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. 20. That the number of the Gates of Rome was 25.

COncerning the number of the Gates of the City of Rome according to the sense literall, it remaineth yet to be shewed that their number was 25, as the number of the Page  141 Gates of the materiall Hierusalē either was, or is generally received to have been 12. For how∣soever the first number of Churches, in which Baptisme was administred, be by the name of Gates, most principally aymed at in the descrip∣tion of the new Hierusalem, as according to the sense spirituall I have above shewed: yet I can∣not but think, that the number of the Gates ac∣cording to the sense literall, is also directly in∣tended; and that the number of the Gates of Hierusalem was twelve and no more Villanpan∣dus Tom. 3o. aapparatus urbis & templi: plainly affirmeth and reciteth them nominatim, after this manner.

  • 1 Porta fontis.
  • 2 Porta stercoris
  • 3 Porta vallis
  • 4 Porta Anguli.
  • 5 Porta Ephraim.
  • 6 Porta Vetus.
  • 7 Porta piscium.
  • 8 Porta Benjamin.
  • 9 Porta gregis.
  • 10 Porta Equarum.
  • 11 Porta Aquarum.
  • 12 Porta Fiscalis.

bGeorgius Braunus and Franciscus Hogenbergi∣us, out of Livie and Plinie, who lived neere a∣bout the time that S. Iohn writ the Revelation, doe write thus. Portas suburbiorum & urbis in universum 24 fuisse refert Plinius: Livius tamen Page  142 ut passim in illius Historia est legere 27 ponit. And whereas some editions of Plinie make him to say sometimes, that there were 27 Gates in Rome, and sometimes 37, this is corrected as an error by Onuphryus lib. description urbis, where he writeth thus. Siigitur decem has portas quas ab ijs quatuor decem diversas fuisse liquet ipsis adjunx∣erimus, erunt 24 urbis Romae Portae ut Plinium dixisse existimo—nam quod vulgati codices ha∣bent 27 mendum proculdubio est ex adjectione nu∣merorum aliquot ortum, ita ut 12 portae semel nume∣rentur, praetereant{que} ex veteribus septē quae esse de∣sierunt: It seems by the differing opinions of Li∣ve and Plinie, who lived not long the one after the other, that the number of the gates of Rome, was neer about 25; for plus uno verum esse non po∣test, there can be but one truth; & it is not probable that either of these Authors was ignorant, how many Gates Rome had in their own times. If there were 27 when Livy writ, & but 24 when Plinie writ, then it is probable that in this inte∣rim, there were for some tyme but 25: but it is most likely, that as in all great Cities, there are Gates some of greater, and some of lesser note, some publike, and some belonging to private houses or Pallaces; and some so ambiguously placed and used, that it is hard and doubtfull to Page  143 be determined, whether they are to be account∣ed as Gates of the Citie, or not: so I say it is most likely that Livie accounted 2 or 3 Gates of lesser note, for Gates of the Citie, which Pliny thought fit rather to be left out as private passa∣ges; but perhaps a third man, which had been to set downe his opinion concerning the num∣ber of the Gates of Rome in those times, would have taken one of those 3 Gates into the num∣ber which Pliny left out, and have left out 2 of those 3 Gates which Livie tooke in: and so do¦ing it is likely he might have spoken more true∣ly then either of them. For when Authors of equall credit and estimation, are of different o∣pinions, it is more safe to goe betweene them both (if there be any medium) then to joyne with either. But I confesse all this proveth but a probability at the most, that the number of the Gates of Rome was 25. I am content therefore that Onuphryus that learned Roman Antiquary (who, and who only (as far as I know) hath written a peculiar Tract concerning the Gates of Rome) shall decide this Question. It is evi∣dent by those words of Onuphryus which are last aboue recited, that he affirmeth the number of the Gates of Rome in the time of Pliny to have been 24 at the least; but it is plaine that a∣mong Page  144 all those, Porta Triumphalis is not num∣bred, and therefore Onuphrius presently after, when he rehearseth nominatim all those 24 Gates above spoken of, addeth this Gate in the last place, as a Gate of the City, although not one of the former number number, saying ex∣presly, Porta triumphalis extra numerum. And whereas afterwards he nameth two other Gates, which are Porta fenestralis Palatii, and Porta Stercoraria, he saith of the first, Porta fene∣stralis Palatii, non urbis, sed potius Palatii fuisse crediderim; and of the second, Porta Stercoraria, non urbis sed Capitolii: plainly excluding these two last Gates, from being of the number of the Gates of the City, and plainly adding Porta tri∣umphalis to the former number, as one of the Gates of the City; as, not onely other authors doe account it, but a elsewhere also, as well as in this place, himselfe affirmeth it to be, as these his words doe witnesse, Pars muri antiquitùs per medium Burgum girabat & habebat duas portas, Aureliam & Triumphalem. But for the greater evidence of this truth, I will here set downe the names of these Gates recited by Onuphrius in manner following.

Page  145

  • 1 Porta flumentana.
  • 2 Porta Collatina.
  • 3 Porta Quirinalis.
  • 4 Porta Viminalis.
  • 5 Porta Gabinia.
  • 1 Porta Esquilina.
  • 2 Porta Coelimontana.
  • 3 Porta Latina.*
  • 4 Porta Capena.
  • 5 Porta Ostiensis.
  • 1 Porta Portuensis.
  • 2 Porta Janiculensis.
  • 3 Porta Sextimiana.
  • 4 Porta Aurelia.
  • 5 Porta Querquetularia.
  • 1 Porta Piacularis.
  • 2 Porta Catularia.
  • 3 Porta Minutia.
  • 4 Porta Mugionia.
  • 5 Porta Sanqualis.
  • 1 Porta Naevia.
  • 2 Porta Randuscula.
  • 3 Porta Lavercalis.
  • 4 Porta Libitinensis.
  • 5 Porta Triumphalis.

These 25 Gates Onuphrius setteth down as such as were altogether actually existing betweene the times of Pliny & Justinian, which doth ve∣ry well agree with that time in which Marcel∣lus did erect 25 Cardinalships in Rome. There were anciently 7 other Gates, of which Pliny writeth, that they ceased to be before his time; and therefore they are mentioned by Onuphri∣us, as such, as cannot, nor ought not to be num∣bred with those above named. But as touching these 25 Gates above specified, it is not materiall to enquire how long their number continued, Page  146 whether untill the time of Justinian, or how long afterward. For, as those that affirme the number of the Gates of Hierusalem to have been 12, doe not mean that there were so many pre∣cisely at all times, but that there were so many at that time in which the City most flourished, or that there were so many plus minus, so that ta∣king one time with another, and considering all things, there is no one number, by which the number of the Gates of Hierusalem can be more truly expressed, then by the number 12: so in like manner, it may be said of the Gates of Rome and of the number 25. For as the Gates of Hieru∣salem, so is it certaine that the Gates of Rome, especially in these latter times, have been much altered and changed, which hath caused a great variety of opinions among many writers, as well concerning their names, as their number. But thus much may be observed, that although the new addition unto Rome, called urbs Leoni∣ana, hath brought 7 other Gates with it, yet some of the former decaying, the same number 25 may still remaine, and so much is expresly witnessed by Severinus Binius in his first Tome of generall Councels, pag. 261. where, speaking either of his own time, or of that time in which Georgius Braunius writ his Theatrium Page  147 urbium orbis, he hath these words, Portas subur∣biorum & urbis 24 fuisse refert Plinius, Livius tamen 27. Nunc sunt turres 365, portae 25 super▪ sunt, that is, pliny relates that the Gates of the City and Suburbs were 24, yet Livy saith 27, now there are 365 Turrets, and there remaine 25 Gates.

Thus I have now shewed, that which way soever the 12 Gates of the new Hierusalem are to be understood, whether literally for material gates properly so called, or spiritually for Chur∣ches in which Baptisme was administred, which are as properly Gates of the Church uni∣versall in a spirituall sense, as the other are of the materiall City in the sense literall. I say, which way soever these are to be understood, J have shewed that as there were 12 Gates of Hierusalem, so there were 25 of Rome. I may now therefore conclude in generall concer∣ning the 4 first particulars above specified, that in what sense soever the new Ierusalem may be said to have had 12 Gates, twelve Tribes, twelve Angels, and twelve Apostles, who were the first remarkable foundations of the Church of Christ, and all Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction: in the same sense the Romish Babylon may be said to have had 25 Anti-gates, & 25 Anti-tribes, and 25 Page  148Anti-angels, and 25 Anti-apostles, which were the first remarkable foundations of the Babylo∣nicall Tower of their Antichristian Hierarchy.