“Belshazzar, the king, made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, whilst he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father, Nebuchadnezzar, had taken out of the Temple which was in Jerusalem, that the king and his princes, his wives and his concubines, might drink therein.. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.” - Dan. v. 1-4..
We trace through the above text a striking example of the religious movements of the present day. The analogy which the above text bears to the times in which we live is truly astonishing. Belshazzar, it will be recollected, was king of the Chaldeans, and the seat of his government was Babylon, which the king had built for the house of his kingdom, by the might of his power, and the honor of his majesty.
Babylon is used in the New Testament as a figure of “the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and the Abominations of the Earth.” Belshazzar, the king, may represent the son of perdition. Much might be said in tracing the analogy between typical and anti-typical Babylon, but we shall confine ourself at this time to a few things expressed in the foregoing text. Belshazzar, the king, made a great feast, &c. Of what particular dainties this feast was composed, except Wine, we are not informed, only we learn by comparing the text with Dan. i. 8, that the Babylonish meats were such as the children of Israel considered unclean, and of which Daniel would not partake.
And it has come to pass in these last days that the man of sin, the son of perdition, has also made a very splendid feast, and furnished his board with all manlier of dainties of which it is unlawful for the children of God (the spiritual Israelites) to partake; for God has charged his people by the mouth of his apostle, saying, “Touch not, taste not, handle not.” And again, “Eat not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats.” Among the dainties which crown the table of Mystery Babylon, we may name the following dishes, well suited to the taste of his popular majesty, viz: free-will, human power, vain-philosophy, human-merit, self-righteousness, worldly honor, flattering titles, such as A. M.’s, D. D.’s, Rev.’s, &c., also a large quantity of all sorts of false doctrine, together with a vast store of that intoxicating wine which has made the nations of the earth drunk from the golden cup held in the hand of the Mother of Harlots, when she was seen sitting upon a scarlet colored beast. The feast of Belshazzar was made to “a thousand of his lords,” and so is the feast of the “man of sin.” At this table of anti-christ, we see assembled all the princes and nobles of his majesty, of every rank, from the august presidents. of national societies down to the humble distributer of tracts, and the collectors of Mite Societies, Sunday School teachers, &c., with every intermediate grade. All these are feeding deliciously upon their king’s bounty, “ eating their own bread, and wearing their own apparel,” and as to the magnificence of this feast, it is certain that anti-christ has never spread a greater since the days when Baptist’s heads were carried in chargers, and the dignitaries of spiritual Babylon were glutted with the blood of apostles and martyrs of the Lamb.
“Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels, &c., which his father had taken from the temple at Jerusalem.” The temple at Jerusalem was in many respects a figure of the church of Christ, and the golden and silver vessels may represent the vessels belonging to the order of the gospel church. Among those which anti-christ has recently commanded to be brought over to his service for the accommodation of himself and a thousand of his lords, we will name first, the bible.
None can dispute that this golden vessel belongs to the church of Christ. Oat of this the true Israel have been wont to drink the wine of the kingdom. Neither can it be denied that the use of this holy book, is by the speculations of the Bible Societies, and other institutions of his majesty’s lords, as much profaned as were the cups, &c., which were taken from the ancient temple.
The ordinances of the gospel may also be considered as golden vessels of the Lord’s spiritual sanctuary. But alas! Belshazzar has sent for them. It has become popular and fashionable to baptize the Chaldeans, and all such as say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie, and are the synagogue of Satan; and for examples that anti-christ has awfully profaned this ordinance of Christ, the reader is requested to take a peep under the floor of some, of the meeting-houses in our large cities, and they may there see the Chaldeans, who eat of all the unclean things above mentioned, immersed in those newly invented tubs called “Baptisteries,” used, however, only by Belshazzar’s host of lords, and princes, magicians, sooth-sayers, &c. Again the ministers of the word are figuratively called vessels, and anti-christ has commanded them to be brought over to Babylon for his use. This infamous king, in the arrogance of his heart, has undertaken to manufacture and then take the command of all the ministers of the Baptist name, by the powerful arm of his faithful ally, Mammon. He has succeeded to an alarming extent in taking captive many whom we once esteemed as the Lord’s chosen vessels, to bear his name to the Gentiles, and has placed thiein under the control of his princes and lords, the officers of Missionary Societies.
But again, we learn by the context that this great, feast was celebrated on the very eve of her destruction. front which figure we may safely i4lfer concerning the present state of Mystery Babylon, that her destruction now of a long time lingereth not, and her damnation slumbereth not.
They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of’ wood and of stone.” Even so now, “the son of perdition,” with all his princes, lords, wives and concubines, governors and captains, judges, treasurers, counsellors, sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, at what time they hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, fall down and worship the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone, which the king of Mystery Babylon has set up under the specious name of Benevolent Institutions. These idols they praise by ascribing to them the salvation of souls, and by saying of them, in the language of a high priest of old, “These be thy gods, which have brought thee up out of the house of bondage,” &c.
But while they were in the midst of their glee in Babylon, “in the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand and wrote” their dreadful doom, and the conclusion of this chapter shows that “in the same night Belshazzar the king was slain”
From which we may learn that the mystery of iniquity must rise, until it gains the climax of abomination, until she has finished the profanation of the vessels of the Lord’s sanctuary, and then, even in the same night, she shall be destroyed. The dreadful sentence is already written upon her tottering walls; her magicians, astrologers, chaldeans and sooth-sayers, who are now so expert in the perversion of scripture, shall not be able to read, nor avert the dread sentence which is written, “She shall go down like the mill-stone, to rise no more at all.” Then shall all those merchants who have been traficing with her, and bartering away the institutions of the gospel for her Babylonish merchandise, wring their hands and cry. “Alas! Babylon is fallen! that great city,”
We close these brief remarks by repeating the admonition from heaven, which John heard, saying,” Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues.” - Rev. xviii. 4. To which we add the following stanzas:
BY BARRY CORWALL
Belshazzar is king! Belshazzar is lord!
And a thousand dark nobles all bend at his board;
Fruits glisten, flowers blossom, meats steam, and a flood
Of the wine that man loveth runs redder than blood.
Wild dancers are there, and a riot of mirth
And the beauty that maddeus the passions ‘of earth;
And the crowds all shout,
Till the vast roofs ring,
“All praise to Belshazzar, Belshazzar is king.”
“Bring forth,” cries the monarch, “the vessels of gold,
Which my father tore down from the temples of old.;
Bring forth, and we’ll drink while the trumpet is blown.
To the gods of bright silver, of gold, and of stone:
Bring forth!” - and before him the vessels all shine,
And he bows unto Baal, and drinks the dark wine;
Whilst the trumpets bray,
And the cymbals ring―
“Praise, praise to Belshazzar―Belshazzar the king.”
Now, what cometh - look, look, without menace or call!
Who writes with the lightning’s bright hand on the wall;
What pierceth the king like the point of a dart?
What drives the bold blood from his cheek to his heart?
“Chaldeans, magicians, the letters expound!”
They are read! and Belshazzar is dead on the ground.
Hark! the Persian is come
On a conqueror’s wing,
And a Mede’s on the throne of Belshazzar the king.
NEW VERNON, N. Y.,
September 25, 1833.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 109 – 114