New Cult Is Exemplified
Persian Exponent of Bahá’í Movement Speaks to Women.
M. Hippolyte Dreyfus, of Paris, apostle of the Bahá’í movement, which is attracting considerable attention in this country just now through the presence here of its leading exponent, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, gave an exemplification of the doctrine before a body of women at the home of Mrs. J. E. Bingham, 572 Kearney street, yesterday afternoon.
In attempting to define the exact status of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and the nature of his claims, M. Dreyfus said that Bahá made no claims whatever, except that he was ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Divinity, he said, he did not claim and whether or not be possessed that quality, it was not for us to inquire into.
“‘Abdu’l-Bahá,” said the speaker, “claims that his father, Bahá U’Llah, was the greatest manifestation of God in our day, and that he, as the son of U’Llah, received the mission to perpetuate the message of the father.
“Whether he is the son of God, or not, is a question altogether too childish for us to inquire into. He is a mysterious personage.
“When the claim is made, however, that he was the greatest manifestation of God in our day, there is no necessary implication of divinity. God is infinite and we, therefore cannot comprehend him, but can know him only by his manifestations.
“Through his love we learn to know him as love, through his mercy as identical with mercy, and through his justice, as identical with justice. He is manifested in the various forms of the nature about us.
“But in some of these he is manifested in greater degree than in others. In the flower God is manifested in a lesser degree than in man, and in different men he is manifested in different degrees.
“And, as his greatest manifestation is made in man, so in one man his greatest manifestation, as he is manifested in man, is made. That man was Bahá U’Llah, and in his son and successor, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He is the one in whom the attributes of God, as witnessed by man, are manifested. He is the great mirror facing the sun. This manifestation of God has nothing to do with incarnation.”
Mr. Dreyfus went into the teachings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá exhaustively. These look to both a religious and a social reformation, and include the unification of all religion to universal peace, and the social equality of man. A plan of social government was outlined.