Flammel's Hieroglyphics Chapter VI

From His Exposition of the Hieroglyphicall Figures which he caused to bee painted upon an Arch in St. Innocents Church-yard, in Paris. London, 1624.
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CHAPTER VI

Upon a green field, three resuscitants, or which rise again, two men and one woman, altogether white: Two Angels beneath, and over the Angels the figure of our Saviour coming to judge the world, clothed with a robe which is perfectly Citrine white.

I have so made to be painted for thee a field vert, because that in this decoction the confections become green, and keep this colour longer than any other after the black. This greenness shows particularly that our Stone hath a vegetable soul, and that by the Industry of Art it is turned into a true and pure tree, to bud abundantly, and afterwards to bring forth infinite little sprigs and branches. O happy green (saith the Rosary) which doest produce all things, without thee nothing can increase, vegetate, nor multiply. The three folk rising again, clothed in sparkling white, represent the body, soul, and Spirit of our white Stone.

The philosophers do ordinarily use these terms of Art to hide the secret from evil men. They call the Body that black earth, obscure and dark, which we make white: They call the Soul the other half divided from the Body, which by the will of God, and power of nature, gives to the body by his inbibitions and fermentations a vegetable soul, that is to say, power and vertue to bud, encrease, multiply, and to become white, as a naked shining sword: They call the Spirit, the tincture & dryness, which as a Spirit hath power to pierce all Metallic things. I should be too tedious, if I should show thee how good reason they had to say always and in all places, Our Stone hath semblably to a man, a Body, Soul, and Spirit. I would only that thou note well, that as a man indued with a Body, Soul and Spirit, is notwithstanding but one, so likewise thou hast now but one only white confection, in the which nevertheless there are a Body, a Soul, and a Spirit, which are inseparably united.

I could easily give very clear comparisons and expositions of this Body, Soul, and Spirit; but to explicate them, I must of necessity speak things which God reserves to reveal unto them that fear and love him, and consequently ought not to be written. I have then made to be painted here, a Body, a Soul, and a Spirit, all white, as if they were rising again, to show thee, that the Sun and Moon and Mercury are raised again in this operation, that is to say, are made Elements of air, and whitened: for we have heretofore called the blackness, Death; and so continuing the Metaphor, we may call Whiteness, Life; which commeth not, but with, and by a Resurrection. The Body, to show this more plainly, I have made to be painted lifting up the stone of his tomb, wherein it was inclosed: The Soul, because it cannot be put into the earth, it comes not out of a tomb, but only I have made it be painted amongst the tombs, seeking its body, in form of a woman, having her hair dischevelled; The Spirit which likewise cannot be put in a grave, I have made to be painted in fashion of a man coming out of the earth, not from a Tomb. They are all white; so the blackness, that is death, is vanquished, and they being whitened, are from henceforward incorruptible.

Now lift up thine eyes on high, and see our King coming, crowned and raised again, which hath overcome Death, the darknesses, and moistures; behold him in the form wherein our Saviour shall come, who shall eternally unite unto him all pure and clean souls, and will drive away all impurity and uncleanness, as being unworthy to be united to his divine Bidy. So by comparison (but first asking leave of the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church, to speak in this manner, and praying every debonaire soul to permit me to use this similitude) see here our white Exilir, which from henceforward will inseparably unite unto himself every pure metallic nature, changing it into his own most fine silvery nature, rejecting all that is impure, strange, and Heterogeneal, or of another kind. Blessed be God, which of his goodness gives us grace to be able to consider this sparkling white, more perfect and shining than any compound nature, and more noble next after the immortal soul, than any substance having life, or not having life; for it is a quintessence, a most pure silver, that hath passed the Coppell, and is seven times refined, saith the royal Prophet David.

It is not needful to inperpret what the two Angels signify, that play on Instruments over the heads of them which are raised again: These are rather divine spirits, singing the mervails of God in this miraculous operation, than Angels that call to judgement. To make an express difference between these and them, I have given the one of them a Lute, the other a haultboy, but none of them trumpets, which yet are wont to be given to them that are to call us to Judgement. The like may be said of the three Angels, which are over the head of our Saviour, whereof the one crowneth him, and the other two assisting, say in their Rowles, O PATER OMNIPOTENS, O JESU BONE, that is, O Almighty Father, O good Jesu, in rendering unto him eternal thanks.


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