Summary: Babylon is dealt a heavy blow as people begin to stream out of her, fight against her, and even discover a new world free from her influence (at least at the beginning). How will she respond to all of these changes?
This book is not meant to be an endorsement of "Protestantism" over Catholicism, though you may be shocked to hear me say it. It is not quite that simple. For example, "Protestant" England comes about in part as a result of the love-life of Henry VIII. Henry refuses to submit to Rome in the area of marital matters. He then seizes control of the church, a la Constantine. The history of the church of England is also filled with Babylonian deception, political intrigue, and much bloodshed, as true followers of Jesus are asked to pay with their lives.
A true daughter of the Roman abomination.
Nevertheless, there are steps taken toward Biblical Christianity during those days, not the least of which is the King James Bible, authorized by England's reigning monarch in 1611.
But Babylon has taken its effect on its daughters, and this influence is passed through the English Church to the Puritans, who, on our shores, become a similarly repressive and intolerant bunch at times. (Ever heard of the Salem witch trials?)
Babylonian ways have cropped up in other churches descending from Rome, or infiltrated by Rome. Oh, Babylon is truly with us, and God's clarion call to come out must be heeded by most Protestants today as well as the Roman-dominated people.
No one knows this better in the 18th century than the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, whose godly mother Susanna nurtures them in the ways of the Lord and makes them hungry for the things of God. This hunger is still manifest when as young men they are students at Oxford University, and become a part of a group of young seekers who are scorned, and called, among other things, "Methodists."
The Wesleys belong to the Church of England, but this Roman-style religion does not fill their hearts with joy. After the Oxford days they come to America's shores, and there experience the grace of God. Their books, songs, and testimony have become classic church history. I call them in here to testify to Protestants reading this work, and charge them with a solemn word from God.
From, A Word to a Protestant, by John Wesley:
"Among the errors (of Rome) may be numbered their doctrine of seven sacraments, of transsubstantiation, of communion in one kind only, of purgatory, and praying for the dead therein, of veneration of relics, and of indulgences. It is thought by some that these errors, great as they are, do only defile the purity of Christianity; but it is sure the following strike at its very root, and tend to banish true religion out of the world:
"First, the doctrine of merit. The very foundation of Christianity is that a man can merit nothing of God, that we are justified freely by His grace...not for any of our works or of our deservings, but by faith in the blood of the covenant. But the papists hold that a man may by his works merit or deserve eternal life...
"Second, the doctrine of praying to saints and worshipping of images. To the Virgin Mary they pray in these words: 'O Mother of God, O Queen of Heaven, command Thy Son to have mercy upon us.' And, 'The right use of images,' says the council of Trent,' is to honor them by bowing down before them.'
"This is gross, open, palpable idolatry.
"Third, the doctrine of persecution. The papists in general still maintain that all heretics ought to be compelled to receive what they call the true faith; to be forced into the church or out of the world...this tends to bring in blind, bitter zeal, anger, hatred...
"So plain is it that these grand popish doctrines of merit, idolatry, and persecution, by destroying both faith and the love of God and of our neighbor, tend to banish true Christianity out of the world."
Pause. Let none say that the loving Wesleys could not cry out against Rome. But take a deep breath and listen again...
" Well might our forefathers protest against these. Hence it was that they were called Protestants... You publicly protest against these horrible errors of popery. But does your heart agree with your lips?
"First, how do you hope to be saved? By doing thus and thus? By doing no harm and paying every man his own and saying your prayers and going to church?...Alas! Alas! Now have you thrown off the mask. This is popery barefaced...where is Christ all this time? Why, He is not come in till you get to the end of your prayer; and then will you say, "for Jesus Christ's sake," because so it stands in your book. ..your very foundation is popish...you trample upon the blood of the covenant...
"Second, are you clear of idolatry? They set up their idols in their churches; you set up yours in your heart...they worship the picture of the Queen of Heaven; you, the picture of the Queen or King of England...How small preeminence has the money-worshipper at London over the image-worshipper at Rome, or the idolizer of a living sinner over him that prays to a dead saint!