The Revelation of Bahaullah in a Sequence of Four Lessonscompiled by Isabella D. Brittingham
Chicago: Bahá'í Publishing Society, 1902-02
About: Isabella Matilda Davis Brittingham was a significant early American Bahá'í and was posthumously designated by Shoghi Effendi as one of the 19 Disciples of 'Abdu'l-Bahá¡ and Heralds of the Covenant. She was born in 1852, the daughter of Benjamin Davis, who was a grandson of John Morton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Her sister-in-law heard about the Bahá'í Faith in 1897 and in 1898 Isabella herself became a part of the nascent American Bahá'í community. In September 1901, Isabella went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where she met 'Abdu'l-Bahá', the leader of the Bahá'í Faith and son of the Founder, Bahá'u'lláh. She used the knowledge she gained there to write "The Revelation of Baha-ullah in a Sequence of Four Lessons", which was published by the Bahai Publishing Society of Chicago in 1902. There were nine editions of this work, the last being in 1920. It was one of the earliest accurate accounts of the Bahá'í Faith published in the West. The main purpose of the book is to demonstrate the truth of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation through Biblical prophecy.
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IN A SEQUENCE OF FOUR LESSONS.
ISABELLA D. BRITTINGHAM,
(1) To believe in the glad-tidings of the coming of God.
(2) To confess His Oneness and Singleness.
(3) To be naturalized into His attributes.
(4) To come nearer the knowledge of God. And there is nothing to man but to attain these great ends."
Lesson 1. — THE FORESHADOWING OF THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM.
Jesus Christ used physical illustrations in order to impart the highest knowledge of God. Since our environment is material in character, every Messenger and Prophet from God has made use of material figures in order to convey to our understanding certain spiritual realities. Thus the Appearance of the Founder of each Dispensation is the Sun of Truth, newly arising upon the horizon of the darkened spiritual heavens, and bringing forth a New Day of Light.
When this Heavenly Sun fulfills its mission it disappears, the rays of its Divine Knowledge gradually grow dim and indistinguishable, and when Light is lost darkness dominates all things; corruption of the Word results; and in its path follows the night of doubt, when dogma, creed and division occupy the attention and the contention of mankind; all of which causes many to lose hope and to ask "What is Truth?" But this "divine discontent" is the preparation in those hearts in order that they may welcome the breaking of a New Day, when Light shall be restored in greater Beauty than ever before.
In all Creation "Man is the greatest Kingdom."
The soul of man is the Seed of God, because it, alone contains the Essence of Immortality.
The beginning (i.e., seed planting), is the same for each soul, but this world spoils that soul. Heredity is but an earthly product.
A perfect man is five fold. Within this Kingdom exist the elements of the mineral, vegetable, animal, intellectual and spiritual being.
The material body of a man is a vehicle for communication; a thing of sensation and feeling; a symbol (in its construction) of greater things; and, above all, it is a temple. Breath animates it and sustains its physical existence; food and water are the material helpers; the body, at every instant, passing through the cycle of loss and renewal. Circulating through it, its channels weaving like a vine with its branches, from, and returning to, that wonderful center, the heart, is the blood; and in that blood exists an indescribable, impalpable substance which is spiritual in its characteristics. Science tells us that it exists only in the living blood, but not in the blood after death.
Deposited within this temple are the "Pearls of God's secrets, and the Gems of His knowledge," and the "Crown Jewel" therein is the Essence of Light! Heaven and earth alone are in this Kingdom.
But it is man alone — the only portion of Creation who is able to understand the things of God — who is out of harmony. And because of this one, dominant, discordant note all creation is jarred upon and travaileth together. The dumb animals all about him are, in many respects, monumental examples to him. He alone, in whom dwells the Essence of Immortality, is faithless and asleep at his post. Well might he pray that he be permitted to exist throughout the duration of God's Dominion, and not become as the beasts which perish! Christ predicted this when He said; "When the Son of man cometh, will he find faith on the earth?" St. Luke, 18:8.
Man alone can attain the sublime heights of union with the Infinite.
When the soul hungers for the knowledge of its God, and it drinks from the unadulterated "Cup of Immortality," that crystal draught, in its action upon that soul, resembles a drop of elixir upon a piece of copper, which, cleansing from all impurity, transmutes it into pure gold. Thus, through spiritual evolution, man arises from the animal station (the station of sensation, which is our Satan) and attains the station of intellect; then dies to that station and arises in the station of spirit. It has been said that '"the last degree of reason is the first degree of Love."
When the Immortal Seed has thus gained its growth, and has been "clothed upon" with the "New Garments," it stands victorious over spiritual death, and discovers its inheritance to consist of the "Holiest Fruits" of the Kingdom of the Father.
This is the Reality of the New Birth; this is the true Resurrection; this is the Redemption of the Body; this is Regeneration.
The Way thither is only through Faith and Deeds. Faith must be founded upon knowledge, and after knowledge arises service. Fasting is one of the deeds. The fast of the soul is the first and greater one to keep; and then the other follows.
Nineteen hundred years ago our great Master Jesus Christ walked the earth in the station of perfect Radiance. He found only a few illiterate fishermen who were able to comprehend that Radiance, and to them He taught the mysteries of the Kingdom, giving them to drink of the pure Wine from that heavenly Kingdom; feeding them with the very Body and Blood of its sacred secrets; that, even as He was its Vine, they might become its branches; that even as He was the Sun of the New Heavens of the Christian Dispensation, they might become its moon and stars; and then He passed out of the world, leaving it in the same general clouds of spiritual darkness as prevailed when He came into it: but He left the trust of His holy mission and teachings in their hands; and to-day that little band of simple, unlearned men and women shine down through the centuries as the moon and stars. Peter, the rock, was the moon of that heaven, for he established the church of Christ.
And Christ said: "I will come again in the clouds (of spiritual darkness) as I go." St. Matt., 26:29. St. John, 16, verses 22 and 23. Acts, 1:11. The clouds also signify the veil of flesh (the body), and a new Dawning Point of the Light.
That there are many signs which foretoken the near arising of the Sun upon our spiritual night very few who are at all thoughtful or reasoning will deny.
The question as to how that Deliverer is to appear is also absorbing the thoughts of many, and out of these many thoughts is crystallizing one predominating belief.
Since Jesus Christ said the Coming of the Son of Man would be as silently as a thief (St. Matt., 24:43), and unobserved (St. Luke, 17:20), it is impossible that there should be any material pomp or demonstration.
We are told by Jesus that the Sun of the former spiritual heavens will darken, and that the light of its moon and stars will fail. Also it is prophesied that at this time the heavens will be rolled together as a scroll and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. What is this fire? We find the answer in Hebrews, 12:29, "For our God is a consuming fire." "The end of the world" in the original Greek is "the conclusion of the age." It means that a definite cycle, or period, is perfected, and at its close, the Day when God shall reign will arise.
The Deliverer of the earth will be seen and known, for He is to come and dwell with His people, and they, the flock of His pasture, "are men," and He is to be their shepherd and their God. Ezekiel 34th chap., from 23rd verse to end.
Some may say that this refers to Jesus Christ. Was His Appearance the time in which the Covenant of Universal Peace was fulfilled? It is quite true that through the spiritual upliftment of His Presence and teachings He gave the secret of His abiding peace to His disciples; but He said: "I came not to send peace, but a sword." Also in His great parable of the Lord of the Vineyard Jesus Christ renews this prophecy, as found in St. Mark. 12th chap., four parties there being mentioned, two of which are the Father and the Son.
In Zechariah we have many important prophecies concerning this time, and in its last chapter, verse 9, the declaration is made that "The Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one."
The prophetic utterances of the Psalms give us many proofs. It is said that the 2nd and the 72nd Psalms were never fulfilled. These announce that "the King, and the King's Son, are to come."
Isaiah tells us (30:20), that "thine eyes shall see thy teachers."
Prophecy always declares that this is to be the time of Judgment, of sifting the nations; 1st Chron., 16:33; Acts, 17:30-31; Isaiah, 30:28; Amos, 9:9, etc.; of separating the wheat from the tares, and of restoration and restitution. Acts, 3:21.
Clearly there can be nothing to be restored in the Supreme Heavens.
Therefore the Promised One must appear upon the earth, be visible to all, and in a manner that it may be possible for all to know Him, and to receive of Him. God, Himself, has been teaching us to recognize the perfection of His Laws, which Laws man alone has abused. In reason the Deliverer can only come to us in one way; born of a woman, born under the law, a Chosen One whom God will send, and in whom the Divine Word will incarnate, and by its Manifestation, thus, upon earth, restore all things and renew the heavens and the earth and all that therein is. Jesus Christ also warns us against the false Christs which are arising upon all sides. This alone is sufficient proof that God will manifest Himself in the flesh at the end of the age.
Through every Revelator the same Light shines; through each, the same Word ("Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting;") manifests. The personality, Jesus tells us, is nothing. The personality is but the pure and polished mirror, which, chosen of God, prepared of God, and sent by God, appears among mankind, and this mirror receives the Bounty of His Light and reflects it out unto mankind. This was the Light of Moses, and this was the Light of Jesus. But in the advance of revelation the Light of Jesus was much greater.
This Light, in every age, is the Reality of the Messenger sent of God. The Word which speaks through that Personality is that Revelation through which we come into a knowledge of our God. This is the Incarnated Word. The personality, and the "Garment of another Name," are physical. The Power of the Word, manifested in and bringing the Light through that personality, is our means of communication with God.
In the 3rd and 4th chapters of the book of Malachi we also find that a forerunner is to appear, declaring the near approach of this Day, and preparing the Way of the Lord. The Spirit and power of Elijah were manifested in John the Baptist, yet in the first chapter of the Gospel according to St. John be declared, "I am not he." The prophecies regarding the coming of this herald, as found in Malachi, identify it with this time of sifting and of judgment. It is to be the time of the refining fire; it is the Day in which God shall appear. Perfection shall reign and shall judge the earth.
Who is this who is to arise in the midst of spiritual night? Malachi declares it to be the "Sun of Righteousness." Whom did Jesus say that this was? He said "I will return in the Kingdom of my Father." Whose message, did Jesus bring? The Message of His Father.
When they besought Him at Capernaum not to depart from them, He said. "I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also, for therefore am I sent." (St. Luke, 4:42-43.) lie was sent to preach the coming of the Father's Kingdom, not of His own Kingdom: to announce the advent of the "Lord of the Vineyard." He taught His little band of disciples to pray for the coming of that Kingdom. We find that Jesus often prayed to the Father.
It is very true that He said: "I and My Father are one," Jesus Christ was a mirror in which the Light of the Sun shone, and which reflected that Light; and by this union and communion they were one. This is why He said: "I am in the Father and the Father in Me;" and also, "He who hath seen the Son hath seen the Father." If a bar of iron is heated in the fire it will become characterized with the characteristics of the fire. It is in the fire and the fire is in it.
Jesus also said: "My Father is greater than I." (St. John, 14:28.) Likewise He said: (St. Luke, 18:19.) "Why callest thou me good? None is good save one, that is, God." He said: "Hear O Israel! the Lord our God is one Lord!" (St. Mark, 12:29.)
Jesus told his disciples that He did nothing of Himself, but the Father dwelling in Him did the works; (St. John, 14:10) that if the disciples had faith they could do even greater works than He did. (St. Matt., 21:21, etc.) He said the Word which they heard was not His, but the Father's. He talked only of the Father, of the coming of whose Glorious Day He was the Faithful Witness. He proclaimed to all that this was to be the Dispensation of the Fatherhood of God. In his last sublime hours He said that "He was not alone because the Father was with Him." (St. John, 16:32.) Certain of His last words were "My God, my God, Why hast Thou forsaken me?" And yet He expected to go to the Father.
The record of Him. as "a man approved of God among you," through many mighty works "which God did by Him," which are the words of St. Peter, spoken on the day of Pentecost; and those of St. Paul in Hebrews, concerning the Beloved, which tell us that "the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering," do not in the slightest degree impair the power and majesty of this Wonderful Messenger sent by the Father.
They who wrote those records of His life gladly walked in His
lowly but glorious footsteps, even unto martyrdom, His foes being their foes, as St. Paul chronicles in 1st Thess., 2:15: "Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us."
Jesus Christ was the Word of God, the Son of God, the Mystery of God: His utterances have founded the Christian Dispensation, and, for nineteen hundred years, have been the Light of the Occident.
But if we believe in this Light we must believe in His prophecies.
Clinching the words of Christ we further find Who is to come, and where, in the 9th chapter of Isaiah and the 6th verse: "Unto Us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." He is to come in the flesh. The government — a spiritual government — is to be upon his shoulder. His Name shall be called "Wonderful, Counsellor." "The Mighty God." Did Jesus claim this? "The Everlasting Father?" Did Jesus say: "I am the Father?" or that: "My Father is greater than I; and I go unto Him?" "The Prince of Peace!"
Nineteen hundred years ago was not the Dawn of Universal Peace. To-day the world is looking for this glorious culmination of the ages, wherein "Mercy and Truth shall meet together; righteousness and peace shall kiss each other." (Ps., 85:10.)
In the first two verses of the 9th chapter of Isaiah we find a prophecy concerning the people in the "lands of Zebulun and Naphtali," "by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations," and upon them is to shine a great Light; this is the Light of "The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father," Who is to come.
Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, are not by any sea.
Nazareth, the most northerly of the three localities, is twenty-one miles southeast of the City of Acre on the Mediterranean sea, and some miles west of the little sea of Galilee, which is a small inland lake, thirteen miles in length. In the earliest ages of Christianity Nazareth was quite overlooked by the church. It did not contain a single Christian resident before the time of Constantine, and the first Christian pilgrimage to it took place in the sixth century.
Also the region where this Light is located is beyond Jordan. Galilee, too, a Hebrew word, signifying a "circle" or a "circuit" was originally applied (Joshua. 20:7), to a small district belonging to the Jewish tribe of Naphtali; but Biblical history informs us that at the time of the appearance of Jesus Christ the term "Galilee" embraced the whole northern portion of Palestine, from the Mediterranean Sea to the river Jordan.
There are two Bethlehems laid down in some of the Biblical maps of Palestine. One has to do with the time of the early kingdoms of Judah and Israel. This Bethlehem is the more northerly one, and its location is about as far west from Nazareth as Nazareth is west of the Sea of Galilee. But the birthplace of Jesus Christ was "Bethlehem of Judea." It was in the territory of Judah (or Judea), and was located several miles south of Jerusalem, and, as is Jerusalem also, some miles inland and west of the Dead Sea, Judea was the name of the third district of Palestine. It was south of the district of Samaria.
This is the Judea over which Herod the Great reigned when the Star arose in his territory. Occasionally the name, Judea, was applied to the whole of Palestine.
The pathway of Jesus touched but briefly along the northern Mediterranean coast, the traces of His Holy Footsteps being principally inland. His was not the time of Judgment or of establishing Justice. (Isa., 9:7.)
Many prophets did prepare the way for His coming, and He prepared the way for the Coming of His Father.
In Rev., 21st chap. — which is the Revelation of Jesus which He gave to St. John — we find Who is to Come. There shall be a new heaven and a new earth; — the new spiritual conditions.
The new spiritual Jerusalem is to descend as a bride out of heaven, and (verse 3rd) God, Himself, is to dwell with His people and be their God.
In the same chapter, two, who are to be the Light, and the Temple, are promised; God, and the Lamb.
Jeremiah says (30:21), of this Holy Age: "Their nobles shall be of themselves and their Governor shall proceed from the midst of them;" or, as the Revised Version, which brings out these great Truths so clearly, records: "Their Prince shall be of themselves, and their Ruler shall proceed from the midst of them."
In Titus, 2:13. we find the "Appearance of the Great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ," are to be looked for. As late as the middle of the fourth century the purity of this knowledge had been preserved, and was witnessed to by the Nicene Council.
We are told that David delivered to His Son the building of a temple to be reared without the "sound of a hammer," and we know that no earthly temple can be so reared. There is more than a finite, ancient order of symbolism in this.
The Covenant of God is renewed in His Sacred Books, throughout the ages. Every prophet has foretold the signs and re-declared God's promises concerning this Great Day.
The Bible itself was written for it.
Out of the many signs foreshadowing the approach of this Period it is difficult in one lesson to select a few to present.
St. Paul said: "Judge nothing before the time until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the councils of f he hearts." (1st Cor., 4:5.)
Jesus Christ has also declared that: "Nothing that was hidden but should be manifested." (St. Mark, 4:22). Have we not this?
In St. James, the 5th Chapter, first eight verses, and 2nd Timothy, the 3rd Chapter, first five verses, we have many things recorded concerning these conditions when men shall be "lovers of themselves instead of lovers of God," and "having only a form of godliness."
Also in 1st Timothy, 4th Chap. and first five verses, many are to depart from the faith and announce new doctrines and beliefs. We find the same in 3rd Chap, of Zephaniah, and God's promise to all those who in that Day believe in His Appearing.
In Micah, 3:11, and in other places, those who dishonor God by taking money in exchange for teachings of Him, are warned as to what
the result of this corruption will be. Did Christ or His disciples teach for money? Was their "hire" a thing of dollars? "Ye have made My Father's house a house of merchandise." "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord." (Isaiah, 55:1 and 8.)
In Zech., 8:10, we have three foretokens; no hire for man, nor any for beast; nor any peace to him that went out and came in because of the affliction; "for I set all men every one against his neighbor."
In Joel, 2:28-29, we have the promise of a great psychic quickening, and we hear of many, who, ignorant of its sacredness, are corrupting it in various ways.
In Daniel, 12:4, "Knowledge shall be increased;" knowledge through all awakened channels; knowledge of sciences, philosophy, arts, etc.; knowledge of ourselves; and knowledge of our God.
Let us go to St. Matthew, 24th chap, and the 21st chap. of St. Luke. If we read these with God-like eyes and ears we need look no further; for Jesus herein took up the signs given by the prophets throughout the cycle of prophethood, which would, they declared, announce the Dawn of the Great Day of God; and Himself reiterated them.
False Christs are to abound; wars and rumors of wars; kingdom rising against kingdom; famine, plague, pestilence and great tribulation; all of these are both material and spiritual. One great sign Jesus gave; that of the abomination of desolation standing in the Holy Place; and He referred to Daniel who has predicted this in his 12th chapter; and then we find this abomination of desolation to be the complete degradation of the Jews, of which the arising of Mohammed was the symbol. And this is all fulfilled in their completed downfall and scattering.
Now, knowing the signs of their deliverance are upon the earth, they are gathering home to the city of Jerusalem.
The generation of which Christ speaks is a spiritual one, and refers to the creation (or generation) of His Dispensation. (St. Matt., 24:34.)
God said, "The sword of the Lord is filled with blood." (Isa 34:6.)
Why? Because many shall doubt and shall curse the Light, shall blaspheme, shall revile its appearance.
There will be much opposition, persecution and martyrdom.
These will be the days of tribulation, through which the robes of God's own beloved will be made white. It has happened in the founding of every Dispensation. But in this time there "will be such a time of trouble" as never before was known to the world — because this is to be the Universal Truth, and therefore all religions will oppose it.
Distress and great affliction will be the portion of each and all; and these things will come to warn the peoples of the earth that unless they believe in Him when He comes, the spirit will be taken from them and they will become as lamps without lights. To the unbe-
liever it will be a time of agony; to the believer, a time of purification.
The shadow of these things is upon the earth.
In Amos, 8:11, we find a great prophecy: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord." But listen to God's Promise in Joel, 3:18: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim."
Three are to come: the Herald who will prepare the way of God by opening the hearts of the people that they may believe Him when He comes; the Promised One, Himself; and His Glorious Son and Heir.
This is the Dawn of the Seventh Great Creational Day. A New Generation is to appear. When the throes of a world's spiritual birth are at their height, One will arise as its Great Deliverer, and then will be born the Era of the Most Great Peace, and we shall be led out of the Land of Captivity and into the Land of Freedom. In that Glad Hour there shall be but One Fold, One Shepherd, One Lord upon the earth, and His Name One.
Lesson 2. — THE BAB.
Sometimes mankind does not realize this until after the Light has shone and departed. Such was the case 1900 years ago.
Within the past sixty years a Trinity of Revelators has appeared upon the earth. These are the promised ones of God.
There has been the Proclaimer of the coming of Truth, the Bab: The Revelator of All-Truth, Bahá'u'lláh: The Deliverer of All-Truth, Abdul-Baha'.
The Bab was a young merchant, born in Shiraz, Persia, a descendant of Mohammed. He bore, very early in life, the marks of a supernatural power, which attracted and impressed all who came in contact with him. It was the early dawn of the Light, but the darkness comprehended it not. The word "Bab" is Arabic and means the "Gate."
In May, 1844. which corresponds with our "time, times and half a time" in the last chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel, he declared his mission and delivered his message. His mission was that of a forerunner and herald; his message was the announcement of the coming of the Perfect One, Who, although upon earth, was yet veiled to mortal vision; "by Whose will he moved, and to the bond of Whose Love he clung, craving only that his life might be accepted of Him as a sacrifice."
The utterances of the Bab, although so youthful and so uneducated, moved all hearts, and many believed on his words. The Mohammedans arose to destroy his influence, and persecution of himself and his followers began to appear on all sides. The divines and scholars, by both collective and individual effort, endeavored to "quench this fire," but all efforts were as nothing in its Presence. Many learned ones sought him for the purpose of pure investigation, and surrendered to the proofs of his claims. One said, "The season of Spring and Wine has arrived;" and, "Search after knowledge after reaching the known is culpable." This man of note, Mulla Mohammed Ali, went forth from the Presence of the Bab, proclaiming from the pulpit his newly-found joy, advising all to drink from this Cup of clear water, and wrote his own confession of faith and allegiance to the Bab; and then himself became a target for the malign arrows of Moslem hostility.
So powerful became the Message of the Báb, so great the results appearing from his words, that grievous persecution, plot and intrigue arose against him and his rapidly augmenting band of believers. But all fell harmless and abortive, and finally the divines, instead of seeking to investigate his claims, began to avoid him.
In pulpit and in private they declared the Bab an injurer to religion and state.
The Moslems combined and resorted to arms against Him and his faithful ones, who rallied together upon the defensive. Although the Babis were feeble in number, starved in body under the long siege of cruelties successively uprising against them, and an army of living skeletons, yet they used to meet their besiegers, fresh from a preparatory night of worship, "reading and intoning the sacred texts of the New Dispensation, with sweet and strange utterances," and antiphonally chanting in perfect music (both spiritually and physically) their new Alleluia — "Allah-u-Abha."
Under the power of this exaltation of soul, on the following day, they would meet the enemy and conquer. Finally, reduced to a state of siege, through a dastardly intrigue of the Mohammedans they were drawn into a so-called truce, and when entirely unarmed, half-famished and faint, with food placed before them to add to their torture, their treacherous adversaries fell upon them and massacred the majority of them. Even thus, they gained their wish, which was to die in the path of their Beloved. Such was their unfaltering trust in God! Scores of such incidents are chronicled.
Finally, after many dire experiences, such influence was brought to bear upon the authorities that this greatest of heralds — this undaunted and buoyant spirit — the Bab, as the source of all this disturbance, was imprisoned for nine months in the Castle of Maku, which was situated upon an almost inaccessible mountain summit. But even there God took care of him and raised up friends in some of his attendants.
From thence he was removed to the Castle of Chirik, Need I state that notwithstanding this rigor of persecution, and even although under the close personal guard of his implacable enemies, the Light which he brought could not be confined, but spread incessantly, and his believers increased in numbers and in steadfastness!
Neither hunger, nor thirst, nor stripes, nor imprisonment, nor anything, even unto death, produced any effect upon them. Throughout Persia the might of the Bab's declaration absorbed all thoughts.
And the Bab, lifted above all the tumult, by the Light within his soul, restricted himself, in his prison cell, to repeating his Great Message concerning, and meditating upon, the one of Whose coming he was the honored Herald.
This is one of his meditations:
"Though the ocean of woe rageth on every side, and the bolts of fate follow in quick succession, and the darkness of grief and afflictions invade soul and body, yet is my heart brightened by the remembrance of Thy Countenance, and my soul is a rose-garden from the perfume of Thy Nature."
Even while imprisoned he was summoned before the government tribunal at Tabriz. In vain they tried to condemn him by his own words; finally one doctor inflicted a brutal scourging upon him, and after this indignity, which he bore with meekness and non-resistance — a sublime proof of the greatness of his mission — they returned him to the prison Castle of Chirik.
The extraordinary increase in the number of his followers awoke the alarm of the Moslems and, later on, church and state clasped hands
and held riot against the Faith, combining, by every method possible to be devised, to uproot the Babis. Some great personages about this time allied themselves with heart and soul to the Cause, among whom was that gifted and beautiful woman, Kurrat-ul-Ayn, the daughter of a sage, and Mirza Mohammed Ali of Masandaran. These new accessions arose to serve the Faith with such power that naught could put them down. Great slaughters of the Babis followed; countless cruelties — some too horrible to mention — were indicted; their defenceless homes were plundered; they were ambushed and shot down; their bodies ripped open exposing their vitals; they were burned with hot irons to a crisp; they were cut by many swords, and fell, "bleeding at every pore"; they were sawn asunder. After life had departed their heads were cut off, their bodies were hacked and trodden upon. But in the face of all the severest trials and torture they bore aloft the banner of the Faith with a devotion unparalleled in modern times. Joy supernal reigned in their souls, while all about them existed the reign of destruction.
The Mohammedans are divided into two great branches, the Sunnites of Turkey and the Shiites of Persia; and these are subdivided into many sects, but no great disturbances had ever existed among them until the Bab arose and declared himself. When this occurred the darkness became manifest through, and opposed to, the Light. But that Light shone clearer and ever yet more clear unto the end of this sublime life. It has been said of the Bab that his word so intoxicated his followers with the wine of Divine Love and Wisdom that they forgot all beside, and earthly things became as nothing.
The Bab was athirst for martyrdom in the Cause of the Great Tidings which he had declared; and this "Cup overflowing with the gift of God," was granted him.
On the 8th of July, 1850, in the morning, he was suspended by ropes and a regiment of soldiers ordered to fire upon him. None of the shots took effect, the slender ropes alone being cut, and when the smoke cleared away he was found near by, unharmed. Again his enemies suspended him and gave orders to the soldiers to fire. These, however, made their excuses and another regiment was summoned and their volleys liberated his victorious spirit which passed to the Beyond, and rested in the Presence of God. "Blessed is the body which is cut into pieces for the sake of Faithfulness."
Six months before his departure the Bab sent a sealed epistle to a disciple named Hadji Suliman Khan, instructing him to break the seal only when a "grievous sorrow and affliction befell him." When the sacrifice of the Bab's life took place, and this disciple heard the report of the muskets, he knew that this was the event predicted, and broke the seal of the letter. The contents announced that six months from the date of writing the Bab would suffer martyrdom at Tabriz. The date fell exactly on that day. The letter also gave instructions as to the disposition of his body. The disciples went by night to the sentinels who stood guard over the body as it lay in the moat outside of the city walls with the body of a follower who had determined to die with him, bribed these sentinels and bore the bodies away. Shrouded in white silk and placed in a chest, they were later removed
to Teheran, and in the recent past, arrangements were made for a shrine and an interment elsewhere.
Thus the Bab fulfilled his holy mission.
Since revelation is progressive, the station of the herald is progressive and the Light, which appeared through the Bab and gave its bounties unto all, was a fitting Dawn preceding the Splendor so soon to envelop the world.
The cycle of the Bab was the cycle wherein he trained and developed the people for the meeting of God, and therefore he called himself the Supreme Lord.
After his departure the fires of persecution were renewed, and thousands of his followers were massacred, and helpless women and little children were ruthlessly trodden down and destroyed. But the Word, spoken through this great Annunciator, kindled not only the heart of Persia, but spread to other parts of the world, and many knowing the signs, came to seek its Light and to become confirmed in its great Reality, and to bear to other lands its Fragrance.
The history of the cycle of the Bab is the history of blood; but, as one has spoken of these martyrdoms, "their blood and clay have formed the foundation stones of this heavenly temple," and, verily, we know that the foundations of this Faith will never be destroyed. The Bab's first believer was Mulla Huseyn of Brushraweyh, a most eminent, far-eastern divine, who sought him for the purpose of investigation and became so filled by the power of the utterances of the Bab that he went forth at once to proclaim his message. Thus he was called "Bab-el-Bab," which means, the "Gate of the Gate." Also he was called the "First Letter of the Living" — there being eighteen "Letters," or the first believers, who gathered about the Bab. The Bab was the nineteenth. He was also the First Point, meaning the Point of Revelation, and of the Creational Book of God.
He left many writings and proofs of the greatness of his mission, and one especial book of prophecy, called "EI-Beyan" (the Explanation). The whole purport of his words and writings was to prove to the people that he was only a messenger of Glad Tidings of the coming of a Greater One, through Whose Revelation Universal Peace would be established. It was to be the Day of the Reign of God. This message was his joy and comfort in the darkness of his prison.
He said, "I am a letter out of that most mighty Book; a dewdrop from that limitless Ocean; and when He shall appear, my true nature, my mysteries, riddles and intimations will become evident, and the embryo of this religion shall develop through all the grades of its being and ascent, attain the most comely of Forms, and become adorned with the robe of, blessed be God, the Best of Creators."
He said, "The whole Beyan revolves around the saying of Him Whom God shall manifest" and that, "The Beyan and such as are believers, yearn more after Him than the yearning of any lover after his beloved."
Also, "If one should hear a single verse from Him and recite it, it is better than that he should recite the Beyan a thousand times — ".
The Bab likewise said: "O Remnant of God. I am wholly sacrificed unto Thee; I am content with curses in Thy Way; I crave naught but to be slain in Thy Love; and God, the Supreme, sufficeth as an Eternal Protection."
The Bab fulfilled Moslem prophecy in being the "return" of the Twelfth Imam. He fulfilled Zoroastrian prophecy as the "Dawn" of the New Day when Three Chosen Ones should appear. The first of this Trinity of Manifestation "Was to be like the Dawn."
He fulfilled Israelitish prophecy as Elijah. The name, Elijah, has a spiritual significance and is the symbol of the mission and message of the forerunner — It means "My God is Jehovah."
The Bab fulfilled Christian prophecy as the Angel, who, with the sound of a trumpet, would precede the coming of the Son of Man. The voice of the trumpet is the Voice of the Incarnated Word which spoke through the Bab, and his cycle is the time of the first Resurrection. Revelation, 4:1. Resurrection is a spiritual awakening, in this body of the dust, when the voice of the trumpet calls us, and we arise out of our graves to know God.
Mohammed, 1300 years ago, declared of the Bab, that "In him shall be the perfection of Moses, the preciousness of Jesus, and the patience of Job. His saints shall be abased in his time, and their heads exchanged as presents to their enemies. They shall be slain, and burned, and shall be afraid, and fearful, and dismayed; the earth shall be dyed with their blood, and wailing shall prevail among their women. These are My saints indeed!"
The Bab never saw the One of Whose Coming he was the heavenly Courier and Herald. His knowledge of Him was all from God. But He said of Him, that "no fire was more intense than the fire of turning away from Him."
It has been almost sixty years since this Angel first sounded the trumpet call throughout the earth; and in response to it, thousands of the "elect" have been gathering from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The Bab's little Day of between five and six wonderful years, as men count years — has passed, and his holy mission has ended — for the Effulgence of the Revelation of Him Whom God has Manifested — Bahá'u'lláh — today is illuminating the world. For He has come: The One who was covenanted has come.
And He has declared to the nations and kingdoms of the earth: "I am ready." "The Father has come!"
"Tis Day-break everywhere!"
that this matter has no end. What matter, then, has any end? We, at least, have no discontent in this matter: nay, rather we are unable sufficiently to express our thanks for this favor. The end of this matter is, to be slain in the way of God, and O! what happiness is this! The will of God will come to pass with regard to His servants, neither can human plans avert the Divine Decree. What God wills comes to pass, and there is no power and no strength, but in God. O, Thou who art my Kibla! the end of the world is death: "every soul tastes of death," If the appointed fate which God (Mighty and Glorious is He!) hath decreed, overtake me, then God is the guardian of my family and thou art mine executor; behave in such wise as is pleasing to God, and pardon whatever has proceeded from me which may seem lacking in courtesy, or contrary to the respect due from juniors; and seek pardon for me from all those of my household and commit me to God. God is my portion and how good is He as a Guardian!
Lesson 3. — THE REVELATION OF BAHA'U'LLAH.
Truth is simplicity itself.
The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh is the Revelation which rights all wrong, for it comes from the World which rights the wrongs of this one.
Its mission is one of love and fragrance; of peace on earth; good will to men.
It has appeared for the purpose of unifying, and cementing together, into one great family, all the nations of the earth.
Its followers must become the servants of all, and the cup bearers of Divine Knowledge unto all. They are messengers who are rewarded only by God, and then only so far as their service is pure in His sight.
"To serve humanity is to serve God."
Its virtues are those revealed nineteen hundred years ago by Jesus Christ.
It is not a new Faith but Faith renewed: not a new Light but Light restored. It is truth, rescued from the scaffold, and placed upon its throne.
Its one key-note is "the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man."
The Sacred Manuscript of the ages — the Bible — with the Searchlight of this Message turned upon its pages, is crowned with the all-illuminating Beauty of God, and becomes our guide to this Revelation.
What is this Revelation?
In profane history, in magazine, in current literature, and in encyclopedia, it is variously represented and misrepresented; but in one of the newest books upon great religions of the world it has been included as one, and, the latest religion.
Because the Bab heralded this Day-break of Splendor, those who are not clearly informed call it Babism.
Whenever religion goes down and irreligion prevails, God chooses One, who shall come according to the laws of the flesh, and through whom He will manifest Himself, to restore religion again, and thus to found what is called "A New Dispensation." — Impossible to found a New Dispensation without a New Revelation and a New Law.
Whenever the Divine Word incarnates it is known by its Manifestation, and man understands and knows it only when spoken through One Whom He sends:
"Also man understands that Word only so far as his purity and sincerity permit."
While God's Spirit never leaves the earth and has always pervaded it since first, "in the beginning," it brooded upon the waters,
yet the Word, at intervals, manifests in a human temple to restore Light and to establish a new heaven and earth.
Revelation, as all in this age of intelligence fully realize, is progressive.
The prophets were the simple messengers of God. That was the cycle of prophethood. Jesus Christ was the Son of God. His was the cycle of Sonship.
Mohammed was the Seal of all prophetic revelation, whether through Israelitish prophet, or through Jesus; therefore Mohammed's was a special mission.
This is the age of the Fatherhood of God.
Jesus Christ taught this progression in Revelation in the parable of the Lord of the Vineyard. Four parties are chronicled in this parable; the Lord of the Vineyard; the dishonest husband; the servants, or prophets; the Son of the Lord of the Vineyard. At the close of the cycle the Lord of the Vineyard is, Himself, to return and re-establish Truth. The Lord of Hosts is His Name.
Mohammed's Mission will be explained later. Suffice it to state that this is not a Mohammedan sect, for the Mohammedans are its chief persecutors. This fact speaks for itself.
In the progress of Revelation the time has come when the signs of the Dawn of a New Dispensation are appearing upon the earth; when the times are being fulfilled. All hearts who hunger for the Light are watching, with great earnestness, the rapid evolution of these signs as laid down by the prophetic sacred Books of the entire earth. The world is looking for the Promised One to bring new conditions and to restore that Light.
A DAY STAR has again appeared in the east. In its Day thousands, gathered out of every nation, religion and rank in life; the sage, the scientist. the philosopher, and the babe in years; the learned and the ignorant; the Jew, Mohammedan, Christian, Buddhist and Zoroastrian; the Atheist and the Agnostic; the Unitarian and the Trinitarian — all are walking, as little children, in Its Light, worshipping and adoring the One True God.
Is this a thing at which to scoff? Offenses must come, but woe unto him by whom they come. Even scoffers fulfill prophecy.
But for those whose spiritual ears are hearing the sound of the trumpet (which is the Voice of the Spirit); whose spiritual eyes are enlightened to behold the Beauty of this arisen DAY STAR, and to understand the "brightness of its coming"; whose spiritual nostrils are inhaling "the Holy Fragrance from that White Spot," which is perfuming all regions; whose dry bones are being clothed anew by the recreative power of that Word — unto these the Feast is "great and great."
For the Gates of the boundless Kingdom are opened, night is turning into Day, and the veil of ignorance is being removed from off the face of the earth.
The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh covers half a century.
In the year 1817, two years before the birth of the Bab, a Son was born in Nur, near Teheran, Persia. Nur itself means Light.
He was of ancient royal lineage, a son of an ex-vizier.
From His youth He was held in regard and honor by even the wise, and although uneducated, whenever He appeared in any assemblies, where questions of divinity and points of metaphysics were being discussed by the learned and scholarly, those present would receive proofs of His discernment and wisdom so far beyond the natural limitation of the human race that they were astonished at His utterances.
He spoke as one having authority.
As time passed, the influence; of these utterances began so to pervade the minds of His hearers, that a great number, both of the wealthy and the lowly, the erudite and the ignorant, became enkindled and gave up all to follow, with joy, His teachings.
The wisest found themselves as nothing before Him, and upon the other hand, even the little children understood and followed Him, and toward these tender lambs of the fold He was most loving.
The divines of the region of Nur sent two of their most distinguished representatives to Him, to subdue, by force of argument, the fire of His words, but so did those words move their hearts that they, too, abandoned altar, chair, preferment, wealth and renown, and went out proclaiming the Cause.
As time passed on, thousands of the most spiritually illuminated, the most intellectually developed and reasoning, accepted His, Revelation; and thus were forged the first golden links in this chain of a Faith now encircling the world.
Like Abraham of old, He established, in the process of time, His Holy Household; type of the great household of humanity, whose Keeper is the One, Who, watching over Israel, slumbers not nor sleeps. Bahá'u'lláh has unsealed the sacred Manuscripts of the world, and has revealed many Holy Books which contain the Mysteries of God. Yet, like Jesus of old, He was never educated, and, like Him, He knew all things, and needed not that any man should teach Him. To this bear witness the most learned of His countrymen.
The hearts of the followers of that great herald, the Bab, after his martyrdom, began to turn toward Bahá'u'lláh. He was recognized by all as the Centre, but not the declared Centre. Nine years after the Bab had declared Him to the world, Bahá'u'lláh declared Himself to a few of his disciples. The renewal of this Light, and with more powerful manifestation than ever before, rekindled the fires of persecution to such an extent that, under the pressure, a few of the Babis, who were yet babes in the realities of non-resistance and meekness, and wearied with cruelty and injustice, plotted to take the life of the Shah, and this resulted in the open destruction of many of them. Bahá'u'lláh, who, although able to dominate all law, yet, because He was the Burden-bearer for all, had become subject to all law, sought the summer court of the Shah, and gave Himself up, to show how great was His horror and grief for such an act. But the Mohammedans, bitterly prejudiced through feeling, temperament and religion, against the Babis, confined this Holy One in a dungeon in Teheran for months. He was chained together with a number, of others, and in whatever movement one of them made, the remainder were com-
pelled to participate. So that not only dungeon and chains, but also, unrest, was His portion.
From thence He was exiled to Bagdad. In this exile, now begun, His fulfilled prophecy, for He was never subject to an earthly potentate. With His Holy Household He was removed thither, and for eleven years He remained in and around Bagdad. Bagdad is in Turkey in Asia. Through it run the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. It is also a part of Mesopotamia.
Behold, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious is His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." Isa. 63:1.
Edom and Bozrah are significant words.
The descendants of Ishmael and of Esau, as is well known, are Mohammedans. Obadiah will furnish you with light upon their future. And "saviours" are to appear. (Verse 21.)
Of the eleven years which followed Bahá'u'lláh's exile to Bagdad a greater portion were spent by Him alone, among the Irak mountains of that district. His Holy family being in the town.
These years were spent in meditation and in prayer. When His power became known in one place He would remove to another. Through this time He lived like a hermit, on a little rice. While He was at Bagdad the sheiks of that place invited the sheiks of Persia to meet with them and discuss some means by which they could face Bahá'u'lláh and confound his words, which, they all witnessed, were "like a rolling ocean so that naught could withstand them."
They decided to demand of Him a miracle.
One of the sheiks was appointed to seek Him and make this request of Him. The sheik entered His Presence, and, listening to His words, himself believed, and asked of Bahá'u'lláh, "What shall I go and say to them?" Bahá'u'lláh instructed him to tell them to select any miracle which they desired and He would perform the same. He returned to them with this message and also with the report of the wonderful wisdom of Bahá'u'lláh, saying, "It is of God." The sheiks began to discuss what miracle they would demand of Him, and fell into disagreement, and the assembly broke up without sending Him any further message. And this was the greatest miracle of all.
The most learned one of the sheiks (and their authority upon all important points), met with them, but, when he learned the purport of their assembling he refused to be a party to it, stating that he honored Bahá'u'lláh, and left them, He then wrote to Bahá'u'lláh asking His forgiveness and also begging Him to forgive "those wolves who were persecuting Him."
At one time a thousand Mohammedan divines came to argue with Him and He defeated them all.
In the spring of 1863 Bahá'u'lláh was removed from Bagdad to Constantinople, at which latter place He was treated with great respect, and where He remained four or five months.
Before he left Bagdad — in 1863 — nineteen years after the Bab's declaration, He declared Himself openly, sojourning for twelve days
in a beautiful garden there, called "Rizwan." By this Most Great Spirit's Appearing, the whole world attains a new life. The whole material world is quickened through the birth of His Human Form, and the Spiritual Realms through His Divine Appearance, or Spiritual Manifestation. From this Most Great Annunciation went forth the Breezes which have vitalized the life of the Universe.
After the temporary sojourn in Constantinople, again, the Government exiled Him to Adrianople, which lies in Turkey in Europe, inland and northwest of Constantinople. This removal occurred during the latter part of the same year of 1863. And at that time, and there, again, this Blessed One declared to the earth that He was its Promised Deliverer. From that spot between the year 1863 and 1869 He continued His great work of founding the New Day, the Sun of which, amid bloodshed and martyrdom, was arising upon the world. He sent to all the rulers, and great ones of the earth the Announcement of His Perfect Presence, declaring that "for the sake of His Eternal Love to His creatures He had turned His footsteps from the invisible to the visible world, and veiled His Splendor in the body of the dust," and that the Way unto the opened Gates of the Kingdom of God was prepared for whosoever would walk therein. The prophecy of this great Invitation is found in St. Luke 14th Chapter, beginning with the 16th verse. "And they all began with one consent to make excuse." These Tablets, revealed at this time, are now matters of history.
He sent these Tablets to the Czar, to the Pope, to the Emperor of Germany, to Napoleon 3rd of France, to England's Queen, and to others.
Upon reading the Tablet revealed to her, Queen Victoria said: "If this is of God it will stand; and if not there is no harm done."
The Czar sent one of his nobility to investigate the source of the Tablet received by him, and this messenger returned with such impressive accounts of his mission that the Czar became stirred with visions of the "Most Great Peace."
The Pope received the message with scorn, and a second Tablet was sent, warning him that because of his act his temporal power would soon be taken from him. In 1870 the Franco-German war broke out, the French troops were withdrawn from Rome, King Emanuel walked in with his soldiers and made the Pope a virtual prisoner in the Vatican.
Frederick 3rd, then Crown Prince of Germany, during a pilgrimage to Syria, ignored Acre (the Holy City) and the "Great Invitation," and for this he was warned in a message from Bahá'u'lláh that he should never rule his country. He was crowned on his sick bed and died three months later without having actually ruled Germany a single day.
Bahá'u'lláh revealed, in a Tablet to this sovereign the following, concerning his empire: "O banks of the river Rhine! We have seen ye drenched in gore, because the swords of retribution were drawn against ye; and ye shall have another trouble. And we hear the lamentation of Berlin, though it be today in manifest glory."
He revealed to a prominent Turk (named Rais) the following
Tablet: "The Land of Mystery (Adrianople) and what is beside it will be changed, and shall pass out of the hands of Turkey, and commotions shall appear, and lamentations shall arise, and trouble shall become manifest on all sides."
He also uttered the following judgment upon Turkey (personified in Constantinople): "O Point! which liest on the shore of two seas; the throne of injustice hath been fixed in thee. ... Thou shalt perish — and those people that are within thee shall lament."
The messengers who conveyed the Tablet to Egypt were made prisoners and sent into exile and the Tablet was ignored.
Bahá'u'lláh predicted the downfall of the Khedive (Ismail Pasha) and that these messengers, in a short while, would be released, and would stand in the Presence of their beloved Master.
General Gordon soon after, in his political campaign in Egypt, released those men and gave them permission to return home, and the events connected with the downfall of the Khedive at that time are the property of history.
Napoleon 3rd read the Tablet addressed to him and threw it away, saying: "If He is God I am two gods." Bahá'u'lláh addressed to him a second Tablet containing the following; "Because of what thou hast done, affairs shall be changed in thy kingdom, and thy Empire shall depart from thine hands as a punishment for thine actions. Then shalt thou find thyself in manifest loss, and commotion shall seize the people there, unless thou arisest to assist in this matter, and followest the Spirit in this straight way, Thy glory hath made thee proud. By My Life, verily, it shall not endure, but shall pass away, unless thou takest hold of this firm Rope. We have seen humiliation hastening after thee while thou art of those that sleep."
That Tablet is a sufficient proof. It was revealed when Napoleon was so powerful that he said, "On this, globe I am the one God." In such a time was this Tablet written. The world knows the downfall of Napoleon 3rd, of his dethronement, his exile, and his death.
Bahá'u'lláh sent a tablet to the Shah of Persia at a later period (from Acre). A youth bore it, traveling on foot to Teheran and gave it to the Shah as the latter rode through the streets, He gave it, not as a petition, but as a command sent to him, saying: "A command from One whose authority is higher than yours." The Shah learned the authorship and contents of the letter, but the young messenger, Badi ("the Wonderful"), was branded to death with red hot bricks. When the executioners were lifting these red hot bricks with iron tongs to put them upon his body he declared that he welcomed this martyrdom, and seized them with his own hands and applied them to his bosom. This youth, knowing that his life might thus be sacrificed, had sought the privilege of being the bearer of this Tablet from his Beloved.
Teheran, Bahá'u'lláh blessed and promised that justice should reign therein.
During the close of 1868, the Perfect One was exiled from Adrianople to Acre, and there placed under the "Most Great Imprisonment" for nine years, two of these being in the prison proper, in that
city, and seven under close guard in another building. While He was under this confinement, pilgrims from Persia and India would walk from their native towns and provinces to see Him, these pilgrimages sometimes covering six and seven months, and under all the vicissitudes of weather; and arriving, footsore and weary, would linger outside of those prison walls, until they received just one look from their Beloved, from the window of His cell, and then returned home, their hearts forever refreshed by that Light. Bahá'u'lláh said that even though they confined Him in a dungeon they would find Him riding upon the clouds of heaven; and so it was.
In being the Cup-bearer of this Great Message that Cup is so filled with gems that there is an embarrassment in selecting what first to share. After realization of its priceless contents once takes possession of the soul of man, that soul becomes athirst to "renew the Cup" forever and ever.
As to miracles from this Holy Source there are no limits; and they are greater than any that ever before existed. But these are never the highest. or the most conclusive evidence. They are only a demonstration for those who witness them. The penetration and power of the Word to change the heart of man, turning it to God to such a degree as to render it indifferent to all lesser attractions, is the unanswerable proof.
The Mohammedans once cursed the Christians, but through this Revelation they have learned to revere and honor Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and understand and believe our Bible quite as well as we do, and are able to teach this Truth front its pages.
And now one word about Mohammed's mission. His Manifestation and prophetic utterances had prepared the way for the coming of the One in Whom is Perfection — Bahá'u'lláh. And by Mohammed's texts alone do his followers believe this Great and Holy Reality, and then learn to look upon the inhabitants of the world as their brethren. The Father's Name is written in the forehead of every Mohammedan who believes in the reality of Mohammed's teachings, and who, thus, forsakes its present corruptions, and declares for the Light of God as Manifested in this Great Day. Was Mohammed's mission for naught? And this Light of God, shining for all the world, is the only Light which will lift the Orient out of mortal degradation and spiritual ignorance and rescue it from eternal loss.
After Bahá'u'lláh, with his Holy Household, endured, for nine years, the extremes of hardship and persecution in the prison of Acre, and when they "could find no fault in Him," by the power of God, the guarding doors were thrown open, and once more He was but an exile. For fourteen years He abode in the suburbs of Acre. Acre is a Turkish prison-city, on the coast of Syria, and used for the incarceration of convicts. Those representatives, who, by command of the Sultan and the Shah, met to consult as to how this Mysterious Power in their midst could be curbed, decided that, owing to its unhygenic conditions, this place would soon end His Life. Those representatives, by whose word He was brought there, themselves died in a few months. And for Him the desert blossomed as the rose.
Thus He laid the glorious foundations of the Faith, in His forty
years Manifestation and wanderings (or thereabout). Nineteen years ere His departure He revealed a New Testament declaring His Son, Abbas Effendi, to be His Successor, And then, amid the heartbreak of His followers, He left the temple of the Body and ascended to the Heaven from whence He came.
"Come let us reason together."
"As to the question of the Trinity, know, O advancer unto God, that in each one of the cycles or prophetic dispensations wherein the Lights have shone forth upon the horizons, and the Forgiving Lord hath revealed Himself on Mt. Paran or Mt. Sinai, or Mt. Seir, there were necessarily three things: The Giver of the Grace; the Grace; and the Recipient of the Grace.
The Source of the Effulgence; the Effulgence; and the Recipient of the Effulgence.
The Illuminator; the Illumination; and the Illuminated One.
Look at the sun and its rays, and the heat which results from its rays.
The rays and the beat are but two effects of the sun, but inseparable from it and sent out from it. Yet is the sun one in its essence; unique in its identity; single in its attributes; nor is it possible that anything should resemble it.
Such is the Essence of the Truth concerning the Unity; the real doctrine of Singleness; the undiluted Reality as to the Divine Sanctity."
If burnished mirrors are placed opposite to the sun, and facing it, those rays from the sun will be received in those mirrors, and will be reflected out from them. These mirrors may be of different sizes and of different degrees of burnished surfaces. Yet do they all receive the same light. The mirrors are many, the light is One. Such is the Reality of the Incarnation of the Word.
Through the persecutions of the Moslems over fifty thousand Bahais have been driven forth over the world.
One thousand babes of the believers have been killed by the Moslems.
More than twenty thousand lives have been martyred in the Cause.
One-third of the Faithful are converted Moslems, and the remainder are gathered out of every nation.
"This is a Day in which every sweet odor is scented by the Fragrance of My Garment, the perfume of which is emitted among the creatures.
"This is a Day in which the sea of Life is Abounding with Bounty from the Will of the Clement One.
"Hasten ye and come ye forth, O Supreme Concourse, with your hearts and souls! (Say): This is the Dawning-Place of the Hidden, Unknowable One; were ye of the knowing. And this is the Day-spring of the Unseen Treasury, were ye to betake yourselves to Him."
The proofs of a false Christ are these:
His influence is within a limited circle and for a limited period; he looks to notoriety, and perhaps to money, and he declares: "I am the Christ!"
The proofs of a true Revelator are the following; and in the light of reason the proofs are infallible:
First, He must come according to the signs given by the previous Revelator.
Second, He must declare Himself.
Third, He must declare Himself with such persistency as to be willing to be cut into a thousand pieces for the sake of Faithfulness.
Fourth, He must have the knowledge and power of the finer laws of nature, such as healing, etc.
Fifth, He must have the prophet's power of Revelation, foretelling events, etc.
Sixth, since He comes not for the things of earth, all the things of earth fall from Him, and He is despised and rejected of men.
Seventh, His word must have the power to penetrate and change the hearts of mankind.
In Bahá'u'lláh every sign has been fulfilled; and by the witness of their own Sacred Manuscripts He has become the Messiah of the Jews; the Aurora, in their expected trinity of Revelators, of the Zoroastrians; the returned Buddha of the Buddhists.
He is our Tree of Life; the Father whom Jesus Christ promised; and the Spirit of Ail-Truth.
We are on the verge of great tribulations, but the Throne is occupied and we shall attain the Day of the Universal Peace. We shall gain the victory through the weapon of Love. The Blessed Perfection, Bahá'u'lláh, said: "Were it not for the religion I would appoint the one who should murder Me to be My inheritor."
From this statement we can conceive the station of the saints and martyrs in His Cause.
From this Heavenly Table none who hunger or thirst are turned away unsatisfied. Our Promised One has come and "the Angel of His Presence" has saved the world from death.
By the way of the Sea, on the shore of the "tideless Mediterranean," lies the white and glistening city of Acre. Eight or nine miles south of it, as one circles around the Bay of Acre, passing through the Valley of Acre, with the blue sea on one side and the low chain of hills on the other, lies Mt. Carmel, on the southern point of the bay, the town of Acre being on its northern point. This chain of hills is the remnant of the Lebanon mountains, which rise much higher as they extend northward, but which are never very lofty.
We are in the midst of Bible prophecy. Just beyond those low hills lie the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali. Referring to the 9th chapter of Isaiah we find that the people that walked in darkness have seen a great Light by the way of the sea beyond Jordan in Galilee of the nations. Naphtali lies a little to the east and north of the city of Acre, and Zebulun, a little to the east and south of Mt. Car-
mel. Sharon lies along the "tideless sea," south of and making up to Mt. Carmel. In Isaiah, 35th chapter, first two verses, we find the following: "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the Glory of the Lord and the excellency of our God."
In Hosea, second chapter and 15th verse: "And I will give her her vineyards thence, and the Valley of Achor for a door of hope."
In Isaiah, 65:10, it is said that "Sharon shall be a fold of flocks and the Valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me."
Where are all of these places? They centralize about Acre, upon the bay of Acre. (Acre is variously spelled on the different maps.) If this is not fulfilled prophecy, then there is some mistake in prophecy itself.
Within the walls of the city abides One upon whom the thoughts of the world are centering; some consciously, and others unconsciously. A preparation is going on in all hearts. The vibrations from this great Centre are quickening and vitalizing all intellectual forces and spiritual powers.
Having made a great and holy Pilgrimage to that city of spiritual Light, Love, Joy and Peace, it is my privilege to bear the Fragrance of its blessed Consummation unto all.
I have seen the King in His Beauty. I have realized his Spiritual Glory. I understand how He has returned as silently as a thief in this night of spiritual darkness, and without observation; and that this One who has appeared is the Greatest Branch from the Tree of Life — the Branch of whom Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea and Zechariah have prophesied: that the Son who was to return and renew the cup in the Kingdom of God has kept His Covenant with us: that He is the "Centre of the Covenant:" that the Master is here, and we need not look for another. And I understand much more than this.
He calls Himself — "Abdul-Baha," which means "the Servant of God," He declares to all the earth that He has no position or grade save this; that He knows no station save that of "servitude, humility, lowliness," to the beloved of El-Baha'; that He has clad Himself in the mantle and crowned Himself with the crown of absolute servitude to the Beauty of ABHA; that this is His crown in the earthly and in the heavenly Kingdom.
Recognition of this Station is the Life of every soul. This is the "Shadow of the Word of Oneness," under which all the beloved of ABHA must abide. "This is not servitude but sovereignty," "This is the Garment of Everlasting Glory" and "the Rose of Eternal Exaltation."
Jesus said: "Whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister; and whosoever of you will be the chiefest. shall be servant of all," St. Mark, 10:43-44. The Diadem of Servitude is the Diadem of Beauty and of Light.
In the Holy Hands of Abdul-Baha' is the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh.
His is the trust of delivering that Revelation to the earth, and of building the Temple of the New Jerusalem.
In the presence of this exaltation of the fulfilled Covenant in Manifestation the world is asleep. Just so it was nineteen hundred years ago. God's Messenger then was slandered and abused, and His foes were those of His own household, for His own received Him not; and so it will be in these days. But now, as then, "My Sheep hear My Voice."
The Station of this Day is beyond all that which hath ever preceded it. Therefore know its Greatness.
"Surely He hath shone forth from the Orient and His Signs have appeared in the Occident! Awake by the Breezes of God! Verily they have blown in the world! Blessed is whoever hath found their Fragrance, and is of the assured."
It is for each one. to investigate this Truth. For the sake of your soul beware how you oppose it. There is no middle ground.
The responsibility rests upon the possessor of this Divine Knowledge until he offers it to others, and then the responsibility rests upon those to whom it is offered.
Prayer will show you the Truth. THIS IS THE TRUTH.
"The Beloved hath gone down into the Garden to gather lilies."
Lesson 4. — PROOFS OF THE REVELATION OF BAHA'U'LLAH.
Abraham had two sons, his first born, Ishmael. being the son of Hagar, whom the angel of the Lord (Gen., 16:12) declared would be a wild man, and his hand against every man, and every man's hand against him, but that he should dwell in the presence of all his brethren; and (Gen., 17:20) God promised that twelve princes and a great nation should be born from him.
With Isaac, the second son, a covenant was to be established (Gen., 17:21), which promise was later fulfilled (Gen., 26:3-5).
Through the influence of Sarah (Isaac's mother) Ishmael and Hagar became outcasts from their home, and these wanderers turned their footsteps to the wilderness of Paran, where they dwelt, and where Ishmael married an Egyptian wife. It says in Gen. 21:20, that "God was with the lad." Both Biblical and profane historians coincide in the belief that that great nation promised to Ishmael is that of Arabia; for his descendants peopled the northern and western parts of that country, and eventually formed the chief clement of the Arabian nation. See also Gen. 15:18.
The history of Abraham's second son, Isaac, who married Rebekah, is well known. He had two sons, Esau and Jacob. Through duplicity Jacob secured both Esau's birthright and blessing. Yet Isaac
bestowed the following benediction upon Esau, as found in Gen. 27:39-40: "Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth and of the dew of heaven from above; and by thy sword shalt thou live and shalt serve thy brother, and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion (R. V. break loose) that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck."
Esau married a daughter of Ishmael (Gen. 28:9), and dwelt in Mount Seir. Esau is Edom. (Gen., 36:8,) Edom is a portion of northwestern Arabia, and adjoining Syria. In the 17th century it was overcome by the Arabs and has since shared the fortunes of Arabia. Its capital was Bozrah.
The Greek form of Edom is Idumea. The maps identify Mount Seir with Edom.
Biblical commentators have repeatedly asserted that Esau, also, was a thorough Bedouin and son of the desert.
Unto Isaac was born Jacob, and unto Jacob were born twelve sons, out of whom were to come, not one nation, as promised to Ishmael, but many nations and kings. These sons were the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel.
From both Ishmael and Isaac there were therefore to be brought forth twelve promised great descendants.
From the tribe of Judah, by lineal descent, David, the king, was born, and later, also by lineal descent from him, was born Matthat who, according to Biblical history, was the common grandfather of Joseph and Mary.
The genealogical records found in St. Matthew and St. Luke, pertaining to the ancestry of Jesus Christ, are not in harmony, but the three mentioned facts remain uncorrupted. Jesus Christ was to be of the seed of David, and his kinsman, "according to the flesh," and as such He was recognized, as we find recorded in Romans, 1:13.
But we find that David has, also, a spiritual significance, for in the 110th Psalm we read a statement made by the king concerning it. Also when the Pharisees declared to Jesus in St. Matt., 22nd chapter, that Christ was the Son of David, Jesus Himself makes the following reply, quoting King David's own words, from the Psalm referred to: "How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, the Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool. If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?"
"And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions."
David, spiritually, means the "Beloved;" and is therefore a symbol of Divine Love.
In Genesis, 49:10, we have a prophecy of Jacob's, as he blessed his twelve sons. He said, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the "gathering of the people be." This has been said to refer to Jesus Christ. But Jesus came out of Judah, and the Star of Bethlehem did not abrogate, but perfected the glory of Judah. Only a fragment of the people gathered to Him.
For nineteen hundred years the world has paid homage to the sceptre of the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
When the days are fulfilled it will depart. (Gen., 49:1.)
And now Shiloh hath come and all nations are flowing unto Him.
Isaiah, as already quoted, accurately locates the place from which this Light shall shine unto the world, by the way of the sea, out of the Rose-Garden of Acre.
In the 2nd chapter of Daniel we find the King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of an image which is formed of four different metals: the head of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, the legs of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay.
Daniel, to whom God gave the interpretation of this dream, explained it as follows: Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom at that period was in a condition of strength and power and this was typified by the head of gold. An inferior condition of the kingdom was to follow, symbolized by the silver; a third one of brass and bearing extensive rule; a fourth one of iron. It is especially in connection with the end and subdivision of this fourth condition that a certain great event is promised. This age of the kingdom is to be of iron, which will have the power of subjugation and of destruction. It is to be divided into two limbs. At the very end of its existence it will break away into many divisions and these will be part of iron and part of clay. It is a human kingdom, for "they are to mingle with mankind, but shall not cleave to one another," or amalgamate; for although they are the outgrowth of preceding conditions, yet they are opposed to each other. At this period "a stone, cut out without hands," will smite the image upon his feet and will destroy every remnant of its present and its former conditions; they are to be as the chaff before the wind, and the stone which destroyed them is to be the kingdom which the God of Heaven shall set up, and which shall stand forever.
The Mohammedan religion combines church and state and governs both, it has long been divided into two branches, the Shiites of Persia and Sunnites of Turkey. In the latter days they have subdivided into many sects, and although they are all one in believing in Mohammed as their prophet, yet they are will not intermarry or intermingle with one another. This Mohammedan religion forms the limbs and feet of the image. The Shiites are more spiritual than the Sunnites, and therefore are stronger in the eyes of God. The stone is the Everlasting Kingdom of Bahá'u'lláh. God has founded this kingdom.
Jesus Christ. in St. Matt., 24:15, warns us that the closing events of His Dispensation will come to pass when the abomination of desolation shall be perfected. This refers to the completion of the degradation and scattering of the Jews; which has attained its culmination and, by the signs of their Taurat, they know that their day of desolation has ended, and for them the gates of the Kingdom have opened.
Mohammed declared himself ten years prior to the establishment of Mohammedan time, which began 622 A. D.
Mohammedan and Jewish years are each lunar, and are each 354 days in length, The Jewish year contains six months of thirty days and six months of twenty-nine days.
If we turn to Daniel, 12:11, we will find the prophecy to which Jesus referred when He gave us the signs of the end of the days, at which time His sceptre, as the Judean lawgiver, would depart; and One would appear Whose Sceptre, adorned with the Jewels of Love, Peace and Concord, would dominate the world.
In this 11th verse of 12th chapter of Daniel it speaks of the destruction of the daily sacrifice and the appearance of the abomination of desolation.
In 70 A. D, Titus conquered Jerusalem, but at that time the daily sacrifice was not really destroyed, for although it was not celebrated in Jerusalem, yet the Jews continued to celebrate it secretly throughout all Syria, and this was never annulled until Mohammedanism invaded Jerusalem, and banished the Jews from all Syria.
The appearance of Mohammed was the symbolic fulfillment of this prophecy. In these 1290 days we have 1290 lunar years. That lunar time underlies all Biblical calculation is a fact so widely recognized as to require no proof. Ezekiel tells us that the days are appointed us for years. (Ezek. 4:6.)
If we take these 1290 lunar years and multiply by 354 (the number of days of the lunar year) we reduced them to lunar days; and then if we take 365 (the number of the days of the solar year) and divide this into the lunar days we will thus reduce them to solar years. (But the more rapid, and entirely accurate, method is to take three years from every hundred, and the years proportionally from the fraction of a hundred.)
Add this result to 622 A. D., when Anno Hegira or lunar time was established, and we have 1873. Now Mohammed declared himself ten years (solar time) prior to this, and if we subtract ten years from 1873 we find 1863.
This is the year in which the Deliverer of the earth declared Himself to all its peoples, the beginning of that year at Bagdad, and the latter part of the same year at Adrianople.
The Bab's declaration took place in 1260 Anno Hegira. He fulfilled Mohammedan prophecy when He declared Himself at that time.
The Mohammedans in Persia, India, Algeria, Syria, all dreaded this year as boding no good to them. It was a common remark in Egypt that with that year "The spirit of the Arab was gone."
Let us examine the times appointed by Jesus Christ in the 12th chapter of Revelation:
"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun (the emblem of Persia), and the moon (the emblem of Turkey), under her feet."
This is the symbol of the Mohammedan religion, '"Upon her head is a crown of twelve stars." These are the twelve Imams who succeeded Mohammed. Many Caliphs succeeded him, but only an occasional one was an Imam (or spiritual teacher). Mohammed's nephew, Ali, married the prophet's daughter, Fatima, and thus perpetuated the line.
After the departure of the Twelfth Imam, which Arab theologians state was in 260 A. H., a thousand years were to elapse and then the Great Imam Mahdi would appear, the Mohammedan Dis-
pensation would fall, and God would reign on the earth. Thrice the Trumpet would sound. The first Trumpet was exactly fulfilled in Anno Hegira 1260, when the Bab arose and declared His wondrous message as the Forerunner and herald of One Greater than he.
The child in Rev., 12th chapter, which was born of the woman, was Mohammed. The wilderness to which the woman flees in the 6th and 14th verses is the Spiritual Wilderness of Arabia, and all the world, if at all familiar with Oriental history, knows of the marvelous rise of the Mohammedan Dispensation, and how for hundreds of years thereafter, in science, arts and literature, Arabia led the Orient, And Ishmael's "twelve princes" became entirely fulfilled in the Twelve Imams.
God prepared for that religion a place where it should be nourished a thousand two hundred and three score days; i.e., 1260 years. This is lunar time. Reduce it to solar time, as in the 1290 years. The result is 1222 years. The Bab declared himself 1260 years, lunar time (Anno Hegira) and Anno Hegira began 622 A. D. solar time. Add the 622 solar years to 1222 solar years, and the result is 1844 solar years. This was the year, in our solar time, in which the Bab declared Himself to the world.
Thus is fulfilled the appointed date in the 6th verse of the 12th chapter Revelation.
In the 14th verse of the same chapter another date is set. "Time," Biblically, signifies 360 days (years), two times 720 days, a half a time 180 days. Add these all together and you have again 1260, and this "time" is the same as the "time, times and a half" appointed in Daniel, 12:7.
This 360 days is also lunar. Out of a more complicated system of computing time, Meton of Athens, who lived about four hundred years before Christ. evolved this clear method.
The following is the process by which it is reached: Every nineteen years the moon completes a cycle, its new moon falling on the date of the new moon nineteen years previously. It lacks but the very slightest fraction of the complete cycle of nineteen years. The square of nineteen is 361, As there is this slight fraction, the one year is dropped, making a cycle of 360 years. This cycle is the root and basis of all time reckoning, and underlies all Biblical and astronomical calculations. It is called the "Golden Cycle" of the ancients.
Also Rev., 11:2. Bring these months to lunar years, we have the 1260 lunar years, and in verse 3rd again 1260 lunar years. These prophecies refer to the Mohammedan Dispensation, and the two witnesses were Mohammed and Ali, for no other witnesses arose between the Advent of Jesus Christ and the present time.
In the book of Daniel we find another date recorded, Daniel was a state officer in the courts of three successive Babylonish kings. In the reign of Belshazzar, the time when the sanctuary shall be cleansed of the transgression, is given in a vision to Daniel, as found in 8th chapter, verse 13 and 14. Twenty-three hundred Biblical years are here stated. In round numbers, from this period in Daniel's life to the birth of Jesus Christ there were five hundred years, and from Jesus Christ's appearance with the beginning of last century, when "The Son
was born," there were eighteen hundred years, making a total of twenty-three hundred years. There are also various methods which various Bible students give by which one arrives at the exact date of 1844 A. D. One of these Biblical students, well known to the religious world and entirely uninformed of these Great Days at the time of his writing, places himself on record in a work of his own and which exhaustively teems with corroboration of the Holy Import of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, by saying that "the Bible with unwearying persistency returns to the date of 1844."
The year 1844 is one which shall ever make glad the hearts of the people of God; for in that year the Bab, in the splendor of his great mission, declared Himself, as a Messenger; and declared that the One of Whom he was but the herald, was upon the earth, and would in time manifest Himself to His flock; and at the time of that Annunciation, the third of this Great Trinity, was born, Abdul-Baha', our Master, who dwells in the City of Light, by the "blue and tideless sea." Well may the hearts of all the universe, seen and unseen, rejoice and sing together, and celebrate this blessed year, about which all prophecy has revolved, Moses prophesied that three religions and four Manifestations of God must transpire before the Day of God. We find this in Deuteronomy, 33:2: "And he said, "The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from Mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints; from his right hand went a fiery law for them." Reference to Gen., 27:41, will divest the mind of any confusion in connecting Esau with this prophecy concerning Seir.
Sinai refers to Moses and the Mosaic Dispensation; Seir to Jesus Christ and the Christian Dispensation; Mount Paran to Mohammed and the Mohammedan Dispensation; and the Fourth is the Appearance of Bahá'u'lláh.
Isaiah said that in this Day He should be called God. (25:9; also 9:6.)
Two rules by which we are to be guided in knowing what prophecies belong to the Dispensation of Jesus, the Son, and what prophecies belong to the final Day of God, the Father, are as follows: Those which predict the degradation of the Jews belong to the Day of Jesus Christ and of Mohammed, and those which predict the period of their restoration belong to Bahá'u'lláh.
The Lord of Hosts is His Name.
Out of hundreds of proofs we select a few which give the Master, Abdul-Baha', to us as "He who is to rebuild Jerusalem."
In Daniel, 7th chapter, beginning with the 9th verse to the 14th inclusive, we find the following: "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool, his throne was like the fiery flame and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
"I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the
horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame.
"As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away; yet their fives were prolonged for a season and time.
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
"And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
This is the Vision of the Book of Ages "which is unsealed." And the Son receives from the Father an everlasting kingdom and dominion.
In Micah, 5th chapter, first four verses, the two appearances of Christ are recorded; He, the Word which hath gone forth in Manifestations throughout the aeons of existence is, one day, to be ruler in Israel. But He gives up the Israelites until she which travaileth hath brought forth. After this the scattered Israelites shall return, and He shall stand and feed the flocks of God in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the Name of the Lord, His God. "And they shall abide; for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace." Now read carefully Isa., chapter 4, verse 2; Isa., chapter 11, first twelve verses; Isa., chapter 22, from 20th verse to end; Isa., chapter 30, 26th verse; Isa., chapter 60, verses 20 and 21; Jeremiah, chapter 23, verses 5 to 8: Jeremiah, chapter 33, verses 14 to 16; Zech., chapter 3, verses 8 to 10; Zech., chapter 6, from 12th verse to end. Hebrews, 4:8; St. John, 16:23.
The Branch so often spoken of by the Israelitish prophets has indeed branched from the Tree of Life. The Father has come, with the Son. This is the return of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. This is the return of the lamb that once was slain. By once suffering death by martyrdom, now He returns on the throne, at the right hand of the Father; and He is the "Sign of the End." The Glory of God and the glory of the Lamb, we are told in Rev., 21st chapter, are to lighten this heavenly City (the spiritual flock of Bahá'u'lláh). We find in this same chapter that God Himself is to be with us and to dwell among us. It is said that every Revelation doubles in progressiveness. In this day the veil is to be removed from the entire earth. Love, Peace, Faith and Deeds, and Knowledge of our God will be the foundation stones of the Kingdom of Shiloh.
The reasons for this Revelation are as follows: Until today the sacred books of all religions have been sealed. Today their seals are broken. Therefore it is the cycle for teaching, and for bringing every religion into a knowledge of and concord with all others.
"In this Day all the inhabitants of the world will be gathered into one nation; universal peace will prevail; bloodshed and war will cease; there will be a general language; union and harmony will reach the highest conditions; all will be gathered under the tent of Peace."
Bahá'u'lláh is "the Trainer of the whole Universe; His teachings
are the Cause of the life of the worlds, the unity and harmony of the creatures, the agreement of the people, and the Universal Peace."
Today we stand in the presence of this Great Revelation; and to decide as to "Whether we will have this Christ or not."
Man's mere assertion that he believes in God will not save him, for the devils also believe and tremble. Such believers are as wells without water. When the Spirit of the Infinite manifests in the Temple of Man, to resist that Word, deny it, to persecute it, is as death to the one who attempts these things. In the 2nd Epistle of St. John we are told that at the beginning of the Christian Dispensation, "Many there are in the world who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-Christ."
As it was then, so it will be now.
Nineteen hundred years ago many things were blasphemously spoken against God's Messenger and Son.
Thus it will be in the present time.
In that Day when Jesus stood before the tribunal of Pilate, in the presence of His accusers, the chains of a common felon bound Him; yet He was the Son of God. Sacred history always repeats itself. And the Greater the Light, the greater will be made visible the darkness; the Greater the Truth, the greater the falsehood of the Opposer.
The more perfect the Way unto God, the more terrible the doom of the one for whom the Way has been opened, but who walketh not therein, and who "is of those who are afar."
But unto those who believe — "He is Precious."