Simple Mineral Menstruums Made of the Matter of Philosophical Wine only
I. The Heaven, Essence, or Spirit of Wine of Lully, Described, Can. i. Dist. i. Lib. De Quinta Essentia.
Take Wine Red or White, the best that may be had, or at least take Wine that is not any way eager, neither too little nor too much thereof, and distil an Aqua ardens, as the custom is through Brass Pipes,and then rectify it four times for better purification. But I tell you it is enough to rectify it three times, and stop it close, that the burning Spirit may not exhale, because herein have many men erred, thinking it ought to be seven times rectified, But my Son, it is an infallible sign to you when you shall have seen that Sugar steeped in it, and being put to the flame burns away as Aqua ardens. Now having the water thus prepared, you have the matter out of which the Quintessence is to be made, which is one principal thing we intend to treat of in this Book. Take therefore that, and put it in a circulating Vessel, or in a Pelican, which is called the Vessel of Hermes, and stop the hole very close with Olibanum or mastick being soft, or quick Lime mixed with the White of
Eggs, and put it in Dung, which is naturally most hot, or the remaining of a Wine-Press, in which no heat must be by, accident diminished, which you may do, my Son, if you put a great quantity of which you please of those things at a corner of the House, which quantity must be about thirty Load: This ought to be, that the Vessel may not want heat, because should heat be wanting, the circulation of the water would be impaired, and that which we seek for uneffected ; but if a continual heat be administered to it by continual circulations , our Quintessence will be separated in the colour of Heaven, which may be seen by a diametrical Line, which divides the upper part, that is the Quintessence, from the lower, namely, from the Faeces, which are of a muddy colour. Circulation being continued many days together in a circulating Vessel, or in the Vessel of Hermes, the Hole, which you stoppered with the said Matter, must be opened, and if a wonderful Scent go out, so as that no fragrancy of the world can be compared to it; insomuch as putting the Vessel to a corner of the House, it can, by an invisible Miracle draw all that pass in, to it; or the Vessel being put upon a Tower, draws all Birds within the reach of its Scent, so as to cause them to stand about it. Then will you have, my Son, our Quintessence which is otherwise called Vegetable Mercury at your will, to apply in the Magistery of the transmutation of Metals: But if you find not the influx of Attraction, stop the Vessel again, as before; and put it in the place before appointed, and then let it stand till you attain to the aforefaid Sign. But this Quintessence thus glorified. will not have that Scent, except a Body be dissolved in it, nor have that heat in your mouth as Aqua ardens.
This is indeed by the Philosophers called the Key of the whole Art of Philosophy, and as well Heaven, as, our Quintessence, which arrives to so great a sublimity, that either with it by itself alone, or with the earthly. Stars (Metals) the Operator of this work may do miracles upon the Earth.
The twenty four following Kinds of Menstruums will prove, that amongst the Dissolvents of the Adepts, no one is made witbout tke Vegetable Mercury, or Spirit of Philosophical Wine ; for it is the foundation, beginning and end of them all: Yea it is according to the various and distinct degrees of its strength, sometimes the least, sometimes the greatest of all the Menstrumms. It is the least and weakest when it does by its simplest Unctuosity dissolve only the unctuousous or oily parts of vegetabIes, but either reject or leave untouched the Remainder being left oily and heterogeneous to itself: it becomes the strongest when we temper its Unctuosity with Arids, (that is, dry things, not Oily) for so it is made homogenous to things dry-oily, and to things merely dry. In respect of which Homogenity, the Menstruums of the Adepts differ from the common, because they do so by reason of the said Homogeneity, remain with the things dissolved inseparably; yea, are augmented by them, but not with the least saturation, transmuted and melted into a third substance, and so cannot part without the diminution or destruction of their former Virtues. The permanent Homogeneity of Menstruums with things to be dissolved, is the reason Essences are made with simple Vegetable Menstruums, but Magisteries with the same compounded, and so these operate more strongly, those more weakly. This is it, to comprehend all in a word, which shews us the various kinds of Menstruums distinct one from another in so many several degrees, now to be described and illustrated by our Annotations.
But that you may more easily understand the following Recipes, and me also, I thought it necessary to preadmonish some certain things concerning the Nature and Property of this Spirit of Wine, least you should judge amiss of a thing not sufficently understood.
First, you are not to take the Spirit of common wine, though never so much rectified, for the Philosophical Spirit of Wine; for so the following Recipes of all Menstruums would be erroneous and seducing.
Having occasion (says Zacharias) for a most excellent Aqua Vitae for the dissolving of a mark or half a pound of Gold, we bought a large Vessel of the best Wine, out of which we did by a Pelican obtain great plenty of Aqua vitae, which was often
rectified in many Glass-Vessels bought for that end: then we put one Mark of our Gold, being before calcined a whole month,and four Marks of Aqua vitae into two Glass-Vessels, one Retort entering into the other, being sealed, and both placed in two great round Furnaces: we bought also Coals to the value thirty Crowns at one time, to continue Fire under it for the space indeed of a whole Year. We might have kept Fire for ever before a congelation would have been made in the bottom of the Vessels, as the Recipes promised, no solution preceding; for we did not operate upon a due matter, nor was that the true water of Solution, which ought to dissolve our Gold, as appeared by experience, pag. 783. vol I, Th. Chym. Ripley admonishes, us of the same thing, who says, Some think that this Fire (this Fiery Spirit of Philosophical Wine) is drawn from Wine according to the common way, and that it is rectified by distillations often repeated, till its watery Phlegm, which impedes the power of its Igneity, be wholly taken from it. But when such a sort of Water (which Fools call Pure Spirit) though a hundred times rectified, be cast upon the Calxes of any Body, be it never so well prepared, we do nevertheless see, that it is found weak and insufficient as to the act of dissolving a Body, with the preservation of its Form and Species, Cap. 2.suae Medul. Phil. Common Wine (says he, a little lower) is hot but there is another sort much hotter, whose whole substance is by reason of its aerity most easily kindled by Fire, and the Tartar of this unctuous Humor is thick; for so says Raymund: That Tartar is blacker than the Tartar from the black Grapes of Catalonia ; whereupon it is called Nigrum nigrius Nigro; that is, Black blacker than Black: and this humidity being unctuous, does, therefore better agree with the Unctuosity of Metals, than the Spirit extracted from common Wine, because by its liquefactive virtue Metals are dissolved into Water; which operation the Spirit of (Common) Wine cannot perform; which, howsoever strong, is nothing else but clear water mixed with a kind of Phlegmatick Water, where on the contrary, in this our Unctuous Spirit disstilled, there is no Phlegmatick aquosity found at all. But this thing being rare in our Parts, as well as other Countries, Guido Montanor therefore the Grecian Philosopher found out another unctuous humidity, which swims upon
other Liquors, which humidity proceeds from Wine, to the knowledge hereof attained Raymond, Arnold and some other Philosophers, but how it might be obtained, said not.
O tortas adeo mentes! assuetaque salli
Artisum vario rerum per inania dustu
Pectora! cum duris quid mollia vina metallis?
Apta epulis, atque. apta bibi suavissima vina?
Hic tamen expressam proelis torquntibns uvam
Accipit & phialae postrema in paarte reponit,
Cujus in extremo rostrum connectitur ore,
Thus facetionsly sings the Poet and Adept Augerellus, Lib 2. Chrys pag. 206. Vol3. Th. Chym.
2. That you take not any oil though a hundred times rectified, instead of the Spirit of Philosophical Wine; for all oily matters, whether distilled or expressed, natural or artificial, alone, but much more mixed with other things, as Alkalies, Acids etc, do by distilling, digestive, etc in Bath, Dung, Vapour etc, become thick, pitchy, yea at length dry, insipid, black as coal, and sometimes like a tile, capable of being made red hot; which is a manifest sign, that they want rather a Dissolvent, than are themselves Dissolvents.
3. It is necessary to observe that the Spirit of Philosophical Wine appears in two forms, either like an oil swimming upon all Liquors, or like the Spirit of Common Wine (to the Nature of which it comes sometimes nearer, and therefore, from the analogy borrows its name) not swimming upon watery Liquors, but mixible with them and its own Phlegm; yet separable by simple Distillation, it easily by this means leaving its Phlegms behind it; but if being rectified, and kindled, it burns wholly away, it affords us the common sign of perfect rectification of the common Spirit, but however, they are not two, but one only Spirit, differing in degree of purity and subtlety. Which to prove is not necessary, examples being obvious to us in almost every Description of the Vegetable Menstruums.
4. Lastly, Distinction must be made between the first and second Spirit of Philosophical Wine, Father and Son. The first doth in
its preparation require Laborem Sophia, the most secret, difficult and dangerous work of all true Chymistry. The second is easily made with the former Spirit according to the Rule of perfect Chymistry: An Essence makes an Essence, a Magistery a Magistery. Differ they do in Order, not in Nature; the are both of one Virtue, though of different preparation: for this, as has been lately said, is of a more easy, that of a more difficult preparation. Essences they are both, the former artificial, the other natural, in Medicines therefore unequal, though alike in Chymistry, as Menstruums, but they are easily distinguished one from the other by their Epithets. The first has, these more general Names in the Latine Tongue , Essentia Vini, Alcool Vini, Mercurius Vini, Vinurn Vitae, Vinum Salutis, Aqua Vitae, Aqui ardens, Vinum adustum, Vinum sublimatum &c Examples of which you will have in these and the like Recipes: Take beaten Gold, and let it be resolved into Liquor by the Essence of Wine; Paracels. in Descript. Aurl Diaphoret. Lib. 3. de male curatis. Take Flints,and dissolve them in the Essence of Wine, as Salt in Water, &c. Paracels. in Descript. Essentiae Filicium cap. 18. de Morbis Tartar. Pg. 327. Take the Crocus of Sal, and the Alcool of Wine, corrected, &c. Paracels. in Tinct, Croci Solis, lib de preparat. pag, 81. The Alcool of Wine exiccated or corrected is, says Paracelsus, when the Superfluity of the Wine is taken away, and the Vinum ardens remains dry and dephlegmed, without fatness, leaving no Faeces in the Vessel, pag. 507. But as to this, you will have many more Examples, especially in the following Book of Medicines.
The Second Spirit of Philosophical Wine has its Sirnames annexed to these more general names, indicating the radix of its Original, of which, the following Receipts may be for Examples. Take the Leaves of Sol four scruples, of the Alcool of Wine drawn from a Pine, from Balm, ana. &c. Paracels. in descript. Balsami Solis, pag.90. Chyr. major. The Extraction of Mummy is made by mixing it with the Essence of Wine drawn from Celandine, &c. Parac. in descript. Tincturae Mummiae, cap. 10. Lib. 3. de vitalong. pag.65. Take the Essence of Wine drawn from Celandine, Mercury of Saturn, &,c. Paracels. Lib. 8. cap. 10. de Tumoribus, Pustultis, &c. Pag. 138. Cbyr. major. In these and the like Recipes he does by the Alcool of Wine, drawn from the Pine, Balm, Celandine, &c. mean the Second Spirit of Philosophical Wine, or tbe Essence of those things made with the former Spirit, which also is
proved out of the fifth chapter of the third Book of long Life, pag. 63. Where Paracelsus calls the Essences of Herbs the Elixir of Life, or the Wine of Health, made from this or that Herb : which (he says) will be manifested in the example of Balm. Digest Balm (with the first Spirit of Philosophical Wine) a Philosophical Month in an Athanor: then separate so, as that the duplicated Elements may appear apart, and the Quintessence, which is the Elixir of Life, will presently shew itself; in Nepitha sharp, in Lolium yellow, in Tincium blackish, in Lupulus thin and white, in cuscuta harsh, in others likewise to be judged according to the Prescript of Experience. Moreover that Spirit being extracted and separated from the other, behold the Wine of Health, (Essence of Balm) in which the Pseudo-Philosophers have earnestly laboured some Ages, yet never acquired any thing. And a good part of them that followed Raymund intending to follow him according to the Letter, understanding Wine red or white) emptied some Butts of Wine in extracting the Quintessence of Wine; but found nothing at all but burnt Wine, which they unhappily used for the Spirit of Wine: Sufficent it is to have thus admonished the Spagyricist, which way the Quintessence may be had in Herbs.
This twofold, the first as well as second Spirit of Wine may be made not only out of the Vegetable, but the Animal Kingdom also: So is it read of the Aqua Vitae and
Phlegm of the Wine of Urine, in tbe 16th Experiment of Lully, and in Paramiro Paracelsi, pag. 57. Many have diligently laboured to find in man his own Health, Aqua vitae,
Lapis Philosophorum, Arcanam, Balsamum, Aurum potabile, and the like. Which they did rightly; for all those things are in him, as also in the external world. So also has he
a description of the Liquor of Flesh, pg.505. Take of the Liquor of Flesh six ounces, of Mummy, &c. Here by Liquor, he means the Wine of Flesh, which is proved by Paracelsus himself; saying, Where and according to this it is to be noted, that the Wine of Balm is a Secret In an Asthma : Here also it is to be
Observed, that by Pulmonaria, not the Herb, but the Liquor,
that is, the Wine of it has a place in this Cure: In whicb words,
the Liquor and Wine of Pulmonaria are synonomous. So in Lib.
8. de Tumoribus, cap. 3. By the Liquuor of Hermodactils. And cap. 9. By the Liquor of Balm; and lib. 9. cap. 4. By the Liquor
Parthenion, And cap. 5. By the Liquor of Bdellium, &c. The Wines or Essences of them all ought to he understood. Though neither the first nor second Spirit can be produced out of tbe dry Kingdom of Minerals (there are indeed some purely Oyly, as Oleum Petrae, Naplithae, Carbonum sostilium, Succini, Agathis, &c. which are reputed members of, this Kingdom, the Oleocity of which notwithstanding differs so little (from the Unctuosity of Vegetables and Animals, that scarce deserve to be called Subjects thereof)yet for the same reason that the Essences and Liquors of Vegetables are called Wines, is an Essence of the Mineral Kingdom, sometimes also called the Liquor and Wine of Minerals; so the Liquor or Essence of Vitriol of copper is called Wine of the first Metal, Cap. 12. Lib. 3. de Vita longa. pag. 65.
Being now instructed by the light of these Premises, let us come nearer to the Spirit of Wine of Lully, which we shall find like an
oyl swimming upon its Phlegms, deduced not from the Common, but Philosophical Aqua vitae hy Circulation: But all other Essences
being made by the help of some certain Essence, this first Essence of
Wine alone must by its own virtues emerge itself out of its own
faeculencies and impurities: In this respect the making of Philosophical Wine (red or white) engenders tbe work of all the most secret
Chymistry most difficult and abtruse; of which we shall by the Blessing of God) clearly and truly treat in a particular Book; namely,
our Fifth. Our purpose at present is to prosecute the Use of this
Wine in the making of Menstruums where we find Aqua Vitae the
first and weakest of all Menstruums, which, being by circulation alone reduced into an Oyl, is made much more excellent than before.
Lully's Receipt is clear enough; yet however we thought it advisable to confirm at least, if not illustrate it with the Receipts of other
Adepts. Johannes de Rupescissa, a Scholar of Lully, had so
great an esteem for the first Distinction of his Master's Book of
Essence, that he made it his own with a little alteration: He
hath described the Spirit of Philosophical Wine after this manner.
2. The Essence, Soul or Spirit of Wine of Johannes de Rupescissa, described Chap 5. of his Book de Quintessentia.
Repute me not a Liar, in calling Aqua ardens a Quintessence and saying that none of the modern Philosophers and Physicians have attained to it, Aqua ardens being commonly found every where; for I spoke true of a certain: for the Magistery of a Quintessence is a thing occult, and I have not seen above one, and him a most approved Divine, that understood any thing of the Secret and Magistery of it: And I affirm for a truth, that the Quintessence is Aqua ardens, and is Aqua ardens. And may the God of Heaven put prudence in the heart of Evangelical Men, for whom I compose this Book, not to communicate this Venerable Secret of God to the Reprobates : Behold now I open the Truth to you Take not Wine too watry, nor Wine that is black, earthy, insipid, but noble, pleasant, savoury, and odoriferous, Wine, the best that can be found, and distill it through cooling pipes so oft, till you have made the best Aqua ardens you can; that is, you diftill it from three to seven times; and this is the Aqua ardens which the modern Physicians have not acquired. This water is the Matter out of which the Quintessence which we intend principally in this Book, is extracted: because when you have your noble water, you must cause such a Distillatory to be made in a Glass-makers Furnace, all entire of one piece, with one only hole above, by which the water must be put in and drawn out; for then you shall see the Instrument so completly formed, that, that which by the virtue of Fire ascends, and is distilled into the Vessel through the Pipes, may be again carried back, in order to ascend again, and again descend continually day and night, till the Aqua ardens be by the will of God above, converted into a Quintessence; and the understanding of the Operation is in this; because the best Aqua ardens that can be made, has yet a material mixture ot the four Elements; therefore it is by God ordained, that the Quintessence which we seek for, should be by continual Ascensions and Descensions
separated from the corruptible composition of the four Elements; and this is done, because that which is a second time or other sublimed is more pure and glorifiedd, and separated from the corruption of the four Elements, than when it ascends only one time, and so to a thousand times, and that which is by continual ascent and descent sublimed, comes at length to so great an altitude of Glorification, as to be almost an incorruptible Compound, as Heaven itself and of the Nature of Heaven; it is therefore called Quintessence, because it is in reference to our Body as the Heavens in respect to the whole World; almost after the same manner, so far as Art can imitate Nature, in a near and connatural similitude.
Circular Distillation therefore being for many days made in a Vessel of Circulation, you must open the hole which is in the
head of the Vessel, which is indeed suppos'd to have been sealed with a Seal made of Lutum Sapientae, compounded of the finest flour and the White of an Egg, and of wet Paper
most carefully picked and mixed, to prevent the least exhaling. And having opened the Hole, if the Odour (which ought to be super admirable, above all the Fragrances of the world) which shall seem to have descended as it were from the sublime Throne of the most glorious God, be so great, that setting the Vessel in a corner of a house, it shall by an invisible force with the
fragrancy of the Quintessence (which is wonderful and highly miraculous) attract to itself all people that enter in; then have
you the Quintessence which you heard of; to which none of the
modern Philosophers and Physicians (except him that I excepted before) have so far as I have been able to understand, attained. But if you find not the Odour and Influence of attracting men, as I said, seal the Vessel as before, and bring it to the heat above described, in order to compass your desire by Sublimations and Circulations; namely, in finding out this Quintessence so glorified, into an Odour of inestimable fragrancy and favour glorified to a wonder, and the influx of attraction before expressed; and not only so as to yield a wonderful Scent, but also to raise itself more fully to a kind of incorruptibility :, it hath not that heat in your mouth which Aqua ardens has, nor that moistness, that is, such an Aqueity flowing, because the acute heat of the Aqua ardens; and its watery moistness is by
Sublimations and Circulations wholly consumed, and the Terreity will remain apart in the bottom. And the Heaven as well as Stars, of which this our Quintessence is compounded both as to Matter and Form, are not as that which is compounded of the four Elements; but there is but little of it glorified so much even to the highest, filled with so noble a form, that the power of Matter cannot aspire to any other Form, and so remains uncorrupted, till the Composition be destroyed by command of the Creator: Nor is the Quintessence which we seek, altogether reduced to the incorruption of Heaven; as neither is Art equal to Nature: yet notwithstanding it is inorruptible in respect of the Composition made of the four Elements, because should it be altogether incorruptible, as Heaven, it would absolutely perpetuate our Body; which the Author of Nature, the Lord Jesus Christ forbids. Now have I opened to you much of the Secret, to the Glory of the immortal God.
Paracelsus extracts his Essence of Philosophical Wine not out of Aqua ardens, but out of Philosophical Wine itself: Thus:
3. The Spirit of Wine of Paracelsus: Described, Chap.9. of the Third Book of Long Life, pag.64.
Your Wine being poured into a Pelican, digest in Horsedung, and that the space of two Months continually, You will see it so thin and pure, that a Fatness, which is the Spirit of Wine, will of itself appear in the superficies. Whatsoever is under this is Phlegm without any nature of Wine, but the Fatness alone being put into a Phial, and digested by itself, is of most excellent energy for long Life.
Guido used the following method, little differing from the Paracelsian.
4. The Essence of Wine according to Guido,
Described, Pag. I. Thesaur. Chym.
Take White or Red Wine, which is better, distil by Balneo till the Matter remain in the consistency of Honey, which being divided into two parts in a duplicated Cucurbit, mixt with the distilled Liquor, and join together again, and after the digestion of six weeks, a green Oyl will swim upon the Matter; which separate through a Funnel.
From the Receipts, we think these Things following worthy of Observation.
I. That the Wine, Red or White, is not Common, but Philosophical, and that is the only thing that is obscure in these four Books; to be understood not according to the letter, but by Analogy: but Aqua ardens, Aqua vitae, Spirit.or Essence of a Philosophical Wine are the proper Names of it.
2. That the Aqua ardens of Philosophical Wine does in some things agree with the Properties of Common Spirit of Wine; namely, it goes before its Phlegm in distillation: it is rectified as the Common from its Phlegm. Lastly, being rectified, it is known by burning Linnen, Sugar, &c.
3. That this Aqua ardens does by Circulation daily lose its moisture and sharpness; and is at length converted into a swimming Oil, the Essence and Spirit of Philolophical Wine. But who ever reduced Common Spirit of Wine, or Aqua Vitis, by bare Circulation into an Oil? Who, I say, has by continual Circulation brought tbat Oil to Dryness; so as to be sublimeable as a volatile Salt, and that not but by a strong Fire, as Isaacus affirms himself to have experienced, in the Description of his Vegetable Stone? Of which lower in the Third Book.
4. That the Oil, or Essence of Wine may be divers ways made out of Philosophical Wine.
5. That not only the Time, but also, the Scent, Colour, &c. of the Essence are varied according to the variety of Method: The Essence of Lully is like Heaven, that is, of
a Sky-colour; the Oil of Guido is green.
6. That it has not a Scent so fragrant, unless it has a Body (especially a Metallick or Mineral) dissolved in it.
7. That this Heaven, the first of all Menstruums, is also a Medicine; and is called the Essence or Specific to a long Life.
8. That it is called Heaven for several Reasons, by Lully.
First, Because it works Contraries, like Heaven. Our Vegetable Menstruum, says Lully, the Celestial Animal, which is called Quintessence, preserves Flesh from corruption, comforts things elemented, restores former Youth, vivifies the Spirit, digests the crude, hardens the soft, rarifies the hard, fattens the lean, wasteth the fat, cools the hot, hcats the cold , dries the moist, moistens also the dry: One and the same thing do contrary operations. The Act of one thing is diversified according to the nature of the Receiver; as the heat of the Sun which has contrary operations; as in drying Clay, and melting Wax; yet the Act of the Sun is one in itself, and not contrary to Itself.
Secondly, Because like Heaven it receives the Forms of all Things. As the universal Form (the Macrocosmical Heaven) has an appetite to every Form, so the Quintessence (of Philosophical Wine) to every Complexion; whereby it is evidently manifest, that the Quintessence of things is said to be of that complexion to which it is adjoined; if joined to hot, hot; if to cold, cold, &c, This therefore the Philosophers called Heaven because as Heaven affords us sometimes heat, sometimes moisture, &c. so the Quintessence in mens Bodies at the Artist's pleasure, &c. Distinct. I. Lib. Essentiae. To this Heaven we apply its Stars; which are Plants, Stones and Metals, to communicate to us Life and Health, lbid.
Thirdly, Because like Heaven, it moves all things from power to act. Therefore Heaven or our Mercury is the Cause and Principle moving C (C) (Metal) from power to act: And
in this point knows the understanding of an Artist, that D (our Heaven) has action upon C, and (C) ruling and governing and reducing it into action; as Heaven brings that
which is in Elemental things, by its own motion into action, For we call it Heaven, by reason of its motion; because as the upper Heaven moves the universal Form, and first
Matter, and Elements, and Senses, to compound Elemented Individuals; for
D moves C, and (C) and the four Elements to M (the sulphur of Nature, or Philosophical Mercury) or to Q (The Tincture) Distinct 3. de quarto principia Libri Essentiae.
4. Because like Heaven it is incorruptible. Aqua vitae is the Soul and Life of Bodies, by which our Stone is vivified; therefore we call it Heaven, and Quintessence, and incombustible Oil and by its infinite other Names, because it is incorruptible almost, as Heaven, in the continual circulation of its motion pag. 145. Elucid.Testam.
5. Because it is of the colour and clarity of Heaven. Heaven or our Mercury is the fourth Principle in this Art, and is signified by D, of an azure colour and line, and is signified by that colour because it is celestial, and of a celestial Nature, as we said before in the description of it, Dist. 3. Lib. Essentiae.,
This Essence Johannes de Rupescissa calls Humane Heaven, for the following Reasons:
We ought to seek that thing which is to the four Qualities of which our Body is compounded, as is Heaven in respect of the four Elements: Now the Philosophers called
Heaven Quintessence in respect of the four Elements because Heaven is in itself incorruptible and immutable, and not receiving strange impressions, but by the command of
God; so also, the thing which we seek, is in respect of the four Qualities of our Body, a Quintessence, in itself incorruptible so made, not hot dry with Fire, nor moist
cold with Water, nor hot moist with Air, nor cold dry with Earth; but is it a Quintessence able to work Contraries, as the incorruptible Heaven; which, when it Is necessary,
infuses a moist Quality, sometimes a hot, sometimes a cold, sometimes a dry: Such a Radix of Life is the Quintessence, which the most High created in Nature, with power to
supply the necessity of the Body to the utmost term which God has appointed to our Life: And I said that the rnost High created the Quintessence, which is by the Art of man
extracted from the Body of Nature, created by God: And I will name it by its three Names attributed to it by the Philosophers: It is called Aqua ardens, Anima, or Spiritus Vini, and Aqua Vitae. And when you have a mind to conceal it, call it
it Quintessence; because this is its Nature, and this is its Name, the greatest Philosophers have been willing to disclose to no man, but caused the Truth to be buried with them: And that it is not moist as the Element of Water, is demonstrated , because it burns; which is a thing repugnant to Elementary Water. That it is not hot and moist as Air is declared, because dry Air may be corrupted with every thing, as appears in the generation of Spiders but that remains always corruptif it be kept expiring. That it is not dry and cold as Earth, is expressly manifest, because it be exceeding sharp and heats extremely: And that it is not hot and dry as Fire is apparent to the eye, because it infrigidates hot things, and wastes and eradicates hot diseases. That it conduceth to incorruptability, and preserves from corruptibility, I will demonstrate by an Experiment; for if any Bird whatsoever, or piece of Flesh, or Fish be put into it, it will not be corrupted so long as it shall continue therein; how much rnore will it therefore keep the animated and living Flesh of our Body from all corruption? This Quintessence is the humane Heaven, which the most High created for the preservation of the four Qualities of mans Body as Heaven for the preservation of the whole Universe. And know of a certain, that the modern Philosophers and Physicians are altogether ignorant of this Quintessence, and of the truth and virtue thereof: But by the help of God I will hereafter declare to you the Magistery of it. And hitherto I have taught you a Secret, the Quintessence, that is the humane Heaven, Cap. 2. Lib. Essentiae.
9. Lastly, That many Receipts more obscure, and otherwise intelligible by no man, are by these illustrated.