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The Great Controversy, by Ellen G. White, [1858], at



The Sins of Babylon


I saw the state of the different churches since the second angel proclaimed their fall.  They have been growing more and more corrupt; yet they bear the name of being Christ's followers.  It is impossible to distinguish them from the world.  Their ministers take their text from the Word, but preach smooth things.  The natural heart feels no objection to this.  It is only the spirit and power of the truth, and the salvation of Christ, that is hateful to the carnal heart.  There is nothing in the popular ministry that stirs the wrath of Satan, makes the sinner tremble, or applies to the heart and conscience the fearful realities of a judgment soon to come.  Wicked men are generally pleased with a form without true godliness, and they will aid and support such a religion.  Said the angel, Nothing less than the whole armor of righteousness can overcome, and retain the victory over the powers of darkness.  Satan has taken full possession of the churches as a body.  The sayings and doings of men are dwelt upon instead of the plain cutting truths of the word of God.  Said the angel, The friendship and spirit of the world are at enmity with God.  When truth in its simplicity and strength, as it is in Jesus, is brought to bear against the spirit of the world, it awakens the spirit of persecution at once.  Many, very many, who profess to be Christians, have not known God.  The character of the natural heart has not been changed, and the carnal mind remains at enmity with God.  They are Satan's own faithful servants, notwithstanding they have assumed another name.

I saw that since Jesus had left the Holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary, and had entered within the second vail, the churches were left as were the Jews; and they have been filling up with every unclean and hateful bird.  I saw great iniquity and vileness in the churches; yet they profess to be Christians.  Their profession, their prayers and their exhortations, are an abomination in the sight of God.  Said the angel, God will not smell in their assemblies.  Selfishness, fraud and deceit are practiced by them without the reprovings of conscience.  And over all these evil traits they throw the cloak of religion.  I was shown the pride of the nominal churches.  God was not in their thoughts; but their carnal minds dwell upon themselves.  They decorate their poor mortal bodies, and then look upon themselves with satisfaction and pleasure.  Jesus and the angels looked upon them in anger.  Said the angel, Their sins and pride have reached unto heaven.  Their portion is prepared.  Justice and judgment have slumbered long, but will soon awake.  Vengeance is mine, and I will repay, saith the Lord.  The fearful threatenings of the third angel are to be realized, and they will drink the wrath of God.  An innumerable host of evil angels are spreading themselves over the whole land.  The churches and religious bodies are crowded with them.  And they look upon the religious bodies with exultation; for the cloak of religion covers the greatest crimes and iniquity.

All heaven beholds with indignation, human beings, the workmanship of God, reduced to the lowest depths of degradation, and placed on a level with the brute creation by their fellow men.  And professed followers of that dear Saviour whose compassion was ever moved as he witnessed human woe, heartily engage in this enormous and grievous sin, and deal in slaves and souls of men.  Angels have recorded it all.  It is written in the book.  The tears of the pious bond-men and bond-women, of fathers, mothers and children, brothers and sisters, are all bottled up in heaven.  Agony, human agony, is carried from place to place, and bought and sold.  God will restrain his anger but a little longer.  His anger burns against this nation, and especially against the religious bodies who have sanctioned, and have themselves engaged in this terrible merchandise.  Such injustice, such oppression, such sufferings, many professed followers of the meek and lowly Jesus can witness with heartless indifference.  And many of them can inflict with hateful satisfaction, all this indescribable agony themselves, and yet dare to worship God.  It is solemn mockery, and Satan exults over it, and reproaches Jesus and his angels with such inconsistency, saying, with hellish triumph, Such are Christ's followers!

These professed Christians read of the sufferings of the martyrs, and tears course down their cheeks.  They wonder that men could ever possess hearts so hardened as to practice such inhuman cruelties towards their fellow-men, while at the same time they hold their fellow-men in slavery.  And this is not all.  They sever the ties of nature, and cruelly oppress from day to day their fellow-men.  They can inflict most inhuman tortures with relentless cruelty, which would well compare with the cruelty papists and heathens exercised towards Christ's followers.  Said the angel, It will be more tolerable for the heathen and for papists in the day of the execution of God's judgment than for such men.  The cries and sufferings of the oppressed have reached unto heaven, and angels stand amazed at the hard-hearted, untold, agonizing suffering, man in the image of his Maker, causes his fellow-man.  Said the angel, The names of such are written in blood, crossed with stripes, and flooded with agonizing, burning tears of suffering.  God's anger will not cease until he has caused the land of light to drink the dregs of the cup of his fury, and until he has rewarded unto Babylon double.  Reward her even as she rewarded you, double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double.

I saw that the slave-master would have to answer for the soul of his slave whom he has kept in ignorance; and all the sins of the slave will be visited upon the master.  God cannot take the slave to heaven, who has been kept in ignorance and degradation, knowing nothing of God, or the Bible, fearing nothing but his master's lash, and not holding so elevated a position as his master's brute beasts.  But he does the best thing for him that a compassionate God can do.  He lets him be as though he had not been; while the master has to suffer the seven last plagues, and then come up in the second resurrection, and suffer the second, most awful death.  Then the wrath of God will be appeased.


See Amos 5:21; Romans 12:19; Revelation 14:9-10, 18:6


Next: Chapter 34. The Loud Cry