Letters 21-30 of Sendivogius

Letters 1-10 . Letters 11 - 20 . Letters 31-40 . Letters 41-55.

Epistle 21.

The first great Difference is in Diversity of Sex, man and wife, in the said Families. For in the Family of Animals since God hath given them (atleast to the perfect Ones) a locomotive Faculty by Virtue of which they can come together and discharge their Office; God hath been willing to give to each Species peculiar Men and Women of the same Species. But to the Vegetables and Minerals, because the Species of these Families do want that same locomotive Faculty, so that they cannot come per se together and copulate. God hath given them one common Wife every where meeting them and equally fit for both Families and therefore she is like to nome of these Families, according to the Species but only according the Genus which to both Families is the nearest above them (proxime superius) namely the subalternate in respect of a Mixture. And this Wife or common Harlot is our Spiritus Universalis. Therefore as many primordial Seeds there are in every Region of the Elements and as many individua there are in the said two Families as many Men there are, but there is but one Woman common to all.
The second Difference consists in the Diversity of Offices of both Sexes which indeed is great in the said Families chiefly as to the common Function of Copulation. For the animals do copulate spontaneously by the impulse of Archeus without any other Artificial Industry, natural appetite being given them for that Purpose prompting them and most vigorously moving them to it. And therefore God hath given as well Men as Women suitable Industruments for Copulation and Generation. But the Vegetables though they seem in some Manner to do the like, when they permit the Seed of their ripe Fruits to fall into their everywhere, meeting Wife yet they do require Arts assistance to act well and surely.
The Minerals though in Respect of the primary Multiplication, they copulate without Arts Ministry, yea in Respect of the Second Multiplication (which chiefly concerns us at this Time) there is absolute necessity that the Hand and Managment of the Artist intervene. And therfore neither the said Minerals nor Vegetables have given them proper Instruments for Copulation or Generation. But the Woman hath from her Matrix Water and Earth for her Belly or Alexcum. There is also some difference in their particular Functions. But because its Knowledge makes nothing to our Purpose we will pass it by for Brevity's Sake and I shall pursue the Rest.

Brussels 21st June, 1646.

Epistle 22.

The third Difference is to be referred to the Disposition of the Universal Spirit and its Preparation which must go before Multiplication.
What concerns the primary Multiplication and its Terms there is no difficulty at all in. For there is not any other of the universal Spirit here required in order to the Effect of the three Terms besides the Degrees of its digestion mentioned before: because that in this Way of Multiplication it is common to all of the three Families, that in case the universal Spirit hath acquired a Sulphureous Digestion while he is assimilated with them and is turned into Seed. But if he remains in the Mercurial Degree that then a species is out of him multiplied, i.e., he is fermented and converted into a specific Individuum, according to the Quality and primordial Character of the seeds.
But as to the Effect of the secondary Multiplication and in Terms, the Preparation of the said universal Spirit is very discrepant in the said Families.
For in Animals, to have the Effect of the three Terms it requires another Digestion than the precedent Ones, viz: and Animal Digestion, which is done in the Bowels of the Animal. Therefore god hath laid upon them the necessity of Respiration by help of which the said universal Spirit is drawn and carried into the [Pridcordia]of the said Animal from the aereal Region where he abounds and there he is digested and recieves the odor of Form substantial. Afterwards a Portion of it is mixed with the animals Seeds and transmuted into it, for to have the Effect of the First Term. But to have the Effect of the second Term, it is mixed in the Bowels of the woman with her menstruous Humour into which it is also transmuted.
Lastly to obtain the Effect of the third Term it is mixed with the Aliments which he dissolves, and himself is in and with them transmuted and converted into Chylus then into Blood and at last into the very substance of the Animal. For the same Manner in the family of vegetables he requires a vegetable Digestion for the Effects of either Term, which Digestion is absolved in the Heart of the vegetable. Therefore God hath Created a Magnesiam in all Plants which vulgarly is called Medulla or the Heart which doth draw to himself out of the Earth the said universal Spirit where he always abounds being plentifully driven into it through the Pores of the Earth by the Daily and great Agitations of wind and Weather.
But in the minerals it requires other specific Preparation than an artificial Purgation and Separation of its magnesia for to gain the Effect of the first Term, but as to the second and third Term, he requires a precedent metallic Digestion.

Brussels, 26th June, 1646.

Epistle 23.

The fourth Difference consists in the Effect of the third Term which doth vary in the said Families. For in animals and vegetables, if it be referred to the first Act it doth augment the Quantity by Extraposition; because that the seed, as also the Blood and other such like Substances (which are rather Instruments of vital actions than Parts of the vivent or at least they are parts disparate) do not take their Increase as Cause of the Vivent.
But if it be referred to the second then the Quantity and Bulk is augmented by an inward Assumption and the intrinsic Quality or virtue is raised and more intensly.
In Minerals if it be referred to the first Term is doth also augment the Quantity and Bulk by Extraposition and yet the intrinsical Virtue is increased withal. But if it is referred to the Second it doth not augment the Quantity but rather diminishes, but the Quantity of intrinsic Virtue it doth exalt and extole. As to the Difference in Respect of the finish of Formation in the said Families the same is very great.
For in animals and Vegetables for the Effect of either Multiplication, the first and last Term are perfected by a single assimilation; because that which is fermented, acquires all the conditions and Parts of the fermenting Form, namely that of the Seed or of the Menstruum.
But the second Term doth not end in a simple assimilation because in this Term the fermented Thing acquires some other Condition, besides the form of the thing fermenting, viz; that of the Seed. For it cannot be said, that the seed of Man (and so in other Things) be the Man.
But in the Minerals either Term is perfected in the simple assimilations, because the Ferment viz: the Seed hath actual formal Condition which it doth impress in the thing fermented; for this Reason because that all homogeneous Substances (such almost all the minerals and chiefly the Metals are) do retain all the Parts of the whole with its Nature however that Form diversity affected by accident in the first two Terms of their Multiplication, by Reason of a Diversity of Disposition of Mercury in the said Terms which they have to them assimilated.
And so much of the first Genesis where you have seen the physical Tria in one and unity in Trinity, Fecundity in Two; in the Triangle a Quadrangle; a center in the Circumference, and the Circumference in the Center. The Quadration of the Circuli, The Septinarium taken from a Triangle and Quadrangle; a Decas from the Septinarius and the Triangle and such other Emblems of our Cabala and to explain more largely, and to teach, how to apply it is needless now. Follows the Second Genesis.

Brussels, 30th June, 1646.

Epistle 24.

To all things then created having their Properties and being placed in their Order and proper Regions, God hath given an universal Law, which by its proper name we call naturating Nature, and is, that nothing at any time should remain idle and without Work, but that all things perpetually should move and be moved, drive and be driven on, act and be acted according to the Intention and Inclination of the substantial Form by which the motions and [Visissitudes] of actions and Passions, causations and Affections; the upper most Bodies acting them that are in the middle Region and these the inferior Bodies which are the Mixture of the three Families; But these the Species subjected to each Family and the Individua also of each Species, and that these Motions be in themselves in manner proper to each of them, for this Purpose that thence in the mixturum Genius a perpetual and never failing new Production of things the World might be procured and also a Multiplication of what is produced and reparation of what is decayed or extinct.
This is that Degree of eternal authority on Purpose that the Integrity of this World and of things equally complete should not before its due Time by a succedaneous Decrease and Ruin be diminished and destroyed.
And besides this general Order God hath given another to each Species for its Conservation and Multiplication which we call Nature naturated, by whose Help and Assistance these Inferior things do not only hold a correspondence with the Superiors and subalternate causes as to their Actions, but they contribute also to them and with them by their own strength according to the Faculty of their own Condition. But the Governor of naturated Nature is Archeus. And thus by the universal manifest Causes viz: the Heavens and Stars the Elements do daily produce and multiply Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury these again the Spirit universal doth again produce partly mestrua and seeds, partly Individua of each Family which lastly multiplys their Species except those of Minerals which cannot effect this without Arts Assisitance.
This is a short Exposition of the second Genesis.

Brussels, 3 July, 1646.

Epistle 25.

Before we handle of the Rules of our Art and its Precepts we must permit some things of its Intentions and Power according to the foresaid Principles.
The intention then of our Artist in General is to perfect Nature, i.e. its natural Productions; this being the Office of Art; and this she effects two ways.
1. With helping Nature, either in order that Nature may obtain its ordinary End and Purpose of specifical Perfection, in those Things she daily Produces, in what Manner soever she is used to do it and by which End she necessarily attains its Hypothesis, that is by a certain and not a defective Law, by itself without any other assistance, in case she were not hindered by some accident, or the other, or in her Work disturbed. So for example a Chicken may, and is sometimes produced out of a Hen's Egg being kept continously warm, and so it happens with many such other things that when Nature for some Reason could not Art hath perfected.
Or lastly that Art do hasten Nature's Production before the usual ordinary Term of time. By such cunning artifice the comming forth of many Things is often accelerated. But this though it may be an ingenious Intention of Art, yet it cannot reach some metallic Work, being it doth not suit so well with the inferior mixture of the mineral, as it doth with the two other families.
2. In exalting Nature's Works already perfected, according to its ordinary Course and Degree of specifical Perfection, to a higher One. And this she doth effect in two ways.
I. Without changing of the Species, only by exalting the intrinsical Virtue of it.
For God hath given to each being, besides the ordinary specifical, extraordinary and almost infinite Degrees of Perfection, cheifly in the vegetable and mineral Family which notwithstanding Nature by herself without Arts help cannot attain to, as hath been often said in the first Chapter.
As for example when Dough is raised by the action of the Ferment and is perfected by the Baker. Or when that Wine Stock out of a barren Ground is transplanted into a fertile Soil. For then by an internal addition and Increase the wins Stock and its Branches Properties and Degrees of Virtue are augmented.
And this manner of Increase doth before the rest chiefly belong to the mineral Family, and if the first said Term of mineral Multiplication of the Seed and cannot be done otherwise.
But take care that you do not take the Unition and Contradiction of dispersed Virtue for exaltation of Virtue specific and Power, by which for example the Spirit of Wine (and so it is to be understood of other things) being by distillation once freed from the adhering great quantity of Tartar and Phlegm in which the said Spirit was dispersed he seems to become much powerful and strengthened in inward Virtue; though not withstanding all this nothing is really added to its formal degrees of Strength but only that the dispersed Particles of the Spirit become more united and compressed because of the separation of heterogeneous Excrements which laid confused with the Spirit not substantially united but only in the body of the Wine together placed. By which separation that Spirit indeed attains sooner and easier the Term of his operation and action acting upon passive Subjects, but for all that he therewith gets no higher Degree of his specific Virtue, by which he could do anything above the degrees of his innate Virtue and Power ordinary, or that he could multiply his species. The Ignorance of which hath almost decieved all Pilosophers when they worry themselves with infinite Operations in Metals and other Minerals (whose case is the same with the [unrecognizable symbol]) in vain presuming to exalt therewith their Virtues so as to produce Extrordinary Effects and to give them the Power of multiplying their Species. However it is not to be denied but that such a seperating operation be very useful and necessary to the philosophical Work as means to obtain the End. For the Artists Industry must not end in that Operation or Seperation if he wishes to obtain the Effects and Intention of the Lapis Philosophorum.
Neither is the accidental alteration of sensible qualities to be taken for the said augmentation of Virtue. Because that by the Addition of Heterogeneous Things of divers sorts, the Face is only changed not Nature or the Activity and state Form substantial. In which thing there lies a most gross Error, or rather a Deception of Sophists.
2. With the changing of the lowest Species into Superious and that also in twofold Manner.
I. By Help and Benefit of the Universal agent, a certain Sort of mineral multiplied according to the first Term of Multiplication and so exalted in his Virtue that it be able to transmute many species yea all of them such are subalternate and to assimilate them according to Proportion of greater inequality in infinitum so that the least Part of the Agent may in a moment convert and transmute an immense Portion of each subjected species, which Effect belongs only to the Lapis Philosophorum and it is the last Term of the foresaid Minerals Multiplication.
II. By Virtue of a particular agent whose activity is effectual upon One or few species subjected converting them in Manner as is aforesaid and to be said more amptly hereafter which effect is of single Transmutation.
Now from what hath been said, the Division of Chrysopoaei doth depend namely to be universal or particular. The universal Chrysopoeia is occupied in the Preparation of the said universal agent, or the Multplication of the seeds of Gold and Silver its application and use.
The particular tends only to the Preparation of particular agents and what concerns their use also and application. According to which division this chapter like the former shall have likewise two members.

Brussels, 10 July, 1646.

Epistle 26.

The object of Chrysopoaei is the above mentioned universal Agent, how to make and to prepare the same, whose Essence is necessary to be known before its confection.
This Definition then is thus.
The Agent which the Philosopher makes use of for universal Transmutation of the Metals is Gold or Silver multiplied not according to their quantity but to their seeds and that by their intrinsical Virtue or activity of their Form substantial; greatly exalted nature working and Art ministring; whose one and the least Part because of its exuberant Tincture or Seed wherewith it is endowed is able to give substantially the form of Gold and Silver to a great Quantity of all Kind of Metals, and to assimilate the same in a most quick manner.
This Definition is regular though long, for it hath its nearest Genus namely of Nature of Gold and of Silver Then it hath its nearest differences viz: the Multiplication of their Seeds and Virtue, not their Quantity, (by which it is distinguished from Gold and Silver vulgar being considered in their ordinary States of mineral Constitution as also from them and all other things besides be they animal, mineral or vegetable, multiplicable or being multiplied according to quantity only) and lastly the transmutation Virtue of the greatest quantity above his own of any Metal whatsoever (by which is distinguished from particular transmutative agents) and that in little lesser quality, above his own but for the most part equal or lesser Quantity.
That Gold or Silver be the Genus of the Lapis Philosophorum or of the forsaid universal agent is manifest from thence because it is required, that the Lapis should transmute the simplest metals into Gold or Silver therefore to effect this it is necessarily required that the natural and true form of Gold and Silver should be in him: For nothing can give and communicate to another what it hath not himself.
Neither is it to Purpose to say, that from the Doctrine of the first chapter it may be concluded the Lapis to be the Seed of Gold or Silver and therefore that it cannot be Gold or Silver in Substance. For we have already in the same place by anticipation answered to what is now objected viz: That all the Parts of Bodies homogeneous, are of the same Nature and Condition their whole is. Therefore the Seed of Gold must need be Gold Formally. Likewise as any other Vitriol drawn out of any Kind of Metals, being their Seed or Sperma, doth not differ from the very metals, but only by some accidents namely by [dissmutation, dimmutation] only of some accidental but no essential Qualities as for example of [fusibility] and Ductibility as also of exaltation of Qualities essential but chiefly of its activity.
However it is disjunctively said that the Lapis Philosophorum be Gold or Silver. For there is a twofold Stone one for Gold and the other for Silver though the same agent which is fitted and prepared for Gold making can serve also for making Silver as we have taught somewhere else, yet in case the Artist intends Gold, then he shall take Gold to work upon, by Reason that the Stone made may impress a Golidish form if he aims at Silver he shall choose for his subject Silver that the Stone may communicate the Silver any Form and this according to the Axioma, that nothing can give what it not hath himself.
Neither is against us, that there are some causes that produce quite different Effects from their Nature and therefore Gold not to be absolutely a necessary Ingredient for to make Salt (or rather Gold) which can be inferred also as to Silver.
But take Notice that this hath only Place as to universal and equivocal causes which are destinated for divers Effects; such Causes are the Heavens and Stars. But Causes which are particular and universal and which by Necessity produce such Effects as are of like Nature with them and do act by the Powers of specific Seed, as it is in our Work, there the Business goes otherwise. But that the said Stone must be of Gold and Silver though not simple but being multiplied according to their Seeds of intrinsical Virtue of their form substantial, it is concluded from hence; Because if it did not by a most intense Degree of Virtue overcome the Faculty of other Metals it could not equally assimilate to himself (i.e. transmute them even alike) all and of divers Kind of Degree of perfect Metals, and such a Quantity which far exceeds his own. For every Assimitation or Transmutation happens in the Proportion of a greater Inequality, according to Aristotle and more according to Truth. But vulgar and simple Gold or Silvers Quality and Virtue do not answer in that Proportion in Respect of other imperfect Metals, since their Resistance, at least for the most Part doth by many Degrees exceed the Activity of vulgar Gold or Silver.
If you do object, that Gold or Silver and chiefly Gold do and are able to transmute at least some of the inferior Metals because their Activity overcomes the Resistancy of those some Inferior Metals (which indeed cannot be denied) I do answer with Distinction, that if you speak of a particular Transmutation it is to be granted. For it is not incongruous to admit such a Transmutation And truly the Conversion of Food in the Substance of the Thing fed in the Vegetable and animal Family is nothing else than such a Transmutation. Neither is in this Case the Condition and Priviledge of Minerals others. But it is still a particular Transmutation, neither doth it happen by way of proper Generation, i.e. by strength of the Seed, or that it should be occupied about greatest Quantities of the Things to be transmutted. But if the meaning be of an universal Transmutation. I absolutely deny the Assertion. The Reason is, because this shall want what in the said universal Transmutation is required, viz: These three things in Respect of this Agent which also can be gathered from the definition above, viz:
1. That it must be able to transmute all Metals indifferently with equal Right and Power, though not in all equal Weight.
2. That the least of the Agent, be able to transmute an immense Quantity of any Metal.
3. That it must finish its Action of Transmutation in few Hours yea Minutes and that by a simple Application or Projection.
All which chiefly, the disproportion of the Quantity do lessen the Proportion of greater Quality, that can be in the vulgar Gold in respect of any Metal inferior, and on the other Hand do extoll the Resistancy of the said inferior Metals. For the Disproportion of Quantity hath this Effect (though it be not per se an active Quantity) that it augments or diminishes the activity or Resistancy of Quality active and passive, by so many Degrees as there is of Excess or Defect of the Same above, or to the true and just Measure and that some, not intrinsically by the Intention or Remission of Qualities but extrinsically by multiplication and Destruction of Parts, though in Things otherwise alike as to weight Number and Measure, anothers Activity or Resistancy might overcome the other Resistancy or Activity. For no man hath said yet that one Ounce of that Iron; (hot for example to eight Degrees) can as quickly and efficaciously make hot, one Hundred Ounces of Water though but cold to six Degrees as it will do ten ounces of Water, and contrary that ten ounces of the said Water can do as strongly resist an hundered ounces of the said hot Iron as a hundered or a Thousand ounces of water would do.

Brussels. 16th July, 1646.

Epistle 27.

Having thus explained the Essence of the Lapis Philosophorum it follows that we briefly consider its causes. For though it seems that by the said Definition the Terms might easily be adjusted, yet for all that, yet there remains greater obscurity about them than perhaps is though of therefore needs to be explained and cleared. And because that any Work presupposes a Workman, it is fit to begin with the efficient Cause.
This then is twofold viz: The Principal and the ministering Cause. The Principal is Nature itself, without which nothing can be produced, so as to have natural Condition and Faculties. For artificial inactives properly are not Productions of natural Order.
The ministering Cause is Art Which cannot justly be said to produce, but only to help Nature in his Production of natural Things above the Terms of its ordinary Power as is said before. But how Art doth effect this you shall learn by the next Epistle.

Brussels, 21 July, 1646.

Epistle 28.

Next in order is Cause final. For every Agent Acts for some End or other. But since nothing can act for certain End or Purpose, except that End or Scope be Known to the Agent it belongs to us first to treat of that Scope.
The same then is twofold, viz: The nearest and the remote or last, The nearest scope then is the very before said first Term of mineral Production namely the Preparation of that universal Transutative Agent, or (which is all one) the multiplication of the Seed of Gold or Silver.
The remote Scope or Finis is the Transmutation itself in which the last Term of the said Multiplication is concerned. Next to the Final is the exemplary Cause. For since Art hath not those Ways and Manners which are proper to Nature to prompt natural Production, but such as are alien from Nature it is convenient to know them first, before we lay Hand to the Work.
Natures Manner of Working is indeed the Exemplar to be imitated, in pursuance to purchase the said multiplication. It needs therefore to be considered and to be repeated what is said in the first Chapter; How Nature doth Work, viz: by solution and Coagulation. But she doth not dissolve by action of Fire to wit actual and violent (for hereby things are rather destroyed than loosened, or dissolved, and sterility thereby is induced.) but by action of Mercurial Water and the Impression and strength of Nature Salt. That is to say by means and help of our living Mercury which by means of his incorporated Salt doth penetrate the Saline Parts of Bodies, and doth by dissipating the Parts divide the Compages or Connection of its physical Parts.
But the same Nature doth also coagulate again the same living Mercury by the help of the said Seed or Sulphur of the Body Gold dissolved, not again by the action of elemmental common Fire and corrosive; but the central which exists in the most inward centers of the Sulphur which is excited to action by external Heats, either of the Sun or Stars or Five elemental.
Thus much of the final and exemplary Causes.

Brussels, 27th July, 1646.

Epistle 29.

Follows the material Cause.
For as soon as the Artist hath considered the [Ideam] and Exemplar of this intended Work he takes Matter in hand out of which Work is to be made according to his exemplary Model.
Now it is sufficiently verified that Gold or Sivler be the Materia Lapis being they have been justly assigned for a Genus of it and for the subject which should receive its viz: Lapis form. But if the said Gold or Silver be the total and adequate Matter of the Lapis or only partial this is not enough discussed. We do therefore here assert and affirm that Gold and Silver are not the total and adequate matter, but only partial because as is said before, the Confection of the Lapis is the first Term of mineral Multiplication which consists and ends in the assimilation of a certain Thing with the Seed of Gold or Silver.
Therefore some things are to be admitted besides Gold or Silver for partial Matter of the Lapis. But that same thing cannot be anything else than our Silver besides our universal Spirit drawn out of our Magnesia. For the matter by which the Seed of Gold or Silver is multiplied and Gold or Silver Generated, must need be homogeneous to Gold and Silver. For out of heterogeneous Things a homogeneous Being cannot be brought forth. And such must be Gold multiplied. For from a Man and a Dog comes forth neither Man nor Dog, or a Plant or Stone from a Plant and Stone.
And if you do object that we ourselves have somewhere else allowed a particular homogeneous Transformation namely that of the Food of any living Thing or Animal when it is converted into the substance of another different animal or vegetable; which something may happen in Minerals.
We answer, that such a Transmutation be not properly a Generation or Multiplication, because it is not effected by Virtue and Action of the Seed, but by the third Term or by a Completion of Multiplication of a thing generated already, as this Completion is explained before being it is done by the Power of our Form substantial as well in Minerals and vegetables as Animals.
But you may say further insisting and urging that we brood to come forth from animals of divers sort. So a Mule comes from a Horse and Ass and so many other Things. I answer that such broods degenerate not being of the same Species with Parents and Generants, and therefore the Species is not multiplied in this case.
Perhaps you will instance yet further saying; granted that the second matter must be homogeneous to Gold or Silver yet it doth not follow that therefore our Mercury must only be taken for that second Matter, for there are other things which are equally nay more homogeneous than the said Mercury and truly nothing is more homogeneous to Gold or Silver than Gold and Silver itself and their Parts or Principles.
But the Answer and Solution of this objection is very easy and ready from what in the Discussion of Pagetins Work namely that there are two sorts of Homogeneity. The one in Respect of Principles, by which two things do agree and have the same Identity of Nature with the Matter out of which the thing immediately is made and hath a radical aptitude to receive also one Time or the other the same Form. Thus for example the seed of a Dog is homogeneous with the Dog himself, because it hath the same Nature with that Seed this Dog was made of and hath also a radical Aptness to receive one Time ore the Other, the Form of a Dog. And this is the Homogeneity which must be in our second Matter in respect of our first Matter which is Gold or Silver and which is no where else to be found but in our Mercury.
The second sort of Homogeneity is in things considered as principiated by which one Thing with another doth agree in Respect to the Form and all its natural Conditions. Thus Gold is homogeneous to Gold. And this sort of homogeneity is not required in our second Matter of the Lapis nay it is rather contrary to the Intention of the Lapis because that then the Ferment and the Thing fermentable should have the same formal Degree and so should not formally be distinguished, which here is necessary. For if the Fermentable Thing should and must acquire some form which it had not done before. But you will instance say: This is true, being taken of Gold or Silver totally in its integral Substance but not of their seperated Principles.
But what is true and holds in the whole, doth also hold in its Parts viz: in the Principles seperated as well as in the principiated Thing destroyed in a manner. Because the said Principles cannot be so seperated as that they could receive the former simplicity and could fully throw of [off] the Form of the principiated Being. Therefore the things could be simplified again (which we deny) yet the Inconvieniency would come to all one thing. And it would make nothing against us, for they should likewise receive and have the same Respect (rationem) of Homogeneity of Principles, as we do require and exact. Besides this these Principles in what manner so ever separated that they should be again restored to the same former Individual at least specifical Body which according to nature is impossible. For then there should be a Regress from Privation to Habit. Neither hath any Man yet said that the physical Parts of any thing or substance being once seperated could to the same substance be restored again, and in the same Number and Species could be reunited, except in the sole Man whose Form is not of the Genus of Material Forms.

Brussels, 9th August, 1646.

Epistle 30.

The last is the cause instrumental. For cause fromal is sufficiently expressed in the very definition and its Explication. This instrumental Cause then is like to the efficient Cause twofold also, being that Nature as well as Art have their own Instruments.
Nature's are two:
1. Water which serves for Solution. But this Water is no elemental Water but it is specifically the same Mercurius which was assigned for the partial Matter of the Lapis Rebis yet with all this Difference, That when it is proposed as a dissolvent it ought to be robbed of all its unctuosity and terrestreity (which do withstand the Efficacy of the volatile Salt in which the Solutive Faculty doth reside) and that by divers Rectifications: so that the same Water freely flowing and passing through the Pores of Gold or Silver it may mix itself with the Salt or Vitriol of the same Gold or Silver and by means of his own joined homogeneous humidity with Gold or Silver it may be able to separate and dissolve them with his homogeneous Parts in manner as Water dissolves Ice.
But when it is taken for the partial Matter of Lapis then it needs not so many Rectifications, for Rebis the second Instrument of Nature is a twofold Sort of Fire. The first sort is the central Fire or the [primigeneal] Heat moving the Powers of the Ferments and everywhere digesting and coagulating the Mercury which central Fire advances himself to four degrees of Heat according as his active Quality overcomes the other Qualities of the Matter. And these Four degrees are demonstrated by as many Principle colours namely Black, Green, White, Red. The second sort of Fire is the actual external Fire which doth excite the former Fire central, and as to preparatory operations, requires divers Degrees, but as to the main Work and Regimen of Coagulation but only one continual degree; so that which is said by some Authors concerning the four Degrees of Fire in the Works of the Lapis and its ordering shall and must be understood of the central Fire.[Note in the Margin: For the preparation several degrees of fire, but for coagulation but one continual degree.]
These Instruments are called natural, because the Art doth not properly use, but only disposes them for Nature's use and Works.
We will treat therefore next of the artificial Instruments.

Brussels, 20th August, 1646.

If you have problems understanding these alchemical texts, Adam McLean now provides a study course entitled How to read alchemical texts : a guide for the perplexed.