“Pleasing and acceptable as is a righteous person before God’s Holy Threshold, yet good works should proceed from knowledge.
“However matchless and exquisite may be a blind man’s handiwork, yet he himself is deprived of seeing it.
“How sorely do certain animals labour on man’s behalf, what loads they bear for him, how greatly they contribute to his ease and comfort; and yet, because they are unwitting, they earn no recompense for all their pains.
“The clouds rain down their bounty, nurturing the plants and flowers, and imparting verdure and enchantment to the plain and prairie, the forest and the garden; but yet, unconscious as they are of the results and fruit of their outpourings, they win no praise or honour, nor earn the gratitude and approbation of any man.
“The lamp imparteth light, but as it hath no consciousness of doing so, no one is indebted to it.
“This apart, a man of righteous deeds and goodly conduct will assuredly turn towards the Light, in whichever quarter he behold it.
“The point is this, that faith compriseth both knowledge and the performance of good works.
(Revised translation of Bahá’í World Faith, pp. 382-383, provided by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice in its “Authenticity of Bahá’í World Faith and Foundations of World Unity” Memorandum dated 28 March 1996.)
“God is eternal and ancient; not a new God. His sovereignty is of old, not recent; not merely existent these five or six thousand years. This infinite universe is from everlasting. The sovereignty, power, names and attributes of God are eternal, ancient. His names presuppose creation and predicate His existence and will. We say God is creator. This name creator appears when we connote creation. We say God is the provider. This name presupposes and proves the existence of the provided. God is love. This name proves the existence of the beloved. In the same way God is mercy, God is justice, God is life, etc., etc. Therefore as God is creator, eternal and ancient, there were always creatures and subjects existing and provided for. There is no doubt that divine sovereignty is eternal. Sovereignty necessitates subjects, ministers, trustees and others subordinate to sovereignty. Could there be a king without country, subjects and armies? If we conceive of a time when there were no creatures, no servants, no subjects of divine lordship we dethrone God and predicate a time when God was not. It would be as if He had been recently appointed and man had given these names to Him. The divine sovereignty is ancient, eternal. God from everlasting was love, justice, power, creator, provider, the omniscient, the bountiful.” (Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, pp100-104)