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. 28. A farther and a full answer to all objections about the Root of 666, drawne from the consideration of the figure of that number, by which the figure of the City of Rome is exactly expressed.

A Reason may be yet farther demanded, why of all those numbers which are between 650 and 676, there was no other number expressed to be the number of the Beast, but onely the number 666, to which I answer, that as it was most convenient for the reasons above alleaged, that the number of the Beast should be between those two numbers; so there may be many reasons here alleaged, why the number 666 was chosen rather then any other. First, it may be said that no other number whose root was 25, could be expressed by the numerall letters of the Beasts name, as concerning the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and divers o∣ther Page  191 names of this Beast, in divers languages hath been, and may be observed.

Secondly, it may be said that the number 666 was chosen rather then any other number, whose root was 25, that by the two last figures of this number, or by the number signified by the two last figures of this number, there might be an allusion to that image mentioned Dan. cap 3. whose height was 60 Cubits, and the breadth 6 Cubits. Which Image as Mr Forbs doth not without probability intimate, may very fitly shadow forth the Papacie. For as di∣vers Nations, Tongues, and Languages were allured with all kindes of Musick, and inforced by the fierie furnace, to fall down and worship that Image: so divers nations and languages have been both allured by the musick of all kinds of flatteries and false doctrines, and also inforced by fierie Furnaces and other torments, to fall downe and worship that Idoll Shep∣heard at Rome. But as Nebuchadnezzar to his great astonishment, saw foure men walking in the midst of the fire, insteed of those three which fell downe bound at the first: so the Pope to his terror may behold, that the number of Protestants increaseth daily notwithstanding his fierie persecutions, and those that hereto∣fore Page  192 lay dead for a time, in the street of the great City which spiritually is called Sodome and E∣gypt, doe now stand upon their feet againe in greater numbers, and cause feare to fall upon their enimies.

But if neither of these reasons, nor any thing yet said, give satisfaction to iudicious readers, nor shew sufficient cause why the number 666 should be chosen rather then 625, or any other number whose root is 25; yet I am confident that that reason being added to it, which I shall now set downe in the last place concerning the figure of the number 666, cannot but give full satisfaction to all such as understand it. For as the root of 144 is opposed to the root of 666, so also is the figure of that number opposed to the figure of this, and as the root of 666 exceeds the root of 144 by a double proportion and some∣what more, so the figure of 666, exceeds the fi∣gure of the number 144, by a double proporti∣on and somewhat more. And as divers myste∣ries have been already found out, by the appli∣cation of the root of the number 666, to such things as pertaine to the Papacie: so there re∣maine some mysteries to be found out, by ap∣plication of the figure of the same number to the City of Rome. For as the actuall application Page  193 of that number which is the root of 144, to such things as are mentioned in the description of the new Hierusalem, doth guide, and direct, and as it were confine the application of that number which is the root of 666, to such things as are answerable and opposite unto them: so the actuall application of that figure which is the figure of the number 144, to that new aHierusalem described in the Revelation, is both an example and a warrant, shewing how that figure which is the figure of the number 666, ought to be applied to that City which is answerable and opposite to Hierusalem. If therefore a reason be yet demanded, why the number 666 ought to be chosen to be the Beasts number, rather then any other whose root was 25. I answer, that for what reason soever the number 144 was chosen rather then any other number, whose root was 12; for the same rea∣son was the number 666 chosen, rather then a∣ny other number, whose root was 25. But no better reason can be given or imagined, why the number 144 should be chosen rather then 145, or 146, or 154, or any other number, whose root is 12, but onely because the figure of this number, is a perfect figure perfectly represen∣ting the figure of the City Hierusalem; & there∣fore Page  194 it may be concluded, that no better reason ought to be expected, why 66 should be cho∣sen rather then any other number whose root was 25, but only because the figure of this num∣ber, doth perfectly represent the figure of the ci∣ty of Rome. Now therefore that the truth of this may appeare, I must briefly expresse what figu∣rated numbers are.

The summe of that which Euclide & others have written de numeris planis figuratis, that is, of flat superficiall figurated numbers, is, that those numbers onely are figurated numbers, which can be produced and made, either by the multiplication of one number by it selfe, or by the multiplication of some one number by another number: as for example, the number 12 is a figurated number, because it may be produ∣ced & made by the multiplication of the num∣ber 3 by the number 4, and also by the multipli∣cation of the number 2 by the number 6, as by the following figures, wherein 12 unities are placed according right angles, and equall di∣stances, may plainly appeare.

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Page  195 But the number 13 or 11 can by no meanes be reduced to any * figure, wherefore they are not figurated numbers, neither can so many unities be placed any manner of way, but still there will be something wanting to make the square figure compleat, or something redun∣dant which doth exceed it; as these examples shew.

[illustration]

The number 30 is a figurated number, be∣cause Page  196 three times ten, or five times six make this number, as these examples shew.

[illustration]

And by these examples it may be observed, that the same number may have divers figures. And when it so falleth out that the same number may be varied into divers figures, then that fi∣gure which commeth nearest unto the equila∣terall square figure is the most perfect figure. For, Quadratum aequalium laterum is perfectissi∣mum in suo genere, and the equilaterall square fi∣gure is capacissima figura, the most capacious fi∣gure, of all Isoperimentrall figures consisting of 4 straight lines. But Quadratum oblongum, that is, such a figure as is longer one way then the o∣ther, is a figure which is more or lesse perfect, either as it approacheth neerer, or as it is farther distant from the perfect square of equall sides. Now when the figure of any given number is sought after, that is still to be accounted the fi∣gure of that number, which either is a perfect Page  197 square, or neerest unto it. For when the same number is capable of divers figures, the rule is, Denominatio sit à praestantiori, that is, the most perfect figure is to give denomination to the number. As for example the number 144. may be made either by multiplying 12 by 12, or 9 by 16, as these examples doe shew.

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Page  198

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Yet this number is named a perfect square number of equall sides, from the more perfect figure, and not from the other; and this, and not the other, sheweth the true figure of the City Hierusalem.

Now then that the true figure of Antichrists City may be found out, let us seek after the fi∣gure of the number 666: for the most perfect fi∣gure that this number is capable of, is as exactly applicable to Rome, as the most perfect figure of the opposite number is to Hierusalem. The nea∣rest way that J know to finde whether any number given, be a figurated number or not, & to finde what is the most perfect figure of it, is to divide the number given by its own root, & severally by all such numbers as are lesse then it, if after the performance of every severall di∣vision, Page  199 there doe some fractions remaine, then is the number given no figurated number; but so many times as there doe no fractions remaine, of so many severall figures is that number cape∣able, of all which figures, that which either is the equiliterall square, or else that which is hearest unto it, is the most perfect figure which is sought after. I divide therefore the number 666 by 25, the quotient is 26, and the fractions are 16 / 25 so that it doth not yet appeare to be a fi∣gurated number, but by this first computation it appeareth to be no perfect square number of equall sides, as 144 is; and therefore by this first division it may be concluded negatively, that the City of Antichrist is not of an equilaterall square fiigure as Hierusalem was. In the next place I take away one unitie from the number 25, and I doe againe divide the number 666 by the number 24, the quotient is 27, and the fra∣ctions remaining and because there be fra∣ctions remaining, it doth not yet appeare to be a figurated number, in the next place J divide the number 666 by 23, the quotient is 28, the fractions remaining are 22 / 23. In like manner if the number 666 be divided by 22, the fractions re∣maining are 6 / 22. If by 21, the fractions are 15 / ••. If by 20, the fractions are 6 / 2. If by 19, the fraction is Page  200 one unitie, but if it be divided by 18, the quoti∣ent is 37, and no fraction remaineth; by this therefore it may be concluded that 18 being multiplied by 37, the product must be 666, and therefore this number is a figurated number, and that the most perfect figure of it is, Quadra∣tum*oblongum proportione quasi duplà, that is, an oblong square figure in which the length ex∣ceeds the breadth by a double proportion and somewhat more; as by this figure may appeare.

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Now how fitly this figure agreeth with the fi∣gure of the City of Rome let all men judge, and shew if they can any one regular figure that comes nearer unto it. There cā be no greater te∣stimony for the truth of this, then the testimo∣ny of those who nether knew, nor aimed at any such application as I doe, and yet have affirmed the figure of the City of Rome to be the same Page  201 with this, as a late learned Commentator upon the Revelation hath affirmed in these words, Iam vero Roma hodiernaseu Pontificia ambitum*habet nonnisi 13 aut 15 milliarium, ut norunt, inquit Lipsius, qui dimensi sunt; formam ut & ex ichno∣graphia ejus videre est, quadrangulari proximam oblongam proportione quasi*duplà. I doe therefore now conclude, that as the most perfect figure which the number 144 is capeable of, sheweth and representeth the true figure of the Citie Hie∣rusalem; so the most perfect figure that the num∣ber 666 is capeable of, sheweth & representeth the true figure of the City of Rome. These things are so certain and perspicuous to all such as doe understand what figurated numbers are, that I am perswaded they cannot, nor will not desire a more satisfying reason, why the number 666 was named to be the number of the Beast, ra∣ther then 625, or any other number whose root may be said to be 25; especially if they doe con∣sider these three things. First, how great a my∣stery concerning the figure of the City of Rome, is by this meanes revealed. Secondly, how plain∣ly and expresly this reason is warranted & con∣firmed, by the evident application of the figure of the opposite number to the opposite City Hierusalem. And thirdly, it may be observed, Page  202 that if but one unity be added unto, or subtract∣ed* from the number 666, the figure of it is quite altered and changed, and such as either commeth nearer to Hierusalem then Rome, as the figure of 667, or such as differeth more from the true figure of Rome, then that figure which is above expressed. And thus much of the figure of Rome, and of the figure of the number 666, by which perhaps many other things may also be found out.