Original English


O God, O God, I glorify thee O my Lord, my Hope, my Beloved and the Object of my life. Verily thou knowest my humility, my evanescence, my poverty, my agitation and my shortcomings. I call on thee with a heart overflowing with Thy love, a spirit rejoiced by the outpourings of Thy oneness, and a soul resting in Thy commemoration and praise.

O Lord, O Lord, verily these are souls who are attracted to the kingdom of Thy holiness, hearts enkindled with the fire of Thy love and spirits soaring toward the atmosphere of Thy grace.

O Lord, O Lord, illumine our eyes with the rays of the sun of Thy reality, suffer our ears to hear, under all circumstances, the call of Thy kingdom, the el-Abhá.[pg 47]

O Lord, O Lord, make us firm in Thy cause, humble before Thy majesty, acknowledging Thy dominion, arising in Thy service and being engaged in Thy adoration.

Verily Thou art the Clement; verily Thou art the Omnipotent; verily Thou art the Merciful of the most merciful.

I pray for your health and happiness. Consider the distance I have traveled and reflect on the great desire I have ever felt to meet you. Praise be to God, through his bounty this meeting has been consummated. Happy are we to be gathered in one assemblage. My greatest happiness is the hope that we may meet one another in the kingdom of Abhá, even as we meet here. May the effulgences of the splendor of God shine upon each one of us.

Praise be to God, that through the sufferings of Bahá’u’lláh souls are educated. Many there are shining from the horizon of eternal glory who sacrificed all, even to their lives and while under the sword cried, “Yá-Bahá’u’l-Abhá!” with radiant joy reflecting the power of Bahá’u’lláh. For love of him more than twenty thousand have quaffed the cup of martyrdom. While under the sword they danced with exultant joy. European[pg 48] historians bear witness to these facts and even the enemies of this cause have recorded stories of the martyrdoms, reputing to Bahá’u’lláh a supernatural power.

I wish to tell you the story of two martyrs; one was a Persian nobleman, a favorite at court, possessed of much wealth and known throughout all the country. When it was discovered that he was a follower of Bahá’u’lláh, this glorious man was taken into custody and in company with another thrown into prison without food or water. The third day one of them requested the jailer to give him a cup of tea. Struck with his attitude of humility, the jailer did as requested; thanking him the prisoner said: “I am exceedingly sorry to trouble you, but pray have a little patience with our requests tonight, for tomorrow night we shall be the guests of God.”

On the fourth day they were taken out of prison and two bears were made to dance before them; also several monkeys were brought, in order to humiliate them. Sulaymán Ḵhán and his friend were taken into a room, their breasts lacerated and in the yawning apertures lighted candles were placed. In Persia this is considered the most degrading form of torture.

Then they started on parade through the town. Sulaymán Ḵhán looking about him said: “There is no need for this commotion. Why such ado about our death? Verily, this is our wedding feast and we are very happy.” Accompanied by a band and followed by many people,[pg 49] they were paraded through the bazaars and streets of the city. People pricked them with long needles, saying, “Dance for us!” With unflinching courage and exultant joy they walked along; from morn till eve walked they through the city. When the candles burned down, they were renewed by the jailers.

All the time our heroes were calm and happy and as they marched they smiled at the people on the right and left of them and looking heavenward murmured prayers. Finally they arrived at the outer gates of the city where each was cut into four pieces.

Ṭihrán has four high gates and a section of their bodies adorned either side of the gates. Even while being dismembered, Sulaymán Ḵhán was praying and supplicating God. This story will be found in a history compiled by an enemy of this cause, for all has been recorded by the S̱háh’s historians. At the end, the historian says of Sulaymán Ḵhán “This man was possessed by an evil spirit.” This account shows how readily the believers of God give their lives, how self-sacrificing they are, eternally firm and steadfast. These illumined souls are the result of the light of Bahá’u’lláh, who attracted them to the kingdom of God with such reflective power that like fixed stars these martyrs will ever shine from the horizon of Abhá.

Ponder on this story that you may understand the mystic power of sacrifice, of faithfulness,[pg 50] how these martyrs were stirred with the good news of the new dawn.

Let us make a comparison with the days of Christ. He had eleven disciples only, for the twelfth was the cause of his crucifixion. The leader of the apostles was Peter and on the night of the crucifixion his faith was shaken and he thrice denied Christ, through afterwards he became firm.

All were shaken but Mary Magdalen. She was a veritable lioness. She gathered the others together and said, “Why do ye mourn? Did not the Christ foretell his crucifixion? Arise, and be assured. They have killed but the body; the reality can never die, for it is supreme, eternal, the word of God, the son of God. Why, therefore, are ye agitated?” Thus this heroine became the cause of re-establishing the faith of the apostles.

My hope is that each one of you may become as Mary Magdalen — for this woman was superior to all the men of her time and her reality is ever shining from the horizon of Christ.

Be pure — to be pure is to be selfless.