the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“The mystery of iniquity doth already work.”
Among other visions, John was favoured to see the destruction of the evil system of Antichrist, which was foreshadowed before him under the image of a base and guilty woman. This mother of harlots we believe to be the Church of Rome. Certainly there is nothing upon earth so like to the description, and it is difficult to conceive that any future system could more fully answer to the prophecy.
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness:
Rome stands literally as well as spiritually in a wilderness.
Names of blasphemy are abundant in that church whose head dares to call himself Infallible.
Dr. Wordsworth remarks that in the description of the Pope’s official dress mention is made of scarlet robes, a vest covered with pearls, and a mitre adorned with gold and precious stones.
These words are like a photograph of the Papacy, no portrait could be more accurate.
This beast is thought to be the old imperial power of Rome upon which the spiritual power rode as on a richly caparisoned steed.
God’s own chosen cannot be deluded by her, but myriads of others are.
Every schoolboy knows that Rome is built upon seven hills.
Of this many interpretations have been given, but none seems to us to be clear.
Revelation 17:12 , Revelation 17:13
Probably these are the kingdoms which arose at the breaking up of the old Roman empire, and all became vassals of the Papal power.
The Papacy will perish by the hands of the kings who once supported it. Already its temporal power is shorn away, and in almost every nation the rulers are resolved to curb its insolence.
This must be Rome, for no other city has exercised such imperial authority, and made the kings of the earth her vassals. May the fall of Romanism be speedy and overwhelming.
“Come out of her, my people.”
Revelation 18:4 , Revelation 18:5 , Revelation 18:8-13 , Revelation 18:15-21 , Revelation 18:24
Renounce the symbols of Rome, abhor her doctrines, and avoid her spirit. Come out, completely out.
Revelation 18:5 , Revelation 18:8
Suddenness is a usual attendant of severity. Rome will be spared till her huge measure of sin is full, but not a moment longer. That period cannot be far distant, for it is barely within the power of imagination to conceive a more wicked system than popery, and especially popery intensified by the Jesuits. If a criminal so grossly guilty as the Church of Rome be not signally punished, where is the justice of God? Her end will astound all mankind.
Revelation 18:9 , Revelation 18:10
The destruction of such an imperial system will astonish kings, but they will be both unable and unwilling to interfere.
Go into any of the rich Popish churches and see whether this is not an exact catalogue of what is to be seen there. It reads like an appraiser’s list. When all these things cease to be used in Popish worship it will make a great difference to trade, and hence this bitter lamentation of the merchants.
In the middle ages foreign trade was greatly quickened by the luxury of the Popish Church, hence the wailing of mariners at her fall.
Merchants and shipmasters mourn, but saints and angels sing. O Lord, how long shall it be ere this desired end shall come?
This is her monster sin. The Romish Church is essentially persecuting. In every land she has been eager for the blood of the faithful people of God, and it is her boast that she never changes. Her doom is sealed, and glory be to God for it. The sooner such a system, with all its belongings, is swept from off the face of the earth, the better.
Come, in thy glorious might,
Come with thine iron rod,
Scattering thy foes before thy face,
Most Mighty Son of God.
Come and make error flee,
And Popish idols fall;
Let Rome’s dominion cease to be,
And God be all in all.