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  176

CHAP. 26. That the number 25 is an affected symbolicall device among the Papists: Of the Masse of Christs five wounds, five times multiplied and repeated. Of their Jubelies, and affection of the twenty fifth day of the moneth.

BUt these five Cinques, or these 25 round spots, which in Armes doe signify num∣bers,* as a some Writers have observed, have not been only imprinted upon their Al∣tars, but being (as it is probable) from thence derived, have been accounted a symbolicall de∣vice, and made armoriall and recorded to have been sent from heaven in a more celestiall man∣ner, then the Ancile of ancient Rome as a sancti∣fied a banner to lead Armies fortunately. And what greater testimony can there be of the affectation of a number? Yet if these 5 Cinques are inserted into the Armes of the Emperour of Rome, the King of Spaine, and the Arch-duke of Austria; if the Pope and Cardinals cause them to be imprinted in the frontispice of divers books printed at Rome for their better successe, and the greater confirmation of them. If their Masse of Christs five wounds, five times multipli∣ed Page  177 and repeated; have been by an Angell from heaven commanded, and by authority Apo∣stolicall confirmed, as the b Rubtick in their Masse books affirmeth: then all these things seem to imply yet a greater mystery in this number, & to testifie a greater affectation of it. To prosecute all these things particularly would require a large volume, but I doe briefly and cursorily passe over these things which perhaps are not essentiall unto this interpreta∣tion.

Lastly, their affectation of the number 25 seemes remarkable in respect of certaine times of note and high estimation among them. For first it is apparent that their Jubile is, and hath been for many ages celebrated every five and twenty yeare only. Our Saviour Christ began to shew himselfe, and to goe about his Fathers businesse when he was twelve yeares old; but Priests, Deacons, and sub-Deacons, and all o∣ther Page  178 the Popes sonnes and daughters, are not accounted of a perfect age, untill they are a 25 yeares old compleatly. Perhaps the affectation of this number in this respect hath caused some translations of the Scriptures to be corrupted: for S. Hierome in his Commentaries upon the 11 Chapter of Ezekiel, having observed that the number 25 is never used in a good sense in all the Scriptures, answereth an objection against this his observation in this manner. Licet in Le∣vitico ad sacer dotale ministerium à viginti quin{que} annis eligantur, in hebraeo enim non habet hunc nu∣merum qui in Septuaginta dicitur, sed tricenarium. And this conjecture may be thought the more probable, because in another place of Scripture where it is evident that the number 25 is used in a bad sense, there the same copy of the Septu∣agint which S. Hierome used, maketh no menti∣on of the number 25, but insteed of it taketh an∣other number, as by these his words upon the 8. Chap. of Ezekiel may appeare. Quos nos vigin∣ti quin{que} viros transtulimus, Septuaginta posuerunt viginti, & in quibusdam exemplaribus quin{que} de Theodotione additisunt.

And last of all, as they seeme to affect the 25 yeare more then any other, so have they also af∣fected the five and twentieth day of the month Page  179 more then any other. Their chiefe holydaies are upon the five and twentieth day of the moneth, and there is no one day of the moneth, which hath had originally so many holidaies laid vpon it. Upon the five and twentieth day of December the Church of Rome begins the yeare, & upon that day they have ordained the nativity of our Saviour Christ to be celebrated. Upon the five and twentieth day of Ian: is the conversion of Paul. Upon the five and twen∣tieth of February, so oft as it is leap yeare, is the feast of S Mathias: and it is observable that that day which is added to the yeare every leap yeare, is not placed at the beginning or ending of the yeare, or any moneth, but is made to be the five and twentieth day of the moneth. Up∣on the five and twentieth of March is the An∣nuutiation of the blessed Virgin. Upon the five and twentieth of Aprill is S. Marks day. * Upon the five and twentieth of July is S. James day. And which is more remarkable then all these, the feast of S. Barthol. is celebrated at Rome up∣on the five and twentieth day of August, as their Breviary witnesseth, although in all other places it be celebrated one day sooner. And this particular seemes plainly to testifie their affe∣ctation of the twenty fift day: because although Page  180 all those holy-daies above recited, have been ce∣lebrated in all places upon the five and twen∣tieth daies of severall moneths by the authori∣ty* of the Church of Rome, yet they would have the City of Rome it selfe to be singular in this, that it should celebrate one five and twenty day more then all the world beside. And to this pur∣pose it may be here observed, that Antiochus who was almost in all things a type of Anti∣christ, fayled not in this, but of all the daies of the moneth, he and his officers did solemnize the five and twentieth day by offering sacrifice upon the Idoll Altar on that day, and by their monthly persecutions of the Iewes, as it appea∣reth in the first book of the Maccabees cap. 1. vers. 59.