55. But Babylon treated of in the Apocalypse, is the Babylon of this day, which arose after the Lord's coming, and is known to be with the Papists. This Babylon is more pernicious and more heinous than that which existed before the Lord's coming, because it profanes the interior goods and truths of the church, which the Lord revealed to the world, when He revealed Himself. How pernicious, how inwardly heinous it is: may appear from the following summary. They acknowledge and adore the Lord apart from all power of saving: they entirely separate His Divine from His Human, and transfer to themselves His Divine power, which belonged to His Human;# for they remit sins; they send to heaven; they cast into hell; they save whom they will; they sell salvation; thus they arrogate to themselves what belongs to the Divine power alone: and since they exercise this power, it follows that thee make gods of themselves, each one according to his station, by transference from the highest of them, whom they call Christ's vicar, down to the lowest; thus they regard themselves as the Lord, and adore Him, not for His own sake, but for theirs. They not only adulterate and falsify the Word, but even take it away from the people, lest they should enter into the smallest light of truth; and not satisfied with this, they moreover annihilate it, acknowledging the Divine in the decrees of Rome, superior to the Divine in the Word; so that they exclude all from the way to heaven; for the acknowledgment of the Lord, faith in Him, and love to Him, are the way to heaven; and the Word is what teaches the way: whence it is, that without the Lord, by means of the Word, there is no salvation. They strive with all diligence to extinguish the light of heaven, which is from Divine truth, in order that ignorance may exist in the place of it, and the denser the ignorance, the more acceptable it is to them. They extinguish the light of heaven, by prohibiting the reading of the Word, and of books which contain doctrines from the Word; instituting worship by masses in a language not understood by the simple, and in which there is no Divine truth; and besides, they fill their world with falsities which are darkness itself, and which remove and dissipate the light. They likewise persuade the common people, that they have life in the faith of their priests, thus in the faith of another and not in their own. They also place all worship in a holy external, without the internal, making the internal empty, because it is without the knowledges of good and truth; and yet Divine worship is external, only so far as it is internal, since the external proceeds from the internal. Besides this, they introduce idolatries of various kinds, They make and multiply saints; they see and tolerate the adoration of these saints, and even the prayers offered to them almost as to gods; they set up their idols everywhere; boast of the great abundance of miracles done by them; set them over cities, temples, and monasteries; their bones taken out of their tombs they account holy, which yet are most vile; thus turning the minds of all from the worship of God, to the worship of men, Moreover, they use much artful precaution lest any one should come out of that thick darkness into light, from idolatrous worship to Divine worship; for they multiply monasteries, from which they send out spies and guards in all directions; they extort the confessions of the heart, which are also confessions of the thoughts and intentions, and if any one will not confess, they threaten him with infernal fire and torments in purgatory; and those who dare to speak against the Papal throne, and their dominion, they shut up in a horrible prison, which is called the inquisition. All these things they do for the sole end that they may possess the world and its treasures, and live in luxury and be the greatest, while the rest are slaves. But domination such as this, is not that of heaven over hell, but of hell over heaven, for as far as the love of having dominion is with man, especially with the man of the church, so far hell reigns. That this love reigns in hell, and makes hell, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 551-565). From this summary it may appear that they have no church there, but Babylon; for the church is where the Lord Himself is worshiped, and where the Word is read.
#The attribution by the church, of two natures to the Lord, and thus the separation of His Divine from His Human, was effected in a council, for the sake of the Pope, that the Pope might he acknowledged as the Lord's vicar, disclosed from heaven in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 4738).