Page:EB1911 - Volume 03.djvu/110

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triumph. The controversial literature connected with this latest schism is abundant, not only in Persian, but in English, for since 1900 many Americans have adopted the religion of Bahá. The original apostle of America was Ibráhím George Khayru'lláh, who began his propaganda at the Chicago Exhibition and later supported the claims of Muhammad ‛Alí. Several Persian missionaries, including the aged and learned Mírzá Abu'l-Fazl of Gulpáyagán, were thereupon despatched to America by ‛Abbás Efendí, who was generally accepted by the American Bahá'ís as “the Master.” The American press contained many notices of the propaganda and its success. An interesting article on the subject, by Stoyan Krstoff Vatralsky of Boston, Mass., entitled “Mohammedan Gnosticism in America,” appeared in the American Journal of Theology for January 1902, pp. 57-58.

A correct understanding of the doctrines of the early Bábís (now represented by the Ezelís) is hardly possible save to one who is conversant with the theology of Islám and its developments, and especially the tenets of the Shí‛a. The Bábís are Muhammadans only in the sense that the Muhammadans are Christians or the Christians Jews; that is to say, they recognize Muhammad (Mahomet) as a true prophet and the Qur'án (Koran) as a revelation, but deny their finality. Revelation, according to their view, is progressive, and no revelation is final, for, as the human race progresses, a fuller measure of truth, and ordinances more suitable to the age, are vouchsafed. The Divine Unity is incomprehensible, and can be known only through its Manifestations; to recognize the Manifestation of the cycle in which he lives is the supreme duty of man. Owing to the enormous volume and unsystematic character of the Bábí scriptures, and the absence of anything resembling church councils, the doctrine on many important points (such as the future life) is undetermined and vague. The resurrection of the body is denied, but some form of personal immortality is generally, though not universally, accepted. Great importance was attached to the mystical values of letters and numbers, especially the numbers 18 and 19 (“the number of the unity”) and 19² = 361 (“the number of all things”). In general, the Báb's doctrines most closely resembled those of the Isma‛ílís and Hurúfís. In the hands of Bahá the aims of the sect became much more practical and ethical, and the wilder pantheistic tendencies and metaphysical hair-splittings of the early Bábís almost disappeared. The intelligence, integrity and morality of the Bábís are high, but their efforts to improve the social position of woman have been much exaggerated. They were in no way concerned (as was at the time falsely alleged) in the assassination of Násiru'd-Dín Sháh in May 1896. Of recent persecutions of the sect the two most notable took place at Yazd, one in May 1891, and another of greater ferocity in June 1903. Some account of the latter is given by Napier Malcolm in his book Five Years in a Persian Town (London, 1905), pp. 87-89 and 186. In the constitutional movement in Persia (1907) the Bábís, though their sympathies are undoubtedly with the reformers, wisely refrained from outwardly identifying themselves with that party, to whom their open support, by alienating the orthodox mujtahids and mullás, would have proved fatal. Here, as in all their actions, they clearly obeyed orders issued from headquarters.

Literature.—The literature of the sect is very voluminous, but mostly in manuscript. The most valuable public collections in Europe are at St Petersburg, London (British Museum) and Paris (Bibliothèque Nationale), where two or three very rare MSS. collected by Gobineau, including the precious history of the Báb's contemporary, Hájji Mírzá Jání of Káshán, are preserved. For the bibliography up to 1889, see vol. ii. pp. 173-211 of the Traveller's Narrative, written to illustrate the Episode of the Báb, a Persian work composed by Bahá's son, ‛Abbás Efendí, edited, translated and annotated by E. G. Browne (Cambridge, 1891). More recent works are:—Browne, The New History of the Báb (Cambridge, 1893); and “Catalogue and Description of the 27 Bábí Manuscripts,” Journal of R. Asiat. Soc. (July and October 1892); Andreas, Die Bábí's in Persien (1896); Baron Victor Rosen, Collections scientifiques de l'Institut des Langues orientales, vol. i. (1877), pp. 179-212; vol. iii. (1886), pp. 1-51; vol. vi. (1891), pp. 141-255; “Manuscrits Bâbys”; and other important articles in Russian by the same scholar; and by Captain A. G. Toumansky in the Zapiski vostochnava otdyèleniya Imperatorskava Russkava Archeologicheskava Obshchestva (vols. iv.-xii., St Petersburg, 1890-1900); also an excellent edition by Toumansky, with Russian translation, notes and introduction, of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (the most important of Bahá's works), &c. (St Petersburg, 1899). Mention should also be made of an Arabic history of the Bábís (unsympathetic but well-informed) written by a Persian, Mírzá Muhammad Mahdí Khan, Za‛imu'd-Duwla, printed in Cairo in A.H. 1321 (= A.D. 1903-1904). Of the works composed in English for the American converts the most important are:—Bahá'u'lláh (The Glory of God), by Ibráhím Khayru'lláh, assisted by Howard MacNutt (Chicago, 1900); The Three Questions (n.d.) and Facts for Baháists (1901), by the same; Life and Teachings of ‛Abbás Efendí, by Myron H. Phelps, with preface by E. G. Browne (New York, 1903); Isabella Brittingham, The Revelations of Bahá'u'lláh, in a Sequence of Four Lessons (1902); Laura Clifford Burney, Some Answered Questions Collected [in Acre, 1904-1906] and Translated from the Persian of ‛Abdu'l-Bahá [i.e. ‛Abbás Efendí] (London, 1908). In French, A. L. M. Nicolas (first dragoman at the French legation at Tehrán) has published several important translations, viz. Le Livre des sept preuves de la mission du Báb (Paris, 1902); Le Livre de la certitude (1904); and Le Beyân arabe (1905); and there are other notable works by H. Dreyfus, an adherent of the Bábí faith. Lastly, mention should be made of a remarkable but scarce little tract by Gabriel Sacy, printed at Cairo in June 1902, and entitled Du règne de Dieu et de l'Agneau, connu sous le nom de Babysme.

 (E. G. B.)  BABINGTON, ANTHONY (1561-1586), English conspirator, son of Henry Babington of Dethick in Derbyshire, and of Mary, daughter of George, Lord Darcy, was born in October 1561, and was brought up secretly a Roman Catholic. As a youth he served at Sheffield as page to Mary queen of Scots, for whom he early felt an ardent devotion. In 1580 he came to London, attended the court of Elizabeth, and joined the secret society formed that year supporting the Jesuit missionaries. In 1582 after the execution of Father Campion he withdrew to Dethick, and attaining his majority occupied himself for a short time with the management of his estates. Later he went abroad and became associated at Paris with Mary's supporters who were planning her release with the help of Spain, and on his return he was entrusted with letters for her. In April 1586 he became, with the priest John Ballard, leader of a plot to murder Elizabeth and her ministers, and organize a general Roman Catholic rising in England and liberate Mary. The conspiracy was regarded by Mendoza, the Spanish ambassador, one of its chief instigators, and also by Walsingham, as the most dangerous of recent years; it included, in its general purpose of destroying the government, a large number of Roman Catholics, and had ramifications all over the country. Philip II. of Spain, who ardently desired the success of an enterprise “so Christian, just and advantageous to the holy Catholic faith,”[1] promised to assist with an expedition directly the assassination of the queen was effected. Babington's conduct was marked by open folly and vanity. Desirous of some token of appreciation from Mary for his services, he entered into a long correspondence with her, which was intercepted by the spies of Walsingham. On the 4th of August Ballard was seized and betrayed his comrades, probably under torture. Babington then applied for a passport abroad, for the ostensible purpose of spying upon the refugees, but in reality to organize the foreign expedition and secure his own safety. The passport being delayed, he offered to reveal to Walsingham a dangerous conspiracy, but the latter sent no reply, and meanwhile the ports were closed and none allowed to leave the kingdom for some days. He was still allowed his liberty, but one night while supping with Walsingham's servant he observed a memorandum of the minister's concerning himself, fled to St John's Wood, where he was joined by some of his companions, and after disguising himself succeeded in reaching Harrow, where he was sheltered by a recent convert to Romanism. Towards the end of August he was discovered and imprisoned in the Tower. On the 13th and 14th of September he was tried with Ballard and five others by a special commission, when he confessed his guilt, but strove to place all the blame upon Ballard. All were condemned to death for high treason. On the 19th he wrote to Elizabeth praying for mercy, and the same day offered £1000 for procuring his pardon; and on the 20th, having disclosed the cipher used in the correspondence between himself and Mary, he was executed

  1. Cata. of State Papers Simancas, iii. 606, Mendoza to Philip.