Sacred Texts  Sub Rosa  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

The Real History of the Rosicrucians, by Arthur Edward Waite, [1887], at

p. 100

The Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosencreutz. Anno 1459.

Arcana publicata vilescunt, et gratiam prophanata amittunt.
Ergo: ne Margaritas objice porcis, seu Asino substernere rosas.


The First Day.

On an evening before Easter-day, I sate at a table, and having in my humble prayer conversed with my Creator and Meditatio.considered many great mysteries (whereof the Father of Lights had shewn me not a few), and being now ready to prepare in my heart, together with my dear Paschal Lamb, a small, unleavened, undefiled cake, all on a sudden ariseth so horrible a tempest, that I imagined no other but that, through its mighty force, the bill whereon my little house was founded would fly all in pieces. But inasmuch as this, and the like, from the devil (who had done me many a spight) was no new thing to me, I took courage, and persisted in my meditation till somebody touched me on the back, whereupon I was so hugely terrified that I durst hardly look about me, yet I shewed myself as cheerful as humane frailty would permit. Now the same thing still twitching me several times by the coat, I glanced back and behold it was Praeconissaa fair and glorious lady, whose garments were all skye-colour, and curiously bespangled with golden stars. In her right hand she bare a trumpet of beaten gold, whereon a Name was ingraven which I could well read but am forbidden as yet to reveal. In her left hand she had a great bundle of letters in all languages, which she (as I afterwards understood) was to carry into all countries. She had also large and beautiful wings, full of eyes throughout, wherewith she

p. 101

could mount aloft, and flye swifter than any eagle. As soon as I turned about, she looked through her letters, and at length drew out a small one, which, with great reverence, she laid upon the table, and, without one word, departed from me. But in her mounting upward, she gave so mighty a blast on her gallant trumpet that the whole hill echoed thereof, and for a full quarter of an hour afterward I could hardly hear my own words.

In so unlooked for an adventure I was at a, loss how to advise myself, and, therefore, fell upon my knees, and besought my Creator to permit nothing contrary to my eternal happiness to befall me, whereupon, with fear and trembling, I went to the letter, which was now so heavy as almost to Epistola. outweigh gold. As I was diligently viewing it, I found a little Seal, whereupon was ingraven a curious Cross, with Sigillum this inscription IN HOC SIGNO VINCES.

As soon as I espied this sign I was comforted, not being ignorant that it was little acceptable, and much less useful, to the devil. Whereupon I tenderly opened the letter, and within it, in an azure field, in golden letters, found the following verses written:--

    "This day, this day, this, this
    The Royal Wedding is.
Art thou thereto by birth inclined,
And unto joy of God design’d?
Then may’st thou to the mountain tend
Whereon three stately Temples stand,
And there see all from end to end.
    Keep watch and ward,
    Thyself regard;
Unless with diligence thou bathe,
The Wedding can't thee harmless save:
He'll damage have that here delays;
Let him beware too light that weighs."

p. 102

Underneath stood Sponsus and Sponsa.

De Nuptiis.As soon as I read this letter, I was like to have fainted away, all my hair stood on end, and cold sweat trickled down my whole body. For although I well perceived that this was the appointed wedding whereof seven years before I was acquainted in a bodily vision, and which I had with great earnestness attended, and which, lastly, by the account and calculation of the plannets, I found so to be, yet could Requisita in hospitibus. Secundum, 7. Pondera.I never fore-see that it must happen under so grievous and perilous conditions. For whereas I before imagined that to be a well-come guest, I needed onely to appear at the wedding, I was now directed to Divine Providence, of which until this time I was never certain. I also found, the more I examined myself, that in my head there was 1. Electio incerta.onely gross misunderstanding, and blindness in mysterious things, so that I was not able to comprehend even those 2. Inscitia Ignorantia cæcitas mentis.things which lay under my feet, and which I daily conversed with, much less that I should be born to the searching out and understanding of the secrets of Nature, since, in my opinion, 3, 4. Natura secreta.
5, 6.
Nature might everywhere find a more vertuous disciple, to whom to intrust her precious, though temporary and changeable treasures. I found also that my Mundana affectio.bodily behaviour, outward conversation, and brotherly love toward my neighbour was not duly purged and cleansed. Moreover, the tickling of the flesh manifested itself, whose affection was bent only to pomp, bravery, and worldly pride, not to the good of mankind; and I was always contriving how by this art I might in a short time abundantly increase my advantage, rear stately palaces, make myself an everlasting name, and other the like carnal designs. But the obscure words concerning the three Temples did particularly afflict me, which I was not able to make out by

p. 103

any after-speculation. Thus sticking between hope and fear, examining myself again and again, and finding only my own frailty and impotency, and exceedingly amazed at the fore-mentioned threatening, at length I betook myself to my usual course. After I had finished my most fervent prayer, I laid me down in my bed, that so perchance myPreces. good angel by the Divine permission might appear, and (as it had formerly happened) instruct me in this affair, which, to the praise of God, did now likewise fall out. For I was yet scarce asleep when me-thought I, together with a numberlessVisio per somnium multitude of men, lay fettered with great chains in a dark dungeon, wherein we swarmed like bees one overTurris Cæcitas. another, and thus rendered each other's affliction more grievous. But although neither I, nor any of the rest, could see one jot, yet I continually heard one heaving himself above the other, when his chains or fetters were become ever so little lighter. Now as I with the rest had continued a good while in this affliction, and each was still reproaching the other with his blindness and captivity, at length we heard many trumpets sounding together, and kettle-drums beating so artificially thereto, that it rejoyced us even in our calamity.

During this noise the cover of the dungeon was lifted up, and a little light let down unto us. Then first might trulyIllustratio. have been discerned the bustle we kept, for all went pesle-mesle, and he who perchance had too much heaved up himself was forced down. again under the others' feet. In brief, each one strove to be uppermost, neither did I linger, but, with my weighty fetters, slipt from under the rest, and then heaved myself upon a Stone; howbeit, I was several times caught at by others, from whom, as well as I might, I guarded myself with hands and feet. We imagined that

p. 104

we should all be set at liberty, which yet fell out quite otherwise, for after the nobles who looked upon us through the hole had recreated themselves with our struggling, a Magister carceris.certain hoary-headed man called to us to be quiet, and, having obtained it, began thus to say on:

If wretched mortals would forbear
  Themselves to so uphold,
Then sure on them much good confer
  My righteous Mother would:
But since the same will not insue,
  They must in care and sorrow rue,
And still in prison lie. Vide S. Bernard, Serm. 3, de 7 Fragmentis
  Howbeit, my dear Mother will
Their follies over-see,
  Her choicest goods permitting still
Too much in Light to be.
  Wherefore, in honour of the feast
We this day solemnize,
  That so her grace may be increast,
A good deed she'll devise;
  For now a cord shall be let down,
And whosoe’er can hang thereon
  Shall freely be releast.

He had scarce done speaking when an Antient Matron commanded her servants to let down the cord seven times into the dungeon, and draw up whomsoever could hang upon it. Good God! that I could sufficiently describe the hurry that arose amongst us; every one strove to reach the cord, and only hindred each other. After seven minutes a little bell rang, whereupon at the first pull the servants drew up Prima vectura.four. At that time I could not come near the cord, having to my huge misfortune betaken myself to the stone at the wall, whereas the cord descended in the middle. The cord Seconda.was let down the second time, but divers, because their chains were too heavy, and their hands too tender, could not keep hold on it, and brought down others who else might have

p. 105

held on fast enough. Nay, many were forcibly pulled off by those who could not themselves get at it, so envious were we even in this misery. But they of all most moved my compassion whose weight was so heavy that they tore their hands from their bodies and yet could not get up. Thus it came to pass that at these five times very few were drawn up, for, as soon as the sign was given, the servants were so nimble at the draught that the most part tumbled one upon another. Whereupon, the greatest part, and even myself, despaired of redemption, and called upon God to have pitty on us, and deliver us out of this obscurity, who also heard some of us, for when the cord came down the sixth time, Sexta. some hung themselves fast upon it, and whilst it swung from one side to the other, it came to me, which I suddenly catching, got uppermost, and so beyond all hope calve out; whereat I exceedingly rejoyced, perceiving not the wound which in the drawing up I received on my head by a sharpVulnus exturro cæcitatis. stone, till I, with the rest of the released (as was always before done) was fain to help at the seventh and last pull, atSeptima. which, through straining, the blood ran down my cloathes. This, nevertheless, through joy I regarded not.

When the last draught, whereon the most of all hung, was finished, the Matron caused the cord to be laid away, and willed her aged son to declare her resolution to the restMagistræ filius. of the prisoners, who thus spoke unto them.

         Ye children dear
         All present here,
What is but now compleat and done
Was long before resolved on;
Whate’er my mother of great grace
To each on both sides here hath shown;
May never discontent misplace!
The joyful time is drawing on p. 106
When every one shall equal be--
None wealthy, none in penury.
Whoe’er received great commands
Hath work enough to fill his hands
Whoe’er with much hath trusted been,
’Tis well if he may save his skin;
Wherefore, your lamentations cease,
What is’t to waite for some few dayes?

The cover was now again put to and locked, the trumpets and kettle-drums began afresh, yet the bitter lamentation of the prisoners was heard above all, and soon caused my eyes to run over. Presently the Antient Matron, together with her son, sate down, and commanded the Redeemed Magistra recens et evectos.should be told. As soon as she had written down their number in a gold-yellow tablet, she demanded everyone's Secretarusname; this was also written down by a little page. Having viewed us all, she sighed, and said to her son--"Ah, how hardly am I grieved for the poor men in the dungeon! I would to God I durst release them all." Whereunto her Cur non omnes evecti.son replied--"Mother, it is thus ordained by God, against Whom we may not contend. In case we all of us were lords, and were seated at table, who would there be to bring up the service!" At this his mother held her peace, but soon after she said--"Well, let these be freed from their fetters," which was presently done, and I, though among the last, Gratitudo auctoris evecti.could not refrain, hut bowed myself before the Antient Matron, thanking God that through her had graciously vouchsafed to bring me out of darkness into light. The rest did likewise to the satisfaction of the matron. Lastly, Nummus every one was given a piece of gold for a remembrance, and to spend by the way. On the one side thereof was
stamped the rising sun; on the other these three letters Deus Lux solis, vel Deo laus semper.D L S; therewith all had license to depart to his own business, with this intimation, that we to the glory of God 

p. 107

should benefit our neighbours, and reserve in silence what we had been intrusted with, which we promised to do, and departed oneMandatum Taciturnitatis. from another. Because of the wounds the fetters had caused me, I could not well go forward, which the matron presently espying, calling me again to her side, said to me--"My son, Discessus autoris.let not this defect afflict thee, but call to mind thy infirmities, and thank God who hath permitted thee, even in this world, to come into so high a light. Keep these wounds for my sake." Vulnus ex compedibus.

Whereupon the trumpets began again to sound, which so affrighted me that I awoke, and perceived that it was onelyExperget actio. a dream, which yet was so impressed on my imagination that I was perpetually troubled about it, and methought I was still sensible of the wounds on my feet. By all these things I well understood that God had vouchsafed me to beSolatium. present at this mysterious and hidden Wedding, wherefore with childlike confidence I returned thanks to His Divine Majesty, and besought Him that He would preserve me inPrecatio. His fear, daily fill my heart with wisdom and understanding, and graciously conduct me to the desired end. Thereupon I prepared myself for the way, put on my whitePræparatio ad iter. linnen coat, girded my loyns, with a blood-red ribbon bound cross-ways over my shoulder. In my hat I stuck four red roses, that I might the sooner by this token be taken notice of amongst the throng. For food I took bread, salt, and water, which by the counsel of an understanding person I had at certain times used, not without profit, in the like occurrences. Before I parted from my cottage, I first, in this my wedding garment, fell down upon my knees, and besought God to vouchsafe me a good issue. I made a vow that if anything should by His Grace be Votum.revealed to me, I would imploy it neither to my own honour

p. 108

nor authority in the world, but to the spreading of His name, and the service of my neighbour. With this vow I departed out of my cell with joy.

Next: The Second Day