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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 203-204

The Divine Manifestations

All things manifest the bounty of God with greater or less clearness, as all material objects exposed to the sun reflect its light in greater or less degree. A heap of soot reflects a little, a stone reflects more, a piece of chalk more still, but in none of these reflections can we trace the form and color of the glorious orb. A perfect mirror, however, reflects the sun’s very form and color, so that looking into it is like looking at the sun itself. So it is with the way in which things speak to us of God. The stone can tell us something of the Divine attributes, the flower can tell us more, the animal with its marvelous senses, instincts and power of movement, more still. In the lowest of our fellowmen we can trace wonderful faculties which tell of a wonderful Creator. In the poet, the saint, the genius, we find a higher revelation still, but the great Prophets and Founders of religions are the perfect mirrors by which the love and wisdom of God are reflected to the rest of mankind. Other men’s mirrors are dulled by the stains and the dust of selfishness and prejudice, but these are pure and without blemish—wholly devoted to the Will of God. Thus They become the greatest educators of mankind. The Divine teachings and the Power of the Holy Spirit proceeding through Them have been and are the cause of the progress of humanity, for God helps men through other men. Each man who is higher in the ascent of life is the means of helping those who are lower, and those who are the highest of all are the helpers of all mankind. It is as if all men were connected together by elastic cords. If a man rises a little above the general level of his fellows, the cords tighten. His 204 former companions tend to draw him back, but with an equal force he draws them upwards. The higher he gets, the more he feels the weight of the whole world pulling him back, and the more dependent he is on the divine support, which reaches him through the few who are still above him. Highest of all are the great Prophets and Saviors, the Divine “Manifestations”—those perfect men Who were each, in Their day, without peer or companion, and bore the burden of the whole world, supported by God alone. “The burden of our sins was upon Him: was true of each of Them. Each was the “Way, the Truth and the Life” to His followers. Each was the channel of God’s bounty to every heart that would receive it. Each had His part to play in the great divine plan for the upliftment of humanity.