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tions to worship idols and images for God; so that they have become drunk with spiritual fornication, that the people have thirsted after the blood of the saints,
as well as those in authority. So that they are all become one city Babylon, which,
will be destroyed at the end of the world. . This is that great mystery Babylon, that great city that John did prophesy the downfal of in the sixteenth chapter.
And in the seventeenth chapter he saw by faith the total downfal of this spiritual mystery Babylon, that great city the mother of harlots; that is, of spiritual idolatry, which is spiritual whoredom. So that there were many more harlots than one, yet they are all counted by the spirit, but one whore, or harlot; for that great city Babylon doth consist of nothing else but spiritual harlots. So that the reader may see what is meant by this spiritual Babylon, and this great city, and what is meant by the woman, the great whore, and what is meant by her fornication; so that the reader may the better understand the interpretation of of the chapter that followeth.
N chap. xvii. 1. there was one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with John by way of vision and revelation, saying unto him, Come hither, and I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that steth upon many waters. Here it is clear that John did see by way of vision and revelation, the downfall or judgment of this great spiritual whore, which I have shewed what is meant by it before. And as for her fiting upon many waters, the many waters where the whore siteth, it signifies multitudes of people, nations, and tongues, as you may see verse 15. That is, the spirit of reason in the whore, as aforesaid, should have such a spiritual power over the spirits of whole nations, and tongues, and multitudes of people, that she should cause them all to commit fornication with idols, or else they should be persecuted or suffer death. So that whosoever would not commit fornication with her, or at her command, they should drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. That is, she would persecute and put them to death, for death is the wine of her wrath ; for the blood of the saints is that wine of her wrath, which is put into her golden cup that is in her hand, and she doth not only drink the blood of the saints that is in the golden cup herself, but she doth make the kings of the earth to drink it also. For in verse 2. With whom the kings of the earth have commited formication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk of the wine of her fornication. That is, the kings of the earth have commited fornication with her, in that they have been persuaded by her, and joined with her to worship idols. For except the kings of the earth, who are the temporal power, do join with her spiritual power, she could do nothing. So that the kings of the earth commiting fornication with her, that is, to worship idols with her; so they came co commit fornication with her; that is, the kings and head magistrates do uphold that spiritual power the whore hath, and do help to make the people to drink of the
wine of her fornication; so that the inhabitants of the earth have been : drun