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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 46-48

His Mission

Bahá’u’lláh’s mission in the world is to bring about Unity—Unity of all mankind in and through God. He says:—“Of the Tree of Knowledge the All-glorious fruit is this exalted word: Of one Tree are all ye the fruits and of one Bough the leaves. Let not man glory in this that he loves his country, but let him rather glory in this that he loves his kind.”
Previous Prophets have heralded an age of peace on earth, goodwill among men, and have given Their lives to hasten its advent, but each and all of Them have plainly declared that this blessed consummation would be reached only after the “Coming of the Lord” in the latter days, when the wicked would be judged and righteous rewarded.
Zoroaster foretold three thousand years of conflict before the advent of Sháh Bahrám, the world-savior, Who would overcome Ahrmán the spirit of evil, and establish a reign of righteousness and peace.
Moses foretold a long period of exile, persecution and oppression for the children of Israel, before the Lord of Hosts 47 would appear to gather them from all the nations, to destroy the oppressors and establish His Kingdom upon earth.
Christ said: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt. x, 34), and He predicted a period of wars and rumors of wars, of tribulations and afflictions that would continue till the coming of the Son of Man “in the glory of the Father.”
Muḥammad declared that, because of their wrongdoings, Alláh had put enmity and hatred among both Jews and Christians that would last until the Day of Resurrection, when He would appear to judge them all.
Bahá’u’lláh, on the other hand, announces that He is the Promised One of all these Prophets—the Divine Manifestation in Whose era the reign of peace will actually be established. This statement is unprecedented and unique, yet it fits in wonderfully with the signs of the times, and with the prophecies of all the great Prophets. Bahá’u’lláh revealed with incomparable clearness and comprehensiveness the means for bringing about peace and unity amongst mankind.
It is true that, since the advent of Bahá’u’lláh, there have been, until now, war and destruction on an unprecedented scale, but this is just what all the prophets have said would happen at the dawn of the “great and terrible Day of the Lord,” and is, therefore, but a confirmation of the view that the “Coming of the Lord” is not only at hand, but is already an accomplished fact. According to the parable of Christ, the Lord of the Vineyard must miserably destroy the wicked husbandmen before He gives the Vineyard to others who will render Him the fruits in their seasons. Does not this mean that at the coming of the Lord dire destruction awaits those despotic governments, avaricious and intolerant priests, mullás, or tyrannical leaders who through the centuries have, like wicked husbandmen, misruled the earth and misappropriated its fruits?
There may be terrible events, and unparalleled calamities yet awhile on the earth, but Bahá’u’lláh assures us that erelong, these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the ‘Most Great Peace’ shall come.” War and strife have become 48 so intolerable in their destructiveness that mankind must find deliverance from them or perish.
“The fullness of time” has come and with it the Promised Deliverer!