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If this be the case with Scripture in general, it is especially the case with prophetic Scripture. As every spoke in the wheel of Providence revolves, the prophetic symbols start into still more bold and beautiful relief. This is very strikingly the case with the prophetic language that forms the groundwork and corner-stone of the present work. There never has been any difficulty in the mind of any enlightened Protestant in identifying the woman “sitting on seven mountains,” and having on her forehead the name written, “Mystery, Babylon the Great,” with the Roman apostacy. “No other city in the world has ever been celebrated, as the city of Rome has, for its situation on seven hills. Pagan poets and orators, who had not thought of elucidating prophecy, have alike characterised it as ‘the seven hilled city.’” Thus Virgil refers to it: “Rome has both become the most beautiful (city) in the world, and alone has surrounded for herself seven heights with a wall.” Propertius, in the same strain, speaks of it (only adding another trait, which completes the Apocalyptic picture) as “The lofty city on seven hills, which governs the whole world.” Its “governing the whole world” is just the counterpart of the Divine statement—”which reigneth over the kings of the earth” (Rev 17:18). To call Rome the city “of the seven hills” was by its citizens held to be as descriptive as to call it by its own proper name. Hence Horace speaks of it by reference to its seven hills alone, when he addresses, “The gods who have set their affections on the seven hills.” Martial, in like manner, speaks of “The seven dominating mountains.” In times long subsequent, the same kind of language was in current use; for when Symmachus, the prefect of the city, and the last acting Pagan Pontifex Maximus, as the Imperial substitute, introduces by letter one friend of his to another, he calls him “De septem montibus virum”—”a man from the seven mountains,” meaning thereby, as the commentators interpret it, “Civem Romanum, “A Roman Citizen.” Now, while this characteristic of Rome has ever been well marked and defined, it has always been easy to show, that the Church which has its seat and headquarters on the seven hills of Rome might most appropriately be called “Babylon,” inasmuch as it is the chief seat of idolatry under the New Testament, as the ancient Babylon was the chief seat of idolatry under the Old. But recent discoveries in Assyria, taken in connection with the previously well-known but ill-understood history and mythology of the ancient world, demonstrate that there is a vast deal more significance in the name Babylon the Great than this. It has been known all along that Popery was baptised Paganism; but God is now making it manifest, that the Paganism which Rome has baptised is, in all its essential elements, the very Paganism which prevailed in the ancient literal Babylon, when Jehovah opened before Cyrus the two-leaved gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron.
 Scilicet et rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma
Septemque una aibi muro circumdedit arces.
—Georg., lib. ii. v. 534, 535.
 Septem urbs alta jugis toto quae prsesidet orbi.—Lib. iii. Eleg. 9, p. 721.
 Diis, quibus septem plaeuere colles. Carmen Seculare, v. 7, p. 497.
 Septem dominos montes.— Lib. iv. Ep. 64, p. 254.
 Simmachus, lib. ii. Epis. 9, Note, p. 63.