The Doom Of Mystic Babylon
3 So he caried me away in the Spirit into the wildernesse: and I saw a woman sit vpō a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, hauing seuen heads, and ten hornes.
4 And the woman was arayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold, and precious stone & pearles, hauing a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthinesse of her fornication.
5 And vpon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots, And Abominations Of The Earth.
6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the Saints, and with the blood of the Martyrs of Iesus: and when I saw her, I wondred with great admiration.
Babylon The Mother
We point to the fact that the foretold destruction of Babylon is immediately to be followed by “the marriage of the Lamb!” This is clearly foretold in Revelation 19. But the capture of Rome by Alaric was not followed by that event. Alaric captured Rome fifteen centuries ago, while the marriage of the Lamb is still future. This utterly excludes the notion that the destruction of Rome by Alaric is the judgment intended, and that Babylon the Great represents pagan Rome. And as Babylon the Great does not represent Rome pagan, it must represent Rome Papal; there is no other alternative.
Now, in conclusion, read this wonderful prophecy concerning “Babylon the Great” in the clear and allrevealing light of history. I ask those of you who have read the history of the last eighteen centuries, did not Rome Christian become a harlot? Did not Papal Rome ally herself with the kings of the earth? Did it not glorify itself to be as a queen, and call itself the Mistress of the World?
Did it not ride upon the body of the beast, or fourth empire, and govern its actions for centuries? Did not Papal Rome array itself in purple and scarlet, and deck itself with gold and precious stones and pearls? Is not this its attire still? We appeal to facts. Go to the churches and see. Look at the priests; look at the cardinals; look at the popes; look at the purple robes they wear; look at their scarlet robes see the encrusted jewels. Look at the luxurious palaces in which they live; look at the eleven thousand halls and chambers in the Vatican, and the unbounded wealth and glory gathered there; look at the gorgeous spectacles in St. Peter’s at Rome, casting even the magnificence of royalty into the shade. Go and see these things, or read the testimony of those who have seen them. Shamelessly Rome wears the very raiment, the very hues and colors, portrayed on the pages of inspired prophecy. You may know the harlot by her attire as certainly as by the name upon her brow.
But to come to the darkest feature. Has not the Church of Rome drunk most abundantly the precious bloodof saints and martyrs? We appeal to facts. What of the Albigenses in the thirteenth century? What of the Waldenses from the thirteenth century on to the time of Cromwell and the commonwealth? You have not forgotten Milton’s poem about them, those memorable lines. And what of the persecutions of Protestants in France, those dreadful persecutions mercilessly continued for more than three hundred years? What of the massacre of St. Bartholornew, and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes? What of the fires of Smithfield? What of the terrible inquisition?
Stay, I will take you to the Inquisition. You shall enter its gloomy portals; you shall walk through its dark passages; you shall stand in its infernal torture-chamber; you shall hear the cries of some of its victims; you shall listen to their very words. What agonies have been suffered in these somber vaults, unseen by any human eyes save those of fiendish inquisitors! What cries have been uttered in this dismal place which have never reached the open world in which we live. Locked doors shut them in; stone walls stifled them. No sound escaped, not even that of a faint and distant moan. But now and then a victim found release; one and another have come forth from the torture-chamber pale and tremblingly, maimed and mutilated, to tell the things they experienced when in the hands of the holy inquisitors. We shall call in some of these as witnesses.
This book is Limborch’s “History of the Inquisition.” It tells the story of its origin seven hundred years ago, and of its establishment and progress in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Sicily, Sardinia, Germany, Holland, and other parts of the world; it describes its ministers and methods, its vicars, assistants, notaries, judges, and other officials. It describes the power of the inquisitors, and their manner of proceeding. It unveils their dread tribunal; opens their blood-stained records; describes their dungeons, the secret tortures they inflicted, the extreme, merciless, unmitigated tortures, and also the public so called “acts of faith,” or burning of heretics. What a record! What a world of tyranny and intolerable anguish compressed into that one word – the Inquisition! Tyranny over the conscience! Men in the name of Jesus Christ stretching and straining maiming and mangling their fellow men, to compel them to call light darkness, and darkness light. To call the Gospel of Christ a lie and the lie of Satan truth to confess that wrong is right, and acknowledge right is wrong. To bow down to man and worship him as God; to call the teachings of Christ heresy, and the teachings of antichrist Divine! Tremendous was the power of that dread tribunal. In Spain and Portugal it completely crushed the Reformation. No secrets could be withheld from the inquisitors; hundreds of persons were often apprehended in one day, and in consequence of information resulting from their examinations under torture, thousands more were apprehended.
Prisons, convents, even private houses, were crowded with victims; the cells of the inquisition were filled and emptied again and again; its torture-chamber was a hell. The most excruciating engines were employed to dislocate the limbs of even tender women. Thousands were burned at the stake. The gospel was gagged and crushed, and Christ Himself in the persons of His members subjected to the anguish of a second Golgotha.
Let us look into the chamber of horrors in the Spanish Inquisition. “The place of torture,” says a Spanish historian, quoted by Limborch, Page 217, ” the place of torture in the Spanish Inquisition is generally an underground and very dark room, to which one enters through several doors. There is a tribunal erected in it in which the inquisitor, inspector, and secretary sit. When the candles ate lighted, and the person to be tortured brought in, the executioner, who is waiting for him, makes an astonishing and dreadful appearance. He is covered all over with a black linen garment down to his feet and tied close to his body. His head and face are all concealed with a long black cowl, only two little holes being left in it for him to see through. All this is intended to strike the miserable wretch with greater terror in mind and body, when he sees himself going to be tortured by the hands of one who thus looks like the very devil.”
The degrees of torture are described by Julius Clarus and other writers quoted by Limborch. They were various, and included the following:
- The being threatened to be tortured.
- Being carried to the place of torture.
- The stripping and binding.
- The being hoisted up on the rack.
- What they called “squassation.”
This was the torture of the pulley. Besides this there was the torture of the fire, or chafing dish full of burning charcoal applied to the soles of the feet. Then there was the torture of the rack, and of another instrument called by the Spaniards “escalero.” Then that of the pouring water into a bag of linen stuffed down the throat and that of iron dice forced into the feet by screws; and of canes placed crosswise between the fingers, and so compressed as to produce intolerable pain. Then the torture of cords drawn tightly round various parts of the body, cutting through the flesh; and of the machine in which the sufferer was fixed head downwards; and, lastly, the torture of red-hot irons applied to the breasts and sides till they burned to the bone.
Here, on Page 219, is the account of the stripping of victims, men and women, preparatory to torture. The stripping from them of every vestige of clothing by these holy inquisitors, and how they put on them short linen drawers, leaving all the rest of the body naked for the free action of the tormentors. Here, on page 221, is the account by Isaac Orobio of what he suffered when in their hands. It was towards evening, he says when he was brought to the place of torture in the Inquisition. It was a large, underground room, arched, and the walls covered with black hangings. The candlesticks were fastened to the wall, and the whole room enlightened with candles placed in them. At one end of it there was an enclosed place like a closet, where the inquisitor and notary sat at a table; so that the place seemed to him as the very mansion of death, everything appearing so terrible and awful. Then the inquisitor admonished him to confess the truth before his torments began. When he answered that he had told the truth, the inquisitor gravely protested that since he was so obstinate as to suffer the torture, the holy office would be innocent (what exquisite hypocrisy!) if he should even expire in his torments. When he had said this, they put a linen garment over his body, and drew it so very close on each side as almost squeezed him to death.
When he was almost dying, they slackened all at once the sides of the garment, and, after he began to breathe again, the sudden alteration put him to the most grievous anguish and pain. When he had overcome this torture, the same admonition was repeated, that he would confess the truth in order to prevent further torment. As he persisted in his denial, they tied his thumbs so very tight with small cords as made the extremities of them greatly swell, and caused the blood to spurt out from under his nails. After this he was placed with his back against a wall and fixed upon a bench; into the wall were fastened iron pulleys, through which there were ropes drawn and tied round his arms and legs in several places. The executioner, drawing these ropes with great violence, fastened his body with them to the wall, his arms and legs, and especially his fingers and toes, being bound so tightly as to put him to the most exquisite pain, so that it seemed to him just as though lie was dissolving in flames. After this a new kind of torture succeeded.
There was an instrument like a small ladder, made of two upright pieces of wood and five cross ones sharpened in front. This the torturer placed over against him, and by a single motion struck it with great violence against both his shins, so that they received upon each of them at once five violent strokes, which put him to such intolerable anguish that he fainted away. After this he came to himself, and they inflicted on him a further torture. The torturer tied ropes about Orobio’s wrists, and then put these ropes about his own back, which was covered with leather to prevent his hurting himself; then falling backwards he drew the ropes with all his might till they cut through Orobio’s flesh, even to the very bones. And this torture was repeated twice, the ropes being tied about his arms at the distance of two fingers’ breadth from the former wound, and drawn with the same violence. On this the physician and surgeon were sent for out of the neighboring apartment to ask whether the torture could be continued without danger of death. As there was a prospect of his living through it the torture was then repeated, after which he was bound up in his own clothes and carried back to his prison. Here, opposite to this recital, is a picture representing, these various tortures. After prolonged imprisonment, Orobio was released and banished from the kingdom of Seville.
Before we let fall the curtain upon this awful subject, let us listen for a moment to some of the words of William Lithgow, a Scotsman, who suffered the tortures of the Inquisition in the time of James I. After telling of the diabolical treatment he received, which was very similar to that I have just described, he says, “Now mine eyes did begin to startle, my mouth to foam and froth, and my teeth to clatter like the dobbling of drum sticks. Oh, strange, inhuman, monster man manglers.
And notwithstanding of my shivering lips in this fiery passion, my vehement groaning, and blood springing from my arms, my broken sinews, yea, and my depending weight on flesh-cutting cords, yet they struck me on the face with cudgels’ to abate and cease the thundering noise of my wrestling voice. At last, being released from these pinnacles of pain, I was hand fast set on the floor with this their ceaseless imploration: ‘Confess, confess, confess in time, or your inevitable torments ensue.’ Where, finding nothing from me but still innocent, ‘Oh! I am innocent. O Jesus, the Lamb of God, have mercy on me, and strengthen me with patience to undergo this barbarous murder!”
Enough! Here let the curtain drop. I should sicken you were I to pursue the subject further it is too horrible, too damnable.
Here in this paper I have some of the ashes of the martyrs, some of their burned bones. I have bits of rusted iron and melted lead which I took myself with these hands from the Quemadero in Madrid, the place where they burned the martyrs, not far from the Inquisition. It was in the year 1870 that I visited it, just before the great ecumenical council was held at Rome, by which the pope was proclaimed infallible I was in Spain that spring, and visited the newly opened Quernadero. I saw the ashes of the martyrs. I carried away with me some relics from that spot, which are now lying upon this table.
Hear me, though in truth I scarcely know how to speak upon this subject. I am almost dumb with horror when I think of it. I have visited the places in Spain, in France, in Italy most deeply stained and dyed with martyr-blood. I have visited the valleys of Piedmont. I have stood in the shadow of the great cathedral of Seville, on the spot where they burned the martyrs or tore them limb from limb. I have stood breast-deep in the ashes of the martyrs of Madrid. I have read the story of Rome’s deeds. I have waded through many volumes of history and of martyrology
I have visited, either in travel or in thought, scenes too numerous -for me to name, where the saints of God have been slaughtered by Papal Rome, that great butcher of bodies and of souls.
I cannot tell you what I have seen, what I have read, what I have thought I cannot tell you what I feel. Oh, it is a bloody tale! I have stood in that valley of Lucerna where dwelt the faithful Waldenses, those ancient Protestants who held to the pure gospel all through the dark ages, that lovely valley with its pine-clad slopes which Rome converted into a slaughter-house. Oh, horrible massacres of gentle, unoffending nobleminded men! Oh, horrible massacres of tender women and helpless children! Yes; you hated them, you hunted them, you trapped them, you tortured them, you stabbed them, you stuck them on spits, you Impaled them, you: hanged them. you roasted them, you flayed them, you cut them in pieces, you violated them, you violated the women, you violated the children, you forced flints into them, and stakes, and stuffed them with gunpowder, and blew them up, and tore them asunder limb from limb, and tossed them over precipices, and dashed them against the rocks; you cut them up alive, you dismembered them; you racked, mutilated, burned, tortured, mangled, massacred holy men, sainted women, mothers, daughters, tender children, harmless babes, hundreds, thousands, thousands upon thousands; you sacrificed them in heaps, in hecatombs turning all Spain, Italy, France, Europe, Christian Europe, into a slaughter-house, a charnel house, an Akeldama. Oh, horrible; too horrible to think of! The sight dims, the heart sickens, the soul is stunned in the presence of the awful spectacle. O harlot, gilded harlot, with brazen brow and brazen heart! red arc thy garments, red your hands. Thy name is written in this book. God has written it. The world has read it. Thou art a murderess, O Rome.
Thou art the murderess Babylon-” Babylon the Great,” drunken, foully drunken; yea, drunken with the sacred blood which thou has shed in streams and torrents, the blood of saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. Were there naught else by which to recognize thee, O persecuting Church of Rome, this dreadful mark would identify thee.
The Triumph Of The Saints
Commenting on the prophecy that the little horn should “wear out the saints of the Most High, Albert Barnes, writing on Daniel 7, says “Can anyone doubt that this is true of the papacy? The Inquisition; the persecutions of the Waldenses; the ravages of the Duke of Alva; the fires of Smithfield; the tortures of Goa; indeed, the whole history of the papacy may be appealed to in proof that this is applicable to that power. If anything could have worn out the saints of the Most High-could have cut them off from the earth so that evangelical religion would have become extinct, it would have been the persecutions of the papal power. In the year 1208, a crusade was proclaimed by Pope Innocent III against the Waldenses and Albigenses in which a million of men perished. From the beginning of the order of the Jesuits, in the year 1540 to 1580, nine hundred thousand were destroyed. One hundred and fifty thousand perished by the Inquisition in thirty years. In the Low Countries fifty thousand persons were hanged, beheaded, burned, or buried alive, for the crime of heresy, within the space of thirty-eight years from the edict of Charles V, against the Protestants, to the peace of Chateau Cambresis in 1559. Eighteen thousand suffered by the hands of the executioner, in the space of five years and a half, during the administration of the Duke of Alva. Indeed, the slightest acquaintance with the history of the papacy will convince anyone that what is here said of ‘making war with the saints’ (verse 21), and ‘wearing out the saints of the Most High’ (verse 25), is strictly applicable to that power, and will accurately describe its history.” Notes on the Old Testament, comments on Daniel 7.