And whatsoever people turneth its heart away from this Divine Love—the revelation of the Merciful—shall err grievously, shall fall into despair, and be utterly destroyed. That people shall be denied all refuge, shall become even as the vilest creatures of the earth, victims of degradation and shame.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 27)
As they gradually strayed from the path of their Ideal Leader and Master, as they turned away from the Light of God and corrupted the principle of His Divine unity, and as they increasingly centered their attention upon them who were only the revealers of the potency of His Word, their power was turned into weakness, their glory into shame, their courage into fear.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 69)
For they who turn away from their Lord in this day are in truth accounted amongst the dead, though to outward seeming they may walk upon the earth, amongst the deaf, though they may hear, and amongst the blind, though they may see, as hath been clearly stated by Him Who is the Lord of the Day of Reckoning: “Hearts have they with which they understand not, and eyes have they with which they see not....” They walk the edge of a treacherous bank and tread the brink of a fiery abyss. They partake not of the billows of this surging and treasure-laden Ocean, but disport themselves with their own idle words.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 48-49)
Grieve thou not over those that have busied themselves with the things of this world, and have forgotten the remembrance of God, the Most Great. By Him Who is the Eternal Truth! The day is approaching when the wrathful anger of the Almighty will have taken hold of them. He, verily, is the Omnipotent, the All-Subduing, the Most Powerful. He shall cleanse the earth from the defilement of their corruption, and shall give it for an heritage unto such of His servants as are nigh unto Him.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 207)
One of the strangest things witnessed is that the materialists of today are proud of their natural instincts and bondage. They state that nothing is entitled to belief and acceptance except that which is sensible or tangible. By their own statements they are captives of nature, unconscious of the spiritual world, uninformed of the divine Kingdom and unaware of heavenly bestowals. If this be a virtue the animal has attained it to a superlative degree, for the animal is absolutely ignorant of the realm of spirit and out of touch with the inner world of conscious realization. The animal would agree with the materialist in denying the existence of that which transcends the senses. If we admit that being limited to the plane of the senses is a virtue the animal is indeed more virtuous than man, for it is entirely bereft of that which lies beyond, absolutely oblivious of the kingdom of God and its traces whereas God has deposited within the human creature an illimitable power by which he can rule the world of nature.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 235-236)
Then again the rumour of the Light of Reality and the breathing of the Holy Spirit became known. The cloud of Bounty showered, the Light of Guidance shone upon the earth. The world put on a new garment, the people became a new people, the oneness of humanity was proclaimed. The great unity of thought transformed humanity and created a new world. Again, after a time, all this was forgotten by the people. The teachings of God no longer influenced their lives. His prophecies and commandments became fainter and were finally obliterated from their hearts, and tyranny and thoughtlessness once more prevailed.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 44-45)
Then by degrees these fragrances of heaven were discontinued; the season of winter came upon the world; the beauties of spring vanished; the excellences and perfections passed away; the lights and quickening were no longer evident; the phenomenal world and its materialities conquered everything; the spiritualities of life were lost; the world of existence became life unto a lifeless body; there was no trace of the spring left.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 10)
They abandon God, the Most Exalted—He before Whose revelation of a single verse, all the Scriptures of the past and of more recent times pale into lowliness and insignificance—and set their hearts on lying tales and follow empty words.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 240)
They that have disbelieved in God and rebelled against His sovereignty are the helpless victims of their corrupt inclinations and desires. These shall return to their abode in the fire of hell: wretched is the abode of the deniers!
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 284)
They that have turned away from His Face are the helpless victims of their corrupt inclinations. They are indeed of them that have gone astray.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 75)