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Carnegie Exalted By Bahá’í Leader

Carnegie Exalted By Bahaist Leader
The New York Times
September 5, 1915

Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas Sends Letter from Syria Extolling His Efforts for Peace.


Says American Will “Sit Upon the Throne of Incorruptible Glory in the Kingdom of God.”

From the slopes of Mt. Carmel in Syria comes a message hailing Andrew Carnegie as the greatest worker in the cause of international peace. The sender of the message is the venerable ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, “the servant of God,” who as prophet of Bahá’ísm visited this country in 1912 and was widely received. Even on that occasion he spoke against war.

Mr. Carnegie is addressed by the prophet of Bahá’ísm in a letter received a few days ago by H. H. Topakyan, the Persian Consul General here. In the same envelope was another letter for Mr. Topakyan, which contained friendly greetings and asked that he arrange for the transmission of the Carnegie letter to the retired ironmaster.

An incidental item of news was contained in Mr. Topakyan’s letter, for the writer said “the news of the establishment of love and understanding between his Excellency Ali Kuli Khan, and yourself, granted me the utmost rejoicing.” It was not generally known here that Consul General Topakyan and Ali Kuli Khan, former Persian Charge d’Affaires at Washington, had settled their differences. About a year ago they had a violent controversy over which should be Persian Commissioner General to the Panama Exposition, each alleging he had been appointed to the post. The rivals denounced each other, but it is apparent from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s letter that their differences have been settled.

The letter comes, written in English in longhand, and at the end is the subscription of Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, saying the latter had translated it. It is dated May 1, and the envelope bears several sets of stamps and many official inscriptions, testifying to the difficulties the letter had in traveling between Syria and New York, although it was sent out of the Syrian vice-consulate as official matter.

Carnegie a “Noble Personage.”

The text of the letter, with its Oriental flavor and its quaint orthography, is as follows:

To the noble personage, his Excellency Mr. Andrew Carnegie:

May God assist him! He is God! O thou illustrious soul! O thou the great pillar of the palace of Universal Peace!

It was some time since I intended to correspond with thee, but there was no intermediary between us. Now that his Excellency Mr. Topakyan has made possible through his kindly suggestion, I write thee this epistle; for truly I say thou art the lover of the world of humanity and one of the founders of Universal Peace.

Today the most great service to the kingdom of God is the promotion of the principle of the unification of mankind and the establishment of Universal Peace. A number of souls who were doctrinaires and unpractical thinkers worked for the realization of this most exalted aim and good cause, but they were doomed to failure, save that lofty personage who has been and is still promoting the matter of international arbitration and general conciliation through deeds, words, self-sacrifice and the generous donation of wealth and property. Rest thou assured that through the Confirmations of the Holy Spirit thou wilt become confirmed and assisted in the accomplishment of this most resplendent service and in this mortal world thou shalt lay the foundation of an immortal, everlasting edifice and in the end thou wilt sit upon the throne of incorruptible glory in the Kingdom of God.

Carnegie a Harbinger of Life.

All the leaders and statesmen of Europe are thinking on the plane of war and the annihilation of the mansion of humanity, but thou art thinking on the plane of Peace and Love and the strengthening and reinforcement of the basis of the superstructure of the human world. They are the heralds of death, thou are the harbinger of life. The foundations of their palaces are unstable and wavering and the turrets of their mansions are tottering and crumbling, but the basis of thy structure is firm and unmovable.

While I was journeying throughout America and Europe I cried before all the meetings, conventions, and churches:

Oh ye noble friends! The world of humanity is facing in the future a most portentous danger and supreme calamity. The continent of Europe has become like unto a gunpowder magazine and arsenal, under which are hidden combustible materials of the most inflammatory nature. Its combustion will be dependent upon the sudden and unexpected enkindlement of one tiny spark which shall envelop the whole earth with a world-wide conflagration, causing the total collapse of European civilization through the furious, wild, raging, fiery tongues of war. Therefore, O ye well-wishers of the world of humanity, endeavor by day and by night so that these inflammable materials may not come in touch with the burning fire of racial antipathy and hatred.”

Today the life of mankind and its attainment to everlasting glory depend on its display of effort and exertion in accord with the principles of his Holiness Bahá’u’lláh; for his first and foremost teaching consists of the oneness of the world of humanity. He says: We are all the sheep of God. His Highness, the Almighty, is the real Shepherd and kind to all the sheep. Why then should we be unkind toward each other? Another of his most great institutes deals with the subject of universal peace, the establishment of which would be conducive to the well-being and progress and tranquillity of the commonwealth of man.

Exalts Gospel of Peace.

Other precepts of Bahá’u’lláh treat of the identity of the underlying foundations of the religions of God, the original oneness of the nations, the adoption and general practice of a universal auxiliary language and the inculcation of the ideal of cosmopolitanism and world-patriotism among the children of men; consequently in future his teachings will act as a deterrent and preventive from the occurrence of the most great danger, i. e., universal war.

Today the most important object of the Kingdom of God is the promulgation of the cause of universal peace and the principle of the oneness of the world of humanity. Whosoever arises in the accomplishment of this preeminent service the confirmations of the Holy Spirit will descend upon him. Now all that has been predicted has come to pass, and the lurid flames of this war have emblazoned the horizon of the east and the west, causing a reverberating social earthquake through the columns of the earth. After this war the workers for the cause of universal peace will increase day by day, and the pacific party will array its force, displaying great activity with better advantage, and in the end gaining a permanent triumph and eternal victory over all the other parties. The realization of this matter is incontestable and irrefragable.

Therefore, ere long a vast and unlimited field will be opened before your view for the display of your powers and energies. You must promote this glorious intention with the Heavenly Power and the confirmation of the Holy Spirit. I am praying in thy behalf that thou mayest pitch a pavilion and unfurl a flag in the world of Peace, Love, and Eternal Life.

I beg you to accept the consideration of my highest and deepest respect.


Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, May 1st, 1915. Home of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Mount Carmel, Haifa, Syria.