A number of other important themes are addressed in this work as well: the cause of the rejection of the Prophets of the past; the danger of a literal reading of scripture; the meaning of the signs and portents of the Bible concerning the advent of the new Manifestation; the continuity of divine revelation; intimations of Baha’u’llah’s own approaching declaration; the significance of such symbolic terms as “the Day of Judgement”, “the Resurrection”, “attainment to the Divine Presence”, and “life and death”; and the stages of the spiritual quest through “the Garden of Search”, “the City of Love and Rapture”, “the City of Divine Unity”, “the Garden of Wonderment”, “the City of Absolute Nothingness”, “the City of Immortality”, and “the City that hath no name or description”.
The publication of Gems of Divine Mysteries is one of the projects undertaken in fulfilment of the Five Year Plan goal, announced in April 2001, of “enriching the translations into English from the Holy Texts”. The volume will further deepen the Western reader’s appreciation of a period infused with potentiality and described by Shoghi Effendi as “the vernal years of Baha’u’llah’s ministry”, and assist the students of His Revelation in gaining a more profound insight into its gradual unfoldment.
The essence of the divine mysteries in the journeys of ascent set forth for those who long to draw nigh unto God, the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving—blessed be the righteous that quaff from these crystal streams!
He is the exalted, the most high!
1 O thou who treadest the path of justice and beholdest the countenance of mercy! Thine epistle was received, thy question was noted, and the sweet accents of thy soul were heard from the inmost chambers of thy heart. Whereupon the clouds of the Divine Will were raised to rain upon thee the outpourings of heavenly wisdom, to divest thee of all that thou hadst acquired aforetime, to draw thee from the realms of contradiction unto the retreats of oneness, and to lead thee to the sacred streams of His Law. Perchance thou mayest quaff therefrom, repose therein, quench thy thirst, refresh thy soul, and be numbered with those whom the light of God hath guided aright in this day.
2 Encompassed as I am at this time by the dogs of the earth and the beasts of every land, concealed as I remain in the hidden habitation of Mine inner Being, forbidden as I may be from divulging that which God hath bestowed upon Me of the wonders of His knowledge, the gems of His wisdom, and the tokens of His power, yet am I loath to frustrate the hopes of one who hath approached the sanctuary of grandeur, sought to enter within the precincts of eternity, and aspired to soar in the immensity of this creation at the dawning of the divine decree. I shall therefore relate unto thee certain truths from among those which God hath vouchsafed unto Me, this only to the extent that souls can bear and minds endure, lest the malicious raise a clamour or the dissemblers hoist their banners. I implore God to graciously aid Me in this, for unto such as beseech Him, He is the All-Bounteous, and of those who show mercy, He is the Most Merciful.