Mahmud writes: "`Abdu'l-Bahá's address this morning concerned the influence of the Divine Manifestations, together with a brief history of the Cause and its teachings, which clearly had a powerful effect on the audience. After the talk the people came to Him in groups to express their sincere interest. Journalists wrote several complimentary articles about His exposition and the divine teachings.
The friends arranged a farewell luncheon in His honor in the hotel's dining room. The table was exquisitely decorated. More than 50 friends were there, each grateful to be present. This glorious meeting of the friends from the East and the West in the presence of `Abdu'l-Bahá, so full of love and harmony, astonished all who witnessed it and hastened the spread of the Word of God. The manager of the hotel came with the utmost respect and courtesy to see `Abdu'l-Bahá and was given a seat. Later he said, `What I have seen of the majesty of this holy being is that although no one knew him in this city, yet in the course of one day and one night he has created a stir in the city and a spiritual yearning in the hearts of its people.'
Thus did the power of the Covenant of God and the grandeur of the Cause shine resplendently in the eyes of the people.
After lunch `Abdu'l-Bahá bestowed kindness upon each of the friends, exhorting and admonishing them. Every soul offered praise and glory to the Lord of the Kingdom until after midday, when the train left for Denver. When it was time for Him to leave Sacramento, `Abdu'l-Bahá was heard to say: `A spiritual commotion has for the time being been created in this city. Let us see what God desires.'
The Master passed the afternoon with His companions in the train in a delightful manner. At times He told humorous stories and at others praised the scenery of the countryside, the pleasant air and the beauty and verdancy of the surroundings. Some railway employees came to Him saying that the Master had been on the same train with them when they had traveled to California earlier. The Master replied, `Yes, it was so destined that I should see you once more on this trip. On this train there are many Greek passengers. Do you know where they are going?' They informed the Master that they were going to their country in response to a call to fight against Turkey. The Master said:
God does not want war. These wars are against the divine will. He desires peace and love for His servants. I pray that this darkness may be dispelled and the light of the Kingdom may envelop the world. God is kind to all. We, too, should be kind to one another. We should not fight for a handful of dust. The earth is our endless tomb. Is it worthy of us to wage war and shed blood for this tomb while God has destined that we win the cities of men's hearts and bestowed upon us an eternal Kingdom? Is it worthy of us to shut our eyes to such an everlasting honor and instead make war over dust?
A salesman was selling pennants from different schools. The Master said, `Tell him to bring the banner of universal peace if he has it. We want such a flag under which the whole world may find rest and peace.'
Several passengers who heard His discourses left their seats and drew near Him. Among those who were moved and impressed was a Jewish lady, who was very enthusiastic and interested. The Master said to her:
It is obvious that you have a pure character, so I want you to become aware of the truth of divine matters. At the time of each Manifestation of God the people were heedless and ignorant of the truth except for a few who investigated and understood the divine words. The same is true today. So thank God that you have been endowed with capacity and desire to investigate the truth. Know this much: that the treasury of God is replete; He will shower the same bounties and gifts on those of this day as He showered on those of previous generations. We must endeavor to gain heavenly enlightenment, to understand the mysteries of the holy books, to become the cause of guidance to others and to illumine hearts. I pray that you may strive until you are blessed with these favors.
During this conversation people were surrounding the Master, eagerly and attentively listening to His words, which they considered to be both weighty and the truth.
The same woman came to Him again in the evening, saying that she wished to be educated so as to be able to convey the teachings to others. As her words and spiritual capacity were accepted by the Master, He gave her an account of Bahá'u'lláh, explaining the reasons for the opposition to His teachings and unfolding before her the teachings of the Supreme Pen. Meanwhile, two people with socialist views requested permission to be admitted into His presence. He spoke with them on matters concerning economics, universal peace, the unity of religions and the common weal. Their happiness was boundless. As they approached the railway station they asked `Abdu'l-Bahá to give them His address and those of the Bahá'ís so they could write to them. Their request was granted."
I love thinking about all of this activity on the train. People were always drawn to the Master--and Mahmud must have had quite a time noticing and recording it all. One pictures a lot of motion on the train--people drawing near, listening to stories and talks, and then later telling tales about it to others.
So now the Master has left the far western shores of America--never to return. And with this, the end hastens. . . . It must have been hard for those whose hearts had been touched by His presence.