Réfer. : AL2401N
Auteur : Cremer.
Titre : The Testament of Cremer.
S/titre : Abbot of Westminster, and brother of the Benedictine order.
Editeur : J. Elliot and Co., London.
Date éd. : 1893 .
T H E T E S T A M E N T
C R E M E R
ABBOT OF WESTMINSTER AND BROTHER OF THE
A TETRASTICH ON THIS WORK.
BY M. M.
" Either the meaning of the Author or the letter
" of his writings is deceitful. Be on your guard,
" therefore. Everywhere a serpent lurks among
" the flowers. Yet scorn not a friend who spoke
" as plainly as he might. Beneath the shadowy
" foliage of words is concealed the golden fruit"
" OF "
"T R U T H."
C R E M E R, T H E E N G L I S H M A N,
ABBOT OF WESTMINSTER, AND FRIAR OF THE
I HAVE attempted to give a full and accurate account of
Alchemy without using any of those obscure technical
terms, which have proved so serious a stumbling-block in
the way of many students of this Art. I am here describing
my own experience during the thirty years which I spent
and wasted in perusing the writings of authors whose whole
ingenuity seemed to have been concentrated upon the Art of
expressing thought in un intelligible language. The more I read
the more hopelessly I went astray, until Divine Providence at
length prompted me to undertake a journey to Italy, and caused
me to be accepted as a disciple by that noble and marvellously
learned Master Raymond, with whom I remained for a long time.
In his eyes I found such favour that he not only unfolded to me a
partial knowledge of this Great Mystery, but at my most earnest
entreaty, accompanied me to this island of England, and lived
with me here two years. During his stay he thoroughly
instructed me in the whole secret of the work. Subsequently, I
introduced my noble master to his most gracious Majesty King
Edward, who received him kindly and honourably, and obtained
from him a promise of inexhaustible wealth, on condition that
he (the King) should in person conduct a Crusade against the
Turks, the enemies of God, and that he should thenceforward
refrain from making war on other Christian nations. But, alas,
this promise was never fulfilled, because the King grossly violated
his part of the contract, and compelled my dear master to fly
72 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
beyond the seas, with sorrow and grief in his soul. My heart
still bums within me when I think of the unjust treatment which
he received, and I have no more earnest longing than once more
to behold his bodily presence. For the model of his daily life
and the purity and integrity of his mind, would move the most
inveterate sinner to repentance.
In the meantime, rest assured, most blessed Raymond, that
I and my brethren day by day pour out our prayers before God
on your behalf. All wisdom is derived from God, and ever ends
in Him. Any one who desires knowledge should ask it of Him,
for he gives liberally, and without upbraiding. The height and
the depth of all knowledge, and the whole treasure of wisdom
are given unto men of God, because in Him, and to Him, and
through Him are all things, and nothing can happen without His
will. In beginning my discourse I invoke the help of Him Who
is the source and origin of all good things. May the bright light
of His Spirit shine in my heart, and guide me into all truth;
also enabling me to point out to others the true path of
Knowledge! May this prayer be granted by Him who is
enthroned on High, and rules and governs all things, world
without end ! Amen.
" In the Beginning was the Word . . . . . . . . full
of grace and truth."
Holy Lord, Almighty Father, Eternal God, deign to bless
and sanctify the fire which we unworthy men, by invocation of
Thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, presume to bless.
Hallow it, most gracious God, with Thy benediction, and let it
tend to the good of the human race, through our Lord Jesus
Good Lord, Creator of the Red Light,
Who dividest the times by certain seasons
When the Sun vanishes, fearful Chaos comes again:
Oh Christ, restore the light to Thy faithful people!
THE TESTAMENT OF CREMER. 73
Though Thou hast studded heaven's floor with stars,
And inlaid it with the bright lamp of the Moon,
Yet Thou dost teach us also to strike light out of flints,
And to fan it into life out of the stone-born spark.
Thou art the true light of the eyes, and the light of the senses;
A mirror Thou art of things without and of things within.
Accept this light which I bear, ministering,
Tinged with the unction issued from the peace-bearing virgin.
To Thee we come, great Father, throw Thine only Son,
In whom Thy glory visibly shines forth,
And through Him, the Blessed Comforter,
Whom Thou didst send forth from Thy great heart.
In whom Thy Brightness, Honour, Light, and Wisdom,
Majesty, Goodness, and Mercy
Dwell with us throughout the Ages,
And draw us up to the Fountain of Light. Amen.
How to prepare the living water which constitutes the life of
Take three oz. of tartar of good claret, strong and pure.
Add to it five oz. of Petroleum, two oz. of living sulphur, two oz.
of orange-coloured Arsenic, three oz. of Rabusenum, two oz. of
willow charcoal. Mix and distil all these ingredients in the
" Bath of Neptune," in a well-stoppered glass jar. Let this jar
be about one cubit high, and carefully closed to prevent any of
the spirits or smoke from evaporating. When you see it turn of
a pale colour, take it out of the furnace, and let it cool. You
ought to be able to prepare it in about four days. Be careful
not to inhale its smell for it is deadly poison. This water should
be kept in a stout well-stoppered glass jar, and used according to
the directions given in the following chapters.
The other water should be twice distilled out of the urine of
an unpolluted youth pf eighteen; if he be polluted, the water will
have no vitality.
74 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
Take the water of an unpolluted youth after his first sleep
for three or four nights, until you have three pints. Put it each
night into a well-stoppered stone jar; remove the sediment.
Strain out one pint of the thinnest and purest part of the liquid.
Add two glasses of very strong vinegar, two oz. of quicklime,
half-an-ounce of the " living water," of which the preparation
has been described above. Put the mixture into an earthen pot,
and place over it an alembic or distilling vessel, rendered airtight
with clay. Let it stand one day and one night before you
put it on the fire. Then expose it to gentle heat, and let it
distil continually for five or six days and nights. Thus let it
flow by drops; carefully lute your glass receptacle so that
neither spirit nor smoke may escape, and when the liquor distilling
assumes a blue or pallid colour, then abstract nothing
Smelt eight oz. of clear, hard iron ore, having no blemishes
in three or four parts, over a fierce charcoal fire; extinguish it
with so much of the Virgin water described in the second chapter
as may be necessary for the purpose. Then take three oz. of
tin, heat it for a short time in the fire, and steep it in the Virgin
water. Pound the iron ore and the tin very small on a marble
tablet, and when it begins to cool feed it with some of the water
aforesaid. Pour the whole into a narrow-necked glass bottle,
and seal it up with lead. Put it in a safe place, and in October
you should fill a water-tight box (about one yard in height) with
fresh horse dung, and thrust your glass vessel into it. Next to
the bottle let there be a layer of unslaked quick-lime. Shut the
lid of the box closely, and never look at the mixture but at the
time of the full moon. Its colours will continue to change until
it becomes fixed and hardened. Then it is precipitated towards
the bottom of the vessel. When it has been in the box twelve
weeks, it should be quite black. You may then take it out, and
keep it till the twentieth day of March, when it should be once
more pounded small, according to the directions given below.
THE TESTAMENT OF CREMER. 75
About the fifteenth day of March take three oz. of
quicksilver, and add to it half-an-oz. of " living water." Pass
the quicksilver five times through a strainer purged with lye and
well dried. Melt two pounds of lead, and pour it into a pot.
When it becomes liquid, thrust into it a thin round skewer, and
when the lead is still warm, but already fixed, remove the
skewer, and pour in the quicksilver instead. When the whole
mass has cooled turn it out on a slab of marble, pour some oil
over it, pound it small, divide it into three parts, mix each with
small pilules of soot. Leave them in a closely sealed vessel for
eight days, stamp them to powder, and nourish this powder with
a liquid compounded in equal proportions of vinegar and " Virgin
water." Put the soft paste which must thus be formed into a
high glass distilling vessel. Close up the upper part of the vessel
with clay, and tie it up with a piece of leather or parchment.
Then plunge it into a wooden box, containing glowing coals of
juniper wood and oak, and a twentieth part of iron filings. To
test the degree of the fire before inserting the vessel put in it a
piece of dry paper. If it catches alight the fire is not too hot,
but if the thin shreds which remain of the paper after burning
are also consumed, then the heat is excessive, and the door must be
opened till the temperature lowers; when it has become properly
warm, carefully add to it a spoonful of " living water" (described
in the first chapter). But take care that the still is only three-
quarters covered with the coals, in order that you may, whenever
the moon is full, be able quickly to remove the cover, and see
how the work is progressing. Whenever you perform this, add a
spoonful of " living water." At first the colour of the mixture
should be black; afterwards it will become white, and will pass
through various changes of colour. When the mixture turns
solid or fixed, its colour should be red of a some hat dark tinge,
and it should also be saline and heavy, no longer flowing or
bubbling up towards the top of the vessel. It ought to be treated
in the manner suggested for forty weeks, beginning on the
twenty-fifth of March. By the end of this period the mixture
will have become so hard as to burst the vessel. When this
happy event takes place, the whole house will be filled with a
76 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
most wonderfully sweet fragrance, then will be the day of the
Nativity of this most blessed Preparation. Remember, that the
iron box with the coals ought to be enclosed in another wooden
box, of which the object is to preserve the compound from the
noxious influences of the air.
Take two pounds of pure and soft lead, two pounds of pure
tin, and melt them in the above-mentioned well-covered clay
jar. Place the whole on a wood fire, and keep it in a moderate
blaze for three hours. Remove the " foam " of the metallic ore
till the whole mixture is pure and transparent, then add to it à
fourth part of an ounce of the Red Stone powdered. Stir it
gently with an iron spoon until the whole mass turns red. Leave
the jar for seventy-two hours, and during the last three hours
expose it once more to the gentle heat of a blazing wood fire.
While it is still liquid you can mould it into any shape you
please; when it hardens vou have before your eyes the Consummation
of the whole work. Mind you lift up your hands in
grateful prayer to the Giver of all good gifts. So be it.
How to prepare a fire-proof clay jar in which
to melt the metal.
Take well-tempered potter's clay, or the white earth which
is called Taxonium; mix it with a tenth part of horse dung.
When the jar has been formed, and is half dried, cover it with
thin filings of red or caldarium copper and fine powder of red
arsenic. When it is quite dry, smear all its lower part with
saltpetre dissolved for twelve hours in the " living water" of our
How to prepare the Clay.
Make the " clay " which you are to use for stopping up your
vessel and keeping it air-tight, of bitumen, or quicklime mastic,
and the white of eggs, well mixed with a little white Armenian
bolus. Let your petroleum be clear, pure, and yellow. Your
Rabusenum should be clear, and of a bright vermilion.
THE TESTAMENT OF CREMER. 77
It is my wish that Brother Alexander, and Richard, of this
our Monastery, should copy this Testament in the name of the
Most Blessed Trinity, and preserve it carefully.
In the first place, let them diligently keep the secret from
all greedy and nefarious persons, and reveal it to none but the
Abbot and Prior, for the time being, of our Monastery. Nor
should it be made known to them until they have sworn on the
four Gospels that they will not reveal it to any men in power,
or to any of the inferior brethren of our Monastery.
Moreover, it is my wish that the Art be not actually exercised
in this our Monastery, except to save it from penury and
ruin -- a contingency which is not likely to happen, seeing that I
leave to it so great a treasure of precious metals. I also enjoin
upon you who are in authority in this house, to wit, the Abbot
and Prior, to have this my last will and testament copied once in
every sixty years, in order that it may not become illegible, either
through the ravages of time, or through a change in the form of
those written characters which render man's thought permanent.
Furthermore, I command you not to betray the secret of the
preparation of the Red Dragon's Blood, or the quantities of substances
required, or the manner of their treatment, or the time
when the work should be taken in hand, to any human soul,
except to the persons named above; and I adjure you to keep
and preserve intact, inviolate, and unbroken the trust committed
to you, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
as you will one day have to answer me before the judgment seat
of Christ. Whoever does not observe this my mandate, let his
name be blotted out from the Book of Life.
Magnesia is the smelted ore of iron. When the mixture is
still black it is called the Black Raven. As it turns white, it is
named the Virgin's Milk, or the Bone of the Whale. In its red
stage, it is the Red Lion. When it is blue, it is called the Blue
Lion. When it is all colours, the Sages name it Rainbow. But
the number of such names is legion: and I can only mention
these few. Moreover, they were only invented for the purpose of
confounding the vulgar, and hiding this mystery from the simple.
Whenever you meet with a book full of these strange and outlandish
terms and names, throw it aside at once: it will not teach
78 THE HERMETIC MUSEUM.
Rabusenum is a certain red substance and earth coming
forth with water, which flows out of minerals, and is brought to
perfection in the month of July in a glass jar exposed to the heat
of the sun for 26 days.