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Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

  • Author:
  • ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í World Centre, 1982 lightweight edition
  • Pages:
  • 320
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Pages 172-175

146: O thou handmaid afire with the love of God! I …

O thou handmaid afire with the love of God! I have considered thine excellent letter, and thanked God for thy safe arrival in that great city. I beg of Him, through His unfailing aid, to cause this return of thine to exert a powerful effect. Such a thing can only come about if thou dost divest thyself of all attachment to this world, and dost put on the vesture of holiness; if thou dost limit all thy thoughts and all thy words to the remembrance of God and His 173 praise; to spreading His sweet savours abroad, and performing righteous acts; and if thou dost devote thyself to awakening the heedless and restoring sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the mute, and through the power of the spirit, giving life to the dead.
For even as Christ said of them in the Gospel, the people are blind, they are deaf, they are dumb; and He said: ‘I will heal them.’
Be thou kind and compassionate to thine enfeebled mother, and speak to her of the Kingdom, that her heart may rejoice.
Give thou my greetings to Miss Ford. Convey to her the glad tidings that these are the days of the Kingdom of God. Say unto her: Blessed art thou for thy noble aims, blessed art thou for thy goodly deeds, blessed art thou for thy spiritual nature. Verily do I love thee on account of these thine aims and qualities and deeds. Tell her further: Remember the Messiah, and His days on earth, and His abasement, and His tribulations, and how the people paid Him no mind. Remember how the Jews would hold Him up to ridicule, and mock at Him, and address Him with: ‘Peace be upon thee, King of the Jews! Peace be upon thee, King of Kings!’ How they would say that He was mad, and would ask how the Cause of that crucified One could ever spread out to the easts of the world and the wests thereof. None followed Him then, save only a few souls who were fishermen, carpenters, and other plain folk. Alas, alas, for such delusions!
And see what happened then: how their mighty banners were reversed, and in their place His most exalted standard lifted up; how all the bright stars in that heaven of honour and pride did set; how they sank in the west of all that vanisheth—while His brilliant Orb still shineth down out of 174 skies of undying glory, as the centuries and the ages roll by. Be ye then admonished, ye that have eyes to see! Erelong shall ye behold even greater things than this.
Know thou that all the powers combined have not the power to establish universal peace, nor to withstand the overmastering dominion, at every time and season, of these endless wars. Erelong, however, shall the power of heaven, the dominion of the Holy Spirit, hoist on the high summits the banners of love and peace, and there above the castles of majesty and might shall those banners wave in the rushing winds that blow out of the tender mercy of God.
Convey thou my greetings to Mrs. Florence, and tell her: The diverse congregations have given up the ground of their belief, and adopted doctrines that are of no account in the sight of God. They are even as the Pharisees who both prayed and fasted, and then did sentence Jesus Christ to death. By the life of God! This thing is passing strange!
As to thee, O handmaid of God, softly recite thou this commune to thy Lord, and say unto Him:
O God, my God! Fill up for me the cup of detachment from all things, and in the assembly of Thy splendours and bestowals, rejoice me with the wine of loving Thee. Free me from the assaults of passion and desire, break off from me the shackles of this nether world, draw me with rapture unto Thy supernal realm, and refresh me amongst the handmaids with the breathings of Thy holiness.
O Lord, brighten Thou my face with the lights of Thy bestowals, light Thou mine eyes with beholding the signs of Thine all-subduing might; delight my heart with the glory of Thy knowledge that encompasseth all things, gladden Thou my soul with Thy soul-reviving 175 tidings of great joy, O Thou King of this world and the Kingdom above, O Thou Lord of dominion and might, that I may spread abroad Thy signs and tokens, and proclaim Thy Cause, and promote Thy Teachings, and serve Thy Law, and exalt Thy Word.
Thou art verily the Powerful, the Ever-Giving, the Able, the Omnipotent.
As to the fundamentals of teaching the Faith: know thou that delivering the Message can be accomplished only through goodly deeds and spiritual attributes, an utterance that is crystal clear and the happiness reflected from the face of that one who is expounding the Teachings. It is essential that the deeds of the teacher should attest the truth of his words. Such is the state of whoso doth spread abroad the sweet savours of God and the quality of him who is sincere in his faith.
Once the Lord hath enabled thee to attain this condition, be thou assured that He will inspire thee with words of truth, and will cause thee to speak through the breathings of the Holy Spirit.