Introduction to this online edition: Tablets, Instructions and Words of Explanation was the first
publication of the entire Tablets of the Divine Plan by
'Abdu'l-Bahá, the series of tablets sent to American and Canadian
communities as the charter for the spread the Bahá'í Faith
throughout the world. Five of the tablets had already been mailed to the United
States and published in the Star of the West magazine in 1916 and again
in 1918 previous to this publication (see appendix). The remaining tablets,not sent on
account of the dangers imposed by WWI, were translated and delivered in person
by one of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's secretaries, Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, at His behest
soon after the war ended. These were "unveiled" for the first time by the
distribution and oral presentation of Tablets, Instructions and Words of
Explanation by Sohrab himself at the "Eleventh Annual Mashrokel-Azkar
Convention and Bahá'í Congress" held at the McAlpin Hotel, New York City, April
26-30, 1919. The five tablets previously sent in
1916 were also included in this publication and unveiled at the
A slightly altered version of Tablets, Instructions and Words of
Explanation was published in Star of the West magazine, Volume 10,
Nos. 4 (May 17, 1919) through Volume 11, No 2 (April 9, 1920) (see appendix).
Apart from Ahmad Sohrab's own talks, Tablets, Instructions and Words of Explanation also contains Sohrab's
record of some talks by 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the circumstances surrounding
the revelation of the Tablets of the Divine Plan (i.e. Words of
Explanation). These may be considered to be "pilgrim notes" which fall
outside the authoritative Words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, but are nevertheless
rare insights of the Master during those days. Sohrab published much of his
Words of Explanation again in The Story of the Divine Plan in
1947, years after he had fallen away from the Bahá'í
Administrative Order. His book describes in greater detail his sojourn to
America and the controversies surrounding the unveiling of the Tablets of
the Divine Plan at the Convention of 1919, and hence the early signs of the
adversarial relationship developing between him and the Bahá'í
The next time the Tablets of the Divine Plan was published again in
English in its entirety was in 1936 under the title of America's Spiritual
Mission: teaching tablets revealed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá́ to the American Bahá'ís during 1916 and 1917 (see WorldCat). This was a re-translation, relying heavily on Sohrab's original
translation but without his Words of Explanation. Beginning in 1959 and
in subsequent editions, this work was re-titled Tablets of the Divine
Plan. [- Robert Stauffer, 2001]
Bahá'o'llah in the Tablet to the Pope of Rome says:
"Arise in the Name of thy Lord the Merciful, amidst the assembly of beings,
and take the cup of life in the hand of assurance; drink thou therefrom first,
then give to drink to those who advance of the people of different
Dear Friends! It is indeed a great joy be present at this spiritual gathering
and a blessed privilege indeed to offer to you the Cup of Life prepared for you
by our Beloved Abdul Bahá;-- so that you may drink of His Life-giving Words and
then go forth -- offering it to all the religionists of the world.
I bring you the greeting and love of Abdul Bahá and his hope and prayers for
your spiritual advancement and illumination. During the last four years the
Beloved has often spoken of your faithfulness and sincerity in the Cause, and
of your yearning to serve, teach and help to further the cause of the oneness
of the world of humanity.
There are many meetings held in this world. Each having a certain object in
view, that object may be commercial, educational or economic, but I am sure
that the object of this great Convention is to draw the hearts nearer together,
to spread the knowledge of Truth, to uphold the ideals of God, to proclaim the
Revelation of Bahá'o'llah and to express our devotion and adherence to the
Center of the Covenant Abdul Bahá, and carry out his instructions regarding the
building of the Mashrekol-Azkar. Under the dome of this Temple all nations and
religions may worship their God with the utmost freedom.
I come to you from the East, the land -- from the horizon of which -- all the
Suns of Reality have arisen in the past, -- the land which has been the
birth-place of Zoroaster, Abraham, Moses, Christ and Mohammed and in this Day,
His Holiness the Bab, Bahá'o'llah and Abdul Bahá.
I bring to you not worldly gifts which perish after a few years, but the
jewels of the Kingdom of Bahá'o'llah -- His Universal Instructions.
The great events of the last four years have changed the minds of men,
producing a mental and spiritual revolution which cannot be healed without the
power of the Holy Spirit.
Most every one feels that we are today, standing on the threshold of an age of
material, intellectual and spiritual regeneration. All the hidden forces of
humanity are being stirred; political, social and economic principles of the
last two generations are more or less set at naught and the wise men of every
nation are thinking to reconstruct the body politic from top to bottom. There
is not a man or woman in the remotest corners of Asia and Africa who has not
felt the thrill of the coming change, and the spirit of transformation sweeping
all over the world, has brought about tremendous unrest and upheaval. This
great war and its perfect machinery for the destruction of men and property
have appalled the ideal conscience of mankind and have made them realize more
than anything else that War is death, while peace is life; war is
hate, peace is love; war is darkness, peace is light; war is destructive peace
is constructive. All the beneficent forces of society have sprung up through
the interplay of the forces of love, peace and association, and thus the vision
of a better state of being has taken hold of the minds of men all over the
world, without exception. They long and pray for a. more rational religion,
they work for a higher standard of truth, they pray for a nobler state of
existence, they aspire toward a loftier plane of consciousness, and they dream
of the perfections of humanity. They aim to eliminate the poverty of body and
soul, and through the laws of a social religion recover the lost vision of
beauty and love. For as James Dealy, in his book on Sociology, says: "Back of
statistics, heartless laws, agnosticism and materialism, is a belief in the
perfectibility of mankind, whether in this world or the next . . . the
perfection of humanity on earth, however, lies far in the future, and it may be
that thousands of years will be needed before its possibilities become real,
yet the human mind is so constituted that it will continue to dream of the good
time coming, and, as it frees itself front error and illusion, its utopianism
will gradually merge into a science of prevision, and social energy will strive
methodically to bring about a social reconstruction, founded on reason and
inspired by the hope of final achievement."
It is this divine optimism, this dream of the perfectibility of mankind, that
characterizes more than anything the Bahá'í Movement. It is the dynamic spirit
of the age, the up-rushing breeze of the Garden of Truth, the ideal picture of
the oneness of humanity, that inspires our hearts and swells our breasts with
bright hopes and eager expectations to behold the countenance of brotherhood,
to unfurl the banner of international solidarity and to co-operation for the
realization and perfection of a League of Nations based upon justice and
righteousness. Our great spiritual leader, Abdul Bahá, has been teaching and
upholding these universal principles all through his life and has shown in his
daily life and deeds that it is possible for men to live with their neighbors
peacefully and without quarreling, and it is also possible to manifest the
divine life in our material world, suffering it to become the prototype of the
heavenly realm. I believe that from every standpoint Abdul Bahá is portraying
to us the ideal perfections of God and humanity, and therefore his instructions
are all based upon spiritual wisdom and celestial sagacity. Whatever he says or
writes is for the good of humanity and the progress of social and divine
During the last few years, while the war was raging all over the earth and the
doors of communication were closed with the outside world, Abdul Bahá was not
only praying for the friends of God and the suffering humanity, but he was also
drawing a wonderful plan, a great Law, a Bill of Rights for the spiritual
guidance and regeneration of the world.
When the thunder-cloud of war broke over our heads in Palestine and the wheels
of social and religious activities became clogged, Abdul Bahá divided his time
between Haifa, Acca, Bahjee, Tiberias and Adasyah. Often for months he would
stop in an adjoining building in the sacred Tomb of Bahá'o'llah and of course I
had always the privilege of accompanying him, humbly walking in his divine
footsteps, trying to learn the beauty and wisdom of his simple yet sublime life
and portraying with as much skill as I could
command, the height and depth of his character, the beauty of his stature and
the peaceful harmony of his inner life.
It was during the months of March and April of 1916 that I had the greatest
joy of my life, to live -- with Abdul Bahá in Bahjee. I may claim without grave
apprehension of contradiction that in the future those two months will be
considered as the most significant, the most fruitful months in the Bahá'í
History, and this, our Convention, as the most Constructive Convention ever
held in America.
The life of Abdul Bahá in Bahjee during those two months was not only
prayerful and calm as the surface of a pure river but active and earnest, full
of life and beauty; the highest ideals of the Kingdom, like jewels were failing
from his lips; the garden of his heart was adorned as it is always adorned with
the imperishable roses of Truth and the Elysian field of his mind was begemmed
with violets of spiritual emotions arid hyacinths of divine wisdom.
On Monday morning March 26, 1916, he was sitting peacefully in his room in
Bahjee, now and then looking out of the window over the olive grove, beyond the
sea and far into the infinitude. Suddenly he turned his wonderful, penetrating
eyes upon me and asked me to chant one of the prayers of Bahá'o'llah. As I
continued my chant I felt a strange power coming over me, realizing my
unworthiness in being permitted to live so long and so near the divine presence
of Abdul Bahá. When I finished the prayer he looked at me with charming
sweetness, that soft, dancing light in his eyes and said: "Thou must be
infinitely grateful to Bahá'o'llah that He has chosen thee to be with me for so
long a time. Surely it must be for a great purpose that is not apparent at the
present time. It will become clear in the future. Now bring pen, paper and ink
and I will dictate a Tablet for America."
When I was ready to take down his thoughts, the following heavenly words
adorned the white page as the necklace adorns the neck of a queen:
"To the friends and maid servants of God in the NORTHEASTERN States:
"Upon them be greeting and praise!
"O ye heavenly heralds:
"These are the days of Naurooz. I am always thinking of those kind friends! I
beg for each and all of you confirmations and assistance from the threshold of
Oneness, so that those gatherings may become ignited like unto candles, in the
Republics of America, enkindling the light of the love of God in the hearts;
thus the rays of the heavenly teachings may begem and brighten the states of
America like the infinitude of immensity with the stars of the most great
"The Northeastern states on the shores of the Atlantic -- Maine, New
Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New
Jersey and New York -- in some of these states believers are found, but in some
of the cities of these states up to this date people are not yet illumined with
the lights of the Kingdom and are not aware of the heavenly teachings;
therefore, whenever it is possible for each one of you, hasten ye
to those cities and shine forth like unto the stars with the light of the most
great guidance. God says in the glorious Koran: "The soil was black and dried.
Then we caused the rain to descend upon it and immediately it became green,
verdant, and every kind of plant sprouted up luxuriantly." In other words, he
says the earth and the soil is black, but when the spring showers descend upon
it that black soil is quickened, and variegated flowers are pushed forth. This
means the souls of humanity belonging to the world of nature are black like
unto the soil. But when the heavenly outpourings descend and the radiant
effulgences appear, the hearts are resuscitated, are liberated from the
darkness of nature and the flowers of divine mysteries grow and become
luxuriant. Consequently man must become the cause of the illumination of the
world of humanity and propagate the holy teachings revealed in the sacred books
through the divine inspiration. It is stated in the blessed Gospel: Travel ye
toward the East and toward the West and enlighten the people with the light of
the Most Great Guidance, so that they may take a portion and share of eternal
life. Praise be to God, that the Northeastern States are in the utmost
capacity. Because the ground is rich, the rain of the divine outpouring is
descending. Now you must become heavenly farmers and scatter pure seeds in the
prepared soil. The harvest of every other seed is limited, but the bounty and
the blessing of the seed of the divine teachings is unlimited. Throughout the
coming centuries and cycles many harvests will be gathered. Consider the work
of former generations. During the lifetime of Jesus Christ the believing, firm
souls were few and numbered, but the heavenly blessings descended so
plentifully that in a number of years countless souls entered beneath the
shadow of the Gospel. God has said in the Koran: "One grain will bring forth
seven sheaves, and every sheaf shall contain one hundred grains." In other
words, one grain will become seven hundred; and if God so wills He will double
these also. It has often happened that one blessed soul has become the cause of
the guidance of a nation. Now we must not consider our ability and capacity,
nay, rather, we must fix our gaze upon the favors and bounties of God, in these
days, who has made of the drop a sea, and of the atom a sun.
"Upon you be greeting and praise!
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
Translated April 26, 1916.
Nearly ten months passed. Meanwhile the above Tablet had been forwarded to
America and its circulation amongst the friends of that section had created a
great deal of active interest in the promotion of the Cause. But during the
months following, the talk's of Abdul Bahá on various occasions pointed to the
fact that that Tablet was not final and that when the proper time came he would
reveal another and more wonderful Tablet for the guidance of the Friends. Thus
I was made very happy when this Lordly promise was fulfilled and on Friday
morning February 2nd, 1917, while he was walking in a small room in his house
at Haifa he dictated the following spiritual firman for the believers of the
northeastern states ending with a supplication to be read by the teachers going
into the field of activity spreading the light.
"To the believers of God and the maid servants of the Merciful of the
Northeastern States of the United States of America.
Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York.
"He is God!
" O ye real friends!
" All the regions countries in the estimation of the True One, are one region
and all cities and villages are ideally equal and similar to each other.
Neither holds distinction over another. All of them are the fields of God and
the habitation of the souls of men. But through faith and assurance and the
precedence of one part over another the dweller imparts holiness and
sanctification to the dwelling and some of the countries become exceptional,
attain to the most great distinction.
"For example, notwithstanding that some of the countries of Europe and America
are distinguished for the purity of the air, the wholesomeness of water, and
the charm of mountains, plains and prairies and are preferred above all the
rest, yet Palestine became an honor to all other regions of the world: Because
all the holy divine Manifestations from the time of His Holiness Abraham to the
time of the appearance of the Seal of the Prophets, have been either living in
this region or emigrated to or travelled through here. Likewise, Yathroh and
Batha attained to the most great bounty and the light of the Prophets have
shone from that horizon. For this reason Palestine and Hedjaz are distinguished
above all other Regions.
"Likewise as the Continent of America in the estimation of the True One is the
field of the effulgence of lights, the Kingdom of the Manifestation of
Mysteries, the home of the righteous ones and the gathering place of the free,
therefore every section thereof is blessed; but because these nine states have
been favored in faith and assurance, hence thro' this precedence they have
obtained spiritual privilege. They must realize the value of this bounty;
because they have obtained such a favor and in order to render thanksgiving for
this most great Bestowal, they must arise in the diffusion of Divine
Fragrances; so that the blessed verse of the Koran:
"God is the light of heaven and earth: the similitude of His light is a niche
in a wall, wherein a lamp is placed, and the lamp enclosed in a case of glass;
the glass appears as if it were a glistening star. It is lighted with the oil
of a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East, nor of the West; it wanteth
little but that the oil thereof would give light, although no fire touched it.
This is the light added unto light. God will direct unto His light whom He
-- may be realized.
He says: "The world of nature is the world of darkness, because it is the
origin of a thousand depravities, nay, rather, it is darkness upon darkness."
The illumination of the world of nature is dependent upon the splendor of the
Sun of Reality. The grace of guidance is like unto the candle which is
enkindled in the glass of knowledge and wisdom and that glass of knowledge and
wisdom is the mirror of the heart of humanity. The oil of that luminous
lamp is from the fruits of the Blessed Tree and that oil is so refined that it
will burn without light. When the intensity of the light and the translucency
of the glass and the purity of the mirror are brought together, it will become
light upon light.
"In brief, in these nine Blessed States Abdul Bahá journeyed and traveled from
place to place, explained the wisdom of the heavenly book and diffused the
fragrances. In most of these States he founded the Divine Edifice and opened
the door of teaching. In those States he sowed pure seeds and planted blessed
"Now the believers of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful must irrigate
those fields and with the utmost power engage themselves in the cultivation of
these heavenly plantations so that the seeds may grow and develop, prosperity
and blessing be realized and many rich and great harvests be gathered in.
"The Kingdom of God is like unto a farmer who comes into possession of a piece
of pure and virgin soil. Heavenly seeds are scattered therein, the clouds of
divine providence pour down and the rays of the Sun of Reality shine forth.
"Now all these bounties exist and appear in full in these nine States. The
divine Gardener passed by that holy ground and scattered pure seeds from the
lordly teachings in that field, the rain of the bounties of God poured down and
the heat of the Sun of Reality, that is: -- the Merciful Confirmations -- shone
with the utmost splendor. It is my hope that each one of those blessed souls
may become a peerless and unique irrigator and the East and the West of America
may become like unto a delectable paradise -- so that all of you may hear from
the Supreme Concourse the cry of "Blessed are ye, and again blessed are ye!"
"Upon you be greeting and praise!"
The following supplication is to be read by the teachers and friends daily:
"O Thou Kind Lord! Praise be unto Thee that Thou hast shown us the Highway of
Guidance, opened the doors of the Kingdom and manifested Thyself through the
Sun of Reality. To the blind Thou hast given sight; to the deaf Thou hast
granted hearing; Thou hast resuscitated the dead; Thou hast shown the way to
those who have gone astray; Thou hast led those with parched lips to the
fountain of guidance; Thou hast suffered the thirsty fish to reach the Ocean of
Reality; and Thou hast invited the wandering birds to the rose-garden of Grace.
"O Thou Almighty! We people are Thy servants and Thy poor ones! We are remote,
we yearn for Thy Presence; we are thirsty for the water of Thy Fountain; we are
ill, longing for Thy medicine. We are walking in Thy Path and have no aim or
hope save the diffusion of Thy Fragrances -- so that the souls may raise the
cry of: "O God! Guide us to the straight Path!" May they open their eyes by
beholding the light and become freed from the darkness of ignorance! May they
walk around the Lamp of Guidance! May the portionless receive a share! And may
the deprived ones become the confidants of the Mysteries!
"O Almighty! Look upon us with the glance of Mercifulness! Grant us Heavenly
Confirmation! Bestow upon us the breaths of the Holy Spirit! So that we may
become assisted in service and like unto brilliant stars we may
shine in these regions with the light of Guidance! Verily! Thou art the
Powerful, the Mighty and Thou art the Wise and the Seeing!
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
The next morning when I took the transcription of it to him for correction, he
took it in his hands, read it slowly and added a few words here and there. Then
raising his head, said: "Come and take this, Mirza Ahmad. Let me See what you
can do. Let me see what the friends of God in these States will do. Will they
arise with a superhuman energy and spread the lights of the Sun of Reality in
all those great cities, towns, villages and hamlets? I have pointed out to them
the highway of service. Will they walk in it? I have drawn for them the plan of
God, will they, like experienced generals, attack the enemies from all sides?
Come! Take it and let us see the results. And what are you going to do? Are you
going to take a hand in this divine campaign? Now you are witnessing its birth.
The time will soon come when you will have to work for its realization with all
the power and energy that God has given thee."
These words were uttered a long time ago and on that day little did I realize
that I would be here, standing before you and talking, taking an humble part in
the inauguration of this great campaign of our supreme general.
On another occasion he said:
"The believers must arise in perfect unity in teaching the Cause of God and
grasping each other's hands be engaged in the diffusion of the fragrances of
God, and know of a certainty that the confirmations of His Holiness Bahá'o'llah
shall descend upon them.
"I hope that the. Northeastern States, especially New York, may attain to the
utmost state of perfection in the Cause of God, and in the matter of teaching
and the promotion of the Word of God they may precede the friends of other
parts. New York is the first and greatest city of the Western Hemisphere and
the numberless passengers who come to America, come or pass through this City.
Therefore, its important position is quite secure and must be taken into
consideration. The friends of this City must be in the utmost love and amity,
so that their unity may serve as an example to the other States.
"When thou art standing in their midst, tell them:
"The Bounties of the Kingdom of God are great. The glances and favors of the
Blessed Perfection are with you; the invisible cohorts are your support. Now
step forward in this field of teaching. Then shall you see the greatness of
results. Do not turn your faces away because of any difficulties and
oppositions. The greater the difficulties the greater must he your firmness and
steadfastness. Then you shall observe that the fame of the Cause will be more
widely spread and the Confirmations of the Kingdoms of Abha appearing with
greater effulgence. Hence, you must, first of all, arise in teaching the Cause
and calling the people to the manifestation of the Kingdom; so that God's
assistance may encircle you from all sides. Should you not render this service
and should you not win this goal in the hold of action,
others coming after you will accomplish this work. Yet it is my hope that in
this age you may become assisted in rendering these great services."
It is hoped that the delegates and the friends front these parts will realize
their great responsibility, for they have a great task before them. It is not
the work of one or two or ten or twenty years but for it long stretch of years.
It is indeed a divine responsibility to be called upon -- a population of more
than twenty-one millions or nearly one-fourth of the inhabitants of the United
States. Think of New York and its five millions, Philadelphia one million and a
half, Boston with its seven hundred thousand, adding to this the- thrifty
inhabitants of hundreds of New England towns, Pittsburgh with its half million,
Rochester two hundred and fifty thousand -- thus I may go on enumerating all
the important centers of industries in these nine States. How are you going to
teach these millions of people about the principles of the oneness of humanity,
the brotherhood of the. races and the love of God as revealed in the writings
of Bahá'o'llah and Abdul Bahá?
Leaving this question to be answered in another talk, I now call on Margaret
P. Randall and Bertha Holley to come forward to unveil the great Spiritual
Charter of the Northeastern States, while all of us are standing. And as I have
chanted many, many times the wonderful Supplication of the original in the
presence of Abdul Bahá, also in the Tomb of Bahá'o'llah and at the sacred
Mausoleum of the Bab, I will close this session of the Convention by chanting
the Prayer for you.
THE UNVEILING OF THE DIVINE PLAN
Bahá'o'llah says in the Book of Akdas:
"It behooveth the one who hath drunk today the Elixir of Life from the Hand of
his Lord, the Merciful, to be pulsating like unto an artery in the body of the
universe; thus the world may be moved through him and every mouldering bone be
clothed with flesh."
Today the world of humanity is hungry for the bread of life and thirsty for
the water of Truth. Now that men have realized more than ever before that all
their former institutions have been based upon a foundation of sand, they are
trying to do away with all the past evils and build on the solid rock of the
Word of God a palace of human prosperity which shall last forever. No doubt
this new structure w ill not be built by a single man or by a single nation. It
is only through the co-operation and mutual assistance of all men and of all
races and of all clinics that this divine edifice will be raised. Its
foundation must be laid in the hearts, and its walls rising to the seventh
heaven of human consciousness. It is only through the power of God and the love
of humanity that the builders will be inspired to set aside their national
prejudices and traditions, merging them in the strong white light of
internationalism and brotherhood. For has it not been said of old: "Love
conquers everything!" Without love nothing succeeds, nothing goes forward. When
altruism and the love of God join hands, then we have really a dynamic and
divine civilization. And it is only through the establishment of this divine
civilization, that humanity shall enter through the portals of regeneration
into the garden of Truth.
It is evident that every institution, both religious and social, has been
subjected in the past to the law of change and modification, Most of the former
movements, because they could not adapt themselves to a new environment, became
little by little static, lost their pliability and elasticity, became lifeless
and died from inanition. But in this age the law of religious truth and social
energy has taught us a new lesson, i.e., a movement cannot survive the
cataclysm of the ages unless it is permeated with a strong telic policy.
Now I believe from what we have seen and experienced of the Bahá'í Movement --
have felt the effects of its ethical and practical laws and its religious and
scientific aspects -- we may assert that of all other movements of the last
age, this Movement is endowed with an extraordinary amount of telic energy and
the power of adaptation. The unveiling of the Great Tablets to the believers of
the Northeastern States must have demonstrated to you in a striking manner what
this power of adaptation and telic energy must mean to the Bahá'ís in the
future. It is only through the constant application of these two fundamental
laws and the assistance of the Holy Spirit that we shall be enabled to teach
the Cause of God and the brotherhood of races to all these millions of men.
At this season we will take another step, and bring within the range of our
human vision the larger divine vision of Abdul Bahá by reading to you the
translation of the two Tablets revealed to the Southern States. The first
Tablet was revealed on Wednesday morning, March 27th, 1916. The
Beloved of our hearts was sitting on a chair in the midst of the fresh wild
flowers, looking at them and admiring their color and beauty. After a few
minutes of silence, he began to dictate the following heavenly ideals:
"To the friends and the maid-servants of the Merciful in the Southern
"Upon them be greeting and praise!
"O ye heralds of the Kingdom of God!
"A few days ago an epistle was written to those divine believers, but because
these days are the days of Nourooz, therefore you have come to my mind and I am
sending you this greeting for this glorious feast. All the days are blessed,
but this feast is the national fete of Persia. The Persians have been holding
it for several thousand years past. In reality every day which man passes in
the mention of God, the diffusion of the Fragrances of God and calling the
people to the Kingdom of God, that day is his feast. Praise be to God that you
are occupied in the service of the Kingdom of God and are engaged in the
promulgation of the Religion of God by day and by night. Therefore all your
days are feast days. There is no doubt that the assistance and the bestowal of
God shall descend upon you.
"In the Southern States of the United States, the Friends are few, that is, in
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Consequently you must either go yourselves or
send a number of blessed souls to those states, so that they may guide the
people to the Kingdom of heaven. One of the Holy Manifestations, addressing a
believing soul, says: 'If a person become the cause of the illumination of one
soul, it is better than a boundless treasury.' Again He says: 'O Ali! If God
guide, through thee, one soul, it is better for thee than all the riches!'
Again He says: 'Direct us to the straight path!' that is, show us the right
road. It is also mentioned in the Gospel: 'Travel ye to all parts of the world
and give ye the glad tidings of the appearance of the Kingdom of God.'
"In brief, I hope you will display in this respect the greatest effort and
magnanimity. It is assured that you will become assisted and confirmed. A
person declaring the glad tidings of the appearance of the realities and
significances of the Kingdom is like unto a farmer who scatters pure seeds, in
the rich soil. The spring cloud will pour upon them the rain of bounty, and
unquestionably the station of the farmer will be raised in the estimation of
the lord of the village, and many harvests will be gathered.
"Therefore, ye friends of God! Appreciate ye the value of this time and be ye
engaged in the sowing of the seeds, so that ye may find the heavenly blessing
and the lordly bestowal. Upon ye be Bahá El Abha!"
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
The second Tablet for the Southern States, which is now given to the world for
the first time, was dictated by Abdul Bahá on Monday morning, February 3d,
1917, in his little cottage in his home in Haifa. It is as follows:
"To the believers of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful of the Southern
"Upon them be Bahá'o'llah El Abha!
He is God!
"O ye blessed, respected souls!
"The philosophers of the ancients, the thinkers of the Middle Ages and the
scientists of this and the future centuries have all agreed upon the fact that
the best and the most ideal region for the habitation of man is the temperate
zone, for in this belt the intellects and thoughts rise to the highest stage of
maturity and the capability and ability of civilization manifest themselves in
full efflorescence. When you read history critically and with a penetrating
eye, it becomes evident that the majority of the famous men have been born,
reared and have done their work in the temperate zone, while very, very few
have appeared from the torrid and frigid zones.
" Now these sixteen Southern States of the United States are situated in the
temperate zone, and in these regions the perfections of the world of nature
have been fully revealed. For the moderation of the weather, the beauty of the
scenery and the geographical configuration of the country display a great
effect in the world of minds and thoughts. This fact is well demonstrated
through observation and experience.
"Even the Holy, Divine Manifestations have had a nature in the utmost
equilibrium, the health and wholesomeness of their bodies most perfect, their
constitutions endowed with physical vigor, their powers functioning in perfect
order, and the outward sensations linked with the inward perceptions, working
together with extraordinary momentum and coordination.
"Therefore in these sixteen states, because they are contiguous to other
states and their climate being in the utmost of moderation, unquestionably the
Divine Teachings must reveal themselves with a brighter effulgence, the Breaths
of the Holy Spirit must display a penetrating intensity, the ocean of the Love
of God must be stirred with higher waves, the breezes of the Rose-garden of the
Divine Love be wafted with higher velocity, and the Fragrances of Holiness be
diffused with swiftness and rapidity.
"Praise be to God that the Divine Outpourings are infinite, the melody of the
lordly principles is in the utmost efficacy, the most great Orb shining with
perfect splendor, the cohorts of the Supreme Concourse are attacking with
invincible power, the tongues are sharper than the swords, the hearts are more
brilliant than the light of electricity, the magnanimity of the friends
precedes all the magnanimities of the former and subsequent generations, the
souls are divinely attracted, and the fire of the love of God is enkindled.
"At this time and at this period we must avail ourselves of this most great
opportunity. We must not sit inactive for one moment; we must sever ourselves
from composure, rest, tranquillity, goods, property, life and attachment to
material things. We must sacrifice everything to His Highness, the Possessor of
existence; so that the powers of the Kingdom may show greater penetration and
the brilliant effulgence in this New Cycle may illumine the worlds of minds and
"It is about 23 years that the Fragrances of God have been diffused in America,
but no adequate and befitting motion has been realized, and no great
acclamation and acceleration has been witnessed. Now it is my hope that through
the heavenly power, the Fragrances of the Merciful, the attraction of
consciousness, the celestial outpourings, the heavenly cohorts and the gushing
forth of the Fountain of Divine Love, the believers of God may arise and in a
short time the Greatest Good may unveil her countenance, the Sun of Reality may
shine forth with such intensity that the darkness of the world of nature may
become entirely dispelled and driven away; from every corner a most wonderful
melody may be raised, the morning birds may break into such a song that the
world of humanity may be quickened and moved, the solid bodies may become
liquefied, and the souls who are like unto adamantine rocks may open their
wings and through the heat of the love of God fly heavenward.
"Nearly 2,000 years ago, Armenia was enveloped with impenetrable darkness. One
blessed soul from among the disciples of Christ hastened to that part, and
through his effort, erelong that province became illumined. Thus it has become
evident how the power of the Kingdom works!
"Therefore, rest ye assured in the Confirmations of the Merciful and the
assistance of the Most High, become ye sanctified above and purified from this
world and the inhabitants thereof, suffer your intentions to work for the good
of all, cut your attachment to the earth and like unto the essence of the
spirit become ye light and delicate. Then with a firm resolution, a pure heart,
a rejoiced spirit, and an eloquent tongue, engage your time in the promulgation
of the Divine Principles; so that the Oneness of the World of Humanity may
pitch her canopy in the apex of America and all the nations of the world may
follow the Divine Policy. This is certain, that the Divine Policy is justice
and kindness toward all mankind. For all the nations of the world are the sheep
of God, and God is the Kind Shepherd. He has created these sheep. He has
protected them, sustained and trained them. What greater kindness than this?
And every moment we must render a hundred thousand thanksgivings that, praise
be to God, we are freed from all the ignorant prejudices, are kind to all the
sheep of God, and our utmost hope is to serve each and all, and like unto a
benevolent father educate every one.
"Upon you be Greeting and praise!
"Every soul who travels through these cities, villages and hamlets of these
states and is engaged in the diffusion of the Fragrances of God, must peruse
this Commune every morning:
"O my God! O my God! Behold me! Notwithstanding my lowliness and my lack of
capability and ability, I am bent upon the accomplishment of the greatest
works, aiming to promote Thy Word amongst the republics and resolved to spread
Thy Teachings amongst all mankind. Far be it from me to become confirmed in
this work save Thou may assist me with the Breaths of the Holy Spirit! Make me
victorious through the armies of Thy Supreme Kingdom and encircle me with Thy
Confirmations, which shall make the moth the eagle, the drop the river and the
seas, and the scintillas the suns and the moons!
"O Lord! Confirm me with Thy insuperable Power and Thy penetrating
Potency, so that my tongue may speak out Thy praises and glorifications
amongst Thy creatures, and my heart become overflowed with the Wine of Thy Love
and Knowledge, verily, Thou art the Powerful to do that which Thou willest, and
Thou art mighty over all things!
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
It is significant to observe that Abdul Bahá, in writing to the Southern
States, takes the example of farming, and applies it to the spiritual farming,
for as we know most of the states are primarily agricultural. The world looks
to the South for its cotton, and thousands of factories would be closed in case
of a bad harvest. Now the desire of Abdul Bahá is that just as the Southern
people are clothing the bodies of millions of men with finely woven textures
out of their cotton, they may also clothe the spiritual body of mankind with
the heavenly characteristics of divine attributes. Just as they sweeten the
tongues with the sugar cane of Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia, they may sweeten
the lives of men and women who have lost their bright hopes of a better
The sixteen Southern States have more than five times the area of the
Northeastern States, and we can get an idea of the vastness of this section
when we realize that Texas alone is larger than the entire group of the
Northeastern States; nevertheless the population is only about 23 millions; not
much more than that of the Northeastern States. The problem of how to reach
this great mass of humanity, and how to spread the Message of the Kingdom in
all parts of the South, is a subject that only time, knowledge and discretion
will disclose to us. It is not a matter to be decided upon in a decade or two.
Once we are inspired with this glorious vision of man's spiritualization, and
once there is a telic policy guiding all our aims and hopes, I am sure we will
go on advancing from step to step till the final goal is achieved. We may not
see that goal, but still ours will be the greatest satisfaction, to have laid
the foundation of this work, not on the crumbling rocks of human policies, but
in the pure hearts of men and women gathered here in this meeting. Look on the
map for a moment, and the whole South is dotted with large, thriving cities,
the inhabitants intelligent and hard workers. Here we have Washington, with a
population of nearly 500,000, the Capital of the United States, the seat of the
National Government, with the President and the Congress; here also we have the
representatives of the nations of the earth. Then Baltimore, with more than
500,000; New Orleans with about 350,000; Nashville with 120,000, San Antonio
with 100,000; Richmond with 130,000; Memphis with 140,000; then Birmingham,
Augusta, Charleston, Chattanooga, Covington, forth Worth, Houston, Mobile,
Oklahoma City, Savannah, Wilmington, and many others with large populations and
prosperous agricultural and industrial communities.
The Bahá'í Cause, whose basic spiritual principles are the Fatherhood of God
and the brotherhood of man, must permeate every stratum of society in the
South; so that this section may become the paradise of glory and happiness,
flowing with milk and honey. All the racial and religious prejudices must be
wiped away, that every face may shine with the light of the
Kingdom. This, I can assure you, is the supreme desire of Abdul Bahá, and the
sooner this ideal condition is brought about, the nearer we are to the Golden
age of Universal Peace.
And now I must bring this second talk to a close by quoting to you two short
talks of Abdul Bahá. Here is the first. Having looked over and corrected the
second Tablet to the South, he handed it to me, saying:
"Come my son, take it. I have corrected it. The importance of this Tablet will
be revealed in the future. In these vast sixteen States the lights of the Sun
of Reality shall shine with great power and the dark clouds of ignorance and
human prejudices will be dispelled from its horizon. Mr. Gregory must
demonstrate a self-sacrificing spirit in teaching the Cause amongst the black
race, diffuse the Fragrances of God in every part of the South, and let his cry
of Ya-Bahá El Abha reach to the apex of heaven, in their meetings, gatherings,
churches, colleges and schools. The believers of God with the utmost firmness
and steadfastness must go forth and teach the heavenly institutes to the
inhabitants of the South. They must not turn their faces from any difficulty.
Like unto a waving sea they must be tumultuous and full of divine acclamation.
And similar unto the thankful birds they must be always singing the songs of
love, light and life. Every person in accordance with his capability and
ability must be engaged in teaching the Cause of God and show an effort in the
illumination of the souls, so that praiseworthy results may appear and become
manifest from him. I desire nothing else from the believers of those States
save teaching the Cause of His Highness the Almighty. See with what love, with
what attraction, with what exhilaration I wrote this Tablet for them. One of
the wisdoms of this universal war is no other than the writing of these
Epistles, so that the believers may realize that the Cause of His Holiness
Bahá'o'llah must ultimately encircle the globe. Having thus clearly perceived
their duty they will spare no effort to hasten its consummation. The prominent
believers of the South, like Mr. Remey, Mr. Hannen, Mrs. Parsons, Mr. Gregory
and others must come together, hold meetings of consultation and devise
efficient ways and means for the teaching of the people of this great section
and promote amongst the inhabitants the spirit of brotherhood, unity and the
love of His Holiness Christ and Bahá'o'llah. Do thou present thyself in their
meetings, and through the inspiration of the Holy spirit make them realize and
feel how this question of teaching is one of the utmost importance in the
Cause. Tell them: Do not let your thoughts and ideals be crystallized around
particular matters. Close your eyes to outward differences and look upon each
other with the eye of universal oneness. Like unto the cup-bearers of eternity
turn ye round in the assemblages of mankind the overflowing goblets of guidance
and intoxicate them with the wine of the Love of God. Walk ye always in the
pathway of lights and let the pillars of shining Bahá'í inspiration lead and
direct you to your glorious destination. Let your thoughts be of Bahá'o'llah.
Like unto sanctified souls, associate ye with the people of the world and show
ye that which ye have. Do ye not hide the precious jewels of the Kingdom under
the earth. This day is the day of revelation! This Manifestation is the
Manifestation of Knowledge and Understanding!"
The second talk was given one morning in February, 1918, while he was walking
in his lovely garden. The names of the Southern States were brought to his
attention, and his face was suddenly brightened with the light of inspiration.
Then, as he continued his walk, he uttered the following poetic message,
redolent with the fragrance of the Garden of Abha: --
"Praise be to God that the dark ages have passed away and the Century of Light
has come. Praise be to God that the traces of prejudices and superstitions are
effaced, and the horizon of the minds and the hearts of humanity are broadened.
Praise be to God that the seas of idle fancies of the religionists are calmed
down and the oceans of the realities and significances of the Blessed
Perfection are set in motion. Praise be to God that the gloomy nights of
ignorance have flitted away across the receding ages, and the bright dawns of
intelligence and wisdom are becoming visible. Praise be to God that the cold
winter of fanaticism and bigotry, with its chilling hand and irrational
heterodoxy has come to an end, and the soul-refreshing springtime of the
imperishable flowers and hyacinths of universal love and toleration, has
dawned, perfuming all the nostrils with the sweet odors of trust and
confidence. Praise be to God that the black clouds of human limitations and
man-made restrictions are dispelled, and the world enlightening sun of the
Kingdom hath dawned from the Horizon of the hearts! Praise be to God that the
chains of injustice and the fetters of the opposition of the Pharoahs of the
earth and the despotic rulers of men have crumbled to dust, and the age of
justice, equity, brotherhood and real democracy is inaugurated. Praise be to
God that the crowns of the depots have fallen to the earth, and the thrones of
the absolutists are shaken to the foundation. But the real diadems of glory and
power and the royal seats of just governments and democratic institutions were
raised high. Praise be to God that the period of satanic suggestions have come
to a close, and the cycle of angelic ideals and seraphic thoughts hath opened
before the eyes of men.
"The past age was an age of wondrous achievements. All the inventions were
perfected; new discoveries created new fields of human activities; new
undertakings gave deeper significance to the law of co-operation; new arts
helped to make life more beautiful and new international laws are now in the
process of formation to bind all nations of the earth together. The
international tribunal of justice will soon be organized in accordance with the
Principles of Bahá'o'llah, and then all the differences will be adjusted before
the members of that impartial tribunal.
"Therefore, as a result of these changes in the outward world, it has become
part of the heavenly wisdom in the inner world to create a new spiritual plan
for the propagation of the religion of God; thus the divine believers may
obtain a new joy and a new happiness and display an extraordinary effort in the
promotion of the reality of the religions of God; to deliver the nations from
old, superannuated prejudices and diffuse the fragrances of the flowers of the
primal truth; to unfurl the flag of the love, amity and the oneness of the
world of humanity and remove the international misunderstandings from amongst
the nations of the world. From their hearts and souls they must cry out:
"Glad Tidings! Glad Tidings! That the illumination of heavenly brotherhood
hath encircled the East and the West!
"Glad Tidings! Glad Tidings! That the doors of the Kingdom of Mercy are wide
"Glad Tidings! Glad Tidings! That the melody of the Supreme Concourse hath
reached the ears of every old and young one!
"Glad Tidings! Glad Tidings! That the banquet of the Lord is spread in the
assemblages of the friends!
"Glad Tidings! Glad Tidings! That the period of bloodshed and carnage hath
passed away and the century of Universal Peace and gathering together of
nations of the earth hath dawned upon us!
"Glad Tidings! Glad Tidings! That the weeping eyes are made joyous and
laughing, and ere long the diamond age of the Kingdom of Abha will be
established in the hearts!
"Glad Tidings! Glad Tidings! For the sleepy ones are awakened and the
negligent ones are made mindful!
"Glad Tidings! Glad Tidings! That the call of the Merciful is raised, the
resurrection is set up, the dead are resuscitated, the lame are dancing unto
the gazelles, the deaf are endowed with hearing and the dumb are granted the
power of speech!
"Glad Tidings! Glad Tidings! That the Breaths of the Holy Spirit confer life
and day by day the world of humanity advances toward the goal of perfection.
"O ye inhabitants of the world, awaken ye! awaken ye!
"O ye factions of the earth, become ye mindful! become ye mindful!
"O ye devotees of religions, obtain life! Obtain life!
"O ye sects and denominations, move ye! Move ye!
"O ye lovers of the beauty of the True One, become ye self-sacrificing! Become
"O ye enkindled ones! O ye supplicating ones! Become ye the confidants of the
mysteries! Become ye the confidants of the mysteries!
"O ye birds of the rose-garden of Abha! Sing ye the anthems of mercy! Break ye
into the songs of beatitude!
"O ye brilliant stars of the heaven of God! Shine ye!
"O ye teachers of the Cause of the Supreme Lord! Travel ye, teach ye!
Destroy ye the foundation of hatred, malice and contention from amongst the
children of men, and lay ye the basis of the palace of love and universal
"The lights of the oneness of the world of humanity are scintillating like
unto precious jewels; scatter their rays to all parts! Upraise ye the banner of
unity, fraternity, co-operation and reciprocity amongst all the people; so that
there may not be left from prejudice aught save a name, and from ignorance not
even a shadow; the religion of God may pitch its tent over the East and the
West, the light of the Kingdom may illumine all hearts, perfect agreement and
association may be realized between races, religions and nativities, and the
world of creation may find composure and tranquility."
On another occasion, he said: "Give my greeting to the friends in Washington
and say: O ye believers of God! I am always thinking of the days that I
associated with you. Never will I forget you and the spiritual meetings held in
your city. I beg from the Favors of the Blessed Perfection that ye may become
assisted to promote the Cause of God and promulgate
the Word of God in the Southern states, that just as Washington is the
political center of the American Republic, she may become the dawning-place of
merciful susceptibilities, and celestial feelings. Arise ye without any fear in
the promulgation of the religion of God! Become ye firmly rooted in this great
aim, send ye teachers to all directions, and become ye not apprehensive should
ye meet strong opposition. The contradiction of others is more conducive to the
strength of the Cause of God. Ever so I beg for you divine Confirmation. My
Spirit is with each one of you. So ye not look upon your own capacities. Rest
ye assured in the Bounties of the Blessed Perfection. He shall change the drop
into an ocean and the moth into an eagle. He changes the stone into the
precious ruby and the scintilla into the world-illuminating sun. Open ye the
eloquent tongues and day and night consult with each other regarding the
promotion of the Cause of God, so that in the end you may crown your heads with
this diadem and carrying in your hands the swords of light, ye may conquer the
kingdoms of the hearts."
And now that the Divine Plan for the Southern states is given to you, the
Misses Helen and Mary Hotchkiss will come forward to unveil the same, so that
we may all look upon the Great Charter of Spiritual Freedom. Then I will chant
for you the original of the Commune that the Beloved has revealed for the
teachers of this section. Many, many a time have I chanted it in the Holy Tomb
of Bahá'o'llah, in the presence of Abdul Bahá, and now while you are going to
listen to it, I would like you to feel the spirituality of its words and the
beauty of its expressions.
THE UNVEILING OF THE DIVINE PLAN
"Is this day the day of rest? No, by the Lord of the worlds. Is this day the
day of silence"? No, by Myself, the True One, were ye of those who know. Verily
all things are stirred with the Fragrances of Revelation. Are ye resting on
your seats and ye call yourselves the sincere ones?"
Bahá'o'llah (from Appendix of Surat El Haykal)
In the above stirring appeal Bahá'o'llah calls His followers to a high station
of service and action. From it we gather the idea that those who call
themselves Bahá'ís, must not sit idle, nor must they remain silent. Through
their words and deeds they must show their love for all humanity, and from
their faces there must appear the joy of heaven. In their minds must center the
loftiest ideals of this age, and in their hearts must dwell the sweetest
sentiments of sympathy and kindness towards all creatures. In their search for
truth they must be impartial, and in their march along the path of right, they
must show fearlessness and courage. Enthusiasm must be their watchword and
broad-mindedness their ultimate aim. Perseverance in the investigation of
reality must be their guide, and conviction of the final victory of the cause
of brotherhood their inspiration. They must work day and night, so that the
satanic world may become angelic, the darkened hearts may be illumined,
confidence may replace distrust and the sweetness of love may remove the
bitterness of hate.
It is it well known fact that the power of love leads men to work together and
co-operate with each other in all the undertakings of modern civilization. In
all the transactions of human society, in the harmonious adjustment of the
relation of capital and labor, in the balancing of the law of supply and
demand, in the working out of the principle of production and consumption, and
in the practice of the theories of exchange anti distribution, we must
invariably use the universal solvent of the love of God and the love of man, if
we are desirous of avoiding any future social disorganization. The law of love
opens on all sides, the innumerable avenues of human and divine progress. For
example, let us consider the, history of the twelve Central States, how over a
century ago, there were scarcely any souls living there, excepting Indians and
a few scattered trappers. Now there are about 27 millions living peacefully in
those States; large cities are built, giant factories founded, thousands of
schools established, agriculture and industries advancing by leaps and bounds.
For example, the site of Chicago, which to-day is the second city in size in
the New World, in 1804 was nothing but a great bog, and probably at that time
no one would have dreamed that a century later such a magnificent city would
rise over that piece of marshy ground. In 1830 it boasted of only 12 families,
of poor people; in 1840 it had about 4470 inhabitants, but now it has the huge
population of more than two million and a half! This single example shows us in
a concrete and clear manner
how the power of love and co-operation changed the desert and wilderness of
these States into blooming gardens and prosperous communities. Now if the
sphere of this human love be widened, so as to include the various aspects of
the Divine Love; if the people would realize that the security and permanence
of the national progress is dependent upon international progress -- then we
could feel sure that our advancement would not be hindered by racial or
religious fanaticism which surges now and then from the unknown depths of the
The pioneer discoverers of the West have demonstrated to us, through their
lives and actions, that if we are zealous in the promotion of the Divine
Principles, and do not turn back when confronted with opposition, we shall at
last gather many harvests. Consider the lives of Joliet and Father Marquette,
who in 1673 braved all dangers, set out from Mackinaw to find the source of the
Mississippi River. Day after day they kept on their silent journey on the bosom
of the Mississippi, now gliding by castle-shaped cliffs, now coming into the
sunlight of open prairies, now entering the long shadows cast by miles of
unbroken forests, past the muddy torrents of the Missouri, past the lovely
mouth of the Ohio, and finally reached the mouth of the Arkansas. From there
they returned, pathently paddling their way back. It was indeed a tremendous
piece of uphill work, battling for more than a thousand miles against powerful
currents. Let us also get a glimpse at Sturt, one of the greatest of Australian
explorers. His aim was to reach the center of the Australian continent. By the
end of the summer of 1844, he reached a spot near Mount Poole. Here he found
himself shut in on all sides by a terrible summer drought. Autumn brought no
relief; ink dried on pen, lead dropped out of the shrivelled pencils, the
wood-work of drays almost fell to pieces. Sturt and his companions vainly tried
to find a way. At last, worn with despair and stricken with scurvy, they sat
idly day by day in a sort of cave which they had dug in the hillside to protect
them from the scorching sun. In the middle of July, after six months of
torture, rain came in torrents. A month later, Sturt set out again over the
plains. On his return, hot winds blazed about him till his thermometer burst.
When he reached the outskirts of civilization, his health was completely
shattered, and his eyesight permanently destroyed. He was borne back to
Adelaide, and thence to an invalid sanatorium in England.
All these examples go far to show us that if there were men in the past, and
there are men and women in our days who were and are ready to give up even life
for material reward or fame, how much more we who call ourselves Bahá'ís must be
prepared to sacrifice everything to undergo every danger, so that the knowledge
of God may increase, the brotherhood of man may be proclaimed, and the noble
ideals of life be shared by all men, irrespective of race and color.
Having now proven that nothing must daunt us when the line of our duty is
quite plain, I take pleasure in reading to you the translation of the first
Tablet revealed to the friends in the Central States, on Wednesday morning,
March 29, 1916. Picture in your mind the patriarchal presence of Abdul Bahá,
with his long, flowing robe, walking in the beautiful Garden of Bahjee, and
dictating these words of wisdom to his followers across oceans and continents,
directing them to arise with all their hearts and souls in the
promulgation of the Word of God and the proclamation of the Manifestation of
"To the friends of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful in the Central
"O ye heavenly souls, O ye spiritual assemblies, O ye lordly meetings!
"For some time past correspondence has been delayed, and this has been on
account of the difficulty of mailing and receiving letters. But because at
present a number of facilities are obtainable, therefore, I am engaged in
writing you this brief epistle so that my heart and soul may obtain joy and
fragrance through the remembrance of the friends. Continually this wanderer
supplicates and entreats at the threshold of His Holiness the One and begs
assistance, bounty and heavenly confirmations in behalf of the believers. You
are always in my thought. You are not nor shall you ever be forgotten. I hope
by the favor of His Holiness the Almighty that day by day you may add to your
faith, assurance, firmness and steadfastness, and become instruments for the
promotion of the holy fragrances. In the great book, the divine Koran, God,
addressing His Messenger, His Holiness Mohammed (upon him be greeting and
praise!) says: 'Verity thou dost guide the people to the straight path.' In
other words; Thou dost show mankind the direct road. Consider how guidance is a
matter of infinite importance; for it points to the loftiness of the station of
His Holiness the Messenger.
"Although in the States of Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota
-- praise be to God -- believers are found, who are associating with each other
in the utmost firmness and steadfastness -- day and night they have no other
intention save the diffusion of the fragrances of God, they have no other hope
except the promotion of the heavenly teachings, like the candles they are
burning with the light of the love of God, and like thankful birds are singing
songs, spirit-imparting, joy-creating, in the rose-garden of the knowledge of
God, -- yet in the States of Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South
Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas few of the believers exist. So far the summons of
the Kingdom of God and the proclamation of the oneness of the world of humanity
has not been made in these States systematically and enthusiastically. Blessed
souls and detached teachers have not traveled through these parts repeatedly;
therefore these States are still in a state of heedlessness. Through the
efforts of the friends of God souls must be likewise enkindled, in these
States, with the fire of the love of God and attracted to the Kingdom of God,
so that section may also become illumined and the soul-imparting breeze of the
rose-garden of the Kingdom may perfume the nostrils of the inhabitants.
Therefore, if it is possible, send to those parts teachers who are severed from
all else save God, sanctified and pure. If these teachers be in the utmost
state of attraction, in a short time great results will be forthcoming. The
sons and daughters of the kingdom are like unto the real farmers. Through
whichever state or country they pass they display self-sacrifice and sow divine
seeds. From that seed harvests are produced. On this subject it is revealed in
the glorious Gospel: When the pure seeds are scattered in the good ground
heavenly blessing and benediction is obtained. I hope that you may become
assisted and confirmed,
and never lose courage in the promotion of the divine teachings.. Day by day
may you add to your effort, exertion and magnanimity.
"Upon ye be greeting and praise!
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
The above was the first general order for the mobilization of the forces of
the Kingdom, and it was mailed in April of the same year. I have understood
since my arrival in this Country that a good deal of pioneer work of teaching
has been done in these States, and that many souls have gone forth into new
fields, so that they might sow the seeds of the New Divine Knowledge. I am sure
that Abdul Bahá will be most pleased to hear that the friends are at least
trying to carry out his behest.
And now I would like to read to you for the first time the translation of the
Second Tablet revealed to the friends of the Central states, on Thursday
morning, February 8, 1917, when he was staying in Acca. He was then living in
the very room where Bahá'o'llah passed his last years in the prison city, and
so the atmosphere of the place brought to one's mind sweet memories of other
spiritual and significant events transpiring in the same spot.
"To the believers and the maid-servants of God in the central states:
Upon them be Bahá'o'llah El Abha!
He is God!
"God says in the great Koran: --
'He specializes for His Mercy whomsoever He willeth.'
"O ye old believers and intimate friends!
"These twelve central States of the United States are like unto the heart of
America, and the heart is connected with all the organs and parts of man. If
the heart is strengthened, all the organs of the body are reinforced, and if
the heart is weak all the physical structures are subjected to feebleness.
"No praise be to God that Chicago and its environs from the beginning of the
diffusion of the Fragrances of God have been a strong heart. Therefore, through
Divine Bounty and Providence it has become confirmed in certain great
"First: The Call of the Kingdom was in the very beginning raised from Chicago.
This is indeed a great privilege, for in future centuries and cycles, it will
be an axis around which the honor of Chicago will revolve.
"Second: A number of souls with the utmost firmness and steadfastness arose in
that blessed spot in the promotion of the Word of God and even to the present
moment, have purified and sanctified the heart from every thought, they are
occupied with the promulgation of the Teachings of God. Hence the Call of
praise is raised uninterruptedly from the Supreme Concourse.
"Thirdly: During the American journey Abdul Bahá several times passed through
Chicago and associated with the friends of God. For some time he sojourned in
that city. Day and night he was occupied with the mention of the True One and
summoned the people to the Kingdom of God.
Fourthly: Up to the present time, every movement initiated in Chicago, its
effect was spread to all parts and to all directions; just as everything that
appears in and manifests from the heart influences all the organs and
structures of the body.
"Fifthly: The first Mashrekol-Azkar in America was instituted in Chicago, and
this honor and distinction is infinite in value. Undoubtedly out of this
Mashrekol-Azkar thousands of other Mashrekol-Azkars will be born.
"Likewise the general Annual Conventions, the foundation of the STAR OF THE
WEST , the Publishing Society, for the publication of books and Tablets and
their circulation in all parts of America, and the preparations now under way
for the celebration of the celebration of the Golden Centenary Anniversary of
the Kingdom of God. I hope that this Jubilee and this Exhibition may be
celebrated in the utmost perfection; so that the call to the world of unity,
"There is no God but One God, and all the Messengers, from the beginning to the
Seal of the Prophets (Mohammed) were sent on the part of the True One!" may be
raised; the Flag of the Oneness of the world of humanity be unfurled, the
melody of universal peace may reach the ears of the East and the West; all the
paths may be cleared and straightened, all the hearts may be attracted to the
Kingdom of God, the Tabernacle of Unity be pitched on the apex of America, the
Song of the Love of God may exhilarate and rejoice all the nations and peoples,
the surface of the earth may become the eternal paradise, the dark clouds may
be dispelled and the Sun of Truth may shine forth with the utmost intensity.
" O ye friends of God! Exert ye with heart and soul, so that association,
love, unity and agreement be obtained between the hearts, all the aims may be
merged into one Aim, all the songs become one Song and the power of the Holy
Spirit may become so overwhelmingly victorious as to overcome all the forces of
the world of nature. Work! This is the great Work, should ye become assisted
therein: Thus America will may become the fulcrum of merciful susceptibilities,
and throne of the Kingdom of God be established upon earth with the greatest
joy and majesty.
"This phenomenal world will not remain in an unchanging condition even for a
short while. Second after second it undergoes change and transformation. Every
foundation will finally become collapsed; every glory and splendor will at last
vanish and disappear, but the Kingdom of God is eternal and the heavenly
Sovereignty and Majesty will stand firm everlasting. Hence in the estimation of
a wise man the mat in the Kingdom of God is preferable to the throne of the
government of the world.
"Continually my ear and eye are turned toward the Central States; perchance a
melody from some blessed souls may reach my ears, souls who are the
dawning-places of the love of God, the stars of the horizon of sanctification
and holiness -- souls who will illumine this dark universe and quicken to life
this dead world. The joy of Abdul Bahá depends upon this! I hope that you may
become confirmed therein.
"Consequently, those souls who are in a condition of the utmost severance,
purified from the defects of the world of nature, sanctified from attachment to
this earth, vivified with the Breaths of Eternal Life-- with luminous hearts,
with heavenly spirit, with attraction of consciousness, with celestial
magnanimity, with eloquent tongues and with clear explanations, -- such souls
must hasten and travel through all parts of the Central States. In every city
and village they must occupy themselves with the diffusion of the
Divine Exhortations and advices, guide the souls and promote the oneness of the
world of humanity. They must play the melody of international conciliation with
such power that every deaf one may attain hearing, every extinct person may be
set aglow, every dead one may obtain new life and every indifferent soul may
find ecstasy. It is certain that such will be the consummation.
"The spreaders of the Fragrances of God recite this prayer every morning:
"O Lord! O Lord!! Praise and thanksgiving be unto Thee for Thou hast guided me
to the Highway of the Kingdom, suffered me to walk in this straight and
far-stretching path, illumined my eye by beholding the lights, made me listen
to the melodies of the birds of holiness from the Kingdom of Mysteries and
attracted my heart with Thy love among the righteous ones.
"O Lord! Confirm me with the Holy Spirit, so that I may call in Thy Name
amongst the nations, and give the Glad-tidings of the manifestation of Thy
Kingdom amongst mankind.
"O Lord! I am weak, strengthen me with Thy Power and Potency. My tongue
falters, suffer me to utter Thy commemoration and praise. I am lonely, endear
me through my entrance into Thy kingdom. I am remote, cause me to approach to
the threshold of Thy Mercifulness.
" O Lord! Make me a brilliant lamp, a shining star and a blessed tree, adorned
with fruits, its branches overshadowing all these regions! Verily Thou art the
Mighty, the Powerful and Unconstrained!
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
Having revealed the above wonderful Tablet for the Central States, the Center
of the Covenant spoke often about the future work of the friends God, and I
have gathered his scattered words into one heavenly rosary. May I be permitted
to present to you this string of pearls?
He said: "In reality the geographical position of the Central States has great
importance, for just as I dictated to you now, it is like the heart of America.
Passengers going East or West, North or South pass through that section.
Similarly, it is a point of connection for the friends of God. The believers in
Chicago must be so enkindled with the Fire of the Love of God and must be so
characterized with the characteristics of unity and agreement, that other
States may learn from them this all-important lesson; that their pure lives and
holy words, their selfless services and deeds may affect the hearts of all the
outsiders. Just as the earth attracts everything to the center of gravity and
every object thrown upward into space will come down; so also material ideas
and worldly thoughts attract man to the center of self. Anger, passion,
ignorance, prejudice, greed, envy, covetousness, jealousy and suspicion prevent
man from ascending to the realms of Holiness, imprisoning him in the claws of
self and the jail of egotism. The physical man, unassisted by Divine Power,
trying to escape from one of these invisible enemies, will fall unconsciously
into the hands of another. No sooner does he attempt to soar upward than the
density of the love of self, like the power of gravity, draws him to the earth.
But the only power that is capable of delivering man from this captivity, is
the power of the Breaths of the Holy Spirit.
The believers in the Central States must through this all-conquering power
free the inhabitants from the claws of self, negligence, lust and imagination.
The attraction of the power of the Holy Spirit is so effective that it keeps
men ever on the path of upward ascension. The malevolent forces of no enemy
will touch those sanctified souls who have made this Universal Power their
guide. With tranquil heart and assured spirit they are flying upward day and
night and are journeying through the illimitable space of the Teachings of
Bahá'o'llah. The believers in America must be like lighthouses, lightships and
searchlights, so that in the tempestuous sea of the world the arks of lives may
reach the haven of security. Each individual Bahá'í must be a life-saver who,
facing the rough waves of the sea, may plunge into the whirlpool and save the
souls from drowning. To sit, to talk, to listen -- there is no virtue in that.
To rise, to act, to help -- that is a Bahá'í life. The sincerity and earnestness
of the friends in the Central States must appear through deeds. Deeds are the
standards! I done all that is necessary. I have drawn for them the plan of God
which must guide them through all the coming years, I have explained to them
the Principles of Bahá'o'llah. Now the promotion of those principles depends
upon their co-operation with each other and their turning their faces to the
Kingdom of Abha. Without walking, a traveller will not reach his destination.
Without working, a poor man will not obtain wealth. Without diving to the
bottom of the sea, a. diver will not gather pearls and corals, and without
going through the lower classes, a student will not be able to take up the
higher courses in sciences and literature. The believers of God, in reality,
display much effort; but this effort must be expended in the right direction. A
sagacious thinker will always perceive the end before he takes up a certain
kind of work. A youth desiring to prepare himself for a medical career must
study those courses which are directly or indirectly connected with his
profession, so that he may become efficient and skilful.
"Consequently, the friends of God must themselves become the fountain heads of
divine characteristics and attributes, and then call others to this exalted
station. They must first be attracted and enkindled, then try to attract and
enkindle others. Let them cleanse their own hearts like unto clear mirrors,
then strive in the purification of the hearts of mankind.
"In brief, I hope that the friends in the Central States may become assisted
in rendering these great services. May they become centers of merciful
susceptibilities and spiritual guides to the Kingdom of Abha! From every
standpoint, ways and means for the teaching of the Cause of God must be
prepared. The question of teaching, like any other question, is evolutionary
and not revolutionary. This matter must become very plain to everyone, so that
all the friends, like so many spirits in one, temple, may arise in the
accomplishment of this great Service.
"When the foundation of the Maskrekol-Azkar is laid in America, and that
divine Edifice is completed, a most wonderful and thrilling motion will appear
in the world of existence. The Maskrekol-Azkar will become the center around
which all these universal Bahá'í activities will be clustered. From that point
of light, the spirit of teaching, spreading the Cause of God and promoting the
Teachings of God will permeate to all parts of the world. I hope that ere long
the foundation of this celestial Temple will be
laid -- thus it may become conducive to the happiness of the heart of Abdul
"All the inhabitants of the world are in these days engaged in warfare and
strife, but the friends of God are striving with heart and soul to lay the
basis of this Palace of the Kingdom, so that the call of prayers and
supplications may ascend to the heights of heaven. The flowers of material and
divine civilization shall grow in the Mashrekol-Azkar perfuming the nostrils
with the fragrance of Truth. Its doors will be open before the faces of all
nations, religions and sects. Whosoever enters therein is welcomed. Bahá'o'llah
is the Universal Shepherd. All mankind are His sheep, and the adherents of all
religions are welcomed in the Maskrokel-Azkar to worship the Father of all
humanity with perfect freedom and reverence and obedience.
"Likewise, great importance must be given to the development of the STAR OF
THE WEST . The circle of its discussion must be widened; in its columns must be
published the essential problems pertaining to the Bahá'í life in all its
phases. Its contents must be so universal that even the strangers may subscribe
to it. Articles must be published, dealing with the universal principles of the
Cause, the writers proving that this Cause takes a vital interest in all the
social and religious movements of the age and is conducive to the progress of
the world and its inhabitants. In short, the STAR OF THE WEST must promote the
aspirations and the ideals that will gather little by little around these
general Tablets, bringing into the light of the day all the historical,
religious and racial knowledge which will be of the utmost value to the Bahá'í
teachers all over the world.
"In a similar manner, the scope of the Bahá'í Publishing Society must be
greatly enlarged, so that books and pamphlets may be translated into different
languages and published. These short pamphlets and historical reviews, giving
the proofs and arguments of the Cause, must be written in accordance with the
intellectual and spiritual capacity of each people. In short, for the diffusion
of the Fragrances of God the friends must think of detailed ways and means and
year by year add to their efficiency, practicality and thoroughness. They must
organize classes for teaching the young and preparing teachers to go to all
parts of America. God willing, the believers like unto bright candles will
illumine the assemblage of the world of humanity with the Light of Truth."
Having given you the message of Abdul Bahá, I will now chant the Commune
revealed at the end of the Tablet to the Central States. I have chanted it many
times in the Tomb of Bahá'o'llah, in the Presence of the Master, and all over
Mt. Carmel. And after my chanting, Rouhieh Jones and Jeffrey Parsons will come
forward and unveil this great Spiritual Charter, so that all of its may see
with our own eyes the work of the Master Architect of the World.
THE UNVEILING OF THE DIVINE PLAN
"Arise thou amongst the people in the Name of this Incomparable Cause. Then
summon the nations to God, the Most High, the Most Exalted!" -- Bahá'o'llah.
"Conquer the cities of the hearts with this most great Name, and be thou a
herald of this Call amongst all nations!" -- Bahá'o'llah.
The mission of every Bahá'í in this world is to promote to the extent of his
ability the Idea of God, the Idea of Beauty, the Idea of Right, the Idea of
Justice and the Idea of Virtue. For the world of Ideals is a world of reality.
Once I begin to hold the Idea of goodness within my mind, speak about it and
banish all those tendencies which lead to evil, I create an atmosphere around
myself that is bound to tell on my character. Now in this age and cycle the
Idea of God, the Idea of Divine Morality, is almost forgotten. The advancing
forces of material civilization have banished from the consciences of millions
of men and women the Idea of God. They are daily breathing the air of the Idea
of man, and live and have their beings according to the exigencies of the
animal kingdom. The concept of God is a deep reality to them no more. It does
not stir their hearts nor influence their minds. The world of sense and reason
is the only criterion with which every proposition is tested and weighed.
Tennyson, in his Ode on the death of the Duke of Wellington, said:
"On God and God-like men we build our trust."
That was in his day, but in our day we are doing nothing of the kind. We do
not build our trust on God because we have lost the sense of His holy Presence.
We do not follow the exhortations of God-like men because our insight is so
blurred with material things that we do not seem to see anything else except
gross matter. Spirit, God, Truth, Love, have no meaning in our cars. We live a
life of selfishness, we aspire after no higher realm, we are satisfied with
water and clay, the appetites of the flesh satisfy us completely, we crave for
no spiritual light, we yearn after no heavenly gift. Complacent and
self-satisfied, we strut about as though we possessed the whole world, and yet
spiritually we are poverty-stricken. We think of the rustic chatter of our
village as the great wave that echoes round the world. We have banished God
from our midst and cherish an illusion in our breasts.
Now the mission of the Revelation of Bahá'o'llah is to recover for us this
lost vision, to lead us back again into the sanctuary of holiness, to enkindle
anew the Fire of the Love of God, to consume the veils of superstitions and
imaginations, and to fill the hearts with the how Ideals of God, Love, Beauty,
Constancy and Happiness as portrayed in the Writings of Bahá'o'llah and Abdul
This means that we are called upon to solve some of the most crucial problems
of this age. In order to render this service, we must not lag behind,
but be in the vanguard of the forces of this new Ideal Civilization. We must
universalize our aims, spiritualize our thoughts, renew our beings, exalt our
ambitions and dedicate ourselves to the service of humanity. We must become
fully conscious that all past efforts and services in comparison to the efforts
that we have to make after this Convention have been pastimes and child's play.
Abdul Bahá summons us to a brilliant height, the contemplation of which dazzles
the mind and overpowers the heart. If we desire to put in execution his great
plan, we must rise to his full stature, be imbued with his enthusiasm and drink
from the chalice of his love. We must walk in his footsteps, live his life, be
intoxicated with his wine and be filled with his spirit. We must be humble
before his presence and obedient to his will. His kindness and forgiveness must
teach us many valuable lessons, and his catholicity and simplicity inspire us
to follow his example. Looking upon myself, I see how little I have really
learned from my divine Beloved. Although I have lived with him for nearly eight
years, yet I have not been able to master even the Alphabet of the Bahá'í Life.
Often my temper gets the better of me. Now if I am living in this condition,
how am I going to teach self-control to another? If I am always trying to find
the faults of my brother, how am I entitled to be called a Bahá'í? And whenever
I am in this mood, I think of these lines:
"And yet we cannot be kind to each other here for an hour:
We whisper, and hint and chuckle and grin at a brother's shame.
However we brave it out
We men are a little breed."
Abdul Bahá teaches us that the Cause of the Blessed Perfection is the solution
of all modern problems, and for this reason he calls upon us to arise and teach
this wonderful Revelation to all men. Thus it was that oil Saturday morning,
April 1, 1916, while living in Bahjee, he revealed a beautiful Tablet to the
friends of God in the eleven Western States, enjoining upon them to arise and
teach the Cause in all those parts. The translation of that Tablet is as
"To the believers of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful in the Western
He is God
"O ye sons and daughters of the Kingdom!
"Day and night I have no other occupation than the remembrance of the friends,
praying from the depth of my heart in their behalf, begging for them
confirmation from the Kingdom of God and supplicating the direct effect of the
breaths of the Holy Spirit. I am hopeful from the favors of His Highness the
Lord of Bestowals, that the friends of God during such a time may become the
secret cause of the illumination of the hearts of humanity, breathing the
breath of life upon the spirits -- whose praiseworthy results may become
conducive to the glory and exaltation of humankind throughout all eternity.
Although in some of the Western States, like California, Oregon, Washington and
Colorado, the fragrances of holiness are diffused, numerous souls have taken a
share and a portion from the Fountain of Everlasting Life, they have obtained
heavenly benediction, have drunk an overflowing
cup from the wine of the love of God and have hearkened to the melody of the
Supreme Concourse -- yet in the States of New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho,
Utah, Arizona and Nevada, the lamp of the love of God is not ignited in a
befitting and behooving manner, and the call of the Kingdom of God has not been
raised. Now, if it is possible, show ye an effort in this direction. Either
travel yourselves, personally, throughout those States or choose others and
send them, so that they may teach the souls. For the present those States are
like unto dead bodies: they must breathe into them the breath of life and
bestow upon them a heavenly spirit. Like unto the stars they must shine in that
horizon and thus the rays of the Sun of Reality may also illumine those
"God says in the great Koran 'Verily God is the helper of those who have
believed. He will lead them from darkness into light.' This means: God loves
the believers, consequently He will deliver them from darkness and bring them
into the world of light.
"It is also recorded in the blessed Gospel: Travel ye throughout the world and
call ye the people to the Kingdom of God. Now this is the time that you may
arise and perform this most great service and become the cause of the guidance
of the innumerable souls. Thus through this superhuman service the rays of
peace and conciliation may illumine and enlighten all the regions and the world
of humanity may find peace and composure.
"During my stay in America I cried out in every meeting and summoned the
people to the propagation of the ideals of universal peace. I said plainly that
the continent of Europe had become like unto an arsenal and its conflagration
was dependent upon one spark, and that in the coming years or within two years,
all that which is recorded in the Revelation of John and the Book of Daniel
would become fulfilled and come to pass. This matter, in all probability, was
published in the San Francisco BULLETIN, October 12, 1912. You may refer to it,
so that the truth may become clear and manifest; thus ye may fully realize that
this is the time for the diffusion of the fragrances.
"The magnanimity of man must be heavenly -- or, in other words, it must be
assisted by the divine confirmation, so that he may become the cause of the
illumination of the world of humanity.
"Upon ye be greeting and praise.
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
When the believers in the Western States received the above instructions, they
all arose to fulfill them, and I believe much preliminary teaching has been
accomplished during the past three years. But now I bring to them another
wonderful Tablet, another Magna Charta, embodying new pictures of the Kingdom
and inciting them to continue their work with greater faith and hope. This
Second Tablet was revealed on Thursday night, February 15, 1917, in the room of
Bahá'o'llah, in Acca. Many believers were present, and the rain was pouring
down like a torrent. When he came to the end of the Tablet, he looked out of
the window and then turned, saying: "I pray that the heavenly Bounties may
descend upon the Western States like this rain." And now let us for a few
moments listen attentively to the translation of this Tablet:
"To the believers of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful in the Western
States of the United States: New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, California,
Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah. Upon them be Bahá'o'llah El
He is God!
"O ye friends and the maid-servants of the Merciful, the chosen ones of
"The blessed State of California bears the utmost similarity to the Holy Land
that is, the country of Palestine. The air is in the utmost temperance, the
plain very spacious, and the fruits of Palestine are seen in that State in the
utmost of freshness and delicacy. When Abdul Bahá was traveling and journeying
through those States, he found himself in Palestine, for from every standpoint
there was a perfect likeness between this region and that State. Even the
shores of the Pacific Ocean, in some instances, show perfect resemblance to the
shores of the Holy Land -- and even the flora of the Holy Land have grown on
those shores -- the study of which has led to much speculation and wonder.
"Likewise in the State of California and other Western States, wonderful
scenes of the world of nature, which bewilder the minds of men, are manifest.
Lofty mountains, deep canyons, great and majestic waterfalls, and giant. trees
are witnessed on all sides, while its soil is in the utmost fertility and
richness. That blessed State is similar to the Holy Land and that region and
that country like unto a delectable paradise, in many ways identical with
Palestine. Now just as there are natural resemblances, heavenly resemblances
must also be acquired.
"The lights of the Divine Traces are manifest in Palestine. The majority of
the Israelitish Prophets raised the call of the Kingdom of God in this holy
ground. Having spread the spiritual Teachings, the nostrils of the spiritually
minded ones became fragrant, the eyes of the illumined souls become brightened,
the ears were thrilled through this song, the hearts obtained eternal life from
the soul-refreshing breeze of the Kingdom of God and gained supreme
illumination from the splendor of the Sun of Reality. Then from this region the
light was spread to Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Australia.
"Now California and the other Western States must earn an ideal similarity
with the Holy Land, and from that State and that region the Breaths of the Holy
Spirit be diffused to all parts of America and Europe, that the Call of the
Kingdom of God may exhilarate and rejoice all the cars, the Divine Principles
bestow a new life, the different parties may become one party, the divergent
ideas may disappear and revolve around one unique center, the East and the West
of America may embrace each other, the anthem of the oneness of the world of
humanity may confer a new life upon all the children of men, and the Tabernacle
of Universal Peace be pitched on the Apex of America; -- thus Europe and Africa
may become vivified with the Breaths of the Holy Spirit, this world may become
another world, the body politic may attain to a new exhilaration, and just as
in the State of California and other
Western States the marvellous scenes of the world of nature are evident and
manifest, the great Signs of the Kingdom of God may also be unveiled; -- so
that the body may correspond with the Spirit, the outward world may become a
symbol of the inward world, and the mirror of the earth may become the mirror
of the Kingdom, reflecting the ideal virtues of Heaven.
"During my journey and traveling in those parts, I behold wonderful scenes and
beautiful panoramas of nature, orchards and rivers; national parks and general
conclaves; deserts, plains, meadows and prairies, and the grains and fruits of
that region greatly attracted my attention; even to the present moment they are
in my mind.
"Particularly was I greatly pleased with the meetings in San Francisco and
Oakland, the gatherings in Los Angeles, and the believers who came from the
cities of other States. Whenever their faces cross my memory, immediately
infinite happiness is realized.
"Therefore I hope that the Divine Teachings like unto the rays of the sun may
be diffused in all the Western States, and the blessed Verse of the Koran: "It
is a good City and the Lord is the Forgiver!' may become realized. Likewise,
the significance of another Koranic Verse: 'Do ye not travel through the land
and behold the traces of the Morey of God?' become revealed in the utmost
"Praise be to God that through the Divine Bounty and Providence, in that
region the field of service is vast, the minds are in the utmost degree of
intelligence and progress, sciences and arts are being promoted, the hearts
like unto mirrors are in the utmost state of purity and translucency, and the
friends of God are in perfect attraction. Therefore it is hoped that meetings
of teaching will be organized and instituted, and for the diffusion of the
Fragrances of God wise teachers may be sent to cities, even to villages.
"The teachers of the Cause must be heavenly, lordly and radiant. They must be
embodied spirit, personified intellect, and arise in service with the utmost
firmness, steadfastness and self-sacrifice. In their journeys they must not be
attached to food and clothing. They must concentrate their thoughts on the
outpourings of the Kingdom of God and beg for the Confirmations of the Holy
Spirit. With a divine power, with an attraction of consciousness, with heavenly
glad-tidings and celestial holiness they must perfume the nostrils with the
Fragrances of the Paradise of Abha.
"The following Commune is to be read by them every day:
"O God! O God! This is a broken-winged bird and his flight is very slow --
assist him so that he may fly toward the apex of prosperity and salvation, wing
his way with the utmost joy and happiness throughout the illimitable space,
raise his melody in Thy Supreme Name in all the regions, exhilarate the cars
with this Call, and brighten the eyes by beholding the Signs of Guidance!
"O Lord! I am single, alone and lowly. For me there is no support save Thee,
no helper except Thee and no sustainer beside Thee. Confirm me in Thy Service,
assist me with the Cohorts of Thy angels, make me victorious in the promotion
of Thy Word and suffer me to speak out Thy Wisdom
amongst Thy creatures. Verily, Thou art the custodian of the poor and the
Defender of the little ones, and verily Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty and
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
When the original of the above Tablet was corrected the next morning by Abdul
Bahá, he, handed it to me and slapped me hard on both my cheeks, laughing
heartily, saying: "It is very good. It sticks. This was thy wage for today in
writing over that Tablet. Now let us go and take a walk in the streets of
Acca." As he walked along the narrow lanes, he turned his face to me and said:
"Speak!" The contents of the Western Tablet being fresh in my mind, I related
to the Master how in 1848 gold was discovered in the stream gravels of California, and how when the news was spread, tens of
thousands of persons in the Eastern States left farms, factories and homes in a
mad rush for the gold fields, and how many thousands died on the way before
reaching their goal. The Beloved thought for awhile, and then said: "Consider
how men, in order to gain wealth and honor, threw themselves in the midst of
all kinds of danger! How cheerfully they accepted all these extraordinary
hardships, left homes and factories and travelled thousands of miles through
deserts and over mountains, in order to reach the gold mines! But now in this
day the mines of the Kingdom of Abha are being discovered, and the precious
Jewels of the Spirit are exposed. These mines are inexhaustible. The more they
dig the greater will be the output of the ideal precious gems, silver, gold and
diamonds. The believers of the Western States must find their way from these
earthly mines to the spiritual mines. They must realize how their forefathers,
in order to obtain gold, underwent the most incredible adversities, exposed
their lives to danger and accepted all the difficulties with a firm resolution.
The friends also, in order to guide the souls, to promote the Word of God, to
discover the unseen treasures of the Kingdom, and to prospect the invisible
mines of the Realm of Might, must be willing to undergo ally difficulty, so
that they may achieve greater results and enrich the world with the boundless
wealth of Truth. To the friends of the Western States, the self-sacrifice of
the old pioneers and the patient gold-diggers must serve as a great example of
perseverance. The mines of the Kingdom of Abha and their precious jewels are
the praiseworthy attributes and characteristics. These divine perfections are
hidden from the sight of men. The believers of God must by day and by night
strive in their exposition;-- so that their luster and brilliancy may increase.
The material mines make man independent during his earthly life, but the mines
of the Kingdom of Abha will enrich him throughout all eternity, and deliver him
from crudeness, ignorance and poverty. The Western friends must become laborers
in these great, spiritual mines, and fill the markets of the world with the
gold and silver of the Kingdom of Righteousness. For every head they must make
a heavenly crown of self-sacrifice; for every neck a necklace studded with the
scintillating jewels of humility; for every ear an earring of Truth in
obedience; for every hand a bracelet of universal service, and for every finger
a ring or sympathy; -- so that the wonders and beauty of the world of the
Kingdom may encircle the globe."
Another day I spoke to the Master, while he was coming out from the Tomb of
Bahá'o'llah, about the system of irrigation in Southern California, and how the
waste and barren deserts are turned into a paradise of flowers, fruit trees and
sweet homes. He quickly turned to me and said: "When thou travellest in those
parts, tell the people: The Heavenly Irrigator appeared 70 years ago in Persia
and taught His disciples how to flood the dry fields of the hearts. Through His
Knowledge and Inspiration they were enabled to transform the waste, deserts of
the minds and souls into the luxuriant gardens in which the rivers of light are
flowing from the inaccessible Mountains of God.
"Now O ye friends of the Western States, just as your Government is spending
extraordinary effort and money in the matter of irrigation, building dams on
the tablelands to save the winter rain, so that the valleys, the plains and the
orchards may be flooded during the Summer season, --you must also exert
yourselves in the irrigation of the hearts of men. Learn ye perseverance from
your Universal Teacher, Bahá'o'llah, who was not disheartened by any obstacle
from irrigating the hearts of humanity. Kings and nations arose against Him,
and banished Him to distant lands and countries. Nevertheless, whenever He
entered a new place, fearlessly He occupied His time in the spiritual
irrigation and the sowing of the seeds of knowledge and wisdom in the prepared
fields of Spirit. Through His tender care the wildernesses were changed into
rose gardens, the sad hearts were made happy, the sleepy ones were awakened,
and the weak ones strengthened. Irrigation! This is the real and permanent
irrigation of the Lord! One drop from this water will allay the thirst of all
mankind, suffering the fields of all hearts to become green and luxuriant
throughout all eternity. If the ground of the spirit is flooded with this pure
water, it will not be followed by any drought; its flowers will never fade and
its freshness never pass away. I hope that the Western friends may become the
spiritual irrigators of the Kingdom, allay the thirst of the thirsty ones and
let the waters of Divine Knowledge, the Ideal of the Fatherhood of God and the
brotherhood of man, flood the world of humanity."
I will now bring this talk to a close with the reproduction of another Word of
my Beloved. Many days later, while I was following him through his garden in
Haifa, he again asked me to speak. I talked about the wonderful natural scenes
in the Western States. I dwelt on the hot geysers of Yellowstone Park, the
wonderful waterfalls or the Yosemite Valley and the strangely formed cliffs of
the Grand Canyons of Colorado. I spoke about the wooded valleys, the
snow-capped mountains, the wonderful bursting springs, the shimmering lakes,
the granite peaks, and the giant trees. The Master always made a big capital
about my love for America, and laughed at my enthusiasm in half-earnest,
half-joking manner. Then he said: "Why didst thou not tell me about these
wonderful things when we were travelling in America? Now that we are living so
faraway, thou comest to me with such fairy tales, praising America to such an
extent as though God has not created another country in the world!" Then he
became serious, and said: "All these majestic scenes of nature, in reality,
prove the greatness of the Creator and the antiquity of the world. This globe
is indeed millions of years old, and its Creator has had no beginning and will
have no ending. He has been,
is and will be the Alpha and Omega. A creator presupposes creatures, just as
light presupposes the existence of the sun.
"Now just as these wonderful scenes of the world of nature are witnessed in all
the Western States, I hope the rare signs and traces of the Kingdom of Abha may
also become incarnated and personified; such souls may appear from these States
w ho will be considered the wonders of the age and the geniuses of the time;
from their services infinite results may become manifest in the world of
existence; their words be penetrative, the trees of their lives fruitful, each
one a Flag of the victory of the Cause of God and a column of light to guide
the wanderers to the Religion of God. Then the nether world will attract and in
turn reflect the virtues of the world of the Kingdom. Within the short space of
our lives or the lives of generations, very little changes will come over these
natural scenes and no practical results are witnessed from their mineral lives.
But the life and teachings of a single human wonder transforms the whole world.
Columbus was a genius in his time. Consider what world-encircling results
appeared from his voyage of discovery! Copernicus, Kepler, Laplace and Newton
were all geniuses, and their contributions have made them benefactors The
inventors and discoverers of telegraphy, telephony, electricity, wireless,
etc., have all, through their distinguished labors and discoveries made man a
monarch over the laws of Nature, broadened his vision and freed him from the
lower, miserable life of the savage, ever fighting with the beasts of the
jungle in order to satisfy his bare wants.
"This is, of course, in the material world. But if we concentrate our
attention on the spiritual world and the rich results issuing therefrom, we
observe that through the Teachings of Christ and the self-sacrifice of His
disciples, Europe and America were adorned with the bright jewels of divine
civilization, ferocious characters were refined and the love of humanity
"In a similar manner in the Bahá'í Cause, there must appear extraordinary
spiritual geniuses, wonders of the Kingdom of God, souls who in knowledge,
sciences, sociability, tenderness, loving kindness, universality, joyfulness,
may be considered unique and peerless. Should such heavenly beings appear in
the Western States, the power and the creative energy of the kingdom of Abha
will become manifest and apparent: Souls who have discovered their ways to the
mines of the Kingdom; souls who are the irrigators of the grounds of the hearts
of humanity; souls who are the wonders of the realm of Truth. Then and not
until then will the spiritual creation of the Almighty become perfected in
those States; the miracles of the transforming power of the Spirit embodied,
the Mysteries of the Holy Books be revealed and the golden age of peace and
brotherhood be established."
We all know that the Western States are thinly settled; that the population of
these eleven states is only about seven million, while that of the Northeastern
and Southern States together is over fifty million. Still, everyone realizes
that the West is the seat of a mighty, virile civilization, that the
possibilities of its development are unlimited and with this important idea in
mind, and with a clear realization of all the wonderful promises of the Center
of the Covenant of God regarding the future of that country, I ask Miss Lenore
Powell and Miss Katherine Nourse to come forward and unveil the great Tablet
of the West, and then I will chant for you the Supplication revealed by Abdul
Bahá for the teachers who are going to arise after this Convention to carry the
light of love and peace to every corner of that spacious land.
THE UNVEILING OF THE DIVINE PLAN
Bahá'o'llah says, in the Appendix of the Book of Akdas:
"Proclaim! Verily the Water of Life is the Love of the Merciful in the
contingent world! Blessed is he who seizing it, drinks thereof in My Name, the
Mighty, the Wonderful!"
In another place, He says:
"Sell everything save My Love! I declare by God all the wealth on the face of
the earth and all the treasures of the world are not equal to it. Preserve thou
the Pearl of the Love of the Merciful in thy heart."
In the world of existence, there is no greater bounty than Love. God is Love;
His Will is Love and His Word is Love. All the Manifestations of God have come
into this world to create Love amongst mankind. Love is the universal law of
attraction that binds all the heavenly Constellations in the harmonious bond of
a sidereal system. Without Love there will be no light and no life. Love is the
sweet breeze of the young dawn, wafting from the direction of the rose-garden
of Beauty, over the newly-awakened heart. Love is the clear Water of Life that
gushes forth front the fountain of the pure hearts, to flood the dry, black
soil of strangeness, causing the springing up of the fresh roses of adoration
and the modest violets of attachment. There are various degrees of love; the
love of the animal for its young, the love of the mother for her child, the
love of the divine teacher for his followers, and the love of God for His
creatures. The love that is permanent and everlasting is the love of the
Manifestation for His believers; the love of God for all mankind. It is this
love that Bahá'o'llah tells us is the "Water of Life," the source of all beings
and the joy of all minds. When the fragrant roses of this Love bloom in the
garden of the heart, one dedicates his whole life to the service of humanity,
and forgetting self, rises toward the empyrean realm of renunciation. Our
Heavenly Teacher, Abdul Bahá, teaches us daily the law of this love, and
invites us to drink from this overflowing Cup of the Love of God; -- so that we
may lose all our lower ambitions and be enamored with the Beauty of the
Beloved. It is this love that enshrines vestal thoughts in the translucent
fanes of a pure Spirit. It is this love that once balanced on the lightsome
wings of the Bird of the Paradise of Abha, suffers us to soar toward the palace
of high emprise! It is the magic power of this love that immerses our beings in
the rich, roseate foreshadowings of the world! It is this love that makes the
face rosy-kindled with the light of divine inspiration!
With this love we surmount every difficulty, rise over every obstruction and
although living in the cell, our hearts are in the homes of the nightingales of
With the power of this love Moses delivered the Israelites from the lands of
Pharoah and brought them into the Land of Promise.
With the light of this love Zoroaster taught the ancient Persians the unity of
God and the efficacy of the rays of the Sun of Truth.
With the magic of this love, Christ made the humble fishermen of Galilee, the
vivifiers of the world.
With the strength of this love, Mohammed freed the ignorant tribes of the
Peninsular Arabia from polytheism and cruel rites. With the sweetness of this
love the youth of Shiraz, the Bab, proclaimed the dawn of a new day and the
coming of a new divine Springtime. With the majesty of this love Bahá'o'llah
announced the oneness of the world of humanity and the passing away of the old
order, and sent His Great Tablets from behind the prison bars to the Kings of
the earth, summoning them to partake of the Heavenly Banquet and usher in the
era of Universal Peace and the establishment of a universal arbitral Court of
With the vigor of this Love, Abdul Bahá, the Center of the Covenant, has been
serving all through life the poor and the fallen, the downtrodden and the
outcast. I can hear him in my mind even now, talking, as he often talks, on the
wonder and heavenliness of this Love. Love is Light. Love is Life. Love is
Truth. Love is a crown studded with brilliant jewels. Love is the imperishable
rose. Love is the boundless sea. Love is the fruitful tree. Love is the world
illuminating sun. Love is the rain of Mercy pouring from the Clouds of
Sublimity. Love is action and not words. The love of this age is not individual
but social, human and divine.
And now, my dear friends, it is to this height of spiritual, impersonal love
that Abdul Bahá calls the friends of Canada. It was for the promotion of the
attar of this love amongst the six millions or more inhabitants of Canada that
he sent three years ago his first call to arise and teach the Cause in that
country. That Tablet was revealed on Wednesday morning, April 5th, 1916, in the
garden of the Blessed Tomb of Bahá'o'llah at Bahjee, and in order to remind
ourselves of its significant contents, I read it to you:
"To the believers of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful in the
Provinces of the Dominion of Canada:
He is God!
"0 ye daughters and sons of the Kingdom!
"Although in most of the states and cities of the United States -- praise be
to God -- the fragrances of God are diffused and innumerable souls are turning
their faces and advancing toward the Kingdom of God, yet in some of the states
the flag of oneness is not upraised as it ought to be and must be, and the
mysteries of the Holy Books, like the Bible, the Gospel and the Koran, are not
promulgated. Through the unanimous effort of the friends, the banner of oneness
must be unfurled in those states, and the divine teachings be promoted, so that
they may also receive a portion and a share of the heavenly bestowals and the
most great guidance. Likewise in the Provinces of Canada, such as Newfoundland,
Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New
Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia,
Ungava, Keewatin, Mackenzie, Yukon and the Franklin Islands in the Arctic
Circle -- the believers of God must become self-sacrificing and like unto the
candles of guidance become ignited in the provinces of Canada. Should they show
forth such a magnanimity, it is assured that they Will obtain universal divine
confirmations, the heavenly cohorts will reinforce them uninterruptedly, and a
most great victory Will be obtained. Perchance, God Willing, the call of the
Kingdom, may reach the ears of the Eskimos, the inhabitants of the Islands of
Franklin in the north of Canada, as well as Greenland. Should in Greenland the
fire of the love of God be ignited, all the ices of that continent will be
melted and its frigid climate will be changed into a temperate climate -- that
is, if the hearts will obtain the heat of the love of God, that country and
continent will become a divine garden and a lordly orchard, and the souls, like
unto the fruitful trees, will obtain the utmost freshness and delicacy.
Magnanimity is necessary, heavenly exertion is called for. Should you display
an effort, so that the fragrances of God be diffused amongst the Eskimos, its
effect will be very great and far-reaching. God says in the great Koran: "A day
will come wherein the lights of unity will enlighten all the world. The earth
will be irradiated with the light of its Lord." In other words: "The earth will
become illumined with the light of God. That light is the light of unity."
"There is no God but God." The continent and the islands of Eskimos are also
parts of this earth. They must similarly receive a portion of the bestowals of
the most great guidance. "Upon ye be greeting and praise!
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
At that time, the above Tablet of instruction was mailed to our dear sister,
Mrs. May Maxwell, and although the last three years have been years of war and
confusion, a good foundation has been laid for further work in the immediate
future, which everyone hopes will be taken up with much zeal after this great
Convention. But in order to gain a clearer comprehension of how the Beloved
Abdul Bahá looks upon Canada and its future, and what should be the
characteristics of those teachers who shall arise to teach and promote the Word
of God, I am going to read to you the translation of the second Tablet,
revealed for the Canadian friends on Wednesday, February 21st 1917, in the room
of Bahá'o'llah in Acca:
"To the believers of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful in the Dominion
of Canada, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick,
Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba. Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon,
Mackenzie, Keevateen, Ungava, Franklin Islands and Greenland:
"Upon them be Bahá'o'llah El Abha!
He is God!
"O ye kind friends and the maid-servants of the Merciful!
"In the great Koran, God says: 'Thou shalt see no difference in the creatures
of God.' In other words, He says: From the ideal standpoint, there is no
variation between the creatures of God, because they are all
created by Him. From the above promise, a conclusion is drawn, that there is
even no difference between the various countries; nevertheless the future of
the Dominion of Canada is very great, and its historical events infinitely
glorious. Thus it shall become the object of the Glance of Providence and the
manifestation Of the Favors of the Supreme Lord.
"Abdul Bahá during his journey and sojourn through that Dominion obtained the
utmost joy. Before- my departure, many souls warned me not to travel to
Montreal, saying, the majority of the inhabitants are Catholics, and are in the
utmost fanaticism, that they are submerged in the sea of imitations, that they
have not the capability to hearken to the Call of the Kingdom of God that the
veil of bigotry has so covered the eyes that they have deprived themselves from
beholding the signs of the Most Great Guidance, and that the dogmas have taken
possession of the hearts entirely, leaving no trace of Reality. They asserted
that should the Sun of Reality shine with perfect splendor, through that
Dominion, the dark, impenetrable clouds of superstitions have so enveloped the
horizon that it would be utterly impossible for anyone to behold Its rays.
"But these stories did not have any effect on the resolution of Abdul Bahá.
He, trusting in God, turned his face toward Montreal. When he entered that city
he observed all the doors open, he found the hearts in the utmost receptivity
and the ideal power of the Kingdom of God removing every obstacle and
obstruction. In the churches and meetings of that Dominion he called men to the
Kingdom of God with the utmost joy, and scattered such seeds which will be
irrigated with the hand of Divine Power. Undoubtedly those seeds will grow,
becoming green and verdant, and many rich harvests will be gathered. In the
promotion of the Divine Principle he found no antagonist and no adversary. The
believers he met in that city were in the utmost spirituality, and attracted
with the Fragrances of God. He found that through the effort of the
maid-servant of God, Mrs. Maxwell, a number of the sons and daughters of the
Kingdom in that Dominion were gathered together and associated with each other,
increasing this joyous exhilaration day by day. The time of sojourn was limited
to a number of days, but the results in the future are inexhaustible. When a
farmer comes into the possession of a virgin soil, in a short time he will
bring under cultivation a large field. Therefore I hope that in the future
Montreal may become so stirred, that the Melody of the Kingdom may travel to
all parts of the world from that Dominion and the Breaths of the Holy Spirit
may spread from that center to the East and the West of America.
"O ye believers of God! Do ye not look upon the smallness of your number and
the multitudes of the nation. Five grains of wheat will be endued with heavenly
blessing whereas a thousand tons of tares will yield no results or effect. One
fruitful tree will be conducive to the life of society, whereas a thousand
forests of wild trees offer no fruits. The plain is covered with pebbles, but
precious stones are rare. One pearl is better than a thousand wildernesses of
sand; especially this Pearl of Great Price, which is endowed with Divine
Blessing. Ere long thousands of other pearls will be born from It. When that
Pearl associates and becomes the intimate of the pebbles, they also all change
"Therefore, again I repeat, that the future of Canada, whether from the
Standpoint of civilization or from the viewpoint of the virtues of the Kingdom
is very great. Day by day civilization and freedom shall increase. Likewise the
cloud of the Kingdom will water the seeds of guidance sown in that Dominion.
Consequently, rest ye not, seek ye no composure, attach not yourselves to the
luxuries of this ephemeral world, free yourselves from every attachment, and
strive with heart and sold to become fully established in the Kingdom of God.
Gain ye the heavenly treasures. Day by day become ye more illumined. Draw ye
nearer and nearer unto the Threshold of Oneness. Become ye the manifestors of
spiritual favors and the dawning-places of infinite lights! If it is possible,
send ye teachers to other portions of Canada, likewise dispatch ye teachers to
Greenland and the home of the Eskimos.
"As regards the teachers, they must completely divest themselves from the old
garments and he invested with a new garment. According to the statement of
Christ, they must attain to the station of rebirth: -- that is, whereas in the
first instance they were born from the womb of the mother, this time they must
be born from the womb f the world of nature. Just as they are now totally
unaware or the experiences of the foetal world, they must also forget entirely
the defects of the world of nature. They must be baptized with the Water of
Life, the Fire of the Love of God and the Breaths of the Holy Spirit; be
satisfied with little food, but take it large portion from the heavenly table.
They must disengage themselves from temptation and covetousness, and be filled
with the spirit. Through the effect of their pure breath, they must change the
stone into the brilliant ruby and the shell into pearl. Like unto the cloud of
vernal shower, they must transform the black soil into the rose-garden and
orchard. They must make the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, the extinguished
one enkindled and set aglow, and the dead quickened.
"Upon ye be Bahá'o'llah El Abha!
"The Spreaders of the Fragrances of God should peruse every morning the
"Praise be to Thee, O God! Verily these are Thy servants, who are attracted by
the Fragrances of Thy Mercifulness, enkindled by the ignited Fire in the Tree
of Thy Singleness and their eyes are brightened by beholding the effulgences of
the Light in the Sinai of Thy Oneness!
"O Lord! Loosen their tongues in Thy commemoration amongst Thy people; suffer
them to speak Thy Praise through Thy Favor and Grace, assist them with the
cohorts of Thy Angels, strengthen their loins in Thy service and make them the
signs of Thy Guidance amongst Thy creatures!
"Verily Thou art the Powerful, the Exalted, the Pardoner and the Merciful!
"O God! O God! Thou beholdest this weak one begging the strength of Thy
Kingdom! This poor one supplicating the Treasures of Thy heaven! This thirsty
one longing for Thy Fountain of the Water of Eternal Life! This sick one
invoking Thy perfect recovery through Thy Boundless Mercy, which Thou hast
especialized for Thy chosen servants in Thy Supreme Kingdom!
"O Lord! I have no other helper save Thee; no other Comforter beside Thee, and
no other Sustainer except Thee! Assist me with Thy Angels in
the diffusion of Thy Holy Fragrances and the dissemination of Thy Teachings
amongst Thy elected people!
"O Lord! Suffer me to sever myself from aught else save Thee, holding fast to
the Hem of Thy Garment; make me sincere in Thy Religion, firm in Thy Love and
living in accordance with that which Thou hast commanded me in Thy Book.
"Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty and the Omnipotent!
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
I wish I could adorn the above wonderful Epistle with all the beautiful things
the Master said about Canada on various occasions. I have gathered together for
the present only a few of these private talks, and will share them with you.
He said; "Canada is indeed a spacious country, almost as large as a Continent
and her future is most brilliant. I love very m Licit that Dominion, especially
the city of Montreal. While there, we spent some of the most beautiful days of
our lives. Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell entertained us with the utmost hospitality. We
associated and became intimate with the friends of God. There is need for a
number of holy, sanctified, loyal, magnanimous and devoted teachers for that
Dominion; -- so that for some time they may travel front Province to Province.
God willing, this shall come to pass. The believers in those parts must so live
that all the inhabitants may point to them as examples of purity and
loving-kindness. In charitable deeds and praiseworthy qualities they must
precede all others. In Teaching the Cause of God they must demonstrate
self-sacrifice. In all these Provinces they must raise the Call of the Kingdom
of God. Like unto the warbling nightingales of the rose-garden, they must at
every hour communicate the secrets and mysteries of their Love with the beauty
of the rose. In expressing their heaven-born love, they must rend asunder all
the veils of patience. Every day they must sing a new soul-entrancing melody
and break out into rapturous songs of happiness. Is there any greater blessing
for man than this? To spend his life in the diffusion of the Fragrances of God
and the promotion of the Love of God. Day by day they must advance toward the
Palace of progress and try to solve the most intricate problems of the age.
They must decorate the walls of the mansions of their reasons with the artistic
pictures of the great ideals of the thinkers of the world, and at every hour of
the day radiate joy and interpenetrate the lives of others with divine ecstasy.
To advance always, to achieve some new service every day, and to widen the
horizon of intellect every hour -- these three rules must become part of the
program of their lives. With steadfast resolution and firm feet they must stand
before every difficulty and make every trial a stepping stone for a higher
attainment. Undoubtedly such souls will at last crown their heads with the
diadem of eternal success and prosperity, and become honored and respected
amongst all their contemporaries.
"The believers of Canada, with a magnanimous effort and strong heart, must
remove every obstruction from the path of the promotion of the Word of God.
They must not let the bright lamps of their attraction and enkindled be
extinguished through the contrary winds of misunderstandings and
limitations. The harsh measures and conditions of the world of Nature must not
agitate the equanimity of their dispositions; -- nay, rather, they must
continually increase their enthusiasm and display great effort in the
irrigation of the spiritual fields. Thus the hatred of the strangers will be
turned into love, and the enmity and animosity of the foes will be changed into
amity and fellowship.
"The most important thing is, not to let the Fire of yearning and acclamation
ignited in the heart, become extinct; -- for God forbid! should such a
condition be brought about, they will become unable to render any help to the
Primal Cause of humanity, nor serve the Vineyard of the Kingdom of Abha! The
armies of these difficulties must be defeated with the cohorts of the Kingdom
of God and the angels of the Supreme Concourse. They must not let their
Original Aim be weakened for even one hour. They must continually think of the
available means in the diffusion of the Fragrances of the Cause. For the hours
devoted to such ideals are productive of wonderful results.
"The believers of Canada must in all the seasons be the real servants of the
divine Vineyard, and avail themselves of all practical means and scientific
provision in summoning the people to the Kingdom of God. This will become
conducive to the hopefulness of others, and encourage and incite them to follow
the same course. They must not break their golden wings with the criticism of
this or that. The bravery, the heroism and the self-sacrifice of the martyrs
and the believers of Persia must become the inspirers of their future services
and the guides for their disinterested love. They must always look ahead, for
the vistas of their future are illumined with the shining columns of the
Kingdom of Abha. For them there is no night. They live in the light of eternal
day. They must never be satisfied with the services they have rendered to the
Cause, for there are always greater services to be rendered. Greed is
reprehensible in every department of life save in the service of the Cause of
God and the acquirement of knowledge and sciences.
"Praise he to God, the field of the Cause is vast and limitless. Every
sincere-hearted soul is welcomed to enter therein, and win the goal of
precedence and service. The Bounties of God are not monopolized, the Favors of
the Lord are not localized. The doors of the Kingdom of Abha are open to all.
In the religion of the Blessed Perfection there are no Brahmans and Pariahs.
His Graces are all encompassing, all-inclusive. Only let the heart be pure, the
rays of the Sun of Reality will reflect therein, be he black or white, red or
"The believers of Canada, must he heroic, and fluent in tongue; they must be
thankful, patient and forbearing. In the Paradise of the Merciful they must he
laughing flowers and sweet singing nightingales. In the heaven of the Kingdom
they must be radiant stars and brilliant orbs. In the world of divine knowledge
they must be tempestuous seas and pearl-bringing waves. In the illimitable
space of God they must be high-soaring birds, flying with the wings of light
throughout the immensity of Truth.
"I declare by the Blessed Perfection that if the believers of Canada live and
act in accordance with the instructions laid down in these Tablets, each one,
like unto in eternal star, will shine from the horizon of the Kingdom of the
Merciful. The believers of Canada and other States must come together
periodically and discuss the practical ways and means whereby the Cause is
people summoned in the Kingdom of God. They must take hold of every legitimate
means through which the Cause of God may be brought before the attention of the
public. Let them make the knowledge of God their guide. Let them assign the
freedom of thought and the liberty of spirit as the luminous torches in their
lives. Let them rely on the Holy Spirit as their Inspirer in all their
spiritual undertakings. Let the powers of heaven be their defenders, the Lord
of the Kingdom their Comforter. His Holiness Bahá'o'llah their Supporter and
the Center of the Covenant their Protector. Then, clad with these armors of
spirit and holding in their hands these swords of revelation, let them rush out
of their trenches, attack the armies of the king of darkness on all fronts,
defeat and scatter the forces of ignorance and prejudice and make this world
the dawning-place of light and the home of the righteous ones.
"The friends of Canada must make the love of the world the article of their
faith, and universal salvation and progress the principles of their lives. They
must prefer the good of all to individual profits. They must not try to shift
the hardships and vicissitudes of life upon others; thus, like unto the
brilliant stars they may shine in the assemblages of all the nations of the
world, and similar unto scintillating pearls they may adorn the crown of
"It is assured that they shall have unparalleled opportunities to render great
services to the Kingdom of God. Holding in their hands the bottles of the sweet
extract of realities and significances, they must open them and perfume all the
nostrils with the delicate fragrance of love. They must gladden the hearts and
make the spirits light and airy. The Teachings of the Blessed Perfection call
them to such a height of perfection. The Principles of the Cause of God summon
them to soar in such an illimitable atmosphere. The spirit of this age invites
them to enter into such a delectable paradise of glory. The wondrous powers of
this Spiritual Dispensation urge them to display miraculous efforts and
extraordinary exertions, saying: Rest ye assured, advance ye forward. The Hand
of Might has prepared for each one of them jewelled diadems and is waiting to
see how many will step forward in order to set those crowns of Everlasting
Glory upon their heads; -- thus the hearts may become illumined with the light
of the luminary of Reality and each soul become the means of the guidance of
"In short, O Ahmad! When thou standest in their meetings, cry out at the top
of thy voice and say to them: This is the day of deeds -- to desire, to know,
to act, to work, to do, to stand, to cry, to serve, to help, to inspire, to
strive, to advance, to attain and to teach!"
And now I deem it a great joy to call on the daughter of Abdul Bahá, Mary
Maxwell, to rise and come forward to unveil the Great Spiritual Charter of the
Dominion of Canada.
As a little child, she was blessed by Abdul Bahá; as a little angel she was
held in His divine arms. As a little girl she was loved, caressed and kissed by
the heavenly Teacher. How many times did I hear the King of my heart call her:
"My daughter! My daughter." How often during these years of war he would
mention her name and pray for her! All through these years she has grown like a
sweet white lily, tender and pure! The Sun of Reality
has shone upon her little head, the stars of motherly affection have begemmed
her dear heart, the gentle breeze of the love of the Beloved has stirred her
with an unconscious happiness, and the vivifying showers of Grace have caused
the sprouting of sweet flowers or virgin ideals in her mind. In years to come,
she will remember this moving scene, this divine gathering, as the most
wonderful, inspiring event in her life, and will thank the Heavenly Father that
hers has been the inestimable privilege to unveil the wonderful Tablet which
will be the spiritual heritage for all the future generations.
To share with her these imperishable memories, I also call upon her friend
Elizabeth Coristine, another heavenly daughter of the Kingdom.
UNVEILING OF THE DIVINE PLAN
In the Appendix of the Book of Akdas, Bahá'o'llah says : "O ye believers of
God! Drink ye from the Fountain of Wisdom; walk ye in the rose-garden of
Wisdom, soar ye in the atmosphere of Wisdom, and talk ye in the language of
Wisdom and Explanation. Thus commands you your Lord, the Mighty, the Knowing.
Be ye the signs of assurance to the inhabitants of the world and the Fragrances
of the Merciful amongst mankind!"
Again He says: "Become ye united in the Days of God. Through this, His Cause
will be spread amongst the servants and the Fragrances be wafted over the
cities. Hearken ye to that which the Pen of Revelation advises you on the part
of the Mighty and the Beautiful! Do ye not disagree in the Cause of God, for
thereby the hearts of the unbelievers are rejoiced. Gather ye together with joy
and fragrance, then peruse the verses of the Merciful, whereby the doors of
knowledge are opened to your hearts. Then ye shall find yourselves in the
station of firmness and will see your souls in manifest joy." Appendix of
The final test of every Movement, whether in the past or the future, is its
usefulness and practicality. As soon as an idea is presented to me, I ask
myself: Is it practical? Will it be useful in my career? Will it make me a
better man? Will it strengthen my character and form for me better habits? If
it fulfills this mission if it has enriched my nature, then I will try to share
it with my fellow-men.
Now the Bahá'í Movement, according to the opinion of some of the greatest
thinkers and Orientalists of the West, is the greatest God-idea of the last
century, which, starting in Persia in 1844, has spread all over the world and
is gaining adherents and force as it migrates from country to country, from
city to city. We may ask ourselves, has this Divine Ideal of the 19th Century
been of any practical benefit to humanity or not? It we go to the
fountain-head of Bahá'í history, we are convinced before very long, that the
spiritual value of the Bahá'í Movement has been and still is great and
wonderful. Through its benign influence, the fiendish characters have been
transformed into angelic natures, the coward has become courageous, the dark
soul illumined; beastly passions are replaced by spiritual attributes, the
ignorant has become wise, the hopeless filed with the bright ideals or new
aspirations; the broken and unhappy homes changed into sweet nests of the birds
of Paradise; the misanthropist has become a lover of humanity, the sanctity and
holiness of the family is exalted; the inactive has become active, the
visionary man has become practical; the harsh and coarse nature is refined and
kindled with the glow of kindliness and social energy directed toward social
Bearing in mind the above remarks, the following quotation from the book "The
Psychology of Number," by James A. McLelland and John Dewey, will make my point
still clearer: --
"The value of any fact or theory as bearing on human activity is, in the long
run, determined by practical application, that is, by using it for
accomplishing some definite purpose. If it works -- if it removes friction,
frees activity, economizes effort, makes for richer results -- it is valuable
as contributing to a perfect adjustment of means to end. If it makes no such
contribution, it is practically useless, no matter what claims may be
theoretically be urged in its behalf."
Thus in the light of the above psychological principle we are convinced that
the Bahá'í Movement has been and will be a great, universal, spiritual power,
shaping the progressive course of modern civilization toward democracy and
brotherhood. It will teach the ideal of the oneness of the world of humanity;
encourage independent investigation of reality; promote the principle that the
foundation of all the divine religions has been one; emphasize the important
fact that religion under all circumstances must be the cause of love and amity
and not hatred and discord; it will uphold that the religion of the future must
be scientific, that all religious propositions must agree with rational ideas;
it will promote the equality of rights between men and women; it will wipe away
all religious, national and denominational prejudices; it will recommend the
adoption of a universal auxiliary language; it will co-operate with all peace
societies to establish the parliament of man or the league of nations; it will
interest itself in all those cultural, educational and social movements that
attempt to stamp out ignorance, pauperism, intemperance, vice and crime; it
will advance the era of economic justice and the solution of the problems
between capital and, labor, and it will serve humanity not only through all the
human agencies, but will strive to uplift man through the Breaths of the Holy
Bahá'o'llah in His day and the Center of the Covenant in this day call upon us
to rise with it superhuman energy and spread these ideals in all parts of the
world. For this reason, the Blessed Perfection enjoins upon us in the extracts
quoted above that we must first gain "Wisdom"; for without "Wisdom" we will be
helpless. Secondly, He tells us to be "the signs of assurance"; for wisdom
without "assurance" is doubt and skepticism. And thirdly He admonishes us to be
"united in the Day of God"; for we may have all the wisdom and all the
assurance of the world but without Unity we are as
paralyzed organs and scattered parts that will accomplish nothing. Hence let
"Wisdom" court "Assurance" and win her as a bride of heavenly worth. Then as a
result of this romantic wedlock, the child of "Unity" will be born in our midst
-- full of smiles, sweetness and beauty.
Having already read to you ten of the Spiritual Charters of Abdul Bahá to the
Northeastern, Southern, Central and Western States and to Canada, I am going to
read on this occasion two more of these wonderful Tablets, addressed to the
Bahá'í Assemblies of the United States and Canada, to spread
the Principles of Reality in Alaska, Mexico, Central America, South America
and the West Indies. It is the first time that these Tablets have been given to
the world, and beg your closest attention, so that we may realize the grandeur
and sublimity of the Vision of the Beloved and arise accordingly in promotion
of the Principles of Bahá'o'llah referred to above.
The first Tablet was revealed in the Garden of Bahjee, Saturday morning, April
"To the Assemblies and Meetings of the believers of God and the maid-servants
of the Merciful in the United States and Canada!
"Upon them be Bahá'o'llah El Abha!
He is God!
"O ye blessed souls!
"I desire for you eternal success and prosperity and beg perfect Confirmation
for each one in the Divine World. My hope, for you is that each one may shine
forth like unto the morning star from the horizon of the world and in this
Garden of God become a blessed tree, producing everlasting fruits and
"Therefore I direct you to that which is conducive to your heavenly
Confirmation and illumination in the Kingdom of God!
"It is this: Alaska is a vast country; although one of the maid-servants of
the Merciful has hastened to those parts, serving as a Librarian in the Public
Library, and according to her ability is not failing in teaching the Cause; yet
the call of the Kingdom of God is not yet raised through that spacious
"His Holiness Christ says: Travel ye to the East and to the West of the World
and summon the people to the Kingdom of God. Hence the Mercy of God must
encompass all humanity. Therefore do ye not think it permissible to leave that
region deprived of the Breezes of the Morn of Guidance. Consequently, strive as
far as ye are able to send to those parts fluent speakers, who are detached
from aught else save God, attracted with the Fragrances of God, and sanctified
and purified from all desires and temptations. Their sustenance and food must
consist of the Teachings of God. First they must them live in accordance with
those Principles, then guide the people. Perchance, God willing, the lights of
the Most Great Guidance may illumine that country and the Breezes of the
rose-garden of the Love of God may perfume the nostrils or the inhabitants of
Alaska. Should ye become confirmed all thus rendering such a service, rest ye
assured that ye shall crown your heads with the Diadem of Sovereignty, and at,
the Threshold of Oneness you will become the favored and accepted servants.
"Likewise the Republic of Mexico is very important. The majority of the
inhabitants of that country are devoted Catholics. They are totally unaware of
the reality of the Bible, the Gospel and the New Divine Teachings. They do not
know that the basis of the religions of God is one and that the Holy
Manifestations are like unto the Sun of Truth, rising from the different
dawning places. Those souls are submerged in the sea of dogmas. If one breath
of Life be blown over them, great results will issue therefrom. But it is
better for those who intend to go to Mexico to teach, to be familiar With the
"Similarly, the six Central American Republics, situated south of Mexico --
Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Nicarague, Costa Rica, Panama and the seventh
country Belize or British Honduras. The teachers going to those parts must also
be familiar with the Spanish language.
"You must give great importance in teaching the Indians, i.e., the
aborigines of America. For these souls are like the ancient inhabitants of
Peninsular Arabia, who previous to the Manifestation of His Holiness Mohammed
were treated as savages. But when the Mohammedic light shone forth in their
midst, they became so illumined that they brightened the world. Likewise,
should these Indians and aborigines be educated and obtain guidance, there is
no doubt that through the Divine Teachings, they will become so enlightened as
in turn to shed light to all regions.
"All the above countries have importance, but especially the Republic of
Panama, wherein the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans come together through the
Panama Canal. It is a center for travel and passage from America to other
continents of the world, and in the future it will gain most great
"Likewise the Islands of the West Indies, such as Cuba, Haiti, Porto Rico,
Jamaica, the Islands of the Lesser Antilles, Baháma Islands, even the small
Watling Island, have great importance; especially the two black Republics,
Haita and Santo Domingo, situated in the cluster of the Greater Antilles.
Likewise the cluster of the Islands of Bermuda in the Atlantic Ocean have
"In a similar way, the Republics oil the Continent of South America, Columbia,
Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, British Guiana, Dutch Guiana, French Guiana, Bolivia,
Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela; also the Islands in the North,
East and West of South America, such as Falkland Island, Galapago, Juan
Fernandez, Tobago and Trinidad. Likewise the city of Bahia, situated on the
Eastern shore of Brazil. Because it is some time that it has become known by
this name, its efficacy will be most potent.
"In short, O ye believers of God! Exalt your effort and magnify your aims. His
Holiness Christ says: Blessed are the poor, for theirs shall be the Kingdom of
Heaven. In other words: Blessed are the nameless and traceless poor, for they
ire the leaders of mankind. Likewise it is said in the Koran: "We desire to
bestow our gifts upon those who have become weak on the face of the earth, and
make them a nation and the heirs (of Spiritual Truth.)" Or, we wish to grant a
favor on the impotent souls and suffer them to become the inheritors of the
Messengers and Prophets.
"Therefore, now is the time that you may divest yourselves from the garment of
attachment to this phenomenal realm, be wholly severed from the
physical world, become angels of heaven and travel and teach through all these
"I declare by Him, beside Whom there is no one, that each one of you shall
become the Israfel of Life, blowing the Breath of Life in the souls of
"Upon ye be greeting and praise!
"O Thou Incomparable God! O Thou Lord of the Kingdom! These souls are
Thy heavenly army. Assist them and with the cohorts of the Supreme Concourse,
make them victorious; so that each one of them may become like unto a regiment
and conquer these countries through the Love of God and the Illumination of
"O God! Be Thou their Supporter and their Helper, and in the wilderness, the
mountain, the valley, the forests, the prairies and the seas, be Thou their
Confident -- so that they may cry out through the Power of the Kingdom, and the
Breath of the Holy Spirit!
"Verily Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty and the Omnipotent, and Thou art the
Wise, the Hearing and the Seeing.
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
Translated by M. Ahmad Sohrab,
Washington, D. C.,
April 4, 1919.
The second Tablet was revealed on Thursday afternoon, March 8th, 1917, in
"To the Assemblies and meetings of the believers of God and the maid-servants
of the Merciful in the United States and Canada:
"Upon them be Bahá'o'llah El Abha
He is God!
"O ye heavenly souls, sons and daughters of the Kingdom!
"God says in the Koran: 'Take ye hold of the Cord of God, all of you, and
become ye not disunited.'
"In the contingent world there are many collective centers which are conducive
to the association and unity between the children of men. For example,
patriotism is a collective center; nationalism is a collective center; identity
of interests is a collective center; political alliance is a collective center;
the union of ideals is a collective center, and the prosperity of the world of
humanity is dependent upon the organization and promotion of the Collective
Centers. Nevertheless, all the above institutions are in reality, the matter
and not the substance, accidental and not eternal -- temporary and not
everlasting. With the appearance of great revolutions and upheavals, all these
collective centers are swept away. But the Collective Center of the Kingdom
embodying the Institutes and Divine Teachings, is the eternal Collective
Center. It establishes relationship between the East and the West, organizes
the oneness of the world of humanity, and destroys the foundation of
differences. It overcomes and includes all the other collective
centers. Like unto the ray of the sun, it dispels entirely the darkness,
encompassing all the regions, bestows Ideal Life, and causes the effulgence of
Divine Illumination. Through the Breaths of the Holy Spirit It performs
miracles; the Orient and the Occident embrace each other, the North and South
become intimates and associates; conflicting and contending opinions disappear;
antagonistic aims are brushed aside, the law of the struggle for existence is
abrogated, and the Canopy of the oneness of the world of humanity is raised on
the apex of the globe, casting its shade over all the races of men.
Consequently, the real Collective Center is the body of the Divine Teachings,
which include all the degrees and embrace all the universal relations and
necessary laws of humanity.
Consider! The people of the East and the West were in the utmost strangeness.
Now to what a high degree they are acquainted with each other and united
together! How far are the inhabitants of Persia from the remotest countries of
America! And now observe how great has been the influence of the Heavenly
Power, for the distance of thousands of miles has become identical with one
step! How various nations that have had no relations or similarity with each
other are now united and agreed through this Divine Potency! Indeed to God
belongs Power in the past and in the future! And verily God is powerful overall
"Consider! When the rain, the heat, the sun and the gentle zephyrs co-operate
with each other, what beautiful gardens are produced! How the various hinds of
hyacinths, flowers, trees and plants associate with each other and are
conducive to the adornment and charm of one another! Hence the oneness of the
bounty of the sun, the oneness of rain and the oneness of the breeze have so
overcome all other considerations that the variety of hues, fragrances and
tastes have increased the adornment, the attraction and sweetness of the whole.
In a similar manner, when the Divine Collective Center and the outpouring of
the Still of Reality and the Breaths of the Holy Spirit are brought together,
the variety of races and the differences existing between countries will become
the cause of the embellishment, decoration and elegance of the world of
"Therefore, the believers of God throughout all the Republics of America,
through the Divine Power, must become the cause of the promotion of heavenly
Teachings and the establishment of the oneness of humanity. Every one of the
important souls must arise, blowing over all parts of America the Breath of
Life, conferring upon the people a new spirit, baptizing them with the Fire of
the Love of God, the Water of Life, and the Breaths of the Holy Spirit -- so
that the second birth may become realized. For it is written in the Gospel:
'That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit
"Therefore, O ye believers of God in the United States and Canada! Select ye
important personages, or that they by themselves becoming severed from rest and
composure of the world, may arise and travel throughout Alaska, the Republic of
Mexico, and South of Mexico, in the Central American Republics, such as
Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize; and
through the great South American Republics, such as Argentine, Uruguay,
Paraguay, Brazil, French Guiana, Dutch Guiana, British Guiana, Venezuela,
Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile; also in the
group of the West Indies Islands, such as Cuba, Haiti, Porto Rico, Jamaica and
Santo Domingo, and the group of the Islands of the Lesser Antilles, the Islands
of Baháma and the Islands of Bermuda; likewise to the Islands of the East, West
and South of South America, such as Trinidad, Falkland Islands, Galapago
Islands, Juan Fernandez and Tobago. Visit ye especially the City of Bahia, on
the Eastern shore of Brazil. Because in the past years this city was christened
with the name, BAHIA, there is no doubt that it has been through the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
"Consequently, the believers of God must display the utmost effort, upraise the
Divine Melody throughout those regions, promulgate the heavenly Teachings and
waft over all, the Spirit of Eternal Life; so that those Republics may become
so illumined with the splendors and the effulgences of the Sun of Reality that
they may become the objects of the praise and commendation of all other
countries. Likewise, ye must give great attention to the Republic of Panama,
for in that point the Occident and the Orient find each other united through
the Panama Canal, and it is also situated between the two great Oceans. That
place will become very important in the future. The Teachings once established
there, they will unite the East and the West, the North and the South. "Hence
the intention must be purified, the effort ennobled and exalted; so that, ye
may establish affinity between the hearts of the world of humanity. This
glorious Aim will not become realized save through the promotion of Divine
Teachings which are the foundations of the holy religions.
"Consider how the religions of God served the world of humanity! How the
religion of Torah became conducive to the glory and honor and progress of the
Israelitish nation! How the Breaths of the Holy Spirit of His Holiness Christ
created affinity and unity between divergent communities and quarreling
families! How the sacred power of His Holiness Mohammed became the means of
uniting and harmonizing the contentious tribes and the different clans of
Peninsular Arabia -- to such an extent that one thousand tribes were welded
into one tribe, strife and discord was done away with, all of them unitedly and
with one accord strove in advancing the cause of culture and Civilization, and
thus were freed from the lowest degree of degradation, soaring toward the
height of Everlasting Glory! Is it possible to find a greater Collective Center
in the phenomenal world than this? In comparison to this Divine Collective
Center, the National Collective Center, the Patriotic Collective Center, the
Political Collective Center and the Cultural and Intellectual Collective Center
are like child's plays!
"Now strive ye that the Collective Center of the sacred religions, for the
inculcation of which all the prophets were manifested and which is no other
than the Spirit of the Divine Teachings, -- be spread in all parts of America;
-- so that each one of you may shine forth from the horizon of Reality like
unto the morning star, divine, illumination may overcome the darkness of
nature, and the world of humanity may become enlightened. This is the most
great work! Should ye become confirmed therein, this world will become another
world, the surface of the earth will become the delectable Paradise, and
eternal Institutions be founded.
"Let whosoever travels to different parts to teach, peruse over mountain,
desert, land and sea this Supplication!
"O God! O God! Thou seest my weakness, lowliness and humility amongst Thy
creatures; nevertheless I have trusted on Thee and have arisen in the promotion
of Thy Teachings amongst Thy strong servants, relying on Thy Power and
"O Lord! I am a broken-winged bird and desire to soar in this Thy Space to
which there is no limit. How is it possible for me to do this save through Thy
Providence and Grace, Thy Confirmation and Assistance!
"O Lord! Have pity on my weakness and strengthen me with Thy Power!
"O Lord! Have pity on my impotency and assist me with Thy Alight and
"O Lord! Should the Breaths of the Holy Spirit confirm the weakest of
creatures, he shall attain to the highest station of greatness and shall
possess anything he desireth. Indeed Thou hast assisted Thy servants in the
past, and they were the weakest of Thy creatures, the lowliest of Thy servants
and the most insignificant of those who lived upon the earth; but through Thy
Sanction and Potency they took precedence over the most glorious of Thy people
and the most noble of Thy mankind. Whereas formerly they were as moths, they
became royal falcons and whereas before they were as bubbles they became seas.
Through Thy Bestowal, Thy Mercy and Thy Most Great Favor they became stars
shining in the horizon of Guidance, birds singing in the rose-gardens of
Immortality, lions roaring in the forest of Knowledge and wisdom and whales
(fish) swimming in the Oceans of Life.
"Verily, Thou art the Clement, the Powerful, the Mighty, and the Most Merciful
of the Merciful!
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
With these clear instructions from the Beloved to arise and teach the Cause
throughout all these Republics, we have in the same breath a most difficult
task and an unparalleled opportunity before us. Roughly speaking, the
inhabitants of the above countries referred to in these two Tablets are about
62 millions, of various degrees of racial, cultural and national temperaments
and characteristics, and it takes only a lively imagination to picture the
future possibilities! We nave to overcome geographical, climatic, intellectual
and religious barriers, and we must learn our lessons as we go along, through
the application of these most essential educational laws: that is, first,
"native tact and skill;" second, "experience," and third, "authoritative
instruction in methods and devices."
I wish now to share with you a few general remarks which Abdul Bahá made,
directly after dictating the second Tablet, just read. As you will remember, it
was on March 8th, 1917, and his words in the light of later events are
significant indeed. He said:
"There are some matters that I cannot tell them now publicly, because the time
has not yet arrived for their disclosure, and the people are not prepared to
bear them; but I can speak about them with thee. For example: The Republican or
Democratic form of the Government of the United States is so organized and the
relations between the States and the National administration, the Congress and
the Legislatures, so defined and determined, that
generally speaking they all work together smoothly for the public weal. The
founders of the Republic and the writers of this Democratic Constitution were
in reality the well-wishers of the world of humanity. They laid down such a
body of laws, the mighty effect of which was the change of the course of
history on the surface of the Globe. The influence of the American idea of
freedom, right, equality and representative form of government traveled to all
parts of the world, and was indeed an inspirational example to other
downtrodden nations to rise against absolutism and shake off the yoke of
drudgery and serfdom. In the future, all the Governments of the world,
including the Asiatic Governments, even this part of Asia, called the Near
East, will become democratic and constitutional. This is certain. No doubt can
be entertained regarding this matter. The Spirit of the time will remove every
obstacle and crush out every opposition, for the Constitution of the United
States gives to men all those sacred rights of political and individual
liberty, protection of life, the pursuit of happiness, and the free exercise of
religious belief. Every country, with certain modifications and changes, having
regard to climate, education, aptitude and progress of the inhabitants, will
take that Constitution as it guide to draw their own Bill of Rights. All the
future governments of the world, large and small, will become democratic, based
upon the Will of the Governed. This is also assured. In the course of years,
the North, Central and South American Republics will be drawn nearer and nearer
together, and will become united in a general confederated Democracy; -- in
other words, the various Republics will find their national and international
interests so identical and akin, that they will forget all their petty
jealousies anti apprehensions and work together for the advancement and
prosperity of all America. There will be a Pan-American Parliament, meeting
regularly, in which all questions of a general nature, affecting the vital
interests of that Western hemisphere, will be discussed and deliberated upon.
Just as the aim of these two Tablets is to usher in all the people under the
Shade of the Word of God, so that they may become the real servants of
universal Peace, united in the bond of brotherhood and love, working for the
common weal and unfurling the banner of the oneness of the world of humanity,
-- so also they will become united and welded together politically and
"In reality, the Pan-American Union in Washington is already engaged in
rendering this great service, for in that Union the representatives and
ministers of all the American Republics come together with the utmost love and
friendship, discuss with each other those problems which are conducive to the
progress of all, coming closer together in policies and interests, and day by
day becoming better acquainted through the widening circle of international
commerce and industry. Regarding the teaching of the inhabitants of those
countries, the believers must strengthen the the of friendship and intimacy
with the members of that Union, receiving from them useful information, to
facilitate their work of spiritual instruction.
"The friends of God must widen always the circle of their thoughts, not to
tarry one second but ever go forward. This alone will be conducive to their
physical, intellectual and spiritual progress."
Having now listened to the words of Abdul Bahá regarding the future America,
let me quote to you the statement of Gladstone in this regard. He
said: "America has a natural base for the greatest continuous empire ever
established by man." Daniel Webster said: "It cannot be denied that with
America and in America a new era commences in human affairs." Charles Sumner
said: "The discovery of America was the great event which gave a new world not
only to Spain, but to civilized man." And Emerson said: "America is another
word for Opportunity."
Abdul Bahá hopes that we Bahá'ís and the world will use this opportunity to the
highest advantage, and that we will not fall short in our obligations and
services to the world of humanity.
Now I ask Miss Dorothy Hoar and Miss Elfrida Martin to come forward and unveil
the great Spiritual Charter of Mexico, Central America and South America; thus
we may look with our own eyes on the Divine Writing. Then I will chant for you
the two supplications at the ends of these two wonderful Tablets -- thus we may
all be filled with his love, which is universal, his spirit, which is
all-encompassing, and his light, which is shining upon us from the Kingdom of
THE UNVEILING OF THE DIVINE PLAN
"The Tabernacle of the Cause of God is great. It shall embrace all the
communities of the world." -- Bahá'o'llah.
"Ere long God shall unfurl the Standards of His Sovereignty over every city."
"Soon ye shall observe the Cause victorious over all those who live upon the
earth, and His Effulgence radiating from all directions. -- Bahá'o'llah.
About sixty years ago, Bahá'o'llah penned the above prophetic words,
predicting that a time would come when His great Message of universal
brotherhood would be spread all over the world, and the Standard of
International Peace would be unfurled over all the regions of the globe.
It was left for Abdul Bahá, the Center of the Covenant, to write down the
great Charters of Spiritual Democracy, the Covenant of a League of Nations, not
based upon political treaties and dynastic or imperial ambitions but founded on
the pure Word of God, created by the consummate wisdom of the Almighty,
illumined by the light of Truth and upheld by the Spirit of Divine Revelation.
These Magna Chartas of Universal Religion which we have unveiled so far, are
our true and unerring guides, and once we begin to realize their importance and
put into practice their contents, the scope of our services to the world of
humanity will become world-wide, our eagerness to serve our follow men in all
the departments of life will be more expressive of actual accomplishments, our
idealism will be merged little by little into spiritual realism, our love for
mankind will break all the national and religious prejudices and our deeds will
exceed our words a hundred thousandfold.
The Tablet that I am going to read to you at this session is addressed to the
Bahá'í Assemblies in the United States and Canada, and contains the most
wonderful instructions for their guidance in their future work in the Cause.
Abdul Bahá has already told us how to go about and spread the Word of God in
Canada, the United States, Mexico, the West Indies, Central America, South
America and the Islands surrounding this Western hemisphere. In this Seventh
Tablet he instructs us to take a few steps further and travel throughout the
Islands of the Pacific Ocean, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Asia, Africa
and Europe, and in these countries ignite the fire of the Love of God and
promote the principles of the Oneness of the world of humanity.
The population of the whole world, according to the most reliable census, is
about 1,610,000,000 souls, and Abdul Bahá's supreme aim is to make them all
sons of God, heirs and angels of the Kingdom, flowers of the rose-garden of
perfection and stars of the heaven of a beatified humanity. His earnest prayers
are that no soul be deprived of the Bounties of God, that all race, and all
peoples be submerged in the sea of God's Mercy, that the Sun of Reality may
shine upon all, that the darkness of prejudices may be dispelled and the rivers
of love and tenderness flow from all hearts.
When the Center of the Covenant was in this country, he delivered a talk on
May 1st, 1912, in Chicago, at the Dedication of the Mashrokel-Azkar grounds,
from which I would like to quote just a short paragraph. In the light of these
New Tablets, we can now comprehend his statement on that occasion, but I dare
say very few could grasp its full significance and import at the time. He said:
"But this Mashrekol-Azkar, being the first one in the Occident, has great
importance. In after years there will be many Mashrekol-Azkars; even in this
city of Chicago many will be established; in Asia there will be many.
In Europe there will be many. Even in Africa there will be many.
Even in Australia and New Zealand."
You observe that in these few words he has given us the epitome of his present
Divine Plan -- years ago. In all probability he desired even at that time to
prepare us for the wonderful Revelation of this Day.
We know quite well that this world of ours has many races and tribes, but
through the law of scientific classification the historians and geographers
have reduced them into four groups.
1. The white or Caucasian people, consisting of 770 millions, are the largest
and the most highly civilized.
2. The black or Ethiopian races consist of 175 millions, inhabitating mainly
Africa, and a few millions in other parts of the world.
3. The yellow or Mongolian people are about 540 millions, all of whom live in
Asia, mostly in China and Japan.
4. The red man or American Indian -- approximately 99. millions, a few living
on this continent and the rest in South America.
All these people, living from the Arctic to the Antarctic, in all latitudes
and longitudes, in the North, South and torrid zones, must come to know God and
His Revelation in this latter day, and be taught the lessons of the brotherhood
of all mankind. This is indeed a great responsibility for the Bahá'ís who have
gathered here to hear the message of Abdul Bahá -- and to put into execution
his heavenly Teachings.
Let us now listen attentively to this Seventh Great Tablet, which was revealed
on Tuesday morning, April 11, 1916, in Bahájee, near the Blessed Tomb of
"To the believers and the maid-servants of the Merciful of the Bahá'í
Assemblies and meetings in the United States and Canada!
He is God!
"O ye real Bahá'ís of America!
"Praise be to His Highness the Desired One that ye have become confirmed in
the promotion of Divine Teachings in that vast Continent, raised the Call of
the Kingdom of God in that region and announced the Glad-tiding of the
Manifestation of the Lord of Hosts and His Highness the Promised One. Thanks be
unto the Lord that ye have become assisted and confirmed in this Aim. This is
purely through the Confirmations of the Lord of Hosts and the Breaths of the
Holy Spirit. At present your Confirmation is not known and understood. Ere long
ye shall observe that each one of you like unto a brilliant and shining star
will diffuse the Light of Guidance from that horizon and that ye have become
the cause of the Eternal Life to the inhabitants of America.
was not known, and no one looked on them with the feeling of importance -- nay,
rather, they persecuted and ridiculed them. Later on it became evident what
crowns studded with the brilliant jewels of guidance were placed on the heads
of the apostles, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of John.
"Likewise your confirmation is not known at the present time. I hope that ere
long It may throw a mighty reverberation through the pillars of the earth.
Therefore it is the hope of Abdul Bahá that just as ye are confirmed and
assisted on the Continent of America, ye may also be confirmed and assisted in
other Continents of the globe: -- that is, ye may carry I the fame of the Cause
of God to the East and to the West and spread the Glad-tiding of the appearance
of the Kingdom of the Lord of Hosts throughout the five Continents of the
"When this Divine Call travels from the Continent of America to Europe, Asia,
Africa, Australia and the Islands of the Pacific, the American believers shall
be established on the throne of Everlasting Glory, the fame of their
illumination and guidance shall reach to all regions and the renown of their
greatness become world-wide. Therefore, a party, speaking the languages,
severed, holy, sanctified and filled with the love of God, must turn their
faces to and travel through the three great Island groups of the Pacific Ocean,
-- Polynesia, Micronesia and Mylanesia, and the Islands attached to these
groups, such as New Guinea, Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Philippine Island Solomon
Islands, Fiji Islands, New Hebrides, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, Bismarck
Archipelago, Ceram, Celebes, Friendly Islands, Samoa Islands, Society Islands,
Caroline Islands, Low Archipelago, Marquesas, Hawaiian Islands, Gilbert
Islands, Moluccas, Marshall Islands, Timor and the other Islands. With hearts
overflowing with the Love of God, with tongues commemorating the mention of
God, with eyes turned to the Kingdom of God, they must deliver the Glad-tiding
of the Manifestation of the Lord of Hosts to all the people, Know ye of a
certainty that in whatever meeting ye may enter, in the apex of that meeting
the Holy Spirit shall he waving and the heavenly Confirmations of the Blessed
Perfection will encompass all.
"Consider ye, that Miss Agnes Alexander, the daughter of the Kingdom, the
beloved maid-servant of the Blessed Perfection, travelled alone to Hawaii and
the Island of Honolulu, and now she is gaining spiritual victories in Japan!
Reflect ye how this daughter was confirmed in the Hawaiian Islands. She became
the cause of the guidance of a gathering of people.
"Likewise Miss Knobloch travelled alone to Germany. To what a great extent she
became confirmed! Therefore, know ye of a certainty that whosoever arises in
this day to diffuse the Divine Fragrances, the Cohorts of the Kingdom of God
shall confirm him and the Bestowals and the Favors of the Blessed Perfection
shall encircle him.
"O how I long that it would be made possible for me to travel through these
parts, even if necessary on foot and with the utmost poverty, and while passing
through the cities, villages, mountains, deserts and oceans, cry at the top of
my voice: 'Ya Bahá El Abha!' and promote the Divine Teachings. But now this is
not feasible for me, therefore I live in great regret; perchance, God willing,
ye may become assisted therein.
"At this time, in the Islands of Hawaii, through the efforts of Miss
Alexander, a number of souls have reached the shore of the sea of Faith!
Consider ye, what happiness, what joy is this! I declare by the Lord of Hosts
that had this respected daughter founded an empire, that Empire would not have
been so great! For this sovereignty is eternal Sovereignty and this glory is
"Likewise, if some teachers go to other Islands and other parts, such as the
Continent of Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, also to Japan, Asiatic Russia,
Korea, French Indo-China, Siam, Straits Settlements, India, Ceylon and
Afghanistan, most great results will be forthcoming. How good would it be were
there any possibility of a commission composed of men and women, to travel
together through China and Japan, -- so that this bond of love may become
strengthened, and through this going and coming they may establish the oneness
of the world of humanity, summon the people to the Kingdom of God and spread
"Similarly, if possible, they should travel to the Continent of Africa, Canary
Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Madeira Islands, Reunion Islands, St. Helena,
Zanzibar, Mauritius, etc., and in those countries summon the people to the
Kingdom of God and raise the cry of: 'Ya Bahá El Abha!' They must also upraise
the Flag of the Oneness of the world of humanity in the Island of
"Books and pamphlets must be either translated or composed in the languages of
these countries and Islands, to be circulated in every part and in all
"It is said that in South Africa, a diamond is discovered. Although this mine
is most valuable, yet after all it is stone. Perchance, God willing, the mine
of humanity may he discovered and the brilliant pearls of the Kingdom be
"In brief, this world-consuming war has set such a conflagration to the hearts
that no word call describe it. In all the countries of the world the longing
for Universal Peace is taking possession of the consciousness of men. There is
not a soul who does not yearn for Concord and Peace. A most wonderful state of
receptivity is being realized. This is through the consummate Wisdom of God, so
that capacity may be created, the Standard of the oneness of the world of
humanity be upraised, and the fundamentals of Universal Peace and the Divine
Principles be promoted in the East and the West.
"Therefore, O ye believers of God! Show ye an effort and after this war spread
ye the synopsis of the Divine Teachings in the British Isles, France, Germany,
Austria-Hungary, Russia, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden,
Denmark, Holland, Portugal, Roumania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece,
Andora, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Monaco, San Marine, Balearic Isles, Corsica,
Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, Malta, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Shetland Islands,
Hebrides and Orkney Islands.
"In all these countries, like unto the morning stars shine ye from the horizon
of Guidance. Up to this time you have displayed great magnanimity, but after
this, ye must add a thousand times to your effort and throughout the above
countries, capitals, islands, meetings and churches, invite mankind to the
Kingdom of Abha! The circle of your exertion must become widened.
The more it is broadened and extended, the greater will be your confirmation.
"Ye have observed that while Abdul Bahá was in the utmost bodily weakness and
feebleness, while he was indisposed, and had not the power to move --
notwithstanding this physical state he travelled through many countries, in
Europe and America, and in churches, meetings and conventions was occupied with
the promotion of the Divine Principles and summoned the people to the
manifestation of the Kingdom of Abha. Ye have also observed how the
Confirmations of the Blessed Perfection encompassed all. What result is
forthcoming from material rest, tranquility, luxury and attachment to this
corporeal world! It is evident that the man who pursues these things will in
the end become afflicted with regret and loss.
"Consequently, one must close his eyes wholly to these thoughts, long for
Eternal Life, the Sublimity of the world of humanity, the celestial
developments the Holy Spirit, the promotion of the Word of God, the guidance of
the inhabitants of the globe, the promulgation of Universal Peace and the
proclamation of the Oneness of the world Of humanity! This is the work!
Otherwise like unto other animals and birds one must occupy himself with the
requirements of this physical life, the satisfaction of which is the highest
aspiration of the animal kingdom, and one must stalk across the earth like unto
"Consider ye! No matter how much man gains wealth, riches and opulence in this
world, he will not become as independent as a cow. For these fattened cows roam
freely over the vast tableland. All the prairies and meadows are theirs for
grazing, and all the springs and rivers are theirs for drinking! No matter how
much they graze, the fields will not be exhausted! It is evident that they have
earned these material bounties with the utmost facility.
"Still more ideal than this is the life of the bird. A bird, on the summit of
a mountain, on the high, waving branches, has built for itself a nest more
beautiful than the palaces of the kings! The air is in the utmost purity, the
water cool and clear as crystal, the panorama charming and enchanting. In such
glorious surroundings, he expends his numbered days. All the harvests of the
plain are his possessions, having earned all this wealth without the least
labor, hence, no matter how much man may advance in this world, he shall not
attain to the station of this bird! Thus it becomes evident that in the matters
of this world, however much man may strive and work to the point of death, he
will be unable to earn the abundance, the freedom and the independent life of a
small bird. This proves and establishes the fact that man is not created for
the life of this ephemeral world: -- nay, rather, is he created for the
acquirement of infinite perfections, for the attainment to the sublimity of the
world of humanity, to be drawn nigh unto the Divine Threshold, and to sit on
the throne of Everlasting Sovereignty!" Upon ye be Bahá El Abha!
"Any soul starting on a trip of teaching to various parts, and while
sojourning in strange countries, may peruse the following Supplication: -- day
"O God! O God! Thou seest me enamored and attracted toward Thy
Kingdom, the El Abha, enkindled with the Fire of Thy Love amongst mankind, a
herald of Thy Kingdom in these vast and spacious countries, severed from aught
else save Thee, relying on Thee, abandoning rest and comfort, remote front my
native home, a wanderer in these regions, a stranger fallen on the ground,
humble before Thy Exalted Threshold, submissive toward Thy Most High Realm,
supplicating Thee in the middle of nights and in the heart of evenings,
entreating and invoking Thee in the morn and eve; -- so that Thou mayest assist
me in the service of Thy Cause, the promotion of Thy Teachings and the
exaltation of Thy Word in the Easts of the Earth and the Wests thereof.
"O Lord! Strengthen my back and confirm me in Thy servitude with all my powers,
and do not leave me alone and by myself in these countries.
"O Lord! Associate with me in my loneliness and accompany me in my journeys
through these foreign lands.
"Verily, Thou art the Confirmer of whomsoever Thou wiliest in that which Thou
desirest, and verily Thou art the Powerful, the Omnipotent:
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
Now that we have heard the Instructions of Abdul Italia, we call realize how
essential it is for the success of our future work to arise unitedly and
through our practical deliberations and decisions impress the world that we are
willing and ready to carry aloft the torches of guidance throughout every dark
corner of the earth. It is not necessary for us to dwell here on the recent
changes on the map of Europe, Asia and other parts of the world, and how
"within the short period of two years, Europe, always the stronghold of Kings,
has been transformed from a continent overwhelmingly monarchial to one where
non-monarchial governments strongly predominate," and how even within the last
few months we have seen the birth of several full-fledged republics --
Czecho-Slovakia, Poland, Finland and Ukraine. The entire German Empire and
Austria-Hungary and Russia are going through the birth-pangs of new governments
and new nations. But as soon as we are brought back to normal conditions, and
international relations are returned without further friction, we are to go
forth with the Message of Love; meanwhile, let us prepare ourselves
intelligently for the great work ahead of us.
It is very interesting to know that while Abdul Bahá was dictating the above
Tablet, he was in the utmost joy and fragrance, especially when he reached the
end and began to chant that spiritual supplication, my whole being was a thrill
with ecstasy. One by one the names of these countries and islands fell from his
lips in the utmost case and pleasure. It was as though he was seeing with his
own eyes those sanctified souls who are going to arise soon to teach the
inhabitants and to bring them the light of Truth. Thus be was begging for them
heavenly confirmations from the Kingdom of Abha. One day he said: -- "The
fruits of these Tablets are infinite and their results endless. Their traces
will appear year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation.
Reflect in what beautiful days, and with what joy and fragrance are we engaged
in writing these Tablets! In this Holy
Land (and he swayed his hand toward the green flowery plain of Acca, as he was
walking in the fields) -- in this verdant and sacred plain, in this Blessed
Spot, at the Threshold of the Divine Tomb of His Holiness Bahá'o'llah! Su rely
these prayers of ours will be answered and yield many harvests. Look! We are
thinking to guide the nations to God, they are harboring the thought of war and
destruction. We are summoning them to Life Eternal but they are running toward
the dark precipices of death. We are inviting them to the illumination of
Divine Civilization, but they are submerged in the depth of the sea of
At this moment a bird was flying up in the air over our heads. With his blessed
hand pointing to it, he said, with softness and gentleness: "The teachers of
the Cause of God in these countries must be like this bird; be always on the
wing. Should they alight, it must be with the intention of a short rest from
fatigue, so that at the next moment they may rise higher and sing sweeter.
Never should they think of a protracted rest. Ever and ever in the Divine
atmosphere. Should they for one second think of rest, they will immediately
start a downward course. They must detach and free themselves from all the
physical limitations, and purify the mirrors of their hearts from the dust of
racial, religious and national prejudices. Not the least trace of these
prejudices should linger in the minds. They must become spirit personified,
love incarnate, truth embodied. They must set aside egotism, selfishness and
suspicion. They must always journey through the world of universal Ideals. They
must not restrict themselves to particular matters, for the Cause of
Bahá'o'llah is not sectarian. Let them walk in the Highway of Divine Teachings.
Let them look to God and not to man; behold the light and not the glass. There
is no doubt that this Cause shall encircle the globe. As long as there remains
one soul whose heart is not touched by the love of God and Divine Illumination,
the friends must not sit silent. This is their duty.
"Praise be to God that the world of the Cause is astir with motion. Outwardly
we are living a quiet, silent life in the corner of Bahjee, but the Power of
God is working all over the world. The armies of the Kingdom are fighting. The
cities of the hearts are captured. The empires of the minds are seized. The
trenches and fortifications of the enemies are vanquished. These armies of the
Beauty of Abha are gaining victory over the cities of the hearts. They leave
behind them development, refinement and signs of Divine Civilization and not
destruction, spoilation, battlefields crimsoned with the blood of the innocent
and hills piled with the corpses of the killed and wounded. We are not doing
anything, but the great forces of the Kingdom of Abha are invincible and
victorious in every part of the world."
Then, looking toward the plain of Acca, and beyond the sea, as though
addressing a real army, he said aloud:
"O ye my soldiers of the Kingdom! Be ye valiant and fearless! Day by day add
to your spiritual victories. Be ye not disturbed by the constant assaults of
the enemies. Attack ye like unto the roaring lions. Have no thought of
yourselves, for the invisible armies of the Kingdom are fighting on your side.
Enter ye the battlefield with the Confirmations of the Holy Spirit. Know ye of
a certainty that the powers of the Kingdom of Abha are with you. The hosts of
the heaven of Truth are with you. The cool breezes
of the Paradise of Abha are wafting over your heated brows. Not for a moment
are ye alone. Not for a second are ye left to yourselves. The Beauty of Abha is
with you. The Glorious God is with you. The King of Kings is with you. The Lord
of Lords is with you, and the Powers of the Kingdom are with you."
Such were his inspiring words to his spiritual army. I hear him even now most
distinctly. I see his face transfigured and set aglow with the light of joy and
And now I take pleasure in calling on Zeenat Khanoum and Miss Jessie Revell to
rise and come forward, and while we are all standing, to unveil the Great
Spiritual Charter of the World. Then I will chant for you the Supplication at
the end of this Glorious Tablet. The Beloved always had a special liking for
this Supplication, and he used to ask me to chant it for him everywhere, in the
Tomb of Bahá'o'llah, in the Tomb of the Bab, in his garden, and even when I was
riding with him in his carriage, going from Haifa to Acca or returning from
Acca to Haifa. And in closing let us remember for a second that significant
line in Locksley Hall, by Lord Tennyson, the fulfilment of which we are going
to have today in the unveiling of this Tablet:
"Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs,
"And the thoughts of men are widened with the process of the Suns."
THE UNVEILING OF THE DIVINE PLAN
"O people of God! Be not occupied with yourselves. Be intent on the betterment
of the world and the training of nations. The betterment of the world can be
accomplished through pure and excellent deeds and well-approved proved and
excellent conduct. The helper of the Cause is Deeds and the assistant, Good
"This Call and this Mention has not been and is not peculiar to a country or a
city. All the people of the world must take hold of that which is revealed and
hath become manifest; so that they may attain to real Liberty. The world is
illumined wit h the rays of the Orb of Manifestation. . . . Now the majority of
the population of the countries are ready to hearken to the Most High Word --
for the revival and resurrection of all depends upon and is related to It."
During the last few sessions, mine has been the great privilege of taking you
step by step to the height of the "vision splendid" as revealed and explained
in the Great Charters of Spiritual Democracy of Abdul Bahá. Through his Divine
Eye we were enabled to look upon the world
"Appareled in Celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream."
We have traveled far to reach this station. We have been all over the world,
and have now gained a clear conception of what the Center of the Covenant
desires us to do, and how to carry along his work in the future. But in
reality, I may say, we are just entering our first station; we are going to
start now on this voyage of spiritual conquest. Only God knows when we shall
reach our destination. I think, however, we are not much concerned about that,
and we are certain that once starting in the Path of the Lord, the angels of
the Supreme Concourse will aid and protect us all along the way.
It is more than true that the Spiritual Life of mankind is a panorama of
ravishing beauty. Abdul Bahá as the Divine Artist hath unveiled to us this
heavenly landscape through His recent words. He took us with Him to the height
of the Mount of Transfiguration, and from that vantage-ground of beatified
humanity He pointed out to us the charms of this ideal panorama. With wonderful
strength and super-heroic power He hath reached the Summit along time ago, but
on looking around He found Himself all alone. His first aim then hath been to
unfold this celestial vision before the eyes of His firm and sincere believers,
and with His matchless enthusiasm and all-conquering faith He beckons the
footsore pilgrims, as we are, to leave the rocky paths of the Mountains and
rise higher and higher till some day we may reach to His present altitude of
universality and all-embracing brotherhood. Like unto the radiant Spirit of
Paradise, He is standing on the glorious height, His blessed feet hardly
touching the ground, His body enveloped with the white clouds of revelation,
surrounded with the bright angels of idealism and poesy,
all ethereal figure, betwixt the heaven and earth, calling us to rise to His
perfect Stature and catch a glimpse of His Beauty. "Have courage, my friends!"
He cries aloud: "Let not outside affairs distract your energies, or unnecessary
loads bend your backs and waste your energies. Free your limbs from trappings
and encumbrances, and rise to this pinnacle of Divine Beatitude. Here you will
see spread before your astonished eyes a scene of entrancing loveliness, a
bird's eye view of that which is best and most holy in the complete landscape
of the human life. There are azure lakelets in which are reflected the perfect,
adoring images of the heavenly Beloved; primal forests of sturdy, vigorous
qualities, never-fading green prairies of young hopes; rose-buds of universal
aspirations; verdant trees with fragrant blossoms of pure yearnings; cool,
flowing brooks of crystalline thoughts and translucent ideals; luxuriant
gardens of sweet morals and good character, rivalling in beauty and freshness
those of Elysium and Hesperides; lofty mountains of heroic deeds and
self-abnegation, raising their noble heads to the blue dome of God; undulating
hills and glades of divine arts, increasing the charm and attraction of the
whole; deep valleys of eternal silence and solitude, filling the hearts with
sweet dreams and meditations; mighty waterfalls of selfless deeds and actions,
rushing forward and sending their echoes through the galleries of the minds of
men and women to rise and do the same; fairy palaces of supernal
qualifications, built by the hand of the Great Architect for the dwelling of
the heroes of the Cause of humanity; sweet-singing nightingales, their lays
foreshadowing universal progress and the widening of the circle of
international sympathy. This is indeed a delectable scene, a charming view, an
enchanting spectacle, a delightful panorama."
Now it seems to me this is altogether most wonderful! Would it not be excellent
if we could gather around us a band of the faithful and resolve to scale this
mountain of self and narrowness and reach the summit from which Abdul Bahá
beckons us! When and how should we start? Where are the available means for
this great voyage -- in my estimation greater than the voyage of Columbus
through the unknown sea? How are we going to prepare ourselves? Are our nerves
strong? Is vision clear? Is the road fraught with dangers? Are wild animals
lurking behind the precipitous rocks? Is the path plain or rugged? Are we all
ready? When will we makeup our minds? Abdul Bahá is calling to us. He is
waiting to see the first band of spiritual discoverers starting on this voyage!
We should like to start very early. O, so very early! If possible long before
sunrise. Then our eyes will rejoice with a "new-appearing sight" -- "the
steep-up heavenly hill" bathed in the flood of the "gracious light."
Now that we have received in full the great Plan of the Divine Teacher, let us
publish abroad the joyful news that a new highway of the Lord is in the process
of construction. Laborers and material are needed on every hand, and the early
completion of the work depends upon the number of the former and the
availability of the latter. Their wages are given from the inexhaustible
treasury of the Kingdom of Abha, and their greatest reward is to see the work
progressing with visible speed. What a glorious privilege if we could join on
our own free accord the self-sacrificing band of the laborers, and push forward
this undertaking of Love. Would we not work joyfully and gladly, and consider
ourselves fortunate in taking part in the construction of the
Highway of the King of Kings? Once it is completed, many and innumerable
companies of pilgrims will start to reach the top of the Glorious Mountain of
God. The journey will not fatigue or weary them; it will be rather a most
pleasant, spiritual excursion, because they will be singing the songs of
thanksgiving and glorification. Without meeting the difficulties borne by the
early pioneers, they will find themselves resting on the height and enjoying
the scene. From that highest point they will look down upon the vast, sweeping
panorama of the ever-varied physical, intellectual and spiritual life of
mankind, feeling the warmth of heavenly exultation and bliss. Then the Divine
Astronomer will take them to His Celestial Observatory, and lot them behold
through His telescopes of the Spirit the distant stars of truths studded in the
bright firmaments of the Oneness of the world of humanity.
Then there will be a new earth and a new heaven; new plans for the development
of the innate powers of mankind will appear; new thoughts and new ideals will
be born; a new table will be spread; the seeds of new flowers will be sown; new
laws for the safeguarding of the rights of man will be legislated; new lamps
will be ignited, new truths will be laid bare, new modes of expression will he
cultivated, new arts will be discovered, new schools of music, painting and
architecture will be created, new relations will be maintained, new standards
of a nobler life, will be unfurled, and new worlds will be conquered.
As Abdul Bahá expressed himself a few months before the signing of the
Armistice, in these significant words:
"The darkness of this gloomy night shall pass away. Again the Sun of Reality
will dawn from the horizon of the hearts. Have Patience, wait but do not sit
idle: work while you are waiting; smile when you are wearied with monotony; be
firm while everything around you is being shaken; be joyous while the ugly face
of despair grins at you; speak aloud while the malevolent forces of the nether
world try to crush your mind; be valiant and courageous while men all around
you are cringing with fear and cowardice. Do not yield to the overwhelming
power of tyranny and despotism. Serve the cause of democracy and freedom.
Continue your journey to the end. The bright day is coming. The nucleus of the
new race is forming. The harbinger of the new ideals of international justice
is appearing. The trees of hope will become verdant; the copper of scorn and
derision will be transmuted into the gold of honor and praise; the arid desert
of ignorance will be transmuted into the luxuriant garden of knowledge; the
threatening clouds shall be dispelled and the stars of faith and charity will
again twinkle in the clear heaven of consciousness."
We have all been impressed by the fact that the aim of human life is progress
and growth. We must grow in health, in mind, in spirit, in grace and in deed.
The object of our existence is to adorn our beings with the perfections of
humanity. For did not Christ address His disciples: "Be ye perfect, as your
Father in Heaven is perfect." Although perfection in this world is "relative"
and not "absolute," yet it must be granted that its acquirement is one of the
chief inspirations of youth. For this reason our Beloved Abdul Bahá daily
admonishes us to live and act in accord with the Teachings of Bahá'o'llah, and
in these his recent Instructions clearly points out how to go about and serve
Once he was talking about a class of Christians who do not live in accord with
the Principles of Christ, and then he suddenly turned his face toward the
friends and said:
"Do we who are Bahá'ís live in accord with the Principles of Bahá'o'llah? We
must be just. We must not speak with our eyes closed to-our own shortcomings
and expatiate on those of others. "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy
brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? If we had
lived in accordance with the precepts of the Blessed perfection, by this time
half the inhabitants of the world would have become Bahá'ís, and peacemakers,
attracted by the rays of the Sun of Truth, and their nostrils perfumed with the
Fragrances of Holiness. We must not begin with words and end with words. We
must act and teach mankind with the irresistible force of example. We must be
willing to give up our own ideas and opinions when the public weal is
concerned. We must serve the world of humanity in a befitting manner. We must
be self-sacrificing. We must clothe ourselves with the garment of joy and
happiness. We must not be pessimists nor misanthropists. We must pray to God
that He may assist us in the accomplishment of real services in His Heavenly
Vineyard. One drop of deed is better than an ocean of words, and one
ounce of action is more valuable than a ton of eloquent speeches."
Hence let us realize that we have had enough of silence and indecision; enough
of sadness and affliction; enough of ignorance and prejudice; enough of discord
and inharmony; enough of thorns and briars; enough of night and darkness;
enough of fear and restlessness. This new era that is dawning upon us and the
world will be an era of eloquence and decision; an age of happiness and
felicity; a cycle of knowledge and internationalism; a period of union and
harmony; a spring of roses and lilies; a day of light and air; a cycle of
courage and conviction. The bygone is bygone, and we must try to forget the sad
miseries and the sadder events. The future -- Ah me! the future is pregnant
with great possibilities -- is before us; the instructions of Abdul Bahá have
been given to us, and God has given us the free will and the power to carry out
His Commands and fulfill His hopes. So far as I am concerned, I must shake off
the lethargy of the past years. I must be awakened out of the sleep of Rip Van
Winkle. I must leave the corner of oblivion. I must throw myself with heart and
soul into the field of labor. I must break the silence of ages. I must go
forward and serve my Beloved Master. I must call the people to his Message of
Love and Faith. I must go ahead without looking to the right or to the left.
His Protection is infinite, His Mercy is universal, His loving-kindness is
boundless and His Patience is age-abiding. The inner small voice bids me:
Getup, work, strike while the iron is hot; open the eyes, go forward, raise the
Call, give joy to others, be mobile and active, be a herald of good news,
advance in the Path, be humble and submissive to the Will of Thy Beloved. Serve
his friends with faithfulness and rectitude, and look upon theyself as the
unworthy servant of the servants of the King of the hearth."
Now let us turn our attention to the most important affair of this gathering,
and that is to read to you the Eighth General Tablet addressed to the Bahá'ís of
the United States and Canada. This Tablet is in reality a mine of heavenly
Instructions, and was revealed in Bahjee in three parts. The
first part was dictated on Wednesday morning, April l9th, the second part on
Thursday morning, April 20th, and the third part on Saturday morning, April
The wonderful supplication in behalf of peace was dictated under most
interesting circumstances. Abdul Bahá has a custom whenever he visits the Tomb
of Bahá'o'llah of pumping the water to flood the rose garden around the Tomb.
On this particular morning while he was pumping water and a number of friends
were standing around, he dictated in a moving, spiritual voice that spiritual
prayer. Whenever I chant it, I see again the wonderful figure of the Beloved,
the beautiful fragrant garden, the sun just rising in the East and illumining
the green plain of Acca, the Sacred Tomb of the Blessed Perfection, the friends
standing around listening with tears in their eyes, the fresh breeze wafting
by, and now and then the, sweet
notes of the birds in the trees, reaching our ears -- and do you see me
standing near the Beloved of my heart with paper and pen in my hand, writing
down His invocation to God for the cessation of hostilities between the
"To the believers of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful of the Bahá'í
Assemblies in the United States of America and Canada!
Upon them be Bahá'o'llah El Abha!
He is God!
"O ye apostles of Bahá'o'llah -- May my life be a ransom to you!
"The blessed Person of the Promised One is interpreted in the Holy Book as the
Lord of Hosts, i. e., the heavenly armies: By heavenly armies those souls are
intended who are entirely freed from the human world, transformed into
celestial spirits and have become divine angels. Such souls are the rays of the
Sun of Reality who will illumine all the continents. Each one is holding in his
hand a trumpet, blowing the Breath of Life over all the regions. They are
delivered from human qualities and the defects of the world of nature, are
characterized with the characteristics of God, and are attracted with the
Fragrances of the Merciful. Like unto the apostles of Christ, who were filled
with Him, these souls also have become filled with His Holiness Bahá'o'llah, i.
e., the love of Bahá'o'llah has so mastered every organ, part and limb of their
bodies, as to leave no effect by the promptings of the human world.
"These souls are the Armies of God and the conquerors of the East and the
West. Should one of them turn his face toward some direction and summon the
people to the Kingdom of God, all the ideal forces and lordly confirmations
will rush to his support and reinforcement. He will behold all the doors open
and all the strong fortifications and impregnable castles razed to the ground.
Singly and alone he will attack the armies of the world, defeat the right and
left wings of the hosts of all the countries, break through the lines of the
legions of all the nations and carry his attack to the very center of the
powers of the earth. This is the meaning of the Hosts of God.
"Any soul from among the believers of Bahá'o'llah who attains to this
station, will become known as the Apostle of Bahá'o'llah. Therefore strive ye
with heart and soul -- so that ye may reach this lofty and exalted position, be
established on the throne of everlasting glory, and crown your heads with the
shining Diadem of the Kingdom, whose brilliant jewels may irradiate upon
centuries and cycles.
"O ye kind friends! Uplift your magnanimity and soar high toward the apex of
heaven -- so that your blessed hearts may become illumined more and more, day
by day, through the Rays of the Sun of Reality, i.e., His Holiness Bahá'o'llah;
at every moment the spirits may obtain a new life, and the darkness of the
world of nature may be entirely dispelled -- thus ye may become incarnate light
and personified spirit, become entirely unaware of the sordid matters of this
world and in touch with the affairs of the Divine World.
"Consider ye what doors His Holiness Bahá'o'llah has opened before you, and
what a high and exalted station He has destined for you, and what Bounties He
has prepared for you! Should we become intoxicated with this Cup, the
sovereignty of this globe of earth will become lower in our estimation than the
children's plays. Should they place in the arena the crown of the government of
the whole world, and invite each one of us to accept it, undoubtedly we will
not condescend, and will refuse to accept it.
"To attain to this supreme station is, however, dependent on the realization
of certain conditions:
"The first condition is firmness in the Covenant of God. For the Power of the
Covenant will protect the Cause of Bahá'o'llah from the doubts of the people of
error. It is the fortified fortress of the Cause of God and the firm pillar of
the religion of God. Today no power can conserve the oneness of the Bahá'í world
save the Covenant of God; otherwise differences like unto a most great tempest
will encompass the Bahá'í world. It is evident that the axis of the oneness of
the world of humanity is the power of the Covenant and nothing else. Had the
Covenant not come to pass, had it not been revealed from the Supreme Pen and
had not the Book of the Covenant, like unto the ray of the Sun of Reality,
illuminated the world the forces of the Cause of God would have been utterly
scattered and certain souls who were the prisoners of their own passions and
lusts would have taken into their hands an axe, cutting the root of this
Blessed Tree. Every person would have pushed forward his own desire and every
individual aired his own opinion! Notwithstanding this Great Covenant, a few
negligent souls galloped with their chargers into the battlefield, thinking
perchance they may be able to weaken the foundation of the Cause of God: but
praise be to God all of them were afflicted with regret and loss, and ere long
they shall see themselves in poignant despair. Therefore, in the beginning one
must make his steps firm in the Covenant -- so that the Confirmations of
Bahá'o'llah may encircle from all sides, the cohorts of the Supreme Concourse
may become the supporters and the helpers, and the Exhortations and Advices of
Abdul Bahá, like unto the Pictures engraved on the stone, may remain permanent
and like unto in the tablets of the hearts.
"The Second Condition: Fellowship and love amongst the believers. The divine
friends must be attracted to and enamored of each other and ever be ready and
willing to sacrifice their own lives for each other. Should one
soul from amongst the believers meet another, it must be as though a thirsty
one with parched lips has reached to the fountain of the Water of Life, or a
]over has met his true beloved. For one of the greatest Divine wisdoms
regarding the appearance of the Holy Manifestations is this: The souls may come
to know each other and become intimate with each other; the power of the love
of God may make all of them the waves of one sea, the flowers of one
rose-garden, and the stars of one heaven. This is the wisdom for the appearance
of the Holy Manifestations! When the most great Bestowal reveals itself in the
hearts of the believers, the world of nature will be transformed, the darkness
of the contingent being will vanish, and heavenly illumination wilt be obtained
Then the whole world will become the Paradise of Abha, every one of the
believers of God will become a blessed tree, producing wonderful fruits.
"O ye friends! Fellowship, fellowship! Love, love. Unity, unity! -- So that the
Power of the Bahá'í Cause may appear and become manifest in the world of
existence. Just at this moment I am engaged in your commemoration and this
heart is in the utmost glow and excitement! Were ye to realize how this
conscience is attracted with the love of the friends, unquestionably ye shall
obtain such a degree of joy and fragrance that ye will all become enamored with
"The Third Condition: Teachers must continually travel to all parts of the
Continent, nay, rather, to all parts of the world, but they must travel like
Abdul Bahá, who journeyed throughout the cities of America. He was sanctified
and free from every attachment and in the utmost severance. Just as His
Holiness Christ says: 'Shake off the very dust from your feet.'
"Ye have observed that while in America many souls in the utmost of
supplication and entreaty desired to offer some gifts, but this servant, in
accord with the Exhortations and Behests of the Blessed Perfection, never
accepted a thing, although on certain occasions we were in most straitened
circumstances. But on the other hand, if a soul for the sake of God,
voluntarily and out of his pure desire, wishes to offer a contribution (toward
the expenses of a teacher) in order to make the contributor happy, the teacher
may accept a small sum, but must live with the utmost contentment.
"The aim is this: The intention of the teacher must be pure, his heart
independent, his spirit attracted, his thought at peace, his resolution firm,
his magnanimity exalted and in the Love of God a shining torch. Should he
become as such, his sanctified breath will even, affect the rock; otherwise
there will be no result whatsoever. As long as a soul is not perfected, how can
he efface the defects of others. Unless he is detached from aught else save
God, how can he teach severance to others!
"In short, O ye believers of God! Endeavor ye; so that ye may take hold of
every means in the promulgation of the religion of God and the diffusion of the
Fragrances of God.
"Amongst other things is the holding of the meetings for teaching so that
blessed souls and the old ones from amongst the believers may gather together
the youths of the Love of God in schools of instruction and teach them all the
Divine Proofs and irrefragible arguments, explain and elucidate
the history of the Cause, and interpret also the prophecies and proofs which
are recorded and are extant in the Divine Books and Epistles regarding the
Manifestation of the Promised One, so that the young ones may go in perfect
knowledge in all these degrees.
"Likewise, whenever it is possible a committee must be organized for the
translation of the Tablets. Wise souls who have mastered and studied perfectly
the Persian, Arabic and foreign languages, or know one of the foreign languages
-- must commence translating Tablets and books containing the proofs of this
Revelation, and publishing those books, circulate them throughout the five
continents of the globe.
"Similarly, the Magazine, the STAR OF THE WEST, must be edited in the utmost
regularity, but its contents must be the promulgator of the Cause of God -- so
that both in the East and the West, they may become informed with the most
"In short, in all the meetings, whether public or private, nothing should be
discussed save that which is under consideration, and all the articles be
centered around the Cause of God. Promiscuous talks must not be dragged in and
contention is absolutely forbidden.
"The teachers travelling in different directions must know the language of the
country in which they will enter. For example, a person being proficient in the
Japanese language may travel to Japan, or a person knowing the Chinese language
may hasten to China, and so forth.
"In short, after this universal war, the people have obtained extraordinary
capacity to hearken to the Divine Teachings, for the wisdom of this war is
this: That it may be become proven to all that the fire of war is
world-consuming, whereas the rays of Peace are world-enlightening. One is
death, the other is life; this is extinction, that is immortality; one is the
most great calamity, the other is the most great bounty; this is darkness, that
is light; this is eternal humiliation and that is everlasting glory; one is the
destroyer of the foundation of man, the other is the founder of the prosperity
of the human race.
"Consequently, a number of souls may arise and act in accordance with the
aforesaid conditions and hasten to all parts of the world, especially from
America to Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, and travel through Japan and
China, Likewise, from Germany teachers and believers may travel to the
Continents of America, Africa, Japan and China; in brief, they may travel
through all the Continents and islands of the globe. Thus in a short space of
time, most wonderful results will be produced, the Banner of Universal Peace
will be waving on the apex of the world and the lights of the oneness of the
world of humanity may illumine the universe.
"In brief, O ye believers of God! The text of the Divine Book is this: If two
souls quarrel and contend about a question of the Divine questions, differing
and disputing, both are wrong. The wisdom of this incontrovertible law of God
is this: That between two souls from amongst the believers of God, no
contention and dispute might arise; that they may speak with each other with
infinite amity and love. Should there appear the least trace of controversy,
they must remain silent, and both parties must continue their
discussions no longer, but ask the reality of the question from the
Interpreter. This is the irrefutable command!
"Upon ye be Bahá El Abha!
"O God! O God! Thou seest that black darkness hath encompassed all the
regions, all the countries are burning with the conflagration of dissension and
the fire of war and carnage is ignited in the Easts of the earth and the Wests
thereof. The blood is being shed, the corpses are stretched and the heads are
decapitated and thrown on the ground in the battlefield.
"Lord! Lord! Have pity on these ignorant ones, look upon them with the Eye of
Forgiveness and Pardon. Extinguish this fire-so that these gloomy clouds
covering the horizon may be scattered; the Sun of Reality may shine forth with
the Rays of Conciliation; this darkness be rent asunder and all the countries
be illumined with the lights of peace.
"Lord! Awaken them from the depths of the sea of animosity, deliver them from
these impenetrable darknesses, establish affinity between their hearts and
enlighten their eyes with the light of peace and reconciliation.
"Lord! Rescue them from the fathomless depths of war and bloodshed! Arouse
them out of the gloom of error, rend asunder the veil from their eyes, brighten
their hearts with the light of guidance, deal with them through Thy Favor and
Mercy and do not treat them according to Thy Justice and Wrath through which
the backs of the mighty ones are shaken!
"Lord? Verily the wars have prolonged, the calamities have increased, and
every building hath turned into ruin.
"Lord! Verily the breasts are agitated and the souls are convulsed. Have mercy
on these poor ones and do not leave them to do with themselves that which they
"Lord! Send forth throughout Thy countries humble and submissive souls, their
faces illumined with the rays of Guidance, severed from the world, speaking Thy
remembrance and praise and diffusing Thy Holy Fragrances amongst mankind!
"Lord! Strengthen their backs, reinforce their loins and dilate their breasts
with the Signs of Thy Most Great Love.
"Lord! Verily they are weak and Thou art the Powerful and the Mighty, and they
are impotent and Thou art the Helper and the Merciful!
"Lord! Verily the sea of transgression is waving high and these hurricanes
will not be calmed down save through Thy boundless Grace which hath embraced
all the regions!
"Lord! Verily the souls are in the deep valleys of lust and nothing will
awaken them save Thy most wonderful Bounties.
"Lord! Dispel these darknesses of temptations and illumine the hearts with the
lamp of Thy Love, through which all the countries will be enlightened. Confirm
those believers who, leaving their countries, their families and their
children, travel throughout the regions; for the sake of the love of Thy
Beauty, the diffusion of Thy Fragrances and the promulgation of Thy Teachings.
Be Thou their companion in their loneliness, their Helper in a strange land,
the Remover of their sorrow, the Comforter in their calamity, their Deliverer
in their hardship, the Satisfier of their thirst, the Healer of their malady
and the Allayer of the fire of their longing.
"Verily, Thou art the Clement, the Possessor of Mercy, and Verily Thou art the
Compassionate and the Merciful.
"(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS."
While dictating these Great Tablets, the Beloved was exceedingly happy, his
whole face enkindled with the Fire of the Love of God. How I wished at the time
that many of you were present during these inspiring hours -- hours which will
be most precious in the Bahá'í history -- to listen with your own cars to the
Voice of Truth. I believe that for ages to come the foundation of the Bahá'í
Teaching will be laid on these glorious Tablets. The full circulation and study
of these historical documents will set into motion new worldwide beneficent
forces. The believers of God will obtain a new joy and their attention will be
always directed to interminable new fields of service. With the unveiling of
these Tablets, we have a sound basis for universal Bahá'í work. Never in the
religious history of mankind has there been such a wonderful instance that the
Manifestation Himself drew such a Great Plan for general teaching and the
guidance of the teeming population of the globe. May the Blessed Perfection
assist us -- so that with our united co-operation and the Confirmation of the
Holy Spirit the Divine Teachings may be promulgated in all parts of the world.
It is indeed a marvelous work for the sincere faithful friends in the Cause! In
reality we must pray and prepare ourselves for this heavenly undertaking --
thus mankind may receive universal results from these Spiritual principles. The
publication of these Tablets will bring into play mighty forces and great
movements. Many souls will arise to teach and spread the Fragrances, a
wonderful exhilaration and ecstasy will be created in the hearts and the Cause
will advance with great rapidity. The Master said: "The results of these
Tablets are endless. Should the believers of God live and act in accordance
with the instructions laid down in these Tablets, the angels of the Spirit will
assist and confirm them." And later on, when he -was walking in the garden, he
said: "The teachers of the world must be like these flowers, fresh and
fragrant; to perfume the nostrils with their sweet smell; they must not fade
away, they must not droop; the hot winds of difficulties must not sere and
wither them. "Then looking at a choir of birds swaying and singing in the
branches of the trees, he said: "How these birds are free! Look! They are
rising into the air! Their wings are open, soaring up and up into the pure
atmosphere What soul-cheering songs have they hidden behind their little
brains, back of their golden throats and in the secret chambers of their
vibrating lungs! It is my hope that the teachers who are going to travel
through the five Continents of the globe may always sing such heavenly songs,
which may impart happiness and delight to the hearts of men."
Let me ask you and myself this last question before I bring this talk to a
close: Now that we have this Divine Plan unveiled before us -- what is our
attitude toward It: From what angle of vision do we look upon It? How are we
going to carry It through, even a thousandth part of It? With what resources,
with what knowledge, with what experience are we going to undertake this
greatest Task of all? I can answer it for myself, and I am sure every one of
you has already formulated some kind of all answer to the
appeal of Abdul Bahá. My personal attitude toward this universal service is
twofold. First, an attitude of profound humility, of utter unworthiness, that
God in His profound Wisdom hath chosen these weak and indigent servants and
maid-servants to carry out His Eternal Will. No matter what services we have
rendered in the past, they dwindle into smallness and insignificance in
comparison with what the Beloved desires us to do now and in the future.
Therefore all that we have to do is to acknowledge at His Divine Threshold our
humility and unworthiness, and know as a certainty that we are less than atoms
in the warm rays of this Glorious Sun.
My second attitude is an attitude of intoxicating pride and thanksgiving, not a
pride that vaunteth, not a vainglorious, foolish pride, but a conscious
spiritual, humble pride in the fact that God after all hath chosen these weak
instruments to demonstrate His Power and Majesty to the world, hath elected
these broken-winged birds so that we may all soar to the height of the heaven
of practical, humane service. I say, my friends, I am proud of it, and am sure
you all feel proud of it, and feel the blood of joy and praise tingling and
surging in all our bodies. We feel proud in the right sense, because we are
thus privileged in this Great Cycle of the Manifestation of Truth, to work and
labor in a concrete manner for the establishment of the Kingdom of God on
earth. With what power are we going to realize the plan? Where are our armies,
our treasures and our wealth? Our armies are the Cohorts of the Kingdom of
Abha. Our treasures are the Teachings and Instruction of Bahá'o'llah. Our
wealth consists of our firmness and steadfastness in the love of the Center of
the Covenant. Yes! Relying on the Confirmation of God and the Breaths of the
Holy Spirit, we will go forth into the world, while singing the song of
Soleyman Khan, as he was taken to the place of martyrdom, the lighted candles
burning slowly through his flesh and thousands of spectators looking at him
"In one hand the wine-cup, in the other the Tresses of the Friend!
Such a dance in the midst of the Market Place I desire!"
It now gives me great pleasure to request Miss Amy K. Wilkinson and Miss Pearl
Porter to come forward and unveil this most wonderful of all Tablets, this
Spiritual Document for all posterity, this heavenly rose-garden of all the
fresh immortelles of the spirit; this spring of hope for the betterment of
humanity. Abdul Bahá has indeed given us the brightest hope, and with this
new-found hope we will be inspired to arise and work faithfully and cheerfully,
as Whittier says in his Dream of Summer: "The night is mother of the Day,
The Winter of the Spring
Behind the cloud the starlight lurks,
Through showers the sunbeams fall.
For God, who loveth all His work,
Has left His Hope with all." [page 73]
THE UNVEILING OF THE DIVINE PLAN
Bahá'o'llah says, in the Tablet to Napoleon III:
"Arise from the Horizon of Severance in My Name, then advance toward the
Kingdom; by the Command of thy Lord, the Mighty, the Powerful. Arise amongst
the servants by My authority and say: 'O people! the day hath come and the
Fragrance of God hath been diffused amongst the people of the world.' Lot
thyself be burned by this Fire which the Merciful hath kindled in the midst of
creation, that the warmth of His Love be produced by you in the hearts of those
who advance. Follow My Way, then attract the hearts by My mention, the Mighty,
the Powerful. . . . Every soul is commanded by God to deliver the Truth, and
those who desire to comply with His High Command should first characterize
themselves with the best characteristics and attributes, and then try to
deliver the Truth to the people who will undoubtedly be attracted by the Words
of such teachers. . . . We have ordained the delivery of the Truth through
explanation and demonstration; therefore, beware not to dispute or argue with
anyone. . . . O people of Bahá! Subdue the cities of the hearts, by the sword
of Wisdom and demonstration, and those who argue in accordance with their own
desire and wish, they are in manifest wrong."
Dear Bahá'í brothers and sisters!
During the last few days, we have all had the privilege of hearkening to the
Universal Instructions of Abdul Bahá regarding the diffusion of the Fragrances
of the Cause over the five Continents of the Globe. In a most comprehensive,
divine Plan he directed us to arise and teach the principles of the Oneness of
the world of humanity to all the children of men. The greatness and spiritual
effect of this Plan cannot be realized at the present time. As we set ourselves
in earnestness to execute one by one, his wondrous commands, their importance
will be revealed to us. The contact and association of so many excellent men
and women from all parts of the United States and Canada will no doubt create
an atmosphere of spiritual uplift and generate warmth and enthusiasm for the
great work ahead of us. Each one of us will carry back a sense of joy and a
picture of the vision of Abdul Bahá -- so far-reaching in its scope and so vast
in its universality. The records of this Convention will show to the world what
the Bahá'ís at large are aiming at. They aim at nothing but a complete
regeneration of the moral, religious and intellectual forces of mankind.
With the unveiling of these Great Tablets at the sessions of this Convention
and the translation and presentation of their contents, I have, praise be to
God, fulfilled the trust and mission that the Beloved laid on me' several
months ago. Just at this time it was a great responsibility to bring these
precious documents over land and sea. They were never separated from me. For
fear of losing them, I carried them next to my body all day; and every night
they were placed under my pillow before I could close my eyes. Often
I dreamt that I had lost them, or that they fell from my pocket into the ocean;
then waking with great agitation and perspiring profusely, my hand would run
wildly under the pillow and finding them there safe, I would knee down in
Now, having been present at the birth of each one of these Great Charters and
having read them many and many a time, I find the note that is insisted upon in
all of them is: "Teach the Cause, and teach it. to everyone." Both the Bab and
Bahá'o'llah have looked upon this subject as the most vital problem of the
Cause, and in the writings of Abdul Bahá we find abundant references,
encouraging the friends to arise and diffuse the Fragrances or Truth. A Bahá'í
like unto a soldier must keep himself always in a state of preparedness. He
must prevent the swords of proofs from becoming rusty in their scabbards -- so
that when he enters the field of teaching he may be ready to win a spiritual
victory. A Bahá'í is like unto a rose-bud which has grown by the side of the
river of the Paradise of Abha; teaching is like the gentle zephyr which wafting
over it, causes it to he opened and the hidden sweet fragrances of the Spirit
are diffused. The heart of a Bahá'í is like unto a spring. The more the water
gushes forth, the clearer and the purer will it become, more fields are
flooded, a greater number of the vineyards of the Lord are brought under
cultivation, and innumerable harvests are gathered.
Through teaching, the mute bird becomes the sweet-singing nightingale; the,
calm sea, of being, tempestuous; the extinguished candles, the shining stars;
the dried tree, verdant, and green; the blind, the deaf and the seeing, hearing
and eloquent; the downcast and the prisoner, the prince of the Kingdom of Glory
and honor, and the desert of ignorance is changed into the delectable garden of
knowledge covered with flowers and trees.
If we are the birds of the Paradise of Abha, then me must break into a chorus
of heavenly song; if we are the brilliant lamps of the assemblages of the
Merciful, then we must shine; if we are the beaming stars of the horizon of
Guidance, then we must dispel the deep gloom of the night of prejudices, and if
we are the waves of the ocean of Oneness, then me must move and gleam.
The most acceptable time for the service of the believers of God has come, and
the orb of teaching must dawn from the horizon of their pure hearts. The
friends of Abdul Bahá must from now on show forth the greatest effort, in the
promulgation of the Word of God in all parts of be world. Every soul according
to his capability must come forward with his own services -- so that through
the exertion of the believers of the Blessed Perfection and the devotees of the
Greatest Branch, the jungle of superstitious belief may be transformed into the
rose-garden of the signs of the Lord of Hosts, and the wild trees of existence
Now that the Universal Charters of the Center of the Covenant have established
the fact beyond a shadow of doubt that the Bahá'í Cause must become
world-encircling, this hope will not be realized if we merely came together,
sat, talked, had a pleasant time, delivered eloquent speeches and then went
home. There must needs a super-extraordinary exertion, for even through
extraordinary efforts this great service will not be accomplished. Miraculous,
supernatural magnanimity is needed -- so that the shining High-
way of the Lord may be paved and the inhabitants of the world illumined with
the light of brotherhood.
If we are not deeply concerned with the progress of the Cause, who else should
be? If we do not arise unitedly and with one accord to promote the Word of God,
who is there to do it? If we have not caught the glow of the enthusiasm of
Abdul Bahá, and have not burned the veil of lukewarmness, then who will burn
it? If we do not raise the cry of Ya Bahá El Abha in meetings and gatherings of
the world, then who will raise it?
Praise be to God that the rays of the Sun of the Countenance of Covenant are
shining upon all; the rain of his boundless mercy is pouring on all; around his
heavenly table are we sitting; from the ocean of his Knowledge have we drunk;
his Power and Majesty have been observed, and to his utterance of Divine wisdom
have we listened. Rest! Have we not all eternity to rest in? Regret and sorrow!
This is not the time for it. Hail! Ye workers of the Kingdom! Welcome! All ye
joy-bringers of heaven! Stretch ye your wings and soar ye in the atmosphere of
Truth! Open ye your tongues, and sing ye the songs of happiness! Had I a
thousand lives and had sacrificed all of them at the feet of the Center of the
Covenant, still have I done nothing! For what is the worth of my life, or the
value of your life in comparison with the Sun-life of the Beloved!
Difficulties must increase our faith; trials and vicissitudes must enkindle
the fire of attraction. We must all become united like the members of one
family, the rays of one orb, the words of one book, the stars of one
constellation and the pearls of one sea. In words, deeds and actions we must
become welded together for the accomplishment of the Great Task! Each one of us
is responsible for all. The greatest service that we can render to the Cause is
to characterize ourselves with the characteristics of Abdul Bahá, to walk in
his footsteps, to enter under his Divine Canopy and to so live and act as to
become conducive to the happiness of his heart. In the assemblage of the
spiritual ones let us seek his beauty, adore his countenance, awaken the
heedless ones and win the goal of service. Let us gird up the loins of
endeavor, and arise in the promulgation of the Religion of God; cast away the
garments of limitations and harmful habits and be clothed with the white robe
of Divine Teachings, perfections of humanity and spiritual virtues.
Should we become assisted in this, the rays of the Sun of Reality will
illumine the hearts, through the Power of the Greatest Name we shall conquer
the Kingdom of Spirits; the traces of brotherhood, happiness and peace will
irradiate from our faces, and we will not exchange the servitude at the
Threshhold of the Center of the Covenant of God, for the Sovereignty of the
At this last session I would like to share with you the context of a talk the
Beloved gave me a few days before my departure from his holy Presence. "For
nearly eight years," he said, "thou hast lived with me day and night, both at
home and abroad, on land and on sea thou hast been my companion. In all the
sufferings and hardships of the last few years thou hast been a partner. With
thine own ears thou hast heard everything. With thine own eyes thou hast seen
all. Ever have I been thinking to send thee back to America -- so that thou
mayst spend thy days in the service of the Cause of God and the diffusion of
the Fragrances of God. Now thy time has come. Out of this Divine College thou
must go into the world. Gird up the loins of
endeavor and magnify thy aim. Purify and sanctify thy heart from every desire.
I am sending thee to those vast continents with the Powers of the Kingdom, the
Breaths of the Holy Spirit, the Confirmations of the Merciful and the
Glad-tidings of the Supreme Lord. This will constitute thy capital. This will
be the foundation of thy life. This is the cause of the inspiration of thy
ideals. Concentrate all thy time in the service of the Cause. Be thou the means
of the reconciliation of the hearts; create love and fellowship between the
friends. Soar always in the atmosphere of universal concepts. Attach not
thyself to particulars. Do not interfere in the local affairs of the friends.
Explain that which is conducive to their welfare and the progress of the Cause.
I will pray for thee at every midnight. Rest thou assured. I will be with thee
both in thy journeys and thy sojourns. Thou must do thy utmost to reach the
Convention, and if possible take a steamer direct for the United States.
Associate with the people with love and kindliness. Gladden the hearts of the
friends and strangers. Endeavor as far as thou canst to sadden no heart. Sorrow
is the dust over the mirror: cleanse the dust and let the light of the sun of
happiness reflect therein. Contemplate day and night over my words, deeds and
life. These must serve thee as general and particular examples. If all the
people of the world turn their faces from thee and God be with thee, thou art
victorious. The life of man must be planned in accord with the good pleasure of
the Lord. Do not engage thy time in fault-finding and backbiting. If anyone
comes to you and opens the first chapter of such a book, tell him: O my dear
friend! I have not come here to listen to these talks. I have come to call the
people to the Kingdom of Abha! I have come to rend asunder the veils of old
superstitions and traditions. I have come to call you to love, friendship,
unity and the brotherhood of the human race. These stories and these gossips
are conducive to the extinction of the Fire of the Love of God; they are like
poisonous winds that blowing over the flowers and hyacinths of the spirit,
wither them; they are like the gloomy, black clouds that prevent the shining of
the Sun of Reality. His Holiness Bahá'o'llah has not created us for the
discussion of these petty questions and infantile problems. Ye must be the
vivifiers of the world! Light-bringers to the inhabitants of the globe;
creators of lofty ideals and world-moving thoughts; the orbs and the stars of
the universe of the spirit and conscience; the fragrant flowers of the
rose-garden of compassion and mercy; the singing birds and the nightingales of
the Paradise of His Highness Bahá'o'llah; the jewels and pearls of the
fathomless sea of eternal joy and beatitude; the fresh showers of the clouds of
Generosity, and the enkindled sons and daughters of the Kingdom of His Highness
the Clement One! Serve ye your fellowmen. Help them under all circumstances.
Inspire them with your faith and ennoble them with your example. The Blessed
Perfection has destined for you this Divine Station. Work ye so that you may
attain thereunto. He has prepared for you a most brilliant crown -- not the
crown of an empire but the Crown of social and spiritual service. Place it on
your heads. He has spread before you a banquet, adorned with all kinds of
heavenly food. Gather ye around it and do not deprive yourselves thereof. The
Sun of His Mercy is shining. The Rains of His Clemency are pouring down. The
Breezes of His Providence are wafting and the Ocean of His Bestowals is waving.
Hasten ye! Hasten ye.
"Enlighten your beings with the rays of His Sun!
"Allay your thirst with the pure water of His Love!
"Refresh the trees of your existence by the wafting of the Gale of His
"Learn to swim in the fathomless sea of His Teachings!
"And again I repeat! Hasten ye! Hasten ye! Seclusion, silence, hopelessness,
despair are the characteristics of the coward and the lazy, and not the
qualities of the servants and the maid-servants of His Highness the
"Rest ye assured! Strengthen your hearts and fill your souls with the music of
"In brief, With these and similar statements create a new joy and exhilaration
in the hearts of the believers, and let them comprehend clearly that today the
cause that is confirmed is the promotion of the Word of God and the diffusion
of the Fragrances of God.
"I will never forget thee. Day and night thou art before my sight. Few souls
have stayed for so long a time with me. I declare by the Blessed Perfection
that always at midnight I shall pray for thee, supplicating and entreating at
the Blessed Threshold, saying: O God! Confirm Mirza Ahmad, my son! Assist him
till his last breath in the service of Thy Cause! Help him with the Angels of
the Kingdom of Abha! and reinforce him with the Cohorts of the Supreme
Concourse! Be Thou with him over mountains and deserts; on land and sea. Place
in his words the effect of Thy Mighty Word. Illumine his face with the rays of
the Sun of Reality. Make his heart Thy dwelling-place and suffer his spirit to
soar toward the world of the Kingdom.
Make his feet firm, his words effective -- so that the news of his spiritual
victories may impart joy to this sad heart.
"As to the characteristics of a Teacher: First of all, he must have a sweet
disposition! A sweet disposition is better than all the wealth of the world. A
mild disposition will make the teacher loved by all the pupils. With arguments
and controversies and contentions people are driven away, but with love,
gentleness and sweetness they bloom forth like unto a rose.
"Thou must be one of the many souls who are going to live in accord with my
Instructions in these General Tablets. Endeavor thou to make their importance
plain and clear to everyone. All the believers, both men and women, in the East
and in the West must consider themselves the spreaders of the contents of these
Epistles; so that the rays of the Sun of Truth may ere long illumine all the
continents and islands of the globe, and the dark clouds of prejudices and
ignorance be dispelled.
"Consider! What a vast field of international service is opened before the
faces of the friends! As long as there are such universal problems in the Cause
to occupy our time with their solution, is it befitting to pass the precious
hours in discussing unimportant and insignificant questions?
"I desire that every one of the believers may become like an ignited candle in
the assemblage of the world of humanity, and conducive to the Eternal Life of
others. Today the Confirmations of the Kingdom of Abha are with those who
renounce themselves, forget their opinions, cast aside personalities and are
thinking of the welfare of others. Whosoever has lost himself, has found the
universe and the inhabitants thereof! Whosoever is occupied with himself is
wandering in the desert of heedlessness and regret!
The master-key to self-mastery is self-forgetfulness. The road to the palace
of life is through the path of renunciation.
When thou reachest America, convey my longing greeting to all the friends and
the maid-servants of the Merciful, and say to them:
"O ye friends of the Blessed Beauty! Today is the day of attraction and
enkindlement! This day is the day of Unity and nobility! This century is the
century of the reaching of the Cause of God and summoning the people to the
Kingdom of God! This Call is the Call of ecstasy and bliss! This time is the
time of serving the world of humanity, and diffusing the rays of universal
ideals! This age is the age of the eradication of vice, pauperism and social
defects! This cycle is the cycle of awakening, progress and the promotion of
the principles of Divine Civilization! This period is the period of lights!
This Dispensation is the Dispensation of the appearance of the perfections of
man and the manifestation of the virtues of the Lord of the Kingdom! This
season is the season of a new springtime, spiritual, celestial and divine. O
men! The sweet fragrances of the flowers of the pure hearts are wafted abroad;
the Sun of Love is rising high above the horizon, the overflowing cups of the
Wine of Significances are passed around! Drink ye thereof deeply; thus ye may become unconscious to all else save the love of the
Beloved of the world!
"This is not the hour of rest! This is not the time of silence! This is not
the day of inactivity! Like unto one mighty spirit, moving through thousands of
souls, arise ye from your seats and cry at the top of your voices: 'Ya Bahá El
Abha!' Cleanse your hearts like unto clear mirrors. Suffer your minds to become
the royal palaces of heavenly ideals! Close your eyes to the earth, its
conditions and its differences. Turn your insight to the invisible world and
its unseen cohorts of invulnerable truths. Then ye shall observe what signs of
power and might have appeared from your words and deeds and how each one of you
has become a conqueror of the realms of the hearts and the spirits!
"The doors of the inexhaustible treasuries of the Kingdom of Abha are wide
open! Awaken ye! and take ye a great share thereof. The boundless wealth of the
world of immortality is before your faces! Fill your hearts and minds with it!
Just as the disciples of Jesus Christ were filled with His Love, you must also
be filled with the Love of Bahá'o'llah! Speak ye about Him; sing ye His praises
and commendations and like unto the unshakable mountains be ye firm in His
Covenant. Fill ye the minds with the acclamations of joy! Cast ye in the hearts
the seeds of gladness. Make your spirits the caskets of the jewels of His Love.
Do ye not rest for one moment! Do ye not stop for any consideration! For the
progress and the advancement of the Cause in this world depends upon the
wisdom, intelligence, knowledge and tactfulness of the lovers of the Blessed
Beauty! The proper adjustment of these four qualities depends, however, upon
our humility and the Breaths of the Holy Spirit.
"As long as you have the Great Ocean, why be satisfied with the small river?
While you are in possession of scintillating jewels, why do ye attach your
hearts to crockeries? While the sweet-singing nightingales are singing.
soul-ravishing lays, why should you listen to the croaking of the raven?
While the lovely flowers have adorned the plains and the meadows, why should
ye wander in the wilderness of thorns and hobgoblins?
"The Song of the Bird of Paradise is raised!
"The rays of the Sun of Reality are irradiating!
"Become ye illumined!
"The armies of the Kingdom of Abha are attacking!
"The heavenly Beloved with Celestial Beauty is present in the assemblage of I
"Be ye thankful!
"The Desired Of all nations has unveiled His Heavenly Countenance! Enter ye in
the ranks of Ills admirers and lovers!
"The time is your time! The hour is your hour! Make ye firm your steps! Raise
ye your voices! Unstop your ears! Unloose your tongues in His glorification!
Let the different aims revolve around the one great Aim, and submerged all the
varieties of opinion in the Colorless Sea of the Love of Bahá'o'llah!
"Upraise your hands toward His Kingdom and beg His Confirmation and
Assistance! His Bounty will change an atom into a sun, a drop into a sea, the
stone into the jewel, the charcoal into a diamond, and the black soil into
flowers and anemones. He will make the weak strong and the unknown famous. His
Ancient Graces are universal and His Spiritual Favors world-encircling. All
that He hath given to others, He will confer upon you a thousandfold. Do ye not
look upon your own shortcomings and capacity. Behold His all-embracing Love and
Clemency! Although we are broken-winged birds, He will bestow upon us the
imperial wings of the royal Falcon. Although we are dumb, He will grant us
eloquent and fluent tongues --so that in great gatherings we may speak His
praise and glory. Although we are lowly, He will Cause us to enter in His
"These are my aspirations! These are my hopes! These are my teachings! Now it
depends upon your magnanimity and effort, your self-sacrifice and spiritual
With this great plan of Abdul Bahá for the redemption of the world, we the
Bahá'ís are entering upon a new era of spiritual activity. The time is coming,
and I am just as sure as I am standing here in your midst, when the Bahá'í
teachers will be traveling throughout all the inhabited and uninhabited parts
of the globe. The Tundras of Siberia, the desert of Gobi, the wilderness of
Africa, the steppes of Central Asia, the plateau of Thibet, the Selvas of
Amazon and the pampas and Ilanos of South America will resound with the cry of
"Ya Bahá El Abha!" That time is coming, because Abdul Bahá has assured me, and
are the greatest proofs of that assurance. You and I, our children and
grandchildren, may not be living to see it, but the future generations yet
unborn will see it and will acknowledge the correctness of the Divine Vision of
the Center of the Covenant.
The discoveries of science, the marvels of engineering, the skill of inventors
and the genius of the inspired men will change the very atmosphere of those
barren wastes and luxuriant jungles of the tropics, making them more healthful
for the habitation of Man. Happy and prosperous nations will
plant their civilizations, based upon the Divine Principles of Truth. They will
be a god-fearing and righteous people, bold, peaceful, fearless and with the
love of the Manifestation in their hearts.
We will send teachers and priests of progress to all parts of the world, yea,
many of them; but what kind of teachers? Teachers With hearts of fire, with
souls filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, their spirits set aglow with
the light or the love of God, with minds illumined with the most humane and
lofty ideals of Bahá'o'llah, with consciousnesses intoxicated with the wine of
the love of Abdul Bahá.
Ah me! Teachers with firm steps, with steadfast resolutions, fearing no king
or potentate, declaring the principles of the Cause in the very jaws of death.
Welcoming the storms of persecutions and the gales of the insinuations of the
friends and foes As the balmy breezes of the garden of Abha! Storms and
hurricanes, whirlwinds and tornadoes! What of them? Let them come, let them
break with all their furies against my head. They will find me ready, welcoming
them with open arms, smiling while they howl and moan through the dark halls of
Valhalla, and when they have passed away, the world will find me standing in my
own place, firmer, stronger, taller, readier for a fiercer battle and a more
dreadful assault. Such missionaries, with such resolutions, we are going to
send into the wide world!
The religious institutions of the present generation feel they have missed the
primal simplicity and vigor of the Faith. They experience the general apathy of
men and women to all church creeds, rituals and ceremonies. Here lies our
supreme Mission, our greatest opportunity to convince the people that the Bahá'í
Cause has not come to destroy but to restore and recover the Divine spirit
which lies behind the message of all the prophets; to make life more abounding,
to guide us from the threshold into the inner court of the Almighty, to fill us
with the Breaths of the Holy Spirit, to suffer us to become completer men and
more perfect women, to lead us out of the darkness of the night of
superstitions into the bright day of Reality, to humanize our feelings, to
spiritualize our emotions, to feed us with the meat and not the husk, to break
the shell and show us the kernel. Yes, my friends! We are going to have our
Livingstones and our Stanleys; travelling and preaching the Gospel of Light to
the ignorant and the fallen.
Going back again to the consideration of these Universal Charters of humanity,
I must inform you for the sake of historical interest that at present there are
four copies extant; the first copies are those that we have unveiled, one at
each session; the second copies are in this little bound book in my hand, which
I always carry with me; the third copies are also in a similar book in the
Archives of Haifa, and the fourth copies are the original manuscripts corrected
by the blessed hand of the Beloved -- the most precious spiritual heritage for
Now my repeated readings of these Tablets, and my repeated conversations with
the Center of the Covenant concerning this Divine Plan, have given me a number
of suggestions, which I would like to present to you. After this Convention,
many of you will surely be inspired with many more practical suggestions, all
of which will be welcomed by the Bahá'í world as evidences of the working of the
power of the Spirit.
1. Immediately after this session a cable be forwarded to Abdul Bahá, begging
His Confirmation for this Great Universal Undertaking.
2. A consciousness of general responsibility to be realized by all the Bahá'ís
throughout the world.
3. A Committee to be appointed with full power to select other subcommittees,
to collect facts and materials relative to the present status of the religions
4. A committee of translators and writers to join their abilities together and
prepare short booklets on the history of the Cause and its universal principles
in different languages and from the standpoint of those people for whom they
5. Teachers to be selected or arise by themselves to travel in different parts
of the world. Such teachers to know as far as possible the languages and
customs of the people amongst whom they sojourn.
6. A Committee of men and women, teachers and interpreters to travel around
the world with the purpose of gathering first-hand information to be used as a
reference for the benefit of future voyages of other teachers. This committee
to lecture and teach in whatever country they may sojourn in the pursuit of
7. Plans for providing the means by which these purposes can be carried
forward in a practical manner.
National and sectional treasuries be organized, to
which funds may be forwarded from Bahá'ís belonging to that particular nation or
section, to defray the expenses of teachers.
An international treasury be also organized, to which voluntary
contributions may be sent for the traveling expenses of international teachers,
general publications and other incidental expenses.
The function of the above two articles must not interfere with
those who are competent to travel around for the promotion of the Word,
defraying their own expenses.
Likewise teachers may be supported and kept in the field by private
The aim of the above four suggestions is to avail ourselves, as the Beloved
says, of every means, and not tie ourselves to anyone system, letting the
Spirit lead every one according to his light and conviction.
8. A Bahá'í College or school be founded for teaching young men and women
according to prescribed courses.
9. A board be appointed for the preparation of suitable texts compendiums on
the history of religions and the Cause of Bahá'o'llah, the interpretation of
the prophecies of all the religions in the light of this Revelation, etc.
10. There must be two kinds of teachers, residential and traveling. At stated
times these teachers should send their report about the progress of the Cause
to a central headquarters for publication.
11. The STAR OF THE WEST to be for the present the official organ of this
universal propaganda, according to the wish of Abdul Bahá, and future
publications may be founded according to the national or local needs of every
12. Local, national and international Conferences may be hold at stated
intervals in different countries of the world, for the purpose of coming
together to consult and find the best ways and means for the promotion of the
13. There must be tin exchange of teachers between the Bahá'ís of the East and
the West, the North and the South.
14. A General Bahá'í Library be founded, in which all the Tablets, books,
pamphlets, articles and magazines published in the Cause in different
languages, be collected and preserved for reference. Likewise historical,
religious and philosophical books regarding allied subjects be placed there,
for the general information of all the Bahá'í students, scholars and teachers.
These are all the suggestions that I have to offer at the present time. Some
of them may not find favor in our eyes; but I thought it better to enumerate
all, leaving the rest to your decision and the wisdom of the future
And now I must say my last word of farewell: Soon we shall leave this
Conference. Let us leave it filled with the spirit of enthusiasm. Let us before
leaving this illumined gathering consecrate, yea, dedicate our lives to this
highest of all ideals. Let us go forth with beaming faces and divine
resolution, to fill the souls of men with the majesty and wonder of the Word of
God. Let us banish from our midst suspicion and mistrust. Let us shake off our
inherent lethargy and self-seeking ideals, arise out of the grooves of social
and intellectual narrowness, and proclaim with the sound of trumpet the
appearance of the Kingdom of God. Let us project in the midst of the assemblage
of mankind the Divine Consciousness of Bahá'o'llah. Let us grasp this godlike
opportunity, this heaven-sent Call, and advance with a unanimous voice toward
the great goal of human regeneration. Let us change this dark earth into the
Paradise of Abha! Let us transform the nature of men and women, so that they
may become the angels of the Supreme Concourse. Let us not sit idle. Let us not
sleep and allow this heavenly opportunity to slip by. Let us take in our hands
the goblet of the Love of God, and while we ourselves are spiritually
intoxicated, invite others to drink from this Divine Chalice. Filled with the
Gospel of Life, with one heart and one soul, with one mind and one accord, let
us once more resolve to quicken and resuscitate the dead world with the Breaths
of the Holy Spirit!
And now with the following appropriate words of the Blessed Perfection, from
the Hidden Words, I bring this talk to a close:
"The bride of wonderful significances who was concealed behind the veils of
words hath appeared through Divine Providence and Heavenly Bounties, to the
radiance of the Beauty of the Beloved. I testify, O Friends, that the bounty
has become complete, the Evidence is accomplished, the Argument manifested and
the Reason affirmed. Now what will your endeavors show forth from the degrees
of devotion? Thus are the favors perfected unto you and to all who are in
Heavens and earths. Praise be unto God, the Lord of all mankind!"
Now will Mrs. Reed and Miss Edith Phelps come forward and unveil the original
manuscripts of the 14 Great Tablets, as corrected by the Blessed Hand of Abdul
Bahá? Then everyone can look at them and in this way receive this last heavenly
blessing, before we are separated and scattered to the four corners of the
Tablets, Instructions and Words of Explanation was also published in a
slightly altered edition in Star of the West:
2nd Tablet to the Northeastern States
Revealed February 2, 1917
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, March 23, 1919, Washington, D.C.
Published in Star of the West, Vol. 10, No. 4, May 17, 1919
"All the regions..."
2nd Tablet to the Southern States
Revealed February 3, 1917
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, March 27, 1919, Washington, D.C.
Published in Star of the West, Vol. 10, No. 6, June 24, 1919
"The philosophers and the ancients..."
2nd Tablet to the Central States
Revealed February 8, 1917
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, March 30, 1919, Washington, D.C.
Published in Star of the West, Vol. 10, No 7, July 13, 1919.
"These Twelve Central states..."
2nd Tablet to the Western States
Revealed February 15, 1917
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, April 1, 1919, Washington, D.C.
Published in Star of the West, Vol. 10, No 10, September 8, 1919.
"The blessed State of California bears..."
2nd Tablet to the Dominion of Canada
Revealed February 21, 1917
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, April 3, 1919, Washington, D.C.
Published in Star of the West, Vol. 10, No 12, October 16, 1919.
"In the great Koran..."
1st Tablet to the Assemblies of America and Canada
Revealed April 8, 1916
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, April 4, 1919, Washington, D.C.
Published in Star of the West, Vol. 10, No 15, December 12, 1919.
"I desire for you success..."
2nd Tablet to the Assemblies of America and Canada
Revealed March 8, 1917
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, April 5, 1919, Washington, D.C.
Published in Star of the West, Vol. 10, No 15, December 12, 1919.
"God says in the Koran..."
3rd Tablet to the Assemblies of United States and Canada
Revealed April 16, 1916
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, April 6, 1919
Published in Star of the West, Vol. 10, No 17, January 19, 1920.
"Praise be to His Highness..."
4th Tablet to the Assemblies of the United States and Canada
Revealed in three parts, April, 19, 20, and 21, 1916
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, April 8, 1919
Published in Star of the West , Vol. 11, No 2, April 9, 1920.
"The blessed person of the promised One..."
Five Tablets of the Divine Plan were received and published in Star of the
West before the 1919 Convention:
1st Tablet to the Northeastern States
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab April 26, 1916
Addressed to Mr. Hooper Harris, New York City, care of Joseph Hannen,
Received August 19, 1916
Published in Star of the West, Vol. VII, No. 10, September 8, 1916
& Star of the West, Vol. IX, No. 14, November 23, 1918
"These are the days of Naurooz..."
1st Tablet to the Western States
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab April 26, 1916
Addressed to Mrs. Helen Goodall, San Francisco, California, care of Joseph
Hannen, Washington, D. C.
Received August 8, 1916
Published in Star of the West, Vol. VII, No. 10, September 8, 1916
& Star of the West, Vol. IX, No. 14, November 23, 1918
"Day and night...."
1st Tablet to the Dominion of Canada
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab April 26, 1916
Published in the Star of the West, Vol. VII, No. 10, September 8, 1916
& Star of the West, Vol. IX, No. 14, November 23, 1918
Addressed to Mrs. May Maxwell, Montreal, Canada, care of Joseph Hannen,
Washington, D. C.
Received August 19, 1916
"Although in most..."
1st Tablet to the Southern States
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab April 26, 1916
Addressed to Joseph Hannen, Washington, D. C.
Received August 19, 1916
Published in the Star of the West, Vol. VII, No. 10, September 8, 1916
& Star of the West, Vol. IX, No. 14, November 23, 1918
"A few days ago..."
1st Tablet to the Central States
Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab April 26, 1916
Addressed to Dr. Zia Bagdadi, Chicago, Illinois, care of Joseph Hannen,
Received August 19, 1916
Published in the Star of the West, Vol. VII, No. 10, September 8, 1916
& Star of the West, Vol. IX, No. 14, November 23, 1918