Eureka - An Exposition of the Apocalypse - John Thomas
Chapter 19 17.
The Judgment of The Great Harlot Chapters 17 and 18 Translation of Chapter 17 1. And there came one of the seven angels having the seven vials, and talked with me, saying to me, Come along; I will show to thee the judgment of the Great Harlot that sitteth upon the many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication; and they who inhabit the earth have been intoxicated by the wine of her fornication. 3. And he conducted me away into a wilderness in spirit; and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of Names of Blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4. And I saw the woman who had been arrayed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls, holding a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication; 5. And upon her forehead a name had been written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Harlots, and of the Abominations of the earth. 6. And I saw the woman intoxicated by the blood of the saints, and by the blood of the witnesses of Jesus: and beholding her, I marvelled with great astonishment! 7. And the angel said to me, Wherefore didst thou wonder? I will explain to thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, having the seven heads and the ten horns. 8. The Beast which thou sawest, was, and is not; but is hereafter to ascend out of the abyss, and to go away into perdition: and they who dwell upon the earth, of whom there hath not been written the names upon the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, shall wonder when they behold the beast that was, but is not, although it is. 9. The mind having wisdom is this. The seven heads are seven mountains, where the woman is sitting upon them: they are also seven governments: the five have fallen, and the one is, the other is not yet come; but when it may have come, it is necessary that it continue a short time. 11. And the beast that was, but is not, even he is the Eights, and he is of the seven, and goeth away into perdition. 12. And the Ten Horns which thou sawest, are ten governments, which have not yet received kingdom; but they receive authority as kings one hour with the beast. 13. These have one purpose, and they shall deliver their power and authority to the beast. 14. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall conquer them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those with him, called, chosen and faithful. 15. And he said to me, The waters which thou sawest, where the Harlot is sitting, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16. And the Ten Horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the Harlot, and make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her with fire. 17. For the Deity hath given into their hearts to execute his will, and to perform one purpose, and to deliver their kingdom to the beast, until the predictions of the Deity have been fulfilled. 18. And the woman which thou sawest, is that Great City having dominion over the kings of the earth. Exposition "And there came one of the seven angels having the seven vials, and talked with me". John was in Patmos nearly eighteen hundred years ago. Why are we informed that he was visited by one of the angels of the vial? Why was he not visited by one of the angels of the trumpets? Because the subject of this chapter is "the judgment of the Great Harlot;" and this judgment belongs to the vials. And which of the seven angels was he visited by? By the Seventh; because, "the judgment of the Great Harlot" is the grand catastrophe of the seventh vial (ch. 16:19) and therefore the seventh only of all the seven could show the judgment to John. If it had been decreed to be executed under the outpouring of the fourth angel's vial, the fourth angel would have visited the apostle; but being the specialty of the seventh, the seventh angel must be the interlocutor and actor in the scene. Being, then, in company with John, he said to him "Come along!" The English Version translates deuro, come hither! This would be very well if John had not already informed us that the angel had come to him. Had the angel remained stationary at a distance, and called out deuro! come hither, would have been correct. But, it was John who was stationary, so the angel came to him, and invited him to accompany him, and he would show him the judgment of the Great Harlot. John was stationary. The seals, and trumpet, and vial, periods, as so many succeeding and passing scenes, had all to revolve until the sixth vial-period of the seventh seal and last trumpet, came before him. He would then be visited by the Sixth Angel, and feel his power in being "caused to exist incorruptible," for the dead are immortalized in the sixth vial-period. The judgment of the Great Harlot could not be shown to him by the sixth angel. He will have to wait until visited by the seventh angel. Then, being a living apostle, and one of those to whom it is given to execute the judgment written against the Great Harlot in the seventh vial-period, when that period arrives, he will go along with the Lamb, that is, with the Omnipotent and Omniscient Spirit, and not only see the judgment, but take part in it, and rejoice over her catastrophe and fall (ch. 18:6, 20). This is the import of the words, "I will show thee the judgment of the Great Harlot". What John saw in Patmos, he saw "in Spirit". In his day, the Great Harlot to be judged under the seventh vial, had not been developed. Hence, he saw her "sitting upon the many waters" only in prophetic vision. In this sense, he was "in spirit", as he will be, in the highest sense, when he is incorruptible and immortal; and as a constituent of the seventh angel, rejoices over the Harlot-Mother and all her adulterous progeny, whom he contributes to destroy. 1. The Wilderness Hence, in a vision, John was conducted away into a wilderness. The angel invited him to "come along," and he went. They travelled together, so to speak, until they came into a wilderness -- into what was a wilderness in his day, inhabited by wild and ferocious peoples, not at that time included within the limits of the Roman Habitable. It is no longer an untamed forest, peopled by roving savages; but a highly cultivated region, abounding in cities, towns, and villages, full of riches, and people of education and polish. Nevertheless, in a Scriptural sense, it continues to be a wilderness. Its educated and refined peoples of all classes, from prince to peasant, are wonderers after the Beast, and "intoxicated with the wine of the fornication of the Great Harlot". This is the great German, or Magogian, Wilderness, which in after ages came to be subject to the spiritual empire of the Harlot of the Seven Hills; and known in history as "The Holy Roman Empire". The wilderness is coextensive with this dominion. Wherever the authority of the Great Harlot is recognized and supported by the States of Europe, there is the Wilderness in the largest sense of the word. In this wilderness, uncultivated by gospel truth, John saw the heads, horns, and body of the Scarlet Beast; full of Names of Blasphemy: and an intoxicated prostitute sitting upon it. All this was seen in the wilderness; therefore the Wilderness, the Beast, and the Woman, may be regarded as parts of a great whole, the western, or Latin, section of the Laodicean Apostasy, Apocalyptically styled, "the Great City". 2. The Great Harlot The most disgusting of womankind is chosen by the Spirit, as representative of the Ecclesiastical System in doctrine, institutions, and practice, approved and cherished by the peoples of Europe. It is compared to a drunken murderess and prostitute intoxicated with the blood of the holy and the faithful; whom she has destroyed by thousands and tens of thousands, for what she blasphemously styles "Heresy". Her doctrine is represented by "a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornications," which "all nations have drunk of;" and have consequently all been "made drunk". Such is the Apocalyptic view of "Christendom," so called -- its spiritual guides, its rulers, its politicians, and its peoples, all made drunk by blasphemous and filthy doctrine and superstition. Woman with cup from Rome, on reverse of medal. Medal struck by Pope Leo XII, 1825. The Ecclesiastical Polity of Europe represented by this strumpet is imperial. This characteristic is indicated by the purple and scarlet with which she is arrayed; and the gold and precious stones, and pearls, with which she is bedecked. These colors and baubles are the decorations with which her officials, styled the "princes of the church," are distinguished and bedizzened. This Body of Antichrist essentially opposed to, and destructive of the Body of Christ, is apocalyptically labeled upon her shameless forehead, "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and the Abominations of the Earth". "Mystery" is the inscription that used to be worn as engraved upon the Pope's tiara, or triple crown; but removed by Julius III., when it came to attract Protestant attention as evidence that the wearer was no other than Antichrist -- the Name of Blasphemy upon the Seven Heads. Elliott, a son of one of the Harlots, and a grandson of their "Mother," remarks, that "the apocalyptic title, 'Mother of the Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth, is the very parody of the title Rome arrogates to herself -- 'Rome, Mother, and Mistress'." The words of the Tridentine Council are "Romana Ecclesia, qua omnium Ecclesiarum Mater est et Magistra" -- "the Roman Church which is the Mother and Mistress of all the Churches". Whence the common phrase "Our Holy Mother the Church". From Roman Coin in the British Museum struck a.d. 69-70. Rome depicted on 7 hills. Such is the Name Apocalyptically inscribed on the forefront of the Ecclesiastical Polity of Europe in allusion to the practice of some notorious prostitutes, who had their names written on a label upon their foreheads, as may be collected from ancient authors. The Great Harlot is notorious, and recognized as the Ecclesiastical Mother by all the world. But, she being the Mother, who are her Daughters? These are as easily discerned as the Mother herself. The Protestant State Churches are "the Harlots;" and the Dissenting, or Nonconformist, "Names and Denominations," are "the Abominations of the Earth". The genealogy of all of them is traceable to Rome; with whose dogmas they have more accord than with the principles of the doctrine of Christ. The Harlots and the Abominations are "the Names of Blasphemy," of which the Beast is said to be "full". They are all injurious to, and subversive of, "the truth as it is in Jesus;" which the following general outline and summary of the fiction they inculcate will sufficiently prove to all who are intelligent in the Truth. It may be presented under the caption of 3. The Wine of the Harlot's Fornication "All the nations have drunk of the wine of the raging of her fornication," contained in "the Golden Cup, full of its abominations and filthiness". The goblet presented to the lips of the people by their spiritual cupbearers contains the following intoxicating ingredients, styled by an apostle "Damnable Heresies". 1. That the priests and parsons of "Christendom," so called are the "divinely called and sent ambassadors of Jesus Christ". 2. These "Ministers of Satan," or "Spirituals of Wickedness", styling themselves "Successors of the Apostles" (2 Cor. 11:14-15; Rev. 2:2) unscripturally affirm, that men are all born into the world with "souls" in their mortal bodies; and that these souls are incorruptible and deathless particles of the Divine Essence. 3. That these "immortal souls" are the subjects of spiritual cure; and that the clergy of all orders have been "called of the Deity as Aaron was," to cure the souls with the "divinity" they preach. 4. That "immortal souls" of every age, at death, go, according to "the Mother of the Harlots," to purgatory, over which she has control; but according to the "Harlots" and "the Abominations," to "hell," the locality of which they know nothing about: or, if pious or repentant, direct to "heaven beyond the realms of time and space;" which is equivalent to nowhere! 5. In its practical application in the "cure of souls", their "divinity" teaches, that a man may be the most disgusting wretch that ever cursed society, yet he may be saved in "kingdoms beyond the skies," by the "consolations of religion" ministered by them in the article of death! (1 John 3:15). They hang men because society will not tolerate them; and send them to "heaven" from the scaffold to associate with saints and angels! 6. In speaking of the death of the soul, which they term a "neverdying soul," they teach that death is not death; but only a change in the mode of said "soul's" existence! 7. These "Grinders of Divinity" absurdly affirm, that when newborn babes and children die, their "precious immortal souls" become winged angels in heaven, and guardian spirits to their friends on earth!
8. They teach, that, when sprinkled, or poured upon at the font by a priest or parson, and signed with "the Sign of the Cross" (which is "the Sign of the Beast" Rev. 13:16; 14:9, 10), an infant is "regenerated by the Holy Spirit. and incorporated into his Holy Church!" 9. These traders in souls (Rev. 18:13) lyingly affirm that sprinkling or pouring is baptism. To affirm this is either the grossest ignorance, or inveterate untruthfulness. They ought to know that there is but "One Baptism;" and that nothing else is that baptism, but the immersion in water of an intelligent believer of "the truth as it is in Jesus". 10. These "Names of Blasphemy" affirm that sinners are "justified by faith alone;" that is, by faith in what they approve. Justification by faith alone is the dogma of "the Harlots" in opposition to the theory of their Mother Rome; but, in view of James 2:24, 26, which declares the contrary, it is manifestly false. 11. Some of them say, that "all men will be saved," not omitting Judas; others, only "the elect of the Calvinian type. 12. Nearly all the Great Harlot's Family teach, and profess to believe, that there is a personal, black, Immortal Devil, with horns, hoofs, and tail, who is omnipresent, and almost omnipotent; and the tormentor of "never-dying souls" eternally in hell, where he resides, and is enthroned; and that wherever it may be, it is a furnace of material fire burning with brimstone; and that, at the last day, said "never-dying souls" will be raised from death to judgment! 13. The drunken winebibbers of the Great Harlot's cup in their intoxication, send "immortal souls" to heaven or hell, and thousands of years after bring them back to be invested with bodies, and judged therein, and then send them whence they came, there to remain for ever! This they call resurrection and judgment! 14. Other theorists, intoxicated with the Babylonian wine, say, that there is no judgment for what they term "the saints," after death (Heb. 9:27); that they are giving account of themselves at the Judgment Seat of Christ now, and that at death the account closes; and that the decision of their case consists in their projection from the grave immortal! 15. The "divines" of the Harlot Family teach that the first day of the week, called Sunday, is the Sabbath, and hallowed by the Mosaic Law! -- a tradition worthy of the blind leaders of the blind. 16. Instead of preaching "good will among men," they set them by the ears, and excite them to mutual destruction by war, in the name of "patriotism" and religion. 17. These ingredients of Rome's golden cup, imbibed by all alike, being their premises, the State and Nonconformist Spirituals inculcate "a spirit," and preach "a Jesus" and "a gospel" which the apostles of Christ did not preach, and which therefore convicts them of being the Accursed Hierarchy of Satan -- the manifested officials of "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Harlots, and of the Abominations of the Earth" (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6-9; Rev. 17:5). 4. The Scarlet-Colored Beast "The Beast which thou sawest, was, and is not: but is hereafter to ascend out of the abyss, and to go away into perdition. After the exposition given of the Beasts in the thirteenth chapter of this work, it will be unnecessary for me to add more than a few words in this place. The Beast before us is the Beast of the Sea with seven heads and ten horns, but with certain additional particulars. The Beast of the Sea in ch. 13, was the polity it represents, in its origin; but the Beast of the Abyss of ch. 17, is the same polity in the last thirty years, or "one hour," of its existence, and previous to its arrival at the "perdition" into which "it goes away". In the days of John it did not exist, for the ten horns upon it had then received no kingdom. The territory upon which they now exist was then included in the western division of the Roman empire; but upon it, distinct horn-kingdoms, or toe-kingdoms, which are the same kingdoms, did not exist. In this sense, therefore, it is "the beast that is not". But it was "hereafter to ascend," mellei anabainein, out of the abyss; that is, at a time subsequently to John's vision. Having arisen, and continued its appointed time, or aion, it is to "go away into perdition". When this perdition is consummated, it will then be "the beast that was;" and then also, "the beast that is not, although it is" to be when John saw. The Great Harlot was seen to sit upon this Beast; and she was seen to sit "upon many waters," which are interpreted in verse 15, to signify "peoples and multitudes, and nations and tongues"; subjects of the debauched kings, or rulers, of the earth, who are all drunk with her wine; and have no part in the life and glory of the blessed (verse 8). Sitting upon these peoples and the Beast is equivalent to saying, that this Beast is the symbolic representative of the political society they constitute. They are the peoples of the ten horns and of the imperial head giving countenance, veneration, and support to the Great Harlot, as the ecclesiastical system of their several States by law established. The Beast of the Sea in its origin could reckon up only seven heads upon the seven mountains; but this Beast of the Abyss can count the same seven with an additional head, which is styled "the Eighth" -- "the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth; and he is of the seven, and goeth away into perdition". The Eighth Head is the "Holy Roman Empire," under "His Holiness" and "His Apostolic Majesty," forming a conjoint dynasty, as symbolized by Daniel's Little Horn with Eyes of a man and Mouth of blasphemy. This Eighth Head, with its spiritual emperor in Rome, and its secular emperor in Vienna, has ruled in the midst of the Ten Horns, during many centuries; but the time has not yet quite come when these deliver their power and authority to the Beast's eighth head for "one hour". When this event transpires, it will be consequent upon the operation of the Frog-Power causing the gathering of "the kings of the earth and of the whole habitable" against the Lamb and his forces. "I saw," says John, "the Beast, and the Kings of the Earth, and their armies gathered together to make war against Him sitting upon the horse, and against his army" (ch. 19:19). This is the same hostile gathering referred to in ch. 17:14 -- "these (the Ten Horns) shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall conquer them for he is Lord of lords and King of kings; and they that are with him (Jesus and his Brethren, the Saints with the Spirit -- ch. 14:13) are called, and chosen, and faithful". The conquest of the Eighth Head and these Horns, which represent the Latin Catholic Europe, is the third angel judgment of the Seventh Vial; and results in these island-kingdoms fleeing away, and their mountain-empires being found no more (ch. 14:10, 11; 16:20). The perdition of the Eighth Head and its Horn-Allies will also be the destruction of the False Prophet Power; or, under another figure, the Drunken Prostitute that rides the Beast, or sits upon the peoples of divers tongues. Before the end of the Beast and Horn Polity is reached, the Horns "hate the Harlot, and make her desolate and naked, and eat her flesh, and burn her with fire" (verse 16). This process has been going on for some time, but is not yet consummated. The Little Horn with Eyes, into whose hand the Saints were given 1335 years ago, was to lose his dominion, not all at once, but consumptively for a time, and after that to be destroyed without remedy -- "the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end" (Dan. 7:26): and Paul says, in reference to the same, "the Lord will consume the Lawless One by the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy him by the manifestation of his presence" (2 Thess. 2:8). The judgment has been sitting upon the Papacy and the secular imperiality that sustains it; that is, upon the Eighth Head, for the past seventy-five years, as shown in the exposition of the Vials. The effect of the judgment may be seen by comparing the Papacy and Austria as they were before the great French Revolution, with what they are at the present time. The Pope, the Emperor, and the Sultan, are the three sick men of Europe -- in hospital, as it were, incurably sick. All his calamities have come upon the Pope and his Church by the powers occupying the territories of the Ten Horns, who have hated the Harlot, and made her desolate, and naked, and ate her flesh, and burned her with fire. Alison informs us, that the French ambassador writing from Rome to Buonaparte in 1797, remarked that "the payment of thirty millions stipulated by the treaty of Tolentino has totally exhausted this old carcass" (the Great Harlot, or Roman State): "we are making it consume by a slow fire". Ranke says that the losses of the Roman State were estimated altogether at 220 millions of livres. French occupation and oppression in Rome reduced its population from 180,000 to 90,000, and converted many villages into deserts. See also the spirit of hatred evinced on Feb. 15, 1798, by the French soldiery, who arrested the Pope while sitting in "the temple of the god," and receiving the congratulations of his cardinals; tore from his finger the ring of his marriage to the Latin Harlot; rifled his palace; and carried him prisoner into France, where he died in exile shortly after. In France, the Great Harlot still remains spoiled, impoverished, and legally only on a footing of equality with the other superstitions, whose adherents she used to murder as heretics. In Portugal, she was prohibited from resuming possession of her confiscated domains by decree of the secular authority in 1835. The national and ecclesiastical property then to be sold is stated at more than twelve millions sterling. Such a dilapidation of funds could not but sensibly affect the revenues of the Romish See. Even in "most catholic" Spain, the Harlot's flesh was eaten, and the confiscation of her immense property completed by queen Christina and Espartero. The papal apostolic letter states, that the ecclesiastical property in that country had been put up to sale, and the proceeds put into the public treasury; that all communication with the See of Rome was prohibited under severe penalties; that no Nuncio is ever to be admitted into the kingdom to grant favors and dispensations; that the ancient papal prerogative of confirming or rejecting bishops elected in Spain, was altogether abolished; and that the priests who seek confirmation, and metropolitans who solicit the pallium, or lambskin, from Rome, incur the penalty of exile. In 1844, Christina repented of this anti-Romish policy, and conjointly with Narvaez took measures for the partial re-endowment of the Harlot. The Times and Evening Mail, of April 16, speaks of "the signalization of her former government by the confiscation of Church property, burning of monasteries, desecration of churches, and massacre of monks, when the infidel party in her name, tore up the old ecclesiastical machinery of Spain, and shot down its adherents;" and then proceeds in these words, "the corruptions of the church have been beyond denial or apology. Friend and foe alike confessed and proclaimed them. A fiery ordeal was necessary for it; and a fiery ordeal it has had. It has emerged from the flames shorn of much of its paraphernalia. We may hope that it has been purified, as well as punished". On the same subject, the pope in his Allocution of March 2, 1841, says, "as for the authors of these acts, who glory in being called children of the Catholic Church, we supplicate them to open their eyes on the wounds they have inflicted on their Mother and Benefactress". "We show you," he adds, "the patrimony of the Church almost entirely usurped; as if the irreproachable Spouse of Jesus Christ had not in her primordial right the faculty of acquiring and possessing temporal goods". What a different view the pope takes of the Latin Church! He styles it "the irreproachable spouse of Jesus Christ;" while the Spirit exhibited it to John as a prostitute drunk with the blood of the murdered saints and witnesses of Jesus! With respect to Italy, which now represents Sardinia, Naples, Lombardo-Venetia, and the Duchies, pope Gregory XVI., in an encyclical letter bearing date Aug. 16, 1832, mourned over a tempest of evils and disasters. He says, "this our Roman Chair of the blessed Peter, in which Christ has placed the main strength of the Church, is most ferociously assailed: a horrible and nefarious warfare openly and avowedly waged against the Catholic faith". And he closes with a prayer to the Virgin Mary, "who alone has destroyed all heresies, and is our greatest confidence, even the whole foundation of our hope". This was published in the days of the Carbonari, to whom Louis Napoleon belonged, and whose outbreak was put down by Austrian soldiery. But worse times have come upon the harlot in Italy since then. Throughout that country, with the exception of Rome and the little patrimony held by French protection, the Roman Harlot has been made desolate and naked; her flesh has been eaten, and she has been subjected to a fiery ordeal, that has thoroughly impoverished her. Her property has been confiscated to the use of the kingdom of Italy, to an amount equal to six hundred millions of dollars; which is being eaten up in preparations for the struggle, which, it is hoped, will consummate the desires and ambition of all patriotic citizens; that Rome shall be redeemed from the beastly tyranny of priests, and made the capital of a free, happy, and united Italy. Thus the Ten Horns which John saw upon the Beast have hated the harlot, and made her desolate and naked, and eaten her flesh, and burned her with fire; for the Deity put it in their hearts to fulfil His will: and He will yet put it in their hearts "to agree, and deliver their kingdom to the beast," during the "one hour" in which they are at war with the Lamb; that is, "until the predictions of the Deity have been fulfilled" (verse 17). This seventeenth chapter, which contemplates so much of the judgment of the Great Harlot as pertains to her preadventual consumption, finishes with the words, "and the woman which thou sawest, is that Great City having dominion over the kings of the earth". In the days of John, it was customary to represent the Roman State by a woman sitting upon seven projections piled upon one another, to typify the seven mountains. This device may be seen upon a coin in the British Museum, struck in the reign of Vespasian. Sitting upon the Seven Hills, with "Roma" under the base line, indicated that that Great City, as it really was in those days, was the capital of the State. In John's time she ruled militarily "over the kings of the earth"; as in after ages she came to do spiritually and more despotically. On a medal struck in 1825, in the reign of Leo XII, the Roman State is represented by a woman holding a cross in the left hand, and a cup in the right hand extended, with the inscription Sedet super Universam, "She sits upon the Universe," which is equivalent to the Apocalyptic intimation, "She sits upon the many waters," or "peoples and multitudes, and nations, and tongues;" or "She sits upon the Beast," and therefore "reigns over the kings of the earth". Rome Before 500 b.c. 1. Circus Maximus 2. Temple of Diana (probable site) 3. Cloaca Maxima 4. Temple of Jupiter Juno, and Minerva 5. Curia (first meeting place of the Senate) 6. Temple of Janus 7. Temple of Vesta 8. Regia (palace of the early kings; under the republic the residence of the pontifex maximus)