The Promulgation of Universal Peace
16 June 1912
Talk at Fourth Unitarian Church
Beverly Road, Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York
Notes by Esther Foster
This is a Unitarian church, and in the Arabic tongue this day may
well be called Yawm-al'Ittihád ("the Unitarian Day"). Therefore,
I consider it appropriate to speak to you upon the subject of unity.
What is real unity? When we observe the human world, we find
various collective expressions of unity therein. For instance, man
is distinguished from the animal by his degree, or kingdom. This
comprehensive distinction includes all the posterity of Adam and
constitutes one great household or human family, which may be
considered the fundamental or physical unity of mankind. Furthermore,
a distinction exists between various groups of humankind
according to lineage, each group forming a racial unity separate
from the others. There is also the unity of tongue among those
who use the same language as a means of communication; national
unity where various peoples live under one form of government
such as French, German, British, etc.; and political unity, which
conserves the civil rights of parties or factions of the same government.
All these unities are imaginary and without real foundation,
for no real result proceeds from them. The purpose of true unity is
real and divine outcomes. From these limited unities mentioned
only limited outcomes proceed, whereas unlimited unity produces
unlimited result. For instance, from the limited unity of race or nationality
the results at most are limited. It is like a family living
alone and solitary; there are no unlimited or universal outcomes
The unity which is productive of unlimited results is first a unity
of mankind which recognizes that all are sheltered beneath the
overshadowing glory of the All-Glorious, that all are servants of
one God; for all breathe the same atmosphere, live upon the same
earth, move beneath the same heavens, receive effulgence from
the same sun and are under the protection of one God. This is the
most great unity, and its results are lasting if humanity adheres to
it; but mankind has hitherto violated it, adhering to sectarian or
other limited unities such as racial, patriotic or unity of self-interests;
therefore, no great results have been forthcoming.
Nevertheless, it is certain that the radiance and favors of God are
encompassing, minds have developed, perceptions have become
acute, sciences and arts are widespread, and capacity exists for the
proclamation and promulgation of the real and ultimate unity of
mankind, which will bring forth marvelous results. It will reconcile
all religions, make warring nations loving, cause hostile kings
to become friendly and bring peace and happiness to the human
world. It will cement together the Orient and Occident, remove
forever the foundations of war and upraise the ensign of the Most
Great Peace. These limited unities are, therefore, signs of that
great unity which will make all the human family one by being
productive of the attractions of conscience in mankind.
Another unity is the spiritual unity which emanates from the
breaths of the Holy Spirit. This is greater than the unity of mankind.
Human unity or solidarity may be likened to the body,
whereas unity from the breaths of the Holy Spirit is the spirit
animating the body. This is a perfect unity. It creates such a condition
in mankind that each one will make sacrifices for the other, and
the utmost desire will be to forfeit life and all that pertains to it in
behalf of another's good. This is the unity which existed among the
disciples of Jesus Christ and bound together the Prophets and holy
Souls of the past. It is the unity which through the influence of the
divine spirit is permeating the Bahá'ís so that each offers his life for
the other and strives with all sincerity to attain his good pleasure.
This is the unity which caused twenty thousand people in Persia to
give their lives in love and devotion to it. It made the Báb the
target of a thousand arrows and caused Bahá'u'lláh to suffer exile
and imprisonment forty years. This unity is the very spirit of the
body of the world. It is impossible for the body of the world to become
quickened with life without its vivification. Jesus Christ--
may my life be a sacrifice to Him!--promulgated this unity among
mankind. Every soul who believed in Jesus Christ became revivified
and resuscitated through this spirit, attained to the zenith of
eternal glory, realized the everlasting life, experienced the second
birth and rose to the acme of good fortune.
In the Word of God there is still another unity--the oneness of
the Manifestations of God, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ,
Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. This is a unity divine,
heavenly, radiant, merciful--the one reality appearing in its successive
Manifestations. For instance, the sun is one and the same,
but its points of dawning are various. During the summer season it
rises from the northern point of the ecliptic; in winter it appears
from the southern point of rising. Each month between, it appears
from a certain zodiacal position. Although these dawning points
are different, the sun is the same sun which has appeared from
them all. The significance is the reality of Prophethood which is
symbolized by the sun, and the holy Manifestations are the dawning
places or zodiacal points.
There is also the divine unity or entity, which is sanctified above
all concept of humanity. It cannot be comprehended nor conceived
because it is infinite reality and cannot become finite. Human
minds are incapable of surrounding that reality because all
thoughts and conceptions of it are finite, intellectual creations and
not the reality of Divine Being which alone knows itself. For
example, if we form a conception of Divinity as a living, almighty,
self-subsisting, eternal Being, this is only a concept apprehended
by a human intellectual reality. It would not be the outward, visible
reality, which is beyond the power of human mind to conceive or
encompass. We ourselves have an external, visible entity; but even
our concept of it is the product of our own brain and limited comprehension.
The reality of Divinity is sanctified above this degree
of knowing and realization. It has ever been hidden and secluded in
its own holiness and sanctity above our comprehending. Although
it transcends our realization, its lights, bestowals, traces and virtues
have become manifest in the realities of the Prophets, even as
the sun becomes resplendent in various mirrors. These holy
realities are as reflectors, and the reality of Divinity is as the sun,
which, although it is reflected from the mirrors, and its virtues and
perfections become resplendent therein, does not stoop from its
own station of majesty and glory and seek abode in the mirrors; it
remains in its heaven of sanctity. At most it is this: that its lights
become manifest and evident in its mirrors or manifestations.
Therefore, its bounty proceeding from them is one bounty, but the
recipients of that bounty are many. This is the unity of God; this is
oneness--unity of Divinity, holy above ascent or descent, embodiment,
comprehension or idealization--divine unity. The
Prophets are its mirrors; its lights are revealed through Them; its
virtues become resplendent in Them, but the Sun of Reality never
descends from its own highest point and station. This is unity, oneness,
sanctity; this is glorification whereby we praise and adore
O my God! O my God! Verily, these are servants at the threshold
of Thy mercy, and maidservants at the door of Thy oneness.
Verily, they have gathered in this temple to turn to Thy face of
glory, holding to the hem of Thy garment and to Thy singleness,
seeking Thy good pleasure and ascent into Thy Kingdom. They
receive effulgence from the Sun of Reality in this glorious century,
and they long for Thy goodwill in all great affairs. O Lord! Illumine
their sight with a vision of Thy signs and riches, and quicken
their ears with hearkening to Thy Word. Render their hearts
replete with Thy love, and gladden their spirits with Thy meeting.
Deign to bestow upon them spiritual good in Thine earth and
heaven, and make them signs of unity among Thy servants in order
that the real unity may appear and all may become one in Thy
Cause and Kingdom. Verily, Thou art the Generous. Verily, Thou
art the Mighty, the Spiritual. Thou art the Merciful, the Clement.
(To the children in the Sunday School)
I am glad to see these bright, radiant children. God willing, all
of them may realize the hopes and aspirations of their parents.
Praise be to God! I see before me these beautiful children of the
Kingdom. Their hearts are pure, their faces are shining. They shall
soon become the sons and daughters of the Kingdom. Thanks be to
God! They are seeking to acquire virtues and will be the cause of
the attainment of the excellences of humanity. This is the cause of
oneness in the Kingdom of God. Praise be to God! They have kind
and revered teachers who train and educate them well and who
long for confirmation in order that, God willing, like tender plants
in the garden of God they may be refreshed by the downpour of the
clouds of mercy, grow and become verdant. In the utmost perfection
and delicacy may they at last bring forth fruit.
I supplicate God that these children may be reared under His
protection and that they may be nourished by His favor and grace
until all, like beautiful flowers in the garden of human hopes and
aspirations, shall blossom and become redolent of fragrance.
O God! Educate these children. These children are the plants of
Thine orchard, the flowers of Thy meadow, the roses of Thy garden.
Let Thy rain fall upon them; let the Sun of Reality shine upon
them with Thy love. Let Thy breeze refresh them in order that they
may be trained, grow and develop, and appear in the utmost beauty.
Thou art the Giver. Thou art the Compassionate.