Mahmud writes: "The assembly hall of the hotel became a joyous meeting place for the friends. With great happiness and excitement the friends eagerly listened to the Master's words.
Praise be to God that He has given you a prosperous country. Towns are flourishing, commerce is progressing and the outward evidences of prosperity are displayed with utmost beauty and perfection. But all these things are as nothing when compared to the bounties of God. The whole globe is nothing before one ray of the Sun of Truth. Thus it is said in the Gospel that Satan took Christ to the top of a high mountain, showed Him the world outspread and told Him that he would give Him all these things if he would follow him. But Christ refused.
He then answered questions from the audience about socialism and gave interviews to some newspaper reporters about various subjects, such as the necessity for a spiritual civilization, spiritual guidance and the principles and life history of Bahá'u'lláh.
Later, a Jewish rabbi visited the Master and requested that He speak in his synagogue. `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke with him, saying, `I have come from your original homeland, Jerusalem. I passed forty-five years in Palestine, but I was in prison.' The rabbi said, `We are all prisoners in this world.' The Master added, `But I was imprisoned in two prisons. Even then I was contented and was completely happy and grateful.' The rabbi then said, `The Prophets of God have always been imprisoned and now His Holiness `Abdu'l-Bahá, the chosen one of God, is imprisoned.' The Master stated, `I am but the servant of God; but the practice of people has always been to persecute all the Prophets and the holy ones and then later to prostrate themselves at the mention of their names.' When they finished their conversation, the rabbi expressed his sincere thanks and requested permission to leave. The Master embraced Him and said, `We desire that all religions unite in bonds of brotherhood, to love one another. May they join hands and embrace each other, and honor and respect one another's masters.'
The Master was invited to the Commercial Club this morning. As He drove through the city's parks and boulevards on the way, He remarked:
Tonight when we speak in the Jewish synagogue we shall bring proofs and arguments in support of the Spirit [Christ]. This is the wish and confirmation of the Blessed Beauty. It is as if the Abhá Beauty were present in the Mansion at `Akká and I went into His presence and said that I wished to speak in a Jewish synagogue. It is clear that His wish would be that the truth of Jesus should be demonstrated.
Several newspaper reporters asked Him questions about the principles of the Faith. He told them:
The laws and commandments of God are of two kinds: one set is composed of those essential spiritual principles which are the basis for human prosperity, praiseworthy morals and the acquisition of the virtues and perfections of man. These never change. The other kind are subsidiary laws related to our material life. These are revealed to regulate transactions and to meet the exigencies of the time. These change in keeping with the requirements of the age.
While He was giving a detailed explanation of the laws of God, prominent members of the Club gathered around Him. They listened with rapt attention to His words concerning the failure of the four criteria [for establishing reality] -- namely, the senses, the intellect, tradition and inspiration -- to arrive at the correct conclusions and the efficacy of all-encompassing power of the command of God. They expressed their sincere admiration for His blessings and kindness, particularly for His talk.
Today a billboard outside a building announced: ``Abdu'l-Bahá, the venerable Prophet of the East and the Leader of the Bahá'ís, will speak here at noon today.'
In the evening the Master delivered a brilliant address at the Jewish synagogue, providing decisive proofs of the validity and truth of Christ and the Cause of Muhammad. It was so persuasive that men and women came to `Abdu'l-Bahá with the utmost humility and admiration. One of them said openly that he would no longer be a Jew."
I wish we had a photograph of the billboard! Another stellar day--filled with events and enthusiasm.