The Search of Causes - Timothy Willis

AE Waite had intended to reprint this title under the 'Literature of Alchemy' series in his proposed 'Hermetic Text Society', which never took off. EA Hitchcock was also included on the prospectus.

ophysicall Inuestigation of the
Possibilitie of Transmuta-
torie Alchemie.

By Timothie Willis, Apprentise
in Phisicke.
Printed by IOHN LEGATT.
To the Reader.

THE cause of this Presse, is rather compulsory, then voluntary: Indeed an extorted will, proceeding first fro my facility in copies, and thereby from too much liberty in some: who of amanuensed transcripts (peradventure not perfect) gaue mee iust suspition of an ignorant exposing. Which to preuent, I haue sent to the worlds view this whatsoeuer, being occasioned by discourse and arguments as a supper beweene diuers learned Gentlemen some yeares past. My selfe am so litle ambitious thereof, that I shall thinke it well if it scape without taxe, specially virulent: hauing entertained no thought of reply to gainsayers. An incky Duell about naturall opinables, should proceed like faults escaped in the printing.

Mend and say nothing.

The search of Causes,
conteining a Theophysicall Inuesti-
gation of the possibility of Transmu-
tatorie Alchemie.

CAP. 1.

THE knowledge of trueth reuealed vnto the first friends of God, and by succession from them continued vnto vs their children, is more perfect then the wisedome of any Philosophy. Philosophers seeke for, and require reason and necessarie causes in all things. But we are taught and assured, that the beginning was without any such cause as they seeke after, or wee can comprehend. For nothing is more true, then that all things were made by an infinite power of an incomprehensible Creator, in that beginning of which we haue no perfect knowledge. And because we are taught that so perfect a cause can do nothing not answerable to itselfe, we must beleeue that all his workes be most perfect in absolute order of Number, Weight, and Measure: created, made, and preserued, in and vnder an vnchangeable law of created Nature, answerable to the archetypall and chiefe exemplary cause of their being and preseruation. Wherefore to vnderstand so much, as our imperfection may comprehend, it is necessarie that wee consider the degrees of this excellent wisdome to and in his Creaturers, whereby all things are, and continue: And how the essentiall causes depend and abide inuiolably the same, vnto the last determmination of all time and times.

CAP. 2.

BEFORE this creation there was nothing of this naturall world, eyther in actuall existence, or potentiallie: Neither Forme, Matter; Spirit, Bodie; Substance, Accident; Time, Place; Order, Confustion; Positiue, Priuatiue; Absolute, Relatiue; Abstract, Concrete; Agent, Patient; Negation, or Affirmation: But one onely the Ineffable and Incomprehensible Iah; diuine Essence, Eternal, without beginning or end, whose name then was, and in his abstract Essence euer shall be, I Am. And since the Creation as hee is God the Creator and preseruer, &c. Emanuel, God with vs, which Vs is man, conteining in him somwhat by proportion from the Sonne of God and man, and from Angels, to the insensible Center of the earth.

CAP. 3.

THE difference or distance betweene Being and absolute not being, is infinite: And therefore cannot be mediate, or filled, but by an infinite Power: But there is nothing infinite in Power, sauing onely the vncreated Power without beginning or ending. Of whose counsels we may not require cause or reason, and cannot by vs be comprehended. This power because it is infinite, is alwais the same without change. Wherefore it is simply without respect or relation Good and Goodnesse, from which all created Good and Goodnesse commeth, and on it dependeth. And this created Good and Goodnesse to itselfe and euery particular creature is respectiue and relatiue. The first absolute Power infinite, and infinitely Good, with his will eternally decreed a creation: and with his infinite action and spirit effected the same: Infinite in the Creator, though determined and finite in the Creature, Ad modum Recipientis. So we finde in this workmanship of the Almighty three causes, which are a rule, intellectual and ideall law, in and to the creature: Power, Will, Sprit, being three coessentiall in one God, and three distinct in the Creature concerning his operations, though one in the vniuersality of their subject, much more in the cause whereon they depend. For what Creature soeuer shall doe any thing, must have Power to effect, Will to work, and instruments of action; which is Spirit, giuing motion: and this is common to all creatures, vnder what degree of substance soeuer they bee particularized. For the Philosophers power meerely passiue, concerneth only a supposition of naturall disposition and appetite to a processe, A non Ente tali ad ens tale. But except they will imagine it to bee with priuation of action in the patible or passiue subject (which is absurd) they must needs grant this power to effect.

CAP. 4.

IN the history of the Creation, we find thus. In the beginning God made heaven and earth &c. as there followeth. Where note, that the word Deep, Abyssus, or Chaos, was that which is heere called heauen and earth, being yet one confused heap or masse, vndiuided, without forme, & void, oueruailed with the vniuersal darknes; which darknes was not the priuation of light, because no created or relatiue light had then bin. But without any [2. Esdras, 6, 39.] voice the darknesse was on euery side with silence. From this matter, Time and Place only beginneth the search of reason, vnderstanding, and created wisedome, vnto which all Philosophy in the highest Metaphysicks must be reduced. For no reason can be giuen or inuestigation made of that which was not: And not any thing euer was, but in some time and place: which haue no vse but onely to measure and conteine. But before this beginning their neither was measure nor thing measured; Conteiner nor thing conteined: And therefore no time, no place: But both had being and beginning in and with this creation, beeing themselues creatures, and concluded vnder the law of Nature: which here in this Reshith with them tooke beginning. I am not ignorant, that a late writer laboureth much about Principium increatum. In which he would haue this darke and silent mother, the common wombe, this Chaos of possibilities, this all changeable vnformed to bee and receiue beginning; or more explicately to be with it Coaeuall. But that is too Chaldaicall, and implieth an eternitie and infinite forebeing of Matter, Time, and Place: which agreeth not with the infinite contradiction and contradictorie predications of Deus, and Non Deus. And there is nothing definible, demonstrable, or consequent out of any principle of naturall wisedome, which this beginning of Matter, Time, and Place doe not as certainly auerre, as the supposed eternity of them. Besides that it is more orthodoxall: Except his phrase and sentence can beare construction of that Word which was in and from the beginning; by which all things were made: And receiue the construction of Saint Pauls sermon to the Athenians. Now therefore let vs see what rivers run from this sea, Conducts from this wellhead: and what principles of Philosophie wee are necessarily tyed vnto by this most certaine and true beginning of nature and naturall causes. No doubt whatsoeuer is elsewhere necessarily or probably deliuered, is either directly taken from hence, Or else is but a shadow of this substance, and a deriuation of this light.

CAP. 5.

EVERIE worke and action of God, expressed or implied in his Creation, hath as a necessary cause produced some created effect, and established it vnder the law of Nature, with time still to continue. By his Power in the beginning he created that voide and vnformed Chaos, which because it was void & vnformed, had power and hability alike to euerie thing or forme. And because nature, that is the Creature, is the Image of the Creator, as being Relatiue to him; There is in it a naturall will and appetite vnto perfection, which is the naturall Good and Goodnesse of euery creature, which is manifested by distinction, in instruments, parts, &c. That the heauens may declare the glory of God, and all his works magnifie his holy name. The third cause in the creature was yet wanting; that is, spirit, the formall cause of motion, in euery Creature: which likewise answered his proper cause, distinct from the other, as is said in their effects relatiuely, but not in the vniuersall subject, nor in the Prototypal being, whose Image they are: Three in One, and One in Three, or rather Trinity Coessentiall in Vnity, and Vnity in Trinity. The spirit mouing vpon the waters created in them spiritualnesse and naturall motion, in such proportion as might most absolutely anser the excellency of the Creators disposition, and harmony in the innumerable variety of all his particular creatures: and be a most sure ground to informe the contemplation of reason by exact dependence of effects vpon their causes. The whole Chaos conteined two parts, Water and Earth. In this there is diuersity of position, aboue and beneath. The Water was aboue the Earth, & therfore lighter and more capable of actiuity; The Earth was vnder the waters, and therfore heauier & naturally more passible. The spirit mooued vpon the surface of the waters, which then thereby became more spirituall, actiue, & stirring: & from thence the other waters in that deepe receiued their dower in the like vertues in proportion, euen to those that were contiguall to the earth. The Earth in it selfe hath no power of spirit or motion, but mediatly by the Waters: and that likewise in exact and graduated proportion, sufficient for the agreeing diuersity of al bodies. This spiritualnes or naturall spirit being but potentially in the waters, could not in naturall course (which God had now established) be acted but by a meane. The Spirit was moued, Motion breeds heat, Heate causeth rarefaction, or subtilty: & subtilty is the perfection of spirit in euerie kind: And of all spirituall things light is most subtile, which therefore was the first Creature actually distinguished in and out of the confused Chaos. And that which before was the confused power of all things, void, and without forme, by this appeared the vniuersall matter of all bodies, informed with light, the most vniuersall of all formes. And as in the darkenesse nature trauailed with the burthen of this wonderfull birth in her wombe, and as it were fate hatching her egges, so now in this light shee was deliuered of her first borne: and after disclosed her orther chickens, formed and well shaped, out of the shell of darkenesse. And here the waters were endowed with Spirit, Motion, Heat, and Light, as is aforesaid: which light was not actually in the inferiour waters (as nights Mantle prooueth.) But shewing the neerenesse of water vnto light by transparence, the easie reception of light, their easie rarefaction by the worke of heate, the child of Spirit, doe giue good testimony of lights materiality. But this is not so proper to vniuersall light, of which we speake, by which the superiour waters bee continually illumined and illustred, without any shadow of the night of our lesse generall time: yet it may serue in neere similitude to illustrate. The next distinct Creature named the Expansion, Firmament, or Heauen (which a certaine Wiseman calleth the heauenly Ayre) had in the very instant of his calling and creation and office appointed most generall: To diuide the waters aboue from the waters below. And heere is no mention made of Ayre and Fire, but of Motion and Light, which are neuer without heate, the most proper passion or forme of that which wee commonlie call Fire: Also of the vpper Waters and their rarefaction, which agreeth with the Ayre of common Philsophie in the efficient and subiect. But whether those names be proper or no, concerneth not this place: and I haue elsewhere paradoxally handled. Of the substance & composition of heauen many heads haue brought forth many hornes: and arming their reasons with fantasticall imaginations, haue pushed at each other so long till they be all galled. It is sufficient for vs to considert their vse and office: that is, to deuide the waters aboue from the waters below; and how being composed of the common Chaos, water and earth, more pure then things beneath them, lesse pure then things aboue them, they be solid, fixed, permanent, and as it were of an immortall substance; patible onely by fire. And therefore it is said, [Job 37.18] the heauens are strong and as a molten glasse. For when the Spirit getteth the vpper hand in a pure and cleane body, and that bodie afterwards of the Spirit in the second coniunction, not by incrassation of the spirit but by subtilation of the body, the whole compound becommeth quintessentiall: then all is permanent, and, as you wold say, fixed spirituall. Then there is no naturall alteration nor corruption. I know that some writers make two distinct materialities, or materias primas, first matters in this beginning of creation: one containing the water of heauen aboue, the other a confused masse of earth and water, the corporalitie of all sublunarie bodies. But that opinion seemeth to draw a tayle after it of many absurdities & inconueniences: & that golden chaine of Participation of Symboles, which linketh heauen and earth together, cannot abide two materiall principles of one creature. Neither can such duality subsist with that Talmudique mysterie of light shining out of darkenes, which is figuratiuely verbum Dei in nobis. Then there is no naturall alteration nor corruption, but mens sana in corpore sano, a pure spirit in a perfect bodie. Next after the firmament and thid diuision of waters, followed the separation or parting of the waters beneath the firmament from the earth; whereby sea and land were made. In all this relation and respect are manifest; darknesse and light aboue, beneath; and diuider, or meane betweene extreames, Water, Earth, Sea, Land; wet, dry, Motion, Rest &c. Then in order followed, In the earth Vegetables, In heauen starres and their officies, In the waters Fish and Foule: In the earth againe sensibles, commonly called Brutes, or Irrationals: Lastly Man with appointment of meate for himselfe and all sensibles, except fishes.

CAP. 6.

IN the beginning the Waters conteined all; were conteined of none, but teemed in darkenesse. The heauens were of olde; And the earth that was of the water, by the Word of God. Wherefore the world that then was, perished by water. The heauens and earth which now are, bee kept in store by the same Word vnto fire. The first matter of all things is water: and therefore the first cleansing is by and with water. The last perfection of all things is spirit, and the last cleansing is by fire, which is the violence of the spirit consuming all matter imperfectible, and leauing in an immortall bodie, that which is pure, cleane, and perfectible. In which triump of the spirit all shall burne sauing the perfect seede of them that scaped in the wwaters. For nothing that is vncleane cometh to the last and second perfection of the fire, not hauing beene washed and depured in the first of water. But how the earth was of water, whether by separation of the lower waters when the drie land appeared, or by subsidence of the heauier part of the Chaos in the rarefaction caused by the spirit moouing, is a matter of great and necessarie consequence: doubtlesse it was by both, as wee see in depuring of liquors and Chymicall extractions. And so the second world is of the diuiding of fire, as in spagiricall mysteries wee may plainelie see. This is true in that we seeke after: which is more easie to vnderstand if we consider that heate the forme, or essentially inseparable from the forme of fire, was made by the spirits mouing vpon the waters, and that the life and fewell of fire is aer. The waters as being most spiritual had the first ornament of distinction and forme in all degrees: first light (which some thinke to comprehend Angels) and therefore fire. But that thought hath many aduersaries, and may imply matter of strong heresye, as though they had beene Coadiutors, or agents in the following dayes of creation. Therefore they doe best which vnderstand the creation of Angels to be in the sixt day, in which man himselfe also was create: besides many other sound reasons. Then heauen followed the diuider and mediator of the waters aboue from them beneath: next vegetables, &c. as before: where note that before any sensible creature was created in the water or earth, the better part, that is, the superiour waters, and the heauen, had all their furniture of light, with the whole hoast of heauen, of innumerable starres and their offices. And lastlie Angels a little before man. For thought it bee not defined when Angels were created; yet their residence beeing in heauen, and their Indivuidualitie imortall, it cannot bee doubted, that they were before and neere the perfectest forme of the ruling creature. And the light of Angels in origination must differ infinitely from the inaccessible light of God. And as they could not suffer by water, so they that continued in their originall light shall not perish nor suffer by fire, as all other things shall, euen the heauens themselues. The heauens and earth which are kept by the same word in store, and reserued vnto fire, &c. [2 Peter 3; Psalms 102.25] Thou hast layed the foundations of the earth, the heauens are the worke of thine hands, they shall perish but thou shalt endure: Euen they all shall waxe olde as doth a garment, as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall bee changed, &c. [2 Peter 3.12; Eccelsiastes 17.31] The heauens beeing on fire shall bee dissolued, and the Elements shall melt with heate, &c.What is more cleere thene the Sunne? yet is shall faile; Yea the heauens and starres though insensible bee farre more excellent then the sensible creatures of the earth, and inferiour waters: Not concerning their forme, but concerning their composition, perfect mixture, and pure matter of corporalitie: All which cause their permanent indiuidualitie. Such is the substance of our question. The starres are vncleane in his sight: How much more man euen the Sonne of man, which is but a worme? &c. [Job 15.15] The heauens are not cleane in his sight, how much more Man? For man is of the earth, And heauen is the congregation of waters: In which they become fixed & permanent, which cannot bee without the action of their spirit of light and fire. For though euerie one haue their part of all foure: Yet wee finde the earth and ayre patible, and as it were Nurses or rather Seminaries, and very wombes of corruption, diseases, and death: From which (not speaking of them in their regenerated bodies,) no sacrament either diuine or naturall is taken: And in, from, and by which all things both macrocosmicall and microcosmicall haue their Morbificall exhalations. But the other two, water, and fire, bee the cleansers and naturall renewers of all; which as they decay not in themselues, so doe they preserue. For the fishes were not brought into the Arke, but were preserued in their own proper Element. And by the way we may obserue one notable doctrine. That the more pure, cleane, and subtile any thing is in the materialitie of his primitiue nature, the more irreuocable is the ruine and destruction, if it suffer violence aboue or beyond that number, waight, and measure in which it was created. So wee see the fall of Angels eternally iudged, and vitrified substance bee irreducible. And this in naturall things & naturall causes is also true. But to proceede: after in the creation of sensible creatures the waters were first serued with fish & foules, which are attributed and appropriated vnto the waters, because ayre commeth by rarefaction of waters, and is extended vnder the hollow of heauen. Lastly was Man being the Epitome and Abridgement of the whole Creation; and therfore rightly called Microcosmus, a little world: for whose vse and seruice all other things were created: For the good or bad vse whereof, he shall account to his and their Creator God Almighty. The order of proceeding heerein, we see to be from the most simple and vniuersall, to the most compound and speciall or particular. So sensibles are more compounded then vegetables, Man more then other sensibles; minerals lesse then vegetables: and all concerning their materiality, of the first Chaos, partakers of the essentiall corporality, which conteined all in darknesse.

CAP. 7.

IN this Chronicle of the creation, there is very excellently taught the condition of all Creatures, their composition, and state of their naturall life. There are two corporal or bodied Elements, Earth and Water; of which all things vnder heauen are materially compounded: The spirit of life in euery thing is his naturall heate, ioyned therewith by the meanes of the ayre (which is here called the rarefied waters,) first created by the motion of the spriit, and made able to multiply it selfe in any fit and prepared subject. This heate is chiefly in the light, which was first brought out of the Chaos, and dwelleth in the rarefied waters, as in their proper subiect. So the whole composition consisteth of foure: two patient and materiall respectiuely, inferior water and earth: two agent and formall respectiuely, superior water and heate, or light: which if we call ayre and fire in the compound, it shall be indifferent, for it matters not what names or words be vsed, so the thing be vnderstood. These foure Elements or parts of composition must be considered two waies; particularly, and generally. Considered particularly they euer concurre to the composition of things corruptible: but generally, of things incorruptible.

To which purpose let vs consider; that there is a generall light, made before the heauens: of and with which the Elements, and euery elementary compound doth communicate more or lesse: and thereby hath in it some sparke of incorruptibility, and possibility to attaine it, according to the primitiue natural predestination of his first creation; which also it might and should enjoy were it adapted to fit digestion, and fermentation of it selfe: where all the Elements should neuer cease from their circular labour vntill by equall proportion and temper that subiect could no more be altered; of which there is some neere example in Gold and pretious stones.

There is also a generall Heauen, not made to distinguish times and seasons, but to diuide, and to bee as it were a Land-marke betweene the Waters, (the interpretations of the Hebrew Maim, and the Comments of the Aerial Expansion may haue their truth, not opposing this diuisor:) which general heauen giueth generall influence from the Waters aboue, by meanes of the generall light, into the inferiour Elements and elementarie compounds, and also spirituall fixation: continuing and preseruing hte cause of their incorruptibilitie, beeing an actiue Spirit of life, able to worke by digestion and fermentation as aforesaid.

There is also a generall and vniuersall Time, and that of diuers degrees. When the Chaos was created, Time was created with it. And as the matter of all things, being then in this Chaos, is incorruptible in it selfe, though diuerslie passible in his indefinitenesse to all formes: so is that time with it created, in it selfe abstractiuely vnderstood, vndiuided, though communicated vnto Elements and Compounds, and measuring in them no other thing then the incorruptibility of their matter. Besides this, there is another generall Time, measuring the generall and incorruptible matter, which slept in vnreuealed darknesse. And as the first measureth in the Elements and elemental bodies the incorruptibility of the matter, so this measureth in them the same of their formes, to the preseruation of one generall forme in one generall matter of naturall transcendence. The third generall Time began with the firmament; which time measureth the third order of naturall Being from the Chaos; and the second order of distinction from the generall light. That is the diuision of waters, and therefore it is in the first degree of composition, alterable by generation and corruption: for in it the foure elements were perfected of all naturall sublunary things. This time is the first of all, vnto which our speculation reacheth, concerning the naturall estate of things corruptible and generable: for the other two come neerer the last dissolution, when al things shal stand adorned in one light, or fall confused in one darknesse. And these vniuersall and incorruptible causes, Matter and Forme, are really according to their natures in the elements and euery compound; and either shall with them in their present estate continue vnto the last possibility of their predestination, or alter them that they may so continue; or else being seuered from them returne to their proper place, vnder the commensuration of their proper time, till all things be restored in the incorruptible regeneration of an immortall spring. So is their particular matter and forme separable, corruptible in respect of the composition; and measured by particular times, in which generations and corruptions do happen of all things thereunto subiect. The particular light began with the Starres, and that of so many different effects, as there be varieties in their motion, receptions of light, irradiations, and whatsoeuer else in true Astronomy can bee said of them. This is the particular beginning of Time and Times, and the proper measure of all specifications and particularities: Yet some would haue the measure of specifications to be in the time of the vnstarred heauens, and of particularities as is here said. It is no inconuenience to agree with them, both haue their speculations, but agree in the issue of particularities. If it be objected, that this being true, vegetables be incorruptible, because they were created before this light, and time of the Stars; I say, it followeth not. For they are made of earth and inferiour waters, earth being predominant, which imply matter and forme separable, and by consequent corruptibility of the compound, notwithstanding the concours of the other two elements aforesaid. They were giuen for food to man, and all other animals (except Fishes) which were made after the Stars; and therefore doe communicate in nature with them. And though they were made before the light and time of generations and corruptions, yet they were not then absolutely perfect. For neither had they then increased their species with succession of indiuiduals, nor attained their last end in which al perfection is consummate: that is, to be meate for man and beasts, made in the light and times of generations. But therein we may note, that all things made before this time, being generable and corruptible, be in their generations hermaphroditicall: and therein differ from the other more multitudinary and angulare. And from this place a good cabalist may gather something of the immortalitie of the flesh, and by consequent of resurrection: because their foode is that of which in the first creation, concerning time and light, is incorruptible; amongst which there is a tree of life. What then shall we say of meate and medicine made of that, which in creation preceeds these, in his particular bodie is durable with the heauens, lesse compounded and angulare then any yvegetable. But to returne: moreouer the earth and all things therein receiued the curse, and became hereunto subiect by Adams fall, and cannot without sweate and labour eate their bread, that is, enioy the predestination of the spirit of life which is in them. But if they were helped and cherished by some matter like and connaturall to that spirit of life, which they haue of the vniuersall light, and the vpper waters measured by the vniuersall time of the vnstarred heauen; noe doubt they might endure farre beyond that time they now doe, if peraduenture, not to the worlds end: which in their present state is impossible for many causes, and by reason hereditarie corruption hath taken so great and deepe roote: as one (though to another end) saith;

Damnosa quid non imminuit Dies?
AEtas Parentum, peior auis tulie
Nos nequiores, mox daturos
Progeniem vitiosiorem.

Wherein the whole world, and euerie part thereof, haue their part, both in quantity diminished, life shortned, naturall vertues decayed, and generally in minority of all things that belong to their naturall being or well being: and shall not be restored, vntill the general restauration of the vniuerse. Say vnto a woman which trauaileth, wherefore are not they whom thou hast now brought forth like those that were before thee, but lesse of stature? [2 Esdras 5.52] And she will answer thee, some were born in the flower of youth, others were borne in the time of age, when the wombe failed: Consider now that yee are lesse of stature than those that were before you, and so are they that come after you lesse then they: as the Creatures which now beginne to be old, and haue passed ouer the strength of yough.

CAP. 8.

OF these two kinds of essentiall causes, generall and particular, corruptible and incorruptible, all sublunary things consist and haue their being and existence in matter and forme, body and spirit. And are in possibility to such end, as naturally follow these beginnings, corruptible or incorruptible, transmutable or permanent. And nature naturally proceeding, euer indendeth the greatest naturall perfection in all her workes, and the preparation thereof. But because in the excellent ornament and beauty of Gods gloroius workmanship (consisting of innumerable variety of seuerall species and perticularities in nature) all participate not alike, of the incorruptible causes, nor be alike tempered by the digestion of their compounding Elements, many things of necessity are of shorter continuance then other, more subiect to change and corruption. This change & corruption, being properly the death of euery particular body, commeth not by vtter destruction or annihilation of any essential part, but is only a disorganizing of the spirits tenement, and a separating of these said parts, each returning to his place vnder the measure of generall time. Neither do any of them so perish, but that their mortall immortalitie, vnder the said commensuration continuing vnto the worlds end, is manifest. For those things, which in their indiuiduallbodies have not this immortality (as wee see the heauens, gold, & precious stones to haue) aare preserued here by succession, as it were of immortall seede. For all men came out of Adams loynes: And his substance by propagation continueth to the last end of al natural things. In contemplation wherof the Greek Philosophers affirme, that in all seedes there is somthing wonderful, proportionable to the Element of Stars. But if we consider the regeneration of this body in his digested, purified Elements, thought it be aboue naturall bodies of which we speake, concurre and rest, as al riuers run into the sea making one deepe. And if the exposition of Dionysius Carthusianus be not receiued, peraduenture this may agree with the meaning of S. Paul in the 8. Cha. to the Romanes, from the 19. verse tot he 24. To this purpose we may further consider, how God in all his wokres euer abhorred multitude tending to diuision, making all things conspire in vnity of most accomplished perfection. In the creation of the second day it is not said, And god saw that it was good. Not that the Creatures of that day wanted his blessing, but to teach vs the danger of diuision, which beginning in the first defection from vnity, endeth in confusion: and is neuer restored but by returning againe from the tumult of multiplied duality, and conspiring in the vnited goodnesse of all good things, to receiue the vndiuided blessing of rest and quietnesse in the mysticall Septenarie. So God saw all that he had made, and loe it was very good. It is not said, he saw them and euerie of them, and they were good. Duo, two, as the number of diuision had no blessing, but in 6. being vnituely tripled, according to the first vniuersall causes, it was ioyned to the number of all, as one of, in, and with them, without diuision for them; and so rested in the perfection of vnity, sanctifying the creature in 7. And as all things natural are of three vniuersal causes, so on that roote is squared the last preparation of them, which is Man: receiuing perfection in 10. by which, 9. returneth into vnity, the first and last perfection of all perfections. For 6. and 9. be the numbers of preparation and motion. 7. and 190. the numbers of rest and perfection in nature.

CAP. 9.

NOW let vs enquire whither it bee possible in nature to produce such a compounded substance, tempered of the Elements, in which, after exact digestion, the predominancy of the spiritual causes shall be manifested in true figure of regeneration. So that the appetite of this matter being fully satisfied, it shall bee capable of no greater natural perfection, nor subiect to change in it selfe: but, like the superior waters, mixe it selfe with the spirit of life in euery natural thing, & work in it restauration & preseruation in such measure, as the natural predestination of that thing wherwith it is ioined is able to receiue: and so be Genus generum, and Forma formarum, most vniuersall to all elementate compounds. I say a naturall perfection and naturall change, meaning so great and high degree, as the possibility of this world, hasting in speedy fluxe to an end, can suffer and beare. For I know that when the pure heauens, and perfect elements doe burne, melt, and shall bee purged with the powerfull fire in the last complement of Nature, that then also all things of or vnder them consisting, shall much more suffer the same. Such things therefore as we speake of be commonly diuided into animals, vegetables, and minerals: vnderstanding each largely to comprehend all the particular Species of their owne kind, also all errors whether by abundance or defect of matter, strength and waeknes of causes, &c. amongst these we also comprehend lithophytes, transplanted from a vegetable roote to a minerall body, and zeophytes, which for the most part haue in neerest agreement an animall body, and a minerall house. For a ground and principle herein we assume that which with common consent is receiued in euery sect of Philosophy: Nature not hindered in her actions doth produce that wherein she laboroureth in the greatest perfection that may be. This we see to be true in all indiuiduall things, in the specification of their birthes, in their proper and naturall matrices: as also in vnnaturall issues from vnproper and vnnaturall matrices: and in Monsters of superfluity, defect, &c.

In all which nature frameth somthing as neere to the specifical perfection of the seede sowen, as the matrice, matter, causes, and adaptation thereof will suffer: Also in equiuocall generations, & things animated by fermentation, putrifaction, &c. And this also in Vegetables, as in graffing; where a Crab-stocke seedeth a Pippin. In transplantation, as of wheate into Rye,&c. In culture, both of degeneration and exaltation, as in garden fruits, double flowers, &c. Likewise in minerals, as is sufficiently declared by good Authors, and daily experienced by such as vse iudgement in searching, digging, and vse of Mines. Also in spagyricall maturation of vnripe Mines, and of vnperfect minerals by cohobating imbibition of fit minerall waters, &c. The second seruing to this point, is no lesse euident and common. Euerie effect is the effect of some cause, and therefore answerable vnto it. And of this followeth a third. There is no reall cause actually in being, without his effect in actus all existence: Else should nature labour in vaine, and consume her selfe about nothing with lesse profit, then a mountaine calling a Midwife to bee deliuered of a Mouse. This being graunted, let vs remember what is before prooued of the difference of causes, Generall and Particular, not taking away the subalternate dependene of all, for the whole beeing of subiects with their inherent vertues and applications, as they now are to themselues and others. By particular I meane not indiuiduall, but that which is put vnder or beneath the vniuersality of Natures indefinitenesse, by being appropriated to any inferior or subalternate kind of speciation. General causes working in themselues produce generall effects, but receiued in particular kind, in Animals, Vegetables, and Minerals. This barre or repulsion from generality commeth by specification; and specification from the concourse of particular causes, hindering nature from her genrall worke. The matter is indifferent to all; because it is generall, and more incorruptible: and desiring a forme most naturall to it selfe, must needs be best satisfied with generality. Take away the particular specificating causes, and this generall effect must needs follow: as the light of the Sunne is altered according to the colour of any Glasse wherethrough it passeth, which glasse being taken away, it appeareth in that generall brightnesse which is proper to it selfe. If therefore it bee possible to continue in nature the action of the generall causes not hindered by subalternation of particularity, vnto the last digestivue fermentation of this matter, no doubt there wil be produced an effect generall, a reall existing substance, indefinite, indeterminate, to al specificated substances: being spirit of naturall life in all perfection to euery one in his kind, of which it shall be receiued as aforesaid. As the honour and authority of a Kind, continuing in his owne absolute power vndiminished, giueth honour and authoritie to all kinde of his subiects to euery one according to his place, degree, and office. And to his subiects is as it were Genus generum, and Forma formarum: so matter beeing in it selfe indifferent to all, and informed in the first light of Nature, with the most vniuersall forme of simplicitie, in composition naturally desireth the most generall forme which is possible for any elementate compound to haue. Yet notwithstanding is specificated according to the subalternate causes working therein. As we may say, a King in his officers is coarcted into a Chancellor, a Treasuror, an Admirall, Iudge, Iustice, Constable, &c.

CAP. 10.

THE possibility of this general vnspecificated substance appeareth: and more, a very necessity thereof, lest Nature should worke in vaine, hauing hte concourse of all necessary causes not corrupted. Let vs therefore search further, how and of what this may bee done, in any sublunary matter compounded of the elements, animall, vegetable, minerall, largely taken as aforesaid. First let vs consider the state of innocency, in which all things were absolutely perfect, each in his owne kine: so that the measure of the generall causes in them was not hindered from their actions by any seed of corruption or clog of grossenesse, but free in their owne libertie to worke and produce effects answerable to their proportion in euery body. For all bodies in their naturall being are not alike perurable, but graduated with more or lesse, as the concourse of particular causes and agents is more or lesse in them. And those, whose composition is most simple and least remote from the Elements by subalternation, are of all others least subject to corruption in their specificated naturall bodies: as minerals. But to returne where we left; this primitiue and genethliacal perfection by Adams fal was impaired and ouervueiled, as it were in a shadow of death: so that those things which God saw to be good, were now infected with the fruite and iuyce of that tree in which the knowledge of euill grew: and being poysoned by Adams taste, were with him cursed. Neither was their any way left for him to enioy their Goodnesse Seuered from euill, but by labour and trauaile. Cursed is the earth for they sake. In sorrow shalt thou eate of it all the daies of thy life. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eate thy bread, vntill thou returne to earth. This sweate and trauell to eate bread is not tyed to the table of meales, nor to plowing and sowing, but is generall to the fruition of euery naturall thing in his vse of vertue and goodnesse. Was not the water made sweete with wood, that men might know the vertue thereof? [Ecclus. 38] The vertue of this wood and all other things was knowne to Adam, but lost in the heires of the slothfull, married vnto the beauty of the Daughters of men, either refusing, or not rightly vnderstanding the sweate of eating bread. Man became rebellious and disobedient vnto God; so other creatures to man. Man is restored to God by the suffering of one most perfect; so natural things vnder the ordinance of God, vnto man by one most exactly purified, digested & regnerated naturall compound. And (not defining) I thinke it no error to say, that as euery creature is subiect to vanitie [Rom. 8], and groneth with vs, and at last shall be deliuered from the bondage of corruption vnto the glorious libertie of the sonnes of God, so also there may be naturally, before that consummation of all things, some proofe of this restored incorruptibilitie, really existing in a complete elementate Compound, as is before said in the 9. chapter. Of this matter and substance speaketh Roger Bacon, It is possible to nature and art helping nature, to prepare Corpus aqualis complexionis, in quo omnia elementasunt aqualia, & adaequata, quo ad virtutes. Necesse etiam est quod sit possibilitas huius corporis; quoniam corporain resurrectione non possunt habere incorruptionem & immortalitatem, nisi per hoc corpous &c. and in another place, Et hoc est corppus aquale, ex quo componentur corpora post resurrectionem. And this is the rest from sweat and labour that euery naturall thing shall have after it is returned into earth; in the second purifying of examination by fire: As our Hermes saith of the worlds wonder, Vis eius est integra, si versa fuerit in terram. The perfection of the earthly paradise decaied not: but they way thereof was precluded: whither nature cannot enter, but by passing the fiery sword. Man in the Scripture is called Omnis creatura, euery creature: And therefore in him shall this restoring from groning and trauailing, and deliuerie from the bondage of corruption bee vltimate, in consummation perfected; As before in the eight chapter. Where heate is multiplied, It is indifferent to congeale earth and melt waxe, to rariefie water into ayre, or incinerate Combustible mater. Clay in the potters hand, and wood in the grauers, are in the workemeans power to forme at his pleasure, Indifferent to all shapes: So is the efficient cause in the minde of the Artist. But after one forme induced there is no place for any other without destroiing the first. So Nature (though not abridged, and so short tyed as mechanisme) before the specificall perfection of any thing, is free to any thing. For things perfected haue attained the last determinate end of their possibility, and therein naturall motion tending to generation doth cease: But the seedes and spermatical substances haue not attained any end or perfection, neither be out of the latitude of indetermination, & indefinitenesse; and therefore are in the power of the predominant causes to produce such effects, as answere them: which be most vniuersall, most generall, such as before are spoken of and declared. This in any forme meerely artificiall cannot be; because the matter in which art worketh hath no internall cause actiue, neither power nor appetite naturall to the effects of art, but lyeth there like a peripatetick priuation: and all resteth in the braine and hand of the Workman, externall and forreine to the matter. It may be obiected, and commonly is, That of any seede or spermaticall matter nothing can naturally bee produced or bred; but a body of that kind or species, of which the seed is: and that therefore God in the seuereall blessings of his seuerall creatures commaunded euery one to increase and multiply in his owne kinde. But heerein we condemne the shallownes of vnderstanding, and besotted reason, which regarding onely things at hand, and the first face, looke no further. Generally any seed groweth to a perfection of life, being receiued in any neere matrice of his own next Genus: though this thing so produced be not specificall to any kind, either of male or female. And this is of the naturall power of causes subalternately generall. But this is against the end of specificall nature, euer intending the preseruation of the species, and so the generation of things like in specie, that may haue the like power of propagation in their owne kind, which is not onely according to the naturall law, but also according to the commaundement. So for preseruation of families, the Iewes had a commaundement in what Tribe and stocke to marrie; Yet, if they married contrarie to that commandement, there were children borne. So for chastitie and presueration of families, adulterie is forbidden; Yet there be whole generations of adulterous mixture, according to the naturall gift, though with breach of the morall law. The seede of man receiued into his proper matrice can naturally produce nothing but man; except in certaine causes of superfetation, vnequalitie, &c. Yet these bee called vnnaturall errours, &c. and so they bee, beeing compared to the finall intent. But beeing in the matrice of some other Animall there is formed a Monster, no man. Partus exparte sequitur ventrem. So in all other Animals, else we should bee more full of Asses, & want Mules. Hence commeth the prouerb, Africa semper aliquid apportat noui. The like we see in Vegetables, both in grafts & seedes: which for the most part are in the hands of the husbandman, and gardener, to alter at their pleasure. For, as it is true that nature doth produce seede and spermaticall substances, so it is most certaine that the hand of man may ioyne them together in any other matrice then that by which they are specificated: or, if they be hermaphroditicall, plant them inlike sort in any other matrice: And beeing so ioyned or planted, nature will fall to worke, and neuer ceasue vntill shee haue brought the matter to the last perfection possible for those causes to induce, bee it more or lesse excellent, then the species of the seede. Instance of this is not so easily giuen in minerals: because their spermaticall matter is not so familiar amongst vs. Yet a man painefull in search, diligent in obseruing, iudicious in reading, industrious in practise, may satisfie himselfe therein. Excellent things bee farthest from sense, and therefore more difficult. In the creation there is no mention made of Minerals: But they bee afterwards named for the riches of some of the countries diuided by the riuers flowing out of Eden. And in the whole Scriptures verie little is taught of their originall, and that verie darkely. This is the chiefe sweate and labour wherein man eateth his naturall bread. It is somwhere said, Out of much earth is turned a little gold. But if wee can finde out their material element, it will be no hard matter to know thier next seedie substance. All things that are of the earth shall turne to earth againe, and they that are of the waters shall returne into the sea. [Ecles. 40.] In Iob it is briefly toucht, yet more plainely then elswhere in one continued place. The dead things are formed vnder the waters, or neere vnto them. [Job. 26.5.] This sheweth truely the materiall element of the purest minerals. And againe, The silver hath his veine, and the gold his place where they take it. Iron is taken out of the dust, and brasse is moulten out of the stone. God putteth an end to darknesse, and hee trieth the perfection of all things. He setteth a bound of darkenesse and of the shadow of death. The floud breaketh out against the inhabitant, and the waters forgotten of the foote, being higher then man, are gone away. The stones thereof are saphires, and the dust of it is gold. There is a path which no fowle hath knowne, neither hath the Kytes eye seene: the Lyons whelpes haue not walked it, neither the Lions passed thereby. Hee putteth his handes vpon the rockes, and his eye seeth euerie precious thing. He bandeth the flouds, that they doe not ouerflow, and the thing that is hid bringeth to light. But where is wisedome found, and where is vnderstanding?&c. [Job 28.] Not prophaning the diuine application and sense of this place, consider as a chimicall naturall Philosopher in these verses, what is ment by dead things, waters, veine, place, darknesse, shaddow of death, floud, inhabitant, bread, fire turned vp, dust, vnknowne path, Kites eye, Lions whelpe, Lyon, Rockes, Mountaines, and then you may boast that you know the beginnings, spermaticall substance, and true generation of mettals. And for your better helpe in this search take with you one thing out of Paracelsus, & beleeue it as an article of your naturall creede. Heate is life, and cold is the cause of death. The effect of heate and life is oppennesse of the body and fluidnes; congelation and immobilitie is of cold and death. Whatsoeuer tinckteth into a white colour, hath the nature of life and the property of light, and power causing life; on the other side, whatsoeuer tinkteth into blacknesse, or maketh blacke, communicateth in nature with death, and hath the nature of darkenesse and power to kill. The coagulation and fixation of this corruption is the earth with his coldnes. The house is euer dead, but that which dwelleth therein liueth. But to proceede in our intent: wee seeke not to make or haue produced, by nature single, or helped by the hand of her seruant art, any such irregular monster as is contrarie to any law or commandement in the assertion of vnitie, or against the naturall and shamefaced chastitie of naturall specifications, as by the issue shall appeare. We search a substance of naturall equalitie of Iustice, exalted in Hermaphroditicall fruitfulnesse of it selfe, aboue the three forenamed kindes, that it may bee to euery of them generally applicable, and with their indiuiduals be made specificall to all, and each; wherein wee offer no vnhallowed violence to any thing. And therefore wee say, As it is not perpetually necessarie that the thing produced must euer answer the kinde of that whose seede it was, but may be and often is traduced particularly as is said: So also is it as infallablie true, that of a spermaticall matter may bee made naturally, a transcendent vniuersall and generall substance, Genus generum and Forma formarum, of such propertie, vertue, and efficacie as hath beene spoken of. And this resteth for vs further to prooue.

CAP. 11.

IN euery of the three kinds, whereof wee speake, Animals, Vegetables, and Minerals, this thing must bee sought. But we must resolue of the neerest. It is easier for nature to make aire of water, then of earth. And the caruer chooseth not the whole truncke to make his images, but a peece of timber fit and readie squared, where there is no superfluitie, but that which filles vp the hollownesse, which hee is to engraue: No defect but of the forme, which hee must make, &c. In each of these three kindes there bee considerable, The whole entire or integrall perfected indiuidualles, Their partes, Their vnprofitable excrements, their spermes and spermaticall substance. Against all which Nature in this work doth wholly except, sauing onely one sperme or spermaticall substance. The whole body is concluded vnder all the confluence of specification: and Nature hath therein done all that she intended; and so motion ceaseth, as beforesaid in the next precedent Chapter. The like reason is of partes; IN excrements many haue either beene mired, or drowned altogether, with what sucesse themselues best know, with what reason other men can iudge, though neuer taught by ill fauoured experience. The elementall proportion of euery thing is knowne onely to Nature, not to man. Wee must neither part nor ioyne, but continue the application of Natures instruments, vntill all the Elements appeare to our sight cleane, in or vnder one Element. For then hath Nature in that one Element weighed and measured all the Elements, whereby their specificall Nature is wholly changed from that which it first was into a generall substance. If the foundation of this building be laide vpon offals and excrements, which haue no vse but for the draft, and cannot bee handled without offence of nature, nor spoken of without a Preface of reuerence; surely we are inclosed in an il fauored straight. That which is vnfit for norishment of others, vnwholsom to the body wherein it is conteined, intended of Nature to no other vse, but that which it hath already attained, excrementititous not onely to the body from whence by excretion it is cast, but euen in it selfe in temperament and digestion, shall such a scorne of all things bee the cheefe flower in Natures Garland, or beare the key of her treasury? What though such a matter bee full of strong spirits, able to poyson a man, or choak a dogge? that vrgeth nothing; for we hope to bee beholders of great wonders without perfumes, or need of much water to wash. Nature loues cleanlinesse; because God hath made nothing profitable for man, to the attaining whereof he shal be compelled to any dishonest or vnseemely thing. It importeth not what constructions bee made in this behalfe from the shadowes of good Writers, nor what Orator this opinion hath: he teacheth nothing but the old repentance of yong men. Beleeue him not though he haue fiue hundred on his side. So for vs there is nothing left but the seminall matter, in some of the three kindes. For the more simple the composition of any thing is, the neerer it is to the first causes, and communicateth more aboundantly with the generall beginnings of all things; because subalternate causes, authors of specification, be fewer. But the sperme or seede of euery thing, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, is more simple in composition, and tyed with fewer subalternate causes of specification, then the body or perfect indiuiduall, whose seed it is. And therefore euery seede is neerer the first causes, and communicateth more abundantly with the generall beginning, &c. And of such a substance Nature may make that generall compound we seeke after. But for better declaration heereof, the differences of matrices or wombs are ncessary to be vnderstood. And the manners of the seedes growing and increasing in euery of them, so much as concerneth this present purpose: whereof I haue more amply written in the Possible Perfection of Miscibles, and in the Possibility of Naturall Transmutations.

CAP. 12.

ANIMALS haue apparently male and female distinct in seuerall bodies (vnderstand them of perfection, and for the most part of vniuocall generation) And therfore distinct or seueral spermes: which being mixed in their proper matrice, grow vp to perefection in their own kinde, as God hath appointed. The seede onely is prolificall and matter of birth: The matrice is but the place, or as you would say, the house and Tenement ordeined for the nourishment and breeding thereof, vnto such a particular end. And because euery perfect thing in this kinde is farre greater then the seede of which it came, the matrice must haue amongst other faculties this one especially, To nourish. In men, quadrupedes, & rauenous fishes in the seas, as Whales, Swordfishes, Whirlepooles, Thornpooles, Sharkes, Porkpisces, Dogfishes, and Some amphibials, as Seales, Sea-calues, Sea-horses, &c.) they be all nourished within the body of the mother or female, where they be conceiued, though not all alike. In Men and Quadrupedes, there be certaine conducts & veines in the Matrice for that purpose. And this nourishment is of that which the mother or female parent receiueth & digesteth: and for want therof, the birth seldom cometh to perfection, or at leeast is vnnaturally wretched; so likewise in some Amphibials. In the Fishes whereof we speake it is not so. For their young, being neuer aboue two at one birth, haue growing from the midst of their nauell (or that which to them is in stead of a nauell) a white pipe or veine like a nauell string, broad at the bottome, full of a thicke milky substance, whereof it may be thought that they be nourished vntill they be spawned; other Fishes and Fowles be (concerning this) in another difference: For Fishes, either they first breede their Egges, and keepe them continually in their bodies, till they bee deliuered of a young perfect Fish; as Thornebackes and such other cartilagineous or gristly fishes; or they breed Egges, and after lay them in a hole made vpon the land in a sandy ground, which bee there hatched with the helpe ofheate of the Sunne and Sand: from whence they creepe directly to the Sea; such bee Torteises and their kinds: Or they keepe their Egges about them in the rough places vnder their belliles, and about their feete, as Lobsters, Shrimps, Prawnes, Crafishes, which after be perfected in shelles. As Lobsters bee first Welkes, and in that thell by degrees perfected into their kind, & Crabs sometimes in Oysters. But whether this be Catholike and of Canonicall perpetuity, I thinke no man hath beene in all places so general a Mermaid, or constant Vrinator as to affirme. Or lastly they breede within themselues vnperfect Egges, which after they cast into some scooring or spawning place, whither the male followeth, and sheddeth his sperme vpon these Egges; so they increase, grow great, and breed young fishes: such be all kinde of fishes not before spoken of. And where some exclude Torteses and their kinds from the generation of fishes, it is not materiall whether truly or not, for it is all one to our end, which here onely search the difference of matrices, and of the seedes growing to specificall perfection. And within these differences be all kinds of serpents. Now for fowles (we except onely to vs knowne the featherlesse night-bird) the Bat or Reremouse, which layeth no egges, but breedeth and giueth suck as other mice doe, their breed and specificall increase is by egges: The male proiecteth his sperme into the matrice of the female, whose office is not to bring forth a perfect bird, but an egge; which egge supplieth the office of a matrice. For it hath in it selfe both seedes, masculine and feminine, by the naturall appetite of the Coition of the male and female, before the prolificall egge be formed: Also sufficient matter of nourishment vntill the bird be hatched. In which egge the naturall and vitall heate of the maleseede is sensible to the tippe of a mans tongue on the outside of the shell, as they know which steale Hawkes egges out of the eyrie. In Vegetables euery Hearbe and Plant is Hermaphroditical, being both male and female it selfe, concerning propagation. Their naturall propagation is of two sorts, by seede, and by slip: for grasses increase in the same kind, & for the same reasons that slips do. The seed is from one & the selfe same plant, made, ripened, and cast off: it receiueth no help of any other, conteining seminarily both sexes in one bodie, and being put into fit ground in seasonable ayre & time, it riseth vp and groweth into a new plant or hearb like to that from which it came. The coats or skins wherein it is closed, differ not in vse much from the skins about the eg: the earth supplieth the wants which the seede hath in it self to increase specifically, that is, heat & nourishment. For without heat there is no attraction, without attraction no nourishment. And because it is necessary that the seed increase in quantity & greatnes before it is becom a plant, attraction & nourishment is necessary for euery seed: which by the other naturall faculties is altered and specificated into the substance of the plant. The like manner of growing and increasing is in slippes and grasses.

Though Terminus a quo, the point from whence they proceede, is not so remote from composition, nor so neere to simplicitie as in seedes; which also is one reason why the increase in slips and grasses is quicker than in seedes. For their attractiue vertue and assimilation of the nourishment is stronger, &c. In these two kinds of Animales and Vegetables (for so much as concerneth the present purpose) we finde the first difference of Matrices to be of two sorts; Insperable, Separable. Then againe of two sorts, The specificall bodie of the seede prepareth nourishment for the increase, or that nourishment is drawne out of another bodie. The third difference is also of two sorts, The heate moouing to generation is either proper to the particular female bodie whose seede it is, or indifferent to others. There is also a fourth difference, The nourishment attracted in the immediate matrice either is specifically prepared for the seede, or is not, but common to all the next genus: As the moisture minerall of earth to plants. In the the seede there is also a difference. The indiuiduall at his first birth is greater then the seede and spermaticall matter was, or not greater: for that which is properly called Semen prolificum, the seede powerfull to generation is not the whole body of the spermaticall matter, but as it were the center thereof: As in egges may easily in some neerenesse be showne to the eye, and hereupon lyeth the demonstration of hereditary diseases, and many other strange thinges in Nature, bred of this spermaticall superfluity. The summe of these two kinds briefly is this.

  1. Those things which haue male and female distinct in seueral bodies, hauing a naturall appetite each to other, cannot increase or multiply their owne kinde without locall motion and actuall copulation: whereby both seeds may be ioyned. Such be Men, Quadrupedes, Fowles, Serpents, Fishes, &c.
  2. Those things which being brought foorth, bee greater in quantity then the seede or spermaticall matter of which theey came, must haue their seede receiued into such a matrice from whence they may draw sufficient nourishment, as in men, quadrupedes, some fish, plants.
  3. Those things which cannot haue nourishment fitly prepared for them to attract, but within the body into whose matrice they are receiued; may neuer be separated from thence vntill the time of perfection, and their deliuery; as in men, beasts, rauenous fishes aforesaid, the Bat onely amonst those who flye.
  4. Those seedes which may by nature be inclosed in a conuenient matrice with apt & sufficient matter for nourishment, vntill the perfection of the birth, may be separated from the body of the female, hauing receiued the masculine seede in a separable matrice, and may bee ripened either by the heate of the same body, or of any other naturall or artificiall, being like and equally temperate, as in Egs of Fowles, and some Aquatiles.
  5. Those things which being inclosed in a naturall seperable matrice, haue not there a sufficient matter for nourishment, must be sowed or plantaed in another matrice, which shall supply this defect; as in plants, &c. But herein is something further to be considered more particularlie in the Animall kind, speciallie betweene Man and Quadrupedes on one side, & Birds or Foules on the other.

The Eg hath a hard shell without, a thin skin or membrane within that, and another more thin & subtile about the yelk, couering and exactly winding about the true prolificall seeds of male and female in the spermaticall matter; whereby though the outward shell were taken away, yet the outward ayre cannot immediately touch the true seede, neither the aetherious spirit presently vanish. And before age or moysture haue resolued the very sperme it self within the eg, whether of both together or of the solitary femals eg, it neuer putrifieth. And for the same reason the eg with both spermes resisteth putrefaction longer then the sole female. And, as is said of those skins defending the sperme within the Eg, nature in like sort hath ordained in man, a wombe, secondines, &c. not vnlike the defence of the brain in the skull, and 2. meninges, or membranes, cald Dura mater & Pia mater: it being the most spermaticall substance in al the body. But in men & quadrupedes, thogh it wer possible to receiue their seed into another matrice, or separable conteiner, and to administer heate thereunto conuenient (as may bee done in egges) yet because that seed and spermaticall matter hath not within it selfe sufficient matter of nourishment, but is compelled to attract from the daily nourishment of the mother: and though this be supposed possible to be supplyed, yet the nourishment must be first digested and specificated, for that seed by the proper and naturall mother; therefore it were altogether impossible that any naturall birth should be had thereof. And moreouer this kind of seed hath nothing to defend it from the immediate touch of the outward aire, nor to preserue the vital archaeical spirit in the seed, that it presentlie vanish not, and leaue the body like a common excrement vnprofitable. Else had Nature without cause made the coniunction of those seeds so close, and in a matrice so vnseparable from the female body. Which shewes the vanity of the Authours of the bathing conceptions; and destsroyes their magneticall power of the matrices attraction. All thse Paracelsus vnderstood very well, as in many place he hath shewed. Wherefore they doe him the more wrong, and haue been little exercised in contemplation of generalities, that traduce his Homunculus or Dwarfe, to any vnseemly or wicked practise. Now resteth the third kinde of our diuision, that is Minerals: which differeth mainely from Animals, and agreeth very little with Vegetables. Their seede is hermaphroditicall, and that into which the specifical forme of minerality in euery kind is immediately brought. By immediatly I meane, as in the seed of man: we say the forme of man is immediately brought; That is, man is the last forme which Nature intendeth in that seede, and the onely specifical forme of which that seede is naturally capable. In this kinde there is to bee obserued specially the difference betweene it and the other two. For in plants with the first perfection of the Species out of the seede, which is in the first germination of the greene leafe from the root, the Species is perfect: but the indiuiduall body is yet weake, tender, and vnperfect, for the specificall vses of his kind. So in Animals, the Species is perfected with the first reception of the specificall forme: more notably in common acception, in parturition, or enixation: But the indiuidual body requireth time to grow vp to the fulnesse of his naturall faculties and functions, especially of the most naturall, which is to multiply in his owne kind. In Minerals it is not so; for as sonne as they be perfected in their indiuidualitie vnder any Species of that kind, they be in the same instant as powerfull in all dower of their natural vertues, to all vses whatsoeuer, as if they had bin existently perfected 10000. ages. And of them those that be multiplicable, be in that same instant as powerfull as any other. For the whole bodie in the homogeneall mater is all seede: and is not increased by attraction, but by apposition, &c. And generallie the neerer any thing commeth, in the naturall composition of his specificall indiuidualitie, to the simplicitie of the Elements, the sooner after the first perfection it is in the full vigor, for the vse of al vertues, endowments, and faculties of his species; and contrarie. Which is one reason that some animals be generatiue sooner then others: and a good paradoxall ground for the difference of sensible soules, and the degrees of their more or lesse propinquity to reason & intellect. The consideration of this difference is very profitable in the whole Chimicall Academie. For in those things, which being compounded are most homogeneall, and stand in the first or neerest approximation to the simplicity of the first symbolizing bodies, the whole substance in his open body, is totallie or very neere, all seed, regenerable into a bodie generable and generatiue. They mysterie of which schoole if any bee curious to vnderstand, let them reade good Philosophers. For certainely more than one haue delt liberally herein. And in reading let them diligentlie obserue and collect, whether such seede in Metals and other Minerals be pure or mingled with spermaticall superfluity, as is said of the other two kinds. 2. Next whether it be to begotten onely in the earth before the mettall perfected, or lie hid also in the complete body, and may be found by art in dissolution, and regresse from composition to simplicity. 3. And if so, then whether it be some particular substance by decision, or any other meanes naturall or artificiall to bee separated from it, or else onely a power in it selfe intensiuely to receiue exaltation, and thereby enabled to giue out of this exuberance vnto others the perfection of his first specifical degree. 4. Whether this seminarie subiect be alike pure and homogeneall of euery metalline bodie. These things beeing thus deliuered and vnderstood; that which remaineth in the necessarie demonstration of this generall substance will bee plaine without any difficultie.

CAP. 13.

THE instruments of nature in breeding & procreation are the effects of Spirit, In number three: Motion, Heat, Light. And that which we most looke after is Heate, which neuer is nor can be in any naturall subiect without the other 2. nor any of them without the rest. Vbi motus talis, ibi calor talis, & lux talis: Vbi calor talis, ibi motus talis, & lux talis: Vbi lux talis, ibi calor talis, & motus talis. Heate is of two sorts: Inward, or naturall, of the seede or substancde; the second outward or instrumentall of the matrice, and body wherein the matrice is, or of that which is in stead thereof. By this outward instrumentall heate the inward naturall heate is stirred to actiuitie, and from the sleepy power or bability (which onely it had) brought vnto, and continued in actuall working vntill the effect be perfected. Therefore outward instrumentall heate must be so fitted, that it serue onely to this exciting of the inward naturall heate, in most exact degree and proportion. This may be familiarly exemplified in egges; which often are ripened, and out of them birds hatched by diuers manners of heate; Not onely by incubation and sitting of the same hen, or any other of the same species whose egges they were, but of some other fowle, and also by any other like heate: be it of sand, ashes, &c. being continued in equall adaptation. That which is spoken of the heate of mans bodie, as vnder his arme-pits or any other part, is senslesse: for the vncertaintie of temper, with variety, satiety, want of meate, and drinke, and sleepe, and passions alters the heate both subiectively and in degree, almost euery moment. Besides the sweatie persperation passeth the shell, and causeth putrefaction. Nature hath giuen us the first experiments of this reason: as in the Amphibials before spoken of: and in the Ostrich, which leaueth her egges in the earth and maketh them hot in the dust, & forgetteth that the foot might scatter them, or that the wild beasts might breake them: he sheweth himselfe cruell vnto his yong ones, as they were not his, and is without feare, as if he trauailed in vaine, &c. [Iob 39. 17.] Too much heate roasteth, whereby the spirit of life in the seede is destroied, and the substance is as it were vitrificat. Too litle heat makes no perfect mixture ofthe agents & patients; & produceth no recirpocal action & passion, whereby the work begun proceedet not, but the matter rots, & the spirits decay. A discontinued heat breaketh off natures worke, so that the naturall heat beginning to work in the seed to propagation, dieth in it selfe, & can neuer be restored againe, because the spirit of life in the same seede also dieth: And so the matter being of easie mixture and composition putrifieth, without life or power of life, to an vnprofitable end. But it is not so in the things of stronger mixture & composition being neerer to the simplicity of the first materialities of bodies compounded. And therefore not so easily subiect to destractiue putrefaction. Because their very corporal compounding parts be symbolizing neere the degree of the prime symbolizing bodies, not altered out of the circle & latitude of the species digested or concocted; except there be addition of something extraneall in the mixture. For then the whole compound concerning specification yeeldeth to the predominance of the virtuall predominant in the mixture; Yet still is preserued within the denomination & general essence of the next immediate genus of that first species; not exceeding that circle or latitude, except it be directed to our known period of vniuersality. The matrice being open or not perfectly closed, the spirit of life with his heate and light of life, flyeth away vnto the Catholike fountaine of all naturall spirits, Heate and Light: and so leaueth the matter dead: as in Mines of mettals, if there be any vent or passage by which the mineral spirit may vapour out or flie, that neuer cometh to perfection, experimentall obiections be made against this, but none grounded on reason, A radice mineralitatis metallicae. An open stomacke neuer digesteth well. But herein is a difference obseruable betweene Animals, Vegetables and Minerals. For in Animals the seedes and spermes doe vtterly perish, nay euen the formed Embryons by the opennes of the matrice; and the formed chickens in the egge either by discontinuing the heate, or a little cracke in the shell.

Of Vegetables we see seedes lying on the face of the earth on stones and wals to shoot their rootes, stalkes, burgeons and leaues, which die afterwards for want of noursihment, after they haue spent in corporall augment that natural humidity and nutritiue substance which the seed in his separable matrice conteined. But in Minerals wee finde, that though some part of the matter exhale and flye through the openness of the matrice, yet that which remaineth may bee brought afterwards to his full specificall perfection if the matrice be closed againe. And this is a good and obseruable ground to inuestigate the true seede of all mettalles, the manner of ripening them, their generation, regeneration, and exuberation: Also to confirme the doctrine of homogeneitie of that which is most perfect in the metalline predicament: also of the symbolizing of the corporall metalline Elements before spoken of. Being vnderstood it is a key opening the doore of many mystical vestries in Hermes temple. And so we see, that it is impossible for any thing to attaine naturall perfection more then it hath, without naturall motion, such as nature vseth in generation & augmentation: Therefore in all times and in all matters the cautions heere deliuered must be carefully obserued. That the seede may bee brought to such motion and enabled to receiue the benefit of such naturall exaltation. The reasons & causes why euery thing is particularized in his birth are two. The first, because it is kept and bred vp in a matrice where it is fed and nourished with nourishment by a specificated bodie, which in things not hermaphroditicall wee may prooue true by monsters begotten betweene male and female specifically differning. The second, because the seede and spermaticall matter is so straightly enclosed in the matrice, that the elements cannot bee enlarged to any vnbridled circulare motion, by which onely is acquired that last excellent perfection of which wee speake. One probable argument of this is, that mineralls bee more generall and powerfull in effect then either Vegetables, Animals, or any other superterraneals: And the heauens more then they. For the Elements so communicate in their symbolicall qualities, that they neuer cease to worke each on other. The earth striuing to ouercome and transmute the water, and to bring the fire in accord therewith; likewise the ayre, with the water and fire, water with earth and aire, fire with aire and earth, And finally all with all to make one, &c: and if it happen the combate of Elements: to be in a matter, hauing the properties of life before spoken of (though it liue in a dead house,) and that in a matrice or receptacle, where they cannot be dispersed, nor the spirits flie out, Their Ambition of victorie and transmutation must needs end at last and determine in some naturall compounded bodie which shall not be specificated to any kinde, Animall, Vegetable, or Minerall. But that in application it may be aboue them all, such as this generalitie of matter must needs produce. For where the matter is the most simple & pure mixture of Elements, indefinite, indeterminate, and this matter continued in naturall motion, without dispersing the elements or spirits, without any adition of other matter, It is impossible that the action of the actiue and passion of the passiue should euer cease, so long as the causes continue, that is any inequalitie in the formalities of these elements. By which meanes there must needs be produced a bodie of most exact and absolute temper, wherein no element is predominant: such is the ninth temperament of which Galen speaketh, and of late writers is called the temperament of iustice: which they denie not to be at some time really in some Man; but allow it not to continue any time, because of the momentany alteration, which that bodie suffereth, by reason of the triangular specification. If therefore they will grant this in such a market of meates and sallets, as man is, why may wee not boldly require it much more in such a bodie as we speake of? which hauing gotten his perfection in the fire by the naturall triumph of all elements in a quintessentiall bodie, must needs hold this exact temperament and the dowers thereof inuiolably against all elementall forces. For if this exact measure of digestion bee compleate in a substance not yet restrained from teh latitude and indifferencie betweene genrall and specificall; the cause of such momentany alteration is taken away: especially if in the choise of the roote; the number of the angles bee answerable. And then it must needs bee reduced vnto, and rest in an homogenall substance of most perfect naturall vnity: more permanent in being, and victorious ouer all elements, then any minerall, euen gold it selfe, remaining in his metalletie. In which worke the thing produced exceedes not in quantie, the first spermaticall substance, because there is no attraction of nourishment: But the moist is foode to the drie, the cold to the ot, the dry to the moist, and hot to the cold. So they change and are changed, vntill they bee all in equall strength and proportion geometrically anatised, [analised(?)] inseperably vntied in one body. And before the matter comes to this point it is neuer properly said to be one, or vnitie. For as a true vnitie suffereth no diuision, either in descending into fractions, or ascending to warring dualitie; so this substance beeing more transcendent then any naturall substance of Aristotles predicament, and hauing no heterogeneall parts of different composition, mixture, and temper, neither any notion of such difference, is and must needs be the most perfect absolute vnitie of all naturall sublunare compounds. The like whereof nature alone and of her selfe could neuer produce, being hindredj by the foresaid causes of specificall definitions; but requireth the hand of Gods image, and then is able of her selfe to effect that, which before shee could not adapt. For man being so much aboue nature by how much hee is more then others illumined and formally essensificated of a diuine intellect, doth in many things helpe nature to proceede naturally farther by many degrees, then shee could without that helpe, and so in the excellenec of nature exceedeth, or greatly inricheth nature in the production of naturall effects. But whether nature alone hath produced and left inclosed in any naturall bodie this mysticall transcendent, and reall existing predicament, it is a great question. Doubtlesse shee hath in a certaine number, and masked vnder a definintion of determinate vses in the philosophie of generations. But she hath not, neither euer shall per se, without the help of oour friend science and art, act and produce it in the number which we admire; nor vnmasked in the glorious triumph ouer Animals, Vegetables, and Minerals, beeing in a high freedome of generalitie, indifferent to all, Genus generum and Forma formarum naturalium. And so we may truly say, that this matter whereof wee speake (at which so many good Archers haue bent their bowes) is a naturall thing brought forth in his vnueiled glorie by the helpe of art; yet is it, neither naturall nor artificiall, but hath a nature and essence, exceeding common capacitie: And to know in what forme or bodie this strange sonne of the elements shall arise, and in what attire hee shall be presented to the world at his first natiuitie, wee must consider the sphericall scale or ladder of naturall things: wherein wee shall finde an admirable beautie and proportion.

The last of which sphere being Man, a reasonable Creature, standeth in place and nature next vnto spirits: and they both next vnder God transcendent aboue the sphere of Creatures. Betweene these two we finde things in descent lesse noble then spirits, more noble and perfect then Man, concerning his elementall dowry, and durability of his body. In ascent lesse noble then Man, concerning that forme whereby hee is called Man, and a fellow seruant with spirits, more noble then the spirits concerning their immediate application to natural things for perfection. These bee the heauens with all their parts and distinctions: the Elements, Minerall, Plantall, Animall: whereby it plainly appeareth that those things whose vse is most generall to the perfection before spoken, of elementall naturall bodies, are fartheset from the simplicity of spirits: But those things which be farthest from the simplicity of spirits, haue in their naturall being least shew and appearence of the effects of spirit. And where the effects of spirit in the naturall body be most apparent, that body is the sphere remoued by most differenences and specifications from the Elements. So is Plantall farther then Minerall, and Animal then Plantal: and in the Animal kind, though humane agree with the rest, as hauing the natural life in blood, yet it goeth one degree further by that sparke of diuine irradiation, by which it is essentially formed with an immortall substance; which through diuerslie traducible and passiue by the naturall part of the common Genus in the Organs whereof it worketh, yet either in real or contemplatiue sequestration comprehendeth Notions of al diuine and immortall things, and so verily findeth it selfe in the rancke of immortall essences, and spirituall lifes. This thing therefore we speake of, being the regeneration of Elements in euery elementarie body, and made with rest and peace purchased with the warre of his owne vnmingled, vndispersed, vndefiled Elements, must needs be the meane or center of this sphere, the first compound vnder heauen hauing no proper name of his owne to vs knowne: yet necessarily appearing in that shape which the elements in their first composition, not restrained by the specificating causes aforesaid must needes produce. That is Minerale fluidum: this is Aqua viscosa, Aqua permanens, and the Philsophers Mercurie, sought of many, found of few. The passage of all naturall causes of this birth, Raymond Lullie well vnderstood in the first Booke of his Testament, being of Theorie, in the figure proceeding from Elements to Mettals, and from Mettals to Elements, by eight letters: A.B.C.D.E.F.G.H. which we haue therefore here set downe; wherein we giue but this one note, that it is a matter of deepe vnderstanding, how G. and H. be immediate, that is, Sulpher Aqueum and Metalla, for it conteineth a great practike mystery.

This heptagonall is in all naturall generations truly circular.

The scale of degrees and differences in descent and ascent, of which we speak, here followeth.

CAP. 14.

FOR our better vnderstanding herein, let vs consider the Historie of the Creation, That there be two waters; superior, inferior; Two earths, Eden, and therest without and about it; Two waterings, Cohobation by the miste ascending out of the earth without attraction; Another by raine attracted out of the earth and lower globe by heate; Two Cultures or Manurings, naturall without the help of man, and artificiall by the help of Man. The waters being spiritualized, and hauing receiued motion, light, and heat, were parted into superiour, and inferior. The inferior as connaturall to the superior, and of the same wombe communicate (though in a lesse measure) in this rich birthright.

The inferior waters being coupled in marriage with their naturall and equall Spouse the earth, enriched her with fruitfulnesse, as a meane by God appointed in the Lawe of Nature by him created and established. And of all the earth that Sanctuary of Gods Image and glorie, the Garden Eden had the preheminence. This chosen earth was made fruitfull by water of miste or vapor, ascending out of it selfe, and againe descending vpon it. This miste the earth did yeeld of her naturall ayre and portion of spirit, and heate conceiued in the vnersall coupling, as it were ingendering with the Waters in the first darknes. The second watering, by raine, God caused to beginne after the Starres, and Man were created. It commeth naturally by attraction of the Sunne and other Starres, and the violence of windes from the earth, particularized in such sort as of the Starres, &c. before is saide. And because the heate of the sunne is not alwaies alike in any place of the earth, no not in the same anniuersary day, houre, nor season; neither the sunne, &c. alike neere, and aspected at all times to the samp place; neither matter vaporous euer alike in quantity, quality, and readinesse to bee attracted: beside the particularities of other Astronomicall and Phiscall obseruations; therefore the raine is not alwaies in the same measure, time, and season. Hence come vnseasonable times in the foure quarters, too hot, or too cold, too wet, or too dry, and so in complexion, with impurities of the first mixture minerall, new diseases; and much trouble. But where the earth is watered by vapor or miste begotten in darknesse, ascending from it selfe, and againe descending, no such mischances happen. But Nature reioyincing and well pleased with her selfe, earth and water is made fruitfull vnto perfection. And then the two Cultures or Manurings are both necessary, and cannot faile of a good blessing: but from Elements simple, become Elements elementate in the first meixture simply quitessentiall, impregnate with aetherial nourishing, not burning fire: whereof resulteth this Catholike vnity, generall in application to all things, which wee seeke for and so much admire, and shall reioyce to haue found. These two Cultures are, the one naturall by Cohabation; the other artificiall by man, attending onely the select earth or Garden to dresse and keepe it, not hauing swallowed the fruite of dualitie, the apple of euil: nor being driuen, or selfe-straying out of this Garden into other ground, where not such miste or vapor doth arise; and which is watered with the raine of the time of generations and corruptions. This is that ladder in Nature of Angels ascending and descending betweene heauen and earth. This is the hoope of pure gold, round, endlesse, and bottomlesse, and inscribed according to the truth and true resmblance, Imago spei, the naturall wedding ring of these two great parents of naturall things. This is the continuall spring-tide of neuer vading greennes in the Emerauld, the wealth of Hermes his Smaragdine Table,

True without leasing, most true, The strong strength of all (naturall) strength, because it will ouercome euerie subtile, and pierce euery solid thing; &c.

Cuius vis est Integra, si versa fuerit in terram.

F I N I S.

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