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O my spiritual loved ones! At a time when an ocean of trials and tribulations was surging up and flinging its waves to the heavens, when multitudes were assailing us and the tyrannical were inflicting upon us crushing wrongs --at such a time a band of individuals, intent on defaming us, allied themselves with our unkind brother, brought out a treatise that was filled with slanderous charges, and levelled accusations and calumnies against us.
In this way they alarmed and confused the government authorities, and it is obvious what the condition of this captive then became, in this dilapidated fortress, and what terrible harm and mischief was done, far worse than words can tell. In spite of everything, this homeless prisoner remained inwardly tranquil and secure, trusting in the peerless Lord, yearning for whatever afflictions might have to be encountered in the pathway of God's love. For bolts of hate are, in our sight, but a gift of pearls from Him, and mortal poison but a healing draught.
Such was our state when a letter came to us from the
American friends.1 They had covenanted together, so they
wrote, to remain at one in all things, and the signatories one
and all had pledged themselves to make sacrifices in the
pathway of the love of God, thus to achieve eternal life. At
the very moment when this letter was read, together with
the signatures at its close,
The more this compact is reinforced, the happier and the better shall all things be, for it will draw unto itself the confirmations of God. If the lovers of the Lord are hoping for grace to win as their friends the Company on high, they must do all they can to strengthen this compact, for such an alliance for brotherhood and unity is even as watering the Tree of Life: it is life everlasting.
O ye lovers of God! Make firm your steps; fulfill your pledge to one another; go forth in harmony to scatter abroad the sweet savours of God's love, and to establish His Teachings, until ye breathe a soul into the dead body of this world, and bring true healing in the physical and spiritual realms to everyone who aileth.
O ye lovers of God! The world is even as a human being who is diseased and impotent, whose eyes can see no longer, whose ears have gone deaf, all of whose powers are corroded and used up. Wherefore must the friends of God be competent physicians who, following the holy Teachings, will nurse this patient back to health. Perhaps, God willing, the world will mend, and become permanently whole, and its exhausted faculties will be restored, and its person will take on such vigour, freshness and verdancy that it will shine out with comeliness and grace.
The first remedy of all is to guide the people aright, so
that they will turn themselves unto God, and listen to His
counsellings, and go forth with hearing ears and seeing eyes.
Once this speedily effective draught is given them, then, in
accordance with the Teachings, they must be led to acquire
the characteristics and the behaviour of the Concourse on
high, and encouraged to seek out all the bounties of the
O ye lovers of God! Be kind to all peoples; care for every person; do all ye can to purify the hearts and minds of men; strive ye to gladden every soul. To every meadow be a shower of grace, to every tree the water of life; be as sweet musk to the sense of humankind, and to the ailing be a fresh, restoring breeze. Be pleasing waters to all those who thirst, a careful guide to all who have lost their way; be father and mother to the orphan, be loving sons and daughters to the old, be an abundant treasure to the poor. Think ye of love and good fellowship as the delights of heaven, think ye of hostility and hatred as the torments of hell.
Indulge not your bodies with rest, but work with all
your souls, and with all your hearts cry out and beg of God
to grant you His succour and grace. Thus may ye make this
O ye lovers of God! Do not dwell on what is coming to pass in this holy place, and be ye in no wise alarmed. Whatsoever may happen is for the best, because affliction is but the essence of bounty, and sorrow and toil are mercy unalloyed, and anguish is peace of mind, and to make a sacrifice is to receive a gift, and whatsoever may come to pass hath issued from God's grace.
See ye, therefore, to your own tasks: guide ye the people
and educate them in the ways of