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others; for, although every Papist delights to term himself a Roman-catholic, yet Romiith is certainly not the name of any man *.
* Mr. Lowman supposes, that the number 666 is the nụmber of years to be computed from the time when St. John saw this vision to the complete establishment of the Papacy as a temporal power about the year 756, at which time he conceives it to have become the best of the sea under his lust head. Respectiug this opinion it will be sufficient to observe, that, even if the Papacy were the beast of the sea, which to me seems utterly impossible, it would still be altogether irreconcileable with the plain language of the prophecy. None were either to buy or sell but those that bore the name of the beast, and together with it the number of his name; a number moreover, that is the number of a man. How is all this fulfilled, if 666 be merely a term of years? How can a term of years be the number of the beast's name? How can it be shewn, that none were allowed to buy or sell except those that bore this term of years as included in the name of the beast?
There is a most curious treatise by Mr. Potter on the number 666; in which he goes on the principle of extracting the square root, and of applying it when so extracted to a wonderfal variety of matters connected with Popery. He supposes
indeed the ten-horned beast to be the Papacy; but his system, if it be tenable, will apply with nearly equal force to the secular papal Roman empire. I can promise the reader entertainment of a very singular nature from this work; though, like myself, he may possibly rise from the perusal of it unconvinced. It is one of the most ingenious productions that I ever met with ; but it strikes me nevertheless as being too elaborate and far-fetched, independent of various objections that might be urged against it, I think it right to mention, that Mr. Potter will not allow the number to be the number of a name, and that he thence denies the propriety of discovering it by numerical letters in the name Latinus or in
I conceive then, that the Apostle designed to intimate in this confessedly difficult passage, that we should seek out some name, which should at once be the name of an empire, the name of its supposed founder, and the name of every individual in that empire. This identity of appellation is very frequently found to occur, particularly in the early ages of the world : thus Ashur is equally the name of Assyria, of the father of the Assyrians, and of every individual Assyrian; thus also Mizraim is equally the name of Egypt, of the father of the Egyptians, and of every individual Egyptian; and thus, to descend to modern times, Ottoman or Othman is equally the name of the Turkish empire, of its founder, and of every indi . vidual Turk. Now, had the Prophet said nothing
other similar names. In this point he is certainly mistaken; for St. John most unequivocally declares, that the number of the beast is “ the number of his name” (Ver. 17.). Mr. Mede bestows a very high and a very well deserved encomium on this work of Mr. Potter.
The modes, in which the Romanists have computed this number, are sufficiently whimsical. Feuardentius discovers it in the word Moametis, for so he thinks proper to spell the name of Mohammed. He likewise finds it in Martin Lauter, which he says was the original way of spelling Luther's name (Lowman's Paraph. ip loc.). This last idea is considerably enlarged by Lindanus and Bellarmine. Martin Lauter produces the number in Saxon; David Chitræus and Beza antitheus, in Greek; and John Calvin, in Hebrew (Cornel a Lap. Comment. in Apoc. in loc.). They refrain however very judiciously from specifying the seven heads and ten horns either of Mohammed, Luther, Chitræus, Beza, or Calvin.
more than this respecting the name of the bedst, we might for ever have wearied ourselves with endeavouring to discover it; because numerous indeed are the names, which, like Ashur, Mizraim, and Ottoman, bear triple significations: hence he informs us, that the name, to which he alludes, should not only bear this triple signification, but should likewise contain in its numerical letters the precise sum of 666.
Irenèus, the disciple of Polycarp, who lived not very long after St. John himself, has been much more happy in pitching upon the name of the beast than in assigning the proper reasons why that particular appellative ought to be pitched upon in preference to all others. “ The name Lateinos, says he, "contains the number 666; and it is very
likely that this may be the name, because the “ last kingdom is so called, for they are Latins “ who now reign; but in this we will not glory* Bp. Newton has adopted the opinion of Irenèus, which I believe to be perfectly just; yet, what is something remarkable, neither has he assigned the real cause, why Latinus, or, according to its ancient orthography both Latin and Greek, Lateinos, is the very name of the beast intended by the Apostle. I shall endeavour therefore, agreeably to the deductions made from the apocalyptic description of it, to point out why Latinus, and Latinus alone, is the name of which we are in quest.
* Iren. lib. 5. cap. 39. p. 449. cited by Bp. Newton.
The ten-horned beast, whose name is declared to contain the number 666, is certainly the temporal Roman Empire. Of this Empire the second founder indeed was Romulus; but its first real or fictitious founder was Latinus, the ancient king of Latium. Latinus therefore is the name of a man. It is likewise the peculiar name of the Western or divided Roman empire, and the distinguishing appellation of every individual in that Empire: Here it is observable, that the gentile name of Latinus or a Latin was, in the victorious days of the republic and empire, almost lost in the more favourite gentile name of Romanus or a Roman. Preserved however it carefully was *, though not so frequently used as the other ;, insomuch that, although the people were styled Romans, their language was de: nominated Latin. But, when by the arms of the northern nations the Roman empire was divided into ten kingdoms; when, by setting up a spiritual tyrant in the Church, and by lapsing into papal idolatry, it again became a beast; when Rome was governed by her bishops under the wing of a new line of Emperors; and when Greece, formerly her instructor in the arts and sciences, was now become her rival both in imperial and ecclesiastical domination: the old gentile name of Latin was revived,
Latio: genus unde Lutinum,
Nec puer Iliaca quisquam de gente Latinos
and has ever since been the peculiar distinguishing title of the papal Roman empire both temporal and spiritual. Such accordingly is the general appellation which the inhabitants of the West bear in the Eastern parts of the world: the particular names of Spaniurds, French, and Italians, are swallowed up in the common title of Latins. Hence Mr. Gibbon, in his account of the crusades, terms, with strict propriety, the people of the western empire Latins : and gives us, under this name, the history of the five Latin Emperors of Constantinople*. Hence also, though the Papists are wont absurdly to style themselves Roman catholics, the real name of their community, as contradistinguished from the Greek church, the Armenian church, or the Abyssinian church, is certainly the Latin church. Thus Thevenot, in his account of mount Sinai, speaks of two churches, one for the Greeks, and the other for the Latins: and thus Ricaut, throughout his state of the Greek and Armenian churches, discriminates the Romanists from all other professors of Christianity by the appellation of Latins t. The Papists, as Dr. Henry More aptly expresses it, “ latinize in every thing. Mass, prayers, hymns, “ litanies, canons, decretals, bulls, are conceived “ in Latin. The papal councils speak in Latin.
* Hist. of Decline and Fall, vol. ii. p. 243-304. + Cited by Mr. Granville Sharpe In his appendir to three gracts, p. 126. I am indebted to this gentleman-for the idea, that Latinus is the name of that particular man whose appellaa tive contains the sume number as the name of the beast.