Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

Indeed, the communion between man, and the stars and planets, is carried on to a degree little known, for we will venture to say, that not one in a thousand ever suspected that “God did create the planets, and other stars of the heaven,” for the sole purpose of obeying and saving men; and no doubt, the smaller asteroids and aërolītes may be considered as the minor menials of the metallic world, since you must know that every metal hatb its certain peculiar stars,'* a fact, we further learn from Cornelius Agrippa : he says, “ astrologers do affirm that the effects, the forces, and the movings of all living creatures, stones, metals, herbs, and what there is so ever be created in these places, do proceed from the heavens ard stars, and do inferior depend altogether upon them.”+

The last book upon our list contains additional writings of the great Paracelsus, and no less learned Raymond Lully, par nobile fratrum. The former, - viz. Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus Paracelsus de Hohenheim (such being his cognominal appellations) was born in Zunit, A. D. 1493, and, after publishing no less than eleven ponderous volumes, besides writing many MSS., in which he gloried in having overthrown the systems of Galen, drew down upon himself the concentrated hatred of the whole medical community of his time, or rather, as we conceive more probable, their hatred was excited in consequence of his having monopolised a greater share of patients than fell to the lot of his rival brethren. But, not satisfied with temporary applications, he boldly aimed at perpetuity, and, at once, drove every competitor from the field by prescriptions to securing immortality for his patients. It may be fairly asked by the ignorant, how came, then, the great Aureolus Bombastus himself to die. Gentle reader, he took to drinking (possibly his own elixirs,) and carried off his valuable nostrum into the other world, in the forty-eighth year of his age.

The 'work before us is, like the Propugnaculum, brief, but deeply imbued with mystical lore, and, like its predecessors, an invaluable repository of choice matter. Transmutation occupies an early page, as might be expected, accompanied, however, with an alarming class of subordinate agents, with which our readers are now doubtless familiar, denominated

steps or scales in the ladder of transmutation,” each of which is again subdivided into its integral component parts. For his theory respecting transmutation, he refers to the silent operation of nature, whereby it " hath been found that

* “Nature of Things," 133. + «Vanitie of Sciences," p. 45.

I “Paracelsus," 3.

[ocr errors]

" that

ven.

metals have been changed under ground into a stony substance, and yet have retained the impression of the image that hath been stamped upon them; and that the roots of oaks, being smitten with thunder, or some other influence of the stars, have been turned into stones. There do also arise springs of rivers in many places, that, by a certain natural property, do transform all things whatsoever are cast into them, into hard stone."* And his conclusion must be, to all true alchymists, unanswerable.

Whoever saw

a tree to grow, or the sun or stars move; nobody: but that the sun and stars have been moved by a space of time, who knoweth not.”+ A tailor might as well work without his goose, as an alchymist without his furnace, or, to speak more technically, without his Athanor, so called by the ancients, for this plain reason, it referreth to the womb in the spagyrick generation.” I We, therefore, hasten to supply him with directions for making one. It ought to be built of a certain quadrature in a circle, whereby the spirits and soul of our matter, being separated from their body, may be elevated in the altitude of their hea

For if the vessel be more straight, large, high, or low, than its due measure and proportion, and than the ruling and operating spirits and soul of the matter do desire; the heat of our secret philosophical fire, (which is most acute) will too violently excite and provoke the matter to operation, and sometimes the vessel will fly into a thousand pieces, not without danger of the body and life of the operator.”Ş The manner of describing this vessel is acknowledged " to be difficult;" the dull of comprehension are, therefore, referred to a model always at hand, " who seeth not the form and frame of the universal created world, to bear the likeness of a furnace (or Athanor): or, that I may speak more reverently, containing the matrix of a womb; that is to say, the elements wherein the seeds of the sun and moon, by their various astral influences, are corrupted, concocted, and digested, for the generation of all things. But this is plainly manifest to children, I need not speak it to philosophers ; wherefore I shall not need to urge it any further.” Many other topics are discussed, which, having been more or less already treated of, we shall pass over, and proceed to say a few words on his Essay on the Urim and Thummim.

Under this head we might expect to find some curious hints on metallurgy, and a show of rational investigation, but not so. We have, in lieu thereof, much concerning celestial

Paracelsus," 1.

+ Ibid. 3. | Ibid. 17.

U Ibid. 18.

$ Ibid. 21.

influences, under which it is argued and presumed, that, by the spagyrick 'art, the ineffable virtues of urim and thummim, which turn out to have been merely pieces of philosopher's stone, may be infused and imparted indefinitely; and the happy possessors of the secret, though they “ should live a thousand years,” might give what they would, and when they would, without danger of diminution, “ as a man that has fire, may give to his neighbour without hurt to himself.”* A few hints are thrown out by the way, e. g. that by going through a course of training, and adopting an “exact diet,” and by certain forms of prayer, at certain times, the “angel of the sun” may be engaged to be our guide and director.”+ But in the title page of this recondite work, there is an account (which it would be unpardonable not to notice) of a certain water made by one Stephen Trigge, the particulars of which are given in an Appendix, shewing forth its virtues, in detail, far surpassing all and every puff, direct or indirect, we ever met with. Superseding the widely comprehensive pills and syrops of our Brodums and Solomons, it renders their pretensions absolutely insignificant. Day and Martin, and Hunt, with their matchless blacking, as well as the whole tribe of Goodluck and Co., must, each and all, confess their inferiority, and retire beaten from the field of humbug. This incomparable water made by Stephen Trigge, an infallible cure for every real or imaginary hurt or disorder, to which flesh is heir to, we have the pleasure of informing our reader, was to be had, A. D. 1657, at Mr. Moon's shop, at the sign of the Seven Stars, in Paul's Church-yard, (peradventure he may still be there); though, for Mr. Moon, we suspect we ought to read the man in the moon, a person, in our opinion, much more likely to deal in articles of this description.

We next have the mumial treatise of Tentezelius, a sort of botano-philosophical essay on the tree of life, “with a mystical interpretation of that great secret.”I It being admitted that this paradisiacal tree conferred knowledge and immortality, the question is " whether this faculty was infused into it in the creation, acquired by it after the creation," or “communicated to it by some other means and way;" and, forthwith the serpent is introduced, not only on account of its subtlety, but it being “ also probable that he had his cavern under or about that tree; whereof God being in nowise ignorant, forbade man the use of its fruit." Hence this tree became “ scientifical, by way of transplantation from the serpent ; that is, this tree and its fruits had both the spiritual essence, and the spiritual virtues, of the serpent, communicated to them, and impressed in them, by virtue of the serpent's cohabitation with them.” We have, indeed, the authority of Theophrastus, for ascribing still to the serpents of Germany a more than ordinary degree of acuteness. Our hairy and white (it is right to add, that throughout the whole genera of serpents, we never met with, or heard of, a hairy species before,) " serpents in Germany are indued with such admirable and supernaturally excellent virtues, that they are and will be of special use for the attainment of knowledge, both natural and occult.” And he further adds, that the " simpler sort think themselves nothing bettered by this.”+ To Theophrastus we are, moreover, indebted for much information respecting a certain spiritual “extract of mummies," possessed of rare qualities, such as inducing apes, by means thereof, to enter " league and amity with its bitter enemy the serpent.”+ The mode of administering it to the human species is by incorporating it with fruits or grains, which is thus effected : "take the sperm, i. e. the eggs of the serpent, which are the elements and principles both of their corporal and spiritual mummy, mix them with earth, and sow some seed, or plant some herb fittest for your purpose in that earth.”. A still better mode is by impregnating with the extract some fruit appropriated to the brain; for instance, a cherrystone, “out of which you may elicit the spirits and therewith roborate and acuate the brain, and no little advance knowledge."'s for the insertion of such valuable secrets, we feel confident that no apology is due to our grateful readers. But there are matters of minor import compared with the grand object (that of infusing this mumial essence into the tree of life) by which "eternal sanity or immortality," was from God granted to it. As, however, it quite exceeds our power of explanation, and is somewhat too prolix for this the eleventh hour of our article, we must beg leave to refer our readers to the work itself for particulars. The effects are prodigious, extending far beyond the mere acquisition of knowledge, the ignorant coming in for as full a share of benefit as the wise, being cured of divers diseases, (plague included.) The "mumial sympathetical virtue" descends, indeed, into the lower order of vegetation; for instance, the sanative virtue of even so humble a plant as a root of succory, when properly impregnated with mumial sympathies, will, if “ digged up and eaten in the hour and day of Venus, when the sun is in Leo, cure any wound."| Analogous to this .we might enlarge upon the famous “ Martial ring,” (more wonderful than the celebrated ring of Remigius,) invented by a brother of St. Augustine's, the virtues of which, in curing the cramp, tooth, and head-ache, were so notorious, that he was recommended to sell none to any but himself for some years; and further, we are told, that if it were formed of “ a long horse-shoe nail pulled out of a horse's hoof on purpose, in the hour Mars reigns, it would be ready to contract itself to fit the least, and amplify itself for the greatest, finger as you would."*

* “ Paracelsus,” 51. † Ibid. 54. Ibid. 79.

“Paracelsus," 81, 82.

| Ibid. 84.

Ibid, 85.

+ Ibid. 83.

|| Ibid. 91.

The reader is, probably, not aware of some other curious particulars connected with the tree of life; such as, that when Adam was "now ready to die, he desired earnestly a branch of the bough of life in paradise," and, therefore, sent one of his sons there to fetch one, that he might escape this imminent death: his son received a bough from the angel ; but, in the mean time, Adam had changed life with death : and, therefore, his son implanted the bough on his father's sepulchre; where, getting sap, it grew into a great tree, and so attracted the whole nature of Adam to its nutriment. This we give on the authority of the Sybelline prophecies ; but further information is afforded by an ancient doctor in the eastern country, (one of the wise men of the East, we presume,) and a bishop of the church. He tells us, that Noah being commanded by God to carry Adam's bones and the tree on his sepulchre, into the ark; and when he sent his three sons forth into the world, he divided the osseous remains of our first parent amongst them “as such sacred relics as deserved to be kept.” Now, his eldest son, settling near Jerusalem, buried the scull which fell to his share in the mountain, afterwards known by and, in fact, from this circumstance, named Golgotha. Of the tree, by "remarkable and admirable providence preserved, the cross of Christ's crucifixion” was made : as, no doubt, many orthodox pieces of this wood are still preserved as relics, in the Roman Catholic church, we would earnestly recommend Dr. Milner, and his associate believers in the mission of La Sour Nativité,t that enough be forthwith collected and made into a casket, wherein this precious Apocalypse may be deposited. The rest of our volume is filled with a variety of philosophical and chemical experiments by Raymond Lully, one not far inferior in note to Paracelsus himself, and translated from the high German, by a student in the celestial sciences; amongst these, we have the manner of bringing about a courtship between Venus and Sol, (alias copper and gold,) a somewhat dangerous flirtation to superintend, requi

# " Paracelsus," 93. + See this most curious and interesting article, No. 66, “Quarterly Review.”

« НазадПродовжити »