Stories about 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Great reception at Unitarian Church

Mahmud's Diary
July 13, 1912
New York, NY

Today was a very happy day. The Master had been invited to speak at the Unitarian Church of New York. The pastor of the church [Rev Leon A. Harvey] advertised the talk in the newspapers and also posted announcements outside the church to the effect that the ‘Great Persian Prophet will speak at 11:00 a.m. on July 13, 1912 [sic]’. A large multitude assembled. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was welcomed by the pastor, who escorted Him into his office. When the music and singing began, the Master came out. The pastor gave a short and interesting account of the history of the Cause and spoke of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s incarceration in the Most Great Prison in ‘Akka, after which he introduced the Master to the audience.

Abdu’l-Bahá stood and spoke on the oneness of the world of humanity and the principles of divine religion. His talk gave everyone fresh insight, opened new vistas before every eye and engendered a new spirit in every heart. At the end of His talk He chanted a prayer in a melodious voice, which stirred the souls and made everyone long to offer their prayers and supplications to the Kingdom of God. Not wishing to greet the audience one by one owing to the excessive heat and the strain of His exertions, the Master went into the pastor’s office and waited. The pastor told ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that people from the audience were waiting outside to shake hands with Him and to thank Him so the Master came out and stood on the platform. In great humility and reverence the people came one by one in a file from one side, shook His hand and left from the other side. Those who had not known of His presence in America asked for His address so they could visit Him.

On the way home from the church, the carriage passed through the spacious parks and gardens of the city. While the carriage was crushing the flowers and grass under its wheels, it seemed as if it were exacting tribute from the kings and bestowing crowns and thrones upon the poor.

In the afternoon ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke about the distribution of wealth and the means of livelihood, thus removing some of the erroneous notions of the socialists.

At night ‘Abdu’l-Bahá went to Mr. Wilhelm’s home in Englewood where a group of seekers, after hearing His talk, stated that they had been longing for such teachings for years. He then went to the home of Mr. [Louis] Bourgeois for dinner.