Chapter 1     Chapter 3

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The General Claims of Bahaism

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      The conception on which Bahaism bases its claim is false. Truth does not grow old, nor is it possible to change the religion with the growth of the race. A universal religion must present truth in a form that will reach men in every stage of civilization, for the reason that in every period of the world since the dawn of history there have been simultaneously men in every stage of intellectual development.--W. A. Shedd in "Miss. Review of the World."

      It (Bahaism) has not enough assurance of personal immortality to satisfy such Western minds as are repelled by the barren and jejune ethical systems of agnostics, positivists, and humanitarians who would give us rules to regulate a life which they have rendered meaningless.-- Professor Browne. in Phelps' "Life of Abbas Effendi" p. xviii.

      The essence of being a Bahai is a boundless devotion to the person of the Manifestation and a profound belief that he is divine and of a different order from all other beings.-- Professor Browne, Art. "Bab" in Ency. of Religion and Ethics.

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THE claims of Bahaism are many and varied. They cover a wide range. I will first consider its general claims and of these the most significant.

      I. First of all, Bahais claim that a new religion is needed. All the great religions, they say, were true in their day; not only Moses, Christ, and Mohammed, but Zoroaster, Confucius, and Buddha were Divine Manifestations, and revealed God's truth. But now the old religions are dead. Abdul Baha [1] says:
"The Spirit has passed away from the bodies of the old religions. While the forms of their doctrines remain, the Spirit has fled." "The principles of the religion [2] of Christ have been forgotten. It is then clear and evident that in the passage of time religions become entirely changed. Therefore they are renewed." "There is to-day [3] nothing more than traditions to feed upon. . . . The world of humanity is in the dark." One chapter in Thornton Chase's "The Bahai Revelation" is headed "The Bahai Revelation is needed." This he argues, stat-

1. Phelps "Life of Abbas Effendi," p. 144.
2. Some Answered Questions," by Barney, p. 19..
3. Star of the West, May 17, 1913, p. 68. Abbreviated hereafter as S, W.

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ing (I) that Christianity is condemned because after 1900 years it has not been accepted by all people; (2) because it refuses to reject miracles and the blood atonement and will not confine itself to the "principles of Jesus," as the Brahma Samaj; (3) because it tends to separate peoples, holding itself to be the only religion authorized by God; (4) because people are dwelling in bondage and are no longer satisfied. Tares are many and Baha Ullah must come and uproot them. [1]

      "The old order of things is passing away," says Sprague [2] "people are being tossed about with every wind of doctrine." "True religion is forgotten," says Phelps, [3] "or has become a hollow name; faith has waned, men are wandering in the dark." This decay, they teach, is inevitable and in accord with divine arrangement. They deny the belief of Christians that Christianity is the permanent religion of humanity; and that of Moslems, that Mohammed was the "seal of the prophets," and hold that Christianity was succeeded by Islam, Islam by Babism, and Babism by Bahaism. Abdul Baha says: "Time changes all things. Transmutation and change are requirements of life. All religions of God are subject to the same law. They are founded in order to blossom out and develop and fulfill their mission. They reach their zenith and then decline and come to an end." "A new cycle must begin, for the world needs a new luminary."

1. Page 158 f.
2. "Story of the Bahai Movement," p. 23.
3. Phelps, ibid., p. 256.

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It is not necessary to refute the fundamental fallacy of this first claim, for it is patent that Christianity is alive and growing. Its manifold spiritual activities, its varied and progressive efforts for righteousness and peace among men, for social and moral reforms, its zeal for Missions and their marvellous success, show that Christianity is neither stagnant nor dead. It has a forward triumphant movement. The Church renews its strength from its divine Head; He, alive forevermore, is its Light and its Life.

      II. Bahaism claims to be the divine Revelation in this new cycle -- a new Dispensation or Covenant. It disclaims being a new religion, affirming rather that it is a renewal of religion or religion renewed. One writes: "The Revelation is not a new religion, but the very essence of God's word as taught by Christ (and Moses and Mohammed), but not perceived by Christians at large" (nor by Jews nor Mohammedans). Baha Ullah says: "Of the utterances of the prophets of the past we have taken the essence, and in the garment of brevity clothed it." Abdul Baha says: "The same basis, which was laid by Christ and later on forgotten, has been renewed by Baha Ullah." "All that is true in all religions will stand; by the new Dispensation, new spirit is infused into these teachings." [2] Phelps [3] says: "The body of doctrine which Bahaism teaches is not put forward in any sense or particular as new, but as a unification and synthesis of all other religions." Of

1. Phelps, "Jewels of Wisdom," p. 237.
2. Ibid., p. 145. 2. Ibid., p. 144.

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its system of morals the same is true. It is a restatement in unsystematic form of common ethics. It reiterates the second table of the Mosaic Law, and the New Testament principles of brotherly love and unity. Yet in some of his addresses Abdul Baha names certain principles as new in the Bahai faith, such as universal peace, the unity of humanity, arbitration, compulsory education of both sexes, the harmony of science and religion, the evil of prejudice and fanaticism, need of investigating the truth, etc. Not one of these is new; not one owes its position in the world of thought or activity to the Bahai propaganda.

      But whether Bahaism claims to be new in its principles or disclaims it, in fact it is a new religion. The disavowals are, no doubt, made for the sake of obtaining easier access to the followers of the old religions, and are only a temporary expediency. In this they are simply following the example of Mohammed, who proclaimed his message to the people of Arabia as the religion of Abraham, and as the same as that of the Law and the Gospels. But it is evident that Bahaism is inconsistent with Christianity, as indeed with Islam. Bahais' claims, if admitted, would lead to the superseding of Christianity. This will appear when I state its doctrines. The present attitude of Bahais in maintaining connection with Christian Churches and at the same time worshipping Baha and propagating Bahaism is one of intellectual stultification or of moral blindness.

      In the same way, in Moslem lands, Bahais conform

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to the externals of Islam. In the case of the latter the cause of this is often moral obliquity or fear; with deceived Christian brethren it is probably ignorance; by the Bahai propagandist it is allowed from astute policy. It is an intellectual impossibility for one to accept the teachings of Baha Ullah and to be his disciple and at the same time to be an intelligent disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one excludes the other. Bahaism is a distinct religion. It is not even a sect of Islam. It abrogates and annuls it. Professor Browne says: "As Christianity is a different religion from Judaism, and as Islam is distinct from Christianity, so Bahaism is a separate religion, distinct from Christianity or Islam." It even superseded and abrogated Babism. The Bab has been relegated to the background, and put into the position of a John the Baptist. His book, the Bayan," is long ago neglected to such an extent that Professor Browne had difficulty in obtaining a copy in Persia. Remey [1] says: "Babism fulfilled its purpose, and when this was accomplished in the appearance of Baha Ullah, it, as such, ceased to exist." Mirza Abul Fazl [2] says: Babism "is not the same religion or creed as Bahaism."

      A statement of the fundamental doctrines of Bahaism will suffice to show that it is a distinct religion.

      (i) The fundamental assertion of Bahaism is that Baha Ullah- is the Manifestation or Incarnation of God the Father. Baha Ullah says of himself in his

1. "The Bahai Movement," p. 20.
2. " Bahai Proofs," p. 78.

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letter to the Pope: "O Pope! This is indeed the Father of whom Isaiah gave you tidings and the Comforter whom Christ promised." Abdul Baha affirms: "The Father, foretold by Christ, has come amongst us." "The Father of Christ is come among you." [1] "The manifested God Himself has come." [2] He is called the "Lord of Hosts," "the Lord God Almighty," "Creator of whomsoever is in the world," also "the Ruler." Abdul Baha cabled back to America after his voyage: "Thanks to Baha Ullah, we arrived safely at Liverpool." Instead of beginning a book, as the Moslems do, "In the name of God," the Bahais begin, "In the Name of our Lord El Baha."

      The Persian Bahais accept this teaching. One of them in Tabriz declared to me: "Baha is very God of very God." M. Abdul Karim delivered the doctrine in this form to the disciples in America and said: "Upon the Day, when God Almighty, in the form of man known as Baha Ullah declared Himself and said, 'I am God and there is no God but Me, the old heavens and old earth passed away, all things became new." So it continues to be preached.

      Mr. Remey [5] says in the Bahai monthly (the capitals are his): "This one is THE FATHER Himself, The Manifested GOD Himself BAHAULLAH."

1. Chase, "The Bahai Revelation," p. 178.
2. S. W, March 2, 1913, p. 10.
3. See S. W
4. Addresses in New York and Chicago, 1900.
5. S. W., p. 10, March 2, 1913.

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      (2) The Revelation of Baha is contained in his Books and Tablets (Epistles). Some of these are the "Ikan," the "Surat ul-Haykal," the "Hidden Words," the "Seven Valleys," and the "Kitab-ulAkdas." Remey [1] pronounces them "The latest and greatest of God's revelations to the world." "They contain knowledge which was sealed and closed up by the prophets of bygone cycles, so that the minds of the wisest of men were unable to comprehend it." Thornton Chase, exceeding the others in his extravagant language, declares that "were all the books of former days lost and forgotten, the whole of true religious teaching could be found in the 'Bahai Revelation.'"

      The "Kitab-ul-Akdas," "The Most Holy Book," is called by M. Abul Fazl the "greatest" and "most important." It consists of 146 pages of manuscript, about 10,000 words. It was written at Acca in Persian and Arabic. It has been translated into Russian, and a synopsis of it is given by Professor Browne, [2] of Cambridge University, in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1892, of which I make use. The "Kitab-ul-Akdas" warns the learned against criticizing it, and in imitation of Mohammed challenges them to produce the like of it. It is

1. S. W., 1913, p. 267.
2. Prof. E. G. Erowne has translated various books of the Bahais; among them are "The Episode of the Bab," or the "Traveller s Narrative," and the "New History." His investigations and comments have given offense to the Bahais, while his praises of them often wound the Christian reader. I have been kindly permitted by Doctor Kheiralla to examine his English translation of the "Kitab-ul-Akdas" in manuscript.

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similar in its teachings to the "Bayan" of the Bab, though less fantastic and mystical. Its contents are confused and unsystematic. It has laws--ceremonial, moral, civil, criminal--mingled with rhapsodies, exhortations, addresses, and various digressions. After an introduction and some laws, follow addresses to the Emperor of Germany and to the Sultan of Turkey, to the cities of Teheran and Kirman, and to the province of Khorasan. After more laws there is a digression about revelation; then more laws and a digression about the Bab; again sundry laws, followed by a denunciation of Subh-i-Azal, and this by various civil laws, ending with a command to select a universal language.

      The book is a medley, and bears internal evidence of the truth of the tradition that it was written piecemeal in answer to various questions from believers. The fragments were jumbled together without order. The learned are reminded by Baha that he never studied the sciences, and there is too abundant evidence in the book itself to confirm the statement. It ranks far below Deuteronomy as a system of laws or a literary composition.

      The opening words of the Book of Akdas state the conditions of entrance into the religion of Baha:
(1) "Verily the first thing which God hath ordained unto His servants is the knowledge of the Dawning-Place of the Revelation [i. e., of Baha]. Whosoever hath attained thereunto hath attained unto all good; and he who is deprived thereof is indeed of the people

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of error--even though he bringeth all good actions." (2) "It behoveth every one to follow that whereunto he is commanded. These two things are inseparable." Acceptance of Baha as the Manifestation of God and following Him in obedience are the two conditions of discipleship. (3) A third condition has been added since the death of Baha-- namely, adherence to Abdul Baha Abbas as supreme Head, "the centre of the covenant." This assumption of authority by Abbas caused a bitter and angry schism at Acca.

      Remey [1] says: "He [Baha] has pointed to the one who should be looked upon as authority by all, and has closed the doors to outside interpretation. Therefore obedience and submission must be shown completely to him." Mirza Asad Ullah [2] says: "Whosoever turns away from Abdul Baha is one of the companions of the left hand [a goat], and one of the letters of hell-fire." The rejectors of Abdul Baha are termed Nakazeen--" the violators." They are "cut off," are "no longer of the Kingdom." They are "spiritual corpses," from them "goes forth a poisonous infection," "they have a vile odour," says Abdul Baha, [3] the preacher of brotherly love and unity. In this way they fulfill their boast of consorting with all men in "harmony and fragrance."
The minority seem to have the best of the

1. S. W., July, 1912. See Chapter X.
2. See " Sacred Mysteries," p. 100.
3 S. W., Sept. 8, 1913, pp. 170--174.

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argument [1] but Abbas has established himself as Supreme Pontiff. His most honoured agents call him by titles which imply his divinity. American pilgrims worship him as "Christ, the Master." [2] Sprague [3] declares him to be "the third of the great Trinity of Revelators." M. Abul Karim [4] writes: "God appeared in the Bab as the Holy Ghost, in Baha as the Father, in Abbas as His Son." Mrs. Grundy says: "Within Abdul Baha is the inexhaustible fountain of knowledge." Remey [6] says: "Through Abdul Baha and through him only can believers receive the spiritual power and sustenance necessary for their growth." Among Abbas's titles are the "Greatest Branch of God," the "Mystery of God."

      These are a few of the salient points of the "new revelation."
III. Another claim of Bahaism is that of superiority to former religions.

(a) Its founder is declared to be superior in his

1. See "Facts for Behaists."
2. Dr. H. H. Jessup in N. Y. Outlook, June, 1905.
3. '"A Year in India and Burmah," p. 10. Compare the Trinities of the Nusaireyah, as given in "The Asian Mystery," p. 111 . The first is Abel, Adam and Gabriel: after others, comes Simon Peter, Jesus and Rozabah; Ali, Mohammed and Salman the Persian. The first of each group, for example Peter and Ali, is the supreme manifestation, the maana, meaning or essence of God; the second of each group, Mohammed and Jesus represent the ism-azim, the Greatest Name: while the third, that is, Salman is termed the Bab. Baha is the Greatest Name. The place of Peter remains for Abbas.
4. "Facts for Behaists."
5. "Ten Days in the Light of Acca," p. 105.
6. S. W., Nov. 23, 1913, p. 242.
7. See Chapter IV.

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personality, in his divine knowledge, in his power of revealing. In what has already been quoted, this is evident. The great cycle which began in Adam is said to have reached its culmination in Baha Ullah. "The Manifestations are ended by the appearance of this, which is the greatest of all Manifestations," which "manifests itself only once in 500,000 years." "He is exalted above all those who are upon earth and in the heaven." Abdul Baha [1] says: "Consider the time of Jesus. This is greater than that for as much as it is the calling of the Lord of Hosts." "All the great prophets were perfect mirrors of God -- manifestations of the 'Primal Will of God -- and sinless, but in Baha [2] in some sense the Divine Essence is manifested." Phelps [3] says: "He is greater than his predecessors." "Baha," says Kheiralla, [4] "is the Everlasting Father, who spoke in Abraham, Moses, and Jesus Christ, who were His ministers, and at these latter days He came Himself in the flesh to judge the quick and the dead." Abbas said to Mrs. Grundy: "Baha is the consummation of all degrees. He is the Revelation of all truth and light." "Christ is the vine, Baha is the husbandman--the Lord of the vineyard." A poem says of Baha:

      By His life-fostering lip live a hundred such as Jesus;
      By the Sinai of His aspect sit a thousand such as Moses;
      Thou, on the night of ascent, didst entertain the prophet as Thy guest.

1. " Tablets of Abdul Baha," Vol. I, p. 10.
2. "Some Answered Questions," pp. 129--131.
3. ibid., p. 148.
4. "Beha' Ullah," by Kheiralla.

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      The Temple of God's glory is none other than Baha;
      If one seeks God, let him seek Him in Baha.
      Thou art the King of the Realm of the everlasting,
      Thou art the Manifestation of the essence of the Lord of Glory,
      The Creator of Creation.

Such are some of the "great swelling words" with which his followers exalt Baha. Yet when we examine his life we find nothing to justify such extravagance. He was simply a man of like passions as others. It may seem invidious to refer to scandalous stories of Baha's youth in Teheran. But does not truth demand that it be stated that his reputation in Persia is sullied by definite accusations of vice and immorality? I have heard such narratives with statements of the time, place, and associates who were partakers of his guilt. His family in riper years exhibits no higher example than a bigamous household. According to the narrative of Abdul Baha in the "Traveller's Narrative," [1] he planned in duplicity to reach the headship of the Babis; for while purposing all the while to set forth a claim for himself, he put forward his half-brother, Subh-i-Azal, as the successor of the Bab -- to protect himself and to insure his own safety during times of danger, He outwardly supported Azal for many years, while secretly planning to supplant him. While acting as Azal's trusted minister, he was drawing the people to himself. We pass over the attempts of these brothers to poison each other.

1. "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. xlv, 62--63.

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Each accuses the other, and, as the Persians say, "God knows" whether both speak the truth. We pass over, at present, the definite accusations against the Bahais of assassinating the Azalis. [2] In the notorious case where Azalis were foully murdered by Bahais at Acca, and the latter were brought to trial before the Turkish authorities, they were defended and kept in favour by Baha. He had near Subh-i-Azal a spy named Maskin Kalam, [4] who by guile and deceit kept away any who wished to visit Azal. He received this disciple to his intimate circle after years of such active deception. Azal, who is called by Bahais "the point of Satan," and is likened to Cain and Judas, has a character gentler, more lovable, and more sincere than Baha as the two are depicted in the writings of Professor Browne; albeit, Baha is abler, more astute, more a leader of men. Professor Browne, in his interviews at Famagusta and at Acca, did obeisance to each of them. His bow to Azal may have been one of respect for his character or disposition; his bow to Baha must rather have been out of regard for his influence and leadership. But after all we need not wonder so much at the delusion of the Bahais in exalting Baha, for we are familiar with Dowie and Zion City, and with Joseph Smith and the Mormons. And we are surely led to expect the appearance of such a deceiver who

1."Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 359, 368--369.
2. See Ibid., Index word "Assassination"; "New Hist.," pp. xxiii.--iv.
3. Ibid., pp. 82, 278; "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 361, 375.
4 Jour. Roy. As. Soc., 1889, p. 516; 1892, pp. 994 --995.

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"as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Bahais certainly, in the words of the Apostle, [1] "have strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."

(b) The Bahais claim superiority for the books and writings of Baha Ullah.

(I) As to the rapidity of their composition, their style, and their quantity. One of the proofs of the Bab was the rapidity with which he composed verses, [2] "with amazing rapidity, without any reflection." Sayid Yahya of Darab, one of his first converts, [3] was gained by such a "sign," implying, as was supposed, divine inspiration. He propounded certain questions. The messenger brought the answer, of which he says: "I beheld a marvel a hundred thousandfold beyond what I sought for. Over two thousand verses and illustrations of eloquence and beauty of style revealed and written down during five or six hours." So also in Ispahan, in answer to the Imam-Juma [4]: "The Bab began to write, and in three hours wrote 1,000 verses. Then the Imam-Juma was convinced that such power was from God, being beyond the capacity of man." In his trial at Tabriz [5] the Bab cited as a proof of his divine mission. I can write in one day 2,000 verses. Who else can do this?"

      In like manner the claim was made for Baha Ullah that he could compose with miraculous rapidity. "The maximum speed of Baha's revelation is said to

1. 2 Thess. ii. 4 and 11.
2. "Bahai Proofs," by Abul Fazl, p. 42.
3. "'New Hist.," p. 512.
4. Ibid., p. 209.
5. " Trav.'s Narr.," p. 289.

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be 1,500 verses in one hour." These were "written without premeditation or reflection," [1] and often dictated to his amanuensis. To Baha is attributed the marvellous feat of composing and writing the "Ikan" in a single night. This book in its English translation consists of 184 printed pages. The translator, Mirza Ali Kuli Khan, Persian Charge des Aflaires at Washington, a zealous Bahai, says in his preface: "According to the prevailing opinion of Bahais, the 'Ikan was written in one night by the supreme pen." He argues (faint-heartedly apparently) for the truth of the statement, and cites Abul Fazl as corroborating the tradition. It is altogether probable that Baha prepared the "Ikan" during his retirement for two years to Kurdistan, in the region of Suleimaniyeh. It is curious to note how the Bahais have outdone Mohammed. He made his verses (ayat = signs), and their eloquence and beauty the signs of his mission. But Babis and Bahais add rapidity of composition as an additional sign or miracle.

      The quantity of the writings is also emphasized as proving their divine source and power. It was a matter of boasting that the Bab's writings were from 100,000 to 500,000 verses, and he was executed at twenty-five years of age. Of Baha's Abdul Baha says: "The Books of his Holiness number more than 100; each one sufficient for mankind." Abul Fazl [3] writes: "His Holy Tablets exceed in quantity the

1. "Bahai Proofs," Pp. 67--68, 72.
2. "Ighan," Chicago Edition, pp. vii - viii
3. "Proofs," pp. 258-259.

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Heavenly Books and Divine Writings possessed by all the different nations of the earth." The number of these tablets is stated to be over 1,000. By way of contrast, Christ's teachings are said by Abdul Baha to consist of only a dozen pages scattered in the Gospels.

      When they speak of the style, the eloquence, the enlightening power of Baha's writings, it is with similar superlative adjectives of high-flown Persian rhetoric.

      It is hardly necessary to call attention to the fact that this so-called proof is simply a matter of assertion and opinion. As to rapidity, we could wish Baha had taken more time and made such books as the "Kitab-ul-Akdas" more systematic, for, as we have pointed out, it is sadly lacking in plan. The veriest tyro could improve on it by rewriting.

      If quantity were an argument, the product of Baha's pen has been exceeded by many Christian and Moslem divines. Besides, what advantage is it for a religion to be set forth in 100 volumes? Will God be heard for His much speaking any more than man would be? The story of redemption and God's revelation through 4,000 years makes but one goodly volume.

      As to style, the Persians would scorn to have the beauty of their great poets or of such writings as the "Masnavi" put into comparison with the "Ikan" or "Akdas." The Bab's writings were not even grammatical. Baha's are more intelligible than the Bab's, but lack his originality and depth. Baha's style is

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rhetorical, verbose, prolix, but with a certain strength. But Mirza Abul Fazl holds a more forceful and sagacious pen. In some things Baha's writings remind one of the Church Fathers in contrast to the Gospel narratives. The quantity of his writings, his system of quotations from former Holy Books, his allegorical interpretations, recall Irenaeus or Origen.

      As to "verses" in general, and their rhetorical quality as a proof of divine inspiration and revelation, it would be well for Bahais to remember that the Bab recognized divine quality in the verses of Subh-i-Azal, which the Bahais reject with disdain. When the "verses" of Azal came to the Bab, he "rejoiced exceedingly," [1] nominated him as his successor, and left to him the completion of the "Bayan." Was he mistaken in so important a matter? However that may be, the Bahais contradict him and pronounce the "verses" of Azal good.for nothing. M. Ahmad Zohrab, [2] the interpreter of Abdul Baha, avers that "the writings of Azal are most childish. They are jumbled, confused, meaningless composition." Another Bahai, Nabil the poet, at one time wrote "revealed verses," and Azal approved of them and sealed their inspiration. Afterwards Nabil repudiated his own "divinity." Evidently, then, the "proof from verses" is a very uncertain and unreliable one.

      (2) They claim superiority for the contents of the Revelation. In describing the substance and variety

1. "New Hist.," p. 385; "Trav.'s Narr.," pp. 353--354.
2. S. W., Nov. 4, 1913, p. 224.

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of it, their "great swelling words" know no bounds. Abdul Baha says: "They are universal, covering every subject. He has revealed scientific explanations ranging throughout all the realms of human inquiry -- astronomy, biology, medicine, etc. He wrote lengthy tablets upon civilization, sociology, and government." "One book of the Blessed Perfection is more comprehensive than fifty volumes of the world s greatest wisdom." Empty boasting!

      Professor Browne says: "The countless tablets are for the most part rhapsodies interspersed with ethical maxims." Let us give a few of Baha s "revelations" on morals, philosophy, and science. His ethics permit bigamy and tagiya, dissimulation regarding one's faith; his Law punishes habitual theft by branding, and arson by burning, and compounds adultery with a small fine; his philosophy affirms the eternity of matter and the emanation theory of divine Manifestations; his science decides the purity of water by three points -- "colour, taste, and smell" -- but knows nothing of analysis, and affirms that "the food of the future will be fruits and grains"; it abolished the weeks and months and substitutes nineteen months of nineteen days each, and a system of nineteen units for the decimal or metric system; it creates a new alphabet to bother childhood; its ritual for prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage somewhat resembles the Moslem, with times and places changed. These are samples of its new and superior (?) laws and precepts, which are mingled with a

1. "Life of Abbas," by Phelps, p. xxii.

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mass of ordinary moral teaching. There is far too much of it for a religious system, but it is entirely inadequate as a judicial and criminal code. Abul Fazl [1] grossly exaggerates when he writes that "Baha has enacted laws and regulations concerning every point or subject."

      As a system Bahaism is not superlative. "It is," says Professor Browne, [2] "at most a new synthesis of old ideas; ideas with which the Eastern mind has for centuries been familiar, and which have ere now been more clearly and more logically systematized by older schools of thought, though perhaps they were without a certain tincture of modern Western terminology which is perceptible in Bahaism." "Of the doctrines of the Bab " -- and the same is true of Bahaism -- "taken separately, there was hardly one of which he could claim to be the author, and not many which did not remount to a remote antiquity." [3] "The theories of symbolism, [4] incarnation, and other doctrines differ in no essential particular from those held by the Ismielis." If desirable, the doctrines and laws could be traced severally, as has been done by Doctor Tisdall in his "Yanab-ul-Islam" regarding the Koran, and the source of each shown. Borrowing so much from the Shiah sects, its fundamental basis in philosophic thought is inferior even to Islam. But because it borrows so much from the enlightened principles and practices of advanced Christian peoples, its moral system is an advance on Islam.

1."Bahai Proofs," p. 93.
2. Phelps, p. xvii.
3. "New Hist.," p. xiii.
4. Ibid.

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Christianity may boldly assert its unique superiority to this "half-cooked" system, to use a Persian idiom. Professor Browne [1] vetoes its claim to superiority, saying: "I do not admit that the Bahai or any other religion can supply a rule of life higher than that which Christ has given us." Discussing with the Bahais in Shiraz, [2] he said: "The religion of Mohammed was certainly not a higher development of the religion of Christ. It is impossible for any one who has understood the teachings of Christ to prefer the teachings of Mohammed. As you say each Manifestation must be fuller, completer, and more perfect than the last, you must prove that the doctrines taught by Baha are superior to those of Christ -- a thing that I confess seems to be almost impossible, for I cannot imagine a doctrine purer and more elevated than that of Christ."

      IV. Bahaism claims to be the Universal Religion. Dreyfus called his book on Bahaism "The Universal Religion." Remey [3] says: "The Universal Religion is what the Bahai movement offers to the world." Phelps says: "It is divinely inspired world-religion in its first youth. Baha Ullah is a world-teacher in a broader sense than they" -- i. e,. the founders of other religions. This claim is not only that it is intended "for all people, under all conditions," and is adapted to all, but that it is so all-inclusive and latitudinarian that it can "unite all those now following

1. Phelps, p. xviii.
2 "A Year Among the Persians," p. 307.
3. "Bahai Movement," p. 1.
3. "Life of Abbas," p. 148.
5. Remey, Ibid., p. 39.

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many systems into one universal faith," and that "each religious sect [1] will hear in the words of Baha its own oft-repeated message, which has been dulled and distorted."

      The latter phase of this claim we may dismiss in a word. It is simply a gloss. It is an imagination of enthusiastic Bahais. Neither Christians, Moslems, nor others will be thus included, except some few before they understand Bahaism. The only inclusion it offers is by accepting the divine character and mission of Baha and Abbas [2] in other words, by becoming Bahais. When they address the Hindu, saying, "We are one with you," "We teach the original Hinduism of your fathers," it is simply to add: "Baha is the fulfillment of your books, follow him." When they allow the Jewish Bahai of Hamadan still to consort with the Jews as a Jew, and to be baptized and pass as a Christian at the same time, it is an inclusiveness which is unjustifiable and deceitful. It is teaching tagiya or religious dissimulation to other races after the manner of the Persian Shiahs. It is, at most, merely a temporary subterfuge.

      Let such double-faced Bahais read Remey's article in the Star of the West, [3] entitled "Let the New follow the New," and they will see how untenable is their position. He says: "The Bahai Cause is not merely one of many phases of universal truth (as some say), but is the only living truth to-day; the only source of divine knowledge to mankind. The

1. Phelps "Abbas," p. 254.
2. Ibid., p. xxi.
3. December 13, 1913.

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revelation of Jesus was for His own dispensation -- that of 'the Son'. Now it is no longer the point of guidance to the world. We are in total darkness if we are refusing the revelation of the present dispensation. Bahais must be severed from all and everything that is past -- things both good and bad -- everything. Now all is changed. All the teachings of the past are past. Abdul Baha is now supplying all the world." We read this, with amazement at such pretensions, such groundless assumptions, yet are pleased with the ring of sincerity. We, too, say, "Let a Bahai stand for Bahaism." Even so, let a Christian stand for Christianity, and not stultify his intellect by professing to hold to both religions. But such teachings as Remey's absolutely negative the claim of Bahaism to be able to include the professors of all religions. In conclusion, Bahaism aims at being. universal. just as every other "ism," even as Mormonism, by persuading the world to forsake its old faiths and adopt its new dogmas. Baha [1] states in a tablet: "Blessed is the brave one, who, with a firm step, walks out of the corridors of intimacy [the old religious restrictions] and takes a place in the ranks."

      Is Bahaism fitted to be a universal religion? It has copied much from Christianity and Islam; it would not be strange if it has caught something of the same impetus towards universality. This is specially to be looked for in Bahaism, since it is historically a revision of Babism--revised with an aim

1. S. W., Jan. 10, 1914, p. 282.

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to broadening it. Babism was notoriously unfitted to be universal. Dreyfus [1] confesses: "Looking at the Bab's work, we cannot fail to notice in it a certain sectarian particularism which would have confined to Shiah Islam its benefits." Similarly Professor Browne pronounced it [2] "utterly unfitted for the bulk of mankind," and refers a "the useless, impractical, and irksome regulations and restrictions" which Baha abolished in order to make it more capable of becoming what he intended it to be--" a universal system suitable to all mankind." The question arises, Where was the Bab's power of supernatural revelation if he promulgated a system and regulations of such inferiority and destined to be superseded in less than a score of years? Among these regulations [4] were the prohibition of the learning of foreign languages, logic, philosophy, and jurisprudence, discouraging foreign travel, enjoining the expulsion of all unbelievers from the five chief provinces of Persia, together with the confiscation of their property, the destruction of all books more than 202 years old, etc.

      Baha, like a tailor trying to change a misfitting garment, ripped up the seams, cut a piece out here and there, added some patches imported from Christian civilization, until he had a coat of many colours, which he advertised as the latest style of religion, fitted to humanity in general. But he should have heeded the precept not to put new cloth on an old

1. The Universal Religion," p. 43.
2. "New Hist.," p. xiii.
3. 'Ibid., p. xxv.
4. Ibid., p. xxvi.

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garment. No wonder they have never yet published the "Kitab-ul-Akdas" in English. It would tax their ingenuity to adapt all its regulations and laws to the world-life.

      Again I return to the question, "ls Bahaism specially adapted to be universal?" By no means. It is unfitted in the most essential particular. It is a religion of laws, not of principles. Mirza Abul Fazl, in "The Brilliant Proof," [1] emphasizes the fact that Bahaism enjoins, commands, has imperative ordinances, laws, and enactments. But the Gospels enunciate principles. These principles of the New Testament are conscience-educating and life- directing. They are applicable to all conditions the world over, and to every stage of human development. Christianity implants in the heart great ruling motives. Its laws and regulations are few. Hence it does not find itself butting against a wall of unforeseen circumstances. Bahaism, on the contrary, is full of the "beggarly elements." It has regulations, as we have noticed, in regard to personal habits, hygiene, sociology, languages, the calendar, civil government, penology, etc. It is like an omnibus with its top overloaded with all sorts of baggage, which will delay and finally wreck the vehicle. It has made itself a "judge and divider of inheritances." [2] It gives directions as to the barber and the undertaker; how you must bathe and wash your face, and what prayers you shall say during each process. It directs as to the use of knives and

1. Pages 31--32.
2. Luke xii. 14.

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forks, of chairs, of perfumes. It graciously permits one to shave his beard, but "the hair must not be allowed to grow below the level of the ear." It tells us that "the nails are to be cut at least once a week," that "every one should wash his feet daily in summer, and at least every three days in winter." And alas! for antique furniture and old Persian rugs! For house furnishings must be changed every nineteen years. In obedience to this command my old teacher in Persia got rid of his rugs, whose sheen was polished and colours were mellowed with age, and refurnished his house with gaudy modern rugs. In prescribing the Moslem fast and namaz (prayer-rite), with some modifications, Bahaism limits the spirit of liberty, which is the essence of universality.

      Copying from the Bab, Baha has seen fit to regulate the calendar. Following the Zoroastrian custom, Baha ordains that the year begin at the vernal equinox--March 21--because that is the spring-time, the time of the renewal of vegetable life. Good! But in Australia it is the time of death--of the approach of winter. The reason assigned is not universal, and is not adapted to all climes. As has been said above, the months are ordained to be nineteen of nineteen days each, with four or five intercalary days in March. The week is abolished, that primitive division of time which has such a definite place in nature, in the phases of the moon, and is established in the three great monotheistic religions with their weekly Sabbaths.

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Instead of the latter is substituted the nineteenth day Unity feast. How do such changes aid universality or unification? Coinage, fines, taxes, and tithes are arranged on the number 19. Remey's book has nineteen chapters, as the "Bayan" has. The Star of the West, a magazine of the American Bahais, is published every nineteen days, and bears the Bahai calendar on its editorial page. Instances might be indefinitely extended. But later the number nine, the number of Baha, has come more into use. Abbas has set apart the ninth day of the month as well as the nineteenth for certain religious purposes. The Bahai era is sometimes dated from the declaration of the Bab in 1844, and sometimes from the birth of Baha in 1817. Are these innovations more an aid to universality than adherence to the established calendar and era, or than the decimal system or the metric system which the civilized world has been striving to extend? Professor Browne says: "What could be more impractical than the adoption of the number nineteen as the basis of measures or calculations?" It bears the mark of Oriental fancy rather than of divine revelation.

      Another illustration of this point--namely, that Bahaism enjoins and regulates specifically, and does not, like Christianity, inculcate guiding principles, is seen in the law regarding civil government. In "Glad Tidings" [1] Baha teaches, as from God, that "although a republican form of government profits,

1. 'Section 15, p. 91, Chicago Edition.

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yet the majesty of kingship is one of the signs of God. We do not wish that the countries of the world should be deprived thereof." "Statesmen should combine the two," and [1] "At present the form of government followed by the British nation seems good, for that nation is illuminated both with the light of kingship and consultation--i. e., parliament." "In the principal Laws [of Bahaism] affairs have been placed in the hands of just kings and chiefs, and the House of Justice." As a matter of opinion, I can join with Baha in expressing my admiration for the British Constitution, but prescribing it as a law of revelation is a different matter. A "universal religion" should be adapted to all conditions. It is a fact of history that when the tablet "Glad Tidings" was sent to Russia, section 15 was omitted. The Bahais suppressed this portion from expediency, and it appears thus mutilated in Baron Rosen's translation. [2] Is not this a high-handed way to deal with God's Word, as they profess to regard it? Is it not also conceivable that republics might take offense against Bahaism because it maintains monarchy, even as autocracies because it approves of parliamentary government? Had not a "universal religion" better let politics alone? Christianity could adapt itself even to the government of a Nero.

      Another institution of Bahaism, ill-adapted to all races and conditions, and certain to bring the very conflict and strife against which it is supposed to

1. "Tablet of the World," p. 33.
2. 'New Hist.," p. xxv.

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guard, is the House of Justice. This is a religious court, with civil and political functions, to be set up in every town and country. It is to be composed of nine or more Bahai men. "They are divine agents, representatives of God." Much is said of this House of Justice in the Books of Revelation.[1] Dreyfus devotes a chapter to it. [2] It is to have legislative, judicial, and administrative functions. It will regulate estates, taxes, tithes, fines, capital and labour, marriage, divorce, inheritances, minors, servants, charities, reforms, houses of correction, schools, besides all matters of religion and morals. They will rule "absolutely," and be "infallible,"" guided by God." It is the old dream of theocratic rule. I must leave it to the imagination of the student of history to picture the dire confusion which would ensue if this politico-religious hierarchy should begin its sway. Those who are familiar with the perpetual conflict between the urfi and the shari, the civil and the religious law in Persia, know how this proposed organization would work confusion worse confounded.

      Similar to these invasions of the province of science and Caesar is the attempt to improve philology by "revelation." Following the Bab again, Baha Ullah promulgated a new alphabet. The Babi alphabet, unlike the Arabic and Persian, was written from left to right. "Each letter consists of thick, oblique

1. See "Glad Tidings," pp. 39,90; "Words of Paradise," p. 53; "Tablet of the World," p. 33; "Israket," p. 37; and "Kitab-ul-Akdas."
2. Universal Religion," pp. 131--144.

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straight lines, parallel and equidistant from each other, running down to the left, to which thin hooks and curves are appended to make separate letters." It is called the Khatti-Badi. There were nineteen kinds of it; one kind was called the Khatti-Baha. It was intended for the time when Babism would be prevalent. It appears that Bahais have a new alphabet, different from that of the Babis.

      In the Akdas and in the sixth Ishrak [1] it is commanded that the "House of Justice" must select one tongue out of the present languages, or a new language, to teach the children in the schools of the world. Let us suppose they decide on Persian or Arabic. The Anglo-Saxon children must all begin to learn Arabic. Suppose they decide on English. Then Germans, French, and Russians will have an additional reason for opposing the religion. Suppose that Abdul Baha decides on Esperanto, as he seems inclined to do, then will it be heresy for some one to invent a language as much superior to Esperanto as it is to Volapuk? Had not a "universal religion" better let linguistics alone? The spirit of Christianity gives a free field to all tongues--this is the essence of liberty, of universality. After this brief review of some of the provisions of the "New Revelation," we can deny the claim that "its statutes meet the necessity of every land," and that they can serve the world well for 1,000 years.

1. "Ishrakat," p. 36.

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