"Her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her
iniquities. . . . In the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How
much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment
and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no
widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one
day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with
fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived
deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, . . . saying,
Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is
thy judgment come." Revelation 18:5-10. "The merchants of the
earth," that have "waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies,"
"shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
and saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen,
and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and
pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought." Revelation
18:11, 3, 15-17.
Such are the judgments that fall upon Babylon in the day of the visitation
of God's wrath. She has filled up the measure of her iniquity; her time
has come; she is ripe for destruction. When the voice of God turns
the captivity of His people, there is a terrible awakening of those who
have lost all in the great conflict of life. While probation continued
they were blinded by Satan's deceptions, and they justified their course
The rich prided themselves upon their superiority to those who were less
favored; but they had obtained their riches by violation of the law of
God. They had neglected to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to deal
justly, and to love mercy. They had sought to exalt themselves and to
obtain the homage of their fellow creatures.
Now they are stripped of all that made them great and are left destitute
and defenseless. They look with terror upon the destruction of the idols
which they preferred before their Maker. They have sold their souls for
earthly riches and enjoyments, and have not sought to become rich toward
God. The result is, their lives are a failure; their pleasures are now
turned to gall, their treasures to corruption. The gain of a lifetime is
swept away in a moment.
The rich bemoan the destruction of their grand houses, the scattering of
their gold and silver. But their lamentations are silenced by the fear
that they themselves are to perish with their idols.The wicked are filled
with regret, not because of their sinful neglect of God and their fellow
men, but because God has conquered. They lament that the result is what it
is; but they do not repent of their wickedness. They would leave no means
untried to conquer if they could.
The world see the very class whom they have mocked and derided, and
desired to exterminate, pass unharmed through pestilence, tempest, and
earthquake. He who is to the transgressors of His law a devouring fire, is
to His people a safe pavilion. The minister who has sacrificed truth
to gain the favor of men now discerns the character and influence of his
teachings. It is apparent that the omniscient eye was following him as he
stood in the desk, as he walked the streets, as he mingled with men in the
various scenes of life. Every emotion of the soul, every line written,
every word uttered, every act that led men to rest in a refuge of
falsehood, has been scattering seed; and now, in the wretched, lost souls
around him, he beholds the harvest.
Saith the Lord: "They have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people
slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace." "With lies ye
have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and
strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his
wicked way, by promising him life." Jeremiah 8:11; Ezekiel 13:22.
"Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!
. . . Behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings." "Howl, ye
shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of
the flock: for your days for slaughter and of your dispersions are
accomplished; . . . and the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the
principal of the flock to escape." Jeremiah 23:1, 2; 25:34, 35, margin.
Ministers and people see that they have not sustained the right relation
to God. They see that they have rebelled against the Author of all just
and righteous law. The setting aside of the divine precepts gave rise to
thousands of springs of evil, discord, hatred, iniquity, until the earth
became one vast field of strife, one sink of corruption. This is the
view that now appears to those who rejected truth and chose to cherish
error. No language can express the longing which the disobedient and
disloyal feel for that which they have lost forever--eternal life.
Men whom the world has worshiped for their talents and eloquence now see
these things in their true light. They realize what they have forfeited by
transgression, and they fall at the feet of those whose fidelity they have
despised and derided, and confess that God has loved them. The
people see that they have been deluded. They accuse one another of
having led them to destruction; but all unite in heaping their bitterest
condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied
smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and
to persecute those who would keep it holy.
Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work
of deception. The multitudes are filled with fury. "We are lost!" they
cry, "and you are the cause of our ruin;" and they turn upon the false
shepherds. The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the
most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with
laurels will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to
slay God's people are now employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere
there is strife and bloodshed.