The Spirit of Love and Unity


Liverpool, England, Sunday December 15th 1912

By Isabel Fraser


After a few appreciative words of welcome by the Rev. Donald Fraser, Abdul-Baha addressed the congregation at Pembroke chapel, at the evening service, December 15th. Mr Fraser welcomed this herald of peace and expressed his deep appreciation and honor at having Abdul-Baha in his church.

He made a remarkable picture as he stood in the pulpit, which at first he hesitated to ascend, saying that he did not like to be above the rest of the people. But when it was pointed to him that he would not be above some of them-the-gallery-and that they could hear better, he complied. He said in part:

"Tonight I am exceedingly happy to find myself in an assembly, the members of which are a recognized factor in philanthropy and well being. Therefore, I supplicate at the throne of God that He may bestow divine confirmations upon you that at all times you may be the vehicle of divine mercy and the means of prosperity to the individual members of the world of humanity.

"Man should endeavor always to realize the Oneness of Humanity. We are all the children of God; all created by God; all provided for by God and all under the protection of God. God is kind to all his children. Why should they wage war between themselves? God is the Real Shepherd-all are his sheep. There is no difference whatever among the members of the flock. He educates all of us, is compassionate to all of us; protects all of us. Ponder and you will understand that with the bounties of God there is no restraint. His grace encompasses all mankind. All live under his bounty.

"What benefit do we ever draw from separating ourselves one from another? Why should we wrangle and battle to kill each other? God is kind. Why are we unkind?

"The first separating principle is religion. Every sect and community has gathered around itself certain imitations of Reality in ceremonies and forms, and as these imitations differ, contentions follow. Each division is encompassed with thick clouds through which the Sun of Reality cannot penetrate. If these divisions should forget the differences in imitations and seek for the underlying Reality, all would be united and agreed and fellowship would be established between the organizations of mankind.

"As His Holiness Mohammed states, ‘God is Love upon Love, with Love.’ Therefore it is evident that the foundation of Religion is Love and the fundamental purpose of Religion is Unity. The Religion of God is honor to humanity; why make it the cause of degradation? Why make it the cause of darkness and gloom? Assuredly it is a thousand pities that the cause of such a glorious reality should become the cause of degradation and hatred.

"It was at a time of great darkness that His Holiness Baha’u’llah appeared in Persia, summoning all to love and friendship. Now, in Persia, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians and other contending religionists who heard the words of Baha’u’llah are living in the utmost state of love and reciprocity.

"This Cause is great and it was at great cost that Baha’u’llah strove to spread these principles in the world. During his life he was imprisoned, his property was pillaged. He was separated from his friends and 20,000 of his followers were martyred. They sacrificed their lives in the glorious cause of doing away with imitations and limitations, to this end that Unity might be established among the children of men.

"Nations sometimes say, ‘We wish to extend our boundaries!’ Consider with me for a moment, ’What is the earth?’ We live for a few years on its surface and then it becomes our eternal cemetery. Millions of generations are buried there. It is the universal graveyard of humanity. Is it praise worthy to engage in war for a cemetery-to pillage the wealth of nations for and eternal graveyard?

"Praise God, this nation at this time is striving with all its energy for International Peace. Rest not from your endeavours until international peace become established. This is my request of you and my earnest hope for you is that you may always be protected."

After the hymn, "All People That on Earth Do Dwell," Abdul-Baha pronounced the following benediction in Oriental fashion, with hands outstretched and upturned: "O Thou most kind Lord, this reverent assembly is calling on thy name. These souls are seeking thy good pleasure. They are seeking the prosperity of the world of humanity. O Lord, confer upon their souls life evermore. O Lord, forgive their sins and keep them in thy protecting shade in both worlds. O Lord, confer upon them thy great pleasure. All are servants of international peace, all are servants of humanity. Thou art The Merciful, The Generous, The Forgiver, The Almighty, The Praiseworthy!"

Afterward, in the vestry, Abdul-Baha wrote the following beautiful blessing for the Rev. Donald Fraser. He inscribed it in Persian in the church book: "O Thou Kind Almighty, confirm Thou this servant of Thine, Mr Fraser, in the service of Thy Kingdom. Make him illumined; make him divine! Thou art the Generous, the King!"