Internationalism, the welding into one of earth’s godless nations, born in Babylon, culminates and expires in Babylon.  Babylon’s very name – ‘babel’ - enshrines man’s first attempt at solidarity, the first league of nations without God-confederation that had at its heart ‘confusion.’*  So ‘catholicism’ – universality - has been the key-word of Babylon’s alter ego, Rome.  The Roman Empire studied to absorb all nations.  The Roman Church - defined by a Jesuit writer as Roman at the centre, but Catholic at the circumference - utters its ‘bullsurbi et orbi.  An inscription of Nebuchadnezzar, unearthed after three millenniums, might be taken as a motto for modern internationalism:- “May this City receive within itself the abundant tribute of the kings of the nations and of all peoples!”  The cradle of internationalism is its grave - the two rivers of Eden, in the land of Shinar,


[* The whole earth is Babylon’s sphere.  Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth” (Gen. 11: 9); and thence “Babylon made all the earth drunken” (Jer. 51: 7).  The ‘confusion’ abides: the foundation stone of the League’s new headquarters in Geneva will be laid with explanatory documents in thirty-two languages.]




Reasons sharp and decisive establish a rebuilt Babylon and prove that the destruction she has experienced is not the destruction that is foretold.  (1) It is decisive that Isaiah locates her doom in ‘the day of the Lord,’ when - and only when - it shall be as Sodom and Gomorrah, totally eradicated (Isa. 13: 9, 19).  (2) Never yet, since Nimrod laid its first foundations, has the locality been stript of all inhabitants; and what is peculiarly convincing against the view that Babylon’s past destruction is for ever is that, five centuries after its supposed annihilation, the Holy Spirit says (1 Peter 5: 13) that Babylon still existed.  So far from being ‘as Sodom and Gomorrah,’ in A.D. 250 it was the seat of a Christian bishopric; and five hundred years after Christ the Jews issued from it their great Babylonian Talmud.  (3) Above all, the Apocalypse reveals the double enthronement, and the double doom,* of man’s central metropolis in Apocalyptic days - the one, the capital city of the first three Empires; the other, its spiritual counterpart and mystical incarnation, the capital of the last Empire: and their recoalescing, for final judgment, in Shinar.**


[* It is strangely missed that the absolutely unique language of the Apocalypse must correspond to an equally unique fact.  The triple ‘woe’ in Revelation 8: 13 indicates three distinct judgments: so the double ‘woe’ and the double ‘fall’ of Great Babylon are plague and ruin on two cities.  Two destructions sundered in time are named (Rev. 14: 8, 16: 19), separated by at least three and a half years.


**That the survivors from the charred cinders of Rome - or, it may be, of the Vatican State, the Harlot as distinct from the Woman - escape into the Land of Shinar, see the Articles on the Vision of the Ephah now running in the DAWN; and for this migration of the Papacy back to its ancient home, see DAWN, Vol. 1, P. 293.]




Now what is revealed to us immediately after the destruction of Rome – “after these things” (Rev. 18: 1) - and revealed for the first time, is a central world-city, enormous, dominant, the pulsating heart of universal commerce, and so powerful as to enrich the whole earth.  The merchants of the earth waxed rich by the power of her wantonness” (Rev. 18: 3) - Out of the quantity of her luxury (Alford) she rests upon the greatest of all world-powers - the money-interest, the economic security, of mankind en masse.  Her power is not military nor ecclesiastical nor cultural, but commercial: she is the mart of nations: common weights and measures, a common currency, a common world-bank, all centralized and supported by the gold-kings and merchant-princes of the earth, evolve a city which, luxurious beyond dreams, is the world’s treasury, the pillar of the commercial credit of all nations.




Now Heaven moves.  It has been remarked that more is said about the fall of Babylon in Scripture than about any other secular event in the history of mankind. Ten Kings were the unconscious agents of God's mind in the firing of Rome:* here “another angel, having great authority,” so radiant that “the earth was lightened with his glory,” forecasts, by symbolic action, a destruction which is the direct action of God and which only God can achieve.  Lifting a mighty boulder, as a figure of the City, and dropping it into the sea, “thus,” he cries, “shall mighty Babylon fall!” for as a stone drops like lead into unresisting waters, descending with ever-accelerating speed, until ocean’s depths close over it forever; so the City, earth opening beneath its foundations, dislodged, slides swiftly down the path of Korah, earth no more supporting it than did the waters the stone, as it is precipitated into the engulfing fires of earth’s molten heart.**  Nimrod named it the Gate of Heaven: the Most High, opening beneath it a yawning abyss into the underworld, reveals it as the Gate of Hell.


[* It is very singular that the Antichrist is nowhere named as resident in Babylon.  It is possible that, if the Vatican City only is destroyed, he may continue to reside in Rome: yet the demon-haunted ruins (Rev. 18: 2) seem rather to indicate all Rome as swallowed up in the fever-stricken Campagna.  It is most wonderful that all the efforts of Fascist and preceding governments - by irrigation, planting of eucalyptus, building of villages, dainage, etc. - have failed to efface the ‘wilderness’ in which, centuries before it came into existence, John saw the Woman seated at the end.


** It is the Great Earthquake which simultaneously ruins numberless cities (Rev. 16: 19).  In November, 1755, Lisbon was identically engulfed almost in an instant, amid enormous conflagration, when 40 to 50,000 souls perished.]




But John alone sees the Angel; and from the lips of the Dual City escapes that triumphant cry of optimism on the edge of doom so characteristic of the modern world.  She saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall in no wise see mourning.”  Babylon and Rome are two cities with one soul: each, in its day, has been ubiquitous; each has held the empire of the world; both have been the embodiment of human law, and the incarnation of human pride.  Imperial Rome is summed up in the Emperor Vespasian’s dying cry:- “I am about to become a god!”  The awful boast of Pius IX expresses the pride of Papal Rome:- “The world grudges me the grain of sand on which I sit, but of no avail shall be the efforts of the world: the earth is mine; Christ has given it unto me; and to Him alone shall I return it.”  But the Chaldean outsoars all Roman pride in the region of pure blasphemy.  I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will be like the Most High” (Isa. 14: 13):- that is, the mystic stars, or angels (Rev. 12: 4); or else an attempted control of human destiny through astrology.  Let now the astrologers, the stargazers” - is the warning of God – “stand up, and save thee from the things that shall come upon thee” (Isa. 47: 13).  Her astrology can neither forewarn her fate nor avert her doom.*  God’s judgments are extraordinarily suited to the transgressors.  I SIT a queen”: yet one tremor, one earth-shock, and the proud city, touched by the finger of God, slides down alive into Sheol.


[* The degree to which a modem city can give itself over to exactly what the Most High predicts of Babylon Paris [during the year 1929] proves. In this city alone, £1,600 is spent daily on astrological predictions and various occultisms; the total profits amounting to £600,000 a year; in 34,600 cabinets in which the future can be consulted with professional aid.  As the birds clustered in the mustard tree (Matt. 13: 32), so they haunt the spot (Rev. 18: 2) where it is felled.]




Internationalism thus creates a highly sensitive organism of which Babylon is the jugular vein, and the earth-shock severs it.  And every shipmaster, and every [tourist], and mariners, and as many as gain their living by sea, stood afar off” – spell-bound at the blazing crater, belching dangerous fumes – “and cried, In one hour is she made desolate!”  The passionate sorrow of earth’s monarchs and the entire mercantile marine of the world discloses a blow incomparably the greatest commerce has ever known: the city’s fall staggers the business, and shakes the credit, of the world: she was - they cry - the incomparable city, and with her luxury, art has vanished; with art, business; with business, bread; with bread, marriage, the family, the generations to come. The painful advance even on our own day is evident.  Helpless in face of what they realize (verse 10) may only be the first of shattering judgments, without one cry of penitence, without a single confession of sin, without a solitary prayer, they stand before the judgment of God.*


[* Dean Alford’s admission is as frank as it is correct.  It must not for a moment be denied that the character of this lamentation throws a shade of obscurity over the interpretation of it as Rome at all: I leave this difficulty unsolved.”  If it is not a vast commercial city, such as Rome has never been and never can be, language becomes meaningless.  The Head of Gold is present (Dan. 2: 35) when the Stone descends upon the Image, even as the Lion (Dan 7: 4) is part of the composite Beast (Rev. 13: 2) that appears at the end.  Thus it becomes exquisitely significant that the locus classicus universal empire, Dan. 2. to 7. is not only the sole portion of inspiration not written in Hebrew or Greek, but it is written in Chaldean.]




The contrast is startling even with our own darkening day.  One who saw it says of the Kingston earthquake:- “Most of the women prayed, with arms uplifted to the level of their heads.  Some of the men joined them in their appeals for mercy; while here and there one was to be met uttering the most diabolical language it has ever been my lot to hear.”  A telegram from San Francisco ran thus – “Multitudes are kneeling in the streets praying”; and in the Indian earthquake of 1905, in Dharmsala, a telegram said – “The Mohammedan inhabitants are parading the streets weeping, and offering up fervent prayers with full ceremonial rites.” Babylon goes down in hardened gloom.




So the last obstacle to Kingdom joy is dynamited, the metropolis of man’s vast miscarriage of empire.  Rejoice over her, thou heaven and ye saints, and ye apostles, and ye prophets; for God hath judged your judgment on her.”  Every Scriptural condemnation of Babylon and Rome for five thousand years now has the Divine imprimatur sealed upon it in blood and fire.  Yet what gleams of mercy break about the foundering city! The stock of the only chosen race, the olive-root of the very Church of Christ itself, is a Chaldean; the heart of God goes forth in the cry:- “We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed” (Jer. 51: 9); and even while the Angel is heaving the boulder, the word goes forth to God’s people to escape, even as the Spirit ummoned the Apostolic band to Pella out of doomed Jerusalem.