153 Chymical Aphorisms and 157 Alchemical Cannons

These 153 alchemical aphorisms were published, together with the 157 alchemical canons, in Franciscus Mercurius van Helmont, One hundred fifty three chymical aphorisms. Briefly containing whatsoever belongs to the chymical science. Done by the labour and study of Eremita Suburbanus. Printed in Latin at Amsterdam, Octob. 1687. To which are added, some other phylosophick canons or rules pertaining to the Hermetick science. Made English and published for the sake of the sedulous labourers in true chymistry… by Chr. Packe. London: for the author, sold by W. Cooper. 1688.

To all the Lovers of the CHYMICAL ART.
Gentlemen, About a Month since, I received among some other things, those 153 Chymical Aphorisms, from Amsterdam, where they had been newly printed in Latin, for which end they had been lately transmitted from Vienna, as appears by the Author’s Epistle to his Friend. When I had perused and well weigher them, with that little Judgement I could, I thought that I could do nothing more grateful to the Sons of Art, than to Publish them in English, which I have done with all the care and exactness I could.

The other 157 Phylosophick Canons I have taken from Bernardus G. Penotus a portu Aquitano; where they are inserted with 115 famous Cures of Paracelsus, together with Pontanus his Epistle, and some other Phylosophick things, and printed in the Year 1582. Which together make up a Compendium of the Chymical Art, and may serve the Studious for a vade mecum, or small Pocket Companion, with which he man converse in his retirements. That it may be both pleasant and profitable to the Disciples of Hermes, is the only desire of, Gentlemen,

Your ready Servant,

Chr. Packe

From my House, at the Sign of the Globe and Chymical Furnaces in the Postern Street, near Moorgate. Decemb. the 8th. 1687.

You see here, my highly-esteemed Friend, part of a certain Excellent Writing, digested into brief Aphorisms, as a Compendium of all those things which Phylosopher’s are wont to observe, about the great Work of their Stone: Not that all things are here expounded which belong to the Compleat Description of the Physical Tincture; for there are more things yet behind, with which the Author intends to adorn it; in as much as he hath determined to fortifie these Aphorisms which he hath here emitted, from the Authority of the Principle Phylosophers: in which Work he will accurately explain the Similitudes, Figures, and other obscure and confused manners of speaking, which every where occur in the Writings of the Phylosophers.

That so at length those things which hitherto have been delivered too intricately, and confusedly by most writers, may appear in some Methodical Order. Nevertheless, the principle scope of this Author, is not so much to expose or set forth his own Inventions, as to reduce the valuable Sayings of others into order; which he willingly submitteth to the Judgement and Examination of those, who have made a greater Progress in the Art than himself.

But although I know this to be the purpose of the Learned Author, nevertheless I chuse rather to transmit this little work to you, imperfect as it is, that you may weigh it, and cause it to be printed, then that the Sons of Art should any longer want this small help; that it may give a light to those who err and go astray in the midst of darkness.

And that the Author may judge from the event of this his labour, whether it will be worth his Pains to emit the whole Work to the World. Farewell my good Friend, and let me continue to have a place in your favour.

Dated at Vienna, the 2d. of Septemb. 1687.

CLII Chymical Aphorisms; To Which
May be Commodiosly reffered whatsoever belongs to the Chymical Science.

Aphorism 1. Alchemy is the perfect knowledge of whole Nature and Art, about the Kingdom of Metals.

2. Which by reason of its Excellency, is called by many other Names.

3. And was first invented by one Alchemus, as some think.

4. And in all times hath been so highly esteemed by Philosophers by reason of its great Utility.

5. That the Adepti being moved with Pity, would not altogether conceal it.

6. Nevertheless, they have delivered it but confusedly, enigmatically, and under Allegories.

7. Lest it should fall into the hands of the unworthy.

8. But that it should be known to its own Sons only.

9. With which Sophister should have no Commerce.

10. Wherefore this Science is the Gift of God, which he bestoweth on whom he pleaseth.

11. Either by the Revelation of a faithful Friend; or by illuminating the Understanding of the Enquirer.

12. Who seeketh it by Prayer, diligent Reading, profound Meditation, and assiduous Labour.

13. Therefore it behoveth the Studious of this Art, to be of a pure heart, intire manners, steadfast to his purpose, and a Religious keeper of Secrets.

14. And moreover, that he be indowed with a good Wit, health of Body, and a plentiful Fortune.

15. Because this Art requireth the whole Man, being found out, possesseth him, and once possessed, freeth him from every long and serious business, causing him to disregard all other things, and to repute them as being foreign and strange.

16. The parts of Alchymy are two, viz. The Theory, and the Practice.

17. For, seein that Art can do nothing about Metals, except it imitate Nature,

18. It is necessary that the Knowledge of Nature should precede the Knowledge of Art.

19. Alchymy therefore, in respect of the Theory, is a Science whereby the Beginnings, Causes, Properties and Passions of all the Metals, are radically known; that those which are imperfect, incompleat, mixt and corrupt, may be transmuted into true Gold.

20. Seeing that the final cause in Physick co-incideth with the form, the Principles and Causes of Metals are their matter, form, and efficient cause.

21. The Matter of Metals is either remote or proximate.

22. The Remote is the Rayes of the Sun and Moon, by whose Concourse all Natural Compounds are produced.

23. The Proximate is Sulfur and Argent-vive, or the Rayes of the Sun and the Moon determined to a Metallick Production, under the form of certain humid, unctious, and viscous Substance.

24. In the Union of this Sulfur, and Argent-vive, consisteth the form of Metals.

25. The which, seeing that it is various, according to the various manner of the mixture, and the degree of Decoction, hence arise various Metals.

26. Nature only effecteth this Union in the bowels of the Earth, by a temperate heat.

27. The Union of this Water immediatelly flow forth two Properties of Passions, common to all the Metals, viz. Fusibility and Extensibility.

28. The Causes of a Metallick Fusibility are, Argent-vive, as well fixed as volatile; and a volatile Sulphur not fixed.

29. The cause of Extensibility is the viscousity or toughnes of Argent-vive, whether fixed or volitile.

30. Metals therefore are Mineral Bodies, of a close and compact substance, and of a very strong Composition; fusible, and extensible under the Hammer, from every Dimension.

31. Which are commonly reckoned fix, viz. Gold, Silver, Tin, Lead, Copper, and Iron.

32. Of these, two are perfect; viz. Gold and Silver.

33. The other four are imperfect.

34. Of which, two are soft; viz. Tin and Lead.

35. And two hard; viz. Copper and Iron.

36. The Perfection of Metals consisteth in the abundance of Argent-vive, and the Uniformity of the Substance, or perfect union of the principles, which is performed by a long and temperate Decoction.

37. Hence flow various Properties or Passions, by which the perfect Metals are distinguished from the imperfect.

38. Of which, the first is, That the perfect Metals easily receive Argent-vive, but refuse Sulphur.

39. The second is that they are not burnt, nor inflamed, but suffer the Examen of the Cupel, and of the Cement; or, at least, of the former.

40. The third is, that the parts of which the consist, to wit, the moist and dry, cannot be dissipated, severed, or broken by the Fire, which dissolveth all things.

41. The fourth is, that they suffer the greatest Extension of all the Metals.

42. The fifth is, that are the heaviest of all the Metals, Lead only excepted, in respect of Silver.

43. The sixth is, that being heat firey hot, they send forth a Sky-colour or Coelestial Splendor; neither are they melted before they have been some time fiery hot.

44. The seventh is, that they never contract Rust.

45. The Imperfection of Metals consisteth in the abundance of Sulphur, and the nonconformity of the Substance of the Substance; or in the imperfect mixture of the Principles, by too short, or a sudden and intemperate Decoction.

46. By so many Properties or Passions as flow from the Water, the form of the imperfect Metals is plainly diverse from the Properties of the perfect Metals.

47. The first of which is, that the imperfect Metals easily admit Sulphur by not Mercury; except so far as they differ but little from it, by reason of their imperfect Coagulation; of which sort are Tin and Lead.

48. The second is, that they are burnt and inflamed: Nor do they endure the tryal of the Cupell and Cement.

49. The third is, that their Essential parts (viz. the moist and the dry) are dissipated and separated by the Fire.

50. The fourth is, that they are less extensible than the perfect Metals.

51. The fifth is, that they are lighter than the perfect Metals, Lead only in excepted in respect of Silver.

52. The sixth is, that being heat firey hot, they either contract a blackness, or a shining whiteness; and are either melted before they come to be red hot, or afterwards flower than the perfect Metals.

53. The seventh is, that they contract Rust.

54. Gold is a Metal most perfectly digested, of a yellow colour, mute, and shining; the heaviest of all the Metals, sustaining the tryal of the Cupel and Cement.

55. Silver is a Metal less perfect than Gold, but more perfect than all the rest of the Metals, digested, of a pure whiteness, clean, sounding, and abiding the Cupel.

56. Tin is a soft Metal, imperfectly digested, white, shining with a certain Blewness, somewhat founding, and is the lightest of all the Metals.

57. Lead is a soft Metal, imperfectly digested, livid, mute, and heavy.

58. Copper is a hard Metal imperfectly digested, of an obsucure redness, livid, and sounding.

59. Iron is a hard Metal, imperfectly digested, of an impure whiteness, livid, and growing black, and sounding much.

60. All the Metals therefore of the same Original, and arise from the same Principles.

61. Neither do they differ among themselves, except in their quantity and quality of their Principles, and their mixture, according to the various degree of their Coction.

62. Whence it followeth, that the imperfect Metals have a Disposition of recieving the form of the perfect metals.

63. Provided they be freed from their Sulphurous and Heterogeneous parts, which are the causes of their imperfection, by a perfect Decoction.

64. Either by Nature alone, in the bowels of the Earth, in process of time.

65. Or by the same Nature, in an Instant above the Earth, by the help of Art.

66. By the projecting of a Medicine, which in a moment penetrateth and tingeth, the imperfect Metals being melted, and Argent-vive being made hot.

67. Which transmutation of the imperfect Metals, into perfect; that it is not only possible,

68. But also true;

69. Is confirmed by the common opinion of Philosophers, and by Experience.

70. And therefore the Stone or Medicine of Philosophers, by which this Transmutation is made, ought to have in it self the form of common Gold or Silver.

71. For if it should want that, it could not actually introduce it.

72. Every natural Compound is distinguished from other natural Compounds, by its own particular form, being really and actually distinct from all other forms of divers natural Compounds.

73. Hence, among all Substances which are determined in one of the three Families of Nature, to wit, the Vegetable, Animal, and Mineral; there is nothing found but common Gold, which actually containeth in it self the form, qualities, accidents, signatures and properties of common Gold.

74. Wherefore common Gold only will be the only Subject, from which the form of Gold ought to be taken, for the Composition of the Stone of the Phylosophers.

75. Common Gold is only simpily perfected by Nature; that is, it hath no greater perfection than it self wanteth, as it is Gold.

76. And therefore cannot communicate its perfection to other imperfect Metals.

77. Therefore if we labour in that, that common Gold should introduce the form of common Gold into the imperfect Metals, for their perfection, it is altogether necessary, that the common Gold should be made more than perfect; that is, that it aquire more Aureity and Vertue, than is required for the single perfection of common Gold.

78. No natural Compound can be made more perfect, unless it be again subjected to the Operations of Nature.

79. And as often as it is subjected to those, so often it acquireth a more perfect form in its Species.

80. Which, that it may be done, it is necessary, to resolve it into a matter like to that, of which Nature hath most nearly produced it.

81. For naturally, there is no new Generation made, without a previous Corruption.

82. And seeing that common Gold, as we said above, hath its nearest rise from an unctious and viscious Humidity,

83. It is manifest, that it cannot be made more than perfect, except it be first resolved into such its first matter.

84. Every natural Agent assimilateth to it self the Patient, either in substance, or in quality.

85. Therefore, to resolve common Gold into a humid, unctious and viscous substance, there is required an humid, unctious, and viscous Agent.

86. Not any one, but one that is homogeneous, and of the same Nature with Gold:

87. Such a one as hath eminently the form of Gold, or may obtain it by a new Specification and Determination, when it particularly insinuateth it self into common Gold.

88. For, seeing that it ought naturally and radically to mix it self with the Principles of Gold, and to penetrate the Gold through every the least part of it, so that after the mixation, no separation can ever be made;

89. After which manner, things heterogeneous can never unite themselves.

90. And moreover, that it be more subtile, more active and spiritual than common Gold; and therefore the first matter of Gold;

91. Seeing that nothing can be naturally dissolved, but in that, and by that, of which it is compounded.

92. Whence we conclude, that no Vegitable, Animal, or Mineral Substances, which are not of a Metallick Nature, (such are Stones and Salts) by any Artifice of Depuration, or Preparation, or Subtility whatsoever, can make Common Gold more than Perfect.

93. Neither also Metallick Spirits, which are not of the nature of Gold; such are Sulphur, and Arsnick, and other lesser or middle Minerals, which are any way compounded of those, although they are more subtile, and more active than Gold.

94. For, seeing that it is spoyled of every Sulphur, therefore it doth not admit the said Spirits.

95. Although the Vertue and Efficacy of Mineral Spirits to be so great in the Kingdom of Metals, that they cannot be altered, but by those only.

96. Therefore that common Gold, by its resolution, may be made more than perfect, to the end, that it may bring the imperfect Metals to perfection; it is highly necessary to have recourse to a Metallick Spirit which is of the same nature with Gold, and therefore can unite it self with it.

97. But seeing that, from what hath already been said, that common Gold is nothing else but a pure Argent-vive, perfectly digested by Nature in the Mines of the Earth.

98. It followeth, that it is to be dissolved and rendered more than perfect, by nos Spirit, but by Argent-vive alone, crude and indigested.

99. But not the common Argent-vive, nor that of Bodies, which is drawn from Metals,

100. Although Gold hath a great friendship this those Argent-vives.

101. [For those, seeing that they come very near to the Nature of Gold,

102. They are only Subject of a Passive Transmutation.

103. In which Nature hath ceased to operate equally as in Gold.

104. Therefore seeing they are not in the first matter of Gold,

Aph. 105. They cannot act upon it.

106. But by the Argent-vive of Phylosophers; to wit, that unctious and viscous natural Humidity only, which is the root of all the Metals.

107. Which Metallick seed, seeing that it is no where obvious to our Senses in Mines;

108. And to create a Seed is not in the power of man, but of God only:

109. From what hath been said, it is necessarily inferred, that there ought to be some Mineral afforded, which may furnish us with this Mercury of Phylosophers.

110. Which, seeing that according to the Premises, it ought to augment the Tincture, Fusibility, and Penetration of Gold;

111. And among Minerals there is none found which can perfect the colour of pale Gold, and facilitate its Flux, and render it more penetrating, but Antimony only.

112. Therefore that appeareth to be the only Mineral, of which, and by which, the said Mercury my be obtained.

113. For, seeing that Antimony cannot communicate more Tincture to Gold, than the natural perfection of Gold requireth,

114. And Gold, as hath been already said, ought to be more perfectly Tinged by the Mercury of Phylosophers.

115. This Mercury cannot be had of Antimony alone;

116. But by it, as a Medium, from other imperfect Metallick Bodies, which abound with the Tincture of Gold;

117. Of which sort there are found only two, to wit, Mars and Venus.

118. Whence we conclude, That of Antimony, and by its help, of Mars also, and Venus, our Royal Menstruum is to be elicited, by the work of Art and Nature.

119. Antimony, Mars and Venus, consist of Sulphur and Mercury.

120. Sulphur, as we have said, is avers to the Nature of Gold, by reason of its unctiosity, adustive and impure terrestreity.

121. Wherefore the said matter of our Menstruum, before all things, is to be purged from its combustible Sulphur,

Aph. 122. That only its Mercury may serve for our intention.

123. This Mercury, without further Preparation, being projected upon Gold, doth not adhere to it with profit, but like other Mineral Spirits flyeth the force of the Fire, and leaveth the Gold unaltered, and unclean, or carrieth it up with it self.

124. By reason of its earthy, feculent and fugitive aquosity, which is yet in it.

125. Therefore, that of this Mercury, the Mercury of Phylosophers, may be made, which can unite it self with Gold, and render it more than perfect; it is altogether necessary, that it should be depurated, and freed from its Feces.

126. No natural Compound can be perfectly purged without its dissolution.

127. And every Dissolution of a natural Compound, is terminated in the moisture of which it was made.

128. Therefore, seeing that the matter of our Menstruum is Metallick;

129. And therefore, as is manifest above, ariseth from an unctious and viscous humidity.

130. It is required for its perfect Purgation, that it be resolved into such an unctious and viscous humidity.

131. This dissolution of the matter, requireth its previous Calcination.

132. For seeing that naturally no dry thing is dissolved into a moist, except Salt, or that which by the force of fire hath contracted the like nature.

133. Our matter is first to be calcined, that it may be rendered fit for solution.

134. The total Dissolution of no dry Body already dissolved into a Liqour, can be perfected, or a disunion of its Essential parts be made, without its putrefaction.

135. Wherefore this ought to be done to the matter of our Menstruum, for its compleat Depuration, equally as to Gold, for its plusquam perfection; as we have said before.

136. But every moist body is corrupted and putrified in a light or gentile heat.

137. Hence our matter being resolved into a moist, viscous, and unctous Substance, is to be farther promoted and disjoyned by digestion.

138. That the subtile parts may be elevated from the gross, and the Pure from the Impure, by Sublimation.

139. For the perfecting those Operations, Nature affordeth us only two Mediums, viz. Fire and Water.

140. The Combustible and Volatile parts are Separated by Fire.

141. But the Earthy and Feculent by Water.

142. In the said Phylosophick Sublimation of the Mercury, and its union with Gold, by various Solutions and Coagulations, the Practice of Alchymy consisteth;

143. That thence may result a Catholick Medicine, most potent in perfecting the imperfecr Metals, and in restoring of all diseasy bodies whatsoever.

144. Which Medicine is commonly called the Stone of Phylosophers, because it resisteth the Fire.

145. And for other reasons it is also called by other various Names.

146. From the Premises, the Chymical Excellency is rightly defined, to consist of Metallick Principles, exalted by various Phylosophick Solutions and Coagulations, unto the highest degree of Perfection.

147. For seeing that Nature alone in the Mineral Kingdom, proceedeth no further than the perfection of common Gold,

148. It is to be assisted by Art, that it may render it more than perfect.

149. Therefore the Practice of Alchymy in general consisteth of two Operations; to wit, the preparation of the Mercury of Phylosophers; and the Composition of the Elixir or Medicine.

150. Which although they are not very difficult,

151. Nevertheless, they are not alwaies without their perils and ill success.

152. Not to be avoided, but by Industry, and an expert, couragious, and prudent Artist.

153. Nor do the said Operations require any great Charge or Cost.

To the Lovers of
Hermetick Studies.
ALL the Books of Phylosophers, which treat of the abstruse Hermetick Medicine, are of nothing but a Spagyrical Labyrinth, in which, for the most part, the Disciples of Art fall into various Ambages and Deceits; so that even to this day, there are but very few who have found a true end. for if in this Labyrinth some easie Way hath shewed itself to the Erring and Straying, which seemed to extricate and lead them out, presently some impassable corners have occured, which keep them in a perpetual Imprisonment. So, if in the Writings of Phylosophers, manifest and easie Ways sometimes offer themselves, which at the first sight seem to the Searchers to be plain according to the Letter, presently unwary Operators, being decieved by the open words of Phylosopers, are involved in innumerable Deceits. To this may be added, That many Pseudochymists deceive many by their specious Frauds and Cheats, dispersing and selling up and down lying Operations and Processies, in which they promise Golden Mountains to the Credulous; sowing Tares and bidding them expect Wheat. Wherefore I being moved with Compassion, have offered these Rules, which are full of Physical Reasons and Truth; in which you have the whole Art perspicuously depicted, as on a Writing-Table. Examin and weigh them throughly, fence your Opinion with firm arguments, and then you cannot err. For he that without judgement beieveth every Sophism, is willing to be deceived.-The true Art is hidden under many Coverings, by which the unwary are easily confounded. Therefore, before you begin to work, weigh well, and prudently consider the natural Causes of things; or else enter not upon the matter. It is better to employ your time in diligent Meditation and profound Judgement, than to undergo the Punishment of a foolish and inconsiderate Temerity.- Farewell.


Some Phylosophic Rules or
Cannons, Concerning the
Stone of Phylosophers.
What we seek, is either here, or no where.

157 Alchemical Cannons

  1. That which is nearest to Perfection, is the more easily brought to Perfection.
  2. Things Imperfect cannot by any Art put on Perfection, except they be first purged from their feculent Sulphur and earthly Grossness, which is mixed with their Sulphur and Mercury; the which a perfect Medicine performeth.
  3. To render the Imperfect fixt, without the Spirit and Sulphur of the Perfect, is altogether impossible.
  4. The Heaven of Phylosophers resolveth all the Metals into their first matter; that is, into Mercury.
  5. He that endeavoureth to reduce Metals into Mercury, without the Philosophick Heaven, or Metallick Aqua-vita, or their Tartar, will be greatly mistaken, because the Impurity abounding in Mercury, from other Dissolutions, is even discernable to the Eye.
  6. Nothing is perfectly fixt, which cannot be inseparably joyned with that which is fixed.
  7. Fusible Gold may be changed and turned into Blood.
  8. To render Silver fixt, is neither to be resolved into Powder, of Water, for that is radically to destroy it; but it ought necessarily to be reduced into Mercury.
  9. Luna cannot be transmuted into Sol, except it return into running Mercury (but by the physical Tincture) the same is to be judged of the other Metals.
  10. The imperfect Bodies together with Luna are brought to perfection, and converted into pure Gold, if they be first reduced into Mercury; and that by a white or red Sulphur, by the vertue of an appropriate Fire.
  11. Every imperfect Body is brought to perfection by its reduction into Mercury; and afterwards, by decocting with Sulphurs in an appropriate Fire: For of those are generated Gold and Silver; and they are deceived, and labour in vain, who endeavor to make Gold and Silver after another manner.
  12. The Sulphur of Mars is the best, which being joyned to the Sulphur of Gold, bringeth forth a certain Medicine.
  13. No Gold is generated, but what was first Silver.
  14. Nature compoundeth and cocteth her Minerals by a gradual process; and so from one Root only procreateth all the Metals, even to the Ultimate end of Metals, which is Gold.
  15. Mercury corrupteth Gold, resolveth it into Mercury, and maketh it volatile.
  16. The Stone is compounded of Sulphur and Mercury.
  17. If the preparation of Mercuries be not taught by some skillful Artist, it is not to be learned by the reading of Books.
  18. The preparation of Mercury for the Philosophick Menstruum, is called Mortification.
  19. The Praxis of this great Work exceedeth the highest Arcanum of Nature; and except it be shewed by Divine Revelation, or the Work it self, by an Artist, it is never obtained from Books.
  20. Sulphur & Mercury are the matter of the Stone: therefore the knowledge of Mercuries is necessary, that a good Mercury may be taken, by which the Stone may be the sooner perfected
  21. Indeed there is a certain mercury hidden in every Body, being fitted without other preparation; but the Art of Extracting it is very difficult.
  22. Mercury cannot be converted into Sol or Luna, and fixed, but by a Compendium of the Abreviation of the great Work.
  23. To congeal, to fix, is one Work; of one thing only, in the Vessel.
  24. That which congealeth and fixeth Mercury, that also tingeth the same, in one and the same Praxis.
  25. The degrees of Fire to be observed in the Work, are four: In the first, the Mercury dissolveth its own Body; in the second, the Sulphur dryeth up the Mercury; in the third and fourth, the Mercury is fixed.
  26. The matters being radically permixed in their profundity, through their most minute parts, are afterwards made inseparable, as Snow mix’d with Water.
  27. Divers Simples being put into putrefaction, profuce divers others.
  28. It is necessary, that the form and the matter be of the same Species.
  29. An homogeneous Sulphur is of the same Mercurial nature, which produceth Gold and Silver; and this pure Sulphur is gold and silver, although not discernable to the Eye, in that form, but inasmuch as it is dissolved into Mercury.
  30. There may be a certain fixed Unctuosity extracted from gold, with out a Philosphick Dissolution of the Gold into Mercury, which serveth instead of a ferment generating Sol and Luna; and that is performed by way of abreviating the Work, which Geber calleth Rebis.
  31. The metals being resolved into Mercury, are again reduced into a body, a small quantity of the Ferment being admixed, otherwise they alwaies retain the form of Mercury.
  32. The Heaven or Tartar of Philosophers, which reduceth all the metals into Mercury, is the metalline Aqua-vita of Phylosophers, which they also call their dissolute Feces.
  33. Sulphur and Mercury consist in the same homogeneous nature.
  34. The Stone of Phylosophers is nothing but gold and silver, endow’d with an Excellency and more than perfect Tincture.
  35. Sol and Luna, in their own proper species, have no more than what is sufficient for themselves, which it behoveth to reduce into the nature and power of a Ferment, by preparation, and to gigest, whereby the mass may be multiplied.
  36. The chief Extremities in Mercury are two, viz. too much Crudity, and too exquisite a Decoction. [The words in the Original are nimis exquisita; but the word nimis, I judge, should have been minus; forasmuch as that agrees well with Crudity, no Crude subjected being well decocted.]
  37. Phylosophers observe this for a maxime; that every dry thing whatsoever quickly drinketh up a moisture of its own species.
  38. The Calx of Luna being altered, hastily drinketh up its own Mercury; the Phylosophers Foundation of Minerals.
  39. Sulphur is the Anima, but Mercury the matter.
  40. Mercury is stayed or detained by the Sulphur of imperfect Bodies, and is coagulated into an imperfect Body, and passeth into the same metallick species of the imperfect Body, by whose sulphur it was congealed and concreted.
  41. To make Sol and Luna of the imperfect bodies, by sulpur, is altogether impossible; for nothing can give or afford more than it hath.
  42. The Mercury of all the Metals is their Feminine seed, and their Menstruum, being brought so far by the Art of a good Operator: For by the projection of the great Work, it receiveth and passeth through the qualities of all the Metals, even unto Gold.
  43. That a red Tincture may be elicited, the Mercury is to be animated with the Ferment of Sol only; but for the white, with the Ferment of Luna only.
  44. The Work of Phylosophers is perfected by a very easie Labour, and performed without great Costs, and that at any time, and in any place whatsoever, and by all men, provided they have the true and sufficient matter.
  45. The Sulphurs of Sol and Luna stay or retain the spirits of their own species.
  46. Sol and Luna are the true sulphurs, sperms, or Masculine feeds of the Stone.
  47. Every thing which has a power of retaining and fixing, ought necessarily to be stable and permanent.
  48. The Tincture which giveth perfection to the imperfect Metals, floweth from the Fountain of Sol and Luna.
  49. Whosoever take the Sulphur of Venus, are deceived.
  50. There is nothing given to Venus by Nature, which is necessary to the great Spagyrick Work, or that can serve for the making of Sol and Luna.
  51. Note, the Gold converted into Mercury, before it Conjunction with the Menstruum, can be neither Anima, nor Ferment, nor Sulphur, nor doth it any way profit.
  52. The Work being brought to the end, may be rendred fiery, by Reiteration.
  53. In the Abreviation of the Work, the perfect bodies ought to be reduced into running Mercury, and a dry Water, whereby they may rightly receive a Ferment.
  54. The Preparation of Mercury, which is performed by sublimation, (being adhibited after revisication) is better than that which is done by Amalgamation.
  55. The Anima cannot impress the form, except the spirit Intervene, which is nothing else but the Sol turned into Mercury.
  56. Mercury receiveth the form of Gold by the mediation of the Spirit.
  57. Sol being resolved into Mercury, is the spirit and anima.
  58. The Sulphur and Tincture of Phylosophers design one and the same (F?)erment.
  59. The Mercury of the vulgar is rendred equal to all the Mercuries of bodies, and cometh very near to their likeness and nature.
  60. A Ferment rendreth Mercury more ponderous.
  61. If the common Mercury be not animated, or wanteth an anima, it affords nothing of moment, either to the universal or particular Work.
  62. Mercury being rightly mortified, is then impressed with an anima.
  63. Sol may be prepared into a Ferment, so that one part may animate ten parts of common Mercury; but this Work hath no end.
  64. The Mercury of the imperfect bodies stand in a medium between the common Mercury, and the Mercury of the perfect bodies; but the Art of extracting it, is very difficult.
  65. Seeing that the common Mercury, by projection of the Stone, is changed into Sol or Luna, therefore it may ascend higher, be exalted, and rendred equal to all the Mercuries of bodies.
  66. Common Mercury animated, is a very great Arcanum.
  67. The Mercuries of all Bodies are changed into Gold or Silver, by an Abreviation of the Work.
  68. A moist and gentle heat is called by the Name of the AEgyptian Fire.
  69. It is worthy to be noted, that Luna is not the mother of common silver, but a certain Mercury, endowed with the quantity of the Coelestial Luna.
  70. Metallick Luna is of a masculine nature.
  71. The Mercury of the vulgar, through coldness, putteth on the nature of a barren Woman.
  72. The Mercuries of Semi-minerals resemble the nature of Luna in likeness.
  73. All things whatsoever are produced of Sol and Luna; to wit, of two substances,
  74. Male and Female; that is Sol and Mercury grow together into one.
  75. Common Mercury without Preparation, is remote from the Work.
  76. Four of Mercury, and one of Sol; that is, of the ferment, Constitute a true matrimony of male and female.
  77. The Solution is performed, when the Sol is resolved into Mercury.
  78. Without Putrefaction no Solution is perfected.
  79. Putrefaction endureth, and extendeth it self even to whiteness.
  80. So the great Secret is the mundification of the Spirit, whereby the Menstruum is prepared, for by it the Gold is resolved.
  81. Mercury resolveth Gold into a Water of its own form; that is, into a running Mercury, as it self is.
  82. Dissolution is the beginning of Congelation.
  83. Sol being converted into a running Mercury, remaineth in the same form for a little time.
  84. The Ferment dryeth up the Mercury, and rendreth it more ponderous, retaineth and fixeth it.
  85. The Sol of Phylosophers is called their Fountain.
  86. The matter is converted by the power of Putrefaction, into a Pultis or Lute, which is the beginning of Coagulation.
  87. There is a certain Compendious, by which the Sulphur is taken from Sol and Luna, whereby every Mercury may be fixed into gold and silver.
  88. The matter ought never to be removed from the fire, nor suffered to cool, otherwise the work will be destroyed.
  89. When the matter attaineth the colour of blackness, then it is necessary to give the second degree of fire.
  90. The lotion or washing of Philosophers, is a similitude; for the fire alone performeth and perfecteth all things.
  91. The Venome and Fetor is taken away, without the addition of anything, by the force of the Fire, which alone performeth all things.
  92. The Fire, by its acute and penetrating Vertue, purgeth and cleanseth an hundred times more than any whatsoever.
  93. In the generation and vegetation of any thing whatsoever, the heat being extinct, death presently invadeth the growing matter.
  94. The Spirit is heat.
  95. The matter being brought to whiteness, cannot be corrupted and destroyed.
  96. Every Corruption of matter is impressed with a deadly Venome.
  97. The Glass or Vessel is called the Mother.
  98. The vertue of Sulphur is not extensive beyond the term or limit of a certain proportion, neither can it exceed unto an infinite weight.
  99. This question is to be observed, Wherefore the Phylosophers call their Menstruum the matter of the stone?
  100. Sulphur meriteth the name of the form, but the Menstruum, of the matter.
  101. The Menstruum representeth the lesser and lower Elements, viz. Of Earth and Water; but Sulphur the two superiours, to wit, Fire and Air, as a masculine Agent.
  102. If you should break an Eggshell, so that the Chicken should come out, it could never be hatched, nor if you open the Vessel, and the matter shall seel the Air, you can perform nothing.
  103. The Calcination which is made with Mercury, in a Furnace of Reverberation, is better than others.
  104. The Physlosophers manners of speaking are studiously to be noted, for by sublimation they understand the dissolutions of Bodies into Mercury by the first degree of Fire; the second Operation followeth, which is the Inspissation of the Mercury with the Sulphur; the third is the Fixation of the Mercury into a perfect and absolute body.
  105. The number of those which err, is infinite, who do not allow Mercury as it is in its own form, and amalgamated with the Calx of the per fect bodies, to be the subject and matter of the stone.
  106. The white Medicine is brought to perfection in the third degree of Fire; and this degree is not to be exceeded in the preparation of the white Medicine; for if you do otherwise, you will destroy the work for the white.
  107. The fourth degree of Fire bringeth forth the matter Red, where appeareth also divers colours.
  108. The work after it hath attained the degree of whiteness, not being carried on to a perfect redness, remaineth imperfect, not only for the white, but also for the red Tincture; therefore it is left dead till it endeth in a perfect redness.
  109. After the fifth degree of Fire to perfect it, the matter acquireth new Virtues.
  110. The Work hath not attained perfection, except the Medicine shall be incerated, and rendred subtile, like Wax.
  111. The Work of Inceration is perfected by a double or triple quantity of Mercury, to that which gave the Stone its Original.
  112. The Inceration of the white Medicine is performed by the white water, without the animation of the Mercury by Luna, but the Inceration of the red Tincture is done with Mercury animated with Sol.
  113. It sufficeth, that the matter after Inceration remain like a Pultis or Paste.
  114. Repeat the Inceration till it will bear a perfect Proof.
  115. If the Mercury with which the Medicine is incerated being converted to a Fume, shall fly away, it availeth nothing; wherefore do not manage it ill, for the matter by that means will go backward.
  116. The medicine being rightly incerated, will explain to thee that Enigma, of the King returning from the Fountain.
  117. Sol being reduced into his first Water or Mercury, if he shall be refrigerated or cooled by the help of common Mercury, the work perisheth.
  118. Phylosophers take the matter prepared and cocted by Nature, and reduce it into its Prima materia; foreasmuch as every thing it hath its Original, even as snow is resolved inseparably in water.
  119. The wise men reduce years into months, months into weeks, and weeks into days.
  120. The first decoction of Mercury which Nature performeth, is the only Cause of its own single perfection, beyond which it cannot ascend of it self; for it behoveth to help its simplicity, by sowing Gold in its proper Earth, which is nothing else but a pure Mercury, which Nature hath a little, but not perfectly digested.
  121. But in the second decoction of Mercury, besides the first of Nature, the vertue of the Mercury is multiplied ten-fold.
  122. And the Stone is made of Mercury by reiterating the Decoction, Sol being admixed, for by this means the male as well as the female are twice decocted.
  123. Sol ought to be put to Mercury, that he may be dissolved into Sulphur, and then cocted into the stone of Phylosophers.
  124. Every Phylosopher in all times contemplated Mercury, when nevertheless he neither knew nor understood it.
  125. Every Mercury of whatsoever Original, being rightly taken in a due manner, exhibiteth the matter of the stone.
  126. Everything from which Mercury may be elicited, is the subject of the Phylosophic medicine.
  127. Whosoever taketh or understandeth the writings of Phylosophers, according to the Letter, is grievously decieved, when they affirm their Mercury to be one.
  128. One Mercury exceedeth another, in a greater heat, dryness, decoction, purity and perfection, which ought to be prepared without the corruption and loss of its form, and to be purged from all its superfluities, in which the treasure and secret of the stone consisteth.
  129. If the preparation of common Mercury were known to the Notastudious of Phylosophy, they would have no need to search after any bene.other Mercury of Phylosophers, nor another metallick and mercurial Aqua-vita, nor another Water of the stone; because the preparation of vulgar Mercury containeth all those in it self.
  130. Every Mercury of Metals and Minerals may by successive degrees be cocted and exalted unto the quality of the Mercuries of all the other bodies, even to a solar body, and therefore be deduced to the degree and vertue of what metallick body you please.
  131. Common Mercury before a Legitimate Preparation, is not the Mercury of Phylosophers, but after preparation, it is called by the name of the Mercury of Phylosophers; containing in it self the true way and method of extracting the Mercury from the other Metals: And it is the beginning of the greater Work.
  132. Common Mercury being prepared, is taken for a metallick Aqua-vita.
  133. The passive Mercury and Menstruum ought by no means to lose the External form of Mercury.
  134. Whosoever useth sublimate, or calcined, or precipitated Powder, instead of running Mercury, (for the Compleating the Work of Phylosophers) erreth, and is wholly deceived.
  135. Whosoever resolveth Mercury into a clear water, for the perfecting of the Phylosophick Work, erreth grievously.
  136. To compose or make Mercury of a Limpid water, is in the power of none but Nature.
  137. In the great Physical Work, it is necessarily required, that the crude Mercury should resolve the Gold into Mercury.
  138. If the Mercury be reduced into water, it dissolveth the Gold into water: And in the work of the Stone it is highly necessary, that the Gold should be dissovled into Mercury.
  139. The Sperm and the Menstruum ought to have the same external form.
  140. It is the Doctrine of the Phylosophers, that it is necessary for us to irritate or stir up Nature; therefore if the Menstruum be dry, it will be in vain to hope for a solution.
  141. The seed of the Stone ought to be taken in a form like and near to the metals, and which cometh very near to metals.
  142. It is highly necessary to take a seed of the Phylosophick Medicine, which resembleth common Mercury.
  143. It is the secret of all secrets, to know the Mercury and matter to be the Menstruum of the Stone, and the Mercury of the perfect Bodies to be the form.
  144. Mercury by it self only, affords nothing of moment to generation.
  145. Mercury is the Element of Earth, in which the Grain of Gold ought to be sowed.
  146. The seed of Gold is not only put into a multiplication of its quantity, but also of its vertue.
  147. A perfect Mercury requireth a female for the work of generation.
  148. Every Mercury ariseth from and partaketh of two Elements; the crude of Water and Earth, that which is concocted of Fire and Air.
  149. If any man would prepare and exalt Mercury into a Metal, let him add a little Ferment to it, that it may be exalted to such a metallick degree as he would have it.
  150. The great Arcanum of the whole Work is the Physical Dissolution into Mercury, and reduction into the first matter.
  151. The Dissolution of Sol ought to be perfected by Nature, not by the work of hands.
  152. When Sol is conjoyned or married to its Mercury, it will be in the form of Sol, but the greater Preparation will be in the Calx.
  153. It is a Question among the wise, Whether the Mercury of Luna, being conjoyned with the Mercury of the Sol, may be taken instead of the Phylosophick Menstruum.
  154. The Mercury of Luna is of masculine nature, but two males can no more generate than two females.
  155. The Elixir consisteth in this, that it be elicited and chosen from a most pure Mercury.
  156. He that desireth to operate, let him work in the Solution and Sublimation of the two Luminaries.
  157. Gold giveth a golden colour; Silver a Silver colour; but he knoweth how to tinge Mercury with Sol or Luna, hath arrived to a great Arcanum.

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