Who was `Abdu'l-Bahá, and why did He come to the West?

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 15-16, 1912 Liverpool and London

On December 15, 'Abdu'l-Bahá spoke in Liverpool at Pembroke Chapel, welcomed by Rev. Donald Fraser as a herald of peace. When Rev. Fraser indicated that 'Abdu'l-Bahá should ascend the pulpit to speak, 'Abdu'l-Bahá hesitated, saying He did not like to look down upon people when He spoke. He finally ascended the stairs to the pulpit when the Rev. told Him that the people in the gallery would be higher than He and everyone would be able to hear Him better. 'Abdu'l-Bahá spoke on unity and afterwards wrote a blessing for Rev. Fraser:

"O Thou Kind Almighty, confirm Thou this servant of Thine, Mr. Fraser, in the service of Thy Kingdom. Make him illumined; make him heavenly; make him spiritual; make him divine. . . ."

On December 16 in the morning, 'Abdu'l-Bahá walked with His entourage to Lime Street Station, to take the train to London. To Elizabeth Herrick and Isabel Fraser, He said, "I am most pleased with you. You are real servants of the Covenant." Commenting on Isabel's indefatigable efforts to put newspaper articles in papers, He said, "I will never forget these services of yours. You must become like a burning torch so that you may be able to melt mountains of snow. Europe is filled with mountains which are snowcapped all the year around. May you attain to such a degree of heat that you may melt the snow. Europe is submerged in materialism.  People are not thinking of God. All their attention is turned toward matter and nature. Like unto the cows do they graze in the meadows which are overgrown with grass. They can see nothing beyond their noses. America is much better. People in that country are investigating the Reality. They are more susceptible to spiritual life."

[Hm. I wonder if He'd say the same thing now?]

London: 'Abdu'l-Bahá arrived around 1:40 pm. About 50 Baha'is met Him at the station, including Lady Blomfield and two daughters. She had brought her car for Him to ride in and took Him to her apartment at 97 Cadogan Gardens. He spoke English to them the whole way (no interpreters rode with them).  After resting a while,  'Abdu'l-Bahá met newspaper reports and later gave a talk to the Baha'is.

[Information from Earl Redman's "'Abdu'l-Bahá in Their Midst."]

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