come to see very tall buildings or places of interest in America. I look always for the foundation of the love of God in the realm of the hearts. I have no inclination to see other sights.
At a meeting with the friends in the afternoon He explained the uniqueness of the divine teachings of this great Cause. Among them are the establishment of the Covenant and the Expounder of the Book [`Abdu'l-Bahá], thereby closing the door on the differences that have arisen at the inception of past Dispensations; association with all religions; the prohibition of cursing or execrating other sects; the commandment to forgive enemies; the oneness of humanity and universal brotherhood; the giving and taking in marriage from all nationalities; the injunctions to parents to educate their children, whether boys or girls; the equality of the rights of men and women; the establishment of the supreme House of Justice as the center of authority; and finally the relinquishing of religious, patriotic, racial and political prejudices. His talk was long and very detailed.
In the evening `Abdu'l-Bahá was invited to Brooklyn and we accompanied Him. On the way He spoke about New York's large population and the occupations of the people:
This city with its suburbs has about half the population of Persia. If Persia had a population and an affluence like this, and had she turned herself to progress, she would have far excelled this country in all respects. There can be no comparison whatsoever between these people and the manners, love, hospitality, intuition and sagacity of the Persians.
He then described the days of the Blessed Beauty's sojourn in Constantinople, the self-subsistence and grandeur of the Ancient Beauty and the testimony of Mírzá Husayn Khán, who had said in Tihrán that there was only one person, Bahá'u'lláh, who had been the cause of glory and exaltation of the Persians in foreign lands and who did not court anyone's favor in that city.
After approximately an hour's drive, the carriage stopped at the home of Mrs Newton and Mrs Rivers. After a short rest, `Abdu'l-Bahá went to the table for dinner. Afterwards, He thanked the hostesses, spoke briefly and then returned home. On the way back He spoke about the difference in time between the East and the West. `Here it is almost midnight', He said, `while in the East it is midday and in other countries it is afternoon. Here we are going to sleep, while in the East they are busy doing work.'
While the carriage was in motion it felt less hot but the long distance and the exceedingly hot weather took their toll on `Abdu'l-Bahá. The carriage crossed the Hudson River, passing through the length of the city, which was bedecked with gas and electric lamps of red, yellow and green and colorful advertisements along its wide streets and in the shops. The light emanating from them threw a luster on the greatness of this mighty century. Then the carriage reached home.
Saturday, July 13, 1912200
[New York -- West Englewood]
Today was a very happy day. The Master had been invited to speak at the Unitarian Church of New York. The pastor of the church [Rev Leon A. Harvey] advertised the talk in the newspapers and also posted announcements outside the church to the effect that the `Great Persian Prophet will speak at 11:00 a.m. on July 13, 1912 [sic]'.201
A large multitude assembled. `Abdu'l-Bahá was welcomed by the pastor, who escorted Him into his office. When the music and singing began, the Master came out. The pastor gave a short and interesting account of the history of the Cause and spoke of `Abdu'l-Bahá's incarceration in the Most Great Prison in `Akká, after which he introduced the Master to the audience.
`Abdu'l-Bahá stood and spoke on the oneness of the world of humanity and the principles of divine religion. His talk gave everyone fresh insight, opened new vistas before every eye and engendered a new spirit in every heart. At the end of His talk He chanted a prayer in a melodious voice, which stirred the souls and made everyone long to offer their prayers and supplications to the Kingdom of God. Not wishing to greet the audience one by one owing to the excessive heat and the strain of His exertions, the Master went into the pastor's office and waited. The pastor told `Abdu'l-Bahá that people from the audience were waiting outside to shake hands with Him and to thank Him so the Master came out and stood on the platform. In great humility and reverence the people came one by one in a file from one side, shook His hand and left from the other side. Those who had not known of His presence in America asked for His address so they could visit Him.
On the way home from the church, the carriage passed through the spacious parks and gardens of the city. While the carriage was crushing the flowers and grass under its wheels, it seemed as if it were exacting tribute from the kings and bestowing crowns and thrones upon the poor.
In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about the distribution of wealth and the means of livelihood, thus removing some of the erroneous notions of the socialists.
At night `Abdu'l-Bahá went to Mr Wilhelm's home in Englewood where a group of seekers, after hearing His talk, stated that they had been longing for such teachings for years. He then went to the home of Mr [Louis] Bourgeois for dinner.
Sunday, July 14, 1912202
[West Englewood -- New York]
The Master returned to New York in the morning and went directly to Mrs Zieglar's home to see her mother, who was unable to walk because of a foot ailment but who longed to see the beloved Master and attain His presence. When her desire was made known to the Master, He immediately decided to visit her. The ailing woman was very pleased and happy and found in `Abdu'l-Bahá the fruit of her life and a feeling that she had been newly born.
When He returned to His residence the Master conversed until noon with the many seekers who had come to visit Him. Several distinguished ladies met with Him later in the afternoon at Mrs Krug's home. He spoke to them about the education and training of women and after a period of questions and answers He left the gathering.203
In the evening `Abdu'l-Bahá's talk at the meeting at His home centered on two groups -- the materialists and theists. He spoke about divine power and demonstrated its outward influence on human souls in every cycle. After the meeting other seekers arrived and remained for some time before departing.
Being in a state of great exhaustion and fatigue, the beloved Master did not take dinner but instead went directly to bed.
Monday, July 15, 1912
[New York -- Brooklyn]
`Abdu'l-Bahá held in His hand a copy of the address He delivered at the Baptist Church in Philadelphia. He said: `I present my subjects and explanations in such a way that no one can refute or argue with them. They are accepted by people of understanding and wisdom.' Later He went downstairs where several people were waiting to see Him. Among them were some friends from California. He stressed the fact that all activities should be undertaken only with His permission so that no breach of the love and unity of the believers might occur.
There was a cheerful and animated gathering at Mr MacNutt's home in Brooklyn during the afternoon and evening. The greatest blessing and bounty at the meeting was the manifestation of fellowship and unity among the Bahá'ís under the shadow of the banner of the Covenant of God. `Abdu'l-Bahá's great joy was reflected in His face and all the friends were enthralled and enraptured. The Master spoke several times. After He had explained some spiritual matters, He would leave the house to take a short walk and then return to speak to them again. He encouraged the friends to serve the Faith, then explained the meaning of the signs of the fulfillment of prophecies. He expressed His joy at the unity and harmony of the Bahá'ís and bestowed His blessings on them. His stay in New York brought about great results and effected the fellowship and unity of the friends.
Tuesday, July 16, 1912204
[Brooklyn -- New York]
`Abdu'l-Bahá returned to New York to find a large group gathered at His home, waiting for Him. At the meeting the Master shone as a lamp and burnt away the veils of superstition. One eminent woman, a doctor, asked him: `What is the cause of all these calamities and troubles in the world of creation?' He replied:
Calamities are of two kinds. One kind results from bad morals and misconduct such as falsehood, dishonesty, treachery, cruelty and the like. Surely, misdeeds bring forth evil consequences. The other kind is the result of the exigencies of the contingent world, of consummate divine law, and of universal relationships, and is that which is bound to happen, as, for instance, changes, alterations, life and death. It is impossible that a tree should not wither or that life should not end in death.
Answering questions from the audience, `Abdu'l-Bahá explained that God is holy beyond comprehension, appearance, ascent and descent, ingress and egress, thereby correcting the erroneous notions of some philosophers and ascetics. The Master's explanations were long and very convincing.
A wonderful meeting was held in the evening. Two very dear friends, Mr Harlan Ober and Miss Grace Robarts were married.205
Besides the many friends, many others were present, including a very devoted Christian minister [Howard Colby Ives]. The Master had instructed that the wedding be performed according to the law of Christianity and it was performed by the minister. After the ceremony, `Abdu'l-Bahá rose and chanted a prayer, blessing the marriage of the two devoted believers. Congratulations were given and everyone praised the ceremony.
Wednesday, July 17, 1912206
In the morning, `Abdu'l-Bahá said:
The holding of last night's meeting was done with wisdom and it produced great love. The marriage of the Bahá'ís was also performed according to Christian rites, so that the world may know that the people of Bahá are not confined by trivial customs, that they respect all nations and their peoples, that they are free from all prejudices and associate with all religions with utmost peace and happiness.
He then said:
My discourses in various gatherings have been founded on principles that are in conformity with reality as well as with the utmost wisdom. For instance, I say that the foundation of all divine religions is the same and that the Prophets are the dawning places of truth. No one can take exception or say that the principles of the Prophets and the truth of their teachings are different. Then I state that the basic teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are universal peace; the oneness of humanity; prohibition of execration and calumny; association with the followers of all religions in harmony and unity of nations, of races and of governments; and such like. I ask, did any of these principles exist in former books and religions? At the end of the talk I say that the laws of the divine religions are of two kinds: the first deals with spiritual verities which are one and the same in all religions; the other with laws which change according to the exigency of the time. For example, it is written in the Torah that if one breaks the teeth of another, his teeth must also be broken; and if one blinds the eyes of another, his eyes must also be blinded. For the sake of one dollar the thief's hand was to be cut off. Now, can such laws be permitted and enforced in this age? Surely, no one can say it is permissible. In this way, all answers to important questions have been elucidated perfectly and none can deny them or protest against them.
Thursday, July 18, 1912207
`Abdu'l-Bahá's talk today centered on the persecutions and tribulations of the Blessed Beauty and the triumph of the Cause of God in the face of opposition from the most powerful enemies.
When the Master later expressed His intention to move from New York to Dublin [in New Hampshire], the friends were stirred by emotion and excitement. He said:
My weakened condition and excessive work hamper me, otherwise many extraordinary souls would have arisen among these friends. As long as such souls do not arise, the real object will not have been accomplished. A certain amount of enthusiasm and ability can be discerned among them, it is other persons who are to arise.
He then mentioned the names of Mullá H
asan and Mullá `Abdu'l-Latíf,208
They were deputized by the mujtahid209
to see the Blessed Beauty in Mázandarán. The moment they approached Him, they were transformed and became a new creation, not seeking rest for a moment whether by day or night. After undergoing great suffering and persecutions in Mash
had, Mullá `Abdu'l-Latíf sacrificed his life in the field of martyrdom and hastened to the Abhá Kingdom. Similarly, a blind Indian Sh
attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh in Mázindarán and danced and sang ecstatically from night till morn. Thus are people required to arise for the Cause of God. Such are the people who are worthy of the field of service and sacrifice.
In the evening the Master spoke on the importance of unity and amity among the friends, on the composition and decomposition of elements, and on the existence and disappearance of matter.
Friday, July 19, 1912
A letter was received from Mrs Parsons in Dublin, New Hampshire, begging Him to go there to meet some seekers after truth as well as for a change of surroundings and climate. `Abdu'l-Bahá, although very tired and weak, spent the afternoon receiving friends and revealing Tablets for the believers. At the evening meeting He spoke about the martyrs of the Faith and visited the son of Varqá, the martyr, Mírzá Valíyu'lláh Kh
án, who was the recipient of the Master's loving kindness. He then spoke of the martyrdom of Varqá and his son Rúh
u'lláh in a most impressive and dignified manner, paying tribute to and demonstrating His great loyalty to these servants of the threshold of the Blessed Beauty. He then said, `It is my last night with you and I exhort you to be loving and united.'211
When He finished His talk, all the friends demonstrated their great joy and happiness.
Saturday, July 20, 1912212
[New York -- New Jersey]
`Abdu'l-Bahá received an invitation from the Consul General of Turkey. After meeting with the friends and expressing His happiness at their devotion and unity, He left for the Consul's home. He took the ferry across the water, then a tram and arrived at the Consul General's house. The Consul himself had gone to meet the Master by another route but his wife and relatives received Him with the utmost respect and reverence until the Consul General returned.
A number of prominent men and statesmen, as well as the Consul General, were present. The Master rested for a short time in one of the rooms. Then the Consul General, praising `Abdu'l-Bahá, introduced Him to the audience. The Master came to the table and spoke on the danger of wine and alcohol. He then considered some philosophical subjects and answered questions from the Consul's wife about misconduct and its harmful consequences. She was pleased and when He was about to depart expressed her gratitude by kissing His hand. Everyone begged His pardon for any lack in their service to Him.213
The Consul General's brother-in-law requested and obtained permission to take the Master's photograph. The Consul General then accompanied the Master to the railway station to see Him off, even though `Abdu'l-Bahá had asked him not to do so.
At a gathering of Armenians in the evening the Master gave a stirring and impressive talk concerning the attributes of the world of humanity, spiritual courage and valor. His talk was not recorded because we arrived at the meeting late.
Sunday, July 21, 1912
The esteemed Bahá'í Monsieur Dreyfus of Paris came to visit the Master. One of the Master's talks at the meeting of the friends was about services beneficial to the world of humanity. `Universality is of God,' He said, `while every limitation is human.' Continuing, He said, `The Sun of Truth has risen always in the East and yet it has shone with greater luster in the West.' Mr Kaufman remarked that he had read in the newspapers about the Master's journey to the West and understood that the purpose of His journey was for the upliftment and education of the West as well as of the East. Mr Kaufman then asked, `Will the East regain its former glory?' The Master replied, `It will be greater than before.' The Master then spoke about eternal life and everlasting honor and said:
How many great men have come into the world! What wealth they have owned! What kings have sat on the thrones of glory and riches! What beautiful and comely people have adorned the world of man! But what has been the outcome? Honor, life, luxury and pleasure have all perished. But the fame of the beauty of Joseph is still universal and the honor of the disciples of Christ still endures; their sufferings are the cause of life everlasting.
At dinner a number of the Eastern and Western friends were at the Master's table. Mrs True and some other friends asked His permission to serve the guests, which He gave.
Monday, July 22, 1912
At the morning gathering of the friends one asked about the longevity of life in ancient times. The Master replied:
Some think that is a third motion of the earth which is the cause of the length or shortness of life. This motion, they say, is different from the diurnal and annual motions and is the cause of change in the condition of the globe. But the long lives mentioned in certain books and narratives have a different basis. For instance, it was a custom in former times to mention a dynasty or family by the name of one person only. However, the people in the following ages thought that the length of time that a family survived was the length of the life of that family's founder.
`Abdu'l-Bahá had planned to leave for Boston and Dublin today but because of the arrival of the brother of the Khedive of Egypt,214
the great Amír, Prince Muh
á, the Master's departure was delayed. The Master paid him a visit which was returned by the prince. On each visit this eminent, enlightened man received the utmost love and showed great interest. When the prince returned to Egypt he published an account of his journey, describing his visit with the Master, which is available everywhere in Egypt and elsewhere. On page 414 of his account he describes his visit with `Abdu'l-Bahá:
Monday morning, July 22. I was informed that His excellency, the venerable oriental sage, `Abbás Effendi, the head of the Bahá'í Movement, wished to see me. I therefore set 3:00 p.m. today for a conversation with him. `Abbás Effendi arrived at the appointed hour. I received him with respect and regard for his reverence and honor.
Age has not altered his extraordinary sagacity and infinite intelligence. He stayed with me for an hour and conversed on diverse subjects of great importance and usefulness, which amply testified to his vast knowledge and wide experience. Truly, he is a man of science and knowledge and is one of the exalted personages of the East. We paid `Abbás Effendi a return visit. He was living in a small but well-furnished house. Everything to insure his comfort was available. He had a suite of ten persons with him wearing Persian kuláhs on their heads. From this orderly and well-organized reception, I understood that this revered personage, because of the weakness of the Americans, had brought such a large number of Persians with him so that he might draw attention to himself. I do not mean this to lower the dignity of this great man, nay, on the other hand, it shows his great intelligence and indicates his vast knowledge of the way by which he may impress the minds of the people so they may turn towards him. His numerous, most impressive speeches have found a wide circulation in America. Indeed, the newspapers and periodicals are still publishing them with commentaries by the learned men of their religion. His influence has reached to such a prominence that bigoted and jealous people are protesting vigorously against him. I stayed with him for a long time and we talked with each other on various subjects. He made me happy by his delightful talks. I departed from his presence with his love and reverence preserved in my heart.
From such writings those with perception can see that although the Khedive's brother was not a Bahá'í, he was drawn to and affected by the Master. His words are a brilliant testimony to the effectiveness of the Master's talks, the impressiveness of His addresses and the vigour with which `Abdu'l-Bahá promulgates the teachings of God.
Tuesday, July 23, 1912
[New York -- Boston]
`Abdu'l-Bahá left New York at 8:00 a.m. for Boston and Dublin, reaching Boston at 3:30 p.m. A number of friends were at the train station to receive Him. As soon as they saw Him, they hovered around Him like moths around a candle, anxious to sacrifice themselves before Him. As He did not plan to stay in Boston for more than two nights, He instructed everyone in His entourage except an interpreter and a secretary to go directly to Dublin.
He then went to the Hotel Victoria where the public meeting was held at 6:00 p.m.215
There were both Bahá'ís and non-Bahá'ís present as well as some journalists who questioned Him about His purpose in coming to America. The Master replied:
I came for the peace gatherings in America. They are good. But their efforts must not end in words alone. I pray that they may receive confirmation so that this country may become the center of efforts for peace.
His address was on economic problems.
In the evening He was invited to dine at the home of Mrs [Alice Ives] Breed. As the Master left the hotel, crowds of people stood in rows as He passed through them. That evening He spoke about the persecutions and tribulations of the Manifestations of God, the reconciliation of the hearts and the victory of this blessed Cause of God. After dinner He made the long and tedious journey back to the hotel.
Wednesday, July 24, 1912
From 8:00 a.m. until noon, the Master spoke to friends and seekers who came to visit. Newspapers carrying accounts of the previous day's meeting were brought to Him. Both His talk and the questions and answers were published.
In the afternoon He gave a public address about those deeds which bring about the beauty of perfection in this contingent world.
He was invited later to the Golden Links Club where He was asked whether Arabic might become the universal language. He said that it would not. He was then asked about Esperanto. He replied:
A few weeks ago, I wrote a letter from New York to one of the promoters of Esperanto telling him that this language could become universal if a council of delegates chosen from among the nations and rulers were established which would discuss Esperanto and consider the means to promote it.
He gave a public address on the subject of the relationship between the East and the West. The president of the club and its members were enchanted and reverently and humbly bid Him farewell. Some even continued to listen to His explanations in the automobile as it traveled for one and a half hours through parks, gardens and green fields, all beautifully landscaped. When He reached the hotel, He found another group waiting. After greeting the members of the Bahá'í Assembly, He spoke with the group at length.
Later that day the president of the Boston Theosophical Society invited the Master to speak to his association that evening. Although He was tired, seeing that the meeting place was not too far away, He accepted and gave a detailed and comprehensive talk on the immortality of the spirit of man.216
When the meeting ended, the people ran to the door to shake hands with the Master and to express their joy and devotion. Some were in ecstasy.
Thursday, July 25, 1912
As `Abdu'l-Bahá had said He intended to leave Boston for Dublin, the friends and seekers gathered at the hotel. He encouraged them to lead fruitful lives and to overcome self and desire.217
Consenting to a request of Mr Kinney, the Master paid a visit to Green Acre. When He got there, two Arab seekers fell at His feet crying, `O Thou the Prophet of God'.218
He lifted them with His own hand, saying: `I am `Abdu'l-Bahá [the Servant of Bahá].'
At 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá left Boston and by 7:00 p.m. He was gracing the gardens of Dublin.219
The Master took up residence in one of the two houses Mrs Parsons had especially prepared for Him, which was furnished with every comfort; however, the Master said that we must bear our own expenses. Mrs Parsons had hoped that the arrival of the Master would remain private so that He might rest a little. When `Abdu'l-Bahá learned of this He said:
We have come for work and service and not for leisure. We must render service to the Threshold of the Blessed Beauty and must make such servitude the cause of our solace and the joy of our souls. As this place is a summer resort and many prominent people are present, therefore, unless they should themselves ask, the friends should not teach openly. They must deal with them with perfect dignity and honor.
Continuing, He said:
Consider where we came from and where we are now in Dublin here in America. We must offer thanks for the assistance and protection of the Abhá Beauty that we may breathe a breath in the path of servitude.
He then gave an account of the life of Hájí Abu'l-Qásim, an indigo merchant, and the restoration of his grave. `He was', He said, `one of the servants of the Blessed Beauty. My first thought on my arrival in Egypt was to repair his tomb.' Similarly, He spoke of the good intentions and sincerity of Áqá Muhammad Taqí Isfahání, who is residing in Egypt. In the evening he enjoyed His dinner and ate in good health and happiness.
Friday, July 26, 1912
Early in the morning, while having tea, `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about the Tablet of the Báb to Nás
áh when he was the Crown Prince and the answer of the `ulamá.220
`It must be compared', He said, `with the Lawh
which issued from the Supreme Pen so that the injustices of the followers of Mírzá Yah
yá might be exposed.'
In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke of Hájí Muhammad-Taqí Vakíl'ud Dawlih, the Afnán. He also showed great kindness to some of the American Bahá'ís. About one of them, He said:
Write this in the margin of the book: The time will come when her whole family will be proud of Mrs Krug and her faith. Her husband is still distant and heedless; the time will come when he will feel himself exalted on account of Mrs Krug's faith. I see what they do not see. Ere long the whole of her family will consider the faith of that lady as the crown of honor on their heads.
That evening `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke of the days of the Blessed Beauty and of His kindness towards Shaykh Salmán. He praised the sincerity and constancy of that messenger of the Merciful and described some of the events in his life.
This day was also a blessed day and passed in the utmost joy and happiness.
Saturday, July 27, 1912
In the early morning `Abdu'l-Bahá went out onto the balcony. On one side was a view of an extensive field of some 40 miles and on the other a vista of green plains and verdant mountains ranging for some 16 miles. He remarked:
If there is any justice, then what I have done for the friends will become apparent. I have done all this through the bounty and assistance of the Blessed Beauty. Otherwise, what have we Persians in common with the Americans on top of this mountain and valley in Dublin?
A likeness of Táhirih which had been published by one of the Germans was presented to `Abdu'l-Bahá, who said, `This picture is not at all authentic.' He then spoke of the life of Táhirih.
At the invitation of Mrs Parsons, `Abdu'l-Bahá went to her home for lunch. In the afternoon, several of Mrs Parsons's friends came by and were deeply impressed by the Master's talk. From this day forward, visitors began to come in great numbers. In the afternoon Mr Parsons brought his carriage to take the Master for a ride. They drove to Lake Dublin where `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke to the members of the club about spirituality and the progress of this new age. When He returned He instructed that cables be sent to the Assemblies of the East.
In the evening Mr Harmon, a leader of the Theosophists, came from Boston to see the Master, who spoke to him about divine civilization, the influence of the Word of God and about this great Bahá'í Dispensation:
One of the martyrs of this Cause, at the time of his martyrdom exclaimed, `Christ said that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak; but I say that my flesh is as happy as my spirit.'
He spoke of the spread of civilization from the East to the West, saying:
What a blessing God bestowed upon the Persians but they could not appreciate it! Had they not been ungrateful, the government of Persia would have ranked first in the world. I wrote to Muh
ammad `Alí Mírzá222
that if he would compensate for the spilled blood of the Bahá'ís and govern with justice, he would receive confirmation; otherwise, God doeth what He pleaseth. He did not listen to me. Again I wrote to Persia that so long as the nation and the government do not combine like milk and honey, prosperity and happiness are impossible. Persia will become desolate and the end result will be intervention by neighboring powers.
Sunday, July 28, 1912
After prayers the Master revealed several Tablets. A lengthy one was addressed to Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl (may my life be a sacrifice to him). The Master's affection and love for him was such that when Mr MacNutt presented Him with a picture of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl, He took it at once and kissed it with such love and warmth that all saw how dear he was to the Master.
The Master sat in the drawing room and spoke to Mr Harmon about the sanctity of God, who is beyond emanation and appearance, ascent and descent, ingress and egress, and about the reflection of His attributes on the mirrors of the hearts of the Manifestations. His talk was brief but comprehensive and impressive. He also explained the meanings of the holy books and discussed the saying that `everything is contained in everything', that is, every atom of creation passes through infinite forms and every molecule is transformed and passes through everything else. He then said:
The Theosophists are educating a boy in the schools of Europe and say that he will become the promised one of all nations. How ignorant this is! God must select the Promised One, not men. The lamp that men ignite will be put out; but the Lamp of God is ever bright. He who is educated by men is always dependent on men. How can he give eternal prosperity? It is as if a person wishes to make a sun out of oil and wick.
`Abdu'l-Bahá was asked about the conditions in Turkey. He replied, `Do not expect good news from that spot. But we have nothing to do with political affairs. Our work concerns spirituality, the knowledge of God and the acquisition of spiritual bounties.'
A group of prominent persons came to see Him in the afternoon at Mrs Parsons's home. The subjects concerned telepathy, the immortality of the spirit and related subjects. The guests were so impressed that they attended every meeting. After each day's meeting Mr and Mrs Parsons come with their carriage to take the Master out riding with them. Today He said He would rather go for a walk and instead sent some of these servants for a ride.
This evening Mr Harmon read to the Master passages from a book he had written on Theosophy and Buddhist teachings. He showed Him the illustrations he had drawn. He had illustrated truth as a circle, with God at its center, and divided the circle into seven segments representing the world of creation. The Master listened to him with love and patience while at the same time removing his superstitions with quotations from philosophers and sages in such a way that Mr Harmon was astonished. The Master explained the seven segments so beautifully that he cried, `Oh, your explanations have opened the doors of understanding before me!' The Master then said, `I have had no education. I have not even been to elementary school. These people know it.' Mr Harmon said, `I feel that whatever you say comes from innate knowledge.'
Monday, July 29, 1912
Sitting on the carpet, the Master spoke about Mr Harmon, saying:
What captives of superstitions people are! What troubles they endure for the sake of name and fame! What fruit will these superstitions bear? All are transitory and perishable and no trace of them will remain. It will be as through they had never existed. They are sowing seeds in a barren land. Man ought to sow pure seeds in a fertile soil.
Later in the day He spoke with Mr Harmon for a considerable time. Afterwards He reviewed some letters and prepared them for mailing.
He went to Mrs Parsons's home in the afternoon. He was asked about His health and the climate, to which He replied:
The air of this place is good. But we are happy wherever we go; our happiness consists in service to the Most Holy Threshold. We have not come to America on a pleasure trip; we are here to serve the Court of the Blessed Beauty. Whenever we succeed in this purpose, that place is good. A merchant is happy whenever his goods find a market, wherever it may be.
Then He sat in the gazebo facing the garden and related the afflictions and trials of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád:
In spite of all these troubles we were happy beyond description because under His shadow we were favored with the blessing of attainment to His presence.
Afterwards He went into the house. The drawing room was filled. His address to the visitors concerned both spiritual and material matters, including questions of economics which corrected some of the false ideas of the socialists. The audience was pleased. Each day a new spirit is seen in the meetings. It is difficult to believe that in this mountainous and scenic countryside, meetings that diffuse the fragrances of God can be held. All this is due to the power of the Center of the Covenant. `Wherever our king is, it is Paradise, even if it is as small as the eye of a needle.'223
Tuesday, July 30, 1912
Mírzá `Alí Akbar Nakh
javání remarked that the enthusiasm of the people was due to the power of the Covenant and the influence of the Master's words. `Abdu'l-Bahá replied: `It is not due to my power but to my Father's; it is all His work.' Today He invited both Eastern and Western friends to be His guests.224
Some stayed in His house while others were given accommodation at the hotel located in the warmer climate at the bottom of the mountain. The guests came to the hotel every morning to visit Him. Meetings were held in the afternoon at the home of Mr and Mrs Parsons. The audience of prominent persons was fascinated by `Abdu'l-Bahá and His qualities. Several people invited the Master to their homes.
In His talk in the afternoon at Mrs Parsons's home He made clear that:
Confirmation is not dependent on talent, knowledge or wisdom. Many unimportant persons have made significant discoveries. Many people labored for years to explore the North Pole but Admiral Peary reached it. One's efforts should be focussed on the object of one's quest. Because Columbus found confirmation, he discovered America with a minimum of difficulty. The disciples of Christ were apparently abased, yet they achieved something which Napoleon never did: they changed the whole aspect of the world. So it is evident that everything comes about through the assistance of God.
Wednesday, July 31, 1912225
In the morning the Master went to the summer school that had been established by Mr Henderson 20 years ago. It is located some 25 miles from Dublin and classes are held in tents in a clear, open field. As soon as `Abdu'l-Bahá's automobile arrived, the students, between the ages of 12 and 18, surrounded it and enthusiastically welcomed Him. They wore uniforms with knickerbockers and moved about busily but courteously. The headmaster then took `Abdu'l-Bahá to the school hall and remained standing while the Master spoke to the students and teachers, praising the school and the good manners of its students. Later He visited each of the student's tents. Some of the children had cameras and requested permission to take the Master's photograph. Dr Henderson said that when he had established the school 20 years ago there was not a summer school in the whole of America and now there are hundreds of them. `Abdu'l-Bahá remarked: `Everything praiseworthy spreads rapidly. But the children must first be taught religion so that they may be sincere and trustworthy.'
After tea and refreshments, the pupils requested permission from the Master to show Him their gymnastic exercises. The Master remained there a long while and spoke at length about education. When it was time to leave, the headmaster and school staff expressed their heartfelt gratitude to `Abdu'l-Bahá.
At the public meeting in the afternoon at Mr and Mrs Parsons's home, the Master spoke on spirituality and eternal happiness.