Reality, Soul and
the Worlds of God
 
II.   Three Conditions of Existence in Reality
C.   The Greater World: The Kingdom of the Manifestation of God
7.   The Purpose of God’s Manifestation
[from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:]
213.….the Source of infinite grace…hath caused those luminous Gems of Holiness to appear out of the realm of the spirit, in the noble form of the human temple, and be made manifest unto all men, that they may impart unto the world the mysteries of the unchangeable Being, and tell of the subtleties of His imperishable Essence.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 106, p. 91)
214.We had no other purpose except to edify the souls of men, and to exalt the blessed Word.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 166)
215.These Essences of Detachment, these resplendent Realities are the channels of God’s all-pervasive grace. Led by the light of unfailing guidance, and invested with supreme sovereignty, They are commissioned to use the inspiration of Their words, the effusions of Their infallible grace and the sanctifying breeze of Their Revelation for the cleansing of every longing heart and receptive spirit from the dross and dust of earthly cares and limitations.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XXVII, p. 67)
216.The Ancient Beauty hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind may be released from its bondage, and hath accepted to be made a prisoner within this most mighty Stronghold that the whole world may attain unto true liberty.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XLV, p. 99)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:]
217.These Holy Souls are like the leaves of a tree which are put in motion by the blowing of the wind, and not by Their own desire; for They are attracted by the breeze of the love of God, and Their will is absolutely submissive. Their word is the word of God; Their commandment is the commandment of God; Their prohibition is the prohibition of God. They are like the glass globe which receives light from the lamp. Although the light appears to emanate from the glass, in reality it is shining from the lamp. In the same way for the Prophets of God, the centers of manifestation, Their movement and repose come from divine inspiration, not from human passions. If it were not so, how could the Prophet be worthy of trust, and how could He be the Messenger of God, delivering the commands and the prohibitions of God? All the defects that are mentioned in the Holy Books with reference to the Manifestations refer to questions of this kind.
 Praise be to God that you have come here and have met the servants of God! Have you perceived in them anything except the fragrance of the pleasure of God? Indeed, no. You have seen with your own eyes that day and night they endeavor and strive, and that they have no aim except the exaltation of the word of God, the education of men, the improvement of the masses, spiritual progress, the promulgation of universal peace, goodwill to all mankind, and kindness toward all nations. Sacrificing themselves for the good of humanity, they are detached from material advantages, and labor to give virtues to mankind.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 44: “Explanation of the Rebukes Addressed by God to the Prophets”, p. 168)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (no authority):]
218.Only by improving spiritually as well as materially can we make any real progress, and become perfect beings. It was in order to bring this spiritual life and light into the world that all the great Teachers have appeared. They came so that the Sun of Truth might be manifested, and shine in the hearts of men, and that through its wondrous power men might attain unto Everlasting Light.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “Material and Spiritual Progress, November 2nd,” p. 63)
219.God has sent forth the Prophets for the purpose of quickening the soul of man into higher and divine recognitions.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace, “2 September 1912, Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. William Sutherland Maxwell, 716 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Canada, from Stenographic Notes”, p. 310)
220.God has purposed that the darkness of the world of nature shall be dispelled and the imperfect attributes of the natal self be effaced in the effulgent reflection of the Sun of Truth. The mission of the Prophets of God has been to train the souls of humanity and free them from the thralldom of natural instincts and physical tendencies. They are like unto Gardeners, and the world of humanity is the field of Their cultivation, the wilderness and untrained jungle growth wherein They proceed to labor. They cause the crooked branches to become straightened, the fruitless trees to become fruitful, and gradually transform this great wild, uncultivated field into a beautiful orchard producing wonderful abundance and outcome.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace, “2 September 1912, Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. William Sutherland Maxwell, 716 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Canada, from Stenographic Notes”, p. 310)
221.Notwithstanding His knowledge of what would befall Him, He [Jesus] arose to proclaim His message, suffered all tribulation and hardships from the people and finally offered His life as a sacrifice in order to illumine humanity—gave His blood in order to guide the world of mankind. He accepted every calamity and suffering in order to guide men to the truth.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace, “29 November 1912, Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Kinney, 780 West End Avenue, New York, Notes by Esther Foster”, p. 450)