Announcing: BahaiPrayers.net


More Books by Compilations

A Compilation of Writings about the Hidden Words
Agriculture and Rural Life
Arts and Architecture
Arts and Crafts
Baha'i Burial
Baha'i Education
Baha'i Elections
Baha'i Meetings
Baha'i Scholarship Statements from the World Centre
Bahá'í Funds and Contributions
Bahá'í Holy Places at the World Centre
Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster and Related Subjects
Centres of Baha'i Learning
Chaste and Holy Life, A
Compilation on the Arts
Consent of Parents to Marriage, The
Conservation of the Earth's Resources
Consultation
Covenant
Crisis and Victory
Criticism extracts from letters written on behalf of the Guardian to individual believers
Cultural Diversity in the Age of Maturity
Days of Remembrance
Defining a Minority for the Purpose of Resolving a Tie for Ninth Place in a Bahá'í Election
Devotional Gatherings, Selected Guidance concerning
Divorce
Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union
Economics, Agriculture, and Related Subjects
Electronic Communication with Covenant-breakers
Establishment of The Universal House of Justice
Europe
Excellence in all Things
Extracts Concerning the Resurrection
Extracts from Four Tablets by Abdu'l-Bahá Concerning the Question of Inheritance
Extracts on the Old and New Testaments
Family Life
Fire and Light Excerpts from the Bahá'í Sacred Writings
Functions and Importance of the Haziratu'l-Quds
Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland
Guidance Regarding Bahá'í Archives
Guidance to Poets
Guidelines for Teaching
Health, Healing, and Nutrition
Holocaust and the Greater Plan of God, The
Homosexuality
Humor and Laughter
Huqúqu'lláh
Importance of collecting and safeguarding the Bahá'í writings
Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith
Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting
Importance of Prayer, Meditation, and the Devotional Attitude
Importance of the Arts in Promoting the Faith
Islands of the North Sea
Islands of the South Pacific
Issues Concerning Community Functioning
Issues Related to the Study of the Bahá'í Faith
Living the Life
Local Spiritual Assemblies
Music
National Convention
National Spiritual Assembly
Nature
Nineteen Day Feast
Non-association with Covenant-breakers
Obligatory Prayer, Exemption from
On the Naming of Babies
Opposition
Peace
Photographs of Bahá'u'lláh
Power of Divine Assistance, The
Preserving Baha'i Marriages
Professions
Prohibition on Drinking Alcohol
Prominent People
Promoting Entry by Troops
Psychology and Knowledge of Self
Redistribution of Wealth
Removal of Administative Rights
Representation of the Manifestations of God and the Master in Portraits, Photographs, and Dramatic Presentations
Reproduction and other Biological Subjects compilation
Reviewing Practice and Functions of Literature Review
Sanctity and Nature of Bahá'í Elections, The
Scholarship
Science and Technology
Scriptures of Previous Dispensations
Service in Bahá'í Temples
Significance of the Formative Age of Our Faith
Social and Economic Development
Socrates
Studying the Writings of the Guardian
Teaching Among Aboriginal and Indigenous People
Teaching The Masses
The Local Spiritual Assembly
Traditional African Culture, Aspects of
Translation and provisional translations
Translation, brief compilation on
Trustworthiness
Unlocking the Power of Action
Use of Radio and Television in Teaching, The
Women
Writers and Writing
Writings of Covenant-breakers and other Enemies of the Faith
Youth
Baha'i Prayers 9
Baha'i Prayers
Baha'i Scriptures Part 1
Baha'i Scriptures Part 2
Baha'i Scriptures Part 3
Baha'i Scriptures Part 4
Baha'i Scriptures Part 5
Baha'i World Faith Part 1
Baha'i World Faith Part 2
Baha'i World Faith Part 3
Bahiyyih Khanum
Fire and Light
Guidance for Baha'i Radio
Handmaidens of God - Baha'i Prayers for Women
Japan Will Turn Ablaze
Lights of Guidance Part 1
Free Interfaith Software

Web - Windows - iPhone








Compilations : Baha'i Scriptures Part 2

When the lamp of search, effort, longing, fervor, love, rapture, attraction and devotion is enkindled in the heart, and the breeze of love blows forth from the direction of unity, the darkness of error, doubt and uncertainty will be dispelled and the lights of knowledge and assurance will encompass all the pillars of existence. Then the ideal Herald will dawn as the true morn from the Divine City, with spiritual glad tidings, and awaken the heart, soul and spirit from the sleep of negligence with the trumpet of knowledge. Then the favors and confirmations of the eternal Holy Spirit will impart such a new life that one will find himself the possessor of a new eye, a new ear, a new heart, and a new mind, and will direct his attention to the clear, universal signs and to the hidden individual secrets. With the new eye of God he will see a door open in every atom for attainment to the stations of positive knowledge, certain truth and evident light, and will perceive in all things the mysteries of the splendor of Oneness and the traces of the Manifestation of Eternity.

I swear by God, should the traveller in the path of salvation and the seeker for the summits of righteousness attain to this supreme and lofty state, he will inhale the fragrance of the True One from remote distances and discern the brilliant morn of guidance from the Day-springs of all things. Every atom and object will direct him to the Beloved and the Desired One. He will become so discerning that he will distinguish truth from falsehood as the sun from shadow. For example; if the breeze of truth should blow forth from the east of creation, he will surely inhale it in the west of emanation. Likewise, he will distinguish all the signs of the True One -- such as wonderful words, incomparable deeds, and brilliant actions -- from the deeds, actions and traces of all else, just as the jeweller distinguishes the gem from the stone, and man the spring from autumn and heat from cold. When the head of the soul is purified from the ailment (lit. cold) of the contingent and existent, it will unfailingly discover the fragrance of the Beloved from distant stations, arrive at the city of the assurance of His Highness the Beneficent, through the effect of this fragrance, and behold the wonders of the wisdom of His Highness the Most Holy, in that spiritual city. It will detect the hidden knowledges from the forms of the leaves of the tree of that city, hear the glorification and praise of the Lord of Lords from its soil, with the outward and inward ears, and perceive the mysteries of "advent" and "return" with the outward eye. What shall we mention of the signs, tokens, appearances and splendors ordained in that city, by the command of the King of Names and Attributes! It quencheth thirst without water, and increaseth the heat of the love of God without fire. The ideal consummate wisdom is hidden in every plant, and a thousand nightingales of speech are in ecstasy and rapture upon every rose branch. The mystery of the fire of Moses is revealed in its wonderful tulips, and the breath of the Holy Spirit of Jesus emanates from its fragrances of holiness. It bestows wealth without gold and grants immortality without death. A paradise is concealed in every leaf, and a hundred thousand wisdoms are treasured in every one of its chambers. Those who earnestly endeavor in the way of God, after severance from all else, will become so attached to that city that they will not abandon it for an instant. They will hear conclusive proofs from the hyacinth of that assembly and will receive clear arguments from the beauty of the rose and the melody of the nightingale. This city is renewed and adorned every one thousand years, more or less. Therefore, O my friends, we must make an efforts to attain to that city and remove the veils of glory, through divine favors and lordly compassion, so that we may sacrifice the withered soul in the path of the New Beloved, and show forth a hundred thousand supplications and humiliations in order to be favored with that attainment. This city is none other than the "Divine Book" in every age. For instance, in the age of Moses it was the Pentateuch; in the time of Jesus, the Gospel; in the day of Muhammad the Messenger of God, the Qur'an; in this age, the Bayan;[1] and in the Day of "Him whom God shall send forth,"

[1 In this Tablet Bahá'u'lláh wrote as a follower of the Báb, interpreting the religious books of the past with relation to their fulfilment in the Báb as the "Herald," or "First Point."]

His Book, which is the return of all the Books and the guardian. In these cities, sustenance is provided and eternal blessings are appointed. They bestow spiritual food and provide preexistent benefit. They confer the wealth of unity upon the people of abstraction, bestow a portion upon the portionless, and favor the wanderers in the desert of ignorance with the cup of knowledge. In these cities are treasured and deposited the guidance, favor, knowledge, understanding, faith and assurance of all in the heavens and earth.

30. To resume: We must not depart from the irrefutable command of God and the fixed decree of the Most High but must acknowledge the wonderful Books. And it is evident that whosoever hath not acknowledged the Qur'an hath not in reality accepted the Books which preceded it. Should we mention the concealed meanings and explain the hidden mysteries thereof, time undoubtedly would not bring them to a conclusion and the world could not bear them. God testifieth to what we say!

Consider how great is the value and how paramount the importance of the verses in which God hath completed His perfect argument, consummate proof, dominant power and penetrating will. In the declaration of His proof, that King of Unity hath not conjoined anything with them, for among proofs and evidence, verses are like unto the sun, while all others are as stars. To the people they are everlasting proof, fixed argument, and shining light from the presence of that Ideal King. No excellence equals them and nothing precedes them. They are the treasury of divine pearls and the depository of the mysteries of unity. They are the strong thread, the firm rope, the most secure handle and the inextinguishable light. Through them flows the river of the divine knowledges, and bursts the fire of the consummate Wisdom of the Eternal. This is a fire from which two effects proceed at the same time: It creates the heat of love within the people of faith, and produces the cold of heedlessness within the people of hatred. O friend, we must not depart from the command of God, but acquiesce and submit to that which He hath appointed to be His proof.

As the Jews in the time of Moses exchanged the heavenly Table for such foul things as garlic and onions, likewise these people sought to exchange the revealed verses for impure and unclean imaginations. Similarly it is seen in this day that although the ideal Table is descending from the heaven of divine mercy and from the clouds of celestial bounty, and although the seas of life are flowing and moving in the Ridvan of Paradise by the command of the Creator of all things, yet they are gathered like dogs around dead bodies, and are contented with a briny lake which is but bitter salt. Praise be to God! One is greatly astonished at such servants, who seek for proof after the banners of the proven are hoisted; who cling to the allusions of learning after the sun of knowledge hath appeared. It is like asking the sun for proof of its light, or the vernal shower for argument to demonstrate its bounty. The proof of the sun s its light which shines forth and encompasses the world; and the argument of the shower is its bounty which renews the world with a fresh mantle. Yea! The blind realize no effect in the sun but heat, and a barren soil knoweth no bounty from the vernal mercy.

Lend not thine ear to the vain statement of the servants who say that "the Book and verses cannot be proof to the common people because they neither understand nor comprehend them." The Qur'an is a proof to the East and the West. How could it be a proof, if the power of understanding it were not possessed by the people? According to their statement, none would be required to know God, nor would it be necessary; for the knowledge of Him is greater than the knowledge of His Book; and the common people would not possess the capacity to comprehend it.

To be brief: This statement is extremely vain and inadmissible, and emanated from pride and arrogance for the purpose of keeping the people afar from the Ridvan of the good pleasure of God, and grasping their reins tightly. Before God these common people are accepted and approved above the learned who have turned away from the True One. Understanding the divine Words and comprehension of the utterances of the Ideal Doves have no connection with outward learning, but depend upon purity of heart, chastity of soul, and freedom of spirit. For at the present time there are some servants who have not seen a single letter of the forms of learning, yet they are seated upon the summit of knowledge, the gardens of their hearts adorned with roses of wisdom and tulips of insight, through the cloud of the divine bounty. Blessed are the sincere ones through the lights of the Great Day!

31. Consequently understand and be convinced that in every age, the people clinging to a verse of the Book, have made vain statements that no other Prophet should appear in the world. For instance, the divines of the Gospel sought to prove through a formerly mentioned verse (Matt. xxiv, 35), that the decree of the Gospel shall never be abolished and that no independent Prophet shall arise except to confirm the Law of the Gospel. Most of the nations are afflicted with the same soul-sickness. Ye behold how the people of the Qur'an, like former nations, are veiled by the statement: "The Seal of the Prophets." Although they themselves confess the saying: "Only God knoweth the interpretation thereof, and those who are well-grounded in knowledge" (K. S. 3), yet when He who is well-grounded in knowledge and who is their source, self, essence and identity explains it, finding it somewhat contrary to their desire, they say and do that which ye have heard. This proceeds only from the religious leaders, that is, from those who hold to no other God than desire, and find no creed except gold; who are veiled by the veils of learning and wander by reason of its error.

Hearken ye unto the divine voice of Holiness and the sweet melody of Eternity; how He hath by intimation warned those who falsely accuse the verses, and how He hath rejected those who deny the holy Words. Consider also the remoteness of these people from the Kawther of nearness, and the arrogance and denial of those bereft ones concerning that Beauty of Holiness. Although that Essence of Grace and Beneficence directed those temples of nonentity to the court of pre-existence and guided those really destitute ones to the sacred road of wealth, yet some said, "This man is no other than one who blasphemously accuses the Lord of the creatures"; others said, "This man withholds people from the path of religion and faith"; and still others accused Him of madness and the like. Similarly in this day ye witness what vain statements they have made against that Essence of Eternity, (the Báb) and what accusations and evils they have attributed to that source and mine of infallibility. Although in the Divine Book and Supreme Holy Tablet God hath threatened those who falsely deny and reject the revealed verses, and hath announced good tidings to those who accept them, yet how the verses revealed from the new Heavens of Holiness have been contradicted, notwithstanding the eye of the universe hath not seen such bounty, nor the ear of the beings heard such favor as the flow and descent of verses like spring showers from the clouds of the mercy of the Merciful. Each one of the Prophets "endowed with constancy" whose greatness of rank and loftiness of station are as clear and manifest as the sun was favored with but one Book which is still extant and its verses known. But so much hath descended (in this Day) from the clouds of mercy of the Merciful that no one hath yet estimated it. Twenty volumes thereof are now available what a quantity hath not yet come to hand! How much hath been plundered and is fallen into hands of the infidels, and it is not known what they have done with it!

O brother! We must open the eye, reflect, and appeal to the Divine Manifestations, that perchance we may be advised by the clear exhortations of the Book and warned by the admonitions recorded in the Tablets; not contradicting the Revealer of the verses, but willingly obeying His command and accepting and submitting to His decree with all heart and soul, that we may enter the court of mercy and dwell upon the shore of bounty. "Verily, He is merciful and forgiving toward His servants." (K. S. 5)

32. Among the proofs demonstrating this Cause is that in every time and age, when the invisible Divinity appeared in a human temple, some people who were of no repute, and who had no attachment for the world or any other object, sought illumination from the Sun of Prophethood, were directed to the lights of the Moon of Guidance and attained to the Meeting of God. For this reason, the divines of the age and the wealthy of the time derided; as is related of those erring ones: -- "Among His people the concourse of those who believe not said: 'We see thee (to be) no other than a man like unto us; and we do not see that any follow thee, except those who are the most abject among us, and are of a rash judgment, neither do we perceive any excellence in thee above us; but we deem you to be liars.'" (K. S. 11)

They objected to those Holy Manifestations, saying that no one followed them except the abject who were not worthy of credence. They meant that the learned, wealthy and distinguished among the people did not believe in them. By this proof and the like they sought to demonstrate the falsity of the possessor of the Truth. But in this most obvious Manifestation and most mighty Dominion, many of the rightly guided theologians were favored with the cup of nearness and meeting, and attained to the most great favor, abandoning the world for the sake of the Beloved One.

All these confessed, obeyed and were guided to that Sun of Manifestation (Bab), to such an extent that most of them abandoned property and family, and joined themselves to the good pleasure of the Professor of Glory. They sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Beloved One and expended all they possessed. Their breasts became targets for the arrows of the adversaries and their heads adorned the lances of the infidels. No land remained which did not drink the blood of these abstracted souls and no sword that did not touch their necks. Their deeds are a sufficient proof of the truth of their words. Is not the testimony of these holy souls who in this manner gave life in the way of the Friend, and at the sacrifice of whose heart and soul the whole world was astonished, sufficient for these servants? Is it not witness against the denial of other servants who gave religion for gold, exchanged immortality for mortality, bartered the Kawther of nearness for salt fountains, and who have no aim except seizing the property of people? For it is seen that all of them are occupied with the vanities of the world and have kept afar from the Supreme Lord. Now be just; whether is the testimony of those acceptable and credible whose deeds are consistent with their words, and whose outward is in accord with their inward, so that minds are bewildered at their deeds, and souls are astonished at their self-restraint, and at that which their bodies have endured? Or is the testimony of these opposers who do not breathe except in selfish desire, and are not delivered from the cage of false imaginations? -- who life not the head from the bed by day except to strive as the dark bat in search of the mortal world, and do not rest by night save to labor in planning for worthless things? -- who are occupied with selfish designs and are heedless of the divine decree? -- who by day exert themselves diligently for livelihood, and by night seek to adorn the means of the bed? Is it justified by any law or creed that people should cling to the contradiction of these limited souls and ignore the faith and acknowledgement of souls who have sacrificed life, property, name, office, reputation and honor in the good pleasure of the True One?

33. Furthermore, the sign of truthfulness and that of falsehood is designated and appointed in the Book. The claims and pretensions of all the servants should be tested by this divine touchstone, in order that it may distinguish the truthful from the false. This touchstone is "Wish for death if ye say truth." (K. S. 2) Consider these sincere martyrs, the truth of whose words is testified by the texts of the Book, and all of whom as ye have seen, expended life, property, wife, children, and all they possessed, and ascended to the highest chambers of the Ridvan.

Yet the testimony of these lofty beings and severed souls in acknowledging this high and exalted Cause is not accepted; while the testimony of those people who have forsaken religion for gold and avoided the First Emanation (Bab) in order to occupy the high seat, is acceptable and allowable against this shining Light; even though all the people have known them, and have comprehended that they do not relinquish the least amount of outward temporal honor for the sake of the Divine Religion; how much less, life, property and the like!

Consider how, according to the text of the Book, the divine touchstone hath differentiated and distinguished between the pure and impure; still these people are not mindful, and in the sleep of heedlessness are occupied in gaining the mortal world and outward leadership.

"O Son of man, days have already passed thee during which thou hast been occupied with the imaginations and superstitions prompted by thine egotism. How long wilt thou be asleep upon thy couch? Lift thy head from slumber, for verily the sun hath already reached mid-day; that it may shine upon thee with the lights of Beauty."

But let it be known that not one of these learned men and doctors already mentioned had any outward leadership. It is impossible for well-known and influential divines of the age, seated upon the high seat of command and established upon the throne of authority to follow the True One; "except whomsoever thy Lord wishes." Save a few, no such thing hath appeared in the world, "for few of My servants are thankful." (K. S. 34) In this day not one of the noted divines, in the grasp of whose authority are the reins of the people, hath believed; nay rather, they have exerted themselves in suppression, with such hatred and denial that no ear hath heard and no eye hath seen (the like).

The Supreme Lord (Bab) (may the life of all else save Him be a sacrifice to Him!) hath especially revealed an Epistle to the learned divines of each city, wherein He hath mentioned in detail the grades of their opposition and arrogance. "Wherefore, take example (from them), O ye who have sight." By mentioning this he intended that during the Manifestation of "Mustagath" in the next Resurrection, the people of the Bayan should not dispute (upon the ground) that "in the Manifestation of the Bayan, many of the learned divines did believe, therefore, why does not this happen in this Manifestation"; and that they, God forbid, should cling to such trivial notions and be deprived of the Divine Beauty. Yea, most of the mentioned divines were not renowned, but by the grace of God they all were sanctified and purified from outward leadership and temporal vanities. "This is through the Bounty of Go; He will give the same unto whom He pleaseth."

34. Another proof and argument which shines like a sun among proofs is the steadfastness of that Eternal Beauty (Bab) in the Divine Cause. Although He was in the age of youth, yet without fear, and regardless of any one He declared a matter contrary to the people of the earth, including the high and low, rich and poor, powerful and humble, king and subject. This has been heard by all. Could this be any other than the Divine Command and the confirmed Will of God? I swear by God, that should another entertain or think of such a matter, he would immediately be destroyed; and should be place the heart of all the world in his heart, he still would not venture this important measure unless by divine permission, or except his heart be united with the bounties of the Merciful and his soul confide in the supreme favors. To what do the people ascribe this? Do they attribute it to madness, just as they did with bygone Prophets, or say that He hath undertaken these things for outward leadership, and to possess the tinsel of the mortal world?

Praise be to God! In His first Book which He hath entitled "Ghayoumi Asma" (the Self-Subsistent of the Names) -- the first, greatest and most mighty of all Books -- He prophesied His own martyrdom. In a certain place He hath mentioned this verse: "O Thou remnant of God, I have wholly sacrificed myself unto thee; I have been pleased with curses in Thy path, and have wished nothing except death in Thy love; whereunto only God the Exalted, the Defender, the Pre-existent, is a sufficient witness!"

Likewise He craved martyrdom in "Tafsiri Ha" ("Interpretation of the letter H"), thus; "It is as if I heard a crier proclaiming in mine innermost heart -- 'Sacrifice thou in the path of God the thing which is most beloved by thee, even as Husayn (Peace be upon Him!) sacrificed Himself in My way'; and were I not regardful of this real mystery, by Him in whose hand is my soul, even if all the kings of the earth were assembled, they could not take from me a single letter, how much less can such servants who are of no importance in this and are of those who are rejected? That all may know the degree of my patience, resignation and sacrifice in the path of God."

Could it be asserted that the author of these words walks in any other than the path of God, or hath desired aught else save His good pleasure? In this verse, such a breeze of severance is hidden, that were it to blow, all the temples of existence would sacrifice life and relinquish soul. Consider the ignorance and extreme ingratitude of the people who have closed their eyes to all this and run after dead bodies from whose bellies proceed the lamentations of the property of the faithful. Yet what unwarranted accusations they bring against the Dawning-places of Holiness! Thus do we mention unto thee that which is wrought by the hands of those who disbelieve, and who turn away from the Meeting of God in the Day of Resurrection.

Consider how, in His tender youth, this Sadrat of the Divine Ridvan delivered the Cause of God, and what steadfastness appeared from that Beauty of Oneness. Though all upon the earth combined to suppress Him, it produced no result. The more harm they inflicted upon that Sadrat of Blessedness, the more His fervor increased, and the fire of His love was enkindled. All these things are clear and no one denies them. Finally He surrendered His soul and hastened to the Supreme Friend.

Among the proofs of the Manifestation (Bab) were the power, domination and authority which proceeded from the person of that Manifestor of Existence and that Appearance of the Adored One throughout all regions of the earth. Although that Eternal Beauty appeared in Shiraz and removed the veil in the year "Sixty" yet in a short time the signs of the power, domination, sovereignty and authority of that essence of essences and ocean of oceans became so manifest throughout all countries, that from every city the traces, indications, evidences and tokens of that heavenly Sun became visible. Many a pure and chaste heart became expressive of that Eternal Sun, and many a sprinkling of enlightenment from that Sea of Intuitional Knowledge encompassed the contingent beings. Though the divines and grandees in every city and town arose to reject and suppress them, girded up loins of envy, hatred and injustice to eradicate them, killed many a holy one who was the essence of justice, by the accusation of injustice, and destroyed with severest torment many a temple of spirit which showed forth pure knowledge and deeds; yet each one of these beings was occupied in the commemoration of God until the verge of death, and soared in the sky of submission and resignation. He so influenced and transformed these beings that they had no purpose except His wish, and sought nothing but His command. They yielded to His good pleasure and attached their hearts to His thought.

Reflect a little; hath such a power and influence appeared from any other in the world? All these purified hearts and sanctified souls hastened with perfect resignation to the call of destiny. During occasions of complaint, nothing proceeded from them except thanksgiving, and in time of affliction, only submission was visible. It is an evident fact how much hatred, animosity and enmity the people of the earth entertained toward these companions, for they considered tormenting and oppressing these holy ideal countenances conducive to prosperity, salvation and everlasting success and gain. Hath such commotion appeared in the lands at any period from the age of Adam down to the present time, or such tumult been witnessed among the servants? Notwithstanding all their sufferings and injuries, they became the objects of the curses of the people and the subject of censure by all the servants. It seemed as if patience originated in the world of existence from their self-restraint, and faithfulness appeared in the regions of the earth from their actions.

Briefly: Reflect upon all these events which have happened and things which have come to pass, in order that thou mayest be aware of the greatness and importance of the Cause. Then the spirit of tranquillity will be breathed in thy being through the favor of the Merciful, and thou wilt rest and abide upon the throne of assurance. The One God testifies that were ye to reflect a little, ye would find that aside from all these established facts and mentioned proofs, the very cursing, execration and rejection by the people of the earth are the greatest proof and weightiest evidence of the truth of these heroes of the field of severance and resignation. When thou dost reflect upon the contradictions of the people, including divines, men of learning, and the ignorant, thou wilt become more firm and steadfast in this Cause; for whatever hath happened was previously prophesied by the Mines of Institutional Knowledge and Sources of Eternal Command.

35. The signs and tokens of the True One are as apparent as the sun in mid-heaven, yet people are bewildered in the desert of blindness and ignorance. Notwithstanding that many of the Qur'anic verses and confirmed traditions indicate a new Law and Command, and a new Cause, they still await the promised Countenance to decree according to the law of the Qur'an; just as the Jews and Christians hold to the same saying. Among the texts pointing to a new Law and a new Dispensation are the statements in the prayer of Nudba: "Where is the One who is preserved to renew the precepts and regulations? Where is the One who is chosen to reform the religion and law?" It is also said in the Zeyarat (visiting tablet written by Ali): "Peace be upon the new True One." Abu-Abd 'Allah (sixth Imam) was asked concerning the character of the Mahdi: "What will be His character?" He (Muhammad) and He will destroy whatever hath been before Him, just as the Prophet of God abolished the matter of Jahileyeh."

Consider, notwithstanding similar traditions, how they have sought to prove the permanency of the ordinances, although the purpose of every Manifestation is the manifestation of change and transformation in the regions of the world, publicly and privately, outwardly and inwardly. For if the affairs of the earth change not, the appearance of Universal Manifestations would be futile. It is said in "Awalim" which is one of the authoritative books, "A youth shall appear from Beni-Hashem (family of Muhammad) who will possess a new Book and new Laws"; then follows, "Most of his enemies will be the divines." In another place it is related that Sadik-Ebn-Muhammad said: "A youth shall appear from Beni-Hashem, and will command people to swear allegiance to Him; He shall possess a new Book; He will summon people to acknowledge a new Book which is onerous to the Arab. When you hear about Him, hasten to Him." How well have they carried out the testament of the Imams of Religion and Lights of Certainty! Although it is said: "If you hear of a youth of Beni-Hashem appearing, summoning people to a new Divine Book and new Supreme Laws, hasten unto Him," yet they gave verdict of infidelity and apostasy against that Lord of Existence and did not go unto that Hashemite Light and Divine Appearance except with drawn swords and hearts full of hatred. Moreover consider how plainly the enmity of the divines is mentioned in the Book. Notwithstanding all these clear and indicative traditions and evident and confirmed references, the people have turned away from the clear Essence of knowledge and utterance, and have advanced toward the appearances of error and sedition; and despite these revealed words and recorded traditions, they say whatever is prompted by self. Should the Essence of Truth give an explanation which proves contrary to their egotism and desire, they will straightway charge Him with infidelity, saying, "this is contrary to the words of the Imams of the religion and of the manifest lights, and no such command or order hath been laid down in the irrefutable Law"; just as in the present day similar vain sayings proceed from these mortal temples.

No understanding can comprehend the character of His Manifestation and no knowledge grasp the measure of His mission.

All sayings are dependent upon His approval, and all things are in need of His authority. All else save Him is created by His command and exists by His direction. He is the manifestor of the divine mysteries and the elucidator of the hidden wisdoms of eternity. This is it related in "Buhar'ul-Answar," "Awalim" and "Yanbou'a" (three authoritative books of tradition) that Sadik-Ebn-Muhammad said: "Knowledge is twenty-seven letters. All that was brought of it by the Prophets were two letters, and until the present day, people only know these two letters; but when Gha'im shall arise, the twenty-five letters will appear."

Consider: He hath designated that knowledge consists of twenty-seven letters, and all the prophets from Adam down to the "Seal" explained but two letters thereof, and were sent forth in these two. He also says Gha'im shall bring forth the remaining twenty-five letters. From this explanation realize the rank and station of His Holiness (Bab); that His rank is greater than all the Prophets and His mission loftier and higher than the knowledge and comprehension of all the holy ones. These worthless creatures measure with their limited minds, learnings and understanding, a matter of which the Prophets, holy ones and chosen ones have either not been informed, or which they have not declared because of an irrefutable command of God, and finding it not in accord therewith, reject it. "Dost thou imagine that the greater part of them hear or understand? They are no other than like the brute cattle; yea, they stray more widely from the true path." To what do they apply the mentioned tradition which clearly indicates the hidden facts and wonderful new event in the Day of His Holiness? These new events will cause the people to disagree to such an extent that the divines and religious doctors will sentence His Holiness and His companions to death, and all the people of the earth will arise in contradiction. Thus it is said in "Kafi," in the tradition by Jabir in the "Tablet of Fatima," concerning the Gha'im: "The perfection of Moses, the splendor of Jesus, and the patience of Job (shall be) in Him, and His friends shall be abased during His time, and their heads shall be, just as the heads of the Turks and Deylamites were, exchanged as presents; they shall be slain and burnt, terrified with fear, and appalled; the earth shall be dyed with their blood, and lamentation and wailing shall prevail amongst their women; these are indeed my friends."

We beg the doctors and divines of the Bayan not to act in like manner; not to inflict upon the Essence of Divinity, the Supreme Light, the Absolute Eternity, and the Origin and End of the Manifestations of the Invisible, at the time of Mustagath,[1] that which hath been inflicted in this day; not to depend upon intellect, comprehension and learning, nor show hostility toward that Manifestor of supreme infinite knowledges. Yet, notwithstanding all these admonitions, it is seen that a misleading person, who is a chief of the people, will arise with the utmost opposition. Likewise in every city, (people) will arise to suppress that Beauty of Holiness. The companions of that King of Existence and Essence of the Desired One will flee to mountains and deserts and conceal themselves from the hand of the oppressors, while some will resign themselves and yield life with entire severance. As already witnessed, one known and reputed for great piety and virtue, whom the people deem it their duty to obey, and to whose command they consider it necessary to submit, will war against that Root of the Divine Tree and arise to oppose with the utmost strife and exertion. This is the quality of people!

[1 Bahá'u'lláh.]

To resume: We hope that the people of the Bayan may be trained; that they may soar in the atmosphere of spirit and abide in its court; that they may distinguish the True One from all others, and penetrate a false vestment with the eye of insight. But in these days such odor of jealousy is diffused, I swear by the Educator of Existence, including the seen and the unseen, that from the beginning of the foundation of the world -- though it hath no beginning -- to the present time, no such envy, animosity and hatred have appeared or ever will appear. For a number who have not inhaled the odor of justice, have hoisted banners of discord, and have agreed to oppose this servant. From every direction a spear is visible, and from every side an arrow flies. This, although we have not gloried in any matter, nor have we sought superiority over any. To every one we have been a most affectionate companion and a most forbearing and indulgent friend; with the poor we have been as the poor, and before the learned and lofty, perfectly submissive and resigned. Yet by God, than Whom there is no other God, the hardships, calamities and sufferings inflicted by the enemies and possessors of the Book are as nothing compared to what hath been inflicted by the believers (Babis). '

The Birds of Divinity and Doves of Eternity have two utterances. One they reveal according to the outward, without allegory, covering or veil, that it may be a guiding lamp and beckoning light by which wayfarers may reach the summits of holiness, and seekers be led to the court of union. Such are the clear records and evident verses already mentioned. The other utterance they reveal in veil and covering to expose that which the malicious have concealed in their hearts and disclose their innermost beings. Therefore it is said by Sadek-Ibn-Muhammad, "God will purge them and sift them." This is the divine balance and the eternal touchstone wherewith He tests His servants. No one comprehendeth the meanings of these utterances except tranquil hearts, approved souls and abstracted minds. In similar utterances the literal meaning understood by people is not intended.

Thus it is said: "Every knowledge hath seventy senses, of which one only is known among the people; but when the Gha'im shall arise, He will spread the remaining senses among men." Likewise it is said: "We speak one word and by it we intend one and seventy meanings; each one of these we can explain."

To resume: These things are mentioned that the people may not be troubled by certain traditions and utterances, the signs of which have not appeared in the world of dominion, but that they may attribute their perplexity to their own lack of comprehension and not to the non-fulfillment of the meanings of the traditions; for the intent of the Imams of religion is not known to these servants, as evidence by the traditions themselves. Consequently the people should not deprive themselves of the bounties through such texts, but should question the custodians thereof, so that the hidden mysteries may appear and become manifest free from veils.

But no one is found among the people of the earth who is a seeker of the Truth, and who turns to the Manifestation of Oneness, concerning intricate questions. All are dwelling in the land of oblivion and follow the people of hostility and rebellion. But God will do unto them just as they are acting, and will forget them even as they ignored His meeting in His Days. Thus those who have denied are judged, and He shall judge those who reject His signs.

Revealed from the "B" and the "H" (Baha).

Peace be upon those who hear the melody of the Dove in the Sadrat-el-Muntaha!

Glory be to our Lord, the Supreme!
CHAPTER II
THE GREAT MESSAGE
36. He is the Mighty Over That Which He Willeth

This is the Noble Book from before the Lord of the worlds to those who have believed in this great announcement; verily, it is an admonition to whosoever is guided and a remembrance to the one who hath advanced towards the Lord of the people of knowledge.

Those who are given vision by God are indeed those who know the truth and are not withheld from it by the veils of polytheists. They see the lights of the Kingdom as they see the sun in the midst of the sky. Are they not indeed of the people of the Presence? Blessed is he who flings the world away and mounts the Red Ark through the Lord of the Names. Is he not of the people of Baha? Thus hath it been caused to descend from before the Revealer of the Bayan, whereunto beareth witness he who judges rightly in the Cause of God, and who has been of the witnesses.

We sent Ali (the Báb), who preached to you of the Kingdom before the Face, called you in the wilderness of unity, and summoned you to God, the Mighty, the Exalted, the Great.

Had He not come, no one would have the right to object to this Manifestation. How would it then be after We revealed the Bayan and adorned it with the embroidered Garment of My commemoration, the Precious, the Wonderful?

Say: O people! Do ye call upon the Names and cast aside their Creator? Verily this is no other than grievous error. Arise to assist the Cause of God; then invite the people to this Noble Outlook.

Say: Are ye affrighted by the assault of those who have exercised oppression, after ye see the power of your Lord, the Mighty, the Extolled? Follow the example of your Lord, the Merciful, whilst in the greatest disaster. He calleth the people to the truth, and was impeded neither by the oppression of the oppressors nor by the injury of the polytheists. Verily, your Lord, the Merciful, protecteth whom He pleaseth, though He may be in the mouth of the winged dragon. By My Life, not a single leaf is moved but after His permission and He is indeed the Mighty, the Powerful. And he whose stated time hath come, death apprehendeth him, even if he be in a stronghold.

His compassion hath preceded His wrath; thereupon We have suffered anguish from every lowly one though in Our grasp is the Kingdom of heaven and earth.

Beware not to commit that whereby discord may be caused. Unite in the Cause and disagree not. By union ye break the backs of those who have denied the Ruler of existence. This is better unto you, if ye are of those who believe. Nothing was desired by Us for you save that which draws you nigh to God. Hearken unto the truth and follow not the steps of the devils.

As to thee, thou are commemorating My commemoration and looking to My Face; deliver to the people that whereunto thou art commanded. Peradventure the winds of Paradise may move them and turn them over to the Kibla of the people of the world.

Cleanse the people with the water of the inner significances which We have deposited in the signs. By My Life, it is indeed the water of life which the Merciful One hath sent down from the heaven of grace for the life of the people of the world.

The night hath passed wherein God hath enjoined upon all who were around Him: "Rally under the shadow of that which hath extended from this Divine Sadrat." This is that which We have commanded you on a former occasion. Blessed are the attainers.

Beware not to disagree in the Cause of God and not to follow the imaginations of the doubting people. Verily He is with the one who commemorates Him and assists this Cause, wherefrom the fragrance of the Merciful hath spread among the people of the world.

TABLET TO THE SHAH OF PERSIA

37. O King of earth, hear the voice of this slave! I have sacrificed myself in His way; to this do the afflictions wherein I am (the like of which none amongst mankind hath borne) testify, and my Lord the All-Knowing is the witness to what I say. I have not summoned men unto aught save unto Thy Lord and the Lord of the worlds. In love for Him there hath come upon me that whereof the eye of creation hath not beheld the like; in this will these servants whom the veils of humanity have not withheld from confronting the chiefest outlook bear me out, and beside them He with whom is knowledge of all things in a Preserved Tablet. Whenever the clouds of fate rain down the darts of affliction in the way of God the Lord of the names, I advance to meet them; to this testifieth every fair and rightly informed person. How many are the nights wherein the wild beasts rested in their lairs, and the birds in their nests, while this servants was in chains and fetters and found for Himself none to succor, nor any helper! Remember the grace of God toward thee when thou wast in prison with sundry others, and He brought thee out thence, and succored thee with the hosts of the invisible and the visible, until the King sent thee to Iraq (Baghdad) after we had disclosed to him that thou wast not of the number of the seditious. Verily such as follow their lusts and turn aside from virtue, these are in evident error.

And as for those who work sedition in the earth, and shed blood and falsely consume men's wealth, we are quit of them, and we ask God not to associate with them either in this world or in the world to come, unless they repent unto Him; verily He is the most merciful of the merciful, verily it behooveth him who turneth towards God to be distinguished in all actions from what is apart from Him and to conform to that which is enjoined upon him in the Book; thus is the matter decreed in a perspicuous Book. As for such as cast the command of God behind their backs and follow after their lusts, they are in grievous error.

O King, I conjure thee by thy Lord the merciful to regard His servants with the gaze of pitiful eyes, and to rule with justice in their midst, that God may award His favor unto thee; verily thy Lord judgeth as He pleaseth. The world shall perish with whatsoever of glory and abasement is therein, while dominion remaineth unto God, the supreme and all-knowing King. Say, verily He hath kindled the lamp of the Bayan, and He will continue it with the oil of ideas and expressions; exalted is thy Lord the merciful. Verily He will show forth what He pleaseth by His authority, and will guard it with a cohort of the proximate angels. He controlleth His handiwork and compelleth His creation; verily He is the All-Knowing, the Wise.

O King, verily I was as any one amongst mankind, slumbering upon my couch. The gales of the All-Glorious passed by me, and taught me the knowledge of what hath been. This thing is not from me but from One who is mighty and All-Knowing. And He bade me proclaim betwixt the earth and the heaven, and for this hath there befallen me that whereat the eyes of those who know overflow with tears. I have not studied those sciences which men possess, nor have I entered the colleges; inquire of the city wherein I was, that thou mayest be assured that I am not of those who speak falsely.

This is a leaf which the breezes of the will of thy Lord, the Mighty, the Extolled, have stirred. Can it be still when the rushing winds blow? No, by my Lord of the names and attributes! Rather do they move it as they list, for being belongeth not to nonentity in presence of the eternal. His decisive command did come, causing me to speak for His celebration amidst the worlds. Verily I was not save as one dead in presence of His command, the hand of thy Lord the Merciful, the Clement, turning me. Can any one speak on his own part that for which all men, whether high or low, will contradict Him? No, by Him who taught the Pen eternal mysteries, save him who is strengthened by One mighty and strong.

The Supreme Pen addresseth me, saying, "Fear not, but relate unto His majesty, the king, what hath come upon thee. Verily his heart is between the fingers of thy Lord the Merciful; perchance He will cause the sun of justice and kindness to dawn from the horizons of his heart." Thus was the command revealed from the All-Wise.

Say, King, look with the gaze of justice upon this servant; then decide according to the right concerning what hath befallen him. Verily God hath appointed thee His shadow amongst His servants, and the sign of His power to the dwellers in the land; judge between us and those who have oppressed us without proof or clear warrant.

Verily those who surround thee, love thee for their own sakes, while this servant loveth thee for thine own sake, nor doth He desire aught save that He may bring thee nigh unto the station of grace and turn thee unto the right hand of justice; thy Lord is witness unto that which I say.

O King, if thou wouldst hear the cry of the Supreme Pen, and the cooing of the dove of eternity on the branches of the Divine Lote-tree beyond which there is no passing in praise of God, the maker of the names, the creator of the earth and heaven, verily this would cause thee to attain unto a station whence thou wouldst behold in existence naught save the effulgence of God the adored, and whence thou wouldst regard dominion as a thing of least account in thine eyes, leaving it to who desireth it, and turning toward a horizon illumined with the lights of God's face; neither wouldst thou ever endure the burden of dominion unless it were to help thy Lord, the High, the Supreme. Then would the people of the Supreme Concourse magnify thee, saying, "How good is this most glorious station, if thou wouldst but ascend thereunto by authority accorded unto thee in the name of God."

Amongst mankind are some who say this servant desireth the world for himself notwithstanding that I have not found during the days of my life a place of safety such that I might set my feet therein, but was ever overwhelmed in the floods of affliction, whereof none wots save God; verily He knoweth what I say. How many were the days wherein my friends were disquieted for my distress, and how many the nights, wherein the sound of wailing arose from my family in fear for my life; none will deny this save he who is devoid of truthfulness. Doth he who regardeth not his life (as assured) for less than a moment, desire the world? I marvel at those who speak after their lusts, and wander madly in the desert of passion and desire. They shall be questioned as to that which they have said; on that day they shall not find for themselves any protector nor any helper. And amongst them who say, "Verily, he denieth God," notwithstanding that all my limbs testify that there is no God but Him, and that those whom He quickeneth with the truth and sent for men's guidance are the manifestations of His most comely names, the day-springs of His supreme attributes, and the recipients of His revelation in the realm of creation: by whom the proof of God unto all beside Himself is made perfect, the standard of faith and unity is set up, and the sign of renunciation becomes apparent; and by whom every soul taketh a course toward the Lord of the throne. We bear witness that there is no God but Him: everlastingly He was and there was nothing beside Him; everlastingly He will be even as He hath been. Exalted is the Merciful One above this, that the hearts of the people of wisdom should ascend unto the comprehension of His nature, or that the understanding of such as inhabit the worlds should rise to the knowledge of His essence.

Holy is He above the knowledge of all save Himself, and exempt is He from the comprehension of what is beside Him; verily in eternity of eternities was He independent of the worlds.

Remember the days wherein the Sun of Batha (Muhammad) shone forth from the horizon of the will of thy Lord, the High, the Supreme, how the doctors turned aside from him, and the cultured found fault with him, that thou mayest understand what is now hidden within the veil of light. Matters waxed grievous for him on all sides, until those who were gathered round him were dispersed by his own command; thus was the matter decreed from the heaven of glory. Then remember when one of them came in before the Nejashi (king of Abyssinia) and recited unto him a sura of the Qur'an. He said to those around him: "Verily it hath been revealed on the part of One All-Knowing and Wise. Whosoever accepteth what is best, and believeth in that which Jesus brought, for him it is impossible to turn aside from what hath been read; verily we testify unto the truth of it, even as we testify unto the truth of what is with us of the Books of God, the Protecting, the Self-subsistent."

By God, O king, if thou wouldst hear the strains of the dove which cooeth on the branches with varied notes by the command of thy Lord the Merciful, thou wouldst assuredly put away dominion behind thee and go unto the Chiefest Outlook, the station from the horizon of which the Book of the Dawn is seen, and wouldst spend what thou hast, seeking after that which is with God. Then wouldst thou find thyself in the height of glory and exultation and the zenith of greatness and independence; thus has the matter been written in the primal revelation by the Pen of the Merciful One.

There is no good in what thou dost possess today, for another shall possess it tomorrow in thy stead. Choose for thyself that which God hath chosen for His elect. Verily He will bestow upon thee a mighty dominion in His Kingdom. We ask God that He may help thy mayest to hearken unto the Word whereby the world is illuminated, and preserve thee from those who are remote from the region of nearness.

Glory be to Thee, O God! O God, how many a head hath been set us on spears in Thy way! How many hearts have been riddled for the exaltation of Thy Word and the diffusion of Thy religion! How many eyes have overflowed with tears for Thy love! I ask thee, O King of Kings, Pitier of thralls, by Thy most great name, which Thou hast made the day-spring of Thy most comely names and the manifestation of Thy supreme attributes, to lift up the veils which intervene between Thee and Thy creatures, withholding them from turning toward the horizon of Thy revelation; then drawn them, O God, by Thy Supreme Word from the left hand of fancy and forgetfulness to the right hand of certainty and knowledge, that they may know what Thou, in Thy bounty and grace, desireth for them, and may turn toward the manifestation of Thy religion and the day-spring of Thy signs. O God, Thou art the gracious, the Lord of great bounty; withhold not Thy servants from the most mighty ocean, which Thou hast made to produce the pearls of Thy knowledge and wisdom, neither repel them from Thy gate which Thou hast opened unto all who are in Thy heaven and Thy earth. O Lord, leave them not to themselves, for they know not, and flee from what is better for them than whatsoever hath been created in Thine earth. Look upon them, O Lord, with the glances of the eyes of Thy favors and bounties, and free them from passion and lust, that they may draw nigh unto Thy supreme horizon, and may discover the delight of remembering Thee, and the sweetness of the table which hath been sent down from the heaven of Thy will and the air of Thy bounty. Everlastingly hath Thy grace encompassed all contingent beings, and Thy mercy preceded all creatures; there is no God but Thee, the forgiving, the merciful!

Glory be to Thee, O God! Thou knowest that my heart is melted about Thy business, that my blood boils in my veins with the fire of Thy love, and that every drop thereof crieth unto Thee with dumb eloquence saying, "O Lord Most High, shed on the earth in Thy way, that there may grow from it what Thou desirest in Thy Books, but hast concealed from the sight of Thy servants, save such as have drunk from the Kawther of knowledge from the hands of Thy grace, and the Salsibil of wisdom from the cup of Thy bounty." Thou knowest, O God, that in every action I desire nothing save Thine affair, and that in every utterance I seek naught but Thy celebration, neither doth my pen move except I desire Thy good pleasure and the setting forth of what Thou hast enjoined upon me by Thy authority. Thou seest me, O God, confounded in Thine earth; if I tell what Thou hast enjoined on me, Thy creatures turn against me; and if I forsake what Thou hast enjoined on me on Thy part, I should be deserving of the scourges of Thy wrath, and far removed from the gardens of nearness to Thee. No, by Thy glory, I advance toward Thy good pleasure, turning aside from what the souls of Thy servants desire; and accept what is with Thee, forsaking what will remove me afar off from the retreats of nearness to Thee and the heights of Thy glory. By Thy glory, for Thy love, I flinch not from aught, and for Thy good pleasure I fear not all the afflictions in the world; that is but through Thy strength and Thy might, and Thy grace and Thy favor, not because I am deserving thereof.

O God, this is a letter which I wish to send to the king; and Thou knowest that I have not desired aught of him save the display of his justice to Thy people, and the showing forth of his favors to the dwellers in Thy Kingdom, and verily, for myself, I have not desired aught save what Thou desirest. Perish that being which desireth of Thee aught save Thyself! Help, O God, his majesty the King, to execute Thy laws amongst Thy servants and to show forth Thy justice amidst Thy creatures, that he may rule over this sect as he ruleth over those who are beside them. Verily Thou art the potent, the mighty, the wise.

O would that thou mightest permit, O King, that we would send unto thy mayest that whereby eyes would be refreshed, souls tranquillized and every just person assured that with him (Bahá'u'lláh) is knowledge of the Book. Were it not for the turning aside of the ignorant and the willful blindness of the doctors, verily I would utter a discourse whereat hearts would be glad and would fly into the air from the murmur of whose winds is heard, "There is no God but He." But now, because the time admitteth it not, the tongue is withheld from utterances, and the vessel of declaration is sealed until God shall unclose it by His Power; verily He is the potent, the powerful.

Glory be to Thee, O God! O my God, I ask of Thee in Thy name, whereby Thou hast subdued whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, that Thou wilt keep the lamp of Religion with the glass of Thy power and Thy favors, so that the winds of denial pass not by it from the region of those who are heedless of the mysteries of Thy sovereign name; then increase its light by the oil of Thy wisdom; verily Thou art the potent over whosoever is in Thy earth and Thy heaven. O Lord, I ask of Thee by Thy supreme word, whereat whosoever is in the earth and the heaven feareth, save him who taketh hold of the most firm handle, that Thou wilt not abandon me amongst Thy creatures. Lift me up unto Thee, and make me to enter under the shadow of Thy mercy, and give me to drink of the pure wine of Thy grace, and that I may dwell under the canopy of Thy glory and the dome of Thy favors, -- verily Thou art powerful unto that which Thou wishest and verily Thou art the protecting, the self-sufficing.

O King! The lamps of justice are extinguished, and the fire of persecution is kindled on all sides, until that they have made my people captives. This is not the first honor which hath been violated in the way of God. It behooveth every one to regard and recall what befell the kindred of the prophet until that the people made them captives and brought them in unto Damascus, the spacious; and amongst them the Prince of worshippers, (Zeynu'l'Abindin) the stay of the elect, the sanctuary of the eager (the soul of all beside him be his sacrifice). It was said unto them, "Are ye seceders?" He said, "No, by God, we are servants who have believed in God and in His signs, and through us the teeth of faith are disclosed in a smile and the sign of the Merciful one shineth forth; through our mention spreadeth Albatha (Mecca) and the darkness which intervened between earth and heaven is dispelled." It was asked, "Have you forbidden what God hath sanctioned, or sanctioned what God hath forbidden?" He answered, "We were the first who followed the commandments of God; we are the pioneers of this religion, and the first fruits of all good and its consummation; we are the sign of the Eternal, and His commemoration amongst the nations." It was asked, "Have you abandoned the Qur'an?" He said, "Within us did the Merciful One reveal it; we are the streams which have arisen from the most mighty ocean whereby God revived the earth after its death and will revive it again; from us His signs are diffused, His evidences are manifested and His tokens appear: and with us are His mysteries and His secrets." It was asked, "For what fault then, were ye afflicted?" He said, "For the love of God and our severance from all beside Him."

Verily we have not repeated his expressions (upon him be peace) but rather we have made manifest a spray from the ocean of life, which was deposited in his words, that by it those who advance may live and be aware of what hath befallen the trusted ones of god on the part of the evil and most reprobate people. And today we see the people censuring those who acted unjustly of yore, while they oppress more vehemently than those oppressed, and know it not. By God, I do not desire sedition, but the purification of God's servants from all that withholdeth them from approach to God, the King of the Day of Judgment.

I was asleep on my couch; the breaths of my Lord, the Merciful, passed over me and awakened me from my sleep; and commanded me to proclaim betwixt earth and heaven. This was not on my part but on His part, and to this bear witness the denizens of the realms of His power and His kingdom, and the dwellers in the cities of His glory, and Himself, the truth. I am not impatient of calamities in His way, nor of afflictions for His love and at His good pleasure--God hath made afflictions as a morning shower to His green pasture, and as a wick for His lamp whereby earth and heaven are illumined.

Shall that which any one hath of wealth endure unto him, or avail him tomorrow with him who holdeth his forelock? If any should look on those who sleep under slabs and keep company with the dust, can he distinguish the bones of the king's skull from the knuckles of the slave? No, by the King of Kings? Or doth he know the governors from the herdsmen, or discern the wealthy and the rich from him who was without shoes or carpet? By God, distinction is removed save from him who fulfilled righteousness and judged uprightly. where are the doctors, the scholars, the nobles? where is the keenness of their glances, the sharpness of their sight, the subtlety of their thoughts, the soundness of their understanding? where are their hidden treasures and their apparent gauds, their bejewelled thrones and their ample couches? Alas! All have been laid waste, and the decree of God hath rendered them as scattered dust! Emptied is what they treasured up, and dissipated is what they collected, and dispersed is what they concealed. They have become such that thou seest naught but their empty places; their gaping roofs, their uprooted beams, their new things waxed old. As for the discerning man, verily wealth will not divert him from regarding the end; and for the prudent man, riches will not withhold him from turning toward God, the Rich, the Exalted. Where is he who held dominion over all whereon the sun arose, and who spent lavishly and sought after curious things in the world and what is therein created? where is the lord of the swarthy squadron and they yellow standard? where is he who ruled Baghdad, and where is he who wrought injustice in Damascus, the spacious? where are they at whose bounty treasures were afraid, and at whose openhandedness and generosity the ocean was dismayed? where is he whose arm was stretched forth in rebelliousness, whose heart turned away from the merciful One? where is he who used to make choice of pleasures and cull the fruits of desire? where are the dames of the bridal-chambers, and the possessors of beauty? Where their waving branches and their spreading boughs, their lofty palaces and trellised gardens? Where is the smoothness of the expanses thereof and the softness of their breezes,and the rippling of their waters and the murmur of their winds, and the cooing of their doves and the rustling of their trees? Where are their laughing hearts and their smiling mouths? Woe unto them! They have descended to the abyss and become companions to the pebbles; today no mention is heard nor any sound; nothing is known of them or any hint. Will the people dispute it while they behold it? will they deny while they know it? I know not in what valley they wander erringly; do they not see that they depart and return not? How long will they be descending and ascending--spiritually rising and falling? Has the time not yet come to those who believe, for their hearts to become humble for the remembrance of God? Well is it with that one who hath said or shall say, "Yea, O Lord, the time is right and hath come." And who severeth himself from all that is, unto the King of beings, and the Ruler of creation. Alas! Naught is reaped but what is sown, and nought is taken but what is laid up, save by the grace of God and His favor. hath the earth conceived him whom the veils of glory prevent not from ascending into the kingdom of his Lord, the Mighty, the Supreme? Have we any good works whereby defects shall be removed or which shall bring us near unto the Lord of causes? We ask God to deal with us according to His grace, not His justice, and to make us of those who turn toward Him and sever themselves from all beside Him.

O King, I have seen in the way of God what no eye hath seen and no ear hath heard. Friends have disclaimed; ways are straightened unto me; the pool of safety is dried up; the plain of ease is scorched yellow. How many calamities have descended, and how many will descend! I walk advancing toward the Mighty, the Bounteous, while behind me glides the serpent. My eyes rain down tears until my bed is drenched; yet my sorrow is not for myself. By God, my head longeth for the spears for the love of its Lord, and I never pass by a tree but my heart addresseth it, saying, "O would that thou wert cut down in my name and my body were crucified upon thee in the way of my Lord." Yea, because I see mankind going astray in their intoxication and they know it not; they have exalted their lusts, and put aside their God, as though they took the command of God for a mockery, a sport, and a plaything; and they think that they do well, and that they are harbored in the citadel of security. The matter is not as they supposed; tomorrow they shall see what they now deny. The rulers of authority and wealth are about to send us forth from this land, Adrianople, unto the city of Acca. And according to what they say, it is assuredly the most desolate, the most detestable in climate, and the foulest in water; it is as though it were the metropolis of the owl; there is not heard from its region aught save the sound of its echo, and in it they intend to imprison this servant, and to shut in our faces the doors of leniency and take away from us the good things of the life of the world during what remaineth of our days. By God, though weariness should weaken me and hunger should destroy me, though my couch should be made of the hard rock and my associates of the beasts of the desert, I will not blench, but will be patient, as the resolute and determined are patient in the strength of God, the King of pre-existence, the Creator of the nations; and under all circumstances I give thanks unto God. And we hope of His graciousness (exalted is He) the freedom of the necks from chains and shackles in this imprisonment; and that He will render all men's faces sincere toward Him, the Mighty, the Bounteous. Verily He answereth him who prayeth unto Him, and is near unto him who calleth on Him. And we ask Him to make this dark calamity a buckler for the temple of His command, and to protect it thereby from sharp swords and piercing blades. Through affliction hath His light shone and His praise been bright unceasingly; this hath been His method through past ages and bygone times.

The people shall know what today they understand not, when their steeds shall stumble, their bed be rolled up, their swords be blunted, and their footsteps slip. I know not how long they ride this steed of desire and wander erringly in the desert of heedlessness and error. Of glory shall any glory endure, or of abasement any abasement? Or shall he endure who used to stay himself on high cushions and who attained in splendor the utmost limit? No, by my Lord the Merciful! All that is on the earth is transient, and there remaineth only the face of my Lord, the Mighty, the Beneficent. What buckler hath not the arrow of death smitten, or what pinion hath not the hand of fate plucked? From what fortress hath the messenger of death been kept back when he came? What throne hath not been broken, or what palace hath not been desolate? Did the people but know what is beyond the end of this life, the pure wine of the mercy of their Lord, the Mighty, the All-Knowing, they would certainly cast aside reproach and seek to be satisfied by this servant. But now they have veiled me with the veil of darkness which they have woven with the hands of doubts and fancies. The White Hand shall cleave an opening to this somber night, and God will open into His city a gate. On that day men shall arise from the tombs and shall be questioned concerning their riches. Happy that one whom burdens shall not oppress on that day whereon the mountains shall pass away and all shall appear for questioning in the presence of God the Exalted! Verily He is sever in punishing.

We ask God to sanctify the hearts of certain of the theologians from rancour and hatred that they may regard things with eyes which closure overcometh not; and to raise them unto a station where the world and the lordship thereof shall not turn them aside from looking toward the Supreme Horizon, and where anxiety for gaining a livelihood and providing household goods shall not divert them from the thought of that day whereon the mountains shall be made like carpets. Though they rejoice at that which hath befallen us of calamity there shall come a day whereon they shall wail and weep. By my Lord, were I given the choice between the glory and opulence, the wealth and dignity, the ease and luxury wherein they are, and the distress and affliction wherein I am, I would certainly choose that wherein I am today, and I would not now exchange one atom of these afflictions for all that hath been created in the kingdom of production! Were it not for affliction in the way of God my continuance would have no sweetness for me, nor would my life profit me. Let it not be hidden from the discerning and such as look toward the Chiefest Outlook that I, during the greater part of my days, was a servant sitting beneath a sword suspended by a single hair, who knoweth not when it shall descend upon him, whether it shall descend instantly or after a while. And in all this we give thanks to God, the Lord of the worlds, and we praise Him under all circumstances, -- verily He is a witness unto all things.

We ask God to extend His shadow that the unitarians may hasten thereto, and that the sinners may take shelter therein, and to bestow on these servants flowers from the garden of His grace and stars from the horizon of His favors; and to assist the king in that which He liketh and approveth; and to help him unto that which shall bring him near to the day-spring of His most comely names, that he may not shut his eyes to the wrong which he seeth, but may regard his subjects with the eye of favor and preserve them from violence. And we ask Him (exalted is He) to gather all together by the gulf of the most mighty ocean whereof each drop crieth, "Verily He is the giver of good tidings to the worlds and the quickener of the worlds; and praise be to God, the King of the Day of Judgment." And we ask Him (exalted is He) to make thee a helper unto His religion and a regarder of His justice, that thou mayest rule over His servants as thou rulest over those of thy kindred, and mayest choose for them what thou wouldst choose for thyself. Verily He is the potent, the exalted, the protecting, the self-subsistent. Thus have we built the Temple by the hands of might and potency, were ye of those who know. This is indeed the Temple of which ye are promised in the Book; come nigh unto it; this is better unto you were ye to understand. O people of the earth! Be just and say whether this is better unto you or the temple which is built of clay. Turn unto Him, thus have ye been commanded on the part of God, the Protector, the Self-existent.

Follow the command, then praise God, your Lord, for that which He hath graciously bestowed upon you. Verily He is the truth, there is no God but Him. He maketh to manifest what He pleaseth by saying, "Be" and it is.

TABLET TO THE SULTAN OF TURKEY
The Supreme Pen proclaims:
38. He is the Possessor in His Might and Power!

O, thou personage, who considerest thyself the greatest of all men, while looking upon the Divine Youth, thinking him to be the lowest of men, yet through him the eye of the Supreme Concourse is brightened and illumined. This Youth has never made nor will he ever make a request of thee: For from the beginning every one of the Manifestations of mercifulness and the Dawning-places of the glory of the Almighty, who have stepped forth from the realm of immortality upon the arena of existence and shone forth with splendor for the quickening of the dead, men like thee have considered those sanctified souls and Temples of Oneness upon whom the reformation of the world depends, as the people of strife, and wrong-doers. Verily, their names (the deniers) are forgotten and ere long thy name will also be forgotten and thou shalt find thyself in great loss. According to thy opinion this quickener of the world and its peace-maker is culpable and seditious. What crime have the women, children and suffering babes committed, to merit thy wrath, oppression and hate? In every religion and community the children are considered innocent, nor does the Pen of Divine Command hold them responsible, yet the reign of thy tyranny and despotism has surrounded them. If thou art the follower of any religion or sect, read thou the Heavenly Books, the inspired epistles and the divine writings, so that thou mayest realize the irresponsibility of children. On the other hand, even those people who do not believe in God, have never committed such crimes.

In everything an effect is hidden, and no one has denied the effects of things except an ignorant one who is completely denied and deprived of intelligence. Therefore, undoubtedly the lamentation of these children and the cries of these wronged ones will produce a great effect.

You have persecuted a number of souls who have shown no opposition in your country and who have instigated no revolution against the government; nay, rather, days and nights they have been peacefully engaged in the mentioning of God. You have pillaged their properties and through your tyrannical acts, all they had was taken from them. When the order was issued for the banishment of this Youth, these souls began to lament, but the officers who constituted my guard mentioned that these souls had committed no wrong, nor had the government banished them, but if they desired they might follow you, for no one would oppose them. Consequently, they paid all their own expenses and leaving their property behind, they were contented with the countenance of this Youth and trusting upon God they departed again with the True One, until the fortress of Akka became the place of the incarceration of Baha. The day after the arrival, the officials of the army surrounded the men, women and children and carried them to the gloomy dungeon of the barrack. The first night they were given neither bread nor water, for the sentinels were guarding the door of the prison and permitted no one to leave the place. They did not consider the plight of these wronged ones. Water was asked for, but it was refused. It is now some time since we are all imprisoned in this dungeon; although we were living for five years in Adrianople and all the people, whether ignorant or wise, rich or poor, testified to the sanctity and holiness of these servants.

When departing from Adrianople one of the believers of God sacrificed himself with his own hand, for he could not see this Wronged One in the hands of the tyrants. On our way we were transferred three times, from one ship to another, and it is evident that a number of the children suffered under these severe circumstances. When we left the steamer, they separated four of the friends from us, and prevented them from following, and upon the departure of this Youth, one of the four, named Abdul Gaffar, threw himself into the sea and no one has ever found any trace of him. This is a drop of the ocean of persecution which surrounded and encircled us. Notwithstanding these things, they are not yet satisfied, and every day the officers of the government are increasing their hard-heartedness, nor is it ended; day and night they are forming new intrigues and adding to our sufferings. From the government supplies, these prisoners receive three loaves of bread to last for twenty-four hours, and no one is able to eat it.

From the beginning of the world, no such persecutions have been seen or heard of! I declare by the One who has commanded Baha to speak, between the heavens and the earth, there is no name or mention for you equal to those who sacrificed their spirits, bodies and property for the love of God, the Mighty, the Powerful, the Omnipotent! Before God, a handful of dust is greater than your kingdom, sovereignty, glory and dominion, and should He desire, He would scatter you as the sand of the desert, and ere long His wrath shall overtake you, revolutions shall appear in your midst and your countries will be divided! Then you will weep and lament and nowhere will you find help or protection. Then mentioning of these facts is not for the sake of your becoming mindful, for already the wrath of God has surrounded you, but you have not nor will you become mindful; neither is it for the sake of reciting the persecutions which have descended upon these holy souls, for they are intoxicated with the wine of the Merciful and they are so exhilarated with the clear Salsabil of divine providence, that should the persecutions of the world descend upon them in the path of God, they are satisfied, nay, rather, grateful; they never had nor will they ever have any complaints to offer. At every moment the blood in their bodies begs and supplicates from the Lord of both worlds, that it be shed upon the ground in His path; likewise their heads yearn to be raised upon a spear for the sake of the Beloved of the heart and soul. For several times the tests of God have descended upon you, and you were not mindful; one was a conflagration which burned the city with the fire of justice, so much so that poets have composed poems about it, declaring that such a conflagration had never appeared before; notwithstanding this your negligence increased. Then the cholera came, and still you remained heedless. Be ye watchful, for the wrath of God is prepared and ere long ye shall behold that which is descended from the Pen of Command. Have ye thought that your glory is everlasting, or did ye dream that your kingdom would remain forever? No, by the life of God! Your glory is not eternal, and our humiliation will not last. This humiliation is the diadem of all the glories, and only man in his perfection can comprehend it. When this Youth was a child and had not yet reached the age of maturity, one of my brothers intended to marry in Tihran and according to the custom of that country, for seven days and nights they were engaged in feasting and banqueting. The program for the last day of the entertainments for the guests was the play of "Sultan Salim." The ministers, the grandees and officials of the city were there in a great throng, and this Youth was sitting in one of the galleries of the building and was observing the scenes. Then they raised a great tent in the middle of the court; representations of human forms only a few inches in height would come out of the tent and cry: "The king is coming, arrange the seats in order." Then the other figures came out, sweeping the ground while a number were sprinkling the streets with water; then another image was presented, who was supposed to be the herald, acquainting the people to be ready for review before His Majesty, the Sultan.

Then the ministers came, with hat and shawl, according to the Persian custom; others were present with clubs, while a number of others were garbed as chamberlains, aides-de-camp, ferrashes and executioners with instruments of punishment. All these men were lined according to their station and class. At last the king appeared, with sovereign power and shining diadem upon his head, and with splendor and glory walked slowly and majestically, and with perfect calmness, tranquillity and composure, seated himself upon the throne. At that moment the noise of the guns and the music of the national anthem was raised, and the smoke surrounded the tent and the king. When the air was cleared, it was seen that the king was on his throne, and the ministers, the magistrates and secretaries had taken their places according to their rank. Immediately, a thief, captured by the police, was brought before the king, and a royal order was issued to behead him. The the chief of the executioners took the captive and decapitated him, and a red fluid, like blood, was seen by all the spectators. When the Sultan was consulting with some of his ministers, the news was brought in that a certain person had become a rebel. The Sultan issued orders that several regiments of soldiers and artillerymen be sent to the scene and quell the disturbance. After a few minutes the thunderous noise of guns and artillery was heard behind the tent, and we were told they were engaged in battle. This Youth became astonished and bewildered at these affairs. Then the review ended and the curtain descended.

After twenty minutes a man came out from behind the tent with a box under his arm. I asked him, "What is this box? Where is the king and all the men?" He answered that all these great things and manifest objects, such as kings, princes and ministers, glory, majesty, power and sovereignty that we beheld were enclosed in this box.

I declare by the Lord who has created all things through His Word, that from that day all the conditions of this world and its greatness are like that play before the eyes of this Youth. It has not nor will ever have the weight of a mustard seed. I was wondering greatly that the people glorify themselves in these affairs; notwithstanding this, the people of insight will discern with the eye of certainty the end of the glory of every great one before beholding it. I have seen nothing except I have discerned its transiency, and God testifies to this. It is incumbent upon every soul in these few days of life to spend them in truthfulness and justice and if he be not confirmed with the knowledge of the True One, he can at least walk in the path of equity and intelligence.

Ere long all these apparent things, manifest treasures, worldly wealth, valiant soldiers, beautiful dresses and haughty souls, will be enclosed in the box-like tomb, similar to the box which contained all the players, and all this quarrel, strife and so-called honors are like the play of the children before the people of insight. Be ye admonished, and be not of those who see the truth and yet deny. These things will not affect this Youth and the friends of the True One, for they are all prisoners and enchained, and will not nor will ever make any request of people like thee.

The point is this, that thou mayest raise thy head from the bed of negligence and become mindful and not oppose the servants of God without reason. Bear in mind that so far as power and strength remain in the body, thou shouldst remove persecutions from the oppressed ones. Shouldest thou have a little justice and behold with the eye of certainty in the affairs and differences of the ephemeral world, thou shalt acknowledge that all of them are like the above-mentioned play. Hearken unto the word of truth! Be thou not proud on account of the world. Where are those people who were like unto thee, who claimed divinity on this earth without the permission of God, and desired to extinguish the light of God and to demolish the foundation of truth?

Dost thou see any of them? Be just! Then turn to God, perchance He may forgive the sins thou hast committed in this ephemeral life. Yet we know that thou shalt not become assisted in this, for through thy tyranny the Fire of Sinai flamed forth, the Spirit wept, and the hearts of the angels bled.

O ye people of the earth! Hearken to the voice of this Oppressed One with the ear of the soul, and ponder ye deeply over the above-mentioned story. Perchance ye may not be burned with the fire of passion and desire, and be not prevented from the meeting of the True One, through the worthless things of the faithless world. Glory and abasement, poverty and wealth, trouble and tranquillity, all shall pass away, and ere long all the inhabitants of the earth shall return to the tomb. Therefore, every possessor of insight must behold the immortal Outlook, that peradventure, through the bounties of the Eternal Sovereign, he may enter into the everlasting Kingdom and rest under the shade of the Tree of Command. Although the world is the place of treachery and duplicity, yet under all circumstances it reminds all the people with the idea of change. The passing of the father is an admonition for the son, and it reminds him that he too must pass away. It would be well if the people of the world who are amassing great fortunes and are deprived of the True One, knew what would become of their great wealth. By the life of Baha, no one is cognizant of this fact except God, glorified in His Station!

The philosopher, Avicena -- peace be upon him -- says: "Be admonished, O ye whose hearts are darkened, be ye admonished, O ye, whose faces are covered with the lines of age!" However, the majority of the people are asleep. The example of those souls is like unto a person who was so intoxicated with wine that he was showing the signs of affection to a dog, and showering upon him tender words of love and affection. When the morning of intelligence dawned, and the horizons of the heaven were illumined with the brilliant orb, he beheld that his beloved was only a dog; then ashamed, regretful and remorseful on account of his act, he returned to his home.

Do not think that thou hast made this Youth powerless, or that thou hast conquered him. Thou art defeated by one of the servants, but knowest it not. The worst and lowest of creatures rules over thee, that is, thy passion and desire, which have been condemned forever. If it were not on account of the consummate wisdom of God, thou wouldst have seen thy weakness and the weakness of the people of the earth. This humility is the glory of My Cause, wert thou to know! This Youth has never loved nor will ever love to utter any word which is against courtesy. Verily, courtesy is My Garment with which we have adorned the temples of our favorite servants. Otherwise some of thy actions that thou thinkest are unknown, would be mentioned in this Tablet. O thou possessor of might! These little children and these friends of God did not need the officers and soldiers as guards. After our arrival, one of the officers presented himself and after much conversation expressed his own innocence and thy crime. This Youth mentioned to him that: "Primarily, it was necessary to bring about a meeting of the Ullamas of the time and Himself so that the crimes of which these servants were accused might become evident. However, time has passed and according to thy statement thou art commanded to imprison us in the 'most desolate city.' But I have one wish to make of thee, and that is to request of His Majesty, the Sultan, to grant me an audience of ten minutes in order that he may ask the proofs and arguments which he thinks would establish the validity of the Word of God. If the proofs which he desires are made manifest on the part of God, he should then liberate these wronged ones and leave them to their own condition."

He promised to take this message and send an answer, but we heard nothing more from him; although it is not the station of this True One to present himself before any person, for all the people are created for his worship: Yet for the sake of these little children and the number of women who are away from their country and people, we volunteered this act, but notwithstanding this, no result was produced. Omar is living and ready, ask of him so that the truth may become manifest to thee. Now all these exiled ones are sick and lying in prison. No one but God the Mighty, the Glorious, knows what will happen to us.

During the first days two of these servants passed into the Supreme Concourse. One day one of the officers commanded that they could not remove those blessed bodies unless they were paid for the shroud and casket, although no one ever asked anything of them. At that time we possessed no earthly means, and when we insisted that they leave the work to us and allow the friends to prepare the dead for burial, they refused. Finally they took a rug to the bazaar and sold it at auction, and delivered the money to the officers. Later on it became evident that they only dug the ground and laid the two blessed bodies in the one grave, although they had been doubly paid for shrouds and caskets. The pen is unable and the tongue is powerless to describe that which has descended upon us; however, all these poisons of tests are sweeter to this Youth than honey. I pray that under all circumstances the trials of the world in the path of God and the love of the Merciful may descend upon this Ocean of Significances. We beg of Him patience and endurance.

Thou art weak, and knowest it not. Couldst thou realize and be perfumed with the fragrance wafted from the direction of the Ancient Beauty, thou wouldst leave everything that thou hast in hand and hasten to come and live in one of the ruined rooms of this Most Great Prison. Ask thou God that thou mayest attain to the age of maturity so that thou mayest recognize the beauty and ugliness of deeds and actions. Peace be upon those who follow guidance!

SURIY-I-RA'IS, TABLET [TO THE] MINISTER TO THE SULTAN

39. O Ra'is! Hear the Voice of God, the Protecting, Self-existing King. Verily, He crieth between the earth and heaven and summoneth all to the Most Glorious Outlook. Neither doth thy croaking prevent Him, nor the barking of those who are around thee, nor the hosts of the worlds.

The world hath been kindled by the Word of thy Lord, El-Abha. It is softer than the breath of the east wind, and hath appeared in the form of man; and by it God hath quickened His advancing servants. In the inner part of this Word there is a water whereby God hath purified the hearts of those who came unto Him, who were negligent in mentioning aught else save Him; and thus have We brought them nigh to the Outlook of His Great Name. We have caused this water to descend upon the dead, and they are looking toward the shining and brilliant Beauty of God.

O Chief! Thou hast committed that by reason of which Muhammad, the Prophet of God, lamenteth in the highest heaven. And the world hath made thee proud in such wise that thou hast turned away from the face of Him by whose light the people of the Supreme Assembly are illumined, and thou shalt find thyself in manifest loss. And thou didst unite with the Persian Minister in opposition to Me, after that I came unto you from the rising-place of greatness and might, with a matter whereby the eyes of those near to God are consoled. By God, this is a Day wherein the fire speaketh through all things: "The Beloved of the two worlds hath come!" And on the part of everything an interlocutor of the matter hath sprung up to listen to the Word of thy Lord, the Precious, the Knowing. Verily, should We come out from the Garment which We have worn for the sake of your weakness, all, whosoever is in the heaven and on the earth, would not hesitate to redeem Me by their souls, and to this thy Lord beareth witness; but no one hears Him save those who have severed themselves from the world, through the love of God, the Mighty, the Powerful.

Dost thou imagine that thou canst quench the fire which God hath kindled in the horizons? No, by Himself, the True One, wert thou of those who know! Rather, by that which thou hast done, its burning is increased, and its blaze; and it shall encompass the earth and whosoever is thereupon. Thus hath the matter been decreed and whosoever is in the heavens or upon the earth could not withstand His command. And the Land of the Mystery (Adrianople) and what is beside it shall be changed, shall pass out of the hands of the Sultan of Turkey, and commotions shall appear, lamentations shall arise and corruptions shall become manifest on all sides, and matters shall be altered by reason of that which hath come upon the hearts from the hosts of the oppressors. The authority shall be changed, and to such an extent shall the matter become grievous that the sandheaps in the desolate hills shall lament and the trees in the mountains weep, and blood shall flow from all things, and thou shalt see the people in great disturbance.

O Chief! We have revealed Ourselves to thee once in Mt. Tina (near Baghdad), and once in Mt. Ranita, and also in this Blessed Spot; but thou didst not take any notice, become of that by reason of which thou didst follow thy lust and become one of the heedless.

Look! And then remember when Mohamet came with manifest signs on the part of One Mighty and Wise. The people would have stoned Him in the public places and streets, and they denied the signs of God, thy Lord and the Lord of thy fathers who were there. And the learned denied Him; then those factions who followed them, and after them the kings of the earth, as thou hast heard in the stories of those who were aforetime. And of these was Kisra (the Sasanian king). Unto him He sent a kind letter inviting him to God and forbidding him from polytheism; and verily, thy Lord hath knowledge of all things. Verily he made himself great against God, and tore up the letter, because he followed his passion, the lust. Is he not of the people of hell? Was Pharaoh able to hinder God by exercising his dominion, when he relied on the earth and was of the disobedient? We have indeed manifested the Interlocutor (Moses), from Pharaoh's house in spit of his will; verily, We were able to do this. And remember when Nimrod kindled the fire of polytheism, whereby he would burn the Friend of God (Abraham). Verily, We calmed the fire by the truth and brought upon Nimrod manifest grief. Say: Verily, the oppressor (King of Persia) slew the Beloved of the worlds (the Báb) that he mighty thereby extinguish the light of God among His creatures and hinder mankind from the pure water of life in the days of his Lord, the Mighty, the Kind. We have made the matter manifest in the country and elevated His mention (the Báb's) among the unitarians. Say: The Servant hath assuredly come to vivify the world and bring to union whosoever is upon the surface of the earth. That which God willeth shall overcome and thou shalt see the earth as the garden of El-Abha; thus hath it been written by the Pen of Command in an irrevocable Tablet. Leave the mention of the Chief; then mention the Friend who became accustomed to the love of God and separated Himself from those who associated other things with God and were lost. He rent asunder the veils in such wise that the people of paradise heard the rending thereof. Glory be to God, the King, the Knower, the Wise.

O Dove! Hear the voice of El-Abha in this night whereon the military officers were assembled against Us, while We were in great joy. O that Our blood might be shed on the surface of the earth in the way of God and that We might be cast on the ground, for this is My desire and the desire of him who hath Me in view and who hath ascended unto My kingdom, the marvellous, the most wonderful. Know then, O servant, that one day We found the friends of God confronted by transgressors. The troops beset all gates and prevented the servants of God from entrance and exit, and were of the oppressors. And the friends of God and His family were left without food in the first night. Thus did it befall those for whose sake was created the world and what is therein. Shame upon them, and upon those who command them to do evil! And God shall consume their lives with fire -- and verily, He is the fiercest of avengers. Men gathered around the house and the eyes of Islam and the Christians wept and the sound of wailing arose betwixt heaven and earth, because of that which the oppressors had wrought. Verily, We found the Assembly of the Son (Christians) more bitter in their weeping than those of other creeds, and therein are indeed signs to the thoughtful. And one from among the friends has sacrificed himself and cut his throat by his own hand from the love of God. This is the like of which We have not heard from former ages. This is what God hath set apart for this Manifestation as showing forth His Power, for, verily, He is the Mighty, the Powerful. And he whose throat was cut in Iraq (Baghdad), verily, he is the beloved of martyrs and their sultan. And that which appeared from him was the proof of God unto all creatures. The beloved of God are those in whom the Word of God taketh effect and who taste the sweetness of commemoration, and upon whom the fragrance of union hath taken hold in such wise that they separate themselves from whosoever is upon the earth and advance to the Face with brilliant countenances; and though they have committed that which God never permitted, yet God pardoneth them as a favor on His part; verily, He is the pardoner, the merciful. The attraction of the Most Powerful hath overpowered them in such wise that it seized from their hands the reins of option, until they ascended into the station of presence and disclosure, before God, the Precious, the Wise. Say: the Servant hath left this world, but He put every tree and stone in charge of the trust which God shall bring forth with the truth. Thus the True One hath come and the matter hath been decreed on the part of the Designer, the Wise, whose commands the hosts of heaven and earth could not withstand, nor could all the kings and rulers withhold Him from that which He willeth. Say: Calamities are as oil for this lamp and through them its light increaseth, were ye of those who know. Say: All oppositions displayed by the oppressors are indeed as heralds to this matter and by such the appearance of God and His affair have been widely spread among the people of the world. Blessed are ye by reason of that whereby ye left your homes and travelled over the country for the love of God, your Lord, the Mighty, the Pre-existent, until ye came and entered into the Land of Mystery (Adrianople) on a day wherein the fire of oppression was kindling and the raven of separation was crying out. Ye are the participators in My calamities, because ye were with us on a night wherein the hearts of the unitarians were disturbed. Ye entered the land in Our love, and ye left it by Our command.

By God, it beseemeth the earth, through you, to make itself great against heaven! How precious is this great and exalted beauty! O ye birds of Eternity, ye were withheld from your nests in the Cause of the Lord, the Unconstrained. Verily, He will make for you lodgings under the wings of the grace of your Lord, the Merciful. Blessed are they who know.

O victim of Mine! The Spirit is to thee and to him who rejoiceth by thee and from thee findeth My fragrance and heareth that by reason of which the hearts of the seekers are purified. Thank thou God for that through which thou hast reached the shore of the Most Great Sea and heard the cry of all particles, saying: "This is the Beloved of the World! And the people of the world oppress Him and do not know Him whom they call upon at all times." Those who are heedless and who turned away from Him (the Báb) for the sake of whose Beloved they should sacrifice themselves, are in great loss. How much more then for His brilliant and shining perfection? Although thine heart would assuredly melt at separation from God, be patient, for thou hast with Him a great station. Rather, shalt thou stand before the Face, and We will speak to thee with the tongue of might and power, that which the ears of the sincere were withheld from hearing. Say: Should He speak one word, verily it would be of greater sweetness than the words of all the people of the world. This is a Day unto which had Mohamet, the Prophet of God, attained, He would assuredly say: "We have known Thee, O Desire of all the Apostles!" And had the Friend of God, Abraham, attained it, He would have placed His face upon the earth, humbling Himself, before God, saying: "My heart is at peace, O God of whosoever is in earth and heaven. And Thou hast caused me to behold the kingdom of Thy Command and the dominion of Thy Might; and I bear witness that at Thy Manifestation the hearts of those who advance are at peace!" Had the Interlocutor (Moses) attained it, He would surely say: "Praise be to Thee for that Thou hast shown Me Thy Beauty and hast made Me of those who commune with Thee."

Reflect upon the people and their condition and that which cometh forth from their mouths and what their hands have wrought in this blessed, holy and wonderful Day. Verily, they who did not obey the Command but turned to Satan are of those who are cursed by all things and they are of the people of fire. He who heareth My voice will not be affect whatever by the voice of the people of the world; and he in whom the voice of aught that is beside Me taketh effect, verily, he did not hear My voice; he is indeed deprived of My Kingdom and the empires of My greatness and might and is of those who lose. Grieve not because of that which hath befallen thee. Verily thou hast forborne for the sake of My love what the majority of the servants have never borne; and thy Lord is the All-Knowing, the Informed. And He hath accompanied thee in the courts of law and heard that which hath flowed from the water of thy pen in commemoration of thy Lord, the Merciful. Verily, this is naught but a manifest grace. And God shall raise up one among the kings who shall succor His saints, for He compasseth all things. And He shall put into the hearts of men the love of His saints and this is a decree on the part of the Mighty, the Beautiful. We ask God to make, through thy cry, the breasts of all the servants dilated with joy and to make thee the standard of guidance throughout the empire, and by thee to render the weak victorious. Thou shalt pay no attention to the grunts of the grunters, but leave them to thy Lord, the Pardoner, the Generous. Relate to My beloved the stories of the Servant, of that which Thou hast learned and heard; then deliver to them what We have delivered to thee; verily, thy God will strengthen thee at all times, and He is thy guard. The Supreme Assembly shall magnify thee and the family of God and His household, the leaves who go around the Tree, shall praise thee and remember thee with a marvellous remembrance.

O Pen of Revelation! Remind him whose letter hath come before the Face in this somber night and who travelled over the country until he arrived and entered the city for the purpose of seeking refuge under the protection of the mercy of his Lord, the Mighty, the Powerful, -- in which city he spent the night, awaiting the grace of his Lord; and in the morning, by the command of God, he left the city, on which occasion the servant became sad; and God is a witness to all that I say, saying: "Blessed thou art for that by reason of which thou hast received the wine of revelation from the hand of the Merciful in such wise as made thee deny thine own comfort, and because thou art of those who hasten to the region of Paradise, the day-spring of the signs of thy Lord, the Precious, the Peerless." What a victory it is to him who hath drunk the wine of knowledge from the Countenance of his Lord, and who drinketh again the pure sweetness of this wine! By God, through this wine will the unitarians soar to the heaven of greatness and glory, and imagination will be altered to reality. Grieve not because of that which hath befallen thee. Rely upon God, the Mighty, the Learned, the Wise; and let the corners of the house be founded upon the Books of Revelation; then mention thy Lord and He will make you dispense with all the people of the world. Verily, He chooseth whom He willeth and He is indeed the Beloved of the devout. By God, the Supreme Assembly seeth you and pointeth to you; thus the grace of your Lord hath encompassed you. O would that the people knew that whereof they are neglectful in the Day of God, the Mighty, the Extolled! Give thanks unto God, inasmuch as He hath strengthened thee with the knowledge of Himself and caused thee to enter into His protection on a Day whereon the unbelievers encompassed the people of God and His saints and drove them forth from their houses with evident tyranny. And they desired to bring about a separation between us on the shore of the sea; and verily thy Lord is aware of that which is in the breasts of the unbelievers. Say: Though ye cut off our limbs, the love of God will not depart from our hearts! Verily, we were created for sacrifice; therefore we glory over the worms.

TABLET TO THE CZAR

40. O Czar of Russia! Hear the voice of God, the Most Holy King! Then advance unto the paradise which is in the place wherein abideth He who is named with the most comely names amongst the most high Assembly and in the kingdom of creation by the name of God, El Baha el Abha, the most shining Glory, Beware lest thy desires prevent thee from turning toward the Face of thy Lord, the Merciful, the Clement.

Verily, We heard thy voice wherewith thou hast called thy Lord in thy secret communication, therefore the beneficence of My Providence hath stirred and the sea of My Mercy hath moved, and We answer thee with the truth. Verily, thy Lord is the Learned, the Wise.

One of thy ambassadors assisted Me when I was in prison, in chains and fetters. Therefore God hath decreed unto thee a station which the knowledge of none comprehendeth save Him. Beware lest thou change this lofty station. Verily thy Lord is able to do whatsoever He willeth. He abrogateth whatsoever He pleaseth, and confirmeth what He desireth, and with Him is the knowledge of all things in a Preserved Tablet. Beware lest sovereignty prevent thee from the Sovereign; verily He hath come with His Kingdom, and all the atoms cry out: "The Lord hath come in His Most Great Glory!" The Father hath come, and with Him the Son, who crieth in the Holy Valley: "Here am I, O my God, I am ready!" Mt. Sinai surroundeth the House, and the trees vociferously cry: "The Generous hath come, mounted on the clouds; blessed is he who advanceth unto Him and woe unto those who are afar!" Arise amongst the people with this irresistible command, then summon the nations to God, the Exalted, the Great. Be not of those who call upon Him by a Name amongst His Names, and when the Named One appears, they turn away from Him and pronounce sentence against Him with evident injustice. Consider, then, and remember the Days wherein came the Spirit (Christ), and Herod gave judgment against Him. God helped the Spirit with the hosts of the seen and the unseen and protected Him with the truth and sent Him to another land as a promise on His part. Verily, He is the ruler over that which He pleaseth. Verily thy Lord is able to preserve whom He wisheth, even should He be in the midst of the sea or in the mouth of the winged dragon, or under the swords of the oppressors. Blessed is the king who doth not allow the splendors of his exaltation to prevent him from turning to the Dawning-place of Perfection, and who casteth away what he hath in the desire to obtain that which is possessed by God. Verily, is he not the best of all the creatures before the Truth? The people of Paradise and those who go about the Throne will bless him in the morning and the evening.

Hear My voice another time from the region of My prison to inform you of that which hath befallen My Beauty by the manifestation of My majesty, that thou mayest know My patience after My power, and My forbearance after My might. By My life, shouldst thou come to know that which hath descended from My pen, and be acquainted with the treasuries of My command, the pearls of My secrets and the seas of My names, and the vessels of My Words, verily thou wilt offer thyself as a ransom in My way through the love of My name and yearning for My kingdom, the mighty, the powerful.

Know that My body is under the swords of the enemies, and My flesh is surrounded with innumerable calamities; but My Spirit is in a state of exaltation the like of which the joy of the world cannot equal. Advance to the Manifested God of the world with all thy heart and say: "O people of the earth, do ye deny Him in whose way the One who hath come with the truth of your Lord, the Exalted, the Great, hath suffered martyrdom?" Say, it is a Message whereby the hearts of the Prophets and the Messengers rejoiced. Lo, this is the One who is mentioned in the heart of the world, and the Promised One in the leaves of the Books of God, the Precious, the Wise. The hands of the Messengers were raised to God, the Mighty, the Powerful. Some of the Messengers lamented over separation from Me, other suffered hardships in My way, and other sacrificed themselves for the sake of My Beauty, were ye of those who know.

Say, verily, I have not intended the mention of Myself, but that of God, were ye of the just; nothing could be seen in Me but God and His Commands, were ye of those who reflect. Say, verily, I am He who is mentioned by the tongue of Isaiah, and the One whose name hath adorned the Bible and the Gospel. Thus hath the matter been decreed in the Tablets of your Lord, the Merciful. Verily He hath testified for Me, and I testify for Him, and God is witness to what I say. Say, the Books were not revealed save for My celebration, wherefrom every advancer will find the perfume of My name and praise; and he who openeth the hearing power of his heart will hear from every word (of the Books): "Lo, the Truth hath come and He is indeed the Beloved of the worlds." My tongue implicitly admonishes thee for the sake of God, and My Pen moveth in thy mention, after the injury of whosoever is upon the earth, and their perverseness will not injure thee in accordance with that whereunto We were commanded, and do not ask of thee anything whatsoever save to come nigh to that which will profit thee in this world and the world to come. Say, dost thou put to death He who summoneth thee unto everlasting life? Fear God, and follow not every prompting of obstinate pride.

O people of deceit! Do ye behold yourselves in palaces, while the King of Manifestation is in the most ruined of abodes? By My life, ye are in the graves, were ye of those who perceive! Verily, he who doth not move by the Breath of God, in His Day, is indeed dead before God, the King of Names and Attributes. Arise from the graves of your lusts and advance to the Kingdom of your Lord, the Ruler of the Throne and of earth, that ye may see that which was promised unto you on the part of your Lord, the All-Knowing. Do ye imagine that ye will be profited by that which ye have? It will be possessed by some one in your stead, and ye shall return to the dust without finding any one to succor or help you. Of what use is a life that is ruled by death, or of a duration that vanisheth, or of a grace that changeth? Set aside that which ye have and advance to the bounty of God which hath been revealed in this wonderful Name! Thus hath the Supreme Pen addressed you by the permission of your Lord, El Abha. Should ye hear and attain, say:

"Praise be to Thee, O God, for Thou hast reminded me by the tongue of the Manifestation of Thyself when He was in the Great Prison, in chains and fetters, for the emancipation of the people of the world."

Blessed is the king whose sovereignty does not withhold him from his King, and who advances unto God with his heart.

Verily, he is of those who attain to that which God, the Mighty, the Wise, willeth. He shall behold himself amongst the kings of the Empire of the Kingdom. Verily, thy Lord is powerful over all things. He giveth to whomsoever He wisheth that which He willeth, and depriveth whom He pleaseth of that which He desireth. Verily, He is the Potent, the Able.

TABLET TO THE POPE

41. O Pope! Rend asunder the veils! The Lord of Lords hath come in the shadow of the clouds, and the matter hath been decided on the part of God, the Powerful, the Unconstrained. Disclose the splendors of the authority of thy Lord; then ascend into the Kingdom of names and attributes; thus doth the Supreme Pen command thee, on the part of thy Lord, the Mighty, the Most Powerful.

Verily He hath come from heaven another time, as He came from it the first time; beware lest thou oppose Him as the Pharisees opposed (Him) without evidence or proof. On His right side floweth the river of grace and on His left side the sweet wine of justice; before Him go the angels of paradise with the standards of Signs. Beware lest names withhold thee from God the Creator of the earth and heaven; leave the creatures behind thee, then advance to thy Lord by whom all horizons were illuminated. We have adorned the Kingdom by our name, El-Abha (The Most Glorious); thus hath the matter been decided on the part of God, the creator of all things. Beware lest conjectures withhold thee after the True Sun hath shone from the horizon of Bayan (Revelation) of thy Lord, the Mighty, the Benefactor. Dost thou dwell in palaces, while the King of Manifestation is in the most ruined of abodes (Acca)? Leave palaces to those who desire them, then advance to the Kingdom with spirituality and fragrance.

Say, O people of the earth! Destroy the abodes of neglect by the hands of power and composure and build the chambers of knowledge in the hearts, that the Merciful will reveal Himself in them; this is better unto you than that whereupon the sun riseth; to this will bear witness the One on whose part is the decision of the discourse.

The breath of God is diffused throughout the world, because the Desired One hath come in His Most Great Glory. Lo! -- Every stone and clod crieth, "The Promised One hath appeared, and the Kingdom is to God, the Powerful, the Mighty, the Pardoner!" Beware lest theology prevent thee from the King of the known, or the world from Him who created and left it. Arise in the name of thy Lord, the Merciful, amidst the assembly of beings, and take the cup of life in the hand of assurance; drink thou therefrom first; then give it to drink to those who advance of the people of (different) religions. Thus hath the Moon of the Bayan shone forth from the horizon of wisdom and evidence. Rend asunder the veils of theology lest they prevent thee from the region of My Name, the Self-existent.

Remember when the Spirit (Christ) came; he who was the most learned of the doctors of His age gave a sentence against Him in the chief city of His country, while those who caught fish believed in Him; be admonished, then, O people of understanding!

Verily thou art one of the suns of the heaven of names; protect thyself lest darkness spread its veils over it and conceal thee from the light; look at that which has descended in the Book on the part of thy Lord, the Mighty, the Generous. Say, O assembly of learned men, withhold your pens, for the sound of the Supreme Pen hath been raised between the earth and the heaven; set aside that which ye have and accept what We have sent unto thee with power and dominion. That hour which was hidden in the knowledge of God hath come -- hasten unto Him with submissiveness and penitence.

O people of the earth! Say! Lo, I made Myself your ransom for the sake of your lives, but when I come unto you another time I see you fleeing from Me; therefore doth the eye of My compassion weep over My people; fear God, O ye people of observation.

Look at those who objected to the Son (Christ) when He came unto them with dominion and power; how many Pharisees were awaiting His meeting and making humble supplications to God for His appearance; but when the fragrance of union diffused itself and perfection was disclosed, they turned from Him and objected to Him; thus have we expounded unto thee that which was written in the Books and Tablets. None advanced unto the Face (Christ) save a certain limited number who were of those who never had any power among the people; and to-day all those who are in power and dominion glory in His Name (Jesus). Look likewise at this time; how many monks secluded themselves in churches in My Name; and when the appointed time was complete and We disclosed to them perfection they did not know Me, while they called unto Me at eventide and at dawn. We see them veiled from Myself by My Name (Jesus Christ). Verily this is naught but a marvel; say, beware lest celebration preventeth you from the Celebrated, and worship from the Worshipped.

Rend asunder the veils of imagination; verily this is your Lord the Mighty, the Omniscient! He hath come for the life of the world and for the union of whatsoever is upon the whole surface of the earth. Come ye, O people, to the Rising-place of Revelation and tarry not even for a moment. Do ye read the Gospel and still do not acknowledge the Glorious Lord? This beseemeth you not, O concourse of theologians! Say, should ye deny this matter, by what proof did ye believe in God? Produce it! Thus the matter hath been revealed by the Supreme Pen on the part of your Lord El-Abha, in this Tablet from whose horizon the Light shone. How many servants are there whose actions and deeds became veils for themselves whereby they were withheld from coming nearer to God, the Sender of Breath.

O concourse of monks! The fragrances of the Merciful have diffused themselves over the beins; blessed is he who rejecteth passion and receiveth guidance; verily he is one of those who have gazed upon the inhabitants of the earth, and whosoever is thereupon is frightened save those chosen by God, the Ruler of persons.

Do ye adorn your bodies while the garment of God is intensely red with blood of hatred by that which came upon Him on the part of the people of willful blindness? Come out of your abodes; then make the servants enter into the Kingdom of God who is the King of the Day of Judgment. The Word, which the Son (Christ) concealed hath appeared; it hath been revealed in the form of man in this time; blessed is the Lord who is the Father, -- He hath come with His Most Mighty Power amongst the nations, turn toward Him, O concourse of the good.

O people of religions! We see you are wandering erringly in the waterless desert of loss; ye are the fish of this sea, why are ye withheld from your creator? Verily the Sea is raging before your faces, hasten unto Him from all regions. This is a day wherein the Rock (Peter) crieth out and praiseth in the Name of the Lord, the Exalted, the Independent, saying, Lo, the Father hath come and what hath been promised unto you in the Kingdom is accomplished; this is the word which was concealed behind the veil of might, and when the promised time came, it shone forth from the horizon of the Primal Will with manifest signs. My body was imprisoned to set you free, and We accepted humiliation for the sake of your glory; follow the Lord, the Lord of Glory and Kingdom and follow not every proud infidel. My body longeth for the Cross, and My head for the spear in the way of the Merciful that the world may be purified from sin; thus the Sun of Wisdom hath shone forth from the horizon of the command of the King of names and attributes. The people of the Qur'an have arisen against Us and tormented Us with torments whereat the Holy Spirit lamented, and thunder roared, and the eyes of the clouds wept. From amongst the unbelievers some imagined that affliction withholdeth El Baha from that which God the creator of all things, willeth; say unto them, No, by Him who causeth the rains to descend, nothing withholdeth Him from the mention of His Lord.

By God, the Truth! Even though they burn Him on the earth, verily He will lift up His head in the midst of the sea, and will cry: "Verily, He is God of whatsoever is in the heaven and the earth!" And even though they cast Him into a dark pit, they shall find Him on the summits of the mountains crying, "The Desired One hath come with the authority of might and sovereignty." And though they bury Him in the earth, He will arise from the horizons of heaven and proclaim with the loudest voice, "El Baha hath come to the Kingdom of God, the Holy, the Mighty, the Unconstrained!" And though they shed His blood, every drop thereof shall cry out and call on God by this Name, whereby the perfumes of the garments were diffused through all regions.

Verily, under the swords of the enemies, We call the servants unto God, the Creator of the earth and heaven, and We assist Him so greatly that We could not be hindered either by the hosts of the oppressors or the influence of the liars. Say, O people of the earth, crush to pieces the idols of imagination, by the name of your Lord, the Mighty, the Benevolent, then advance unto Him in this Day, which God hath made the King of Days.

O thou, Chief of the People! Harken unto that whereby the Shaper of decayed bones adviseth thee from the Religion of His Greatest Name, sell that which thou hast of decked ornaments and expend it in a sovereignty to the King and come out from the horizon of the house (Vatican), advancing to the Kingdom and severing thyself from the world. Then speak of the celebration of thy Lord betwixt the earth and heaven. Thus, also, the King of Names hath commanded thee, on the part of thy Lord, the Mighty, the Omniscient, to admonish the Kings, saying, "Be just amongst the people and beware not to aberrate from the ordinances of the Book." This behooveth thee; beware not to dispose of the world and its gold, leave them to him who desireth them and adopt what was commanded unto thee on the part of the King of Creation. Should any one come unto thee with the whole treasures of the earth, turn not thy sight toward them, but be as thy Lord hath been; thus also the tongue of Revelation hath uttered that which God hath made the decoration of the Book of Renovation. Look at the pearl! Verily its luster is in itself but if thou coverest it with silk it assuredly veileth the beauty and qualities thereof. Such is man, his nobility is in his virtues, not in that which covereth him, and not in that wherewith the children delight. Know, then, that thy ornament is the love of God and thy devotion to naught else save Him, and not to the allurements of the world which thou hast in thy possession: leave them to those who desire them and come to God, who causeth the rivers to flow. All that was said in the proverbs was said by the tongue of the Son (Christ) and He who speaketh today doth not utter them; beware not to take hold of the ropes of imagination and withhold thyself from what was ordained in the Kingdom of God, the Mighty, the Bounteous. Shouldst thou be taken by the intoxication of the wine of the signs, and shouldst thou be desirous to come before the Throne of thy Lord, the Creator of the earth and heaven, let thy garment be My Love, and thy shield My Celebration, and thy providence reliance upon God, the Manifestation of the Powers. O people of the Son! We have sent unto you John the Baptist (The Báb who was the precursor of Baha) another time. Verily He crieth in the wilderness of the Bayan, -- "O Creation of beings, make clear your eyes, the day of vision and meeting hath come nigh; and O people of the Gospel, prepare the way, for the Day whereon the Lord of Glory shall come, hath drawn nigh, prepare yourselves to enter the Kingdom." Thus was the matter decreed on the part of God, the Cleaver of the Dawn. Harken unto the strains which the Dove of Eternity hath sung upon the Branches of the Divine Lote Tree and which is vocal with the melody of "O people of the earth, We have sent unto you Him who was named John to baptize you with water that you bodies might be purified for the Appearance of Christ, and that He (Christ) hath purified you with the Fire of Love and with the Water of the Spirit, as a preparation for these days whereon the Merciful hath willed to cleanse your bodies with the Water of Life, by the hands of grace and bounty. This is indeed the Father, whereof Isaiah gave you tidings, and the Comforter from whom the Spirit (Christ) hath received His Covenant."

O concourse of learned people! Open your eyes that you may see your Lord sitting on the Throne of glory and might. Say, O people of Religions! Be not of those who followed the Pharisees and thus they were veiled from the Spirit. Verily, they are not but in forgetfulness and lusts. The perfection of the Ancient hath come by His Most Mighty Name and hath desired to make the people enter into the Most Holy Kingdom, and that the sincere may see the Kingdom of God before His Face. Hasten unto Him and follow not every denying infidel. And if the eye of any one oppose him in this, it behooveth him to pluck it out. Thus was it written by the Pen of Eternity on the part of the King of the contingent beings; verily He hath come another time for your deliverance. O people of creation, will ye kill Him after that He desireth for you eternal Life? Fear God, O people of discernment. O people harken unto that which is revealed to you on the part of the region of thy Lord, El Abha, turn unto God, the lord of this life, and the life to come; thus commandeth you the Rising-place of the Sun of Inspiration on the part of the Creator of all human beings. We have created you for the light, and We do not like to leave you for the fire, O people. Come out from darkness through this Sun which has shone forth from the horizon of the grace of God; then advance unto Him with purified hearts and assured souls, seeing eyes and bright faces. This is that whereby the King of Fate admonisheth you, from the region of the Most Great Outlook, that ye may be attracted by the Voice to the Kingdom of Names. Blessed is he who fulfilleth the Covenant, and woe unto him who breaketh the promise and denieth God the Knower of secrets. Say, Lo! This is the Day of Grace! Come ye that I may make you kings of the realm of My Kingdom. If ye obey Me you will see that which We have promised you, and I will make you the friends of My Soul in the realm of My Greatness and the Companions of My Perfection in the heaven of My Might forever. And if ye disobey Me, I will be patient through My Mercy, perchance that ye will awake and arise from the bed of negligence, thus hath My forbearance preceded you. Fear God and follow not those who have turned away from the Face while they call upon Him at eventide and dawn. Verily the Harvest Day hath come and things are separated, that which was chosen is stored in the vessels of justice, and into the fire was cast what was fitted for it. Thus hath decided thy Lord, the Mighty, the Beloved, in this Promised Day, verily He is the Ruler over that which He willeth, and there is no God but He, the Mighty, the Subduer! The Gleaner did not wish but to store every good thing for Myself and did not speak but to inform you of My Command and guide you into the Path of Him by whose mention the Tablets were adorned. Say, O people of the Gospel (Christians), We have revealed Ourselves unto you on a previous occasion and ye did not know Me. This is another time, this is the Day of God, come unto Him, verily He hath come from heaven as He came from it the first time and desired to shelter you under the shadow of His Mercy. Verily He is the Exalted, the Mighty, the Defender. Verily the Beloved doth not like you to be burned in the fire of passion, and even were ye veiled it will not be but from your neglectfulness and lack of knowledge. You mention Me and do not know Me: ye call upon Me and overlook My Appearance after I have come unto you from the heaven of eternity with My Glory the Most Great. Burn the veils in My name and dominion that ye may find a way to the Lord. The Glorious One crieth continually from the horizon of the Pavilion of Might and Greatness saying, "O people of the Gospel! He hath come into the Kingdom who was out of it and today We see you tarrying at the Gate; rend the veils by the Power of your Lord, the Mighty, the Munificent, and then enter My Kingdom in My Name; thus doth He who desireth for you everlasting life, command you. Verily He is the powerful over all things." Blessed are they who have known the light and hastened toward it. Behold! They are in the Kingdom, they eat and drink with the elect. -- And We see you, O children of the Kingdom, in darkness, -- this is not meet for you. Do ye fear to confront the light because of your deeds? Advance thereunto, verily thy Glorious Lord hath honored His country by His coming, thus We teach you the path whereof the Spirit (Christ) hath declared; -- verily I bear witness for Him as He was indeed a witness for Me. Verily He said, "Come, that I may make you fishers of men," and today We say, "Come, that We may make you vivifiers of the world." Thus was the decree ordained in a Tablet written by the Pen of Command.

TABLET TO NAPOLEON THE THIRD

42. O Supreme Pen! Move in commemoration of other kings upon this brilliant and blessed page, that they may arise from the sleep of passion, hear that which is being sung by the Dove upon the branches of the divine Lote Tree, and hasten to God in this wonderful and impregnable Manifestation.

O King of Paris! Tell the priests not to ring the bells. By God, the True One, the most glorious Bell hath appeared in the Temple of the most glorious Name, and the fingers of the Will of thy Lord, the High, the Supreme, ring it in the world of eternal power, through His most splendid Name (Esm-e-ul Abha). Thus have the mighty signs of thy Lord been revealed once more, that thou mayest arise to commemorate God, the Creator of the earth and heaven, in these days wherein the nations of the whole earth lament, the corners of the countries quake, and the dust of heterodoxy envelops the servants, except those whom thy Lord, the Mighty, the Wise, hath willed. The Unconstrained hath come in the shadow of lights to vivify the beings by the fragrance of His merciful Name, to unite the people and bring them together at this Table which hath descended from heaven.

Beware not to deny the grace of God after its descent. This is better for you than that which ye have, because what ye have will vanish and that on the part of God will endure. Verily, He is the Ruler over that which He pleaseth. The breaths of forgiveness are being wafted from the region of your Lord, the Merciful; he who advanceth unto them will necessarily be purified from disobedience and from every disease and infirmity. Blessed is he who cometh unto them, and woe unto him who turneth away. Shouldst thou turn thy face towards all the things of this world and listen with a spiritual ear, thou wouldst hear them exclaim: "The Ancient hath come, the Lord of the Most Great Glory hath appeared." Everything glorifieth God and praiseth Him; for among them some know God and mention Him, and some mention Him and do not know Him.

Thus we have expounded the command in an evident Tablet.

O King! Hear the voice of this enkindled Fire, from this verdant Tree of El Tor (Mount Sinai) which is elevated at this white and blessed Spot (Acca) behind the Everlasting City, and is vocal with the melody of "There is no God but Me, the Pardoner, the Merciful."

We have sent One whom We have strengthened with the Holy Spirit, that He may give thee tidings of this Light which hath shone forth from the horizon of the will of Thy Lord, the Exalted, the Most Splendid, and whose effects have appeared in the West, that ye may turn unto Him in this Day which God hath made the choicest of the days; whereon the Merciful hath revealed Himself to whosoever is in the heaven and the earth. Arise to serve God and assist His Cause -- verily, He will strengthen thee with the hosts of the seen and the unseen, and make thee ruler over that whereon the sun riseth: verily, thy Lord is the Mighty, the Potent.

The fragrances of the Merciful have diffused their sweet odors over the beings; blessed is he who findeth their beneficences and advanceth unto them with a firm heart. Adorn thy temple with the embroidered garment of My name, thy tongue with My celebration, and thy heart with My Love, the precious, the powerful.

We have not desired for thee aught save that which is better for thee than anything thou hast in thy possession and in the whole treasury of the earth. Verily, thy Lord is the Omniscient, the All-knowing. Arise among the servants of God in My name and say: "O people of the earth, advance toward Him who hath advanced toward you, for verily He is the Face of God among you, and His evidence in your midst, likewise His proof unto you; and He hath come to you with signs the like of which the most learned have failed to produce." The Tree of El Tor speaketh in the bosom of the world, and the Holy Spirit crieth among the nations: "Lo! The Desired One hath come with evident Dominion."

O King! The stars of the heaven of theology have fallen. They are those who take as an evidence of the certitude of My Cause that which they have, and who mention God in My Name; but when I come with My Glory they turn away from Me. Verily, are they not of those who are worthless and fallen? This is that whereof the Spirit (Christ) gave you tidings when He brought the Truth, and the Jewish doctors opposed Him, until they committed that whereat the Holy Spirit lamented and those who are near to God wept. Look at the Pharisees; some of them had worshipped God for seventy years, and when His Son came they denied Him; but others who had even committed turpitude entered the Kingdom. Thus the Pen remindeth thee on the part of the King of the Ancient, for thine information regarding that which hath been ordained aforetime, that today thou mayest be of those who advance.

Say: O concourse of monks! Do not seclude yourselves in churches and sanctuaries. Come forth by My permission; then occupy yourselves with that whereby your souls will be profited, and the souls of mankind. Thus commandeth you the King of the Day of Judgment. Be secluded in the fort of My love! Verily, this is the true seclusion, were ye to know. He who cleaveth to the house is indeed as one dead! It is meet for man that he produce that whereby other men shall profit; and he who hath no fruit is fit for the fire. Thus, as your Lord likewise admonisheth you (verily He is the Precious, the Generous) go forth and marry, that some one after you may arise to take your place. We have commanded you to abstain from committing adultery -- not from that which proveth faithfulness. Ye have taken the principles of yourselves and thrown those of God behind your backs. Fear God, and be not of those who are ignorant. Apart from man, who will mention Me on My earth, and how will My names and attributes be manifested? Think of this, and be not of those who are veiled and asleep. The One who did not marry (Christ), verily He could not find an abode wherein to stay, nor could He find a place whereon to lay His head, on account of that which the treacherous had wrought. His sanctity was not dependent upon that which ye know or what ye imagine, but upon that which We possess. Ask, that ye may know His station, which hath been sanctified above the conjectures of whosoever is upon the surface of the whole earth. Blessed are those who know!

O King! The world shall perish, and what thou hast, but the Kingdom remains to God, thy Lord, and the Lord of thy fathers who were of yore. It behooveth thee not to condone all those matters thy lust desireth. Fear the means of the Oppressed, and protect Him from the arrows of the oppressors. Because of what thou hast done[1] affairs shall be changed in thy kingdom, and the empire shall depart from thy hands, as a punishment for thy action; then shalt thou find thyself in manifest loss, and commotion shall seize the people there unless thou arisest to assist in this matter and followest the Spirit in this straight path! Thy glory hath made thee proud. Be My Life, it shall not endure, but shall pass away, unless thou takest hold of this firm Rope. We have seen humiliation hastening after thee, while thou art of those who sleep. It behooveth thee when thou hearest the Voice from the region of Glory to set aside that which thou hast, and say: "Labiek (I am ready), O God of whosoever is in heaven and on earth."

[1 Refers to Napoleon's rejection of a previous Tablet.]

O King! We have been in the "Mother of Iraq" (Baghdad) until separation drew nigh; then We departed toward the "King of Islam" (Constantinople) by order of the Sultan. When We came to him We encountered, through the people of deceit, that which could not be explained through utterance nor contained in volumes, and which made the inhabitants of Paradise lament, and the people within the fold of holiness. But verily, the world is in dense ignorance! ... Matters waxed more grievous for Us daily -- nay, hourly -- until they brought Us forth from the prison and caused Us to enter into the Most Great Prison (Acca) with manifest apprehension. It was asked "for what offense were they imprisoned." "They say, because these people desire to renovate religion" was the reply. Had the old religion really been your choice, then why did ye set aside that which was prescribed in the Bible and Gospels? Render Us your explanation, O people! By My Life, there is no escape whatever unto you today, if it is this. I have been preceded in this very matter by Mohammaed, the Messenger of God, and before Him by the Spirit (Christ), and before Him by the Interlocutor (Moses). But if My offense is caused by the exaltation of the Word of God and the manifestation of His command, verily shall I be willing to be the first of culprits, and would never consent to exchange such guilt even for the possession of the kingdoms of heaven and earth. When We reached this prison We designed to convey to the kings the letters of their Lord, the Mighty, the Laudable. ... Perchance they will come to the Lord, who hath bounty from God. Perchance they will turn to the Lord who hath come upon the clouds with evident dominion.

Verily, the greater the calamity, the greater the love of God and His command increaseth in El Baha. ... Should they cover Me with the earth's layers, they will find Me mounting upon the clouds and praying to God, the Mighty, the Powerful. I have sacrificed Myself for the Cause of God, and I long for calamities for the sake of His love and approval; and to this will bear witness all the calamities with which I am surrounded, which no one in the world hath foreborne.

Let the palaces be for the people of the graves, and empire be to those who desire it; then advance to the Kingdom, for this is what God hath chosen for thee, wert thou of those who draw nigh. And those who do not come to the Face in this Manifestation, verily, they are not alive; they are moved by passion as it pleaseth them. Verily, are they not of those who are dead?

Let thyself be kindled by this fire which the Merciful hath ignited in the midst of creation, that the warmth of His love be manifested by you to the hearts of those who advance. Follow My path, then attract the hearts by My mention, the Mighty, the Powerful. Verily, the one from whom the fragrance is the garment of the celebration of his Lord, the Merciful, is not diffused -- he is not worthy to bear the name man in this age.

Every soul is commanded by God to deliver the truth and work for His Cause, and those who comply with His exalted command should first characterize themselves with the best characteristics and attributes; and then try to deliver the truth to the people, who if they be truthseekers will undoubtedly be attracted by the words of such teachers. If not so characterized, his mere words will not have the least effect in the hearts of the worshippers of God. Thus doth God teach you; verily, He is the Pardoner, the Merciful; that those who do wrong, and oppress others, and at the same time command the people to be just, will by words coming from their own mouths be accused of lying and declared to be liars by the people of the Kingdom and those who move about the Throne of God.

O people of Baha, subdue the cities of the hearts by the sword of wisdom and demonstration; and those who argue in accord with their own desire and lust, they are in obvious wrong. The sword of wisdom is sharper than the sword of steel -- if ye are of those who know. Draw forth that sword in My name and power, then invade with it the cities of the hearts of those who are fortifying themselves in the fortification of desire. Thus were ye commanded by your God, El Abha, whilst He was sitting under the swords of the disbelievers, that if ye knew of any sin or wrong committed by others, do not make it public nor reveal it to others, that He may not reveal yours; for He is the One who often veileth, the possessor of great bounty.

Look on the world as the temple (body) of a man attacked by disease, whose recovery depends upon the union of all its elements.

Therefore agree upon that which We have established for you, and follow not the ways of diversity. Verily, your Lord the Merciful loveth to see whosoever is in the world as one soul and one temple (body); therefore avail yourselves of the bounty of God and His mercy in these days the like of which the eye of creation never saw.

Where are the people of vanity and their palaces? Look at their graves and consider! We have made them as a warning to those who see. ... We behold the majority of the people as worshippers of names ... although it is testified to be every intelligent one that the name doth not profit any being after his death, unless it is attributed to God, the Powerful, the Praiseworthy. Thus have imaginations prevailed over them as a punishment for their actions. Look at their belittled minds! Through their utmost exertion and industry, they strive for that which doth not profit them; and should you ask "Is that which ye desire of any profit to you hereafter?" you will find them confounded for a reply, but if among them any one is just he will say "No, by the Lord of the worlds!" ...

TABLET TO THE EMPEROR OF AUSTRIA

43. O thou Emperor of Austria! The Day-spring of the light of Primal Unity was in the Prison of Acca at the time when thou didst visit the Masjid al-Asqa [the Further Mosque in Jerusalem] but thou hast passed by without even inquiries about Him by whom every house is honored and exalted and every high door is opened.

We destined it (the Temple) the Mikbal of the world for My commemoration, but thou hast rejected the commemoration when He appeared in the Kingdom of God, the Lord and the Lord of the worlds.

We have been with thee under all aspects and found thee clinging to the branch and heedless of the Root. Verily, thy Lord is a witness to what I say -- We were overtaken by sorrows at seeing thee journeying for the sake of Our Name (Christ) and knowing Us not while We were before thy face. Open thine eye that thou mayest see this most noble Outlook; know Him upon whom thou callest day and night and witness the Light which is springing from this magnificent Horizon.

TABLET TO THE KING OF BERLIN

44. O thou King of Berlin! Hear the call from this manifest Temple, "There is no God but Me, the Everlasting, the Peerless, the Pre-existent." Beware lest delusion withhold thee from the Day-spring of Manifestation; or lust veil thee from the King of the Throne and earth.

Thus doth the Supreme Pen admonish thee. Verily He is the Bounteous, the Generous.

Remember! Where is he who was greater than thou and of more honor and dignity, and where are his possessions (Napoleon the Third)? Awake and be not of those who sleep! Verily, he (Napoleon) hath put behind him the Tablet of God when We informed him of what had befallen Us on the part of the soldiers of oppression. -- Therefore humiliation has surrounded him from all sides until he fell to dust with great loss.

Awake! Consider his condition (Napoleon's) and remember your equals who have subdued the countries and governed the people.

Verily God the Merciful hath made them descend from palaces to graves -- consider and be of the mindful! Verily We desire naught of you, but We advise you for God's sake, and We will be patient as We have been through that which has befallen Us on your part, O ye assemblies of rulers!

TABLET TO QUEEN VICTORIA

45. O Queen in London! Hear the voice of thy Lord, the king of creatures, from the Divine Lote Tree that "There is no God but Me, the precious, the wise." Lay aside what is on earth; then adorn the head of dominion with the diadem of the celebration of thy glorious Lord. Verily He hath come into the world with His most great glory, and that which was mentioned in the gospel hath been fulfilled. The land of Syria hath been honored by the advance of its Lord, the king of men, and the exhilaration of the wine of union hath seized upon the regions of south and north, -- blessed is he who discovereth the scent of the Merciful, and advanceth to the dawningplace of Beauty in this clear morning. By the breaths of their Lord, El-Abha, and the voice of God, the exalted, The Masjid al-Asqa [the Further Mosque in Jerusalem] and the baths (probably Mecca) have shaken with joy, and every pebble of the earth praiseth the Lord by this most great name. Lay aside thy desire -- then advance with thy heart to thy Lord, the ancient; Verily we remind thee for the sake of God, and we wish that thy name be exalted in the mention of thy Lord, the creator of the earth and heaven; and He is indeed the witness of all I say. It hath reached us that thou hast forbidden the selling of slaves and hand-maidens; this is what God hath commanded in this marvellous Manifestation. God hath recorded unto thee the reward of this; verily He is the discharger of the reward of the well-doers. Follow that which hath been sent unto thee on the part of one learned and wise; and the one who turneth away and maketh himself great after the proofs have come unto him on the part of the revealer of the signs, verily God will frustrate all his plans; and He is the powerful over all things. The actions and deeds will be accepted after coming (to the truth), and the one who turneth away from it, is indeed of those who are the most ignorant; thus hath it been decreed on the part of the powerful, the able. And We have heard that thou hast entrusted the reins of deliberation into the hands of the commonwealth. Thou hast done well, for thereby the bases of the edifices of all affairs are made firm, and the hearts of those who are under thy shadow (protection), both of the high and low, become tranquil. But it behooves them to be as trustees amongst the servants of God, and to regard themselves as guardians over whosoever is in all the earth. This is that whereby they are admonished in this Tablet on the part of one who is the overseer and the wise. When any one turns toward the assembly, let him turn his glance to the Supreme Horizon, and say, "O God, I ask Thee by Thy most splendid name, to assist me unto that whereby the affairs of Thy servants may prosper, and Thy countries may flourish; verily Thou art powerful over all things."

Blessed is he who entereth the assembly in the regard of God, and judgeth betwixt man with pure justice; is he not of those who prosper? O ye leaders of assemblies, whether there or in some other country, think of results and speak of that whereby the world and its conditions may be reformed; were ye of those who deliberate. Look upon the world as the body of a man which was created sound and whole, but diseases have attacked him from various and divers causes and his soul is not at ease for a day, but rather his sickness increaseth, in that he hath fallen under the control of unskillful physicians who are hurried away by vain desires and are of those who stray madly. And if one limb of his limbs becomes sound in one age of the ages, through a skillful physician, the other limbs remain as they were; thus doth the wise and knowing One inform you. And today we see him under the hands of those who are taken by the intoxification of the wine of deceits in such manner that they do not know what is best for themselves, how much more, then, for this arduous and grave matter! And if one of them endeavor to better his health, his intention will not be but to profit himself thereof whether by name or effect, therefore he will not be able to heal him save to a certain extent. And that which God hath made the most mighty remedy and the most complete means for its health is the union of whosoever is upon the earth in a single matter, and a single law. This can never be possible except through a skillful physician, perfect and strengthened by God. By My life, this is the truth, and aught else is nothing but evident error.

And whenever this most great Physician hath come and the light hath shone forth from the ancient Dawningplace, these false physicians strive to hinder and prevent Him, and become as clouds between Him and the world; therefore he will not recover from his sickness, but will continue in his infirmity until death. Verily they were not able to protect him and preserve his health, and He who was the manifestation of might among the creatures was prevented of what He desired by that which the hands of the false physicians had wrought. Look on these days wherein the Beauty of the Ancient hath come with the Most Great Name for the life of the people of the world and their unison, how they rose against Him with sharpened sword and committed that which was dreaded by the faithful spirit, until they confined Him to the most desolate of lands and thus the hands of the truthseekers were prevented from grasping His robe. It was said unto them, "The Reformer of the world hath come." They replied: "It hath been ascertained that He is one of those who work sedition." Nevertheless they never had any friendly intercourse with Him and they saw that He did not preserve Himself, but in all times He was amongst the hands of the people of tyranny; once they imprisoned Him and another time brought Him out, and another time traversed the country over with Him, thus also they pronounced sentence upon us and God is the witness of what I say; -- that they are the most ignorant people: before the truth, they cut off their arms but do not feel, deprive themselves of the good, but do not know it, and they are likened unto the small boys who cannot distinguish between the corrupter and the reformer, the good and the evil; verily We see them behind the thick veil of ignorance. O assembly of princes, chiefs, and lords! Why did ye become as clouds in the face of the sun and prevent Him from giving forth His effulgence? Lend your ears unto that whereof the Supreme admonisheth you, that your souls may be at rest, then those of the poor and humble. We ask God that He will keep the kings at peace, verily He is able to do what He willeth. O assembly of kings! Verily We see you increasing your expenditure every year and placing the burden thereof on your subjects; this is naught but manifest injustice. Fear the sight of the oppressed and his tears, and do not burden your subjects above that which they can bear, neither ruin them to build up your palaces. Choose for them that which ye choose for yourselves; thus do We expound unto you that which will profit you if ye are of those who inquire. They are your treasuries and beware lest ye exercise over them that which God hath never exercise, and entrust such treasuries into the hands of thieves; by them ye eat, rule and conquer, and still you make yourselves great against them. Verily, this is naught but an astonishment.

Having rejected this Most Great Peace it behooveth you to be at peace among yourselves, perchance your affairs may be improved thereby, and also the affairs of those who are under your shadow, to a certain extent. O assembly of rulers, improve the accordance among you, then you will not be in need of many soldiers and their accoutrements save to a certain degree whereof ye will protect your empire and countries; and beware lest ye lay aside that of which ye were admonished on the part of the Learned, the Faithful. Be united, O assembly of kings, for by this, the winds of disagreement existing among you will subside, and your subjects and those who are around you will be at rest, were ye of those who know! If a certain one amongst you should rise against the other, arise all of you and oppose him, for this is nought but manifest justice. Thus We have admonished you in the Tablet which We sent to you, on another occasion; therefore follow that which hath been revealed on the part of the Precious, the Wise. Should any one seek refuge in your shadow, have him protected and betray him not, thus admonisheth you the Supreme Pen, on the part of one Learned and Wise. Beware, lest ye commit what was committed by the King of Islam when We came unto him by his command, and on that event his representatives pronounced sentence against Us with such injustice that all things lamented and the hearts of those who are near to God were burned; and the winds of lust moved as they listed, and We did not find on their part any stability or steadiness, -- are they not of those who stray madly?

O thou ancient pen! Withhold the pen and let them wander in the dust of their imaginations; then remember the Queen, perhaps she will turn with the purest heart to the most great Outlook. Prevent her eyes from looking but to the region of her Lord, the king of fate, and peruse all that which hath been revealed in the Tablets and Books on the part of the creator of human beings by whom the sun hath been darkened and the moon eclipsed, and whose voice hath been raised between the earth and heavens. O Queen, advance to God and say, "O my king! I am the servant and Thou art the King of Kings; I have lifted up the hands of hope to the heaven of Thy bounty and gifts, therefore send down upon me from the clouds of Thy generosity, that which will cut me from all else but Thee and bring me nearer unto Thee. O my God! I ask thee by Thy name, which Thou hast made the sultan of names and the manifestation of Thyself to whosoever is in earth and heaven, to rend asunder the veils which intervene between me and the knowledge of the dawningplace of Thy signs and the rising-place of Thy revelation. Thou art the powerful, the precious, the generous. O my God! Deprive me not of the fragrances of the garment of Thy mercy in Thy days, and record unto me that which Thou hast recorded unto thy servants who have believed in Thee and Thy signs, and attained to the knowledge of Thyself, and advanced with their hearts to the horizon of Thy command; Thou art the Lord of the worlds, and the most merciful of the merciful, and strengthen me, O my God, to mention Thee amongst Thy servants, and to assist Thy matter in Thy region, then accept from me that which has passed me on the occasion of the shining of the light of Thy face. Thou art powerful over all things, and to Thee is El-Baha, O Thou in whose hand is the kingdom of the possessions of the earth and heaven."

A TABLET TO AMERICA (Translated from Kitáb-i-Aqdas)

46. O Rulers of America, and Presidents of the Republic therein! Harken to the strains of the Dove, on the branch of eternity, which are vocal with the melody of "There is no God but Me, the Everlasting, the Forgiver, the Generous." Adorn the temple of dominion with the embroidered garment of justice and virtue, and its head with the diadem of the celebration of your Lord, the creator of the heaven and earth, -- thus doth the Day-spring of the names command you on the part of the One-All-knowing and Wise. The Promised One hath appeared in this exalted station, whereat smiled the mouths of existence of both the seen and the unseen. O people, avail yourselves of the Day of God; -- verily to meet Him is indeed better unto you than that upon which the sun riseth, were ye of those who know!

O concourse of statesmen! Harken unto that which is raised from the Day-spring of Greatness, "That there is no God but Me, the Speaker, the All-knowing." Assist with the hands of justice the broken-hearted, and crush the great oppressors with the scourges of the Commands of your Lord, the Powerful, the Wise!

TABLET TO THE JEWS
47. In the Name of God, the Knower, the Powerful!

Today is the Day wherein the Throne of the Lord calleth among the people unto all the denizens of the earth and commandeth them to glorify and sanctify God.

Today is the Day wherein the angels of heaven continually descend with the chalices of utterance and pitchers of knowledge and, becoming perfumed with the pure and holy fragrances, ascend.

Say: The promised God says: O Concourse of Jews! Ye were of Me, appeared from Me and returned to Me. How is it that ye do not recognize Me now when I have appeared with all the signs? Ye have taken foes for friends and abandoned the real Friend!

In this Day the New Heaven hath appeared and the earth is renewed.

Were ye to gaze with pure eyes, ye would behold the New Jerusalem; and were ye to turn with attentive ears, ye would hear the voice of God.

In this Day all things call unto you and invite you unto the Lord, while ye are so intoxicated with the wine of haughtiness that ye have not become conscious even for a moment. The ear is to hearken unto My voice, and the eye is to behold My beauty. Hearken unto it and be ye thereby warned!

The pillar of God is being erected and hath become manifest by His providence and command. The time of former things is past and a new time has become manifest, and all things are made new by the desire of God. But only a new eye can perceive and a new mind can comprehend this station. The Beginning and the End bore allusion to one blessed Word and that hath come and it become manifest. That Word is the soul of the Divine Books and Epistles, which hath forever been and will be forevermore. That Word is the key to the most great divine Treasury and the supreme hidden Mystery, which hath ever been concealed behind the veil of preservation. That Word is the same Alpha and Omega prophesied of by John. Verily He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden!

O Abdul Houssein! God willing, thou wilt be confirmed and bear unto the people (the Jews) the glad tidings of what was formerly revealed in the Divine Books. For this glad tidings is similar to the water of life for the dead of the world. Blessed are they who drink thereof and woe unto those who are deprived!

Say: In this Day the City of God hath appeared and is seen in full adornment. This is the City wherein the God of All is become manifest. Reflect upon the words of John, wherein he hath prophesied of the Holy City: "And I saw no temple therein, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it. And the City hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it, for the Glory of God (Bahá'u'lláh) did lighten it" and so on.

Take the rod of resignation in the name of God and guide the erring people, with entire severance, to the great City of God, that peradventure the wanderers may attain to the real native land and the blind ones may receive discerning sight. Verily, He is the Powerful to do that which He willeth. All things are in the grasp of His Power. Verily, He is the Mighty!

TABLET TO AN ORIENTAL JEW

48. O Sheikh! Be directed to the shore of the Greatest Ocean, and enter the Red Ark, which God hath prepared for the people of Baha in the omnipotence of the names.

Verily, It (the Red Ark) passeth over land and sea, and he who entereth it is saved, but he who entereth it not is lost.

If thou shouldst succeed and enter, direct thy face toward the Holy of Holies of God, the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent, and say:

"Verily, I beg of Thee, O God, by the greatest splendor of Thy most glorious Baha, and, verily, all Thy Baha contains the greatest Glory!"

Then the doors of the Kingdom shall be opened before thy face, and thou shalt see that which the eyes did not see, and hear that which the ears did not hear. Verily, the Wronged One admonisheth thee as He did before. He desireth for thee to enter the ocean of the Oneness of God, the Lord of the creatures.

This is a Day wherein all things declare and announce to the people this Manifestation, through Whom all that was hidden and stored in the knowledge of God, the Dear, the Glorious, was manifested.

O Sheikh! Thou didst listen to the delightful cooing of the Dove of the Bayan, while on the branches of the Lotus Tree of knowledge; and now hear the delightful chanting of the birds of wisdom that are raised and lifted up into the Supreme Paradise. Verily, He maketh thee understand that of which thou wert heedless.

Listen to that which the Tongue of Power and Might hath announced in the Books of God, the Desired One of all, the Wise. In this time the voice was assuredly exalted from the Lotus Tree in the supreme paradise and commanded Me to mention unto thee that which My Forerunner, who redeemeth Himself for this greatest Message and this right path, hath declared.

He (the Báb) said, that that which He said is the truth, "I have already written a gem concerning Him (the Manifestation); but verily, He is beyond My power of expression; and He cannot be reached, even by that which was mentioned in the Bayan. And until He (exalted and magnified is His Name!) spake concerning this greatest Manifestation and this greatest Gospel, verily, He, the Manifestation, was magnified and exalted. (So that it is impossible) that He should be known by that which is beside Him, and become identified by the expression of His creatures. And, verily, I am the first servant who believed in Him and in His texts (revelations) and who partook of the first fruits of the gardens of the paradise of His knowledge, -- the gardens of His utterances. Yes, by His Majesty, He is the truth and there is no God but He! And all are made steadfast by His command."

So chirped the real Dove on the branches of the Godly Lotus Tree. Blessed is the soul who succeedeth by listening to it, and who partaketh and drinketh from the ocean of Godly revelations hidden in Its Word.

And He (blessed and exalted is He!) said also in the Bayan, whose declaration is uplifted: "In the ninth year ye shall attain unto all the good." And in another place He announced:

"And in the ninth year ye shall surely meet God." All these chantings that were manifested through the birds of the cities of knowledge coincide with that which was. Verily, I am God! And thus until the end of what He hath expressed (in that passage), magnified and exalted is He!

The explanation of Lordliness and Godliness hath been mentioned before. We have already torn the veils asunder and disclosed that which bringeth the people nigh unto God, the possessor of the lives.

Blessed is the one who succeedeth in attaining justice and equity in this bounty which envelopeth those in the heavens and earth, as a command on the part of God, the Lord of the creatures.

O Sheikh! Listen with the ear of equity to the chanting of the Gospel. Christ said: (Exalted is His Revelation) after stating the references concerning His return: "But of that Day and Hour no man knoweth; no, not the angels of Heaven, not even the Son of Man Himself, but the Father only." (Matthew xxiv, 36)

The meaning of Father in this passage is God (Glory be to His Majesty!) and He is the true trainer and the real teacher.

Joel said: "For verily the Day of the Lord is great and very terrible and who can abide it?" (Joel ii, 11)

The first verse mentioned of the references given (Matthew xxiv, 36) means that no one knoweth the time of the Manifestation save God, the All-knowing, the Informed. And the second quotation (Joel) expresseth the greatness of the Manifestation. In the same way it is stated in the Qur'an: "They questioned Thee (Muhammad) concerning the great News." Verily, this is the News whose greatness is mentioned in most of the Books (of difference Dispensations). This is the News whereby all the limbs of the people were shaken, save Him whom God, the Protector, the Victor, the Assister, wisheth. As (this News) was looked upon by the physical eye, all the people and inhabitants of different countries became upset and bewildered, save him whom God desireth.

O Sheikh! The Cause is so great and also the News! Meditate with clear insight and keenness upon the clear texts, the supreme Words, and that which hath been manifested in these days, that thou mayest discover the hidden mysteries in the Books, and to the uttermost exert thine energy in guiding the people.

Hear with thy real hearing the declaration of Jeremiah:

"Alas, for verily that Day is great, so that none is like it!"

If thou shouldst look and reflect with the sight of equity thou wilt immediately recognize the greatness of this Day. Hear the voice of this Advise, the All-knowing, and let not thy souls be excluded from the Mercy of God, which anticipated all existence -- of the unseen and the seen.

Hear what David chanted: "Who will bring me unto the fortified City?" (Psalms cviii, 10)

O Sheikh! Read what Isaiah hath announced in his Book: "O thou that bringest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain! O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem! Lift up thy voice with strength; be not afraid. Say unto the cities of Judah: Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with power and His Arm shall rule for Him!" (Isaiah xl, 9-10) In this Day all the signs (references) are disclosed and fulfilled. The Great City hath descended from heaven and Zion is re-vivified and rejoiced, by the appearance of the Manifestation of God; and it hath heard the voice of God from all directions and places.

In this Day Jerusalem hath gained the new glad tidings, while the sycamore (wild, natural condition) becomes the cypress (nobility).

Amos said: "Verily the Lord will rear from Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the habitation of the shepherds shall mourn and the top of Carmel shall withdraw." (Amos i,2)

Carmel in the Books of God is termed "The Heap of God," "The Vine of God" and sometimes the Heap of Wilderness (bewilderment); and this is the station for the bounty of the Manifestation. The Tent of Glory was raised upon it (Carmel) in these days. Blessed are those who advance! Also it was recorded: "Our Lord shall come, and shall not keep silence." (Psalms 1, 53)

O Sheikh! Meditate on the expression which was revealed unto Amos, because it is the desired of all people: "Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel; for lo! he that formeth the mountains. ..." Revealed by the Merciful in the Qur'an: "Blessed are those who look carefully with clear insight, and blessed are the winners!"

O Sheikh! By the Self (Life) of God! The river of Mercy is flowing, the ocean of Revelation is rolling and the Sun is shining and illuminating.

Now, with an emptied heart, dilated breast and a tongue of righteousness, read these supreme words that were manifested through the Forerunner; (that is to say, the First Point or the Báb).

This is what He said when He was addressing Hadrat' El Azeem:

"This is what He promised thee before answering thee: Wait until nine years have elapsed from the time of the Bayan; then say: 'Blessed is God, the best of all Creators!' And also say, 'It is a Revelation of which no one could have the full knowledge save God, -- not ye people who are heedless.'"

In the ninth year this greatest Manifestation shone forth (in His full Glory) from the Dayspring of God's Will (in such a station) that no one could deny Him save those who are neglectful and doubtful.

We ask God to strengthen His creatures to be directed to Him and to forgive the deeds they have committed in this impermanent life. Verily, He is the Pardoner, the Forgiver, the Merciful.

In another place the Báb declared: "Verily, I am the first servant who believed in Him (Bahá'u'lláh) and His texts." And he (the Báb) also said in the Persian Bayan: "Verily, He (Bahá'u'lláh) is the one who pronounceth in all conditions and createth the winds and treadeth upon the high places of the earth. The Lord, the God of Hosts, is His Name." (See Amos iv, 12-13) He said: "The dawn shall be darkened"; that is to say, if any one in the time of the Manifestation of the speaker of Torus consider himself the true morning, he will be darkened by the power and might of God. He is a false morning; but considereth himself the true one. Woe unto him and woe unto those who follow him without proof from God, the Lord of the creatures.

Isaiah said: "And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that Day." (Isaiah ii, 11) And concerning the greatness of the Manifestation he (Isaiah) said: "Enter into the rock and hide thee in the dust for the fear of the Lord and the Baha of His Majesty." (Isaiah ii, 19) "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it; the Baha of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the excellency of the Lord and the Baha of our God." (Isaiah xxxv, 1-2)

These expressions need no interpretation. They are clear like the sunshine, and like the light gleaming and radiating.

Every just and equitable one can attain the Paradise of knowledge through inhaling the perfume of these meanings; and he will succeed in gaining that wherefrom most people are excluded and veiled.

Say: Be pious toward God, O people, and follow not the false statement of the croakers (Nakazeen) who violated the Testament of God and His Covenant and denied His Mercy which anticipated all in earth and heaven.

Also he (Isaiah) said: "Say to them that are of a fearful heart: Be strong, fear not; behold your Lord!" (Isaiah xxv, 4) This blessed verse demonstrateth the greatness of the Cause, because the sound of the Trumpet will agitate the people, while trembling and fear will possess them.

Blessed is the soul who is illumined by the light of reliance (upon God) and enlightened by the light of self-dedication and withdrawal from all else save God. Verily, such an one will never be prevented by the hardships and calamities of that Day; neither will he be frightened.

Thus the tongue of Revelation hath declared as a command on the part of the Merciful. Verily, He is the Almighty, the Powerful, the Conquerer, the Omnipotent!

It is incumbent on all who have ears and clear insight to meditate and ponder carefully upon these supreme words, in each of which oceans of meanings and distinct explanations are hidden, that the revelation of the Possessor of all religions may cause all His creatures to attain the desire and that supreme station which is the dawning of the horizon of this Declaration.

O Sheikh! If thou inhalest from the fragrance of the Revelation even less than the amount contained by the eye of a needle, thou wilt leave the whole universe and advance toward the light of the Face of His Presence, the Desired One.

Indeed there are many hidden meanings in the utterances of His Presence the Spirit (Christ). He mentioned many things, but lack of prepared listeners and of people of insight, caused Him to withhold or seclude them; as He said: "But ye cannot bear them now." (St. John xvi, 12) That dawning of the Revelation (Christ) meant that "His Presence, the Promised One, would mention them" (the many things).

As it was revealed by the Supreme Pen in Kitáb-i-Aqdas:

"The many things which occurred on the earth after revealing the texts." In Kitáb-i-Aqdas it was revealed as follows: "O land of Ta (Tihran)! Thou shouldst not grieve on account of anything, because God hath already made thee the dawning-place of rejoicing for the creatures. If He wisheth He may bless Thy throne by one who judgeth with justice and gathereth the sheep of God who are scattered by the wolves. Verily he meeteth the people of Baha with joy and gladness, and verily, he is the best of creatures in the presence of God. El-Baha of God and the splendor of those who are in the Kingdom of the Cause be upon him in every time."

Now the foregoing texts were revealed before, but in this moment the following verse is revealed:

"My God, my God! El-Baha prayeth Thee and asketh Thee, by the illumination of Thy Face, by the waves of the ocean of Thy Cause, and the shining of the sun of Thy Revelation, to strengthen the royal justice and equity, and, if Thou desirest, bless the throne and the judgment by him. Verily, Thou art the Powerful above what Thou wishest, and there is no God but Thee, the Hearer and the Answerer!

"Be rejoiced, O Land of Tihran! As God hath made thee the horizon of the Illumination, because the dawn of the Manifestation was born in thee and thou hast been named by that name, whereby the Orb of Bounty hath shone and the heaven and earth were illumined, afterward thy circumstances will be changed and the people of the Republic shall govern thee. Verily, thy Lord is the All-knowing the Pacific. Be tranquil through the bounty of thy Lord. Verily, thou wilt be engulfed by tranquillity after agitation. Thus it was preordained in a wonderful new Book."

TABLET TO THE CHRISTIANS

49. In the Name of the Lord, the Lord of Great Glory!

This is a Book from before Us to the one whom the covering of the Names hath not kept from God, the Creator of the earth and heaven, whereby his eyes may be enlightened in the Days of his Lord, the Protector, the Self-subsistent!

Say: O Concourse of the Son (Christians)! Are ye hidden from Myself because of My Name? What maketh ye to doubt? Ye have called for your Lord the Self-dependent, night and day, and when He hath come from the Heaven of Pre-existence, in His Greatest Glory, ye have not approached Him, and were of the heedless. Then consider those who turned away from the Spirit (Christ) when He came to them with manifest power. How many of the Pharisees were abiding in the Temples in His Name, and were entreating because of His separation! But when the gate of union was opened and the light shone forth from the Day-spring of Beauty, they disbelieved in God, the Exalted, the Great, and did not attain to His visitation, after having been promised thereunto in the Book of Isaiah, as well as in the Books of the Prophets and the Apostles. No one of them approached the Day-spring of Favor except those who were of no account among the people, but in whose names all the lords of evident honor boast at the present day. Remember, the most learned doctors of His country in His age condemned Him to be killed, whilst one who was a catcher of fishes believed in Him. Be astonished thereat and be of those who remember!

Likewise look at this time. How many monks were abiding in churches and were calling for the Spirit, and when He came in truth, they approached Him not and were of those who are afar! Blessed is whosoever abandoned them and approached the Aim of all that is in the heavens and earth. They read the Gospel and confess not in the Glorious Lord, after coming in His holy mighty and beautiful Kingdom.

Say: Verily, We have come unto you and have endured the abominations of the world because of your salvation. Do ye flee from Him who hath redeemed His soul for your lives? Fear God, O concourse of the Spirit, and follow not all learned men who are afar.

Do ye suppose that He hath desired His soul after being at every instant under the swords of the enemy? Or that He desired the world after being imprisoned in the most ruined of cities? Then judge thereupon and follow not the oppressors. Open the doors of your minds; verily, the Spirit standeth behind them.

What maketh ye to keep afar from Him who hath desired to bring ye nigh to the shining abode? Say: Verily, We have opened unto you the gates of the Kingdom; are ye closing the door of your houses before My Face? Verily, this is naught but a great error.

Say: Verily He hath come from Heaven as He came from it the first time; beware lest ye contradict that which He saith, as the nations before you contradicted that which He said. Thus do I make known to you the truth, if you are of those who know.

Surely, the River Jordan hath joined with the Great Sea; the Son in the holy valley calleth "Labieck!" ("I am ready, O my God, I am ready!"); and the Mount circles around the House, and the Tree calleth, "Surely the Desired One hath come in His exalted glory!" Say: Surely the Father hath come and hath fulfilled that whereunto you were promised in the Kingdom of God.

This is the Word the Son veiled when He said to those around Him that at that time they could not bear it; but when the stated time was ended and the hour arrived, the Word shone forth from the horizon of the Will. Beware, O concourse of the Son, cast it not behind you, but hold thereunto! It is better for you than all that which is before you. Verily, He is near to the charitable.

Surely the hour hath passed, the knowledge of which We had veiled from all that is in the earth, and from the Angels of the Presence. Say: Verily He beareth witness to Me and I bear witness to Him; verily, He desired naught but My Person, whereunto bear witness alt hose just ones who know. Verily, We are inviting to God the Lord of the Names, in the midst of afflictions. Say: Continue in that which is promised unto you in the Books of God, and walk not in the path of the ignorant.

Surely My body is imprisoned for the salvation of your souls; then draw nigh to the Face, and follow not all the obstinate proud ones. Verily, He hath accepted the greatest abasement for your honor, and ye are diverting yourselves in the valley of heedlessness. Verily, He is in the most ruined of houses for your sakes, and ye are sitting in palaces.

Say: Have ye not heard the sound of the voice of the Crier (the Báb) who is crying in the wilderness of The Bayan, proclaiming to your Merciful Lord? Know that surely He hath come in the truth, in the shadow of demonstration, with proof and argument, and the people of unity are beholding the Kingdom before their faces. Blessed is he who approacheth Him, and woe to all deniers and doubters!

Say unto the priest that the Chief hath surely come. Then emerge from behind the veil, in the name of thy Lord, the Lord of the necks, and proclaim to the people this greatest and exalted Manifestation. Verily, the Spirit of Truth hath come to guide you unto all truth. Verily, He speaketh not unto you from Himself, nay rather from before the All-knowing and Wise. Say: He is the One whom the Son hath glorified and hath upraised His command. Abandon that which is before you, O people of the earth, and take that which is commanded you from before the Powerful, the Faithful. Purify your ears and turn your minds to hear the sweet call which hath arisen from the direction of Sinai, the abode of your most glorious (Abha) Lord. Verily, He attracts you unto a station wherein you will behold the Lights of the Face, which hath shone forth from this brilliant Horizon.

Say: O concourse of priests, leave the bells, then come out from the churches. In this Day, it behooveth you to proclaim in this Greatest Name among the nations. Do you choose to be silent whilst all trees and stones are calling out with the loudest voice, "Surely the Lord hath come, the possessor of great glory!" Blessed is he who hasteneth unto Him. Verily he is of those whose names will be established forever, and whom the Supreme Concourse will remember. The command is appointed from before the Spirit in this wonderful Tablet.

He who inviteth the people in My Name, he is of Me, and from him will appear that which will be beyond the power of all that is in the earth. Then follow the path of the Lord, and follow not the heedless. Blessed is the sleeper who will awaken by these powers and will stand up among the dead, directing himself in the path of the Lord; verily, he is of the essence of the creatures before the True One, and verily, he is of those who have attained.

Say: Verily, He hath surely shone forth from the direction of the Orient, and His Signs have appeared in the Occident. Think thereupon, O people, and be not like unto those who neglected the Remembrancer when He came unto them from the Mighty, the Laudable. Awake by the breezes of God! Verily, they have blown in the world. Blessing to whosoever hath found their fragrance and is of the assured.

Say: O concourse of bishops! Ye are the stars of the heaven of My knowledge. My favor liketh it not that ye fall down upon the face of the earth, but My equity saith, this is that which is appointed by the Son, and whatsoever hath issued from His pure, faithful and true mouth shall not change. Verily, the bell is ringing in My name and is mourning for My soul, but the Spirit is manifest gladness.

Say: The body of the Beloved is yearning after the Cross, and His head desireth the spear in the path of the Merciful. Verily, the assault of the oppressors keepeth Him not from that which He desireth. Surely We have abandoned all things to the meeting of thy Lord the Possessor of Names. Blessed are those who draw nigh to God, the Lord of the Day of Judgment.

O concourse of monks! If ye follow Me I will appoint you heirs of My Kingdom, and if ye disobey Me -- in My forbearance I will endure it patiently: verily, I am the forgiver and the merciful.

O land of Syria! Where is thy righteousness? Surely thou hast attained the honor of the feet of thy Lord. Have ye discovered the fragrance of Union, or are ye of the heedless? Bethlehem is even now stirred by the breeze of God. I hear its call, saying, "O generous Lord, where is Thy great glory established? The breaths of Thy union have already quickened me after being melted because of my separation. Praise be unto Thee, for Thou hast uncovered the veilings and hast come with power in manifest glory!" We called unto it from behind the canopy of majesty and greatness: "O Bethlehem! This Light hath already appeared from the Orient and hath journeyed toward the Occident until it came unto thee in Its latter days. Then tell Me: Do the children know the Father and confess Him or do they contradict Him as the people contradicted Him before?" Thereupon its cry arose and said, "Thou art the Knowing, the All-informed!"

Verily, We testify that all things bear witness to Us, whereof some know and bear witness, but the majority bear witness and do not know. Mount Sinai already shakes with the shock of meeting, and hath raised its sweet call to the remembrance of its Lord, the Abha (the Most Glorious) and saith: "O my Lord, I perceive the fragrance of Thy garment as Thou hast approached with signs and hast honored these countries by Thy feet. Blessing be unto Thy people if they know Thee and discover Thy fragrance, and woe unto those who sleep!"

Blessing be unto thee, O thou who hast approached the Face, for thou hast torn off the coverings, broken the idols and known thy Pre-existent Lord. Surely the people of the Qur'an have stood against without any proof or argument, and have tortured Us at every instant with a new torment, supposing, verily, that calamities will prevent Us from that which We have desired; but what they suppose is false. Verily, thy Lord is powerful in that which He desireth.

I passed not by any tree, except My mind addressed it:

"Would that thou wert cut down in My name and that My body were crucified upon thee!" This is that which We have revealed in the Book of the King (Shah of Persia), that it may be a remembrance of Me to the people of religions. Verily, thy Lord is the Knowing, the Wise.

Verily, grieve thou not for all they have committed. Verily, they are dead and not living; leave them to the dead and turn thy face to the Reviver of all creatures. Beware lest thou art grieved by the saying of those who have been negligent. Be steadfast in the Cause and teach the people with great wisdom. In such wise commandeth thee the Lord of the earth and heaven. Verily, He is the mighty, and the generous!

God shall soon exalt thy remembrance and will establish whatsoever thou hast spoken in His love with the Supreme Pen. Verily, He is an assister to the charitable.

Remember from My part he who is named Murad, and say:

"Blessing be unto thee, O Murad, who hath cast away thy desire and seized the desire of all the creatures."

Say: Blessed is the sleeper who is awakened by My breezes!

Blessed is the dead who is quickened by My breaths!

Blessed is the eye that is enlightened by My beauty!

Blessed is the seeker who sought the tent of My majesty and My greatness!

Blessed is the affrighted one who took refuge under the shadow of My domes!

Blessed is the thirsty one who hastened to the Salsabil of My favor!

Blessed is the hungry one who hastened away from desire because of My passion, and was present at the Table that descended from the Heaven of My grace for My elect!

Blessed is the lowly one who held to the rope of My might, and the poor who took shelter under the shade of the canopy of My wealth!

Blessed is the ignorant one who desired the Kawther of My knowledge, and the heedless one who held the rope of my remembrance!

Blessed is the spirit who was stirred by My breath and entered My Kingdom!

Blessed is the soul whom the fragrance of My union shook and attracted to the Day-spring of My command!

Blessed is the ear which heard, the tongue which witnessed, and the eye which beheld and knew the soul of the Lord, the possessor of Glory and Dominion, and the Lord of Majesty and Might!

Blessed are those who have attained!

Blessed is whosoever is illumined by the Sun of My Word!

Blessed is whosoever adorned his head with the Wreath of My love!

Blessed is he who heard My grief and rose up for My assistance among My people!

Blessed is he who redeemed himself in My path and suffered tribulations for My name!

Blessed is he who was assured in My Word and stood up among the dead for My remembrance!

Blessed is he who was attracted by My melodies and rent the coverings by My power!

Blessed is he who performed My Covenant and was not prevented by the world from entering the court of My holiness!

Blessed is he who cut himself off from all other than Me, soared in the ether of My love, entered My Kingdom, perceived the dominion of My might, drank the Kawther of My favor and the Salsabil of My grace, and was informed of My command and of whatsoever was hidden in the treasuries of My Words, and shone forth from the horizon of inner significances in My commemoration and My praise! Verily, he is of Mine. May My mercy, grace, favor and glory be unto him!

TABLET TO THE PERSIAN ZOROASTRIAN Baha'is
50. In the Name of God, the Peerless.

Glory befits that discerner who, through one shower of the ocean of His generosity, expanded the firmament of existence, begemmed it with the stars of knowledge, and summoned the people to the most high court of perception and understanding.

This shower, which is the first Word of the Almighty, is sometimes called the water of life, for it quickens the dead souls in the desert of ignorance with the spring of intelligence. Sometimes it is called the First Emanation which appears from the Sun of Wisdom, and when it began to shine the first movement became manifest and known, then phenomena stepped into the arena of existence; and these appearances were through the generosity of the Incomparable, the Wise One. He is the knower, the giver! The seen and the unseen fail to attain the measure of His understanding. The world of being and whatever has issued from it bears witness to this utterance.

Therefore, it has become known that the first bestowal of the Almighty is the Word. The receiver and acceptor of It is the understanding. It is the first instructor in the University of existence, and is the Primal Emanation of God. Whatever is manifested is the appearance of Its wisdom. All the names originate in His name and the beginnings and endings of all affairs are in His hand.

Your letter came to this captive of the world in this prison. It brought happiness and increased friendship; it renewed the remembrance of the former times. Thanks belong to the Possessor of the universe, who permitted us to meet in the land of Persia. We met, we conversed, and we listened. It is hoped that no forgetfulness shall follow that meeting, that the revolving of the wheel of time shall not take away the remembrance from the heart, and that the plants of love shall grow out of that which is sown, and become green, verdant and imperishable.

You have asked regarding the heavenly books. The pulse of the world is in the hand of the skillful physician. He diagnoses the illness and wisely prescribes the remedy. Every day has its own secret, and every tongue a melody. The illness of today has one cure and that of tomorrow another. Look ye upon this day, and consider, and discuss its needs. One sees that existence is afflicted with innumerable ailments, compelling it to lie upon the bed of suffering. Men who are intoxicated with the wine of self-contemplation prevent the wise physician from reaching the patient.

Thus they cause themselves and the world to suffer.

They know not the ailment nor recognize the remedy. They take the wrong for the right, the crooked for the straight, the enemy for the friend.

Harken ye to the melody of this Prisoner! Stand up and proclaim; perchance those who are asleep may awaken. Say, O ye dead ones, the generous hand of the Almighty is passing around the water of eternal life. Hasten ye and drink. Whosoever becomes alive in this Day shall never die, and whosoever dies in this Day can never find life.

You have written regarding the language. Both Persian and Arabic are good, for that which one desires to gain from language is attainment to the meanings of the speaker, and this can be accomplished with both. As in this day the Sun of Wisdom has appeared and shone forth from the horizon of Persia, the more you respect this language the better it is.

O friend; when the Primal Word appeared in these latter days, a number of the heavenly souls heard the melody of the Beloved and hastened toward it; while others, finding that the deeds of some did not correspond with their words were prevented from the splendors of the Sun of Knowledge.

Say! O ye sons of earth! The pure God proclaims, that which in this glorious day shall purify you from the stains of desire and enable you to attain to tranquillity in My straight path and My manifest road. To be severed from attachment means to be separated from those things which occasion loss and lessen the grandeur of man. If the people of the world should attain to the heavenly utterances, they would never be prevented from the ocean of divine generosity. The heaven of righteousness has no star and never shall have one brighter than this. The first utterance of the Wise One is: O ye sons of earth! Turn from the darkness of foreignness to the shining of the sun of unity. This is that which shall benefit the people of the world more than aught else. O friend! The tree of the Word has no better blossom, and the ocean of wisdom never shall have a brighter pearl than this.

O ye sons of intelligence! The thin eyelid prevents the eye from seeing the world and what is contained therein. Then think of the result when the curtain of greed covers the sight of the heart. Say, O people, the darkness of greed and envy obscures the light of the soul, as the cloud prevents the penetration of the sun's rays. Should one listen with the ear of intelligence to this utterance, he shall spread the wings of freedom and soar with great joy toward the heaven of understanding.

When the world was environed with darkness, the sea of generosity was set in motion and divine illumination appeared so that the deeds were disclosed. This is the same illumination which is promised in the heavenly books. Should the Almighty desire the hearts of the people of the world, He will purify and sanctify them through the power of the Lord, and will pour forth the light of the Sun of Unity upon the souls to regenerate the world.

O people! The word must be demonstrated by the deed, for the righteous witness of the word is action. The former without the latter shall not allay the thirst of the needy nor open the doors of sight to the blind.

The Heavenly Wise One proclaimeth! A harsh word is like unto a sword, but gentle speech is like unto milk. The children of the world attain to knowledge and better themselves through this. The Tongue of Wisdom says: Whosoever possesses Me not, has nothing. Pass by whatever exists in this world, and find Me. I am the sun of perception and the ocean of science, I revive the withered ones and quicken the dead. I am that light which illumines the path of insight. I am the falcon on the hand of the Almighty. I bear healing in My wings, and teach the knowledge of soaring to the heaven of truth.

The Peerless Beloved says! The way of freedom is opened. Hasten ye. The fountain of knowledge is gushing, drink ye. Say! O friend! The tabernacle of oneness is raised, look not upon each other with the eye of strangeness. Ye are all the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch. Truly, I say, whatever lessens ignorance and increases knowledge, that has been, is and shall be accepted by the Creator.

Say! O people, walk ye under the shade of the tree of righteousness, enter ye under the protection of the tent of unity. Say! O thou possessor of sight: The past is the mirror of the future, look and perceive. Perchance, after the acquirement of knowledge, ye may know the Friend and attain to His good pleasure. Today the best fruit of the tree of science and knowledge is that which benefits mankind and improves his condition.

Say! The tongue is the witness of My truth, do not pollute it with untruthfulness. The spirit is the treasury of My mystery, do not deliver it into the hand of greed. It is hoped that in this dawn the world shall become illumined with the rays of the sun of understanding and knowledge, so that we may attain to the good pleasure of the Beloved and drink from the ocean of divine recognition.

O friend! As there were few ears to hear, for some time the Pen has been silent in its own chamber, and to such a degree that silence has had precedence over utterance. Say! O people, words are revealed according to the capacity of the people, so that the beginners may make progress. The milk must be given according to a measure, in order that the babe of the world may enter into the realm of grandeur and be established in the court of unity.

O friend! We have seen the pure ground and cast the seed of knowledge. Now it depends upon the rays of the sun whether it burns up or is caused to grow. Say, today, through the greatness of the Peerless Wise One, the sun of knowledge has appeared from behind the covering of the spirit and all the birds of the meadow of Oneness are intoxicated with the wine of understanding and are commemorating the name of the Beloved. Happy is the one who finds this and become immortal.

EXTRACT FROM THE TABLET REVEALED BY BAHÁ'U'LLÁH TO HIS HONOR, M. ALI,

Upon him be Bahá'u'lláh. The Supreme Pen commands:

51. O ye friends of the True One, the purpose of enduring these consecutive afflictions and successive sufferings is this: That those assured in God should deal with one another with the utmost union, in such wise that there may be effaced from among them every difference, duality and strangeness, except in the special ordinance revealed in the Divine Book.

A discerning man will suffer no defect in any matter; all that may happen will indicate his greatness of station and purity of character. For instance, if a person humbles himself for the sake of God before the friends of God, this is humbleness shown to the True One Himself; for this is done by the one as consideration of the other's faith in God. Hence to be humble for the sake of God before another means to be humble before God Himself. In this case, if the other does not behave in like manner, or if he shows forth haughtiness, the discerning man will attain to the loftiness of his own action and to the reward thereof; while the detriment in the action of the other one will return to the latter himself. Likewise, if any one acts with haughtiness, that haughtiness will be directed to the True One. We seek refuge in God from such, O ye possessors of intelligence!

I swear by the Greatest Name, it is a pity that in these days anyone should gaze at transient concerns!

Arise ye in the Cause of God and deal with one another in the utmost love. Consume the egotistical veils with the fire of oneness, sincerely for the sake of God, and consort with one another with cheerful and rejoicing faces. Ye have all seen the characteristics of the True One with your own eyes and that it has be no means been beloved to pass any evening during which any one of the beloved of God shall be annoyed with this Youth.

The heart of the world is enkindled with the divine world. It is a pity for you not to be ignited with this fire. God willing, We hope you will designate this blessed even to be the even of union: All of you must become united together and adorned with the embroidery of excellent and praiseworthy morals.

Let your endeavor be in guiding some soul out of the whirlpool of mortality to the river of immortality, and to behave in such a manner among the servants that the traces of the True One may become manifest in you. For you are the first of the existence, the first who worship, the first of those who revolve around the True One. By the One who caused Me to give utterance to that which He desireth, your names are more famous in the Supreme Kingdom than they are well-known to your own selves. You should not fancy that this statement is mere imagination. O, that ye could see what your merciful Lord sees concerning the loftiness of your degree, the greatness of your worth, and the exaltation of your position! We beg of God that your desires may not prevent you from that which He hath ordained for you.

We hope that you will deal with one another with the utmost harmony, love and affection, in such wise that the standard of unity will be hoisted through your union and the banner of infidelity reversed, and that ye may precede one another in good deeds and in showing forth the good pleasure of God. His is the command and creation. He doeth whatsoever He willeth and ordereth that which He desireth. Verily, He is the Powerful, the Mighty, the Potent!

TO A BELIEVER
52. He is the Powerful over what was and is.

The signs have appeared, the evidences become manifest and the Promised One hath come in His Name, the Protector, the Self-existent. Verily, He is the stored treasure, the hidden mystery, who hath appeared from the horizon of the world and is calling all nations unto God, the King of Pre-existence, but the people are those who do not hear. They were deceived by their desires in such wise as to make them not hear the voice of God, nor see His extolled station.

Blessed are ye, O people of Baha, for that by reason of which ye have rent asunder the veils, in spite of the people of creation who have denied the grace of God after it hath been caused to descend, and adopted that which they have of imaginations and suspicions. We show unto them the horizon of assurance, but from it they turn away. We let them hear the cooing of the Dove but they do not listen. At all times they are admonished by the Pen of Inspiration but they remember not. They follow the simple, whom they call savants. Are they not indeed of those who understand not? Verily, those who cannot distinguish between the right and the left pretend to a knowledge of science, and thus they feel themselves great against the Truth, the Knower of the unseen. Say: by the King of creation, ye are of the vile and foolish people and your limbs and substances are quit of you, but ye perceive not.

But as to thee, be tranquil and confident through the bounty of God. Verily, He is with those who have turned unto Him and who have succeeded in attaining the pure sealed wine.

Those who have associated others with God shall see their lodging in the fire, while those who believed in His Oneness are in the Kingdom of God, the Lord of what was and is.

Thus hath the Tongue of Pre-existence spoken in the Most Great Prison as a favor on His part to thee and to those who fly away in the atmosphere of love.

CHAPTER THREE
THE NEW AGE
53. In My Name, the Protector over all Names!

Praise and glory belong unto the King of Names and the Creator of Heavens, the waves of the sea of whose appearance are manifest and evident before the faces of all in the world. The sun of His command is submitted to no covering, and His word of affirmation is beyond the reach of denial. Neither the restriction of tyrants nor the oppression wrought by Pharaohs could withhold Him from His Will. Glorified is His Power and great is His Grandeur!

Praise be unto God! Although signs have encompassed the world, and proofs and arguments are shining forth and manifest from all directions like unto the light, yet ignorant people are found heedless, nay, even contradictory. O that they were content with mere contradicting! Nay, but they are all the time plotting to cut down the Blessed Tree. From the beginning of this Dispensation the manifestors of selfishness have exerted themselves with all tyranny and injustice to extinguish the Light of God; but, verily, God prevented them therefrom, and through His power caused the Light to appear and protected it through His might, until the heaven and earth were illumined with its radiance and glory!

54. Glory be unto Thee, O Thou God of the world and desire of nations, O Thou who hast become manifest in the Greatest Name, whereby the pearls of wisdom and utterance have appeared from the shells of the great sea of Thy knowledge, and the heavens of religions are adorned with the light of the appearance of the sun of Thy countenance!

I beg of Thee -- by that Word, by reason of which Thy proof was made perfect among Thy creatures and Thy argument among Thy servants -- to strengthen Thy people in that whereby the face of the Cause will radiate in Thy dominion and the standards of Thy power and the banners of Thy guidance will be planted in Thy lands and among Thy servants!

O my God! Thou beholdest them clinging to the rope of Thy grace and holding fast to the hem of the mantle of Thy beneficence. Ordain for them that which may draw them nearer unto Thee, and withhold them from all else save Thee.

I beg of Thee, O Thou King of existence and Protector of the seen and unseen, to make whosoever arises to serve Thy Cause as a sea moving by Thy desire; ablaze with the fire of Thy Sadrat, shining from the horizon of the heaven of Thy Will. Verily, Thou art the mighty one, who neither the power of all the world, nor the strength of nations can weaken. There is no God but Thee, the One, the Single, the Protector, the Self-subsistent! 55. Concerning the progress of existence and the development of men We have revealed that which is the greatest door to the training of the people of the world. All that hath been formerly revealed from the tongue or pen of the people of the past, the King thereof hath indeed revealed in this most great Manifestation from the heaven of will of the Lord of Pre-existence. In former ages it has been said: "To love one's native land is faith." But the Tongue of Grandeur hath said in the Day of Manifestation:

"Glory is not his who loves his native land; glory is his who loves his kind." By these exalted words He taught the birds of souls a new flight, and effaced restriction and blind imitation from the Book. This Oppressed One hath forbidden the people of God to engage in strife and conflict, and summoned them to good deeds and to spiritual and pleasing morals. Blessed are they who adhere thereto, and woe unto those who reject them!

56. O people of God! I exhort you to reverence. Reverence is, in the primary station, the lord of all virtues. Blessed is he who is illumined with the mantle of integrity! He who is endowed with reverence is endowed with a great station. It is hoped that this Oppressed One, and all, will attain to it, adhere to it, hold unto it, and observe it. This is the irrefutable command which hath flowed forth and is revealed from the Pen of the Greatest Name.

57. This Day is a Day wherein the gems of steadfastness must appear from the mine of man. O people of justice! Ye must be luminous like unto light, and be ablaze as the fire of the Sinaitic tree. This fire of love will assemble all the different peoples in one court; but the fire of animosity is the cause of disunion and conflict. We beg of God to protect His servants from the evil of His enemies. Verily, He is powerful in all things!

58. Praise be to God! The True One -- Exalted in His glory! -- hath opened the doors of the minds and souls through the key of the Supreme Pen. Every one of the revealed Verses is a manifest door to the appearance of spiritual virtues and holy deeds. This voice and this utterance is not particularized to one country or one city. The people of the world in general must adhere to that which is revealed and hath appeared, so that they may attain to the true freedom. The world is illuminated with the lights of the Orb of Manifestation; for in the "year sixty" (1844) the Precursor -- may the lives of all save Him be a sacrifice to Him! -- announced the glad tidings of the new life, and in the "year eighty" the world attained to the new light and the wonderful life. Now most of the people of the lands are prepared to hearken unto the exalted Word, upon which depends and is based the resuscitation and resurrection of all.

59. In the Prison, Acca, We have revealed in the Red Epistle that which is conducive to the elevation of men and the development of nations. Among others, these utterances have been revealed therein, from the Pen of the King of existence.

The greatest foundations upon which depend the administration of peoples are the following:

60. First: The ministers of the House of Justice must promote the Most Great Peace, in order that the world may be freed from onerous expenditure. This matter is obligatory and indispensable; for warfare and conflict are the foundation of trouble and distress.

61. Second: Languages must be reduced to one, and that one language must be taught in all the schools of the world.

62. Third: All must adhere to the means which are conducive to love and unity.

63. Fourth: Men and women must place a part of what they earn by trade, agriculture or other business, in charge of a trustworthy person, to be spent in the education and instruction of the children. That deposit must be invested in the education of children under the advice of the trustees of the House of Justice.

64. Fifth: Complete regard should be had to the matter of agriculture. Although this matter is mentioned in the fifth, yet in reality it is endowed with the first station.

65. The fear of God is the real guardian and the ideal protector. Men must adhere and hold fast unto that which is conducive to the appearance of this great gift. Blessed is he who hearkens unto what My Supreme Pen hath uttered, and acts in accord with that which is commanded on the part of the Ancient Commander.

O people of God! Hearken unto the exhortations of the One Friend with the ear of the soul. The Word of God is like unto a tree: its planting ground must be the hearts of the people: cultivate it through the Kawther of wisdom and utterance, so that its roots may become firm, and its branches surpass the firmament.

66. O ye people of the world! The virtue of this most great Manifestation is that We have effaced from the Book whatever was the cause of difference, corruption and discord, and recorded therein that which leads to unity, harmony and accord. Joy unto those who practise!

67. O people of God! In this Day, the gaze of all must be extended only to the horizon of the blessed Word: "He doeth whatsoever He willeth!" for, if any one attains to this station, he has attained, and is illumined by the light of ideal oneness; and all those outside this station are written and spoken of as followers of superstitions and imaginations in the Book of God.

68. In the principal laws and commandments which have ere this been revealed in the Book of Aqdas and other Tablets, affairs have been placed in charge of just kings and chiefs, and of the trustees of the House of Justice. Upon reflection, men of equity and discernment will witness, with outward and inward eyes, the effulgence of the orb of justice in all that We have revealed. At present that form of government followed by the British nation seems good; for that nation is illuminated both with the light of kingdom and consultation.

69. O people of God! The rightly guided men of learning, who engage in enlightening the people and are protected and preserved from the temptations of inordinate desire -- such men are accounted of the stars of the heaven of knowledge, before God, the Object of all the world. To respect them is obligatory. They are the flowing fountains, the shining stars, the fruits of the blessed tree, the signs of the divine power, and the seas of the eternal wisdom. Blessed is he who adheres to them. Verily, he is of those who have attained, in the Book of God, the Lord of the great throne!

70. O people of the earth! The first glad tidings which is conferred in this Most Great Manifestation on all the people of the world, from the "Mother Book," is the abolishing of the decree of religious warfare from the Book. Exalted is the Beneficent One, the Possessor of great bounty -- the One through whom the door of grace is opened before all in the heaven and earth.

71. The second glad tidings: it is sanctioned that all the nations of the world consort with each other with joy and fragrance. Consort ye, O people, with all religions with joy and fragrance! Thus hath the orb of permission and desire shone forth from the horizon of the heaven of the command of God, the lord of the creatures.

72. The third glad tidings is the study of various languages. This command hath already flowed from the Supreme Pen. Their Majesties, the Kings -- may God assist them -- or the counsellors of the earth must consult together, and appoint one of the existing languages, or a new language, and instruct the children therein, in all the schools of the world; and the same must be done with respect to writing also. In such case the earth will be considered as one. Blessed is he who heareth the voice and fulfilleth that which is commanded on the part of God, the Lord of the great throne!

73. The fourth glad tidings: let every one of the Kings -- may God strengthen them -- arise to protect and assist this oppressed (Baha'i) community. Each must precede the other in serving and showing love unto them. This matter is obligatory upon all. Blessed are those who practise!

74. The fifth glad tidings: in every country or government where any of this community reside, they must behave toward that government with faithfulness, trustfulness and truthfulness. This is that which is revealed from the presence of the Ancient Commander! It is obligatory and incumbent on the people of the world in general to assist this most great Cause -- which has descended from the heaven of the will of the King of Pre-existence -- that perchance the fire of animosity which is ablaze in the hearts of some of the nations, may be quenched through the water of divine wisdom and lordly commands and exhortations, and that the light of union and accord may irradiate and illuminate the world. It is hoped that through the favor of the Appearances of the power of God (i.e., kings and rulers) the armaments of the world may be changed into Peace and corruption and conflict will vanish from among men.

75. The sixth glad tidings is the Most Great Peace, the account of which has been formerly revealed from the Supreme Pen. Joy unto whosoever adhereth thereto and practises that whereunto he is commanded on the part of God, the Knower, the Wise!

76. The seventh glad tidings: Men are permitted to have their choice in the matter of habiliment, and in the cut of the beard and its dressing. But beware, O people, not to make yourselves as playthings to the ignorant!

77. The eighth glad tidings: The pious practises of the monks and priests among the people of His Holiness the Spirit (Christ) -- upon Him is the peace of God and His glory! -- are remembered before God; but in this Day, they must abandon solitude for open places, and engage in that which may profit both themselves and other men. We have conferred permission on them all to engage in matrimony, so that there may be issue from them to celebrate the praise of God, the Lord of the seen and unseen and the Lord of the lofty throne.

78. The ninth glad tidings: The sinner, when in a state wherein he finds himself free and severed from all else save God, must beg for forgiveness and pardon (from God). It is not allowable to declare one's sins and transgressions before any man, inasmuch as this has not been, nor is conducive to securing God's forgiveness and pardon. At the same time such confession before the creatures leads to one's humiliation and abasement, and God -- exalted is His glory! -- does not wish for the humiliation of His servants. Verily He is compassionate and beneficent! A sinner must, between himself and God, beseech mercy from the Sea of Mercy and ask forgiveness from the Heaven of Beneficence, and then say:

79. "O my God! O my God! I beg of Thee -- by the blood of Thy lovers, who were so attracted by Thy sweet utterance that they betook themselves unto the lofty summit, the place of Great Martyrdom -- and by the mysteries concealed in Thy knowledge, and by the pearls deposited in the sea of Thy bestowal, to forgive me, and my father and my mother. Verily Thou art the most merciful of the merciful! There is no God but Thee, the forgiving, the beneficent!

"O my Lord! Thou beholdest the essence of error advancing toward the sea of Thy gift, and the weak one toward the kingdom of Thy power, and the poor one toward the sun of Thy wealth. O my Lord! Disappoint him not of Thy generosity and bounty; deprive him not of the graces of Thy days, and turn him not away from Thy door which Thou hast opened before all in Thy heaven and earth.

"Alas! Alas! My transgressions have prevented me from drawing nigh unto the court of Thy sanctity, and my trespasses have kept me afar from turning unto the tents of Thy glory. I have indeed wrought that which Thou hast forbidden me; I have neglected that which Thou hast commanded me! I beg of Thee, by the King of Names, to decree for me from the Pen of grace and bestowal that which will draw me nigh unto Thee and will purify me from my sins which have intervened between me and Thy forgiveness and pardon. Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Bounteous! There is no God but Thee, the Mighty, the Gracious!"

80. The tenth glad tidings: We have removed from the Epistles and Tablets the decree of effacing the Books as a favor from the presence of God, the sender of this great message!

81. The eleventh glad tidings: To study sciences and arts of all classes is allowable; but such sciences as are profitable, which conduce to the elevation of mankind. Thus hath the matter been decreed on the part of God, the Commander, the Wise!

82. The twelfth glad tidings: It is made incumbent on every one of you to engage in some one occupation, such as arts, trades, and the like. We have made this -- your occupation -- identical with the worship of God, the True One. Reflect, O people, upon the mercy of God and upon His favors, then thank Him at dawn and at dusk.

83. Waste not your time in idleness and indolence, and occupy yourselves with that which will profit yourselves and others beside yourselves. Thus hath the matter been decreed in this Tablet from the horizon of which the sun of wisdom and divine utterance is gleaming. The most despised of men before God is he who sits and begs. Cling unto the rope of means, relying upon God, the Causer of Causes. Every soul who occupies himself in an art or trace -- this will be accounted an act of worship before God. Verily, this is from naught else than His great and abundant favor!

84. The thirteenth glad tidings: The affairs of the people are placed in the charge of the men of the House of Justice of God. They are the trustees of God among His servants and the daysprings of command in His countries.

85. O people of God! The trainer of the world is justice, for it consists of two pillars: Reward and retribution. These two pillars are two fountains for the life of the people of the world. Inasmuch as for each time and day a particular decree and order is expedient, affairs are therefore entrusted to the ministers of the House of Justice, so that they may execute that which they deem advisable at the time. Those souls who arise to serve the Cause sincerely to please God will be inspired by the divine, invisible inspiration. It is incumbent upon all to obey.

86. Administrative affairs are all in charge of the House of Justice; but acts of worship must be observed according as they are revealed in the Book.

87. O people of Baha! Ye are daysprings of the love, and dawningplaces of the providence, of God. Defile not the tongue with cursing or execrating any one and guard your eyes against that which is not worthy. Show forth that which ye possess (of the Truth). If it is accepted, the aim is attained, and if not, interference is not allowable, but leave them to themselves and advance toward God, the Protector, the Self-subsistent.

88. Be not the cause of sorrow, how much less of sedition and strife. It is hoped that ye may be trained under the shadow of the Tree of Divine Providence, and act in that which is desired by God. Ye are all leaves of one tree and drops of one ocean.

89. The fourteenth glad tidings: To undertake journeys for the sake of visiting the tombs of the dead is not necessary. If those who have means and wealth should give to the House of Justice the amount which would otherwise be expended on such journeys, this would be acceptable and agreeable before God. Happy are those who accomplish!

90. The fifteenth glad tidings: Although a republican form of government profits all the people of the world, yet the majesty of Kingship is one of the signs of God. We do not wish the countries of the world to be deprived thereof. It statesmen combine the two into one form, their reward will be great before God.

91. Agreeable to the requirements of former times, the previous religions confirmed and commanded religious warfare, prohibited association and intercourse with other peoples, and forbade the reading of certain books, but in this most great Manifestation and mighty message, favors and gifts of God have pervaded all peoples, and the irrefutable command is revealed in that which has already been mentioned from the horizon of the will of the Lord of Pre-existence. We praise God -- exalted and glorified is He! -- for that which He hath revealed in this Day, the blessed, the mighty, the wonderful! Were all the people of the world each to possess a hundred thousand tongues, and speak in praise and glorification until the day which hath no end, verily all their thanks would not equal even a single one of the favors mentioned in this Epistle! -- whereunto testifies every man of knowledge and discernment, and every man of wisdom and understanding. I beg of God -- exalted is His glory! -- and entreat Him to enable the kings and sovereigns, who are dawningplaces of power and daysprings of might, to execute His precepts and commands.

Verily, He is the Powerful, the Mighty, and the Bestower of worthiness!

92. Man should know his own self, and understand those things which lead to loftiness or to abasement, to shame or to honor, to affluence or to poverty. After man has realized his own being, and become mature, then (material) means are required. If wealth is acquired through a craft or profession, it is approvable and praiseworthy for men of wisdom, especially for those who arise to train the world and beautify the souls of the nations. These are the cup bearers of the Kawther of knowledge and the guides to the ideal path. They direct the people of the whole world to the right path, and instruct them in that which is conducive to the elevation and progress of being.

93. The Right Path is a path which leads man to the dayspring of perception and dawningplace of knowledge, and directs him to that which is the cause of honor and glory and greatness.

94. Consort with all religions in joy and fragrance; show forth that which is declared by the Speaker of the Mount; and render justice in affairs. The followers of sincerity and faithfulness must consort with all the people of the world with joy and fragrance; for association is always conducive to union and harmony, and union and harmony are the cause of the order of the world and the life of nations. Blessed are they who hold fast to the rope of compassion and kindness, and are detached from animosity and hatred!

95. Good character, verily, is the best mantle for men on the part of God; by this, God adorns the temples of His friends. By My life, the light of good character surpasses the light of the sun and its effulgence. He who attains thereto is accounted as the essence of men.

96. The possessors of justice and equity occupy the highest station and loftiest rank: the lights of righteousness and piety shine and radiate from such souls.

97. Knowledge is one of the greatest benefits of God. To acquire knowledge is incumbent on all. These visible arts and present implements are from the results of His knowledge and wisdom, which have been revealed from the Supreme Pen. The Supreme Pen is that pen from the treasury of which the gems of wisdom and utterance, and the arts of the whole world, have appeared and become manifest. In this Day the mysteries of this earth are unfolded and made visible before the eyes, and the pages of swiftly appearing newspapers are indeed the mirror of the world; they display the doings and actions of the different nations; they both illustrate them and cause them to be heard. Newspapers are as a mirror which is endowed with hearing, sight and speech; they are a wonderful phenomenon and a great matter. But it behooveth the writers thereof to be sanctified from the prejudice of egotism and desire and to be adorned with the ornament of equity and justice; they must inquire into matters as much as possible, in order that they may be informed of the real facts, and commit the same to writing.

98. The mysteries of the Resurrection Day and the signs of the "Hour" have all become manifested, but the people are heedless and veiled.

99. Verily, the Precursor (the Báb) has said: "Verily, He (Bahá'u'lláh) will utter in every state, Verily, I am God! There is no God but Me, the Protector, the Self-subsistent!"

100. In this Day all must adhere to union and harmony, and be engaged in assisting the Cause of God: perchance heedless souls may attain to that which is conducive to eternal salvation.

101. The discord of sects has caused and occasioned weakness.

Every sect has followed a way and held fast to a rope; notwithstanding their blindness and ignorance they account themselves as endowed with judgment and perception. Among them are the mystics (Sufis) of the Islam religion. By the life of God, this lowers man's station and increases pride. Man must show forth fruit. A fruitless man, in the words of His Holiness the Spirit (Christ), is like unto a fruitless tree, and a fruitless tree is fit only for the fire.

Those souls (Sufis) have affirmed ideas concerning the stages of "Divine Unity" which are the greatest cause of addicting people to idleness and superstition. They have, indeed, removed the distinction and imagined themselves to be God. The True One is sanctified above all; but His signs are manifest in all things. The signs are from Him -- not He Himself -- and all of them are recorded and visible in the book of the world. The plan of the world is a great Book: from it every one endowed with perception can grasp that which will enable him to attain to the Right Path and the "Great Message."

Consider the rays of the sun; its lights have encompassed the world, but these splendors are from it, and from its manifestations; they are through it, but are not itself. Whatever is seen on earth is expressive of His power, knowledge, and grace; while He is sanctified from all. His Holiness Christ says: "Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

102. Verily, We have sounded the trumpet, and that is My Supreme Pen, whereby the servants are prostrated, except those whom God hath protected as a favor on His part; and He is the Pre-existent, the Gracious! O concourse of the learned (ecclesiastics)! Do ye reject the Pen after the voice thereof has been raised? The Kingdom of the Bayan is prepared to hear it; and every utterance is humbled before His great and mighty utterance. Fear God, and follow not superstitions and imaginations; follow Him who hath appeared unto you with manifest knowledge and evident certainty.

103. Praise be to God! The treasury of man is his speech; yet this oppressed one has refrained from speaking, for the deniers are lurking in ambush. Protection is from God, the Lord of the creatures. Verily, We have trusted in Him, and resigned our affairs unto Him; He suffices Us and He suffices all things. He is the One by whose command and permission the Orb of Power hath shone forth from the horizon of the world. Blessed are those who behold and recognize, and woe unto those who reject and deny!

104. But this oppressed one hath loved and loves the philosophers, that is, those whose philosophy has not been mere words, but who have produced lasting results and fruits in the worlds. To respect these blessed souls is incumbent on all. Blessed are those who practise! Blessed are those who know! Blessed are those who render justice in affairs, and hold fast to the rope of My sound equity!

105. Truly, I say, the fear of God hath ever been the perspicuous protection and solid fortress for the whole community of the world. It is the greatest means for the protection of mankind, and the chief cause of the preservation of humanity. Yea, there exists a sign in the being (of man) which protects him from that which is unworthy and unbecoming. That sign is called Reverence. But this virtue is assigned to a few; for all are not endowed with this station.

106. At this moment the Supreme Pen exhorts the daysprings of power and dawningplaces of authority, to wit: kings, rulers, chiefs, princes, learned men and mystics, and commands them to hold fast to religion. Religion is the greatest instrument for the order of the world and the tranquillity of all existent beings. The weakness of the pillars of religion has encouraged the ignorant and rendered them audacious and arrogant. Truly, I say, whatever lowers the lofty station of religion will increase heedlessness in the wicked, and finally result in anarchy. Hear, O ye possessors of perception! Then be admonished, O ye who are endowed with sight!

107. O Son of Man! If thou lookest toward mercy, regard not that which benefits thyself, and look to that which benefits all mankind. If thou lookest toward Justice, choose thou for others what thou choosest for thyself. Verily, through meekness, man is elevated to the heaven of power; and again, pride degrades him to the lowest station of humiliation and abasement. O people of God! The Day is great, and the Call is mighty!

108. The greatest gift and the highest blessing, in the primary station, is wisdom. It is the protector of existence, and its support and helper. Wisdom is the messenger of the Merciful One, and the manifestor of the name, the "All-Wise." Through wisdom the station of man is made evident and manifest. It is the knower and the first teacher in the school of existence, and it is the guide, the possessor of a lofty rank. Under the direction of its influence, the element earth was endowed with pure soul and made to surpass the firmament. Wisdom is the first speaker in the City of Justice; and in the "year nine" (1853) it illuminated the world with the glad tidings of the Manifestation. Wisdom is the peerless Wise One who, in the beginning of the world, ascended the ladder of significances; and when, by the Divine Will, it occupied the pulpit of utterance, it spoke in two words. From the first word appeared the glad tidings of promise (of reward), and from the second the fear of threat (of punishment). From promise and threat, hope and fear become manifest, and by these two the foundations of the order of the world were established and confirmed. Exalted is the Wise One, the Possessor of great bounty!

109. The light of men is justice; quench it not with the contrary winds of oppression and tyranny. The purpose of justice is the appearance of unity among people. In this exalted Word, the sea of God's wisdom is moving: all the books of the world are not sufficient to contain its interpretation.

110. If the world is adorned with this mantle, the sun of the saying: "On that Day God will satisfy them all with His abundance," will appear and shine forth from the horizon of the heaven of the world. Know ye the station of this utterance, for it is from the loftiest fruits of the tree of the Supreme Pen. Happy is he who heareth and attaineth! Verily, I say, all that has descended from the heaven of the divine will is conducive to the order of the world, and to the furtherance of unity and harmony among its people. Thus hath the tongue of this wronged one spoken in His Great Prison (Acca)!

111. O ye wise men among nations! Turn your eyes away from foreignness and gaze unto Oneness, and hold fast unto the means which produce tranquillity and security for the people of the whole world. This span-wide world is but one region and one native land. Abandon that glory which is the cause of discord, and turn unto that which promotes harmony. To the people of Baha, glory is in knowledge, good deeds, good morals, and wisdom -- not in patriotism or rank. O people of the earth: appreciate the value of this heavenly Word, for it is like unto a ship for the sea of knowledge, and is as a sun to the universe of perception.

112. Schools must first train the children in the principles of religion, so that the promise and the warning, recorded in the Books of God, may prevent them from the things forbidden and adorn them with the mantle of the commandments: but this in such measure as may not injure the children by resulting in ignorant fanaticism and bigotry.

113. The trustees of the House of Justice must consult upon the ordinances as they are outwardly revealed in the Book, and then enforce whatever prove agreeable to them of these. Verily, God will inspire them with that which He willeth, and He is the Ruler, the Knower! We have formerly declared that speech was decreed to be in two languages, and that there should be an effort to reduce it into one. So, likewise, should it be with the writings of the world, in order that people may not waste and lavish their lives in the study of the various languages, and that the whole earth may be considered as one city and one land.

114. Truly I say: moderation is desirable in every affair, and when it is exceeded it leads to detriment. Consider the civilization of the people of the Occident -- how it has occasioned commotion and agitation to the people of the world. There has appeared an infernal instrument, and such atrocity is displayed in the destruction of life, the like of which has not been seen by the eye of the world, nor heard by the ears of nations. It is impossible to reform these violent, overwhelming evils, except the peoples of the world become united in affairs, or in one religion. Hearken ye unto the voice of this oppressed one, and adhere to the Most Great Peace!

115. A strange and wonderful instrument exists in the earth, but it is concealed from minds and souls. It is an instrument which has the power to change the atmosphere of the whole earth, and its infection causes destruction.

116. Praise be to God! A wonderful thing is perceived: the lightning and similar forces are subdued by a conductor, and act by man's command. Exalted is the mighty One who hath made manifest that which He desired, through His absolute, invincible command.

117. O people of Baha! Each one of the revealed commands is a strong fortress for the protection of the world. Verily, this oppressed one wishes only your security and elevation.

118. We exhort the men of the House of Justice, and command them to guard and protect the servants, maid servants, and children. They must, under all circumstances, have regard for the interests of the servants (people). Blessed is the prince who succors a captive, the rich one who favors the needy, the just who secures the rights of a wronged one from the oppressor, and the trustee who performs what he is commanded on the part of the Pre-existent Commander!

119. O people of the earth! A solitary life and sever discipline do not meet with approval. The possessors of perception and knowledge should look unto the means which are conducive to joy and fragrance. Such practises come forth and proceed from the loins of superstition and the womb of fancy, and are not worthy people of knowledge. Some of the people of the past and of later time dwelt in mountain caves, and other frequented tombs at night. Say: Hearken to the advice of this oppressed one. Abandon that which ye believe, and adhere unto that which the Trustworthy Counsellor commands. Deprive not yourselves of what is created for you.

120. We command the appearances of names and attributes to adhere henceforth unto that which has been revealed in this most great Manifestation, and not to become a cause of discord, and to look unto the horizon of this luminous Word, revealed in this Epistle, unto the end beyond which there is no end. Discord is the cause of bloodshed and entails revolution among the servants (people). Hearken to the voice of this oppressed one, and depart not therefrom.

121. If one ponders over that which is revealed in this Manifestation from the Supreme Pen, he will know for a certainty that, in all that this wronged one hath spoken, He has had no intention to establish any position or rank for Himself. But it has been our aim to uplift men through exalted words unto the Supreme Horizon, and to prepare them to hearken unto that which conduces to the sanctifying and purifying of the people of the world from the strife and discord which result from differences in religions. Whereunto My heart and My pen, My manifest and My hidden (being) bear witness. God willing, all will turn unto the treasuries which are deposited within themselves.

122. O people of Baha! The faculty of meditation is the depository of crafts, arts and sciences. Exert yourselves, so that the gems of knowledge and wisdom may proceed from this ideal mine, and conduce to the tranquillity and union of the different nations of the world.

123. Ask thou God to strengthen your eyes, and illumine them with a new light; perchance they may attain to that which is peerless and unique. In this Day the verses of the Mother Book are shining and beaming like unto the sun, and cannot be confounded with former and latter words. Verily, this wronged one does not desire to prove His Cause through that which has appeared from others. He is the All-comprehending, and all else save Him is comprehended in Him! Say: O people! Read what ye possess, and We will read what We possess. By the life of God! Neither the words of the creatures, nor that which all nations possess, is worthy of mention before this utterance. Whereunto testifies the One who hath spoken in all stations. Verily, He is God, the King of the Day of Judgment, and the Lord of the great throne!

124. In this Day a great Banquet is celebrated in the Supreme Concourse; for all that was promised in the divine Books has appeared. This is the Day of the most great rejoicing! All must direct themselves to the court of nearness with the utmost joy, happiness, exultation and gladness, and deliver themselves from the fire of separation.

125. I testify that verily there is no God save Him! and He who hath come is verily the hidden mystery, the concealed secret, the most great Book for the nations, and the heaven of beneficence to the world: He is the mighty sign among mankind, and the dawningplace of highest attributes in the world of emanation. Through Him hath appeared that which was concealed from all eternity, and was hidden from men of discernment. Verily, He is the One whose Manifestation was announced by the Books of God in former and in latter times.

126. Whosoever acknowledges Him, His signs, and His evidences, hath verily acknowledged that which the Tongue of Grandeur hath uttered before the creation of heaven and earth, and before the appearance of the Kingdom of Names. Through Him the sea of knowledge hath moved among mankind, and the running water of wisdom hath flowed from the presence of God, the King of Days. Blessed is the discerning one who witnessed and perceived, the hearing one who heard His sweet voice, and the hand that grasped the Book through the power of its Lord, the King of this world and the world to come! Blessed is the hastener who hastened toward His Supreme Horizon, and the strong one whom neither the influence of princes nor the clamor of theologians did weaken! But woe unto him who disbelieved the grace of God and His bounty, His mercy and His power! Verily, such a one is of those who reject the proof of God and His argument throughout all eternity.

127. Joy unto him who, in this Day, casts away that which is possessed by the people, and holds fast to that which is commanded on the part of God, the King of names and the Creator of things -- The One who hath come from the heaven of Pre-existence with the Greatest Name, and with a power that the hosts of the earth fail to withstand: whereunto testifies the Mother-Book in the highest station.

128. The first splendor which hath shone forth from the Sun of Truth is the knowledge of God -- exalted is His glory! -- and the knowledge of the King of Pre-existence cannot be attained except by knowing the Greatest Name. He is the Speaker of the Mount who is established and seated upon the throne of Manifestation, and He is the hidden, invisible One, the concealed Mystery.

129. All the former and later Books of God are adorned with His commemoration and speak His praise. Through Him the standard of knowledge is planted in the world, and the banner of unity is raised among the nations. The Meeting of God cannot be obtained save through meeting Him. Through Him appeared all that was hidden and invisible from all eternity.

130. Verily, He hath appeared in truth, and hath uttered a Word whereby "all in the heavens and earth -- except those whom God wished -- are stunned." Faith in God, and the knowledge of Him cannot be fully realized except through believing in all that hath proceeded from Him, and by practising all that He hath commanded and all that is revealed in the Book from the Supreme Pen. Those submerged in the sea of divine utterance must at all times observe the commands and prohibitions of God. His commandments are the greatest fortress for the protection of the world and for the preservation of mankind. Light is upon those who confess and acknowledge them, and fire is on those who reject and oppose them.

131. The second splendor is steadfastness in the Cause of God and in His love -- exalted is His glory! This cannot be attained except through knowledge of Him; and perfect knowledge of Him cannot be obtained except by confessing the blessed Word:

GOD DOETH WHATSOEVER HE WILLETH

He who adheres to this exalted Word, and drinks from the Kawther of divine utterance which is deposited therein, will find himself so steadfast that all the books of the world will not withhold him from the Mother Book. O, great is this lofty station, exalted position, and furthermost end!

132. The third splendor is concerning sciences, crafts and arts. Knowledge is like unto wings for the being (of man), and is as a ladder for ascending. To acquire knowledge is incumbent on all, but knowledge of those sciences which may profit the people of the earth, and not of such sciences are begin in mere words and end in mere words. The possessors of sciences and arts have a great right among the people of the world. Whereunto testifies the mother of divine utterance in the Day of Return. Joy unto those who hear!

133. The fourth splendor concerns the declaration of divinity, lordship, and similar statements. Were one endowed with perception to gaze upon this evident, blessed Tree, and upon its fruits, he would verily become independent of all else beside It, and would acknowledge that which the Speaker of the Mount hath uttered on the throne of Manifestation.

134. Praise be to God! It was supposed that at the time of the Manifestation of God, knowledge had become perfect and mature, and had reached the furthermost end. Now it has become evident that knowledge has decreased among the deniers, and has remained in a condition of immaturity.

135. Now man must reflect upon the Worshipper (Bab), and the Worshipped (Bahá'u'lláh): perchance the people of the earth may attain to a drop of the sea of knowledge, and comprehend the station of this Manifestation. Verily, he hath appeared, and hath spoken in truth. Blessed is he who confesses and acknowledges, and woe unto those who, being remote from God, deny!

136. O ye concourse of earth. Hearken to the voice of the Tree of Paradise, the shade of which hath encompassed the loftiest positions of the world; and be not of the tyrants of earth who denied the Manifestation of God and His power, and renounced His bounty. Are they not of the contemptible, in the Book of God, the Lord of the creatures?

137. Glory, shining from the heaven of My providence, be upon thee, and upon him who is with thee and hearkens to thy word in the Cause of God, the Mighty, the Praiseworthy!

CHAPTER FOUR
THE DEGREES OF DEVOTION

138. Read the Verses of God every morning and evening, and he who does not read will not be known by the Covenant of God and His Testament. And he who turns away from them in this Day, verily he is of those who have turned away from God since the eternity of eternities. O ye servants, fear God! Be not deluded by meaningless repetition of prayers, but worship by day and by night. Should any one read but one Verse of the Verses with fragrance and spirituality, it shall avail more unto him than to read with slothfulness all the Books of God, the Protector, the Self-existent.

139. Teach your children that which is caused to descend from the heaven of might and greatness that they, in the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, may read the Tablets of the Merciful in the sweetest of tones. Verily he who is overtaken by the attraction of the love of My Name, the Merciful, will assuredly read the Verses of God in such wise as to charm the hearts of those who are asleep.

140. He who knoweth Me hath known the Intended, and he who turneth unto Me hath turned unto the Adored.

141. The Sun of Truth is the Word of God, upon which depends the training of the people of the country of thought. It is the Spirit of Reality and the Water of Life. All things owe their existence to it. Its manifestation is ever according to the capacity and coloring of the mirror through which it may reflect. For example: Its Light, when cast upon the mirrors of the wise, gives expression to wisdom; when reflected from the minds of artists it produces manifestations of new and beautiful arts; and when it shines through the minds of students it reveals knowledge and unfolds mysteries.

142. All things of the world arise through man and are manifest in him, through whom they find life and development; and man is dependent for his (spiritual) existence upon the Sun of the Word of God. All the good names and lofty qualities are of the Word. The Word is the fire of God which, glowing in the hearts of people, burns away all things that are not of God. The minds of the lovers are ever aflame with this fire. Outwardly it is burning fire, while inwardly it is calm light. This is the Water which giveth life to all things.

143. We beg of God that we may partake of this life-giving Water of Heaven, and quaff from the spiritual chalice of rest, and thus be free from all that tends to withhold us from approaching His love.

Glory be upon the people of glory!

144. O Son of Man! Wert thou to observe mercy thou wouldst not regard thine own interest, but the interest of mankind. Wert thou to observe justice, choose thou for others what thou choosest for thyself.

145. Verily, man is uplifted to the heaven of glory and power through meekness; again, through pride, is he degraded to the lowest station.

146. O ye discerning ones of the people: Verily, the Words which have descended from the heaven of the will of God are the source of unity and harmony for the world. Close your eyes to racial differences and welcome all with the light of oneness. Be the cause of comfort and the promotion of humanity. This handful of dust, the world, is one home: let it be in unity. Forsake pride, it is a cause of discord. Follow that which tends to harmony.

147. Consort with all the people in love and fragrance. Fellowship is the cause of unity, and unity is the source of order in the world. Blessed are they who are kind and serve with love.

148. In this day he who seeks the light of the Sun of Truth must free his mind from the tales of the past, must adorn his head with the crown of severance, and his temple with the robe of virtue. Then shall he arrive at the ocean of Oneness and enter the presence of Singleness. The heart must become free from the fire of superstitions, that it may receive the light of assurance, and that it may perceive the Glory of God.

149. Oneness, in its true significance, means that God alone should be realized as the one power which animates and dominates all things, which are but manifestations of Its energy.

150. God, singly and alone, abideth in His place which is holy above space and time, mention and utterance, sign, description and definition, height and depth.

151. O my God! O my God! Adorn the heads of Thy chosen ones with the crown of love, and their temples with the robe of virtue.

152. The people of Baha must serve the Lord with wisdom, teach others by their lives and manifest the light of God in their deeds. The effect of deeds is in truth more powerful than that of words.

153. The progress of man depends upon faithfulness, wisdom, chastity, intelligence and deeds. He is ever degraded by ignorance, lack of faith, untruth and selfishness. Verily, man is not called man until he be imbued with the attributes of the Merciful. He is not man because of wealth and adornment, learning and refinement. Blessed is he who is free from the names, seeking the shore of the sea of purity, and loving the melody of the dove of virtue.

154. In this day all must serve God with purity and virtue. The effect of the word spoken by the teacher depends upon his purity of purpose and his severance. Some are content with words, but the truth of words is tested by deeds and dependent upon life. Deeds reveal the station of the man. The words (of the teacher) must be according to what has proceeded from the mouth of the will of God and is recorded in Tablets.

155. The source of all good is trust in God, obedience to His command, and satisfaction in His will.

156. The principle of religion is to acknowledge what is revealed by God, and to obey the laws established in His Book.

157. The origin of glory is to be content with that which God has provided, and to be satisfied with what He has ordained.

158. The source of love is to advance to the Beloved and to abandon all else save Him, and to have no hope save His will.

159. The principle of faith is to lessen words and to increase deeds. He whose words exceed his acts, know verily that his nonbeing is better than his being, and death better than his life.

160. The root of all knowledge is the knowledge of God: Glory be to Him! And this knowledge is impossible save through His Manifestation.

161. The beginning of courage is effort to promote the Word of God and to remain firm in His love.

162. The cause of all benefit is to manifest the blessings of God and to be thankful under all conditions.

163. The source of all these utterances is justice. It is the freedom of man from superstition and imitation, that he may discern the Manifestations of God with the eye of oneness, and consider all affairs with keen vision.

164. In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful!

Praise be unto God, who caused existence to appear from nonexistence, inscribed the mysteries of pre-existence on the tablet of man, and taught him the explanation of that which he knoweth not; made him a manifest book to such as believed and obeyed, enabled him to witness the creation of all things during this gloomy, disastrous age, and caused him to give utterance on the apex of immortality to a wonderful melody in the "Most Excellent Temple"; so that every one may testify in himself, by himself, in the seat of the Manifestation of his Lord, that "verily, there is no God save Him"; and that all may thereby reach the summit of truth, until no one shall behold anything whatsoever, but that he may see God therein.

165. And I bless and salute the First Sea, branched out from the sea of the Divine Essence, the First Morn dawned forth from the horizon of Unity, the First Sun risen in the heaven of Eternity, the First Fire ignited from the lamp of pre-existence in the niche of Oneness; the one who is Ahmad in the kingdom of the worlds, is Mohamet in the Concourse of the Chosen, and is Mahmood in the realm of the sincere ones. "By whatsoever name ye invoke Him, it is the same; for He hath names" in the hearts of the knowing! Abundant, everlasting and eternal peace be on his household and companions!

166. By my life, O friend, wert thou to taste these fruits from the verdure of these hyacinths which are planted in the grounds of knowledge, near the manifestation of the lights of the Essence in the mirrors of Names and Attributes, yearning will take the reins of patience and fortitude from thy grasp, thy soul will stir through the flashes of light, will uplift thee out of the earthly abode unto the original, divine abode in the center of significances; and will cause thee to ascend unto such a state that thou wilt fly away in the air just as thou wouldst walk on the earth, and run on the water even as thou wouldst on the ground. May it do good unto me, unto thee, unto whosoever may ascend to the heaven of knowledge, and to him whose heart is fascinated by the zephyr of assurance wafting upon the garden of his innate heart, from the Sheba of the Merciful!

Peace be unto those who follow guidance!

167. The stages of the journey of travellers from the earthly dwelling to the home have been designated to be seven; some have spoken of these as "Seven Valleys," and others as "Seven Cities." And they have said: "Not until the traveller migrates from self and accomplishes these journeys, will he arrive at the sea of nearness and union, or taste of the peerless wine." The first is

168. THE VALLEY OF SEARCH

The steed upon which to journey through this valley is patience.

In this journey, the traveller will reach no destination without patience, nor will he attain to his aim. He must never become dejected. Were he to endeavor for a hundred thousand years and see not the beauty of the Friend, he must not be downhearted!

It is conditional upon these servants to purify their hearts -- which are the source of the divine treasury -- from every blemish, to turn away from blind imitation which is a trace of forefathers and ancestors; and to close the doors of friendship and enmity to all the people of the earth. In this journey the seeker reaches such a station that he finds all the existent beings bewildered in search of the Friend. Many a Jacob he sees wandering in quest of Joseph. A world of friends he beholds, who are running in search of the desired one, and a universe of lovers he finds, who are journeying after the beloved. At every moment, he perceives a new matter, and at every hour he becomes informed of a mystery; for he has lifted his heart from both worlds, and intended to attain the Ka'aba of the Beloved.

In this journey, the traveller sits on every soil and dwells in every land, and seeks the beauty of the Friend in every face. He searches for the Beloved One in every country; he joins every multitude and associates with every mind; perchance, he may discover the mystery of the Beloved One in some mind, or behold the beauty of the Desired in some countenance.

If, through the assistance of God, he find, in this journey, a trace of the traceless Friend and breathe the perfume of the lost Joseph from the harbinger of oneness, he will immediately step into

169. THE VALLEY OF LOVE

and become melted with the fire of devotion. In this valley the heaven of attraction is lifted up, the world-illuminating sun of longing dawns forth and the fire of love becomes ablaze. And when the fire of love is become ablaze, the harvest of reason will be wholly consumed.

At this time, the traveller is unconscious, both of himself and of aught else save himself. He knows neither knowledge nor ignorance, neither doubt nor certainty; neither does he recognize the morn of guidance, nor the eve of error.

The steed of this valley is pain; and without pain this journey will never be accomplished. In this stage the lover has no thought but of the Beloved, and seeks no shelter but the Desired. At every moment he freely gives a hundred lives in the path of the Beloved, and at every step he throws a thousand heads at the feet of the Friend.

O my brother! Not until thou enterest the Egypt of the Spirit, wilt thou attain to the Joseph of the beauty of the Friend; not until thou, like Jacob, give up thine outer eye, wilt thou open thine inner eye; and not until thou art ablaze with the fire of love wilt thou associate with the friend of ecstasy! A lover fears nothing, and no loss can do him harm. Thou wilt see him cool in fire, and find him dry even in the sea.

Love accepts not any existence, nor wishes any life. He finds life in death and glory in shame. Much wit is needed to make one worthy of the ardor of love; and many a head is required to be fit for the noose of the Friend. Blessed is the neck which falleth into His noose, and happy is the head which is dropped on the dust in the path of His love!

Therefore, O friend! be alien to the self, that thou mayest find thy way to the Incomparable One; abandon the mortal earth that thou mayest take residence in the divine nest. Nothingness is needed until thou canst kindle the fire of existence and become acceptable in the path of love. "Love does not accept a soul alive to its own desires: a falcon preys not on a dead mouse!"

If, by the assistance of the Creator, the lover is released in safety from the claws of the falcon of love, he will then arrive in the realms of

170. THE VALLEY OF KNOWLEDGE

He will be led from doubt to certainty and directed from the darkness of the error of worldly desire to the light of guidance of piety. His inner eye will be opened, and he will engage in close communion with his Beloved. He will open the portal of truth and devotion, and close the doors of superficiality. In this state he will yield to the divine decree, will see war as peace, find the significance of life in death, perceive the mysteries of the "other world" in the regions of creation and in the souls of the servants with the outward and inward eye; and, with the spiritual heart, he will behold the eternal wisdom in the infinite manifestations of God. In an ocean he will see a drop, and in a drop he will detect the mysteries of an ocean! "The core of whatever mote thou mayest split, therein thou wilt find a sun."

In this valley, through absolute vision, a traveller sees in God's creation neither difference nor contradiction; and at every moment he will say: "Thou canst not perceive any difference in the creation of the most Merciful. Turn thou thine eyes, whether thou canst behold any flaws!" He will see justice in injustice and witness grace in justice; he will find many a knowledge concealed in ignorance, and realize a hundred thousand wisdoms, manifest and evident, in knowledge. He will break the cage of body and desire, and be attached to the spirit of the people of immortality.

If he experiences any oppression he will endure it with patience, and if he sees any wrath he will show forth affection.

This is the condition of the people of this valley. But the people of the valley beyond this see the beginning and the end as one; nay, rather they see no beginning and no end. For they have travelled through the worlds of names, and passed over the worlds of attributes with the swiftness of lightning. As it is said: "A perfect realization of 'Divine Unity' is to strip it from all attributes."

Nay, they pass even beyond this station, as it is said: "Love is a screen between the lover and the Beloved." To say more than this I have not permission. At this time, the morn of knowledge hath dawned, and the lamps of travelling and wayfaring are put out.

If thou art a man of prayer and supplication, fly on the wings of saintly effort, so that thou mayest see the mysteries of the Friend, and attain to the lights of the Beloved. "We are God's, and unto Him shall we surely return."

After journeying through the Valley of Knowledge, which is the last station of limitation, the traveller reaches the first stage of

171. THE VALLEY OF UNITY

He drinks from the cup of abstraction and gazes on the manifestations of singleness. In this station he rends away the veils of plurality, flies away from the worlds of lust, and ascends to the heaven of oneness. He hears with divine ears, and beholds the mysteries of the creation of the Eternal One with the eyes of God. He steps into the retreat of the Friend, and becomes an intimate in the pavilion of the Beloved. He stretches forth the hand of the True One from the bosom of omnipotence, and shows forth the mysteries of power. He sees no commendation, name or dignity of himself; he sees his own commendation in the commendation of the True One, and beholds the name of the True One in his own name. He will know "all voices to be from the King," and hear all melodies as from Him. He will be establishes on the throne of -- "Say, all is from God," and rest on the carpet of -- "There is no power nor might but through God alone." He will look upon things with the view of oneness; he will find the splendor of the divine Sun from the invisible Dayspring shining equally upon all the contingent beings, and see the lights of unity manifest and present in all existent things!

All the differences which the traveller sees in the world of Being, during the various stages of his journey, are due to the perception of the traveller himself.

Consider the phenomenal sun which shines forth on all existent and contingent beings with the same effulgence, and pours light upon all things by the command of the King of Manifestation. But its appearance in every place, and the light it sheds thereon, is in accord with the degree of capacity of the place itself. For instance -- in a mirror it reflects as forms and disks, and this is due to the clearness of the mirror itself. It creates fire in the crystal, while in other things only the effect of its reflection is manifest and not its disk; and, through that effect, it develops everything according to its capacity, by the command of the Causer of effects, even as you see. Likewise, colors also appear with respect to the condition of the place; even as in a yellow glass the splendor is yellow, in a white one the ray is white, and in a red one it is red. These differences are therefore due to the place and not to the effulgence of light; and if the place is confronted by an obstacle such as walls or ceiling, that place is entirely bereft of the splendor of the sun, and the sun shines not thereon.

Thus, some of the weak souls, having enclosed the ground of knowledge within the wall of self and desire and within the veil of heedlessness and blindness, are therefore screened from the effulgence of the Sun of Significances and the mysteries of the Eternal Beloved -- are kept afar from the gems of wisdom of the manifest religion of the Lord of the Messengers, deprived of the sacred home of beauty, and separated from the Ka'aba of glory. This is the state of the people of the age!

When the gaze of the traveller is restricted to a limited place, that is, when he looks as through a colored glass, he then sees (the limitations of) yellow, red or white. It is due to such a view of things that conflict is stirred up among the servants, and a gloomy dust, rising from men of limitation, hath enveloped the world.

Some, however, extend their gaze to the effulgence of the light; and other have drunk from the wine of oneness, and therefore see nothing but the Sun itself. Thus, because of journeying in these three different stations, travellers differ in their understanding and explanation of things. That is why the sign of difference is manifest in the world; for some dwell in the plane of oneness and speak in the world of oneness; some stand in the worlds of limitation, others in the stages of the self, and still others are totally veiled. Therefore the ignorant of the age, who have gained no portion from the splendor of the Beautiful One, speak in certain words, and in every time and age they inflict upon the people of unity that which only is worthy of and befits their own selves. "If God should punish men for the iniquity, He would not leave on earth any moving thing; but He giveth them respite unto an appointed time."

O my brother! A pure heart is like unto a mirror; polish it with the purity of love and severance from all else save God, until the ideal sun may reflect therein, and the eternal morn may dawn. Then wilt thou find clear and manifest the meaning of: "Neither doth My earth nor My heaven occupy Me, but the heart of My faithful servant occupieth Me" -- and wilt take thy life in thy hands and sacrifice it, with a thousand longings, to the new Beloved.

When the lights of the splendor of the King of Oneness are seated on the throne of the heart and soul, His light becomes manifest in all the parts and members. Then will the mystery of the well-known tradition emerge from the veil of obscurity:

"A servant always draws near unto Me with prayers, until I respond unto him. And when I have responded unto him, then I become his ear wherewith he heareth. ..." For the Owner of the house becomes manifest in His house, and the pillars of the house are illumined and effulgent through His light. The action and effect of the light is from the Giver of Light; this is why all move through Him and arise by His desire. This is that Fountain whereof those shall drink who are near unto God.

Let no one suppose these explanations to be redolent of anthropomorphism, or indicative of a degrading or restricting of the worlds of the True One; for God, in His essence, is sanctified above ascent or descent, entrance or exit. He has been, and will be everlastingly independent of the attributes of the creatures: no one has known Him, and no soul has found out His substance. All the sages are bewildered in the valley of His knowledge, and all the saints are perplexed in their endeavor to comprehend His essence. He is purified from being comprehended by all men of comprehension, and is exalted above the knowing of men of knowledge. "The road is barred, and search therefor is rejected. His evidence is His signs, and His beings is His proof."

Yea, such mentions as are made concerning the stages of knowledge apply only to the knowledge of the splendors of that Sun of Truth, become manifest in the Mirrors. The reflection of that light is within the hearts; but it is veiled through sensual coverings and accidental conditions, as is the case with a light enclosed within an iron lantern. When the lantern is removed the radiance of the light will appear. Likewise, when one rends asunder the illusive veils from the face of the heart, the lights of Oneness will dawn therein. Wherefore it is known that even for the Splendors there is no entrance nor exit; how much less for that Essence of Beings and that Mystery of the Desired One!

Mysteries are many, and strangers are countless. Books are not sufficient for the mystery of the Beloved, nor can it be exhausted in these Tablets, although the mystery is but one word and one allegory. "Knowledge is but one point, but the ignorant have multiplied it."

The journeys in the path of Love have been counted as four: From the creatures to the True One. From the True One to the creatures. From the creatures to the creatures. From the True to the True One.

Consider how you are the first in relation to your son, and the last in relation to your father; how, outwardly, you bear evidence of the inward mysteries which, as a divine gift, are deposited within you. Consequently, being the first, the last, the manifest, the hidden, becomes true of you in the sense (of the four classes of worlds), so that in these four grades bestowed upon you, you may comprehend the grades of the Divine, and that the nightingale of the heart may call out on all the branches of the rose garden of Existence, both invisible an visible, in this melody: "Verily, He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden!"

These sayings are mentioned in connection with the grades of the "worlds of relation"; otherwise, these men who have with one step traverse the worlds of relation and dependence, have taken their seat on the blissful carpet of abstraction, and pitched their tents in the world of independence and command, have consumed all these relations with a single flame, and obliterated all these words with a mere moisture. They swim in the sea of spirit, and roam in the sacred atmosphere of light. How then can words have any identity in this stage, so that any grades of the "First" or the "Last," or any other besides these, be distinguished? In this stage the "First" is identical with the "Last," and the "Last is the same as the "First." "Enkindle a fire with the love of the Beloved One, and consume therewith every thought and pious work."

Peace be on whosoever accomplisheth this supreme journey, and followeth the True One through the lights of guidance.

After crossing the stages of this lofty, exalted journey, the traveller arrives at

172. THE VALLEY OF CONTENTMENT

In this valley he discovers the breezes of divine contentment, which waft from the desert of the spirit and consume the veils of poverty. There he witnesses the Day wherein "God will make all independent out of His abundance" with his outer and inner eye in the visible and invisible parts of things; he passes from sorrow to happiness, returns from sadness to joy, and changes depression and rejection into gladness and cheerfulness.

Though the travellers in this valley outwardly dwell on the earth, yet inwardly they recline on the high couch of significances, and they partake of ideal, imperishable benefits, and quaff pure, spiritual wine. The tongue is unable to give an account of these three valleys, and utterance falls exceeding short.

Concerning these states the nightingale of the heart has other melodies and mysteries which set the heart in agitation and the spirit in uproar. But this enigma of significance must be revealed only from heart to heart, and confided from breast to breast.

O friend! Not until thou reachest the garden of these significances wilt thou taste of the immortal wine of this valley. If thou tastest thereof thou wilt close thine eyes to all strangers, and drink from the wine of contentment; thou wilt sever thyself from all, and become united with Him, give up thy life in His way, and pour out thy soul freely -- although there is no stranger in this station, that thou shouldst close thine eye. "There was God, but there was nothing with Him." Because in this stage the traveller beholds the beauty of the Friend in everything. In fire he sees the face of the Beloved, in unreality perceives the sign of reality, and through the attributes he witnesses the mystery of the divine substance, for he has consumed the veils with a mere sigh, and removed the coverings with a single gaze. He looks upon the new creation with a discerning sight, and comprehends subtle signs with a pure heart. "At that Day We will make thy sight discerning" is an evidence of this saying, and is sufficient for this instance.

After traversing the valley of Pure Contentment the traveller reaches

173. THE VALLEY OF ASTONISHMENT

He plunges in the seas of grandeur, and at every moment his amazement increases. Now he sees the body of affluence as indigence itself, and the essence of independence as impotence. Now he becomes astonished at the beauty of the All-glorious, and now he loathes his own being. Many are the trees of significance uprooted by the blast of astonishment, and many are the souls it has exhausted. For this valley sets the traveller in agitation. But such appearances are highly beloved and esteemed in the eye of one who has attained. At every moment he witnesses a wonderful world and a new creation, he adds astonishment upon astonishment, and he becomes dazed at the new creation of the King of Oneness.

Yea, O brother, if we reflect upon any of the creations we shall behold a hundred thousand consummate wisdoms and learn a hundred thousand knowledges. One of these worlds is that of sleep. Consider what mysteries are deposited therein, what wisdoms are therein stored! You sleep in a certain house, the doors of which are closed. All at once you find yourself in a remote city; you enter it without motion of the feet or exhaustion of the body; you see without troubling the eyes, you hear without distressing the ears, and you speak without the use of the tongue. There are occasions when it will happen that, ten years afterwards, you will witness outwardly in the world of time that same thing you have seen this night in dream.

Now, there are many wisdoms visible in this dream; but others than the people of this valley cannot comprehend them as they are. First, what is that world therein, without eye, ear, hand or tongue, one realizes the purpose of these senses? Secondly, this day thou seest in the world of reality the effect of a dream which thou hast experienced in the world of dreams ten years ago. Reflect upon the differences between these two worlds, and the mysteries deposited therein, so that thou mayest attain unto the confirmations and revelations of the Glorified One, and enter into the world of holiness.

God, the Exalted, has placed these signs within the creatures, so that philosophers may not deny the mysteries of the after life, and not make light of that whereunto they have been promised. For some have clung to reason, and deny whatever cannot be grasped by reason, although the feeble reason can never comprehend these same conditions which have been mentioned, but only the Universal, Supreme Reason can do so.

All these worlds will present themselves in the Valley of Astonishment, and at every moment the traveller seeks for an increase of such worlds without becoming exhausted.

Likewise, ponder over the completeness of the creation of man: all these worlds and all these grades are enveloped and concealed within him. "Dost thou think thy body a small thing, while in thee is enfolded the universe?" Then an effort is needed that we annihilate the animal condition, in order that the meaning of the human may become manifest.

O friend! The heart is a store of divine mysteries; make it not a receptacle for mortal thoughts; and consume not the capital of this precious life by occupying thyself with the evanescent world. Thou art of the world of holiness; attach not thy heart unto the earth. Thou art a denizen of the court of nearness; choose not an earthly home.

Naught shall befall us, save that which God hath decreed unto us! Peace be upon those who follow guidance!

After ascending the lofty heights of astonishment, the traveller arrives at

174. THE VALLEY OF ABSOLUTE POVERTY AND ANNIHILATION

This is the station of dying from self, and living through God, of being poor of one's self, and rich in the Desired One. In this station poverty is mentioned as meaning one's indigence in all that is of the world of creation, and one's affluence in all that is of the worlds of truth.

For when a sincere lover and agreeable friend attains to the meeting of the beloved and desired one, a fire is enkindled from the radiance of the beauty of the beloved and the heat of the heart of the lover, which consumes all coverings and veils: nay, whatever is with him, even marrow and skin, will thereby be burnt, and naught remain except the Friend. "When the attributes of the Ancient became manifest, then the Interlocutor consumed the attributes of all contingent things."

In this station the one who has attained is sanctified from all that pertaineth to the world. If, therefore, those who have attained to the sea of union do not possess any of the limited things of this mortal world, be these things of material belongings or of selfish thoughts, there is no harm in that. For whatever is possessed by men is confined within its own limits, whereas that which is God's is sanctified from every limitation.

Much reflection should be given this explanation is order that the end may become manifest. "Verily, the just shall drink of a cup mixed with camphor." If the meaning of "Camphor" be understood the real aim will become evident. This station is that of poverty, of which it is said, "Poverty is my glory." Many are the meanings and grades of the outward and inward poverty, which I do not deem appropriate to mention in this place, and which I therefore reserve for some other time, if God will and the divine decree ordain.

It is in this stage that the traces of all things are destroyed in the traveller, and the beauty of the Face reveals itself from the orient of the eternal world, and the meaning of "Everything is mortal save the face of God," becomes manifest.

O my friend! Hearken to the melodies of the Spirit with all thy heart and soul, and preserve them as the sight of thine eyes; for the divine enlightenments will not always flow, like the vernal rain, upon the soil of human hearts. Although the bounty of the Bountiful One is continual and free from interruption, yet for every time and age a certain portion is determined and a certain benefit is ordained; and these are bestowed according to a certain quantity and measure. "There is no one thing but the storehouses thereof are in Our Hands, and we distribute not the same save in a determinate measure."

The cloud of mercy of the Beloved One will pour down only on the garden of the soul, and it will not bestow this bounty except in times of spring. Other seasons have no portion of this mightiest grace, and barren souls have no share in this favor.

Therefore, so long as the Nightingale of the spiritual planting hath not returned to the divine Rose Garden, and the Lights of the spiritual dawn have not returned to the Sun of Reality, make an effort -- perchance in this mortal land thou mayest inhale a fragrance from the immortal Rose Garden, and rest forever under the shade of the people of this City. Then thou hast abandoned the drop of life, and reached the ocean of the Beloved One! This is the goal which thou hast demanded; God willing, thou mayest attain thereto.

In this City even the veils of light are rent asunder, and vanish! "To His Beauty there are no veils of Light, and His Face hath no covering save Manifestation." How wonderful that the Well Beloved is manifest as the sun, while strangers are in search of vanities and riches. Yea, He is concealed by the intensity of manifestation, and He is hidden by the ardor of emanation. "The True One hath become manifest, like unto the shining sun. Pity that He hath come to the city of the blind!"

The condition of Ecstasy can penetrate this saying, but not controversy nor conflict. He who hath chosen an abode in this meeting, or discovereth a breeze from this garden, knoweth what I say.

Although these journeys have no visible termination in the world of time, yet, if the Invisible Assistance vouchsafe a devoted traveller, and if the Guardian of the Command help him, he will traverse these seven stages in only seven steps, nay, even in a single breath, if God will or desire. "This is through His bounty to whomsoever He willeth."

Those who soar in the sky of oneness, and who have attained to the sea of abstraction, have accounted this station, which is the station in this city of "Immortality in God," to be the ultimate destination of the Arif and the ultimate home of the lovers. But, to this humble one of the sea of significances, this station is only the first city-wall of the heart, that is, the first arrival of man at the city of the heart.

175. He is the Glory of The Most Glorious!

This is that which descended from the Source of Majesty, through the tongue of power and strength upon the Prophets of the past. We have taken its essences and clothed them with the garment of brevity, as a favor to the beloved, that they may fulfil the Covenant of God; that they may perform in themselves that which He has entrusted to them, and attain the victory by virtue of devotion in the land of the Spirit.

176. O Son of Spirit! The first counsel is: Possess a good, a pure, an enlightened heart, that thou mayest possess a Kingdom eternal, immortal, ancient and without end.

177. O Son of Spirit! Justice is loved above all. Neglect it not, if thou desirest Me. By it thou wilt be strengthened to perceive things with thine own eyes and not by the eyes of men, to know them by thine own knowledge and not by the knowledge of any in the world. Meditate on this -- how thou oughtest to be. Justice is of My Bounty to thee and of My Providence over thee; therefore, keep it every before thy sight.

178. O Son of Man! In My Ancient Entity and in My Eternal Being was I hidden. I knew My Love in thee, therefore I created thee; upon thee I laid My Image, and to thee revealed My Beauty.

179. O Son of Man! I loved thy creation, therefore I created thee. Wherefore love Me, that I may acknowledge thee and in the spirit of Life confirm thee.

180. O Son of Existence! Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My Love can never reach thee. Know this, O servant!

181. O Son of Spirit! No peace is ordained for thee save by departing from thyself and coming to Me. Verily, thy glory should be in My Name, not in thy name; thy trust be upon My Countenance, not upon thine own; for I will to be loved above all that is.

182. O Son of Existence! My Love is My Fortress. Whoso enters therein is rescued and safe; whoso turns away from it is led astray and perishes.

183. O Son of Existence! By the Hands of Power I have made thee, and by the Fingers of Strength have I created thee. I have placed within thee the essence of My Light: therefore depend upon it and upon nothing else, for My Action is perfect and My Command has effect. Doubt this not, and have no uncertainty therein.

184. O Son of Spirit! I have created thee rich: why dost thou make thyself poor? Noble have I made thee: why dost thou degrade thyself? Of the Essence of Knowledge have I manifested thee: why searchest thou for another than Me? From the Clay of Love I have kneaded thee: why desirest thou another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, Powerful, Mighty and Supreme.

185. O Son of Man! Thou art My Possession, and My Possession shall never be destroyed: why art thou in fear of thy destruction? Thou art My Light, and My Light shall never become extinct: why dost thou dread extinction? Thou art My Glory (Baha), and My Glory shall not be veiled: thou art My Garment, and My Garment shall never be outworn. Therefore abide in thy love for Me, that thou mayest find Me in the Highest Horizon.

186. O Son of Light! Forget all else save Me, and be comforted by My Spirit. This is from the essence of My Command: therefore direct thyself to it.

187. O Son of Spirit! Boast not of thine own glory over the poor, for I walk before him, and I see thy miserable condition and ever grieve for thee.

188. O Son of Man! Breathe not the sins of any one as long as thou art a sinner. If thou doest contrary to this command thou art not of Me: to this I bear witness.

189. O Son of Spirit! Know verily that he who exhorts men to equity and himself does injustice, is not of Me, even though he bear My Name.

190. O Son of Existence! Examine thy deeds each day, before thou art judged, for death will suddenly overtake thee, and then thy deeds shall judge thee.

191. O Son of the Supreme! I made death for thee as glad tidings: why art thou in despair at its approach? I made light for thee a splendor: why dost thou hide from it?

192. O Son of Spirit! The Gospel of Light I herald to thee: rejoice in it. And to the state of Holiness I call thee: abide in it, that thou mayest be in peace for ever and ever.

193. O Son of Spirit! The Holy Spirit heralds comfort to thee: why dost thou grieve? The Spirit of Command confirms thee in the Cause: why dost thou remain apart? The Light of the Face walks before thee: why dost thou seek darkness?

194. O Son of Man! Lift up thy heart with delight, that thou mayest be fitted to meet Me, and to mirror forth My Beauty.

195. O Son of Man! Clothe thyself with My Beautiful Garment and forfeit not thy portion from My Living Fountain, that thou mayest not thirst forever.

196. O Son of Existence! Remember Me in My earth that I may remember thee in My Heaven. Thus may our eyes delight therein.

197. O Son of the Throne! Thy hearing is My hearing: hear thou with it. Thy sight is My Sight: see thou with it. Thus mayest thou attest within thyself My Holiness, that I may attest within Myself a place of exaltation for thee.

198. O Son of Man! For everything there is a sign. The sign of love is patience through My Ordeal and long-suffering for My Sake.

199. O Son of Man! The sincere lover longs for suffering as the rebel craves forgiveness, and the sinner prays for mercy.

200. O Son of Man! If calamity befall thee not in My path, how wilt thou tread in the way of those who are content in My will? If affliction overtake thee not in thy longing to meet Me, how canst thou attain the Light of the Love of My Beauty?

201. O Son of Man! My Calamity is My Providence. In appearance it is fire and vengeance; in reality it is Light and Mercy. Therefore approach it, that thou mayest become an Eternal Light and an Immortal Spirit. This is My Command; know thou it.

202. O Son of Humanity! Rejoice not if fortune smile upon thee, and if humiliation overtake thee mourn not because of it, for, in their time, they both shall cease and be no more.

203. O Son of Existence! If thou lovest the Immortal and Eternal Kingdom, the Ancient and Everlasting Life, then forsake this mortal and vanishing kingdom.

204. O Son of Man! Thou desirest gold, and We desire thy separation from it. Thou hast realized therein the riches of thyself, while I realize thy wealth to consist in thy freedom from it. By My Life! This is My Knowledge, while that is thine imagining: how can My Thought agree with thine?

205. O Son of Man! Distribute My possessions among My Poor, that in heaven thou mayest receive from the boundless treasures of Glory and from the stores of Eternal Bliss. But by My Life! The sacrifice of the spirit is more glorious, couldst thou see with My Vision.

206. O Son of Man! The Light has shone upon thee from the horizon of the Mount, and the Spirit of Purity has breathed in the Sinai of thy heart. Therefore empty thyself of doubts and fancies; then enter into this Mansion, that thou mayest be prepared for the Eternal Life, and ready to meet Me. Herein there is no death, no trouble nor burden.

207. O Son of Man! My Eternity is My creation. I have created it for thee; therefore make it the garment of thy temple. My Oneness is My design. I have designed it for thee; therefore clothe thyself with it. Thus thou mayest be a star of My Omnipresence forever.

208. O Son of Man! My Greatness is My Bounty to thee. My Majesty is My Mercy to thee, but that which is due to Me none can realize or comprehend: verily I have treasured it in the stores of My Secrets, in the treasury of My Command -- as a favor to My servants and a mercy to My people.

209. O Son of Beauty! By My Spirit and by My Providence! By My Mercy and by My Beauty! All that I uttered for thee by the Tongue of Power and wrote with the Pen of Strength, verily, We revealed it according to thy capacity and perception, not according to My State and Reality.

210. O Children of Men! Do ye know why We have created you from one clay? That no one should glorify himself over the other. Be ye mindful of how you were created. Since We created you all from the same substance, ye must be as one soul, walking with the same feet, eating with one mouth and living in one land, that ye may manifest with your being, and by your deeds and actions, the signs of unity and the spirit of oneness. This is My Counsel to you, O people of Lights! Therefore follow it, that ye may attain the fruits of holiness from the Tree of Might and Power.

211. O Children of the Spirit! Ye are My treasures, for in you I have treasured the pearls of My Mysteries and the Gems of My Knowledge. Guard them, lest the unbelievers among My people, the wicked ones among My creatures, should discover them.

212. O Son of Him Who Stood By His Own Entity in The Kingdom of Himself! Know that I have sent unto thee the fragrances of Holiness, have accomplished the Word in thee, have fulfilled the Bounty through thee, and have willed for thee what I have willed for Myself. Therefore be content in Me and thankful to Me.

213. O Son of Man! On the Tablet of the Spirit write all We have uttered to thee, with the ink of Light; and, if thou canst not do this, then make the ink of the essence of thy heart; and, if thou art still unable, then write with the red ink shed in My Path. Verily this is more precious to Me than all else, for this radiance shall last forever.

214. In the Name of the Mighty Speaker! O ye possessors of intelligence and hearing, the first melody of the Beloved is: O nightingale of Significance, seek no refuge save in the rose garden of significances! O messenger of the Solomon of Love, dwell not save in the Sheba of the Beloved! O phoenix of Immortality, choose no abode except in the Mount of Faithfulness! This is thy station, if thou art soaring to the Placeless on the wings of Love.

215. O Son of Dust! Verily I say the most negligent of the servants is he who disputes and prefers himself to his brother. Say, O brethren! Adorn yourselves with deeds rather than with words.

216. O Sons of Earth! Know the truth that a heart wherein lingers the least trace of envy shall never attain unto My Immortal Dominion, nor feel the fragrances of purity from My Holy Kingdom.

217. O Son of Love! Only one step separates thee from the plain of nearness and the exalted Tree of Love. Plant the first foot and, with the other, step into the Kingdom of Eternity and enter the Pavilion of Immortality. Then hearken to what has descended from the Pen of Glory.

218. O Son of Desire! Listen truly: mortal eye shall never perceive the Everlasting Beauty, and the dead mind delights only in lifeless clay; for like seeks like and has affinity with its own kind.

219. O My Children! I fear that, without having enjoyed the melody of the Nightingale, ye may return to the region of mortality; and, without seeing the beauty of the Rose, ye may return to the water and clay.

220. O Son of Spirit! The time cometh when the Nightingale of Holiness will be prevented from unfolding the Inner Significances, and all shall be bereft of the Merciful Melody and Divine Call.

221. O Essence of Negligence! Alas, that a hundred thousand ideal languages are spoken by One Tongue, and that a hundred thousand hidden meanings are unfolded in One Melody, and there is no ear to hearken, nor any heart to perceive a single letter!

222. O Comrades! The doors of the Placeless are opened, and the City of the Beloved is adorned with the blood of the lovers, but all are bereft of this spiritual City except a few; and of this few have appeared but very few with pure hearts and holy souls.

223. O People of the Delectable Paradise! Let the people of certainty know that a new Garden has appeared near the Ridvan in the Open Court of Holiness, and that all the people of the Heights, and the temples of the Exalted Heaven, are around it. Therefore endeavor to reach that Station, and discover the truths of the mystery of Love from its red tulips, and unveil abundant knowledge of the Oneness from its eternal fruits. Radiant are the eyes of him who has entered therein with trust.

224. O My Friends! Have ye forgotten that true, bright morn when ye were all in My Presence on that blessed pain under the shade of the Tree of Life, planted in the Great Paradise, when I addressed to thee three Holy Words; ye heard them and were overwhelmed!

225. The Words are these: "O Friends, prefer not your will to Mine; desire not that which I have not desired for thee; approach Me not with dead minds stained with desire and hope." If ye purify your breasts, that condition, and the view of that Open Court, will appear to you, and My Explanation will become manifest.

226. O Dead Men on the Bed of Negligence! Centuries have passed, and ye have ended your precious lives; yet not a single breath of purity hath ever come from you to Our Holy Presence. Ye are drowned in the sea of polytheism while talking of Oneness. Ye have loved that which hateth Me, and ye have taken My foe to be your friend. Ye are walking with mirth and pleasure upon My earth, heedless that it detests you, and that the things of the earth are fleeing from you. Should ye open your eyes but a little ye shall know that a hundred thousand griefs are preferable to this pleasure, and ye will consider death to be preferred to this life.

227. O Son of Passion! The people of wisdom and insight struggled for years, and failed to attain the meeting of the Exalted One, hastened all their lives, and did not see the Most Beautiful; while thou hast arrived at home without hastening, and hast attained the goal without search. Yet, after gaining all these degrees and ranks, thou wert so veiled with thyself that thine eyes did not behold the Beauty of the Beloved, and thy hand did not reach to the Hem of the Friend. Therefore marvel at this, O possessors of insight!

228. O People of the Country of Love! The Eternal Candle is beset by mortal winds, and the beauty of the Spiritual Servants is shrouded by the darkness of dust. The King of kings of Love is oppressed under the hand of the subjects of tyranny, and the Dove of Holiness is clutched in the talons of owls. All the people of the Pavilion of Glory and of the Supreme Concourse are mourning and wailing, while ye are living at ease upon the earth of negligence, counting yourselves among the sincere lovers. Therefore that which ye have assumed is false.

229. O Ignorant Ones Who Have a Reputation for Knowledge! Why do ye outwardly claim to be shepherds while inwardly ye have become wolves of My sheep? Your example resembles the star preceding the dawn, which is apparently bright and luminous, but in reality leads the caravans of My City astray, and causes their destruction.

230. O Perfect in Appearance, and Inwardly Defective! Your example is like unto a clear but bitter water, which outwardly seems pure and clean, but when it falls into the hand of the Divine Assayer, not one drop of it is accepted. Yea, the radiance of the sun is cast upon the dust and upon the mirror, but the difference is great between the earth and the guiding stars; nay, that distance is vast.

231. O Son of Generosity! Thou wert in the deserts of nonbeing and, by means of the earth of command, I made thee to appear in the world of possession. I charged all the atoms of dependence and the realities of creation with thy training, so that, before thou didst issue from the womb of thy mother, I ordained for thee two fountains of bright milk. I appointed eyes to guard thee, set thy love in all hearts, and with pure generosity I reared thee under the shadow of My Mercy, and protected thee with the essence of My Grace. The purpose of all this was to enable thee to arrive at Our Eternal Might and to deserve Our Invisible Favors. But thou, O heedless one, when thou didst reach maturity, neglected all My Bounties, and engaged thyself in thy fancy to such a degree that thou didst entirely forget Me and, leaving the house of the Beloved, went and dwelt in the porch of the enemy.

232. O Son of the Earth! If thou desirest Me, desire no other than Me. If thou seekest My Beauty, withdraw thy glance from the people of the world, for My Will and the will of another is like fire and water which cannot be contained in the same mind and heart.

233. O Stranger to the Friend! The candle of thy mind is lighted by the hand of My Power; extinguish it not with the contrary winds of desires and passions. The healer of all thy troubles is remembrance of Me; forget it not. Make My Love thy capital, and cherish it as the spirit of the eye.

234. O My Friends! Extinguish the lamp of ignorance and kindle the ever-burning torch of guidance in the heart and mind. For in a short while the Assayers of Being shall accept naught but pure virtue in the portico of the Presence of the Adored One, and will receive none but holy deeds.

235. O Son of Dust! The wise men of the people are those who speak not unless they find a listener; as the cup-bearer never offers a cup unless he find one who desires; nor does the lover cry out from the depth of his heart until he attains to the beauty of the beloved. Therefore sow the seeds of knowledge and wisdom in the fertile ground of the mind, and conceal them there until the hyacinth of Divine Wisdom springs up in the heart and not in the clay.

236. O Son of Spirit! Break the cage, and like unto the bird of love soar in the atmosphere of holiness; leave the self, and rest with heavenly souls upon the sacred Plain of God.

237. O My Servant! Free thyself from the worldly bond, and escape from the prison of self. Appreciate the value of the time, for thou shalt never see it again, nor shalt thou find a like opportunity.

238. O Son of My Maid-Servant! Wert thou to see the immortal Kingdom, verily thou wouldst abandon the mortal possessions of earth; yet there is a wisdom in the former being concealed and in the latter being manifest, and this is known only to hearts that are pure.

239. O Companion of My Throne! Hear no evil and see no evil; degrade not thyself, neither lament. That is -- speak no evil, that thou mayest not hear it; think no the faults of others to be great, that thine own may not seem great; approve not the abasement of any soul, that thine own abasement may not be exposed. Then with stainless mind, holy heart, sanctified breast, and pure thoughts, thou mayest be free during all the days of thy life which are counted less than an instant, and with freedom may return from this mortal body to the paradise of Inner Significances, and abide in the Immortal Kingdom.

240. O Brothers of the Path! Why are ye heedless of the remembrance of the Beloved, and why are ye far from the Presence of the Friend? The Absolute Beauty is established upon the Throne of Glory, under the Peerless Canopy, while ye are engaged in contention according to your own desire. The fragrances of holiness are wafted, and the breezes of generosity are blowing, but ye have lost the power of scent, and are bereft of them all. Alas for you, and for them who follow in your steps and walk after your ways.


Table of Contents: Albanian :Arabic :Belarusian :Bulgarian :Chinese_Simplified :Chinese_Traditional :Danish :Dutch :English :French :German :Hungarian :Italian :Japanese :Korean :Latvian :Norwegian :Persian :Polish :Portuguese :Romanian :Russian :Spanish :Swedish :Turkish :Ukrainian :