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. 3. The manner of the interpretation more clearely, yet cursorily proposed. An introduction to the true interpretation of the number 144 and the mea∣sures of the new Hierusalem.

AND now, although I may take this for granted, (for the reasons above re∣hearsed,) that this number 144 is not in it selfe any way particularly to be applied to Gods Church and people, but only in respect of the number 12, which is the root and basis of it; and so might accordingly proceed, shewing, that the number 666, is not in it selfe applicable to any Times, Names, Persons, Places, or other circumstances belonging to Antichrist (as ma∣ny vainely and fruitlessely have endeavoured to find out) but only, that the root of this number 666 (whatsoever number it be) must be the number, which is, in many particular respects, Page  10 applicable to the kingdome of Antichrist; and that, as the number 12, which is the square root of 144, is more properly said to be Gods num∣ber then the number 144, because it is a number which God would have conspicuous and re∣markable in the founding of his Church, and divers other respects, both above that and all o∣ther numbers: so in like manner that number which is the square root of the number 666, must more properly belong to Antichrist, then the number 666, as a number which Anti∣christ would have conspicuous & remarkable both in the founding of his Kingdome, and al∣so in divers other respects, above any other number whatsoever: although, I say, I might proceed to prosecute these grounds already laid, and taken for granted by learned interpre∣ters, to shew what number is the root of the number 666, and how it doth accurately and essentially describe, and characterize the Citty, State, and Hierarchie of Antichrist; yet least J might seem to some to build that, which I am fully perswaded and resolved to be a certaine & infallible truth, upon weake & unsure grounds; I will therefore yet farther cleare the manner of this interpretation, before J touch the truth of its application.

Page  11And first, that I may not rely upon the bare authority of others, concerning the true and na∣turall exposition of the number 144, which in the 21 of the Revelation (in which place onely it is named) is said to be the measure of the wall of the new Ierusalem; J will endeavour to make it manifest to such as have understan∣ding, and to such as will not shut their eyes a∣gainst it, that, howsoever the number 144 is there expressed, yet the number 12 is chiefly in∣tended.

And that I may make this to appeare, it is ne∣cessary that I say something of the Vision it selfe in generall, pointing at that which this glorious structure of the new Jerusalem doth shadow forth unto us. Concerning which, although I am not ignorant, that many ancient interpre∣ters have affirmed, that the glorious and happy estate of the Church triumphant in heaven is here set forth unto us▪ yet as Mr Forbes and very a many other writers both ancient and modern have observed all things in this Vision mentio∣ned,, are so exactly applicable to the Church militant here on earth, that, almost from every line & word, there may be an argument drawn to prove that the Church militant, and not the Church triumphant, is chiefly by this descrip∣tion Page  12 to be understood. J should digresse too farr if I should stay to make this truth evident, by such particular instances, as might be brought out of the text. And because J suppose it is suffi∣ciently knowne to all those who have seriously studied to find out the true meaning of this Vi∣sion, I will therefore instance only in the mea∣sures and numbers (which as they seem most to disagree from this my interpretation, so are they most to my purpose) endeavouring to find out such a true and naturall exposition of them, as shall not only be agreeable to the scope of the Vision in generall, but also necessarily inforced by the words of the text immediatly going be∣fore and following after. And although I know that this exposition which I shall bring, will not seem probable to many that read it, yet will I set it down howsoever, lest upon their second and better consideration of such reasons & pro∣babilities as are brought for it, they should judge it rather to be received then any other. Especially, being, all other interpretations, which are usually given of these measures, are for the most part frivolous, and frigid, and such as carry such a kinde of emptinesse with them, as is not agreeable to that weight of matter which seems to ballance the other parts of this Vision.