‘Abdu’l-Bahá Wonderful Persian Mystic, Expected To Be Here Next Month
Local followers of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Persian mystic and leader of the new Universal religion, are agog over the news that he will in all probability spend a few days in this city during the coming month — an event that has been prayed for and eagerly sought ever since he arrived on American shores months ago.
For several months ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has been holding audiences in the East, churches, vast auditoriums and private homes having been thrown open to the Oriental teacher whose personal magnetism and divine message of universal peace and love have won a tremendous following.
From the time he was 9 years old ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was incarcerated in a Turkish fortress, and not until the New Turks came into power in 1908 was he released and given the freedom to make proselytes to the new-old faith, the basic principle of which is the oneness of humanity. His message is one of universal peace, of universal love, and alms to unify all religions and bring together the East and the West.
In Portland there are between 200 and 300 followers of Bahá’ísm, and the number has been steadily growing during the past few months, since a central publication bureau has been established in Chicago and a medium established through which news of the leader’s movements could be obtained and his messages translated and conveyed through the press. Each Sunday night meetings are held on the sixth floor of Filers Hall, and here are discussed the “tablets” issued from time to time in the interest of the movement and study made of the articles of faith as promulgated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, son of Bahá’u’lláh, who met a martyr’s death in 1892, and who was the follower of the Persian Báb (the gate), who in 1844 proclaimed himself to be the divine leader sent by God to usher in the Moslem millennium.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá is now in the East, and will in all probability leave from Montreal during the next few weeks via the Canadian Pacific, stopping at Seattle and Portland en route to San Francisco.
Several Portland Bahá followers journeyed this Spring to Chicago in order to sit at the feet of the Persian leader. They returned profoundly impressed with his personality and the strength of his message. Among these was Mrs. J.W. Latmier, who declares he is without doubt the superman on the earth, that his wisdom, his wonderful spirituality, the sublimity of his message, his power to satisfy each soul’s needs has never been equaled since the coming of Jesus Christ.
“I had a personal interview with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá while in Chicago,” said Mrs. Latimer, “and the experience is one which I shall never forget as long as I live. Never have I been in the presence of so majestic, so sublime a personality. He radiates peace, Joy, majesty. Intuitively he answers the questions that come crowding to one’s mind, and no one leaves him unsatisfied or doubting. The effect is indescribable, and was experienced by hundreds who came out of curiosity and intending to scoff, but ‘remained to pray.’ All day long he was besieged by people who clamored to have a moment’s interview with him, and all through the day and into the night he dispensed comfort and gave hope to those who came.
“He is patriarchal in appearance, with pure white hair and beard and piercing, wonderful eyes, now blue, now black with their intensity. He wears upon his head an. Oriental turban and is garbed in a flowing robe, sometimes of white, sometimes black or natural undyed wools. His chief characteristic is his modesty, his humility. He will not permit his followers to call him ‘master’ or any title that will set him above them, and declares he is to be known simply as ‘the servant of the people.’”
Mrs. Latimer and other follower predict Portland will be stirred to the depths with the coming of the Persia teacher.
[picture caption: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.]