As the Bab gave his life so that Baha'u'llah should live, Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha gave their lives that the Davidic lineage should last for ever as the Presidents of the true Universal House of Justice of Baha'u'llah. The line of David has continued safe in America from the days of the Master's visit to that continent in 1912 when he rested for a day in the Rocky Mountains and where God has established his seed for ever.
THE TRUE BELIEVER
Behold, how the divers peoples and kindreds of the earth have been waiting for the coming of the Promised One. No sooner had He, Who is the Sun of Truth, been made manifest, than, lo, all turned away from Him, except them whom God was pleased to guide. We dare not, in this Day, lift the veil that concealeth the exalted station which every true believer can attain, for the joy which such a revelation must provoke might well cause a few to faint away and die.
He Who is the Heart and Center of the Bayán (the Bab) hath written: "The germ that holdeth within itself the potentialities of the Revelation that is to come is endowed with a potency superior to the combined forces of all those who follow Me." And, again, He saith: "Of all the tributes I have paid to Him Who is to come after Me, the greatest is this, My written confession, that no words of Mine can adequately describe Him, nor can any reference to Him in My Book, the Bayán, do justice to His Cause."
Whoso hath searched the depths of the oceans that lie hid within these exalted words, and fathomed their import, can be said to have discovered a glimmer of the unspeakable glory with which this mighty, this sublime, and most holy Revelation hath been endowed. From the excellence of so great a Revelation the honor with which its faithful followers must needs be invested can be well imagined. By the righteousness of the one true God! The very breath of these souls is in itself richer than all the treasures of the earth. Happy is the man that hath attained thereunto, and woe betide the heedless.
Baha'u'llah fulfills prophecy for the second coming of Christ in the potency of the Everlasting Father seated upon the throne of David that is to last for ever (Isaiah 9:6-7). Like Jesus Christ, the Herald of the Kingdom, Baha'u'llah fulfills prophecy by His prophesied name (Mark 8:38), His prophesied date, the time in which He was to appear, His prophesied address, or the place He was to come (Mt. Carmel, see Isaiah 35), and His prophesied profession or mission to reveal and establish the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven, by revealing the blue print for the House of the Lord with the Davidic King seated on the Throne of David as its president. Baha'u'llah does not do away with true Christianity, He fulfills it! Whereas Judaism is the root and Christianity is the branch, the Baha'i Faith is the leaf, flower, and fruit of this same tree of everlasting life planted by God of which if man eats, he lives for ever and ever.
THIS WONDROUS DAY
Verily I say, this is the Day in which mankind can behold the Face, and hear the Voice, of the Promised One. The Call of God hath been raised, and the light of His countenance hath been lifted up upon men. It behoveth every man to blot out the trace of every idle word from the tablet of his heart, and to gaze, with an open and unbiased mind, on the signs of His Revelation, the proofs of His Mission, and the tokens of His glory.
Great indeed is this day! The allusions made to it in all the sacred Scriptures as the Day of God attest its greatness. The soul of every Prophet of God, of every Divine Messenger, hath thirsted for this wondrous Day. All the divers kindreds of the earth have, likewise, yearned to attain it. No sooner, however, had the Day Star of His Revelation manifested itself in the heaven of God's Will, than all, except those whom the Almighty was pleased to guide, were found dumbfounded and heedless.
O thou that hast remembered Me! The most grievous veil hath shut out the peoples of the earth from His glory, and hindered them from hearkening to His call. God grant that the light of unity may envelop the whole earth, and that the seal, "the Kingdom is God's," may be stamped upon the brow of all its peoples.
HOW SEVERE THE TESTS
By the righteousness of God! These are the days in which God hath proved the hearts of the entire company of His Messengers and Prophets, and beyond them those that stand guard over His sacred and inviolable Sanctuary, the inmates of the celestial Pavilion and dwellers of the Tabernacle of Glory. How severe, therefore, the test to which they who join partners with God must needs be subjected!
THE TIME FORE-ORDAINED
The time fore-ordained unto the peoples and kindreds of the earth is now come. The promises of God, as recorded in the holy Scriptures, have all been fulfilled. Out of Zion hath gone forth the Law of God, and Jerusalem, and the hills and land thereof, are filled with the glory of His Revelation. Happy is the man that pondereth in his heart that which hath been revealed in the Books of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Meditate upon this, O ye beloved of God, and let your ears be attentive unto His Word, so that ye may, by His grace and mercy, drink your fill from the crystal waters of constancy, and become as steadfast and immovable as the mountain in His Cause.
In the Book of Isaiah it is written: "Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty." No man that meditateth upon this verse can fail to recognize the greatness of this Cause, or doubt the exalted character of this Day--the Day of God Himself. This same verse is followed by these words: "And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that Day." This is the Day which the Pen of the Most High hath glorified in all the holy Scriptures. There is no verse in them that doth not declare the glory of His holy Name, and no Book that doth not testify unto the loftiness of this most exalted theme. Were We to make mention of all that hath been revealed in these heavenly Books and holy Scriptures concerning this Revelation, this Tablet would assume impossible dimensions. It is incumbent, in this Day, upon every man to place his whole trust in the manifold bounties of God, and arise to disseminate, with the utmost wisdom, the verities of His Cause. Then, and only then, will the whole earth be enveloped with the morning light of His Revelation.
BEWARE LEST YE FAIL
Bestir yourselves, O people, in anticipation of the days of Divine justice, for the promised hour is now come. Beware lest ye fail to apprehend its import and be accounted among the erring.
WHY THE PEOPLE HAVE DENIED GOD
Consider the past. How many, both high and low, have, at all times, yearningly awaited the advent of the Manifestations of God in the sanctified persons of His chosen Ones. How often have they expected His coming, how frequently have they prayed that the breeze of Divine mercy might blow, and the promised Beauty step forth from behind the veil of concealment, and be made manifest to all the world. And whensoever the portals of grace did open, and the clouds of divine bounty did rain upon mankind, and the light of the Unseen did shine above the horizon of celestial might, they all denied Him, and turned away from His face-- the face of God Himself....
Reflect, what could have been the motive for such deeds? What could have prompted such behavior towards the Revealers of the beauty of the All-Glorious? Whatever in days gone by hath been the cause of the denial and opposition of those people hath now led to the perversity of the people of this age. To maintain that the testimony of Providence was incomplete, that it hath therefore been the cause of the denial of the people, is but open blasphemy. How far from the grace of the All-Bountiful and from His loving providence and tender mercies it is to single out a soul from amongst all men for the guidance of His creatures, and, on one hand, to withhold from Him the full measure of His divine testimony, and, on the other, inflict severe retribution on His people for having turned away from His chosen One! Nay, the manifold bounties of the Lord of all beings have, at all times, through the Manifestations of His Divine Essence, encompassed the earth and all that dwell therein. Not for a moment hath His grace been withheld, nor have the showers of His loving-kindness ceased to rain upon mankind. Consequently, such behavior can be attributed to naught save the petty-mindedness of such souls as tread the valley of arrogance and pride, are lost in the wilds of remoteness, walk in the ways of their idle fancy, and follow the dictates of the leaders of their faith. Their chief concern is mere opposition; their sole desire is to ignore the truth. Unto every discerning observer it is evident and manifest that had these people in the days of each of the Manifestations of the Sun of Truth sanctified their eyes, their ears, and their hearts from whatever they had seen, heard, and felt, they surely would not have been deprived of beholding the beauty of God, nor strayed far from the habitations of glory. But having weighed the testimony of God by the standard of their own knowledge, gleaned from the teachings of the leaders of their faith, and found it at variance with their limited understanding, they arose to perpetrate such unseemly acts....
Consider Moses! Armed with the rod of celestial dominion, adorned with the white hand of Divine knowledge, and proceeding from the Párán of the love of God, and wielding the serpent of power and everlasting majesty, He shone forth from the Sinai of light upon the world. He summoned all the peoples and kindreds of the earth to the kingdom of eternity, and invited them to partake of the fruit of the tree of faithfulness. Surely you are aware of the fierce opposition of Pharaoh and his people, and of the stones of idle fancy which the hands of infidels cast upon that blessed Tree. So much so that Pharaoh and his people finally arose and exerted their utmost endeavor to extinguish with the waters of falsehood and denial the fire of that sacred Tree, oblivious of the truth that no earthly water can quench the flames of Divine wisdom, nor mortal blasts extinguish the lamp of everlasting dominion. Nay, rather, such water cannot but intensify the burning of the flame, and such blasts cannot but insure the preservation of the lamp, were ye to observe with the eye of discernment, and walk in the way of God's holy will and pleasure....
And when the days of Moses were ended, and the light of Jesus, shining forth from the Day Spring of the Spirit, encompassed the world, all the people of Israel arose in protest against Him. They clamored that He Whose advent the Bible had foretold must needs promulgate and fulfill the laws of Moses, whereas this youthful Nazarene, who laid claim to the station of the divine Messiah, had annulled the laws of divorce and of the sabbath day--the most weighty of all the laws of Moses. Moreover, what of the signs of the Manifestation yet to come? These people of Israel are even unto the present day still expecting that Manifestation which the Bible hath foretold! How many Manifestations of Holiness, how many Revealers of the light everlasting, have appeared since the time of Moses, and yet Israel, wrapt in the densest veils of satanic fancy and false imaginings, is still expectant that the idol of her own handiwork will appear with such signs as she herself hath conceived! Thus hath God laid hold of them for their sins, hath extinguished in them the spirit of faith, and tormented them with the flames of the nethermost fire. And this for no other reason except that Israel refused to apprehend the meaning of such words as have been revealed in the Bible concerning the signs of the coming Revelation. As she never grasped their true significance, and, to outward seeming, such events ever came to pass, she, therefore, remained deprived of recognizing the beauty of Jesus and of beholding the Face of God. And they still await His coming! From time immemorial even unto this day, all the kindreds and peoples of the earth have clung to such fanciful and unseemly thoughts, and thus have deprived themselves of the clear waters streaming from the springs of purity and holiness....
To them that are endowed with understanding, it is clear and manifest that, when the fire of the love of Jesus consumed the veils of Jewish limitations, and His authority was made apparent and partially enforced, He, the Revealer of the unseen Beauty, addressing one day His disciples, referred unto His passing, and, kindling in their hearts the fire of bereavement, said unto them: "I go away and come again unto you." And in another place He said: "I go and another will come, Who will tell you all that I have not told you, and will fulfill all that I have said." Both these sayings have but one meaning, were ye to ponder upon the Manifestations of the Unity of God with Divine insight.
Every discerning observer will recognize in the Dispensation of the Qur'án both the Book and the Cause of Jesus were confirmed. As to the matter of names, Muhammad, Himself, declared: "I am Jesus." He recognized the truth of the signs, prophecies, and words of Jesus, and testified that they were all of God. In this sense, neither the person of Jesus nor His writings hath differed from that of Muhammad and of His holy Book, inasmuch as both have championed the Cause of God, uttered His praise, and revealed His commandments. Thus it is that Jesus, Himself, declared: "I go away and come again unto you." Consider the sun. Were it to say now, "I am the sun of yesterday," it would speak the truth. And should it, bearing the sequence of time in mind, claim to be other than that sun, it still would speak the truth. In like manner, if it be said that all the days are but one and the same, it is correct and true. And if it be said, with respect to their particular names and designations, that they differ, that again is true. For though they are the same, yet one doth recognize in each a separate designation, a specific attribute, a particular character. Conceive accordingly the distinction, variation, and unity characteristic of the various Manifestations of holiness, that thou mayest comprehend the allusions made by the Creator of all names and attributes to the mysteries of distinction and unity, and discover the answer to thy question as to why that everlasting Beauty should have, at sundry times, called Himself by different names and titles....
When the Unseen, the Eternal, the Divine Essence, caused the Day-Star of Muhammad to rise above the horizon of knowledge, among the cavils which the Jewish divines raised against Him was that after Moses no Prophet should be sent of God. Yea, mention hath been made in the Scriptures of a Soul Who must needs be made manifest and Who will advance the Faith, and promote the interests of the people of Moses, so that the Law of the Mosaic Dispensation may encompass the whole earth. Thus hath the King of eternal glory referred in His Book to the words uttered by those wanderers in the vale of remoteness and error: " 'The hand of God,' say the Jews, 'is chained up.' Chained up be their own hands; and for that which they have said, they were accursed. Nay, outstretched are both His hands!" "The hand of God is above their hands." Although the commentators of the Qur'án have related in divers manners the circumstances attending the revelation of this verse, yet thou shouldst endeavor to apprehend the purpose thereof. He saith: How false is that which the Jews have imagined! How can the hand of Him Who is the King in truth, Who caused the countenance of Moses to be made manifest, and conferred upon Him the robe of Prophethood--how can the hand of such a One be chained and fettered? How can He be conceived as powerless to raise up yet another Messenger after Moses? Behold the absurdity of their saying; how far it hath strayed from the path of knowledge and understanding! Observe how in this day also, all these people have occupied themselves with such foolish absurdities. For over a thousand years they have been reciting this verse, and unwittingly pronouncing their censure against the Jews, utterly unaware, that they themselves, openly and privily, are voicing the sentiments and belief of the Jewish people! Thou art surely aware of their idle contention, that all Revelation is ended, that the portals of Divine mercy are closed, that from the day-springs of eternal holiness no Sun shall rise again, that the Ocean of everlasting bounty is forever stilled, and that out of the Tabernacle of ancient glory the Messenger of God have ceased to be made manifest. Such is the measure of the understanding of these small-minded, contemptible people. These people have imagined that the flow of God's all-encompassing grace and plenteous mercies, the cessation of which no mind can contemplate, has been halted. From every side they have risen and girded up the loins of tyranny, and exerted the utmost endeavor to quench with the bitter waters of their vain fancy the flame of God's Burning Bush, oblivious that the globe of power shall, within its own mighty stronghold, protect the Lamp of God....
Behold how the sovereignty of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, is today apparent and manifest amongst the people. You are well aware of what befell His Faith in the early days of His Dispensation. What woeful sufferings did the hand of the infidel and erring, the divines of that age and their associates, inflict upon that spiritual Essence, that most pure and holy Being! How abundant the thorns and briars which they have strewn over His path! It is evident that that wretched generation, in their wicked and satanic fancy, regarded every injury to that immortal Being as the means to the attainment of an abiding felicity; inasmuch as the recognized divines of that age, such as 'Abdu'lláh-i-Ubayy, Abu Amír, the hermit, Ka'b-ibn-i-Ashraf, and Nadr-ibn-i-Harith, all treated Him as an impostor, and pronounced Him a lunatic and a calumniator. Such sore accusations they brought against Him that in recounting them God forbiddeth the ink to flow, Our pen to move, or the page to bear them. These malicious imputations provoked the people to arise and torment Him. And how fierce that torment, if the divines of the age be its chief instigators, if they denounce Him to their followers, cast Him out from their midst, and declare Him a miscreant! Hath not the same befallen this Servant, and been witnessed by all?
For this reason did Muhammad cry out: "No Prophet of God hath suffered such harm as I have suffered." And in the Qur'án are recorded all the calumnies and reproaches uttered against Him, as well as all the afflictions which He suffered. Refer ye thereunto, that haply ye may be informed of that which hath befallen His Revelation. So grievous was His plight, that for a time all ceased to hold intercourse with Him and His companions. Whoever associated with Him fell a victim to the relentless cruelty of His enemies....
Consider, how great is the change today! Behold, how many are the Sovereigns who bow the knee before His name! How numerous the nations and kingdoms who have sought the shelter of His shadow, who bear allegiance to His Faith, and pride themselves therein! From the pulpit-top there ascendeth today the words of praise which, in utter lowliness, glorify His blessed name; and from the heights of minarets there resoundeth the call that summoneth the concourse of His people to adore Him. Even those Kings of the earth who have refused to embrace His Faith and to put off the garment of unbelief, none-the-less confess and acknowledge the greatness and overpowering majesty of that Day Star of loving-kindness. Such is His earthly sovereignty, the evidences of which thou dost on every side behold. This sovereignty must needs be revealed and established either in the lifetime of every Manifestation of God or after His ascension unto His true habitation in the realms above....
It is evident that the changes brought about in every Dispensation constitute the dark clouds that intervene between the eye of man's understanding and the Divine Luminary which shineth forth from the day spring of the Divine Essence. Consider how men for generations have been blindly imitating their fathers, and have been trained according to such ways and manners as have been laid down by the dictates of their Faith. Were these men, therefore, to discover suddenly that a Man, Who hath been living in their midst, Who, with respect to every human limitation, hath been their equal, had risen to abolish every established principle imposed by their Faith--principles by which for centuries they have been disciplined, and every opposer and denier of which they have come to regard as infidel, profligate and wicked,--they would of a certainty be veiled and hindered from acknowledging His truth. Such things are as "clouds" that veil the eyes of those whose inner being hath not tasted the Salsibil of detachment, nor drunk from the Kawthar of the knowledge of God. Such men, when acquainted with those circumstances, become so veiled that, without the least question, they pronounce the Manifestation of God as infidel, and sentence Him to death. You must have heard of such things taking place all down the ages, and are now observing them in these days.
It behoveth us, therefore, to make the utmost endeavor, that, by God's invisible assistance, these dark veils, these clouds of Heaven-sent trials, may not hinder us from beholding the beauty of His shining Countenance, and that we may recognize Him only by His own Self.
In fulfillment of His mission, Baha'u'llah's Covenant is the revelation of the gospel of the Kingdom which is the Baha'i Peace Program destined as the mighty medicine for this sick world to alleviate all the ills of an ailing mankind. This Most Great Peace shall be established upon the foundation of the Most Great Justice. Whereas, all the supreme Manifestations of God have focused their respective missions upon a specific quality or attribute of God - for example Moses brought the law, Muhammad submission, Krishna detachment, Buddha enlightenment, Jesus love as the Herald of the Kingdom - Baha'u'llah's mission focuses on the supernal and divine quality and attribute of Justice. This justice is not only social economic and governmental justice for all people within society but is also more particularly the personal justice of seeing the truth with our own eyes and not through the eyes of our neighbor.
O SON OF SPIRIT! My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.
O SON OF SPIRIT! The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behoveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.
-Baha'u'llah, Hidden Words
Thus we need two things to accept the truth: the intellect which is our power of abstract thought to see the truth with justice and a heart pure to accept it.
People will never abolish racism, share equality with men and women, eliminate prejudice, or eradicate religious fanaticism, intolerance, hatred, or bigotry unless and until they recognize that God Himself has wished it to be so through the potency of Baha'u'llah, Christ, the King, seated upon the throne of Command. 'Abdu'l-Baha gives us a perfect glimpse of the power of this Kingdom, which alone has the self-sustaining influence to regenerate an unrepentant mankind:
In the day of the manifestation of the Lord of Hosts, and at the epoch of the divine cycle of the Omnipotent which is promised and mentioned in all the books and writings of the Prophets - in that day of God, the Spiritual and Divine Kingdom will be established, and the world will be renewed; a new spirit will be breathed into the body of creation; the season of the divine spring will come; the clouds of mercy will rain; the sun of reality will shine; the life-giving breeze will blow; the world of humanity will wear a new garment; the surface of the earth will be a sublime paradise; mankind will be educated; wars, disputes, quarrels and malignity will disappear; and truthfulness, righteousness, peace and the worship of God will appear; union, love and brotherhood will surround the world; and God will rule for evermore - meaning that the Spiritual and Everlasting Kingdom will be established. Such is the day of God. For all the days which have come and gone were the days of Abraham, Moses and Christ, or of the other Prophets; but this day is the day of God, for the Sun of Reality will arise in it with the utmost warmth and splendor. (`Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, pp. 56-57)
Thus, the problem of the world lies not with Baha'u'llah, His revelation, His Covenant, and most certainly not with God. No! Obviously not. In this Revelation, God has provided for everything for all the needs of all the people of the world. But how can the divine elixir prescribed by God through the appearance of His Holy Prophets, fulfilled and administered by Baha'u'llah, take effect if the majority refuses to partake thereof?
The problem of the world therefore lies not with the living Davidic kings, nor the body of the House of Justice which is established as the college of physicians to heal the ills of mankind. The problem of this world lies with the majority of the peoples and kindreds of the world, for though the truth shines like the brightness of the firmament as a glorious (Baha'i) light unto this darksome world as prophesied throughout all the books of God, a lasting peace and unified peoples will never be obtained unless and until the majority lay down their weapons of war, turn aside from the wayward ways of this fleeting world and its fading pleasures and past-times and turn and grab hold of this firm cord (the Everlasting Covenant of God) and determine to elect the BODY of the Supreme Tribunal, which is the essential phase in the four-stage evolution of the UHJ from its appointed origin to its elected fruition in order to bring peace to the world.
What can be the cause of their rejection and denial, when Baha'u'llah, the Light of God, the Glory of God the Father is established for ever on the everlasting throne of the Beloved of all the world (David's throne). (1 Chron. 29:23) For behold people have walked through the valley of the shadow of death and upon them a great light (Baha'i) hath shined! (Isaiah 9:2)
Baha'u'llah's Covenant and the sacred Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha are the twin Luminaries of heaven, the spiritual sun and moon in this dispensation of the day that shall not be followed by night. (Rev. 22:5)
Baha'u'llah of the throne-line of David has Come. He has given His Covenant
for salvation as promised by Christ Jesus on both his first
and second coming. With the Provisions of the Master's sacred
Will and Testament, which is alone the ARK of our salvation
in which all are healed, redeemed, saved and taken up to God,
he has given us not only hope and life but infallible guidance
so that those who freely choose to be saved shall never need
to go astray. Of his Father, and the spiritual Father of us
all seated upon the throne of David (Is. 9:6-7), the Master
Baha'u'llah  appeared at a time when the Persian Empire was immersed in profound obscurantism and ignorance and lost in the blindest fanaticism.
In the European histories, no doubt, you have read detailed accounts of the morals, customs and ideas of the Persians during the last centuries. It is useless to repeat them. Briefly, we will say that Persia had fallen so low that to all foreign travelers it was a matter of regret that this country, which in former times had been so glorious and highly civilized, had now become so decayed, ruined and upset, and that its population had lost its dignity.
It was at this time that Baha'u'llah appeared. His father was one of the viziers, not one of the ulama. As all the people of Persia know, He had never studied in any school, nor had He associated with the ulama or the men of learning. The early part of His life was passed in the greatest happiness. His companions and associates were Persians of the highest rank, but not learned men.
As soon as the Bab became manifested, Baha'u'llah said, "This great Man is the Lord of the righteous, and faith in Him is incumbent upon all." And He arose to assist the Bab and gave many proofs and positive evidences of His truth, in spite of the fact that the ulama of the state religion had constrained the Persian government to oppose and resist Him and had further issued decrees ordering the massacre, pillage, persecution and expulsion of His followers. In all the provinces they began to kill, to burn, to pillage the converts and even to assault the women and children. Regardless of this, Baha'u'llah arose to proclaim the word of the Bab with the greatest firmness and energy. Not for one moment was He in concealment; He mixed openly with His enemies. He was occupied in showing forth evidences and proofs and was recognized as the Herald of the Word of God. In many changes and chances He endured the greatest misfortunes, and at every moment He ran the risk of being martyred.
He was put into chains and confined in an underground prison. His vast property and inheritance were pillaged and confiscated. He was exiled four times from land to land and found rest only in the "Greatest Prison." 
In spite of all this He never ceased for one instant His proclamation of the greatness of the Cause of God. He manifested such virtue, knowledge and perfections that He became a wonder to all the people of Persia. So much so that in Tihran, Baghdad, Constantinople, Rumelia, and even in Akka, every one of the learned and scientific men who entered His presence, whether friend or enemy, never failed to receive the most sufficient and convincing answer to whatever question was propounded. All frequently acknowledged that He was alone and unique in all perfections.
It often happened that in Baghdad certain Muhammadan ulama, Jewish rabbis and Christians met together with some European scholars, in a blessed reunion: each one had some question to propose, and although they were possessed of varying degrees of culture, they each heard a sufficient and convincing reply, and retired satisfied. Even the Persian ulama who were at Karbila and Najaf chose a wise man whom they sent on a mission to Him; his name was Mulla Hasan Amu. He came into the Holy Presence, and proposed a number of questions on behalf of the ulama, to which Baha'u'llah replied. Then Hasan Amu said, "The ulama recognize without hesitation and confess the knowledge and virtue of Baha'u'llah, and they are unanimously convinced that in all learning he has no peer or equal; and it is also evident that he has never studied or acquired this learning; but still the ulama say, 'We are not contented with this; we do not acknowledge the reality of his mission by virtue of his wisdom and righteousness. Therefore, we ask him to show us a miracle in order to satisfy and tranquilize our hearts.'"
Baha'u'llah replied, "Although you have no right to ask this, for God should test His creatures, and they should not test God, still I allow and accept this request. But the Cause of God is not a theatrical display that is presented every hour, of which some new diversion may be asked for every day. If it were thus, the Cause of God would become mere child's play.
"The ulamas must, therefore, assemble, and, with one accord, choose one miracle, and write that, after the performance of this miracle they will no longer entertain doubts about Me, and that all will acknowledge and confess the truth of My Cause. Let them seal this paper, and bring it to Me. This must be the accepted criterion: if the miracle is performed, no doubt will remain for them; and if not, We shall be convicted of imposture." The learned man, Hasan Amu, rose and replied, "There is no more to be said"; he then kissed the knee of the Blessed One although he was not a believer, and went. He gathered the ulama and gave them the sacred message. They consulted together and said, "This man is an enchanter; perhaps he will perform an enchantment, and then we shall have nothing more to say." Acting on this belief, they did not dare to push the matter further. (3)
This man, Hasan Amu, mentioned this fact at many meetings. After leaving Karbila he went to Kirmanshah and Tihran and spread a detailed account of it everywhere, laying emphasis on the fear and the withdrawal of the ulama.
Briefly, all His adversaries in the Orient acknowledged His greatness, grandeur, knowledge and virtue; and though they were His enemies, they always spoke of Him as "the renowned Baha'u'llah."
At the time when this great Light suddenly arose upon the horizon of Persia, all the people, the ministers, the ulama and men of other classes rose against Him, pursuing Him with the greatest animosity, and proclaiming "that this man wishes to suppress and destroy the religion, the law, the nation and the empire." The same was said of Christ. But Baha'u'llah alone and without support resisted them all, without ever showing the least weakness. At last they said, "As long as this man is in Persia, there will be no peace and tranquillity; we must banish him, so that Persia may return to a state of quietude."
They proceeded to use violence toward Him to oblige Him to ask for permission to leave Persia, thinking that by this means the light of His truth would be extinguished, but the result was quite the contrary. The Cause became magnified, and its flame more intense. At first it spread throughout Persia only, but the exile of Baha'u'llah caused the diffusion of the Cause throughout other countries. Afterward His enemies said, "Iraq-i-Arab (4) is not far enough from Persia; we must send him to a more distant kingdom." This is why the Persian government determined to send Baha'u'llah from Iraq to Constantinople. Again the event proved that the Cause was not in the least weakened. Once more they said, "Constantinople is a place of passage and of sojourn for various races and peoples; among them are many Persians." For this reason the Persians had Him further exiled to Rumelia; but, when there, the flame became more powerful, and the Cause more exalted. At last the Persians said, "Not one of these places is safe from his influence; we must send him to some place where he will be reduced to powerlessness, and where his family and followers will have to submit to the direst afflictions." So they chose the prison of Akka, which is reserved especially for murderers, thieves and highway robbers, and in truth they classed Him with such people. But the power of God became manifested: His word was promulgated, and the greatness of Baha'u'llah then became evident, for it was from this prison and under such humiliating circumstances that He caused Persia to advance from one state into another state. He overcame all His enemies and proved to them that they could not resist the Cause. His holy teachings penetrated all regions, and His Cause was established.
Indeed, in all parts of Persia His enemies arose against Him with the greatest hatred, imprisoning, killing and beating His converts, and burning and razing to the ground thousands of dwellings, striving by every means to exterminate and crush the Cause. In spite of all this, from the prison of murderers, highway robbers and thieves, it became exalted. His teachings were spread abroad, and His exhortations affected many of those who had been the most full of hatred, and made them firm believers. Even the Persian government itself became awakened and regretted that which had arisen through the fault of the ulama.
When Baha'u'llah came to this prison in the Holy Land, the wise men realized that the glad tidings which God gave through the tongue of the Prophets two or three thousand years before were again manifested, and that God was faithful to His promise; for to some of the Prophets He had revealed and given the good news that "the Lord of Hosts should be manifested in the Holy Land." All these promises were fulfilled; and it is difficult to understand how Baha'u'llah could have been obliged to leave Persia, and to pitch His tent in this Holy Land, but for the persecution of His enemies, His banishment and exile. His enemies intended that His imprisonment should completely destroy and annihilate the blessed Cause, but this prison was in reality of the greatest assistance and became the means of its development. The divine renown of Baha'u'llah reached the East and the West, and the rays of the Sun of Truth illuminated all the world. Praise be to God! though He was a prisoner, His tent was raised on Mount Carmel, and He moved abroad with the greatest majesty. Every person, friend or stranger, who came into His presence used to say, "This is a prince, not a captive."
Upon His arrival in prison (5) He addressed an epistle to Napoleon, (6) which He sent through the French ambassador. The gist of it was, "Ask what is Our crime, and why We are confined in this prison and this dungeon." Napoleon made no reply. Then a second epistle was issued, which is contained in the Suriy-i-Haykal.(7) The epitome of it is: "Oh Napoleon, as thou hast not listened to My proclamation, and as thou hast not answered it, thy dominion will before long be taken away from thee, and thou wilt be utterly destroyed." This epistle was sent to Napoleon by post, through the care of Cesar Ketaphakou (8), as was known to all the companions of His exile. The text of this warning reached the whole of Persia, for it was at that time that the Kitab-i-Haykal was spread in Persia, and this epistle was among the contents of this book. This happened in A.D. 1869, and as this Suriy-i-Haykal was circulated in Persia and India and was in the hands of all believers, they were waiting to see what would come to pass. Not long after, in A.D. 1870, the war between Germany and France broke out; and though no one at that time expected the victory of Germany, Napoleon was defeated and dishonored; he surrendered to his enemies, and his glory was changed into deep abasement.
Tablets (9) were also sent to other kings, and among them was the letter to H. M. Nasiri'd-Din Shah. In that epistle Baha'u'llah said, "Have Me summoned, gather the ulama, and ask for proofs and arguments, so that the truth and falsehood may become known." H. M. Nasiri'd-Din Shah sent the blessed epistle to the ulama and proposed to them that they should undertake this mission, but they dared not do so. Then he asked seven of the most celebrated among them to write an answer to the challenge. After some time they returned the blessed letter, saying, "This man is the opposer of religion and the enemy of the Shah." His majesty the Shah of Persia was much vexed, and said, "This is a question for proofs and arguments, and of truth or falsehood: what has it to do with enmity to the government? Alas! how much we respected these ulama, who cannot even reply to this epistle."
Briefly, all that was recorded in the Tablets to the Kings is being fulfilled: if from the year A.D. 1870 we compare the events that have occurred, we will find everything that has happened has appeared as predicted; only a few remain which will afterward become manifested.
So also foreign peoples, and other sects who were not believers, attributed many wonderful things to Baha'u'llah. Some believed that He was a saint (10), and some even wrote treatises about Him. One of them, Siyyid Davudi, a Sunnite savant of Baghdad, wrote a short treatise in which he related certain supernatural acts of Baha'u'llah. Even now, in all parts of the East, there are some people who, though they do not believe in His manifestation, nevertheless believe Him to be a saint and relate miracles attributed to Him.
To sum up, both His antagonists and His partisans, as well as all those who were received in the sacred spot, acknowledged and bore witness to the greatness of Baha'u'llah. Though they did not believe in Him, still they acknowledged His grandeur, and as soon as they entered the sacred spot, the presence of Baha'u'llah produced such an effect on most of them that they could not utter a word. How many times it happened that one of His most bitter enemies would resolve within himself, "I will say such and such things when I reach His presence, and I will dispute and argue thus with Him," but when he entered the Holy Presence, he would become amazed and confounded, and remain speechless.
Baha'u'llah had never studied Arabic; He had not had a tutor or teacher, nor had He entered a school. Nevertheless, the eloquence and elegance of His blessed expositions in Arabic, as well as His Arabic writings, caused astonishment and stupefaction to the most accomplished Arabic scholars, and all recognized and declared that He was incomparable and unequaled.
If we carefully examine the text of the Torah, we see that the Divine Manifestation never said to those who denied Him, "Whatever miracle you desire, I am ready to perform, and I will submit to whatever test you propose." But in the Epistle to the Shah, Baha'u'llah said clearly, "Gather the ulama, and summon Me, that the evidences and proofs may be established."(11)
For fifty years Baha'u'llah faced His enemies like a mountain: all wished to annihilate Him and sought His destruction. A thousand times they planned to crucify and destroy Him, and during these fifty years He was in constant danger.
In this day Persia is in such a state of decadence and ruin that all intelligent men, whether Persians or foreigners, who realize the true state of affairs, recognize that its progress, its civilization and its reconstruction depend upon the promulgation of the teachings and the development of the principles of this great Personage.
Christ, in His blessed day, in reality only educated eleven men: the greatest of them was Peter, who, nevertheless, when he was tested, thrice denied Christ. In spite of this, the Cause of Christ subsequently permeated the world. At the present day Baha'u'llah has educated thousands of souls who, while under the menace of the sword, raised to the highest heaven the cry of "Ya Baha'u'l-Abha" (12); and in the fire of tests, their faces became illuminated like gold. Then reflect what will take place in the future.
Finally, we must be just and acknowledge what an Educator this Glorious Being was, what marvelous signs were manifested by Him, and what power and might have been realized in the world through Him.
1. Jamal-i-Mubarak, the Blessed Beauty, the title which is here given to Baha'u'llah. He is also called Jamal-i-Qidam, the Preexistent, or Ancient Beauty. But we shall designate Him as Baha'u'llah, the title by which He is known in the West. [back]
2. Exiled first to Baghdad, then to Constantinople, then to Adrianople, He was imprisoned in Akka (Acre), the "Greatest Prison," in 1868. [back]
3. The penetrating judgment of Baha'u'llah upon this occasion overcame the malignity of His enemies, who, it was certain, would never agree in choosing what miracle to ask for. [back]
4. Iraq; as opposed to that district of Iran known then as Iraq-i-Azam and now called Arak. [back]
5. Adrianople. [back]
6. Napoleon III. [back]
7. One of Baha'u'llah's works written after His declaration. [back]
8. Son of a French Consul in Syria with whom Baha'u'llah had friendly relations. [back]
9. Name given to the epistles of Baha'u'llah. [back]
10. Vali. [back]
11. Cf. p. 30, n.1. In giving such importance to this example of the good sense of Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha means to emphasize the uselessness of miracles as a proof of the truth of the Manifestations of God. Cf. "Miracles," p. 100. [back]
12. A cry used as a declaration of faith by the Baha'is, literally, "Oh Thou the Glory of Glories!" [back]
('Abdu'l Baha, Some Answered Questions, pages 27-35)