[A portion of a letter from Sydney Sprague to Isabella Brittingham.]
Mount Carmel, August 29, 1910.
Dear Sister in the Holy Cause: I have a very big piece of news to tell you. ‘Abdu’l-Baha has left this Holy Spot for the first time in forty two years, and has gone to Egypt. Think of the vast significance and importance of this step! By it many prophecies of the sacred Scriptures are fulfilled. The Light and Life of Acca has departed and we feel as though we were now left in obscurity while Egypt is illumined, and that ancient country which has seen the prophets Joseph and Moses and even the infant Christ is now to see the Consummation of all the prophets. Will it appreciate and realize this Bounty? Everyone was astounded to hear of ‘Abdu’l-Baha's departure, for no one knew until the very last minute that he had any idea of leaving. The afternoon of the day he left, he came to Mirza Assad’u’llah's home to see us and sat with us awhile beside a new well that has just been finished and said that he had come to taste the water. We did not realize that it was a good-bye visit. Then he took a carriage and went up the hill to the Holy Tomb (of the Bab). That night, as usual, the believers gathered before the house of ‘Abdu’l-Baha to receive that blessing, which every day is ours, of being in his presence, but we waited in vain, for one of the sons in-law came and told us that ‘Abdu’l-Baha had taken the Khedivial steamer for Port Said. We could hardly believe it was true, so great was this news. Think how happy we must be that after forty two years in this cage, the Divine Bird has spread His wings and in perfect freedom flown away.
(Star of the West, Vol. 1, October 16, 1910)