The Signature of All Things, by Jacob Boehem, , at sacred-texts.com
OF THE FIERY SULPHUREOUS SEETHING OF THE EARTH, AND HOW THE GROWTH IS IN THE EARTH; ALSO OF THE SEPARATION OF THE SEVERAL KINDS OF CREATURES: AN OPEN GATE FOR THE WISE SEEKERS
1. Let the reader but consider what before is written concerning the centre of the generation of all essences, and then he may easily proceed here: All whatever is corporeal, let it be either spirit or body, consists in a sulphureous property; the spirit in such a spiritual property, and the body out of the spirit in such a corporeal property.
2. For all things are risen from the eternal spirit, as a likeness of the eternal; the invisible essence, which is God and the eternity, has in its own desire introduced itself into a visible essence, and manifested itself in a time, so that he is as a life in the time, and the time is in him as it were dead; 1 as a master that makes his work with an instrument, and the instrument is mute to the master, and yet it is the making, the master only guides it; even so are all things confined into limit, measure, and weight, according to the eternal generation; and they run on in their operation and generation according to the right and property of eternity.
3. And God has appointed over this great work only one master and protector, which can alone manage the work, which is his officer, 2 viz. the soul of the great world, wherein all things lie; [and] he has appointed a type of its likeness as the reason over this officer, which represents to the officer what he is to do and make; and this is the understanding, viz. God's own dominion wherewith he rules the officer: Now the understanding shews to the officer what the property of each thing is, how the separation and degrees proceed from each other; for all things are contained 3 in the sulphureous body, and Mercury is Sulphur's life, and the salt is the impression, that preserves the body 4 from falling to ashes, so that the spirit is known in a palpable essence.
4. The property of Mercury is in Sulphur, as the boiling of a water; Sulphur is the water wherein Mercury seethes, and produces continually two forms out of the water; viz. one oleous, living, from the liberty of the divine power's property; and one mortal from the dissolution in the fire in the salnitral flagrat.
5. The oily is in stones and metals, herbs, trees, beasts, and men; and the mortal [property] is in the earth, in the water, in the fire and air; likewise the oleous property is in these four forms (viz. in the earth, water, fire, and air) as a spirit or life, and these four properties are as a dead body, in which the oil is a light or life, from whence the desire, viz. the growth, arises as a springing out of the dead property, which is the vegetative life, a springing, budding, and growing out of death.
6. But now the oily property could not be a life, if it were not in the anguish of death; the anguish makes it to pullulate or move, in that its will is to fly from, and press out of the anguish, and forces itself eagerly forwards, from whence the growth arises: Thus must death be a cause of the life, that the life may be stirring [or active], and therefore Mercury is the true moving life.
7. In the mortal property he is evil, and is called the life of death, of hell, and the anger of God; and in the oily property he is good, from the efficacy of the meekness and liberty of God; and he is the officer's faber, whereby the officer distinguishes the degrees in the vegetative life, [separating] the living [being] from the mortal, the heavenly essentiality from the dead or earthly, and appoints it into two kingdoms; viz. the good in the oleous [property] into a heavenly [being], viz. into a light, and the mortal [part] into the darkness.
8. These two kingdoms are in continual combat one with another, and there is an incessant wrestling in them; as water boiling on the fire; each boils in its property, viz. the oily in joy and meekness, and the mortal in the anguish of darkness, and yet one is the cause of the other: The light is the death, and deadly destruction of the darkness, viz. of the anguish; for in the light the anguish has no strength, but it changes it into the exultation of joyfulness, and the cause of joy, else there would be no joy; for the meekness is like a stillness, but the source of anguish sublimes it, and turns into a pleasant laughter: So also the anguish, viz. the darkness, is the death and destruction of the oily property; for if it gets the upper hand in the oleous property, it takes possession of the corpus, 1 and turns the oil
into a poisonful source, viz. into a dark spirit, or body wholly earthly, as Adam was when he imagined into the evil.
9. And yet we do not acknowledge that the oleous property takes any poison-source into itself; but Mercury, viz. the fire-life, insinuates itself into the anguish, and poisons the essence of time, which the outward Mercury itself makes in its own desire, that is, he departs from the inward oleous essence, and then the internal [being] remains immoveable in itself, and the essence and spirit of time do separate from the essence and spirit of eternity, and yet there is no parting [or dividing], but both principles remain in one essence; whereas there are two essences, but the one comprehends not the other, as eternity does not comprehend time: For thus also Adam and Eve died; the soul's Mercury departed with its imagination from the essence of eternity into the essence of time, viz. into the anguish-source, and then the essence of eternity lost its leader, which Christ restored again by the divine word, or Mercury; so that the essence of eternity, which in Adam was forsaken by the soul's Mercury, obtained the life again.
10. And thus we know that the essence of eternity lies hid in the anxious Mercury, as in the fortress of death; and our writing and teaching are to chew how a man may bring the poisonful Mercury with its desire so far, as to enter with its desire again into the essence of eternity, viz. into the enclosed, and reassume the essence of eternity for a body, and with the same tincture the essence of time, and reconcile them in one, that the whole corpus of the inward and outward world may be only one, that so there may be only one will in the spirit, viz. a love-hunger; and this hunger does then make to itself only one essence, and then every spirit eats of its [own] essence or body, so that afterwards no evil will can arise any more therein.
11. Thus we understand, that joy and sorrow, love and enmity, do originally arise through imagination and longing; for in the inclination [or earnest desire] towards God, viz. the free love, the kingdom of joy arises in the midst of the anguish of death; and if the desire departs out of the free love into the anguish of death, viz. into the source of darkness, then is the desire filled with the source of death, and so Mercury works effectually in the source of death.
12. Thus we declare with a true ground, that there is nothing so bad, but there lies a good therein, but the badness is not capable of the good; also there lies in the most poisonful Mercury, the greatest pearl and jewel; if his poisonful will may
be introduced into the same, 1 then he himself manifests the pearl; for he changes himself; as is to be seen in the earth, where Mercury seeks its pearl, and turns it in the ore 2 to gold, and to other metals, according as the Sulphur is in each place.
13. For there is a continual combat 3 in the earth; the eternity travels with longing through time to be free from vanity, and in its longing it gives itself to Mercury, as to its life and faber; and when Mercury obtains it in his hunger, he becomes joyful, and makes this free lubet corporeal in him, and there arises gold and silver, together with other metals and good herbs, all according to the powerful efficacy of each place; As the boiling 4 is in each place, so likewise is the metal, all according to the property of the seven forms of nature; that form which is chief in a place, according to the same property grows a metal, also herbs and trees.
14. Here the physicians must observe, that they learn distinctly to know what kind of property is the strongest in each thing with which they would cure; if they do not know it, they will oftentimes give their patients death: Also they must know, that they are to understand, and very exactly know the property of the patient, which of the properties among the seven forms of nature is the Mercury in Sulphur; for such a salt he also makes: Now if the physician gives him a contrary salt, Mercury is only thereby the more vehemently enraged, and made more venomous; but if he may obtain his own salt according to his own property (after which he hungers) then he 5 rejoices, and readily quits the poison-source in the fire of Mars. But the right physician has another cure, he first brings his Mercury with which he will cure out of death's anguish into the liberty: He may well cure, 6 the other is dangerous and uncertain; if he happens to cure, it is by chance, and very inconstant, and cannot cure any disease fundamentally; for the outward Mercury is shut up, it can reach no further than into the four elements, into the mortal essence; it is able to do nothing in the sidereal body: But if it be turned and introduced into the love, as is before mentioned, then it touches 7 the very root and ground, and renews it even to the divine power in the second principle.
15. We have an excellent resemblance of this in the blooming earth on the herbs; for in the earth Mercury is earthly and
venomous; but when the sun tinctures him., then he reaches after the sun's power, after its light, and brings it into his hungry fiery Mars-desire, into his salt, viz. into his corporeal essence, viz. into Sulphur, which is his mother, and wheels it about with its rotation in the essence, as if he also boiled; and then the liberty, viz. the highest power, reaches after its property, viz. after the solar property, and apprehends Mercury also along with it.
16. Now when Mercury tastes the heavenly Being in itself, it grows exceeding desirous after the power of love, and draws the same into its desire, whereupon it changes itself, and its salt, so also its mother, the Sulphur, into a pleasant source; and now if the liberty be so introduced into a moving life with Mercury, then it is very full of joy, and springs up in its joy, as a light from the fire, and puts forth through the Sulphur-spirit in the salt: Thus is the growing of the root, and from thence the root gets such a pleasant smell and taste; for in the original the salt's sharpness in the first impression from Saturn is a sharpness of death's anguish, and here it is turned to a pleasant power; for all taste in herbs is salt.
17. Thus understand us further about the root in the earth; when the inward power of the liberty in Mercury's property, which now is changed, does thus force itself forth to the manifestation of the Deity, then the sun's power does eagerly press towards the divine power, and inclines itself with great desire to the highest heavenly tincture, and draws it with its desire to it; viz. out of the earthly body into a solar: Thus the sun draws the power out of the root in the earth, and the joyful Mercury ascends up along with it, and continually draws the sun's power from above into itself, and from beneath it draws its mother viz. the Sulphur, to itself: And here all the seven forms of nature arise in joyfulness in the combat, each will be uppermost; for so it is in the taste, viz. in the generation of nature; and what form in nature gets to be the chiefest, according to the same taste is the salt in Sulphur, and such an herb grows out of the earth, let it be what it will; though now everything springs from its mother, yet all things have so taken their original, and do still take it; for just so is the right of eternity.
18. Now we are to consider of the stalk: When the herb or sprig looks out of the earth, it comes up at first below with a white form, then further more upwards with a brownish [colour], and above with a green colour: This is now its signature, [shewing] what kind of form is internally in the essence, in the
source; the white colour of the branch 1 is from the liberty of the love-lubet, and the brown is the earthly [property] from Saturn's impression, and from the wrath of Mars; and the green, which opens itself above, is Mercury's in the form of Jupiter and Venus.
19. For Jupiter is power, and Venus is love-desire, which hasten towards the sun, as towards their likeness; and the heaven, which is created out of the midst of the water, puts upon them its blue and green-coloured garment according to the stars might; for the spirit of the stars receives the new child also, and gives him its spirit and body, and rejoices therein: Now the forms are in contest, 2 and Mercury is the faber and separator; Saturn impresses, and Jupiter is the pleasant power in sulphur; Mars is the fire-source, viz. the might in sulphur; Venus is the water, viz. the sweet desire; Mercury is the life, Luna the body, and Sol the heart, viz. the centre to which all forms tend and press.
20. Thus the outward sun presses into the sun in the herb; and the inward sun presses into the outward, and there is a mere pleasing relish and delight of one essence in another; Saturn makes four, Jupiter makes a pleasant taste, Mars makes bitter, by reason of his anxious nature, Venus makes sweet, Mercury distinguishes the taste, Luna takes it into her sack and hatches it; for she is of an earthly and heavenly property, and she gives it the menstruum wherein the tincture lies.
21. Thus there is an instigation in the taste; each form hastens to the sweet water and the sun; Jupiter is pleasant, and ascends up aloft with the love-desire in the sweet source-water, wherein Mars rages, and thinks himself to be master in the house, seeing that he rules the fire-spirit in sulphur, at which Mercury is dismayed, that Mars does so disquiet him, and Saturn makes the flagrat corporeal according to his austere impression, and these are the knots upon the stalk; and the flagrat is salnitral, according to the third form of nature in the first impression to the spirit-life, viz. in the anguish-form, from whence the sulphur takes its original, and in the flagrat Mercury goes up in the salniter on the sides, and takes Venus also into it, viz. the love-desire, from whence grow twigs and branches on the stalk, trunk, or body, be they either herbs, trees, or shrubs; and each branch [or sprig] is then like to the whole plant. 3
22. But the sun continually by little and little deprives Mars
of his force, whereupon the salniter extinguishes, and Mars loses his bitter property; then Jupiter and Venus wholly yield themselves to the sun in the moon's cabinet, 1 and the outward sun takes full possession of the inward; understand the inward sun is a Sulphur in Mercury, and is of the divine power's property, from the liberty of God, which imprints itself on all things, and gives life and power to all things. Now when that is done, that Jupiter and Venus have given themselves to the power of the sun, then Jupiter forces no more upwards, but Mars and Mercury do continually more and more wind up the stalk from the earth on high; Jupiter stays still above in the inward and outward sun's power, and there is the pleasant conjunction with time and eternity, there the eternity beholds itself in an image 2 in the time.
23. And paradise springs up [or opens], for the Sulphur and the salt in the Sulphur are here transmuted in the paradise, and the paradisical joy puts itself forth in the smell and taste. This is now the head or knob of the blossoms, wherein the corn grows; the lovely smell is in one part paradisical, viz. from the divine power, from the liberty; and on the other part earthly, according to the outward sun, and the outward world.
24. The heavenly property sets forth its signature with fair colours of the leaves on the blossoms; and the earthly [represents its signature] by the green leaves [or sprigs] about the blossom; but seeing this kingdom of the outward world is only a time (in which the curse is), and Adam could not stand in paradise, the paradisical property soon passes away with its signature, and changes itself into the corn which grows in the blossom; therein the property of the inward and outward sun, viz. of the inward and outward power, is couched, each property in its principle; for God has cursed the earth, and therefore let none think that the outward is divine, only the divine power penetrates and tinctures the outward [being]; for God said, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head:" This is now effected after the curse in all things which approach near the Deity, wherein Mercury is a poison; there God bruises its head with the inward and outward sun, and takes away the poisonful might in the anger.
25. O that you would but learn to understand, dear sirs and brethren, wherewith you are to cure; not with the angry Mercury, which in many an herb is an evil poison-source, but with the inward Mercury: If you would be called doctors and
masters, then you ought also to know how you may change the outward Mercury in the Sulphur into love, that he may be delivered from the anguish-source, and brought into a joyfulness, viz. that the earthly [being] be turned into an heavenly, the death into life; this is your doctorship in the right meaning, and not by the officer of reason only.
26. God has placed man above the officer, and ordained him in the understanding to his own dominion: He has ability to change nature, and to turn the evil into good, provided that first he has changed himself, otherwise he cannot; so long as he is dead in the understanding, so long he is the servant and slave of the officer; but when he is made alive in God, then the officer is his servant.
27. Ye haughty caps, let it be told you; pride, and your own honour, and the earthly lust of the flesh, lies in your way, so that you are not masters in the mysteries, but blind children; you will not lay your hands upon the coals, but you take money from the poor and distressed, and give that to many an one which had been far better he had never bought, for which you must give a severe and strict account.
28. Thus it is likewise with the sulphurean seething in the earth with the metals, the power 1 is stronger in metals than in the herbs, the tincture is more heavenly than earthly, if the artist affords it his help, then it changes itself, viz. the earthly into an heavenly, which notwithstanding comes to pass in many places without the artist's ingenuity; as we see, how Mercury in sulphur apprehends the heavenly tincture in its boiling, whereby he changes his made essence (which he makes in the sulphur) into gold and silver by the power and efficacy of the tincture, understand, by that part of the heavenly property; for out of the earth, or out of the mortified property in the salniter, no gold can be made, for there is no fixedness therein.
29. Now we are thus to consider of this process of the boiling in the Sulphur in the earth: Where the earth is in any place sulphureous in the saturnine property, wherein the sun bears chief rule, there is such a boiling; the outward sun hungers after the inward, which dwells in its own principle in the centre in sulphur, and sets its desire upon time; for the time, viz. the creature, longs after eternity, viz. after the liberty, to be freed from vanity; as the Scripture says, that "all creatures do earnestly long with us to be freed from vanity."
30. Even here the liberty gives itself into the solar property
into the time, and when Mercury tastes it, he becomes joyful, and turns his wheel in the joy; then Saturn impresses the meekness; and Mars, which arises in the mercurial wheel in the impression, gives the fire-soul thereinto, so that there is a driving forth and growth; for the liberty puts itself forth in Mercury's property, and Mercury continually separates Saturn and Mars from it; for he will have a fair and pure child to his joy; he suffers Venus to remain on the child, for she is in property akin to the child: copper is nighest to gold by reason of the materia, it wants only the tincture; Mars holds him too hard in possession; if he may be got out, then it is gold, which the artist does well understand.
31. After Venus Mars is akin to gold; for he has swallowed up Venus in his wrath, and uses her for his body, else in his own peculiar property he has no corporeal essence, for he is only wrath, which consumes: He makes him a body out of the water of Venus, which he devours, and Saturn makes it corporeal to him; therefore he does so defile his iron with rust, and that is his property, viz. to be a devourer of his body; but Venus is pleasant, and makes a growing in him, he devours again whatever Venus's property makes in him; for Venus is the food of Mars in the saturnine property; therefore the artist is to consider what lies in Mars; if he has only the solar tincture, he needs nothing else thereto, that he may but deprive Mars of his force, for Mars has his toughness from Venus.
32. Mars in his own peculiar property is only spalt, and causes hardness. as the fire does; but Saturn is the impressure of all things; Venus needs only the tincture, and then she is perfect; but the artist must rightly understand where the possibility lies, viz. in Sulphur, where Saturn has the Sulphur in his belly, and Mercury shews its colour, there he is in the will, 1 but cannot, for Saturn holds him too fast imprisoned; but if the artist gives him his helping hand, that he may but advance his wheel, and give him his mother's food, which she has hid in the centre, then he grows strong, and casts Saturn away, and manifests the child: For so it is also in the earth, where Mercury is quick in his mother, viz. in the Sulphur, that he is not withheld, that he may only reach Venus in his hunger for food, the sun will soon shine forth, for she beams forth in Venus's meekness: He dresses [or seethes] his food with his own fire, he needs no artist thereto; which the artist must well observe, for he has his Mars in himself.
33. Now as the boiling is in the earth, so also it is above the
earth; when the fruit grows out of the earth, it is first sharp [astringent] and bitter, also sour and unpleasant, as the apple upon the tree is so; for Saturn has at first the dominion, he attracts it together, and Mercury forms it, and Mars gives the fire to Mercury, which Saturn receives into his cold property, Venus gives the sap, and Luna takes all into her body, for she is mother, and receives the seed of all the planets into her menstruum, and hatches it; Jupiter gives power thereinto, and Sol is king therein, but at the first Sol is weak; for the materia is too earthly and cold. Now the whole essence in its boiling lies in the body 1 of Sulphur; and in the Sulphur the salnitral flagrat makes a salt in Mars's wheel according to each property; for the Sulphur turns into salt, that is, into taste; and in the same taste there is an oil hid in the centre in the sulphureous property, which [oil] arises from the free love-lubet, viz. out of eternity, and manifests itself with an external essence in the time, which is the manifestation of God.
34. Now in this same oil is the hunger or love-desire after the essence of time, viz. after the manifestation of the Deity; this desire reaches in the essence of time after its property, viz. after the sun, and the sun's property reaches after the oil in the centre of the fruit, and fervently longs after it, and gives itself freely into the fruit, and sucks the virtue into itself, and gives it forth in its joy into the austere property of the fruit, and meekens and sweetens all with the love, which it receives in the centre in the oil of the liberty: Thus a fruit, which at first is sour and sharp, becomes very pleasant and sweet, that a man may eat it; and even thus is the ripening of all fruits.
35. Now by the signature in the external you may see the inward form; for the forms in the salt, viz. in the power, shew themselves externally.
36. There are commonly four colours, as white, yellow, red, and green: Now according to what colour the fruit (as an apple) is most signed, accordingly is the taste also in the salt; as white with a clear thin skin somewhat inclining to dark gives sweetness, which is of Venus property; if the sweet taste be strong and powerful, then Jupiter is potent therein; but if it be weak and fulsom, then the moon is strong therein; but if it be hard, and of a brownish colour, then Mars is strong therein; but if the white colour be of a grayish-brown, then Saturn is strong therein: Venus makes 2 a white colour, Mars red, and bitter in the taste; Mars makes Venus's colour light, Mercury gives a mixt colour,
and opens the green in Mars; Jupiter inclines to blue, Saturn to black, almost gray; the sun makes the yellow colour, and gives the right sweetness in the salt, and casts forth the pleasant smell, which takes its rise from Sulphur; Saturn makes astringent [sharp] and sour; and each property represents itself externally, as it is internally in the dominion, so also by the form [or signature] of the leaf, or branches.
37. Every root, as it is in the earth, may be known by the signature for what it is good or profitable, even such a form also has the earth, and it is discerned in the leaves and stalks which planet is lord in the property, much more in the flower; for of what taste the herb and root is, even such an hunger is in it, and such a cure lies therein, for it has such a salt. The physician must know what kind of sickness is risen in the body, and in what salt the loathing is risen in Mercury, that so he may not administer a further loathing [and nausea] to his patient; for if he gives him the herb, in whose property Mercury has before received a loathing, then he ministers poison to him; so that the poison in the loathing of the body does exceedingly inflame itself in Mercury, unless he burns that herb to ashes, and gives it him; then the poison of the loathing loses its might; for these ashes are a death to the poison of the living Mercury.
38. This we find very effectually in the magic; this also the physician must know, that all sicknesses arise from the loathing in the form of nature: As when one form in the life is superior, if then a contrary thing quite opposite to its property be by force introduced into it, let it be either from the stars, or from the elements, or from the seven forms of life, then it deprives this superior [or chiefest] form (which is the leader and ruler of the life) of its strength and power in its salt; then the Mercury of this superior form begins effectually to work, that is, to hunger and loath; and if he gets not his own peculiar property, understand the bodily form, which is chief in the body among the seven properties or forms, then he enkindles himself in his own poison-source according to his vital 1 property, and does so forcibly strive so long, till he becomes fiery, and then he awakes his own Mars, and his own Saturn, which impress him, and consume the flesh of the body in the poison-fire, and wholly consume the oil of light; even then the life's light goes out, and it is past recovery.
39. But if the form of life, wherein 2 Mercury is inflamed in the loathing 3 in the anguish and poison-source, may obtain
that property into its hunger, of which the spirit and body is chief, then he obtains his own natural food, of which he lives, and does again rejoice, and puts away the nauseate, 1 and then the nauseate dissipates [or dissolves] and is spewed out; but the physician must have a care, whether or no that thing which he will administer to his patient be in its property strong also in the same essence, from whence the nauseate is risen in the body.
40. As for example; A jovial man receives a nauseate [or loathing] from the lunar property; now if the physician knew that he had so gotten his nauseate, and prepared him a jovial cure according to the hunger of his own spirit or mercury, this now would be right; but if the moon's property be strong in the salt which he would administer for the nauseate, then he gives him a nauseate; but if the jovial cure be free from the moon, then the jovial Mercury receives its own food with great desire, and quits the nauseate: And thus it is likewise with diseases which arise in the salniter, viz. from fear or frightening; thereto belongs also such a flagrat as the first was, and then there is a present cure, or such an herb, wherein the salniter lies in such a property as it lies in that man.
41. I know, and it is shewn me, that the sophister will cavil at me, because I write, that the divine power is in the fruit, that God's power does appropriate 2 itself into the generation of nature: But hear, my dear friend, become seeing, I ask thee, How was paradise in this world? Was it also manifest in nature? Was it also in the fruit? Was it in the world, or without the world? Did paradise stand in God's power, or in the elements? Was the power of God manifest in the world, or hidden? Or what is the curse of the earth, and the putting of Adam and Eve out of paradise? Then tell me, Does not God dwell also in time? Is not God all in all? It is written, "Am not I he who filleth all things?" Also, "Thine is the kingdom, the power, and glory, from eternity to eternity."
42. Here consider thyself, and leave me uncensured: I do not say, that the nature is God, much less the fruit proceeding from the earth; but I say, God gives power to every life, be it good or bad, to each thing according to its desire, for he himself is All; and yet he is not called God according to every being, but according to the light wherewith he dwells in himself and shines with his power through all his beings; He gives in his power to all his beings and works, and each thing receives his power
according to its property; one takes darkness, the other light; each hunger desires its property, and yet the whole essence [or being] is all God's, be it evil or good, for from him and through him are all things, what is not of his love, that is of his anger. Paradise is yet in the world, but man is not therein, unless he be born again of God; then as to that new regeneration he is therein, and not with the Adam of the four elements. O that we would but once learn to know ourselves, and even understand it by the created essence [or being].
43. Lo! in Saturn there lies gold shut up in a very disesteemed and contemptible form and manner, which indeed resembles no metal; and though it be cast into the fire and melted, yet a man shall have nothing, but a contemptible matter void of any form of virtue, till the artist takes it in hand, and uses the right process about it, and then it is manifest what was therein.
44. So likewise God dwells in all things, and the thing knows nothing of God; he likewise is not manifest to the thing, and yet it receives power from him, but it receives the power according to its property from him, either from his love, or from his wrath; and from which it receives, so it has its signature 1 externally; and the good is also in it, but as it were wholly shut up [or hidden] to the iniquity [or evil]; an example of which you have in bushes, and other thorny and pricking briars, out of which notwithstanding a fair well-smelling blossom grows; and there lie two properties therein, viz. a pleasant and unpleasant; which overcomes, that shapes [forms or marks] the fruit.
45. Thus also it is with man; he was created a fair blossom and fruit of paradise, but the devil raised up in him his thorny property by the serpent, understand the centre, the property of the wrathful nature, which in his paradisical source was not manifest in him; but when his hunger entered into the thorny false property of the serpent, viz. into death, then the property of death, and the false serpent in the devil's desire, pressed into his hunger, and filled soul and body, so that the hunger of the false serpent began effectually to work in him, and death awaked in him, and then paradise hid itself in him: For paradise entered into itself, and the poison of the serpent in death's property dwelt also in itself; here was now the enmity; then said God to him, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head, and thou shalt sting the heel with death's poison."
46. Understand the paradisical image which is shut up, and
captivated in the wrathful death, in which the word of the Deity, viz. the divine Mercury, ruled and wrought, did disappear; as the gold is disappeared in Saturn, so that nothing is seen but a contemptible matter, till the right artist sets upon it, and again awakens the Mercury in the inclosed gold, and then the dead inclosed body of the gold does again revive in Saturn; for Mercury is its life, who must be introduced into it again, and then the dead body of the gold appears, 1 and overcomes the gross Saturn, wherein it lay shut up, and changes its mean contemptible old body into a fair glorious golden body.
47. Thus likewise it is with man; he lies now shut up after his fall in a gross, deformed, bestial dead image; he is not like an angel, much less like unto paradise; he is as the gross ore in Saturn, wherein the gold is couched and shut up; his paradisical image is in him as if it were not, and it is also not manifest, the outward body is a stinking carcass, while it yet lives in the poison: He is a bad thorny bush, from whence notwithstanding fair rose-buds may bloom forth, and grow out of the thorns, and manifest that which lies hidden, and shut up in the wrathful poisonful Mercury, till the artist who has made him takes him in hand, and brings the living Mercury into his gold or paradisical image disappeared and shut up in death; so that the inclosed image, which was created out of the divine meekness and love-essentiality, may again bud and spring forth in the divine Mercury, viz. in the word of the Deity, which entered into the humanity shut up [and closed in the death and curse].
48. And then the divine mercury changes the wrathful Mercury into its property, and Christ is born, who bruises the head of the serpent, viz. of the poison and death in the anger of God, understand the might of wrathful death; and a new man arises in holiness and righteousness, which lives before God, [and his divine image] appears and puts forth its lustre as the hidden gold out of the earthly property: And hereby it is clearly signified to the artist chosen of God how he shall seek; no otherwise than as he has sought and found himself in the property of the pure gold; and so likewise is this process, and not a whit otherwise; for man and the earth with its secrets lie shut up in the like [or same] curse and death, and need one and the same restitution.
49. But we tell the seeker, and sincerely and faithfully warn him as he loves his temporal and eternal welfare, that he do not first set upon this way to try the earth, and restore that which
is shut up [in death], unless he himself be before born again through the divine mercury out of the curse and death, and has the full knowledge of the divine regeneration, 1 else all that he does is to no purpose, no learning [or studying] avails; for that which he seeks lies shut in the curse, in death, in the anger of God: If he will make it alive, and bring it into its first life, then that life must be before manifest in him, and then he may say to the mountain, "Get thee hence, and be cast into the sea;" and to the fig-tree, "No fruit grow on thee henceforth;" and it shall come to pass; for if the divine mercury lives, and is manifest in the spirit, then when the spirit of the soul's will imagines into anything, Mercury also goes along with it in the imagination, and enkindles the Mercury fast apprehended in death, viz. the similitude of God, or the manifestation, with which the living God has made himself manifest.
50. I know and see, that the mocker in the devil's vizard will yet bring my writing into a misapprehension, and make me more dark and doubtful, because I write of the inward and outward Mercury, and understand by the inward the word of God, or the divine voice, viz. the manifestation of the eternity of the abyss; and by the outward [mercury] I understand the officer in nature, viz. the instrument, which the inward, living, powerful word, or divine voice uses, wherewith it forms 2 and works. Now the sophister will falsely interpret it, and say, that I mix them both together, making no difference, and hold 3 nature for God, as Babel has already done to me: But I bid him view my words well, and learn to understand them right; for I speak sometimes from the heavenly Mercury, and see that only, and then presently I name the instrument of the heavenly, therefore let him have regard to the sense: I write not heathenishly, but theosophically, from a higher ground than the outward faber 4 is, and then also from the same.
76:1 Dumb, senseless, mute.
77:1 Or body.
79:1 Or if his poison-will be brought into the moving spirit of love.
79:2 Gross stone.
79:4 Or seething.
79:5 The Mercury.
79:6 Or such a physician has true skill to cure.
79:7 Or seizes on.
81:1 Shoot, or twig.
81:2 Or in their wrestling combat.
81:3 Or growth.
82:1 Bag, or sack.
82:2 Type, or resemblance.
83:1 Virtue, or efficacy.
84:1 Or mind.
85:1 Or womb.
85:2 Gives, or yields.
86:1 Or life's.
86:2 Or whereby.
86:3 Or nausea.
87:1 Or loathing.
87:2 Unite, or give in.
88:1 Or so it is signed, or marked.
89:1 Or puts itself forth. Text, glances forth.
90:1 Or has the new-birth in perfect knowledge.
90:2 Or makes.
90:3 Or take.
90:4 Archeus, or separator.