Triumphal Chariot of Antimony
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Pages (PDF): 127
Publication Date: 1678
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Basil Valentine was allegedly a 15th-century alchemist. Here he describes the preparation of Antimony, which, in the form of its natural sulfide, was known to the ancients and was used by them as a cosmetic and as a medicine.
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Since, Basil Valentine, by Religious Vows am bound according to the Order of St. Benedict, and that requires another manner of Spirit of Holiness, then the common State of Mortals exercised in the prophane business of this World; I thought it my duty before all things, in the beginning of this little Book, to declare what is necessary to be known to the pious Spagyrist, inflamed with an ardent desire of this Art; as, what he ought to do, and whereunto to direct his aim, that he may lay such Foundations of the whole matter, as may be stable; lest his Building shaken with Winds, happen to fail, and the whole Edifice to be involved in shameful Ruine, which otherwise, being founded on more firm and solid Principles, might have continued for a long series of time. Which Admonition I judged was, is, and always will be a necessary part of my Religious Office; especially, since we must all die, and no one of us, which now are, whether high or low, shall long be seen among the number of Men. For it concerns me to commend these Meditations of Mortality and Posterity, leaving them behind me, not only that honour may be given to the Divine Majesty, but also that Men may obey him sincerely in all things.
In this Meditation I found that there were five principal Heads, chiefly to be considered by the wise and prudent Spectators of our Wisdom and Art. This first of which is, Invocation of GOD. the second, Contemplation of Nature. The third, True Preparation. The fourth, The Way of Using. The fifth, Utility and Fruit. For he, who regards not these, shall never obtain place among true Chymists, or fill up the number of perfect Spagyrists. Therefore touching these five Heads we shall here following treat, and so far declare them, as that the general Work may be brought to light and perfected by an intent and studious Operation.
1. [GOD TO BE FIRST INVOKED]
Invocation of GOD must be made with a certain Heavenly Intention, drawn from the bottom of a pure and sincere Heart, and Conscience, free from all Ambition, Hypocrisy, and all other Vices, which have any affinity with these, as Arrogance, Boldness, Pride, Luxury, Mundane Petulancy, Oppression of the Poor, and other dependent evils, all which are to be eradicated out of the Heart; that when a Man desires to prostrate himself before the Throne of Grace, for obtaining bodily health, he may do that with a Conscience free from all unprofitable Weeds, that his Body may be transmuted into an Holy Temple of GOD, and be purged from every uncleaness. For GOD will not be mocked (which I earnestly admonish) as Worldly Men, pleasing and flattering themselves with their own Wisdom, think: GOD, I say, will not be mocked, but the Creator of all things will be invoked with reverential fear, and acknowledged with due Obedience. And for this there is great Reason. For what hath Man, that he must not own to be received from this his Omnipotent Creator, whether you have respect to the Body, or to the Soul, which operates the Body? Hath no he, for sustention of this, out of his meer Mercy communicated to us his Eternal WORD, and also promised Eternal Salvation? Hath not he also provided food and cloathing for the Body, and all those things without which the Body cannot subsist? All these, by humble Prayer a Man obtains of that most excellent Father, who created Heaven and Earth, together with things Visible and Invisible, as the Firmament, Elements, Vegetables, and Animals. Which is so very true, that I am certainly assured, no Impious Man shall ever be partaker of true Medicine, much less of the Eternal Heavenly Bread. Therefore place your whole Intention and Trust in GOD, call upon him and pray, that he may impart his blessing to you: let this be the beginning of your work, that by the same you may obtain your desired end, and at length effect what you intended.
For the Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom.
Whosoever purposeth in himself to seek after that, which is the greatest of Terrene things, especially the knowledge of every good thing, that is in the Creatures, and GOD hath liberally imparted to Men, and implanted (as to their effective power) in Stones, Herbs, Roots, Seeds, Animals, Plants, Minerals, Metals, yea and indeed in all things; let him cast away all Earthly thoughts, reject all that depends on them, and hope for freeness of Heart, and pray unto GOD with great lowlyness of mind: So doing, his hope of freeness may at length be turned into freedom. Which no Man will doubt, who knows, that he alone is GOD, who delivered Israel from all his Enemies; which deliverance he did in very deed effect, not only for Israel, but also for all Men making humble supplications to him, and praying with brokenness of Heart. Therefore let Prayer by the first point of our Admonition, which also is, and by us is called Invokation of GOD, which if made, not with Hypocrisy and a feigned Heart, but with such Faith and Trust, as that, with which the Centurion in Capernaum prayed; with such lowlines of mind, and confession of Sins, as the Woman of Canaan was endued with; with such Charity as the Samaritan shewed to the Man wounded in the way to Jericho, pouring Wine and Oyl into his wounds, paying his Charges in the Inn, and giving order he should be very carefully looked to; Lastly, if a Man’s Christian Charity extends itself so far, as if he obtain what he prays for, he would willingly communicate of the same to his Neighbour, then he shall unobtainably obtain Riches and Health, the of his Prayer.
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