E-text prepared by Julian Rosalie
THE GOLDEN CALF,
ADORES, and DESIRES:
In which is handled The most rare and Incomparable Wonder of Nature, In Transmuting METALS;
How the intire Substance of Lead, was in one Moment Transmuted in Gold-Obrizon, with an exceeding small particle of the true Philosophick Stone.
At the Hague. In the Year 1666.
Written in Latin by John Frederick Helvetius, Doctor and Practitioner of Medicine at the Hague, and faithfully Englished.
London, Printed for John Starkey at the Mitre in Fleetstreet near Temple-Barr, 1670.
To the most Excellent D. THEODORUS KETJES, by his many Peregrinations, a most famous Phisician, and an happy Practitioner of Medicine at Amsterdam, One of my Intimate Friends.
ALSO, To the most Noble, most Excellent, and most Experienc'd, and Accurate Searchers into the Vulcanian Anatomy, D. JOHN CASPARUS FAUSIUS, Counsellor, and Chief Physician of the most Serene Elector Palatine of HEIDELBERG.
AND D. CHRISTIAN MENTZELIUS, Principal Physician in the Court of the most Serene Elector of BRANDENBURG: My Reverend Patrons, and intire Friends.
Most Noble, most Excellent, most Expert, and most Accurate Inspectors of the Vulcanian Anatomy, and my most real FRIENDS.
Although I neither was willing, nor able to be wanting to my honoured Friends, yet would not divulge and bring to light the Verity of the Spagirick Art, but by this most precious, and Miraculous Arcanum, which I not only saw with these Eyes, but taking a little of the transmutatory powder, I myself also transmuted an Impure Mass of Lead volatile in the Fire, into fixed Gold, constantly sustaining every Examen of Fire: in such wise, as henceforth it can no more be suspected by any Man, no not by those, who unto this day have perswaded themselves and others, that this Arcanum is given to no man: but contrarily we were fully and indubitately perswaded, that, in things of Nature, The Mercury of Philosophers is Primo-material, and is like a Fountain overflowing with wonderfull Effects, and those escaping every acuteness, and Light of Human reprehensible Reason, as shall be evidenced in this my little work: which I was willing to dedicate and consecrate to you, my Primary Patrons, as to most prudent Masters, and Defenders. Yet in the mean while, I pray consider, that I have not writ to the end I would teach any one, that Art, which I my self know not, but only that I might recite the true Process of this Arcanum. For, what can more confirm, and Patronize Verity, than the true Light of Truth it self? It is the property of Brute Animals to pass their life in Silence, and especially not to heed those things in them, which do most of all look to, and are required for the propagation of the Glory of the most Wise, and most powerful GOD our creator. Wherefore, since it is a thing unworthy, and to the Divine Majesty ungrateful, for Man, who should be a Consort of the Divine Nature, to wax brutish with Brutes, I present to you, my most faithful Friends, and Patrons of this Science, this most rare History: having as time, and my Ability would permit, recollected all things, and have faithfully commemorated them. Therefore, omitting all paints, and flourishes of Rhetorical Expressions, I will forthwith betake my self to the discovery of all, whatsoever I both saw, and heard from Elias the Artist touching this. For truly, I was not so intimately familiar with him, as that he should instruct me in the way of preparing the Universal Medicine, after the Method of Physico-artificial Chimistry: yet he supplyed me with such Reasons in the Method of Healing, as I shall never be able to commend his worth with condigne Praises. Therefore, most curious Favourers, and true Lovers of the Chimical Art, accept of this little work, as a mean Gift, or if you had rather, peruse if only for recreation of the mind; for in it I shall relate all things whatsoever, that were discoursed of between him and me, at several times: humbly requesting, that with the same benevolence you have received other of my small Treatises, you would also accept of this Novel, which I freely dedicate, and officiously give to you, for a motion, and increase of Admiration. Farewel, avete, favete.
Your most humble
John Fredrick Helvetius.
Most Excellent, and Prudent Sirs. Before I enter upon the Description of the Philosophick PIGMY, (in this little Theatre of Secrets) overcoming and subduing GIANTS, I pray permit me here to use the words of Vanhelmont, taken out of his Book De Arbore Vitae, fol. 630. and here Transcribed.
I compelled to believe, that there is an Aurifick, and Argentick Stone. But (Friend of the Spagyrick Art) I am not ignorant, that many have been found among the most wise, yea among the exquisite Chimists, who have not only consumed their own Goods, but the Goods of others also, in this Great Vulanick Secret, as Experience even at this very day sufficiently proves. For we have seen, the more is the pity! how unwary Chimists, yea such as are more worthy, than those who are called Alchimists; how, I say, they, labouring simply, are daily deluded with Guile of this kind, by Diabolick, Aurifick, and Argentick Suckgoods. Also I know, that many Stupid Men will rise up, and contradict the truth of my true Experience, touching the Philosophick Stone. One will have it to be a work of the Devil; another affirms there is no such thing; a third faith it is the Soul of Gold only, and that with an Ounce of that Gold, an Ounce of Lead, and no more may be again tinged: but this is repugnant to the Attestation of Kifflerus, as I shall briefly commemorate; a fourth believes the Verity and Possibility thereof, but faith it is so chargeable, as it will never quit Cost; with many other like Allegations. Yet I wonder not at this, for according to this Saying,
Quorum rationem non intelligimus, miramur, Que vero pernoscere volupe est, rimamur.
What we cannot attain to, we admire, But what to know is pleasing, do desire.
How can a Man, fallen from the Fountain of Light, into the Abyss of Darkness, effect any thing to purpose, in Natural things, especially when his Wisdome in this natural Philosophick Study is barren and sophisticate? It is, for the most part, proper to these Fools and unapt men, presently to contemn a thing, not knowing, that more are yet to be sought by them, than they have the possession of. Therefore, rightly saith Seneca, in lib. de Moribus: Thou art not yet happy, if the Rout deride thee not. But I matter not, whether they believe, or contradict what I write, touching the Transmutation of Metals. I rest satisfied in this one thing, which with my eyes I have seen, and what with my hands I have done. For what Philosophers say of themselves, I also have with my hands handled this Spark of the Eternal Wisdome, or this Saturnine Catholick Magnesia of Philosophers, a Fire of potency sufficient to penetrate Stones, yea, a Treasure of so great value, as 20 Tun of Gold cannot exceed the price thereof. What seek you? I believe what I have seen with the eyes of Thomas, and handled as he, (but in the nature of things only) as well as the Adept Philosophers; although in this our decrepit age of the world, That be accounted a most Secret Hyperphysico-magical Saturn, and not known, unless to some Cabalistick Christian only. We judge him the most happy of all Physicians, who hath the knowledge of this pleasant Medicinal potion of our Mercury, or of the Medicine of the Son of our Esculapius resisting the force of death, against which there is no Panacea otherwise produced in Gardens. Moreover, the most wise GOD doth not reveal his Gifts of Solomon promiscuously to all Mortals. They indeed seem strange to them, when they behold a Creature, from the occult Magnetick potency incited in it self, deduced into art by its own like; as for Example: In Iron is a Magnetick, ingenited, potential virtue from the Magnet: a Magnetick virtue in Gold from Mercury: a Magnetick virtue in Silver from Venus, or Copper: and so consequently in all Metals, Minerals, and Stones, Herbs, and Plants, &c.
Moreover, I may properly quaery, which of the wisest Philosophers is so Sage, as to be able to comprehend with the acuteness of his own most dextrous ingeny, with what Obumbracle the Imaginative Tinging, Venemons, or Monstrous Faculty of any pregnant Woman, compleats its work in one Moment, if it be deduced into art by some External Object?
I do assuredly believe, that very many will foolishly say, that this is a Mortomagical Work of the Devil; but the Doltish and Ignorant are affraid to be out-shined by the true resplendent Light of Verity, with which their Owl-like Sight is troubled, and afflicted.
Also the Stars are a cause of what we treat of, and this cause is not to be contemned, although I, nor you, know not how to comprehend the Celestial Influences of them in our mind. Nor are the Plants, which the Earth supplies us with, to be rejected, although I; or you, from the External Signature of them, know not how to judge aright of the Effect of Virtues ingenited in them, which they notoriously exercise, according to their power, in healing and conserving Humane bodies. Therefore, since all others are also offended at the Internal Light, being ignorant of all abstruse things, of which you, or I, want the Science, how can the same Virtues be deduced into art, according to the end for which they were created? A thousand other like things might be instanced. Although you know not the Splendour in Angels, the Candour in the Heavens, the Perspicuity in the Air, Limpitude in Waters, the variety of Colours in Flowers, hardness of Metals and Stones, Proportion in Animals, the Image of GOD in regenerate Men, Faith in Believers, and Reason in the Soul; yet in them there is such a beauty, as hath been throughly beheld, and fully known by very few Mortals.
Although in the Stone of Philosophers there be so potent a virtue, and the same hath been seen by me, yet I would not therefore have any man to think, that my primary Scope, and intention, is to perswade the worthy, or unworthy Sons of this Age, to labour in this work, no, not at all: but I shall rather dehort all, and every of the curious Indagators of this Art, that they seriously abstain from this most perilous Arcanum, as from a certain Sanctum Sanctorum; yea, and I would admonish the Studious of this Arcanum, accurately to take heed to himself, and beware of the Lectures, and Association of false Philosophers. But I hope I shall satisfie the curious Naturalists, or investigators of Physical Arcanums, by communicating and publishing in this present Discourse, all which passed between Elias the Artist, and Me, touching the Nature of the Stone of Philosophers. For that is an Ens more Effulgent than the Morning, or a Carbuncle: more splendid, than the Sun, or Gold: more fair, than the Moon, or Silver: so very Recreable, and Amiable, was the sight of this Light, and most pleasing Object to me, as out of my inward Mind, it cannot be obliterated, or extinguished by any Oblivion; although the same be credited by none of the fatuate Learned, or illiterate ignorant Asses, and such as glory only in the praise of ambitious Eloquence. For in this malignant ulcerated age of the world, nothing is so safe and secure from Calumnies, but it is taken in a wrong Sense, and perverted unworthily by the Idiotick Ignorance of mad-brain'd CacoZelots. So very farr do all these dark-sighted men deviate from the true rule of Verity, as in success of time, they, intangled with their own Errors, will miserably wast away and expire; but our Assertion, built on the Eternal Foundation of Triumphing Verity, shall continue and remain, unto the Consummation of all ages, without diminution, although this art be not yet known to all Mortals. For the Adept Philosophers, according to the antient Faith of their experience, have affirmed, that this Natural Mystery (which many anxious men have sinistrously sought, and required) is only to be found with Jehovah, Saturninely placed in the Centre of the World. In the mean while, we proclaim those happy, who take care, by the help of art, how they may wash this Philosophick Queen, or how they ought to circulate the Virgin-Catholick-Earth, in Physico-Magical Crystalline Artifice, as Khunradus. did; they only, and none others besides them, shall see the Crowned, and internally fiery King of Philosophers, coming forth from his Glassy Sepulchre, in an external fiery Body glorified, more then perfect with all the Colours in the world, as a shining Carbuncle, or perspicuous, compact and ponderous Crystal, a Salamander Spewing out Waters, and by the benefit thereof in the Fire washing Leprous Metals, as I my self have seen. What? How shall they see the Abyss of the Spagyrick Art? when as this Royal Art hath so long lain hid, and been absconded in the Mineral Kingdom, as in the Safest of all Secret places, for so very many years? Assuredly the Genuine Sons of this Laudable Art, shall not only behold a like Flood of Numicius, in which AEneas heretofore, by the command of Venus, washed and absolved from his Immortality, was immediately transformed into an immortal God; but also the Lydian River of Pactolus all transmuted into Gold, and how Midas Mygdonius washed himself in the same. Likewise those candid Rivals of this Art, shall in a serious order behold the Bathing-place of naked Diana, the Fountain of Narcissus and Scylla walking in the Sea, without garments, by reason of the most fervent Rayes of Sol: partly also the Blood of Pyramus and Thisbe, of it self collected, by the help of which, white Mulberries are tinged into Red; partly also the Blood of Adonis, by the descending Goddess Venus transformed into a Rose of Anemona; partly likewise the Blood of Ajax, from which arose that most beautiful flower the Violet; partly also the Blood of the Giants slain by Jupiters thunder-bolt; partly also the Shed Tears of Althea, when she put off her Golden Vestments; and partly the Drops, which fell from the decocted Water of Medea, by which green things immediatly sprang out of the Earth; partly also the cocted Potion of Medea, made of various Herbs, gathered always three dayes before full Moon, for the cure of Jasons aged Father; partly also those Leaves, by the tast of which, the nature of Gaucus was changed into Neptune; partly also the Exprest Juice of Jason, by the benefit of which, he, in the Land of Cholcons, received the Golden Fleece, afterward by reason of that, compleatly armed, he fought in the Feild of Mars, not without the hazard of Life; partly also the Garden of the Hesperides, where Golden Apples may be gathered from the Trees; partly also Hippomenes running for the Mastery with Atalanta, and staying her Course, and so overcoming her with three Golden Apples, the Gifts of Venus; partly also the Aurora of Cephalus, partly also Romulus transformed by Jupiter into a God; partly also the Soul of Julius Caesar, by the Goddess Venus, transfigured into a Comet, and placed among the Stars; partly also Python, Juno's Serpent, arising out of the putrid Earth (after Deucalions Flood) made hot by the Rayes of the Sun; partly also the Fire, with which Medea kindled seven Lights; partly also the Moon, inflamed by the burning of Phaeton; partly also the Withered Olive Branch, a new; flourishing and bearing Fruit; yea, becoming a new and tender Olive Tree; partly also Arcadia, where Jupiter was wont to walk; partly also the Habitation of Pluto, at the Gate whereof lay the Three-headed Cerberus; & also partly that Mountain, where Hercules burned all his Members, received from the Mother, upon Wood, but the Parts of the Father remained Fixed, and incombustible in Fire, and nothing of his Life was destroyed, but he, at length, was transmuted into a God. Likewise we will not forget those Germans, the Sons of true Philosophers, who entred into a Country-house, at length transformed into a Temple, whose Covering was made of pure Gold. Certainly, I cannot choose, but must yet once more with acclamation, say with the Adept: O happy, and thrice happy is that Artificer, who by the most merciful benediction of the highest, Jehovah pursues the Art of Confecting, and preparing that (as it were, Divine) Salt, by the Efficacious Operation of which, a Metallick, or Mineral body, is corrupted, destroyed, and dyes; yet the Soul thereof is in the mean while revived, to a glorious Resurrection of a Philosophick Body. Yea, I say, most happy is the Son of that man, who, by his Prayers, obtains this Art of Arts, unto the glory of GOD. For it is most certain, that this Mystery can be known no other way, unless it be drawn and imbibed from GOD, the Fountain of Fountains. Therefore, let every serious Lover of this inestimable Art judge, that the whole work of him required, is, that he constantly, with the prayer of true faith, in all his labour, implore and solicite the Divine Grace of the Holy Spirit. For the solemn manner of GOD alone is, candidly and liberally, either mediately or immediately, to communicate his gifts and benefits, to none, unless to candid and liberal Ingenies only. In this holy way of practical Piety, all Inquisitors of profound Arts, find what they seek, when they, in their work, exercise themselves Theosophically by solitary Colloquies with Jehovah, with a pure Heart and Mouth, religiously. For the Heavenly Sophia, indeed, willingly embraces our friendship, presenting, and offering to us, her inexhaustible Rivolets, most full of gracious goodness and benevolence. But, happy is he, to whom the Royal way, in which he is to walk, shall be shown by some One expert in this Arcanum.
I seem to presage to my self, that I have not equally satisfied all Readers in this Preface; but it is, as if I did presume to teach them an Art, unknown to my self; yet I hope better of the greatest part of them. For my intention was, only to relate to you a certain History. Therefore, Drink, my Friends, of the following Dialogue, or Springing Colloquy, presented by me, wishing you well, that thence you may satisfie, and allay all the Thirst of your Thirsting Minds: for I doubt not in the least, but that this Study of Divine Wisdome, will be more sweet to you, than Nectar and Ambrosia. No other will I communicate, no other have I common, then that of Jul. Caes. Scaliger: The End, of Wisemen, is the Communication of Wisdome: according to that of Gregory Nyssen: He who is Good, in Nature, the same very willingly communicates his Goods to others. For it is the part of good Men, to be profitable to others.
Divers Ilustrious men have written touching the Verity of this Arcanum, among these, take the Sayings of some of them, as follows.
PARACELSUS In his Book Of the Signature of Natural things.
The Tincture of Naturalists, is a, true sign, that by the transmutative virtue thereof, all imperfect Metals are changed, viz. the White into Silver, and the Red into the best Gold, if an exceeding small part of this Medicine well prepared, be injected upon the Metal, while in flux in a Crucible, &c.
For the invincible Astrum of Metals overcomes all things, and changeth into a Nature like it self, &c. This Gold and Silver is more noble, and better, than those, which are dug out of Metallick Mines; for Medicinal Arcanums to be prepared therefrom.
Therefore, I say every Alchimist, which hath the Astrum of Gold, is able to tinge all Red Metals into Gold, &c.
Our Tincture of Gold hath Astrums in it self, is a Substance most fixed, and in multiplication immutable. It is a Powder, haveing a colour most red, almost like Saffron, yet its whole Corporal Substance, is liquid as Rosin, perspicuous as Crystal, brittle as Glass, of the colour of a Rubie, and exceeding poaderous, &c.
Also read Paracelsus his Heaven of Philosophers.
Likewise, Paracelsus his Seventh Book, Of the Transmutation of Natural things.
Transmutation is a great natural Mystery, Metallick, and not contrary to the Course of Nature, nor repugnant to the Order of GOD, as many men of it do falsly judge. For imperfect Metals, are changed neither into Gold, nor into Silver, without this Stone of Philosophers.
Paracelsus, in his Manual of the Medicinal Stone of philosophers.
Our Stone is a Celestial, and more than perfect Medicine, because it cleanseth all the impurities of Metals, &c.
In his Amphitheatre of Eternal Sapience.
I travelled long, invited others, who knew somewhat by experience, and could with very firm judgement conjecture; and this not alwayes in vain. Among which, I call God to witness, by his wonderful ordination, I, from one, received the Green Catholick Lyon, and the Blood of the Lyon, viz. Gold, not the Vulgar, but of Philosophers, with my Eyes I saw the same, with my hands, I handled it, and with my Nostrils, smelt the odour thereof. O how wonderful is God in his Works! They, I say, gave those Gifts prepared, which I in most desperate Cases, used with admirable success to the benefit of my needy Neighbour. And (by Instinct of Jehovah's mercy) they sincerely revealed to me, the wayes of preparing, &c.
This wonderful Method, the wonderful God gave me. In this way, in which I walked, God alone, I say, immediately, and mediately; yet subdelegately, Nature, Fire, and Art, of my Master, as well living as mute, corporally, and spiritually good, sleeping and waking, gave the same to me, &c,
I write not Fables; with your hands you shall handle, and with, your eyes you shall see Azoth, viz. the Catholick [or Universal] Mercury of Philosophers; which alone, with the Internal and External Fire, yet with Sympathetick Harmony, with Olympick Fire (by reason of inevitable necessity) Physico-magically united, will suffice thee for obtaining our Stone, &c.
You shall see, the Stone of Philosophers; our King, and Lord of those that bare rule, coming from his Bridal Throne of the Glassy Sepulchre, into this Mundane Scene, in his glorified body, viz, regenerate, and more then perfect: namely, a shining Carbuncle, a most temperate Splendour; and of which, tire most Subtile, and Depurated parts, are by the concordant peace of Mixtion, inseparably united into One, and perfectly equallized, clear as Crystal, compact, and most ponderous, as fluid in fire, as Rosin, and before the flight of Mercury, as Wax flowing, yet without fume, entring and penetrating, solid and close bodies, as Oyl, Paper; resolvable in every Liquor, melting, and commiscible therewith; brittle as Glass, in Powder, of the colour of Saffron, but in the intire Mass, like a blushing Rubie; (which Redness is a sign of perfect Fixation, and fixed Perfection) permanently Colouring, or Tinging; in all Examens whatsoever, even of Sulphur adurtive, and in Tryals of corroding Waters, and in the most vehement persecution of Fire, fixed, alwayes during, and unburnable; permanent as the Salamander, &c.
The Stone of Philosophers in the greater World, is in the parts thereof, fermented; by reason of the Ferment, it transforms it self into whatsoever it will &c. Hence you may learn the reason, why Philosophers on their Azoth imposed the name of Mercury which adheres to bodies, &c.
It is fermented with Metals, viz, the White existant in the highest Whiteness, with pure Silver for the White; but the Sanguineous Stone, with Gold Obrizon for the Red. And this is the Work of three dayes, &c.
HELMONT, Of Eternal Life
For I have oftentimes seen it, and with, my hands handled the same, &c. See in the same place further. Then I projected this quarter of one Grane, wrapt up in Paper, upon eight Ounces of Argentvive, hot in a Crucible, and immediately the whole Hydrargyry, with some little noise ceased to flow, and remained congealed like yellow Wax: after fusion thereof, by blowing the bellows, there were found eight Ounces of Gold, wanting eleven Grane. Therefore, one Grane of this Powder, transmutes 19186 equal parts of Argentvive, into the best Gold.
Within the Earth, the aforesaid Powder is found, or what is in a sort like thereunto, which transmutes almost an infinite Mass of impure Metal into perfect Gold, by uniting the same to it self, it defends from Rust, and AErugo, from Cankring, and Death, and maketh the same, as it were, immortal, against all torture of Fire, and Art, and transfers it into the Virgin-purity of Gold; it requires only heat.
The same Helmont, Of the Tree of Life.
I am compelled to believe the Aurifick, and Argentifick Stone; because at several distinct: times, with my own hand, made projection of one Grane of this Powder, upon some thousands of Granes of Argentvive hot in a Crucible; and in the presence of our principal friends, the business, with a pleasing admiration, succeeded well in the Fire: as our books promise Thee, &c.
He, who first gave me the Powder, had at least, so much thereof, as would be sufficient for transmuting two hundred thousand pound weight of Metal, into Gold, &c..
For he gave to me not so much as half a grane of that Powder, and with that were transmuted nine ounces, and three quarters of an ounce of Argetitvive. That was given me one Evening by a strange Friend, &c
So also it is written, that sixty years since, Alexander Scotus, made projection of that kinde, in the trust: famous City of Colonia and Hanovia, &c..
I cannot in this place over-pass, some Examples worthy of note, touching the possibility of Transmutation.
Read the following true Extract out of an Epistle written by Doctor Kufflerus.
Kufflerus: Artist, I found-in my own Laboratory, an Aqua-fortis. Secondly, I again found another in the Laboratory, Caroli de Roy; this Aqua-Fortis I poured upon the Calx of Sol, prepared of Gold, in the Vulgar manner, and after the third Cohobation, it sublimed the Tincture of Gold with it self in the Neck of the Retort; this Tincture I mixed with Silver, precipited in the vulgar manner, and I saw that one ounce of the sublimed Tincture of Gold, with ordinary Flux in a Crucible, had transmuted one ounce, and halfe of the two ounces of precipitate Silver, into the best Gold: but a third part of the Silver yet remaining, was a white and fixed Gold: the other two parts thereof were perfect Silver, fixed in every examen of Fire. This is my experience, after this time, we could never find the like Aqua-fortis. I Helvetius saw this Gold white, and without Tincture.
There is yet one other Example very rare; of what was done at the Hague by a Silver-Smith, whose name was Grill: how he in the year 1664. by Spirit of Salt, not prepared in the Vulgar manner, transmuted Lead so, as from one pound, he received three parts of the best Silver, and two ounces of most fixed Gold.
At the Hague, a certain Silver-Smith, and a much exercised Disciple of Alchimy, but according to the nature of Alchimy, a very poor man; did sometime since require Spirit of Salt, not vulgarly prepared, of a loving Friend of Mine, a Cloath-Dyer, by name, John Casparus Knottnerus. My Friend giving the same to him; demanded, whether he would use that Spirit of Salt, he now had, for Metals, or not? Grill made answer; for Metalls. And accordingly he afterward powred this Spirit of Salt upon Lead, which he had put into a Glass Dish, usual for Conditures and Confections. The space of two Weeks being elapsed, supernatant on the Spirit of Salt, appeared a most splendid Silver-Starre, so exceeding curious, as if it had been made With an Instrument by a most ingenious Artist. At the sight of which, the said Grill, filled with Exceeding Joy, signified to us, that he had seen the Signate Star of Philosophers, touching which he had read in Basilius, as he thought. I, and many other honest Men, did behold this Star supernatant on the Spirit of Salt, the lead in the mean while remaining in the bottom of an ash colour, and swollen like a Sponge. But in the space of seven or nine dayes, that humidity of the Spirit of Salt, being absumed by the exceeding heat of the Aire, in July, did vanish; but the Star settled down, and still stood above that Earthly Spongeous Lead. That was a thing worthy of admiration, and beheld by not a few Spectators. At length Grill himself having taken part of Cinereous, or Ash-like Lead, with the Star adhering, cupellated in a Test, and found from one ounce of this Lead, twelve ounces of Cupellate Silver, and from these twelve ounces, he also had two ounces of the best Gold. And I Helvetius am able to shew some of this Spongeous Lead with part of the Star yet adhering, & besides the pieces of the Star the Silver and Gold made thereof. Which when this Subtile (and Likewise Foolish) Grill understood, he would not be known to Knottterus, whether he had used the Spirit of Salt, or not; but thenceforth attempted to learn of him the Art how to make it; yet some time being Elapsed, the worthy Knottnerus had for got what Spirit of salt (for he was expert in various kinds thereof) he had given him; not being able to call the same to mind so suddenly: in the mean while, he and his Family were visited with the Pestilence and dyed: the other falling into the Water was drowned. After the death of these two, none could find out the way of either of their Operations.
Certainly here is cause of Admiration, that the Internal Nature of Lead, by the simple maturation of Spirit of Salt, should appear in an external form so noble. No less admirable and wonderful to the mind is this, viz. that the mirifick Stone of Philosophers can so exceeding swiftly transmute Metals; having virtue potentially insited in it self, so as it is deduced into Art, as in Iron by contact of the Magnet. But touching These enough for the Sons of Art.
Since promises are so much the better esteemed, by how much the sooner they are fulfilled, I, without any dilation, immediately come to my promised Declaration of the following History, which thus take.
At the Hague, on the sixth Calend of January or the 27th. of December, in the year 1666, a certain man came to my House in the Afternoon, to me indeed planely unknown, but endued with an honest gravity, and serious authority of Countenance, cloathed in a Plebick Habit, like to some Memnonite of a middle Stature, his Visage somewhat long, with some Pock-holes here and there dispersed: his Hairs were indeed very black, yet not curled, little or no no hair on his Chin, and about three or four and fourty years of Age: his Countrey (as far as I am able to conjecture) is the Septentrional Batavia, vulgarly called Nord Hollund.
After salutations ended, his new Guest, with great Reverence, asked, whether he might have freedom to come to me; because for the Pyrotechnick Art sake, he could not, nor was he willing to pass by the Door of my house; adding, that he had not only thought to have made use of some Friend to come to me, but had also read some of my little Treaties, especially that, which I published against D. Digbies Sympathetick Powder, in which I discovered my doubt of the true Philosophick Mystery. Therefore, this occasion being taken, he asked me, whether I could believe, that place was given to such a Mystery in the things of Nature, by the benefit of which a Physician might be able to cure all Diseases universally, unless the Sick already had a defect either of the Lungs, or Liver, or of any like noble Member? To which I answered. Such a Remedy is exceeding necessary for a Physician, but no man knows, what and how great are the Secrets yet hidden in Nature, nor did I ever, in all my Life see such an Adept Man, although I have read and perused many things, touching the verity of this thing, or Art, in the Writings of Philosophers. I also enquired of him, whether he (speaking of the Universal Medicine) were not a Physician? But he answering by denyal, professed, that he was no other than a Melter of Orichalcum, and that in the Flower of his years, he had known many things, from his Friend, rare to the Sight, and especially the way of Extracting Medicinal Arcanums by the force of Fire, and that for this very cause, he was a Lover of this so noble Science of Medicine. Moreover, long after other discourses, touching Experiments in Metals, made by the violence of Fire, Elias the Artist spake to me thus; Do not you know the Highest Secret, when it is offered to your sight, viz. the Stone of Phylosophers, you having read in the Writings of many Chymists most excellent, touching the Substance, Colour, and strange effect of the same? I answered, not at all; except what I have read in Paracelsus, Helmont, Basilius, Sandivogius, and like Books of Adept Phylosophers extant. Nevertheless, I think, I am not able to know the Phylosophick Matter, whether it be true, or not, although I should see it present before me.
Whilst I was speaking thus, he pulled out of his Pocket an Ivory Box, in which he had three ponderous Fragments, in magnitude scarcely equalizing a small Walnut; these were Glass-like, of the colour of pale Sulphur, to which the Interior Scales of that Crucible did adhere, in which this most noble Substance was liquified, for I suppose the Value of it might equalize twenty Tun of Gold. But after I had plighted my Faith, I held that [Greek: cheimhelion], [or pretious Treasure] of this Stone, within these my hands for almost a quarter of an hour, and from the Philosophick Mouth of the Owner, I heard many things worthy of note, touching the Wonderful Effect of the same, for humane and Metallick bodies. Indeed, I, with a sad and afflictedly afflicted Mind, restored this Treasure of Treasures to him, the Lord and Possessor, who gave the same into my hand for a very short space of time; and yet I did that (after the manner of Men overcoming themselves) not without the greatest action of thanks, as was fit in such a Case. Afterward I asked him, how it came to pass, (since I had otherwise read, that the Stones of Philosophers, were endowed with a Rubinate, or Purple Colour) that this his Philosophick Stone was tinged with a Sulphureous Colour? He answered me thus: O Sir; this is nothing to the purpose: for the Matter is Sufficiently mature. Moreover, when I entreated him, that he would give to me, for a perpetual remembrance, one small part of the Medicine included in his Box, although no more in bulk than a Coriander-Seed; he denied, answering: O no! For this is not lawful for me to do, although you would give me this whole Roome full of Gold in Duckets; and that not by reason of the price of the Matter, but by reason of another certain Consequence; Yea, surely, if it were possible, that Fire could be burned with Fire, I would sooner cast this whole Substance into the devouring Flames of Vulcan, before your Eyes. A little after this, he also asked me, whether I had not another Room, the Windows of which were not to the Street-side; I presently brought this Phaenix, or Bird most rare to be seen in this Land, into my best furnished Chamber; yet he, at his Entrance (as the manner of Hollanders is, in their Countryes) did not shake off his Shooes, which were dropping wet with Snow. I indeed, at that very time, thus thought: perhaps he will provide, or hath in readiness some Treasure for me; but he dash'd my hope all to pieces. For he immediatey asked of me a piece of the best Gold-mony; and in the mean while layed off his Cloak, and Country Coat; also he opened his Bosom, and under his Shirt he wore in green Silk, five great Golden Pendants, round, filling up the magnitude of the Interior Space of an Orb of Tin. Where, in comparing these, in respect of Colour and Flexibility, the difference between his Gold, and mine, was exceeding great. On these Pendants he had inscribed with an Iron Instrument, the following Words, which, at my request, he gave leave I should coppy out.
The form of the Pendants, and words engraven thereon, are as follows.
I. AMEN Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord our GOD, for all things are full of his Power. Leo: Libra.
II. The wonderfull wonder-working wisdome of JEHOVAH in the Catholick Book of Nature. Made the 26. day Aug. 1666.
[Alchemical symbols: Gold, Mercury, Silver] The wonderfull GOD, Nature and he Spagyrick Art, make nothing in vain.
Sacred, Holy Spirit Hallelujha Hallelujha Away Devil, Speak not of GOD without Light, Amen.
The Eternal Invisible, only wise, Best of all and omnipotent GOD of Gods; Holy, Holy, Holy, Governour & Conserver deservedly ought to be praysed.
Moreover, when I, affected with admiration said to him; My Master, I pray tell me, where had you this greatest Science of the whole World? He answered, I received such Magnalia from the Communication of a certain Extraneous Friend, who for certain dayes lodged in my House, professing, that, he was a Lover of Art, and came to teach me various Arts; viz. how, besides the aforesaid, of Stones and Crystal, most beautiful precious Stones are made much more fair than Rubies, Chrysolites, Saphires, and others of that kind. Also how to prepare a Crocus Martis in a quarter of an hour of which one only Dose infallibly heals a Pestilential Dysentery Likewise a Metallic Liquor, by the help of which, every species of the Dropsy may be cured certainly in four dayes space Also a certain Limpid Water, more sweet, than Hony, by the help of which, I can extract the Tincture of Granates, Corals, and of all Glasses blown by Artificers, in the space of two hours in hot sand only. Many other things like to these he told me, which I neither well observed, nor committed to memory; because my intention was: carryed further, viz. to learn the Art of pressing that so noble juice out of Metals for Metals; but the Shadow in Waters deceived the Dog of his piece of Flesh, which was substantial. Moreover, this Artist told me that his Master, who taught him this Art, bad him bring Glass full of Rain water, with which he mixed a very small: quantity of a most white pouder; commanding me, (here the Disciple of that Master proceeds in his Discourse) to go to the Silver-Smith, for one ounce of Cupellate Silver, laminate, [or beat very thin,] which Silver was dissolved in a quarter of an hour, as Ice in hot water. Then he presently gave to me one half of this potion, by himself so speedily made, to drink; which in my mouth tasted as sweet Milk, and I thence became very cheerful.
He having related these things, I ceased not to enquire of him, to what end he had instanced this? Whether the Potion was Philosophick? To this, he answered, You must not be so curious.
Afterward, he told me, how he, by the command of that Laudable Artist his Master, took a piece of the Leaden gutter of his house, and when the Lead was melted in a now Crucible, the said Artist drew out off his pocket a Gasket full of Sulphureous Powder, of which, he took a very small part upon the point of a knife, once, and again, and injected the same; upon the Lead in Flux; presently. giving order, that the fire should be blown with two pair of Bellows strongly, for exciting the heat more vehemently; a little after he powred out of the crucible, most pure Gold, upon the Red stones, which were in the Kitchen. I (said this most pleasing discourser to me) did commodiously behold this verity of the Transmutation of Metals, but was so astonished with fear and admiration, that I was Scarcely able to speak one word; But my Master heartning me, said; Cheer, up and be contented: take for your self a sixteenth part of this Mass, which keep For a Memorandum; but the other fifteen parts distribute to the poor: and I did as he said. For, (if my memory deceive me not) he bestowed this exceeding great Alms, on the Sparrendamen Church; but whether, he gave it at distinct times Or not, or whether he told it down in the Substance of Gold, or of Silver, I asked him not.
And at length (saith he speaking of his Master) he directly taught me this great divine Art.
Therefore, the; Narration of all these things being ended, I most humbly entreated him, that he would shew me the effect of Transmutation upon impure Metals, that I thence might have the better assurance of those things by him related to me, and my Faith being confirmed, securely give credit to the real Truth of the matter. But he very discreetly gave me the repulse; yet taking his leave of me, he promised to return again after three Weeks, and then shew to me certain curious Arts, by Fire, as also the way of projecting; making this Provisoe, if it should then be lawful for him. The three Weeks being elapsed, according to his word, he Came to my House, and invited me to walk abroad with him for one hour, or two, as we both did, having in that Time Certain, Discourses of the Secrets of Nature in the fire, but in the mean while, this well spoken Companion in the way, was not lavish, but rather too sparing of his words, touching the great Secret; affirming, that this singular Mystery tended not, but to the alone magnifying of the most illustrious Fame of the most glorious God; and that very few men considered, how they might; condignly Sacrifice; themselves by their Works to so great a God uttering these Expressions no otherwise, then as if he had been a Pastor of the Church. But I, in the mean time, fayled not to solicit him, to demonstrate to me the Transmutation of Metals. Moreover, I beseeched and intreated him, to vouchsafe to eat with me, and to lodge in my house, urging him with such Earnestness, as no Rival, or Lover, could ever use more perswasive Words, for winning his beloved to a willingness of gratifying him above all others: but he, agitated by a Spirit of so great constancy, made void of all I endeavoured. Nevertheless, I could not choose but speak to him thus: Sir, You see I have a very convenient Laboratory, in which you may shew me the Metallick Transmutation. For whosoever assents to him, that asketh, obligeth himself to him. It is true (answered he) bit I made a promise to you of imparting some things with this Exception, if at my, Return, I be not interdicted, but have leave to do the same.
All, and every of these, my requests being in vain, I instantly, and earnestly besought him, that (if he would not, or by reason of the Heavenly Interdiction could not demonstrate what I asked) he would only give me so much of his Treasure, as would be sufficient for transmuting four grains of Lead into Gold. At this my request, he, after a little while, pouring forth a Flood of Philosophick Mercy, gave a small particle, as big as a Rape-Seed, saying: Take of the greatest Treasure of the World, which very few great Kings, or Princes could ever see. But I, saying my Master, this is so small particle perhaps will not be sufficient for tinging four granes of Lead. He answered; Give it me. I, accordingly gave it him, conceiving, good hope of receiving somewhat a greater particle instead thereof; but he breaking off the one half almost of it with his thumb-nayl, threw it into the fire, and wrapping the other up in blew paper, he gave to me, faying, It is yet sufficient for thee. To which, I with, a sad Countenance and perplexed Mind, answered: Ah Sir! What mean you by this? Before I doubted, and now I cannot believe, that so small a quantity of this Medicine will suffice for transmuting four grains of Lead; O, said he, if you cannot rightly handle your Lead in the Crucible, by reason of the so very small quantity thereof then take two drams, or half an ounce, or a little more of the lead, for more must not be tinged, then well may. To him I again said: I cannot, easily believe this, viz. that so little of the Tincture will transmute so great a quantity of Lead into Gold. But he, answered; what I say is true. In, mean, while, I, giving him great; thanks, inclosed my diminished and in the Superlative degree concentrated Treasure, in my own Casket, saying: To morrow I will make this Tryal; and give no notice to any Man thereof, as long as I live. Not so, not so, answered; he, but all things, which tend to the Glory of God Omnipotent, ought by us, singularly to be declared to the Sons of Art that we may live Theosophically, and not at all dye Sophistically.
Then, I confessed to him; that when held the Mass of his Medicine, in that short space of time, I attempted to raze something there-from with my Finger Nayl, But I got no more, than a certain invisible Atome; and, when I had cleansed my nayl, and had injected the collected matter, wrapt in paper, upon Lead in Flux, I could see no Transmutation of it into Gold; but almost the whole Mass of Lead vanished into Aire, and the remaining Substance was transmuted into a Glassy Earth. At the hearing of this, he smiling, say'd You could more dexterously play the Thief, than apply the Tincture. I wonder, that you, so expert in the Fire, do no better understand the fuming Nature of Lead. For if you had wrapped your Theft in yellow Wax, that it might have been conserved from the Fume of Lead, then it would so have penetrated into the Lead, as to have transmuted the same into Gold. But now a Sympathetick Operation was performed in Fume, and so the Medicine permixed with the Fume, flew away: For all Gold, Silver, Tin, Mercury, and like Metals, are corrupted by Lead Vapours, and likewise converted to a brittle Glass. While he was thus speaking, I shewed him my Crucible, who, viewing the remaining Substance, perceived a most beautiful Saffron-coloured Tincture, adhering to the sides of the Crucible, and say'd, To-morrow at nine of the Clock, I will return, and shew you; how your Medicine must be used to transmute Lead into Gold. In which promise of him, I rested secure. Yet, in the mean while, I again and again requested information of him, whether this Philosophick Work, required great Charges in the preparing, and a very long Time. O my Friend, answered he, you very accurately affect to know all things, yet I will open this to you; The Charge is not great, nor is the Time long. But, as touching the matter of which our Arcanum is made, I would have you to know; there are only two Metals and Minerals, of which it is prepared. And because the Sulphur of Philosophers is more abundant in these Minerals, therefore it is made of them.
Then I again asked him: What the Menstruum was, and whether the Operations were made in Glasses, or in Crucibles. He answered; The Menstruum is a Celestial Salt, or a Salt of Celestial Virtue, by the benefit of which, Philosophers only dissolve the Terrene Metallick Body, and in dissolving, the noble Elixir of Philosophers is produced. But the Operation is, performed in a Crucible, from the beginning to the end, in an open Fire. And the Whole Work may be begun, and plainly ended in no longer time, then four dayes: Also in this whole Work, no greater Cost is required, then the value of three Florens. Lastly he added; Neither the Mineral, from Which, nor the Salt by Which, is of any great Price. I again said to him: My Master; This is strange, for it is repugnant to the sayings of various Philosophers, Who have writ, that at least seven, or nine Moneths are imployed in this Work. He answered: The true writings of Philosophers are only; understood by the truly Adept. Therefore, touching the Time, they would write nothing certain; yea; I say, no Lover of this Art, can find the Art of preparing this Mystery in his whole Life without the Communication of some true Adept Man. In this respect and for this Cause, I advise you, my Friend, because you have seen the true Matter of the true Work, not to forget your self, and thirsting after the perfection of this Art, to cast away your own Goods; for you can never find it out. Then I say'd: My Master, although I am so unknown to you, as you are unknown to me; nevertheless, since he was unknown to you who shewed you the way of finding out the Operation of this Arcanum, perhaps you may also, if you be willing, notifie to me somewhat, touching this Secret, that the most difficult Rudiments being overcome, I may (as the saying is) happily add somewhat to things already found out; for by the occasion of one thing found, another is not difficultly invented. But the Artist answered: In this Work the matter is not so, For unless you know the thing, from the beginning of the Work to the end, you know nothing thereof. Indeed I have told you enough, yet you are ignorant how the Stone of Philosophers is made, and again, how the Glassy Seal of Hermes is broaken, in which Sol gives forth Splendor from his Metallick Rayes, wonderfully coloured, and in which Speculum, the Eyes of Narcissus behold Metals transmutable, and from which Rayes the Adept gather their fire, by the help of which, Volatile Metals are fixed into most fixed Gold, or Silver. But enough for this time, because (God willing) on the Morrow, we shall have occasion of meeting yet once more, that we may talk together touching this Philosophick matter; and according as I said, at nine a Clock, I will come to your House, and shew you the way of Projecting. But with that happy Valediction for one night, that Elias the Artist hath left me most sad in expectation unto this very day. Yea, the Mercury of Philosophers did with him vanish into Aire; because from him I did no more again hear so much as one word. Yet he, (because he promised that he would come again to me betimes the next morning) half an hour before ten, sent to me another unknown man, signifying, that, that friend, who yesternight promised to revisit me this morning, by reason of other urgent business, could not come, nevertheless, at three of the Clock in the afternoon, he would again see me. But after I had, with a most vehement desire expected him, till almost eight a Clock, I began to doubt in the truth of the matter. Besides, my Wife also, a very curious Searcher in the Art of that Laudable man, came to me, troubling me, by reason of the Philosophick Art, cited in that aforesaid Severe, and Honest man; saying, Go to, let us try, I pray thee, the Verity of the work, ac cording to what that man said. For otherwise, I certainly shall not sleep all this night. But I answered; I pray let us deferr it till to morrow; perhaps the man will come then. Nevertheless, when I had ordered my Son to kindle the fire; these thoughts arose in me; That man indeed, otherwise in his discourses so Divine, is now found the first time guilty of a Lye. A second time, when I would make Experiment of my Stollen Matter hid under my Nayl, but to no purpose, because the Lead was not transmuted into Gold. Lastly a third time, he gave me so very little of the Matter, for tinging so great a Mass of Lead; that he almost drove me to Desperation. Notwithstanding these thoughts, I commanded yellow Wax to be brought, wherein to wrap the Matter, and finding Lead, I cut off half an Ounce, or six Drachmes. My Wife wrapped the Matter of the Stone in the Wax, and when the Lead was in Flux, she cast in that little Mass, which, with Hissing and Flatuosity, so performed its Operation in the Crucible well closed; as in one quarter of an hour, the whole Mass of Lead was transmuted into the best Gold. Certainly, had I lived in the Age of Ovid, I could not have believed, any Metamorphosis more rare, than this of the Chimical Art; but if I could behold things with the hundred Eyes of Argus, I should scarcely see any work of Nature more admirable, for this Lead, mixt with the Stone of the Wise, and in the Fire melted, demonstrated to us a most beautiful colour, yea, I say, it was most green; but when I poured it out into a [Cone, or] fusory Cup, it received a colour like Blood, and when it waxed cold, shined with the colour of the best Gold: I, and all who were present with me, being amazed, made what haste we, could with the Aurificate Lead (even before it was through cold) to a Gold-Smith, who after a precious Examen, judged it to be Gold most excellent, and that in the whole world, better could not be found; withall, adding, that for every Ounce of such Gold, he would give 50 Florens.
The next day, the rumour of this wonderful Metallick Transmutation was spread all over our Hague; whence many illustrious men, and lovers of Art, made hast to me, among which, by name, the General Examiner of the Moneys of this Province of Holland, D^n Porelius, came to me, with certain other most illustrious men, earnestly desiring, that I would communicate to them some small particle of my Artificial Gold, to prove it by legitimate Examens: these, for their curiosity sake, I willingly gratified; and we went together to the house of a certain very curious Silver-Smith, by name Brechtelius, in whose Workhouse, the Excellency of my Gold was evidenced, by that form of Probation, which Skilful Artists call. Quarta, viz. when they in a Crucible melt three or four parts or Silver, with one part of Gold, and then by hammering, reduce that mixture into thin Plates, on which they pour a sufficient quantity of Aquafortis, by which the Silver is dissolved, but the Gold settles to the bottome, like a black powder. Afterward, the Aquafortis is poured off, and the golden powder, is again put into a Crucible, and by strong fire reduced to Gold.
But when this work was ended, we supposed, that one half of the Gold was vanished, yet in very deed it was not so: for we found that the Gold, besides its own weight, had transmuted some part of the Silver into Gold, viz. two drams of the Gold, transmuted two scruples of the Silver (through the abundance of its Tincture) into like Gold Homogeneal to it self.
After this, we, suspecting that the Silver was not well separated from the Gold did presently make a mixture: with seven times as much Antimony. And after this Examen, we lost eight grains of Gold; but when I had again evaporated the Antimony, I found nine grains of Gold, yet in colour somewhat pale. Thus, in the best Tryal of fire, we lost nothing of this Gold, And this infallible kind of Probation, I thrice performed in presence of those most noble and illustricsus Men, and found, that every Dram of Gold acquired from the Silver for an augmentation to it self, one Scruple, of Gold: and the Silver, is pure good, and very flexible. So according to this, the five drams of Gold, attracted to it self from the Silver, five Scruples; and (that I may together, and at once, comprise all that remains to be said) the whole weight that that Laudable Powder, in quantity so exceeding small, did transmute, was six drams, and two Scruples, of a more vile Metal, into Gold, in such wise fixed, as it was able perseveringly to sustain the most intense Torture of Fire.
Behold! thus have I exactly, from first to last, commemorated this History. The Gold I indeed have, but where, or in what Land or Countrey. Elias the Artist is at this day hospited, I am wholly ignorant for he told me, his purpose was to abide in his own Country no longer then this Summer; that after he would travil into Asia, and visit the Holy Land. Let the most wise King of Heaven (under the Shadow of whose divine Wings he hath hitherto layn hid) by his Administratory Angels accompany him in his intended Journey, and prosper it so as he living to a great Age, may with his inestimable Talent greatly succour the whole Republick of Christians, and after this Life gloriously behold, and take of the prepared Inheritance of Life Eternal. Amen.
Therefore, now to compleat my promise, I will forthwith betake my self to the Dialogue or, Colloque between Elias the Artist, and me the Physician.
Elias the Artist.
God save you, Master Helvetius! If I may not be too troublesome, I desire to have the freedom of Discoursing with you for a little time, because I have heard, that you are a curious Indagator of natural things. For I have perused your Books, and among them, especially that whole Treatise, which you write against the effect of Sir Kenelm Digbies Sympathetick Powder, where it is gloried, that the same, can at distance cure all Wounds. Assuredly I am incredibly delighted in those things, which are beheld in this Speculum, whether Sympathetick, or Antipathetick, naturally implanted in Creatures. For the inexhausted Treasures of the Divine Light and Deity, no less abundantly, than liberally granted to us, may best of all be known from all the Creatures, which are produced either under the AEtherial Heaven, or in the belly of the Earth, or in the Womb of the Sea, to the end, that by their potentially insited virtues, they should restore health to the Mortal Body of Men.
Helvetius the Physician
O Sir! The presence of such a new Guest shall never be troublesome to me, but rather I receive you as one of my best Friends. For Philosophick Discourse, touching the Secrets cf Nature, is the only recreation of my Mind, also it is such convenient Salutiferous Nutriment, as no man can be worthy to taste of, before he shall be rightly disposed for that Banquet. Enter, I pray, Friend, into the House.
Indeed Sir! Here, as it seems to to me, you have a compleat Vulcanian Shop, and perhaps all these things Spagyrically and exactly drawn from, the Mineral Kingdom; but I pray, to what end so many Medicaments? I believe, that God in the things of Nature, naturally gives such Medicines, with a very few of which, we may much sooner, and more safely re-integrate the decayed, and languishing Health of Man, unless the Disease be Mortal, from a deficiency of Nature, or from the putrefaction of some noble internal part hurt, or by reason of a total absumption of the radical humidity in which desperate Cases, no Galenick Cure, or Paracelsick Tincture can yeild releif. But in ordinary Diseases it is not so; and yet here, very many Men, before the fatal term of Life be expired (abfit Nemesis dicto) are enforced to pass out of this fair Kingdom of pleasing Light, into the Shadowed Land of the Dead, whilst, either they neglect the health of their own Body, or commit the same to the Faith of Physicians, unskilful of the Remedy they have in their hand.
As far as I can gather from your discourse, if my Judgement deceive me not, you are either a Physician, or a man expert in Chimistry. Certainly, according as you say, so I believe, that in the things of Nature are given other more excellent Medicaments, as also very many other Philosophers affirm, that there is a certain (although to few known) Universal Medicament, by the benefit which, we may prolong Life unto the appointed End, cure all Diseases otherwise uncurable, and many other such things. But, where is any among all the Wisest men of this world, that can shew us the way, how to find out so noble a Fountain, whence such a wonderful Medicamentous juice, nobilitating the Physician, is drawn? Perhaps no one man.
Indeed, I am not a Physician, but only a Melter of Orichalcum, and almost from my Child-hood, have exercised my Ingeny in Pyrotechny, and so have sought out the internal Nature of Metals And although I now cease from my usual diligence in elaborating some accurate work, by the Art of Vulcan, yet my mind still takes delight in labours of that kind, and in the lovers of this most curious Spagyrick Art; and I do verily. believe and judge, that the most Wise God, will in this our age communicate gratis, or for nothing, the Metallick Mysteries of Nature to his Spagyrick Sons, Praying, and Physico-chimically Labouring.
My Friend, I must needs grant this, that God, for nothing, communicates to his Sons, this laudable Good, as well as all other gifts; yet you shall very rarely hear, that he for nothing gives or vends this Medicamentous Wine or Nectar to his Sons. For we certainly know, how great a number of Chymists lived in former ages who, (according to the Proverb ) strove to draw water in a Sieve, whilest they presumed to prepare this Universal Stone of Philosophers. Besides, out of the books of them, who triumph in the glory of Adept, no one man can learn the way of preparing, nor know their First Matter, so as any one, searching to the lowest roots of Mountains, can never ascend to those their Heights, where Ambrosia, and Nectar of Macrosophists, is drank.
In the mean time, it is the part of a good Physician, since he wants such an Universal Elixir, (not without the daily study of conserving his Conscience pure and sound) to adhibit to the Diseases of the Sick, commended to his Cure, such Curations; or Remedies as for restoring Sanity as in which he (from the effect) certainly knows, that a virtue of healing is incited.
Wherefore, in all desperate Diseases, I, with many other Practitioners, do alwayes use such most simple Medicaments, that thence the Diseased may soon be restored to their Pristine state of Health, or to a better than the Pristine.
For indeed, various and diverse kinds of Salts, are generated in the Glandules and Lymphatick Vessels, after the putrefaction of this, or that nutriment taken, which afterward wax florid in various Humours, for diverse Diseases, either Internal, or External. Experience teacheth, that as many as are the Constitutions, or Complexions of humane bodies, to so many diversities of Diseases the same are obnoxious; although in one manner, and the same Disease, as our daily conversation evidenceth to us in those who drink Wine, whence divers Operations manifestly discover themselves.
Because Peter drinks Wine, he labours with an angry, I will not say, furious mind.
On the contrary, Paul drinking Wine, seems to imbibe his mind with an Agnine Timorousness.
But Matthias sings, and Luke weeps.
Touching the Scorbutick Contagious Venome, viz. of Peter, his radical juice in the Lymphatick Vessels, and Glandules, is converted into an Acidity, stopping the passages, and all Organs of the whole body, whence, under the Skin, arise Spots on the Arms and Legs of a blewish colour, but in times of Pestilence, they swell like Pepper Corns.
The juice of Pauls parts is changed into an Aperitive Bitterness; whence, under the Skin of the Arms and Legs, arise red Spots, pricking like the bitings of Fleas; but in a Pestilential time, they are Blanes.
The juice of Matthias his parts, is converted into a sweetness easily putrifying; whence, under the Skin of Arms and leg, arise watery Tumours, almost such as are conspicuous in Dropsical Persons; but in time of the Pest, they are Pestilential Tumours.
The juice of the parts of Luke, is changed into a Saline, and drying sharpness; whence, under the Skin of the Arms and Legs, arise Precipitations of the ordinary Ferment of the Flesh, and Exficcations, as usually happens in this Atrophia, yea most frequently in the true Atrophia. But in the Pest, they become most ardent Buboes, with madness, even until death.
Behold, my Friend, no Physician, by one only Universal Medicament, can heal the Evil of this Scorbutick, or Pestilential, or Febrile Venome, but indeed, by the Mediation of some particular Vegetable, or Mineral Remedy, given to us from God in Nature, he may exterminate the same. For, as I cannot heal, or help all Scorbutick Persons, with one only Scorbutick Herb, as Scurvy-grass, or Sorrel, or Fumitory, or Brooklime; so, much less of a certain remedy made of these diverse Species congested into one; because, between the Herbs Scurvy-grass and Sorrel, there is an Antipathy, as between Fire and Water; and so there is the same Antipathy between the Herbs Fumitory and Brook-lime.
Therefore, the Correctory of Peters Scorbutick Saline acid tinging Venome, is made with the Volatile bitter Salt of Scurvy-grass.
But the Correctory of Pauls Scorbutick Saline bitter tinging Venome, is made with the acid fixed Salt of the Herb Sorrel.
The Correctory of Matthias his Scorbutick sweetish, and moistning tinging Venome is made by the help of the fixed bitter drying Sulphur of the Herb Fumitory.
And the Correctory of Lukes Scorbutick tinging Saline and drying Venome, is made with the help of the sweet moistning Mercury of the Herb Brook-lime, or red Colewort, as from the External Signature of these Herbs, it is easie to judge of the Internal Specifick Remedy against there diverse Scorbutick Disease. Certainly, my Friend, if this be observed by a prudent Physician, he must needs doubt of the Universal Medicine,
All you have discoursed of, I can easily grant; yet very few Physicians use this Method of healing. Yet, in the meanwhile, it is not impossible, that an Universal Medicine should be given in the highest Mineral Kingdome, by the benefit of which we may perform and administer all things, which are by you related to me, touching the lowest Kingdom of Vegitables; but the most wise God, for several weighty reasons, hath not on all Philosophers promiscuously conferred this most magnificent Charisma of Supereminent Science, but hath revealed it only; to a very few. According as all the Adept, with one mouth, confess, and say: The Science is true, And, the verity thereof not to be doubted.
Sir, besides the above commemorated, there are also other Observations; strenuously refuting the Operation on an Universal Medicine, partly in respect of the Age and strength of Man, partly by reason of the Sex, and other Circumstances, whilst a difference is to be made between the tender, and the Robust, whether from Nature, or from Education; or between the Male and Female, or between a Young Man and a Virgin, or between the Beginning, Middle, or End of Diseases; or it is to be understood whether a Disease, be inveterate, or the Sick be lately invaded; or lastly, whether the Ferment be promoted in this Disease, or be precipited in in another. Effervescency is made either in the Stomach or in the Intestines. Assuredly there are many contradictions of the Wonderful effect, of the Universal Medicine. For the greatest part of rational Physicians want the Perspicil of Thomas Didymus in their Fingers.
Indeed, Sir; you have philosophised rightly, and well, yea, Arthodoxly, against the universal Medicament, according to that notorious, and far spred proverb. As many Heads, so many Senses. For as Sweet sounding Musick delights not the Ears of every Midas; nor doth the Same History related please all Historians; nor of Bread and Wine, of the same Taste, is there a like relish in all Palats. So also the judgements of Skilful Men do strangely differ, touching the wonderful Effect of this Universal Medicine, on Humane and Metallick Bodies. For this Universal Medicine, in its way of Operating, vastly differs, from a particular Medicine, which may in some sense be called Universal, as the Herb Scurvy-grass, curing every Scorbutick marked with blew Spots; or Sorrel, healing every Scurvy, noted with red Spots; or Brook-lime, healing an Atrophia of that Kind, or Fumitory remedying Tumors of that Kind: and that especially with such Physicians, with whom the Observation you before recited, is of any esteem. Moreover, there is an exceeding great difference between the Universal Medicine of Philosophers, refreshing the vital Spirits, and between a Particular Medicament of Proletary-Curation, with which is corrected the venom of Humors; viz. such as boyles up against Nature, in this Man, Acid; in that Man, the Bitter is predominant; in one, what is Saline, in another, what is sharp, grow potent. But, if these Corrupt humors be not without all delay presently expelled out of the Body, by the ordinary Emunctories of Nature either by the Belly, or by Urine of the Bladder, or by the Sweat through the Pores, or by the Spittle of the Mouth, or by the Nostrils, assuredly the corruption of one, becomes the Generation of another, viz. of a Disease. For, from every spark, if we do not timely extinguish it, an exceding great burning will arise. Also, if there be a defect, of the Vital Spirits, it is impossible to effect this. Therefore the only care of a Conscientious Physician should be, how to deduce the motion of the Vital Spirits to a digestible natural Heat, and that is best of all, and most securely performed by the Operation of our Universal Medicament, by which they are found to be notably recreated. For as soon as this more than perfect Medicine hath driven the Morbifick Evil from the Seat it occupies, then immediately it infuseth the lost Sanity, and that only from the Harmony, or Sympathy it self, which the Vital Spirits, and this Medicine, have mutually in themselves. Wherefore, it, by the Adept, is called the Mystery of Nature, and the Defensive of old Age, against all Diseases. Which, I fay, even in a most pestilent Season, most full of contagious Diseases every where raging, makes of man a Salamander, bearing such Epidemical Plagues of Heaven displeased, until the utmost term of his Life be expired.
As far as I, beloved Friend, can understand, this Medicine makes not for the Emendation of depraved Humours, but is chiefly conducent for the recreation of the Vital Spirits. Besides, among practical Chimists, this Secret is taught, viz. that by the Spayrick Art, it may be commonstrated, how the pure should be separated from the impure, and by the same, how the Immature are rendred mature, and how the Bitter are corrected into sourish, and the sourish into Sweet, and the Sharp into Gentle, and the Gentle into Sharp; and the Acid into Sweet, and the Sweet into Acid. Also this Laudable Medicine of Philosophers, according to my understanding, cannot prolong Life, beyond the term prefixed from above, but only preserve from the Effect of all Venimous, or otherwise mortiferous Diseases: and so it is certainly true, as is commonly believed, that the prolongation of Humane Life depends, on the Will of the Omnipotent God only. But, omitting these, I would here ask this one Question. Whether by the use of this Universal Medicine, the pristine Nature of Man may be converted into New, so as a Slothful Man may degenerate into a Diligent, or stirring Man, and a Man, who before was by Nature Melancholy and Sad, afterward became Jovial, Chearful, and full of Joy, or like alterations, reformations, permutations, or vicissitudes happen in the Nature of Man?
Not at all Sir. For so great power was never conferred on any Medicament, that it could change the Nature of Man. Wine inebriating, taken by diverse individual Men, in him, who is drunk, changeth not his Nature but only provokes, and deduceth into act, what is naturally, and potentially in him, but before was as it were, dead. Even so is the Operation of the Universal Medicine, which by recreation of the Vital Spirits, excites Sanity, for a time only suppressed, because it was naturally in him before; even as the heat of the Sun changeth not Herbs, or Flowers, but only provokes the same, and from the proper potential nature of them, deduceth them into act only. For a Man of a Melancholy temper, is again raised up to exercise his own Melancholy matters; and the jovial Man, who was pleasant, is recreated in all his chearful actions, and so consequently, in all desperate Diseases it is a present, or most excellent Preservative. Hence a Man, presaging that some evil will befal him, will rather prevent than be prevented. But if any prolongation of Life, by some Philosophick Medicament, could have been induced, against the predestination of the Omnipotent God, undoubtedly neither Hermes Trismegistus, nor Paracelsus, nor Raymundlully, nor the Count Bernhard, and many more like illustrious Possessors of this great Mystery, would not have yeilded to the common death of all Mortals, but perhaps have protracted their Life until this very Day, Therefore, it would be the part of a fanatick, and foolish Man to affirm this, yea of a most foolish Man, to believe, and assent to the same, touching any one Medicament in the things of Nature.
My Friend, whatsoever you have spoken no less regularly, than fundamentally, touching the Operation of the Universal Medicine, I indeed cherefully, and willingly grant, but as long as I am ignorant of preparing the same rightly, I do no other than attempt to carry my Boat from a very small Lake, into the Vast Ocean, because it will certainly be driven back to the Shore, without any Fruit. For although many of those illustrious Men have written somewhat touching that laudable preparation, yet they involved that in such a Wrapper of shadowed Caution, as the Footsteps of them latently demonstrated, can be known by few or none of the most diligent Readers, who should follow them so far, as until they come where they would be. Also, who is so wealthy, and well informed, as to be able, and to know where to buy all those Books, in which, here, and there an Hypothesis of this kind is handled: betides, you may consume the greatest part of your life, before you can gather thence any sufficient knowledge, or the direct manual Operation. Therefore it is best for us to abide patiently in our Laboratory, praying to the blessed God, according to that Saying:
Ora, ac Labora; & Deus dat omni hora.
Labour, and Pray; God gives alway.
You argue rightly enough Sir. For, from the writings of Philosophers, this Art of Arts is most rarely learned; but the Sense them is very well, and clearely understood by the Manuduction of some Adept Philosopher. But let us hence pass to the Transmutative Effect of this most noble Tincture, touching which, the possessors, or many of the Adept, have written many Books, and the most of their Genuine Disciples, labouring much in the Fire, did at length compleatly attain to the wished End of their Arcanum,
I perceive your Mastership takes pleasure in passing from the use of the Medicine, to the infinite Transmutation of Metals. Although I could easily believe the possibility of Art, viz. that a Chymical Experiment of that kind was in the Adept, as I have also made mention above, touching that Experiment of Dr. Kifflerus who, with the Tincture of one ounce of Gold transmuted 1 ounce & half of Silver into the best Gold, not to mention the Experiment of Helmont; nor of Scotus, which he made in the most famous Cities of Colonia, and Hanovia; nor much to insist on that illustrious, and well known Example, manifested at Prague, before Caesar Ferdinando the third, himself; where with one only grain of the Tincture, three pounds Mercury were transmuted into most noble Gold; insomuch that I am brought no less into a neccessity, than into a Will of believing, that the Art may be true; yet I cannot to this hour sufficiently receive it without some doubt, because with these my Eyes, I never in all my Life saw the Man, who was the true possessor thereof.
Sir, you say true? yet Art will be Art, whether you can believe it or no. Even as is seen in the Magnet. How it by its own insited Sulphureous Virtue, of Iron, by Contact presently makes a Magnet. Although you will not believe, that such wonderful Operations are latent in it, yet they are, and will remain true. So also you should Judge of the Stone of Philosophers, in which is all that the Wise seek. And because the clouded Writings of them, can be understood, and explained but by very few, it is to be desired earnestly by all, and with the hands it must be endavoured, that some one General Epitomen of the whole Art, may so be made, as in a very short space of time, and without much labour, all things necessary may be gathered, by the help of which, a most easy Transition to real Authors, might be effected. Now since you have presented some few Examples, by which you endeavour to assert the confirmed possibility of the Matter; I my self will here shew to you the True Matter of Secret Philosophers. Behold it! Look well, upon it.
So my Master, Is this Sulphureous, and Yellow Glassy Substance the very Philosophick Matter? And are you your self the Possessor of this Science? I am ready to believe you do but jest with me. I pray Sir, tell me the Truth, whether it be really so, or not?
Yes, Matter Doctor, You now have within your hand, the most pretious Treasure in the World. For this is the true Stone of Philosophers, than which, no Man ever had a better, nor shall have any other. And I my self did elaborate the Composition, from beginning to end. If you have another convenient Chamber, I will Shew you Metal transmuted into Gold, by such a Stone as this (When I had brought him into another Chamber.) Behold (said he) these five Pendants, were, by the benefit of this Philosophick Tincture, prepared of Saturn, or Lead; which I wear for a perpetual Remembrance of my Master. But I suppose, you, having perused many Writings of the Adept, seeing the Substance, and Nature of this Stone, will very sufficiently know the true Matter, or rightly understand the same.
I understand by your self, that you had a Master, from whom you rather learned your Art, than acquired the same, by your proper Labour and Invention. And although I now have seen that Substance, which you affirm to be the true Tincture of Philosophers, as also those five Pendants, nevertheless I am still left ignorant, and in doubt, whether it be true or no. Therefore, I earnestly again and again request of you, to confer on me only so small a part of that matter, as will suffice to transmute only four grains of Lead into Gold, that you may this way remove from me all Scruple or Doubt, and render me so much the more certain of the verity of the Matter. Give me but the magnitude of one grain only, or of a Coriander-seed, that thence a Specimen, or Probation, may be exhibited, either in some desperate Disease, or in a Metallick Transmutation.
I do confess, that a certain Man of good Condition, to me wholly unknown, by demonstrating taught me; First, the possibility of transmutation; secondly the way of preparing also. And this is that Infallible Art, touching which you have no reason to doubt. But whereas, you request that I should give you one small part of my Treasure; that is no wise lawful for me to do, although, you would give as a Recompense, so many Ducats, as this whole Room, from the bottom to the top, would contein; and that not by reason of the estimation of the Matter, because it is of small Price, but for another weighty Reason, in respect of which, if it were possible, that Fire could be consumed by Fire, I would at this time, rather cast this whole Mass into the devouring Flames, before your Eyes. Wherefore, in the meanwhile, I admonish you, not to be so eager in coveting this so great Science. For you have this day seen more in my possession, than many Kings, and Princes could ever behold, although they eagerly desired to see the same. Besides, I think of comming to you again, after 3 Weeks, then I will shew to you certain excellent Arts, and Manuductions in the Chymical Science. Also, if it shall then be lawful for me, to shew you the way of Transmutation, I will truely satisfie your Curiosity therein. In the mean while, I bid you farewel, withal, admonishing, that you take heed to your self, and meddle not with such a great, and profound Labour, least: you miserably loose both your Fame, and substance in the Ashes like some other covetous inquisitors, of the same most noble Art.
Now, what shall I do, my Master? If it happen, that, by reason of your Philosophick Oath, confirmed by that small draught of Silver, dissolved in Rain-water, it shall not be lawful for you to give me that requested exceeding small part of the Tincture so wonderful. You cannot be ignorant, that I (according to your suspicion) am in mind anxious, and earnestlie desirous of tasting of this so noble Science. Yea, I do verilie think, if Adam himself, the first Patriark of the World (who was once driven out of Paradice, for eating the Apple of either Wisedom) were yet living in this our Age, he would not forbear again the Taste of this Golden Apple, from the Garden of Atlantis.
Your Mastership said: Manie Princes could not see this which I have seen. I, indeed have seen the Matter, of which you give so rare a Testimony; but in the mean while I have not beheld the transmutative Effect; only I give credit to your Words. And, since you have told me, that you will go hence, and after three Weeks return to me again, to teach me some excellent Chymical Arts, as also the way of projection, if it shall then be lawful for you. In the fruition of this good hope, I at this time rest satisfied; in the mean time, giving you hearty thanks, for your exceeding great Friendship shewed to me alreadie, and, for your singular Care, and faithful admonition, that I should not in Chymical Labours, consume both my Goods and Reputation. I assuredly have never yet made tryal of so great, and high things, nor ever will I attempt the me, unless your self will first gratis, and from the pure benevolence of Friendship, demonstrate to me, the way and manner of preparing. Yet I shall admire the Verity of Art, and please my self with the Remembrance of the Friendship you have shewed me; because you, who have revealed this to me, are an Adept Philosopher.
But if any King, or Prince, or any Great Man, or Men, should know, that you are the Possessor of this Art, and therefore (which God forbid) should lay hold of you, and attempt by Tortures to bring you to a discovery, would you reveal this Art to them?
I have not shewed the Stone of Philosophers to any man, except to one aged man, and to your self; to both of you, I have revealed that I am the Possessor; but, henceforth, no man must ever see or hear such a thing. And although any King, or Prince, should (which God I hope will not permit) cast, me into Prison, I would not, after the manner of Circumforanean Physicians [or Mountebanks] or Vagabond Impostors or of poor Alchimists, directly, or indirectly, discover the Art to them, but would rather suffer my self to be most cruelly wracked, tortured, or tormented with burning Fire, untill my life expire.
Good Friend, are there not Authors, which, touching the verity of this Art, write more plainly, then all the number of them, which, concerning it, utter words so obscure, as perhaps they themselves did not understand, unless they adhibited the. Commentaries, and Annotations of evident Paraphrasists. I suppose you have in times past read them, and therefore are best able to inform me, who were Adept.
Master Doctor, I indeed read not, nor have I read many Books, yet among those I have read, I find no Authors more curious, than Sandivogius, especially in that Book, which is Entituled Cosmopolita, in Dutch, Borger Der Werelt. Also Brother Basilius in in his twelve Keys. As to Sandivogius, this Author you may peruse, untill I return, as I said: for in his obscure words the truth is latent, even as our Tincture of Philosophers is both included, and retruded, in External Minerals, and Metallick Bodies.
Sir, I give you thanks, for this so great friendship. I shall do according to your advice, and as to what you say, touching the Objects of the Tincture, I easily assent to, and grant; for I believe that the wonderful, and efficacious Essences of Metals, are hid under the external Rinds and Shells of Bodies, although I find very few so well exercised, and experienced in the Fire, who know how to uncase the Kernel, according to the Rule of Art. Every External, and Robust Substance, of any Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral, is the Body, like unto that Terrestrial Province, into which (as Isaac Holland hath prescribed) excellent Essences spiritually enter. Wherefore, it is needful, that the Sons of Art should know, how by some Saline suitable Ferment, grateful to the Metallick Nature, they may subdue, dissolve, separate and concentrate, not only the Magnetick Metallick virtue of Tinging, but also, how they may multiply the same in its own Philosophick Homogeneal Golden, or Silvery-manner. For we see, that the bodies of all Creatures, are not only easily destroyed, but thenceforth also the Internals cease to live, and hasten to the dark Shadowings, in which they were, before they, by the Creation of God the Creator, were brought to Light. But what Man will discover to us this Art in the Metallick Kingdom?
You say well, and have rightly judged of the Natural Destruction of things, and if it shall be pleasing to the most merciful God, to deal graciously with you as He hath done with me; He, according to your good hope, will direct some one of the Adept to demonstrate, to you the way of destroying Metals, and of collecting the Internal Souls of them. But, in the mean while, do you invoke the most Wise God, to whose Vigilant Eyes I commend you, which are always open upon his Sons, regenerated to him by Christ. Again Farewel, and rest assured, I will be your Friend. I must at this time go hence, but I hope to see you again in good health, ere it be long.
Thus my new Friend took his Leave, and went away; it leaving me, his Friend, most sad for the space of three Weeks, which being expired, according to his Word, he returned, and gave me the Tincture, as you may learn by the above-recited History. After this, that Philosophick Man of God went from me, and I never more saw him, from that time, unto to this very day, nor could I hear of him by any of the Carriers, or Posts, or by any of my Intimate Acquaintance.
Nevertheless, he left with me (as a Spurre) the acute Memory of, him, reposted in my minde, as also the Opinion of Paracelsus affirming, that by Metals, of Metals, and with Metals, cleansed, Spiritual, and first depurated from their feculency, are made Metals, and the Living Gold and Silver of Philosophers, as well for Humane, as for Metallick Bodies. Wherefore if that Guest, my Friend of but little acquaintance, had exactly shewed to me, the way of preparing preparing this Celestial Spiritual Salt, by which, and with which, from Corporeal, and Earthly Substances, I might, as it were, in the Matrix of them, collect the Spiritual Rayes of Sol or Luna: assuredly, He from his own Light, would have enkindled in me so great a Light, as I should have seen, and understood how I ought in other Corporeal Metals, by Sympathy to transmute the Eternal Soul of them so, as by the help thereof they had clarified, or transformed their own like body, either into Gold, or into Silver, according to the disposition of the Red seed, into a Red Body, or according to the Nature of the White Seed, into a White Body. For Elias the Artist affirmed to me, that the Chalybs Of Sandivogius is that true Mercurial Metallick Humidity, by the help of which, without any Corrosive, the Artist might, in an open Fire, and Crucible, separate the fixed Rayes of Sol or Luna from their own Body, and thenceforth make them Volatile and Mercurial, for the Dry Philosophick Tincture, as he demonstrated to me; and communicated somewhat relating to the transmutation of Metals. Indeed all men well skilled in the Chymical Science, have a necessity of assenting to me in this, viz. that Pyrotechny is the Mother, and Nurse of various noble Sciences and Arts. For they can easily judge from the Colours of the Chaos of Metals in the Fire, what Metallic body is therein. Even so dayly in the bowels of the Earth are procreated Metals, and Perspicuous Stones, from a proper noble vaporous Seed, from a Spiritual tinging Sulphureous Seed, in their diverse Saline Matrixes. For the common Sulphur, whether of an impure, or pure Metal whilst conjoyned with its own body, mixt with Salt Peter only in the burning heat of Fire is easily changed into a most hard and most fixed Earth, but this Earth is thenceforth by the Aire easily changed into a most limpid Water: and this Water afterward, by a more strong Fire, according to the Nature of the Metallick pure or impure Sulphur mixt is converted into Glass, admirably Well tinged with various Colours. Almost in the very same manner, from the White of an Egge is generated a Chick by natural heat. So also from the Seminal bond of Life of any one Metal, is made a new, and more noble Metal, by an heat of Fire convenient to the Saline Nature; although very few Chimists rightly and perfectly know, how the Internal, and alwayes moving Magnetick virtues, are distinguished according to the Harmony, or Disconsonancy of them. Whence we see, this Metal hath a Sympathy or Antipathy with another, so very singular, as is found in the Magnet with Iron, in Mercury with Gold, in Silver with Copper, a very remarkable Sympathy, but on the contrary, there is a notable Antipathy in Lead against Tin, in Iron against Gold, in Antimony against Silver, in Lead against Mercury. Infinite other like Sympathetic, and Antipathetick Annotations occurr in the Animal & Vegetable Kingdom; as you may read and find in various Authors, who have written of such Curiosities, from the accurate, and absolute Knowledge of which, the true Philosophers, and Masters of Nature had their beginning, and Esteem.
Thus have I described, what I my self have seen and done; and have caused the same to be printed for you, Candid Readers, out of mere Liberality, gratis communicating it, according to that of Seneca: I desire in this to know somewhat, that I may teach others. Si cum hac Exceptione detur Sapientia, ut illlam inclusam tencam, abjiciam, &c. But if any man doubt of the real truth of this matter, let him only with a lively faith believe in his Crucified Jesus, that in Him, he (by the strict way of Regeneration) may become a New Creature; in the same let him fix the whole Anchor, of his Faith, and likewise shew his [Greek: philanthropia], or Love of Mankind, unto all his Neighbours, and especially exercise the works of Mercy, and Brotherly Love towards the needy Members of the Christian Religion, that at length, when the whole Course of his Life is justly, and holily finished, in that Fatal and Mortal hour, he may hence, through the Watery Ocean of this Tempestuous and Rocky World, arrive in safety at the most blessed Port of Eternal Rest, and sing the New Song with the Triumphing Philosophers of the Heavenly Jerusalem, of which he hopes to take, who is,
Your most faithful and assured Friend
John Frederick Helvetius,
Doctor and Practitioner of Medicine at the Hague.
* * * * *
Transcriber's note: Repeated word "perused" deleted.