Abdu’l-Baha in New York – Day 5
April 15, 1912 – Excerpt from Mahmud’s Diary
The Master was shown several newspapers that had published His picture and articles about His talks and yesterday’s meetings. So great is the influence of the Cause of God that a zealous clergyman has made objections to Dr [Percy Stickney] Grant, the minister of the Church of the Ascension who had invited `Abdu’l-Bahá to sit in the chair reserved for the Viceroy of Christ. He asked why the minister had permitted `Abdu’l-Bahá to sit on the chair. Although he objected to the Master’s talk, he could find no justification for his complaint. Other clergymen replied to his objections in a newspaper article, referring to his discourteous attitude. Thus he was obliged to write an article himself in which he stated that he had no doubt about the knowledge and importance of the teachings of `Abdu’l-Bahá and that his intention had been only to point out that the church’s rules and regulations had been broken.
The bishop of the church was introduced to `Abdu’l-Bahá by Mr Mills. The bishop expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the Master’s visit to the Church of the Ascension, saying, `I am very optimistic and pleased about the teachings of this Cause. You are the first great visitor from the East who has brought such important tidings to the West. Until now no one could imagine that such a great cause could exist in the East. This blessed journey is the cause of praise and gratitude.’
As the bishop listened to the Master’s remarks about the dangers of blind imitation and prejudice, and on the fundamental unity of all religions, the necessity for universal peace, the agreement between science and religion, and a divine civilization, and so on, he became very respectful, and left with gratitude and humility.
In thanking the Master the bishop said, `You are the first great traveler from the East to the West to come with such noble principles.’ I then recalled the statement of the Master on the ship when He said, `Up to the present time no one has traveled, with a purpose like ours, from Persia to America . . . Ours may be said to be the first voyage of Easterners to America.’
Excerpt from Juliet Thompson’s Diary
The next morning, through Ahmad, the Master telephoned me. He wanted to know how I was.
“Tell Him my heart is burning for Him just as it used to in Haifa.”
“The Master says: come at once to Him.”
And scarcely was I seated in His room when He began to speak of Percy Grant. He spoke with great love, with great appreciation of the service Percy had rendered, but told me to be very careful in my relations with him.
“You must keep your acquaintance, Juliet, absolutely formal.”
Then He gave me this message: “Convey to Dr Grant My greetings. Say: I will not forget the services thou hast rendered yesterday. They are engraved on the book of My heart. I will mention thy name everywhere. And know thou this: This matter of yesterday will become most wonderful in the history of the world. The world of existence will not forget yesterday. Thousands of years hence the mention of yesterday will be heard and it will become history that you were the founder of this work.
“I ask of God for you all those things I have asked for Myself and they are: that thou mayest become a sincere servant of God and serve in the Kingdom of God and become sanctified and holy; that thou mayest find a pure and enlightened heart, an illumined face; become the cause that the lights of spiritual morals may illumine the hearts in this country and that they may be illumined in the world of the Kingdom; become the promoter of Truth and deliver the souls from ignorance and prejudice. I supplicate to the Kingdom of God for you, and I will never forget the love that was manifested yesterday.
“I hope,” said the Master, turning to me, “that he will become a believer, but I do not know. The rectorship of that church is in the way. If he could give it up of his own volition, then he might become a believer.”
He spoke of my dear mother: “Convey to thy mother the greetings of Abhá. Say to her: Always remember My advices. It is my hope that thou mayest forget everything save God. Nothing in this world is sufficient for man. God alone is sufficient for him. God is the Protector of man. All the world will not protect the soul.”
I sent Percy Grant the message and later he telephoned me.
“That was a wonderful, wonderful message,” he said, his voice strangely upset.
Early Sunday evening, the fourteenth, the Master spoke at the Carnegie Lyceum for the Union Meeting of Advanced Thought Centres. I can give you no idea of His Glory that night. He was like a pillar of white fire.
I sat in a box with Bolton Hall, one of our fashionable intellectuals, a lean, elegant person with an Emersonian face. Turning to him for a moment, I asked: “What do you see?”
“Nothing, dear child, nothing.”