239 Days in America, Day 154: September 11, 1912 | Buffalo
’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey So Far: Month Five 1
WE HAVE REACHED THE end of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s fifth month in North America. As he engages the press in Buffalo, New York, we thought we’d take this opportunity to look back at some of the highlights of the past month. …
Buffalo, Chicago, Kenosha 2
On Wednesday, September 11, after a series of interviews, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited two of the friends who were sick and distributed five dollars in coins to children who gathered around Him on the street. That evening He went to the Church of the Messiah. In the pastor’s study, before the meeting, the minister read an account of the Faith he had written for the church paper. When he concluded, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “‘You have left nothing to Me to say here tonight. You have written and published everything in this booklet.’” After ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke to the congregation, the minister encouraged his parishioners to go to Bahá’í meetings and to investigate for themselves.
An article appearing in the Buffalo Express on September 11 began, “ABDUL BAHA AN OPTIMIST: Thinks Religious Unity And World Peace Will Come Within Present Century.”
If we determine a beginning and an end for creation, it is as if we determine a beginning and an end for God. 3
People from all walks of life came to visit Him, including friends from Spokane and Mr Collins from Ottawa, who said that there were two thousand people in his city who believed in this golden age and in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and who wanted to have a glimpse of the Master. The Master entrusted him with a special Tablet and sent him, now ablaze like a ball of fire, back to his home.
Today the newspapers appeared with a new title for the Master, ‘The Prince of the East’, which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá did not welcome. He spoke with the reporters about the beginning and end of creation:
If we determine a beginning and an end for creation, it is as if we determine a beginning and an end for God. There can be no creator without a creation. The sun without light and a king without subjects and a country are simply inconceivable.
Here are some of His words to the friends:
I am exceedingly pleased because I see you firm and unwavering in the Cause of God. Some individuals are like rootless plants, they are pulled out by the slightest breeze. But those who are steadfast are like trees that have strong roots and foundations. Storms cannot shake them; rather, they add to their freshness.
The minister of the Church of the Messiah was greatly pleased [to] hear the Master’s teachings. He stated that they could not be contradicted by anyone. After thanking the Master for accepting his invitation to come to his church, the minister left.
5 September 1912, Talk at St. James Methodist Church, Montreal, Canada 4
… In order that human souls, minds and spirits may attain advancement, tranquillity and vision in broader horizons of unity and knowledge, Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed certain principles or teachings, some of which I will mention.
First, man must independently investigate reality …
Second, the oneness of the world of humanity shall be realized, accepted and established. …
Third, religion must be the mainspring and source of love in the world …
Fourth, religion must reconcile and be in harmony with science and reason. …
Fifth, prejudice … is the destroyer of human foundations and opposed to the commands of God. …
Sixth, the world of humanity is in need of the confirmations of the Holy Spirit. …
Seventh, the necessity of education for all mankind is evident. Children especially must be trained and taught. If the parent cannot afford to do this owing to lack of means, the body politic must make necessary provision for its accomplishment. Through the broadening spirit of education illiteracy will disappear, and misunderstandings due to ignorance will pass away.
- Sockett, Robert. “‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey So Far: Month Five.” 239 Days in America, 11 Sept. 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/09/11/abdul-bahas-journey-so-far-month-five/. [return]
- Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 140. [return]
- ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=7#section171 [return]
- ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 317. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/22#055490096 [return]