O Afnan O Thou That Hast Branched From





O Afnan, O thou that hast branched from Mine ancient Stock! My glory and

My loving-kindness rest upon thee. How vast is the tabernacle of the Cause

of God! It hath overshadowed all the peoples and kindreds of the earth,

and will, erelong, gather together the whole of mankind beneath its

shelter. Thy day of service is now come. Countless Tablets bear the

testimony of the bounties vouchsafed unto thee. Arise for the triumph of

My Cause, and, through the power of thine utterance, subdue the hearts of

men. Thou must show forth that which will ensure the peace and the

well-being of the miserable and the down-trodden. Gird up the loins of

thine endeavor, that perchance thou mayest release the captive from his

chains, and enable him to attain unto true liberty.



Justice is, in this day, bewailing its plight, and Equity groaneth beneath

the yoke of oppression. The thick clouds of tyranny have darkened the face

of the earth, and enveloped its peoples. Through the movement of Our Pen

of glory We have, at the bidding of the omnipotent Ordainer, breathed a

new life into every human frame, and instilled into every word a fresh

potency. All created things proclaim the evidences of this world-wide

regeneration. This is the most great, the most joyful tidings imparted by

the Pen of this wronged One to mankind. Wherefore fear ye, O My

well-beloved ones? Who is it that can dismay you? A touch of moisture

sufficeth to dissolve the hardened clay out of which this perverse

generation is molded. The mere act of your gathering together is enough to

scatter the forces of these vain and worthless people....



Every man of insight will, in this day, readily admit that the counsels

which the Pen of this wronged One hath revealed constitute the supreme

animating power for the advancement of the world and the exaltation of its

peoples. Arise, O people, and, by the power of God's might, resolve to

gain the victory over your own selves, that haply the whole earth may be

freed and sanctified from its servitude to the gods of its idle

fancies--gods that have inflicted such loss upon, and are responsible for

the misery of, their wretched worshipers. These idols form the obstacle

that impedeth man in his efforts to advance in the path of perfection. We

cherish the hope that the Hand of Divine power may lend its assistance to

mankind, and deliver it from its state of grievous abasement.



In one of the Tablets these words have been revealed: O people of God! Do

not busy yourselves in your own concerns; let your thoughts be fixed upon

that which will rehabilitate the fortunes of mankind and sanctify the

hearts and souls of men. This can best be achieved through pure and holy

deeds, through a virtuous life and a goodly behavior. Valiant acts will

ensure the triumph of this Cause, and a saintly character will reinforce

its power. Cleave unto righteousness, O people of Baha! This, verily, is

the commandment which this wronged One hath given unto you, and the first

choice of His unrestrained Will for every one of you.



O friends! It behoveth you to refresh and revive your souls through the

gracious favors which in this Divine, this soul-stirring Springtime are

being showered upon you. The Day Star of His great glory hath shed its

radiance upon you, and the clouds of His limitless grace have overshadowed

you. How high the reward of him that hath not deprived himself of so great

a bounty, nor failed to recognize the beauty of his Best-Beloved in this,

His new attire. Watch over yourselves, for the Evil One is lying in wait,

ready to entrap you. Gird yourselves against his wicked devices, and, led

by the light of the name of the All-Seeing God, make your escape from the

darkness that surroundeth you. Let your vision be world-embracing, rather

than confined to your own self. The Evil One is he that hindereth the rise

and obstructeth the spiritual progress of the children of men.



It is incumbent upon every man, in this Day, to hold fast unto whatsoever

will promote the interests, and exalt the station, of all nations and just

governments. Through each and every one of the verses which the Pen of the

Most High hath revealed, the doors of love and unity have been unlocked

and flung open to the face of men. We have erewhile declared--and Our Word

is the truth--: "Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of

friendliness and fellowship." Whatsoever hath led the children of men to

shun one another, and hath caused dissensions and divisions amongst them,

hath, through the revelation of these words, been nullified and abolished.

From the heaven of God's Will, and for the purpose of ennobling the world

of being and of elevating the minds and souls of men, hath been sent down

that which is the most effective instrument for the education of the whole

human race. The highest essence and most perfect expression of whatsoever

the peoples of old have either said or written hath, through this most

potent Revelation, been sent down from the heaven of the Will of the

All-Possessing, the Ever-Abiding God. Of old it hath been revealed: "Love

of one's country is an element of the Faith of God." The Tongue of

Grandeur hath, however, in the day of His manifestation proclaimed: "It is

not his to boast who loveth his country, but it is his who loveth the

world." Through the power released by these exalted words He hath lent a

fresh impulse, and set a new direction, to the birds of men's hearts, and

hath obliterated every trace of restriction and limitation from God's holy

Book.



O people of Justice! Be as brilliant as the light, and as splendid as the

fire that blazed in the Burning Bush. The brightness of the fire of your

love will no doubt fuse and unify the contending peoples and kindreds of

the earth, whilst the fierceness of the flame of enmity and hatred cannot

but result in strife and ruin. We beseech God that He may shield His

creatures from the evil designs of His enemies. He verily hath power over

all things.



All praise be to the one true God--exalted be His glory--inasmuch as He

hath, through the Pen of the Most High, unlocked the doors of men's

hearts. Every verse which this Pen hath revealed is a bright and shining

portal that discloseth the glories of a saintly and pious life, of pure

and stainless deeds. The summons and the message which We gave were never

intended to reach or to benefit one land or one people only. Mankind in

its entirety must firmly adhere to whatsoever hath been revealed and

vouchsafed unto it. Then and only then will it attain unto true liberty.

The whole earth is illuminated with the resplendent glory of God's

Revelation. In the year sixty He Who heralded the light of Divine

Guidance--may all creation be a sacrifice unto Him--arose to announce a

fresh revelation of the Divine Spirit, and was followed, twenty years

later, by Him through Whose coming the world was made the recipient of

this promised glory, this wondrous favor. Behold how the generality of

mankind hath been endued with the capacity to hearken unto God's most

exalted Word--the Word upon which must depend the gathering together and

spiritual resurrection of all men....



Incline your hearts, O people of God, unto the counsels of your true, your

incomparable Friend. The Word of God may be likened unto a sapling, whose

roots have been implanted in the hearts of men. It is incumbent upon you

to foster its growth through the living waters of wisdom, of sanctified

and holy words, so that its root may become firmly fixed and its branches

may spread out as high as the heavens and beyond.



O ye that dwell on earth! The distinguishing feature that marketh the

preeminent character of this Supreme Revelation consisteth in that We

have, on the one hand, blotted out from the pages of God's holy Book

whatsoever hath been the cause of strife, of malice and mischief amongst

the children of men, and have, on the other, laid down the essential

prerequisites of concord, of understanding, of complete and enduring

unity. Well is it with them that keep My statutes.



Time and again have We admonished Our beloved ones to avoid, nay to flee

from, anything whatsoever from which the odor of mischief can be detected.

The world is in great turmoil, and the minds of its people are in a state

of utter confusion. We entreat the Almighty that He may graciously

illuminate them with the glory of His Justice, and enable them to discover

that which will be profitable unto them at all times and under all

conditions. He, verily is the All-Possessing, the Most High.





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