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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 60-62

Return to Holy Land

He was then in His seventieth year, and His long and arduous labors, culminating in these strenuous Western tours, had 61 worn out His physical frame. After His return He wrote the following pathetic Tablet to the believers in East and West:—
Friends, the time is coming when I shall be no longer with you. I have done all that could be done. I have served the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh to the utmost of my ability. I have labored night and day all the years of my life.
Oh, how I long to see the believers shouldering the responsibilities of the Cause! Now is the time to proclaim the Kingdom of Abhá (i.e. The Most Glorious!). Now is the hour of union and concord! Now is the day of the spiritual harmony of the friends of God! …
I am straining my ears toward the East and toward the West, toward the North and toward the South, that haply I may hear the songs of love and fellowship raised in the meetings of the believers. My days are numbered, and save this there remains none other joy for me.
Oh, how I yearn to see the friends united, even as a shining strand of pearls, as the brilliant Pleiades, as the rays of the sun, the gazelles of one meadow!
The mystic nightingale is singing for them; will they not listen? The bird of paradise is warbling; will they not hear? The Angel of the Kingdom of Abhá is calling to them; will they not hearken? The Messenger of the Covenant is pleading; will they not heed?
Ah! I am waiting, waiting to hear the glad news that the believers are the embodiment of sincerity and loyalty, the incarnation of love and amity and the manifestation of unity and concord!
Will they not rejoice my heart? Will they not satisfy my yearnings? Will they not heed my pleadings? will they not fulfill my hopes? Will they not answer my call?
I am waiting, I am patiently waiting!
The enemies of the Bahá’í Cause, whose hopes had risen high when the Báb fell a victim to their fury, when Bahá’u’lláh was driven from His native land and made a prisoner for life, and again at the passing of Bahá’u’lláh—these enemies once more took heart when they saw the physical weakness and 62 weariness of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá after His return from His Western travels. But again their hopes were doomed to disappointment. In a short time ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was able to write:—
Unquestionably this physical body and human energy would have been unable to stand the constant wear and tear…but the aid and help of the Desired One were the Guardian and Protector of the weak and humble ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. … Some have asserted that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is on the eve of bidding his last farewell to the world, that his physical energies are depleted and drained and that ere long these complications will put an end to his life. This is far from the truth. Although in the outward estimation of the Covenant-breakers and defective-minded the body is weak on account of ordeals in the Blessed Path, yet, Praise be to God! through the providence of the Blessed Perfection the spiritual forces are in the utmost rejuvenation and strength. Thanks be to God that now, through the blessing and benediction of Bahá’u’lláh, even the physical energies are fully restored, divine joy is obtained, the supreme glad-tidings are resplendent and ideal happiness overflowing.
Both during the European War and after its close ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, amidst countless other activities, was able to pour forth a series of great and inspiring letters which, when communications were reopened, roused believers throughout the world to new enthusiasm and zeal for service. Under the inspiration of these letters the Cause progressed by leaps and bounds and everywhere the Faith showed signs of new vitality and vigor.