Spiritual background for REVELATION 18previous - next - text - Revelation - BM Home - Full Page
AR Chapter 18
AR 802. It is said that from the religious persuasion which is meant by "the city Babylon" is the adulteration and profanation of every truth of the Word and thence of every holy thing of the church; and it has been said many times in what precedes, that that religious persuasion has not only adulterated the goods and truths of the Word, but has also profaned them; and that "Babel" therefore in the Word signifies the profanation of what is holy. It shall now be said how that profanation has been and is effected. It was said above, that the love of having dominion from the love of self over the holy things of the church and over heaven, and thus over all the Divine things of the Lord, is the devil. Now because that dominion as an end resides in the minds of those who founded that religious persuasion, they could not do otherwise than profane the holy things of the Word and the church. Suppose that that love, which is the devil, should reside in the mind of anyone interiorly, as every ruling love does; then place some Divine truth exteriorly before its eyes; will it not tear it to pieces, cast it to the earth, and trample it down, and in place of it summon a falsity that agrees with itself? The love of possessing all the things of the world is satan, and the devil and satan act as one, as if joined in a covenant, with such as from the one love are in the other. It may be concluded from this, whence it is that profanation is signified in the Word by "Babylon." For example: place before that love which is the devil this Divine truth, that God alone is to be worshiped and adored, and not any man; and thus that the vicarship is an invention and a fiction, which is to be rejected. In like manner this truth, that to invoke dead men, to fall down to their images, to kiss them and their bones, is simply and foully idolatrous, which is also to be rejected. Would not that love which is the devil reject these two truths in the vehemence of its anger, fulminate against them, and tear them in pieces? But if anyone should say to that love which is the devil, that to open and shut heaven, or to loose and to bind, and thus to remit sins, which is the same as to reform and regenerate, and so to redeem and save man, is purely Divine, and that a man cannot ascribe to himself anything Divine without profanation; and that Peter did not ascribe it to himself, and therefore did not exercise any such authority; moreover, that the succession is a thing invented by that love; as also the transferring of the Holy Spirit from man to man; on hearing these things, would not that love which is the devil, belabor the speaker with anathemas, and in the fire of its fury command him to be delivered to the inquisitor, and to be cast among the damned? If anyone were to say further, How can the Lord‘s Divine authority be transferred to you? How can the Lord’s Divinity be separated from His soul and body? Is it not according to your faith that it cannot? How can God the Father introduce His Divine power into the Son, except into His Divinity, which is the receptacle? How can this be transcribed into a man that it may be his? Besides other similar things. On hearing these, would not that love which is the devil be silent, kindle into wrath within, gnash the teeth, and cry out, "Lead him forth, crucify him, crucify him; go, go all of you, see the great heretic, and delight yourselves with him"?