The Promulgation of Universal Peace
7 November 1912
Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Parsons
1700 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, D. C.
Notes by Joseph H. Hannen
Consider events in the Balkans today where a great conflagration
of war is furiously raging and so much blood is being shed. Virtually
the whole world of humanity is mourning and lamenting
because of the revival of these calamitous conditions. Governments
are in the process of change and transformation. The sovereignty
of oriental nations is tottering; outcomes are wrapped in the
greatest uncertainty. I desire, therefore, to speak to you upon this
I will call your attention more especially to the aspects of this
war which Bahá'u'lláh prophesied forty years ago fully and completely.
During His exile and while under surveillance in the prison
of Akká He addressed a letter to the Sultán of Turkey. He, likewise,
sent Epistles to Napoleon III and to the Sháh of Persia. All
His letters to the kings and rulers of the earth were compiled in
a book published thirty-five years ago in Bombay, India. There
were several editions of this book.
I have with me a copy of an edition published twenty-two years
ago. In 1891 Professor E. G. Browne of Cambridge University,
England, wrote a book detailing his visit to Akká. This was followed
by a second volume in which he quoted extracts from Bahá'u'lláh's
Epistles to the kings and rulers. There are also translations
of some of these Epistles in your libraries. When you get
them, you will read the remarkable statements made by Bahá'u'lláh.
I will read to you from the Arabic text the very words written by
Bahá'u'lláh in His Epistle to the Sultán of Turkey. They will be
translated to you as I read. "O King! Thou hast committed that by
reason of which Muhammad, the Prophet of God, lamenteth in the
highest heaven. Verily, the world hath made thee proud so that
thou hast turned away from the face of Him by Whose light the
people of the supreme assembly are illuminated, and erelong thou
shalt find thyself in manifest loss. Thou hast united with the Persian
chief in opposition to Me after I came unto you from the rising
place of greatness and might with a matter which has consoled the
eyes of those near unto God. Verily, this is a day wherein the Fire
speaketh through all things, declaring that the Beloved of the two
worlds hath come, and on the part of everything an Interlocutor of
the matter hath sprung up to listen unto the Word of thy Lord, the
Precious, the Knowing. Dost thou imagine that thou canst quench
the fire which God hath kindled in the horizons? No! By Himself,
the True One, wert thou of those who know. Rather, by that which
thou hast done its burning is increased and its blaze augmented;
and it shall encompass the earth and whosoever is thereupon. Thus
the matter hath been decreed, and whosoever is in the heavens and
upon the earth could not withstand His command.
"The day is approaching when the Land of Mystery [Adrianople],
and what is beside it shall be changed, and shall pass out
of the hands of the king, and commotions shall appear, and the
voice of lamentation shall be raised, and the evidences of mischief
shall be revealed on all sides, and confusion shall spread by reason
of that which hath befallen these captives at the hands of the hosts
of oppression. The course of things shall be altered, and conditions
shall wax so grievous, that the very sands on the desolate hills will
moan, and the trees on the mountain will weep, and blood will flow
out of all things. Then wilt thou behold the people in sore distress.
Was Pharaoh able to hinder God by exercising his dominion
when he rebelled upon the earth and was of the disobedient?
We have indeed manifested the Interlocutor [Moses] from his
house in spite of his will; verily, we were able to do this. And remember
when Nimrod kindled the fire of polytheism whereby he
would burn the Friend of God [Abraham]. Verily, we extinguished
the fire by the truth and brought upon Nimrod manifest grief. Verily,
the oppressor [King of Persia] slew the Beloved of the Worlds
[the Báb] that he might thereby extinguish the light of God among
His creatures and deprive mankind of the pure water of life in the
days of his Lord, the Mighty, the Kind. We have made the matter
manifest in the country and elevated His mention among the unitarians.
Verily, the Servant hath assuredly come to vivify the world
and bring to union whosoever is upon the surface of the whole
earth. That which God willeth shall overcome, and thou shalt see
the earth as the garden of Abhá. Thus hath it been written by the
pen of command in an irrevocable Tablet."
There are many other prophecies in this book, especially in the
Epistle to the Sháh of Persia, all of which prophecies have come to
pass. As they are lengthy, we will not have time to quote them.
The purpose of these quotations is to show that Bahá'u'lláh's
great endeavor in the East was to unify mankind, to cause them to
agree and become reconciled, thereby manifesting the oneness of
the world of humanity, preparing the way for international peace
and establishing the foundations of happiness and welfare. But the
nations have not hearkened to His summons and message. The
Persian and Turkish governments arose against His Cause, and the
result is that both these governments have been disintegrated and
broken. Had they been attentive to His commands and received His
admonitions, they would have been protected. They would have
enjoyed happiness and prosperity. They would have been bound
together in ties of fellowship and brotherhood, availing themselves
of the wonderful bounties of love and unity and dwelling in the delectable
paradise of the divine Kingdom. But, alas, the commands
and guidance of the Blessed One have been neglected and ignored.
Day by day they have followed their own devices and imaginations,
until now this fire of war is raging most furiously.