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Chicago, June 24, 1913
The Glad-Tidings of the Kingdom . . . . 98
Addresses by Abdul-Baha delivered in New York City . . . . 99
Training for Service in the Cause of BAHA'O'LLAH- Words of Abdul-Baha . . . . 104
Material and Divine Education — Words of Abdul-Baha . . . . 105
Persian Section . . . . 107-112
The Glad-Tidings of the Kingdom
DO YOU know in what Day you are living? Do you realize in what Dispensation you are alive? Have you not read in the Holy Scriptures that at the Consummation of the Ages there shall appear a Day which is the Sun of all the past Days? This is the DAY in which the LORD OF HOSTS has come down from Heaven on the Clouds of Glory! This is the DAY in which the inhabitants of all the world shall enter under the Tent of the WORD OF GOD.
This is the DAY whose real sovereign is His Highness THE ALMIGHTY. This is the DAY when the East and the West shall embrace each other like unto two lovers. This is the DAY in which war and contention shall be forgotten. This is the DAY in which nations and governments will enter into an eternal bond of amity and conciliation. This Century is the fulfillment of the Promised Century.
This DAY is the dawn of the appearances of the traces of the glorious visions of the past prophets and sages.
Now is the dawn; ere long the Effulgent Sun shall rise, and shall station itself in the meridian of its majesty. Then ye shall observe the effects of the Sun. Then ye shall behold what heavenly illumination has become manifest. Then ye shall comprehend that these are the infinite Bestowals of GOD! Then ye shall see that this world has become another world. Then ye shall perceive that the Teachings of GOD have universally spread.
Rest ye assured that this darkness shall be dispelled and these impenetrable clouds which have darkened the horizon will be scattered, and the Sun of Reality shall appear in its full splendor. Its rays shall melt the icebergs of hatred and differences which have transformed the moving sea of humanity into hard frozen immensity. The vices of the world of nature shall be changed into praiseworthy attributes, and the lights of the excellences of the divine realm shall appear.
The principles of His Holiness BAHA'O'LLAH, like unto the spirit, shall penetrate the body of the world, and the Love of GOD, like unto an artery, shall beat through the heart of the five continents.
The East shall become illumined, the West perfumed and the children of men shall enter beneath the all-embracing canopy of the oneness of the world of humanity.
In this Day the rest of the world are asleep. Praise be to GOD! that you are awake! They are all uninformed, but, praise be GOD! you are informed of the mysteries of GOD. Thank ye GOD that in this arena ye have preceded others. I hope that each one of you may become a pillar of the palace of the oneness of the world of humanity. May each one of you become a luminous star of this heaven, thus lighting the path of those who are seeking the goal of human perfection.
— ABDUL-BAHA ABBAS
Talk by Abdul-Baha at Paris, March 10, 1913
Translated from the Persian by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab
STAR OF THE WEST
"We desire but the good of the world and the happiness of the nations; that all nations shall become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men shall be strengthened; that diversity of religion shall cease and differences of race be annulled. So it shall be; these fruitless strifes these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the 'Most Great Peace' shall come."—BAHA'O'LLAH.
Chicago (June 24, 1913) Rahmat
ADDRESSES BY ABDUL-BAHA DELIVERED IN NEW YORK CITY
TALK GIVEN BY ABDUL-BAHA AT 309 W. 78TH ST., NEW YORK CITY, JUNE 11, 1912.*
WE have just returned from a visit to Philadelphia, spending two nights there and speaking in two large churches. The weather proved unpleasant and affected my health. The purpose in these movements here and there is a single purpose; it is to spread the Light of Truth in this dark world. On account of my age it is difficult to journey. Sometimes the difficulties are arduous. But out of love for the friends of God and with desire to sacrifice myself in the pathway of God, I bear them in gladness. The purpose is the result which is accomplished, love and unity among mankind. For the world is dark with discord and selfishness, hearts are negligent, souls bereft of God and His Heavenly Bestowals. Man is submerged in the affairs of this world. His aims, objects and attainments are mortal, whereas God desires for him immortal accomplishments. In his heart there is no thought of God. He has sacrificed his portion and birthright in Divine spirituality. The reins of his control are in the hands of desire and passion. Like two unmanageable horses they have wrested the reins from him and are galloping madly in the wilderness. This is the cause of the degradation of the world of humanity. This is the cause of retrogression to the appetites and passions of the animal kingdom; instead of divine advancement, sensual captivity and debasement of heavenly virtues of the soul. By devotion to the carnal, mortal world human susceptibilities sink to the level of animalism.
What are the animals' propensities? To eat, drink, wander about and sleep. The thoughts, the minds of the animals are confined to these. They are captives in the bonds of these desires. Man becomes a prisoner and slave to them when his ultimate desire is no higher than the accomplishment of his welfare in this world of the senses. Consider how difficult for man is the attainment of pleasures and happiness in this mortal world. Consider how easy it is for the animal. Look upon the fields and flowers, prairies, streams, forests and mountains. The grazing animals, the birds of the air, the fishes, neither toil nor undergo hardships; they sow not nor are they concerned about the reaping; they have no anxiety about business or politics; no trouble or worry whatsoever. All the fields and grasses, all the meadows of fruits and grains, all the mountain slopes and streams of salubrious water belong to them. They have no labor for their livelihood and happiness because everything is provided and made possible for them. If the life of man be confined to this physical, elemental outlook, the animal's life is a hundred times better, easier and more productive of comfort and contentment. The animal is nobler, more serene and confident, because each hour is free from anxiety and worryment. But man, restless and dissatisfied, runs from morn till eve, sailing the seas, diving beneath them in submarines, flying aloft in aeroplanes, delving into the lowest strata of the earth until he obtains his livelihood, all with the greatest difficulty, anxiety and unrest. Therefore in this respect the animal is nobler, more serene, poised and confident. Consider the birds in forest and jungle, how they build their nests high in the swaying tree-tops, build them in the utmost skill and beauty, swinging, rocking in the morning breezes, drinking the pure, sweet water, enjoying the most enchanting views as they fly here and there high overhead, singing joyously, all without labor, free from worry, care and forebodings. If man's life be confined to the elemental, physical world of enjoyment, one lark is nobler, more admirable than all humanity because its livelihood is prepared, its condition complete, its accomplishment perfect and natural.
But not so! The purpose of the life of man is divine, eternal, not mortal and sensual. For him a spiritual existence and livelihood is prepared and ordained in the Divine creative plan. His life is intended to be a life of spiritual enjoyment to which the animal can never attain. This enjoyment depends upon the acquisition of heavenly virtues. The sublimity of man is the attainment of the Knowledge of God. The bliss of man is the acquiring of heavenly bestowals, which descend upon him in the outflow of the Bounty of God. The happiness of man is in the fragrance of the Love of God. This is the highest pinnacle of attainment in the human world. How preferable to the animal and its hopeless kingdom!
Therefore consider how base a nature it requires that notwithstanding the favors showered upon man by God, man should lower himself into the animal sphere, be wholly occupied with material needs, attached to this mortal realm, imagining that the greatest happiness is to attain wealth in this world. How purposeless! How debased is such a nature! God has created man in order that he maybe a dove of the Kingdom, in order that he may become a heavenly candle, in order that he may attain to Life Eternal. God has created man in order that he may be resuscitated through the breaths of the Holy Spirit. God has created man in order that he may be the light of the world. How debased the soul which can find enjoyment in this darkness, occupied with itself, the captive of self and passion, wallowing in the mire of the material world! How degraded is such a nature! What an ignorance this is! What a blindness!
How glorious the station of man who has partaken of the heavenly food and builded the temple of his everlasting residence in the world of heaven.
The Manifestations of God have come into the world to free man from these bonds and chains of the world of nature. Although they walked upon the earth they lived in heaven. They were not concerned about material sustenance and the prosperity of this world. Their bodies were subjected to inconceivable distress, but their spirits ever soared in the highest realms of ecstacy. The purpose of their coming, their teaching and suffering was the freedom of man from himself. Shall we, therefore, follow in their footsteps, escape from this cage of the body or continue subject to its tyranny? Shall we pursue the phantoms of a mortal happiness which does not exist or turn towards the Tree of Life and the joys of its eternal fruits?
I have come to this country in the advanced years of my life, undergoing difficulties of health and climate because of excessive love for the friends of God. It is my wish that they may be assisted to become servants of the Heavenly Kingdom, captives in the service of the Will of God. This captivity is freedom, this sacrifice is glorification, this labor is reward, this need is bestowal. For service in love for mankind is unity with God. He who serves has already entered the Kingdom and is seated at the right hand of his Lord.
- Translated by Dr. Ameen U. Fareed.
TALK GIVEN BY ABDUL-BAHA AT 309 WEST 78TH ST., NEW YORK CITY, JUNE 11, 1912*
MAN must be lofty in endeavor. He must seek to become heavenly, to become spiritual, to find the pathway to the Threshold of God, to become acceptable in the sight of God. This is eternal glory, to be near to God. This is eternal sovereignty, to be imbued with the virtues of the human world. This is boundless blessing, to be entirely sanctified and holy above every stain and dross.
Consider the human world. See how nations have come and gone. They have been of all minds and purposes. Some have been mere captives of self and desire. They have been engulfed in the passions of the baser nature. They have attained to wealth, to the comforts of life, to fame. And what was the final outcome? Utter evanescence and oblivion. Reflect upon this! Look upon it with the eye of admonition! No trace of them remains, no fruit, no result, no benefit; they have gone utterly; complete effacement!
But souls have appeared in the world who have been pure and undefiled, who have directed their attention toward God, seeking the reward of God, attaining nearness to the Threshold of God, acceptable in the good pleasure of God. They have been the lights of Guidance and stars of the Supreme Concourse. Consider these souls, shining like stars in the Horizon of Sanctity forevermore.
It must not be implied that one should give up avocation and attainment of livelihood. Nay, on the contrary, in the Cause of BAHA'O'LLAH monasticism and asceticism are not sanctioned. In this Great Cause the Light of Guidance is shining and radiant. His Holiness BAHA'O'LLAH has even said that your occupation and labor is devotion. All humanity must by sweat of the brow and bodily exertion obtain a livelihood; each one at the same time seeking to lift the burden of the other, striving to be the source of comfort to souls, and facilitating the means of living. And this in itself is devotion to God. BAHA'O'LLAH has in this way encouraged and stimulated action, service. But the energies of the heart must not be attached to these things; the soul must not be completely occupied with them. Though the mind be busy the heart must be attracted toward the Kingdom of God, in order that the virtues of humanity shall be attained from every direction and source.
But we have forsaken the path of God; we have given up attention to the Divine Kingdom; we have not severed the heart from worldly attractions; we have become defiled with qualities which are not praiseworthy in the sight of God; we are so completely steeped in material issues and tendencies that we are not partakers of the virtues of humanity.
Little reflection, little admonition is necessary for us to realize the purpose of our creation. What a heavenly potentiality God has deposited within us! What a power God has given our spirits! He has endowed us with such a power that we are able to penetrate the realities of things. But we must be self-abnegating, we must have pure spirits, pure intentions, and strive with heart and soul while in the human world, to attain glory everlasting.
I have come for the purpose of admonition and voicing the behests of BAHA'O'LLAH. And my hope is this; that His wish and admonition may influence your spirits, souls and hearts, causing them to become pure and holy, sanctified and illumined, making you lamps of Heavenly Guidance! This is my desire; this is my hope through the assistance of God.
- Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab and taken stenographically by Miss Emma C. Melick.
TALK BY ABDUL-BAHA AT 309 WEST 78TH ST., NEW YORK CITY, JUNE 17, 1912.*
WE SHOULD all visit the sick. When they are in sorrow and trouble it does them much good to have a friend come. Happiness is a great healer to those who are ill. In the East it is the custom to call upon the patient often and meet him individually. The people in the East show the utmost kindness and compassion. This has greater effect than the remedy itself. You must always have this thought of kindness and compassion when you see a sick person. You must call upon him. You must exercise the utmost love and affection.
I desire to speak upon this subject to you. The world of humanity is like unto a man. Just as a man is ever subject to illness, it also has various kinds of ailments. The patient should be diagnosed. The world of humanity is subject to many sicknesses and ailments and needs the Real Physician. The Prophets of God are the Real Physicians.
In every age and period, when they appear, they prescribe. They know the sicknesses; they discover the hidden illnesses and they prescribe the real remedy. Whosoever gets well through that remedy, finds eternal health. For instance, in the day of His Holiness Jesus Christ, the world of humanity experienced great sickness. Various ailments prevailed. His Holiness Jesus Christ was the Real Physician. He appeared and recognized the ailments and prescribed the real remedy. What was that remedy? It was His teaching, which for that age was the real remedy. Later on many new ailments and sicknesses appeared in the body politic. The world became sick; many severe maladies appeared, especially in the Peninsula of Arabia. God manifested His Holiness Mohammed. He came and prescribed for the sicknesses which existed in Arabia, so that the Arabs became healthy and strong in that time.
Again in this age the world of humanity is severely afflicted with such sicknesses as cause death. Therefore His Holiness BAHA'O'LLAH has appeared. He is the Real Physician; He gives the real remedy to the world of man. He has brought teachings for the healing of these sicknesses; the "Hidden Words," the "Ishrakhat." the "Tarazat," the "Tajalleyat," "Words of Paradise," etc. These teachings are the remedy for the body politic. These are the Divine Teachings; the real remedy for the sicknesses of the human body. Therefore we must partake of this remedy so that complete recovery may appear. Every soul who lives and acts according to the teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH is free from all ailments and sicknesses; otherwise, selfish ailments, intellectual ailments, spiritual ailments, imperfections, the ailments of vices will surround him and he will not receive the bounties of God
Therefore we must endeavor that our own ailments may be cured through these teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH; and without this, complete recovery is impossible; because His Holiness BAHA'O'LLAH is the Real Physician, the Skilled Doctor. He has diagnosed all the sicknesses of the human body and prescribed medicine accordingly. The remedies of BAHA'O'LLAH of which you read in His Tablets, are the love of God, knowledge of God, severance from all else save God, turning one's face toward the Kingdom of God, sincerity and faith, firmness and steadfastness, fidelity and love toward all humanity, kindness toward all the children of men, and the acquirement of the virtues of the human world.
These are the cause of progress for all existence, international peace and the oneness of the human world. These are the Teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH. They are the cause of everlasting health; the remedy for man.
I hope that you may heal the sick body of man through these Teachings, so that the Eternal Lights may illumine the regions of the world.
- Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab and taken stenographically by Miss Emma C. Melick.
TALK GIVEN BY ABDUL-BAHA AT 309 WEST 78TH ST., NEW YORK CITY, JULY 1, 1912.*
WHAT could be better before God than thinking of the poor! For the poor are very beloved by our Heavenly Father. When His Holiness Christ came upon the earth those who believed in Him and followed Him were the poor and lowly—showing the poor were near to God. When a rich man believes and follows the Manifestation of God, it is a proof that his wealth is not an obstacle and does not prevent him from attaining the pathway of salvation. After he has been tested and tried it will be seen whether his possessions are a hindrance in his religious life. But the poor are especially beloved of God. Their lives are full of difficulties, their trials continual, their hopes are in God alone. Therefore you must assist the poor as much as possible, even if by sacrifice of yourself. No deed of man is greater before God than helping the poor. Spiritual conditions are not dependent upon the possession of worldly treasures or the absence of them. When physically destitute, spiritual thoughts are more likely. Poverty is a stimulus toward God. Each one of you must have great consideration for the poor and render them assistance. Organize in an effort to help them and prevent increase of poverty. The greatest means for prevention is that whereby the laws of the community will be so framed and enacted that it will not be possible for a few to be millionaires and many destitute. One of BAHA'O'LLAH'S teachings is the adjustment of means of livelihood in human society. Under this adjustment there can be no extremes in human conditions as regards wealth and sustenance. For the community needs financier, farmer, merchant and laborer just as an army must be composed of commander, officers and privates. All cannot be commanders; all cannot be officers or privates. Each in his station in the social fabric must be competent; each in his function according to ability; but justness of opportunity for all.
Lycurgus, King of Sparta, who lived long before the Day of Christ, conceived the idea of absolute equality in government. He proclaimed laws by which all the people of Sparta were classified into certain divisions. Each division had its separate rights and function. First,—farmers and tillers of the soil. Second, —artisans and merchants. Third,—leaders or grandees. Under the laws of Lycurgus the latter were not required to engage in any labor or vocation, but it was incumbent upon them to defend the country in case of war and invasion. Then he divided Sparta into nine thousand equal parts or provinces, appointing nine thousand leaders or grandees to protect them. In this way the farmers of each province were assured of protection, but each farmer was compelled to pay a tax to support the grandee of that province. The farmers and merchants were not obliged to defend the country. In lieu of labor the grandees received the taxes. Lycurgus, in order to establish this forever as a law, brought the nine thousand grandees together, told them he was going upon a long journey and wished this form of government to remain effective until his return. They swore an oath to protect and preserve his law. He then left his kingdom, went into voluntary exile and never came back. No man ever made such a sacrifice to insure equality among his fellowmen. A few years passed and the whole system of government he had founded collapsed, although established upon such a just and wise basis.
Difference of capacity in human individuals is fundamental. It is impossible for all to be alike, all to be equal, all to be wise. BAHA'O'LLAH has revealed principles and laws which will accomplish the adjustment of varying human capacities. He has said that whatsoever is possible of accomplishment in human government will be effected through these principles. When the laws he has instituted are carried out there will be no millionaires possible in the community and, likewise, no extremely poor. This will be effected and regulated by adjusting the different degrees of human capacity. The fundamental basis of the community is agriculture,—tillage of the soil. All must be producers. Each person in the community whose income is equal to his individual producing capacity shall be exempt from taxation. But if his income is greater than his needs he must pay a tax until an adjustment is effected. That is to say, a man's capacity for production and his needs will be equalized and reconciled through taxation. If his production exceeds he will pay no tax; if his necessities exceed his production he shall receive an amount sufficient to equalize or adjust. Therefore taxation will be proportionate to capacity and production and there will be no poor in the community.
BAHA'O'LLAH likewise commanded the rich to give freely to the poor. In the Kitab-el-Akdas it is further written by Him that those who have a certain amount of income must give one-fifth of it to God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
- Translated by Dr. Ameen U. Fareed.
ABDUL-BAHA AT 830 PARK AVENUE, NEW YORK CITY (HOME OF MRS. FLORIAN KRUG), JULY 15, 1912.
(Abdul-Baha entered during reading of a Prayer.)
THE Persian Consul called and delayed me,—I am late. I am greatly pleased to see you. Your hearts are illumined by the Lights of Baha. This meeting is in reality a divine, celestial assembly under the favor of God. All of us have no other purpose than praising and meeting God. The prayer you have just offered is a prayer of thankfulness;—a prayer of thankfulness did ye offer.
Thankfulness is of three kinds: First— verbal thanksgiving which is confined to a mere utterance of gratitude. This is of no importance because perchance the tongue may give thanks while the heart is unaware of it. Many who offer thanks to God are of this type,—their spirits and hearts unaware of thanksgiving. This is mere usage, just as when we meet, receive a gift and say "thank you,"—speaking the words without significance. One may say "thank you" a thousand times, but the heart remain thankless, even sorry. Therefore mere verbal thanksgiving is without effect. But real thankfulness is a cordial thanksgiving from the heart. When man, in response to the favors of God, manifests susceptibilities of conscience, the heart is happy, the spirit is exhilarated. These spiritual susceptibilities are ideal thanksgiving.
But there is a cordial thanksgiving which comprises the deeds of man when he feels a
[Continued on page 106]
STAR OF THE WEST
PUBLISHED NINETEEN TIMES A YEAR
By the BAHAI NEWS SERVICE, 515 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Ill., U. S. A.
Entered as second-class matter April 9, 1911, at the post office at Chicago. Illinois, under the Act of March 3,1879.
Editorial Staff: ALBERT R. WINDUST — GERTRUDE BUIKEMA — DR. ZIA M. BAGDADI
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TABLET FROM ABDUL-BAHA.
HE IS GOD!
O thou Star of the West! Be thou happy! Be thou happy! Shouldst thou continue to remain firm and eternal, ere long, thou shalt become the Star of the East and shalt spread in every country and clime. Thou art the first paper of the Bahais which is organized in the country of America. Although for the present thy subscribers are limited, thy form is small and thy voice weak, yet shouldst thou stand unshakable, become the object of the attention of the friends and the center of the generosity of the leaders of the faith who are firm in the Covenant, in the future thy subscribers will become hosts after hosts like unto the waves of the sea; thy volume will increase, thy arena will become vast and spacious and thy voice and fame will be raised and become world-wide—and at last thou shalt become the first paper of the world of humanity. Yet all these depend upon firmness, firmness, firmness!
(Signed) ABDUL-BAHA ABBAS.
CABLEGRAM FROM ABDUL-BAHA
Bagdadi, 803 Madison, Chicago. Port Said, June 19.
Arrived safely, Port Said, with joy and fragrance. ABBAS.
TRAINING FOR SERVICE IN THE CAUSE OF BAHA'O'LLAH
Words of Abdul-Baha delivered during his sojourn in America
I WISH to train you until you have no other thought, no other motive, no other wish than service in the Cause of BAHA'O'LLAH. The Divine Educators who have brought the Light of Guidance to this world found neither rest nor comfort by day or night. Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, BAHA'O'LLAH, —all the Heavenly Messengers suffered the utmost privation and underwent extreme hardships in the Pathway of God. They were exiled from their native land, imprisoned, driven from city to city; they were homeless, hungry and found no rest; they lived in the fields and hid in caves among the mountains; the sky was their canopy, the hard earth their bed. But all these difficulties and hardships served only to increase their power and accomplishment. Through these privations and persecutions they were severed from the world. Although they walked upon the earth, they lived in Heaven. Deprived of material food they partook of the eternal fruits of Paradise. Homeless and forsaken in this world, they rested upon the Divine Couch of Nearness. Day and night they were unceasingly proclaiming the Call of the Kingdom and establishing the foundations of the Most Great Peace.
It was so likewise with their disciples and followers. All of them walked in the Pathway of God and drank the cup of martyrdom with thanksgiving. They sought no rest but service and hastened to the Supreme Concourse in the utmost joy and ecstasy.
Through my training you must become so fitted to spread the Glad-Tidings of the ABHA Kingdom that you will follow in the footsteps of these blessed ones in gladness. In Persia there is a wonderful breed of horses which are trained to run long distances at very great speed. They are most carefully trained at first. They are taken out into the fields and made to run a short course. At the commencement of their training they are not able to run far. The distance is gradually increased. They become thinner and thinner, wiry and lean, but their strength increases. Finally, after months of rigid training, their swiftness and endurance become wonderful. They are able to run at full speed across rough country many parasangs of distance. At first this would have been impossible. Not until they become trained, thin and wiry, can they endure this severe test.
In this way I shall train you. "Kam-kam," "kam-kam" (little by little, little, by little), until your powers of endurance become so increased that you will serve the Cause of God continually, without other motive, without other thought or wish. This is my desire.
You must become impervious to criticism, unconscious of attack and abuse, nay, rather welcoming persecution, hostility and bitterness as the means of testing and increasing your supreme faith in God; even as His Holiness Christ instructed His disciples "Bless them that curse you; pray for them that despitefully use you." Be therefore as spiritual adamant against these darts, arrows and swords of infliction. We will help each other to bear them. First by love and increased zeal in the Heavenly Cause. For by exercise the spirit grows stronger, more capable of withstanding, just as the muscle of the outer body increases its fibre through continual action. You must help me and I will help you to increase our service in the Cause of BAHA'O'LLAH. Secondly, we will help each other grow more and more accustomed to punishment and persecution. Years ago in Baghdad the usual punishment for offenders and lawbreakers was the bastinado. The governor noticed that a certain band of men came repeatedly before him for trial. They were regularly found guilty of breaking the law, sentenced and whipped upon the feet. While the bastinado was being inflicted they appeared quite comfortable and evidently unconscious of pain. In a few days these same offenders would be back again, going through the same process. The governor made careful inquiry about them. It was learned that they lived together in a house and that every day it was their custom to bastinado each other until the skin upon their feet had become so hardened to the whip that the legal bastinado gave them no inconvenience whatever.
Now we, as offenders against the opinions of our friends and enemies, must assist each other to become impervious to their criticism, unconscious of attack, welcoming their whips. You must beat me and I will beat you with the whips of love. The more we beat each other the more capable of withstanding we will become. When the enemies find they are increasing our love, enkindlement and service in the pathway of BAHA'O'LLAH, they will wonder and say, "How is this? Our words have no effect upon them except to make them love us more and give thanks to God for our scourging."
The Blessed Beauty BAHA'O'LLAH won the hearts of his jailers and tormentors. No one could withstand Him. The intense flame of His love melted the hardest stone of hearts. The more chains of iron they put upon His body, the more He imprisoned them in chains of love. They looked upon Him in wonder; they became His followers.
MATERIAL AND DIVINE EDUCATION
Words of Abdul-Baha delivered during his sojourn in America
THE heart of man is a garden. The real garden is in order, well planted, watered and cultivated. This is not so with the jungle. The jungle gives no evidence of cultivation. Where there is no gardener disorder prevails. Wild growth produces nothing. Human education is of great importance. It is especially necessary to educate the children. They are the young tender trees of God's planting. But the supreme education is Divine Teaching. Through it the most ignorant become wise and the lowest are elevated to the loftiest heights. This transformation in man is made by the Manifestations of God. Through them the wicked become righteous, the weak firm, the barren fruitful. One day's education under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is better than ten years material training in the universities of the world. BAHA'O'LLAH has said two steps are necessary for human development;—Material and Divine Education. In the world of humanity, we see some seeking upward, some downward.
Material scientists endeavor to show the evolution of the species man from the monkey. The Prophets of God have been occupied in explaining that man has descended from the Divine Spirit. The professors and learned scientists of materialism glory in the evidences that the ape is the progenitor of humanity and make exhaustive efforts to discover proof of it. If we should ask the ape, he would say "Unquestionably we are all one,—of this I am certain without the aid of scientific inquiry, ethnological proof, biological deductions or geological findings; I believe what I see"— for the ape is a real, a true materialist.
The real materialist is the animal. Compared to the animal, man is but a tyro and novice in materialism. The animal is a natural materialist. He does not mention God and knows nothing about the Kingdom. He depends solely upon sense perception. That which is not perceptible to the senses he rejects. From this standpoint of knowing the greatest Plato is the cow, and the donkey is an arch philosopher. In the great university of nature, where nothing beyond the pale of sensibilities is classified as knowledge, the animal is a graduate and the human materialist but an under-graduate.
If a child is left to its own natural proclivities, without education, it will embody all human defects. Education makes of man a man. Religion is Divine Education. There are two pathways which have been pointed out by the Heavenly Educators. The first is Divine Guidance and reliance upon the Manifestations of God. The other is the road of Materialism and reliance upon the senses. These roads lead in opposite directions. The first leads to the world of the Kingdom; the other ends in the world of human vices, and is contrary to the cause of Divine Guidance. For example;—consider a babe at the mother's breast;—observe its natural aggressiveness,— its instinctive antagonism. It claws and bites the mother, even attacks the fountain of life itself. A barbarous and savage country is a country which has been deprived of education, where men are utter materialists like animals. Such a nation embodies all human defects and vices. They even kill and eat each other. Divine Education is the sum total of all development. It is the safeguard of humanity. The world of nature is a world of defects and incompleteness. The world of the Kingdom is reached by the highway of Religion and is the Heaven of all Divine Virtues.
ADDRESSES BY ABDUL-BAHA DELIVERED IN NEW YORK CITY
[Continued from page 103]
heart gratitude which expresses itself in actions. For example, God has conferred upon man the gift of guidance and in thankfulness for this great gift certain deeds must emanate from man. To portray his gratitude for the favors of God, man must show forth deeds and actions. In response to these bestowals he must render good deeds, be self sacrificing, kind to all the servants of God, forfeiting even life for them, showing kindness to all the creatures. He must be severed from the world, attracted to the Kingdom of ABHA, the face radiant, the tongue eloquent, the ear attentive, day and night striving to attain the good pleasure of God. Whatsoever he wishes to do must correspond with the good pleasure of God. He must observe and see what is God's good pleasure and act accordingly. There can be no doubt that such commendable deeds are thankfulness for the favors of God. Consider how grateful any one becomes when healed from sickness, when treated kindly by another or when a service is rendered by another, even though of the least assistance. If we forget such favors it is an evidence of ingratitude. Then it will be said a loving kindness has been done to so and so but he is thankless, not appreciating this love and favor. We are submerged in the sea of God's favor,—physically and spiritually. From the standpoints of our physical and spiritual natures we observe how we are surrounded by His favors. He has provided all foods, drink and other requirements; His favors encompass us from all directions. The sustenances provided for man are blessings. Sight, hearing and all his faculties are great blessings. These blessings are innumerable;—no matter how many are mentioned, they are still endless. Now spiritual blessings are likewise endless;—spirit, consciousness, thought, memory, perception, ideation and other endowments. By these He has guided us and we arrive at His Kingdom. He has opened the doors of all good before our faces! He has vouchsafed eternal glory! He has summoned us to the Kingdom of God! He has enriched us by the bestowals of God! Every day He has proclaimed new glad-tidings! Every hour fresh bounties descend!
Consider how all the people are asleep and ye are awake! They are dead and ye are alive through the breaths of the Holy Spirit! All are blind while ye are endowed with perceptive sight! All are deprived of the Love of God but in your hearts it exists and is glowing! Consider these bestowals and favors.
Therefore in thanksgiving for them ye must act in accordance with the Teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH. Ye must read the Tablets,—"Hidden Words,"—"Ishrakhat,"—"Glad - Tidings,"—all the holy utterances,—and act according to them. This is real Thanksgiving—to live in accord with these Utterances. This is true Thankfulness and the Divine Bestowal. This is Thanksgiving and Glorification of God.
I hope you all may attain thereto,—be mindful of these favors of God,—and be attentive. It is my hope that I may go away from New York with a happy heart; and my heart is happy when the friends of God love each other;—when they love and manifest the mercy of God to all people. If I see this I shall go away happy.
OUR PERSIAN SECTION this issue contains: (1) Talk by Abdul-Baha on "Nearness to God;" (2) Tablet to Mirza M. Bakir and M. Ali Moshir-Tojjar; (3) Tablet to Mirza M. Bakir; (4) Visiting Tablet for Mirza M. Ali-Moshir-Tojjar the martyr; (5) Photograph of the martyr with his sons and nephew; (6) Poem by Mirza Hussein Touty; (7) Cablegram from Abdul-Baha announcing his arrival at Port Said.
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