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Part One


_No man shall attain the shores of the ocean of true understanding
except he be detached from all that is in heaven and on earth.
Sanctify your souls, O ye peoples of the world, that haply ye may
attain that station which God hath destined for you and enter thus
the tabernacle which, according to the dispensations of
Providence, hath been raised in the firmament of the Bayan._

The essence of these words is this: they that tread the path of faith,
they that thirst for the wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of all
that is earthly--their ears from idle talk, their minds from vain
imaginings, their hearts from worldly affections, their eyes from that
which perisheth. They should put their trust in God, and, holding fast
unto Him, follow in His way. Then will they be made worthy of the
effulgent glories of the sun of divine knowledge and understanding, and
become the recipients of a grace that is infinite and unseen, inasmuch as
man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can
never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge and wisdom, can never
enter the abode of immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine nearness
and favour, unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of
mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God
and His Prophets.

Consider the past. How many, both high and low, have, at all times,
yearningly awaited the advent of the Manifestations of God in the
sanctified persons of His chosen Ones. How often have they expected His
coming, how frequently have they prayed that the breeze of divine mercy
might blow, and the promised Beauty step forth from behind the veil of
concealment, and be made manifest to all the world. And whensoever the
portals of grace did open, and the clouds of divine bounty did rain upon
mankind, and the light of the Unseen did shine above the horizon of
celestial might, they all denied Him, and turned away from His face--the
face of God Himself. Refer ye, to verify this truth, to that which hath
been recorded in every sacred Book.

Ponder for a moment, and reflect upon that which hath been the cause of
such denial on the part of those who have searched with such earnestness
and longing. Their attack hath been more fierce than tongue or pen can
describe. Not one single Manifestation of Holiness hath appeared but He
was afflicted by the denials, the repudiation, and the vehement opposition
of the people around Him. Thus it hath been revealed: O the misery of
men! No Messenger cometh unto them but they laugh Him to scorn.(1) Again
He saith: Each nation hath plotted darkly against their Messenger to lay
violent hold on Him, and disputed with vain words to invalidate the

In like manner, those words that have streamed forth from the source of
power and descended from the heaven of glory are innumerable and beyond
the ordinary comprehension of man. To them that are possessed of true
understanding and insight the Surah of Hud surely sufficeth. Ponder a
while those holy words in your heart, and, with utter detachment, strive
to grasp their meaning. Examine the wondrous behaviour of the Prophets,
and recall the defamations and denials uttered by the children of negation
and falsehood, perchance you may cause the bird of the human heart to wing
its flight away from the abodes of heedlessness and doubt unto the nest of
faith and certainty, and drink deep from the pure waters of ancient
wisdom, and partake of the fruit of the tree of divine knowledge. Such is
the share of the pure in heart of the bread that hath descended from the
realms of eternity and holiness.

Should you acquaint yourself with the indignities heaped upon the Prophets
of God, and apprehend the true causes of the objections voiced by their
oppressors, you will surely appreciate the significance of their position.
Moreover, the more closely you observe the denials of those who have
opposed the Manifestations of the divine attributes, the firmer will be
your faith in the Cause of God. Accordingly, a brief mention will be made
in this Tablet of divers accounts relative to the Prophets of God, that
they may demonstrate the truth that throughout all ages and centuries the
Manifestations of power and glory have been subjected to such heinous
cruelties that no pen dare describe them. Perchance this may enable a few
to cease to be perturbed by the clamour and protestations of the divines
and the foolish of this age, and cause them to strengthen their confidence
and certainty.

Among the Prophets was Noah. For nine hundred and fifty years He
prayerfully exhorted His people and summoned them to the haven of security
and peace. None, however, heeded His call. Each day they inflicted on His
blessed person such pain and suffering that no one believed He could
survive. How frequently they denied Him, how malevolently they hinted
their suspicion against Him! Thus it hath been revealed: And as often as
a company of His people passed by Him, they derided Him. To them He said:
'Though ye scoff at us now, we will scoff at you hereafter even as ye
scoff at us. In the end ye shall know.'(3) Long afterward, He several
times promised victory to His companions and fixed the hour thereof. But
when the hour struck, the divine promise was not fulfilled. This caused a
few among the small number of His followers to turn away from Him, and to
this testify the records of the best-known books. These you must certainly
have perused; if not, undoubtedly you will. Finally, as stated in books
and traditions, there remained with Him only forty or seventy-two of His
followers. At last from the depth of His being He cried aloud: Lord!
Leave not upon the land a single dweller from among the unbelievers.(4)

And now, consider and reflect a moment upon the waywardness of this
people. What could have been the reason for such denial and avoidance on
their part? What could have induced them to refuse to put off the garment
of denial, and to adorn themselves with the robe of acceptance? Moreover,
what could have caused the nonfulfilment of the divine promise which led
the seekers to reject that which they had accepted? Meditate profoundly,
that the secret of things unseen may be revealed unto you, that you may
inhale the sweetness of a spiritual and imperishable fragrance, and that
you may acknowledge the truth that from time immemorial even unto eternity
the Almighty hath tried, and will continue to try, His servants, so that
light may be distinguished from darkness, truth from falsehood, right from
wrong, guidance from error, happiness from misery, and roses from thorns.
Even as He hath revealed: Do men think when they say 'We believe' they
shall be let alone and not be put to proof?(5)

And after Noah the light of the countenance of Hud shone forth above the
horizon of creation. For well-nigh seven hundred years, according to the
sayings of men, He exhorted the people to turn their faces and draw nearer
unto the Ridvan of the divine presence. What showers of afflictions rained
upon Him, until at last His adjurations bore the fruit of increased
rebelliousness, and His assiduous endeavours resulted in the wilful
blindness of His people. And their unbelief shall only increase for the
unbelievers their own perdition.(6)

And after Him there appeared from the Ridvan of the Eternal, the
Invisible, the holy person of Salih, Who again summoned the people to the
river of everlasting life. For over a hundred years He admonished them to
hold fast unto the commandments of God and eschew that which is forbidden.
His admonitions, however, yielded no fruit, and His pleading proved of no
avail. Several times He retired and lived in seclusion. All this, although
that eternal Beauty was summoning the people to no other than the city of
God. Even as it is revealed: And unto the tribe of Thamud We sent their
brother Salih. 'O my people,' said He, 'Worship God, ye have none other
God beside Him....' They made reply: 'O Salih, our hopes were fixed on
thee until now; forbiddest thou us to worship that which our fathers
worshipped? Truly we misdoubt that whereunto thou callest us as
suspicious.'(7) All this proved fruitless, until at last there went up a
great cry, and all fell into utter perdition.

Later, the beauty of the countenance of the Friend of God(8) appeared from
behind the veil, and another standard of divine guidance was hoisted. He
invited the people of the earth to the light of righteousness. The more
passionately He exhorted them, the fiercer waxed the envy and waywardness
of the people, except those who wholly detached themselves from all save
God, and ascended on the wings of certainty to the station which God hath
exalted beyond the comprehension of men. It is well known what a host of
enemies besieged Him, until at last the fires of envy and rebellion were
kindled against Him. And after the episode of the fire came to pass, He,
the lamp of God amongst men, was, as recorded in all books and chronicles,
expelled from His city.

And when His day was ended, there came the turn of Moses. Armed with the
rod of celestial dominion, adorned with the white hand of divine
knowledge, and proceeding from the Paran of the love of God, and wielding
the serpent of power and everlasting majesty, He shone forth from the
Sinai of light upon the world. He summoned all the peoples and kindreds of
the earth to the kingdom of eternity, and invited them to partake of the
fruit of the tree of faithfulness. Surely you are aware of the fierce
opposition of Pharaoh and his people, and of the stones of idle fancy
which the hands of infidels cast upon that blessed Tree. So much so that
Pharaoh and his people finally arose and exerted their utmost endeavor to
extinguish with the waters of falsehood and denial the fire of that sacred
Tree, oblivious of the truth that no earthly water can quench the flame of
divine wisdom, nor mortal blasts extinguish the lamp of everlasting
dominion. Nay, rather, such water cannot but intensify the burning of the
flame, and such blasts cannot but ensure the preservation of the lamp,
were ye to observe with the eye of discernment, and walk in the way of
God's holy will and pleasure. How well hath a believer of the kindred of
Pharaoh, whose story is recounted by the All-Glorious in His Book revealed
unto His beloved One, observed: And a man of the family of Pharaoh who
was a believer and concealed his faith said: 'Will ye slay a man because
he saith my Lord is God, when He hath already come to you with signs from
your Lord? If he be a liar, on him will be his lie, but if he be a man of
truth, part of what he threateneth will fall upon you. In truth God
guideth not him who is a transgressor, a liar.'(9) Finally, so great was
their iniquity that this self-same believer was put to a shameful death.
The curse of God be upon the people of tyranny.(10)

And now, ponder upon these things. What could have caused such contention
and conflict? Why is it that the advent of every true Manifestation of God
hath been accompanied by such strife and tumult, by such tyranny and
upheaval? This notwithstanding the fact that all the Prophets of God,
whenever made manifest unto the peoples of the world, have invariably
foretold the coming of yet another Prophet after them, and have
established such signs as would herald the advent of the future
Dispensation. To this the records of all sacred books bear witness. Why
then is it that despite the expectation of men in their quest of the
Manifestations of Holiness, and in spite of the signs recorded in the
sacred books, such acts of violence, of oppression and cruelty, should
have been perpetrated in every age and cycle against all the Prophets and
chosen Ones of God? Even as He hath revealed: As oft as an Apostle cometh
unto you with that which your souls desire not, ye swell with pride,
accusing some of being impostors and slaying others.(11)

Reflect, what could have been the motive for such deeds? What could have
prompted such behaviour towards the Revealers of the beauty of the
All-Glorious? Whatever in days gone by hath been the cause of the denial
and opposition of those people hath now led to the perversity of the
people of this age. To maintain that the testimony of Providence was
incomplete, that it hath therefore been the cause of the denial of the
people, is but open blasphemy. How far from the grace of the All-Bountiful
and from His loving providence and tender mercies it is to single out a
soul from amongst all men for the guidance of His creatures, and, on one
hand, to withhold from Him the full measure of His divine testimony, and,
on the other, inflict severe retribution on His people for having turned
away from His chosen One! Nay, the manifold bounties of the Lord of all
beings have, at all times, through the Manifestations of His divine
Essence, encompassed the earth and all that dwell therein. Not for a
moment hath His grace been withheld, nor have the showers of His
loving-kindness ceased to rain upon mankind. Consequently, such behaviour
can be attributed to naught save the petty-mindedness of such souls as
tread the valley of arrogance and pride, are lost in the wilds of
remoteness, walk in the ways of their idle fancy, and follow the dictates
of the leaders of their faith. Their chief concern is mere opposition;
their sole desire is to ignore the truth. Unto every discerning observer
it is evident and manifest that had these people in the days of each of
the Manifestations of the Sun of Truth sanctified their eyes, their ears,
and their hearts from whatever they had seen, heard, and felt, they surely
would not have been deprived of beholding the beauty of God, nor strayed
far from the habitations of glory. But having weighed the testimony of God
by the standard of their own knowledge, gleaned from the teachings of the
leaders of their faith, and found it at variance with their limited
understanding, they arose to perpetrate such unseemly acts.

Leaders of religion, in every age, have hindered their people from
attaining the shores of eternal salvation, inasmuch as they held the reins
of authority in their mighty grasp. Some for the lust of leadership,
others through want of knowledge and understanding, have been the cause of
the deprivation of the people. By their sanction and authority, every
Prophet of God hath drunk from the chalice of sacrifice, and winged His
flight unto the heights of glory. What unspeakable cruelties they that
have occupied the seats of authority and learning have inflicted upon the
true Monarchs of the world, those Gems of divine virtue! Content with a
transitory dominion, they have deprived themselves of an everlasting
sovereignty. Thus, their eyes beheld not the light of the countenance of
the Well-Beloved, nor did their ears hearken unto the sweet melodies of
the Bird of Desire. For this reason, in all sacred books mention hath been
made of the divines of every age. Thus He saith: O people of the Book!
Why disbelieve the signs of God to which ye yourselves have been
witnesses?(12) And also He saith: O people of the Book! Why clothe ye
the truth with falsehood? Why wittingly hide the truth?(13) Again, He
saith: Say, O people of the Book! Why repel believers from the way of
God?(14) It is evident that by the people of the Book, who have
repelled their fellow-men from the straight path of God, is meant none
other than the divines of that age, whose names and character have been
revealed in the sacred books, and alluded to in the verses and traditions
recorded therein, were you to observe with the eye of God.

With fixed and steady gaze, born of the unerring eye of God, scan for a
while the horizon of divine knowledge, and contemplate those words of
perfection which the Eternal hath revealed, that haply the mysteries of
divine wisdom, hidden ere now beneath the veil of glory and treasured
within the tabernacle of His grace, may be made manifest unto you. The
denials and protestations of these leaders of religion have, in the main,
been due to their lack of knowledge and understanding. Those words uttered
by the Revealers of the beauty of the one true God, setting forth the
signs that should herald the advent of the Manifestation to come, they
never understood nor fathomed. Hence they raised the standard of revolt,
and stirred up mischief and sedition. It is obvious and manifest that the
true meaning of the utterances of the Birds of Eternity is revealed to
none except those that manifest the Eternal Being, and the melodies of the
Nightingale of Holiness can reach no ear save that of the denizens of the
everlasting realm. The Copt of tyranny can never partake of the cup
touched by the lips of the Sept of justice, and the Pharaoh of unbelief
can never hope to recognize the hand of the Moses of truth. Even as He
saith: None knoweth the meaning thereof except God and them that are
well-grounded in knowledge.(15) And yet, they have sought the
interpretation of the Book from those that are wrapt in veils, and have
refused to seek enlightenment from the fountain-head of knowledge.

And when the days of Moses were ended, and the light of Jesus, shining
forth from the dayspring of the Spirit, encompassed the world, all the
people of Israel arose in protest against Him. They clamoured that He
Whose advent the Bible had foretold must needs promulgate and fulfil the
laws of Moses, whereas this youthful Nazarene, who laid claim to the
station of the divine Messiah, had annulled the law of divorce and of the
sabbath day--the most weighty of all the laws of Moses. Moreover, what of
the signs of the Manifestation yet to come? These people of Israel are
even unto the present day still expecting that Manifestation which the
Bible hath foretold! How many Manifestations of Holiness, how many
Revealers of the light everlasting, have appeared since the time of Moses,
and yet Israel, wrapt in the densest veils of satanic fancy and false
imaginings, is still expectant that the idol of her own handiwork will
appear with such signs as she herself hath conceived! Thus hath God laid
hold of them for their sins, hath extinguished in them the spirit of
faith, and tormented them with the flames of the nethermost fire. And this
for no other reason except that Israel refused to apprehend the meaning of
such words as have been revealed in the Bible concerning the signs of the
coming Revelation. As she never grasped their true significance, and, to
outward seeming, such events never came to pass, she, therefore, remained
deprived of recognizing the beauty of Jesus and of beholding the face of
God. And they still await His coming! From time immemorial even unto this
day, all the kindreds and peoples of the earth have clung to such fanciful
and unseemly thoughts, and thus have deprived themselves of the clear
waters streaming from the springs of purity and holiness.

In unfolding these mysteries, We have, in Our former Tablets which were
addressed to a friend in the melodious language of Hijaz, cited a few of
the verses revealed unto the Prophets of old. And now, responding to your
request, We again shall cite, in these pages, those same verses, uttered
this time in the wondrous accents of 'Iraq, that haply the sore athirst in
the wilds of remoteness may attain unto the ocean of the divine presence,
and they that languish in the wastes of separation be led unto the home of
eternal reunion. Thus the mists of error may be dispelled, and the
all-resplendent light of divine guidance dawn forth above the horizon of
human hearts. In God We put Our trust, and to Him We cry for help, that
haply there may flow from this pen that which shall quicken the souls of
men, that they may all arise from their beds of heedlessness and hearken
unto the rustling of the leaves of Paradise, from the tree which the hand
of divine power hath, by the permission of God, planted in the Ridvan of
the All-Glorious.

To them that are endowed with understanding, it is clear and manifest that
when the fire of the love of Jesus consumed the veils of Jewish
limitations, and His authority was made apparent and partially enforced,
He the Revealer of the unseen Beauty, addressing one day His disciples,
referred unto His passing, and, kindling in their hearts the fire of
bereavement, said unto them: I go away and come again unto you. And in
another place He said: I go and another will come Who will tell you all
that I have not told you, and will fulfil all that I have said. Both
these sayings have but one meaning, were you to ponder upon the
Manifestations of the Unity of God with divine insight.

Every discerning observer will recognize that in the Dispensation of the
Qur'an both the Book and the Cause of Jesus were confirmed. As to the
matter of names, Muhammad, Himself, declared: I am Jesus. He recognized
the truth of the signs, prophecies, and words of Jesus, and testified that
they were all of God. In this sense, neither the person of Jesus nor His
writings hath differed from that of Muhammad and of His holy Book,
inasmuch as both have championed the Cause of God, uttered His praise, and
revealed His commandments. Thus it is that Jesus, Himself, declared: I go
away and come again unto you. Consider the sun. Were it to say now, I am
the sun of yesterday, it would speak the truth. And should it, bearing
the sequence of time in mind, claim to be other than that sun, it still
would speak the truth. In like manner, if it be said that all the days are
but one and the same, it is correct and true. And if it be said, with
respect to their particular names and designations, that they differ, that
again is true. For though they are the same, yet one doth recognize in
each a separate designation, a specific attribute, a particular character.
Conceive accordingly the distinction, variation, and unity characteristic
of the various Manifestations of holiness, that thou mayest comprehend the
allusions made by the creator of all names and attributes to the mysteries
of distinction and unity, and discover the answer to thy question as to
why that everlasting Beauty should have, at sundry times, called Himself
by different names and titles.

Afterwards, the companions and disciples of Jesus asked Him concerning
those signs that must needs signalize the return of His manifestation.
When, they asked, shall these things be? Several times they questioned
that peerless Beauty, and, every time He made reply, He set forth a
special sign that should herald the advent of the promised Dispensation.
To this testify the records of the four Gospels.

This wronged One will cite but one of these instances, thus conferring
upon mankind, for the sake of God, such bounties as are yet concealed
within the treasury of the hidden and sacred Tree, that haply mortal men
may not remain deprived of their share of the immortal fruit, and attain
to a dewdrop of the waters of everlasting life which, from Baghdad, the
Abode of Peace, are being vouchsafed unto all mankind. We ask for
neither meed nor reward. We nourish your souls for the sake of God; we
seek from you neither recompense nor thanks.(16) This is the food that
conferreth everlasting life upon the pure in heart and the illumined in
spirit. This is the bread of which it is said: Lord, send down upon us
Thy bread from heaven.(17) This bread shall never be withheld from them
that deserve it, nor can it ever be exhausted. It groweth everlastingly
from the tree of grace; it descendeth at all seasons from the heavens of
justice and mercy. Even as He saith: Seest thou not to what God likeneth
a good word? To a good tree; its root firmly fixed, and its branches
reaching unto heaven: yielding its fruit in all seasons.(18)

O the pity! that man should deprive himself of this goodly gift, this
imperishable bounty, this everlasting life. It behooveth him to prize this
food that cometh from heaven, that perchance, through the wondrous favours
of the Sun of Truth, the dead may be brought to life, and withered souls
be quickened by the infinite Spirit. Make haste, O my brother, that while
there is yet time our lips may taste of the immortal draught, for the
breeze of life, now blowing from the city of the Well-Beloved, cannot
last, and the streaming river of holy utterance must needs be stilled, and
the portals of the Ridvan cannot for ever remain open. The day will surely
come when the Nightingale of Paradise will have winged its flight away
from its earthly abode unto its heavenly nest. Then will its melody be
heard no more, and the beauty of the rose cease to shine. Seize the time,
therefore, ere the glory of the divine springtime hath spent itself, and
the Bird of Eternity ceased to warble its melody, that thy inner hearing
may not be deprived of hearkening unto its call. This is My counsel unto
thee and unto the beloved of God. Whosoever wisheth, let him turn
thereunto; whosoever wisheth, let him turn away. God, verily, is
independent of him and of that which he may see and witness.

These are the melodies, sung by Jesus, Son of Mary, in accents of majestic
power in the Ridvan of the Gospel, revealing those signs that must needs
herald the advent of the Manifestation after Him. In the first Gospel
according to Matthew it is recorded: And when they asked Jesus concerning
the signs of His coming, He said unto them: Immediately after the
oppression(19) of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall
not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers
of the earth shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of
man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they
shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a
trumpet.(20) Rendered into the Persian tongue,(21) the purport of these
words is as follows: When the oppression and afflictions that are to
befall mankind will have come to pass, then shall the sun be withheld from
shining, the moon from giving light, the stars of heaven shall fall upon
the earth, and the pillars of the earth shall quake. At that time, the
signs of the Son of man shall appear in heaven, that is, the promised
Beauty and Substance of life shall, when these signs have appeared, step
forth out of the realm of the invisible into the visible world. And He
saith: at that time, all the peoples and kindreds that dwell on earth
shall bewail and lament, and they shall see that divine Beauty coming from
heaven, riding upon the clouds with power, grandeur, and magnificence,
sending His angels with a great sound of a trumpet. Similarly, in the
three other Gospels, according to Luke, Mark, and John, the same
statements are recorded. As We have referred at length to these in Our
Tablets revealed in the Arabic tongue, We have made no mention of them in
these pages, and have confined Ourselves to but one reference.

Inasmuch as the Christian divines have failed to apprehend the meaning of
these words, and did not recognize their object and purpose, and have
clung to the literal interpretation of the words of Jesus, they therefore
became deprived of the streaming grace of the Muhammadan Revelation and
its showering bounties. The ignorant among the Christian community,
following the example of the leaders of their faith, were likewise
prevented from beholding the beauty of the King of glory, inasmuch as
those signs which were to accompany the dawn of the sun of the Muhammadan
Dispensation did not actually come to pass. Thus, ages have passed and
centuries rolled away, and that most pure Spirit hath repaired unto the
retreats of its ancient sovereignty. Once more hath the eternal Spirit
breathed into the mystic trumpet, and caused the dead to speed out of
their sepulchres of heedlessness and error unto the realm of guidance and
grace. And yet, that expectant community still crieth out: When shall
these things be? When shall the promised One, the object of our
expectation, be made manifest, that we may arise for the triumph of His
Cause, that we may sacrifice our substance for His sake, that we may offer
up our lives in His path? In like manner, have such false imaginings
caused other communities to stray from the Kawthar of the infinite mercy
of Providence, and to be busied with their own idle thoughts.

Beside this passage, there is yet another verse in the Gospel wherein He
saith: Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass
away.(22) Thus it is that the adherents of Jesus maintained that the law
of the Gospel shall never be annulled, and that whensoever the promised
Beauty is made manifest and all the signs are revealed, He must needs
re-affirm and establish the law proclaimed in the Gospel, so that there
may remain in the world no faith but His faith. This is their fundamental
belief. And their conviction is such that were a person to be made
manifest with all the promised signs and to promulgate that which is
contrary to the letter of the law of the Gospel, they must assuredly
renounce him, refuse to submit to his law, declare him an infidel, and
laugh him to scorn. This is proved by that which came to pass when the sun
of the Muhammadan Revelation was revealed. Had they sought with a humble
mind from the Manifestations of God in every Dispensation the true meaning
of these words revealed in the sacred books--words the misapprehension of
which hath caused men to be deprived of the recognition of the
Sadratu'l-Muntaha, the ultimate Purpose--they surely would have been guided
to the light of the Sun of Truth, and would have discovered the mysteries
of divine knowledge and wisdom.

This servant will now share with thee a dewdrop out of the fathomless
ocean of the truths treasured in these holy words, that haply discerning
hearts may comprehend all the allusions and the implications of the
utterances of the Manifestations of Holiness, so that the overpowering
majesty of the Word of God may not prevent them from attaining unto the
ocean of His names and attributes, nor deprive them of recognizing the
Lamp of God which is the seat of the revelation of His glorified Essence.

As to the words--Immediately after the oppression of those days--they
refer to the time when men shall become oppressed and afflicted, the time
when the lingering traces of the Sun of Truth and the fruit of the Tree of
knowledge and wisdom will have vanished from the midst of men, when the
reins of mankind will have fallen into the grasp of the foolish and
ignorant, when the portals of divine unity and understanding--the essential
and highest purpose in creation--will have been closed, when certain
knowledge will have given way to idle fancy, and corruption will have
usurped the station of righteousness. Such a condition as this is
witnessed in this day when the reins of every community have fallen into
the grasp of foolish leaders, who lead after their own whims and desire.
On their tongue the mention of God hath become an empty name; in their
midst His holy Word a dead letter. Such is the sway of their desires, that
the lamp of conscience and reason hath been quenched in their hearts, and
this although the fingers of divine power have unlocked the portals of the
knowledge of God, and the light of divine knowledge and heavenly grace
hath illumined and inspired the essence of all created things, in such
wise that in each and every thing a door of knowledge hath been opened,
and within every atom traces of the sun hath been made manifest. And yet,
in spite of all these manifold revelations of divine knowledge, which have
encompassed the world, they still vainly imagine the door of knowledge to
be closed, and the showers of mercy to be stilled. Clinging unto idle
fancy, they have strayed far from the Urvatu'l-Vuthqa of divine knowledge.
Their hearts seem not to be inclined to knowledge and the door thereof,
neither think they of its manifestations, inasmuch as in idle fancy they
have found the door that leadeth unto earthly riches, whereas in the
manifestation of the Revealer of knowledge they find naught but the call
to self-sacrifice. They therefore naturally hold fast unto the former, and
flee from the latter. Though they recognize in their hearts the Law of God
to be one and the same, yet from every direction they issue a new command,
and in every season proclaim a fresh decree. No two are found to agree on
one and the same law, for they seek no God but their own desire, and tread
no path but the path of error. In leadership they have recognized the
ultimate object of their endeavour, and account pride and haughtiness as
the highest attainments of their heart's desire. They have placed their
sordid machinations above the divine decree, have renounced resignation
unto the will of God, busied themselves with selfish calculation, and
walked in the way of the hypocrite. With all their power and strength they
strive to secure themselves in their petty pursuits, fearful lest the
least discredit undermine their authority or blemish the display of their
magnificence. Were the eye to be anointed and illumined with the collyrium
of the knowledge of God, it would surely discover that a number of
voracious beasts have gathered and preyed upon the carrion of the souls of

What oppression is greater than that which hath been recounted? What
oppression is more grievous than that a soul seeking the truth, and
wishing to attain unto the knowledge of God, should know not where to go
for it and from whom to seek it? For opinions have sorely differed, and
the ways unto the attainment of God have multiplied. This oppression is
the essential feature of every Revelation. Unless it cometh to pass, the
Sun of Truth will not be made manifest. For the break of the morn of
divine guidance must needs follow the darkness of the night of error. For
this reason, in all chronicles and traditions reference hath been made
unto these things, namely that iniquity shall cover the surface of the
earth and darkness shall envelop mankind. As the traditions referred to
are well known, and as the purpose of this servant is to be brief, He will
refrain from quoting the text of these traditions.

Were this oppression (which literally meaneth pressure) to be
interpreted that the earth is to become contracted, or were men's idle
fancy to conceive similar calamities to befall mankind, it is clear and
manifest that no such happenings can ever come to pass. They will
assuredly protest that this pre-requisite of divine revelation hath not
been made manifest. Such hath been and still is their contention. Whereas,
by oppression is meant the want of capacity to acquire spiritual
knowledge and apprehend the Word of God. By it is meant that when the
Day-star of Truth hath set, and the mirrors that reflect His light have
departed, mankind will become afflicted with oppression and hardship,
knowing not whither to turn for guidance. Thus We instruct thee in the
interpretation of the traditions, and reveal unto thee the mysteries of
divine wisdom, that haply thou mayest comprehend the meaning thereof, and
be of them that have quaffed the cup of divine knowledge and

And now, concerning His words--The sun shall be darkened, and the moon
shall not give light, and the stars shall fall from heaven. By the terms
sun and moon, mentioned in the writings of the Prophets of God, is not
meant solely the sun and moon of the visible universe. Nay rather,
manifold are the meanings they have intended for these terms. In every
instance they have attached to them a particular significance. Thus, by
the sun in one sense is meant those Suns of Truth Who rise from the
dayspring of ancient glory, and fill the world with a liberal effusion of
grace from on high. These Suns of Truth are the universal Manifestations
of God in the worlds of His attributes and names. Even as the visible sun
that assisteth, as decreed by God, the true One, the Adored, in the
development of all earthly things, such as the trees, the fruits, and
colours thereof, the minerals of the earth, and all that may be witnessed
in the world of creation, so do the divine Luminaries, by their loving
care and educative influence, cause the trees of divine unity, the fruits
of His oneness, the leaves of detachment, the blossoms of knowledge and
certitude, and the myrtles of wisdom and utterance, to exist and be made
manifest. Thus it is that through the rise of these Luminaries of God the
world is made new, the waters of everlasting life stream forth, the
billows of loving-kindness surge, the clouds of grace are gathered, and
the breeze of bounty bloweth upon all created things. It is the warmth
that these Luminaries of God generate, and the undying fires they kindle,
which cause the light of the love of God to burn fiercely in the heart of
humanity. It is through the abundant grace of these Symbols of Detachment
that the Spirit of life everlasting is breathed into the bodies of the
dead. Assuredly the visible sun is but a sign of the splendour of that
Day-star of Truth, that Sun Which can never have a peer, a likeness, or
rival. Through Him all things live, move, and have their being. Through
His grace they are made manifest, and unto Him they all return. From Him
all things have sprung, and unto the treasuries of His revelation they all
have repaired. From Him all created things did proceed, and to the
depositories of His law they did revert.

That these divine Luminaries seem to be confined at times to specific
designations and attributes, as you have observed and are now observing,
is due solely to the imperfect and limited comprehension of certain minds.
Otherwise, they have been at all times, and will through eternity continue
to be, exalted above every praising name, and sanctified from every
descriptive attribute. The quintessence of every name can hope for no
access unto their court of holiness, and the highest and purest of all
attributes can never approach their kingdom of glory. Immeasurably high
are the Prophets of God exalted above the comprehension of men, who can
never know them except by their own Selves. Far be it from His glory that
His chosen Ones should be magnified by any other than their own persons.
Glorified are they above the praise of men; exalted are they above human

The term suns hath many a time been applied in the writings of the
immaculate Souls unto the Prophets of God, those luminous Emblems of
Detachment. Among those writings are the following words recorded in the
Prayer of Nudbih:(23) Whither are gone the resplendent Suns? Whereunto
have departed those shining Moons and sparkling Stars? Thus, it hath
become evident that the terms sun, moon, and stars primarily signify
the Prophets of God, the saints, and their companions, those Luminaries,
the light of Whose knowledge hath shed illumination upon the worlds of the
visible and the invisible.

In another sense, by these terms is intended the divines of the former
Dispensation, who live in the days of the subsequent Revelations, and who
hold the reins of religion in their grasp. If these divines be illumined
by the light of the latter Revelation they will be acceptable unto God,
and will shine with a light everlasting. Otherwise, they will be declared
as darkened, even though to outward seeming they be leaders of men,
inasmuch as belief and unbelief, guidance and error, felicity and misery,
light and darkness, are all dependent upon the sanction of Him Who is the
Day-star of Truth. Whosoever among the divines of every age receiveth, in
the Day of Reckoning, the testimony of faith from the Source of true
knowledge, he verily becometh the recipient of learning, of divine favour,
and of the light of true understanding. Otherwise, he is branded as guilty
of folly, denial, blasphemy, and oppression.

It is evident and manifest unto every discerning observer that even as the
light of the star fadeth before the effulgent splendour of the sun, so
doth the luminary of earthly knowledge, of wisdom, and understanding
vanish into nothingness when brought face to face with the resplendent
glories of the Sun of Truth, the Day-star of divine enlightenment.

That the term sun hath been applied to the leaders of religion is due to
their lofty position, their fame, and renown. Such are the universally
recognized divines of every age, who speak with authority, and whose fame
is securely established. If they be in the likeness of the Sun of Truth,
they will surely be accounted as the most exalted of all luminaries;
otherwise, they are to be recognized as the focal centres of hellish fire.
Even as He saith: Verily, the sun and the moon are both condemned to the
torment of infernal fire.(24) You are no doubt familiar with the
interpretation of the term sun and moon mentioned in this verse; no
need therefore to refer unto it. And whosoever is of the element of this
sun and moon, that is, followeth the example of these leaders in
setting his face towards falsehood and in turning away from the truth he
undoubtedly cometh out of infernal gloom and returneth thereunto.

And now, O seeker, it behooveth us firmly to cling unto the
Urvatu'l-Vuthqa, that perchance we may leave behind the darksome night of
error, and embrace the dawning light of divine guidance. Shall we not flee
from the face of denial, and seek the sheltering shadow of certitude?
Shall we not free ourselves from the horror of satanic gloom, and hasten
towards the rising light of the heavenly Beauty? In such wise, we bestow
upon you the fruit of the Tree of divine knowledge, that ye may gladly and
joyously abide in the Ridvan of divine wisdom.

In another sense, by the terms 'sun', 'moon', and 'stars' are meant such
laws and teachings as have been established and proclaimed in every
Dispensation, such as the laws of prayer and fasting. These have,
according to the law of the Qur'an, been regarded, when the beauty of the
Prophet Muhammad had passed beyond the veil, as the most fundamental and
binding laws of His dispensation. To this testify the texts of the
traditions and chronicles, which, on account of their being widely known,
need not be referred to here. Nay rather, in every Dispensation the law
concerning prayer hath been emphasized and universally enforced. To this
testify the recorded traditions ascribed to the lights that have emanated
from the Day-star of Truth, the essence of the Prophet Muhammad.

The traditions established the fact that in all Dispensations the law of
prayer hath constituted a fundamental element of the Revelation of all the
Prophets of God--a law the form and the manner of which hath been adapted
to the varying requirements of every age. Inasmuch as every subsequent
Revelation hath abolished the manners, habits, and teachings that have
been clearly, specifically, and firmly established by the former
Dispensation, these have accordingly been symbolically expressed in terms
of 'sun' and 'moon'. That He might prove you, which of you excel in

Moreover, in the traditions the terms sun and moon have been applied
to prayer and fasting, even as it is said: Fasting is illumination,
prayer is light. One day, a well-known divine came to visit Us. While We
were conversing with him, he referred to the above-quoted tradition. He
said: Inasmuch as fasting causeth the heat of the body to increase, it
hath therefore been likened unto the light of the sun; and as the prayer
of the night-season refresheth man, it hath been compared unto the
radiance of the moon. Thereupon We realized that that poor man had not
been favoured with a single drop of the ocean of true understanding, and
had strayed far from the burning Bush of divine wisdom. We then politely
observed to him saying: The interpretation your honour hath given to this
tradition is the one current amongst the people. Could it not be
interpreted differently? He asked Us: What could it be? We made reply:
Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, and the most distinguished of God's
chosen Ones, hath likened the Dispensation of the Qur'an unto heaven, by
reason of its loftiness, its paramount influence, its majesty, and the
fact that it comprehendeth all religions. And as the sun and moon
constitute the brightest and most prominent luminaries in the heavens,
similarly in the heaven of the religion of God two shining orbs have been
ordained--fasting and prayer. 'Islam is heaven; fasting is its sun, prayer,
its moon.'

This is the purpose underlying the symbolic words of the Manifestations of
God. Consequently, the application of the terms sun and moon to the
things already mentioned hath been demonstrated and justified by the text
of the sacred verses and the recorded traditions. Hence, it is clear and
manifest that by the words the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall
not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven is intended the
waywardness of the divines, and the annulment of laws firmly established
by divine Revelation, all of which, in symbolic language, have been
foreshadowed by the Manifestation of God. None except the righteous shall
partake of this cup, none but the godly can share therein. The righteous
shall drink of a cup tempered at the camphor fountain.(26)

It is unquestionable that in every succeeding Revelation the sun and
moon of the teachings, laws, commandments, and prohibitions which have
been established in the preceding Dispensation, and which have
overshadowed the people of that age, become darkened, that is, are
exhausted, and cease to exert their influence. Consider now, had the
people of the Gospel recognized the meaning of the symbolic terms sun
and moon, had they sought, unlike the froward and perverse,
enlightenment from Him Who is the Revealer of divine knowledge, they would
have surely comprehended the purpose of these terms, and would not have
become afflicted and oppressed by the darkness of their selfish desires.
Yea, but since they have failed to acquire true knowledge from its very
Source, they have perished in the perilous vale of waywardness and
misbelief. They still have not awakened to perceive that all the signs
foretold have been made manifest, that the promised Sun hath risen above
the horizon of divine Revelation, and that the sun and moon of the
teachings, the laws, and learning of a former Dispensation have darkened
and set.

And now, with fixed gaze and steady wings enter thou the way of certitude
and truth. Say: It is God; then leave them to entertain themselves with
their cavilings.(27) Thus, wilt thou be accounted of those companions of
whom He saith: They that say 'Our Lord is God,' and continue steadfast in
His way, upon them, verily, shall the angels descend.(28) Then shalt thou
witness all these mysteries with thine own eyes.

O my brother! Take thou the step of the spirit, so that, swift as the
twinkling of an eye, thou mayest flash through the wilds of remoteness and
bereavement, attain the Ridvan of everlasting reunion, and in one breath
commune with the heavenly Spirits. For with human feet thou canst never
hope to traverse these immeasurable distances, nor attain thy goal. Peace
be upon him whom the light of truth guideth unto all truth, and who, in
the name of God, standeth in the path of His Cause, upon the shore of true

This is the meaning of the sacred verse: But nay! I swear by the Lord of
the Easts and the Wests,(29) inasmuch as the Suns referred to have each
their own particular rising and setting place. And as the commentators of
the Qur'an have failed to grasp the symbolic meaning of these Suns, they
therefore were at pains to interpret the above-quoted verse. Some of them
maintained that owing to the fact that the sun each day rises from a
different point, the terms easts and wests have been mentioned in the
plural. Others have written that by this verse the four seasons of the
year are intended, inasmuch as the dawning and setting points of the sun
vary with the change of the seasons. Such is the depth of their
understanding! None the less, they persist in imputing error and folly to
those Gems of knowledge, those irreproachable and purest Symbols of

In like manner, strive thou to comprehend from these lucid, these
powerful, conclusive, and unequivocal statements the meaning of the
cleaving of the heaven--one of the signs that must needs herald the
coming of the last Hour, the Day of Resurrection. As He hath said: When
the heaven shall be cloven asunder.(30) By heaven is meant the heaven
of divine Revelation, which is elevated with every Manifestation, and rent
asunder with every subsequent one. By cloven asunder is meant that the
former Dispensation is superseded and annulled. I swear by God! That this
heaven being cloven asunder is, to the discerning, an act mightier than
the cleaving of the skies! Ponder a while. That a divine Revelation which
for years hath been securely established; beneath whose shadow all who
have embraced it have been reared and nurtured; by the light of whose law
generations of men have been disciplined; the excellency of whose word men
have heard recounted by their fathers; in such wise that human eye hath
beheld naught but the pervading influence of its grace, and mortal ear
hath heard naught but the resounding majesty of its command--what act is
mightier than that such a Revelation should, by the power of God, be
cloven asunder and be abolished at the appearance of one soul? Reflect,
is this a mightier act than that which these abject and foolish men have
imagined the cleaving of the heaven to mean?

Moreover, consider the hardships and the bitterness of the lives of those
Revealers of the divine Beauty. Reflect, how single-handed and alone they
faced the world and all its peoples, and promulgated the Law of God! No
matter how severe the persecutions inflicted upon those holy, those
precious, and tender Souls, they still remained, in the plenitude of their
power, patient, and, despite their ascendancy, they suffered and endured.

In like manner, endeavour to comprehend the meaning of the changing of
the earth. Know thou, that upon whatever hearts the bountiful showers of
mercy, raining from the heaven of divine Revelation, have fallen, the
earth of those hearts hath verily been changed into the earth of divine
knowledge and wisdom. What myrtles of unity hath the soil of their hearts
produced! What blossoms of true knowledge and wisdom hath their illumined
bosoms yielded! Were the earth of their hearts to remain unchanged, how
could such souls who have not been taught one letter, have seen no
teacher, and entered no school, utter such words and display such
knowledge as none can apprehend? Methinks they have been moulded from the
clay of infinite knowledge, and kneaded with the water of divine wisdom.
Therefore, hath it been said: Knowledge is a light which God casteth into
the heart of whomsoever He willeth. It is this kind of knowledge which is
and hath ever been praiseworthy, and not the limited knowledge that hath
sprung forth from veiled and obscured minds. This limited knowledge they
even stealthily borrow one from the other, and vainly pride themselves

Would that the hearts of men could be cleansed from these man-made
limitations and obscure thoughts imposed upon them! haply they may be
illumined by the light of the Sun of true knowledge, and comprehend the
mysteries of divine wisdom. Consider now, were the parched and barren soil
of these hearts to remain unchanged, how could they ever become the
Recipients of the revelation of the mysteries of God, and the Revealers of
the divine Essence? Thus hath He said: On the day when the earth shall be
changed into another earth.(31)

The breeze of the bounty of the King of creation hath caused even the
physical earth to be changed, were ye to ponder in your hearts the
mysteries of divine Revelation.

And now, comprehend the meaning of this verse: The whole earth shall on
the Resurrection Day be but His handful, and in His right hand shall the
heavens be folded together. Praise be to Him! and high be He uplifted
above the partners they join with him!(32) And now, be fair in thy
judgment. Were this verse to have the meaning which men suppose it to
have, of what profit, one may ask, could it be to man? Moreover, it is
evident and manifest that no such hand as could be seen by human eye could
accomplish such deeds, or could possibly be ascribed to the exalted
Essence of the one true God. Nay, to acknowledge such a thing is naught
but sheer blasphemy, an utter perversion of the truth. And should it be
supposed that by this verse are meant the Manifestations of God, Who will
be called upon, on the Day of Judgment, to perform such deeds, this too
seemeth far from the truth, and is surely of no profit. On the contrary,
by the term earth is meant the earth of understanding and knowledge, and
by heavens the heavens of divine Revelation. Reflect thou, how, in one
hand, He hath, by His mighty grasp, turned the earth of knowledge and
understanding, previously unfolded, into a mere handful, and, on the
other, spread out a new and highly exalted earth in the hearts of men,
thus causing the freshest and loveliest blossoms, and the mightiest and
loftiest trees to spring forth from the illumined bosom of man.

In like manner, reflect how the elevated heavens of the Dispensations of
the past have, in the right hand of power, been folded together, how the
heavens of divine Revelation have been raised by the command of God, and
been adorned by the sun, the moon, and stars of His wondrous commandments.
Such are the mysteries of the Word of God, which have been unveiled and
made manifest, that haply thou mayest apprehend the morning light of
divine guidance, mayest quench, by the power of reliance and renunciation,
the lamp of idle fancy, of vain imaginings, of hesitation, and doubt, and
mayest kindle, in the inmost chamber of thine heart, the new-born light of
divine knowledge and certitude.

Know verily that the purpose underlying all these symbolic terms and
abstruse allusions, which emanate from the Revealers of God's holy Cause,
hath been to test and prove the peoples of the world; that thereby the
earth of the pure and illuminated hearts may be known from the perishable
and barren soil. From time immemorial such hath been the way of God amidst
His creatures, and to this testify the records of the sacred books.

And likewise, reflect upon the revealed verse concerning the Qiblih.(33)
When Muhammad, the Sun of Prophethood, had fled from the dayspring of
Batha(34) unto Yathrib,(35) He continued to turn His face, while praying,
unto Jerusalem, the holy city, until the time when the Jews began to utter
unseemly words against Him--words which if mentioned would ill befit these
pages and would weary the reader. Muhammad strongly resented these words.
Whilst, wrapt in meditation and wonder, He was gazing toward heaven, He
heard the kindly Voice of Gabriel, saying: We behold Thee from above,
turning Thy face to heaven; but We will have Thee turn to a Qiblih which
shall please Thee.(36) On a subsequent day, when the Prophet, together
with His companions, was offering the noontide prayer, and had already
performed two of the prescribed Rik'ats,(37) the Voice of Gabriel was
heard again: Turn Thou Thy face towards the sacred Mosque.(38) ,(39) In
the midst of that same prayer, Muhammad suddenly turned His face away from
Jerusalem and faced the Ka'bih. Whereupon, a profound dismay seized
suddenly the companions of the Prophet. Their faith was shaken severely.
So great was their alarm, that many of them, discontinuing their prayer,
apostatized their faith. Verily, God caused not this turmoil but to test
and prove His servants. Otherwise, He, the ideal King, could easily have
left the Qiblih unchanged, and could have caused Jerusalem to remain the
Point of Adoration unto His Dispensation, thereby withholding not from
that holy city the distinction of acceptance which had been conferred upon

None of the many Prophets sent down, since Moses was made manifest, as
Messengers of the Word of God, such as David, Jesus, and others among the
more exalted Manifestations who have appeared during the intervening
period between the Revelations of Moses and Muhammad, ever altered the law
of the Qiblih. These Messengers of the Lord of creation have, one and all,
directed their peoples to turn unto the same direction. In the eyes of
God, the ideal King, all the places of the earth are one and the same,
excepting that place which, in the days of His Manifestations, He doth
appoint for a particular purpose. Even as He hath revealed: The East and
West are God's: therefore whichever way ye turn, there is the face of
God.(40) Notwithstanding the truth of these facts, why should the Qiblih
have been changed, thus casting such dismay amongst the people, causing
the companions of the Prophet to waver, and throwing so great a confusion
into their midst? Yea, such things as throw consternation into the hearts
of all men come to pass only that each soul may be tested by the
touchstone of God, that the true may be known and distinguished from the
false. Thus hath He revealed after the breach amongst the people: We did
not appoint that which Thou wouldst have to be the Qiblih, but that We
might know him who followeth the Apostle from him who turneth on his
heels.(41) Affrighted asses fleeing from a lion.(42)

Were you to ponder, but for a while, these utterances in your heart, you
would surely find the portals of understanding unlocked before your face,
and would behold all knowledge and the mysteries thereof unveiled before
your eyes. Such things take place only that the souls of men may develop
and be delivered from the prison-cage of self and desire. Otherwise, that
ideal King hath, throughout eternity, been in His Essence independent of
the comprehension of all beings, and will continue, for ever, in His own
Being to be exalted above the adoration of every soul. A single breeze of
His affluence doth suffice to adorn all mankind with the robe of wealth;
and one drop out of the ocean of His bountiful grace is enough to confer
upon all beings the glory of everlasting life. But inasmuch as the divine
Purpose hath decreed that the true should be known from the false, and the
sun from the shadow, He hath, therefore, in every season sent down upon
mankind the showers of tests from His realm of glory.

Were men to meditate upon the lives of the Prophets of old, so easily
would they come to know and understand the ways of these Prophets that
they would cease to be veiled by such deeds and words as are contrary to
their own worldly desires, and thus consume every intervening veil with
the fire burning in the Bush of divine knowledge, and abide secure upon
the throne of peace and certitude. For instance, consider Moses, son of
'Imran, one of the exalted Prophets and Author of a divinely-revealed
Book. Whilst passing, one day, through the market, in His early days, ere
His ministry was proclaimed, He saw two men engaged in fighting. One of
them asked the help of Moses against his opponent. Whereupon, Moses
intervened and slew him. To this testifieth the record of the sacred Book.
Should the details be cited, they will lengthen and interrupt the course
of the argument. The report of this incident spread throughout the city,
and Moses was full of fear, as is witnessed by the text of the Book. And
when the warning: O Moses! of a truth, the chiefs take counsel to slay
Thee(43) reached His ears, He went forth from the city, and sojourned in
Midian in the service of Shoeb. While returning, Moses entered the holy
vale, situate in the wilderness of Sinai, and there beheld the vision of
the King of glory from the Tree that belongeth neither to the East nor to
the West.(44) There He heard the soul-stirring Voice of the Spirit
speaking from out of the kindled Fire, bidding Him to shed upon Pharaonic
souls the light of divine guidance; so that, liberating them from the
shadows of the valley of self and desire, He might enable them to attain
the meads of heavenly delight, and delivering them, through the Salsabil
of renunciation, from the bewilderment of remoteness, cause them to enter
the peaceful city of the divine presence. When Moses came unto Pharaoh and
delivered unto him, as bidden by God, the divine Message, Pharaoh spoke
insultingly saying: Art thou not he that committed murder, and became an
infidel? Thus recounted the Lord of majesty as having been said by
Pharaoh unto Moses: What a deed is that which Thou hast done! Thou art
one of the ungrateful. He said: 'I did it indeed, and I was one of those
who erred. And I fled from you when I feared you, but My Lord hath given
Me wisdom, and hath made Me one of His Apostles.'(45)

And now ponder in thy heart the commotion which God stirreth up. Reflect
upon the strange and manifold trials with which He doth test His servants.
Consider how He hath suddenly chosen from among His servants, and
entrusted with the exalted mission of divine guidance Him Who was known as
guilty of homicide, Who, Himself, had acknowledged His cruelty, and Who
for well-nigh thirty years had, in the eyes of the world, been reared in
the home of Pharaoh and been nourished at his table. Was not God, the
omnipotent King, able to withhold the hand of Moses from murder, so that
manslaughter should not be attributed unto Him, causing bewilderment and
aversion among the people?

Likewise, reflect upon the state and condition of Mary. So deep was the
perplexity of that most beauteous countenance, so grievous her case, that
she bitterly regretted she had ever been born. To this beareth witness the
text of the sacred verse wherein it is mentioned that after Mary had given
birth to Jesus, she bemoaned her plight and cried out: O would that I had
died ere this, and been a thing forgotten, forgotten quite!(46) I swear
by God! Such lamenting consumeth the heart and shaketh the being. Such
consternation of soul, such despondency, could have been caused by no
other than the censure of the enemy and the cavilings of the infidel and
perverse. Reflect, what answer could Mary have given to the people around
her? How could she claim that a Babe Whose father was unknown had been
conceived of the Holy Ghost? Therefore did Mary, that veiled and immortal
Countenance, take up her Child and return unto her home. No sooner had the
eyes of the people fallen upon her than they raised their voice saying: O
sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of wickedness, nor unchaste thy

And now, meditate upon this most great convulsion, this grievous test.
Notwithstanding all these things, God conferred upon that essence of the
Spirit, Who was known amongst the people as fatherless, the glory of
Prophethood, and made Him His testimony unto all that are in heaven and on

Behold how contrary are the ways of the Manifestations of God, as ordained
by the King of creation, to the ways and desires of men! As thou comest to
comprehend the essence of these divine mysteries, thou wilt grasp the
purpose of God, the divine Charmer, the Best-Beloved. Thou wilt regard the
words and the deeds of that almighty Sovereign as one and the same; in
such wise that whatsoever thou dost behold in His deeds, the same wilt
thou find in His sayings, and whatsoever thou dost read in His sayings,
that wilt thou recognize in His deeds. Thus it is that outwardly such
deeds and words are the fire of vengeance unto the wicked, and inwardly
the waters of mercy unto the righteous. Were the eye of the heart to open,
it would surely perceive that the words revealed from the heaven of the
will of God are at one with, and the same as, the deeds that have emanated
from the Kingdom of divine power.

And now, take heed, O brother! If such things be revealed in this
Dispensation, and such incidents come to pass, at the present time, what
would the people do? I swear by Him Who is the true Educator of mankind
and the Revealer of the Word of God that the people would instantly and
unquestionably pronounce Him an infidel and would sentence Him to death.
How far are they from hearkening unto the voice that declareth: Lo! a
Jesus hath appeared out of the breath of the Holy Ghost, and a Moses
summoned to a divinely-appointed task! Were a myriad voices to be raised,
no ear would listen if We said that upon a fatherless Child hath been

Next: Part Two

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