March 7, 1895
THE AMERICAN SENTINEL and Seventh-day Adventists believe and teach that the term “Babylon” of Revelation 17 and 18 applies to the Roman Catholic Church.
All Protestants believed this in the days of the Reformation. In fact, it has been the practically unanimous belief of the popular Protestant churches until within a very brief period.
But a change has been wrought in popular Protestantism, and instead of calling the Babylon of the Bible by her right name, Protestants are now calling her the “Mother Church of Christendom,” “a part of the mystical body of Christ,” etc.
But why this change? Has Babylon become converted? Has the Lord healed her? No, this cannot be, for confession must precede healing, and Babylon stoutly avers that she has never been sick. No, Babylon teaches every abominable doctrine that she taught in the days of the Reformation. Every reason that existed in the sixteenth century for protesting against Roman Catholicism, for denominating her the Babylon of the apocalypse, exists to-day.
Why is it then that the system which the Reformation denounced as the great prophetic apostasy, is now by the descendants of the reformers terms “one branch of the Christian church”? We propose to answer this question in this article, but before we can do it, it is necessary to take a look at the papal church as described in the Scriptures.
In Revelation 17:2, 6, “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots” is spoken of as one “with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication,“—one “drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” And in Revelation 18:3, it is plainly stated that the reason for the fallen condition of this fallen church is that “the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her.” This is the reason she is fallen. She has been intimate with the civil governments of earth. She has failed to heed the warning words, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?” James 4:4.
Not only has she done this, but she is now doing it, and the last of these adulterous proposals is addressed by Pope Leo XIII. to the American Government through the American bishops of the United States. And this encyclical is alone sufficient to brand the Roman Catholic Church as the fallen Babylon of the Bible. In it the pope says:—
The church amongst you, unopposed by the Constitution and laws of your nation, fettered by no hostile legislation, protected from violence by the common laws and the impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hindrance.
Wants More Than Liberty
Is not this all that a Christian church could ask? Isn’t it more than the conquering church of the apostles had? Is it not the scriptural relation which the Church and the State should sustain toward each other? It certainly is, for Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world,” and he separated the Church from the State and asserted the independence of each by the words: “Render therefore unto Cesar the things which are Cesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Matthew 22:21. But this is not all that the Roman Catholic Church has had, and it is not all that she wants in the United States, for the pope immediately condemns this separation of Church and State in the following words:—
Yet, though all this is true, it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the church; or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced.
If it is not universally lawful for the Roman Catholic Church to be dissevered and divorced from “the kings [governments] of the earth,” then it follows that it is considered lawful and expedient that the Roman Catholic Church be united and married to “the kings of the earth.” What, therefore, the Word of God declares unlawful and spiritual “fornication,” the Roman Catholic Church in 1895 declares lawful and expedient, thus virtually acknowledging herself the spiritual adulteress of prophecy.
But the pope does not stop here, but continues to still more plainly, if it were possible, proclaim his church to be the fallen church of Revelation. He says:—
She [the Roman Catholic Church] would bring forth more abundant fruit if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of public authority.
Not the Fruits of the Spirit
That is, if the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, instead of being “dissevered and divorced,” were united and married to the United States Government “she would bring forth more abundant fruits.” The pope is correct; she would bring forth more abundant fruits. She always has brought forth more abundant fruits when committing “fornication with the kings of the earth.” But they have not been the fruits which result from being united to Christ, for the fruits of the Spirit are not the fruits of a union of the Church with the kings of the earth, but the fruits of a union with Christ, who says:—
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.
And now since the only legitimate fruits which the Church can bear are the fruits of a union with Christ, it follows that the “more abundant fruits” which the “infallible” pope declares the Roman Catholic Church bears when united with the governments of earth, must be illegitimate fruits, or the fruits of spiritual “fornication.” Thus plainly does Leo XIII., head of the Roman Catholic Church, confess that the church is the fallen Babylon of Revelation.
But, again, “by their fruits ye shall know them,” says Jesus. What have been the fruits of the union of the Church with the governments of earth? “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” Have these fruits followed the union of the Roman Catholic Church with the kings of the earth? Listen for an answer from the speaking blood of the martyrs. Ask the silent walls of the convent and dungeon. Ask the “wheel,” the “stake,” the “rack,” the “iron maiden,” and the “torture chair.” Follow the pope’s armies as they march against the Waldenses, the Huguenots, and Albigenses, and see “death and hell” follow in their wake. No, no, the fruits of the union of the Church with the  kings of the earth has not been “love,” but hate; not “joy,” but sorrow; not “peace,” but war; not “long-suffering,” but swift and merciless vengeance; not “gentleness,” but satanic ferocity; not “goodness,” but wickedness; not “faith,” but indifelity; not “meekness,” but arrogance; not “temperance,” but drunkenness, made more “drunken with the blood of the saints.”
Why They Do Not Protest
And now the question: Do not the popular Protestant churches know that these things are so? Then knowing them, why do they not join with the AMERICAN SENTINEL and Seventh-day Adventists in saying so. Why do they not with one voice denounce the encroachments of the papal church on the American Republic? Why have the few criticisms that they have ventured to offer been so cautiously written, so tame and colorless? Why did they not boldly denounce the pope’s plain condemnation of the principle of separation of Church and State? Why did they not deny and denounce the statement that the church in “addition to liberty” should enjoy the “favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority”? Ah, there is a good reason why they did not. They live in glass houses and are afraid to throw stones. In plain English, they want the very thing that the pope wants, and are, and have been working with might and main to secure it, and therefore to condemn the pope’s position was to condemn their own; to condemn the pope was to condemn themselves.
Have not the popular Protestant churches united in demanding the “favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority” in support of the church dogma of Sunday sacredness? And have they not invited the Roman Catholic Church to aid them in securing this demand? Yes, they have, and the invitation was quickly accepted by “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots,” for she knew that the aforetime daughters of the Reformation were compromising themselves in this demand, were violating the Protestant principle of complete separation of Church and State, and were taking the side of the papacy; and she knew that such a course would effectually close their mouths against similar demands of the “mother church.” She knew that after they had compromised themselves, should they dare to utter a protest against her enjoying the “favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority,” charging that such a condition was spiritual fornication with the Government, she could say, If I am the “mother of harlots” because I demand the “favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority” in order to bring forth “more abundant fruits,” you are my daughters because you have demanded and obtained the same thing.
And, just as she anticipated and just as we expected, there are a few Protestants who themselves compromised in this matter, now have the hardihood to criticise their mother. And just as we expected she now replies to them in substance, “You are another.”
How She Silences Them
The Catholic Times, of Philadelphia, thus replies to one of these critics, and the Catholic Mirror reprints the reply in its issue of Feb. 16:—
He [Pope Leo XIII.] maintains that the action of the church would be more efficacious, if, along with this liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of public authority. Here he passes from an actual condition to a theory and refers to an ideal condition. His reference is perfectly correct. Are not the laws regarding Sunday observance a concession to Christian demands?
The editor of the Monitor, a Roman Catholic paper of San Francisco, in his issue of Feb. 16, after quoting the pope’s words, “But she would bring forth more abundant fruits if in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of public authority,” proceeds to silence the compromised Protestants who have criticised the “holy mother church,” with the following retort:—
This truism is acted upon every day by those preachers and by those societies who are seeking for legislation for the better observance of the Sunday.
It is with these hard facts that the Roman Catholic Church is able to silence the puny protests from compromised Protestantism. No wonder the leading prelates of the Catholic Church helped the apostate Protestant churches to secure a Sunday closing law from Congress. They knew that by such means they would compromise Congress and close the mouths of these Protestants against papal encroachments. The game was successful and popular Protestantism has become particeps criminis in the ruin of the American principle of separation of Church and State, and cannot protest against the encroachments of Rome without confessing her own guilt. However, Seventh-day Adventists and the AMERICAN SENTINEL protested against the iniquity of the whole thing, and are now free to expose the encroachments of Rome, and they are doing it and will do it.
And now we say to the honest, conscientious Christians in the Roman Catholic Church, and there are many of them, and to the consistent Protestant Christians in the Romanized, compromised daughters of the Reformation, to both we say in the language of God’s Word, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.” “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her.” “Come our of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:2, 3, 4, 5.