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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 121-122

The Problem of Authority

The different religious communities have failed to unite in the past, because the adherents of each have regarded the Founder of their own community as the one supreme authority, and His law as the divine law. Any Prophet Who proclaimed a different message was, therefore, regarded as an enemy of the truth. The different sects of each community have separated for similar reasons. The adherents of each have accepted some subordinate authority and regarded some particular version or interpretation of the Founder’s Message as the One True Faith, and all others as wrong. It is obvious that while this state of matters exists no true unity is possible. Bahá’u’lláh, on the other hand, teaches that all the Prophets were bearers of authentic messages from God; that each in His day gave the highest teachings of all are essentially in harmony, and are parts of a great plan for the education and the unification of humanity. He calls on the people of all denominations to show their reverence for their Prophets by devoting their lives to the accomplishment of that unity for which all the Prophets labored and suffered. In His letter to Queen Victoria He likens 122 the world to a sick man whose malady is aggravated because he has fallen into the hands of unskilled physicians; and He tells how the remedy may be effected:—
That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith. This can in no wise be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired Physician. This, verily, is the truth, and all else naught but error.—Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 255.