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The Revelation Explained by F. Smith

Part 5 out of 7

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is very pointed.

"Philosophists was a name given to several persons in France, who
entered into a combination to overthrow the religion of Jesus, and
eradicate from the human heart every religious sentiment. The man more
particularly to whom this idea first occurred, was Voltaire, who being
weary (as he said himself) of hearing it repeated that twelve men were
sufficient to establish Christianity, resolved to prove that one might
be sufficient to overturn it. Full of this project, he swore, before the
year 1730, to devote his life to its accomplishment, and for some time
he flattered himself that he should enjoy alone the glory of destroying
the Christian religion. He found, however, that associates would be
necessary; and from the numerous tribe of his admirers and disciples, he
chose D'Alembert and Diderot, as the most proper persons to co-operate
with him in his designs. He contrived also to enlist Frederick II., king
of Prussia, who became one of his most zealous coadjutors, until he
found that Voltaire was waging war with the throne as well as the altar.
This, indeed, was not originally Voltaire's intention. He was vain; from
natural disposition an aristocrat, and an admirer of royalty. But when
he found that almost every sovereign but Frederick disapproved of his
ambitious designs, as soon as he perceived their issue, he determined to
oppose all the governments on earth rather than forfeit the glory with
which he flattered himself, of vanquishing Christ and his apostles in
the field of controversy.

"He now set himself, with his associates, D'Alembert and Diderot, to
excite universal discontent with the established order of things. For
this purpose, they formed secret societies, assumed new names, and
employed an enigmatical language. In their secret meetings they
professed to celebrate the mysteries of _Mythra_; and their great
object, as they professed to one another, was to confound the wretch,
meaning Jesus Christ. Hence their secret watchword was 'Crush the
wretch.' The following are some of their doctrines, as found in their
books expressly designed for general circulation. Sometimes standing out
in their naked horror, at other times enveloped in sophistry and
disguise. The Universal Cause, that God of the philosophers, of the
Jews, and of the Christians, is but a chimera and a phantom--The
phenomena of nature only prove the existence of God to a few
prepossessed men--It is more reasonable to admit, with Manes, of a
two-fold God, than of the God of Christianity--We can not know whether a
God really exists, or whether there is any difference between good and
evil, or vice and virtue--Nothing can be more absurd than to believe the
soul a spiritual being--The immortality of the soul, so far from
stimulating men to the practise of virtue, is nothing but a barbarous,
desperate, fatal tenet, and contrary to all legislation--All ideas of
justice and injustice, of virtue and vice, of glory and infamy, are
purely arbitrary, and dependent on custom--Conscience and remorse are
nothing but the foresight of those physical penalties to which crimes
expose us--The man who is above the law, can commit, without remorse,
the dishonest act that may serve his purpose--The fear of God, so far
from being the beginning of wisdom, should be the beginning of
folly--The command to love one's parents is more the work of education
than of nature--Modesty is only an invention of refined
voluptuousness--The law which condemns married people to live together,
becomes barbarous and cruel on the day they cease to love one another.

"Such were the atrocious sentiments, though sometimes artfully veiled,
which were disseminated in their books, and which, spreading all over
Europe, imperceptibly took possession of the public mind, and prepared
the way for the subversion of religion, morals, and government. As soon
as the sale of the works was sufficient to pay expenses, inferior
editions were printed and given away, or sold at a very low price;
circulating libraries of them were formed, and reading societies
instituted. While they constantly denied these productions to the world,
they contrived to give them a false celebrity through their confidential
agents and correspondents, who were not themselves always trusted with
the entire secret.

"By degrees they got possession nearly of all the reviews and periodical
publications; established a general intercourse, by means of hawkers and
pedlars, with the distant provinces; and instituted an office to supply
all schools with teachers; and thus did they acquire unprecedented
dominion over every species of literature, over the minds of all ranks
of people, and the education of the youth, without giving any alarm to
the world. The lovers of wit and polite literature were caught by
Voltaire; the men of science were perverted, and children corrupted in
the first rudiments of learning, by D'Alembert and Diderot; stronger
appetites were fed by the secret club of Baron Holbach; the imaginations
of the higher orders were set dangerously afloat by Montesquieu; and the
multitude of all ranks was surprised, confounded, and hurried away by
Rousseau. Thus was the public mind in France completely corrupted, and
the way prepared for the dreadful scenes that followed."

But there is also another chapter to the dark history of this "noisome
and grievous sore." The same author says again:

"After Voltaire had broached his system of infidel philosophy, and
brought it unto perfection, it was taken up by the celebrated Dr. Adam
Weishaupt, professor of canon law in the University of Ingolstadt, and
by him perfected as a system of light or illuminism. On the 1st of May,
1776, he founded, among the students of the above-named University, a
secret society under the name of the _Illuminati_, whose avowed object
was to diffuse the light of science, these secret societies being so
many radiating centers of light. But the science taught was the most
atrocious infidelity, and its object the overturning of all government
and religion. Free masonry, being in high repute all over Europe when
Weishaupt first formed the plan of his society, he availed himself of
its secrecy to introduce his new order, which rapidly spread, by the
efforts of its founders and disciples, through all those countries, and
found its way even to the United States. It would not be possible here
to give even an outline of the nature and constitution of this
extraordinary society--of its secrets and mysteries--of the deep
dissimulation, consummate hypocrisy, and shocking impiety of its founder
and his associates--of their Jesuitical arts in concealing their real
objects, and their incredible industry and astonishing exertions in
making converts--of the absolute despotism and complete system of
_espionage_ established throughout the order--of the blind obedience
exacted of the _novices_, and the absolute power of life and death
assumed by the order and conceded by the novices--of the pretended
morality, real blasphemies, and absolute atheism of the founder and his
tried friends. Reference can only be made to these things as
well-established facts.

"It is important here to bear in mind one or two facts, in order to
realize what an engine of corruption this secret organization of the
_Illuminati_ was. One fact is, the high popularity which these secret
societies at that period enjoyed. It was unbounded. There is something
which commends such secret organizations most powerfully to the depraved
human nature. Men love them because they are secret, and because they
can wield such tremendous power. The other fact to be considered, is the
absence, to a such vast extent, of the controlling elements of true
religion in the European mind, and its predisposition to skepticism. The
Reformation of the Sixteenth Century had broken the shackles of priestly
Papal superstition over the human mind; and [true] evangelical doctrine
not being introduced to supply the vacuum, the mass swung readily over
from the regions of dark superstition to blank atheism. Thus were the
elements ready prepared to hand for such spirits as Voltaire,
D'Alembert, Diderot, Weishaupt, and others, to work upon, and by reason
of their secret powerful agencies, to mould to their own liking.

"It was now this damning system of infidelity, under the specious name
of philosophy, light, and science, spread with such untiring industry
over the European mind, that unhinged the whole framework of society,
and prepared it, like a vast magazine, for an awful explosion. All the
principles that held society together in the fear of God and future
retribution--regard for human law--respect for magistrates, parents, and
the marriage-tie--yea, in the very distinctions of virtue and vice, had
been unsettled or taken away. They had been reasoned down and laughed
out of the world; and when these only restraints, which God has imposed
upon human selfishness and passion were removed, what was then to hold
back those fierce passions and that deep selfishness from the most
unbounded excesses? God was no more feared--government was no more
sacred--religion was a delusion--immorality was a lie--virtue was a
name--the marriage-tie was a farce--modesty was refined voluptuousness:
and when men were persuaded of these things, society began to roll and
heave under the long swells of that portentous storm of wrath which was
soon to break, in all its desolating fury, over the earth."

In the facts here presented it may be seen how far we are justified in
applying to them this first vial of wrath. The vial was poured out "upon
the earth"--on the inhabitants of the ten kingdoms when in a state of
tranquility. This was their condition, unsuspicious of danger, when the
dread infection was spread through society. According to the testimony
of Pres. Dwight, within ten years from the first establishment of the
Illuminati, in 1776, "they were established in great numbers through
Germany, Sweden, Prussia, Poland, Austria, Holland, France, Switzerland,
Italy, England, Scotland, and America. They spread with a rapidity which
nothing but fact could have induced any sober mind to believe."

This system of infidelity is well symbolized by a noisome, grevious
ulcer, which is loathsome to the sight, offensive to the smell,
corrupting to the body, and productive of awful pain. That it appeared
so to others besides the author of the Revelation is shown by the
following epithets which Burke, the celebrated English orator, applied
to the spirit of the French Revolution, which was only the discharged
virus of these ulcers. He styled it "the fever of Jacobinism;" "the
epidemic of atheistical fanaticism;" "an evil lying deep in the
corruptions of human nature;" "such a plague, that the precaution of the
most severe quarantine ought to be established against it." The result,
he says, was "the corruption of all morals," "the decomposition of all
society." What greater plague could fall upon Romanism and Protestantism
than this fearful scourge of infidelity?

I have dwelt for a considerable length of time upon this subject,
because of its deep interest, and also because I desired to verify the
application of the symbol as much as possible, on account of its close
connection with the pouring out of the vials which follow.

3. And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it
became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in
the sea.

This vial was poured out upon the "sea." The sea is a large body of
water within the earth, subject to violent storms and agitations. As a
symbol it would denote some central power or kingdom within the symbolic
earth in a state of revolution. The effects produced by this vial were
two-fold--the waters were changed into blood as of a dead man, and all
the living creatures in the sea died. The waters of the sea represent
the inhabitants of this kingdom (see a similar explanation of _water_ in
chap. 17:15) as the earth does the inhabitants of the empire, or the ten
kingdoms. The living creatures in the sea, therefore, could signify the
rulers and princes of the kingdom, as they bear an analagous relation to
the people that fishes do to the waters. The statement that the waters
of the sea became "as the blood of a dead man" is doubtless intended to
signify a much more dreadful state of things than if they had simply
been changed to blood. They were converted into black and poisonous, or
corrupt, blood. This denotes the vast slaughter and massacre of the
inhabitants of this kingdom; while the death of the living creatures
denotes the extinction of those in power.

It may appear at first that making the conversion of water into blood a
symbol of bloodshed is adopting the literal method of interpretation;
but not so, and for the following reason: The symbol is taken from
nature, the waters of the sea representing the inhabitants of the
kingdom. The waters are changed into an unnatural state or element, that
of blood, and this change denotes an analagous one passing upon the
inhabitants. Their continuing in life would be their remaining as
waters: their massacre and destruction would be the waters changed to
blood--a horrible and unnatural element. Likewise, the death of the
living things in the sea is a similar destruction overtaking the kings,
rulers, and princes.

With our understanding of the nature of the first vial, which prepared
the way for the pouring out of this one, we shall have no difficulty
whatever in identifying this symbol with the terrible convulsions of the
French Revolution. It followed as a necessary consequence of the first.
Voltaire and his coadjutors had insulted and trampled in the dust
everything held sacred in human eyes, and this fully prepared the way
for the scenes of terror that followed.

In studying these vials the reader should bear in mind constantly the
reason _why_ they were sent as judgments upon the nations of
Europe--because of their former oppression of God's people. From the
days when the Popes received their first temporal authority at the hands
of the Carlovingian king, Pepin and Charlemagne, France[11] constituted
the real backbone of the Papacy, the very center of her power and
authority, as all history will show. In the fourteenth century the Papal
seat was removed from Rome to Avignon, in France, where it remained for
about seventy years. During this period all the Popes were French, and
"all their policies were shaped and controlled by the French kings." To
write a history of the Papacy during the Dark Ages is to outline the
history of France, so closely are their affairs interwoven. Hence it is
only natural that she should be symbolized as the "sea" in this part of
the Apocalypse, with the other nations as tributaries. Ver. 4-6. That
the French Revolution was in its effects a terrible blow to the thrones
of despotism throughout Europe is shown by the following quotation from
the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "We are coming to the verge of the French
Revolution, which _surpasses all other revolutions the world has seen_
in its completeness, the largeness of its theatre, the long preparation
for it ... its _influence on the modern history of Europe_." Art.

[Footnote 11: Pepin and Charlemagne were, properly speaking, simply
German princes reigning in Gaul. The kingdom of France is usually dated
from the accession of the first of the Capetian kings, late in the tenth
century, 987. However, the Frankish nation, of whom the Carlovingian
kings were leaders, laid the foundation of the French kingdom and gave a
new name to Gaul--France.]

This revolution commenced on the fifth of May, 1789, in the Convocation
of the States General, for the redress of grievances and the extrication
of the government and nation from the difficulties under which they were
laboring. A conflict had been going on between despotism and popular
rights, the throne and nobility contending for absolute power, and the
people, for freedom. But when in this encounter the popular party
triumphed, there was no fear of God before the eyes of those who seized
the reins of government. The infidelity of Voltaire and his associates
had removed the last restraint upon human passion, and the scenes of
terror that followed are without a parallel in history. The king was
condemned to death and executed. The barbarous execution of the queen,
Marie Antoinette, followed in about six months, and this was immediately
succeeded by the decree of the National Convention, of the most infamous
character, that of the violation of the tombs of St. Dennis and the
profanation of the sepulchres of the kings of France. I will quote from
Sir A. Alison's noted History of Europe:

"By a decree of the Convention, these venerable asylums of departed
greatness were ordered to be destroyed.... A furious multitude
precipitated itself out of Paris; the tombs of Henry IV., of Francis I.,
and of Louis XII., were ransacked, and their bones scattered in the air.
Even the glorious name of Turenne could not protect his grave from
spoilation. His remains were almost undecayed, as when he received the
fatal wound on the banks of the Lech. The bones of Charles V., the
savior of his country, were dispersed. At his feet was found the coffin
of the faithful Du Gueselin, and the French hands profaned the skeleton
before which English invasion had rolled back. Most of these tombs were
found to be strongly secured. Much time, and no small exertion of skill
and labor, were required to burst their barriers. They would have
resisted forever the decay of time or the violence of enemies; they
yielded to the fury of domestic dissension. This was followed
immediately by a general attack upon the monuments and remains of
antiquity throughout all France. The sepulchres of the great of past
ages, of the barons and generals of the feudal ages, of the
paladins, and of the crusaders, were involved in one undistinguished
ruin. It seemed as if the glories of antiquity were forgotten, or sought
to be buried in oblivion. The tomb of Du Gueselin shared the same fate
as that of Louis XIV. The skulls of monarchs and heroes were tossed
about like foot balls by the profane multitude; like the grave-diggers
in Hamlet, they made a jest of the lips before which the nations had

Having begun by waging this profane warfare upon their own glorious
dead, another scene of the fatal drama immediately succeeded. The same
author continues: "Having massacred the great of the present and
insulted the illustrious of former ages, nothing remained to the
revolutionists but to direct their vengeance against heaven itself.
Pache, Hebert, and Chaumette, the leaders of the municipality publicly
expressed their determination 'to dethrone the God of heaven, as well as
the monarchs of earth.' To accomplish this design, they prevailed on
Gobet, the apostate constitutional bishop of Paris, to appear at the bar
of the Assembly, accompanied by some of the clergy of his diocese, and
there abjure the Christian faith. He declared 'that no other national
religion was now required but that of Liberty, equality, and morality.'
Many of the constitutional bishops and clergy in the Convention joined
in the proposition. Crowds of drunken artisans and shameless prostitutes
crowded to the bar, and trampled under their feet the sacred vases,
consecrated for ages to the holiest purposes of religion. The churches
were stripped of all their ornaments; their plate and valuable contents
brought in heaps to the municipality and the Convention, from whence
they were sent to the mint to be melted down. Trampling under foot the
images of our Savior and the Virgin, they elevated, amid shouts of
applause, the busts of Marat and Lepelletier, and danced around them,
singing parodies on the Halleluiah, and dancing the Carmagnole.

"Shortly after a still more indecent exhibition took place before the
assembly.... Hebert and Chaumette, and their associates, appeared at the
bar and declared 'that God did not exist, and that the worship of Reason
was to be substituted in his stead.' A veiled female, arrayed in blue
drapery, was brought into the Assembly; and Chaumette, taking her by the
hand, 'Mortals,' said he, 'cease to tremble before the powerless
thunders of a God whom your fears have created. Henceforth acknowledge
no divinity but Reason. I offer you its noblest and purest image; if you
must have idols, sacrifice only to this.' When, letting fall the veil,
he exclaimed, 'Fall before the august Senate of Freedom, O Veil of
Reason!' At the same time, the goddess appeared personified by a
celebrated beauty, the wife of Momoro, a printer, known in more than one
character to most of the Convention. The goddess after being embraced by
the president, was mounted on a magnificent car, and conducted, amid an
immense crowd, to the cathedral of Notre Dame, to take the place of the
Deity. There she was elevated on a high altar, and received the
adoration of all present, while the young women, her attendants, whose
alluring looks already sufficiently indicated their profession, retired
into the chapels around the choir, where every species of licentiousness
and obscenity was indulged in without control, with hardly any veil from
the public gaze. To such a length was this carried, that Robespierre
afterward declared that Chaumette deserved death for the abominations he
had permitted on that occasion. Thenceforward that ancient edifice was
called the _Temple of Reason_."

Such horrible events are sickening to relate; but as I started out to
describe the condition of this "sea" when it became as the blood of a
dead man, I must be faithful to the task. God was now dethroned; the
services of religion abandoned; every tenth day set apart for the
hellish orgies of atheism and Reason; Marat was deified; the instrument
of death sanctified by the name "the holy Guillotine"; on the public
cemeteries was inscribed, "Death is an Eternal Sleep"; marriage was a
civil contract, binding only during the pleasure of the contracting
parties. Mademoiselle Arnout, a celebrated comedian, expressed the
public feeling when she said, "_Marriage the sacrament of adultery_."
What an awful harvest would be expected of such seed! Alison continues:

"A Revolutionary Tribunal was formed at Nantes, under the direction of
Carrier, and it soon outstripped even the rapid march of Danton and
Robespierre. Their principle was that it was necessary to destroy _en
masse_, all the prisoners. At their command was formed a corps, called
the Legion of Marat, composed of the most determined and bloodthirsty of
the revolutionists, the members of which were entitled, on their own
authority, to incarcerate any person whom they chose. The number of
their prisoners was soon between three and four thousand, and they
divided among themselves all their property. Whenever a further supply
of captives was wanted, the alarm was spread of a counter-revolution,
the _generale_ beat, the cannon planted; and this was followed
immediately by innumerable arrests. Nor were they long in disposing of
their captives. The miserable wretches were either slain with poinards
in prison, or carried out in a vessel and drowned by wholesale in the
Loire. On one occasion a hundred 'fanatical priests,' as they were
termed, were taken out together, striped of their clothes, and
precipitated into the waters.... Women big with child, infants eight,
nine, and ten years of age, were thrown together into the stream, on the
sides of which men, armed with sabres, were placed to cut off their
heads if the waves should throw them undrowned on the shore.

"On one occasion, by orders of Carrier, twenty-three of the
revolutionists, on another twenty-four, were guillotined without any
trial. The executioner remonstrated, but in vain. Among them were many
children of seven or eight years of age, and seven women; the
executioner died two or three days after, with horror at what he himself
had done. So great was the multitude of captives who were brought in on
all sides, that the executioners, as well as the company of Marat,
declared themselves exhausted with fatigue; and a new method of
disposing of them was adopted, borrowed from Nero, but improved on the
plan of that tyrant. A hundred or a hundred and fifty victims, for the
most part women and children, were crowded together in a boat, with a
concealed trap-door in the bottom, which was conducted into the middle
of the Loire; at a signal given, the crew leaped into another boast, the
bolts were withdrawn, and the shrieking victims precipitated into the
waters, amid the laughter of the company of Marat, who stood on the
banks to cut down any who approached the shore. This was what Carrier
called his _Republican Baptisms_. The _Republican Marriages_ were, if
possible, a still greater refinement of cruelty. Two persons of
different sexes, bereft of every species of dress, were bound together,
and after being left in torture in that situation for half an hour,
thrown into the river. Such was the quantity of corpses accumulated in
the Loire, that the water of that river was affected, so as to render a
public ordinance necessary, forbidding the use of it to the inhabitants;
and the mariners, when they heaved their anchors, frequently brought up
boats charged with corpses. Birds of prey flocked to the shores and fed
on human flesh; while the very fish became so poisonous, as to induce an
order of the municipality of Nantes, prohibiting them to be taken by the

"The scenes in the prisons which preceded these horrible executions
exceeded all that romance had figured of the terrible. Many women died
of terror the moment a man entered their cells, conceiving that they
were about to be led out to the noyades; the floors were covered with
the bodies of their infants, numbers of whom were yet quivering in the
agonies of death. On one occasion, the inspector entered the prison to
seek for a child, where, the evening before, he had left above three
hundred infants; they were all gone in the morning, having been drowned
the preceding night. Fifteen thousand persons perished either under the
hands of the executioner, or of disease in prison, in one month: the
total victims of the Reign of Terror at that place exceeded thirty

After narrating scenes of terror in Paris, Alison says again: "Such
accumulated horrors annihilated all the charities and intercourse of
life. Before daybreak the shops of the provision merchants were besieged
by crowds of women and children, clamoring for the food which the law of
the _maximum_ in general prevented them from obtaining. The farmers
trembled to bring their fruits to the market, the shop-keepers to expose
them to sale. The richest quarters of the town were deserted; no
equipages of crowds of passengers were to be seen on the streets; the
sinister words, _Propriete Nationale_, imprinted in large characters on
the walls, everywhere showed how far the work of confiscation had
proceeded. Passengers hesitated to address their most intimate friends
on meeting; the extent of calamity had rendered men suspicious even of
those they loved most. Every one assumed the coarsest dress, and the
most squalid appearance; an elegant exterior would have been the certain
forerunner of destruction. At one hour only were any symptoms of
animation seen: it was when the victims were conveyed to execution; the
humane fled with horror from the sight, the infuriated rushed in crowds
to satiate their eyes with the sight of human agony.

"Night came, but with it no diminution of the anxiety of the people.
Every family early assembled its members; with trembling looks they
gazed around the room, fearful that the very walls might harbor
traitors. The sound of a foot, the stroke of a hammer, a voice in the
streets, froze all hearts with horror. If a knock was heard at the door,
every one, in agonized suspense, expected his fate. Unable to endure
such protracted misery, numbers committed suicide. 'Had the reign of
Robespierre,' said Freron, 'continued longer, multitudes would have
thrown themselves under the guillotine; the first of social affections,
the love of life, was already extinguished in almost every heart.'"

With one more quotation from this historian I will dismiss this horrible
theme: "The combination of wicked men who thereafter governed France, is
without parallel in the history of the world. Their power, based on the
organized weight of the multitude, and the ardent co-operation of the
municipalities, everywhere installed by them in the position of power,
was irresistible. All bowed the neck before this gigantic assemblage of
wickedness. The revolutionary excesses daily increased, in consequence
of the union which the constant dread of retribution produced among
their perpetrators. There was no medium between taking part in these
atrocities, and falling a victim to them. Virtue seemed powerless;
energy appeared only in the extremity of resignation; religion in the
heroism of which death was endured. There was not a hope left for
France, had it not been for the dissentions which, as the natural result
of their wickedness, sprung up among the authors of the public

"It is impossible not to be struck, in looking back on the fate of these
different parties, with the singular and providential manner in which
their crimes brought about their own punishment. No foreign
interposition was necessary, no avenging angel was required to vindicate
the justice of divine administration. They fell the victims of their own
atrocity, of the passions which they themselves had let loose, of the
injustice of which they had given the first example to others The
Constitutionalists overthrew the ancient monarchy, and formed a limited
government; but their imprudence in raising popular ambition paved the
way for the tenth of August, and speedily brought themselves to the
scaffold; the Girondists established their favored dream of a republic,
and were the first victims of the fury which it excited; the Dantonists
roused the populace against the Gironde, and soon fell under the axe
which they had prepared for their rivals; the anarchists defied the
power of 'heaven itself,' but scarce were their blasphemies uttered,
when they were swept off by the partners of their bloody triumphs. One
only power remained, alone, terrible, irresistible. This was the power
of Death, wielded by a faction steeled against every feeling of
humanity, dead to every principle of justice. In their iron hands, order
resumed its sway from the influence of terror; obedience became
universal, from the extinction of hope. Silent and unresisted, they led
their victims to the scaffold, dreaded alike by the soldiers who
crouched, the people who trembled, and the victims who suffered. The
history of the world _has no parallel_ to that long night of suffering,
because _it has none to the guilt which preceded it_; tyranny never
assumed so hideous a form, because licentiousness never required so
severe a punishment."

Prom this awful description, which might be carried to almost any
extent, the reader will understand the force of the prophecy which
declared that the "sea became as the blood of a dead man, and every
living soul died in the sea."

4. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and
fountains of waters; and they became blood.

5. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous,
O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast
judged thus.

6. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou
hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

7. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God
Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

Fountains and rivers are tributaries to the sea, and thus, they
symbolize the inferior communities and nations belonging to the
Apocalyptic earth. France was the great central power and the sea of
revolution upon which the second vial descended. The surrounding nations
were the rivers and fountains upon which the third was poured. It is not
said of them that they became as the blood of a dead man, nor that every
living thing in them died, but only that "they became blood." This
symbol denotes the insurrections and desolating wars in which the
nations of Europe were involved for a number of years, growing out of
the French Revolution. I shall not here take time nor space to enter
into the historical details relating to this statement; the facts are
well known. "The blood-thirsty Jacobinism of France waged war not only
upon its own monarchy, but sought to overturn all the thrones and
fabrics of despotism in Europe. The same system of infidelity and
atheism had been spread through the kingdoms there, though not to so
great an extent as in France, and prepared the elements for revolution
in them likewise." The French republic encouraged these agitations and
by a unanimous decree of the Assembly, in 1792, set itself in open
hostility with all the established governments of Europe. It was in
these words: "The National Convention declares in the name of the French
nation, that it will grant fraternity and assistance to all people who
wish to recover their liberty; and it charges the executive power to
send the necessary orders to the generals, to give succor to such
people, and to defend those citizens who have suffered, or may suffer in
the cause of liberty." "The Revolution, having accomplished its work in
France, having there destroyed royal despotism, ... now set itself about
fulfilling its early promise of giving liberty to all peoples. In a
word, the revolutionists became propagandists. France now exhibits what
her historians call her social, her communicative genius." Napoleon was
right when he said that a revolution in France was sure to be followed
by a revolution throughout Europe. "France conceived the idea that she
had a Divine mission, as the great apostle of liberty, to propagate
republicanism through all the kingdoms of Europe. In her madness of
intoxication she undertook the work, threw down the gauntlet, and the
fierce tocsin of war sounded from nation to nation, until the continent
was converted into one vast battle-field."

The "angel of the waters" signifies the angel that had charge of the
vial of wrath poured out upon the rivers and fountains of waters. In
full view of the awful plagues sent upon the inhabitants of earth, one
grand thought seemed to occupy his mind--the righteousness of these
judgments. It is not such a thought as humanity would have in mind when
reading the history of these fearful convulsions of society, one scene
of terror only preparing the way for another more horrible, until they
would feel like closing the book and asking, "When will this awful night
of horror be over? When will these avenging judgments cease?" These,
however, were not the thoughts of this angel clothed in spotless
garments; for, draining his vial to the dregs and forcing the nations to
drink it, he said: "Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and
shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of
saints and prophets, and thou hast given them _blood to drink_; for they
are worthy." Truly, in this the Word of God is fulfilled, which says,
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways." Isa.
55:8. That class of people who represent God as a kind, loving Father
only, one who will not take vengeance upon the objects of his own
creation--let them visit in the pages of history these nations of
Europe, scathed and blasted with the hot thunderbolts of divine wrath,
until their minds sicken with horror at the sight of human agony and
blood. In full view of these horrifying scenes let them hear the angel
of the waters saying, "Thou art righteous, O Lord ... because thou hast
judged thus; for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and
thou hast given them blood to drink, for they are worthy"; while another
voice from heaven, even from the altar, replies, "Even so, Lord God
Almighty, _true and righteous_ are thy judgments"--and their theology
must here break down.

The thoughts just expressed confirm with certainty our interpretation of
the "sea" and "rivers and fountains of waters" as signifying those
nations which had been the persecutors of the saints, and show, also,
the character of the divine judgments as being the shedding of their
blood. They had shed the blood of saints and prophets, and now the same
cup of wrath was placed to their lips, and they were forced to drink it
to the dregs. God remembered the sighs and groans of his faithful
followers; the cry of the martyrs for the avenging of their blood on
"them that dwell on the earth" reached his ear; and now the time of
retribution began.

8. And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and
power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

9. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the
name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they
repented not to give him glory.

The sun is the great central luminary of the earth, under whose genial
light and warmth everything rejoices and develops in forms of beauty.
When, however, a scorching power is given to his rays, the earth becomes
as a furnace in which every green thing is burnt up. What the sun is to
this world, such are the ruling powers to a kingdom; and power being
given them to scorch as with fire denotes that the government would be
administered, not for the good of the people, but for the purpose of
oppression. A scorching sun, therefore, is a proper symbol of tyrant

Still keeping in view the object of God in sending these first
plagues--the punishment of the nations embraced within the territory of
the ten former kingdoms of Europe--we are directed with certainty to the
next great scourge that followed as a result of those already
developed--the almost universal military empire of Napoleon. The success
of three of the four greatest military leaders the world has ever
seen--Alexander, Caesar, and Charlemagne--has been so clearly predicted
by inspiration that no believer in the truth of Revelation attempts to
deny it; therefore it is not surprising that the fourth--Napoleon--
should also be assigned a place in Apocalyptic vision: not so much
because of his all-powerful military genius merely, but because of his
mighty influence and effects upon the very nations that were especially
made the subject of prophecy, as they stand connected with the history
of God's people for centuries. At the close of the Revolution the French
nation had not virtue nor religion necessary to remedy the evils under
which they had long been suffering from the oppression of their
monarchs; for when they undertook the work and demolished the throne,
they let loose all the wildest elements of wrath to rage without
restraint. The nation rejected God, and God rejected the nation. He gave
them up to their own madness, to the fury of the most atrocious
wickedness that was ever developed under heaven. "From the wild excesses
and intolerable calamities of blood-red republicanism, the people were
rejoiced at length to find a refuge in a gigantic military despotism,
which became the terror and scourge of Europe." But the hand of God was
in this thing, also. When the sun scorches the earth with burning heat,
it is God that gives it its power. So Napoleon with his iron will and
towering genius was only an instrument in God's hand for scourging the
guilty nations. In the ordinary sense of the term Napoleon was not a
tyrant to his own nation. Still, his government was a despotism to
France; while to the Apocalyptic earth, or the ten kingdoms, he was a
scorching sun, for his empire extended over the whole. It finally became
a saying that "if Napoleon's cocked hat and gray coat should be raised
on the cliffs of Boulogne, all Europe would run to arms." This agrees
with the statement of the historian Judson, concerning the monarchs of
Europe, that "the mere name of Napoleon was a dread to them." None of
them could stand before his terrible onset. "Europe was shaken from end
to end by such armies as the world had not seen since the days of
Xerxes. Napoleon, whose hands were upheld by a score of distinguished
marshals, performed the miracles of genius. His brilliant achievements
still dazzle, while they amaze, the world." The crowns and scepters of
Europe he held as play-things in his hand, to dispose of at pleasure.
Says Wickes: "Never in the history of Christendom were ancient dynasties
overthrown, and new ones created, kings made and unmade, within so short
a period, as during the unparallelled career of this great conqueror. He
had the crowns and kingdoms of all Europe in his gift, to settle as he
pleased, or bestow as presents upon his relatives and friends. To his
brother Jerome he gave the crown of Westphalia; to his brother Louis,
the crown of Holland; to his brother Joseph, the kingdom of Spain; to
his brother-in-law and general Murat, the kingdom of Naples; and others
he conferred upon his favorite marshals."

When he invaded Russia, a territory outside of the Apocalyptic earth, he
exceeded his mission, and there met with the most terrible overthrow.
Although he entered that kingdom with the most magnificent army that he
had ever gathered together, yet for suffering and disaster that famous
retreat from burning Moscow stands without a parallel in history. It was
not the Russian armies that prevailed against him; it was God that
fought against him with the blasts of his north wind. These speedily
silenced those tremendous parks of artillery that had thundered upon the
fields of Jena, Friedland, Wagram, Marengo and Austerlitz, and scattered
those invincible battalions that had marched triumphant over Europe.
Ney, at the head of the National Guards, ever before victorious, was
compelled to beat a hasty retreat, glad to escape with the smallest
remnant of his host. Napoleon failed here because God had given him no
mission to perform in that territory.

Concerning his ambition, the Encyclopaedia Britannica says: "With a frame
of iron, Napoleon could endure any hardships; and in war, in artillery
especially and engineering, he stands unrivalled in the world's
history.... He could not rest, and knew not when he had achieved
success.... He succeeded in alienating the peoples of Europe, in whose
behalf he pretended to be acting. And when they learned by bitter
experience that he had absolutely no love for liberty, and encouraged
equality only so long as it was an equality of subjects under his rule,
they soon began to war against what was in fact a world-destroying
military despotism." He was inspired with the most unbounded ambition,
which was nothing short of despotism over all Europe, if not the world.
Universal empire was his grand object, or, as it has been expressed by
historians, a desire to concentrate "the world in Europe--Europe in
France--France in Paris--Paris in _himself_." Says Wickes: "The empire
which he actually reared in Europe was a vast, oppressive, centralized
despotism.... To build it up, he desolated France through his terrible
conscriptions, requiring the whole strength and flower of the nation to
supply his armies. It is stated that after the wars of Napoleon there
were three times the number of women in France that there were of men.
The fathers, the husbands, the sons, the brothers, had fallen upon the
battle-field, and thus desolated almost every household in the kingdom.
Similar desolation also he carried by his wars into the other kingdoms."

The dread of Napoleon settled down upon all the nations of Europe. They
could not cope with his mighty genius, and therefore his presence was a
terror to them. When the allied powers secured his first abdication, in
1814, and sent him to the island of Elba, the desolating results of his
long career were shown in the work that the Congress of Vienna was
called upon to perform when it assembled in the fall of 1814. While the
representatives of the powers were laboring to repair the damage that
had been wrought and to adjust the territorial limitations of the
various nations that had been altered or entirely demolished, the
assemblage was suddenly surprised the following spring by the news that
Napoleon had escaped from Elba and was enroute to Paris. The terror and
consternation in Europe then experienced is shown by the following
quotation from Sir James Mackintosh, a man of high reputation as a
jurist, as a historian, and as a far-sighted and candid statesman:

"Was it in the power of language to describe the evil! Wars which had
raged for more than twenty years throughout Europe, which had spread
blood and desolation from Cadiz to Moscow, and from Naples to
Copenhagen; which had wasted the means of human enjoyment, and destroyed
the instruments of social improvement; which threatened to diffuse among
the European nations the dissolute and ferocious habits of a predatory
soldiery ... had been brought to a close.... Europe seemed to breathe
after her sufferings. In the midst of this fair prospect and of these
consolatory hopes, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from Elba; three small
vessels reached the coast of Provence; their hopes are instantly
dispelled; the work of our toil and fortitude is undone: the blood of
Europe is spilled in vain."

The bitterest ingredients in the cup of these nations was the
humiliating overthrow of their own government and their subjection to
the hated _republican_ despotism of France. It was a scorching sun that
they could not endure. Still, they repented not to give God glory; they
continued as before. After Napoleon had accomplished the purpose for
which he was intended, God permitted this stupendous genius to be
subdued; but it required the combined powers of Europe to secure his

Creasy, in his Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, says concerning
the battle of Waterloo, "The great battle which ended the twenty-three
years' war of the first French revolution, and which quelled the man
whose genius and ambition had so long _disturbed and desolated the
world_, deserves to be regarded by us ... with peculiar gratitude for
the repose which it secured for us and for the greater part of the human

10. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the
beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed
their tongues for pain,

11. And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and
their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

Under this vial the symbols differ somewhat. The "beast" is evidently
the one of whom the image was made, referred to in verse 2--the Papacy.
The seat that the Papacy occupied from the time the dragon resigned in
favor of the beast (chap. 13:2) was his position of temporal power and
authority. In the following chapter the Papacy is described as _seated_
upon a ten-horned beast, the ten horns of which symbolized the kingdoms
of Europe. In this position it was able to exercise a guiding influence
over the European nations. We have already seen what great power the
Popes exercised in this direction during the Dark Ages. But the "beast"
of chapter 17 himself, as distinguished from his horns, symbolizes the
Holy Roman Empire, which was a revival of the old empire of the Caesars.
This revived "world-empire" was closely allied to the Papacy. When
Charlemagne, the Carlovingian king, restored the empire of the West, he
was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" by Pope Leo III., A.D. 800. "The
Popes made the descendants of Charles Martel kings and emperors; the
grateful Frankish princes defended the Popes against all their enemies,
imperial and barbarian, and dowering them with cities and provinces,
laid the basis of their temporal sovereignty, which continued for more
than a thousand years." After the decline of the Carlovingian power the
imperial authority was again revived by Otto the Great (962), who was
crowned Emperor of the Romans by the Pope. Henceforth the empire of the
West was termed the _Holy Roman Empire_. "From this time on it was the
rule that the German king who was crowned at Aachen had a right to be
crowned ... emperor at Rome." So the general rule was that the Popes
upheld the emperors, and the emperors sustained the Popes in their
position as the spiritual heads of the church and as temporal rulers
over the Papal states, which were granted them originally by the
donations of Pepin and Charlemagne.

In chapter 13 the civil powers of Europe and the ecclesiastical power of
Rome are not shown by a double symbol--a woman and a beast--as in
chapter 17, but are there represented by a combination of symbols drawn
from the departments of human life and animal life, which shows that a
politico-religious system is intended, as heretofore explained; hence
the term _beast_, as there used, signifies either the Papacy or the
civil power. Thus the term is used in the present chapter under
consideration, and has reference here to the beast as an ecclesiastical
power--the Papacy--and his "seat" refers to his temporal authority.

This vial, then, being poured out upon his seat, with the result that
his kingdom was filled with darkness--a symbol drawn from nature--points
to the downfall of the Pope as a temporal ruler. Thus he would be
deprived of his "seat."

We have already seen that each plague prepares the way for a succeeding
one. Under the reign of Napoleon the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved
(1806). This was the beginning of the end of the Pope's temporal
authority; for the two had in a great measure been for ages
interdependent upon each other. Pius VII. was made a prisoner and the
temporal sovereignty of the Roman See declared to be at an end; while
the Pope himself was forced to disown all claim to rank as a temporal
ruler. Of course, this was but a temporary overthrow; for when the
period of Reaction came, the Pope recovered also temporal authority. But
the vast territories of Avignon, Venaissin, Bologna, Ferrara, and the
Romagna--representing fully _a third_ of all the Papal dominions--which
had been forcibly ceded to France under Napoleon, was never restored to
the Roman See. From that time the sun of the Pope's temporal kingdom
rapidly approached the horizon; while the inhabitants of his dominions
continued to blaspheme God through the atheistical Jacobinism that
infested to so great an extent the whole mass of society--symbolized by
their "sores"--and the firm supporters of Popery were filled with
excessive chagrin and mortification of mind--symbolized by their
"pains"--because the power of their leader, who professed temporal
sovereignty over the whole earth, was being suddenly destroyed and his
kingdom left in darkness. Concerning this matter the People's
Cyclopaedia, after speaking of the blow the Pope's spiritual supremacy
received at the Reformation, says: "But in her relations to the State
the Roman church has since passed through _a long and critical
struggle_. The new theories _to which the French Revolution gave
currency_ have still further modified these relations." In the second
revolution of 1848 the Pope's temporal authority was about to be
entirely destroyed by the attempted establishment of the republic of
Italy; but at this juncture France, who, notwithstanding her plagues,
had not repented of her former deeds, not willing to desert entirely the
Papal cause after upholding it faithfully for centuries, interfered, and
the Pope was sustained in his position by a French garrison until 1870
(except a short time in 1867), at which time the success of King Victor
Emmanuel and his capture of the Eternal City established the free
government of United Italy. The temporal sun of the Pope set forever;
his kingdom was left in darkness.

12. And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river
Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of
the kings of the east might be prepared.

13. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the
mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out
of the mouth of the false prophet.

14. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which
go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to
gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

15. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and
keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his

16. And he gathered them together into a place called in the
Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

The symbols under this vial are so different that at first they scarcely
look like anything constituting a plague. By recalling a few
circumstances of history we shall understand why the river Euphrates was
selected as a symbol, and also, its true signification in this
connection. This river was connected with ancient Babylon, and while
running in its own channel was the protection of the city and an
obstacle to its capture. By turning the water of this river from its
course, King Cyrus (according to the account given by Herodotus)
succeeded in overthrowing the city, with the result that God's people
who were at that time in captivity there received permission to return
to their own land and to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. Ezra
1:1-3. Under the sixth trumpet this symbol was applied to the four
angels as a symbol of the restraint placed upon their operations, they
being bound in that river. As there are no agents in this vision who are
represented as bound, we must apply it to the city itself, the name of
which is given in verse 19--Babylon--being a symbol of one of its
defenses. According to verse 19 this mystical Babylon is composed of
three parts, being made up of the dragon (in his modern form), the
beast, and the false prophet mentioned in verse 13. And its location is
not confined to the territory of the ten kingdoms; for its field of
operations is not only that of the "earth"--the Apocalyptic earth--but
"_of the whole world_." Ver. 14. In one division of this great city,
that of the false prophet, God's people were long held in captivity; but
its spiritual overthrow was to be accomplished by the drying up of the
Euphrates of its defenses, that the way of the kings of the East might
be prepared.[12]

[Footnote 12: Applying the Euphrates (an object from nature) as a symbol
of ecclesiastical affairs in this manner appears to be in violation of
the laws of symbolic language laid down; but we should bear in mind the
fact that events of whatever nature connected with the history of God's
chosen people in the old dispensation are of themselves proper symbols
of similar events in the New Testament dispensation. Thus the temple,
altar, candle-sticks, incense, holy city, etc., of the former
dispensation, although of themselves objects from nature, are
nevertheless clearly used to represent affairs of the church, because of
their former significance as connected with the people of God. The fact
that the great city of this chapter is spiritual Babylon (see verse 19)
is positive proof that the river Euphrates is here applied in the proper

To the Hebrews the term _east_ had a much more extensive signification
than with us, to whom its only distinction is that it is the point of
the sun's rising. But beyond this, it was to the Jews the cardinal point
of the compass to which they naturally looked first. Their temple was
built toward the east, its principal entrance being in that direction.
The most powerful and enlightened kingdoms of the world lay to the east
of Judea, and they included them all under the general term, sons or
children of the East (Orientals) and kings of the East, comprehending
not only Arabia and the lands of Moab and Ammon, but also Armenia,
Assyria, Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Chaldea. Travelers from these
countries would all enter Judea from the east, and they were considered
Orientals. These nations were also distinguished for their proficiency
in science and learning. The Magi, or wise men of the East, came to
worship the infant Jesus at Jerusalem. They were eminent in the science
of astrology, which was considered the greatest science of that day. The
East, therefore, was looked to for wise men; and it is a noticeable fact
that the pathway of science, of literature, and of empire has ever been
from that direction, so as to have passed into a proverb, "westward the
star of empire holds its way." "The kings of the East," then, employed
as a symbol of this sixth vial, is not intended to signify any persons
literally from that quarter of the earth, but represents the bringing in
of knowledge and understanding. Thank God that we live in the time when
the defenses of spiritual Babylon have been broken through and when
light and knowledge on the Word of God has reached the hearts of many
redeemed souls held in bondage there! And like the Israelites of old,
when Cyrus, entered the ancient Babylon through the dry river-bed of the
Euphrates, they have come out with rejoicing and made their way to Zion
again. Halleluiah! That the spiritual downfall of Babylon is a real
plague to sectarians there can be no doubt, and it is plainly declared
to be such in chap. 18:8, where the same event is described.

At the very time when the defenses of Babylon are thrown down, the three
unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon
(Paganism), and out of the mouth of the beast (Romanism), and out of the
mouth of the false prophet (Protestantism), to gather together all the
wicked powers throughout "the whole world" for that last great day of
God Almighty.[13] There is no analagous object to which a _spirit_ can
be made a symbol; therefore we must regard them as being literally
spirits of devils, here appearing under their own appropriate title.
Their mission is to form a confederation of all the gigantic powers of
wickedness, slimy and loathsome as the animal to which they are likened,
and to array themselves against the cause of Christ.

[Footnote 13: I do not suppose that these three unclean spirits should
be limited in their operations to Paganism, Romanism, and Protestantism;
for that leaves out Mohammedanism, which is neither Pagan, Roman, nor
Protestant, yet is certainly "false prophecy"; and the three spirits
were to gather the "whole world."]

Armageddon, where the spirits gathered all the enemies of truth and
righteousness together, means the mountain of Megiddo, the memorable
field of the overthrow of Sisera's mighty host by Barak. It was also the
place of great defeat to the Israelites in the time of Josiah and the
scene of his death. The name, therefore, stands as a symbol for a field
of slaughter or defeat and denotes that when the confederation of
wickedness is complete, the united host of God's enemies will be utterly
defeated, as by the overthrow of Megiddo. This great conflict with
powers of wickedness and spirits infernal will be further explained in
chapter XX.

Simultaneous with the notable events of this vial, the announcement is
made of the near-coming of Christ to the world--"Behold I come as a
thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he
walk naked, and they see his shame." The children of God that have been
gathered out of old Babylon rejoice in the glad announcement and say,
"Even so come, Lord Jesus."

17. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and
there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the
throne, saying, It is done.

18. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and
there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were
upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

19. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the
cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in
remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of
the fierceness of his wrath.

20. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not

21. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every
stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God
because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was
exceeding great.

The application of this vial to the judgments of the last great day is
so plain that but little comment is here necessary. It was poured "into
the air," a region of vast extent, not confined to a given locality, but
embracing the whole earth. Hence this plague is universal. When the
seventh angel emptied his vial, "There came a great voice out of the
temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done." All is now
fulfilled. The work of wrath is finished. The description of the plague
follows, but it follows only _as a description_. As actually
accomplished, it preceded that great voice, which was uttered in view of
the thing already brought to pass.

The dissolution of the earth itself upon which we live is not here
described, although according to the teaching of other scriptures it
occurs at this time; but the symbols, being drawn from the department of
the operations both of humanity and of nature, show the complete and
final overthrow of all the great powers civil and ecclesiastical. The
dominancy of these great powers has been the chief burden of Apocalyptic
vision, and here their utter destruction at last is set forth under
various symbols. The weight of the Jewish talent is said to have been
one hundred and fourteen pounds. Such a mass of ice descending from
heaven would beat down everything in its resistless, desolating fury.
There is no intimation, however, of men being killed under this or the
accompanying symbols; therefore as individuals they survive, while the
storm of wrath falls upon the civil and ecclesiastical institutions of
society, resulting in their utter annihilation. This is the "great day
of his wrath" described under the sixth seal, to the symbols of which
this description bears a striking resemblance, as any one can see at a
glance. Well may the oppressors of earth say to the mountains and hills,
"Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the
throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath
is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Chap. 6:16, 17.


And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven
vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will
show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon
many waters:

2. With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication,
and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the
wine of her fornication.

3. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and
I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of
blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

4. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and
decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden
cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her

5. And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON

6. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and
with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I
wondered with great admiration.

Here again the narrative returns to take up another series of the
history. A number of times we have been taken over the same ground. It
is this feature of the Apocalypse more than any other that has misled
and perplexed commentators. Attempting to explain it as one continuous
narrative from beginning to end, they have been compelled to consider
numerous passages as "digressions," "parentheses," or "episodes," etc.
As already observed, however, the prophecy is not arranged after the
ordinary plan of histories, narrating all the contemporaneous events in
a given period, whether civil, religious, literary, scientific, or
biographical, thus finishing up the history of that period; but it
consists of a number of distinct themes running over the same ground.

In this chapter a more particular description of the church of Rome,
"that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (verse 18),
is given under the symbol of a drunken harlot. With this vile prostitute
"the kings of the earth have committed fornication"--they have
encouraged her in her corruption and idolatries--"and the inhabitants of
the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication." This
latter symbol is doubtless taken from the cup of drugged wine with which
lewd women were accustomed to inflame their lovers. So had this apostate
church made "the inhabitants of the earth"--of the ten kingdoms--drunken
with her wine-cup and thus rendered them willing partakers in her
abominable idolatries. She is described in two positions--first, as
"sitting upon many waters," which the angel informs us "are peoples, and
multitudes, and nations, and tongues" (verse 15); and second, "upon a
scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads
and ten horns." The first position denotes her wide supremacy in the
world over distant peoples and nations; the second, the close
relationship that she sustained to the civil power. That beast carried
her in royal state. The civil powers of Europe have usually lent
themselves as a caparisoned hack for this great whore to ride upon and
have considered themselves highly honored thereby. This beast was full
of the names of blasphemy, which were the same as the blasphemous
assumptions of the Papacy, as explained in chapter XIII, showing that he
agreed perfectly with this apostate church in her impious claims and
supported her in them, making himself equally guilty and deserving of
the same name. What is intended exactly by his scarlet color I do not
know. The same power under its Pagan form was represented as a red

The appearance of this woman was that of the most splendid character,
nor are we to suppose the contrary because she was such an infamous
prostitute. She may have been, and according to the description was, all
that, but still her appearance was such as to bewitch her admirers and
votaries. Robes of purple and scarlet, with the most costly profusion of
gold and diamonds, were superb adorning, even regal splendor. All that
skill and wealth could do in magnificence of attire was bestowed upon
her to set forth her charms. The "golden cup in her hand" was as to
richness in harmony with her dress, while as to contents it set forth
her character, for it was "full of abominations and filthiness of her
fornication." This cup was an appropriate symbol of her atrocious
wickedness and idolatries.

This woman had also a name written on her forehead. It was not, indeed,
placed there by herself nor by her admirers; but He who drew this
symbolic picture placed it there that all might know her true character.
THE EARTH." Although this apostate church was only in embryo in the
apostles' day, yet the apostle who gave us a careful delineation of its
terrible characteristics declared that it was then developing and
denominated it a _mystery_. "The mystery of iniquity doth already work."
2 Thes. 2:7. The same apostle regarded as an unquestionable fact that
_godliness_ was a mystery (1 Tim. 3:16); but he who peruses the history
of the Papacy will be forced to declare with emphasis, "Without
controversy great is the mystery of Romanism." She is also styled
Babylon the Great. This name is derived from ancient Babylon. This city
was the center of the earth's idolatry and stood first of all as the
direct enemy of God's people. So, likewise, this church is the center of
earth's spiritual idolatry. There are other harlots, or corrupt
churches, in the world beside her; but she is the _mother_ of them all.
They are all children by her side. Some of them greatly honor her and in
deep veneration call her "_our holy mother church_;" but God brands her
as the "mother of harlots and abominations of the earth."

But the statement that she was a harlot merely, does not entirely
describe her character. She was a _drunken_ harlot. Drunken with
what--wine? No indeed; that were a very small sin for her. She was
"drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs
of Jesus." Romanists positively declare that their church never
persecutes; but with the picture of this drunken prostitute before our
eyes, we shall be hard to convince. To illustrate this point fully would
be to write a book of martyrs much larger than the present work; so, for
lack of space only, we shall have to content ourselves with merely
bringing forward a few of many historical proofs showing _that they
themselves_ claim the right to exterminate heretics.

Innumerable provincial and national councils have issued the most cruel
and bloody laws for the extermination of the Waldenses and other
so-called heretics; such as the Councils of Oxford, Toledo, Avignon,
Tours, Lavaur, Albi, Narbonne, Beziers, Tolosa, etc. Since Papists will
assert that these had no authority to establish a doctrine of the church
(although they clearly reflect its spirit), I remind the reader that
some of their _General_ Councils have by their decrees pronounced the
punishment of death for heresy. At least six of these highest judicial
assemblies of the Romish church, with the Pope at their head, have
authoritatively enjoined the persecution and extermination of heretics.
Extracts from the Acts of these Councils could be given if space
permitted. 1. The second General Council of Lateran (1139), in its
twenty-third canon. 2. The third General Council of Lateran (1179),
under Pope Alexander III. 3. The fourth General Council of Lateran
(1215), under the inhuman Pope Innocent III., which exceeded in ferocity
all similar decrees that had preceded it. 4. The sixteenth General
Council, held at Constance in 1414. This Council, with Pope Martin
present in person, condemned the reformers Huss and Jerome to be burned
at the stake and then prevailed on the emperor Sigismund to violate the
safe-conduct that he had given Huss, signed by his own hand, in which he
guaranteed the reformer a safe return to Bohemia; and the inhuman
sentence was carried out, with the haughty prelates standing by to
satiate their eyes on the sight of human agony. This council also
condemned the writings of Wickliffe and _ordered his bones to be dug up
and burnt_, which savage sentence was afterwards carried into effect;
and after lying in their grave for forty years, the remains of this
first translator of the English Bible were reduced to ashes and thrown
into the brook Swift. Well has the historian Fuller said, in reference
to this subject, "The brook Swift did convey his ashes into Avon, the
Avon into Severn, the Severn into the narrow seas, and they into the
main ocean. And thus the ashes of Wickliffe are the emblem of his
doctrie, which is now dispersed all over the world." 5. The Council of
Sienna (1423), which was afterwards continued at Basil. 6. The fifth
General Council of the Lateran (1514). The laws enacted in each
succeeding Council were generally marked, if possible, with augmented

Says the learned Edgar, in his Variations of Popery: "The principle of
persecution, being sanctioned not only by theologians, Popes and
provincial synods but also by General Councils, _is a necessary and
integral part of Romanism_. The Romish communion has, by its
representatives, declared its right to compel men to renounce heterodoxy
and embrace Catholicism, and to consign the obstinate to the civil power
to be banished, tortured, or killed." St. Aquinas, whom Romanists call
the "angelic Doctor," says, "Heretics are to be compelled by corporeal
punishments, that they may adhere to the faith." Again, "Heretics may
not only be excommunicated, but _justly killed_." He says that "the
church consigns such to the secular judges _to be exterminated from the
world by death_."

Cardinal Bellarmine is the great champion of Romanism and expounder of
its doctrines. He was the nephew of Pope Marcellus, and he is
acknowledged to be a standard writer with Romanists. In the twenty-first
and twenty-second chapters of the third book of his work entitled _De
Laicis_, he enters into a regular argument to prove that the church has
the right, and should exercise it, of punishing heretics with death. The
heading is his, together with what follows.

"Chapter XXI. _That heretics, condemned by the church, may be punished
with temporal penalties and even death._ We will briefly show that the
church has the _power and ought_ to cast off incorrigible heretics,
especially those who have elapsed, and that the secular power ought to
inflict on such temporal punishments and even death itself. 1. This may
be proved from the Scripture. 2. It is proved from the opinions and laws
of the emperors, _which the church has always approved_. 3. _It is
proved by the laws of the church ... experience proves that there is no
other remedy;_ for the church has tried step by step all remedies--first
excommunication alone; then pecuniary penalties; afterward banishment;
_and lastly has been forced to put them to death; to send them to their
own place_.... There are three grounds on which reason shows that
heretics should be put to death: the first is, Lest the wicked should
injure the righteous; second, That by the punishment of a few many may
be reformed. For many who were made torpid by impunity, are _roused by

"Chapter XXII. _Objections answered._ It remains to answer the
objections of Luther and other heretics. Argument 1. From the history of
the church at large. 'The church,' says Luther, 'from the beginning even
to this time, _has never burned a heretic_. Therefore it does not seem
to be the mind of the Holy Spirit that they should be burnt!' [He surely
misunderstood Luther.] I reply that this argument proves not the
sentiment, but the ignorance, or impudence of Luther; FOR AS ALMOST AN
either did not know it, and was therefore ignorant; or if he knew it, he
is convicted of impudence and falsehood,--for _that heretics were often
burnt_ BY THE CHURCH may be proved by adducing a few from many examples.
Argument 2. 'Experience shows that terror is not useful.' I reply
EXPERIENCE PROVES THE CONTRARY--for the Donatists, Manicheans, and

So this high dignitary of the Catholic church, a cardinal, a nephew of
one Pope and the special favorite of others, freely admits the charge so
often laid to Popery by creditable historians--the butchering of an
"infinite number" of people that differed from them--and here labors
hard to uphold it as a principle of righteousness. Their bloody crusades
against the innocent, unoffending Waldenses, Albigenses, and other
peoples, in which thousands, and in the aggregate _millions_, were
slaughtered like venomous reptiles, stand out on the page of history
with a prominence that can not be mistaken; and they themselves can not
deny it. Dowling has well said that their "history is written in lines
of blood. Compared with the butcheries of holy men and women by the
Papal Antichrist, the persecutions of the Pagan emperors of the first
three centuries sink into comparative insignificance. For not a tithe of
the blood of martyrs was shed by Paganism, that has been poured forth by
Popery; and the persecutors of Pagan Rome never dreamed of the thousand
ingenious contrivances of torture which the malignity of Popish
inquisitors succeeded in inventing." P. 541.

If any of my readers suppose that the character of Popery has changed
with the lapse of ages, I must tell you that such is not the ease.
Popery is unchangeable and this her ablest advocates declare. Chas.
Butler, in the work he wrote in reply to Southey's book of the church,
says, "It is most true that the Roman Catholics believe the doctrines of
their church to be unchangeable; and that it is a tenet of their creed,
that what their faith ever has been, such it was from the beginning,
_such it is now_, and SUCH IT EVER WILL BE." A copy of the eleventh
edition of The Faith of Our Fathers, published in Baltimore, Maryland,
in 1883, lies before me. It was written by Archbishop (now Cardinal)
James Gibbons, the highest authority of the Roman Catholic church in
this country. In page 95 he says: "It is a marvelous fact, worthy of
record, that in the whole history of the church, from the nineteenth
century to the first, no solitary example can be adduced to show that
any Pope or General Council ever revoked a decree of faith or morals
enacted by any preceding pontiff or council. Her record in the past
ought to be a sufficient warrant that she will _tolerate no doctrinal
variations in the future_." So the doctrine of her inherent right to
persecute and slay every one who disagrees with her, which has been
enacted by Pontiffs and General Councils and so carried out in the past,
is still in vogue and would now be enforced were it in her power to do

While this statement of Gibbons' shows the unchangeable spirit of
Popery, still it is the basest presumption upon the historical knowledge
of the reader. The facts are that the _official_ acts of some of their
Popes and General Councils have been so far wrong that Romanists
themselves have been compelled to admit it. Thus the _sixth_ General
Council, which was held at Constantinople in 680, and which every
Catholic accepts as Ecumenical, condemned, in the strongest terms, Pope
Honorius as a Monothelite _heretic_. Let them attempt to deny it, and we
will bring forward our proof. Romish authors themselves admit it, the
well-known Dupin with the rest, as appears by the following extract from
his writings: "The Council had as much reason to censure him as Sergius,
Paulus, Peter, and the other Patriarchs oL Constantinople." He adds in
language yet more emphatic, "This will stand for certain, then, that
Honorius _was condemned_, AND JUSTLY TOO, AS A HERETIC, by the sixth
General Council." Dupin's Eccl. History, Vol. II, p. 16.

The Decretals of Isodore furnish another example of Papal infallibility
(?). For ages these documents were the chief instrument of the Popes in
extending their power and the proof of the righteousness of their
assumptions to excessive temporal authority. Wickliffe declared them
false and apocryphal. For this he was condemned by the sixteenth
_General Council_, held at Constance in 1414, and his bones ordered dug
up and burnt because of his daring impudence. The spurious character of
these false decretals have since been proved beyond the shadow of a
doubt; and since it is impossible to deny it longer, it is admitted even
by Romanists. So, after all, this _infallible_ Council was wrong, the
Papists themselves being the judges.

Pope Benedict IX. was guilty of such flagitious crimes that he became an
object of public abhorrence, and he finally _sold_ the Popedom. One of
his infallible (?) successors in the Papal chair, Pope Victor III.,
pronounced this infallible (?) profligate a person "abandoned to all
manner of vice. A _successor of_ SIMON THE SORCERER, and NOT OF SIMON
THE APOSTLE." I do not question the truth of this assertion, but what
becomes of their boasted uninterrupted apostolical succession? Baronius,
the Popish annalist, confesses that Pope Sergius III. was "the slave of
every vice, and the most wicked of men." Among other horrid acts Platina
relates that he _rescinded the acts_ of Pope Formosus, compelled those
whom he had ordained to be re-ordained, dragged his dead body from the
sepulchre, beheaded him as though he were alive, and then threw him into
the Tiber! This Pope cohabited with an infamous prostitute named Marozia
and by her had a son named John, who afterwards ascended the Papal
throne, through the influence of his licentious mother, under the name
of John XI. So the unlawful amours of Sergius produced this infallible,
necessary link in the _holy_ chain of uninterrupted apostolical
succession! It must be remembered, also, that the Popes have for ages
laid claim themselves to infallibility; and in the last General Council
of that body, held at the Vatican in 1870, it was declared a dogma of
the church. Romanists will tell us that this decree refers only to his
official acts, and not to his personal character; but official acts have
been the main thing under consideration in the case of Sergius,
Honorius, and Benedict. But if such monsters of vice can produce good,
holy, infallible acts, as Papists declare, then Jesus Christ is
mistaken; for he declared positively that "a corrupt tree _bringeth
forth evil fruit_ ... neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good
fruit." Mat. 7:17, 18. "God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man
a liar." Rom. 3:4. During these dark ages thousands of priests, who were
by the laws of the church denied their Scriptural right of possessing a
wife (1 Cor. 7:9, etc.), lived openly with concubines; and the Council
of Toledo decreed that they should not be condemned therefor, provided
they were content with one.

But the devil produced his master-piece of iniquity in the person of
Roderic Borgia, who ascended the Papal throne in 1492 under the name of
Alexander VI. The utmost limits assigned to Papal depravity were
realized in him, so that the very name Borgia has come to be used as a
designation of any person unusually wicked. Says Waddington: "The
ecclesiastical records of fifteen centuries ... contain no name so
loathsome, no crimes so foul as his.... Not one among the many zealous
annalists of the Roman church has breathed a whisper in his praise....
He publicly cohabited with a Roman matron named Vanozia, by whom he had
five acknowledged children. Neither in his manners nor in his language
did he affect any regard for morality or decency; and one of the
earliest acts of his pontificate was, to celebrate, with scandalous
magnificence, in his own palace, the marriage of his daughter Lucretia.
On one occasion this prodigy of vice gave a splendid entertainment,
within the walls of the Vatican, to no less than fifty public
prostitutes at once, and that in the presence of his daughter Lucretia,
at which entertainment deeds of darkness were done, over which decency
must throw a veil; and yet this monster of vice was, according to Papist
... the vicar of God upon earth, and was addressed by the title of HIS
HOLINESS!!" But why stir this cesspool of filth any longer? Is not that
church of which Alexander VI. was for eleven years the crowned and
anointed head--a necessary link in the boasted chain of _holy_
apostolical succession, the pretended vicar of Christ upon earth--is it
not, I ask, fitly described by the pen of inspiration "MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH," as she reeled onward in the career of
ages, "drunken with the blood of the saints"?

7. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I
will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that
carriest her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

8. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend
out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that
dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in
the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they
behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

9. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are
seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

10. And there are seven kings; five are fallen, and one is, and
the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue
a short space.

11. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth,
and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

12. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which
have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one
hour with the beast.

13. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength
unto the beast.

14. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall
overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and
they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

The angel promises to explain "the mystery of the woman and of the beast
that carried her." The beast is the same as the secular beast with seven
heads and ten horns, described in chapter 13. An explanation of its
heads and horns has already been given. The expression "the seven heads
are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth, and there are seven
kings," requires further explanation. Many have understood the mountains
to signify the seven mountains on which the city of Rome is said to be
built; but that is adopting the literal mode of interpretation, and is
contrary to the laws of symbolic language. The more obvious meaning is
that the seven heads represent seven mountains and also seven kings; but
this probably is not the idea intended. The heads of a beast are not the
proper symbol of mountains. The fact, too, that the woman is represented
as sitting upon these mountains, shows that they are to be taken as a
symbol, as well as the woman, and not the object symbolized. They are,
then, the same as the heads and denote the seven kings or seven forms of
government under which the Roman empire subsisted.

The seventh and last head has not yet been identified. Before
considering it, however, I wish to call attention to another point that
has already been referred to. The beast that John here saw, with the
seven heads and ten horns, was Rome under the Papal power. Did new Rome
in reality have the seven heads? No. The dragon John saw in chapter 12
is represented as having seven heads and ten horns, and signified Rome
under the Pagan power. Did old Rome really possess the ten horns? No.
According to verse 12 in this chapter, they were to arise future of
John's time. But notice carefully that the seven heads, which according
to this description, belonged to the beast sustaining the Papal power in
after years, are here explained by the angel as signifying the very
forms of government by which _Pagan_ Rome subsisted. "Five _are fallen_
[a past event], one _is_ [exists at this present time], and the other
_is not yet come_." So according to divine interpretation, the same
heads and horns serve for both the dragon and the beast. This could not
possibly be a true representation unless they were both in reality the
_same beast_, they being represented as two only for the purpose of
describing the two phases of Roman history--Pagan and Papal.

With this point established, that these two forms of Roman history are
the same beast, we are now prepared to understand the statement that the
beast "was and is not, and yet is." This is equivalent to saying that
the beast existed, it ceased to exist, and then it came into existence
again. This was exactly the history of Rome. Its downfall under the
Pagan form was described under the fourth trumpet as an eclipse of the
sun, moon and stars, so that they shone not for a third part of the day
and night. For a time it seemed not to exist. A little later the eclipse
is lifted; the beast exists again under the Papal form. In this is set
forth clearly the wounding and the healing of the beast. The wound was
inflicted on its sixth, or Imperial, head (for the first five had
already fallen, according to the historical facts just related), being
accomplished by the hordes of Northern barbarians overturning the empire
of the West. It appeared for a time that the beast was indeed wounded
unto death; but not so: to the surprise of all, he survived under the
form of the seventh head. At this point the question is sure to be
asked, How could the beast continue to live if its seventh head was to
continue but "a short space"? This is accounted for by the fact that
there was what might be appropriately called an eighth head, but which
was in reality of the seven. "And the beast that was, and is not, even
he is the eighth, and is of the seven." Verse 11.

The identification of the seventh head will now make the matter
complete. The facts all meet in the Carlovingian empire, or the empire
of Charlemagne. In the year 774 Charlemagne completed the work begun by
Pepin twenty years before and overthrew the kingdom of the Lombards in
Italy, which was the last of the three horns plucked up before the
little horn of Daniel. By this victory he became complete master of
Italy, and he received the title Patrician of Rome. This was not merely
an honorary title, such as had for ages been conferred upon certain
individuals; but it was a distinct form of civil government and supreme,
taking the same rank with that of the Consular, the Decemvirate, the
Triumvirate, etc., in the earlier history of the nation. It lasted,
however, only "a short space," or twenty-six years, when Charlemagne,
having extended his conquests over all the western part of Europe,
assumed the Imperial title and thus revived the empire of Rome in the
West under its Gothic form. In his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,
Gibbon says: "In the twenty-six years that elapsed between the conquest
of Lombardy and his Imperial coronation, Rome, which had been delivered
by the sword, was subject, as his own, to the scepter, of Charlemagne.
The people swore allegiance to his person and family; in his name, money
was coined, and justice was administered, and the election of Popes was
examined and confirmed by his authority--except an original and
self-inherent claim of sovereignity, there was not any prerogative
remaining which the title of emperor could add to the Patrician of
Rome." This decisive testimony by the highest authority on the subject
shows conclusively that all the power of sovereignty resided in
Charlemagne as the Patrician of Rome, and that this, therefore, is a
proper head to be ranked with the other six that preceded it.[14]

[Footnote 14: Commentators frequently identify the seventh head with the
Exarchate of Ravenna. After the overthrow of the kingdom of the
Ostrogoths in Italy by Belisarius, the general of Justinian, about the
middle of the sixth century, the territory became subject to the emperor
of the Eastern empire and was ruled by him through an Exarch whose place
of residence was Ravenna. This Exarchate (sometimes called _Patriciate_)
continued until about the middle of the eighth century, when it was
terminated by Astolphus, king of the Lombards, who made Ravenna the
capital of the Lombardic kingdom in 752. Three years later the Lombards
were defeated by Pepin, who made the Holy See a present of the lands he
conquered from them--the origin of the temporal power of the Popes.
Pepin was succeeded by his son Charlemagne, who was appointed
_Patrician_ of Rome, by the Pope, in 774. During the last half century
that the Exarchate of Ravenna remained its existence was but little more
than a name, the real power of government being usurped by the Papacy.
It could hardly be considered an inconsistency were we to interpret the
seventh head as signifying both the Patriciate of Ravenna and the
Patriciate of Charlemagne that closely followed it; but in the present
work I have restricted its application to the latter form because of its
distinctive characteristic as constituting a supreme civil power
entirely independent of the empire of the East, and because of its
importance in the revival of the empire of the West.]

This head, however, continued only "a short space"; and an eighth arose
on Christmas, the first day of the year 800 (as time was then reckoned),
when Charlemagne was crowned emperor of Rome, and thus revived the
empire of the West. This eighth head, however, was "of the seven"; for
it was the same as the sixth, both being Imperial--the first being in
the Augustan line, and the other in the Carlovingian, and separated from
each other by the seventh, or Patriciate. Considered one way, there were
eight heads, but two of them were alike, hence only seven; for the
eighth was of the seven. According to verse 11 it was under the eighth
head that the beast subsisted at the time he was carrying the woman of
this chapter, which exactly accords with the historical facts in the
case; and the same was continued in a line of emperors reaching down to
the time of the French Revolution.

The ten horns had "received no kingdom as yet." This signifies that at
the time when the Revelation was given they had not yet arisen. When
they did come into existence they were to receive power as kings with
the beast and were to give to it their power and strength. It is a
singular fact that a distinct head should continue to exist after these
horns had arisen and developed into powerful kingdoms; but herein the
remarkable accuracy of prophecy is clearly shown. It is said that they
should make war with the Lamb and that the Lamb should overcome them.
Some think that this has reference to the persecution of the saints
during the Dark Ages; but it seems to me that it would have been stated
differently if such were its meaning. It may be a prophetical reference
to the battle of Armageddon, which will be terminated by the coming of
the Son of God himself to overthrow completely all the powers of

15. And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where
the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and

16. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these
shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and
shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

17. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to
agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of
God shall be fulfilled.

18. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which
reigneth over the kings of the earth.

The special thoughts contained in these verses have been so far
explained already that it is unnecessary to go over the same ground
again. Already the civil powers of Europe are beginning to cast this
woman aside as an old, wrinkled, haggard prostitute is cast off by her
lovers. Already they have deprived her of all temporal authority such as
she possessed in guiding this beast of chapter 17, as explained under
the fifth plague in the preceding chapter. Whether they are destined to
become a still greater enemy to her, the future will determine.


And after these things I saw another angel come down from
heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his

2. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon
the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of
devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every
unclean and hateful bird.

3. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her
fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed
fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed
rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

A movement of mighty power is symbolized in these verses. The chronology
of the events described in the preceding chapter brings us down to the
time when the ten horns turn against the Papacy by depriving her of her
temporal authority. This, as we have already seen, was completely
fulfilled in 1870 and constituted the fifth plague. In the description
of the sixth plague which followed, it was shown that the great city
which was invaded was composed of three parts--Paganism (the modern form
of the dragon power), Catholicism, and Protestantism. The same great
city is here brought to view, and the angel from heaven, with a mighty
voice, cries, "Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen." This fall of
Babylon can not signify a literal destruction; for there are certain
events to take place in Babylon after her fall which entirely precludes
that idea; for instance, the calling of God's people out of her, in
order that they may not receive of her plagues. In these plagues is
embraced her literal destruction, or complete overthrow. The fall is
therefore a moral one; for the result of it is that Babylon becomes "the
habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of
every unclean and hateful bird."

Protestants who make any attempt to interpret these prophecies usually
limit the designation "Babylon the Great" in these verses to the church
of Rome, because the woman symbolizing the apostate church in the
preceding chapter is denominated "Babylon the Great." Ver. 5. But the
same verse also declares her to be the "_Mother_ of harlots;" and if she
as a degraded woman stands as the representative of a corrupt church,
her unchaste daughters, also, must symbolize churches that are her
descendants; and if the real name of the _mother_ is Babylon, as stated,
the proper name of her harlot daughters must be Babylon also. Whether,
therefore, the mother or the daughters are referred to, it is all
"Babylon the Great," because it is all the same family and is a part of
that "GREAT CITY which reigneth over the kings of the earth." Chap.
17:18. We must, therefore, have something besides the mere title
"Babylon the Great" to determine which division of the great city is
referred to in a given instance--whether Pagan, Papal, or Protestant.

A careful study of the prophecy now under consideration will show that
it has particular reference to the Protestant division of Babylon. It
contained many of God's children; whereas Paganism was always a false
religion and never held any of God's saints. Under the reign of
Catholicism, the people of God are represented in all the symbols of
this book relating thereto as existing entirely separate from that
communion. The description of this apostate church given in the
preceding chapter shows clearly that instead of being partly composed of
God's saints, she was their most bitter and relentless persecutor, yea,
was "_drunken with the blood of the saints_, and with the blood of the
martyrs of Jesus." This is definite proof that the present phase of
Babylon under consideration is the Protestant division; and her moral
fall is the grand signal for the escape of God's people who have partly
composed her number, as the fall of ancient Babylon was for the escape
of the Israelites. In their younger days the Protestant organizations
(symbolized by the daughters) were of much better character than the
mother church from whom they descended. Many of them started out on
reform. While a spiritual people, God worked with them; but when they
made their image to the beast, they suddenly declined, and this voice
from heaven finally declares them to be in a fallen condition--entirely
void of salvation, except a very few chosen saints that have not defiled
their garments, contained therein.

That this application of the term _Babylon_ is correct, and also, the
fallen condition ascribed to her in accordance with the facts, I will
prove by the following testimonies of Protestants themselves. The first
is from Vision of the Ages; or, Lectures on the Apocalypse, by B.W.
Johnson, member of the Christian sect.

"It is needful to inquire what the term _Babylon_ means. It occurs
several times in the New Testament. Here (in the Apocalypse) it is
spoken of as 'that great city,' and her fall is doomed 'because she hath
made all nations drunk with the wine of her fornication.' In Rev. 17:5,
a scarlet harlot is seen sitting upon the seven-headed and ten-horned
monster, and upon her forehead is written, 'Mystery, Babylon the Great.'
With this woman the kings of the earth are said to have committed
fornication. In chapter 18 the fall of the great city, Babylon is
detailed at length, and it is again said that all the kings of the earth
have committed fornication with her. The harlot with Babylon stamped on
her brow, and the great city of fornication styled Babylon, in chapters
14 and 18, are one and the same existence.

"There is an ancient city of Babylon often mentioned in the Old
Testament, but ages before John wrote, it had ceased to be inhabited,
the only dwellers among its lonely ruins were howling beasts and hissing
serpents. It has never been rebuilt to this day and has passed away
forever. John refers therefore not to old Babylon, but to some power yet
unseen (when he was upon the earth), that should be revealed in due
time, and of which old Babylon was a symbol. Let us notice some of the
features of ancient Babylon.

"1. On that site took place the confusion of tongues which divided those
who before had been of one speech and one family, into various tribes
and schisms at variance with each other and of various tongues. The word
Babylon, a memorial of this event, means confusion, and is derived from

"2. Old Babylon persecuted the people of God and destroyed the temple in

"3. It carried the people of God into captivity.

"4. It was a mighty, resistless universal empire. The antitype, the
spiritual Babylon, must correspond. There is a power that exhibits all
these characteristics. By apostasy from the truth it originated the
schism which has divided the family of God into different sects and
parties which speak a different spiritual language. It has carried the
church into a long captivity by binding upon it the thralldom of
superstition. It has been a constant persecutor of the saints, and has
enjoyed an almost universal dominion. That power is the woman that sits
upon the seven-headed beast ... the false woman, symbolical of a false
church, the great apostate spiritual dominion of Rome. And we may add,
out of which have come--directly or indirectly--_all the religious sects
of the present day_."

Dr. Barnes says: "The word _Babylon_ became the emblem of all that was
haughty and oppressive, and especially of all that persecuted the church
of God. The word here (Rev. 18:4) must be used to denote some power that
resembled the ancient and literal Babylon in these characteristics. The
literal Babylon was no more; but the name might be used properly to
denote a similar power."

Wm. Kinkade, in Bible Doctrine, page 249, says, "I think Christ has a
true church on earth, but its members are scattered among the various
denominations, and are more or less under the influence of mystery
Babylon and her daughters."

Alexander Campbell says: "A reformation of Popery was attempted in
Europe full three centuries ago. It ended in a Protestant hierarchy, and
swarms of dissenters. Protestantism has been reformed into
Presbyterianism, that into Congregationalism, and that into Baptistism,
etc., etc. Methodism has attempted to reform all, but has reformed
itself into many forms of Wesleyanism. All of them retain in their
bosom--in their ecclesiastical organizations, worship, doctrines, and
observances--various relics of Popery. They are at best a reformation of
Popery, and only reformations in part. The doctrines and traditions of
men yet impair the power and progress of the gospel in their hands." On
Baptism, p.15.

Again, he says: "The worshiping establishments now in operation
throughout Christendom, increased and cemented by their respective
voluminous confessions of faith, and their ecclesiastical constitutions,
are not churches of Jesus Christ, but the legitimate daughters of that
mother of harlots, the church of Rome." How any man could possess as
much light on this subject as did Mr. Campbell, and then build a sect
himself, is more than I can understand.

Lorenzo Dow says of the Romish Church: "If she be the mother, who are
the daughters? It must be the corrupt, national, established churches
that came out of her." Dow's Life, p. 542.

In the Religious Encyclopaedia, Article Antichrist, we read: "The writer
of the book of Revelation tells us he heard a voice from heaven saying,
'Come out of her, my people, that ye partake not of her sins, and
receive not of her plagues.' If such persons are to be found in the
'mother of harlots,' with much less hesitation may it be inferred that
they are connected with her unchaste daughters, those national churches
which are founded upon what are called Protestant principles."

In the Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge we read: "An important
question, however, says Mr. Jones, stills remains for inquiry: Is
Antichrist confined to the church of Rome? The answer is readily
returned in the affirmative by Protestants in general; and happy had it
been for the world had that been the case. But although we are fully
warranted to consider that church as 'the mother of harlots,' the truth
is that by whatsoever arguments we succeed in fixing that odius charge
upon her, we shall, by parity of reasoning, be obliged to allow other
national churches to be her unchaste daughters, and for this plain
reason, among others, because in their very constitution and tendency
they are hostile to the nature of the kingdom of Christ."

One of Martin Luther's guests remarked that the world might continue
fifty years, and he replied: "Pray God that it may not exist so long;
matters would be even worse than they have been. There would rise up
infinite sects and schisms, which are at present hidden in men's hearts
and nature. No; may the Lord come at once, for there is no amendment to
be expected."

Mr. Hartly, a learned churchman, has remarked as follows: "There are
many prophecies which declare the fall of the ecclesiastical powers of
the Christian world, and though each church seems to flatter itself with
the hope of being exempted, yet it is very plain that the prophetical
characters belong to all. They all have left the true, pure, simple
religion, and teach for doctrines the commandments of men."

Says Mr. Simpson, in Plea for Religion: "We Protestants, too, read the
declaration of the third angel against the worshipers of the beast and
his image, and make ourselves easy under the awful denunciation by
applying it exclusively to the church of Rome; never dreaming that they
are equally applicable not only to the English, but to every church
establishment in Christendom, which retains any of the marks of the
beast. For though the Pope and the church of Rome is at the head of the
grand twelve hundred and sixty years' delusion, yet all other churches,
of whatever denomination, whether established or tolerated, which
partake of the same spirit, or have instituted doctrines and ceremonies
inimical to the pure and unadulterated gospel of Christ, shall sooner or
later share in the fate of that immense fabric of human ordinances."

Says Mr. Hopkins: "There is no reason to consider the antichristian
spirit and practices confined to that which is now called the church of
Rome. The Protestant churches have much of Antichrist in them, and are
far from being wholly reformed from the corruptions and wickedness, in
doctrine and practice, in it. Some churches may be more pure and may
have proceeded farther in a reformation than others; but where can the
church be found which is thoroughly purged from her abominations? None
are wholly clear from an antichristian spirit and the fruits of it....
And as the church of Rome will have a large share in the cup of
indignation and wrath which will be poured out, so all the Christian
world will have a distinguished portion of it: as the inhabitants of it
are much more guilty than others. There is great reason to conclude that
the world, particularly that part of it called Christian and Protestant,
will yet make greater and more rapid advances in all kinds of moral
corruption and open wickedness, till it will come to that state in which
it will be fully ripe and prepared to be cut down by the sickle of
divine justice and wrath."

Mr. O. Scott (Wesleyan Methodist) says: "The church is as deeply
infected with a desire for worldly gain as the world. Most of the
denominations of the present day might be called _churches of the
world_, with more propriety than churches of Christ. The churches have
so far gone from primitive Christianity that they need a fresh
regeneration--a new kind of religion."

Said T. DeWitt Talmage: "I simply state a fact when I say that in many
places the church is surrendering, and the world is conquering.... There
is a mighty host in the Christian church, positively professing
Christianity, who do not believe the Bible, out and out and in and
in.... Oh! we have magnificient church machinery in this country; we
have sixty thousand American ministers; we have costly music; we have
great Sunday-schools; and yet I give you the appalling statistics that
in the last twenty-five years, laying aside last year, the statistics of
which I have not yet seen,--within the last twenty-five years the
churches of God in this country have averaged _less than two conversions
a year_ each! There has been an average of four or five deaths in the
churches. How soon, at that rate, will this world be brought to God? We
gain two; we lose four. Eternal God! what will this come to?"

Bishop Roberts said: "The popular religion of this country is not the
religion of the New Testament. It has some of its features but not all.
It is lacking in grand fundamental elements. It answers many good
purposes--restrains, refines, elevates, and gives to society a high
grade of civilization; but fails to secure the great end which
Christianity is designed to accomplish--the salvation of the soul. It
dazzles but to blind, it promises but to deceive; it allures by worldly
considerations to a heaven of purity, which no worldling can enter; it
gives to its votaries, who long to eat of forbidden fruit, the assurance
of impunity from the threatened evils, and leads them on by siren
strains from the Paradise of purity into the broad road which ends at
last in the blackness of the darkness of an eternal night of despair!"

Says the Golden Rule: "The Protestants are outdoing the Popes in
splendid, extravagant folly in church building. Thousands on thousands
are expended in gay and costly ornaments to gratify pride and a wicked
ambition, that might and should go to redeem the perishing millions!
Does the evil, the folly, and the madness of these proud, formal,
fashionable worshiper, stop here? These splendid monuments of Popish
pride, upon which millions are squandered in our cities, virtually
exclude the poor for whom Christ died, and for whom he came especially
to preach."

The report of the Michigan Yearly Conference, even as long ago as 1851,
published in the True Wesleyan of Nov. 15, says: "The world, commercial,
political, and ecclesiastical are alike, and are together going in the
broad way that leads to death. Politics, commerce, and nominal religion,
all connive at sin, reciprocally aid each other, and unite to crush the
poor. Falsehood is unblushingly uttered in the forum and in the pulpit;
and _sins that would shock the moral sensibilities of the heathen, go
unrebuked in all the great denominations of our land_. These churches
are like the Jewish church when the Savior exclaimed, 'Woe unto you,
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.'"

Robert Atkins, in a sermon preached in London, says: "The truly
righteous are diminished from the earth, and no man layeth it to heart.
The professors of religion of the present day, in every church, are
lovers of the world, conformers to the world. Lovers of
creature-comfort, and aspirers after respectability. They are called to
_suffer_ with Christ, but they shrink even from reproach. Apostasy,
_apostasy_, APOSTASY, is engraven on the very front of every church; and
did they know it, and did they feel it, there might be hope; but alas!
they cry 'We are rich, and increased in goods, and stand in need of

I have by no means exhausted the supply of similar testimonies of
Protestants now before me, but for lack of space I must conclude. In the
face of these amazing facts can any one deny that Protestantism is a
part of great Babylon and is in a fallen condition?

"The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her
delicacies." A certain writer on this text has said: "Who take the lead
in all the extravagancies of the age? Church-members. Who load their
tables with the richest and choicest viands? Church-members. Who are
foremost in extravagance in dress, and all costly attire?
Church-members. Who are the very personification of pride and arrogance?
Church-members. Where shall we look for the very highest exhibition of
the luxury, even show, and pride of life, resulting from the vanity and
sin of the race? Answer, To a modern church-assembly on a pleasant
Sunday." Though this writer interpreted the text literally, yet he spoke
a vast amount of truth, as every one knows.

Consider, too, the wickedness carried on everywhere in sect Babylon
unrebuked, with the preachers ofttimes in the lead. Shows, festivals,
frolics, grab-bag parties, cake-walk lotteries, kissing-bees, etc., etc.
If the apostle were here to-day and we should inform him of a modern
church entertainment where a bared female foot, projecting from beneath
a curtain, was sold to the highest gentleman bidder, who had the
privilege of kissing its owner and taking her to supper, he would
probably answer, "Have I not told you, 'Babylon is fallen'?" If his
attention was called to the fact that the members of a prominent church,
in a novel entertainment, displayed the likeness of a donkey, minus the
tail, while the members one by one were blindfolded, and, amid the
uproarous laughter of the crowd assembled, were given the detached part
to see who could place it the nearest where it belonged, he would say
with double emphasis, "_Have I not told you_, 'BABYLON THE GREAT IS
The "abominations" are by no means confined to the _mother_ in the
Revelation, but are also to be found in abundance in connection with her
harlot daughters.

4. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of
her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that
ye receive not of her plagues.

5. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath
remembered her iniquities.

6. Reward her even as she rewarded yon, and double unto her
double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled
fill to her double.

7. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously,
so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart,
I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

8. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and
mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire:
for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

Here we have a number of important truths brought before us--first, that
God had a people in Babylon who up to this time were free from her
contaminations; second, that they received a positive call from heaven
to "come out"; third, that all who refused to obey the heavenly command
would become partakers of her sins and receive of her plagues; fourth,
that those who came out were to pour the strongest judgments upon
Babylon--"reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her
double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled, fill to
her double." It is evident that the "torment and sorrow" which God's
people give Babylon after their departure is not a temporal
retaliation--for they never indulge in such, and the Word of God forbids
it--but is altogether of a spiritual nature; hence the fierce judgment
they inflict is executing the Word of truth, which brings to light all
the wickedness and abominations contained therein. "Death, and mourning,
and famine" only remain. This symbolizes that all spiritual life has
departed, while famine and mourning are left. That such is the actual
fact is shown by the following lamentation of the late Bishop R.S.
Foster concerning his own sect, the Methodist Episcopal:

"The ball, the theatre, nude and lewd art, social luxuries, with all
their loose moralities, are making inroads into the sacred enclosure of
the church; and as a satisfaction for all this worldliness, Christians
are making a great deal of Lent and Easter and Good Friday, and church
ornamentations. It is the old trick of Satan. The Jewish church struck
on that rock; the Romish church was wrecked on the same; and the
Protestant church is fast reaching the same doom.

"Our great dangers as we see them, are assimilation to the world,
neglect of the poor, substitution of the form for the fact of godliness,
abandonment of discipline, a hireling ministry, an impure gospel, which
summed up is a fashionable church. That Methodists should be liable to
such an outcome, and that there should be signs of it in a hundred years
from the 'sail-loft,' seems almost the miracle of history; but who that
looks about him to-day can fail to see the fact?

"Do not Methodists, in violation of God's Word and their own discipline,
dress as extravagantly and as fashionably as any other class? Do not the
ladies, and even the wives and daughters of the ministry, put on 'gold
and pearls and costly array'? Would not the plain dress insisted upon by
John Wesley and Bishop Asbury, and worn by Hester Ann Rodgers, Lady
Huntington, and many others equally distinguished, be now regarded in
Methodist circles as fanaticism? Can any one going into the Methodist
church in any of our chief cities distinguish the attire of the
communicants from that of the theater and ball-goers? Is not worldliness
seen in the music? Elaborately dressed and ornamented choirs, who in
many cases make no profession of religion and are often sneering
skeptics, go through a cold artistic or operatic performance, which is
as much in harmony with spiritual worship as an opera or theater. Under
such worldly performances spirituality is frozen to death.

"Formerly every Methodist attended class and gave testimony of
experimental religion. Now the class-meeting is attended by very few,
and in many churches abandoned. Seldom the stewards, trustees and elders
of the church attend class. Formerly nearly every Methodist prayed,
testified or exhorted in prayer-meeting. Now but very few are heard.
Formerly shouts and praises were heard; now such demostrations of holy
enthusiasm and joy are regarded as fanaticism.

"Worldly socials, and fairs, festivals, concerts and such like have
taken the place of religious gatherings, revival meetings, class and
prayer meetings of earlier days. How true that the Methodist discipline
is a dead letter! Its rules forbid the wearing of gold or pearls or
costly array; yet no one ever thinks of disciplining its members for
violating them. They forbid the reading of such books and the taking of
such diversions as do not minister to godliness, yet the church itself
goes to frolics and festivals and fairs, which destroy the spiritual
life of the young, as well as the old. The extent to which this is now
carried on is appalling. The _spiritual death it carries in its train_
will only be known when _the millions it has swept into hell_ shall
stand before the judgment.

"The early Methodist ministers went forth to sacrifice and to suffer for
Christ. They sought not places of ease and affluence, but of privation
and suffering. They gloried not in their big salaries, fine parsonages,
and refined congregations, but in the souls that had been won for Jesus.
Oh, _how changed!_ A hireling ministry will be a feeble, a timid, a
truckling, a timeserving ministry, without faith, endurance, and holy
power. Methodism formerly dealt in the great central truth. Now the
pulpits deal largely in the generalities and in popular lectures. The
glorious doctrine of entire sanctification is rarely heard and seldom
witnessed in the pulpits."

This lengthy quotation shows clearly the spiritual condition of
Methodism, and certainly she is no worse than the rest. God is calling
his people out of "all the places where they have been scattered in the
cloudy and dark day." Ezek. 34:12. Those who refuse to walk in the light
will go into darkness. God help people to "flee out of the midst of
Babylon, and deliver every man his soul."

9. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication
and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for
her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

10. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas,
alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour
is thy judgment come.

11. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over
her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

12. The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones,
and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and
scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory,
and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and
iron, and marble,

13. And cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense,
and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and
sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

14. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from
thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed
from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

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