To Leroy loas, November 14, 1935,
Bahá’í News, No. 102, August 1936, pp. 2-3
In connection with the problems facing the friends in their teaching work; these, the Guardian is well aware, are by no means easy to overcome, specially in view of the limited number and resources of the believers. But in the field of Bahá’í service, as the history of the Cause abundantly demonstrates, there is no obstacle that can be said to be unsurmountable. Every difficulty will, in due time, be solved. But continued and collective effort is also needed. The Bahá’í teacher should not get discouraged at the consciousness of the limitations within or without him. He should rather persevere, and be confident, that no matter how numerous and perplexing the difficulties that confront him may appear, he is continually assisted and guided through Divine Confirmations. He should consider himself as a mere instrument in the Hands of God, and should, therefore, cease looking at his own merits. The first and most important qualification of a Bahá’í Teacher is, indeed, unqualified loyalty and attachment to the Cause. Knowledge is, of course essential; but compared to devotion it is secondary in importance.
“What the Cause now requires is not so much a group of highly cultured and intellectual people who can adequately present its Teachings, but a number of devoted, sincere and loyal supporters, who, in utter disregard of their own weaknesses and limitations, and with hearts afire with the love of God, forsake their all for the sake of spreading and establishing His Faith. In other words, what is mostly needed nowadays is a Bahá’í pioneer and not so much a Bahá’í philosopher or scholar. For the Cause is not a system of philosophy; it is essentially a way of life, a religious faith that seeks to unite all people on a common basis of mutual understanding and love, and in a common devotion to God.
Bahá’í scholars and writers will, no doubt, gradually appear, and will as promised by Bahá’u’lláh lend a unique support to the Faith. But in the meantime, we should not tarry, or slacken in our efforts.
"Concerning your question relative to the duration of the Baha'i Dispensation. There is no contradiction between Bahá’u’lláh's statement in the Iqán about the renewal of the City of God once every 1000 years, and that of the Guardian in the 'Dispensation' to the effect that the Baha'i cycle will extend over a period of at least 500,000 years. The apparent contradiction is due to the confusion of the terms cycle and dispensation. For while the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh will last for at least one thousand years, His cycle will extend still further to at least 500,000."
The Bahá’í cycle is, indeed, incomparable in its greatness. It includes not only the Prophets that will appear after Bahá’u’lláh, but all those who have preceded Him ever since Adam. These should, indeed, be viewed as constituting but preliminary stages leading gradually to the appearance of this supreme Manifestation of God.
After Bahá’u’lláh many Prophets will, no doubt, appear but they will be under His Shadow. Although they may abrogate the laws of this Dispensation in accordance with the needs and requirements of the age in which they appear, they nevertheless draw their spiritual force from this mighty Revelation. The Faith of Bahá’u’lláh constitutes, indeed, the stage of maturity in the development of mankind. His appearance has released such spiritual forces which will continue to animate, for many long years to come, the world in its development. Whatever progress may be achieved, in later ages, after the unification of the whole human race is achieved, will be but improvement in the machinery of the world. For the machinery itself has been already created by Bahá’u’lláh. The task of continually improving and perfecting this machinery is one which later Prophets will be called upon to achieve. They will thus move and work within the orbit of the Bahá’í Cycle.