Thursday, August 1, 1912
The Master related to us that `One hundred years ago there was a school in Baghdád which was held during the summer but it was for the children of the wealthy only. The people of the West have adopted and perfected the customs of the East.' He also said:
As charitable works become praiseworthy, people often perform them merely for the sake of fame and to gain benefit for themselves, as well as to attract people's admiration. But this does not render needless the teachings of the Prophets because it is spiritual morals that are the cause of training one's innate nature and of personal progress. Thus will people offer service to one another with all their hearts for the sake of God and in order to fulfill the duties of devotion to Him and service to humanity and not for the purpose of acquiring praise and fame.
Then He spoke of Mashadí Amír Ghafghazí, a rich man from the Caucasus:
Prior to his embracing this Faith, he was so dauntless and merciless that he had killed countless persons but after embracing this Faith he was entirely transformed, so much so that when once he was fired at by a pistol he did not even raise his arm in self-defense. Such people become educated under the shadow of belief. Similarly, the Bahá'ís of `Ish
qábád interceded on behalf of a man who had killed one of their members.226
At a gathering in the afternoon the Master spoke on the equality of the rights of men and women, the greatness of this cycle, the oneness of the world of humanity and God's creation. After the meeting several ministers spoke to Him. One was the pastor from the Dublin Unitarian Church who invited the Master to speak at his church.
Friday, August 2, 1912227
A meeting for blacks was held near Lake Dublin. At this gathering the Master delivered an eloquent address regarding unity and amity between blacks and whites. He spoke of the approaching wedding of Miss [Louisa] Mathew, a white woman, and Mr [Louis] Gregory, a black man, which is to take place shortly in Washington DC. The white people in the audience were astonished to see the influence of the Cause and the blacks were pleased. Incidents like these are little less than miracles; in fact, `splitting the moon in half'228
would be an easier accomplishment in the eyes of the Americans. This meeting was full of joy.
The guests rejoiced when the Master returned to Mr and Mrs Parsons's home. His words made a deep impression. He spoke on the oneness of the basic principles of the religions of God and the unity of His Manifestations. When questioned about Muhammad, the Prophet of God, His proofs were clear and persuasive and his arguments decisive, uplifting every downcast heart. Everyone testified to the convincing nature of His argument and the greatness of this Cause. About Islam some seemed restrained but no one uttered a dissenting word.
Saturday, August 3, 1912
While a few of us were discussing the Master's explanations and the simplicity and decisiveness of His talks, He said to us:
The explanations must be adapted to the capacity of the hearers and suited to the exigency of the time. Beauty of style, moderation in delivery and suitability of words and meanings are necessary. It is not only a matter of uttering words. In `Akká, Mírzá Muh
would hear me speak and would repeat my words exactly on other occasions but he did not understand that a thousand wisdoms and ingredients other than speech are necessary. In the days of Bagh
dád and Sulaymáníyyih, Sh
was told that the Blessed Beauty was attracting the Kurds to Himself by quoting S
úfí and gnostic terms. This poor Sh
obtained a copy of the Futúh
át-i-Makkíyyih [Conquests of Mecca]231
and committed its passages to memory. But wherever he quoted them, he saw that none lent an ear to him. He was greatly puzzled as to why people did not listen to him. The Blessed Beauty said, `Tell the Sh
that We are not in the habit of reading the Conquests of Mecca (Futúh
át-i-Makkíyyih) but We impart to them the verses of True Civilization. We are not propounding the writings of the Sh
[Ibn al-`Arabí], we are propounding the Holy Writ.
In the afternoon He spoke about how the secondary laws of religions change in every age according to the exigencies of the time and the harmfulness of the materialistic world and the benefit of religion. The meeting ended with a series of sincere questions and answers.
Sunday, August 4, 1912
When He had finished writing Tablets in response to petitions from the friends in the East and the West, the Master had a little time to rest. He then went for lunch at the home of Miss [Fanny] Knobloch. Her friends and relatives were fascinated with His explanations and enchanted by His manner.
In the afternoon He spoke in Mr and Mrs Parsons's drawing room about the power of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh and the assistance and confirmations of the Greatest Name. Mírzá `Alí Akbar [Nakhjavání] related that during the troubled times in `Akká the Master used to say that a great event would take place in the very near future: it would be as though this lamp would go away and then come back to its original place. Now we understand that this assertion of `Abdu'l-Bahá was a reference to His travels and His return to the Holy Land. The Master then said:
The assistance of the Blessed Beauty brings about extraordinary things. Every act of the Blessed Beauty constitutes in itself a consummate proof. In one of my early writings I wrote that in the eyes of the possessors of insight the doings of Him Who is the Sovereign Truth have no equal. For instance, if the Blessed Beauty asked after someone's health, although outwardly a common expression, it could give to a person who was perceptive hints as to the wisdom and mystery hidden in the words spoken on that occasion. Thus it is that God in all His actions is distinct from all others, just as a wise man displays in all his actions the signs of wisdom.
There were several people waiting to see Him. Two ladies, both of whom were hard of hearing, requested permission to sit near Him so that they might listen to His words through their hearing aids. He said, `Yes, the nearer they come, the better they will hear the Words of God. They must hear the Voice of the Lord in whatever way possible or by whatever means.'
Today, the Master's talk on the immortality of the soul so impressed the hearts that from then on He was asked to speak on this subject at most of the meetings.
Monday, August 5, 1912232
Standing on the lawn and facing the green and verdant hills and valleys, `Abdu'l-Bahá said:
How calm it is. No disturbing sound is heard. When a man observes the wafting of the breeze among these trees, he hears the rustling of the leaves and sees the swaying of the trees, it is as though all are praising and acknowledging the one true God.
Before the afternoon meeting a devoted lady told the Master that one of her friends, when informed that she was planning to attend the meeting, strongly advised her not to go lest she fall into a trap. He said to her:
It has always been the practice of the heedless to hold back the sincere ones from the Cause of God. As for a trap, praise be to God that we have been trapped happily for sixty years and we have no desire to escape. It is a trap that frees people from the shackles of prejudice and superstitions and delivers them from the prison of self and desire. It makes them the captives of the love of God and of service to the Cause of the oneness of humanity.
After delivering the message of God and explaining the divine teachings, the Master spoke humorously about the philosophers.
They say that had there been a spiritual world they would have sensed it. But, as a matter of fact, inability to sense a thing is not a proof of the nonexistence of that thing. If inability to sense constitutes proof of perfection, the cow must be the greatest philosopher, for she does not realize anything beyond the animal world.
This amusing statement that the cow is the greatest of all philosophers caused everyone to laugh. After the meeting, some men and women invited Him to go for a ride in their automobile. While driving, a herd of cows passed in front of the automobile and, becoming frightened, began to run about every which way. The ladies in the car cried out, `Oh Master, see the crowd of philosophers. How frightened they are running away from us.' `Abdu'l-Bahá laughed so heartily that He tired Himself. As the Americans like such jests, it became an oft- repeated remark.
Tuesday, August 6, 1912
In the morning while pacing back and forth in the drawing room of His residence, the Master said:
When Persians want to record any important matter, they say, `Write this down in the twenty-ninth section.' Now, as the Persians say, write this in the twenty-ninth section of your book. Whatever occurs is the cause of the elevation of the Word of God and the victory of the divine Cause, even though outwardly it may appear to be a great affliction and hardship. What hardship, grief or affliction could be greater than that which occurred at the time when the Blessed Beauty was exiled from T
ihrán? Hearts of stone were melted. All the relatives were weeping and lamenting. All were in utter despair. But that exile became the cause of the raising of the Call and exalting the Word of God, of fulfilling the prophecies of the Prophets and of guiding the people of the world. Had it not been for this exile, these things would not have appeared and these great events would not have occurred.
Consider the case of Abraham. Had He not been exiled, He would not have received that greatest blessing; neither a Jacob nor an Isaac would have risen; the fame of the beauty of Joseph would not have been spread throughout the world. He would not have become the ruler of Egypt; no Moses would have appeared; no Muhammad, the divine Messenger, would have come. All these are a result of the blessings of that exile. It is the same now.
Later He spoke about the harmful effects of disunity and discord among the emperors of the East and the West:
For example, the separation between the eastern and western empires and the disagreement between the eastern and western churches in Christianity caused a great weakness. Notwithstanding this, the people still do not take heed.
In the afternoon He gave a talk on the oneness of the foundation of religion. 233
Wednesday, August 7, 1912
I shall content myself today with recording just one of the Master's addresses. He delivered this talk in the afternoon in home of Mr and Mrs Parsons. The audience was greatly moved and a wonderful spirit of sincerity spread throughout the gathering. The following is the transcription of His address as well as the questions and answers on the immortality of the soul.
He is God! We must first prove that there is no annihilation in creation. Annihilation is only the decomposition of elements. For example, all these things we see in existence are made up of elements; that is, single atoms have combined and have formed infinite patterns. Every combination produces an entity. For example, through the combination of certain elements this flower has come into existence. Its annihilation means only the decomposition of this combination, it does not mean the destruction of the individual atoms or principal elements because these remain and will not be destroyed. When we say that this flower is destroyed we mean that its combination is decomposed but the principal elements remain; only their combination is destroyed.
In the same way, man has come into existence as the result of the combination of certain elements. Although his death is the disintegration of these elements, the elements are not annihilated. Therefore, life consists of the combination of elements and death of their dissolution or transference from one state to another. The transference of the vegetable to the animal world is the death of the former. Draw your own conclusions from this. Similarly, the transference of man from this world of matter and the dissolution of his elements constitute human death. Thus, it should be known that for existence there is no death. At most there is a transfer from one state to another. As the soul of man is not the result of composition and does not come into being through the affinity of molecular elements, it is not subject to disintegration. If it were, then we would say the soul has died. But because it is not composed, therefore it cannot be decomposed. And it is clear that even the basic elements are not subject to decomposition as they are not a compound composition. No doubt remains regarding this matter.
Second, the transference of the body from one condition to another brings about no change or alteration in the soul. For instance, the body is young but it grows old, while the soul remains unaffected; the body becomes weak but the soul does not; the body becomes diseased or paralyzed but the soul remains unchanged. It has often come to pass that one of the limbs of the body has been amputated; the soul, however, remains the same and is not affected at all. Therefore, it is clear that the changes experienced by the body do not affect the soul. As long as it is unchanged, it will remain eternal. The pivot of mortality is change and alteration.
Third, in the world of sleep, man's body is powerless and his faculties inactive. The eye does not see, the ear does not hear, the body does not move; but the soul sees, hears, moves and discovers realities. Therefore, it is proven that the soul is not destroyed with the death of the body; it does not perish after the death of the body; it does not sleep when the body is asleep; rather, it has perception, it discovers, it flies and it travels.
Fourth, the body is here but the soul is present in the East or the West. While in the West, it puts the affairs of the East in order; while in the East, it explores the affairs of the West. It manages and regulates the momentous affairs of the world. The body is in one single place but the soul is present in various places and countries. It discovers America while in Spain. Thus, the soul has a control and influence which the body has not. The body cannot see but the soul can see and has perception. Therefore, it follows that its existence is not dependent on the body.
Fifth, no effect occurs without a cause. It is impossible for a cause to be non-existent when its light and radiance are manifest, for fire not to exist when its heat is sensed, for light not to exist when illumined objects are witnessed, mind not to exist when the power of thought is present. Briefly, there can be no effect without a cause, for as long as there is an effect there must be a cause. Therefore, though Christ appeared one thousand nine hundred and twelve years ago, His signs still exist today and His sovereignty and influence are manifest. Is it possible for that divine Spirit to be non-existent and these great signs still to be present? Therefore it is established that the Cause of these signs is He Who is the source of eternal light and everlasting bounties.
Sixth, everything can have only one shape, whether it be triangular, square or pentagonal. An object cannot have different shapes at the same time. For instance, this carpet is rectangular; is it possible that it can have a circular shape as well? It cannot. That is possible only if it loses its first form and takes a new one. Nevertheless, while it is impossible for an object to possess diverse forms at one and the same time, the spirit of man possesses all forms and has manifold shapes simultaneously. It has no need to change from one form to another. As it is beyond change and forms, it is non-material and eternal.
Seventh, when a man looks at creation, he sees two things: that which is perceptible to the senses and that which is abstract. The things that are perceptible to the senses, such as vegetables, minerals and animals, that can be seen by the eyes, heard by the ears, smelled, touched or tasted, are subject to change. But rational powers are not perceived by the physical senses. The power of the mind and knowledge are intellectual realities and are not subject to change or alteration. The eye cannot see them; the ear cannot hear them. It is impossible that knowledge, which is an intellectual reality, be changed into ignorance. The soul, too, is one of the intellectual realities: it is unalterable and is not subject to annihilation.
A person who is endowed with perception has spirituality and heavenly attributes; he can recognize that the human soul has never been subject to annihilation and will never become so. He sees that all created beings are in harmony with the spirit and are under its influence. He knows himself to be eternal, everlasting, constant, imperishable and encompassed by the lights of God, the Lord of glory. For he has spiritual susceptibilities and is affected by conscience and spiritual impulses. He is not limited by rational constraints or human emotions and sentiments. However, the man who has no perception or inner sight finds himself always dejected and lifeless; every time he thinks of death, he is afraid, because he considers himself to be mortal.
Blessed souls are not of this category. They sense that they are eternal, luminous and imperishable like the disciples of Christ. It is for this reason that at the time of death or martyrdom Bahá'ís rejoice, because they know there is no death or annihilation for them. At most, the body disintegrates but the soul exists in the divine world and has everlasting life.
The audience was deeply moved by this address and all expressed their satisfaction and became devoted to `Abdu'l-Bahá.
Tuesday, August 8, 1912
One of the devoted friends asked the Master about imperfect realities and their immortality. He replied:
All realities and spirits are immortal, even the spirits of non-believers and imperfect persons. But they cannot be compared in any way with the spirits of the sanctified souls and holy personages. Although this wood has existence, yet in comparison with the existence of man, it is as nothing.
In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke at a public gathering. He touched on various aspects of love and unity among people and the necessity for cooperation and mutual assistance in human society. In answer to a question regarding vengeance, He replied that man has no right to seek vengeance but that the community is responsible for the protection of all life, property and honor. He then went on to say:
The more material education advances, the more competitive is the race in aggression and injustice. But spiritual education is the cause of competition in praiseworthy actions and the acquisition of human perfections. We hope that day by day these injustices will diminish and the spiritual virtues increase.
The Master went into another room where a young man with a striking personality and pleasing appearance asked Him in what school He had studied philosophy. The Master answered: `In the same school where Christ studied.' He then asked the Master, `What is the relationship between God and nature?' The Master replied:
Some of the philosophers believe that God is the Supreme Reality and that every human being has a spark of this divine reality within him; that He Himself is in a state of utmost power and that all things manifest Him according to their different capacities. Therefore they hold that the Supreme Being is dispersed into infinite forms. This is the position of Plato. But we say that existence as conceived by man or comprehended through human reason or intellect is a characteristic of matter. Matter is like unto essence, while existence is its manifestation. The body of man is essence and existence is dependent upon it. This human body is matter while existence is a power conditioned on matter.
But it is not so with the Essential Self-Existent One. His existence is true existence which is self-subsistent, not an intellectually perceived and comprehended existence; it is an Existence by which all created things come into being. All things are like unto His handiwork and are dependent upon Him. We refer to Him as Self-Existent because we need to make use of a term but we do not mean that that Being can be contained within our comprehension. What is intended is the Reality from Whom all things emanate, the Reality through Whom all things exist.
Not only was the questioner grateful and satisfied with this response but everyone else was also pleased.
Friday, August 9, 1912
A number of the friends, both old and new, were present at `Abdu'l-Bahá's house. One of their questions was whether the existence of evil proceeds from God. He replied:
There is no evil in existence. Evil is non-existence. All that is created is good. Ignorance is evil and it is the non-existence of knowledge; it has no existence of its own. Hence, evil is the non-existence of good. Want of wealth is poverty; absence of justice is oppression; want of perfection is deficiency. All of these opposites imply non-existence and not existence.
At the public meeting in the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá exhorted the audience to refrain from blind imitation, reminding them that the distinction of man lies in his ability to investigate reality and ascertain the truth. He spoke of the coming of Bahá'u'lláh and explained some of the teachings of the Supreme Pen.
After lovingly shaking hands with those present, `Abdu'l-Bahá came into the room where we were and asked about our health, saying to us, `Come here, be seated. Mrs Parsons has sent tea, sweets and some fruit for you. Eat and drink.' Then with a merry twinkle in His eyes, He continued:
Oh! You are very badly off here! May God hear your complaint! Oh! It is so difficult to live in this manner, to dwell in such a house, to breathe such air! And to stay with such servants and respected friends is, of course, very hard for you! May God come to your help!
Then He said:
Joking aside, what a wonderful table the Blessed Perfection has spread for His friends! Had kings come here they would have been served but this fervor and zeal of the friends would not have appeared for any one of them. These noble people who serve you love you with heart and soul and serve you without any fear, hope or expectation of reward. The poet spoke truly when he said that three things are scarce, namely, the demon, the phoenix and the faithful friend. Yes, like the demon and the phoenix, the true friend is rare. But under the shadow of the Word of God, the Blessed Beauty has produced such friends for you.
Saturday, August 10, 1912
In the morning the Master explained and illustrated some of the verses from Bahá'u'lláh for the friends who had come from the surrounding area to see Him. The explanations ended with the statement that contentment in poverty is better than happiness in wealth but happiness in poverty is more praiseworthy than mere contentment. Above all is the rich man who, having sacrificed, emerges pure from tests and trials and becomes the cause of tranquillity to mankind. Gratitude is the cause of multiple blessings but the apex of gratitude is sacrifice. The station of sacrifice is the highest of all. For this reason it is said, `You will never attain unto righteousness until ye sacrifice that which ye love.' The Master then narrated a story:
At the time of his death a king longed for the station of a poor man, saying, `Would that I were a poor man so that I would neither have practiced oppression nor have had any regrets at the time of death.' A poor man heard this, and said, `Praise be to God that at the hour of death kings desire to be poor. We poor people at the hour of death have no desire to be kings.'
Conversation of this kind continued for some time.
In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá addressed a meeting and spoke on the principles of the Cause, emphasizing universal peace among the nations. After the meeting a person in the audience said: `The Bahá'ís do not believe in any one person but believe in the good teachings of all the Prophets and religions.' The implication of his statement was that believing in the Manifestation of God was of no consequence. But note the Master's reply to this remark:
The basic principles of all religions are the same and the Sun of Truth is one, yet every day it appears from a different dawning point. Hence, the Bahá'ís believe in the fundamental truth of all the religions and turn to the Sun of Truth. From whatever dawning point it may appear they turn toward it. At one time, it appeared from the dawning point of Moses, then from that of Jesus and again from that of Muhammad. But if all had looked only at the dawning points, they would have remained veiled like the Jews when the Sun of Truth appeared from another place. Today the Bahá'ís look at the Sun of Truth and not at the dawning point. From whatever place it may appear, they turn to it. You have rightly understood that the Bahá'ís do not believe in a person; rather they believe in the truth which shines from the divine dawning points.
Sunday, August 11, 1912
A glorious meeting was held at the Unitarian Church in Dublin.234
He went to the church at 11:00 a.m. and as He entered the entire audience rose to its feet. The pastor sang a beautiful song in praise of `Abdu'l-Bahá. After the preliminary ceremonies, the Master was introduced by the pastor with the utmost reverence and esteem. He then stood and gave a detailed address on the necessity of true education and spiritual power and spoke of the coming of Bahá'u'lláh and His teachings. At the end of His talk He chanted a prayer, His life-giving melodies penetrating the souls and attracting the hearts. A wonderful spirit of humility seemed to permeate the building and the voice of acceptance seemed to issue from all sides.
Many who had not already had the honor of visiting `Abdu'l-Bahá came to Him with such eagerness that the Master said, `The Call of God has been raised here and the work is finished.'
He was invited for lunch at the home of Mr and Mrs Parmelee. There He was asked about the Cause of God and about the new principles. Although He responded to the questions of those present, still they thought that the talk had been prepared beforehand and that the interpreter had committed it to memory. They felt no one would have been able to speak extemporaneously with such clarity and perception. The vastness of His knowledge is even more evident. My point is that His talk and explanations seemed extraordinary in the eyes of the people and that the unseen confirmations of Bahá'u'lláh assisted the Center of the Covenant.
After this meeting the people's spirits were raised. In the afternoon a multitude gathered at the home of Mr and Mrs Parsons. `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke, encouraging everyone to think about His words, to meditate on the holy verses, to investigate truth and to gain a full knowledge of divine realities. It is merely owing to a lack of understanding among the leaders of religions, He said, and to their blind imitations and superstitions that statements contrary to science and common sense have crept in and caused intellectuals and scientists to deny religion and disputes to arise among the people, obscuring the true meaning of the laws of God.
Monday, August 12, 1912
A group of Dublin residents had a picnic on the shore of Lake Dublin and invited the Master and His entourage to join them. After sitting for awhile viewing the surroundings, the Master went for a short walk. Upon His return He went to the table and ate sweets and sherbet with the friends. He was pleased to see the simplicity of the repast and to feel the sincerity and warmth of the people.
In the afternoon a large gathering of people came to hear Him. They asked Him to speak on the immortality of the spirit. Everyone was so pleased, happy and filled with admiration that one by one each came to shake His hand and to express his or her gratitude. The Master's talk was so much appreciated that for many days afterwards He was asked to speak on the immortality of the spirit, economics and the new teachings. At each meeting He spoke on subjects He had already elucidated and on new topics, which greatly increased the admiration of the audience.
Tuesday, August 13, 1912
Because some of the people who met `Abdu'l-Bahá today were musicians, He gave an explanation of the science of music:
Music is produced by vibrations of air which affect the tympanum of the ear. Although music or an ordinary pleasing voice is of the physical realm, yet it has an effect upon the spirit. In the same manner, freshness and purity of the air, the atmosphere, the scenery and sweet fragrances impart joy, spirituality and comfort to the heart. Even though these are physical phenomena they have a great spiritual influence.
He then narrated stories of the great masters of music, gave an account of the famous Rúdakí235
and read his famous poem which had caused Amír Nasir Samani to change his course from Herat to Bokhara:236
we call to mind
We long for those dear friends long left behind.
The sands of Oxus, toilsome though they be,
Beneath my feet were soft as silk to me.238
The Master ended His explanations with beautiful songs and these verses:
From whence comes this minstrel
Who sings the name of my Beloved,
That I lay down this life and soul
For a message from my Loved One?
To hear the message from the City of the Beloved
Resuscitates the heart.
The soul dances
On hearing the Word of the Beloved.239
In the afternoon the Master spoke on the immortality of the soul and the teachings of the new Manifestation. Afterwards, many were eager to see Him alone. He said to them:
My desire is greater than yours. Some of the disciples went to Rumelia and said, `We had a desire to see you so we have come from Jerusalem to this place.' Now, behold what a desire I had to see you, that I traveled from the East to the West!
Wednesday, August 14, 1912
All the friends had been informed that the Master would soon leave Dublin for Green Acre in Eliot, Maine, and that time was running out. They asked Him to speak on economics and to correct certain false ideas of the socialists. His explanations were so impressive that after He left they implored Him to reveal a Tablet on this subject and send it through Mrs Parsons so that it might remove doubts from the minds of the people. The following is a transcription of that Tablet:
Dublin: To the maidservant of God, Mrs Parsons.
Upon her be Bahá'u'lláhu'l-Abhá.
He is God.
O thou, my spiritual daughter,
I am on a train on my way to San Francisco. I recalled your praiseworthy qualities and the dear face of little Master Jeffrey, so I wanted to write this letter. Know that my greatest pleasure will be when I shall see you, my dear daughter, enraptured and completely charmed by the paradise of Abhá, and aflame with the fire of the love of God. May my dear daughter burn and melt like a candle to enlighten all people. It is my hope that thou mayest be so.
Regarding the question of economics according to the new teachings, as this caused some difficulty for you because the report you received did not reflect what I said, I shall outline the essence of this matter so that it will be clearly proven that there is no complete solution for the economic question apart from that offered in the new teachings. It is absolutely impossible to resolve the problem by other means.
In solving this problem we must start with the farmer and end with other trades, because there are twice as many farmers, if not more, as there are people engaged in other trades. Thus it is right that we begin with them. The farmer is the primary factor in society.
In every village a council of wise men of the village should be established and the whole village should be placed under its jurisdiction. In addition, a public treasury should be established with its own administrator. At harvest time a specific quantity of the general produce of the village should be appropriated for the treasury. This treasury will have seven sources of income, namely: tithes, taxes on livestock, unclaimed inheritance, property that has been found but that has no owner, buried treasure (if found, one third of it should be paid to the council), mines (one-third of the natural resources taken should be levied by the council) and donations. Likewise, there are to be seven categories of expenditure: first, moderate public expenditures such as the expenses of the council and maintenance of public health; second, payment of government taxes; third, payment of taxes on livestock to the government; fourth, care of orphans; fifth, providing for the disabled; sixth, management of schools; and seventh, providing the necessary means of livelihood for the poor.
The first means of income is the tithe, which must be administered as follows: If a person's average income is $500 and his necessary expenses amount to the same sum, no tithe will be collected from him. If another person has an income of $1,000 and his necessary expenses amount to $500, he will be able to pay the tithe because he will have more than he needs. If he pays the tithe there will be no decline in his standard of living. Another has an income of $5,000 and his expenses are only $1,000, so he will have to pay one and one-half times the tithe because he has an even greater amount than he needs. Another has an income of $10,000 and his necessary expenses amount to $1,000; therefore he will have to pay two times the tithe because his surplus is larger. Another person has an income of $100,000 and expenses amounting to $4,000 or $5,000; he will have to pay one-fourth of his income. Another has an income of $200 but the expenses he requires to live at subsistence level amount to $500. He spares no pains in working and laboring for his livelihood but the fruit of his labor is inadequate. He must be helped from the treasury so that he may not be in want and may live in comfort.
In every village a certain amount should be allocated for the orphans there. The disabled must be provided for. The treasury must also provide for the needy who are unable to work. The council will also allocate a certain amount for the department of education and for public health. If there is a surplus, it will be transferred to the national treasury for general expenses. If it be thus arranged, every individual in society will live comfortably and pass his days happily.
Differences in station will also remain and no breach will occur in this respect. Gradations of rank are without doubt one of the essentials of society. Society is like an army. An army requires field marshals, generals, colonels, captains and privates. It is utterly impossible for all professions to be equal. Preservation of rank is necessary. But each individual in the army must live in perfect peace and comfort. Likewise, a town requires a mayor, judges, merchants, men of means, craftsmen and farmers. Of course, these ranks must be observed, otherwise the general order would be disrupted.
Convey my heartfelt love to Mr Parsons. I shall never forget him. If possible, have this letter published in one of the newspapers, as others are proclaiming these principles in their own names. Convey wondrous Abhá greetings to Qudsíyyih.240
Upon you be Bahá-u'l-Abhá.
Thursday, August 15, 1912
Today was the Master's last day in Dublin. Mrs Parsons had asked a large number to attend and had invited the best musicians to play the piano and sing at the beginning of the meeting. The Master sat in an adjoining room enjoying the music. There was such a crowd in the large drawing room that although rows of chairs had been arranged, no seating was available. The Master entered the room to give His last talk in Dublin:
I have explained every question for you, delivered to you the message of God, expounded the mysteries of the divine Books for you, proved the immortality of the spirit and oneness of truth and expounded for you economic questions and divine teachings.
As this was His last address everyone came to shake His hand and offer his or her thanks before leaving His presence. Mrs Parsons said that the people were usually happy but because they knew `Abdu'l-Bahá was leaving they were sad and wanted to prolong His stay.
He replied, `I, too, wished to stay longer but I must go to Green Acre and other places. I must raise the call of the Kingdom in all places. The days of my life in this world are limited, so I must pass through all regions and announce the glad tidings of the Kingdom of Abhá.'
`Abdu'l-Bahá spent the day saying farewell to many eminent people. After the afternoon meeting, one of the believers, Miss Knobloch, with His permission took several photographs of Him with these servants.
The automobile was ready and He was driven to the home of a friend where a meeting was held. The people were very enthusiastic and inebriated with love and affection. After speaking to them briefly and narrating a few stories, He left.
Friday, August 16, 1912
[Dublin -- Green Acre]
At dawn, while we were still in bed, we heard the Master sweetly chanting a prayer. We at once got up, went to Him and were served tea and refreshments from the all-bountiful Sághí.241
He instructed us to collect our belongings and prepare to leave. Around 10:00 a.m. Mr [Alfred E.] Lunt's automobile arrived and the Master left Dublin. En route He had lunch at Nashua, New Hampshire, and after a little rest continued on His journey. We reached Green Acre242
in the afternoon where more than five hundred people were waiting for Him. Both sides of the entrance had been decorated with multicolored lanterns and a festive reception awaited His arrival.
After a short rest, the Master entered the main room of the Inn and gave a brief talk about the investigation of truth. From there He went to the home of Miss Farmer, the founder of the Green Acre Society.243
This distinguished lady was revived by His visit and although she was not feeling well, she accompanied the Master back to the Inn.
In the evening at the hotel,244
in response to questions from the audience, `Abdu'l-Bahá delivered a most impressive address on the love of God, the immortality of the spirit and the divine teachings. Everyone was deeply moved and their hearts were transformed.245
Monday, August 17, 1912
The beloved Master's health was better and He was happy. He spoke of the pleasant climate of Green Acre and visited with friends and seekers until He left for a walk. On the way to Mr [Charles Mason] Remey's house the Master was accompanied by a group to whom He spoke about many spiritual truths. When He arrived, Mr Remey offered Him a cup of water, saying that he had longed for many years to invite the Master and that he thanked God for being given the honor to offer Him a cup of water. The Master said:
Your home is simple and furnished plainly. People are captivated by the superfluities of the present generation. It is impossible for a man to furnish his house in utmost perfection. The more he tries the more he finds it lacking because every day new products are manufactured. People have filled their lives with difficulties.
Later the Master went to the home of Mrs [Carrie] Kinney. There He spoke about material progress and the philosophers' lack of feeling for the spiritual kingdom, saying that `This is befitting of animals. Truth must be sought and laid bare. No one should endeavor to force upon people what he conceives. The brilliant reality, which is the spirit of the world today, is one. It can never be multiple.'246
He uttered such statements on numerous occasions and in various ways. Because Green Acre is known as a center for religious freedom and advanced liberal views, many fortune-tellers, spiritualists and ascetics come here every year to spread their superstitious views. The discourse of the Center of the Covenant completely swept away the cobwebs of their superstitions. They were checked to such a degree that some of the impostors, who in previous years had delivered lectures contrary to the Cause of God, now came to see Him, bowing before Him and repenting. Some of them begged Him to heal them, saying, `You have healed many.' The Master replied:
We pray but God bestows healing. We do not make claims for ourselves. We are only the expounders of the Word. We are all promulgating the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. I am `Abdu'l-Bahá. Bahá'u'lláh is the Dawning Place of Holiness. Address your needs to Him. I am only the expounder and promulgator of the Word. Bahá'u'lláh is the Source, the One Who has illumined this dark world, made corporeal into spiritual, quickened the dormant minds, changed the earthly souls into heavenly ones and given life to the dead and sight to the blind.
That night He delivered an address on the unity of mankind in the east hall of the Eirenian.247
On His return to the Inn He spoke with the audience in jests which nevertheless touched on many important subjects. He offered sweets to some visitors who, following the superstitious ideas of the ascetics, did not eat certain foods. He dispelled their beliefs by saying, `Food has nothing to do with faith. Rather, you should eat things to gain strength and you should acquire spirituality.'
Sunday, August 18, 1912
It was a rainy day. The Master was occupied until noon counseling the friends to devote their time in teaching the Cause of God and advising them not to interfere in the affairs of the Green Acre Fellowship. Lunch was prepared by Mrs Kinney. `Abdu'l-Bahá said: `A little soup would have sufficed me. A variety of foods makes me ill.'
In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá gave an impressive talk to a gathering of liberal-minded visitors concerning the renewal of religious laws and the oneness of the Manifestations of God.248
A wonderful impression was produced on the whole audience as His melodious voice rang with majestic tones, moving the chairman of the conference to tears. As the Master was offering a prayer, one lady stood up and then fainted. When she regained consciousness she said that the power of the meeting overwhelmed her. It seemed to her that everyone in the audience was flying in heaven.
When the Master left this gathering, He met some people who were singing. He said to them, `We listen always to your terrestrial music, now it would be well for you to give ear to our celestial songs.' After seeing to things in the kitchen, He came out to meet a number of the friends who had come to seek His advice on personal matters. He gave each His special attention. When Miss Edna McKinney, who had transcribed His addresses in English, came into His presence, He said to her, `Thou art a maidservant who in the Kingdom of God is among the near ones. I desire the confirmation and protection of the Abhá Kingdom for you.' He also expressed extraordinary kindness for Mrs Parsons, Mrs Goodall, Mrs Cooper, Mrs Krug and Miss Juliet Thompson, who were not present. He advised Mrs Kinney not to wish for too rapid progress at once in the emancipation of women.
Monday, August 19, 1912
Among the friends was a lady who had come from Brooklyn to ask `Abdu'l-Bahá's permission to go to Utica. He kindly said to her:
Put your trust in the Blessed Beauty. Every momentous work that one undertakes has difficulties in the beginning. One should withstand such difficulties with the utmost steadfastness. We who wish to raise this magnificent edifice must be as brave as the soldiers who are intent on conquering strong fortresses.
Later He walked to Mrs Taylor's home. Resting in the foyer, He praised the climate and beauty of the surroundings, saying:
Here on a moonlit night, when the moon is in its full brilliance, when the stars are shining and the air is pure and a sweet breeze is wafting, at such a time to pray and weep before the Court of God has a delight of its own.
As He left there He encountered some women who were fortune tellers. Some read palms and others interpreted dreams. They all voiced their opinion that `Abdu'l-Bahá possessed divine spirit and heavenly power. He showered kindness on all of them then returned to the Inn and gave a talk about superstitious beliefs and the severe discipline and asceticism of the Hindus.
He also visited a residence known as the Bahá'í House.249
He praised it, saying, `It would have been good if we had stayed here.' The Master then gave instructions for the Nineteen Day Feast to be held the following day, saying: `Tomorrow I will host the festivity.'
In the afternoon He was invited to a summer school for girls held on the Green Acre common. Mrs Tatum drove Him in her automobile. There He sat on the grass near the bank of the river as the students pitched their tents and began their exercises. The principal and a teacher gave Him information about the school. A group had assembled under the trees to hear the Master's address. With great reverence, the superintendent of the school introduced the Master. He then gave an eloquent talk on both spiritual and material education which drew much admiration from the audience. Afterwards the chairman and school mistress thanked the Master and expressed everyone's appreciation for His talk. The students then stood and sang in praise of `Abdu'l-Bahá in such sweet tones that everyone was enchanted. When the Master left everyone went to the automobile to shake His hand and to express their gratitude.
In the evening `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke on the everlasting dominion of God and His Holy Manifestations. After the talk He answered questions.
Tuesday, August 20, 1912
Among the friends visiting the Master was Fred Mortensen, a youth who, prior to embracing the Cause, had been a fugitive from justice but was now very humble and tranquil.250
Despairing of seeing the Master, who had not made known His plans to visit the West, he traveled from Minneapolis to visit Him. Because he could not afford to pay the price of a ticket from Minneapolis to Green Acre, he had ridden the rods under the train and in this way reached Chicago and Green Acre. He explained everything about his journey to the Master, who then told him, `You are my guest.' Each day the Master bestowed kindness upon him and a few days later He gave him money to pay for his journey home. Unknown to anyone, the Master paid for many such expenses. Twice He sent a speaker from New York to Chicago and adjacent cities and on each occasion, although the person was rich, `Abdu'l-Bahá gave him more than enough money to defray the expenses of his journey. In addition, He liberally contributed to the poor and to the churches [in which He spoke] in every city.
After speaking with the friends, He went to Miss Farmer's temporary residence [in Portsmouth]. When she saw `Abdu'l-Bahá, she fell into such a state of rapture that every heart was moved. After comforting her and the others, at Dr LeRoy's request He went to see places of historic interest, including a yard where battleships were being built [the Navy Yard in Kittery]. This activity did not please the Master. On His return He said:
While the Manifestations of God are still alive, the people do not appreciate their value, they curse and execrate them; but after their ascension they worship them. Such is the case with these tent-dwellers who live outside Green Acre. Even Columbus and some ancient philosophers like Socrates were made to suffer but after a time the people took pride in praising them.
This afternoon, under the Persian pines and cypresses of that lovely plain, three hundred people heard `Abdu'l-Bahá draw a picture of the vista of everlasting life, its spiritual stations and eternal blessings. He then went to the `Bahá'í House' where we were all His guests. Following His walk after supper, the Master stood at the front hall of the house and spoke. People were even standing in the street to listen to Him. He spoke so beautifully about the relationship of the East and the West that passersby stopped to hear what He had to say.251
In the evening there was musical entertainment and dancing in the hall of the Inn. `Abdu'l-Bahá said, `Such gatherings and practices are the cause of the corruption of morals.' He also said this evening, `My thoughts are wholly absorbed by this journey. I can think of nothing else because the outcome of this journey is so great. Up to now in the Cause of the Blessed Beauty a development as great as this has not occurred.'
Wednesday, August 21, 1912
During the visit of a group of Bahá'ís with the Master, a young girl came in and said, `I have come to ask for your assistance. Please tell me what I am fitted to do so that I may occupy myself with it.' The Master asked, `Do you have trust in me?' She replied, `Yes.' He then said to her, `Be a perfect Bahá'í. Associate with Bahá'ís. Study the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. Then you will be assisted in whatever you undertake to do.' She then said, `I am a good Jewess.' The Master then said:
A good Jew can also become a Bahá'í. The truth of the religion of Moses and of Bahá'u'lláh is one. Turn toward Bahá'u'lláh and you will acquire peace and tranquillity, you will hear the melody of the Kingdom, you will stir people's souls and you will attain the highest degree of perfection. Be assured of this.
When she heard the Master's words she was so impressed that she threw herself at His feet and wept.
`Abdu'l-Bahá explained some aspects of the divine philosophy and teachings to the pastor of the Portsmouth church. The pastor said that he had included some of these teachings in his pamphlets and some people had taken offence. The Master said, `Constancy in all things brings forth fruitful results.'
Mrs Tatum said, `I feel so dejected today. I am unhappy with myself.' The Master replied:
This is a sign of progress. The person who is satisfied with himself is the manifestation of Satan and the one who is not satisfied is the manifestation of the Merciful One. An egotist does not progress but the one who thinks himself imperfect will seek perfection for himself and will progress. If a man has a thousand good qualities, he must not look at them. He must search always for his shortcomings. For example, if a man has a building which is well-constructed and fully decorated but which has a small crack in one of its walls, he will, no doubt, forget the rest and turn his whole attention to repairing that crack. Furthermore, the attainment of absolute perfection for a human being is impossible; thus, however much he may progress he is still imperfect and has above him a point higher than himself. And the instant he sees this point he will not be satisfied with himself. It is for this reason that when someone called Christ `Good Master', He replied that there is only One who is good and that is God.
Another lady told `Abdu'l-Bahá that she had lectured in America on universal brotherhood and unity. She was pleased to see the Master in America promulgating these high ideals and that she was going to continue to spread these teachings in the Western states of America. The Master said to her:
We must endeavor as much as we can to exterminate spite and perversity so that people may be delivered from the shackles of superstition. You must serve in this way and become the cause of the unity of the world of men.
He spoke in the same vein with everyone. There were two people, Dr and Mrs Moore, who had been antagonistic towards the Cause of God from the very beginning. However, they had become so attracted and transformed that they came into the Master's presence with great humility and pledged themselves to the service of the truth. The transformation of such people is a momentous task which will produce great results.
In the afternoon `Abdu'l-Bahá went by automobile to the home of Mrs [Kate] Ives and sat next to the driver, which is where members of His entourage usually sit. He sat there until the party arrived. When a number of the friends had gathered, He went with them to the hill of Monsalvat.252
As soon as He arrived about four hundred people sang songs of praise to Him in unison. He addressed this gathering on the necessity of founding the school for the investigation of religions which Miss Farmer wished to establish on that mountain. A moving picture of this gathering was taken.253
The gathering was also characterized by a renewed enthusiasm, ardor and love, which seemed to draw all hearts. It was an auspicious day.
He then went to Mrs [Esther Annie] Magee's home where He dined with a group of friends.254
He spoke to them about the proofs and evidences of the existence of God and the composition of elements according to the will of the Almighty.
Thursday, August 22, 1912
So many assembled this morning in the Master's home that there was no room to stand. The Master said that it was not possible to speak to each individually, therefore He stood in front of the group and spoke about the teachings and divine exhortations. At one point He said, `I hope that harvests will be reaped from the seed-sowing and that it will receive heavenly blessings.'
After the meeting the Master gave permission to some earnest seekers to see Him privately. Afterwards, He went to visit the homes of some of the friends.
Today a lady who had survived the Titanic disaster came to see Him. `I am told,' she said, `that you advised not to travel by that ship.'
The Master replied in the affirmative. She questioned, `Did you know that this would happen?' The Master said, `God inspires man's heart.'
When He returned to the Inn, some prominent people came to see Him. In the course of the conversation they said, `We have always understood that religion is opposed to science but we are now indebted to your discourses and teachings for throwing a new light on our thinking.'
The Master gave another talk on these issues for their enlightenment. Another group of people came to visit Him, expressing their heartfelt sorrow that He intended to leave Green Acre. They begged Him to write them a few words in His own handwriting and He wrote brief prayers for them in His exquisite script.
In the afternoon He paid farewell visits to some of the friends at their homes. At each gathering He offered life-giving words and in each home He was as the beloved one who steals hearts. He then returned home extremely exhausted, to the point that He could not even sit down. `Our condition', He said, `is like that of the exhausted iron worker's apprentice whose master said to him, "Die, but pump."'
After a brief rest He went to the hall at Eirenion and gave a talk on unity among the races, the elimination of prejudice amongst the peoples and nations, and the necessity for the oneness of the world of humanity in this enlightened age. At the end He chanted a prayer in such melodious and sweet tones that every heart was attracted to the divine kingdom and every soul turned to the Beauty of the Beloved.
Saturday, August 23, 1912
[Green Acre] In the morning, while the Master was preparing to leave, He said:
We have finished our work here. We have sown a seed. Many souls have been attracted and transformed. Every day we have seen gifts such as fruit, flowers, honey and sweets which have been placed here anonymously and without show. This is a proof of the sincerity of their hearts.
`Abdu'l-Bahá was delighted to witness the influence of the Word of God on Green Acre. Indeed, it has become a second paradise on earth and had been transformed into verdancy and freshness.
At His instructions, the suitcases were packed and the carriage readied. The believers and seekers were burning with the fire of love, lamenting and shedding tears. `Abdu'l-Bahá sat in the carriage while the friends lined both sides of the road. For as long as the carriage remained in sight, they continued to wave their hats and handkerchiefs in farewell. On the way He stopped to visit Miss Farmer, who fell at His feet weeping and received from the Master His infinite favor and utmost kindness.
`Abdu'l-Bahá left Green Acre at 10:00 a.m. and reached Malden, Massachusetts, at 1:00 p.m. He arrived at the home of Miss [Marie P.] Wilson, whose invitation to stay at her house He had accepted.255
A new spirit was breathed into the bodies and a divine happiness was shed upon the hearts.
As He was tired, `Abdu'l-Bahá did not eat but instead rested for awhile.
In the afternoon and evening many friends were honored with meeting Him.
Sunday, August 24, 1912
`Abdu'l-Bahá was engaged in writing letters to the new Bahá'ís in Dublin and bestowing His favors on them. He also wrote to the friends in the Western states. Later, several visitors arrived from Malden and Dublin to see Him. One was the president of the New Thought Forum who had come from Boston to invite the Master to speak to his society. Two people from Tihrán, Persia, who had come to America on business, also came to see Him. He told them:
The Persians destroyed their home with their own hands in the hope of building another one; but now they are left in the desert without a home or shelter. We wrote and exhorted them, pointing out that the union of government and the people is like combining milk and honey; otherwise, the neighboring governments will encroach upon the country. In spite of all this they malevolently made false accusations against us. But God protected us because we were not involved in shedding the blood of even one Persian.
The newspaper `Fikr' [Thought] was mentioned, and He continued:
In this newspaper our letter speaks for itself. We are far from taking part in any seditious movement and we hold fast to the will of the Lord.
In the afternoon another group came to visit `Abdu'l-Bahá. One was a minister from Chicago, who asked about the sins of men and the forgiveness of the Manifestations of the Merciful One. `Abdu'l-Bahá gave a detailed explanation, which fascinated the minister. The Master stated that forgiveness depends upon our obedience to the admonitions of the Prophets of God and not on the mere verbal statement of belief or on following the words of the ministers of religion.
That evening the friends and seekers of Malden were treated to a talk about the power of the Greatest Name and the unity of nations and peoples. Each day and night witnesses a stream of new inquirers wishing to come into His holy presence.
Monday, August 25, 1912
The superintendent of a girls' school in Boston came with several people to invite the Master to speak to their students. `Abdu'l-Bahá invited another group of friends from Boston and Green Acre who had come to visit Him to stay for lunch.
In the afternoon He went to the New Thought Forum. On the way He stopped by the home of one of the friends whose wife was ill with consumption [tuberculosis]. After comforting and consoling her, He proceeded to the meeting of the society mentioned above. When He entered, the entire audience stood in His honor. After a cordial introduction of welcome, the president of the society announced, without the Master's prior consent, that `Abdu'l-Bahá would speak on the subject of `Captivating the Souls'. Not to embarrass the president, `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke first about the conquest of the cities and towns of the physical world by the kings and then described the conquest of the dominion of the hearts and souls of men by the Manifestations of God. He concluded His talk on the influence and expansion of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh in this contingent world. He then chanted a prayer in His sweet, melodious voice.256
As the Master went to the automobile, crowds of excited and joyful people lined the outside of the hall to express their gratitude, entreating Him to come the next day to speak to them again. The automobile drove through Boston and two other towns and passed several historic landmarks on the way back to Malden.
There was unusual excitement and happiness among the friends who came to `Abdu'l-Bahá's home that evening. The Master spoke about 21 of the teachings of this Great Manifestation of God which are needed by the people of the world.
Monday, August 26, 1912
At the invitation of Mrs Breed, the Master went for an automobile ride along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean through a wide thoroughfare about nine miles long and guarded on the ocean side with iron rails. It is a recreation spot, very green and clean, and `Abdu'l-Bahá praised it highly.
Some of the firm believers came to visit the Master. He spoke to them about love and faithfulness:
This visit is a proof of faithfulness, proof that we have not forgotten one another. In the world of existence nothing is greater than faithfulness, for it allows love to remain unimpaired in spite of the length of time. Behold how faithful were those blessed souls in Persia who, when under the sword, praised the Blessed Beauty. No affliction or persecution could turn them from faithfulness. On the altar of sacrifice they raised cries of `Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá' from their hearts and souls. This is real faithfulness.
In the evening at the girls' school He spoke about the rights and education of women. At the conclusion, everyone came to shake His hand with sincerity and gratitude.257
Because `Abdu'l-Bahá was tired and it was too far to go back to Malden, He stayed at a hotel in Boston and went to sleep without supper.
Tuesday, August 27, 1912
`Abdu'l-Bahá returned to Malden in the morning. He was occupied chiefly in writing letters to the American friends. Believers and seekers came by ones and twos and He lovingly received them.
In the evening there was a well-attended meeting at the Theosophical Society.258
The gathering became the dawning place of the confirmations of the Abhá Kingdom. The chairman of the meeting introduced the Master to an audience of some five hundred saying:
Several months ago I attended a convention on the emancipation of religions in this city. Many people of different religions and sects spoke, each one praising the beliefs of his own sect. But a very august personage then stood. By His bearing and by the first few words of His address, everyone felt that this person was spiritual and divinely inspired; that His explanations were heavenly; that He was speaking from God; that He could transform the souls; that He was with God and was the herald of peace and love; that what He said was first practiced by Himself; and that He was a flame from the Kingdom which brightened and illuminated the minds and hearts of all. That august person was `Abdu'l-Bahá. I am not worthy to introduce His Holiness to you. You will yourselves know Him better than I.
`Abdu'l-Bahá then stood and gave a stirring address concerning the movement of atoms and the infinite forms that compose this contingent world and gave an explanation of the new teachings of the Cause. During the address, every heart and soul was enthralled. After the meeting everyone spoke of feeling the bounties of the Holy Spirit and of the need for these teachings of love and unity.
Wednesday, August 28, 1912259
The president of the Theosophical Society begged the Master that at least one of the friends of the Cause be asked to present these new teachings and principles to his society again. The Master replied, `I will appoint a person who will talk to you at several meetings.'
When the enthusiasm of the people at yesterday evening's meeting was mentioned to `Abdu'l-Bahá, He said: `Yes, it was a good meeting. The souls were stirred. The Blessed Beauty sent His confirmations and strong assistance.'
Today a new group of people came to see the Master and to be refreshed. On seeing the spirit which filled the air, their hearts were exhilarated, their souls grateful and heads bowed in respect.
This evening a meeting filled with joy and enthusiasm was held in the home of Mrs Morey in Malden.260
`Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about the divine teachings and kindly admonished the audience, setting aglow a new fire of love in their hearts. When He had finished speaking, a woman asked about the purpose and value of the creation of the world. He spoke first of the virtues of the world of humanity and then about nearness to God, which uplifted the audience. But the questioner was preoccupied, she said that she did not understand His explanation. Therefore the Master spoke in parables, explaining that the greatest result of any perfect creation is the love of the Creator for His creation and that the essential nature of the life-giving God is to create and to spread His bounties and in doing so, God enjoys His creation.
Thursday, August 29, 1912
Today was the last day of the Master's stay in Malden. In addition to receiving visitors every minute to bid them farewell, He was busy correcting letters to be posted.
In the evening a joyful meeting was held at His residence. The friends were encouraged as He exhorted them to exert their utmost to promulgate the Word of God. At the end of the meeting He said to Mrs Wilson, `Since my arrival in America I have stayed in but two homes, Mrs Parsons's and yours. God be praised that the divine confirmations have descended on you and that you are assisted in serving the Cause of the Blessed Beauty. You must appreciate the value of this blessing.' Then turning to Miss Englehorn, He said: `I am very pleased with your services. Were you worldly, you would have received your wages but as you are heavenly and divine, your reward is with Bahá'u'lláh.'
Friday, August 30, 1912
[Malden -- Montreal]
`Abdu'l-Bahá left today for Montreal. The only servants He took with Him were Mírzá Ahmad Sohrab and myself. Because He had decided to travel to the Western part of America at the pressing invitation of the friends in California, He said, `We have a long distance to go and must therefore leave as soon as possible.' For this reason, He instructed Mírzá Valíyu'lláh Khán-i-Varqá, Áqá Mírzá `Alí-Akbar Nakhjávání, Áqá Sa`íd Asad'u'lláh and Dr Getsinger to remain until His return.
As soon as the friends and a group of Arabs saw `Abdu'l-Bahá at the railway station in Boston, they surrounded Him, their faces beaming with joy and enthusiasm. At 9:00 a.m. the train left Boston and reached Montreal at 8:00 p.m. On the way, a Canadian was privileged to speak with `Abdu'l-Bahá. The Master pointed out to him the straight path of truth, and even though this individual had known nothing about `Abdu'l-Bahá before this encounter, he was attracted to Him.
When we arrived at the station, we saw Mr [Sutherland] Maxwell hurrying forward to greet the Master. He had two carriages to convey the Master and His companions to his home.261
There a group of friends and a newspaper publisher262
were waiting to see the Master. At the table, Mrs [May] Maxwell said, `So many people have telephoned and sent letters about your arrival and I have replied to all. I have become very tired but I consider this fatigue the greatest comfort of my life.' A pastor had telephoned to ask the Master to address his congregation the day after tomorrow. The editor of the newspaper said that he would publish the announcement the next day. When Mrs Maxwell informed `Abdu'l-Bahá of this, He said, `Very well. You were tired, having undergone such trouble today. You must rest for the time being.'
Friday, August 31, 1912
In the morning, the pastor of the Unitarian Church came with several others to visit `Abdu'l-Bahá. The Master discussed with them the elimination of religious superstitions and prejudices, which are contrary to science and common sense and which are obstacles to the attainment of the foundation of truth of the divine religions.
A newspaper reporter was then announced. He had come to interview the Master about His life and the history of the Cause. `Abdu'l-Bahá gave a detailed account, which was recorded by the reporter.
The Master went to the dinner table. Mr Maxwell had come from the customs house and said that when the inspector opened the first suitcase and saw a picture of the Master, he asked, `Is this the picture of the prophet of Persia?' When he received an affirmative reply, the inspector said, `There is no need to inspect these goods' and released all the luggage.
Some of the newspapers accounts about the visit of the Master are full of reverence and praise.
In the afternoon, at the invitation of Mr Maxwell, the Master went for ride in the town. While in the carriage He remarked:
Every city in which the remembrance of God is raised is a divine city. `Akká was a despised city but when it became the center of the mention of God and the dawning place of His Light, it illumined the world.
When He saw some of the college buildings, `Abdu'l-Bahá said:
As only material education is imparted and only natural philosophy is taught, these universities do not produce highly talented scholars. When both the natural and the divine philosophies are expounded, they will bring forth outstanding souls and evince great advancement. The reason for the success of the Greek schools was that they combined both natural and divine philosophies.
As His carriage passed by the Unitarian Church, He said, `Tomorrow we will raise the Call of God in this place.'
The carriage reached the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Notre Dame. Everything was quiet and no one was in sight. The Master alighted and went in to see the huge building. With rapt attention, He gazed at the vast cathedral, its ornamentation and numerous statues and spoke of its grandeur and embellishments. Standing in an open space at the entrance, He addressed us saying:
Behold what eleven disciples of Christ have accomplished, how they sacrificed themselves! I exhort you to walk in their footsteps. When a person is detached, he is capable of revolutionizing the whole world. The disciples of Christ met together in consultation on top of a mountain. They pledged themselves to undergo all manner of hardships, to accept every affliction as a bounty and to consider all difficulties easy to overcome. `He who is tied to a family, let him arrange to leave it; he who is not should remain single. He should forgo his comfort and his life.' Consulting thus, they descended from the mountain and each one went a different way and never returned. It is for this reason that they were able to leave behind such achievements. After Christ, the disciples truly forgot themselves, and not merely in word. Hence, the Blessed Beauty cited:
Either be like women and indulge in adornment and pleasure
Or like men, come out and throw down the gauntlet.263
`Abdu'l-Bahá took His seat in the carriage again and told us:
On our way to Bagh
dád we had to put up with unbearable hardships. At one time a Turkish soldier of the Ottoman army appeared before us. Mírzá Yah
yá, on seeing the soldier sitting on the horse with majesty and dignity, cried out with great grief and despair, `Oh! Where were we? Where are we now going? They say that all heads will bow. When shall it be?' I said to him in reply, `When the divine bounty attains perfection, persons greater than this soldier will bow their heads under the shadow of the Word of God.' Where is Mírzá Yah
yá now? Let him come and see how the power of Bahá'u'lláh has so inspired humility in these Americans, who consider the Turks as nothing, that a person like Mr Maxwell, an American, is with deference serving Mírzá Ah
In the evening there was a well-attended meeting at `Abdu'l-Bahá's residence. He spoke, with good effect, about spiritual progress and the manifestation of divine virtues in human realities. Afterwards many requested private interviews. On receiving satisfactory answers to their questions, they expressed their heartfelt gratitude. Among them was the president of a socialist organization who invited the Master to his group. His request was granted. As it grew late in the evening and other people were waiting for private interviews, we suggested that since the Master might be weary, it would be better if the rest of those waiting came back in the morning. He replied, `No, this is the time to work. We must not think of our fatigue. Everyone is to be met.'