‘Abdu’l-Bahá — a Sign of the Times
The plea of the venerable Persian, who at present is in this country preaching the new religion of brotherhood which he represents, is a reiteration of all that is best in the ethics of the Christian faith. No one will deny that his is a beautiful conception of how all the people of the earth might, should, and could live together. The same incredulous spirit which cried “impossible” when the Nazarene taught his disciples neighborly love is still alive. More than this it is still dominant.
The patriarchal man from the East asks in effect: “How can a man love his Father in heaven, whom he has not seen, if he does not love his brother upon earth, whom he sees daily?”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá has assumed the leadership of the sect after the death of his father and grandfather, both of whom were tortured, persecuted, and imprisoned by the Persian government as traitors to the religion of Mohamet and the Koran. The present chief “Bahá’í” is sixty-five years of age, forty-two of which he spent in Turkish jails after his father had been exiled from Persia. With the downfall of absolutism and the regime of the Young Turks he was freed and at once took up again the work of his father.
But ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stands for a great deal more than even he is aware of. In him and his teachings is embodied in a large degree that new spirit of world-wide unity which powerfully moves all races nowadays. The world, even the Orient, is more advanced and more ripe for his message than it was in the days of his father. He is not a cause. Oh, no! For, without him, the entire world was already turning toward peace, and it will continue to do so.