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"Know, my Son, that the philosophers bind up their matter with a strong chain that it may contend with the

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[paragraph continues] Fire; because the spirits in the washed bodies desire to dwell therein and to rejoice. In these habitations they vivify themselves and inhabit there, and the bodies hold them, nor can they be hereafter separated any more.

"The dead elements are revived, the composed bodies tinge and are altered, and by a wonderful process they are made permanent, as saith the philosopher.

"O, permanent watery Form, creatrix of the royal elements! who, having with thy brethren and a just government obtained the tincture, findest rest. Our precious stone is cast forth upon the dung-hill, and that which is most worthy is made vilest of the vile. Therefore, it behoves us to mortify two Argent vives together, both to venerate and be venerated, viz., the Argent vive of Auripigment, and the oriental Argent vive of Magnesia.

"O, Nature, the most potent creatrix of Nature, which containest and separatist natures in a middle principle. The Stone comes with light, and with light it is generated, and then it generates and brings forth the black clouds of darkness, which is the mother of all things.

"But when we marry the crowned King to our red daughter, and in a gentle fire, not hurtful she doth Conceive an excellent and supernatural son, which permanent life she doth also feed with a subtle heat, so that he lives at length in our fire.

"But when thou shalt send forth thy fire upon the foliated sulphur, the boundary of hearts doth enter in above, it is washed in the same, and the purified matter thereof is extracted.

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"Then he is transformed, and his tincture by help of the fire remains red, as it were flesh. But our Son, the king begotten, takes his tincture from the fire, and death even, and darkness, and the waters flee away.

"The Dragon shuns the sunbeams which dart through the crevices and our dead son lives; the king comes forth from the fire and rejoins with his spouse, the occult treasures are laid open, and the virgin's milk is whitened. The Son, already vivified, is become a warrior in the fire, and of tincture super-excellent. For this Son is himself the treasury, even himself bearing the Philosophic Matter.

"Approach, ye Sons of wisdom, and rejoice; let us now rejoice together, for the reign of death is finished, and the Son doth rule. And he is invested with the red garment, and the scarlet colour is put on."

Next: Section IV