Ch.XXII, p.514, f.2

"Praise be to God who manifested the Point [the Bab] and caused to proceed therefrom the knowledge of all that was and shall be.... He is that Point which God hath made to be an Ocean of light unto the faithful among His servants, and a Ball of Fire unto the deniers among His creatures and the impious among His people." (Baha'u'llah, the "Ishraqat," p. 3.) "In His interpretation of the letter `Ha,' He craved martyrdom, saying: `Methinks I heard a voice calling in My inmost being: "Do Thou sacrifice the thing which Thou lovest most in the path of God, even as Husayn, peace be upon him, hath offered up his life for My sake." And were I not regardful of this inevitable mystery, by Him in whose hand is My soul, even if all the kings of the earth were to be leagued together, they would be powerless to take from Me a single letter; how much less can such servants as these, who are worthy of no attention, and who verily are of the outcast? that all may know the degree of My patience, My resignation and self-sacrifice in the path of God.'" (Idem, the "Kitab-i-Iqan," p. 195.) "The Bab, the Lord most high, may the life of all be a sacrifice unto Him, hath specifically revealed an Epistle unto the ulamas of every city, wherein He hath fully set forth the character of the denial and repudiation of each of them. Wherefore, take ye good heed, ye who are men of insight!" (Ibid., p. 193.) "This illustrious Soul arose with such power that He shook the supports of the religion, of the morals, the conditions, the habits and the customs of Persia, and instituted new rules, new laws, and a new religion. Though the great personages of the State, nearly all the clergy, and the public men, arose to destroy and annihilate Him, He alone withstood them, and moved the whole of Persia.... He imparted Divine education to an unenlightened multitude and produced marvellous results on the thoughts, morals, customs, and conditions of the Persians." (Abdu'l-Baha, "Some Answered Questions," pp. 30-31.) "Christians believe that if Jesus Christ had wished to come down from the cross he could have done so easily; he died of his own free will because it was written that he should and in order that the prophecies might be fulfilled. The same is true of the Bab, so the Babi's say, who, in this way, gave a clear sanction to his teachings. He likewise died voluntarily because his death was to be the salvation of humanity. Who will ever tell us the words that the Bab uttered in the midst of the unprecedented turmoil which broke out as he ascended? Who will ever know the memories which stirred his noble soul? Who will reveal to us the secret of that death.... The sight of the baseness, the vices, the deceptions of that clergy shocked his pure and sincere soul: he felt the need of a thorough reform in public morals and he undoubtedly hesitated more than once, at the thought of a revolution, which seemed unavoidable, to free the bodies as well as the minds from the yoke of brutishness and violence which weighed upon all Persia for the selfish benefit of a minority ... of pleasure lovers, and to the greatest shame of the true religion of the Prophet. He must have been much perplexed, deeply anxious, and he stood in need of the triple shield of which Horace speaks, to throw himself headlong into that ocean of superstition and hatred which was fatally to engulf him. His life is one of the most magnificent examples of courage which it has been the privilege of mankind to behold, and it is also an admirable proof of the love which our hero felt for his fellow countrymen. He sacrificed himself for humanity, for it he gave his body and his soul, for it he endured privations, insults, torture and martyrdom. He sealed, with his very lifeblood, the covenant of universal brotherhood. Like Jesus he paid with his life for the proclamation of a reign of concord, equity and brotherly love. More than anyone he knew what dreadful dangers he was heaping upon himself. He had been able to see personally the degree of exasperation that a fanaticism, shrewdly aroused, could reach; but all these considerations could not weaken his resolve. Fear had no hold upon his soul and, perfectly calm, never looking back, in full possession of all his powers, he walked into the furnace." (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Siyyid Ali-Muhammad, dit le Bab," pp. 203-204, 376.) "The head of the new religion was dead and, according to the provisions of the prime minister, the minds of the people would now be at peace and there was no room for further anxiety, at least from that source. But such political wisdom was baffled and, instead of appeasing the flames, it had fanned them into greater violence." "We shall see shortly, when I shall examine the religious dogmas preached by the Bab, that the perpetuity of the sect did not in the least depend upon his physical presence; all could proceed and grow without him. If the premier had been aware of this fundamental trait of the hostile religion, it is not likely that he would have been so eager to do away with a man whose existence, after all, would not have had any more significance than his death." (Comte de Gobineau's "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans +F3 l'Asie Centrale," pp. 224-225.) Such a prophet," writes the Rev. Dr. T. K. Cheyne, "was the Bab; we call him `prophet' for want of a better name, `yea, I say unto you, a prophet and more than a prophet.' His combination of mildness and power is so rare that we have to place him in a line with super-normal men.... We learn that at great points in his career, after he had been in an ecstasy, such radiance of might and majesty streamed from his countenance that none could bear to look upon the effulgence of his glory and beauty. Nor was it an uncommon occurrence for unbelievers involuntarily to bow down in lowly obeisance on beholding His Holiness-- while the inmates of the castle though for the most part Christians and Sunnis, reverently prostrated themselves whenever they saw the visage of His Holiness. Such transfiguration is well known to the saints. It was regarded as the affixing of the heavenly seal to the reality and completeness of [the] Bab's detachment." ("The Reconciliation of Races and Religions," pp. 8-9.) "Who can fail to be attracted by the gentle spirit of Mirza Ali-Muhammad? His sorrowful and persecuted life; his purity of conduct, and youth; his courage and uncomplaining patience under misfortune; his complete self-negation; the dim ideal of a better state of things which can be discerned through the obscure and mystic utterances of the Bayan; but most of all his tragic death, all serve to enlist our sympathies on behalf of the young Prophet of Shiraz. The irresistible charm which won him such devotion during his life still lives on, and still continues to influence the minds of the Persian people." (E. G. Browne's art. "The Babi's of Persia," Journal of J. R. A. S., 1889, p. 933.) "Few believe that by these sanguinary measures the doctrines of [the] Bab will cease from propagation. There is a spirit of change abroad among the Persians, which will preserve his system from extinction; besides which, his doctrines are of an attractive nature to Persians. Though now subdued, and obliged to lurk concealed in towns, it is conjectured that the creed of [the] Bab, far from diminishing, is daily spreading." Lady Sheil's "Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia," p. 181.) "The story of the Bab, as Mirza Ali-Muhammad called himself, was the story of spiritual heroism unsurpassed in Svabhava's experience; and his own adventurous soul was fired by it. That a youth of no social influence and no education should, by the simple power of insight, be able to pierce into the heart of things and see the real truth, and then hold on to it with such firmness of conviction and present it with such suasion that he was able to convince men that he was the Messiah and get them to follow him to death itself, was one of those splendid facts in human history that Svabhava loved to meditate on... The Bab's passionate sincerity could not be doubted, for he had given his life for his faith. And that there must be something in his message that appealed to men and satisfied their souls was witnessed to by the fact that thousands gave their lives in his cause and millions now follow him. If a young man could, in only six years of ministry, by the sincerity of his purpose and the attraction of his personality, so inspire rich and poor, cultured and illiterate, alike, with belief in himself and his doctrines that they would remain staunch though hunted down and without trial sentenced to death, sawn asunder, strangled, shot, blown from guns; and if men of high position and culture in Persia, Turkey and Egypt in numbers to this day adhere to his doctrines, his life must be one of those events in the last hundred years which is really worth study." (Sir Francis Younghusband's "The Gleam," pp. 183-4.) "Thus, in only his thirtieth year, in the year 1850, ended the heroic career of a true God-man. Of the sincerity of his conviction that he was God-appointed, the manner of his death is the amplest possible proof. In the belief that he would thereby save others from the error of their present beliefs he willingly sacrificed his life. And of his power of attaching men to him the passionate devotion of hundreds and even thousands of men who gave their lives in his cause is convincing testimony." (Ibid., p. 210.) "The Bab was dead, but not Babism. He was not the first, and still less the last, of a long line of martyrs who have testified that even in a country gangrened with corruption and atrophied with indifferentism like Persia, the soul of a nation survives, inarticulate perhaps, and in a way helpless, but still capable of sudden spasms of vitality." (Valentine Chirol's "The Middle Eastern Question," p. 120.)