Début de l'ouvrage Texte précédent Texte suivant Fin de l'ouvrage Drapeau Page d'aide Retour. Flag Help frame Return. Bandera Página de ayuda Vuelta.
Flagge Hilfeseite Rückkehr. Flag Hjælp side Tilbage. Bandiera Guida Torna.

@

Page

Réfer. : AL2401O
Auteur : Michael Sendivogius.
Titre : The New Chemical Light.
S/titre : Drawn from the fountain of Nature and of manual experience.

Editeur : J. Elliot and Co., London.
Date éd. : 1893 .


@



T H E N E W
C H E M I C A L L I G H T
DRAWN FROM THE FOUNTAIN OF NATURE AND OF MANUAL EXPERIENCE.

TO WHICH IS ADDED A T R E A T I S E CONCERNING S U L P H U R
-------

[THE AUTHORS ANAGRAM]: "Divi Leschi genus amo."
In this sentence: " I love the Divine Race of Leschi," all the letters of the Author's name are found transposed,--
To wit: MICHAEL SENDIVOGIUS.
@
@



P R E F A C E.
Upon all genuine Seekers of the great Chemical Art, or Sons of Hermes, the Author implores the Divine Blessing and Salvation.
-------
W HEN I considered in my mind the great number of deceitful books and forged Alchemistic "receipts," which have been put in circulation by heartless impostors, though they do not contain even a spark of truth -- and how many persons have been and are still
daily led astray by them ? -- it occurred to me that I could not
do better than communicate the Talent committed to me by the
Father of Lights to the Sons and Heirs of Knowledge. I also
wish to let posterity see that in our own age, as well as in
ancient times, this singularly gracious philosophical Blessing has
not been denied to a few favoured men. For certain reasons
I do not think it advisable to publish my name; chiefly, because
I do not seek for praise for myself, but am only anxious to
assist the lovers of philosophy. The vainglorious desire for
fame I leave to those who are content to seem what they, in
reality, are not. The facts and deductions which I have here
briefly set down are transcribed from that manual -- experience,
graciously bestowed upon me by the Most High; and my object
is to enable those who have laid a sound foundation in the
elementary part of this most noble Art, to advance to a more
satisfying fullness of knowledge, and to put them on their
guard against those depraved " vendors of smoke," who delight
in fraud and imposition. Our science is not a dream, as the
vulgar crowd imagines, or the empty invention of idle men, as
the foolish suppose. It is the very truth of philosophy itself,
which the voice of conscience and of love bid me conceal no

@

82 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
longer. In these wicked days, indeed, when virtue and vice are
accounted alike, the ingratitude and unbelief of men keep our
Art from appearing openly before the public gaze. Yet this
glorious truth is even now capable of being apprehended by
learned and unlearned persons of virtuous lives, and there are
many persons of all nations now living who have beheld Diana
unveiled. But as many, either from ignorance or from a desire
to conceal their knowledge, are daily teaching and inducing
others to believe that the soul of gold can be extracted, and
then imparted to other substances; and thereby entice
numbers to incur great waste of time, labour, and money: let
the sons of Hermes know for certain that the extracting of
the essence of gold is a mere fond delusion, as those who
persist in it will be taught to their cost by experience, the only
arbitress from whose judgment seat there is no appeal. If, on
the other hand, a person is able to transmute the smallest piece
of metal (with or without gain) into genuine gold or silver
which abides all the usual tests, he`may justly be said to have
opened the gates of Nature, and cleared the way for profounder
and more advanced study. It is with this object that I dedicate the
following pages, which embody the results of my experience, to the
sons of knowledge, that by a careful study of the working of
Nature they may be enabled to lift the veil, and enter her
inmost sanctuary. To this final goal of our sacred philosophy
they must travel by the royal road which Nature herself has
marked out for them. Let me therefore admonish the gentle
reader that my meaning is to be apprehended not so much from
the outward husk of my words, as from the inward spirit of
Nature. If this warning is neglected, he may spend his time,
labour, and money in vain. Let him consider that this mystery
is for wise men, and not for fools. The inward meaning of our
philosophy will be unintelligible to vainglorious boasters, to
conceited mockers, and to men who smother the clamorous voice
of conscience with the insolence of a wicked life; as also to
those ignorant persons who have fondly staked their happiness
on albefactions and rubrefactions and other equally senseless
methods. The right understanding of our Art is by the gift of
God, or by the ocular demonstration of a teacher, and can be
attained only by diligent, humble search, and prayerful dependence

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 83
on the Giver of all good things; now, God rejects those who
hate Him, and scorn knowledge. In conclusion, I would earnestly
ask the sons of knowledge to accept this Book in the spirit in
which it was written; and when the HIDDEN has become
MANIFEST to them, and the inner gates of secret knowledge
are flung open, not to reveal this mystery to any unworthy
person; also to remember their duty towards their suffering and
distressed neighbours, to avoid any ostentatious display of their
power; and above all, to render to God, the Three in One,
sincere and grateful thanks with their lips, in the silence of their
hearts, and by refraining from any abuse of the Gift

-------
S I M P L I C I T Y
IS
THE SEAL OF TRUTH
---------------
As after the completion of the Preface, it was found that it did not cover the whole of the space allotted to it, I have, at
the publisher's request, there set down the " last will and testament
of Arnold Villanovanus," which I once turned into Latin
verse. I am conscious that the style of my versification is wanting
in neatness and elegance, but this defect was partly caused
by the necessity of adhering strictly and faithfully to the Author's
meaning.

-------
Testament of Arnold de Villanova.
It is said that Arnold de Villanova, a man who was a credit to his race, signified his last will in the following words:
" It has its birth in the earth, its strength it doth acquire in the
" fire, and there becomes the true Stone of the ancient Sages.
" Let it be nourished for twice six hours with a clear liquid until
" its limbs begin to expand and grow apace. Then let it be

@

84 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
" placed in a dry and moderately warm spot for another period
" of twelve hours, until it has purged itself by giving out a thick
" steam or vapour, and becomes solid and hard within. The 'virgin's
" milk' that is expressed from the better part of the
" Stone is then preserved in a carefully closed oval-shaped distil"
ling vessel of glass, and is day by day wondrously changed by
" the quickening fire, until all the different colours resolve them"
selves into a fixed gentle splendour of a white radiance, which
" soon, under the continued genial influence of the fire, changes
" to a glorious purple, the outward and visible sign of the final
" perfection of your work."


===============
@



THE FIRST TREATISE.
Of Nature, what she is, and what manner of men her Disciples ought to be.
M ANY Sages, Scholars, and learned men have in all ages, and (according to Hermes) even so early as the days before the Flood, written much concerning the preparation of the Philosopher's Stone; and if their books could be understood without a knowledge of the
living processes of Nature, one might almost say that they are
calculated to supersede the study of the real world around us.
But though they never departed from the simple ways of Nature,
they have something to teach us, which we, in these more
sophisticated times, still need to learn, because we have applied
ourselves to what are regarded as the more advanced branches
of knowledge, and despise the study of so " simple " a thing as
natural Generation. Hence we pay more heed to impossible
things than to those objects which are broadly exhibited before
our very eyes; we excel more in subtle speculations than in a
sober study of Nature, and of the meaning of the Sages. It is
one of the most remarkable features of human nature that we
neglect those things which seem familiar, and are eager for new
and strange information. The workman who has attained the
highest degree of excellence in his Art, neglects it, and applies
himself to something else, or else abuses his knowledge. Our
longing for an increase of knowledge urges us ever onward
towards some final goal, in which we imagine that we shall find
full rest and satisfaction, like the ant which is not endowed with
wings till the last days of its life. In our time, the Philosophical
Art has become a very subtle matter; it is the craft of the
goldsmith compared with that of the humble workman who
exercises his calling at the forge. We have made such
mighty strides in advance that if the ancient Masters of our

@

86 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
science, Hermes and Geber and Raymond Lullius, were to rise
from the dead, they would be treated by our modern Alchemists,
not as Sages, but as only humble learners. They would seem
very poor scholars in our modern lore of futile distillations, circulations,
calcinations, and in all the other countless operations
where with modern research has so famously enriched our Art,
though without understanding the sense of the ancient writings.
In all these respects, our learning is vastly superior to theirs.
Only one thing is unfortunately wanting to us which they
possessed, namely, the knack they had of actually preparing the
Philosopher's Stone. Perhaps, then, their simple methods were
after all the best; and it is on this supposition that I desire, in
this volume, to teach you to understand Nature, so that our vain
imaginations may not misdirect us in the true and simple way.
Nature, then, is one, true, simple, self-contained, created by God
and informed with a certain universal spirit. Its end and origin
are God. Its unity is also found in God, because God made all
things. Nature is the one source of all things: nor is anything
in the world outside Nature, br contrary to Nature. Nature is
divided into four " places" in which she brings forth all things
that appear and that are in the shade; and according to the good
or bad quality of the " place " she brings forth good or bad things.
There are only four qualities which are in all things and yet do
not agree among themselves, as one is always striving to obtain
the mastery over the rest. Nature is not visible, though she acts
visibly; she is a volatile spirit who manifests herself in material
shapes, and her existence is in the Will of God. It is most important
for us to know her " places," and those which are most
in harmony, and most closely allied, in order that we may join
things together according to Nature, and not attempt to confound
vegetables with animals, or animals with metals. Everything
should be made to act on that which is like to it -- and then
Nature will perform her duty.
Students of Nature should be such as is Nature herself -- true, simple, patient, constant, and so on; above all, they should fear
God, and love their neighbours. They should always be ready
to learn from Nature, and to be guided by her methods, ascertaining
by visible and sensible examples whether that which they
propose to perform is in accordance with her possibilities. If we

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 87
would reproduce something already accomplished by Nature, we
must follow her, but if we would improve on her performance, we
must know in and by what it is ameliorated. For instance, it
we desire to impart to a metal greater excellence than Nature
has given to it, we must take the metallic substance both in its
male and its female varieties, else all our efforts will be in vain.
It is as impossible to produce a metal out of a plant, as to make
a tree out of a dog or any other animal.

SECOND TREATISE.
Concerning the operation of Nature in our Substance, and its Seed.
I have already said that Nature is one, true, and consistent, and that she is known by her products, such as trees, herbs, &c.
I have also described the qualifications of a student of Nature.
Now I will say a few words about the operation of Nature. As
Nature has her being in the Will of God, so her will, or seed, is
in the Elements. She is one, and produces different things, but
only through the mediate instrumentality of seed. For Nature
performs whatsoever the sperm requires of her, and is, as it were,
only the instrument of some artisan. The seed, if anything, is
more useful to the artist than Nature herself; for Nature
without seed, is what a goldsmith is without silver and gold, or a
husbandman without seed corn. Wherever there is seed, Nature
will work through it, whether it be good or bad. Nature works
on " seed " as God works on the free will of man. Truly it is a
great marvel to behold Nature obeying the seed, not because she
is forced to do so, but of her own will. In like manner, God
permits man to do what he pleases, not because He is constrained,
but of His good and free bounty. The seed, then, is the elixir or
anything, or its quintessence, or its most perfect digestion and
decoction, or, again, the Balm of Sulphur, which is the same as the
radical moisture in metals. We might say much more about
this seed, but can only mention those facts which are of
importance in our Art. The four elements produce seed, through
the will of God and the imagination of Nature; and as the seed
of the male animal has its centre or storing place in the kidneys,

@

88 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
so the four elements by their continual action project a constant
supply of seed to the centre of the earth, where it is digested, and
whence it proceeds again in generative motions. Now the centre
of the earth is a certain void place wherein nothing is at rest;
and upon the margin or circumference of this centre the four
elements project their qualities. As the male seed is emitted
into the womb of the female, where only so much as is needed
is retained while the rest is driven out again, so the magnetic
force of our earth-centre attracts to itself as much as is needed of
the cognate seminal substance, while that which cannot be used
for vital generation is thrust forth in the shape of stones and other
rubbish. This is the fountain-head of all things terrestrial. Let
us illustrate the matter by supposing a glass of water to be set
in the middle of a table, round the margin of which are placed
little heaps of salt, and of powders of different colours. If the
water be poured out, it will run all over the table in divergent
rivulets, and will become salt where it touches the salt, red where
it dissolves the red powder, and so on. The water does not change
the " places," but the several places differentiate the water. In
the same way, the seed which is the product of the four elements
is projected in all directions from the earth-centre, and produces
different things, according to the quality of the different places.
Thus, while the seed of all things is one, it is made to generate a
great variety of things, just as the seed of a man might produce
a man if projected into the womb of a female of his own species,
or a monstrous variety of abortions, if projected into the wombs
of different female animals. So long as Nature's seed remains
in the centre it can indifferently produce a tree or a metal, a herb
or a stone, and in like manner, according to the purity of the
place, it will produce what is less or more pure. But how do the
elements generate the sperm or seed ? There are four elements,
two heavy and two light, two dry and two moist, but one driest
and one moistest of all; and these are male and female. By
God's Will each of these is constantly striving to produce things
like to itself in its own sphere. Moreover, they are constantly
acting on one another, and the subtle essences of all are combined
in the centre, where they are well mixed and sent forth again by
Archeus, the servant of Nature, as is more fully set forth in the
Epilogue of these twelve Treatises.

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 89
THIRD TREATISE.
Concerning the true and first Matter of Metals.
The first matter of metals is twofold, and one without the other cannot create a metal. The first and principal substance is
the moisture of air mingled with warmth. This substance the
Sages have called Mercury, and in the philosophical sea it is
governed by the rays of the Sun and the Moon. The second
substance is the dry heat of the earth, which is called Sulphur.
But as this substance has always been kept a great mystery, let
us declare it more fully, and especially its weight, ignorance of
which mars the whole work. The right substance, if the
quantity of it which is taken be wrong, can produce nothing
but an abortion. There are some who take the entire body for
their matter, that is, for their seed or sperm; others take only a
part of it: both are on the wrong track. If any one, for instance,
were to attempt the creation of a man out of a man's
hand and a woman's foot, he would fail. For there is in every
body a central atom, or vital point of the seed (its 1/8200 part), even
in a grain of wheat. Neither the body nor the grain is all seed,
but every body has a small seminal spark, which the other parts
protect from all excess of heat and cold. If you have ears and
eyes treasure up this fact, and be on your guard against those
who would use the whole grain as seed, and those who strive to
produce a highly rarefied metallic substance by the vain solution
and mixture of different metals. For even the purest metals
contain a certain element of impurity, while in the inferior the
proportion is greater. You will have all you want if you find
the point of Nature, which you must not, however, look for in
the vulgar metals; it is not to be found therein, for all these,
and common gold more especially, are dead. But the metals
which we advise you to take are living and have vital spirits.
Fire is the life of metals while they are still in their ore, and the
fire of smelting is their death. But the first matter of metals
is a certain moisture mixed with warm air. Its appearance is
that of oily water adhering to all pure and impure things; yet
in some places it is found more abundantly than in others,
because the earth is more open and porous in one place than in
another, and has a greater magnetic force. When it becomes

@

90 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
manifest, it is clothed in a certain vesture, especially in places
where it has nothing to cling to. It is known by the fact that
it is composed of three principles; but, as a metallic substance,
it is only one without any visible sign of conjunction, except
that which may be called its vesture or shadow, namely,
sulphur, &c.

FOURTH TREATISE.
How metals are produced in the Bowels of the Earth.
The metals are produced in this way: after the four elements have projected their power and virtues to the centre of
the earth, they are, in the hands of the Archeus of Nature, distilled
and sublimed by the heat of perpetual motion towards the
surface of the earth. For the earth is porous, and the air by
distillation through the pores of the earth is resolved into a
water, out of which all things are generated. You should know
that the seed of metals is the same, in the first instance, as the
sperm of all other things, viz., a vaporous moisture. Hence it is
foolish to seek the dissolution of metals in the first matter, which
is nothing but a vapour, and in so doing philosophers have not
comprehended the first matter, but only the second, as Bernard
Trevisan well argues, though in a somewhat obscure manner, for
he addressed himself to the Sons of the Doctrine. For my part,
before openly explaining this theory, I would warn all men not
to seek that which exists everywhere by itself in a soft volatile
form by so many circulations, calcinations, and reiterations of
hard gold and silver, which can never be changed back into their
original substance. Let us follow the real meaning of the
writers of Alchemy whose works we read, and remember that if
Art would produce any solid and permanent effect, it must follow
in the footsteps of Nature, and be guided by her methods. It
must trust itself to the guidance of Nature as far as Nature will
lead, and go beyond her by still adhering to her rules. Now I
said that all things are produced of a liquid air or a vapour,
which the elements distil into the centre of the earth by a continual
motion, and that as soon as the Archeus has received it,
his wisdom sublimes it through the pores, and distributes it to
each place, producing different things according to the diverse

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 91
places in which it is deposited. Some think that each metal has
its own seed. But this is a great mistake, for there is only one
seed. The sperm which appears in Saturn is the same as that
which is found in gold, silver, copper, &c.; their difference is
caused by the place, and by the time during which Nature was
at work upon them, the procreation of silver being achieved
sooner than that of gold, and so with the other metals. The
vapour which is sublimed by heat from the centre of the earth,
passes either through cold or warm places. If the place be
warm and pure, and contain adhering to it a certain fatness of
sulphur, the vapour (or Mercury of the Sages) joins itself to its
fatness, and sublimes it together with itself. If in the course of
its further sublimation this unctuous vapour reaches other places
where the earth has already been subtilized, purified, and
rendered moist by previous ascending vapours, it fills the pores
of this earth, and with it becomes gold. But if this unctuous
moisture be carried to impure and cold places, it becomes lead;
if the earth be pure and mingled with sulphur, it becomes copper.
For the purer the place is, the more beautiful and perfect will
the metal be. We must also note that the vapour is constantly
ascending, and in its ascent from the earth's centre to its superficies,
it purifies the places through which it passes. Hence
precious metals are found now where none existed a thousand
years ago, for this vapour, by its continual progress, ever
subtilizes the crude and impure, and as continually carries away
the pure with itself. This is the circulation and reiteration of
Nature. All places are being more and more purified: and the
purer they become, the nobler are their products. In the winter
this unctuous vapour is congealed by the frost. At the return
of spring it is set free, and is the Magnesia which attracts to
itself the kindred Mercury of the air, and gives life to all things
through the rays of the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, thus bringing
forth grass, flowers, and the like, for Nature is never idle even
during a single moment. This, then, is the only true account of
the generation of Metals. The earth is purged by a long
distillation, and when the unctuous or fatty vapour approaches,
the same are procreated, nor are they ever otherwise begotten,
notwithstanding the imaginations of those who misinterpret on
this point the writings of the philosophers.

@

92 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
FIFTH TRACT.
On the generation of all kinds of Stones.
The substance of stones is the same as that of all other things; and their quality is determined by the purity of the
places in which they arise. When the four elements distil their
vapour to the centre of the earth, the Archeus of Nature expels
and sublimes it in such a manner that it carries with it in its
passage through the pores of the earth, all the impurities of these
places up to the surface, where they are congealed by the air, all
that pure air engenders being congealed by crude air, their
ingression being mutual, so that they join one with another, since
Nature rejoices in Nature. Thus rocks and stones are gradually
built up and generated. Now the larger the pores of the earth,
the greater is the quantity of impurities carried upward; and
thus the earth is most completely purified under those places
where there is a great accumulation of stones or rocks at the
surface, and in this manner the procreation of metals becomes
easier in these places. This explains the fact that metals are
scarcely ever found in plains, but nearly always in the bowels of
rocky hills. The plains are often moist with elemental water
which attracts to itself the rising vapour, and with it is digested
by the rays of the Sun into the rich clay which potters use. In
places where the soil is gross, and the vapour contains neither
unctuousness nor sulphur, it produces herbs and grass in the
meadows. The precious stones, such as diamonds, rubies, and
emeralds, chrysopras, onyx, and carbuncle, are all generated in
the same manner as ordinary stones. When the natural vapour
is sublimed by itself without sulphur or the unctuosity of which
we have spoken, and reaches a place where there is pure salt
water (i.e., in very cold places, where our sulphur cannot exist,
for could it exist, this effect would be hindered), diamonds arc
formed. The unctuous sulphur which rises with the vapour
cannot move without warmth, and is instantly congealed, when
it reaches a slightly cold place, leaving the vapour to continue
its upward movement without it. Colours are imparted to
precious stones in this way. When the unctuous sulphur is congealed
by the perpetual motion, the spirit of the water digests it
in passing and purifies it by the water of the salt, until it assumes

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 93
a red or white colour. This colour is volatilized by so many
repeated distillations, and at length is borne upward with the
purifying vapour, which by its aid is able to enter imperfect
bodies, and thus to pervade them with colour; the colour is
united to the partly congealed water, and fills all its pores so
that the two are absolutely one. For water which has no spirit
is congealed by heat, and water which has a spirit is congealed
by cold; but he who knows how to congeal water by means of
heat, and to join to it a spirit, is like to discover something a
thousand times more precious than gold, or anything which is in
the world. Let him separate the spirit from the water, in order
that it may putrefy, and that the grain may appear. Then let
him purge off the dross, and reduce the spirit to water. This
union will produce a branch which bears little resemblance to
the parent stem.

SIXTH TREATISE.
Concerning the Second Matter and Putrefaction.
We have spoken of the first matter of all things, and after what manner they are born by Nature without seed, that is, after
what manner Nature receives the matter from the elements
whereof she engenders seed. We will now consider this seed and
the things evolved from it. Everything that has seed is multiplied
thereby, but not without the aid of Nature: for seed is
nothing but congealed air, or a vaporous humour enclosed in a
body; and unless it be dissolved by a warm vapour, it cannot
work. Now, the nature of this seed which is produced out of the
four elements, is threefold: it is either Mineral, or Vegetable, or
Animal. Mineral seed is known only to the Sages. Vegetable
seed is common and vulgar, as we see in fruits. Animal seed is
known by imagination. But vegetable seed exhibits most clearly
the process by which Nature evolves natural objects out of the
four elements. Winter is the cause of putrefaction: it congeals
the vital spirit in trees; and when the heat of the Sun, which
magnetically attracts moisture, sets it free, the natural heat (of
the tree) which is thereby stirred up, drives a subtle vapour of
water towards the surface, and makes the sap to flow, always
separating the pure from the impure, though the impure may

@

94 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
sometimes precede the pure. That which is pure is congealed
into flowers, the impure becomes leaves, the gross and thick
hardens into bark. The bark of the tree remains fixed; the
leaves fall when the pores are obstructed by heat or cold; the
flowers receive a colour according to the quality of the natural
heat, and bear fruit or seed. We may instance the apple, wherein
is the sperm, whence the tree does not spring; but in this sperm
is the seed or grain interiorly, whence the tree is born even
without sperm, for multiplication is not of the sperm but of the
seed. Thus we see how Nature, without our help, creates
vegetable seed out of the four elements. But how about Minerals
? Nature brings forth Mineral or Metallic seed in the
bowels of the earth. This is the reason why so many will not
believe in its existence -- because it is invisible. And on this
account the vulgar unbelief is not so greatly to be wondered at:
for if they hardly understand that which is openly before their
eyes, how should they know anything about that which they
cannot see. Yet, whether they believe it or not, the fact remains
the same, and it is most true that that which is above is as that
which is below, and that which is born above has origin from the
same source which is at work down below, even in the bowels of
the earth. What prerogative have vegetables above metals that
God should give seed to the one and withhold it from the other ?
Are not metals as much in His sight as trees ? It is certain that
nothing can grow without seed; for that which has no seed, is
dead. The four elements must either bring forth metallic seed
or produce metals without seed. In the latter case, they cannot
be perfect: for nothing is complete without seed. He who can
bring himself to believe that metals are destitute of seed, is unworthy
to understand the mysteries of our Art. The metals then
really contain their own proper seed; and it is generated in the
following way. The vapour which (in the manner repeatedly
described) rises from the earth's centre, and is called Mercury not
on account of its essence but on account of its fluidity, and the
facility with which it adheres to anything, is assimilated to the
sulphur on account of its internal heat; and, after congelation, is
the radical humour. Thus metals are indeed generated out of
mercury; but those ignorant persons who say that this first
substance of metals is ordinary mercury, confound the whole

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 95
body with the seed that is in it, seeing that common mercury,
too, contains metallic seed, as well as the other metals. Let
us illustrate the matter by the analogy of the human body.
Therein it is certain that there is a seed whereby the species
of mankind is propagated. That body (which may be likened
to common mercury) contains seed, which is not seen, and
of which the quantity is very small in proportion to the size of
the whole body: the process of generation is performed not by
the whole body, but by this seminal " congealed watery vapour."
But as no vital generation could take place if the body were
dissected in order to get at the seed, as the murdering of the body
would kill the seed -- so ignorant Alchemists may be said to
murder the body and kill the seed of metals, when they dissolve
their bodies, whether of gold, silver, or lead, and corrode them
with aqua fortis, in order to obtain the metallic seed. All multiplication
is performed by means of male and female seed; and
the two (which by themselves are barren) must be conjoined in
order to bring forth fruit, i.e., a new form. Whosoever, therefore,
would bring forth any good thing must take the sperm or the seed,
and not the entire body.
Take, then, the living male and the living! female, and join them in order that they may project a sperm for the procreation
of a fruit according to their kind, for let no one presume to suppose
that he can make the first matter. The first matter of man is
earth, and there is no one so bold as to dream that he can create
a man. God alone can perform this artifice. But if the second
substance (or seed) which is already created, be put in the proper
place, Nature will produce a new form of the same species. The
Artist only separates what is subtle from its grosser elements, and
puts it into the proper " vessel." Nature does the rest. As a thing
begins, so it ends. Out of one arise two, and out of two one --
as of God the Father there was begotten God the Son, and from
the two proceeded God the Holy Ghost. Thus was the world
made, and so also shall it end. Consider carefully these few
points, and you will find, firstly, the Father, then the Father
and the Son, lastly, the Holy Spirit. You will find the four
elements, the four luminaries, the two celestials, the two centrics.
In a word, there is nothing, has been, and shall be nothing in the
world which is otherwise than it appears in this symbol, and a

@

96 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
volume might be filled with its mysteries. I say, therefore, it is
the attribute of God alone to make one out of one; you must
produce one thing out of two by natural generation. Know, then,
that the multiplying sperm is the second substance, and not the
first. For the first substance of things is not seen, but is hidden
in Nature or the elements: the second substance is occasionally
seen by the children of knowledge.

SEVENTH TREATISE.
Concerning the Virtue of the Second Matter.
But in order that you may the better know this second matter, I will describe to you its virtues. Nature is divided
into three kingdoms, the mineral, the vegetable, and the animal.
It is manifest that the mineral kingdom could subsist of itself
were there no vegetables or animals in the world; the vegetable,
in like manner, is independent of the animal and mineral.
These two kingdoms were created in independence. The animal
kingdom alone depends for its subsistence on the two others,
and is the most noble and excellent of all; and seeing that it is
the last of the three, it governs the two others, because virtue
expends itself at the third, even as it is multiplied in the
second. In the vegetable kingdom the first substance is the
herb or the tree, which you cannot create, but which is produced
by Nature alone. The second substance is the seed
which you see, by which herbs and trees are propagated. In
the animal kingdom the first substance is the beast or man,
whom you cannot create; but the seed, or second substance, by
which they are propagated, you know. In the mineral kingdom,
too, you are unable to create a metal, and if you boast that
you can do so, Nature will laugh at your pretensions; given
even the possession of that first matter which is vaunted by
the philosophers, namely, the centric salt, you cannot multiply
it without gold; but the vegetable seed of metals is known only
to the Sons of Science. In the case of plants, the seed is seen
outwardly, and is digested by warm air. In animals the seed
appears inwardly and outwardly, and is prepared in the kidneys
of the male Water is the seed of minerals, in the very
centre of their heart and life; and the " kidneys of its digestion"

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 97
are fire. The receptacle of vegetable seed is the earth; the
receptacle of animal seed the womb of the female; and air is
the receptacle of water -- the mineral seed. The receptacles of
seed are the same as congelations of bodies, digestion is the
same as solution, and putrefaction the same as destruction. The
specific property of seed is to enter into union with other substances
belonging to the same kingdom, because it is subtle, and,
in fact, air congealed by fatness into water. It is recognisable
by the fact that it does not become naturally united to anything
outside the kingdom to which it belongs. It is not dissolved,
but only congealed, as it does not need solution but only congelation.
Hence it is necessary that the pores of bodies be
opened to admit the sperm, in the centre of which lies the seed
(which is air). When it enters its proper womb it is congealed,
and congeals the pure or mixed substance which it finds. So
long as there is any seed in the body the body lives; when it is
all consumed the body dies, and any emission of seed weakens
the body, as may be seen in the case of dissolute persons, and
of trees which have been too richly laden with fruit. The seed,
then, is invisible, but the sperm can be seen, and is even as
a living soul, which is not found in dead things. It is extracted
after two manners, of which the first is gentle and the second
violent. Nothing is produced without seed, but everything
comes into being by means of seed. Let all sons of knowledge
remember that seed is vainly sought in dry trees, and that it is
found only in those which are green.

EIGHTH TREATISE.
How Nature operates through our Art in the Seed.
Seed in itself produces no fruit, if it be not placed by Nature or Art in its own proper womb. Though seed in itself is the most
glorious of all created things, yet the womb is its life, which causes
the putrefaction of the enclosing grain or sperm, brings about the
congelation of the vital atom, nourishing and stimulating its
growth by the warmth of its own body. All this is constantly
and regularly being enacted (by months, years, and seasons) in
the above said three natural kingdoms. The process can be
hastened artificially in the vegetable and mineral, but not in the

@

98 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
animal world. In the mineral kingdom, Art can do something
which Nature is unable to perform, by removing the crude air
which stops up the outward pores of minerals, not in the bowels
of the earth but in the circumference. The elements vie in
projecting their seed into the centre of the earth in order that it
may there be digested. The centre, by a caloric movement,
emits it into the womb; of these wombs there are an untold
number -- as many as there are places, and one place always purer
than another. Know that a pure womb will bring forth a pure
form of its own species. For instance, as among animals there
are wombs of women, cows, mares, bitches, so in the mineral
world there are metals, stones, and salts. Now salts principally
demand consideration, with their localities, according as they are
less or more important.

NINTH TREATISE.
On the Commixtion of Metals and the Eliciting of the Metallic Seed.
We have spoken hitherto of Nature, of Art, of bodies, sperm, and seed. Let us now proceed to the practical enquiry, how
metals should be mixed, and how they are mutually related. For,
as a woman is generated in the same womb, and out of the same
seed as a man, and the only difference is in the degree of
digestion, and the purity of the blood and salts, so silver is
produced from the same seed, and in the same womb as gold;
but the womb of the silver had more water, and, as it were, less
digested blood than that of gold, according to the times of the
celestial moon. But if you would understand the sexual union
of the metals, and their manner of emitting and receiving seed,
look at the celestial bodies of the planets. You will see that
Saturn is higher than all the rest, to whom Jupiter succeeds, then
Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, while the last place is occu(pied)
by the Moon. The virtues of the planets descend, but do
not ascend; and so as experiences teaches us, Mars is easily
converted into Venus, but not Venus into Mars, which has an
inferior sphere. Also Jupiter may be quickly transmuted into
Mercury, because Jupiter has a higher place; the one is second
after the firmament, the other second after the earth. Saturn is

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 99
the highest, the Moon lowest; the Sun combines with all, but is
never ameliorated by its inferiors. There is a great correspondence
between Saturn and the Moon, the Sun being medial
between them; as also between Mercury and Jupiter, Mars and
Venus, which all have the Sun as their centre. Most operators
know how to transmute iron into copper, or Venus, without
using gold; they also know how to change Jupiter into Mercury;
some can prepare the Moon (silver) out of Saturn; but if they
could prepare gold by these changes, their secret would be worth
knowing indeed. For this reason I repeat that it is important
to know the mutual correspondence of metals, and their
possibilities of union. There is one metal which has power to
consume all others, for it is, so to speak, their water, and almost
their mother, and is resisted only by the radical humour of gold
and silver, and ameliorated by it. This metal is called Chalybs
(steel). If gold is united to it eleven times, and emits its seed,
it is weakened even unto death; but the Chalybs (steel)
conceives and brings forth a son much nobler than the father;
and when the seed of the son is placed in her womb, it purifies it,
and renders it a thousand times better fitted to produce excellent
fruit. There is another Chalybs (steel) which is like this one, and
created as a thing by itself by Nature; this steel is able, with its
wonderful virtue, to elicit from the rays of the " sun " that which
so many have sought, and which is the chief principle of our Art.

TENTH TREATISE.
On the Supernatural Generation of the Son of the Sun.
We have treated of those things which are produced by Nature and have been created by God, so that those who are
searchers of this science may comprehend more easily the
possibility of Nature, and the utmost limit of her powers.
I now go on to speak about the method of preparing the Philosopher's Stone. The Stone or Tincture is nothing other
than gold digested to the highest degree. Common gold resembles
a plant without seed; but when such a plant is matured, it
produces seed -- and so, when gold is ripened, it produces its
seed, or the Tincture. If any one asks why gold and other
metals do not commonly produce seed, I answer: because the

@

100 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
crudity of the ore, which has not sufficient heat, prevents it from
being matured. In some places pure gold is found which
Nature has been striving to mature, but which has not attained
to ripeness on account of the crudity of the air. An analogous
case is that of the orange tree, which bears no fruit in northern
latitudes, because it has not sufficient warmth, while in warmer
countries it ripens the most delicious fruit, and a like result it
is possible to produce in colder countries, by means of artificial
heat. The same thing happens with metallic natures, and so
gold may be made to produce seed, by a wise and judicious
Artist who knows how to assist Nature. Should he act independently
of Nature, he would err, for in this science, as in all
others, we can do nothing but supplement Nature, nor can we
otherwise aid her than through the agency of heat or fire. Now,
in order that Nature may be enabled to work upon a congealed
metallic substance, wherein the spirit does not appear, the body
must be dissolved and its pores opened. Now, there are two
kinds of solution, the violent and the natural; and under the
former head come all those methods of solution which are in
vogue among the vulgar herd of modern Alchemists, and the
same are cold and useless. Natural solution takes place when
the pores of the body are gently opened in our water, so that the
digested seed can be emitted and placed in its womb. Our
water is a water which does not wet the hands; it is a heavenly
water, and yet not rain water. The "Body" is gold, which gives
out the seed. Our silver (not common silver) is that which conceives
the seed of the gold. There it is digested by our continual
fire, for seven or even ten months, until our water consumes
three, and leaves one; and this is something twofold. Then it
is nourished with the milk of earth, or the fatness of that which
is formed in the breasts of the earth, and is regulated and
conserved by the putrefaction of the surrounding substance. In
this way that infant of the second generation is born. Now let
us advance from theory to practice.

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 101
ELEVENTH TREATISE.
Concerning the practical preparation of our Stone or Tincture
by means of our Art.
Our discourse in preceding chapters has been enlarged by appropriate examples which will facilitate the understanding of
the practice, which, in accordance with natural procedure, must be
performed as follows: take eleven grains of our earth, by as
many doses, one grain of our gold, and two grains of our silver.
Here you should carefully bear in mind that common gold and
silver are of no use for our purpose, as they are dead Those
which I ask you to take are the living metals. Expose them to
the heat of our fire, and there will come out of them a dry liquid.
The earth will first be dissolved into a water, which is called Mercury
of the Sages, and this water will dissolve the bodies of the
gold and silver, and consume them, till only the tenth part with
one part remains, which is the radical metallic humour. Then
take the water of saltpetre from our earth, in which is a living river
and a flowing wave. Let this water be clear, and pour on it the
radical humour: expose the whole to the fire of putrefaction and
generation, which is not the same as that of the first operation.
Regulate the heat judiciously, until there appear colours like
those of the Peacock's Tail; and then continue to apply this
well-regulated heat until the colours resolve themselves into a
pronounced green. Be not weary, but continue till the rest of
the colours have manifested. When you observe at the bottom
ashes of a brown colour, while the water is almost red, you should
open the vessel and dip a feather into it. With this feather
smear a morsel of iron, and if it becomes tinged, pour into the
vessel as much of a certain water (which we will describe hereafter)
as there is of crude air which has entered in, and then again
subject it to coction over the same fire, until it colours the feather
again. Further than this my experience does not go. The water
I have mentioned is the menstruum of the world, from the sphere
of the Moon, and so carefully rectified that it has power to calcine
the Sun. Herein have I desired to discourse everything to your
understanding, and if sometimes you will take my meaning rather
than my words, you will find that I have revealed all, more
especially as regards the first and second work. It remains for

@

102 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
me to say a few words about the fire. In the first operation the
fire should be of one degree and continuous, and should pervade
the whole substance with an even warmth. In the second
operation we need a natural fire, which digests and fixes the
substance. Behold, I say unto you the truth! I have unfolded
the regimen of the fire, if only you understand Nature. But it is
needful also to speak a few words concerning the vessel, which
ought to be such as is indicated by Nature; and two of these
vessels suffice. In the first operation, the vessel should be round;
in the second it should te somewhat smaller; it should also be
of glass, in the form of a vial or egg. But know, above all things,
that the fire employed by Nature is one, and its differences are
determined by differences of distance. The vessel of Nature is
also one, but we use two in order to accelerate the development
of our substance; its material is one, but consists of two substances.
If you would produce anything, look at the things that
are produced. If you cannot understand those which are continually
before your eyes, it will go hardly with you when you
seek to produce those which are as yet unseen. Remember that
God alone can create; but He has permitted the Sage to make
manifest things that are hidden and concealed, according to the
ministry of Nature. Consider, I pray you, the simple water of
the clouds. Who would believe that it contains in itself all
mundane objects, hard stones, salts, air, earth, and fire ? What
shall I say of the earth, which seems simple enough, and yet contains
water, fire, salts, air, and much besides ? O, admirable
Nature, who knowest by the means of water how to produce the
wonderful fruits of earth, who dost give life to them and nourish
them by means of air! Everything depends upon the faculty of
seeing which we bring to the study of Nature. Common
eyes, for instance, discern that the sun is hot; the eyes of the
Sage see that the sun itself is cold, and that it is only its
movements which produce heat; for its effect is felt at so
great a distance in space. The heat of the sun is the same as
our natural fire: for as the sun is the centre of the planets,
and thence scatters its heat downward in all directions, so in the
centre of the earth there is a sun of the earth, which by its
perpetual motion drives heat or rays upward towards the surface
of the earth. This inward heat is much more powerful than elemental

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 103
fire, but it is tempered and cooled by the water which
pervades and refreshes the pores of the earth; otherwise all
things would be consumed by its fierceness. In the same way,
the fierce rays of the sun are tempered and assuaged by the
air of the intermediate atmosphere, without which everything
would be consumed, and no generation would be possible.
But I must now proceed to explain after what manner the elements act upon each other. In the centre of the earth, then,
there is a central sun, of which the heat pervades the whole
earth to its surface by reason of the movement thereof, or by the
motion of the firmament thereof. This heat changes the water
of the earth into air (or vapour), which being much more subtle
than water, is violently driven upward through the pores of
the earth. But when it reaches the colder atmosphere it is
once more condensed into water; and in some places we do
indeed see this water, or condensed air, driven high up into the
air by the force of the central fire: just as a kettle of water
when exposed to gentle heat sends upward a gentle stream of
vapour and air, while the steam thickens and the upward movement
becomes more intense when the fire is kindled into a
blaze. By this action of the " central sun " the elements are distributed
over the earth, and each finds the place where it can
grow. This upward current of air is not always noticeable,
because in many places there is not enough water to make it
perceptible: an empty kettle gives out no steam. I say, then,
that fire or heat is the cause of the motion of the air, and the
life of all things; and the earth is their nurse, or receptacle. If
our earth and air were not cooled by water, the earth would
be parched up, as it is even new in some places where the pores
of the earth are closed up, and by obstructing the movement
of the water would be placed at the mercy of the two kinds of
solar heat. In this way the destruction of the world will one
day be brought about. Now in our Art you should closely
imitate these natural processes. There should be the Central
Heat, the change of the water into air, the driving upward of the
air, its diffusion through the pores of the earth, its reappearance
as condensed but volatilized water. Then you must give
our Ancient One gold and silver to swallow and consume, till
he himself is burnt to death, and his ashes are scattered into the

@

104 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
water, which you must then subject to coction for a sufficient
space of time. The result will be the Medicine which is a cure
for leprosy. But be careful not to take heat for cold, or cold
for heat. Mix only things which are like each other, and
separate contrary elements by means of heat. If you do not
follow the guidance of Nature all your efforts will be in vain.
I swear by God that I have spoken to you as a father should to
his son. He that hath ears, let him hear, and he that hath sense,
let him understand.

TWELFTH TREATISE.
Concerning the Stone and its Virtue.
We have spoken sufficiently in preceding chapters concerning the production of natural things, the elements, the first and
second matters, bodies and seeds, as also of their use and virtue.
I have written also of the Philosophical Stone, and shall now
speak of its virtue, in so far as experience has discovered it to me.
Before, however, I proceed to describe the virtues of the Stone,
I will, for the better understanding of our Art, once more
recapitulate what has already been said. If any one doubts the
reality of our Art, he should read the books of those ancient
Sages whose good faith no one ever yet called in question, and
whose right to speak on this subject cannot be challenged. If
you will not believe them, I am not so foolish as to enter into a
controversy with one who denies first principles: the deaf and
dumb cannot speak. Why minerals alone should be excluded
from God's primal benediction, when He bade all things increase
and multiply after their kind, I am unable to see; and if
minerals have seed they have it for the purpose of generic propagation.
The Art of Alchemy is true in its nature. Nature is
true also, but a true Artist is rarely found. Nature is one,
our Art is one, but the workmen are many. Nature, then,
generates things through the Will of God out of the first Matter
(the product of the elements) which is known to God alone.
Nature produces things, and multiplies them out of the second
substance, which is known to the Sages. All elements are
mutually dependent, though they do not agree when joined, but
the queen of all is water, because it is the mother of all things --

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 105
and over it broods the spirit of fire. When fire acts on water,
and strives with it, the first matter is evolved. Thus arise
vapours of sufficient denseness to combine with earth, by means
of that crude air which from the very beginning was separated
from it. This process is going on ceaselessly, by means of
perpetual motion. For motion causes heat, as you may know
by continued friction of any substance. Motion causes heat,
heat moves the water; the motion of water produces air, which
is the life of all living things. Thus all things grow out of
water; out of its more subtle vapours are produced light and
subtle things; out of its " oil," things of greater weight; out of
its salt things far more beautiful and precious than the rest. But
as Nature is often hindered by the impurity of this vapour, fatness,
and salt, from producing perfection, experience has taught
us to separate the pure from the impure. Therefore, if you
would ameliorate Nature, and produce a more perfect and elaborated
subject, purge the body by dissolution of all that is
heterogeneous, and unite the pure to the pure, the well-digested
to the well-digested, and the crude to the crude, according to the
natural and not the material weight. For you must know that
the central saltpetre never contains more earth than is required,
whether it be otherwise pure or impure. But it is different with
the fatness of the water, which is never found pure. Art purges
it by the action of twofold heat, and then again combines its
elements.

---------------
E P I L O G U E,
OR
CONCLUSION OF THESE TWELVE TREATISES.
I have composed, O friendly reader, the preceding twelve Treatises for the benefit of the students of this Art; in order that
they might understand the operations of Nature, and after what
manner she produces all things which are in the world, before
they put their hands to any experiment. Otherwise, they might
be trying to open the gate without a key, or to draw water with
a sieve. For in regard to our Holy and Blessed Art he for whom
the sun shines not, walks in thick darkness, and he who does not

@

106 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
see the light of the moon, is involved in the shades of night.
Nature has her own light, which is not visible to the outward eye.
The shadow of Nature upon our eyes is the body. But where the
light of Nature irradiates the mind, this mist is cleared away from
the eyes, all difficulties are overcome, and things are seen in their
very essence, namely, the inmost heart of our Magnesia, which
corresponds to the respective centres of the Sun and Earth. The
bodily nature of things is a concealing outward vesture. If you
dressed a boy and a girl of twelve years of age in exactly the
same way, you would be puzzled to tell which was the boy and
which the girl, but v. hen the clothes are removed they may
easily be distinguished. In the same way, our understanding
makes a shadow to the shadow of Nature, for our human nature
is concealed by the body in the same way as the body by the
clothes. I might in this place discourse fully and philosophically
of the dignity of man, of his creation and generation, but I
will pass over these themes and touch briefly on his life alone.
Man is made of earth, and lives through air; for air contains the
hidden food of life, of which the invisible spirit, when congealed,
is better than the whole world. Truly wonderful and admirable
are the ways of Nature, who shews to us day by day the light of
truth. I have set down in these twelve Treatises that which she
has revealed to me in order that the God-fearing reader may more
easily understand that which I have seen with my eyes, that
which my hands have performed, without any fraud or sophistication.
For without the light and knowledge of Nature it is
impossible to attain to the perfection of this Art, unless it be
revealed to a man by the Spirit, or secretly by a loving friend.
The substance is vile and yet most precious. Take ten parts of
our air; one part of living gold or living silver; put all this into
your vessel; subject the air to coction, until it becomes first
water, and then something which is not water. If you do not
know how to do this, and how to cook air, you will go wrong,
for herein is the true Matter of the Philosophers. You must take
that which is, but is not seen until the operator pleases. This is
the water of our dew, which is extracted from the saltpetre of the
Sages, by which all things grow, exist, and are nourished, whose
womb is the centre of the celestial and terrestrial sun and moon.
To speak more openly, it is our Magnet, which I have already

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 107
called our Chalybs, or steel. Air generates this magnet, the
magnet engenders or manifests our air.
Thus Hermes says that its father is the Sun, its mother the Moon, and that the winds have fostered it in their womb, that is
to say, the salt Alkali (called by the Sages salt of Ammonia, or
vegetable salt) is hidden in the womb of Magnesia. The operation
thereof is as follows:-- You dissolve condensed air, and in it
a tenth part of gold, seal it up, and expose it to our fire, until
the air is changed into powder, and there will be seen, given the
salt of the world, a great variety of colours. The rest of this
process and the method of multiplication you will find fully set
forth in the writings of Lullius, and other of the ancient Sages,
so therefore I do not dwell on them, being content to treat only
of the first and second matters. This I have done frankly, and
with open heart. Think not that any man in this world has
spoken more fully and clearly than I have. I have not learnt
what I tell you from books, but by the experiment of my own
hands. If you do not understand it at first, or are unable to
accept the truth, accuse not my work, but blame rather yourself,
believing that God will not reveal this secret unto you. Take it,
then, in all earnestness, read and again read it, especially the
Epilogue of these twelve Treatises, and diligently consider
the possibilities of Nature, the action of the elements, and
which is chief among them, especially in the rarefaction
of air or water, by which the heavens and the whole world
were created. This I admonish you to do, as a father
admonishes a son. Do not wonder that I have written so many
Treatises. I am not in need of books for myself, but was
impelled to record my experience by pity towards those who are
wandering astray in the darkness of their own conceits; and
though I might have set forth this secret in few words, I have
written at great length in order to equip you with that knowledge
of Nature, without which you could not hope to succeed in this
Art. Do not be put out by the seeming contradictions with
which, in accordance with the custom of the Sages, I have had
to conceal my real meaning a little. There is no rose found
without thorns. Revolve diligently in your mind all that I have
said about the way in which the elements distil the Radical
Moisture to the centre of the earth, and how the terrestrial and

@

108 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
centric sun again raises and sublimes them, by its continual
motion, to the surface of the earth. Note also the correspondence
which has been affirmed between the celestial and the centric sun
for the celestial Sun and Moon have a special power and a wonderful
virtue in distilling upon earth by their rays. For heat is
easily united to heat, and salt to salt. As the central sun has
its sea and crude perceptible water, so the celestial sun has its sea
of subtle and imperceptible water (the atmosphere). On the
surface of the earth the two kinds of rays meet and produce
flowers and all things. Then rain receives its vital force out of
the air, and unites it to that of the saltpetre of the earth. For the
saltpetre of the earth is like calcined Tartar, and by its dryness,
attracts air to itself -- which air it dissolves into water. For this
saltpetre itself was once air, and has become joined to the fatness
of the earth. The more abundantly the rays of the sun descend,
the greater is the quantity of saltpetre generated, and so also is
the harvest on earth increased. All this does experience daily
teach.
I have willed thus to set forth solely for the benefit of the ignorant the correspondences which exist between all things, and
the efficacious virtue of the Sun, Moon, and Stars. The wise
have no need of such instruction. Our substance is openly displayed
before the eyes of all, and yet is not known. Oh, how
marvellous is our heaven, and our water, and our mercury, and
our saltpetre which are in the world sea, and our vegetable, and
our fixed and volatile sulphur, and our dead head, or dregs of our
sea, and our water that does not wet the hands, and without
which no mortal can live -- without which nothing is born or
generated in the whole world ! It is lightly esteemed by men,
yet no one can do without it: for it is more precious than all the
world beside, an d, in short, it is nothing but our pontic-water
which is congealed in the sun and moon and extracted from the
sun and moon, by means of our chalybs (steel) through the skill
of the Sages by a philosophical artifice and in a surprising
manner. . . . . I did not really intend to publish this book,
for reasons that are named in the preface; but my love for
earnest students of this Art got the better of my caution. So
have I sought to make known my good-will to those who know
me, and manifest unto the initiated that I am their companion

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 109
and equal, and that I desire their acquaintance. I doubt not
that there are many persons of good conduct and clear conscience
who possess this great gift of God in secret. I pray and conjure
them that they should preserve even the silence of Harpocrates.
Let them be made wise by my example, and take warning from
my dangers. Whenever I have revealed myself to the great, it
has always been to my peril and loss. But by this work I now
shew myself to the Sons of Hermes, while at the same time I
instruct the ignorant, and direct lost seekers into the right path.
Let them know that the secret is here as plainly expounded as
it ever will be. I have kept nothing back except the secret of
extracting our " salt of Ammonia," or " Mercury of the Sages "
out of our " sea water," and the great use to which it is put. If I
have not expressed myself very plainly on these points, it is only
because I may not do so. The secret can only be revealed by
God, who knows men's hearts and minds, and He will vouchsafe
this knowledge, in answer to earnest and importunate prayer,
after a repeated careful perusal of this Book. The vessel, as I
have said, is one, or two at most will suffice; and if you have
knowledge of Nature, a continuous fire, and the right substance,
you ought to succeed. Let me caution you, in conclusion, not
to be led astray by those who waste their time and money on
herbs, animals, stones, and all kinds of minerals but the right
ones. Farewell, good reader, and may you long enjoy the results
of my labours, to the glory of God, the salvation of your soul,
and the good of your neighbour.

---------------
A P R E F A C E
TO THE RIDDLE OF THE SAGES.
Addressed to the Sons of Truth.
Though I have already given unto you, O Children of Science, a full and exhaustive account of our Art, and of the
source of the universal fountain, so that there seems no further
call to say anything, having, in the preceding Treatises, illustrated
the mode of Nature by examples, and declared both the
theory and the practice, so far as it is permitted me to do,

@

110 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
yet there may be some of my readers who think that I have
expressed myself here and there in too laconical a fashion. I
will therefore once more make known, from beginning to end,
the entire process, but in the form of a philosophical enigma, so
that you may judge how far I have been permitted to attain
by God. There is an infinite number of books which treat
of this Art, but you will scarce find any which contain a more
clear explication of the truth than is here set down. I have, in
the course of my life, met with a good many who fancied that
they had a perfect understanding of the writings of the Sages;
but their subtle style of interpretation was in glaring contrast
with the simplicity of Nature, and they laughed at what they
were pleased to call the rustic crudeness of my remarks. I have
also frequently attempted to explain our Art to others by word
of mouth; but though they called themselves Sages, they would
not believe that there is such water in our sea, and attributed
my remarks to temporary insanity. For this reason I am not
afraid that my writings will reveal anything to unworthy persons,
as I am persuaded that it is only by the gift of God that this
Art can be understood. If, indeed, subtlety and mental acuteness
were all that is necessary for its apprehension, I have met
with many strong minds, well fitted for the investigation of such
subjects. But I tell you: Be simple, and not overwise, until
you have found the secret. Then you will be obliged to be
prudent, and you will easily be able to compose any number of
books, which is doubtless more simple for him who is in the centre
and beholds the thing itself, than one who is on the circumference
only, and can only go by hearsay. You have a clear
description of the matter of all things, but I warn you that if
you would attain to this knowledge you should continue in
earnest prayer to God, and love your neighbour. In the second
place, you should not be ready to imagine all manner of subtleties
and refinements of which Nature knows nothing. Remain
rather in the way of her simplicity, for therein you are lar more
likely to put your finger on the subject than if you abide in the
midst of subtleties.
In reading my book, do not stick too closely to the letter of my words, but read them side by side with the natural facts
which they describe. You should also from the first fix your

@

THE NEW CHEMICAL LIGHT. 111
eyes steadily on the object of your search, and the scope and aim
of our work. It is much wiser to learn with your mind and your
brain first than by bitter experience afterwards. The object of
your search should be to find a hidden thing from which, by a
marvellous artifice, there is obtained a liquid by whose means
gold is dissolved as gently and naturally as ice is melted in
warm water. If you can find this substance, you have that out
of which Nature produced gold, and though all metals and all
things are derived from it, yet it takes most kindly to gold. For
all other things are clogged with impurity, except gold wherein
there is no uncleanness, whence in a special manner this matter
is, as it were, the mother of gold. If you will not follow my
instructions, and be warned by my cautions, you can derive no
benefit from my book. I have spoken as plainly as my
conscience would permit. If you ask who I am: I am a
Cosmopolitan. If you know me, and wish to be good and honourable
men, keep my name a secret. If you do not know me,
forbear to enquire after my name, for I shall make public
nothing more than appears in this writing. Believe me, if my
rank and station were not what they are, I should enjoy nothing
so much as a solitary life, or to have joined Diogenes in his tub.
For I behold this world full of vanity, greed, cruelty, venality,
and iniquity; and I rejoice in the prospect of the glorious life to
come. I no longer wonder, as once I did, that the true Sage,
though he owns the Stone, does not care to prolong his life;
for he daily sees heaven before his eyes, as you see your face in
a glass. When God gives you what you desire, you will believe
me, and not make yourself known to the world.

---------------
A P A R A B L E,
OR
E N I G M A O F T H E S A G E S.
Added by way of an Appendix.
Once upon a time, when I had been for many years of my life sailing from the Arctic to the Antarctic Pole, I was cast ashore
by the Will of God, on the coast of a certain great ocean; and

@

Début de l'ouvrage Texte précédent Texte suivant Fin de l'ouvrage Drapeau Page d'aide Retour. Flag Help frame Return. Bandera Página de ayuda Vuelta.
Flagge Hilfeseite Rückkehr. Flag Hjælp side Tilbage. Bandiera Guida Torna.