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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 248-250

Coming of the Kingdom of God

Amid these troublous times, however, the Cause of God will prosper. The calamities caused by selfish struggle for individual existence, or for party or sectarian or national gain, will induce the people to turn in despair to the remedy offered by the Word of God. The more calamities abound, the more will the people turn to the only true remedy. Bahá’u’lláh says in his Epistle to the Sháh:—
God hath made afflictions as a morning shower to this green pasture, and as a wick for His Lamp, whereby earth and heaven are illumined. … Through affliction hath His Light shone and His Praise been bright unceasingly; this hath been His method through past ages and bygone times.
Both Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá predict in the most confident terms the speedy triumph of spirituality over materiality and the consequent establishment of the Most Great Peace. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote in 1904:—
Know this, that hardships and misfortunes shall increase day by day, and the people shall be distressed. The doors of joy and happiness shall be closed on all sides. Terrible wars shall happen. Disappointment and the frustration of hopes shall surround the people from every direction until they are obliged to turn to God. Then the lights of great happiness shall enlighten the horizons, so that the cry of “Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá!” may arise on all sides.—Tablet to L.D.B. quoted in Compilation on War and Peace, p. 187. 249
When asked, in February 1914, whether any of the Great Powers would become believers, He replied:—
All the people of the world will become believers. Should you compare the beginning of the Cause with its position today, you would see what a quick influence the Word of God has, and now the Cause of God has encompassed the world. … Unquestionably, all will come under the shadow of the Cause of God.
He declared that the establishment of world unity will come about during the present century. In one of His Tablets He wrote:—
… All the members of the human family, whether peoples or governments, cities or villages, have become increasingly interdependent. For none is self-sufficiency any longer possible, inasmuch as political ties unite all peoples and nations, and the bonds of trade and industry, of agriculture and education, are being strengthened every day. Hence the unity of all mankind can in this day be achieved. Verily this is none other but one of the wonders of this wondrous age, this glorious century—the century of light—has been endowed with the unique and unprecedented glory, power and illumination. Hence the miraculous unfolding of a fresh marvel every day. Eventually it will be seen how bright its candles will burn in the assemblage of man.
In the last two verses of the Book of Daniel occur the cryptic words:—“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”
Many have been the attempts of learned students to solve the problem of the significance of these words. In a tabletalk at which the writer was present, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá reckoned the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy from the date of the beginning of the Muḥammadan era. 250
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Tablets make it clear that this prophecy refers to the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád, or the year 1963:—
Now concerning the verse in Daniel, the interpretation whereof thou didst ask, namely, “Blessed is he who cometh unto the thousand, three hundred and thirty-five days.” These days must be reckoned as solar and not lunar years. For according to this calculation a century will have elapsed from the dawn of the Sun of Truth, then will the teachings of God be firmly established upon the earth, and the Divine Light shall flood the world from the East even unto the West. Then, on this day, will the faithful rejoice!