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.
Page  5

CAP. 2. That the mystery of the number 144, which is the number opposed to 666, consists in the square root of it, which is 12; and that therefore the mystery of 666 must be in the square root of it also.

ANd now concerning the manner how this number 144 ought to be interpre∣ted, it is already agreed upon, as it were, by a general consent as well of the ancient as of the later interpreters, that the only, or at least, the chief cause why this number was chosen rather then any other to be the measure of the wall of the celestiall Jerusalem, is, because this number is raised, and built upon the number 12, which being multiplied into it selfe, produceth this square number 144. For as this number 144 is raised and built upon the number of 12 onely, and cannot possibly admit of any other number to be the root and basis of it (as is evidently knowne to all that have skill in Arithmetick to count numbers, and extract the roots of them) so neither can the Church of Christ admit of a∣ny other foundation then that which is already laid by the 12 Apostles. As therefore this num∣ber 144 is built upon 12 unities, so is the Church Page  6 of Christ upon the 12 Apostles. And as the num∣ber of 12 is more conspicuous and remarkable in this number 144, then any other number, be∣cause it measureth not onely the bottome or root, but the sides and rankes of it also, as will plainly appeare to any one that considereth and counteth the sides and unities of this square fi∣gure following, where the number 144 is set down in due order, the unities being placed ac∣cording to right angles and equall distances one from another.


Page  7I say therefore, as the number of 12 is more conspicuous and remarkeable in this figurated number consisting of 144 vnities, then any o∣ther number: soe it is evident, that the number of 12 is more conspicuous and remarkeable in the Church of God, then any other number whatsoever. And hence it is that this number 12 is rehearsed and repeated above one hun∣dred forty and foure times in the Scriptures, and is in them so often used, and in so ma∣ny and so diverse particulars applied by the spirit to things pertaining to the Church, that we cannot but acknowledge this num∣ber to be chosen, and as it were affected by the Holy Ghost rather then any other. And although the number 144, may truly bee said to be Gods number in a more particular manner, then many other numbers used in the Scriptures, because it representeth the figure of the Citty, and in generall, the forme and structure of the Church, and Hierarchie there∣of, (as shall be shewed) yet it cannot so proper∣ly be called Gods number, as the number 12, which almost in all materiall respects is appli∣cable to the Church, and is used in the Scrip∣tures alwaies, as numerus certus pro certo, and not as numerus certus proincerto: in which sense Page  8 it must needs be granted that the number 144 doth signify and represent the Church in gene∣rall. For, it is not, in it selfe, being wholy con∣sidered, applicable, as the number 12 is, to any particular times, persons, or places, or other particular things, mentioned in the Scriptures; but only in respect of the root or basis of it, which is 12. For there were 12 Tribes, not 144; and 12 gates in Jerusalem, not 144; and 12 A∣postles, not 144. And so it may be said of many other things. And, whereas the number 144 is no where mentioned in the Scriptures, but only in the 21 of the Revelation, it must needs be granted, that it is not there said to be the measure of the Wall (which doth in that place signify the spirituall building of Gods Church) because there then were, or, at any time should be precisely so many, & no more faithfull Chri∣stians, or living stones built upon the 12 foun∣dations there named; but that we might thence learne, that how great or how little soever the number of faithfull Christians should be, yet they must be all built upon the foundation of the 12 Apostles, as the number 144 is built up∣on 12 unities. And hence, that is evident, which most interpreters grant, that this num∣ber 144 was chosen to be the measure of the Page  9 wall of the new Ierusalem for this reason only, or for this reason chiefly, because it is the only square number which can be raised and built upon 12 unities, as is clearly known to all those that haue understanding to extract the roots of numbers.