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O thou who art attracted by a breath that passed upon thee from the Holy Garden, the Blessed Spot -- the paradise of El-Abha!
I have read thy brilliant letter, which although short in words yet is loquacious, and shows thy firmness in the Covenant of God, thy steadfastness in the religion of God, thy adherence to the laws of God, and thine energy which thou hast shown towards the doctrines of God. Thou hast done well. Thou hast done well, O thou shining star in the Horizon of El-Abha! Well done! Well done! O thou burning candle in the glass of that remote country!
It hath been reported by . . . that thou hast rendered valuable services to the vineyard of God and His beloved servants, that thou art encouraging the shaking hearts and making them more firm and solid, and about the facilitations thou hast made for the promotion of the utterances of God amongst the people. By the life of God! the angels of heaven magnify thee, the Supreme Concourse praise thee, the party of the Kingdom of El-ABHA announce to thee the glad-tidings and the hosts of the unseen assist thee and render thee victorious through the banners of Bahá'í
I have answered the two supplications sent through thee by two newly guided servants.Page 240
Verily, I received thy excellent letter and read it and my heart was gladdened with its content, which shows thy guidance. Thou hast -- praise be unto God! -- entered under the shadow of the Kingdom of God and become one of the sheep of God; entered] under the education of the Holy Shepherd, who hath sacrificed His soul and body, as well as His grades, to His subjects.
As to the letters which thou hast sent, I forward to thee their answers through this letter and thou wilt send them to the owners; thereby thou wilt be rewarded in the Kingdom of God, since thou hast guided those souls unto the Right Path, and caused them to enter the Kingdom of God. El-Bahá be upon thee!O thou who art advancing towards God!
I have already read thy letter sent to his honor, . . . May God confirm and strengthen thee to serve His Cause and to enable thee to speak His praise among the maid-servants of the Merciful, and to call out in his name in those regions and climes; so that thou mayest work in the vineyard of God with thy heart severed from aught else save God, and overflowing with the waters of the knowledge of God.
We have herewith written answers to the three supplications which thou hast sent.
Rejoice at the glad-tidings of God, in this day wherein the fragrances of holiness have perfumed the nostrils of all in the universe!Page 241
I was informed of the contents of thy letter and rejoiced with the fragrances which are being diffused from the garden of its texts. It showed that thou art inebriated with the wine of the love of God and moved by the breezes of acceptance which are blowing from the point of the favor of God.
By my life, I was rejoiced at thy humility, submissiveness, lowliness and meekness in the Cause of God, inasmuch as rendering service to the maid-servants of God is a mighty crown, which all the greatest queens among women will glory to wear.
O maid-servant of God! thou oughtest to pray; thou oughtest to be suppliant; thou oughtest to be humble in every time and moment.
I beg of God to enable thee to serve Him in His glorious vineyard, and in His garden, by the holy fragrances of which all regions are perfumed in this great day.
As to thy coming to this land, there is no harm in that. Thou art permitted to come and this is an ample reward unto thee.O thou believer in God!
Thy letter was received and from its contents happiness was realized. It was a proof of faith and assurance and of firmness in the Covenant and Testament.
Desire thou through the bounty and mercy of the Lord of Might that He make thee a cause of spreadingPage 242
the fragrances of God and confirm thee in the service of the Kingdom of God.
The letter of Mrs. . . was considered and for thy sake a letter was written her. It is enclosed.
I pray God and supplicate the Threshold of Mercy for both of you that you may attain to that which is the will of God and may be aided and strengthened (while) in this mortal world.
There is much work and I have not the leisure to write more than this.O thou who hast turned towards the Lights of the
Verily, I greet thee from this White Place, the bright, blessed Holy Land, and say: "Greeting and praise and blessings and glory be upon thee, O thou believer in God, and (O thou) enkindled by the fire of the love of God!
"Verily, the Lord of Hosts shall watch thee with the gaze of the eye of favor and shall assist thee in a matter whereby thy breast shall rejoice and thine eye shall brighten and thine affairs shall be arranged and composed from all directions."
Therefore, thou wilt call and say: "Blessing be upon me for this great favor and for this manifest success!"O thou who art directed unto God!
Verily, I saw thy photograph and was rejoiced by perceiving thy illumined likeness, which proved the purity of thy heart and thy being well directed unto God.Page 243
Strive with thy power to paint thy likeness on the pages of the hearts with such beauty as to brighten the minds. That beauty is the splendor of the Merciful and the glad-tidings of thy Lord, the Clement, whereby the faces shine with an eternal light in the course of ages and centuries.O thou maid-servant of God!
In these times thanksgiving for the bounty of the Merciful One consists in the illumination of the heart and the feeling of the soul. This is the reality of thanksgiving. But, although offering thanks through speech or writings is approvable, yet, in comparison with that, it is but unreal, for the foundation is spiritual feelings and merciful sentiments. I hope that you may be favored therewith. But the lack of capacity and merit in the Day of Judgement does not prevent one from bounty and generosity, for it is the day of grace and not justice, and to give every one his due is justice. Consequently, do not look upon thy capacity, nay, rather, look upon the infinite grace of the Bounty of ABHA whose grace is comprehending and whose bounty is perfect.
I beg of God through the confirmation and assistance of the True One thou mayest show the utmost eloquence, fluency, ability and skill in teaching the real significances of The Bible. Turn toward the Kingdom of ABHA and seek the bounty of the Holy Spirit. Loosen the tongue and the confirmation of the Spirit shall reach thee.
As to that great Sun which thou sawest in a dream: That is His Holiness the Promised One and the lightsPage 244
thereof are His bounties. The surface of the water is transparent body -- that is, pure hearts. Its waves are the moving of the hearts, the cheering of the souls -- that is, spiritual feelings and merciful sentiments. Thank thou God for that thou hast had such a revelation in the world of dreams.
As to the fact that man must entirely forget himself, by this is meant that he should arise in the mystery of sacrifice and that is the disappearance of mortal sentiments and extinction of blamable morals which constitute the temporal gloom, and not that the physical health should be changed into weakness and debility.
I humbly supplicate to the Threshold of Oneness that heavenly blessings and merciful forgiveness may overtake thy dear mother, sisters and loving relations, especially thy betrothed who suddenly departed from this world to the next one.O thou seeker of the Kingdom!
Thou hast forwarded thy photograph and it was considered. In thy face a brilliant light is apparent and that sparkling light is the love of God. All faces are dark except the face which is a mirror of the light of the love of divinity. This light is not accidental -- it is eternal. It is not temporal but real. When the heart hath become clear and pure then the face will become illuminated, because the face is the mirror of the heart.
I was indeed very happy to look at thy picture and pray God that thy face may become shining. Be happy and joyful and in this Age be it illuminated and full of light.Page 245
Truly, I say, thou art worthy of the service in the Kingdom and art meriting to be a maid-servant in the threshold of the love of the realm of Might. Rest thou assured upon the bounty and favors of the Lord of Hosts, who will undoubtedly confirm thee.
Restrict all thy time to the spreading of the fragrances of God and be thou engaged in the guidance of souls. I associate with thee in spirit at all times and am thy friend and helper.
Ere long thou shalt behold that innumerable centers are going to be organized in America  for the purpose of the promotion of the Cause of God and hearing the speeches of the maid-servants of the Merciful and the believers of God. Consider thou the days of Christ, how they were a very few, yet in a short space of time they caused a clamor and acclamation throughout all regions.[1 Revealed in 1906.]
Convey my greetings to Mrs. . . and say: "These seeds which are scattered here and there are spreading strong roots in the bosom of the earth and these will develop and grow until many harvests are gathered. Rest thou assured."
O thou maid servant of God! Show thou the utmost affection and love toward Mrs. . . Truly, I say, his honor Mirza . . . is beloved and kind. Ere long he shall behold the universal confirmation descending upon him.
O thou maid-servant of God! Strive thou in Buffalo (N. Y.) so that perfect and lasting spiritual assembliesPage 246
may be established and the souls be trained and progress spiritually.
Convey my respectful greetings to Mr. and Mrs. . . and say: "A most great gift is prepared and made ready for you in the universe of the Kingdom and the invisible realm. Display ye an endeavor and show ye an effort, so that ye may attain to it and become eternal and everlasting."
Exercise the utmost affection on my part to Miss . . . and say: "If thou art seeking a heavenly palace, make thy house the gathering-place of the friends of God."
O thou maid-servant of God! Praise be to God that thou hast become famous throughout the regions as a Bahai. This favor is worthy of the utmost thanks and praise.
O thou maid-servant of God! Whenever thou art intending to deliver a speech, turn thy face toward the kingdom of ABHA and, with a heart detached, begin to talk. The breaths of the Holy Spirit will assist thee.
Assist thou Dr. . . and help her all the time. Perchance, God willing, she may attain to guidance. Exercise the utmost kindness to . . . and say: "Whatsoever is thy desire is found in the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. If thou art asking confirmation and assistance, be thou faithful, firm and steadfast."O thou who art advancing unto the Kingdom of God!
Verily, I read thy letter which was sent to us, and I noted its contents, wherein thou prayest for confirmation to serve thy Lord. I pray God to bless thee andPage 247
aid thee to receive His trusts, so that thou mayest receive the greatest favor in the world of humanity.
O maid-servant of God! Forget all else save God, be in communion with Him, supplicate and pray to Him to make thee conqueror over the material things, impressed by the bounties of the Kingdom, commemorating the name of thy Lord, pure from all else save Him, and imbued with the spiritual attributes of those who are holy (and high); then shall thy breaths have effect upon the hearts, and attract the hearts of thy son and husband unto the Kingdom of God.
I pray God to confirm thee in this, to make firm thy heart in faith, and give thee a spiritual power, effective in hearts and spirits.
O thou who art set aglow with the Fire burning in the Tree of Sinai!
Verily, I read thy letter, which speaks of the throbbing of thy heart by the thoughts of the love of God and indicates the unity of the maid-servants of the Merciful, their harmony in the word of God, and their attraction by the fragrances of God, for they are the waves of one sea, the leaves of one tree, and the flowers of one garden. By these tidings the heart of `Abdu'l-Bahá, was made happy and he attained thereby fragrance and spirituality.
For the Greatest Name and the Ancient Beauty1] -- may my soul be a sacrifice to His beloved -- endured all difficulty and ordeals for the purpose of uniting the hearts of the beloved of God; that they might be exhilaratedPage 248
through the wine of unity and proclaim with one voice:1. Bahá'u'lláh.]
Hasten to harmony, to harmony, O creatures of the universe!Hasten to peace, to peace, O mankind!
Hasten to safety, to safety, O concourse of the Divine!
Hasten to concord, to concord, O hosts of the Merciful!
Hasten to oneness, to oneness, O people of El-Baha,among the people!"
I ask God to aid you in spreading these fragrances, and in reading these words in the supreme assemblages and great meetings.
Convey my spiritual greeting to thy honored sister. I ask God to confirm the weak and to make them mighty in the kingdom of His Majesty. I pray God to guide thy honorable husband to the Path of the Kingdom, the Sublime, and to aid thee in the service of His Cause in His glorious vineyard.***O thou who hast advanced towards Bahá'í
Truly, I say unto thee, wert thou to spend all that is on earth, thou couldst not obtain this gift which God hath strengthened thee to take freely. Lo! it is the guidance of God and it is being attracted to the Beauty of El-Baha! Thank God for this gift, which is the most wonderful jewel which is glittering on the crown of great glory and honorable position.Page 249
O thou who art anticipating the descent of the Gift of God!
The sweetness of the expressions contained in thy words reached the taste of my perception and I was informed of the glorious aim embodied in thy sentences.
No doubt the breeze of God hath awakened thee from thy sleep, until thou hast become conscious of the bounties of the Kingdom which are descending at this time.
As to thy desire to be severed from this mortal life and thy great attraction to the eternal life: This is becoming to every discerning human being who hath a lofty character. I pray God to ordain for thee this pure life and make thy heart attracted unto exalted grades, favored in His Supreme Kingdom, humble and meek before every penitent servant and diffusing the fragrance of God in this new age.O thou shining ray!
Verily, the ray, being transmitted from the etheric sphere, rends the space and reaches the surface of the earth and dispels the gloomy darkness. Verily, be thou one of the rays of the Sun of Truth and then thou wilt cause the darkness of error to disappear and wilt change its intense obscurity into a discovering light which will guide (the people) unto the Kingdom of God.O thou effulgence of the Kingdom!
I read thy letter and was informed of thy speech, the contents of which were full of the feelings within thy consciousness, and of thy spiritual sympathies. The light is divided into two kinds, material and spiritual.Page 250
The material light is a vanishing matter and is known by etheric vibrations. But the spiritual light is the divine, eternal and never-ending quality and is a truth of the Kingdom. Blessed is thy face for that it hath taken a portion and a radiance from that Light.O thou candle of the Love of God!
The light of man depends on the light of the love of God. Thank thou God, for thou hast illuminated thy face with this light and hast partaken of the bounty of the Kingdom of El-ABHA, chanted the verses of unity and worn the crown of guidance of the Glorious Lord on thy head. This is the real Kingdom!O thou who art desirous of the Kingdom of God!
Thy letter was the cause of happiness and its contents were the proof of thy turning to the Shining Beauty. In this blessed period, when the light of the endless bounties is illuminating the dark world, some souls, like the butterfly, circled round the Divine Lamp and with perfect yearning sacrificed their lives.
I ask of God that thou mayest be one of those souls, so that the rays of knowledge will shine forth from thy face to those regions and will be the cause of guiding the seekers of Reality.
Though thou wert obliged to leave Baltimore, I hope that thou wilt be the cause of guidance in Washington (D. C.). Receive proofs and evidence from Mirza Abul Fazl  so that thou wilt be armed with convincing proofs and sufficient argument to break down the ranks of denial, pride and ignorance.
[1. Mirza Abul Fazl -- a renowned Bahá'í teacher who visited America during 1902-1904.]Page 251
The maid-servant of God . . . hath remembered thee in her letter and hath thus made my heart busy with thy thought. Consider how much she must care for thee to have remembered thee in such a place. Indeed, this is great love and I am hopeful that this may be a confirmation to thee, so that thou mayest become a personage of the Kingdom, heavenly, illumined and spiritual and a means of spreading and exemplifying the qualities and attributes of God.O thou who art advancing toward God!
The letter of that divine maid-servant was received and contents were apprehended. The morn of guidance is beaming forth from the supreme horizon and the light of oneness is shining on the supreme apex. The verses of unity are being chanted and the evidences of the Glorious Lord are in themselves the greatest witness and proof.
I beg of God that thou mayest be so replenished with the spirit of the love of God that there may not remain (in thee) any place or access for the winds of tests. For what can dark doubts do with the light of guidance, or clouds with the shining moon? Tests and trials only cause agitation to weak hearts. But the pure souls, a hundred thousand tests are but to them like mirage, imagination and shadow. The shadow cannot withstand the rays of the sun and pure fragrances of holiness will not be concealed through the doubts of the beetle. The headache of wavering (or hesitancy) will not affect those exhilarated with the wine of the love of God.Page 252
In sooth, there will be found in those regions certain persons like the Pharisees of the time of Christ, who, night and day, will exert themselves with all heart and soul to cast forth doubts, in order that they may deprive the souls of the glad-tidings of the Holy Spirit. They will disseminate false rumors and utter many a calumny and will publish and announce (false) stories. They will undertake all these only for the sake of earthly vanities.
And some Pharisees among the missionaries of the Gospel will hasten thither from Persia and say, "We are aware of the secret of the matter." All they may say is sheer slander.
Now know you these things], that in its time you may dispel and annihilate the darkness of those suspicions, like unto a manifest light. I beg of God that He may grant thee a power that thou mayest resist all in the earth -- how much more these weak, hired individuals who receive salary and bribe for spreading such calumnies!Be ye admonished, O possessors of understanding!
Your letter was received. Its contents were a glorious proof that thy heart and soul are attracted to the fragrances of the Merciful One. Thank thou God for that thou art awakened by such a Breeze and quickened by such a Spirit and hast found joy and fragrance.
Those souls who have attained to faith, if they be protected and preserved from tests and keep firm and steadfast, the divine confirmations will surround them from all directions.***Page 253
I beg of God that thou wilt be confirmed with the love of God in all conditions. I beg of God that thou mayest be so assisted in serving the Holy Threshold that all thy family will be astonished and amazed, and will glory and honor.O ye shining Assembly! 
The meeting that you organized hath attracted the divine gaze and the subject of your conversation was the divine commemoration. A ray from the Kingdom of ABHA fell upon that assemblage and that meeting was adorned, and a number of souls, supplicants to God, were gathered in that meeting. If this assembly continues as it is befitting and behooving, great results will thereby appear and conduce to the illumination of those parts, spiritual progress will ensue, the lights of the Sun of Truth will shine, hearts will be illumined, eyes will become seeing, ears become hearing, the lukewarm (or withdrawn ones) become aflame, the inanimate (or numbed ones) will be enkindled in soul and an ecstasy will come to all by which those present will be astonished.
I supplicate to and invoke before the Threshold of Oneness, saying:
"O Thou Creator! Preserve and protect Thou that assembly from grave (or general) tests and keep them firm and constant in the Covenant and Testament. Confer upon them such steadfastness as will enable them to withstand doubts and root out the foundation of calumnious rumors; for some person hath appearedPage 254
(or arisen) with the utmost falsehood, in those parts, and publisheth false reports in some newspapers."
O ye members of the shining assembly! Each one of you must resist doubts (or false rumors) in those parts like unto a great barrier, until the invisible confirmations may appear and merciful assistance may become manifest. May your souls be cheered!
O thou who art attracted to the Fragrances of God!
Verily, I read thy letter of thanksgiving to God, for He hath illumined thy heart with the light of the Mightiest Guidance, dilated thy breast through the fragrance of the garden of His Kingdom, the ABHA, caused thee to speak His praise in that remote and extensive country, and hath enabled thee to guide souls who are attracted to the beauty of God and enkindled by the fire of His Love at this moment.
By the Lord of Hosts, God hath ordained for no one greater good than this, or any spirit more brilliance than this, or any spirit more activity than this.
Were the dominions of the whole, entire earth to be thine, it would not equal this great dominion which is no other than spreading the guidance of God. For as much as the earthly dominion is like unto the kingdom of Edward VII, king of England, his coronation day became unto him the day of griefs, the day of sorrows, and the days of moaning; his joy was changed into abundant sorrow, and the light of happiness was transformed into the darkness of a gloomy night. This is the condition of the world, its honor, its dominion, its glory and affluence.Page 255
But as to thee -- O thou who art attracted unto God! -- thou hast established an eternal and everlasting throne through the guidance of God, and hast become crowned with a diadem, the gems of which scintillate throughout centuries and ages; nay, rather, for cycles and periods!
This throne cannot be shaken by the powers of the earth and its calamities; nor can incidental obstacles, worldly impediments, or all the diseases and ailments prevent or delay this coronation.
For this is under the protection of God and His preservation, defended by His guard and in the stronghold of His patronage, and is watched over by the eye of His mercifulness. Therefore, thank thou God forevermore!
Deliver my greetings to the attracted maid-servant of God thy honorable wife, and bear unto her the glad-tidings of the graces of her Lord.O thou whom I mention with my heart and tongue!
Though I do not see thee with mine eyes, I do see thee with my heart, and mention thee with the fullness of love, clemency, yearning and attraction, supplicating my Lord that we may meet together at the meeting of His Kingdom and the pavilion of His might, where we shall chant the verses of thanks for His bounty, generosity and gifts, the lights of which have shone upon all horizons and their effulgences have become intense upon the hearts of the people of harmony.
O thou my dearly beloved! Hasten! Hasten! to the gifts of thy Lord, the Merciful! Come to the Benefactor;Page 256
avail thyself of this opportunity and take thy portion of this Greatest Treasure in this promised day!O thou spiritual youth and merciful young man!
Consider the grace of thy Master; how He hath directed thee to the fountain of salvation, until thou hast drunk from the salsabil (i. e., clear water of life) of the guidance of God, in this holy and rich garden.
Cling to this firm handle and make thy feet steady in this path, so that the bounties of thy Supreme Lord may successively pour upon thee and make thee a sign of His mighty knowledge.O thou who art directed to the Light of Guidance!
Thank thou God, for thou hast chanted the verses of the Mighty Guidance in the assemblage of knowledge and hast unfurled the banner of attraction in those most extensive places. Therefore, appreciate this with due appreciation and know thou that this guidance is a gift, greater than which cannot be imagined. For as much as it is a bounty from the Glorious Lord, a success to every sincere servant, a light for the faces of devoted ones and a bestowal from the Lord, the Clement, the Merciful.
O ye  two who are advancing towards the Kingdom of God![1 Husband and wife.]
Mr. . . hath praised you that, verily, ye have rent the veil asunder, removed the covering, become informed of the mysteries of God and of the symbols of the Holy Bible, have understood the interpretations of its verses, discovered the truth of its evidences and beenPage 257
guided to the Path of His Kingdom; are imploring for His heavenly gifts and are engaged in His commemoration among seekers. Verily, I thank God, for He hath guided you and ordained for you this great success and manifest bounty. Kiss, on my behalf, the faces of your august children who are nurtured from the breast of the guidance of God.O My God! O My God!
This thy servant hath abandoned superstitions, emerged from darkness and hath entered into Thy Light which hath shone forth to the world! Praise be unto Thee, O My God! for thou hast removed the covering from his insight, caused the reality of Guidance to appear unto him and hath ordained for him a gift which is not followed by destruction!
O Lord! O Lord! Send unto him a gentle breeze from the garden of Thy sanctity in Thy Kingdom of ABHA, so that he may be refreshed and developed as a flourishing branch in that adorned and thickly planted grove; cause his tongue to speak Thy praise among mankind and confirm him through the breath of Thy Holy Spirit at the time of prayer, so that he may become a soul unto bodies, a light unto every eye, a joy to every heart, a consolation to every depressed one, a happiness to every grieved one, and a proof to every gazer! Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Potent, the Bestower, the Merciful, the Giver!O thou who art advancing unto God!
Thy precious and beloved letter came to hand and all contents noted. Consider how the bounty of GodPage 258
hath surrounded thee until it brought thee to the shore of the sea of the endless and boundless gift of God! I supplicate the benevolence of God and His providence to make thee a dazzling light and a merciful and bounteous gift to His creatures; and to enable thee to be firm and steadfast in the Cause of the Truth and to appoint thee as a means for the exaltation of His Word.
O thou confirmed by an inspiration from the Kingdom!
Blessed thou art, for thou hast delivered the Word of thy Lord to . . ., the maid-servant of God!
Glad-tidings unto thee for that by reason of which the spring of knowledge hath flowed out in the garden of thy heart, inundated thy tongue and made thee utter the name of thy Lord and call the people to the Kingdom of thy God!
I supplicate God, my Lord and thy Lord, to illumine thy forehead with the light of success and victory, strengthen thy spirit by the breath of God, quicken thee by the spirit of God and make thee a pillar of guidance set up in the firmament of the Kingdom of God.
Grieve not because of my imprisonment and calamity; for this prison is my beautiful garden, my mansioned paradise and my throne of dominion among mankind. My calamity in my prison is a crown to me in which I glory among the righteous. Thou shalt hear greater than this.
I ask God to assist whosoever is related to thee to receive guidance in the future days, and to bless Mrs. and Miss. . ., Miss. . . and Miss . . ., and make them the signs of His gift among the people of the world.Page 259
O thou who art attracted unto the Beauty of El-Abha!
Verily I read thy recent letter***, and noted its beautiful contents and meanings which proved thy firmness in the straight Path.
O friend! Be set aglow with the fire of the love of God, so that the hearts of the people will become enlightened by the light of thy love.
Supplicate to God, pray to Him and invoke Him at midnight and at dawn. Be humble and submissive to God and chant the verses of thanksgiving at morn and eve, for that He guided thee unto the Manifest Light and showed to thee the straight Path and destined to thee the station of nearness in His wonderful Kingdom. Verily I ask God to augment for thee, every day, the light of guidance and His gift of virtue, comfort and ease. Thus thou mayest set a good example in that region; that He may lift up the veil from before the eyes of thy mother and father, so that they may witness the lights of the Kingdom of God, which have encompassed all regions.
O thou who hast spread the Fragrances of God! -- mayGod confirm thee!
Since thou hast reached America, we have not received any message announcing to us thy safe and sound arrival there, but Mr. . ., in a letter to us, hath endeavored to explain in detail that thy return was like showers of rain to that country and like the attack of a lion upon those valleys and mountains. He also informed us that thou hadst been received there with honors by the best men; by those whose breasts were dilatedPage 260
by the gentle breeze coming from the gardens of the Kingdom of God.
O thou who warmest thyself by the fire of the love of God, spreading from the Tree of the Covenant! Let thy soul be at ease and thy heart in peace concerning the perfect success and progress which the pen is not able to express, for in a short time thou shalt see the flag of the Kingdom waving in those far and wide regions, and the lights of the Truth shining brilliantly in its dawn above those horizons, and thou shalt know that thou art the center of the circle of the love of God, the axis around which souls revolve in their way and supplication to God. Therefore, thou must widen thy heart, dilate thy breast, have patience in plenty, calmness of soul and cut thyself from everything but God! By God, the truth is, if thou goest according to the teachings of El-Abd  and followest the steps of Him who is annihilated in God, thou shalt see that the cohorts of the kingdom of God will come to thy help, one after another, and that the hosts of the Might of God will be in thy presence in steady succession, the gates of the great victory opened and the rays of the brilliant morning diffused! By thy life, O my beloved! if thou didst know what God had ordained for thee, thou wouldst fly with delight and thy happiness, gladness and joy would increase every hour! El-Bahá be upon thee![1 El Abd -- the Servant, meaning `Abdu'l-Bahá.]
Present to the beloved people of God there my longings for them. Preach to them the glad-tidings of God.
Present my best greetings to the honorable and spiritualPage 261
women, to those who are very much attracted toward God, and particularly to that one who has proved that it possible for a camel to pass through a needle's eye. May God keep them in joy and happiness and burning with His love.
O thou who art attracted by the Fragrances of God!
Be rejoiced for my mentioning thee and gladden thine eyes by the bounty of thy Lord. Know, verily, that His favor unto thee is great, great; for He guided thee unto the Merciful Light, confirmed thee in bearing calamities and hardships in the path of God, on the part of the neglectful ones.
There is no harm in any affliction which befalleth thee in the love of El-Baha, for this affliction is a gem which glistens and shines on the crown of guidance which adorns thy head among the maid-servants. Remember the hardships of the disciples, and what Mary, the Virgin; Mary, the Magdalene; and Mary, the mother of Jesus, bore in the path of God; especially Barbara, until she was martyred in the love of Christ; and she being attracted unto the Kingdom of God, her spirit soared unto the summits of holiness in the paradise of eternal life, in the place of Meeting.
O thou whose nostrils are perfumed with the Fragrances of God!
Verily, I read thy letter which contained graceful expressions and was of a well made foundation, and I inhaled the odor of the love of God from the garden of its meanings and witnessed the lights of sincerity inPage 262
the Cause of God from the dawning-place of its mysteries.
Blessed art thou, O maid-servant of God, for thou art attracted to the Word of God, and thy heart is illuminated with the lights of the guidance of God, and thy soul is cheered by the gentle breeze blowing from the direction of the favor of God.
Verily thy Lord is gracious toward thee. Thank thou God for this great bounty and praise Him for He hath caused thee to enter His New Kingdom; and glorify Him for He hath chosen thee from among those men and women "who were called."
Preach the Kingdom of God to every man and maid-servant who is waiting the appearance of His Glorious Kingdom. The lights of guidance shall surely be spread, even as the morning light spreads over all the regions of the earth; all the regions of the earth shall be refreshed by the Word of God.
Deliver my longings and greetings to the consolation of thine eye , . . ., and to thy younger son, . . . Verily I love them both even as a compassionate father loveth his dear children. As to thee, have for them an abundant love and exert thine utmost in training them, so that their being may grow through the milk of the love of God, for as much as it is the duty of parents to perfectly and thoroughly train their children.
[1 "Consolation of the eye" -- idiomatic Persian expression meaning "son".]
There are also certain sacred duties on children toward parents, which duties are written in the Book of God, as belonging to God. The (children's) prosperity in this world and the Kingdom depends upon thePage 263
good pleasure of parents, and without this they will be in manifest loss.
Send my greetings to . . ., who is free in this world, but a slave of God in His Great Kingdom.
[1 To a man who was born a slave and freed by the emancipation proclamation.]O dear servant of God!
The tests of God are surrounding you from all directions and many afflictions have occurred; but thanks be to God that you and your honorable husband are patient, thankful and constant.
The necessity and the particularity of the assured and believing ones is to be firm in the Cause of God and withstand the hidden and evident tests. Thanks be to God that you are distinguished and made eminent by this blessing. Anybody can be happy in the state of comfort, ease, health, success, pleasure and joy; but if one will be happy and contented in the time of trouble, hardship and prevailing disease, it is the proof of nobility. Thanks be to God that that dear servant of God is extremely patient under the disastrous circumstances, and in the place of complaining gives thanks.
Verily I am pleased with both you and your husband], and I ask God that you may find pleasure and ease in another world -- for this earthly world is narrow, dark and frightful, rest cannot be imagined and happiness really is non-existent, everyone is captured in the net of sorrow, and is day and night enslaved by the chain of calamity; there is no one who is at all free or at rest from grief and affliction. Still, as the believers of God are turning to the limitless world, theyPage 264
do not become very depressed and sad by disastrous calamities -- there is something to console them; but the others in no way have anything to comfort them at the time of calamity. Whenever a calamity and a hardship occurs, they become sad and disappointed, and hopeless of the bounty and the mercy of the Glorious Lord.
Give especial greetings of ABHA to all the friends of God and the divine servants, and give them deep love from `Abdu'l-Bahá.
O dear servant of God! Give my greeting and love to your boys. I ask God that each one of them become a shining lamp.O thou dear maid-servant of God!
In reality thou art faithful and assured, thoughtful and mentioning the name of thy Lord. All the inhabitants of the Kingdom are satisfied with thy service, and the approximate angels are opening their tongues in thy praise. These angels are spiritual and merciful powers, and in one sense the angels are those sanctified souls who have disentangled themselves from the world of possession and are confirmed with the powers of the Kingdom. However, be thou not sad. Rejoice and delight in the divine glad-tidings!
I know that thou art in difficulty, but this difficulty is conducive to the everlasting felicity and this weakness is followed by the supreme strength. Consider thou how the faithful women in the time of Christ, and after the departure of His Highness, underwent hardships! What difficulties did they not bear; and what calamities did they not endure! But adversity and trial,Page 265
misfortune and derision, became the cause of imperishable and deathless glory and rest.
Do ye not look upon the beginning of the affairs; attach your hearts to the ends and results. The present period is like unto the sowing time. Undoubtedly it is impregnated with perils and difficulties, but in the future many a harvest shall be gathered and benefits and results will become apparent. When one considers the issue and the end, exhaustless joy and happiness will dawn.
Live thou as far as thou art able according to the divine commands and advices, because they are conducive to eternal life.
Caress and kiss on my behalf, with utmost love and yearning, thy two dear children. I supplicate God that thy may become the servants of the Cause of God as their father and mother have, and be trained according to Bahá'í education, so that they may become two great signs of the love of God.
O thou who art attracted by the Fragrances of God!
Verily, I read thy interesting letter, understood from it an excellent meaning and pray to God to augment thy love, knowledge, certainty and confidence.
O maid-servant of God! Everything of importance in this world demands the close attention of its seeker. The one in pursuit of anything must undergo difficulties and hardships until the object in view is attained and the great success is obtained. This is the case of things pertaining to the world. How much higher is that which concerns the Supreme Concourse! That Cause involves every favor, glory and eternal bliss in the worldPage 266
of God. The seeker after the great guidance and eternal happiness necessarily will encounter difficulties. He must be patient under such circumstances. The chosen believers of the past quaffed the chalice of suffering and sank deep in the ocean of trials until they attained to that blessed station and sublime beatitude.
Verily, I pray to God to aid thy children in the service of the Word of God, the furtherance of His Covenant and the spread of His fragrances, for this is the great happiness of this life and that to come.
I ask God to confirm the maid-servants of God, Mrs. . .and Mrs. . ., in spirituality and to make them firm in turning unto the Center of Mercy and to make them sincere unto His glorious Face.
Convey my greetings to Madam . . . and say to her: "Be not sorrowful on account of separation; verily, thy Lord is of more good to thee than anything in the material world. He is the best companion and the best friend and will accompany thee under all aspects."
Convey my regards to the maid-servant of God, . . ., and say to her: "Be rejoiced, O maid-servant of God, through the fragrances which have perfumed the world. Seek an abundant share from this table which hath descended from heaven."
O maid-servant of God! It is necessary for every soul who believeth in her Lord to send `Abdu'l-Bahá a letter of acknowledgment in the Oneness of God.O thou maid-servant of God!
Glad-tidings unto thee because of my address and answer to thee! God hath purified thee from iniquitiesPage 267
when He hath drowned thee in the sea of His mercy and made thee drink the cup of faith and the pure wine of knowledge. Well done! Well done! because thou hast desired the evanescence of thy will for the will of God, sought the augmentation of the love of God, the enlargement of the knowledge of God and straightforwardness in the path of God. I ask God to assist thee under all conditions and to enable thee to attain the utmost of hopes.
O thou who art calling in the Name of God and heraldingunto the Kingdom of God!
Verily I considered the contents of thy recent letter, thy beautiful writing and I observed thy heartfelt thanks. Verily my heart is filled with love and affection; overflowing with spiritual attractions.
Verily know that the Tablets (Book) of `Abdu'l-Bahá and his address is a hidden mystery and concealed fact. No one is informed of its greatness and importance at these times, but in the course of time and future centuries the signs thereof will be manifested, the lights thereof will dawn forth, the fragrances thereof will be diffused and the greatness, the importance thereof will be known. The truth I say unto thee, that each leaflet from `Abdu'l-Bahá will be a wide-spread book, nay, rather, a glistening gem on the Glorious Crown. Know thou its value and hold great its station.
Then praise God for that He chose thee to love Him and elected thee to spread His fragrances. He selected thee from among the women of the world, so that thou become a flame to the fire of His love, a sign of the Kingdom of His Grace and a summoner to His Name,Page 268
in humbleness and meekness, invocation and supplication to God.
Verily I ask God to protect thee from the waves of tests and storms of trial until thou becomest firm in the Cause of thy Lord -- a firmness whereby thou be enabled to withstand all nations and peoples. When thou art thus confirmed by God, with firmness and solidity in His Covenant among the people, thou wilt see the hosts of the Kingdom shelter thee from all sides with banners whereunto all heads bow.
O maid-servant of God! It is incumbent upon thee to be firm! It is incumbent upon thee to be steadfast! It is incumbent upon thee to be steadfast! It is incumbent upon thee to be steadfast in the Cause of the Light which hath shone forth unto the world with great brilliancy!
O maid-servant of God! Verily, Mary, the Magdalene, was a villager, but she kept firm in the Cause of Christ and confirmed the apostles at the time she declared to them (thus): "Verily, Christ is alive and eternal and death did not overtake Him; and verily, the foundation of His religion is not shaken by His crucifixion at the hand of the oppressors!" By this her face is eternally shining from the horizon of guidance.
O maid-servant of God! The circumstances will be severe for every thankful servant (i. e., believer in the Teachings) in those boundaries and countries. The people shall arise against you with the most bitter hatred, opposition and envy. Swords of persecution and curses shall be thrown at you by all the nations. The wind of tests and trials shall fiercely blow and thereby the weak trees, which are not firmly rooted inPage 269
this wonderful vineyard, shall be uprooted. But the trees which are strong, thriving and green will be strengthened, their branches extended, their leaves opened, their appearance beautified and their blossoms and fruits increased. I ask God to make thee one of those firmly rooted trees and an extended branch in this most great vineyard, and to make thy heart like unto a cup overflowing with His love in every assemblage. Verily He is the Powerful, the Generous!
Supplicate to God to guide Mrs. . ., so that she may become thy partner and partaker of this great bounty, and to confirm the family of Mr. . ., so that they may be blest with blessings and successive aids and with the appearance of the manifest signs. Thus all ye may become spreaders of the banner of union, love, harmony and peace upon plains and deserts, hills and mountains.O thou who art firm in the love of God!
Verily I read thy recent letter*** and I praised God for His glorious mercy and His blessings which are successively poured into the pure hearts.
I have written a reply to the letter of . . . and have enclosed it with this letter. I ask God to make him a sign of guidance and to guide, through him, souls (people) of his native land and of other people. Verily, my God chooses whomsoever He willeth, by His mercy and generosity, for entrance into the Kingdom of Glory and shineth the lights of (His) Beauty upon them. Blessed is he who keeps firm in the Path and stands for the Cause of thy Merciful Lord -- a firmness like unto the lofty mountains.Page 270
O maid-servant of God! Verily, I pray God to sanctify thee from the material and thus clothe thee with the garment of holiness and the mantle of purity and send through thee the glad-tidings of thy Lord from the Kingdom of Heaven.
O maid-servant of God! It is incumbent upon thee to be firm and steadfast, for by it man attains the greatest hope. Bear every difficulty and be content with any ordeal for the love of thy Lord, so that thou mayest obtain that favor, the lights of which shine throughout the horizons.***O ye  shining faces and spiritual beings!
Verily I was rejoiced at beholding those merciful faces in whose brows the lights of guidance shine on account of their turning unto the Kingdom of El-Abha!O ye beloved of God and His chosen ones!
Blessed are your ears, for they have heard the Call!
Blessed are your eyes, for they have beheld the signs of their Might Lord!
Blessed are your tongues, for they have uttered the praise of my Lord, the Supreme!
Blessed are your nostrils, for they have inhaled the odor of faithfulness from the people of guidance!
Blessed are your hearts, for they are attracted to the Beauty of El-Abha!
Blessed are your breasts, for they are dilated by the knowledge of God!Page 271
Blessed are your souls, for they have partaken of the spirit of life from the fragrances of sanctity in the Paradise of El-Abha!
Thank ye God, for He hath guided you unto His Kingdom and hath chosen you from among the called ones of nations! Your Lord hath indeed crowned you with the diadem of eternal glory (which will continue) throughout cycles and ages! Truly I say unto you, verily, the angels of heaven repeatedly bless you, for ye have advanced toward God and turned unto His Great Kingdom. Ye shall surely see in this effulgence a flash which will pervade all regions. At that time, all nations and communities will arise to praise and glorify you, and they will bless themselves with your commemoration in gatherings, temples of worship and in exalted assemblies. Is there any gift greater than this?
It is incumbent upon you to have union and harmony and love and uprightness, and to be characterized with the morals of your Lord, the Clement; to walk in the highway of equity and beneficence. Be ye manifestations of the mercy of God, dawning-places of the light of His great bounty, and arise with all steadfastness, truthfulness, trustworthiness, compassion, modesty, love and accord with the people of the world, no matter of what community they may be; inasmuch as it behooveth the light to shine even upon the rocks in the field, and the soul is qualified for quickening individuals, even though they be of the ugliest and most disagreeable form, and a pure tree is adapted to bestow a blessed fruit even upon those who throw stones at it.Page 272
O ye  who are attracted! O ye who are united! O ye[1 To the West Hoboken assembly.]
Glad-tidings unto you for that ye believed in God, were attracted to the Beauty of God, were directed unto the Kingdom of God and were kindled by the fire of the love of God!
Therefore, I say unto you that, verily, the angels of the Kingdom pray for the maid-servants of the Merciful; the possessors of brilliant hearts, spiritual susceptibilities, godlike feelings, heavenly attributes, holy characteristics, confident souls, perfection of humanity and sanctified and pure souls who are striving to spread the spirit of harmony -- holy above qualities (pertaining to) nature and passion -- spreaders of the fragrances of God severed from all else save God, banners of union and peace -- signs of love and accord!
Blessed are ye for organizing the assembly of unity! I ask God to confirm you by the divine aid and strengthen you by the heavenly strength so that every one of you may become a shining star by the light of the love of God in the world, and banners moving by the breezes of love and peace on the heights of glory among mankind; and lamps brilliant by the lights of eternal majesty on the assemblies of men.
If ye keep firm in this path, ye will see by the eyes of joy signs wherefore ye will thank your Forgiving Lord, and will be confirmed by the hosts from the Supreme Concourse and angels from the Kingdom of El-ABHA.Page 273
O ye  longing ones! O ye cheered ones! O ye attracted[1 To the West Hoboken assembly.]
Blessed are ye, for ye have removed the covering; witnessed the lights of the Sun of Truth which is shining from the horizon of bestowal; are attracted by the fragrances sent forth from the garden of the Kingdom; have arisen to praise the Lord of Grandeur and Might, and have resolved to disseminate the teachings of God in those vast and extensive regions!
Truly I say unto you! Verily, ye have cast away superstitions; have partaken an abundant portion from that Reality which is shining upon all regions; have perceived the manifest signs, have entered the ark of salvation and attained unto eternal life, under the shadow of the Lord of Hosts, gazing unto the Most Honorable Station, enkindled with the fire ablaze in the tree of existence, in the spot of Sinai; responding to the call of the Clement One, severed from the world, and yearning for the place of sacrifice in the path of Bahá'í
You will surely hear from this call a ringing voice in the regions. Then the nations will awake to this effulgence and hasten unto the fountain of the Covenant; so that they may drink fresh and salutary water from the grace of your Lord, the Clement.
At that time, the faithful shall be cheered, the sincere shall rejoice and the yearning ones shall be drawn unto the unseen world, the Kingdom of your Lord, the Merciful!O ye beloved of God and His chosen ones! Trust
ye in the divine confirmation, the merciful bounty and the supreme bestowal. Verily, He will confirm your hearts, dilate your breasts, make your tongues fluent and will rejoice your souls by a grace from the Compassionate Merciful One!
O ye beloved of Bahá'í Do not look at your weakness, nay, rely upon the confirmation of the Holy Spirit. Verily, It maketh the weak strong, the lowly mighty, the child grown, the infant mature and the small great.
I beg of God that He may make you diffusers of His fragrances, servants of His Cause, gazers unto His Face, speakers in His praise, and that He may protect you against tests and trials, so that ye may become shining lights, beaming stars, gleaming lamps and lofty trees. Verily, this is not difficult with God!
Verily, I hope from God that ye may become my associates in servitude to His Holy Threshold and my partners at the entrance of the Door of His Oneness; so that ye may equally serve in His great vineyard. Then thank ye your Lord, for He hath favored you with this manifest success. By God, the true One! this cannot be equaled either by the dominion of the world or by the gift of ruling over all regions with pomp, glory and power! Reflect ye upon the chosen ones of God in the earlier ages! How their worth was unknown during their days; how they were known by people as but ordinary individuals and unimportant persons! Afterwards, their arguments appeared, their lights scintillated, their stars beamed, their trees became lofty, their mysteries gleamed forth, their fruits were praised, their reservoirs became overflowing, their gardensPage 275
adorned, their birds warbled and their joy became perfect in the Kingdom of their Beneficent Lord.
O my God! O my God! These are souls who have advanced toward Thy Kingdom; their breasts dilated by supplicating to Thy Realm of Might; their eyes anticipating the descent of Thy mercy; and their spirits rejoiced at Thy grace and gift!
O my God! O my God! Guard them by the eye of Thy protection, preserve them in the cave of Thy defence, deliver them from the grade of the contingent world, protect them during the violence of tests and trials, and assist them by a power from the breath of Thy Holy Spirit, in the world of existence! Verily, Thou art the Beneficent, the Mighty, the Clement!
O thou who art kindled by the Fire of Guidance whichblazed and burnt in the Tree of Sinai!
By the life of God, I am moved with joy by the mention of the beloved and delighted in the love of the elect! And now, with a heart clear from aught else save God and overflowing with the love of God, I mention thee, supplicating God to make thee a lamp of guidance in those districts, that out of thee the spirit of knowledge may be spread upon the hearts and spirits until thou becomest a spring of fresh and sweet water whereto the thirsty and earnest desirers will come to drink, and thus be satisfied with the sweetness thereof.
Rejoice at this address which I hope from God will have a great effect on thy heart and spirit and accordingly become the banner of the Supreme Concourse in that distant and extensive spot  through which certainPage 276
nations and tribes would be directed with bright faces, rejoiced hearts and speaking tongues uttering the praise of God.[1 America.]
Verily I read thy letter which thou hast sent through Mrs. . . and was rejoiced at its contents, which indicated thy excessive love and thy great passion for the Kingdom of God!
O my friend! Thank thou God for He hath illumined thy sight with a radiance which is shining forth from the Sun of Truth; hath quickened thee, and baptized thee with the water of life and with the fire of the love of God.
I beg God to bless thee so that thou mayest diffuse the fragrances of God in those countries and purify hearts from the filth of ignorance and to make thy revered wife and honored daughters signs of His love among the maid-servants of God, and to ordain for thee a reward befitting one who hath attained (the visit of) the Holy Threshold in this Cause.
Verily, I bestowed every kindness upon the maid-servant of God, Mrs. . . , because she hath been the cause of thy guidance, and hath given thee to drink the cup of knowledge.O thou who art firm in the Covenant!
Supplicate God that thou mayest be confirmed to what is worthy and fit for the Most Mighty Cycle.
Deliver my respectful greeting to Mr. . . and refresh him with regards and affection. Convey my longing greeting to Messrs.] . . ., . . .Page 277
and . . . and say to them] to engage with Mr. . . in the service of the Word of God with utmost love and affinity, in order that they may behold the confirmation of the Supreme Kingdom and observe the protection and preservation of His Highness the Almighty. Truly their hearts are like unto a cup, overflowing with the wine of the love of God and at all times I expect to hear good news of them.
O thou dear friend! Thou hast said the truth! Last year  was the time of test for all the friends. Trials for the faithful believers are like unto divine bestowal and everlasting gifts.[1 1905.]
The firmness and steadfastness of the person will become evident and manifest. How could the disciples of His Holiness (Christ) attain to any spiritual development if they did not undergo trials and tests!
O friend! Although we are weak, yet the confirmations of the Merciful Lord are inexhaustible. Pray thou that the ill-natured become good-natured and the weak become strong.
The dream thou hast seen is in accord with thy interpretation. I hope that Mr. . . may become the light of the Merciful One and be confirmed and assisted to spread the Cause of God. My God! My God! Elohim .
[1 Written by `Abdu'l-Bahá on the flyleaf of a Bible.]
To this Thy servant give the understanding of the Old Testament and the New and enable her to speak forth with mighty voice and to sing with power the holy songs and to discover the real meaning and thePage 278
secret mysteries of those verses, for Thou art the Powerful Inspirer and the Mighty One!O maid-servant of God, thou who hast given up thy
I have read the signs of thy thankfulness to God for guiding thee to the way of the Lord, to the path of salvation which leads to the Tent of the Testament behind the Tabernacle in the Capital of the Kingdom.
Know in the reality of assurance that every true woman who is attracted by the fragrances of holiness in this most glorious age will surpass even the most developed men of previous centuries.
It is incumbent upon thee to make thy greatest effort; to put forth thy full strength; to supplicate and to worship, and to be careful to put thy full trust in the Kingdom of the Lord Most High.
Make ready thy soul that thou mayest be like the light which shineth forth from the loftiest heights on the coast, by means of which guidance may be given to the timid ships amid the darkness of fog and the heaving of the sea.
Then gain the knowledge of godliness and learn the exact facts from the revered Abul Fazl , and, if it be possible, remain there a few months.
[1 Mirza Abul Fazl -- a renowned Bahá'í teacher, then in Cairo, Egypt.]
With regard to thy friend, send her to the sea coast or accompany her to Marseilles and return to Cairo that thou mayest learn the necessary proofs.
Then return to America -- this is in case it is possible for thee. If anything happens otherwise, the way is open and it will be made convenient for thee -- sayPage 279
always in the name of God -- and rely upon Him; but to understand the teachings regarding the Truth is absolutely required. And upon God let thy confidence rest.
O thou who in truth art attracted through the Breathsof the Holy Spirit!
I sent to thee a letter few in words and full in its meanings and its mysteries, showing signs of good-tidings. By my life, there are manifested meanings in the mysteries of the words!
At present I address thee in plain language without being veiled, and I say to thee: "Stand up with all thy strength to guide the followers of negligence and blindness, and diffuse the breaths of God in those regions; and set off with all speed to New York and Chicago and call with the loudest voice in the assemblies of the beloved ones and invite them to the Alliance of God; and make them steadfast in the Covenant of God, and bear good-tidings to all the steadfast ones, and inspire all who waver to be firm in the religion of God and to resist all force which is against the Alliance of God. Verily I promise the confirmation of the Holy Spirit to thee in those great assemblies whenever ye argue upon the Covenant of God."O thou who art attracted to the Kingdom of God!
I hope thou wilt ride thy steed in this field as much as thou canst and that thou mayest know nothing except praising, worshiping and extolling the Sun of the World of Creation.O maid-servant of God! The radiance of favor is
(cast) upon thy head and thou art clad with the robe of gift. Praise be unto God, that the breeze of the divine spring maketh the soul thrive and the fragrances of holiness are quickening the heart of man. Favor is perfect and bounty is overflowing -- the doors of prosperity are opened and hearts are expanded and dilated. The drops of the cloud of favor are continually (falling) and the lakes of graces are successively overflowing. The wine of the love of God is circulating, and the melodies of thankful birds are astonishing all people distant and near. The radiance of the Manifestor of the Mount is illuminating all hearts and breasts and the never-ending bounties are successively (flowing) from the divine Kingdom. I hope that, through the favor of the Blessed Perfection, thou wilt become the lamp of the society of Green Acre (Me.), and wilt become the cup-bearer of the wine of the love of God, thou wilt invite a great number of people into the Kingdom of the Powerful Lord and wilt teach numerous souls, thou wilt put the crown of the exalted gift upon thy head and wilt rule over the empire of the greatest spirituality, and thou wilt become the envy of the queens of all regions and wilt be the rival of all the celebrated people of the world.O thou who art wholly advancing unto God!
Verily I have read thy letter in answer to mine and praised God -- may glory and dignity be unto Him! -- for by reason of which He hath kindled the lamp of guidance in the glass of thy heart, lighted in thy breast the fire of love and faithfulness, illumined thy face with the light of His knowledge among women and chosenPage 281
thee for spreading His fragrances amid the maid-servants. Be happy and rejoice at this speech through which the sick will recover, the sad become cheered, the dumb speak and the deaf hear; rather, the decayed bones will be quickened and the rocks and stones be affected.
Remember my spiritual favors which have uninterruptedly descended upon thee at the table which was spread under the abundant gifts of the Kingdom of God. Verily, I continue supplicating God to make to grow from the luxuriant garden of the heart the aromatic plants of His knowledge, through the abundant rain pouring forth from the clouds of His Kingdom, the Most Great; that thou mayest be a herald of the Covenant in those regions and a preacher of the Kingdom of God in those distant isles.
Blessed thou art for this letter. Glad-tidings unto thee for this speech!
O thou who art attracted to the Fragrances of God!
By God the Truth, verily the angels of the Supreme Assembly pray for thee every morn and eve and announce to thee glad-tidings! O blessed art thou who hast devoted thyself to diffusing the fragrances of God! Know thou that, verily, thy Lord will surely strengthen thy hands and assist thee through the hosts which are hidden from the sight of the heedless ones, and will give the victory through a numerous army from the Supreme Assembly and will illuminate thy heart with the rays shining from the Kingdom of ABHA, the Most Glorious! O maid-servant of God! Gird up thy loins, strengthen thy back, be not discouraged or grieved ifPage 282
people are pouring the arrows of scorn and blame thee, in so much as in this thou wilt follow the example of those who have endured every tribulation and calamity.
As to the young man and his revered wife, as to] both of whom thou hast informed me: I beseech God to remove the veil from them and lift the covering from before their faces, so that they may witness the greatest signs of their Lord, the Great, in this day in which all the regions of heaven and earth are sparkling with the lights of their Lord. Tell him, "Verily the Kingdom hath appeared with the ornaments of sanctity on the apex of the world of being. Thou oughtest to enter therein, and this is glad-tidings unto thee and to all those who have been expecting the advent of the Kingdom of the Lord with true heart turned toward God."O thou who art attracted to the Word of God!
Verily I read thy excellent letter, nay, rather thy brilliant, peerless pearls, which proved thy sincerity in the Cause of God, the enkindlement of thy heart with the fire of the love of God and the illumination of thy face through the light of the gift of God.
O maid-servant of God! Know, verily, I was with you in spirit during your assemblage in the meeting of the commemoration of God, the House of Agreement, under the Standard of Peace, and I perceived ye with my spirit on the Mount of Salvation and shared with ye in celebrating the praise of my Lord, and I smiled with all cheerfulness, joy and gladness when I found that ye were beseeching God and supplicating before the Kingdom of God. I beseech God to guide some ofPage 283
those who have given themselves to the Word of God, while they know not the Word. And I beg of God to give insight to every heedless one, so that he may witness the signs of his Mighty Lord in this great century wherein the Lord is glorified for the bounties and gifts which He hath bestowed on all the horizons i. e., regions] through His Ancient Grace.
Verily I wrote an answer to the letter of . . . and enclose it in this letter.
O maid-servant of God! By God the True One, verily `Abdu'l-Bahá invokes God to strengthen thee through the mightiest power, so that thou mayest become a star of guidance in Green Acre, to diffuse the fragrances of God, to blow forth the spirit of God, to summon people to the Word of God, and may speeches pour forth from thy pure lips as a torrent which rapidly pours down from the loftiest mountains!O thou who art attracted to the Fragrances of the
Garden of the Covenant and art speaking the praise of the Orb of the Universe!
Know thou, verily, I read thy letter which expressed the commemoration of thy Lord, the Great, and indicated that the fire of the love of God is ablaze in thy heart and in the soul of the sincere ones. Truly I say unto thee, verily thy magnificent letter was as one of the melodies of the birds of holiness in the wonderful garden. Verily the hearts of the Supreme Concourse are dilated with the songs which thou hast warbled on the Blessed Tree in the Exalted Paradise.
O maid-servant of God! Verily `Abdu'l-Bahá was with you in Green Acre in his spirit, soul and in allPage 284
of his spiritual grades, and he was your companion in your meetings and was bearing unto you, with his spiritual tongue, the glad-tidings of the divine splendors which shall be poured forth upon you from the Kingdom of God, in a short time.
O maid-servant of God! Be rejoiced at this glad-tidings whereby the hearts of the people of the Kingdom of El-ABHA are moved with joy. Verily I beseech God to make Green Acre as the Paradise of El-ABHA, so that the melodies of the nightingale of sanctity may be heard from it and that the chanting of verses of unity may be raised therein; to cause the clouds of the great gift to pour upon it the rains falling from Heaven; to make those countries become verdant with the myrtles of truth and inner significances and to plant therein blessed trees, with the hand of Providence, which may bring forth pure and excellent fruits where from the fragrances of God may be diffused throughout all regions. These signs shall surely appear and these lights shall shine forth.
O maid-servant of God, the Merciful! It is incumbent upon you to unveil the covering and to witness the Beauty of the Almighty! Ye shall surely see the lights rising in those parts, as ye have already seen them. Ye shall surely behold a Pillar of Fire extending upward to the Supreme Apex and it will call unto you with the most wonderful expression and will address you, saying:
"I am the Ancient Light! I am the Lord of the Exalted Kingdom! I am the Star shining forth unto the horizon of the hearts of the people of Oneness!"
O maid-servant of God! Be tranquil in heart and be enkindled with the fire ignited in the Blessed Tree -- anPage 285
enkindlement which may cause a fire to blaze in the inanimate hearts of those regions.
O maid-servant of God! Be not disheartened if thou hearest the murmuring of the deniers, the clamor of the hypocrites, the shouting of the contradictors, the barking of the furious, harmful dogs, in those climes. Remember the persecutions which consecutively befell the disciples of Christ from the perverse Jews. Consequently, withstand their oppositions with all quiescence and dignity (patience) and their contradictions with all cheerfulness, gladness and dilation of heart (i. e., exaltation) by day and night. Resist their fighting with peace and reconciliation, their blows with kindness and perfection and their blame with joy and tranquillity. Do beseech God to direct them to the Path of Salvation and breathe into them the Spirit of Life. Be thou a light to every darkness, a dispeller of every sadness, a healer for every sick person, a quencher for every thirst, a shelter for every refugee, a refuge for every captive. If the Pharisees interfere with thee, it is incumbent upon thee to implore God to guide them to the road of salvation! And it is incumbent upon thee to be affable to them under all circumstances, to be patient in afflictions, to be courteous with the enemies and to pray for the hateful sinners! This is the nature of the faithful and convinced women believers whose hearts are dilated with the fragrances of God and who instruct (people) in the teachings of God!
O maid-servant of God! Trust in the grace of thy Lord. He shall surely assist thee with a confirmation whereat minds will be amazed and the thoughts of the men of learning will be astonished. Consider the divinePage 286
splendors in Green Acre: One of them is the tree of fire and another is what was witnessed by thy friend -- a light shining forth unto all sides. This is through a grace of thy Lord unto thee! Consequently, be engaged in perusing St. John's Revelation; all these signs are spoken of in that vision. Thou shalt soon behold (things) still greater than this.
O maid-servant of God! It is incumbent upon thee to diffuse thee fragrances of God and to be occupied in delivering (teaching) the Cause of God! Deliver my greeting to . . . and say unto them: "Trust ye in the grace of your Lord and thank your Master, for He hath directed you to the Path of the Kingdom of God. Verily He is the Assister, the Beneficent!"
The coming of any one to these countries is, at this time, difficult and unallowable. I beg of God to facilitate it and then we will permit . . . to come. I beg of God to manifest His lights in the heart of . . . so that he may apprehend that which he never before apprehended and behold the mysteries of the Kingdom with real certainty in this glorious age.
God willing, next year some of the teachers (of the Truth) will present themselves at Green Acre and will cause the voices of the people of the Kingdom to reach the Supreme Apex.
O thou who art attracted by the Fragrances of God and enkindled with the Fire wherein Moses, the Speaker, found Guidance!
May it be salutary to thee, the draught from this cup, which is overflowing with the wine of the love of God.Page 287
Blessed art thou, that thy heart is connected with the callings of the Kingdom of El-ABHA, so that thou hast dispensed with the telepathic wires of the world, because the terminal of the spiritual wire reached the center of thy heart and the other is placed in the Spiritual Center, vibrating information constantly through the power of the Spirit and successively conveying the great glad-tidings. This is the station of (or for) every maid-servant whose heart is filled with the love of God and attracted to the Beauty of El-ABHA.
Thank God for showing unto thee and thy dear friend, the revered . . ., the great power and might of the Kingdom personified in the body of humanity, and that thou didst worship Him with a brilliant heart, and He addressed thee (saying): "Peace be unto thee! Peace be unto thee!" His white vestment is the garment of the Manifestation and His] brilliant color. Regarding the gems which appeared on His breast, they are peerless pearls of wisdom which shine unto the horizons with a godlike fame. As to His shining face, verily it hath illumined the earth and dispersed the darkness from the contingent world. Regarding thine entrance with thy friend into the gallery lighted with lamps, know thou that gallery is the world of humanity and the lamps His wonderful teaching, His all-wisdom, His perfect bounty and His clear manifestation. He is the Absent-Present in the world of humanity.
O maid-servant of God! It is incumbent upon thee to diffuse the fragrances, it is incumbent upon thee toPage 288
promulgate the teachings of God and it is incumbent upon thee to breathe the spirit of life into the hearts of the people of those regions, so that thou be a lamp of guidance in the recess of Green Acre. Take the cup of the love of God in thy right hand and with thy left hand hoist the banner of universal peace, love and affection among the nations of the earth . Call out (saying): "Hasten! Hasten unto the Great Bounty! Press! Press forward unto the Abundant Mercy! Speed! Speed unto the Manifest Light! Be urgent! Be urgent for the Great Attainment! Verily, by God the Truth, the doors of the Kingdom are opened, the lights of God have shown forth and illumined the horizon of the earth! The Lord of Hosts hath descended with the army of lights and angels of heaven and depressed the armies of darkness! He sent His angels to all directions, with a call of the trumpet of realities and meanings, instructions and teachings! Therefore, O people of the earth, appreciate the opportunity, in this new century, wherein the lights have been revealed by the Glorious Lord!"
In regard to the school which thou didst think of and its organization: I ask God that thou shouldst become confirmed in it with all order and command. But now it is necessary first to organize the Cause of God in those countries; then, order and preparation. Therefore arise, through a power from God, in organizing the Cause of God -- that is, the diffusion of the fragrances of God, promotion of the Word of God and heralding unto the nations and peoples with a pre-existent power the appearance of the Most Great Sun.Page 289
O thou who art attracted to the Fragrances of God!
Verily I read thy excellent letter and was dilated through its excellent contents. Know thou that the distance of habitation doth not prevent the rising of the lights, and that time and place only control the bodies and not the spirits which are free from the contingent beings, nor (do they control) the realities which are sanctified from the stains of the world. When the Spirit is breathed in the East, its signs immediately appear in the West and it hath a spiritual dominion which penetrates the pillars of the world.
Then know thou that God hath not ordained any greater happiness and joy than the removing of the veils by witnessing the Kingdom of God and presenting oneself in an assembly which is radiant with merciful emotions which cannot be apprehended by minds and thoughts.
O maid-servant of God! Verily opposition will wax fierce upon thee and denial and unbelief will day by day increase. People will arise to oppression and people will torment thee for thou hast believed in God, art attracted to the fragrances of God and hath spoken His praise among the maid-servants. They will execrate, revile, curse and oppress thee with acute tongues. Be not distressed at this; nay, rather continue with an increased firmness and staunchness in the Cause of God. For through calamity the heart of `Abdu'l-Bahá is attracted; through (suffering) oppression the breast of `Abdu'l-Bahá is dilated; through enduring afflictions the faithfulness of `Abdu'l-Bahá is proven; through imprisonment the soul of `Abdu'l-Bahá isPage 290
cheered; at every moment he wishes to quaff the cup of sacrifice in the path of God.
O maid-servant of God! Opposition shall surely pass away, the dark clouds in all regions will be dispelled and the lights of the Covenant shall shine forth. At that time your value shall appear among the nations of the world and tribes and people will arise to praise you. Take warning by the former cycles and the bygone Manifestations.
O maid-servant of God! Verily the Cause is great and great! Regiments and regiments enter therein! Some people must necessarily turn their backs upon it, on account of their lack of sincerity in the Cause of God and for their selfishness and egotism.
O maid-servant of God! A pure sea doth not accept a dead body, therefore the waves will necessarily throw the dead finally upon the shores.
O maid-servant of God! When some souls turn away from the love of God, there is no harm therein. Did not Judas Iscariot, the chief of the apostles, turn away on account of jealousy for Peter the apostle? Likewise, some people must necessarily turn away on account of jealousy for others.
As to thee: Consider the predecessors as a warning to posterity and purify thy heart from all else save God, under all circumstances. When thou wast in Acca we pointed this out to thee.
O maid-servant of God! Whenever sorrows and afflictions grow violent toward thee, remember that which we told thee during thy presence in these lands; then thy sorrows shall be removed and thy heart shallPage 291
become dilated through the fragrances of God in these days.
Be thou rejoiced at the glad-tidings of God! Be as a globe of fire from which the heat of the love of God will be diffused. Sanctify thyself from the grades of this world, be purified from the superstitions of people and be characterized with spiritual qualities. Be thou a mountain of quiescence, a sign of meekness, a sea of patience, a light of love, a standard of utter separation (from all else save God), so that thou mayest become everlasting in the Kingdom of God.
The light shall surely encompass the maid-servants who are attracted by the fragrances of God and it will shine forth from their faces upon all regions.
O maid-servant of God! Let thy joy and happiness be increased every moment through the light of God.
Verily, the Exalted Leaf and the brilliant Leaves  remember thee by night and day. Then know thou, verily the prison is my wonderful paradise in love for Bahá'í it is my lofty stronghold, my impregnable mansion and glorious throne. Be not grieved thereat, nay, rather beg of God to make me quaff the cup of sacrifice in the path of Baha'.
[1 Leaf, Leaves-meaning the ladies of the Household at Acca -- sister,wife and daughters of `Abdu'l-Bahá.]
O thou who art attracted to the Fragrances of God!
I am already informed of the import of thy wonderful letter and the meanings of thine excellent words. I was rejoiced to find how it expressed that thou art devoted to God, turning unto the Supreme Horizon,Page 292
enkindled with the fire of the love of God and attracted to the fragrances of God.
I beg of God to increase thy separation from the world, thy supplication before the Kingdom of God and thy yearning for the Beauty of God.
What thou hast said (in thy letter) concerning the servant of Bahá'í the "Mother of the Faithful," is but true. Verily she is purified in soul, enkindled by the fire of the love of God, hath sincerely turned unto her Master, hath completely faced toward the kingdom of God and hath arisen to diffuse His fragrances in all parts and serve His friends with a sincerity and joy unto which the Supreme Concourse beareth witness. She shall surely have a firm and steady footing in the Cause of God, her face shall shine forth from the Horizon of Loftiness, her fame shall be spread in the Kingdom of God, and she] shall have a ringing voice throughout regions, and the lights of her glorious deeds shall beam forth during cycles and ages.
As to . . . and . . ., verily the faces of these are as the pupil of the eye; although the pupil is created black, yet is it the source of light. I hope God will make these black ones the glory of the white ones and as the depositing of the lights of love of God. And I ask God to assist them in all circumstances, that they may be encompassed with the favors of their Loving Lord throughout centuries and ages.
As to . . ., verily God hath ordained for her a noble station. The lights of knowledge shall surely shine forth from her face upon the world. Verily she is attracted to the word of her Lord, was dilated byPage 293
hearing the speech of `Abdu'l-Bahá at the time of meeting and her eyes became consoled by witnessing the signs of her Mighty Lord.
As to the maid-servant of God . . . : God hath indeed favored her with an excellent disposition which is like fragrance from a garden of the Merciful and she passeth her days in serving the Cause of God. I beg of God to confirm and assist her under all aspects and circumstances.
As to the son of the "Mother of the Faithful": I beg of God to make his ears attentive, his eyes observing, his heart abounding with the lights of guidance and to make his soul as one of the signs of his Mighty Lord. Pray ye in his behalf night and day that God may strengthen him in a matter which may shine, beam and glow in the niche of the Kingdom of God and that He may cause him to arise and assist the pious ones, to seek bounty from the signs, to gain illumination from the lights, to deliver the necks of all men from the chains of superstition, to feed the needy ones upon the food of the Kingdom of God and support the weak ones with a penetrative power from the Word of God. Verily the Lord is the Confirmer!
O thou who art attracted to the Fragrances of God!
We have written a clear and efficient answer to . . . out of the love for thee and for her; otherwise `Abdu'l-Bahá is free from any other mention than that of God.
As to thee, be not grieved at anything whatever. There is a right wisdom in whatever happens in thisPage 294
great Cause. Be not grieved if the trash of the world is decreased in thy hands, for thy brilliant heart is a great treasury, inasmuch as every heart which trusts in the grace of its Lord is illumined through the lights of its Creator and it is one of the treasuries of the Kingdom, filled with the wealth of His divine world and heavenly bounties. This is a great wealth!
Deliver my greetings to . . . and announce to him the glad-tidings of God and say unto him: "This day is the day of soaring and the day of shining. This day is the day of the Ancient Honor, Abundant Wealth, Mighty Dominion and Great Gift. Appreciate thou its value and do not neglect it, so that thou mayest attain to that which was longed for by the holy ones in bygone ages and centuries."
O thou who art attracted by the Fragrances of God!
Verily I read thy letter which indicated thy knowledge of the significances of the Revelation of St. John. I ask God to enlighten thine eyes by witnessing His lights which have illumined the horizon of existence to eternity of eternities. Praise God that He manifested unto thee the brilliancy of the Sun of Truth which is shining from the Kingdom of El-ABHA; and God made thee look with divine eyes at the reality of revelation. Rest assured the light of the love of God will envelope the world with great illumination.
O maid-servant of God! May God increase thy glowing with the fire of His love and by a light from the rays of the Sun of the Universe.O maid-servant of God! Raise the call at Green
Acre, summon all unto the kingdom of God whose lights shone forth, fragrances wafted, clouds changed into tears (or drops of rain) and guardians smiled.
O thou who art attracted by the Fragrances of God!
Verily I read thy last letter and gathered from its meanings the mysteries of thy great love. I supplicate to my Lord that He may at every moment increase thy joy and fragrance, thy speech and utterance, thine attraction and enkindlement, and that He may heal thee from the infirmities which have affected thee and weakened thy feeble body, and strengthen thee to guide mankind into the Supreme Kingdom and quicken hearts by the fragrances of the Paradise of ABHA, so that thou mayest become a bird warbling upon the twigs of the Tree of Life, with most wonderful melodies and most charming tunes.O thou artery pulsating in the body of the world!
Verily I read thy recent letter which indicated conscious joy and abundant happiness from the glad-tidings of the Kingdom of El-ABHA. Know, verily, that the feast is the day wherein God opened thine insight through the Manifest Light, showed thee unto His Great Kingdom and granted to thee to drink from the chalice overflowing with the wine of divine guidance among the maid-servants. Is there a feast more happy and more noble than this? No, indeed, by the Lord of Heaven, it is a day wherein the thirsty one attaineth to the Spring from which gusheth forth cool and refreshing water, the lover meeteth his Loved One and the sick one is healed by the remedy of the Physician. Blessed art thou for attaining unto this!Page 296
Verily, the people who rejoice in the day of the feast and enjoyed the tree  (which) was decorated, following the custom of ancient times, are the people of superstitions. By the Majesty of thy Lord! Were they in the time of Christ, they would turn their backs and would not behold His smiling, glorious face; but today they in the shallow waters of their superstitions without discretion.[1 Christmas tree.]
Therefore, thank God for His having privileged thee to attain nearness to the Blessed Tree which is grown upon the highest Sinai and is set aglow with the fire of God's love, calling unto responsive listeners. I supplicate God to heal thee from all troubles and diseases and make thee a sign of guidance and a standard of the Supreme Concourse in those regions and particularly at Green Acre.O thou esteemed maid-servant of the Loving Lord!
What thou hast written in recommendation of a number of Christians was perused. Although the presence of these persons will, in these times, cause the revolt of the heedless ones and increase the trouble, yet for your sake we will send them a telegram to Egypt and permit them to come and visit. This is but for thy sake, and `Abdu'l-Bahá cannot endure to meet but the people of the Merciful and does not wish to be in union except with the heavenly ones.
O thou chosen maid-servant of God! It is time for thee to cry aloud and fervently, day and night, not to sit still for a moment, not to rest for an instant, but toPage 297
be always engaged in the commemoration of God and invite the people with the utmost longing and ecstasy unto the Kingdom of God.
Raise thou such melodies and harmony in Green Acre that may reach unto the Kingdom of ABHA and cause joy and exaltation in the angels of heaven! This matter needs a great enthusiasm (heat or exertion) and a sanctity and purity like unto a manifest light. Thou knowest what secrets doeth the spirit of `Abdu'l-Bahá communicate with thee and what glad-tidings he giveth unto thee! Show forth thy capacity and merit, for without capacity the Gift doth not become manifest.O thou dear maid-servant of God!
Thy letter was excellent and its contents were perfect and complete. Happy is thy condition for that thou hast not forgotten the time of thy visit ; nay, at every instant thou hast grown in this thought and art remembering the exhortations of `Abdu'l-Bahá and wishing in thy soul to put them thoroughly into practice. Praise be to God that thou hast kept steadfast with all firmness under the millstone of tests like unto a grain of diamond. Be not grieved; tests lead to the development of holy souls and the ardor of the flame of fire causeth the pure gold to shine and the violence of winds is conducive to the growth and thriving of a firm and well rooted tree.[1 To Acca.]
If the earthen house and mortal dwelling-place was burned , yet I hope that thou mayest build thy nest and abode, like unto the birds of holiness, in the Tree of Life in the Divine Kingdom. ***[1 The residence was destroyed by fire.]
All the members of the household, especially the Exalted Leaf , send most wonderful ABHA greetings. The maid-servant of God, . . ., is present here longing for you with the utmost joy and happiness.[1 The Sister of `Abdu'l-Bahá.]
As to the catalogue of the book of which thou hast written, convey (the following) to the author of that book:
"Although thou hast exerted the utmost endeavors in compiling this book and hast written the life of His Kingdom Christ and His blessed sayings -- and this service and labor deserve favor -- yet these are events of former times and all that is past is of a different effect. If thou art a hero of the field and a melodious bird in the garden of the Merciful One, speak of the Beauty of ABHA, for it is ready and present. Consider that the last year's springtime is past and all that thou mayest say or hear (about it) is but a story (or narrative); but appreciate thou this New Year's Spring -- which is this present time-hath pitched its tent with the utmost magnificence in the field and plain and hath made the mountain and desert verdant and fresh, hath made the trees to appear pure and fresh, blooming with flowers and blossoms through the vernal bounty and caused them to bring forth pure fruits. Nor all that thou mayest speak of the past springtime, be it even spoken with all excellence and eloquence and in accord with reality, all that will, nevertheless, be a past story.
"Do thou not abandon that which is ready in the present time until thou mayest gain the result and gather fruits from the garden of thy hopes and wishes.Page 299
Otherwise, thy book is a book of history -- it will be concluded and forgotten. Harken unto me (i. e., take my advice): One single ready drop is better than a sea which is past. More especially, this New Cause is like unto a sea, while all those which are past were like unto rivers."O bird without a nest!
It is reported thy home and shelter is burnt, thy resting place and habitation is become desolate. Though this news is greatly affecting, yet do not be sorrowful and disheartened, because the birds of the divine gardens have nest on the branches of the Tree of Life. The earthly abode is not worth the attachment of the heart, for this structure will surely be destroyed, but that which is of worth to freed ones (detached from all save God) is the heavenly palace and the court of Divine Majesty. Thanks be to God that for each one of the divine freed slaves and the heavenly and dear maid-servants, an indestructible mansion will be erected in the New Kingdom. This mansion will be an everlasting dwelling, an eternal abode and shelter.
There is a hidden wisdom in the burning of the house which before long will be clearly known. Divine attractions and heavenly bounties alone cause happiness to the hearts.
Use you utmost endeavors to dwell in the thought that in Green Acre this year the divine proclamation will be raised to the heavenly zenith and the lights of the supreme guidance will enlighten those regions.
Be sure that heavenly assistance will be given andPage 300
that the breeze of the Divine Garden will perfume the nostrils of the inhabitants of the earth. Some of the weak souls thought that this dear maid-servant of God was attached to this house and to this perishable world. Now the house is burnt, all will realize that thy attraction is increasing, thy steps are drawing near, thy flag is raised higher and thy condition more excellent. Show forth such happiness and joy that all will be astonished.
O thou who art attracted by the Fragrances of the Kingdom of El-Abha!
I read thy letter which was beautifully composed and which indicated that thy delicate body hath gained rest. I send thee the answer spiritually so that the signs of the address may become manifest in thy heart. Verily thou art with me in spirit at all times. I ask God to make thee follow my example in establishing the Kingdom of Unity and Peace and building up the Dominion of Love and Faith which was founded by the Beauty of El-ABHA. Rest and repose are necessary for thee in these days; be thou composed in all conditions. Thou art with me under all circumstances. Then thank God for His guidance unto thee. He hath made thee drink from a cup overflowing with the wine of His love in the world. I ask God to make thee the essence of holiness and purity among the maid-servants of the Merciful -- thus thou mayest be a brilliant flame in the universe.
All the Illumined Leaves, the maid-servants of God in this most great prison, convey to thee greeting and praise.Page 301
Inquire after the health of Miss . . ., send her my greeting and say: "Many ideas rise up in the human mind; some of them concern truth and some untruth. Among such ideas those which owe their source to the Light of Truth will be realized in the outward world; while others of a different origin vanish, come and go like waves on the sea of imagination and find no realization in the world of existence.
[1 Following Tablet as received bore no opening line of address.]
"Similarly, numerous, various meetings and assemblages have been organized during the past ages and by-gone centuries. All these produced no result except those assemblages which rendered unmixed service to the Light of Truth; from such assemblages alone great results were realized in the world of existence.
"For instance, consider how many a thousand assemblages -- religious, political and literary -- have been organized in India, Persia, Turkestan, Chinese countries and, in a word, in every part of Asia. All these gave no result except that assemblage of the disciples of Christ on the mount fifty days after Christ's ascension. All that hath since been effected along the line of diffusing the holy fragrances of Christ, uplifting the Word of God, spreading the Gospel, training souls and guiding the people, hath been wholly from the result of the effects produced by that assemblage of the disciples. Those effects are continual even in the present time.
"Consequently, if one looks for praiseworthy results and wishes to produce eternal effects, let him make exceeding effort, in order that Green Acre may becomePage 302
an assemblage for the Word of God and a gathering place for the spiritual ones of the heavenly world.
"The moldered, two-thousand-years-old superstitions of the heedless, ignorant peoples, whether of Asia or Europe, should not be spread in that revered gathering place; for, if such be the case, let it be known for certain that that assemblage will yield no result and will, before long, be forgotten and consigned to oblivion, similar to other meetings of bygone times.
"I beg of God that that esteemed maid-servant of God shall be the cause of spreading the Cause of God, so that the Light of Truth may shine and the world be illumined.
"When you reflect attentively, you will find that the Word is what we have hereby said and that all else save this is pure imagination, is of no stability and is evanescent.
"The tree must have roots in order to yield fruit. The trees of the forests of Asia have yielded no fruit for thousands of years, except the blessed Trees of the Divine Manifestations, for each one of these Trees hath so developed and flourished that it hath trained and nourished the whole earth with fruits and yields."O thou beloved maid-servant of God!
What thou hast written was considered. It indicated purity of heart and advancement toward God.
O thou maid-servant of the Blessed Perfection! Be thou not sad, neither be thou unhappy; although the divine tests are violent, yet are they conducive to the life of the soul and the heart. The more often the purePage 303
gold is thrown into the furnace of test, the greater will become its purity and brilliancy and it will acquire a new splendor and brightness. I hope that thou art thyself in such a position.
Consider thou the lives of the former sanctified souls; what tests have they not withstood and what persecutions have they not beheld; while they were surrounded with calamities they increased their firmness and while they were overwhelmed with tests they manifested more zeal and courage. Be thou also like unto them.
The utmost favor is shown toward thee and the divine bounties are thy guide. Endeavor thou, as far as thou canst, in order that thou mayest be like unto a chaste and clear mirror, cleansed and purified from every dust, so that the outpouring of the rays of the Sun of Truth may descend and thou mayest illumine those who are around thee. This is my counsel to thee. I pray always in thy behalf and supplicate for thy confirmation and assistance, in order that thou mayest become a sign of the Most Great Bounty and be the cause of the guidance of many souls. If thou art mindful, seek thou the favor everlasting and the illumination eternal. Do thou some work, that thou mayest become favored in the Threshold of the Almighty and a beloved maid-servant of the Blessed Perfection, in the Kingdom.
His honor . . . hath delivered thy message. I entreat God that thine utmost hopes and desires may become realized.
Every one in the Holy Household is engaged in thy remembrance and sends thee their longing greeting.Page 304
Convey to . . . my respectful greeting and announce to him: "No matter how brilliant a receding star is, its light never reaches to this world. Worship thou the newly ascendant Shining Luminary whose lights are glittering and whose proof is self-evident. Become thou the cause of guidance of the person whom thou art respecting. No matter how much endeavor and effort is shown, a tree which hath been in existence for two thousand years or more will never bring new and fresh fruits. This is the truth and there is nothing beyond the truth but manifest error."
O thou who art favored in the Kingdom of the Almighty!
The letter that thou hast written with the utmost eloquence, compassion, humility and submission of heart and spiritual emotions, hath been read.
If the people live and act in accord with the General Tablets which are revealed to the beloved of the East and of the West, this universe will become another universe and the whole existence of this world will be clad in another garment. You must encourage and reinforce the beloved of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful that they may live and act in accord with the teachings in the General Tablets.
Consider thou how vast is the arena of the Kingdom -- it hath environed the whole world. The splendor of Providence hath encircle all races, nations, communities and religions; the foundation of foreignness is swept away and the basis of Oneness is established; love hath become universal and the spiritual ties are strengthened.***Page 305
The meeting which thou hast formed and therein assembled the faithful (or believers) together and engaged with them in the commemoration of God, caused the Supreme Concourse to praise and the angels of heaven to applaud.
Be thou a cause of unifying hearts as much as thou canst and guide thou the heedless souls, and in this spiritual springtime perfume thou nostrils with the sweet fragrances of the rose-garden of the Kingdom. This is eternal life; this is everlasting glory! And this is a peace which is not followed by any trouble! All else save this is a plaything of children and is useless and nonsense!
O thou who art advancing towards the Shining Orb of the Horizons!
Verily, the East and West have already glittered through the light which is shining forth from the Horizon of the mercy of thy Lord, the Clement, the Merciful, but the blind are still in great error.
The Call of God is already raised throughout all concourses of the earth; but the deaf are still muffled in thick veils. All things have already uttered the praise of God; but the dumb are still continuing in their astounding silence.
As to thee: Listen to the Supreme Concourse and hear the call, "Glory be unto my Lord, the El-Baha!"O thou who art spreading the Cause of God!
I hope thou wilt become as a rising light and obtain spiritual health -- and spiritual health is conducive toPage 306
physical health -- so that thou mayest be enabled to liquidate thy debts and be strengthened to attain the blessing of the Forgiving Lord; that thou mayest become a mirror of truth and reveal the spiritual brilliancy of the heavenly universe to all eyes, direct large numbers of people under the shadow of the Powerful Lord and guide all thy family and relations unto the Greatest Guidance; and that thou mayest be honored with a visit to the Holy Threshold after having attained to all these gifts.O thou maid-servant of God!
Acquire the Persian tongue, so as to learn of the meanings of the divine words and to know the divine mysteries, to develop an eloquent speech and to translate the blessed Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh. The Persian language shall become noteworthy in this cycle; nay, rather, the people shall study it in all the world.
O thou rose of the Rose-Garden of the Love of God!
His Holiness Christ-may my spirit be His sacrifice! -- saith in the Gospel, "Many are called, but few chosen." That is, many have been invited to faith, but few chosen for guidance. Praise be to God that thou wert of the chosen, realized the Day of the Lord, heard the divine Call and attained the Light of Reality! Endeavor and make an effort that certain souls may be trained, of whom His Holiness Christ said, "Ye shall know the tree by its fruits." That is to say, every soul is known by (his) conduct, manners, words and deeds. Therefore, we must strive with life and heart that, day by day, our deeds may be better, our conduct morePage 307
beautiful and our forbearance greater. That is, to cultivate love for all the world; to attain beatific character.
O maid-servant of God! Study Persian and acquire it more day by day, for by the study of this language great and boundless results are obtained.
Convey greeting and praise to thy revered mother and also to all thy sisters. I hope that all may become bright as the candle through the light of the love of God.O thou maid-servant of God!
Be happy for thou hast found guidance, witnessed the light of Truth and hearkened unto the exhortations of `Abdu'l-Bahá. Though the worth and value of this gift is not apparent and manifest in this world of mortality, in the divine world this gift is abundantly radiant and brilliant. Thou shalt of course perceive (or behold) this.
I have not forgotten thee nor will I do so, and I always beg of God that thou wilt day by day increase in love and that thy heart will become more illuminated. I was rejoiced with the kindness shown by the dear maid-servants . . .toward . . . For God hath guided the maid-servants of the Merciful in order for kindness (to appear) so that they may become a mercy to all mankind (or all the creatures) and a gift to the world of humanity.O thou maid-servant of God!
The tongues have spoken of thy attraction to God and the pens testified of thy burning by the fire of the love of God. Indeed the heart of `Abdu'l-Bahá approvethPage 308
of this, because it feeleth its heat from this distant and Blessed Spot.
O maid-servant of God! By God, the Truth, the Spirit of Christ from the Supreme Concourse doth in every and aspect announce to thee this great good news.
Be, therefore, a divine bird, proceed to thy native country, spread the wings of sanctity over those spots and sing and chant and celebrate the name of thy Lord, that thou mayest gladden the Supreme Concourse and make the seeking souls hasten unto thee as the moths hasten to the lamp, and thus illumine that distant country by the light of God.
O thou bird warbling in the Garden of the Love of God!
Thank God that He hath illumined thine insight, led thee unto the Fire glowing in the Tree of Man, caused thee to utter His praise among the creatures and guided certain women to whom thou delivered the Word of God.
O maid-servant of God! Verily thy Lord lighteth the lamp of love in the heart of whomsoever He chooseth. This is indeed the great happiness. He confirmeth him in the service of His Supreme Vineyard.
I pray God to confirm the relatives in attaining to the Brilliant Light, to let the light of insight shine forth to the hearts and sights, to aid thy friends in being illumined by the light of El-Bahá and being] fed from the heavenly table, and to make thee empty, void from the thoughts of the life of this world and filledPage 309
with the love of thy Lord, ready for His service, uttering His praise and demonstrating with proofs the appearance of the Kingdom of God.O thou who art conscious!
At last thou didst learn of the path of salvation and didst find the straight way. Now remain firm that thou mayest attain confirmation and victory.
The powers of the sympathetic nerve are neither entirely physical nor spiritual, but are between the two (systems). The nerve is connected with both. Its phenomena shall be perfect when its spiritual and physical relations are normal.
[1 Answer to question of a physician regarding the sympathetic nervous system of the human organism.]
When the material world and the divine world are well co-related, when the hearts become heavenly and the aspirations grow pure and divine, perfect connection shall take place. Then shall this power produce a perfect manifestation. Physical and spiritual diseases will then receive absolute healing.
The exposition is brief. Ponder and thou shalt understand the meaning. Although, on account of lack of time, the answer is short, by close reflection it shall be made long.O thou who art advancing to the kingdom of God!
On perusing the contents of thy brilliant letter, I became cognizant of the secrets of thy heart, which is illumined by the clear light.
Verily, I supplicate my Lord to cause to descend upon thee an abundant grace of the spirit of His Holiness,Page 310
that thine eyes may become clear and thy mind rejoiced by the gift which hath shone over all regions.
Know that the poor people hasten by parties to the Kingdom of God; the weak become mighty before thy Lord, and the slaves when entering the shadow of thy Lord attain the station of masters, lords and freed slaves in the presence of God
Grieve not because of my confinement, for it is a joy to my heart, a pleasure to my spirit, a good news to my soul, an utmost desire of my hope, an intended aim of my aspiration; because it is a confinement in the path of God, the Lord of the worlds.O thou maid-servant of God!
I have read thy letter which indicated thy straightforwardness in the love of God and thy desire in spreading this brilliant light among the offspring of the Africans. How good is the intention! And what an excellent aim this great aim is! Indeed the hearts of the Africans are as a blank scroll of paper upon which thou canst write any phrase; but thou must have patience and a heart as firm as a mountain, owing to the innumerable hardships that may intervene, which could be endured only by one who surrenders to grievous calamities.
If thou art of the people of this field (race-course) let loose the reins and rely upon the Merciful, and He will indeed assist thee with the hosts of the unseen at all times. Use thy utmost power to affiliate the hearts and, with the whole of thy might, bring the scattered souls into union.***Page 311
Look not unto thy weakness, but rely upon the Lord, and He will then grant thee all thy desires and reveal to thee the answer without asking.
O thou who art attracted to the Fragrances of God!
Thou hast said aright, that verily, `Abdu'l-Bahá looketh to deeds and not words. Even as it was said by Christ, "Ye shall know them by their fruits."
Be not grieved if the affairs are made difficult and troubles have waxed intense upon thee from all sides! Verily thy Lord changeth the hardships into facility, troubles into ease and afflictions into greatest composure. Verily, thy Lord is on the right path!
Tests and trials shall soon arise, blessed are those who endure patiently! Blessed are those who keep firm! Be patient, that thou mayest be rendered victorious in thy greatest wishes, and know thou that verily, thou art with me in the nearness of my Lord, the Supreme.
Verily, this is a glad-tidings unto thee forevermore!
O thou who art controlled by the attraction of the Fragrancesof God!
I perused thy letter which speaks of thy love to God and thine attraction to the Beauty of God, and I became cheered in heart by its beautiful contents. In my previous letter to thee it was my intention to point out to thee that in the way of exalting the Word of God there are tests and trials, and in His love there are at all times calamities and afflictions and sufferings. Therefore, it behooveth one to first ponder over these calamitiesPage 312
and wistfully accept them, then undertake to spread the fragrances of God and exalt His Word. At that time, whatever may befall him in the love of God, of reproach, persecution, reviling, abuse, insult, beating, imprisonment or assassination, will not offend him; rather it will augment his attraction to the Beauty of God. This was what I intended previously. Otherwise, woe and misery to the soul which hunts after comfort, luxury, wealth and affluence, while it is remiss of the mention of God; because calamity in the path of God is a favor to `Abdu'l-Bahá.
In one of the Tablets the Beauty of El-ABHA sayeth, "I never passed by a tree that my heart did not address it, saying, 'Would that thou wast cut in My Name, that upon thee my body should be crucified!'"
This is that which was uttered by the Greatest Name. This is His Path! This is the evidence of His Great Kingdom!O thou who art commemorating the Name of God!
Verily I read thy interesting letter and my heart was made happy by its beautiful contents.
O maid-servant of God! Rest assured in the bounty of thy Lord and place thy confidence in Him, for He will confirm thee in all aspects and under all conditions.
Know, verily, that the seed, however virile it may be, however strong the hand of the sower, however pure the water that watereth it, it is impossible for it to grow, blossom and bear fruit in a short time; nay, a long period is needed for its development.
So it is the Kingdom of God. Consider the seed whichPage 313
was sown by Christ; verily, it did not blossom until after a long period. Thus it is incumbent upon thee to be patient in all affairs. Verily thy Lord is powerful, forgiving, precious and persevering! Depend upon the favor of thy Lord. He shall bless thee and protect thee under the shadow of His generosity and mercy.O thou maid-servant of God!
I supplicate and implore my Lord to strengthen thee by the Spirit of Life, make thee enter the Ark of Safety, and show thee the evident signs; that the veils of the people of suspicion may be rent asunder and the brilliant proof of God become manifest to all regions, and thy heart be made a clear mirror wherein are printed the Lights of the Kingdom of the earth and heaven.O thou who art remembered by `Abdu'l-Bahá!
Thy letter which is couched in graceful words hath given me joy and happiness, for it showeth how thou art controlled by the attraction of the fragrances of God and how thou art kindled by the flame of fire that burneth in the Tree of Sinai.
Blessed art thou because of this great bounty and manifest abundance! Verily, by day and by night I do mention thee and thy daughter who is the delight of thine eye, and supplicate God to make you both two burning lamps, shining at the meetings of the maid-servants of God, spreading the light of knowledge, burning the moth of imaginations and surmise and removing, through the light of manifest evidences and peremptory proofs, the darkness of suspicions.Page 314
O thou whose heart is moved by a breeze blowing from the Garden of El-Abha!
Thy elegant and terse letter, couched in graceful words, was read by me. I rejoiced at the fragrances of love, which being scented from the verdant gardens of the Paradise of El-ABHA, have cheerfully moved thee.
O maid-servant of God! Be submissive to thy Lord, humble to His servants and compliant to his maid-servants. Overcome passions and desires, purify the heart from remembrance of aught save that of thy Lord, the Precious, the Gracious, and be controlled by the attraction of the Beauty of God, that His remembrance may run as the spirit in thy blood veins and limbs, and thus fill thee with the thoughts of the love of God.
O maid-servant of God! Ignite the fire of love in the hearts which are remiss of the mention of God that they may become awakened by the breath of God, and quickened by His Spirit in this Great Day.O thou attracted maid-servant of God!
Verily, I bow my face to the dust of the Threshold of El-Bahá and to Him who sitteth on the Throne, I petition as a supplicating captive, begging Him to make thee to behold His Glorious Face and to purify thine insight from aught else save Him among the people. Verily, He is the refuge of all and our Great Protection!
We are all poor at His Door, weak before His Power, lowly at His Threshold, and we possess the powerPage 315
of neither good nor harm. He is indeed the Confirmer, the Strengthener, the Benevolent!
Truly hath He opened before our faces the doors of the Kingdom, granted us the treasures of His mysteries through the divine bounty and He hath chosen us for His love, for attainment unto His lights, the study of His teachings, the spreading of His name, the guidance unto His path and service in His great vineyard. I pray from confirmation in thy behalf and thou shouldst pray for strength on my part. Thy prayers for me should be that I may attain martyrdom in His path, that my spirit may be His sacrifice, and that my blood may be shed for His love.
O maid-servant of God! verily, I long for that cup, which is overflowing with the bounty of God, as a patient desiring to be healed, as a thirsty soul seeking water, as the poor in quest of wealth, and as one in separation yearning after the meeting of the beloved one night and day.O thou who art advancing to the Kingdom of God!
Verily, I pray God to make thee the sign of guidance among the maid-servants of the Merciful, to enkindle in thy heart a spark of that fire which was ignited in the Sinaitic Tree and to give thee to drink an overflowing cup from the choice wine of the love of God, until the intoxication of that wine may so prevail upon thee that thou mayest thereby forget all else save God, be attracted to the Beauty of God, glorify thy Lord and sanctify Him during morn and eve.
O maid-servant of God! It is incumbent upon thee to severed from the desires of the world, and it isPage 316
incumbent upon thee to attracted to the Supreme Kingdom. At that time thou wilt become fluent in tongue and thou wilt speak in most eloquent words through the confirmation of the Holy Spirit. This is that gift which the Lord of Heaven hath promised!
O thou who doest believe in the Spirit of Christ, in the Kingdom of God!
The body is composed, in truth, of corporeal elements and every composition is necessarily subject to decomposition; but the spirit is an essence, simple, pure, spiritual, eternal, perpetual and divine. He who seeketh Christ from the point of view of His body hath, in truth, debased Him and hath gone astray from Him; but he who seeketh Christ from the point of view of His Spirit will grow from day to day in joy, attraction, zeal, proximity, perception and vision.
Thou hast then to seek the Spirit of Christ in this marvelous day. The heaven whither Christ ascended is not an infinite space. His heaven is much rather the kingdom of His Lord, the Munificent. As He said, "The Son of Man is in heaven." It is known then that His heaven is beyond the boundaries that surround existence and that He is elevated for the people who adore.
Pray God to ascend to this heaven, to taste of its food -- -and know thou that the people have not understood to this day the mystery of the Holy Scriptures. They believe that Christ was deprived of His heaven when He was in this world, that He had fallen from the heights of His elevation and that later He ascended to this elevated pinnacle -- that is to say, towards the heavenPage 317
which doth not exist, for there is only space. They expect that He will descend from this heaven seated upon a cloud. They believe that there is in the heavens a cloud upon which He will be seated and by which He will descend; while, in reality, the clouds are vapors which rise from the earth and which do not descend from the heavens. The cloud mentioned in the Holy Scriptures is the human body, because it is a veil for them, like a cloud, which prevents them from seeing the Sun of Truth which is shining in the horizon of Christ.
I pray God to open before your face the gates of revelation and of vision in such a way that thou shalt learn the mysteries of God in this known day.***
O ye who are considering the Kingdom of your august Savior!
I know the ardor which enflames you both  with the desire to present yourselves in the Sacred Place and I desire, also, to see you both. But my Lord hath a supreme wisdom and His wisdom hath required the imprisonment of `Abdu'l-Bahá and the prevention of visits of impassioned friends. It is a temporary condition that will pass away in the future. In the meantime I shall remember you in my heart and I love you with a holy affection that is spiritual, divine, eternal and perpetual; that is founded on the surest base and on the most durable of foundations. I pray God to remove all the veils and to illumine your hearts with lights shining from the Supreme Horizon, in such a manner that the light of guidance shall move before you and that your hearts shall dilate in perceiving greatPage 318
signs. Turn towards California with a luminous face, a joyous soul, an attracted heart, an enlightened spirit, an eloquent speech and a radiant expression. In those regions God will, through you, become the guide of many people.[1 Husband and wife.]
O ye two  singing birds in the Garden of Belief![1 Husband and wife.]
I have read your letter in which you confess the Unity of God and the grandeur of His reign, and in which you make known that you have been attracted by the perfumes of God and that you have bathed in the sea of knowledge. Thank God for that! I pray God to strengthen your steps in the straight road, to preserve you from violent tests, in making of you two green and fruitful trees in His great vineyard, to the end that ye may arrive at a favor that shall make of you two elected ones in the court of the august Lord. Appreciate this favor and give thanks to your Savior that He hath heaped upon you this great kindness.O thou who art turning unto the Kingdom of God!
Thy letter is received and perused. It afforded us joy and pleasure, gave us good news and is the token of the wealth of thy love. This period of time is the Promised Age, the assembling of the human race to the "Resurrection Day" and now is the great "Day of Judgment." Soon the whole world, as in springtime, will change its garb. The turning and falling of the autumn leaves is past; the bleakness of the winter time is over. The new year hath appeared and the spiritual springtime is at hand. The black earth is becoming aPage 319
verdant garden; the deserts and mountains are teeming with red flowers; from the borders of the wilderness the tall grasses are standing like advance guards before the cypress and jessamine trees; while the birds are singing among the rose branches like the angels in the highest heavens, announcing the glad-tidings of the approach of that spiritual spring, and the sweet music of their voices is causing the real essence of all things to move and quiver.
O my spiritual friend! Dost thou know from what airs emanate the notes sung by those birds? They are from the melodies of peace and reconciliation, of love and unity, of justice and security, of concord and harmony. In a short time this heavenly singing will intoxicate all humanity; the foundations of enmity shall be destroyed; unity and affection shall be witnessed in every assembly; and the lovers of the love of God at these great festivals shall behold their splendor.
Therefore, contemplate what a spirit of life God hath given that the body of the whole earth may attain life everlasting! The Paradise of El-ABHA will soon spread a pavilion from the pole-star of the world, under whose shelter the beloved shall rejoice and the pure hearts shall repose in peace.O ye two  pilgrims of the Holy Shrine!
The news of your protected and safe arrival in Paris, France, reached here and made me glad and happy. The news expressed the love and devotion of the belovedPage 320
of Paris, who met you with the greatest joy and cheerfulness, and who are themselves in love, peace and harmony.
You shall openly declare all the signs of the Kingdom that you saw with you own eyes and shall suggest with greatest joy and happiness all the divine teachings that you heard. I ask and supplicate God to make you two convinced souls, to bring you forth with such a steadfastness that each of you may withstand the people of a country, and to intoxicate you with the wine of the love of God so that you may cause your hearers to dance, to be joyful and to exult.
This is the time of happiness; it is the day of cheerfulness and exhilaration. For, praise to God, all the doors are opened through the bounty of the Glorious Beauty. But one must show forth perseverance and self-devotion and consecrate his thoughts, until the tree of hope may give fruit and produce consequences.O ye two  lamps of the Love of God!
Your letter to . . . was read and its contents considered. Its meanings expressed the feelings of spiritual hearts and emanated from the spring of the conscience. This is from the bounty of the Kingdom of ABHA. I hope that this drop will increase and grow and become like unto an ocean; that your faith, certainty and love toward God may grow, that your light may increase, that ye may become heavenly and that ye may receive aid and confirmation at every moment,Page 321
spreading the Word of God and promulgating His religion.O thou respectful soul!
Thy letter with its great and expressive contents gave me satisfaction. It gave utterance to the feelings of thy heart and to thy contentment. Thy going to California was for the best. I hope that it will give great results; that through thee the ignorant will receive knowledge, the blind will gain sight, the deaf will hear, the dumb will speak, the negligent will awaken, the heedless will receive intelligence. If thou arisest as it must and should be in the service of the Cause, the divine assistance will direct and the heavenly, everlasting help will continue. I hope that thou wilt be assisted to the intention which thou hast in thy heart.O thou faithful maid-servant of God!
What thou hast written me hath been seen. Indeed thou belongest to the Kingdom and thou turnest towards the Horizon of ABHA. I ask from the bounty of God that thou mayest be enflamed day by day more and more by the fire of the love of God.
It seems that thou wast uncertain whether to occupy thyself in writing or in delivering the tidings of the Cause of God. In these days, to deliver the glad-tidings is the best of all. Open then thy tongue to the guidance of the human race on any occasion that presents itself.
Thou hast asked about knowledge and cognition. Read the divine books and tablets and look into the books of proofs that have been written in presentingPage 322
this Cause. One of them is the Book of Ighan , which is translated into English. There is also the book  by Mirza Abul Fazl and there are others written by the believers. In the time to come, many divine books and tablets will be translated and thou wilt read them; but thou mayest ask God that thou mayest attract divine knowledge by the magnet of the love of God. When the soul becomes sanctified in every condition and becomes pure and holy, then the door of the divine knowledge will be opened to the face.
[1 During the time of Bahá'u'lláh's residence in Bagdad (the Dwelling of Peace), men of learning, including Jews, Christians and Mohammedans, visited Him seeking answer to religious and scriptural questions. Such answer He gave in the Book of Ighan, and otherwise known as the Book of Explanations and Assurance. It concerns the Reality and Authorityof the human "Divine Manifestations."]
Thou hast written about the dear maid-servant of God, Mrs. . . That one attracted unto God is indeed always occupied in the service and she doth her utmost to spread the divine lights; if she continueth in the same way there will be great results in the future. That which is of the greatest importance is to have firmness, steadfastness and constancy.
I pray God that through the desires and the efforts of the maid-servants of the Merciful the foot of the mountains by the ocean's shore  will be enlightened by the brilliancy of the love of God in such a way that its light may be transmitted all over the world.[1 Refers to California and the Pacific coast.]
You ask if, through the appearance of the Kingdom of God, every soul hath been saved. The Sun of Reality hath appeared to all the world. This Luminous Appearance is salvation and life; but only he who hath opened the eye of reality and who hath seen these lights will be saved.Page 323
You also ask about the eventual victory of spirituality in this Bahá'í age. It is certain that spirituality will overcome materiality and that the divine will have the victory over the human; it is also true that by divine education souls in every condition of existence will be elevated, except those that are blind, deaf, dumb and dead. How can such souls comprehend the light? The sun lighteth up all the dark world, but the blind man hath no portion in its brilliancy; the cloud of mercy poureth forth streams of water, but the sterile land will never produce plants and flowers.
Give my greetings to the maid-servant of God, Mrs. . . and to her daughter. I pray God to assist them and to help them, that their meeting day by day will grow brighter and that their hearts will be more and more attracted.
If you see Mrs. . ., give her my greeting and say to her: "Thou hast come to Acca, thou hast seen my teachings, thou hast heard my explanations and thou hast smelled the sweet odors of the Kingdom. Do not forget this, and try with thy heart and soul to diffuse this fragrance to thy respected husband also."
Give my greetings to all the maid-servants of God.O thou attracted maid-servant of God!
The celebration of the Feast of Naurooz  made me glad. Consider how different this meeting was from that of last year. Consider the bounty and the blessing of God. Therefore, know that this Cause is progressive. All the obstacles of the world cannot hinder it. Thou didst realize divine joy and happiness in thatPage 324
meeting. Is it possible for earthly gatherings to give such divine joy? This bounty is in itself the greatest evidence of the appearance of the Kingdom. I ask God to increase daily the fire and zeal of the love of God. Thus may that land become a veritable paradise and the heavenly attainments become manifest.
[1 Naurooz, i. e., New Day -- or spring equinox, March 21st.]
If thou knewest in what (spiritual) state I write this letter thou would surely become like a flame of fire and set aglow the hearts by the fire of the love of God.
Thou hast written concerning the Most Holy Book.  It is intended that in the future -- inshallah  -- means will be provided and with the utmost care it will be translated and sent to those regions.[1 Kitáb-el-Akdas, by Bahá'u'lláh.]
[2 Inshallah, i. e., if it be the will of God -- also implies hope or wish.]
O thou dear maid-servant of God! The souls who bear the tests of God become the manifestations of great bounties; for the divine trials cause some souls to become entirely lifeless, while they cause the holy souls to ascend to the highest degree of love and solidity. They cause progress and they also cause retrogression.
Dr. . . hath well said. Surely this Cause is beyond imaginations and thoughts. Convey greetings of respect to him, to his revered wife, to his son and to his bride.
O thou maid-servant of God! Surely, if holy souls are found and arise to do well the commandments and precepts of God, to serve, they will verily become centers of light; an illuminating ray will extend from their hearts to all parts and the continent will become radiant.Page 325
Surely, all must today be called to love, to unity and to kindness; to integrity, to friendship, to fellowship and to divine worship. I hope that thou and thy dear husband may continue to serve in all spirit and fragrance and that in this world ye may remain two radiant candles and in the eternal horizon ye may glisten like unto two shining stars.O thou beloved maid-servant of God!
Thy letter *** was received and its contents became known.
In this most Merciful Age the ignorant prejudices are entirely removed, therefore the marriage of Miss . . . to Mr. . . is permissible; but Miss . . . must exert herself day and night so that, like the favored maid-servant of God, Mrs. . . she may guide her husband. She must not rest until she makes him her spiritual as well as physical partner in life. But the Bahá'í engagement is the perfect communication and the entire consent of both parties. However, they must show forth the utmost attention and become informed of one another's character and the firm covenant made between each other must become an eternal binding, and their intentions must be everlasting affinity, friendship, unity and life. The bridegroom must, before the bridesman and a few others, say: "Verily, we are content with the will of god." And the bride must rejoin: "Verily, we are satisfied with the desire of God." This is Bahá'í matrimony.
Regarding the marriage of Mr. . . and Miss . . ., that also, God willing, is blessed.Page 326
The marriage of the Bahá'ís means that both man and woman must become spiritually and physically united, so that they may have eternal unity throughout all the divine worlds and improve the spiritual life of each other. This is Bahá'í matrimony.O maid-servant of God!
Thy letter hath arrived. It brought joy to all hearts, for it carried the proof of thy sincere work. Today, directing mankind in the right path is the magnet which will attract to us the help of God. All those who consecrate themselves to this work are accompanied by divine protection. Thus, rely upon God and address thy supplications to the Most High. Then, after perfect renunciation, care for the souls of the undirected and negligent. I pray that thou mayest be aided and strengthened.
Thou hast demanded the permission to go to Algeria in order to give thyself to the direction of men; may God aid and help you in this work.
O thou who art seeking for the Power of the Holy Spirit!
The reality of man is like unto a sea, and the Holy Power is like unto brilliant pearls. Not until the sea moveth in waves doth it throw a shell of pearls upon the shore. Therefore if thou wishest to become heavenly, cut thy attention from the earth; that is, cease to attach thy heart unto this world and seek connection with or attachment to the Kingdom and turn unto God. And when thou doest this, thou wilt become the mercy of God and a gift of the Almighty. Consider how thePage 327
attracted maid-servant of God, Mrs. . ., is in constant progress through the heavenly bounty. I hope that thou mayest become likewise.O thou maid-servant of God!
What thou hast written was perused and its contents became manifest. Thou hast questioned how thou canst accept this divine cause, for thou art a member of the Church: (Know thou) in the day of the Manifestation of Christ, many souls became portionless and deprived (from the favor of God) because thy were members of the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem. According to that membership, they became veiled from that brilliant Beauty. Therefore, turn thou thy face to the Church of God which consists in divine instructions and merciful exhortations. For what similarity (is there) between the church of stone and cement and the Celestial Holy of Holies!
Endeavor that thou mayest enter in this Church of God. Although thou hast given oath to attend the church, yet thy spirit is under the Covenant and Testament of the Spiritual Divine Church. Thou shouldst protect this. Although they consider the wine and the bread in the church as the blood and body of Christ, yet this is but the appearance and not the reality. But the reality of Christ is the words of the Holy Spirit. If thou art able, take a portion thereof.
The performance of baptismal celebration would cleanse the body, but the spirit hath no share; but the divine teachings and the exhortations of the Beauty of ABHA will baptize the soul. This is the real baptism. I hope that thou wilt receive this baptism.Page 328
The subject matter of thy letter is known to me. Happy is thy condition, for thou hast loved Jesus always and wept over His sufferings. Sufferings though they were intense in those days, yet they are more intense in these days and are more worthy of being wept over. But at present, one must not weep, but one must show forth firmness and steadfastness and withstand the tests.
I beg of God that that maid-servant of God and all her family be blessed, remain firm and steadfast in love for His Holiness Bahá'í and arise (to do) that which is befitting these days.
O thou who art attracted to the Light of the Kingdom!
Thank thou God, that in this glorious period, thou hast advanced toward the Manifest Light; thou hast beheld the doors of the Kingdom open and considered entrance therein conducive to eternal prosperity and success. Thou hast arisen to serve the Cause of God and occupied thy time in assisting in the spiritual meeting. Ere long thou shalt know what a light thou hast enkindled.
O thou who hast been attracted by the Magnet of the Kingdom!
Note that thy lord hath manifested the Magnet of the souls and hearts in the Pole of the existing world, to which all the sacred hearts are attracted from the far distant lands and countries.
The iron body is attractable although at long distancesPage 329
away; but the earthen one is not although in contact and very close.
Therefore, thank thou God for being an attractable body, to be drawn to the Magnet of the Kingdom of God.
O thou whose heart hath been filled with the love of the Beauty of God!
I have read thy kind letter and voiced thy words which show the excess of thy love to God, the greatness of thine adherence to the Cause of God and the abundance of thine attraction to the Kingdom of God. From a man like unto thee such words are always expected and it is your duty thus to proclaim.
I do greet thee from this Exalted Place, while thou art in that far distant country, and present to thee salutations and praise, and I see thee with the eye of the heart as though thou were present here and I speak to thee by the tongue of the Spirit, saying: "Blessed thou art with every blessing! Then preach to the beloved of God in that country the glad-tidings of El-Baha."The form of prayer requested by thee:
My God! my God! Thou art my hope and my beloved, my intended aim and desire! With great humbleness and entire devotion I pray to Thee to make me the minaret of Thy love in Thy region, the lamp of Thy knowledge among Thy creatures and the banner of Thy gift in Thy Kingdom.
Make me one of Thy worshippers who cut themselves from everything but Thee and sanctify themselvesPage 330
from everything pertaining to the world and divert themselves from the defects of the suspicious.
Let my heart be dilated with joy through the spirit of confirmation from Thy Kingdom and illumine my sight with seeing the hosts of success following one another and descending upon me from thine Omnipotence.
Thou art the Almighty, the Invincible, the Powerful!O thou who art turned to the Kingdom!
In truth, I say unto thee that if a spark of the fire of the love of God should fall into a heart, its flame will increase gradually, as the breeze blows upon it, until the sparks of the flame reach the Supreme Kingdom, providing the necessary preparations are made to kindle that fire in thy heart, to shed the tears from thine eyes and to bring thy patience to an end for the purpose of being drawn into the Kingdom of El-ABHA.
In truth, I say unto thee, if thou hear this call, do not relax in mentioning God., nor grow weary of spreading the fragrances of God. And then rejoice at the good news of the gifts which shall shine as the sun in the highest culmination of America.My God! My God!
I am a servant, miserable, humbled, submissive and low at the door of Thy Oneness, supplicating Thee with a heart full of Thy love and a face rejoiced at Thy glad-tidings!
O God! Make me of those who are drawn unto light and who] detest darkness; with a heart overflowing with the lights of Thy love among mankind; aPage 331
tongue fluent in mentioning Thee in the assemblies of worship (remembrance); a breast, cheered and widened with Thy knowledge when uttering explanations; an eye consoled with seeing Thy traces in all directions; a foot firm in Thy Covenant, which I have received from the traces of the Supreme Pen; a spreader of mysteries to those who are heedless of them, who have veiled themselves with doubts and suspicions.
Verily Thou art the Almighty, the Powerful, the Generous!
O thou who art kindled with the fire of the Love of God!
Verily I read thy words which showed thy yearning love in God, and chanted thy expressions written in His praise.
I beg of God to make thee a sign of guidance, a standard of righteousness and a lamp shining with the light of the knowledge of God
Give my greeting and salutation to Mrs. . . and say to her: "Be not disappointed by the calamity which hath befallen thee and be not grieved that the consolation of thine eye (thy child) hath left the world of dust and hath ascended to the expanse of the Kingdom, that he hath abandoned the abode of the lowest world and hath sought refuge in the presence of the greatest mercy, where the Lord hath placed him in a comfortable abode."
We have already written a consoling letter  to her, whereby her breast will be dilated and her soul will cheer.
[1 See Tablet commencing bottom page 139, Vol. I.]Page 332
Verily I have read thy excellent letter and was gladdened by its wonderful meaning. Blessed art thou, as thou hast been kindled like a lamp by the fire of God's love and as thou hast supplicated unto God and communicated with thy Lord with an eloquent tongue and excellent explanation.
Verily I pray unto my Lord with all humbleness, meekness, obedience and submissiveness -- which demolisheth every edifice of self-exaltation -- that He shall strengthen thee by the fragrances of holiness and the breath of the Spirit of Truth and cause thee to be dedicated (or severed) unto God, purged and purified from the dross of the world, holy and sanctified from carnal passions, sacrificing thy soul to the beloved of God, contented with that which the Lord hath granted thee in the world, anxious to perform noble and good deeds while following the teachings of God, and in all things adhering to the law of God.
As God liveth! Shouldest thou be honored by attaining to this station, thou wilt find thyself in the center of the Paradise (Ferdowce), the highest of paradises!
O thou who art attracted by the Fragrances of God and steadfast in the Covenant of God!
Verily I read thine eloquent letter, the composition of which was beautiful, words excellent and significances interesting, and I thanked God that He hath chosen certain souls for His knowledge and love, deposited in their hearts His mysteries, manifested from their facesPage 333
His lights and made them the signs of His Kingdom, the banners of His majesty, the trees of His paradise and the birds of the garden of His holiness.
O thou, my honorable friend! Verily I scented the fragrance of meekness and humbleness from the orchard of the meanings of thy letter and was caused to rejoice, smile and be made glad that God hath made thee humble and submissive to His beloved. Verily this is the greatest bounty from God and by it the breast of `Abdu'l-Bahá is dilated in this remote prison.
O friend! Verily the prison is my paradise and the chains my necklace; my balance (or testing) is my redemption (or salvation) and the castle is my fortified safety, for this imprisonment is in the path of my Lord and it is my salvation, my joy, my gratitude and happiness. Verily, in calamity the face of `Abdu'l-Bahá shineth and through hardship joy is attained by this servant in all conditions.
O thou friend! Be not sorrowful because of my imprisonment and lament not for my difficulties; nay, rather ask God to increase my hardship in His path, for therein lies a wisdom which none are able to comprehend save the near angels.
O thou friend! Verily, those among the friends who were martyred in the path of God -- verily this is a favor from God which He bestoweth upon whomsoever He chooses; verily God is the most bountiful! -- they attained what the holy ones in the Supreme Kingdom yearned for, and quaffed the wine of grace from the bountiful hand of thy Lord the Merciful -- may my spirit be a sacrifice to them!Page 334
Therefore, be not sorrowful, for in it is a great bounty for them and by it (martyrdom) the fire of the love of God is increased in glowing, the Word of God in spreading, the standard of God in elevation, the fragrances of God in diffusion, and by this blood the tree of peace is watered, the orchard of unity and harmony pruned, and by it the fragrances of holiness emanate from the Tree of Life and are being diffused in the world. Verily this is from the mercy of God, which is bestowed upon whomsoever He wishes.
O friend! I implore to God to make thee a banner of the banners of the Kingdom, firm and steadfast, unshaken by the most severe winds of tests and trials in this terrestrial world; to confirm thee in the servitude of the Sublime Threshold; to guide through thee many souls and to make thee a sign of meekness and humbleness before the beloved of God, the Mighty, the Protecting!
O thou who art arisen for the service of the Cause of God!
I received thy recent letter and rejoiced in spirit at its interesting contents which indicated thy arising for the service of the Kingdom of God, servitude unto His beloved ones and meekness and lowliness to His chosen ones.
I ask God to augment, day by day, thy zeal, attraction and glowing with the fire of God's love; to destine for thee a glorious station (or mansion) in His great Kingdom and to open before thy face doors of success and dilation, such that hearts shall be amazed and minds astounded.Page 335
O thou who art controlled by the attraction of the Holy fragrances of the gardens of God's Kingdom!
Thy brilliant letter, which thou hast sent by the beloved . . ., was read by me. The bounty is of God for that He hath inspired thee with the word of fidelity and chosen thee from among those who are called, whether men or women. Therefore, thank thou thy Lord at morn and eve and glorify His praise for this favor. Verily a great favor is bestowed upon thee!
Our dear friend . . . hath arrived. He praises the beloved of God and His maid-servants and adorns the ears with the pearls of praiseworthy actions and good qualities of the elect and the faithful.
I supplicate God to enable him and every one else to serve Him in the garden of El-ABHA and to help thee to be gentle, humble and submissive; to reveal Himself upon thee with the attributes of the Merciful and to grant thee a heavenly table at all times.O thou honored friend!
Verily the sight of providence is far reaching and the divine glance is perfect. Thou hast always been a recipient of favors and the object of the bounty of the glorious Beauty of ABHA. I trust in God that thou mayest be thus aided by Him to serve His Cause and so shine as a luminous star in the horizon of His Kingdom, an illumining candle burning in the assemblage of the Bahá'ís; that thou mayest be confirmed by a power of the Kingdom and attain divine bounty and providence.As to the question of women being chosen rather
than men: In this cycle there were men who arose through a divine power and who shone forth as the sun from the dawning-point of holiness; and, likewise, there appeared certain women who became side by side with men. The expression which you quote, "Every woman who is directed to the guidance of God in this great age, will surpass men in every respect," signified that, in this age, certain women will appear who will surpass some men. It does not mean that they will surpass all the men who have given their lives as sacrifices in this Cause; for in this wonderful cycle there appeared such men as his holiness Khudoos, his holiness Báb-el-Bab, his holiness the "King of Martyrs" and his holiness the "Beloved of Martyrs," his holiness the great Vaheed , and such ones who have no equals in the world of existence.
[1 All martyred in Persia. Khudoos, in the city of Barfurush;Bab-el-Bab, in Tabarsi; King of Martyrs and Beloved of Martyrs, both in Ispahan; Vaheed, in Nariz.]
If, in the letters to the maid-servants of the Merciful, there hath been written in the sense of encouragement (that from which such meanings can be inferred), the purport is that some women in this wonderful age have surpassed some men, and not that all women have surpassed all men. The members of the House of Spirituality must give unlimited encouragement to women. In this age, both men and women are in the shadow of the Word of God. Whosoever endeavors the most will attain the greatest share, be it of men or of women, of the strong or of the weak.
As to the matter of teaching and the choosing of men, the letters which I have written to the Spiritual Meeting (House of Spirituality) of which you are aPage 337
member, will answer this question wand will manifest the station of men who remain firm in the Covenant of God. Refer to them.
As to the number of Tablets to women, this is due to the fact that most of the letters which come to the Holy Land are from women. Rarely do letters come from men and, naturally, to women the most are written. Men are enjoined more than women to give the Message of the Cause of God and to diffuse His fragrances.
My dear friend! If thou didst know how dear thou art to `Abdu'l-Bahá, thou wouldst spread wings, and through excess of joy, soar and begin teaching all that country.
As to the question: "Whither shall we turn in our prayers?" There is an appointed center toward which one must direct himself in prayer, but at present this center is not unfolded because of wisdom. In its time this shall be announced. At present, in those regions, you should direct yourself, as formerly, to the East. The appointed and certain center will be announced in its time.
You also ask: "To whom shall we turn?" Turn to the Ancient Beauty. If it be the will of God, the blessed likeness (of the Manifestation) will be sent in its proper time, so that, in the world of the heart, thou mayest direct thyself to that holy likeness and thus be saved from imagination and phantasy. However, in the Temple (Mashrak-el-Azcar) the blessed picture must never be placed (or hung) on the wall. This you should know.
As to the subject of Bábes and infants and weak onesPage 338
who art afflicted by the hands of oppressors: This contains great wisdom and this subject is of paramount importance. In brief, for those souls there is a recompense in another world and many details are connected with this matter. For those souls that suffering is the greatest mercy of God. Verily that mercy of the Lord is far better and preferable to all the comfort of this world and the growth and development of this place of mortality. If it be the will of God, when thou shalt be present this will be explained in detail by word of mouth.O thou who art firm in the Covenant!
Your letter *** arrived at this time and was read with great care. Its contents proved a source of gladness, for it indicated firmness.
Today firmness is of the greatest favors of the merciful Lord. How many a soul who traveled in one pathway and after a time wanting firmness (or constancy) went back; yea, followed the way again until he reached the same point (as before) and arrived at the first destination. Thus did he waste his life and endeavored to set the minds (of the people) uneasy and doubtful. The opportunity and portion of these souls became an evident loss.
Thank thou God that thou art firm and constant and art abiding at the threshold of servitude. I ask God to increase daily thy faith and certainty, trust and firmness. Give thou the glad-tidings in a manner which shall set afire souls that are in lethargy, give life to them that are dead and sight to the blind.Page 339
Give greeting and praise from `Abdu'l-Bahá to all the friends of God, particularly to the maid-servant of God, the firm and steadfast Mrs. . . Tell her to "feel at rest; thou art ever in my mind, with me and present in the gathering. God willing, I shall ask thee to come."
O thou friend of old and O thou incomparable companion!
Many letters have so far been received from thee and lengthy answers have been written to them, but it is strange that they have not reached thee. I was grieved when Mr. . . said thou hadst not received them. Therefore, I write this epistle immediately so that it may be a cause of comfort to thee.
O dear friend! Thou art more deserving than others; thou art worthy of every favor and attention. Is it possible then that I should answer others and leave thee disappointed? God forbid! Thou art an old and true believer; in faith thou hast attained precedence; thou art constantly engaged in servitude; with an eloquent tongue thou art teaching the Cause of God; thou hast become the cause of faith in others; whenever thou findest an opportunity thou dost travel and visit the believers, disseminating the fragrances of God; thou hast a soul full of glad-tidings and hast an enlightened and clear heart. I have a great attachment for thee; how is it possible then that I should disappoint thee?
I pray and supplicate God and ask for favor and help for thee. I am very desirous to behold thy face.
Convey to all the beloved of God the utmost longing on the part of `Abdu'l-Bahá.Page 340
The truthful servant, Mr. . ., abandoned home, left his native land and crossed the great ocean until he reached the shore of the Holy Land and arrived at the Blessed Spot. He laid his head upon the threshold of the sacred dust; he implored and supplicated the Gateway of Unity and sought confirmation and strength.
Now he is returning to his native clime to serve and to spread the fragrances of the Holy Spirit.
O Lord! Confirm him, aid and strengthen him through the hosts of the Kingdom, so that he may become the cause of the spread of the Word of God, the cause of joy and happiness to the friends and the means of awakening the negligent. Thou art the Mighty and Powerful and Thou art the Precious, the Almighty, the Wise!
O thou truthful servant of the Beauty of Abha! With a power of the Kingdom, a divine attraction and a spiritual breath, return thou to that land; fill to overflowing the lives and hearts with the wine of the love of God; be the cause of joy to all and the means of unity and agreement to all; because through unity and agreement do the beloved of God hoist the standard, shine with light of the love of God and are tender to one another.
This is the attitude of the beloved of God and this is the example and life of the sons of the Kingdom of God.Page 341
Thank God that thou didst come to the holy shrine, put thy head upon the holy dust, reached the gathering-place of the spiritual ones, became a member of the assembly of the Merciful, found friendship with `Abdu'l-Bahá and with the utmost love and joy spent a few days there. Then thou didst receive permission to return so that thou mayest serve the Kingdom on the continent of America and show (to the people) the way to heaven and lead them toward the Lord of Hosts. I hope that, with a divine strength and a god-like personality, with a heavenly guidance, with a divine attraction and with a spiritual zeal, thou wilt educate the people.
O thou, the firm one in the Covenant! Give my respectful greeting to they honored wife and say to her from me: "The Jewish people were expecting the manifestation of Jesus and were at the same time attracted to Moses. When His Holiness Christ appeared, they (the Jewish people) thought that holy personality intended to take away the eternal honor of Moses. Moses, in the eye of Israel, had no equal. Now, these had never thought that a greater than him (Moses) would appear. So this way of thinking became the cause of their being kept away from the Light of Christ and they were prevented from the precious things of the Holy Spirit, notwithstanding the fact that the greatest friend of Moses was Christ and He made His Holiness Moses great in the eye of the world and made Him to be glorious in the contingent world; whereas, even now, Israel (that is, the Jews) deny His Holiness, the promised Christ, and count Him to bePage 342
an enemy of His Holiness Moses and of Aaron and David; and they were kept away from the bounties of Christ. They think that no other great person like Moses could ever come upon the earth and if such a person should be sent (by God), he must come under the shadow of His Holiness Moses and promulgate the law of the Torah. This negligence on the part of the Jews became the cause of keeping away a multitude from the heavenly bounties and from the beneficence of the Holy Spirit for nineteen-hundred years.
"The Sun is ever the same, but the place whence the Sun hath appeared hath changed. Then, at Christ's time, it appeared in the sign of Aquarius, but now it hath manifested itself from the sign of Cancer. These signs are just for an illustration. The sun is the same sun, no matter from what sign it may manifest itself or from what spot it may arise. Thou must look at the Sun; do not become veiled by the places from which the Sun appears."
O Mr. . .! Likewise instruct and give my love to thy dear son and say: "O dear one of `Abdu'l-Bahá! Be the son of thy father and be the fruit of that tree. Be a son that hath been born of his soul and heart and not only of the water and clay. A real son is such an one as hath branched from the spiritual part of a man. I ask God that thou mayest be at all times confirmed and strengthened."
O thou servant of Bahá'í Thou hast asked regarding the political affairs. In the United States it is necessary that the citizens shall take part in elections. This is a necessary matter and no excuse from it is possible. My object in telling the believers that they should notPage 343
interfere in the affairs of government is this: That they should not make any trouble and that they should not move against the opinion of the government, but obedience to the laws and the administration of the commonwealth is necessary. Now, as the government of America is a republican form of government, it is necessary that all the citizens shall take part in the elections of officers and take part in the affairs of the republic.
O thou firm one in the Covenant! We give thee Thahbet (the Firm) for a name, so that this name be an example of firmness and in the future thou mayest, even more than before, be confirmed in service, and upon thee be El-Baha-el-Abha!O thou Thahbet (Firm) in the Covenant!
Thy letter was received. It indicated firmness and steadfastness; therefore, it gave me joy and gladness.
Today the greatest of all affairs in the Cause is firmness and steadfastness. A tree will not give fruit unless it be firmly rooted. A foundation will not last unless it be firm. There is nothing in this world of man greater than firmness. A soul who is firm will become a son of the Kingdom of God and will be confirmed with the power of the Holy Spirit.
For this reason I have named thee Thahbet (meaning firmness) and I ask the True One and supplicate Him that thou shalt remain firm in the Cause of God as an unshakable mountain and that the whirlwinds of test shall never have any effect upon thee; nay, rather that thou shalt be the cause of the firmness of others.With me thou art beloved and I ask God that thou
mayest become the lighthouse of Guidance in those regions and that thou mayest shine with the lights of oneness in this world of man.O thou who art firm in the Covenant!
The letter, which thou hast written to his honor Mirza . . ., was considered.
Be thou happy! Be thou happy! that thou hast put aside rest and composure; that thou hast traveled through and visited different states and endured innumerable inconveniences so that thou might diffuse the fragrances of mysteries and perfume the nostrils of the spiritual ones. When thou wert engaged in the service of the Cause, thou wert my partner in all trials and difficulties. Thou hast been my associate and companion and both of us were intoxicated and exhilarated with the wine of the love of God.
Praise be to God that thou hast been confirmed in the service and I have likewise been assisted in visiting the Holy Threshold. In one day  the world hath become another world and the chains and manacles of prison and incarceration have been broken to pieces, and `Abdu'l-Bahá hath attained to the meeting of the Holy Threshold.
[1 July 24, 1908, the day of the proclamation of a constitutional government in Turkey, and the freeing of all political prisoners and exiles.]
Although in prison, I have experienced the utmost joy and fragrance, the heart was attracted, the spirit rejoiced, the eyes turned toward the Kingdom of God and the tongue mentioning the Name of the True One and displaying the utmost effort and endeavor in the promotion of the Word of God and the diffusion of the fragrances of God; yet, under all difficulties, therePage 345
have been no shortcomings, nor hath there been any lack of enthusiasm. The call hath been raised uninterruptedly and the fragrances of holiness have been diffused through all regions and empires.
In the meeting that had been organized in Los Angeles the rays of the Sun of Truth shone forth, making it an assembly of illumination. The house of Mr. and Mrs. . . became the nest and shelter of the birds of the Kingdom, and the house of Mrs. . . and the residence of Miss . . . in Pasadena became the gathering-place of the Merciful and the rose-garden of realities and significances. I supplicate from the bounty and favor of His Highness the Almighty to assist those holy souls by the invisible confirmations and that they be helped by the providence and grace of His Highness the One.
Convey on my behalf longing greeting to the brother of Mr. . . and say: "Praise God that thou hast followed in the footsteps of thy respected brother, associated with him and become his confidant."
Likewise announce my longing greeting to the assemblies of Oakland and San Francisco. The houses of Mrs. . . and Mrs. . . have become the place of reading the divine verses and the nests of the nightingales of the heavenly orchard. A sweet fragrance hath reached the spirit and soul from those assemblies.
Praise be to God, that in all cities the believers have met thee with the utmost attraction and thy shining face and joyful disposition became the cause of the enkindlement of the fire of their souls and hearts. Undoubtedly thou shalt also make a trip to Green Acre.Page 346
The utmost joy was produced by the news of the purchase of the ground for the erection of the Temple. I hope that ere long they may lay the foundation
Deliver on my behalf divine glad-tidings to the assembles in Seattle, the members of the houses of Mrs. . . and Mrs. . . and the assemblies in Portland and Denver and say: "O ye sons and daughters of the Kingdom! Be ye thankful that although the light of guidance hath dawned from the East, yet, praise be to God, it illuminated both the East and the West! In order that glorification and thanks may be shown for these bounties, the word and actions must be in accordance with the advices and behests of His Highness Bahá'u'lláh. Thanks does not depend upon words but upon deeds!"O ye  beloved of God and His sincere friends!
[1 To four members of the Chicago (Ill.) assembly.]
By the life of God! The hearts are cheered whenever you are mentioned, the souls are comforted in your love, the holy spirits are captivated by your fragrance, the eyes are expecting to see you and the hearts are longing to meet you, owing to the fact that your hearts were kindled with the fire of the love of God, your ears were charmed by hearing the Word of God and your souls were rested in the appearance of the mysteries of God.
Blessed are ye, O children of the Kingdom of God! Glad-tidings to ye, O friends of God! as He hath made your destiny great and your share victory and happiness, your lamps lighted and your spring to yield supply!Page 347
Ye are the most brilliant stars! Ye are the most dazzling lamps! Ye are the green branches! Ye are the ripe fruits! Ye are the beautiful gardens! Ye are the overflowing bowls!
God is merciful and compassionate! His bounty is great and great! He appropriateth by His mercy those whom He liketh and chooseth for His love those of whom He approveth. This is in accordance with what Christ said: "Many are called, but few chosen."
God maketh your endeavor praiseworthy, your reward great and your days in El-Bahá feasts and pleasures, because of your casting away the imaginary god and accepting the Knowable, for your] discarding every evil spirit, craving for the witnessed Light and for turning your faces to the Exalted Position.
God will show forth your endeavor, increase your spirit and fragrance, perfume the different directions with your perfume, enlighten the horizon with your light and quicken the hearts with that which is treasured within you; will cheer the souls with what you have accomplished and cause the verses of thankfulness to be recited in all places; the banner in remembrance of you to wave through all the ages; your fame and praise to encircle the horizon and the tongues to speak of your virtues and good endeavors.
By the living Truth! That bounty is great and great and the Lord is supreme in majesty! The confirmation is successive and success is continuous, and the kindness of your God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, will surround you from all sides.Page 348
O ye  sincere ones! O ye firm ones! O ye heralds of the Kingdom of God!
[1 To three members of the Chicago assembly who were traveling and teaching.]
Fly away with joy! Flutter in the open of the Kingdom! Spread the wings of sanctity in those districts and lands, so that the shadow of the King of the Kingdom may be stretched over those climes and the fragrances of God be diffused in those tracts and in those vast and extensive regions.
By the Lord of the Kingdom! If one arise to promote the Word of God with a pure heart, overflowing with the love of God and severed from the world, the Lord of Hosts will assist him with such a power as will penetrate the core of the existent beings.
As to ye, be rejoiced, O ye children of the Kingdom of God! Your faces will surely become illuminated, your brows shining, your breasts dilated with an abundant bounty and refreshed with a rain pouring from the clouds of the gift of God. You will find yourselves as souls for the temple of the contingent world and as arteries pulsating in the body of the universe. Your faces will shine with the light of favor throughout all environments.
Make your feet firm; withstand the creeds (or multitudes); chant the Book; and explain mysteries through an inspiration on the part of your Exalted Lord, the possessor of glory and honor!
O ye two  revered persons, ye servants in the vineyard of God![1 To two members of the Chicago assembly.]
Verily, I read your letter and was informed of its contents filled with spiritual attractions and thankedPage 349
God -- glorified is He! -- for His grace and His merciful bestowals.
It behooveth you to be the first assistant to the Word of God, the first servant of the Cause of God and the first one to withstand the spreaders (of false rumors) who say that which they know not, who calumniate God, well knowing that they are calumniators and that they, themselves, have contrived the thing for their own sakes, and evil is that which they do.
Remember what the Pharisees published concerning Jesus, attributed to Him and said about Him and how they oppressed Him until they paraded Him in Jerusalem in such a form as made the angels of sanctity to weep in the Sublime Kingdom. They put on His head a crown of thistles; nay, more, they cast dust in His face -- into a face whereby the heaven and the earth is illuminated! They turned their backs upon Him, then bowed and said: "Peace be unto thee, O King of kings! Peace be unto thee, O King of the Jews!"
Of the same class are the Pharisees and priests in this manifest day. "Leave them to amuse themselves with their vain discourse." They are as people deluded by their temptations and are isolated from the gifts of your Lord, the Clement, the Merciful. "They are deaf, dumb and blind; therefore, they will not understand."
Verily, I, through the grace of my Lord, have never heeded these souls, even to reading their articles, inasmuch as their articles signify no other than the buzzing of flies to the hearing of an eagle, or the croaking of a frog of the material world to the ears of the leviathan of the sea of the Kingdom. Is it to be considered asPage 350
anything? No, by no means! Verily, the eagle soareth high in the supreme apex while the flies rumble in the lowest rubbish.
But it is incumbent upon you to block them up as a stone with decisive arguments before which heads are bowed and voices are made humble. God will strengthen you therein. You will surely find these Pharisees in manifest loss. Can one ever prevent the waves of the sea of the Lofty One from rolling? Or is it possible for me to restrain the fragrances of sanctity from diffusion? Or can one withhold the sun from casting its rays to all regions? No, by no means! Nay, rather such souls make the table sent down from heaven unlawful unto themselves.
How is the bat to be compared with the most great orb which bestows bounty upon all regions! How is the gnat to be compared with the eagle soaring in the spacious firmament! How are Caiaphas and Annas to be compared with the Christ mounted on the clouds with great power and glory!
Thank God that He hath opened your insight to the Light which is shining from the Supreme Concourse and caused you to witness His most mighty signs. By my life! the hearts of the people of Bahá'í are cheered with such gifts!
O ye  sincere, O ye firm and steadfast in the Testament of God![1 To the Chicago assembly.]
I have read your letter signed by you, which shows your steadfastness and firmness in the Covenant of God and His Testament, which was confirmed by the tracePage 351
of His Supreme Pen , the greatness of which hath been divulged in all the regions, entered the palaces of kings, of which both rulers and subjects have been informed, and no human being could ever deny it, even he who turns away and backslides. It came to the imagination of some children that they are able to abolish this Covenant, the like of which was not known in the early centuries and the heavenly ages of the past; and they shall see themselves in evident loss![1 Bahá'u'lláh.]
But as to you, O ye firm and steadfast, be straightforward in the Cause of God, let your feet be firm in the Religion of God, and arise with every effort within your power to render victorious the Covenant of God. By God, the Truth, you will be assisted by a numerous army, and re-inforced by a cohort of the angels of God. Pay not the slightest attention to that which is said by these children, for their statements and sayings are nothing but confused dreams.
The Star of the Covenant shall shine intensely upon all horizons and regions, and the violators will be as bats hiding themselves in dark holes! It is enough humiliation and abasement to them that they have violated the Covenant of God and contradicted the Appointed Center, and desired to demolish this solid edifice -- which, alas, could not be! By God, they did not demolish but their own edifice, did not shake but their own foundations, and did not scatter but their own union, and to them shall come the news of what they have done!
But as to you, O ye beloved of God, strengthen yourselves by every effort and arise to serve the Cause ofPage 352
God, for verily the Holy Spirit will confirm you by the breaths of the True One in all cases and under all circumstances!O thou  who art firm in the Covenant!
[1 Addressed to the translator for the Chicago assembly.]
***The prison is like a paradise to `Abdu'l-Bahá, the depth of the well is as the height of the moon -- such is my desire in the Path of the Blessed Beauty! Were it not for the chain, sword and affliction, how should the people of faithfulness be distinguished from the people of hatred? Nay, otherwise, they would seem as one. This wound cannot be remedied save by a host of calamities, and this illness cannot be cured except by the cup of affliction.
I ask God that I may not repose for a moment, but that, night and day, in the love of the Blessed Beauty  -- may my spirit be a sacrifice to Him! -- I may drink from the rosy cup of the blood of the heart.[1 Bahá'u'lláh.]
With every breath do I desire to perceive thousands of afflictions approaching me from every inhuman one; at one time, to rest in the bottom of a dungeon; at another, to repose on the chain; and, ultimately, by the favor and providence of the Blessed Perfection, to roll my face and hair in my blood.
Therefore, their invitation  was not accepted because they invited departure to that region. Lately, that general letter was requested from Persia, and it was sent thereto.***
[1 Refers to an invitation sent from Chicago, in 1901, to `Abdu'l-Bahá to come to America.]Page 353
O ye  friends of God and daughters of the Kingdom![1 To the Chicago assembly.]
The letter you have written was considered. It caused abundant spirit and fragrance. It was not a letter, it was a rose-garden. The fragrances of the flowers of significances were exhaling from that garden and perfumed the nostrils. It was a proof of unity and oneness and an evidence of love and freedom.
I became very happy through reading it. I hope that this love and unity may increase day by day, and its effects may reach other regions. The purpose of the coming of the Manifestation of the Mount is the unification of the world of humanity. Therefore, the friends of God and the daughters of the Kingdom must serve this purpose and become the cause of joy to the heart of `Abdu'l-Bahá. Thus can they bring together under the protection of the Tent of Oneness the other nations and peoples; make this gloomy world radiant, this mundane earth a plane of the Kingdom, and the material world the manifestation of divine signs.
O ye friends and daughters of the Kingdom and leaves of the Blessed Tree! Endeavor to make that continent the Paradise of ABHA, and the West the East of Lights. This is the hope of `Abdu'l-Bahá.O ye  dwellers of the Kingdom!
Thank ye God that ye have turned your faces toward the Kingdom of ABHA, and are yearning for the outpouring of the Exalted Realm. Ye are accepted in the Threshold of the True One and are chosen by the Most Great Guidance!Page 354
Ye have asked regarding the word of the "Ransomed Ones." The mystery of "Ransom" (or Sacrifice) is a most great subject and is inexhaustible.
Briefly it is as follows: The moth is a sacrifice to the candle. The spring is a sacrifice to the thirsty one. The sincere lover is a sacrifice to the loved one and the longing one is a sacrifice to the beloved. The point lies in this: He must wholly forget himself, become a wanderer (in the Abode of the Beloved) enamoured with His Tresses. He must consign to oblivion the body and soul, the life, comfort and existence. He must seek the good pleasure of the True One; desire the Face of the True One; and walk in the Path of the True One. He must become intoxicated with His Cup, resigned in His Hand and close the eyes to life and living, in order that he may shine like unto the Light of Truth from the Horizon of Eternity. This is the first station of sacrifice.
The second station of sacrifice is as follows: Man must become severed from the human world, be delivered from the contingent gloominess, the illumination of mercifulness must shine and radiate in him, the nether world become as non-existent and the Kingdom become manifest. He must become like unto the iron thrown within the furnace of fire. The qualities of iron, such as blackness, coldness and solidity which belong to the earth disappear and vanish while the characteristics of fire, such as redness, glowing and heat, which belong to the Kingdom become apparent and visible. Therefore, iron hath sacrificed its qualities and grades to the fire, acquiring the virtues of that element.
Likewise, when the souls are released from the fettersPage 355
of the world, the imperfections of mankind and the animalistic darkness, and have stepped into the Realm of Abstraction, have partaken a share from the outpouring of the Placeless and have acquired lordly perfections, they are the "ransomed ones" (or the martyrs) of the Sun of Truth, who are hastening to the altar of heart and soul.O Thou Pure God! 
Gaze providently at the beloved ones and the dear maid-servants in Chicago. Confer upon them Thy bounty and grace. Teach them the law of the Kingdom, burn away the veil of material superstition and light the candle of Thy love in their hearts!
O God! The clay (or being) of these servants is kneaded with water of fidelity and the nature of these maid-servants is adorned with love! They believe and are assured. They are firm and steadfast; they are kneeling and worshipping; they are uttering (the Words) and are informed. Render them confirmed and victorious with the hosts of strength. Aid and gladden them through the angels of the Kingdom of Abha! At every moment reveal a new power to them and with every breath confer a great bounty. Thus with a heavenly power, divine strength, merciful fragrance, supreme light, and conscious attraction, may they arise to serve Thee, to perfume the East and the West with the fragrances of holiness, establish the universal peace, promulgate integrity and honesty, to adore the truth, become a means of life to the people of the world, a cause of comfort and rest to them; to help thePage 356
spiritual meeting, to serve the gathering of the Lord, to send well-informed souls (teachers) to other regions and climes, to be self-sacrificing with life and heart, to build the Mashrak-el-Azcar, to raise the anthem of sanctity to the Supreme Kingdom, to live in perfect love with one another; nay, rather, to be the cause of rest to the whole world, to adorn the realm of creation, to destroy the edifice of jealousy and envy and to establish the law of love and unity, to be truthful servants of mankind and conscientious well-wishers of the human race!
O God! Thou art the Able, the Powerful! Thou are the Confirmer and the Helper in all conditions and circumstances!
O thou whose breast is dilated (with joy) for the Kingdom of Truth!
Verily I read thy letter which showed that thine inner heart is attracted to the Beauty of God and that thou hast entered the Kingdom of God. I beg of God to make thy feet firm in this right path and to protect thee from violent tests and from calumnies on the part of every woman who hath, like unto Judas Iscariot, turned away from the True One and who hath withdrawn herself and is deprived of the mercy of God.
As to thee, O maid-servant of God! Blessed art thou, for thou hast dealt with people in goodness and good favor. Do not seek from them any reward whatever, but seek all grace and beneficence from thy Lord, and even deal with the people of great oppression in faithfulness, for as much as this is becoming of the people of Bahá'íPage 357
The letter that thou hast written, through his honor Mr. . ., was received. In reality, there is no happiness in the world of existence for men except in the splendors of the Light of the Kingdom.
Thou hast written concerning the acceptance (of this Cause) by some French people. Make an effort in order that some firm and steadfast souls may arise in this great Cause from France, and to make that jungle a garden of God.
Be assured in the favor and grace of God, for each maid-servant of God who ariseth to serve the Kingdom will undoubtedly be confirmed.O thou who art honored and dear!
Thy letter was received and was the source of pleasure, for thou hast not forgotten this imprisoned one and remembered Acca. Although thy days here were few, as they were pleasant, they will count as years; a real intimacy between thee and all the family was formed which will not be forgotten in the passing of years.
I desire of God that thou wilt be heavenly, angelic and spiritual; and as a torch, become illumined with the love of God in the kingdom of existence.
In regard to the question thou askest about the picture of this oppressed one, saying that it was much spread in America: Know that this imprisoned one never had a picture taken except in youth, and that one also on account of the command and will of Bahá'u'lláh, I merely consented so as to obey His command. Therefore I do not like it to be greatly spread.Page 358
I desire of God, that the traces of the spiritual likeness, which are attributes and qualities, will remain eternally.O thou who art attracted to the Spirit of Truth!
In whatsoever matter man wisheth to engage, he must first acquire some capability, and make provisions and preparations therefor. In this day, whatever soul intendeth to raise the voice of the Kingdom, and to draw people under the Tree of Life in the ideal paradise, and to invite them to eternal life, must first be delivered from all attachments, must even shut his eyes to rest, quietude and to the mortal life of this world.
I hope thou hast abandoned all such (mortal) things, and when thou hast attained to this great bounty, that is, when thou art delivered from the attachments of this mortal world, and hast intended to endure all calamities in the path of God -- in such wise that reproaches on the part of the enemy will seem to thee as praise and glorification, and the blame of the people of hatred will appear like unto admiration and applause, and the bitterness of afflictions will taste as the honey of favor and all hardships be as sweetness -- then canst thou step into the path of the Kingdom and become the herald of God.
Consequently, do thou show a steadfast and firm footing in this station, engage in guiding the people and call them unto the Kingdom; then wilt thou find how the divine magnet -- the power of the Word of God -- will attract the hearts and bestow ecstasy and enthusiasm upon souls!
When thou reachest this station, there shall remainPage 359
no obstacles and no veil shall intervene, and all that is thy highest wish shall be realized.
Send my greeting to Miss . . . I hope she may be wholly attracted to the Kingdom of God.
As to the book that thou intendest to write: When thou hast written it (or if you write it), send it to the Holy Land (i. e., Acca) to be seen (or examined) so that thou mayest publish it afterward.O thou dear maid-servant of God!
Thy letter was received. Thy faith and certainty became evident. Happy is thy condition, that in such a day thou hast opened thine eyes and beheld the light of the Sun of Reality.
Convey reverential greetings to the believing maid-servant of God . . . and say: "Be not grieved and bear the ordeal from thy husband. The meeting of the beloved of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful take the place of his ignorance. I hope that they may be the cause of joy and happiness to thee."O thou who art advancing to the Kingdom of God!
What thou hast written became evident and what thou hast heard from Mirza . . . regarding the necessity of many teachers in America, is true. I have said so. Indeed, there is need of a thousand teachers, each one severed from the world, attracted by the Holy Spirit in the Supreme Concourse and joyful through the Kingdom of God and in perfect sanctity, holiness and sufficiency.
This matter of teachers requires the greatest condition; that is, they should never stain themselves withPage 360
the world, they should not look for the least pecuniary reward from any soul; nay, rather they should bear the utmost poverty and with the perfect wealth of nature , through the bounty of God, may they associate with the people. They should seek no reward nor recompense. Freely have thy received, freely should they give. His Holiness Christ sayeth: "When ye leave the city, clean off from your shoes the dust thereof." The holiness of the teachers must reach this degree. Thus may they utter with eloquence, while in ecstasy and great joy, and guide the people to the manifest light.
[1 "Wealth of nature" refers to a state wherein man can dispense with things and be happy in their absence.]
If this be the endeavor, strive with life and heart and guide the people to the Kingdom of God, lead them to the straight pathway, inform them of the greatness and magnitude of this Cause and give them the glad-tidings through the bounty of divine providence and the revelation of the Sun of Truth in this great age.
Convey my greeting to the advancing maid-servant of God thy wife], and say to her: "O maid-servant of God! Seek whilst thou canst the life eternal and wish for everlasting glory in the divine world."
Embrace twice thy children, and give my greeting to the maid-servant of God, thy mother.Thy name is Joseph. Let thy title be Bahai.
O thou child of the Kingdom and firm in the Covenant!
Thy letter, through his honor Mirza . . ., was received and thy former letters also became acceptable and through the contents of those writings utmostPage 361
joy and fragrance was produced, for they all evinced faith, assurance and firmness in the Covenant.
In this day the most vital and momentous matter is steadfastness in the love of the Manifestor Of Light on the Mount of Sinai and endurance of ordeals and unaccountable calamities in this Cause.
Ere long the seditious people shall arise in that country to deride the righteous ones and to ridicule the holy ones. Every day they will cast ignominy and at every moment they will present great persecution. They shall revile the friends for the sake of the love of Bahá'í and bring down upon them contempt and sarcasm; neither do they fall short in creating torture.
This is the custom and sentence of the people of bygone ages. Undoubtedly these things must transpire in these days even with a greater intensity.
That is why His Holiness the Christ sayeth: "Everything which hath happened in the cycles of the former prophets will certainly occur again in these days." Consider ye! What calumny, slander, cruelty and oppression were brought down upon the apostles by the Israelites for the sake of faith and assurance! They unlocked the hands of pillage, persecuted and tortured those sanctified souls. Therefore, there is no doubt but that you will become afflicted with trial, calamity and oppression in the path of the Beauty of ABHA. These trials are the essence of bestowal and pure bounty and the proofs of your acceptance in the Threshold of Oneness. Consequently, when the fire of trials is ignited, celebrate ye in joy, dance with overflowing emotions and be ye happy that -- praise be to God! -- ye have becomePage 362
the target of contempt in the path of the Beauty of ABHA and are hated by the people of passion and desire.
Thy services in the highway of the Kingdom are accepted, thy toleration of the troubles is known and manifest and thy eloquent speeches in the assemblies of believers are heard and appreciated. I hope that through these services thou mayest become the manifestor of the favors of the Lord of the Kingdom and recipient of the merciful glances of His Highness the Magnificent and the Compassionate.O thou speaker in the remembrance of God!
Verily I say unto thee, O servant of God! The earth and what is therein are imaginations or reflections in mirrors or shades; but the bounty of the Kingdom and the gifts of the invisible world are the thoughts of the Merciful One, and the lordly radiances are immortal and constant and unending. Thou must depend upon these! Thou must depend unto these! Thou must depend upon these!
Be assured with the true assurance that, verily, dependence upon the Covenant of God is surrounded from all directions by those gifts and the angel hosts assist it on the right hand and on the left hand, and the power of the Holy Spirit strengthens it in all circumstances and meets it with signs of splendor in the horizons.
Therefore, confirm the wavering minds in the path of God, and the feeble souls with the love of God.Page 363
O thou pure soul who are kindled by the fire of the Love of Bahá'í
By God, the True One! thy letter created joy and happiness within hearts, because it was speaking the praise of Bahá'í and contained words which showed thy attraction to the light of the Beauty of El-Baha.
Blessed are thou and blessed is thy heart which is longing for the Kingdom of El-Baha, and that thou art hoping to serve Bahá'í in His great vineyard and in His wonderful garden!
I beg of God to favor thee with a power which may encourage thee to promulgate the Truth and guide the father and sister to the right path. I beg Him to make thee a herald, in His name, in those regions.
Have resignation and devotion and attraction and make thy heart empty of aught else save the love of Bahá'í This is the state which was coveted by the near ones and this is a position which was longed for by the holy souls.
O thou who hast turned thy face toward the Kingdom of God!
I supplicate God that thou mayest become like unto Peter, the "Rock" -- unshaken, immovable and strong; be assisted by heavenly confirmation; be helped to the service of the Cause of God, opening thy tongue to teach the divine instructions, and living and walking according to the laws of the Book of Akdas .[1 The Book of Laws -- the Most Holy Book.]
Thou hast asked permission to come to our presence: These days are very difficult. God willing, it will be brought about in the future. I pray to God that thouPage 364
mayest enter into such a state that presence and absence may become equal in thine understanding.
O thou who art attracted to the Fragrances of God!
Thy letter *** was received. Its contents were of the utmost grace, for it indicated that thou hast become a heavenly, spiritual Bahai; that is, thou hast found the attractions of heart and art aspiring to associate with the Holy Fragrances.
Peter, who was the Rock (of the Christian dispensation), was firm and solid; but, in the moment of Christ's deliverance, that Rock quaked a little, until the crowing of the cock was raised. I hope that thou wilt become, in steadfastness, so firm and so solid that thousands of deliverances would not cause thee to tremble.
This is the New Spirit and the uninterrupted assistance. When this is attained, the language will become eloquent and the utterance penetrating.
O thou who hast approached the Kingdom of God and hast looked toward the Center of the Covenant!
Verily, thy namesake, the faithful Joseph, fell surely into grievous distress through the jealousy of his brethren, who dishonored him; nay, outraged him, and cast him behind their backs and threw him in a dark well; they sold him for a paltry price -- for a few pence -- returning to their father at eve weeping, and, with his shirt stained with false blood, they slandered the wolf who was free from blame. The same shall also appear from these violators. Then interpret this vision: How the conduct of these former evil-doers agreeth with the course of the succeeding followers of the great darkness!Page 365
Verily, thou who art called by this honorable name, desire to have a portion in its great successes, to become a cherished one in the Egypt of the love of God, to possess qualities free from all evil and to become the source of good deeds.
God assisteth whosoever He pleaseth with that which He pleaseth. Verily He is the Mighty and Powerful!
O thou who art attracted by the Fragrances of God!
Verily, I received thy letter which spoke of thy extreme love for God, thy being occupied in the commemoration of God and thy joy in the Spirit of God. Verily, I supplicate God to enkindle in thy heart the fire of His love; an enkindlement the light of which shall affect all regions, so that thy face may become illumined by the lights of the Spirit and give forth] fragrance in the world of possibility. Arise for the service of the Cause of God in those countries which are vast and spacious, and sing, warbling beautiful melodies in the Name of thy Lord, the Supreme.
I saw thy photograph among the photographs of the friends, witnessed the light of guidance glistening in thy face and asked aid and strength for thee in this great day.
The most important matter in this day is the spreading of the fragrances of God in those cities. Verily, confirmation will surround thee from all sides.
This matter is equivalent to thy presence in these regions. Now presence is not allowable for a certain wisdom which God shall manifest in future time.Page 366
Verily I approach Thee, O my God, in the darkest hour of this dark night, and pray Thee with my inmost heart, while I am moving by Thy fragrances, which are being diffused from Thy Kingdom of ABHA, and say :[1 Revealed for the believers in Persia in 1901.]
O my Lord, I have not words enough to praise Thee, nor can the birds of meditation ever ascend to the Kingdom of Thy sanctity. Thou art, in Thine entity, sanctified from every praise and commendation, and art purified, in Thyself, from the thanksgiving of the people of emanation. Thou hast been eternally in the sanctity of Thyself exalted beyond the comprehension of the knowing among the Supreme Concourse, and Thou shalt be permanently in the purity of Thine essence, incomprehensible beyond the knowledge of the praisers among the dwellers in the exalted Realm of Might!
O my God, O my God, because of Thine incomprehensibility, how can I ever mention Thee by any praise, or glorify Thee by any commendation! Thou art, O my God, exalted and sanctified from all praises and glorification, O Thou, my beloved!
O my God, O my God, have pity on my impotence, my abasement, my indigence, my shame, and my humility. Give me the cup of Thy forgiveness and Thy gift, move me by the breath of Thy love, dilate my breast by the light of Thy knowledge, purify my person by the mysteries of Thy Singleness, and quicken me through the breezes of the garden of Thy mercy so that I may sever myself from all beside Thee, lay hold of the hem of the mantle of Thy majesty, forget aught elsePage 367
save Thee, be associated with the fragrance of Thy days, be enabled to continue faithful in the threshold of Thy sanctity and stand up in the service of Thy Cause, be submissive and lowly before Thy beloved ones and to account myself as nothing in the presence of Thy chosen ones. Verily, Thou art the Helper, the Assister, the Exalted, the Generous!
O my God, O my God, I beg of Thee, by the effulgence of the light of Thy countenance, whereby all the regions of the world are illumined; by the glances of the eye of Thy mercy, which comprehends all things; by the billows of the sea of Thy favor, wherewith all parts are overflowing; by the rains from the clouds of Thy gift, which are falling upon the essence of the created beings; by the radiance of Thy mercy, which overpowers existence -- to strengthen Thy chosen ones to faithfulness, to enable Thy beloved ones to serve Thine exalted Threshold, to encircle them through the hosts of Thy power, which have encompassed all things, and to assist them through Thy numerous armies from the Supreme Concourse.
O my God, these are lowly souls in Thy doorway and poor ones before Thy court, humbly seeking Thy grace and in need of Thy confirmation, turning toward the Kingdom of Thy Singleness, and yearning for the bounties of Thy gift. O my Lord, refine their consciences through the lights of Thy sanctity, and purify their hearts through the gift of Thy confirmation, dilate their breasts through the fragrances of joy and happiness, which are being diffused from Thy Supreme Concourse, and illumine their sight by witnessing Thy chief signs. Make them signs of sanctity and standards ofPage 368
purity waving on the apex of the contingent world, unto all creatures; so that their words may take effect in the hearts though they are even as flint. May they stand up to serve Thee, to devote themselves unto the Kingdom of Thy divinity, to turn unto the realm of the might of Thy self-subsistence, to spread Thy signs, to become illumined through Thy lights, to unfold Thy mysteries, to direct Thy servants unto the running water, and the fountain of Tassnime  which is gushing and springing out in the midst of the paradise of Thy Singleness; to unfold the sail of devotion on board the Ark of Deliverance and sail on the sea of Thy knowledge, to spread the wings of unity and soar up towards the kingdom of Thy Singleness, to become servants whom the Supreme Concourse may commend, and whom the people of Thy Kingdom of ABHA may praise, to hear the invisible heralds who announce the chief glad-tidings; to pray Thee at the dawn with the most wonderful invocations, while yearning after Thy visit -- O my mighty Lord! -- to weep every morn and eve, longing for the entrance into the shadow of Thy great mercy!
[1 One of the fountains of Paradise mentioned in the Koran.]
O my Lord, assist them in all cases, and help them under all circumstances, through the angels of Thy sanctity, who are Thine invisible hosts, and overwhelm all the armies of the inferior concourse. Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Omnipotent, the Comprehending, and Thou art the Almighty!
O pure God, O loving God! We are wandering around Thy abode and longing for the gift of Thy meeting, and are loving Thy characteristics. We arePage 369
helpless, humble, lowly, and weak; confer Thy mercy upon us, favor us with Thy gifts, overlook our shortcomings, and conceal our endless faults. We are Thine, whatever we might be (good or bad), and whatever we may say or hear is but Thy commendation. We seek but Thy face, and we search but Thy path. Thou art the loving God, while we are but sinners and love Thee passionately. O Thou Cloud of Mercy (shower upon us) a few drops! O Flower-garden of Favor (send to us) some fragrances! O Sea of Gifts (flow over us) Thy waves! O Sun of Grace (pour on us) some radiances! Have pity on us, and show us favor. We swear by Thy Beauty that we are full of errors, and we have no deeds, but hopes. Except Thy concealing veil should cover us, and Thy preservation and protection should favor us, these weak souls have not enough power to employ themselves in Thy service, and these indigent ones have not enough wealth to show a rich appearance. Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty!
I beg of Thee to assist them! Do refresh these faded souls with the drops of the cloud of Thy gifts, and do illumine these lowly beings through the effulgences of the sun of Thy Singleness! I pray Thee to cast these thirsty fishes into the sea of Thy mercy; guide their lost caravan unto the asylum of Thy unity; direct these bewildered souls unto the fountain of Thy guidance, and cause these wanderers to abide in the shelter of Thy might. Suffer the thirst ones to drink from the Salsabil  of Thy gifts, and quicken the dead by eternal life. Endow the blind with light, the deaf with hearing, the dumb with speech, the lukewarm with energy,Page 370
the heedless with mindfulness, the sleepers with wakefulness, and the proud with humility. Verily, Thou art the Powerful, Thou art the Forgiver! Thou art the Loving! Verily, Thou art the Generous, the Most High![1 Salsabil, i. e., Sweet Water of Life.]
O friends of God, and assistants of this humble servant! When the Sun of Truth shone forth with His infinite bounties from the dawning-place of hopes, and the horizon of existence was illuminated through the radiance of sanctity -- then He cast forth such splendor whereby the gloomy darkness disappeared! Therefore, the earth became the envy of the celestial world, and the realm of dust was made a scene of the exalted kingdom. Then the fragrances of holiness exhaled, and the sweet odors were diffused. The breeze of the divine spring blew, and the fruitful winds of infinite generosity passed by from the point of favor. The brilliant morning dawned and the glad-tidings of the greatest gift were announced. The divine spring appeared throughout the contingent world. The earth of existence moved and the material world was put in motion. The barren and dried up soil turned into an eternal garden, and the inanimate earth was endowed with eternal life. The flowers and myrtles of knowledge grew, and the fresh herbage of the knowledge of God flourished. The material world showed forth the bounties of the Merciful, and the visible world displayed the scene of the invisible world. The call of God was raised, the divine banquet celebrated, the cup of the Testament was circulated and the universal acclamation was uttered!Page 371
Among the people, a multitude became intoxicated with this divine wine -- and a multitude were deprived of this great favor. Many a soul enlightened his sight and insight by the radiance of grace, and many were cheered and rejoiced at the melodies of unity. Some birds sang melodies and harmonies, and some nightingales began to warble on the branches of the rose-tree of mercifulness. The Kingdom and the phenomenal world were adorned, and became the envy of the delectable paradise -- but, alas -- and a thousand times alas! -- that the heedless souls are still in the sleep of negligence, and the ignorant are keeping clear of this holy gift. The blind are veiled, the deaf are bereft and the dead despair of attaining to it; just as it is said (in the Koran) "They despair of the life to come, as the infidels despair (of the resurrection of) those who dwell in the graves."
As to you -- O friends of the Merciful! -- move your tongues to thank the Loving Lord, and employ yourselves in praising and glorifying the Beauty of the Adored One, for ye were granted the privilege to be exhilarated from this most pure cup, and became full of cheer and attraction from this goblet of wine. Ye have perfumed your nostrils with the fragrances of sanctity, and delighted your senses with the scent of the garment of the Joseph of faithfulness. Ye tasted the honey of devotion from the hand of the Unique Beloved and partook of the eternal table at the feast of the blessing of the Presence of the Unity. This favor is one of the special gifts of the Presence of the Merciful, and this grace and generosity is one of the incomparable gifts of our Loving Lord. This is in accordance with what Christ said: "Many are called, but fewPage 372
chosen." That is to say, there are many who are invited, but those souls who are signalized with the grace and favor of guidance are but very rare. "This is the bounty of God; He will give the same unto whom He pleaseth; and God is endowed with great bounty."
O friends of God! the candle of the Testament is surrounded by the hypocritical winds of the people of the world and the nightingale of faithfulness is surprised by the crows of ill-nature -- the violators. The mindless birds of night are plotting against the dove of commemoration and the ferocious beasts are prowling after the gazelle of the plain of the love of God. So, He is in great danger and painful affliction.
The beloved of God must be as firm as a mountain, and must not quiver under the most violent shock, nor grieve at the greatest calamities; but must be as a solid foundation. They must cling to the hem of Glory and trust in the Beauty of the Most High. They must lean on the help and assistance of the Ancient Kingdom and confide in the care and protection of the Generous Lord. They must at every instant nourish and refresh themselves with the dew of favor, and in every breath revive and cheer themselves through the waves of the Holy Spirit, raise themselves to serve the Cause of the Supreme, and endeavor their utmost to diffuse the breath of God. They must be as a strongly fortified fortress for the defense of the blessed Cause, and as a well-made fortification for the protection of the hosts of the Pre-existent Beauty. They must in all conditions faithfully guard the edifice of the Cause of God, and be scintillating stars on the horizon of the visible; because the gloomy darkness of all nations prevailed from allPage 373
directions, and all the creeds of the world are plotting to quench their evident light. Notwithstanding the strenuous opposition of all tribes, how can ye continue heedless thereof? So, ye must be conscious and aware thereof, and be ready to guard and preserve the Cause of the Creator. For this day the most necessary duty is to purify your morals, to correct your manners, and to improve your deeds. The beloved of the Merciful must appear with such morals and habits among the creatures that the fragrant odor of the garden of sanctity may perfume all the horizons and may quicken all the dead souls, because the Manifestation of Divinity and the dawning of the infinite lights of the Invisible is intended for the education of souls and the refinement of the morals of all in existence, so that some blessed souls may be delivered from the gloomy world of brutality and be characterized with attributes which tend to adorn the being of man; that the earthly people may become godlike, the dark ones may become illuminated, the uninstructed ones may become familiar with the mystery of the Kingdom, and the mortal souls may be associated with the Immortal Splendor; the deprived ones may partake of the endless sea, and the ignorant may drink from the living water of knowledge; the savage may give up their ferocity, and the cruel may become forbearing; that the warlike may search after true conciliation and the pitiless savage may be favored with ideal peace; that the degraded may learn about the condition of purity and the soiled ones may attain to the stream of sanctity. If these divine bounties do not appear in the being of men, the bounty of thePage 374
Divine Manifestation will prove fruitless and the splendor of the Sun of Truth will become without effect.
So, O beloved of God, endeavor with your hearts and souls, that ye may be qualified with the morals and attributes of the Blessed Perfection, and partake of the bounties of His sanctity; that ye may become signs of unity and standards of oneness, discover the essence of singleness and sing harmonies and lays in this divine garden, in merciful melodies; that ye may become as thankful birds, and sing a song in the rose-garden of existence which may astonish minds and senses; that ye may hoist a standard on the apex of the universe which may flutter in the winds of favor, and plant a tree in the field of the visible world which may bring forth fruits of the utmost delicacy and freshness.
I swear by the Ideal Educator that, if ye act in compliance with the divine exhortations, as revealed in brilliant Tablets, this gloomy earth will become a mirror of the Exalted Kingdom, and the inferior page will display the Kingdom of Abha!
O friends of God! Praise be unto God that the invisible bounties of the Sun of Truth are encompassing you from all directions, and the doors of mercy are opened from all parts. Now is the time to be benefited and filled therewith. Seize the opportunity, and lose not the chance. Keep yourselves entirely clear of the world's conditions of gloom, and show forth the characters and qualities of divine souls, that ye may consider to what an extent the radiance of the Divine Sun is shining and brilliant, and how the signs of favor are showing forth from the invisible World of Unity.O friends of God! Praise be unto God that His
Imperial Majesty, the Shah, acts with the utmost kindness, and His Highness, the Prime Minister, is practising the greatest fairness and equity towards the people. So, the friends of God must night and day pray for the permanence of the glorious empire, and raise themselves to return thanks to His Majesty for his justice, equity and kindness, because this is one of the indisputable commandments of God, as revealed in all celestial books.To the beloved of God in Persia!
O ye dear friends of `Abdu'l-Bahá! It is some time since any heart-thrilling melody hath reached the ear of life from certain countries, and life and conscience have not found happiness and joy. Howbeit all are remembered at all times and are indeed present before the sight. For, verily, the chalice of the heart is overflowing with the wine of the love of the friends; and their attachment and the desire to see them flow and circulate in the veins and arteries, even as the spirit.
In this condition it is evident how sad and grieved the heart is. In this storm of ordeal, whose wave hath reached the Supreme Apogee, and the arrow of hate hath come in succession from the six points; with every breath there is bewildering news and every day astonishing signs in the Blessed Spot.
The center of violation  supposed that through mere pride the foundation of the Covenant and Testament could be destroyed and that the righteous ones would shun and disobey the ordinances of God. Therefore,Page 376
he spread writings of suspicion to all parts and busied himself with secret plans.[1 The unkind brother.]
At one time he cried that "The Divine Foundation is overthrown, the law of God is abrogated, therefore the Covenant and Testament of God are annulled!" Again, he moaned and grieved that "We are exiles and captives, hungry and thirsty, night and day!" One day he effected disturbance and commotion, saying, "The Oneness of God is abolished, and the Manifestation, before the lapse of a thousand years, hath appeared!"
[1 An accusation that `Abdu'l-Bahá was claiming to be a Manifestation who is promised after a lapse of a thousand years.]
Upon finding that these fictions were not successful, he gradually planned corruptions and caused commotion. He grasped every garment (means); he calumniated to the government and he became acquainted with some of the unfriendly, associated and became confidential with them. Together they compiled a report and presented it to the center of the government, which disturbed the members of the cabinet.
Among their fictitious reports was this: That this oppressed one  has hoisted the banner of independence; upon that banner he has inscribed "Ya Bahá El-Abha!" and circulated it in all this country, in the cities and hamlets, even among the tribes in the desert, and that he has summoned them all to assemble under the banner[1 `Abdu'l-Bahá.]
O God, verily I seek shelter in Thee from this action which is contrary to the precepts of Bahá'í nay, it is a great wrong, committed only by every persistent sinner.Page 337
For Thou hast enjoined upon us obedience to kings and rulers!
Among the fictions was that the building upon Mt. Carmel was purposed to be a fort, built with perfect solidity and strength, assigned it to be the "illumined city" and made the Holy Tomb, the Sacred Mecca; when in truth that is a building containing six vaults.
Among other fictions was, that he has founded a new monarchy (kingdom) and that he has called all the friends to this great wrong. God forbid; God forbid; God forbid! Praise be to Thee! -- this is a great calumny! -- that since the Sacred Tomb  has become a visiting center for the world, it shall be a great misfortune to country and to the public! And that the center of violation is not connected with these affairs, nay rather, he is a Suni, Sanavi, Bekri, and Omari. That he knows the Blessed Perfection  to be only one of the reformers among the people, and a follower of the Path, and that these affairs were instituted by this oppressed one.[1 An expression of astonishment.]
[3 These expressions are intended to convey the inference that he is orthodox.][4 Bahá'u'lláh.]
In short, an inquisitory body was appointed by the center of the great government -- may her glory increase! -- and was sent to this land, taking up its abode directly in the home of one of the plaintiffs. The parties who joined in compiling the report and who were co-partners of my brother were sent for and questioned regarding the truth of the report. They amplified the contents of the report, explained them, confirmed them and above all added to them. They were the plaintiffs,Page 378
the witnesses and the judge. Now that body hath returned to the Capital and every day terrible and frightful news is received.
But `Abdu'l-Bahá -- praise be to God! -- is in perfect peace, composure and rest. He is not even disturbed through this calumny and fiction, but rather hath referred all affairs to the pre-ordained decree and in perfect joy and happiness is ready to give up his life, expecting every ordeal.
Praise be to God! -- the kind friends of God are also in a state of resignation and submissiveness. All are happy, thankful, joyful and content. But the center of violation presumed that after the shedding of the blood of this oppressed one, or the throwing of him into the great desert, or the casting of him into the Mediterranean Sea, he will become nameless, traceless and forgotten, and that he himself] would find an arena to gallop in and could win, with the spear of suspicions and fictions, the object of his hopes and desire. In vain! In vain! If there be no permanence to the fragrance of the musk of faithfulness, will any one be attracted by the vile odor of jealousy? If the deer of God be torn asunder by dogs and wolves, no one will run after the blood-thirsty wolf. If the nightingale of significances end his days, no one will listen to the croaking of the raven, nor to the cawing of the crow. What vain imagination is this, and what an ignorant display! Their actions are like unto a mirage in the desert, which the thirsty imagines to be water, but when he reaches it, finds it to be nothing.
In sooth, O ye friends of God, make firm your feet and heart, make perfect resolve through the power ofPage 379
confirmation of the Blessed Beauty; engage in the service of the Cause of God and withstand the nations and the peoples with the firmness, the solidity and the steadfastness of the people of Bahá'í Thus may others wonder how these hearts are fountains of trust and mines of the love of His Majesty, the Merciful One. Thus may ye remain unshaken by the painful occurrences in the Holy Land, and may remain firm through the disastrous events. If all the friends oppose (the Cause of God) with sword and one remain (firm), he will be the proclaimer of God, a divine herald, and will stand before all upon the earth.
In sooth, you must not mind the events in the Radiant Spot. The Holy Land is ever in danger and the flood of ordeal comes from every side, for the call hath become world-wide and the summons hath spread throughout the earth,and enemies, both the unfamiliar and the familiar, are engaged in their plans, their stratagems and schemes to calumniate; and it is evident that such a place is in danger, for against calumny there is no defence, nay rather, some wandering oppressed souls are imprisoned in a fortress, having no helper, assistant nor shelter from the sword of accusation and the teeth of calumny, save God!
Ye must think of this: How many dear friends have hastened to the divine altar; how many blessed souls have sacrificed life; what holy blood was shed; what pure hearts were drowned in blood; how many breasts were offered as targets for the arrows of malice, and how many sanctified bodies were cut to pieces. What is our duty? To be thinking of our own life and to dissimulate and associate with enemies and friends, orPage 380
should we also follow the righteous and walk in the footprints of those who are great?
The numbered days (of life) will vanish away, and the present existence disappear. The garden of being will lose is freshness and fragrance, the orchard of mirth will miss its joy and beauty. The spring of life will change into the autumn of death, the joy of happiness of the palaces will change into the gloomy darkness of the grave. Therefore, it is not worth attachment and the wise person will not set his heart thereon. The wise and great man seeketh heavenly glory and divine might, desireth eternal life and seeketh nearness to the Threshold of God.
For in the tavern of the mortal world the bile of the man of God is not removed. He will not rest a moment here and will not stain himself with the attachments of the world. Nay, rather, the friends are the stars of the summit of Providence and the planets of the firmament of Guidance. With perfect strength do they dispel darkness and destroy the foundation of envy and enmity. They wish for the world and its denizens unity and peace; they destroy the basis of war and strife; they seek integrity, faithfulness and friendliness, and are well-wishers even of the evil-disposed enemy. Thus they make this prison of infidelity the sublime mansion of fidelity, and this dungeon of envy a delectable paradise.
O ye friends, endeavor with life and heart that this world may become the mirror of the world of the Kingdom; that the earthly kingdom be filled with the bounty of the heavenly; that the voice of the Supreme Concourse may be raised in commendation, and that thePage 381
traces of the bounty and grace of the Beauty of ABHA may envelop the earth!
His honor, Ameen , hath praised highly the honored servants and the maid -- servants of the Manifest Light; commending each one separately and eulogizing the firmness and steadfastness of all; that -- praise be to God! -- the friends and maid-servants of the Merciful in all Persia are in perfect resignation and firm and steadfast, like unto a firm and solid foundation, and in an absolute state of ecstasy and attraction are engaged in spreading the fragrance of the Lord of Lords.
[1 One of the teachers of the Bahá'í Revelation in Persia.]
Through this news, at this time of great jeopardy, much happiness was realized, for the supreme hope and desire of this oppressed one is the spirituality of the hearts and the radiance of the beings of the friends. When this gift is obtained every ordeal is for him as an abundant bounty and a great shower.
O my God! O my God! Thou seest me drowned in the sea of ordeals, seized upon by the fire of infidelity, with tears flowing in the dark night rolling in the bed of sleeplessness, mine eyes expectant to see the dawn of the lights of Faith. And when I am anxious, as the fish whose bowels are inflamed upon the dust, I anticipate the manifestation of Thy bounties from all sides!
O Lord! Surround the friends in other regions with Thy great bounties and uplift those who are weak among Thy chosen, through Thy strength and providence, in every remote place!
O Lord, verily they are the captives of Thy love and the prisoners of Thy host, the birds of the atmospherePage 382
of Thy guidance, the fish of the sea of Thy providence, the stars of the horizon of Thy bounty, the army of the fortress of Thy law, the banners of Thy remembrance, the eyes of Thy mercy, the fountains of Thy grace and the springs of Thy generosity. Therefore, guard them with the eye of kindness, confirm them in promoting Thy Word, strengthen their hearts in Thy love, reinforce their backs in Thy service, make firm their loins in Thy servitude, spread through them Thy fragrances, reveal through them Thy signs, manifest through them Thy proofs, accomplish through them Thy words and perfect through them Thy mercy!
Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty, and, verily, thou art the Clement, the Merciful!
El-Baha, praise, light, blessing and peace be upon thee,
1. For recitation when visiting the tomb of his honor Aka-Reza, of Isfand-Abad, Persia, a famous and valiant man who suffered martyrdom in 1901. The chief religious magistrate of the locality commissioned a number of men to enter his home at night and they shot him to death.]
O thou fire of the Love of God, thou light of the Kingdom of God, thou radiance of the Gift of God, thou peerless pearl in the Sea of the Mercy of God, thou sturdy lion in the Jungle of the Guidance of God!
I testify that, verily, thou hast believed in God, thou hast become assured of the Verses of God, thou hast trusted in the appearance of the Kingdom of God, thou hast turned unto God, thou hast kept firm in the Covenant of God, thou hast served the Cause of God, thou hast endeavored to promote the Word of God, and thou hast suffered martyrdom in the path of God. May the soul of men be a sacrifice to thee!
Blessed is the land which is reddened by thy blood!Page 383
Blessed is the heart which is burnt with the fire of thine afflictions! Blessed is the eye which weeps over thy disaster! Blessed are the hearts which are consumed by thy calamities! Blessed are the bosoms which are rent asunder by thy sufferings!
Praise be unto thee! Exaltation be unto thee! Faithfulness be unto thee! O thou sign of guidance and thou standard of great martyrdom!
O that the bullets which shot thee were shot at the breast of `Abdu'l-Bahá! O that the darts which pierced thee would strike the heart of `Abdu'l-Bahá! By the might of my Lord, afflictions are much more favored by `Abdu'l-Bahá than the honey of life, inasmuch as this cup is overflowing with the gift of God.
Blessed is the one who attaineth to visit thy grave! Blessed is the forehead which is set against thy tomb! Blessed is the man who serves thy sepulchre! Blessed is the person who lights a lamp  at thy resting-place!
[1 Idiomatic expression for turning unto God and being illumined with His Spirit.]
I beg of God to cause spheres of light to descend upon thy sepulchre and the clouds of mercy to shower rains of forgiveness upon thy resting-place and tomb!
Verily, He is the Compensator, the Beneficent, the Giver!O thou peerless, matchless, glorious martyr!
[1 For recitation when visiting the tomb of his honor Aka-Seyed-Jaffar,of Isfand-Abad, Persia, who suffered martyrdom in 1901. When he would not recant, Mulla Abdul-Kani, the chief religious magistrate of the locality, turned him over to three different men for execution, and when each refused to carry out the order, the Mulla struck him on the head with a stone, and, with the assistance of another Mulla, put him to death.]
Verily, I salute thy pure dust, and thy holy, blessed tomb, which is perfumed by the fragrances of sanctityPage 384
which are blowing upon thee from the Supreme Concourse, and the lights which are cast upon thee from the Kingdom of El-ABHA, and the copious rain which purifieth thy fragrant plain, and say: "Upon thee be El-Baha! Upon thee be mercy, O thou lamp ignited with the fire of the love of God, irradiated with the ray of the gift of God, and aflame in the glass of the knowledge of God! Thou art he who hath drunk the cup of sacrifice, hath expended his life in the path of God, and hath shed his blood on the earth in love for the Beauty of God. For they did not appreciate thy merit, denied thy dignity, were veiled from beholding the gift of thy Lord, and supposed themselves to be just. No! By no means!
"Punishment is for such as persecuted thee, hell is for such as rejected thee, fire is for such as sentenced thee to death, infernal flame be for such as betrayed thee, and the hellish gulf is for such as shed thy blood with impunity! And paradise is for such as love thee, heaven is for such as serve thee, the everlasting abode is for such as visit (thy tomb)!
"Upon thee be El-Baha! Upon thee be greeting and praise, O thou who hast suffered martyrdom in the path of God, and art submerged in the ocean of the mercy of God!
"Blessed are the nostrils which will be perfumed by the scent of thy brilliant spot! Blessed are the eyes which will be illumined by the ray which is being cast upon thee from the bounty of the Kingdom of El-Abha!
"I beg of God to make thy sepulchre a mine of mercy, a depository of gifts, and to encompass it withPage 385
manifest signs. Verily, He is the Beneficent! the Giver! Verily, He is gracious, and showeth great favor toward martyrs, and He is the Bestower, the Generous!"
The first light which shone forth from the horizon of
Eternity, the first radiance which was cast forth from the Morn of Guidance, and the first mercy which descended from the Kingdom of Heaven, be upon thee, O thou manifest light, thou "strong rope," and the beloved one of the denizens of the exalted heaven, who hast suffered martyrdom in the path of the Lord of the Creatures, and who art submerged in the sea of favors, through the grace of thy Lord, the Clement! the Merciful! El-Bahá be upon thee! Praise be upon thee! By God, the True One! The angels of mercy bless thee in the Kingdom of El-ABHA, and the nostrils of the chosen ones are perfumed with the sweet odor which is wafting from the garden of the Supreme Concourse upon thy sepulchre; and hearts are burning, tears are being shed, the power of endurance is cut off by the grievous disaster and great martyrdom, whereby all hearts are consumed!
[1 For recitation when visiting the tomb of his honor Aka-Zaman,of Isfand-Abad, Persia, who suffered martyrdom in 1901. He was delivered into the hands of a mob, who brought him out of prison,made him ride an ox and paraded him through the streets. Many struck him with stones and clubs, and wounded him. While he was surrounded by this general assault and uproar and the people danced and clapped their hands in joy, Aka-Zaman himself also clapped his hands with them, and evinced great joy on account of his approaching martyrdom. Then a wretch from behind cut off his ear and stuffed it into the martyr's mouth, but he did not even turn nor move. Finally they put him to death with all kinds of wounds and with the severest persecutions, and stoned him. Then they dragged away his body from under the heaps of stones and burned it along with the body of his honor Aka-Seyed-Jaffar.]
I testify that, verily, thou art a martyr of faithfulness, thou art peerless among the beloved, thou artPage 386
matchless among the chosen ones and art fortunate among the pious! Blessed art thou, for they pierced thy shining brow with a nail, and suspended upon it thine outward decoration, tortured thee by reins, made thee to ride on a furious bull, paraded thee in the city, cut off thine ear with a sharp-edged blade, and by force and compulsion made thee to devour it, tormented thee with the torture of the wicked, persecuted thee with a rage like unto the ferocity of ravenous wolves of the plain and desert, and consumed thy pure body with the torture of fire!
Blessed is the pure blood which was shed on the perfumed soil, and which was poured out in the path of the forgiving Lord! Blessed is thy body which was burned by the hand of every transgressor! Blessed is thy throat which was cut by the poniard of every traitor! Blessed is thy breast which was stricken by the oppressors' darts! Blessed is thy heart which was wounded by a sharp sword! Blessed art thou, for thou hast showed forth all happiness and joy when thou wert being paraded in the streets of the people of haughtiness and the people of wickedness were clapping their hands and oppressing thee with innumerable blows and wounds, whilst thou wert clapping thy hands with them -- O thou manifestor of light! -- and wert warbling melodies, whereby the people of the Kingdom of El-ABHA were moved and breasts dilated (with joy)!
By God, the True One! Verily, `Abdu'l-Bahá inhaleth the odor of faithfulness from that remote region, the soil of which is reddened by thy pure blood, and beholdeth the lights of bestowal successively pouring upon thy resplendent tomb, and the rains of grace droppingPage 387
upon thy blessed resting-place, which is fragrant, brilliant and magnificent!
Blessed is he whosoever may roll his face in the dust of thine excellent grave! Blessed is he whosoever may press his brow on thy great sepulchre!
Upon thee by El-Baha! Upon thee be praise! Upon thee be bestowal, O thou honorable martyr, who hast severed thyself from all things in the path of thine Ancient Lord, who hast sacrificed thy soul, blood and body in the path of thy Most Beautiful Beloved One!
Upon thee be grace from thy Lord, the Exalted! the Great!
O ye  beloved servants of `Abdu'l-Bahá and the maid-servants of the Merciful One![1 To the assembly of Zanjan, Persia.]
It is the early dawn and the soul-refreshing breeze of the Paradise of ABHA is wafting upon all the contingent beings, but it displays the effect only in pure hearts and perfumes only the healthy mind. A seeing eye beholdeth the splendors of the sun and a hearing ear listeneth to the melody of the Supreme Concourse. Although the mercy of the vernal shower and the heavenly outpouring descend upon all the earth, yet only from a virgin soil vegetation groweth while the brackish ground is deprived and unproductive, for the traces of the outpouring are not evident and manifest. Now the holy Fragrances of ABHA are diffused in every clime, but only the spiritual souls are attracted and draw benefits. It is hoped by this imprisoned one, from the bounty of the Living Self-Subsistent, that, through the dominating power of the Word of God, the nostrils of thePage 388
heedless ones become opened and partake a share from the fragrances of the Rose-Garden of Mystery.
O ye friends of God! The real friends are the skillful physicians and the divine instructions are the antidote of the Merciful One and the remedies of the hearts. They (the believers) heal the nostrils affected with rheum, make mindful the negligent ones, give a share to the deprived ones and make hopeful the hopeless ones. In this day if anyone liveth in accord with the heavenly teachings and instructions, he shall become a spiritual physician to the world of humanity and the trumpet of Israfel  to quicken the dead; for the confirmations of the Kingdom of ABHA are uninterrupted and the victory of the Supreme Concourse is the associate of every one who is pure in heart. The weak gnat will become the strong royal falcon and the sparrow is transformed into the eagle soaring toward the apex of the Ancient Glory. Therefore, look ye not upon your own capability and merit, nay rather, lay your confidence in the bounty and protection, favor and grace of the Blessed Perfection -- may my life be a sacrifice to His beloved ones! -- and, mounting upon the charger of magnanimity, rush ye toward the arena of martyrdom, so that ye may win the polo of favors in this vast field of God!
[1 One of the angels of the "Resurrection day," mentioned in the Koran.]
O ye maid-servants of the Merciful One! The queens of the world went down to the tombs and disappeared and vanished from the face of the earth. There remained for them no fruit, no name, no trace, no fame and no existence. But every one of the maid-servants in the court of Oneness shone forth like untoPage 389
the brilliant stars from the glorious Ancient Horizon, cast their rays upon centuries and cycles, attained to their utmost desires in the Kingdom of ABHA and drank from the wine of meeting (with God) in the Assembly of the Almighty. These souls have taken a share from (the benefits) of being and obtained results.
O ye friends of this wronged one! Purify your eyes from beholding any as] strangers. Do ye not see foreignness, nay rather, know all as friends; for with the observation of strangeness, the practice of love and unity is difficult.
In this wonderful age, according to the divine texts, ye must befriend all nations and communities. Ye must not look upon violence, force, evil intentions, persecutions or hostility, nay rather, ye must raise your eyes to the horizon of glory and see] that each one of these creatures is a sign of the Lord of Signs and has] stepped upon the arena of existence through divine favor and supreme energy. Thus they are known and not unknown, are friends and not strangers. We must deal with all according to the above criterion.
Therefore, the beloved must, with infinite kindness and love, associate and sympathize with both friends and strangers and not look at all upon the merits and capabilities of the persons. Under all circumstances they must show forth genuine love and be not defeated by the intensity of rancor, hatred, quarrel, malice and the grudge of the people. Should they (the people) shoot arrows they (the friends) must administer milk and honey; if they give poison, the believers must impart delicacies; if they cause pain, let the beloved be aPage 390
remedy; if they strike a blow, let them become the antidote.
O my God! O my God! Verily, these are Thy weak servants and Thy submissive, faithful ones and Thy sincere maid-servants who are humbled before Thy illumined Threshold, acknowledging Thy Oneness which hath appeared like unto the appearance of the sun in midday, listening to Thy call from Thy mysterious Kingdom and uttering Thy prayers with hearts overflowing with Thy love and devotion!
O my Lord! Pour upon all of them the rain of Thy mercy, cause to] descend upon every one the showers of Thy bounty from the clouds of Thy munificence, make them graceful plants in Thy divine Rose-garden and suffer these myrtles to become verdant, green and refreshed by the outpouring from the Cloud of Thy Singleness.
Verily Thou art the Powerful, the Most High, the Mighty and Omnipotent, and the Creator of the earth and heaven, and verily there is no God but Thee, the Lord of the Manifest Signs!O servants  of the Blessed Beauty!
It is a well known fact that, owing to the frequency of disturbances, the work of delivering the Message hath been for a short time discontinued. In consequence, persons travel less frequently to the different parts of the country. It is known and clear that today the unseen divine assistance encompasseth those who deliver the Message. And if the work of deliveringPage 391
the Message be neglected, the assistance shall be entirely cut off, for it is impossible that the friends of God could receive assistance unless they be engaged in delivering the Message. Under all conditions the Message must be delivered, but with wisdom. If it be not possible openly, it must be done quietly. The friends should be engaged in educating the souls and should become instruments in aiding the world of humanity to acquire spiritual joy and fragrance. For example: If every one of the friends (believers) were to establish relations of friendship and right dealings with one of the negligent souls, associate and live with him with perfect kindliness, and meanwhile through good conduct and moral behavior lead him to divine instruction, to heavenly advice and teachings, surely he would gradually arouse that negligent person and would change his ignorance into knowledge.
Souls are liable to estrangement. Such methods should be adopted that the estrangement should be first removed, then the Word will have effect.
If one of the believers be kind to one of the negligent ones and with perfect love should gradually make him understand the reality of the Cause of God in such a way that the latter should know in what manner the Religion of God hath been founded and what its object is, doubtless he will become changed; excepting abnormal souls who are reduced to the state of ashes and whose hearts are like stones, yea, even harder.
If by this method every one of the friends of God were to try to lead one soul to the right path, the number of the believers would be doubled every year. But this should be carried out with perfect wisdom and inPage 392
such a manner that no harm would ever result therefrom.
In the same way those who deliver the Message should travel to all parts of the country. And if delivering the Message should be the cause of disturbance, let them then be engaged in encouraging and educating the friends, in order that those souls receive spiritual attraction and rejoice, seek delight and ecstasy, acquire new life and through the fragrances of sanctity gain vivacity and freshness.
The object is this, that in the time of peace and safety this work of delivering the Message should be carried on with the utmost fervor. But when there is no peace and safety, extreme wisdom should be exercised, though no complete cessation of effort is permissible, for in that case the divine assistance shall be entirely cut off.
With regard to the formation of benevolent associations, surely this subject should be given due attention. The disciples of His Holiness Christ -- may my life be a sacrifice unto Him! -- were only eleven persons and they had established a benevolent fund. So the establishment of the fund had that degree of importance.
O ye  sincere ones! O ye favored ones! O ye beseeching ones! O ye supplicating ones![1 To the assembly of Teheran, Persia.]
Verily, I set my forehead on the dust and turn my face toward the Lord of Lords and invoke my Lord with intense fervor and attraction, that He may look upon you with the glances of the eye of His providence, watch over you with the gaze of His protection, unitePage 393
your hearts, dilate your breasts, harmonize your souls, rejoice you with gladness, exhilarate you with the chalices of salvation, make you steadfast in the divine Cause and that He may enable you to cling to the hem of the Almighty, to hasten toward the place of sacrifice and to be sheltered under the shadow of the Blessed Tree whose roots are planted firm and whose branches are extended to heaven:
O my Lord! O my Lord! These are the chosen ones whose faces are illumined with the light of guidance, who found the heavenly table pleasing to their tastes, who submitted willingly to every matter which happened in the land and sought help from the hosts of the Supreme Concourse. Their feet are indeed made firm, their banners hoisted, their deeds righteous and their actions just. O Lord! Make them fragrant plants of Thy paradise, flowers of the garden of nearness, verses of Thy glorious book, words of Thy "Published Tablet" unto the people of the world and as falcons soaring on the loftiest summit. Verily Thou art the Beneficent, the Merciful, the Powerful, the Mighty, the Bestower!
O my dear friends! Yours was not merely a letter; it was perfumed with amber and diffused a sweet fragrance. Every word thereof was a rose in the rose-garden of the love of God and was a flower, a hyacinth.
When the breeze of Providence blows from the direction of gift, the gardens of hearts attain thereby exceeding purity and freshness. Such significances arise from the soul and consciousness and impart joy and fragrance.Page 394
O friends! It is the wish of `Abdu'l-Bahá that the friends may establish general unity and not a particular meeting of unity. You must have great consideration for this fact, for during the past cycles though such events (founding of particular, i. e., exclusive unity meetings) were, in the beginning, a means for harmony, they became in the end the cause of trouble.
We are all servants of one Threshold, attendants at one Court, waves of one sea, drops of one stream, the dust before one door and plants of one garden. There must arise no trouble to deprive one from that which is the real purpose. The beloved of God must be friendly even with strangers and intimate even with outsiders -- how much more with others among the righteous (i. e., believers)!
To organize assemblies is praiseworthy and acceptable, but these must be established for certain matters. For example: Assemblages for teaching (the Truth), gatherings for the spread of the fragrances of God, gathers for the relief of the orphans, gatherings for the protection (i. e., feeding, etc.,) of the poor, assemblages for the spread of learning and, in a word, there must be gatherings for matters which concern the well-being of men, such as organizations of a society of commerce, societies for the expansion of agriculture. To be brief, similar societies are very acceptable and praiseworthy and concern all in general and not a particular number.
In a word: That which is conducive to the life (or growth) of the people is acceptable and whatever is the cause of disaffection is blameworthy. I hope all the friends of the East and West shall rest in the samePage 395
assemblage and adorn one gathering, appearing with all the heavenly attributes and virtues in the world of humanity.
O my Lord! O my Lord! Enable me to witness the most great sign and to realize the fulfillment of this hope throughout all regions. Verily Thou art the Bestower, the Beneficent, whose bounties are great!
Some of the friends have asked to present themselves in these parts. In these days this does not conform with wisdom. God willing, permission shall be given at some favorable time.
Glory be unto Thee, O Thou whose mercy hath encompassed all things, whose gift is made perfect, whose power hath encircled the world, whose proof is demonstrated, whose signs have become manifest, whose words are promulgated, whose arguments are established and whose ensigns are hoisted! Thanks be unto Thee for that which Thou hast bestowed! Thanks be unto Thee for that which Thou hast granted! Glorification behooveth Thee for Thou hast manifested Thyself! Glory be unto Thee! Glory be unto Thee! How inaccessible is Thy station! How manifest is Thy proof and how all-embracing is Thy munificence!
[1 This Tablet is to the believers throughout Persia. Copy sent in bore no opening line of address.]
Verily the dark night hath been spreading its wings over all the regions and the face of the heaven and earth was hidden behind the clouds of inky gloom and blackness -- wherefore the sights were veiled from beholding the most great signs and inner perceptions were blindedPage 396
and unable to find the fire of divine guidance; souls were wandering in the desert of error and heedlessness and the possessors of intelligence were lost in the wilderness of amazement and skepticism, crying and weeping as a mother bereft of her Bábe -- bewailing and lamenting like unto a thirsty one in the midst of a vast and boundless Sahara!
But through Thy greatest bounty, the glorious dawn broke and the lightning of guidance flashed from the Supreme Horizon upon the face of heaven! Then the First Point (The Báb) appeared among mankind with the glad-tidings of Thy Manifestation, the fragrances of Thy Holiness and the verses of Thy Singleness, spreading Thy good news, heralding Thy Name, declaring and praising Thee in numerous epistles!
Thine is favor for this gift which hath cheered the souls of the pure ones! Thine is generosity for Thou hast enabled every righteous and devoted one to adore Thee by causing the Sun of Truth to shine upon all the regions of existence! Thine is glory and excellence! Thine is power and beauty! Thine is sovereignty and authority! Thine is dominion and kingdom! Thine is exaltation and omnipresence! Thine is divinity and lordship! For thou hast manifested Thy bounty from the horizon of emanation, rent asunder the veil and raised the covering from Thy illumined countenance in the promised day and shone forth upon the world of being with the rays gleaming from the dawn of revelation!
Then the "Resurrection" appeared, the "Day of Judgment" became manifest, the "earth" heaved and shook, the "mountains" were levelled, the "seas" boiled,Page 397
the "sun" was eclipsed, the "luminaries" were darkened, the "stars" scattered, the "signs" became known, the "bridge" expanded, the "conditions" were fulfilled, the "balance" was set up, the "fire" burned fiercely and the "paradise" became begemmed! -- wherefore the devoted ones entered into delectable gardens with beatitude and the veiled ones were left to amuse themselves with their own imaginations; the possessors of perception beheld the lights and those whose eyes were weak vanished in gloomy darkness before the appearance of the mid-day Sun!
Then those whose ears were unstopped and open rejoiced in listening to the call, while the deaf (or ignorant) were astonished, crying out, "What is the cause of this acclamation and rejoicing?" Then the fluent speakers loosened their tongues in thanksgiving and glorification, while the dumb became as hard and lifeless stones; then the souls were purified, the hearts were attracted, the breasts were dilated, the characters were sanctified, the secret thoughts became manifest and the realities stepped into the arena of existence; they sought illumination, were guided, became ablaze, enflamed and enkindled, called forth and proclaimed, saying:
"Glad-tidings be unto the righteous ones! Rejoicing be unto the perceiving ones! Happiness be unto the favored ones! Joy be unto the yearning ones! Cheerfulness be unto the attracted ones!Exhilaration be unto the longing ones!
Glory be unto Him who hath arisen from the Brightest Dawn!
Glory be unto Him who hath shone forth the Manifest Light!Page 398
Glory be unto Him who showered Glorious Outpourings upon the contingent beings!
Glory be unto Him who illumined the Supreme Horizon with such a Radiance by which the gloom of the dark night hath been dispelled!
Glory be unto Him who causeth to descend the Food from heaven!
Glory be unto Him who causeth the Running Spring to gush forth from the rugged cliff! Glory be unto Him who poured down the Pure Water from on high!
Glory be unto Him who allayed the thirst of the devoted ones with the Cup which is mixed with Camphire!
Glory be unto Him who developed the barren and sterile ground into fruitfulness!
Glory be unto Him who hath produced growth in the adjoining fields of various natures!
Glory be unto Him who irrigated them with the same waters gushing forth from that Fountain!
Glory be unto Him who adorned the delectable gardens with all kinds of delicate and delicious fruits!
Glory be unto Him who ushered in the Emanation of the new creation!
Glory be unto Him who hath brought forth the Day of Retribution!
Glory be unto Him who granted Life unto the contingent beings!Glory be unto Him who created the Existence!
Glory be unto Him who appeared in the Most Wonderful Age!
Glory be unto the Founder of this New Epoch!Then thanks be unto Thee, O my God, for these Gifts and praise be unto Thee, O my Beloved, for this Eminent Bounty! Verily Thou art the Merciful of the Most Merciful!"
[1 One of the Fountains of Paradise mentioned in the Koran.]
O ye merciful friends of `Abdu'l-Bahá! At this moment a letter hath been received from America containing the good news that that region of the Occident hath become the Orient; that is, in that region the rays of the Sun of Truth have appeared and shone forth with such penetration that the bright light of the morn of guidance hath dawned and every longing one hath attained to the desire of this heart, and that the melody of the Kingdom of ABHA ascends continuously to the Supreme Concourse and the soul-refreshing strains of "Ya Bahá El-Abha!" reach the ears of the peoples and communities of that country.
According to what they have written, they have celebrated the day of the "Birth anniversary" in twenty-four cities by giving public feasts and beautiful receptions. They have spent that day in the utmost joy and happiness, they have sent out general invitations, spread the table of gifts, engaged in the commemoration of the True One and in imparting glad-tidings to each other. Likewise, letters of congratulation and felicitation have been received from these twenty-four cities and assemblies. Consider ye what influence the penetrative power of the Word of God hath displayed in existence and how the universe is stirred and movedPage 400
through it! How in America on the "Birth anniversary" such feasting and banqueting is prepared! How the remote ones have become the near ones and how the customs and habits of the East are spread abroad! This is the penetrative power of the Word of God and this is the might of the subduing desire of God!
O ye friends of God and maid-servants of the Merciful! His honor Ameen  hath mentioned you with the highest praise and commendation, saying that, thank God, the believers in all parts of the cities and towns are the manifestations of bounties and the dawning-places of justice and equity; are mindful, obedient, kind-hearted and steadfast; are engaged in reading the verses and occupied with spreading the signs; are in the utmost ecstasy and exhilaration and intoxicated with the pure wine; are active in praising and adoring the Most Great Name and intimate in paying homage to the Holy Threshold; are living in accord with the divine teachings and exhortations and are in every way endowed with all human excellences and attributes; that they are in the utmost unity and agreement and in great zeal and enthusiasm; are kind to every soul and treat all the communities with exceeding joy and fragrance; that they have sympathy even for the enemies and are faithful friends even to the unjust; that to the outsiders they are as relatives and to the strangers they are a swift-healing antidote instead of a poisonous sting; are the servants of world of humanity and manifestors of the attributes of the Merciful One! Blessed are they for this testimony, which is expressive of the beauty of their characters and the merit of their .Page 401
virtues! Truly, I say, his honor Ameen is the well-wisher of all. In the day of the Manifestation he was the Ameen (Faithful) of the Blessed Perfection  and in the days of the Covenant  he is the confidant of this yearning one. Therefore, his testimony is heard and accepted and his evidence is praised and beloved.
[1 One of the teachers of the Bahá'í Revelation in Persia][2 Bahá'u'lláh.]
O ye beloved of God! According to what is heard, some of the ulemas of the Sheite sect (Persian moslem mullas), as well as some leaders of the Shekhei school, are engaged constantly in instigating revolts and have arisen against the government with enmity and opposition, confusing the affairs of the state more than before.
Praise be to God!  What is this heedlessness and ignorance and what is this antagonism and insubordination! Verily, the Persian empire hath been at all times deprived of every bounty on account of the encroaching influence of the ritualistic mullas! Whenever that just government conceived a good intention to introduce reforms and amelioration of conditions, these ignorant leaders raised vehement opposition, protested severely and prevented the introduction of measures which would better conditions and spread culture and progress. One must be just. The intention of His Imperial majesty is higher and purer than all the other leaders and chiefs, for the sole desire of the throne is the peace and security of the inhabitants and the cultivation and betterment of the conditions of the empire. But alas! they do not give a moment's rest to the kind Padeshah, in order that he may voluntarily and of his own accord inaugurate reforms as much as may be warranted by circumstances.[1 An expression of astonishment.]
However, the inhabitants of Persia are not the only ones who are afflicted with this ignorance and blindness. The people of the imperial Ottoman government are also in a state of the utmost ignorance and blindness. Diversity of opinions and ignorance of factions do not allow one breath of tranquility to the imperial government, in order that it may adjust internal conditions and rectify foreign relations. Yet, under all these conditions, His Imperial Majesty the Padeshah of the Ottomans is intelligently directing the affairs. The proof and testimony of this assertion is the protection afforded these exiled ones (in Acca) from the rebellious despotism of the enemies. If authority were in the people's hands or in other hands than those of the government, the conspiracies and seditions of inside and outside enemies would have scattered even the ashes of this imprisoned one to the winds. But the forbearance, intelligence, foresight, far-reaching wisdom and discernment of His Imperial Majesty the Padeshah of the Ottomans have so far protected these exiled ones, notwithstanding the attacks of the calumniators and the party of the slanderers. We are of those who pray for these two just kings and are grateful to these two equitable sovereigns.
Praise be unto God! One of the imputations of the enemies is this: That -- we seek refuge in God -- we deny the validity and truth of the Sun of Guidance, the Lamp of the Supreme Concourse, the messenger of the Almighty, His Highness Mohammed Mostafa -- upon Him be greeting and praise! -- and that -- God forbid! -- we have written books in His refutation. Woe unto those who have arisen to spread this great falsehoodPage 403
and calumny! However, all the friends of God who are informed of the mysteries know that this exiled and imprisoned one would readily sacrifice his life at the dust of the Prophet's feet. Furthermore, the Blessed Perfection -- may my life be a sacrifice to His beloved ones -- in the book of Ighan, hath established with invincible proofs and clear arguments the prophethood of His Highness the Messenger -- may my life be a sacrifice to Him! -- and also His Highness the Supreme (The Báb) hath invoked Him (Mohammed) in many supplications. Notwithstanding all these evidences, the unjust ones are crying out and secretly spreading the falsehood that we -- God forbid! -- are His deniers and the unfaithful friends (nakzeen) acknowledge these erroneous imputations. Praise be to God! If we deny the messengers and prophets of God, what have we to say for ourselves? Glory be unto Thee, O my God! Verily this is a great calumny!
To be brief, the aim is this: Through the interference of the ignorant and fanatical leaders the country of Persia is in a state of decadence, although the pure intention of His Imperial Majesty the crowned Shah is for progress. However, ye who are the well-wishers of the government and are sincere, obedient and kind toward it, be ye engaged always in service. Should any one of you enter into the service (or employment) of the government, he must live and act with the utmost truthfulness, righteousness, chastity, uprightness, purity, sanctity, justice and equity. But if -- I seek refuge in God -- any one betray the least of trusts or neglect and be remiss in the performance of duties which are intrusted to him, or by oppression takes one pennyPage 404
of extortion from the subjects, or seeks after his own personal, selfish aims and ends in the attainment of his own interests, he shall undoubtedly remain deprived of the outpourings of His Highness the Almighty! Beware! Beware! lest ye fall short in that which ye are commanded in this Tablet!O thou who art sweet tongued!
Thy poem  is a wonder to the minds and intellects and thy composition an evidence of the gift of the great Lord. Therefore, thy wine is the pure wine, thy heart the recess of light and thy brow radiant with love.
[1 Refers to the following poem composed by a nine-year-old boy of Hamadan, Persia, by the name of Issac. It is a literal rather than a poetic translation:]
If the people of the world were fair in judgement, the sweetness of thy poem should be a sufficient proof.
A young boy of the posterity of Israel whose pure mouth still emits the fragrance of milk, uttering such a marvelous anthem!HE IS THE PURPOSE!
For the King of kings hath come!Be glad, be happy,The shining Sun hath come!
Your time is but a waste. Rejoice in this glad-tidings:`Abdu'l-Bahá the beloved hath come!
Thou who gave life again to my brethren. His bounty hath enveloped me,His love hath thrilled me.
His joy increase, O Baha'!The world has `Abdu'l-Bahá.The sea hath the brilliant pearl.
[1 To the maid-servant Ta-er, of Teheran, Persia.]
Be of no cheerless heart; have no wing nor feather broken; sigh not, neither do thou wail, and sit not chilled in a corner.
The little girl lamented is in the divine Rose-garden in the highest happiness, delight, cheerfulness and gratification. Why then art thou grieved, sorrowing with a bleeding heart? This is the day of rejoicing and the hour of ecstasy! This is the season of the dead arising from the graves and gathering together! And this is the promised time for the attainment of plenteous grace.
Be calm, be strong, be grateful, and become a lamp full of light, that the darkness of sorrows be annihilated, and that the sun of everlasting joy arise from the dawning-place of heart and soul, shining brightly.***Upon thee be the Glory of the Most-Glorious.
A fire from the Kingdom hath been kindled in the heart of the world, in the Blessed Tree, whose flame shall ere long set aglow the pillars of the earth and its rays illumine the horizons of the nations. All the signs hath appeared, all the (prophetic) references hath become clear, all that was revealed in the Books and Scriptures hath become fully manifest, and there is no ground for any one to hesitate in regard thereto.
Some people of former times and some sects avoided certain others as strangers, but now the Glorious Beloved One hath ridden upon His swift coursing steed,Page 406
circling about in the arena of Truth and all that was hidden became manifest.
Let there be no more silence nor reticence, taciturnity nor negligence. The Candle is lighted -- yet the months continue motionless and melancholy behind the veils.
Now is the time to roar like unto a sea and seek to ascend heavenward! If we desire to reach the apex of the Supreme Kingdom, we must unfurl our wings; if we wish to dive into the depths of the ocean, we must teach our limbs swimming. The time is short and the Divine Courser moves swiftly on; let us keep up and compete with each other and let us light a brilliant candle!O ye  brilliant realities!
Blessed are ye, for that ye believed in the Lord of Hosts, advanced unto the Kingdom of God, with faces rejoicing with the glad-tidings of God, that ye were awakened by the breezes of God, revived by the Spirit of God, and attracted by the fragrances of God. May it be salutary to ye, the cup overflowing with the wine of the love of God!
Thank your Lord for making ye signs of guidance and standards of the Supreme Kingdom. Soon shall the earth shake in your name, the angels pray for you, the bells ring in your mentioning, the hearts overflow with your love and tongues speak in your praise; for as much as the doors of the Kingdom are being opened before your faces, and the paradise of eternal life is being prepared and decorated for your entrance; therefore enter ye, while believing, assured, rejoiced, attracted,Page 407
severed from the world and all therein. And be not sorrowful on account of the affliction of `Abdu'l-Bahá, for calamity is a light, whereby his face glistens among the Supreme Concourse; affliction is healing to his breast, joy of his heart, happiness to his soul; nay, rather, the most honored garment upon his temple and best robe upon his body, and the dearest crown upon his head. This is his utmost desire.
Implore unto God and supplicate to Him in your prayers at morn and eve, asking God to destine to `Abdu'l-Bahá the draught of the great martyrdom, so that he may welcome it with great desire, and ascend unto the Kingdom of God with illumined face, with smiling lips, brilliant forehead, eloquent tongue, and great thankfulness among the Supreme Concourse.
O ye  who are attracted! O ye who are remembered!O ye who are directed unto the Kingdom of God!
Verily I supplicate God in heart and spirit to make you signs of guidance, standards of sanctity and fountains of knowledge and understanding, that through you He may guide the seekers unto the Straight Path and lead them unto the Mighty Way in this Great Cycle.
O beloved of God! Know ye that the world is like unto a mirage which the thirsty one thinks to be water; its water is a vapor; its mercy a difficulty; its repose hardship and ordeal; leave it to its people and turn unto the Kingdom of your Lord the Merciful. Thus the lights of mercy and beneficence may shine upon you, the heavenly table descend for you, your Lord may bestow upon you the greatest gifts and favors, wherebyPage 408
your breasts may become dilated, your hearts gladdened, your souls purified, and your eyes enlightened.
O beloved of God! Is there any giver save God? He chooseth for His mercy whomsoever He desireth.
He shall open unto you the doors of His knowledge, fill your hearts with His love, rejoice your spirits by the wafting of His holy fragrances, illumine your faces by the Manifest Light and elevate your names among the people.
Verily your Lord is the most merciful of the merciful! He will aid you through an unseen host, and help you by armies of inspiration from the Supreme Concourse, send you the fragrances of the Supreme Paradise, perfume your nostrils by the breath of purity wafted from the garden of the Supreme Concourse, cause you to enter the Ark of Safety, and reveal to you the Manifest Signs.
Verily this is a great bounty! Verily this is a manifest attainment!O thou who art guided by the Light of Guidance!
Verily, I am informed of thy confession of the Oneness of God and thy being attracted to the fragrances of God. I implore unto God to make thee a sign of guidance; thy face rejoicing among the maid-servants of the Merciful, and thy heart severed from this world, which weakeneth the hearts and spirits.
O thou whose breast is dilated by the Fragrances of God!
Verily thy letter reached me and I prayed God to confirm thee in guiding the people to the Manifestation ofPage 409
Lights; satisfying the thirsty ones with the pure and peaceful water; leading the sick to the Glorious Physician; guiding those who are led astray into the Path, imparting the wine to those who are seeking, and feeding the hungry souls with the food which descendeth form the heaven of thy Lord, the Glorious!O thou who seekest for the Will of God!
Give thanks to God that thou entered the divine Kingdom and knowest the heavenly Lord of Hosts!
The light of truth hath radiated from the Sun of Divinity to the horizons in such a manner that the East and the West are illumined. But, alas! the blind do not see and the deaf do not hear the divine proclamation. The bats do not perceive the light of the sun and the beetles cannot enjoy the fragrances of a rose-garden.
Consider that the horizons of the world were enlightened through the light of the Beauty of His Holiness Christ; yet all the people were asleep, blind and sightless, except a few whose eyes were opened and perceived the lights. Now thou shalt thank God that a beam of the light came to thy sight. I ask God that thine inner sight may be illumined so that thou mayest discover the hidden mysteries of the Kingdom of God. If thou become so , thou wilt be an evident light and a divine angel in the celestial dominion; then it dependeth on the divine confirmation, according to thy perseverance.O thou seeker of the True One!
In the day of Christ all nations were expecting that His Holiness Christ should come from heaven, and He came from heaven, though outwardly He came fromPage 410
the womb of Mary. Hence, He hath said in the Gospels: "No one shall ascend to heaven except the one who hath come from heaven." Now all the people expect Him to come from heaven.
If thou wishest to find the truth, compare the days of the Manifestation of the Beauty of ABHA with the days of Christ; consider this is identically like that and the same doubts and oppositions are put forth (by the people).
As to the proofs and arguments of the Beauty of ABHA, these are manifest like the sun. If thou wishest a discerning eye and seekest for a hearing ear, set thou aside that which thou hast heard from fathers and ancestors, for such things are imitation -- and then seek for the truth with the utmost attention until the divine confirmation may reach thee and the matter may be properly disclosed unto thee.
O thou cup overflowing with the Wine of the Love of God!
Know, verily, that the doors of the Kingdom are being opened to the East and West. Verily the people neglected the Name of their Lord after expectancy of centuries and ages! However, those who consciences were pure, whose hearts were sanctified, urge forward thereto and enter therein through every door with faces shining, hearts and spirits rejoiced. Thank God for this great guidance and mighty gift!O thou whose tongue is uttering the Name of God!
Turn wholly unto the Lord of Hosts, "Glorious Station" the Manifest; be severed from all things, andPage 411
hold to the robe of the Clement Lord, and enter into the extended shade, until thy Lord confirmeth thee by the fragrances of holiness in this promised day, wherein the name of the Kingdom is celebrated and spread in all regions.
O thou who art attracted to the Fragrances of God!
Verily, I read thy words of thanksgiving to God, for He hath guided the beloved of God and His maid-servants to the light of guidance and given them to drink the cup filled with the wine of the most mighty gift. Verily, I beseech the Divine Might to strengthen them by the Holy Spirit in all times and circumstances so that they may be firm in the Cause of God and steadfast in love for Bahá'í a firmness and steadfastness resembling that of immovable mountains and lofty hills.
O maid-servant of God! Deliver my greetings, praise and longings to the beloved of God and His maid-servants in that remote region, and say unto them:
"Hasten, hasten to the fountain of the mercy of God! Hasten, hasten to enter into the Kingdom of God! Hasten, hasten, to the effulgence which is shining like unto the sun from the Supreme Horizons throughout ages and cycles!
"O beloved of God and His maid-servants! Verily the Beauty of El-ABHA hath endured every hardship, calamity and great affliction in love for you, so that ye may be directed by the lights of the Kingdom unto the King of the Realm of Might, and be shining as a brilliant light in the glass of the contingent world. Hasten to avail yourselves of the opportunity to enter the protection of] the inaccessible Cause and lofty Shelter!Page 412
"Truly I say unto you, this is a gift which neither the dominion of the world, nor the riches of treasuries, nor the glory of the distinguished men of the world, can equal in this glorious century and new age; inasmuch as crowns are transient, while this is eternal and never ending."
O my Lord! O my Lord! Strengthen them in whatsoever Thou willest, with that Thou willest, upon what Thou willest!O maid-servant of God!
Verily thy letter indicated thy faith in the Oneness of God. I ask God to make thee firm in His Religion, to confirm thee through the breath of the Holy Spirit, so that thou mayest speak the teachings of God and guide the people unto the Kingdom.
O maid-servant of God! Verily the bounty of God upon thee is great, great! If thou remainest firm in the path of the love of thy Lord, thou shalt behold the doors of success and progress open before thy face from all sides. Verily this is not far from the mercy of thy Lord!O maid-servant of God!
I ask God to open before thy face the doors of wisdom, to give thee a drink of the chalice overflowing with the wine of certainty, and to inspire thee with the mysteries of the Holy Book, so that thou mayest know the significances of vision and the reality of revelation, and all the hidden symbols of prophetic Scripture, such as those of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.Page 413
Thank God for that He taught thee the word of guidance, illuminated thy heart by the light of the Kingdom in this world,, destined to thee eternal life, everlasting salvation, progress and prosperity in the world of spirit.
Hold to the garment of glory, grasp the firm rope and loosen thy tongue in praise of the Beloved El-ABHA. Neglect not praying and communing in the gloomy midnights and morn and eve, and offer glory unto thy Lord, the Supreme.
O thou who art set aglow with the Fire of the Love of God!
Verily, I am in receipt of thy letter, and my breast is dilated by its contents which proved thy great attraction (to God), thy joy of heart and the rejoicing of thy spirit by the Kingdom of God.
Trust in God in all matters and lead the people unto the solid faith, the way of the Kingdom; so that they may be ushered into the canopy of peace and abide in the strong castle of the mercy of thy Lord, the Clement; that they may hoist the standards of the love of God in the highest mountain summits, promulgate the revelation of strength on the Ark of Safety and immerse thyself] in the seas of the mercy of thy Lord, the Clement.
Convey my greetings and praise to thy respected wife and to thy mother, who believed in her God; cheer her heart and comfort her spirit through the Kingdom of God.Page 414
O thou who art turning thy heart unto the Kingdom of God!
Verily, I read thy recent letter and praised God for having blessed thee with two Bábes, as a mercy on His part. He is indeed the Merciful, the Generous!
Give them the names Leah and Rachel, which are the names of the two wives of Jacob, for thy were two sisters, beloved of God. Perchance God hath destined profound wisdom in this.
Then thank God that He hath guided thy honorable wife to the Manifestation of Light, the Revealer of Signs and the Source of Mysteries. Verily, this is the great favor.
Then know verily, that the doors of tests will be opened in that town, but it is incumbent on thee to be steadfast in the love of God and firm in His great Cause. He who remaineth firm, grows; and he who is steadfast will be confirmed by God with great power in this glorious century.
O thou who art baptized by the Spirit of the Love of God!
Be rejoiced with this great bounty and gladdened by this mighty gift!
Verily, thou art from the West and we are from the East, the distance between is great. Nevertheless, it is as if we were from one native land, one city , one house and one household. The love of God gathered us all under the shade of one tent, beneath one banner.
This is from the power of the command of God and His dominion, which encompasseth all contingent beings and affects the hearts of all existing things.Page 415
Verily, the Lord of Hosts calleth thee from the absence of existence (or non-existence) and sayeth:"Come, O My maid-servant, to My Kingdom!
Come, O My attracted one, unto the place of My Glorious Throne."
Therefore turn, with a heart throbbing and tears flowing, unto the Beauty of El-ABHA, so that thou obtaineth the great favor and drinketh from that wine, and tasteth the fruits of the Paradise of El-ABHA.O thou faithful and confident!
Thanks be to God that thou hast obtained that which was sought by all prophets and holy souls; namely, the knowledge of God and the love of God. First, the knowledge; and, second, His unfathomable love. Also the different members of thy family, who followed thee and who obtained that which thou didst obtain.
This is a great gift from God and hath no equal; although in this physical world its greatness is not perceivable, nor its nature clearly known, yet in the spiritual world it shineth like the sun.
So long as the pearl remaineth hidden at the bottom of the sea, its value is not known nor its brilliancy and fineness seen, it is only when in the hands of the expert jeweler that its great beauty becomes revealed.
Thou shouldst be at the utmost height of joy and satisfaction,Page 416
for thou art surrounded by the bounties of the Merciful and hast become the object of the appearance of divine guidance.
In order to give thanks for this great and glorious gift, thou shouldst do all thou canst to guide His creatures, to give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf; life to the dead, and endeavor to turn those who are still attached to material things in the way which leads to spiritual heights; to help them to travel in the way of the Kingdom and to walk in the path that leads to the King of Kings.
Servant and believer in God! Present the greetings of `Abdu'l-Bahá to the faithful maid-servant of God thy wife] and to thy two revered daughters.
O thou my dear friend, my associate and companion!
The times of (our) meeting  are still remembered and the sweetness of thy company is lastingly established in the recess of (my) life.[1 When the recipient was in Acca.]
I pray and implore the threshold of the Lord of the Kingdom always, and see for thee His strength and confirmation, saying:
"O Lord of Hosts! Confirm Thine affectionate . . . in Thy servitude, aid him in the service of Thy Word, open to his face the door of knowledge, reveal to his heart the realities and significances, and grant him the ecstasy of the cup of reality, gladden him through the melody of Thy love, make his night, day, and his day, happy!"
In sooth, O dear one! thy services are evident, thy endurance of ordeals and difficulties well known.Page 417
In the organization of the Mashrak-el-Azcar, thou art indeed well striving. I hope thou wilt attain a great reward, open an eloquent tongue, raise a wonderful melody in every meeting, draw and paint the images and forms of the Kingdom in the material world.
Rest assured in the grace of the Lord and be dilated by His infinite favors.
Convey greetings of reverence to the maid-servant of God thy wife], likewise thy revered daughter. I am ever thoughtful of them and will never forget them.O thou spiritual friend!
Thy services are accepted in the Kingdom of ABHA, mentioned in this merciful Assemblage and the cause of joy and gladness to `Abdu'l-Bahá.
Thank God, thou art a believer and an assured one, firm and steadfast; a truthful servant of the divine Kingdom and an agreeable lover of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh. Thou hast spent thy time in spreading the fragrances of God and thy possession in the promotion of the Word of God.
Rest assured in the great bounty and bestowal, be attracted by the fragrances of the Kingdom of ABHA. Fatigue not thyself on account of any difficulty and give not up because of any ordeal. Be not grieved because of any trial nor hindered by any hindrance.
Night and day confine thy time to the education of the world of humanity. Arise to guide the creatures and spend time in promulgating the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh, so that lives may find glad-tidings, hearts gladness, the souls eternal life and the minds extraordinary advancement.
In respect to the Mashrak-el-Azcar: brevity must now be observed; that is, as much as possible endeavor should be made so that by the assistance of all the friends and the sincerity of your intentions it may become instituted and built in Chicago even though it be not possible to build a most solid, lofty and great (edifice). Whatever is now possible should be erected.
And the question of giving the glad-tidings (i. e., teachings of this religion) should be given moment. The holy souls who are free from the ties of this mortal world and attain the confirmation of the Holy Spirit, although they live on earth, yet, verily, they are heavenly, illuminated, spiritual, divine. Such souls must appear and engage, with simplicity, freedom and purity, in training the public and in guiding all people. If such souls arise, the Holy Spirit will aid them, the hosts of the heavenly angels will render them victorious, the bounties of the Kingdom of ABHA will surround them the ray of the Sun of Truth will shine, the breezes of the Paradise of ABHA will give spirit, the ocean of favors will boil and the good scent of the fragrances of holiness will perfume the nostrils of the inhabitants of the world.
By the bounty and grace of the Educator, I hope thou mayest attain to this providence and bounty!
Convey greeting of reverence of utmost kindness to all thy relations, thy wife] and thy respected daughter, and others, and to all the beloved and the maid-servants of the Merciful.O thou my spiritual companion!
Two letters have reached me from you, and the contentsPage 419
of both I have considered. Communication of the beloved of God from all parts of the world with America, and the correspondence of America with all parts is most agreeable and the cause of attracting the hearts. Endeavor greatly to accomplish this important matter and write to all parts.
The beloved of God must, like the roses of the rose-garden, send fragrant messages from one to another, receive strength from one another, and co-operate together, by the strength of the Kingdom. There is no greater means than communion and communication. "Communication is half a meeting."
Send a copy of this letter to all parts and write to them. Thus may the beloved of God, in every city, send collectively letters to other cities, especially America. This shall be the means of growth and the cause of attraction. The souls will be made happy, the spirits revived, the hearts dilated and the breasts expanded. Convey greetings and longing to all the beloved of God. Honorable Dr . . .
According to what is heard you have received the permission of medication and the certificate of graduation (diploma) from the College of Medicine. Now experience is necessary in order to attain skill and proficiency. The greatest of all these is the confirmation and the strength of His Majesty, the One (God), through the favor of the Blessed Perfection. I am hopeful that will also be thine.
For the physician the first qualifications are: Good intentions, trustworthiness, tenderness, sympathy forPage 420
the sick, truthfulness, integrity, and the fear of the Lord.
With life and heart strive thou to be both a spiritual and physical physician. Thus mayest thou be Ameen and Fareed (Trustworthy and Unique).
Thy honorable father night and day prays, hopes and supplicates that thy life, like his, may be entirely devoted to the service of the Threshold of God, that thou remain the servant of the Holy Cause.O Spiritual . . .!
Thy letter is received; likewise that of Mr. . . Print soon the booklet (Mirza Badi Ullah's Epistle to the Bahá'í world) and spread it broadcast.
The dear maid-servant of God, . . ., is indeed an assured believer; likewise . . ., his honor Mr. . ., and his honor Mr. . . In reality they are revered souls. I hope that they will soon arise for the Mashrak-el-Azcar and thus attain His favor.
All the beloved of God must strive so that this eternal edifice arise. ***
O thou bearer of the Great-tidings of the Kingdom of God!
Thy letter *** was received. It contained the good news of the assemblage of the beloved ones, of the Meeting of Faithfulness which was held, the joy and fragrance obtained, the appearance of the lights of the love of the Beauty of ABHA, and the good news that the breasts of the beloved ones were dilated (with joy). This news caused such joy that our afflictions, sufferings and calamities were wholly forgotten, a new carpet wasPage 421
spread and a great joy attained with the utmost exaltation! For `Abdu'l-Bahá serves with all devotion in order that union and affection may be created among the beloved of God; nay, in the whole of the human world.
My utmost hope and wish is to find that an assemblage hath been arranged which hath become the cause of love and affection in the world of humanity which announceth the glad-tidings of the Kingdom of ABHA, diffuseth the fragrances of the love of God, setteth the pillars of the world in motion through the power of divine guidance, and is quickening the dead through the spirit of divine knowledge!
O dear friend! The darkness of error hath encompassed the world; it is now the time to spread the light of guidance. The world hath wholly become the tomb of the dead; it is now time that it shall be transformed into palaces of the living. The East and the West have become a thorny desert of oppression; it is time they should become a rose-garden of faithfulness.
You have written concerning the Feast  of Remembrance which you arranged after the Persian manner, at which Mr. . . and Mr. . . engaged in serving the beloved ones like unto `Abdu'l-Bahá: This arrangement of festivities and affection, chanting of Tablets, explaining realities and significances, and this inculcating of the teachings and exhortations of `Abdu'l-Bahá causeth everlasting life and maketh the hearers as heavenly angels.
[1 Feast of Remembrance or Meeting of Faithfulness, held every nineteen days.]
Whenever such an entertainment is arranged through spiritual sentiments, shining faces and merciful hearts,Page 422
it is a "Lord's Supper." For the brilliancy of the Kingdom of ABHA will shine and the spirituality of `Abdu'l-Bahá become manifest. This is that "divine table (or food) of which mention is made in the prophecies: "On that day they shall gather together at the divine table"; and "people shall come from the East and West and arrive in His Kingdom."
Convey loving greetings to his honor . . . and say: "O dear one! The heart of `Abdu'l-Bahá greatly rejoiceth at thy reading of the Tablets and Words at the meetings of the merciful ones! I beg of God, that in all assemblages thou mayest cause happiness unto the hearts of the friends and bestow joy and fragrance!"
Announce to his honor . . . my love and longing (for him) and say: "That Power which strengthened the apostles is now in full confirmation. I hope thou wilt receive an abundant portion from that confirmation."
Announce the utmost love from `Abdu'l-Bahá to his honor . . . and say: "O thou friend of my heart! The heavenly food is needed successively; be thou a server of the food and direct thou the people of the world to present themselves at that Table and guide them to partake thereof."
Convey greetings and respect for `Abdu'l-Bahá to the esteemed maid-servant of God, . . ., and say: "Thou art always in our midst and art not forgotten, even for a moment . I beg the Beauty of ABHA for confirmation in thy behalf. It is some time since, by the dust of calamities and occupation of mind, the correspondence hath been delayed; but there is no harm inPage 423
that. For my heart is engaged in prayer and I beg for confirmation in thy behalf."
Convey on my behalf, greetings and respect to the invoking maid-servant of God, . . ., and say: "Thank thou God for thou hast arrived at the Holy City and at the Heavenly Jerusalem and hast found thy way to the Divine City and entered the Kingdom of Abha!"
O thou real friend! O Mr. . .! Seek not a single minute of rest and do not keep still. Travel more and more in cities and villages. Bear the glad-tidings and guide them. Strengthen the beloved (i. e., believers) and open the eye of perception of the strangers (those who do not believe).
As to chanting supplications in the Oriental tune, this is very agreeable. His honor . . . must exert his endeavors in this matter.
In reality the friends of God are always present in my society and are associated with the friend of God in the Sacred Spot; even though they be in the remotest lands of the earth.
O thou real friend! Such entertainments are always necessary, for thy cause the increase of love, unity and harmony in the friends of God. Bring about (such entertainments) by all means.O thou esteemed maid-servant of the Word of God!
Praise be to God! upon thy departure from Acca, thou hast been assisted and rendered successful in serving the Kingdom of God. Accordingly, thou must offer the utmost thanks to the Threshold of Oneness, for this, thy journey, was fruitful and this peregrination becamePage 424
the cause of discovering the mysteries of the Lord of Glory.
Arise thou, in unison with his honor thy husband], to serve with the utmost devotion and consecrate your time, night and day, to promote the Word of God, to diffuse the fragrances of God and to guide all the people of the earth. In the world of existence nothing hath any result, even if it be dominion over the East and West But that which hath an immortal result is servitude in the Holy Threshold, service rendered to the Kingdom of God and guiding all in the earth. I hope, through the divine grace and bounty, thou wilt be assisted and strengthened therein.
O thou who art kindled as a lamp with the Fire of the Love of God!
Be thou a fountain flowing with the waters of the mercy of God, a myrtle perfumed with the fragrances of God and a bird warbling the most wonderful melodies of the knowledge of God in the garden of faith.
Know thou, verily, the Sun of Truth hath shone forth with the lights of peace upon all regions. Strife and conflict will surely be removed from all the nations of the earth. Carnage shall be taken away; fighting, violence and reviling will be changed into universal reconciliation and the hosts of tranquillity will pitch their tents in the midst of the world. Then the awning of the mercy of thy Lord will be hoisted and those souls who are free from the filth of prejudice, contradictions and presumption and are filled with a love that imparts affinity, intimacy, affection, meekness and humbleness will be sheltered under it.Page 425
O thou who art cheerful in heart, by the Fragrances of the Merciful!
Verily, I read the verses of thy thanksgiving unto God, for depositing in thy heart an eternal joy reviving thee by the breath of the Holy Spirit to everlasting life, for having] cast upon thee the light of guidance and awakened thee by the breezes of His great mercy. Therefore, thank God for this. Verily, His bounty to thee is great, great!
Beware not to be sorrowful on account of my confinement; inasmuch as it is the comfort of my heart, the healing of my breast, the dispeller of my sorrow and sadness, the cause of my salvation in servitude to the Bounty of El-ABHA.
If thou desirest to pray for me a beneficial prayer, do not ask for the removal of my imprisonment, but implore God to increase my calamities in the Path of El-ABHA, to make me a sacrifice in His love and give me to drink the cup of martyrdom by his bounty and grace.
I ask God to confirm thee by the breath of His Holy Spirit, the hosts of His angels and armies of His strength, so that thou arisest to serve the vineyard of God and to enlighten the insight of thy revered husband by the light of the knowledge of the Greatest Name. This is not far from the bounty of the Lord.
The maid-servant of Bahá'í the Exalted Leaf , conveys to thee greetings and praise -- likewise the rest of the brilliant leaves .[1 The Sister of `Abdu'l-Bahá.]
Regarding the star which appeareth while thou art turned unto God: This is the spiritual disclosure andPage 426
the divine impression. Also the fire circle which appeareth to thine eyes, is a spiritual transfiguration and signifieth] the Eternal Grace manifesting itself in the human garment; because "cloud" signifies the human form (or body), while the "circle of fire," the divine form, which is manifested in the reality of man.O thou who art attracted by the Love of God!
In the Persian tongue hast thou written a letter; I was happy to read it.
Praise be to God! This is the dawn of the light of unity between the Eastern and Western people. In Persia the English language is being studied widely and in America the Persian tongue is beloved by some dear souls. In both countries the respective languages are being studied. This is in itself a proof that the East and the West (literally, place of sunrise and sunset) shall clasp hands as two families. The standard of unity shall be raised, and the means of love and friendship will be accomplished.
Endeavor to complete the study of the Persian -- thus mayest thou read the Tablets of the Blessed Beauty  and mayest translate them, and without the interpreter's aid thou mayest read all my letters to thee.[1 Bahá'u'lláh.]
Thank thou the kind Father for that the world of creation was adorned with the light of His Manifestation and the heart of the universe found comfort in His mercy, for His infinite mercy whereby He illumined thine heart with the light of guidance and thy sightPage 427
with witnessing His radiance to the extent that thou didst hearken to the call of the Supreme Concourse and didst turn to the horizon of sanctity. Praise be to him and to Him be thanks for this greatest favor and evident attainment!
As to thy vision, it is reality itself (it is what hath occurred). Whatever thou hast seen in the realm of vision is interpreted in the contraries and opposites, for laughter in the world of vision is weeping, and weeping, joy and happiness; death is longevity, and dangers, in certain cases, safety itself. Harm (in this wise) is helpfulness, and friendship, enmity and hatred. Therefore, thou shalt not kill the lamb; nay, rather thou shalt be the cause of the spread of His Name; thou shalt share a portion of His eternal life and attain a share of His infinite mercy. The impressions of the heart (the painful feelings of the heart), which were like the blows of a weapon, are interpreted to mean joy and happiness. I hope that thou mayest attain to all these.
The purport of the study of the Persian tongue is this: That thou mayest memorize a commune in the Persian and at the time of communion and supplication, when present in the meeting of the maid-servants of the Merciful, thou mayest chant it.
The translation of Tablets is acceptable and beloved. If, occasionally, thou writest a concise, terse and useful article, with the utmost sweetness, containing the teachings and exhortations of the Blessed Perfection, verbatim, for the purpose of publishing in the journals of Denmark, it will be most agreeable. I ask God for strength and confirmation for thee.Page 428
[The Following Tablet as received bore no opening line of address.]
I ask God that thou mayest find a perceiving eye, an attentive ear and an eloquent tongue; that thou mayest loosen thy tongue in delivering the Cause of God, promoting the Word of God in that country, educating the children and training them in the training of God, and in early childhood enkindling in their hearts the lights of spiritual morals.
Thou hast written that in thine articles for the papers thou hast cited from the holy Tablets of Tarazat and Tajalliat. It is very agreeable.
Respecting the translating of Miss Barney's book, in which thou hast engaged thyself, it is very agreeable; but thou must communicate concerning this with Miss Barney herself. She will assist thee in its publication and spreading.
I ask God to aid thee by the divine confirmation and engage, night and day, with the commemoration of God.
Upon thee be Bahá El-Abha! ***O ye real friends of `Abdu'l-Bahá!
From the gathering of those illuminated faces and flowers of the rose-garden (of God) in Camp Mineola  utmost joy and fragrance (to me) was the result.
[1 Where a number of the believers spent the summer months.]
I hope that assembly, like sparkling stars, may shed the lights of love and unison upon the human world, and become the cause of the happiness and joy of the inhabitants of the earth; that they may become like unto clear mirrors reflecting (the rays) of the Sun of Truth, and give the glad-tidings of the manifestation of the Lord of the Kingdom.Page 429
I ask the blessings of God that year after year He may add souls to that assembly, and in future it may become doubled an hundred-fold.
How blessed it is that this assembly may become firmly established, and it is sure that the heavenly confirmations will pour down!O ye  beloved friends of `Abdu'l-Bahá!
The detailed letter which you have written was received and it was read with the greatest attention. From the rose-garden of its significances a perfumed fragrance reached the nostrils and from its suggestions and statements traces of sincerity of intention became manifest.
Praise be to God! -- that each one of that assembly is like unto a shining lamp, is ignited by the fire of the love of God, hath closed his eyes to the world and the inhabitants thereof, hath burned away the veils of superstitions and hath acquired the treasury of Truth. I have loosened my tongue to thank God for this gift at the Threshold of Oneness and praised and glorified the Incomparable God for His bounty, because He assisted those souls in the service of the Kingdom, and established such an assembly in New York that it will finally become a cause of the guidance of that continent.
You have written that there is a difference among the believers concerning the "Second Coming of Christ." Praise be to God! -- time and again this question hath arisen and its answer hath emanated in a clear and irrefutable text from the pen of `Abdu'l-Bahá that what is meant in the prophecies by the "Lord of Hosts,"Page 430
the "Promised Christ" is the Blessed Perfection (Bahá'u'lláh) and His Highness the Supreme (The Báb). The faith of everyone must revolve around this palpable and evident text.
My name is `Abdu'l-Bahá, my identity is `Abdu'l-Bahá, my qualification is `Abdu'l-Bahá, my reality is `Abdu'l-Bahá, my praise is `Abdu'l-Bahá, Thraldom to the Blessed Perfection is my glorious refulgent diadem; and servitude to all the human race is my perpetual religion. Through the bounty and favor of the Blessed Perfection, `Abdu'l-Bahá is the Ensign of the Most-Great-Peace, which is waving from the Supreme Apex; and through the gift of the Greatest Name, he is the Lamp of Universal Salvation, which is shining with the light of the love of God. The Herald of the Kingdom is he, so that he may awaken the people of the East and of the West. The Voice of Friendship, Uprightness, Truth and Reconciliation is he, so as to cause acceleration throughout all regions. No name, no title, no mention, no commendation hath he nor will ever have except `Abdu'l-Bahá. This is my longing. This is my supreme apex. This is my greatest yearning. This is my eternal life. This is my everlasting glory! Express ye the same thing which is issued from my pen. This is the duty of all. Consequently the friends of God must assist and help `Abdu'l-Bahá in the adoration of the True One; in the servitude to the human race; in the well-being of the human world and in divine love and kindness.
O ye friends of God! Through the Appearance of the Blessed Perfection the theories are abrogated and the facts established. The time of superficiality isPage 431
gone by and the cycle of reality hath appeared. One must become the incarnation of Servitude, the personification of Love, the embodiment of Spirituality and the mirror of Mercy.
The believers must become the cause of life; deliver the people from heedlessness, call the souls to the perfection of humanity, beckon nations to unity and agreement, destroy the foundations of foreignness, make everyone as friends and associates, treat the negligent souls as their own children, and train and educate them with the utmost love -- so that the ignorant become wise, the blind become endowed with light, and the deaf be given hearing.
O ye friends of God! Beware! Beware of differences! By differences the Temple of God is razed to its very foundation, and by the blowing of the winds of disagreement the Blessed Tree is prevented from producing any fruit. By the intense cold of the diversity of opinions the rose-garden of Unity is withered, and the fire of the love of God is extinguished! O ye friends of God! `Abdu'l-Bahá is the Manifestation of Thraldom and not "Christ." The servant of the human realm is he, and not a "chief." Non-existent is he and not "Existent." Pure nothingness is he and not "Eternal ." There is no outcome or result to these discussions. We must put aside these disputes and controversies, nay, rather must we consign them to utter oblivion andPage 432
arise to do that which is indispensable and which is demanded of us in this Day. Controversies are words and not significances, theories and not realities.
[1 "In the Tablet in which I stated 'I am not Christ and am not Eternal,'the meaning is this, that I am not Christ -- and not the Eternal Lord! But I am `Abdu'l-Bahá. This is its real purport. Undoubtedly those souls who are under the shadow of the Blessed Cause, believing and assured, firm and steadfast, and living in accord with the divine exhortations and advices, all of them are confirmed in the everlasting life." -- `Abdu'l-Bahá.]
The quintessence of Truth is this: We must all become united and harmonized in order to illumine this gloomy world, to abolish the foundations of hostility and animosity from among mankind, to perfume the inhabitants of the universe with the holy fragrances of the nature and disposition of the Beauty of ABHA, to enlighten the people of the East and West with the light of guidance, to hoist the tent of the love of God and suffer each and all to enter under its protection, to bestow comfort and tranquillity to every one under the shade of the Divine Tree, to astonish the enemy by the manifestation of the utmost love, to make the ravenous and bloodthirsty wolves to be gazelles of the meadow of the love of God; to administer the taste of non-resistance to the tyrant, to teach long-suffering and resignation of the martyrs to the murderer, to spread the traces of Oneness, to chant the praises and glorification of the Glorious Lord, to raise the voice of "Ya Bahá El-Abha!" to the Supreme Apex and to reach the ears of the inhabitants of the Kingdom with the outcry -- "Verily the earth is illumined by the lights of its Lord!" This is reality! This is guidance! This is service! This is the consummation of the perfection of the realm of humanity!
O ye believers of God! Each person must summon the people to the Servitude of `Abdu'l-Bahá and not the Christhood; and no soul must either publicly or privately utter one word against or in contradiction to the general Teachings, and no one must believe that `Abdu'l-BaháPage 433
is the "Second Coming of Christ", nay, rather he must believe that he is the Manifestation of Servitude, the Main-spring of the Unity of the human world, the Herald of the True One with spiritual power throughout all regions, the Commentator of the Book according to the divine text, and the Ransom to each one of the believers of God in the transitory world.
Print ye this Tablet and spread it throughout all countries.
O ye  who are turned towards the Kingdom and drawn unto the Holy Fragrances diffused from the Garden of El-Abha![1 To the New York City assembly.]
Arise with every power to assist the Covenant of God and serve in His vineyard. Be confident that a confirmation will be granted unto you and a success on His part given unto you. Verily He shall support you by the angels of His Holiness and reinforce you with the breaths of the spirit that ye may mount the Ark of Safety, set forth the evident signs, impart the spirit of life, declare the essence of His commands and precepts, guide the sheep who are straying from the fold in all directions, use every effort in your power to give the blessings ye have and strive earnestly and wisely in this new century. By God, verily the Lord of Hosts is your support, the angels of heaven your assistance, the Holy Spirit your companion and the Center of the Covenant your helper! Be not idle, but active and fear not. Look unto those who have been in the former ages -- how they have resisted all nations and suffered persecutions and afflictions, and how their starsPage 434
shone and their attacks proved successful, their teachings established, their regions expanded, their hearts gladdened, their ideas cleared and their motives effective. Ye are now in a great station and noble rank and ye shall find yourselves in evident success and prosperity, the like of which the eye of existence hath never seen in former ages.
El-Bahá and salutations be upon every one who is firm in the Covenant, free from dissension, sanctified from deceits and steadfast in the Path!O ye  elect and chosen ones of the Kingdom!
Thank God that the Greatest Name selected and elected that gathering, ushered it into the Kingdom of Eternal Glory, honored and crowned it amid the Supreme Concourse.
He placed upon each head a glorious diadem of guidance and established each one upon the throne of eternal reign. This is not known now but shall become evident and clear hereafter.
The seed when growing, at first doth not attract attention, but later it becometh green and thriveth, adorning the rose-garden and the orchard. Now, likewise, this divine bounty is unknown, it is not yet revealed, but soon will its splendor illumine the horizons and brighten the East and the West.
Send Mr. . . to India for the purpose of teaching. He must have a companion. If this be not possible from among the men, send one of the maid-servants of the Merciful.As to the ordeals of `Abdu'l-Bahá, his trials and
calamities, grieve not on that account, but rather be in perfect happiness and joy, for -- praise be to God! -- he was worthy and deserved these trials in the Path of Bahá'í
Through the news of the progress of the Cause of God, and the unity and agreement of the beloved of God, great joy was realized, and to such an extent that I forgot all sorrow and all ills. ***O ye  sons of the Kingdom!
At a time when conditions were most difficult and oppressive and the reception of letters hard and impracticable, your letter was received. Therefore, its reception denoteth that the honorable assembly is confirmed. I hope from the bounties of His Highness the Incomparable One that under all circumstances and conditions ye may become assisted in the service of the Kingdom of God
Ye have written regarding the erection of the Temple and the purchase of the ground, or the finding of a place to be as a home for the gathering of the believers. At this moment that `Abdu'l-Bahá is immersed in the ocean of calamities, this news caused him joy and happiness, that -- praise be to God! -- the friends and the maid-servants of the Merciful are thinking to serve the Kingdom of God..
O ye sanctified souls! It is the time of firmness and steadfastness and the period of arising in the service of the Word of God, for the Blessed City  is environed from all directions with the tempestuous waves of tests and trials and the sweeping hurricanes of persecutionsPage 436
and hardships are blowing and roaring high. The joy and happiness of the heart of `Abdu'l-Bahá depends upon the stability and constancy of the believers. For they must live and act in accord with the divine advices and exhortations and show forth to each other the power of the perfection of love with infinite accord and unity, so that they may become the embodiment of one existence, the waves of one sea, the myrtles of one rose-garden, the rays of one sun, the stars of one horizon, the fruits of one tree and the birds of one meadow.[1 Acca.]
Likewise, they must treat with and behave toward all the governments, nations, communities, kings and subjects with the utmost sincerity, trustworthiness, straightforwardness, love and kindness. Even they must make hopeful a bloodthirsty enemy, show sympathy with the utmost faithfulness and honor to the perfidious unjust, know the ill-wisher as the well-wisher and torment not the sinner with reproaches. Should they become the targets of a thousand arrows of persecution, they must challenge it with love and friendship and treat every one with purity of purpose and kindness.
O ye friends of God! Show ye an endeavor that all the nations and communities of the world, even the enemies, put their trust, assurance and hope in you; that if a person falls into errors for a hundred-thousand times he may yet turn his face to you, hopeful that you will forgive his sins; for he must not become hopeless, neither grieved nor despondent. This is the conduct and the manner of the people of Bahá'í This is the foundation of the most high pathway! Ye should conform your conduct and manners with the advices of `Abdu'l-Bahá.Page 437
Concerning the erection of the Temple: Now all the believers must become united, so that the Temple may be built soon in one place. For should (the believers) undertake (the erection of the Temple) in many places, it will not become completed anywhere; and as in Chicago they have preceded every other place to plan the erection of the Temple, undoubtedly to co-operate and help them is nobler and a necessity. Then, when it is built in one place, it will become erected in many other places. If , for the present, you prepare or establish a home in New York, though by renting it, to become a center for the gathering of the believers of God, it is very acceptable. God willing, in all the states of America in the future there will be erected Temples with infinite architectural beauty, art, with pleasing proportion and handsome and attractive appearances; especially in New York. But for the present, be ye satisfied with a rented place.
The utmost happiness was produced by hearing the news of unity and agreement among the believers in New York; for the foundation of progress is union and when this object is attained, the Cause will develop.
Deliver on my behalf longing greeting to his honor Mr. . ..
When the friends and the maid-servants of the Merciful gather together on Sundays, in the spiritual assemblies, exercise ye toward them on behalf of this imprisoned one, the utmost affection, love and kindness.
Convey on behalf of this longing one the glad-tidings of the attainment to confirmation to his honor Mr. . .; that ere long he shall in such wise be assistedPage 438
by the confirmations of the Kingdom of ABHA that he, himself, will become astonished.
O ye members of the spiritual assembly! Become ye firm and steadfast in the Covenant and Testament to such a degree that your meeting become the expression of one soul and endeavor ye with your hearts and minds so that ye may become the cause of the illumination of this darkened world and that through your efforts the lights of the Kingdom dawn upon this nether sphere.
Whatever hath and will transpire in this land is through the conspiracy of the brothers who are not resting, neither day nor night, and are thirsting for the blood of `Abdu'l-Bahá. The government is not responsible at all. These difficulties are brought about through the evil slanders and machinations of the nakazeen .
[1 Nakazeen -- violators, i. e., those who reject after having professed allegiance. Here it refers particularly to those scattered few who profess to believe in Bahá'u'lláh but who refuse to follow His command to turn to `Abdu'l-Bahá, the Centre of the Covenant, as appointed by Bahá'u'lláh.]
O thou  whose heart is attracted and whose breast is dilated with joy by the Holy Fragrances![1 To the Washington (D. C.) assembly.]
Give the glad-tidings to the assemblies of the beloved who are firm in the Covenant and say:
"Verily the Lord hath manifested Himself in this new and wonderful age with the greatest bounty and mercy, which have never been preceded and whereof the eye of existence hath never seen the like; and it is His Great Covenant and New Testament, as appointed by the trace of His Supreme Pen, through which, and according to clear ordinances and explicit statements, thePage 439
matter was plainly shown and the branches (sons), twigs (relations), kinsmen and beloved were commanded to obey the "appointed Center of the Covenant." But the Covenant of God and His Testament is a bounty to the righteous and a curse to the wicked.
"On hearing this Command some faces have rejoiced by this Glowing Lamp, and others become gloomy and in their hearts the fire of jealousy and rebellion hath been kindled. They disobeyed the Command of their Lord the Merciful, endeavored to spread lies and arose to divulge seditious rumors contrary to that which was descended from God. They imagine that they are able to resist this Power, which penetrates into the heart of the contingent world, or to cover the Truth through their false tongues and complicated opinions, and to withhold this Sea from surging, the holy fragrances from being spread, and the breaths of the Spirit of the Ancient from reaching the beloved! No, by no means! Verily, the Word of God penetrates into the core of all things and cannot be resisted either by the hosts of the world or by the armies of the enemies! In the past ages there is a warning to every intelligent one! Ye shall see their banners reversed, their sign abolished, their happiness destroyed in those regions in a similar way to the disappointment of their hopes in the East.
"But, as the people of the West are still children in the Cause  and have not perfect knowledge of its reality and validity, the nakazeen thought it to be an easy prey and availed themselves of this opportunity for laying doubts and suspicions, speaking false words, divulging seditious calumnies among the people. YePage 440
shall see all this as scattered dust, and all these thick, dark clouds which were gathered in those far regions, will disappear and the Sun of Certainty and Reality shall shine with the Most Dazzling Light; the darkness will vanish, the firm believers will be in great joy, and the nakazeen shall be in evident loss."[1 Revealed in 1900.]
O ye  servants of God and maid-servants of the Merciful![1 To the Washington (D. C.) assembly.]
The letter, which was in reality the congratulation for the entrance of the day of the anniversary of His Highness the Promised One, was received. The names of the friends of God were read one after another and caused great joy.
I hope that upon the coming of each auspicious day the friends of God may become doubled, that is, may become twofold; that the gentle fragrances of the love of God may be spread so universally that large cohorts enter under the shadow of the Word of God in a short space of time, and arise to serve, according to the heavenly instructions, in order that strife and warfare may vanish wholly from the human world, and the beauty of love, friendship and harmony may appear with such an appearance that all the intellects may become astonished, all the souls entranced and all the hearts attracted.
O ye friends! O ye maid-servants of the Merciful! Should ye realize in what a state this Tablet is written, assuredly ye will soar heavenward with joy and exultations and begin to cry out: "Glad-tidings! Glad-tidings!"Page 441
Today the whole world is heedless and ye are aware; all are in sleep and ye are wide awake; all are deprived and ye are the custodians of the mysteries of the Kingdom! Therefore, to render thanks for these bounties, open ye the tongue of praise and glorification and engage yourselves in the divine commemoration, in order that the confirmation may be added and the assistance may become renewed!
O ye  beloved! O ye maid-servants of the Merciful!
[1 To the "Working Committee" of the Washington (D. C.) assembly. As no Board of Counsel had been organized, a number of the believers, both men and women, volunteered for service as a "Working Committee."]
What a wonderful meeting ye have arranged and longed for the beauty of service and have arisen to spread the fragrances of God! Truly I declare, ye are confirmed by the cohorts of the Supreme Concourse and are reinforced and empowered by the Exalted Realm!
When the confirmation of the Holy Spirit descendeth, ye are not a drop, but a roaring sea! Ye are the stars of the horizon of guidance! If this committee become firm, it will grow and develop; if it remain steadfast, it will become a gift of the Almighty to the human world; if it last, it will display marvelous signs for the well-being of the children of man!
The hosts of the Kingdom of ABHA are drawn and filed up in battle-array on the plain of the Supreme Apex and are expecting that a band of volunteers step upon the field of action with the intention of service; so that they may assist that band and make it victorious and triumphant.Page 442
O Thou Almighty God! Confirm Thou these friends and the maid-servants of the Merciful! Grant Thou to them assistance. Open Thou before their faces the closed doors and make them intimate with the fragrances of holiness, so that they may become the confident friends of each other; raise the melody and the song of joy and sing the harmony of heaven, in order that they may exhilarate and gladden the regions of the West and impart attraction and ecstasy!
Make Thou them the magnets of love so that they may attract the hearts to the Kingdom of Abha!
Verily, Thou art the Powerful and the Mighty; and Thou are the Giver, the Seer and the Hearer! There is no God but Thee, the Generous, the Merciful!
O ye  whom God hath chosen from among those who are called! -- know that "many are called but few are chosen"! -- upon whom He caused the evident Light to descend; whom He guided into the right Path, and to whom He gave the Glad-tidings of the Great Success![1 To the Baltimore (Md.) assembly.]
Ye must be sincere and faithful, ye must follow the ordinances which refer to the Covenant of God, who is the solid edifice.
O ye beloved of God, know that steadfastness and firmness in this new and wonderful Covenant is indeed the spirit that quickeneth the hearts which are overflowing with the love of the Glorious Lord; verily, it is the power which penetrates into the hearts of the people of the world! Your Lord hath assuredly promised His servants who are firm and steadfast to render themPage 443
victorious at all times, to exalt their word, propagate their power, diffuse their lights, strengthen their hearts, elevate their banners, assist their hosts, brighten their stars, increase the abundance of the showers of mercy upon them, and enable the brave lions (or teachers) to conquer.
Hasten, hasten, O ye firm believers! Hasten, hasten,
O ye steadfast! Abandon the heedless, set aside every ignorant, take hold of the strong rope, be firm in this Great Cause, draw light from this Evident Light, be patient and be steadfast in this wise Religion! Ye shall see the hosts of inspiration descending successively from the Supreme World, the procession of attraction falling incessantly from the heights of heaven, the abundance of the Kingdom of ABHA outpouring continually and the teachings of God penetrating with the utmost power, while the heedless are indeed in evident loss.
O ye  esteemed maid-servants of God, and ye revered beloved ones (or men believers) of the Merciful![1 To the Baltimore assembly.]
Your letter was received and its contents noted. The maid-servant of God, she who hath ascended to heaven, i. e., Mrs. . ., hastened from this mortal world to the divine world and soared from this temporal realm to the expanse of the Kingdom. She abandoned the earthly cage and flew toward the bower of the upper world; so that, like unto a nightingale of significances, she may, in that divine rose-garden, engage in praising, glorifying and sanctifying the True One, with the most marvelous melody.Page 444
Consequently, do ye not sigh in grief because of her decease, and be not dejected on account of her ascension.
To the people of adoration, death is an ark of deliverance, and to pure souls, flight from this world of dust is the means of attaining the Kingdom of Spheres. By "Spheres" is not meant this infinite space, nay, is meant the divine world, and the invisible realm.
To be brief: I hope her noble son may seek the Path wherein his mother walked, and may become better and more illustrious; nay, rather, the lights of his love may also take effect in his grand parents.
As to ye who are friends of that bird of the meadow of guidance, ye must, after her, have such unison, love, association and unity that it may make things better and more favorable than they were during her days.
Praise be to God the divine bounty favors all of you, the doors of gifts are open before the faces of you all, and the radiance of the Sun of Truth is shining upon you all. Capacity, worth (or merit) and ability, are necessary, for the clearer and purer the mirror is, the lights of the Sun are more manifest thereon.
We are always gazing towards those parts in order to find from what corner (or place) the voice will be raised! We hope Baltimore will become an assemblage of light and that city may become a mirror of the love of God!O ye  my dear friends!
Your letter was received and its contents were wonderful and beautiful for it evinced the spreading of thePage 445
light of Guidance. Praise be to God! the lights of the Morn of Eternity have cast their rays upon that city,and in the future it will become enlightened, and luminous stars will dawn, gleam and sparkle from its horizon.
Today the Sun of the Most Great Guidance hath appeared with the greatest splendor from the horizon of the world, and the rays of the Sun of Truth shine with utmost light and power therefrom. Therefore, the world hath become another world and the bounties, other bounties!
A little earnestness and endeavor is incumbent upon you, so that the pages of the soul may be cleansed and purified from the rust of attachment to this ephemeral world. At that time you will consider how dazzling and brilliant is the effulgence of the Kingdom.
The maid-servant of God, Mrs. . ., and the maid-servant of God, Mrs. . . -- praise be to God! -- have made their homes the nest and shelter of the heavenly birds, and have arranged meetings. I hope that these two meeting places will become more illumined day by day, adding to the knowledge, faith and assurance of the audience, and increasing their resolution and steadfastness.
In fact, those two gathering places are my homes, and the nest and shelter of the birds of the field of God. Convey my loving greetings to each and every believer!
Likewise present my respectful greetings to the dear maid-servants of God in Baltimore and Washington.Page 446
O thou who art advancing toward the Kingdom of Abha!
Be thankful that thou art inebriated with the cup of the love of God, hast partaken of the graces of the Supreme Concourse and art quickened with the fragrances of holiness.
Night and day lament and implore, with the utmost supplication and humility, before the Threshold of the Presence of the One God, that thou mayest be strengthened to guide people with all steadfastness on this path and take a plenteous share from this Most Great Sea.
The hosts of the Kingdom will assist (thee) and the heavenly armies will protect and defend thee. Wherefore seek bounties as much as thou canst.O thou who art supplicating unto God!
Verily I mention thee always and shall never forget thee forever and ever. I beseech God to make thee a sign of guidance among the people and a lamp of dazzling light in that extensive and large city, so that pure and good souls may be illuminated by the light of the knowledge of God and thus serve the merciful Threshold by showing earnest desire for love, peace, affinity and harmony with the people of all religions. Verily the Spirit through which the temple of the contingent world shall be quickened in this time is indeed the founder of peace, the spirit of affinity and the light of love. This is that whereby this being of existence shall evolve and develop and the world of humanity be adorned with the raiment of glory and honor. Therefore it is incumbent upon thee to enkindle thyself withPage 447
the fire of the love of God in order that thy words may have an effect in hearts which are as of hard stone.
O thou young, incomparable tree of the Rose-garden of the Love of God!
Thank thou God that thou art planted beside this heavenly stream, hast been favored with the inexhaustible outpouring, hast been trained and developed by the rain of the cloud of the Kingdom of God and hast brought forth fruit under the care of the Divine Gardener. Now it is the time to cast the shade and produce delicious fruits and impart sweetness to the palate of the spiritual ones. Exert thyself] with heart and soul. Do not rest one moment, neither do thou seek after composure. Give thou to others the glad-tidings of the Kingdom and announce to them the manifestation of the signs of the Realm of Might! This is from the bounty of God. He bestoweth to whomsoever He willeth. Verily God is the Possessor of great gifts!~O thou who hast approached toward God!
Verily I have received thy letter and my heart was dilated by the content of thy expression, for it indicated the illumination of thy heart, the spirituality of thy soul, thy detachment from all the grades of this nether world and thy yearning after the effulgences of the Realm of Light.
By the glory of my Lord, I declare: "Verily the splendors of divinity are continually descending upon the pure, enlightened souls and the outpouring of thePage 448
Kingdom falls tumultuously, like unto torrents, upon the favored realities from the rains of the providence of thy Lord, the Merciful, the Clement!
"Cast behind every single thought and idea and attach thyself to the commemoration of thy Master, the Ancient. Be thou soaring in the Kingdom of God, the Mighty, the Beneficent. Live thou in Paris until the fragrance of the love of God may emanate from thee in the college wherein thou art studying sciences and unfurl thou the standard of universal peace, reconciliation, agreement and security among all men. Rejoice thou by the bounty of thy Lord which hath encompassed the whole existence and sing and warble with the most wonderful melody in the rose-garden of knowledge. Verily thy Lord, the Beneficent, will confirm thee in every moment and second and will empower thee with such a power that the columns of warfare and bloodshed shall shake and the foundation of peace and harmony shall arise."O thou who art firm in the Covenant of God!
Mayest thou enjoy this cup which is overflowing with the pure wine of the love of God! Glad-tidings unto thee for that by reason of which thou hast become an acceptable servant before God!
Verily I have read thy brilliant letter and praised God for He hath made the cup of thy heart filled with the pure wine of His love and hath chosen thee to enter the Kingdom of His Guidance.
Now as to what thou askest concerning giving up the scientific attainment in Paris for the sake of confining thy days to the delivery of this Truth, it is indeedPage 449
acceptable and beloved, but if thou acquire both it would be better and more perfect, because in this new century the attainment of science, arts and belles lettres, whether divine or worldly, material or spiritual, is a matter which is acceptable before God and a duty which is incumbent upon us to accomplish. Therefore, never deny the spiritual things to the material, rather both are incumbent upon thee. Nevertheless, at the time when thou art working for such a scientific attainment, thou must be controlled by the attraction of the love of thy Glorious Lord and mindful of mentioning His Splendid Name. This being the case, thou must attain the art thou art studying to its perfection.
I implore God to assist thee in all cases and aspects and perfume thy nostrils with the holy fragrance during all times. Be tranquil through my love unto thee and rejoice at my compassion upon thee.
As to the tribute thou hast sent: We have accepted it as a treasure because it was presented by thee with all love and great sincerity and we shall use it in building the Holy Tomb , that thy name may become immortal forever and ever.[1 The Tomb of The Báb on Mt. Carmel.]
O thou who art directed toward the Light of Guidance!
In this moment the heart of `Abdu'l-Bahá is rejoiced at thy remembrance and he is writing an answer to thy letter so that thou mayest be so moved by the breezes of the love of God that thou mayest become the envy of the cypress of the rose-garden and cause joy, yearning, longing and ecstasy to the friends.
In this great dispensation, art ( or a profession) isPage 450
identical with an act of worship and this is a clear text of the Blessed Perfection. Therefore, extreme effort should be made in art and this will not prevent the teaching of the people in that region. Nay, rather, each should assist the other in art and guidance. For instance, when the studying of art is with the intention of obeying the command (of God) this study will certainly be done easily and great progress will soon be made therein; and when others discover this fragrance of spirituality in the action itself, this same will cause their awakening. Likewise, managing art with propriety will become the means of sociability and affinity; and sociability and affinity themselves tend to guide others (to the Truth).
Satisfy thy revered father and seek his pleasure, so that he may consider that thou observest his obedience more than ever. Practice the utmost love and affection.
I supplicate and beseech the Threshold of Oneness that thou mayest be confirmed and assisted.
O thou who art rejoiced by the Divine Glad-tidings!
Verily I have received thy last letter and thanked God that thou didst reach Paris protected and guarded (by Him). Thank thou God that He assisted thee to behold the brilliant faces of the believers of God and favored thee to meet them in American countries. For, verily, beholding those shining countenances is a divine gift; by it the hearts are dilated, the souls are rejoiced and the spirits are attracted toward the Supreme Concourse.
Do not lament over the departure of my dearly belovedPage 451
Breakwell, for verily he hath ascended to the luminous rose-garden in the Abhá Kingdom, near the mercy of his Lord, the Almighty, and is crying out with the loudest voice: "O that my people knew how my Lord hath forgiven me and made me one of those who have attained (to the meeting of God)!"
O Breakwell, my beloved! Where is thy beautiful countenance and where is thy eloquent tongue? Where is thy radiant brow and where is thy brilliant face?
O Breakwell, by beloved! Where is thy enkindlement with the fire of the love of God and where is thy attraction to the fragrances of God? Where is thy utterance for the glorification of God and where is thy rising in the service of God?
O my dear, O Breakwell! Where are thy bright eyes and where are thy smiling lips? Where are thy gentle cheeks and where is thy graceful stature?
O my dear, O Breakwell! Verily thou hast abandoned this transitory world and soared upward to the Kingdom, hast attained to the grace of the Invisible Realm and sacrificed thyself to the Threshold of the Lord of Might!
O my adored one, O Breakwell! Verily thou hast left behind this physical lamp, this human glass, these earthly elements and this worldly enjoyment!
O my adored one, O Breakwell! then thou hast ignited a light in the glass of the Supreme Concourse, hast entered the Paradise of ABHA, art protected under the Shade of the Blessed Tree and hast attained to the Meeting (of the True One) in the Abode of Paradise!Page 452
O my dearly beloved, O Breakwell! Thou hast been a divine bird and, forsaking thy earthly nest, thou hast soared toward the holy rose-garden of the Divine Kingdom and obtained a luminous station there!
O my dearly beloved, O Breakwell! Verily thou art like unto the birds, chanting the verses of thy Lord, the Forgiving, for thou wert a thankful servant; therefore thou hast entered (into the realm beyond) with joy and happiness!
O my beloved, O Breakwell! Verily thy Lord hath chosen thee for His love, guided thee to the Court of His Holiness, caused thee to enter into the Rizwan  of His Association and granted thee to behold His Beauty![1 Rizwan, i. e., Paradise.]
O my beloved, O Breakwell! Verily thou hast attained to the eternal life, never-ending bounty, beatific bliss and immeasurable providence!
O my beloved, O Breakwell! Thou hast become a star in the most exalted horizon, a lamp among the angels of heaven, a living spirit in the Supreme World and art established upon the throne of immortality!
O my adored one, O Breakwell! I supplicate God to increase thy nearness and communication, to make thee enjoy thy prosperity and union (with Him), to add to thy light and beauty and to bestow upon thee glory and majesty.
O my adored one, O Breakwell! I mention thy name continually, I never forget thee, I pray for thee day and night and I see thee clearly and manifestly,O my adored one, O Breakwell!
*** Concerning thy question whether all the souls enjoy eternal life: Know thou those souls partake of the Eternal Life in whom the Spirit of Life is breathed from the Presence of God and all beside them are dead -- without Life, as Christ hath explained in the texts of the Gospel. Any person whose insight is opened by God seeth the souls in their stations after the disintegration of the bodies. Verily thy are living and are subsisting before their Lord and he seeth also the dead souls submerged in the gulfs of mortality. Then know thou verily all the souls are created according to the nature of God and all are in the state of (unconscious) purity at the time of the births. But afterward they differ from one another insofar as they acquire excellencies or defects. Nevertheless, the creatures have different degrees in existence insofar as the creation goes, for capacities are different, but all of them are good and pure (in their essence), then afterward they are polluted and defiled. Although there are different states of creation, yet all of them are beneficial. glance thou over the temple of man, its members and its parts. Among them there are the eye, ear, nose, mouth, hands and fingers. Notwithstanding the differences between these organs, all of them are useful in their proper spheres. But if one of them is out of order, there is need of a remedy and if the medicine does not heal, then the amputation of that member becomes necessary.
Verily I beseech God to make thee confirmed under all circumstances. Do not become despondent, neither be thou sad. Ere long thy Lord shall make thee a sign of guidance among mankind.Page 454
I received thy last letter through his honor . . . and its contents imparted to me spiritual joy, for it indicated the high and good friendship between thee and the respectful maid-servant of God, . . . I supplicate God to increase at every moment and second your faith, assurance, steadfastness and your knowledge, and likewise to create spiritual friendship and celestial love among the friends, in order that they may become a unit host and enlisted soldiers (of the Kingdom of God) with accomplishment, skillfulness, solidarity, fellowship and unison.
Verily, by this their breasts will become dilated, their names exalted, their faces illumined, their host confirmed and their progress, illumination, insight, knowledge, spirituality, fragrance, attraction, enkindlement, sanctity and purity promulgated.
Convey my greeting to . . . and say to her: "Verily the teachings which flowed from the lips of His Highness Christ were spiritual, celestial, heavenly and the cause of the eternal life; therefore it is explained as heavenly food and the divine table. But the philosophers who were the greatest sages of the world at that time could not realize the power of the teachings of Christ and these very philosophers were veiled from the Spirit of Christ and did not acknowledge His instructions, for their imaginations did not correspond with the apprehensions of their intellects. O what remorse is their lot by losing this Great Cause! Consequently, the teachings of Bahá'í shall assuredly breathe the spirit of peace, the love of God and divine compassion in the hearts of men. These universalPage 455
results will become clear to those who cling to them (teachings) after experience. As to thee, consider profoundly these teachings in order that thou mayest apprehend their realities."
O my dear Mr. . .! I beseech God to grant thee the power of knowledge and understanding so that thou mayest fathom the mysteries of the teachings descended from the presence of the Glorious Lord.O thou spiritual son!
Verily I have received thy letter *** and its contents were known. I supplicate God to open to thee a way and prepare for thee and guide thee in thy affair.
But, concerning thy marriage with the maid-servant of God, . . ., do not be in a hurry. Deliberation and patience are necessary until her mother giveth her consent and thy father and mother also acquiesce. This is the divine commandment! Take thou hold of it with a true firmness. Verily this is better for thee under all circumstances! Verily thy Lord is gracious to His servants and He facilitates ere long every straight cause. But thou must submit to and rely upon God under all conditions and He will bestow upon thee that which is conducive to thy well-being. Verily He is merciful and compassionate! For how many an affair was involved in difficulty and then was straightened, and how many a problem was solved by the permission of God.
Be thou not grieved, neither be thou sad. Finish thy studies in sciences and then turn thy face unto God, asking from Him help and protection under all conditions.Page 456
What thou hast written was perused. I beg of God that thou wilt become assisted and confirmed under all circumstances to find the ease of spirit and the happiness of consciousness, to enter under the shadow of the Tree of Life and to perfume thy nostrils from the fragrances of the holy rose-garden and to illumine thy heart with the lights of the mercy of guidance. Through the grace of His Highness, the Almighty, all the affairs become easy and feasible.
O thou who art attracted to the Fire of the Love of God!
I am cognizant of all thou hast written in thy letters. To attain the pleasure of God is the most important thing. Thank God thou art content with the will of God and art attached in heart to His divine wishes; and as thou art thus, all thy desires will be granted thee.
Relative to your going to America, thou must observe the wishes of thy parents and in the meantime endeavor to diffuse the breaths of God and satisfy those who are thirsting for the fountain of the knowledge of God by giving them the heavenly water and merciful rain.
Give my greetings to . . . and say to her: "If thou desirest to soften the hearts and bring thy friends under the shadow of the Tree of Life, show forth firmness and integrity; day by day increase thy sincerity and severance until by the power of the Truth thou wilt soften and subdue the hearts and awaken the souls of the heedless."Page 457
Also give my spiritual greetings to Mr. and Mrs. . . and say to them: "May your little daughter be a blessing to you."
O my dear . . ., endure and be patient, and by patience thou wilt attain thy desire.O thou sincere servant of God!
Be not sad nor sorrowful over what hath occurred. What hath transpired is for the best and in it is a sacred wisdom concealed which ere long will become manifest.
Turn thou to the Kingdom of ABHA and supplicate to the Highest Concourse. The aid and mercy of God encompasseth all and His divine bounty is all-sufficient. Verily something will soon occur for that kind friend (i. e., thyself) which will bring all happiness, joy, pleasure and contentment in the Kingdom of God.
Regarding those whose names thou hast written, I ask aid and assistance for them from God, especially . . . I beseech at the Threshold of the Oneness of God to shower upon him blessings and open upon him the door of guidance, bestowing upon his heart the heavenly light.O thou who art firm in the Covenant!
Thank thou God for that thou art assisted to establish a spiritual meeting in that city. That assembly is the rose-garden of the Cause of God and that meeting is the gathering-place of the beloved of God. If it endureth, it is the first assembly of the world and is the greatest assembly of mankind. Exert thyself with all heart and soul so that it may continue and be stable and constant until blessed results may ensue therefrom,Page 458
for without firmness and steadfastness no matter shall prove effective in existence. Some of the friends organized meetings for teaching in the neighborhood of that region, but owing to lack of steadfastness those meetings scattered with great rapidity. I hope that thy spiritual meeting may become continual and cause the spread of the lights.O thou my dear friend!
I am now viewing the flowers in the little garden and remembering thy rose-like face. This material rose, although it is beautiful and fragrant, yet it cannot be compared with the beauty of the friends. Great is the difference between this fragrance and that of the friends, between the scent of this rose and the fragrance of the love of God. that face of thine which attracts the hearts is far more beautiful and better than this rose, for with that beauty is accompanied illumination.
Thy gift is much appreciated and very acceptable. I was made very, very happy and I prayed for thee that thou mayest appreciate the contents and significance of it.
Indeed thou hast served in Washington with no will save the will of God in view and thou hast made me happy and attained my pleasure.
Hold the spiritual meeting at the stated times and be thou its candle, giving (the friends) such happiness and joy through the glad-tidings of God as will make them joyful and full of ecstasy. Give them all my loving greetings. Surely manifest the utmost love and goodness to the Baltimore friends and organize for them a spiritual gathering.Page 459
Great joy was obtained on learning of the harmony and love of the friends. Communication with the friends of various parts is one of the greatest means for spreading the fragrances.
The place adjoining Washington, where, during the summer season, the maid-servant of God, Mrs. . ., shall go, if it will not cause any disturbance and doth not become a means of talk among the enemies, the gathering of some of the friends there will be favorable. We must be considerate lest it may cause "sensation" among the people, for some people are weak and should be treated very quietly. However, the gathering of some of the friends there will be a cause of enkindling the fire of the love of God and the organization of a Bahá'í meeting will be harmless.
Every week two or three of the Washington friends should go to Baltimore and endeavor to help and encourage the friends there.
As to the seven qualifications (of the divinely enlightened soul) of which thou hast asked an explanation, it is as follows:
1. KNOWLEDGE. Man must attain the knowledge of God.2. FAITH.
4. TRUTHFULNESS. Truthfulness is the foundation of all the virtues of the world of humanity. Without truthfulness, progress and success in all of the worlds of God are impossible for a soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also become realized.Page 460
5. UPRIGHTNESS. And this is one of the greatest divine attainments.
6. FIDELITY. This is also a beautiful trait of the heavenly man.
7. EVANESCENCE or HUMILITY. That is to say, man must become evanescent in God. Must forget his own selfish conditions that he may thus arise to the station of sacrifice. It should be to such a degree that if he sleep, it should not be for pleasure, but to rest the body in order to do better, to speak better, to explain more beautifully, to serve the servants of God and to prove the truths. When he remains awake, he should seek to be attentive, serve the Cause of God and sacrifice his own stations for those of God. When he attains to this station, the confirmations of the Holy Spirit will surely reach him, and man with this power can withstand all who inhabit the earth.
In regard to children, thou hast written that it is decided to train them in the teachings of God from childhood. This thought is very acceptable.
Give greeting and praise to all of the friends of God and to His maid-servants.O thou who art firm in the Covenant!
Thy letter, sent through the maid-servant, . . ., hath been received. Thou hast written concerning the changing of names. A name hath no importance, for a name must needs have a bearer ( i. e., deserving a high name). That is to say, consider (people's) morals and character, then consider the person himself and be attentive (to detect) one's manners and conduct and consider his faith and assurance. If a person is illuminedPage 461
with the light of the love of God, he is (like unto) the morning star, even though his name be dark; and if he is a captive in the darkness of error, he is gloomy even though his name be that of a shining star. Consequently, be thou intent thou that thou makest thy face illumined with the light of the love of God, through the divine assistance and favor. This attribute will make thee independent of every name!
Convey my loving greetings to all of the friends of God.O thou seeker of the Kingdom!
Thy letter *** was received. Its contents became evident. Thou hast written concerning Baltimore -- this caused me great joy.
The revered maid-servant of God, Miss . . ., hath undergone great troubles. Praise be to God! that she hath arisen (and is confirmed) to serve (the Kingdom of God).
I hope that Mr. and Mrs. . . will become the cause of spreading (the teachings) and organizing gathering-places.
The news of Camp Mineola brought me utmost joy and fragrance. I pray to God that the power of the Word of God may become more evident and manifest day by day in those regions.
Convey my respectful greeting to the maid-servant of God, Mrs. . ., likewise to Miss . . . I supplicatePage 462
in their behalf that God may bestow upon them heavenly illumination.
In another letter *** thou hast expressed sorrow and grief concerning the events in the Holy Land. On the contrary, (these events) must cause joy, happiness and exultation, for this is the day of trial and the occasion for the manifestation of the secrets of the soul and heart. Have the utmost joy about the incidents in the Holy Land and do not consider from any other viewpoint; for the deluge of affliction is surrounding always the Holy Land and the sincere servant of the True One is like unto the enkindled lamp around about which the adverse winds blow. Therefore, you must engage in your own occupation, be familiar in spreading the fragrances of God and characterized in promulgating the Word of God. For instance, if you receive news that the Holy Land is entirely changed, you must not become relaxed at all; nay rather you must become firmer, more steadfast and more attracted and more engaged in the service of the Kingdom.
What thou hast written was read and its contents became known. In reality blessed days are coming. This is the time for the service of the Kingdom and the period of spreading the divine Call. I hope that thou and all of the friends will occupy their time in the service of the Kingdom at this moment when `Abdu'l-Bahá is involved in the greatest danger, so that this heart may become gladdened and that you may become strengthened by the Word of God, causing also the strength of others.
[1 Following Tablet as received bore no opening line of address.]Page 463
Concerning thy presence in the Land of Desire, for the present postpone (this matter) for some later time until the arrival of summer and the passing of frosty winter. At that time it will be acted upon according to the circumstances.
The petition concerning unity and harmony, signed by the majority of the believers of God, was received. We have written a detailed answer for it and it will be forwarded. This letter, which was signed by the majority of the friends, brought me great, great joy.
The book that thou hast written thou wilt send and, after its translation, it will be read.
Each letter that thou receivest from me, where in the ending there is the command for its spreading, thou oughtest to publish that letter and circulate it.
Endeavor so far as thou art able to create unity, harmony and loving-kindness among the believers of God.
Thy last letter was received and its contents brought joy. Thank thou God, for thou art engaged in serving the Word of God and spending thy time with the friends of God. If thou somewhat regard thy father and mother, too, so, that they may be somewhat pleased, this will be the cause of pleasing me. Father and mother are worthy of esteem and it is necessary (to secure their good pleasure); but this on condition that they may not prevent one from nearness to the Threshold of the Almighty and may not withhold one from walking in the path of the Kingdom. Nay, rather they (parents) should encourage and inspire one (to walk in God's path).
[1 Following Tablet as received bore no opening line of address.]Page 464
As to living (or conduct) in accord with the Book of Akdas: We have spoken of this to his honor Mr. . ., for there is freedom in those lands and there are no obstacles.
Likewise, the Ishrakat, Tarazat, and Tajalliat  must be translated and published (and spread) among the friends.
[1 Names of some important Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, published in 1906.]
But, whatever writings and articles which the believers may write for the spread of the Cause of God, these they must necessarily send to the Holy Land, in order to be corrected and rectified (or approved of) and then to be returned to them and them published. Before their being corrected here and before securing permission from here, their publication is by no means allowable.
As to the obligatory prayer (to be said three times a day): Each one must say his prayer alone by himself, and this is not conditional on a private place; that is, both at home and in the worshipping-place, which is a gathering-place, it is allowable for one to say his prayer; but each person must say his prayer by himself (i. e., not in company with others who might recite the same words and continue the same postures together at the same time). But if they chant supplications (communes, etc.) together ( and in company), in a good and effective voice, that is very good.
 O God! Grant Washington happiness and peace! Illuminate that land with the light of the faces of the friends,Page 465
make it a paradise of Glory, let it become an envy of the green gardens of the earth! Help the friends, increase their number, make their hearts sources of inspiration and their souls dawnings of light. Thus may that city become a beautiful paradise and fragrant with the fragrance of musk.
[1 Following Tablet as received bore no opening line of address.]O God!
Make this youth illumined and this weak one strong! Bestow upon him knowledge and give unto him an added strength at every dawn. Thus may he be protected and sheltered in Thy protection from every sin to serve Thy Cause, to guide those who are led astray, to lead those who are poor (or weak), to free those who are in captivity (or bondage), to awaken those who are in lethargy and to be happy with Thy remembrance and thought. Thou art the Powerful, the Wise!
[1 Following Tablet as received bore no opening line of address.]O thou who art firm in the Covenant!
The short treatise which thou hast written upon "Service in the Kingdom," forwarding it here and asking permission for its publication, was read. Spread it among the believers.
Likewise, correspondence with all the believers in all parts is very desirable.
The copy of the pamphlet that thou hast sent before, God willing, in opportune time will be read and forwarded to thee.
O Thou who art firm in the covenant! Endeavor thou in the service of the Kingdom and, God willing, in aPage 466
seasonable time, permission will be given to thee to come to the East.
Convey longing greetings to all the friends of God.O thou servant of Baha'!
Thy letter *** was received. Correspondence between the believers of the Orient and the Occident, as well as between the different states of America, is of the utmost importance and is conducive to the enkindlement and attraction of the hearts. Show thou great consideration to this matter.
Thou hast written concerning the translation of Tablets. Perfect translation will be made at a time when a committee of translators is organized. The members of that committee must be composed of several Persians and several Americans, all of whom must have the utmost proficiency in both the Persian and English languages. Then the Tablets will be translated through this committee. For the present the organization of such a committee is not possible. Therefore, whenever the publication of a Tablet becomes necessary, have a proficient person translate it, then circulate it and the end will be attained.
Regarding the station of this servant: My station is `Abdu'l-Bahá, my name is `Abdu'l-Bahá, my qualification is `Abdu'l-Bahá, my praise is `Abdu'l-Bahá, my title is `Abdu'l-Bahá. All the friends of God must declare this word, in order that all of them become united and harmonized upon it. No difference must arise. Collect, translate, print and spread all the Tablets written by me regarding this question.Concerning the Book of Akdas: Undoubtedly it
must be translated by a scientific committee of translators. The translation of one person is not sufficient.
Concerning the spiritual assembly of Washington: I supplicate God that it may finally become the cause of the unification of all the nations of the world.
The maid-servant of God, Miss . . ., hath not yet returned from Persia. God willing, we will direct her to travel to those parts.
Thou hast written regarding the believers of Baltimore. Undoubtedly whenever opportunity affords, the believers of Washington must go to Baltimore, become engaged in teaching the Truth, spread the carpet of feasting and prepare the heavenly table.
Convey respectful greeting on my behalf to the maid-servant of God, Miss . . ., and say: "O thou divinely attracted one! Day and night, with an eloquent tongue, teach thou the heedless one; awaken those who are speechless and silent. Undoubtedly the confirmation of the Holy Spirit will descend upon thee."
Announce, on my behalf, respectful greeting to the attracted maid-servant of God,Miss . . ., and say: O thou beloved maid-servant of God! Now is the time, now is the moment in which, like unto Mary Magdalene (who loosened her tongue in the city of great Rome), thou mayest arise and become engaged in teaching the coming of the Kingdom of God and spread far and wide to the ears the glad-tidings of the Realm of Eternity!"
In brief, O thou servant of Bahá'í Strive ye that the souls be engaged, in all parts of Europe, with the utmost purity and sanctification, in the diffusion of the fragrances of God.Page 468
Undoubtedly teachers both from among the women as well as the men must go to Australia and New Zealand whenever the means and opportunity are brought about. Now make ye an effort that perchance through correspondence some souls, in those parts, may become illumined with the light of the Kingdom.
O thou servant of Bahá'í Rest thou assured. I supplicate from God that thou mayest be delivered wholly from passion and desire and become the faithful and sincere servant of the Beauty of ABHA.O thou who art firm in the Covenant!
Thou hast written to his honor . . . concerning the Feast.
This Feast was established by His Highness The Báb, to occur once in nineteen days. Likewise, the Blessed Perfection Bahá'u'lláh] hath commanded, encouraged and reiterated it. Therefore, it hath the utmost importance. Undoubtedly you must give the greatest attention to its establishment and raise it to the highest point of importance, so that it may become continual and constant. The believers of God must assemble and associate with each other in the utmost love, joy and fragrance. They must conduct themselves (in these Feasts) with the greatest dignity and consideration, chant divine verses, peruse instructive articles, read the Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahá, encourage and inspire each other with love for the whole human race, invoke God with perfect joy and fragrance, sing the verses, glorifications and praises of the Self-subsistent Lord and deliver eloquent speeches. The owner of the house must personally serve the belovedPage 469
ones. He must seek after the comfort of all and with the utmost humility he must show forth kindness to every one. If the Feast is arranged in this manner and in the way mentioned, that supper is the "Lord's supper," for the result is the same result and the effect is the same effect.
O thou sincere servant of the Beauty of Abha! Thou hast written concerning Baltimore. Convey respectful greeting on my behalf to Miss . . . and say: "Exert thyself as much as thou canst in order that thou mayest illumine Baltimore, lay there an eternal foundation and ignite a lamp whose rays may shine throughout cycles and ages."
Thou hast written concerning the Tablet of Baka Ya Ali -- Baka Ya Vafi (Tablet of Protection). This Tablet is for the healing of ailments. Whenever one is anxious about the recovery of an ill one, he may read this prayer with a melodious voice while in a state of the utmost attention and concentration.
Thou hast written regarding Buddha and Confucius. Buddha was an illustrious personage. Confucius became the cause of civilization, advancement and prosperity for the people of China. Now it is not the time when we discuss concerning the stations and positions of those who are passed away. We must concentrate our attention upon the present. What hath transpired in a former time is past. Now is the time when we restrict our discussion to the Most Great Luminary of Peace and Salvation in this Age, to talk of the Blessed Perfection Bahá'u'lláh] and to voice His exhortations, behests and teachings. Buddha and Confucius were kings in bygone ages who have disappeared.Page 470
Their sovereignty in this world is ended and their cycle is completed. Now the Throne of the Kingdom of ABHA is established and the Blessed Perfection is sitting upon the Throne of Grandeur. We must raise this Call, promulgate the Word of God and live in accord with the teachings and advices of the Beauty of ABHA.
Thou hast written regarding . . ., the resident of Calcutta (India), that he hath forwarded to thee some addresses so that thou mayest correspond with them about the Cause of God. If thou dost write to them there is no harm done, nay, rather it is advantageous.
But regarding the tests: Undoubtedly they must be violent so that those souls who are weak may fall back, while the souls who are firm and sincere may shine forth from the horizon of the Most Great Guidance like unto the sparkling stars.O thou sincere servant of God!
Thy letters are received regularly and by reading them joy was produced.
Thou hast written regarding the building of the Mashrak-el-Azcar in Washington. This matter was discussed with the maid-servant of Bahá'í Miss . . . It hath been concluded that when she arrives in America she will discuss this question with you. Whatever will be the conclusions of your discussion write to Acca. The maid-servant of Bahá'í is in Paris; she will go to America. These services of thine are in reality worthy of praises, that thou hast sacrificed thyself wholly to the True One.Page 471
a few days here. Then, with the utmost joy and fragrance,they started toward India.
Thy letter *** was received and its contents became the cause of the happiness of the heart of this grieved one, for it was an evidence of exertion and magnanimity in the service of the Cause of God.
Thou hast written regarding the publication of a magazine. If thou shouldst edit one magazine every six months -- two in a year -- then forward it to the Holy Land to be corrected and returned, after due correction, for its publication -- it is very acceptable will be the cause of the penetration of the Word of God. ***
Thy former articles were received. I have not yet had time to read them. However, one of thy articles was corrected and forwarded and thou hast it printed and circulated. Now write thou a new article and send it here it be corrected. It is better.
Regarding the proposition which thou hast suggested that one of the maid-servants of the Merciful reside in the Land of Desire and be the medium for the regulation of correspondence, now it is not according to wisdom.
Therefore now edit thou a magazine in Persian and English, then forward it here to be revised and sent back for publication.
Convey the wonderful ABHA greeting to all the friends of God. ***Page 472
I have the utmost love for thee and I ask God that thou mayest become assisted in the world and in the Kingdom and precede Paul and Peter in spreading the Word of God and diffusing the fragrances of God and become a manifest ensign in the regions of America.
Perhaps thou wilt meet a person in Paris who is thoughtless and followeth his own desire. Forget thou wholly his vain sayings and know thou that in future again thou wilt become in touch with such souls, but -- praise be to God! -- the fire of thy love is to such a degree that the suggestions of such souls do not at all affect thee.
In brief, arise thou in the service of thy Lord with the utmost firmness and steadfastness. I was very much pleased with thee. Undoubtedly this favor will become the cause of the greatest development for thee.
Likewise, thou and his honor Mirza . . . are two brothers and like unto two birds living in one nest and singing one melody.
O thou who art firm in the Covenant and Testament!
Thy letter *** was received and its contents became known. Thou hast written regarding the election of a committee . This is very acceptable, is conducive to the glory of the Cause of God and the spreading of the fragrances of God in those regions. I hope that this committee may progress day by day until it become a merciful assembly.[1 See page 441.]
Thou hast written regarding the correspondence with other parts, that from now on it will be carried under the name of The Bahá'í Assembly of Washington. ThisPage 473
is also acceptable. I hope that this committee becometh established and its members be of the utmost unity and affinity. If the Bahá'í Assembly of Washington ariseth in a befitting manner to love, service and magnanimity, the lights of the love of God will be cast upon all sides from that Assembly and it will find more importance day by day, until it attain to the Most Supreme Station. ***O thou my beloved friend!
For a long time thou didst have the longing to visit the Blessed Spot and the yearning to meet this imprisoned one. Finally this gift became realized, but it was for one moment and as the dew to the rose-garden of the hearts. The destiny was such and the means were brought about in this way. I became sad and disappointed more than thyself. But I hope that this meeting became as the wick of the lamp and the fire -- that as soon as it was touched it became ignited. I am expecting the results of this meeting, that I may see thee lighted as a candle and burning thyself as a moth with the fire of the love of God, weeping like unto the cloud by the greatness of love and attraction, laughing like unto the meadow and stirred into cheerfulness like unto the young tree by the wafting of the breeze of the Paradise of Abha!
All the believers in the East and in this Spot are expecting the receipt of letters from thee.
The letter was received and its contents became evident. Thou hast written regarding the days of summer, that thou hast vacation for three months and aPage 474
half. Shouldst thou find any companions, make thou a trip to Persia, for during three months and a half it is possible to reach Teheran, stay there a few days and then return; but the time is not sufficient to come to the Holy Land. If the trip to Persia cannot be brought about, then to Ishkabad .
[1 Following Tablet as received bore no opening line of address.][2 Ishkabad, Russia, near the Persian border.]
Regarding the question of matrimony: Know thou that the command of marriage is eternal. It will never be changed nor altered. This is divine creation and there is not the slightest possibility that change or alteration affect this divine creation (marriage).
Regarding the remains of his honor the beloved Breakwell -- him who hath attained to the meeting of the countenance of his Lord in His great Kingdom -- must be interred in that very land, not in some other place, for to transfer the remains of the believers from one city to another city is against the text of the Book.
Concerning the word Bahá'u'lláh: It must be written with o and not with u.
Regarding the Moronites: All the communities of the world will finally become familiar with this great and most holy Cause and all of them will enter under the shade of the Word of God.
Convey my respectful greeting to Mrs. . . and say: "We hope that day by day thou mayest take higher flights, attain to greater spiritual attraction, thy word become more penetrative through the power of the Spirit and through the confirmations of the Kingdom of ABHA become more illumined. This is the path of salvation and prosperity. This is the attractive power of the Holy Spirit from the Supreme Concourse."Page 475
O thou who hast confessed and believed in the Words of God!
Thank God, for He hath uncovered the veil from before thine eye, and that thou hast witnessed the great signs of the greatest glad-tidings which have been revealed in the Gospel, Bible and the Psalms; and wert confirmed that verily those glad-tidings have allusions to the appearance of the Kingdom of God during this time, and that the horizons shall brighten through the light of the effulgence in this age, which is the age of the lights and the century of thy God, the Powerful, the Almighty!
What a great gift is this guidance, the standards of which are raised, the traces of which are published and the breeze of which has blown, the garden of which is ornamented, the basins of which have poured out, the birds of which have sung and the joy of which is completed!
I beg God to cause thee to be a crier unto His Kingdom in that region, wherein the Sun of Truth hath newly commenced to disseminate and the dawn of guidance hath risen from its horizons.O thou who art assuredly believing in God!
Verily, I am informed of thy letter which showeth how thou art praising God, hast acknowledged the unity of God, art attracted to His kingdom and art thanking Him for His favor; that He hath strengthened thee in guidance, hath illumined thine inner sight with the light which is shining forth from the Kingdom of El-ABHA, hath caused thee to hear the Call of the Merciful from the Supreme Concourse and hath made thee one of thePage 476
chosen ones in His brilliant and holy Threshold. O glad-tidings be unto thee for this great gift! O blessed art thou for this worthy deed!O thou maid-servant of God!
What thou hast written was perused. It is evident that thou hast all thy life been seeking the Lord of signs, until now thou hast found the path of Truth and discovered the Lord of Hosts and attained His Kingdom.
If thou shouldst stand firm and steadfast, thou wilt progress day by day in this condition, and this flame of fire will become a luminous lamp. If it be possible for thee, turn thy face toward that city and be a cause of guidance to some souls there. It is not now advisable for you to write secretly; the time will come for that. When you go there yourself you will be confirmed to teach some of the people.O thou who art advancing toward God!
Verily, I read thy long letter, which showed thine abundant joy for the appearance of the Kingdom of God and longing of thy heart for the knowledge of God. Endeavor with thy soul, so that the fountain of knowledge may flow within thy heart and the bounties of mysteries may pour upon thee from the Kingdom of Lights. Then thou wilt understand the meanings hidden and recorded in the symbols in the Holy Scriptures.
O maid-servant of God! Hold fast to the Covenant which hath emanated from the Supreme Pen and which is scintillating with the light of the Orb of the Horizons. Know thou verily, Bahá'u'lláh is thePage 477
Promised One in all the Books and Tablets, and verily, this servant, is the herald of the Kingdom of God.
And know thou, that verily, the earthly world is as a prison to the holy souls and these long for the Kingdom of Sanctity, as birds long for their nests in the gardens of beautiful and wonderful trees, flowers and fruits. And know thou, verily, that those whose were following the steps of Christ, detached their souls from the desires of the world, and made their hearts to depend on the bounties of heaven. Such are the people of the Kingdom and they are in no need of return for apprehending the bounty of the Kingdom. The consciences of such souls are clear, their inmost hearts are pure, they] have obtained their aim, have betaken themselves to the vicinity of the mercy of their Mighty Lord, and thus they are in no need of being refined, developed and again endowed with sight.
I beg of God to grant all thy wishes and to cause to appear unto thee the reality of the Cause and the divine teachings through a heavenly bounty from the heaven of the Covenant.
Send my greetings and peace to thy revered husband. Every one of my household, the firm ones in the Covenant, present unto thee greetings and praise.O thou who hast prayed to the Kingdom of God!
I have read thy letter and I have taken knowledge of God as to thy conduct towards the Kingdom of God and also thy conflagration with the fire of God's love. Be reassured by the grace of thy Lord and direct thyself towards him.
Consider attentively and with assiduity in the NewPage 478
Testament, as well as The Bible, and thou shalt find new significances, very clear of this great Manifestation.
I declare by the just God that thou wilt see therein a revelation of the Holy Spirit which will aid thee in the good understanding of the Truth and the mysteries and significances of the Books of God, the All-powerful and the Eternal. Then as to what thou hast asked me for pious people who died before they heard the Voice of this Manifestation. Listen: Those who have mounted to God before hearing the Voice, if they followed the rules of conduct as laid down by Jesus and always walked in the straight path, they have obtained this Dazzling Light after their rising to the Kingdom of God. I pray God to lift the veil for thee and to corroborate by the spirit of experience, so that all may be evident to thee, by the Holy Spirit of God.
I implore God to give thee indication of good conduct in the way of salvation, as a guiding lamp lighted from the fire of God's Love, and to cause thee to be called in His Name by the multitude of the world, so that the Name of God shall be proclaimed in all far off countries.
Give my compliments and my praises to thy estimable husband; my greeting and praise to thee.O ye two  maid-servants of God!
The Lord of the Kingdom hath invited, chosen and guided you through His pure favor, feeding you from the heavenly table of divine knowledge! Know ye the value of this favor and bounty and loosen your tonguesPage 479
in praise; showing forth the power of knowledge and assurance and breathing the spirit of guidance into the hearts of the seekers.
Ask from God that ye stand firm and steadfast in this great Cause.
I pray in your behalf, asking assistance and favor for you. I hope that ye may become confirmed and helped.O thou thrall in the Lord of the Kingdom!
Thy photograph was considered with utmost insight. This picture is an emblem of an enlightened face, that is, a countenance which hath taken a share of the outpouring of the manifest Light. This picture is produced by the light of the sun. Therefore, it is called a sun picture. I pray to God that thy picture may become reflected upon the page of existence forever and ever.O thou attracted maid-servant of God!
A few days ago the photograph of thyself and sister was received and a tablet was revealed and forwarded. Now, also, through pure mercy, the answer of thy letter is transmitted.
Praise be to God! that the heavenly blessings are being poured upon thee and thou art being led by the light of guidance.
Supplicate to God that the seed of knowledge in the soil of thy heart may soon develop and grow into hyacinths and roses  and that the flower-garden of the love of God may be thereby perfumed.
[1 Hyacinths typify knowledge; roses typify wisdom.]Page 480
Therefore, I beseech God that He may bestow upon thee a meek and submissive heart and that He may confirm thee in the service of the divine garden and assist thee to emulate the actions and deeds of the godly ones. Also, that He may guide, to the Kingdom of God, your father, mother and friends, in order that by these heavenly blessings they may become fruitful trees and obtain a portion of the great and glorious gift.O ye members of the shining assembly!
The letter which was written by you, was not a letter, but a musk sack. For the fragrances of the rose-garden of its significances perfumed the nostrils of every heavenly one; evincing firmness in the love of God, steadfastness in the Covenant and Testament and affinity among the friends.
This yearning one was enflamed and burning intensely, but when I perused that letter, a gentle breeze wafted and an extraordinary freshness and delicacy was imparted to me. I turned my face toward the Threshold of the Almighty and supplicated Him imploringly thus:
"O thou Eternal One! Make the friends of that country prosperous, acquaint them with the mysteries; usher them into the divine rose-garden and reveal to them the hidden realities and significances; make their hearts the association of truth and their souls full of divine melodies and sacred (choral) music!"
"O God! This respectful assemblage are my relatives and kindred and the cause of the happiness of thisPage 481
afflicted one. Bestow upon them a shining face and grant them a musk-diffusing character. Show them the mystery of the Kingdom and suffer them to hear the soul-elevating harmony of heaven! Awaken (the people) by the breeze of the Paradise of ABHA and make them alive by the power of the Holy Spirit. Verily, Thou are the Powerful and Omnipotent, and Thou art the Bestower and generous!"O thou dear servant of God!
Thy letter is received and its contents were the cause of happiness. Regard the bounty and forgiveness of the Mighty Creator: Though `Abdu'l-Bahá is in this blessed and illuminated Spot and thou in St. Peter (Minn.) -- the other side of the world -- thou hast inhaled the divine breath notwithstanding the great distance, and beheld the heavenly Light. There are thousands of people in the Holy Land associated with us and yet they are deprived and have no hope in God. This is naught save a blessing from the Heavenly Father which hath enlightened that face (i. e., thy face) and made that heart (thy heart) divine. I ask God that thou wilt be so animated by the breaths of the Holy Spirit that thou wilt cause that region to become an Eden of Paradise and illumine many souls with the brilliant Light.
Though we cannot see each other physically at this time, thank God the Spiritual Breath is a messenger between us, which is the means of assuring the heart and rejoicing the spirit.Page 482
This world resembles the human body and the Kingdom of God is like the spirit of life. Think how narrow and dark the material world of man is, how afflicted with disease and maladies; but how bright and spacious is His Spiritual World! Through this illustration thou mayest comprehend in what manner is the Spiritual World portrayed in this earthly world and in what degree is its power effected. Though the Spirit is concealed, its power is manifested and clear in the phenomenal world; and so with the Kingdom of God, though it is veiled from the eyes of ignorant people, to men of perception it is discernible and evident. Therefore, thou must become entirely heavenly that thou mayest forget the earthly conditions and be immersed in the perception of Divinity to such a degree that thou wilt be unconscious of the surrounding material existence.O my dear friend!
Verily, my heart is united with thee even though my body is in a distant land, for verily neither long distance nor immense remoteness can prevent the union between hearts, because the clear hearts are in reality assembled in union in the Kingdom of God, while bodies are dispersed in the east and west of the earth. This dispersion cannot stop the affinity and cannot veil the eye of soul from seeing in all directions.
O thou who art cheerfully moving by the Fragrances of God!
Know thou verily, that when the Sun of Truth shown forth to the horizons, the eyes of the people of affectionPage 483
were brightened by witnessing thereof, but the blind are in veil and discord, and say: "Where is the Sun of the Horizon?" Leave them in the veils of passions and fathoms of the seas of ignorance, to sink and play.
Verily, thou shouldst be rejoiced with this Light, which is shining to the Easts of the earth and the Wests thereof, and be illumined thereby, so that thou becomest saved with thy whole being from the gloomy darkness. Then thou wilt become of the great signs of guidance.O thou seeker of Truth!
I received the photograph of thy shining figure and I looked at it with thorough attention. A tranquility and steadfastness was manifest in thy visage. I beg of God that the lights of the Kingdom may so shine upon this face (or figure) that they may dispel the darkness of error from many. If thou dost act according to the commandments and exhortations of God, know thou for a certainty that the luminosity of thy face will day by day increase. Be thou happy and well pleased and arise to offer thanks to God, in order that thanksgiving may conduce to the increase of bounty.O thou maid-servant of God!
Thy message, through the maid-servant of God . . . was received. Happy is thy state that thou art seeking the Truth and endeavoring to attain eternal life. This is a lofty aim, but it requireth the heavenly confirmation and assistance.
I pray that this assistance may be vouchsafed untoPage 484
thee and this bounty environ thee, that thou hearest the call of the Kingdom and beholdest the greatest signs.
Reflect upon this: What a bounty and what a favor it is that the sages of the world and the wise among mankind are incompetent of comprehension, yet the little children of the Kingdom have attained the Truth, dwell and abide under the shadow of the Tree of Life and are assisted by the everlasting and eternal gift!O maid-servant of God!
Verily that Infant is born and exists and there will appear from His Cause a wonder which thou wilt hear in future. Thou shalt see Him with the most perfect form, most great gift, most complete perfection, most great power and strongest might! His Face glisteneth a glistening whereby the horizons are illumined! Therefore, forget not this account as long as thou art living, for as much as there are signs for it in the passing centuries and ages.Upon ye be greeting and praise!