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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 59-60

Western Tours

After His release, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá continued the same holy life of ceaseless activity in teaching, correspondence, ministering to the poor and the sick, with merely the change from ‘Akká to Haifa and from Haifa to Alexandria, until August 1911, when 60 He started on His first visit to the Western world. During His tours in the West, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá met men of every shade of opinion and amply fulfilled the command of Bahá’u’lláh to “Consort with all the people with joy and fragrance.” He reached London early in September 1911, and spent a month there, during which, besides daily talks with inquirers and many other activities, He addressed the congregations of the Rev. R. J. Campbell at the City Temple, and of Archdeacon Wilberforce at St. John’s, Westminster, and breakfasted with the Lord Mayor. He then proceeded to Paris, where His time was occupied in giving daily addresses and talks to eager listeners of many nationalities and types. In December He returned to Egypt, and next spring, in response to the earnest entreaty of the American friends, He proceeded to the United States, arriving in New York in April 1912. During the next nine months He traveled through America, from coast to coast, addressing all sorts and conditions of men—university students, Socialists, Mormons, Jews, Christians, Agnostics, Esperantists, Peace Societies, New Thought Clubs, Women’s Suffrage Societies, and speaking in churches of almost every denomination, in each case giving addresses suited to the audience and the occasion. On December 5 He sailed for Great Britain, where He passed six weeks, visiting Liverpool, London, Bristol and Edinburgh. In Edinburgh He gave a notable address to the Esperanto Society, in which He announced that He had encouraged the Bahá’ís of the East to study Esperanto in order to further better understanding between the East and the West. After two months in Paris, spent as before in daily interviews and conference, He proceeded to Stuttgart, where He held a series of very successful meetings with the German Bahá’ís; thence to Budapest and Vienna, founding new groups in these places, returning, in May 1913, to Egypt, and on December 5, 1913, to Haifa.