770. That religious persuasion is called "a mighty city," because it had fortified itself strongly; for it had fortified itself not only by the multitude of the nations and peoples who acknowledge it, but by many other things also; as by a great number of monasteries, and by the armies of monks there (this is said, because they call the ministry their military service); by possessions of wealth without any measure or satiety; also by the tribunal of the inquisition; besides by threats and terrors, especially of purgatory, into which everyone is said to come; by the extinction of the light of the Gospel, and thence blindness in spiritual things, which is effected by prohibitions and inhibitions of the reading of the Word; by masses spoken in a language unknown to the common people; by various external sanctities; by impressing the worship of the dead and of images upon the common people, who are kept in ignorance concerning God; and by various splendid things in externals; that by these things they may be in a corporeal faith concerning the sanctity of all the things in that religious persuasion.
 Hence it is that it is altogether unknown what lies hidden within that religious persuasion, when yet it is altogether as described above in these words:
The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and inwrought with gold and precious stone and pearl, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and uncleanness of her whoredom (Rev. 17:4).
But howsoever much Babylon had so fortified herself, and in like manner in the spiritual world, see below (n. 772), still she was altogether destroyed at the day of the Last Judgment. Of her devastation it is thus prophesied in Jeremiah:
If Babel should ascend to heaven, and if she should fortify the height of her strength, from Me shall the wasters come (Jer. 51:53).
The mighty men of Babel sit in their fortifications; her power is given to oblivion; they have set her fortifications on fire, her bars are broken; the city is taken from its extremity. The wall also of Babel is fallen (Jer. 51:30-31, 44).
Suddenly hath Babel fallen and is broken down; howl over her, take balm for her grief, peradventure she may be healed (Jer. 51:8).