THE three cities
There are three cities in the world which are remarkable above all others. These are Rome, Constantinople, and JERUSALEM. The first is styled ‘the Great Harlot, which sitteth upon many waters; with whom the Kings of the Earth have committed fornication & the inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication—Rev. 17:1, 2. In the 5th verse of the chapter, it is written, ‘the waters on which the Harlot sitteth, are people, & multitudes, and nations, and tongues;’ and in verse 15, ‘the Woman is that Great City, which reigneth over the Kings of the Earth.’
‘The waters’ in their politico-ecclesiastical organization and connection with Rome are represented in verse 3, as a ‘Scarlet colored Beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns;’ while the City is described as being ‘arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication; and upon her forehead a name written Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth—vs. 4, 5. ‘Fornication is the symbol of idolatry, and all spiritual impurity. In verse 6, it is described as a persecuting city drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.’—The ‘seven heads are seven mountains, on which the Woman sitteth’—5:9.
The destiny of this City is that it shall be consumed, or wasted with desolation, and finally and suddenly destroyed. Its consumption is thus expressed, ‘the ten horns which thou sawest upon the Beast, these shall hate the Harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire’—5:1. 16. To this condition is Rome, which in the days of the Apostle was peopled with hundreds of thousands, now reduced; a scanty population and ruins are all that remain of its former glory. Her future destiny is thus decreed, ‘in one day shall her plagues come, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her’—ch 18:8. Rome is to vanish from the face of Italy: to be engulphed in the vast and bottomless abyss, as it is written, ‘thus, like a great mill-stone cast into the sea, shall that great City Babylon with violence be thrown down, and SHALL BE FOUND NO MORE AT ALL—5:21.
Of Constantinople more is hinted than expressed in the scriptures of truth. It is the City of ‘the Dragon,’ of ‘he King who does according to his will,’ of the Fifth Horn of the Goat, the City of ‘Him’ against whom ‘the King of the North shall come like a whirlwind,’ and of the Euphrateans who were prepared for 391 years and 30 days. The ‘great Red Dragon’ of Rev 12:3, is the symbol of the Pagan Roman Empire, but in ch. 13. ‘the Dragon’ represents the Greco-catholic Roman Empire; but in ch. 17:13; 20:2. ii symbolizes the Eastern Roman Empire under the Ottoman, and hereafter, for a short time, under the ‘Autocrat of All the Russias.’ The City, or Seat, or ‘place in heaven,’ in which the Great Red Dragon reigned before he was ‘cast out’ by ‘Michael’ Constantine and his adherents, was Rome. Rev. 12:8, 9: but, at the time when ‘the Dragon’ surrendered his seat to the Beast like a leopard, ch. 13:2—he had provided himself a new one; and this was Constantinople, which continued to be the Imperial City of the Roman Empire until it was taken by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. It is yet destined to absorb the attention of the Great World, and to become the seat of a power, that will cause even England and France to tremble for their independence. The power, of which Constantinople will become the capital, will extend its dominion & alliance over ‘many countries, which shall be overthrown.’ It will swallow up the Turkish Empire and the ancient Assyria; and extend from Libya and Egypt, to the Caspian and Persian Gulf. Persia will itself be with it, so that it will meet the Merchants of Tarshish and it Lions, or the Anglo-Indian Power, in the plains of the greater Asia. But its triumph will be short. ‘Tidings out of the East’—from India, ‘and out of the North’—from Britain &c, ‘shall trouble him: therefore shall he go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall encamp between the seas before the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end and none shall help him’—Dan. 11:44. 45. ‘He shall stand up against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without hand—ch. 8:25. From that time, Constantinople will cease to be imperial. Rome will be abolished from the earth; ‘and the Kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven’ will be transferred to
“Jerusalem the City of the Great King”
“O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come even the First Dominion: the Kingdom shall come to the Daughter of Jerusalem. Micah. 4:8.
Jerusalem, Jebus or Salem, was doubtless contemporary with Abram and Melchizedec. Its name literally and prophetically imports vision of peace: for to this City shall flow ‘peace like a river, and the glory of the gentiles like a flowing stream:’ and when, the Nations shall behold it, they shall be ‘glad with her, and rejoice for her.’
The first allusion to this renowned City is contained in Gen. 14:18., where it is termed Salem: and Melchizedek, King of righteousness, its King. This was about the year 2023; so that it has now figured upon the page of history 3869 years, which makes it 1313 years more ancient than Rome, the City of the Antichristian Blasphemer.
In the days of Joshua, Jerusalem was in the possession of the Amorite, and governed by Adonizedec, who with other kings, was slain and hanged upon a tree until sun down. Adonizedec signifies Lord of Righteousness; and, it is a remarkable coincidence, but one upon which we lay no stress, that the next King of Jerusalem hanged upon a tree by Israel till sun down, was the Lord of Righteousness—Adoni-zedec Messiah the Nazarene.
In the reign of David, it became the Capital of the Kingdom of Israel. It thenceforth maintained its eminence for a period of 477 years, when it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. During the 70 years captivity, it lay in ruins, after which it was restored by Zerubbabel and his associates, and continued 562 years, when it was destroyed by the Romans.
The City of Jerusalem is situated in 31 degrees 50 minutes north latitude, & 35 degrees 20 minutes east longitude; about 25 miles west of Jordan, and 42 east of the Mediterranean, 102 miles south of Damascus, and 150 north of the Elanitic Gulph of the Red Sea. It was built on four hills called Zion, Accra, Moriah, and Bezetha. The city while in the hands of the Jebusite from whom David took it, was built upon Acra; and ‘the strong hold of Zion’—2 Sam. 5:7—upon the hill bearing that name. After having possessed himself of these important places, this munificent prince appropriated Zion for the royal residence, and named it ‘the City of David.’
Mount Zion was divided from Mount Moriah by a valley, called by Josephus, thee Valley of the Cheesemongers. Across this valley Solomon raised a causeway, leading from the royal palace on Mount Zion to the Temple, which he built on Mount Moriah. The way was not level, but an easy ascent and descent from one mountain to the other. Hence we read of ‘the ascent by which Solomon went up, to the House of the Lord,’ and of ‘the causeway,’ or ‘going up.’
Jerusalem is the City, which Jehovah had chosen to place his name there, as it is written in the Law, ‘when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the Land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety: then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there, thither shall ye bring all that I command you; *** and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God. Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest: but in the place which the Lord shall choose in one of thy tribes there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shall do all I command thee.—Deut. 12:8–14. Because the Lord chose Jerusalem to put his name there, therefore it is called the holy city of which glorious things are spoken in the scriptures of truth.
Speaking of Zion and Jerusalem, David says, ‘Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, is the City of the Great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge As we have heard, so have we seen in the City of the Lord of Hosts, in the City of our God: God will establish it forever. Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces: that ye may tell it to the generation following—Ps. 48. ‘This is the Hill which God desireth to dwell in yea, the Lord will dwell in it forever. 68:16 ‘In Salem is God’s tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion. There broke he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle—Ps. 76. ‘The Lord chose the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion which he loved. And he built his Temple like high palaces, like the Earth which he hath established forever—Ps 87. The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O City of God.—all my springs are in thee:—Ps. 87. ‘WHEN THE LORD SHALL BUILD UP ZION, HE SHALL APPEAR IN HIS GLORY:’ then ‘thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favor her, yea, the set time is come;—Ps. 102. ‘The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength (O Messiah) out of Zion—Ps. 110. ‘They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever—Ps. 125. ‘The Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest forever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There will I make the Horn of David to bud—Ps. 132. There the Lord commanded the blessing even life forever more. 133. ‘Blessed be the Lord out of Zion, who dwelleth at Jerusalem—135. ‘The Lord shall reign forever, even thy King O Zion, unto all genera ions—146. ‘Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.’—149. We shall now proceed to quote some of the ‘glorious things’ spoken of Zion and Jerusalem, premising only, that they are to continue ‘trodden down of the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled’—Luke 21:24: and that when these times are accomplished, [and unquestionably their consummation is at the very door]—‘the set time to favor Zion’ will have come.
We quote first from the prophet Isaiah:
‘I will restore thy judges as at the first, & thy counselors as at the beginning; afterwards thou shalt be called The City of Righteousness, the Faithful City. Zion shall be redeemed with Judgment, and they that return of her with righteousness.—Ch. 1:26, 57.
‘And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the Mountain of the Lord’s House (Moriah, on which the Temple shall be built in the Future Age) shall be established on the tops of the Mountains, and shall be exalted above the Hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, ‘Come ye’ and let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, to the House (Temple) of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He, (the Lord) shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.—ch. 2:2–4 There will then be no more pilgrimages to Rome, or to Mecca, or to the Sacred Ganges, but all hearts will be turned to Jerusalem, and thither will the faithful wend their way.
‘In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel, And it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem (compare Jer. 50:20; Dan. 12:1.) And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and a smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night, for above all the glory there shall be a covering. And there shall be a Tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain. ch. 4:2–6. How radiant with light will this City be! A glorious residence for the King of Glory! His Rest will indeed be glorious!
‘Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee—ch. 12:6. ‘The Moon shall be confounded, and the Sun ashamed, when the Lord of Hosts shall reign on Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously—ch. 24:23. ‘And on this Mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things a feast of wines on the lees, &c. And he will destroy on this mountain the face of the covering [the ‘strong delusion—2 Thess. 2:11.] cast over all people, & the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken. And it shall be said on that day, Lo, this is our King; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation—ch. 25:6–9.
‘The Lord of Host shall come down to fight for Mount Zion, and for the Hill thereof. As birds flying, so will the Lord of Hosts defend ferusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword not of a mighty man; and the sword not of a mean man, shall devour him: and he shall pass over to his strong holds for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion and his furnace in Jerusalem—ch. 31:4, 5, 9
‘The Lord is exalted; for he dwelleth on high; he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, & strength of salvation’—Messiah’s Times constitute the Dispensation of the Future Age, which will be characterized among other things, by wisdom and knowledge; hence it will present a remarkable contrast to the Age that now is, which is notable principally for its ignorance and folly.
‘The eyes of the righteous shall see the King in his beauty, they shall behold the Land that is very far off [as to time when the prophet wrote.] Look upon Zion the City of our Solemnities; thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation; a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords be broken. But there the glorious Lord will be to us a place of broad rivers and streams; for the Lord is our Judge; the Lord is our Lawgiver (not Moses) the Lord is our King; he will save us. And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity—ch. 33:5, 6, 17, 20–24.
‘The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away—35:10. ‘I will defend this City to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.—37:85.
‘But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on him? Yea, she may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O Zion. Behold I have graven thee on the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made the waste shall go forth of thee. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried on their shoulders And Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their Queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth and lick the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me, —ch. 49:14–26.
‘The Lord will comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the Garden of the Lord (he will establish paradise in the Land); joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.—ch. 51:3.
THE HERALD OF THE KINGDOM (Vol. 2, pp. 161–165).