St John's Westminster: Introduction

On September 17th, 'Abdu'l-Baha at the request of the venerable Archdeacon

of Westminster addressed the congregation of Saint John the Divine after

evening service. With a few warm words characteristic of his whole

attitude Archdeacon Wilberforce introduced the revered Messenger from the

East, who had crossed seas and countries on his Mission of Peace and Unity

for which he had suffered forty years of captivity and persecution. The

Archdeacon had the Bishop's chair placed for his Guest on the Chancel

steps, and standing beside him read the translation of 'Abdu'l-Baha's

address himself. The Congregation was profoundly moved, and following the

Archdeacon's example knelt to receive the blessing of the Servant of

God--who stood with extended arms--his wonderful voice rising and falling in

the silence with the power of his invocation. As the Archdeacon said:

Truly the East and the West have met in this sacred place tonight. The

hymn O God our help in ages past was sung by the entire assembly

standing, as 'Abdu'l-Baha and the Archdeacon passed down the aisle to the

vestry hand in hand.

Outside the Church, Salvationists were holding their meeting and

'Abdu'l-Baha was deeply impressed and touched at the sight of the men,

women and children gathered together in the night, at the street corner,

praying and singing.

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