CENTRUM NATURAE CONCENTRATUM
THE SALT OF NATURE REGENERATED
There is no Subject I believe to be found in the World, which hath so much exercised the Pens of so many Men, for which so much labour is lost, which by so many ways is sought after, as that which they improperly call the Philosophers Stone. Many have found deficiency of Wit, and want of Money, but the wish’d for end very few attain unto: Because those who have sought this Art, being swayed by a greater desire after Riches than Wisdome, it is but just they should see the perverse fruits of their vain desires. For seeing the root of all evil is the lust after Honour and Money, it is necessary that unlucky and unhappy effects should spring from thence.
O ye vainly labouring Alchymists! how well had it been for you to have known your own peace and spend your time in better speculati∣ons and operations! Desist from such a labour, and take care for that which is incumbent on you, to supply your Wife and Family with necessaries for the Body. You are not called to the Priesthood of Nature, you have not received the talent that is necessary for this Office, you ought to be content with food and rayment; you brought nothing into the world, you will carry nothing out; naked came you in, na∣ked will you go out, and in naked∣ness expect your reward.
What do you think the Lord will say to that Servant, to whom with others he committed the care of his Houshold, and culture of his Land that he should gather in the Fruits of the Field, and take care to lay them up in his Store-houses: If he forgetting his Office, will with the other Servants take upon him the care of the Sheep, do not you think he shall receive of his Lord stripes for a reward? O unfaithfull and wicked negligence of his family-bu∣siness!
Whosoever thou art, Prince, Lord, Priest, Lawyer, Physician, Tradesman, Labourer, Citizen, Ploughman, will it not be truly said, thou hast not performed thy Office, if omitting of it, thou betake thy self to another business, by which thou thinkest thou canst do greater service to God and thy Neighbour, and forgettest thy own business, by spending thy time and labour in vain chymical operations? Dost thou think it a sufficient excuse of thy perverse labour, if thou say the Subjects of thy Kingdom are too heavily oppressed with taxes, that many Countries lie wasle? we must connive at much knavery, that the Revenues in our Exchequer be great enough to support the magni∣sicence and state of the Court. Yea, they say, if we learn the Gold-ma∣king Art, all things will be free, all things trim and fair. Love and Righteousness will rule. The Priest promiseth, if he knew this Art, to perform Religious worship without hire: The Lawyer will no more foment brawling contention, but seek peace and justice gratis: The Physician will cure the sick without Money: The Tradesman, Labourer and Ploughman will live at ease, and labour no more having found this treasure, nor will they be any more sollicitous in the outward care of their domestick affairs; but, as they say, will begin to serve God with a peacefull mind.
But this I would not have you ignorant of, that every Order of the State is appointed by God. The Prince to rule his Subjects, and if he be a Christian indeed, whose Name he professes, only to doe the will of his Heavenly King, his Subjects will follow him in the fear of God in Humility, Love, Obedience, and Righteousness will reign. The blessing of the Lord will be upon those that inhabit the City, and on those that dwell in the Countrey: Blessed shall they be coming in, blessed going out. The Lord will be an enemy to their enemies, and will overthrow those that rise up against them. Fountains shall be in the Fields, and new Wine and Corn shall not fail. Their Heaven shall distill down the dew, and the Mountains shall afford abundance of Air and there will be no need to seek after the Gold-making Stone of the Sophy; but superfluous and useless are so great costs, calamities and sollicitudes, mixt and aggrevated with the tediousness of so great labour. The Food and Rayment which the Preachers of the Word require, let them expect it from their hearers. None will deny to the Lawyer his due reward, if with sincerity he perform his Office. For Tradesmen, Citizens, and Plough∣men, it is better to work than be idle, from whence if it should so come to pass, doubtless the Commonwealth would receive the grea∣test detriment, as also the things belonging to the ground.
The Lord hath instructed Man to seek his Bread in his sweat, and during the time of his life, to till the Ground, till we return to the Earth from whence we were ex∣tracted. Paul served both God and fervently in preaching the Gospel, yet nevertheless he wrought with his hands to get his Bread.
Idleness is the Mother and source of all vice; to put a Sickle to ano∣ther man▪s Corn is contrary to equi∣ty and the divine precept.
If thou hadst the possession of the Stone of the Wise men, it is to be feared thou wouldst be too fat and luxurious. Thou mavest easily forget thy Creator, and lightly esteem the Rock of thy Salvation. Therefore it is better to abide at home, and in simplicity to maintain thy self, to sear God, and obey his Commands. Be thou rich or poor that will not help thee. To the good all things shall work together for good; mind thy duty faithfully with servent desire, and learn by the example of other men, who having been busied in strange occupations, have yielded their name and substance to lamentable tragedies.
Every one may live of his own Revenue. If he desire to serve God, his Neighbour and himself, he will find work enough, and will have no leisure for vain chymical labours, if he diligently study to observe these three duties, with his whole heart, soul, and all his might, and vali∣antly and strenuously to fight with the Flesh, the Devil and the World. Make trial of this for once in divine power, with thy whole heart earnestly incline to piety, and whatsoever thou wouldest be done unto, do thou to others; love those that hate thee, bless those that curse thee, and do good to those that seek thy life; hate thy flesh, and all those things thy flesh delights in; bridle the unruly motions of thy mind, forcibly compell and gather them together, from the tumultuous and wide spreading inquietude of the circumference into the quiet and calm centre of thy mind, then shalt thou hear in thy soul a sweet tranquillity and pleasant whispering, which will not permit thee any more to precipitate into that acute and sinfull fire, from the holy and pleasing light. It will forbid and drive thee from pride, self-love, and desire of Gold, and will command thee always to be content in humility. After this change thou wilt be plainly another Man, and nothing will grieve thee more, than the time thou hast spent in ambition, covetousness of Gold, and voluptuousness. Then the wonderfull works of God, and the creatures always before thine Eyes will be admired, and thou wilt say, O Lord, I rejoyce in the works of thy hands; in thee I very well see Omnipotence, and Divine Wisdome, neither is there any need to the understanding of these incomprehensible things, to desire to know and search out the great mystery of the Philosophers.
Mind what I now propound to you: Which is most difficult to apprehend? either this, that of the base Metals, Lead, Tin, Copper, Iron, Argent Vive, may be made a Metal more excellent than Gold? or this, that of one Grass, or Herb, or Fruit, may be made Milk, Blood, Flesh, Bones, Hides, Skin, Hair, Bristles, Salt, Oyl, Sour, Sweet, Resin, Dung, Wine, Sand and Gravel, Bladder and Reins, with so many Juices and Moistures; I say, whether this is not a more excellent miracle of Nature, that of this Herb and Grass may be made an Animal Seed, out of which a Man, or other Brute, without addition of any other thing at length proceedeth, than that of the base Metals, Gold is generated. That I say much more deserves admiration than this: Be∣cause the transmutation of the base Metals into better, abideth and hath its procession in one and the same scale of Nature, in the same Metal∣line Kingdom. But Bread, and Grass, on which the Animal Creatures feed, is by the Salt of Nature trans∣muted into very many and various sorts of materials in them.
Here is a great and hidden mystery of Nature, which whosoever understandeth, does penetrate into the most intimate centre of Nature, without impediment, and may, by the divine assistance, have and enjoy it.
But because the growth of Animals, increase of weight, and transmutation of Grass, and Bread into an Animal is a vulgar rustick Science, and perspicuous to all men, the more learned mind it not, but seek novelties, though of less value and unworthy of their consideration.
If thou canst, my Friend, make that spirit familiar to thee, which by its energy in the Animal Creatures maketh all things that enter into them to live an animal life; what and how great an effect, dost thou think, that spirit will produce if thou joyn it for the Agent to a metalline nature? There have been many industrious searchers of Nature who have attempted this, but have not found the end they longed for.
Therefore my Friends, first learn those things that are obvious to your eyes, before you set your mind to find the causes of things remote, immerst in profound darkness, and hid in the depth of the earth. It is sufficient for you to know God and your selves, seek with joy true sincere and holy love: It is enough, if by this means you have gained for your selves treasures in Heaven, which neither moth nor rust can consume, and in which there is no fear of thieves.
Leave off from vain chymical labours, and bridle your excessive de∣sire after the Philosophers Stone: your labour and cost will daily increase, your hopes will decrease: of a thousand seekers there will be hardly one Adept. Thou Reader, whether thou wilt be one of these, a possessor of so great a good, wilt very much doubt, if right reason bear any great sway in thee. The most wise and subtle in this way have failed, and with all their wise∣dom have not obtained their end.
Therefore spend thy time after the eternal blessed life, because thou art not certain whether this day thy soul shall not be taken from thee. Look whether thou canst give a good account of thy life here. Con∣sider whether thy soul has acted well in the house of thy body? whe∣ther it has not too often provoked it by inordinate motion? whether it does not yet burn, and is inflamed in the fire; void of peace, wherein is trembling, fear and hor∣ror; darkness, cold and misery; stirred up by the fierce inordinate motions of the mind? whether the Salt of thy Soul has not lost its savour, be not made acid and corrosive by such an impetuous heat? what kind of savour will those ex∣halations, and bitter exits of thy heart yield to the blessed and sweet palate of God Almighty? will not the Holy God spue such a soul out of his mouth?
O my Friends, you have not one moment of your life secure from death; labour ye and find your selves, and transmute your own souls, which have attracted the hardness, coldness and impurity of Lead, the austerity, bitterness and ardent nature of Copper, and inconstancy of Argent Vive, and by the Divine Spirit render them peacefull and better: Because this Spirit, like the Spirit of the Air before your mouth, is always hovering before your souls, and continually moving it self, which with a gentle and pleasant whisper∣ing greatly desires to be attracted by your will.
O Man draw in this Spirit; for this will warm thee, yea even melt thee by its holy motions, and as in an open melting fire, will tinge thy soul with love and wisedom, to make it perfect and more excellent than any Gold, that the corrosive Devil can no more corrode, disturb or bring any change into it.
But if these my friendly exhorta∣tions, which God forbid, find no place in you, I will set before you honour that is good; a good Name, your own Repute, and Money, for the sake of which in a thing uncer∣tain there is so great waste of trea∣sure, such sottish dilapidations. If thou desirest to be a Politician, wise and prudent, thou very well knowest that a little in the purse is better and more certain, than that which by a vain and uncertain hope may be expected. You have known that those, who with great labour seek the Art of making Gold, are the common talk of all men; and when they have found nothing, are mock’d and ridicul’d of every body; every one calls them fools (and that not without reason) because they suffer themselves to be deluded by those, who put to sale lying processes, and proclaim through the world their Arcana’s. For by these they give their money for smoke, and when they have been sufficiently disquieted and vexed by them, and have lost their time and health, and the Gold they sought for, being ignorant also what Gold is, whence it is, and what kind of matter, at length they come to a too late, inglorious, yea infamous repentance. Therefore I exhort those that would avoid this precipice, to remain in the beaten and common road, which is plain and leads not a∣stray.
But I do not dehort those from any further search into the wonders of God, who have been called by a divine spirit to a divine light, who being drawn by true humility search into the wonders of nature, and desire to communicate and make them known to their Neighbour, who being filled with unfeigned and sincere love, in the poverty of their knowledge, and that little of the gifts of God granted to them, are found faithfull in the least things: but rather I exhort them to it, and stir them up to go forward servently, and in simplicity of heart follow that light, which in this dark some way kindle in this little Book. But they ought throughly to examine themselves, without any flattery or self-love, whether they are ordained for this Art. Whether a∣bove all things he love God, and his Neighbour as himself; and whether he will freely help the poor, because a drop of water and one mite seasonably given in ones poverty, and from a true love to our Neighbour, is as great in the sight of God, and will have as great a reward as a large quantity of wine and money given by the rich. If their life agrees with this rule, they may go on to the full knowledge of nature and obtain their desired end.
They lose their labour and cost, who with great carefulness rise early and sit up late, and eat their bread in anxiety: For the Lord bestows it on them that love him while they sleep, who seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness: that is, he who patiently endures divine judgments, and in all judgments, though he be judged, and his soul is grieved, and even against nature is forced to endure; yet always he acknowledges and understands that God is just, good and mercifull, and does acquiesce in his justice, and desires not to enter into the Kingdom, but by the fiery trial, purification and obedience to the word, his reason being made silent, the passions of his mind tamed and subdued by a power supernatural, to him all other things shall be added.
But I shall here speak no more of the holy silence, nor use many words of the nature of this Mystery, but will set upon the thing it self, with the help of God. And because I am certain that the wise will observe their duty, but the foolish shall get nothing, I will begin after the finishing of this Prayer.
O God our Father, thou Lord of every good thing; thou who wouldst make all things by thy word, who hast formed Man by thy wisedom, that he should rule over every Creature, which thou hast made: give me wisedom, which is always round about thy throne; neither drive us back from thy face, for we are thy Servants and the Sons of thine Handmaid; weak and infirm, and of few days, full of errour and unconstant; neither are we fit or able without thy help, to render unto thee in this our office that talent which of thy bounty thou hast committed to us, with that increase we ought. All perfection is from thee and thy wisedom, but there is no capacity or worth in us; send unto us and enlighten us with thy wisedom which cometh from above, send her with a ray from thy holy Heaven, from the Throne of thy Glory, send her that she may be with and labour with us, that we may know thy will; grant that she may lead us by her glory, that the works of our hands may be accepted with thee; for nothing can be accepted by thee, that is not wrought by her in us; and so it will come to pass, that we shall see thy truth in thy creatures to be admired. O Lord, our Cogitati∣ons are full of error and doubts, and darkness environs our judgment. Send thy holy spirit from on high, and enlighten us, that we may always go in the right way, that we may perform thy will, to the honour of thy holy Name, and prosit of our Neighbour, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
When that matter, wherein Lucifer held his Reign and Center, had with him and his Angels, or out-going Powers, put on the nature of burning and corroding fire, by a too great and inordinate motion (whereby he desited to exalt his light, and render it equal with the Deity) and from the nature of light was turned into obscure darkness. There was progenerated from the light, in the first place Air, then from the Air a Mist, and last of all from the Mist a Viscous Water. And here doubtless this Water, through the bitter, ve∣hement and stinging cold, the light being taken from it, (and further and further would have departed) had suffer’d the force and power of an horrible Coagulation, unless God had a-new sent in a ray of his divine light for a new Center, and conveyed it through the whole mat∣ter, (for the Devil shall no more be the Center of this World) the agonizing matter perceiving the splendor and sweetness of this light began to awake. The bitterness of the corrosive, greedy and austere power, moving thus strongly, decreased; and the stupified matter, as it were in a fright began to con∣side in the form of a glutinous Water.
God would not that the whole Heaven, Mansion and Kingdom, or Matter, wherein Lucifer reigned, should be utterly destroyed, which before the Fall had its word, light and motion from him as from the Center. For this Matter was not made such by its own will, but by constraint, in the ardent imagination of the overruling spirit or intelligence: For this spirit did with force exercise his rule and magical power in the Matter. From thence the sweetness of the light departing to its original, left the corrosive darkness to the burning desire of the spi∣rit, and the most kind motion of the heat, was changed by the horrible attraction and vehement compacti∣on of the Cold. The serene face of Heaven did put on the sorrowfull countenance of the terrestrial Water, and Waterish Earth.
But God, willing to bring the Idea of the world, which from eternity he had a knowledge of in his mind into figures, began to make something new, in which he could set forth the manifestation of himself, and have complacency in it. Therefore he began a new Creati∣on, and by his spirit with his word expanded the Matter, and divided it into three, which working toge∣ther in one harmony, an effluvium from one to one, by one thing, should be the beginning of all things, yet so that one of those three cannot consist without the other two; so there is made out of this one Chaos, or viscous Water, a fixed, fluid and volatile, Body, Spirit and Soul, Earth, Water and Air. The fluid spirit is too unconstant, the volatil soul too subtile, the fixed body too gross to receive that infused power of the light to its motion. But when from this threefold union a fourth generation ariseth, there is the seed of love, and the center of vertues and powers; a center that cannot properly be named Water, for it is a viscous Earth, in which is the Water of Nature, and yet it is not Earth, because it floweth and maketh moist, neither is it Air, because it may be handled and rests in stillness; and yet it is Air, Earth and Water together, the birth of a triple union of Air, Earth and Water. The various Creatures arise from heat, moving it self in the Animal, Vegetable and Mineral Kingdom, which thus from unity return again to tri∣plicity, and appear under the fi∣gure of Air, Water and Earth.
Infinite is this process of Nature, there is not a Materia whether Vegetable or Mineral can propagate and multiply its self, unless its Seed be first made a viscous Water, or is already such; all the Animals are progenerated and procreated by such a Water; in all vegetable Seeds, that viscous whiteness appears before any thing can grow from it. The very Minerals and Metals proceed from such a viscous Water, and must of necessity return to it. Thus without any addition in themselves, they ought by the Artist to put on a better nature. If any Animal, Mineral or Vegetable arrive to a radical solution, instantly will ap∣ppear either a viscous Water or Earth. Therefore the ends of things do excellently agree with their be∣ginnings.
But now in every viscous Water, there lies hid intimately in the Center, a hidden Center concentrated, which I call by the name of the Salt of Nature. This Salt is the Light of the World. Every where where it fixes its seat it drives its circum∣ferences to motion; it does illumi∣nate, strengthen and uphold them in their motions. But this very Salt without the Divine Spirit of Nature does adhere and is annexed to the invisible speaking of the Di∣vine word, and by this light is nourished and moved.
This is that Salt, which Christ among all created things only called good: And it is that Spirit which ascends up into the Airy Heaven, and which again descends, which restrains the Winds, and holds them in the Fists of its power, which gathers together the Waters into their places. This Spirit of Salt is the medium of all things, by which the highest are knit with the lowest, and keep in harmony. From both the Natures, both superiour and in∣feriour, it hath nutriment in abun∣dance; and in like manner doth give and divide its plenty to all things. By it and through its virtue Vegetables and Minerals do grow, and by it the divine Power doth perform whatsoever he will, in the Firmament, in the Air, the Earth, the Sea and all in deeps. By this he commands the Clouds to appear from the ends of the Earth. This Spirit is the cause and beginning of the Lightning and the Clouds; he commands the Winds to come from hidden places. This Spirit is the Instrument by which God wills that terrible thundrings be heard from the Clouds. For this cause the satness of the Earth is in it, and wonderfull plenitude of benediction. Without this nothing in nature can subsist. It is found every where; the poorest as well as the King seeks his nourishment from it, and con∣servation of his vital Spirit. O Lord, how great and wonderfull and how many are the works of thy hands? Thou hast ordained all things wisely. The Earth declares thy goodness and fullness, who sillest all things. Praise ye the Lord. Hallelujah.
From this Salt, if it be regenerated by an Artist, a wonderfull and noble thing proceedeth; which maketh every corrosive thing sweet, every weak and infirm thing sound and strong. This thing giveth both Riches and Health; and in this life it deserves the name of a most pre∣tious Treasure. Neither is there a greater thing amongst visible things which exist in this time than this, which sometimes the Lord bestows upon some men for a special cause. It is a Type and Image of the Resur∣rection and Immortality; and our Heavenly Father, by the operations and existence of this Essence, hath in great perspicuity made plain un∣to us the understanding of the high∣est Mysteries. I have seen by this thing as through a Glass, the Image of the Creation, and the distribution and ordination of that Mass, which they call the Chaos, the amicable Seed or Effluvium of the 3 Principles, the separation of that Seen into various forms: I have al∣so seen by this thing, how the Eternal Word was made Flesh; I have seen the internal splendour of his glorious light, and the veil of the Humane Flesh, by which as by a Cloud that glory was cover’d; how he walked among the Pharisees, do∣ing many Miracles; and because his appearance was in so mean a figure, they inflicted on him the highest contempts and torments; and last of all undergoing death, he entred into the Sepulchre, and with a glo∣rious and clarified Body ascended up into Heaven, and from thence how by his Spirit he freed his Brethren and Sisters from infirmities; and how even to this day by the holy Effluvium of his light and tincture he flows into prepared and faithfull Souls, and there makes all holy things holier and better, and at length perfects them until the day of the universal and last Judgment, and the time of the new World. Great are the works of God; he that sets his mind upon them, will find his delight in them. He hath left the monument of his wonders with us, he who is for ever mercifull and kind. Hallelujah.
But although this Salt as has bin said is every where and in all places according to number, weight and measure, every where the matter of every thing, yet it cannot so ea∣sily be sound, neither is it out of all things fit to all things.
He that desires to make Gold, he ought to be carefull to go about it by Gold, or the nearest matter to Gold, say the more wise; and it is their opinion, that the change of any one thing into a better, cannot proceed unless it be in its own spe∣cies, kind and likeness; and so they have believed that Animal, Vegetable and sharp powers, avail nothing to the perfection of Metals, but are altogether unprofitable: but they affirm, that every of the three Kingdoms (as they call them) is in its own nature separated and divided from the other.
This is a perverse opinion in him, who desires to shew the way in which I will not goe. But I say this, that all things come, grow and proceed from one root; but the only diversity of the matter and motion causeth the diversity of the subjects. One virtue and power filleth the universal orb of the Earth and Heavens, and bringeth it self into forms and figures, gross and subtile, sweet and sour, hard and soft, Animal, Vegetable and Mineral.
But I cannot at this time pass over this in silence; that that Spirit and Universal Salt of Nature, though it be nearest to the breath of the divine speaking, and ministers to all things its increated power: yet it can produce nothing new; but is only made use of by the word of God, sustaining and upholding all things for the sustentation, conservation and motion of those works, which sometime began to have their being by the alone word of God creating them.
Here those Doctors are to be re∣proved, who make that noted dif∣ference between the nature of Animals, Vegetables and Minerals, and feign as it were three Kingdoms of the things of Nature, altogether un∣known and never seen by her Priests, and they daily cantradict themselves, and the thing it self, and evident ex∣perience, speaks against them: for they administer infinite mineral and metalline Medicines to an Animal, or sick Man; and themselves confess and say (when these Medicines are prepared without fire or corrosive liquors) that the sick much better and sooner recover their health from these than the others: For healing is nothing else but the correction of the acid and degenerate spirit; and because that which is corrupted cannot be corrected, unless the corrector from its first essence radically enter into that which is corrected, and inseparably unite it self with it, all must of necessity grant unto me, that the essence of Minerals and Metals may very well unite with an Animal nature: and if they may in their first nature be united and be of the same essence, it is necessary that the diversity and dissimilitude be only contingent. Neither do all Metallicks nor Calx Vive produce so sudden and good an alteration to the spirit of Vitriol, or Emetick Salt, as Crabs-Eyes, Shells, and Bodies of that kind ta∣ken from the nature of Animals.
Aqua fortis will not touch on Gold unless Sal-armoniac or Salt of Urine be added to it. The fat of Eares will augment the weight of Duccats, if they have not the due and desired pondus: others make use of new Horsedung to increase their weight, or put them for some time under the soles of their Feet, that their strong sweat might penetrate or tinge their substance.
Those of the East Countries have known how to make Gold coloured or flexible, and to give to Copper the most elegant and durable colour of Gold, by a certain animal fat: and whoever will make trial with Man’s dung, or the dung of little Children in a due manner, may in Silver in its separation from the Gold gain some grains of Gold, if he proceed rightly. Wheat bruised into most fine parts, and stratified with finest lamens of copellated Silver, put into the Fire in a cementary vessel, exactly closed, and made red hot and combust, in the examen of Aqua fortis, Gold will be left from the Silver. New and fresh Butter, by a simple manual is apt to extract the tincture of Corals from the stony nature. That un∣conquered Talk mocking the vexa∣tions of the Alchymists, and all Fire, suffers it self to be dissolved into an oily substance by nothing so well as Vegetables, but chiefly by Animals, as I very well know. The Oils and vo’atile Salts of Herbs extract the tincture of Sulphur. Neither is it needfull here that I make a long Discourse of the virtues of Spirit of Salt, and Oil of Tartar, for their radical operations on Metals and Minerals is more or less suffici∣ently known to any one skilled in the Chymical Art. But I think without Wine and Man, can never any make a true, perfect and genuine tincture.
How Grass, Herbs and Bread gives food to the Creatures, conserves them and makes them better, and in them is changed into various matters, is above spoken of.
It is a thing well known to Coun∣trymen, that Vegetables are made better and fatter by the dung and urine of their Beasts that seed on Vegetables.
Man himself to his own cost feels the vegetable and mineral virtues in his own Body, and apparent dolours compell him oft-times even against his will to confess it. The sand and gravel in the Reins, must it not be confessed it is of a mineral nature; or have they any other original, than of the juices of Animals and Vegetables, which Man feeds on? Is it not certain that Gold has grown between the teeth of a man’s Skull?
I my felt by the Grace of God prepare a matter out of Animals, which in preparing it in a singular way for what I use it, affords unto me, one way Animals, another way Vegetables; again another way, often using the same thing, Minerals and Metals, Argent Vive, true Copper, Vitriol, Chrystal Glass of Saturn, Lead, and the viscous and glutinous first substance of Minerals: All which this only one matter affords, without the addition of any peregrine thing, of it self, and of its own only proper substance; but I am too open, and transgress the prescribed limits. He that desires to know more, let him in simplici∣ty follow the simplicity of Nature. I only propounded this to my self, to shew in short, that Animals, Vegetables and Minerals are one and the same in their essence, and that they differ in themselves, and are distinct accidentally only, in respect of a greater or less perfection, and in their soun ain and root there is no difference: But that the Salt of Nature is every where, and in all things to be found, according to the Nature of every thing, in due weight, number and measure; but it is not alike easie to educe it out of every subject, neither is it apt or sit enough for all things out of every matter, especially for that which they call the Philosopher’s Art, or hath it a virtue desired and sufficient for so great a work. There∣fore the best in all nature ought to be chosen, unless the industrious searcher propound to himself to lose his labour and cost, and would gain his desired end. Hic labor hoc opus est.
But now to search out and find the Universal Centre of all Crea∣tures seems to be a matter of no small difficulty, and verily it is sought of many, but found of very sew. When yet the thing is not so difficult, if with a perspicacious and due attention we consider the holy Scripture, and reading it throughly mind the genuine sense of the words.
Man therefore (without any dark cloud or veil, or any aenigmatical hieroglyphical manner of speaking usual to all other Philosophers) I now say is that Universal Centre of the Earth, Air and Water.
Out of a spiritual incorporated desire of the love of whole Nature, God, on the sixth day, out of a spiritual incorporated desire of loves, would have him to be as it were a concentrated Body and Compendium of the whole Universe. In this sixth light, all the harmonies of all the properties, by a divine moving within themselves, gave their consent and harmonious accord, to produce one Centre, and one Light out of their sweet concord and friendly wedlock, and with an unanimous counsel, as I may so say, decreed, constituted and confirmed this Centre, their King, sustainer and conserver, and gave him full power and an eternal empire. But the Divine Power, above the ordained laws of Nature, plainly by a new manner, or as it were by a new ordination or creation, made this Center corporeal in his own Image, according to his own Form and Similitude, as it were, God of God, to his own glory: That Man for whose sake all things were created, that in five days saw the light, might be the God and Lord of all elementary and created things, only God alone should be his Lord.
Thus God placed Man in the middle, between that which is superiour, and that which is inferiour; and did inspire into him (by the word Ruach Elohim noted in the Hebrew Book) through the two nostrils the breath of a twofold life, one whereof was the breath of the eternal word of God, or of the eter∣nal life: the other was the elemen∣tary and astral airy breath, or spirit and word of time.
Both these infused powers of life in Man divided themselves so, that each formed and possessed its own Center to it self, which was the continual will and desire of each of them after its first original or primordial nature. Both of them de∣sired its Mother from whence they proceeded, and each desired for her self to be nourish’d by her essence. So the Will as the Father did generate in the Lifes Center for himself, the Appetite or Desire as his Son and Offspring; from both which the Will and Desire did proceed the Spirit as the power of living, by the attracting and breathing nature from God and the Airy world.
But the Body of the Element did also produce out of their properties, the Center, the Will, the Desire, and Power of attracting out of its Mother (the Earth and Water) and out of it desired to quench its thirst, and suck her Breasts; he eat therefore and filled himself with her, containing in himself a triple triunity in one body of Man, and living in this manner, that Man might be an Image of God after his likeness.
But yet the Center of the Body, Spirit and Soul were not compelled by any necessity, to sill and satiate themselves from the Water, Air and Earth; but the highest liberty of Will was left unto them after the likeness of the Free-will of God. It was free to the good, lucid, plea∣sant, sweet will, which took its be∣ginning from the pleasant meekness to contract it self, and diffuse it self, in and through all circumferences, over which, as their Center and Ruler, she held her Empire: Yea it was lawfull and free to him to di∣vide himself more or less, as it plea∣sed him.
He could also without any thing opposing him, by a too ardent, strong and vehement motion of his Seed, and out-going powers from himself, produce in himself another sharp pestilent appetite, and malignant desire after a sharp, austere, and venemous food.
He could also shut his mouth and appetite, by not attracting that aliment which was necessary for him.
But it would be too long and large here to tell, what was the nature and condition of that food; and how at that time Adam and Eve, by a power and hurtfull plea∣sure did eat together, and dyed that death, which in heavenly natures happeneth in a heavenly and spiritual manner.
It is also not our business here to relate, how they fell in their Will, and kept as it were imprisoned the Appetite and Power of the good, which they receiv’d from the highest good and made it unfruitful, and how they closed, obdurated the mouth of their soul, and choaked the very good, exerting it self in them, because the lamentable condition of them both, O! alas! maketh it suf∣ficiently known.
But not only the Soul in Adam and Eve did undergo the deplored condition of death; but seeing all were knit together in one Body, the burning fire of the Soul kindled also the Spirit and Body, the Spirit and Body did infect the Air, Water and Earth, and compell’d them to consent, and precipitated them into that miserable condition with themselves; because the Body and Spirit were the Center and Universal Heart, and held the potency of their Imagination in their Mother, the Air, Water, and Earth, it was of necessity it should so come to pass.
Like as in this time, when the Heart in the Body is sick the whole Body is sick and suffers pain. When self-desires go forth from the Heart (according to the word of God) all things pertaining to that Man con∣tract thence some impurity. Yea sometimes for the Offences of the Heart all the other Members shall be afflicted, although they have done nothing but a forced duty, and by a necessary obedience. Af∣ter the same manner the Earth ought and yet must bear, for Adam‘s sake, the horrour of the curse. But let us not expatiate too much in the Field of Theology. We must return to Natural Philosophy.
I have affirmed that Man is the Center and Compendium of all created things; to him before the Fall all things in this World were obedient, through the force and power of his Imagination, which he exercised from the Center into all his Circumferences. But as the Devil, through the malignant force of his Imagination, lost the right and power of the good Imagination in his first Kingdom (this our World) so Adam who was constituted by God in the place of the lapsed An∣gel, which then assumed a grosser substance through the fall of Luci∣fer, who rendred that place of a grosser substance, by the like false and malign Imagination, destroyed and lost the first or ancient power of the good, and the right of the Divine Nature.
His imagination in this time and station is odious to nature and abo∣minable, neither hath it any ingress, so nothing is left remaining to Man but a miserable Body, which with its Spirit is heavily, or with grief sustained by nature. He has but a weak and slender power even to this day given to him, through his judgment, reason, and labour of the body to bring some things in nature from worse into better, and from better into worse, and by this means to make some particular and gross mutations.
The Natural man therefore doth draw the Vital Spirit from the Air, Water and Earth in a twofold manner, from beneath and from above. From above by the attraction of the Air, or his respiration, he enjoyeth the spirit, power and breath of the out-flowing and out-going word; to wit, the gale or out-flowing spi∣rit of the Air, and turneth it into his nourishment; but from beneath he partakes of the Flesh and Blood of the World. The Flesh of the World, Animals, Vegetables and Minerals afford; the Blood the Water affordeth; the quintessence and spirit or most subtle breath and highest outgoing power of this Flesh and Blood Man enjoyeth. That Spirit with its spiritual Salt doth not only refresh and nourish the Spirits of Men, but from it also the Alchahistical dissolving power of the ferment in the Stomach derives its o∣riginal: the other parts of the Body do also take their ferment from thence; so the Flesh and Blood of all the Macrocosm, receiving a kind dissolution in the Humane Body, by separating and preparing, do afford and yield his Salt, to the preparation of the Flesh and Blood of the Microcosm; so that the thirsty and hungry particles of the Microcosm do eagerly desire and imbibe it; but the excrementitious outsides do find their egress through the emunctories of the Head, the pores, parts, and clandestine exits beneath and a∣bove.
Here if thou canst from the inferiour parts of the World draw out the inward Centre, or Salt of Na∣ture; or from the superior, the Heart or Center most of all hidden, thou shalt be to me Magnus Apollo: But greater yet will I admire thee, if thou canst find out the Astral and Central Salt of Nature in abundance and great plenty united in one thing as in Man. If thou knowest this, I will confess that thou possessest natural wisedom; and I pro∣mise thee, that with this light thou canst unlock the most hidden and recluse mysteries of Nature, and make samiliar to thee hidden trea∣sures.
He that hath the knowledge of the Microcosm cannot long be ig∣norant of the knowledge of the Ma∣crocosm. This is that which the Aegyptian industrious searchers of Nature so often said, and loudly proclaimed, that every one should know himself. This speech their dull Disciples took in a moral sense, and out of ignorance assixt it in their Temples. But I admonish thee whosoever thou art that desirest to dive into the inmost parts of na∣ture, if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. If thou knowest not the excellency of thine own house, for what doest thou seek and search after the excellency of other things? The universal Orb of the Earth contains not so great mysteries and excellencies as a little Man, formed by God to his Image. And he that desires the primacy amongst the studiers of Nature, will no where find a greater and better reserve to obtain his desire, than in himself.
Therefore I will here follow the example of the Aegyptians, and from my whole heart and certain true ex∣perience proved by me, speak to my Neighbour in the Aegyptians words, and with a loud voice now proclaim. O Man know thy self; in thee is hid the treasure of trea∣sures: Thine it is, by the external breath in the Air, to enjoy that breath of the Firmament, which the wonderfull Astrum attracting from the supercoelestial Waters hath breathed into the middle region of the Air, where it by the motion of the Air, suffers it self in the Air to be coagulated and incorporated with the Air.
Thou, O Man, art he who thro’ the Air enjoyest the breath and power of the Water and Earth, and in thy self enjoyest both the Elements and maked them one; and thy self not knowing what a treasure thou hast hidden in thee, from the coagulation and consent of these powers, producest an essence, called by us the expert, the great and miraculous mystery of the World, that is the true fiery Water Esch∣va-mayim, Hascha-mayim; yea it surmounts in its power the Fire, Air, Earth, and Water; for it dissolves and radically incrudates the mature, constant, and very fixt fire, abiding mass and matter of Gold, and reduceth it into a fat and black Earth like to thick Spittle, wherein we find a Water and the true Salt, destitute of all ardor, vehemency, and corrosive nature of the Fire. There is nothing in the whole world to be found which can doe this; nothing is shut to it; and though it is a precious thing, more precious than every thing, yet the poor as well as the rich has it in the same and equal plenty. The Wise men have sought this thing, the Wise men have found it: Hermes of this thing composed his twen∣ty and eight Books, and these Books I have seen with these Eyes, and the Wise men of the new World have them, and keep them in their own hands without any mixture of falshood. And you my Friends seek this in divers things, but per∣haps none of you have known its secret recesses where it is hid, or have found its ways, and can tell what shape it shall be of, if at any time he chance to see it.
But it is (I tell you the simple and plain truth) the Spiritual Wa∣ter, and Watery Spirit, the Water of Life, which Adam and Eve brought out of Paradice with them for their consolation, and which by their Offspring they left to po∣sterity. O noble Water! lucid and sweet: O despised Water! obscure and bitter: O Water comforting us till death. This is that Corner∣stone, which the wise builders, the great Phylosophers, and expert Masters of Alchymie, and of Israel, from unskilfull ignorance neglecting rejected even to this day.
Sometimes at length open your Eyes O mortal Men, with your whole heart love God and your Neighbour; pray in Humility and Meekness, that the Lord would be gracious to you, and turn the dark∣ness of your Mind into Light. In these words I have openly shewed the way; and to these I will add over and above this further Explica∣tion.
The World, in which the matter of the Sophy is nighest and best to be found, is Man; the highest Artifice is in him, his metalline Mine is to be opened the tenth time, the Brass which there is dug is the best and worst in Nature, the Water most precious and most vile, the Water Earth together, and always in themselves joyned with another thing; the Son, Birth and Seed of the most pure Bodies is born in Man for his profit and necessity, its name is Tessa.
If by your industry you have found your matter, seperate the pure from the impure, without fire or admixtion of any other thing; pre∣pare a Virgin-earth, which ought to be without Odour, without Tast, without Colour, seperate from that the Central Salt, the Microcosmick Vitriol, the Philosophick Venus, the Mercury of the Microcosm, the Philosophick Luna; purifie and pro∣duce out of it a Son more noble than his Parents.
Then thou wilt see the causes and reasons that imprest the Egyptians, that they gave the Signature of Luna and Venus to Argent Vive, why they put beneath the sign of Copper, the character of Luna a∣bove.
The uppermost or Astral Salt is most volatile, sweet, and shines and glisters like pure Silver, and its no∣thing else than the Silver of the So∣phy, and the Mercurial Saline Spi∣rit. But the central Salt is a Vi∣triol of infinite, wonderfull and in∣effable Virtue, which coagulates the Argent Vive, and changes it in∣to pure Silver. But Venus is inclo∣sed in Saturn‘s Vestment, from which she must be freed, that she may appear Naked in her Beauty to the Eyes of the Artist.
From these two kinds of Salt all the Metals are generated, and there is the same reason of the Microcosm, as of the Macrocosm.
So I have shewn you the Metalliue Mine in your own Body, and have demonstrated to you how out of it, with the addition of no other thing, you may prepare Gold, Ar∣gent Vive, Copper, Lead, &c. I shew you the way which I my self have gone; for I have seen with a moderate and due fire produced out of this matter, the medicine of the Minerals and Animals, concerning which so many Books have been disperst about.
Whether the ancient or modern Phylosophers have gone in this way, it’s not my business now to dispute. I seek no ones testimony, no ones refutation; It suffices me as a possessor of the Art to need nei∣ther the living nor the dead. Ex∣perience it self hath made me a Master, and hath made a certain thing more certain than was need∣full for a Master, to have brought to light the truth of Nature.
Verily I should rejoyce, if they had obtain’d their end by another matter; for so I should believe the divine grace, through my Prayers and Industry of seeking, had open∣ed to me a new and heretosore un∣known Miracle of Nature. For my Salt of Nature by artifice regenera∣ted out of my matter, hath per∣form’d the same things, which the Arcanum of the Ancients is believed at any time to have performed. Therefore he that will follow me, must beware of Costs and great La∣bour: If he find the tenth opening, and the matter, Nature it self with∣out manual operation will help him, and make him possessor of the won∣derfull earth; only let him follow Nature, and consider its operations, all things are little, easie, and of no Cost.
But how to go forward after the possession of the true Philosophick Mercury, in the knowledge of which many are deceived, thinking the Mercury of the Philosophers to be the Salt of Nature regenerated, is not my work now to write, be∣cause I write to Philosophers, not lovers of Gold.
Therefore in the first place learn the wisedom of the Soul; which if you find, all will succeed prospe∣rously, and according to your wish, and your hope will not be frustra∣ted. From her cometh every good thing, and infinite riches are in her hand. If thou findest the true Cen∣tre of Man, other things of their own accord will slow in.
Whosoever thou art take in good part this my admonition and follow my experience, unless thou wilt be a fool with the common multitude: follow others if thou wilt, and read their obscure style and veiled speeches. Not one of them all hath u∣sed that fidelity towards their Neigh∣bour as I have. Never any, in such perspicuous words, hath made the derfull matter to be drawn out of Man so manifest. They may com∣pare their Writings with their Books, whoever will may bend their words to his own meaning. But yet who∣soever will write better and clearer things, I will be thankfull to him. I have received the truth freely from God. In communicating of it I fear not the curses of the Philoso∣phers, for I have learned nothing out of their Writings. I commit this little Book more clear than the Sun to the Divine most wise Providence. For he onely gives wisedom to the wise, and understanding to the prudent. Things occult and deeply hidden he reveals. He sear∣ches the profound abyss of darkness by his Spirit in us, from which light alone all is derived.
I give thee thanks O God my Father, who hast bestowed on me wisedom, and hast revealed that thing to me, for which I prayed to thee. Illuminate the eyes of all men, who love thee with a pure heart, that they may glorifie thy Name.
To the Tri-une God, the great mercifull Father, the Son and Spi∣rit, from whom alone floweth all truth, light and wisedom, be ho∣nour and praise for ever and ever.
Help O Lord thy Servant by Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let things transitory give place to eternal. Here we see in a glass, and know through a cloud, but then we shall see him as he is.
O how vain are things which affect the Senses, compared with those which make the Soul happy, that he may live for ever with his Saviour!