Of the name and mark which Antichrist shall impose upon men of all sorts

 The second effect of Antichrist is noted in Rev. 13:16-18. From this ground we may reason thus, whosoever enforceth all sorts of men according to this prophecy to take upon them the name of the beast, or the mark and number of his name, he is Antichrist. Two things must be considered then: (1) what is this name, number and mark; and (2) whether the Pope imposes the same upon all sorts of men. The number is expressed in the text to be 666. And it is plainly said to be the number of the name….And it is called the number of the name because in the letters of the name this number is contained. For it is the manner of the Hebrews and Greeks to use their letters for notes of numbers according to their order in the Alphabet, etc. It is also called the number of a man because the name of the beast containing this number is also the name of a man. This I take to be the simplest interpretation.

 What the name is whereof the holy Ghost speaks may be easily gathered out of the text. For (1) the holy Ghost doth not speak of Antichrist’s proper name, but of the name of the beast which Antichrist should cause all sorts of men to take upon themselves. If, therefore, we know what the beast is, it will not be hard to tell what the name is. The beast whose name Antichrist shall compel men to take upon them is the former beast described in the beginning of the chapter. For so it is said that Antichrist, the second beast, exercises the authority of the former beast, that he causes men to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed; and he causes an image to be made to the beast; that he gives spirit to the image of the beast; that he suffers none to buy or sell which have not the name of the beast, which cannot be understood but of the former beast.

 Now this beast described in the former part of the chapter is without doubt the Roman or Latin State. The name whereof without question is Roman  or Latin. If, therefore, the name Roman or Latin in the learned tongues contain the number 666, then the name of the beast which Antichrist causeth men to take is Roman or Latin. But in what language are we to count the number of the beast’s name? Surely, either in Greek, which is most likely because the Revelation was written in Greek, or in Hebrew because, as some think, the Revelation was given to St. John in Hebrew because he was a Hebrew by birth……

 Irenaeus, whose master, Polycarp, was a disciple of St. John, reports that those who had seen John face to face did teach that the number of the name of the beast “according to the computation of the Greeks by the letters which be in it,” shall contain 666. He, therefore, set down three names in Greek letters containing that number, the third of which is LATEINOS, whereof he writes, “But the name Lateinos also contains the number 666, and it is very likely, because the most true kingdom has this name. For they are Latins which now reign.”[1] In effect, it is as if he had said the name ‘Latin’ is very likely because it has the number 666, and is the name of the beast which figures as the most true kingdom, that is the Latin or Roman State. Therefore, the name of the beast is LATEINOS, that is to say, Latin.

The Hebrew also contains 666

 In Hebrew the beast’s name of ‘Roman’ also comprehends that number. For the beast’s name, being a noun or collective name may, according to the manner of the Hebrews, be uttered either in the Masculine or Feminine gender. The Feminine doth better fit the prophecy, not only because it renders the exact number 666, but because as the beast is the adulterous Roman State under Antichrist, is elsewhere in the Feminine called the Whore of Babylon, the mother of fornications. The most usual name of the beast in its own language, that is, the Latin tongue, is ‘Romanus,’ which in Hebrew characters, as Master John Foxe theorizes, having reached this conclusion by earnest prayer, also contains the number 666. That the name Latin or Roman in the learned tongues is the name whereof the holy Ghost speaks must be true because everything here spoken of the name agrees perfectly and properly:

 (1) It is the name of the beast.

 (2) It contains the number 666.

 (3) He is such a name, to whom all other notes of Antichrist do agree.

 (4) Because the name Latinus [being ‘Latin’ and Lateinos’ translated into the Latin language] or Romanus [being ‘Roman’ translated into the Latin language] is also the name of a man. For Latinus was one of the ancient Kings of Italy, and Romanus was one of the Popes.[2] Wherefore I doubt not that the name of the beast is Roman or Latin in the learned tongues.

The Mark of the Beast:

Downame compares the it with the mark of a true Christian

 Now let us see what the mark of the beast is whereof the holy Ghost speaks. Charagma or Character is,[3] as it were, a recognizable note of difference whereby men of any profession or religion are known and distinguished from others. And it is partly inward and partly outward. The inward is that which is imprinted on the soul; the outward is that which is either expressed or received outwardly, as namely in the forehead, or in the right hand. The forehead signifies outward profession, while the right hand signifies that which is by operation [works], as the authoritative Roman Catholic gloss on this Scripture expounds.

 For example, the character or mark of a Christian or servant of Christ is subjection unto Christ and acknowledgement of Him to be our Head and Saviour. This inwardly is the grace of a true faith wrought in the soul by the finger of God’s Spirit, whereby we believe in Christ out Saviour.[4] For those that truly believe are sealed or signed [marked] to salvation. That which outwardly is expressed is seen in either confession of the mouth or operation of the hands. In respect whereof profession of the Christian faith may truly be said to be the outward mark of a Christian, as is also the particular manner of living according to the religion and law of Christ. So that he which believes with his heart and confesseth with his mouth that Jesus is Christ, framing his life according to the law and doctrine of Christ, he may be said to have the mark of God, Rev. 9:4, both in the heart by believing, in the forehead by profession, and in the right hand by operation. See Romans 10:9-10; 2 Tim. 2:19. Furthermore, the outward marks received to testify to our subjection unto Christ as well as our communion with Him, which also distinguish us from men of other religions, are the Sacraments of Christ, as baptism and the Lord’s supper. And thus you see the mark of a Christian, which is but one in substance, namely the true acknowledgment of Christ, is diversely expressed and testified.

 The like may be said of the mark of the beast, which is also called ‘the mark of his name,’ Rev. 14:11. The beast, as we have proved, is the Roman State, whose name is Roman or Latin. The mark of the beast, therefore, is that mark whereby they of the Romish or Latin religion, whom we call Papists, are distinguished from others, which is their subjection unto the Pope  as their head and acknowledgment of the See of Rome. Inwardly, in their soul, this is their implicit faith whereby every Papist is bound hand over head to believe whatsoever the Pope or Church of Rome believeth, especially because the people are taught that each can never err. Outwardly they express their subjection by confession of the mouth or operation of the hands. In this way, the profession of the Romish religion and their particular way of living according to the Laws and customs of the Pope and Church of Rome may also be said to be the mark of Antichristians – even as observation of the Heathenish rites is called the Character of the Grecians in II Maccabees 4:10. Therefore, whosoever in their heart believeth whatsoever the Pope and Church of Rome do or shall believe, outwardly professing the Romish religion, framing his life according to the laws and customs of the Church of Rome as, for example, falling down before images, adoring the Eucharist, attending Mass, etc., he may be truly said to have the mark of the beast.

Certain Sacraments of the Church of Rome are admitted to give the Mark of the Beast

Moreover, included in the outward marks received to testify their communion with the Church of Rome are also those sacraments of their holy mother church which, as they say, “imprint a character that cannot be done away,” and, therefore, are not to be reiterated, as namely their sacraments of Confirmation and Orders. In the former (which they prefer over baptism) all young ones are anointed in the forehead with oil, which they call The Chrism of Salvation, and without which they will have no one considered Christian. In the latter sacrament, their clergy must, besides shaving their heads, be anointed on their heads, if a Bishop, or on their hands, if a Priest.

Thus, you see how the characteristic note or mark of Antichristians is one in substance, namely, subjection to the Pope and acknowledgment of the See of Rome, though diversely expressed and testified. Therefore it follows, whosoever is a Roman or Latin in respect to his religion, since the revelation of Antichrist, acknowledging the Pope’s supremacy, professing himself a member of the Church of Rome, hath the mark of the beast, his name and number of his name.

How the Pope denies the power to buy and sell to those without the mark of the beast

 By Rev. 13:16-17 is meant that Antichrist, by his usurped dominion and tyranny should make all sorts of men subject unto him, to testify their subjection both by words and deed, and that he should suffer none to live among them or to enjoy the benefits of human society, but those only who acknowledge the See of Rome, who profess themselves members of the Roman Church, and whom use the Latin religion and service. All of which doth fully and only agree to the Pope of Rome. For he, by his devilish policy usurped authority, by his lying wonders and all deceivableness of unrighteousness, had not only brought all men, both high and low, into subjection, but also persuaded them that upon necessity of salvation and pain of damnation, they were to subject themselves unto him, and by both word and deed to testify their subjection. Hereunto belongeth that oracle (as they sometimes call their decrees) of Pope Boniface 8th:

 “To every human creature we declare, affirm, define and pronounce, that to be subject to the Pope of Rome it is a matter altogether necessary to salvation.”

 Whereupon the Gloss saith, “Whosoever is saved, is subject to the Pope.” The same is concluded by Thomas Aquinas, and others, “That to be subject to the Pope is of the necessity of salvation.” Stephanus 5th alias 6th   decreed that such Canons as were agreed upon and proclaimed by the See of Rome are of necessity unto salvation to be observed. Calixtus 2nd straightly forbade any dissent from the Church of Rome, for “as the Son came to do the will of the Father, so Christians must do the will of their mother, the Church of Rome. For to gainsay the Church of Rome is Heresy. Those which deny the Pope to have both powers deny the Gospel; and they which deny the Pope to have the primacy of the universal Church, their error is equal to the error of the Grecians who deny the holy Ghost to proceed both from the Father and the Son”……..And to conclude, as I began, with another oracle or canon of their law, “He incurreth, therefore, the sin of Paganism, whosoever professing himself to be a Christian, renounces obedience to the Apostolic See.”

Subjection to the Pope proves one’s name not in the Lamb’s Book of Life

 And as he hath made all to subject themselves unto him, by ‘all’ I mean whose names are not written in the book of the Lamb, (for this is the universality of which the Papists brag!), so he hath caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, etc., to testify their subjection; namely, by pinning their faith on his sleeve and binding themselves to believe as he believes by professing his Antichristian faith and religion of Popery, by observing his popish, that is to say, superstitious and idolatrous rites and customs, such as frequenting Masses, adoring images and relics, worshipping the cross and Eucharist, praying to Saints, yea, to stocks and stones, going on pilgrimage, praying in Latin, and that on beads, etc., by taking his mark both on the forehead in the Sacrament of Confirmation and on the hand in the Sacrament of Orders, but especially by taking an oath of fidelity and obedience unto him. For therein especially they receive his mark, both in the forehead by solemn profession, and in the right hand which they lay on the Bible. This oath is not only required of graduates, priests and Bishops, but Kings and Emperors are also compelled to take it.

How Popes restrain buying and selling

 And whereas it is said that Antichrist should order that none might buy or sell unless he have the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name, that Scripture doth fit the Popes of Rome so exactly that it might seem more of a narration of their deeds than a prophecy of the future. For Martin 5th, in his bull annexed to the Council of Constance, giveth strict charge to all governors, that they should not allow any Christians (such as John Wickliffe, John Huss and Jerome of Prague, who in that bull are condemned as heretics) who acknowledge not the See of Rome, nor embrace the doctrines and traditions of holy mother Church, not believing as the Church of Rome believes, not living in the communion of that church, that is to say, which have not the mark, nor the name of the beast, nor number of his name, they should not allow them I say, “To keep house nor hearth, to make contracts, to exercise any traffic or merchandise[5] or to have any comforts of human society with other Christians.”

Catholics ordered not to buy or sell with King Henry 8th, Queen Elizabeth, and other royalty

 In this way, Paul 3rd, when Henry 8th of famous memory had shaken off his yoke and renounced his mark, he forbade all men to use any traffic or merchandise, or to make any contracts or covenants with him and his subjects, their goods they could spoil by violence, according to the inscription in his coin, “The nation or kingdom which serveth me not shall be rooted out.” The same thunderbolt Pius 5th sent out against our Sovereign Lady of blessed memory, Queen Elizabeth; and Sixtus 5th against Henry of Navarre (now King of France), and Henry, Prince of Conde. And hereunto serve their bloody inquisitors at this day, who are to suffer none to live, or to have the benefit of human society, who are even suspected of schism or heresy.

 And who is a heretic? He who does not believe as the Pope and Church of Rome believes, though he believes according to the Scriptures. And who is a schismatic? He who does not acknowledge the Pope to be the head of the Church.

 Seeing, therefore, the Pope of Rome causeth all sorts of men to take upon them the mark of the beast, and suffers none to buy and sell that have not the mark or name of the beast or number of his name, it cannot be avoided but that he is Antichrist.

The ten horns burning the whore (Rev. 17:16) explained

 We have heard what Antichrist was to do to others: now let us consider what the holy Ghost foretelleth shall be done unto him. There is mention made, Rev. 17:12, of the ten horns, that is the rulers of the ten provinces subject to the Empire in the West, who, although in the Apostles time had not received kingdom or sovereign authority, but were only deputies under the Emperor: yet after the decay of the Empire in the West, they, together with Antichrist divide the Roman Empire among them, reigning by sovereign authority, he in Rome and parts of Italy, they in the other provinces. Of these ten horns it is said that they for a time should give their power and strength to the beast, meaning Antichrist; and that in this quarrel they shall fight against Christ the Lamb in His members. But the blood of the Martyrs being the seed of the Church, and the truth prevailing when it is most oppugned: Christ, by the constancy of His Martyrs and preaching of His word overcommeth. For though in respect of the manner of His resistance he seemeth a meek Lamb, yet He shall be sure to overcome, because He is the King of kings and Lord of lords; being able by weak and foolish things (as they are esteemed in the world) to overcome the wise and the strong. And howsoever those few in comparison that stood with him were condemned for heretics and schismatics, yet they are the called, chosen and faithful servants of the Lord. Whereas contrariwise, the general multitudes (whereof the Catholic apostasy consists) are the slaves of Antichrist and subject to the whore of Babylon. For the waters whereof she sits are peoples and multitudes, nations and tongues. But when our Saviour Christ shall disclose Antichrist, waste and consume him by the ministry of the word, as it were the breath of His mouth, then shall the ten kings, which had earlier joined with Antichrist, set themselves against him. Those which before had committed fornication with the whore of Babylon shall hate her and make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and shall burn her with fire. It appears that this decay of the Antichristian state doth follow upon the preaching of the Gospel, Rev. 14:6-8, where it is said that upon the preaching of the everlasting Gospel, an angel saith, It is fallen, it is fallen, Babylon that great city: for she gave to all the nations to drink the wine of the wrath of her fornication. For until this time that Christ discovers Antichrist, and in some measure consumes him with the Spirit of His mouth, the ten kings are given over by God to support the beast and purple harlot with one consent; whom, after Antichrist is discovered, they shall hate and oppugn……and more and more since the times of Luther to abate the opinion which men had conceived of him; then these princes, not all, but some of them, began to revolt from Antichrist, and to hate the Antichristian whore of Babylon, the city and Church of Rome, and as much as they are able, left her desolate and naked: and the rest in God’s good time shall accomplish His will. For this prophecy concerning that which Antichrist was to suffer, is now fulfilled but in part. And still there remains to be fulfilled the final destruction of Rome, the seat of Antichrist, before the end of the world, foretold in Rev. 18, and the final overthrow of Antichrist at His second coming, prophesied II Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:20……

And finally, all sound Christians are to be exhorted earnestly and continually to pray that the Lord Jesus would not only consume Antichrist, giving success to the ministry of His servants, but also that He would hasten His second coming and destroy him at His glorious appearing. Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly. And thus have I showed that the prophecies of the holy Ghost in the Scriptures concerning Antichrist do most fitly and properly agree to the Pope of Rome: whereupon I do necessarily conclude that therefore the Pope of Rome is the grand Antichrist described in the Scriptures.


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[1] Against Heresies, Lib. 5.

[2] A. D. 897-898.

[3] Today we translate the Greek noun ‘charagma’ as ‘mark.’ Today Roman Catholics translate it as ‘character.’

[4] Downame believed in the regeneration by the Spirit before belief in Christ, as do all Calvinists.

[5] In the sense of buying and selling goods.