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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 49-50

The Bahá’í Spirit

From His place of confinement in distant ‘Akká, Bahá’u’lláh stirred His native land of Persia to its depths; and not only Persia; He stirred and is stirring the world. The spirit that animated Him and His followers was unfailingly gentle, courteous and patient, yet it was a force of astonishing vitality and transcendent power. It achieved the seemingly impossible. It changed human nature. Men who yielded to its influence became new creatures. They were filled with a love, a faith, and enthusiasm, compared with which earthly joys and sorrows 50 were but as dust in the balance. They were ready to face lifelong suffering or violent death with perfect equanimity, nay, with radiant joy, in the strength of fearless dependence on God.
Most wonderful of all, their hearts were so brimming over with the joy of a new life as to leave no room for thoughts of bitterness or vindictiveness against their oppressors. They entirely abandoned the use of violence in self-defense, and instead of bemoaning their fate, they considered themselves the most fortunate of men in being privileged to receive this new and glorious Revelation and to spend their lives or shed their blood testifying to its truth. Well might their hearts sing with joy, for they believed that God, the Supreme, the Eternal, the Beloved, had spoken to them through human lips, had called them to be His servants and friends, had come to establish His Kingdom upon earth and to bring the priceless boon of Peace to a warworn, strife-stricken world.
Such was the faith inspired by Bahá’u’lláh. He announced His own mission, as the Báb had foretold that He would, and, thanks to the devoted labors of His great Forerunner, there were thousands ready to acclaim His Advent—thousands who had shaken off superstitions and prejudices, and were waiting with pure hearts and open minds for the Manifestation of God’s Promised Glory. Poverty and chains, sordid circumstances and outward ignominy could not hide from them the Spiritual Glory of their Lord—nay, these dark earthly surroundings only served to enhance the brilliance of His real Splendor.