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Old Persian Mystic Stirs By Teachings

Old Persian Mystic Stirs By Teachings
The Evening Bulletin -- Philadelphia
June 10, 1912

Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, Head of Bahá’ín Cult, Speaks in Two City Churches


Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, world head of the Bahá’ín cult, a gentle speaking old Persian with a fine intellect, wonderful eyes, a long white beard and a philosophy sweeping enough to enfold the world in its beneficent influence, is in this city at the beginning of an American tour and delivered the first of his important addresses here yesterday.

The mystic, whose persecutions in the East make a tale unequaled in romance, is believed by a quarter of a million people in this country to be the redeemer foretold by all religious prophets since religious prophecy first began.

His followers believe that his coming in the first decade of this century has been made clear as day in the Old and New Testaments. Bahá’íns are firm in the belief that within the next few years the teachings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas will spread like fire throughout the world, unite all humanity, wipe away strife, discontent and trouble, and create a peaceful revolution in society and industry that shall have its end in happiness for everybody.

The first of the notable visitor’s addresses was delivered yesterday morning before a large congregation at the First Unitarian Church, 15th St. and Girard ave., and the second was given last evening in the Grace Baptist Temple. Each address was delivered through an interpreter, and was an exposition of religious philosophy that is both wide and kindly.


I have come,” said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, “from a part of the world wherein the manifestations of God were first made plain, and out of which the radiance and power of God first shone through man, his Son. The intention and purpose of my visit is in that a bond of understanding and agreement may be established between us.

All humanity is surely the creation and the servant of God. All came into being through one Creator, who is kind to all. He rears all, He provides for all. He protects all, and He deals lovingly with all. Inasmuch as God is kind to all, why should we be unkind to any of His creatures? Inasmuch as God is loyal to all, why should we be disloyal? Inasmuch as God deals in mercy with all, why should we deal in animosity and hatred?”

Six thousand years of unrest and unhappiness, says the Bahá’ín head, has been due to social and religious and racial prejudice. Latterly have come unfair industrial conditions and war of one kind and another has been linked with business. In a word, the Bahá is attempting to change and remodel the foundations of human nature.


This country,” he says, “is the country in which many mysteries will be solved. The mystery of the universe may be among them. The world was made to be the seat of transient happiness. Untold misery has defiled it only because man has failed to realize responsibility to the Creator of his spirit and to his kind.”

When all private and personal ambition has been made secondary to the thought of what he calls the Oneness or humanity, said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, man will suddenly come upon absolute happiness and peace as a lost and wondering explorer finds the goal of his desire — suddenly and without warning.

Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas is close to sixty years old and wears the garb and turban of Persia. With him are two companions who translate his utterances and keep careful journal of them all. He has been imprisoned times innumerable in the East where his father, the founder of the cult of the Bahá’íns was a prophet before him.

All told ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas has served something like forty years in Persian prisons for questioning, in his general teaching, the infallibility of any one accepted religion and for the reiterated assertion that all religions in their present state, represent the instinctive desire of all people to serve their common Creator.

[picture caption: ‘ABDU’L-BAHA ABBAS, Head of Bahá’ín cult, who is here in interests of universal brotherhood. HARRIS & EWINGPHOTO]