“Do Not Bring Him in Here” 1
‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ WAS IN the best of health after more than a week recuperating in Montclair, New Jersey, away from the heat and humidity of New York. On June 27, 1912, he had taken the tram to the park with Mr. Edsall, his host, who had insisted that they get some fresh air. “What great changes have occurred!” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá reflected. “What waves have swept over us and brought us here!”
The afternoon among the trees could hardly have been more different than that hot day sixty summers ago when hell had broken loose in Tehran…
New Jersey: The Unity Feast 2
After He breakfasted at Mr. Charles Edsall’s home on Wednesday, June 26, and returned to His house, He found several of the ladies who had come down from New York hard at work washing dishes and cleaning floors. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá laughed and said, “‘Look! How the power of the Blessed Beauty works!’”
Wednesday, June 26, 1912 3
To some people visiting the Master for the first time, He spoke about Christ’s words to His disciples:
“‘Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:19]. The Christians have not understood its meaning. They imagine that it means the redemption of sins through the Christian leaders. The intention of Christ was to permit His disciples to elaborate or abrogate the laws of the Torah, as He had altered only two, those of the Sabbath and divorce. But, alas! The spiritual leaders of the Christians did not grasp His meaning, so that when the Greeks and Romans became Christians, some of the idolatrous customs were incorporated into Christianity. For example, the adornment of churches with images, self-mortification, abstinence, monks’ habits, the lighting of candles in church, the ringing of the bell in the steeple and others. These are all from idolaters.”
Another group came into ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s presence asking about the mysteries of Sufism and reincarnation. Receiving satisfactory answers, they left happy and pleased.
In the afternoon in Newark, near Montclair, both new and old friends gathered at the home of Mrs Kerry. The Master spoke to them on the life of the spirit and its effect on the world of humanity and set aglow the fire of the love of God in their hearts. He then went to the Military Park and Gardens, which is the best public place in the town. His walk with His companions presented a magnificent sight. Attired in our Persian kuláhs and Eastern dress, and accompanying the Master and the several American men and women who followed Him with great reverence and humility, we formed a unique scene. All eyes turned towards the dignity, beauty and glory of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and to that gathering of the East and West.
The Master then went to Mr Harris’s home where the friends had gathered before dinner. The Master urged and encouraged the friends to associate with love and unity with all the peoples and nations of the world. After dinner, because it was late and the distance was great, He rested there for the night.
Talk at Studio of Miss Phillips, 39 West Sixty-seventh Street, New York, 12 April 1912 4
Today the nations of the world are self-engaged, occupied with mortal and transitory accomplishments, consumed by the fires of passion and self. Self is dominant; enmity and animosity prevail. Nations and peoples are thinking only of their worldly interests and outcomes. The clash of war and din of strife are heard among them. But the friends of the Blessed Perfection have no thoughts save the thoughts of heaven and the love of God. Therefore, you must without delay employ your powers in spreading the effulgent glow of the love of God and so order your lives that you may be known and seen as examples of its radiance. You must deal with all in loving-kindness in order that this precious seed entrusted to your planting may continue to grow and bring forth its perfect fruit. The love and mercy of God will accomplish this through you if you have love in your own heart.
’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny
Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America
Curated by Anne Perry
- Sockett, Robert, and Jonathan Menon. “‘Do Not Bring Him in Here.’” 239 Days in America, 26 June 2012, https://239days.com/2012/06/26/do-not-bring-him-in-here/. ↩
- Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 100. ↩
- ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=4#section94 ↩
- ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 8-9. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/2#294721855 ↩