1. And there came one of the seven angels that had the seven vials and spoke with me, saying unto me, Come; I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot, that sitteth upon many waters; 2. With whom the kings of the earth have committed whoredom, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her whoredom. 3. And he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and inwrought with gold, and precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and uncleanness of her whoredom.
5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of whoredoms and abominations of the earth. 6. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus; and when I saw her, I wondered with great wonder. 7. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and the ten horns. 8. The beast that thou sawest, was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss, and to 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, seeing the beast that was and is not, and yet is. 9. This is the mind that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, where the woman sitteth upon them.
10 And they are seven kings; five have fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he is come, he must remain a short time. 11. And the beast that was, and is not, is himself the eighth, and is of the seven; and he goeth into perdition. 12. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom; but they receive authority as kings one hour with the beast. 13. These have one mind, and they shall give over their power and authority unto the beast. 14. These shall fight with the Lamb; but the Lamb shall overcome them; for He is the Lord of lords and King of kings; and they who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful. 15. And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples and multitudes, and nations and tongues. 16. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her up with fire. 17. For God gave into their hearts to do His mind, and to do one mind, and to give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be consummated. 18. And the woman whom thou sawest is the great city that hath a kingdom over the kings of the earth.
Concerning the Roman Catholic religion: It is described in what manner it had falsified the Word, and thence had perverted all the truths of the church (verses 1-7); how it had falsified and perverted them with those who were subject to its dominion (verses 8-11); that it was less with those who had not thus subjected themselves to its dominion (verses 12-15). Concerning the Reformed: That they had withdrawn themselves from the yoke of its domination (verses 16-17); concerning its domination still (verse 18).
Verse 1. “And there came one of the seven angels that had the seven vials, and spoke with me”
Influx and revelation now from the Lord out of the inmost of heaven, concerning the Roman Catholic religion.
“Saying unto me, I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters,”
Revelation concerning that religion as to its profanations and adulterations of the truths of the Word.
Verse 2. “With whom the kings of the earth committed whoredom,”
It has adulterated the truths and goods of the church which are from the Word.
“And the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her whoredom,”
Insanity in spiritual things from the adulteration of the Word with those who are in that religion.
Verse 3. “And he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness,”
He was carried in a spiritual state to those with whom all things of the church were devastated.
“And I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy,”
Religion founded upon the Word profaned by them.
“Having seven heads and ten horns,”
Intelligence from the Word, holy at the beginning, afterwards none, and at length insanity, and much power from the Word continually.
Verse 4. “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet,”
The celestial Divine good and Divine truth, which are of the Word, among them.
“And inwrought with gold and precious stones,”
Spiritual Divine good and Divine truth, which are of the Word, with them.
The knowledges of good and truth, which are of the Word, with them.
“Having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and uncleanness of her whoredom,”
Religion from the holy things of the Word profaned, and from its goods and truths defiled by direful falsities.
Verse 5. “Upon her forehead written, Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of whoredoms and abominations of the earth,”
The Roman Catholic religion, as to its interior quality, which is concealed, that from its origin, from the love of dominating, from the love of self over the holy things of the church and over heaven, and thus over all things of the Lord and His Word, it has defiled and profaned the things which are of the Word and thence of the church.
Verse 6. “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus,”
Religion insane from adulterated and profaned Divine truths and goods of the Lord, of the Word, and thence of the church.
“And when I saw her I wondered with great wonder,”
Astonishment that that religion is such interiorly, when yet it appears otherwise exteriorly.
Verse 7. “And the angel said unto me, Wherefore dost thou wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and the ten horns,”
The disclosure of what the things which precede and were seen signify.
Verse 8. “The beast which thou sawest was, and is not,”
The Word acknowledged as holy with them, and yet really not acknowledged.
“And is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go into perdition,”
Deliberation at different times in the Papal Consistory respecting the reception and reading of the Word by the laity and the common people, but rejected.
“And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world, seeing the beast which was, and is not, and yet is,”
The amazement of those who are of that religion, all who from its establishment have aimed at dominion over heaven and earth, that the Word, although thus rejected, still is.
Verse 9. “This is the mind that hath wisdom,”
This is the interpretation in the natural sense, but for those who are in the spiritual sense from the Lord.
“The seven heads are seven mountains, where the woman sitteth upon them (verse 10): and they are seven kings,”
The Divine goods and Divine truths of the Word, upon which that religion is founded, destroyed in time, and at length profaned.
“Five have fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he is come, he must remain a short time,”
All the Divine truths of the Word have been destroyed except this one, that all the power in heaven and in earth was given to the Lord; and except another, which has not yet come into question, but will not remain, which is, that the Lord’s Human is Divine.
Verse 11. “And the beast, that was, and is not, is himself the eighth, and is of the seven, and he goeth into perdition,”
The Word, as explained above, is the Divine good itself, and that it is the Divine truth; and that it is taken away from the laity and the common people, lest the profanations and adulterations made in it by their leaders should appear, and they should on that account recede.
Verse 12. “And the ten horns are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom,”
The Word as to power from Divine truths with those who are in the kingdom of France, and are not so much under the yoke of the Papal dominion; with whom however there has not yet been formed a church fully separated from the Roman Catholic religion.
“But they receive authority as kings one hour with the beast,”
The Word has power with them, and they by the Word are as if they were in its Divine truths.
Verse 13. “These have one mind, and they shall give their power and authority to the beast,”
They acknowledge unanimously that government and dominion over the church are solely through the Word.
Verse 14. “These shall fight with the Lamb, but the Lamb shall overcome them; for He is the Lord of lords and King of kings,”
The Lord’s combat with them concerning the acknowledgment of His Divine Human, because in it the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and is also the Word.
“And they who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful,”
They who approach and worship the Lord alone are they that come into heaven, as well they who are in the externals of the church as they that are in its internals and inmosts.
Verse 15. “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples and multitudes, and nations and tongues,”
They are under the Papal dominion, but in the truths of the Word variously adulterated and profaned by that religion, who are of its varieties of doctrine and discipline, and its varieties of religion and confession.
Verse 16. “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the harlot,”
The Word as to power from Divine truths with the Protestants, who have altogether cast off from themselves the yoke of the Papal dominion.
“And shall make her desolate and naked,”
They will put off from themselves its falsities and evils.
“And shall eat her flesh, and burn her up with fire,”
That from hatred they will condemn and destroy from among themselves the evils and falsities which are proper to that religion, and will hold that religion itself accursed, and will blot it out from among them.
Verse 17. “For God gave into their hearts to do His mind, and to do one mind, and to give their kingdom unto the beast,”
Judgment with them from the Lord, that they should altogether repudiate and hold accursed the Roman Catholic religion, and should destroy and root it out from among themselves; and the unanimous judgment, that they should acknowledge the Word, and should found the church upon it.
“Until the words of God should be consummated,”
Until all the things which have been foretold concerning them shall be fulfilled.
Verse 18. “And the woman whom thou sawest is the great city that hath a kingdom over the kings of the earth,”
The Roman Catholic religion reigns as to doctrine in the Christian world, and also still in some measure among the Reformed, although they are not under the Papal dominion.
Author: Emanuel Swedenborg (Apocalypse Revealed)
THE WOMAN SEATED ON THE SCARLET BEAST,
THAT WAS, AND IS NOT,
AND YET IS MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT.
And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 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 (Rev. xvii. 7, 8).
HOW beautiful is the character and how divine is the office of true religion! The soul needs its purities, its strengths and its peace; and when true to its own noble and sacred nature, none could resist its claims to obedience or its rationality. As the Scriptures state in the combined pages of the Old and New Testaments, what can be more simple or more sublime?
In the Old Testament, both in the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets, nothing can be grander than its utterances.
And the Lord passed by before him and proclaimed: The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth.
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works (Ps. cxlv. 9). O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments; then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea (Isa. xlviii. 18). He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God (Micah vi. 8).
Who can decry or resist the principles of religion as thus presented? In the New Testament, when they are re-stated, the elements are really the same. Applied to man in circumstances more deplorable, they are adapted more tenderly to his condition. The Lord is still the One Great Sustainer; but now a Shepherd seeking and succoring His strayed and perishing sheep; a Savior of all men, the Universal Friend, Who says: Whosoever will come unto Me, I will in no wise cast him out.
The life required is the same. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
How tenderly do the Apostles unfold the same great and gracious principles. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep, himself unspotted from the world (Jas. i. 27).
This is the true ideal of religion, and accompanied by the truths through which men are to be reformed, transformed, and regenerated, until front a spirit of love they will carry out the Christian life. Who can do otherwise than admit the sacred worth of religion?
Religion, what treasures untold
Reside in that beautiful word;
More precious than silver and gold,
Or all that this world can afford.
Why, then, do we find so great a number of objectors and antagonists? Evil-minded persons of course we might expect would resist, because they do not wish to obey.
But no candid mind that such is the description of all those who stand aloof and declare they do so because they do not discern those virtues in the adherents or religion which they have a right to expect.
The history of the Church is undoubtedly delineated prophetically in this Book of Revelation. Come up hither, it said to John, and I will shew thee things that shall be hereafter (Rev. iv. 1).
What was shewn has been only dimly understood, because interpreters have too much regarded the disclosures as applicable to external things–the rise and fall of monarchies, and changes in the political condition of mankind.
We should, however, keep steadily in mind the Saviors words: My kingdom is not of this world. The Church of God is the object of especial Divine care, and can co-exist and flourish under any form of earthly government.
The scenes beheld by the Apostle John were spiritual scenes, beheld in the spiritual world. The rule for understanding these is laid down by the Apostle Paul: Which things also we speak, not in the words which mans wisdom teacheth: comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1 Cor. ii. 13).
The things seen were spiritual, and they are to be compared with spiritual things, with the changes and the conditions of the Church, as thereafter they would be.
Two great and monstrous forms were beheld. Firstly, the great red dragon, and the two beasts which obtained authority and power from him.
Secondly, an enormous woman, gaudily attired, obtaining power over the kings of the earth, ostentatiously parading her admiration for mystery, drunken with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus, and called Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.
We have already seen that the dragon and his beasts represent that unhappy form of religion, in which much is made of faith and dogma, but in which much is made of faith and dogma, but in which the heart and life are unchanged. Selfishness is there still. It is only a serpent with wings; and because love and charity are almost overlooked, society remains a spotted and checkered mixture, fair enough in many respects, but liable to dangerous and terrible out-breaks of violence and malignancy, spotted like a leopard, and with a leopards malignant humor.
It is that dangerous form of the Protestant religion of which Wesley wrote: We may learn hence how great watchfulness they need who desire to be real Christians, considering what a state the world is in. May not each of them well say:
Into a world of ruffians sent,
I walk on hostile ground;
Wild human bears, on slaughter bent,
And ravening wolves surround.
The woman will represent another department of the Church, and the prostitution of religion by the lust of power and gain.
The very center of religious progress is humility. The very soul of all evil, the master-passion, is unchecked self-love. Without subduing this, and installing a spirit of lowliness in its place, there can be no saving religion. Hence, the Lord commenced His teaching with Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. How carefully the Lord inculcated this in every form. When James and John, from outraged pride, were for calling down fire from heaven to burn the village that would not receive them, Ye know not, He said, what spirit ye are of.
When the twelve disputed among themselves which should be greatest, how tenderly, but yet how emphatically, He earned them against the spirit of domination.
Jesus called them unto Him, and said: Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many (Matt. xx. 25, 26).
He placed Himself, the King of Saints, as their model, as the One Who was meek and lowly in heart.
While the Church was in its days of early purity, genuine Christians were meek and humble men, patterns of whatsoever things, as the Apostle Paul said, are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report (Phill. iv. 8).
When, however, political importance was granted to the Church, and earthly prosperity was attained, vile self crept in. The spirit of Him Who made Himself poor that He might save the world was altogether forgotten, and ambition broke out in every direction. History records the sad change of spirit which troubled the Church, and turned those who pushed themselves forward, amongst the meek followers of the crucified Redeemer, into turbulent self-seekers, quarrelsome creed-makers, and grandiose claimants of pompous and profane titles.
According to the Savior, the Christians who are humblest and most childlike are the greatest–that is, the best. But it is not so now. Who shall be greatest, the clergy or the people? This was soon settled.
Every real Christian, according to apostolic teaching, is a Church in miniature–he is a king and a priest. A few in a house formed a larger Church, and every minister was a bishop or overseer to guide the flock. But ambition soon determined, whatever the number of heavenly-minded disciples, there was no church, where there was no bishop.
Who shall be greatest came up again. Were all bishops equal, or was not the bishop of the Emperors city a much greater man than the rest. Worldly time-servers decided that he was, and so a certain extra greatness was claimed for the Bishop of Rome; and when the Emperor removed to Constantinople, the bishop of that city claimed to be the greatest–the universal bishop.
The storm of self-seeking commenced again. They denounced each other, they excommunicated each other and so from century to century the dreadful swelling of the lust of power continued, until the professed Church of the Lord Jesus, with its dissensions, persecutions, wars, and cruelties, became rather an image of the lower kingdom than the peaceful fold of a heavenly flock.
The shocking spectacle became common of Pope excommunicating Pope, two or three Popes at a time. Council condemned Council. Pope against Council, and Council against Pope. Bishops and archbishops going out to war. Popes appointed from among the worst of men, appointed by the lewdest of women. Desolation reigning everywhere. The words of the prophet were realized again: How is the faithful city become a harlot!
It was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers (Isa. i. 21).
This had been the career of Babylon of old. In its early and purer days it had enjoyed heavenly states, divine gifts, and was a great light-bearer (Lucifer), son of the morning.
But Babylon became infatuated by the lust of power. They said in their heart: I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the Most High (Isa. xiv. 12-14). They said, I shall be a lady for ever. I am, and there is none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow: neither shall I know the loss of children (Isa. xlvii. 7, 8).
This was Babylon of ancient time, and John was shewn that there would again be a Babylon in Christendom History shows how thoroughly it has been realized.
The same vaunting of itself as the Eternal City has distinguished Papal Rome. The same incessant craving for dominion, the same opposition to the spirit of true religion, and to the cultivation and spread of truth, especially of truth spiritual and divine.
Light is the glorious claim of true religion–light, truth, and freedom for every man. I am the Light of the World; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness. Let thine eye be single, and thy whole body shall be full of light. Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord has arisen upon thee. Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
But mystery is the mark of Babylon; Mystery is on her forehead. The people must bow down their reason to the mysteries of the Church.
The Scriptures teach that God is light; but Babylon teaches that He is an incomprehensible and inscrutable mystery. It is clear that He is three persons, each of whom is God and Lord BY HIMSELF, but a great mystery how He is one.
The Scriptures are full of mysteries, and the people must not read them. At some former periods this was forbidden on pain of death. The worship of God is a mystery, and must be done in an unknown tongue.
It is a great mystery how a little wafer, after a few words of a priest, while every chemical property it had before remains, and it would as soon be devoured by a mouse as before, is still no longer bread, but the body, blood, and Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is a vast mystery how a sinful man, who can no more see into the heart of his professed penitent than the penitent can see into his, can yet forgive him his sins, and pretend to admit him into heaven.
The true term for these, and crowds of other enigmas of Babylon, is not mysteries, but falsities.
Such mystery tends to keep the mind in bondage, and has been sustained for that purpose by all who believe that ignorance is the mother of devotion. But the Word of the blessed Savior teaches: If the truth shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
From the commencement of these sad declensions, after charity had waxed cold and iniquity had abounded, in the Nicene age, in the fourth century, by successive increase of the lust of power, Christian simplicity, virtue and truth decayed, until every abomination became familiar and
general among the highest dignitaries of the Church of Rome.
Constant frauds were practised and connived at to obtain increased power. Forgeries, such as the forged decretals of Isodore; continuous wars against the emperors and against each other; persecutions such as those in the Netherlands against the Waldenses, Albigenses, and in France and Germany; the constant villanies of the Inquisition, and the impure lives of the chiefs of the Church, proclaimed and described by Romish writers themselves, show that there was no longer a Church the wife of the Lamb, but the Mother of Abominations. There were, says Archbishop Genebrard, of Aix, in 150 years, fifty popes so dissolute, that they ought rather to be called apostates than apostolic.
Of these times, another Roman author, in the Annals of Buronius, exclaims: How horrible was the aspect of the Roman Church during the domination of the most infamous courtesans, who disposed of the Holy See at their pleasure, made bishops, and, what is still more horrible and wicked, placed their lovers in the chair of St. Peter.
Perhaps its worst period was just before the Reformation, when the vile Spaniard, Borgia, became Pope Alexander VI. in 1492. He has been depicted by many writers as probably the worst and most polluted man of his time, and he caused Savonarola, one of the best, to be burnt alive, not being able to bear the pure and noble faithfulness of the preacher.
This Pope was called by the Cardinals themselves, as recorded by Sismondi, the simoniacal, incestuous, and poisoning Pope.
Doubtless in the Romish Church there have been myriads of excellent men and women, sincere worshipers of God, and self-denying benefactors of men, souls whom nothing could pervert; and so there are at the present day. These nurse the few truths they have, and cultivate in themselves the spirit of goodness and heartfelt devotion. These doubtless will be welcomed in heaven, for they are heavenly.
But the Romish system, as developed for a thousand years, and as it exists, though crippled and decaying, at the present day, no just and well-informed mind can doubt answers exactly to the religion of mystery, the mother of false doctrines (harlots), and of the abominations of the earth. What other system has committed fornication as she has with the kings of the earth, promising to keep their subjects obsequious to their rule, good or bad?
What system has arrayed itself as she has with purple and scarlet color, decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication?
To reign over all the kings of the earth (v. 18) has been the avowed and grand aim of the Papal system. To gratify her craving for power over the souls, and thence over the bodies of men, she has mixed paganism, lying, legends, superstitious mummery, and allowances for guilt of every kind, with immense talent and cunning, surrounding the whole with a thin veil of Christian names and perverted quotations, but totally overlooking the indispensable Christian duty, Ye must be born again. Ye must, above all things, put on charity, which rejoices in the truth, and is the bond of perfectness.
While John looked with astonishment and horror at this amazing product of a prostituted Christianity, the angel said: I will tell thee the mystery of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten hems. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the abyss (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.
It has often, and justly, been urged that it is an evidence of the imperishable divinity of religion, that it has survived all its perversions and all the crimes that have been committed in its name.
So it is with the Word of God. It has been garbled, perverted by tradition, made the instrument of a thousand wrongs, tortures and torments, made to bear systems utterly repugnant to its nature, a fierce Calvinism and a despotic Popedom. It has been rejected and despised, and yet it exists and comes forth to overthrow what is repugnant to it, to triumph and restore. In Ps. xlv. 4, as properly translated, it is written, Ride prosperously on the Word of Truth. It was represented by the beast made to carry this monstrous woman.
The Word of God, in the early ages of Christianity, was the universal teacher. It was read, and owned and loved as the holy seed–the divine armor–the food of the soul–the means of regeneration–the inspired Scripture, which furnished the man of God thoroughly for every good work.
Out of it the few texts were taken which laid the foundation of the Papal system: Thou art Peter, and upon this rock (petra, not Peter) I will build My Church; and a few others, but twisted and perverted against the whole tenour of the Scriptures, which would be seen if the Divine Book remained familiar with the people. So it was gradually withdrawn, and became unknown. To them, IT WAS NOT. Hidden away in the libraries of a few monasteries, shackled, and forbidden to be read, there was no power, it was thought, that could shake a system in which man was put in the place of God, mystery in the place of truth, and ceremony and ritual instead of enlightened worship.
But the Word was not really destroyed; it was only hidden. They durst not destroy it, for their few passages were their only prop.
Luther found the Word in the library of his monastery, and saw how contrary its teaching was to the dark corruptions everywhere prevailing, the indulgences for sin, and the mummeries called the Church. His appeals to righteousness and truth woke up other learned and sympathetic souls, and the Word was translated for the people, never to be lost again. IT YET IS. Its re-appearance was like morning light over the world.
The animal upon which the woman sat is said to be full of names of blasphemy, not because the Word is really so, but while this impious woman, the lust of spiritual power, rides upon it, every part is perverted, and is made to speak the very opposite of what it really teaches.
It blasphemes against God and against His kingdom, against man, and his most glorious powers and progress. When brought out, and restored to its proper use, it will destroy the harlot (see v. 16). 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.
The seven mountains represented by the seven heads of the animal are all the holy affections which the Word develops. Mountain, in a good sense, corresponding to exalted heavenly love, and seven to what is sacred and complete, as in the case of the seven candlesticks (Rev. i. 13); the seven stars (Rev. ii. 1); the seven lamps of fire before the throne (Rev. iv. 5); the seven seals (Rev. v. 1); the seven horns, and the seven eyes of the Lamb (Rev. v. 6).
The seven kings represent the governing truths of religion connected with the exalted affections represented by the seven mountains. Five are fallen, means that the greater part are rejected; one signifies that Jesus is still acknowledged; and when they are shown that He is Jehovah as a glorified Divine Man, they will look at it with favor at first, but soon reject it. The other is not yet come, and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
The ten horns mean the powers of the Word when its truths are known. Thus the Psalmist: I said unto the fools Deal not foolishly, and to the wicked Lift not up the horn (lxxv. 4). All the horns of the wicked shall be cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted (v. 5.) The Lamb is said to have seven horns, meaning that He is perfect in the Divine powers which can advance truth and goodness in the Church, and among men.
The beast that was, and is not, is declared to he the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition, means that the Word; which is full of Divine goodness, though rejected by the old Papal system, as no longer necessary, the Pope being infallible, will yet make a new beginning. To the lovers of Papal extravagances and superstition the Word will be more and more rejected, until they have entirely renounced it. What can they want with the Divine Word, when they have a living infallible oracle, whom they can work at pleasure? Yet if they speak not according to this WORD, it is because there is no light in them (Isa. viii. 20). IT YET IS. Seven completes one range of progress, and then begins afresh.
It will be the eighth, and was the very life of the former seven. The stone cut out without hands will become a great mountain (of goodness), and fill on the whole earth (Dan. ii. 35).
The Word of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, and none shall hurt nor destroy in all God’s holy mountain (Isa. xi. 9).
Oh, yes. IT YET IS, and the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. iv. 12). Superstition, darkness, and despotism are yet to fly before it.
The powers of the Word, the ten horns, which have been little regarded, will become accepted, and they will make men earnest. Their possessors will at first oppose the full sovereignty of the Lord Jesus, the Divine Lamb, but He will overcome them, and they will acknowledge Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. And they who then gather round Him will be called, and chosen and faithful (v. 14).
Then spurious systems of superstition will disappear. Light and love will reign. The Word YET IS, and our Bible Societies are sending it forth in one hundred and sixty languages and millions of copies to do its glorious work. The religion of being good and doing good will advance, spreading glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men. No child shall lack its education or its training; no feeble one shall fail of help. Love to God and love to man shall be carried into every office and into every work, and righteous USE be the universal law.
Those who have not been men of lovethat is, whose minds have been external and carnal, and who therefore have not been written in THE BOOK OF LIFE (OR LOVE), have wondered at the strange use that has been made of the Word of God, its having been owned and denied, used and abused, its having been made to bear a system so contrary to its own nature, and yet rising again to overthrow the very system that has juggled and sought its own ends with it. It is marvelous, and at first perplexing, even confounding. Yet men of love and humility can understand it.
They have no doubt that Divine Providence, which is infinite love and wisdom working out the most gracious ends, and Whose tender mercies are over all His works, could not have reclaimed so vast a multitude of His intelligent creatures as now constitute Christendom from their dense and dark idolatry and barbarism, but by suffering a system in which their ambitions would have play to some extent, and their multiplied idolatries would be much restricted, though altogether to abolish it was more than their imperfect states would bear.
By these Divine permissions, the northern myriads of rough, bold, hardy nations were brought nearer the light–were made familiar with as much of the Gospel as they could bear, and, united with Christendom, would form a great and powerful center, prepared in due time to receive higher disclosures of heavenly wisdom, and spread them over all the world.
The Lord said, in the days of His flesh: I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. And again: The time cometh when I will chew you plainly of the Father.
In the days of dim and imperfect Christianity, great principles were largely diffused, and immense progress was made. Slavery was continually diminished, woman raised and respected as the help meet and equal of man. Manners were constantly softened and purified, and war made less brutal and sanguinary. Human rights were increasingly respected, and the arts and the literary tastes which embellish and improve the mind were preserved, strengthened and diffused, so as to prepare the way at last for a grander diffusion everywhere of the Divine graces of love, justice, wisdom and peace among all people.
That time is now dawning among mankind, and it is opening from the Divine Word, that YET IS. For this schools are spreading in all nations, that all may read, and learn and love the things of heaven. For this sciences are opened, multiplied and spread with unparalleled abundance, and ere long will all be seen to concentrate in the science of being good and true–angel-like.
For this, roads and communications of every kind are constantly being made more easy and perfect between the different countries of the earth, that the good of each and the blessings of each may become the possessions of all, and the people of all nations may learn to banish jealousy, and know, esteem, and respect each other.
There shall be one King over all the earth (Jesus, the Divine King). In that day there shall be one Lord, and His name One (Zech. xiv. 9).
Author: JONATHAN BAYLEY—– THE MAGNIFICENT SCENES IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION (1878)