5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
It is spiritually styled Babylon; for it is as much a city of confusion as was the original Babylon when the language of mankind was confounded in the days of Nimrod.
...She is styled "Mystery," because she is the embodiment of that "Mystery of Iniquity," which Paul says, was working at the time he was writing (2 Thess. ii. 7).
Scaliger testifies that "Mystery" was once worn as an inscription on the Pope's tiara; but afterwards removed by Julius III. The term "Mother," as applied to the Great City in its ecclesiastical relations is recognized by all. As Jerusalem is the Mother of all the Saints; so Rome is the Mother of all their enemies -- "Romana Ecclesia," says the Council of Trent, "quae, omnium Ecclesiarum Mater est et Magistra" -- The Roman Church, which is the MOTHER and MISTRESS of all churches.
The Popes themselves seem determined that there shall be no lack of evidence to prove the identity of the ecclesiastical polity of which they are the deified head, with the apocalyptical Great City Babylon.
On occasion of the last Jubilee a medal was struck, a copy of which is given in Elliott. It is the size of a quarter of a dollar; on one face, is the effigy of Leo XII; and on the obverse, a Woman, symbolizing the Roman Church, sitting on a globe, with rays of glory on her head, a cross in the left hand, and a cup, signed with a cross in its mouth, in her extended right hand, as if presenting it to be drunk. Beneath her is the date, and around her face the legend "Sedet super Universam. Anno Iubi. MDCCCXXV." -- She sits upon the world.
In the year of Jubilee, 1825 -- (Apoc. xvii. 4,15). Yes, she sits upon the world, or "upon many waters," the shameless strumpet of the unmeasured court; and like certain notorious prostitutes of pagan times, bears her ignoble name upon her forehead.*
[* "In allusion," says Bp. Newton, of whose church she is Mother, "to the practice of some notorious prostitutes who had their names written on a label upon their foreheads, as we may collect from ancient authors. Thus Seneca says, Nomen tuum pepenit in fronte: pretia stupri accepisti -- 'Thy name hath hung upon thy forehead: thou hast received the reward of thy dishonour.'"]
But the Great City is not only spiritually styled Babylon because of the confusion of spiritual speech that obtains among all the "Names and Denominations" of which it is ecclesiastically constituted; but because it is the modern development of the same power that existed in the days of the Chaldean Babylon; whose golden head, for the time being, was the Dynasty of Nebuchadnezzar: and because a similar fate awaits her.
It is, I say, the same power, only modified by time and circumstances. I do not say by place as well as by time and circumstances; for, when the Gogue of Ezekiel shall have attained to the full extent of his latter day dominion, much of Babylonia, even more than he now possesses, will be his. He will be, in the full manifestation of his power, the very apex of the Little Horn of the Goat -- the Hellenistic Horn of the Great City, which even now includes the site of Babylon in its domain.
10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
This "short space" was a period of great events. In the course of it, and during the nine decades that ushered it in, the Ten-Horn Sovereignties established themselves upon the western imperial third of the Roman Orb; Rome's imperial dominion was abolished, and, in place thereof, a regal sovereignty was developed upon the seven mountains known in history as the GOTHIC KINGDOM OF ITALY.
This was the Seventh Head, which was only to continue "a short space," or sixty years. This passing away of the Sixth Head from Old Rome at the time of its successor, the Seventh Head's inauguration, is thus symbolized in Apoc. 8:12,
"and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened."
The other two thirds were still unsmitten and left to shine in their proper spheres - two thirds of the sun, two thirds of the moon, and two thirds of the stars: that is, the imperial Sixth Head retained its position in Constantinople, from whence it continued to exercise rule and authority, in all matters, civil and ecclesiastical, over the other unsubdued two thirds of the Roman world.
16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
The slaying of the beast is the utter extermination of the Greek and Latin Catholic governments by the power of the sword; and the taking away of the dominion of the Lion, the Bear, the Leopard, or that of the Asiatic Powers, is the binding of the Dragon, casting him into the abyss, shutting him up, and Setting a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more for "a season and a time," or "a thousand years."