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. 14. That Rome is answerable to Hierusalem, and the Popes Cardinalls to Christ's Apostles.

AND as this assertion must necessarily follow out of that which is above said, concerning the manner how this number ought to be interpreted, so is it evi∣dently and apparently verified in the Papacy. a For as Hierusalem truly was Caput, mater, gremium & ostium omnium Ecclesiarum,Page  87a so doth Rome falsly pretend her selfe to be, and so Rome really, and truly is the mother of all spirituall whoredome, and abominations in re∣spect of all those Churches which have been seduced by her.

And as there is a cleere and eminent Anti∣thesis betweene Hierusalem and Rome,b so is there also between Christs Apostles, and the Popes Cardinalls; there being no persons in the whole world, of what ranke, order, or degree soever stiling themselves 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉vi∣cem gerentes Apostolorum, as they do. They are the very substance, Soule, and Essence of the Papacie, and so neerly united to the Pope, that he accounts them as parts of his owne body, c and they together with him make one com∣pleat Page  88 Colledge and Corporation, and one myst∣icall Body, actually and eminently containing, upholding, and representing all power, and Ec∣clesiasticall jurisdiction. They were instituted in the first most remarkeable foundation of the Papacy by the Pope in the City of Rome, about the time of Constantine the great, in a imitati∣on of our Saviour Christ, who did in the first most remarkeable foundation of his Church, erect the Colledge of Apostles at Hierusalem, giving them a b name, prefining their c number, and declaring their d office, as the Pope hath Page  89 since done to his Cardinals at Rome. As the Apostles truely were, and are the root and foun∣dation of the Christian Church and of all Ec∣clesiasticall Jurisdiction: so the Cardinals e fals∣lypretend themselves to be, and so they truely are, and doe in expresse words declare them∣selves to be the very f Basis and g foundation of the Romish Hierarchy. And therefore the Root and foundation of all that Superstition and Impiety, which being derived originally from Rome, hath been transfused through the whole body of the Christian Church. As it is the Priviledge of the Apostles, to be as it were 12 stars set in that Crowne, which is mentio∣ned in the 12 Chapter of the Revelation; so is it an especiall Priviledge belonging to the Cardi∣nals, to haue their names written in the Crown of their Prince, as witnesseth aIacobatius de con∣cil. num. 153. There was a two fold state and Condition of the Apostles, first they were Apo∣stoli vrbis, affixed as it were to the City Hieru∣salem, where they were to abide untill they were endowed with power frome above: but Page  90 afterwards they were Apostoli orbis, and were sent from thence into all kingdomes of the world: So likewise the Cardinalls in imitati∣on and affectation of the like honour are stiled Cardinales Ʋrbis, & Orbis, and they remaine, as it were affixed to the City of Rome, untill they are indewed with power from above, that is, untill they are sent by the Pope as his Nuntio's and legates into all kingdomes of the world. As the Apostles in respect of their spi∣rituall fatherhood are fitly answerable to the 12 Patriarches, who are the fathers of all the Israelites according to the flesh: so the Car∣dinalls are likewise called Patres Spirituales, affecting the like honour. As the Apostles, having supreme Authority in the Church, may in some sense be said to be the judges of the world, and to sit upon 12 Thrones to judge the 12 tribes of Israell; so the Cardinalls make their a Consistory of their Apostolicall Sea to admit of no appeale, but to be of such a ce∣lestiall sublimity, that it is equall to the tribunall seat of God. And therefore they are stiled Ju∣dices Orbis, and they do exercise all civill, & Ec∣clesiasticall power over the city, and people of Rome: which either the Patriarches and Princes of the Tribes did in the literall, or the Apostles Page  91 in the spirituall Hierusalem. Many other things might here be alleaged to shew how exact, and exquisite an Antythesis and Contra position there is between the Apostles, and Cardinalls. It might be observed, that there is not one of those proper Appellations and Titles, which are usually attributed to the Cardinalls: such as are these following.

  • Patres Spirituales
  • Vicem-gerentes Apostolorum.
  • Senatores Papae
  • Patres Purpurati.
  • Patricij
  • Mundi Principes
  • Iudices Orbis
  • Cardinales Vrbis & Orbis, and the like:

There is not, I say any one of these Titles but the Cardinalls may by it be proved either to be emulous of the like honour, which the Apostles had, or else to be the Image of such a kinde of government, as was before their lives remarkable in the City of Rome. Both which Considerations (as by the way may be observed) are necessarily incident to the right discerning of that great Antichrist, who is not only to resemble some ancient government of Page  92Rome, but also * to be that Synagogue of Satan mentioned in the Revel: which say they are Apostles, and are not. For as much therefore as there hath not been in any City answerable to Hierusalem, or in any other place, at any time since the Apostles lived, any state, Hierar∣thy, sect, or society of men, so confidently and yet so falsly, pretending, and arrogating themselves to have all fullnesse of power A∣postolicall annexed, and as it were appropria∣ted unto themselves, as the Colledge of Car∣dinalls doth: I may therefore conclude that there are persons in the Papacy answerable to the Apostles, as Rome is to Hierusalem, & that if the Papacy be Antichrist, and if the number 666 be to be interpreted and applied after the same manner, which is above proved that it ought to be; then the first originall number, and foundation of this Colledge of Cardinalls, must be typed out unto us by the square root of the number 666, as the first limited, and established number of the Apostles, is typed out by the square root of the number 144.