March 9, 2014

‘Abdu’l-Baha’s first public talk in Canada

September 1, 1912
Montreal

God the Almighty has created all humanity from dust, from the same elements. All are descended from one race and all are created to live on the same earth, under the canopy of the same heaven. As members of humanity He created them sharing the same susceptibilities. As created by Him all are one, without discrimination. He provides for all; He trains all; He protects all; He is kind to all. He has left no difference in His bounties and favors to men. He raised prophets and sent divine teachings. These teachings unite all and generate love in human hearts. He has proclaimed the unity of the world of man. He deprecates all obstacles to unity and commends everything that is conducive to harmony and unity. He admonishes all to establish unity at all levels. All the Prophets of God were raised up to deliver the message of love and unity to the sons of men. All the Books of God were revealed to establish fellowship and union. All the Prophets of God were the servants of truth. All their teachings were the essence of truth. Truth is one; it does not accept multiplicity. Therefore, the foundation of truth of all the religions of God is one.

Yet, alas, blind imitations, which have nothing to do with this truth, have crept in. As these vain practices vary, contention, warfare and bloodshed became rampant and strife prevailed. These are the destroyers of the divine foundation. Men kill one another like beasts and bring desolation to one another's families. God has created man for love. He made love the illumination of the world of man. Love is the cause of the unity of creation. All the prophets were promulgators of love. Man, however, arose against the decree of God and acted contrary to the divine will. For this reason, since the beginning of present history, man has never experienced harmony. Bloodshed and massacre have been rampant among them. The hearts have been suspicious of one another. Man has acted against God's good pleasure. All the wars and massacres of the past have been induced either by religious or racial prejudices or by political and patriotic bias which have made this world a place of constant agony for the sons of man.These prejudices were intense in the Orient, for there was no freedom.