An interpretation of the number 666 wherein, not onely the manner, how this number ought to be interpreted, is clearely proved and demonstrated : but it is also shewed [that] this number is an exquisite and perfect character, truly, exactly, and essentially describing that state of government to [which] all other notes of Antichrist doe agree : with all knowne objections solidly and fully answered [that] can be materially made against it
Potter, Francis, 1594-1678.

CHAP. 12. That the number 25 hath been conceived to be a fa∣tall and nfortunate number, by such, as knew no relation that it hd to Antichrist, or to the num∣ber 666.

AND now that I may come neerer to 〈◊〉 this number to the Papacy, I will first shew hat as 12 is a good, and per∣fect number alwies taken in a good sense, in the Scriptues: o 25 is an unfortunate number in it ••lfe, and that it hath been branded for an evill and unluckie number both by prophane, and sacred writers, although they knew no re∣lation that it had either to Antichrist, or the number 666. It is observed by Vincetius that this number 25 is imparitèr impar •••rus qui impari numero imparitè mensuratur, that is, an Page  78 odly uneven number, which is unevenly mea∣sured by an odde number. Others have obser∣ved, and proved both by reason and authoritie that the number of five is a fatall number, and that all numbers either ending in five, or made by it are evill, and unhappy also. Petrus Bongus, in his book de numerorum mysteriis, observeth & sheweth that this number 25, which doth not only end in five, but is made by the multiplica∣tion of five by five, is mysteriously evill. His words are these, Hinc factum est, ut hoc numero 25 Hieroglyphicè notarentur qui illecebris, & vo∣luptatibus hujus vitae dediti semetipsos rebus creatis manciparunt:—porrò, constat hic numerus de qui∣nario, qui ne{que} tetragonus, ne{que} triangulus, ne{que} cu∣bus, ne{que} perfectus est. And in another place he saith, numerus 25 duas duntaxat habet partes ali∣quotas nempe 1, & 5: pari modo quinarius cùm sit primus incompositus solâ numerabilis est unitate. Sic etiam ex diametro distans à perfectione, unde in vineâ domini infructuosos significat. But it is yet more remarkable which S. Hierome observes out of the Scriptures, concerning this number 25, in his commentaries upon the 11 cap. of Eze∣kiel, where speaking of this number he saith, Et quantum non subterfugit memoriam meam, nun∣quam in bonam partem potui hunc numerum repe∣rire; Page  79 licet in numeris ad sacerdotale ministerium à 25 annis eligantur; In Hebraeoenim non habent hunc numerum, sedtricenarium. And not S. Hie∣rome only, but divers other interpreters upon the 8 and 11 cap. of Ezekiel, have made the like observations of this number. Lyra of the 25 men their mentioned, saith, Per quos significan∣tur Apostatae à fide, vel à religione, maximè quan∣dò sunt in suà maliti â firmati, quae significatur per numerum 25, qui numerus est quadratus, quià resul∣tat ex ductu quinarii in seipsum. And Petrus Ser∣ranus, in his commentaries upon the same visi∣on of Ezekiel, writeth after this manner; Ita ut potestati libidinum & cupiditatum vita omnis per∣missa sit: hoc autem malum signat sacer Propheta cùm 25 viros in portà orientali se vidisse asserit. Numerum enim quinarium, quo sensus hominis clauduntur, nunquam in bonam partem accipi legi∣tur in Scriptur â, ut Divus Hieronymus testatu; etsi pluriès indifferenter inveniatur, undè totius po∣puli lapsus vigesimoquinto numero hoc lco signifi∣catur. If it be demanded what universall defe∣ction and what Apostacy this is from faith and religion by men confirmed in their own ma∣lice, which yra, and Serranus acknowledge to be typed out by this number 25, it may be well answered that there is none more probable Page  80 then that defection, and universall Apostacy which was to come upon the Church of Christ at that time, when Antichrist was to sit in it. For because this vision was not literally fulfil∣led, or not fully terminated in the Jewish Church (as it cannot but appeare to those that seriously consider it) therefore S. Hierome (as in this following treatise shall be shewed) and many others doe not onely understand it of some defection, and Apostacy, which was to be among Christians, but doe also apply it even particularly to the Synagogue of Rome. John Husse, in his book de revelatione Christi & Anti∣christi, saith of this vision after this manner: Mysticam meretricem Scriptura describens, eius excessum notificat, Ezek. 8. cap. de viris in templo qui stabant ante picturas. And Ecolampadius, af∣ter a particular application of the chiefe things contained in this vision, to the Monkes, Friars, and Nunnes of the Romish Church, hath these words, Et quid sibi vult haec visio, quàm quòd in Episcopis & doctoribus abominationes maximas ul∣timò cernat? And of those words, Et sunt circitèr viginti quin{que}, he saith,—Quid aliud his doceur, quàm nihilillos perfecto animo agere? understan∣ding by the word illos, those Prelates of the Church of Rome, of whom he had before spo∣ken. Page  81 I might here adde the words of Gaspar Sanctius, and others concerning this number upon the same occasion; but, as I conceive, these are sufficient to make it evident, that this num∣ber Twenty five is not only (even by the testi∣mony of the Scriptures) an Hieroglyphicall cha∣racter of some unhappy, desperate, and deplo∣red estate of God's Church, but also hath been conceived by religious, wise, and learned men, mystically and typically to foreshew that quin∣tessence of impietie and malice, which these latter times have discovered in the Church of Rome. Now therefore for as much as it is a∣greeable to other places of Scripture that this number 25 should be in some speciall manner applicable, both to Antichrist, and the Church of Rome: I may with the greater confidence proceed to the particular application, hoping by it, and upon the grounds above proved, to finde out such an accurate and essentiall discri∣ption of the Papacie, as shall not seem unpro∣bable to have been intended by the holy Ghost: much lesse shall it be prejudiciall to any man's wisdome to believe it.