Not merely does the beast from the earth lead the world to worship the first beast, but (ver. 14) he prevails on them that dwell on the earth to make "an IMAGE to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live." In meditating for many years on what might be implied in "the image of the beast," I could never find the least satisfaction in all the theories that had ever been propounded, till I fell in with an unpretending but valuable work, which I have noticed already, entitled An Original Interpretation of the Apocalypse. That work, evidently the production of the penetrating mind deeply read in the history of the Papacy, furnished at once the solution of the difficulty. There the image of the beast is pronounced to be the Virgin Mother, or the Madonna. * This at first sight may appear a very unlikely solution; but when it is brought into comparison with the religious history of Chaldea, the unlikelihood entirely disappears. In the old Babylonian Paganism, there was an image of the Beast from the sea; and when it is known what that image was, the question will, I think, be fairly decided. When Dagon was first set up to be worshipped, while he was represented in many different ways, and exhibited in many different characters, the favourite form in which he was worshipped, as the reader well knows, was that of a child in his mother's arms. In the natural course of events, the mother came to be worshipped along with the child, yea, to be the favourite object of worship. To justify this worship, as we have already seen, that mother, of course, must be raised to divinity, and divine powers and prerogatives ascribed to her. Whatever dignity, therefore, the son was believed to possess a like dignity was ascribed to her. Whatever name of honour he bore, a similar name was bestowed upon her. He was called Belus, "the Lord;" she, Beltis, "My Lady." * He was called Dagon, * "the Merman;" she, Derketo, * "the Mermaid." He, as the World-king, wore the bull's horns; * she, as we have already seen, on the authority of Sanchuniathon, put on her own head a bull's head, as the ensign of royalty. * He, as the Sun-god, was called Beel-samen, "Lord of heaven;" * she, as the Moon-goddess, Melkat-ashemin, "Queen of heaven." * He was worshipped in Egypt as the "Revealer of goodness and truth;" * she, in Babylon, under the symbol of the Dove, as the goddess of gentleness and mercy, * the "Mother of gracious acceptance," * "merciful and benignant to men." * He, under the name of Mithra, was worshipped as Mesities, * or "The Mediator;" she, as Aphrodite, or the "Wrath-subduer," was called Mylitta, "the Mediatrix." * He was represented as crushing the great serpent under his heel; * she, as bruising the serpent's head in her hand. * He, under the name Janus, bore a key, as the opener and shutter of the gates of the invisible world. * She, under the name of Cybele, was invested with a like key, as an emblem of the same power. * He, as the cleanser from sin, was called the "Unpolluted god;" * she, too, had the power to wash away sin, and, though the mother of the seed, was called the "Virgin, pure and undefiled." * He was represented as "Judge of the dead;" she was represented as standing by his side, at the judgment-seat, in the unseen world. * He, after being killed by the sword, was fabled to have risen again, * and ascended up to heaven. * She, too, though history makes her to have been killed with the sword by one of her own sons, * was nevertheless, in the myth, said to have been carried by her son bodily to heaven, * and to have been made Pambasileia, "Queen of the universe." * Finally, to clench the whole, the name by which she was now known was Semele, which, in the Babylonian language, signifies "THE IMAGE." * Thus, in every respect, to the very least jot and tittle, she became the express image of the Babylonian "beast that had the wound by a sword, and did live."
After what the reader has already seen in a previous part of this work, it is hardly necessary to say that it is this very goddess that is now worshipped in the Church of Rome under the name of Mary. Though that goddess is called by the name of the mother of our Lord, all the attributes given to her are derived simply from the Babylonian Madonna, and not from the Virgin Mother of Christ. *
There is not one line or one letter in all the Bible to countenance the idea that Mary should be worshipped, that she is the "refuge of sinners," that she was "immaculate," that she made atonement for sin when standing by the cross, and when, according to Simeon, "a sword pierced through her own soul also;" or that, after her death, she was raised from the dead and carried in glory to heaven. But in the Babylonian system all this was found; and all this is now incorporated in the system of Rome. The "sacred heart of Mary" is exhibited as pierced through with a sword, in token, as the apostate Church teaches, that her anguish at the crucifixion was as true an atonement as the death of Christ;--for we read in the Devotional office or Service-book, adopted by the "Sodality of the sacred heart," such blasphemous words as these, "Go, then, devout client! go to the heart of Jesus, but let your way be through the heart of Mary; the sword of grief which pierced her soul opens you a passage; enter by the wound which love has made;" * --again we hear one expounder of the new faith, like M. Genoude in France, say that "Mary was the repairer of the guilt of Eve, as our Lord was the repairer of the guilt of Adam;" * and another--Professor Oswald of Paderbon--affirm that Mary was not a human creature like us, that she is "the Woman, as Christ is the Man," that "Mary is co-present in the Eucharist, and that it is indisputable that, according to the Eucharistic doctrine of the Church, this presence of Mary in the Eucharist is true and real, not merely ideal or figurative;" * and, further, we read in the Pope's decree of the Immaculate Conception, that that same Madonna, for this purpose "wounded with the sword," rose from the dead, and being assumed up on high, became Queen of Heaven. If all this be so, who can fail to see that in the apostate community is to be found what precisely answers to the making and setting up in the heart of Christendom, of an "Image to the beast that had the wound by a sword and did live"?
If the inspired terms be consulted, it will be seen that this was to be done by some public general act of apostate Christendom; (ver. 14), "Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast;" and they made it. Now, here is the important fact to be observed, that this never was done, and this never could have been done, till eight years ago; for this plain reason, that till then the Madonna of Rome was never recognised as combining all the characters that belonged to the Babylonian "IMAGE of the beast." Till then it was not admitted even in Rome, though this evil leaven had been long working, and that strongly, and Mary was truly immaculate, and consequently she could not be the perfect counterpart of the Babylonian Image. What, however, had never been done before, was done in December, 1854. Then bishops from all parts of Christendom, and representatives from the ends of the earth, met in Rome; and with only four dissentient voices, it was decreed that Mary, the mother of God, who died, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, should henceforth be worshipped as the Immaculate Virgin, "conceived and born without sin." This was the formal setting up of the Image of the beast, and that by the general consent of "the men that dwell upon the earth." Now, this beast being set up, it is said, that the beast from the earth gives life and speech to the Image, implying, first, that it has neither life nor voice in itself; but that, nevertheless, through means of the beast from the earth, it is to have both life and voice, and to be an effective agent of the Papal clergy, who will make it speak exactly as they please. Since the Image has been set up, its voice has been everywhere heard throughout the Papacy. Formerly decrees ran less or more in the name of Christ. Now all things are pre-eminently done in the name of the Immaculate Virgin. Her voice is everywhere heard--her voice is supreme. But, be it observed, when that voice is heard, it is not the voice of mercy and love, it is the voice of cruelty and terror. The decrees that come forth under the name of the Image, are to this effect (ver. 17), that "no man might be or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name," No sooner is the image set up than we see this very thing begun to be carried out. What was the Concordat in Austria, that so speedily followed, but this very thing? That concordat, through the force of unexpected events that have arisen, has not yet been carried into effect; but if it were, the results would just be what is predicted--that no man in the Austrian dominions should "by or sell" without the mark in some shape or other. And the very fact of such an intolerant concordat coming so speedily on the back of the Decree of the Immaculate Conception, should what is the natural fruit of that decree. The events that soon thereafter took place in Spain showed the powerful working of the same persecuting spirit there also, During the last few years, the tide of spiritual despotism might have seemed to be effectually arrested; and many, no doubt, have indulged the persuasion that, crippled as the temporal sovereignty of the Papacy is, and tottering as it seems to be, that power, or its subordinates, could never persecute more. But there is an amazing vitality in the Mystery of Iniquity; and no one can ever tell beforehand what apparent impossibilities it may accomplish in the way of arresting the progress of truth and liberty, however promising the aspect of things may be. Whatever may become of the temporal sovereignty of the Roman states, it is by no means so evident this day, as to many it seemed only a short while ago, that the overthrow of the spiritual power of the Papacy is imminent, and that its power to persecute is finally gone. I doubt not but that many, constrained by the love and mercy of God, will yet obey the heavenly voice, and flee out of the domed communion, before the vials of Divine wrath descend upon it. But if I have been right in the interpretation of this passage, then it follows that it must yet become more persecuting than ever it has been, and that that intolerance, which, immediately after the setting up of the Image, began to display itself in Austria and Spain, shall yet spread over all Europe; for it is not said that the Image of the beast should merely decree, but should "cause that as many as would not worship the Image of the best should be killed" (ver. 15). When this takes place, that evidently is the time when the language of verse 8 is fulfilled, "And all that dwell on the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." It is impossible to get quit of this by saying, "This refers to the Dark Ages; this was fulfilled before Luther." I ask, had the men who dwelt on the earth set up the Image of the beast before Luther's days? Plainly not. The decree of the Immaculate Conception was the deed of yesterday. The prophecy, then, refers to our own times--to the period on which the Church is now entering. In other words, the slaying of the witnesses, the grand trial of the saints, IS STILL TO COME. * 2bab034.htm