Thomas Kelly Cheyne was an English divine and Biblical critic. He consistently urged in his writings the necessity of a broad and comprehensive study of the Scriptures in the light of literary, historical and scientific considerations. He was visited by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Oxford in December 1912.
“There was living quite lately a human being of such consummate excellence that many think it is both permissible and inevitable even to identify him mystically with the invisible Godhead…. His combination of mildness and power is so rare that we have to place him in a line with super-normal men…. We learn that, at great points in his career after he had been in an ecstasy, such radiance of might and majesty streamed from his countenance that none could bear to look upon the effulgence of his glory and beauty. Nor was it an uncommon occurrence for unbelievers involuntarily to bow down in lowly obeisance on beholding His Holiness.
The gentle spirit of the Báb is surely high up in the cycles of eternity. Who can fail, as Professor Browne says, to be attracted by him? “His sorrowful and persecuted life his purity of conduct and youth; his courage and uncomplaining patience under misfortune his complete self-negation; the dim ideal of a better state of things which can be discerned through the obscure mystic utterances of the Bayán; but most of all, his tragic death, all serve to enlist our sympathies on behalf of the young prophet of Shiraz.”
“If there has been any prophet in recent times, it is to Bahá’u’lláh that we must go. Character is the final judge. Bahá’u’lláh was a man of the highest class-that of prophets. But he was free from the last infirmity of noble minds [sic], and would certainly not have separated himself from others. He would have understood the saying: “Would God all the Lord’s people were prophets!” What he does say, however, is just as fine: “I do not desire lordship over others; I desire all men to be even as I am.”
The day is not far off when the details of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s missionary journeys will be admitted to be of historical importance. How gentle and wise he was, hundreds could testify from personal knowledge, and I, too, could perhaps say something….”