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    SERMON FOUR. THE SECOND MESSAGE

    TEXT. - And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Revelation 14:8.OFAH 37.1

    THIS angel is spoken of as the second, because the one following it is, in the language of inspiration itself, called the third. In commenting upon language so highly symbolic, the first thing to determine is the meaning of the symbol introduced.OFAH 37.2

    1. What, then, is the Babylon of this message? It is here simply called “that great city.” But it is elsewhere spoken of in the book of Revelation in a manner which cannot fail to lead to a correct solution of this question. In Revelation 17:18, this same city is called a woman. “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” A woman is always in the Scriptures, when used as a symbol, taken to represent a religious organization, the true church being represented by a virtuous woman, as in chapter 12, and the false by a corrupt woman, as in the text before us, and many other places. Babylon is something distinct from the civil powers of the earth; for with her the kings of the earth form unlawful connections. It is the place where the people of God as a body are, for they are at a certain time called away from her communion. These considerations show that we are not to look to any literal city for the Babylon of the Apocalypse, nor to any civil powers, but to ecclesiastical or church organizations. Is, then, any particular church, to the exclusion of all others, designated by the term Babylon? It would not be consistent to suppose this; for the term Babylon, from Babel, where God confounded the language of men, signifies mixture, confusion. In the sense in which we have shown it to be used in the book of Revelation, it must denote conflicting and discordant religious creeds and systems. But this would not be applicable to any one religious denomination, as each of these denominations is more or less a unit. And, besides, the people of God who are called out of Babylon are not as a body connected with any single denomination. Hence we must understand by the term all the false and corrupted systems of Christianity. That the Romish and Greek churches are included in these, few will be disposed to deny; while the Protestant churches, alas! fatally conformed to the world, and guilty of the long catalogue of sins charged by Paul upon professed Christians in the last days, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, must be reckoned as a member of the family. In this branch of the family we find that mixture and confusion in the multiplicity of sects and creeds, which most fitly answers to the import of the term.OFAH 37.3

    2. What is the fall of Babylon? Evidently a moral fall. In Revelation 18:1-5, where a second and subsequent announcement of this event seems to be given, we read, “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.” That is, as the result of her fall she had sunk to this deplorable condition. Having fallen, her iniquities rapidly increased, her sins reached unto Heaven, and God’s people are called out. Verses 4, 5. Hence this fall is a moral one. The absurdity of applying this to Rome or any other literal city, where but few, if any, of the people of God are, and out of which they could not be called after its fall or destruction, must be very apparent. The harmony of applying it to a religious body which can apostatize and become corrupt, and from which the people of God can be subsequently called out, is equally clear, and the necessity for such an application no less evident. No other is at all admissible.OFAH 38.1

    The cause of the fall of Babylon is said to be that she “made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Her fornication was her unlawful connection with the kings of the earth. The wine of this is that with which the church has intoxicated the nations of the earth. There is but one thing to which this can refer, and that is false doctrine. In consequence of her unlawful union with the powers of earth, this harlot has corrupted the pure truths of the Bible, and with the wine of her false doctrine has intoxicated the nations. As a few of the gross errors which she has caused the masses to receive as Bible truth, we mention the following: 1. That the soul is immortal; 2. That sprinkling and pouring are baptism; 3. That Sunday is the Sabbath; 4. That there are to be a thousand years of peace and prosperity before the coming of the Lord; 5. That the saints’ inheritance is not the earth made new, but an immaterial, intangible region beyond the bounds of time and space; 6. That the second advent is to be understood spiritually, and that it took place at the destruction of Jerusalem, or that it takes place at conversion or at death; 7. That it is of no consequence, if we may judge from their practice, to come out and be separate from the world. Most of these pernicious errors Protestant sects have drawn from the Romish mother, and others they have themselves originated, showing conclusively that they are but the daughters of the great apostasy.OFAH 39.1

    But that we may not seem to judge these denominations ourselves, as we might be accused of not rendering impartial judgment, we will let their own members speak, and on their testimony will let the question rest. To show that we are not alone in ranking the popular Protestant sects as a part of Babylon, we offer the following. If they themselves claim it, we are not disposed to dispute it.OFAH 40.1

    Mr. William Kinkade, in his “Bible Doctrine,” p. 294, says:OFAH 40.2

    “I also think Christ has a true church on earth, but its members are scattered among the various denominations, and are all more or less under the influence of Mystery Babylon and her daughters.”OFAH 40.3

    Mr. Hopkins, in a treatise on the millennium, says:OFAH 40.4

    “There is no reason to consider the antichristian spirit and practices confined to that which is now called the Church of Rome. The Protestant churches have much of antichrist in them, and are far from being wholly reformed from her corruptions and wickedness.”OFAH 40.5

    Mr. Simpson, in his “Plea for Religion,” says:OFAH 40.6

    “For though the Pope and Church of Rome is at the head of the grand 1260 years’ delusion, yet all other churches, of whatever denomination, whether established or tolerated, which partake of the same spirit, or have instituted doctrines or ceremonies inimical to the pure and unadulterated gospel of Christ, shall sooner or later share in the fate of that immense fabric of human ordinances; and that Protestant churches should imitate the Church of Rome, in this worst part of its conduct, can never be sufficiently bewailed.”OFAH 40.7

    Alexander Campbell says:OFAH 41.1

    “The worshiping establishments now in operation throughout Christendom, increased and cemented by their respective voluminous confessions of faith, and their ecclesiastical constitutions, are not churches of Jesus Christ, but the legitimate daughters of that mother of harlots, the Church of Rome.”OFAH 41.2

    Lorenzo Dow says of the Romish Church:OFAH 41.3

    “If she be a mother, who are the daughters? It must be the corrupt, national, established churches that came out of her.” - Dow’s Life, p. 542.OFAH 41.4

    In the Religious Encyclopedia (Art. Antichrist), we read:OFAH 41.5

    “The writer of the book of Revelation tells us he heard a voice from Heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye partake not of her sins, and receive not of her plagues.’ If such persons are to be found in the ‘mother of harlots,’ with much less hesitation may it be inferred that they are connected with her unchaste daughters, those national churches which are founded upon what are called Protestant principles.”OFAH 41.6

    In the spring and summer of 1844, a distinct message was proclaimed, setting forth the fallen condition of the churches, which resulted in calling from them fifty thousand believers in the immediate coming of Christ. And the testimonies from the very churches they had left could but convince them that they had entertained correct views of the fallen state of the churches, and had done the will of God in separating from them.OFAH 41.7

    The Christian Palladium for May 15, 1844, speaks in the following mournful strains: “In every direction we hear the dolorous sound, wafting upon every breeze of heaven, chilling as the blast from the icebergs of the north, settling like an incubus on the breasts of the timid, and drinking up the energies of the weak; that lukewarmness, division, anarchy, and desolation are distressing the borders of Zion.”OFAH 42.1

    The Religious Telescope, of 1844, uses the following language: “We have never witnessed such a general declension of religion as at the present. Truly the church should awake and search into the cause of this affliction; for an affliction every one that loves Zion must view it. When we call to mind how ‘few and far between’ cases of true conversion are, and the almost unparalleled impenitence and hardness of sinners, we almost involuntarily exclaim, ‘Has God forgotten to be gracious? or is the door of mercy closed? ’”OFAH 42.2

    For further testimony from their own lips respecting the state of the churches, their covetousness, pride in church buildings, operatic singing in their worship, their religious gambling, their endorsement of dancing, their zeal for worldly pleasure, and their pride and fashion, we refer the reader to the works entitled, “The Three Messages,” and “The State of the Churches,” for sale at the Review Office, Battle Creek, Mich.OFAH 42.3

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