“Come Out of Her, My People”
II. WHAT ARE WE TO UNDERSTAND BY THE FALL OF BABYLON?
This is fully expressed in Scripture language, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” Babylon is fallen into this dreadful state. No Protestant would think this language too strong to express the true state of things in the Catholic church at the present time; and the Catholics in their turn would say the same things of Protestants. We need not stop to show how the language applies to Catholicism. The justice of the application is sufficiently obvious. But how is it with Protestant Christendom. How is she occupied? Is she not engaged, for her own aggrandizement, in every species of merchandise ascribed to Babylon, even to slaves and the souls of men? The spirit of oppression reigns, in greater or less portions of the leading sects, unrebuked; and a man may sell or buy his fellow-man, and then sit at the communion table, or even minister at the altar of God, and by the mass of Protestant Christendom go unreproved. Lust for power is seen among all the sects, and lust for gold is practically regarded by the multitude of Christ’s professed disciples as a virtue, and they may resort to any means for acquiring wealth which does not amount to positive transgression of human law, and yet stand in the church as accredited members. Things in this respect, in the professed church, are entirely the reverse of what they were when as many as were possessors of houses and lands sold them, to be distributed for the advancement of the cause of Christ. Sumptuous dwellings and apparel, and equipage, are sought after by professed disciples of the meek and lowly Jesus, as though they were the supreme good; and you will see multitudes of such professed Christians puffing and strutting about the world in their proud and lofty bearing, and looking down upon the humble follower of the crucified Nazarene, (who dares be singular enough to carry out the principles of the religion of the cross,) as though they could find no language sufficient to express their contempt. Speak to them about the coming of Christ to take possession of his throne, and they show themselves sufficiently disgusted to spit in your face. Ask them to read anything on the subject, and they put on every possible expression of scorn. Even pretended ministers of the gospel, in multitudes, manifest all these feelings in relation to the coming and kingdom of Christ, and do their utmost to perpetuate and increase this state of feeling in their hearers. Mention to them the probability of Christ’s coming in his glory during the present Jewish year, to take the throne of the world; and express to them your belief that the Bible fully teaches this, and they feel insulted that you should dare to mention in their presence a thing to them so utterly contemptible. They are ready to hold their breath, and thrust you from them as with a pair of tongs. Ask them if they have ever examined the Bible evidence of the immediate coming of the Lord, and they evidently feel degraded that you should think them capable of turning their thoughts to such a subject. Who are these mighty sons of pride, that God Almighty must not presume to speak to them through his word? Why, they are the professed disciples and ministers of Christ; and, in truth and reality, Antichrist. They are Babylon in its fallen state; their hearts are the habitations of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. They are in their own estimation of vast consequence, but if they remain what they are a little longer, Jesus Christ will neither be afraid nor ashamed to smite them with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips to slay them. Many of them may be ready to inquire, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? But Christ will only protest unto them, “I never knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity. CHMP 16.1