Stories about 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Mahmud: April 12 - Clergy and Children Visit ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

April 12, 1912
New York, NY

Group after group of believers from New York and the surrounding areas came to visit. There were also many seekers who were interested and desired to visit the Master. Some clergymen also visited. The Master spoke to them, saying:

Material and spiritual matters have always advanced hand in hand but at the present time the material side is predominant and the divine principles have been neglected and thrown aside and forgotten. One of the chief reasons for this growing apathy is that the ministers of religion have taught that religion is opposed to science and reason and have thus enforced imitation. You must, therefore, relate religious verities to science.

Then He added:

The appearance of the divine Manifestations is like the coming of springtime. It is self-evident that spring does not remain forever. We pray that the divine Spring may again be the cause of the rejuvenation of the garden of existence.

At the end of His talk ‘Abdu’l-Bahá discouraged everyone from war and disunity and urged all to peace and unity. The clergymen were so transformed that they remarked as with one voice, ‘We have attempted for many years to portray and promote the spiritual teachings with such pleasing and tangible proofs.’ They then requested the Master to come to their churches to speak. The Master replied, ‘I have already promised others and I shall stay here only a week for the present. I may speak on my return from Chicago.’

In the afternoon there was a public meeting at the home of Mrs [Alexander] Morten. Because the Master had spoken so much today, He was tired and rested for a little while in an upstairs bedroom before the meeting. When He came down the staircase to face the crowd below, He gave a wonderful, compassionate talk in an eloquent and melodious voice on the subject of the spiritual springtime. Apart from the many believers, there were also about a hundred newcomers present who shook His hand and expressed their joy and happiness. When He started to go upstairs, the crowd pleaded with Him to stay for a few more minutes. They approached Him, group by group, and then left, extremely happy and with great devotion. Some believers requested blessings for their children. The Master has a great love and affection for children. Some of the friends showed Him Tablets that He had written for them, overjoyed to have been so honored by Him. It is surprising to see how much the Cause of God has influenced them and the power of God’s Covenant. The believers in America are extremely devoted to the Center of the Covenant and are obedient to His words and commands.

On the return to the hotel the carriage drove through the park roads. The Master remarked, ‘America will make rapid progress in the future but I am fearful of the effects of these high buildings and such densely populated cities; these are not good for the public health.’