Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 6, 7
"Now the period when Semiramis lived, - a period when the patriarchal faith was still fresh in the minds of men, when Shem was still alive, to rouse the minds of the faithful to rally around the banner for the truth and cause of God, made it hazardous all at once and publicly to set up such a system as was inaugurated by the Babylonian queen. We know, from the statements in Job, that among patriarchal tribes that had nothing whatever to do with Mosaic institutions, but which adhered to the pure faith of the patriarchs, idolatry in any shape was held to be a crime, to be visited with signal and summary punishment on the heads of those who practised it. 'If I beheld the sun,' said Job, 'when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, and my mouth hath kissed my hand; this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge; for I should have denied the God that is above' (Job 31:26-28). Now if this was the case in Job's day, much more must it have been the case at the earlier period when the Mysteries were instituted. It was a matter, therefore, of necessity, if idolatry were to be brought in, and especially such foul idolatry as the Babylonian system contained in its bosom, that it should be done stealthily and in secret. Even though introduced by the hand of power, it might have produced a revulsion, and violent attempts might have been made by the uncorrupted portion of mankind to put it down; and at all events, if it had appeared at once in all its hideousness, it would have alarmed the consciences of men, and defeated the very object in view. That object was to bind all mankind in blind and absolute submission to a hierarchy entirely dependent on the sovereigns of Babylon. In the carrying out of this scheme, all knowledge, sacred and profane, came to be monopolised by the priesthood, who dealt it out to those who were initiated in the 'Mysteries' exactly as they saw fit, according as the interests of the grand system of spiritual despotism they had to administer might seem to require. Thus the people, wherever the Babylonian system spread, were bound neck and heel to the priests. The priests were the only depositaries of religious knowledge; they only had the true tradition by which the writs and symbols of the public religion could be interpreted; and without blind and implicit submission to them, what was necessary for salvation could not be known."