The Letters of Sendivogius: This work
was published in French in Traitez du Cosmopolite nouvellement
decouverts ou apres avoir donne unde idee d'une Societe de Philosophes...,
Paris, 1691. This translation by Ebenezar Sibly is found in MS.
OF MICHAEL SENDIVOGIUS
TO THE ROSEYCRUSIAN
IN AN OLD
MANUSCRIPT BY EBENEZER SIBLY M.D.
Greeting to my most honoured Friend
and a most worthy Companion of the Society of unknown Philosophers.
Honoured and renowned Sir, yours
and your Patron Briscius, our companions letters have been exceeding
welcome to me, and I cannot express the Joy I had to hear that
you have certainly and effectually been received into our Society
and that there was a design on foot to settle and to enlarge our
Society throughout all France, which I have have had an ardent
desire long before now to bring to pass. Neither can I doubt but
that such a project will succeed well; since God hath endowed
you with such great Perfections in mind and good manners (as Briscius
doth testify it) and I myself am able to judge by your most ingenious
For this purpose then I joyfully
do send you (as you have desired me) in Latin the Statutes of
our Society, the observation of which let be sacred to you and
be it as such recommended to our future Brethren.
Further I liberally do grant and promise you a communication of
more Notions than your Patron hath yet imparted to you, concerning
as well the theoretical as the practical part of our alchemy.
But then it will be necessary that
you yourself labour in it, continually reading, speculating and
working also, to make you able to add some things by your own
industry and strength to those things such as are already revealed
to you. For the rest you will find it a business of not so very
high consideration as is talked of. For he that hath the key to
the door can easily unlock the same.
And that you may be able to do
it the sooner, I shall not be wanting to intimate to you the rocks
which may stand in your way and to direct your deviating conceits,
as often as you will take occasion to consult me about what you
are reading or doing. And I protest to you that I will hide nothing
from you except those things which you cannot learn but by ocular
demonstrations and manual operations.
For every art hath its own way
and manner of operating and above all, ours which cannot be expressed
so well in words but that a particular demonstration and an experimental
disquisition be also necessary, which for the most part answers
but slowly, the hopes and expectations of philosophers.
I beg of you to take these my admonitions in good part from
Your most ready servant to all
Brussels, 9th February, 1646.
You desire to know, and truly not without reason, what books among
such an infinite number, as well of ancient as modern authors,
you should choose to read; for few are faithful and then if there
be and which they are that write the truth, and scorn for the
most part to contradict themselves, though in the main all of
them do aim at one and the same thing, though in an hierogliphical
style, suiting with out Cabal, our art being altogether cabalistic,
which art to prostitute to the iniquity of sophisters, or to sacrifice
to the lightness of the imprudent is altogether unjust and nefarious.
Let therefore your care be to choose
to yourself out of such a multitude of books those that follow,
and put by all the rest as being useless and unprofitable: for
if you have but got the little fish called Remora (see my Novum
Lumen Chymicum, page 59, in the beginning of the parable) which
but one of that sort swims in the vast ocean, you need no more
fishing, but only to get the Way to dress, boil and spice it.
Among the ancient books then these are the chiefest.
1. Hermes whose books are of very
great nay the highest moment, in order to understand well and
truly our business.
There are two small treatises of his; one inscribed with a posthumous
name given by his commentators viz: Transitus maris rubri. The
other; Appulsus ad terram promissam, both let be recommended to
you before any other.
But they are rare to be had and perhaps not to be found in Europe.
I have found them in Constantinople by some Martians where having
perused them I copied them for memory's sake.
2. Andernacus Paracelsus whose writings are like a clear day's
sun light, but if you can light upon his Codicills which heretofore
were called Psalterium Chymicum or Paracelsus his Manual make
much of them. For therein you shall find displayed and clearly
manifested all the secrets of our cabal, and of physick demonstrative
with the whole knowledge of alchemical doctrine. This book is
not so rare as the former. For I have found it at home in the
Vatican Library and in several other places amongst my cabalistic
brethren of our own nation. However it is not altogether so common
that it were to be found everywhere. Therefore I did take a copy
of this also for my own use, as I had done with the former.
All them I willingly would impart to you were it not that these
did teach the same doctrine which I shall hereafter insinuate
to you in the sequel of my letters, and that in a much clearer
method and succintor style than they have done. Besides this his
treatise De Tincturis is not to be neglected.
3. Lullius. But amongst all his writings I can only recommend
to you these. His Vade mecum, and dialogismum entitled Lignum
Vitae. Likewise his Testamentum and Codicillus, yet these two
last with the rest of this author's innumerable writings together
with those of Geber and Arnoldus de Villa Nova are almost made
inexplicable because of a labyrinth of figments and unprofitable
receipts so that I myself can scarcely pick out the truth to justify
There are other writings collections
out of old philosophers books, not altogether unlearned. But there
are so many sophistical tricks intermingled and filled up with
incubrations of other authors of none or ill repute that it is
a hard matter to discern true and good traditions of faithful
and approved men from others.
Amongst the writers of the middle age these are good, Bonus Zacharias,
Bernhardus Trevisanus, Roger Bacon, and an anonimous which hath
collected authentic sentences and is called Rosarium Philosophorum
which to me seems to be the sentences of men of an approved integrity
and of good doctrine.
Amongst authors of latter age I esteem none faithful besides Faber,
a French author, as to his last books published. For his first
books are erroneous and lying.
There are some things also orthodox in the author of Physica restituta
but it is interwoven with many false precepts and fallacious sentences.
But if you have a desire at they very entrance into this study
to have a full knowledge and sincere information in our alchemy
they let it suffice our Novum lumen chymicum, with the annexed
treatise of Sulphur and the dialogue between Mercury and the Alchemist,
for in this book nothing is wanting. But is is necessary that
it be read with attention and over and over again. And take notice
that in the same book many preposterous things of the ancient
philosophers are set down and that several things and in several
places are as contradictory one to the other, all which is voluntarily
thus insinuated and the reconciliation of all this and the solution
of doubts hence arising you shall find in other places of the
same book given in express terms though in broken sentences. Pray
make use to these cautions and so farewell.
Brussels 24th February, 1646.
Those sheets of Pagetins which you have sent me handling of all
the parts of out art and your doubts about it and by this occasion
about our Novum lumen chymicum also I have read over and over
with a great deal of attention. These writings, though they are
corrupt as to the principal precepts yet they do demonstrate the
author to be of great genius: And as to your doubts and questions,
the same do argue to proceed from an ingenium not of common sagacity
But what of this doctrine is to
be judged you shall have it in our answer to it with the next
letters and according to your desire in a scholastic dogmatical
style; with familiar arguments of the chief objections and propositions
instanced, the solutions of the propositions together with the
examples of our proposition where it shall be needful.
Brussels, 10th March, 1646.
Our last did promise you our Judgment
concerning Pagetins doctrine.
We will begin with that true, and touch that also which is false
and erroneous, which shall be performed in this and our following
letters, which will send as frequently as can be. Pagetins his
own doctrine we shall make more plain so far as it is true by
adding here and there to it what is required for its explanation
and to substitute true ones for its false canons.
Your Pagetins then doth very well
divide the whole matter in hand according to the custom and method
of all true philosphers, viz, in two chapters.
The first treating of Nature, namely of natural productions of
all things and chiefly of minerals.
The second of art, or those effects which accrue to things by
art and then of the making of the Lapis Philosophorum, by whose
means Gold and Silver is made by art.
What he doth teach in the first chapter comes near enough to truth,
but the style he used is so concise and contract that it cannot
create a sufficient knowledge of Nature's principles so as to
obtain a full assent of the reader.
The second chapter of his treatise
hath one thing which is very congruous to the best doctrine viz,
his judgement concerning the general principles of Lapis Philosophorum,
he affirming them to be a sort of Mercurius but different from
common Mercury, that is from one that actually is mineral, when
the former is not yet in either of the families of inferior mixed
bodies, as are mineral, animal or vegetable specified and determined.
And again that some sort of Sulphur be far from the common combustible
and stinkened Sulphur, yet determined by some specifical form
and to be under some genus of the aforementioned mixture: which
form that Sulphur may impress and communicate to the said Mercury
by way of Fermentation. And that the same Sulphur were rightly
constituted Lapis Philosophorum.
All the rest of this book is almost false and to be rejected as
you shall see hereafter,
Brussels, 15th March, 1646.
Follows the examination of the
first article of the second chapter of Pagetins.
It is most certain and not to be doubted but that Mercurius the
true and nearest material principle of metals and minerals, to
be a warm and moist humour or vapour as we shall make it good
herafter. Ergo, such a Mercurius cannot be gotten and generated
in a cold and moist fountain and pure elemental water, as Pagetins
will have. But it must be had out of a body and substance which
is warm and moist and which is such because of preeminency of
congealed air. And such is our matter which you are not ignorant
Hence the error of Pegetins in this point is manifest.
But that he may not want his due
praise, I must confess that hitherto I have not read any author
that came nearer to the mark than he. For his substance he points
at doth in all the general conditions agree with the true and
genuine substance that contains the true Mercury and hath also
almost all the true signatures and characters described here and
there by the philosophers whereby the true Mercury and his offspring
is known and discerned.
Let this suffice as to the first article.
Brussels, 20th March, 1646.
In the second article he labours
to repeat the mysterious manner of extracting and also preparing
Mercury out of Lullius misusing his authority and other philosopher's
precepts misapplying them and ill brought in more than becomes
an ingenious Man: commanding, that by distillatiion, the tenth
part of his Magnesia, so first rises, as only useful and as the
only true mercurial substance should be reserved; But that the
nine other parts which by a continued distillation come forth,
as being useless should be rejected, for this purpose that the
said tenth part which was reserved should at last be restored
again, to its remaining earth after a complete distillation (which
earth he ridiculously esteems to be Sulphur and Salt of Mercury)
and that by reiterated cohobations, inhumations, digestions, sublimations
etc, described by him, all should be reunited again.
But herein he grievously mistakes, for what authors say of the
tenth part that contain the spirit and of inhumation in its own
earth, is to something else to be referred, than the extraction
and preaparation of Mercurius as we shall demonstrate it at another
time somewhere else.
There is no other rule to be observed
for the said extraction and preparation of Mercurius than simply
to distil the Magnesia, whereby the spirit with its oil are brought
over and elevated even to a siccity of the faeces and into a separation
of the spirit from the oil and which spirit is afterwards oftentimes
to be rectified. But hereof we shall treat and inform you more
at large in the method of operating.
Brussels, 25th March, 1646.
Follows the third and fourth article;
the former of which doth assign the Minera of the Sulphur necessary
for the philosphical work, and doth do it very well. For there
is not other Minera for the said Sulphur than which he intimates
namely Gold or Silver.
The fourth article teacheth how to extract the said sulphur out
of the entrails of the said Gold or Silver, but very ill. For
he prescribes to this work a dissolvant altogether heterogenous
to Gold and Silver and therefore violent, viz, a certain Mercurial
oil made per deliquium from Quicksilver or common Mercury often
sublimed with sal ammoniac.
All which is against Nature's Intention which requires that Gold
or Silver should be dissolved in order for the making of the Lapis
Philosophorium in a benign water homogeneous. To these metals
(I say homogeneous by homogeneity as our Cabala calls it of Principles,
not of things principiated as some falsely do suppose it and are
in the same error with Pagetins) that is to say the Dissolvement
must be of the same nature with that Matter or substance out of
which immediately your Gold or Silver was made, that matter being
considered in its state of lesser composition it had before it
coagulated into Gold or Silver (for there are many subordinate
degrees of composition in mixed bodies, as we shall see hereafter.)
But it ought not to be of the same Nature with actual material
or common Gold or Silver.
And now there is no substance in
the whole Nature which can have such a Homogeneity of Principles
of Gold and Silver, as our Mercury drawn from our Magnesia in
manner as you know. For that Mercury is but a warm and moist vapour
not yet determined (as common Mercury is) in any other Family
of the lower mixed Bodies, namely mineral, vegetable, or animal,
and therefore it is of a more simple degree of composition than
common Gold or Silver, or any other mixture can be. For all other
things and therefore common Mercury also (which Pagetins makes
use of) they are already determined in your said families, and
therefore most of them seem to have symbolizing qualities and
conditions with Gold and Silver. Yet for all that they are heterogeneous,
because they are not only specifically different from Gold and
Silver, but have also an opposite nature, being under a different
species of the same degree of composition constituted wherein
the nature and condition of their heterogeneity conists, so that
our Mercury is not the vulgar must be made use of, and for an
extractive Dissolvement of the Sulphur of Gold or Silver and this
is the grand Error of Pagetins.
Brussels, 30th March, 1646.
The fifth article dear companion
consels and will persuade us that the philosophical Egg must be
made and compounded out of one ounce or there abouts of your Sulphur
of Gold or Silver and with your addition of a very little quantity
of his Mercury whose spirits he says that by often repeated distillations
and cohobations your said Sulphur doth ingest and drives in and
doth afterwards unlock all Humidity.
Thus he disputes against your sight of Nature, to make a monster
which he will that your yellow of the Egg or the ferment which
is the Sulphur of Gold and Silver should oftentimes throw off
or separate the white of the Egg that is the thing to be fermented
which is the Mercury and takes away its natural Humidity altogether
necessary to a good effect of generation, and yet he will that
notwithstanding all this, a philosophical chicken should be hatched
or a cabalistic Coagulum should be formed.
How foolish is this notion of Pagetins be in this white. Indeed
not to exaggerate since every fool can apprehend it.
Brussels, 5th April, 1646.
The sixth article dear companion
doth teach and most obstinately doth hold that there are required
to your boiling of your Egg four different and continually increasing
degrees of fire, which indeed favours an unexperienced philosopher,
if as it seems he doth understand it, of actual Fire. Hence I
find reason to change my opinion which I had of the author before,
namely, that he in his former articles had studiously compiled
most [egregious] errors only for [dismulation] sake and on purpose
to impose upon your easiness of belief. But now I do find me mistaken,
seeing with what eagerness of sincerity of mind he doth maintain
such a doctrine and accordingly how he doth rest the sentences
of alleged authors; being it is very well known that when the
authors command four degrees of fire, that it must be only refered
to the virtual central fire of ferment, which fire as it must
in succession of time overcome far greater elemental qualities
in its Mercury in bulk and geometrical proportion much exceeding
him, so it doth proceed by four degrees, till it aquires such
a degree of strength as by nature is designed chiefly for the
product of those four principle colours. But your external actual
fire, as it is but to excite the other internal, so it ought to
be of a continual gentle almost equal degree.
And these are the errors of Pagetins.
Brussels, 4th April, 1646.
Having made an end with Pagettins
works it follows dear companion that I do explain and declare
to you the true Hermetical doctrine.
We shall therefore even as Pagettins hath done reduce the whole
to chapters . The first shall treat of Nature. The other of Art.
And all shall be treated according to cabalistical principals
being the best and truest, infused by God into our first parents
and derived to us, not by writing, but by Tradition and Hearing,
and as to that proposed method, there can be no better used.
For since Arts business is to perfect Nature and since Art cannot
effect this but by immitating Nature's works; it is needful first
to know that Nature's works are to be immitated before you can
elucidate the manner of imitating. The first chapter then shall
be divided into two members. The first shall be a treat of the
first Generation or the first creation of things.
The second shall be a treat of
the second Genesis or the daily natural production of things created
Both are neccessary for a philosopher to know who desires to learn
the true principles of things, and truth contains rules. For as
art doth incite the Nature, so doth Nature Creation only with
this difference; that Creation supposes nothing and Nature supposes
principiating principles, viz. the Elements, and Art supposes
principles principiated, all of which in order, so that the perfect
knowledge of Art doth depend on the knowledge as well of the first
as second generation. Let this serve for a short prologue. We
will pass to the matter itself.
Brussels, 15th April, 1646.
The first great Difference is in
Diversity of Sex, man and wife, in the said Families. For in the
Family of Animals since God hath given them (atleast to the perfect
Ones) a locomotive Faculty by Virtue of which they can come together
and discharge their Office; God hath been willing to give to each
Species peculiar Men and Women of the same Species. But to the
Vegetables and Minerals, because the Species of these Families
do want that same locomotive Faculty, so that they cannot come
per se together and copulate. God hath given them one common Wife
every where meeting them and equally fit for both Families and
therefore she is like to nome of these Families, according to
the Species but only according the Genus which to both Families
is the nearest above them (proxime superius) namely the subalternate
in respect of a Mixture. And this Wife or common Harlot is our
Spiritus Universalis. Therefore as many primordial Seeds there
are in every Region of the Elements and as many individua there
are in the said two Families as many Men there are, but there
is but one Woman common to all.
The second Difference consists in the Diversity of Offices of
both Sexes which indeed is great in the said Families chiefly
as to the common Function of Copulation. For the animals do copulate
spontaneously by the impulse of Archeus without any other Artificial
Industry, natural appetite being given them for that Purpose prompting
them and most vigorously moving them to it. And therefore God
hath given as well Men as Women suitable Industruments for Copulation
and Generation. But the Vegetables though they seem in some Manner
to do the like, when they permit the Seed of their ripe Fruits
to fall into their everywhere, meeting Wife yet they do require
Arts assistance to act well and surely.
The Minerals though in Respect
of the primary Multiplication, they copulate without Arts Ministry,
yea in Respect of the Second Multiplication (which chiefly concerns
us at this Time) there is absolute necessity that the Hand and
Managment of the Artist intervene. And therfore neither the said
Minerals nor Vegetables have given them proper Instruments for
Copulation or Generation. But the Woman hath from her Matrix Water
and Earth for her Belly or Alexcum. There is also some difference
in their particular Functions. But because its Knowledge makes
nothing to our Purpose we will pass it by for Brevity's Sake and
I shall pursue the Rest.
Brussels 21st June, 1646.
The third Difference is to be referred
to the Disposition of the Universal Spirit and its Preparation
which must go before Multiplication.
What concerns the primary Multiplication and its Terms there is
no difficulty at all in. For there is not any other of the universal
Spirit here required in order to the Effect of the three Terms
besides the Degrees of its digestion mentioned before: because
that in this Way of Multiplication it is common to all of the
three Families, that in case the universal Spirit hath acquired
a Sulphureous Digestion while he is assimilated with them and
is turned into Seed. But if he remains in the Mercurial Degree
that then a species is out of him multiplied, i.e., he is fermented
and converted into a specific Individuum, according to the Quality
and primordial Character of the seeds.
But as to the Effect of the secondary Multiplication and in Terms,
the Preparation of the said universal Spirit is very discrepant
in the said Families.
For in Animals, to have the Effect
of the three Terms it requires another Digestion than the precedent
Ones, viz: and Animal Digestion, which is done in the Bowels of
the Animal. Therefore god hath laid upon them the necessity of
Respiration by help of which the said universal Spirit is drawn
and carried into the [Pridcordia]of the said Animal from the aereal
Region where he abounds and there he is digested and recieves
the odor of Form substantial. Afterwards a Portion of it is mixed
with the animals Seeds and transmuted into it, for to have the
Effect of the First Term. But to have the Effect of the second
Term, it is mixed in the Bowels of the woman with her menstruous
Humour into which it is also transmuted.
Lastly to obtain the Effect of
the third Term it is mixed with the Aliments which he dissolves,
and himself is in and with them transmuted and converted into
Chylus then into Blood and at last into the very substance of
the Animal. For the same Manner in the family of vegetables he
requires a vegetable Digestion for the Effects of either Term,
which Digestion is absolved in the Heart of the vegetable. Therefore
God hath Created a Magnesiam in all Plants which vulgarly is called
Medulla or the Heart which doth draw to himself out of the Earth
the said universal Spirit where he always abounds being plentifully
driven into it through the Pores of the Earth by the Daily and
great Agitations of wind and Weather.
But in the minerals it requires other specific Preparation than
an artificial Purgation and Separation of its magnesia for to
gain the Effect of the first Term, but as to the second and third
Term, he requires a precedent metallic Digestion.
Brussels, 26th June, 1646.
The fourth Difference consists
in the Effect of the third Term which doth vary in the said Families.
For in animals and vegetables, if it be referred to the first
Act it doth augment the Quantity by Extraposition; because that
the seed, as also the Blood and other such like Substances (which
are rather Instruments of vital actions than Parts of the vivent
or at least they are parts disparate) do not take their Increase
as Cause of the Vivent.
But if it be referred to the second then the Quantity and Bulk
is augmented by an inward Assumption and the intrinsic Quality
or virtue is raised and more intensly.
In Minerals if it be referred to
the first Term is doth also augment the Quantity and Bulk by Extraposition
and yet the intrinsical Virtue is increased withal. But if it
is referred to the Second it doth not augment the Quantity but
rather diminishes, but the Quantity of intrinsic Virtue it doth
exalt and extole. As to the Difference in Respect of the finish
of Formation in the said Families the same is very great.
For in animals and Vegetables for the Effect of either Multiplication,
the first and last Term are perfected by a single assimilation;
because that which is fermented, acquires all the conditions and
Parts of the fermenting Form, namely that of the Seed or of the
But the second Term doth not end
in a simple assimilation because in this Term the fermented Thing
acquires some other Condition, besides the form of the thing fermenting,
viz; that of the Seed. For it cannot be said, that the seed of
Man (and so in other Things) be the Man.
But in the Minerals either Term is perfected in the simple assimilations,
because the Ferment viz: the Seed hath actual formal Condition
which it doth impress in the thing fermented; for this Reason
because that all homogeneous Substances (such almost all the minerals
and chiefly the Metals are) do retain all the Parts of the whole
with its Nature however that Form diversity affected by accident
in the first two Terms of their Multiplication, by Reason of a
Diversity of Disposition of Mercury in the said Terms which they
have to them assimilated.
And so much of the first Genesis where you have seen the physical
Tria in one and unity in Trinity, Fecundity in Two; in the Triangle
a Quadrangle; a center in the Circumference, and the Circumference
in the Center. The Quadration of the Circuli, The Septinarium
taken from a Triangle and Quadrangle; a Decas from the Septinarius
and the Triangle and such other Emblems of our Cabala and to explain
more largely, and to teach, how to apply it is needless now. Follows
the Second Genesis.
Brussels, 30th June, 1646.
To all things then created having
their Properties and being placed in their Order and proper Regions,
God hath given an universal Law, which by its proper name we call
naturating Nature, and is, that nothing at any time should remain
idle and without Work, but that all things perpetually should
move and be moved, drive and be driven on, act and be acted according
to the Intention and Inclination of the substantial Form by which
the motions and [Visissitudes] of actions and Passions, causations
and Affections; the upper most Bodies acting them that are in
the middle Region and these the inferior Bodies which are the
Mixture of the three Families; But these the Species subjected
to each Family and the Individua also of each Species, and that
these Motions be in themselves in manner proper to each of them,
for this Purpose that thence in the mixturum Genius a perpetual
and never failing new Production of things the World might be
procured and also a Multiplication of what is produced and reparation
of what is decayed or extinct.
This is that Degree of eternal
authority on Purpose that the Integrity of this World and of things
equally complete should not before its due Time by a succedaneous
Decrease and Ruin be diminished and destroyed.
And besides this general Order God hath given another to each
Species for its Conservation and Multiplication which we call
Nature naturated, by whose Help and Assistance these Inferior
things do not only hold a correspondence with the Superiors and
subalternate causes as to their Actions, but they contribute also
to them and with them by their own strength according to the Faculty
of their own Condition. But the Governor of naturated Nature is
Archeus. And thus by the universal manifest Causes viz: the Heavens
and Stars the Elements do daily produce and multiply Salt, Sulphur,
and Mercury these again the Spirit universal doth again produce
partly mestrua and seeds, partly Individua of each Family which
lastly multiplys their Species except those of Minerals which
cannot effect this without Arts Assisitance.
This is a short Exposition of the second Genesis.
Brussels, 3 July, 1646.
Before we handle of the Rules of
our Art and its Precepts we must permit some things of its Intentions
and Power according to the foresaid Principles.
The intention then of our Artist
in General is to perfect Nature, i.e. its natural Productions;
this being the Office of Art; and this she effects two ways.
1. With helping Nature, either
in order that Nature may obtain its ordinary End and Purpose of
specifical Perfection, in those Things she daily Produces, in
what Manner soever she is used to do it and by which End she necessarily
attains its Hypothesis, that is by a certain and not a defective
Law, by itself without any other assistance, in case she were
not hindered by some accident, or the other, or in her Work disturbed.
So for example a Chicken may, and is sometimes produced out of
a Hen's Egg being kept continously warm, and so it happens with
many such other things that when Nature for some Reason could
not Art hath perfected.
Or lastly that Art do hasten Nature's Production before the usual
ordinary Term of time. By such cunning artifice the comming forth
of many Things is often accelerated. But this though it may be
an ingenious Intention of Art, yet it cannot reach some metallic
Work, being it doth not suit so well with the inferior mixture
of the mineral, as it doth with the two other families.
2. In exalting Nature's Works already
perfected, according to its ordinary Course and Degree of specifical
Perfection, to a higher One. And this she doth effect in two ways.
I. Without changing of the Species, only by exalting the intrinsical
Virtue of it.
For God hath given to each being, besides the ordinary specifical,
extraordinary and almost infinite Degrees of Perfection, cheifly
in the vegetable and mineral Family which notwithstanding Nature
by herself without Arts help cannot attain to, as hath been often
said in the first Chapter.
As for example when Dough is raised by the action of the Ferment
and is perfected by the Baker. Or when that Wine Stock out of
a barren Ground is transplanted into a fertile Soil. For then
by an internal addition and Increase the wins Stock and its Branches
Properties and Degrees of Virtue are augmented.
And this manner of Increase doth before the rest chiefly belong
to the mineral Family, and if the first said Term of mineral Multiplication
of the Seed and cannot be done otherwise.
But take care that you do not take
the Unition and Contradiction of dispersed Virtue for exaltation
of Virtue specific and Power, by which for example the Spirit
of Wine (and so it is to be understood of other things) being
by distillation once freed from the adhering great quantity of
Tartar and Phlegm in which the said Spirit was dispersed he seems
to become much powerful and strengthened in inward Virtue; though
not withstanding all this nothing is really added to its formal
degrees of Strength but only that the dispersed Particles of the
Spirit become more united and compressed because of the separation
of heterogeneous Excrements which laid confused with the Spirit
not substantially united but only in the body of the Wine together
placed. By which separation that Spirit indeed attains sooner
and easier the Term of his operation and action acting upon passive
Subjects, but for all that he therewith gets no higher Degree
of his specific Virtue, by which he could do anything above the
degrees of his innate Virtue and Power ordinary, or that he could
multiply his species. The Ignorance of which hath almost decieved
all Pilosophers when they worry themselves with infinite Operations
in Metals and other Minerals (whose case is the same with the
[unrecognizable symbol]) in vain presuming to exalt therewith
their Virtues so as to produce Extrordinary Effects and to give
them the Power of multiplying their Species. However it is not
to be denied but that such a seperating operation be very useful
and necessary to the philosophical Work as means to obtain the
End. For the Artists Industry must not end in that Operation or
Seperation if he wishes to obtain the Effects and Intention of
the Lapis Philosophorum.
Neither is the accidental alteration of sensible qualities to
be taken for the said augmentation of Virtue. Because that by
the Addition of Heterogeneous Things of divers sorts, the Face
is only changed not Nature or the Activity and state Form substantial.
In which thing there lies a most gross Error, or rather a Deception
2. With the changing of the lowest
Species into Superious and that also in twofold Manner.
I. By Help and Benefit of the
Universal agent, a certain Sort of mineral multiplied according
to the first Term of Multiplication and so exalted in his Virtue
that it be able to transmute many species yea all of them such
are subalternate and to assimilate them according to Proportion
of greater inequality in infinitum so that the least Part of the
Agent may in a moment convert and transmute an immense Portion
of each subjected species, which Effect belongs only to the Lapis
Philosophorum and it is the last Term of the foresaid Minerals
II. By Virtue of a particular agent whose activity is effectual
upon One or few species subjected converting them in Manner as
is aforesaid and to be said more amptly hereafter which effect
is of single Transmutation.
Now from what hath been said, the Division of Chrysopoaei doth
depend namely to be universal or particular. The universal Chrysopoeia
is occupied in the Preparation of the said universal agent, or
the Multplication of the seeds of Gold and Silver its application
The particular tends only to the
Preparation of particular agents and what concerns their use also
and application. According to which division this chapter like
the former shall have likewise two members.
Brussels, 10 July, 1646.
The object of Chrysopoaei is the
above mentioned universal Agent, how to make and to prepare the
same, whose Essence is necessary to be known before its confection.
This Definition then is thus.
The Agent which the Philosopher makes use of for universal Transmutation
of the Metals is Gold or Silver multiplied not according to their
quantity but to their seeds and that by their intrinsical Virtue
or activity of their Form substantial; greatly exalted nature
working and Art ministring; whose one and the least Part because
of its exuberant Tincture or Seed wherewith it is endowed is able
to give substantially the form of Gold and Silver to a great Quantity
of all Kind of Metals, and to assimilate the same in a most quick
This Definition is regular though
long, for it hath its nearest Genus namely of Nature of Gold and
of Silver Then it hath its nearest differences viz: the Multiplication
of their Seeds and Virtue, not their Quantity, (by which it is
distinguished from Gold and Silver vulgar being considered in
their ordinary States of mineral Constitution as also from them
and all other things besides be they animal, mineral or vegetable,
multiplicable or being multiplied according to quantity only)
and lastly the transmutation Virtue of the greatest quantity above
his own of any Metal whatsoever (by which is distinguished from
particular transmutative agents) and that in little lesser quality,
above his own but for the most part equal or lesser Quantity.
That Gold or Silver be the Genus of the Lapis Philosophorum or
of the forsaid universal agent is manifest from thence because
it is required, that the Lapis should transmute the simplest metals
into Gold or Silver therefore to effect this it is necessarily
required that the natural and true form of Gold and Silver should
be in him: For nothing can give and communicate to another what
it hath not himself.
Neither is it to Purpose to say,
that from the Doctrine of the first chapter it may be concluded
the Lapis to be the Seed of Gold or Silver and therefore that
it cannot be Gold or Silver in Substance. For we have already
in the same place by anticipation answered to what is now objected
viz: That all the Parts of Bodies homogeneous, are of the same
Nature and Condition their whole is. Therefore the Seed of Gold
must need be Gold Formally. Likewise as any other Vitriol drawn
out of any Kind of Metals, being their Seed or Sperma, doth not
differ from the very metals, but only by some accidents namely
by [dissmutation, dimmutation] only of some accidental but no
essential Qualities as for example of [fusibility] and Ductibility
as also of exaltation of Qualities essential but chiefly of its
However it is disjunctively said that the Lapis Philosophorum
be Gold or Silver. For there is a twofold Stone one for Gold and
the other for Silver though the same agent which is fitted and
prepared for Gold making can serve also for making Silver as we
have taught somewhere else, yet in case the Artist intends Gold,
then he shall take Gold to work upon, by Reason that the Stone
made may impress a Golidish form if he aims at Silver he shall
choose for his subject Silver that the Stone may communicate the
Silver any Form and this according to the Axioma, that nothing
can give what it not hath himself.
Neither is against us, that there are some causes that produce
quite different Effects from their Nature and therefore Gold not
to be absolutely a necessary Ingredient for to make Salt (or rather
Gold) which can be inferred also as to Silver.
But take Notice that this hath
only Place as to universal and equivocal causes which are destinated
for divers Effects; such Causes are the Heavens and Stars. But
Causes which are particular and universal and which by Necessity
produce such Effects as are of like Nature with them and do act
by the Powers of specific Seed, as it is in our Work, there the
Business goes otherwise. But that the said Stone must be of Gold
and Silver though not simple but being multiplied according to
their Seeds of intrinsical Virtue of their form substantial, it
is concluded from hence; Because if it did not by a most intense
Degree of Virtue overcome the Faculty of other Metals it could
not equally assimilate to himself (i.e. transmute them even alike)
all and of divers Kind of Degree of perfect Metals, and such a
Quantity which far exceeds his own. For every Assimitation or
Transmutation happens in the Proportion of a greater Inequality,
according to Aristotle and more according to Truth. But vulgar
and simple Gold or Silvers Quality and Virtue do not answer in
that Proportion in Respect of other imperfect Metals, since their
Resistance, at least for the most Part doth by many Degrees exceed
the Activity of vulgar Gold or Silver.
If you do object, that Gold or
Silver and chiefly Gold do and are able to transmute at least
some of the inferior Metals because their Activity overcomes the
Resistancy of those some Inferior Metals (which indeed cannot
be denied) I do answer with Distinction, that if you speak of
a particular Transmutation it is to be granted. For it is not
incongruous to admit such a Transmutation And truly the Conversion
of Food in the Substance of the Thing fed in the Vegetable and
animal Family is nothing else than such a Transmutation. Neither
is in this Case the Condition and Priviledge of Minerals others.
But it is still a particular Transmutation, neither doth it happen
by way of proper Generation, i.e. by strength of the Seed, or
that it should be occupied about greatest Quantities of the Things
to be transmutted. But if the meaning be of an universal Transmutation.
I absolutely deny the Assertion. The Reason is, because this shall
want what in the said universal Transmutation is required, viz:
These three things in Respect of this Agent which also can be
gathered from the definition above, viz:
1. That it must be able to transmute
all Metals indifferently with equal Right and Power, though not
in all equal Weight.
2. That the least of the Agent, be able to transmute an immense
Quantity of any Metal.
3. That it must finish its Action of Transmutation in few Hours
yea Minutes and that by a simple Application or Projection.
All which chiefly, the disproportion
of the Quantity do lessen the Proportion of greater Quality, that
can be in the vulgar Gold in respect of any Metal inferior, and
on the other Hand do extoll the Resistancy of the said inferior
Metals. For the Disproportion of Quantity hath this Effect (though
it be not per se an active Quantity) that it augments or diminishes
the activity or Resistancy of Quality active and passive, by so
many Degrees as there is of Excess or Defect of the Same above,
or to the true and just Measure and that some, not intrinsically
by the Intention or Remission of Qualities but extrinsically by
multiplication and Destruction of Parts, though in Things otherwise
alike as to weight Number and Measure, anothers Activity or Resistancy
might overcome the other Resistancy or Activity. For no man hath
said yet that one Ounce of that Iron; (hot for example to eight
Degrees) can as quickly and efficaciously make hot, one Hundred
Ounces of Water though but cold to six Degrees as it will do ten
ounces of Water, and contrary that ten ounces of the said Water
can do as strongly resist an hundered ounces of the said hot Iron
as a hundered or a Thousand ounces of water would do.
Brussels. 16th July, 1646.
Having thus explained the Essence
of the Lapis Philosophorum it follows that we briefly consider
its causes. For though it seems that by the said Definition the
Terms might easily be adjusted, yet for all that, yet there remains
greater obscurity about them than perhaps is though of therefore
needs to be explained and cleared. And because that any Work presupposes
a Workman, it is fit to begin with the efficient Cause.
This then is twofold viz: The Principal and the ministering Cause.
The Principal is Nature itself, without which nothing can be produced,
so as to have natural Condition and Faculties. For artificial
inactives properly are not Productions of natural Order.
The ministering Cause is Art Which cannot justly be said to produce,
but only to help Nature in his Production of natural Things above
the Terms of its ordinary Power as is said before. But how Art
doth effect this you shall learn by the next Epistle.
Brussels, 21 July, 1646.
Next in order is Cause final. For
every Agent Acts for some End or other. But since nothing can
act for certain End or Purpose, except that End or Scope be Known
to the Agent it belongs to us first to treat of that Scope.
The same then is twofold, viz: The nearest and the remote or last,
The nearest scope then is the very before said first Term of mineral
Production namely the Preparation of that universal Transutative
Agent, or (which is all one) the multiplication of the Seed of
Gold or Silver.
The remote Scope or Finis is the
Transmutation itself in which the last Term of the said Multiplication
is concerned. Next to the Final is the exemplary Cause. For since
Art hath not those Ways and Manners which are proper to Nature
to prompt natural Production, but such as are alien from Nature
it is convenient to know them first, before we lay Hand to the
Natures Manner of Working is indeed
the Exemplar to be imitated, in pursuance to purchase the said
multiplication. It needs therefore to be considered and to be
repeated what is said in the first Chapter; How Nature doth Work,
viz: by solution and Coagulation. But she doth not dissolve by
action of Fire to wit actual and violent (for hereby things are
rather destroyed than loosened, or dissolved, and sterility thereby
is induced.) but by action of Mercurial Water and the Impression
and strength of Nature Salt. That is to say by means and help
of our living Mercury which by means of his incorporated Salt
doth penetrate the Saline Parts of Bodies, and doth by dissipating
the Parts divide the Compages or Connection of its physical Parts.
But the same Nature doth also coagulate
again the same living Mercury by the help of the said Seed or
Sulphur of the Body Gold dissolved, not again by the action of
elemmental common Fire and corrosive; but the central which exists
in the most inward centers of the Sulphur which is excited to
action by external Heats, either of the Sun or Stars or Five elemental.
Thus much of the final and exemplary Causes.
Brussels, 27th July, 1646.
Follows the material Cause.
For as soon as the Artist hath considered the [Ideam] and Exemplar
of this intended Work he takes Matter in hand out of which Work
is to be made according to his exemplary Model.
Now it is sufficiently verified that Gold or Sivler be the Materia
Lapis being they have been justly assigned for a Genus of it and
for the subject which should receive its viz: Lapis form. But
if the said Gold or Silver be the total and adequate Matter of
the Lapis or only partial this is not enough discussed. We do
therefore here assert and affirm that Gold and Silver are not
the total and adequate matter, but only partial because as is
said before, the Confection of the Lapis is the first Term of
mineral Multiplication which consists and ends in the assimilation
of a certain Thing with the Seed of Gold or Silver.
Therefore some things are to be
admitted besides Gold or Silver for partial Matter of the Lapis.
But that same thing cannot be anything else than our Silver besides
our universal Spirit drawn out of our Magnesia. For the matter
by which the Seed of Gold or Silver is multiplied and Gold or
Silver Generated, must need be homogeneous to Gold and Silver.
For out of heterogeneous Things a homogeneous Being cannot be
brought forth. And such must be Gold multiplied. For from a Man
and a Dog comes forth neither Man nor Dog, or a Plant or Stone
from a Plant and Stone.
And if you do object that we ourselves have somewhere else allowed
a particular homogeneous Transformation namely that of the Food
of any living Thing or Animal when it is converted into the substance
of another different animal or vegetable; which something may
happen in Minerals.
We answer, that such a Transmutation
be not properly a Generation or Multiplication, because it is
not effected by Virtue and Action of the Seed, but by the third
Term or by a Completion of Multiplication of a thing generated
already, as this Completion is explained before being it is done
by the Power of our Form substantial as well in Minerals and vegetables
But you may say further insisting
and urging that we brood to come forth from animals of divers
sort. So a Mule comes from a Horse and Ass and so many other Things.
I answer that such broods degenerate not being of the same Species
with Parents and Generants, and therefore the Species is not multiplied
in this case.
Perhaps you will instance yet further saying; granted that the
second matter must be homogeneous to Gold or Silver yet it doth
not follow that therefore our Mercury must only be taken for that
second Matter, for there are other things which are equally nay
more homogeneous than the said Mercury and truly nothing is more
homogeneous to Gold or Silver than Gold and Silver itself and
their Parts or Principles.
But the Answer and Solution of this objection is very easy and
ready from what in the Discussion of Pagetins Work namely that
there are two sorts of Homogeneity. The one in Respect of Principles,
by which two things do agree and have the same Identity of Nature
with the Matter out of which the thing immediately is made and
hath a radical aptitude to receive also one Time or the other
the same Form. Thus for example the seed of a Dog is homogeneous
with the Dog himself, because it hath the same Nature with that
Seed this Dog was made of and hath also a radical Aptness to receive
one Time ore the Other, the Form of a Dog. And this is the Homogeneity
which must be in our second Matter in respect of our first Matter
which is Gold or Silver and which is no where else to be found
but in our Mercury.
The second sort of Homogeneity
is in things considered as principiated by which one Thing with
another doth agree in Respect to the Form and all its natural
Conditions. Thus Gold is homogeneous to Gold. And this sort of
homogeneity is not required in our second Matter of the Lapis
nay it is rather contrary to the Intention of the Lapis because
that then the Ferment and the Thing fermentable should have the
same formal Degree and so should not formally be distinguished,
which here is necessary. For if the Fermentable Thing should and
must acquire some form which it had not done before. But you will
instance say: This is true, being taken of Gold or Silver totally
in its integral Substance but not of their seperated Principles.
But what is true and holds in the whole, doth also hold in its
Parts viz: in the Principles seperated as well as in the principiated
Thing destroyed in a manner. Because the said Principles cannot
be so seperated as that they could receive the former simplicity
and could fully throw of [off] the Form of the principiated Being.
Therefore the things could be simplified again (which we deny)
yet the Inconvieniency would come to all one thing. And it would
make nothing against us, for they should likewise receive and
have the same Respect (rationem) of Homogeneity of Principles,
as we do require and exact. Besides this these Principles in what
manner so ever separated that they should be again restored to
the same former Individual at least specifical Body which according
to nature is impossible. For then there should be a Regress from
Privation to Habit. Neither hath any Man yet said that the physical
Parts of any thing or substance being once seperated could to
the same substance be restored again, and in the same Number and
Species could be reunited, except in the sole Man whose Form is
not of the Genus of Material Forms.
Brussels, 9th August, 1646.
The last is the cause instrumental.
For cause fromal is sufficiently expressed in the very definition
and its Explication. This instrumental Cause then is like to the
efficient Cause twofold also, being that Nature as well as Art
have their own Instruments.
Nature's are two:
1. Water which serves for Solution.
But this Water is no elemental Water but it is specifically the
same Mercurius which was assigned for the partial Matter of the
Lapis Rebis yet with all this Difference, That when it is proposed
as a dissolvent it ought to be robbed of all its unctuosity and
terrestreity (which do withstand the Efficacy of the volatile
Salt in which the Solutive Faculty doth reside) and that by divers
Rectifications: so that the same Water freely flowing and passing
through the Pores of Gold or Silver it may mix itself with the
Salt or Vitriol of the same Gold or Silver and by means of his
own joined homogeneous humidity with Gold or Silver it may be
able to separate and dissolve them with his homogeneous Parts
in manner as Water dissolves Ice.
But when it is taken for the partial
Matter of Lapis then it needs not so many Rectifications, for
Rebis the second Instrument of Nature is a twofold Sort of Fire.
The first sort is the central Fire or the [primigeneal] Heat moving
the Powers of the Ferments and everywhere digesting and coagulating
the Mercury which central Fire advances himself to four degrees
of Heat according as his active Quality overcomes the other Qualities
of the Matter. And these Four degrees are demonstrated by as many
Principle colours namely Black, Green, White, Red. The second
sort of Fire is the actual external Fire which doth excite the
former Fire central, and as to preparatory operations, requires
divers Degrees, but as to the main Work and Regimen of Coagulation
but only one continual degree; so that which is said by some Authors
concerning the four Degrees of Fire in the Works of the Lapis
and its ordering shall and must be understood of the central Fire.[Note
in the Margin: For the preparation several degrees of fire, but
for coagulation but one continual degree.]
These Instruments are called natural, because the Art doth not
properly use, but only disposes them for Nature's use and Works.
We will treat therefore next of the artificial Instruments.
Brussels, 20th August, 1646.
instruments are several Vessels and a small Furnace with other
Appertenances and are also of a twofold Order.
Of the first are, such as do serve for the preporatory Operations
and they are of two classes again.
Of the first class are which belong to the Preparation of the
dissolvent and they are again of three sorts.
1. A body or Bocia wherein our
Magnesia is to be distilled, to draw out of her the living Mercury.
2. A receiver to the Bocia, and these serve also for Rectification.
Of the second sort is a small Furnace for distilling in ashes,
or in fine sand.
Of the third are which help the distillation of the matter, such
as are Cotton or Brimstone (pumex) which check the rising of our
Magnesia caused by its Flatulency.
The Instruments of the second class
are such as are necessary for the preparation and Trituration
of Gold and Silver. And they are also of three sorts.
1. Vessels as Crucible, long necked
Bodies, Bolt heads, cleansing Sachets.
2. A calcining Furnace one with an open Fire.
3. Such as serve for calcining and Trituration of Gold and Silver
by fire potential, such as are the corrosive waters where Mercury
or Antimony. For it is all one which of these Things in this case
the Artis makes use of provided a perfect Powder be made of Gold
or Silver and that the Calces by divers washing and Reverberations
afterwards be very well purged and cleaned from the saltish Impressions
which Calcination and [Exkoration], is altogether most necessary.
For otherwise our living Mercury cannot unlock the Prisons of
the Salt, or of Vitriol the Seed of Gold and Silver.
[Note in the Margin: Mind, looks
like the rectified Water and calks of Gold.]
Brussels, 8th August, 1646.
The Instruments of the second principle
order are those which do perfect the conception or coagulation
of the Lapis Philosophorum. They are of threefold conditions also.
1. A glass made into the shape
of an Egg in which both substances or Matter of the Lapis is to
be put viz. the living Mercury and the Vitriol of Gold and Silver
in their due Proportion as shall be described hereafter, where
it is to be observed that the third Part only of the Egg is to
be filled and then the mouth be very well hermetically sealed
if you please stopped. [Notes in the Margin: "Third full
only." and "Both only two things."]
Of the second condition are an earthen vessel in which the philosophical
Egg is to be buried, laying about it fine ashes about the Breadth
of a Thumb and a three foot in which the vessel may hang. [A tripod-like
drawing containing the glass mentioned above is sketched in the
Of the third condition are, the Furnace or Athanor, with all its
Appurtenances. For it is all alike what kind of Furnace you do
provide so you can but give a very moderate continual and equal
heat about the Egg.
Brussels, 13th August, 1646.
Having explained the Causes and
the Application of them the manner of working succeeds which contains
1. Is the number of Operations
and the Explanation.
2. The Praxis.
Now with all of these Operations could orderly be collected out
of our two last Epistles, yet because some things might be thought
to have been omitted about circumstances we shall minutely discuss
them. Two actions (as is said before in the exemplary Cause) are
principle, solution and coagulation. But these admit many other
intervening middle actions viz: some preparatory Ones which are
subordinate (or in order to obtain the principle ones) as means
to gain proposed End, Finish, or Scope.
And they are of twofold categories or Ranks. Of the first and
which are prescribed in order to make the solution are of threefold
1. Is the preparation of the Dissolvent,
that is, the Distillation of our Magnesia and rectification of
what is distilled. [Note in the Margin: Mind this.] We do only
make Mention of Distillation and Rectification decause that pernicious
Caprice of Separating, the Principles of Things principiated which
some false Chymists do command, is altogether useless. I mean
the separation of the Sulphur from the Mercury on purpose to reunite
them afterwards again. For to the Effect or Works of Solution
of Gold or Silver the volitile Salt only as to the Mercurial Part
is necessary. But if the fixed Salt and the Sulphur of the same
Magnesia do withstand the solution, the Sulphur because of its
unctuosity and the salt because of its fixity, so far as it, that
they can be here useful, that as is said, they rather hinder this
2. The Purgation and Calcination of Gold and Silver. The Instruments
of which Operation you have seen above and are necessarily to
be used, because that the subtilized Gold or Silver therewith
brought to Powder may so much easier yield to a physical Solution
and their Vitriol the Seed or Sperma be loosened. [Note in the
Margin: "Gold, Mind."]
3. The Application of the Dissolvent to the prepared and to it
disposed Gold or Silver and their ten times repeated [Cortus],
so that through eleven Degrees you may have eleven grana or Seed
of Gold or Silver. [Note in the Margin: Attend to this.]
Of the second Catagoria are such
as dispose and order of Coction and coagulation and are of twofold
1. Those which require the Artist's
Hand namely for composition of our philosophical Egg and that
in Proportion ten to one viz: ten Parts of Mercurial liquor (which
represents the White of an Egg) to one Part of Gold if your work
be intended for Gold, or four parts of Mercury to one part of
the Seed of Silver either which Seed takes place or represents
the Yellow of the Egg, which proportion you ought always to keep
for therein consists Nature's Weight, Number and Measure. Then
this Egg requires to be put into the Furnace and then according
for the Coction the ordering of the actual Fire is required. [Note
in the Margin: Mind this.]
2. Those which of themselves naturally or by Force of Nature happen
in the Egg so disposed without the Hand of the Artist and are
physical corruption, mixtion, Contriturations (contritio) sublimation,
Inceration, Imbibition, and many such acts described by authors,
which being understood and worse interpreted by young Beginners,
referring them artificial Industry and Operations hath brought
them into a Labyrinth of inextricable Errors
The last of such Nature's Work
is Fixation, which is the Lapis's Perfection and is done in Ten
Months or thereabouts.
It follows that we speak of Multiplication.
Brussels, 20th August, 1646.
[On the bottom of pages 66 and
67 of the original Ms the following notes appear:
Page 66: "Look at 72 tho on the same quite different to this
leaf. 10 of our Rectifur Water to 1 of prepared Gold."
Page 67: "Philadelpha say until you can distinguish between
preparatory Labors and those in the Egg you will always remain
in Error. This is really the truth."]
[Note in upper margin above Epistle
34 reads: Multiplication of the first powder.]
Having made an End with the Composition of the Lapis, there remains
its Multiplication in infinitum which is effected by the same
way and with the same operations the Lapis was made; only that
instead of dissolved Gold or Silver, you lay in only so much of
the Lapis as you laid in before of the said Gold or Silver for
the first Confection of the Lapis. But as to the Mercurius no
other is to be used and to be put to it than which I have made
mention of before. But its Quantity in the multiplication of the
Lapis is managed two ways and proportionated. [Note in the margin
reads: So much of the other powder, fixed, 1 part and 10 parts
For first you may take only ten
parts of Mercurius to one Part of the perfected Lapis and then
the Work is ended, ten times sooner than in the first Confection
of the Lapis viz: in 30 or 40 days. And if this Lapis be once
more multiplied, then with the same Proportion of Ingredients
the work is ended, ten times sooner than it was in the first Multiplication,
viz: in 3 or 4 days, and hereby you may understand what is said
of the work, to be a work of three days. [Note in the margin reads:
Mind 3 days work what.] But secondly the same Quantity of Mercurius
is augmented tenfold also, namely that you take in the making
of the Lapis or in the first Multiplication only ten parts of
Mercury. But in the second Multiplication of this kind that you
take an hundred parts of Mercury, and if you do repeat it the
third time that you take a thousand parts and so forwards but
though then the perfection of the work will require so long a
Time as did the first making of the Lapis.
However multiply it which way you
will you do always augment the Lapis in tenfold Proportion, not
only as to its Bulk, but also as to his Virtue and Efficacy, so
that after the first Multiplication each Part of the Lapis which
only increased ten Times more in every Part of the Seed of the
first Gold or Silver is now increased Ten times in every Part
of the single Lapis made and a hundered Times in every Part of
the said seed of Gold or Silver. But after the second Multiplication
it surpasses these of the Seed a thousand, but those of the Lapis
a hundered Times and so it goes forward.
The Reason of all this is because
that when Nature works in One and the same subject for a substantial
Production adds always ten Degrees of Perfection to the foregoing
Effect or Product, being that she produces a new diverse species,
if she goes about only to meliorate the same which we could prove
by many natural instances and Examples. But that we know that
you yourself by yourself can attain to its knowledge by your own
Speculation. It remains that we speak of the use of the Lapis.
Brussels, 26th August, 1646.
The use of the Lapis is this, that
he must be degradated i.e. must be lessened in his Power of Virtue
with many Imbibitions of the foresaid, or with Mercury vulgar,
till he hath acquired a just Temperament and Proportion of Strength
fitted for a Medicine either for animals or Metals chiefly if
the Lapis be multiplied. Otherwise since he hath an overpowering
Heat and Dryness, he would destroy the natural Heat of the animal
and dry up the radical Moistness of anything, instead that he
should give succour to a diseased Animal. And as to inferior Metals,
it would convert them into Powder, like unto himself and into
an irresoluble Form instead of transmuting them into most perfect
Gold or Silver.
Brussels, 1st September, 1646.
Now follows the Practice. [Note
in the margin reads: Practice, mind this much.]
Take therefore of our choisest Magnesia of a whitish Colour and
a tart Taste (subacidule) [q.u.] Throw it into a glass Bocia of
sufficient largeness, so that only the third Part be filled. Then
lay upon the Materia so much Cotton and place little sticks athwart
the glass amongst it that the whole Materia therewith be covered,
or which is better make bullets out of the whole Matter and wrap
them in Cotton; Throw them into the Bocia and having adjusted
to it, as is usuual a reciever very large and very well adjusted,
distill it in fine sand and gentle Fire. First uses a most limpid
or clear Spirit. Secondly a blackish Oil. And when nothing more
distilled leave off and let all cool by itself.
Then Secondly take the Liquor distilled and rectify it in clear
new vessels three or four times that the blackish Oil may be separated.
And if you see that with the last rectified Spirit should ascend
a yellow or red Oil then filter the spirits that the oil may remain
in the filter.
Third. Divide your rectified Spirit
in two equal Parts. One Part you shall keep for the confection
and composition of the Egg. The other Part you shall again rectify
so long till no Feces at all remain more and the Liquor is become
very sharp (acerrimus) like the sharpest Spirit of Wine to a common
Oil of Vitriol.
This is the Preparation of Mercury.[Note in the margin reads:
Preparation of Gold.]
Forthly. Take the purified Gold or Silver [Z1] and amalgamate
it with Mercury vulgar washed and purified [Z viii] then mix the
amalgam with common Sulphur [Z iv] or more if you please in a
Mortar then let this mixture burn and deflagrate in a crucible
in an open Fire of Charcoals, so that there remain a pure Calx
which wash every often with common distilled Water and afterwards
reververate it 12 Hours.
This is the Preparation of Gold
if you have a better, use that; For herein doth not consist the
Mystery of our Art. But the Preparation of Silver is no other
than a common Calcination and afterwards Purgation of the Calx
described and taught by many authors everywhere, so that it is
needless to teach here.
Fifthly. Put your Calx in a long necked Phial and pour upon it
your sour or burning Mercury [q.s.] viz: Four or Five fingers
height and put your Phial closed or stint up with an Arthenorium
in Ashes for to circulate twenty four hours in continual heat
of the first degree, which Time being past, distill two parts
of the Liqour and presently cohobate it again, i.e. throw it back
again upon the remaining third Part and repeat this operation
eleven times and towards the end separate the Dissolutions by
inclination from the Calx which remain and could not be dissolved.
And afterwards separate also by Distillation the disolvent Liqour
from the dissolved Metal to the consistancy of reddish and [triadish]
Honey if it hath been Gold and blueish if it hath been Silver.
[Notes in the margin read: Mind operation of Gold. Gold coupile
11 times the Chalby Conceive. Quick Gold of Philosophers.]
This is now the Quick Gold or Quick Silver of Philosophers and
the Seed of Gold, Silver.
But the signs that you have well proceeded in your operations
are these. If the Liqour in the first circulation gets a Gold
yellow Colour and in the following circulations a Redness by Degrees
doth succeed. Then if the Peacock's Tail, or the Rainbow doth
appear upon the Superficies of the Liqour; But the argument or
sign of a radical Solution, is, when it cannot return again into
a metallic Body. For this is the Propriety of Vitriol which is
extracted out of Metals and such is our dissolved Gold or Silver.[Note
on the bottom margin of the page reads: This differs from 66 there
10 hour, 2 of living Mercury and the preparation of Gold quite
Sixthly. Take of the said Gold or Silver one part, of the living
Mercury which you had reserved two parts, if you design for Gold,
or four parts if you design for Silver. Both put apart in its
Glass Egg provided; so that two Parts of it remain empty, and
sigil the Mouth hermeticially.
This is the Confection of the Philosophical
Seventhly, and lastly have an earthen
Vessel ready, or a little Pot, fill it with Ashes, bury the Egg
in it, so that the Ashes surmount the Matter the Breadth of a
finger and hang this earthen Vessel in a three Footmade [Tripod]
on purpose for it, and so let it stand and hang in the midst of
any little Furnace, of what convenient Figure so ever, be it an
Athanor with the [same] or another Furnace where you can give
a very gentle equal Heat and which may encompass the Matter to
the very End of the Work, which is the perfect fixation ending
in an obscure Redness, after that the three other principle Colours
have in their order appeared, these interveneing Changes and their
discoloured Mutations if the Lapis be for Silver.
But what that gentle Degree of Heat must be sole Experience will
teach you because it cannot be described. And he that hath made
it once, may notwithstanding therein fail.
Yet the Signs of its due Degree are the appearing of those four
said Colours, at every three Months end, and of those intervening
colours, at the end of every Quadragesima or 42 days or there
about, till to the darkish Redness which is the Term of perpetual
fixation. Of the Practice of Multiplication I need add Nothing.
For you can gather that from what hath been said already, neither
hath she a diverse Method from the Practice of the Lapis.
But we will add some things as to the use of the Practice and
that in the following Epistle.
Brussels, 7th September, [year
not included, presumably 1646.]
The use of the Practice of this.
1. As to Medicine to Animals. Dissolve
1 grain of the single Lapis in 100 grain of that Mercury wherewith
the Lapis is made or in any other Liqour or specific vehicle for
the present condition of the disease and the Temperament of the
patient giving a due Portion of such liqours with the one grain
of Lapis dissolved.
But if the lapis hath been once multiplied then one grain of it
must be dissolved in a thousand grains of such convenient Liqour,
if twice multiplied in ten thousand Grains of Liqour and so forwards.
2. As to the transmutation of the Metals. Take one Part of the
single Lapis and two Parts of the said our, not of common Mercury
or the once multiplied Lapis one part, and ten Parts of the same
Mercury, or lastly one part of twice multiplied Lapis and a thousand
parts of the said Mercury and set them to dry, first in a gentle
Fire, then stronger and stronger till it gets the consistance
of a stone. And such Imbibitions and [Desiecations] repeat till
one Part of the Lapis converts ten Parts of Mercury common, twenty
of Lead, 30 of Tin, 50 of Copper, and lastly 100 of Silver into
perfect Gold. But half of the Part or thereabouts of the said
proportion of those metals if the Lapis before Silver.
But if you should want a sufficient Quantity of the forsaid Mercury
then you can degrade the Lapis with Mercury vulgar also in a manner
Project one Part of this single or multiplied Lapis upon ten Parts
of Mercury vulgar heated and you shall have a powder of the same
Nature with the Lapis, but a lesser Virtue and Effiacy. All this
Powder project again upon two Parts of the same Mercury vulgar
and if then the Powder grows moisted dry it by the Fire and it
will remain a Powder, which lastly you can advance, project upon
the foresaid Metals keeping the same proportion.
This is now the Universal and most exact Theory and Practice of
It remains that we make an access to the particular Chrysopoeia.
Brussels, 10th September, 1646.
The particular Chrysopoeia tends,
and aims (as I said before) at a particular conversion of every
Metal imperfect into perfect Gold or Silver and that either in
the whole or only in part. According to which Division, this Member
shall be divided again into two Sections.
The first shall be of Transmutation of imperfect Metals as to
their whole Quantity or Bulk.
The second as to some Part of it.
The Transmutation of the whole Quantity is twofold.
1. It is effected by a Proportion
of the Particular Transmutative agent of much greater Inequality
in Respect of the Metal which is to be Transmuted, so the one
Part of the Agent is able to convert many Parts of imperfect Metals
into Gold or Silver according to its Ferment viz: Silver in Gold
if you have for the ferment Gold and Gold in Silver, if you administer
for a coagulum Silver. For in this work the specific Ferment must
be applied just as it was in the confection of the Lapis and in
the same manner namely the Gold or Silver dissolved in our Mercury.
But the Difference is in the fermentable subject. Form in the
confection of the Lapis our Mercury is taken and used as the thing
fermentable, Because of Intention is not to make immediately Metal,
But only the Seeds of Metals. But there the Matter which is to
be fermented, is some Metal wherewith the Confection of a Metal
is intended immediately. But as to the Metal it matters not of
what Kind is taken for the thing fermentable, if it doth but symbolize
with the Ferment, in the principal Qualities, though the Pondus
will vary, because that all their connection and perfection is
not equal, neither is the Virtue of its Ferment equal. Therefore
according to the Nature of the ferment and the thing fermental,
diversity of doses will be required, the rule of which I have
not observed. For possessing greater Things I have such Trifles
But the manner of Preparation of the fermentable Metal consists
in its Reduction into Vitriol, as the ferment is himself and like
unto the agent namely our Mercury on purpose that like the dissolved
Agent doth more efficaciously and sooner operate than if it was
not dissolved so might the dissolved Patient better and easier
receive the actions of the Agent. [Note in the margin reads: Good
The regimen here of the Fire is not of the continual Degree, but
of divers according as the colours do change For no Conflagration
or precipitated sudden [Exsiccation] of the thing fermentable
is here to be feared as it was in the Confection of the Lapis.
2. The Transmutation of the whole happens through Proportion of
greater Inequality of the Transmutative Agent, with the imperfect
Metal so that one Part of the Agent, can transmute but an equal
Weight, or Part of the imperfect Metal, which Transmutation is
rather effected upon common, or some other metallick Mercury than
upon solid Metals. Neither needs this Transmutation, any dissolving
Operations of the thing fermentable as the former did, but the
Solution and Preparation of the Ferment here, always is necessary,
for reason, that the activity of Form substantial, being otherwise
hindered and now freed of its Fetters and Obstacles may act with
the more Efficacy. If you do not do this seldom or never shall
happen any due transformation.
But concerning the Transmutation as only to some Part of the Metal.
This properly is not Transformation because it transmutes nothing
substantially and he is twofold. The first is done by Extraction
of perfect Metal out of the bowels of an imperfect Metal, namely
Gold out of Silver, Iron, and Copper, but Silver out of Lead and
Tin. For in the first three Metals, there is a great Deal of good
Gold perfectly by Nature, elaborated and true and good in all
its conditions and in the last there lies much Silver. For in
the Mines of any Metal, there are many Ferments also of other
Metals as the Seed of Gold in Silver, Iron and Copper Mines, and
which Seeds when they meet Mercury they do determine him into
Gold or Silver, according to their Nature. But because in the
same Mine, there is a greater quantity of the ferment of imperfect
metals ahich being confused with the ferment of perfect Metals,
which Nature could not Separate except Art had intervened therefore
it happened that thus the perfect Metal remained confined to the
Substance of imperfect Metal. But the way to extract such perfect
Metal, I have not for the present at hand though I have experimented
it more than once.
One chief thing in this Business is to be taken Notice of, namely
that this Operation is to be done by [repetensing] agents as are
Tartar, Quick Lime, Sal Amoniac and such the like biting Salts
for what corrodes the volatile Parts of the repercussing or repelling
Agents, do depress and keep down the fix resisting Parts, so that
by the separating Waters, or the Test, the fix Parts being united
do no more yeild, which before being dispersed in more loose Quantities
were forced to yield to be carried along with other volatile Parts,
so that there is a reality in this Business, but little Profit
when you come to complete and compare the Expences with that little
quantity of good fix Metal which you have extracted.
Moreover is to be noted, that the perfect Metal thus extracted,
comes forth of itself in its natural colour and splendor; Gold
colour if it be Gold; Silver Colour if it be Silver, because that
the Tinctures of Metals are of a fix and therefore unchangeable
Condition or (which is all one) because the colours are inseperable
Properties to the essence of fixed Metals.
But the second particular and improper Transmutation is effected
by Condensation, or (as they call it) by fixation of Metals. And
this in Reality and Truth, is but a sophistick Mutation or Change,
though some Metals thus prepared do nevertheless sustain several
Probations and Examina.
To this there are two ways.
The first is by Abstraction which is made with some metallick
excrements or rather Recrements and some Mineral Salts by way
And it is not to be valued what is objected commonly, viz: that
the spirits of volatile Metals cannot give a fixed form, which
they have not. For such metallic Matters do first send forth and
insinuate their spirits, into the Pores of the Metal which is
to be condensed and fixed by means of their salts, and that with
the first degrees of Cementation Fire where at least by means
of sthe same salt , (whose Property is to be vitrified and to
dispose to vitrification) the calcinated Metals (and such are
the said Metalic Recrements) by the action of external Fire, are
vitrified and that at the end of the Cementation, from whence
those cemented Metals, become fixeable, and not so metallic, which
is an undoubted sign of vitrification or mixture of Glass. In
which state, it is of no wonder at all, if such cemented Metals
do sustain corrosive waters.
The second way is Exsiccation, which again is practiced in two
The first by amalgamating the Metals which are to be condensed
or exsiccated with Mercury or Antimony, and then by burning of
Here the Humidity of any Metal is mixed with the humidity of Antimony
or Mercury, and both fly away as soon as they feel the burning
The Second is Corrosion with Salts corrosive and Metals of a dry
Constitution being mixed with such as Iron is and any other dry
minerals. But Metals thus condensed commonly do want a just Tincture,
for Reason above alledg'd. For bring that a metalic fix Tincture,
is an essential Condition of a fixed Metal, certainly it cannot
be found in a Metal not really, truly and Naturally fix. However
I do not deny, but that by Art, there can be given in some manner,
a fix Tincture especially as to Gold provided you add to your
Work true upright Gold. I mean to the metals already condensed
and then when they are, in the melting, united together, that
you have put to it again a great quantity of [subifying] Metals,
and thus be corroded again.
For in this Mixture, (as it is said before) there, what is real
is joined to true Gold. And therefore the Tincture is augmented,
namely by addition of Parts tinging. However such Tincture is
weak always. But for White, there cannot be so given a fix Tincture.
Brussels, 17th September, 1646.
Our last Epistle hath thoroughly
sifted all things that belong to particular Chrysopoeia or the
Art of Gold making short and plain. There wants only (wherewith
I shall conclude the whole Tractation of metals) the way to try
the metallic works, its order and Examination of what is good
Be it known then; Two Metals to be the only perfect Gold and Silver
yet to have obtained a Degree of Fixation.
And the Conditions of either Perfection are three; Solidity Weight
The signs then and Examination of the Reality of these conditions
is twofold; common or private to either.
Common Examinations to both Gold as well as Silver are the Eye,
Ignition, Candefaction, Extension; the Needle, or Knife, Fusion
and the Cement.
The Eye doth judge the Title of the Tincture by the Touchstone,
The Ignition if she makes a black spot upon the metal tried, such
as covers the whole [Superficies], it argues a false Mixture.
The Extension, if it cannot be made readily, or if the metal while
it is worked and extended, cracks, it argues a mixture of heterogeneous
things, Salts or friable Metals as Tin. The Needle, or Penknife,
if it finds the Metal to hard and that it will not easily yield
to the Iron it argues also a Mixture of other Minerals.
The Fusion or Melting if it be very easily done, it argues a great
Quantity of admixed imperfect Metals: For thus Ferrumen is made.
If the Metal be harder to be Melted than ordinary it argues a
great gathering of vitrified Minerals in the Metal. If this Tincture
and Substance thereby is lessened it argues a sophistical Work.
The Test if it lessens the Tincture, or Substance bears the same
sign of altered or adulterated Metal.
The private signss concern Gold or Silver apart.
The Trials of Gold are Regal Cementation; separation by corrosive
waters; the trial with Antimony solution in Lapis Armenius, and
the Reduction to a body after Solution.
By the regal Cementation true Gold is known, if no notable Loss
after several repeated Cementations, is found.
Through Separation and Inquartation, defective Gold is known,
if a part which should be fixed, Gold will dissolve with Silver,
or though it be not dissolved if some things is separated in manner
of Gold and some things of Grey colour also lies above the Gold,
or lastly if the whole Part, not dissolved is grey and not of
black colour, neither receives by [nealing] the Yellowness again,
such as is due to Gold, and if the Calces being reduced into a
body shall sustain the corrosive Water, upon a Touchstone.
Lapis Armenius Purgation evidences faulty Gold, if after its evaporation
the Gold doth lose of its Substance and Colour.
Solution, of the Gold is very hard
to be dissolved, and it is to be advised that Aqua Regis which
dissolves Silver and not Gold, as soon as it is made regal, should
dissolve Gold and not Silver. Hence if the Solution proves difficult
in Aqua Regis it is argument of unchanged Silver, or vitrified
Bodies to be mixed with it.
Lastly, if the dissolvin waters being loaded with the dissolved
Calces, and yet do not turn yellow, it is malum Omen, an Ill omen;
and if the Calces cannot be reduced into a body, or the greatest
part of them doth vitrify, it is a sign of a mixture of heterogeneous
Minerals and Salts, moreover if the Tincture thereby is diminished.
The private or particular Trials and Examinations of Silver besides
the Test are following these.
The solution of the Calces; separation from corrosive Water by
copper Plates, and lastly their Reduction into a body. If the
dissolving Waters loaden with the Calces, have no blue, [coruleous]
Colour, or if the Silver be too quick dissolved it is faulty.
In the separation of the Calces from the dissolving waters by
copper plates, if the Calces do not stick to the plates the Silver
is Sophisticated; for true Silver doth not do that.
These said Trials, solution of the Calces, Separation and Reduction
into a body are the surest before all others of Gold as well as
Silver. And yet they are ignorantly neglected of Tryers and Examinators,
not making as the should true use of.
The order to be held in the Trial follows and is threefold.
Right, Retrograde, and Oblique.
The Right Order follows successive the [phases] above described,
in the Trials, as well as common and equivocal as private and
All which is that the Metal doth legitimately sustain, there is
no doubt, but it hath its physical Reality viz: That it is all
its natural always approved conditions commendable. But if the
contrary, that it faulters in one or the other Trial, then know
that such comes to pass, either in the first and second trials,
or in the last univocal Ones.
In the first and middle ones, viz: common and equivocal, it argues
altogether the work be sophisticated and by no means to be approved;
But if the fault be but found by the last Trials, it is a sign
of some Fixation, and the work is fit for mechanical things. Yet
this Reason is not so very certain neither, it be then that the
Metal have sustained, that same Trial and in the same Order 3
or 4 times over and over again.
For as I have said, the vitrified Bodies mixed with the Metal
can defend themselves against the first Times Trial which if it
be repeated, it makes those substances and vitrified Bodies to
vanish away, so that the metallic substance comes to its natural
State again; But if the Metal doth not return to it again, then
that Fixation as is said, is good and sufficient for Workmanship,
though it be not a true and natural Fixation and Perfection and
therefore cannot be useful for medicinal Affairs and other natural
and proper Offices required from essential Gold or Silver.
The retrograde Order, which is
shorter, begins from the last universal Trial, viz: from the solution,
collection of the Calces and their Reduction into a body, which
if it succeeds legitimately, then there needs no further trial.
For these Trials alone legitimate a Reality, manifesting the essential
Properties of the Metal. But if it doth not succeed, go on in
the retrograde Trials, of which if but one doth fail it is an
ill Omen. But if all do answer according to your wish it is an
argument of sufficient Fixation, as it is said for [fabrile] Works
especially if after such retrograde Trials, the right Order also
hath been followed, and that hath well succeeded.
The oblique Order, begins with the middle Trials and it goes on
either straight forwards, to the very last Trial, or in retrograde
Order from the last to the first. If after all such Trials, there
be a happy comming out, tis well; but if after the retrograde
Way the Trial succeeds indifferently, the Probation is uncertain.
For many sophistical Works do sustain all probations and trials
made, in contrary and preposterous Order, which will not suffer
the right Order and Trials made according to the natural Series.
Brussels, 22nd September, 1646.
For these forsaid Probations and
Trials we have thought fit to add some caution for Fear you should
one Time or other be deceived and by ovserving perhaps in the
Antimonial Trial a diminution of the Substance of Gold, to condemn
that as not good. For in the said Antimonial Trial (as it is commonly
made) the best and the purest Gold may suffer a Detriment, not
that it flies with the Antimonial Mercury but because it doth
mix it self in the Trial, which the Recrements, in which there
remains a small Portion of Gold and that through the too accurate
Industry of the Examinator and not without great Labour and weariness
of the Body. For this comes to pass according to the common Way,
when by great violent labour, and long agitation of great bellows,
the whole quantity of trial substance is dissipated and thus the
Gold which is to be purified, is by this Operation driven into
divers crucibles and also lose by the way.
But do so, mix with the fitted
Antimonial Powder, the eigth Part of the crude Tartar and then
go on in your Way and you shall lose nothing or vey little of
your Gold and your Labour will be so much less. For the Tartar
throws down the whole quantity of Gold to the Bottom of the crucible
so that nothing can remain in it but the Antimonial Feces.
And now what besides this I have said might belong to the Methods
of Trials, viz: in what manner they are performed, such Things
you shall find in common Books, which herein do give you good
Directions, but if anything sould be wanting you must converse
with expert Ethnicks. For such things are better learned by experimental
Habits than by Precepts.
Neither doth Philosophy's shortness concern herself with such
little Artifices, or unusual Commerce engaged in greater Business
should allow it. And herewith is finished the accurate and true
compendious Doctrine of the Whole-hermetical Dosciente, I promised
you by means whereof you can when you please lay hand yourself
on the Wolrk.
And if by Chance in the Work itself,
though done according to the Rule given above, in the Practice
all things should not presently succeed according to your With
the Senses, do not leave therefore your Work, but rather have
a Recourse to our theoretical Epistles, in which we have explained
both creations, and endeavor by that, what is explained there
and orderly described to explain that, what in the Practice seems
to you intricate and obscure, remembering that Proposition which
there we have laid down for an undoubted Axiom, viz: that Art
imitates Nature and yet perfects the same, and that as many Acts
be in the One as the Other few excepted such as we have there
noticed and rehearsed. And again those acts, if you cannot distinguish,
read over and over again the very Text of mosaical Exposition
of the Creation of the inferior World, namely the Fabrick attentively
considering each Day's Operation of the primordial Week. For with
the number, Order and Manner also, is admirably well thought of
all our philosophical operations and practice that by the dictate
of the Holy Ghost and himself in a s true Exemplar given to all
true Philosophers, nothing therein being left out or preposterously
or confusedly written.
This Council I have given you for a Conclusion, provoking all
others, which as to this matter can be given.
Brussels, 1st October, 1646.
Our intention was, that having
given you in these Epistles such an easy and clear Method as possibly
could be given, of the true Principles, as well as the alchymical
Theory, as its Practice, you might now apply yourself to the reading
of Authors and do endeavor to explain and to apply their writings
and sentiments to these our Principles being they do not at all
differ from theirs; except perhaps in some Expressions and Cunnings
of communicating of our Hypothesis. But since you are as you say
so deeply engaged, as well in public as private affairs, and since
this study requires a mind free from all cares, [Note in the margin
reads: True.] we will not think much to give you according to
your Desire such short and perspicuous Rules for conferring and
confronting the Doctrine of our Epistles, with the best of the
best Authors, as with the Sense and meaning of our Nouvum Lumen
Chymicum, also and we have thought fit to [unrecognizable word]
advise you also of some things without which Knowledge there cannot
be a natural and Genuine Interpretation of me and authors though
the some may be right, true and conformable to the Intention of
the wise. First then it is to be taken Notice of, that all and
so many Authors are faithful, though they have written and lived
in divers ages, yet they have all with One and the same Contrivance
and Artifice, as if conspired, endeavoured that while they would
leave to Posterity the Monuments of Alchymical Truth which they
really had found themselves by their work, they have performed
it in such a Manner that those which were thereinto born and by
God destinated to get this sacred Knowledge, and excited by the
Testimony of those Brethren, might upon those grounds first ask
that some knowledge from God, with zealous Prayer (For without
his special Grace and Assistance the same cannot be acquired,
neither being acquired can be exercised, of Men though otherwise
witty and ready, as well in speculation aas Operation) and hope
to attain to it. But those which being unworthy of so precious
and not less pernicious Art coming into wicked hands, or which
by God were destinated to other Affairs, might by their enigmatical
writings and Difficulty of Labour be terrified there with and
averted from their intended Purpose.
Therefore the ancient Writers have
purposely many things left out, and left them to be said by their
followers and to be added. Yet so as not you repeat again what
had been said already by their Predecessors.
Besides this they have everywhere invented Fables and thrown many
stones in the way, as if by those singular Ways, they had proposed
to themselves All, but One and the Same Object and End viz: to
hide the Mysteries. And thus they all have used the same general
ways to effect it which I now shall reduce to three heads and
Brussels, 1st October, 1646.
The first way is that to cause
greater Obscurity. They have in several Places in their Writings
divided One thing in itself, and have not only distributed the
same one Thing in several Parts, but have also thrown in the Way
with it exquisite Appositions, nay (that I may say so) formal
Contradictions, so that what One Place doth affirm, the other
denies. However they do not altogether suppress to find out the
way, to reconcile it and to distinguish their meaning, yet nevertheless
it is all sounded in a vast and profound sea of confusion.
The second way is that in One Place and the same Context they
do make Expression of two or more different things or if they
do of them handle seperately in divers Places and contexts, they
do confound them and make it as one thing, expressing it with
almost the same words in appearance the same thing signifying
and that especially when they come to touch the Preparation of
our Mercury or also the Mastery and its Fermentation or specific
Determination, to a Metalline Nature. For those things though
they be altogether different, yet they make them so alike the
joined Propositions, which seem to have a joined Sense have altogether
for seperated Intentions, only cohering because of the affinity,
analogimus, or Onionymia of matter.
The third way is that they study to propose things in a preposterous
order, especially when they come to treat of the Subject and Disposition
of their Operations. For things being treated of in right Order,
though in an obscure style may at length be found out, by sharp
wits, remaining only hid to Fools. Therefore they thought it congrous
to their Design, now to begin in their writings from the End,
now from the Beginning, now to leave off the lastly to invert
These things are of us like to
the other Authors, religiously and with great Industry observed
in our Nouvum Lumen Chymicum, with its depending Treatises, the
Dialogues namely of Sulphur and Mercury, some operations we have
contracted under generical Acceptions of Terms, for Fear of Interception,
which however we have largely here explicated in our theoretical
Neither is there any Thing left out, or that I should have dealt
preposterously or deceitfully. And therefore if you will fully
apprehend, as well our, as the meaning meaning of other authors,
according to the Doctrine of our Epistles and desire to be able
to explain rightly the obsure Places and so to avoid [Rocks] and
to reconcile contrary Doctrines and lastly to be able to distinguish
what is confusedest, then it becomes you to have deeply infixed
in your mind the most necessary foresaid Distinction, hitherto
never so openly expressed and perhaps never hereafter so perspicuously
set forth viz: the Distinction between the universal and the two
partial Lapides, or the Exaltation of the Philosophical Mercurius
or the Magestry, and then its mineral Fermentation or Specification.
For this Distinction is the Key to the temple of philosophical
wisdom and is also the mystery of our Art. Besides this you must
remember to infer, confer and refer Places to Places, subjects
to subjects and sentences to sentences.
Brussels, 8th December, 1646.
After the general advice how to
read and understand authors, it will be usefull to come to a particular
Explanation and conciliation not of all and every single Place
and Expositions about the last Part of Chrysopeia (of such chiefly
you do not consult us) but only of the chiefest Places to which
all other Places and seeming contradictions can be referred, as
well in our as in other Authors writings here and there occurring.
All seeming Contradictions then in all Authors and also in our
Writings do concern either the things signified by certain words
or Terms, or the Term itself signifying the Thing. Those which
concern the Thing can be reffered in general to two Heads namely,
to the Matter, and to the manner of handling the Operation.
The first Head is to be divided again into two Articles suitable
to the two last Doubts where it was questioned [Quotaxtes] the
Matter of the Lapis be and what she is.
What concerns the first Article where it is asked of the Matter
of the Lapis be of various sort, there are some that obstinately
do hold and affirm and that under an obligation of a sacred Oath
that there is but one Thing for the Lapis or if there be more
than one, that they are ought to be considered as a mixtum and
in ye constitution of a mixtum and those Parts are three viz:
Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury making up but one physical Totum one
thing by itself in any mixed Body and not many. The ground of
which sentence seems is taken from what somewhere else I with
divers other Authors have delivered in our writings viz: that
one only Thing be sufficient for to make the Lapis.
However there may two Things be used but they must be of one Radix
and that [unrecognizable symbol] for Brevity's sake which abreviation
some think to be a new invention above the experience of the ancients
and not necessary for the confection of the Lapis.
Others contrary do admit two divers
substances and partial Matters for the Lapis which the Philosophers
under the name of Sulphur-vive and living Mercury and with divers
other two membered nomenclatures do decypher as when they call
it living Gold, living Silver, Man and Wife, Gabricius and Bera,
and such like, which Diversity of Names, sounds as if there were
also comprehended diversity of Nature's together with a difference
of affections, and that it were distinct Supposita and consequently
that there was involved Plurality of things consisting in two
numbers. To which Number modern Philosophers add a third Substance
and name, viz: Salt.
Others lastly are not contended with the number neither but will
have seven Substances for the Materia viz: of seven Metals. For
say they the Lapis is to be an universal Agens. But the universal
Nature is such that it is made up by all its subjected species.
Add to this that we ourselves seem to favour this opinion, when
we have in our Nouvum Lumen Chymicum expressed some things like
to it in our Discourse of the Seven Planets and Harmony of Metals.
To this Opinion comes near that which to the Lapis requires three
substances or three divers things, instead of seven Metals, to
which may be added that the Lapis being befriended with the three
Families with the three Families of the lower mixture conserve
them herein equally being he serves for their Production, Conservation,
and Reparation always.[Note in the margin reads: Their species
All which seems could not be if the Lapis were and must not be
composed of things of a threefold Purpose of Nature.
These Things are opposed against the first article all which the
following Epistles shall elucidate.
Brussels, 4th October, 1646.
Both sentences of the precedent
Epistles are true, but you must take them in the proper sense
and under certain limitation or distinction.
The first is true in Respect of the primordial Production viz:
the Fermentation of our living Mercury and his conversion into
the Seed of primordial Nature by action of Primordial Seed, in
Manners, the ways largely exposed which Production may happen
not only in the Bowels of the Earth but also in artifical Vessels.
Neither is there unto necessarily required anything else besides
the foresaid Spiritus Universalis or our living Mercury. For it
cannot happen otherwise but that this our mercurius through so
many assertions, descertions, by which he is agitated and moved
driven by the Archeus from the lowest to the uppermost Parts of
this Sublunary World and contrary, but that by so many as it were
Distillations, Rectifications, and Sublimations the being thus
prepared hath also by his magnetical Virtue attracted out of most
profound lurking holes of primordial Seeds, many seeds of Gold
and Silver, by means of which he can be assimilated and consequently
can be made mineral and Metallick.
For the Lapis metallicus is nothing else than the multiplied Seed
of Gold or Silver or the Mercury specified and assimilated into
the Seed of Gold or Silver.
But this is in the Earth effected in a very long Time partly because
of the Debility of the Archeus, partly because of the weakness
of the fermentative Faculty of primordial Seeds.
But if we have Respect unto the Production which belongs to Art
and to which is done by Virtue of Particular Seeds and with far
more Efficacy and Celerity than the former, then I say in that
Respect this first Opinion is altogether false, because that the
particular Seeds of Gold or Silver necessarily must be had from
Gold or Silver vulgar and are not to be applied to the said Mercury
as we have proved abundantly elsewhere.
Therefore we must for the confection of the Lapis admit two Things,
namely Sperma, or the Vitriol of Gold which contains the particular
Seed of Gold and our Spirit Universal which is to be assimilated
and converted into particular Seed of Gold, or if you please,
of Silver, namely to make up the Lapis metallicus, or a metallick
specification and that according to the first Intention and Term
of Multiplication elsewhere explained.
However, take notice that these
two things notwithstanding are but of one Radix and are not to
be looked upon as incomplete Substances which Respect have all
natural Parts of physical mixture in Respect of their physical
Whole one by itself (as those men ridiculously hold and defend,
which affirm that all of the Plurality of things here to be defended,
must consist in the Separation of Mercury, Sulphur and Salt from
one complete Substance, viz: Gold or Silver. For this State of
Habit (Habitus) signifies and argues a State of a divided and
maimed Body, but not of divers Things of one Radix, but they are
to be taken as compleat Substances, distinct and not depending
one upon the other, yet agreeing according to the homogeneity
of Principles therefore explained, which Homogeneity doth include
an identity and unity of offspring or Radix of both Substances,
but not an Unity, or Identity of the Trunk or Stipes. And this
Distinction is very well to be noted and observed. For there is
a very vast Difference between the Unity or identity of the Radix
(as for example the Tree and the fruit of the Tree, which have
their own complete Beings, distinct and altogether different,
are said to be of the same Root and offspring that is of the same
as well active as passive seminal and constitutive Principles
of the Species.) And the identity of the whole Trunk or Stipes.
For the Bark and Heart of any Tree having their distinct Being
from the Tree, but an incomplete one, are said to be Parts by
themselves, of one and the same Body.
All which that it may be no longer obscure to you I will more
plainly explain, for the sake of the alleged Sentences.
The first Sentence, then can be understood either of the first
Lapis, or Magistery or of second, that is, its Specification.
If it be understood of the Magistry the sentence is not True.
1. Because that thereunto is required,
nothing else but our Universal Spirit. For here this Magistry
is nothing else than a due Coition or Coagulation of the sole
substance of the said universal Spirit according to the three
divers degrees of his Temperation, viz: Mercurial, Sulpfurous,
and Saline; In which Saltishness, the Exaltation of the universal
Mercurius and the Perfection of the magistry is terminated by
Imitation of natural coction of the same Mercurius done in the
Bowels of the Earth, before he is specified through primordial
But if the said Sentence be understood of the specification or
the Specific Magistry's Determination to the Nature of Gold or
Silver it must be two ways distinguished. For if the Meaning be
of that Specification which (though seldom and in a very long
Time) doth happen without any intrinsical Accession by the Power
of the primordial Seeds, viz: whereof the said universal spirit,
hath in himself but a very small Quantity which doth constitute
his hermaphroditical Nature so that the very Seeds take Place
of the masculine Seeds and the substance of the Spirit that of
the feminine: Or if we aim at that same specification which happens
by extrinsical Accession and copulation of Seeds, either primordial
in the Bowels of the Earth or particular in an artificial vessel,
then in that same sense the said sentence is False.
For the specifying Seed and the Matter specifically are really
two distinct substances, yea two complete but homogeneous substances
by homogeneity of principiating Principles and therefore one and
the same Radix which is all one with true Philosophers.
But perhaps you will argue thus; All mixed Bodies though of diverse
Species and Nature are according to this sort of Homogeneity of
Principles, homogeneous. For according to our aforesaid Doctrine
all Matters subjected to any of those mixed Bodies Form is homogeneous
with the universal Spirit and therefore they are also one of the
Same Radix: so that any of these bodies can be taken for all Sorts
of Multiplication to be the proper Matter which if it doth hold
in things which are of divers Species and Number, certainly it
will hold in natural Parts of a mixture, as it is a mixture viz:
in Mercury, Sulphur, and Salt, because that these have the same
natural Principles, with the whole.
And certainly this Objection doth
mightily pinch and leave it without it's due Resolve anywhere
in Authors to be found directly expressed. Take it then here I
And to answer to this objection decisively it is to be observed
that there are three conditions required according to the Philosophers
before anything can be called homogeneous with another by Homogeneity
Of the first condition is that both Substances have a compete
Being so that one towards the other must not bear the Relation
of being Part of the Whole.
The second is that One of these complete substances being considered
as a Mixture, be more simple than the other and be but one degree
higher in the sense of mixture which we have given in our theoretical
The third is that the simpler substance be equally indifferent
to all Forms and be naturally capable and apt to receive a new
and another above his own Form, another Thing, which is of greater
Further it is to be noticed, that the Word Radix be equivocal
and is taken three ways:
1. Properly for a material Principle
of all things, not for that chymerical Materia prima without any
Form as the false schools do hold, but for our universal Spirit
not yet contracted to a certain Species, of any lower mixture
and having the Propriety of a complete Substance or if you rather
will it is to be taken for principiated Principles. Yet more simple
such as gradually ascending you can reckon till you come to the
most simple Elements or to the very primordial chaotic Water.
2. Improperly by the Analog: to the precedent Acceptation for
the principle Part of any living Thing which first receives the
Nourishment and afterwards doth distribute to its Parts, collectively
3. Yet more improperly; for the Trunk or Stipes of anything and
that in Respect of the Parts hewn from it or separated, that is,
for a total Supposition or any complete Substance in Respect of
its complete substantial Parts.
This being agreed to the answers
and solution of the former Objection will be easy.
For all mixtures of the three Families of each Species being compaired
amongst themselves, have indeed the first conditions viz: to be
complete substances, but they do want all the other.
For they are in the Scale of the mixture, of the same Degree of
the last Genesis. That is, they are individuals under each species
of One, or other Genus of the three Families. And therefore as
we have said before, though they amongst themselves, can be transmutted,
one into another, by Virtue of Odour of substantial Form, yet
with all they cannot acquire a new Form, superior in degree. But
Salt, Sulphur and Mercurius if (which however we do deny) they
could be separated from any Mixture, they could not be complete
substances having always the Relation as Parts to the Whole.
The above said mixtures then are not adverse to the Species of
the same Radix, which as they have amongst them being they are
not homogeneous by homogeneity of Principle, since the necessary
thereunto belonging conditions are wanting, and so neither are
Salt, Sulphur and Mercury homogeneous for the self same Reason,
yet they are of the same Trunk, which the Philosophers as yet
have not minded.
The second Sentence how far she is true and by what Distinction
is more than Evident by the Elucidation of the foregoing.
Lastly the third Sentence if it be referred to the passive Power
of our universal Spirit, viz: to a disposition to receive all
forms and the very nearest which he hath, this, theirs, or any
of theirs, then this Sentence is most true but if the same be
referred to the Effects it is false. But the argument whereupon
the said Sentence is grounded, in respect of to materials is traded
or taken from metaphysic and mental composition and applied to
physical Productions. Neither is our Meaning that when we speak
of the seven metals analogically being taken for the seven Planets
from whom they have these their cabalistical names, or contrary
speaking of Planets and meaning thereby the Metals, that those
seven Planets or Metals substantially do enter the Matter of the
Lapis. But only that we would therewith express that all the Virtues
of those Planets and Influences are agreeing and highly exalted
in the universal Spirit. Sometimes we do signify therewith the
divers Degrees of the Contemperative successfully intervening
in the Coction of the philosophical Egg (manifesting itself by
the Colours) and answering in Order the Qualities and Temperaments
as well of the seven Metals and the seven Planets.
Brussels, 20th October, 1646.
The second Article is concerned
about the Qualities of the Matter and is according to the Division
of the precedent Article, divided into two Sections, distributing
the whole Matter of the Lapis into particular Matters.
In the first Section is treated of the Doubts made to the first
Matter, namely active and assimilating Matter.
In the second is treated of the Oppositions reffering to the second
Matter, namely the passive Matter, or which is to be assimilated.
Either of these Sections is subdivided
again into two Particles. Of which the first shall consider the
Essence and Nature of the Matter. The second its properties. Concerning
then the Nature and essence of materia prima some do say that
it is common Gold or Silver. I mean simple and vulgar Gold, as
it brought out of the mines and no other Substance. And truly
many a Passage in Philosophical books seem to confirm this position.
Others grant the same to be something else besides common Gold
or Silver, yea it to be of their Nature and only Virtually so,
or having some affinity or analogy with their that is to say whose
Nature is partly the same with Gold and Silver, partly different,
such as is Antimony, Vitriol, Sulphur common or any other inferior
Metal, which is proved by the authority of many Writers. Others
lastly inclining to a middle opinion say that not anological neither
virtual Gold or Silver, be the materia Lapis but true mineral
and genuine Gold or Silver yet under some artificial Form given
by a physical Preparation but not common and in this Respect it
is called living Gold or Silver not common neither vulgar but
under the form of Mercury or Salt or Sulphur drawn out of Gold
or Silver or any other Subject or both the former. And truly neither
of them which hold this Proposition want any plausible Arguments
to confirm it, nay as it were decrees of the Wise, which the next
Epistle shall declare.
Brussels, 25th Obctober, 1646.
The first and the last Sentence
are true. For as we have somewhere else proved, that the Ferment
or prima Materia Lapis can be nothing else than the Vitriol (which
is the Sperma) of Gold or Silver but the particular Seeds of Gold
and Silver are truly and physically Gold and Silver, though now
considered under some other Form and artificial Preparation not
common, yet friendly to their Nature. In which Preparation Gold
and Silver is dissolved with the like natured Dissolvent as in
Ice in Water which is the Nature with Ice. In which sense the
Gold or Silver are said to be reduced to their Principles: that
is to say to be resolved into water and into the same Water from
whence they had their Beginning, by means of which Water they
being dissolved their Vitriol or Sperma is drawn out and cannot
again be brought into a metallick Body till after the confliction
of the Lapis by Perfection.
It is therefore true what other sentence maintains: and therefore
have no need of any other Distinction or Exposition of any Decrees
of the Author about this Matter. For in this said sentence all
do proclaim the naked Truth without Veil.
But the second Sentence is absolutely
false, if it be understood of the prima Materia, namely of the
Ferment notwithstanding the Authorities which commonly are alledged
for it, all which Testimony are to be understood of the second
Matter, namely our Universal Spirit, or our living Mercurius,
which because of his Homogeneity of Principle which it hath with
Gold and Silver it is not unaptly called Gold or Silver being
so virtually and analogally. And though the Philosophers here
do not express fully their meaning which they have of the second
matter, yet for that Reason our Solution cannot be reprehended;
because as I have remarked heretofore such is the council and
artifice of all Philosophers, that they divide and distribute
the Truth, in several disjoined and here and there dispersed Propositions.
And truly such Speeches of the analogical Matter, scarce one doth
utter but that he hath also somewhere else let fall and or given
more express and scarce obscure Prescriptions and Descriptions
of the Gold mineral, the first Matter.
Brussels, 1st December, 1646.
About the Properties of the first
Matter there are amongst the Authors, scarce any or but small
Dissentions and therefore those whatever they may be can easily
be reconciled by the Doctrine of our precedent Epistle.
Therefore we will go presently to the second Matter, about this
then there are no small Oppositions. For some will have that the
same be vulgar Mercury. To which assertion now adays almost the
whole Troop of pretended Philosophers give their consent being
supported by probable arguments, and the short sentences and apophthegms
of the Wise.
Others prove the vulgar not to
be it, but a metallic One, or of the same substance out of which
came forth the prima Materia of Gold or Silver or which is drawn
out of any other metallic substance as Lead, Iron, etc.
Other less scrupulous do affirm that the Mercurial Part of anything,
be it mineral, vegetable or animal and that either collectively
or distributively may with equal Right serve for the second Matter,
being that it is said that the Mercurius of the Philosophers be
in all places and in all things. Lastly because the philosophical
Fathers do describe the second Matter, that she be vile, known
of all Men everywhere to be found, of common use to all Men and
before the Eyes of all Men; and there are which give their Suffrage,
for Excrements, Filth and Dirt not well smelling for the most
All these Oppositions we shall
reconcile. And to do this I must in this Place reveal a Secret,
which hitherto above all Things hath been kept secret by the Philosophers.
And that is that the Philosophers have considered and described
three Things about the second Matter.
1. The second Matter itself viz:
That substance which is the true second Matter of the Lapis and
that is our spiritus universalis or our living Mercury.
2. The Substance in which the same spirit lodged; namely that
Corpus out of which this second Matter was drawn, that is to say
a certain Sort of true and natural Earth not differing from the
elemental Earth essentially but only accidentally in Respect of
its great Subtilization and natural Purification, which is effected
by the Archeus. And this commonly is called magnesia.
3. And lastly, the manner now that this second Matter doth exist
in this Earth namely, not as a substantial Part of the whole,
or a Portion of a physical Body by itself in which it exists;
but like a thing contained in another Vessel, or in an extraneous
Continent, or like an accidental Part, by accident joined to make
up the whole. That is to say a Corpus made up only of Parts complete
aggregated, or brought together in the compound, each in his proper
Being and only locally in the same whole joined and confused,
such is the Water, wherewith the sponge is filled. It is not certainly
a substantial Part of the Sponge but is only and every way confused
in the Sponge.
Which nature of the subject of
this second Matter and its Manner of Existency is verified by
this: that (and it is worthy to take notice of) after the separation,
the Caput Mortum hath a deep black colour, and a consummate Insipidity,
and natural Siccity of Earth, and that no Salts remain in it,
which is a sign, it is not to be a mixture out of the three Families:
For there is no Mixture, but it leaves leaves in the Caput Mortum
Salt after a distillatory Separation.
The Ignorance or Incogitancy of
the Secret hath caused chimerus and Phantasms in Philosophers
Brains confounding these three things and conceiving that the
Descriptions given and referring to all these Three do belong
only to one and the same Thing, and on the otherside the Knowledge
of this Arcanum its consideration and Application are able to
clear all, though never so pregnant or foolish Oppositions and
to demonstrate the Truth in its splendor as will appear in the
Brussels, 7th December, 1646.
The Arcanum of the precedent Epistle
being exposed the Oppositions against the second Matter are easily
The first sentence then must be distinguished two ways.
1. By distinguishing the Term, or the word common. For if we speak
of the very substance of the second Matter, namely that of our
universal Spirit, and this word is taken improperly, signifying
vulgar, and this the second Matter to be a vulgar Thing and Not
something rare; than the sentence is altogether false.
But if the same word is taken in its proper and natural sense,
as it signifies a Habit and Relation to many Things, and thus
referred to the very substance of the Second Matter then this
sentence is most true. For our Mercurius or universal Spirit is
common and a common Principle of all Things, neither can be given
any mixture of the three Families to which it hath not this Relation
to other Things, as to be to them a necessary Principle.
But if the foresaid Term of common be taken and understood of
the Subjcet wherein the Second Matter lodges of the Manner of
his Inexistency in the same, let the Word be taken properly or
improperly without controversy that Proposition is false.
For Mercury vulgar hath not precisely that Nature and essence
of Earth which the said Subject must have: Neither hath common
Mercury anything in itself which is not an essential Part of it.
For the Mercury, Sulphur and Salt of his (if there be any such
Things in him) have lost in him their complete Being and their
own Totality, which they had before in themselves, neither can
they be restored to that again which we have sufficiently proved
somewhere else viz; where we did treat of [Actro] simplification
(as Bread cannot be bought again to Corn) the Reason of which
is the same as is that concerning the Restitution of Parts of
a physical Compound, to its former Totality and completion of
his Being. The second Way of distinguishing the same said sentence
is by distinguishing the passive Power and the act of which Distinction
we have made use above in precedent Articles in another Matter.
For if you speak of the very Substance of the second Matter and
the Term or Word be understood of Mercury vulgar [positive] that
is to say, for a Matter which hath Dispositions not far remote
to receive the Forms and acts of vulgar Mercury then that sentence
And this manner of expounding is not unusual, for in this sense,
corn is called the Food of Men, though immediately the Man doth
not feed upon the raw Corn as it is yet in the Herb, but upon
Bread which is made of the Seed of the same in Relation to the
subject or the Body out of which our Mercury is drawn and of the
manner of its Existancy in it, then the Sentence can neither be
taken for true and veritable for the same Reasons we have alledged
Brussels, 12th December, 1646.
The second Opinion being understood
either of the second Matter herself, or of her Subject or of the
Manner of the Inexistency in it, the same is certainly false.
But the Authority upon which it is grounded must be understood,
not of the second, but of the first Materia Lapis which is the
Vitriol of Gold and Silver which Vitriol indeed really is the
metallic Mercury but in the state of metallic Coction, hence it
cannot be brought back again to its former and primogeneal Simplicity
as we have often said this.
And this Manner of speaking is not unusual neither. For wheaten
Bread is called wheat and it is really Wheat but under a new Form
and Coction, from which Form it cannot be recalled again to serve
for the same Effect and Purpose as it could have done and been
useful before it was made into Bread. For being once made so,
let it afterwards be altered, changed and prepared, as you will
yet it can never be restored again to its former habit of wheat
or Meal, out of which the Bread was made in such a Manner, that
out of the same such like Bread all together could be made again,
as was the former. But if wheat not yet fully made into Bread
but only into a Paste and being in a fermentation can other Wheat
not yet fermented but only with the other impasted bring to the
same Fermentation also.
The very same Thing happens in Metals for the same Reason and
Cause though some Things in another Manner as to the Act of Fermentation.
The third Opinion which holds that any mixed Bodies Mercurial
Part may be our second Matter is most notoriously false, either
if you refer it to the main substance of our second Matter or
to its Subject or the Manner of its Existency in it.
But the Reason of such an Opinion is to be considered and distinguished.
For as to the Place it is granted that our Mercurius or universal
Spirit exists everywhere, because he is joined with all the Elements
and chiefly with the Air not only filling all spaces of the World
hindering everywhere vacuity, but also penetrating all other Elements
and all other Bodies, taking Possesion of their Pores.
And this is so far that it contradicts us not but rather, that
it, by an inexpugnable Argument doth confirm our Doctrine. For
this Condition and as it were Immensity can assertain to nothing
else in the world besides our Mercurius or universal Spirit.
But as to its proper and substantial Inexistency in all and every
one mixed Body, that is in a manner of a part substantial, it
is again to be distinguished.
For if the meaning be that of Mercurius be in all things actuated
and contracted unto a new Degree of Composition or of Form substantial
above that Degree he had before, then it is granted; But then
in such a state he cannot profit at all, or be useful, as to the
making of the Lapis neither can it be subjected for the second
Matter, as we have proved sufficiently except you would have it
back simplified, which is impossible and against Nature, as we
have already demonstrated. But that the same Mercury should be
in all those singular Things in the Degrees of that Simplicity
and Power which is Necessary for this Purpose, that he may be
used as the second Matter to the Lapis that is absolutely false
and contradictory to itself. For the Part would then be greater
than its whole, and though the Authors might seem in express words,
such to insinuate, yet their Meaning is not to be taken according
to the Latter in the foresaid sentence. For they will by no means
teach that the second Matter of the Lapis, thus diversified in
all things should be taken for it out of all things, but that
the same thing which is in all things actuated, and by it all
things are coagulated should be searched for and found in that
state which it had before it was actuated by every Mixture, such
as is daily actuated and coagulated to produce new Mixtures and
that by action as well of primordial as particular Seeds.
Brussels, 18th December, 1646.
These are not a few Oppositions
about the Proprieties and Qualities of the second Matter, them
that follow its Essence.
For some do say, that the Matter be of a liquid consistency, not
altogether solid, neither fluid.
Others will have it [diaphanous].
Others of colestial Colours.
Others as to the Taste will have it tart and so as to the Scent
Others to be pleasant and sweet.
Others will have its Constitution moist.
Others grant a goldish or internal red Tincture.
Others deny the same.
Others do choose it old, others new and fresh.
All those different opinions are easily reconciled according to
what hath been said before.
For if the Question be about the main substance of the second
Matter she is fluid and liquid. [Note in the margin reads: 2 matter
fluid and liquid.]
When she first begins to be condensed and grows thickish she is
diaphanous and of a colestial but not a blue colour, only pellucid
and afterwards appearing with intermixed infinite colour, like
unto a rainbow.
She is moist in summo Gradu because she abounds of congealed Air.
Hence you understand the sayings that she doth not modify the
hands namely, as long as it remains in its Density or Coagulation.
It hath an internal exuberant Tincture which it shews within a
few days, after being separated from its Subject viz: a citrine
Colour like unto dissolved Gold. But this [Retrograde] comes to
be exalted and then it becomes high red and many other colors
The effect must be choosen to wit that Mecurial substance or universal
Spirit which by any natural Distillations and Cohobations hath
changed it's cold and moist into hot and moist Qualities. In which
state it is no where to be found, but in our subject which being
once separated he becomes very bitter an infallible sign of his
quality. But if the Question be of the subject of our second Matter
then as assertain to her the contrary Quality and Propriety. For
the said subject is condensed and thickish, opaque and of a hardish
solidity, sweet and of an agreeable smell and of extreme Dryness.
For it is really and essentially Earth and the new or fresh is
to be chosen. [Not in the margin reads: 2 matter here, thick,
opaque and Solid.] For this Matter in Process of Time easily loses
its universal Spirit. There are some more pregnant or contrary
Qualities attributed to our famed Matter by Authors, but they
shall find a more compendious Place to be treated of amongst the
Terms where the descriptions are explained.
Brussels, 22nd December, 1646.
Follows now the second Chapter,
concerning the modus agendi or manner of working, about which
there are also many oppositions and are to be referred either
to the useful or useless Parts of the Matter, or to the Direction
of the Work for to attain the End wished for.
Of which Matter though we have given sufficient Distinctions in
our Epistles, yet they are here to be repeated again with some
other expressions, Order and more plainly. Now about the useful
Parts, some contend that only the Mercurial Part of our Matter
Others only Sulphuric.
Others also Saline.
Others lastly will have them both together, but being first separated
from their Body or Substance and afterwards reunited again into
the same Body and total substance, the Phlegm only and Caput Mortum
being taken away.
Now to reconcile these contradictions, we must know that there
are two sorts of Parts, belonging to a complete corporeal Substance
or Physical Totum (such as our Matter must be) and those Parts
are distinguished in natural and excrementitious Parts.
The excrementitous are threefold.
1. Phlegma or rather the Mercurial
Aquosity which in the first Production of it hath abounded and
exceeded Nature's Weight or a due Proportion as to the strength
of primordial or particular Seeds, which superfluous Portion and
that because of Nature's Weakness that it is the expelling Faculty
of Seeds or because of Archeus Weakness that moves the Seeds remains
confused with the rest yet but locally not as a substantial Part
of the Mixture, but as an Alien and accidentally aggregated and
congested into it, till at last the Archeus could expell them.
2. The Caput Mortum that is a superfluous Portion of terrestrial
Corporeity which likewise Nature could not expell or because it
is restrained on purpose for consecration of the Mixture, as to
be the Cortex.
3. A Sort of Saltness or Oilyness growing together of Both namely
the Phlegma and Caput Mortum, and hath the face of a stinkled
and poisonous Oil or malignant Sulphur.
But these excrementitious Parts
do not exist universally in all Mixed Bodies. For the mixture
of the first Classis have them not, described somewhere else,
I mean the principiating Principles; and so our universal Spirit
being considered by himself. The Reason of it, because that their
material Principles are most simple and pure, which of themselves
obey and follow the Motions of their Architect and Mover of Archeus,
so that nothing in the first Mixture either exceeds or is deficient.
For the Archeus easily can drive out what could exceed in the
Matter and contrary, can take to him again what is wanting; But
in the mixed Bodies of the second Classis that is in the three
Families there it happens otherwise. For their material Principles
are of greater composition and heavier to be moved and that more
efficaciously resisting the actions and Motions of the same Archeus.
From thence comes ill Temperament in the Mixture namely either
in Excess, or Defect in one or the other Quality. Therefore what
Moistness so ever be in the said Principles all is Mercurial and
useful, yea, necessary for any Production for in this Aquosity
resides the Root of Fermentability and of corporificable Faculty.
[Note in the margin reads: Mind this, page 131.]
And the infima mixture do admit likewise such excrementitious
Parts, though not all, neither do all of mixture equally, or always;
in some there are Faces without Phlegma as in imperfect Gold in
a Diamond. Hence it is that sometimes our Dissolvent doth dissolve
the entire substance of Gold though this happens but rarely. But
that is not our concern here. For it is needless to enquire for
such pure Gold, because our Spirit doth dissolve nothing and is
incorperated with Nothing but what is pure in the Metal. For this
solution happens not by the Power of extraneous corrosive Salts,
but by common, of homogeneous Things by Homogeneity of Principles
wherefore Heterogeneous Things will not be dissolved neither united.
[Note in the margin reads: Mind.]
Natural Parts of the Matter are twofold, necessary Ones and contigent.
The necessary Ones are they which essentially do concur to constitute
the necessary or physical [Totum], and separation of which necessarily
must destroy the mixtum neither being once separated, can be composed
or brought together again as to make up the same numerical and
specifical Body, as we have proved some where else, and have exemplifies
it. But these essential Parts are Matter and Form, with their
pre-ordinate or subordinate [connatural] and emminently comprehended
Parts social, or comparts, such as to all the Degrees of the Form,
are them which the Scholastics call essential which do conditionate
the form substantial, as for Example in each Animal, there is
Animality, Capacity, Substantiality and so on until the highest
Degree of transcendental Entity.
But as to the principiated Principles of our Matter the same are
contracted and determined into a certain species of the Mixtum,
which are called Salt, Sulphur, and Mercurius, and properly are
Parts of the Mixtum as we have insinuated somewhere else.
The contingent Parts are them which being separated do diminish
the substance of the Mixtum but do not destroy it, and are again
of twofold Order, namely homogeneous and heterogeneous. But here
you must understand Homogeneity in the vulgar Sense of Schools.
The homogeneous or simply quantitative Parts are these whose Essence
is the same with the Totum and whose separation doth only diminish
the Quantity of the substance, as fo Example are some Ounces taken
out of a Pound of Gold.
The heterogeneous or Integrals (which makes up the whole, are
such Substances which are of different Nature, Rationis) as well
in Respect of themselves as their Totum, whose total Separation
doth destroy the total Substance which never by any Means can
be repaired or restored again. An Abstraction of some of those
Parts doth break the Totum in Pieces, but doth not altogether
All three kinds of Parts do (though not equally) belong to all
mixta, as well as the infima of the three Families as to those
of the middle and also upper Region, namely to principiated Principles
not yet contracted to a certain Species. I said not egually for
in some doth exist a greater Quantity of Sulphur which therefore
have given them the Name of Sulphur by the Philosophers and that
in a large Signification, for the Denomination is always taken
from the major Part. Hence Gold in our Books is for the most Part
called Sulphur and is frequently by that Appellation of Sulphur
signified. In others abounds Mercury, and them have the Nomenclature
of Mercury. [Note in the margin reads: Mind this, Gold called
Sulphur in the Books.]
In others exceeds Salt and they are so called.
However in solid things and them which are very well concocted
Salt and Sulphur are all One and the same thing, or at least they
are joined so closely that they scarce or not at all can be separated.
Hence the Ancients (and so neither I in my Novum Lumen Chymicum)
seldom or never speak of the principle of Salt.
But when things are reduced into Vitriol, then indeed becomes
them the Name and Faculty of Salt, yet then also because of the
Diversity of Effects they have, now they are called Salts now
Brussels, 26th December, 1646.
In foresaid Oppositions the Authors
Aim either at the Substance itself, of both partial Matters, viz:
the Vitriol of Gold and our universal Spirit: or at the Subject
in which either Matter is comprehended and is drawn out viz: the
simple Mineral Gold and our Magnesia. If the Business concerns
the Substance itself, then we must consider either the excrementitious
or the natural Parts. If we regard the excrementitious, there
are none to be drawn of, because none are here excrementitious,
the One being of perfect Contemporation viz: the Vitriol of Gold,
and the other of perfect Simplicity viz: our universal Spirit.
But if we regard the natural Parts, their Separation is not to
be attempted, because you cannot do it, without the Destruction
of the Mixtum. And though it were possible otherwise to be done,
yet that Operation would signify nothing to the purpose and be
superfluous. For as it is said and proved, it is against Nature,
that such Parts can be brought again together to make up the same
numerical or specifical Body.
But if we regard either Subject and make Reflections upon either
Parts excrementitious, then there is somethings indeed to be taken
from them, namely from the Gold, the Terrestreity or the superfluous
Earth, which in the Production of it was confusedly mixt with
its Substance: and from the Magnesia also, in whose generation,
the universal Spirit meets such Earth as a Receiver and Conservator,
or as a vessel for the same, his Reception to the Use of Philosophers
knowing which Earth, because it is not, neither can be a natural
Part, of the said universal Spirit, it can in that Respect be
called its Excrement.
But if you would Reflect on the natural Parts, then in vain (as
is said before) their separation is attempted.
Now after the Disquisition and Election of the useful Parts the
Direction and Regimen of the Work by Art doth follow to obtain
the wished End, where the signs, viz: the changes or Diversity
of Colours happen.
In which Business, as in the rest, the Authors do seem vehemently
to be in opposition one to the Other.
Some, they will have but one Regimen.
Others four, viz: Solution, Ablution, Reduction, Fixation.
Others require but one continual Fire.
Others use several Degrees of Fire and manner of Heat.
Others will have but one Vessel.
Others make divers Distillations, Imbibitions.
Others will have but one Coction.
Others assign but two Colours principle White and Red.
Others three, Black, White and Red.
Others four, Black, Green, White and Red with divers intervening
Others will have the first colour to be Red, others the same to
All of these Differences we easily could reconcile and verify
everyone according to foregoing Discourses and upon the account
only of diversity of Respects being had, by these Men, but that
we should not be too [prolix], more than becomes our epistolar
Brevity, and besides that the Expositions and Explanations here
unto serving are obvious and to be found almost in all philosophical
Books, let it suffice then to delineate to you the course of the
whole Practice out of the first Chapter of Genesis, which for
a Directory I have given already.
Contemplate then, how the said Text of the first Chapter of Genesis
heving but touched in few proenual Lines the general Parts of
the corporeal World, namely Heaven and Earth, doth also teach,
how that the Beginning, Parts, Preparations for the Mageistry
are herein occupied and busy; that out of the Chaos (not the primordial
which only belong to the Creation and the Creator, but of the
second, but as to us the first natural Chaos, that is our water,
or universal Spirit which is involved in Darkness and tenebricious
Confusion in our Magnesia upon which doth hover the azothic Spirit
the created and corporeal Image of the uncreated Spirit) Heaven
be made and also the philosophical Earth, which is empty and vacuous,
congelating or growing together like Time and in a quell and Salt
in the Sea, which Earth at last is to be impregnated and made
fertile with Seed by action of the Azotic Spirit artificially
mix'd by help of external Fire. Further though the same Holy Spirit
descending from generals to specials doth admirably teach the
number, order and manner of all and each Arts Operations comprehended
in the Number, Order and Quantity of Works done in the creation
Work and first let the Light be divided from Darkness which are
upon the Face of the Philosophical Deep; and that the Day should
be separated from Night, for this Purpose that afterwards Darkness
and Light should follow one the other alternately in all succeeding
Operations. For in the whole Work Light and Darkness have interchangeably
2. How in the firmament is made in the midst of the waters and
waters are divided from waters, namely those which are under the
Firmament from these which are above it that is the thick from
the Subtil; and that those should be gathered into one Place that
the dry Land might appear.
3. How the said Earth should bud and bring forth green Herbs making
Seeds after its Kind, viz: not seeds now for the three Families
(for that doth not now concern us) but that proper Seed of the
same three Families wherewith this Earth was to be sown and so
made fruitful which frequent Irrigations of Homogeneous Dew.
4. How two great Luminaries were to be made the lesser viz: the
Elixir to the White, and the greater viz: the Elixir to the Red
and they should shine in the philosophical Heavens and illuminate
the Earth, be it metallic, vegetable, or animal: and that they
should be for Signs, Days, and Seasons, and Years, i.e. may they
work such Temperaments Perfection as that there may come out,
the external Signs and Marks according to the Diversity of Seasons
and Age. And lastly let them make an Incompatibility suiting to
the Capacity of a corporeal substance or Mobile.
5. How the said Elixirs are to be multiplied by the same water
(out of which they grew at first together, or did coagulate and
that they should be multiplied as well in virtue as bulk, by operations
in the same Order; and with the same Regimen they had before when
they were made fermented and specified, by the specific Seeds
of each Family of the inferior Mixta according to each Family's
6. Let the said multiplied Elixirs within animal Bodies be converted
to comfort them, by skillful exhibitions, the vegetable propagated
by conjunction and union of their Salts and lastly the Metals
and Minerals be transmuted by projection of Sulphurous Copulation.
And so much of the Matter and the modus agendis.
In the following Epistle we will treat of the terms.
Brussels, 31st December, 1646.
All what belongs to the Terms is
reduced to two Heads.
The first handles of Terms compound.
The second of the single Ones.
The compound Terms, are Descriptions whereby the Philosophers
do indicate as well the Matter as the modus agendi but chiefly
to demonstrate the Matter which are reducible to two Articles.
The first of these which concern the first Matter.
The second which the second Matter concerns.
The Descriptions belonging to the first Matter are divided in
univocal and analogical.
Analogical are by which the Gold is described in that State and
Condition as it serves and is subjected to philosophical Operations
and as it is in materia prima Lapis and hath given him several
Names taken from divers Bodies, which partly have the like Nature
with Gold, partly are of nature different.
Thus the living Sulphur of Gold is called Vitriolum in which sense
you must understand that famous saying of Vitriol, visitabis interiora
terra, rectificando, invenies occultum lapidem, veram Medicinam.
[Note in the margin reads: Here is the proper description of Vitriol
(symbol of Vitriol) so often spoken by the Philosophers.] And
truly our dissolved Gold or the solar Earth is a metallic Vitriol,
by some analogy and Proportion agreeing with all kind of Vitriols.
Of which sort of Descriptions there are innumerable in Authors,
frammed now by the similitude of Causes, now because of some Identity
of some Proprieties, now because of Conformity of Effects and
Actions; now because of some equality in Accidents.
The Authors call both Substances Gold. Item Coagulum, the Ferment,
the yellow of the Egg, philosophical Man and Univocal Descriptions
are which describe Gold by Name, or by such Qualities and Attributes
which are proper to him, and principally belong to him and which
do declare it whole Essence and only and precisely the same, such
are obvious in our and all other philosophers books. [Note in
the margin reads: Acting the part of the Mate.] The Meaning of
such Descriptions is easily found out, neither need such here
to be referred.
Brussels, 7th January, 1647.
The second Article of the Descriptions
of the second Matter is subdivided into three Particles.
The first contains the Descriptions belonging [to] the Matter
The second considers the Descriptions of the Subject, in which
the Matter lodges and from whence the same must be had.
The third hath Descriptions which are common to both viz: the
Substance of the Matter and to its subject.
The Descriptions of the first Particle are as the former Ones,
univocal or Analogical.
Analogical are many and are, per se, well enough understood to
be such being taken Notice of: if the same larger or more contract
there should be described the nature of our Matter, some of such
Descriptions are referred to the Traction of simple Terms, which
we leave here out for Brevity's sake. Univocal also are various,
such e.g. is that which doth affirm, that our Matter be every
where; that she exists in every corporeal Being; that she is before
all Men's eyes openly, yet cannot be seen; that she is vile and
always to be found upon the very Dunghill, yet is to be esteemed
for the hidden Food of Life.
All which how they should be understood and how they belong only
to the universal Spirit, hath been sufficiently insinuated in
the precedent Epistles.
The Descriptions of the second Particle are likewise analogical
Analogical are by which the subject of materia Secunda is called
Talem, terrafoliata, mel, Ros Mercury Philosophorum minera, Forea
and many such others.
Universal are very rare and in two Volumes we do find but 3 or
4 which are so clear and perspicuous that clearer ones cannot
be given though it might not appear so at first. The first is
by which it is asserted, that the Name of our Subject in all the
Parts of the known world, and most Languages as well now in use,
as absolute hath the same sound, or very little Difference. For
at least the first syllable is everywhere alike to sound also
in Effect of the Letter.
The other is by which it is said, that the Name of my Subject
is absolved with these letters and five characters. For the Name
really as well in Latin as Greek and Hebrew Tounge, is written
only with their Letters of divers species, and with two of the
same species with the Two of the precedent Ones.
The third is which says that the subject is prefigurated only
with one mystical character unto which five letters can be referred,
expressing the Word, be it, that either the Character Totaly be
divided and distributed into parts which are like unto the said
Characters or be made up and compounded out of the partial Characters
that are like to those five foresaid you can verify these Descriptions
according to your Pleasure, since you know the true Name.
But the Quality of the Subject and the Liquor drawn from it ought
rather to be considered, that the Opinion which in this Affair
we have given you might be confirmed in you and laid deep in your
Head. [Note in the margin reads: Read Epistle 51 attentively.]
The third Particle could give you many such like Descriptions,
as the others were, mix'd Ones and completing both viz: the Substance
of the Matter, and in it's subject, by which many Philosophers
do testify, that their Matter be neither vegetable, animal or
Mineral, neither that it is drawn out of vegetables, animals or
minerals; or that they should come from them. But this Discourse
would exceed the Term of an Epistle. Add to this that our Counsel
and Intention is not to scrape together all kind of Descriptions
and to take Pains to refer them to their proper Places but only
that we might give Lights to distinguish them of the Descriptions
of the manner of proceeding, we add nothing though our Division
might require it, because we have hereof sufficiently treated
in the latter Part of the Chapter and in that of the modus agendi.
Brussels, 12th January, 1647.
There remains now to treat of the
The whole Ambiguity then of simple Terms concerns Homonymy with
divers other Things and Operations, that is in the various application
of the same Word unto divers Things.
Or it concerns Polyonymy of the same Thing diversely affected
According to Homonymia, Spirit universal before he is received
into our Magnesia which we call its Subject hath the Nature of
Mercurius Philosophorum, not absolutely but only by analogy and
Proportion which it hath with the Planet Mercurius as far namely
as the same Planet being joined to all an every one of the rest
of the Planets takes upon him their Qualities and Nature. Even
so doth our Mercurius with inferior Planets namely the Metals
and all other mixt Bodies which cannot be said of the vulgar Mercurius
that he can do so. Which Mercury though he can join himself to
the Metals by amalgamations, yet he cannot take on him their Qualities
by any Kind of Artifice at least not so far as concerns the Multiplication
of the Seeds. [Note in the margin reads: Mind common Mercury.]
In like manner the same our Spirit, is called by the same name
of Mercury while he yet resides in the Magnesia; [Note in the
margin reads: Take notice.] Item as soon as he is drawn out of
the same, or when reviving in the Philosophical Egg after corruption,
he is intimately incorporated and infused into Gold and identified
with the same. But what at present and how affected should be
understood since that Term is so various in many Passages, that
you can judge when you consider, what Part of our Art you have
before you, theoretical or Practical and accordingly you must
pass your Judgement. The same thing happens to Gold which is called
a Ferment as well in the Philosophical Egg as in the State of
the perfect Lapis and likewise in the act of Projection.
According to the Polyonymia the foresaid Mercurius is according
to the Diversity of his State he is in, and according to its operations
now called Antimony, namely then when he in the foresaid Solution
doth purge the Gold and maked it more subtil, in a manner as common
Antimony doth do it, in common Way though this our Purgation is
much nobler and powerfull.
Then he is called Lead and that in the philosophical Egg according
to the Degree of the metallic Form, he hath assumed or rather
according to the symbolical Temperament which he hath now with
Then he is called the Wife, because it receives the Seed of the
Gold. [Note in the margin reads: Mind this much.] Then Magnesia
from Magic, because he draws to him the specific Seed of Gold
like as with a magnetical Virtue. Then Chalybus, because like
the Magnet doth draw the Steel, so the said Gold Seed doth draw
the said Mercury.
Item it hath the Name of Sulphur, Salt and Ferment namely in the
confection of the Magistry, or in its Multiplication. And at divers
other Times and in divers other Operations. He is called Sulphur
namely when it changes its cold temper in its central Fire and
Heat takes Dominion. It is called also Salt when the Dyness of
the Fire and Earth do stave and stand in Balance with Humidity,
one subject to the others Victory and when the Substance is come
to such a Consistency that without any Detriment the same can
be dissolved in Water or Fire, but in a serene Air can be hardened,
like Earth or Salt.
Lastly the said Spirit is called Ferment, in that State when he
himself being coagulated, can also coagulate another Substance
and make the same like himself and this as well in the confection
of the magistery as in the multiplication of the same.
The same is with the Gold which after it is dissolved, is by Proportion
called Vitriol and in the Corruption of it is called the Ravens
Let this suffice for you, and do not desire more, except that
when perhaps God and Time and your Business will give you leave
to lay hand on the Work, I as I have done now might lead you;
that you may prosperously finish it, and that notwithstanding
you many Invocations.
18th January, 1647.