The Signature of All Things, by Jacob Boehem, , at sacred-texts.com
THE preceding book is a brief signature, or character of natural and divine knowledge. But it will seem strange and simple to the proud self-conceited sophisters, the wiselings of pedantic reason, who will carp and cavil at anything but what dances to their pipe, or agrees with their conceits. But their censures are not to be valued; and their letter-learned mock productions of science are to be pitied, being only the courted shadows of their own amused fancy. Such as these being captivated in the mystery of Babel, wonder only after their beast Mammon, upon which they ride in pride, and scorn anything but what pleases and flatters them in their admired works of covetous iniquity, gilded over with seeming holiness. But the Babylonish structure of their turba-magna-performances will fall, when it has attained the highest limit of its constellation, and no wit of man shall be able to prop it up. In the meantime the Antichrist in Babel will rage and tyrannise, and execute the sentence of wrath, or his own dismal doom, upon himself.
But not to transgress by too large a digression from the intent of this postscript; the principal design of it is to explain some words which are used in the translation, as
FLAGRAT, LUBET, SOURCE, SUDE
The word in the German is Schrack, which signifies properly a fright, sudden astonishment, or dismay. In the other books it is translated terror, or crack, but I have put it flagrat, from the Latin word flagro, though I mean not by it only a burning, but even the powerful opening of the life or death of the enkindling of the fire in nature. For the fire is the dividing bound-mark, in which the life of both principles is opened and separated; the life of the first is the dying death in the darkness, and the life of the second is the living life in the light. You may perceive a resemblance of this flagrat in thunder and lightening, as also in gunpowder, and the like. Take for instance divers sulphureous salnitral minerals exactly mixed, now their powers
are as I may say contracted, or shut up in the astringent dark desire or death; but touch them rightly with the true fire, and you will see how they will soon open, disclose, and flash forth, and will even display and stream themselves forth into divers properties, colours, and virtues. It is even the bursting forth of the ardent desire in nature. It is, as I may term it, the magical fire-breath, whereby the powers either of light or darkness are dismayed. In short, it is the pregnant echo of the sound of eternity everywhere speaking, working, and opening itself in love or anger, in each thing according to its will and desire: In some it is the horrible flagrat to death; and in others it is the pleasant triumphant flagrat to life.
The word in the Dutch is lust, which signifies a longing desire or will to a thing; also a delight, or contented joy; sometimes imagination and lust. But because our word lust is commonly used in the worst sense (a longing after evil and vanity) and would not properly agree to, or fully express the German word lust in all places, I have generally translated it lubet, from the Latin word lubitum, whereby is meant the divine beneplacitum, or good pleasure. By it is understood the origin to a desire in the eternal nothing, or pregnant magic, God's free well-liking to the desire of the manifestation of nature and creature, without which all had been an eternal stillness in the nothing. This lubet in man is the moving will to good or evil, light or darkness, love or anger.
By this are meant the first original qualities or properties of both the inward principles, as they break forth in the sude of the fire in the flagrat of love or anger in nature or creature. For in the darkness the love-ens, or paradisical light, is shut up in death, and causes an austere dark source, pain, horror, torment, or disquietude; and so it is the radical property of the contentious elements and stars in the curse of God: And in the light the life of love breaks forth, and swallows up this wrathful source of darkness and death, and turns it into joy or a divine source. So that by source is understood the original quality, property, or qualification of evil, darkness, anger, sorrow, cursing, damnation, death, hell; or the contrary to these in
their divine source, or essential working property; both according to time and eternity.
The word sude is German, and signifies a boiling or seething. It is the stirring of the seven properties in nature, arising from the assimulation or essential co-influence of the outward and inward Sol in Sulphur, from whence the blooming vegetation of the earth proceeds; also the generation of metals and minerals lies therein.
These are some uncommon words which are used in rendering this book into English. Words are vehicula rerum, they are formed to express things, not bare sounds, or empty airs. Now he who rightly understands the ground of the cabala and magia, and knows how the language of nature speaks in every tongue, might well translate this author. But the bare letter of his writings, though ever so exactly translated, will not give the understanding of them, but the spirit of regeneration in Christ, in whom the fulness of the Deity dwells corporeally.
N.B.There is One Character by which God has characterised both himself, and all the creatures, and shewn that his presence is in all things; yet so that each creature has its wonder, either of the heavenly or of the earthly mystery. This peculiar mark, shape, and figure, that it may appear as a peculiar is the in the sphere and mercurial wheel of nature, which goes through all the three principles, and in the third through all the kingdoms of minerals, vegetables, and animals, through heaven and earth; the wonderful depth of which is shewn in this book to the enquirer after the divine mysteries.