A Sweet Savor Contact Miscellaneous Audio Messages Penmen

VIEWS ON JEREMIAH 51:9.

Berlin, MD.
May 25, 1870.

ELDER BEEBE: - Will you please give your views, through the SIGNS on Jer. 51:9, and oblige an enquirer after truth?

M.E. Staton.

REPLY. Although we claim no special light on the text on which we are requested to write, we cannot feel satisfied to wholly refrain from an attempt to aid one whom we are so well satisfied is searching after the truth as for hidden treasure, and whose experience, if we mistake not, will aid us in illustration, and qualify her for an appreciation of the import of the subject. The text is thus recorded: “We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed; forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country; for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.”

The inspired prophet of the Lord was directed to declare the judgments of the Lord which were soon to be visited on the nations which had oppressed God’s people Israel, and from the beginning of the fiftieth chapter, to the end of the book of his prophecy, his message related to Babylon, her oppression of the people of Israel, their captivity, and their final release from captivity, and the righteous retribution impending, which should soon blot out the name of Babylon from the nations of the earth.

God had used these nations as a scourge in his own hand, for the chastisement of his people for their wicked departures from him, and when that end was accomplished, he punished them for the part they had taken in the distresses which were visited on the people of Israel. Restrained by the mighty hand and power of the God of Israel, those heathen nations could do no more, nor less than what God’s own hand and counsel had before determined should be done. Babylon, we are told, had been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the nations drunken and mad; still this cup was in the Lord’s hand, and subject to his control. They could only oppress, captivate, and afflict God’s chosen people, when that people were delivered into their hands to humble them and make them see and feel the wickedness they had committed against the Lord. God’s righteous purpose and overruling power did not however in the least justify or excuse them, for they had no knowledge of, or respect for the purpose or designs of God. Joseph’s brethren meant their treatment of him for evil, but God meant it for good. The Jews and Romans crucified our Savior with wicked hands, although they did only that which God had before determined should be done, and Pilate could have had no power at all against Christ, except it had been given him from God.

But as we have not space, nor time to extend our remarks to any great extent, on the general considerations involved in the contemplation of the subject of this prophecy of the Lord against Babylon, we will only say that Babylon was a type of anti-christ, and Israel was a type of God’s chosen and spiritual people, especially as they should be developed under the gospel dispensation. The carrying away down into Babylon the children of Israel for their transgressions was figurative of the chastisements of the children of God, when they depart from the laws of Christ, in doctrine and practice. When any of those who are born of God, through the corruptions of their earthly nature or carnal minds are allured and tempted to taste and drink the maddening contents of the glittering golden cup, they become drunken, and in their intoxication run greedily after the error of Balaam, and become partakers of her defilement, and receive, to some extent, of her plagues. Babylon is a name which signifies confusion; and it is said, “They shall all go to confusion together which are makers of idols.” And when any of the children of God leave the doctrine, order, ordinances, or any of the institutions of the gospel, and become fascinated by the glittering splendor of the golden cup, they invariably go into confusion. Exhilarated, drunken and crazy, snared and taken, they are carried down into Babylon, or confusion, and are there held in captivity until God is graciously pleased to send them deliverance.

The second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles clearly demonstrates that the true church of Christ which was organized at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost was a Baptist church, of the same faith and order of those who in this day are known as Old School or Primitive Baptists. None were received into the apostles’ fellowship but baptized believers, who received the word which was preached on that day by the apostles, and they continued steadfast in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers. To this gospel organization all heaven born subjects of the saving grace of God legitimately belong. But as in the type, many of those who belonged to Jerusalem were captivated and carried away to Babylon, and suffered a long and tedious captivity, who wept when they remembered Zion, and were unable to sing the Lord’s songs while in a strange land, so there are undoubtedly many of God’s dear people now in Babylon, or they would not be admonished to come out of her.

The church of Christ is a building of God, founded on Christ, and its head-stone is laid in glory. But Babylon describes the religious delusions of men, vainly attempting to build for themselves a tower whose top shall reach to heaven. The building of God is fitly framed, and groweth into a holy temple in the Lord; of lively stones built upon a living foundation, a spiritual house. The other was to be composed of brick for stone, and slime for mortar, and is called Babel, because God confounded their language. The city of Babylon, afterwards builded by the Chaldeans, with all its worldly splendor and wide spread dominion, was built upon the same principle, and is typical of the same abominations of the earth. See Isa. 14:13,14. Hence the name and its typical import are applied in the book of Revelation to that mistress of ecclesiastical abominations which John saw sitting on a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, upon whose forehead was written, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

The Papal anti-christ boasts of regular succession from the apostolic church; but how? The original constituents of their establishment were apostates from the church of Christ, who went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out that it might be made manifest that they were not all of us. Graceless men attached themselves nominally to the Baptist church in multitudes, soon after the apostles had finished their course, not because they were of the church, or had any vital union with the church, or love for her doctrine or order, for they could not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts heaped to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they turned away their ears from the truth, and were turned unto fables. Of those apostates from the faith which was once delivered to the saints, the Romish anti-christ was first composed, and probably drew away with them some of the children of the kingdom; for it was predicted by Paul that they should draw away disciples after them. This anti-christ when recognized and sustained by the imperial power of the Roman Empire, became formidable and proscriptive, and opened her mouth in blasphemies, claiming to be the Holy Catholic or universal church, and so violently persecuted those who continued steadfast in the apostles’ order and fellowship, as to drive them into the wilderness, or into obscurity, while they, the man of sin, assuming to be the church of God, exalted himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped. Repudiating the laws and institutions of Christ as head over all things to the church, set up as their head a presiding bishop, or pontiff, whom they claimed as vicar of Christ, and God with them.

This Mystery, Babylon the Great, is also the Mother of a family of Harlot daughters, and as the ancient type, Babylon of the Chaldeans, had a hundred and twenty-seven provinces under her dominion, so this mystical Babylon has in each of her Protestant daughters a province, which by ties of consanguinity are and forever must be identified with her as bone of her bones, and flesh of her flesh. All the family jars that have, and still do disturb and irritate the family, and produce war and violence in their camp, is in consequence of the judgments of the Lord in confounding their language. Their general traits and propensities, their objects and aims are identical, but they cannot understand each other. They are all alike opposed to the truth as it is in Jesus, and equally fond of shedding the blood of the saints, which none of them have ever failed to do when opportunity has been afforded them.

The foregoing remarks are intended as preliminary to what we will now proceed to say explanatory of the text proposed for consideration. Whatever efforts, if any were made by the captives in ancient Babylon, to obviate the distinction God had made between Babylon and Jerusalem, we are not prepared to define; but most certain we are that God’s dear children, when allured and drawn into a connection with Mystery, Babylon the Great, or with any of her harlot provinces, they have frequently plead the policy of continuing in their unhallowed affinity, hoping to reform, improve, and perhaps cure her of her abominations, and perhaps restore to her that language which God has confounded. But for the last twelve hundred and sixty years all such efforts have utterly failed. Babylon is not healed. Her uncleanness is radical, and incurable, and we are forbidden to cherish any sympathy for her, but to come out of her. God has commanded all his archers who bend the bow, to shoot at her, and spare no arrows. The voice of holy inspiration cries, “O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” Psa. 137:8,9. All the balm that can be found in Gilead, and the combined skill of all her physicians, can never heal her; her doom is sealed, her case is hopeless, and therefore instead of wasting sympathy upon her, the God of our salvation commands his children to forsake her. Echoing from the eternal throne of God, John heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4. And the great apostle to the Gentiles, in the name and by the authority of his and our God and Savior, warns us thus: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; {let them be of what religious denomination they may, or belong to whichever of her provinces they may,} for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye {the saints at Corinth, and all the saints who dwell in the church of God,} are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you; and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” II Cor. 6:14-18. It is not enough for them who have been held in Babylon, when liberated, to simply forsake her, or withdraw fellowship from her, but all the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty have a country where milk and honey flows in rich abundance. “ Let us go, every one of us, into his own country.” Every one of those whom the Lord our God doth call. Every captive child of God is commanded to forsake her, and go, not only to, but into his own country. In the church of Christ every child of God has a country meted out to him as his inheritance and a home, where his best friends and kindred dwell, and where God his Savior reigns. As Lot fled from Sodom, and as Israel came out of Egypt, so should every one of God’s dear children who are held in captivity, hasten away from the ruin which soon shall overtake the Mother of Harlots and all her daughters; for God has said in verses 44-46, “I will punish Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up: and the nations shall not flow together any more unto him; yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall. My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD. And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land, “ &c. Although the children of God can never lose their relationship to him, nor that inheritance which is reserved in heaven for them, yet they can, and sometimes do lose the privileges of the house of God, the fellowship of the saints, and the reliable evidence that they are the children of God. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” And all who are led by that Spirit are led in the truth. If therefore they be not led in the truth, they must lack that important evidence of their sonship. And they may also be invlolved in the judgments and plagues which are inflicted on Babylon. “For her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.” The judgments of Babylon extends to the boundaries of the church of God, which is called heaven; so the impending judgments prepared for her, covers all space intervening between Babylon and Jerusalem. The heavens and the skies both mean the firmament above, and that firmament is used figuratively to signify the church, as in the proverb which the liberated captives shall take up against the king of Babylon, saying; “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; {or prophets of the Lord,} I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; {of God’s witnesses,} I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Heaven in this proverb means the church of God. Hell and the sides of the pit describe the contrast, or the opposite of the church, which includes anti-christ. And all between the wide extremes in involved in the impending ruin of Babylon.

There is therefore no safe place for a trembling child of God released from Babylonish captivity, between Babylon and Zion; all the land is polluted, and they, like Lot, are forbidden to tarry in all the plains.

“Away from the ruin, O hurry you on,
While the sword of the angel yet lingers undrawn.”

Volumes might be written on this very important subject, which we have hurriedly glanced at; but we hope that what has been written may aid our esteemed friend in her researches after the truth. We feel a confidence from our limited acquaintance with her, that she can never be happy in Babylon, or in any place between Babylon and Jerusalem which is above, which is free, and is the mother of all who are, as Isaac was, the children of the promise. We will say in conclusion to our enquiring friend, and to all others who may be taking leave of their prison houses, Be careful and bring nothing with you; no golden wedge, nor Babylonish garment. “And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand.” Deut. 13:17. Blessings in rich abundance await thee in the Zion of our God; therefore let thy soul be satisfied with the fatness and plenty which God has lavished on his church.

Middletown, N.Y.
July 15, 1870.
Elder Gilbert Beebe