An Examination of the statements made in the "Thoughts on the Apocalypse," by B. W. Newton; and an enquiry how far they accord with Scripture.

J. N. Darby.

<08001E> File section  8.


We now arrive at a most important subject - one which has as much carried away the readers' minds with it as anything else, and has more characterised the system in those who are attached to it. I believe it entirely wrong, and I proceed to examine it with the reader, and give him the result of my own enquiry into the validity of the statements made. And here I must begin with a remark to set things in their true light. No one doubts the influence and progress of the commercial principle. "These and other connected principles have marked a character so distinctive upon the present period, as to be recognised even by those who have never thought of reading these things in the light of the testimony of God." This then is not the question.

I need not here say that for years I have been convinced and have taught that this commercial principle tends to the building up of Babylon, and enters into the scheme of Satan as an element in its structure; because its prevalence is declared here to be known of all as characterising our epoch, although unspiritual men, of course, do not judge its nature. Still, I believe that the author's view of it just ministers to Satan's object in this. And for this reason. There is a certain working suited to the passions and lusts of men such as they naturally are; another of positive deceit and influence over their souls - the more immediate and positive power of Satan. He occupies men with the former, to which they are naturally prone, and which has no apparent evil, which connects itself with social improvement, prosperity, employment of the poor even, and the progress of peaceful civilisation, in order that behind this, and by leading men to sacrifice everything to this, he may exercise over man and advance the other influence by which he may not only completely withdraw these from being accessible to the testimony of God, but thereon establish his own direct and complete authority. His object then is to occupy men entirely with the commercial part, that they may not mind the other which he is introducing behind it.

233 To this end the statements of the author directly minister. He declares the religious evil, which really is leading to apostasy and giving up of God, to be comparatively immaterial - evil perhaps, but nothing comparatively - the grand affair is commerce. Satan has raised a blind, to carry on his plans behind it. And the author says, Look at the blind, look at the blind, that is what Satan is raising, that is his grand object, and thus lead's men's thoughts away from what is. He is raising the blind, but as a blind. And the way the author has turned attention to it, and from the other, has only served his purpose. What is the fact? What has the commercial prosperity of these countries been identified with, and helped on? Religious apostasy. Because of that men have acquiesced in the renunciation of all principle. The nation has given up its public outward testimony and protest against Satan's power and lie against Christ's mediatorial glory, and, in helping that on elsewhere, has done much more than that - has relinquished, as a nation, the public profession of the truth itself.

Upon this point I believe the author's system to be as bad, as false, and as mischievous as it possibly can be - a positive help to evil. Let us now examine its exactness.

We find the usual mass of contradiction. In page 241, I find that these principles "have marked a character so distinctive upon the present period" that irreligious men recognise it. In page 251, "The leavening process is proceeding so secretly, that even they who are expecting something to arise, are expecting anything except the right." What they are expecting the author mentions "to shew how utterly unconscious men are of the real nature of the system which is silently being prepared."

I do not in the least admit the alleged order of chapters 13 and 17; nor that one ends where the other begins. One is more generally descriptive, and professes so to be, and the other more historical, giving the beast his own place during the last three years and a half. But there is no sign (as the author has given no proof) of chapter 17 historically giving what precedes chapter 13. His own system is the only proof, as of so many other things. All through the book it is the proof, instead of being proved.

234 Babylon having just been destroyed, one of the seven angels calls the prophet to give him a description of it, and thereon necessarily describes the beast on which she rode. It is only so far historical as history is necessary to its description. This may take in events preceding the last three years and a half in the general description, but does not the least exclude these, but the contrary. The beast ascends out of the bottomless pit, is the direct instrument of evil and Satan's power, and it is then he is wondered at. In a word, the chapter clearly enters into what he is, and the conduct of the horns, right on to the close, even to the war with the Lamb: only it is given as descriptive of what he is, and not as history.

If the seven heads and ten horns are emblems of concentrated authority over the whole Roman earth, the latter receive power one hour with the beast. So that it is clear, the whole period of the beast till the end is descriptively given. And it would indeed be strange, that the angel should declare the mystery of the beast that carried the woman, and leave out all the most important part of its history and conduct. But he does not, but goes on to its war with the Lamb, as well as its destruction of the woman. So that the division of the author, his whole view and system of the chapter, is fundamentally wrong.

Further, it is never said that he holds his authority from and with another. The Holy Ghost could not say so, because, previous at any rate to the last three years and a half, power is from God. She had got on the beast, and sat. there; but it is never said he holds his authority of her, nor anything like it.

Next, it is not said that the woman rides Antichrist.* That Antichrist wields the power of the beast, in its last form, I believe, as verse 11: that he may be secularly growing up to this power previously, is probable. But the beast is not Antichrist. The beast is undoubtedly the Roman empire, according to the uniform use of the word, in the prophetic scriptures. When Antichrist is distinctively mentioned, he is a little horn, whose doings characterise and absorb all the power of the beast. There is not one word of what is stated in page 236 in the Scriptures. What is stated of Antichrist distinctively is quite different. He grew up as a little horn behind or after the others. Three of the horns were plucked up by the roots before him. This at least is the power by reason of whose blasphemies the beast is destroyed. The statement of Scripture, that is, is wholly different from the statement of the author. It is practically another revelation which is put before us.

{*The only question here is if Antichrist be the little horn, if it be not rather the last civil chief of the beast.}

235 Further, "the system whereby the truth of God has been discredited" have had nothing at all to do with Babylon in the author's system. Commerce is his Babylon; and what has that to do with the systems against which the saints have previously struggled? what had commerce to do with being sanctified by the name of Christ, or with being thrust into the place of truth? Or how is Romanism leading to commercial greatness? It is the contrary, because the desire of peace for commercial greatness leads to acquiesce in anything, with the principles of Satan himself, so as to let him go on unhindered to have quiet with all.

Further, it is assumed that the ten horns include the Eastern and Western Roman empires. This is nowhere proved, ever. The kings of the North and South in Daniel 11 present a decided obstacle to this interpretation, because they attack Antichrist, instead of giving him their power, and they include the greatest part of the Eastern Roman empire.

When we read that such a system "must be constructed on principles wide as the heart of man, and therefore that all, whatever their creed, etc., are in danger," etc., this is reasoning on what it must be, instead of learning what it is. It is a fact, that the woman sits by* many waters. Her association, her connection is with them, of course to seduce them if she can. She has to do with peoples. But, while the fact is stated, the how is not to be reasoned out, but learned from the word. Now I learn from this chapter, that she is the source and mother of idolatry, and the earth's idols. For no one can doubt that this is the meaning of abominations. This was her real, and to the eye of faith, her plain character. It was written on her forehead, though it was a mystery. That commerce ministers to pride and religious indifference, I do not doubt, and, enlarging its desire, runs after that which God has not given at home, and is thus called fornication, is true. And that this will be found prevalent I doubt not, as in Tyre of old. Still, what God has written upon the forehead of this mysterious woman is idolatries. That is her character. Nor indeed is there any great mystery in men loving riches, and seeking them by commerce. That may assume unusual influence now, but it is no mystery. It has existed at Tyre, Carthage, Venice, Genoa, Holland, and elsewhere, as a supreme system. Further, it is hard to say how commerce was found to be drunken with the blood of the saints, and of the witnesses of Jesus. That commerce may help to bring in the system that will be so, perhaps more than ever, I do not doubt. But it is not the commercial system that has itself got drunk with blood.

{*I suppose that the use of "by" for "upon," which I borrow from the remark of another, will be admitted to be just. I attach, however, no importance to it, as to my present subject. It is not the same structure as upon the beast. It is locality at, or by, or near, not on anything, save as we might say London is on the Thames.}

236 I believe the complete development of this system is future; but I could not say altogether future, because she is rightful inheritress of those who have shed all the blood of saints on the earth. Jerusalem, in like manner, was guilty in a new and unusual way, but it was but the filling up the measure of their fathers.

If the mountains be taken as symbols of seats of authority, there is not a word to shew that they are systems, that is, that systems have this power. Moreover, this is the period, according to the author, when the dragon, not the beast, has power. It is at the close of this period that the dragon gives him his throne. The beast therefore ought not to have the heads at all. The complete possession ought not to be in him on any ground. It is most inconsistent to put it in him and the woman together; but at any rate it ought not to be in him, but the dragon. The crowns were on the dragon's head. Nor do I see how the Roman emperors did not possess supreme authority in all its extent. They were generals, tribunes, and pontiffs, and consuls even. Army, people, priesthood, and state authority were vested in them.

Besides, the whole statement is lame. We have only six systems given us, stretching to the utmost, and one of them is the woman herself. The commercial system is to rule, "the supremacy of commercial wealth" (page 242.) But this commercial system is one of the seven heads or mountains which the commercial system is to rule. But the truth is, the statement makes confusion of the whole symbol. The commercial system governs the beast (Antichrist, according to the author), and this becomes the executive of its power. This I can understand: but then he cannot wield it as one of his own heads; he cannot serve and govern it at the same time. Commerce controls him, and how then has he the control of commerce as an influence? And where is it proved that religion will be subservient to commerce?

237 As to the application of Zechariah 5:5, there is not the semblance of the passage being applied to it, or applicable. The prophet is prophesying about Jews and Jerusalem, and the temple, and Zerubbabel, and the candlestick, and the two olive trees. And he turns and sees the contrast of all this in the judgment of the wicked. What this has to do with England's commerce, it would be hard to tell. At least some proof should be given when the subject of the prophecy is entirely different. I have no doubt it applies to the immorality of the Jews, and the hypocritical outward form. The former is judged; the latter is put in its own real place, Babylon, or at least the land of Shinar. I apprehend "this is their resemblance" should be "this is their iniquity." But at least its application to a matter wholly foreign to the prophecy ought to be shewn.

As to the restoration of the unity of the Roman empire, in general it is admitted; at any rate what is Roman exclusively, and was not Grecian. Because the fact of the destruction of all the parts of the image by the blow on the feet supposes rather the existence, in their own national character, of certain countries which yet formed part of the Roman empire taken in its whole extent. How far they may support the king, at any rate for awhile, I do not say; but they seem to exist as distinct powers. But how, if the unity of the Roman empire has been so shattered that it is wonderful it should be restored, can it be said that the progress of human greatness in these empires has been unhindered* from the days of Nimrod?

{*See page 157.}

Nor do I the least see the control of the religious by the civil power, in the Roman earth: out of it I do most decidedly, but just the contrary within it. Popery is re-assuming its control of the civil power, though in a gentler, more subtle way as yet; while Protestantism is more completely subject to it than ever, viewed as national churches. What is the fact?

In England, Protestantism completely subjected, and Popery rising into influence and power; in Sardinia, a monastery having received the daughter of a foreign ambassador, the king avowed his inability to deliver her, because of the independence of the church, and Holland accepted the excuse; in Prussia, the Protestants modelled by the king as his army; in Scotland the same thing as to national Protestants; Protestant bishopricks struck off in Ireland; the Pope's nuncio having precedence of all ambassadors in the courts of Europe; Spain, which had thrown off the control of the Pope, subjected to it again, and no other religion allowed in the country: in a word, the entire prostration of Protestantism under the civil authority, and the entire independence and growing influence of Popery - these are the evident facts of the day. Where the Greek Church exists in Russia, the same subjection exists, but the emperor will have nothing else.

238 And I repeat, in answer to page 242, that, as the facts are historically mis-stated, so Scripture does not note these things as characterising Babylon in the time of the end. To faith, the mystery of Babylon (great and blinding as the evil influence of commerce may be, which I fully believe) - to faith, I say, the character of Babylon is, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth; and no student of Scripture is ignorant what abominations mean. The statement of the writer is wholly contrary to the positive express statement of Scripture. No one denies the commercial system exists, nor its widespread influence; but it is not that by which God characterises Babylon, though it may be that by which the devil blinds man to her character; a blindness which I believe the author's statements help on in this respect.

Next, his historical statements are all wrong. To say that the influence of Tyre, Carthage, or Venice, was not felt beyond their own immediate sphere is to deny all history. Every one knows that Tyre and Carthage, though overthrown by military power, did exercise the widest influence over nations; though God subjected it to royal or military power at that time, and did not allow commercial power to get the upper hand. Though in the case of Carthage, a real commercial empire, for a good while it balanced Rome, and was within a very little of subduing it; but God willed it otherwise. But on the other hand, any one the least acquainted with history knows that the commercial municipal liberty of the Italian republics, connected with the breaking up of feudal power by the Crusades, Venice being with Genoa ultimately the representative of this commercial influence, changed (however silently) the whole state and condition of Europe, and was the root of the modern system. The discovery of the high sea road to India, and of America, and other circumstances, took that influence away from Venice, but merely developed the whole system of which Venice with other cities had sown the seeds.

239 Further, when the author says that the Chaldean empire was not commercial, he is entirely wrong. Babylon was the grand emporium of commerce. In the East it competed, or more than competed, with Tyre. This is the more important to be remarked, because it is on this complete mistake that the author has founded many of his arguments to shew that the Babylon of the Old Testament must be the Babylon to come.*

{*When the author says (p. 243), "the maritime discovery of Velasquez in the East," I suppose he means Vasco de Gama, the Portuguese admiral, who first doubled the Cape of Good Hope, and sailed to India. I am not aware of any other Velasquez than a Spanish painter: but I am not well read on these subjects. There is another mistake more important in the tract on Zechariah 14, because it is one of a class of facts used to prove that Western Europe is spreading its constitutional principles over the whole Roman empire, England and France taking the lead. There are cited as witness, "the recent measures of the English and French governments as to Palestine," -  and "the operations of the English and French forces against the Egyptian viceroy." The fact is, that there were operations of England and Austria, with the concurrence of Russia, to destroy French influence in the Levant, which was becoming paramount through the instrumentality of the Egyptian viceroy. I have been told that the note is the editor's, not Mr. N.'s: of this I do not pretend to judge, as it passes under his name.}

Indeed, the statement of the declension of monarchical power is quite a wrong one. The monarchical power in Europe grew up out of a system of nobility founded on war, namely, the feudal system. The king never began to lean upon his nobles, but to get rid of them and put them down; and succeeded everywhere, unless partially in England, and in Poland - perhaps I may add, partially in Hungary. Elsewhere they became courtiers or nothing. The crown absorbed all, save the power of Rome, which was itself curtailed as royal authority made progress. The democratic principle then grew up, and the French revolution, and the subversion of the ancient imperial royal system by Napoleon was the consequence, the ecclesiastical system falling with it. Since then, the constitutional system of popular monarchies having grown up, the ecclesiastical system recovered its influence by being the needed stay of the crown against the popular will, as may be seen in Ireland, Spain, and France; the crown holding the balance, and using the people or human will against the church, and the church against popular will, and seeking to keep all quiet by occupying the people's minds with commercial interests and prosperity.

240 Protestantism, save so far as it approaches Popery, is incompetent to act on and lead the masses, and therefore is comparatively useless to governments. It values truth too much, and that is of no use to govern any with save those who love it. Popery, therefore, is what governments cultivate. And by encouraging commerce and filling people with commercial prosperity, principle becomes immaterial, and latitudinarianism leaves the field to popish influences and popish activity. Christians must be a separate people. The principle of dissent, which chimes in with the democratic principle, does not with the government, and will only have public power from a mixture of religious truth with human will, which can never go very far in the long run.

Hence Popery is in every way in the ascendant while the government can hold the ascendant. But its success will ruin it, and I doubt not that the popular unity which commercial enterprise will produce, and by which national feeling is necessarily so far destroyed, will help on what democracy will ultimately demand, and indeed is demanding where ripened, and which political circumstances will render necessary - the establishment of a centre of union, and this will be found in the little horn. The consequence of this will be a subversion of all the peaceable system, and military energies and conflicts, which God will terminate by judgment. All this future every one will judge of according to the light given to him. As to the present facts to which I have referred, nothing is wanting but acquaintance with what is going on to recognise the truth of what I have said. That commerce plays a great role in this, I fully believe: men's hearts being occupied with it, that the actors on Satan's part may have leisure to do their work behind it, even more than by it. But whatever appears to man's eye and fills its horizon, to faith the name on Babylon's forehead is "Mother of abominations"; on the beast's, "Blasphemy." Look at Ireland, and you will see plainly what is doing.

241 As a fact, though I believe she is in the front for the maturing of the principles which are acting in evil on the world, France is quite behind all other nations in point of the commercial system.

Germany, Belgium, nay, even Russia, have the start of her. Instead of communicating it, she is with difficulty learning it. She is behind every power in railroads, with the exception of Spain. It is Germany, not France, which competes commercially with England. She cannot even colonise conquered Algeria. So that if commerce be the prevailing system, she is not the artery of it. But then the balance of Popery and infidelity or popular will is the constant unceasing work of the State, and the whole energy and sagacity of her humanly wise king is employed to hold the balance, and to try and turn her attention to commercial prosperity in order to quiet her. Anyone who has paid the least attention to the University question there, and the recent affairs of the Jesuits there and elsewhere, cannot hesitate on this.*

{*What is it France has been furthering at Tahiti, in the Levant, at Jerusalem, at Babylon, in New Zealand? In the East every Catholic as such has by treaty the rights of a Frenchman. If any one turns Catholic, he is treated as such. The French consul is made bishop of Babylon.}

In fine, the blinding of commercial wealth I fully own; but it is blinding to something else which Satan is working out, and which will be judged. Man's lusts are in the one, and so far Satan's power; but Satan's proper work is in the other to alienate men from God, and raise them up against Him. The delusive power of Satan is religious power, open blasphemous rebellion his last effort. See 2 Thessalonians 2 also as to this, and Revelation 13:12, seq.

The Reformation, while bringing in blessed and fundamental and saving truth, by the marvellous providence of God, succeeded with nations, because Popery had enthralled them, and, secure in its empire, had imposed a burden which all groaned under, and which, moreover, was accompanied by conduct which was below the standard of the natural conscience, and the common comforts and well-being of society. The well known sale of indulgences gave the last insult to common conscience, and God, whose time was come, sent forth His truth in power. But where is this now? It is a national system to defend, not a truth which acts on conscience. Popery has mended its manners where it is seen; while Protestantism is manifested by churchism or rationalism everywhere - dares not or cannot act on its own truths. That grace may do this in detail, I do not doubt; but I here speak of the public state of things. The energy of truth produces dissent in Protestantism now, not Protestantism in contrast with Romanism; and Protestantism is in vain seeking unity by seeking not to push the truth too far, or to bury it altogether.

242 The system is to be (page 245) a ruling system. But it is precisely a morally or rather immorally influential system, which is what the author says it is not. For what is the meaning of the kings of the earth committing fornication with her, and the inhabitants of the earth being made drunk with the wine of her fornication, if it be not subserviency by immoral influence? If ever anything described the influence of Popery, it is "a system that has used kings, and made them subservient to its will." I do not mean here that ancient Popery was the full accomplishment of this prophecy, but merely to enquire into the nature of the influence spoken of. It is just the description of Popery. And I do think a man must have a bold pen to say, in the face of history, that it signally failed.* The influence then described is moral influence, a cup given to drink.

{*For an example of this signal failure the reader may consult the note on page 174 of the "Thoughts."}

But, further, it is not said that the horns were "in willing and complete subjection." It is only said that the kings of the earth committed fornication with her, and then at last the ten horns hate her - the inhabitants of the earth are made drunk. She rides the beast, not the ten horns; that is, the body of the empire is her seat; and she is carried by it, as a whole: but that is all. The inhabitants of the earth are drunk with the wine of her fornication, and the cup was filled with abominations, that is, idols. She was drunk with the blood of the saints. What has the commercial system to do with the blood of the saints? And if this be so, how is it that a system which has the fulness of God's own truth in it (page 251) will be fostered and protected as well as any other? No doubt commerce by itself (though if it reached it, it might spoil it) would let it alone, and despise it. But it cannot be "drunk with the blood of the saints," and to protect and foster the fulness of God's own truth in its proper sphere, no question of "what is truth" being allowed to disturb the harmony.

243 I have already remarked on the quiet application of Zechariah 5:4, which we find again here used as a self-evident thing. And, further, we have now the literal city Babylon identified with it as its centre, the next chapter describing the outward circumstances of this great city. Here the system and the city are confounded. It supposes the whole of the ancient Roman empire still divided into kingdoms, under the absolute control, not only of the influences of commerce, which would not be very difficult to suppose, but of a positive localised power situate in Babylon. Not merely commerce still, for that would only be a morally influential system, but a local power connected with commerce established at Babylon, to which the ten horns are to be in complete subjection. It is a half popular, half monarchic, commercial system, as definite and palpable as Popery or Mohammedanism (pages 249, 251); but to which monarchs and people are to be subject. But if it be thus an independent governing power, half monarchic, who is the monarch? Because it is not merely the influence of a system. There is a localised headship of commercial government at Babylon which controls the Roman world. Who is the semi-monarch of it? Or is it a predominant Exchange at Babylon on the Euphrates, which is the mother of abominations, which is drunk with the blood of the saints?

And Zechariah 5, which shuts up their wickedness in an ephah with a talent of lead on its mouth, and transports it to the land of Shinar, is the rising up of this immense and glorious system to the height of its supremacy, to govern all the earth. "The land of Shinar, whence civilisation first proceeded, is the place to which it will again return." Civilisation then is the commercial system, as indeed civilisation and commerce go together. But then we are told (page 242) that commerce was not found in the Chaldean empire, nor the early native monarchy of Nimrod.* How then did it proceed from Shinar? It is a little too strong, finally, to accommodate the expression of "the mystery of iniquity" to modern commerce. It may serve, however, to recall our thoughts to the passage from which it is drawn, where certainly it was not commerce as such, nor the influence of a commercial system (save as all worldliness ministers to evil) that the apostle shewed had begun in the church. What he there speaks of, however, which it is very important to remember, was the thing which was to continue, grow up, and result in Antichrist when the restraint was taken off. There was a system then, which had begun to work in the church, which was to result in the apostasy and the manifestation of the man of sin, but which certainly was not a system of commercial supremacy. The scripture speaks everywhere of quite other things as the leaven of evil.

{*See another contradiction on the same point in page 254.}

244 It is not even true that the lid of the ephah was lifted up for the servant of God, or that the ephah had any lid. All this is the play of the author's imagination. There is nothing of it in the chapter. The ephah and woman are shewn; and a talent of lead, which had been lifted up, is cast upon the mouth, and the whole carried off.

We have seen what an entire contradiction the beginning of page 253 is to the end of page 241. And I can only add, that while commerce will be found in Babylon, Babylon is never the name given by God to a commercial system. The statement is wholly unfounded. The imagination of the author has raised up a system, which is found nowhere in the word; and then he has chosen to say, God has named it Babylon, which He has never done at all. If God has so named it, I ask, where?

It is never said that Antichrist espouses it. The beast may be governed by it, whatever it be, but that is not espousing it. Nor is Antichrist spoken of. When the eighth beast is brought in, it is as destroying it. The kings of the earth commit fornication with it, but are not said to espouse it as a system. Nor is his being ridden by her said to be a step to power, nor very like it either. Nor is being ridden by anything very like espousing it, so as to get on to supreme power. Antichrist's* power is set up in destroying it.

{*Rather, the beast's power.}

Here too we may remark that "Roman" is very conveniently omitted after "prophetic" earth. The beast is the Roman earth, the ten kingdoms the self-same ten horned beast as before; but the prophetic is no longer the Roman earth. The reader must remark here that the heads of the beast are entirely different, according to the author, from the seven kings. If they are the same, all his system falls, because he makes the seven heads the systems actually existing; whereas five of the kings are fallen (the woman's sitting on seven mountains being no local allusion to a seat of authority, as elsewhere interpreted even by the author, but these same systems).

245 The seven kings are merely to direct our attention to the various forms of executive government of the prophetic earth. First, Nimrod. Then "Theocracy - the monarch was independent of, and uncontrolled by those he governed," etc. But why the monarch? They had rejected the theocracy when they asked for a king. "They have not rejected thee (says God to Samuel), they have rejected me, when I was their king." The judges and priesthood time was that of the theocracy. Though surely it is a very strange thing to introduce theocracy as an executive form of government in the prophetic earth, when it is a history of Babylon and the beast. But if you do, you cannot speak of the monarch as being this, for the reason I have given above. Nor indeed is the description here given of the Jewish royalty very like Deuteronomy 17. But if the monarch be admitted as theocratic government, certainly the judges must; and you have two forms here. Nebuchadnezzar, etc., follow. Nimrod, theocracy, Nebuchadnezzar, Persia, Greece, Caesars, six; constitutional monarchy,* seven, and Antichrist eight, who is of the seven.

{*These are the horns, however; though the whole is rather vague. For what sort of king was between the Caesars and constitutional monarchy, which has come, and is "at this present hour"? I suppose there was some sort of government. Supposing I should claim a place for feudal government, which certainly has held as conspicuous a place, and exercised as much influence in the prophetic earth, as others mentioned here?}

This subject, of course, leaves ample room for conjecture. It has been generally supposed that the seven kings had reference to the beast whose description is given in the chapter. But supposing with the author* that they do not, why are these selected from those "which have existed, or shall exist, in the prophetic earth"? What principle is followed here? During the time of Nimrod and the theocracy there was no prophetic earth as it is generally understood. That is, the term is generally applied to the scope of Daniel's prophecies - the image, for example: otherwise we have no limits to prophetic earth. All parts of the earth are mentioned in prophecy. But is "existing in the prophetic earth" applicable to geographical limits, when no prophecy had distinguished them at all, and when the subject of scriptural statement was quite different? The first two never come into the accounts of the prophetic earth. It was formed and begun by the setting aside of the second. And if we take whatever has at any time existed in these limits, then we shall clearly have much more than seven, as the Roman republic, the judges, etc. Further, the ten kings do not gladly own him as their lord numerically, for three are rooted up.

{*The beast is wholly set aside in every sense here, not only as Antichrist, but as the Roman empire. I suppose theocracy was never king in connection with the Roman empire, to say nothing of Nimrod, and Nebuchadnezzar, etc. The reader must judge how far it is reasonable to separate these seven kings from the beast whose description is given.}

246 How is the Babylonish yoke a hard yoke upon them? In page 249 their subjection was as willing as complete, and the kings of the earth mourn and bewail over her destruction. But it is to be remembered that it is not Babylon as a city they destroy (that remains the seat of Antichrist in all its local glory and riches, for it is local Babylon whose riches are described, chapter 18), it is the system. That is, the ten kingdoms and Antichrist destroy commerce and commercial supremacy; and yet Babylon's resources, its palaces, its ships, and its merchandise, will be the sinews of his strength (page 258).

Now mark what is done. They shall hate her (the whore, Babylon) and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. This means that Antichrist will preserve the city and all its wealth, ships, etc., as the sinews of his resources; only the ten kingdoms will not submit to commercial supremacy any longer. Is there really any sense in such an interpretation? Yet it is the very heart and nucleus of the author's system. This woman thus dealt with is "the sinews of his strength, and the adornment of his glory." It is by his and their treating her, as in verse 16, that she becomes so. The woman (that is, the city) is not the city when she is destroyed at all; she is the system.

If Popery were put down as a system, her resources would not continue, though the city where the chief is seated would subsist still. So here, and much more being wealth itself, if commerce be put down as a system, its flesh eaten, and it burnt with fire, how then do the resources and glory continue, and all its wealth and greatness?

247 When it is said that this is the system by which Antichrist rises into glory, I beg the reader to remember, that however worldly lusts may make men indifferent to the growth of evil, we know that it is another thing which was to grow up, and, being at last unrestrained, to produce apostasy and the wicked one. We know that what rose up as itself the source and leaven of this was not commercial supremacy - far from it. The author says, "it is not an ecclesiastical system - on the contrary, it is wholly secular."

Now I do not believe its proper description is exactly ecclesiastical, but rather idolatrous, though that be ever identified with what is ecclesiastical. But what is the proof that it is secular? It is the merchandise of chapter 18. But this, according to the author, is the city, not the system. (See note to page 258.) There is not one word which states merchandise to have anything to do with Babylon in the chapter which speaks of the system, but, on the contrary, decidedly other things; nor anywhere in connection with her, but in the chapter in which it is said she is described as existing as a city after the system is wholly destroyed. It is not merely that she keeps these things. They are never said of her in any other way or at any other time than when she is merely a city: they characterise her, when as a system she is desolate and burnt with fire. They are never mentioned when she has dominion. And again, is it with her, Babylon, the city, that the mourning kings have committed fornication? If so, how is it with the system, for that had been destroyed long before? And it is evident that chapter 18:9 is the same as chapter 17:2, be it city or system:* as it is also certain that chapter 18 is a very strange description of a person, or state of things, or city, which has been treated as chapter 17:16 describes.

{*That is, that the attempt to distinguish the chapters into system and city is a pure fiction of the author's.}

When the author says (page 259), "fornication, deliciousness, etc., as much attach to it under the lordship of Antichrist," he only exposes the absurdity of the whole system. It is with her the kings of the earth have committed fornication. Do they continue to do so with herself after they have made her desolate, and burnt her with fire? The kings of the earth have done this. It is not the wickedness which was committed in the city, but with it. It is in vain to slip out of this by saying "attach to it." But the ten horns have burnt with fire her with whom the kings of the earth did so. In page 260 the author seeks to divert the attention from Popery (though it be to be resisted) to this commercial system as the grand thing. This is the grand evil of all his theory. It directly diverts the attention from that by which Satan is morally working. I recognise the progress of commerce, its influence, its latitudinarianism, the leading part it is taking in the world's history. But in Satan's history it is otherwise, save as an instrument. His weapons are more deadly, more his own (though he may use men's lusts to make them careless about them); but this statement is just ministering to his end. Indeed, from what I have said on chapter 13 as to Antichrist, it is plain all this prosperity and gladness do not exist in his time. It is a mere drama of the author, while the true Satanic character of evil is again overlooked in the second two-horned beast.

248 As to the application of Zechariah, I have already spoken of it. That the stork of strong and rapid flight means the progress of commercial principles from west to east, those must believe who think it proved when they have read the chapter. Nothing here is adduced to prove it. Again, we have it stated to be secretly preparing, though this is hard to understand when (as we have seen) it marks distinctively the present period.

Finally, the description given in chapter 17 of the woman (when, according to the author, she is supreme in commercial supremacy) has not one word about commerce, but she is stamped by God with decidedly another character. When as a commercial system she has been made desolate and burnt with fire, then, and then only, being a city under Antichrist, she is spoken of as full of merchandise, namely, in chapter 18, when, according to the author, the commercial system has been subverted. So that it is the description of the city when the commercial system has been subverted which alone proves, or can be adduced to prove, that she is a commercial system.


Before I make any general observations, I go on to this chapter. The goodly mantle of Shinar is passed over as easily as possible with "I do not esteem," and put aside because it is a positive and plain proof that commerce did distinguish that country, so as to give a name to the most renowned articles from the earliest period. It is essential to the author to get rid of this, or some of his main arguments fail.

249 Nothing is more remarkable than the way the author, having given an opinion, afterwards cites it as a proved general rule. Thus we are told "it would be strange if Babylon were to be excepted from the general rule as to the renovation of the East." What general rule? Where is it proved? The author has said so: that is all. It is his system.

His very facts are all wrong. Egypt is not rising by the aid of Western Europe. She was disposed to rise, and France would have helped her; but England put her down. The Lord has said she shall never rise, but be the basest of kingdoms. That these Eastern nations will be upon the scene again, we all believe; but that is all Scripture says. "The like" of what "may be said of Edom, Tyre, Damascus, and the other cities of Syria"?

That commerce will do what it can there, I believe. It has attempted it already, and God confounded them by a whirlwind. But I do not dwell on these probabilities.

It is not said that the king of Babylon "sat," but that he said he would, and ascend above the clouds too, which I suppose he will hardly do. In that passage he pretends to all Christ really is. But the question is, first, whether Babylon is literally his seat; and next, supposing it is, if the system connected with it be true, and if the Babylon of Revelation be it.

First, as to the use of Isaiah 14. The statements of the author subvert themselves. In page 165 note, I read, "But when Babylon's system ceases, and Antichrist arises as the leopard, he at once gilds the scene, and, without destroying the utilities, restores the fascinations of human life."

Here we have this same person making the world a wilderness, and destroying the cities thereof.

That prophecies, based on events of immediate comfort and consolation to the people of God in their trial at the time the prophecy first alludes to, reach out to final objects of God's counsels far beyond the limits of the occasion which gives rise to them, I fully recognise - what Lord Bacon called a germinant prophecy. But to suppose that therefore there was a direct literal application of its terms to the ultimate object is a complete error. It is into this error the author has fallen, as we shall see in many examples in examining this subject.

250 That the king of Babylon is characterised in terms which find their full accomplishment in pride only in Antichrist, I believe. But can we apply the account here given to Antichrist? Clearly not; as the reader will at once see. The king of Babylon, of whom Isaiah 14 disposes, is treated in a wholly opposite manner to Antichrist. And therefore to apply it to him as to a literal king of Babylon is wholly untenable. Antichrist, or the beast whom the author treats as such (and this I do not dispute here), is cast alive with the false prophet into the lake of fire which burneth with fire and brimstone, where Satan is cast afterwards. Whereas in Isaiah 14 the souls of the monarchs in hades are represented as meeting the king of Babylon, and taunting him with the humbling fact that he was become as one of them. As to his body, it was cast out of its grave like an abominable branch, not found in burial with the glory of kings. In a word, though shamefully, the king of Babylon in Isaiah died like another man. That is, he is not the Antichrist king of Babylon whom the author makes him. The application of the passage to a future Babylon and its king literally, is contradicted by the passage itself.

But more than this, the principle of interpretation as to literalism, on which the author goes, is quite wrong too. And this it is very important to remark. I am not denying that these prophecies reach out beyond the temporary circumstances which gave rise to them; I do not doubt they do. But the author's use of them is entirely wrong, and by its abuse makes this interpretation a hindrance to the discovery of the truth, and tends to discredit the use of them for that discovery.

I do not doubt, for example, that these prophecies will be fulfilled as to Israel. But if I can shew that the forced literal interpretation of the rest is clearly wrong, I discredit the plain literal accomplishment of that which is simple, and all is thrown into doubt. If I must take the king of Babylon literally at the end of time, as here described, in order to take the first verses of the chapter so, all becomes impossible. I must spiritualise these verses, or suppose them fulfilled; because the statements as to this king are contradicted positively by what is revealed of the beast's end.

The truth is, in the midst of the immediate subject of a prophet, the Spirit of God launches out to the further and better blessings which God has in His mind; and this we have to distinguish, without saying that all the prophecy, which does not go beyond the present time perhaps in many particulars, applies to the end. It will be said, How can I distinguish? Just as I understand all Scripture, by the teaching of the Spirit of God ("the spiritual man discerneth all things"), and the use of other scriptures.

251 "I saw Satan like lightning fall from heaven." Here the Lord anticipates the whole result of the power of His name, because a few demons were cast out. Some single circumstance gives the key to, and earnest of, God's dealings in power. But that does not make all the details of what awakens the prophetic strain have a literal accomplishment in the final hour of that power.

Now, the "him and his children" with whose judgment the sweeping of Babylon with the besom of destruction is connected, is the king whose end is quite contrary to the end of Antichrist or the beast.

Further, if Babylon receives "its final visitation at the coming of the day of the Lord," it is quite clear that the day of the Lord is used in a sense which does not mean the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in judgment, but some inferior visitation, inferior as to the instrument. Because, on the author's own shewing (and I agree with him here) the destruction of Babylon takes place under the vials of God's wrath, before the Lamb, King of kings and Lord of lords, comes forth in judgment, nay, before He has received His commission to act (see page 215). So that it is some inferior instrumental visitation which destroys it, and which visitation of terror and judgment is called the day of the Lord.

This order of events is clear, for in Revelation 19 we have the celebration of Babylon's judgment, and then the marriage of the Lamb, and then the Lord comes forth on the white horse, judging and making war.

As to the sun being darkened, and the moon, the author, as we have seen in the previous examination of the book, makes them one single event introducing the Lord. Here they are accompanying signs of the day. In Joel the sun is darkened, and the moon turned to blood, before the day comes; and I suppose, if the sea in the appointed sphere becomes literally as the blood of a dead man, the moon is literally turned into blood too. But then that is before the great and terrible day of the Lord in Joel. I quite agree that the judgment of the day of the Lord has not yet come on the world. Though any signal judgment on a locality is called, anticipatively, the day of the Lord on that place in Scripture.

252 But it remains equally true that, if the final visitation of Babylon be the day of the Lord, the day of the Lord must be before the coming of the Lord; and if Isaiah 2 be this same time, what very serious considerations will arise as to the other events, and the presence of the church on earth during the day or judgment of the Lord! But my conviction is, that the author has misconceived the whole matter, both as to the signs and the day. His system of making the final day of the Lord precede the Lord's coming (for that is the effect of his statement) is clearly unsound.

But let us examine a little Isaiah 13. Now I say it is impossible for an intelligent person to read that chapter and not see that the coming up of the nations against Babylon is the day of the Lord. "They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Howl ye, for the day of the Lord is at hand;* it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore," etc. "Behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate, and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it." And after describing the signs in the heavens, etc., in the day of the Lord's fierce anger, "And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up. They shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land. Every one that is found shall be thrust through," etc. "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces." "Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them." "Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah."

{*Compare here Jeremiah 50:40-43, where the effects are ascribed to the nation from the North which are ascribed to the day of the Lord. And note, further, the king of Babylon is there when the city is visited, which is not pretended to be true of Antichrist.}

It is quite clear that "the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle." And that the coming up of these nations was the day of the Lord, though I admit that expressions may reach out in general terms (as verse 11) to further facts, as of the king of Babylon. But when Babylon is mentioned here, as quoted by the author, it is spoken of as taken by the Medes.

253 And note here, it is Babylon, not Antichrist, nor the beast. The day of the Lord is on Babylon, in whatever sense, not on the beast nor Antichrist. While further, in chapter 14 they are identified, verse 4, which they are not in the author's system, Antichrist falling at Jehoshaphat, far away from Babylon.

We will now turn to Jeremiah. If we examine Jeremiah 50 and 51 we shall see the very same thing as in Isaiah. The desolation so that none dwell there is directly attributed to the northern nation, verse 3, the full consequences of her fall by them being in view. This is the Lord's vengeance, verse 15 - they flee to their own land, verse 16 - Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had broken Israel's bones, verse 17.

And here, in the view of restoration, the Lord reaches out beyond the present mercy. It is just worthy of God, because He consulted His own thoughts in this, verse 20. Battle is in the land (it is the vengeance of the Lord's temple), the weapons of His indignation, as in Isaiah 13:5. And her day is now come, the time that Jehovah visits her. A sword is upon the Chaldeans. Therefore it shall no more be inhabited for ever, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, etc.

Behold, a people shall come from the north, and the king of Babylon waxes feeble, anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail. See Jeremiah 51:31, messengers tell the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end. Now, how does the author represent the king of Babylon, Antichrist, at this time?" I should regard the gathering at Armageddon as the result of the threatened confederacy (alluding to Jer. 51:27, 28, etc., see page 234) against Babylon."

"It," the gathering, "will doubtless be the fairest scene of collected glory that the earth had ever witnessed." "What monarch so glorious as that monarch of monarchs?" etc. (page 208). "We can see the hosts of the West and of all the prophetic earth, summoned around their mighty and indignant leader, and resting for a short moment, in all the proud consciousness of hitherto undisputed greatness, at Armageddon." Is this the poor king of Babylon, trembling in his city (see Daniel 5), whose mighty men have forborne to fight? Read only from chapter 51:27, the verse quoted by the author as the gathering of the latter day against Babylon, and then on to verse 31, and then chapter 50:41-43, and then again chapter 51:33-37, where we meet with the unfortunate word Nebuchadnezzar again, and compare it with the passages referred to in the "Thoughts"; and the reader will soon see that the statements of the author, and his application of the passages to the latter day, are a pure fiction of his imagination.

254 Babylon did fall suddenly in the night of Belshazzar's feast. Compare Jeremiah 51:39-41.

The author's Babylon had long ago been actually taken by the beast, and her system and flesh burned and consumed with fire. Nor had she been guilty of anything against the temple. The same king that had overthrown her system had defiled the temple; but she had done nothing against it. It is not true that Babylon prospered under the change. She attempted revolt, and was dismantled, and gradually decayed till she became a park for wild beasts. At the time of the fall of Babylon the whole imperial order of the world was subverted, and transferred to other hands, and Babylon ceased to be the capital of the earth. The truth is, the "suddenly" does not refer to the destruction, but to the fall. The author says "anything rather than suddenly destroyed." But it is suddenly fallen and destroyed. And if the passage be examined, it will be found that the suddenness is attributed solely to the fall. Literally: "Suddenly has fallen Babylon, and she shall be destroyed," or, prophetically, she has been destroyed.* And so the exactest translations translate it: and so does the Septuagint. Alexander attempted to restore it, and make it the seat of empire, and perished in the attempt.

{*It is from the Hebrew of Jeremiah 51:8. See also Isaiah 21:9.}

As to Hillah, I do not doubt that it is on the site of Babylon: and how do they know this? From the ruins and desolation of the place, where lions and serpents dwell. Babylon was forty-eight miles round: a small Arab place is at one corner of its site. Does that make Babylon rebuilt or inhabited? Is it not a proof of the contrary, and of its ruin? Were I to make a bungalow in the yet remaining palaces of Delhi, what would that prove of the great Mogul? Would a Coptic village at Thebes say that the city of the hundred gates was destroyed or not?

255 The insisting on the word "at" Hillah is futile, being evidently meant to designate generally the locality. Anyone who has examined the plans of Babylon which modern researches afford may easily judge of the matter. What was no doubt the ancient palace is two or three miles north of Hillah, up the river. Birs Nimrod is six miles west from the river, on the east of which Hillah is situated. Hillah is not situated between them at all, though within the limits of ancient Babylon. The surface is generally on the west side arid or marshy, and wild beasts render the visits to the ruins dangerous.

On the whole, I conclude that the system attempted to be drawn from Isaiah 13 and Jeremiah 50 and 51 is entirely refuted by the examination of the chapters themselves. That there will be a visitation of the world, which is alluded to in Isaiah 13, and which is not yet accomplished, I do not doubt. The writer's use of the expression "day of the Lord" is most surely quite wrong, and that even on his own shewing, because Babylon is destroyed in the vials, which are the wrath of God, before the Lord rises up from the Father's throne to execute judgment.

Next, as to the Revelation; in chapter 11* the great city is held to be Jerusalem: here it is taken for granted to be Babylon. Does not this lead us to call in question the precision of the application of these terms?

{*I have some doubt about the translation; but I take it as it is given in the translation, and adopted by the author.}

Next, in the statements of Isaiah and Jeremiah there is nothing at all about the city being divided into three parts, nor anything that would leave room for it according to the sudden destruction alleged. Moreover, after saying the great city was divided into three parts, it is added, "and great Babylon came in remembrance, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath." So that there is something peculiar evidently about the great city, which made it necessary to mention it and great Babylon separately; and when one is divided into three parts, the other comes into remembrance. Yet this passage is quoted to shew that the great Babylon is a city. Is it not rather a proof that there is some mystical idea attached to the great city which made it necessary to distinguish it from great Babylon? It would have been more to the point to have quoted "And the woman which thou sawest is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth." But this would not have answered, because then (chap. 17) the woman was the commercial system, which Antichrist had espoused, and which ruled the ten kingdoms; and her being the city spoils the literality of the matter as a city, though as a seat of a system we may conceive the system to go by the name of a city; but that is not the case here, because the system has entirely changed.

256 Further, what is the great suddenness of destruction on this system? First, Euphrates is dried up; so all her supplies and commerce are stopped before this. Indeed she had already been taken possession of by Antichrist, and her system and rule totally destroyed - just what Cyrus did to Babylon. Next, she is taken by the kings of the east* (by the way, the nations in Jeremiah all come from the north). Then she is divided into three parts, I suppose by the earthquake; and then she comes in remembrance before God, to give her the cup of His wrath. What is the peculiar suddenness here, such as the author presents it? and does not the passage lead one away rather from a real city? The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and great Babylon came into remembrance.

{*These kings are not allowed time to establish themselves in the enjoyment of their conquest.}

She had been Babylon the great, made desolate, naked, her flesh eaten, and she burnt with fire, by the ten horns, already at this time. She (that is, with whom the kings of the earth had committed fornication, chapter 17:2), and she that is destroyed at the end, chapter 18:9, is she with whom the kings of the earth had done so.

Further, as to Babylon of old - of course Babylon of old is not the Babylon of the Revelation. That is clear enough. Nobody thinks Revelation 18 suits the city of Nebuchadnezzar. I hardly know what was passing in the mind of the author when he reasons thus, save that he has got it so occupied with a literal city. As far as it goes it would prove that Isaiah and Jeremiah do not speak of the Babylon of Revelation, for Jeremiah speaks by name of Nebuchadnezzar, and both of his city.

But he has trodden on unhappy ground here too, in contrasting Nebuchadnezzar's city with "a city of merchants"; because the only time this expression is used, it is used of Nebuchadnezzar's city in Nebuchadnezzar's time. The Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar is specifically designated as a city of merchants, and his country as a land of traffic. On this there can be no mistake: the reader has only to read through Ezekiel 17, where the expression is found in verse 4, he will soon see what Babylon is meant. This example just shews us what all the theorising of the author is worth, and how far the system built upon such data can be trusted. Scarcely one statement is made in this long account of Babylon which is not subverted by scripture and by facts.

257 As regards the use of Babylon in the Revelation. It is certain, like all the rest of that book, that it is taken from the Old Testament prophecies, changing what was to be changed, as the description of New Jerusalem from Isaiah 60. The Jerusalem of the Revelation could be much more reasonably supposed to be the earthly Jerusalem of Isaiah, than this the earthly Babylon of that prophet and Jeremiah. There is a literal Babylon, and a mystical one; a literal Jerusalem, and a mystical one.

But to pursue the character of Babylon. It had this double character, commerce and idolatry anciently. First, it was "a land of traffic, a city of merchants"; "the emporium," as an able writer on these subjects calls it, "of the world." But Scripture suffices us; and the garment of Shinar at a very early period, and the city of merchants in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, shew us clearly for what the city was famous, as it naturally from its situation would be,* as Baghdad in a measure since. Next, it was full of idolatry. Isaiah 21:9; so Jeremiah 50:38. "It is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols." Hence in Isaiah the controversy between Jehovah and these idols is settled in judging Babylon, and begins, "Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth." Thus Babylon had been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that had made all the earth drunken: the nations had drunken of her wine; therefore the nations were mad. Jer. 51:7; compare v. 15-18.) These two points are taken up in the way of analogy. Let any reflecting Christian say which is the real full departure from God, commerce or idolatry. And as then the denial of the glory and unity of the divine Being was the aim of Satan and idolatry, so now the denial of the sole glorious and efficacious work of the Mediator is his object - of that by which God brings men back to Himself in grace.

{*So it is said, "The Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships," Isaiah 43.}

258 Hence we have the means of judging of the nature of the corruption of the mystic Babylon.

As to the merchandise, as he of leopard grace is to introduce all that characterises him in the eyes of the author, I know not why in the city taste should not be found as well as luxury. Now the description of chapter 18 is of the city. The note seeks to avoid this, by saying they are not the characteristics of her condition: but under the leopard government, when the commercial system had been destroyed, they ought to be. But the real truth is, it is all confusion.

In saying that this trade in souls is only carried on in England, because livings are sold, and thus again screening Popery, surely the writer must be wonderfully ignorant of what is going on where Romanism exists. The sale of livings is bad enough, no doubt, but it is not exactly trading in souls. But what is money for masses?*

{*Quite lately a vast theological printing concern was set up in France, which engaged to supply the priesthood with books in this way. The country priests were to say masses for people. These would come or send to the printing establishment and pay for the masses, the value of which would be sent in the desired books to the priest, who paid nothing but the saying of masses for them. The establishment sold thus the priests' masses, and paid them in books, on which they made their profit.}

As to the character of the assailants of Babylon, and another unearthly host who give the final blow after Babylon is taken by the Eastern kings, the answer is simple. The unearthly assailants come first in the prophecy, not last. That angelic power may secure success to human arms is possible, as when David hears a sound of going over the mulberry trees; and there seems something analogous in Joel also. That there is accompanying divine power is true. But it accompanies, and does not succeed. Here in Isaiah 13 it is identified with a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together. Anyone reading Isaiah 13:2-5 will see that it is impossible to make of it a temporal judgment of nations attacking first, and a direct judgment of God afterwards.

I have already remarked that making this latter the day of the Lord is untenable; because, on the author's system, the judgment of Babylon is God's wrath* before Christ's coming forth in judgment, and the day of the Lord has not this general sense with him; since, though it may set in in heaven, it is one definite limited time, and moreover marked by the Son being "invested with His appointed power" (page 103). Now the judgment of Babylon is on earth: so that the day of the Son's judgment must have arrived there. Yet it was God's wrath before the exercise of the Son's judgment. So that the whole system subverts itself.

{*It is found in the vials.}

259 Lastly, as to her being drunk with the blood of the saints, first, we must remember that the fulness of God's own truth "will" be not merely protected, but fostered" in its proper sphere by the system of Babylon. Now if, while the commercial system rules at Babylon before Antichrist's actings for himself, a testimony is raised up at Jerusalem, and she gets drunk with their blood, she must go out of her way in bitter persecution, instead of even fostering truth in its sphere. But where in Scripture is it said that there will be this testimony, called in page 6 "its closing testimony against the last forms of human evil"? "Forms" is clearly wrong, because we have seen it is a new testimony which is thus raised up, namely, the witnesses; but where in Scripture is there this bright testimony against the last form but one, namely, unsubjugated Babylon? Holding fast the truth, I find clinging to the written word in perilous times, not denying Christ's name. But I do not find in Scripture this bright closing Christian testimony. There is a call to come out of Babylon, that we may not partake of her sins. The author says, "I doubt not," but that is all the proof he gives of it.

But then there is another difficulty. Not only is this general character attached to Babylon, not only was it one main thing that characterised her: she was drunk with their blood, so that the apostle was astonished at her (not at commerce being carried from the west to the east, as is curiously alleged, page 240). It is added at the close of chapter 18, at her final destruction, "in her was found the blood of all saints." So that this attached itself specially to her on to the end. She was guilty of all the blood of saints. Whoever might be her instrument, she really was the guilty one. She inherited it; as Jerusalem had from Abel to her day, so Babylon all that, and much more. Surely it was not commerce. In Jerusalem's case it was the ecclesiastical power which was guilty, let kings or rulers have lent their hand or not. And who has been guilty in all ages of the blood of the saints, if it be not ecclesiastical power? Heaven is to rejoice over her, and the holy apostles and prophets. What had they to say to commerce? And even in the closing scene, in the final historical form of evil, and its last energies, who is it causes all to be slain that will not worship the beast? It is the second prophetic beast with horns like a lamb.

260 Hence it will not do to say "before her subjugation to Antichrist," for in her was all this blood found. It is not merely something at which we cannot wonder that such a thing should be, considering her nature, when provoked, peaceable as it naturally was; it was characteristic of her at all times, and yet the apostle was astounded to see it should be so. Nay, so was it identified with her that all the slain blood was found in her.

As to the use of Jeremiah 51:63, 64: there is nothing that I see very peculiar in the denunciation. Babylon was to sink, and not rise again. Nor did she ever, though many trials were made. Military power first, and God's providential interference afterwards, ever hindered her rising; for the judgment of God's word was upon her. But this passage rather supposes that, but for this stone attached to her, she would or might have risen, and thus subsisted though fallen. Suddenness is attributed to the ruin of Babylon in Revelation, which the author's system quite sets aside; for, as we have seen, she is taken twice, and her whole system destroyed the first time, before she is finally judged of God. Whereas in Jeremiah there is a regular account of her attack and taking like any other city: and when fallen she was never to rise again.

Taking a stone for a corner is all a mistake of the passage. Save a few foundations, Babylon was not built of stone; it is a mere figure. This is the passage: "Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord, which destroyest all the earth; and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain. And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner," etc. This speaks figuratively of the destruction of her power as a mountain, not literally of the materials of the city, which were not stone at all.

As to the Arabian not pitching his tent there, it is evidently, if the passage be examined, his making a settled encampment. It is added, "neither shall the shepherd make his fold there."

261 And the remark I may make in passing is, that the Babylon which is thus to be destroyed is the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency. The application of this to the Babylon of that day is evident. But what have the Chaldees to do with this commercial system of the ten kingdoms, which is transported with stork's wings from the west?

The author urges in the notes that Babylon cannot be an ecclesiastical system, for it would then be called adulteress, not harlot, because Israel and the church are spoken of as married. Now, let it be remembered that abominations (that is, idols) are what characterise the woman, not commerce. But as to the point itself - it is in contrast with the church. It is not the church properly speaking that is called the harlot. But as to the objection itself, it is quite impossible to say here that the church is represented as married, because her marriage is recounted in chapter 19 as subsequent to the destruction of Babylon. Paul's object was to present her as a chaste virgin to Christ. And the Lord will present it to Himself a glorious church, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. So that the church is represented, as to its actual condition, as a bride, not as married, though the figure of the love of husband and wife is used as an image of the love of Christ to the church. Nor am I aware of any passage where the church is married, though such an anticipative expression as being His wife I could suppose used by faith. Earthly Jerusalem is called the married wife. The remark therefore of the author is not only incorrect, but further, the real fact tends to confirm the doctrine he seeks to subvert by its denial.

Drunk with the wine of her fornication is not, he says, a religious yoke. But fornication is the habitual word for idolatry in Scripture, as is well known; and we have found it in ancient Babylon, which (the author says) had not commerce. How did she then, as a cup in the Lord's hand, make the nations drunk? Not by war. Her idolatry was the bane of ancient Babylon in the Lord's eye, commercial as she was. And the author must be astonishingly ignorant of what superstition is, heavy yoke as it is, to speak of it as he does, as if it did not lead more strongly than wealth itself the will and passions of men, as slaves, but as willing devoted slaves, their hearts drunken with it. Let the author go into a country where Popery sways the population, and see what the state of the mass as to it is. It is certain that fornication is the habitual term in Scripture for idolatry, and drunkenness is used for the ancient Babylonish influence; and equally certain that the author must be totally ignorant of the operation or the effect of Popery, galling as the yoke may be, to have penned such a note.

262 But the next note is important in another point of view. "This woman" "is to the city of man what the woman clothed with the sun," etc. "is to the city of God." Now it may be remarked here, that the heavenly Jerusalem is wholly excluded from relationship with Christianity; for this is what the author makes of the woman clothed with the sun. (See pages 139, 142.) The system of Babylon, or commercial supremacy, is connected with its city Babylon, and Christianity is connected with its city Jerusalem on earth. There is this difference, "when- Babylon's system is separated from its city, it perishes" (though I should think there was commercial supremacy away from Babylon, if the exchanges of our great cities govern (page 243), so that even this is quite unfounded, according to the author himself): "when Jerusalem's system is separated from its city, as it even now is, it does not perish." It is "to be united to its own city, and to be exalted in the earth." Now here we have Babylon's system connected with Babylon on earth, and Christianity as it now is connected with Jerusalem on earth as its own city. That God may reckon the children to Jerusalem by a figure during her desolation to comfort her, may be. But where this is done, as I believe it is in Galatians 4, the apostle carefully distinguishes Jerusalem above as our mother. Now, what I ask here is, In what plainer terms could Christianity be made earthly, and identified with the earthly Jerusalem is its own city, to the exclusion of the heavenly, than it is here? It may be desolate and cast out now because it has not, but is separated from its own city. But it shall be united to it - and as so united to it, to Jerusalem on earth as its own city, it will be exalted in the earth. Is not the consolation and glory of Christianity, the hope of Christianity, identified with its union with Jerusalem, as much as the glory of Babylon's system is identified with its connection with its own city Babylon? That is, Jerusalem on earth is the own city of Christianity as it is now, and the exaltation of Christianity is its union to it as such.

I confess I have little hope that those who have quietly accepted such a statement should get out of it when all its nakedness is placed before them; because they never could have received it, if their sense of the other thing - of the heavenly Jerusalem, of the very nature, and position, and calling of the church - had not been already dimmed, if not destroyed. But I do trust that there are yet some hearts, fully as they believe in the exaltation of God's earthly system at Jerusalem, that are not prepared to make the earthly Jerusalem the city of the church of God - who know that the system they belong to has better hopes, and a better city, the city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God - the heavenly Jerusalem. This has its relation to earth, and the Revelation treats especially of this (see page 150). But it has its own relationship, and never becomes the heavenly Jerusalem. Indeed, this note is a total denial of the account the New Testament gives of the church's place, and its identification with another Jerusalem, which is not earthly but heavenly.

263 It is no very great wonder that the author has only an earthly commercial city Babylon for the great harlot, when he has only an earthly city Jerusalem for the church itself. The denial of a spiritual Babylon is no great wonder, when there is an entire setting aside of the heavenly Jerusalem. If we cannot discern the spiritual heavenly nature of the church's system, it is no wonder if we do not see the spiritual evil which has corrupted the earth with its fornications. If the church's hopes and faith are to rest in Jerusalem, and exaltation in the earth, it is no wonder that something gross and palpable, like commerce and a commercial city, arrest the eye as the evil to be feared and judged on the earth.

"Having seven heads and ten horns." I have in part remarked on this. If it was really a question of transferring the power from the heads to the horns, it would be singular that the Spirit of God should shew the horns uncrowned when they had their authority from God, and crowned when they have it from Satan. But if the heads are systems which govern, how is the beast invested with the concentrated authority? and how Satan? The heads do not govern if they are merely systems used to govern by. The crowns are on the systems, yet the dragon controls by them. But Antichrist has these heads too. But on him neither heats nor horns are crowned, and yet he is merely the executive power at this time; so that they ought to be much more crowned on him than on the dragon, who controls instead of being controlled by them. It is evident that such an explanation and use of the symbol is quite untenable.

264 That the seven crowned heads of the dragon symbolise the completeness of Satan's authority in the Roman earth, whatever the successive forms of it may have been, is very simple. That the Roman empire in its proper Antichristian form should be invested with this full authority, or at least its identity recognised, while local royalty or authority was divided among ten kingdoms, and the horns therefore crowned, is easy too to understand. That the corrupt system intended by Babylon should exercise a paramount influence, and thus, while corrupting the kings of the earth, govern the beast, having complete authority really herself, though having neither heads nor horns - this also is not difficult of apprehension. The last forms of evil may be historically given in chapter 13; the general outline and description, together with the connection of the beast and Babylon, in chapter 17; but the definite historical relationships attempted to be given in the author's system are contradicted by the symbols themselves. The heads crowned on the dragon, who uses them as mere systems, and uncrowned at the same time on the beast, whom they govern, and yet at the same time another system (which is yet one of the heads) having the whole authority, cannot hang together.

Besides, the woman (i.e., one of the systems) cannot govern all, while seven heads are seven systems which govern. Moreover, the supremacy of civil to ecclesiastical authority (page 241) having characteristically marked the present period, how can the government of the kingdoms (the horns) by the ecclesiastical system, which is one of the crowned heads, mark it characteristically too at the same time? That is, the supremacy of the civil power over the system characterises the present period in page 241, and the supremacy of the system over the civil power characterises it in page 285, and in other places (as page 177). That the religious system is one of the governing systems may be seen in page 229. It is a wonder, too, that if the heads were crowned because the systems were reigning, the woman, that system of systems which ruled all, should not be; though indeed it seems a complete confusion to make the woman one of the heads, and the woman too.

In the following note we again find this effort to screen Romanism from being the designated corrupter of the earth, guilty of the blood of the saints. "Some peculiar system of evil, such as Romanism or the like." All the Christians in the country have betrayed their entire ignorance of God's mind in this matter. The author, that is, alone possesses it. Universal consent is not worth a great deal here, it appears.*

{*I only wish the author were resident a few months in some thoroughly popish state. He would learn a little better to estimate what the power and iniquity of the system is.}

I have already remarked on the gross inconsistency of saying that this system will foster the fulness of God's own truth in its own proper sphere, and its being characterised by being drunken with the blood of the saints. What has always been shedding their blood, if it be not a priestly system? What but Satan's religious instruments, who to set up his authority had by demons denied the unity of the Godhead, or the unity of mediatorship?

265 Besides, again we find the proud ecclesiastical systems, subdued by the proud secular power, while this, if secular power means anything, is to be governed by the system. I say means anything, because the war is not between commerce and the religious system. It is not commerce that has been for ages struggling with popish influence; and therefore the "proud secular system" is merely a vague expression to escape a whole mass of inconsistency. And I repeat, When was commerce found drunk with the blood of the saints? When was priestly power not, when it dared? That infidelity many oppose and persecute it too, I dare say: but that is not Babylon. It is the germ of the blasphemous, not of the Babylonish, name.

As to the next note, I must repeat the beast is not Antichrist, though Antichrist become (by absorbing all its power) practically the beast at the end. Besides, if in "was and is not and now is" "the present time were fixed as being at the period when John saw the vision," how ever can the beast mean Antichrist? Is it not a plain proof that it cannot, that it must mean the Roman empire? I do not believe that the words apply to John's time, or indeed to any other time, but are characteristic of the beast. Read verse 8 - "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition." Now how is this Antichrist? How did he first exist, and then not, and then ascend out of the bottomless pit?

266 That the Roman empire, confessedly the subject of these prophetic statements as the fourth beast of Daniel, should be thus characterised if it be to be found again connected with diabolic power, is very simple indeed. That the author, having settled it to be Antichrist, leaves it to time to unfold, I can well understand. But why this sudden influx of uncertainty, save that the attempt to explain this in the same way as all the rest, would have upset the whole system from beginning to end? For here it must be Antichrist executive or governing; but then the passage is inexplicable on this system. It is left for time to unfold. But at the close of the verse we have, I think, plain evidence of the descriptive force of this expression. "They shall wonder, seeing the beast, that he was, and is not, and yet shall be present." This is what occasions the wonder, and yet it does not relate to the then time. They see the beast. But how that he "is not," save as characterising him? "Is not" can be applied neither to Antichrist in the time of John after the word "was," nor to the Roman empire in any way. But if these words characterise the beast to those who see it, their sense is plain enough. As prophetically used, the Greek for "shall be present" does not, I conceive, create any difficulty. The use of "one is," in verse 10, cannot be brought as analogous, because it is explanation, and not symbolic description.

It should be remembered that the ten kings receive power one hour with the beast. That is, that while recognised in their place as such, the beast is recognised in his place as such. The beast therefore cannot be spoken of as wielding all authority under the woman while the horns are governed by his heads, which are the systems whose power he wields executively, though ridden by one of them. The kings I have already examined. It is in vain that the writer speaks of "assuming their full and proper character." He speaks of all the forms of government and kingship that have existed in the prophetic earth. Besides, the theocracy departed from its full and proper character when the monarchy arose (not to say anything again of the introduction of God's own government of His own people in such a chapter as a part of the thing described). As to the ten horns, I suppose no one confounds them with the seven kings. These latter have been generally identified with the heads, but never with the horns. But I take notice of this note for the purpose of remarking that it is never said, that it is when Antichrist is exalted into supreme authority, that he and the horns destroy the woman. That is a statement of the author's not of the Revelation. It is stated that they will do so, but it is not stated that they will do it then. Maintaining this point is the hinge of the author's system, because it is the substitution of Antichrist's for the woman's supreme authority. But it is a point assumed without any statement of the kind being found in Scripture. Thrown out as a thought to be discussed, I should have no objection; but as a basis of a system, it ought to be proved.

267 That the event will take place is recognised on all hands. That it is the time of the substitution of one system for another at the moment of the dragon's giving his throne to the beast is as yet unproved.*

{*I have not thought it needful to comment on the note on "the eighth." I just add here that I think that those who examine the passages will find no such thing. That eight is connected with seven, in the way of supposing the existence of seven before it, it scarcely needs reading Leviticus to discover. But any "springing out of" the previous seven is a rare case, if it exist. How did circumcising the eighth day spring out of uncircumcision seven days, unless by way of contrast? And so of others.}

As to "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen," I have already commented on what is assumed here, the identity of the Babylon judged in Jeremiah with the Babylon of Revelation - a statement, it seems to me, wholly unfounded, and the foundations of which we have seen to be subverted by the least examination of the statements made. I confine myself here to Babylon of the Revelation.

I have supposed myself that there were two destructions of Babylon in the Revelation. But the examination of the question (to which I was led by circumstances entirely foreign to this discussion) has convinced me that it cannot be sustained. When the great city as a mere exterior thing is separated from the idea of great Babylon, as in chapter 16:19, then indeed I can make such a distinction. But the destruction of Babylon is her destruction. She is utterly burned, chapter 17:16, and chapter 18:8. Her plagues come in one day. The words here used are used in chapter 14:8,* and the same reason given. There, where an orderly series of events is given, it is evident that the fall alluded to is very near the close of the history of evil and of judgment.

{*In commenting on that chapter, the author has avoided the question of what Babylon it alludes to, by making it a testimony of saints prophetically, such indeed as may be given at all times, contrary to his own account however of the chapter 85 an orderly series of facts. Here the same words, supported by the same reason, are made an actual anticipation of her final destruction as a city.}

268 Further, the ground on which the Babylon of chapter 18 as well as in chapter 14:8 is judged is that by which the Babylon of chapter 17:2 is characterised, her judgment being that which was to be shewn to the prophet. It is the Babylon of chapter 17 which commits fornication. But the Babylon of chapter 18 is judged for this same fornication. The judgment is identical. And when the judgment of chapter 18 is spoken of in connection with this burning with fire, it is added "for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her." This judgment with fire is attributed to the ten horns and the beast in chapter 17.

I may add here, that in Jeremiah, the destruction of the Babylon of that day by the Medes is called the work of the Lord of hosts, His vengeance, His day come, the day that He visits her, etc. I think anyone carefully reading these two chapters must see that there is one judgment described there, as regards the earthly Babylon, with the abiding consequences of that judgment, as when He overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah; but that, whoever the instruments, the judgment was God's.

But to return: as regards "the destruction, not of the woman, but of the city," the answer is, the woman is the great city that reigns over the kings of the earth. What morally represents the city is the harlot who corrupts the earth with her fornications, and who was drunken with the blood of the saints: and this is the Babylon destroyed, burned with fire, in whom all the blood of saints in the earth is found. Moreover, if Antichrist destroy her, it is the ten horns or kingdoms as well, so that it is the nations (not of Jeremiah, no doubt, but the nations).

Next, the attempted change of chapter 18 from a woman to a city cannot hold: because Babylon was fallen and become the cage of unclean birds, that is (according to the author), judged as a city, because the nations had been drunk with the wine of the wrath (poison) of her fornication. That is, she is the harlot of chapter 16:2 who is judged. It is another voice which, because of the announced judgment, calls upon the people of God to come out of her, and not partake of her sins, that they may not of her plagues too which are to come upon her in one day.

The rest of the note I hardly know whether to treat as an inadvertency or as confusion. "In verses 3 and 7 we go back to present time - she saith in her heart, etc. We may say therefore, that the preface continues to the end of verse 3, after which the description recurs to a previous period." I should have thought "third" a mere mistake (as verses 1-3 may be considered a sort of preface), and paid no attention to it, if verse 3 had not in point of fact spoken of a previous period, though there be not the present form. But then, if verse 3 does refer to this previous period, the Babylon of chapter 18 is identified with the previous chapter, verse 3 giving the cause, as verse 2 the fact, of her judgment. Hence the embarrassment as to verse 3. Nor is there any other than verse 3 to which the remark could apply.

269 That Babylon embraces more than her mere harlot character is clear, just as ancient Babylon did more than her idolatry; but that on which the judgment fell was not the cause of the judgment, though the latter might be involved in the ruin. The people that were judged, because of their idolatry and the wrong done to the Lord's house, were judged in all their souls clung to. So here: the harlotry of Babylon, her abominations, may be the cause of her judgment, but much more than that falls in the judgment, and causes the dismay of all connected with her. Hence the great city, though the seat of Babylon's wickedness, may be distinguished from it, as in chapter 16:19 is the case. In this respect the great whore and the woman or city are considered apart, but not the woman and the city.

The symbol is not changed in chapter 18 from a woman to a city. The two are mixed up, because in chapter 18 the woman had been explained to be the great city. Verses 8 and 10 need only be read to be convinced of this. No doubt there she is spoken of as a city, but that city is the woman of chapter 17.

As to "Come out of her, my people," and the time they belong to, it is evident there is nothing about it in the Revelation. It is evident that the statement is founded on the assumption that Jeremiah and Isaiah speak of this Babylon, and this destruction, for there is not a word to found it on in Revelation. Moreover, the passage alluded to as designating the time has no similar call to come out at all. Where there is, as in Jeremiah 50, the passage goes on to speak of "this Nebuchadnezzar." In chapter 51 is it declared to be the vengeance of His temple. In Isaiah 48, save a probable allusion to Cyrus, there is nothing positively to decide the time.

But is it not strange, while on the very same announcement of Babylon's fall in chapter 14:8, it is stated that it is a testimony previous to the final Antichrist state - a testimony which ought to be given now - here, the solemn call connected with it is said to be addressed to Israel? And how comes it that this very solemn appeal to have done with her who corrupts the earth, who sheds the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, is applied only to Jews? Here is taking away Scripture from the church in good earnest. Why is it a sin to suppose there may be believing Jews addressed in Matthew 24, when Jerusalem is spoken of, and a virtue to think they are Jews when Babylon is spoken of (that Babylon who was drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus)? Here is a woman who corrupts and sits on (or by) peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues, but those called to come out of her are the remnant of Israel: and that during the church period to which the Revelation applies, and who of course are to receive this testimony though in an unconverted state, and who are the persons who have suffered of her, and who are to be avenged of her. In Matthew, where all is connected with Jerusalem and the hour of tribulation prophesied to come on the Jewish people, this is impossible. And why so? It suits the author's system. Christianity is not to be in the Roman earth recognised at this time.

270 But if there be any meaning in the previous note, these verses refer to the previous period. So that even on this ground it is all wrong. As to the rest of the note, there is nothing of being on the point of seizing Jerusalem for the last time in Joel 2. In Zechariah 14 Jerusalem is taken.

The marginal reading of Zechariah 12:2 has nothing of the kind stated, but just the contrary. Zechariah 14:14 may be translated as in the English margin. But I prefer the common translation, because of what is taught in chapter 12, which certainly does not suppose Judah to be fighting against Jerusalem, but the contrary. Neither is the writer warranted in saying a part of Judah leagued with the invading Gentiles, because it is said "Judah" also shall fight.

Another reason against the marginal translation (which is no doubt a very good rendering of the Hebrew) is, that the preceding verse speaks of the judgment consequent on the Gentiles fighting against Jerusalem, "a great tumult from the Lord of hosts." Now this would seem a strange time to bring in "Judah also shall fight, as being leagued with the Gentiles." Nor do I think chapter 12:5, 6, will bear the interpretation of the author, as if Judah was then fighting against Jerusalem.

271 That Israel is God's battle-axe against His enemies, I believe: but how against Babylon, if they are called to flee and deliver their souls because of the day of her visitation from the Lord? And where is the progressiveness of her desolation, when in one hour she is made desolate - an instantaneousness which was used before to prove that it could not be the judgment on ancient Babylon? Moreover, the passage where the desolation is declared so sudden, when she is utterly burned with fire, because the Lord is strong that judges her, speaks of that very judgment from which the merchants, removed afar because of the smoke of her burning, wail it as come in one hour.

So that all this subverts the plain statements of the word. And if we take the letter of the prophecy alluded to in Isaiah, it refers to the destruction of Babylon by the nations. The Medes are stirred up against them.

But there is another most material objection to the whole of this statement. The events alluded to as Jerusalem are identified with the appearing of the Lord. Thus it is the nations are cut off, and thus it is that the remnant wails. But the judgment of Babylon is the wrath of God before the Lord comes at all. Nor can Israel be the battle-axe of the Lord's judgment while rejected and under wrath.

As to the next note on kings of the earth, there is surely a confusion between the kings of the earth and the ten horns. The ten horns had, long before according to the author, burned her with fire; and I do not see why they should mourn over her burning so much. But they are spoken of here in their character as kings, as the merchants and shipmasters in theirs. Whereas the ten horns are much more the power of the ten kingdoms in their general state. They may burn her, the kings may mourn over her: but the note evidently identifies the kings of the earth and the ten horns: but then the chapter contradicts itself. I do not feel it necessary to dwell on the last note. Miserable as the manufacturing system is morally, certainly England has done more to fill the world by emigration than all other nations.

On the whole, I conclude that the author's system as to Babylon is untenable, firstly, because the examination of the chapters of the Old Testament proves his use of them to be a violation of their plainest statements, and their application to the results of the latter day, as related in the Revelation, impossible.

272 Secondly, because the character actually attached to Babylon is another character than that given to her in the chapter itself: his only passage for the character of Babylon as a system in chapter 17 being drawn from chapter 18 which is her condition when the system alleged to be called Babylon is, according to the author, destroyed.

Thirdly, because the Scriptures actually give another principle or mystery of iniquity which is to result in the apostasy or the man of sin, which is entirely different from the one asserted by the author.

Fourthly, because his statements as to the day of the Lord connected with it subvert his own system as to what that day is: the ruin of Babylon taking place under God's judgments before Christ takes the power, whereas the day of the Lord commences when the Son is invested with His appointed power.

Fifthly, because the statements of the author as to Antichrist contradict altogether the passages which he alleges as to the king of Babylon.

His distinction of the woman and the city is equally unsustained. First, because the scriptures say the woman is the city; and next, to allege no other reason, because the kings are spoken of as committing with the woman of chapter 17 the sin for which the city of chapter 18 is judged.

I do not recapitulate all the reasons here - merely what bring into relief some of the great principles. One can hardly over estimate the importance of the error as misleading as to the real evil of the latter day, and unsettling, by the loosest use of Scripture, every principle of sound interpretation. I trust God will keep His saints out of the prevailing snare of commerce. For they that will be rich will fall into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. That a warning against it may be useful in England is very possible; but the simple-hearted saint passes through it as a service, and has done with it - he cannot with idolatry and ecclesiastical authority: it is the net of Satan himself.