The Promulgation of Universal Peace
10 November 1912
Talk at 1901 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, D. C.
Notes by Joseph H. Hannen
I am greatly pleased with the friends in Washington and experience
real happiness in meeting them. Likewise, I am pleased with the
friends from Baltimore, for I have observed that their hearts are attracted
to the love of Bahá'u'lláh. Their vision is extended toward
the Kingdom of Bahá. Their spirits are rejoicing in the glad tidings
of Abhá. Verily, they are servants of the Cause of God. All are
engaged in service, and the perfection of their desire is to enter
into the Kingdom of Abhá and draw near unto God. For that reason
I am very happy and well pleased with them. I pray for you all.
May the favors of the Blessed Beauty, Bahá'u'lláh, encompass
you, and may the lights of the Sun of Reality be your illumination.
May you all become united and assured. May you serve the Cause
of God as one single, united force. I give you the glad tidings that
the confirmations of God will descend upon you. Be ye assured of
this. Ye will become illumined. Ye will become conquerors.
But after I leave, some people may arise in opposition, heaping
persecutions upon you in their bitterness, and in the newspapers
there may be articles published against the Cause. Rest ye in the assurance
of firmness. Be well poised and serene, remembering that
this is only as the harmless twittering of sparrows and that it will
soon pass away. If such things do not happen, the fame of the
Cause will not become widespread, and the summons of God will
not be heard. Consider the history of the past. Recall, for instance,
the days of Christ and the events subsequent thereto. How many
were the books written against Him! What calumnies were attributed
to Him! How violent were the utterances in the temples
against Him! How many the accusations! What hatred and persecution!
How they scoffed at Him in derision and contempt! Consider
the titles and epithets they bestowed upon His majesty! They
even designated Him Beelzebub--Satan. They said Beelzebub
had been captured and crucified. They placed a crown of thorns
upon Beelzebub's head and paraded Him through the streets. This
was the name the Jews bestowed upon Christ; it is written in the
Gospel. There were many other forms of reviling and persecution,
spitting in His beautiful face, cursing and anathematizing, bowing
backward toward Him, saying, "Peace be on thee, thou king of the
Jews!" "Peace be on thee, thou destroyer of the temple!" "Peace
be on thee, thou king and pretender who would restore the temple
in three days!" The philosophers of the times, Romans and
Greeks, wrote against Christ. Even the kings wrote books of
abuse, calumny and contempt. One of these kings was a Caesar.
He was also a philosopher. In his book he says, concerning the
people of Christ, "The most degraded of people are the Christians.
The most immoral of the people of this time are the Christians.
Jesus of Nazareth has led them astray. O people! If you wish to
know who Jesus is and what Christian means, go and ask his relatives.
Go and ask the Jews who know him. See what a bad person
he is, how degraded he is." There were many similar accounts.
But remember that these statements did not affect the cause of
Christianity. On the contrary, Christianity advanced daily in power
Day by day the majesty of Christ grew in splendor and effulgence.
Therefore, my purpose is to warn and strengthen you against
accusations, criticisms, revilings and derision in newspaper articles
or other publications. Be not disturbed by them. They are
the very confirmation of the Cause, the very source of upbuilding
to the Movement. May God confirm the day when a score of
ministers of the churches may arise and with bared heads cry at the
top of their voices that the Bahá'ís are misguided. I would like to
see that day, for that is the time when the Cause of God will spread.
Bahá'u'lláh has pronounced such as these the couriers of the
Cause. They will proclaim from pulpits that the Bahá'ís are fools,
that they are a wicked and unrighteous people, but be ye steadfast
and unwavering in the Cause of God. They will spread the message
His Honor Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl has written a treatise answering
the criticisms of a London preacher. Each one of you should have a
Read, memorize and reflect upon it. Then, when accusations
and criticisms are advanced by those unfavorable to the
Cause, you will be well armed.
1. [Mirza Abul Fazl Gulpaygan, The Brilliant Proof (Chicago: Press of Bahai News Service, 1912). The booklet was published under the direction of `Abdu'l-Bahá while He was in America.]