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. 8. The reason why the new Hierusalem is measured by the sollid and square measures onely; That the measure and structure of the wall and the number by which it is expressed, doe both typi∣cally represent the Hierarchy of the Church of Christ. The conclusion of this digression concern∣ing the measures and numbers of the new Hie∣rusalem.

IF a reason be demanded, why the Angel did not set downe the line∣all measures onely of this new Hierusalem, as the manner is, in E∣zekiels visions, and in other places of Scripture, where the like descriptions are used; I an∣swere, that although the same quantity might have as perfectly (and in respect of the ignorance of many men, more perspicuously) been made knowne by the lineall measures; yet then it had not been possible to have retain∣ed the same numbers. For being the holy Ghost affecteth (as it were) this number of 12 Page  38 more then any other, (as it is above shewed;) and keepeth this number constantly through the whole description of this new Hierusa∣lem; as if nothing were pleasing and accepta∣ble unto him (as indeed it is not) but that which is either numbred with this number of 12, or built upon it; it was therefore con∣venient that the same number should be re∣tained (if it were posible) in the measures al∣so. But it was not possible to set downe the true, & yet the same length, or breadth, or com∣passe of this City, by the number of 12; either in unities, Tens, Hundreds, Thousands, or Millions: either by Reeds, Cubits, furlongs, handbreadthes, spans, or any other measure named in the Scriptures. For neither 12 fur∣longs, nor 12 hundred furlongs, nor 12000 furlongs, are equall either to one side of this City, or to the compasse, or to the Area, but onely 12000 furlongs to the solid content. So likewise neither are 12 cubits, nor 1200 cubits, nor 12000 cubits, nor 120000, nor 1200000, nor 12000000 of cubits, or the same numbers of any other measures named in the Scriptures, equall to any measures of this City above na∣med, excepting only the solid measure, as is a∣bove said. As therefore there was a necessity Page  39 that the Solid measure should be set downe, because that only could be expressed by the number of 12 having thousands added to it; so was it necessary also that of all other solid measures, furlongs should be taken for the same reason. For as no other number with this measure, so is it certaine that no other mea∣sure with this number could expresse the just quantity of this City.

A second reason (and perhaps the chiefe reason) why the holy Ghost would have the magnitude of this new Hierusalem expressed by the solid measure, is, that there might be an ex∣presse and evident example in the Scriptures, how to count and apply the number of the beast; that so having found out that number which is opposed unto 12, and having added thousands and furlongs to it, we might have the solid measure and content of that Cube gi∣ven, whose perimeter is equall to the compasse of the Romish Babylon: as 12000 furlongs are the solid measure of that Cube, whose perimeter is equall to the compasse of the new Hierusalem. But of this in its due place.

As concerning the reason why the measure of the wall is not expressed by lineall measures, it may be answered, that although the number Page  40 of 12 might have been retained, and by it the true, and the same lineall measures of this wall described, yet it cannot be denied, but that the true measures of the wall, and the number of 12 are both necessarily, although mystically implied, and as purposely intended by the ho∣ly Ghost in the number 144, as if they had been many times expresly named. For this number is so significantly applicable, not only to the measures and structure of the wall here descri∣bed, but also to that which is by the wall sig∣nified; that it may be truely said, that this number considered absolutely in it selfe, (and not as it doth by Cubits here in this place shew the square measure of the wall,) is (as it were) an idaea of the hierarchy of the Church: the wisdome of God having purposely linked two types together, that the one might unfold the other: the one being an imaginary struct∣ure of a materiall building; the other an in∣telligible forme of an immateriall number: both of them signifying, that as the number 12 was the measure, number, and foundation of the Citty, Gates, and wall of the ancient and literall Hierusalem; and was, in respect of the 12 Patriarks, the root from whence the 12 Tribes had their originall according to the Page  41 flesh; so the same number of 12 should be the only conspicuous & remarkable number in the foundation & structure of the spirituall & new Hierusalem: in which the 12 Apostlesare 12 spi∣rituall fathers answereable to the 12 Patriarks: and are 12 foundation-stones layd by our Sa∣viour Christ, upon which foundation, and according to which foundation, (that is, by multiplying the doctrine of the Apostles by it selfe onely,) all the spirituall builders of Gods Church in the times to come, ought to erect and square their buildings. And they are also placed as 12 Angels at the 12 gates, to keep out (as it were) with a two edged sword every thing that defileth; and to admit into this City by the gates of Baptisme, com∣mitted first and originally unto them, and pre∣figured by the 12 oxen under the brasen Sea, 12000 of every tribe; that is all those faithfull Christians and true Jsraelites which can de∣rive their spirituall genealogy from the faith and doctrine of the 12 Apostles. And this is without all question, the true and naturall in∣terpretation of the numbers and measures of this new Hierusalem.

Concerning which it is to be observed, that those interpreters which did not understand Page  42 the measures and proportion of the wall, and therefore could not discerne how exactly that ecclesiasticall state and Hierarchy, which our Savour Christ built on the 12 Apostles, was typed out by it; yet by the onely contemplati∣on, and computation of this number 144, they have discerned, that the number of 12 was not onely mystically and virtually con∣tained in it, but also chiefly intended by it, and so they attained unto the same truth in effect, which by the structure and measures of the wall, being rightly understood, ought first to have been apprehended by them.

And thus having been willing to build my opinion, as well upon reason, as upon the au∣thority of others, J have long laboured (al∣though by a tedious and intricate digression) to finde out and to prove by the Scriptures, what is the true manner of the interpretation of that number, which is opposed to the number of the Beast. And herein J have but followed the ad∣vise and counsell of Rupertus, who writing of the number 666 hath these words, Quia sapiens ad computandum citatur, fortè in numero problema est, sanctam igitur Scripturam consulamus, sine quâ nihil constans aut certum sive de numero Dei, sive de numero Bestiae: nam sicutille Sampson veracitèr Page  43 dicere potuit, Si non arassetis in vitulâ meâ, non in∣venissetis propositionem meam: sic Dom: noster Je∣sus Christus, cujus propositiones sive problematasunt omnia, quae in hoc libro continentur, profunda myste∣ria, veraciter nobis dicat: Si non araverîtis in alià Scriptur à non invenietis solutionem numeri huius, quem praesens signavit Scriptura. The effect of which words is, that except the true meaning and interpretation of Gods number, be found out by diligent search of other places of Scrip∣ture, there is little hope o possibility to finde out the mystery contained in the number of the Beast.