AN INSTRUCTION AND PROOF AGAINST ALL THOSE WHO FALSELY PERSUADE AND PROPOSE BOTH TO THEMSELVES AND TO OTHERS TO PREPARE FOR THEM IN A SHORT SPACE OF TIME AN AURUM POTABILE WITHOUT THE PROCESS AND TINCTURE OF THE UNIVERSALL PHILOSOPHICALL STONE
THE PREFACE TO THE READER
Since the very thing itself does speak, that in the extreme old age of this Work and most calamitous difficult Times, the most precious divine gift of the Spagyrick Art, and of the most true universall Medicine of the adept Philosophy, is strongly and eagerly supprest by the enemy of Truth, by the hatred, envy, reproaches and contempt of his emissarys: and That in this Medicine alone that great Composition, namely the Vertues and powers of the superiour and inferiour Spheres are found; and That it comprehends in it self all the different qualitys of all the Elements under one single Cabalistick number, and That in the Cure of all Diseases it obtains the Victory over all other remedys to the praise and glory of God its Creatour; out of which Medicine the true, pure, precious and most true purple-cloathed Aurum Potabile does by a new Essence of Regeneration, calld by the Ancients Ambrosia and Nectar, drain its originall; I iudged it my duty for the sake of the true Candidates of Medicine, and for the good of our most Famous Country, in which the adept Philosophy whereby the secrete of Nature are sought after, did flourish heretofore, and is none again by those who search out divine and humane things fetcht up out of the profundity of the Abyss and lowest retiring Place of Philosophy, to publish some Defence that the abuse and the great Difference between the vulgar Aurum Potabile, and the regenerated Gold of the Philosophers, may be fundamentally and faithfully, as much indeed as it is lawfull to reveal out of the hidden mysterys of Nature, well understand and acknowledge: to the increasing of the divine glory and praise, and to the profit of the modern and the future lovers of Truth, and Christian exhortation of them, that they may direct their Studys and their Labours thither, that they contain themselvs within the Bounds of Nature, employ themselves and proceed in that, without which no good success is to be hoped for, nor is there any possibility of finding the secrets of Nature, and attaining at the Desired End. Let them chiefly take this warning to themselvs, who endeavour out of paper receits and even the doubtfull impostures of Idiots to compile this highest Essence of Nature. Farwell.
THE FIRST CHAPTER: OF THE CHOICE OF THE GOLD
It appears out of the Adept Philosophy, and the treasure of nature, that there is in the World Gold of a threefold kind. The first Astrall. The second Elementall, The third metallick. The most famous Paracelsus in his little Book of vexations is also of the same opinion saying: there is a threefold Gold, of the firmament, of the Elements, and of metalls. The Golden Fleece says: that the substance of Gold is threefold: Simple, compounded, and decompounded / or twice compounded. to which opinion others also subscribe.
But since none of them makes particular mention which of the aforesaid is the best and fittest out of which to prepare the Aurum Potabile of the Physitians; this scruple, before we proceed any further, may be taken away, it is to be known, that if we will undertake the process of the preparation in this matter, we ought first to use all our endeavour to learn under what matter and form Gold is to be taken in it metallick Nature, before we would render it medicinall and potable; But since it is testifyd by the experience of all Philosophers, that no potable Medicine can be made out of Gold, unless the Body be reduct into the first matter and be made spirituall: But that this reduction cannot be made, unless the first Principles of Gold be perfectly ready at hand in such an operation. (For where these are wanting, all the rest are false and imperfect, whence Petrus Bonus says, Where the true Principles are wanting, the progress and generation of them is of necessity deficient, which ought to arise out of true principles.) And therefore no other mediums can be brought for such an effect than Philosophicall Mercury and embrionated Sulphur, is a Phenomenon well experienc’t in these by manuall operation, who can extract them well, and rightly clense them through the Philosophicall sive separate the pure from the impure, to him instructed by this experience, which is the Mother of Knowledge, his Eys shall then be opend, and his veil of ignorance and obscurity shall be chang’d, his Eys being witnesses, into light, and a clearness of understanding.
By this medium reveald by few of our predecessours an Artist of a ready wit and studious of the Sophick labour, shall, by the help of the Divine Grace, have a judgement and infallible Knowledge, which gold of the three aforesaid is fitting for him for the preparation of Aurum potabile, and is the most useful: and so he will stay within the Bounds of Nature and exercize himself in them, and shall with a chearful Mind have happy success to obtain the greater Secrets of Nature.
THE SECOND CHAPTER
The true subject being therefore found, or the true Roots of Aurum potabile, which may easily be known out of the precedent discourse, and make you certain of it, that for the preparation and solution of Aurum potabile, the body ought not to be used, but the first Essence [or being] of gold (which contains the true medicinall Element of fire overcoming and penetrating all things) that the primordiall Essences and vertues of Sol may with the colour and smell show them selvs and be manifested in the Operation, then the Artist may joyfully go on, and in the name of God apply his labour to the Philosophicall Solution, relying on acertain hope, that he shall be enriched with a thousandfold fruit of his labours and expenses. Whom we brotherly admonish; that he suffer not himself to be frighted away from this Christian and laudable intention, undertaken for the glory of God and the comfort of the miserable, by reason of any impediment, or some Errour committed in the first entrance, but that he prosecute the Work begun, with dayly prayers and constant Labour, and that he give place to the advices of divine Plato, who says; the divine assistance is to be beggd in the smallest things, and much more in the greatest and most valuable Secrets of things.
THE 3RD CHAPTER: OF NECESSITY OF TRUE SOLUTION
The Solution of Gold is not undeservedly esteemd among the Philosophers as the highest secret of the Spagyrick Art, because there is nothing more difficult in the Sophick Art than proportionably to reduce the fixt with the volatile into solution and sublimation, which no man ever shall by himself onely, by study or reading the Philosophers attain unto, unless he shall find it out by his own manuall operations, and the belief of manifold Experience by Ey-sight. But that the solvent, or Philosophicall potentiall Key may perform its Duty with advantage, and that allso the Agent and Patient with their penetrant and tingent aurifying Spirit may convert themselvs into a flowing and potable Nature, it is in avoidably necessary that the Gates of the four Elements be unanimously opend, and yield out of themselvs their hidden qualitys, their virgin vertue by the destruction of the Philosophicall Earth. In this universall Solution this is to be minded that by a convenient degree of heat, the Solvent and Essence, as in their coporality and substance made and doe remain one individuall thing.
Most dear Artists out of a singular Affection; I have at once, plainly, purely and by it self shown you some thing, which if you shall well consider in the fear of the Lord, you will in this short discourse perceive a more ample explication of the Philosophicall mysterys, than is deliverd in many other Books.
This operation of Solution may be done in a short Time, by him who knows the true Method of it. But as to their process who hunt after particulars, there is no use of the Solution of Gold, which can be profitable either to Chymist, or a Physician in his faculty. For though there be mention made among the Philosophers that the solution of Gold ought to be made by a corrosive, without which no effect is to be hoped for, yet this Solution is not to be understood of metallick Gold. The reason is this. Because it is impossible so to dispose Gold by a corrosive, or by volability to reduce it into into its first matter, that it may separately yield out of itself its Mercury, Sulphur and Salt. For Nature in the composition of its body has bestowd all her labour, that is, has so tyd together the four Elements in due weights and measure, that it can be destroyed by no corrosive, nor burnt up with fire; which the melter in the mine, and he who tests it for money are not ignorant of. For if Gold could be a vulgar Art, or by this or that addition be dissolvd and reduct to its first being, it could be allso regenerated anew, and so would no more be fixt and constant, nor would it be able by reason of its volability, to abide, a Tryall.
Mercury has the chief place in the generation of Metalls, whence Nature must make use of her whole force before she brings it in a very long space of Time and years from its volubility to fixation. But after it is overcome and brought into the last matter, that is, that it has enterd from the minerall into a metallick State it can never more goe back nor return into its Spirituality, or its former simple Nature, as butter and cheese can by no means be any more converted into milk and cream. [A note (in a slightly different but contemporary hand) in the margin reads: For in the composition of a metall, the [Mercury] with its sulphur and salt is so essentially mixt, that it must remain in its state, and can be of no use to Physician or an Artist.] But by the Tincture prepared onely to the white, Gold may better put of all its metallick Nature, In which reduction it has been once dissolvd in the Tincture aforesaid, it never any more arises again in any tryall, nor returns to its metallick Nature.
Much therefore consists in that, that one well know the Philosophicall corrosive, its office and Operation, and which is more, out of which thing it ought to be prepar’d. On which account I can doe a good Office to the genuine artists, if I should show the true Path, by which an entrance is open to them to the Treasure of Nature, But the World’s ingratitude and the mighty command of the Philosophers forbid this; least on this occasion the unworthy allso be made partakers of so great and so precious a Pearl. Yet I will nevertheless communicate to the Candidates, who by the instinct of Nature come search for these Secrets, to the Glory and praise of God, a particular instruction about this thing, which among other Authours is not by it self extant so clearly and fundamentally.
THE 4TH CHAPTER: OF THE DISSOLVING MATTER OR WATER
Because in what went before mention as made of a matter wherewith the Philosophicall solution is possible to be made, we will now treat something more copiously of the matter out of which this corrosive ought to be prepared wherein at this day many mistake.
Tis provd by naturall use and experience, that a grain of wheat in its generative and multiplicative essence is no way dissolv’d, but in the externall native humid of the Earth out of which it was bred. Into which if it be cast its body is by a subsequent putrefaction dissolv’d, and its intrinsecall humid with its dormant powers of multiplication is excited into generation, and produced into Act.
Whence it may be easily collected, that evrything is er willingly united with that and reioyces in its company which has some affinity with its nature or quality, while the Grain of its own accord shuts and opens itself, and suffers an internall Anatomy of it self and shows in it self and not in another all its flowers, colours and smells, vertues and essences By which Example or parable we are put in mind in this Solution of Aurum potabile, that no species of vegetables can l be dissolv’d by mineralls, nor any species of mineralls be dissolvd by vegetables, but that metalls and mineralls must be immediately again broken and dissolv’d by metallick and minerall species of their own kind. Many have been in this Labyrinth many years, who had no knowledge of radicall moysture, without which it is impossible to obtain the secret mysterys, or to extract the transparent fifth Essence of Gold, or to get any medicinall remedy. For like rejoyces in its like. Here there fore the reasons and approved testimonies of the Philosophers ought to take place with you when they say that no corrosive or water does dissolve the metallick species, besides that which is permanent in every tryall, with the matter and the form, in species and form according to its externall and internall Essence.
Lully in his Testament confirms this, when folio 94, he says, That all dissolver metall stands in need of a friendly entertainment, that it be of its own proper nature in which it be born and multiply’d. Rupescissa says. That no water dissolvs metalls by a true reduction, but that which remains in the congelations. Albertus allso mentions this in the 8th Chapter of his treatise. That above all things you must labour to make waters which have in themselvs the different qualitys of the Elements in vertue, by which they may excite and coagulate that which they would transmute, and in [or by] which the dissolved metalls themselvs may be congeald.
Augurell in book the 1st says, Dissolve Gold in its own water, for with this water the ancients heretofore brought the ship into the haven. A certain Cabalisticall Philosopher says, that there is but one thing in the whole World, which dissolvs Gold. Paracelsus allso of long life concerning the Elixir. Dissolve Gold, together with the substance [Note written over the line: or with one substance], the corrosive of Gold, and that so long till it be made the same with the corrosive.
Others write that a certain particular humidity is by manuall Operation to be sought in the mineralls, which does without any force dissolve Gold. Walburg, Augurell, Isaack Holland,and so many others affirm that no permanent Tincture of Sol, nor aurum potabile can be prepard without Spirit of Wine. This dissolving Water has from diverse Authours received diverse names, which are, Mercuriall Water, the Lunar spirit of Mercury, minerall water, aqua fortis, aqua Regis, vinergar of the Philosophers, minerall Mercury, vegetable Salt, Spirit of Wine. This variety of names ought not to trouble the Artists and the Students of Truth.
Now because in the beginning of this fourth chapter I promist you to say something (which yet hardly becoms me) out of what matter, this corrosive or dissolving water is to be prepar’d, this I faithfully discover to you, that it must be drawn up nigh the source of Gold, for where the source shows itself, there this water is for the most part not farr distant. Esteem therefore this discovery, and be assured, that you will find the like description with very few Authours, by which the Gate [The word door has been written above ‘Gate’] is open to you, that you may not consume so many years in the inextricable Alchymisticall Labyrinth, as it has hapned to me and others.
This source of Gold, and those which are a kin to it, you need not seek in India, for the most mercifull God has furnisht our Germany abundantly with Gold-mines and oars of Gold, that you may find in it all things that are necessary for this matter. In the mean time mind and see this, that the Rod of a minerall Nature be naturally and artificially for a discovery for you, for this means you will discern the footsteps and the tokens of the mines of metallick and elementall Gold, which will not deceive you. As to what belongs to the Astrall Gold of which we spoke above that is above us, and suits not with the Artists Operation.
Hitherto I have in short explaind to you an instruction, by what way and means you must arrive at the knowledge of the true preparation of the true Philosophicall aurum potabile, and have sincerely proposd the plainest Truth pickt out of the hidden writings of Authours, and obscure enigmas, to avoid vain Costs, to afford assistance to my poor neighbour, and celebrate God’s glory with thanks-giving.
For the honour and Truth of the ancient Spagyricks, and never enough praised Chymicall Art is not onely defended and confirm’d by the writings of diverse Authours, but rather is establisht by experience arising out of the Treasury of the four Elements, in which the fifth being, and the Authours generall of the most Generall hath command. By this way its knowledge is attaind unto, and the adept Philosophy and the Alchymicall Wisdome of the work is renewd, and the knowledge of the Art (though the Books were all burnt, as it was done in Ægypt in the time of Caesar Diocletian) by Gods grace remains eternally incombustible and breeds out of it self new Books and new Philosophers: for the most wise God, from whom is every good gift and every perfect good, is the first Authour of this Science, who created it in its first principles, and taught and ordaind the practict of its preparation. This Doctour and this School doe remain forever, to bee conquerd or brought under by no power, to whose holy majesty let there be praise and honour for all eternity. Amen.
THE 5TH CHAPTER: OF TURNING THE PHILOSOPHICALL CORROSIVE INTO SWEETNESS BY RECTIFICATION
From the precedent discourse one studious of Truth may easily perceive that an aurum potabile is impossible without the process of the preparation of the matter or the universall solvent, and that the use of this corossive, and the application of it, namely the Art to compound the universall Tincture is highly necessary, because the chief Philosophers doe say in generall, that ’tis incredible and impossible to draw out of Sol a fifth Essence of Gold without a corrosive, of which Paracelsus in his Archidoxes makes further mention, and in the Book of long Life, dares say the corossive is more excellent than Gold considered by it self.
But by what means this corossive, in this operation of Aurum potabile, may, without any separation of the dissolvent from the dissolved, be converted into the higest sweetness, so that Gold be made fluxible and potable, here Plato commands me to be quick: but though I have in the foregoing instruction reveald more than the Law of the Philosophers I ought, yet for the sake of the pious naturall Artists, who have not yet tasted of the Cup of perdition, I will still add somewhat worth taking notice of. Namely that the Artist expert in chymicall Operation must take care of this, how to besiege and take the most strong Castle the Essence of the four Elements, with the Governour inhabiting, and lead the Governour captive, which scarcely or very hardly will succeed in the fourth or fifth Attack.
The Hero desiring this fight and triumph ought to be furnisht with the Sword of the Spirit, and the helmet of salvation, because the Enemy of Truth does by his accomplices act with all his endeavour, that not one out of a thousand may become a Conquerour and enjoy the fruit of his intention. But you unaffrighted and couragious prepare for the sixt, seventh,and tenth onset, andfight undantedly, strongly and stoutly so long till the Captain of the Seavn Planets, and their Essence, by ascending and descending the Ladders and often going out and in, be tired, and at last forced to yield. This if you shall doe, you shall not onely victoriously have the Castle of many Starrs, with their incorporated Captain surrendered to you, but you shall also take and possess the best and finest Citty of the whole Province in the brightness of its transparency, and in its riches. These are the true spoils which are as a gratefull and plentifull reward given to all the legitimate Sons of Learning by the four Elements regenerated by the mediation of this rectification and purgation. For which, praises, honour and glory and eternall thanks are to be paid to the Lord of Lords, and the King of Kings, the Creatour of heav’n and Earth, by whose blessing and triumph of so strong and dangerous to fight is got.
This plain and true German discourse and this parabolicall Style ought not to displease you, for I am not a crabbed Sophister, nor one of the Heard of the high learned men. My description is not adorn’d with intricate and obscure Speeches which make nothing to the business. For Truth is plain and needs no Veil. If you learn not here the Kernell and Center of the adept Philosophy, there’s an end of you. For in this small Treatise the saying of the Divine Word pronounct by the Angel in Chapter 8th of Esdras, is verifyd, and the generation and rise as well of Elementall as of metallick Gold is demonstrated. [N.B. The Biblical reference is probably II Esdras 8: 2.”I will tell thee a similitude, Esdras. As when thou askest the earth, it shall say unto thee, that it giveth much mould whereof earthen vessels are made, but little dust that cometh of even so is the course of this present world.”] In this Kernell you will find the true subject of the Aurum potabile, in which accordding to Paracelsus you must acquiess, who in the 4th Book of Surgery, says. In this thing nothing else is to be believd than what is demonstrated for us out of the first matter. And Geber, That Aurum potabile cannot be made, but by the fiery Nature of its fifth Essence.
But let no man persuade himself that he shall, according to this short description of the Process, carelessly make Aurum potabile, as those who undertake particulars, and others imagine to themselvs: for leasure time is reqird here, before the principles of Bodys and the propertys of Spirits be well perfected, which things you must with great patience and prudence pluck out of the hidden intrinsecall with a great deal of combat and strife.
Though it be possible to take these principles and propertys more perfectly and better out of the first Essence [or being] than out of its metall, yet they require a great manuall management, by which they should be so orderd that the generative vertue of their Principles be not destroyd and driven away by a disagreeable degree of fire.
Hence appears the truth of the sayings of Paracelsus and others that a Philosopher is made out of a Physician and not on the contrary: for study in this Chymicall faculty without labour and experience makes Philosophy of it self alone, to halt: for manuall Operation makes the imagination of attaining at higher things, more ingenious than Philosophy considered by it self, which is only busied in letters and writings, when this, that is, Practicall Philosophy shows to your Eysight Nature’s mysterys by deeds and works. Whence it happens, that an Artist is often forct to stand still many years, and against his will deferr the further progress of his Intention, by reason of the mighty difficulty in finding so artificially a graduated fire. If in this case Nature could observe a measure or degree, as it is possible for an experienct Son of this Doctrine to doe, what noble effects doe you think she might produce out of her principles? But because for three reasons she cannot perform what with Gods assistance the Naturall Philosopher does with them we deservedly say, that where Nature ends there the Artist begins. For truely Nature begins her Principles, but delivers them to the Artists with imperfection and crudity, because she knows not how to exalt them to a higher degree: the first Reason is this: Because she cannot observe the degrees of fire as to diminishing and encreasing, the second that she cannot separate the pure from the impure. The third is because she wants the instruments or vessels wherein the esentiall preparation ought to be made. Hence ’tis that the principles of Nature may by Art and Science be transferrd with a greater profit and vertue of the Principles, out of a metallick substance into medicinall Essences, which is denyd by Nature. On the other hand Art cannot out of the naturall principles make mineralls and metalls, which is possible to Nature.
Finally we say that all these are written for the sake of the ingenuous Artists, who to Gods honour and glory search for these mysterys and secrets of Nature, that evry Student of the true Medicine may have this intention, that he may for the faithfull discharge of his calling, draw the medicine and his remedys out of the very pure Fountains of Nature, for that end created and ordained by the most merciful God, as was allso said above.
The money-lovers indeed, or those who gape after riches, heretofore and even unto this day, having been desirous to convert this Divine Gift to their own gain, have brought themselvs and allso this gift into great contempt and scorn, by turning it into Imposture and fraud, which they could not at first sight discover. But the mercifull God, who is truth it self, will at length assist the pious Artists who want help,and have done all their endeavours, and long searcht after plain ancient Truth: that a separation may be made of Truth from falsehood, that Light may to the glory of his holy Name shine out of Darkness, and the true may be truly discernd from the false. Which is much to be wisht; that this universall Medicine were as much in use as the inferiour medicines. And to the end God is to be prayd unto, if it be his will by reason of the great necessity of these Times: for the manifold Eclipses of the Sun are by magicall interpretation said to bring mighty Pestilences; which it is to be feard from year to year, will by reason of our Sins, be more frequent. This is the Cause why the Solar Medicine, or fifth Essence of Sol was so mightily and seriosly sought for by our Predecessors, and had in great honour and so much esteemed, because it is before all other essences, nearest by kindred to the first most perfect Essence, and the single Cabalistick Number. Hence the first Philosopher was by the most auncient and grave men called Wisdome, because by it an ancient is made to the highest knowledge of incorporeall and spirituall things. In which also the Understanding employs its universall and strongest forces. Whoever therefore can draw that Metaphysicall Chaos out of its darksome power into a heminous Art, they say he has obtaind a happy accomplishment of his understanding. But experience it self and use does teach in how great floods and difficultys of the World Mans Time and understanding is lost in these ingenious Actions, before it can draw forth and stirr up that Platonicall Idea out of obscurity.
I had a mind here to insert this Philosophy of the Ancients to the end that he, who endeavours to frame the Process of this Aurum potabile, should first well consider it, and know that it is not the Work of common Labour, as some dare rashly affirm that they can prepare it quickly; for it is necessary that the four Elements deliver this work into our hands, and since the Elements seem to be generated, it is further to be inquir’d and considerd, whence they are generated, and in what those subjects are to be still preserv’d under one form and species. Hence a certain most learned Authour writes, that it contains in it self two operations. The first of which is the preparation of the Species’s from which it is got. The other is the preservation of them by an Astrall Salt, which keeps the Cloak or Garments of Honour, and unites them with the bond of love, that it may be made liquid and potable,and be applyd to other uses.
So therefore I have in short supplyd you with a copious instruction, what an Aurum potabile, or its potability does contain in itself, and whence it derives. its rise, not according to the opinion of ignorants who deceive themselvs and others, and dare affirm that they can make metallicall Gold potable and medicinall, when nevertheless they know nothing, and are totally inexperienct in the Philosophical Process and the management of the Work of Wisdome, and ignorant in what state of Nature and foundation the substance of Gold ought to be placed before it suffers it self to be reduct to a potability, least it take any damage in the Solution in its Mercury, Sulphur and Salt, or be adulterated and changd by the addition of a forrein thing.
Remember therefore the Words of Petrus Bonus, that this liquefaction or potability of Gold requires a long and laborious experience. Therefore goe about nothing here but what can be done with the possibility of nature, and try nothing which is contrary to it, if you do this you shall arrive at the middle which is between the last and the first. For by this means you will remain within the bounds and degrees of Nature, out of which that divine, Increase and Multiply, will arise. For Nature, because God in the first Creation pronounc’t these Words, is therefore bound to observe her Course, and contain her self within such limits, without which no essences, flowers or colours of God can be obtaind in their potability, oyliness or liquidity.
For Nature is true with her principles in the progress of her maturation and preparation. But seldome a good Artist in the management thereof. Hence are those tears. And therefore that you may, in the predestinated remaining State of Nature draw the quadrangle of the universall into the roundness and point of the Circle, one invincible Truth will beget another, to the illustration of the divine Glory; which I heartily pray may be for your good and succeed well by the blessing of the divine Grace.