The Promulgation of Universal Peace
14 April 1912
Talk at Church of the Ascension
Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street, New York
Notes by Ahmad Sohráb and Howard MacNutt
In his scriptural lesson this morning the revered doctor read a verse
from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, "For now we see
through a glass, darkly; but then face to face."
The light of truth has heretofore been seen dimly through variegated
glasses, but now the splendors of Divinity shall be visible
through the translucent mirrors of pure hearts and spirits. The light
of truth is the divine teaching, heavenly instruction, merciful principles
and spiritual civilization. Since my arrival in this country I
find that material civilization has progressed greatly, that commerce
has attained the utmost degree of expansion; arts, agriculture
and all details of material civilization have reached the highest
stage of perfection, but spiritual civilization has been left behind.
Material civilization is like unto the lamp, while spiritual civilization
is the light in that lamp. If the material and spiritual civilization
become united, then we will have the light and the lamp together,
and the outcome will be perfect. For material civilization is
like unto a beautiful body, and spiritual civilization is like unto the
spirit of life. If that wondrous spirit of life enters this beautiful
body, the body will become a channel for the distribution and development
of the perfections of humanity.
Jesus Christ came to teach the people of the world this heavenly
civilization and not material civilization. He breathed the breath of
the Holy Spirit into the body of the world and established an illumined
civilization. Among the principles of divine civilization
He came to proclaim is the Most Great Peace of mankind. Among
His principles of spiritual civilization is the oneness of the kingdom
of humanity. Among the principles of heavenly civilization
He brought is the virtue of the human world. Among the principles
of celestial civilization He announced is the improvement and betterment
of human morals.
Today the world of humanity is in need of international unity
and conciliation. To establish these great fundamental principles a
propelling power is needed. It is self-evident that the unity of the
human world and the Most Great Peace cannot be accomplished
through material means. They cannot be established through
political power, for the political interests of nations are various and
the policies of peoples are divergent and conflicting. They cannot
be founded through racial or patriotic power, for these are human
powers, selfish and weak. The very nature of racial differences and
patriotic prejudices prevents the realization of this unity and agreement.
Therefore, it is evidenced that the promotion of the oneness
of the kingdom of humanity, which is the essence of the
teachings of all the Manifestations of God, is impossible except
through the divine power and breaths of the Holy Spirit. Other
powers are too weak and are incapable of accomplishing this.
For man two wings are necessary. One wing is physical power
and material civilization; the other is spiritual power and divine
civilization. With one wing only, flight is impossible. Two wings
are essential. Therefore, no matter how much material civilization
advances, it cannot attain to perfection except through the uplift of
All the Prophets have come to promote divine bestowals, to
found the spiritual civilization and teach the principles of morality.
Therefore, we must strive with all our powers so that spiritual
influences may gain the victory. For material forces have attacked
mankind. The world of humanity is submerged in a sea of materialism.
The rays of the Sun of Reality are seen but dimly and darkly
through opaque glasses. The penetrative power of the divine
bounty is not fully manifest.
In Persia among the various religions and sects there were intense
differences. Bahá'u'lláh appeared in that country and
founded the spiritual civilization. He established affiliation among
the various peoples, promoted the oneness of the human world and
unfurled the banner of the Most Great Peace. He wrote special
Epistles covering these facts to all the kings and rulers of nations.
Sixty years ago He conveyed His message to the leaders of the
political world and to high dignitaries of the spiritual world.
Therefore, spiritual civilization is progressing in the Orient, and
oneness of humanity and peace among the nations is being accomplished
step by step. Now I find a strong movement for universal
peace emanating from America. It is my hope that this standard
of the oneness of the world of humanity may be upraised with
the utmost solidity so that the Orient and Occident may become
perfectly reconciled and attain complete intercommunication, the
hearts of the East and West become united and attracted, real union
become unveiled, the light of guidance shine, divine effulgences
be seen day by day so that the world of humanity may find complete
tranquillity, the eternal happiness of man become evident and
the hearts of the people of the world be as mirrors in which the rays
of the Sun of Reality may be reflected. Consequently, it is my request
that you should strive so that the light of reality may shine
and the everlasting felicity of the world of man become apparent.
I will pray for you so you may attain this everlasting happiness.
When I arrived in this city, I was made very happy, for I perceived
that the people here have capacity for divine bestowals and have
worthiness for the civilization of heaven. I pray that you may attain
to all merciful bounties.
O Almighty! O God! O Thou compassionate One! This servant
of Thine has hastened to the regions of the West from the uttermost
parts of the East that, perchance, these nostrils may be perfumed by
the fragrances of Thy bestowals; that the breeze of the rose garden
of guidance may blow over these cities; that the people may attain
to the capacity of receiving Thy favors; that the hearts may be rejoiced
through Thy glad tidings; that the eyes may behold the light
of reality; that the ears may hearken to the call of the Kingdom. O
Almighty! Illumine the hearts. O kind God! Make the souls the
envy of the rose garden and the meadow. O incomparable Beloved!
Waft the fragrance of Thy bounty. Radiate the lights of
compassion so that the hearts may be cleansed and purified and that
they may take a share and portion from Thy confirmations. Verily,
this congregation is seeking Thy path, searching for Thy mystery,
beholding Thy face and desiring to be characterized with Thine attributes.
O Almighty! Confer Thou infinite bounties. Bestow Thine inexhaustible
treasury so that these impotent ones may become powerful.
Verily, Thou art the Kind. Thou art the Generous. Thou art the
Omniscient, the Omnipotent.