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Title: A Discovrse of Fire and Salt

Author: Blaise de Vigenère

Translator: active 1649 Edward Stephens

Release date: November 16, 2014 [eBook #47365]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chris Curnow, Reiner Ruf, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)


Many secret Mysteries,

London, Printed by Richard Cotes, 1649.

To his worthy friend Captaine
Thomas Falconbridge.


Have been informed of your zeal and forwardnesse in advancing Learning and Truth, two commendable vertues, for a man of your merit and profession. And meeting with a subject composed by a French Authour, I present the Translation to your favourable acceptance: It is of forraign birth, though swadled up in an English habit: It hath done much good abroad, and I am confident it will do the like here, if supported with your approbation: It had not seen the Presse here, had I not been assured of the candor and integrity of the Authour. I repose confidence of acceptation, because the Translator hath been of your long acquaintance, and was lately sensible of your propensity and assistance, when he came in your way: If this may find grace with you, you will engage him to make further inquisition into this most sacred and secret mystery, and to rest,


Your most affectionate friend


[Pg 1]

Composed by the Lord Blaise of

The first part.

YTHAGORAS who of all Pagans was undoubtedly, by common consent and approbation, held to have made more profound search, and with less incertainty penetrated into the secrets as well of Divinity, as of Nature, having quaffed full draughts from the living source of Mosaicall Traditions, amid’st his darke sentences, where, according to the Letter, he touched one thing, and mystically understood and comprised another; (wherein he imitates the Ægyptians and Chaldæans, or rather, the Hebrewes, from whence all theirs proceeded) he here sets downe these two: Not to speake of God without Light; and to apply Salt in all his Sacrifices and Offerings; which he borrowed word for word from Moses, as we shall hereafter declare. For our intention is here to Treat of Fire and of Salt.

And that upon the 9. of Saint Marke, ver. 49. Every man shall[Pg 2] be salted with Fire, and every Sacrifice shall be salted with Salt. Wherein foure things come to be specified, Man, and Sacrifice, Fire, and Salt; which yet are reduced to two, comprehending under them, the other two; Man and Sacrifice, Fire and Salt; in respect of the conformitie they beare each to other.

In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth; this said Moses on the entrance upon Genesis. Whereupon the Jew Aristobulus, and some Ethniques willing to shew that Pythagoras and Plato had read Moses bookes, and from thence drawne the greatest part of their most secret Philosophy, alledged that which Moses should have said, that the heaven and the earth were first created; Plato in his Timæus, after, Timæus Locrien said that God first assembled Fire and Earth, to build an universe thereof; (we will shew it more sensibly of Zohar in the Weik of a Candle lighted, for all consists of light, being the first of all Creatures.) These Philosophers presupposing that the World consisted (as indeed it doth) of the foure Elements, which are as well in heaven, and yet higher, as in the earth, and lower, but in a diverse manner.

The two highest, Aire and Fire, being comprised under the name of Heaven and of the Æthereall Region: for the word ἄιθηρ, comes from the verbe ἄιθω to shine, and to enflame, the two proprieties of these Elements. And under the word Earth, the two lower, Earth and Water, incorporated into one Globe. But although Moses set Heaven before Earth; (and observe here that in all Genesis he toucheth at nothing but things sensible, but not of intelligible things; which is a point apart) for concerning this, there is no good agreement between Jewes and Christians; Saint Chrysostome in his first Homily. Observe a little with what dignity the Divine Nature comes to shine in his manner of proceeding to the creation of things; For God contrary to Artists in building his Edifice, stretched out first the heavens round about, afterwards planted the earth below.

Hee wrought first at the head, and afterwards came to the foundation. But it is the Hebrewes custome, that when they speake most of a thing, they ordinarily put the last in order, which they pretend to touch first: And the same is here practised, where Heaven is alledged before Earth, which he comes to discry immediately after.

In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, and the Earth[Pg 3] was without Forme and void; Saint Matthew useth the same, upon the entrance to his Gospell, The Booke of the Generation of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham, Abraham begat Isaac, &c. For it is well knowne, that Abraham was a long time before David: Otherwise it seemes, that Moses would particularly demonstrate, that the Earth was made before the Heaven, by the Creation of man, that is, the Image and pourtrait of the great World, for that in the second of Genesis, God formed man of the slime of the earth, (that is to say,) his body which it represents; and afterwards breathed in his face the spirit, or breath of life: that carrieth him backe to heaven; whereunto suits that which is written in the 1 to the Cor. 15. The first man from the earth is earthly, and the second man from heaven is heavenly: the first man Adam was made a living soule; and the last Adam, a quickning spirit. Whereto the Generation of the Creature relates, who six weeks after the Conception, is nothing but a masse of informed flesh, till the soule that is infused from above, doth vivifie it.

Moreover the foure Elements (whereof all is made) consists of foure qualities, Hot and Drie, Cold and Moist; two of them are bound up in each of them: Earth, that is to say, Cold and Dry, the Water, Cold and Moist; the Aire, Moist and Hot; the Fire, Hot and Dry: whence it comes to joine with the earth; for the Elements are circular, as Hermes would have it; each being engirded with two others, with whom it agreeth in one of their qualities; which is thereunto appropriate: as Earth betwixt Fire and Water, participates with the Fire in drynesse, and with Water in coldnesse; and so of the rest.

Man then which is the Image of the great World, and therefrom is called the Microcosme, or little World, as the World which is made after the resemblance of his Archetype, is called the great man; being composed of foure Elements, shall have also its heaven and its earth: The soule, and understanding, are its heaven, the body and sensuality, its earth: So that to know the heaven and earth of man, is to have true and entire knowledge of all the Universe, and of the Nature of things.

From the knowledge of the sensible World, we come to that of the Creator, and the Intelligible world; by the Creature, the Creator is understood, saith Saint Augustine. Fire then gives[Pg 4] motion to the body, Aire feeling, Water nourishment, and Earth subsistence. Moreover heaven designes the intelligible world, the earth the sensible: Each of them is subdivided into two, (in every case I speake not but after Zohar and the ancient Rabbins.) The intelligible into Paradise and Hell; and the sensible, to the Celestiall and Elementary world: Upon this passage Origen makes a faire discourse at the entry on Genesis, that God first made the heaven or the intelligible world, following that which is spoken in the 66. of Esay, Heaven is my seat and Earth my footstoole; Or rather it is God in whom the world dwelleth, and not the world which is Gods habitation: For in him Act. 17. 28.we live, move, and have our beeing; for the true seat and habitation of God, is his proper essence: and before the Creation of the World, as Rabbi Eliezer sets downe, in his Chapters, there was nothing but the essence of God, and his name, which are but one thing: Then after the heaven, or the intelligible world, Origen pursues, God made the Firmament, that is to say, this sensible world; for every body hath I know not what firmnesse and solidity, and all solidity is corporal; and as that which God proposed to make, consisteth of Body and of Spirit, for this cause it is written, that God first made the Heaven, that is to say, all spirituall substance, upon which, as upon a certaine throne, hee reposeth himselfe. The Firmament for our regard is the body, which Zohar calleth the Temple, and the Apostle also, Yee are Gods Temple, 1 Cor. 3. 17. And the Heaven, which is spirituall, is our soule, and the inner man; the Firmament is the externall, that neither seeth, nor knoweth God but sensibly. So that man is double, an animall, and spirituall body, the one Internall, Spirituall, Invisible; that which Saint Marke in this place designeth for man; the other Externall, Corporall, Animal, which he denotes by the Sacrifice which comprehendeth not the things that are of the Spirit of God, but the Spirituall discerneth all; So that the exteriour man is an animal compared to brute beasts, whereout they tooke their offerings for Sacrifices: He is compared to foolish Beasts, and is made like them; for a man hath no more then a Beast: we must understand the Carnall, and Animall, that consists of this visible body, that dyeth as well as Beasts, are corrupt and returne to Earth: Whence Plato said very well, that which is seene of man, is not man properly. And[Pg 5] the first of Alcibiades, yet more distinctly, that Man is I know not what else, then his body, namely his soule, as it followes afterwards. That which Cicero borrowed out of Scipio’s dreame; But understand it thus, that thou art not mortall, but this body; thou art not that, which this forme declares, but every mans minde is himselfe, not that figure which may be demonstrated by the finger: And the Philosopher Anaxarchus while the Tyrant Nicocreon of Cyprus, caused him to be brayed in a great Marble Morter, cried out with a loud voice, Stampe hard, bruise the barke of Anaxarchus, for it is not him that thou stampest.

But will it be permitted for me here, to bring something of Metubales? All that is, is either Invisible, or Visible; Intellectuall, or Sensible; Agent, and Patient; Forme, and Matter; Spirit, and Body; the Interiour and the Exteriour man; Fire, and Water; that which seeth, and that which is seen.

But that which seeth is much more excellent and more worthy then that which is seen, and there is nothing that seeth, but the invisible, where that which is seene, is as a blind thing; therefore Water is a proper and serviceable subject, over whom the Fire or Spirit may out-stretch his action.

Also he hath elevated it for his habitation and residence; for by introducing it, he elevates it on high in the nature of Aire contiguous unto it: which invisible Spirit (of the Lord was carryed on the waters, or rather did sit over the waters) did see the visible, moved the immoveable, for water hath no motion of it selfe; there is none but Aire, and Fire, that have, and speake by the Organs of one that is dumb; for as when by our winde and breath, filling a pipe or flute, we make it sound though never so mute.

This Body and Spirit, water and fire, are designed unto us by Cain and Abel, the first Creatures of all others engendred of the seed of man and woman, and by their Sacrifices, whence those of Cain issuing from the fruits of the earth, were by consequent corporall, dead, and inanimate, and together destitute of faith, which dependeth of the Spirit, and are by Fire dissolved into a waterish vapour, so that to go to finde it in its sphere and habitation, for the newes, we are to suffer thereunder. Pour le nouveau. But those of Abel were spirituall, animate, full of life, that resides in the bloud; full of piety and devotion. This also Aben Ezra, and the author[Pg 6] of the Handfull of Myrrh, call a fire descending from one above to regather them: which happened not to those of Cain, which a strange fire devoured; and from thence was declared the exteriour man, sensuall, animall, that must bee salted with Salt; But Abel the interiour, spirituall, salted with Fire; which is double, the materiall and essentiall, the actuall and potentiall, as it is in burnings. All what is sensible, and visible, is purged by the actuall, and the invisible, and intelligible, by the spiritual and potentiall. Saint Ambrose, on the Treatise of Isaac and of the Soule. What is man, the soule of him, or the flesh, or the assembly of those two? for the clothing is one thing, and the thing clothed another. Indeed there are two men (I leave the Messihe apart) Adam was made and formed of God; in respect of the body, of ashes, and of earth, but afterwards inspired in him the Spirit of Life; if he had kept himselfe from misprision, he was like unto Angels, made participant of eternall beatitude, but his transgression dispossessed him. The other man is he, which comes successively to be borne of man and woman, who by his originall offence is made subject to death, to paines, travails, and diseases, therefore must hee returne from whence he came. But touching the soule that came from God, it remains in its free will: if it will adhere to God, it is capable to bee admitted into the ranke of his children, Joh. 1. 13. who are borne not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Such was Adam before his first transgression.

The soule then, which is the inner man, spirit, and the very true man which liveth properly, for the body hath no life of it selfe, nor motion; and is nothing else but as it were the barke and clothing of the inner man, according to Zohar, alledging that out of the 10 of Job 11. Thou hast clothed me with skinne and flesh; whereunto that in the 6. of S. Matthew seemeth to agree, where to shew us how much the soule ought to bee in greater recommendation then the body, as more worthy and pretious; our Saviour saith, Take no care then how to cloth your body, is not your body better then raiment? and by consequent, the soule more then the body, since the body is but as it were the vestment of the soule, which is subject to perish, and to use, (all shall wax old as doth a garment.) And the Apostle in the 1 to the Corinthians, The old man falleth away, but the inner man is renewed dayly; for it[Pg 7] washeth it selfe (according to Zohar) by the fire, as doth a Salamander, and the outward man by water, with Soaps and Lees that consist of Salts. Of which two manners of repurging, it is thus said in the 31. of Numb. v. 23. All that which shall support the fire, shall be purged thereby, and that which cannot beare it, shall be sanctified by the water of Purification; which was a figure of that which the Fore-runner spake in the 3. of Matthew, It is true that I baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that comes after mee, shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with Fire.

But behold how Zohar speakes more particularly. If it bee so, Adam what is he? it is nought but skin, and flesh, and bones, and nerves, he must not passe so. But to speak truth, man is nothing else, but the immortall soule that is in him; and the skinne, flesh, bloud, bones, and nerves, are the vestments wherein it is wrapped, as a little creature newly borne within the beds and linnen of its Cradle: These are but the utensils, and instruments allotted to womens children, not to man or Adam; for when this Adam so made, was elevated out of this world, he is devested of those instruments, wherewith he had beene clothed and accommodated. This is the skinne wherewith the Son of man is envelopped with flesh, bones, and nerves; and this consisteth in the secret mystery of Sapience, according to that which Moses taught in the Curtains or Vails of the Tabernacle, which are the inward vestment, and the Tabernacle the outward: To this purpose, the Apostle in the fifth of the 2 to the Corinthians, saith, We know that if our earthly house of this Tabernacle were dissolved, we have an Ædifice not built with mans hand, but eternally permanent in the high Heavens. For in this we groane, earnestly desiring to bee clothed upon, with our house which is from heaven, if so be, that being clothed wee shall not bee found naked. So Adam in respect of his body, is a representation of the sensible world; where his skinne corresponds with the Firmament, extending heaven like a Curtaine. For as the heaven covereth and enveloppeth all things, so doth the skin every man; in which, are introduced and fastned its starres and signes, that is to say, the draughts and lineaments in the hands, the forehead, and visage, in which wise men know and reveale, and makes them discerne the inclination of its naturall, imprinted in the inward; And he that doth conjecture from thence, is as he, to[Pg 8] whom heaven being covered with Clouds, cannot perceive the constellations that are there, or otherwise darkened from his sight. And although the sagest and most expert in these things can finde out something therein denoted by the draughts and lineaments of the palme of the hand, and fingers, or within them; for by the outside, (it is case a part) and shew nothing, but the nailes which are not a little secret and mystery, because by death they are obfuscate, but have a shining lustre while they live, in the haire, eyes, nose, and lips, and all the rest of his person. For as God hath made the Sunne, Moone, and Stars, thereby to declare to the great World, not only the day, night, and seasons, but the change of times, and many signes that must appeare in the earth. So hath he manifested in the little world Man, certaine draughts and lineaments, holding place of lights and starres, whereby men may attaine to the knowledge of very great secrets, not common, nor knowne of all. Hence is it that the Intelligences of the superiour world do distill and breath as it were, by some channels their influences, whereby the effects come to struggle and accomplish their effects here below, as of things drawn with a rude and strong bow, will plant themselves within a Butt, where they rest themselves.

But to retake the discourse of this double man, and the vestment of him, the Apostle in the 1 Cor. 15. saith, That there are bodies Celestial, and bodies Terrestrial, yet there is a glory both of the one, and of the other. There is a naturall, or animall body, and there is a body spirituall: he will raise up the spirituall body incorruptible; To this relates the Fire, to the corruptible Salt.

From these vestments furthermore the occasion presents it selfe to a larger extension, the better to declare who must be seasoned with Fire, and who with Salt; which is here expressed by the offering, to whom the exteriour doth correspond, according to the Apostle, Rom. 12. I pray you brethren, by the mercy of God, that you offer up your bodies a living Sacrifice, holy, and acceptable unto him, which is your reasonable service: which it could not make it selfe the habitation of the Holy Ghost, if it were not pure, neat, and incontaminate. Know you not that your Body is the Temple of the holy Spirit which is in you? which in Scripture is commonly designed by fire, with which wee must be salted inwardly, that is to say, preserved from corruption; and from what corrup[Pg 9]tion? from sinne that putrifies our soules. Origen in his 7. book against Celsus speaking of its vestments, sets downe, that being of its selfe incorporeall and invisible, in what corporall place soever it findes it selfe, it must have a body convenable to the nature of the place where it resides. As then when it is in this Elementary world, it must have also an elementary body, which it takes when it is incorporated in the belly of a woman, to grow there, and there to live this base life with the body, that it hath taken to the limited terme; which expired, it devests it selfe of this corruptible vestment, although necessary in the earth from whence it came (following that which God said to Adam in the third of Genesis, Thou art dust, and shalt returne to dust,) to be revested with an incorruptible, whose perpetuall abode is in Heaven. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortall must put on immortality. And so the soul putting off its first Terrestriall vestment, takes another more excellent above in the Æthereall Region, which is of the nature of Fire: hitherto Origen, to which nothing could be found more conformable, then that which Pythagoras puts towards the end of his golden verses: Thus forsaking this mortall body, thou passest into the free Æthereall Aire, you shall become an immortall God, incorruptible, and no more subject to death: as if he would say, that after this materiall corruptible body, shall put off the Terrestriall and impure vestment, the perfect portion of it shall shake off these filthinesses and impurities, and shall passe aloft to heaven and adhere to God, which it could not doe, but being pure and neat; nor effect this, but by fire. Zohar speakes to the same purpose, when the Elements destroy themselves, an æthereall body succeeds in their place which doth recloath them; or to speak better, the æthereall body which was reclad with them, devests it selfe; and this is represented to us in the 5 of Esther, where it is said, that on the third day shee tooke off her clothes that shee was wont to weare, and put on her royall apparell to appeare before the King; which signifies the holy Spirit, and Esther the reasonable soule, whose vestments are the garments of the kingdome of Heaven; of which he that Daniel 3. chap. was said to be like to the Son of God, that crowns the just, and adornes them with royall apparell, to bring them into the presence of the King of Kings, to the Paradise of pleasure, clensed with aire from above,[Pg 10] which the holy Spirit breathed into it. Origen in his second Homily upon the 36 Psalme. It is the manner of holy Scripture to introduce two sorts of men, that is to say, the interiour and the exteriour, each of which, hath need as much as concernes him, of apparell, as well as nourishment; the external corporal man, maintaines himselfe with meats corruptible, proper and familiar to himselfe, having ever need of Salt, besides their own connaturall; but there is also meat for the inward, whereof it is said in the 8 of Deuteronomy, Man doth not live by bread onely, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. And for matter of drinke, the Apostle in the 1 Cor. 10. Our fathers did eat the same spirituall meat, and did drinke the same spirituall drinke; for they did drinke of that spirituall rocke that followed them, and that rocke was Christ. Who speaking of this drinke in the 4. of Saint John, saith, that hee is the fountaine of living water, and who so drinketh of the water that he shall give them, shall never thirst. There are also two rayments in regard of the inner man. If he be a sinner, it is said Psalme 109. He hath put on malediction as a garment, which must be to him as his apparell, wherewith he is covered, and as a girdle wherewith he is girt. And on the contrary the Apostle Col. 3. Lie not one to another, having cast off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new, but be clothed with mercy, benignity, humility, and meeknesse of Spirit.

These are the vestments which Zohar said were the good works and the nuptiall accoustrements of the soule, which cannot bee washed or cleansed but by Fire, Every mans work shall bee made manifest, for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every mans worke of what sort it is, 1 Cor. 3. 13. wherein they shall persist without impaire, or consumption, but shall be purified when the soule shall therewith be clothed; from this uncleane scumme, wherein there may remaine some spots that the fire goes on to purge, consuming and defacing them. But what is this fire? It is it which is said in the 4 and 9 of Deuteronomy, our God is a consuming fire: which as Irenæus interprets, was to strike feare and terror into the Israelites; and this afterwards in the 12 to the Hebrewes, 28, 29. Let us serve God acceptably with feare and reverence, for our God is a consuming fire. For they had sufficiently understood that the world once perished by the universall deluge, and that it may not incurre the[Pg 11] like accident, but suffer its last extermination by fire. Adde that in the 33. of the Mosaicall Law, it is called The Law of fire, which is in the right hand of the Almighty, because of its austerity and rigour, all filled with menaces, with feares, with horrors; as much as the Christian is, with sweetnesse and mercy: in his right hand, there is a fiery Law: which the Chaldean Paraphrase interpreteth, for that it was given on Mount Horeb, through the middest of fire; according as it is said in the 4 to the purpose touching this feare. The Lord speake unto me saying, Assemble the people there below, that they may heare my words, and learne to feare me: Then came you neare to the foote that burned even to heaven, and the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of fire. And Exodus 3. the burning bush wherein God appeared unto Moses, and was not consumed. Of this consuming fire, further speaketh Zohar thus in conformity to that received Maxime in naturall Philosophy, that a great flame doth devoure and quench a lesse: as wee may sensibly perceive by a lighted Torch, which is extinguished by the Sunbeams, and by a kettle set neare a great fire that sucks and drawes all out to it selfe: Hee saith then upon this Text of the 35. of Exod. You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath: To which purpose, said Rabbi Simeon, was that ordained? and why was it not lawfull to kindle a fire on the seventh day? because that when men kindle fire, it goeth ever upwards according to its naturall, and moving above every thing, following that of the 7. of Sapience, where it is compared to fire. In Wisdome is the spirit of understanding, holy, one only, manifold, subtill, lively, cleare, undefiled, plaine, moveable above every thing, and overtops all by reason of its purity. The Fire hath two properties, to be moving, and pure, not participating of any uncleannesse; and all motion, is a kinde of action and operation, forbidden expresly on the Sabbath day. Fire then mounting aloft, caries with it the impurities designed in the 10. of Leviticus by strange fire, which is there devoured by that which proceeds from the presence of the Lord. And should bee as much, as thereby to draw from it selfe a judgement of his offences that must not be renewed in the sanctification of the Sabbath, for feare that the fire of Gods wrath do not devour and consume that of our iniquities, and us at once, if this our fire be not first purged by a stronger fire, that consumeth and devou[Pg 12]reth the lesser and more feeble: Zohar runs through all that, and upon the passage of the foresaid fourth of Deut. Thy God is a consuming fire; he speakes further,

There is a double fire, the one stronger, that devoures the other. He that will know it, let him contemplate the flame that parteth and mounteth from a kindled Fire, or from a Lampe or Torch; for it mounteth not, except it be incorporated to some visible substance, and united with the aire, whereupon it feedeth. But in the flame that mounteth there are two lights, the one white, which shineth and illightneth, having its root somewhat blew; the other red, fastned to the wood, or to the weik that it burneth. That which is white, mounteth directly upwards, and underneath the red remaineth firme, and departs not from the matter, administring wherewith to flame and shine to the other; but they come upon the point to joine and unite together, the one burning, the other burned, till they bee converted into that which predominates and playes the master, namely the white, alwayes the same without variation and change, as the other doth; which now growes blacke, after becomes red, yellow, peach colour, sky colour, azure reinforced above and below, above with a white flame, below with the blacknesse of the matter, which furnisheth it wherewithall to burne, and at the last is therewith consumed. For this azure, red, and yellow flame, the more grosse and materiall it is, endeavours alwayes to exterminate and destroy that which nourished and maintained it: as sinnes do the conscience which harbours them, to the end to make them the perdition and ruine of all that which adheres to it here below, so long, till at the last it remaines extinct; there where the light annexed thereunto, is not eternally extinguished but goes freely upward, and returnes to its proper place of abode, or residence; having accomplished its action below, without changing its brightnesse into any other colour then white. In the like case is it of a tree, whose roots are fastned within the earth, from whence it takes its nourishment, as the weik takes his from the tallow, waxe, or oyle, which makes it burne.

The branch that drawes its juice or sap, by the root, is the same as the weik, where the fire is maintained by the liquor which it drawes unto it, and the white flame, are the branches[Pg 13] and boughes, clad with leaves, the flowers and fruits, whereunto tends the finall end of a tree, are the white flame when all comes to bee reduced: wherefore Moses said that thy God is a consuming fire, as it is true; for the fire consumes and devoures all that which is under it, and upon which it exerciseth its action. And therefore very proper in the Hebrew text Elohenu, thy God, and not Anonenu, thy Lord, because the Prophet was in this superiour white light, which neither devoureth, nor can be devoured. And the Israelites were the blew lights, who endeavour to lift up themselves, and unite to him under the law: for the ordinary of this blew light, inclining rather to blacknesse, then to whitenesse; it is true that is constituted as in the midst, and to ruine and destroy all that it layes hold on, and whereunto it adheres.

But if sinners submit thereunto, then the white light shall bee called Adonenu, our Lord, and not Elohenu, our God, for that it domineers and devours it. And it is this blew flame designed by the little and last ה He of the sacred venerable foure lettered Jehovah, which assembles and unites with the three first והי Jehu the white light, which shineth in a most cleare simplicity Trin-one, having under it the blackish, ruddy, & azure colour of the little ה He, which is the humane nature consisting of the four Elements, for that it is sometimes represented by 4 ד, the fourth letter of the Alphabet, and which marketh the number of 4. You will say I have brought you here a prolixe place of Zohar, I do avow it, but it must have a more ample explication, for there are great mysteries covered thereunder. This Rabbi superlative to all others, endeavouring in his profound and abstracted meditations which transcend all to elevate our spirits by the similitude of a light, to the knowledge of spirituall things, which differs not from our principall purpose, which is fire and its effects.

Of this white light, and of its collaterals; other Rabbins speake, as Kamban, Gerundensis; That by the Caballe it appears unto us, that the Scripture was an obscure and darke fire, upon the backe of white fire, and marvailously resplendent.

It is the fire (say they) of the holy Spirit, consuming our iniquities, denoted by the red inflamed ardor, and the blew and azure flame, which is the strange fire, as Saint Am[Pg 14]brose very well expounds it in his fourth Epistle to Simplician.

Strange fire, is all the ardor of slippery concupiscence, of avarice, hatred, rancour, and envy; And of this fire no man is purged nor expiated, but well burned, which if men offer in the presence of the Lord, celestiall fire will devour, as it did Nadab and Abihu; and therefore, he that will purge his sinne, he must cast off from him this strange fire, and let him expiate therefrom; whereof it is said in the 6 of Esay 6. One of the Seraphims flew to me having a live coale in his hand, which he had taken with the Tongs from off the Altar, and touched my lips, saying, Lo this hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sinne purged. Having said a little before, that all the house was filled with smoake, which is as an excrement and vapour of fire, bee it before it be lighted, or inflamed, or after it be mortified, and extinct; from whence it comes to procreate soot, then which, there is nothing more troublesome and hurtfull to the eies, having carryed away with it a parcell of adustible corruption; which administred to the fire its nourishment and food. This may bee seen in the distillation of soote, where there appeares a notable quantity of inflamable oyle, which causeth it yet to burne; and of this burning there will arise a smoake, which will againe be concreted into a burning smoake, as aforesaid, but not so much.

These are the remnants of sinne, whereof remained some staines printed in the soule, untill at the last, by a successive repurgation of fire, it be reduced to a point of compleat purity; whereof it is spoken in the 4. of the Canticles, Thou art faire my welbeloved, there is no blemish in thee; which the white flame notifies, which is the highest degree of burning. Those also well know it that maintaine a fire, for when a Fornace begins to bee hot, it waxeth blacke, then enforcing the fire, it becomes red, and at last it waxeth white when it is in the supreame and high degree of heat, where it persisteth in whitenesse more and more. Such are the actions of fire, but there are great mysteries thereunder, ever to declare further the advantage and præcellency, that the white colour hath above the red, as to the Christian faith, designed by white water, Apoc. 4, & 6. & 15. 2. (In the middle of the Throne there was a Sea of Glasse, like unto Crystall,) far[Pg 15] above the Judaicall faith, red, heat with rigour, and severity, designed by a pillar of fire, that in the night season conducted the Israelites through the Wildernesse, and the white cloud by day, Exod. 13. 21. In the secret Hebrew Theology, the red alwayes notes Gheburah, Austerity; and the white Ghedulah, or Mercy; Eliah was transported, and by force carried into heaven, in a fiery Chariot, drawne with the like horses. But in the transfiguration of our Saviour, Mat. 17. 2. His vestments became white as snow; and Apoc. 3. 6. The Elect are ever clothed in white; and in the 6. 11. speaking of the martyred Saints for the faith of their Redeemer, there was given unto every one of them white robes; Having set down a little before, that the Angell which had gotten the victory, and the Crowne, was mounted on a white horse, (as in the 19, and 20. the Throne of God is dressed with white) and hee that was mounted on the red horse, had a great bloudy sword in his hand, that one might massacre another. But yet more expresly in the first of Isaiah, Although your sins were as red as fine Scarlet, they should be as white as Snow. And further, though they were as red as crimson, they will become as white as wooll.

But some may say here are many things, which by little and little do turne us from our principall aime, and are as it were extravagant dresses. But not altogether, yet as to mount some sharpe precipice, wee must turne about to goe at more ease, to shunne cliffes and precipices: So are wee sometimes to make some small by-courses and digressions to facilitate our Theame. Rivers that goe turning are more commodious for Navigation, then those that runne impetuously one way downe.

There shall bee nothing at last (God willing) unprofitable, nor from the purpose. Then all this red and white, is but Fire and Water, the pillar of fire by night, and the white cloud by day; into which, as the Apostle saith, the people of the Jewes were baptized; and in this cloud the divine Wisdome established his Throne; that of the Law of Moses, this of grace; Fire and Salt. Zohar speaking of Moses his two first Tables, broken for the Idolatry of the Golden Calfe, with two pillars, the one of fire, representing naturall heate, by which all things are vivified; the other is water, that is radical moisture, which maintaineth life, (from which, that is not much different in the 15. of the Apoc. where it is said, that he saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire,)[Pg 16] which radicall moisture was perverted and changed in the deluge by the universall inundation, so that it was not since so vigorous as before: but shall at last bee brought to extermination on all sides, at the end of time by a finall conflagration. The first mutation shall meet with some mercy, the race of mankinde being at that time not wholly extinct, but the remainder was saved with Noah, and his in the Arke: but the second, shall have none, but all shall perish by the extreame rigour of fire: To the purpose of these two substances, the Assyrians and other people of the East adored Fire, as that which represented to them naturall heat, and the Ægyptians with all those on the South of Nilus, which is radicall moisture which goes to render it selfe into a Sea impregned with salt, to preserve it in the end from corruption: Now for this effect, all humours of animall bodies, bloud, spittle, urine, and the rest, are salted, without which, all would corrupt each other, in an instant: Behold the difference that there is in holy writ, that apply the meditations of things sensible to Sacramentall mysteries; and of ratiocinations of blinde Paganisme, who not turning it but above the barke, penetrate no further, then that which the uncertain and doubtful sense may make them comprehend, without passing further to the relation of divine things; where at last al must refer to spiritualty: resembling therein properly to the Ostrich, who beates sufficiently with the wing as if shee would mount to heaven, but yet her feet for all that, do not forsake the earth.

The Phœnician Theologie, admitted but of one Element, Fire, which is the principall and chief of all, the productor, and destroyer of all things: which doth not much disagree from that in the 118. Psal. is the fiery word by which times were formed. Heraclitus also puts fire, for the first substance that informed all, and from whence they drew all things from power into action, as well superiour, as inferiour, celestiall and terrestriall: For hot and cold, moist and dry, are not substances, but qualities and accidents; from whence naturall Philosophers forged four Elements, whereas according to verity there is but one; which according to the vestments that it receives from the accidentall qualitie, takes divers appellations. If from the heat, it is from the Aire; from moisture, Water; from drynesse, Earth; which three are but one fire, but reclothed with divers and different[Pg 17] habits. Even as Fire extending it selfe in all, and through all; so all things come to render unto it, as to the center. So that it may be rightly called an infinite and indetermined vigour of nature, or rather the vivification thereof, for without it nothing could be comprehended, seen, or obtained, above or below; that which illightens is celestiall, that which concocts and digests Aereall, and that which burnes, is terrestriall; which cannot subsist without some grosse matter coming from the Earth, which he reduceth in the end to it selfe; as we may see in things burned, converted to ashes, from whence after the extraction of Salt, rests nothing but pure earth. Salt being a potentiall fire, and waterish, that is to say, terrestriall water, impregned with fire; from whence all sorts of mineralls, come to production, for they are of the nature of Water. The experiment may bee seene in strong Waters, all composed of minerall Salts, Alums, Saltpeters, which burne as Fire: which produceth hot and dry exhalations agitated with winds, easie to take flame, also of flints, of Iron, and of Wood, and of scraped bones, especially those of a Lion, as saith Pliny: whence we may gather that there is potentiall fire in all.

Not without cause then did Pythagoras, after Moses, ordaine not to speake of God, or divine things, without fire: for of all things sensible, there is nothing that symbolizeth, or more corresponds with Divinity then Fire: Aristotle writing to Alexander related unto him, that hee had learned of the Brachmans, that there was a fift Element or Essence, which is fire, wherein the Divinity resides: because it is the noblest, and purest of all the Elements; and that which purgeth all things according to Zoroastes: Plutarch alledgeth that this Divinity is a spirit of a certaine intellectuall fire, that hath no forme, but transformes to it selfe all that it toucheth, and transmutes it selfe into all, as Proteus the Genius of Ægypt was wont to say,

Omnia transformat sese in miracula rerum.

And according to Zoroastes all things were engendred of this fire. It is the light which dwelleth (this saith Porphyrius) in an Æthereal fire, for the elementary dissipates all: But more authentically, Saint Denis, in the 15. of the Celestiall Hierarchy. Fire, forasmuch as its essence is void of all forme, as well in colour, as in figure, hath beene found the most proper to repre[Pg 18]sent Divinity to our senses, forasmuch as they can conceive and apprehend of the nature and divine Essence. The very Scripture in many places, call God and Angels Fire, and doth not onely propose unto us Chariots and wheeles of Fire; but of igneall animals, of burning brookes and rivers, of coales and men all burned: All these celestial bodies are but flaming lights, and thrones, and Seraphims all of fire; there is so great affinity and agreement with Divinity: for the fire that the feeling and smelling perceiveth, is separated in respect of the substance from all others, that may bee joined and mingled therewith, except it bee of the matter, to which it is incorporated to burne. It shines, it spreads it selfe from side to side, and gathering it selfe to its selfe, with its light it illustrates all that is neare it, nor can it bee seene without the matter whereto it adheres, and exerciseth its action no more then Divinity, but by its effects; nor arrest, nor fasten, nor mingle with any thing, nor change so long as it liveth, there where it handleth all things, and draws them to its selfe, and to its nature. It renewes and rejoyceth all with vitall heat, it illustrates and illuminates all, tending alwaies upward, with agility and incomparable speed. It communicates his motion to all, its light, its heat, without any diminution of its substance, what portion soever it lends, but ever remaines entire in it selfe. It comes suddenly and returneth as fast, without mans knowledge whence it comes, or whither it goes: with many other worthy considerations of this common fire, which brings us to the knowledge of the divine fire; whereof this materiall, is but as a garment and coverture; and Salt the coverture of Fire, which is appeased in Salt, and agreeth with its enemy, Water; as Earth in Saltpeter doth with its contra-opposite the Aire; by reason of the water that is betweene them, for Saltpeter participates of the nature of Brimstone, and of Fire, for that it burnes; and of Salt, for that it resolves into water. For saith Heber, it is the property of Salts, and Alums, to bee dissolved into water, sith they were made thereof. But of this more to the purpose hereafter in its place.

The meditations of the Covertures, and revestments are of no small importance, to mount from things sensible, to things intelligible, for they are all infolded one in another, as an Encyclie[Pg 19] or a spirall Moone. Pag. 29. Encyclides ab ἐγκυκγόω round. Zohar makes these revestments double, the one mounting and devesting its selfe, Put off the old man, and put on the new; for no spirituall thing descending downwards, operates without a vestment; Sit yee in Jerusalem till you be clad with power from above, Luk. 24. 49. Eph. 4. 22, 24. And in this case the body envelopeth and reclotheth the spirit, the spirit the soule, the soul the intellect, the intellect the Temple, the Temple the Throne, the Throne the Sechinah, or the glory and presence of God, which shineth in the Tabernacle. In descending, this glory is shut out from the Throne, and from the Arke of the Covenant, which is within the Tabernacle, or Intellect, the Tabernacle within the Temple, which is our Soule; Yee are the Temple of God, the Temple is in Jerusalem, our vital spirit, Jerusalem in Palestine, our body, and Palestine in the midst of the earth whence our body is composed.

God then being a pure Spirit, stript of al corporeity and matter, (for our soule being such, for more reason must hee be so, that made it to his image and resemblance) hee cannot bee in this simple and absolute nakednesse comprehended, nor apprehended by his Creatures, but by certaine attributes which they give him, which are as many vestments, which the Caballists do particularize to ten Zephirots, or numerations; 3 in the intelligible world; and 7 in the celestiall; which come to terminate in the Moone, or Malcut, the last in descending, and the first in mounting from the Elementary world upwards, for it is a passage from here below to heaven. So that the Pythagoreans call the Moone the Celestial earth; and the heaven or terrestrial Star, all the nature here below in the elementary world, being in regard of the celestiall, and the celestiall of the intelligible; this Zohar called feminine & passible, as from the Moone towards the Sunne, from whom so much as she absents her selfe till she comes to its opposition, by so much she increaseth in light for our regard here below; where on the contrarry in her conjunction, that shee remaines all darkened, the party upward is all illightned, to shew us, that the more that our understanding doth abate to things sensible, so much the more doth he disjoine or sever them from the intelligible; and contrariwise, this was the cause that Adam was lodged in an earthly Paradise, to have more leisure to contemplate on divine things; when he thought[Pg 20] to turne after sensible and temporall things, willing to taste of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evill, whereby hee departed from that of life, to assubject himselfe to death, he was banished from thence and put out. To this very purpose Zohar doth yet adde, that two vestments come from heaven to this temporall life; The one formall, white, and resplendent; masculine, fatherly, and agent; for whatsoever is active takes place from forme, of the male and from the father, and this very thing comes to us from fire, and from the clearnesse of the stars to illustrate our understanding. The other is red, maternall, fæminine; for the soule, coming from the substance of heaven, which is more rare then that of heavenly bodies. That of the understanding is lodged in the braine, and the other of the soule, in the heart. The intellect or understanding, is that part of the reasonable soule made and formed after the image and semblance of its Creator, and the soule in it, the animal faculty called Nephesch, the life, namely, that which resideth in the bloud: and as the heaven containes the stars, this contains the intellect, which to us is for the rest common with brute beasts. But the intellect, or reasonable soule is proper and particular to men, that which can merit or demerit; therefore it needs repurgation and cleansing from the spots that it hath drawne and conceived from the flesh wherein it was plunged, according to that in the 8. of Genesis 21. The thought and imagination of mans heart, were inclined to evill from his youth. And sith it is a question, about cleansing the vestment which is of a fiery nature, it must likewise be, that it be done by meanes of fire; for wee see by experience, that one fire chaseth away another, as it hath been said heretofore, so that if a man bee burnt, there is no readier remedy, then to burne it againe in the same place; enduring the heat of the fire as much as you can: which drawes the inflammation to its selfe, out of the party, or else tempering it with Aqua vitæ wherein Vitriol hath beene calcined, from whence Chirurgeons have not found a more soveraigne remedy to take away the fire of a musket shot, to heale inflammations and gangrenes; and yet there are two fires joined together. But that which during this life must repurge our soules, is that whereof Saint Augustine in the 29. Sermon speakes thus out of the Apostles words, for there is another afterwards: Kindle in your[Pg 21] selves a sparkle of good and charitable dilection, blow it, and kindle it, for when it shall grow to a great flame, that will consume the hay, wood, and chaffe of all your carnall concupiscences, but the matter wherewith this fire must bee continued, are prayers, and good workes, which must alwayes burne on your altar, for it is it whereof our Saviour said, I am come to put fire in the earth, and what will I if it bee already kindled? Luke 12. 49. There are further two fires: one on the bad part, to wit, of carnall concupisence; the other of the good, which is charity, which consumes all the bad, leaving nothing but good, which exalts it selfe in a fume of a sweet odour; for the heart of every one, is as an altar, either of God or of the adversary: and therefore hee that is illuminated with the torch of charity, which must more and more bee increased by good works, that it may nourish in it selfe the ardour that our Saviour will vouchsafe to kindle, whereby that is accomplished, which the Apostle saith in the 5 to the Ephes. That Jesus Christ hath appropriated to himselfe a Church, not having spot or wrinckle, holy, and pure, without blemish. For that which the Church is in generall, and common towards God, the conscience of every one of us, is in particular the same, when it is sincerely prepared, as it is requisite; and that upon the foundation thereof, men build Gold, Silver, pretious stones; that is to say, a firme faith, and beleefe, accompanied with good works, without which faith is dead and buried; all upon the model and pattern of the heavenly Jerusalem designed in the 21 of the Apoc. which is the type of the Church; as is also the reasonable soule, where it must burne alwaies with fire upon the Altar, and after the imitation of the wise and prudent virgins, we may have our lamps ready, well lighted, and garnished with what is needfull to maintaine light, attending the Bridegrome: as our Saviour commanded it in Saint Luke 12.

Zohar furthermore makes this repurgation of the soule to bee double, which is not farre disagreeing from our beleefe. One is whilest the soule is yet in the body, hee cals that according to the mysticall manner of speaking, the conjunction of the Moon with the Sunne, then, when in regard of us here below it is not illuminated; for as long as the soule is annexed within the body, it enjoyes very little of its owne light, being all darkened[Pg 22] thereby, as if it were imprisoned in some darke obscure prison. And this repurgation doth consist in repentance of its misdoings, satisfaction for them, and conversion to a better life; in fastings, almes, prayers, and other such penitences, which may be exercised in this world. The other is, after the separation of soul and body, which is made in the purgative fire; which neither Jewes, Mahometans, or Ethnicks, ever called in doubt.

But when with supreame light life leaves us, yet all evill from miserable men, nor yet all corporeall plagues do passe away, and the punishment of old evils do weigh us, some are exposed to vaine windes; to others under a vast gulfe their infected wickednesse is washed off, or burnt with fire.

Where there are set forth three repurgative Elements, Aire, Water, and Fire; But wee must not understand (saith Saint Augustine, on his third Sermon upon such as are diseased) that by this transitory fire grievous and mortall offences, and capitall sins are purged, if they have not beene repented of in this temporall life; or to blot out the expiation on the other side, where the rest is perfected in the fire, as man-slayers, adulterers, false witnesses, concussions, violences, rapines, injustices, infidelitie, erroneous obstinations, and the like; which are directly opposite to Gods Divine precepts and commandements: but the smaller faults onely, which they call veniall sinnes, as eating and drinking to excesse, vaine words, foolish desires, and depraved concupiscences, not brought to effect: not to exercise the works of mercy, whither common charity, and commiseration cals us, and such other frailties: of which if we repent not, in this world, fire shall repurge us in another, and more sharply. To this purpose the Hebrewes make a triple distinction of sins, Chataoth are those that wee mistake against our selves, without hurting any other, but our selves, gourmandizings, inconstancies, lazines, idlenesse, anger, spite. The Avonoth, are addressed to our neighbour, which do not blot out and pardon, but by meanes of reparation: and the Peschaim the transgressions, prævarications, and impieties, directly addressed against God: They draw this first out of the 34 of Exodus 7. pardoning iniquitie, rebellion, and offences; more in the 106 Psal. 6. We have sinned, wee have committed iniquity, wee have done foolishly; and in the 9 of Dan. Chatanu, Veavinu, Vehirsannu; there are sinnes[Pg 23] saith Zohar, imprinted above, others below, and others both in the one and in the other; above, against God; below, against our neighbour; and in the one, and in the other against our selves, bodies and goods, as well our neighbours as our owne; noting that below, the soule; that above, made after the image and semblance of God. If they bee blotted out below, they are so above. Jesus Christ after his resurrection breathed on his Disciples, and said unto them, Receive the holy Ghost; To whom soever you pardon sinnes, they shall bee pardoned; and whose sinnes soever yee retaine, they are retained. Joh, 20. 23. that which you shall binde on earth shall be bound in heaven.

But to returne to the recloathing, and to say something thereof, the superiour is alwaies clad with the inferiour, the intelligible world, with the celestiall, which is but as it were a shadow thereof, and the celestiall with the elementary: and notwithstanding it would seeme cleane contrary by the figure of Hypallage as in the 18. Psal. God hath put his Tabernacle in the Sunne, which is to say, hee hath put the Sunne in his Tabernacle, which is, heaven; for God doth not reside in this World, but rather the World in God, who comprehends all, for in him wee live, wee move, and have our beeing. Also the intelligible world should be clothed with the celestiall, and the celestiall with the elementary. But this to shew that we cannot well comprehend heaven, being so remote from us; but by that which is expounded to the knowledge of our senses here below, nor of the separated Intelligences, but by the sensible. There was nothing (said the Philosopher) in the intellect, that was not first in the sense. And the Apostle in the first to the Romanes, that the invisible things of God, are seene in the Creation of the world, by those that were made. This all conformably unto Zohar, In thee (said he; in the prayer of Elias addressing himselfe to God) there is no resemblance, nor any image interiour, or exteriour; but further, thou hast created heaven and earth, and produced out of those the Sunne, and the Moon, the Starres and the Signes of the Zodiack; and in earth Trees, and Herbs, delights in Gardens, with Beasts, Birds, and Fishes, and at last Men; that from thence things above might bee knowne. And of the superiours, the inferiours together, so that the one and the other may bee governed: Plutarch alledgeth in his Treatise of Osiris, that in the City of Sais in Ægypt, there[Pg 24] was such an inscription in the Temple of Minerva, borne out of Jupiters braine, which is nothing else but the sapience of the Father.

I am that which was, which is, and which shall bee, and as yet there is none amongst mortall men, that hath yet discovered my vaile: for Divinity is so wrapped in darkness, that you cannot see day through it. I see him not, for hee is darkened with an over dark cloud, said Orpheus: and in the 17 Psal. which made darkenesse his hiding place. Further in the 4 of Deut. You came to the foot of a mountaine that burned, even to heaven, and therein was darkness, thick clouds, and obscurity: for in regard of God towards us, light and darknesse, are but one thing: as is his darknesse, such is his light: And in the 16 of Isaiah, Make thy shadow as the night, in the midst of the noone day. The very same, as well the affirmative, as the negative; by which, that which is æquippollent unto darknesse, we may better apprehend something of the Divine Essence, but not by the affirmative, that relates unto light, as Rabbi Moses doth excellently well dispute it in his 57. chapter of his first booke of More: For the Divine light, is insupportable above all to all his Creatures, even to the most perfect, following that which the Apostle sets downe in the 1 of Tim. 6. God dwels in light inaccessible, that no man can see: So that it is to us in stead of darknesse, as the brightnesse of the Sun is to Moulds, Owles, and other night birds: which darknesses are the revestments, and as the borders and cloisters of the light; for represent to your selves some Lanthorne placed on the top of a mountaine: all round about it as from the Center to the Circumference, it shall spread its light equally, as farre as it can extend it: so that at the last darknesse will terminate it, for darknesse is nothing else, but the absence and privation of light: Even the very same, the exteriour man, carnall, animall, is the coverture; yea darknesse of the interiour spirituall: after the manner or fashion of some Lanthorne of wood, or stone, and other darke matter, which keeps that the light there shut in, could not shew forth its light, the Lanthorne symbolizing to the body, and the light within to the soule. But if the body bee subtiliated to an æthereall nature, from thence it comes to passe, as if the Lanthorne were of some cleare Crystall, or of transparent horne: for then the soule and its functions, do shine there a[Pg 25]bout openly without obstacle. Sith then, to the one of these two, namely to the inner man, is attributed fire, that answers to the soule, and salt to the outward man, which is the body: as the sacrifice or man animall is the revestment of the spirituall designed by the Man, and by Fire: The vestment of this Fire will bee Salt, in which, fire is potentially shut in; for all Salts are of the nature of fire, as being thereof begotten. Geber saith, that salt is made of every thing that is burned, and by consequent, participant of its proprieties, which are to purge, dry, hinder corruption, and unboile; as wee may see in all salted things which are as it were halfe boiled, and are kept longer uncorrupt then raw, also in potentiall burning irons which burne, and are nothing else but Salt.

Will it bee lawfull for us here to bring one entire passage of Rhases in a book of the Secret Triplicity? for it is not common to all, and wee will strongly insist on this number by reason of the three Fires and three Salts, whereof wee pretend to Treat. So that there is a Mystery in this number of 3 that must not bee forgotten, for that it represents the operation, whereof Fire is the Operator; for 1, 2, 3, makes 6, the 6 dayes wherein God in the Creation of the world perfected all his workes, and rested the seventh day.

There are (saith Rhases) three natures, the first whereof cannot bee knowne nor apprehended, but by a deepe elevated Meditation: This is, that all-good God Almighty, Author, and the first Cause of all things. The other is neither visible, nor tangible, although men should bee all contrary; that is to say heaven in its rarity. The third is the Elementary World, comprehending all that which is under the Æthereall Region, is perceived and known by our senses. Moreover God which was from all æternity, and with whom before the Creation of the world, there was nothing but his proper name knowne to himselfe, and his Sapience; that which hee created on the first day, was the water wherein hee mingled earth, then came hee to procreate after, that which had a beeing here below. And in these two Elements, thicke and grosse, perceptible to our senses, are comprehended the two other, more subtill and rare, Aire, and Fire. These four bodies being, (if we must call them bodies) bound together with such a minglement, that they could[Pg 26] not perfectly separate. Two of them are fixed, namely, Earth and Fire, as being dry and solid; the other two volatile, Water, and Aire, which are moist and liquid: so that each Element is agreeable to the other, two wherewith is bounded and enclosed, and by the same meanes, containes two in it selfe, the one corruptible, the other not, the which participates of the Divine nature: and therefore there are two sorts of Waters, the one pure, simple, and elementary; and the other common, which we use in Lakes, Wels, Springs, and Rivers, raines and other impressions of the Aire. There is likewise a grosse Earth, filthy and infected; and a Virgin Earth, crystalline, cleare, and shining, contained and shut up in the Center of all the composed Elementaries; where it remaines revested, and covered with many foldings one upon another. So that it is not easie to arrive there, but by a cautelous and well graduated preparation by fire. There is also a fire which is maintained almost of it selfe, and as it were of nothing, so small is the nourishment that it needeth; whence it comes to bee more cleare and lucent, and another obscure, darke, and burning, and consuming all that to which it is fixed, and it selfe at last. And Aire on the other side pure and cleane, with another corruptible full of legerity, for of all the Elements, there is none more easie to be corrupted then the aire; all which substances so contrary and repugnant, mingled with elementary bodies are the cause of their destruction: wherefore of necessity that which is pure and incorruptible, must be separated from its contrary, the corruptible and impure, which cannot be done but by fire, the separator and purificator. But the three liquid Elements, Water, Aire, and Fire, are as inseparable one from the other, for if the Aire were distracted from the fire, the fire which hath therefrom one of its principall maintainments and food, would suddenly extinguish, and if the water were separated from the Aire, all would bee in a flame. That if the Aire should be quite drawne from the water, for as much as by its legerity, it holds it somewhat suspended, all would be drowned. Likewise if Fire should be separated from the Water, all would bee reduced into a deluge. For three Elements neverthelesse may well bee disjoined from the Earth, but not wholly, there must remaine some part to give consistence to the Body: and render it tangible, by the meanes of a most subtill and thinne[Pg 27] portion thereof, which they will elevate with them, out of this gross thickness that remaines below, as wee may sensibly see in glass, which by an industrious Artifice of fire, is depured of the darknesse that was in the ashes, to passe from thence to a transparent clearnesse, which is of the nature of Fire and indissoluble Salt, accompanied with a firme and solid thicknesse, having neither transpiration nor pores.

But wherefore should wee not hereto file all in one traine, those so excellent Meditations of Zohar, sith all depends on the same purpose? God formed Adam of the slime of the earth, or according to the Hebrew, God formed man dust of the earth; which word of forming belongeth properly to Potters, who fashion of earth all that they thinke good. And touching the dust, this is but to abate our pride, with which wee may bee swolne, when wee consider the vile and corruptible matter, whereof wee are made, in respect of our bodies, which is nothing else but mire and dirt. Consider then three things (saith Zohar) and thou shalt not fall into transgression. Remember from whence thou art come, of such filthy and foule stuffe, and whither thou must at last returne, to dust, wormes, and rottennesse; and before whom thou art to render an account, and reason of all thy actions, and comportments; who is the soveraigne Judge, the King of all, who leaves no transgression unpunished, nor good worke irrecompensed. Adam then and all his posterity were formed of the dust of the earth, which had before beene moistned with the fountaine or vapour, which was highly elevated by the Sunnebeams to water and to soften the earth: For the Earth being of it selfe cold, and dry, is altogether sterill and fruitlesse, if it be not impregned with moisture and heat, whence proceed fecundity. So that Adam was composed of Earth and Water mingled together: These two elements betoken a double faculty in him, and double formation, the one of the body, in regard of this age; the other of the soule, in another world. Water shewes the celestiall Meditation whereto our spirit may exalt it selfe; and the earth of it selfe immoveable, and that can never budge from below, nor willingly mingle with the other three volatil elements, by reason of its extreame drynesse, so that it doth but grow hard by the action of fire, and makes it selfe more contrary and untractable by the spirit of[Pg 28] contradiction hard and refractory from the flesh, against the spirit, so that shee should reject the water which men thought to put therein, if it were not by meanes of the subtill Aire, interposing and mingling therewith, and penetrating into the smallest parts: which being suckt within the water, forces the earth to feed on it, to inclose it in her selfe, as if shee would detaine it prisoner, and by that meanes remaines great; as the female by a male; for every superiour thing in order and degree, holds the place of male, to that which is inferiour and subject thereunto.

Now if the Aire absent it selfe, which associates and unites them together, as being suppeditated and banished, which is moist and hot, from the extreame drynesse and coldnesse of the earth, it will force it with all its power to reject the water, and so reduce it selfe to its first drynesse; which we may perceive in Sand, which will never receive water, except it be quickly separated. Even so the earth is alwaies rebellious and contumacious of it selfe to bee mollified, be it by water, by aire, by fire; and after this manner there was a spirit of contradiction and disobedience introduced into Adam, by reason of the earth, whereof he was formed: as his Companion and himselfe do shew, when by the suggestion of the Serpent, the most terrestriall animall of all others, they so easily contradicted that extreame prohibition which was given them of not tasting the fruit of the knowledge of good and evill: for the punishment whereof, it was said to the Serpent, thou shallt eat earth all the dayes of thy life: which Isaiah resumes in 65. chap. Dust is thy bread: And to Adam, that the earth should produce nothing but thornes, briars, and thistles, by means whereof, if he would live, he must cultivate it with the sweat of his browes, till returne to that from whence he was drawne, for being dust hee must returne to dust. But water which notifies Divine speculations, disirous to mingle, and unite with all things, to whom it gave beginning, and made them grow and multiply, is as the carriage or vestment of the spirit, following that which was said in the beginning of the Creation, that the Spirit of God was stretched over the waters, or as the Hebrew word Marachephet caries it, hovering over them, fomenting and vivifying them, as a Henne doth her Chickens, with a connaturall heat; for this word Elohim imports I know[Pg 29] not what, of heate and fire. By Water then the docill spirit, obedient to the invitations of the intellect, insinuated it selfe into Adam; and by Earth the refractory, and opiniaster, that spurneth against the pricke; for as the earth was the most ignoble Element of all others, water rejecteth it, and disdaineth it, and could agree with it, but as to a lee and excrement; but if the pure and neat spirit remaines within the water, where it made choice of its residence; for from the three natures of earth, water at least never joines with the two, (that is to say) sand, for its extreame drynesse that causeth a discontinuation of parts: Argilla. and the dirt to be fatty and unctuous: there is not any thing else, but slime only, with which some food and mingling which may bee thereof made, the water at last lets it reside below, and it swimmes over: as being of a contrary nature, the one altogether immoveable, solid, and compact; the other fluent, removing, and gliding as bloud through the veines, wherein the spirits reside; who can easily bee elevated to bee of a fiery quality, alwayes soring upward: So that the water which notifies the interiour spirit, endeavours to devest it selfe of this externall coagulation; for all coagulation is a kinde of death and waterishnesse of life; and would never more associate therewith, nor revest it selfe by reason of its contumacy; were it not that the soveraigne Master, and Lord Adonai by his providence, for the propagation of things, (as long as hee shall please to maintaine in beeing, this faire worke of his hands) constraine these two, Earth and Water, to agree in a sort together, by its Angell or Minister that rules in the Aire. Man moreover hath towards himselfe frank and free will in his full power and disposition: Gen. 4. 7. The appetite of sinne shall be under thee, and thou shalt have domination over it, Gen. 4. But if hee be adheering to the earth, (that is to say) to carnall desires and concupiscences, whereunto he is most inclinable, he shall do nothing but evill. And if to the spirit, designed by water, all that hee doth shall goe well. The River of God is filled with waters. And in the 44. of Isaiah, I will powre out water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will powre out my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring. So that as long as the water doth suffer and remaine united with the earth, the good Spirit resteth with man, by which wee are admonished by the wise man, Prov. 5.15, to drinke waters[Pg 30] out of our Cisterne, & rivers out of our own Wel. But when the earth by its rebellious and repugnant drought, rejecteth water, there resteth nothing therein but its hard and refractary obstination, till that by meanes of the aire, the spirit that joines and unites them together (which are holy inspirations) it bee newly remoistned and watered: By meanes whereof when wee have this good spirit of salutary water, whereof it is written in the 15 of Ecclesiasticus, Thou shalt give him the water of wisdome to drinke: wee must take heed of casting it away, and to make our selves all dry earth and sandy, which is not satisfied with water, and therefore produceth nothing.

But all this is more clearly expressed in the Gospell, where by the meanes of this fructifying water, our Saviour which is a Fountaine that is never dry, the holy Spirit commeth to put into our hearts that which moistneth the hardnesse of the earth, watereth it, and dresseth it, to produce the ripe fruits of good and charitable works. The water which I will give you (saith he, Joh. 4. 14.) shall be a Fountaine of living water, springing up into eternall life. Of this water the Prophets have clearely spoken, as David in the 36. Psal. Psal. 36. 6. For with thee there is a Fountaine of life, and in thy light wee shall see light. See how he joines water with light, which is fire; so that this digression seemes to bee lesse impertinent; and in the 12. of Esay 3. You shall draw water with joy out of the wels of salvation. More Jerem. 2. They have forsaken me, that am the Fountaine of living water, and have digged to themselves Cisternes, broken Cisternes that will hold no water.

In this of Zohar (as above) are comprised the principall secrets and actions of Fire, and of its contrary, the Patient, which is, Water: for the acts of Actives are in the disposition of the Patient, (said the Philosopher;) for the effects cannot better be discerned then where they act. Fire then hath three proprieties: but in this respect, wee must argue the thing more deeply.

As then, all that which is, are divided into 3, called Worlds, or Heavens, (it must not be thought strange, if wee repeate the same more then once; for from thence proceed all the secret sciences,) that is to say, the elementary here below, subject to perpetuall alteration, and vicissitude of life, and of death; the Celestiall aloft, above the Circle of the Moone, incorruptible in[Pg 31] respect of it selfe, as well for its purity, and uniformity of substance, as for its continuall and equall motion; nothing therein prædominating the one or the other; which two constitute the Sensible world. There is afterward the Intelligible, abstracted from all corporeity and matter, which the Apostle cals the third World, where hee was ravished, this (said hee) whether in the body or out of the body, God knowes, 2 Cor. 12. 3. for not onely the World and the Heaven, are put one for the other, but yet the Heaven for Man; The heavens declare the glory of God, according to which, most part of the Fathers interpret it; and Man reciprocally for Heaven. As Origen sets it forth, upon the 25 Treatise of Saint Matthew. Mans heart is properly called Heaven, and the Throne not already of the Glory of God, as is the Temple, but of God properly. For the Temple of the glory of God, is that wherein, as in a Glasse, wee see ourselves by Ænigma. But Heaven that is above the Temple of God, where his Throne is, is to see him wholly as it were face to face: which hee hath almost transcribed word for word out of the booke Abahir to Zohar, and other ancient Caballists, whereof he consisteth for the most part.

Moreover some say that the Heavens are sometimes put for God himselfe, as in the 32 of Deut. Heare O Heaven the words I speak: and in the 8 chapter of the 1 of Kings, according to the Hebrew verity, in the prayer of King Solomon at the dedication of the Temple; Heare O Heaven. In this third Heaven or World, whereof the Apostle spake, although God bee every where, yet the seate of his Divinity is there more especially established, then elsewhere, with his separated Intelligences that assist him to execute his commands. Blesse the Lord yee Angels, mighty in power, doing that which he ordaineth, hearing the voice of his words: wherefore Theologians called it the Angelicall world, without all place and time; which Plato in his Phæd. said that no mortall men ever yet had sufficiently celebrated it, according to its excellency and dignity, being all of light; who from thence stretched out her selfe, and derives it so, as out of an inexhaustible Fountaine, to all sorts of Creatures, even according as the ancient Phœnician Theologie carryed which the Emperour Julian Parabates alledged in his prayer to the Sunne. That Corporeal Light proceeded from an Incorporeal Nature. The Celestial[Pg 32] world participates of darkenesse, and of light, whence proceed all the faculties and powers that it brings it. And the elementary all of darknesse, designed for the reason of its instability by water. The Intelligible by Fire, because of its purity and light, and the Celestial by the Aire, where fire and water come to joine; the Earth by this reckoning, should remaine for Hell; as in truth this earthly habitation is nothing but a true Hell: But by Heaven Moses understood the Intelligible World, and by earth the Sensible, attributing the two higher elevated Elements, Aire and Fire, to Heaven, because they alwayes tend upwards, and Water and Earth, which for their gravity tend downward: but all that, by him was yet more mystically shadowed, as Zohar sheweth it, by the admirable construction of his Tabernacle, then which, there is nothing more spirituall. Gold, Silver, and pretious Stones, representing the Sensible world, and Bezaleel, that was the Conductor of the worke, the Intelligible, and the Workman filled with a Divine Spirit, with Sapience, Intelligence, Knowledge, and all the most accomplisht learning, as almost every word carries it, woven with Bezel, the shadow, and El God.

The prophane Poets have divided the Sensible World into 3, for they never tooke much paines to penetrate into the Intelligible: And assigned the superiour part thereof, from the circle of the Moone upward, to Jupiter, the low Terrestriall to Pluto, and the middlemost, which is from the Earth to the Moone, to Neptune: which the Platonists call the Generative Vertue, because of the humidity, impregned with Salt, which provoketh much to generation, according as the word Salacitas designes it, as Plutarch puts it in the 4 Question of Naturall Causes, and in his Treaty of Osiris: wherefore the said Poets attribute more fecundity to the said Neptune, then to all the other Gods.

Each of these 3 worlds furthermore, hath particularly its science, which is double; the one common and triviall, the other mysticall and secret. The Intelligible world to our Theologie, and the Caballe the Celestial to Astrologie and Magie; and the elementary, to the Physiologie and Alchymie, which revealeth by the resolutions, and separations of Fire, all the more hidden, and darke secrets of natures, in three kindes of the com[Pg 33]posed: for no man can know the composition of a thing that is ignorant of its destruction, saith Geber. But these three divine sciences have beene by the depravation of ignorant and evill spirits turned aside to a crying downe, that men durst scarcely speak thereof, but must presently incurre the bruite of being an Atheist, Witch, or a false money-coyner. We say then, after Empedocles and Anaxagoras; All this our reason disputes by a Journey of composition and resolution, going this way and that way, up and downe. That all the Elementary science consisteth in the mixtion and separation of the Elements, which is perfected by fire, to which Alchymy turnes all: As Avicen declareth very openly in his Treaty of l’Almahad, or Division of Sciences. And Hermes in that of his 7 chapters, Understand yee sonnes of the wise, the Science of the four Elements, whose secret apparition is no where signified, except they bee divided and compounded, because out of the Elements nothing is made profitable without such a Regiment; for where Nature ends her operations, there Art begins. Take such a composed Elementary, what you will, herbe, wood, or other the like, upon which, fire may exercise its action, and put it in an Alembic or Cornue. Cornue; first let them separate the water, and afterwards the oyle, if the fire bee moderate, if more pressed and reinforced, both together: but the oyle will swimme above the water, which may easily bee separated by a fonnel of Glasse. This water is called Mercury, which of it selfe is pure and cleane; and oyle, the sulphur, adustible and infect, that corrupts every compounded thing: In the bottome of the vessel will rest the Ashes, of which by a forme of lee, with water the Salt will bee extracted, and after you have withdrawn the water with Balneum Mariæ, as men call it: for the oily unctuosities do not mount by this degree of fire, no more doth the Salt, but much lesse; and the indissoluble Earths stript of all their humidities proper to vitrifie: for saith Geber, every private thing by its owne humidity doth performe none but a vitrificatory fusion. So there are two volatill Elements, namely the liquid, Water and Aire, which is Oyle, for all liquid substances naturally shunne the fire, which elevates the one, and burnes the other. But not those two which are dry and solid; which are Salt, wherein is contained Fire, and pure Earth, which is Glasse: over whom the fire hath no power but to melt and re[Pg 34]fine them. See there the four Elements redoubled, as Hermes cals them, and Raymund Lullius the great Elements; for as every Element consists of two qualities, these great Elements redoubled, Mercury, Sulphur, Salt, and Glasse, participate of the two simple Elements, (to say better) of all four; according to the more, or the lesse, of the one, or of the other; Mercury holding more of the Aire, to which it is attributed; Oyle or Sulphur, of the Aire; Salt, of Fire; and Glasse, of the Earth, who findes it selfe pure and cleane in the Center of all the composed Elementaries, and is the last to reveale it selfe exempt from others. Of this sort by the Artifice and operation of Fire, and of its effects, we depure all infections and filth, even to reduce them to a purity of incorruptible substance from this time forward; by the separation of their inflamable, and terrestriall impurities; for (saith Geber) the whole intention of the Operator, is versed in this, that the grosser parts being cast away, the worke may bee perfected with the lighter; which is to mount from the corruptions here below, to a purity of the Celestial world, where the Elements are more pure and essential, fire there predominating which is the chief of all others. Hitherto touching Alchymie, and wherein shee is versed.

Magick for the Celestial world, was in times past, a holy and venerable Science, which Plato in his Charmis cals the true Medicine of the soule; and in the first, Alcibiades puts it, that it was wont to shew the Elders of the great Kings of Persia, to teach them to reverence God, to forme their temporall domination according to the patterne of the order and policy of the Universe. But it is nothing else properly (as Orpheus saith) but a forme of marriage of the starry heaven with the earth, whither hee darts his influences, by which shee impregnes comming from the Intelligences who assist therein; and an application of agent vertues upon the passive, and that without the cooperation of Dæmons the most part, evill, false, and deceptive, yet some more then others; with which it is thought that the three wise Kings, Magi, that came so farre to adore Jesus Christ, were willing to have some acquaintance and commerce.

The third is that which men call Caballe, or reception, because men left it there verbally, and by mouth from hand to[Pg 35] hand, from one to another. It is divided into two, the one of Beresith, that is to say, of the Creation, that consisteth in the Sensible world, where Moses staid, without speaking of the Intelligible, or of separated substances. The other is of Mercavah, or of the Throne of God, which Ezekiel principally treats of, whose vision is almost all of fire. So much is this Element throughout the whole holy Scripture appropriated to Divinity, as one of the most perfect and neare symboles and markes in things sensible; by meanes whereof wee are so elevated, that by Jacobs Ladder, or Homers golden Chaine, we come to the knowledge of things spirituall and intelligible; for the invisible things of God from the Creation of the World, are clearely seene, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternall power and Godhead. For the world with the Creatures being there, they are a portraict of God; for the Creator is understood by the Creature; saith Saint Augustine; for God hath made two things to his image and resemblance, according to Tresmegistus: the world, therein to rejoice, and please our selves with the infinite brave pieces of worke; and Man, wherein hee set his most singular delight and pleasure, which Moses hath tacitely expressed in Gen. 1. & 2. where when there was question of creating the world, Heaven, Earth, Vegetables, Minerals, Animals, Sunne, Moone, Starres, and all the rest, hee did no more but command by his word, for hee said, and they were done; hee commanded and they were created. But in Mans formation, hee insisted much further therein then in all the rest, saith he; Let us make man after our Image and Similitude, hee created him male and female, and formed him dust of the earth, afterward breathed in his face the spirit of life, and hee was made a living soule. In which are touched 4 or 5 particularities. So Cyrill observes it. After the same manner then, as the Image of God is the world, so the image of the world, is man: therein there is such a relation of God with his creatures, that they cannot bee well comprehended, but reciprocally one by the other, for all the Sensible nature, (as Zohar hath it) in regard of the intelligible, is as that of the Moone, towards the Sunne, who thereinto reverberates its light: or as the light of a Lampe or torch, which parteth the flame fastned to the weik, which is therein nourished by a grosse matter, viscous, adustible, without which this splen[Pg 36]dor and light could not communicate it selfe to our sight, nor our sight comprehend it: And likewise the glory and essence of God, which the Hebrewes call Sequinah, could not appeare but in the matter of this Sensible world, which is an image or patterne thereof. And it is that, which God said to Moses, Exod. 33. You shall not see my face, you shall see my hinder parts. The face of God is his true Essence in the intelligible world, which no man ever saw, except the Messihe, I did set the Lord alwayes before mee, Psal. 16. 8. And his posteriour parts are his effects in the Sensible world. The soule likewise cannot bee discerned and knowne, but by the functions it exerciseth in the body whilst it is annexed thereunto: By which Plato was moved to thinke that soules could not consist without bodies, no more then fire without water. So that after long revolutions of times, they should come againe to incorporate themselves here below: whereunto adheres that in the 6 of Virgils Æneads.

All these when they have turned for many yeares,
God cals them to the floud of Lethe, by great troopes,
Being forgetfull that they must review the upper convexe,
And begin againe to bee willing to returne into bodies.

But this savours a little of new-birth, and Pythagorean changings of soules into bodies, in which Origen was likewise out of the way, as may be seene in his booke of Princes, and in Saint Jeromes Epistle to Avitus. But more sincerely Porphyrius, although in the rest an impious adversary, a Calumniator of Christianisme; that for the perfect beatitude of soules, they must shunne and fly all bodies. So that, when the soule shall bee repurged from all corporal affections, and when it shall returne to its Creator, in its first simplicity, it hath no great desire to fall againe into the hands and calamities of this age, when the option should be left unto it free.

From the Intelligible world then, it runnes downe into the Celestial, and from thence to the Elementary, all that which the spirit of man can attaine from the knowledge of the admirable effects of Nature, which Art intimates, in what shee can, whence by the revelation of these rare secrets, by the action of fire, the most part is magnified, the glory and magnificence of him who is the first motor and author thereof; for mans understanding according to Hermes, is as a Glasse where we come[Pg 37] to shave off, and to abate the cleare and luminous rayes of the Divinity, represented to our senses by the Sunne above, and the fire his correspondent here below; which inflame the soule with an ardent desire of the knowledge and veneration of his Creatour, and by consequent of his love, for men love nothing but what they know.

So each of these three worlds, which have their particular sciences, hath also its fire, and its salt apart: both which do informe us namely of Moses his fire in the heaven. And the Salt for its firme consistence and solidity to the earth. What is this Salt? aske one of your Chymicall Philosophers; a scorched and burned earth, and congealed water, by the heat of fire, potentially enclosed therein. Moreover Fire is the operatour here below, in the workes of Art, as the Sunne and Celestiall Fire is in them of that nature; and in the intelligible, the holy Spirit by the Hebrewes called Binah, or Intelligence, which the Scripture designes ordinarily by fire, and this spirituall fire, or igneal spirit, with the Chomah the verbe, where the Sapience attributes to the Sonne, Wisdome, the Artist of all things, taught mee, are the fathers operators. By the word of the Lord were the heavens firmed, and all their beauty by the spirit of his mouth; from whence that maxime of the Peripateticks differs not much. Every worke of Nature is a worke of Intelligence.

Behold the three fires, whereof we pretend to speake, of which there is none more common amongst us then the elementary here below, grosse, composed, and materiall; that is to say, alwayes fastned to matter; nor on the the other part lesse known. That which is of him, from whence he came, and whither hee goes; reducing in an instant all to nothing: assoone as his nourishment failes him; without which he cannot consist a moment, but goes as hee comes, being all in the least of his parts: So that he can in lesse then nothing, multiply to infinity, and in lesse then nothing empty it selfe: for one little waxe light will at pleasure enkindle the greatest fires we can imagine, without any losse or diminution of its substance:

Though they take a thousand, yet nothing perisheth:

And in the third of Saint James, Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth; yea one onely small sparkle of fire, would press in the twinckling of an eye, all the immense hollow of the Uni[Pg 38]verse, if it were filled with Gun-powder or Napthe and presently after will vanish away. So that of all bodies, there is nothing that doth approach nearer to the soule then fire, said Plotin. And Aristotle in his fourth booke of Metaphysickes, sets downe, that even to his time the most part of Philosophers had not well knowne fire, nor yet Aire to bee perceivable to our sight and feeling. But men may say the same, that neither Aristotle, nor other Grecians of his time knew so well the fire and its effects, at least wise not so exactly as did (so long while after) the Arabians, by Alchymie, on which all the knowledge of fire dependeth. The Ægyptians said, that it was a ravishing and insatiable Animal, that devoures that which taketh birth and increase, and at last it selfe; after it is therewith well fedde and gorged: when there is no more to feed or nourish it; for that having heat and motion, he cannot passe from food and aire to breath therein; if for want hereof, it remaines at last extinct, with that wherewith it was fed: All things proper to animate substances, and which have life, for life is ever accompanied with heat and motion, which proceeds from heate, rather then heate from motion; although they be reciprocalls, for one cannot be without the other. But Suidas thereupon formed such a contradiction, that not onely animals, but all that which take nourishment and encrease, tend to a certaine butt, whither being come, it stayes without passing any further, where neither nourishment nor increase of fire are limited nor determined; for the more is administred, so much the more it would have, and grow every day greater: for neither the one nor the other can be limited, as do these animals. Then by consequent it must not be put in their ranke; So that the motion of fire should rather be called generation, then nourishment or growth; for there is but that one element, that nourisheth and increaseth it. In the others, that which superabounds therein is by apposition, as if you would joine water to water, or earth to earth; you shall never do the same to fire, to thinke to make it greater by joining thereunto other fire, but by the apposition of matter, upon which it may bite and exercise its action, as wood and other like things, which perforce must turne into its nature, and so it augments it selfe. The Poeticall fictions relate that Prometheus went into Heaven to steale it to accommodate mortals; for which he was so grievously pu[Pg 39]nished by the Gods, as to remaine 30. yeares bound to a Rocke in Mount Caucasus, where a Vulter dayly eate up his entrails which did grow againe in course. Auror de roolle p. 61, in course, in order one after another.But it is to bee beleeved that the Gods that are so watchfull, and so affectionate towards mankinde, would not deny this so necessary a portion of Nature, without which the condition of their life were worse then that of beasts, as well for the boyling of their meats, as to warme them, and dry them, and infinite other necessary commodities. Besides of that which soares alwayes upwards, being of one celestial original, whither he aspires to returne, it seemes that this belongs properly to man.

Sith other things lookes downe unto the earth
It gave man a face, to looke up, and see the heavens,
To erect his countenance unto the Stars.

Almost all other animals do shun the fire, whence Lactantius to shew that man was a divine Animal, alledgeth for one of his most pregnant reasons, that hee onely amongst others used fire. And Vitruvius in his second booke, sets downe that the first acquaintances of men, were contracted by comming to meete, to warme themselves at common fires: So that the cause why God sent fire downe to men must bee, that by the meanes thereof, they are come to penetrate into the profound and hidden secrets of Nature: whereof they could not well discover, & know the manner of proceeding, for that shee workes so rarely: but by his counterfoote, which the Greeks call διάλυσις διάλυσις the resolution and separation of the Elementary parts, which are made by fire; whereof proceeds the execution almost of all Artifices, that the spirit of man hath invented; So that if the first had no other instrument, and toole, then the fire, as we may lately see by the discoveries of the West Indies; Homer in the Song of Vulcan sets downe that hee assisted with Minerva, taught men their Arts and brave Workmanship; having formerly beene accustomed to dwel in Caves and hollow Rockes, after the fashion of wilde beasts; willing to inferre by Minerva the Goddesse of Arts, and Sciences, the understanding and industry, and by the fire, Vulcan, that puts them in execution; wherefore the Ægyptians were accustomed to marry these two Deities together, willing thereby to declare nothing else but that from the understanding proceeds the invention of all Arts and Sciences, which fire afterwards effected, and brought from[Pg 40] power to action; for the Agent in all this world is nothing else but fire and heat, saith Johannicius, and Homer,

Whom Vulcan and Minerva knew.

Which was the cause (as may bee seen in Philostratus by the birth of Minerva) that shee forsooke the Rhodians, for that they sacrificed unto her without fire, to goe to the Athenians. Moreover Vulcan, according to Diadorus, was a man, who from an accident by a clap of Lightning, whereby a Tree was set on fire, first revealed to the Ægyptians the commodity and use of Fire: for being therewithall overcome, all joyfull of his light and heate; he thereunto added other matter to keepe it, whilest hee went to seeke the people, who afterward for this, deified him. Whereto Lucretius agrees,

Do not in these things tacitely and by chance require,
Lightning brought fire on earth to mortalls
First: thence all heate of flame was given.

The Greekes attribute it to Phoroneus, and put it, that it was neare to Argos. That fire being fallen from heaven there-about, it was afterward there kept within the Temple of Apollo; which if by chance it came to extinguish, they lighted it againe anew by the Sunnebeames; as also they did at Rome that of the Vestals. And in Persia their sacred fire which they carried ordinarily where the King marcht in person singularly reverencing it, for their respect to the Sunne, which they adored above all other Deities; for they esteemed it here below, their Image. They caryed it (I say) in great pompe and solemnity on a magnificent Chariot drawne by four great Couriers, and followed by 365 young Ministers, for as much as there are so many dayes in the yeare, which describe the Sunne by its course, clad with yellow guilded, the colour conformable to the Sunne, and fire, singing hymnes to their praise. And there was amongst them, no crime more capitall and irremissible, then to cast any dead carkasse or other uncleannesse therein, or to blow it with your breath, for feare to infect it, but they did it to give it aire, for in all this they hazzarded no lesse then life; as to quench it otherwise in water: So that if any one had perpetrated any grievous forfeit, to obtaine grace and pardon therein; the best expedient then was, as Plutarch puts in his first Treatise of the first cold, to put himselfe in running water with fire in the hand, threatning to quench it in the water if they did[Pg 41] not grant his request; but after hee had obtained it hee was not left unpunished for his offence, but for the impiety that hee had forethought to commit. And from thence it became a common proverbe mentioned in Suidas: I am a Persian, borne of Persian parents; what a strange Persian? yea Sir, for us to pollute fire, it is sharper then cruel death. But all this which may bee said of fire, and by the meanes thereof, hath not yet been revealed, nor knowne by men: Is there any thing more admirable then Gunpowder, so easy to make, and consisting of so few ingredients; and so common Sulphur, Saltpeter and coale? which seeme to have been mystically designed by the Ægyptians, by the three Celestial powers, whence they alledge Thunder, Lightning, Tempests, to be conducted and governed, Jupiter, Vesta, and Vulcan. By Vulcan, Sulphur; by Jupiter, Saltpeter, full of aire and winde, as Raymund Lullius puts it, who well knew it, and its nature, and its effects if he would have discovered them; and by Vesta Coale; as well for the Terrestreity that is in it, as for that it is incorruptible, being able to keepe it many thousands of yeares within the ground, without alteration or spoiling, which was the cause that they made a place and stage for it, in the foundation of the Temple of Diana at Ephesus: Saltpeter is appropriated to the Aire; because it is as of a meane disposition of nature, betwixt Sea water, and the Fire, or Sulphur, whereof it participates, for that it is so inflamable, and saltish, on the other side, resolving it selfe into moisture, and water, as the Salts do; from whence it hath bitternesse and acuity; and as the inclosed and retained aire, within the clouds, doth breake and lighten by the impetuosity of Thunder, the same doth Saltpeter: But this will come to better purpose hereafter in Salts. Moreover hee that can make powder composed of certaine proportions of Sulphur and Saltpeter, and in stead of Coale, with the Terrestrial scurf of Antimony, which must be separated by frequent and reiterated ablutions of lukewarme water; may come to an artificiall fire, not to bee disdained; of a powder, that will give a small report; ’tis true that it is not so impetuous and full of force, as the common. In regard of the invention of Gunpowder, the relations of China do cary, that by their ancient Chronicles it is found out, that they have had the use of it more then 1500 years. 1500 yeares; as also of printing. Roger Bacon, the famous[Pg 42] English Philosopher, who writ above 300 yeares agoe, in his booke of the admirable power of Nature and Art, sets downe, that with a certaine composition imitating lightning and thunder, Gideon was wont to feare his Enemies with. And yet that it is not formally as it is written in the 7 of Judges, yet it is said neverthelesse more then sixscore yeares before the divulgation of Gun-powder; see his word: furthermore there may bee made perpetuall lights and bathes, burning without end, for we have knowne many things that are not burned, but purified; but besides these, there are other stupendious things of Nature and Art; for sounds may be made in the aire, like thunders, and of greater horror then such as are made by nature. And a little matter adapted to the quantity of a thumb, makes a horrible sound, and shewes a vehement coruscation; and this may bee done many wayes, by which every City and Army may bee destroyed; after the manner of Gideons Artifice, who with broken pitchers and lamps, fire breaking out with ineffable fragor, destroyed the Midianitish Army, with only 300 men. These may be Granadoes and fire pots. And to be short, nothing could better agree on all points to Gun-powder; but these good men foreseeing the ruine that such things might bring, made too great conscience to reveale it. To the purpose of perpetuall fires, by meanes of most long durance; Hermolaus Barbarus in his notes upon Pliny, relates that in his time there was an old Sepulchre opened in the Territory of Padoua, and therein found a little Coffer, where there was a Lampe yet burning, although that according to the inscription it must have beene more then 500 500 yeares since it was lighted. So that by this reckoning, it should not bee altogether impossible to make fires, that will not be put out; for wee see the same in many sorts of that which men call Grec; whereof Aristotle as it is reported heretofore composed a Treatise, which could not bee quenched with water, chiefly Sea water, by reason of the fatty and unctuous Salt mingled therewith, but they grow worser, and waxe more fiery. But what hurt were there to stay thereon a little, since likewise it is a question of Fire: Of Acornes steeped in wine, afterward dryed and put in a mill so long till the liquor come forth, which afterwards accompanied with other oyles besmeared upon quicke chalc, Pumice stone, spectacle glasse, and Alum calci[Pg 43]ned together with Soap, and other the like things, that hold their adustible impurities in the bottome of a vessel, whilest that the oile by distillation mounts cleare, neat, and purified, and lesse inflamable; but this requireth a sufficient good fire; for the matches corresponding thereto, make them of cotten yearne besmeared within the Lee: then bath them in the oile, or liquor of Tartar, Saltpetring them over Alum plumed, intermingled with pitch, rozin finely bruised and beaten, or of Colophon. These fires of so long duration would seeme to us a thing fabulous, if wee were not ascertained by authentique Authors of that so famous a Lampe hung in a certaine Temple of Venus, where there burned without ceasing the Stone called Asbestus, which being once set on fire, never goes out. But some will say that that is also a fable; I will leave others to decide it, and I will tell you what befell mee, seeking nothing lesse then that, to meet with a substance, conducted thereunto, by graduall artifices of fire: which being bound fast within a Viall of glasse and sealed with Hermes his Seale, that no aire could any way enter in, might be kept 1000 yeares (after the manner of speech) in the bottome of the Sea: and opening it at the termination of so long a season, or when you shall please, you shall therein finde a suddaine fire, (which when it sents the aire) will light matches. We reade in the second booke of the Maccabees, chap. 1. vers. 20. that at the transmigration of Babylon, the Levites having hid their sacred fire in the bottome of a well or pit, 70 yeares, after they found there a thicke water and whitish, who assoone as ever the Sunbeames gave thereon, tooke fire.

These two Deities aforesaid, Pallas and Vesta, one and the other, chaste Virgins, as is also Fire; represent unto us the two fires of the Sensible world; that is to say, Pallas, the Celestiall; and Vesta, the Elementary here below, the which notwithstanding it bee more grosse and materiall, then that above, tends neverthelesse alwayes upward, as if it endeavoured to unmingle it selfe from a corruptible substance, where it remaineth fixed; to returne free and exempt from all these hinderances to its first Original from whence it came, as an imprisoned soule,

There is in them fiery vigor and celestiall Origin,
In seeds as much as our harmelesse bodies stay them,
And our terrene joints dull them, and our dying members.

[Pg 44]

The other on the contrary, though more subtill and essential rusheth out here below toward the earth, as if these two aspired incessantly to encounter each other, and to face each other, in the fashion of two Pyramides; whereof that above should have its basis planted in the Zodiack, where the Sunne perfects his annuall course through the 12 Signs: from the point of which Pyramis, comes to cast here below all that which is here procreated, and hath being, according to the Astrologers of Ægypt; that there is nothing produced in the earth, and in the water, which was not first sowed in heaven, which is there, as a labourer to cultivate it, and by his heate, impregned here below, with the efficacy of his influences, conducts the whole to its compleat perfection and maturity, which Aristotle also confirmes in his bookes of Beginning and Ending. But the fire here below on the contrary at the basis of his Pyramis, fastned to the earth, making one of six faces of the Cube, whereof the Pythagoreans give him the forme and figure, because of its forme, and invariable stability; and from the point of this Pyramis the subtill vapours mount upwards, which serve as nourishment to the Sun, and to all the rest of the Celestiall bodies, according as Phurnutus writeth after others. Men attribute (saith hee) inextinguished fire unto Vesta, peradventure for that the power of fire that is in the world, takes it nourishment from thence, and that from thence the Sunne is maintained and consisteth. This is that also, that Hermes would inferre in his Table of Emeraudes: That which is below, is as that which is above, and contrarywise, to perpetrate miracles of one thing. And Rabbi Joseph the sonne of Carnitol in his ports of Justice, the foundation of all the inferior ædifices is placed above, and their heap or top here below as a Tree inverted. So that a man is but as a spirituall tree planted in the Paradise of delights, which is the earth of the living, by the roots of his haires; following that which is written in the Canticles 7. The haire of thy head like purple, the King is bound in the Galleries.

These two fires then, the high and the low, who do know themselves, and so one another, have beene no lesse unknowne to the Poets, for Homer in the 18 of his Iliads, having placed Vulcans forge in the eighth starry heaven, where he is accompanied with his Artisans endowed with singular prudence, and who[Pg 45] know two sorts of workes, which were taught them by the immortall Gods, wherein they labour in his presence; Virgill in his 8 of the Æneads hath suffered him to set his shop here below in the earth, in an Island called Vulcanian.

Vulcans house, and by name, Vulcans earth.

To shew that there is fire in the one, and the other Region, the Celestial, and Elementary; but diversly: Men make moreover four sorts of fire; that of the intelligible world, which is all light; the Celestiall participates of heate and light; the Elementary of light, heate, and ardour; And the infernall opposite to the intelligible, with ardor and burning without light; we see Lanthornes upon Mountaines that burne on the inside, and other like called Vulcans. And it is a thing very admirable, as one of the Rabbins quoteth, that Sulphur & Pitch that are so ready and easy to take fire, and continue so little in their combustion being exposed to the aire, restrained neverthelesse within the Earths intrails, it seemes they there renew themselves, and multiply by their owne consumption, although their heat and burning bee there much more violent without comparison, then here above. According as wee may see in Mountaines that burn for so many continued ages, and hot Bathes. This seemes to emancipate from the common order of Nature by a secret disposition of Divine providence, who will have them continue so; till the scurf and impurity of this inferiour world be exterminate, with this infected stinking and corruptible odor; and to banish it from hence and send it backe to hell for the punishment and torment of the damned; whereof it is written in Psal. 11. 6. Upon the wicked hee shall raine snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest, this shall bee the portion of their Cup. This fire there, which is blacke, obscure, thicke, and dark, the more devouring and burning it is, resembles that of some great coales of stone, which conceive a most strong ignition, whereof it is spoken in the 20 of Job 26. A fire shall devour them which is not kindled. And more particularly in the 4 of Baruch 26. Fire shall come upon them from the everlasting to continue many dayes, and Devils shall a long time dwell there.

There where the Celestial fire is all clear and shining as a lamp, whose flame should bee nourished with water of Life, mingled with a certaine composition of Camphire, Salnitre, and other in[Pg 46]flamative matters. So that these combustible substances, whereof there are infinite varieties, may endure very long, but it is true that it will bee but a gentle and weak flame. And of the like, but more subtill without comparison, the Celestiall bodies are nourished and fed, that need but little nourishment, as approaching from spirituality. I can tell you, being at any other time brought, to make the fashion of a shining Sunne, in the darke, P. 72. Lamp. (it was a fire of a Lampe) so glittering, that a whole great Hall might bee therewith rather dazled, then lightened; for this did more effect then two or three dozen of great Torches, and yet in 24 houres used no more oile then I gave it, with matches corresponding thereunto, which held no more then a nut shell, for this was a Lampe of Glasse, plunged or dipped within a Globe of Crystall as great as a head filled with vinegar, distilled three or foure times; for there is nothing more transparent, nor more splendent. Sea water is also good thereto, and much better then fresh water, how pure soever it may bee; It it the Salt mingled among that gives it this luminous brightnesse.

But to returne to our discourse, some have thought that sith the Starres receive nourishment, they should also vanish in certaine periods of time, and others come in their stead; which were no other thing then a separation of their clearnesse and light, with their Globe of substance more grosse and materiall, by which they come to dissipate themselves, and to vanish within the heaven; as vitall spirits within the aire: whilest they are absented from some animated body, and leave it void of life. So that by this meanes, their Globe from this time forward would remaine darke as a Lampe, whereby light, which before gave it light, should bee quenched for lacke of nourishment, or other accident. This light or luminous fire is in the Starres, as the bloud is in animals, or juice in vegetables, whereto Homer seemes willing to grant in the 5. of his Iliads, where he puts, that for as much as the Gods do not live by bread and wine, as mortalls, but by Ambrosia and Nectar, so they have no bloud, but in lieu thereof, a substance which they call ιχὼρ ιχὼρ which is as it were a subtill saltish waterishnesse: hindering corruption in animals, and all other composed Elements; but wee must here a little better cleare this, for the great affinity that the Sunne and Fire have together: Wee must then understand, that the Sunne[Pg 47] arising by its attraction elevates the spirits of the earth, which are of two natures, (a moist vapour including, and a dry vapour included) are together exalted, (saith the Philosopher in the 5. of his Meteors) the one hot and moist, as is the Aire and Water, potentially; this which is properly called Vapour; the other hot and dry, of the nature and power of fire, called Exhalation. The first resolves into water, as raines, snowes, hailes, mists, fogges, and other such moist impressions as are formed of this vapour, in the middle Region of the Aire, for being grosse and heavy, they cannot mount higher, but afterwards being thickned, and congealed by the cold that resides there, they fall backe here below, more materiall then those which were not mounted from thence, and at last, all do resolve into water. The second, called Exhalation, is subdivided into three kindes; the first, more viscous, grosse, and heavy, is that whereof your fires are formed, which are called Castor and Pollux, otherwise Saint Herme; the foole fires, and the like, which cannot mount higher then the low Region of the Aire: the second is a little lighter, more subtill, and depured, penetrating even to the middle Region, P. 75. where thunders and lightnings are formed, the wandring starres, barres of fire, cheurons, and other such inflamations. The third, is yet more dry and light, and more free from unctuosity, almost of the nature of that Quintessence, which we observe in Aqua vitæ soveraignly depured: therefore it may mount not onely to the highest Region of the Aire, and that of Fire contiguous; but escape yet whole and safe higher then the Heaven, with which, for its greatest subtilty and depuration which it hath gotten in this long way, it hath a great conformity: For being come to the Globe of the Sun, it is there perfected to concoct and to digest into a pure and cleare light; for the nourishment, as well of it selfe, as of other starres; the same that Pliny toucheth in the 8 and 9 chapters of his second booke: So that the Starres receive all their light and nourishment from the Sunne, after that it hath been there concocted and fitted, and not by the forme of reflexion, as from its raies, which would lessen themselves either in water, or in a looking Glasse; for all that which participates of fire, hath need of nourishment. This is done as in the Animall, where the most pure bloud, comes from the Liver to empty it selfe through the Arteries into the[Pg 48] heart which conducts it to its last perfection for the nourishment of Spirits. But this must be understood, if these Exhalations and vapours finde issue atwhart the pores and spongiosities of the Earth, to evaporate upwards. Tuffe p. 76. a kind of white Sand, or soft and brittle Stone. But if peradventure it meet with Tuffe, or Sand, or the like lets, and hindrances, which do contradict them, or let them, they stay there and wax thicke, for procreation of minerals: that is to say, a hot and a dry exhalation, in the nature of Brimstone, and a moist vapour in the nature of Quicksilver; not vulgar, but a substance yet spirituall and full of fume, from the assembling of which two, in a subtill vapour, they come to procreate in themselves afterwards by a long continuance of time, metals, and meane minerals, according to the purity or impurity of their coagulated substances; and the temperature, defect, or excesse of the heat that recocts them in the entrails of the earth. Without going from my intention of the foresaid exhalations, I thought fit to touch a little upon an experiment whereunto I arrived by my industry, which I thinke will not be disagreeable. Take good old Wine, and put therein a certaine quantity of Salnitre, and Camphire, in a Platter upon a fire pan, within a Closet well firmed, that aire cannot enter, and make it evaporate therein, and that there be no more covering then the thicknesse of the backe of a knife, to give it so much aire as it must have, to make it burne. This being done, shut well your little window, that nothing may vapour out after you have withdrawne the dish, or platter, from thence to 10. 20. or 30. yeares; provided that the aire do not enter, and that the winde blow not in; bringing in thither a lighted waxe candle, you shall see infinite little fires capring as lightnings in the great heats of Summer, which are not accompanied with thunders and lightnings, nor with stormes, windes, and raines, having nothing but an inflamation of Aire, by reason of Saltpeter, and Sulphur, which are elevated from the Earth.

Before wee passe from our intention of vapours and exhalations, that no man doubts but do proceed from heat introduced within the earth by the continuall motion of the heaven round about, and of the Celestial bodies, whence light is accompanied with some heat that it darts thereinto: Let us come to the experiments next approaching to our sensible knowledge; wee[Pg 49] see, that the fire leaves two sorts of excrements, the one grosser, namely, Ashes; remaining in the bottome of its adustion, that containeth Salt and Glasse; and the two fixed and solid Elements, Fire and Earth: The other more light, and subtill, which the fume carries upwards; that is, the Soote, wherein are contained the two volatill and liquid Elements, called by the Chymists, Mercury and Sulphur, and by the Naturalists, Vapour, and Exhalation. By Mercury, is designed Water, or Vapour, and by Sulphur, Oile, and Exhalation; Of Salt and of Earths therein, there are found a very small quantity, yet sufficient, thereby to perceive how the four Elements are found out in the resolution of all the composed Elementaries: Take then the Soote of Chimney, but of that which shall mount highest in a very long Chimney pipe, and in the very top, where it must bee most subtill, thereof fill a great Cornue, or an Alembic two parts of three, then apply thereunto a great recipient, which you wrap about with linnen wet with fresh water. Give fire by small quantities, the water and the oil will distill together, although the water ought in order to issue out first. After that, all these two liquors shall passe through the Recipient, and when nothing else shall arise, increase your fire with faggot stickes well dryed, or other like, continuing it for 8 or 10 houres, so long that the earths which shall rest in the bottome bee well calcined: but for that they are in small quantity put to more Soote, and continue it as aforesaid, untill you have earth enough which you shall take out of the Alembic, which you shall put into a little earthen pot, of Parris, not smoothed, or in a little hollow pot. The water and oile, which you shall have distilled may be easily separated by a glasse fonnell, where the water will swimme above the oile: This done you shall rectify your water by Balneum Mariæ, by redistilling of it two or three times; for oile doth not mount by this degree of fire but by Sand; keepe them asunder upon the earths, that shall be calcined within the said pot or cruset, put their water thereon a little warme stirring it with a spit, so long till the Salt which shall therein bee revealed by the fires action, do totally dissolve it selfe into this Water; withdraw it by distillation, and the Salt shall bee left you in the bottome, of the nature of Salarmoniac, so that by pressing it, it will elevate it selfe. But of this more plainely[Pg 50] hereafter in its owne place, when we shall speake of Salt. Of Earthes wee need not take much care, for wee must seeke for the best in the Ashes, as also fixed Salt. So by the meanes of Water, extracted out of ashes (we will here a little passe from Soote, a little better to declare the subject of Earthes.)

In this Element the more grosse and materiall of all, which wee call Earth, we must consider three substances; the Hebrewes also have better distinguished them then we, by giving them 3 names, Erehs, Adamah, and Jabassah. Erehs is properly durt or mud, Jabassah sand, and Adamah clay, wash of the common earth with water, and powre it suddainly into another vessell, with the slime that it hath gathered; reiterate it so long, that there remaine no more in the bottome but Sand, in the Scripture called Arida: And his hands laid the foundation of the earth, Psal. 94. where he properly useth the word of laying a foundation, because that Sand is the subsistence and retention of the earth, where it is mingled with slime by a certaine providence of nature to strengthen it against the moisture of water, as wee see in Morter, where wee adjoine sand with chalke, for feare lest it melt, and dissolve into moisture. It serves also, to give it counterpoise, for that Sand is very heavy, A stone is heavy, and sand burdensome, or weighty, Prov. 27. But the slime is lighter, wherein minerals, vegetables, animals, are procreated, as wee see by experience, by putting pure slime to the Erthree; for in lesse then three weekes, you will finde therein small stones, herbs, wormes, and snailes, and other little beasts, producted therefrom. Of the nourishment remaining that these individuals shall bee, as that of Sand, deprived of all humidity; according to what wee see in Earths, which having beene too much cultivated, and sowed, without bettering of them, are reduced from being fertill, as formerly they were, and become sandy and sterill; for Sand produceth nothing, as wee see in Deserts and Sea coasts: whence comes this proverbe, (You plough the Sands) for a vaine and unprofitable labour: for of the two qualities, whereof each Element participates, there is one that is more proper to it, and the other appropriated: Drynesse, is the proper quality of the Earth, for that cold is more proper to Water: wherefore is it that the Earth, as aforesaid, is called in Hebrew Jabassah, and in Greeke ξηρός dry land; and God called the earth dry land. Slime[Pg 51] is more waterish; for of the grosseness of the water, earth was made, saith Hermes; as wee may see in snow, in hail, in raine, or with water so condensed, there is much slime mingled, of which (as aforesaid) every thing here in the earth below is produced. Man himselfe according to his body, was formed of this slime; and from thence it followeth that all the fertility of the earth comes from Water. God created all the buddes of the earth before they grew, and all the herbes of the field before they brought forth seed; for the Lord God had not yet made it to raine upon the earth, but a mist went up therefrom, that watered the whole face thereof. Or as the Chaldaick Paraphrast turneth it, Onkelos, in stead of source and fountaine, vapour and clouds, which are engendred from the vapours that the Sunne elevates here below to the height in the middle Region of the Aire, from thence to water the earth. But neither the slime, nor the sand, nor the clay on the other side, are not each by it selfe, nor reduced together, are this virgin and pure earth, that is shut up in the Center of all the composed Elements, that is to say, in the bottome of them, for that produceth nothing, because it is incorruptible: and that which cannot corrupt, cannot produce any thing that should be subject to corruption; as we see in Fire, Salt, and Sand, which are of the nature of Glasse, all substances not onely incorruptible for their respect, but which preserves from corruption, that wherewith they are mingled; witnesse herbs, fruits, flesh, fish, and other the like, which being salted or buried in Sand are thereby kept the longer. And in Mummies, of those that remaine choked and buried in the Sands passing the Deserts, which are preserved whole many suits of yeares, even as well, nay better then if they had been enbalmed. So that this earth is formed of two incorruptible substances, Salt, and Sand, by meanes of the water which is thereupon congealed; as wee see in this faire Crystalline Glasse, made of Salt, of glasse wort, amongst which they mingle sand to retaine it; otherwise, in the great sharpnesse of fire that it must indure, to worke therewith, it would all vanish into smoake; wee depure and refine it afterwards in cleare Crystalline, joining thereunto perigort, or sinople made of Lead.

Their are some that carry their Sand with them, as Foulgere, Charme, or Fouteau, firebrakes, charme, or beech, and some others.

[Pg 52]

But this comes better to our discourse, of Gold and Glasse, and some others upon the 28. of Iob, where speaking of Sapience, hee saith, that nothing can compare with it, nor Gold it self, nor Glasse. This Earth then, so excellent, and incorruptible, is not this vile and grosse Element, that we trample on, and cultivate to draw there hence our nurtriture and sustentation, but that whereof it is spoken in the 21. of the Revel. clear and transparent: I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth, and the holy City was of pure Gold, like unto pure Glasse, and the streets thereof were of shining and resplendent Gold: See how hee doth liken more then once Gold and Glasse, which is produced by the depurations of Fire: for that is the last action thereof, having therein no power but to refine and depure, as he doth Gold. Which the Sun produceth in long millions of years: To the imitation of that, the speculative understandings are forced by means of fire, to extract out of the corruption of these inferior elements, and their compounds and incorruptible substance, which was to them a modell and pattern of that, whereto the whole universe should at last bee reduced: from hence we here draw from Soot a representation and image of the works of nature, upon vapours and exhalations, whence Meteors are formed, and impressions from the middle Region of the Air, Water holding place of the waterish, and oil of the fiery, and inflamable, which oil is altogether impure, to bee adustible and unprofitable to the procreation of this Virgin Earth: called by some the Philosophers Stone, which so many ignorant avaricious men have sought for, but could not find because they sought it with blind eyes, darkened with a sordid desire of unlawfull gain: to make themselves on a sodain richer then another Midas, who at last got nought, but the ears of an Asse, and did not cherish it to praise and admire God in his admirable workes following that which is said in the 37. of Job, consider the wondrous works of God, for we cannot doe a greater pleasure to a workman, then to mark attentively, to admire and magnifie his works; nor a greater reproch then to scorn and slight them: And of such the Apostle in the 4. to the Ephes. speaketh thus, They have their thoughts obscured with darknesse, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, in respect of blindnesse of their heart: Take then this Oil so ex[Pg 53]tracted from Soot, and repasse it three or four times upon Sand; for it is one of those, that lasteth very long. And after the extraction of the Water and Oil, and the Calcination of the earths, that shall remain in the bottome of the vessell, cast your water thereon, and put the matter to putrifie ten or twelve dayes in dung: then draw back the water by distillation calcining at the end thereof the Earths seven or eight houres by the fires flame. Put again the water upon the Earths, putrified, distilled, and calcined, reiterating as abovesaid. For by means of water and fire, the Earths will be calcined, untill they have drunk up and retained all their water: or the greatest part: which will be done at the six or seventh reiteration. This done, give it the fire of sublimation, and it will elevate it self a pure earth, clear and Crystalline fastened in the Center. The water hath great proprieties and vertues, but this Earth hath yet more, whereof I will endeavour to speak more at large. There may be also Salt extracted by the dissolutions of its water and glasse, of the Earths that shall remain after the elevation of the said Virgin Earth. For every private thing by its proper humidity doth perform nothing but vitrificatory fusion, saith Geber. And there are here three: two volatiles, water, and oil, and the third fix’d and permanent; which is congealed, namely Salt: which beyond all other moistures expects the conflict of fire, saith the said Geber. For there is nothing more moist, and more unctuous then Salt, nor that better endures fire: Also all metals are nought else but fusible salts; whereunto they are easily resolved: common Salt melteth also, after it hath been recalcined, and dissolved, three or foure times, whereof wee will speake more plainly in its place.

I have here a little extended my self upon Soot, as upon a Subject, where rare secrets appear remarkable; & the same upon charcole, made of stone, and of that vitrification of sky colour, that remains of Iron whereof wee see great heaps in furnaces and forges, and being so dry, yet there may be water, and oil drawn therefrom: wee will yet say the same concerning Soot: Fire burning wood, or other adustible matter, chaseth away the waterish humidity, therein contained, and feeds it selfe with oil, or aereall substance. The terrestriall part, which are the ashes, remaining in the bottom calcined, where the Salt resides,[Pg 54] which thereby being separated by the washings, and dissolutions of the water, the remainder is nought but slime, which is drawn away by frequent ablutions, and the Sand remains at the last proper to be vitrified; observe in respect of one of the excrements of fire, which is not contented therewith, but by its impetuosity, and heat tending naturally upwards, carries on high with violence a part of the subtiliated substances. Coupelles. pag. 86. The little ashen pot, wherein goldsmiths melt and fine their metals. Let us adapt this to the Coupelles.

Wee see that part of the lead, from thence goes away in smoak as in the fire, whence Soot is procreated, a part thereof is burned, namely its sulphurous part, and part grows tough within the coupelles almost in the manner of Glasse or varnish. Of the two first volatils, there is no account to be made thereof, for they goe and disperse themselves. But bray the Coupelles where this vitrification is as it were baked, wash them well with warm water, to depure them from their grosnesse and uncleannesse, then put them into a descensory with a strong expression of a bellows fire with the Salt of Tartar and Salnitre, and there will fall down through a Metalline: which being recoupled with new lead you will find more fine, without comparison then at first, and ever from that time forward, more and more, by reiteration as abovesaid. So that hee, that would take the patience to boil the lead on a regulated and continuall fire, that should not exceed its fusion, that is to say, that the lead should therein remain alwayes melted and no more, putting thereto a small portion of quicksilver or sublimate to keepe it from Calcination, and to reduce it to powder: at the end of a certain time, you shall find that Lamwell hath not spoken frivolously to say that the six grain is contained in power with lead, (that is to say) gold and silver, would multiply and increase themselves as the fruit upon a tree doth.

But to return to these oils of long durance, whereof he might make a large volume that would run through not all but a part: Let him draw from the Tartar of wine, of which the best comes from Mompellier, even that which adheres unto the Tun. Coups a ruer. pag. 87. One which is very important, Tartar is one of the subjects, where those who practise in the fire, do find so many blows to cast. Take of this Tartar beaten into small powder and put it in a leaded earthen pot with clear fountain[Pg 55] water, upon a Trevet or furnace, making it boil easily and scum the villainies and filthinesse off with a feather: the silver Crusts that shall afterwards arise, gather them with a head of Glasse, where these grosse moules destang, of mudd, so long till they rise no more, renewing the water by measure when it comes to diminish. Turn it by Inclination, and put a part, that which rests in the bottom in the shape of Sand. Put again the Crusts in new water, make them boil gently as before, and gather together the Crusts that shall rise up more clear and lucent then the first, separating their dregs and impurities, if there be any presented, and reiterate this six or seven times, till your Crusts be clear and shining as silver or pearls. Dry them in the Sun, or before the fire upon a linnen, and put them in a cornue with an open breech, and a graduate fire reinforcing it by smalls: and through the beak of the Cornue, there will issue as a smal rivolet of milk, that will resolve into oil with the Recipient. Passe it once again, or twice upon Sand, or salt of Tartar: which is done by calcining of Tartar, within a pot of Earth of Paris, not leaded in a fire of reverberation, or in Charcoles: afterwards dissolve it, with hot water and filter, and congeal it, and there will remain white Salt which will resolve it self into a liquor called the oil of Tartar; or after it is well calcined let it resolve to it self in moisture. This Liquor is of great efficacy to quench and root out all sorts of wildfires. But of the sands that remain in the bottom, without being unwilling to rise in Crusts: there will be extracted another more exquisite oil and lesse adustible.

Tartar may be governed after another fashion. Wee insist therein in this respect, because it shews to have I know not what agreement with Soot: for as Soot is an excrement of fire, so are Tartar and lees, the same of wine, that have great affinity with fire. Take then of Tartar in Powder within a leaded earthen vessell, and cast hot water there on stirring it strongly with a stick; and letting it rest a little, put out the water; with that which it hath gotten from the Tartar: which is after the form of slime within another dish: and put new luke warm water upon the Tartar: reiterating as aforesaid so many times that the water may come forth neat & clear; which will be perfected at the fifth or sixth time. And in the bottom there will remain the foresaid sand, which being dryed dis[Pg 56]olves it self within the distilled vinegar, and not into common water. Aqua vitæ likewise dissolves in a little space, when the one and the other would take no more. Wash that which remaines, with common water, then dry it slowly, and having put it into a Cornue with a sufficient good expression of fire graduating it by small pieces, there will be extracted an odoriferous oil, as of aspic. one of Raimond Lullius his secrets: which is one of his principall keyes, and entries into Metallick dissolutions. Take the foresaid evacuations, and elevate the Crusts as aforesaid. There are too many things to speak of Tartar, and that which wee have now set down is not vulgar, but the rarest of our experiments; Of vinegar, after that the clear shall bee distilled, and that the white fumes shall begin to appear, which is his adustible oilynesse, put the dregs that shall remain (for you must have a great quantity) in a cellar or other fresh place, and in five or six dayes there will be procreated small Crystalline little stones; separate them from their residences, by ablutions of common water, and dry them; and you shall draw thereout an oil of no small importance, so great certainly and admirable are the substances, which the art of Fire extracts from Wine.

The most part of the oils that wee have touched on, heretofore, being adustible, are by consequent of a strong and troublesome odour, as smelling the burnt, when they burn, you must therefore set them in the Sun certain dayes, that is to say, to dry them in the Sun, and in the Air, to take away from them this fiery smell: for recompence we will here treat of some rare ones and of good agreeable odour. And in the first that of Been, which prefumers use, hath neither colour, odour, nor savour: and therefore it is susceptible of all those which you shall apply thereunto. Being repassed upon Sand to take away the fatnesse, it would bee of long durance, and without an ill sent, but it is too dear. As for oils of Olive, rapes or long turneps, chenevy, sesamum, but is rare in these quarters: and other the like which are drawn by the press, by means of the heat of fire: what repasses soever there may bee, yet they never desist to be of a good odour, but so much lesse, according as they shall bee depured and by the same means of longer durance: Oils of Sage, Thyme, Pepper and[Pg 57] other the like, drawn by an instrument proper thereunto, such artifices, are so divulged even unto Chamber maids, that I should bee ashamed to speak of: That of Benzoine is more rare, and lesse known, and more laborious to make. Take Benzoin thoroughly beaten to grosse powder, and put it into a Cornue with fine Aqua vitæ, which swimmeth thereover three or four fingers, and leave them so for two or three daies upon a moderate fire of ashes, that the Aqua vitæ may not distill, removing them every houre; this done, accommodate the Cornue upon the furnace with an earthen vessell full of Sand. Distill the Aqua vitæ, with a gentle fire, afterwards increasing it by degrees, there will appear infinite little aiguilles and filaments, such as in the dissolutions of lead and quicksilver. Lignum vitæ. The which sheweth sufficiently that Benzoin participates thereof: It whitens Copper, quickens Gold, and put in decoction of gayac, doth admirable effects, as also Tartar, which containeth much quick-silver. When then these veins or little aiguilles shall shew themselves, continue this degree of fire, and let them play within the Cornue a certain space, so long that all vanish away. In the interim have in a readinesse a little stick which may enter within the neck of the Cornue for these aiguilles will come thither to bring again as in an mouelle, and if you take them not away speedily the vessell will break when this Gumme or Mouelle shall bee all past, with a certain form of butter, which will cast it self afterwards within the Recipient, the oil will begin to distill fair and clear, of an hyacinth colour, and fragrant odour: after which reinforcing the fire, there will issue out another more thick and dark, which you must receive apart. This Gumme or white marrow, which you shall have drawn out of the neck of the Cornue, wash it with the Aqua vitæ which you distilled therefrom, in the beginning, which shall extract therefrom a tincture or Citrine colour, as Saffron, and shall leave the Gumme very white, and of a most agreeable smell, fit to make Pater Nosters of sents, of such a colour as you will please to give it: withdraw your Aqua vitæ by a bath, and in the bottome there will remain a yellow Tincture of a good sent likewise, which hath great proprieties and vertues. The black oil is, a soveraign balm against all hurts: and of the remaining earths a Salt of great efficacy. Thus you have of Benzoin five or six substances, a white Gomme, with its yel[Pg 58]low Tincture, the two oils and Salt.

Aqua vitæ which is its principall manifestation, and without which nothing would bee done therein, there is also Storax, Calamint, Ladanum, Myrrh, and the like Gums, out of which oil is extracted by the means of the carriage of Aqua vitæ, and therein you must proceed as in Benzoin: But there are not so many things to mingle together: Out of Myrrh there is likewise extracted a liquor, very proper to take away all spots and marks remaining of scabs, or pox and other like accidents. Take hard Egs, and cleave them in the middle, take away the yellow, then fill the hollows with grains of Myrrh, and cover them again with the other half: Leave them three or four dayes in the clear and in the air, where the Sun comes not: and they will resolve themselves into a liquor like unto hony, or thick dew, frankincense likewise doth the same.

Out of Sulphure also there may bee drawn an adustible oil by opening it, with Aqua vitæ, and also by other wayes. For Sulphur hath in it two substances, the one inflammative, the other not, but aluminous and vitriolique: whence proceeds this liquor which is called oil of Sulphur: which hath yet greater properties and vertues then the oil of vitriol, which is more caustick and burning: as well against evill inward affections, as in Cankers and ulcers of the mouth, tooth ach, cankers, and other the like, where it works more moderately.

Take then first a match of Cotten yarn of the bignesse of your little finger and two els long, which you shall besmear with molten wax and with Turpentine, as to make waxe Lights.

Take on the other side a pot of Paris earth leaded, wherein you shall put a bed of sulphur enough grossely beaten, and thereupon lay a round of your foresaid matches, untill the pot be full, on the top whereof, you shall leave a little end of your Match to light it: (fine musket match is very good also). Put your pot under a chimney and hang thereupon an Alembic Cap, whose mouth should relate to that of the pot. But you must first besmear and crust over the clay to the thicknesse of a thumb: you must not join it just to the pot, but that there may be an inch opening betwixt them. Light the Match, and make the Sulphur burn, which will cast from it a small white fume, which will adhere within the Cap and from thence it will resolve into a[Pg 59] liquor of peach color, that will fall into the Recipient, when you have to such an end, applyed it to the beak of the Cap: But this will do better in soft weather with south winds and d’aval, and not in dry weather.

Wee have long insisted on these oils, as well for that they are produced for the most part out of the action of fire, of which there is here a question as for that nothing is nearer of kin to fire, then fatty oils, unctuosities, pitch rozin, and black Turpentines, Gums, and other like Inflammative substances, that are the true food, and nourishment thereof: And for that we are so far embarked therein, there will be no hurt, here in one train to prosecute something of the Artifices which are commonly called Grecian fires, whereof there are many sorts, that cannot bee quenched with water.

The foundation of them are Sulphur and Bitumen, black pitch, and rosin, Turpentine, Colophone, Sarcocoll, oils of Lin, petroll, and Laurell, Salt-Peter, Camphere, Tallow, Grease and other unctuosities facil to conceive flame: Of these Greek fires Plutarch speaketh in his Treatise of not lending upon usury: & more lately by Zonaras, in his 3. Tome in the life of Constantine the Pogonate where it is said that in the year of our Lord 678. the Saracens being come to besiege Constantinople, an Ingenier by name Callinicus brought an Artifice of certain fire, by means whereof the Saracens Fleet was defeated: But Gunpowder, and the artifices that may bee made thereby, hath slubbered them all; whence consisteth the most part of our artificiall fires, pots, and fire pikes, circles, granadoes, sauciges, petards, fuses, and infinite other the like, which we pretend not here to specifie in particular.

Take then a pound of Salt-Peter, 8. ounces of Sulphur, 6. ounces of Gunpowder, incorporate them together for Granadoes, and fire-pots, which make great noise in the breaking. But to tye fire to wood, and other inflammative matters, mingle a pound of pitch, rosin, a quartern of black pitch, 3. ounces of Colophon, and 5. of Sulphur, bruise the Gums, and cast into the melted Sulphurs, when it is cold beat them again, and moisten them with oil of Bayes, or linnen. There is another composition much more violent, but more dangerous.

Melt a pound of Sulphur within a leaded earthen pot, and put therein by little and little, but discreetly, a quartern of powder[Pg 60] grosse grained, with as much salt Peter, stirring them often with a rod of Iron. Take them off the fire and let them dry. This mingled with the aforesaid Artifices wil work wondrous effects. Some mingle also a little beaten glasse, which coming to be warmed, rewarms consequently the matter, when it comes to flame: whose heat makes it stronger, and of longer durance. Camphere serves to make it burn in the water, as likewise all other greases do, and above all oil of brimstone, drawn by a bath, then which there is nothing more subtible or inflameable. But it would bee too tedious to penetrate into the ruins of mankind, of which there would bee no end, if a man should runne through them all.

Therefore let us return to our left purpose, of two fires. That above, designed by Pallas and Minerva, and that below by Vesta. Which although they be so far distant, yet fail not to have such an affinity together, that they easily transmute one into the other: for the Sun beams are illightned by fire, by reason of a viall filled with water, as Plutarch relate in the life of Numa. Where from a burning looking glasse, of which I remember that I saw one so puissant, in the States of Orleans, that in lesse then nothing, and yet in the moneth of Ianuary, it set a fire the staffe of a torch, and the fire contrariwise by many conveyances and contrivings from the top to the bottom, and through the sides in many circular revolutions, as in those of a Labyrinth, and in furnaces which they call a Tower, its heat comes to be so moderated, that it passeth into a naturall heat, vivifying, and nourishing in stead of burning, baking or consuming: And with such a fire I can say that there were hatched at Rome, at one time more then 100. or 120. Chickens, the Egs being therein couved and setled as under a Hen.

The Persians and Vestalls fire at Rome reverenced as well by the one, as by the other, as very holy, was very carefully entertained. Touching the Persian, Strabo in his 15. Book writeth that the Magi had a custome to conserve it under ashes, before which they went every day to make their prayers and devotions, which is not without some mystery. The ashes denoting the sensible world and the body of man which it represents: being nothing else but ashes: and the fire therein inclosed and covered, the sparkle of life, wherewith it is animated and vivi[Pg 61]fied. Coals kept in Juniper for the space of a year. These ashes furthermore, must be of some gummy trees, to make it of longer durance: namely, of Juniper, wherein I heretofore have kept living coals, more than a year, heaping up bed upon bed within the ashes, being all lock’t fast within a little barrell that no air may enter; and this is that which is meant in the 120. Psalm. 4. ver. with Juniper coals, according to the Hebrew, in place of uncomfortable. With these burning coals the Persians came to light the luminaries of their Temples when they came to be extinguished. But the Vestals in case their fire should extinguish, as it sometimes happened, it was not lawfull for them to light it again, but must draw it from the Sun beams: And did not only attend that it should quench of it selfe, or by some casuall accident, but they renewed it yearly, the first day of March from that of heaven, as Ovidius observes tertio Fastorum.

Adde that new fire was made in the secret house
and the renewed fire took force.

Which Macrobius also toucheth in his second of Saturnals, 12. chap. The first day of March the Vestals lighted a new fire on the Altar of the Goddesse; that by the renewing of the year, they should renew in themselves their care of keeping it from going out. Saint Augustine in his third Book of the City of God, 18 ch. In what reputation (saith he) this sacred fire was at Rome, men may know by this, that when the City was a fire, the grand Pontifex Metellus, for fear that this strange fire should not mingle with the other, put himselfe in danger to be consumed by the flames, to make it retire. So that there is nothing more conformable to the tenth of Leviticus. That if these poor blind people, which took the Symbols and Mysteries of Religion but superficially, and from the bark, as do also the Jewes, from whom they borrowed all their important Traditions, had known that which was covered and prefigured thereunder, what accompt is there to beleeve that they made thereof? Some do alledge that this sacred fire of the Vestals, was illuminated by means of fusil, bruising two pieces of wood one against another, or in piercing them with a borrier as Festus would have it, and Simplicius upon the third Book of Heaven, according to Aristotle. Plinie in the 16. Book, 4. chap. Men rub two woods one against another, from whence fire is forced; which is received in by a bait made of[Pg 62] dryed leaves and put in powder, or in the match of the touchwood of a tree. But there is nothing, which doth better conduce thereunto, then Ivy beaten or bruised with Laurell; the same is of late more practiced by the Savages of the West Indies, as Gonzale d’Ovidiedo in his natural History of those quarters, lib. 6. cap. 5. binding (saith he) two dry slicks hard one against another, and putting betwixt their juncture the point of a rod well rounded, which they rub thick and thin betwixt the hands, so long till the fire by rubbing, and the rarefaction of the air that followes them may lighten them. Of this new relightning, to shew us, that we must renew and be borne again to a better and more praisable life, not farre different from the Ceremonies of the Christian Church, when on the Eves of Easter, and Whitsontide, at the Benediction of Springs and Fountains, they make a new great wax Taper, wherewith all the other luminaries are set on fire.

Touching Moses fire, it was first sent from Heaven, and lasted to the construction of Solomons Temple, which was again renewed from Heaven; and maintained to King Manasses his time, when the Jewes were carryed captives into Babylon, which the Levites kept in the bottome of a Well, where it was found again at their return 70 years after, in the form of a gluish and white water, as hath been said heretofore. Pausanias to the Corinthians, sets down, that in the dayes of Antigonus son of Demetrius, there appeared a fountain of warm water near to the City of Mathana, but from the beginning it appeared not in water, but in great flames of Fire which were resolved into hot and salt water. Saint Ambrose yet discoursing upon this water of the Levites, in the third of his offices, sets down, that this doth sufficiently demonstrate, that this was a perpetual fire which could not be taken from another place, to shew that they must not acknowledge any other God, or other religion, and ceremonies then those that were established by the inspiration of the holy Spirit designed by fire; for we may see what the children of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, found in the 10 of Leviticus, being willing to take upon them to offer strange fire unto God. Then all false doctrine, idolatry, heresie, and impiety, may be called strange fire, that devours the soul as a feaver doth the body, with the life that maintains it; there where this true fire sent from Heaven, is that of the holy Spirit,[Pg 63] which salteth our hearts and consciences, that is to say, preserves them from corruption, according whereunto the Prophet Jeremie spake in his 20. chapter when he had received it. Then it was made as a burning fire in my heart, and shut up in my bones, and I was weary in forbearing and could not stay. That the Holy Spirit should not be only light, but very fire, Esay doth manifest chap. 10. 17. And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his holy one for a flame. For even so as the burnings, which are a potentiall fire, composed of igneal and burning salts, work not upon a dead part, insensible, and deprived of Natures heat; so the holy Spirit doth not exercise its actions upon cold languishing hearts, that make no account of its ticklings, and invitations, but shew themselves contumacious and refractary; just so as the heat of the Sun, and of the fire, but more and more hardens earth, and clay, in stead of softening it, and melts it as they do wax, butter, and grease. For the acts of Actives are in the disposition of the Patient, where we see fire does divers effects in disagreeable subjects, but not wholly contrary, and directly opposite; as when it blacks a coal, and white chalk where its vertue is imprinted, but all to the contrary; for fire by custome is extinguished by water, it is it, that in this respect inflames and renewes that which was imprinted and hidden in the chalk: whence a fair meditation is presented; that as fire is the symboll of life; water (that is its contrary) and extinguisheth it, must be of consequence the symboll of death; water naturally tending downwards, and fire upwards, wherein consisteth life.

Strabo to this purpose in his 15. Book, speaking of the Brachmans, sets down, that which we call death, to be renewing of life, and that this temporall is but a conception as it were, and a carriage which comes about the end of its term, to bring forth to death, to passe from thence to eternall life. Which Seneca imitates in the 103 Epistle. The day that we fear so much, as the last of our life, is a renascence of an eternall day; let us then chearfully leave behind that which serves for nothing but a tedious charge. Why do we so much turn our backs, as if we had not been before this first frail body, in which we remain included and hid? we struggle and temporize therein, to the best of our power, and not without cause, for we have been forced out by a endeavour of our mother in bearing us; and we weep and lament when[Pg 64] we arrive to this, which we think to be the last day, but to complaine, cry, and weep, are they not marks and tokens of one that is to be borne? And a little more Christian-like, although a little before; I will lay down this body where I have found it, and clothed it, and will render my self above to the immortall Gods, although I am not without them at this present, but whilest I am detained here within this grievous masse of earth, in the low abode of mortality, my sensuality will fight and combat against this other better and longer life. Now as we have been for nine or ten months, shut up within our mothers belly, not to prepare therein for it selfe, but at last, to come to this place, whither we ought to be sent, when we should be perfectly accomplished and made fit to breath, and remain openly out of this closet, where we were formed. In like manner during the space that we have run through from our infancy to old age, we dye to go whither another originall attends us, and a new state of things. All this doth in nothing derogate from the Traditions of our Church, who celebrated for the nativity of Martyrs the day of their death and martyrdom.

To conclude then, that which was heretofore said of fire, and of the four worlds; that of the Intelligible is all luminous; of the Celestiall, shining, and hot, by reason of its motion; of the Elementary here below, shining, hot, and burning; and of Hell nothing but burning. So these three proprieties of fire, to light, to warm, and to burn, though the effects be divers and strange, and the operations almost infinite, only of the elementary to begin with that which is nearest to our senses. Rabbi Elchana greatly honoured amongst the Hebrewes, sets forth, that out of the 10 fingers of the hand, being addressed and conducted, by the understanding, may proceed more different sorts of works then there are stars in Heaven, the most part whereof come from the action of fire, on which almost all labouring instruments do depend. Fire principally served the first men, who had nothing but it for all working instruments. In regard of its motion, we may sufficiently see, that there is nothing more glistring and moving then the fire, which is the very cause of all motion. Take away heat, there will be no motion, saith the Chymicall Philosopher Alphidius, and this motion is accompanied with depuration, for fire will have none but pure things, according to[Pg 65] Raymond Lullius. For it is not only the pure substance of all others, but it purgeth, mundifieth, and cleaneth all that, upon which it can have Action, of that which therein may be corruptible. The Lord will wash away the filth of the children of Israel, by the spirit of burning, Esay. 4.4. wherefore the Greeks call ἁγνισικὸς, Purging. So that the Καθαρμὸς or Κάθαρσις purifying, was not made but by fire, as the solemn annuall feast of Candlemasse witnesseth. And in all the Eastern Churches, when they would say the Evangel they burn great Tapers, as we do upon the day of Purification, and that for token of joy and rejoicing, whereof fire is a symbole; and according to that, we make two fires upon the feast of Saint John Baptist, conformable to that, in the first of Luk. 14. Many shall rejoyce at his birth; and fires of joy, in some happy successes of victories, at the birth of Kings children, and the like occasions of alacrity.

We have alledged heretofore, out of the 31. of Numbers 23 that which is said of fire and water, the two purifying Elements, whereby in our baptisms we are accustomed to put a little piece of wax light or match, which they make the Creature to hold when they hold it over the font, the Church being thereby regulated by the pillar of fire which garded the Israelites, and the cloud (baptismall water) by day, whereunto sutes that of Saint John, in the 3. of Matthew, That in respect of himselfe he baptized with Water unto repentance, but he that commeth after, shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with Fire, to the remission of sinnes; for fire is a mark of the Holy Spirit, by which grace is conferred, and descended upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, in the form of fiery tongues, Act. 2.3. The Stoicks, although too superstitious therein, made great account of this Element, which they said, was I know not what living thing, the most wise Fabricator of the whole universe, and of all that which is contained therein; to which purpose, as I alledged before out of the 7. of Wisdome 24. that Wisdome the Artist of all things taught me, that it is more moving then motion, for she passeth through all things by her purenesse. Wherein two properties of fire are attributed to Wisdome, Motion, and Purity: And in summe esteemed it to be a God, according to which Saint Augustine in his 8. Book of the City of God, 5. chapter sets down Zohar according to his high elevated contemplations al[Pg 66]ledging upon Exodus this passage of the 7. of Daniel 9. The Throne of the ancient of dayes, was flames of fire, and a River of fire running lightly issued from his face, his vestment white as snow; saith, that within this shining river of fire, were washed the vestments of the souls that mounted on high, and repurged themselves there from the old scum of the Serpent without consuming it selfe, which did but clear it self from the old filth that it had there gathered. And this is very properly said because we see by experience, that greases are not cleansed, but by other grease, which carries one the other, as doth Soap and Lees, which consists all of grosse and unctuous salts; for if those were not, they would not bite upon unctuosity and fatnesse; witnesse simple water, which doth nothing, by reason of the contrarieties of their natures, which do not suffer them to be able to joine and unite. And where there is no mixtion, there is also no alteration, because that which doth not enter, doth not change (saith Geber:) So that Salts being in the nature of Fires, have from them their proprieties and effects, that is to say, to purifie and cleanse all ordures and uncleanness. For as Salt (the same Zohar pursues it) hinders putrefaction, to which every corruptible thing is subject; so the Fire of Gods love, and of Gods knowledge, which is illightned in the soul, repurging it from all corporall coinquinations, causeth, that after it hath been duly purged and cleansed, it remaines for ever in its purity, for as much as fire devours and consumes the filthy scumme thereunto fastned, cloathing it selfe with a new and pure fire, which it could not otherwise do. For if it were not so assisted with this pure fire, the Cherubin which is committed to the keeping of the Gate of the City of Delices, with a fiery sword, to forbid the approach to the tree of Life, would not permit it to enter therein; from whence the curiosity of tasting of the knowledg of good and evill excluded our forefathers, and us with them hereditarily.

Hitherto Zohar, then which nothing could seem more conformable, nor which carryed it selfe better to our subject. Every man shall be salted with Fire, and every Sacrifice with Salt. For to salt, in this regard, to cleanse, and purifie, are but one thing, as also to salt, and to burn, because of their consemblable effects. Burne my reines and my heart; where burning, is put for repurging and cleansing, according to the Hebrew, and the Chaldee; and in the 13 of Zachary 9. I will burn them, as silver is burned. To[Pg 67] which sutes also that which the Apostle writ in the 1 Cor. 3.12. If any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, pretious stones, or wood, hay, stubble; Every mans work shall be made manifest, for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every mans work of what sort it is. If any mans work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any mans work shall be burnt, he shall suffer losse, but he himself shall be saved, yet so, as by fire. Saint Augustine, citing this place throughout the whole scope of his works interpreteth it in the 21. of the City of God, 26. chap. for the vanities which men have too narrowly embraced in this age, which we shall not enjoy in another, but they must be abolished and defaced by the repurgation of fire; for that which he had not without provoking love, he shall not lose without burning grief. And at length shall be saved as by fire, because nothing shall be able to remove it from this foundation upon which it shall be built. S. Ambrose to the same purpose, in his third Sermon upon the 118. Psal. As good gold, even the very Church when it is burnt, receives not detriment, but its lustre and resplendency encrease more and more. The Persians esteemed that when they voluntarily burned themselves, the soul remained thereby repurged from all iniquities & misdoings, which consumed by the flames as touching the body, which had power to move the Indian Calanus and some others to come from thence, (for God would not that we should advance our dayes by one moment) who, at the time they receive him, he washeth us, and cleanseth us from all preceding faults. Whereby some abusing themselves thereby, attended to receive it as slowly as they could; and others baptized themselves for those which were already deceased. In Æthiopia one who had conspired against the proper person of their Neguz, or Emperour, by baptizing himself thereupon, before he was imprisoned, remained quit.

So the proprieties of fire, are in the first place to shine and lighten, and that is, by it, common to the Sunne, but it is thereby much surmounted. And afterwards to warm, digest and bake, which this luminary doth also primitively, as we may see in that the Earth produceth, but for that the naturall heat doth not bring them wholly for our use, to the last and perfect degree of maturity, fire for the most part supplyes its wants, and defaults; for the regard of the concocting of what we eat, for we[Pg 68] hardly thereby make our profit being raw, there where it is baked in the fire, it becomes of more facil digestion, and lesse corruptible, as having lesse of crudities; afterwards the fire separates strange things, and not alike, and after, having taken away the corrupting superfluities, namely the waterish humidity, which it driveth out, and the oily unctuosity, which it burns and consumes with the terrestrieties that remain, at last it doth gather together in a new composure, the pure homogenealities; which composure, then consisteth of soul, body, and spirit, from now forwards inseparable, and incorruptible, which relates to the three worlds, the soul to the intelligible, the spirit to the celestiall, and the body to the elementary; but this is not a reasonable soul, or sensitive, nor a vitall spirit, such as is in animals; but substances equipollent unto them: which may be seen in glass, which is an image of the Philosophicall Stone. Whereupon Raymond Lullius enquiring of the confection of the said Stone, and how men may attain thereunto, made answer, hee that knoweth to make glasse, because their manner of proceeding are alike; and such ought that pretious substance to be, which Hermolaus Barbarus in his Annotations upon Plinie, and Appian, in his disquisition of antiquities, alledgeth to have been found in an old Sepulchre, in the Territory of Padua, not above a hundred years since, having this Distique with two others.

For he shut in with great labour, the digested Elements
under this small vessel; greatest Olybius.

The Roman Morienes to Calid King of Ægypt on his Treatise of Metallick transmutation. Whosoever shall know well how to neatify, and whiten the soul, and make it mount on high, and can well preserve its body, and take therefrom all obscurity and blacknesse, with the evill smell, she may then replace it in its body and in the hour of their rejunction great marvels will appear: yet Rhases in his Epistle. So every soul doth reconjoin to its first body: which in any other manner cannot be reunited to another, and from thence forwards shall never separate; for then the body shall be glorified, and reduced to incorruption, and to a subtilty and brightnesse unspeakable. So that it will penetrate all solid things what soever they be; because its nature shall be such, as of a Spirit: that which he borrowed out of Hermes, it shall penetrate every subtill thing. An admirable thing that these[Pg 69] Chymicall Philosophers under the vaile and curtain of this Art, treating wholly about things so materiall as are metals, and that which depends thereon, with their transmutations by fire, have comprized the most high secrets of Intelligibles and even of the resurrection, whereunto it seems this would seem to strike, wherein bodyes shall be glorified and reduced as into a spirituall Nature, against which no spirituall obstacle can contradict, nor hinder its actions; from this the Apostle in the 15. of the 1. to the Corinthians doth not much vary, It is sown a naturall body, it is raised a spirituall body. There is a naturall body, and there is a spirituall body: howbeit, that was not first which is spirituall, but that which is naturall, and afterwards that which is spirituall. I know moreover, an Artifice whereunto I have obtained in divers subjects, that burning an herb, the salt extracted from these ashes and sowed in the earth, a like herb will grow therefrom. But this burning must be made in a very close vessel, wherein we shall say more hereafter about Salt, and yet we will yet bring further another of our experiments which ought not bee disregarded. Of three liquors swimming one above another without either mingling or confounding together, what mingling soever they be; that they may not return into their residence and separated: to represent the four Elements in a little vessel of glass, or a little black enammill grossly beaten will hold place of earth in the bottom, water will do thus, Take calcined Tartar, or gravelled ashes, which is almost the very same thing, and let them go to the moist air taking the dissolution that shall be made thereof, the clearest that you can, and mingle therewith a little blew stone, to give it the colour of Sea water. Note here a maxim, and let this be said by the by, for those that exercise themselves in the Spagirique, that in one of these resolutions into moisture, which are made by themselves, all salts and alums, do depure and subtiliate, more then 12, or 15. dissolutions made with vineger and other like dissolvants.

Every thing that dissolveth it selfe, is of the nature of Salt and Alum, as Geber saith, For air, take fine aqua vitæ which you shall turn into a Celestiall blew, with a little turnsol; and for fire, the oil of Been, but for that it is more rare, take of Turpentine oil, which is made thus, Distill common Turpentine in Balneo Marie, there will mount up together both water and oil, so white[Pg 70] and transparent, the one as the other: but the oil will swim above the water; separate them by a glasse fonnell, and dye this oil, into a fire colour, with Orchanet and with Saffern. The three liquors will never mingle, what ever trouble you use to them; but will separate themselves distinctly, into lesse then nothing, by swimming one above another: Of the Turpentine, that remains in the Alembique, you shall extract it by Sand, in a Cornue with a stronger fire, then by the bath, a thick red oil, which is most excellent balm: water and oil extracted by the bath are very serviceable also, in many accidents of Medicine and Chirurgery; only the white oil will make scars quickly fall away without pain, or evill impression. But if with the water of the said Turpentine, you dissolve salt of lead, you shall have yet a more Soveraign balm. But we must a little better clear this: for sith we treat here of fire, and of its effects, what hinders but that we may extend our selves at length upon many things which our long labour and experience have acquired? This oil of lead, was one of Raymond Lullius, his great secrets: & of many other excellent personages, who have as it were made conscience to remember it: for this hath been to them an entry of more admirable works. Some, as Riply, & others, have taken the minium of lead, but it is too easie, & of an uneasie resolution, as also ceruse & calcined lead. For my part I have found litharge, which is nothing else but lead, for a pound of litharge, you shall extract 14. or 15. ounces of lead: put them into powder, and poure thereon distilled boiling vinegar, stirring it strongly with a staffe, and sodainly the vinegar will charge it self, with the dissolution of litharge: Evacuate the clear, and reiterate with new vinegar, so long till all the litharge be dissolved: Evaporate the vinegar, which shall be unsavory as the water, untill the salt shall remain congealed in the bottom. Take thereof a good quantity, and put thereof within your Cornue, as much as it will hold half full: and put it on the furnace with an open breech: in the beginning with an easie fire chasing away that which therein may appear a remainder of strange humidity: And when the white fumes shall begin to appear apply thereunto a Recipient big enough, and lute it well in the Jointures; after reinforcing your fire by little and little untill it become a very great one, and the Cornue buried in the ashes, you shal see issue as a little continued torrent after the fashion of a[Pg 71] filet of oil, but white as milk, and could as ice, which will come within the Recipient to resolve into an oil of the colour of an Hyacinth, and odoriferous, as that of Aspic. Continue the fire till there comes no more out of the Cornue, and leave it there to settle, al the night long. So now this secret oil, whereof that which Raimond Lullius never more expresly said was towards the end of his short Epistle, in these very terms. Out of black lead is extracted the Philosophers oil, of a golden color, or as it were: and know that there is nothing in the world more secret then it. That which remains in the Cornue, put burning charcoals upon it, and that will take fire as the match of a fusee: whence you may draw a fair secret: for as long as it feels not the air, it will not flame, and it may dissolve againe with vinegar, to doe as before. But salt of lead dissolved in water, and yet better then Turpentine, oil will resolve to a greater quantity of oil; and thereof may see more ample marvailes. Take this oil, which Raimond Lullius calleth his wine, and put it into a small Alembic of glasse; in Balneo Mariæ, and distill therein aqua vitæ, which will come in vains even as that of wine. Draw all out so long till the drops and tears come to appear in the Chap, which is a signe that there is no more flegm: which being out in the bottome, there will remain a pretious oil that dissolves gold and is admirable against wounds, and great accidents, from within, for it holds the same place with potable gold: Lead having great affinity with gold, as Geber saith, with which it agrees in Surdity, in weight, and in that it cannot rust: And George Riplay the most learned English Philosopher, in his book of the 12. portes.

There is extracted oil of golden colour,
Or like it, out of our subtill red lead:
When Raimond said, when he was old,
Was much more pretious then gold.
For when through age he was near death,
He thereof made, his potable Gold,
Which revived him; as may bee seen.
This is that oil and vegetable Menstruum, &c.

In regard of the burning water therout extracted, more inflameable then the most fine powder of a harguebuze, it dissolves silver into subtill Crystalline flakes, which melt at the fire of a[Pg 72] lampe, as easily as butter, and are fix as silver in the same proofs of fire: further see that which the said Riplay sets down in his marrow of Alchymie: The body being prepared, put upon this water to the thickness of your thumb which wil straight boil above chalks of the body, without other external fire, by dissolving the body, and by elevating it, in the shape of ice, with the drying of the said water: and so let it bee reiterated, by removing that which was elevated. But to abbridge (for this Aqua vitæ is in very small quantity and very uneasy to make) if you passe two parties of water of the departure, that dissolves the silver upon one party of the salt of lead, this will do the same effect for the transmutation of metals, but not within a mans body, where it must not in any case bee applyed, except after great sweetning, that is to say, a demi sextier of the dissolution of strong water, to make evaporate three or four pails of water, running down within by a filter to the measure that elevates the strong water with the spirits and malignity of this fire against Nature. Think not that I would stay my self here so precisely, nor restrain to the Text of Saint Mark, nor upon that, which dependeth upon the religion in this regard, although our principall aim tends thitherward, that wee would not enlarge by the same means to the works and progresse of nature, whose principall key is Alchymie, to mount from thence to the Architype the Creator by means of the Caballe. But we would not likewise here so reveal occasions to abuse this divine Art, to the ill turnings of perverse ignorants, who to gain a piece of silver would make no difficulty to deceive the world one way or other, as wee could do in revealing unto the means of blanching copper, to the likenesse of silver, with Iscicles accompanied with a Metalline of Orpiment, the which, as yellow gilded as it is, and its red elevations as rubies, being notwithstanding bruised in a copper morter, and sublimed upon burned brasse, passeth within the head of the Cornue, white as silver; But if it be well governed, with the foresaid Isicles would make indeed great alterations upon the Copper which men may wel misuse, wherefore we will forbear to speak thereof any further. We may too well say, that the preparation of this body, that Riplay intends silver, is to calcine and reduce it into salt, which is done after this manner. But if in the dissolving there be aqua fortis, it sufficeth to cal[Pg 73]cine it. Take then silver plates of the bignesse and thicknesse of a riall and put them in a Cruset, or a little pot of Paris earth, not leaded, bed upon bed, with prepared Salt, that is to say, dissolved in common water, afterwards filtred, congealed, and decrepited, and leave it 10. or 12. houres with burning coals, (it would be better in an oven of reverberation) draw it from the fire and cast it yet all hot into an earthen vessell, leaded, full of water, salt will dissolve it self therein, and that of the silver which shall be calcined will goe to the bottome: Let them reside well; and separate them warily, by inclination: after put again the plates to bee recalcined with new salt, and reiterated as before, evaporate the water, or the salt if it be dissolved, and that which remains shall be as good as new, to the third or fourth reiteration, all your plates will find themselves reduced into chalk: which you shall easily dissolve in distilled vinegar, for silver, lead, and iron, are not of hard resolution, nor also Copper to take it in Roche of azur: Tin much more, and Gold more then all the rest, for that its calcination, is very uneasie. Which Geber knew very well: the compleat calcination of Sol, is most difficult: He renders the causes thereof. But it would be too long to dilace upon all these things: wee will content our selves, to trace some shadows of that which our perquisition and labour hath enabled us to acquire, by the space of 50. years of one side, and another, and proved more then once, not to speake unadvisedly: All which secrets are revealed as is said; by the Fire. And not by mervails, since it analogically discovers the spirituall: Thou hast tried me with fire, and in mee, there is found no iniquity; said the Prophet, Psal. 16. There where you see, how hee couples fire with iniquities, as if it were it, that revealed them as well as hee did the impurities of mettalls, where it doth the same operation, and effect, as salt doth, in corruptible things; for although metalls, bee the permanent substance of all others, by reason of their most strong composition which doth not permit them easily to cast away out of their radicall form any alteration which men may make them indure in powder, chalk, salt, water, oil, glasse, Isicles, and infinite others: which happeneth not to one of the other elementaries, Minerals, Vegetables, Animals; the which being once changed from their primitive form, they cannot again reintegrate or be put together. By means whereof, to speak of fire without me[Pg 74]tals, which are its true subject, it would bee as to propose to an Artist furnished with necessaries and instruments, but had no stuffes proper to imploy them, so that would remain to him unprofitable. In metalls then there may be revealed and considered the fairest secrets of nature, by the help of fires action. Which if in some more particularly then in others, she hath shewed a will to recreat, yea to put in evidence her greater knowledge. It seems this was in stones and metals, then which nothing could be presented more fair or agreeable to the sight, nor more profitable and necessary, at least in regard of Iron without which mans life would irksomely passe away, shee receiving so many commodities thereby. But pretious stones beyond the simple contentment and pleasure of the eye, have nothing wherewith men may know to draw out profit or succours in any one of our businesses. And if they be once deprived of their naturall shining form, they never return thereto again, as mettals doe, so puissant and indissoluble is the assembling of their elementarie parties, and their mixtion one with another. Wherefore wee must not marvail if so many good spirits have travelled all their time to meditate upon this subject, and their divers transmutations, having been there unto drawn rather out of those fair considerations which they found therein for their spirits contentation, then for any sordid and greedy desire of gain, which hath made the ignorant so obstinate, who have so cried down this divine Art, sister germane to the Caballe: for that which the Caballe is divine and intelligible things, into the profound secrets whereof, shee penetrates, Alchymie is in naturall and elementary, which shee reveals unto us. Geber saith some man cannot know the composition of a thing, that is ignorant of its destruction; which destruction is perfected by the separations caused by fire.

Nature then taketh great pains, care, and pleasure, to labour in metals; and puts in them a very great length of Time, to bring them to the last degree of perfection, which settles in Gold, the most perfect and incorruptible substance of all others, and the homogeneall and equall in all his parties: whence it is taken for distributive justice, for mingle a party of Gold with 3. or 4. hundreds of silver, or Copper, leaving them melted together to sport never so little within a little Cruset, every portion[Pg 75] how small soever it may be, of silver or copper, will suck up its equall part and portion of gold. It is moreover so exactly depured, that it cannot be altered or corrupted by any thing, that is either in the earth, water, air, or fire, nor by any corrosive or poyson that you can apply thereunto. It is not corrupted by clay, nor burnt with any burning thing: nor mortified or devoured, by any green colouring, or dividing water, there is nothing in it superfluous or defective: There are (saith Hermes) seven Metallick bodies, of which the most worthy and principall is gold, attributed unto the Sun: from whence it hath its name, for the same that the Sun is to the stars, gold is toward the elementary bodies, what thing soever burning it can bee, cannot burne it, the earth cannot corrupt it, nor the water destroy nor alter, because its complexion is tempered in heat, moisture, coldnesse and drinesse, and there is nothing in it superfluous or deficient. By reason whereof, I finde that those are farre wide of their accompt, which to keep themselves from poysoning, would serve themselves with vessells of gold to eat and drink in; for gold respects no more poisons nor venomes, then it would doe of capon broth: So do silver, pewter, copper, lead & iron, which would therewith change immediately. Even as a fearful man, and of small resolution, who at the encounter of a Serpent or other venemous beast, would grow suddainly pale, and come to change colour: The care, curiosity, and assiduous travell of infinite, rare, and meditating spirits, by the space of 4 or 5000 years, have found in metals secrets without number, and yet knew not to do so well, but that they have left much more to enquire into, and to search after: although there be but seven in all, comprehending therein running quick-silver.

Wherein it is wonderfull, that Nature so copious and abundant in all her procreations, which are divers, is pleased in this respect with so small a number. Metals then, being such whose regiment depends on fire; which is one of the proper visible symboles to represent the most hidden secrets, and mysteries of Divinity; invisible, and imperceptible to our senses.

The Prophets also, were willing to serve themselves for the most part of their parables, and similitudes, ænigmaes, allegories and figures; where they have covered and hid that which they would not so openly declare, for they have very seldome expressed themselves, as did Esay in his 5 Chapter,[Pg 76] where he interprets that the vision of the Lord of Hosts, whereof he there brought a parable, was the people of Israel, and the men of Judah his delectable plant. And in another passage many waters, are many nations. Moreover Ezekiel, 23. having spoken of the two sisters Aholah and Aholibah, he set downe that this was Samaria and that Jerusalem. God by the mouth of Moses, in the 28. of Leviticus, and in the 28. of Deuteronomy, threatned the Israelites, said, if they come to mis-know him, and do not keep well his commandements, that he would make the heaven over their head brasse, and the earth under them iron, which are the two most terrestriall metals, and most hard and rebellious to melt and to handle, opposing them to the durity of this people, as it is there said. I will bruise the pride of your hardnesse, and will make heaven over you as iron, and earth as brasse, your labour shall consume unprofitably, your earth shall not bring forth its seed, nor the tree yeeld any fruit. For metals produce nothing, but are barren; the Poets of their side have used many sorts of Metaphores, and figures, as in the 6. of the Æneid. an iron voice, for a strong and resounding voice, and Hesiod calleth the infernall dog Cerberus, χαλκεόφωνος, a voice of brasse, because it is the most sounding metall; His voice shall sound as brasse, Jer. 16. and Origen upon the 25. of Exod. Brasse is taken for a strong and thundering voice, because of its resounding. Although I should speake with the tongue of Angels, and have not charity in me, I am as sounding brasse, and as a tinkling cymball. Pindarus hath appropriated to Heaven the Epithet of χάλκεος οὐρανὸς Heaven of brasse, in the 10. of the Pythians; because of the firme solidity of the firmament, as the word importeth. Homer doth the same in the 3. of his Odes, calleth it πολύχαλκος, most brasse, as Euripedes and Anaxagoras, make the Sunne a fired iron; for the Greek Poets ordinarily doe put fire and brasse one for another; the same doth Homer in many places, as in the 4. of the Iliads, where Apollo to encourage the Trojans, remonstrates unto them, that the Greeks have not impenetrable bodies, of stone, or of iron, that they should be able to resist blowes of cutting brasse, without hurting them. These are manners of speech, which are not very strange amongst the Prophets, who have thereby figured out the most part of their solutions, under which some mysteries were shadowed; which if men would take altogether raw according to the letter, without alle[Pg 77]gorizing thereupon, they would find themselves farre from their reckoning, as the Martyr Pamphilus said well in the defence of Origen, speaking of those who to shunne allegories were constrained to stumble at gross impertinencies. They think it of this sort, said he, for that they would not admit of allegories in the holy writ, by reason whereof, as subjecting themselves to the literall sense, they imagine and invent to themselves fine fables, and fictions. And indeed how could a man take according to the letter that of the 33. of Deut. speaking of Aser? Thy shoes shall be iron and brasse, for he would not say that Aser was shod with iron and brasse, but he would understand thereby his force and power, denoted as well by the two metals, as by the shoe; I will extend my shoe against Idumæa, strangers are my subjects; These are all allegories and figures, as also in the 60. of Esay, For brass I bring thee gold, and silver in stead of Iron, brasse for wood, and fire for stones. Marke well how the Prophet observes the relations opposing brasse to gold, and iron to silver; and againe, brasse to wood, and iron to stones; for as gold excelleth silver, and trees stones, it is the same in the metallique order, brasse is more pretious then iron. But all tends to denote that the heavenly mysticall Jerusalem, which is the Church triumphant, so much more excellent then the Jewish Synagogue, which was but a figure thereof. And certainely hee that would looke more narrowly thereinto, the Prophets never spake any thing improperly, even to the least trade or mechanick arts; for in their ravishments they saw things in their reall being, within the Zipheret or supercelestiall Sunne, which is a clear shining looking-glasse, a living source of all Idea’s, as Idea’s are of formes. This is furthermore well to be observed, for the regard of metals, which they associate commonly iron and copper for their affinity; will iron make a covenant with iron from the North? and brasse? for iron is easily changed into copper, by means of vitrioll, by putting them bed upon bed in a descensory with a strong fire of bellowes, so long till the iron grow liquid and melt into copper, having first moistned them with a little vineger, wherein there should be dissolved sal niter, or salt peter, sal alcali, and salt of tartar, with verdigrease. Otherwise put of vitriol in powder, and distill the water in a cornue, that which shall remaine calcined in the bottome, impost it with its water, and therein quench the glowing gads of iron, or filings of iron, you shall find them[Pg 78] by little and little reduced into copper: Otherwise yet, dissolve vitrioll in common water, evaporate the water, and calcine the congelation that shall rest in the bottome; dissolve that in the like water, and it will become green, evaporate a part thereof and put the rest in a cave for a night, and you shall see greene flakes. Make them red in the fire, after dissolve them three or four times with distilled vinegar, drying them every time, and the flakes will become red, dissolve them againe in the same vinegar, and therein quench the gads or other iron work, as above said. In briefe, that by the means of vitriol, iron is converted into copper, as we may see in penknifes steeped in inke made of copperas or vitriol.

These flakes here are an entry to a higher work, and of more things for Chirurgery and Medicine. But all these practises (you may say) are long and troublesome and rather chargeable then gainfull, and profitable. Also our intention here, is not to stretch to gaine, this booke is not to get bread, but to penetrate into the secrets of nature: from thence to mount and elevate his spirit to spirituall things, whereto sensible do serve as a stair or as Jacobs ladder; and there are no rarer considerations and observances, then in fire, and metallique transmutations: Copper on the other side, is changed into steele; if it bee true that some Rabbines quote, upon that passage lately alledged out of the 15. of Jeremiah 12. Iron and Brass, the Prophet (say they) calleth Iron mixed with Brasse, Steel, which sheweth (for we must disdain nothing of theirs) that Damake Steel was composed of Iron and Copper, that is to say, of Iron halfe covered in Copper, and softned to restrengthen it the more by means of lead. Whereupon make what Abuhali sets downe in a Book of the nature of things.

Make a little long trench within a barre of iron, and cast thereinto melted lead, then make it evaporate with a strong fire as of a coupelle. Put againe therein new lead four or five times, and the iron will grow soft, which you may afterwards make hard againe quenching it in forge water, to make lancets, and other subtill cutting irons, yea that shall cut other iron, without splinters or gapping. And indeed we have found by experience, that to temper well a harnesse against the shot of harquebuse, we first sweeten it with oils and gums, with wax and the[Pg 79] like incerative things; and after we harden them by frequent extinctions, in waters that make it fast againe. John the Grammarian expounding this place of Hesiod, they wrought in brasse, for iron was not yet knowne, was forced to relate the word χάλκος to the people Chalybs in Scythia, who (saith he) first found out the use of iron and steel: the Poet Lucretius in his 5. booke imitates Hesiod in this kinde,

Antient arms were hands and nails,
Stones and fragments of tree boughes,
And flames and fires, were first knowne,
Afterwards the force of Iron and Brasse,
But the use of Brasse, before Iron.

Steel furthermore is made of the most pure and subtiliate iron; for that it participates lesse of the earthinesse, then iron. The artifice of it, is sufficiently knowne, and is common in forges. But to come to that of Damas, you must first resweeten it of its too much bitter tartnesse, and after it is reduced into filings to make it red in a cruset, and quench it many times with oil of Olives, where there hath often times been quenched molten lead, suddenly covering the vessell, for fear lest the oil take flame. There are yet other secret observations, which our intention is not to reveal all; it is enough to have attained to the maxims.

Now for that there is such an affinity between iron, and copper, that they may easily be converted one into the other; the same may likewise be done with lead, and tinne, by means of Sal Armonaick, and of certaine incerative powders of Borax, Salt peter, salt of Tartar, Salalchali, and other the like, which are called Atincars. Panthee in his Voarchadumie, oil of glasse. Quicksilver also, is changed into lead or tinne, according as it is congealed to an imperceptible vapour, either of the one, or of the other, in this manner. Melt lead or tinne in a cruset, then let them a little cool, so long that they may be taken, but yet hot, or with a staffe of a torch, or the like, make a trench therein, wherein you shall put quicksilver which will be suddainly congealed, but bruiseable into powder. Reiterate that two or three times, and make it afterwards boil in the juice of Mercuriale, and will convert it selfe into metall according to the odour of that it was congealed; there is losse therein and that not a little; but[Pg 80] yet at least, we may thereby see a possibility of transmutations of metals: In this respect, furthermore of lead, and tinne, there presents a very fair consideration, very uneasie to comprehend, and doth merit, that the cause thereof should bee sought after. We see by experience, that these two metals, each apart, are very soft, and of a tender fusion, yet being mingled they grow hard, and become firm and solid, touching which see what Averroes sets downe in his Book of Vapours. That which doth consolide, and strengthen tinne, is lead; and reciprocally, lead tinne; for the glewish viscosity, which binds their parties, must consist of moisture and drynesse, this being done, there is no conglutination of tinne with tinne, therefore lead is mingled therewith, which is more moist, and with lead, tinne, which is more dry: so that those two mingled together, strengthen one another, better then being separated, and of their mingling, comes to procreate a glewing viscosity, which causeth in them a greater durity then they had, and binds them more firmly, just as sand, and chalke in the composition of Morter, which Albertus also confirmes in his fourth and fifth chapters of Minerals. But wee will put off all these metallique particularities, and their divers transmutations, to our Treatise of Gold and Glasse, upon the 28. of Job, where under gold we wil comprehend all that shal depend on metals: and under glasse, stones, as well naturall, as artificiall; and all vitrifications, and enamels. Here we will take but that which will conduce to our subject, which is to treat of things intelligible, by the sensible: after the imitation of the Prophets, and chiefly metals and fire, whose operation is better known in metals, then in the other composed elements. The Prophets then have set down iron and brasse for a firme resistance. My strength is not the strength of stones, nor is my flesh brasse, Job 6. and in the 18. Psal. Thou hast made my arms as a bow of brasse. Furthermore in the 4. of Micah, I will make thy horne iron, and will make thy hoofs brasse.

As touching iron, for a hard and rigorous oppression, according as it is hard and inflexible of its nature, and which doth suppeditate almost all; I will rule them with a rod of iron in the 2. Psalm. and in the 4. of Deut. I have brought thee out of the iron fornace of Ægypt; there where iron denotes servitude, wherein they were, for the oppression of their persons, and the fornace of[Pg 81] fire, was that of their souls and consciences constituted amidst so many Idolatries and impieties, which must be unto them a servitude, more intolerable then all travails and afflictions; and the most cruell and pitilesse usages of their bodies, for as much as the soul excels it, for the zeal which they carry to their God, with the same locution the Ecclesiasticke served himself in his 28. speaking of a wicked tongue; happy is he that can save himself from a wicked tongue, for the yoke thereof is as iron, and his band as the band of brasse. But for affliction and anguish, all openly in the 105. Psal. v. 18. Iron pierced his soul, speaking of Joseph a prisoner in Ægypt, until his word came. To be short, there is not a point of locution figurative, more frequent in the Prophets, then those that are drawn from metals and from fire, which for the reason of its proprieties and effects, as it is one of the most commodious and necessary things of all others, according as it is said before, for it bakes our viands, it warms us, and doth revigour us against the colds; it clears and lightens in the darkness, in lieu of the suns brightnesse, and other infinite usages, and chiefly for the execution of arts and trades: Otherwise we may say that without iron, fire it selfe would as it were be almost unprofitable for this respect. And Plato doth not exempt one onely art from fire, but the pottery of clay, in the 3. of his Lawes, where he treats very excellently of the life of the first men; and although iron and copper had brought them commodities to civilize themselves and to polish them to a more humane life. So that not without cause, these poor beastly Savages of the West Indies, did wonder in their grosse understanding, how people in these parts, so well advised and industrious, for a little piece of gold or silver, unprofitable to all uses, should offer them so liberally hatchets, sithes, reaphooks, and other iron work, commodious for all usages, and which they could so shorten that which they had with so great pain perfected but to the halfe with fire, which was to them for all instruments and tools, with some base pointed flints. But we may here likewise alledge to the contrary the hurts and incommodities that iron bringeth, for of it, are forged all offensive arms, wherewith men shorten their dayes by their reciprocall Massacres: for that, it is Mars his true Minister, and exterminator and ruine of mankinde, as Jupiter qualifies it in the 5. of the Iliads,

[Pg 82]

Mars, Mars, the plague and ruine of men, contaminated
with murders, overthrower of wals.

Which he could not do, at the least very uneasily without the means and aid of fire. Also they give it the name of Mars. But let us here a little consider a pleasant allegory covered under the fiction of Venus, Vulcan, and Mars. Venus without doubt is mankind, which is continued by venereall propagation of linage. Its lawfull spouse is Vulcan, which by conjugall love, brings him all or the greatest part of his necessary commodities, by reason of Mars, which is iron. But for that he is his adulterer, he also destroyes the greatest part of what shee procreates; and the husband maintains iron for a double use, good, and bad; for we must not measure the works of the Creator by their apparent incommodities or commodities. For God saw all that he had made, and they were very good; for this goes according as the Creatures apply it. Is there any thing more fair, more pleasant or more delectable to the sight, then a cleare shining flame? any thing that doth more rejoice then light? And on the other side, there is nothing more hurtfull, fuller of damage, nor more dangerous then fire, which burneth and consumeth all that comes neare it. A Satyre the first time he saw it, he rejoiced strangely to see it so fair, so clear, but thinking to approach nearer, to embrace, and to caresse it, when he perceived it so offended, with extreame griefe, hee was never after able to come near it. We may also say the same of iron, as Plinie cals it the best and the worst instrument of life; for therewith (saith he) we til the earth, graffe trees, prune vines, with other infinite commodities and usages, as chiefly to build houses for our covert and safety. But on the other side, we imploy it no lesse, if not more, in our mutuall assassinates and massacres to shorten our life; as if it were troublesome to continue so long. Yet it is so short without the inconveniencies that shorten it and make of iron the most pernicious minister and instrument of all others. To which purpose Istodorus said very well,

From whence a long while agone earth was drawn
from thence now bloud shed,

Which proceeds rather from our malice and depravation, then from the fault of this inanimate insensible substance, which neither moves to good or to bad, but by our selves.

[Pg 83]

And yet, saith the same Plinie, it seems that nature was not willing wholly to excuse it, but to punish it onely, rendring it subject so to rust, more then any other of the brother hood, and principally by mans bloud, which it is so apt to spill.

The same natures benignity, exacting punishment from very iron by rust, from whence humane bloud revengeth it selfe; for being touched therewith it more speedily draweth rust therefrom. And indeed there is nothing which sooner rusteth iron then mans bloud. But this rust because we are purposely falne upon it, it is not altogether unprofitable, though most wholsome to many good effects, as well within as without the body, beyond that which it doth in tinctures. Wherefore it will do no hurt to touch some thing therein in this place, and therein to reveal that which experience hath manifested unto us to be most rare, and most important, but this is handled divers wayes. Take then filings of iron very clean, and besprinkle them with a little distilled vineger, leaving it so in a cave for two or three dayes or other fresh and moist place; and that will all convert into rust, which you shall bruise very subtilly in an iron or a stone morter. Put it in a little pot, and put thereon boiling distilled vineger, stirring it lustily with a staffe or rod of iron, and the vineger will charge it selfe with the dissolution of the rust: turne it by inclination, and put therein other vineger, reiterating that so long, that all the aluminosity and tincture of the iron be dissolved, and that nothing remaines but blacke and dead earths which you must cast away: cause the vineger to evaporate very sweetly, and there will remain a powder of Canneale colour, which the chymists call saffron of iron; which is made also by putting of small pieces of iron to calcine in Glasse makers Ovens for the space of three weeks or a month; and they will reduce themselves to a small and impalpable powder, as dough, red as blood, but it doth not dissolve it selfe in strong waters. There is neither Bole-armonaic, or Terra Sigillata, which can compare to them, who know well to practise their proprieties and consemblable effects.

In regard of the former, take of the phlegme of Aqua vitæ, and do upon all the same just that which you did with the distilled vineger upon the rust, it will dissolve more then the halfe: withdraw your phlegm by a light distillation, and upon the gum that shall rest congealed, cast fine Aqua vitæ, stirring it strongly[Pg 84] with a baston upon warme ashes, but you must not warme it so much as the vineger and the phlegme, and when the aqua vitæ shall be well charged of its dissolution, retire it by a slow distillation in Balneo Marie, in a limbeck; for it will serve you againe as before: and if that be very proper for the dysenteries, and fluxes of the belly, with exulcerations and gangrens with small shot; as also is the second Crocum drawne by the phlegme, of very great efficacy: and the third yet of more, drawne by Aqua vitæ, which will remain in yellow powder the true essence of iron, which we have searched even to the Center. But in all dissolutions take heed to leave them well in repose, and not to receive but the clear, pure, and neat, without any feces or residences; rather put them for an hour in a warm bath to clarifie them. The vineger that remains, and the phlegm, you may filter, but not the aqua vitæ, because of its unctuosity: which makes it difficult to separate it, from its residences; we must therefore attend till it be cleare.

Behold these three earths, and the three dissolvants proceeding one and the other from the vegetable, that is to say, wine, the most excellent substance of all the vegetables which the Philosopher Calisthenes called the blood of the earth. Now for the affinity that is betwixt iron and copper, we will here pursue in one traine some experiments proceeding from the said copper. Take (to shorten as much as may be) of the stone of Azur, which is a minerall of copper, which will render you more then twelve ounces neat and liquid for a pound.

But here we shall be constrained to make a little digression to serve for advertisement. In metallick dissolutions, (and let this be a maxim) we must rather take raw minerals, coming from the earth, and not the accomplished metals, and that for three reasons. The first, for that excuseth you of labour, and length of time, to calcine them, and make them dissoluble. The second, that in the dissolution of the minerall you shall find more of the salt, and shall extract it more easily, then in six of one of their chalx. And the third, for that the spirits of metall, are not yet at first so imprisoned in their corporall masse, as in the superficies within this minerall and in much greater aboundance: there when it hath passed the asperity and rigour of the fire, to separate the metal, most part of the spirits disperse themselves and the rest are drowned and barred fast in the bottome of the body:[Pg 85] whence it is a difficulty to draw them; so that afterwards the oil is worse easie to extract from salt, in the dissolution of chalks, then of that which shall be drawn from the minerals. Take then of this Azure stone for the shorter, or if you have it not of es asium burned Brasse, which we make conpellans of brasse, in three parts of lead, (verdigrease is too gummy and unfit) or making meal of the filings of copper, even as we said heretofore of iron, putting thereunto a little aqua fortis, make it clear, which will be green, as an Emeraud, and pursue it, in and through all as you did iron: till the salt or gum remain in the bottome congealed, proper for hollow ulcers, and many other effects of chirurgery; you may yet governe this gum with phlegme and aqua vitæ, as you did iron. And of the first very gumme extracted by the vineger, may thence draw an oil, as it was said of lead. In regard of the earths that remain of the dissolutions of the aqua vitæ, without any further dissolving of it, nor leaving any tincture therein, nor to disjoin them which is hard to do, nor to clarifie the aqua vitæ, but will remain impasted together as milk with dough, for they will be white, after you have dryed them well in the Sunne, or before a gentle fire. Put them upon a plate of iron, or of warmed copper: and if they fume not, it is a signe they are all deprived of their spirits. Yet put them in a cornue, with a naked bottome among coals, and perfect the drying of them; then at last give a fire of calcination. Cast aqua vitæ thereon to dissolve that which you can; and evacuating the dissolution, perfect to dry the moisture which may thereof remain giving againe fire of calcination in the end: and againe putting aqua vitæ thereon to perfect the extraction of all the salt therein remaining, which will be perfected in the third or fourth reiteration. I have put you to an addresse of great effects, where I do not pretend to lead you by the hand any further, not to injure good and curious spirits, that by long labours and perquisitions have travelled to obtaine that which others had better cheap, and also to that which we reserve for our discourse of Gold and Glasse, where we will declare that which shall here be left imperfect, not having attained, but by the end of the lip: wherefore we will take but that which is necessary to clear what the Prophets have thereupon touched in their parables and similitudes. In the first place of the two perfect gold & silver, on which they have most insisted on the good part, for the imperfect tinne, copper, and iron, they have ordinarily applyed[Pg 86] to the worst part for vices and depravations, contumacies and durities; and lead for vexations and molestations. Gold for true beliefe, faith, piety, and religion, and in sum, all that which concernes the honour and service of God; Silver, for good and charitable works of mercy; due in respect of our neighbour. So that these two metals represent the two tables of the Decalogue. And it would not be farre from the purpose to make a trimming of the Altar. The first of gold, containing four precepts, in four azure letters, which signifieth heaven, and the other of silver in green letters, signifying the earth. Origen in the 2. Homil. upon this text of the first of Canticles (We will make thee borders of gold, with studs of silver,) triumpheth to allegorize the shape of gold, this (saith he) holds the figure of the invisible and incorporeall nature, (and this for that it is of a substance so homogeneall and subtill, that nothing can extend it selfe more fine) and silver, represents the vertue of the Verb, following that which the Lord said in the 2. of Hosea, I have given you gold and silver, and you have therewith made Idols to Baal. But we make the Holy Scripture Idols of gold and silver, when we turne the sense thereof to some perverted interpretation: or that we would Pindarize it by elegances, as if vertue consisted on the vaine flowers of Rhetoricke, for in doing this we open our mouth, as if we would swallow and suck in heaven, whilst our tongue licketh the earth, like as if the Prophet should say, I have given you sense and reason, whereby you ought to acknowledge me for your God, and reverence me; but you have turned them aside, and therewith have made Idols: By sense are understood the internall cogitations which represents them; and by Reason, which is λόγος the word, for it signifies the one and the other, as silver denotes, Psal. 12. 6. the words of the Lord are pure words, as silver proved in the fire, when they say, or hold, that silver tryed in the fire, is the tongue of the just, are not my words as fire? But Cherubins are said to be gold, because they interpret them for the plenitude of divine Science. And the Tabernacle of the alliance is of Gold also, because it carries the type and image of the law of nature, where consisted the gold of science; so that Gold is referred to the conception and thought, and silver to the word, according to which the wise man alludeth in the 25. of the Proverbs, As Golden apples with silver nets, so is he that speaks words in a fit season. Hitherto Origen. But will we hear what Zohar sets down, from whence Origen hath fished out the greatest part of his rare[Pg 87] and profound meditations and allegories, and to the purpose of those apples of gold, enchased within the nets of silver. The gold from above is the gold sagur, inclosed or folded up; that from below is more exposed to our senses, (nothing should better agree to the Messihe which is the true pure gold of Evihah, mentioned Gen. 2. hee which is reinclosed within silver,) namely his divinity, and reshut up with the humanity. Zohar pursues it; In the Tabernacle there were mingled gold, and silver, to assemble the divine mystery above in one subject, where soveraigne perfection was found. But the Cherubims were all of gold, shewing their Angelicall nature which doth not participate of any corporeity, without any silver or copper mingled therewith. Gold within silver expresseth mercy, by which the whole universe was built, (the world was built in mercy,) upon which Gods Throne is established, His Royall seat shall be prepared in mercy. But the rigour of judgement is designed by copper, which approacheth to the colour of bloud, without the effusion whereof, also there is no remission.

And therefore it was ordained, that Moses should erect a Serpent in the Wildernesse to heale those who were bitten by the vermine and cast their eyes upon it. Then gold, silver, and copper, are the three metals that go together, the Chasma’l, or the electrum of Ezechiel. And there is a faire meditation upon the 3 colours, which are these, white, of silver, that represents water, is mercy, manifested by the particle Jah, assigned to the Father, which the Apostle cals the father of mercies, 1 Cor. 1. 3. Copper that in rednesse imitates fire, is the rigour and the severity of justice, which the Ægyptians call Din, attributed to the Holy Spirit, against which if any blaspheme, hee shall neither be pardoned in this world here, nor in the other. The third, in the middle of two, is the citrinity of the gold, composed of white and red, as we may see in saffron, bloud, vermillion, and other the like, tempered with water, which is white, for from thence is procreated a golden yellow; for Citrinity, saith Geber, is nothing else, but a determinate proportion of white and red. And this guilded citrinity is attributed to the Sonne, who participates of Mercy and Justice: in pursuance of that spoken in the 16. of Eccl. 11. because mercy and wrath are with him. But latten or copper, which in its exteriour hath some resemblance with gold, but[Pg 88] within all impure and corrupt, denoting hypocrisie, which under a masque of pious zeale, and religion hatcheth its wicked desires, and detestable ambitions, impieties, erroneous opinions, lusts, animosities, revenges, and other unjust and perverse intentions. The whitenesse of the silver, on the one side, of which this letton participates, for it is but at 16 Carats being pallied by the rednesse of copper, that causeth it citrinity. But this rednesse is but cruelty, and malice, which corrupteth gentle sincerity. If your sinnes were as red as scarlet, or vermillion, they shall bee as white as snow, Esay 1. 16.

In regard of lead, it is put for vexations and molestations, wherewith God doth visit us; by means whereof, hee bringeth us unto repentance; for as lead burneth, and exterminateth all the imperfections of metall, which Boetius the Arabian, calleth water of Sulphur; so tribulation divesteth us here below, from many spots, which wee thereby have contracted, so that, St. Ambrose calleth it, Heavens Key, following that which is written, Act. 14. 22. Through many temptations we must enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. The Apostle Rom. 5. 3. and 4. &c. useth a very fine gradation, Tribulation begets patience, patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the holy spirit, that is given unto us. Fire denotes tribulation, whereupon the said Saint Ambrose upon the first psalm, Fire saith he, burneth waxe, which melts it self to bee purged, and wee are proved by fire, for God desiring to convert a sinner chastiseth him, and burneth him, to purge him: for fire is light to Beleevers, and punishment, to the incredulous. Said Saint Jerome very well upon Ezechiel. That fire illuminates Beleevers, and blinds Infidels, serving for nothing but smoak which makes them weep, and darknesse, as smoak which is noxious to the eyes. With which fume the house of Israel was all filled and darkened. Prov. 10.26. Esa. 6.4. Let the just then rejoyce, when they shall find themselves upon this text of the 50. Psal. 3. A fire shall burn in his sight, for they shall be thereby illuminated, and obstinate sinners burnt by the same, having the two properties to illuminate, and burn: for that it illuminates, it must bee the holy Spirit, which is the true fire, that is kindled in our hearts, and not foolish and perverse opinions, vain and erroneous, which would quickly draw us to that which the Prophet Esay saith,[Pg 89] Chap. 50. 11. Behold all yee that kindle a fire, and that compasse your selves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled, and you shall sleep in sorrow. From thence saith Origen, it seems that sinners kindle themselves a fire, wherewith they must be crucified. O Israel thou hast destroyed thy self, Hos. 13. And in the 28. of Ezek. 18. I will bring forth a fire, from the midst of thee, it shall devoure thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon Earth. The matter then which entertains it, are our iniquities, and our offences, their iniquity shall burn as fire. And in the 7. of Eccles. 17. The vengeance of the ungodly is fire, and wormes, which toucheth upon that in the 9. of St. Mark. 44. alledged out of the 66. of Esaiah 24. Whose worm shall not dye, nor their fire bee quenched: for the one and the other are endlesse, namely the fire that burns them, and the worm that gnawes their consciences in this world, and in the other, torments them for ever. There where on the contrary, if God set it on fire, wee may say with one of our ancient fathers, O happy flame, but not burning, illuminating, but not consuming: Thou dost transform whom thou dost touch, so that they, even merit to bee called Gods. Thou hast warmed thy Apostles, who forsaking all things but thee, have been made Gods children: Thou hast warmed the Martyrs, who have spilt their bloud: Thou hast warmed the Virgins, who by the fire of Divine Love, have quenched the heat of concupiscence. The Confessors likewise, that have separated themselves from the world, to join and to unite unto thee. So that every creature, by the beneficence of this fire, repurgeth it self, from its coinquinations, and ordures, and there is nothing exempted from its heat, if it would come to injoy the fellowship of God; for it is this fire, that kindleth in us by the illuminations of the holy Spirit, by means of our corporall tribulations, which brings us sooner to God, then any other thing, of which Lead is one of their symboles, working the same operations in metals, as afflictions do in us. There is so gallant a passage in the 6. of Jer. under the figure of a Coupelle, which I think, that there is not a Goldsmith, Refiner, or a Mettleman, which hath spoken more properly: They are all corrupters, speaking of the Jewish people, then iron or copper. The bellows are burnt, the Lead is consumed in the fire, the Founder melteth in vain, for their wickednesses are not plucked away, Reprobate silver shall men cal them, for the Lord hath rejected them. Whereupon Rab. Sol. is a little[Pg 90] interveared for that hee doth not well understand the Coupelles, being willing to adjoin one of his own. The prophet speaketh here (saith hee) of God as of a Goldsmith, who desirous to purge gold puts thereunto lead or tin, that the fire should not consume the gold: for after the lead is consumed, the fire hurts the gold by consuming it. Mark what it is to speak unadvisedly of things wee doe not understand, for so doing we suffer our selves to fall easily into grosse absurdities: There are here two faults so apparent, that even apprentices would mock at them: the one to mixe Tin at the Coupelle or ashes in stead of lead: for it would not bee fit: also the Prophet takes heed therein. See what Geber sets down, in the Chap. of Ashes, Metalls that participate least of the substance of quick-silver, and more of Sulphur, separate themselves sooner and more easily from their mixtions. So that lead, because it hath more of the Sulphureall terrestreity, and lesse quick-silver, it is of more tender and light fusion, then any other: hardens lesse in the the coupple and separates soonest: therefore it is more proper to this examination, for that it carries away with lesse time and pains, the impurities of imperfect metals, mingled with gold and silver. Upon which there is no action, and by consequent brings lesse domage thereunto: there where because the substance of tin participates of much quick-silver, and of little sulphurous earthinesse, so that being more pure and subtil, the more profoundly it mingles it self, and adheres more strongly to gold and silver, from which it is separated more slowly and more unwillingly, with so much of their losse and falling off: the other error is to think, that when the lead in the Coupelle hath exterminated the imperfect metals, and it self is partly gone away in smoak, partly burned, and partly inglued, within the Coupelle as in vitrified litarge, fire cannot in any thing hurt gold, for being fine and pure, it would remain there a thousand years without the losse of one grain: to which nothing of things is wanting, it is even safe in burnings, and great fires; the matter remaining said Pliny well, speaking of gold in his 33. Book, chap. 3. as wee may see by experience. The prophet said then, and that so properly as nothing more, that even as when there are more impurities mingled with gold and silver, to repurge them we must put thereunto more lead at once. So the Jews iniquities were so great that it was needfull to visit them with more afflictions one[Pg 91] upon another to make them know their offences and to forsake them: as Physitians who redouble oftentimes their purgations and medicaments in those bodies, where the malady is contumacious and rebellious: for tribulations and adversities, are in us as fire, and as lead, in impure metalls: As gold and silver are tryed by the fire, so the Lord tries our hearts, Prov. 2. and in the 2. of Eccles. 5. Whatsoever is brought upon thee take patiently, for gold and silver, are tried by fire, and men by the furnace of tribulation, and anguish; Saint Gregorie in his Pastoralls upon this passage of the 11. of Ezekiel, who dilateth and insisteth hard upon this metaphor and similitude. The house of Israel is to me become drosse, all they are brasse and tin, and iron in the midst of the furnace, and they are the drosse of silver, and therefore saith the Lord, I wil gather you in the midst of Ierusalem, as a masse of silver, brasse, tin, and iron, and of lead, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon them to melt them. So I will gather them in mine anger, and in my fury, yea I will gather them and blow upon them, in the fire of my wrath, and they shall be melted, in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall they be melted in the midst thereof, and they shall know, that I the Lord have poured my fury upon them. Saint Gregory, interprets this for the Jews, who in their strong adversities would not leave to go out of the way of their vices, and depravations, and would receive no correction but made themselves worse: Malachy 3. 3. useth the same form of speech. The Lord shall sit to melt and purge silver, hee shall purifie the Sonnes of Levi, and purge them as gold, and silver, and they shall offer to the Lord an offering of righteousnesse. See how hee there resembleth very well, Gold to Faith, and Religion and Silver to works, for if the one and not the other be not very clean, in vain would we present them unto God. And all this must bee perfected by fire: according to which the Psalmist speaketh, Thou hast proved my heart, and hast visited me in the night, thou hast examined mee by fire, and there is no iniquity found in mee, Psal. 17. 3. for (as St. Chrysostome saith) fire according to the will of God, doth divers operations. It did not burn the three children in the furnace, yet burned those that were without: and as the Sea gave way to the Israelites, to passe on dry foot, and drowned Pharaoh, and all his that pursued them. There is a fire, saith St. Ambrose, upon the 39. Psal. vers. 3. which with its Ardor devoureth the transgression, and blotteth out the sin: But wee most not understand it materiall fire here below, for there is[Pg 92] nothing common here, with spirituality, but by way of analogy, and correspondence; there being a very great disproportion betwixt intelligible and sensible things, as in Jer. 20. 9. And there was a burning fire in my bones. In sum that the holy Scripture is stuffed with these manner of speeches drawn from fire and metals. As in Hag. 2. 8. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts. Gold, silver, and all metals, yea generally, all things whatsoever, although they may bee said to bee of God; as St. Jerome said very well, forasmuch as he created them, and gave them being, subsistance, and maintenance. The earth is the Lord and the fulnesse thereof: notwithstanding this gold and silver, which God alleadgeth here more particularly to bee his, must bee understood mystically. By silver, interpret the law of the mouth, The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. And by Gold (saith Zohar) the written Law, where there are many brave meditations to be considered; for there is not a form of a letter, point nor accent, but importeth some mystery, as it is particularly specified in Ghinah Egoz, in the garden of drowning of Rabbi Joseph Castiglian. On the other side silver is applyed to the old Testament, gold to the New. Origen confronts Faith to Gold, and the confession and preaching thereof to silver. That there, to the conceptions of the thought, and this here, to the word and enuntiation made by mouth which expresseth it, and puts it out. The tongue of the just is chosen silver. Of which two metals, namely of right Faith and purity of conscience, and of verball confession, the Temple, and Church of God in Christianism, and the glory of him was greater then the Jewish Law, which was but a dark shadow thereof. So that gold, designs the heart, that corresponds to the Sun, and to fire: and silver words, with Salt wherewith they must be seasoned; The word is near unto thee even in thy mouth, and in thy heart that thou maist doe it: which the Apostle appropriating, If thou confesse the Lord Iesus with thy mouth, and dost beleeve in thy heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for wee beleeve with the heart to Iustification, and confesse with the mouth to have Salvation. It is gold and silver which hee would that wee should build on his foundation: the gold of Havilah, that groweth within the terrestriall Paradise, with the Carbuncle and the Emrauld which the Psalmist in the 67. Psalm calleth the Greens of Gold.

[Pg 93]

Behold here the depurements that fire operates where it passeth: and chiefly upon metals, which are of a most strong and persisting composition, as any other Elementary substance, therefore wee have therein a little insisted, because that the Prophets have therein founded the greatest part of their Allegories: where wee must note, that they have commonly put the imperfect, lead, tin, iron, and copper, in the bad part, and sometimes gold also: as in Jer. 51. 7. Babylon is a golden Cup: and in the 2. of Dan. 32. speaking of Nebuchadnezar, Thou art the Golden head, more in the 31. of Eccles. there are many chances in gold: Zohar calls it Satans dung, following the Text of the 37. of Job: Gold comes from the North: for the North is alwayes taken by the Cabalists in the evill part, because Sun never passeth thereby, and it relates to midnight, where the hurtfull powers are in their great reputation and vigour: as on the contrary, Noon in good part; Wee must not then understand, that Job would say that gold came from the Northern parts, for it grows not there by reason of their continuall colds: but in some certain place, where it procreates; this is more ordinarily towards the North: against which the Sun, as against a But, darts its beams, being to the Meridion all part, as likewise all good wines. And to this purpose Franciscus Oviedus in his 16. Book, Chap. 1. of his generall historie of the Indies, speaking of the Isle of Borichen, puts this, Borichen, otherwise called St. Johns Island, is very rich in gold, and men draw it, in great quantity, even on the Northern side, as in the opposite part towards the South, it is very fruitfull of victualls: the same also is found even in Spain it self. Gold then is sometimes taken in the worser part, as in the golden Calf which the Israelites melted in Moses his absence, from whence one of their Rabbins said, there had never befallen them any calamity and misery, but there was an ounce of that Idol mingled therewith: Silver because of its whitenesse, denotes Mercy, is alwayes in the good part, and first in esteem before gold, as it is Hag. the 2. Mine is the silver, and mine is the gold. The Onorocrites also hold, that to dream of gold presageth some near affliction, because it agreeth in colour with gall, and the pain in the ears, two subsistences extreamly bitter: and bitternesse signifies, trouble, anguish, and grief; as Pearls doe tears for their resemblance: But silver expresseth joy and merriment. And therefore saith the same Zo[Pg 94]har, Gold is attributed to Gabriel, and Silver to Michael, which in order is his superior, Brasse to Uriel, because it represents him in colour of fire, faith to Ur of the Caldees, Gold, saith he, and fire march together, and copper with them, where was built the little Altar without, where the bloud of the Sacrifices was spilt, and that within was of gold, Exod. 38. and 39. Silver is the primary light of the day, and Jacob. And gold, that of the night, and Esau or Edom red: Silver represents milk; and gold wine, alluding to craft and subtilty, where it is said, in the 2. Eccles. I thought to draw my flesh with Wine, to give myself unto Wisedome.

But to return to our principall purpose, fire amongst other its properties and effects, is very purging, and also in flesh, and other corruptible substances, Salt consumes the greatest part of their corrupting humors: fire also doth the same, and analogically spiritual fire, which is nothing but the charitable ardor of the Holy Spirit, that inflames us with Faith, Charity, Hope. Shakes off the impurities of our souls, as it is Esa. 1. 25. I will purely purge away thy drosse, and take away all thy tin, for this place here in the 10. of the same Prophet, vers. 17. And the light of Israel, shall be for a fire, and his holy one for a flame, sheweth sufficiently that the Holy Spirit is not only light, but fire and flame, which salteth and repurgeth our consciences from corruption, vices, and iniquities.

The Sun also, which is a visible Image of the invisible Divinity, as for light, so for its vivifying heat, wherewith all sensible things are maintained, as the intelligible by the supercelestial Sun, works the same effect in case of purification, as fire. As we may see by experience, as the places where the Sun-beams come not, are ever musty and mouldy, and to purifie them wee open windowes to admit light into them: and there make great fires, which is very proper in the time of the Plague, for it chaseth away ill air, as light doth darknesse. Also evill spirits, who have more reputation in the dark, from plague walking in darknesse, the Hebrews call this Divell ravaging by night Deber, and from his violence and Meridian Divell, that of the day Keteb; the Greeks Ἐμπουσα. There is in the fire, saith Pliny, a certain faculty and medicinall vertue against the Plague. Who for the absence and hiding of the Sun, comes to form it self: wherein wee find by[Pg 95] lightning it here and there may bring great comfort and succour in many kinds. As Empedocles and Hippocrates doe elsewhere sufficiently demonstrate. There was also a Physitian at Athens that got much reputation, by causing them to kindle many fires during the Plague time. So that, the true Plague of the soul being iniquities and offences, which poison it, its theriac or counter-poyson, cannot bee better found then in the fire of contrition that the Holy Spirit kindles therein: My heart was hot within mee, while I was musing, the fire burned, Psal. 39. 3. There is also a fire of Tribulation which was spoken of before, that consumes our vanities, and unruly concupiscences; and makes us return to God, whereupon one of the ancient Fathers said, it was a happy tribulation that forceth to repentance. And St. Gregory, the evils that presse us here, doe compell us the sooner to come to God. And that for our greater good, that God doth thus burn us by the fire of tribulation: that which was said by the Psalmist 26. 3. Prove me O Lord, and examine mee, try my reins, and my heart: And in the 13. of Zach. vers. 9. I will bring the third part through the fire, and I will refine them as silver is refined, and I will try them as Gold is tried: For fire hath a double property, as hath been said; the one to separate the pure from the impure, and the other to perfect that which remains of the pure. Take away rust from silver, and it will go forth a most pure vessell: But the propriety of these significations is better kept in the Hebrew, then in any other tongue. Where the verb Szaraph is joined and attributed unto silver, which signifies, to melt, and to refine, and to Gold Bahan to prove. The one denotes Gods in Elect an holy purity of conscience by silver, the other by gold a perfection of constancy, which wee cannot know better then by proof: and from thence comes dignity and eternall glory, the one and the other acquired by the fire of Examination and of probation; for, as saith St. Chrysostome, that which fire is towards gold and silver, the same is tribulation in our soules from which fire cleanseth the impurities and uncleannesse, and makes them neat shining: following that which is said in the 17. of Prov. As silver is tried by fire, in the furnace, so God proveth the hearts of his Creatures, and in the 27. of Eccles. ver. 5. The furnace tryeth the Potters vessell, and tentation of tribulation, trieth good men. There are many, saith one of the Fathers, who whilest they are red in the fire of adversity, make[Pg 96] themselves flexible, and malleable, but departing therefrom, they harden themselves again as before, making themselves unfit for conversion or amendment; Origen in his 5. Homilie upon the 3. Chap. of Jesiu Nave, they that draw near unto me, draw near unto fire: If you bee (saith hee there) Gold or silver, the nearer you come to the fire, the more you will become resplendant: but if you build with wood, straw, or chaffe, upon the foundation of Faith, and come near the fire, you shall be consumed: very happy then are those that drawing near the fire, are therewith lightned and not burnt. According as it is written in the 3. of Mal. The Lord will sanctifie thee in burning fire. St. Augustine, upon a verse of the 45. Psalm. Wee have passed through water, and fire: Fire burneth (saith hee) and water corrupteth: When adversity comes upon us, it is as it were fire unto us: and worldly prosperities on the contrary are as water. The earthen vessell that is well hardened in the fire, fears neither water nor fire. Let us then study to amend our selves by the fire of tribulation, by bearing it patiently; for if the pottery be not firmly strengthened by fire, the water of temporall vanity will soften it and mingle it as durt. And therefore wee must passe through the fire, to come to the water of Mercy, and Grace, whereof St. John speaketh in the 3. of S. Mat. I Baptize you with water unto repentance, but hee that comes after mee is stronger then I, and he will Baptize you with the holy Spirit, and with fire. Of which fire we may see in the 16. of Wisdome, 17. for it is wonderfull, that in the water that quencheth all things, fire should be most powerfull. That which made St. Augustine himself say, that in the Sacrament of Baptism, which they exercise and Catechise, they first came to fire, and after to the Baptism of water: where the same comes to the temptations of this age, where in the anguish which oppresseth us, the fire first presents it self, but when the fear therein is out, it is to bee feared that a wind of vain glory proceeding from temporall felicity, dissolve it not into rain, which will come to quench the fire of heat and Charity, which affliction hath taken within our Souls. To this purpose, from fire to baptismall water, designed by the aforesaid passage, wee have passed through water and fire, this beats upon the 31. of Numb. of clensing by fire, and by water, according as the thinge may suffer: for visible baptism, is made by visible water, and wherein[Pg 97] the water consists in parts which is nothing else but congealed water, by the acuity of fire thrust thereinto: with which salt every Sacrifice must bee salted, that is to say, the externall man, and the invisible baptism of the internall spirituall man is wrought by the Grace of the holy Spirit represented by fire which of it self is invisible, and unperceivable, except it bee attached to some matter, as the soul is in the body: This fire there burneth in us mortall sins, and the water washeth away Veniall and Originall.

But some wil demand, What is that fire, from whence comes it, that so purifies our souls, and warms them in the Love of God, and illightens them with his knowledge? for wee love nothing but what wee know: and wee cannot know God, nor see his light, but by his light (In thy light wee shall see light:) that is to say, by his word and parol who hath vouchsafed to revest us with our flesh. Thy word is a fiery word, and thy servant loveth it. It this fire then which our Saviour saith, hee was come to send into the earth: and what will I, if it bee already kindled? For as Prometheus brought fire here below, which hee had lighted, in one of the wheels of the Suns Chariot: The word hath rendred, lightened in the Mercavah Chariot or throne of God, which is all of fire; as also in the 17. of Dan. vers. 9. Origen in his 13. Homil. upon the 25. of Exodus. Jacinth, Purple, double Scarlet, and Silk: sets down, that these four represented the four Elements, Silk or Linnen, the Earth from whence it came; Purple, Water, because extracted from bloud with the shell or cockle of the sea; Jacinth in Hebrew Techeleh, the Air, for it is without heavenly blew; and Scarlet, fire, by reason of its red enflamed colour. But wherefore is it there said, that Moses redoubled the fire; and not one of the rest? Because that fire hath a double propriety, the one to shine, and to bee bright, and the other to burn: wee must understand corruptible things, for upon the incorruptible, wee must look upon for this regard, to refine them and amend more and more. Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while hee opened to us the Scriptures? Luke 24. 32. said the Pilgrims of Emaus. And this is it wherefore it is commanded in the Law to offer double Scarlet, to adorn the Tabernacle. But how can this bee? Aske Origen, a Doctor instructing people in the Church of God, designed by[Pg 98] the Tabernacle, if hee did but cry after the vices, blasphem, and reprove them; without bringing instruction and consolation to the people, explaining to them the Scriptures, and the obscure sense therein concealed, wherein consisteth the internall Doctrin, and the mysticall understanding: hee well offers Scarlet, but simple and not double, because that this fire doth not but burn and not lighten. But on the other side, if they doe but clear and interpret Scripture without reprehension of vice and sin, and to shew requisite severity to a declarer of the Word of God, wee offer as it were simple Scarlet: for this fire there, doth not but illuminate & doth not enflame persons to repentance of their misdoings, correction and amendment of life: whereunto cooperates the Grace of the Holy Spirit, which is domestique fire, with which wee must salt our souls to preserve them from corruption: for there is nothing that doth more symbolize to the nature of the soul then fire: because it is that of al things sensible, which approacheth more to spirituality, as well for its continuall and light motion which soars alwayes upwards, as for its light, which Plotin saith must properly be attributed to the intelligible world, heat to the Celestiall, and burning, to the Elementary. And for as much as it participates more of light then any of the other Elements: that likewise acquires unto it a precellency above the rest: for the Earth being a body wholly without motion, dark and duskish; is by consequent lesse in dignity, as the settlement and lees of all others. Water because it is clearer, is more worthy, and the Air yet more: But fire is that which surpasseth all, therefore it is lodged in a higher place, and nearer to the Region of the air: It is that, which Vincent no despicable Author, was pleased to say in his Philosophicall Mirror, 2. Book, 33. chap. Every thing for as much as it participates more of light, so much the more it approacheth nearer to the Divine Essence, which is perfect light, by which God began the Creation of the Universe, or the first thing that hee ordained to bee made, was light: and to shew us, that wee must alwayes walk in light and not in darknesse. And on the contrary, how much more the Elements are distant from light, by so much they approach to their dissemblance and deformity, which is a token of corruption. For as much as the parties of the composed Elements are homogeneall and homomaternall, or like one to another, so much lesse are they[Pg 99] corruptible and separable, as wee may see in gold, the most proportionate substance of all, and which approacheth nearest to fire: that which moved Pindarus from the beginning of his first Olympian, to join these three, water, fire and gold together, water is best, gold, and shining fire, &c.

Doe wee not see that at every end of a field almost that the Earth doth change nature and quality, and that there are infinite sorts of them? Not so many of Water, Air is most like unto it self: but if there bee any changes or alteration therein it is by accident, as if some maladies should fall thereupon: which doe more readily adhere thereunto, because of its rarity of substance then to any others. Fire is altogether exempt therefrom, being alwayes one, and in its al like to his parts, which are like to themselves, except the matter to which it doth adhere makes it vary. And this it is in which it comes nearest to the Celestiall nature which is all Uniform in it self, and so well regulated, that it hath nothing unlike: which maketh that the fire is repurgative above the rest of his fellow Elements, to clear them and put in evidence. In the 12. of St. Luke our Saviour warneth his Disciples to have their Lampes burning in their hands, that their light might come to shine amongst men, that their good workes may bee seen, to glorifie their Father which is in heaven, for hee that doth ill hates the light, which Job saith is worse to Malefactors, then the shadow of death. It is the same also that Moses would secretly infer in the 3. of Gen. where hee makes God to walk at noon, which is the clearest light of the day. And the Apostle in the 1. of Tim. 6. 16. saith that he dwells in light in accessible, without which all would be confusedly folded up in hideous darknesse. Let us then take heed, that the light which hee hath pleased to put into our soul, be not obfuscate and converted into black obscurity: and that on this solid foundation which hee hath granted us of his knowledge, wee build not hay, wood, and chaffe, all things of themselves obscure and dark: in lieu of gold, silver, pretious stones, so clear, shining and bright. Let us hear again that which Zohar divinely discourseth of, about fire and light, upon the Text of the 4. of Levit. Thy Lord God is a consuming fire. That there is one fire which devoures another being the stronger, as wee may see in some burning firebrand, or torch, that which proceeds therefrom is of two sorts: the one blew, attached to a black match, which retaineth it self there nourish[Pg 100]ing it self from corruption. The other flame proceeding from the red inflamed Match is white, and the blew is white in the highest, as to return to the first originall: this Homer was not ignorant of, when in the 6. of his Odysses hee attributed to the Olympus a pure and bright splendor.

Nothing should better represent unto us the four worlds namely the white which is supercelestial, the blew celestiall, the match fired, the Elementary, and the burning darknesse, Hell: which abundantly shews us the body. Rednes, the vitall spirits, resident in the bloud; the blew, the soul; the white, the intellect, and the divine character imprinted in the soul: and as the blew light doth quickly change into yellow, quickly into white, the soul also can doe the same according as it shall incline it self to good or to evill: or whether thee follows the provocations of the flesh or the invitations and exhortations of the intellect, following that which is written in the 4. Gen. 7. If thou doe well, shalt thou not bee accepted? and if thou dost not well, sin lieth at the dore. And unto thee shall bee his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. The white flame is alwayes the same, without variation or change, as doth the blew: So the fire in this respect is fourfold. Black in the lower part of its weik, where the flame that is fastened to it, is blew. Red in the top of the weik, and the flame white. This which relates also, to the four Elements, black, materiall, to the Earth: Blew more spirituall to the air, Red to fire, and white to water. For heaven is composed of fire and water, which is above the heavens. Let the waters that are above the heavens praise the Lord. Yet neverthelesse all this is but fire, as Moses the son of Maynon declares very well in the second Book of his Mor. chap. 31. where he saith that under the name of Earth are comprised the four Elements, and by darknesse was understood the first fire: for it is said in the 4. of Deut. You have heard his words out of the midst of fire, and then he adds of a sodain, You have heard his voice out of darknesse: This fire moreover, was called the first fire, because that is not it which is shining and clear, but it is only, so transparent to the sight, as is the Air: and could not comprehend it self therewith, for if it were shining wee should in the night see all the air shine as fire. And for that the darknesse, which was first named, denoted fire, namely that whereof it is said, that darknesse was upon the face of the[Pg 101] Abysse: because the fire was under the three Elements; comprised under this word Abyssus. There are other darknesses which follow after: then when the separation of things was made, and the Darknesses he called Night. All this, the foresaid Rabbin put out. To which that would touch, which the Alcoran carries in Azoare. 65. I will send you a clear and beautifull fire. All this which adheres then to the low black part, is therwith consumed & destroyed, and holdeth place of death: after which, cometh true life: the blue flame likewise if it therein degenerate, and lets it predominate; but the white doth not endeavor but to uncover it self here below to transport it self upwards: and not suffer it self to bee over mastered by others. And doth not devoure nor destroy, nor is not thereby devoured, nor his clear shining splendor altered, as are those of the others: By reason whereof wee must adhere and let our selves be salted with this white fire, and bee illuminated with this fair white light that never varies, following that which is said in the 4. of Deu. You which adhere to the Lord your God, you are all living also, as at this day. But if our blew light the soul, adhere to the black, and to the red, which are our sensualities and concupiscences, the strange fire will force it selfe into us, and will devoure and consume us. This knowledge of the Elements, and of their colours, doth not insist only in composed bodies, here below, but thereby wee may mount as by Jacobs Ladder, the height of this celestiall world, where the Elements are also, yet of another sort, more simple and depured: and from thence to passe beyond into the intelligible world, where they are in their true essence; for all consists in the four Elements. Sons of wisdome understand (saith Hermes in his Tract of 7. chapters) not only corporally, but also spiritually, the science of the four Elements, whose secret apparition is in no wise signified, except they bee first compounded, because of the Elements; there is nothing made without their composition and Regiment. Will we dive more deeply into the secrets of this Caball? This Composition and Regiment of the Elements, is no other thing then the Sacrosanct four-lettered ineffable Jehovah: which comprehends all that which is, was, and shall bee: where the little and finall ה notes the body and matter, or other the like, where the Fire cleaveth or fasteneth unto: The ו vou or cloud copulative which[Pg 102] assembles the two ה the intelligible and the sensible, are the spirits that join the Soul with the Body: the red inflammation of the coal or weik, with the azure flame, doe signifie the soul: and the Jod is the white unchangeable and permanent flame of the intellect, where all at length comes to terminate, which whitenesse is the seat of the true spirituall hidden light, which is not seen nor known, but by it self: for indeed our nature to take it in it self, is but a dark substance; right resembling the Moon, which hath no light but what it receives from the Sun, which she is apt to receive, as our soul is that of the intellectuall light: And there is not a creature whatsoever, which is of it self a substantiall light; but only a participation of the only true light, which shineth in all, and through all, plainly and sensibly. It is the Chasmall of Ezechiel according to Zohar, whence proceeds fire or light assembled of two, which are yet but one thing: the white light, namely which mounteth and cleareth that, which no mortall eye could suffer, that of which is written in 46. Psal. Light is risen to the just, and gladnesse to the upright in heart: which corresponds to the intelligible world, and the inward man. The other is a twinckling and flaming light, of a red fiery colour, joined and united to a coal, or a weik, signifying the sensible world, and the ontward corporall man. The soul is placed in the middle, namely the blew light, part whereof, is fastened to the weik, and part to the white flame; quickly adhering to one, and quickly to another, whence according as shee applies it self it comes to bee either burned or illuminated, following that which Origen sets down upon the 14. of Jer. That God is a red burning fire, consuming and destroying, as concerning sinners, and to holy and just persons, a white rejoycing and vivifying light: Jamblicus, that doth not soar so high as Zohar, being not assisted but by the light and instinct of nature, said very well, but afterwards the Phœnician Theologie, that al which we can perceive of goodnesse and contentment, in this sensible world, comes from the light which is imparted to us from the Sun, and Stars illustrated with it. And as the Sun imparts his light to the Moon, to the Stars, and to the Heavens: so God (communicates his to the intelligible world:) the lively Fountain of all others, to his blessed Intelligences: So that, all what our souls can have of good, of joy, of beatitude, be it whilest they are annexed to the bodies, or separated there[Pg 103]from, comes from this primordiall light, which shineth in them by reflexion, as the Sun beams in a basin, a concave looking glasse, or in water, or twhart a looking glass, according as St. Denys sets it down, in his 4 chapter of divine names: which proceeding from the Soveraign good, carries therewith the same appellation. And Rabbi Eliezer in his chapters sets down, that the heavens were created with the light of the Creators vestment, grounding himself upon the Psalmist, 204. 2. Clad with light as with a vestment, and the Earth with snow, which was under the throne of his glory. All Rabinique Allegories, may men say, but where doe the great mysteries consist, from which St. Denys doth not straddle far in the place alledged? for even as this fair great and clear shining Sun, that hath in it self such a manifest representation and image of Soveraign good, extends its light throughout the Univers, and doth communicate it to all that are capable to receive it. So that there is nothing, which doth not participate of his light, and vivifying heat: there is nothing, that can hide it self from the heat thereof. In the same manner this Eternall supercelestiall light, illustrates, vivifies, and perfects all that which hath being, and banisheth darknesses and all softning hoarinesse, that may bee brought thereinto, lightning our souls with a desire alwayes to participate more and more of this light: for when she comes to prove it by little and little, and by degrees that helps it and conducts to the joy and fruition of a Soveraign good, which is the light of the Soul, namely the Intellect that clears it, to be able to apprehend the living spring from whence it came; for light is not seen, but by her self: the most worthy and excellent property of fire, with which it hath this in particular and proper, that shee makes her self to see, as it doth, and by her means manifesteth all that which our sight may apprehend. Yet there is nothing harder to comprehend, then that which is either of the one or of the other, for in shewing us, and revealing us all it is then, when shee hides her self most from us, even to blinde us and to reduce our brightnesse into darknesse; As is his darknesse, so is his light.

Wee must then not speak of God without light, because he is the true light because, O Lord, thou art my Lantern: which doth enlighten us, by thy word, Thy word is a Lantern to my feet, the splendor of the Father, and the living fountain of life: as holy St. Augustine after St. John. In him was life, and the life[Pg 104] was the light of men, and light shined in darknesse, and the darknesse comprehended it not. So that from this light, wee have double commodity: the one, that life, by which wee live, the other the light by which wee see, that which enlightens us. The spirituall man, the true man enjoyes the one and the other: the Carnall man, life onely: for touching the rest, hee is in darknesse, because they have been rebells to light, saith Job, because they have not her wayes. Even as if one should inclose a torch within a Lantern of cut-stone, or the like obscure and dark matter, where its light would remain as quenched and buried, without ability to extend it self abroad for the obstacle that hinders it. And if we want light (saith St. Ambrose) there would bee no more comelinesse, beauty, or pleasure in our house: for it is it which makes all seem agreeable: which he borrowed from Homer according to what was attributed in Suidas, who through an unseasonable time of cold, and rain having been received into an Inne, where they made him a fire, hee sodainly made verses containing in substance, that children were the ornament and Crown of the Father; Towers, of walls; horses, of the fields; ships, of the Sea; Magistrates, of the places of the Assembly, where they administred justice to the people; and a fair burning and lighted fire, the comelinesse and rejoicing of an house, which renders it so much the more honorable. To see a burning fire in an old house. Some attribute them to, Hesiod: Trismegistus amongst the rest cals light the father of all, who hath procreated man like unto it, participant of light, and of life depending thereon: and life was the light of men. The Father is as the Sun in his Essence: from whence comes splendor and heat, which three are not separated one from another, but remain united together, although they are distinct: in this fire then our souls are warmed in the Love and fear of God, and lightened in his knowledge. Whereupon Pope Innocent the 3. in a Sermon upon the Holy Spirit sets down, that hee was sent to the Disciples in shape of fire, to make them shine by wisdome, and to warm them by charity, that which regulates and forms life, and wisdom forms doctrine, and as this fire hath life, and heat by which it purifieth and cleanseth: so the Holy Ghost by its light illuminates the spirit of man by wisdome, and repurgeth it by its ardent charity. This is the fire with which the inner man, should be salted, for to salt, bake, and burn, doe communi[Pg 105]cate their appellations and significations, by their consemblable proprieties and effects: because that Salt boils in the tastes by reason of its acrimony, and fire the sense when it burnes, and a thing salted is half boiled, as is before said: as well to make it of more easie digestion, as to conserve it longer, which are the proprieties and effects of fire.

But to mount from fire here below to the Celestiall, which is the Sunne, the eye and heart of the sensible world, and the visible Image of the invisible God. Saint Denis cals it an all-apparent and cleare Statue of God; and Iamblichus the Image of Divine intelligence, the father of life, the Image and portraict of the Prince, and Soveraigne Dominator of all the universe, the light of the one, and the other world, the Celestiall and Elementary. But may we not here alledge at once this brave authority of Plutarch on the interpretation of the word El, where after he had turned it, and returned it about a pot by many discourses, which at last concluding nothing, vanished away in smoak: he concludes that this word, as indeed it is, would say nothing else, but thou art? which hath been drawn from the two first letters of the holy four lettered word JEHOVAH, transposed the one before the other, in the Greek E.L. which sheweth that they have all drunke of this Caballine or Mosaicall fountaine. And at last come to say, We worship God in his essence, by our thoughts, and reverence the Sun, which is its Image, for the vertue which it hath given it, to produce things here below: only representing by its splendor, which he communicates to all, I know not what appearance, or rather shadow of beatitude and mercy, so much as it is possible for a visible Nature to represent an Intelligible, and a moving to that which is immoveable and stable. We see the Sunne, as wel as fire, but not so neare, to be able so exactly to marke it, we shall very well conjecture in our spirit of that which we may well apprehend by sight, that this must be the most admirable peece of worke of all visible Creatures. For although it appears unto us little bigger then a dish or platter, in regard of the great distance betwixt us and it, so that I tremble to conceive it, after the very demonstrations Mathematicall, which are certaine and infallible, yet it is many times greater then the Globe of the Earth and Water joined together, which containeth more then 6000 miles about, an apparent witnesse of the wisdome and greatnesse[Pg 106] of its Architect. Of which Ecclesiasticus in the 43. chapter makes this fine Epiphonema, Who is he that can ever satisfie himself to contemplate the glory of the Creator? the Firmament in its height which comprehends all things under it, so pure and cleare? and the forme of this vast and immense hollow of Heaven so faire and admirable to the sight? Is not this an apparent vision of his glorious and triumphant Majesty? The Sunne at his rising shewing the light of the day (an admirable vessell) arrived in the middle of his dayly Carreer, it burns and rosteth the earth, and who is it that can subsist before its extreame heat? It burneth thrice double the mountains, more then the fiery furnaces the pottery which they put to scum off, exhaling from it selfe flaming vapors, and a splendor which darkens the most strong assured sight. Surely the Lord which hath made and formed it of nothing so fair, so great, and admirable, may well say it to be greater then his owne worke, and which hasteth it so speedily, as to measure this incomprehensible space in 24 hours. With the surplus of this discourse, which refers it selfe, and is as a Paraphrase upon the 19. Psal. where in few termes, there are touched three principall points of the Sunne: Its beauty compared to a spouse comming out of his bed chamber, and he as a Bridegroome comming out of his chamber, his force and impetuosity as a Giant to runne his course: nor is there any thing that can hide himselfe from the heat thereof. And its extream celerity, his going forth is from the end of the Heaven, and his circuit to the ends of it. So that as Saint Augustine in his third Sermon upon Advent, there are three things in the Sunne, its course, its splendor, and its heat; the heat dries, the splendor illuminates, and its course runs through the universe. And as in man, which is the little world, the heart is the chiefe seat of life, first living, and last dying: So the Sunne in the great man, which is the World, is the spring, the light and heat which vivifieth all things which imparteth to the Starres and to the Moone the light by which they shine; even as Christ, which is the Sunne of Righteousnesse, and the light of our Souls, which without it, would remaine buryed in a blinde obscurity. He that followes me shall not walke in darknesse, but shall have the light of life, which conserves it self for the good, and extinguisheth it selfe against the wicked witnesse, Job 18. The light of the wicked shall be put out. Where light[Pg 107] is such, that sometimes the evill Angels transform themselves to deceive us; for in as little as we can blow it backe behinde us, it growes dead and dissipates. But the true and right light doth illighten us without variation as well in the knowledge of God, in this which dependeth on our Salvation, as of things sensible and naturall; whereunto the clearnesse of the Sunne and of Fire, and their effects do guide us more then any other thing, to apprehend some sparkle of this soveraigne Wisdome, wherewith God built this great All by his Word. For every science to which we may attaine by our ratiocination and discourse, proceeds from the knowledge of sensible things, (for there is nothing in the intellect, but was first in the sense) but incertaine and variable, to be in continuall variation and vicissitude. So that the knowledge that comes from the light of Nature, is very weake, and full of doubts, and incertitudes, if it bee not illustrated by Divine Revelation, which makes us see all as it is in its true and reall essence, as the light of the Sunne doth all things corporall. So that the most part of heathen Philosophers, after they have alembeck’t their spirit to the perquisition of naturall causes, they finde themselves so confounded, that they are forced to avow that by the only way of ratiocination you cannot draw truth therefrom. As Aristotle discourseth thereupon well at large, in the 4. of the Metaphysicks. Ptolomie also, that we must not ground and rule our conceptions for regard of corporall things above spirituall; for they are farre distant each from other, and there is much disparity and disproportion between them. But yet lesse between intelligible above sensible; although they serve us herein as a ladder, following that which the Apostle saith, That the invisible things of God are seen by the Creation of the world, by things made, also his eternall power and divinity. We must therefore run back to this spiritual light, which holdeth the highest & soveraign place in the knowledge of the understanding; So that light is more properly of things spiritual, then corporal, and more certain and true are the invisible then the visible; for as much as God only is a true light in his essence from whence he derives into our spirit all the knowledg wherewith it can be illustrated, as the potentiall light of our eye is from the brightness of the Sun, or of something artificial, traversing the transparence of the air, the place of which eye the soul holds in spiritualty, as the divine Intelligence maketh[Pg 108] that of the Sun, which is a representation and image thereof.

By reason whereof, so long as our understanding shall leave it selfe to be cleansed by the fire of Divine love, he will ever keep its living and luminous brightnesse. But if it suffer it selfe foolishly to go after exterior light, it shall be also obscured and extinguished with the interiour which domineers over it, even as a small candle or wax taper with the twinckling beames of a cleare shining Summer Sunne. Sith then this sensible light, saith Saint Thomas upon the 36. of Job, by the absolute Omnipotency of God, who disposeth it as he pleaseth, it is sometimes hid to mortals, sometimes communicated; from whence we may gather that there is another light more perfect and excellent, namely the spiritual, which God reserves for a recompence of good works, following that which Job sets downe, God covereth the light in his hands, and ordaineth it that it should returne againe and manifest it self. He sheweth it to those he loveth, that they may well mount unto it. Whereto that of Zoroastres word for word was conformable. You must mount up to the true light and to the bright beams of your father, from whom the soul was sent you, revested with much intellect. Behold the relations of these Sunnes the sensible and intelligible, and of the two lights that proceed therefrom. For as that of the Sunne obtains the first place in corporall things, saith Saint Augustine in his book of freewill, and that by means thereof, the interiour communicate with the superiour, the same doth the light of the spirituall Sun in regard of intelligibles.

There are also things that have heat, and no light, as that of Animals of quick chalk besprinkled with water, horse and pigeon dung, which Galen writes, he hath seen to wax a fire of it selfe, heapes of oats, and other graines, except Barly, new wines which boil, the lees in the vintage, heaps of Olives, Apples, and Peares, which is a kind of putrefaction, whence also there is engendred some strange heat, as we see in Apostemaes, and in flesh which begins to bee corrupted; and on the contrary wee see others that have light and no heat; as worms that glister in the night, and of little flies that fly in the dark in summer time; of shels and scales of fish, in rotten wood, in stones, and in the eyes of ravenous beasts. Suidas speaking of the visible and invisible, this said he, cannot wel be expressed in words; it is as little flyes which flye in the summer, which by displaying their wings, fly into the eyes with[Pg 109] small sparkling fires; the worms also that shine in the night, the shels and scales of some fishes, and other the like, which cannot be perceived in the light, but very well in the darke, for the fire which so shineth from them in the dark, is not a colour, whose property is to make it seene at the brightnesse of the Sunne, or other light, because that the air being transparent and deprived of all colours, the sight might very easily pierce it, and passe through to apprehend them.

But there are four differences of visible things, some cannot see but by day, the others, on the contrary, but by night, others by day and night, and others that have no place in darknesse. Colours are not seen but by day, not by night; Of things called resplendent, some by day, others by night, others by day and night; for there are some that are illustrious and cleare, others darke and heavy, and others betwixt both; others that have lustre and splendor, dark and waterish, and are not seene but by night, as the foresaid flyes, worms, fish scales, rotten wood, and the like, for in the day time their splendor is surmounted by another more powerfull which defaceth it; as also there are more stars, so that the darker the night is, the clearer they shine. Those betwixt both, as the Moon and some Stars, by day and by night, as the morning and the evening Stars, called by the Greeks Phosphor, by the Latines Lucifer, this is Venus Starre. Fire also which pierceth the air more then it may, and illustrates it to demonstrate the colours that are therein; for the rest it is content to make it see, without bringing into action the transparence that is in the air, as we may see in the darke, where wee see fire a great way off, but not by the colours that are betwixt them. By day it shines also, but not act against the air, for that it is suffocated and extinguished by a stronger light. The clearnesse of the Moone likewise, for that shee is not very dark, shee is seen in the day time, but better in the night. Suidas runs through all this; But to the purpose of lights without heat, I have read of nothing more admirable and strange, then that which Gonzalo de Oviedo in the 15. Book 8. chap. of his Naturall History of the Indies, alledgeth of a certain little flying animal, of the bignesse of an Hanneton, very frequent in the Isle of Spaine, and in other Islands thereabouts, having two wings above, strong and hard, and two below them, two others more thinne and fine. The little[Pg 110] beast called Cocuye, hath shining eyes as lighted candles, so that wheresoever he passes he illuminates the air, and gives it such a brightnesse that a man may see him a great way off, and in a chamber as dark as it may be, even at midnight, men may read and write by the light that comes from them; So that if a man binde two or three together, this would give more light then a Lanthorne or a Torch, in the field: and amidst the Woods in the night, as darke as may bee, they make themselves to be seen more then a mile. This clearnesse consists not onely in the eyes but also in their flanks, when they open their wings. They are accustomed to serve themselves with them, as we do with a Lamp or other light, to sup at night, and to do the affairs of the house. But when he comes to determine and dye, its light extinguisheth also. The Indians had a custome to make a post of them to strike feare in seeing them by night, for that it seemed that they had a visage, being rub’d therewith, as if it were all fire. Plinie in his 21. Book, chap. 11. speaketh of a shining herb in the night, called Nyctegretes or Nyctilops for that we may see it shine a farre off, but he alledgeth many things by heare-say, as not having seen them.

But to returne to the Suns light which is therein more perfect, then in any other thing sensible with heat, for it is the true heavenly fire, as Speusippus said, which describeth all that appertaines to the nourishment of this great man, the Universe; as the Elementary doth the viands of the animal man. And as the heart in animals is the principall soul of life, the same is the Sunne in the heart of the world; and the primordiall spring of all light therein, which he departs to the Stars, as doth Jesus Christ to our souls. And no more nor lesse then the Sunne and the Moon (said Origen upon Genesis) illightens our bodies; likewise our consciences and thoughts are from this splendour of the Father if wee be not blinde, and that this proceeds not by our faults: Now if we be not all equally illuminated, no more then the Stars are by the Sunne, which differ in brightnesse one from the other but according to our capacity and carriage, and as more or lesse, we lift up the eyes of our contemplation to receive this light. Returne you towards me, and I will returne towards you, for he is a God at hand, and not a God a farre off. That which we can have of intelligence (saith Zohar) by our naturall ratiocina[Pg 111]tion, is as if our spirit were lightned by the Moone: but the Divine relation holds place of the Sunne, whence the light chaseth away and banisheth the Princes of Darknesse, where their greatest force and vigour raignes. The Sunne is risen, they shall be placed in their chambers, sayes the 104 Psalme speaking of Devils and wicked Spirits, under the name of savage and revenous Beasts. For (as Zohar puts it) these tenebrions are stronger and more gallant in the darke, so the good Angels that assist and favour us, receive great reinforcement from the light, not onely from the Divine, but from the Celestiall and solar, by which the Divine and Supreame shining brightnesse, imparts her vertue to the heavens, and by them communicates it to all that is under the sphere of the Moone within the elementary world. Wherefore, not without cause, about dead bodies till they bee put in the grave, they imploy lights to drive farre off this ancient Serpent Zamael, to whom for malediction it is said, thou shalt eat earth all the dayes of thy life; for our Bodies being deprived thereof, are no more but dust and earth. So that fire is a great aid and comfort to us, not onely during our life, but yet after our death against these wicked dark powers which gnaw in obscurity, as these night birds and savage beasts which dare not appeare in the day, fearing the light of the Sunne; how much more then that of good spirits their adversaries, which receive it from the divine resplendence? for the same, as is the Sunne towards it, the fire is in regard of the Sunne, who serves us, amongst other things to make us see this so great accomplished work of the universe built by the Soveraigne Creator of so excellent Artifice, and that which his light doth manifest unto us, in this sensible world, it is nothing for this regard, for the true being doth consist of things intellectuall, stript of all corporeity and matter, the Sunne it selfe, the rarest master-piece of all others, could not see it selfe, but by its proper light, which is presently accompanied with a heat vivifying all things; for there is a double propriety, one to shine and clarifie, the other to warme, yea to burne the subjacent matters which illuminates the whitenesse, and waxeth blacke with the Sunnes heat. The Sunne hath coloured mee, Cant. 1. Whereupon Origen notes, that there where there is no sinne, nor matter of sinne, there is scorching or burning following, the 121 Psalm. The Sun shall not burne[Pg 112] thee by day, nor the Moon by night; for the Sunne illuminates good men, but it burnes up sinners; who hating light for the evill they have done; for in many places of Scripture you shall finde that the Sunne and the Fire, whereof it speaks, they are not those that wee see, but the spirituall. The spirituall Sunne saith Saint Augustine, doth not rise, but upon holy persons, following that which is spoken of the perverse, in the 5. of Wisdome, The light of Justice is not risen upon us, nor the Sunne of Intelligence is not come to illighten us. As for its heat, it must rather be kept for witnesse of Holy Scripture, there is no man can hide him from the heat thereof; not to frivolous imaginations and subtilities of those that maintaine it to be neither hot nor cold, grounding themselves upon this argument, All heat in long continuance although that it remaine alwayes in the same estate and degree, doth notwithstanding augment it selfe, so that it would bee intolerable.

If then the Sunne be so hot, as it seems, after five or six thousand years since when it was first created, it would follow that there would come a conflagration under the torrid Zone, from whence he stirs not; who from thence was extended to all the rest of the earth; there where we see the contrary, for the whole is alwayes in the same estate. And afterwards for that the sunne is many times greater then the globe of the Sea, and the Earth, and its Sphere, so farre esloigned from it, that it hath no proportion with it, it should follow, that it was as hot in one time and place, as in another. With semblable deductions, against which it is easie to contradict, but this would turne us aside too farre from our principall Subject. Anaxagoras also said, that it was a grosse enflamed stone, or a plate of burning fire. Anaximander, a wheel full of fire, 25 times greater then all the earth. Xenophanes, an heap of little fires. The Stoicks, an inflamed body, proceeding from the Sea, wherein they have shewed the affinity of fire and salt together. Plato a body of much fire; and thus, one after one fashion, one after another, but all tending to make it of the nature of fire. Moreover, it is a thing too admirable, of its greatnesse, so immense, whereupon the spirit of man hath fair Galleries to walke, in pursuit of the high fetched meditations of Gods mervails; for (as Chrysostome said well upon Genesis) we must from the contemplation of the creatures, ascend and come to the Cre[Pg 113]atour. So that those then, are very ignorant and void of understanding, who cannot from the Creatures, attain to the knowledge of the Creator. Those that dwell in the extremities of the West, where it goes as it were to bed, in the waters of the Ocean, see it at his rising of the same grandeur, as those of Catai, where it riseth; which sheweth the smallnesse and disproportion of the earth in comparison thereof. That if the Moone, which is farre inferior in greatnesse thereunto, sheweth it selfe almost equall, it is by reason of the great distance from the one and the other, for by so much as things are at a distance, by so much the more they lessen themselves to our sight, and this is sufficiently verified by the rules of perspective. Surely these are two chiefe Masterworks, that of these two great luminaries, which are not of small ornament and commodity, for the life of man, as Saint Chrysostome puts it, upon the 135. Psalme, but it doth contribute much thereto, yea almost all, in regard of that which concernes the body; for besides the light wherewith they enlighten us by day and by night, they distinguish times and seasons, help us to make voyages, as well by Sea, as Land, they ripen fruits, without which our corporall life could not be maintained, with other infinite usages which proceed from them. The Sunne is put for the whole Heaven, for that it is the greater part thereof, and for fire; and Heaven is the seat and vessell of incorruptible and unalterable bodies. The Moone president of moisture, represents water and earth, and salt composed thereof; for there is nothing wherein moisture is more permanent, nor which is more moist then salt, whereof the Sea for the most part doth consist; and there is nothing where the Moone doth more distinctly make her motions to appeare, then in the Sea, as we perceive in the ebbing and flowing thereof, and in the braines and marrows of Animals, so that for good cause she is called the Regent of the waters, and of phlegmatick and waterish moisture; which although it seem to be dead and inanimate, (in respect of fire which is living) she is permanent chiefly in salt, which hath an inexterminable humidity; and is that which keepeth the Sea from drying up, for without Salt it had been long agone drawn out and dryed up, there where the fire lives not in it, but in another; for in that it is a materiall Element, it hath no place proper to it. Of these two, namely, the heat of the Sun, and moi[Pg 114]sture of the Moone, in which consisteth the life of all things; and without which nothing would grow, increase, nor be maintained, not fire it selfe, which cannot subsist without air, which is double, one participating of the heat of fire, ascending from the water (out of the bowels of moist nature, a sincere and light fire forthwith flying out, seeks things aloft, saith Trismegistus.) And the other as water descending from fire, so long till it come to congeal. For so there is one moist water which tends upwards, to rarifie it selfe in the aire, and another cold comming downe to thicken it selfe in the nature of Earth, untill at last it comes to terminate in red fire, which is in gold, for gold is the last substance of all. And Aire is the mediating conciliator betwixt the moisture of passable water, that constitutes matter and the fires heat, on which the Agent and form doth depend. Earth is as the matrix where fire, by the means of air and fire introducing its action, excites, and thrusts out, which is thereby engendred to its determined end. The other five Planets, and the fixed starres come in but collaterally, as assistants and coadjutors of the effects of the two luminaries, where all their influxions are reduced, as do the rivers of the Sea, and from the earth reciprocally comes back their norriture; so that heaven and fire, are as the male, the agent, and water and earth, as the female, patient; but under heaven, the air is comprized. And as mans seed, inclosed and lapped within the matrix, is nourished, fomented, and entertained with corrupt bloud by the help of naturall heat, so fire, by the means of air and water, is maintained in the earth for the production of things which engender thereof. So the Heaven, Sunne, Fire, and Air, march together, and the earth under, which are comprised in the Elements below, water and dry land, on their side. It is Moses Heaven and Earth, and Hermes his high and low, which relate one to the other; that which is above, is as that which is below; and on the contrary, to perpetuate the miracles of one thing, as he saith in his Table of Esmeraulds. Zohar the intelligible and sensible World, by the contemplation whereof, we come to the contemplation of spirituall things, which the Apostle before him had touched in the first to the Romanes. The invisible things of him from the creation of the World, are made knowne by those things which are seene; for all that is here below in the earth, is of the same manner as in heaven above;[Pg 115] for God the Creator made all things annexed one to another, which Homer was not ignorant of, by his golden chaine to bind together this inferiour and superiour world, and that they adhere one to the other, that his glory may stretch through all, above and below. And in imitation thereof, man the image of the great world, and the measure of every thing was thereof made and formed of things low and high. And God took dust and thereof formed Adam, and breathed into him the breath of life; the very light that shineth in the sensible world, depends upon this superiour light that is hid from us; from whence proceed all faculties and vertues, which from thence are expressed to our knowledge, for there is nothing here below that doth not depend from that above, by a particular power, committed unto it, to govern and excite it to all its appetites, and motions, so that all is bound together.

We hold well for the remainder, that all we have from light in the sensible world, comes from the Sun, for that of the Moon, and of the Stars although inumerable, is a very small thing; yet it proceeds from the Sun; and that of fire, is but artificiall to give us light for default of the Sunne. But how shall it square with that to be willing to attribute the primitive source of light, and chiefly that of the producing and vivifying to the sunne, for that we see in the beginning of Genesis, that the first thing that was made, was the light on the first day, and the Sunne not till the fourth, vegetables being produc’t from the former? This was (say the Rabbins thereto) most wisely advised by Moses, as all his other writings proceeding from divine inspiration, to take away from men all occasion to Idolize this luminary, when we see that light was procreated before it. But in this respect there presents a very rare mystery, and worthy of observation, that the complete perfection of things fals out alwaies on the fourth day, as of the light. The Sunne and Moone were made the fourth day, waters on the second day, produced nought but fishes; the fifth, which is the fourth after, and al animals; the sixth with man, for whom the fruits of the earth were made the third. Which sheweth us that the 4 number so much celebrated by Pythagoras, denoteth the perfection that resides in ten, resulting from the four first numbers, 1, 2, 3, 4, make ten.

So Plato was willing to informe his Timeus, where he treats[Pg 116] of the procreation of things by these words, one, two, three, but where is the fourth? Zohar upon this particle of the 14. of Leviticus, you shall keepe my Sabbaths. See saith Rabbi Eliezer, what is the mystery here contained. In six dayes was the world created, in each of those is manifested the worke that was made therein, and God gave it his particular vertue after he had finished it; but on the fourth be attributed one more expresse, for those of the third preceding, being secret and hidden, came not in evidence, except that the fourth day happened their faculties would reveal themselves; for water, air, and fire, the three superiour elements remained as suspended, and the workmanship of them did not appeare till the fourth day manifested them, and then appeared all that was made on each. But if you will alledge that this was the third day, that then God said, Let the earth sprout and produce the green herb, producing seed; and the fruit trees bearing fruit after his kinde, which hath his seed in it selfe upon the earth, and it was so; yet this, notwithstanding that this happened on the third day, he suffered not to be annexed with the fourth, without any separation; the which fourth comes to meet with the Sabbath, which is the fourth day, the fourth, and is by it selfe the perfect fourth, where there appeared all the works of the six preceding dayes: and it is the fourth foot of the Merchavah, of the divine throne, whereon God sate for his repose all the six dayes, Thus discourseth Zohar.

We must not here passe over another mystery, which these two luminaries have, each three names, the Sunne is called Chomah wisdome, Scemesch heat, and Cheres drynesse. Plato in Timæus, All moisture that the celerity of fire raised, and that which remained arid and dry, wee call κεραμὸν potters earth. That of Maor Luminary, is common to the one, and to the other. The Moone is called Malchut, reigne, or kingdome, Jareha, which the Greek call μήνη for that she perfects her course in a month, and lebenab white, for as the Sun representeth Jesus Christ, the Moon denotes the Church which is all fair without any blemish, following that which is written in the 6. of Canticles 10. Who is she that looketh forth, as the morning, fair as the Moone, clear as the Sun? Of this light of the Sunne of Righteousnesse, whereof it is said in the fourth of Malachy, But unto you that do feare my name, the Sunne of Justice shall arise, 4. 2. Where the Moone the Church is[Pg 117] illustrated on a perpetuall day without darknesse, according to Esay 60. v. 20. The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, who hath planted his Tabernacle, or Church, within the fair clear shining Sunne, that illuminates every man that comes into the world; no more nor lesse then the starres, which are innumerable, and the least as big as the whole earth, receive all their light from the visible sunne. Of whom shall it not here bee lawfull to relate something of his praises of the Song that Orpheus made unto it.

Hear mee most blessed
Sunne, Worlds heart and eie,
Heavenly brightnesse shining,
Living mens pleasing aspect,
Begetting Aurera in thy right hand,
And the night on thy left.
Thou governest the four seasons,
Who dance in a round,
At the sound of thy golden harpe
Thou runnest through this great vault,
Upon thy shining Chariot
Drawn with thy Coursers
That respire heat and life.
Ardent, unpolluted measurer
Of times, that shewes thy selfe to all.
A Soveraigne aid to each,
Keeping faith, eye of Justice.
Brightnesse of shining light.

Behold that which we here thought to runne through concerning these three fires, (as for the three salts which relate thereunto, we will speak thereof hereafter) namely, the Terrestriall and Elementary, the Heavenly and Solary, and the Intelligible, that of the Divine Essence denoting the Father, from whence proceeds the light which is the Sunne, and these two the heat of the Holy Spirit, which kindles our hearts with the love and knowledge of God, and with charitable love to our neighbour.

The same in heaven, the light of the Sunne expands it selfe to illighten all the starres, and here below to the production and[Pg 118] vivification of all that which is there begotten, and maintained. And in the Elementary world, fire doth clear us, warm us, and boil our viands, and lends us all other commodities, and usages.

As for fire in the 66. of Esay 15, 16. which the Evangelist cites here, whose fire shall not extinguish, and whose worme dieth not. It is without doubt destinated to the punishment of reprobates, which shall never be quenched, nor the worme that stingeth the conscience shall never dye; To keep that this worm that is engendred of corruption may not procreate, we must salt it with discretion and prudence, that it may do nothing which may offend and scandalize his neighbour, according as the Evangelist specifies it, Hee that shall scandalize one of these little ones that beleeve in mee. And as for banishing and chasing away strange fire, that devours our soul, as a burning feaver doth vitall heat, this must be done by the mediating intervention of divine fire, which is much more puissant then any other. Let us heare that which to this purpose Saint Ambrose alledgeth in the 3. chap. of his Offices, Saint John baptized Jesus Christ with the Holy Ghost and with fire, which is the type and image of the Holy Ghost, who after his ascension, must descend for the remission of sinnes, so enflaming as a fire doth the soul and heart of the faithfull, according as Jeremie saith in 20. & 9. after he had received the Holy Ghost, and it was as a burning fire in my heart, shut up in my bones. What is the meaning then of that in the Maccabees, that the fire was become water, and this water excites the fire, but that the spirituall grace burneth by the fire, and by the water it doth purifie and cleanse our sinnes? for sinne washeth and burneth, according to which the Apostle saith, fire will prove what each mans works shall bee; for it must necessarily be, that this examination should bee perfected in all those that desire to returne into Paradise. It was not without cause, nor idlely set downe in the 3. of Genesis, that after Adam and Eve were banished from thence, he placed at its entrance a brandishing sword of fire, to keep the passage to the tree of life. With this fire then we must all be salted that are in the way of salvation; following that which Origen set downe in his 3. Homil. upon the 36. Psalme, Wee must all goe to the fire of Purgatory, and Peter and Paul, but all shall not passe thereby, after the same[Pg 119] sort as they did, whereof it is said in the 43. of Esay 2. When thou shalt passe through the waters, the waves shall not cover thee, for I will be with thee, when thou shalt march through the fire, thou shalt not bee burnt. The Israelites passed through the red Sea dry-shod, and the Ægyptians were drowned therein: The three children in Nebuchadnezzars furnace, had no detriment, and those that heated the fire without, were therewith consumed. And in the 19. Hom. upon the 16. of Leviticus, All are not purged by this fire that parts from the Altar, it is the fire of the Lord; for hee that is from the Altar, is not of God, but a strange fire, dedicated for the cruciating of sinners, which shall never be quenched, nor the worm that gnaweth shall never dye: for after that the soul by a multitude of its wicked comportments hath heaped up within him abundance of sinnes, this congregation of evils in succession of times, comes to boil and enflame us with a paine and punishment internall, as the body doth of a feaver proceeding from the excesse of the mouth, or other superfluities, when she shall come to thinke and relate a history of its delinquencies, which will bee a perpetuall prickle, wherewith it will bee tormented, so that shee will make her selfe as an accuser and witnesse against her selfe, according as the Apostle said, Rom. 2. 15. Their conscience also bearing witnesse, and their thoughts either accusing or excusing one another, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of all men. But Jeremie on the other side, speaking of a drinke of the wrath of God, which shall be poured out upon all manner of Nations, whereof whosoever will not drinke, shall not be purified; and from that we learne, that the fury of Gods vengeance, profiteth for the purgation of souls, as well in generall as in particular, and there is nothing more purgative then fire, of which the Prophet Malachy should say in his 3. chap. 3. The Lord will sanctifie them in a burning fire, and such is the fire of tribulations and adversity, with which we must be salted and purged; for salt is purgative above any other thing, as wee may sufficiently perceive in those that drink Sea water, who all dye of a flux. Of the other fire which is exterminative and strange, of which it is also in the 10. of Leviticus 2. And a fire went out from the Lord, and devoured Nadab and Abihu: God said in the 32. of Deut. v. 22. They shall burne unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her encrease, and set on fire the foundations of the Moun[Pg 120]taines. For the justice of the Almighty, said one of the good Fathers foreseeing that which must come, from the beginning of the world, created this fire of eternall hell, that whereof Esay intends to speak, whose fire is not quenched, to beginne to be the punishment of the wicked, without that burning and heat should cease, now for that it is neither wood nor charcoale, nor other matter to maintain it, but shall be eternally tormented therewith in body and soul, because they have offended with the one and the other; for sins are the bait and nourishment of this fire, which by a gathering together of misdeeds, and superabundance of iniquity heaped one upon another, enflame the soul to a perdurable punishment, even as a burning feaver, the repleat body, and render it a joice of ill digestion, by a superfluity of viands, and other disorders, and excesse from whence there was drawne a wicked habitude; for the soul then comming to remember her delights, agitated with the living and most rigorous pricks which gall it, she comes to be her owne accuser, by certaine remorse of conscience that can profit them no more, (because in hell there is no redemption) and to be his witnesse and judge, as the Apostle sets it downe in the 2. of the Romanes, Their conscience bearing witnesse, and their thoughts accusing them, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men. But there is also a fire in this world, by which we must be salted and purified, for as much deduction of it as we must endure from thence, namely, tribulations, which are to us as a Minorative in Physick, of the compleat purgation that wee must receive thereby.

The two foresaid fires furthermore, that of the Altar, and the strange, may be very properly compared, that there to aqua vitæ, the other to aqua fortis, which ends and destroyes all, where aqua vitæ serves for nourishment, for all that wee eat or drinke participates thereof, and is that which passeth and converts into nutriment. It is true that it is revealed more nearly in some subjects then in other. Wine is that where it manifests it self soonest, and with lesse preparation and paine, afterwards wheat, and so of the rest; for there is nothing wherein nature doth so soone make his profit, as of these two. Aqua vitæ is also called burning, because it conceives so easily the flame and burneth, for that it is necessary, that whatsoever doth nourish must suffer under the fires action. Otherwise how is it that naturall heat could[Pg 121] work thereupon, which is much weaker then that of fire? wee know by experience that we could not draw any nourishment from stones, metals, earth, and other substances, whereupon fire cannot bite: and if wolves doe sometimes eat clay, wild-ducks, and other birds, small flints, and gravell, it is either to avoid vacuity, or for some medicament to them knowne by a secret instinct of nature, but not that this doth digest or serve them for maintenance, no more then Iron doth Ostriches; which yet they corrupt by a strong and great heat of their stomach. But you will say, that this assimilation contraries the text of the 10. of Leviticus where Aarons sonnes are so burned for offering strange fire.

That which Rabbi Simeon to Zohar relates in part, that they served at the Altar, being drunk, and overcome with wine, for that which followes after demonstrates it; that God said unto Aaron, Thou nor thy sonnes shall not drink wine when you enter into the Tabernacle: whereto may be answered, that similitudes cannot in all, or through all agree, otherwise it would be the same thing they represent. Aqua vitæ doth not make drunke if men take not so much at a time, that it may alienate people from their spirit. And yet being separate from wine, the remainder should be nothing but phlegme, and residences, which cannot in any sort make drunke, nor being therewith mingled and adjoined by nature, as to stoppe again the acuity of the aqua vitæ. Yet we see by experience, in Germany and other cold Regions, where aqua vitæ is in good esteem, as well for the quantity which they take; it doth not for that make men drunke, as wine would do in such a quantity, as that, wherewith it should be quenched; and putting a little Salt in very strong wine, it will make men drunk sooner then to drinke it pure. I have often made tryall, that often joyning together aqua vitæ to that which men had drawne, this mingling could not cause drunkennesse any more, because the parts once separated of the compounded elements, and then reconjoined, take another nature then it had at the first. Certes it is a great support and comfort that aqua vitæ hath for a weak stomach, either through age or other accident, although men thinke that it burnes and offends the noble parts; for though it be inflamable, it is not therefore burning. He that would see the great vertues thereof, let him read the Quintessences[Pg 122] of Raimund Lullius, Rupescissa, Ulstadius his heaven of Philosophers, for wee will not stay here as on a thing too triviall and beaten. They call it the quintessence for the conformity it hath with the celestiall nature, because that as the heaven, which is as another Air, but more subtill then the Elementary, contains the Stars, whence it receives divers impressions and effects that it doth infuse and communicate unto us, here below, the same Aqua vitæ doth easily impregn it self, with the qualities and specificall vertues which are therein put to infusion. To this proposition of heaven and Stars, and of their different impressions, wee will not here passe over a fine dispute which here presents it self. The Earl Pica de Mirandula, truly a prodigious spirit accompanied with great Literature, in his 3. Book against Judiciall Astrology, 25. chap. transported with too hot a curiosity to impugn this Art, Will we (saith he) prove that the vertue of all the Stars is but even one? Let us suppose this Maxime. That the nature of heaven cannot more openly and sucinctly, expresse, then by saying heaven to be a unity of all bodies, for there is nothing in all the universe that doth not depend upon this certain one, as from his primitive course, with many other premises wherewith hee would conclude that of the propriety and vertue of each Star indifferently, depends the facultie and vertue of all the composed Elements, without having there other difference between them, if peradventure, this was not in greatnesse; as it is apparently seen: nor can men say, that one presides more particularly to one thing here below, then to another: for every Star presides to all; so that if all were joined and united together in one onely body, this should be as if infinite flames and fires should come to assemble, to make but one, which would be stronger then true, but not of diverse propriety and nature, which doth not change it self into homogeneall, and homomaternall substances, by a coacervation, nor which comes to produce other effects then it did, being separated, as one may see in water, and a great torch in respect of a little waxe light, which will light infinite others as well as the torch, though more powerfull, to heat, boil, and burn, as being in a greater volume.

But it is a very hard thing to overthrow an opinion already received of long durance, chiefly if it bee supported with au[Pg 123]thority of holy Scripture; which must bee to us as a touchstone, by it to verifie our ratiocinations, for the most part uncertain and erroneous, if they bee not conducted by divine inspiration: It is written in the 147. Psal. 5. He knoweth all the Stars, and calleth them all by their names. That if they have all different and particular names, wherefore should it serve but to distinguish them in their effects, proprieties, qualities and vertues? for the name of things, imports the same. Follow that which is said in the 2. of Gen. as Adam named every thing, such was its true and proper name: which Plato in his Cratylus saith is not onely the type and representation of things, but their Essence. And in this case there is a fair consideration to bee marked, that God left to Adam the nomination of terrestriall things: but reserved to himselfe that of Celestiall: as hee expresseth in the 115. Psal. 16. The Heaven of Heavens are the Lords, but the Earth hath he given to the children of men: which is as much to say, according to Rabbi the Ægyptian in the 2. Book of his More, or director, 25. Cha. That the Creator knoweth himself alone the certain verity of the heavens, what is their form, substance, and their motions; but upon that under heaven he hath given power to man to know, for Earth is properly mans world, where hee produceth, and the place of his conversation, as long as hee liveth: as fire and light attached to matter: there where the causes upon which we might found our demonstrations concerning heaven, are out of our knowledge, being so far remote from us. And in this case the Heaven of Heavens, are the Lords, there may be a double exposition, according to the punctuation and reading. That Heaven belongs to the Lord of Heaven, and so the Hebrewes take it, but who doubts, but that the Earth also belongs to him, as well as the Heaven? The Earth is the Lords, and the fulnesse thereof, and in the 23. of Jer. Doe not I fill the Heaven and the Earth? And the Heaven of Heavens is reserved for God, and the Earth is left to the children of men, which is a manner of speech usuall in the holy Scripture. For if the Heaven and the Heaven of Heavens cannot comprehend thee, saith Solomon to God; for the Hebrewes metaphorically call Heaven, things that are far distant from our sight: and we also after their imitation, as when wee speak of a Kite, Heron or Gerfalcon, when they fly so high, that wee can hardly discern them, that[Pg 124] they goe to loose themselves in Heaven: so that all which is here under the sphere of the Moon, and generally all that is above us, they call it Heaven: and the Heaven of Heavens, the Æthereall Region from the Moon to the Firmament, as well the Firmament it self, or the Empyrean Heaven. But farther that the Stars should bee all of one nature, propriety and effect, to see them so like, besides their greatnesse and clearnesse, it follows not that the same appears of the same sort as of fire, yet wee commonly call them fires and celestiall lights: It is as if the seeds of trees and plants, whereof there are infinite, should all mixe together, and the first buds also, that they cast, which differ as nothing, but to the measure whereunto they grow, their differences doe manifest them. The Hebrewes hold that there is not so little, and poor a herb on the Earth, nor any other thing of the three kinds of the composed Mineralls, Vegetables, or animals, that hath not above its correspondent Star, that assists it, and from which it receives its maintenance and conservation. But how can that agree? will some say to the contrary; because it seems to derogate and contradict that which in expresse terms is set down in the 1. of Gen. where it is written, that in the third day, the Earth of her self brought forth herbs, and trees, containing in them their seeds: according to their kinds: neverthelesse the Sun, nor the Moon, nor the Stars, were created till the day after, the fourth by which is designed its effect and function: Let there bee lights made, in the firmament of the heaven, namely the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, to separate the night from the day: and let them bee for signes, and seasons, for dayes and years: without attributing any thing of their assistance, upon trees and plants, and other elementary things.

But to return to the particulars of Aqua vitæ, there will be no hurt here to touch upon this experiment thereof made, very gentile and rare, leaving others that are more common, Aqua vitæ hath this particular, that it dissolves not sugar, nor joines not with it, as doth its flegm and common water, vinegar, and other liquors: but by artifice it self, of two it makes a thrice sweet liquor, very proper against the fluxes of Catarrhs, and salt rheumes, that molest the stomach, and throat, and is thereunto very good and comfortable. Lay in steep a day or two Cin[Pg 125]namon grossely beaten; and take off the infusion very neat: take fine sugar within a pottage dish that hath ears, brought into fine small powder, and so perfume it, mingle it with a small portion of Sugar roset. Poure thereon this Aqua vitæ and make them a little warm upon ashes, then put fire thereto with a lighted paper, stirring all well with a little spit of clean wood, so long untill the Aqua vitæ burn no more, & there will remain a liquor most agreeable to the taste, and mervailously comfortable: you may add thereto liquor of pearls, Coral and other the like, which dissolve easily in the juice of Citron or distilled vinegar, which makes it sweet to stream out upon it a quantity of common water or the phlegm of Aqua vitæ: and not by calcining it as Paracelsus and his followers do, with Salt-Peter, which is manifest poyson: so that things are done in vain by more, that may be done by fewer, so that it bee justly done. Further, every one sufficiently knowes how to draw Aqua vitæ, filling two parts of the Alimbeck with Glasse, or Beuvois Earth, with good old wine, and distilling it with an easie fire through a Bath in a Caldron full of water, with chaffe. Continue the distillation untill you see long veines and sprouts appear, in the Chappe and in the Recipient. For it is Aqua vitæ, which mounts first, and the phlegm comes after in grosse drops, as tears; which is a token that there is no more Aqua vitæ. Men may refine it, passing again another time: But I should not bee of an opinion, that to take it into the body, it should bee more then once. And it is a strange thing that by its own subtilty, for it will mount through five or six doubles of paper brovillas without wetting it. I have seen them cast a full glasse thereof in the air, and not one drop to fall to the earth: It is of soveraign force against all burnings and chiefly that of small shot, with which shee hinders (as was said before) the Estiomenes and Gangreenes: An inflamation arising from pure choler in the skin exulcerating it with pain. which sheweth sufficiently the purity of its fire which may by good right be called Celestiall. See here that which Raimund Lullius sets down of his proprieties and vertues. Wee must not understand (saith he) that neither quintessence nor any other thing here below, can render us immortall. It is ordained for all men once to die: nor can we prolong our dayes beyond and above the prefixed time, for that is reserved to God. Mans daies are short, and the number of his moneths are with thee: thou hast appointed his limits which hee[Pg 126] cannot passe, there where on the contrary they may well bee accidentally shortned: Aqua vitæ then, nor all other sorts of quintessences and restoratives, cannot prolong our life for one minute of an hower; yet they may conserve and maintain it to the last but, preserving it from putrefaction, which is it, that shortens it most: But to defend putrefaction by corruptible things, that cannot bee; we must therefore find out some incorruptible substance, proper and familiar to our nature, which conserves and maintains the radicall heat, as oil doth the light of a Lampe. Such is the aqua vitæ drawn from wine, the most comfortable and connaturall substance of all others, provided it be not abused with excesse. Plutarch in the 3. Book, the 8. question of his Symposiaques, compares wine to fire, and our body to clay. If you give fire (he sets it down there) which is of a mediocrity to the clay, and earth to the Potter, he will consolidate it in the pots, bricks, tiles, and other the like works, but if it be excessive, hee resolves it, and makes it melt and run. Moreover Aqua vitæ, preserves strongly from their corruption, as wee may see by things vegetable and Animall, which men put there to mingle, which by this means conserves them in their entire length. It comforts and maintains a man in vigor of youth: which it restoreth from day to day, it rejoyceth and strengtheneth the vitall spirits: it digests crudities taken fasting, and reduceth the equality, the excessive superfluities, and the defaults which may bee in our bodies; causing divers effects according to the disposition of the subject where shee applies her selfe, as doth the Sunnes heat, which melts wax and hardens durt, and fire doth the same. And there is that celestiall spirit residing in Aqua vitæ, so susceptible of all qualities, proprieties, and vertues, that she can make her hot, empregning it with hot things, cold with cold things, and so of the rest; being shee is naturall, conformably to our soule, inclinable to good and evill, for although it consists of the foure Elements, they are therein so proportioned, that the one doth not domineer over the other. Wherefore they call it Heaven, whereto wee apply such starres as wee will, namely of the simple Elements, of which she conceives the proprieties and the effects: herein we may compare celestiall fire to the Altar.

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But strong waters, which dissipate and ruine all, are this strange fire, and so Alchymists call them, and fire against nature externall fire, and other the like exterminatives. Certes if the effects of Cannon Powder be so admirable, consisting of so few species, and ingredients, which may be well called the true infernall fire, the devourer of mankind. The action of strong waters is no lesse which burne all, being compounded onely of two or three substances, that which wee commonly call the Separator, Salt-peter, Vitriol, or Allum Ice, and this dissolves Silver, Copper, Quicksilver, and Iron in part. La Regalle which is no other thing then the preceding rectified upon Salarmoniac, or common Salt, dissolved partly with Iron, Lead, Tinne, and intameable Gold, with all sorts of fire. It is true, that strong waters doe not destroy metals, that they returne not to their first forme and nature, but drawes them to water, and a melting liquor. This was certainly a good Artificiall industry in mans spirit, to excogitate so short a way to separate Gold and Silver melted together, and so uniformedly mixed, that an ounce of Gold melted with an hundred markes of Silver, each part thereof will equally attract his portion, as wee may see by the refiners practise, which to prove that which it holds of Gold & of Silver, a confused masse of divers metals will take but 30. grains to make their essay in the Coupelle, and from thence will judge that the same proportion that you shall finde in this small volume, shall bee also in the whole masse; all that which may bee therein of impure imperfect metall goes away partly in smoake, and is partly consumed by fire, and partly sticks like Birdlime within the Coupelle, nothing remaining above it but what is fine, namely Silver and Gold, which is there inclosed, with which they separate strong waters called on the occasion the divider, which dissolves Silver into water, and Gold falls to the bottome as sand; the water afterwards evaporated, the Silver retires it selfe. But here it would be too much to speake of the effects of strong waters, one of the principall and short instruments of Alchymie, and the Art of fire and Salt, with infinite fine allegories, which thereby may be appropriated upon Holy Writ.

Yet these two fires may be compared, namely the strange fire[Pg 128] to Leaven, to the Sea water which is salt, and to Vinegar, a corrupted Wine, and other sorts of Leavens Fires against nature. And the Celestiall to the Altar to pure and unleavened Past, to sweet water fit to drinke, to Aqua vitæ, without Vinegar, representing the state of innocence in our first fathers, before their transgression, and the simplicitie of their knowledge, infused into them by the Creator. But when they were once tempted afterwards with ambition, to know more then they should, they would by humane discourse become more subtill and sage, in tasting the fruit of knowledge of good and evill; their Past without Leaven began to swell, to bee proud with the Leaven themselves introduced, which perverted and spoyled it, appropriating it to corporall and sensible things, for the bread which wee eate is leavened, but that which wee use in the Church must not be so, and not without cause, for unleavened bread will bee kept six moneths without molding or corrupting; that leavened bread will not keep so many weekes. It is therefore that the Apostle said, a little Leaven corrupts the whole Masse: Because that one propriety of the Leaven is to convert into their corruption all that is adjoyning of their nature, as Vinegar doth Wine, and Leaven pure Past, also Rennet which is in the number of Leavens. And when they have no Leaven, they make some, corrupting the Past with Vinegar, Lees of Beere, Egges, and like substances, who by their corruption acquire to themselves the propertie of strange fire which is able to convert into its nature, that where it can bite, as wee may see in a Feaver against naturall heate, so that hee turnes it selfe into all things, and all into it selfe, according to Heraclitus, who set it downe for the Principall, yet after Zoroastres, who thought all things were begotten of Fire after it was extinguished, for being living it begets nothing, no more doth Salt, nor the Sea which Homer calls ἀτρὺγετος unfruitfull, which doth nothing but consume and destroy: An immense and wicked portion of things (saith Pliny) and wherein it is doubtfull whether it consume or bring forth more things. Leaven then is a strange fire, and is indeed caustique or burning, for applyed to naked flesh, it engenders therein little cloches, which shewes its fierynesse, (also it doth not so without Salt) called for this reason in Latine fermentum,[Pg 129] Leaven which increaseth by bring warme: and in Greek ζύμη Leaven from ζέω to boile. The Chymicks call it the interior fire, fire within the vessell, for wee see by experience, that bread, if the Past be not leavened, what boyling soever you give it, shall never be but of a hard and uneasy digestion, greatly oppressing the stomach, if the Leaven which they joyne thereunto make it boyle within; whence then it comes that Moses so knowing a man, and so illustrated with the Divine Spirit, so rejecteth a thing so profitable and necessary, and banisheth so expresly the Leaven of the Sacrifices, which is so great an aide and succor in our principall aliment, Bread. You shall burne no Leaven nor Honey in the Lords Sacrifice, Levit. 2.11. And Exod. 12.15, hee condemneth to death those who in the dayes of unleavened bread should eate leavened bread, or should have ever so little in his house. Is it not because Idolaters use Leaven? but hee doth not forbid it in all and throughout all; for in the 23 of Levit. 17. he commands them to offer two leaven loaves. Moreover Idolaters imploy also in their Sacrifices Salt and Incense, and many other things that are not forbidden. It must then bee that some mystery lies hidden hereunder. Origen in his 5. Homil. upon Levit. interpreteth Leaven for arrogance, that wee conceive of a vaine worldly doctrine, which blowes us up as leaven doth Past, and makes us proud, thinking that wee know more then wee doe. So that wee quit the expresse and direct Word of God, to retaine our selves within our phantastique traditions, as our Saviour reproacheth it to the Pharisees, Mark. 7. Truely Esay prophecied very well of you Hypocrites, when hee saith, This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is farre from me, howbeit in vaine doe they worship me, teaching for Doctrines the Commandements of men, Mark. 7.6,7. And therefore admonisheth us to beware of this Leaven. And upon Numbers, it is not to beleeve said the said Origen, that God would punish with death those who during the solennitie of unleavened bread had eaten leavened bread, or that had leaven found in their houses, but by leaven is understood malignitie, envie, rancor, concupiscence, and the like vices that inflame our soules, and make them boile with wicked and pernicious desires, corrupting, altering, and perverting all that which might bee good, following what the[Pg 130] Apostle said, a little Leaven corrupts the whole masse. Therefore wee may not undervalue any little sinne, for after the manner of Leaven it will very soone produce others; undervalue not, saith St. Augustine, the machinations and ambushes of a few men; for as a sparkle of fire is a small thing, and which can hardly bee discerned if it meet with food and nourishment, it will in a short time set on fire great Townes and Cities, Forrests, and whole Countries. Leaven is the same, for how little soever you put in your Past or Dough, it will alter it in short space and convert it to its owne nature. Perverse Doctrine is of the very same, which gaineth Countries by little and little, as a Canker doth in the whole body.

And in his third Book against Parmenian to glorifie himselfe, not in his sinnes, but in those of others, as the Pharisee said, Luk. 18. 11. I give thee thanks O Lord God, that I am not as other men are, Extortioners, Unjust, Adulterers, &c. I fast twice in the weeke &c. comparing his owne innocence to the defaults of others, this is but a little leaven, but to boast himself in iniquities, and trespasses, is a great one; Furthermore, Leaven is taken in good part, as well as in bad part, in holy Writ; which relates to the two fires. The first hath been touched heretofore for pride, and naughtinesse, that corrupts the soule. Touching the good, in the 7. of Levit. 12, 13. there are loaves of leavened bread, which they offer for peace offerings, with oblation of thanksgiving, and in the 23. 17. of every family two loaves of the first eares of wheat at Pentecost; and in St. Matthew, and the 23 of St. Luke Jesus Christ compared the Kingdome of God to leaven that a woman had put into three measures of dough, till it was all leavened; for there it is taken for the fervent zeale of ardent faith; and it is the fire wherewith we must be salted: for as the fire boyles our meats, and the salt seasons them, also leaven is the cause that the past bakes the better, and prepares thereby to make more wholesome, and of lighter digestion, more savoury, and of better tast: In which case leaven relates to the Evangelicall Law, as Saint Augustine saith, and old leaven to the Mosaicall, which the Jewes tooke by the barke, and by the hairs. By reason whereof the Apostle admonisheth us, to cast it farre from us: that is to say, all superstition, and malice; Cast off the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened, for even[Pg 131] Christ our Passeover is sacrificed for you. Therefore let us keep the Feast not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickednesse, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, which leaven is without doubt this strange fire, that devoures and consumes us within; that is to say, our soul, to swallow us up, and make us goe downe living into Hell. And the Fire of the Altar, the celestiall fire of charity, faith, hope, it is that which we must desire of God to kindle in our hearts, and to season our thoughts and our desires, that no corruption be begotten there; as it doth here below in things corruptible and corporall; the prompt Minister, and executor of that, which the divine goodnesse will please to give of comforts and commodities in this temporall life. What obligations then do wee owe thee, thou excellent portion of Nature, without which we should live in so great misery? thou doest lighten in darknesse, thou dost make us rejoyce in obscurity, bringing us another day. Thou doest chase away from about us, hurtfull powers, feares, and nocturnall illusions; thou doest warm us being cold, thou doest redry us being wet; thou bakest our viands; thou art the soveraigne Artizan of all arts and manufactures which have been revealed unto us, to serve as a rampard against our naturall Imbecillities, that make us in regard of our bodies the feeble and infirm animall of all others. All this by reason of thy Divine beneficence, thou doest communicate to all mortals. And thou, O cleare luminous Sunne, the visible image of the invisible God, the light whereof, doth rebate it selfe in thee, as within a fair manifold multiplying glasse, rendring thy selfe overflowing with all sorts of happinesses, which afterwards thou communicatest to all thy sensible Creatures, being so fair and so desireable a liberall benefactor, thou arisest most resplendent, with luminous beams, which thou doest spread abroad into all parts of the world, and by the vertue of thy spirit, and breath, by thy vivifying vigour, thou governest and maintainest this little All. Thou the illustrious Torch of Heaven, thou the light of all things; cause and secondary Author of all that groweth here below, which by the faculty and power, which the Soveraigne dispensator of all goodnesse hath given thee, obligeth all nature to thy selfe; which with an unwearied course, doest dayly run through the foure corners of the Universe. Thy beauty, thy[Pg 132] light, thou doest lend unto our senses by thy unknowne and imperceptible Divinity, and impartest it with a liberall largess; without any vaile or covverture that come to enterpose betwixt them to the Church, thy deare spouse, to break open to us here below, the effects illightning by the same meane of thy inextinguible and inexhaustible Torch, all the celestiall fires. Looke upon us then with a benigne and favourable eye, and by the excellent beauty which shewes it selfe in thee, elevate our understanding to the contemplation of this other more great, that no mortall eie can behold, nor spirit apprehend, but by a profound and pious thought, for as much as it will please him to gratifie it.

But thou Soveraigne Father of this intellectual fire and light, what can wee bring thee here, but devout supplications and prayers? that it will please thee to burne with the fire of thy Holy Spirit, the wills and courages of us thy most humble Creatures, that wee may serve thee with a chast body, and to agree with thee by a pure and neat conscience: to the honour and glory of thy holy name, and salvation of our soules: through our Lord Jesus Christ, thy deare Sonne, who liveth and raigneth with thee, God coeternall, forever and ever, AMEN.

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The second Part of the Lord
BLAISE his Treatise
touching FIRE and

very man shall be salted with Fire and every Sacrifice shall be salted with Salt, Mark. 9. 49. Wee have already spoken of Fire, Salt remaineth, of which there is no lesse to say. But it is strange that the Ceremonies of Paganisme, should be found in this respect, and many other in Mosaicall Traditions; Fire shall alwayes burne on the Altar; Lev. 6. 12, 13, The Priest shall burne wood thereon every morning, &c. And in the 2. 13. Thou shalt season with salt all the Oblations of thy Sacrifices; and thou shalt not forget to put the salt of Gods Covenant under them; with all thy Offerings thou shalt offer Salt, which Salt Numb. 18 19. called the everlasting Covenant before God to Aaron and his sonnes. And Pythagoras in his Symboles, ordaines not to speak of God without light, and to apply Salt in all Sacrifices and Oblations. And not onely Pythagoras, but also Numa, which most part of men, hold to have been 100 years before Pythagoras, instituted the same according to the Doctrine of the Hetrurians. It is not beleeveable that Moses so deare and welbeloved of God, and so illustrated with his inspirations, whence proceeded all the documents that he left, and[Pg 134] so hot a persecutor of Idolatries and Ethnique superstitions, that hee would borrow any thing from them. But more likely that the Devils instigations who makes himselfe alwayes as his Creators ape, to make himselfe to idolize, was willing to divert those sacred mysteries to their abusive impieties, according to which Josephus against Appion, and Saint Jerome against Vigilantius, doe very well sute: so that as in the Judaicall Law they used no Sacrifices and oblations in Paganisme, but they used Salt as Pliny witnesseth in 31. Book 7. Chap. Especially in holy things the authoritie of Salt is understood, when none were made without a Salt Mill. Plato to Timæus, when in the medly and commixtion of the elements, the composed is destitute of much water, and of the more subtill parts of the earth, water resting therein comes to bee halfe congealed, saltnesse is there brought in which hardens it the more, and so there is procreated a body of Salt, communicated to the use of our life, for as much toucheth the body and senses, accommodated by the same meanes according to the tenor of the Law; on that which depends the service of God, as being sacred and agreeable to God, wherefrom hee called it a body beloved of God, for which Homer called it Divine, whereof Plutarque in his 5. Booke of his Symposiaques 10. question renders many reasons, and among others, for that it symbolizeth with the soule that is of Divine nature, and as long as it resides in the body, keepes it from putrefaction, as Salt doth dead flesh, where it is brought in in stead of a soule that keepeth it from corruption, whence some of the Stoicks would say, that Hogs flesh of it selfe was dead, and that a soule which was sowed therein in a manner of salt to conserve it longer exempt from putrefaction, to which a soule was given for Salt. Our Theologians say that the ceremony of putting Salt into water when they hallow it, came from that which Elisha did, 2 Kings 2. 22, 23. to sweeten the waters of Jericho, by casting Salt upon the Spring. And that notes the people which is designed by water (many waters are many Nations) were sanctified, must teach us by the Word of God, what Salt signifies, with the bitternesse and repentance that men should have for offending God, as water also doth the confession as well of faith as of sinnes. Of the commixtion of these two, salt and water, pro[Pg 135]ceeds a double fruit to separate from ill doing, and convert to good workes. And for that repentance for sinne ought to precede auricular confession, which repentance is denoted by the bitternesse of salt, they blesse it also before water: It is also taken for wisedome, You are the salt of the earth, and have salt in your selves. And because that in all their ancient Sacrifices they used salt, from thence it came that in Baptisme they put salt in the mouth of the Creature before it is baptized with water, for that it cannot yet actually have the mystery of salt applyed for the present.

On fire then and on salt depend great and secret mysteries, comprized under two principal colours, red and white, for (as Zohar hath it) all things are white, and red, but there is a great space betwixt the one and the other. God dieth our sinnes which are red, for concupiscence comes from the blood, and from the sensualitie of the flesh besprinkled with blood, and we doe die his whitenesse in red or rigour of Justice, by the fire which inflameth our carnall desires, and purchaseth their judgement, which is throughout where there is fire, if it bee not mortified with saving water. And when the perverse doe prevaile in the world, as ordinarily they doe, rednesse and judgement extend themselves therein, and all whitenesse covers it self, which is rather changed into rednesse then rednesse into whitenesse; which if it have domination, all on the contrary growes resplendent therewith. To these two colours also the ancient and the Evangelicall Law, the rigour of justice and mercy; the pillar of fire in the nights darkenesse, and the white cloud by day, wine and bread, blood and fat, which were not lawfull to eate. You shall not eate flesh with the blood, Gen. 9. 4. And in Levit. 3. 16, 17. All the fat is the Lords, it shall bee a perpetuall Statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that yee eate neither fat nor blood; where it is yet more particularly repeated in the 17. and 14. where the reason is rendred, for that the soule, that is to say, the life of the flesh, is in the blood, which mystically represents that of Messiah, wherein consisted eternall life; so that it was not lawfull to use any other before his comming. Of the same fat was reserved for God as well that which the Hebrewes call cheleb, that covereth the inwards, and is separated from the flesh, as the other called schumen, which is thereunto annexed; but metaphorically the fat is taken for the most exquisite substance,[Pg 136] as in Numb. 18. the tenths the best of the fruits are called the fat of them, which manner of speech wee also use when wee say, make the portion to be very fat of any thing that there is. And in the 81. Psal. 16. Hee fed them with the fat of Wheate. It may bee also that Moses well knowing that these two substances, blood and fat, are of ill tast and nourishment, and quickly corrupted out of their vessells, hee forebad them the use thereof. Or if wee would enter into a certaine mystery, for that the vitall spirits consist in the blood, which are of a fiery nature, and that fat is very susceptible of flame, and proper to make lights, which are a representation of the soule. But Oile is also for Lamps, which was not forbidden to bee eaten, and wee doe not see that in Divine service wee use Tallow Candles; yet these two, fire and salt, doe signifie Wine and Milke, I have drunke Wine with my Milke, Cant. 5. 1. By Wine is designed the tree of knowledge of good and evill, namely vaine curiosities of worldly things, and by Milke, that of life, whereof Adam was deprived, being desirous to tast of that other, which was humane prudence. Before Adam had transgressed (said Zohar) hee was made participant of the sapience of superiour light, being not yet separated from the tree of life, but when hee would distract himselfe after the knowledge of base things, this curiositie ceased not till hee had wholly cast off life to incorporate himselfe to death. Jacob and Esau, the two principall Potentates on earth which are descended therefrom, Item the Rose and the Lilly, whose water extracted mounts by the fires heat that elevates it and becomes white, although the Roses bee red, as is the fume exhaled from blood and fat which they burne to God, to send it on high as a vapour, to imply (saith the same Zohar) that wee must offer him nothing but what is cleane and candid; for rednesse represents sinne, and punishment that followes it, and the white, sinceritie, with mercy and the finall recompence that doth accompany it. What is it (saith Zohar) which is designed by the red Roses, and the white Lillies? It is the odour of the oblation proceeding from red blood, and from fat which is white, which God reserveth for his owne portion, which fatnesse relates to the sacrifice, or animall mar, who is nourished with this fat, as the vitall spirits with blood; wherefore it is said, when we fast to extenuate and macerate the pricks of the[Pg 137] flesh and concupiscence, that we offer unto God fatnesse, who will have from his Creature the soul, which is fire and bloud; and the body, namely fat, wherewith it is nourished, but the one and the other incontaminate, pure and neat, without corruption, as if they were to passe through the fire and salted; Therefore he would that they should be burned to him, that they may ascend in a white fume and an odour of suavity before him; for fume is more spiritual then matter, which the fire by subtiliation raiseth it, after the manner of Incense. And indeed all this world here, is but an odour that mounts unto God, sometimes good and agreeable, sometimes wicked and hurtfull. The forme of the thing which consisteth in its colour, and figure, remains incorporeall in the matter, where the eye goes to apprehend it, and associates with it. The tast also, remains attached to it, as the spittle moistens it, and communicates it to the tast: But odor or smell, separates them, and comes from farre by an unperceivable vapor, to the sense of the nose and braine. Wherefore the Scripture doth particularize in the rose and in the lillies, the Red and White; whose smell doth not vanish. And yet though the roses be red, yet the water of them distilled, and the fume if you burne them, are white, as those of incense, whereof it is spoken in Psal. 41. 2. Let my prayer be directed as incense, in thy sight: by prayers are understood not only prayers, but all our desires, thoughts and comportmens, and thereupon Rabbi Eliezer, sonne of Rabbi Simeon, the author of Zohar, making his prayer, doth thus paraphrase. This is well knowne, and manifest before thee O Lord my God, God of our prayers, that I have offered unto thee my fat, and my blood: I have offered them in an odor of Suavity, with firme faith and beleefe, macerating, chastising the sensuality of my flesh: That it will please thee then Lord, that the odor of my prayer, proceeding from my mouth, may be presently addressed before thy face, as an odor of a burnt offering, which they burne unto thee, upon the altar of propitiation, and that thou wilt accept it as agreeable. He said that because that after the comming of our Saviour, & the destruction of the second Temple by the Romans, the Jewish sacrifices were converted into prayers, the bloudy sacrifices signified by the red roses, and colour of bloud, and those without bloud, as the minchad & other the like, of meal, by the white lillies, following that which was said Cant. Chap. 5. & 6. My beloved is white and ruddy, he feedeth among the lillies.

[Pg 138]

Under these four colours furthermore, which signifie the four Elements, Black the Earth, White the Water, Blew the Air, and Red the fire, are comprised the greatest secrets & mysteries. Otherwise reading in ch. 10. of 35 book Plinie, that Apelles had painted Alexander holding lightning in his hand; fingers seemed to hang out, and lightning to be without the Table; but reading they remembred that all those consisted of four colours. I cannot well specifie what those four colours were, which must be principall in nature, till I had learned out of Zohar, to consider them in the light: where, that is to be noted, that there are two fastned to the week, namely black, noting the Earth, and red proceeding there from fire, and two to the flame, Blew in the root, over against the black, and white on the top, opposite to red. But let us see how this doth well suit with Chymicall Theorie, which constitutes of these four Elements, two solid and fix’d, which prepare themselves together, the earth, and the fire, which adhere to the week, and the other two liquid volatills and flitting, water, and air, white and blew, as is the flame which is liquid, and in perpetuall motion: And we must not think it strange, that the air, the blew, should be lower then the water, or the white flame which is aloft, because the aereall party which is the oil and fat, separate more hardly, and more difficultly from the composed, then doth the water more opposite to fire. But let us look more mystically thereinto, which the Zohar hath more abundantly run through. The red light, as well in earth as in heaven, is that which destroyes all, dissipates all; for it is the bark of the tree of death, as we may see in a lamp, candle, and other light, whose root is in the earth, namely, this corruptible and corrupting blacknesse which watereth the week; the branches and the boughes are the flames, blew and white. The week with its blacknesse and rednesse is the Elementary world, and the flame the Celestiall. The red colour commands all that is under it, and devoureth it. And if you say that it domineers also in heaven, not as in the inferiour world, wee may answer. And although there be vertues and powers above that are destructive, and dissipate all base subjacent things. All these superiors are anchored in this red light, and not the inferiors, for they are thick, grosse, and obscure; and this red light which is contiguous to that above, gnawes, and devours them; and there is nothing in the[Pg 139] low world which shall not be destroyed. It penetrates and enters into stones, it pierceth them, and hollowes them, that waters may passe over them, and drowns all in the depths and hollowes of the earth, where they divide themselves, of the one side, and on the other, till they come to resemble anew in their Abyssus, passing crosse the darknesses that are confounded with them; which is the cause that waters rise and fall, (they mount when they come from the sea under earth to their sources, to glide anew above the earth downwards, returning to the place from which they parted.) So that the waters darknesse and light mingling themselves pellmell, there is made within another Chaos, which nature comes to unmingle (the heat namely which is therein inclosed) by Ordinance of the Soveraign Dispensator that commands it. And there make lights which men cannot see, because they are dark. Every channell (to be brief) mounts upwards with his voices, whence Abyssus are shaken, and cry to their companion, One depth calleth to another, in the voice of their Catarracts. And who is it that cries? Open thee with thy waters, and I will enter into thee. These are all mysteries uneasy to comprehend, which intend nothing, but to demonstrate the affinity and connexion of the sensible with the intelligible world, and of the Elementary with the Celestiall; for, as it is said in another case, the Universall firmament, called the firmament of heaven, containeth things superiour and inferiour; although after divers manners. This is wel seen in a torch, where blacknesse, that is, the Earth, is the ground of three elements and colours, the red being but an inflammation and heat joined to the blacknesse, without any flame or light; as are the blew and white, which proceed from one very root, all tend a going to unite with the white flame that is above, and more highly elevated then others. Yet it is not therefore so pure and quit of all filthinesse, but that it procreates soot, with black and infected fume, whereof it must be depured by fire, till it hath perfected the consumption of its corruption, and made it a perfect whitenesse, which from that time forwards never alters. And this is that which we said before, that fire leaves two sorts of excrements, not sufficiently depured for the first proof. Ashes below, whence by the same fire is extracted as incorruptible substance of salt; and of glasse at the last, which the Zohar was not igno[Pg 140]rant of, when he said upon Exod. of the lees of any confected ashes, salt and glasse is drawn. But now for that it was not so said, it is a thing sufficiently common and manifest to those that deal with fire, which Cinerall excrement comes from the adustion and burning of coals, but the soot which is more spirituall, for that mounts and elevates higher, is born of the flame which hath no leasure or power to perfect its mundification, so that the pure and impure mount together. And assuredly nothing can better agree with our souls after their separation from the body, which carries away with them the imapurities which they have attracted from it, during their residence here below, which they must repass by fire, & be perfected by white throughout. Every man shal be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. The weik and ashes representing man, the exterior animal, and his body, and the two flames, blew, and white; the blew the Celestiall and Ethereall body, and the white, souls stript of all Corporeity: which in good men shall be burnt with fire that burns alwaies upon the altar, and salted with salt from the Covenant, the promises namely of his Messiah, into which the Prince of this world, hath but seen, as it hath done in the posterity of Adam, which is al filled with ashes whereof it was first built, & with the soot of originall sin, whereunto he fastned by his disobedience, prevarication; So that we are the night where Moses began to reckon the day, for that we are according to the flesh, before the Messiah, who being come after, is the enlightned day of this clear sun of Justice, which the Cabballists say is the representation of Jehovah, whose sheath (as they call it) is Adonei, from whence God must be drawn out: for it is hee, that mundifies the righteous, and burneth the wicked with dark and obscure fire. To which that also beateth, which is said of the Thrones Animalls, there shall descend a Lion enflamed, that shall devour the oblations. There are Angells committed upon every member that sinneth, of whom they constitute themselves the bringers on: for every man that commits any offence, he suddainly delegates to himself an accuser, which will be no more favourable to him then he must be, but will lend him a fire from above, to burn that member that shall have trespassed. But Jehovah intervenes from above, who with his water of mercy, quencheth this fire, after the party Delinquent shall have his spots purged away. And[Pg 141] there is but he alone, that is the angel of peace, that make the souls reconcilation with God, to whom she comes by the intercession of this sacred name: there is no other name; all that the Zohar sets down, which is as Christian-like spoken by a Rabbin which was never baptized.

That premised for a ground work of what we shall say hereafter, St. Marks Greek text carries it, πᾶσα θυσία ἁλὶ ἁλιθήσεται, every sacrifice shall be seasoned with salt; where the Latin version which the Church holdeth, for θυσία a sacrifice, as in truth this Greek word signifies, all sorts of sacrifices, hostia’s, victima’s, and ceremonies: But Porphyrius in his second book of sacrifices, doth particularize it to herbs that men offered to the Gods, for from the beginning they did not present them: this he spake of Incense, Myrrhe, Benjamin, Storax, Aloes, Labdanum and other the like odoriferous gums; but only certain green herbs; as certain first fruits of seeds that the earth produced; and trees were procreated from the Earth before Animalls, and the earth was clothed with herbs, before it produced trees. By reason whereof, the gathering certain pieds of herbs all entire with their leaves and rootes, and seeds, they burned them, and sacrificed the odour and fume that proceeded therefrom to the Immortall Gods: and of this exhalation they cast, which the Greeks call θυμίασις suffitus, perfumed, whence comes the word θυσία victima sacrifice. Therefore they do not refer them properly to bloody sacrifices, for the Romans for more then 800 years since, by Numaes Ordinance, had no Images of Gods, nor other sacrifices, then dough with salt, which were from thence called ἀνὰιμακτα, that is to say, without blood. Hitherto Porphyrie.

It hath been said heretofore that there was nothing more common, nor lesse well known then fire. And as much we may say of salt: wherefore it is that Moses made so great account of it, as to apply it to all sacrifices. Calling it the perpetual Covenant that God made with his people; of which alliance by the Hebrews called Berith, they found three or four marks in the Scripture; The bow of heaven, Gen. 9. 9. Gen. 17. 2. Circumcision to Abraham, and the universall paction, Numb. 18. 19. Further yet the Paction of the Law received in Horeb, Deut. 5. 2, & 3. The Lord our God made a Covenant with us in Horeb; which hath been time out of mind in singular and venerable recom[Pg 142]mendation towards all sorts of people; you bless your tables by putting on of saltsellers (saith Arnobius to the Gentiles.) But Titus Livius in his 26. that they may have a saltseller & a dish or platter for Gods cause. And Fabricius, that thrice valiant Roman Captain, had never gold nor silver but a little drinking cup, whose foot was of horn, to make his offerings to the Gods, & saltseller to serve for sacrifices forbidding, as Plinie hath it, in his 33. book, 12. ch. to have other Silvery then those two. It was furthermore a marke and symbole of Amity, as was salt: Wherefore the first thing that they served strangers, comming to them, was Salt, to note a firmity of their contracted Amity. And the great Duke of Muscovie, as Sigismund puts it down in his Treatise of the affairs of Muscovie, he could not do greater honour to those that he favoured then to send them of his salt. Archilocus as Origen alledgeth against Celsus, among other things, reproacheth Lycambas to have violated a very holy and sacred Mystery, of the amity conceived betwixt them by the salt & the common table. And upon Saint Matthew speaking of Judas, he had not (saith he) any respect either to the remembrance of their common table, or to salt or bread which we did eat together. And Lycophron in a poem of Alexander called salt ἁγνίτης purifying and cleansing; alluding to that of Euripides, that the sea washeth away all faults from men, for that the sea which the Pythagoreans because of its bitternesse and saltnesse, call it Saturnes tears, and a fift Element, and is nothing but salt dissolved in water. And certes it is a thing very admirable, the great quantity that there is of salt; sith that we hold it for an infallible maxime, that God & Nature made nothing in vain. For besides that there is found thereof in the earth, part in liquor which they scum off, part in yce, as at Halle in Saxony, and at Barre in Provence, part in hard rocks, as in Teplaga a land of Negroes, where they carry it more then two hundred miles off upon their heads, and transport from hand to hand by relayes, even to the Kingdome of Tombur, serving for money that passeth for currant in all those quarters, as it doth also in the Province of Caindu in East Tartarie. According to Marc. Pole in his 2 book, 38 chap. and also that if they have it not for all purposes in their mouths, their gums rot, because of the extream heats that raign there, accompanied with corrupting Moorish moistures; for which reason they must hold[Pg 143] thereof continually moistening it with a thing that doth hinder putrefaction.

I have many times made triall very exactly, that of Sea-water, men make or draw more then halfe of salt, causing the fresh water that is therein, sweetly to evaporate away; what an enormous quantity then would there remaine of salt, if the fresh substance of the Sea were there from extracted? There are no sands or deserts, of what long extenditure soever, that can compare therewith, not by the 2. thousand part; for many men would equall, yea preferre the Sea in quantity and greatness unto the earth. We must not here dwell long on particularities that concerne salt. Plinie in his 35. Book Chap. 7. The greatest part depending upon nothing but hearesay, for all tend to no other thing, but in the first place to shew that there are two sorts of salt (as tis true) Naturall, and Artificiall. The Naturall growes in flakes, or in a rock by it selfe, within the earth, as is aforesaid: the Artificiall is made with sea-water, or with liquor, as a pickle drawne out of salt pits, as they doe in Lorrain, and the French County of Burgundie: which they boyle and congeale upon the fire. He there sheweth many examples, and indeed those which are more difficult to beleeve: let the faith be on the sayers part, and among others of a certaine lake of Tarentin in Poville, not deeper then the height of knees where water in summer time by the Suns heat is all converted into salt. And in the Province of Babylon, there growes a liquid Bitumen, a little thick, which they use in Lamps in stead of oile. This inflamable substance being stripped therefrom, there remaines salt, there under hidden: as indeed wee see it by experience that out of every thing that burns there may be salt extracted, but there doth not appear any thing therein but waterishnesse and inflamable unctuosity which must be taken away by fire, this done salt remains in the ashes. And this salt (saith Geber) in his testament retaines alwayes the nature and property of the thing from which it is extracted, if this be done in a close vessell that the spirits may not vapor away, for there would remaine that which the Gospell cals sal infatuatum, as we shall say hereafter.

The best salt then that may be, and the wholesomest, is that which is made with sea-water in Brouage. And after the example thereof, that the trough throughout, where the salt water is[Pg 144] made of clay or glue, as potters earth: and that whereof tiles is made; furthermore you must courry this trough by Artifice that it drink not, nor suck up the water which men draw therefrom, which is done by beating it with a great number of Horses, Asses, and Mullets, tied one to another that they may trample thereon, so long that it be firme and solid, as a certain barns flore to thresh wheate. This done, and having hollowed the channels, to put in the water, then we must have a care that the salt-pans be something lower then the Sea (Plinie in his 2. Book Chap. 106. (a) The first receptacle or bond of salt water whereof salt is made.
(b) A trunck or pipe of wood through which sea-water passes, one of the last receptacles whereof salt is made.
sets downe that salt cannot be made without fresh water) they set in the first place a great receptacle where they draw the water which is called the (a) Jard: and at the end thereof a sluce by which having applyed thereunto below a hanch with a stopple called the (b) Amezau, they make the water run from the Jard into Parquets, which they cal Couches, & of these Couches giving thereto a requisite hanging, by other stopples, 2. in number, called the gate of the Poelles, which are therein enchased within other Parquets called soldering or planching with boord, windings and means to make the water turne, by divers windings and channels almost after the manner of a Labyrinth, which it doth for a great way before it come to render it self at last, within the Parquets and hollowes where the salt must be congealed: alwayes diminishing the quantity of water, that the Sun-beames have therein more action, and that it be better warmed before it enter the floores, where it makes its finall congelation. But to come thereunto by certaine degrees, and proportionate measures, there are throughout the Palles which they lift up and downe as those of a mill. All the earth that remaineth, which men draw by the Parquets and the flores they Arrange about them as a Trench or rampart, which is called Bassis of the convenient breadth, to passe two horses a front; High grounds or little hils raised by mens hands. which serves as well to retaine the water, as to put upon the heaps of salt, made and congealed, called Vaches, and to come and goe as upon a dike, or causway from one marish to another, to lade and carry upon the beasts of carriage of the vessels which attend there neer to the shore: In the winter they content themselves with bulrushes which they sell afterwards very well for the profit they draw from them: and that for fear of rains and snows, and other aereall moistures, that moisten then anew. And all the risings are so[Pg 145] oblique, and turning, that for a mile travers of right way, wee must make 7. or 8. so that being therein once cast a little on, one may lose himselfe, which knew not the addresses, or had not a good guide, by reason of the turnings and bridge-ponts, that men must goe to make choice of, to passe from one place to another. And it would be very hard to make thereof a Chart or description, principally in winter, where all is well-nigh covered with water, & yet more to enter in by a strong hand, for conservation of these salt pits every year, after the heats are over, the Sun not being able to make it, but in the Months of May, June, July, and August, the salt makers doe use to open certaine Bonds, to suffer the sea-water to enter till all the formes and Parquets be covered, otherwise the frosts would destroy them: that if while the salt freezeth or creameth there come any rain, it is so great a retardment (and for fifteen dayes at the least) we must empty al the water out of the Parquets, that the rain had altered, and therefore in rainy and cold years, they can very hardly make it.

In this regard, I come to remember an experiment that I have tried more then once, which gave me to think whether it were Aristotle, I tooke eight or ten pound of common grosse salt, which I made to dissolve in hot water, scumming the froth which may be there, and being left to settle, I put the clear by inclination in a caldron over the fire, where I made all the water evaporate, so that the salt remained in the bottome, white as snow: then I endeavoured to dry it in a pot, giving it at last a good estret of fire for four or five houres, when it was cold I parted it into four platters of Beuvais to shorten and gain time, in fair weather at a window where the Sunne came not, and did choose a moist time to facilitate the dissolution, recollecting every morning that which was resolved in water, so long, that at the end of seven or eight dayes the salts dissolution was perfected, nothing remaining but I know not what thicknesse or slime, in a small quantity which I set apart, I put all my dissolutions into Cornues & distilled all the water which could mount, being very fresh, for the saltnesse did not ascend, but remained fixt in the bottome of the vessell, and gave at last a good estret of fire, with staves of Cotteret, having broken the Cornues: I put the salt that therein remained congealed to dissolve in moisture as before, till there remained nothing but grossenesse and slime as[Pg 146] in the former I distilled that which ascended from the water, and reiterated all those Regiments till all my salt was resolved and distilled into salt water, that which came the seven or eight time. The slime I washed well with water, to extract what might bee the Remainder of saltnesse; and so recalcined and washt them till there rested nothing but slime or pure earth without tast. Of this little salt that I had extracted, I did as I had done with others, so that all my salt, without losing any of its substance, went away in sweet water, and in this insensible slime, which came at last to one or two ounces. What then became of the saltnesse of this salt? Certes herein I have lost all my Latine, and know not what to say thereof, only it is gone in verity as I say: If any one would untie this knot, would indeed do me a great pleasure: I will leave it to mix with others, to come to the particular praises of salt, without which, saith Plinie, we could not live civilly. All the grace, gentility, ornament, pleasures and delights of humane life, cannot bee better expressed then by this word; which extends also to the pleasures of the soul, the sweetnesse and tranquillity of life, and to a Soveraign rejoycing and repose of all troubles and sorrows. It renews the pricks and amorous desires to beget its like, and hath obtained this honorable quality of Souldiers, and of pleasant and witty words, and joyous meetings, without hurt to any; from whence it should be called the Graces. According to which St. Paul saith in the 4 to the Col. 6. Let your speech be alwaies with grace, seasoned with salt. And in the end it is the seasoning of all our viands, which without it would remain unsavoury and without tast. So that it is said to right sense in the common proverb, there is nothing more profitable then the sun and salt. So Plinie discourseth thereof, in the place alledged, and Plutarch in his book and 4 question of his Symposiacques, without salt we can eat nothing agreeable to the tast, for bread it self is more savoury if it be mingled therewith: therefore ordinarily in Churches and covering of tables, they couple Neptune with Ceres, for salt things are as if it were an allurement and a spur to excite appetite: So that before any other nouriture wee take that which is sharp and salt, whereas, if they begin with others they would incontinently prostrate themselves. That which hath no tast can it be eaten without Salt? Job. 6. 6. Salt also renders drink more[Pg 147] delicious, and it is of infinite other uses and commodities of life, that holds more of man; whereas the privation thereof, makes it brutall. It is furthermore a mark and symbole of Justice, because it guards and conserves that to which it is introduced and fastened. Of Amity also, and Gratitude, sutable to that in the first of Esdras chap. 4. where the Lieutenants of King Artaxerxes writ to him in this manner. We remember the salt thou gavest us in thy Palace, we would not fail to advertise thee faithfully of what shall come to our knowledg concerning the service of thy highness.

Salt being there put for one of the greatest obligations that can be had, because it is a thing pure, neat, holy and sacred, which men first set on the table. So that Æschines in his prayer of the ill administred Ambassie, makes great account of salt, and a publick table, of one City confederate with another. And indeed there is nothing more permanent nor more fixt in the fire, nor more approaching to its nature, because it is mordicant, sharp, tart, cutting, subtill, penetrative, pure and neat, fragrant, incombustible and incorruptible. Yea, that which preserves all things from corruption, & by its preparations makes it self clear, crystalline, and transparent as Air; for glasse is nothing else then a most fixt salt that may be extracted from all sorts of ashes, and of some nearer then of others; but it is not so dissoluble into moisture as common salt; nor that which is extracted out of ashes by way of lee, which is liquid with it by strong expressions of fire, which are notwithstanding two contrary resolutions, and resisting one the other: chiefly afterward from all liquid humidity, unctuous but inconsumptible. It is moreover the first originall as well of mineralls as of stones, and pretious stones, yea of all other mineralls. Likewise of vegetables and of Animalls, whose blood and urinall humour, and all other substance is salted, to preserve it from putrefaction: and in generall, from all mixed and composed Elements; which is herein verified that they resolve themselves into it, so that it is as the other life of all things; and without it saith the Philosopher Morien, nature can no wayes work, nor can any other thing be ingendred, according to Raimund Lullus in his testament. Whereunto all chymicall Philosophers doe adhere; that nothing hath been created here below, in the Elementary part better, nor more pretious then salt.

[Pg 148]

There is salt then, in every thing, and nothing can subsist but for the salt which is therein mixed; which ties the parts together as a chain, otherwise they would all go into small powder, and give them nourishment; for there are two substances in salt, the one viscous, gluish, and unctuous, of the nature of air, which is sweet; and indeed there is nothing that nourisheth but what is sweet; the bitter and the salt do not. The other is a dust, sharp pricking and biting, of the nature of fire, which is laxative. For all salts are laxative, and nothing doth loose the body, that participates not of the nature of salt: Mark then, wherefore is it that those that drink salt water die speedily of dysenteries? the salt which is mingled therewith causing a gnawing in the bowels; for there is nothing corrosive but salt, or of the nature of salt, fiery of it self, saith Plinie, lib. 31. ch. 9. and yet enemy of actuall fire, for it leaps up and down, it danceth to and fro, and crackles, corroding also all to which it is fastened; and drying it, although it be the strongest and most permanent humidity of all others, and it is a moisture (saith Geber) that above all other moistures expects an encounter with fire.

So wee see in metals, which are nothing else but congealed and baked salts, by a long and successive decoction, within the earths entralls, where their humidity is abundantly fixt by the temperate air it meets withall there. And these salts do participate of sulphur and quicksilver, which joined together make a third name Metalline salt, which hath the same fashion and resolution as common salt; which is taken for a symbole of equity and justice; as also are metals, but for another consideration. For melt Gold, Silver, Copper, and other metals together, they wil all mingle equally: So that if upon a hundred parts of silver, yea two hundred you melt one of gold, the least part of this silver, in what regard soever you will take it from the totall masse, shall in respect of it self, take its just and equall portion of gold and no more nor lesse, wherefore they are taken for distributive justice. But salt is for that throughout, where it attacheth flesh, fish, vegetables, it keeps them from corruption, and conserves them in their entire, and makes them durable for many ages. Fire on the contrary, is an evill host, for it stealeth and destroyeth all that lodgeth near it, never ceasing till it hath converted all into ashes, whence salt was extracted, that was before therein con[Pg 149]tained: So that these two, fire & salt, accord and convene together and also with the ferments in this, that they convert all that whereupon they can exercise their action. Plutarch in his book and 4 question of Symposiaques, extolling salt, sets down, that all flesh and fish that was eat is a dead thing, and proceeds from a dead body; but when the faculty of salt comes to be introduced, it is as a soul that revivifies and gives them grace and favor. And in the 5 book 10. quest. renders a reason why Homer calls salt divine; he puts that salt is as a temperament and fortification of the viands within the body: and that it gives it an agreement with the appetite. But it is rather for the vertue that it hath to preserve dead bodies from putrefaction; which is as to resist death, that which appertains to Divinity. Thou shalt (not suffer thy holy one to see corruption,) not permitting that what is deprived of life should perish so suddenly in all kinds: but as the soul, that divine part within us, keeps the body alive (a soul is given to hogs for their safety,) this Plinie sets down after the Stoicks. So salt also takes into its safeguard dead flesh to keep it from putrefaction; whence the fire of lightning is reputed for divine, because those that have been touched therewith remain a great while without corruption; as salt doth on its part, which hath this property and vertue; which sheweth the great affinity and agreement which they have together. Wherefore Evinus was wont to say, that fire was the best sauce in the world, and the very same is also attributed to salt. All which things here above do confirme the occasion for which Moses, and after him Pythagoras made so great esteem of salt, to cover under his Allegorie that which they would give to understand by it; that our souls and confidences signified by man in St. Mark, namely, the internall man, and our body for the sacrifice ought to be offered up unto God, pure and not soiled with corruption; That you offer up your bodies a living sacrifice, holy pleasing unto God, &c. Therein was there (it may be) another reason, that moved Moses to exalt salt so much, that according as Rabbi Moses the Ægyptian discourseth at large in his third book of his More, 47 ch. where he renders a particular reason for the most part of Mosaical ceremonies, his principall aim was to overthrow all Idolatries, even those of the Ægyptians, where they had a greater vogue then in any other part. He seeing that their Priests so greatly detested salt,[Pg 150] that they would not use it in any sort, for that of the sea from whence it proceeded; in the bitternesse whereof, the sweet substance of Nilus went to lose and salt it self; which they held to be for the radicall moisture from whence all things here below do sprout and nourish themselves in despite of them, and contrary to their traditions; he would thereof make a form of alliance & paction from God with the Jewish people, that all their oblations should be accompanied with salt: And in the 2 of Paralip. 13. 5 chap. It is said, that God gave to David and his children the Kingdom of Israel by a Covenant of Salt; that is to say, most firm and indissoluble; for that salt hinders corruption. And therefore the Saviour chose his Apostles to be as the salt of men; that is to say, to deliver the pure and incorruptible doctrine of the Gospel; and to confirm them firm persistent faith, as wel by words as deeds. The Caballists penetrating further into the mysteries inclosed therewithin, meditate certain subtilties by a rule of Ghematrie, called Ghilcal, which consisteth in equivalencies of Numbers, which the Hebrewes assigne unto Letters. Those of this word Malach which signifieth salt, mounts in their supputation to 78. for Mem valued 40. Lamed 30. and heth 8. or divided in any sort that you will, alwaies there will result a certain number, representing a mystery of Divine names; the half which makes 39. mount to as much as the letters of Chuzu, the scabbard or covering of this great Name for caph. val. 20. vau 6. Z. 7. and the other vau 6. if in 3 parts, each wil mount to 26. which is the number tetragrammaton Jehovah, vau making 10. he 5. vau 6. & he 5. In six parts this will be 13. for each, which are equipollent to the number of Piety. In 13. there are 6. which vau is valued at, a letter representing eternall life; besides that six is the first perfect number, because his parts do constitute it, his sixt namely 1. his third 2. and its halfe 3. which perfection hath not any one of the other numbers, and in six dayes the structure of the Universe was perfected.

There are other mysteries in the Scripture; in 26. will be the number of the most holy & sacred Trinitie, for three times 26. makes 78. In 39. twice, which Beth stands for a symbole of a word, where the second person, and the house of Idea’s of the Archetype, which Plato hath well acknowledged, Aristotle not. And finally 87. denotes as many unities, whereof each represents the unity of[Pg 151] the essence of one God alone. The same is in the Lechem bread, which is an anagram of the former, and consisteth of the same letters. It was therefore some cause of the Proverb, To eat salt with thy bread. Rabbi Solomon upon the places aforesaid, of Gods alliance with his people, designed by salt, by which is understood the Eternall paction of the great Priesthood of the Messiah, brings us a form of an Allegory, very strange and phantastick. That the waters here below do mutiny, that they are separated from the supercelestiall, having the firmament set betwixt them; by means whereof, God to appease them, promised that they should be perpetually in his service, in all offerings, sacrifices, as he did afterwards in the Law, which hee gave to the Jewes; Whatsoever thou shalt offer to the Lord, thou shalt season it with salt.

Yet there are divers sorts of salt, that have different properties and vertues, according to the things from which they are extracted; for salt retains a propriety of the thing from whence it came, saith Geber in his Testament, yea as many odors, and sapors as there are, they all do depend upon salt; for where there is no salt, there is no smell nor tast; and yet of all the tasts which Plutarch in his Naturall causes doth limit to eight, Plinie lib. 15. cap. 27. extends them to 13. there is not one, that is not salt, because tast (as Plato will have it) comes from water, which creep athwart the stalk of every plant, and keeps the saltness that it cannot passe as it is more grosse and terrestriall, as wee see in sea-water when it is distilled; where when they passe it through sand, where it leaves its saltnesse. But it may be said to Plato, that the tast doth not only ly in plants, but also in Animalls and mineralls, and all other compounded Elements. It is that which he and Aristotle and other rationall Philosophers, are only satisfied with, that which their arguments and discourse do imprint in their phantasies: esteeming that it cannot be otherwise, then that which their reasons do demonstrate unto them, for the most part false and erroneous; there were if they would penetrate empirickly by the experiments, they might have been shewed by the finger of the eye, the truth of the thing, they might have been better ascertained therein, as the Arabians have since done; and the Chymicall Philosophers, who will assure themselves of nothing, but what they have oftentimes tried without variation[Pg 152] to the sense. It is a maxime of all Naturalists, received for Infallible, that the transparence comes from this, when the water in the composition and mixtion superabounds, over the earth, and darkenesse on the contrary, when Terrestreity predominates the water, and it would be accounted an irremissible crime Læsæ Majestatis to doubt thereof, for who is there that doubteth it, will they say, that it is not so? I will reply that it is I, to whom experience shewes the contrary, at least for that the cause of transparence, and opacity, doth not proceed from that which they alledge. Take Crystall and passe it never so little through hot ashes, so long as one would rost a chestnut you wil find it all dark, without any more transparence within or without in the superficies, and that without any losse of its substance, or diminution of its weight. And on the contrary in a strong expression of fire blowing upon the lead, then which nothing can be darker, it will convert into a forme of a hyacinth so transparent, that one may read a small letter through it; though it were an inch thick, and this hyacinth by the same fire returne into lead, and lead into an hyacinth.

If then these profound Contemplators of nature, and her effects, had been willing to accompany their Imaginary discourses, with experience that reveales infinite secrets by fire, they could never have fallen into such absurdities: and had manifestly seen without any vail or obstacle all full of things whereof they remaine in irresolution and doubt not having spoken therein but as blind men and by guesse, for we cannot discover the secrets of things to proceed therein directly, nor come to it by entring on it, after the manner of speech, by the foregate: for nature goeth in her workes rarely and in secret, as by the posterne gate: or by setting ladders against the windowes: The Greeks call that διάλυσις, solution; No man can know the composition of a thing, said Geber very well, that was ignorant of its destruction. And this is done by fire, which separates the parts, as hath been said before. There are then two divers substances of salt, therefore it causeth divers effects, the one is sweet, glutinous and inflamable, of the nature of aire, nourishing, binding. The other sharp, mordicant and separative that begets nothing. The Poets in their mythologies have called this the Ocean, and the sweet wherewith the pickle of the Sea is moistened and made liquid Tethys[Pg 153] as Plutarch hath it in his Osiris which giveth milk to and nourisheth all things. But simple water of it selfe alone would not be sufficient to nourish, if it were not assisted with things fastened to the earth, the salt therein inclosed and therewith mingled, having a sweet and glutinous unctuosity, for as in the Sea-water there are two substances, sweet and salt, there are subalternately two in salt: But we cannot say that they doe nourish or produce any thing. Therefore is it, that they use to raze Traiters-houses, and sow them with salt as reputed unworthy to produce anymore. Salt indeed produceth nothing as it is, where its sweet substance is so drowned with the salt, that it cannot expresse it selfe in action, so as it is, except it be freed out of prison, for the saltnesse predominates over it, and covers it. But for replication thereunto which was said before, that fresh water alone, doth neither nourish nor produce any thing: which we see to the contrary, by experience in many waterish herbs that grow in the midst of waters, and in flints that it engenders shells, and fishes, and wormes: to be short, that its procreation doth extend to the three composed kinds of Minerals, Vegetables, & Animals: And indeed put little pebbles in a phial, and water thereon, every day, renewing it daily, at the end of certaine time, you will find them so great, and so bigge, that they cannot come out at the neck by which they were put in. But indeed all this proceeds from the slime, which is mingled with the water, as frogs, and other things, which are procreated in the middle Region of the aire of the slime which the Sun beams hath thence raised with the water, for al rains, snowes, and other such impressions participate much of the slime; from thence it comes that the snow doth smoak and fatten the earth, and the water of raine, is more connaturall to trees, herbes, and seeds, chiefly those which fall by stormes and thunders, then those of wels and rivers: whereof Plutarch forceth himselfe to bring forth many reasons in naturall causes, which have no great apparence: There is yet more to say, for that they are better baked and accompanied with more subtle and hot slime, and are of lighter concoction and nourishment then plants; as of meate in the stomach of Animals, some more then others, where the waters here below are more raw and indigested: we insist a little in water, because salt is nothing else, but water mingled and setled with dry and burned earth, of[Pg 154] the nature of fire which makes it bitter and salt. So that before we passe from this subject of fresh water, we will here touch upon an experiment of more rare things from whence come many fair & secret considerations. Sweet water is a body so homogeneal, that it would seem to the sight so cleare, transparent, and liquid, in all its parts, resembling to it selfe, that there is in it but one only substance: since that by distillations shee passeth all. But yet there is another sound substance, solid, and compact, in the forme of earth, mingled with its liquid homogeneity, which it separates by Artifice, and it is that which Aristotle saith in the swarme of Philosophers. The earth is concreat by the grossenesse of the water. And this may be seene with water agitated and beaten and after redistilled many times, alwayes separating the fift or sixth part which shall passe the first. You must then take a good quantity of wel water, or the same of fountaine, river or rain water, and let it settle twenty or thirty houres untill there be some ordure or slime, it separates it selfe.

Take of this water as you may say forty pintes, and cause the halfe to vapour away by very easie fire, that it boile not, put these twenty pintes apart, and take new water as above, of which you shall evaporate the moity; and so long continue it, that you may have well a hundred pintes halfe evaporated; from this one hundred, make to evaporate thirty pintes, and of sixty, ten, twenty, of fifty, that shall remain twenty of thirty, ten, and of twenty, ten; and cast away all these slimes that shall reside, for they are nothing worth, and are but immundicity and ordure, unto the seaventh or eighth evaporation or distillation, after which there will appeare in your water infinite little atomes and little bodies; which at last by little and little will be congealed into one solid substance, of a grisly colour, soft as dough: Abundance of fluxes of blood. Of which I have seen such admirable effects that men would hardly beleeve it; in Cankers, Gangrenes, Hemorrhagies, bloody flux, Women newly laid in bed; and at nose, diseases in the stomach, and infinite other such accidents that no terra sigillata nor Bolarmoniac could compare with. You may make your round pills impasting them with the last waters that were extracted, which are also of great vertue, to wash wounds, inveterate Maladies of the stomach, and other the like; wherefore you must keepe them well. You may also calcine it for six or seven houres in a small pot well luted, and casting thereon vine[Pg 155]gar distilled, boiling, dissolving one part, nourishing the rest; calcine it againe, and dissolve it till you have all the salt which will be white and of sweet tast, make it dissolve to oile, you may draw from thence great effects even upon Gold. But sea-water is yet of more efficacy then that of wels and rivers, sweet water (I say) which shall be separated from salt by distillation: which would be easie to do near the Sea, having to that end foure or five alembics of leaden earth, and yet more of sweet water which is drawne by distillation of salt resolved in liquor to humidity.

But there is yet another manner of proceeding, in the separation of the substances of common water: and more spirituall then the precedent. Take very clean water out of a well, river or fountain, let it settle twenty foure houres, and take the pure and the cleare, which you shall put in vessels of Beauvois earth: well stopped to putrifie in hot dung fourty dayes, renewing it two or three times every week, filter the water, and give only five or six boylings, scumming off the scurfes that arise thereon with a feather, then put it in Cornues of glasse, not putting therein but the third part, or the moity at most, of that which they may containe and distill of two parts three; then change the Recipient, and accomplish to distill all the water, but with an easie fire. Then strengthen the fire, by little and little, till you see small fumes ascend, continue this degree of fire, with increasing untill it mount no more. Let the fire quench of it selfe and recoole the vessell: then gather the salt which shall be so elevated towards the beck of the Cornue, and within the recipient, and keep it in a vessel of earth, very close and sealed in a warm and dry place that it melt not, nor dissolve. Put the Cornue to againe with that which remains in the bottome, and strengthen the fire untill you see a reddish oile; end your distillation, after cease the fire. Take the black feces, that remain in the bottome, stampe them, and put them in a sublimatory of good earth, of an inch thick, and no more, for six houres, first a little fire, then reinforce it for twelve others, till the sublimatory be red, the fire being alwaies in the same degree: let it coole and gather the salt which will be mounted, and keep it as the former. This is the second sal Armoniac volatill, which is extracted from the water: and the one, and the other, have great power to the dissolution of gold, carrying no danger with then as your common sal Armoniac may doe; which[Pg 156] hath bad qualities in it, there, where this is extracted from a substance so familiar to mans body, which, is sweet water. Now take all the feces & residences, which remain in the bottome of the vessell, bruise them, and make them dissolve in the first water, which you shall have distilled, after you have warmed it a little, that it may dissolve the salt that may be there. Let them repose, then evacuate, and put them to distill with halfe the water: Then change the Recipient, and with a little stronger fire, distill the Surplufage of the water, and keep them each a part, in a cold place. But doe not perfect to congeal all the salt in the bottome of the vessell, but leave therein a little moisture, to create flakes of ice. If it be not white enough, let it calcine for three or foure houres in a pot of earth not leaded, after dissolve it in the second water, filter and congeale it, and keep it in a dry place, for this is salt fix and fusible. If in drawing the first Salarmoniac, volatill, the foule oile that is nothing worth mounts with it, you must put salt and oile in new water, and depure and putrifie it as before, which was to begin againe, therefore we must goe wisely to worke. There is another manner of proceeding therein, which is shorter, for there are more ways to one intent, and to one end, saith Geber. Take raine or fountain water, put it in a Cornue, upon the sand with a slow fire; and distill thereof a fourth part, which is more rare and subtill. Continue afterwards the distillation even to the feces, which you cast away. And see that you have good store of this meane substance, with which, you shall reiterate the distillation seaven times, being alwayes the fourth part that will first issue out, which is the phlegme, and the feces are the slime. In the fourth, you shall begin to see the sulphurities of all colours in the forme of huskes and pieces of gold. The seaven distillations being perfected put your meane substance in an alembec, to the fire with a soft bath; and draw that which may ascend, which shall be yet of phlegme, then you shall see created little stones, and pieces of all colours which will goe to the bottome; stay your distillation, and let them settle, then evacuate that which remains sweetly with water: and doe so, with all your mean substance, and make there little stones to multiply in the bath. When you shall have enough dry them in the Sun, or before an easie fire, and put them in a glasse-bottle well sealed, with the fire of a lampe or the like, for three or foure[Pg 157] months and your matter will be congealed and fixed except a certaine small portion thereof, which will arise along the sides of the vessell: This here is the mean substance, of the first matter of all things, which is water. But that we be not deceived or abused, all these practises, which are but an image and portrait halfe rudely hewen out of the manner which we must hold in the extraction of liquors. From whence they resolve of themselves into moisture, all sorts of salt, as well common, as Salalkali, tartar, and other the like; the sweet oleaginous substance swimming above the water with the salt and bitter, which there remaineth dissolved, and after the extraction of the water, remaineth a congealed salt in the bottome; that is to say, to separate the oile from salts: which cannot be done without great artifice: But it is not reasonable to discover it, and divulge all openly; but to reserve something therein, for fear of doing wrong to the curious endeavours of some learned men who have taken so much paines and travail, to come to the knowledge of these fine secrets.

It hath pleased me in some sort to runne through the foresaid experiments of water as well for the importance and rarity which they have, as for that it depends upon salt whereof water makes the principall part: and likewise of the sea, from whence separating the sweet substance the salt remains solid congealed; and of this salt resolved by it selfe, to moisture, they extract by distillation the greatest part of sweet water; by meanes whereof, without departure from this subject of salt, it will not be amisse, to touch here something of the Sea, whose water is as a body, the salt enclosed not perceiveable to the sight, but well to the tast, are the vitall spirits, and the oleaginous inflamable substance envelopped within the salt; the soule and the life of the nature of aire, or of wind; remember because wind is my life. There are then two substances in the Sea, and by consequent in salt; the one liquid, and volatile, which ascends upward, and is double, water namely and oile; the one and the other sweet and fresh: And the other fix, and solid, which is bitter and salt; wherefore it was that Homer called the Ocean the father of Gods and of men, for by stretching out of all side crossewise, the Conduits and spongiosities of the earth which hee holds encompassed round about; as a dry hanging on to some rock there within[Pg 158] by a providence of nature is made a separation of substances of the fresh, namely, and of the salt: for the Marine water, passeth through these Conduits, they unsalt it, even as they should distill it by an Alembic or Cornue, or as one should passe it through sand many times, part whereof should remaine baked in the earth for the production and nouriture of vegetables: part passeth through springs, wells, and fountaines, whence all flouds and rivers are formed, Eccles. 1.7. All rivers runne into the Sea, yet the Sea is not full, unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they returne againe. And part elevates it selfe aloft, by meanes of the Sun and starres, which draw and suck them, as well for their nouriture, as for the formation of raines, snowes, hailes, and other aqueous expressions in the aire. The salt which is more grosse, heavy and terrestriall remains invisqued in the veines, and conduits of the earth, where heat inclosed bakes it, digests, alters, and changes it into another nature for the production of all sorts of Minerals, by meanes of the portion of fresh water mingled therewith, which dissolves and washeth off these salts, so that finally, having been brought to their last perfection according to natures intention, shee enformes that which shee hath determined. The Sea then is not so barren and unfruitfull as some poets and Philosophers have made it; Plato himselfe, in his Phedon, where he saith, that nothing could be there procreated worthy of Jupiter: because all the Animals procreated therein are wild, untameable and indocill, and in which there is neither amity nor sweetnesse. But what shall we say of the Dolphin that saved Arion, and of many others, alledged by Plutarch in his treaty: What animalls are the wisest, those on land, or those in the water? of fishes likewise wherewith the Indians are served, as with a chained Grayhound? But it is very smal, to take fish, never letting go what he hath once fastned on. Truely a Brach nor couching spaniell, cannot bee more spirituall, or docible than this fish, at least if it be true what is related to have often times been seen by the eye, in the thirteenth booke of Gonzalo d’Ovidiedo of his naturall history of the Indies. Chap 10. And of Peter Martyr, of another sort of fish called Manati, which being taken at Sea very little, and from thence put into a standing lake, became tame, and privately would come, and take bread from mens hands: and would not faile to come a good way off, when hee was called, leaving himselfe to be handled at their pleasure, and carried[Pg 159] them upon his back, as on a bridge crosse the lake, from one side to the other: But fresh water fishes, are they more docile then those of the Sea? The Ægyptian Preists, above all others abhorred the Sea, calling it the finall end, the death, and destruction of all things: because the water thereof, killeth all Animalls that drink thereof: and is as the sepulcher of all rivers, that goe lose themselves and die therein; and the earth is the same for all bodies, from whence none are spewed out. To this purpose Chiia in the Zohar deploring ‘the death of Rabbi Simeon author thereof, after he had cast himselfe on the earth and embraced him, used such a language, O earth, earth, dust, dust, how hard and unpitifull art thou? For whatsoever is most desireable to the sight, thou makest old and deformed, thou breakest in peices the shining Columnes of the world. How doest thou quench the cleare resplendent lights which received theirs from the eternall living spring, wherewith the whole world was illustrated! The Princes and Potentates given to the people to governe them, and to administer Justice unto them, by which they are maintained, and subsist, waxe old and end in thee: and thou remainest alwayes persistent in thy selfe, not being able to satisfie or satiate thy selfe with so many bodyes, that returne thither: so that the world is therein confounded and lost, and afterwards renewes it self of a suddaine.’ But for the regard of the Sea, the Ægyptian Priests had it in such detestation, that they could not endure to see the very Mariners, nor the Islanders as people which on all parts were cut off from humane commerce. And the Britains, (separated from the world by an element which they say is the fifth,) so austere, outrageous, and unpittiable: and for that cause they abstained from salt, because that among other things it provoked to lasciviousnesse. The occasion also for which they so much rejected the Sea, was something mysticall and allegoricall: because it doth not wash spots or uncleannesse. So that Homer made, and not without reason, that Nausicaa Alcinous daughter, washed her linnen and clothes in a fountaine of fresh water on the Sea shore, for the truth is that Sea-water doth not wash. That which Aristotle, (as Plutarch puts it) in the first of the Symposiaques 9. question, referre to the pickle wherewith the Sea-water is alwayes filled, so that there being nothing empty therein it could receive no filthiness. And lee, is it not the same; yea more full of salt;[Pg 160] yea more unctuous and fat then that of the sea? so that according to Aristotles testimony, men put sea-water in their lamps, to make them shine clearer, and cast upon the flame, it becomes lighted; in which there may be also mystery contained, concerning fire and salt, and their affinity together.

Join hereunto that wee may see that salt is an enemy to all filthinesse and uncleannesse; and will not thereto adjoin or associate; no more then fire, which will nothing but pure things, said good Raimund Lullius. Yet to the aforesaid purpose, Plutarch in his naturall causes, sets down that the sea-water, doth neither nourish nor feed, trees, or plants; because being grosse and heavy it cannot mount into their stalks, which thicknesse and grosness is seen, for that carryeth greater burthens then the fresh water: and this comes from the salt therein dissolved, and it is earthly and consequently more uneasy to sinke. Moreover trees being (according to the opinion of Plato, Democritus, Anaxagoras, and others,) a terrestriall Animall, it cannot give it nourishment; for bitter doth not nourish, but sweet only. But what shall wee say of so many fishes that are procreated and nourished in the sea, of herbs also, and of trees? Francisco de Oviedo lib. 2. ch. 5. sets down that in the first discoverie of Christopher Columbus, they found as of great green and yellow medowes in the main sea, more then two hundred leagues from land, of certain herbes called Salgazzi, which go floting on the top of the waters, as the winds carry them from one side to another. In the relation of Francis Vlloa, he sets down that the root of the herbs, whereof he gives the description and figure, do not sink more then 12 or 15 fadome in the water, yellow yet, as wax.

But wee sufficiently see trees and bushes growing along the sea-shore, and even in the very sea: yet Plutarch insisteth that those that grow along the shore of the Red-sea, are there procreated & nourished with the slime which the flouds carry thither, and fall therein; which he might have spoken more properly of the greater sea, otherwise called Pontus Euxinus. And Plinie lib. 18. cha. 22. that the herbs which grow within the water are nourished with rains: but it would follow, that if so, they should procreate in all other places where it rains indifferently.

Aristotle with better reason refers it to the grosse and unctuous saltnesse which is therewith mingled. Salt being fat and[Pg 161] unctuous, which is the cause that salt water doth not so easily quench fire, as fresh water. But this saltnesse is equall throughout all the sea. Plinie himself lib. 19. ch. 11. specifies, Certain herbes which salt waters do much profit. These are secrets of Nature to which mans discourse can hardly arrive. For herbs by a providence thereof may well suck and draw from salt water, a fresh or sweet substance wherewith they are procreated and nourished as the fishes.

But this is not our principall drift: we have here endeavoured to shew that Salt is not unfruitfull, but the cause of fertility provoking venereall appetite, whence Venus is said to be begotten of the sea; if men give salt unto animalls to heat them the more, and make them eat salt as Plutarch puts it in his 3. queston of Naturall causes. And wee see by experience, that in ships laden with salt, rats and mice, are sooner engendred then in others; this which must so much the more cry down salt in regard of holy things, from whence all mutability and lubricity must be bannished; but salt is in the number of things that are applyed to the good, and to the bad part. Of the good we have heretofore alledged many places. Of the bad for the sterility, Gen. 14. 3. All shall assemble themselves in the wild valley which is now the sea of salt. And in the 19. chap. 26. as also in the 10. of Wisdome, v. 7. of Lots wife, who for her incredulity and disobeying the Angels voice, she was turned into a pillar of salt: And Judges 9. 45. the habitations of Rebells and Traitors were razed and sowed with salt. And in the 2 of Zephaniah v. 9. Moab shall be as Sodome, a desolation of nettles, and thistles and heaps of salt.

But we see upon the ebbing and flowing of the salt pits in the Marshes of Zaintonge, where they empty the durt, which are as salt as the sea it self, where it produceth the best wheat, that possibly can be, and in great quantity, and very excellent wines also: But there is another consideration in that, as in Marle, and in the dry places of Ardonne, where they burne the cuttings of trees, of 7 or 8 years, as also quick chalk which supplies the place of dung in their grounds: for those ashes would produce nothing of themselves, no more then Marle or salt, but they are the cause of production because they warm and fatten the land. There is yet another reason, that Plutarch alledgeth, That[Pg 162] throughout where there is Salt nothing can grow thick, or be close together; which constipation would hinder herbs to thrust out: Moreover many medicaments and remedies do come from salt: whereupon I will not here lose time, on that which Plinie, Dioscorides and others, have set down and treated of cursorily and in hast, with closed eyes one after another, not having made proof thereof; add to this, it is so triviall and beaten as nothing more, but will touch here, in passing the Countrey, an experiment, whereof I have seen very admirable effects in burning feavers and unquietnesse, where they could not take rest. It is a frontall made in this manner.

Take the yolk of a fresh Eg, and as much gross salt, beat them together in shape of an ointment, which you shall apply to your forehead, between two folded linnen clothes: It doth not coole the brain, nor cause such accidents; as conserve of Roses do, Oxyrhodinon likewise, and brings much more comfort.


Transcriber’s Note:

This e-text is based on the 1649 edition. Obvious punctuation errors and doubled words have been tacitly removed. Obsolete, inconsistent, and alternative spellings have been left unchanged unless the sense of the respective phrase would be incomprehensible.

Infrequently, the original print image is faded; therefore, single letters had to be restored to match the meaning of the respective words. The following typographical errors have been corrected: