Selections From the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá
16: O ye illumined loved ones and ye handmaids of the ...
O ye illumined loved ones and ye handmaids of the Merciful! At a time when the sombre night of ignorance,
of neglect of the divine world, of being veiled from God,
had overspread the earth, a bright morning dawned and a
rising light lit up the eastern sky. Then rose the Sun of
Truth and the splendours of the Kingdom were shed over
east and west. Those who had eyes to see rejoiced at the
glad tidings and cried out: `O blessed, blessed are we!', and
they witnessed the inner reality of all things, and uncovered
the mysteries of the Kingdom. Delivered then from their
fancies and their doubts, they beheld the light of truth, and
so exhilarated did they become from draining the chalice of
God's love, that they utterly forgot the world and their
own selves. Dancing for joy they hastened to the place of
their own martyrdom and there, where men die for love,
they flung away their heads and hearts.
But those with unseeing eyes were astonished at this
tumult, and they cried, `Where is the light?' and again, `We
see no light! We see no rising sun! Here is no truth. This is
but fantasy and nothing more.' Bat-like they fled into the
underground dark, and there, to their way of thinking, they
found a measure of security and peace.
This, however, is but the beginning of the dawn, and the
heat of the rising Orb of Truth is not yet at the fullness of
its power. Once the sun hath mounted to high noon, its
fires will burn so hot as to stir even the creeping things
beneath the earth; and although it is not for them to behold
the light, yet will they all be set in frenzied motion by the
impact of the heat.
Wherefore, O ye beloved of God, offer up thanks that ye
have, in the day of the dawning, turned your faces unto the
Light of the World and beheld its splendours. Ye have
received a share of the light of truth, ye have enjoyed a
portion of those blessings that endure forever; and therefore,
as a returning of thanks for this bounty, rest ye not
for a moment, sit ye not silent, carry to men's ears the glad
tidings of the Kingdom, spread far and wide the Word of
Act in accordance with the counsels of the Lord: that is,
rise up in such wise, and with such qualities, as to endow
the body of this world with a living soul, and to bring this
young child, humanity, to the stage of adulthood. So far as
ye are able, ignite a candle of love in every meeting, and
with tenderness rejoice and cheer ye every heart. Care for
the stranger as for one of your own; show to alien souls the
same loving kindness ye bestow upon your faithful friends.
Should any come to blows with you, seek to be friends
with him; should any stab you to the heart, be ye a healing
salve unto his sores; should any taunt and mock at you,
meet him with love. Should any heap his blame upon you,
praise ye him; should he offer you a deadly poison, give him
the choicest honey in exchange; and should he threaten
your life, grant him a remedy that will heal him evermore.
Should he be pain itself, be ye his medicine; should he be
thorns, be ye his roses and sweet herbs. Perchance such ways
and words from you will make this darksome world turn
bright at last; will make this dusty earth turn heavenly, this
devilish prison place become a royal palace of the Lord--so
that war and strife will pass and be no more, and love and
trust will pitch their tents on the summits of the world.
Such is the essence of God's admonitions; such in sum are
the teachings for the Dispensation of Bahá.