God Passes By
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THE MINISTRY OF THE BAB 1844- 1853
The Birth of the Babi Revelation May 23, 1844, signalizes the commencement of the most turbulent period of the Heroic Age of the Baha'i Era, an age which marks the opening of the most glorious epoch in the greatest cycle which the spiritual history of mankind has yet witnessed. No more than a span of nine short years marks the duration of this most spectacular, this most tragic, this most eventful period of the first Baha'i century. It was ushered in by the birth of a Revelation whose Bearer posterity will acclaim as the "Point round Whom the realities of the Prophets and Messengers revolve," and terminated with the first stirrings of a still more potent Revelation, "whose day," Baha'u'llah Himself affirms, "every Prophet hath announced," for which "the soul of every Divine Messenger hath thirsted," and through which "God hath proved the hearts of the entire company of His Messengers and Prophets." Little wonder that the immortal chronicler of the events associated with the birth and rise of the Baha'i Revelation has seen fit to devote no less than half of his moving narrative to the description of those happenings that have during such a brief space of time so greatly enriched, through their tragedy and heroism, the religious annals of mankind. In sheer dramatic power, in the rapidity with which events of momentous importance succeeded each other, in the holocaust which baptized its birth, in the miraculous circumstances attending the martyrdom of the One Who had ushered it in, in the potentialities with which it had been from the outset so thoroughly impregnated, in the forces to which it eventually gave birth, this nine- year period may well rank as unique in the whole range of man's religious experience. We behold, as we survey the episodes of this first act of a sublime drama, the figure of its Master Hero, the Bab, arise meteor- like above the horizon of Shiraz, traverse the sombre sky of Persia from south to north, decline with tragic swiftness, and perish in a blaze of glory. We see His satellites, a galaxy of God- intoxicated heroes, mount above that same horizon, irradiate that same incandescent light, burn themselves out with that self- same swiftness, and impart in their turn an added impetus to the steadily gathering momentum of God's nascent Faith.
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