1 January 1912

Abdu’l‐Baha addressed the friends gathered at 97 Cadogan Gardens

‘Civilization is like unto a moving hill of sands, Today it is here, tomorrow it’s many thousand miles away. It is subject to constant transference . . . Who knows what course of nobler and higher civilization is not made ready for the East – the cradle of spiritual civilization, the foundation of the moral life of man, the mainspring of divine effulgences and the horizon from which the Day‐Star of hope is arising with resplendent beauty? When the material civilization joins hands with divine civilization, then the world will have reached the goal of a new order of things. There there will be no poverty, no squalor, no crime, no shame. There will be no night and no winter. Eternal day and perennial spring will gladden all hearts.’

Robert Weinberg, Lady Blomfield, Her Life and Times, pp. 142–143

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2 January 1912

‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited the Cedar club. In the evening He addressed The Women’s Freedom League at Essex Hall

Charlotte Despard, the prominent suffragette, welcomed ‘Abdu’l‐Bah. to the Cedar Club House, maintained by the Women’s Service League which provided food to needy mothers and assisted their young children with nutrition. The Master and His entourage entered a large assembly room, still draped with the green and red decorations of the Christmas season. At two long tables, some 60 women and more than a hundred children sat, enjoying an afternoon tea. ‘Abdu’l‐Bahá was invited to speak from a podium but as was His wont, He walked straight to the impoverished women and spoke as He mingled with them, pacing up and down the aisle between the two tables, His face beaming.

‘I am very glad’, He said, ‘to be among you, who are blessed in God’s name with children. They are the true signs of His spiritual love. The most divine gifts of God.

These little ones will grow to be fruitful trees. We must look to them for the founders of many beautiful families. Let their education be directed in the ways of purity and useful service. Here are the seeds of the future race and upon them may be granted God’s blessing.’

That night the Master was invited to speak at Essex Hall to the Women’s Freedom League, of which Mrs Despard was the President … More than a thousand suffragettes were present. After Mrs Despard’s stirring introduction, the Master began to speak on the subject of the equality of men and women, His remarks, often witty, eliciting laughter and a shower of approval. After every few sentences the crowd burst into applause…