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1844 - "What hath God Wrought"

Baha’is believe that the prophecies foretold in the various religions were, in fact, fulfilled in 1844.

In Daniel 8:13 it is said: “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed”, until it says: “at the time of the end shall be the vision”. That is to say, how long shall this misfortune, this ruin, this abasement and degradation endure? Or, when will the morn of Revelation dawn? Then he said, “two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed”. Briefly, the point is that he fixes a period of 2,300 years, for according to the text of the Torah each day is one year. Therefore, from the date of the edict of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem until the day of the birth of Christ there are 456 years, and from the birth of Christ until the day of the advent of the Báb there are 1,844 years, and if 456 years are added to this number it makes 2,300 years. That is to say, the fulfilment of the vision of Daniel took place in A.D. 1844, and this is the year of the advent of the Báb. -‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions

1844- The Great Dissappointment

William Miller, used the Book of Daniel to predict the Second Coming to be between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. After Christ did not return earlier in the year 1844, W. Miller revised prediction for October 22, 1844. That morning thousands of his followers climbed the top of mountains, expecting to be lifted into the sky as the biblical prophecies about the end of the world were to be fulfilled.

When the day came and went, Miller and his followers were left confused and disappointed. Hiram Edson, one of the Millerites, said of the event, which was later to be known as the Great Disappointment:

“Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before… We wept, and wept, till the day dawn.”

Many Millerites simply gave up their beliefs but William Miller persisted in his beliefs and died in 1849, still convinced that he was living in the end times prophesied in the Bible.

Similarly however, also in 1844, in the East, amongst the Islamic cleric there was also an expectation. The expectation of the coming of the Mahdi ( the prophesied redeemer of Islam) and the Masih (the prophesied return of Christ).

THE Lord is Near - the German Templers of Mount Carmel

The 19th century was a time of religious expectation. Reverend J.A. Bengel of the Pietist movement in Germany predicted that Christ would return in 1837. In the United States confident predictions were made that Christ would return in 1843 or 1844. German Templers were inspired by a vision of a revitalised “Temple”- true Christian communities which they sought to establish and model in the Holy Land.

The Templers, a religious Protestant sect formed in southern Germany settled in Palestine at the urging of their leader, Christoph Hoffmann, in the belief that living in the Holy Land would hasten the second coming of Christ. In December 1868 they arrived at the foot of the Mount Carmel.

End of the World?

Wolff in Asia, Edward Irving in England, Mason in Scotland, Davis in South Carolina, William Miller in Pennsylvania, Leonard H. Kelber in Germany, and many others in various parts of the world believed that the period 1843–45 was indeed the ‘time of the end’.

No, the world didn’t end on May 22, 1844 with the fulfilment of these prophecies. Not literally, anyway. But the declaration of the Báb signified the spiritual revival of a world laid to waste by fanaticism and faithlessness.

"Now the new age is here and creation is reborn. Humanity hath taken on new life. The autumn hath gone by, and the reviving spring is here. All things are now made new." -‘Abdu’l-Bahá,

I am, I am, I am, the promised One!

In that small room in Shiraz, when the Báb declared his mission and began to prepare the people for the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, saying,

I am, I am, I am, the promised One! I am the One whose name you have for a thousand years invoked, at whose mention you have risen, whose advent you have longed to witness, and the hour of whose Revelation you have prayed God to hasten. Verily I say, it is incumbent upon the peoples of both the East and the West to obey My word and to pledge allegiance to My person. -The Báb

The day after the declaration of the Báb to Mulla Husayn, on 24 May 1844, on the other side of the World, in Washington D.C., Mr Samuel F. B. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph, stepped to the keyboard of his new instrument. He was about to send the first official telegram in history flashing along the wires from Washington to Baltimore, “WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT!”. The press had heralded this day as a modern miracle. By this invention, it was said, the world would be united physically in the twinkling of an eye. These lightning-like impulses leaping along the wires would shrink the size of the planet, they said.



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