The Promulgation of Universal Peace
15 July 1912
Talk at Home of Dr. and Mrs. Florian Krug
830 Park Avenue, New York
Notes by Howard MacNutt
I am greatly pleased to see you. Your hearts are illumined by the
lights of Bahá. This meeting is in reality a divine, celestial assembly
under the favor of God, for we have no other purpose than
praising and meeting God. The prayer you have just offered is a
prayer of thankfulness.
Thankfulness is of various kinds. There is a verbal thanksgiving
which is confined to a mere utterance of gratitude. This is of no importance
because perchance the tongue may give thanks while the
heart is unaware of it. Many who offer thanks to God are of this
type, their spirits and hearts unconscious of thanksgiving. This is
mere usage, just as when we meet, receive a gift and say thank you,
speaking the words without significance. One may say thank you a
thousand times while the heart remains thankless, ungrateful.
Therefore, mere verbal thanksgiving is without effect. But real
thankfulness is a cordial giving of thanks from the heart. When
man in response to the favors of God manifests susceptibilities of
conscience, the heart is happy, the spirit is exhilarated. These
spiritual susceptibilities are ideal thanksgiving.
There is a cordial thanksgiving, too, which expresses itself in
the deeds and actions of man when his heart is filled with gratitude.
For example, God has conferred upon man the gift of guidance,
and in thankfulness for this great gift certain deeds must emanate
from him. To express his gratitude for the favors of God man must
show forth praiseworthy actions. In response to these bestowals he
must render good deeds, be self-sacrificing, loving the servants of
God, forfeiting even life for them, showing kindness to all the
creatures. He must be severed from the world, attracted to the
Kingdom of Abhá, the face radiant, the tongue eloquent, the ear
attentive, striving day and night to attain the good pleasure of God.
Whatsoever he wishes to do must be in harmony with the good
pleasure of God. He must observe and see what is the will of God
and act accordingly. There can be no doubt that such commendable
deeds are thankfulness for the favors of God.
Consider how grateful anyone becomes when healed from sickness,
when treated kindly by another or when a service is rendered
by another, even though it may be of the least consequence. If we
forget such favors, it is an evidence of ingratitude. Then it will be
said a loving-kindness has been done, but we are thankless, not
appreciating this love and favor. Physically and spiritually we are
submerged in the sea of God's favor. He has provided our foods,
drink and other requirements; His favors encompass us from all
directions. The sustenances provided for man are blessings. Sight,
hearing and all his faculties are wonderful gifts. These blessings
are innumerable; no matter how many are mentioned, they are still
endless. Spiritual blessings are likewise endless--spirit, consciousness,
thought, memory, perception, ideation and other
endowments. By these He has guided us, and we enter His Kingdom.
He has opened the doors of all good before our faces. He has
vouchsafed eternal glory. He has summoned us to the Kingdom of
heaven. He has enriched us by the bestowals of God. Every day he
has proclaimed new glad tidings. Every hour fresh bounties descend.
Consider how all the people are asleep, and ye are awake. They
are dead, and ye are alive through the breaths of the Holy Spirit.
They are blind while ye are endowed with perceptive sight. They
are deprived of the love of God, but in your hearts it exists and is
glowing. Consider these bestowals and favors.
Therefore, in thanksgiving for them ye must act in accordance
with the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. Ye must read the Tablets--the
Hidden Words, Ishráqát, Glad Tidings--all the holy utterances,
and act according to them. This is real thanksgiving, to live in accord
with these utterances. This is true thankfulness and the divine
bestowal. This is thanksgiving and glorification of God.
I hope you all may attain thereto, be mindful of these favors of
God and be attentive. It is my hope that I may go away from New
York with a happy heart, and my heart is happy when the friends of
God love each other, when they manifest the mercy of God to all
people. If I see this, I shall go away happy.