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. 18. Of such things as are answerable to the measure of 12000 furlongs, and the 12 manner of fruits growing on the tree of life. The conclusion of all that hath been said concerning the Antithe∣sis of things in generall, as it is distinguished from that Antithesis of numbers which is next to be proved.

IN the next place it comes to be inqui∣red, what that is in the City of Anti∣christ, which is answerable to the measure of 12 thousand furlongs, by which, as it is above shewed, the true compasse of that City, in which Christ did first and chiefly erect his Church and Hierarchie, is truly, although mystically declared. To which J answer that as the number 12, having thousands of furlongs added unto it, is the truesolid measure of an imaginarie Cube, whose compasse is equall to the compasse of the city Hierusalem; so the num∣ber 25 having thousands of furlongs added to it, is the true solid measure of that imaginary Page  118 Cube, whose compasse is equall to the com∣passe of the city of Rome. I will not here trou∣ble the reader with Arithmeticall computati∣ons; let those that have understanding to extract the Roots of numbers, either believe me, or else finde out themselves, what is the solid root of 25000, and they shall be then resolved that a Cube of 25 thousand Furlongs, is in compasse 116 furlongs, and above 3 quarters of a furlong, that is, 14 miles and an halfe, and almost halfe a quarter of a mile, which measure, how fitly it agreeth, with the circuit and compasse of the city of Rome, shall in it's place be evidently de∣clared.

It remaineth now in the sixth and last place to be considered, what is meant by the 12 man∣ner of Fruits growing on the tree of life, and what those things are in the Church of Rome, answerable unto them. This tree of life in the midst of the city, is Christ in the midst of his Church: these 12 Fruits, are that food, by which Christians live, and are nourished up unto ever∣lasting life; and that food by which Christians live is Faith. For all just men live by Faith (as it is written) and by every word that proccedeth out of the mouth of God: but the Apostles creed is the only true faith, because it is the materiall Page  119 object of every Christian man's faith, and a per∣fect summe of the doctrine of Christian religi∣on, gathered out of the Scriptures, and contai∣ning all truthes necessary to be believed: and therefore whosoever confesseth with his mouth, and believeth with his heart all the Articles of the creed, he doth truly eat of all those fruits which grow on this tree of life. Now because the creed of the Apostles, did ori∣ginally proceed from 12 persons, & doth natu∣rally branch it selfe into 12 Articles, as it hath been long since actually divided: therefore J doubt not but that this is that particular truth really and actually existing in the Church, to which these 12 manner of Fruits have a speciall and evident allusion.

Now as touching the Romish faith, J shall make it evident, that the Papists have added new Articles to the Apostles creed, and have in∣creased the number from 12 unto 25, For whe∣ther we take the councell of Trent it selfe, to be the faith and doctrine of the Church of Rome, or that Creed which was composed and set forth by Pope Pius the fourth, according to the doctrine decreed in that Councell; in either of these, the number 25 is as remarkably applica∣ble to the Romish faith, as the number 12 to the Page  120 Apostles Creed: but J pitch chiefly upon that forme and profession of the Romish faith, which Pope Pius the fourth hath set forth according to that Councell, to be generally received by all men, or as the Bull it selfe witnesseth, ut unius ejusdem fidei professio uniformiter ab omnibus ex∣hibeatur, unica{que} & certaillius forma cunctis inno∣tescat. That this Councell of Trent, doth fully containe, the whole faith and doctrine of the Romish Religion, the Papists themselves are nei∣ther able, nor willing to deny. Thus much is te∣stified by the eight and ninth acclamations at the end of this Councell, which runne after this manner;

Cardinalis à Lothoringia.

Sacrosancta Oecumenica Tridentina Synodus: eius fidem confiteamur, eius decreta semper servemus.

Responsio Patrum.

Semper confiteamur, semper servemus.

Cardinalis à Lothor.

Omnes ita credimus, omnes id ipsum sentimus: om∣nes consentientes & amplectentes subscribimus. Haec est fides beati Petri & Apostolorum: haec est Page  121 fides Patrum; haec est fides Orthodoxorum.

Responsio Patrum.

Ita credimus, ita sentimus: ita subscribimus.

I say therefore, as the 12 Apostles after that Christian religion began to be believed in the world, did assemble themselves together, and composed a Creed, consisting of 12 Articles, for the preservation of unity in matters of religion, and for the suppressing of heresies: so the chiefe Prelats of the Popish Church, after their Romish religion began to be received and believed in the world, did for the advancement of their su∣perstitions, & for the suppressing of that which they call heresie, assemble themselves together at the Councell of Trent: which Councell was begun by 25 Prelates, continued 25 Sessions, and ended with the subscription of 25 Popish Arch∣bishops: and last of all (which is the thing J chiefly ayme at) the doctrine and faith decreed in this Councell, was afterwards by the Pope and his Cardinals, reduced to a set forme of words, so naturally branching themselves into 25 Articles, that they cannot with any conveni∣encie be divided into any other number, as it shallbe declared.

Page  122I have now spoken in generall, of all those six things to which the number 12 is applied in the description of the new Hierusalem; and I have shewed that there were things actually existing in the city Hierusalem, and in the Primitive Church, to which every one of these things hath an evident allusion. And I have also shew∣ed that there were, and are things actually exi∣sting in the City, and in the Church of Rome, fit∣ly answerable and opposite to every one of those six things above mentioned; and that, ac∣cording to all senses, and interpretations, which may, with any probability, be put upon them. If I have spoken more, then needs concerning the opposition, or contraposition of Things in generall, I have therefore done it, because I am fully perswaded, that this description of the new Hierusalem, is not for this reason onely set downe in the Scriptures, that by it the true Church of Christ might be described; but also, that the false Church of Antichrist by way of Antithesis, and opposition, might by the same description (mutatis mutandis) be manifestly re∣vealed. For there is not intended by this descri∣ption an opposition of Numbers only, and not of those things also, which are numbred▪ nor an opposition of Things only, and not of those Page  123Numbers also, which are joyned with them, but a double Antithesis and contraposition, both of Things and Numbers: so that from this de∣scription of the new Hierusalem, we may make two severall inferences concerning Antichrist▪ the one drawne from the consideration of Things opposite, the other from the considerati∣on of Numbers opposite. By the first, may be found out the Genus: by the second, the Diffe∣rentia, by which Antichrist may be defined. From the first consideration it followeth, that Antichrist ought to have such things belonging to his state and Hierarchy, as I have already proved to have been actually existing in the Pa∣pacie: as namely, persons answerable to the Apo∣stles, a City answerable to Hierusalem; having certaine measures, and a certaine number of Gates, Churches, Pastors, Parishes, professing their faith and religion under a certain number of heads and Articles. But from the second con∣sideration, (which consists in the application of that number, which is opposed to 12, unto all these things above mentioned) it may be con∣cluded, not only that Antichrist must have a Ci∣tie answerable to Hierusalem, but precisely, how many furlongs in compasse his City must be, how many Gates it must have about it: how Page  124 many chiefe Churches in it; into how many Parishes it was first divided: what the first ori∣ginall decreed number of these persons must be, who must pretend themselves to be the Ba∣sis, and foundation of that Hierarchie which An∣tichrist was to erect in it. And lastly, by this num∣ber may be concluded, into how many heads or Articles, the Faith and Religion of Antichrist, actually should, or conveniently might be di∣vided.

It remaineth now in the last place, that I make the truth of all these things to appeare by particular application, and that I make good, what I have above promised by shewing out of history, that the number 25, is as evidently ap∣plicable, in all these particulars above mentio∣ned, to the City, State, and Hierarchie of Rome, as the number 12 is, in all like and answerable respects, to the Church of Christ and to the new Hierusalem.