Since, Basil Valentine, by Religious Vows am bound according to the Order of St. Benedict, and that requires another manner of Spirit of Holiness, then the common State of Mortals exercised in the profane business of this World; I thought it my duty before all things, in the beginning of this little Book, to declare what is necessary to be known to the pious Spagyrist, inflamed with an ardent desire of this Art; as, what he ought to do, and whereunto to direct his aim, that he may lay such Foundations of the whole matter, as may be stable; lest his Building shaken with Winds, happen to fail, and the whole Edifice to be involved in shameful Ruine, which otherwise, being founded on more firm and solid Principles, might have continued for a long series of time. Which Admonition I judged was, is, and always will be a necessary part of my Religious Office; especially, since we must all die, and no one of us, which now are, whether high or low, shall long be seen among the number of Men. For it concerns me to commend these Meditations of Mortality and Posterity, leaving them behind me, not only that honour may be given to the Divine Majesty, but also that Men may obey him sincerely in all things. In this Meditation I found that there were five principal Heads, chiefly to be considered by the wise and prudent Spectators of our Wisdom and Art. This first of which is, Invocation of GOD. the second, Contemplation of Nature. The third, True Preparation. The fourth, The Way of Using. The fifth, Utility and Fruit. For he, who regards not these, shall never obtain place among true Chymists, or fill up the number of perfect Spagyrists. Therefore touching these five Heads we shall here following treat, and so far declare them, as that the general Work may be brought to light and perfected by an intent and studious Operation. 1. [GOD TO BE FIRST INVOKED] Invocation of GOD must be made with a certain Heavenly Intention, drawn from the bottom of a pure and sincere Heart, and Conscience, free from all Ambition, Hypocrisy, and all other Vices, which have any affinity with these, as Arrogance, Boldness, Pride, Luxury, Mundane Petulancy, Oppression of the Poor, and other dependent evils, all which are to be eradicated out of the Heart; that when a Man desires to prostrate himself before the Throne of Grace, for obtaining bodily health, he may do that with a Conscience free from all unprofitable Weeds, that his Body may be transmuted into an Holy Temple of GOD, and be purged from every uncleanness. For GOD will not be mocked (which I earnestly admonish) as Worldly Men, pleasing and flattering themselves with their own Wisdom, think: GOD, I say, will not be mocked, but the Creator of all things will be invoked with reverential fear, and acknowledged with due Obedience. And for this there is great Reason. For what hath Man, that he must not own to be received from this his Omnipotent Creator, whether you have respect to the Body, or to the Soul, which operates the Body? Hath no he, for sustention of this, out of hisMercy communicated to us his Eternal WORD, and also promised Eternal Salvation? Hath not he also provided food and clothing for the Body, and all those things without which the Body cannot subsist? All these, by humble Prayer a Man obtains of that most excellent Father, who created Heaven and Earth, together with things Visible and Invisible, as the Firmament, Elements, Vegetables, and Animals. Which is so very true, that I am certainly assured, no Impious Man shall ever be partaker of true Medicine, much less of the Eternal Heavenly Bread. Therefore place your whole Intention and Trust in GOD, call upon him and pray, that he may impart his blessing to you: let this be the beginning of your work, that by the same you may obtain your desired end, and at length effect what you intended. For the Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom. Whosoever purpose in himself to seek after that, which is the greatest of Terrene things, especially the knowledge of every good thing, that is in the Creatures, and GOD hath liberally imparted to Men, and implanted (as to their effective power) in Stones, Herbs, Roots, Seeds, Animals, Plants, Minerals, Metals, yea and indeed in all things; let him cast away all Earthly thoughts, reject all that depends on them, and hope for freeness of Heart, and pray unto GOD with great lowliness of mind: So doing, his hope of freeness may at length be turned into freedom. Which no Man will doubt, who knows, that he alone is GOD, who delivered Israel from all his Enemies; which deliverance he did in very deed effect, not only for Israel, but also for all Men making humble supplications to him, and praying with brokenness of Heart. Therefore let Prayer by the first point of our Admonition, which also is, and by us is called Invocation of GOD, which if made, not with Hypocrisy and a feigned Heart, but with such Faith and Trust, as that, with which the Centurion in Capernaum prayed; with such lowliest of mind, and confession of Sins, as the Woman of Canaan was endued with; with such Charity as the Samaritan shewed to the Man wounded in the way to Jericho, pouring Wine and Oyl into his wounds, paying his Charges in the Inn, and giving order he should be very carefully looked to; Lastly, if a Mans Christian Charity extends itself so far, as if he obtain what he prays for, he would willingly communicate of the same to his Neighbor, then he shall unobtainable obtain Riches and Health, the of his Prayer.* *What the Author hath premised here at large, and elsewhere often inserted touching Piety, the worship of GOD, and Invocation of his Name, I purpose neither to praise nor dispraise; Let them by judged by signs of his own earnest Piety, Arguments of his sincerity and signalImpresses of his fervent zeal (by so many Tautologies and Reiterations) often boiling up. Every Man, according to the Opinion of his mind, and the persuasion, in which he was educated from his Childhood, will more or less esteem of this. It was my business to translate the Authors writings into Latin, in such a Method and Order, as I thought would in no wise give any distaste to the delicate Palat of the Reader; also to indicate that, which seems pertinent to the business of every Chymist and true Spagyrist, and not to neglect the other. For since Piety is available for all things, as divine Oracles teach, and the principal exercise of Piety is Prayer; by which Celestial Gifts are obtained of GOD the giver of all good things; our Author wills, that unto him the mind by lifted up, even in the midst of the Operations of Chymistry full of labor and toil. If prayer effected no other thing, it certainly collects the mind (called away from all other things) into it self and renders it apt for that which is in hand; whence it comes to pass, that it reflects upon many things, and considers them, which otherwise would not enter the mind, if it set about its Work perfunctorily, and distracted with various Conceptions: And so by the help of Prayer we receive many things, which we (if not ungrateful) must needs acknowledge we have obtained from GOD.How often this is found to be of use in Spagyric Works every Man knows, that hath any time entirely devoted himself to this business; viz. how often those things which he long sought and could not find, have been imparted to him in a moment, and as it were infused from above, or dictated by some good Genius. That also is of use in dissolving all Riddles, or Enigmatical Writings: For if you burn with a great desire of knowing them, that is Prayer; and when you incline your mind to this or that, variously discussing and meditating many things, this is Cooperation; that your Prayer may not be idle, or tempting GOD: yet this your endeavor is in vain, until you find the Solution. Nevertheless if you despair not, but instantly persist in desire, and cease not from labor, at length in a moment the Solution will fall in; this is Revelation, which you cannot receive unless you pray with great desire and labor, using your utmost endeavor; and yet you cannot perceive, how from all those things (of which you thought) which were not the Solution of the Enigma, the Solution it self arose. This unfolding of the Riddle opens to you the mystery of all great things, and shews how available Prayer is for the obtainment of things Spiritual and Eternal, as well as Corporal and perishing goods: and when Prayer is made with a Heart not feigned, but sincere; you will see that there is nothing more fit for the acquiring of what you desire. Let these suffice to be spoken of Prayer, which Basilius and all Philosophers with him do not vainly require, as an Introduction to Chymistry. For Piety is profitable for all Works, especially for Great Undertakings. 2. Next in order after Prayer is Contemplation, by which I understand an accurate attention to the business it self, under which fall these considerations first to be noted. As, what are the Circumstances of any thing, what the Matter, what the Form, whence its operations proceed, whence it is infused and implanted, how generated by the Stars, conformed by the Elements, produced and perfected by the three Principles. Also how the body of every thing may be dissolved, that is, resolved into the first Matter, or first Essence (of which I have already made mention in other of my writings) viz. how the last Matter may be changed into the first, and the first into the last.* *What are here set down, touching the true Theory of Philosophy, are compendiums of those things, which Philosophers have in os many Books (writ about the same business) revealed, shall I say, or concealed. Attend to the words of the Author, and you will see, that he perfectly knew that Spirit penetrating all things, which presides or bears rule in all things, yet is involved and absconded matter and defilement on every side; from which if once freed, it returns to the purity of its own substance, in which it produce all things, and is all in all. To comment upon this, would be a work no less than the producing of all Books of Philosophers, compiled with such accurate study, and contending with so great contention about the Theory. This Contemplation, which absolves the second part of our Admonition, is Celestial, and to be understood with Spiritual Reason; for the circumstances and depth of every thing cannot be perceived any other way, then by the Spiritual Cogitation of Man: and this Contemplation is twofold. One is called possible, the other impossible. The later consists of copious cogitations, which never proceed to effects, nor exhibit any form of a matter, which falls under the Touch. As if any one should endeavor to comprehend the Eternity of the Most High, which is vain and impossible, yea a Sin against the Holy Spirit, so arrogantly to pry into the Divinity itself, which is Immense, Infinite, and Eternal; and to subject the incomprehensive Counsel of the Secrets of GOD, to humane Inquisition. The other part of Contemplation, which is possible, is called the Theory. This contemplates that, which is perceived by Touch and Sight, and hath a formed Nature in time: this considers, how that nature may be helped and perfected by Resolution of it self; how every body may give forth from it self, the good or evil, Venome or Medicine latent in it; how Destruction and Contraction are to be handled, whereby under a just Title, without Sophistical deceits, the pure may be severed and separated from the impure. This Separation is instituted and made by divers manual operations, and various ways; Some of which are vulgarly known by experience, others remote from vulgar experience. These are, Calcination, Sublimation, Reverberation, Circulation, Putrefaction, Digestion, Distillation, Cohobation, Fixation, and the like of these; all degrees of which are found in operating, learned, perceived and manifest by the same. Whence clearly appears what is moveable, what is fixed, what is white, red, black, blew, or green, viz. when the operation is rightly Instituted by the Artificer, for possibly the Operator may err, and turn aside from the right way; but that Nature should err, when rightly handled, is not possible. Therefore if you shall err, so that Nature cannot be altogether free, and released from the Body, in which it is help Captive, return again into your way, learn the Theory more perfectly, and inquire more accurately in the method of operating, that you may find the foundation and certainty in Separation of all things. Which is a matter of great concern. And this is the second foundation of Philosophy, which follows the Prayer: for in that the sum of the matter lies, and is contained in these words. Seek first the Kingdom of GOD, and his Justice by Prayer, and all other things, which Man seeks in these Temporals, and he hath need of, either for the sustentation or health of his body, shall be added to you. 3. Next to the Theory, which research out the inmost properties of things, follows Preparation, which is performed by Operations of the hands, that some real work may be produced. From Preparation arise Knowledge, viz. Such, as opens all the fundamentals of Medicine. Operation of the Hands requires a diligent application of it self, but the praise of Science consists in experience, but the difference of these Anatomy distinguish, *Operation shews how all things may be brought to light, and exposed to sight visibly: but knowledge shews the practice; and that, whence the true Practitioner is, and is no other then confirmation: because the operation of the hands manifests something that is good, and draws the latent and hidden nature outwards, and brings it to light for good. For, as in Spirituals, the way of the Lord is to be prepared; so also in these things, the way is to be opened and prepared; so also in these things, the way is to be opened and prepared, that no error be from the right path, and the Process may be made, without devious errors, in the direct way to health. *Manual Operation is chiefly required in this third Part, without which, every Operation, like a Ship wanting Ballast, floats and is uncertain. It is difficult to express this with a Pen; for more is learned by once seeing the work done, then can be taught by the writing of many Pages; yet if it be no offense to you, to peruse these Commentaries together with Basilius (in this so necessary part) will not a little help. 4. After Preparation, and especially after separation of the good from the evil, we are to proceed to the *Use of the weight or dose, that neither more, nor less then is fit, may be given. For above all things, the Physician ought well to know, whether his Medicament will be weak or strong, also whether it will do good, or hurt, unless he resolve to fatten the church yard, and with the loss of his fame, and hazard of his own soul. *By Use, the Author understands what others call Dose; for what will a good Medicine profit you, if you know not in what quantity to administer it; that the same may rather heal, then hurt or kill. By experience only to learn this, is a work full of perilous casualty, yet the Discipline or knowledge of Doses was found out this way first, and afterward easily taught by Words. Where a living Voice is wanting, it is safer to be too trimerous, then in any wise bold or adventurous, although of Antimony I can affirm, that being duly prepared it is as harmless a medicine as Cassia or Manna. The whole caution is chiefly about its use, after the first preparations; because it may still retain much of its own crude Venom. 5. After the Medicament is taken into the body, and hath diffused it self through all the Members, that it may search out those defects against which it was administered, the Utility comes to be considered; for it is possible that a Medicament diligently prepared, and exhibited in due weight, may do more hurt then good in some Diseases, and eem to be Venom rather then Medicine. Hence an accurate reflection is to be made to those things, which profit or help; and they are diligently to be noted, that we may be mindful to observe the same in other cases. Yet both in the *Use and Utility, this one thing is necessary to be considered, viz. whether the Disease be an external and open wound, or only an internal and latent evil: for as the difference of these is great, so the way of curation is not the same. Therefore the bottom of every Disease is to be known, that it may be understood, whether the same may be cured by external remedies only, or must from within be driven outwards. *That Indication is to be taken from things helping and hurting, is known even to Tyros. But what the Author subjoins touching internal and external curation, are not so rude, as not to deserve good Attention: And also those things which he premixed with his own Satyrical Reprehension, if the Reader be so wise as to believe that Basilius intermixed them to deter the unworthy deriders of Chymistry from approaching to his sacred Arcanums, he will be wise for himself. For whiles others rail and swell with indignation, he gathers the fruit of the Authors Axioms, which as another Agent he scattered among these Thorns. Whiles you, O lover of Chymistry, peruse these, so long will I keep silence. For if the Center of the Disease by within, such a Medicine must be given, as can search out, apprehend and restore that Center; otherwise the Physicians labor will be fruitless and in vain. Moreover, if there be an internal Disease, which ariseth, and is fed from an internal Original, it must never be driven inward by external remedies; for great discommodity will thence ensue, and at length Death itself. Which may be understood by the similitude of a Tree; for if any one, whist it germinates or flowers, repels the Humors to the Interiors, whence they proceeded to the nutriment of the earth; that Tree will be so far from bringing forth the desired Fruit by the flower, that a suffocation of the same arise from the violent conjunction of humors not finding any out-let. Therefore there is great difference between fresh wounds inflicted by Prick, Cut, or any other way, and the old which derive their Original from within. For the fresh wounds may be perfectly cured by external remedies only; but in those, which are nourished from within, an external application of Oyls, Balsoms, Unguents, and Plaisters profits little, unless the Internal Fountain be stopped, whence the humors flow to the external parts. When the Fountain shall be stopped, the Flux will cease, and the evil may easily be cured with Diet only. It is no great point of Art to heal any fresh wound; for this every Country-man can easily effect with crude Lard: but to remove all Symptomes which happen in wounds, and to dry up the Fountain of the evil, this is the work, and this the labor of the Artist. [DOCTORS REPREHENDED] Now come hither, you physicians, how many so ever there be of you, that arrogate to your selves the Title of Doctor of either Medicine, viz. of internal and external Diseases; understand ye the Title of your honor, and consult your own Conscience, and see, whether you received that from GOD, that is, possess it in verity, or whether you usurp it as a form, for honor sake. For, as much as Heaven is distant from the Earth, so vastly different is the Art of healing internal Diseases, from the Sanation of external wounds. If the Title be given to you by GOD, the same GOD will give a Blessing, Felicity, Health and happy events; but if your Title be vain, and only devised and assumed for ambition, all things will evilly succeed to you: your honor will fail, and you will prepare for your self Hell-fire, which can no more be extinguished, then it can be expressed by words. For Christ said to his Disciples; You call me Lord and Master, and ye do well, Therefore whosoever assumes a Title of Honor, let him see, whether he do well, and whether he ascribes not more to himself, than he knows and hath learned, which is the real abuse of this Title. For he, who will write himself Doctor of either Medicine, ought to understand, know, and be well skilled in both, viz. the Internal and External Medicine. Nor should he be ignorant of Anatomy, that he may be able to shew the Constitution of the Body, and discover from what Member every Disease proceeds, together with its Fountain and cause. Also remedies, with which he may cure the Disease, and circumstances of external Wounds, are to be understood by him. Good GOD! where will the Title be found, what will become of the Master, when an exact Trial shall be made, for discovering the ignorance of these Doctors of either Medicine? In times past, long before my days, the Doctors of Medicine did themselves cure External wounds, and judged that a part of their Office; but in these times, they take Servants, whom they employ in these things, and this way the noblest of Arts is become a Mechanic Operation; and some of those who exercise it, are indeed so very rude, as they know not Letters, and scarcely know how (according to the Proverb) to drive an Ass out of the Corn. These, I say, profess, themselves Masters in curing wounds, and Doctors of Doctors; and to speak the truth as it is, they may by a better right glory in this Title, they thou magnificent Doctor, unpractical Chyrugion, and most ignorant Boaster of Titles, why do you style yourself Doctor of either medicine? What more now Master Doctor, what say you, most expert Chyrurgion? I pray be not offended at this, or take it amiss; for you your self will quickly confess, if you do but seriously consider wounds made by Prick or Cut, that you have as much knowledge in the cure of them, as is in the Brain of a dunghill Cock, which Children learning their A.B.C. are wont to set in the Frontispiece of their Primer. [TRUE DOCTRINE, WHEREIN IT CONSISTS] Therefore I persuade all Men, of what state or condition soever, who are desirous of Learning, from your Masters to search out the true Doctrine, which consists in Preparation, and afterward in the Use; [OPERATIONS AND UTILITY GIVE EXPERIENCE] so they, or you, shall possess the Title assumed with honor, and Men will undoubtedly have confidence in you, and you will in very deed do them good, then will you to the Eternal Creator give thanks cordially without feigning. But let every Man seriously think with himself, what it is he ought to do, and what he is to omit, and whether he doth justly or unjustly use the Title assumed. For he, who assumes any Title, ought especially to understand the condition of that Title, and why he assumed it, or what the true foundation is. It is not sufficient, if anyone iwth the vulgar say (saving your reverence, let the more delicate Men pardon us, if we intending to speak to the purpose, make mention of putrefaction) this is egregious dung, it hath a strong and grievous ill saviour, and know not how it comes to pass, that a Man, who perhaps eats food of a most grateful taste and odor, and well accommodated to his natural Appetite, thence makes excrement endued with qualities so contrary, and yielding an odor so very ungrateful, and repugnant to Nature: of which there is no other reason, then natural putrefaction and corruption. The same happens in all Aromatically well smelling things. It is the Philosophers part to inquire, what odor is, and whence it receives its virtues, and in what the virtue of it may be made manifest to true profit. For the Earth is nourished and fattened by stinking dung, and noble Fruit is produced of it. Of this matter there is not one cause only, but our Book would swell to an huge Volume, if we should but briefly hint at all natural Generations and mutations; yet Digestion and Putrefaction are the principal keys of them. For the Fire and Air make a certain Maturation, by which a Transmutation of the Earth and Water may follow; and this is also a certain mutation, by which of evil smelling Dung a most fragrant Balsam may be produced; and on the contrary, of most grateful Balsam ill favored Dung. But perhaps you will say, why do I produce examples of so very rude and absurd? I do confess the example is taken from a Cottage, rather then a Royal Court; yet a prudent consider of things, more accurately diving into the matter, will easily understand, what such examples intimate to him, viz. that of the highest things the lowest are made, and the lowest the highest, so that, of a Medicament is produced of Venome, and of Venome Medicine; of the sweet, bitter, acid, and corrosive; and on the contrary of the corrosive, another thing more profitable. [NATURE ABSCONDED FROM MEN] O good GOD, how much is Nature absconded from Men, so that she seems to disdain to be wholly seen by us? But since thou hast ordained so very short a time of our Life, and thou the Judge of all, reserves many things to thy self in the Creatures, which thou hast left to be admired, not known, by us, and of which thou alone wilt be the beholder and Judge, grant unto me, that unto my Lifes end I may keep thee and my Saviour in my Heart, that besides health and necessaries of the body, which though hast liberally bestowed, I may also acquire the health of my Soul and Spiritual Riches; of which inestimable good I am freed from all doubt by that thy mercy, in which, for my soul, for me a miserable sinner, thou didst (on the Tree of the Cross) shed Sulphur and Balsom; which is indeed a mortiferous Venom to the Devil, but to us Sinners, a most present remedy. I do certainly heal my Brethren, as far as concerns the Soul, by Prayer, and in relation to the body, with apt Remedies; therefore I hope they will on their parts use their endeavor, that they with me, and I with them, may at length inhabit the Tabernacle of the Most High, and in him our GOD enjoy Eternity. [SPIRIT VIVIFICATIVE, AND OPERATIVE] But to return to my Philosophy of Antimony, I would have the Reader, before all other things, to understand, that all things contain in themselves operative and vivificate Spirits; which inhabiting in the Body feed and nourish themselves, and are sustained by the Body. Elements themselves want not these Spirits, which (the living GOD permitting that) whether they be good or evil, have their Habitation in them. Men and Animals have in them a living operating Spirit, which receding from them, nothing but a Carkass remains. In Herbs, and all things bearing Fruit, a Spirit of Sanity exists; otherwise they could not, by any Preparation, be reduced to Medicinal use. Metals and all Minerals, are endued and possessed with their own incomprehensible Spirit, in which, the power and virtue of all their possible effects, consists. For whatsoever is without Spirit, wants Life, and contains in itself no vivifying Virtue. Therefore, you are to know, that in Antimony also there is a Spirit, which effects whatsoever in it, or can proceed from it, in an invisible way and manner, no otherwise, than as in the Magnet is absconded a certain invisible power, as we shall more largely treat in its own place, where we speak of the Magnet. [SPIRITS OF VARIOUS KINDS] But there are various kinds of Spirits;* visible to the Intellect, and endued with Spiritual knowledge, which notwithstanding cannot (when they will) be touched or apprehended, as Natural Men are touched; [SPIRITS OF THE ELEMENTS] especially they, who have their fixed Residence in Elements, as are the Spirits of Fire, Lights and other Objects formally darting out Light from themselves: such are Airy Spirits, who inhabit the Air; Aqueous Spirits living in Waters; and Terrene Spirits living in the Earth, which we Men call Earthly Men, which are chiefly found in wealthy mines of the Earth, where they shew and discover themselves to us. *What follow, seem somewhat confused, according to the Sentiments of certain Theologicians, who have held various opinions of Spirits residing in the Fire, Air, and other Elements; adjudging them to the Eternal Fire of Hell. All which with Basilius, we leave as unknown, to the Judgment of the Divine Knowledge. But what he himself subjoyns, touching the wonderful virtue and power of Antimonial and all other Chymical Spirits, which we our selves with so great admiration have often seen, we understand only of material Spirits; which certainly are endued with as great virtues, and effect things no less wonderful then those Spirits, which Phantastick persons (oppressed with Melancholy) affirm they see and talk with; yea I cannot remember that I ever found written or declared (by such, as taking a liberty of lying, endeavor to please or terrify others) any greater or more wonderful virtues then these Spirits have. [SPIRITS WANTING SPEECH] These Spirits are endued with Senses and Understanding, know Arts, and can change themselves into divers Forms, until the time of their Judgment; but whether a definition sentence ought to be pronounced against them as yet, or no, that I leave to the Providence of the Divine Majesty, from whom nothing is hid. There are other Spirits, wanting speech, which cannot shew themselves visibly in the very act; and they are those which live in Animals, as in Men and the like, in Plants also and in Minerals; nevertheless they have in themselves an occult and operative Life, and manifest and discover themselves by their efficacious power of operating, which they contain in and bear about themselves, and most apparently give testimony of their virtue of healing, whensoever that (by help of the Art) is extracted from them, being accurately separated from their body. After the same manner, the efficacious Spirit, and operative power of Antimony, manifests its gifts, and distributes them among Men, being first loosed from its own body, and freed from all its bonds, so, that it is able to penetrate, and render fit to be applied to those Uses, which the Artificer proposed to himself in Preparation. [ARTIST AND VULCAN OUGHT TO AGREE] But the Artist and Vulcan ought to agree: [FIRE MAKES SEPERATION] the Fire gives separation for an operative power, and the Artificer forms the matter. [EXAMPLE, OF A BLACKSMITH] As a Black-smith useone sort of Fire, also Iron only is his matter, which he intends for forming divers Instruments. For some times of it he makes a Spit, at another time Horse-shoes, another time a Saw, and at length innumerable other things, every of which serves for that Use, unto which the Smith intended it, although the matter is but one, which he prepares for so many divers uses. So of Antimony various works may be made for different uses: in which the Artist is the Smith that forms; [VULCAN, THE KEY] Vulcan is as it were the key which opens; and Operations and Utility give experience, and knowledge of the Use. O! if foolish and vain Men had but Ears to hear, and true eyes with understanding, not only for hearing what I write, but for understanding the Arcanum and knowledge of the use; assuredly they would not suck in those insalubrious and turbid Potions, but hasten to these limped Fountains, and drink of the Well of Life. [DOCTORS REPREHENDED] Therefore let the World know, that I shall prove those pretended Doctors, who seem to be wise, to be mere Fools and Idiots,and cause many unlearned Men (but such as are studious Disciples of my Doctrine) to become true Doctors in very deed. Wherefore I here solemnly cite and invite all Men, who earnestly aspire to knowledge, with a cheerful mind, good Conscience, and certain hope, to embrace and become Spectators of our Doctrine, and accurately to peruse my Writings and Information; for so, at length, they (being possessors of what they sought) will extol and commend me after death, rendering my mortal name immortal, with their perpetual remembrance of my praises, as long as the World endures. But if when I am dead, any one be pleased to institute a disputation in the Schools against me, my writings will fully answer all his Objections, and I am assured my Disciples will never forget the benefit received from me, by which they will obtain the Empire of Truth, which ever was to me, and always will be to them, sufficient to suppress a Lie to the Worlds end. [ANTIMONY OF 2 KINDS] Also let the well meaning and sincere observer of Art know, that there are two kinds of Antimony very different from each other: one is fair, pure, and of a golden property, and that contains very much Mercury, but the other which hath much Sulphur is not so friendly to gold as the first, and is distinguished by fair long and white shining streaks. Therefore one is more fit for Medicine and Alchemy, then the other: as when the Flesh of Fishes is compared with the Flesh of other Animals, although both these are, and are called Flesh, yet each of these very much differs from the Flesh of the other; even so of Antimony the difference is the same. Many do indeed write of the Interior virtue of Antimony, but few of them ever taught the true Foundation of the virtues with which it is endued, or found out which way, or in what manner it recieves them; So that their Doctrine is founded upon words only, exists without any true foundation, and they themselves lose the fruit they hopes to receive by such Writings. For to write truly of Antimony is a work that requires profound Meditations, a mind largely unfolding itself, and knowledge of its manifold Preparation, and of the true Soul of it, in which all the Utility is cited, and which being known you may be able to give an indubitable Judgment, of what evil or good, Venom or Medicine is latent therein. It is not a matter of small moment by a true Examen to search into Antimony, and thereby to penetrate fundamentally into its Essence, and through earnest study to attain the final knowledge thereof, that the Venenosity of the same (against which unskillfully Men ignorantly exclaim) may be taken away, and it be changed and prepared into a better State, becoming a Medicine fit for use and void of Venom. [ARTISTS VEX, WREST AND TORMENT ANTIMONY] Many Artists intending to Anatomize Antimony, have divers ways vexed, wrested and tormented the same, in such wise as it cannot be well described in Words, much less believed; yet, the matter being truly examined, they effected nothing. For they sought not its true Soul, and therefore could not find the feigned Soul of it, which themselves sought. By the black Colours a mist was cast before their Eyes, so that they could neither observe the true Soul itself, nor know it. [ANTIMONY COMPARED TO A CIRCLE] For Antimony like unto Mercury, may fitly be compared to a round Circle, of which there is no end; in which the more diligently any Man seeks, the more he finds, if Process be made by him in a right way and due order. Yet the Life of no one Man is sufficient for him to learn all the mysteries thereof. It is Venom and a most swift poison, also it is void of Venom and a most excellent Medicine; whether it be used outwardly or inwardly. Which is a thing hid form most Men by reason of their own blindness; and they judge it an incredible, foolish and vain work, because (through their ignorance) it is unknown to them, who can no otherwise be excused, then that they deserve the name of Stupidity: yet that is not to be suffered in them, because they desire not to learn or be better informed, either here, or elsewhere. [ANTIMONY ENDUED WITH THE 4 FIRST QUALITIES] Antimony is endued with all the four first qualities; it is cold and humid, and against it is hot and dry, and accommodates it self to the four Seasons of the year, also it is volatile and fixed. The volatile part of it is not void of Venom, but the fixed is free from all venenosity; which is so very strange, as it may be reputed one of the seven Wonders of the World, of which so many Writers have discoursed, not knowing themselves what they writ. [ANTIMONYS VIRTUES INEXHAUSTIBLE] There hath been no *Man before me, and at this day there is none found, who hath so thoroughly learned the power, virtue, strength, operations, and efficacy of Antimony, or so profoundly penetrated into all the Energy thereof, as nothing more is latent in it unfound out, or which cannot be brought to light by experience. If such a Man could be found he would be worthy to be carried about in a Triumphal Chariot, as in times past was granted to Monarchs and potent Heroes, after they had happily fought Battles, and were returned with Victory. But I fear, that many of our Doctors will be constrained to provide a Chariot for themselves. *Here the Author speaks largely in commendation of Antimony. Read, read (I say) O Lover of Chymistry, and you will find nothing Hyperbolical, nor anything Thrasnick. Basilius in speaking as he doth, hath not exhausted the Praises of Antimony; because no Man unto this day could ever experience all its Virtues. We have seen many of its Effects, and many new Effects are daily found by curious Searchers, yet many more remain unknown. So that, as in Fire is an inexhaustible Fountain; (for the more you take from it, the more it gives) so in Antimony is an inestimable Treasure of new Virtues. For if from it you extract its Acetum a thousand times, it will a thousand times, yield new Acetum. Nature seems to have made choice of this Mineral, therein to hide all her Treasures. Therefore not without reason hath Basilius made for it a Triumphant Chariot, which is daily enriched with Spoyls taken from the Camps of Ignorance. For the Masters of this terrene World are so entangled with their own Thoughts, that they seek nothing from Antimony but Riches, and forget to search its utility for medicine, and the Health of the Body, which notwithstanding ought above all things to be sought, that (being brought to Light) the wonderful Works of our GOD may be made manifest, and the Glory given to him, with great thankfulness. It is not to be denied, but that more of Riches and Health may be found in it than either you all, or I myself, can believe: for I profess my self no other than a Disciple in the Knowledge of Antimony, although in it I have seen, experienced and learned more than you, and all such as you are (who arrogate to yourselves great skill therein) either have learned, or ever can learn. Yet no Man should therefore be troubled, or despair of Benefits; but because the World, indulging their own Ingratitude, have neither esteemed, nor with due Reverence acknowledged the Munificence of the Most High, but have preferred Riches before Health, GOD hath spread as it were a Spiders Webb before their Eyes, that being blind they might not know the Secrets of Nature absconded in the Form of this Mineral. [RICHES REQUIRED BY ALL] All men cry out Rich, Rich we would be. I confess you all aspire to Riches, and with the Epicure say, The Body must first be provided for, the Soul may at length also find somewhat; and with Midas (as in the Fable) you desire that all things whatsoever you touch may be turned into Gold. Hence it is, that so many seek their desired Riches in Anatomy: But because they accept not that Gift of the Creator with a grateful Heart, which before all Things should be procured, and cast the Love of their Neighbour behind their back, therefore they in vain look the Horse in the Mouth; for they know his Age and Strength no more than the Guests at the Marriage-Feast in Cana of Galilee knew the wonderful Work, which Christ there wrought, when he turned Water into Wine. They knew, that Wine was Water, and that the Water was turned into Wine, they perceived by the Taste; but how that Transmutation happened was hid from them. For the Lord JESUS, our Saviour, reserved the Supernatural Work to himself, as a Testimony of his Omnipotency. Wherefore I say, it is every Mans duty, to search out the Mysteries and Arcanums, which the Creator hath insisted in all Creatures; for although (as we said) it is not Credible, that we Men can thoroughly learn and penetrate all Things; yet we are not forbid to inquire into them, since by Study and Diligence so much may be effected, as although through some defect a Man may be hindered in such wise, as he cannot attain to the desired Riches and perfect Sanity, yet he may acquire enough to occasion him not to repent of his Labour, but rather to minister unto him matter of Joy and Rejoicing, that he sees himself so far an Adepts, as he stands always obliged to render thanks to his Creator. [SOLUTION WHEN NECESSARY] Therefore, whosoever desires to become a perfect Anatomist of Antimony, the first thing to be considered by him is Solution of the Body; and in order to this, he must take it in a convenient place, and propose to himself the right way, that he be not seduced into devious Paths. Secondly he must observe the Governance of the Frie, taking Care that it be neither too much, nor too little, or too hot, or too cold. For the sum of all is sited in an exact Governance of the Fire; by which the vivifying Spirits of Antimony are extracted, and loosed from their bonds, and so rendered capable to manifest their Effects operatively. Also he must take great Care, that this Operative Virtue be not mortified and persih Adustion. [DOSE, OBSERVABLE] Thirdly the Use or Dose is to be observed by him, that he may administer it in due manner, knowing the Measure, as I above mentioned, when I spake of the five principal Heads requisite in the Exercise and Practice of Chemistry; but here I only hint at it cursorily by way of a parable. By Resolution the sum of the Matter is proposed, but by Fire it is prepared to profit. For a Butcher cuts out an Ox, and divides it into parts, but no Man can profitably enjoy this Flesh, unless he first boilit by Fire, by which Operation the Red substance of the Flesh is changed and prepared into white Aliment. If a Man constrained by hunger, should eat that Raw and Red flesh, it would be Venom to him rather than Medicine; because the natural Heat of the Stomach is too weak to concoct and digest that crude Body. Hence, my dear Friend, you may conclude, that since Antimony hath greater Venom, and a more gross Mineral Body than Animal Flesh (as by the above recited common Example I have already shewed) it will also prove more perilous, if used Crude, without remain Venom, which will suddenly kill the Sick. [VINEGAR, NOT TRANSMUTABLE INTO WINE] Therefore the Venenosity of Antimony is so to be taken away, as it may never against be converted into Venom, after the same manner, as Wine, which being once, by putrefaction and corruption turned into Vinegar, never afterward yields any Spirit of Wine, but always is and remains Vinegar. but on the Contrary, if the Spirit only of the Wine be separated, and the Aquosity left by itself, and the same Spirit afterward exalted, it will never in any wise be changed into Vinegar, although it should be kept an hundred Years; but will always remain Spirit of Wine, no otherwise, then as Vinegar remains Vinegar. [WINE, TRANSMUTABLE INTO VINEGAR, HOW] This Transmutation of Wine into Vinegar is a wonderful Thing; because somewhat is produced from Wine, which was not before in its vegetable Essence. In which it is also to be noted, that in distillation of Wine the Spirit first comes forth; but (on the contrary) in distilling Vinegar the Phlegm first comes, afterward the Spirit, as I have shewed above in its own place, where I also made mention of this Example. [SPIRIT OF WINE, VOLATILZE] Therefore Spirit of Wine makes Bodies volatile, because itself is volatile; [SPIRIT OF VINEGAR, FIX] but Spirit of Vinegar fixall Medicaments, as well of Minerals as Vegetables, and renders them solid, so that they apprehend things fixed, and expel fixed Diseases. [ANTIMONY CONTAINS ITS OWN VINEGAR] *Consider and observe these things diligently; for this principal Key is of great concern. Therefore Antimony, which contains in itself its own Vinegar, ought to be so prepared, as all its Venenosity may be taken away, and he, who useit, conceives no Venom thereby, but rather drives away and casts out all Poison from himself, by the use thereof. *Believe not only Basilius, but me also, with the same Faith and sincerity affirming to you; this is the first Key, this is the principle part of the whole Art, this opens to you the first Gate, this will also unlock the last, which leads to the Palace of the King. But as I said, not only believe, but also consider and observe. Here you stand in the Entrance, if you miss the Door, all your Course will be Error, all your Hast Ruine, and all your Wisdom Foolishness. He who obtains this Key, and knows the Method (which is called Manual Operation) by which to use it, and has strength to turn the same, will acquire Riches, and an open Passage unto the Mysteries of Chemistry. Therefore Preparation of Antimony consists in the Key of Alchemy, by which it is dissolved, opened, divided and separated; as in Calcination, Reverberation, Sublimation, etc. as we declared above it. Also in extracting its Essence, and in vivifying its Mercury; which Mercury must afterward be precipice into a fixed powder. Likewise by Arts and due Method, of it may be made an Oyl, which is effectual wholly to consume that new and unknown Disease, which the French, in their Warlike Expeditions, brought into our Regions. The same is visible in other Preparations, derived from the Spagyrick Arts and Alchemy; as for Example: [EXAMPLE, OF BEER] If anyone would make Beer of Barley, Wheat, or other Corn, all these digress must be most perfectly known to him, before he can from those Grains extract their most subtile Essence and virtue, and reduce the same into a most efficacious Drink. First, the Grains must be so long steeped in Water, as until they be able sufficiently, to open and resolve themselves (as I, when I was a Young Man, traveling into England and Holland, diligently observed to be done in those places) this is called Putrefaction and Corruption. This Key being used, the Water is drawn off from the Grain, and the macerated Corn is laid on Heaps close together, and left so for a due time, until it spontaneously conceive heat, and by the same heat, germinating, the Grains adhere each to other: this is Digestion. This being finished, the Grains which adhered in their Germination, are separated, and dried, either in the Air, or by Heat of Fire, and so hardened. This is Reverberation, and Coagulation. [CALCINATION, VEGETABLE, WHAT] When the Corn is thus prepared, it is carried to the Mill, that it may be brokeand ground small; this is Vegetable Calcination. Afterward, by heat of Fire coating these Grains, the more noble Spirit of them is extracted, and the Water is imbibed with the same; which without the aforesaid Preparation could not have been. This way the crude Water is converted into Beer, and this Operation (though I speak but rudely) is and is called Distillation. [HOPS, THE VEGETABLE SALT OF BEER] The Hops, when added to the Beer, is the Vegetable Salt thereof, which conserves and preserves from all Contraries, endeavoring to corrupt the same. This way of boiling Water into Drink, by extraction of the Spirits from the Grains, the Spaniards and Italians know not, and in my native soil of Germany about the Rhine, few are found skilled in this Art. After all these works are performed, a new Separation is made by Clarification, viz. of the Drink, in this manner: a little Yeast or Ferment is added, which excites an internal motion and Heat in the Beer, so that it is elevated in it self, and (by the help of time) Separation of the dense from the rare, and of the pure from the impure is made; and by this means the Beer acquires a constant virtue in Operating, so that it penetrates and effects all those Ends, for which it was made and brought into use: which before could not have been; because the Spirit, the Operator was hindered, by its own Impurity, from effecting its proper Work. In Wine also doth not Experience teach the same? That cannot, before the time come, in which the Impurity may be separated from it, so very perfectly and efficaciously perform its own Work, as after Separation of the pure from the impure: which by Drunkenness is manifest; for Beer or Wine unsettled, and not purified, give not forth from themselves so much Spirit for inebriating, as after Clarification. But of this no more. After all the aforesaid, a new Operation may be instituted, by Vegetable sublimation, for separation of the spirit of the Wine or Beer, and for preparing it by Distillation into another Drink of Burning Wine, which may also be made of the Lees or Dregs of Wine and Beer. When this is done, the Operative Virtue is separated from its own Body, and the Spirit being extracted by Fire, forsakes its own unprofitable dead Habitation, in which it was commodiously hospitable before. Now, if this Burning Wine, or Spirit of Wine, be rectified, an Exaltation is made by often distilling it, and by a certain method of Operating, the pure part (free from all Phlegm and Aquosity) may be so concentered, and as it were condensed, as one Measure of it may effect more, then twenty or more could have done before. For it sooner inebriates, and is swift, volatile and subtile for penetrating and operating. *Here I admonish you, whosoever you are, who desire to be taught by my Writings, and hope to obtain Riches and a true Medicine from Antimony, that you would not carelessly peruse my Intention, in which is no letter writ in vain, and which hath not a certain singular signification for your Instruction. *Come hither you Traveler, stay your Journey here. Contemn not or flighty pass over this tautological, but not impertinent, Admonition; often in your mind have recourse to this Description of Beer, search, contemplate, and weigh all Things, perhaps in this turbid and famous Gulf, you will find the Fish you look not for. If in this Light you yet be blind, I know not any Collyrium will profit you: if with so certain a transduction you cannot pass on to the work itself, I know not who will lend you a Staff, or what Demonstration can direct the Journey of a Stupid Man. Believe, read, meditate, labor, and spare the use of so many Chemical Books, which distract you with the Error of various ways, this one tells you all things. Yea, I here solemnly affirm, that there are many words dispersed here and there in my Writings, to which if the Reader give heed as he ought, and know in what Fundamentals the principal Heads of the matter are sited, and as it were buried, he will have no Cause to repent his often turning over the same Leaves, but will esteem every word as much, as a piece of Gold coin. For you know, that although the Examples by me proposed, sound harsh, as delivered in a rude manner, yet they contain in them somewhat that is excellent and of great Moment. Yet I am not here ambitious to procure Authority or praise to my Writings, which is not my Business, nor would it become me: for when the Operation of them shall be brought to Light, they will acquire praise enough to themselves. [EXAMPLES OF BEER, WHY PRODUCED] I purposely and willingly produce Examples so rude and common, because the power of Antimony and the true Virtue thereof, deeply and profoundly absconded in its inmost parts, is to be searched out. I was willing, by these gross Examples to lead you by the hand, and shew you the way, that by them you might attain to the Thing itself, and not at the very first err from the Gate; for so doing you would long wander, and never bring your Operation to the desired End. [ANTIMONY COMPARED TO A BIRD IN THE AIR] For Antimony is like a Bird, which is carried through the Air and as the Wind drives it, so it turns itself which way that wills: here, in this Case, Man acts the Part of the Air or Wind and can drive and move Antimony, at his pleasure, and repose it in such a place, as himself choose: he can imbibe it, with a yellow, red, white or black Color, according as he desires it should be, and as he rules and governs the Fire; because in Antimony (as in Mercury) all Colors are found, which no Man should wonder at, considering how many Things Nature bears absconded in her Bosom, which neither you nor I are able to comprehend in many days. [ANTIMONY COMPARED TO A BOOK] If a book happen to be given to a Man, that is unlearned, he knows not what is signified by that Writing, or what that Scripture intends; for it is hid from his Eyes, and he stands amazed, as a Cow at the sight of a new Door. But if unto that unlearned Man, anyone suggest the Explication of the Book, and teach him not only the matter contained therein, but also the use of the same, the Man no more admires it, as an Art; but by this means it becomes to him a Common Thing, the Reason and Operation of which he understands, and by his own Study can learn, conceive, and comprehend the Utility so perfectly, as now none of those Things, which were contained in the Book , are hid from him; because he hath learned both to read and understand what is written therein. Such a Book is Antimony to those, who know not of the Art of Reading; therefore I faithfully admonish all, who desire to be partakers of its Utilities, to bend their mind to know and pronounce the letters thereof, that so they may acquire the Art of Reading that Book; and in such a manner, that (as in a School) they may be removed from Form to Form, when he who hath rightly gained Experience, shall preside as Rector, and judge of that, which in Trial is most worthy: for One is worthy to be preferred before another, in the Possession of that. [DOCTORS REPREHENDED] But here, what comes into my mind, and ought in no wise to be passed over in Silence, I think good to mention; viz: that at this Day many are found who exclaim, and rashly pronounce Crucified, Crucified, against all those, who prepare Venoms into Medicaments, by which (as they say) many Mortals perish, or, if they escape with Life, live miserably; such are Mercury, Arsenic, Antimony, etc. and this Clamour is chiefly made by those, who (if it please the GODS) are called Doctors* of Medicine, yet indeed understand not what the difference is, between Venom, and Medicine, but are wholly ignorant how Venom may be prepared, so as to pass into a salutary Medicament; and instead of its malignity, put on a better Nature. *Basilius somewhat indulgent his own Genius, inveighing against False-Physicians, whose ignorance (in his time) was so very great, as they contemned every sublime Preparation of Medicine, which he himself, and Chemists with him did profess; proscribing the same as unprofitable, perilous, and hurtful: against whom, it is not strange, if the Chemists (on the other hand) rose up with some small vehemency, and endeavor courageously, by assistance of their Knowledge, and Conscience, to break through that rout of unskillful Men; but the best Things are not always the most prosperous. Chemists overcame by the Justice of their Cause, but were overcome by Number: yet, having verity and goodness on their side, thy fought with so great Confidence, as they were certainly assured they should bear away the Victory; which our Author here shews, and Paracelsus (prophesying of the Coming of Elias the Artist) did presage would be. And certainly unto me (seriously considering how greatly chemists have in these times improved their Knowledge) the Dawning of that Day hath opened itself, since I behold so many Rays of the approaching Sun. [VENOM PREPARED RESISTS POISON] Against these I do in a special manner exclaim and protest, against these, I say, who (ignorance of Preparation) exhibit Poison to Men: for Mercury, Abridgment, Antimony, and such like, are venoms in their Substance, and unless rightly prepared remain Venoms. Yet after a Legitimate Preparation, all their Venenosity is broke, extinguished and expelled, so that no part of them remains, but what is Medicine, which resists all internal Venoms, although most deeply rooted, and radically destroys the same. For Venom, being in such a manner prepared, as it can no longer hurt, resists all Poison, which is not as yet prepared, and so very well prepares and subjugates it, as it is compelled with the same to put off its own venomous Nature. [DOCTORS REPREHENDED] Here I shall raise a great Contention among the Learned; for I know they will doubt what these my Words should signify, as whether what I affirm and write be possible to be done or no; and they will be divided into several Opinions there-about. Some will judge it is in no wise possible, that from those Things, of which we treat, the venenosity should be wholly taken away; nor do I wonder, that they persist in that Opinion, since the Doctrine of like Preparations is absolutely unknown to them, who have not the least thought of that, which leads to the Knowledge of thse more profound Mysteries. Yet a small part of these Men will with me be constrained to acknowledge, it is possible a vile Thing may be changed into a Better. For you (you Doctors I mean) must confess to me, that your purpose is to reduce that Evil, from which the Disease had its Original, into a better State. Go to then; will you not also grant, that if any Evil be in those Things, of which Medicine is to be made, the same Evil must be converted into a better State, that it may so much the better perform its operation, and more powerfully and profitably act, without any notable peril? But since unto very few as yet is known, or by Experience found, the Way, by which a Man ought to proceed in these Preparations, a very small part of these will assume and contend for the Opinion I here affirm, and publicly profess: for very many will be carried away with the greater Rout, crying, Venom, Venom! which Voices, whileI hear them, put me in mind of those wild Clamours, by which the Jews required the Saviour and Redeemer of the World, that he might suffer the Punishment of the Cross, often crying out Crucify him, Crucify him, whom they proclaimed to be the highest, most present, most pernicious, and cursed Venom, when as indeed he was the noblest, supreme, most glorious and most profitable Medicine of our Souls, which was to deliver us from the Death of Sinners, from the Devil, Hell and all Misfortunes. Although those proud Pharisees and Lawyers neither could nor would understand this, nevertheless he both then was, and will be to the end of the World, and after it to all Eternity, the same superexcellent Medicine: and neither the Devil, nor Death, nor the very Gates of Hell, nor any Creature, how powerful, or perverse soever, can effect anything at all, whereby to overthrow this Truth. [KINGS, AND PRINCES, MISINFORMED BY DOCTORS] So I hope, yea doubt not (although all vagabond and circumference Medi casters, all Physicians resident in Cities, and how many soever there be, that profess themselves Masters of any part of Medicine, do all together contrive what they can, and exclaim against Antimony) but that the same Antimony will triumph over the ingratitude of all those unskillful Men (for true Physicians and such as are always ready to learn, I touch not here) and by its own power and virtue acquired after due preparation, will overcome and tread under foot all its Enemies. But, on the contrary, those ignorant false Judges, and pertinacious contemner of Antimony, because they know not the Truth, together with the proud and blood-thirsty Jews, shall perish, and be cast into the Abyss of Hell. How ridiculous those magnificent, and to themselves only wise Doctors, seem to me, who deter Emperors, Kings, Princes and all other Great Men, and seriously admonish them not so much as to touch such Medicines with their Lips, because they are noxious, venomous, and every way perilous, I will not here declare, since I see them only to judge according to their own Opinion, without entertaining any Observations of other things, the Knowledge of which they have not before acquired by their own Contemplation, and therefore cannot judge of any thing else, or otherwise than they have learned. Therefore to these I say, if there be any Man, that hath taken so strong a Poison, as present Death is necessarily expected to follow, I will (provided the Man be left wholly to my Care) give him an Antidote by me prepared which shall continually resist that Venom, and quickly expel it out of the Body. But I little care, whether you Mr. Doctor, who do neither know this Thing, nor ever would apply your mind to know it, do slight the same, and repute it as a ridiculous, and altogether false tale; it is sufficient for me, that I am able (but if praise worthy, let praise be given to GOD) to prove and defend the Truth thereof. For I myself have experienced it, I have made, I have prepared, I have prescribed this Medicine, and there wants not a sufficient number of Witnesses to confirm it under Hand and Seal. [DOCTORS REPREHENDED] And whensoever I shall have occasion to contend in the School with such a Doctor, who knows not how himself to prepare his own Medicines, but commits that Business to another, I am sure I shall obtain the Palm from him: for indeed that good Man knows not what Medicines he prescribes to the Sick; whether the Colour of them be white, black, gray or blue, he cannot tell; nor doth this wretched man know, he only knows, that he found it so written in his Books, and thence pretends Possession (or as it were Possession) by Prescription of a very long time: yet he desires no further Information. Here again let it be lawful to exclaim, good GOD, to what a state is the matter brought! what goodness of mind is in these men! what care do they take of the Sick! Wo, wo to them! in the day of Judgment they will find the fruit of their ignorance and rashness; they they will see him whom they pierced, when they neglected their Neighbor, sough after Money and nothing else; whereas were they cordial in their Profession, they would spend Nights and Days in Labor, that they might become more learned in their Art, whence more certain health would accrue to the Sick Labor is tedious to them, they commit the matter to Chance, and being secure of their Honor and content with their Fame, they (like Brawlers) defend themselves with a certain Garrulity, without any respect had to Conscience or Truth; Coals seem wonderful strange, and as out-landish Wares to them, therefore they spare the Money, that should be bestowed in them, as if they intended to lay it out to a better use. Vulcan himself, viz. the Preparer of Medicaments, is not found among them; for their Fornaces stand in the Apothecaries Shop, to which they seldom or never come. A Paper Scroll in which their usual Recipe is written, serves their purpose to the full, which Bill being by some Apothecaries Boy or Servant received, he with great noise thumps out of his Mortar every Medicine, and all the Health of the Sick. [AUTHORS PRAYER] My GOD, change, change these times, and put an end to this arrogant Pride, overturn those Trees, lest they swell up to Heaven, throw down those Giants lest they accumulate all Mountains; and defend those, who seriously managing their Business, faithfully serve thee, that they may be able to stand against these their Persecutors. I seriously admonish all those in our Monastery, bound by the same Vows with me, that they would with my self Night and Day pray unto GOD, that he would so illuminate these Enemies of true Medicine, as they may execrate their own Error, and acknowledge the Glory of GOD, and his Power insisted in the Creatures, and perceive the Clearness latent in them, by Preparation and Anatomy (as it were speaking in their Ears) which otherwise surrounded and covered over with external Impurities, would deeply be concealed, and never brought to Light.
Triumphal Chariot of Antimony by Basil Valentine
This is one of the sacred texts for Alchemy
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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