July 15, 1912: The Week Ahead 1
AFTER HIS TALK IN BROOKLYN YESTERDAY, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá took an evening trip to West Englewood, New Jersey, where he spent the night. Many New Yorkers took a ride on the Sea Beach Line this weekend, to spend the day at the amusement parks and along the ocean shore at Coney Island.
In the week ahead we take a look back forty years to Bahá’u’lláh’s letters to the kings, to the birth of the Progressive Era in America, and to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s program of reform for the modern nation-state. It will be ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s last full week in New York before a long trip: he won’t be back in the city until November 12.
Monday, July 15, 1912 2
‘Abdu’l-Bahá held in His hand a copy of the address He delivered at the Baptist Church in Philadelphia. He said: ‘I present my subjects and explanations in such a way that no one can refute or argue with them. They are accepted by people of understanding and wisdom.’ Later He went downstairs where several people were waiting to see Him. Among them were some friends from California. He stressed the fact that all activities should be undertaken only with His permission so that no breach of the love and unity of the believers might occur.
There was a cheerful and animated gathering at Mr MacNutt’s home in Brooklyn during the afternoon and evening. The greatest blessing and bounty at the meeting was the manifestation of fellowship and unity among the Bahá’ís under the shadow of the banner of the Covenant of God. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s great joy was reflected in His face and all the friends were enthralled and enraptured. The Master spoke several times. After He had explained some spiritual matters, He would leave the house to take a short walk and then return to speak to them again. He encouraged the friends to serve the Faith, then explained the meaning of the signs of the fulfillment of prophecies. He expressed His joy at the unity and harmony of the Bahá’ís and bestowed His blessings on them. His stay in New York brought about great results and effected the fellowship and unity of the friends.
Talk at Home of Dr. and Mrs. Florian Krug, 830 Park Avenue, New York 3
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.
’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
- Menon, Jonathan. “July 15, 1912: The Week Ahead.” 239 Days in America, 15 July 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/07/15/july-15-1912-the-week-ahead/. ↩
- ’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=5#section113 ↩
- 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, 236. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/16#090684415 ↩