Part One





IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD, THE EXALTED, THE MOST HIGH.





_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

truth.(2)



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

men.



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

understanding.



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

understanding!



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

deeds.(25)



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

understanding.



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

wisdom.



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

therein!



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

it.



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

mother.(47)



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

earth.



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

conferre





Of All The Peoples Of The World, They That Have Suffered Part Two facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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