Here is the ninth of those twelve paragraphs that look at the phrase "And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
Baha'u'llah is, in one sense, reminding us we have to work hard, and rely on God's grace, to avoid these dark clouds that He has just mentioned in the previous paragraph. He also reminds us that we should not rely on our own deficient standards as a measuring stick for proof. After all, we are prone to error. We are, however, allowed to ask for a testimony of His truth. With wonderful patience and bountifulness, He is freeing us from the injunction by the Bab to not ask for any proof. But we are to only ask for one. After all, if you don't recognize Him after one, when will you recognize? Too often we ask for proof, and then say, 'Oh, that was just coincidence." And then we raise petty objections, never taking the step of recognition.
In all of this, we are reminded of two very different stories.
In the first story, a group of clergy challenged Baha'u'llah, saying that He had to perform a miracle if they were to even think about believing in Him. He agreed to this on one condition. They would need to come together and agree on a single miracle which, if He performed, would suffice for them. They would need to agree to back His claim publicly, if He did as they requested. When this was presented to them as the condition, they were unable to either agree on a single miracle, nor were they willing to back His claim if He did perform it. In short, He called their bluff.
The second story involves Mulla Husayn, the first Letter of the Living and the first to recognize the Bab. Now, before we tell this story, we need to remind you, as well as ourselves, that this is the person with such a high station that Baha'u'llah Himself, later in this very book, says, "But for him, God would not have been established upon the seat of His mercy, nor ascended the throne of eternal glory." (Wow! We really can't even begin to wrap our heads around this quote.) So were talking about quite a remarkable person here. Now, the story is that later in his life, Mulla Husayn was walking in his home town, passing by the very school in which he began his studies. His companion began to praise the school as the very place in which Mulla Husayn began his journey which resulted in him recognizing the Bab. Mulla Husayn, however, turned to him and said something to the effect of, "No, curses be upon this school, for if it wasn't for what I learned here, I would never have argued with my Lord." You see, when Mulla Husayn sat with the Bab on that fateful night, he presented a list of criteria that the Bab needed to fulfill. That was his question, and the Bab answered, demonstrating that He fulfilled all those criteria. But this wasn't enough. Mulla Husayn said that He should be careful, for this was quite the claim to make. Then Mulla Husayn gave the Bab a notebook filled with questions that he had about the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim, saying that the Promised One would be able to unravel all these questions he had. The Bab did this, too, but still it wasn't enough. Mulla Husayn then remembered that he wanted the Bab to reveal a commentary on the story of Joseph, as his own teacher had said that the Promised One would do this unasked. Only when the Bab revealed this commentary did Mulla Husayn accept.
The Bab was, of course, being incredibly gracious here. He could have turned Mulla Husayn away saying that it wasn't for the people to test God, but instead allowed Mulla Husayn to come to Him as he would.
Here, years later, Baha'u'llah is reminding us of this, that we are allowed to ask, but should content ourselves with a single proof.
'Abdu'l-Baha also gives us a bit of guidance: "Each human creature has individual endowment, power and responsibility in the creative plan of God. Therefore depend upon your own reason and judgment and adhere to the outcome of your own investigation; otherwise you will be utterly submerged in the sea of ignorance and deprived of all the bounties of God."
At the end of this paragraph, Baha'u'llah reminds us not to cavil, to avoid raising these trivial objections. After all, this is a habit in many cultures. We are always saying, "Oh, but what about this? what about that?" We never really seem to be satisfied. In fact, it can be asked of us when we do this, where is our humility?
"Turn to God," continues 'Abdu'l-Baha, "supplicate humbly at His threshold, seeking assistance and confirmation, that God may rend asunder the veils that obscure your vision."
By the way, here is the full quote from 'Abdu'l-Baha that we used above:
God has given man the eye of investigation by which he may see and recognize truth. He has endowed man with ears that he may hear the message of reality and conferred upon him the gift of reason by which he may discover things for himself. This is his endowment and equipment for the investigation of reality. Man is not intended to see through the eyes of another, hear through another’s ears nor comprehend with another’s brain. Each human creature has individual endowment, power and responsibility in the creative plan of God. Therefore depend upon your own reason and judgment and adhere to the outcome of your own investigation; otherwise you will be utterly submerged in the sea of ignorance and deprived of all the bounties of God. Turn to God, supplicate humbly at His threshold, seeking assistance and confirmation, that God may rend asunder the veils that obscure your vision. Then will your eyes be filled with illumination, face to face you will behold the reality of God and your heart become completely purified from the dross of ignorance, reflecting the glories and bounties of the Kingdom. - 'Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, page 75
(We really love "cut and paste".)