perhaps first extended reference to Baha'u'llah in a western newspaper - and meets `Abdu'l-Baha (unnamed - just "son")

smkolins Member Photo

Clipped by smkolins

TUB BABX OF PEKSIA. TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES. Sir, Notices of the rise of a new quati Christian sect in Persia have, I believe, appeared from time to time in Bag Hah newspapers. Little, however, appears to be known open the subject in this country, and the following Infor mation may therefore be acceptable to many of your reader. Of. ail the follower or Mahomet the Metawely of Persia are among the inost bigoted and fanatical. Not only will they not eat or drink with Christians, but they dash to piece any veaeel belonging to themout of which a Christian ha drunk, gather their garments round them a they pass a Christian is the street lett they should be contaminated by contact with him, and should any Christian book be tn their way they remove it with tenia rather than defile themselves by touching it. About 30 year ago some intelli gent aad thoughtful member of theaect, of good position and education, were led by this very excess of bigotry to inquire iato tha reason of it, and, having procured from some Christians copies of the e w Testament in the Arabia lan guage, devoted themselves to it careful study. The result of their investigation was that they became convinced of its truth, sccepted it as the Word of God. and embraced its doctrine. They did not, however. abandon their faith la Mahomet as a prophet of God, and the Koran at a divinely inspired book, but believed themselves able to reconcile the hitherto antagonistic creed of Islam and Christianity. Their doctrine, which received the name of Bab el Hnk (door of truth), spread rapidly, and in the coarse of a few year was professed by 200,000 persons. A persecution now arose, during which 20,000 adherent of the new doctrine were slain, and it founder, known as Bebeyah Allah, took refuge with a amall band of friends at Bazdad. Here he continued to hold communication with his followers in Persia, and exercised so much influence that the Government of that country requested the Sultan of Turkey to remove him from such dangerous proximity to soma place where he could lee easily ha communicated with. - He waa acoordinglv seat to Edaraay, aad eubeequentiy to another fortress where he sow is. In the spring of the present year I had an opportunity of visiting the Bah in their place of confinement. Bebeyah Allah himself does not readily concede aa interview to stranger, and receive only such at art deal root of .obtaining from him instruction in religious truth. Vr e were received by hi son, who i apparently about 30 year of age, and has a fine intellectual countenance, with black hair aad beard, and that sallow, melancholia look which distinguishes. nearly all Persians of the intelligent and religions class, tit ws dressed la aerobe of white nan net, with cap of the same material, and a small white tur ban. Over' biashoulders was thrown a brown cloth abbit. He appeared pleased to see us, but objected to answer ques tions respecting the origin aad history of th sect. Let o (peak of. things spiritual," he aaid, " what you are now asking m 1 ef no importance.'' But oa our telling him that people in. England would naturally be curious to Know in w&as way ao remarkable a reliaioas move ment had arisen, aad who ware the originator of it, be give u the information her detailed. Ha bad remarkably earnest, almost solemn manner, spoke excellent Arable fluently, aad showed a minute and accurate knowledge of the Old and New Tattamanti, aa well a an acquaintance with the history of religious thought la Europe. Our Interview lasted two hears, during the whole of wmen time aa animator! conversation was main tained, ike ai true. Oriental, he seldom gave a direct answer to a question upon any point of doctrine, but replied by another question, or by aa illustration, bis object throughout apparently being to convince bis questioners of what he considered to be truth. He seemed te speak a one coosetooa c?osasing superior light as a great teacher might paak to his disciple. " Why," he Inquired, " did not tha:Jw,'Who at th time of our Lord i advent were io expectation of their Messiah, believe oa him !" And, aesenUng to our reply that it was because they misunderstood the Scriptures, he asked whether it might not be the ease that Christians in like manner now misunderstood the Scripture the Inference (not expressed) being that hit father, waa aent by God to teach the true doctrine. We did not' obtain from him a clear atatament of the vie wa of the sect with, reference to his father character aad office, but. a very' intelligent convert subsequently in formed us that be was (at least by aome) believed to be the angel spoken of in the first vers of the 18th chapter of BeTclation.' Th fundamental doctrines of the sect we eteertaibed to be L That Christ ia the Son of God and the Saviour of the world. 2. Tbat he died and rose again. 3. That justification is br faith In him. i. That th new birth la necessary - to salvation and good works as aa evidence of it a. That th Holy Spirit operating upon th heart produce this nw birth. They have no priests aad no baptism. Circameision is practised among them, but Is net essential. They have several works written by Beheyah and other members of the aeet, but it doe not appear that these are regarded as authoritative. They believe that Christ will return, but piritually. Beheyah Allah la aaid to have arrived at the truth aolely byatudyof the; Word of - God. It it believed that be ha at present 70,000 or 80,000 follower in Persia, bat not openly prof eased. When persecuted they do not fight or rit,but are ready to die for their opinion. Between 70 aadfSOahar the exile and imprisonment of their leader. They are allowed considerable liberty within the walla of the city, Bebeyah alone being confined to his house. "iThey are allowed about 5d. a dayi per man by the Turkish Government. It is 15 years since they Lift their native country and between two aad three nuce they were brought to their present place of confinement. Thia remarkable movement and it history are suggestive of many reflections. In ita religious, social, and political aspects it It full of Interest, and it seem surprising that public attention has not been earlier drawn to it. Some may be dispotad to ask whether England, Bibla - Iaviag aad freedom - loving - it is her boast to be, baa no voice to raise in behalf of men wham aha, by her Bibles, hat probably, been the unooascioua means of enlightening, aad whose en - li - htnmert appears te be their only crime. From all that I could learn, that people lead pure aad harmless Uvea, and bold no political opiniona which could render them danger ous. ! But ta subject ha a wider interest than that involved in th fate of these individual. A question as great aa any that have ever agitata! the world ia beginning to prees for settlement namely, whether the progress of enlixhten - Bient, and, in particular, of Chriatiaa enlightenment among Mahometan races is to be stopped by toe rude hand of persecution aad massacre. It is not in Persia alone that this question U presenting itself. Tour obedient servant, THOMAS CHAPLIN', M.D. 16, Iincola'a - Iaa - Ccld.

Clipped from
  1. The Times,
  2. 05 Oct 1871, Thu,
  3. Page 8

smkolins Member Photo
  • — perhaps first extended reference to Baha'u'llah in a western newspaper - and meets `Abdu'l-Baha (unnamed - just "son")

    Clipped by smkolins – 28 Mar 2013

Want to comment on this Clipping? Sign up for a free account, or sign in