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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 62-66

31: O thou who art dear, and wise! Thy letter dated …

O thou who art dear, and wise! Thy letter dated 27 May 1906 hath been received and its contents are most pleasing and have brought great joy.
Thou didst ask whether this Cause, this new and living Cause, could take the place of the dead religious rites and ceremonials of England; whether it would be possible, now that various groups have appeared, whose members are highly placed divines and theologians, far superior in their attainments to those of the past, for this new Cause so to impress the members of such groups as to gather them and the rest into its all-protecting shade.
O thou dear friend! Know thou that the distinguished Individual of every age is endowed according to the perfections of His age. That Individual who in past ages was set above His fellows was gifted according to the virtues of His time. But in this age of splendours, this era of God, the pre-eminent Personage, the luminous Orb, the chosen Individual will shine out with such perfections and such power as ultimately to dazzle the minds of every community and group. And since such a Personage is superior to all others in 63 spiritual perfections and heavenly attainments, and is indeed the focal centre of divine blessings and the pivot of the circle of light, He will encompass all others, and there is no doubt whatsoever that He will shine out with such power as to gather every soul into His sheltering shade.
When ye consider this matter with care, it will become apparent that this is according to a universal law, which one can find at work in all things: the whole attracteth the part, and in the circle, the centre is the pivot of the compasses. Ponder thou upon the Spirit 1 : because He was the focal centre of spiritual power, the wellspring of divine bounties, although at the beginning He gathered unto Himself only a very few souls, later on He was able, because of that all-subduing power that He had, to unite within the sheltering Tabernacle of Christendom all the differing sects. Compare the present with the past, and see how great is the difference; thus canst thou arrive at truth and certitude.
The differences among the religions of the world are due to the varying types of minds. So long as the powers of the mind are various, it is certain that men’s judgements and opinions will differ one from another. If, however, one single, universal perceptive power be introduced—a power encompassing all the rest—those differing opinions will merge, and a spiritual harmony and oneness will become apparent. For example, when the Christ was made manifest, the minds of the various contemporary peoples, their views, their emotional attitudes, whether they were Romans, Greeks, Syrians, Israelites, or others, were at variance with one another. But once His universal power was brought to bear, it gradually succeeded, after the lapse of three hundred years, in gathering together all those divergent minds under the protection, and within the governance, of one central 64 Point, all sharing the same spiritual emotions in their hearts.
To use a metaphor, when an army is placed under various commanders, each with his own strategy, they will obviously differ as to battle lines and movements of the troops; but once the Supreme Commander, who is thoroughly versed in the arts of war, taketh over, those other plans will disappear, for the supremely gifted general will bring the whole army under his control. This is intended only as a metaphor, not an exact comparison. Now if you should say that each and every one of those other generals is highly skilled in the military art, is thoroughly proficient and experienced, and therefore will not subject himself to the rule of one individual, no matter how indescribably great, your statement is untenable, for the above situation is demonstrably what cometh to pass, and there is no doubt thereof whatever.
Such is the case with the holy Manifestations of God. Such in particular is the case with the divine reality of the Most Great Name, the Abhá Beauty. When once He standeth revealed unto the assembled peoples of the world and appeareth with such comeliness, such enchantments—alluring as a Joseph in the Egypt of the spirit—He enslaveth all the lovers on earth.
As to those souls who are born into this life as ethereal and radiant entities and yet, on account of their handicaps and trials, are deprived of great and real advantages, and leave the world without having lived to the full—certainly this is a cause for grieving. This is the reason why the universal Manifestations of God unveil Their countenances to man, and endure every calamity and sore affliction, and lay down Their lives as a ransom; it is to make these very people, the ready ones, the ones who have capacity, to 65 become dawning points of light, and to bestow upon them the life that fadeth never. This is the true sacrifice: the offering of oneself, even as did Christ, as a ransom for the life of the world.
As to the influence of holy Beings and the continuance of Their grace to mankind after They have put away Their human form, this is, to Bahá’ís, an indisputable fact. Indeed, the flooding grace, the streaming splendours of the holy Manifestations appear after Their ascension from this world. The exaltation of the Word, the revelation of the power of God, the conversion of God-fearing souls, the bestowal of everlasting life—it was following the Messiah’s martyrdom that all these were increased and intensified. In the same way, ever since the ascension of the Blessed Beauty, the bestowals have been more abundant, the spreading light is brighter, the tokens of the Lord’s might are more powerful, the influence of the Word is much stronger, and it will not be long before the motion, the heat, the brilliance, the blessings of the Sun of His reality will encompass all the earth.
Grieve thou not over the slow advance of the Bahá’í Cause in that land. This is but the early dawn. Consider how, with the Cause of Christ, three hundred years had to go by, before its great influence was made manifest. Today, not sixty years from its birth, the light of this Faith hath been shed around the planet.
Regarding the health society of which thou art a member, once it cometh under the shelter of this Faith its influence shall increase a hundredfold.
Thou dost observe that love among the Bahá’ís is very great, and that love is the main thing. Just as love’s power hath been developed to such a high degree among the Bahá’ís, and is far greater than among the people of other 66 religions, so is it with all else as well; for love is the ground of all things.
Regarding the translation of the Books and Tablets of the Blessed Beauty, erelong will translations be made into every tongue, with power, clarity and grace. At such time as they are translated, conformably to the originals, and with power and grace of style, the splendours of their inner meanings will be shed abroad, and will illumine the eyes of all mankind. Do thy very best to ensure that the translation is in conformity with the original.
The Blessed Beauty proceeded to Haifa on many occasions. Thou beheldest Him there, but thou didst not know Him at that time. It is my hope that thou wilt attain unto the true meeting with Him, which is to behold Him with the inner, not the outer eye.
The essence of Bahá’u’lláh’s Teaching is all-embracing love, for love includeth every excellence of humankind. It causeth every soul to go forward. It bestoweth on each one, for a heritage, immortal life. Erelong shalt thou bear witness that His celestial Teachings, the very glory of reality itself, shall light up the skies of the world.
The brief prayer which thou didst write at the close of thy letter was indeed original, touching and beautiful. Recite thou this prayer at all times.
1. Jesus   [ Back To Reference]