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Antichrist meets with at his arrival in the infernal regions. All hell is in an uproar, the princes, the giants or famous war. riors whom he had slain, rise up and advance to meet him, addressing him with derision: Oh! Thou art also wounded then as well as we, thou art at last dealt with as thou deat with us: Thy pride is brought down to hell, &c.
V. 12. “ How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? how art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations ?
V. 13." And thou saidst in thy heart: I will ascend to heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north.
V. 14. “ I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.
V. 15. “ But yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, into the depth of the pit.” The princes in hell continue to insult Antichrist, saying: How art thou fallen, thou that shone in majesty and brightness like Lucifer, the morning star? They remind him of his former pride, arrogance, superlative insolence, his proclaiming himself God, &c., all which they paint in lively colours: After which with a contemptuous triumph they tell him: But yet thou shalt be brought down to hellinto the depth of the pit.
V. 16. “ They that shall see thee, shall turn towards thee, and behold thee: is this the man that troubled the earth, that shook kingdoms.
V. 17. ** That made the world a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, that opened not the prison to the prisoners ?
V. 18. “All the kings of the nations have all of them slept in glory, every one in his own house.
V. 19.“ But thou wert cast out of thy grave as an unprofitable branch defiled, and wrapped up among them that are slain by the sword, and are gone down to the bottom of the pit as a rotten carcass."
THE CONTINUATION OF THE HISTORY OF THE SIXTH AGE.
NotwithsTANDING the vengeance of God has thus manifested itself in the total extermination of Antichrist and his
armies, his wrath is not yet satisfied, but requires more victims to atone for the injury done to his holy worship by the establishment of idolatry and for the cruelties exercised upon his servants. The Almighty had formerly poured out his indignation upon the Roman emperors, many of whom were struck, and perished under the visible marks of his judgments. But this was not sufficient, he devoted haughty imperial Rome, their capital, to destruction, and laid it in ashes. It had participated with its masters in the crime of supporting idolatry, and waging war against the saints, and therefore like them was to be cut off. In the same manner Constantinople, the centre and metropolis of the Antichristian empire, must also fall under the weight of the hand of God. This we learn from St. John: for thus speaks he,
Chap. xiv. 8." And another angel followed, saying, That great Babylon is fallen, is fallen :* which made all nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." This Babylon has been supposed by many interpreters to mean pagan Rome, but whoever studies the Apocalypse with attention, will see the error of that opinion. For St. John gives the destruc: ljon of heathen Rome in the beginning of the 18th chapter, as we have before seen, and in the same terms nearly, not entirely, as are used here: and as St. John never repeats the same event, this second Babylon must be another city, the great city, which has made all nations to drink of the wine of her fornication or idolatry. This Babylon therefore can be no other than Constantinople, the imperial city of Antichrist, which has so readily joined him in admitting idolatry, and so hotly concurred to propagate it over the whole earth. Besides, the same conclusion follows from observing, that the transactions related in this 14th chapter belong to the last period of the world. Other proofs will also presently occur.
But our Christian prophet has not only announced to us in general the fall of this last Babylon, but even gives us a special description of its destruction. This is found in the latter part of the 18th chapter. St. John, after carrying on his nar rative of the fate of old Rome, in the first part of the same chapter, proceeds in verse 20th, to invite heaven and the saints to rejoice and exult on the occasion. “Rejoice over her,” says he, “thou heaven and ye holy apostles and prophets : for (iod has judged your judgment on her.” This indicates that Irere concludes his description of the fall of Babylon or pa.
* In the Greek, “ Babylon the great city is fallen, is fallen.”
gan Rome. What follows, belongs therefore to the second Babylon or Constantinople, and is related thus :
Chap. xviii. 21. “ And a mighty angel took up a stone, as it were a great mill-stone, and cast it into the sea, saying: with such violence as this shall Babylon that great city be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” Here then Constantinople falls, and the manner of her fall is expressed in clear and energetic terms. As a mill-stone thrown with violence into the sea sinks to the bottom in a moment, so will Constantinople be swallowed up by the sea in an instant, never more to be seen.
This description cannot, it is evident, belong to Rome, which does not stand upon the sea. Besides, ancient Rome after its destruction was in some degree rebuilt and still subsists, whereas this last Babylon after its fate shall be found no more at all.
The prophet goes on,
V. 22. “And the voice of harpers, and of musicians, and of them that play on the pipe and on the trumpet, shall no more be heard at all in thee, and no craftsmen of any art whatsoever shall be found any more at all in thee, and the sound of the mill shall be heard no more at all in thee.
V. 23. “And the light of the lamp shall shine no more at all in thee, and the voice of the bridegroom and bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth, for all nations have been deceived by thy enchantments.” Neither music, nor dancing, of which the eastern nations are fond, nor other diversions, shall ever more be heard or seen in that city, &c. All is profound silence, and utter desolation. No more vestiges even of that great city remaining than of Sodom and Gomorrha, the very place buried in the deep. Her crimes had grown to their full measure. Her luxury had been excessive, to serve which the great men and the princes of the earth had been compelled to strip themselves and to furnish her with every thing that was valuable. Her voluptuousness was such that she seduced all nations by her riches and her pleasures, which, like an enchantment, fascinate the minds of men. By these allurements she had, like ancient Rome, ensnared mankind into her vices and idolatry.
Such is the general view of the state of that imperial city, as it will be at the time of her fall. But what completed to make her infinitely odious in the sight of God, and to force down the divine vengeance upon her," was,
V. 24. “And in her," says St. John, “ was found the bloo:1 of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” In the exultation for the fall of pagan Rome in verse 20th, the apostles were mentioned, because their blood was found there, as having been spilled by her emperors and magistrates. This not being the case of the last Babylon or Constantinople, in her is found the blood of prophets and of saints, of Henoch and Elias, and of an infinite multitude of Christian martyrs, cruelly put to death by her emperor, Antichrist, and his magistrates; blood, which cried to heaven for vengeance, and in which he had a share. It is even said that in her was found the blood of all that were slain upon the earth. All this blood is imputed to the city of Constantinople, because she was the capital of Antichrist's empire, which extended over the whole earth. In this same sense it was said that heathen Rome “ was drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus,” Apoc. xvii. 6, not only of those who had been put to death within her walls, but likewise of all others who had suffered in the extent of her dominions through the whole period of the persecutions.
As the subversion of the Antichristian Babylon, in the pro phetic history, follows immediately that of the Roman Babylon; in like manner the exultations in heaven for both are joined to one another. The jubilation for the fall of pagan Rome begins thus: “ After these things I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude in heaven saying ALLELUIA," &c. Apoc. xix. 1. And that for the fall of Constantinople, thus: “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude-saying, Alleluia,” &c. ibid. v. 6. The same mode of speech used in both these places, as St. John never repeats the same thing, shows that these expressions of jubilation relate to two different objects, that is, to the fall of two different Babylons. This observation premised, the present exultation is,
Chap. xix. 6. “And I heard,” says St. John, “as it were the voice of a great.multitude, and as the voice of inany waters, and as the voice of great thunders, saying, Alleluia : for the Lord our God the Almighty hath reigned." St. John heard the voice of a great multitude in heaven, of that great multitude of martyrs which he had seen standing before the throne, and who had come out of the great tribulation, or persecution of Antichrist, Apoc. vii. 9, 14. To these is joined a voice, as the voice of many waters, that is, of the angels that preside over nations, denoted hy waters, which had all before groaned under the tyranny of Antichrist: and also another
voice, like the voice of great thunders, or of the angel that presides over fire, which, as employed in military engines, by its explosion resembles thunder; and such thundering fire was the instrument Antichrist made use of to kill the third part of men, Apoc. ix. 18. All these different personages have therefore reason to rejoice on this occasion, and to join their voices in singing, Alleluia; for the Lord our God Almighty hath reigned, has asserted his sovereign power, and crushed his enemies.
The prophet Isaiah, in denouncing the divine wrath upon Babylon of Chaldæa, seems also to have annexed the judgment that is to fall upon the last or Antichristian Babylon.
The fall of the first is fully described in chapter 13th, and what follows in the subsequent chapter must therefore belong to another city; which is confirmed by particular circumstances there related. Part of the preamble used by that prophet seems also to be referred to the last Babylon. Thus speaks he,
Chap. xiii. 9. “Behold the day of the Lord shall come, a cruel day, and full of indignation, and of wrath, and fury, to lay the land desolate, and to destroy the sinners thereof.
V. 10. “ For the stars of heaven, and their brightness, shall not display their light: the sun shall be darkened in his rising, and the inoon shall not shine with her light." These signs indicate the last age of the world.
V. 11. “ And I will visit the evils of the world, and against the wicked for their iniquity, and I will make the pride of infidels to cease, and will bring down the arrogance of the mighty.”
Then in the next chapter the prophet, after describing the character of Antichrist and the divine judgment upon him, proceeds to relate the destruction of his Babylon, thus:
Chap. xiv. 22." And I will raise up against them, said the Lord of hosts : and I will destroy the name of Babylon, and the remains, and the bud, and the offspring, saith the Lord.
V. 23. “ And I will make it a possession for the ericius* and pools of waters, and I will sweep it, and wear it out with a besom, saith the Lord of Hosts.” The remains of Babylon; the bud of Babylon, perhaps the children in the womb; and the offspring, are all doomed to be utterly extirpated. This did not happen to the Chaldæan Babylon, which
* A water-bird.