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Everard's Commentary on Emerald Tablet

[Transcribed from Ms. Ashmole 1440.]
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Tabula Smaragdina
The Table of Emerald
said to be found
in the Sepulchre of Hermes

with glosses (in italic)
by John Everard, Doctor of Divinity

1. It is true without any lying, certain and most true, that which is inferior, or below, is as that which is superior or above there being one Universal matter and form of all things, differenced only by accident, and particularly by that great mystery of Rarefaction and Condensation, and that which is superior as that which is inferior, to work and accomplish the Miracles of one thing, and to show the great variety and diversity of operations wrought by that Spirit that worketh all things in all things.

2. And as all things were from ONE, by the Mediation of one, God having created all things in the beginning, which is the beginning of all things, and the wisdom of his Father, so all things spring and took their original from this one thing by adaptation or fitting itself accordingly in number weight and measure, for Wisdom builds her own house.

3. The Father of this one thing, or that which he useth instead of an Agent, in all the Operations thereof, is the Sun, and the mother thereof or which supplies the place of a female and Patient is the Moon; the Nurse thereof receiving in her lap all the influences of heat and moisture, the Sulphur and Mercury of Nature (for the Spirit of GOD moveth not but upon the Face of the water) is the Earth. The Wind or Air carried in its Belly as one of the links in the chain, that link superior things to them that are below.

4. This is the Father original and fountain of all perfection, and all the secret and miraculous things done in the world; Whose force is then perfect and complete to perform those Miracles, and many more when it is turned into Earth; that is from a volatile and unfixed thing as it was both before and in the preparation, to a most fixed Earth, but quintessential, wherein all the virtues are both concentred and doubled, nay infinitely increased. To which purpose Thou shalt separate the Earth from the Fire, for they being united, and the subject being but one thing (like Adam and Eve before their separation, or Plato's Hermaphrodite, a man and a woman joined together back to back) could not generate or beget, till all parts be separated, and purged; and the subtle or fine aethereal from the thick or gross, sweetly and with much leisure all haste being from Hell, and with a greate deal of wit, judgment and discretion: for to every thing there is an appointed time, and for the production of all animals, vegetables and minerals, the measure of the Igne (fire) is measured, 2. Edras 4, 37. And therefore is requisite both patience to persevere and expect the appointed time, and wit or judgment to find, and order the fire. It ascendeth from Earth to Heaven, and descendeth from Heaven to Earth, even as the rain, which in like manner is often cohobated upon the earth; and one part of it is by the appointment of wisdom fixed into earth, whilst another part of earth is attenuated and dissolved; this being the perpetual motion of wisdom itself : and by this means it acquireth the virtue and power of all things above, the subtilty, purity, penetrative activity of fire, light, heaven and things below, the fluidness, fixedness and capableness of all influences, which the lower elements of Earth and Water have. So shalt thou have the glory of the whole world which consisteth in long life, health, youth, riches, wisdom and virtue, Therefore shall all obscurity fly from thee the obscurity and darkness of the body, its distemper and sickness; of the Soul and Mind, that which ariseth from these ignorances which is cured not in the branch only but in the root, when we have put our light in a clear glass. This is the most strong strength of all strength, the mightiest expression of all the power strength and efficacy of nature which can be in sublunary things, for it will overcome any subtle thing, as metals in Mercury, and the spirit of the bodies; which though they be thin it will be congealed, and though they be volatile, it will fix: and likewise in living weight, there is no disease so spiritual but it will root it out: and every hard thing it will pierce as well in compact metals with whom it will join inseparably, as in diseases that affect the solidest part of bodies. Thus was the World created: Therefore do the philosophers call their Stone, the little world made of the same Chaos, and after the same manner that the great one was. From whence will be wonderful adaptations, or fittings of Agents and Patients, and by that means strange productions in all the kingdoms of Nature, animal, vegetable and mineral : and the manner of them is this, which is showed and set down before, and the method of operation the same: Therefore am I called Hermes Trismegistus or the thrice greatest Mercury, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world, and endowed with the knowledge of the Body, Soul and Spirit, whereof all things consist, and of all things that are in the three kingdoms of Nature. Thus endeth that which I have spoken of the operation of the Sun: for whatsoever is made or done in all sublunary matters, is done only by the power of the Sun, of whom the Psalmist saith the Almighty hath placed his Tabernacle, it being the Fountain of all natural heat or Nature itself in the Creatures, which is nothing but the finger or ordinate power of the Almighty; And the finger or power of God, is God himself, to whom is due all that, and infinitely more, than the creatures can possibly ascribe unto him.

Blessed be He for evermore.


Finished at Fulham on Sunday August 9, 1640.

By J.E.D.D.

[i.e. John Everard Doctor of Divinity]

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