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Glauber De Purgatorio Philosophorum - A Treatise concerning the Purifying FireTranscribed by Gleb Butuzov from The Works of the Highly Experienced and Famous Chymist, John Rudolph Glauber: containing, Great Variety of Choice Secrets in Medicine and Alchymy In the Working of Metallick Mines, and the Separation of Metals: Also, Various Cheap and Easie Ways of making Salt-Petre, and Improving of Barren-Land, and the Fruits of the Earth. Together with many other things very profitable for all the Lovers of Art and Industry. Translated into English, and Published for the Publick Good by the Labour, Care, and Charge, of Christopher Packe, Philo-chymico-Medicus. London, Printed by Thomas Milbourn, for the Author, and are to be sold at his House next Door to the Gun in Little-Moorfields; by D. Newman at the King's-Arms in the Poultry, and W. Cooper at the Pellican in Little Britain. MDCLXXXIX .
De Purgatorio Philosophorum
A TREATISE concerning the Purifying Fire
Of the Wise MenWith which, the Philosophers cleanse their Mineral, Animal, and Vegetable Subjects, and exalt them to the highest degree of Purity, in order to prepare Universal Medicaments from them, for the bodies of Men and Metals.
Which Purgatory Fire is called Ysopaica, by the ancient Philosophers, that is, to say, the Art of washing with Fire.
Together, with a subjoined instruction, how, by means of the Salt of the World, out of all Metals and Minerals, a living Mercury may in quantity be prepared.
______________________________________________Reader, if any wonder at the Title of this little Book, let them know, it agrees very well with the Matter it treats of, forasmuch as all things that are cleansed with Fire, may truly be said to be purified by means of Purgatory. There are indeed besides this, many other ways of cleansing as by Water, Lye, Soap, and other moist things; but that way cannot properly be called a Purgatory, nor any other, but what is done by Fire. I intend in this Book to treat of three sorts of Purgatories, viz. First, of the secret flaming Purgatory, or cleansing Fire of the Philosophers, made of Alcolized Spirit of Wine, wherewith they purify the Souls of Vegetables, Animals and Minerals, dignifying them thereby to enter their Heaven.
The other Purgatory God makes use of, to purify his dear Children here in this Vale of Misery, to make them abhor sin, and fit them, after many afflictions, and torments endured, for a Translation with all Saints, into his heavenly Kingdom, there to behold his Face to all Eternity.
The Third Purgatory is, that of which the Christians of old have Writ, and is to this day still believed by the Church of Rome, viz., that the Souls of the deceased, when by the guilt of deadly sins, they are not immediately sunk down into the eternal Hellish Pains, are in this Purgatory cleansed of the pardonable sins they have committed in this Life, and are made worthy to enter into eternal Joy and Salvation.
Now that this Purgatory is, which no Person living is able to give and experimental and true grounded Account of, we will, if it please God, a little enquire into, after that we have first exposed to view, and unanswerably asserted the truth of the two foregoing Purgatories, which our eyes have seen, and our hands have handled.
Concerning the First Purgatory
The First Purgatory, or cleansing Fire of the Philosophers, with which they prepare their Universal and particular Medicines for Cure of all Subjects of the three Kingdoms of the World, has been most carefully concealed by them. I have indeed formerly, of Friendship and Goodwill, revealed this Fire, with its most profitable use, to some Persons, by which means others unworthy have began to perceive something of it, and used their utmost endeavours to attain the full knowledge of this high Secret, and have so far succeeded, as to understand it in part, viz., the use of common Spirit o Wine, which is a considerable ingredient of the said Philosophick Purgatory Fire.
But after all their searching, they never attained the knowledge of the Salt of Art, by which the Spirit of Wine is Alcolized, which is the best and chief ingredient of this Fire. Forasmuch then, as the Spirit of Wine is thus known, and will probably yet further be divulged; I have thought good to publish it myself, and to communicate the Secret to all. But as for the secret Salt of Art, whereby the Spirit of Wine is acuated and fortified, and is the proper Agent for Meliorating of Vegetables, Animals and Minerals, and whereby they are brought to the highest degree of Purity, none hitherto have been able to entice it from me, and I trust that for time to come I shall be more cautious of communicating ought to false and wicked Men.
Let no Man therefore imagine Spirit of Wine to be the secret Fire of Artephius, whereby some Minerals and Metals, without any foregoing separation of the pure from the impure, may without any diminution of their weight be changed into a mere pure Tincture. No in no wise, for no Spirit of Wine has any such power. But as for what simple Spirit of Wine is able to perform, that we will here declare, and no more at this time. I doubt not but many will persuade themselves, that in having the Spirit of Wine, they are Masters of the whole Secret; but thatís a great mistake, he that questions it, let him read Artephius, Pontanus, and some few others who write of it, and he will find that a simple Spirit of Wine has no resemblance with the Fire of Artephius.
For the Philosophers of who write of it tell us, that their Fire acts as a proper Agent on its Patient, with an invisible Flame, continually, equally in one and the same degree, and at last changes it into pure Tincture. Which things cannot be said of Spirit of Wine, which does not burn continually, equally, or invisibly, from whence it is apparent, that Spirit of Wine is not the Fire of Artephius, nor can be compared with it.
Now that this Fire of Artephius is, has been sufficiently declared by me, in my Treatise of the Threefold Fire, and therefore unnecessary to write more of it here. It remains only for me to declare, how Vegetables, Animals, and Minerals with the help of any burning Spirit, not only that of Wine, but of Corn, Honey, Fruits, Leaves or Grass may be most highly purified, and reduced to the Highest Medicines.
In my little Treatise of Elias the Artist, I have taught at large how to bring the Essences of Metals, Stones, Vegetables and Animals over the Helm, by means of an Alcolised Spirit of Wine, and to prepare universal Medicaments from them, to which therefore I refer the Lover of Art.
And will now proceed to declare, to how good purpose Spirit of Wine may be made use of in Physick. We all know that in general there are but two ways of cleansing impure things, viz., Water and Fire. Now Water can only take away those defilements that are outward and superficial, not being able to pierce the Center; whereas Fire does not only purge the outside, but even that which is in-most, separating the impure for the pure, as has already been mentioned.
We know also that, that the Flame of Fire can consume nothing but its like, viz. the Combustible Sulphur, but cannot consume the incombustible Mercury, nor destroy, burn, or annihilate it, the Flames serving only to meliorate and exalt it. For the Mercury of all thins can no way better be purged than by Fire, by which though it be driven away, yet may always be found again, as being incombustible.
For Mercury is the best and purest of the three Principles, forasmuch as it cannot be hurt by any Elements, not by the most violent Fire, much less destroyed, because it is throughout Hemogeneal.
There are three things in the World, which be incorruptible, the first of which is the Mercury of Vegetables, Animals and Minerals, which, then by its Enemy the Fire, it is tormented, and driven from its Body, loses none of its Virtues, but is only purified thereby. This incombustible Soul of Vegetables, Animals and Minerals, is one of those three things in the World, which are fixed, constant, and unperishable in all trials and conflicts whatsoever.
The second thing which is constant, permanent, incorruptible and invincible is Truth, which cannot be suppressed by any Lies or opposition whatsoever, Oppressed she may be, but not totally suppressed; for God himself is the Truth, and as God cannot be overcome, so neither can Truth.
The third and last incorruptible subject in the World, is the Immortal Soul of Man; for whatsoever Afflictions or Persecutions a good Man suffers from wicked Men, can not in the least hurt his Soul, but serve only to purify, exalt, and enoble it. The more Gold suffers in the Fire, the better and purer it becomes, and as true it is, that the Soul by the adversities of time, becomes refined and graduated to the height of Purity, being by this Earthly Purgatory dignified and prepared for Eternal Glory.
But to return to our purpose, which is to show that the cleansing of Vegetables, Animals and Minerals must be performed by their own Purgatory, viz. a common burning Spirit. We will begin with Wine, as being a very noble Creature, and see what good thing may be had from it, by means of its own Purgatory of Cleansing Fire, which without it could never have been brought to Light.
Now to speak fundamentally of this matter, we must first of all know, that several different Spirits lie hid in Wine, and which also may separately be distilled from it . As in the first place the known burning Spirit; next the Spirit which is distilled from Crude Tartar, which is of quite different nature from that which is distilled from Wine, or its Lees, which being kindled burns away in Flame, consuming all the Sulphur, leaving nothing but incombustible Mercury or Essential Salt behind, and that in a very small quantity, but of great Virtue; whereas the Spirit of Tartar which is distilled by Retort, though it be much more subtil and penetrative than the burning Spirit, yet will not suffer itself to be kindled or burnt away, being otherwise of great use in all Tartareous Diseases, and obstructions of the Body.
Thereís also an Antiephritical Spirit distilled from the fixed Salt of Tartar with distilled Vinegar, which afterwards suffers itself to be sublimed, and being distilled yield a very strong Spirit, of which time does not permit to treat at present. We will only, point out to you, by what means the most glorious Mercury and Essential Salt of Wine, may most easily be obtained, and what great things may be performed by it in Physick.
Rp: Of white Tartar well pulverised 1l. Spirit of Salt 1l. and half, mix these well together, and fill therewith the fourth part of a Glass Body, and pour on 3l. of Spirit of Wine, lute the head on immediately, for when these two Antagonists, the Acid Crude Tartar, and Urinous Salt of Tartar meet, they furiously attack each other, and in their conflict send forth a very subtil Spirit, and a glorious Essential Salt, which Mercury the Spirit of Wine when distilled carries over with it. When now this Spirit of Wine being kindled burns away, the Mercury of the most pure Essential Salt is thereby loosened, and with the Flame goes over into the Receiver, where it is caught of the Phlegm, from which being separated by distillation in a Vaporous Bath it is fit for use. This Celestial Salt of Wine is of wonderful Virtue, concerning which I have given a full account in some of my last published Writings.
Its Virtues are chiefly these: It has the Prominence of all Medicaments whatsoever, in curing the Stone, Gout, and the like Tartarous Diseases. Moreover, this Heavenly Salt penetrates the whole Body, opens all Obstructions, strengthens the Heart, Brain, and all Vital Parts, is a powerful Diaphoretick and Diuretick. Indeed anyone may easily imagine, that a Quintessence of Wine, when purified by its own Purgatory, must needs exert wonderful effects, and be of great uses, in the hands of skilful Physician; of which more hereafter.
Furthermore from Wine, by means of its own burning Spirit, may be separated an excellent Volatile Salt, after this manner. Dissolve the Oil of Wine, which by distillation is got out of the Lees in strong Spirit of Wine, so as the Oil may be well united with the Spirit. This done, kindle the Spirit of Wine, and let it burn away under our great cooling Helm or Head, by which means the Mercury or Salt of Wine goes over with the Phlegm and is caught by it.
In like manner out of that stinking Oil which is driven from Tartar by a Retort, and is of great virtue, (though for its loathsome scent it cannot be used) a very powerful Volatile Salt by those Purging Flames loses its loathsome smell, and may made use of in Physick, as that before mentioned prepared from Wine.
According to this method of obtaining the Mercury of Wine, we may proceed with all other Vegetables, and separate their pure incombustible Mercury, by burning away their Oils, with their own or any other burning Spirit, by which means the Volatile Mercury is caught.
It is to be observed, that all Oils distilled from Herbs, whose flowers resemble Stars, do yield more volatile Salt, than the distilled Oil of other Herbs. When these Herbs cannot be had fresh and green, we may take their Seeds, which yield more Oil and volatile Salt than the Herbs themselves. In like manner all Oils, distilled from Seeds, afford one more volatile Salt than those which are forced from Roots, Stalks, Leaves or Wood; the Seed always abounding with more volatile Salt than any other part of the Vegetable; and that because God has placed the growing and multiplying virtue of all things in their Seeds, from whence also the same is most easily separable for the use and service of Man. In particular, the Seeds of Annis, Fennel, Dill, Carway, Cumin, Creffers, Scurvy grass and Mustard afford much Volatile Salt.
So likewise all Excremental and Superfluous Egestions of Nature, such as are the Hair of Men and Beasts, the Horns and Claws of Beasts, the Excrements of Beasts and Birds, as also their Feathers, do abound with Volatile Salt. Amongst these we may also reckon Amber, Soot, and Smithís Coals; when the stinking Oil of any of these is burnt away, the remaining Essential Salt will procure the Physicians praise and honour, and the Patientís help and ease.
The Seeds of Henbane and Tobacco do yield a very powerful Salt; so likewise do the distilled Oils of Spices, as well as those made by Expression afford a most excellent Volatile Salt being burnt away, by means of a burning Spirit, united with them. Yet would not I advise any to burn away such precious Oils, forasmuch as we have other Subjects, which cost us nothing, and yet yield a better Salt that any Spices whatsoever; for Minerals and Metals, when without a Corrosive they are brought they are brought into a strong Spirit of Wine, yield a much better Mercury, wherein all the virtues of Vegetables are concentrated; and consequently are far more efficacious than any Vegetable Salt against all Diseases whether of Men or Metals.
In this way we easily and in a manner without labour or any considerable charges, procure a running Mercury from all Minerals and Metals; which Mercury of Metals suffers itself afterwards to be fixed into a true Tincture for Men and Metals, by means of its proper Agent and Secret ever-burning Fire, and this easily without any loss of weight, which cannot be expected from a common Mercury, and therefore we must be provided of a Metallick Mercury if we would do this feat. Mars, Venus, and Mercury are the best among the meaner Metals for this purpose, as yielding the best Mercury, but the Mercuries of Sol and Luna are the best of all. And it is a thing that deserves our wander, that from such Compact Bodies, as those Homogeneal Metals are, which are accounted indivisible, a Volatile Mercury should be separated. Indeed had I not done it myself, I should hardly have been persuaded of its possibility. Resuscitative Salts are the only means to effect this Wonder, and whosoever knows in due manner to apply them to Metals, to him it is an easy thing, yea, Childrenís play, in one days time, without toil or labour, to separate a running Mercury from all Metals and Minerals. There is one only Salt in the World, which has a power above others to revive Metals, costs nothing and is everywhere to be had in abundance: this contemptible Salt the Philosophers have always concealed, saying, that it is cast out upon Dunghills, and as much beloved of the Wise, as it is hated and despised by Fools.
In this Salt greater secrets lie hid, than in the Salt of Art before mentioned, which cannot be had without toil and labour; but this our more secret Resuscitative Salt of Art does far excel that, for it not only exalts and multiplies the colours of Sol and Luna as well as that, but also radically opens all Metalline Subjects whatsoever, separating their purest Mercury from gross faeces, and brings it over with itself, which no other Salt in the World can do. There are indeed some other Salts to be found, which in some degree do resuscitate Metals, and separate a running Mercury, as Salt of Tartar, Urine, and the like, but are not comparable with our resuscitative Salt of Art, which, for all them, continues the undoubted Monarch over all Salts. There are very few to be found, who are able with so much ease and little charge to re separate a running Mercury in quantity from Metals, and fix the same into a true Tincture. Wherefore we should make it our business to enquire into the nature of Salts, and learn to know their several uses; because in Salts great good lies hid, which few believe or apprehend. Plato indeed was of opinion , that something Divine was contained in our common Salt; and other Philosophers have not stuck to say, that in the Sun and Salt is All. He that does not know what Fire and Salt are, knows nothing, and deserves not the name of a Philosopher.
And thus much shall suffice concerning Fire and Salt, and the great things that may be performed by them. He therefore who desires to approve himself a good Physician or Chymist, let him study the nature of Fire and Salt, and learn to distinguish them, for without this he can never do anything to purpose in either faculty.
To return now to our Spagyrical Purgatory, and show that the Philosophers by means thereof performed their greatest Arcana. Paracelsus alone, the Monarch of Physicians, gives us a sufficient Testimony hereof, when, treating of the Element of Fire, in his Book of Sulphur, he says, That if a Physician have not amongst his Secrets the Element of Fire from Sulphur, he is not a Physician, but a Ö O my dear Paracelsus, thou art not to be blamed for thy zealous inveighing against those Lazy Lubbards, and if thy words be Authentick, it is to be feared that scarce one good Physician will be found in all Germany, forasmuch as the Element of Fire of Sulphur is utterly unknown. But this cannot be said that for that besides this Element of Fire there be several other good Medicaments a Physician may prepare. Yet forasmuch as I have writ somewhat of it here, I hope it may stir up some to search after it, and so learn to prepare their Medicines by Fire; because whatsoever can without hurt or loss abide the Fire, the same must needs be pure and good.
David to this purpose gives us a similitude of Luna, which must sometimes pass the Fire, before it attain its utmost purity. This art of cleansing things with Fire, was by the Philosophers of old termed Ysopaica, of which see Paracelsus.
It is to admired, that how black or smutty ever any thing be, after it is washed by the Fire, it becomes snow white, which the Mercury driven by Fire from black Sulphur and Mars, is alone a sufficient proof of, in which whiteness the fairest Red lies hid. That Ysopaica, or the Art of Waihing with Fire, and thereby changing Black to White, was in use amongst the Ancients, seems probable from Davidís words, when he cries to God: Purge me with Hysop, and I shall be clean, wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow: David here desires nothing else, than to have his Soul, which was cole black by Sin, washed and purged by the Fire of the Holy Ghost, and therefore by way of Comparison he mentions Ysopaica, or the Art of Washing black things white by Fire. In a word, this Art of Washing things snow-white by Philosophical Purgatory Flame appears to be the head skill of Philosophy, Physick and Alchimy.
And forasmuch as I have here made mention of Ysopaica, I hope I shall not be thought tedious, if I set down some more instances of cleansing black and impure things by Fire. For seeing this excellent and incomparable Art has for some hundred years been in a manner wholly lost, Paracelsus being the first that has renewed the knowledge of it, I have thought good at present to restore this Royal Art to its former lustre and glory, wherewith it shone froth in the Schools of the Kings of Egypt, where those of the Blood Royal were taught and instructed in the same. In which Schools Moses also (as being the Adopted Son of Pharaohís Daughter) has his Education, being there instructed in all the Wisdom and Skill of the Egyptians.
In those times this Ysopaica, or Art of Washing with Fire was in great esteem and flourished, which was the cause of the great Riches and Puissance of the Egyptians, which continued till the Monarchy was made subject to the Romans; and yet even then, being Possessors of Ysopaica and Chrysopeia, they soon put themselves into a condition again of disputing their liberty with the Romans, and rebelled against them; and though by the prevailing Power of the Romans they were still overcome, yet did they often reiterate their Revolt; until at last the Emperor Diocletian being informed that their Art of Chymistry was their Inexhaustible Treasure, which still encouraged them to rebel, sent a great Army amongst them, with Orders to Ransack all Places for Books treating of that Art, and commit them to the Flames; which done, they quietly afterwards endured Roman Yoak, which before, on every occasion, they were ready to shake off. By the same means also the said Art has been as it were totally lost, which I am not without hopes to restore again, and if Death should chance to prevent me, yet will it assuredly be done after my Death by Elias the Artist. I have indeed already in some of my last Treatises so plainly writ of this Art, that anyone, who is anything skilful in the Fire, may become Master of the Art.
To return then to Ysopaica, I say, I have already communicated the use of the Burning Spirit, by means whereof all stinking, impure, Vegetable, Animal, and easily inflammable Mineral Subjects, may be washed to the highest degrees of Purity, with which great things may be performed, especially in Phyick, and such as are impossible to be done by any known way. Indeed by this alone most profitable discovery, I have discovered a new World of Art, which for so many hundred years has been unknown; and I doubt not, but this way of washing with Fire will serve for a shining Light to lead Physicians to the true Spagyrical Physick.
Thus much shall suffice to have spoken concerning the most fiery washing by means of a Burning Spirit; it remains now to declare in what manner the Compactest Metals, and Precious as well as Common Stones, may by a dry cleansing Fire be meliorated. For a Spirit of Wine is much too weak to pierce the Bodies of Compact Metals, and to wash them to perfect cleanliness; wherefore we are to look out for a stronger Wash-Fire, wherewith the Ancients meliorated all Metals and Stones; but this dry Fire has never been published, neither know I any Author that has writ plainly of it, save only Paracelsus in his Coelum Philosophorum, where speaking of Mercury, he describes this flaming Wash-Fire, viz. Rp: Of Tartar part j. Sulphur part ij. Nitre part iij. being well mixed together, use them. Paracelsus calls this Composition a good fluxing Powder; but hints at other things, as appears by those words he places before the Description of the said Fulminating Powder, ziz. Pulvis adole Verbenas, which words conceal a great Mystery, as will presently appear.
The Composition of Paracelsus may be meliorated by taking only one part of Sulphur, Tartar ij, and Nitre iij. and is a very good Wash-Fire. There be also many more and better Wash-Fires for to Purify and exalt Metals, of which we shall hear anon. Follows now the use of the foresaid Wash-Fire.
And first is to be observed, that to the end this Fire may have the better effect, the Ingredients must be pure, dry, and very well powdered, for by how much purer the Ingredients be, the stronger is the Fire. When therefore we have a mind to wash any Metal therewith, suppose impure Sol or Luna, we must file the same very small, and then mixing three or four parts of the said Powder with it in a Crucible, kindle the mixture with a red-hot Coal, and the Flame thence arising will consume all the impurities of the Metal, or separate them as dross, the pure Metals sinking as a Regulus to the bottom. And if the Operation be duly performed, the Regulus will be as fine as if it had passed the Cupel.
If we desire yet further to increase the strength of this Fulmen or Wash-Fire, we may take instead of Tartar half the quantity of the Saw-dust of dry Lime-tree, which affords a much stronger Flame than Tartar, and consequently better purges impure Metals. With this strong Fire we may in a moment purify a small quantity of Sol or Luna, if we please, in a Nutshell; which I donít mention here as a thing of Profit, but only of curiosity, and to show the force of this Fire.
N.B. If we desire to make use of this Wash-Fire to Profit, we must not take a Common Nitre or Sulphur, but such a Sulphur as burns faster than the Common, and the Nitre must be purified, whereof more hereafter.
A Good Fulmen or powerful cleansing Fire for to purify the Common Mercury,
It is notorious, that always a greater Flame overcomes and swallows up the lesser; to extinguish therefore this Fire in Mercury, we cannot do better, than make use of a strong Fulmen, which Paracelsus hints with those words, Pulvis Adole Verbenas, as if he had said, Go Fulmen and burn the Wings of that Volatil Bird, that he make fly no more. But the Fulmen he there describes will not do it, a stronger must be made use of in that case. To this purpose I have made many trials in my Youth, but have found none better than the Fulmen of Jupiter, which takes as follows.
Rp: Of Crude Mercury and fine Jupiter each j l. melt the Jupiter in a Crucible, and when it begins to cool, pour Mercury upon it, and the heated Jupiter will take to itself the Mercury, and become n Amalgama, which Amalgama must with dry and purified Nitre be ground upon a Stone. This done Rp: of the strong Fluxing Powder above said, the same quantity as the Amalgama and Nitre, and grind them well together, and then the Mixture is ready for kindling. But the Operation must be performed in the open Air, where the Wind may carry away the poisonous Fumes. The Mixture may be put into a strong Earthen Pot, and after Detonation, there will remain a Mass difficult to Flux, which being Cupelled, and separated by Aqua Fortis affords a considerable quantity of Sol and Luna, abundantly recompensing the cost and labour of the Operation. After that the Mixture is kindled, the Matter must be often stirred with a red-hot Iron, to the end that no part may remain unkindled, but that the whole Mass may be red-hot throughout.
Another Fulmen to graduate Venus into Luna.Rp: Of the above said Fluxing Powder of Sulphur, Tartar and Nitre, and grind with it 4 ounces of Mercury of Luna, and lay the same weight of thin Plates of Venus SSS. with your above said Composition, kindle the Mass, and the proceeding Flames will graduate some part of the Venus into good and fix Luna with considerable profit, the Operation being rightly performed. With the same Fulmen, [mars] may be graduated into [sol], and forasmuch as it does not melt, itís better than Venus for this way of working; Needles are best for this purpose.
Another Rapid Fulmen changing Iron and Steel into Good Gold.Rp: Of the above said Fluxing Powder, iv or v [Drachmas]. mix with it j [Drachmas] or half an Ounce of Aurum Fulminans precipitated from the Aqua Regia, not with Salt of Tartar, but with Salt of Urine; with this Fulmen and Steel Needles make SSS. in a Crucible. Let not the Needles be above j [Ounces] weight, else the Fulmen will not be able to graduate them wholly into Sol. This Process well managed affords a good increase of Sol. It is also no contemptible Curiosity to see Needles changed to Sol, their pristine form remaining. I took once 20 or 30 Needles, which I put with their points up to the midst in the said Fulmen, their upper halves remaining untouched by it, and after Fulmination took out the Needles, the lower part of which was pure Sol, the upper continuing Iron, which I distributed amongst my Friends and Lovers of Art for a remembrance. The same may be performed with Nails.
Now though in this Gradation of [mars] there be no very great Profit, yet neither is there any lofts; and besides the Curiosity of it, is a convincing demonstration that [mars] without deposing any Terrestreity, may have itís whole Body changed into Sol.
N.B. The remaining Fulmen may with a little Nitre be melted down to a Regulus, and by which means the Sol is recovered, and so we have our graduated Needles for nothing.
N.B. When we have a mind to make use of the Fulmen of [sol], we had best place the Crucible, in which the Fulmen may not fly abroad, or if any does, it may stick to the sides of the Pot, which being wiped off with a Feather, may be reduced with the remaining Fulmen in the Crucible, that there may be no loss.
N.B. It happens sometimes, when too great a quantity of [mars] is taken to be graduated to [sol], and the flame too strong, that the Needles melt into one, especially if they be laid too close together.
N.B. In Case, the Needles should not in the first Fulmination be wholly changed to [sol], the Work may be repeated with the fresh fluxing Powder. And if any one desires more Profit from this Operation, let him mix some of the Amalgama of [jupiter] and [mercury] with the Golden Fulmen, and Fulminate with the same Needles, or thin Iron Wire, by which means the [mercury] will better diffuse the graduating [sol], or Spirit throughout the [mars], and so more of it becomes changed into [sol].
N.B. He that would draw considerable Profit from this Operation, had best perform it in a close earthen Vessel, with a large Recipient fitted to it , for to catch the [mercury], which may be used again, by which means that gain will be more.
N.B. For to make this Work yet more gainful, we may instead of the [sol] mix with the Fulmen of [jupiter] some fine powdered Red, Brown, or black Pebbles which are found in running Water, and break as smooth as Glass, and contain much Volatile [sol], gringing them well together. This Fulmen when kindled, drives Volatile [sol] out of the Pebbles, and being received by [jupiter] and [mercury] is fixed by them, by which means much [sol] and [luna] may be had out of [jupiter] ,[venus] and [mars]. Out of these Pebbles with Aqua Regis much [sol] may be extracted, and though the [sol] in them be Volatile, yet partly by means of the Aqua Regis, and partly by being precipitated with the Mercurial [water] out of [jupiter], and by Reduction it is fixed: Concerning which I have largely treated in Seventh Part of the Prosperity of Germany.
N.B. To work on these Pebbles with more Profit, we may when reduced to fine Powder, extract them with [water] in which common Salt has been dissolved, to which Extraction (which will be of a very high Colour) we must add some of the Resuscitative Salt of the World, everywhere to be found, and then abstract the Solvent from the Extract, by which means the Resuscitative Salt will make [sol] more Volatile, and separating it from the fixer Part, bring it over the Helm, I form of a yellow Liquor, which when mortified by a Lixivium and reduced to a dry [sol], if then it be driven through a Retort, you will find a running [mercury] Sol in the Recipient, in small quantity indeed, but of great Virtues; with which by the Fire of Artephius may easily be fixed into an Universal Tincture for Men and Metals. A Lixivium may afterwards be poured on the remaining Extract, for to mortify the Corrosive Spirits, and then distilled by Retort, it will yield for more Mercurial [sol]. As for the fixed [sol] which was in the Pebbles, the same may be easily reduced, and will be good [sol], though somewhat pale Coloured, the Salt of the World having carried some part of the Colour over with the [mercury].
N.B. Our Resuscitative Salt of the World is a very wonderful Salt, for when joined with the dissolved [sol], it not only brings over a running [mercury], but part of the Colour of [sol] with it, therefore also the said Mercurial [sol] affords a most glorious Medicine, when duly fixed. In the same manner you may get a tingeing [mercury] from [luna], but much better, and easier from a [luna], which lies Volatile in its own Matrix, and has never touched the Fire.
N.B. But this Mercurial [luna] does not tinge into [sol], but only into [luna]. In the same way a [mercury] may be driven from all Metals and in considerable quantity. The [mercury] of [mars] and [antimony] are the best; those of [venus], [jupiter] and [saturn] are good also, but not so high coloured, as that of [mars], which is the best. Now to make [mercury] of [mars], we need not dissolve common [mars], and thence with Salt of the World drive a [mercury]; but it is better to take Iron-stones, which have never touched the Fire, and having extracted them, add to them some Resuscitative Salt of the World, which when distilled will yield more [mercury] than common [mars]. In like manner much more [mercury] may be had from [satrurn], [jupiter] and [venus] Oar than from Metals themselves.
I remember , that, in my youthful years, I laboured two years continually with a Person of high quality, to obtain a [mercury] of [saturn], we tried all manner of ways but got nothing. Whether it was for want of Experience, or that the Process given us was not true, or because God did not see it fit for us, I know not: But this I know, that we had no knowledge of the universal Resuscitative Salt of the World, making use only of common S. Armon, and its Volatile Spirit.
I have, in the Seventh Part of my Pharmacopeia Spagyrice, taught a way to draw a running [mercury] from Metals, but in small quantity, whereas by means of this Salt of the World, much more is obtained. I say therefore, that if from my last published Writings, Men cannot discover the way of making the Mercuries of Metals in good quantity, it will be a sign to me, that God will not permit it, having plainly set down every thing, except the Resuscitative Salt of the World. And I now say again, that the said Salt is nowhere to be sold, since enough may be had for nothing. God must reveal it, for Men will hardly do it. It is a mere gift of God to know this Salt and its Use. Turba says concerning it: If God had not created this Salt, it were impossible to perfect our Elixir. From whence we may see, it is no Salt prepared by Art, nor made with hands, but created of God of nothing. Consider well what is here said, and youíll find Wonders. Cosmopolita speaks after this manner of this Salt, viz. Nature affords us a Chalybs, which can from the Rays of the Sun extract that, which many have sought and not found.
Other Philosophers speak of this Salt in these Words: The Spirit and Salt of the World, bring the Souls of the Dead out of Hell. What is this Hell, but a Stygian Water, wherein we dissolve Metals, and after draw forth their Souls with the Salt of the World. Of which Spirit and Salt of the World, Nuisement has writ a curious Treatise. I say therefore, that he who understands the due way of applying this Salt, for drawing the [mercury] of Metals, has obtained the greatest Secret in the World, the said [mercury] being easily fixable into a true Tincture.
I have known several, who could fix the [mercury] of [satrurn] and [antimony] prepared by others into Tinctures, but could not prepare the Mercuries themselves: And to this day, I do not know one Man that can bring a running [mercury] from Metals, though I have communicated the way of making the said [mercury] to many, as it is set down in the Seventh Part of my Pharmacopeia Spagyrica: But seeing so small a quantity prepared that way, they let it drop. It had been well, they could have been satisfied with that: But Men generally are of such a Humour; that if they cannot have all without Toil or Labour, they presently despond and give over; but they that persevere to the end shall obtain the Crown of Honour.
Thus much shall suffice, by way of Parenthesis, concerning preparing the Mercuries of Metals in great quantity, by means of our Resuscitative Salt of the World.
Let us now return to our dry-wash-Fire, and see, what further may be done with it. We know, that with a Rapid and violent Flame, the Volatile part of Metals is driven away, the fixed and grosser staying behind: As for Example. If I dissolve a Metal, or Mineral in Aqua Fortis, and afterwards add to the Solution some good Nitre, by this means the Metal abides with the Nitre and shoots with it into Crystals, which from [mars] are Red, from [venus] Green, from [mercury] and [jupiter] White, from [sol] Yellow. When now this Nitre is kindled, the Volatile part of the Metal sublimes from the grosser, and is better for Medicinal use, than the gross Body of the Metal.
N.B. But if no this Nitre impregnated with a Metal, we join some Salt of the World; and then detonate it , the said Salt through the Flames carries the immortal Soul of Metals our from Hell, that is the [mercury] of them, which afterwards may be fixed into Tincture. The said Nitre impregnate with Metal, and the Salt of the World, does also, by means of a swift Flame draw the Colours from precious and common Stones, and introduces others, and better into them again; which is a thing of great Profit to him that has Skill of it. This is the speediest way of meliorating Metals, when by means of a Rapid Fulmen, as it were in a moment, we separate the pure Soul, or incombustible [sulphur] from the gross Metal: For in this quick Flame the superfluous [sulphur] of the Metals is consumed, which ties the pure [mercury] to the Metal, and makes the same difficulty separable from its gross Body.
In this manner a pure [mercury] may in quantity be drawn from all Metals, and as much [mercury] as it got this way, so much Tincture, for every [mercury] of Metals is fixable into Tincture, which cannot be said of the common. And yet amongst these Metallick Mercuries, one yields a better Tincture than the other, the [mercury] of [mars] as has been said is the best, though that of [saturn] be good also. He who is come so far as to be able to make the [mercury] of any other Metal, with the help of the Salt of the World, may easily do the same with all the rest, and then try which [mercury] is the best. I have tried several, and found none better than that of [mars]. For which Reason also sometime before my falling Sick, I bought a great quantity of Steel Needles unfit for common use, with intention to make a great quantity of [mercury] of [mars], but being seized with Sickness not long after, and continuing Bed-rid till now; my design was hindered. Now whether God will be pleased to raise me, that I may prepare a good quantity of the said [mercury], for those that come after, I know not; for at present by reason of my Weakness, I have no hope to do anything. And therefore have determined with myself, to manifest these and the like great Secrets to the World, as far as my Weakness will permit; that they who are Lovers of the Art may know, and work them, or let them alone as they please: For if it shall suffice me, to have discovered the wonderful Works of God to mankind, not at all concerning myself with the rest.
It is here to be noted, that the [mercury] which by means of the Salt of the World, in the moist way is drawn forth from Aqua Fortis, other like corrosive Liqours, is purer than that which, in the dry way is forced over with a strong Fire, yet both are good, and fixable into Tincture. It is also less trouble to bring over the [mercury] of Metals in the moist way, than by a strong Flame. For when a Metal is dissolved in Aqua Fortis, and Salt of the World added to the Solution, then if by Alembick you separate the Menstruum, part of the [mercury] will come over with it, which, as before mentioned, is to be separated from it; Afterwards drive what remains in the Alembick through a Retort, and the Salt of the World will carry more of the [mercury] over, by which means a good quantity of [mercury] will be obtained. For which God be praised, who has showed us his poor necessitous Children so near straight a way to the land of Promise. For I still say (as I always did) that nothing more excellent can be found, either in Physick or Alchimy, than the [mercury] of Metals, all other Works being mere trifles in Comparison of it; Because such a [mercury] well fixed, is not only the highest Medicine, but besides Tinges [luna] and [mercury] into [sol]. I have clearly and fully described a manner of it, Preparation, save only, that I have not named the Salt of the World, because it is such a vile and contemptible thing, and cast out upon Dunghills: And yet nothing in the World lives without it. No living Creature in or upon the Earth, Bird in the Air, nor Fish in the Water is sustained without this Universal Salt of the World. Concerning this Salt of the World, or true matter of the Universal great Stone of the Philosophers, an unknown Author in the Thirty fifth Chapter of his Book writes thus,
That the first Work of the Elixir, is everywhere to be found.Concerning the true making of the Elixir, as to its first Work, the Philosophers say, that the true Matter is everywhere to be found; because it is in every Man, and found with every Man. Adam brought it with him out of Paradise, and when he died took it along with him to his Grave. And therefore an Allegory of the Wise men says, that the said Matter is subtilised [sol], that is [sol] advanced to the highest pitch of mineral Virtue. Concerning this [sol] it is said: With our Gum and little [sol], we can buy much. And Albertus in his Book of Minerals says, and proves it, that [sol] is everywhere to be found: Because there is nothing made of the four Elements, in which, after its highest refining, [sol] is not to be found, and therefore they say it is everywhere to be found. The same Albertus also asserts, that a great Mineral Virtue is in every Man, especially in his Head between his Teeth: for that in his time, in old Graves [sol] was found in little longish Grains, between the Teeth of dead men Skulls, which could not be, except the said mineral Virtue were in Man, which mineral virtue is in the Matter of our Elixir. And therefore it is said, that the Stone is in every Man, and that Adam brought it with him out of Paradise, e.t.c.
The Philosopher tells us here, proving it by several Authors, that the true Matter of the Elixir, as to the First Work, is to be found with every one: Concerning which Matter, much might be said, but it is better be silent for fear of the abuse of wicked Men. Yet I cannot but hint here, how it may be made out, that [sol] can grow in the Skulls of dead Men, as before mentioned. It seems probable then, that there were the Skulls of such Men, who in their Life-time much used [mercury], either taking it inwardly, or much handling it in their Trades. Now it being the Property of [mercury], to mount upwards to the Head, and settle between Teeth, we may suppose, that by length of time the Microcosmical [sulphur] did Coagulate it into [sol]. Let no Man think this impossible, for the [sulphur] of Mans Dung has a very great affinity with Mineral [sulphur], which nobody can better witness, than he whom God has revealed it, and who has found it true to by Experience.
The Reader by this time has sufficiently perceived, how the Mercuries of all Metals may with ease be brought over , by means of the Salt of the World; as also, how the same may be had with the help of a Fulmen or strong Flame of Fire.
Now he that is Master of these Mercuries, will not be far to seek, for the way of fixing them; for which there is no nearer way, than to maturate them to a Tincture, by means of Artephius his Fire, for all other ways are very tedious, concerning which Fixation by the said secret Fire, the Reader will find more in other parts of my Writings.
Herewith, then I conclude this First Part of my Purgatory, or cleansing Fire, with which all unclean black Subjects may be washed to the highest degree of Purity and Whiteness. If by chance, I should here have omitted one or other Circumstantial of the Work (as I hope not) I shall, as it comes to mind, set it down in my following Writings. In the meantime Farewell, and remember the Salt of the World, learn to know it, and its Use, for so thou wilt be able to make the Mercuries of all Metals, which in value exceed all [sol] and precious Stones.
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