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The Two Babylons

Introduction to the
Mysteries of Babylon

"And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."--Revelation 17:5

As every spoke in the wheel of Providence revolves, the prophetic symbols start into still more bold and beautiful relief. This is very strikingly the case with the prophetic language that forms the groundwork and corner-stone of the present work. There never has been any difficulty in the mind of any enlightened Protestant in identifying the woman "sitting on seven mountains," and having on her forehead the name written, "Mystery, Babylon the Great," with the Roman apostasy. "No other city in the world has ever been celebrated, as the city of Rome has, for its situation on seven hills. Pagan poets and orators, who had not thought of elucidating prophecy, have alike characterized it as 'the seven hilled city.'"

Its "governing the whole world" is just the counterpart of the Divine statement--"which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Revelation 17:18). To call Rome the city "of the seven hills" was by its citizens held to be as descriptive as to call it by its own proper name. Hence Horace speaks of it by reference to its seven hills alone, when he addresses, "The gods who have set their affections on the seven hills."

In times long subsequent, the same kind of language was in current use; for when Symmachus, the prefect of the city, and the last acting Pagan Pontifex Maximus, as the Imperial substitute, introduces by letter one friend of his to another, he calls him "De septem montibus virum"--"a man from the seven mountains," meaning thereby, as the commentators interpret it, "Civem Romanum, "A Roman Citizen." Now, while this characteristic of Rome has ever been well marked and defined, it has always been easy to show, that the Church which has its seat and headquarters on the seven hills of Rome might most appropriately be called "Babylon, " inasmuch as it is the chief seat of idolatry under the New Testament, as the ancient Babylon was the chief seat of idolatry under the Old.

But recent discoveries in Assyria, taken in connection with the previously well-known but ill-understood history and mythology of the ancient world, demonstrate that there is a vast deal more significance in the name than this. It has been known all along that Popery was baptized Paganism; but God is now making it manifest, that the Paganism which Rome has baptized is, in all its essential elements, the very Paganism which prevailed in the ancient literal Babylon, when Jehovah opened before Cyrus the two-leaved gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron.

That new and unexpected light, in some way or other, should be cast, about this very period, on the Church of the grand Apostasy., the very language and symbols of the Apocalypse might have prepared us to anticipate. In the Apocalyptic visions, it is just before the judgment upon her that, for the first time, John sees the Apostate Church with the name Babylon the Great "written upon her forehead" (Revelation 17:5). What means the writing of that name "on the forehead"? Does it not naturally indicate that, just before judgment overtakes her, her real character was to be so thoroughly developed, that everyone who has eyes to see, who has the least spiritual discernment, would be compelled, as it were, on ocular demonstration, to recognize the wonderful fitness of the title which the Spirit of God had affixed to her. Her judgment is now evidently hastening on; and just as it approaches, the Providence of God, conspiring with the Word of God, by light pouring in from all quarters, makes it more and more evident that Rome is in very deed the Babylon of the Apocalypse; that the essential character of her system, the grand objects of her worship, her festivals, her doctrine and discipline, her rites and ceremonies, her priesthood and their orders, have all been derived from ancient paganism; and, finally, that the Pope himself is truly and properly the lineal representative of Belshazzar.

In the warfare that has been waged against the domineering pretensions of Rome, it has too often been counted enough merely to meet and set aside her presumptuous boast, that she is the mother and mistress of all churches--the one Catholic Church, out of whose pale there is no salvation. If ever there was excuse for such a mode of dealing with her, that excuse will hold no longer. If the position I have laid down can be maintained, she must be stripped of the name of a Christian Church altogether; for if it was a Church of Christ that was convened on that night, when the pontiff-king of Babylon, in the midst of his thousand lords, "praised the gods of gold, and of silver, and of wood, and of stone" (Daniel 5:4), then the Church of Rome is entitled to the name of a Christian Church; but not otherwise. This to some, no doubt, will appear a very startling position; but it is one which it is the object of this work to establish; and let the reader judge for himself, whether I do not bring ample evidence to substantiate my position.


The Two Babylons
by Alexander Hislop
edited by TheJournal.org
Chapter 1
Catholics and Babylon
Chapter 8
Deification of Child
Chapter 14
Baptizing Infants
Chapter 20
Ancient Relic Worship
Chapter 26
Priests, Monks, Nuns
 
Chapter 2
Trinity in Unity
Chapter 9
Mother of the Child
Chapter 15
Earning God's Love
Chapter 21
Clothing and Crowns
Chapter 27
The Great Red Dragon
 
Chapter 3
Mother and Child
Chapter 10
Christmas
Chapter 16
The Mass
Chapter 22
Rosary Worship
Chapter 28
Beast from the Sea
 
Chapter 4
The Child in Assyria
Chapter 17
Last Rites
Chapter 23
Lamps and Candles
Chapter 29
Beast from the Earth
 
Chapter 5
The Child in Egypt
Chapter 12
Nativity of John the Baptist
Chapter 18
Heaven by suffering
Chapter 24
Sign of the Cross
Chapter 30
Image of the Beast
 
Chapter 6
The Child in Greece
Chapter 13
Feast of Assumption
Chapter 19
Images and Idols
Chapter 25
The Sovereign Pope
Chapter 31
Babylon and the
Beast's Number
 
Chapter 7
Death of the Child



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