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  19

CAP. 5. A farther confirmation of the precedent interpreta∣tion of the Measures of the new Hierusalem.

AND this interpretation of these 12000 furlongs, may farther and evidently be confirmed, because according to this interpretation, the compasse of this new Hie∣rusalem, doth in all probabilitie, and for all that can be shewed to the contrary, exactly agree with the compasse of the ancient and literall Hierusalem; and also with the compasse of that Citie, which is by the Prophet Ezekiel in his last Chapter measured and described. Of which Citie, as also of the heavenly Hierusalem, the words of Villalpandus, lib. 2. cap. 21. pag. 118. upon the 48. chap. of Ezekiel are very probable and remarkable, where, speaking of that Citie described by Ezekiel, he saith as followeth, quo loco nulli dubium esse debet, nove Hierosolymae men∣tionem fieri, ex latere Christi olim fundandae, nunc verò fundatae, super fundamentum Apostolorum & Prophetarum, ipso summo angulari lapide Jesu Christo; at in omnibus antiquae urbis, respexisse di∣spositionem, partes, earum{que} nomina & Mensuras, nulli vel mediocriter ea perpendenti, dubium esse ul∣lâ Page  20 ratione poterit. Jn which words Villalpand confidently affirmes two things. First, that that Citie, described by the Prophet Ezekiel, is the same with this new Hierusalem of which Saint John speaketh. And this is also affirmed by aGra∣cerus, by bViegas,cSerranus,dHector Pintus,eCor∣nelius à Lapide, Gaspar à Melo, and divers others, as a certaine and undoubted truth. Secondly, Page  21 (which doth also follow out of this former as∣sertion) he observes that the Angel in the de∣scription of this heavenly Hierusalem, hath not only respect unto the figure, names, and parts of the ancient literall Hierusalem, but also to the measures of it. For, if the reason, why S. Iohn & the Prophet Ezekiel doe describe this heavenly Hierusalem to have been of a square figure, and to have had twelve gates, and twelve Tribes, and twelve names of twelve Apostles, be, be∣cause these things, had sometimes a reall and actuall existence in the literall Hierusalem; then why should there not be the like reason, and foundation of truth why this measure of 12000 furlongs, should be fetcht & derived from such measures, as had sometime actuall existence in the ancient and literall Hierusalem? I say there∣fore if that Citie described by Ezekiel by the same with this new Hierusalem, then this new Hierusalem must agree with that description, not onely in figure, and in the number of the gates and tribes, but also in the measure, and compasse of it. And orasmuch as the compasse of that City in the last of Ezekiel, is in the text ex∣presly said to be 8000 cubits, it is evident that the measure of 12000 furlongs cannot be un∣derstood to be the lineall measure, either of one Page  22 side, or of the whole compasse of the new Hierusalem. For supposing that this measure of Ezekiel (which is but a Cubit and an hand breadth (as shall be shewed) were five foote long, yet 18000 of these measures would make but 144 furlongs, which is not the 84 part of 12000 furlongs. Wherefore there is no possibi∣lity that 12000 furlongs ought to be understood to be the measure, either of one side, or of the whole compasse of the new Hierusalem.

In like manner, if any one were willing, (as some interpreters have endeavoured) to under∣stand this measure of 12000 furlongs, to be the square measure of the Area or plat-forme of the new Hierusalem; he must then grant that the perimeter or compasse of such an Area must be 436 furlongs lat the least, as may be plainly proved by extracting the square roote of 12000: but the compasse of the same City, as Ezekiel describes it, cannot exceed 144 fur∣longs as it is above shewed. Therefore neither can these 12000 furlongs be the square or su∣perficiall measure, either of all, or of any one of the sides of this new Hierusalem.

It remaineth then that if this City doe agree in measures (as of necessity it must) with that City measured by Ezekiel, that this measure of Page  23 12000 furlongs, must needs be understood, of solid furlongs. For according to this measure only it is possible to reconcile these two divers measures of the same City. It must needs be therefore, that that Cube, whose content or solid measure is 12000 furlongs, must be in compasse 18000 Cubits, according as it is set downe by Ezekiel.

And that this may appeare, something must be said of the true length of Ezekiels Cubits, and S. Johns furlongs; Concerning the Cubit used by Ezekiel in the description of his last Vi∣sion, it is evident out of the 40 chap. and 5. vers. and out of the 41. chap. 8. vers. and out of the 43. chap. and 13. vers. that his Cubit is longer then other Cubits ordinarily used in the Scrip∣tures by one spanne or hand breadth, which is the 4 part of the usuall Cubit, as Villalpandus &* other interpreters, upon this place of Ezekiel, not without good reason, doe affirme. But the com∣mon and usuall Cubit mentioned in the Scrip∣tures was about two foote and an halfe. And therefore in some of our English translations, the marginall note equalleth 2000 Cubits to a mile, And so doth Ʋillalpand also in his map of Hierusalem, intituled, vera Hierosolymae vete∣ris imago, Romae superiorum permissu, cum privi∣legio Page  24 Summi Pontificis, Imperatoris, Regis Ca∣tholici, ac senatûs veneti &c: edita. And a mile containes 1000 Paces, every Pace being five foote. If therefore this Cubit of Ezekiel be bigger by one fourth part then other Cubits, it followeth then, that 22500 true or ordinary cubits are equall unto 18000 of these great Cubits; for as 4 are to 5, so are 18000▪ 22500. If then 22500 cubits, euery cubit being two foote and an halfe, be the true compasse of the new Hierusalem, as by Ezekiel it is measured, it must be granted, that if 625 foote make one furlong, then the compasse of this City, re∣duced to such furlongs must be 90 furlongs. Which measure, how neere it comes to agree with the solid measure set downe by S. John, may easily be demonstrated by extracting the solid roote of 12000: which if I have rightly performed, the compasse of this Cubicall Ci∣ty, by necessary consequence, must needs be be∣tweene 91 and 92 furlongs. And although it* doth not exactly and precisely agree with the former, yet one or two furlongs are not to be regarded in so large a compasse; yet not there∣fore not to be regarded, because a difference, if it could be proved, were not to be regarded, but because it is beyond all comparison farre Page  25 more probable that these two measures doe ex∣actly agree because the Cityes are both one, then that any writer can now exactly set downe the just length both of the Jewish Cubit, & of the Roman furlongs. For I suppose it were great ignorance for any man to affirme that the just lengths of both these measures can be now proved by any unquestionable monument of antiquity, or undeniable authority. For being there is nothing in this sublunarie world im∣mortall and unchangeable, but only wordes written that can be without alteration trans∣mitted to posterity; it hath been therefore ac∣counted a thing unpossible untill this age to finde out any meanes demonstrative, how the exact length of any knowne measure, may without sensible errour be exactly and infalli∣bly transmitted to all succeeding generations. But howsoever the just length of the Iewish Cubit be uncertaine and utterly lost, yet the Roman furlongs and the Roman foote are not yet so forgotten, but that we may come very neere unto the truth, as Snellius in his book de terrae ambitu hath probably defined it. And sup∣posing 22500 Cubits, which is the measure of the City measurd by Ezechiel, to be equall unto 57233 Roman feete, which is neere unto the Page  26 Compasse of the new Ierusalem, if I have cast it right, we may know the true length of the Jewish Cubit to have beene neere about two foote and an halfe, and halfe an inch, and one and one quarter of a quarter of an inch, and a little more, and by this meanes I believe the true length of the Iewes Cubits many be better knowen then by any other. Wherefore I sup∣pose that these reasons above alleaged, and rightly understood, are abundantly sufficient to shew, not onely a probability, that this mea∣sure of 12000 furlongs may, but a necessity, that it must be understood to be the Solid mea∣sure of this City; and therefore such a measure, which, aAndreas Caesariensis rightly conjectures, is not lineally applicable to the compasse or height of it, before mans reason by the discur∣sive faculty, as by its proper act, doe resolue this number into some other numbers, as in the ex∣tracting of the solid roote is necessarily requi∣red. And thus much of the measure of the City.