Quotes from Baha'i sources:

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by arthra, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Prayer for Confirmation...

    Congregate in the utmost joy and happiness and commence with this commune:

    O Lord of the Kingdom!

    Although we are assembled, yet we are Thy scattered ones; captives of Thy Shining Face.

    Although we are incapable, yet we anticipate the manifestation of Thy Strength and ability.

    Although we are without capital and commodity, yet we are aided by the treasury of the Kingdom.

    Although we are a drop, yet we emanate from Thy sea of seas.

    Although we are an atom, yet are illumined by Thy most Bright Sun.

    O Lord! Confirm us so that each one in this gathering become a bright candle, a witness of the meeting,* a caller to the Kingdom; that the world of matter become the mirror of heaven.

    O ye dear friends of mine! The assemblies of those regions must be connected with one another and must communicate (correspond) with each other. Even communicate with the assemblies of the East, so that this may become the means of the great unity and concord.

    O ye spiritual friends! Firmness (constancy) must reach a degree that if all the souls (Bahais) be destroyed by the evil wishers and there remain but one, that one singly and alone should be capable of withstanding all who live on earth, and of spreading the fragrances of holiness.


    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v1, p. 24
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Nine Concentric Circles...

    THE CENTER OF NINE CONCENTRIC CIRCLES

    For, just as in the realm of the spirit, the reality of the Báb has been hailed by the Author of the Bahá'í Revelation as "The Point round Whom the realities of the Prophets and Messengers revolve," so, on this visible plane, His sacred remains constitute the heart and center of what may be regarded as nine concentric circles, paralleling thereby, and adding further emphasis to the central position accorded by the Founder of our Faith to One "from Whom God hath caused to proceed the knowledge of all that was and shall be," "the Primal Point from which have been generated all created things."

    The outermost circle in this vast system, the visible counterpart of the pivotal position conferred on the Herald of our Faith, is none other than the entire planet.

    Within the heart of this planet lies the "Most Holy Land," acclaimed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá as "the Nest of the Prophets" and which must be regarded as the center of the world and the Qiblih of the nations.

    Within this Most Holy Land rises the Mountain of God of immemorial sanctity, the Vineyard of the Lord, the Retreat of Elijah, Whose return the Báb Himself symbolizes.

    Reposing on the breast of this holy mountain are the extensive properties permanently dedicated to, and constituting the sacred precincts of, the Báb's holy Sepulcher.

    In the midst of these properties, recognized as the international endowments of the Faith, is situated the most holy court, an enclosure comprising gardens and terraces which at once embellish, and lend a peculiar charm to, these sacred precincts.

    Embosomed in these lovely and verdant surroundings stands in all its exquisite beauty the mausoleum of the Báb, the shell designed to preserve and adorn the original structure raised by 'Abdu'l-Bahá as the tomb of the Martyr-Herald of our Faith.

    Within this shell is enshrined that Pearl of Great Price, the holy of holies, those chambers which constitute the tomb itself, and which were constructed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá.

    Within the heart of this holy of holies is the tabernacle, the vault wherein reposes the most holy casket.

    Within this vault rests the alabaster sarcophagus in which is deposited that inestimable jewel, the Báb's holy dust.

    So precious is this dust that the very earth surrounding the edifice enshrining this dust has been extolled by the Center of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant, in one of His Tablets in which He named the five doors belonging to the six chambers which He originally erected after five of the believers associated with the construction of the Shrine, as being endowed with such potency as to have inspired Him in bestowing these names, whilst the tomb itself housing this dust He acclaimed as the spot round which the Concourse on high circle in adoration.

    To participate in the erection of the superstructure of an edifice at once so precious, so holy; consecrated to the memory of so heroic a Soul; whose site no one less than the Founder of our Faith has selected; whose inner chambers were erected by the Center of His Covenant with such infinite care and anguish; embosomed in so sacred a mountain, on the soil of so holy a land; occupying such a unique position; facing on the one hand the silver-white city of 'Akká, the Qiblih of the Bahá'í world; flanked on its right by the hills of Galilee, the home of Jesus Christ, and on its left, by the Cave of Elijah; and backed by the plain of Sharon and, beyond it, Jerusalem and the Aqsa mosque, the third holiest shrine in Islam -- to participate in the erection of such an edifice is a privilege offered to this generation at once unique and priceless, a privilege which only posterity will be able to correctly appraise.

    ~ Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, p. 95
     
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    THE UNKNOWABLE ESSENCE

    All the people have formed a god in the world of thought, and that form of their own imagination they worship; when the fact is that the imagined form is finite and the human mind is infinite. Surely the infinite is greater than the finite, for imagination is accidental while the mind is essential; surely the essential is greater than the accidental.

    Therefore consider: All the sects and peoples worship their own thought; they create a god in their own minds and acknowledge him to be the creator of all things, when that form is a superstition -- thus people adore and worship imagination.

    That Essence of the Divine Entity and the Unseen of the unseen is holy above imagination and is beyond thought. Consciousness doth not reach It. Within the capacity of comprehension of a produced reality that Ancient Reality cannot be contained. It is a different world; from it there is no information; arrival thereat is impossible; attainment thereto is prohibited and inaccessible. This much is known: It exists and Its existence is certain and proven -- but the condition is unknown.

    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith, p. 381)

     
  4. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Trials....

    The trials of man are of two kinds.

    (a) The consequences of his own actions. If a man eats too much, he ruins his digestion; if he takes poison he becomes ill or dies. If a person gambles he will lose his money; if he drinks too much he will lose his equilibrium. All these sufferings are caused by the man himself, it is quite clear therefore that certain sorrows are the result of our own deeds.

    (b) Other sufferings there are, which come upon the Faithful of God. Consider the great sorrows endured by Christ and by His apostles!

    Those who suffer most, attain to the greatest perfection.

    Those who declare a wish to suffer much for Christ's sake must prove their sincerity; those who proclaim their longing to make great sacrifices can only prove their truth by their deeds. Job proved the fidelity of his love for God by being faithful through his great adversity, as well as during the prosperity of his life. The apostles of Christ who steadfastly bore all their trials and sufferings -- did they not prove their faithfulness? Was not their endurance the best proof?

    These griefs are now ended.

    Caiaphas lived a comfortable and happy life while Peter's life was full of sorrow and trial; which of these two is the more enviable? Assuredly we should choose the present state of Peter, for he possesses immortal life whilst Caiaphas has won eternal shame. The trials of Peter tested his fidelity. Tests are benefits from God, for which we should thank Him. Grief and sorrow do not come to us by chance, they are sent to us by the Divine Mercy for our own perfecting.

    While a man is happy he may forget his God; but when grief comes and sorrows overwhelm him, then will he remember his Father who is in Heaven, and who is able to deliver him from his humiliations.

    Men who suffer not, attain no perfection. The plant most pruned by the gardeners is that one which, when the summer comes, will have the most beautiful blossoms and the most abundant fruit.

    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 49

     
  5. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    The first Remedy ... and after this...

    Briefly, O ye friends of God! Make your feet firm, make a firm compact, and in union and accord endeavor to diffuse the fragrance of the love of God and to spread the divine teachings, in order that ye may impart life to the dead body of this world, and bestow a real healing on every one diseased (in soul).

    O ye friends of God! The world is like the body of man -- it hath become sick, feeble and infirm. Its eye is devoid of sight, its ear hath become destitute of hearing and its faculties of sense are entirely dissolved. The friends of God must become as wise physicians and care for and heal this sick person, in accord with the divine teachings, in order that -- God willing -- it may perchance gain health, find eternal healing and that its lost powers may be restored; and that the person of the world may find such health, freshness and purity that it will appear in the utmost beauty and charm.

    The first remedy is to guide the people, so that they may turn unto God, hearken unto the divine commandments and go forth with hearing ear and seeing eye.

    After this swift and certain remedy hath been applied, then according to the divine teachings, they ought to be trained in the conduct, morals and deeds of the Supreme Concourse, encouraged and inspired with the gifts of the Kingdom of ABHA.

    The hearts should be purified and cleansed from every trace of hatred and rancor and enabled to engage in truthfulness, conciliation, uprightness and love toward the world of humanity; so that the East and West may embrace each other like unto two lovers, enmity and animosity may vanish from the human world and the universal peace be established!

    (Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v1, p. 36)

     
  6. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    "He is God!"

    Thou hast asked regarding the phrase, "He is God!" written above the Tablets.

    By this word it is intended that no one hath any access to the Invisible Essence. The way is barred and the road is impassable.

    In this world all men must turn their faces toward "Him-whom God-shall-Manifest." He is the "Dawning-place of Divinity" and the "Manifestation of Deity." He is the "Ultimate Goal," the "Adored One" of all and the "Worshipped One" of all.

    Otherwise, whatever flashes through the mind is not that Essence of essences and the Reality of realities; nay, rather it is pure imagination woven by man and is surrounded, not the surrounding. Consequently, it returns finally to the realm and conjectures.


    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v3

     
  7. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    "This is a prince, not a captive..."

    When Bahá'u'lláh 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 Bahá'u'lláh 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 Bahá'u'lláh 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."

    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 30)
     
  8. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Discovering the fragrance of inner meanings...

    "Blessed is the one who discovereth the fragrance of
    inner meanings from the traces of this Pen through
    whose movement the breezes of God are wafted over the
    entire creation, and through whose stillness the very
    essence of tranquillity appeareth in the realm of being.
    Glorified be the All-Merciful, the Revealer of so
    inestimable a bounty.

    Say: Because He bore injustice,
    justice hath appeared on earth, and because He
    accepted abasement, the majesty of God hath shone
    forth amidst mankind."

    ~ Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 76
     
  9. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Exalted is the celestial Melody...

    O my beloved! Immeasurably exalted is the celestial Melody above the strivings of human ear to hear or mind to grasp its mystery! How can the helpless ant step into the court of the All-Glorious?

    And yet, feeble souls, through lack of understanding, reject these abstruse utterances, and question the truth of such traditions. Nay, none can comprehend them save those that are possessed of an understanding heart.

    Say, He is that End for Whom no end in all the universe can be imagined, and for Whom no beginning in the world of creation can be conceived. Behold, O concourse of the earth, the splendours of the End, revealed in the Manifestations of the Beginning!

    ~ Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 168
     
  10. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    When the human soul soareth out of this transient heap of dust and riseth into the world of God, then veils will fall away, and verities will come to light, and all things unknown before will be made clear, and hidden truths be understood.

    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 176
     
  11. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    How to Pray:

    What guidance can we find?

    Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths. Take heed that ye do not vacillate in your determination to embrace the truth of this Cause--a Cause through which the potentialities of the might of God have been revealed, and His sovereignty established. With faces beaming with joy, hasten ye unto Him. This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath refused to seek it -verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His creatures.

    ("A Synopsis and Codification of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, the Most Holy Book of Bahá'u'lláh", 1st ed. (Haifa: Bahá'í World Centre, 1973), pp. 27-28) [Ed. note - Now published in The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, par. 182]

    Recite ye the verses of God every morning and evening. Whoso reciteth them not hath truly failed to fulfil his pledge to the Covenant of God and His Testament, and whoso in this day turneth away therefrom hath indeed turned away from God since time immemorial. Fear ye God, O concourse of My servants!

    Take heed lest excessive reading and too many acts of piety in the daytime and in the night season make you vainglorious.

    Should a person recite but a single verse from the Holy Writings in a spirit of joy and radiance, this would be better for him than reciting wearily all the Scriptures of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

    Recite ye the verses of God in such measure that ye be not overtaken with fatigue or boredom.

    Burden not your souls so as to cause exhaustion and weigh them down, but rather endeavour to lighten them, that they may soar on the wings of revealed Verses unto the dawning-place of His signs. This is conducive to nearer access unto God, were ye to comprehend.


    ("Kitab-i-Aqdas" provisional translation from the Arabic) [Ed. note - Newer translation published in The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, par. 149
     
  12. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    "This period of time is the Promised Age..."

    This period of time is the Promised Age, the assembling of the human race to the "Resurrection Day" and now is the great "Day of Judgment." Soon the whole world, as in springtime, will change its garb. The turning and falling of the autumn leaves is past; the bleakness of the winter time is over. The new year hath appeared and the spiritual springtime is at hand. The black earth is becoming a verdant garden; the deserts and mountains are teeming with red flowers; from the borders of the wilderness the tall grasses are standing like advance guards before the cypress and jessamine trees; while the birds are singing among the rose branches like the angels in the highest heavens, announcing the glad-tidings of the approach of that spiritual spring, and the sweet music of their voices is causing the real essence of all things to move and quiver.

    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v2, pp. 318 - 319
     
  13. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    On the spiritual meeting....

    That gathering is under the shelter and protection of the mighty Lord. I hope that, as it should be, ye may be confirmed by the fragrance of the Holy Spirit and day by day may grow in love of God and attraction to the eternal beauty of the Sun of the horizons.

    The spiritual love of God maketh man pure and holy and clotheth him with the garment of virtue and purity. And when man attacheth his heart wholly to God and becometh related to the Blessed Perfection, the divine bounty will dawn. This love is not physical, nay, rather, it is absolutely spiritual.

    The souls whose consciences are enlightened through the light of the love of God, they are like unto shining lights and resemble stars of holiness in the heaven of purity.

    The real and great love is the love of God. That is holy above the imaginations and thoughts of men.


    The beloved of God must each be the essence of purity and holiness; so may they be known by their purity, freedom and meekness in every land; they may drink from the eternal chalice of the love of God, enjoy its ecstasy, and through meeting the Beauty of ABHA, they should be joyful, active, aglow with zeal and wonderful. This is the station of the sincere. This is the quality of those who are firm. This is the illumination of the faces of those who are near.


    Therefore, O ye friends of God, ye must in perfect purity attain spiritual unity and agreement to a degree that ye may express one spirit and one life.

    In this condition physical bodies play no part; the command and authority are in the hand of the spirit. When the spirit becometh all inclusive, the spiritual union shall be attained. Night and day endeavor to attain perfect harmony; be thoughtful concerning your own spiritual developments and close your eyes to the shortcomings of one another.


    By good deeds, pure lives, humility and meekness be a lesson for others.


    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v1, p. 21
     
  14. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    The lamps of my loving providence...

    O ye peoples of the world! Know assuredly that
    My commandments are the lamps of My loving
    providence among My servants, and the keys of My
    mercy for My creatures. Thus hath it been sent down
    from the heaven of the Will of your Lord, the Lord of
    Revelation. Were any man to taste the sweetness of the
    words which the lips of the All-Merciful have willed to
    utter, he would, though the treasures of the earth be in
    his possession, renounce them one and all, that he
    might vindicate the truth of even one of His
    commandments, shining above the Dayspring of His
    bountiful care and loving-kindness.


    (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 19)
     
  15. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Seek thou from God...

    O thou seeker of Truth!

    The Lord of Hosts became manifest in Moses and the children of Israel in a pillar of fire, and appeared to Christ in the fire of the love of God. This is that of which it is said in the Gospel: one must be baptized with fire and spirit.

    Now the lights of the divine bounties of the fire of
    the love of God have shone forth in the word and
    letters. That is, the words and letters are similar to a
    mirror, and the Sun of Truth and the Rays of Significances
    have become manifest and shone forth in these
    mirrors of words and letters.


    Seek thou from God that thy heart may be as one of these letters, until the Eternal Bounty may cast a ray of splendor therein.

    Pay attention minutely and cogitate, until thou mayest apprehend the meaning of this explanation and advance day by day, like unto thy dear mother.

    O thou that mirror in which the Light of Guidance is printed!
    I was informed of thy prayer, thy supplication and thy beseeching. Know thou verily:

    My throne is my mat!

    My glorious crown is my servitude toward God!

    My standard is the commemoration of my Lord!

    My hosts are the knowledge of my Master!

    My sword is the guidance of God!

    My dominion is my humility, my submissiveness, my lowliness, my abasement, my supplication and my beseeching unto God -- this is that permanent reign which no one is able to dispute, gainsay or usurp!

    I beg God to cause thee to be one of the pillars of this divine reign, that thou mayest abundantly partake of this joy and gladness, and I invoke God that He may register thy name in the published Tablet, in the pages of the Kingdom of God. I beg God to cause thy kinsmen (those who are near and dear to thee) to attain that which thou hast attained, to drink from that Cup where from thou art exhilarated, to brighten their eyes through that Light whereby thine eyes were brightened and to cause them to hearken to that Call whereby thine ears were delighted; and that He may make you assemble under the shadow of the Tree of the Testament, and cause you to be of the hosts of His Kingdom, that ye may conquer the East of that region as well as its West, through the sword of peace and the weapons of love, union and agreement, and that He may make thee to be a server in His blessed Olive Garden, and in his El-ABHA (i. e., Most Glorious) Paradise, and in His Holy Garden of the Supreme Kingdom.

    (Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v3, p. 514)
     
  16. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    To every discerning and illuminated heart...

    To every discerning and illuminated heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the Divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress. Far be it from His glory that human tongue should adequately recount His praise, or that human heart comprehend His fathomless mystery. He is, and hath ever been, veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence, and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men.

    "No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision; He is the Subtile, the All-Perceiving."...

    ~ Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 46
     
  17. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    "Blessed I am for this great bounty! ..."

    Set aside every mention save the mention of God and abandon everything save the divulgence of the Testament, be attracted by the magnet of the Covenant that thou mayest see the triumph of the angels of the King of the Kingdom and the valor of the hosts of the Lord of Might.


    By the life of the Lord!


    The Invincible Power will indeed strengthen, the Holy Spirit will speak in thy mouth, the Word of God will be revealed in thy heart, the sound of the trumpet of the Lord will gladden thee, the light of unity will shine from thy brow, the doors of success and prosperity will be opened upon thy face and the secrets of the Holy Books will be unfolded.


    Then, at that time, thou shalt cry at the top of thy voice, saying:


    "Blessed I am for this great bounty! Blessed I am for this evident victory! Blessed I am for this power which could not be resisted by the powers of whomsoever is upon the earth!"


    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v1, p. 160
     
  18. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Retrace your steps...

    Retrace your steps, O My servants, and incline your hearts to Him Who is the Source of your creation. Deliver yourselves from your evil and corrupt affections, and hasten to embrace the light of the undying Fire that gloweth on the Sinai of this mysterious and transcendent Revelation. Corrupt not the holy, the all-embracing, and primal Word of God, and seek not to profane its sanctity or to debase its exalted character.

    O heedless ones! Though the wonders of My mercy have encompassed all created things, both visible and invisible, and though the revelations of My grace and bounty have permeated every atom of the universe, yet the rod with which I can chastise the wicked is grievous, and the fierceness of Mine anger against them terrible.

    With ears that are sanctified from vain-glory and worldly desires hearken unto the counsels which I, in My merciful kindness, have revealed unto you, and with your inner and outer eyes contemplate the evidences of My marvelous Revelation....

    ~ Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 323
     
  19. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Create in me a pure heart, O my God, and renew a tranquil conscience within me, O my Hope! [​IMG]

    Through the spirit of power confirm Thou me in Thy Cause, O my Best-Beloved, and by the light of Thy glory reveal unto me Thy path, O Thou the Goal of my desire! [​IMG]
    Through the power of Thy transcendent might lift me up unto the heaven of Thy holiness, O Source of my being, and by the breezes of Thine eternity gladden me, O Thou Who art my God! [​IMG]
    Let Thine everlasting melodies breathe tranquillity on me, O my Companion, and let the riches of Thine ancient countenance deliver me from all except Thee, O my Master, and let the tidings of the revelation of Thine incorruptible Essence bring me joy, O Thou Who art the most manifest of the manifest and the most hidden of the hidden! [​IMG]

    - Bahá'u'lláh

     
  20. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    This Holy Land hath been mentioned and extolled in all the sacred Scriptures. In it have appeared the Prophets of God and His chosen Ones.

    This is the wilderness in which all the Messengers of God have wandered, from which their cry, "Here am I, here am I, O my God" was raised. [​IMG]


    This is the promised Land in which He Who is the Revelation of God was destined to be made manifest.

    This is the Vale of God's unsearchable decree, the snow-white Spot, the Land of unfading splendor.

    Whatever hath come to pass in this Day hath been foretold in the Scriptures of old.

    These same Scriptures, however, unanimously condemn the people that inhabit this land. [​IMG]


    They have, at one time, been stigmatized as the "generation of vipers." Behold how this wronged One is now, whilst surrounded by a "generation of vipers," calling aloud and summoning all men to Him Who is the world's Ultimate Desire, the Summit and Day Spring of Glory.

    Happy is the man that hath hearkened to the voice of Him Who is the Lord of the Kingdom of Utterance, and woe betide the heedless, they that have strayed far from His truth. [​IMG]




    ~ Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 343
     

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