The Promulgation of Universal Peace
21 April 1912
Talk at Universalist Church
Thirteenth and L Streets, Washington, D.C.
Notes by Joseph H. Hannen
The doctrines and creed of this church, so capably expressed by its
revered minister, are truly commendable, sanctified and worthy of
praise and glorification, for these precepts are opposed to the
deep-rooted religious prejudices of the day. It is evident that prejudices
arising from adherence to religious forms and imitation of
ancestral beliefs have hindered the progress of humanity thousands
of years. How many wars and battles have been fought, how much
division, discord and hatred have been caused by this form of prejudice!
But inasmuch as this century is a century of the revelation
of reality--praise be to God!--the thoughts of men are being directed
toward the welfare and unity of humanity. Daily the mirage
of imitations is passing away, and the ocean of truth is surging
more tumultuously. All the existing nations had a divine foundation
of truth or reality originally, which was intended to be conducive
to the unity and accord of mankind, but the light of that reality
gradually became obscured. The darkness of superstitions and imitations
came and took its place, binding the world of humanity in
the chains and fetters of ignorance. Enmity arose among men, increasing
to such an extent that nation strove against nation in
hatred and violence. War has been a religious and political human
Now it is enough! We must investigate reality. We must put
away these superstitions. It is a self-evident truth that all humanity
is the creation of God. All are His servants and under His protection.
All are recipients of His bestowals. God is kind to all His servants.
At most it is this: that some are ignorant; they must be educated
in order that they may become intelligent. Some are immature
as children; they must be aided and assisted in order that they
may become mature. Some are sick and ailing; they must be
healed. But the suffering patient must not be tested by false treatment.
The child must not be warped and hindered in its development.
The ignorant must not be restricted by censure and criticism.
We must look for the real, true remedy.
All the Prophets of God, including Jesus Christ, appeared in the
world for the education of humanity, to develop immature souls
into maturity, to transform the ignorant of mankind into the
knowing, thereby establishing love and unity through divine education
and training. The Prophets have not come to cause discord and
enmity. For God has wished all good for His servants, and he who
wishes the servants of God evil is against God; he has not obeyed
the will and emulated the example of God; he has followed Satanic
leadings and footprints. The attributes of God are love and mercy;
the attribute of Satan is hate. Therefore, he who is merciful and
kind to his fellowmen is manifesting the divine attribute, and he
who is hating and hostile toward a fellow creature is satanic. God is
absolute love, even as Jesus Christ has declared, and Satan is utter
hatred. Wherever love is witnessed, know that there is a manifestation
of God's mercy; whenever you meet hatred and enmity, know
that these are the evidences and attributes of Satan. The Prophets
have appeared in this world with the mission that human souls may
become the expressions of the Merciful, that they may be educated
and developed, attain to love and amity and establish peace and
In the world of existence the animal is a captive of nature. Its
actions are according to the exigencies and requirements of nature.
It has no consideration or consciousness of good and evil. It simply
follows its natural instinct and inclination. The Prophets of God
have come to show man the way of righteousness in order that he
may not follow his own natural impulse but govern his action by
the light of Their precept and example. According to Their teachings
he should do that which is found to be praiseworthy by the
standard of reason and judgment of intellect, even though it be
opposed to his natural human inclination; and he should not do that
which is found to be unworthy by that same standard, even though
it be in the direction of his natural impulse and desire. Therefore,
man must follow and manifest the attributes of the Merciful.
The imperfect members of society, the weak souls in humanity,
follow their natural trend. Their lives and actions are in accord with
their natural propensities; they are captives of physical susceptibilities;
they are not in touch or in tune with the spiritual bounties.
Man has two aspects: the physical, which is subject to nature, and
the merciful or divine, which is connected with God. If the physical
or natural disposition in him should overcome the heavenly and
merciful, he is, then, the most degraded of animal beings; and if
the divine and spiritual should triumph over the human and natural,
he is, verily, an angel. The Prophets come into the world to guide
and educate humanity so that the animal nature of man may disappear
and the divinity of his powers become awakened. The divine
aspect or spiritual nature consists of the breaths of the Holy Spirit.
The second birth of which Jesus has spoken refers to the appearance
of this heavenly nature in man. It is expressed in the baptism
of the Holy Spirit, and he who is baptized by the Holy Spirit is a
veritable manifestation of divine mercy to mankind. Then he becomes
just and kind to all humanity; he entertains prejudice and ill
will toward none; he shuns no nation or people.
The foundations of the divine religions are one. If we investigate
these foundations, we discover much ground for agreement,
but if we consider the imitations of forms and ancestral beliefs, we
find points of disagreement and division; for these imitations differ,
while the sources and foundations are one and the same. That is to
say, the fundamentals are conducive to unity, but imitations are the
cause of disunion and dismemberment. Whosoever is lacking in
love for humanity or manifests hatred and bigotry toward any part
of it violates the foundation and source of his own belief and is
holding to forms and imitations. Jesus Christ declares that the sun
rises upon the evil and the good, and the rain descends upon the just
and the unjust--upon all humanity alike. Christ was a divine
mercy which shone upon all mankind, the medium for the descent
of the bounty of God, and the bounty of God is transcendent, unrestricted,
The revered minister read from the words of the Gospel, "I have
yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you
into all truth." The century has dawned when the Spirit of Truth can
reveal these verities to mankind, proclaim that very Word, establish
the real foundations of Christianity and deliver the nations and
peoples from the bondage of forms and imitations. The cause of
discord, prejudice and animosity will be removed, the basis of love
and amity be established. Therefore, all of you must strive with
heart and soul in order that enmity may disappear entirely and that
strife and hatred pass away absolutely from the midst of the human
world. You must listen to the admonition of this Spirit of Truth. You
must follow the example and footprints of Jesus Christ. Read the
Gospels. Jesus Christ was mercy itself, was love itself. He even
prayed in behalf of His executioners--for those who crucified Him
--saying, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
If they knew what they were doing, they would not have done it.
Consider how kind Jesus Christ was, that even upon the cross He
prayed for His oppressors. We must follow His example. We must
emulate the Prophets of God. We must follow Jesus Christ. We
must free ourselves from all these imitations which are the source
of darkness in the world.
I shall ask you a question: Did God create us for love or for enmity?
Did He create us for peace or discord? Surely He has created
us for love; therefore, we should live in accordance with His will.
Do not listen to anything that is prejudiced, for self-interest
prompts men to be prejudiced. They are thoughtful only of their
own will and purposes. They live and move in darkness. Consider
how many different nations and divergent religious beliefs existed
when Christ appeared. Enmity and strife prevailed among
them--Romans, Greeks, Assyrians, Egyptians--all warring and
hostile toward each other. Christ, through the breaths of the Holy
Spirit, united them, established fellowship among them so that no
trace of strife remained. Under His standard they became united
and lived in peace through His teachings. Which is preferable and
more commendable? To follow the example of Jesus Christ or to
manifest the satanic instinct? Let us strive with all our powers to
unite the East and West so that the nations of the world may be
advanced and that all may live according to the one foundation of
the religions of God. The essentials of the divine religion are one
reality, indivisible and not multiple. It is one. And when through
investigation we find it to be single, we have a basis for the oneness
of the world of humanity. I will pray for you, asking confirmation
and assistance in your behalf.