BY APOSTOLOS MAKRAKIS
Delivered in Concord Square the City of Athens, Greece – August 7th, 1866
Yesterday we expounded upon the first and the second scenes of the wine-drama. Today we shall interpret the third scene, known by the name of the French Revolution. It is so called because the people of France rebelled against the clerico-political aristocracy which was dancing upon them, and changed the feasting of the harlot into grief and sorrow, that the Gospel words may be fulfilled: “Woe unto you who laugh, for you shall lament and weep.” But how did the uprising which greatly disturbed the harlot’s banquet take place? In order that we may understand this we must again bring to mind the image of the first and the second scenes.
As you recall, in the first scene the harlot together with her admirers, viz. kings, barons, marquis, and the other long-haired members of the king’s court, dances and lusts upon the nations who lie unconscious because of the potion. In the second scene, one of the persons being stepped upon, having become more sensitive than the others, is troubled and shouts against the dancers. His shouting rouses many others against the banquet and the wine. Following a bloody fight, both sides in the battle withdrew and came to terms to drink from their own cup. While those around the harlot began feasting again, those following Luther took pride in setting up a dinner table displaying greater simplicity and moderation.
Now while the harlot together with her admirers dances upon the nations which the shouts and the protests of Luther were unable to break away from her, other enemies rise up who undertake to upset the banquet secretly with the purpose of setting up another one promising greater happiness to both themselves and to others. These new enemies are called philosophers, contrivers of a new cup, who, without the knowledge of the harlot and her admirers, gave the French nation to drink of a potion of wrath and violence [Makrakis is referring to such French philosophers as: Descartes, Condillac, Voltaire. Diderot, Robinet, Cabanis, Holbach, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Bonnet, all of whom undermined the belief In God and established the foundations of materialistic philosophy]. Having been stung and roused from its torpor by the potion of the so-called philosophers, as a colt by a gad-fly, the French people overthrew the harlot’s admirers, crushed the banquet table, renounced the harlot and her cup, until the madness brought upon the French by the potion of the philosophers was checked.
Such, in short, is the image of the third scene which was called the French Revolution, for the people of France were the main actors of this scene of the wine-drama. Truly, if one were to ask what was the cause of the French Revolution, history points to no other but the anti-Christian teaching of the philosophical schools which were the offspring of the Protestant Reformation, just as the latter was born of Papism. The harlot’s cup contains this potion: ”Christ, the Son of the living God, came into the world and established the Church, in which He appointed the Pope of Rome as His own impeccable and infallible Vicar.” The disciples of Luther modified this potion in the following manner: “Christ, the Son of the living God, came into the world, but He neither established a One, historical Holy Church, nor left His own impeccable and infallible Vicar in it.”
Proceeding in its deviant course, the French philosophical schools denied not only the Church and the alleged vicar, but even Christ Himself. By giving most of the French nation to drink of these negative lies, the philosophical schools brought on the French Revolution by which it overthrew the medieval clerico-political system. The second and the third scenes, therefore, are natural consequences of the first scene; both Protestantism and the atheism of Western Society are the natural offspring of the Roman Church. Just as a tree is known by its fruit, so too are parents known by the children they have borne forth. Of the two offspring of Papism, the one seeks to destroy the Church of Christ, while the other proposes to remove its cornerstone. For both were formed of the seed of the dragon with whom the Roman Church commits fornication. Now a mother of such children should have suffered the dire consequences which she did suffer and is experiencing to this day; for everyone is chastened by the very means by which he sins.
In the third scene many things were perpetrated which bear witness to both the nature of the mother and that of her offspring. Having overthrown the clerico-political aristocracy of the Middle Ages, the French philosophers and demagogues tried to establish a state of equality and freedom in order to make all men happy. They took pride in saying that this state was the child of rational thought. But what did they mean by this word? They meant a harlot woman whom they set upon the altar and censed as the goddess of felicity. This is the object of worship whom thereafter the president of the state highly extolled and kissed passionately before the sight of the people, thereby indicating the fundamental law of him who admires the state of freedom and equality. These acts of the worst kind of shamelessness and ungodliness served as a punishment and censure of the Roman Church, for God usually punishes those who sin against Him in the same manner in which they sin.
King David committed adultery in secret with the wife of Ourias. But God announced to him through Nathan the prophet that He would allow his wives to fall into adultery openly in broad daylight. This judgment of God’s justice was thereafter executed by his son Absalom heeding the counsel of Achitophel. For when Absalom had rebelled against his father, Achitophel advised him to commit adultery openly with David’s wives in order that all the people might be convinced that reconciliation between father and son was impossible and that they should fight steadfastly without fearful misgivings. Therefore, just as the son of the revolution Absalom committed openly the act which David perpetrated in secret, so too the children of the French Revolution committed in broad daylight – for the censure and punishment of their mother – that which she was doing secretly.
The Roman Church, being the harlot that she is, commits fornication in secret. Her offspring had to deify fornication openly in order to reveal their mother’s nature. However, the very instruments of divine judgment are judged too, and God punishes more those employed for the punishment of sinners. The son of the revolution Absalom who committed fornication openly with his father’s wives suffered a most violent death, slain with three arrows shot into his heart by Joab. The demagogues of the French Revolution who denied Christ suffered what was their due, and they became mad in a manner contrary to Ajax.
Having become mad because he did not receive as a prize the weapons of Achilles, Ajax killed the Greeks’ sheep, thinking that he was thereby slaying the Greeks who did him injustice. The demagogues of France every day were murdering their fellow-citizens, thinking that they were slaughtering sheep for the purpose of nourishing the state of equality and freedom. Having fortified lawlessness and injustice by which they too were slain, they bore forth tyranny to which everyone became subjected.
This third scene of the wine-drama did not last even for a decade. The reason for this is that once the philosophical cup treated the people to an unbridled and acrid deceit, it brought about results of the greatest acridity and shortest duration. It was necessary that the system of equality and freedom founded upon the worship of the harlot and ungodliness, come and go in the manner of a violent storm whose only mission was to uproot decayed trees. The Papal system lasts for a long time, declining gradually, because it has lies intermingled with the truth, and because it projects virtue as the veil of its wickedness. Now since the Protestant system contains falsehood to a greater degree, it cannot last as long as Papism; nevertheless, it lasts much longer than the unbridled system of the western pseudo-philosophy that denies Christ.
Imagine now upon the European world scene three tables bearing the three cups we interpreted above, the Roman Catholic one, the Protestant one, and the sophistical or demagogical one. Imagine also the various nations coming to drink from these cups, and becoming intoxicated, they create a clamor, enter conflict, and slay one another. One may now ask, what do these boisterous and dangerous inebriates need? They are obviously in need of a policeman to separate them and quell the disturbance. This policeman is the head of the military, i.e. the head of the state whom the armed forces support and keep in power. The mission and the task of such policemen created the offices and the regulations of the policy which today controls and governs the nations of Europe. For example, a political or military leader must not have any religious conviction, nor favor a certain religious or philosophical belief more than another. As a rule of conduct, he must have his own and the leaders’ interest which consists in the acquisition of money and the enjoyment of worldly pleasures.
In a word, indifference for matters concerning the soul and a calculated love for things of the flesh – these are the values of the political leaders of the present age. These are the values which the fourth cup of inebriation would impart to man, a cup no less terrible than the three other cups. They who drink from this cup experience the intoxication of greed and vainglory from which there spring conflicts and disturbances much more terrible and destructive, because material interests conflict with one another just as do religious and philosophical beliefs. In order to avoid these things, political leaders devised treaties and the balance of powers which, however, are impossible to be maintained by people drunk with vainglory and greed. And, as we see, such a policy is unable to prevent wars and destructions of which we are eye-witnesses.
The political or diplomatic cup of intoxication, begotten by conflicts and disturbances stemming from the three other cups, created the fourth and final scene of the wine-drama which we also have presently before our eyes. Having already become thoroughly drunk from this cup, the Italians are seeking to devour the flesh of their own mother by wanting to make Rome the capital city of the Italian kingdom, rather than keeping it the capital of the Roman Catholic religion.
If we now compare the prophetic image of the sacred Book of the Revelation and the angel’s words with the account of history and the witness of current events themselves, we find in them a striking identity. The prophetic image portrays the woman who is the great city having dominion over the kings of earth, sitting upon the seven heads of the arrogant dragon, regally adorned and committing fornication with the kings of the earth. History relates that Papal Rome, having become arrogant and exalted through hypocrisy and every satanic wickedness, acquired influence over the kings of the earth. And having become wealthy through them, she too attained to regal status and committed with them the illicit and sinful acts. The prophetic image depicts the woman holding in her hand the gold cup full of abominations and the filth of her fornication, giving the inhabitants of the earth to drink. History relates that the nations of Western Europe, becoming mentally deranged by the false teachings of Papal Rome, from the beginning of the Middle Ages to this day act like drunkards, and have not yet been able to sober up from their intoxication.
The Angel foretells that the harlot shall be despised by her admirers, that she shall be forsaken, denuded; and that after devouring her flesh, they shall burn her in flames. The very events of history attest to the fact that Papal Rome was indeed despised, forsaken, denuded, and that already her offspring are seeking to devour her flesh, so that they may thereafter burn her in the fire of eternal anathema.
The Angel calls the woman a “mystery” and “Babylon” and the “mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.” We saw in all the scenes of the wine-drama that all evils were brought forth from the cup of Papal Rome, and that because of the confusion which she has created in men’s minds, Papal Rome to the present day continues to be a mystery to most nations because her true nature is unknown. The Angel’s words are understood and confirmed by the voice of reality itself; and we, having comprehended the mystery, must reveal it to others also. But now we must ask to what degree the harlot’s cup has influenced our own affairs in Greece, for which reason they are faring badly until now.
It is quite natural for persons coming in contact with sick people to contract their disease. Many of our own people going to Western Europe [When Greece won her liberation in 1833, Greek graduates of German and French universities became the first professors of the University of Athens. Makrakis refers to the secular ideas that found their way into Greece at this time which were totally anti-Greek and anti-Orthodox] for studies in law, theology, and philosophy had to become inebriated drinking from the cups of intoxication; and upon returning here, they were bound to commit the acts of drunkards, and nothing sane. Whoever became intoxicated from the cup of the Protestant heresy tried to reform our Church in a Protestant manner. Whoever became inebriated from the cup of false philosophy introduced to the minds of our credulous young people atheism and evil-mindedness. Whoever became drunk from the cup of the political doctrines of self-interest and thereafter assumed an active role in our political life corrupted both their own and their disciples’ conscience. These are the people who have become the terrible corrupters of the Greek people, having rejected every correct idea of what is just and lawful.
Thenceforth, small Greece has become a kind of a miniature Babylon, an abortive child of the Western Babylon whose type and character it bears. Greece has become a scene of factions fighting unceasingly to take over power and despoil the treasury. It has become an arena of wicked passions and nest of the unclean spirit which clouds men’s minds and unawares leads man into the pit of corruption. How rightly Plato affirms that wherever egoism and selfishness prevail, wherever leadership is contested on the grounds of personal gain, it is impossible for corruption, deterioration, and catastrophe not to follow. Here are Plato’s own words as contained in the seventh book of the Republic:
“Yes, my friend, I said; and there lies the point. You must contrive for your future rulers another and a better life than that of a ruler, and then you may have a well ordered State; for only in the State which offers this, will they rule who are truly rich, not in silver and gold, but in virtue and wisdom, which are the true blessings of life. Whereas if they go to the administration of public affairs, poor and hungering after their own private advantage, thinking that hence they are to snatch the chief good, order there can never be; for they will be fighting about office, and the civil and domestic broils which thus arise will be the ruin of the rulers themselves and of the whole State.” [The Dialogues of Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett. vol. 3, third edition. Oxford Univ. Press. Humphrey Milford, publ., 1924, p. 221.]
According to these words of this most wise sage, a polis or a nation can be governed well and flourish only when its leaders do not seek to lead with the purpose of prospering from the public treasury, but rather, only that they may make use of their own science and wisdom by virtue of which they are truly happy. Therefore, since our leaders are completely wanting in noble and prudent living, and are as avaricious as they are senseless, thinking that their personal interest lies in the public treasury, this is why our state of affairs has reached the point of wretchedness in which we see it today.
It is impossible for this situation to be rectified unless we acquire wise leaders who carry out their public duties for the sake of Christ and not for gold. Only they who exercise leadership according to Christ can lead well and beneficially, for they alone are free from egoism and carry out their duties properly, while looking forward to the kingdom of heaven. But as long as we have at our head persons intoxicated from the cup of the harlot, we can never follow the way that leads us to the holy polis. To continue on the way we are presently going would quite necessarily be tantamount to our being heavy in the head and taking leave of our senses, while looking ridiculous and absurd to other people.
Let us now recall that upon opening these speeches we proposed to expound on how the task of 1821 can be quickest and best completed. Since this task is political in nature, we considered the nature of a polis for the purpose of understanding its true nature. After defining through a scientific analysis the meaning of the polis, and after delineating both the wicked and good polis, we considered of which polis we happen to be the offspring. We have come to know that we were born of the good polis.
Today, however, we seem to be wicked, for we came in contact with the sons of the Western Babylon and fell ill to such an extent that we have been rendered incapable of any valiant and glorious undertaking. We sought out the antidote for our disease, and said that this consists in the knowledge of the task of 1821. “We divided this knowledge into these four categories: 1) knowledge of the principles for which we are fighting; 2) knowledge of our enemies against whom we are struggling; 3) knowledge of the power with which we are fighting; 4) the skill of combating and overcoming our adversaries.
Now since thus far we have expounded upon all our guiding principles and our enemies, next Sunday we must proceed to the third category of the knowledge of the power that will lead to victory