The Promulgation of Universal Peace
1 November 1912
Talk at Home of Mrs. Corinne True
5338 Kenmore Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
Notes by Gertrude Buikema
I am well pleased with every person here this evening and most
happy in meeting the friends of God and maidservants of the Merciful.
Praise be to God! The faces are radiant, and the hearts are attracted
to the Kingdom of Abhá. Faith is evident in the countenances
of all, and this is a source of joy. The Blessed Perfection,
Bahá'u'lláh, endured hardships and vicissitudes nearly fifty years.
There was no ordeal or difficulty He did not experience, yet He
endured all in perfect joy and happiness.
Those who beheld Him were assured of His great happiness, for
no trace of sadness or sorrow was ever visible upon His face. Even
in prison He was like a king enthroned in majesty and greatness,
and He ever bore Himself with supreme confidence and dignity.
When the officers and grandees of the government were presented
to Him, they became respectful at once. His majesty and dignity
were awe-inspiring. Remember: He was a prisoner--He was in
prison. He endured ordeals and calamities for the sole purpose of
illuminating us and in order that our hearts might be attracted to the
Kingdom of God, our faces become radiant with the glad tidings
of God; in order that we might be submerged in the ocean of lights
and be as brilliant and shining candles, illuminating the dark recesses
and flooding the regions with brightness. Now, as I look
around, I observe that your faces--praise be to God!--are shining,
your hearts are filled with the love of God, and you are thinking
of service in the Cause of God. Therefore, I am very happy to
be here, and I hope that this happiness will be with you always--an
We visited San Francisco and from there went to Los Angeles.
In these places we found most devoted friends. Truly zealous and
aglow with the fire of the love of God, their sole purpose is ever to
serve the Kingdom of Abhá. I hope that you may serve even more
faithfully and take precedence over all the other friends. May the
fire of the love of God be so enkindled in Chicago that all the cities
in America shall be ignited. This is my hope.
My third visit here expresses the degree of my longing to see
you and the extent of my love. It was thought that I should go direct
from San Francisco to New York and thence to the Orient; but impelled
by excessive love, I have visited Chicago again to associate
with you in fellowship and fragrance. I hope that these three visits
may be most productive of future results. May you all become
signs of unity; may each one be a standard of Bahá'u'lláh, each one
shine as a star, each one become precious and worthy in the Kingdom
of God. May you attain such a condition of spirituality that the
people will be astounded, saying, "Verily, these souls are proofs
in themselves of the validity of Bahá'u'lláh, for through His training
they have been completely regenerated. These souls are peerless;
they are truly the people of the Kingdom; they are distinguished
above the people about them. This is in reality a proof of
Bahá'u'lláh. Behold how educated and illumined they have become."
When this Cause appeared in the Orient, the friends and followers
were self-sacrificing to the utmost, forfeiting everything. It is a
significant and wonderful fact that, although the most precious
thing on earth is life, yet twenty thousand people offered themselves
willingly in the pathway of martyrdom. Recently, in Yazd
two hundred of the Bahá'í friends were cruelly slain. They went to
the place of martyrdom in the utmost ecstasy of attraction, smiling
with joy and gratitude upon their persecutors. Some of them offered
sweetmeats to their executioners, saying, "Taste of this in
order that with sweetness and enjoyment you may bestow upon us
the blessed cup of martyrdom." Among these beloved and
glorified ones were a number of women who were subjected to the
most cruel manner of execution. Some were cut to pieces; and their
executioners, not content with such butchery, set others on fire,
and their bodies were consumed. Throughout these terrible ordeals
not a single soul among the Bahá'í friends objected or recanted.
They offered no resistance, although the Bahá'ís in that city were
most courageous and strong. In physical strength and fortitude one
of these Bahá'ís could have withstood many of their enemies, but
they accepted martyrdom in the spirit of complete resignation and
nonresistance. Many of them died, crying out, "O Lord! Forgive
them; they know not what they do. If they knew, they would not
commit this wrong." In the throes of martyrdom they willingly
offered all they possessed in this life.
It is stated in certain prophecies that when the standard of God
appears in the East, its signs will become evident in the West. This
is truly good news and glad tidings for you. I hope that this promise
may be fulfilled in you and that all may be able to testify to the spirit
and truth of the prophetic announcement, saying, "Verily, the
standard of God did appear in the East, and its tokens have become
resplendent in the West." This realization will be a source of great
joy to all the friends in the Orient who anticipate the good news and
await the glad tidings from the land of the Occident. They look
forward to hearing that the friends in the West have become firm
and steadfast, that they have distinguished themselves by establishing
the oneness of the world of humanity, that they are even
offering their lives for the foundations of international peace, that
they have become the lights of the Kingdom and have proved to be
the manifestations of divine mercy, that the friends in the West are
the expression of the favors of the Blessed Perfection, the very
stars of the bestowal of God, blessed trees and flowers in the garden
of His purity and sanctity. Any good news from here is the cause of
rejoicing in the East and a source of deep gratitude to them. They
hold a feast and praise God for the blessed tidings. If the occasion
demanded, they would give their lives for you without the least
hesitation. The friends in the East are all united and agreed.
There are none who waver in the East, none who oppose the
Covenant of God. There is not a single soul among the Bahá'ís in
Persia who is opposed to the Covenant. They are all steadfast. If
any soul wishes to speak in this Cause, they will ask, "Is this a
word of your own, or is it by the authority of the Center of the
Covenant? If you have the authority of the Center of the Covenant,
produce it. Where is the letter from Him? Where is His signature?"
If he produces the letter, they will accept it. If he fails to do so, they
say, "We cannot accept your words because they emanate from
you only and return to you. We have no command from the Blessed
Perfection, Bahá'u'lláh, to obey you. He has revealed a Book in
which He has covenanted with us to obey an appointed Center of the
Covenant. He has not covenanted with us to obey you. Therefore,
the statement you make is rejected. You must furnish proof of your
authority and sanction. We are commanded to turn to one Center.
We do not obey various centers. The Blessed Perfection has made
a Covenant with us, and we are holding to this Covenant and Testament.
We do not listen to anything else, for people may arise who
speak words of their own, and we are commanded not to pay attention
It was not so in former dispensations. Christ, for instance, did
not appoint a center of authority and explanation. He did not say to
His followers, "Obey the one whom I have chosen." Upon one
occasion He asked His disciples, "Whom say ye that I am?"
Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of
the living God." Christ, wishing to make firm the faith of Peter,
said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,"
meaning that the faith of Peter was the true faith. It was a sanction
of Peter's faith. He did not say that all should turn to Peter. He did
not say, "He is the branch extended from my ancient root." He did
not say, "O God! Bless all who serve Peter. O God! Degrade those
who are not obedient to him. Shun him who is a violator of the
Covenant. O God! Thou knowest that I love all who are steadfast in
the Covenant." This has been revealed, however, in all the Books,
Writings and Epistles of Bahá'u'lláh regarding the appointed
Center of the Covenant in this dispensation. Therefore, the Bahá'í
dispensation is distinguished from all others in this fact, the purpose
of Bahá'u'lláh being that no one could arise to cause differences
and disunion. After the departure of Christ various sects
and denominations arose, each one claiming to be the true channel
of Christianity, but none of them possessed a written authority
from Christ; none could produce proof from Him; yet all claimed
His sanction and approval. Bahá'u'lláh has written a Covenant and
Testament with His own pen, declaring that the One Whom He has
appointed the Center of the Covenant shall be turned to and obeyed
by all. Therefore, thank God that Bahá'u'lláh has made the pathway
straight. He has clearly explained all things and opened every
door for advancing souls. There is no reason for hesitation by anyone.
The purpose of the Covenant was simply to ward off disunion
and differences so that no one might say, "My opinion is the true
and valid one."
Any opinion expressed by the Center of the Covenant is correct,
and there is no reason for disobedience by anyone. Be watchful,
for perchance there may be violators (náqidín) of the Covenant
among you. Do not listen to them. Read the Book of the Covenant.
All have been commanded to obey the Covenant, and the first admonition
is addressed to the sons of Bahá'u'lláh, the Branches:
"You must turn to the appointed Center; He is the expounder of the
Should any soul so clearly violate and disobey this command,
can he even say he is a Bahá'í? If anyone disobeys the explicit
command of Christ, can he truthfully say he is a Christian?
In conclusion, I would say that I am greatly pleased with this
meeting. I shall pray for you, seeking confirmation from the
Blessed Perfection. Praise be to God! You must be grateful that He
has chosen you from among the people of the world, that such
glorious bestowal and such endless graces and favors have been
specialized for you. You must not look at present accomplishments,
for this is but the beginning as it was at the time of Christ.
Before long you will see that you will be distinguished among
all people. In every way the divine confirmation will uphold you,
and the radiance of the Kingdom of Bahá'u'lláh will illumine your
countenances. Be truly grateful for all these blessings. I hope I may
always hear good news of you, showing that the friends in Chicago
are occupied with service in the divine Cause, filled with the joy
of promoting the Word of God, engaged in spreading the teachings
of Bahá'u'lláh and manifesting love and kindness to all humanity.
This is my hope and anticipation. I am sure that you will endeavor
to accomplish this so that the friends in Persia and I may experience
the happiness of the good tidings. May you be a source of joy
and happiness to us, a source of tranquillity and composure.