SAL, LUMEN, ET SPIRITUS MUNDI PHILOSOPHICI
THE DAWNING OF THE DAY DISCOVERED BY THE BEAMS OF LIGHT:
SHOWING THE TRUE SALT AND SECRET OF THE PHILOSOPHERS,
THE FIRST AND UNIVERSAL SPIRIT OF THE WORLD
That the Spirit of the World assumes a Body; and how it is incorporated.
WE have I hope sufficiently explicated in the former book, that all things were not only produced; but also made corporeal by the universal Spirit. We now come to declare what kinde of Body this Spirit assumes, and how it self both is, and makes all things corporeal; for that must needs be corporeal which makes all other things such, seeing nothing can give what it self hath not. Let us therefore see with what, and how it is vested with a Body: not that we will here dispute of the incorporation of celestial and supernatural beings, but onely of Physical and Sublunary Generations, and of the body of the Earth, which is the sole vessel and true matrix, where the prime and most general Incorporator of things, is it self incorporated.
I say then, That no body can be made without a precedent Mover, that may deduce potency to act: that which exists not in save potency, may be produced into light, and according to Natures intent, reach its final term; which is, to make that a body which it would produce. Now this mover can be no other then fire or heat, which moves it self first in the Air; for all Generations begin there, because fire is the most active Element, and consequently most subtile and light: whence it is more prompt for motion.
Fire therefore, whose propriety is through its levity to ascend, and make unknown things visible, doth requisitely receive the beginning of its motion and action from inferiour Bodies; that is, from the centre of the Earth: where, as we said before, the old Demogorgon, and Progenitor of all things, inhabits; sitting there in his Throne, and midst of his Empire: that thence he may govern, command, preserve, and divide the essence of Life to all the parts of that great Spherical Body expanded about him; and that he may more easily and from equal distance, receive from every Member what he wants. The root of Fire is implanted in the fruitful bowels of this old Parent: which thence emits a vaporous breath, which Hermes calls the humid Nature: for vapour is the prime and next action of fire; with which it is so conjoined, that it cannot be imagined without it.
But some may say, If vapour comes from fire, how can it be moist, seeing fire is hot and dry? Whence acquires it this contrary quality? And here we finde nothing absurd, if we do but consider, That fire cannot live and subsist without moisture, which is its aliment, support and subject; without which, fire cannot be conceived: for being by Nature active, and its action indefatigable, it must needs have something to act upon, and never be destitute of this thing.
Fire then, and co-essential moisture, are like Male and Female in all Generations, and are the first Parents of corporification of the Spirit of the World; as hereafter we shall make appear. But Fire is the first Operator, because action precedes passion, though the Patient be inseparably co-existent with the Agent; as the old Stoick Zenon asserts, who thought that the substance of Fire was by Air turned into Water, and there conserved, as the general Sperm, and first universal matter, whence all things were first generated. Thales Milesius, whom the Greeks surnamed the wife, perceiving the matter patient, said, That Water was the first matter: which Heraclitus attributed to the Sea: and Moses, more illuminated then both, saith, That before the heaven and earth were created, the Spirit of the Lord moved on the face of the waters: calling Fire, because of its noble and pure essence, The Spirit of God. In saying therefore, That Fire is the first principle of beings, I transgress not the limits of Reason and Verity: for it is without doubt, the first Operator, and the last Destroyer and Changer of forms, whose cause it is, even till it hath brought them to their period and first matter, beyond which there is no progress, but onely a transformation, as I shall by and by declare, by comparison with visible and familiar beings: the first active potency, which begins to operate in the production of man, is the agitation or motion of heat: which imitating the action of fire (whose Nature is chiefly separative) draws Sperm from the whole Body (wherein Man’s seed is potentially included) and cocts and digests it: thereby rendering it apt for expulsion, and afterwards for Generation and Augmentation; which Generation and Augmentation is always helped by Fire, which is the sole Actor: so that it should attain the end of its exaltation, being inflamed by the Sulphur of Excrements, and impurity of Aliments, it would absume the radical Moisture, which is the Seat and Preserver of Life: which done, the fire remits not of its power and action, till by resolution and corruption, it brings the Body to Ashes; which nothing can do but Fire.
But that we may make this more palpable, and finde out the first matter by the knowledge of the last, let us impose a Body on a common Fire: and we shall see, what is inflammable in it, will be totally consumed, and redacted to a few Ashes; which Ashes also will participate of a fiery Nature; and for their last subject and matter, turn into a certain Salt, whose sole Parent and Multiplier, Fire must needs be. And though these should be further turned, yet Salt would always be left, in whole internals we may finde Fire, which is delighted with its like.
And by this means, Alchymists finde, that there is something in Salt that is incombustible, or secret Elementary Fire, which hath the same actions with primitive Fire: upon which account they call it Balsam of the Body, because it contains that that gives life: as also, that conserves and augments it; which is nothing else but a moist vapour, accompanied with moderate heat. Johannes Fontanus in his Philosophical Narrations, (Enson Romant Philosophiq.) shews, That he was not ignorant of this Secret, where he brings in Nature speaking thus:
Aucuns dissent que feu n’engendre
De son naturel fors que cendre:
Mais leur reverence sauvee
Nature est dans le feu autee :
Et si prover, je le vouloye
Le sel a Temoing je prendoye.
Some dare t’affirm, that fire can be generate
Nothing but ashes; but those seem to relate
The truth thereof, who say, that in fires brest
All Natures operations are imprest.
And if hereof a proof you do require.
Salt gives you proof enough what is in fire.
And that it participates of moisture, is plain enough from its easie resolution; as also its fullness of heat is demonstrable, from its ready congelation: from which we may observe, That Fire acts, and is united with Fire; as in liquefaction Air acts, and is joined with Air: for how in one subject could the dry imbibe the moist, if there were no innate heat, seeing dryness, as it proceeds from heat, doth naturally imbibe moisture?
And hence we may easily understand, That the Demogorgon or central Fire, cannot be destitute of moisture on which it may act, and thence elevate a vapour mixed of two qualities, which I call, The Spirit of the World; but many Philosophers Mercury or Mercuries, because all other proceed from this naturally: but this elevated vapour is not yet a Body, but a mean betwixt a Body and a Spirit, participating of both Natures; which, whilst it remains in that state, can generate nothing. It is therefore necessary, That in either assume or form a Body, which it thus doth: This subtile vapour, proceeding from dry and moist principles, when it is elevated, penetrates the spungyness of the Earth, wherein it is gradually turned into Mercurial Water by the occurse of the ambient Air, and of the Earth it self; whose surface is far distant from its Centre, where the Fire resides, whence this heat arises. After the like manner, as we see in an Alembick, where the vapour or Spirit to be distilled, runs out. But this vapour and its water, partaking of two principles, heat and moisture, it is ingrossed: And by moderate and continued coction, condensed. The principal cause and mean of which action, is innate Fire, which contains this very vapour; and by its continual action, stimulates and compels it to imbibe this moisture, and to coagulate this Water: not in all parts with a solidity and hardness, nor yet altogether; but first with a mucilaginous and different solidity. Now that which Nature assayes to do in the information of Ideas, is, to begin their induration and solidity, which must necessarily hold on in Natures way, which is a progress from one extream to another, by intermediate disposition. And Nature thus continuing its digestion, this Mucilage stays, of whose grosser matter Metals are generated in the veins of the Earth, or cavities of Rocks; which differ not in substance, being produced by one and the same seed, but onely in accidents, which they take from the diversities of the places and matrixes where they are generated. But the more subtile part of this vapour, ascends to the surface of the Earth, where it stays by compulsion; and being in continual agitation, though it can neither regrede nor ascend higher, and finding no solid matter to carry it with it, it is compelled to continue Natures intention; and therefore serves for the Generation and Corporification of individuals. But that what I have said may be better understood, let us take some one individual, and let us see how it is produced: for this will ascertain us, that the Spirit of the World assumes a Body, and shew us how it is incorporated. And Acorn may be long enough set or sown in the Earth, and continue without germination, unless some Agent be neer it, that may deduce its occult potency naturally within it, into act. And whence can any one imagine this action to proceed, unless form a central Fire issuing out of the Demogorgon’s brest? Which Fire attracted and fomented by the Solar Rayes, will redouble its force, vertue, and efficacy. Does not then this germination derive its original from Natures Fire; which elevating and multiplying its vapour, excites the innate heat of the Acorn, which is of its own side resolved into a vapour by the mediation of Air? And this raised vapour is nourished and augmented by the first vapour, which never ceases to act on the matter of the Acorn, till it have brought it to the period of that perfection to which Nature defined it, which is, to make it an Oak: which, when it hath acquired its perfect magnitude, begins, not indeed to die, but to decline, and gradually to return to its first form, even to the Earth; where the same vapour is not idle or deficient: for of the putritude of this Tree, certain Animals, called Horse-lice, with abundance of Worms, are thereby generated; yea, when the Oak is turned into perfect Earth, it causes a new vegetation.
But if any should say, That the Acorn is augmented and multiplied to this magnitude, he errs: for it is manifest, That in this germination, the Acorn remains whole without diminution; yea, separates itself from the Tree when it is germinated. The Oak then grows not from the augmentation and multiplication of the Acorn; neither is it from addition and abstraction from the adjacent Earth: for then so much of the Earth would be exhausted, as the Trees magnitude is: it must therefore necessarily proceed from some other way and matter, seeing by these ways it cannot. This Spirit then, or Vapor, which is ordained for no other end, is that which is incorporated, and produced this individual, from which the creation, augmentation, and preservation of all thing, proceed; and not from the Mass of the Earth, which is nothing but the Excrement of the spirituous and primaeve matter, as it appears by the digestion of the stomach, which rejects Excrements in the same weight and quantity almost that it assumed Meat in, when nevertheless, it hath extracted its proper nutriment from it, which is only the Spirit included in that Mass; which, by its siccity, makes itself a Body; and by its humidity, dilates and augments itself.
Of the Conversion of this Spirit into Earth; and how its Virtue remains Integrally in this Earth
The former Reasons seem sufficiently to evince, That the Spirit of the World assumes a Body: now we should declare how it is corporified; and though in this search, the labor will be great, and effect small, yet shall I endeavor to make this thing comprehensible, especially for their sakes, who in their nativities have had favorable Stars; and are thereby rendered Admirers of these rarer Effects, and Searchers of these occulter Secrets: for in that many learned and curious Men have erred in the inquisition and detection of this Body, arises from hence; That some have believed this knowledge far to exceed Man’s capacity, and only attainable by Angles or Devils. Others have though, That it being called, The Spirit of the World, no Man should feign to himself any but an Universal Body, because an Universal Spirit must also have an Universal Body. And other have though, That it could not be perceived, but by conversion of more perfect Bodies into their first Sperm and Spirit, by exact and industrious subtilization: not minding nor considering, That Nature admits of no regrets; and, That Bodies, by how much they are more perfect, by so much they are further distant from their principles and first corporeity.
Some are of opinion, That a Quintessence might be extract from Bodies: persuading themselves, That the more subtle and volatile part is that Spirit they seek; so erring from the scope at which the aim, as if they would seek the East in the West: for they make Bodies spiritual, where they should make Spirits corporeal. But seeing this Spirit is manifestly converted into a Terrene Body, and without contradiction or doubt, generates all bodies; it must therefore be extracted by them, because otherwise, they forsake the direct tract of Nature: and seeing it is made a Terrene Body, it may be perfected by Fire, into something, which the Quintessentials call their Heaven. But corporification begins from the Earth: for the first work of Mercury is to make Earth. Why then do they begin with making of Fire? Which would proceed, as if a Man should build a House, and begin at the Roof.
But such as would reduce Bodies to their first being, pretend; and have more specious Reasons, then those that would redact them to a Quintessence, save that they go in a crooked way that leads them contrary to their meanings: for, besides that Nature never goes backwards, they mind not that they should follow the way of completion, and not of destruction, or reversion to their origins and nativity: for, besides the impossibility of this course, these ways are so long and difficult, that an ordinary term of Life cannot reach their end. Moreover, they can never attain the true and natural first Being this way, but only a fantastical Body, far different from that wherewith Nature effects her productive operations; which is solely, the legitimate Sperm of all Bodies. And if we consider now, That all Bodies are made by Terrification, we must needs grants, That there is some prejacent subject most apt for the making of the Earth. But I said, That in the beginning Fire was the first Operator in the World, which elevates a spirituous Vapor, then cocts, dries, and incorporates it: for a Body cannot be made without coagulation, which necessarily follows the dryness of Fire: And in what other place can this immassation, desiccation, and coagulation be made, save in the Earth, whence all Bodies proceed? The prejacent matter then, must needs be there occluded; for if it be not there, then all Bodies are made of nothing; which is repugnant to Nature’s course which would have every thing to have its principle; and out of nothing, nothing but nothing to proceed.
This matter or principle then is bound to the Body of the Earth, where it is nourished, engrossed, and incorporated; and therefore, such as would extract the Quintessence out of perfect, simple, or imperfect Metals, should do better to open the Matrix of the Mother, and take the Sperm out there, than to kill and destroy her Infants or adult Offspring, while they go about to reduce them to the state wherein they were in time of conception. But if they should open this Matrix, what would they there find? For nothing appears to sight or sense. And many believing this way most profitable, have been deceived, whilst they thought in the bellies of Mines, to find some seed of Gold; which missing of, they despair of their purpose, because they never met with a middle disposition betwixt hardness and softness in Metals. If therefore the eye can discern nothing here, how then is it possible for them to get anything? This indeed is a work, the other a labor. Such Searchers surely believe not, that the first matter is so subtle and loose a Spirit or Vapor, as that it cannot be reach, save only by intellect and imagination. However, seeing it is contained in the Body of this great Parent, and dwells there, Reason evinces, That it hath something of corporeity in it: and although I have sufficiently declared to subtle intellects of what Nature it is, I shall further add, That the Pores of the Earth are full of this Vapor, which acquires a dry quality by its innate heat, accompanied with some secret moisture, by which it is condensed, and coagulated into a specific Body: and as this moist Nature, now dried up, was first Water; so it must be reduced into Waters again by Water, which is the sole mean whereby to humectate dry things, as fire is to siccate moist things: which is a work duely observed by Nature in generating Metals: for Water flowing through the Pores of the Earth, finds there a dissoluble substance, wherewith it unites its most simple parts: to which union, all the Elements concur in due proportion.
This substance then, by its own dissolution is so conjoined, that it of itself condenses through hardness, which is natural to it, because of its innate siccity; and by successive and long decoction, acquires a metallical induration.
But now this substance being dissoluble, of what other Nature can it participate, but of Salt? For nothing is so dissoluble as Salt; which by how much it is more burned, is by so much easier dissolved, unless it be turned into Glass.
The first matter then, is Salt; or Salt is the first Body whereby this matter becomes visible or palpable: of which Salt Raymundus speaks, when, in his Testament, he says, “We have before declare, that in the Center of the Earth, there is a certain Virgin-Earth, and true Element, and that that is Nature’s work”. Nature therefore is placed in the Center of everything: so Salt is this Virgin-Earth which hath yet produced nothing, into which the Spirit of the World is converted by vitrification, that is, by extenuation of its moisture. This is that which gives the form to all things, and without which, nothing could incur into the senses; nothing is coagulated without Salt, nothing congealed. This is that that gives hardness to Gold, as also to the Adamant and all Stones both precious and vulgar, with a Secret vitrifing Virtue. Yea, what is more, we manifestly see, that all Bodies, compounded of the four Elements, return into Salt: for if a Body putrefy, what remains but powder and ashes covering most precious Salt? And if a Body be destroyed by combustion, calcination, or incineration, what rests in the last extraction but Salt? Glass-makers do give manifest testimony hereto: whence Arnoldus de villa nova, in his new Chymical Light, speaking of the permanent Water of the Philosophers, which Water is dry, and wets the Tangent’s hand no more than common quicksilver, saith, Who then can prepare this Water? Well, he may do it who can make Glass.
The same Author, speaking of the excellence of this dry Water, manifests it sufficiently, when he saith in his Chymical Treatise, which he calls his Philosophical Breviary, That an Operator can no more do anything without Salt, than an Archer emit an Arrow without a cord of string. And Fons Amantium saith the same: “Sans sel ne peux metre en effect|Utile chose pour ton faict” I can effect nothing in your rare Art|Unless with Salt I ‘gin to operate.
All Bodies then are composed of Salt, and, as we said before, the Principles of Composition and Resolution are equal: which concurs with the Philosophers infallible Rule, That the first matter of all things is one with the last: where they allege Ice and Snow for example, which are by heat resolved into Water; out of which, they were by cold congealed. And if I should here suggest the Testimony of all approved Authors to this Verity, my Treatise would end in a Volume: but that I may demonstrate, That this Salt is pure and true Earth, (not such as we tread upon, which I shall hereafter prove to be nothing but the Dregs and Excrements of the other). I must recur to the first Creation, which I shall decipher by a
Earth into three parts; assigning the Heaven to Jupiter as first-born of Saturn, (though some attribute the primogeniture’s right to Neptune, and the election of the superior Kingdom to Jupiter, for certain Sophistical Reasons impertinent to my purpose) Neptune they make the Lord of the Sea; and that by lot: To Pluto, as the youngest Son, they assign the Earth for Heritage, who is yet thought the richest of the three Brethren, because in his Dominion all the Treasures of the World are contained; yea, he seems to make his two Brothers Tributaries in those things they posses as best. This Son they call, The King of Hell, and to him they give the Elysian Fields, as a delightful place, where the blessed Souls shall follow his Court after death.
Divines also assert, That Hell and the torture of Souls is in this place; adduced by this Argument: That seeing the Nature of the Stars is fiery, and all their influences concur, there must needs be incredible burnings there. Again, That place is infernal, because none is more inferior. But that Souls should be here tormented, and that the heat of this place should be so vehement as they say, is a Solecism in Reason, and as a Contradiction of Philosophical Axioms for besides that Souls possess no place, according to their own confessions, and that being devested of the earthy part, and corporeal prison, they would naturally elevate themselves, and ascend by virtue of their spiritual levity, which participates more of a fiery than any other quality; they cannot, but with violence, be detained in this subterraneous place, seeing they are light; nor yet, being simple, suffer under the action of Fire, which cannot action its like.
Why therefore they should assert, That they second to this place to be tormented, I see no reason, unless that the burden of their sins, wherewith they are implicated, should detrude and depress them, compelling and forcing them to the Center of the Earth; or else that sing hath got them under its Dominion, and hath incorporated itself therewith, by some unknown kind of composition, and so make them passable and subject, not the simple and natural action of Fire, but to some other violent created one, define by God to that effect: and perhaps the virtue of the Fire we speak of, is by divine Power doubled for this action; which may be proved by Holy Writ.
But I will not rashly cherish any particular Opinion, or separate myself from the Orthodox Faith; in the defense whereof, I will not only spend my Life, but Industry, by God’s assistance: yet I say in my Transient, (that I may further recede from my intended Discourse) That they conclude strangely, that say, Vehement burnings arise in this place, because the influences of the Stars concur there: whereunto I would yet yield, if they can evince, That the heat of the Stars burns and consumes like our Culinary Fire, and doth not enliven, conserve, and nourish: for it were such as they imagine, not only the Earth, but the whole Universe had been long since burnt to ashes. Those influences indeed in old Demogorgon’s bowels, calcify; but not with a mortal and destructive, but with a vital heat, which there implants a uniform Virtue; which by mediation of heat, dilates itself through the whole Body of the Earth, being the first moving cause of Generations.
But we must not here conceive, That it is only the external heat that comes from the Sun, which calcifies the Earth, and cases Generation: for in Winter-time, when the Sun is furthest distant, the Earth hath abundance of heat in it, as experience shows, in Fountains, Cisterns, and profound Cells: so that in the coldest Winter-Seasons, Metals are coctedf and indurated; yea, it is credible, that they are then most of all engrossed, because the heat of the Center is kept in and retained, because of the frigidity of the ambient Air. The Sun’s approach, and more perpendicular Aspect, is not the sole cause of vegetation in the Spring; for if so, then doubtless as its Ascent were more sublime, Vegetations would augment more proportionally to the increase of the heat of the Rays: but the contrary is observed. But because every like attracts its like; and the recess of the one, causes the recess of the other; The Sun by the magnetical Virtue of this Rays, attracts and revokes the heat of the Central Sun, detruded by the rigid cold of the ambient into the interior parts of the Earth; which returning to the surface thereof, affects all things with a vegetative faculty.
It is not therefore the external heat of the Celestial Sun, but rather the innate heat of the Central Sun, that calcifies the profundity of the Earth: for heat is twofold; the one acts by reverberation, which is external; the other by influx and penetration, which is internal, whereof I now speak; whose Nature is to enliven, augment, and conserve by the sustentation of radical moisture contained in this Fire, which I made mention of in the precedent Chapter.
But that now we may prove this Central Fire not to be so intense, as to torment and burn, let us consider how the Stars do not by their influences cause heat solely, but work other effects: for Saturn is cold and dry, Jupiter hot and moist, the Sun hot and dry, Mars hot and dry, Venus cold and moist, the Moon moist and cold, and Mercury all in all, participating of all qualities alike.
Whence we may gather, That all the influences are temperate, equally consisting of heat, cold, moisture, and siccity; which thus meeting in moderation, cannot make the place where they meet, immoderate. The Vapor then or Spirit that comes from the Center, participates of these four: and hence all the qualities of simples have their origin; whereof some calcify, because in them heat is predominant; others dry because siccity superabounds; others moisten or refrigerate, according to the degree of their moisture or cold: but on the other side. Stars project many other qualities besides these, into the Center: for they give Beings to those vapors, colors, and odors, which we taste, see, and feel in sublunary things. I say therefore, That the Stars calcify the Center of the Earth, and that the Universal Spirit dwelling there, participates of this heat; and because it is natural to heat to separate, that separative virtue which divides the pure from the impure, the subtle from the gross, and the light from the heavy, and the sweet from the bitter, descends with these influences: which purgative separation, is the cause why all things naturally reject their Excrements, as not being of their substantial parts; which is indeed very requisite, seeing there is nothing in the World, but its Excrements, exceed its natural substance: nay, all that we see and touch, is only the excremental part of things, that obumbrates their occult substance; as we may observe in our Aliments, whose greater Mass turns not into our substance, but goes away by the passages define for such egress; Nature only extracting the invisible and spiritual succe out of them, which is apt to be converted into our flesh and substance.
We may likewise affirm, That this Mass of Earth we tread upon, is nothing but the Excrement of that first substance, which was united in the Chaos; Now encompassing the Center, and so including it in a Spherical, Equilibrial proportion, that it cannot move or fall: for see it is in the lowest of places, it can tend no ways further, unless it should ascend; which is repugnant to its Nature; But in the meanwhile, I do not say, That the Body of the Earth is nothing but an Excrement: for though it appear wholly excrementitious, yet there lies under its Excrements, a pure substance; which being wholly spiritual, could not become sensible without the administration of some Body; as we see in all things produce: their Seed and first Matter is invisible; but as they are carried in a corporal Mass, and excrementitious substance, we can see them; and no Body can be made without Excrements: for which cause, this substance is separated from the Body of Earth in Generation, by the influence of Celestial heat; retaining nothing of the said Earth, but as much as may be for a sustentacle for it; which from the beginning had no other use, but to serve for a Receptacle and Shop, or rather a Vessel, wherein this spiritual Matter might effect its operations; as we shall largely and plainly demonstrate in the sequel Chapter, where I shall treat of Separation more largely.
But Separation were to little purpose, if the things separated should remain without action: Natures scope in Separation, is to enliven and abandon Death, which comes from no other cause but superabundance of Excrements suffocating the pure substance; but here I mean natural, not violent Death: but if the Seeds of things should always lie buried in this excrementitious Earth, nothing would be produced or receive Life: but the Celestial Virtue by its vital influence extracts them; and these being full of Virtue by its vital influence extracts them; and these being full of Virtue, dilate and promote themselves into all and each several species, as their Nature and Composition require.
Life then proceeds from Purification, which the Stars effect by their influences, with which the augmentative and restorative faculties descend: for the Stars being in continual motion, they are continually occupied with action, and consequently with vivification, giving Life to Life: which cannot be without Conservation and Restoration: Conservation they give by sustaining Life indeficiently; Restoration, by restoring what the Generations of individuals consume and spend. And this we may see manifestly in the first Matter incorporated; for being impregnated by Celestial Influences, it is of itself nourished, multiplied, and augmented continually.
And hence it is called a Dragon or Serpent that preys upon itself, always regerminating; which, wherever it be, it takes such root, that the place shall never be quite destitute of it, though it be washed or burned; which is certain token by which this first Matter may be known.
These then are the principle Virtues which the Spirit of the World hath, and will always receive from the Celestial Influences, which produce great and admirable effects in all the Members of the Universe.
But here some may enquire, How that the first matter receiving such pure and potent Influences from Heave, comes to be conspurcated with so many virtuous qualities; and how it retains them when it hath received them, seeing it is always busied in the actions of vivification, augmentation, conservation, and restoration: for if it separate not, it will die; and if it augment, conserve, and restore, not, it will diminish, perish, and debilitate; which it never does.
Whereunto I answer, That the Stars have a twofold influence; one natural, the other accidental: the natural was communicated to them in their first Creation; and it is that Government of the Universe, which Hermes speaks of, whereby they keep it in its Being, by defending and preserving it by their influences, from destruction and annihilation; wherewith the Spirit of the Universe is continually enriched: which applies to them to, and manifests them in all things whereto it gives increase and substance: but the accidental Influence of the Stars, is that which falls out preternaturally, by reasons of their different Situations and Aspects: and this is always subject to mutation, and never remains equal: and this hath only power upon the effects of Matter, not upon the Matter itself; for whatever
every true Medicament should effect two operations, to wit, purge from Corruption, and restore lost Strength; and in this the whole Basis and Art of Medicine consists, though the letter of the two parts is only in use, to wit Purgation; the more excellent, to wit, Restoration, being wholly abolished, or through sloth or avarice neglected.
And that these things are thus carried, is apparent from