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.

CAP. 23. The conclusion which followeth upon the chiefe part of the application above proved, and some neces∣sary and remarkable Observations concerning it.

I Have now shewed and proved, that as the number twelve is in six severall things applicable to the new Hierusa∣lem: so the number twentie five is applicable to the mysticall Babylon in six severall things, an∣swerable and opposite unto them▪ and where∣as the Tribes, Gates, Angels▪ Foundations, Mea∣sures,Page  160 and Fruits of the tree of life, are all, or most of them such things as doe admit a double, or manifold interpretation, according as they have been by divers Authors diversly expounded; I have made it manifest, that which way soever they be understood, there are things in all sen∣ses answerable unto them in the Romish Baby∣lon, to which the number 25 is applicable, and that it should so fall out according to such di∣versity of interpretations, a this (as I believe) ad∣deth much to this mystery, because every diffe∣ring exposition, is, as it were, a distinct and seve∣rall prophecy, in one respect or other, more clearely describing the Papacie. If the root of the number 666 had been applicable, onely to one of those six things above mentioned, as for example, to the Colledge of Cardinals of Rome in respect of their first originall: this one thing, as I conceive, (if the historicall truth of it can∣not be confuted) had been a more manifest signe and token, that the Papacy is Antichrist, then all the b interpretations that any Writers have hitherto set forth concerning the number 666. But being the same root or number, doth Page  161 not only shew the first originall number of Cardinals or Anti-apostles, but doth also intimate that they are according to divers spirituall sen∣ses, the Gates, Angells, and Foundations of the Popes mysticall City, State, and Hierarchy; and doth also shew, how many furlongs in com∣passe the City of Rome should be; how many Gates it was to have about it; how many Chur∣ches for Baptisme in it; how many Pastors did first exercise Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction over it; into how many Titles, or Parishes it was first divided, and unto how many heads and Arti∣cles Christian religion should be there augmen∣ted; being, I say, this one number 25, doth not in one, nor in two, nor in three onely, but in all these particulars, and in all senses in every one of these particulars, truly and evidently, Num¦ber, Measure, Describe, and Characterise the City, State, and Hierarchy of Rome, and that state and City onely; so that it is not so fitly applica∣ble to any other state and City, no not in any one thing fitly answering any one of those six particulars above mentioned: then how can a∣ny man desire a more essentiall and exact de∣scription of the Papacie, then the right applica∣tion of this number 25, plainly exhibits to him, that doth fully understand it? or how can any Page  162 one which understandeth these things, justly say, that I have spoken hyperbolically, whereas I have above said, that the City, State, and Hie∣rarchy of Antichrist, is by this number 25 most evidently, and miraculously described?

J have as yet applied the number 25 unto the Papacie, only in such things as are 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that is, answerable and opposite to such things, as are mentioned in the description of the new Hierusalem. But as the number 12 is in many o∣ther respects besides these, applicable to the true Church, and to such things as pertaine unto it: So J am now to shew (as I have also above promised) that this number 25 is in many other things applicable to the Papacie, and to such things as doe pertaine unto it. But first there are some observations concerning that part of the application which is already proved, which may in this place be interposed.

First, it may be observed, that although the root of the number 666, were applicable to the Papacie in no other things, saving only in these above proved. Yet these are sufficient: because by these the Papacie is evidently distinguished from all other states of goverment: and because there are no other things in the Papacy more es∣sentiall and remarkable then these.

Page  163Secondly, that although the description of the new Hierusalem were of a City in all re∣spects meerely imaginary (as perhaps in some things it is,) and were not applicable either ac∣cording to a sense of allusion, to that materiall Hierusalem which once was, or according to a sense of prediction, to the last state of the new materiall Hierusalem, which for all that we know, may be yet for to come: yet such an ima∣ginary City, being so exactly, and in so many di∣vers respects measured, numbred, and described by the root and figure of one number onely, may be purposely set downe, as a rule and pat∣terne, by which the root and figure of another number given, ought to be applied, to a City, not imaginary, but really and actually existing: for God, who sometimes chuseth things that are not, to bring to nought things that are, may also by things that are not, bring to light things that are; and by the opposition or juxta-position of supposed and imaginary measures & num∣bers of a heavenly Hierusalem, may discover the true and reall numbers, and measures of all things remarkable in the City of Rome.

Thirdly, it may be observed, that although the description of the new Hierusalem had not exemplarily directed this application chiefly Page  164 unto those particulars above mentioned, yet the things themselves are such, that it is probable that the wisdome of God would rather have foretold those things of Antichrist then any o∣ther. For God by his Prophets in the old Testa∣ment, intending to fore shew and foretell the kingdome of Christ, did not foretel what nū∣ber the letters of Christs name, or any name of his Church or kingdome should containe (as the Papists would make us believe S. Iohn doth concerning Antichrist) but did foretell by divers types, the number of Christs Apostles, and their office and quality, as appeares by divers Types in the Scriptures, and especially by the Type of the 12 Oxen under the brasen sea, by which, not onely the number of the Apostles was foretold, but also their condition, as that the Sea of Grace, and Laver of regeneration should by them be supported, and carried into all quarters of the world, and that they should goe and baptize all nations, &c. Since then the Cardinals of Rome are those persons in that An∣tichristian Hierarchy, which are answerable to the Apostles, and those to whom the admini∣stration of Baptisme was originally most re∣markably committed; it is therefore more pro∣bable, that their Number, Nature, and Conditi∣on should be typed in the Scriptures, then any Page  165 other one thing concerning Antichrist.

Lastly, it may be observed concerning the compasse of the Area, or platforme of the City of Rome, and concerning the first number of Churches at once and the same time instituted, that they are things fatall and mysticall in them∣selves, as Onuphrius Panvinius, concerning both these things, hath observed; of the first he wri∣teth thus. Pomaerii autem urbis Romae terminos non sine Augurum consilio poni, mutari, ac restitui potu∣issesatis constat innut{que} haec inscriptio,

  • Collegium.
  • Augurum Autore.
  • Imp Casare Divi.
  • Trajani Parthiciterminos
  • Pomaerii restituendos curavit.

Of the number of Churches he writeth thus. Cur autem non plures neq, pauciores Ecclesiae simul institutae fuerint, quae his nominibus decorarentur, operae pretium erit explicare, huic{que} instituto maxi∣mè consentaneum, cùm haec res insigni mysterio ce∣lebratasit. For although aOnuphrius speaketh these words of other Churches in Rome also, & not only of these 25, which were first called Ti∣tles, yet his words can be verified of these Chur∣ches onely, because even himselfe being judge, and that cloud of witnesse, which I have above Page  166 alleaged, there never was any other Totall num∣ber of Churches which were called Titles, in the City of Rome, which were as in this place he saith, simul institutae, at one time and altoge∣ther instituted, but only those 25 above mentio∣ned. If therefore there be any mystery in this number, it must be in the number 25, and in no other.