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The Signature of All Things, by Jacob Boehem, [1912], at

p. 43



1. All life and motion, with understanding, reason, and senses, both in animals and vegetables, consist originally in Sulphur, viz. in nature's desire, and in the lubet's desire of the liberty,

2. In nature's desire arises the death and enclosing, and in the desire of the liberty arises the opening and the life; for the liberty's desire tinctures the desire of the dark nature, so that the wrathful mother foregoes her own right, and freely resigns to the liberty's desire, and so the life grows in death, for there is no life without light; but if the light goes out in the essence of the Sulphur, then it is an eternal death, which no man can revive, unless God moves himself in the lubet-desire in the same death; for death can receive no life into it, unless the first desire, viz. the free lubet's desire, manifests itself in the desire to nature, wherein the enclosing and death are generated.

3. Therefore when man died in the Sulphur, none could have made him alive again, unless the free lubet, viz. the desire to the eternal life did again enter into his Phur, viz. into the birth of the nature of the human property, and moved the enclosed death, viz. the centre of nature, and gave itself again into the centre, viz. into the soul-like property, and into the soul's essentiality and corporality; and this was so brought to pass.

4. We know that the right Sulphur is a generation of all spirituality and corporality; so far as concerns its first original, where it is heavenly, it is the generation of the essence of all essences: For all, whatever eternity and time is in itself, has, and is able to effect, lies in this birth: But now as to the kingdom of this world it is earthly, viz. a figure of the eternal; for in it the time and creature consist, and all whatever is visible and invisible.

5. Now man, and every life also, as to the kingdom of this world, was created and generated out of the outward Sulphur; man out of the inward and outward [Sulphur], and the outward creature only out of the outward; for man is an image and likeness of God, and the other creatures are as a similitude

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according to the figuration in the internal generation in God's wisdom, viz. in the expressed or procreated heavenly essence, according to both eternal principles.

6. But now man was created good and perfect, according to and out of all the three worlds, as an image of the Deity, in whom God dwelled; and he was even that essence what God is, according to eternity and time in all the three worlds; but he was a creature with a beginning, as to the creature, and died through the lubet 1 as to the heavenly and divine essence: For the inward lubet, which was generated in the centre, viz. in the fire, wherein stood the life in the divine essentiality, that is, that which enkindled the essence of the divine meekness, wherein the joyfulness or the angelical form consists; that (I say) turned itself from the inward lubet of the liberty and eternity into the time, viz. into the external birth, into the planetary property, [it departed] out of the pure divine element into the four elements: Thus the inward divine essentiality, or inward corporality did no longer retain any leader or life: And this was the death; for the soul's fire proceeding from the Father's property turned itself away from the Son's property, in which alone the divine life consists.

7. Thus the property of the soul remained naked only with its will in the outward Sulphur, and the inward disappeared, and continued steadfast in the eternal unchangeableness, 2 as in an eternal nothing, wherein there was no more any effecting [or working efficacy to bring to pass].

8. Thus man with his outward body lived barely and merely to the time; the precious gold of the heavenly corporality, which tinctured the outward body, was disappeared, and so the outward body stood barely and alone in the life of nature's desire, viz. in the soul's fiery property; understand in the form and property of Mars, viz. in the wrath of God, which is the wrath in Sulphur, viz. the property of God's anger and the dark world: But seeing the outward body was created out of the time, therefore the time, viz. the constellation with the four elements, presently obtained the dominion in him; and the divine property, viz. the desire of the Deity (which ruled and tinctured time, so that there was a holy life in the creature out of the time), was vanished; its own peculiar love in the divine desire was turned to water, and it became blind and dead in the will and desire of God; and the soul must help itself with the sun's light.

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9. But seeing that time has beginning and end, and the will with the desire has given up itself to the temporal leader, therefore the dominion of time destroys its own contrived spirit, and so the body also dies and passes away; and this is that which God said to Adam, that "he should not eat of the tree, or plant, of the knowledge of good and evil," of both properties, lest he died; 1 as it also came to pass, he died in the Sulphur; the Sul in the kingdom of God, viz. the lubet of the divine liberty, out of which the light of God shines, and in which the divine love, viz. the love-fire burns [disappeared and withdrew from him].

10. Now there was no remedy for him, unless God's desire entered again into his dead Sulphur, that is, into his Sul, which was dead, viz. into the dead [or mortified] essentiality, and again enkindled it with the love-fire; which came to pass in Christ: And there the heavenly body, wherein God's light shines, did again arise. But if this must be effected, then the love-desire must again enter into the desire of the enkindled anger, and quench and overcome the anger with the love; the divine water must enter again into the soul's burning fire, and quench the wrathful death in the astringent fiat, viz. in the desire to nature, that the love-desire, which desires God, might be again enkindled in the soul.

11. For man's happiness 2 consists in this, that he has in him a true desire 3 after God, for out of the desire springs forth the love; that is, when the desire receives the meekness of God into itself, then the desire immerses itself in the meekness, and becomes essential; and this is the heavenly or divine essentiality, or corporality; and therein the soul's spirit (which lay shut up in the anger, viz. in death) does again arise in the love of God; for the love tinctures the death and darkness, that it is again capable of the divine sunshine.

12. And as this is done in man, so likewise it is in the transmutation of metals: The Sulphur is shut up in Saturn, viz. in the death, and yet there is no death, but a vegetative life; and the outward Mercury is the life thereof. 4 Now if the metalline body shall come to the highest perfection, then it must die unto the external dominator, 5 viz. to the elements, and come again into such a Sulphur as it was, when as yet it had not the four elements on it, but lay only in the element in unity. 6

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13. But now none can reduce it into such a body, but he only who has generated; he that has given it the four elements, he alone can take them away; and he that at first made it corporeal, he must bring it to himself, and transchange it in himself into another body; and this is the Sulphur, which has Mercurius as its chief faber in itself. He must again take it out of dark Saturn's bowels in the fiat, and introduce it into his own, and with his own fire separate the four elements from it, and reduce it into one; as God at the last day will in the enkindling of his own fire separate the essence of the four elements from the pure element, that the eternal corporality in the pure element may arise 1 and spring forth: And as in the death of man the four elements separate from the true man (who is the element of God) and the heavenly body remains only in itself; so it goes in the transmutation of metals.


14. The body lies shut up in a disesteemed form in Saturn, not wholly in Saturn's property, in a dark colour, marked with Mercurius its father, and Sol its mother, clothed with Saturn, and manifest with the life of Mars; but its mother is not outwardly manifest and known on it, unless its faber be enraged with its own iniquity; which yet cannot be, unless an alienate be applied, whereby its propriate is enraged; and then (if his anger be set on a fire or fury) he becomes so very hungry and thirsty, and yet can find no refreshment in itself; then it seizes on its faber who has made it, and fights against its creator, as the earthly wicked man does against God, so long till he devours and consumes himself, as a fiery [pestilent] poison consumes the body, unless you remedy, stay, and allay its hunger; yet there is none that can still this horrible hunger, but God himself who has made him; and if he assists not in due time, then the hunger in the wrath consumes the body, and puts it into the eternal darkness.

15. This hunger desires nothing but the mercy of God, that he might be freed from the anguish of hell; but this he cannot obtain of himself, for he is shut up in the anger of God; and his dear mother, which nursed him in the beginning, is also shut up in death: But if God shews his grace, and gives him again of his love, then the anger is dismayed at the love; 2 and this is a flagrat of great joy: For he again tastes the sweetness

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of his dear mother, and then he knows full well that he has been so vile and wicked, and repents of his iniquity, and will turn and mortify the old Adam, and cast it away from him.

16. So the artist takes him presently away with the old Adam from the strange anger, and lays him in a soft bed; for the old Adam is sick, and will die; and then his own faber in the old Adam is in the love of God, 1 which destroyed the anger, and will make a young child, and rejoices in the child; and the old Adam grows sick, and weak, wholly dark, and swarthish, and dies; and the four elements go out 2 from him with their colours: So the faber gives him even leave to go, and continually labours on the new body, which shall arise from death; and none sees his labour, for he works in the dark.

17. But the artist takes no care about the work, 3 but gives the faber his own food, till he sees that a vegetative life appears in the dark death with a new colour out of the black; and then, when the new man is ready, the artist comes, and brings the soul, and gives it the faber; at which the faber is dismayed that another life comes into him; and he puts the soul into the new body, and it goes inwardly in the anger: Thus the new man arises in great power and glory from death, and bruises the head of the old serpent in the anger of God, and passes through the anger, and the anger can do him no harm at all.

Whoe’er thou art, that to this work art born,
A chosen work thou hast, howe’er the world may scorn.


44:1 Lust.

44:2 Or immobility.

45:1 Or he should die.

45:2 Salvation.

45:3 An upright, full, and unfeigned desire.

45:4 Or therein.

45:5 Leader.

45:6 In one.

46:1 Begin.

46:2 Or in the divine love.

47:1 Or upon the love of God.

47:2 Depart.

47:3 Labour.

Next: Chapter VI