Chapter 3     Chapter 5

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Bahaism and Christianity

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      The whole Bahai movement is in fact, whatever it may have been in the mind of its originator the flab, a counterfeit of the Messiahship of Christ. At least this is the side of it that is turned towards both Christians and Jews. All that relates to the second coming of Christ in the Old Testament or the New is bodily appropriated by Baha to himself and everything in them relating to God is boldly applied to himself. . . . It will bring a few of the Persians nearer to Christ. By far the greater number of its adherents will be brought into more active antagonism to Christianity than before. -- G. W. Holmes, M. D., in Speer's "Missions and Modern History," Vol. I, p. 169.

      Can Bahaism make good its claim to be the fulfillment of and substitute for Christianity? It has no place for Christ except as one of a series, one, moreover, whose brief day of authority closed when Mohammed began to preach in Mecca. . . . If the claim be admitted that Bahaism is a republication of Christianity, the whole interpretation of the death of Christ contained in the Epistles must first be rejected. -- W. A. Shedd, in "Miss. Rev, of World," 1911.

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ABDUL BAHA says: "Some say Abdul Baha is Antichrist. They are not informed of Bahai principles. Baha Ullah [1] established Christ in the East. He has praised Christ, honoured Christ, exalted Him, called Him the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and spread His mention." [2] These words could be written with the name Mohammed substituted for Baha Ullah. But in the case of both of them it is the kiss of betrayal. Judas also made known Jesus. Both Mohammed and Baha write "ex" before His title "King of Kings." To accept Baha and Abdul Baha is to deny and forsake Christ.

      I hear some Christian say: "Of course. What you say is self-evident. Bahaism is a new religion whose aim is to supplant Christianity." This is true. Yet the claim is put forth by Bahais, and, more strangely, it is accepted by some. Christians, that the two religions are not antagonistic, and may be held at one time by the same person. To an

1. In an interview with Rev. J. T. Bixhy, who wrote on Bahaism in the North American Review, June, 1912, Abdul Baha says: "Baha Uhah has upraised the standard of Christ in the East in countries and among peoples where there was formerly no mention of Christ's name." Not true. Christ was known in Moslem lands, in India and Burmah.
2. SW., Sept. 8, 1913, p. 576.

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esteemed Christian lady I expressed my regret that a certain doctor, forsaking Christ, had gone as a Bahai missionary to Persia. The reply startled me: "Doctor -------- is very much a Christian." Yet why was I startled? It was simply hearing an idea with which I was familiar in the writings of the Bahais. Sydney Sprague says: "The true Bahai is also the truest Christian." [1] Charles M. Remey says: "To be a real Christian in spirit is to be a Bahai, and to be a real Bahai is to be a Christian," for "Bahai teaching is only the perfection of Christianity." [2] A report of an interview of Rev. R. J. Campbell, of City Temple, London, with Abdul Baha, states the claim of Bahaism as follows: "It does not seek to proselyte [sic]. One can be a Bahai without ceasing to be a Christian, a Jew, or a Mohammedan." [3] In accordance with this idea, Thornton Chase and some Bahais in America continued to worship and teach in Christian churches, and to have their dead buried by pastors. Some in London, in connection with the City Temple and St. John's Church (Canon Wilberforce's), profess both Christianity and Bahaism. Of Southern India, Dr. A. L. Wylie said: "It is said that there are thirty-five Bahais in our city (Ratnagiri). Some of these are Christian converts. They continue to be Christians, saying that they can remain such and are instructed to do so." Such an erroneous idea,

1. Sprague, "Story of the Bahai Movement," p. 25.
2. Remey, "The Bahai Movement," p. 45.
3. The Christian Commonwealth (London), Sept. 13, 1911, p. 850.

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when not due to the misrepresentations of the leaders and Oriental tagiya (" dissimulation"), must arise from ignorance of or dislike to true Christianity or ignorance of what Bahaism is.

      I.       Bahaism assigns Christianity a place as but one among the true religions. Bahaism indorses and accepts in the same category with Judaism and Christianity, as true and divinely revealed religions, Zoroastrianism, Confucianism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Mohammedanism, Babism, and Bahaism. Abdul Baha says: "The reality of the religions is one, the difference is one of imitation." [1] Remey says: "Bahais consider all religions to be, from a spiritual standpoint, one religion."[2] "Every religion has had its birth in the advent of its divine founder." [3] "The founders of the world religions have been seers as well as channels of truth to the people." [4] It tries to build on all the other religions by professing to be the fulfillment of each one. "The Bahai propaganda in India," says Sprague, "has not the difficulty that besets a Christian missionary, that of pulling down: his duty is only to build on what is already there. He sees the Hindu, Buddhist, and Mohammedan with the same eye, acknowledges their truth and shows that a further revelation has come through Baha Ullah."[5] It says to each one, Baha fulfills your traditions and prophecies. [6]

1. "Wisdom Talks," p. 21.
2. Remey, "The Bahai Movement," p. 54.
3 Ibid., p. 39.            
4. Ibid., p. 2.
5. "The Story of the Bahai Movement," p. 17.
6. So of Persia, S.W., April 28, 1914, p. 42.

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But this liberality is only apparent. Only original Buddhism, Christianity, etc., was God-given and true. Now all are corrupted. "The key-note of Bahai teaching is identical with the Christian, but in Christianity it was so forgotten that it came almost as a fresh, new illumination from Baha." [1]

      Christianity refuses to be classed with the ethnic religions. In its nature it is exclusive. It admits that there is a measure of truth in all religions, but Christ's gospel is the truth "once for all" delivered to men.

      II.       Bahaism claims to abrogate and supersede Christianity. Bahaism in its origin is a Mohammedan sect. It declares that Islam is from God. Christianity was a divine revelation, but Islam was a better one. In the "Ikan," Baha maintains the validity of Islam, testifies to its truth, defends Mohammed's prophetic mission as the fulfillment of the New Testament prophecies, and the Koran as the Book of God. [2] Abdul Baha exalts Mohammed, and declares that he "gave more spiritual education than any of the others," [3] i.e., than Moses or Jesus. He justifies Mohammed's life and conduct, and defends his laws and doctrines." [4] He declares that "whatever European and American historians have written regarding His Highness Mohammed, the Messenger of God, is mostly falsehood. . . .The narrators are either ignorant or antagonlstic." [5]

1. C. E. Maud, Fortnightly Review, April, 1912.      
2. Pages 68--158.
3. "Table Talks with Abdul Baha," Dec. 2, 1900.
4. "Answered Questions," pp. 22--29.
5. S. W., Dec. 52, 1911, p.7.

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Chrlstlans have therefore been in the wrong for thirteen centuries. They have sinned against God, and were a stiff-necked and perverse people in rejecting Mohammed, as the Jews were in rejecting Jesus the Christ. "If those who have accepted a revelation refuse to believe a subsequent revelation, their faith becomes null and void."

      Similarly Babism abrogated Islam. At the Badasht (Shahrud) Conference (1848) the law of the Koran was formally declared to be annulled. Baha abrogated Babism in the Rizwan at Bagdad in 1864. Bahaism is the New Covenant, "which confirms and completes all religious teaching which has gone before." [1]

      Christianity is, according to this, a system of the distant past. It was effective in its day, for "the Christian teaching was illumined by the Sun of Truth: the Christian civilization was the best," [2] concedes Abdul Baha. But now, says Remey, "Bahaism is not one of many phases of Universal Truth, but the Truth, the only Living Truth to-day, the only source of Divine Knowledge to mankind.. . . Abdul Baha's word is the Truth. There are those who will say, 'Have we not Jesus? We want no other.' The Revelation of Jesus is no longer the Point of Guidance to the world. We are in total blindness if we refuse this new Revelation which is the end of the Revelations of the past. . . .All the teachings of the past are past. . .

1. Remey, "Tract on the Bahai Movement," p. 8.
2. "Talks in Paris," p. 20.

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Only that which is revealed by the Supreme Pen, Baha Ullah, and that which issues from the Centre of the Covenant, Abdul Baha, is spiritual food." [1] Bahaism in proclaiming thus the abrogation of Christianity is emphatically antichristian.

      III.       Bahaism casts Christ from His throne as the unique manifestation of God. Bahaism recognizes two classes of prophets: (1) The independent prophets, who were lawgivers and founders of new cycles. Of this class were Abraham, Moses, Christ, Mohammed, the Bab, and Baha. (2) The others are dependent prophets, who are as "branches." Such were Isaiah and Daniel. All the greater prophets, of the first class, were Manifestations of God. [2] So Bahaism continues to honour Christ as the Incarnate Word, the Spirit of God, God manifest in the flesh. At the same time it exalts Baha to supreme and unique dignity and glory above Christ and all prophets. In order to understand this essential, fundamental doctrine of Bahaism, we must know its doctrine concerning God and His Manifestation.

      The teaching of Bahaism regarding God is hard to grasp, because it oscillates between Theism and Pantheism. Myron Phelps exposition of it is certainly pantheistic. [3]Baha Ullah in many places bears out his interpretation, as, for example, "God alone is

1. Remey, S.W., Dec. 3!, 1913, pp. 267--271.
2. In thus regarding the prophets as divine, Bahais are not setters forth of strange doctrine in Persia, for the All Allahis (Nusaireyeh), who number, possibly, twice as many as the Bahais in Persia, have the same doctrine, and, in addition, regard the Imam Ali and others as divine incarnations.      
3. Phelps, "Life of Abbas Effendi."

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the one Power which animates and dominates all things, which are but manifestations of its energy." [1] In subsequent expositions, as in "Answered Questions," Abdul Baha repudiates Pantheism, and so does M. Abul Fazl in "The Brilliant Proof." Kheiralla, while maintaining that Baha taught Theism, accused Abdul Baha of Pantheism. In "The Epistle to the Shah" Baha simulates a monotheism almost as rigid as Islam: "We bear witness that there is no God but Him. He is independent of the worlds. No one hath known Him. . . . God singly and alone abideth in His own place which is holy, above space or time, mention and utterance, sign, description, definition, height and depth. . . . The way is closed and seeking is forbidden." A favourite text is that of the Koran, in which God says: "I was a hid treasure, I desired to be known, therefore I created the world." In this process "the first thing which emanated from God (eternally) was that universal reality which the ancient philosophers termed the 'First Mind, and which the people of Baha call the 'Primal Will. This is without beginning or end, essentially but not temporally contingent, and without power to become an associate with God." [2] The Primal Will, Holy Essence, Word, Spirit, is manifested in perfect men, who are the Great Prophets. They are supreme, holy, sinless souls, godlike in their

1. Baha's "Words of Wisdom," p. 61. Notwithstanding these repudiations of Pantheism, nearly every investigator finds it at the basis of Babai teaching.
2. "Answered Questions," p. 23.

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attributes. They show the perfections of God. [1] This reality does not change, but the garment in which it is clothed is different. One day it is the garment of Abraham, who is Zoroaster, then Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Mohammed, the Bab, and Baha Ullah. [2] Abul Fazl says: "All the prophets are respectively the Manifestations of the single Reality and one Essence." [3] The "Ikan" says: "All are one, as the sun of yesterday and to-day are one. The sun is one, the dawning-points of the sun are numerous. One light, many lanterns." [4] "Baha is the same light in a new lamp." [5]Yet there are differences in degree. Of the Bab, Baha says: "His rank is greater than all the prophets, and His Mission loftier and higher." [6] But he is merely as a forerunner in comparison with Baha. Baha is superior to all, greater, more glorious. [7] He is infallible, absolute, universal. "All the prophets were perfect mirrors of God, but in Baha, in some sense,

1. Abdul Baha in Mrs. Grundy's "Ten Days in Acca."
2. Ibid., p. 61: "The Blessed Perfection said in His Tablets that once He was Abraham, once Moses, once Jesus, once Mohammed and once the Bab. Baha Ullah is all the prophets, no matter by what name he chooses to call himself."
3. "Bahai Proofs," p. 209.
4. Pages 14--15.
5. "Answered Questions," pp. 199--205. Mr. Sprague says: "The Bahai Faith teaches that the Universal Spirit, which is God, has manifested itself to every race at some time or other, and that it comes again and again, like the spring, to make all things new" ("A Year in India," p. viii).
6. "Ikan," p. 175.
7. "Bahai Proofs," pp. 156-160. At the time of Azal there was a whole "galaxy" of Manifestations. Baha wishes to stop the claimants, so he declres that none is to be expected "for a thousand or thousands of years." Persia has had numerous incarnations, so-called. They were found among the Ismielis, Assassins, Ali-Allahis and all the Ghulat. The veiled Prophet Mukanna, Babak and many pretenders have proclaimed themselves God. In truth Persia never lacks for an incarnation or two. One of these, of the Ali-Allahi sect, arrived in Tahriz some years ago, and made an appointment to visit me at three o'clock P.M. My somavar was set to boiling and I awaited his arrival. But he failed to keep his engagement because the Governor-General, the Amir-i-Nizam heard of his presence in the city, and this God fled, forgetting to send me word not to expect him.

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the Divine Essence is manifested." "All preceding ones are inferior to him: all subsequent ones are to be under his shadow." [2] But even the latter are not to come for a "thousand or thousands of years," and perhaps not then, for the "Kitab-ul-Akdas" says:

"0 Pen, write and inform mankind that the Manifestations are ended by this luminous and effulgent Theophany."

The Manifestation has two stations: "One is the station of oneness and the rank of absolute Deity, the second station is one of temporal conditions and servitude. If the manifestation says, 'Verily I am only a man like you, or 'Verily, I am God, each is true and without doubt." The "Tajallayat" quotes the Bab as saying concerning "Him whom God shall manifest" "Verily he shall utter, 'I am God. There is no God - but Me, the Lord of all things, and all besides is created by Me ! 0 ye, my creatures, ye are to worship Me." [3] In Bahai literature such words as the following are not uncommon: "Baha Ullah is the Lord of Hosts, the Heavenly Father, the

1. "Answered Questions," Pp. 129--131, 199--201.
2. Ibid, p. 584.      
3. "Ikan," pp. 123--127.

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Prince of Peace, the Glory of God." [1] "He is the framer of the whole Universe, the Cause of the life of the world, and of the unity and harmony of the creatures." [2] "No one of the Manifestations had such great power of influence as was with El-Baha." [3] In passing, it may be noticed how little ground for such boasting they have. How great in comparison was the influence of Moses as leader of Israel, emancipator, lawgiver, and prophet! How great even was Mohammed's success and influence, compared with what Baha has accomplished! How evidently antichristian is Bahaism in denying that Christ's name and glory are above all, and that to Him every knee should bow!

      IV.       Bahaism wrongly assumes that its Leader is Christ come again. There is confusion about this claim, for some Bahais represent Baha to be Christ, and others make Abdul Baha Abbas to be Christ come the second time. Confusion also arises from the fact that Baha is set forth as the Manifestation of all the "promised ones." He is set forth as the Messiah for the Jews, God the Father, the Word, and the Spirit for the Christians, Aurora or Shah Bahram for the Zoroastrians, the fifth Buddha for Buddhists, reincarnated Krishna for Brahmans, the Mahdi or the twelfth Imam or Husain for the Moslems. [4] "All are realized in the coming of Baha

1. Asad Ullah, "The School of the Prophets," p. 509.
2. Mrs. Brittiugham, "The Revelation of Baha Ullah," p. 32.
3. S. W, Jan. 19 1914, p. 283.
4. "The Revelation of Baha Ullah," p. 24. Similarly Gulam Ahmad Quadiani of India claimed to be Christ come again as well as Mohammed and the Mahdi and also, for the Hindus, a new avatar or incarnation.

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Ullah." [1] In accord with this, Baha declared in his "Epistle to the Pope": "Consider those who turned away from the Spirit [Christ] when He came to them, Verily He hath come from heaven as He came the first time. Beware lest ye oppose Him as the Pharisees opposed Him. Verily the Spirit of Truth has come to guide you into all truth. He hath come from the Heaven of Preëxistence." "Baha," says the editor of the Star of the West, "is the fulfillment of the promise of the 'second coming with a new name (Rev. iii. 11-13). [2]

      It must be remembered that Bahaism, chameleon-like, takes on a different aspect according to the environment of its adherents. In Persia its creed is different from that of America in regard to the "return." For the most part American Bahais regard Baha as God the Father, and Abdul Baha Abbas as the Son of God, Jesus Christ. After the quarrel and schism following the death of Baha (1892), Abbas became very wary of assuming titles and dignities, lest he give a handle to his opponents to accuse him of claiming to be a "Manifestation." So he assumed the title Abd-ul-Baha, the "servant of Baha," which his followers translate "Servant of God." He also calls himself the "Centre of the Covenant." Baha had entitled him the "Greatest Branch of God" (Zech. Vi. 12) and the "Mystery of God" (i Tim. iii 16). He was commonly called

1. C. M. Remey's tract, "The Covenant," pp. 14--55; Kheiralla's "Baha Ullah," p. 533, and "Lawh-ul-Akdas," translated in S. W., Vol. IV, p. 15.
2. S.W., March 21, 1913, p. 13.

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"Agha," an equivalent in Persia of Effendi or Mister, but his followers translate it "Master," and put into it the full New Testament significance. Undoubtedly Western Bahais worship Abdul Baha as Jesus Christ the Master come again. In spite of all disavowals and beclouding by words their faith is plain. Getsinger, a leader and missionary, says: "Abbas is heir and Master of the Kingdom: he was on earth 1,900 years ago as the Nazarene." Mrs. Corinne True says: "If this is not the resurrection of the pure Spirit of the Nazarene of 1,900 years ago, then we need not look elsewhere." [1] Mr. Anton Hadad says: "The Master, Abbas Effendi, the Lord of the Kingdom, is the one who was to renew and drink the cup with his disciples in the Kingdom of the Father, the one who taught the world to pray, 'Thy kingdom come, " i.e., Jesus Christ. [n2] Chase says: "He has come again in the Kingdom of his Father." [3] Mrs. Brittingham, on pilgrimage to Acca, writes: "I have seen the King in his beauty, the Master is here and we need not look for another. This is the return of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, of the Lamb that once was slain ;--the Glory of God and the Glory of the Lamb." [4]

Emphasizing the side of his divinity, we have such declarations as these: M. Haydar Ali taught Mrs. Goodall, "God is not realized except through His Manifestations. Now you have recognized Him and

1. "Notes at Acca," p. 24.
2. "A Message from Acca."
3. "Before Abraham was, I am," p. 46.
4. "The Revelation," etc., p. 25.

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have come to see Him," [1] i. e., Abdul Baha (1908). M. Asad Ullah gave instructions (1914): "This world has an owner, and Abdul Baha owns the world and all that is in it." [2] "He is the Son of God" [3] -- the only Door, "the Lord of Mankind." [4] A supplication from Persia, given out for publication, says: "O! Abdul Baha! Forgiver of sins, merciful, bountiful, compassionate! How can a sinner like me reach Thee? Thou art through all the Forgiver of Sins." [5]

      But there is an interpretation to all this for "those of understanding." Bahais reject metempsychosis, but they have a doctrine of "Return," which must be borne in mind. This principle is expressed by Phelps as follows: "When a character with which we are familiar as possessed by some individual of the past, reappears in another individual of the present, we say that the former has returned." [6] Baha states it thus: "In every succeeding Manifestation those souls who exceed all in faith, assurance, and self-denial can be declared to be the return of the former persons who attained to these states in the preceding Manifestation. For that which appeared from the former servants became manifest in the subsequent ones." [7]Their classic illustration of this

1. "Daily Lessons," p. 61.
2. " Flowers from Rose Garden," p. 5; also, Dealy, "Dawn of Knowledge," Chap. IV.
3. Asad Ullah, "Sacred Mysteries," pp. 74, 85.
4. "Bahai Proofs," p. 121; S. W, Jan. 19, 1914, p. 288.
5. "A Heavenly Vista," p. 12.
6. "Life of Abbas Effendi," p. 197.
7. "Ikan," p. 113.

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is John the Baptist. Abdul Baha says: "Christ said that John the Baptist was Elijah. The same perfections which were in Elijah existed in John, and were exactly realized in him. Not the essence but the qualities are regarded. As the flower of last year has returned, so this person, John, was a manifestation of the bounty, perfections, the character, the qualities, and the virtues of Elias. John said, 'I am not Elias '--not his substance and individuality." [1] Remey clearly states the idea: "The return of a prophet does not refer to the return to this world of a personality. It refers to the return in another personality of the impersonal Spirit, the Word or Spirit of God, which spoke through the prophets in the past. . . . People are mistakenly looking for the personal individual return of their own special prophet." [2] In accordance with this theory of the "Return," Abdul Baha wrote to the Bahai Council of New York: "I am not Christ; I am not eternal." [3] To Mrs. Grundy he said: "Some call me Christ; it is imagination." Yet the final word of his missionary, Mr. Remey, is: "The same Christ which was in Jesus is again manifest in the Bahai Revelation. The real Christians are those who recognize the New Covenant to be the return of the same Christ, -- the Word of God." [5] In like manner this usurper of Christ's name is proclaimed to be

1. "Answered Questions," p. 152.
2. "The Bahai Movement," p. 39.
3. Phelps, p. 99.
4. "Ten Days in the Light of Acca."
5. S. W., Dec. 31, 1913, p. 269.

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"the expected one," the "desire of all nations" under other names to the various religions.

V.       Bahaism deals with the prophecies of the Bible in a manner derogatory to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. Bahaism asserts that "the promises and prophecies given in the Holy Scriptures have been fulfilled by the appearance of the Prince of the Universe, the great Baba Ullah and of Abdul Baha." [1] A volume would be necessary to review their treatment of the prophecies. They quote a multitude of verses without proof that their applications are valid. The "messenger" and "Elijah" of the Book of Malachi are declared to be the Bab. [2] He is also the Angel with the sound of the trumpet (Rev. iv. I) and his cycle is the "First Resurrection." Baha is declared to be the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecies. Of chapter ix. 1--6, "unto us a child is born, . . . the Prince of Peace," Dealy says: "Many misguided people have referred this to Jesus Christ." [3] In verse I, "Galilee of the nations," land of Zebulun and Naphtali, is made to mean Acca (Acre in Syria) where Baha lived in exile, and not the region of Christ's ministry, contradicting Matthew iv. 13--16. By a great stretch of imagination Acca" becomes Jerusalem

1. M. Asad Ullah in M. H. Dreyfus's "Universal Religion," p. 63.
2. Mal. iii. I; iv. 5--6. See Dealy, "The Dawn of Knowledge," pp. 13-15.
3. Ibid., pp. 25. 30.
4 Dealy says: "To quote all the passages of Scripture referring to Acca would necessitate reading a great portion of the Bible. They identify Accho with Acca (Acre). Even if this were so, Accho was not in the land of Naphtali and Zebulun, but in Asher. Napoleon's siege of Acre is called 'the abomination of desolation, standing in the holy place" (p. 40).

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"the city of the great king" (Ps. xlviii. 12), and Mount Carmel becomes Mount Zion, and Isaiah ii. 3 refers to them, "for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Even "the root out of Jesse" [1] and the millennial peace are only partially referred to Christ. They find the real fulfillment in Baha Ullah, whom they imagine to be descended from Abraham, through an imaginary descendant of his named Jesse. [2] The new covenant and the law written on the heart is again the Bahai dispensation, contrary to Hebrews viii. 8, 10, 16. When Baha as a prisoner in chains rode into Acca seated on an ass, he fulfilled Zechariah ix. 9. [3]

      I attended a Bahai meeting in the Masonic Temple in Chicago. The leader read the following verses as all fulfilled in Bahaism. [4] The "son of man" (Dan. vii.) was Abdul Baha, and the "Ancient of Days," Baha. The question of Proverbs xxx. 3, "What is his name and what his son's name?" was answered, Baha and Abdul Baha; similarly in Psalms lxxii. and ii., "The King" and the "King's Son." The "Branch" (Zech. vi. 12--13) who shall build the temple was again Abdul Baha, and the latter is specially urgent that the Bahai Temple in Chicago should be built in his day, so that the prophecy may appear to be fulfilled. The dates in Daniel are juggled with. For example, Abdul Baha explains Daniel viii. by taking the solar year. He calculates [5]

1. Isa. xi. 1--10.
2. "Answered Questions," pp. 72--75.
3. Kheiralla, p. 419.
4. 'Dealy, pp. 31--32, 44.
5. Answered Questions," pp. 50--52.

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that the 2,300 days were completed at the Bab's manifestation in 1844. In Daniel xii. 6 the lunar [1] year is resorted to, and the forty-two months (1,260 years) are dated from the hegira of Mohammed, but Daniel xii. II does not come exactly right, so the terminus a quo is made to be the proclamation of the prophethood of Mohammed, three years after his mission, which was ten years before the hegira. By this means the date of Baha's manifestation (1863) is reached. In connection with Daniel xii. and Revelation xj. we have the startling information, so contradictory to history, that "in the beginning of the seventh century after Christ, when Jerusalem was conquered, the Holy of Holies was outwardly preserved, that is to say, the house which Solomon built. The Holy of Holies was preserved, guarded, and respected." [2] On this alleged fact Abdul Baha founds an argument. [3] Prophecies referring to the glory of God or of the Father are applied to Baha, because his title means "glory of God." The Bab, according to the custom in Persia, gave many high-sounding titles. Baha's rival was called "The Dawn of the Eternal." Voliva, the successor of Dowie, might assume some fitting title and claim to fulfill the prophecies. He has a good foundation for interpretation, he does really live in Zion City (Illinois).

1. Kheiralla (pp. 412, 480--483) also skips from lunar to solar year and back, to make the dates tally.
2. "Answered Questions," pp. 54--55. See Milman's " Gibbon," Vol. II, p. 433. "The Emperor Hadrian's plowshare levelled the temple area."
3. "Answered Questions," pp. 54--55.

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Our Bahais further tell us that the "New Jerusalem," the new heaven and the new earth, mean the new dispensation, the new laws of Baha. This is now "the day of God," "the day of judgment," "the kingdom of God," "the second resurrection." [1] The parable of the vineyard is a favourite proof text. It says the Lord of the vineyard will come himself and will utterly destroy the wicked husbandmen. This, they say, is a real coming of the Father, even as the Son came. In that case the destroying must be real, and we should expect that Baha would have destroyed the religious leaders of Mecca or Kerbela, Jerusalem or Rome. "No," says the Bahai, "the destroying is figurative, and means simply the abrogation of their authority." Well, if he escapes to a figurative interpretation, we too can interpret the coming of the Lord of the Vineyard as his visitation on Jerusalem in the time of Titus.

      Baha Ullah's method of interpretation and adaptation of prophecies is best seen in his "Ikan." In it he interprets at length Matthew xxiv. [2]In brief it is as follows: "After the tribulation of those days" means times of difficulty in understanding God's word and attaining divine knowledge; "the sun shall be darkened and the-moon cease to give light," that is the teachings and the ordinances of the preceding dispensation shall lose their influence and efficiency. "The stars shall fall," etc., means the divines shall fall from the knowledge of religion, and

1. "Bahai Proofs," p. 140. "All in their graves arose spiritually at his call, for service in his cause."      
2. Pages 17--67.

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the powers of science and religion shall be shaken. Because of the absence of the Son of Divine Beauty, the moon of knowledge, and the stars of intuitive wisdom, "all the tribes of the earth shall mourn." "They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven," that is Baha Ullah shall appear from the heaven of the Supreme Will, outwardly from his mother's womb. "In the clouds" means in doubts which are caused by the human limitations of the Manifestation, eating, drinking, marrying, etc. "And he shall send his angels," the spiritual believers sent as preachers of Baha. The separation of the sheep from the goats, as we learn subsequently, means the schism at the death of Baha, when the violators, the brothers of Abdul Baha and their adherents, were exscinded. [1] Even granting an allegorical interpretation of Christ's words, only a stretch of imagination can find any reference to Baha.

      It should be borne in mind that Oriental Bahai writers have read Keith on Prophecy in Persian and the publications of the Mission Press at Beirut. Abdul Baha said to Dr. H. H. Jessup, "I am familiar with the books of your press." [2] M. Abul Fazl

1. Doctor Potter of Teheran says (" Missions and Modern Hist.," by R. E. Speer. p. 562): "Their fanciful interpretations of plain Scripture declarations renders it difficult to make any impression on them with proof texts from the Bible. They reply, 'Yes, but we must break open the word and extract its meaning. " This, says Doctor Holmes, "is often directly at variance with its apparent meaning, hut this only displays more clearly the divine insight of their teacher, that he is able to recognize words no one else can understand."
2 The Outlook (New York), 1901, June, p. 451.

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refers to and quotes them. Writers in English (as Kheiralla, Remey, Dealy, and Brittingham) refer to Miller, Cummings, Seiss, Guinness, and others. Yet with all their familiarity with apocalyptic literature, they make an exceedingly weak presentation. Their claims are so baseless as to require no refutation. They are a mass of unfounded assertions and assumptions, -- vain, bold, and brazen. We may admit the declarations of Baha and Abul FazI, which are but trite principles of hermeneutics, that figurative and allegorical language abounds in the Scriptures, that many meanings are "sealed" till after their fulfillment, that the prophecies of the Old Testament were only partially fulfilled at Christ's first coming. But their inference does not follow. There is nothing to prove the assertions that the prophecies were fulfilled in the Bab and Baha. They furnish no scintilla of evidence. For example, "the government shall be upon his shoulders." Was this fulfilled in Baha? He came and went; the nations and their rulers from 1817 to 1892 were neither literally nor figuratively under his sway. He did not nor does he rule over the nations. He did not reign in Mount Zion nor in Jerusalem. Jerusalem did not cease to be trodden down of the Gentiles. Abundance of peace did not attend him, but great wars. The signs of Christ's Second Advent have not been fulfilled in Baha, either actually or metaphorically. [1] As well may Ahmad Quadiani or Dowie assert their

1. In one particular, no doubt, Baha has fulfilled prophecy. At least the Azalis say that he came "as a thief" and stole the succession from Azal.

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pretensions. Baha's claim is antichristian. The day of Christ's power through the Holy Spirit has not passed. It is still His day. The knowledge of Christ is yet more covering the earth. Men of diverse races and religions in Asia, Africa, and the isles of the seas are being joined in the common faith and fellowship of Jesus Christ as Saviour of Men. There are more Christians in Korea than Bahais in Persia. More Jews have become Christian since Baha was born than have become Bahais from all races and religions outside of Persia. Christ still goes forth conquering and to conquer.

      VI.       Bahaism, in its treatment of Jesus Christ as a man in His earthly life, belittles Him by both its denials and its affirmations. Of His temptation it says, "the devil signifies the human nature of Christ, through which He was tempted." His miracles of healing are denied. [1] Baha and Abul Fazl admit the possibility of miracles, but deny their evidential value, [2] but Abdul Baha denies their reality. He says: "The miracles of Christ were spiritual teachings, not literal" deeds. [3] The raising of the dead means that the dead (in sin) are blessed with spiritual life. [4] By blindness (John ix.) is meant ignorance and error; by sight, knowledge and guidance. [5] The spittle coming from Christ was the meaning of His words, the clay was the expression He used in accordance with their understanding. [6] At the crucifixion

1. "New Hist.," p. 321.
2. "Bahai Proofs," pp. 190, 204--207.
3. Mrs. Grundy, p. 13.
4. "Answered Questions," pp. 115--118.
5. "Bahai Proofs," p. 232.
6. M. L. Lucas, "My Visit to Acca," p. 20.

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darkness did not prevail, nor the earthquake, nor was the vail of the temple rent in twain.[1] The crucifixion was not an atoning sacrifice; Christ quaffed the cup of martyrdom "to cultivate and educate us."[2] The washing away of sins by Christ was not by His blood, but was by the practice of His teachings. [3] Christ did not rise from the dead. "Resurrection of the body is an unintelligible matter contrary to natural laws."[4] The body, which signifies His word, arose when faith in His cause revived in the minds of the disciples after three days. [5] Christ's real resurrection was the coming of Mohammed. "Christ by saying that He would be three days in the heart of the earth meant that He would appear in the third cycle. The Christian was one, the Mohammedan the second, and that of Baha the third." "The ascension of Christ with an elemental body is contrary to science." He ascended in the same sense as Baha ascended, viz., departed to the other world. Thus Bahaism denies the miracles [6] atonement, resurrection, and ascension of Christ.

      A section of the "Tarikh-i-Jadid " [7] is devoted to

1. "Answered Questions," p. 45.
2. S. W, April 9, 1913, p. 40.
3. Ibn Abhar. Thornton Chase says: "Christianity stands condemned because it refuses to reject miracles and the blood atonement and will not confine itself to the precepts of Jesus" (" Bahai Revelation," p. 158).
4. "Bahai Proofs," p. 155.
5. "Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I, p. 192; "Answered Questions," pp. 120-121.
6. Yet Baha informs us that "copper in seventy years becomes gold in its mine if it be protected from a superabundance of moisture" ("Ikan," p.111).
7. "New Hist."

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the denial and refutation of miracles. A blind man in Teheran sent to Baha praying that his eyes might be opened. He received answer that it was for the glory of God that he remain blind. The Bab, at his examination in Tabriz, was asked to restore the sick Mohammed Shah to health. He replied: "It is not in my power, but I can write two thousand verses a day. Who else can do that?" He thus appealed not simply to the quality of his poetry but to its quantity as a proof of his manifestation. In like manner, Manes, in old times, painted pictures in his "revelations" and appealed to them as proof of his inspiration. While denying miracles, Bahais lay much stress, as we have seen, on minute fulfillments of prophecies.

      Bahaism belittles the life and work of Jesus in instituting comparisons between Christ and Baha derogatory to the former. Baha says: "It is not meet . . . to repeat the error of seeking help of . . . the Son Jesus. Let thy satisfaction be in myself." Abdul Baha says: "The difference between Baha and Christ is that between the sun and moon. The light of the sun [Baha] subsists in itself while the moon gets light from the Sun." "All the teachings of Christ will not exceed ten pages. [1] Those of the Blessed Perfection exceed sixty or seventy volumes. Christ's instructions refer to individuals. Those of the Blessed perfection are for all nations, although they apply as well to all individuals. The instructions of Christ were heard by but few persons;

1. "Winterburn's Table Talks," pp. 19--20.

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there were eleven who believed, although Christians say there were one hundred and twenty. The teachings of the Blessed Perfection were spread throughout the world during his lifetime. The reputation of Christ did not extend from Nazareth to Acca [22 miles]; the reputation of the Blessed Perfection extended throughout the world. Jesus Christ did not send a letter even to a village chief; the Blessed Perfection sent letters to all the kings of the earth." [1] Notice how he repeats ad nauseam the title for Baha, but uses no title for the Lord Jesus Christ, though the Moslems invariably do use a title in speaking of the latter.

      There is an evident effort on the part of Kheiralla and Abul Fazl to minimize the proofs regarding Christ from prophecy, miracles, and history, with the idea thereby of magnifying the proof for Baha in contrast. For example, "The Gospels contain only a few pages of the true Words of God. Christ's teachings were not written in the original language nor written in His day, His power was slow in proving effective, and many even denied His existence." [2] "Even Peter denied Him, but Baha Ullah has educated thousands of souls, faithful under the menace of the sword." [3] In explaining the progress of Bahaism among the Jews and Zoroastrians, Abul Fazl says: "Christians could not convert even one Jew or Zoroastrian except by force or compulsion." He ignores the fact that millions of Persians had been

1. "Bahai Proofs," p. 231.      
2. "Answered Questions," p. 42.
3. "Bahai Proofs," p. 265.

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converted to Christ from Zoroaster before the sword of Islam smote Persia. This belittling of Christ-- His life and work and influence--shows that a spirit antagonistic to Christ really animates the Bahai leaders, in spite of their professions to the contrary.

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