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Extracts from the USBN (part 1)

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U.S. BAHA'I NEWS

COMPILATION OF LETTERS AND EXTRACTS OF WRITINGS FROM THE GUARDIAN PUBLISHED IN THE BAHA'I NEWS OF THE UNITED STATES

[December 1924 - November 1934] [No. 1 to No. 88]

No. 1 - December 1924 - page 3

The time is indeed ripe for the manifold activities, wherein the servants and handmaids of Baha'u'llah are so devoutly and earnestly engaged, to be harmonized and conducted with unity, cooperation and efficiency, that the effect of such a combined and systematized effort, through which an All-Powerful Spirit is steadily pouring, may transcend every other achievement of the past, however glorious it has been, and may stand, now that, to the eyes of the outside world the glorious Person of the Master is no more, a convincing testimony of the potency of His everliving Spirit.

No. 2 - January 1925 - between page 3 and 4

To my dear friends and fellow-workers, the members of the American National Spiritual Assembly

c/o the Secretary, Mr. Horace Holley, New York City, U.S.A.

My Friends and Fellow-Workers:-

The letters which our able and devoted friend, Mr. Horace Holley, has addressed in your behalf to the Greatest Holy Leaf and myself have all been received, and, together with their enclosures, read with the closest attention. It is indeed highly gratifying to observe that notwithstanding the strain and stress of the critical period through which our beloved Cause is passing, the elected representatives of the friends in America have, with unflinching faith, undaunted courage, and conspicuous ability, perse[r]vered in their task and fulfilled their arduous duties.

The splendid contribution you have made to the efforts of your fellow-workers in England in connection with the Conference on the Living Religions within the British Empire, we all heartily appreciate and regard as a fresh evidence of the growing power and solidarity of the Cause of God. Both in the admirable paper which you arranged to be drafted and prepared, and in the person of your devout, trusted and talented President, who performed his duty with absolute fidelity and high distinction, you have rendered the Cause of Baha'u'llah a fresh and distinguished service. May the results achieved lend a fresh impetus to the onward march of the Cause in the West.

The recent measures you have adopted in view of the necessity of promoting fuller confidence and a greater measure of understanding and cooperation between the body of the believers and the local and National Assemblies, will, I am confident, be of the greatest value, and indicate clearly that you are fully aware of the true position, the privileges and responsibilities of every Baha'i Assembly.

We all long to hasten by wise and effective measures the completion of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, and we fervently supplicate the All-Bountiful to bless richly our Teaching work that our numbers may be reinforced in time by men who with sufficient means at their disposal may voluntarily and abundantly support this vast and noble endeavor. I trust that you will encounter no further obstacles in receiving the necessary support to meet the immediate needs of this Universal House of Worship as decided at your recent general gathering in Chicago.

The Star of the West, the latest issues of which I have read with genuine satisfaction, has admittedly made a notable advance towards the ideal which the Master has set before it. Articles on broad humanitarian lines, well-conceived, adequately treated, and powerfully presented, should have their proper place in every issue together with such accounts of the History and the teachings of the Cause as will portray to the Baha'i and non-Baha'i alike the unique beauty as well as the compelling power of the Baha'i spirit. Matters political and partisan in character should be carefully avoided as they would eventually lead to entanglements that would be not only futile but positively harmful. As regards the Persian Section: I feel that in view of the severe restrictions imposed on the friends in Persia its temporary suspension would be well-advised, particularly as it makes such a disproportionate demand on the meagre resources of the friends in America.

The increasing efforts displayed by my beloved brothers and sisters in America, both individually and collectively, and the action taken by you in constituting regional Teaching Committees are of vital importance to the spread of the Cause in the present stage of our work. I feel that we should all collaborate in widening its scope, intensifying its influence, assuring its continuity, and endeavoring to subordinate every other activity to this most urgent and vital task. It is our bounden duty to do all in our power to give the Cause from day to day a fuller publicity, to maintain and stimulate the interest aroused, and to concentrate at the same time our attention on a chosen few, endeavoring tactfully and persistently to make of them earnest and unreserved supporters of the Baha'i Faith.

I am deeply conscious of the manifold and unavoidable difficulties that confront you in your labors for the administration of the affairs of the Cause. Vast distances; personal professional pre-occupations; insufficient number of capable and experienced teachers, unhampered by the necessity of earning their means of livelihood; the inadequacy of the means at your disposal, financial and otherwise; the prevailing tendencies in the general thought, sentiment, and manners of the people in whose midst you work - all these, though insuperable obstacles at present, will, if we stand steadfast and faithful, be one by one removed, and pave the way for the ultimate ascendency of the Cause and the fruition and triumph of our labors.

As to the projected prayer-book, I feel the need for a specially prepared compilation of the prayers of Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha designed for the general public which would both prove of value for devotional purposes and act as a fresh incentive to eager and inquiring minds. I am enclosing copies of prayers which you may have not yet received and trust to send you more in future. I should be glad to receive any particulars you might wish me to consider in this connection.

Our untiring and devoted sister, Dr. Moody, (the handmaid of the Most High), has had to her profound regret to discontinue for a time the invaluable and unique services she has been rendering to the Cause in Persia. She is proceeding to America, and will familiarize you with the deplorable state of affairs in that unhappy country. You will get first-hand information from her regarding the present condition and activities of our long-suffering friends in Persia, and she will take counsel with you as to the best way to meet the needs and serve the Cause of Education in Tihran. I hope and pray that as soon as circumstances permit, the friends in America may enable Dr. Moody to take back with her to Persia suitable, capable and ardent collaborators who will contribute their distinct share towards the uplift and the advancement of their brethren and sisters in that land.

Concerning the magazine "Reality," I feel we must make it unmistak[e]ably plain to those in charge of it that the Baha'is would gladly and gratefully respond to the invitation to cooperate with those that are responsible for it immediately they are fully satisfied that nothing is or will be published by them, whether in the magazine or elsewhere, that would, however indirectly, prejudice or reflect upon their conception of what the Baha'i Movement is or stands for. Should this be refused, and unfriendly and harmful matters be published against them, the attitude of all of us should be a definite refusal to help and absolute non-interference, as well as the absence of any form of retaliation which will instead of achieving our end defeat our purpose. We should leave him in the hands of God.

Page 2

As to the suggestion of the Annual Convention being held next summer at Green Acre, I believe it to be both wise and helpful, and trust that it will forge another link between the Baha'is as a body and its founders and trustees, and will serve to draw them closer and closer to the outward form as well as to the spirit of the activities of the friends in America.

The financial help extended recently by the friends in America to their fellow-workers of the Faith in Qadiyan, Punjab, has given us all intense satisfaction and made us deeply grateful. Their contribution has immediately been forwarded to them through the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma, and will, I am certain, enhance the prestige and the influence of the Cause.

I feel that the conditions are now favorable for the circulation of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha only in manuscript form and among recognized believers in America. Every such believer should be trusted with a single copy with the express understanding that no duplicate copies or extracts of it be made or published anywhere.

The suggestion made by my dear and able friend, Mr. Horace Holley, as to the compilation of an annual "Baha'i Year Book" is extremely valuable and timely. I am much impressed by it, and feel that an immediate start should be made. I believe it can best be now undertaken under the direction and supervision of your Assembly until the time should come for the friends in the East and particularly Persia to participate effectually in its development. I trust you will send me a copy of the skeleton of the material you propose to include, and I shall here attempt to fill up any gap and render any assistance I can to make it as comprehensive, as attractive, and as authoritative as possible.

I am sending through my dear brother, Mr. M. Mills, various relics and Tablets of our beloved 'Abdu'l-Baha, the only and priceless treasures of the devoted gardener of Baha'u'llah's Shrine, Ustad Abu'l-Qasim Khurasani, who has offered them to be preserved on his behalf in the Archives of the friends in America. I am hoping to be able to send you in future precious additions to what the Archives Committee has already collected, and may I in this connection express to those who have conceived so admirable a plan my profound admiration and heartfelt gratitude.

I wish to assure you in conclusion of my readiness and genuine desire to help you and serve you to the utmost of my ability. I fully realize the enormous burden that weighs on your shoulders, and am constantly mindful of the distinct and eminent share you are contributing to the advancement of the Cause. I wish you from the depths of my heart entire satisfaction in your glorious work. Our beloved Master is surely watching from the Realm Beyond over His children whom He nurtured and loved so well, and will certainly guide you in every step you take, and crown your patient efforts with signal success.

Your brother and fellow-worker.

(signed) SHOGHI

Haifa, Palestine,

November 27, 1924.

No. 3 - March 1925 - page 1

That the Cause of God should, in the days to come, witness many a challenging hour and pass through critical stages , in preparation for the glories of its promised ascendency in the new world has been time and again, undeniably affirmed by our departed Master, and is abundantly proved to us all by its heroic past and turbulent history. And yet, if it is the lot of the chosen ones of God, the people of Baha, to face adversity and suffer tribulation before achieving ultimate victory, are we to believe that whatever befalls us is divinely ordained, and in no wise the result of our faint-heartedness and negligence?

No. 3 - March 1925 - page 2

Cablegram

Flood destroyed 500 Baha'i homes in Nayriz. Grave disaster. May America contribute her share.

No. 4 - April 1925 - page 1

With these Assemblies, local as well as national, harmoniously, vigorously, and efficiently functioning throughout the Baha'i world, the only means for the establishment of the Supreme House of Justice will have been assured. And when this Supreme Body will have been properly established, it will have to consider afresh the whole situation, and lay down the principle which shall direct, as long as it deems advisable, the affairs of the Cause.

Pending its establishment, and to insure uniformity throughout the East and throughout the West, all local Assemblies will have to be re-elected once a year, during the first day of Ridvan, and the result of polling, if possible, be declared on that day.

No. 5 - May-June 1925, page 1 (Seventeenth Annual Convention of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada. Green Acre, Maine, July 6th, 7th and 8th, 1925)

I am deeply convinced that if the annual Convention of the friends in America, as well as the National Spiritual Assembly, desire to become potent instruments for the speedy realization of the Beloved's fondest hopes for the future of that country, they should endeavor, first and foremost, to exemplify, in an increasing degree, to all Baha'is and to the world at large the high ideals of fellowship and service which Baha'u'llah and the beloved Master repeatedly set before them.

No. 5 - May-June 1925, page 3

Cablegram sent to the National Spiritual Assembly on April first, 1925:

Less than nine no representation. Proxy question left decision National

Assembly. Praying guidance.

No. 5 - May-June 1925 - page 4

I was delighted to hear of the progressive activities of that dearly-beloved spot, Green Acre, upon which the Master has bestowed his tender care and loving kindness, and of which we are all hopeful that it may become, whilst the work of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar is in progress, the focal center of the devotional, humanitarian, social and spiritual activities of the Cause. -- -

As to the suggestion of the Annual Convention being held next summer at Green Acre, I believe it to be both wise and helpful, and trust that it will forge another link between the Baha'is as a body and its founders and trustees, and will serve to draw them closer and closer to the outward form as well as to the spirit of the activities of the friends in America.

No. 6 - July-August 1925 - after page 5 (See "Baha'i Administration, page 86-89)

Message from Shoghi Effendi to the 1925 Convention

To the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful, the delegates and

visitors to the Baha'i Convention, Green Acre, Maine, U.S.A.

Fellow-laborers in the Vineyard of God:

Once again the hand of divine power has gathered together the chosen representatives of the American believers, assembled this time amid the pleasant surroundings of a blest and beloved spot, to deliberate upon the most effective measures that will insure the advancement of the Cause of Baha'u'llah. I feel it a pleasure and privilege to offer you these few thoughts as my humble contribution to the proceedings of your annual Convention.

May I at the outset reaffirm my feelings of gratitude and keen appreciation for the eminent share which the friends in America, individually as well as by their collective efforts have contributed to ease the burden of responsibility and care that has so often oppressed my heart. Your steadfastness, your unsparing devotion; your self-sacrifice in upholding and fostering the institutions of the Cause; the notable advance you have achieved in the coordination of your activities; the remarkable solicitude you have shown, and the magnificent response you have made on behalf of the oppressed and needy among your brethren; the measures you have initiated, the hindrances you have removed and the means and methods you have perfected - these and others beside have established you in the confidence, the esteem and the admiration of all the Baha'i world. I personally appreciate and am thankful for your unfailing supplications and special prayers on my behalf. I am deeply touched by your expressions of unwavering faith, of loyalty and affection, and fully reciprocate your brotherly sentiments and your keen desire and readiness to collaborate with me more closely and effectively than ever before.

And now regarding this forthcoming Convention, I feel that the dominating purpose inspiring the assembled friends, delegates and visitors alike, should be a two-fold one. The first is a challenge to the individual, the second a collective responsibility. The one seeks to reinforce the motive power of our spiritual activities, the second aims at raising the standard of administrative efficiency so vitally needed at this advanced stage of our work. We should first and foremost endeavor by every conceivable means to revitalize our precious Cause, rudely shaken by the constant vicissitudes attending the outward departure of a vigilant and gracious Master. Our next object should be to seek to approach, through more intimate association, fuller and more frequent consultations, and a closer familiarity with the character, the mission and the teachings of the Cause, that standard of excellence which should characterize the cooperative efforts of Baha'i Communities in every land.

High aims and pure motives, however laudable in themselves, will surely not suffice if unsupported by measures that are practicable and methods that are sound. Wealth of sentiment, abundance of good-will and effort, will prove of little avail if we should fail to exercise discrimination and restraint and neglect to direct their flow along the most profitable channels. The unfettered freedom of the individual should be tempered with mutual consultation and sacrifice, and the spirit of initiative and enterprise should be reinforced by a deeper realization of the supreme necessity for concerted action and a fuller devotion to the common weal.

It would be impossible at this stage to ignore the indispensability or to overestimate the unique significance of the institution of the National Spiritual Assembly - the pivot round which revolve the activities of the believers throughout the American continent. Supreme is their position, grave their responsibilities, manifold and arduous their duties. How great the privilege, how delicate the task of the assembled delegates whose function it is to elect such national representatives as would by their record of service ennoble and enrich the annals of the Cause! If we but turn our gaze to the high qualifications of the members of Baha'i Assemblies, as enumerated in 'Abdu'l-Baha' Tablets, we are filled with feelings unworthiness and dismay, and would feel truly disheartened but for the comforting thought that if we rise to play nobly your part every deficiency in our lives will be more than compensated by the all-conquering spirit of His grace and power. Hence it is incumbent upon the chosen delegates to consider without the least trace of passion and prejudice, and irrespective of any material consideration, the names of only those who can best combine the necessary qualities of unquestioned loyalty, of selfless devotion, of a well-trained mind, of recognized ability and mature experience. May the incoming National Spiritual Assembly - the privileged and chosen servants of the Cause - immortalize their term of stewardship by deeds of loving service, deeds that will redound to the honor, the glory and the power of the Most Great Name.

I would also earnestly entreat all the delegates at this coming Convention, and through them I appeal to the larger body of believers whom they represent, to ever bear in mind the supreme injunction of 'Abdu'l-Baha, to teach unceasingly until the "head cornerstone of the foundation" of the Cause of God is firmly established in every heart. Let those whose time, resources and means allow, travel throughout the length and breadth of that vast continent, let them scatter to the most distant regions of the earth and, fired with enthusiasm and detachment, hand on the torch of God's undying flame to the waiting multitudes of a sadly-stricken world.

One word more in conclusion. Let the West, and particularly the Great Republic of the New World, where a quarter of a century ago Baha'u'llah's Banner was firmly implanted, realize that upon it now rests the responsibility of achieving the universal recognition of the Baha'i Faith, of fulfilling 'Abdu'l-Baha's fondest hopes.

Persia, the cradle of an unfolding world civilization, is still bereft of her freedom, sunk in ignorance, a pray to contending policies and factions, beset on one hand by the powers of orthodoxy and sectarian fanaticism and assailed on the other by the forces of materialism and unbelief. In her evil plight she is radiantly confident that the Flame she had kindled in the world will, in the fullness of time, blaze forth in the heart of the mighty West and shed redeeming illumination upon the silent sufferers of a distracted country. Will it be America, will it be one of the nations of Europe, that will seize the torch of Divine Guidance from Persia's fettered hands and with it set the western world aflame? May your Convention, by its spirit, its resolutions and its accomplishments, give to that country's urgent call a noble and decisive answer.

Your brother and fellow-worker,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

June 3rd, 1925.

No. 6 - July-August 1925 - page 7

Cable from Shoghi Effendi sent through Bahiyyih Khanoum, 25 July 1925:

Guardian wires following: Heartily endorse Convention's choice. May America's National representatives fulfill our fondest expectations. Resumption Temple building operations conditioned upon raising full sum of four hundred thousand dollars. Abundant blessings shall crown your self-sacrifice.- SHOGHI.

(signed) BAHIYYIH.

No. 6 - July-August 1925 - page 7

Cablegram received in June from Shoghi Effendi:

Doctor Youness Kahn, distinguished member Persia's Assembly, visiting American Baha'is. Expecting far-reaching results from consultation with him. Praying for successful Convention.

No. 7 - September 1925 - between pages 2 and 3 (See "Baha'i Administration , pages 84-86)

To the members of the American National Assembly, care of the Secretary, Mr. H. Holley, New York City

Dearly-beloved fellow-workers:

I have read with deep interest your two recent communications dated April 4th and 18th, and am gratified to learn of the steady expansion of your manifold activities.

Regarding the method to be adopted for the election of the National Spiritual Assemblies, it is clear that the text of the Beloved's Testament gives us no indication as to the manner in which these Assemblies are to be elected. In one of His earliest Tablets, however, addressed to a friend in Persia, the following is expressly recorded:-

"At whatever time all the beloved of God in each country appoint their delegates, and these in turn elect their representatives, and these representatives elect a body, that body shall be regarded as the Supreme Baytu'l-'Adl (Universal House of Justice)."

These words clearly indicated that a three-stage election has been provided by 'Abdu'l-Baha for the formation if the International House of Justice, and as it is explicitly provided in His Will and Testament that the "Secondary House of Justice (i.e., National Assemblies) must elect the members of the Universal One," it is obvious that the members of the National Spiritual Assemblies will have to be indirectly elected by the body of the believers in their respective provinces. In view of these complementary instructions the principle, set forth in my letter of March 12th, 1923, has been established requiring the believers (the beloved of God) in every country to elect a certain number of delegates who, in turn, will elect their national representatives (Secondary House of Justice or National Spiritual Assembly) whose sacred obligation and privilege will be to elect in time God's Universal House of Justice.

Should the appointing of the delegates be made a part of the function of local Spiritual Assemblies, who are already elected bodies, the principle of a four-stage election would be introduced which would be at variance with the provisions explicitly laid down in the Master's Tablet. On the other hand, were the local Spiritual Assemblies, the number of whose members is strictly confined to nine, to elect directly the members of the National Spiritual Assembly - thus maintaining the principle of a three-stage election - all Baha'i localities, which must necessarily differ in numerical strength, would then have to share equally in the election of the National Spiritual Assembly - a practice which would be contrary to fairness and justice. Moreover, the central principle guiding for the present the administration of the Cause has been to make the Baha'i National Spiritual Assemblies as independent as possible in the conduct of such affairs as fall within their province, and to lessen the hampering influence of any institution within their jurisdiction that might, whether directly or indirectly, impair their authority and prestige.

I would also strongly urge the members of every incoming National Spiritual Assembly to take all necessary steps to insure that every local Assembly throughout America, without any exception whatsoever, should immediately after its election send the complete list of its members together with the full address of its secretary to the National Secretary, who in turn will forward them to me directly, enclosing his own address as well as the list of the members of the National Spiritual Assembly. It would also be extremely helpful, should actual circumstances permit, to devise with the wholehearted assistance of every local Assembly ways and means for the compilation of an authoritative, up-to-date, and exhaustive list of recognized believers in America, supplemented by the full address of each believer's permanent residence - this list to be continually revised according to every change affecting the residence and number of such believers. This would be particularly advisable in view of the permanent residence of isolated believers in various parts of the country, as well as of those who form parts of groups as yet numerically too small for the formation of a local Spiritual Assembly. However desirable these steps may be, it is evident that they are secondary in their importance and urgency to the pressing and ever-increasing issues that vitally affect the spread and the consolidation of the work which you are called upon to perform, and which it is my privilege to assist in and serve. I am enclosing a preliminary list of Baha'i centers throughout the world, exclusive of Persia, which, though inadequate, may still, I trust, be of some help to you. I would welcome any additions or corrections you might be able to make and hope it will evolve into a valuable section of the contemplated Baha'i Year Book.

I wish to assure you, in conclusion, of my heartfelt appreciation of your devoted labors in the Divine Vineyard.

Your brother and fellow-worker,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

May 12, 1925.

No. 7 - September 1925 - page 3

The various Assemblies, local and national, constitute today the bedrock upon which the strength of the Universal House is in future to be firmly established and raised. Not until these function vigorously and harmoniously can the hope for the termination of this period of transition be relazied. (February 23, 1924.)

It would be impossible at this stage to ignore the indispensability or to overestimate the unique significance of the institution of the National Spiritual Assembly - the pivot round which revolve the activites of the believers throughout the American continent. Supreme is their position, grave their responsibilities, manifold and arduous their duties. (June 3, 1925)

No. 9 - December 1925 - January 1926 - page 1

To the Baha'is of the United States and Canada.

Dear friends in 'Abdu'l-Baha:

From time to time events take place which throw significant emphasis upon the interraltion of the Baha'i Cause and the world at large.

On November 4th the National Spiritual Assembly received the following cablegram from Shoghi Effendi:

"Irqa's highest tribunal unexpectedly pronounced verdict against us regarding Bagdad Houses. Situation of unprecedented gravity. Effective prompt action urgently required. Strongly urge National Spiritual Assembly and every local Assembly and group immediately communicate by cable and letter Iraq High Commissioner through British Consular authorities if feasible, protesting vigorously against courts glaring injustice, appealing for redress to British sense of fairness, asserting spiritual claims of Baha'is to this sanctified abode and declaring their unfailing resolve to do their utmost to vindicate their legitimate and sacred rights. Similar appropriate communications to King of Iraq and British central authorities. Highly desirable cable any suggestions. America's action in present circumstances of unique significance and value. Messages should not be identical in wording."

(Signed) "SHOGHI."

No. 9 - December 1925 - January 1926 - after page 8 (Also in "Baha'i Administration , pages 89-94)

To the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada.

My well-beloved friends:

The numerous communications which your distinguished Secretary has lately addressed on your behalf to the Greatest Holy Leaf and myself, have been eagerly perused and their contents carefully noted. The news they imparted and the spirit they revealed have caused us both genuine satisfaction, and have served to intensify the feelings of joyous confidence, of pride and gratitude with which we have greeted the inauguration of your term of service.

The notable advance achieved by this year's memorable Convention is, I am certain, attributable in no small measure to the energy, the thoroughness, the insight and the loving-kindness that have characterized in an unprecedented degree the activities of the outgoing National Spiritual Assembly. I am confident that the work of America's newly elected representatives, so splendidly and auspiciously begun, will further consolidate the labors of the past, will resolve to a great extent the problems and perplexities of the present, and open up fresh fields of future achievements and service.

I rejoice to learn that ways and means have been found to enable the National Secretary, who discharges in such an exemplary manner the manifold and exacting duties of a highly responsible position, to devote all his time to the pursuit of so meritorious a task. I am fully conscious of the privations and sacrifice which the choice of this arduous work must involve for him, as well as for his devoted and selfless companion; I cannot but admire and extol their heroic efforts; and wish to assure them both of my continued prayers for the speedy fruition of their earnest endeavors.

Regarding the very delicate and complex question of ascertaining the qualifications of a true believer, I cannot in this connection emphasize too strongly the supreme necessity for the exercise of the utmost discretion, caution and tact, whether it be in deciding for ourselves as to who may be regarded a true believer or in disclosing to the outside world such considerations as may serve as a basis for such a decision. I would only venture to state very briefly and as adequately as present circumstances permit the principal factors that must be taken into consideration before deciding whether a person may be regarded a true believer or not. Full recognition of the station of the Forerunner, the Author, and the True Exemplar of the Baha'i Cause, as set forth in 'Abdu'l-Baha's Testament; unreserved acceptance of, and submission to, whatsoever has been revealed by their Pen; loyal and steadfast adherence to every clause of our Beloved's sacred Will; and close association with the spirit as well as the form of the present day Baha'i administration throughout the world - these I conceive to be the fundamental and primary considerations that must be fairly, discreetly and thoughtfully ascertained before reaching such a vital decision. Any attempt at further analysis and elucidation will, I fear, land us in barren discussions and even grave controversies that would prove not only futile but even detrimental to the best interests of a growing Cause. I would therefore strongly urge those who are called upon to make such a decision to approach this highly involved and ever-recurring problem with the spirit of humble prayer, and earnest consultation, and to refrain from drawing rigidly the line of demarcation except on such occasions when the interests of the Cause absolutely demand it.

In connection with the annual holding of the Baha'i Convention and Congress, I feel that although such a representative body need not be convened necessarily every year, yet it is highly desirable, in view of the unique functions it fulfills in promoting harmony and good-will, in removing misunderstandings and in enhancing the prestige of the Cause, that the National Spiritual Assembly should exert itself to gather together annually the elected representatives of the American believers. It would in some ways be obviously convenient and eminently desirable though not absolutely essential, if the National Spiritual Assembly could arrange that the holding of such a Congress should synchronize with the time at which the national elections are renewed, and that both events should take place, if not on the first of Ridvan, at least during the twelve joyous days of what may be justly regarded as the foremost Baha'i Festival. Apart from the local elections, which universally are to be renewed on the 21st day of April, it is entirely left to the discretion of the National Spiritual Assembly to decide, after having given due consideration to the above mentioned observations, on whatever time and place the Baha'i Convention as well as the annual elections are to be held. Were the National Spiritual Assembly to decide, after mature deliberations, to omit the holding of the Baha'i Convention and Congress in a given year, then they could, only in such a case, devise ways and means to insure that the annual election of the National Spiritual Assembly should be held by mail, provided it can be conducted with sufficient thoroughness, efficiency and dispatch. It would also appear to me unobjectionable to enable and even to require in the last resort such delegates as cannot possibly undertake the journey to the seat of the Baha'i Convention to send their votes, for the election of the National Spiritual Assembly only, by mail to the National Secretary, as in my view the advantages of such a procedure outweigh the considerations referred to in your letter. It should, however, be made clear to every elected delegate - who should be continually reminded - that it is a sacred responsibility and admittedly preferable to attend if possible in person the sessions of the Convention, to take an active part in all its proceedings, and to acquaint his fellow-workers on his return with the accomplishments, the decisions and the aspirations of the assembled representatives of the American believers.

I am eagerly looking forward to your sending me in manuscript form the projected Baha'i Year Book, that I may be enabled to contribute my share in rendering it as comprehensive, as attractive, and as authoritative as possible. I strongly advise you to combine in a judicious manner the two methods outlined in this connection in your letter of September 2, 1925. A short, concise and forceful account of the primary objects, as well as of the principles underlying the worldwide administration of the Cause, together with a brief description of various features of the present day administration of its activities, supplemented with a not-too-detailed survey of the actual accomplishments and plans evolved in the current year, would serve to acquaint the outsider with the purpose and the achievements of the Cause, and provide sufficient material that would be edifying and helpful to the active believers whether in the East or in the West.

Touching the nature of the activities of our untiring and devoted Baha'i sister, Mrs. Victoria Bedikian, I shall postpone any definite decision until my forthcoming meeting with her in the holy land which I trust will banish the present confusion and remove the outstanding misunderstandings in this connection. [This paragraph not in "Baha'i Administration. ]

The Greatest Holy Leaf desires me to convey in her name to the esteemed members of the Green Acre Fellowship the expression of her cordial thanks and sincere appreciation in having been made a life member of the said Fellowship. She assures them of her prayers for the success of this noble institution as well as for the spiritual advancement of its individual members.

Recent developments in the Holy Land have led various organizations in the Jewish world to contemplate seriously the early possibility of transferring to Palestine's sacred soil the mortal remains of certain prominent founders and leaders of Jewish thought, and Mount Carmel, which next to 'Akka's Most Holy Shrine is the most cherished object of Baha'i veneration, has been cited on various occasions as a permanent and most befitting burial ground for their illustrious dead. Surely the Baha'is of the world, ever on the alert and with an eye to the future, will, no matter how pressed by financial obligations, arise while there is yet time to contribute each his share in securing for posterity such land as lies in close proximity to the Holy Shrine - an area the acquisition of which in time will prove indispensable if the sublime vision of 'Abdu'l-Baha is to be realized. I appeal to you, and through you to every earnest and conscientious believer, to safeguard in particular the land extending southward from these Shrines which now, alas! is gravely exposed to the assaults of covetous and speculating interests. I am lo[a]th to press further claims on friends who have displayed so magnificent a spirit of self-sacrifice on several occasions in the past, but I feel the urge of a sacred and impelling responsibility to call your attention to what I conceive to be one of the worldwide issues of the greatest moment requiring a prompt, generous and collective response. I may add that whatever land is purchased will be registered in the name of the contributor, and I would therefore request every contributing believer to forward together with his donation such power of attorney as will legally empower me to transact in his name and on his behalf the purchase of the plot he desires to acquire. It would be desirable to forward small contributions to the National Spiritual Assembly, who will then decide upon the manner in which the transaction should be conducted.

The compilation of newspaper clippings with regard to recent persecutions in Persia which has been sent by our dear brother, Mr. H. Holley, to the Greatest Holy Leaf has been forwarded to the National Spiritual Assembly of Persia, that they may witness for themselves and share with the rank and file of the Persian believers the results of the extensive and vigorous campaign so promptly undertaken on their behalf by their sympathetic brethren in the West. It grieves me to inform you that this sad tale of barbarism and unrestrained aggression on the property, the lives and the honor of the heroic sufferers in that land is still continuing to reach our ears, and the campaign of obstruction, of intimidation and plunder is, but for short periods of comparative lull, being systematically pursued with unabated vigor. I am certain that the members of the National Spiritual Assembly, fully alive to the uncertainty, the confusion and the seriousness of the present situation, will seize the first opportunity to redress as much as it lies in their power the interminable grievances that are being inflicted upon harassed yet law-abiding citizens.

Wishing you success from all my heart, and assuring you of my continued prayers for the steady expansion and consolidation of your work,

I am your brother and fellow-worker,

(Signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine.

October 24th, 1925.

No. 10 - February 1926 - page 1

Cablegram

"Congratulate National Assembly on plan. Noble in conception, sound in method, forceful in its appeal. Fully endorse it. Commend it to every declared believer, joyously pledging ninety-five dollars per month as my humble share. Beseeching Divine assistance."

Signed. Shoghi.

No. 10 - February 1926 - page 3

To Baha'i Summer School at Green acre last summer... through Mr. Albert Vail, a most beautiful message of appreciation was received from the Guardian of the Cause. The first part was written by Dr. Esslemont for Shoghi Effendi:

"He was very happy to hear of the success of the school, especially that it has been the means of bringing to light hitherto unsuspected capacities among the friends. . . . The Summer School has been carrying on the divine work of bringing forth jewels from the mine of humanity and it is the hope of Shoghi Effendi and the friends here that those who have been trained in the Summer School will carry on the work in the various localities from which they have come...."

These words were added by the Guardian:

"You are laying a solid foundation upon which the rising generation will rear a mighty and splendid edifice. You are turning your thoughts to what is the most urgent, the most essential, the most vital factor in the spread and the ultimate triumph of the Cause. . ."

...

"In a personal letter recently received from Haifa, Ruhi Afnan, directed by Shoghi Effendi, writes the following: 'One of the most important seeds in the Cause is the young men and women who, having the intellectual and spiritual training are ready to enter the field of service and work for the progress of the Cause.'

No. 10 - February 1926 - between pages 6 and 7 (also in "Baha'i Administration , pages 94-97)

To the members of the American National Spiritual Assembly.

My dear fellow-workers:

Two recent communications of your able secretary, dated Oct. 14th and 15th, have been received and read with deep gratitude and pleasure.

I rejoice to learn of the prompt and well-considered measures you have undertaken to evolve, in conjunction with all local Assemblies and groups, a wise and effective plan for the contribution of America's befitting share in response to the appeal lately addressed to the American believers regarding the work of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. Surely the great company of eager and sympathizing believers throughout the East will, as they increasingly witness the evidences of a revival of activity along this line, arise to lend a helping hand to this vast endeavor. They will not fail to extend their support in alleviating the burden that is now borne so joyously and gratefully by their younger brethren in North America. I shall myself do all in my power to hasten the fruition of your self-sacrificing labors.

The sad and sudden crisis that has arisen in connection with the ownership of Baha'u'llah's sacred house in Baghdad has sent a thrill of indignation and dismay throughout the whole of the Baha'i world. Houses that have been occupied by Baha'u'llah for well nigh the whole period of His exile in 'Iraq; ordained by Him as the chosen and sanctified object of Baha'i pilgrimage in future; magnified and extolled in countless Tablets and Epistles as the sacred center "round which shall circle all peoples and kindreds of the earth" - lie now, due to fierce intrigue and ceaseless fanatical opposition, at the mercy of the declared enemies of the Cause.

I have instantly communicated with every Baha'i center in both East and West, and urgently requested the faithful followers of the Faith in every land to protest vehemently against this glaring perversion of justice, to assert firmly and courteously the spiritual rights of the Baha'i Community to the ownership of this venerated house, to plead for British fairness and justice, and to pledge their unswerving determination to insure the security of this hallowed spot.

Conscious of the fact that this property has been occupied by Baha'i authorized representatives for an uninterrupted period of not less than thirty years, and having successfully won their case at the Justice of Peace and the Court of First Instance, the Baha'is the world over cannot believe that the high sense of honor and fairness which inspires the British Administration of 'Iraq will ever tolerate such grave miscarriage of justice. They confidently appeal to the public opinion of the world for the defense and protection of their legitimate rights now sorely trampled under the feet of relentless enemies.

Widespread and effective publicity along these lines, in well-conceived and carefully worded terms, is strongly recommended for it will undoubtedly serve to facilitate the solution of this delicate and perplexing problem.

Having exerted ourselves to the utmost of our ability let us rest assured in the power of the Lord, who keepeth watch over His house, and who will, no matter how dark present prospects appear, assure for generations yet unborn His cherished and holy edifice. I shall acquaint you with every development of the case, and will advise you as to the measures that should be taken whether we decide to institute fresh proceedings or to appeal to higher legal authorities in London.

In connection with the important step that has been taken for the eventual inclusion of Green Acre Fellowship within the orbit of the activities of the American National Spiritual Assembly, I hope and pray that this new privilege and added responsibility will prove highly beneficial in its results, both to Green Acre itself and the general interests of the Cause in America. In a separate communication addressed to the Chairman of the said Fellowship, our dearly-beloved and self-sacrificing brother, Mr. W. Randall, I will express my warm approval of this constructive step, and my ardent hopes for the quicker unfolding and fuller expansion under the fostering care of the National Spiritual Assembly, of Green Acre's unique and sublime mission in life. I shall follow in this connection with the keenest interest the course of your activities in accordance with the policy outlined in your letter of October 14th, and feel that the greatest stress must be laid upon the necessity of exemplifying in a most liberal and practical manner the driving power hidden in this Divine Revelation, rather than upon the idle reiteration of a set of principles, however exalted and unique in their character. May the National Fund so flourish as to enable its Trustees to undertake such measures as will eloquently testify to a sorely stricken humanity the healing power of God's Faith.

May I remind you regarding the situation in San Francisco that no two independent Baha'i centers can possibly be recognized in the same city, and that the center which bears my name should act in all matters only with the full consent and approval of the San Francisco Spiritual Assembly.

Concerning the election of alternate members to the National Spiritual Assembly, I feel that only the nine original members of the National Spiritual Assembly are entitled to vote, whereas such alternate members as may be elected should be asked to fill vacancies only in a consultative capacity and not be entitled to vote. They should not be regarded as part of the quorum (i.e., five out of the nine original members) which is necessary for the transaction of the business of the National Assembly. All secondary matters that do not affect the principle outlined are left to the discretion of the National Spiritual Assemblies who will decide according to the exigencies of their respective circumstances.

Assuring you of my deep appreciation of your continued efforts, and of my unceasing prayers on your behalf,

I am your grateful brother,

(signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

Nov. 6, 1925

No. 10 - February 1926 - between pages 6 and 7 (also "Baha'i Administration , pages 97-98)

To the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful in the East and in the West.

Dear fellow-workers:

It is with feelings of overwhelming sorrow that I communicate to you the news of yet another loss which the Almighty, in His inscrutable wisdom, has chosen to inflict upon our beloved Cause. On the 22nd of November, 1925, that memorable and sacred day in which the Baha'is of the Orient celebrated the twin Festivals of the Declaration of the Bab and the birthday of 'Abdu'l-Baha, Dr. John E. Esslemont passed on to the Abha Kingdom. His end was as swift as it was unexpected. Suffering from the effects of a chronic and insidious disease, he fell at last a victim to the inevitable complications that ensued, the fatal course of which neither the efforts of vigilant physicians nor the devoted cares of his many friends could possibly deflect.

He bore his sufferings with admirable fortitude, with calm resignation and courage. Though convinced that his ailment would never henceforth forsake him, yet many a time he revealed a burning desire that the friends residing in the Holy Land should, while visiting the Shrines, implore the All-merciful to prolong his days that he may bring to a fuller completion his humble share of service to the Threshold of Baha'u'llah. To this noble request all hearts warmly responded. But this was not to be. His close association with my work in Haifa, in which I had placed the fondest hopes, was suddenly cut short. His book, however - an abiding monument to his pure intention - will, alone, inspire generations yet unborn to tread the path of truth and service as steadfastly and as unostentatiously as was trodden by its beloved author. The Cause he loved so well, he served even unto his last day with exemplary faith and unstinted devotion. His tenacity of faith, his high integrity, his self-effacement, his industry and painstaking labors were traits of a character the noble qualities of which will live and live forever after him. To me personally he was the warmest of friends, a trusted counsellor, an indefatigable collaborator, a lovable companion.

With tearful eyes I supplicate at the Threshold of Baha'u'llah - and request you all to join - in my ardent prayers, for the fuller unfolding in the realms beyond of a soul that has already achieved so high a spiritual standing in this world. For by the beauty of his character, by his knowledge of the Cause, by the conspicuous achievements of his book, he has immortalized his name, and by sheer merit deserved to rank as one of the Hands of the Cause of God.

He has been laid to rest in the heart of that beautifully situated Baha'i burial ground at the foot of Carmel, close to the mortal remains of that venerable soul, Haji Mirza Vakilu'd-Dawlih, the illustrious cousin of the Bab and chief builder of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of 'Ishqabad. Pilgrims visiting his grave from far and near will, with pride and gratitude, do honor to a name that adorned the annals of an Immortal Cause.

May he eternally rest in peace.

(signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

Nov. 30, 1925.

No. 12 - June-July 1926 - page 1

In the words of the Guardian:

"Grave and manifold as are the problems confronting the struggling Faith of Baha'u'llah, none appear more significant, nor seem more compelling in their urgency, than the incredible sufferings borne so heroically by our down-trodden brethren of the East."

No. 12 - June-July 1926 - page 7-8 (also "Baha'i Administration , pages 106-110)

To the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada.

Fellow-laborers in the Vineyard of God!

Various happenings of recent months, highly disquieting in their suddenness, their complexity and consequences, have time and again, to my regret, compelled me to defer correspondence with you, my highly valued co-workers, who are destined to share no small a part of the burden that now weighs so heavily upon me. The prolonged and delicate negotiations arising out of the critical situation of Baha'u'llah's house in Baghdad; the shameful recrudescence of unrestrained barbarism in stricken Persia; the unexpected reverse recently sustained in our legal transactions for the deliverance of Baha'u'llah's mansion at Bahji from the hands of the enemy; the unprecedented increase in the volume of work resulting from the rise and expansion of the Movement in various parts of the world - these and other issues, no less pressing in their demand upon my time and energy, have gradually affected my health and impaired the efficiency required in the discharge of my arduous duties. But, though body and mind be sorely strained by cares and perplexities which a Movement such as ours just emerging from obscurity must needs encounter, yet the spirit continues to draw fresh inspiration from the manner in which the chosen deliverers of the Faith in the Western world, and particularly in the American continent, are proving themselves increasingly worthy of such a stupendous yet so noble a task.

Grave and manifold as are the problems confronting the struggling Faith of Baha'u'llah, none appear more significant, nor seem more compelling in their urgency, than the incredible sufferings borne so heroically by our down-trodden brethren in the East. Recent reports confirming the news which I have lately communicated to you have all emphasized the barbarous severity practiced on the innocent followers of our Cause. They reveal the possibility of the extension of this agitation, partly instigated for political purposes and selfish motives, to neighboring towns and provinces, and dwell upon the traditional slackness of the local authorities to inflict prompt and severe punishment upon all the perpetrators of such abominable crimes. It has been ascertained that in the town of Jahrum women have suffered martyrdom in a most atrocious manner, that the knife of the criminal has mercilessly cut to pieces the body of a child, that a number have been severely beaten and injured, their bodies mutilated, their homes pillaged, their property confiscated, and the homeless remnants of their family abandoned to the mercy of a shameless and tyrannical people. In other parts of Persia, and particularly in the province of Adhirbayjan in the town of Maraghih, the friends have been pitilessly denied the civic rights and privileges extended to every citizen of the land. They have been refused the use of the public bath, and been denied access to such shops as provide the necessities of life. They have been declared deprived of the benefit and protection of the law, and all association and dealing with them denounced as a direct violation of the precepts and principles of Islam. It has even been authoritatively stated that the decencies of public interment have been refused to their dead, and that in a particular case every effort to induce the Muslim undertaker to provide the wood for the construction of the coffin, failed to secure the official support of the authorities concerned. Every appeal made by these Baha'is on behalf of their brethren, whether living or dead, has been met with cold indifference, with vague promises, and, not infrequently, with severe rebuke and undeserved chastisement.

The tale of such outrageous conduct, such widespread suffering and loss, if properly expressed and broadcast, cannot fail in the end to arouse the conscience of civilized mankind, and thereby secure the much-needed relief for a long-suffering people. I would, therefore, renew my plea and request you most earnestly to redouble your efforts in the wide field of publicity, to devise every possible means that will alleviate the fears and sorrows of the silent sufferers in that distracted country. Surely these vile wrong-doers cannot long remain unpunished for their ferocious atrocities, and the day may not be far distant when we shall witness, as we have observed elsewhere, the promised signs of Divine Retribution avenging the blood of the slaughtered servants of Baha'u'llah.

In connection with the Plan of Unified Action, enclosed in your letter of January 19th, I feel that the friends must be constantly reminded of the vital necessity for a continuous and whole-hearted support of the scheme, the success or failure of which will to a marked extent affect the course of the progress of the Cause not only in Northern America but throughout the Baha'i world. Let the friends recall and ever bear in mind the repeated exhortations and glowing promises of our beloved Master with reference to the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, the crowning institution in every Baha'i community. Let them arise with determination and confidence to lend a helping hand to the Plan which you have so admirably devised for its speedy and practical realization. Theirs is a splendid opportunity; let their response to your call be prompt, whole-hearted and decisive.

I have specially requested that indefatigable pioneer of the Cause of God, our well-beloved Baha'i sister, Mrs. Victoria Bedekian, to concentrate for the present all the resources of her mind and heart upon this vast and vital undertaking. I have urged her to direct her energies to this lofty purpose, and by the aid of her most valuable letters arouse both the East and the West to a fresh consciousness of the significance and urgency of the object you have set yourselves to achieve.

Regarding the series of World Unity meetings which some of the thoughtful, capable and devoted servants of the Cause have carefully organized and successfully conducted, and to which you have referred in your letter of March 8th, I wish to express my keen appreciation of such a splendid conception, my deep gratitude for the efforts they have exerted, and my gratification in view of the success they have achieved.

The administrative machinery of the Cause having now sufficiently evolved, its aim and object fairly well grasped and understood, and its method and working made more familiar to every believer, I feel the time is ripe when it should be fully and consciously utilized to further the purpose for which it has been created. It should, I strongly feel, be made to serve a twofold purpose. On one hand, it should aim at a steady and gradual expansion of the Movement along lines that are at once broad, sound and universal; and on the other it should insure the internal consolidation of the work already achieved. It should both provide the impulse whereby the dynamic forces latent in the Faith can unfold, crystallize, and shape the lives and conduct of men, and serve as a medium for the interchange of thought and the coordination of activities among the divers elements that constitute the Baha'i community.

Whether it be by an open and bold assertion of the fundamental verities of the Cause, or the adoption of a less direct and more cautious method of teaching; whether by the dissemination of our literature or the example of our conduct, our one aim and sole object should be to help in the eventual recognition by all mankind of the indispensability, the uniqueness and the supreme station of the Baha'i Revelation. Whatever method he adopts, and however indirect the course he chooses to pursue, every true believer should regard such a recognition as the supreme goal of his endeavor. Whilst consciously laboring towards the attainment of this end, he should, by supporting every branch of the administrative activities of his national and local assembly, seek and obtain the fullest information on the character and extent of the worldwide progress of the Cause, and strive to contribute his share towards the strengthening of the spirit of solidarity among the component parts of the Baha'i world.

Such in their broad outline are the guiding principles which those who have been placed in charge of the administration of the affairs of the Cause should at present endeavor to promote, explain and surely establish. Nothing short of the spirit of unwavering faith, of continuous vigilance and patient endeavor can hope to secure eventually the realization of this our cherished desire.

May America's national representatives arise with clear vision, with unswerving determination and renewed vigor to carry out in its entirety the sacred task they have purposed to perform.

Assuring you of my continued and earnest prayers for the success of your efforts,

I am your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine

May 11th, 1926.

No. 13 - September 1926 - page 3

The following words were written by Shoghi Effendi to Mrs. Bedekian on May 15, 1926:

"As I have already urged you, concentrate for the present all your splendid resources and priceless efforts on the 'Plan for Unified Action' that the work of the Temple may be no more neglected. Arouse the Assemblies of the East by the aid of your admirable letters to fresh consciousness of their grave responsibility concerning this mighty and noble structure. Such efforts as you may now exert will, I am confident, be richly blessed by our Beloved. Be happy and hopeful."

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

The editors of the Star have recently received the following message from Shoghi Effendi:

"I was delighted to see the various appreciations testifying to your able management of the affairs of the Star. I myself have noted with increasing satisfaction and delight its marked progress, its widening scope, its improved style, its faithful, convincing and worthy presentation of the divers phases of our Glorious Cause. I pray that your efforts may be richly blessed and reinforced by our Beloved who I feel certain is well pleased with your notable achievements.

"Lovingly and gratefully.

"SHOGHI."

No. 14 - November 1926 - page 5 (also "Baha'i Administration , pages 110-113)

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in 'Abdu'l-Baha

In the course of the few months that have elapsed since my last communication to you regarding the appalling circumstances that have culminated in the martyrdom of our Persian brethren in Jahrum, events of the highest importance to the future welfare of our beloved Cause have transpired, and with startling suddenness conferred abiding solace upon those who still have to face the pains and terrors of unmitigated and shameless tyranny.

You have, most of you, I presume, read with thrilling joy in one of the recent issues of the Star of the West that illuminating account given by our beloved sister, Miss Martha Root, wherein she tells with her characteristic directness and modesty the story of her moving interview with Her Majesty Queen Marie of Roumania and of the cordial and ready response which her gentle yet persuasive presentation of the principles of the Baha'i Faith has evoked in the heart of that honored queen. One of the visible and potent effects which this historic interview proved capable of achieving was the remarkable appeal in the form of an open letter which Her Majesty freely and spontaneously caused to be published to the world at large testifying in a language of exquisite beauty to the power and sublimity of the Message of Baha'u'llah.

It was indeed a never-to-be-forgotten occasion when, on the eve of the day commemorating the passing of Baha'u'llah, a handful of us, His sorrowing servants, had gathered round His beloved Shrine supplicating relief and deliverance for the down-trodden in Persia, to receive in the midst of the silence of that distressing hour the glad-tidings of this notable triumph which the unbending energy and indomitable spirit of our beloved Martha has achieved for our sacred Cause.

With bowed heads and grateful hearts we recognize in this glowing tribute which royalty has thus paid to the Cause of Baha'u'llah an epoch-making pronouncement destined to herald those stirring events which, as 'Abdu'l-Baha has prophesied, shall in the fulness of time signalize the triumph of God's holy Faith. For who can doubt but that the deeds of those valiant pioneers of the Faith, unexampled though they have been in the abundance of their number and unexcelled in their sublime heroism, are but a faint glimmer of what, according to the divine promise, its steadfast followers are destined to perform? Those heroic exploits that have immortalized the names of its primitive adherents will continue to adorn and illuminate the pages of its blood-stained history; yet we cannot forget that the period of its full fruition with all its promise of world felicity and undreamt-of achievements is yet to be realized, its golden age yet to unfold. Indeed, how chastening to our pride, how challenging to our enthusiasm, if we but pause for a moment amidst the world's many distractions and ponder in our hearts the vastness, the compelling urgency, the ineffable glory of what still remains unachieved.

But let us all remember, in this connection, that prior to every conceivable measure destined to raise the efficiency of our administrative activities, more vital than any scheme which the most resourceful amongst us can devise, far above the most elaborate structure which the concerted efforts of organized Assemblies can hope to raise, is the realization down in the innermost heart of every true believer of the regenerating power, the supreme necessity, the unfailing efficacy of the Message he bears. I assure you, dear friends, that nothing short of such an immovable conviction could have in days past enabled our beloved Cause to weather the blackest storms in its history. Naught else can today vitalize the manifold activities in which unnumbered disciples of the Faith are engaged; naught else can provide that driving force and sustaining power that are both so essential to the success of vast and enduring achievements. It is this spirit that above all else we should sedulously guard, and strive with all our might to fortify and exemplify in all our undertakings.

Moved by an irresistible impulse, I have addressed to Her Majesty in the name of the Baha'is of both the East and the West a written expression of our joyous admiration and gratitude for the queenly tribute which Her Majesty has paid to the beauty and nobility of the Baha'i Teachings. I have, moreover, assured Her Majesty of the far-reaching effect which her superb testimony will inevitably produce, and of the welcome consolation it has already brought to the silent sufferers in that distracted country. To my message of appreciation and gratitude there has come lately a written response, penned by Her Majesty, profoundly touching, singularly outspoken, and highly significant in the testimony it bears. From this queenly tribute to a divine ideal I quote these penetrating words

"Indeed a great light came to me with the Message of Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha. It came as all great messages come at an hour of dire grief and inner conflict and distress, so the seed sank deeply. . . We pass on the Message from mouth to mouth and all those we give it to see a light suddenly lighting before them and much that was obscure and perplexing becomes simple, luminous and full of hope as never before. That my open letter was balm to those suffering for the Cause is indeed a great happiness to me, and I take it as a sign that God accepted my humble tribute. . . With bowed head I recognize that I too am but an instrument in greater Hands and rejoice in the knowledge. . . ."

Dear friends, with feelings of profound emotion we recall the glowing promises that have so often fallen from the lips of our departed Master, and with throbbing hearts rejoice in the gradual realization of His most cherished desire.

And as we call to mind the circumstances that have led to such a notable advance, we are filled with admiration for that unique and great-hearted apostle of Baha'u'llah, our dearly-beloved Martha Root, who under trying circumstances and almost single-handed in her efforts, has so wonderfully paved the way for the universal recognition of the Cause of God. In her case we have verily witnessed in an unmistakable manner what the power of dauntless faith, when coupled with sublimity of character, can achieve, what forces it can release, to what heights it can rise.

Let such remarkable revelations of the reality and continuity of the divine purpose, made manifest from time to time to us His feeble children, serve to fortify our faith in Him, to warm the chill which fleeting misfortunes may leave behind, and fill us with that celestial potency which alone can enable us to withstand the storm and stress that lives dedicated to His service must needs encounter.

Your true brother,

(Signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

October 7th, 1926.

No. 14 - November 1926 - page 7

The following reply was received from the Guardian on September 10: [re Green Acre Fellowship]

"Guardian wires following - 'May newly confirmed union achieve its purpose by increasingly demonstrate universality of Baha'i Cause. Affectionately, Shoghi.' (Signed) Bahiyyih."

No. 15 - January 1927 - page 1 (also "Baha'i Administration , pages 113-114)

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dear fellow-workers in the Divine Vineyard:

It will gladden and rejoice every one of you to learn that from various quarters there has of late reached the Holy Land tidings of fresh developments that are a clear indication of those hidden and transforming influences which, from the source of Baha'u'llah's mystic strength, continue to flow with ever-increasing vitality into the heart of this troubled world.

Both in the wider field of its spiritual conquests, where its indomitable spirit is forging ahead, capturing the heights, pervading the multitude; as well as in the gradual consolidation of the administrative structure which its avowed followers the world over are laboring to raise and fortify, the Faith of Baha'u'llah, we can increasingly discern, bids fair to become that force which, though not as yet universally recognized, none can afford to belittle or ignore.

In the bold and repeated testimonies which Her Majesty, Queen Marie of Roumania, has chosen to give to the world, - a copy of whose latest pronouncement I enclose,[1] - we truly recognize evidences of the irresistable power, the increasing vitality, the strange working of a Faith destined to regenerate the world. Her Majesty's striking tribute paid to the illuminative power of the Teachings of Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha is bound to effect an entire transformation in the attitude of many to a Faith the tenets of which have often been misunderstood and sorely neglected. It will serve as a fresh stimulus to the enlightened and cultured to investigate with an open mind the verities of its message, the source of its life-giving principles.

[1 This enclosure consisted of a copy of an article by Queen Marie in her newspaper syndicated series entitled "Queen's Counsel." Since the queen's first public reference to the Cause in this series, two additional references have appeared, one on September 26 and one on September 27, 1926.]

From Baghdad, moreover, where the sacred habitation of Baha'u'llah has been violated by a relentless enemy and converted into a rallying centre for the corrupt, the perverse, and the fanatical, there comes the news, highly reassuring to us all, of the satisfactory progress of the negotiations which, we are informed on high authority, will soon lead to the expropriation of the property by the State, culminating in the fullness of time in its occupation by the triumphant followers of God's holy Faith. The case of the houses, so ably presented, so persistently pursued, above all reinforced by the vigilant and protecting power of our departed Master, will eventually triumph, and by its repercussions in Persia as in the world at large, will lend a powerful impetus to the liberation of those forces which will carry the Cause to its ultimate destiny. I will, when the occasion presents itself, inform the believers through their respective National Spiritual Assemblies to address messages of appreciation and gratitude to the authorities concerned in view of their unrelaxing efforts for the triumph of right and justice.

For the present, we cannot but rejoice and feel profoundly thankful as we witness in so many directions the welcome signs of the gradual emancipation of the struggling Faith of Baha'u'llah, of the increasing recognition on the part of both the high and lowly of its universal principles - all so rich in their promise of ultimate victory.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

October 19, 1926

No. 15 - January 1927 - page 1

Correspondence with the Guardian

"Shoghi Effendi wishes me to inform the beloved friends that if, at any time, any of the friends feels that it is necessary, in the interest of the Cause, to correspond with him about any matter, he should do so without the slightest hesitation, and his letters will be gladly and promptly considered."

No. 15 - January 1927 - page 2 (also "Baha'i Administration , pages 118-120)

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the United States and Canada.

Dearly-beloved friends:

The progress of various events, both within and outside the Baha'i world, as well as the perusal of the able and illuminating report recently submitted by the Committee of the Persian National Spiritual Assembly in charge of the Tarbiyat School in Tihran, have served to reinforce a gradually growing idea as to the desirability of arranging for the settlement in the capital of that country of one or two American believers who, having the means, the freedom and the capacity, can adequately meet the pressing requirements of a responsible position. Judging from their report, the situation in Tihran though much confused and perplexing, is fraught with rich possibilities for the future of the Cause, both as affecting the national fortunes of Persia, as well as its influence upon the international development of the Cause.

The situation as I see it calls for the devoted efforts of one or two capable workers who, untrammelled and with independent means, can quietly, tenaciously and tactfully, pursue over a considerable length of time the meritorious work of fostering the cause of Baha'i education, for both boys and girls, in the swiftly changing capital of a promising country. It should be their primary duty to extend the scope and enhance the prestige of these twin Baha'i educational institutions, and to initiate by sound and well-considered methods such measures as will consolidate the work already achieved. It would be highly gratifying if they could also endeavor, by keeping in close and constant touch with the Persian and American National Spiritual Assemblies, to fortify those vital bonds that spiritually unite the cradle of the Baha'i Faith with the great American Republic - the foremost standard-bearer of the Cause in the Western field. Such efforts will extremely facilitate cooperation between these two countries, whose common destiny is to provide, each in its own typical manner, the essential elements in the foundation of the world order ushered in by Baha'u'llah.

The gradual expansion of foreign as well as officially subsidized educational schools in Tihran, the prolonged absence of competent teachers and organizers that can revive the declining influence of a hitherto renowned Baha'i educational institution, and the critical and vigilant attitude which the growing influence of the Cause has induced in its malignant and envious enemies, are today subjects of the gravest concern to the elected representatives of our suffering brethren and sisters in Persia. I would therefore request those who feel the urge and have the means to undertake this task to communicate with the National Spiritual Assembly who, after mature deliberation, will select one or two who, in their judgment, can best render this service, and decide upon the exact time and manner which would be most suitable for its execution. I would strongly urge the friends to consult most earnestly with that devoted, experienced and indefatigable handmaid of Baha'u'llah, Dr. Moody, whose past services have ennobled the record of collaboration of East and West for the furtherance of the Cause of Baha'u'llah. It would be highly satisfactory and immensely helpful if our beloved sister could find it possible and convenient to accompany such a carefully-chosen person on the way to Tihran, and, by her unrivaled experience and loving-kindness, assist personally in the fulfillment of this pressing need.

Whoever steps into this field will find, as he settles down to his work, that the environment is extremely disheartening, that restrictions are oppressive, that the amenities of social life are lacking, that the forces of opposition are determined and organized. But let him realize also that, however tedious and exacting his labors, however precarious and thankless his task, the pioneer services it is his unique privilege to render in this time of stress will forever live in the annals of God's living Faith, and will prove a source of inspiration to the countless workers who, in happier times and with better means at their disposal, will consummate the spiritual regeneration and material rehabilitation of Baha'u'llah's native land.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

November 14, 1926.

No. 15 - January 1927 - page 3 -4 (also "Baha'i Administration , pages 115- 118)

To the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada.

Dearly-beloved fellow-workers:

I have on two recent occasions given expression to the profound sense of inspiring confidence and joyous gratitude which recent happenings in the Cause - evident manifestations of the steady evolution of a living Faith - must needs evoke in the heart of every thoughtful and observing believer. And as I contemplate the far-reaching possibilities involved in a careful handling of those forces which Baha'u'llah's almighty arm has now released, I cannot help reflecting upon the dominant share which the American friends, at home as well as in distant lands, have contributed to this rejuvenation of the Cause of God, and the decisive part it is theirs to play in its eventual victory.

Your letters, dated June 17, July 11, July 20, August 3 and 16, and October 2, 1926, all of which have been forwarded during my days of retirement and rest, have proved an added source of thankfulness, of joy and strength to me. They have clearly revealed by their spirit, as well as by the nature and variety of their contents, the sustained devotion, the unabated confidence, and the increasing vigor and efficiency with which you are initiating, coordinating, and consolidating the manifold activities of the Cause in North America.

The range and character of the problems confronting you, as revealed by the careful perusal of the minutes of your meetings, the steady increase in the number and effectiveness of vigorously functioning Centers in Central and Northern Europe, and the growing significance and complexity of the work that has to be necessarily conducted from the Holy Land, have all served to strengthen the feeling of absolute necessity for the formation in Haifa of some sort of an International Baha'i Secretariat, which both in an advisory and executive capacity will have to aid and assist me in my vast and exacting labors. I have anxiously considered this important matter in all its bearings during the past few months, and have accordingly requested three well-informed, capable representatives from America, Europe and the East to visit the Holy Land this fall, that we may lay down the foundation of this vitally needed institution. We shall take counsel together and decide, not only upon the measures that have to be promptly undertaken to meet the pressing demands of the present hour, but upon the wider issues that on one hand will strengthen the ties that should bind the International Center of the Cause with the world at large, and on the other provide for the preliminary steps that will eventually lead to the proper establishment of the First International House of Justice.

It is my earnest hope and prayer that this exchange of thought and close cooperation in the work that has henceforth to be internationally and vigorously conducted, will enable me to participate more minutely and effectively in the labors of the various administrative departments of your Assembly, and thus reinforce the splendid efforts you are exerting for the extension of its influence and the widening of its scope.

From the report of the National Treasurer, setting forth the account of the progress of the contributions of the American believers for the support of the Plan for Unified Action, up to June 30, 1926, I gather that the result has by no means exceeded our expectations, nay has considerably fallen below what I confidently expected it to achieve. I earnestly renew my plea and appeal to you, and through you to every true and faithful lover of 'Abdu'l-Baha, to realize, while there is yet time, the far-reaching possibilities with which the present situation is fraught. I am firmly convinced that this Plan combines, embodies, and serves the twofold purpose of the present-day Baha'i administration in the United States and Canada, namely the promotion of the vitally needed teaching work, and the provision of the gradual completion of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, both wishes so near and dear to our beloved Master's heart. It is the only effective, feasible, and practical instrument placed in our hands for the speedy accomplishment of our ends. So much that is vital to the future welfare, the effectiveness, and the fair name of our beloved Cause depends, I assure you, upon the success or failure of this nobly-conceived, this sound and befitting enterprise. The eyes of all Baha'is and of many sympathizers throughout the world are turned towards you, eager to reinforce your accomplishments in this field, expectant to witness what measure of success you are capable of achieving.

In connection with the series of World Unity Conferences which you have initiated and so laboriously organized, I feel that in order to reap the fullest advantage and benefit from this laudable effort, it is absolutely essential to follow up with the aid of enlightened, experienced and capable teachers the interest which has been aroused. Such a group of teachers should judiciously select those few among the many interested, and endeavor with patience and sympathy and by constant intimate personal intercourse, to prepare them gradually for the entire and unreserved acceptance of the fundamentals of the Baha'i Revelation. If the results be meagre, if the attendance be small, let us not despair, nor relax in our efforts. Let us remember that this sound method will eventually triumph, if we only consistently support it, and persevere in undertaking those subsequent steps that can alone produce full and permanent benefit.

I have already expressed my grateful appreciation of the prompt and wise measures you have taken in behalf of our oppressed and down-trodden brethren in Persia. The noble appeal which you were moved to address to His Majesty the Shah, so illuminating, so courteous, so powerful, and the wide range of publicity you have undertaken, were truly providential in character, and will undoubtedly prove an inspiration and solace to those who still continue to be trampled under the heel of an odious and inveterate enemy. I have had your appeal translated into Persian and sent to all Centers throughout the Orient that the suffering in Persia may learn of your bold and courageous intervention, and witness the signs of their promised redemption which, as foretold by 'Abdu'l-Baha, must first be made manifest through the efforts of their brethren in that great freedom-loving Republic of the West.

It is sad and distressing to reflect that, notwithstanding the repeated appeals addressed to the authorities concerned, and so powerfully reinforced by the spontaneous action of some of the leading Governments of the West, Persia, still heedless and unaware of the spiritual forces that are at work, continues to treat with indifference and contempt the most loyal, innocent and law-abiding subjects of its realm. This chronic instability of its affairs, the changing fortunes of factions and shadowy personalities that sap its vitality and tarnish its name, the acute and widespread economic depression that is now prevailing, and the grave discontent of the masses of the people, all tend to aggravate a situation already highly threatening to the security of its sorely tried children. What else can we do but pray most fervently that the almighty power of Baha'u'llah may soon triumph over this petty strife, this age-long tyranny, and make, as He prophesied, of the land of His birth, "the most honored of all governments, the pride, the admiration and the envy of the peoples of the world."

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

October 31, 1926.

No. 16 - March 1927 - page 3

Shoghi Effendi has referred to the Bureau [Baha'i Publicity Bureau] in a recent letter to one of the American friends:

"It is my earnest prayer that this newly conceived Publicity Bureau will draw many a spiritually minded capable soul to this Cause, and prove a real dynamic force that will carry the Cause forward with greater vigor and increased vitality."

No. 16 - March 1927 - page 3

We are privileged to quote from a letter written by Shoghi Effendi in his own hand to Dr. John Herman Randall of the Community Church of New York, dated July 10th, 1926.

"I desire to take the present opportunity to assure you in person of my deep admiration for those unique gifts which have characterized your able presentation of the Baha'i Principles as well as my unshaken confidence in the part you are destined to play for their universal recognition and triumph. Your clear vision, your high courage, your grasp of the needs of present-day society, your eminent position and penetrating eloquence qualify you in a remarkable manner to champion the Cause of Baha'u'llah and establish its truth in the West.

"We are gradually and imperceptibly entering upon a new stage of our progressive life and the qualities which are needed to supplement the essential characteristics that are common to the followers of the Faith are just the ones you are in a position to contribute and increase. That is why every well-wisher of the Cause looks upon you as the chief instrument and factor that can provide and contribute those necessary elements which a gradually unfolding movement imperatively demands at present. I would therefore earnestly request you to pursue your labors, untrammeled and unhampered by the existing conditions, striving in your own admirable manner to add to the number of those capable, enlightened and devoted servants of the Cause, who will eventually by the force of their numbers and the brilliancy of their powers, revitalize the Cause, widen its scope, establish its Principles and vindicate its truth.

"It would undoubtedly grieve me to learn that any imperfections and failings on the part of the friends whether individually or collectively have tended to damp the zeal, or lessen the enthusiasm with which you are upholding and expounding the Baha'i Principles, for I cherish the greatest hopes for your eventual triumph in such a glorious field of service."

No. 16 - March 1927 - page 6

On February 24 and 26 the following messages were received from the Guardian:

"Mountfort (Mills), America's distinguished representative rendering most valuable services in London (and) Holy Land (is) proceeding temporarily (to the United) States to deliberate with National Assembly issues affecting international status of Cause. His statements fully authorized." (signed) Shoghi.

The second message was as follows:

"Afnan Mirza Mohsen, Beloved's son in law and distinguished servant of His Cause, ascended (to the) Abha Kingdom. Hearts grief stricken. Inform American believers." (signed) Shoghi.

No. 17 - April 1927 - page 1 - 2 (also "Baha'i Administration , pages 120-123)

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in 'Abdu'l-Baha:

The trend of various events, affecting directly and indirectly the interests of the Baha'i Cause, have of late served to bring into further prominence the character as well as the significance of a Faith destined to regenerate the world.

Of all the diverse issues which today are gradually tending to consolidate and extend the bounds of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah, the decision of Egypt's religious Tribunal regarding the Baha'is under its jurisdiction appears at the present moment to be the most powerful in its challenge, the most startling in its character, and the most perplexing in the consequences it may entail. I have already alluded in my letter of January 10, 1926, addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada, to a particular feature of this momentous verdict, which after mature deliberation has obtained the sanction of Egypt's highest ecclesiastical authorities, has been communicated and printed, and is regarded as final and binding. I have stressed in my last reference to this far-reaching pronouncement the negative aspect of this document which condemns in most unequivocal and emphatic language the followers of Baha'u'llah as the believers in heresy, offensive and injurious to Islam, and wholly incompatible with the accepted doctrines and practice of its orthodox adherents.

A closer study of the text of the decision will, however, reveal the fact that coupled with this strong denunciation is the positive assertion of a truth which the recognized opponents of the Baha'i Faith in other Muhammadan countries have up to the present time either sedulously ignored or maliciously endeavored to disprove. Not content with this harsh and unjustifiable repudiation of the so-called menacing and heretical doctrines of the adherents of the Baha'i Faith, they proceed in a formal manner to declare in the text of that very decision their belief, that the Baha'i Faith is a "new religion," "entirely independent" and, by reason of the magnitude of its claim and the character of its "laws, principles and beliefs," worthy to be reckoned as one of the established religious systems of the world. Quoting various passages judiciously gleaned from a number of Baha'i sacred Books as an evidence to their splendid testimony, they proceed in a notable statement to deduce the fact that henceforth it shall be regarded as impossible for the followers of such a Faith to be designated as Muslim, just as it would be incorrect and erroneous to call a Muhammadan either Christian or Jew.

It cannot be denied that in the course of the inevitable developments of this present situation the resident Baha'is of Egypt, originally belonging to the Muslim Faith, will be placed in a most humiliating and embarrassing position. They, however, cannot but rejoice in the knowledge that whereas in various Muhammadan countries and particularly in Persia the overwhelming majority of the leaders of Islam are utterly opposed to any form of declaration that would facilitate the universal recognition of the Cause, the authorized heads of their co-religionists in one of the most advanced communities in the Muhammadan world have, of their own initiative, published to the world a document that may justly be termed as the first chapter of liberty emancipating the Baha'i Faith from the fetters of orthodox Islam. And in order to insure the complete rupture of Baha'i official relations with Muslim Courts they lay down in unmistakable terms the condition that under no circumstances can the marriage of those Baha'is who have been required to divorce their Muslim wives be renewed by the Muslim Court unless and until the husbands formally recant their faith by solemnly declaring that the Qur'an is the "last" Book of God revealed to man, that no law can abrogate the Prophet's Law, no faith can succeed His Faith, no revelation can claim to fulfill His Revelation.

While unwavering in their belief in the Divine station of the Author of the Qur'an and profoundly convinced of the necessity and worldwide influence of His Divine mission, Baha'is in every land stand undeterred and unabashed in the face of the strong condemnation pronounced against their brethren in Egypt. Indeed, they together with their fellow-workers in all Muslim countries welcome with gladness and pride every opportunity for further emancipation that they may set forth in a truer light the sublime mission of Baha'u'llah.

In the face of such an outspoken and challenging declaration, the Baha'is of the West cannot but feel the deepest sympathy with their Egyptian brethren who, for the sake of our beloved Cause and its deliverance, have to face all the embarrassments and vexations which the severance of old-established ties must necessarily entail. They will, however, most certainly expect every staunch and loyal believer in the Faith who resides in that land to refrain in view of the grave warning uttered expressly by our opponents, from any practice that would in any manner constitute in the eyes of a critical and vigilant enemy a repudiation of the fundamental beliefs of the people of Baha. they will most assuredly, whenever the moment is opportune, step forth with eager hearts to offer every support in their power to their fellow-workers who, with stout hearts and irreproachable loyalty, will continue to hold aloft the standard of God's struggling Faith. They will not fail to come to the rescue of those who with joyous confidence will endure to the very end such vicissitudes as this New Day of God, now in its birth-throes, must needs suffer and surmount.

We cannot believe that as the Movement grows in strength, in authority and in influence, the perplexities and the sufferings it has had to contend with in the past will correspondingly decrease and vanish. Nay, as it grows from strength to strength, the fanatical defendants of the strongholds of orthodoxy, whatever be their denomination, realizing the penetrating influence of this growing Faith, will arise and strain every nerve to extinguish its light and discredit its name. For has not our beloved 'Abdu'l-Baha sent forth His glowing prophecy from behind the prison walls of the citadel of 'Akka - words so significant in their forecast of the coming world turmoil, yet so rich in their promise of eventual victory: -

"How great, how very great is the Cause; how very fierce the onslaught of all the peoples and kindreds of the earth! Erelong shall the clamor of the multitude throughout Africa, throughout America, the cry of the European and of the Turk, the groaning of India and China be heard from far and near. One and all they shall arise with all their power to resist His Cause. Then shall the Knights of the Lord, assisted by grace from on high, strengthened by faith, aided by the power of understanding and reinforced by the legions of the Covenant, arise and make manifest the truth of the verse: 'Behold the confusion that hath befallen the tribes of the defeated!'"

Dearly beloved friends, upon us devolves the supreme obligation to stand by His side, to fight His battles and to win His victory. May we prove ourselves worthy of this trust.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

February 12, 1927.

No. 17 - April 1927 - page 2 - 3 (also "Baha'i Administration , pages 123-128)

To the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada

Dear and precious fellow-workers in the Vineyard of God: -

The communications addressed to me by your indefatigable and distinguished secretary, dated October 28, November 8, 11, 18, December 4, 16 and January 27th, have been received, and together with their enclosures read and carefully noted. I cannot but admire the spirit of unrelaxing resolve and harmonious cooperation with which you are conducting the ever-expanding activities of the Cause in a land upon which our Beloved has lavished His richest blessings, and for the spiritual potentialities of which He cherished the brightest hopes. The vigorous efforts you are exerting to consolidate the forces which the Almighty has placed in your hands; the resourcefulness you display by the measures you have initiated for the furtherance of the Cause; the magnificent response with which you have met the piteous call of your suffering brethren of the East - all proclaim your worthiness of the unexampled efforts which, in your country more than in any other land, 'Abdu'l-Baha has exerted for the spread of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah.

In connection with the World Unity Conferences, which you have organized, I desire to assure you of my heartfelt appreciation of such a splendid conception. I am profoundly impressed by the generous assistance spontaneously offered by those who, faithful to their other obligations, have risen to insure the financial success of such a noble Plan. I am grateful to those local Assemblies and individuals who have given it their whole-hearted support in their respective fields.

As to the policy that should be adopted with regard to these Conferences and other Baha'i activities in general, it appears increasingly evident that as the Movement grows in strength and power the National Spiritual Assemblies should be encouraged, if circumstances permit and the means at their disposal justify, to resort to the twofold method of directly and indirectly winning the enlightened public to the unqualified acceptance of the Baha'i Faith. The one method would assume an open, decisive and challenging tone. The other, without implying in any manner the slightest departure from strict loyalty to the Cause of God, would be progressive and cautious. Experience will reveal the fact that each of the methods in its own special way might suit a particular temperament and class of people, and that each in the present state of a constantly fluctuating society, should be judiciously attempted and utilized.

It is, I feel, for the National representatives of the believers in every land to utilize and combine both methods, the outspoken as well as the gradual, in such a manner as to secure the greatest benefits and the fullest advantage for this steadily-growing Cause. Every staunch and high-minded believer is thoroughly convinced of the unfailing efficacy of every humanitarian undertaking which boldly and unreservedly proclaims the source of its motive power to be the consciousness of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. Yet, if we but call to mind the practice generally adopted by 'Abdu'l-Baha, we cannot fail to perceive the wisdom, nay the necessity, of gradually and cautiously disclosing to the eyes of an unbelieving world the implications of a Truth which, by its own challenging nature, it is so difficult for it to comprehend and embrace.

It was He, our beloved 'Abdu'l-Baha, our true and shining Exemplar, who with infinite tact and patience, whether in His public utterances or in private converse, adapted the presentation of the fundamentals of the Cause to the varying capacities and the spiritual receptiveness of His hearers. He never hesitated, however, to tear the veil asunder and reveal to the spiritually ripened those challenging verities that set forth in its true light the relationship of this Supreme Revelation with the Dispensations of the past. Unashamed and unafraid when challenged to assert in its entirety the stupendous claim of Baha'u'llah, Baha'is, whether laboring as individuals or functioning as an organized community, feel certain that in the face of the apathy, the gross materialism, and the superficiality of society today, a progressive disclosure of the magnitude of the claim of Baha'u'llah would constitute the most effective means for the attainment of the end so greatly desired by even the staunchest and most zealous advocate of the Faith.

Fully aware of the repeated statements of 'Abdu'l-Baha that universality is of God, Baha'is in every land are ready, nay anxious, to associate themselves by word and deed with any association of men which, after careful scrutiny, they feel satisfied is free from every tinge of partisanship and politics and is wholly devoted to the interests of all mankind. In their collaboration with such associations they would extend any moral and material assistance they can afford, after having fulfilled their share of support to those institutions that affect directly the interests of the Cause. They should always bear in mind, however, the dominating purpose of such a collaboration which is to secure in time the recognition by those with whom they are associated of the paramount necessity and the true significance of the Baha'i Revelation in this day.

As the Movement extends the bounds of its influence and its opportunities for fuller recognition multiply, the twofold character of the obligations imposed on its National elected representatives should, I feel, be increasingly emphasized. Whilst chiefly engaged in the pursuit of their major task, consisting chiefly in the formation and the consolidation of Baha'i administrative institutions, they should endeavor to participate, within recognized limits, in the work of institutions which though unaware of the claim of the Baha'i Cause are prompted by a sincere desire to promote the spirit that animates the Faith. In the pursuit of their major task their function is to preserve the identity of the Cause and the purity of the mission of Baha'u'llah. In their minor undertaking their purpose should be to imbue with the spirit of power and strength such movements as in their restricted scope are endeavoring to achieve what is near and dear to the heart of every true Baha'i. It would even appear at times to be advisable and helpful as a supplement to their work for the Baha'is to initiate any undertaking, not specifically designed as Baha'i, provided they have ascertained that such an undertaking would constitute the best way of approach to those whose minds and hearts are as yet unprepared for a full acceptance of the claim of Baha'u'llah. These twofold obligations devolving upon organized Baha'i communities, far from neutralizing the effects of one another or of appearing antagonistic in their aims, should be regarded as complementary and fulfilling, each in its way, a vital and necessary function.

It is for the National representatives of the Baha'i Cause to observe the conditions under which they labor, to estimate the forces that are at work in their own surroundings, to weigh carefully and prayerfully the merits of either procedure, and to form a correct judgment as to the degree of emphasis that should be placed upon these twofold methods. Then and only then will they be enabled to protect and stimulate on one hand the independent growth of the Baha'i Faith, and on the other vindicate the claim of its universal principles to the doubtful and unbelieving.

I have already considered these delicate and complex issues with the Baha'i representatives whom I have requested to gather in the Holy Land in the hope of arriving at the best possible solution of the pressing and intricate problems that confront the development of the Baha'i Cause. I have asked our dearly-beloved brother, Mr. Mountfort Mills, whose services to the Cause only future generations can estimate, to acquaint you with these and other considerations, the delicacy and scope of which only a verbal explanation can adequately reveal. He will fully and authoritatively inform you regarding the policy that should govern the conduct of the Star of the West, the character and the range of the Baha'i Bibliography to be inserted in the next edition of the Baha'i Year Book, the present position of Baha'u'llah's House in Baghdad, the hopes and desires I cherish for the successful conclusion of the Plan of Unified Action, and the consequences and possibilities involved in the decision of Egypt's religious Tribunal regarding the Muslim Baha'is in that land.

The splendid record of the action taken by the national and local representatives of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada, embodied in the compilation of newspaper cuttings which you have recently sent me, will be forwarded to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Persia. I will request them to pass it on from hand to hand, that the rank and file of the sufferers in that distracted country may obtain the strength and solace which the perusal of such a noble record of service is bound to produce.

Regarding the publicity campaign, recently launched, with your consent and under your general supervision, by a group of devoted friends, I desire to express my earnest hope that it may be richly blessed by our Beloved and yield abundant fruit. I am gratified to learn that those who have conceived such a comprehensive plan and have generously supported it by every means in their power have refrained from any action that would involve the imposing of a fresh burden upon those who have incurred the financial obligations connected with the Budget Plan. I earnestly hope that those who have undertaken to finance this project with such spontaneous generosity have already fulfilled their sacred obligations in connection with the Plan, and will not allow any pledges they have made for publicity to interfere with their regular contributions to the National Fund, the paramount importance of which has already been emphasized.

It is the duty and privilege of the National and Local Assemblies if they find that the pressing requirements of their local and national budgets have been adequately met, to encourage individuals and groups to initiate and conduct, with their knowledge and consent, any undertaking that would serve to enhance the work which they have set themselves to achieve. Not content with appeals addressed to each and every believer to offer any constructive suggestions or plan that would remedy the existing grievance, they should, by every means in their power, stimulate the spirit of enterprise among the believers in order to further the teaching as well as the administrative work of the Cause. They should endeavor by personal contact and written appeals, to imbue the body of the faithful with a deep sense of personal responsibility, and urge every believer, whether high or low, poor or wealthy, to conceive, formulate and execute such measures and projects as would redound, in the eyes of their representatives, to the power and the fair name of this sacred Cause.

In my hours of prayer at the holy Shrines, I will supplicate that the light of Divine Guidance may illumine your path, and enable you to utilize in the most effective manner that spirit of individual enterprise which, once kindled in the breasts of each and every believer and directed by the discipline of the majestic Law of Baha'u'llah, impose upon us, will carry our beloved Cause forward to achieve its glorious destiny.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

February 20, 1927.

No. 17 - April 1927 - page 4

The Guardian of the Cause has given us the key note of the present phase of Baha'i development in that significant phrase

"a wise handling of the forces released by Baha'u'llah's almighty arm."

Special_Number - May 1927 - The Spirit and Form of Baha'i Administration page 2

"The NEWS LETTER which you have lately initiated fulfills a very vital function and has been started admirably well. I would urge you to enlarge its scope, as much as your resources permit, that in time it may devote a special section to every phase of your activities, administrative, devotional, humanitarian, financial, educational and otherwise. That it may attain its object it must combine the essential qualities of accuracy, reliability, thoroughness, dignity and wisdom. It should become a great factor in promoting understanding, providing information on Baha'i activity, both local and foreign, in stimulating interest, in combating evil influences, and in upholding and safeguarding the institutions of the Cause. It should be made as representative as possible, should be replete with news, up-to-date in its information, and should arouse the keenest interest among believers and admirers alike in every corner of the globe. I cherish great hopes for its immediate future, and I trust you will devote your special attention to its development, and by devising well-conceived and world-wide measures transform this NEWS LETTER into what I hope will become the foremost Baha'i Journal of the world." - SHOGHI EFFENDI

Special Number - May 1927 - !pages 6 - 8

!The Spirit and Form of Baha'i Administration From Letters of Shoghi Effendi

("Baha'i Administration, page 17)

At this grave and momentous period through which the Cause of God in conformity with the Divine Wisdom is passing, it is the sacred duty of every one of us to endeavor to realize the full significance of this Hour of Transition, and then to make a supreme resolve to arise steadfastly for the fulfilment of our sacred obligations.

("Baha'i Administration , pages 20-21)

A perusal of some of the words of Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha on the duties and functions of the Spiritual Assembly in every land (later to be designated as the local House of Justice), emphatically reveals the sacredness of their nature, the wide scope of their activity, and the grave responsibility which rests upon them.

Addressing the members of the Spiritual Assembly in Chicago, the Master reveals the following: - "Whenever ye enter the council- chamber, recite this prayer with a heart throbbing with the love of God and a tongue purified from all but His remembrance, that the All-powerful may graciously aid you to achieve supreme victory: - 'O God, my God! We are servants of Thine that have turned with devotion to Thy Holy Face, that have detached ourselves from all beside Thee in this glorious Day. We have gathered in this spiritual assembly, united in our views and thoughts, with our purposes harmonized to exalt thy Word amidst mankind. O Lord, our God! Make us the signs of Thy Divine Guidance, the Standards of Thy exalted Faith amongst men, servants to Thy mighty Covenant. O Thou our Lord Most High! Manifestations of Thy Divine Unity in Thine Abha Kingdom, and resplendent stars shining upon all regions. Lord! Aid us to become seas surging with the billows of Thy wondrous Grace, streams flowing from Thy all-glorious Heights, goodly fruits upon the Tree of Thy heavenly Cause, trees waving through the breezes of Thy Bounty in Thy celestial Vineyard. O God! Make our souls dependent upon the Verses of Thy Divine Unity, our hearts cheered with the outpourings of Thy Grace, that we may unite even as the waves of one sea and become merged together as the rays of Thine Effulgent Light; that our thoughts, our views, our feelings may become as one reality, manifesting the spirit of union throughout the world. Thou art the Gracious, the Bountiful, the Bestower, the Almighty, the Merciful, the Compassionate.'"

("Baha'i Administration , page 21)

"The prime requisites for them that take counsel together are purity of motive, radiance of spirit, detachment from all else save God, attraction to His Divine Fragrances, humility and lowliness amongst His loved ones, patience and long-suffering in difficulties and servitude to His exalted Threshold. Should they be graciously aided to acquire these attributes, victory from the unseen Kingdom of Baha shall be vouchsafed to them. In this day, assemblies of consultation are of the greatest importance and a vital necessity. Obedience to them is essential and obligatory. The members thereof must take counsel together in such wise that no occasion for ill-feeling or discord may arise. This can be attained when every member expresseth with absolute freedom his own opinion and setteth forth his argument. Should anyone oppose, he must on no account feel hurt for not until matters are fully discussed can the right way be revealed. The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions. If after discussion a decision be carried unanimously, well and good; but if, the Lord forbid, differences of opinion should arise, a majority of voices must prevail."

("Baha'i Administration , pages 22-23)

Enumerating the obligations incumbent upon the members of consulting counsels, the Beloved reveals the following: - "The first condition is absolute love and harmony amongst the members of the Assembly. They must be wholly free from estrangement and must manifest in themselves the Unity of God, for they are the waves of one sea, the drops of one river, the stars of one heaven, the rays of one sun, the trees of one orchard, the flowers of one garden. Should harmony of thought and absolute unity be non-existent, that gathering shall be dispersed and that Assembly be brought to naught. The second condition: They must when coming together turn their faces to the Kingdom on High and ask aid from the Realm of Glory. They must then proceed with the utmost devotion, courtesy, dignity, care and moderation to express their views. They must in every matter search out the truth and not insist upon their own opinion, for stubbornness and persistence in one's views will lead ultimately to discord and wrangling and the truth will remain hidden. The honored members must with all freedom express their own thoughts, and it is in no wise permissible for one to belittle the thoughts of another; nay, he must with moderation set forth the truth, and should differences of opinion arise a majority of voices must prevail, and all must obey and submit to the majority. It is again not permitted that any one of the honored members object to or censure, whether in or out of the meeting, any decision arrived at previously, though that decision be not right, for such criticism would prevent any decision from being enforced. In short, whatsoever thing is arranged in harmony and with love and purity of motive, its result is light, and should the least trace of estrangement prevail the result shall be darkness upon darkness. . . . If this be so regarded, that Assembly shall be of God, but otherwise it shall lead to coolness and alienation that proceed from the Evil One. Discussions must all be confined to spiritual matters that pertain to the training of souls, the instruction of children, the relief of the poor, the help of the feeble throughout all classes in the world, kindness to all peoples, the diffusion of the fragrances of God and the exaltation of His Holy Word. Should they endeavor to fulfill these conditions the Grace of the Holy Spirit shall be vouchsafed unto them, and that Assembly shall become the center of the divine blessings, the hosts of divine confirmation shall come to their aid, and they shall day by day receive a new effusion of spirit."

("Baha'i Administration , page 23 paragraph 3)

This is indeed a clear indication of the Master's express desire that nothing whatever should be given to the public by any individual among the friends, unless fully considered and approved by the Spiritual Assembly in his locality; and if this (as is undoubtedly the case) is a matter that pertains to the general interests of the Cause in that land, then it is incumbent upon the Spiritual Assembly to submit it to the consideration and approval of the National body representing all the various local Assemblies. Not only with regard to publication, but all matters without any exception whatsoever, regarding the interests of the Cause in that locality, individually or collectively, should be referred exclusively to the Spiritual Assembly in that locality, which shall decide upon it, unless it be a matter of national interest, in which case it shall be referred to the National (Baha'i) body. With this National body also will rest the decision whether a given question is of local or national (Baha'i) interest.- March 5, 1922.

("Baha'i Administration , pages 34-43)

The matter of teaching, its direction, its ways and means, its extension, its consolidation, essential as they are to the interests of the Cause, constitute by no means the only issue which should receive the full attention of these Assemblies. A careful study of Baha'u'llah's and 'Abdu'l-Baha's Tablets will reveal that other duties, no less vital to the interests of the Cause, devolve upon the elected representatives of the friends in every locality.

It is incumbent upon them to be vigilant and cautious, discreet and watchful, and protect at all times the temple of the Cause from the dart of the mischief-maker and the onslaught of the enemy.

They must endeavor to promote amity and concord amongst the friends, efface every lingering trace of distrust, coolness and estrangement from every heart, and secure in its stead an active and whole-hearted cooperation for the service of the Cause.

They must do their utmost to extend at all times the helping hand to the poor, the sick, the disabled, the orphan, the widow, irrespective of color, cast and creed.

They must promote by every means in their power the material as well as the spiritual enlightenment of youth, the means for the education of children, institute whenever possible Baha'i educational institutions, organize and supervise their work, and provide the best means for their progress and development.

They must make an effort to maintain official, regular and frequent correspondence with the various Baha'i centers throughout the world, report to them their activities, and share the glad-tidings they receive with all their fellow-workers in the Cause.

They must bend every effort to promote the interests of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, and hasten the day when the work of this glorious Edifice will have been consummated.

They must encourage and stimulate by every means at their command, through subscriptions, reports and articles, the development of the various Baha'i magazines.

They must undertake the arrangement of the regular meetings of the friends, the feasts and the anniversaries, as well as the special gatherings designed to serve and promote the social, intellectual and spiritual interests of their fellowmen.

They must supervise in these days when the Cause is still in its infancy all Baha'i publications and translations, and provide in general for a dignified and accurate presentation of all Baha'i literature and its distribution to the general public.

These rank among the most outstanding obligations of the members of every Spiritual Assembly. In whatever locality the Cause has sufficiently expanded, and in order to insure efficiency and avoid confusion, each of these manifold functions will have to be referred to a special Committee, responsible to that Assembly, elected by it from among the friends in that locality, and upon whose work the Assembly will have to exercise constant and general supervision.

These local Spiritual Assemblies will have to be elected directly by the friends, and every declared believer of 21 years and above, far from standing aloof and assuming an indifferent or independent attitude, should regard it his sacred duty to take part, conscientiously and diligently, in the election, the consolidation and the efficient working of his own local Assembly.

Regarding the establishment of "National Assemblies," it is of vital importance that every country, where the conditions are favorable and the number of the friends has grown and reached a considerable size, that a "National Spiritual Assembly" be immediately established, representative of the friends throughout that country.

Its immediate purpose is to stimulate, unify and coordinate, by frequent personal consultations, the manifold activities of the friends as well as the local Assemblies; and by keeping in close and constant touch with the Holy Land, initiate measures, and direct in general the affairs of the Cause in that country.

It serves also another purpose, no less essential than the first, as in the course of time it shall evolve into the National House of Justice (referred to in 'Abdu'l-Baha's Will as the "secondary House of Justice") which according to the explicit text of the Testament will have, in conjunction with the other National Assemblies throughout the Baha'i world, to elect directly the members of the International House of Justice, that Supreme Council that will guide, organize and unify the affairs of the Movement throughout the world.

It is expressly recorded in 'Abdu'l-Baha's Writings that these National Assemblies must be indirectly elected by the friends; that is, the friends in every country must elect a certain number of delegates, who in their turn will elect from among all the friends in that country the members of the National Spiritual Assembly. In such countries, therefore . . . a fixed number of secondary electors must first be decided upon (95 for America, including the Pacific Islands. . .). The friends then in every locality where the number of adult declared believers exceeds nine must directly elect its quota of secondary electors assigned to it in direct proportion to its numerical strength. These secondary electors will then, either through correspondence, or preferably by gathering together, and first deliberating upon the affairs of the Cause throughout their country (as the delegates to the Convention), then elect from among all the friends in that country nine who will be the members of the National Spiritual Assembly.

This National Spiritual Assembly which, pending the establishment of the Universal House of Justice, will have to be re-elected once a year, obviously assumes grave responsibilities for it has to exercise full authority over all the local Assemblies in its province, and will have to direct the activities of the friends, guard vigilantly the Cause of God, and control and supervise the affairs of the Movement in general.

Vital issues, affecting the interests of the Cause in that country, such as the matter of translation and publication, the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, the teaching work, and other similar matters that stand distinct from strictly local affairs, must be under the full jurisdiction of the National Assembly.

It will have to refer each of these questions, even as the local Assemblies, to a special Committee, to be elected by the members of the National Spiritual Assembly from among all the friends in that country, which will bear to it the same relations as the local committees bear to their respective local Assemblies.

With it, too, rests the decision whether a certain point at issue is strictly local in its nature, and should be reserved for the consideration and decision of the local Assembly, or whether it should fall under its own province and be regarded as a matter which ought to receive its special attention. The National Spiritual Assembly will also decide upon such matters which in its opinion should be referred to the Holy Land for consultation and decision.

With these Assemblies, local as well as national, harmoniously, vigorously, and efficiently functioning throughout the Baha'i world, the only means for the establishment of the Supreme House of Justice will have been assured. And when this Supreme Body will have been properly established, it will have to consider afresh the whole situation, and lay down the principle which shall direct, so long as it deems advisable, the affairs of the Cause.

Pending its establishment, and to insure uniformity throughout the East and throughout the West, all local Assemblies will have to be re-elected once a year, during the first day of Ridvan (April 21), and the result of polling, if possible, be declared on that day.

And as the progress and extension of spiritual activities is dependent and conditioned upon material means, it is of absolute necessity that immediately after the establishment of local as well as National Spiritual Assemblies, a "Baha'i Fund be established, to be placed under the exclusive control of the Spiritual Assembly. All donations and contributions should be offered to the Treasurer of the Assembly, for the express purpose of promoting the interests of the Cause, throughout that locality or country. It is the sacred obligation of every conscientious and faithful servant of Baha'u'llah, who desires to see His Cause advance, to contribute freely and generously for the increase of that Fund. The members of the Spiritual Assembly will at their own discretion expend it to promote the teaching campaign, to help the needy, to establish educational Baha'i institutions, to extend in every way possible their sphere of service. I cherish the hope that all the friends, realizing the necessity of this measure, will bestir themselves and contribute, however modestly at first, towards the speedy establishment and the increase of that Fund.

The need for the centralization of the authority of the in the National Spiritual Assembly, and the concentration of power in the various local Assemblies, is made manifest when we reflect that the Cause of Baha'u'llah is still in its age of tender growth and in a stage of transition; when we remember that the full implications and the exact significance of the Master's worldwide instructions, as laid down in His Will, are as yet not fully grasped, and the whole Movement has not sufficiently crystallized in the eyes of the world.- March 12, 1923.

(see "Baha'i Administration , page 103)

As the administrative work of the Cause steadily expands, as its various branches grow in importance and number, it is absolete necessary that we bear in mind this fundamental fact that all these administrative activities, however harmoniously and efficiently conducted, are but means to an end, and should be regarded as direct instruments for the propagation of the Baha'i Faith. Let us take heed lest in our great concern for the perfection of the administrative machinery of the Cause, we lose sight of the Divine Purpose for which it has been created. Let us be on our guard lest the growing demand for specialization in the administrative functions of the Cause detain us from joining the ranks of those who in the forefront of battle are gloriously engaged in summoning the multitude to this New Day of God. This indeed should be our sacred obligation, our vital and urgent need. Let this cardinal principle be ever borne in mind, for it is the mainspring of all future activities, the remover of every embarrassing obstacle, the fulfilment of our Master's dearest wish. - January 10, 1926.

(see "Baha'i Administration , page 109)

The administrative machinery of the Cause having now sufficiently evolved,

its aim and object fairly-well grasped and understood, and its method and

working made more familiar to every believer, I feel the time is ripe when it

should be fully and consciously utilized to further the purpose for which it

has been created. It should, I strongly feel, be made to serve a two-fold

purpose. On one hand, it should aim at a steady and gradual expansion of the

Movement along lines that are at once broad, sound and universal; and on the

other it should insure the internal consolidation of the work already achieved.

It should both provide the impulse whereby the dynamic forces latent in the

Faith can unfold, crystallize, and shape the lives and conduct of men, and

serve as a medium for the interchange of thought and the coordination of

activities among the divers elements that constitute the Baha'i community.-

May 11, 1926.

(see "Baha'i Administration , page 67-68, November 24, 1924)

We have but to turn our eyes to the world without to realize the fierceness and the magnitude of the forces of darkness that are struggling with the dawning light of the Abha Revelation. Nations, though exhausted and disillusioned, have seemingly begun to cherish anew the spirit of revenge, of domination, and strife. Peoples, convulsed by economic upheavals, are slowly drifting into two great opposing camps with all their menace of social chaos, class hatreds, and worldwide ruin. Races, alienated more than ever before, are filled with mistrust, humiliation and fear, and seem to prepare themselves for a fresh and fateful encounter. Creeds and religions, caught in this whirlpool of conflict and passion, appear to gaze with impotence and despair at this spectacle of unceasing turmoil.

Such is the plight of mankind three years after the passing of Him from Whose lips fell unceasingly the sure message of a fast-approaching Divine salvation. Are we by our thoughts, our words, our deeds, whether individually or collectively, preparing the way? Are we hastening the advent of the Day He so often foretold?

None can deny that the flame of faith and love which His mighty hand kindled in many hearts has, despite our bereavement, continued to burn as brightly and steadily as ever before. Who can question that His loved ones, both in the East and the West, notwithstanding the insidious strivings of the enemies of the Cause, have displayed a spirit of unshakable loyalty worthy of the highest praise? What greater perseverance and fortitude than that which His tried and trusted friends have shown in the face of untold calamities, intolerable oppression, and incredible restrictions? But such staunchness of faith, such an unsullied love, such magnificent loyalty, such heroic constancy, such noble courage, however unprecedented and laudable in themselves, cannot alone lead us to the final and complete triumph of such a great Cause. Not until the dynamic love we cherish for Him is sufficiently reflected in its power and purity in all our dealings with our fellow-men, however remotely connected and humble in origin, can we hope to exalt in the eyes of a self-seeking world the genuineness of the all-conquering love of God. Not until we live ourselves the life of a true Baha'i can we hope to demonstrate the creative and transforming potency of the Faith we profess. Nothing but the abundance of our actions, nothing but the purity of our lives and the integrity of our characters, can in the last resort establish our claim that the Baha'i spirit is in this day the sole agency that can translate a long-cherished ideal into an enduring achievement.

No. 18 - June 1927 - page 3

"The Montreal Spiritual Assembly, c/o Mrs. M. Maxwell.

Dear Spiritual Brothers and Sisters:

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated March 18th. He hopes and prays that through your endeavors and the Master's ever showering blessings you will succeed to make of this first convention held in Canada a true and brilliant success; that the result of the conferences will be to begin a new era in the spiritual life of that land and hoist the flag of peace and brotherhood as never before.

There are some important questions that await immediate settlement and we hope that the deliberations made there will give them a true and final solution. In short the eye of the Baha'i world is now anxiously following the steps you are taking and the decisions you are to attain.

The members of the Master's family are all well and join in wishing you the greatest success. Their only hope rests in seeing the friends set aside their petty differences and in one accord and with a firm determination carry the burdens bequeathed to them by their dear Master.

Yours in His Service,

(Signed) RUHI AFNAN."

(Added in Shoghi Effendi's handwriting)

"My dear and valued Co-worker:

I fear this letter will reach you after the closing of the convention, but I hope that it will serve to assure you of the necessity of adopting for future conventions the essential methods of a full, frank and unhampered consultation between the National Assembly and the assembled delegates. It is the vital duty of the delegates to unburden their hearts, state their grievances, disclose their views and explain their motives. It is the duty of the National Assembly to give earnest, prompt and prayerful consideration to the views of the delegates, weigh carefully their arguments and ponder their considered judgments, before they resort to voting and undertake to arrive at a decision according to the dictates of their conscience. They should explain their motives and not dictate; seek information and invite discussion.

Wishing you the fullest success,

(Signed) SHOGHI."

Received May 9th, 1927.

No. 18 - June 1927 - page 3

This cable message was received from Shoghi Effendi:

"Affectionate remembrance Ridvan Festival. Ardently praying America's national representatives and delegates to 19th convention may by fervor of their love and the soundness of their deliberations inaugurate new cycle of unprecedented achievement."

Mr. Carl Scheffler, Treasurer, quoted from a letter written by Ruhi Afnan and signed by Shoghi Effendi:

"I am anxious to learn of the response of the friends to the plan for unified action since June 30th. I attach extreme importance to it and I wish you to concentrate your efforts on this so as to insure its success. So much that is vital depends upon this plan. We must at all cost make it a success, for its failure would be a reflection upon the Cause and would delay indefinitely the construction of the Temple. Exert every effort along this line and rest assured of my constant prayers for the success of your efforts."

No. 18 - June 1927 - page 5

Dr. Bagdadi read his letter from Shoghi Effendi, just received:

"My dear and precious Co-worker:

I desire you to redouble your efforts in connection with the promotion of inter-racial amity and understanding. "Urge the believers to show more affection, confidence, fellowship and loving kindness to the colored believers. No trace of mistrust, no sense of superiority, no mark of discord and aloofness should characterize the relations of the white and colored believers. They should openly, bravely and sincerely follow the example of our Beloved and banish prejudice from their hearts. May He reinforce and bless your efforts in such an important field of work."

(Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 18 - June 1927 - page 7-8 (see "Baha'i Administration , pages 129-132)

To the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada:

Dearly-beloved friends:

Your recent communications, dated February 17 and March 2, 17 and 21, have been received, and their perusal has served to heighten my admiration for the unflinching determination which characterizes the concerted efforts which you are exerting for the spread and consolidation of the Baha'i Faith.

I have also received and read with keenest interest and appreciation a copy of that splendid document formulated by the National Committee on inter-racial amity and addressed to all the Spiritual Assemblies throughout the United States and Canada. This moving appeal, so admirable in its conception, so sound and sober in its language, has struck a responsive chord in my heart. Sent forth at a highly opportune moment in the evolution of our sacred Faith, it has served as a potent reminder of these challenging issues which still confront in a peculiar manner the American believers.

As this problem, in the inevitable course of events, grows in acuteness and complexity, and as the number of the faithful from both races multiples, it will become increasingly evident that the future growth and prestige of the Cause are bound to be influenced to a very considerable degree by the manner in which the adherents of the Baha'i Faith carry out, first among themselves and in their relations with their fellow-men, those high standards of inter-racial amity so widely proclaimed and so fearlessly exemplified to the American people by our Master 'Abdu'l-Baha.

I direct my appeal with all the earnestness and urgency that this pressing problem calls for to every conscientious upholder of the universal principles of Baha'u'llah to face this extremely delicate situation with the boldness, the decisiveness and wisdom it demands. I cannot believe that those whose hearts have been touched by the regenerating influence of God's creative Faith in His day will find it difficult to cleanse their souls from every lingering trace of racial animosity so subversive to the Faith they profess. How can hearts that throb with the love of God fail to respond to all the implications of this supreme injunction of Baha'u'llah, the unreserved acceptance of which, under the circumstances now prevailing in America, constitutes the hall-mark of a true Baha'i character?

Let every believer, desirous to witness the swift and healthy progress of the Cause of God, realize the twofold nature of his task. Let him first turn his eyes inwardly and search his own heart and satisfy himself that in his relations with his fellow-believers, irrespective of color and class, he is proving himself increasingly loyal to the spirit of his beloved Faith. Assured and content that he is exerting his utmost in a conscious effort to approach nearer every day the lofty station to which his gracious Master summons him let him turn to his second task, and, with befitting confidence and vigor, assail the devastating power of those forces which in his own heart he has already succeeded in subduing. Fully alive to the unfailing efficacy of the power of Baha'u'llah, and armed with the essential weapons of wise restraint and inflexible resolve, let him wage a constant fight against the inherited tendencies, the corruptive instincts, the fluctuating fashions, the false pretences of the society in which he lives and moves.

In their relations amongst themselves as fellow-believers, let them not be content with the mere exchange of cold and empty formalities often connected with the organizing of banquets, receptions, consultative assemblies, and lecture-halls. Let them rather, as equal co-shares in the spiritual benefits conferred upon them by Baha'u'llah, arise and, with the aid and counsel of their local and national representatives, supplement these official functions with those opportunities which only a close and intimate social intercourse can adequately provide. In their homes, in their hours of relaxation and leisure, in the daily contact of business transactions, in the association of their children, whether in their study-classes, their playgrounds, and club-rooms, in short under all possible circumstances, however insignificant they appear, the community of the followers of Baha'u'llah should satisfy themselves that in the eyes of the world at large and in the sight of their vigilant Master they are living witnesses to those truths which He fondly cherished and tirelessly championed to the very end of His days. If we relax in our purpose, if we falter in our faith, if we neglect the varied opportunities given us from time to time by an all-wise and gracious Master, we are not merely failing in what is our most vital and conspicuous obligation, but are thereby insensibly retarding the flow of those quickening energies which can alone insure the vigorous and speedy development of God's struggling Faith.

I would particularly address my appeal to you, as the Trustees of God's sacred Faith, to reaffirm by word and deed the spirit and character of the insistent admonitions of 'Abdu'l-Baha, so solemnly and so explicitly uttered in the course of His journeys through your land - a trust which it is your privilege and function to preserve and fortify.

May the varied opportunities presented by the forthcoming assembly of the friends at Green Acre this summer - a place so admirably suited to the realization of such a noble ideal - be fully utilized to further this noble end. May it, on one hand, serve to banish once and for all every misgiving and mistrust as to the attitude that should characterize the conduct of the members of the Baha'i family, and, on the other, serve to familiarize the invited public with that aspect of our Faith which, owing to the pressure of circumstances, a few have inclined to belittle or ignore.

It is my earnest hope and prayer that the forthcoming gathering at Green Acre, the program for which has been so carefully and judiciously prepared, may serve as a testing ground for the application of those ideals and standards that are the distinguishing features of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. May the assembled believers - now but a tiny nucleus of the Baha'i Commonwealth of the future - so exemplify that spirit of universal love and fellowship as to evoke in the minds of their associates the vision of that future City of God which the almighty arm of Baha'u'llah can alone establish.

Not by merely imitating the excesses and laxity of the extravagant age they live in; not by the idle neglect of the sacred responsibilities it is their privilege to shoulder; not by the silent compromise of the principles dearly cherished by 'Abdu'l-Baha; not by their fear or unpopularity or their dread of censure can they hope to rouse society from its spiritual lethargy, and serve as a model to a civilization the foundations of which the corrosion of prejudice has well-nigh undermined. By the sublimity of their principles, the warmth of their love, the spotless purity of their character, and the depth of their devoutness and piety, let them demonstrate to their fellow-countrymen the ennobling reality of a power that shall weld a disrupted world.

We can prove ourselves worthy of our Cause only if in our individual conduct and corporate life we sedulously imitate the example of our beloved Master, whom the terrors of tyranny, the storms of incessant abuse, the oppressiveness of humiliation, never caused to deviate a hair's breadth from the revealed Law of Baha'u'llah.

Such is the path of servitude, such is the way of holiness He chose to tread to the very end of His life. Nothing short of the strictest adherence to His glorious example can safely steer our course amid the pitfalls of this perilous age, and lead us on to fulfill our high destiny.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

April 12, 1927.

No. 18 - June 1927 - page 8

My dear valued co-worker:[1]

[1 Mr. Allen B. McDaniel]

I have emphatically appealed through a recent letter to the American believers to banish from their hearts and minds every trace of racial prejudice - as an essential pre-requisite of an effectual campaign conducted by them on behalf of racial amity. There is much to be accomplished by them as fellow-believers before they face the outside world and claim the attention of their fellow-men, as the exponents of these sublime Teachings of Baha'u'llah. I trust they will realize their responsibilities and resolve to wage eternal battle with their natural instincts if they desire to ensure the efficacy of their concerted efforts in this field.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa,

May 9, 1927.

No. 18 - June 1927 - page 8-9 (see "Baha'i Administration , pages 132-134)

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the United States and Canada.

Dearly-beloved friends:

With feelings of horror and indignation I communicate to you the tale of yet another tragedy involving the shedding of the blood of a martyr of the Faith on Persia's sacred soil. I have before me, as I pen these lines, the report of the local Spiritual Assembly of Ardibil, a town on the north-east confines of the province of Adhirbayjan, not far distant from those hallowed spots where the Bab suffered His last confinement and martyrdom. Addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Persia, this report recounts in simple but moving language the circumstances that have led to the cowardly crime committed in the darkness of the night at the instigation of the fanatical clergy - the deadliest opponents of the Faith in that town.

Our martyred brother, Aminu'l-'Ulama' by name, had for some time past become notorious in the eyes of the Muslim inhabitants of Ardibil for his tenacity of faith by openly refusing at every instance to vilify and renounce his most cherished convictions. In the latter part of Ramadan - the month associated with prayer, pious deeds and fasting - his use of the public bath (that long-established institution the amenities and privileges of which are as a rule accorded only to the adherents of the Muslim Faith) had served to inflame the mob, and to provide a scheming instigator with a pretext to terminate his life. In the market place he was ridiculed and condemned as an apostate of the Faith of Islam, who, by boldly rejecting the repeated entreaties showered upon him to execrate the Baha'i name, had lawfully incurred the penalty of immediate death at the hands of every pious upholder of the Muslim tradition.

In spite of the close surveillance exercised by a body of guards stationed around his house, in response to the intercession of his friends with the local authorities, the treacherous criminal found his way into his home, and on the night of the 22nd of Ramadan, corresponding with the 26th of March, 1927, assailed him in a most atrocious and dastardly manner. Concealing within the folds of his garment his unsheathed dagger, he approached his victim and claiming the need of whispering a confidential message in his ears, plunged the weapon hilt-deep into his vitals, cutting across his ribs and mutilating his body. Every attempt to secure immediate medical assistance seems to have been foiled by malicious devices on the part of the associates of this merciless criminal, and the helpless victim after a few hours of agonizing pain surrendered his soul to his Beloved. His friends and fellow-believers, alarmed at the prospect of a fresh outbreak that would inevitably result were his mortal remains to be accorded the ordinary privileges of a decent burial, decided to inter his body in one of the two rooms that served as his own dwelling, seeking thereby to appease the fury of an unrelenting foe.

He leaves behind in desperate poverty a family of minors with no support but their mother, expectant to bring forth her child, and with no hope of relief from their non-Baha'i relatives in whose eyes they deserve to be treated only with the meanest contempt.

It appears from the above-mentioned report that the merciless assailant has been arrested, waiting, however, as has been the case with similar incidents in southern Persia, to be sooner or later released under the pressure of bribery and intimidation sedulously exercised by an impenitent enemy.

Dearest friends! Any measure of publicity the concerted efforts of the Baha'i Spiritual Assemblies of the West, on whom almighty Providence has conferred the inestimable benefits of religious toleration and freedom, can accord to this latest manifestation of unbridled barbarism in Persia will be most opportune and valuable. It will, I am certain, confer abiding solace to those disconsolate sufferers who with sublime heroism continue to uphold the traditions of their beloved Faith. Our one weapon lies in our prayerful efforts, intelligently and persistently pursued, to arouse by every means at our disposal the conscience of unheeding humanity, and to direct the attention of men of vision and authority to these incredibly odious acts which in their ferocity and frequency cannot but constitute in the eyes of every fair-minded observer the gravest challenge to all that is sacred and precious in our present-day civilization.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

April 27, 1927.

No. 18 - June 1927 - page 9

The matter is now definitely settle by Shoghi Effendi [how nominations for the office of member of the National Spiritual Assembly] in a letter dated May 14, 1927, and sent to the Spiritual Assembly of Akron, Ohio.

'We are informed by the secretary of this Assembly that the Guardian received a copy of their circular letter sent to American Assemblies on March 20 which urged that some system of advance nominations be adopted and the following words have reference to it:

"I feel that reference to personalities before the election would give rise to misunderstanding and differences. What the friends should do is to get thoroughly acquainted with one another, to exchange views, to mix freely and discuss among themselves the requirements and qualifications for such a membership without reference or application, however indirect, to particular individuals. We should refrain from influencing the opinion of others, of canvassing for any particular individual, but should stress the necessity of getting fully acquainted with the qualifications of membership referred to in our Beloved's Tablets and of learning more about one another through direct, personal experience rather than through the reports and opinions of our friends." - Your true brother, Shoghi.

No. 19 - August 1927 - page 3

" I trust and pray that the efforts of the newly elected National Assembly will be concentrated this year on the Plan of Unified Action, and that the believers in every locality will whole-heartedly and unitedly arise to insure its success by every means at their disposal. What we require is unity of purpose, singleness of mind and concerted and sustained effort. Every endeavor to achieve this purpose will surely be assisted from on high and will receive the full measure of the Beloved's blessings." - SHOGHI EFFENDI, May 25, 1927.

No. 20 - November 1927 - page 7

" The Kitab-i-Aqdas should not be published as the existing translation is most inadequate. As the Laws in the Aqdas are not all of them designed for immediate application, our Guardian hopes to make extracts of the more immediate and essential provisions of it for the guidance of the friends, who should be urged to adopt and enforce them within the limits imposed by the civil law in their respective countries.

" Regarding the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, our Guardian feels that the National Assembly should take no step whatsoever concerning the interior design or constructions of the Temple if that step involves, however indirectly, any financial obligation on the part of the National Fund, as the Temple Fund is solely for building purposes. As to the character of the design, our Guardian feels that this is a matter to be decided by the architect and those friends who have a special knowledge of such matters."

No. 20 - November 1927 - page 7-8 (see "Baha'i Administration , page 134-137)

To the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada:

Dearly-beloved co-workers:

Your communications dated April 15th and May 6th and 9th have been received, with their enclosures, and carefully perused.

The Declaration of trust, the provisions of which you have so splendidly conceived, and formulated with such assiduous care, marks yet another milestone on the road of progress along which you are patiently and determinedly advancing. Clear and concise in its wording, sound in principle, and complete in its affirmations of the fundamentals of Baha'i administration, it stands in its final form as a worthy and faithful exposition of the constitutional basis of Baha'i communities in every land, foreshadowing the final emergence of the world Baha'i Commonwealth of the future. This document, when correlated and combined with the set of by-laws which I trust are soon forthcoming, will serve as a pattern to every National Baha'i Assembly, be it in the East or in the West, which aspires to conform, pending the formation of the First Universal House of Justice, with the spirit and letter of the world-order ushered in by Baha'u'llah.

I eagerly await the receipt of the complete set of the contemplated by-laws, the purpose of which should be to supplement the provisions, clarify the purpose, and explain more fully the working of the principle underlying the above-mentioned Declaration. I shall, after having given it my close and personal consideration, transmit it to you, in order that you may submit it to the local Spiritual Assemblies, who in turn will endeavor to secure its final ratification by the body of the recognized believers throughout the United States and Canada. I would urge you to insert the Text of the Declaration, the complete set of the by-laws, and the accompanying Indenture of Trust, all combined, in the next issue of the Baha'i Year Book, that sympathizers and believers alike in every land may obtain a clear and correct vision of the preliminary framework of that complete system of world administration implicit in the Teachings of Baha'u'llah.

In connection with the best and most practical methods of procedure to be adopted for the election of Baha'i Spiritual Assemblies, I feel that in view of the fact that definite and detailed regulations defining the manner and character of Baha'i elections have neither been expressly revealed by Baha'u'llah nor laid down in the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha, it devolves upon the members of the Universal House of Justice to formulate and apply such system of laws as would be in conformity with the essentials and requisites expressly provided by the Author and Interpreter of the Faith for the conduct of Baha'i administration. I have consequently refrained from establishing a settled and uniform procedure for the election of the Assemblies of the East and the West, leaving them free to pursue their own methods of procedure which in most cases had been instituted and practiced during the last two decades of the life of 'Abdu'l-Baha.

The general practice prevailing throughout the East is the one based upon the principle of plurality rather than absolute majority, whereby those candidates that have obtained the highest number of votes, irrespective of the fact whether they command an absolute majority of the votes cast or not, are automatically and definitely elected. It has been felt, with no little justification, that this method, admittedly disadvantageous in its disregard of the principle that requires that each elected member must secure a majority of the votes cast, does away on the other hand with the more serious disadvantage of restricting the freedom of the elector who, unhampered and unconstrained by electoral necessities, is called upon to vote for none but those whom prayer and reflection have inspired him to uphold. Moreover, the practice of nomination, so detrimental to the atmosphere of a silent and prayerful election, is viewed with mistrust inasmuch as it gives the right to the majority of a body that, in itself under the present circumstances, often constitutes a minority of all the elected delegates, to deny that God-given right of every elector to vote only in favor of those who he is conscientiously convinced are the most worthy candidates. Should this simple system be provisionally adopted, it would safeguard the spiritual principle of the unfettered freedom of the voter, who will thus preserve intact the sanctity of the choice he first made. It would avoid the inconvenience of securing advance nominations from absent delegates, and the impracticality of associating them with the assembled electors in the subsequent ballots that are often required to meet the exigencies of majority vote.

I would recommend these observations to your earnest consideration, and whatever decision you arrive at, all local Assemblies and individual believers, I am certain, will uphold, for their spiritual obligation and privilege is not only to consult freely and frequently with the National Spiritual Assembly, but to uphold as well with confidence and cheerfulness whatever is the considered verdict of their national representatives.

Wishing you success from all my heart,

I am, your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

May 27, 1927.

No. 21 - January 1928 - page 2-3

Extracts of Letters Written by the Guardian to the Treasurer of the National Spiritual Assembly About the Plan of Unified Action

Oct. 16, 1926.

My dear co-worker:

I am glad to hear from a recent letter of the increasing interest and support of the friends to the Plan. We must continually repeat, appeal and urge them to realize afresh the vital urgency of the task before them. I am herewith enclosing the sum of $95 as my October contribution towards the Plan for Unified Action. Please assure the friends of my continued prayers for the success of their persistent efforts and devoted labors for the spread of the Cause.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Nov. 1, 1926.

My dear co-worker:

I am anxious to learn of the response of the friends to the Plan for

Unified Action since June 30th: I attach extreme importance to it and I wish

you to concentrate your splendid efforts on this so as to insure its success.

So much that is vital depends upon this Plan. We must at all costs make it a

success, for its failure would be a reflection on the Cause and would delay

indefinitely and lamentably the construction of the Temple. Exert every effort

along this line and rest assured of my constant prayers for the success of your

efforts.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Jan. 8, 1927.

My dear and valued co-worker:

It is my earnest hope and prayer that the friends will more universally, substantially and regularly contribute to this Plan. They should be strenuously and continuously urged to do so. The National Assembly must be on their guard and watch carefully the developments of the activities of the friends lest any new issue should arise that would tend to obscure the most vital issue which is of paramount importance, lest it should dissipate the energies of the friends and cause this Plan to fall into the background. I will continue to supplicate the blessings of Baha'u'llah upon your highly valued efforts.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

March 23, 1927.

My dear and valued co-worker:

I am enclosing my April contribution to the National Fund. It is a matter of deep concern to me that the response of the believers to the call embodied in the Plan of Unified Action has been so feeble and uncertain. The National Assembly, while not justified to oppose specific contributions for newly originated activities, should by every means in its power impress upon the friends the paramount necessity of unlabelled contributions to the National Fund. The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar undoubtedly undoubtedly constitutes the most important item in the activities provided by the Plan, but these must not be unduly restricted or neglected in order to further the interests of the Temple. I would be grieved to learn that any believer would ever attempt to support an activity that lies outside the province of the Plan and would neglect thereby his sacred obligation towards the Budget. May the believers, one and all, arise to support the Plan as they have never done before and with all the resources at their disposal secure its triumph.

SHOGHI.

June 28, 1927

My dear Baha'i brother:

I am instructed by my beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi, to forward to you the enclosed checque of $95 as his contribution to the Budget for the month of June. He earnestly hopes that the friends have by now realized the supreme necessity of contributing regularly and unlabelled towards the Plan of Unified Action which is the corner stone of Baha'i administration for this coming year.

Wishing you success in your unsparing efforts to promote the Plan, I am,

Yours sincerely,

R. Rabbani.

August 16, 1927.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I know full well how exacting your task is and I fully appreciate your difficult position. Perseverance will alone ensure the success of the work to which we are so closely attached and I trust that you will continue to acquaint the friends with every development of your work that confidence may grow deeper and result in a wider and more substantial response. Do not lose heart and remember always the eventual success of God's Divine Plan.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

September 29, 1927.

My dear co-worker:

It is my earnest hope that the Cause will not incur further liabilities this year and I want you to urge the National Assembly to be exceedingly careful in voting appropriations that are not strictly urgent and necessary at present. We must concentrate on what is specified and stressed in the Budget for the coming year.

With best wishes,

SHOGHI.

No. 21 - January 1928 - page 3

Letter from Business Manager of Baha'i Magazine

... carrying out the following recent wishes of our Guardian:

"... there should be no difficulties concerning it, since every assembly and every individual will support it."

No. 21 - January 1928 - page 5-6 (see "Baha'i Administration , pages 137-139)

To the Honored Members of the Baha'i National Spiritual Assemblies Throughout the West.

My dear fellow-workers:

With feelings of burning indignation I find myself impelled to acquaint you with various events that have recently transpired in Persia. Though in their immediate effect these happenings may prove gravely disquieting to the followers of the Faith in Persia and elsewhere, yet they cannot but eventually contribute to the strengthening and purification of the Cause we steadfastly love and serve.

I refer to the treacherous conduct of a professed adherent of the teaching of Baha'u'llah, by the name of 'Abdu'l-Husayn Avarih, hitherto regarded as a respected teacher of the Cause, and not unknown by a few of its followers in Europe. Of a nature and character whom those who have learned to know him well have never ceased to despise, even in the brightest days of his public career in the Cause, he has of late been driven by the force of circumstances which his shortsightedness has gravely miscalculated to throw off the mask which for so many years hid his hideous self.

The sudden removal of the commanding personality of our beloved 'Abdu'l-Baha; the confused consternation that seized His followers in the years immediately succeeding His passing; the reputation which to superficial eyes he had acquired by his travels in Europe; the success attending his voluminous compilation of the history of the Cause - these and other circumstances emboldened him to launch a campaign of insinuation and fraud aiming at the eventual overthrow of the institutions expressly provided by Baha'u'llah. He saw clearly his chance in the complete disruption of the Cause to capture the allegiance if not of the whole world-wide Baha'i community of at least a considerable section of its followers in the East.

No sooner had his evil whisperings reached the ears of the loyal and vigilant followers of Baha'u'llah, than they arose with overwhelming force and unhesitating determination to denounce him as a dangerous enemy seeking to undermine the faith and sap the loyalty of the adherents of the Cause of God. Shunned by the entire body of the believers, abandoned by his life-long and most intimate friends, deserted by his wife, separated from his only child, refused admittance into even his own home, denied of the profit he hoped to derive from the sale and circulation of his book, he found to his utter amazement and remorse his best hopes irretrievably shattered.

Forsaken and bankrupt, and in desperate rage, he now with startling audacity sought to expose to friend and foe, the futility and hollowness which he attributed to the Cause, thereby revealing the depths of his own degradation and folly. He has with bitter hatred conspired with the fanatical clergy and the orthodox members of foreign Missions in Tihran, allied himself with every hostile element in the Capital, directed with fiendish subtlety his appeal to the highest dignitaries of the State and sought by every method to secure financial assistance for the furtherance of his aim.

Not content with an infamous denunciation of the originality and efficacy of the teachings and principles of the Cause, not satisfied with a rejection of the authenticity of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha, he has dared to attack the exalted person of the Author and Founder of the Faith, and to impute to its Forerunner and true Exemplar the vilest motives and most incredible intentions.

He has most malignantly striven to revive the not unfamiliar accusation of representing the true lovers of Persia as the sworn enemies of every form of established authority in that land, the unrelenting disturbers of its peace, the chief obstacles to its unity and the determined wreckers of the venerated faith of Islam. By every artifice which a sordid and treacherous mind can devise he has sought in the pages of his book to strike terror in the heart of the confident believer, to sow the seeds of doubt in the mind of the well-disposed and friendly, to poison the thoughts of the indifferent and to reinforce the power of the assaulting weapon of the adversary.

But, alas! he has labored in vain, oblivious of the fact that all the pomp and powers of royalty, all the concerted efforts of the mightiest potentates of Islam, all the ingenious devices to which the cruelest torture-mongers of a cruel race have for well-nigh a century resorted, have proved one and all impotent to stem the tide of the beloved Faith or to extinguish its flame. Surely, if we read the history of this Cause aright, we cannot fail to observe that the East has already witnessed not a few of its sons, of wider experience, of a higher standing, of a greater influence, apostatize their faith, find themselves to their utter consternation lose whatsoever talent they possessed, recede swiftly into the shadows of oblivion and be heard of no more.

Should ever his book secure widespread circulation in the West, should it ever confuse the mind of the misinformed and stranger, I have no doubt that the various Baha'i National Spiritual Assemblies, throughout the Western world, will with the wholehearted and sustained support of local Assemblies and individual believers arise with heart and soul for the defence of the impregnable stronghold of the Cause of God, for the vindication of the sacredness and sublimity of the Baha'i Teachings, and for the condemnation, in the eyes of those who are in authority, of one who has so basely dared to assail, not only the tenets, but the holy person of the recognized Founder of an established and world-wide Faith.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine;

October 17, 1927.

No. 21 - January 1928 - page 6 - 7 (see "Baha'i Administration , pages 139-147)

To the Members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada.

Dearly-beloved co-workers:

I have already expressed indirectly my views with regard to various secondary issues raised in your latest communications to me dated May 23, June 10, 21, July 11, 14, 15 and 25, August 7 and September 28; and I wish in this letter to deal more particularly with such matters of primary importance as affect the conduct and the growth of Baha'i administration. The perusal of these communications replete with the news of steadily multiplying activities and newly conceived plans, all of which I as heretofore appreciate and welcome, has made me feel however that the time seems now opportune to utter a word of caution and warning to those who with unceasing zest labor to give befitting embodiment to those latent energies released by the Message of Baha'u'llah.

Much as I rejoice in witnessing the abundant signs of unfaltering energy that characterize in various fields and distant lands the mission of the valiant warriors of the Cause, I cannot help observing that, driven by their impetuous eagerness to establish the undisputed reign of Baha'u'llah on this earth, they may by an undue multiplication of their activities, and the consequent dissipation of their forces, defeat the very purpose which animates them in the pursuit of their glorious task. Particularly do I feel that this necessity for a careful estimation of the present resources at our disposal and of cautious restraint in handling them applies in a peculiar manner to the swiftly expanding activities of the American believers, whose mission increasingly appears to be to give the lead and set the example to their brethren across the seas in laying a secure foundation for the permanent institutions of the Baha'i Faith. That I feel is chiefly the reason why such stress has been laid in the past upon the necessity for consultation on the part of individual believers with their elected national representatives in the matter of initiating plans of action above and beyond the plans which the deliberations of the National Spiritual Assembly have already evolved. In the matter of affiliation with bodies and organizations that advocate ideals and principles that are in sympathy with the Baha'i Revelation; in establishing magazines beyond those that already are designed to advance openly and indirectly the interests of the Baha'i Teachings; in the financial support we may sooner or later be called upon to extend to philanthropic institutions and the like; in advancing the cause of any particular activity to which we may feel sentimentally inclined; - these, as well as all similar undertakings, we should only approach after having definitely ascertained, through careful deliberation with those who are in a responsible position, that the institutions representing the paramount interests of the Cause are already assured of adequate and continuous assistance. Nothing short of the spirit of earnest and sustained consultation with those whom we have prayerfully and of our own accord placed in the forefront of those who are the custodians of the priceless heritage bequeathed by Baha'u'llah; nothing less than persistent and strenuous warfare against our own instincts and natural inclinations, and heroic self-sacrifice in subordinating our own likings to the imperative requirements of the Cause of God, can insure our undivided loyalty to so sacred a principle - principle that will for all time safeguard our beloved Cause from the allurements and the trivialities of the world without, and of the pitfalls of the self within. I entreat you, well-beloved brethren, to resolve as you never have resolved before to pledge undying loyalty and sleepless vigilance in upholding so essential a principle in the course of your manifold activities, that yours may be the abiding satisfaction of having done nothing that may tend in the least to impede the flow or obscure the radiance of the rejuvenating spirit of the Faith of Baha'u'llah.

Touching the recent decision of the National Spiritual Assembly to place as much as possible of the current details of the work in the hands of its national committees, I feel I should point out that this raise a fundamental issue of paramount importance, as it involves a unique principle in the administration of the Cause, governing the relations that should be maintained between the central administrative body and its assisting organs of executive and legislative action. As it has been observed already, the role of these committees set up by the National Spiritual Assembly, the renewal, the membership and functions of which should be reconsidered separately each year by the incoming National Assembly, is chiefly to make thorough and expert study of the issue entrusted to their charge, advise by their reports, and assist in the execution of the decisions which in vital matters are to be exclusively and directly rendered by the National Assembly. The utmost vigilance, the most strenuous exertion is required by them if they wish to fulfill as befits their high and responsible calling, the functions which it them by present-day circumstances, endeavor to maintain the balance in such a manner that the evils of over-centralization which clog, confuse and in the long run depreciate the value of the Baha'i services rendered shall on one hand be entirely avoided, and on the other the perils of utter decentralization with the consequent lapse of governing authority from the hands of the national representatives of the believers definitely averted. The absorption of the petty details of Baha'i administration by the personnel of the National Spiritual Assembly is manifestly injurious to efficiency and an expert discharge of Baha'i duties, whilst the granting of undue discretion to bodies that should be regarded in no other light than that of expert advisers and executive assistants would jeopardize the very vital and pervading powers that are the sacred prerogatives of bodies that in time will evolve into Baha'i National Houses of Justice. I am fully aware of the strain and sacrifice which a loyal adherence to such an essential principle of Baha'i administration - a principle that will at once ennoble and distinguish the Baha'i method of administration from the prevailing systems of the world - demands from the national representatives of the believers at this early stage of our evolution. Yet I feel I cannot refrain from stressing the broad lines along which the affairs of the Cause should be increasingly conducted, the knowledge of which is so essential at this formative period of Baha'i administrative institutions.

As already intimated, I have read and re-read most carefully the final draft of the By-Laws drawn up by that highly-talented, much-loved servant of Baha'u'llah, Mountfort Mills, and feel I have nothing substantial to add to this first and very creditable attempt at codifying the principles of general Baha'i administration. I heartily and unhesitatingly commend it to the earnest perusal of, and its loyal adoption by, every National Baha'i Spiritual Assembly, whether constituted in the East or in the West. I would ask you particularly to send copies of the text of this document of fundamental importance accompanied by copies of the Declaration of Trust and the text of the Indenture of Trust, to every existing National Spiritual Assembly, with my insistent request to study the provisions, comprehend its implications, and endeavor to incorporate it, to the extent that their own circumstances permit, within the framework of their own national activities. You can but faintly imagine how comforting a stimulant and how helpful a guide its publication and circulation will be to those patient and toiling workers in Eastern lands, and particularly Persia, who in the midst of uncertainties and almost insuperable obstacles are straining every nerve in order to establish the world order ushered in by Baha'u'llah. You can hardly realize how substantially it will contribute to pave the way for the elaboration of the beginnings of the constitution of the worldwide Baha'i Community that will form the permanent basis upon which the blest and sanctified edifice of the first International House of Justice will securely rest and flourish.

I would specifically remind you that in the text of the said By-Laws which to the outside world represents the expression of the aspirations, the motives and objects that animate the collective responsibilities as willing ministers, faithful stewards and loyal trustees to those who have chosen them. Let it be made clear to every inquiring reader that among the most outstanding and sacred duties incumbent upon those who have been called upon to initiate, direct and coordinate the affairs of the Cause, are those that require them to win by every means in their power the confidence and affection of those whom it is their privilege to serve. Theirs is the duty to investigate and acquaint themselves with the considered views, the prevailing sentiments, the personal convictions of those whose welfare it is their solemn obligation to promote. Theirs is the duty to purge once for all their deliberations and the general conduct of their affairs from that air of self-contained aloofness, from the suspicion of secrecy, the stifling atmosphere of dictatorial assertiveness, in short, from every word and deed that might savor of partiality, self-centeredness and prejudice. Theirs is the duty, while retaining the sacred and exclusive right of final decision in their hands, to invite discussion, provide information, ventilate grievances, welcome advice from even the most humble and insignificant members of the Baha'i family, expose their motives, set forth their plans, justify their actions, revise if necessary their verdict, foster the sense of interdependence and co-partnership, of understanding and mutual confidence between them on one hand and all local Assemblies and individual believers on the other.

As to the state of affairs in Persia, where the circumstances related in a previous circular letter have had their share in intensifying the chronic state of instability and insecurity that prevail, grave concern has been felt lest the support, both moral and financial, anticipated from the bigoted elements of foreign Missions in the Capital should lead to an extension of its circulation in the West, and thus inflict, however slight, a damage on the prestige and fair name of our beloved Cause. These internal agitations, however, coinciding as they have done with outbursts of sectarian fanaticism from without, accompanied by isolated cases of fresh persecution in Kirman and elsewhere, have failed to exasperate and exhaust the heroic patience of the steadfast lovers of the Cause. They have even failed to becloud the serenity of their faith in the inevitable approach of the breaking of a brighter dawn for their afflicted country. Undeterred and undismayed, they have replied to the defiance of the traitor within, and the assaults of the enemy without by a striking re-affirmation of their unbroken solidarity and inflexible resolve to build with infinite patience and toil on the sure foundations laid for them by Baha'u'llah. With their traditional fidelity and characteristic vigor, notwithstanding the unimaginable hindrances they have to face, they have convened their first historic representative conference of various delegates from the nine leading provinces of Persia, have evolved plans for holding every year as fully representative a convention of Baha'i delegates in Persia as circumstances permit, and modelled after the method pursued by their brethren in the United States and Canada. They have reconstituted and defined the limits of the hitherto confused Baha'i administrative divisions throughout the length and breadth of their land. They have adopted various resolutions of vital importance, the chief ones among them aiming at the reorganization of the institution of the National Fund, the consolidation and extension of their national campaign of Teaching, the strengthening of the bonds that unite them with the local and national Assemblies at home and abroad, the establishment of Baha'i primary educational institutions in towns and villages, the raising of the social and educational standards of women, irrespective of sect and caste, and the reinforcement of those forces that tend to raise the moral, cultural and material standard of their fellow-countrymen. Surely, to an unbiased observer of the present state of affairs in Persia, these resolutions, backed by the creative energy inherent in the power of the Word of God, mark not only a milestone on the road of the progress of the Persian believers, but constitute as well a notable landmark in the chequered history of their own country.

The warm hospitality accorded by the National Spiritual Assembly and the American believers to my dear cousin and collaborator, Ruhi Effendi, has deeply touched me, particularly as I realize from the appreciative reports I have recently received that by his radiant and earnest spirit of service he has deserved well of his dear fellow-workers in that continent, and contributed substantially to their better appreciation of the Teachings of the Cause. Much as I desire him to work by my side here in the Holy Land, I very gladly concur with your wish to further extend his sojourn with you, trusting that he will prove of great assistance to you all in the discharge of your noble task.

And now in conclusion, may I be permitted to direct your attention to the lesson which the trend of world events brings home to us, the little band of His chosen workers who, according to the intelligent efforts we exert, can prove ourselves the determining factor in the immediate fortunes of the society we live in? As we witness on all sides the growing restlessness of a restless age, we are filled with mixed feelings of fear and hope - fear, at the prospect of yet another deadly encounter, the inevitability of which is alas! becoming increasingly manifest; hope, in the serene assurance that whatever cataclysm may yet visit humanity, it cannot but hasten the approaching era of universal and lasting peace so emphatically proclaimed by the Pen of Baha'u'llah. In the political domain, where we have lately witnessed, in the council of the leading nations of the world, the surrender of humanity's noblest conception to what may be regarded only as a transient phase in the life of peoples and nations; in the industrial world, where the representatives of the wage-earning classes, either through violence or persuasion, are capturing the seats of authority and wielding the scepter of power: in the field of religion, where we have lately witnessed widespread and organized attempts to broaden and simplify the basis of man's faith, to achieve unity in Christendom and restore the regenerating vigor of Islam; in the heart of society itself, where the ominous signs of increasing extravagance and profligacy are but lending fresh impetus to the forces of revolt and reaction that are growing more distinct every day - in these as in many others we have much cause for alarm, but much to be hopeful and thankful for also. To take but one instance more fully: Observe the fierce and as yet unsilenced dispute which the proposal for the introduction of a binding and universal pact of non-aggression among the nations of Europe has aroused among the avowed supporters of the League of Nations - a League so auspiciously welcomed for the ideal that prompted its birth, yet now so utterly inadequate in the actual principles that underlie its present-day structure and working. And yet, in the great outcry raised by post-war nationalism in blindly defending and upholding the unfettered supremacy of its own sovereignty, and in repudiating unreservedly the conception of a world super-state, can we not discern the re-enactment only on a larger scale of the dramatic struggles that heralded the birth of the reconstructed and unified nations of the West? Has not authentic history clearly revealed in the case of these nations the painful yet inevitable merging of rival, particularistic and independent cities and principalities into one unified national entity, the evolving of a crude and narrow creed into a nobler and wider conception? Is not a parallel struggle being now manifested on the world stage of ever-advancing humanity? Can it lead to any other result than that which shall reaffirm the truth of humanity's onward march towards an ever-widening conception, and the ever-brightening glory of its destiny? Reverses and setbacks, such as we have already witnessed, no doubt will retard the ripening of the choicest fruit on the tree of human development. Yet the fierceness of controversy, the weight of argument advanced in its disfavor, cannot but contribute to the broadening of the basis and the consolidation of the foundations upon which the stately edifice of unified mankind must ultimately rest. Let us take heart therefore, and labor with renewed vigor and deepened understanding to contribute our share to those forces which, whether or not cognizant of the regenerating Faith of Baha'u'llah in this age, are operating, each in its respective sphere and under His all-encompassing guidance, for the uplift and the salvation of humanity.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

October 18, 1927.

No. 22 - March 1928 - page 1

The privilege of all sincere believers is to enter ever more closely into the thought of the Guardian. The following letter received recently by Mr. Scheffler, Treasurer of the National Assembly, contains a message for us all.

" My dear Baha'i brother: - I am instructed by our beloved Guardian to thank you for your welcome letter of December 18th with enclosures, all of which he was very glad to receive.

He has always thought it a great pity and one that should certainly be remedied, that the friends should cease or refuse to support the Plan of Unified Action on such ill-founded and illegitimate excuse as the extravagance of the members, especially when they have all the figures they want given them. He does hope that it really is not an indirect expression of their lack of confidence in their duly elected National Assembly or their unwillingness to cooperate. At any rate, one thing should be made clear, that when it has the full and wholehearted support of our Guardian, it simply means that they must contribute to it if they really have the interest of the Cause at heart. It is to be lamented if the best interests of the Cause are made to suffer only due to lack of cooperation and perhaps personal sentiment.

However, our Guardian thinks that it is very urgent and necessary that the National Assembly make a special effort to explain and remove all difficulties and encourage all the various Assemblies to save the Plan even at the eleventh hour, especially as our Guardian has such high hopes in that.

With all Baha'i hopes and greetings,

Sincerely in His service,

SOHIEL AFNAN.

My dear and valued co-worker: -

I grieve to learn of the inadequate response on the part of the friends to the National Fund. I have talked the matter over with Mr. Schopflocher and urged him to transmit my earnest plea to all the believers to make a supreme and self-sacrificing effort to raise the necessary sum before the end of this year, as otherwise the prestige of the Cause will be gravely affected. Not only those who have ample means at their disposal should display a greater effort, but those who are of humbler position must also make a self-sacrificing effort, that the Temple may become the embodiment of the self-sacrifice of all the believers.

Praying for your success,

SHOGHI."

Haifa, Palestine,

January 15th, 1928.

No. 22 - March 1928 - page 8

Guardian's View of the Matter of Teachers' Expenses

" He would personally much prefer, if any of the friends think of helping . . . to do so not personally but through either the local or National Assembly."

No. 24 - June 1928 - page 1

Communications from Shoghi Effendi

"National Spiritual Assembly : Pray convey friends assembled at inauguration ceremony Foundation Hall my earnest and pressing plea for heroic, sustained and self-sacrificing effort to pledge necessary requirements for early resumption Temple building operations. May delegates' solemn resolution, reinforced by entire body of believers and effectively carried out by incoming National Assembly, immortalize memory of this year's Ridvan Festival as a most notable landmark in history of our beloved Faith.

(signed) SHOGHI,

Haifa, Palestine,

April 24, 1928.

"McDaniel , care National Assembly: Kindly assure assembled delegates on behalf family (and) myself our love, appreciation, prayers, gratitude.

(signed) SHOGHI,

Haifa, Palestine,

April 30, 1928.

"National Spiritual Assembly : Overjoyed delegates' spontaneous, most generous response. Praying for sustained effort by entire body (of) believers. Wish newly formed Assembly speedy, unqualified success. Congratulate Ruhi.

(signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

May 2, 1928.

"To Mr. McDaniel : My very dear and precious co-worker: I rejoice to learn of the result of the National elections. Such a splendid and united group with such a splendid start made at the Convention, should be able to contribute a notable share to the success of the Plan. I will pray for them all, that through their wise, sustained and concerted efforts, and reinforced by the generous, spontaneous and continued support of the body of the believers, they may in the course of a year or two bring to a successful conclusion the first stage in the construction of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar.

(signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

May 9, 1928.

No. 24 - June 1928 - page 3

"NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY, NEW YORK CITY.

" PRAY CONVEY FRIENDS ASSEMBLED AT INAUGURATION CEREMONY FOUNDATION HALL MY EARNEST AND PRESSING PLEA FOR HEROIC, SUSTAINED AND SELF-SACRIFICING EFFORT TO PLEDGE NECESSARY REQUIREMENTS FOR EARLY RESUMPTION TEMPLE BUILDING OPERATIONS. MAY DELEGATES' SOLEMN RESOLUTION, REINFORCED BY ENTIRE BODY OF BELIEVERS AND EFFECTIVELY CARRIED OUT BY INCOMING NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, IMMORTALIZE MEMORY OF THIS YEAR'S RIDVAN FESTIVAL AS A MOST NOTABLE LANDMARK IN HISTORY OF OUR BELOVED FAITH.

SHOGHI."

No. 24 - June 1928 - page 5

In a letter just received from Shoghi Effendi he says: "Teaching today is the greatest possible work for any Baha'i in every land and especially in America. When our numbers increase and we become better Baha'is, there will be few problems to think about."

Again Shoghi Effendi says: "His trumpet-call resounds on every side, and summons us to service; are we to tarry and hesitate? His voice is calling aloud from every land, let us march on, unfettered and unafraid and fulfill our glorious destiny."

No. 28 - November 1928 - page 2

re Literature presented to Emperor and Empress of Japan

A request sent to the Guardian for words of greeting to accompany the literature brought forth the following response:

"May the perusal of Baha'i literature enable Your Imperial Majesty to appreciate the sublimity and penetrative power of Baha'u'llah's Revelation and inspire you on this auspicious occasion to arise for its world wide recognition and triumph." (Signed) Shoghi.

No. 29 - January 1929 - page 2

The following words were written by Shoghi Effendi to the National Assembly on November 1, 1928:

"My dear and valued co-worker: I wish to add a few words in person regarding the commemoration of my birthday anniversary. I would earnestly request all believers and Assemblies not to observe, under any circumstances, whether officially or privately, my birthday anniversary. I strongly feel that only anniversaries in connection with the life of the Bab, Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha should be celebrated by the believers. It will, I am sure, prove conducive to my own spiritual growth and happiness, and would be in the best interests of our beloved Faith. I trust that you will acquaint all the believers with this insistent request of mine and I feel sure that they will all joyfully respond. Your true brother,Shoghi."

On December 21, 1928, the National Assembly received the following cablegram from Shoghi Effendi:

"Baha'u'llah's distinguished, beloved servant Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney passed away. Hearts greatly afflicted. Urge holding befitting memorial.(Signed) Shoghi."

Special Issue - January 1929 - Letters from Shoghi Effendi pages 1 - 4 (see "Baha'i Administration , pages 147-156)

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in 'Abdu'l-Baha:

Events, of a startling character and of the utmost significance to the Faith of Baha'u'llah, have recently transpired throughout the Near and Middle East in such rapid succession, that I feel moved to write about the to those who, in distant lands and with eager hearts, are waiting to witness the fulfillment of the prophecies of Baha'u'llah. You will, I am certain, rejoice with me to learn that the quickening forces of internal reform are swiftly awakening from their age-long slumber of negligence those lands which, trodden by the feet of Baha'u'llah and wherein are enshrined the memorable scenes of His birth, His ministry, His exiles, His banishments, His suffering and His ascension, are destined in the fulness of time to play a pre-eminent role in the regeneration of the East - nay of all mankind.

From Persia, the cradle of our Faith and the object of our tenderest affections, there breaks upon us the news of the first stirrings of that social and political Reformation which, as we firmly believe, is but the direct and unavoidable consequence of that great spiritual Revival ushered in by the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. These social and political forces now released by the Source of such a tremendous Revival are bound in their turn to demolish one by one the barriers that have so long impeded its flow, sapped its vitality and obscured its radiance.

From a communication addressed to me recently by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Persia, as well as from reliable reports submitted by the local representatives of the Persian believers, and confirmed by the vivid narrative of visiting pilgrims, it is becoming increasingly manifest that the glowing promises so many times uttered by our departed Master are, with extraordinary exactitude and remarkable swiftness, being successively fulfilled. Reforms of a revolutionary character are, without bloodshed and with negligible resistance, gradually transforming the very basis and structure of Persia's primitive society. The essentials of public security and order are being energetically provided throughout the length and breadth of the Shah's domain, and are hailed with particular gratification by that much harassed section of the population - our long-suffering brethren of that land. The rapidity, the incredible ease, with which the enlightened proposals of its government, in matters of education, trade and finance, means of transportation and travel, and the development of the country's internal resources, are receiving the unqualified sanction of a hitherto reactionary Legislature, and are overcoming the resistance and apathy of the masses, have undoubtedly tended to hasten the emancipation of our Persian brethren from the remaining fetters of a once despotic and blood-stained regime. The severely repressive and humiliating measures undertaken on the initiative of progressive provincial Governors, and with the connivance of State officials in the Capital, aiming at the scattering and ultimate extinction of a rapidly waning clergy, such as degradation, detainment, deportation and in some cases pitiless execution, are paving the way for the entire removal of the shackles imposed by an ignorant and fanatical priesthood upon the administration of State affairs. In matters of dress; in the obligatory enforcement of a uniform style of national head-gear; in the strict limitation of the number, the rights and the prerogatives of high ecclesiastical officials; in the growing unpopularity of the veil among almost every section of society; in the marked distinction which unofficially and in various phases of public life is being made by an enlightened and pressing minority between the tottering forms of a discredited Ecclesiasticism and the civil rights and duties of civilized society; in the general laxity in religious observances and ceremonies; in the slow and hidden process of secularization invading many a government department under the courageous guidance of the Governors of outlying provinces - in all of these a discerning eye can easily discover the symptoms that augur well for a future that is sure to witness the formal and complete separation of Church and State.

To this uplifting movement, various external factors are being added that are tending to hasten and stimulate this process of internal regeneration so significant in the life of renascent Persia. The multiplicity and increasing facilities in the means of transportation and travel; the State visit of energetic and enlightened reformers to Persia's capital; the forthcoming and widely-advertised journey of the Shah himself to the progressive capitals of Western Europe; the repercussion of Turkey's astounding reforms among an essentially sensitive and receptive people; the loud and persistent clamor of a revolting order in Russia against the evil domination and dark plottings of all forms of religious sectarianism; the relentless vigor with which Afghanistan's ambitious Ruler, reinforced by the example of his gracious Consort, is pursuing his campaign of repression against a similar order of a corrupted clergy at home - all tend to lend their force in fostering and fashioning that public opinion which can alone provide an enduring basis for the reform Movement destined to usher in that golden Era craved for by the followers of the Faith in Baha'u'llah's native land.

As a direct consequence of the birth of this new consciousness in the life of the nation, as evidenced by these early stirrings in the minds of the people, both high and low, meetings of an elaborate character, unprecedented in the number of their attendants, in the tone of the public addresses, in the undisturbed atmosphere of their proceedings, and the general impressiveness of their organization, have been publicly held in Tihran, under the auspices of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Persia. Particularly significant and impressive were those that were held in the Haziratu'l-Quds, the administrative and spiritual center of the Faith in the Capital, on the occasion of the twin Festivals commemorating the declaration of the Bab and the birth of 'Abdu'l-Baha, at the chief of which no less than two thousand representative Baha'is and non-Baha'is, leaders of public opinion, State officials and foreign representatives were officially invited. The addresses stressing the universality of the Teachings of the Cause, the formal and ordered character of the proceedings so unusual a feature to a gathering of such proportions, the mingling of the Baha'is with the recognized representatives of progressive thought in the Capital who, by virtue of their high office and stately appearance, lent color and weight to the concourse of attending believers, have all contributed to enhance the brilliance and spiritual significance of that gathering on that memorable occasion.

Moreover, reports of a highly encouraging nature, are being continually received from local Assemblies and individual believers, giving the names and stating the number of influential Persians who, hitherto reluctant to declare openly their faith in Baha'u'llah, are as a result of this reassuring and promising state of affairs emerging from the obscurity of their concealment and enlisting under the erected banner of Baha'u'llah. This has served to embolden the followers of the Faith to take the necessary steps, under the direction of their local Assemblies, for the institution of Baha'i schools, for the holding of public gatherings, for the establishment of Baha'i hostels, libraries and public baths, for the construction of official headquarters for their administrative work, and for the gradual execution among themselves, within the limits imposed upon them by the State, of the laws and ordinances revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Words fail me to describe the feelings of those patiently suffering brethren of ours in that land who, with eyes dim with tears and hearts overflowing with thanksgiving and praise, are witnessing on every side and with increasing force the unfoldment of a Faith which they have served so well and love so dearly. Accounts pathetic and inspiring in their tone are being received from that steadfast and cheerful band of exultant believers, and are being shared with the resident friends in the Holy Land who, having had the privilege of close and continued association with the person of 'Abdu'l-Baha, cannot but marvel at the range, the potency and accuracy of the prophecies of the departed Master.

From Turkey, on whose soil, for well nigh three score years and ten, were enacted some of the sublimest and most tragic scenes in the annals of the Cause; Turkey, under whose rule Baha'u'llah twice proclaimed Himself, was thrice exiled and banished, and finally ascended to the Abha Kingdom, and where 'Abdu'l-Baha spent more than fifty years of His Life, in incarceration and suffering; has of late been rudely awakened to a Call which it has so long obstinately despised and ignored. Following on the overthrow of that effete theocracy, resting on the twin institutions of the Caliphate and Sultanate - those two sinister forces that have combined to inflict the deadliest blows to our beloved Faith in the earliest stages of its infancy and growth - an uncompromising policy aiming at the secularization of the State and the disestablishment of Islam was initiated and carried out with exemplary vigor. Religious institutions and monastic orders which under the guise of religious propaganda were converted into hot-beds of political intrigue and sedition were peremptorily closed, their adherents scattered and banished, their funds confiscated, their privileges and prerogatives abolished. None, save the little band of Baha'u'llah's devoted followers, escaped the trenchant ax of the pitiless reformer; all, without fear or favor, had to submit to his searching investigations, his dictatorial edicts, his severe and irrevocable judgment. Lately, however, the Turkish Government, faithful to its policy of ceaseless vigilance, and fearful of the growing activities of the Baha'is under its rule, decided to order the Police in the town of Smyrna to conduct a close investigation into the purpose, the character and the effects of Baha'i activity in that town. No sooner were the representative Baha'is in that locality arrested and conducted to the Law Courts for purposes of investigation, than the President of the Baha'i Spiritual Assembly of Constantinople who, having read in the morning papers the report of the Smyrna incident, had resolved unsommoned to offer the necessary explanations to the authorities concerned, was in his turn arrested and taken to the Police Headquarters where he soon afterwards was joined by the other members of the Assembly. The official searching of their homes, the seizure of whatever Baha'i literature they had in their possession, their twenty-four hours detention at the Police station, the searching severity of the cross-examination to which they were subjected - all proved powerless to alarm and shake the faith of those intrepid champions of the Cause, or to evince anything detrimental to the best interests of the State. On the contrary, they served to deeply impress upon the minds and hearts of the officials concerned the sublimity, the innocence, and the dynamic force of the Faith of Baha'u'llah. So much so that their books were returned, a genuine desire to deepen their knowledge of the Cause was expressed by their examiners, and widespread publicity, as reflected in the articles of about a dozen leading newspapers of Turkey, was accorded by the Government, proclaiming the innocence of the Cause and lifting up the ban that now so oppressively weighs upon religious institutions in Turkey.

From Constantinople in European Turkey to the eastern confines of Anatolia, on the banks of the river Euphrates, where a small and flourishing Baha'i Community has been recently established, a wave of public interest, criticism and inquiry has been sweeping over the surface of the land, as witnessed by the character and number of the leading articles, the illustrations and caricatures that have appeared in the most prominent newspapers of the capital and the provincial towns of Asiatic Turkey. Not only Turkey, but its neighboring countries of the East and the West, have lifted up their voice in the vindication of the Baha'i truth. From information thus far gathered we learn that in Hungary, in 'Iraq, Egypt and Syria, and as far west as France and England, newspapers have, of their own accord, with varying degree of accuracy, and in more or less detail, reported this incident in their columns, and have given, unasked and unaware, such publicity to our beloved Faith which no campaign of teaching, however elaborately organized by the believers themselves, could ever hope to achieve at the present time. Surely the invincible arm of Baha'u'llah, working through strange and mysterious ways, will continue to guard and uphold, to steer the course, to consolidate, and eventually to achieve the world-wide recognition and triumph of His holy Faith.

And while the East, through suffering and turmoil, is moving on in its slow and toilsome march towards the acceptance of God's holy Faith, let us turn for a moment our gaze to the Western Hemisphere, and particularly to the American continent, and attempt to visualize the possibilities of the future spread of the Cause, and to estimate afresh those golden yet swiftly passing opportunities which Baha'u'llah in those far-away lands has accorded to His chosen people. I feel thoroughly convinced, and am moved to share this firm conviction within me with that great company of western believers, that in the speedy resumption of the sorely-neglected construction of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar at Wilmette lies our undoubted privilege, our primary obligation, our most vital opportunity to lend an unprecedented impetus to the advancement of the Cause, not only throughout the West but in every country of the world. I would not stress at this moment the prestige and good name of the Cause, much as they are involved in this most pressing issue, I would not dwell upon the eager expectancy with which the unnumbered followers of the Faith as well as the vast number of the non-believers in almost every section of society throughout the East are awaiting to behold that noble structure rear its head in the heart of that far-western continent; nor would I expatiate on the ineffable beauty of this holy Edifice, its towering glory, its artistic design, its unique character, or its functions in the organic life of the Baha'i community of the future. But I would with all the strength of my conviction emphasize the immeasurable spiritual significance of an Edifice, so beauteous, so holy, erected solely by the concerted efforts, strained to the utmost degree of self-sacrifice, of the entire body of the believers who are fully conscious of the significance of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. In this vast endeavor, unparalleled in modern times, its world-wide range, its spontaneity, its heroic and holy character, the American believers, on the soil of whose country Baha'u'llah's first universal House of Worship is to be built, must, if they be faithful to their trust, claim and fulfill a pre-eminent share in the collective contributions offered by the Baha'is of the world.

For this reason do I feel impelled to direct by incessant plea in particular to the followers of the Faith in the United States and Canada to arise and play their part, while there is yet time, and not to allow their earnest strivings to be swamped and superseded by the self-sacrificing heroism of the multitude of their brethren in Persia. Again I feel the urge to remind you one and all of the necessity of keeping ever in mind this fundamental verity that the efficacy of the spiritual forces centering in, and radiating from, the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in the West will in a great measure depend upon the extent to which we, the pioneer workers in that land will, with clear vision, unquenchable faith, and inflexible determination, resolve to voluntarily abnegate temporal advantages in our support of so meritorious an endeavor. The higher the degree of our renunciation and self-sacrifice, the wider the range of the contributing believers, the more apparent will become the vitalizing forces that are to emanate from this unique and sacred Edifice; and the greater, in consequence, the stimulating effect it will exert upon the propagation of the Faith in the days to come. Not by the abundance of our donations, not even by the spontaneity of our efforts, but rather by the degree of self-abnegation which our contributions will entail, can we effectively promote the speedy realization of 'Abdu'l-Baha's cherished desire. How great our responsibility, how immense our task, how priceless the advantages that we can reap!

I cannot refrain, however, from giving expression to my gratification and appreciation of the substantial and continued support already accorded, and in particular during the past year by the believers in the United States and Canada, under the wise and judicious direction of their elected national representatives, to the Plan of Unified Action, whose declared purpose is to insure, ere the present Baha'i year comes to a close, the raising of the funds required for the building of the first Unit of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. The vigilance and fidelity with which the National Assembly of the United States and Canada has observed its pledge in connection with the limitation of the current administrative expenses of the Cause, and the zeal and ready response manifested by local Assemblies and individual believers to curtail their local and personal expenditures in order to concentrate on the Temple Fund, are worthy of the highest praise, and will deservedly attract the manifold blessings of a loving and bountiful Master. Much indeed has been accomplished during this past year of concentrated and consecrated self-sacrifice for so glorious a purpose. Much more still remains unachieved if we are to vindicate, in the eyes of an expectant world, the honorable name, the inexhaustible and miraculous vitality of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah.

In the mid-watches of the night, commemorating the passing of Him Who with His own hands laid the head-cornerstone of His Father's House of Worship in that land, seated within the hallowed precincts of His shrine, and keeping vigil in the company of His closest companions, I have more than once in the midst of my devotions prayerfully remembers those chosen ones of God on whose shoulders has fallen so weighty a responsibility, whose destiny is to bring to full fruition so excellent a heritage. I have recalled on that peaceful and moonlit night, with much emotion and gratitude, the inestimable bounties He lavished while on earth upon you. I have revived in my memory the glowing promises that His unfailing guidance and gracious assistance would continue from His station on high to be showered upon you. I have pictured in my mind that beauteous vision of a Cause unfolded in all its glory which in His immortal writings He has revealed unto you. And with my head upon His threshold, I have prayed and prayed again that we may all prove ourselves worthy disciples of so gracious a Master, that we may, when called unto Him, transmit, undiminished and unimpaired, our share of the immeasurably precious heritage bequeathed by Him to us all.

And in closing, dearly-beloved friends, what more appropriate thought with which to conclude my fervent plea than these pregnant words fallen from the lips of Baha'u'llah: "O My friends! I bear witness that the Divine Bounty has been vouchsafed unto you, His Argument has been made manifest, His Proof has been revealed, and His Guidance has shone forth upon you. Let it now be seen what your endeavors in the path of renunciation can reveal."

Your true brother,

(Signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

December 6, 1928.

Special Issue - January 1929 - page 4 (see "Baha'i Administration , pages 156-157)

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the East and West.

Dear fellow-workers:

I desire to convey to you in a few words my impressions of the recently published "Baha'i World," copies of which, I understand, have already, thanks to the assiduous care and indefatigable efforts displayed by the Publishing Committee of the American National Spiritual Assembly, been widely distributed among the Baha'i countries of East and West.

This unique record of world-wide Baha'i activity attempts to present to the general public, as well as to the student and scholar, those historical facts and fundamental principles that constitute the distinguishing features of the Message of Baha'u'llah to this age. I have ever since its inception taken a keen and sustained interest in its development, have personally participated in the collection of its material, the arrangement of its contents, and the close scrutiny of whatever data it contains.

I confidently and emphatically recommend it to every thoughtful and eager follower of the Faith, whether in the East of in the West, whose desire is to place in the hands of the critical and intelligent inquirer, of whatever class, creed or color, a work that can truly witness to the high purpose, the moving history, the enduring achievements, the resistless march and infinite prospects of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. Eminently readable and attractive in its features, reliable and authoritative in the material it contains, up-to- date, comprehensive and accurate in the mass of information it gives, concise and persuasive in its treatment of the fundamental aspects of the Cause, thoroughly representative in the illustrations and photographs it reveals: - it stands unexcelled and unapproached by any publication of its kind in the varied literature of our beloved Cause. It will, without the slightest doubt, if generously and vigorously supported, arouse unprecedented interest among all classes of civilized society.

I earnestly request you, dearly-beloved friends, to exert the utmost effort for the prompt and widespread circulation of a book that so faithfully and vividly portrays, in all its essential features, its far-reaching ramifications and most arresting aspects, the all-encompassing Faith of Baha'u'llah. Whatever assistance, financial or moral, extended by Baha'i Spiritual Assemblies and individual believers, to those who have been responsible for such a highly valuable and representative production will, it should be remembered, be directly utilized to advance the interests and reinforce the funds that are being raised in behalf of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, and will indirectly serve to exert a most powerful stimulus in removing the malicious misrepresentations and unfortunate misunderstandings that have so long and so grievously clouded the luminous Faith of Baha'u'llah.

Your true brother,

(Signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

December 6, 1928.

No. 30 - March 1929 - page 1 (see "Baha'i Administration , pages 157-159)

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in 'Abdu'l-Baha!

With feelings of profound sorrow I am moved to address you these few lines mourning the loss which the Cause has undoubtedly sustained by the passing of one who, for many years and in circumstances of exceptional significance, rendered the sacred Threshold distinctive and inestimable services. The hand of Divine Decree has removed, by the death of our talented and dearly-beloved friend, Mr. Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney, yet another outstanding figure in the Cause of Baha'u'llah, who, by his brilliant gifts of mind and heart as well as by the divers achievements of his life, has truly enriched the annals of God's immortal Faith.

A pioneer of the Cause of Baha'u'llah ever since its celestial light first warmed and illuminated the West, he has, by his close association with the person of 'Abdu'l-Baha, by his contact with all sections of society, by his scholarly presentation of the history and fundamentals of the Faith, and lastly by his unforgettable share in the settlement of the complex and pressing issues that called for expert assistance in the days following 'Abdu'l-Baha's passing, achieved a standing which few have as yet attained.

The days of his spiritual communion with 'Abdu'l-Baha and His household within the walls of the prison-city of 'Akka, wherein he imbibed the principles which he later so ably expounded to the peoples of the West; his pre-eminent role on his return to Paris in kindling the torch which is destined to shed eternal illumination upon his native land and its people; the links of abiding fellowship which he forged with our Persian brethren in the course of the historic mission entrusted to his charge by our Beloved; the seeds which he scattered far and wide during his subsequent travels to the heart of Asia, throughout India, beyond the remotest villages of Burma and as far as the eastern confines of Indo-China; the able support he lent in its initial and intermediary stages to the case of Baha'u'llah's house in Baghdad; his unhesitating intervention with State officials in paving the way for the ultimate emancipation of our Egyptian brethren from the yoke of orthodox Islam; the stimulating encouragement his visit caused to the Baha'i community of Tunis on the northern shores of Africa; and last but not least the ability and diligence with which he applied himself to the solution of the delicate and vexing problems of the Holy Land in the critical years following 'Abdu'l-Baha's ascension - all stand out as memorable landmarks in a life that was as varied in its international aspects as it was rich in its spiritual experience.

His gifts of unfailing sympathy and penetrating insight, his wide knowledge and mature experience, all of which he utilized for the glory and propagation of the Message of Baha'u'llah, will be gratefully remembered by future generations who, as the days go by, will better estimate the abiding value of the responsibilities he shouldered for the introduction and consolidation of the Baha'i Faith in the Western world.

Suffering as he did in his last days from the effects of a slow and painful illness, he bore heroically his share of the afflictions of the world, and is now in the realms of blissful deliverance partaking his full share of the goodly reward which he certainly deserved. To me, and particularly amid the storm and stress that have agitated my life after 'Abdu'l-Baha's passing, he was a sustaining and comforting companion, a most valued counsellor, an intimate and trusted friend.

With much emotion and the deepest sense of gratitude I supplicate at the holy Threshold - and request you to join with me in my prayers - for the spiritual advancement in the realms above of a soul who by the sheer merit of the signal services he rendered already deserves to rank highly among the departed faithful.

May he forever rest in peace.

(Signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

December 21, 1928.

No. 30 - March 1929 - pages 1 - 4 (see "Baha'i Administration , pages 159-165)

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved co-workers:

Whilst the Baha'is of Persia, constituting the overwhelming majority of the adherents of the Baha'i Faith in eastern lands, are tasting the first-fruits of their long-dreamed emancipation, a not inconsiderable section of Baha'u'llah's followers in the East, inhabiting the provinces of Caucasus and Turkistan, are being subjected to trials and tribulations not very dissimilar, though inferior in intensity, to the afflictions borne so long and so heroically by their Persian brethren.

In my last communication to you I have attempted to depict the nature and swiftness of those liberating forces which today are being released in Persia by an enlightened regime determined to shake off with unconcealed contempt the odious fetters of a long standing tyranny. And I feel that a description of the very perplexing situation with which our brethren in Russia find themselves confronted at present will serve to complete the picture which responsible believers in the West must bear in mind of the critical and swiftly moving changes that are transforming the face of the East.

Ever since the counter-revolution that proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of Czarist Russia the dictatorship of the Proletariat, and the subsequent incorporation of the semi-independent territories of Caucasus and Turkistan within the orbit of Soviet rule, the varied and numerous Baha'i institutions established in the past by heroic pioneers of the Faith have been brought into direct and sudden contact with the internal convulsions necessitated by the establishment and maintenance of an order so fundamentally at variance with Russia's previous regime. The avowed purpose and action of the responsible heads of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics who, within their recognized and legitimate rights, have emphatically proclaimed and vigorously pursued their policy of uncompromising opposition to all forms of organized religious propaganda, have by their very nature created for those whose primary obligation is to labor unremittingly for the spread of the Baha'i Faith a state of affairs that is highly unfortunate and perplexing. For ten years, however, ever since the promulgation of that policy, by some miraculous interposition of Providence, the Baha'is of Soviet Russia have been spared the strict application to their institutions of the central principle that directs and animates the policy of the Soviet state. Although subjected, as all Russian citizens have been, even since the outbreak of the Revolution, to the unfortunate consequences of civil strife and external war, and particularly to the internal commotions that must necessarily accompany far-reaching changes in the structure of society, such as partial expropriation of private property, excessive taxation and the curtailment of the right of personal initiative and enterprise; yet in matters of worship and in the conduct of their administrative and purely non-political activities they have, thanks to the benevolent attitude of their rulers, enjoyed an almost unrestricted freedom in the exercise of their public duties.

Lately, however, due to circumstances wholly beyond their control and without being in the least implicated in political or subversive activity, our Baha'i brethren in those provinces have had to endure the rigid application of the principles already enunciated by the state authorities and universally enforced with regard to all other religious communities under their sway. Faithful to their policy of expropriating in the interests of the State all edifices and monuments of a religious character, they have a few months ago approached the Baha'i representatives in Turkistan, and after protracted negotiations with them, decided to claim and enforce their right of ownership and control of that most cherished and universally prized Baha'i possession, the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of 'Ishqabad. The insistent and repeated representations made by the Baha'is, dutifully submitted and stressed by their local and national representatives, and duly reinforced by the action of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Persia, emphasizing the international character and spiritual significance of the Edifice and its close material as well as spiritual connection with the divers Baha'i communities throughout the East and West, have alas! proved of no avail. The beloved Temple which had been seized and expropriated and for three months closed under the seal of the Municipal authorities was reopened and meetings were allowed to be conducted within its walls only after the acceptance and signature by the Baha'i Spiritual Assembly of 'Ishqabad of an elaborate contract drawn by the Soviet authorities and recognizing the right of undisputed ownership by the State of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar and its dependencies. According to this contract, the Temple is rented by the State for a period of five years to the local Baha'i community of that town, and in it are stipulated a number of obligations, financial and otherwise, expressly providing for fines and penalties in the event of the evasion or infringement of its provisions.

To these measures which the State, in the free exercise of its legitimate rights, has chosen to enforce, and with which the Baha'is, as befits their position as loyal and law-abiding citizens, have complied, others have followed which though of a different character are none the less grievously affecting our beloved Cause. In Baku, the seat of the Soviet Republic of Caucasus, as well as in Ganjih and other neighboring towns, state orders, orally and in writing, have been officially communicated to the Baha'i Assemblies and individual believers, suspending all meetings, commemoration gatherings and festivals, suppressing the committees of all Baha'i local and national Spiritual Assemblies, prohibiting the raising of funds and the transmission of financial contributions to any center within or without Soviet jurisdiction, requiring the right of full and frequent inspection of the deliberations, decisions, plans and action of the Baha'i Assemblies, dissolving young men's clubs and children's organizations, imposing a strict censorship on all correspondence to and from Baha'i Assemblies, directing a minute investigation of Assemblies' papers and documents, suspending all Baha'i periodicals, bulletins and magazines, and requiring the deportation of leading personalities in the Cause whether as public teachers and speakers or officers of Baha'i Assemblies.

To all these the followers of the Faith of Baha'u'llah have with feelings of burning agony and heroic fortitude unanimously and unreservedly submitted, ever mindful of the guiding principles of Baha'i conduct that in connection with their administrative activities, no matter how grievously interference with them might affect the course of the extension of the Movement, and the suspension of which does not constitute in itself a departure from the principle of loyalty to their Faith, the considered judgment and authoritative decrees issued by their responsible rulers must, if they be faithful to Baha'u'llah's and 'Abdu'l-Baha's express injunctions, be thoroughly respected and loyally obeyed. In matters, however, that vitally affect the integrity and honor of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, and are tantamount to a recantation of their faith and repudiation of their innermost belief, they are convinced, and are unhesitatingly prepared to vindicate by their life-blood the sincerity of their conviction, that no power on earth, neither the arts of the most insidious adversary nor the bloody weapons of the most tyrannical oppressor, can ever succeed in extorting from them a word or deed that might tend to stifle the voice of their conscience or tarnish the purity of their faith. Clinging with immovable resolution to the inviolable verities of their cherished Faith, our sorely-tried brethren in Caucasus and Turkistan have none the less, as befits law-abiding Baha'i citizens resolved, after having exhausted every legitimate means for the alleviation of the restrictions imposed upon them, to definitely uphold and conscientiously carry out the considered judgment of their recognized government. They have with a hope that no earthly power can dim, and a resignation that is truly sublime, committed the interests of their Cause to the keeping of that vigilant, that all- powerful Divine Deliverer, who, they feel confident, will in time lift the veil that now obscures the vision of their rulers, and reveal the nobility of aim, the innocence of purpose, the rectitude of conduct, and the humanitarian ideals that characterize the as yet small yet potentially powerful Baha'i communities in every land and under any government.

Should the present restrictions increase in number and stringency, should a situation arise that would so endanger the position of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in 'Ishqabad as to necessitate the intervention of the Baha'i world, I will call upon the National and Local Baha'i Spiritual Assemblies in the East and the West to arise with one accord and lend their moral support to those of their brethren whose particular mission and privilege is to keep watch over that consecrated ground on which already has been erected the central Structure of Baha'u'llah's First Universal House of Worship. I will urge them to take whatever action is deemed advisable in order to demonstrate the solidarity of the followers of Baha'u'llah, to dispel whatever doubts and apprehensions may yet linger in the minds of the State officials in that land, and to restore their suspected brethren to the esteem and confidence of their governors. I will specially request them to proclaim in their written representations to the authorities concerned their absolute repudiation of whatever ulterior motive or political design may be imputed to them by their malignant adversaries, and to reaffirm in unmistakable terms the purely humanitarian and spiritual nature of the work in which Baha'i in every land and of every race are unitedly engaged. I will moreover ask them to assert the international character of the Baha'i Edifice in 'Ishqabad and to stress the close bonds of material interest and spiritual fellowship that bind Baha'i communities the world over to an Edifice that can rightly claim the distinction of being Baha'u'llah's First Universal House of Worship, of being conceived in its design by 'Abdu'l-Baha Himself, constructed and completed in His days and under His direction, and supported by the collective contributions of the believers throughout the world. The hour for such a world-wide and concentrated appeal is not yet come, but it behooves us, while expectantly watching from a distance the moving spectacle of the struggling Faith of Baha'u'llah, to seek abiding solace and strength from the reflection that whatever befalls this Cause, however grievous and humiliating the visitations that from time to time may seem to afflict the organic life or interfere with the functions of the administrative machinery of the Baha'i Faith, such calamities cannot but each eventually prove to be a blessing in disguise designed, by a Wisdom inscrutable to us all, to establish and consolidate the sovereignty of Baha'u'llah on this earth.

What we have already witnessed in connection with the latest developments regarding the case of Baha'u'llah's House in Baghdad affords abundant evidence of the truth of the observation that has just been made. In its initial stage appearing to the superficial observer as a petty dispute submitted to an obscure and antiquated Shiite court, the case has gradually evolved into a paramount issue engaging the attention of the highest tribunal of 'Iraq. In its latest stages, it has gathered such strength, secured such publicity, and received such support from the chancelleries of Europe, as to become a subject fit for the consideration not only of the specific international Commission ultimately responsible for the administration of Mandated Territories but of the leading Signatories of the Covenant of the League of Nations that are represented in the Council of the League itself.

Few if any among those closely associated with the case did at first imagine or expect that dwellings which to outward seeming appeared only as a cluster of humble and decrepit buildings lost amid the obscure and tortuous lanes of old Baghdad could ever obtain such prominence as to become the object of the deliberations of the highest international Tribunal that the hand of man has thus far reared for the amicable settlement of his affairs. Whatever the decision of the world's highest Tribunal regarding the petition submitted to it by the Baha'is of 'Iraq - and none can deny that should its verdict be in our favor, a triumph unparalleled in its magnitude will have been achieved for our beloved Faith - the work already accomplished is in itself an abundant proof of the sustaining confirmations that are being showered upon the upholders of the case from the realm on high.

I cannot refrain from giving expression in this connection to my feelings of profound appreciation of the ceaseless vigilance and marked distinction with which our precious brother and fellow-worker, Mr. Mountfort Mills, has undertaken and is still shouldering this sacred and historic mission committed to his charge. His unremitting labors, despite ill-health and domestic anxieties and cares, are worthy of the highest praise and will be gratefully recorded in the annals of an immortal Cause.

Surely, if we read the history of this case aright, we cannot but discern the direction which the forces, released by these prophetic utterances of Baha'u'llah sixty years ago, are destined to take in the eventual solution of this mighty issue: -

"In truth I declare, it shall be so abased in the days to come as to cause tears to flow from every discerning eye.... And in the fullness of time shall the Lord, by the power of truth, exalt it in the eyes of all the world, cause it to become the mighty standard of His Dominion, the Shrine round which shall circle the concourse of the faithful."

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

January 1, 1929.

No. 31 - April 1929 - pages 1 - 4 (see "Baha'i Administration , pages 165-175)

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Fellow-laborers in the Divine Vineyard:

I feel impelled by the force of various circumstances to share with you the news of recent happenings in those countries of the Near and Middle East which, by the ruling of Providence, are in these days undergoing a transformation which is as startling in its features as it is significant in its bearings upon the interests of our beloved Faith.

I have already in my previous communication briefly referred to the nature and effects of that momentous Revolution which has, with surprising swiftness, substituted a westernized and rejuvenated Turkey for the primitive and decrepit Ottoman Empire. I have also attempted to describe the first stages of that recent and moving episode which has served in a manner that is truly providential to thrust the Baha'i community in Turkey out of the obscurity of oppressive neglect into the broad daylight of official and public attention.

Recently, however, from the reports that have been received from the elected representatives of the believers in different parts of Turkey, it appears that the investigations conducted by the Police authorities in the capital and provinces of that land have proved but a preliminary to a more official and detailed inquiry into the Baha'i position with respect to the laws recently promulgated by the Republican government. For no sooner were the followers of Baha'u'llah released from detention at the Police headquarters and given the assurance that their Faith was in no way associated with any political design or motive, than an official communication was delivered to their representatives summoning them to appear before the State's criminal Tribunal on the charge of infraction of the law of the Republic requiring the registration and authorization of all public gatherings and associations within the jurisdiction of the State. To this summons our brethren yielded immediate and implicit obedience. They indeed welcomed this further opportunity to assert not only the innocence of their Faith but to vindicate as well the sublimity of the teachings of Baha'u'llah. Realizing that with this fresh development their case has assumed a solemn and juridical character, the undaunted champions of the Cause resolved to seek the assistance of an expert and sympathetic advocate, who would reinforce from a purely legal standpoint the spiritual argument which they reserved for themselves to propound. For a period ranging from a week to eighteen days the attention of the officers of the Court, of the elected representatives of the believers, of their officially appointed advocates, and of the visiting public was focused upon the deliberations of a Court that closely scrutinized not only the conduct and motives of the Baha'i followers but the laws and principles, the past history and the present position of the Faith itself.

Fortified by the reflection that never before in Baha'i history have the followers of Baha'u'llah been called upon by the officials of a State, responsible for the administration of Justice, to unfold the history and principles of their Faith, our brethren in Turkey decided to assert in their entirety those distinguishing laws and ordinances of the Baha'i Revelation which the terrors of a suspicious autocracy had so long compelled them to dissimulate and ignore.

I cannot do better than quote in this connection a few passages from the text of the official defense which in a moving language was pronounced by the President of the Constantinople Baha'i Spiritual Assembly at a plenary session of the Court on that historic occasion: "La Beha'isme est une religion universelle, moderne et absolument independante. Si l'on desire une designation plus moderne encore: c'est une institution de Clemence, de bonne entente et d'amour, en d'autres termes, de progres moral et spirituel. Il n'est ni une secte, ni une branche des autres religions et doctrines diverses. Il est cependant leur aboutissement naturel, logique et pour ainsi dire scientifique. C'est la raison pour laquelle l'on trouve parmi ses adherents des personnes, venant de toutes les religions et doctrines existantes dans le monde, et qui se comptent aujourd'hui par millions. . . . Ces explications ne sauraient toutefois a devoiler le suffire (?) mystere qui est au fond des sacrifices, consentis dans ce siecle en Orient, par plus de vingt mille martyrs du Beha'isme, parmi lesquels se trouve Qurratu'l-'Ayn Tahirih (la joie des yeux, la pure), cette jeune femme turque, depeinte ainsi par notre illustre ecrivain Suleyman Nasif, et dont le martyre sans precedent est cite aujourd'hui par le monde entier comme l'epopee sans pareille de la cause humaine. Je ne sais si ces explications peuvent elucider les raisons pour lesquelles il se trouve a cette doctrine petrie egalement par le sang turc des amis parmi des hommes de race turque, cette race qui dans tout proces du genre humain et de ses nobles aspirations, n'a pas hesite jusqu'ici a verser son sang. . . .Toutefois, les Beha'is n'ont point dissumule leur presence en Turquie, surtout depuis le regime de la Republique. C'est ainsi qu'ils se sont fait inscrire comme Beha'is sur les feuilles du dernier recensement a Constantinople. D'autre part est-il admissible que le Gouvernement ignore leur presence dans cette ville? Cela etant, il ne saurait etre imagine que les Beha'is soient sous le regime de la Republique, poursuivis comme tels, surtout apres avoir acquis leur liberte sous le regime de la Constitution qui a suivi celui de la tyrannie durant lequel ils etaient persecutes.... Mais avant de terminer, je ne puis m'empecher de dire avec une entiere assurance, que les adeptes en Turquie de cette doctrine, sont surs de la Justice d'un pays regi par la premiere veritable Republique pleine de lumiere dont s'honore audjourd'hui tout l'Orient .... Ces declarations d'une part, et la conduite suivie par les Beha'is, a l'occasion de cet incident qui a commence par l'interrogatoire auquel ils ont ete soumis par la Police, de l'autre, sont la preuve convainquante de la sincerite et de la bonne foie avec lesquelles nous nous comportons tans vis a vis de la Justice que de celui du Gouvernement. Ainsi, nous aurions pu soustraire certaines pieces qui constitutent les seuls documents pouvant servi a nous assimiler a des societes. Ne nous voyant pas en contravention avec la loi, nous n'avons rien voulu dissimuler, comme personellement je ne cherche qu'a tout dire ici. Ce n'est la d'ailleurs qu'une necessite dicte par le Beha'isme et la conformation a une recommendation de Baha'u'llah. Lui nous dit: "Devant la Justice, dites la Verite et ne craignez rien."

To these hotly-contested debates two circumstances of unexpected character lent color and force, and must have contributed in no small measure to the successful conclusion of the issue. The participation of a noted Turkish publicist and author whose expressed sympathy for the Cause had identified him with the group of the suspected believers, and the association of the name of the Dowager Queen of Rumania with the Baha'i Faith as a result of the discovery among the seized documents of the Constantinople Baha'i Assembly of her public pronouncements on the Cause and her personal message to the friends in that city, both served to reinforce the position of the Baha'is and greatly encouraged them in their task. I am assured by a letter addressed to me by the President of the Constantinople Assembly that the sessions of the Court were dignified in their proceedings, sublime in the presentation of the ideals of the Cause, and representative in the character of their attendants. He writes: "Ce fut une declaration de la Cause dans toute sa grandeur, et jamais l'Orient n'a vu retentir le nom de Baha dans une pareille formule .... J'ai prefere laisser l'avocat qui n'est pas Beha'i en parler. En effet cela a eu plus d'effet d'entendre l'avocat, emporte par je ne sais quelle mysterieuse poussee, crier, apres avoir cite les principes ainsi: 'Monsieur le Juge! n'est-ce pas la en somme l'ideal vers lequel marche actuellement notre pays avec en t\xete notre Grand Gazi?'"

The extravagant language of the newspapers in reporting the details of this official inquiry served in turn to accentuate the publicity already achieved, and induced the officials of the Court to exercise scrupulous impartiality in the consideration and judgment of the case. As to the verdict that has been pronounced on December 13, it is stated clearly that although the followers of Baha'u'llah, in their innocent conception of the spiritual character of their Faith, found it unnecessary to apply for leave for the conduct of their administrative activities and have thus been made liable to the payment of a fine, yet they have, to the satisfaction of the legal representatives of the State, not only established the inculpability of the Cause of Baha'u'llah, but have also worthily acquitted themselves in the task of vindicating its independence, its Divine origin, and its suitability to the circumstances and requirements of the present age. It will be admitted that this recognition on the part of the authorities would have never been so speedily secured had the representatives of the believers proceeded through the ordinary and official channels to obtain such a recognition from their government.

Surely every unprejudiced observer, reviewing on one hand the turbulent history of the Cause in Turkey and recalling on the other the series of internal convulsions that have seized that country, cannot but marvel at the contrast between the swift decline of an all-powerful theocracy and the gradual consolidation of a persecuted Faith. He will appreciate the significance of the circumstances that have caused on one hand the dismemberment of what was the most powerful institution of Islam, and contributed on the other to the emergence upon its ruins of the very Faith it has vainly labored to suppress. Should he look further into the past and consult the annals of Christendom during the first century of the Christian era, he cannot fail to observe the striking parallel between the cataclysmic visitation of Providence that has afflicted the most sacred institutions of the Jews in the Holy Land and the utter collapse in this, the first century of the Baha'i era, of the Sultanate and the Caliphate, the highest institutions of orthodox Islam. He will recall the severities which the hand of Titus inflicted upon the Jews, the harassing siege of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Holy City, the profanation of the Temple, the desecration of the Holy of Holies, the transfer of its priceless treasures to the imperial city of Rome, the erection on the site of Zion of the pagan colony of Oelia Capitolina, the massacre of the Jews, and the exile and dispersion of most of the survivors. In like manner, he will observe that almost in the corresponding decade of the first century of the era of Baha'u'llah, not at the hand of the infidel, but by a recognized ruler professing the faith of Islam, a blow, unprecedented in its magnitude, has been dealt to the highest seats of authority in the Islamic world. He will call to mind the recent disestablishment of the state religion of Turkey, the overthrow of the dynasty of the House of 'Uthman, the loss of the unity of the vast majority of the adherents of the Muhammadan Faith, the humiliation inflicted upon the whole hierarchy of its ecclesiastical exponents in that land, the abolition of religious courts, the annulment of the provisions of the Qur'an, the promulgation of a universal western code of civil law, the suppression of its Orders and the closing of most of its seminaries and establishments.

Such a close correspondence between these historic retributions which the Almighty's avenging arm has chosen to inflict upon the persecutors of Christ and Baha'u'llah cannot but fortify the confidence of every Baha'i believer in the future glories of this Divine Dispensation. Particularly will he feel strengthened when he recalls the triumphs that have signalized the advance of Christianity after the humiliation of its enemies. And as he ponders upon the circumstances that have given such startling publicity to the Cause, not only throughout Turkey but in the adjoining countries as well, he cannot fail to recognize, in this strange episode, following so closely upon the fall of the mighty stronghold of Baha'i opposition, a prelude to a higher recognition and fuller unfoldment of the Faith of Baha'u'llah.

In Persia, where, unlike its ill-fated sister nation Afghanistan, the pace of reform has been wisely regulated, the salutary effects of the progressive regime established by its enlightened ruler are not only reacting upon the social and economic structure of its society, but are being increasingly felt by the mass of the followers of Baha'u'llah in that land. The welter of controversy into which the drastic reforms of a determined government, aiming at the gradual secularization of the State, has plunged a revolting clergy, has afforded our Persian brethren their long-desired opportunity to pursue untrammelled the course of their spiritual and humanitarian activities. The deportation of a considerable number of Muslim ecclesiastical officials, amongst them the heir of that notorious and bloodthirsty Mujtahid of Isfahan, "the Son of the Wolf," has served to clear the ground for the extension and consolidation of Baha'i institutions. Already, as reported from an outlying center in the province of Yazd, a leading but fair-minded Mullah has, upon the discovery of the specific prophecy of 'Abdu'l-Baha regarding the forced abandonment of the traditional headdress of Muslim clericals, acknowledged the Divine origin of the Baha'i Faith, embraced its truth, and openly enlisted as an active supporter of its institutions.

Moreover, it is stated that in various quarters, and among responsible sections of the community the matter of the codification and introduction of a western civil code, and its universal application to all the different communities is being freely discussed, and its desirability increasingly emphasized. As a preliminary measure, however, to the introduction of such a far-reaching reform, certain changes of policy have been lately initiated, not in the form of hastily conceived dictatorial edicts, but as a result of the mature deliberations and with the sanction of the national representatives of the people. The systematization of the laws of marriage and contract; the establishment of a Land Registry wholly independent of ecclesiastical control; the distribution of birth certificates of a purely undenominational character; the increasing prominence accorded to the social rights of womanhood; the close attention paid by State authorities to the education of Persian youth in the Universities of Europe; the banning of all Muslim Passion Plays throughout the territory of the Shah: the bold and various schemes that have been launched for the embellishment of the Persian Capital - all are welcome signs of the approaching era which is to witness the spiritual and material ascendency of Persia among the people and nations of the world.

In this ever-improving environment and witnessing on every side the downfall of those institutions that have crippled their struggling Faith, the believers in Persia are joyously seizing every opportunity to demonstrate the redeeming power of the Cause of Baha'u'llah. An illuminating report, submitted by one of the most capable and trusted itinerant teachers of the Cause in Persia, has lately reached the Holy Land. In it the writer sets forth in graphic and accurate language the many evidences of the increasing vitality displayed by the Faith in different parts of Persia. Summoned by the Persian National Spiritual Assembly to interrupt his travels in the vicinity of the town of Mashhad in order to devote immediate attention to a situation that had unexpectedly arisen in Isfahan, our indefatigable teacher and brother was surprised upon his arrival in that province to note in the various towns and villages he visited a ten-fold increase in the number of the adherents of the Faith since his last visit to those regions. He was moreover startled at the hospitality which he received at the hands of those persons who six years ago had been instrumental in expelling him from their localities, and who now had freely enlisted under the banner of Baha'u'llah. He was furthermore highly elated to learn that the prestige, the integrity and ability of the local Baha'i Assemblies in that province had of late stood so high that non-Baha'is, exasperated by the corruption and incompetence of their own judges, had more than once freely submitted cases of dispute to the judgment of the elected representatives of the Baha'i community in their locality.

Only a close and unbiased observer of the manner and habits of the Persian people, already familiar with the prevailing tendencies of different sections of the population, such as their apathy and indolence, the absence of a sense of public duty and of loyalty to principle, the lack of concerted effort and constancy in action, the habit of secrecy and blind surrender to the capricious will of an ignorant and fanatical clergy, can truly estimate the immensity of the task that faces every conscientious believer in that land. He will moreover readily testify to the high standard already attained by the Baha'is of Persia in their efforts to inculcate in the minds of their fellow-countrymen the principles of the Divine Civilization ushered in by Baha'u'llah.

We have only to glance at the soul-stirring written assurances of 'Abdu'l-Baha in order to realize the magnitude and exalted character of the mission entrusted by Him to the adherents of the Faith in Baha'u'llah's native land. By the faithful application of the spiritual principles which their present administration is endeavoring to propagate; by the character of those indissoluble bonds of Baha'i fellowship that cement the union of the mass of the believers with their elected councillors; by the distinctiveness of their future contributions in the domain of art, of science and of trade, of education and of industry - by these and by still other convincing manifestations of the quickening vitality of their Faith, our Persian brethren are destined to demonstrate to the ruling powers on earth the majesty, the enduring stability and the unfailing efficacy of the Government of Baha'u'llah.

The following passage from the Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Baha, revealed more than thirty years ago, while incarcerated within the walls of the prison-city of 'Akka, and addressed to the Baha'is of Khurasan, will undoubtedly stimulate those energetic friends of the West who long to contribute by every means in their power to the rehabilitation of their Master's native land: -

"Erelong will your brethren from Europe and America journey to Persia. There they will promote to an unprecedented degree the interests of art and industry. There they will rear the institutions of true civilization, promote the development of husbandry and trade, and assist in the spread of education. . . . Assuredly they will come; assuredly they will contribute in making of the land of Iran the envy and the admiration of the peoples and nations of the world."

And as we ponder these words of 'Abdu'l-Baha in our hearts, let us also remember the prophetic utterances of Baha'u'llah, which reveal not only the merciless cruelty of the ecclesiastical leaders of Islam but also the measure of Divine retribution which now afflicts the oppressors of God's holy Faith: -

"O people of the Qur'an! Verily the prophet of God, Muhammad, sheddeth tears at the sight of your cruelty. Ye have assuredly followed your evil and corrupt desires and turned away your face from the light of guidance. Erelong will ye witness the result of your deeds; for the Lord My God lieth in wait and is watchful of your behavior. . . . Erelong He will raise in every city the standard of His sovereignty, and will wipe away the traces of them that have denied Him on the day of His return. . . . O concourse of Muslim divines! By your deeds the exalted station of the nation hath been abased, the standard of Islam hath been reversed and its mighty throne hath fallen. Whenever the Divine Reformer has sought to ennoble the rank of the people, ye have tumultuously risen against Him and prevented Him from executing His purpose, wherefore the realm hath remained in grievous loss."

And in conclusion, I wish in a few words, to pay a tribute, however inadequate, to the magnificent services rendered by that exemplary and indefatigable teacher of the Cause, our dearly-beloved sister, Miss Martha Root. Her international travels on behalf of the Baha'i Faith, so wide in their range, so extensive in their duration, so inspiring in their results, will adorn and enrich the annals of God's immortal Faith. Her earliest journeys to the southernmost limits of the American continent, to India and to South Africa, to the eastern confines of Asia, to the islands of the Southern Seas and the Scandinavian countries of the North; her more recent contact with the rulers and crowned heads of Europe and the impression which her undaunted spirit created in royal circles in the Balkan countries; her close affiliation with international organizations, peace societies, humanitarian movements and Esperantist circles; and her latest victories in the university circles of Germany - all constitute a compelling evidence of what the power of Baha'u'llah can achieve. These historic labors, pursued single-handed and in circumstances of financial stringency and ill-health, have been characterized throughout by a spirit of fidelity, of self-effacement, of thoroughness and vigor that none has excelled.

I appeal to individual believers and Baha'i Assemblies alike to reinforce by every possible means the earnest strivings of such a precious soul, to respond speedily and entirely to every request that from time to time she feels moved to address to her fellow-workers in every land, to strive to attain the high standard of stewardship that she has set, and to pray from the very depths of their hearts for the uninterrupted continuance of her noble endeavors.

Your true brother,

(Signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

February 12, 1929.

No. 31 - April 1929 - page 5

Our beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi, writes that he hopes that it will be a milestone to mark the progress of the Cause in this country. His words are as follows:

"My dear and precious co-worker:

The progress of the Fund is highly satisfactory and I will pray that the efforts so strenuously exerted may be sustained and blessed by the Master who is vigilantly watching from on high the self-sacrifice of His faithful disciples. I am sure that the friends realize by now the vital necessity of doing their utmost to insure the success of the Plan by the next Convention, which I sincerely hope and pray may constitute a land-mark in the history of the Cause in America."

No. 31 - April 1929 - page 6

Cablegram:

"League Council pronounced in favor Baha'i Petition regarding Baha'u'llah House. Faith triumphant over deadliest enemy. Inform believers. Avoid for present widespread publicity. Cause much indebted to Mountfort's magnificent achievement. (signed) Shoghi."

The following words, written on February 27, 1929, on behalf of the Guardian by one of his secretaries...

"Concerning the institution of new Assemblies, Shoghi Effendi believes that the present form of the By-laws which considers April 21 as the only date on any year, though it has some disadvantages, yet as a whole is better than otherwise. One year of experience will better enable it to participate in the important nation (Baha'i) affairs. Then there will be a sort of uniformity throughout the Baha'i world."

No. 31 - April 1929 - page 8

- "Rest assured that my prayers will continue to be offered for the esteemed members of the Wilmette Assembly, whose sacred mission is to play a leading part in the stimulating interest and action in behalf of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar.

Your true brother,

Shoghi."

...the beautiful message which has just come through Ruhi Afnan, as follows:

- "The problem that in these days is arousing his (Shoghi Effendi's) anxiety is the way this large sum is to be collected in such a very short period of time, to resume the building operations right after the convention. He, as well as some of the other friends who are motivated by a great force of faith, believe firmly that God's miracles will not fail to perform their wonders and at the very eleventh hour the full sum will be collected. Shoghi Effendi wishes you to express his loving greetings to all the friends in Wilmette and ask them to join with him in their moments of private prayer and meditation, and ask God not to fail them, but as heretofore send them His confirmations and blessings."

No. 32 - May 1929 - page 1

"May incoming Assembly's term of office so auspiciously inaugurated culminate in actual completion first unit of Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. Invoking Baha'u'llah's blessing on your deliberations." - Shoghi.

Shoghi Effendi's Greeting to Convention:

" Convey assembled friends (in) Convention deep appreciation substantial progress Temple Fund. Am sacrificing the most valuable ornament (of) Baha'u'llah's Shrine in order (to) consecrate and reinforce (the) American believers speedily to consummate Plan (of) Unified Action. Appeal for unprecedented self-sacrifice. Ridvan greetings. (I) desire (to) remind all believers (of the) necessity (for) unconditional acceptance (of) whatever position and duties (may be) assigned by delegates and National Assembly. (I) deprecate all refusals (of) candidature.

SHOGHI."

Haifa, Palestine,

April 25. 1929.

No. 32 - May 1929 - page 3

The Guardian's Message to the Convention

"Overjoyed remarkable evidences vitality of Faith. Glorious self-sacrifice American believers. Soon shipping silken carpet (from) Baha'u'llah's Shrine as crowning gift on altar of Baha'i sacrifice. Boundless gratitude, truest, deepest love. Shoghi"

Haifa, April 28-29, 1929.

The convention sent the following cablegram:

Shoghi Effendi, Haifa Palestine.

" Convention sends deepest love, radiant greetings opening session. All hearts happy and in motion. Longing for Divine Confirmation, attainment Supreme purpose. Baha'i Convention."

No. 32 - May 1929 - page 5

In connection with "Baha'i Magazine .... and he tells us in his latest letters that

"we should feel happy and encouraged. Persevere and do not lose heart."

No. 32 - May 1929 - page 5 - 7 (see "Baha'i Administration , pages 175-180)

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in 'Abdu'l-Baha:

With a heart overflowing with thankfulness and joy I take my pen to share with you tidings that eloquently testify to the triumphant majesty and unconquerable spirit of the Faith of Baha'u'llah. From Geneva, the seat of the League of Nations, there comes the news that the fervent plea addressed by the Baha'is of 'Iraq to the world's supreme Tribunal regarding an issue that for a time has stirred the Baha'i world to its foundation has at last met with a noble and most gratifying response.

You will recall the references made in my previous communications, dated November 6, 1925, October 29, 1926, and January 1, 1929, to the forcible seizure of Baha'i's sacred house by the Shi'ah of Baghdad, to the appeals which from almost every quarter of the globe have showered upon the authorities of 'Iraq for its restitution, to the long and unsuccessful legal proceedings to which the representatives of the Faith in that land have resorted, and lastly to the petition which they have addressed to the League's Permanent Mandates Commission setting forth the history of the case and appealing for the intervention of the Council in their behalf. I am now informed that after mature deliberation the conclusion arrived at by the Mandates Commission, urging that prompt action be taken to redress the wrong suffered by the Baha'is, has been duly communicated to, and adopted by, the Council of the League, which in turn will formally communicate the recommendations of its Commission to the Mandatory Power.

From the official text of the minutes of the meeting of the Mandates Commission, as well as from its authorized report to the Council, both of which have been made public, it is clear and evident that the terms of the conclusion arrived at are neither vague nor evasive, but set forth in unmistakable language the legitimate aspirations of an oppressed and struggling Faith. The decision neither implies compensation to the Baha'i Community for the loss of the sacred buildings, nor does it expressly provide for the expropriation of the property by the State. To quote from the text of the official document, the Commission has resolved "to recommend the Council to ask the British Government to call upon the Government of 'Iraq to redress without delay the denial of justice from which the petitioners have suffered."

A glance at the minutes of the Commission's meeting will suffice to reveal that in the course of the lengthy discussions conducted by the members of the Commission the following important facts have been stressed and recognized. The British accredited representative, present at the sessions of the Commission, has declared that "it was a fact that the Mandatory Power had recognized that the Baha'is had suffered an injustice and, ever since the award made by the High Court, the High Commissioner had been considering what means could be found to remove, either by an executive act or otherwise, the unjust effects of that decision." Moreover, it has been acknowledged by the accredited representative that the Baha'is had been in bonafide occupancy of the property, that they had expended on it sums that exceeded the value of the site itself, and were thus, in accordance with the provision in the still operative Turkish Law, entitled to purchase the site. Allusion has also been made in the course of the deliberations of the members of the Commission to the fact that the action of the Shi'ah community with respect to Baha'u'llah's sacred house constituted a breach of the Constitution and the Organic Law of 'Iraq which, according to the testimony of the British accredited representative, expressly provided for the unfettered freedom of conscience. A question from one of the members had even elicited from the representative of the British Government the reply assuring the Commission that the Mandatory Power actually possessed means of exercising pressure on the authorities in order, if necessary, to insure that so fundamental an article in the Constitution would be respected. Furthermore, the opinion has been strongly expressed that the matter had assumed an "importance which exceeded that of the individual case of the Baha'is," inasmuch as "the judgment of the High Court was suspected of having been inspired by political prejudice," with the consequent impression on the Commission that "from a moral point of view, conditions in 'Iraq were not improving; that religious passions still ran high and that peace had not yet been brought about between the various religious communities." It has even been proposed to supplement the report submitted to the Council with the observation that, in the opinion of the Commission, "a country in which the Sovereign and the highest law courts are capable of so flagrant a denial of justice would probably not be considered to be eligible to become a Member of the League of Nations." The minutes of the Commission's meeting further indicated that the contents of the letter addressed by the Prime Minister of 'Iraq to the British representative in Baghdad and which accompanied the text of the petition of the Baha'is do not in the opinion of the Commission "meet any of the allegations of the petitioners" and are confined to a mere assertion that the judgment of the Court of Appeal was pronounced in accordance with the laws of the land. As to the memorandum submitted by the Mandatory Power in connection with the Baha'i petition, and to which the minutes briefly refer, it is expressly stated that His Britannic Majesty's Government considers the ejectment of the Baha'is while the case was still undecided to have been an illegal action, that the reasons adduced to justify such action were hardly admissible, and that the final verdict of the Court of Appeal is unsustainable, contrary to the law, and tainted by political considerations. The minutes further declare that although any petition presented to the Commission appealing from a decision given by a Court of Law is to be considered as not being in order, yet as the petition submitted by the Baha'is reveals such a state of partiality, servility and sectarianism it has been found desirable to depart from the general rule and to regard the petition in question as receivable by the Commission. And among the concluding observations in the minutes of the Commission's meeting regarding the Baha'i petition is this significant passage: "The revelations made in connection with this petition show the present position in 'Iraq in an unfavorable light. In a country where the conduct of the highest authorities has led the Mandatory Power to pass such severe criticisms, where the Supreme Court of Justice is under legitimate suspicion, and where religious fanaticism pursues minorities and controls power, a state of affairs prevails which is not calculated to insure the development and well-being of the inhabitants. The petitioners have suffered a serious denial of justice the direct responsibility for which rests on the authorities of 'Iraq. The fact that this denial of justice could not be prevented or immediately made good was due to the weakening of the Mandatory Power's control in 'Iraq. The Mandatory attempted, but in vain, to redress the injury done to the petitioners by using the means of influence at its disposal under the regime set up by the 1922 Treaty vis-a-vis King Feisal and the 'Iraq Government. These efforts would not appear to correspond fully to the engagements resulting from the British Government's declaration, which was approved by the Council on September 27, 1924, and renewed by the British Government in 1926, whereby the Treaty of Alliance between the British Government and 'Iraq 'was to insure the complete observance and execution in 'Iraq of the principles which the acceptance of the mandate was intended to secure.'"

This grave censure pronounced by the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations on the administration of justice and the general conduct of affairs in 'Iraq, as well as the association of the humiliation afflicting Baha'u'llah's sacred dwelling-place with the obligations implied in the Treaty of Alliance binding the Governments of Great Britain and 'Iraq, not only proclaim to the world the enhanced prestige of that hallowed and consecrated spot, but testify as well to the high sense of integrity that animates the members of the League's honored Commission in the discharge of their public duties. In the formal reply to the Baha'i petitions, the members of the Permanent Mandates Commission have, with the sanction of the Council of the League of Nations, issued this most satisfactory declamation: "The Permanent Mandates Commission, recognizing the justice of the complaint made by the Baha'i Spiritual Assembly of Baghdad, has recommended to the Council of the League such action as it things proper to redress the wrong suffered by the petitioners." A similar passage inserted in the report of the Finnish Representative to the Council of the League runs as follows: "The Commission has also considered a petition from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of 'Iraq, a community which has been dispossessed of its property by another community and has been unable to recover it by legal means. The Commission is convinced that this situation, which is described as an injustice, must be attributed solely to religious passion, and it asks that the petitioner's wrongs should be redressed. I venture to suggest that the Council should accept the Mandate Commission's conclusions on this case, which is an example of the difficulties to be met with in the development of a young country." This report, together with the joint observations and conclusions of the Commission, have been duly considered and approved by the Council of the League, which has in turn instructed the Secretary-General to bring to the notice of the Mandatory Power, as well as the petitioners concerned, the conclusions arrived at by the Mandates Commission.

Dearly-beloved co-workers! Much has been achieved thus far in the course of the progress of this complicated, delicate and highly significant issue. The Baha'i world is eagerly expectant, and fervently prays, that the Almighty may graciously assist the Government chiefly responsible for the well-being of 'Iraq to take "without delay" such steps as will insure the execution of the considered judgment of the representatives of the Sovereign States, members of the Council, and signatories of the Covenant, of the League of Nations.

I will, if deemed proper and advisable, inform you of the manner in which the admiration and the gratitude of the National Spiritual Assemblies, representative of the divers communities in the Baha'i world, should be expressed and tendered to the authorities of the League of Nations which have been chiefly responsible for this noble, this epoch-making decision. For none can doubt that the published verdict pronounced by the Mandate Commission sets the seal of international sanction on the triumph of God's persecuted Faith over the ecclesiastical and civil powers of hostile Islam. Within the ranks of the orthodox Sunnis and of the bitter and fanatical 'Shi'ah, the chief sects of the Muslim Faith and constituting respectively the bulk of the ruling class and the population of 'Iraq, a feeling of consternation must necessarily prevail. For however obscured their vision they still can recognize in this historic judgment the herald of that complete victory which is destined to establish the ascendancy of what, in the words of the members of the Commission, is but "a small minority, drawn from a lower social grade, and possessing neither political nor social influence," over the combined forces of the Islamic population of 'Iraq.

I must not fail in conclusion to refer once again to the decisive role played by that distinguished and international champion of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, our dearly-beloved Mountfort Mills, in the negotiations that have paved the way for the signal success already achieved. The text of the Baha'i petition, which he conceived and drafted, has been recognized by the members of the Mandates Commission as "a document well-drafted, clear in its argument and moderate in tone." He has truly acquitted himself in this most sacred task with exemplary distinction and proved himself worthy of so noble a mission. I request you to join with me in my prayers for him, that the Spirit of Baha'u'llah may continue to guide and sustain him in the final settlement of this most mighty issue.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

March 20, 1929.

No. 33 - July 1929 - page 4

The following letter was written by Shoghi Effendi to Mrs. Corinne True ...

"My dear co-worker: The meetings in the Temple Foundation Hall should be primarily devotional in character, and any addresses delivered there must be of a strictly Baha'i character. The Teachings must be referred to, quoted, explained and amplified, and if non-Baha'i subjects are referred to, they should be considered in the light, and in confirmation of, Baha'i principles and teachings. We must preserve the identity and purity of the Faith, without restricting it to a rigid and exclusive dogma.

Your true brother and well-wisher,

(Signed) SHOGHI."

Haifa, Palestine

May 1, 1929

No. 33 - July 1929 - page 7

"The "Star is decidedly improving in scope, style, and effectiveness, and I wish to congratulate you both on the progress already achieved. I will continue to pray for your efforts at the Holy Shrines, that the "Star may grow to mirror forth in all their power and beauty the sublime and dynamic principles of the Baha'i Faith."

No. 33 - July 1929 - page 8

And in a letter from Soheil Afnan to Mr. Dale S. Cole of Cleveland (with Shoghi Effendi's handwriting at the bottom of the letter) we read:

"It has been a great pleasure to our dear Guardian to receive your letter and to learn of your close cooperation with the "Star of the West .

"It is to the Star of the West and the great and manifold services that it can render that Shoghi Effendi looks with the greatest expectations.... At this time of world-wide doubt and general perplexity, it is perhaps the greatest services to be able to breathe out in your writings what will ultimately prove to be the greatest solution for the troubles of today."

.. the following from our Guardian....

"We should strive in all our utterances to combine the discretion and noble reticence of the wise with the frankness and passionate loyalty of the ardent advocate of an inspiring Faith."

Subscriptions: Shoghi Effendi is directing his attention also to this branch of the "Star wor for he said in one of his letters:

"I will also pray that the number of its subscribers may steadily increase."

No. 34 - October 1929 - page 3

The following message from Shoghi Effendi was received by Mr. McDaniel on August 1, 1929:

My dear and precious co-worker:

Your subsequent letter of June 19 has also been received and I hasten, though exceedingly tired by my unceasing and ever extending activities, to assure you of my keen eagerness to witness a definite achievement regarding the Plan of Unified Action by the American believers. I trust and pray that before the end of this year the full amount will have been subscribed and I would again urge the utmost economy and careful consideration of every preliminary expenditure. A body of experts should be consulted that unnecessary expenditures may be strictly avoided. May the Beloved guide you and sustain you in your efforts.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

No. 35 - November 1929 - page 1

The following letter, read and approved by Shoghi Effendi, indicates the importance of this matter in the Guardian's eyes.

Dear Mrs. True:

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated July 7th and to assure you of his ardent prayers for the success of the work you are undertaking.

The work of collecting and publishing the Tablets is one of the most important tasks that this generation has undertaken, for upon it depends our true understanding of the Cause and its principles. The more we put it off, the more we are apt to lose some of the original writings.

Yet, important as this task may be, it is fraught with difficulties. The early translations are far from being accurate, no matter who the translator may be. Shoghi Effendi firmly believes that only tablets with the Master's signature and in the original tongue should be recognized. Any translations or copies of them fail from having real authority. This shows the importance of collecting the original Tablets that bear the Master's signature.

May I in closing reassure you of Shoghi Effendi's prayer and extend to your his loving greetings.

Yours sincerely,

Ruhi Afnan.

Haifa, Palestine.

September 20, 1929.

No. 36 - December 1929 - page 1 - 3 (see "Baha'i Administration , pages 180 - 187)

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the United States and Canada.

My well-beloved friends:

Ever since that remarkable manifestation of Baha'i solidarity and self-sacrifice which has signalized the proceedings of last year's memorable Convention, I have been expectantly awaiting the news of a steady and continuous support of the Plan which can alone insure, ere the present year draws to its close, the resumption of building operations on our beloved Temple.

Moved by an impulse that I could not resist, I have felt impelled to forego what may be regarded as the most valuable and sacred possession in the Holy Land for the furthering of that noble enterprise which you have set your hearts to achieve. With the hearty concurrence of our dear Baha'i brother, Ziaoullah Asgarzadeh, who years ago donated it to the Most Holy Shrine, this precious ornament of the Tomb of Baha'u'llah has been already shipped to your shores, with our fondest hope that the proceeds for its sale may at once ennoble and reinforce the unnumbered offerings of the American believers already accumulated on the altar of Baha'i sacrifice. I have longed ever since to witness such evidences of spontaneous and generous response on your part as would tend to fortify within me a confidence that has never wavered in the inexhaustible vitality of the Faith of Baha'u'llah in that land.

I need not stress at this moment the high hopes which so startling a display of unsparing devotion to our sacred Temple has already aroused in the breasts of the multitude of our brethren throughout the East. Nor is it I feel necessary to impress upon those who are primarily concerned with its erection the gradual change of outlook which the early prospect of the construction of the far-famed Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in America has unmistakably occasioned in high places among the hitherto sceptical and indifferent towards the merits and the practicability of the Faith proclaimed by Baha'u'llah. Neither do I need to expatiate upon the hopes and fears of the Greatest Holy Leaf, now in the evening of her life, with deepening shadows caused by failing eye-sight and declining strength swiftly gathering about her, yearning to hear as the one remaining solace in her swiftly ebbing life the news of the resumption of work on an Edifice, the glories of which she has, from the lips of 'Abdu'l-Baha, Himself, learned to admire. I cannot surely overrate at the present juncture in the progress of our task the challenging character of these remaining months of the year as a swiftly passing opportunity which it is in our power to seize and utilize, ere it is too late, for the edification of our expectant brethren throughout the East, for the vindication in the eyes of the world at large of the realities of our Faith, and last but not least for the realization of what is the Greatest Holy Leaf's fondest desire.

As I have already intimated in the course of my conversations with visiting pilgrims, so vast and significant an enterprise as the construction of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the West should be supported, not by the munificence of a few but by the joint contributions of the entire mass of the convinced followers of the Faith. It cannot be denied that the emanations of spiritual power and inspiration destined to radiate from the central Edifice of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar will to a very large extent depend upon the range and variety of the contributing believers, as well as upon the nature and degree of self-abnegation which their unsolicited offerings will entail. Moreover, we should, I feel, regard it as an axiom and guiding principle of Baha'i administration that in the conduct of every specific Baha'i activity, as different from undertakings of a humanitarian, philanthropic or charitable character, which may in future be conducted under Baha'i auspices, only those who have already identified themselves with the Faith and are regarded as its avowed and unreserved supporters should be invited to join and collaborate. For apart from the consideration of embarrassing complications which the association of non-believers in the financing of institutions of a strictly Baha'i character may conceivably engender in the administration of the Baha'i community of the future, it should be remembered that these specific Baha'i institutions, which should be viewed in the light of Baha'u'llah's gifts bestowed upon the world, can best function and most powerfully exert their influence in the world only if reared and maintained solely by the support of those who are fully conscious of, and are unreservedly submissive to, the claims inherent in the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. In cases, however, when a friend or sympathizer of the Faith eagerly insists on a monetary contribution for the promotion of the Faith, such gifts should be accepted and duly acknowledged by the elected representatives of the believers with the express understanding that they would be utilized by them only to reinforce that section of the Baha'i Fund exclusively devoted to philanthropic or charitable purposes. For, as the Faith of Baha'u'llah extends in scope and in influence, and the resources of Baha'i communities correspondingly multiply, it will become increasingly desirable to differentiate between such departments of the Baha'i treasury as minister to the needs of the world at large, and those that are specifically designed to promote the direct interests of the Faith itself. From this apparent divorce between Baha'i and humanitarian activities it must not, however, be inferred that the animating purpose of the Faith of Baha'u'llah stands at variance with the aims and objects of the humanitarian and philanthropic institutions of the day. Nay, it should be realized by every judicious promoter of the Faith that at such an early stage in the evolution and crystallization of the Cause such discriminating and precautionary measures are inevitable and even necessary if the nascent institutions of the Faith are to emerge triumphant and unimpaired from the present welter of confused and often conflicting interests with which they are surrounded. This note of warning may not be thought inappropriate at a time when, inflamed by a consuming passion to witness the early completion of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, we may not only be apt to acquiesce in the desire of those who, as yet uninitiated into the Cause, are willing to lend financial assistance to its institutions, but may even feel inclined to solicit from them such aid as it is in their power to render. Ours surely is the paramount duty so to acquit ourselves in the discharge of our most sacred task that in the days to come neither the tongue of the slanderer nor the pen of the malevolent may dare to insinuate that so beauteous, so significant an edifice has been reared by anything short of the unanimous, the exclusive, and the self-sacrificing strivings of the small yet determined body of the convinced supporters of the Faith of Baha'u'llah. How delicate our task, how pressing the responsibility that weighs upon us, who are called upon on one hand to preserve inviolate the integrity and the identity of the regenerating Faith of Baha'u'llah, and to vindicate on the other its broad, its humanitarian, its all-embracing principles!

True, we cannot fail to realize at the present stage of our work the extremely limited number of contributors qualified to lend financial support to such a vast, such an elaborate and costly enterprise. We are fully aware of the many issues and varied Baha'i activities that are unavoidably held in abeyance pending the successful conclusion of the Plan of Unified Action. We are only too conscious of the pressing need of some sort of befitting and concrete embodiment of the spirit animating the Cause that would stand in the heart of the American Continent both as a witness and as a rallying center to the manifold activities of a fast growing Faith. But spurred by those reflections may we not bestir ourselves and resolve as we have never resolved before to hasten by every means in our power the consummation of this all-absorbing yet so meritorious a task? I beseech you, dear friends, not to allow considerations of numbers, or the consciousness of the limitations of our resources, or even the experience of inevitable setbacks which every mighty undertaking is bound to encounter, to blur your vision, to dim your hopes, or to paralyze your efforts in the prosecution of your divinely appointed task. Neither, do I entreat you, to suffer the least deviation into the paths of expediency and compromise to obstruct those channels of vivifying grace that can alone provide the inspiration and strength vital not only to the successful conduct of its material construction, but to the fulfilment of its high destiny.

And while we bend our efforts and strain our nerves in a feverish pursuit to provide the necessary means for the speedy construction of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, may we not pause for a moment to examine those statements which set forth the purpose as well as the functions of this symbolical yet so spiritually potent Edifice? It will be readily admitted that at a time when the tenets of a Faith, not yet fully emerged from the fires of repression, are as yet improperly defined and imperfectly understood, the utmost caution should be exercised in revealing the true nature of those institutions which are indissolubly associated with its name.

Without attempting an exhaustive survey of the distinguishing features and purpose of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, I should feel content at the present time to draw your attention to what I regard certain misleading statements that have found currency in various quarters, and which may lead gradually to a grave misapprehension of the true purpose and essential character of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar.

It should be borne in mind that the central Edifice of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, round which in the fulness of time shall cluster such institutions of social service as shall afford relief to the suffering, sustenance to the poor, shelter to the wayfarer, solace to the bereaved, and education to the ignorant, should be regarded apart from these Dependencies, as a House solely designed and entirely dedicated to the worship of God in accordance with the few yet definitely prescribed principles established by Baha'u'llah in the Kitab-i-Aqdas. It should not be inferred, however, from this general statement that the interior of the central Edifice itself will be converted into a conglomeration of religious services conducted along lines associated with the traditional procedure obtaining in churches, mosques, synagogues, and other temples of worship. Its various avenues of approach, all converging towards the central Hall beneath its dome, will not serve as admittance to those sectarian adherents of rigid formulae and man-made creeds, each bent, according to his way, to observe his rites, recite his prayers, perform his ablutions, and display the particular symbols of his faith, within separately defined sections of Baha'u'llah's Universal House of Worship. Far from the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar offering such a spectacle of incoherent and confused sectarian observances and rites, a condition wholly incompatible with the provisions of the Aqdas and irreconcilable with the spirit it inculcates, the central House of Baha'i worship, enshrined within the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, will gather within its chastened wall, in a serenely spiritual atmosphere, only those who, discarding forever the trappings of elaborate and ostentatious ceremony, are willing worshipers of the one true God, as manifested in this age in the Person of Baha'u'llah. To them will the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar symbolize the fundamental verity underlying the Baha'i Faith, that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is not final but progressive. Theirs will be the conviction that an all-loving and ever-watchful Father Who, in the past, and at various stages in the evolution of mankind, has sent forth His Prophets as the Bearers of His Message and the Manifestations of His Light to mankind, cannot at this critical period of their civilization withhold from His children the Guidance which they sorely need amid the darkness which has beset them, and which neither the light of science nor that of human intellect and wisdom can succeed in dissipating. And thus having recognized in Baha'u'llah the source whence this celestial light proceeds, they will irresistibly feel attracted to seek the shelter of His House, and congregate therein, unhampered by ceremonials and unfettered by creed, to render homage to the one true God, the Essence and Orb of eternal Truth, and to exalt and magnify the name of His Messengers and Prophets Who, from time immemorial even unto our day, have, under divers circumstances and in varying measure, mirrored forth to a dark and wayward world the light of heavenly Guidance.

But however inspiring the conception of Baha'i worship, as witnessed in the central Edifice of this exalted Temple, it cannot be regarded as the sole, nor even the essential, factor in the part which the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, as designed by Baha'u'llah, is destined to play in the organic life of the Baha'i community. Divorced from the social, humanitarian, educational and scientific pursuits centering around the Dependencies of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, Baha'i worship, however exalted in its conception, however passionate in fervor, can never hope to achieve beyond the meagre and often transitory results produced by the contemplations of the ascetic or the communion of the passive worshiper. It cannot afford lasting satisfaction and benefit to the worshiper himself, much less to humanity in general, unless and until translated and transfused into that dynamic and disinterested service to the cause of humanity which it is the supreme privilege of the Dependencies of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar to facilitate and promote. Nor will the exertions, no matter how disinterested and strenuous, of those who within the precincts of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar will be engaged in administering the affairs of the future Baha'i Commonwealth, fructify and prosper unless they are brought into close and daily communion with those spiritual agencies centering in and radiating from the central Shrine of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. Nothing short of direct and constant interaction between the spiritual forces emanating from this House of Worship centering in the heart of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, and the energies consciously displayed by those who administer its affairs in their service to humanity can possibly provide the necessary agency capable of removing the ills that have so long and so grievously afflicted humanity. For it is assuredly upon the consciousness of the efficacy of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah, reinforced on one hand by spiritual communion with His Spirit, and on the other by the intelligent application and the faithful execution of the principles of law He revealed, that the salvation of a world in travail must ultimately depend. And of all the institutions that stand associated with His Holy Name, surely none save the institution of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar can most adequately provide the essentials of Baha'u'llah worship and service, both so vital to the regeneration of the world. Therein lies the secret of the loftiness, of the potency, of the unique position of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar as one of the outstanding institutions conceived by Baha'u'llah.

Dearly-beloved friends! May we not as the trustees of so priceless a heritage, arise to fulfill our high destiny?

Your true brother,

(signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

October 25, 1929.

No. 37 - January 1930 - page 1

re Temple-Building Fund

Cablegram

"Much gratified. Urge continued self-sacrifice. Loving appreciation." (Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 37 - January 1930 - page 3

Cablegram from Shoghi Effendi

"Baha'is of Haifa, Acre and Adasiyyih, conscious of America's glorious self-sacrifice, jointly contributing no less than four thousand dollars, toward Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. Cabling sum next week. Have addressed appeal to believers throughout East to reinforce noble endeavors (of) their American brethren." (signed) SHOGHI.

No. 37 - January 1930 - page 4

"The Challenging Character of These Remaining Months"

I cannot surely overrate at the present juncture in the progress of our task the challenging character of these remaining months of the year as a swiftly passing opportunity which it is in our power to seize and utilize, ere it is too late, for the edification of our expectant brethren throughout the East, for the vindication in the eyes of the world at large of the realities of our faith, and last but not least for the realization of what is the Greatest Holy Leaf's fondest desire.

As I have already intimated in the course of my conversations with visiting pilgrims, so vast and significant an enterprise as the construction of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the West should be supported, not by the munificence of a few but by the joint contributions of the entire mass of the convinced followers of the Faith. It cannot be denied that the emanations of spiritual power and inspiration destined to radiate from the central Edifice of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar will to a very large extent depend upon the range and variety of the contributing believers, as well as upon the nature and degree of self-abnegation which their unsolicited offerings will entail.

- SHOGHI EFFENDI.

No. 37 - January 1930 - page 7

Cablegram dated Haifa, December 6, 1929:

"Kindly urge Baha'i World Editors to take immediate steps ensure arrival manuscript final form Haifa by end of April. Exercise great care maintenance high standard. (SHOGHI)"

"Have written Assemblies. Your Committee should urge them also directly. (SHOGHI)"

No. 39 - March 1930 - page 4

Cablegram to National Assembly, January, 1926

"Congratulate National Assembly on Plan. Noble in conception, sound in method, forceful in its appeal. Fully endorse it. Commend it to every declared believer, joyously pledging ninety-five dollars a month as my humble share. Beseeching Divine assistance." (Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 40 - April 1930 - page 2

"The Paramount and Vital Issue"

"Nothing will be more conducive to my refreshment and strength than the news of the resumption of the construction of our sorely-neglected Temple. This is the reason why I feel that everything else, however urgent and weighty, should be subordinated to the Temple activity, which must for the present and for some time to come be regarded as the paramount and vital issue facing the American believers."

- SHOGHI EFFENDI

No. 40 - April 1930 - page 17

A recent letter from Haifa to the finance chairman bearing a postscript in the Guardian's hand contains the following statement:

-" The financial questions that confront the Cause are all very pressing and important. They need a judicious administration and a wise policy. We should study the needs of the Cause, find the fields which will give the greatest yield and then appropriate the necessary funds. And such a task is surely most difficult and responsible."

He says further:

-"Please convey to the members of the National Assembly Shoghi Effendi's loving greetings. He is fully conscious of the burdens they have to bear, but he is confident that through their sincerity and wisdom they will guide the Cause through even the greatest storms. . . ."

No. 42 - July 1930 - page 2

...statements made about committees by the Guardian in his general communications.

"Large issues in such spiritual activities that affect the Cause in general in that land, such as the management of the 'Star of the West' and any periodical which the National Body may decide to be a Baha'i organ, the matter of publication, of reprinting Baha'i literature and its distribution among the various assemblies, the means whereby the teaching campaign may be stimulated and maintained, the work of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, the racial question in relation to the Cause, the matter of receiving Orientals and association with them, the care and maintenance of the precious film exhibiting a phase of the Master's sojourn in the United States of America as well as the original matrix and the records of His voice, and various other national spiritual activities, far from being under the exclusive jurisdiction of any local assembly or group of friends, must each be minutely and fully directed by a special board, elected by the National Body, constituted as a committee thereof, responsible to it and upon which the National Body shall exercise constant and general supervision."- March 5, 1922 ["Baha'i Administration , page 24]

"I would welcome more specific reports sent to me by the various committees of the National Spiritual Assembly, enclosed in the National Assembly's letter, and approved by its members." - April 9, 1923 ["Baha'i "Administration , page 46]

"As it has been observed already, the role of these committees set up by the National Spiritual Assembly, the renewal, the membership and functions of which should be reconsidered separately each year by the incoming National Assembly, is chiefly to make thorough and expert study of the issue entrusted to their charge, advise by their reports, and assist in the execution of the decisions which in vital matters are to be exclusively and directly rendered by the National Assembly. . . . The absorption of the petty details of Baha'i administration by the personnel of the National Spiritual Assembly is manifestly injurious to efficiency and an expert discharge of Baha'i duties, whilst the granting of undue discretion to bodies that should be regarded in no other light than that of expert advisers and executive assistants would jeopardize the very vital and pervading powers that are the sacred prerogatives of bodies that in time will evolve into Baha'i National Houses of Justice." - October 18, 1927 ["Baha'i Administration , pages 141-142]

No. 43 - August 1930 - page 1

"The importance, nay the absolute necessity of these Local Assemblies is manifest when we realize that in the days to come they will evolve into the local House of Justice, and at present provide the firm foundation on which the structure of the Master's Will is to be reared in future.". . . "The need for the centralization of authority in the National Spiritual Assembly, and the concentration of power in the various Local Assemblies, is made manifest when we reflect that the Cause of Baha'u'llah is still in its tender growth. ..." (Shoghi Effendi, March 12, 1923). ["Baha'i Administration , page 37 and page 42]

The various issues "which should receive receive the full attention of these Assemblies".....

"To be a Baha'i is to accept the Cause in its entirety."

No. 43 - August 1930 - page 3

Writing the National Assembly on May 30, 1930, through his secretary, Shoghi Effendi declares:

"To accept the Cause without the administration is like accepting the teachings without acknowledging the divine station of Baha'u'llah. To be a Baha'i is to accept the Cause in its entirety. To take exception to one basic principle is to deny the authority and sovereignty of Baha'u'llah, and therefore is to deny the Cause. The administration is the social order of Baha'u'llah. Without it all the principles of the Cause will remain abortive. To take exception to this, therefore, is to take exception to the fabric that Baha'u'llah has prescribed, it is to disobey His law."

No. 43 - August 1930 - page 4-5

Our Guardian adds,

"What a wondrous vision these words unfold to our eyes! How great our privilege to labor in this day in the Divine Vineyard! Is it not incumbent upon us to rise and teach His Cause with such an ardor that no earthly adversity can quell, nor any measure of success satiate?"

No. 44 - September 1930 - page 2

Cablegram from Shoghi Effendi

"Approve action regarding History Society. Deeply appreciative loyalty (of) believers." - (Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 45 - October 1930 - page 1

Cablegram from Shoghi Effendi

"Grieve passing (of) Bourgeois. May Almighty reward richly his high, unforgettable endeavors. Convey his family heartfelt condolences." (Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 45 - October 1930 - page 3

(From a letter written to an American believer by the Guardian's secretary.)

To deepen in the Cause means to read the Writings of Baha'u'llah and the Master so thoroughly as to be able to give it to others in its pure form. There are many who have some superficial idea of what the Cause stands for. They, therefore, present it together with all sorts of ideas that are their own. As the Cause is still in its early days we must be most careful lest we fall under this error and injure the Movement we so much adore. There is no limit to the study of the Cause. The more we read the Writings, the more Truths we can find in Them, the more we will see that our previous notions were erroneous. With deepest love I remain,

Yours in His Name.

(Signed) RUHI AFNAN.

No. 46 - November 1930 - page 2

The following letter written by Shoghi Effendi to the National Assembly through his secretary, refers to this translation: -

"As the 'Iqan is the most important book wherein Baha'u'llah explains the basic beliefs of the faith, he thought a proper rendering of it would infinitely enhance the teaching work in the West. He hopes that this new rendering will be an improvement on the previous one, but he fully admits that it is far from perfect, far from the original itself. Shoghi Effendi has given the proper transliteration of the Eastern terms and wants you to abide by them, keeping every dash, point, accent or inverted comma. To help you in this, he has also on a separate sheet written these in their proper form. He wishes you further not to include the introduction that exists in the last edition, for he does not think it worthwhile and enlightening. Drop also the glossary that exists at the end of the last edition and form a glossary using the definitions that he has sent to be put in the forthcoming Baha'i World. As Shoghi Effendi has been emphasizing the need of submitting all publications to the Reviewing Committee, he wants to be the first to abide by that rule, though he hopes that they will not make unnecessary delay. In Germany they have translated the 'Iqan from the last translation and they are waiting for Shoghi Effendi's rendering to make the necessary alterations and publish their own. The proceeds of the sale of the book Shoghi Effendi wishes to go to the American National Assembly in an unlabelled form. This is a gift of his own personal labors that he wishes to present that body and he wishes it to be considered as a token of appreciation for the help they have rendered him in carrying on his arduous task."

(Signed) RUHI AFNAN.

"Unable to find a good typist, I have had to do the work myself, and I trust that the proofreaders will find it easy to go over and will not mind the type errors which I have tried to correct. I would especially urge you to adhere to the transliteration which I have adopted. The correct title is, I feel, 'The Kitab-I-'Iqan,' the sub-title 'The Book of Certitude.' May it help the friends to approach a step further, and obtain a clearer idea of the fundamental teachings set forth by Baha'u'llah."

(Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 46 - November 1930 - page 6

...the following statement on the subject of the corner-stone at the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar received by the National Assembly from the Guardian's secretary is recorded at this time:

"Concerning the corner-stone of the Temple, which was laid by the Master, Shoghi Effendi says that it has no other special significance than a great honor conferred by the Master upon that building and it should be treated as a corner-stone and nothing more."

No. 46 - November 1930 - page 7-8

3. Baha'i Administration, by Shoghi Effendi

"This clearly places heavy responsibilities on the local as well as national Assemblies, which in the course of time will evolve, with the Master's power and guidance, into the local and national Houses of Justice. Hence the vital necessity of having a local Spiritual Assembly in every locality where the number of declared believers exceeds nine, and of making provision for the indirect election of a Body that shall adequately represent the interests of all the friends and Assemblies throughout the American Continent. . . . Furthermore, 'Abdu'l-Baha reveals the following: - 'It is incumbent upon every one not to take any step without consulting the Spiritual Assembly, and they must assuredly obey with heart and soul its bidding and be submissive unto it, that things may be properly ordered and well arranged. Otherwise every person will act independently and after his own judgment, will follow his own desire, and do harm to the Cause.' . . . Not only with regard to publication, but all matters without any exception whatsoever, regarding the interests of the Cause in that locality, individually or collectively, should be referred exclusively to the Spiritual Assembly that locality, which shall decide upon it, unless it be a matter of national interest, in which case it shall be referred to the national body. . . . Full harmony, however, as well as cooperation among the various local assemblies and the members themselves, and particularly between each assembly and the national body, is of the utmost importance, for upon it depends the unity of the Cause of God, the solidarity of the friends, the full, speedy and efficient working of the spiritual activities of His loved ones." . . . March 5, 1922 ["Baha'i Administration , pages 20, 21, 23, 24]

"These challenging criticisms, whether or not dictated by malice, cannot but serve to galvanize the souls of its ardent supporters, and to consolidate the ranks of its faithful promoters. They will purge the Faith from those pernicious elements whose continued association with the believers tends to discredit the fair name of the Cause, and to tarnish the purity of its spirit. We should welcome, therefore, not only the open attacks which its avowed enemies persistently launch persistently launch against it, but should also view as a blessing in disguise every storm of mischief with which they who apostatize their faith or claim to be its faithful exponents assail it from time to time. Instead of undermining the Faith, such assaults, both from within and from without, reinforce its foundations, and excite the intensity of its flame. . . . Unlike the Dispensation of Christ, unlike the Dispensation of Muhammad, unlike all the Dispensations of the past, the apostles of Baha'u'llah in every land, wherever they labor and toil, have before them in clear, in unequivocal and emphatic language, all the laws, the regulations, the principles, the institutions, the guidance, they require for the prosecution and consummation of their task." March 31, 1930.

"In a recent letter from the Guardian we find these words: 'By leaving certain matters unspecified and unregulated in His Book of Laws, Baha'u'llah seems to have deliberately left a gap in the general scheme of Baha'i Dispensation, which the unequivocal provisions of the Master's Will has filled. To attempt to divorce the one from the other, to insinuate that the Teachings of Baha'u'llah have not been upheld, in their entirety and with absolute integrity, by what 'Abdu'l-Baha has revealed in His Will, is an unpardonable affront to the unswerving fidelity that has characterized the life and labors of our beloved Master. . . . To dissociate the administrative principles of the Cause from the purely spiritual and humanitarian teachings would be tantamount to a mutilation of the Body of the Cause, a separation that can only result in the disintegration of its component parts, and the extinction of the Faith itself.'

No. 46 - November 1930 - page 9 10

Cablegram from the Guardian to the National Assembly (December 31, 1929)

"Feel strongly Ahmad Sohrab should uphold unconditionally authority local and national Assembly. Have in no letter of mine departed from this basic principle which alone safeguards unity of Cause."

Letter from the Guardian, Through His Secretary, to the National Assembly (January 1, 1930)

"In none of the Guardian's letters to Mrs. Chanler has Shoghi Effendi approved of her attitude toward the local and national Assemblies. One of those who was over-zealous about The New History Society wrote Shoghi Effendi that the members of the New York Assembly are gradually becoming milder and perhaps drawn to the History Society. This is to solve the problem in the wrong way. It is not the Assembly that has to be won to the cause of some rebellious person, but that person brought back under the authority of the Assembly."

The Guardian's Reply (January 23, 1930)

"Attendance Ahmad meeting conditioned upon Ahmad's unquestioned acceptance to conduct meetings on lines fully sanctioned by National Spiritual Assembly. True unity can only be preserved by maintenance paramount position National Spiritual Assembly."

The Guardian's Reply (March 1, 1930)

"Much relieved, gladdened, fervently supplicating dear valued Mrs. Chanler and Assembly may through fire (of) Baha'i fellowship be welded, unitedly uphold unity of faith and supremacy (of) Baha'i representative Assemblies."

Letter from the Guardian to the National Assembly (May 30, 1930)

"Ahmad Sohrab's activities should be watched carefully, lest a weak handling of this extremely delicate situation may confuse the minds of the friends, and cause a split in the Cause. The Cause has already triumphed over such cases which flare up for a time then recede into the shadows of oblivion and are thought of no more. The case of Khyrellah, Fareed, Dyer, Mrs. White and others testify to this truth."

Cablegram from the Guardian to the National Assembly (Published in Baha'i News, September, 1930)

"Approve action regarding History Society. Deeply appreciate loyalty (of) believers."

Letter from the Guardian, Through His Secretary, to a Believer of Yonkers, N.Y. (August 30, 1930)

"A year ago, Mrs. Chanler wrote Shoghi Effendi of her plan to work independently of the Assembly. In answer he expressed his disapproval in a most unquestionable term. In the letters and cables that Mrs. Chanler wrote subsequent to that, Shoghi Effendi expressed the same view again. He knew that for a body to defy the Assembly is contrary to the best interests of the Cause; that not only will conflict arise but it will react unfavorably in other parts of the world.

"Some persons in the (United) States feel that the History Society was badly represented to Shoghi Effendi. The source of all our information is the writings of Ahmad, and the publications of that group. In all his circular letters he harped on the note of freedom, and denounced the red tape that characterizes organizations. Freedom, which Ahmad reiterates...is not a bad thing if considered in view of the interpretation that Baha'u'llah gives in the Aqdas. (See quotation No. 1, above - Editor). The freedom that He commends is a freedom which is a fruit and result of law and proper administration. The other kind of freedom which is in defiance of law He considers to be animal, and far from being of any good to man. He says, "True freedom is in obedience to My law.'

"No one wrote to Shoghi Effendi against the History Society; it is Ahmad's reports that caused Shoghi Effendi's mistrust. This literature has not had this effect only on Shoghi Effendi but also on the friends of Australia and New Zealand. In the last two weeks we have had two letters from prominent and firm Baha'is of New Zealand and Australia who referred to the History Society and its literature with greatest disapprobation, and with great astonishment that nothing is being done.

"The Cause is an international institution. Every act done in one Center will have some reaction in some other locality. What if the spirit that Ahmad preaches should be practised in its full? The whole Cause will as a result be destroyed."

Cablegram from the Guardian to the National Assembly (October 24, 1930)

"Appeal American believers, New York believers in particular, (to) recall (during) these days of stress (the) sacredness of their trust (and the) nobility of their calling. Slightest evidence (of) internal division highly detrimental."

No. 47 - January 1931 - page 1

Cablegram from Shoghi Effendi

(Mrs. Ruth) White's base, preposterous imputations should be entirely ignored. Her machinations can never succeed impede onward march of Cause. Present agitation will assuredly die down. Appeal American Baha'is, New York believers in particular, recall these days of stress sacredness of their trust, nobility of their calling. Slightest evidence internal division highly detrimental. Have just completed rough rendering of most detailed authentic narrative early days of Faith trusting its eventual publication may serve heighten enthusiasm deepen faith American believers.

Haifa, October 24, 1930.

No. 47 - January 1931 - page 3

On Page 19 of "Baha'i Administration , Shoghi Effendi says we are expected "to obliterate as much as possible all traces of censure, of conflicting discussion, of cooling remarks, of petty unnecessary observations that impede the onward march of the Cause, that damp the zeal of the firm believer and detract from the sublimity of the Baha'i Cause in the eyes of the inquirer."

On page 33, our Guardian says, in speaking of Spiritual Assemblies - " They must endeavor to promote amity and concord amongst the friends, efface every lingering trace of distrust, coolness and estrangement from every heart, and secure in its stead an active and wholehearted cooperation for the service of the Cause."

...our Guardian on Page 54 tells us - "At the very root of the Cause lies the principle of the undoubted right of the individual to self-expression, his freedom to declare his conscience and set forth his views."

No. 47 - January 1931 - page 6

Of this "paramount duty of every Baha'i," Shoghi Effendi has said: "Are we fully aware of our responsibilities? Do we realize the urgency, the sacredness, the immensity, the glory of our task? I entreat you, dear friends, to continue, nay, to redouble your efforts, to keep your vision clear, your determination unshaken, so that the power of God within you may fill the world with its glory."

... In the words of Shoghi Effendi, "Let us bear in mind the example which our beloved Master has clearly set before us. Wise and tactful in His approach, wakeful and attentive in His early intercourse, broad and liberal in all His public utterances, cautious and gradual in the unfolding of the essential verities of the Cause, passionate in His appeal yet sober in argument, confident in tone, unswerving in conviction, dignified in His manners - such were the distinguishing features of our Beloved's noble presentation of the Cause of Baha'u'llah."

No. 48 - February 1931 - page 4

November 11th and 12th an inter-Assembly conference ... was held at Foundation Hall.... Two days later Shoghi Effendi's answering cable was received,

"Assure members Illinois-Wisconsin Conference my loving prayers Holy Shrines. Heartily share their joys. Shoghi."

No. 48 - February 1931 - page 7 8

At Ridvan to Germany:

"Loving appreciation Ridvan greetings fervently supplicating Beloved continued blessings upon His dearly beloved loyal and valiant followers in that Land. Shoghi."

A second cable to the Chairman followed with the contents:

"Convey Baha'i Congress my admiration for their loyalty, noble endeavor praying for harmony your selection Spiritual National Assembly deepest love Ridvan greetings. Shoghi."

No. 48 - February 1931 - page 8-10

Letters from Shoghi Effendi to the Editorial Secretary

My Dear Mr. Windust:

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your letter of January 8th with enclosures, all of which he has read with much interest.

In view of the importance which, as you are well aware, Shoghi Effendi attaches to "The Baha'i World publications, he wishes me to express his grateful and profound appreciation at every available opportunity for the painstaking efforts you lavish upon its publication.

He is already looking forward to a still more instructive and attractive production this year and he patiently awaits the Manuscript next April. You can collect on the other side of the Atlantic all the material you want. He will sift and decide upon them here, after having your recommendation.

With the assurance of his affection and prayers for you and your daughters, and with his sincere trust in the materialization of your visit to Haifa,

Sincerely yours,

Sohiel Afnan.

My dear and precious co-worker:

I feel strongly that the forthcoming issue of "The Baha'i World , to which you are so devotedly attached, will arouse keen and widespread interest. I eagerly await the Manuscript by the end of April. I would like to urge that the original colors of the Manuscript which has been sent to you for reproduction should be distinctly and faithfully reproduced, inasmuch as the colored reproduction of the Master's photograph on the frontispiece of Vol. II is slightly different and inferior in shade as compared with the original. May the Beloved guide you, sustain you, and fortify you in your historic task.

Your affectionate brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa,

January 30, 1930.

Dear Mr. Windust:

Shoghi Effendi desires me to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of April 6th and March 23rd. The packages of photographs that you sent for "The "Baha'i World have all reached him. He has selected the most appropriate and has returned the rest to your address in a number of packages. He is deeply grateful to you for the painstaking efforts and the thoroughness and the devotion with which you have collected the material for the forthcoming issue. The entire manuscript has reached him safely. He went over it most carefully, rearranged the whole material, added a few articles, prepared a table of contents which he inserted in the manuscript, arranged the photographs and the captions for each, divided the material into Four Parts and sent them under three separate covers a few days ago to your address.

He is delighted with the illuminated manuscript insert which he has chosen as a frontispiece of the book, and has placed it in its proper place in Part One. We need not insert the translation of the text of the manuscript. He prefers the non-varnished copy. If you think, however, that moisture will affect it, he has no objection to your inserting instead the varnished copy. The photographs for "The Baha'i World , he has inserted them all in the manuscript. He would advise the Committee neither to add to, nor to discard, any of the photographs already inserted. He has divided each of the Four Parts into Sections. He has grouped the photographs of each Section and added them to their respective Sections. As to the exact locality of each photograph in these Sections, he has left it to the discretion of the Committee. He would not advise to displace these photographs from one part to another. He would ask you to kindly return to him all the photographs that are within the manuscript after the printing of the book. Among these photographs are two collective ones. On each page of these two collective photographs are nineteen reproductions of outstanding Baha'is in the East and in the West. The one is entitled, "Apostles of Baha'u'llah"; the other, "Disciples of 'Abdu'l-Baha." He has joined to each a list of the name and title of these Baha'is. He would request the Committee to arrange the two collective photographs in a manner that they would face each other in the book. In the back of each he feels the list of their respective names should be inserted. Shoghi Effendi has not yet received Horace's article on "Survey of Current Baha'i Activities in the East and West." He would advise you to insert it immediately if it is finished without awaiting a further word from Shoghi Effendi. He feels that the sooner the book is printed the better. He would advise the utmost care both on the part of the proof reader and the printer. Particularly regarding the transliteration of Oriental terms, he would urge you to exercise the minutest care. He has carefully revised both the list and the articles in this connection. The book should present a distinctive scholarly character and should be free from all manner of type error. The appreciative replies he has received from eminent men to whom he has sent "The Baha'i World and to whom he hopes to send Volume III, makes it absolutely imperative to maintain, nay even to improve if possible, the standard already attained. He would particularly request you to insert in the beginning of the book, on a separate page, a statement saying that all the photographs in Volume III are strictly copyrighted and should not, without specific authorization, be reproduced. As to the color of the book, Shoghi Effendi feels that as Volume I has a green cover and Volume II a blue one, that Volume III should be red. He is sending you enclosed the particular shade of red which he feels it advisable to adopt. He would request you to ensure that the cloth cover of Volume III should be exactly in this shade.

Shoghi Effendi is sending enclosed a check for twenty pounds as his promised contribution towards the expense envolved in the preparation of the illuminated manuscript. He has already informed the friends in the East and particularly Persia to take the necessary measures for a prompt and substantial order immediately the book is published. The sacred photographs, most of which have never been published before, are of such a nature as to excite the interest of both the Baha'is of the East and the West. The graphic and detailed description of the declaration of the Bab in Shiraz, which Shoghi Effendi has included in Part One is bound to arouse much interest, as the details of that historic meeting are unknown to even the old believers in Persia. That is why he feels that the greatest care should be exercised in the printing of the book.

Shoghi Effendi would wish to have mailed to his name, immediately the book is published, which he hopes will be by the middle of the summer, one hundred (100) copies. He hopes that the friends in every part of the world will cooperate in making the issue of this book a successful financial undertaking. He wishes in conclusion to express his deepest appreciation of your continued and devoted endeavors and wishes me to assure you of his prayers for your success in your many services to the Cause. This letter should not be published in "The Baha'i World . It is only for the information of "The "Baha'i World Committee.

Yours Sincerely,

Ruhi Afnan.

P.S. - Shoghi Effendi will be pleased to send the price of the hundred copies he has ordered immediately he receives them. R.A.

My Dear and precious co-worker:

I cannot refrain from adding a few words to this already detailed letter, the expression of may deepest admiration for your unsparing efforts in the service of our beloved Faith. Your whole-hearted devotion, conscientious labors, and thoroughness of service are greatly valued and prized by me, and I trust that in the days to come your scope of service may increasingly widen and bear the richest fruit. I have asked Ruhi to convey my messages and suggestions in my behalf in this letter regarding "The Baha'i World , and I am sure that they will be duly considered, as I have great hopes in this publication. I am sending you under separate cover a photo of the London friends which I would suggest to be inserted before or after George Townshend's "Reflection" on the Hidden Words in Part IV.

Lovingly and gratefully,

SHOGHI.

Haifa,

May 29, 1930.

No. 48 - February 1931 - page 11

"Deeply grieved passing Rosenberg" wrote the Guardian, "England's outstanding Baha'i Pioneer worker. Memory of her glorious service will never die. 'Abdu'l-Baha's family join me in expressing heartfelt condolences to her brother and relatives. Urge friends hold befitting memorial service."

"Shoghi"

No. 48 - February 1931 - page 12

I consider it my duty to warn every beginner the Faith that the promised glories of the Sovereignty which the Baha'i teachings foreshadow can be revealed only in the fullness of time, that the implications of the Aqdas and the Will of 'Abdu'l-Baha, as the twin repositories of the constituent elements of that sovereignty, are too far-reaching for this generation to grasp and fully appreciate. I cannot refrain from appealing to them who stand identified with the Faith to disregard the prevailing notions and the fleeting fashions of the day, and to realize as never before that the exploded theories and the tottering institutions of present-day civilization must needs appear in sharp contrast with those God-given institutions which are destined to arise upon their ruin. I pray that they may realize with all their heart and soul the ineffable glory of their calling, the overwhelming responsibility of their mission, and the astounding immensity of their task. - SHOGHI EFFENDI.

No. 49 - March 1931 - page 2-3

The Guardian commends new volume of "The Baha'i World .

My dear Mrs. Little:

I am directed by our Guardian to express his grateful thanks for your letter written on behalf of the Publishing Committee and dated December 16, 1930.

He has received the copy of the Baha'i World Vol. III, with the greatest pleasure and he wishes me to hasten and assure you that he is highly satisfied with the work.

I am also asked to express Shoghi Effendi's unqualified gratitude to the members of the Publishing Committee and not least yourself for their labors and industry in producing such a noteworthy publication.

With his greetings and good wishes to you all,

Sincerely yours,

(Signed) Soheil Afnan.

My dear Co-worker:

I am extremely pleased with the third volume of the Baha'i World and have already sent a copy to Persia and encouraged the friends throughout the East to order copies directly from New York.

Your true brother,

(Signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

January 14, 1931.

No. 49 - March 1931 - page 3

Re Francis William Breed of New York: [Mr. Breed was father of Florence, wife of Ali Kuli Khan].

" Assure you sympathy, prayers, departed father; love.

SHOGHI."

No. 49 - March 1931 - page 5

German Baha'is grieve loss of Consul Schwarz, January 13.

"Inexpressibly sad, profoundly deplore passing (of) Germany's outstanding Baha'i pioneer worker. The memory (of) his distinguished services (will be) imperishable. (The) Greatest Holy Leaf joins me (in) assurance (of) affectionate prayer (and) heart-felt condolences."

(Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 51 - April 1931 - page 1

I am deeply convinced that if the Annual Convention of the friends in America, as well as the National Spiritual Assembly, desire to become potent instruments for the speedy realization of the Beloved's fondest hopes for the future of that country, they should endeavor, first and foremost, to exemplify, in an increasing degree, to all Baha'is and to the world at large the high ideals of fellowship and service which Baha'u'llah and the beloved Master set before them. . . .

Again I earnestly appeal to every one of you, and renew my only request with all the ardor of my conviction, to make, before and during the coming Convention, yet another effort, this time more spontaneous and selfless than before, and endeavor to approach your task - the election of your delegates, as well as your national and local representatives - with that purity of spirit that can alone obtain our Beloved's most cherished desire. Let us recall His explicit and often-repeated assurances that every Assembly elected in that rarified atmosphere of selflessness and detachment is, in truth, appointed of God, that its verdict is truly inspired, and that one and all should submit to its decision unreservedly and with cheerfulness. . . .

Hitherto the National Convention has been primarily called together for the consideration of the various circumstances attending the election of the National Spiritual Assembly. I feel, however, that in view of the expansion and the growing importance of the administrative sphere of the Cause, the general sentiments and tendencies prevailing among the friends, and the signs of increasing interdependence among the National Spiritual Assemblies throughout the world, the assembled accredited representatives of the American believers should exercise not only the vital and responsible right of electing the National Assembly, but should also fulfill the functions of an enlightened, consultative and cooperative body that will enrich the experience, enhance the prestige, support the authority, and assist the deliberations of the National Spiritual Assembly. . . .

Regarding this forthcoming Convention, I feel that the dominating purpose inspiring the assembled friends, delegates and visitors alike, should be a twofold one. The first is a challenge to the individual, the second a collective responsibility. The one seeks to reinforce the motive power of our spiritual activities, the second aims at raising the standard of administrative efficiency so vitally needed at this advanced stage of our work. . . .

- SHOGHI EFFENDI.

No. 51 - April 1931 - page 7

"Much of the progress of the Cause depends upon you, for more people are attracted through reading than by hearing lectures given. The first requisite, however, is that everything that is put before the public should be of the highest type, both literary and artistic. The Cause is in great need of first class publications."

- Letter to the Publishing Committee from Shoghi Effendi, through Ruhi Afnan Effendi, March 15, 1931.

No. 52 - May 1931 - page 1

"The Greatest Holy Leaf joins me in requesting delegates assembled under Mashriqu'l-Adhkar's sacred dome convey all American believers expression our heartfelt congratulations, boundless joy, profound gratitude practical completion superstructure glorious edifice. Fervently appeal all associated this holy enterprise, consummate their achievement by upholding whatever manner national representatives may deem necessary for provision exterior ornamentation. Inestimable blessing shall crown America's sustained, self- sacrificing endeavor.

SHOGHI."

[Upon transmitting news of re-election of entire membership of National Assembly:]

"Welcome your action as befitting tribute to National Assembly's magnificent record of service. Deeply appreciate. Profoundly moved. Striking evidence Baha'i solidarity. Continued self-sacrifice."

"SHOGHI."

No. 52 - May 1931 - page 4-5

Association with orientals

My dear co-workers: [1]

[1 New York Spiritual Assembly]

I wish to add a few lines and remind you of the necessity of refusing to admit to your assembly, or associate with, any Oriental who does not have proper credentials from a recognized Spiritual Assembly. I am sure that a few are trying to cause mischief and bring about a split in the ranks of the believers in these days of stress, and the utmost caution should be exercised, lest these mischief-makers succeed in undermining the foundations of the Cause.

Your true brother and well wisher,

(Signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

March 9, 1931.

"Appeal believers recall Master's repeated warnings exercise vigilance discrimination reception Orientals otherwise great mischief will result; their credentials, behavior should be critically examined."

(Signed) SHOGHI.

(Cablegram to New York spiritual Assembly, February 7, 1931)

"I wish to add and say that whatever letters are sent in my behalf from Haifa are all read and approved by me before mailing. There is no exception whatever to this rule."

(Signed) SHOGHI

(From letter to Mrs. Marion Little, New York)

In the introduction to Vol. III, the Guardian states through the editorial committee as follows:-

"In preparation for Vol. IV, which is to cover the period from April 1930 to April 1932 all Local Spiritual Assemblies, Groups and Committees throughout the Baha'i world are requested to plan with their respective National Spiritual Assemblies the gathering of suitable material for that volume. Photographs and articles of interest may be forwarded at any time. Reports to be incorporated in the "Survey of Current Baha'i Activities in the East and West," should be in the hands of the Committee not later than November 1st, 1931. The contents of Vol. III will suggest the various materials desired for such an important and historic publication as the Baha'i World. Articles and photographs that show the present progress of the Cause, as well as records of past events, are particularly desired."

On March 26th at table in Haifa the Guardian was asked by one of the visiting pilgrims:

"What is the particular work of the Bureau at Geneva and why is it international?"

The Guardian, Shoghi Effendi replied: -

"Geneva is auxiliary to the center in Haifa. It does not assume the place of Haifa, but is auxiliary. It exercises no international authority. It does not try to impose but helps and acts as intermediary between Haifa and other centers. It is international because it links the countries and work is accomplished more easily: it is like a distributing center."

No. 53 - July 1931 - page 1

As long ago as 1923 the Guardian declared:

"Who can fail to recognize the sore need of bleeding humanity, in the present state of uncertainty and peril, for the regenerating Spirit of God manifested this Day so powerfully in this Divine Dispensation? Four years of unprecedented warfare and world cataclysms, followed by another four years of bitter disappointment and suffering, have stirred deeply the conscience of mankind, and opened the eyes of an unbelieving world to the Power of the Spirit that alone can cure its sicknesses, heal its wounds, and establish the long-promised reign of undisturbed prosperity and peace."

This theme was continued a few months later (February 23, 1924):

"The plight of mankind, the condition and circumstances under which we live and labor are truly disheartening, and the darkness of prejudice and ill-will enough to chill the stoutest heart. Disillusion and dismay are invading the hearts of peoples and nations, and the hope and vision of a united and regenerated humanity is growing dimmer and dimmer every day . . . Humanity, torn with dissension and burning with hate, is crying at this hour for a fuller measure of that love which is born of God, that love which in the last resort will prove the one solvent of its incalculable difficulties and problems."

The Guardian wrote in November, 1924:

"We have but to turn our eyes to the world without to realize the fierceness and the magnitude of the forces of darkness that are struggling with the dawning light of the Abha Revelation. Nations, though exhausted and disillusioned, have seemingly begun to cherish anew the spirit of revenge, of domination and strife. Peoples, convulsed by economic upheavals, are slowly drifting into two great opposing camps with all their menace of social chaos, class hatreds, and worldwide ruin. Races, alienated more than ever before, are filled with mistrust, humiliation and fear, and seem to prepare themselves for a fresh and fateful encounter. Creeds and religions, caught in this whirlpool of conflict and passion, appear to gaze with impotence and despair at this spectacle of unceasing turmoil. . . Are we by our thoughts, our words, our deeds, whether individually or collectively, preparing the way?"

Nearly three years intervened between this message and the following words (October 18, 1927):

"And now in conclusion, may I be permitted to direct your attention to the lesson which the trend of world events brings home to us - the little band of His chosen workers who, according to the intelligent efforts we exert, can prove ourselves the determining factor in the immediate fortunes of the society we live in. As we witness on all sides the growing restlessness of a restless age, we are filled with mixed feelings of fear and hope - fear, at the prospect of yet another deadly encounter, the inevitability of which is alas! becoming increasingly manifest; hope, in the serene assurance that whatever cataclysm may yet visit humanity, it cannot but hasten the approaching era of universal and lasting peace so emphatically proclaimed by Baha'u'llah."

No. 53 - July 1931 - page 3

From Shoghi Effendi Dated June 20, 1931

"Shoghi Effendi believes that the Temple and teaching work should be continued to be regarded as the twin outstanding activities of the Believers in America. Everything else should be subordinated to this urgent need. The work of applying the exterior ornamentation to the completed structure should proceed steadily and as speedily as possible. Shoghi Effendi feels that the full effect and influence of the Temple can be revealed only when the work in its entirety is accomplished. All the beauty and glory of the Temple depends upon the exterior garment of stone with which it is to be adorned, while the consummation of the task will in itself act as a magnet that will draw the promised blessings of the Master. Nothing short of continued self-sacrifice can achieve this end. In fact, the greater the obstacles in our way, the greater will be the reward we are destined to reap. The present financial depression should be regarded both as a challenge and an opportunity to prove the reality and potency of our faith. Shoghi Effendi will continue to pray for the American Believers who are destined to render still more glorious services to the Cause in the future."

"When the structure (Temple) shall be completed a new era will be inaugurated in the history of the Cause in that century."

Thus writes the Guardian in a letter dated May 31, 1931.

In a cablegram to the recent (1931) Annual Convention the Guardian .... in the following words:

"Fervently appeal all associated this holy enterprise, consummate their achievement by upholding whatever measures National representatives may deem necessary for provision exterior ornamentation. Inestimable blessing shall crown America's sustained self-sacrificing endeavors." -

(Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 53 - July 1931 - page 4

"We must be like the fountain or spring that is continually emptying itself of all that it has and is continually being refilled from an invisible source. To be continually giving out for the good of our fellows undeterred by fear of poverty and reliant on the unfailing bounty of the Source of all wealth and all good - this is the secret of right living." -

SHOGHI EFFENDI.

No. 53 - July 1931 - page 7

Germany

Cable-greeting from Shoghi Effendi

"Haifa - Schwarz-Alexanderstrasse - Stuttgart Convey convention delegates expression profound admiration constancy German believers overjoyed their successful resistance severe trials assure them loving continued prayers."

(Signed) SHOGHI.

A cable from Shoghi Effendi was read:

"Deeply grieved passing such staunch indefatigable Baha'i worker.[*] Assure her daughter, relatives, friends, heartfelt condolences, fervent prayers."

(Signed) SHOGHI.

[*] Claudia Coles - funeral May 27.

No. 54 - August 1931 - page 1-2

Important Message from Shoghi Effendi dated June 20, 1931 (Reprinted by request)

"Shoghi Effendi believes that the Temple and teaching work should be continued to be regarded as the twin outstanding activities of the Believers in America. Everything else should be subordinated to this urgent need. The work of applying the exterior ornamentation to the completed structure should proceed steadily and as speedily as possible. Shoghi Effendi feels that the full effect and influence of the Temple can be revealed only when the work in its entirety is accomplished. All the beauty and glory of the Temple depends upon the exterior garment of stone with which it is to be adorned, while the consummation of the task will in itself act as a magnet that will draw the promised blessings of the Master. Nothing short of continued self-sacrifice can achieve this end. In fact, the greater the obstacles in our way, the greater will be the reward we are destined to reap. The present financial depression should be regarded both as a challenge and an opportunity to prove the reality and potency of our faith. Shoghi Effendi will continue to pray for the American Believers who are destined to render still more glorious services to the Cause in the future."

THE NEW WORLD ORDER

Words of Shoghi Effendi

(see "World Order of Baha'u'llah [WOB] , pages 23-26)

Dear friends! Feeble though our Faith may now appear in the eyes of men, who either denounce it as an offshoot of Islam, or contemptuously ignore it as one more of those obscure sects that abound in the West, this priceless gem of Divine Revelation, now still in its embryonic state, shall evolve within the shell of His law, and shall forge ahead, undivided and unimpaired, till it embraces the whole of mankind. Only those who have already recognized the supreme station of Baha'u'llah, only those whose hearts have been touched by His love, and have become familiar with the potency of His spirit, can adequately appreciate the value of this Divine Economy - His inestimable gift to mankind.

Leaders of religion, exponents of political theories, governors of human institutions, who at present are witnessing with perplexity and dismay the bankruptcy of their ideas, and the disintegration of their handiwork, would do well to turn their gaze to the Revelation of Baha'u'llah, and to meditate upon the World Order which, lying enshrined in His teachings, is slowly and imperceptibly rising amid the welter and chaos of present-day civilization. They need have no doubt or anxiety regarding the nature, the origin or validity of the institutions which the adherents of the Faith are building up throughout the world. For these lie embedded in the teachings themselves, unadulterated and unobscured by unwarrantable inferences, or unauthorized interpretations of His Word.

How pressing and sacred the responsibility that now weighs upon those who are already acquainted with these teachings! How glorious the task of those who are called upon to vindicate their truth, and demonstrate their practicability to an unbelieving world! Nothing short of an immovable conviction in their divine origin, and their uniqueness in the annals of religion; nothing short of an unwavering purpose to execute and apply them to the administrative machinery of the Cause, can be sufficient to establish their reality, and insure their success. How vast is the Revelation of Baha'u'llah! How great the magnitude of His blessings showered upon humanity in this day! And yet, how poor, how inadequate our conception of their significance and glory! This generation stands too close to so colossal a Revelation to appreciate, in their full measure, the infinite possibilities of His Faith, the unprecedented character of His Cause, and the mysterious dispensations of His Providence.

In the Iqan, Baha'u'llah, wishing to emphasize the transcendent character of this new Day of God, reinforces the strength of His argument by His reference to the text of a correct and authorized tradition, which reveals the following: "Knowledge is twenty-and-seven letters. All that the Prophets have revealed are two letters thereof. No man thus far hath known more than these two letters. But when the Qa'im shall arise, He will cause the remaining twenty-and-five letters to be made manifest." And then immediately follow these confirming and illumination words of Baha'u'llah: "Consider: He hath declared knowledge to consist of twenty and seven letters, and regarded all the prophets, from Adam even unto Muhammad, the 'Seal,' as expounders of only two letters thereof. He also saith that the Qa'im will reveal all the remaining twenty-and-five letters. Behold from this utterance how great and lofty is His station! His rank excelleth that of all the Prophets, and His Revelation transcendeth the comprehension and understanding of all their chosen ones. A Revelation, of which the prophets of God, His Saints and chosen ones have either not been informed or which, in pursuance of God's inscrutable decree, they have not disclosed - such a Revelation, these vile and villainous people have sought to measure with their own deficient minds, their own deficient learning and understanding."

In another passage of the same Book, Baha'u'llah, referring to the transformation effected by every Revelation in the ways, thoughts and manners of the people, reveals these words: "Is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself, both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions? For if the character of mankind be not changed, the futility of God's universal Manifestation would be apparent."

Did not Christ Himself, addressing His disciples, utter these words? "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth"?

From the text of this recognized tradition, as well as from the words of Christ, as attested by the Gospel, every unprejudiced observer will readily apprehend the magnitude of the Faith which Baha'u'llah has revealed, and recognize the staggering weight of the claim He has advanced. No wonder if 'Abdu'l-Baha has portrayed in such lurid colors the fierceness of the agitation that shall center in the days to come round the nascent institutions of the Faith. We can now but faintly discern the beginnings of that turmoil which the rise and ascendancy of the Cause of God is destined to cast in the world.

Whether in the ferocious and insidious campaign of repression and cruelty which the rulers of Russia have launched against the upholders of the Faith under their rule; whether in the unyielding animosity with which the Shiites of Islam are trampling upon the sacred rights of the adherents of the Cause in connection with Baha'u'llah's House in Baghdad; whether in the impotent rage which has impelled the ecclesiastical leaders of the Sunnite sect of Islam to expel our Egyptian brethren from their midst - in all of these we can perceive the manifestations of the relentless hate which peoples, religions, and governments entertain for so pure, so innocent, so glorious a Faith.

Ours is the duty to ponder these things in our heart, to strive to widen our vision, and to deepen our comprehension of this Cause, and to arise, resolutely and unreservedly, to play our part, however small, in this greatest drama of the world's spiritual history.

(Letter of SHOGHI EFFENDI,

March 21, 1930.)

No. 54 - August 1931 - page 4

Cablegram from Shoghi Effendi

Relative to Publicaiton of Nabil's Narrative "The Dawn Breakers"

"Heartily endorse plan to secure co-operation believers publication Nabil's Narrative. Mailing October check for hundred copies. SHOGHI."

No. 55 - September 1931 - page 1 and 5

To the Members of the National Spiritual Assembly, April 2, 1931

Read at the Annual Convention, Chicago, May, 1931.

Dear Mr. Lunt:

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge in his behalf the letters that you have written him on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly dated September 27th, December 10th, February 18th, January 20th and March 3rd, all of which he read with the deepest interest, but was unable to answer in view of the pressure of work due to his translation of Nabil's history.

Concerning individual teaching, Shoghi Effendi would urge every Baha'i who feels the urge to exercise his right of teaching unofficially the Cause, to keep in close touch with the Local Spiritual Assembly of the locality in which he is working. The Local Spiritual Assembly while reserving for itself the right to control such activities on the part of individual Baha'is, should do its utmost to encourage such teachers and to put at their disposal whatever facilities they would need in such circumstances. Should any differences arise, the National Spiritual Assembly would naturally have to intervene and adjust matters.

Shoghi Effendi feels that in any locality where the number of adult believers reaches nine. A Local Assembly "should be established. he feels this to be an obligation rather than a purely voluntary act. Only in exceptional cases has the National Spiritual Assembly the right to postpone the formation of an Assembly if it feels that the situation does not warrant such a formation. This right, however, should be exercised if the situation absolutely demands it. As to the principle according to which the area of the jurisdiction of a Local Assembly is to be determined, he feels this to be the function of the National Spiritual Assembly; whatever principle they uphold should be fairly applied to all localities without any distinction whatever.

As to the character of the meetings in the Auditorium of the Temple, he feels that they should be purely devotional in character, Baha'i addresses and lectures should be strictly excluded. For the present, he feels that there would be no objection to having Baha'i meetings including addresses and the business sessions of the Convention held in the Foundation Hall. Shoghi Effendi would urge that choir singing by men, women and children be encouraged in the Auditorium and that rigidity in the Baha'i service be scrupulously avoided. The more universal and informal the character of Baha'i worship in the Temple the better. Images and pictures, with the exception of the Greatest Name, should be strictly excluded. Prayers revealed by Baha'u'llah and the Master as well as the sacred writings of the Prophets should be read or chanted as well as hymns based upon Baha'i or non-Baha'i sacred writings.

Shoghi Effendi would wish you to get in touch with the Egyptian authorities and press for Baha'i recognition in that land. The petition that you have prepared should be forwarded and the National Spiritual Assembly in Egypt should be pressed to take whatever measure is necessary to insure its success.

The letter you have received from Constantinople is by no means representative of the actual conditions there, and Shoghi Effendi is urging the friends in that city to re-establish their Assembly and resume their relationships with the Baha'i world.

Concerning the qualifications required for voting, Shoghi Effendi has laid down the essential conditions already in his letters, no further restrictions should be added to them. It is for the Local Assembly to decide in this matter. They should exercise the right with extreme tact and caution and avoid rigidity and formalism. There is no distinction in this respect between new and old believers, nor should contributions to the national or local funds be made a condition for voting.

Shoghi Effendi feels deeply the delicacy and complexity of these problems with which you are constantly being faced, and he will pray for you all that you may be guided in your efforts to extend the scope and consolidate the foundations of God's Holy Faith.

Yours ever sincerely,

Ruhi Afnan.

My dear co-workers:

I wish to add a few words in person and assure you of my deep sense of appreciation of the wisdom, the energy and the determination with which you are facing and handling the many issues involved in the extension of the Cause. I feel that the Baha'i world is greatly indebted to you for the splendid manner in which you have arisen to propagate the Faith and to consolidate its basis. May the Almighty sustain you in your high endeavors.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

No. 55 - September 1931 - page

... this has been repeatedly emphasized by Shoghi Effendi as constitutiong the essence of the New Plan, he tells us -

"The work of applying the exterior ornamentation to the completed structure should proceed steadily and as speedily as possible. . . . that the full effect and influence of the Temple can be revealed only when the work "in "its entirety is accomplished. All the beauty and glory of the Temple depends upon the exterior garment of stone with which it is to be adorned, while the consummation of the task will, in itself, "act as a magnet that will draw the promised blessings of the Master."

Moreover he says -

"Nothing short of continued self-sacrifice can achieve this end . . . . the present financial depression should be regarded both as a "challenge and "opportunity to prove the reality and potency of our faith ."

On August 5th, ..... Shoghi Effendi cable the National Spiritual Assembly:

"Heartily endorse plan (to) secure (the) co-operation (of) believers (in the) publication (of) Nabil's Narrative. Mailing (in) October (a) check (for) one hundred copies."

(Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 55 - September 1931 - page 4

As Shoghi Effendi wrote in his Introduction to the book [Nabil's Narrative]:

"The Baha'i Movement is now well known throughout the world, and the time has come when Nabil's unique narrative of its beginnings in the darkest Persia will interest many readers. The record which he sets down with such devoted care is in many respects extraordinary. It has its thrilling passages, and the splendor of the central theme gives to the chronicle not only great historical value but high moral power."

TEMPLE NEWS - A letter from Shoghi Effendi, through Ruhi Afnan, to one of the Chicago friends, dated May 31, 1931, reads as follows:

"Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated May 9th, 1931. He sincerely hopes that now that the Temple is completed it will be filled to the full with pure, seeking souls. It should be different from other houses of worship, where, even if they are filled, their source of attraction is the music heard. Here the spirit should be so powerful as to awaken the heart of every one that enters, to the glory of Baha'u'llah and to the importance of the message of peace He has brought to the world. Please God, the Master's promise will be fulfilled and the construction of the Temple will inaugurate a new era in the history of the Cause in America."

No. 55 - September 1931 - page 5

Letter from Shoghi Effendi to Mrs. Victoria Bedikian

Sept. 5, 1931

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge on his behalf the receipt of your letter dated July 15th, 1931, and to assure you of his profound appreciation of your continued and precious services to the Cause.

The Guardian was particularly gratified to receive your enclosed letters addressed to some of the believers encouraging them to endorse the New Plan of Unified Action recently issued by the National Assembly.

He wishes you, however, to persevere in your efforts and to be wholly confident in the promises of the Master concerning the ultimate triumph of the Faith.

We are passing through an age of scepticism and unbelief; but we should not let our faith lose in its strength or be dimmed by the mischief clouds of hesitation and doubt.

With the assurance of Shoghi Effendi's best wishes and of his ardent prayers for your advancement and success.

Yours in His Service,

H. Rabbani.

My dear co-worker:

Your unremitting labors are a great encouragement to me and a source of real joy. You should continue, with undivided attention and undiminished energy, your historic work of enlisting world-wide support for the New Plan of Unified Action which I have already heartily endorsed. May the Almighty sustain and bless your exemplary endeavors.

SHOGHI.

No. 55 - September 1931 - page 6

BAHA'I JOURNALS

"The News Letter (Baha'i News) which you have lately initiated fulfils a very vital function and has been started admirably well. I would urge you to enlarge its scope, as much as your resources permit, that in time it may devote a special section to every phase of your activities, administrative, devotional, humanitarian, financial, educational and otherwise. That it may attain its object it must combine the essential qualities of accuracy, reliability, thoroughness, dignity and wisdom. It should become a great factor in promoting understanding, providing information on Baha'i activity, both local and foreign, stimulating interest, in combating evil influences, and in upholding and safeguarding the institutions of the Cause. It should be made as representative as possible, should be replete with news, up-to-date in its information, and should arouse the keenest interest among believers and admirers alike in every corner of the globe. I cherish great hopes for its immediate future, and I trust you will devote your special attention to its development, and by devising well-conceived and world-wide measures transform this News Letter into what I hope will become the foremost Baha'i Journal in the world."

(Words of SHOGHI EFFENDI from "Baha'i Administration , page 73).

No. 56 - October-November 1931 - page 1

"My dear and esteemed co-workers: The new Plan of Unified Action conceived, adopted and published by your Assembly is an admirable one. It is at once concise, appealing in tone, dignified in presentation and practical in its conception. It fully and truly deserves the unreserved support of every American believer. I shall be glad to associate myself with this further collective and heroic effort exerted by the friends by contributing to your National Fund, every month for a period of three years, the sum of $95. Your Assembly, faithful to its trust and conscious of its high calling, has sounded the call for a further and final effort on the part of the followers of Baha'u'llah in that land. It is for them, now if ever, to arise for the speedy consummation of a divinely appointed task. Shoghi."

No. 56 - October-November 1931 - page 2

Important Cable from Shoghi Effendi dated November 2, 1931

"Urge all English speaking Believers concentrate study Nabil's immortal Narrative as essential preliminary to renewed intensive Teaching Campaign necessitated by completion Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. Strongly feel widespread use of its varied rich and authentic material constitutes most effective weapon to meet challenge of a critical hour. Unhesitatingly recommend it to every prospective visitor of Baha'u'llah's native land.

- SHOGHI."

No. 56 - October-November 1931 - page 3

To the National Spiritual Assembly

Mr. Alfred Lunt, Secretary.

Dear Baha'i Brother:

I am directed by Shoghi Effendi to acknowledge on his behalf the receipt of your three letters dated July 6th, June 4th and July 9th, together with their enclosures, all of which he has read with careful attention and deep interest.

Our Guardian wishes me to express his lively satisfaction at the efficiency and promptness with which the National Spiritual Assembly have undertaken the publication of "Nabil's Narrative . The plan you have conceived to further the means for its production has met with his unqualified approval, and he hopes that the response of the believers, not only among the English speaking Baha'is, but the friends throughout the world, will be such as to repay fully the painstaking efforts which you have exerted to insure its success.

He has already cabled you expressing his desire to associate himself with the effort that you have made, and he will be glad to forward in the month of October a check for the hundred copies of the standard edition which he has requested you to send him. In addition he will mail a sum of three-hundred dollars for nine copies of the special edition which he hopes to send to a few well-known friends of the Cause. Shoghi Effendi would be pleased to hear of the response of the believers to the call for both editions and would be glad to help in any way he possibly can for a wide and prompt distribution of the volume published by your committee. . . .

Shoghi Effendi was rather affected to learn of the meagre response of the believers to the call urging them to maintain the standard of their self-sacrificing endeavors in connection with the Temple. He is fully alive to the critical character of the financial situation throughout the world and is well aware of the extent of sacrifice that the completion of the structure has already entailed. The publication of the "New Plan of Unified Action," he fervently hopes and prays, will prove the signal for a fresh outburst of self-sacrificing zeal which can alone carry this sacred enterprise to a successful conclusion.

Regarding the report of the Committee on Persian travel, Shoghi Effendi feels that the paramount needs of the Temple should be given first consideration by the believers. Not until the work of the exterior ornamentation on the first unit (superstructure) of the Temple has sufficiently advanced would he advise the American believers to embark on a fresh financial enterprise, however valuable and significant it might be.

Our Guardian trusts that a careful reading of Nabil's Narrative will not only serve to familiarize the American believers with the character of the stirring events that have marked the birth of the Cause in that land, but will serve to deepen their realization of the spirit that animated those who have achieved such immortal renown on its soil.

With Shoghi Effendi's renewed assurance of unqualified admiration for the manner in which you have arisen, in collaboration with the other members of the National Spiritual Assembly, to discharge your sacred and arduous duties.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed) H. Rabbani.

My dear and esteemed co-worker:

The "New Plan of Unified Action: conceived, adopted and published by your Assembly is an admirable one. It is at once concise, appealing in tone, dignified in presentation and practical in its conception. It fully and truly deserves the unreserved support of every American believer. I shall be glad to associate myself with this further collective and heroic effort exerted by the friends by contributing to your National Fund every month for a period of three years, the sum of ninety-five dollars. Your Assembly, faithful to its trust and conscious of its high calling, has sounded the call for a further and final effort on the part of the followers of Baha'u'llah in that land. It is for them, now if ever, to arise for the speedy consummation of a divinely appointed task.

(Signed) SHOGHI.

Extract from a letter from the Guardian to Mr. Willard Hatch, dated at Haifa, September 10, 1931 -

"I hope and pray that you will be able to concentrate your efforts on arousing the believers and urging them to attain to still greater mass-sacrifice and self-abnegation. The new plan must not fall into abeyance, it deserves the sustained and energetic support of every believer in the Faith of Baha'u'llah. Inestimable blessing shall crown America's high and self-sacrificing endeavors."

... the following cablegram just received from Shoghi Effendi -

"Profoundly deplore stringency (the) financial situation. An appeal to individuals and Assemblies alike (to) maintain despite world-wide depression, (their) high standard (of) self-sacrificing efforts (for the) National Fund is imperative. Abundant blessings shall be vouchsafed its staunch supporters.-

SHOGHI."

Haifa,

October 19, 1931.

No. 57 - December 1931 - page 3

"May the Assembled Believers, now but a tiny nucleus of the Baha'i Commonwealth of the future, so exemplify that spirit of universal love and fellowship as to evoke in the minds of their associates the vision of that City of God which the Almighty Arm of Baha'u'llah can alone establish!"

Shoghi Effendi, Baha'i Administration

... an interesting piece of news through .... letter from the Guardian under date of August 25th, 1931. The section of that letter follows:

"It would interest you to know that the American National Spiritual Assembly, Palestine Branch, has been incorporated according to the law in Palestine, not as a foreign corporation or a charitable trust, but as a "religious society" enjoying all the privileges attaching to recognized religious institutions in the Holy Land. Shoghi Effendi hopes to transfer to the name of your Assembly additional plots of land in the vicinity of the shrine of Baha'u'llah in Akka and of the Bab at Mount Carmel as soon as he obtains the necessary authorization from the authorities, inasmuch as the right of holding real estate by religious institutions is strictly limited according to Palestinian law. This step which he has taken, which has necessitated many months of careful and delicate negotiations with both the local and central authorities, our Guardian feels will constitute the prelude to the eventual formation and recognition, by the Palestine Government, of a properly constituted International Baha'i Assembly, functioning as an independent religious body in the Holy Land."

No. 57 - December 1931 - page 4

"Regarding the quotation from Mrs. True's notes, Shoghi Effendi wishes me to assure you of both their authenticity and present application. The celebration of November 26th as the Day of the Covenant should be observed by the believers throughout the world." (Letter of August 25th, 1931).

Letter to Mrs. Corinne True, dated August 29th, 1931

Dear Baha'i Sister:

I am charged by Shoghi Effendi to acknowledge on his behalf the receipt of your kind letter of July 30th, 1931, and to extend to you his loving appreciation of your precious and continued services to our beloved Cause.

He wishes me also to inform you of the receipt of the picture of the first Convention which you had sent for him, and he has placed it in the Mansion at Bahji.

Regarding the statements which you had made in your recent talk to the Racine Baha'is, Shoghi Effendi fully approves their validity and urges all the American believers to abide by them. He wishes you, therefore, to write again and recommend Dr. Morris, whose last letter addressed to you he read with careful attention, to not let himself become involved in the policies of the different new movements that are springing up in the States, and to concentrate all his efforts on activities which are purely Baha'i in character.

This should not mean that the ideal which these societies are promoting are contrary to those proclaimed by Baha'u'llah. Most of them present great similarities to the Baha'i teachings. But the chief difference is that the Baha'i principles and the Baha'i institutions are divine in their origin and their character and that they are under the divine protection of Baha'u'llah. It is in His Name therefore, that the Baha'is should strive. It is to Him that they should look for help, and it is in His Bounty that they should have an unswerving faith.

With the renewed assurance of Shoghi Effendi's best wishes and of his constant and fervent prayers for your spiritual advancement and success.

Yours in His Service,

(Signed) H. Rabbani.

Written on the above letter by Shoghi Effendi:

"Dear and esteemed co-worker:

I have corroborated, in my recent letter to Mr. Lunt, the statement that you have made regarding my conversations with you in Haifa. They have been accurately and faithfully conveyed. Your staunch, unswerving faith, your boundless devotion and assiduous care to preserve the integrity and extend the bounds of the Cause, are among the most richly valued assets that the Faith of Baha'u'llah has in that land. Every visit you pay us in Haifa serves to confirm this conviction. I would now urge you to remind, encourage and appeal to all believers you meet, to arise, however great the obstacles, to contribute their share to the New Plan of Unified Action recently announced by the National Spiritual Assembly. The Plan has my wholehearted and unqualified approval. May every believer speedily and generously respond.

Your true brother,

"SHOGHI."

No. 58 - January 1932 - page 1

Letter from Shoghi Effendi - To a Believer

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated October 14, 1931. You seem to complain about the calamities, that have befallen humanity. In the spiritual development of man a stage of purgation is indispensable, for it is while passing through it that the over-rated material needs are made to appear in their proper light. Unless society learns to attribute more importance to spiritual matters, it would never be fit to enter the golden era foretold by Baha'u'llah. The present calamities are parts of this process of purgation, through them alone will man learn his lesson. They are to teach the nations, that they have to view things internationally, they are to make the individual attribute more importance to his moral, than his material welfare.

In such a process of purgation, when all humanity is in the throes of dire suffering, the Baha'i should not hope to remain unaffected. Should we consider the beam that is in our own eye, we would immediately find that these sufferings are also meant for ourselves, who claimed to have attained. Such world crisis is necessary to awaken us to the importance of our duty and the carrying on of our task. Suffering will increase our energy in setting before humanity the road to salvation, it will move us from our repose for we are far from doing our best in teaching the Cause and conveying the Message with which we have been entrusted. Shoghi Effendi, will pray for you as well as the other friends, so that you may arise with greater determination in the consummation of this noble work.

Yours very sincerely,

(Signed) Ruhi Afnan.

Dear and valued co-worker:

This is to assure you in person of my profound sense of loving appreciation of your continued and splendid services to the Cause. I wish you to persevere despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles and to rest assured that my prayers will continue to be offered in your behalf. Concentrate on your work for the colored, for this is a work that will attract the mightiest confirmations and blessings of Baha'u'llah and will earn you the abiding gratitude of future generations in the Cause.

Your true brother,

(Signed) SHOGHI.