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The Signature of All Things

By Jacob Boehme

Signatura Rerum- Chapter X


1. Let the lover of God understand us right; we do not go upon an historical heathenish conjecture, nor only upon the light of the outward nature; both suns shine to us. Understand us right, and see how God has cured man when the poison of the serpent and devil held him imprisoned in death, and how he yet still cures the poor soul captivated in God's anger; the like process also must the physician keep in curing the outward body.

2. The divine light and love were extinguished in Adam, because he imagined into the serpent's property, viz. into evil and good, so that the poison of death began effectually to work in Mercury, and the source of anger was inflamed in the eternal Mars, and the dark impression of the eternal nature's property took possession of him: His body became earth in the dark impression in the poison of the enkindled Mercury, and was an enmity against God: he was utterly undone, and there was no remedy for him by any creature, neither in heaven, nor in this world; the wrathful death captivated him in soul and body.

3. Now how did God do to cure him and tincture him again? Did he take a strange thing thereunto? No, he took the likeness, and cured him with that which was corrupted in him, viz. with the divine Mercury, and with the divine Venus, and with the divine Jupiter; understand; in man was the expressed word, which I call the eternal Mercury in man; for it is the true ruling acting life; it was inspired or in-spoken into man's image (which God created out of his essence into an image according to God) as into a creaturely image, which was the soul with the property of all the three worlds, viz. with the world of light and understanding, which is God; and with the fire-world, which is the eternal nature of the Father of all beings; and with the light, love-world, which is heavenly corporality; for in the love-desire is the essence, viz. the corporality.

4. The desire of love is spirit, and is the heart of God, viz. the right divine understanding: In the love-essence Mercury is God's word, and in the fiery nature he is the wrath of God, the original of all mobility and enmity, also of strength and omnipotence; the fiery property makes the light, viz. the liberty, desirous; so that the nothing is a desire, and this desire is the love of God, which Adam extinguished in him: For he imagined after evil and good, that is, after earthliness; the earthliness came forth into a being both out of the wrath, and out of the love-being, and that through God's motion, that the wonders of the abyss and byss might be made manifest, that good and evil might be made known and manifest: And this Adam, being the image of God, should not do, for God had created him to his image: He should have tinctured the fire-world and outward world with the word of love, that so none of them should be manifest in him, like as the day holds the night swallowed up in itself.

5. But by false imagination he has awakened and manifested the dark and poisonful mercurial fire-world in him, so that his bodily essence of the dark impression is fallen to the evil part in the poisonful mercurial property, and the soul is become manifest in the eternal nature in the Father's fire-property, viz. in the poisonful hateful Mercury; according to which God calls him an "angry and zealous God," and "a consuming fire."

6. Now to help and restore this again, viz. the image of God, God must take the right cure, and even the same which man was in his innocence: But how did he effect it? Behold, O man, behold and see, open thy understanding; thou art called.

7. He introduced the holy Mercury in the flame, viz. in the fiery love with the desire of the divine essentiality, or after the divine essentiality again (which desire makes divine corporality in itself) into the expressed word, viz. into the mercurial fire-soul (understand, into the soul's essence in the womb of Mary), and became again that same image of God: He tinctured the poison, viz. the wrath of the Father of all essences, with the love-fire: He took only that same Mercury which he had breathed into Adam for an image, and formed into a creature: He took only that same property, yet not in the fire's property, but in the burning love: He did with the love introduce again the light of the eternal sun into the human property, that he might tincture the wrath of the enkindled Mercury in the human property, and inflame it with love, that the human Jupiter, viz. the divine understanding, might again appear and be manifest.

8. Ye physicians, if you here understand nothing, then you are captivated in the poison of the devil: Behold, I pray, the right cure, with which the enkindled Mercury in man's life is to be remedied; it must be a Mercury again, but first enkindled in Venus and Jupiter; it must have the sun's property, which it attains to by Jupiter and Venus: As God deals with us poor men, so must the outward poisonful sick Mercury be tinctured with such an external cure; not with the dark impression of Saturn, with cold (unless it be first sweetly appeased and qualified with Jupiter and Venus, that the sun does again shine in Saturn), but with meek love; this is his right physic, whereby the death is changed into life; yet this is only a common manual cure, which the vulgar may learn.

9. But it behoves the doctor, if he will be called a doctor, to study the whole process, how God has restored the universal in man; which is fully clear and manifest in the person of Christ, from his entrance into the humanity, even to his ascension, and sending of the Holy Ghost.

10. Let him follow this entire process, and then he may find the universal, provided he be born again of God; but the selfish pleasure, worldly glory, covetousness and pride lie in the way. Dear doctors, I must tell you, the coals are too black, you defile your white hands therewith; the true unfeigned self-denying humility before God and man does not relish with you; therefore you are blind: I do not tell you this, but the spirit of wonders in its manifestation.

11. But we will give direction to the desirous seeker, who would fain see if he knew the way fitly to attain his intent; for the time is at hand, where Moses is called from the sheep to be a shepherd of the Lord, which shall shortly be manifest, notwithstanding all the raging and raving of the devil: Let not the dear and worthy Christendom think, seeing now it seems as if she should go to wrack and ruin, that it is utterly undone; No: the Spirit of the Lord of hosts has out of his love planted a new branch in the human property, which shall root out the thorns of the devil, and make known his child Jesus to all nations, tongues and speeches, and that in the morning of the eternal day.

12. Dear brethren, behold, I pray, the right cure: What did God with us when we lay sick in death? Did he quite cast away the created image, understand the outward part, viz. the outward corrupt man, and make wholly another new man? No: He did it not: For though he introduced divine property into our humanity, yet he did not therefore cast away our humanity, but brought it into the way or process to the new-birth.

13. What did he? He suffered the outward humanity, viz. the outward water, understand the essentiality of Venus, which was shut up in the wrath of death, to be baptized with the water of the eternal essence, and with the Holy Ghost, that the incentive of the outward essentiality shut up in death might again glow, as a fire that falls into tinder: Afterwards he withdrew his outward food from the outward body, and brought it into the desert, and let it hunger, and then the spark enkindled from the fire of God must imagine into God, 1 and eat manna of divine essentiality forty days, of which Israel was a type in the wilderness of Sinai with their manna: The essence of eternity must overcome the essence of time, therefore it is called a temptation of the devil; for the devil as a prince in the wrath of God did there tempt the outward humanity, and represented all that to it wherein Adam fell, and became disobedient to God.

14. There now it was tried whether the image of God would stand, seeing internally there was God's love-fire, and externally the baptism of the water of eternal life: Here the soul was tempted, whether it would be a king, and an angelical throne instead of the fallen angel, and possess the elected throne of God in the royal office, from which Lucifer was taken, and thrust into the darkness, viz. into the throne of poison and death; but seeing he stood (in that the soul did resign and submit its will alone into God's love-fire, and desired no earthly food, nor the earthly kingdom good and evil for outward dominion) the process to the universal, viz. to the restoration of all that which Adam had lost, did further proceed and go on: He turned water into wine.

15. Ye physicians, observe this, it concerns you in your process, you must also go the same way to work: He healed the sick; so you must likewise make the form in your poisonful Mercury whole and sound by the power of the philosophical baptism: He made the dead alive again, the dumb to speak, the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and cleansed the lepers; all this must go before, that all the forms in Mercury may be pure, sound, and living, which Mercury himself does make after the baptism and temptation; as the living speaking Mercury did this in the person of Christ; the artist cannot do it, only there must be faith; for Christ also testifies, that he could not do many wonders at Capernaum, only heal a few diseased; for the faith of those at Capernaum would not enter into the divine Mercury of Christ.

16. So that we see there, that the person of Christ, viz. the creature, could not work the wonders in its own power, but the Mercury, viz. the living, speaking word in him; for the person did cry and call into God, viz. into the speaking word, and set its desire thereinto; as we may see in the Mount of Olives where he prayed, that he sweat drops of blood; and by Lazarus, when he would raise him up, he said, "Father, hear me; but I know that thou always hearest me; yet because of those that stand by, I say it, that they may believe that thou workest by me."

17. Thus the artist must not arrogate anything to himself, the Mercury does itself, after the philosophical baptism, work these wonders before it manifests the universal; for all the seven forms of nature must be crystallised and purified, if the universal shall be revealed; and each form carries a peculiar process when it is to be brought out of the property of the wrath, and entered into the pure and clear life; and it must transmute itself into the crystalline sea which stands before the throne of the ancient in the Revelation, and change itself into paradise; for the universal is paradisical; and Christ also came for that reason into our humanity, that he might again open or make manifest the universal, viz. the paradise, again in man: The speaking word in Christ wrought wonders through all the seven properties or forms, through the expressed word in the humanity, before the whole universal was manifest in the body of the human property, and the body glorified.

18. Even thus it is in the philosophical work, when the Mercury shut up in death receives into it the baptism of its refreshment in love, then all the seven forms manifest themselves in this property, as it came to pass in the process of Christ in his miracles, but as yet they are not perfect in the operation of the manifestation of their properties.

19. The universal is not yet there, till all seven give their will into one, and forsake their property in the wrath, and depart from it with their will, and take into them the love's property: They must take in the will of the nothing, that their will be a nothing, and then it can subsist in the wrath of the fire, and there is no further turba therein; for so long as the desire of the wrath is in the form, it is adverse and opposite to the second form, 1 and inflames the second form with its wrathful property, that is, it strikes the signature of the second, and awakens it in the wrath, and then the voice or sound of the second enkindles the first form's property in Mercury, and so no form can attain to any perfection, that it might enter into love.

20. Therefore the artist can effect nothing, unless he gives a meat to the forms, which they all desire, and love to eat, wherein there is no turba: Now the properties cannot eat, seeing their mouth is frozen up in the impression of Saturn; the artist must first open their mouth, and make them alive in their zeal, that all the forms may be hungry, and then if there be manna, they all eat together of it, and so the precious grain of mustard-seed is sown.

21. Now when Mercury does thus awake from the death of the impression of Saturn, and gets manna into the mouth of his property of the poisonful death's source, then arises the flagrat of the kingdom of joy, for it is as a light which is enkindled in the darkness, for the joy or love springs up in the midst of the anger: Now if Mercury apprehends the glimpse or aspect of the love in Mars, then the love dismays the wrath, and it is as a transmutation, but it is not fixed and steadfast; and as soon as this comes to pass, the angelical properties appear in view.

The Process in the Temptation

22. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, and the devil came to him, and tempted him. When the soul of Christ did hunger, the devil said to Jesus, Open the centre in the stones, that is, the impressed Mercury, and make thee bread, eat the substance of the soul's property: What, wilt thou eat of nothing, viz. of the speaking word? Eat of the expressed word, viz. of the property of good and evil, and then thou art lord in both; this also was Adam's bit, wherein he did eat death: Then said Christ Jesus, "Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word which proceedeth from the mouth of God."

23. Mark! Whence had the person of Christ the will, that he would not eat with the soul's hunger of the bread which could have been made of stones, which he could well have performed? Or how had it been, if the hunger of the human property had after the unction of baptism eaten in the temptation of the Mercury in the impression of death, viz. of the Sulphur of the expressed word, in which was the anger, and from whence the love was fled, as it is so in the earthly property?

24. Observe! The will and desire to eat of the speaking word came into the soul's property from the motion of the Deity: When the same had moved itself in the soulish essence, shut up in death in Mary his mother in her essence or seed, and introduced the aspect of the eye of God in the love into the dead soul's essence, and had manifested the love in death, then one divine property desired the other; and the desire of the bodily hunger to eat of God's bread or essence came from the baptism: When the water of the body, which in the impression of the substance was enclosed in death, did taste the water of eternal life in the Holy Spirit, viz. the Holy Spirit's corporality or essentiality in the baptism, then the incentive of the divine hunger of the ardent desire after God's essence did arise in the flesh, as a divine hunger, a glimmering or shining incentive of divine property.

25. Now the man Christ must hereupon be tempted in body and soul, of which he would eat; on one part the expressed word of love and anger was represented before body and soul, in which the devil would be lord and master, and rule therein omnipotently; and on the other part the speaking word in the love-property was only represented to the soul and body.

26. Here now began the combat which Adam should have undergone in paradise; for on one side God's love-desire, which had manifested itself in the soul, did eagerly attempt the soulish and bodily property, and introduced its desire into the soul's property, that the soul should eat of it, and give the body manna thereof; and on the other side the devil in God's wrathful property did assault in the soul's property, and brought his imagination into the property of the first principle, viz. into the centre of the dark world, which is the soul's fire-life.

27. Here was the contest about the image of God, whether it would live in God's love or anger, in the fire or light; for the property of the soul, as to its fire-life, was the Father's according to the fire-world; and seeing the soul in Adam had quenched the light-world, the light-world was again incorporated with the name Jesus, which came to pass in the conception of Mary.

28. Now it was here tried in the temptation of which property man would live; whether of the Father's in the fire, or of the Son's in the light of love: Here the whole property of Christ's person was tempted: The devil said, as he had also said to Adam, Eat of the evil and good: Hast thou not bread? Then make bread of stones: Why dost thou hunger so long in thy own property? Then said the divine desire, "Man liveth not of bread alone, but of every word of God."

29. Thus the property of the fiery soul resigned itself with its desire into the love, viz. into the speaking word's property, and the fiery desire did eat manna in the love-desire. O ye philosophers! observe it well; when this was done, the love transmuted the fiery property into its love-property; here the Father gave the fire-soul to the Son, understand the fiery property of the expressed Mercury to the speaking Mercury in the light; for Christ also said so afterwards, "Father, the men were thine, and thou hast given them me, and I give unto them eternal life."

30. Here God's love gave the eternal love-life to the corrupted humanity; the love did wholly give itself in unto the fire-wrath, and transmuted the wrath of the soul into a triumphant joyful love; but if the soul's and body's property had obeyed the devil in God's wrath, and made bread of the enclosed Mercury, and eaten thereof, then had the will entered again into its selfhood, and could not have been transmuted.

31. But seeing it entered into resignation, into the speaking word of God, and was willing to be and do whatever that pleased, then the will went from its selfhood, through the wrathful death of God's anger, viz. from the expressed word, which the devil had poisoned with his imagination, quite through the property of the wrath, and sprang forth afresh with a new love-desire in God; here the will was paradise, viz. a divine love budding in death.

32. Thus now the love-will being set in opposition to the poisonful Mercury of the soul's property in the anger of God, then came the devil, and said, Thou art the king, who hast overcome, come and shew thyself in thy miracles and deeds of wonder; and he brought him upon the pinnacle of the Temple, and said, "Fall down, that men may see it; for it is written, He hath given his angels charge over thee, that they should bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone." Here the devil would fain that he should use again the fire's might, viz. the soul's selfhood in its own fiery property, and depart out of the resignation into an arrogation of self in its own fire-will, as he had done, and also Adam, when he went with the desire in his own might into evil and good, and would have his eyes open in evil and good, as Moses writes thereof, that the serpent did persuade them to it.

33. Here came the fine adorned beast again, and tempted the second Adam also; for God gave him leave, seeing he said the fire's matrix had drawn him, he could not stand: Here now that should be tried; for he was an angel also, as well as the human soul, which he had seduced: But the human property in body and soul in the person of Christ had once cast itself into the resignation out of its selfhood into God's mercy, and stood still in the resignation, viz. in the divine will, and would not cast himself down, or do anything but what God alone did by it, and said to the devil, "It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God;" which is as much as if he had said, A creature of God shall will nor do nothing but what God wills and does by it: There must be no other god besides the only one to rule and will, the creature must go and do as the will-spirit of God leads it; it must be God's instrument, with which he works, and does only what he pleases.

34. In this proof Adam did not stand; for he went from the resignation into an arrogation of self, into an own self-will, and would try evil and good, love and anger, and prove how evil and good tasted. Here, dear man, was the trying state before the tree of temptation in paradise, and that was fulfilled which the first Adam could not, and would not do in divine obedience in resignation.

35. When the devil saw that in this also he had no success, that the humanity would not give way to depart out of the resignation, out of God's will, he carried the humanity upon a high mountain, and shewed it all the riches of the world, all whatever does live and move in the expressed word, all the dominions and might in the outward nature, over which he calls himself a prince, but has only the one part in the wrath of death in possession, and said to it (understand to the human property), "If thou fallest down and worshippest me, I will give thee all this."

36. The humanity should again depart out of resignation into a desire of propriety, and desire to possess something of its own in arrogation of self in the cursed property, evil and good; this had been a dainty dish and delight to the devil; then had he remained king, and his lies had been truth: In this Adam also was corrupted, and entered into selfish propriety, and desired worldly dominion and covetousness (which may be seen in Cain), which is the heart of the poisonful Mercury, viz. its hunger's desire, which makes itself essence according to the property of its hunger, not manna, but earth; as we may see in the wild earth, what he has made in the enkindling, or motion of the Father in his fire's property, in which inflammation (viz. in the poisonful wrath of the expressed Mercury) the devil thought to be a prince, and is so in the same property in the wicked, and also in the government of the world in the wrath; but God holds him captive with the water and light of the third principle, so that he is not prince in the dominion of the expressed word, but the judge's executioner; he must look where turba magna is enkindled in the wrath, and there he is busy as far as turba magna goes in the wrath, further his courage is cooled.

37. He would give the humanity of Christ this whole dominion to rule in, and above all in the essence of all things, as a mighty god, which notwithstanding he only possesses in the part of the turba in the wrath of God, and has it not in his full dominion: He should but set his desire thereinto, and introduce his will into him, and he would bring his Mercury of the creature into the greatest omnipotence, that he should be a lord over good and evil, and have all things at command, to do therewith as he pleased, for so Adam had fooled it.

38. His Mercury went with the desire into the impression, whence cold and heat arise, and imagined thereinto, and so the property of the cold and hot fire did presently boil up in the Mercury of the creature; and so also the outward heat and cold did soon pierce into the enkindled Mercury of the human property, so that the body now suffers pain from the heat and cold, which property before (when it stood in the free-will of God in the resignation) was not manifest; and thus evil and good did rule and domineer in Adam.

39. For the centre of wrath, viz. the dark world's property, was manifest in him, in a poisonful death's property, as the Mercury in man is yet to this day so poisonful, and of a venomous source; whereas indeed he is changed in the vital 1 light into a solar property, but yet the poison and property of death hangs to it, and it is his root; as we plainly see, that as soon as the ready instrument of his martial fiery property's signature or form is a little struck or played upon, that his evil poisonful fiery property comes forth, and shews itself, and inflames the body, that it even trembles and shakes for the very poison of wrath, and will ever enter into the enkindled poison-source in him who has awakened and enkindled the same, and assimilate in his malice with the malignant fomenter's malice, and wrestle in the poisonful property's right; and then must the body set to its strength as a servant, and accomplish the poison's will, and wrangle and contest with his adversary, and beat him, or be beaten by him; let it be either by hand-blows, or words; it is all in this property and desire of this poisonful Mercury.

40. From hence arises all war and contention, namely, from the dominion of God's anger in the corrupt and enkindled Mercury of the expressed word, which does so act its delight and sport in the poisonful wrath's and dark world's property in man.

41. Therefore the warrior is a servant of God's anger: He is the axe wherewith the angry husbandman cuts up his thorns and briars from off his ground: He is the chief worker and accomplisher of the wrathful anger of God: God's anger according to his fire's property will have it so, and not his love; and he that suffers himself to be made use of thereunto, he serves the anger of God according to the dark and fire-world's desire and property, which in the heavy fall of Adam has manifested itself in the human property, and brought man, viz. the angelical image, into an half-devilish vizard and likeness; in which property and image of his will in the expressed creaturely Mercury or vital word he cannot inherit God's kingdom, but must be born anew in his Mercury and will, with and in Christ, in God's love, viz. in the holy speaking Mercury and word of life, that a new obedient will wholly resigned into God's love may proceed from his creaturely Mercury, which neither wills or acts anything but what the will of the speaking divine Mercury wills, who in his selfhood, and selfish arrogation in his own will, is as dead, that he may be the instrument of the great God, whereby he should act, work, and do how and what he pleases: And then is God all in all in him, his will and deed, and he is a branch in the great tree which draws sap, power, and life from the tree of God, and grows and lives in him, and brings forth his fruit; then is the Mercury of the human life a procreated or expressed fruit, which grows upon the paradise-tree of God, and gives forth its note and sound, and strikes the signature in the speaking word of God, viz. God's harp and lute, in his praise, for which end man is created, not that he should necessarily play upon the instrument of anger and death according to the devil's will.

42. The devil has given himself to be such a lutanist who contrives and helps to act and drive on the play in the wrath, viz. in the darkness: He is the instrument and actor in the wrath of the eternal nature, which has its effects and achievements with him and in him, 1 as its instrument: The like also must the wicked man do, as Saint Paul speaks thereof; "The holy man is unto God a sweet savour unto life, and the wicked a sweet savour unto death." All whatever does live and move must enter 2 into the glory of God; one works in his love, the other in his anger: All is generated and created in the infinite being to the manifestation of the infinite great God; out of all the properties of evil and good, creatures were brought forth by the will of the speaking word; for the property of the darkness and the fire was as well in the speaking as the property of the light; and therefore there are evil and good creatures.

43. But the angels and men were spoken forth in the image of God's love; they ought not to speak and incline their will into the fire and dark world, and introduce their desire thereinto; also not at all will to be their own, but continue steadfast in the resignation in the speaking will of God, as a form of the speaking will, and bear no inclination to anything, but only to the speaking; in which figure they stand as an image or platform of the expressing, as a spoken word, wherewith the speaking word beholds itself in its own likeness, whereby it there manifests the eternal knowledge of the eternal mind, and sets the Spirit's will into a form, 1 and plays therewith.

44. As a limner that pourtrays his own image, and does thereby behold what he is, and how his form and features are; or as a musician composes a curious lesson or song, and so plays and melodises with his life, and will of life, viz. with the sound of his own life's Mercury, in the tune of the song, or upon some musical instrument, as it is agreeable to his life's Mercury, wherewith his vital Mercury does rejoice and delight itself.

45. Thus likewise God created us to his love-consort 2 to his joy and glory, whereby he exalts his speaking eternal word, or plays in the same with us as with his instrument.

46. Therefore, when this melodious instrument was broken in its sound by the wrathful might of his anger, that is, when man's image would play in its own might both in evil and good, in love and anger, viz. in its own self-will, and would not yield itself to be used to what the speaking word had created it, and departed out of resignation into an arrogation of self, and would play as itself pleased, now good, then bad, then this instrument was against the love of God, in which no voice, breath, or smallest degree of anger is manifest or can be, as in the light of the fire no pain of the fire is manifest.

47. For the will of the human Mercury went out from the will of the divine speaking word into its own self-will: Thus it fell into the centre of the pregnatress of all essences, viz. into the anguish, poison, and death, where God's anger, viz. the speaking in the wrath, took possession of it.

Here now was our distress, we were forlorn,
Opprest in wrathful death, and woeful scorn;
If God had not restored us again,
We should have still been rowling in death's plain.

48. Thus, dear reader, it is clearly set before you wherein Christ was tempted; namely, whether the soul, and the whole man, viz. the image of the speaking word (after that God had introduced the spark of his love again into the human property, and freely given itself again with the love into it), would now again enter into its first place, and be God's melodious instrument in his love, or not; or whether it would be a selfish arrogator in its own will, and do what its own speaking would bring forth in the enkindled Mercury of its life; whether it would suffer God's will to strike the signature upon its instrument, or the anger of God to strike it, as before came to pass [viz. in the first Adam].

49. Here it was tried: Therefore said the devil, viz. the organist in God's anger, to Christ, that he should fall down and worship him, and then he would give him all dominion, power, and glory; he should and might do what he pleased, he should live and delight in his own self-will; he should only give the devil his will, and forego resignation, and depart out of God's mercy and love-will: And if this had come to pass, then had the fair instrument been once again broken, and the human melody in God's love and deeds of wonder had ended; but Christ said, "Get thee hence, Satan: It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and serve him only. Then the devil left him, and the angels came and ministered unto him."

The Magical Process

50. Herein (as it is already mentioned at large) the magus must well consider his purpose and intent; not desiring with the covetousness of the devil to possess the earthly kingdom, also not to fly [or cast himself down] from the Temple, much less to work out his intent from the stones; he must think that he is God's minister and servant, not a selfish lord, of whom becomes a fool: If he will help the poor captive shut up in the anger of God out of the bands of darkness, wherein he is swallowed up in the curse of the earth, and deliver him from the anger of God, then he must think and well observe how God with his entrance [viz. into the humanity] hath redeemed him; he must very exactly and intimately consider the temptation of Christ, not blindly grope after it with outward manual art, and think with himself, I have a dead stone before me; it neither knows or feels anything, I must by force set upon it, that I may compel it, and take its jewel, which it has hidden in it.

51. He that does so is a fool, and goes on in his own self-will, and is altogether unfit for the work; let him not meddle with it; we desire faithfully to admonish him, that if he will seek aright, then let him consider the process of Christ, how God has again regenerated the universal shut up in death in the human property.

52. For God did not take man as he lay closed up in death, and cast him into a furnace, and melted him in the wrath, as the false magus does; but he gave his love first into his human essence, and baptized the humanity; afterwards he brought him into the wilderness, and set the devil opposite to him, not into him; he let him first fast and hunger forty days, and gave no outward food to the humanity: He must eat of his life's Mercury, that God might see whether the humanity would bring its desire into God; and when the humanity introduced its desire into the Deity, and received the manna, then he let the devil set upon the humanity, who introduced all his subtlety and desires into the humanity, and tempted him: Dost thou not understand anything here? What shall I say more to thee? If thou art a beast, then I give thee not my pearl; it belongs to God's children.

53. God must become man, man must become God; heaven must become one thing with the earth, the earth must be turned to heaven: If you will make heaven out of the earth, then give the earth the heaven's food, that the earth may obtain the will of heaven, that the will of the wrathful Mercury may give itself in unto the will of the heavenly Mercury.

54. But what wilt thou do? Wilt thou introduce the poisonful Mercury (which has only a death's will in itself) into the temptation, as the false magus does? Will you send one devil to another, and make an angel of him? In deed and in truth I must needs laugh at such folly: If thou wilt keep a corrupt black devil, how dost thou think to turn the earth by the devil to heaven? Is not God the creator of all beings? Thou must eat of God's bread, if thou wilt transmute 1 thy body out of the earthly property into the heavenly.

55. Christ said, "He that eateth not the flesh of the Son of Man hath no part in him: "And he says further, "He that shall drink of the water that I shall give, it shall spring up in him to a fountain of eternal life." Here lies the pearl of the new-birth: It is not enough to play the sophister; the grain of wheat brings forth no fruit, unless it falls into the earth; all whatever will bring forth fruit must enter into its mother from whence it came first to be.

56. The mother of all beings is Sulphur, Mercury is her life, Mars her sense, Venus her love, Jupiter her understanding, Luna her corporeal essence, Saturn her husband: You must reconcile or lovingly betroth the man with the woman; for the man is angry, yet give him his dear spouse into his arms; but see that the spouse be a virgin, wholly chaste and pure; for "the woman's seed shall break the serpent's head," viz. the man's anger: The virgin must be in real love, without any falsehood or unfaithfulness, a virgin which never touched any man in anger according to his manhood; for the pure Deity does so espouse itself in clear love with the humanity, even as Mary said, "Be it unto me as thou hast spoken, for I am the Lord's handmaid;" and so the humanity assumed the Deity, and also the Deity the humanity.

57. The chaste virgin signifies in the philosophic work the clear Deity, the humanity is Mercury, Sulphur, and Salt, both heavenly and earthly; the heavenly property is disappeared, and as a nothing; the deadly property in the wrath is stirred up, and lives to the anger, and in the properties of the anger; the humanity, both in Adam and in Christ, was tempted. Dost thou ask, wherewith? With the like opposite in the wrath, even with such a devil as had all these properties in him, as a potent prince [in all the properties of the anger].

58. The properties in Sulphur were tempted with the likeness of the Sulphur; in the Sulphur, or from the sulphureous property, the temptation did come and arise, and its forms are 1 three, as one in the impression, which the philosophers call Saturn, which the human spirit or will should open in the property of Venus, and therewith satiate or feed its hunger, viz. the fire; the other property was, that he should live in his own awakened and opened Venus out of Saturn's property, and aspire in self-will.

59. The third property was, he should introduce his will through the awakened love-desire again into the centre, viz. into the sulphurean mother, which arises in the impression in the anguish: And this he would not do, but the first Adam did it; and therefore God when he would help him tempted him in the Sulphur, viz. in the first mother to the humanity, and suffered a wrathful devil, which was enkindled in the Sulphur, to tempt him with his enkindled malignity and malice in the Sulphur: Dost thou not understand this? What then shall I say more to thee?

60. Sulphur is the womb whereinto we must enter, if we would be new born. Nicodemus said well; "How can one being old enter into his mother's womb, and be born again?" But Christ said, "Except you be converted, and become as children, you cannot see the kingdom of heaven." The self-will must enter again into the first mother which brought it forth, viz. into the Sulphur, by the will understand Mercury.

6i. But now who will persuade it to do so? For it is become a selfish thing, and must enter again into the mother, and become nothing; this seemed a strange and wonderful thing to Nicodemus, but the Lord said to him, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but thou knowest not from whence it cometh, or whither it goeth; even so is every one that is born of God." Behold, who persuaded the will of Christ in his humanity, to enter again with the will into the filiation or adoption, as it were in the mother's womb, and eat nothing forty days, and would also [eat] nothing, but remained in full steadfast resignation in the mother? Did not the Deity do it, which was entered into the humanity?

62. Thus likewise it goes in the philosophic work, therefore let the artist well observe, and rightly understand us: He must seek the evil stubborn child (which is fled from the mother, and entered into the centre, and would be a selfish thing) in Saturn; for the wrath of God has shut him up with its impression in the chamber of death.

63. Not that he has made him to Saturn, but he holds him shut up in the saturnine death; the same he must again take and bring into the mother's womb, and then send the angel with a message to Mary, and tell her, "She shall bring forth a son, whose name shall be called Jesus: "And if the mother shall yield her consent thereunto, and receive the name Jesus, then the new humanity shall begin in the mother, with the new child in the old apostate captivated in the anger of God, and the name Jesus will first give in itself to the dead child which lay captivated in Saturn, and eagerly draw the will of the evil dead child to itself: This is the fair bride, which shews her crown of pearl to her apostate bridegroom; he should but again receive her, and she would again give him her love. Now if the apostate youth shut up in death does again receive her, then is the artist well prepared, and counted worthy by God to finish his purpose: Now will the bride love the bridegroom, and a virgin bring forth a son, at which all the world will wonder; the virgin shall embrace the man; but he is a man, and not a woman, and has the virgin's heart.

64. Now he must be tempted, whether or no he will live in virgin-like chastity, and in full resignation of his will to God, for he must be a valiant champion, and destroy the devil's fortress 1 of prey (which he has in his mother) in seven kingdoms; then let the devil set his mother's house on fire with his wrath, and tempt him, he will now well enough defend himself with Christ against the devil.

65. This being done, the young man with his virgin-like heart will wholly give himself up to the mother, when the tempter comes and assaults him, and the mother will wholly swallow him up into herself through the devil's wrath: He gives himself forth wholly out of his own will into the nothing. Now, thinks the artist with himself, I have lost all; for he thinks that he has lost heaven; for he seeks nothing, and does not consider that a virgin has now brought forth: But let him have patience; that which is impossible to the artist, that is possible to nature; after the night it is day; when the tempter has finished all his temptations, then comes the sign [or appearance] of the angels; then the devil which has tempted him must depart.

66. Let the artist well observe this, and pack away the devil, and suffer the young man with his virgin-like heart to lie in his bed, and eat his former food, for he is now become a physician of his sisters 2 in his mother's house; he will do great wonders in all the seven kingdoms of his mother (which are the seven forms of life) as Christ has done.

67. In Saturn he will raise the dead, understand, he will awaken the dead essence which held him captive in his former prison; for he shall turn [or make] the earth to heaven: Even as the virgin has raised up his will out of the anger in the love, and made him a wonder-worker; so must he also awaken with his will, which is united to the virgin's heart, the form or signature in his mother's womb, whence she has brought forth him and all her children, and enkindle it with the virgin's and his love-desire: This is effected and done in the Sulphur of Saturn in the young man's own personal 3 property, and in his mother; for before the espousing of the virgin the heavenly essence of the young man lies shut up in death: For when God cursed the earth, then the heavenly paradisical body disappeared, and the impression of Saturn took it in possession, till the restitution, where God shall restore that which is hidden, that paradise does again spring forth afresh in the expressed word, or that the artist does open the same in a part 1 by God's permission.

68. In the second kingdom of the mother, viz. in Luna, he shall also do wonders; for Jesus fed with five barley loaves five thousand people; this is the working in the essentiality or corporality. He turned water to wine: These and the like do all belong to the lunar property, where the champion with his virgin opens paradise, and feeds the body, where nothing is, where the outward Mercury has not laboured and wrought: Thus the forms 2 in the lunar property open themselves as if they are paradisical, even then the artist thinks I am nigh unto it; but he is yet far off from the end.

69. In the third kingdom of the mother, viz. in Jupiter, Christ did make the babes and ignorant, of a very weak and mean capacity, knowing and understanding, viz. of poor fishermen, carpenters, and the like mechanics, he made apostles, and the most understanding men of all; and also of poor, disrespected, vilified people, as of women, and simple ones, he made faithful, devout, dear, godly children, who apprehended in themselves the universal without any art.

70. Thus likewise it goes in the philosophic work; the essentiality which lies disappeared in death, where the Mercury is wholly earthly, cold, and impotent, does now arise in power, as if the whole being and essence were become a new life, at which the artist wonders, and marvels what it is, or how it happens, and yet does also exceedingly rejoice that he sees the divine power to spring forth before his eyes in a half dead essence, and that in the curse of God: He sees all the four elements, each apart, and sees how the wisdom of God represents 3 itself therein, as an harmony of joy, and sees all colours, and the rainbow upon which Christ sits in judgment in the expressed Mercury.

71. The nature of this splendour arises out of the impression of Saturn; the good Jupiter gives himself forth to be seen in such a manner, as God will change the world, and transform it again into paradise; for this is the understanding in the expressed word, even as Christ has made the foolish, rude, ignorant people truly wise and knowing in divine, real, heavenly jovial understanding and knowledge.

72. In the fourth kingdom of the mother of all beings, which is the mercurial in the wheel 1 of the nature of life, Christ made "the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, and cleansed the lepers" from the poison of Mercury: All apoplexies, the French or poisonful pox and sores arise from the saturnine water in Mercury, which [water] is called phlegma, all which Christ healed in the form or signature of the young man and virgin; for the eternal virginity had espoused itself with the young man, viz. with the humanity.

73. This comes to pass also in the philosophic work: The artist will see how the heaven separates itself from the earth, and how the heaven does again sink into the earth, and changes the earth into a heavenly colour; he will see how Mercury purifies the matter, and how the purified colours will appear in antimony in their property, and how the wonder proceeds.

74. In the fifth kingdom of the mother of all beings, Christ expelled the devils out of the possessed, and healed the deaf in this form and property.

75. This likewise the artist will see in the philosophic work, how Jupiter in Mercury will drive up a black twinkling fiery vapour out of the matter, which sticks on like soot; for it is a hunger of the poison in Mercury, and is very rightly compared to the devil, for it is of his property.

76. In the sixth kingdom of the mother of all beings, viz. in the wheel of life, called Venus, Christ loved his brethren and sisters according to the humanity, and washed his disciples’ feet, and loved them even to the deepest exinanition, and gave his life into the wrath's property even to death for them, and manifested himself among them that he was Christ: And when they perceived that the king was come that should deprive self-will of its might and dominion, and destroy the devil's kingdom; then they cried out, and said, "We have no king but Cæsar;" they took him in the dark night into their power, bound him, and brought him before their council, 2 mocked him, whipped him, and beat him, stripped him of clothes, and hung him on the cross.

77. This also the artist will see very powerfully in the philosophic work; for as soon as the dark fiery stream, viz. the material devil goes from the matter, then virgin Venus appears in her virginity very glorious and beautiful; for it betokens Christ's love, who did so humble himself, and manifested his love in our humanity; then the artist thinks that he has the philosophic child, then he has now the fine morsel: But he dances with the Jews, who thought, when they had taken Christ, Now we have him, we will keep him well enough. Thus he also thinks, it is finished, and receives the child; and when he beholds it in the trial, then he has Venus, a woman, and not the virgin with the tincture of the fire and light, and is deceived by the woman. 1

78. Now observe right, What do the properties, viz. Saturn, Mars, and Mercury, when they see the child, viz. the champion in royal colour, and find that he manages no external dominion and royalty with power and authority as they do, but will only rule with love in their poisonful fire-might? They will not suffer him.

79. For Saturn signifies the worldly dominion, and Mercury the spiritual dominion, viz. the Pharisees, 2 and Mars signifies the devil; these three would not endure Christ among them; for he said that he was a king of love, and the Son of God, and was come to deliver his people from sin: Then thought the devil, sure this rhimes not well, thou wilt lose thy kingdom: And the worldly magistrate thought, Is this a king, and God's Son? Then he will take away our might; this does not at all like us: And the mercurial priests thought; This man is too mean for us, we will have a Messiah who may bring us to worldly dominion, and make us to be high and rich in the world, that we may alone possess the honour of the world; we will not receive him, he is too poor for us; we might so lose the favour and respect of the worldly magistrate, and should be much damaged; we will rather abide in our power, respect, and authority, and abandon this beggarly king with his love-kingdom: In like manner as yet to this day they are so minded, and serve his messengers so whom he sends.

80. Thus likewise it goes in the philosophic work, when Venus manifests herself with love, viz. in her own property in the three wrathful forms, viz. in Saturn, Mars, and Mercury; they can by no means endure it, for it is wholly against their austere, dark, fiery might, but especially against the poison of Mercury, they flash and lighten against Venus, and shoot their rays, viz. the mercurial poisonful rays upon her, as the Pharisees did upon Christ. In the meanwhile, Jupiter and Luna hold with Venus, and give their power to Venus; for Venus does here stand forth in the power of Jupiter; at this the Pharisees laugh, and think with themselves, We are wise enough already, what need we knowledge and understanding? We will have might and honour; and Luna signifies the multitude of laymen who stuck to Christ, while it went well with him; so does Luna in the philosophic work to Venus in her lustre, so long as Saturn, Mercury, and Mars do not meddle with and assault her; but when the power of wrath comes, then Luna changes her will, viz. the colour, and looks, arises, and cries also with the rest the crucifige: This the artist will see, if he be chosen and accounted worthy of God for the work.

111:1 Put its desire, hunger, and imagination into the nothing, the highest good or omnipotence, and eat of God's bread.

112:1 Or other forms.

117:1 Or life's light.

118:1 And all his legions of evil spirits.

118:2 Agree, or make for.

119:1 Image, or likeness.

119:2 Melody, harmony, delight, or play.

121:1 Or change.

122:1 Or were.

124:1 Royal fort, fort rampant.

124:2 Or kindred.

124:3 Text, bodily.

125:1 By degrees.

125:2 Or signatures.

125:3 Speculates, or beholds.

126:1 Orb, rotation, or course.

126:2 Or judgment-seat.

127:1 Or lets the woman deceive him.

127:2 Or priests who call themselves the ministers of Christ, but are not.



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