“Of The Secrets Of Antimony” by Alexander von Suchten, 1570



Courteous & Kind Reader, There are two things which have caused me to write of the Physical use of Antimony, which we in Dutch call Spiessglass, viz. The time and necessity of the Sick; for seeing that Almighty God has taken pity in these last times of the Infirmities and Weaknesses of Mankind, and by some Learned men have revealed diverse Secrets in Nature, through which we may preserve our Bodies, and cure all its Infirmities; yet has Satan, the Enemy of our Life, likewise raised up scribbling Writers to destroy and cry down these Gifts of God; by the which the young Students in Physick are terrified, and leaved the Corn, and follow the Chaff; and at length this gift of god will be lost, and the seed of the Devil will be honoured in the place thereof. But that this may not be done, First, the Time requires that we who know these Secrets, and have tried them, should set ourselves against the Criers down of this Truth, and answer for these gifts of God, that everyone at least might be a debtor to the truth; and yet that Pearls might not be cast to Swine and trampled under their feet. Secondly, The Love of our Neighbour compels us also, and the great Necessities of the Sick, that they be not robbed of the faithfullest Medicine, to the which they next under God may put their cheifest hope, both for the preservation, and the curing of hidden Infirmities; by the which we seek not for vain glory, but only for the honour of God. In his name therefore will we begin to write of the above-mentioned Mineral, wherein we will not trouble ourselves to tell you what others, both new & old Physicians and Alchemists, have written nor will we write down our opinions which we have made or imagined out of Paracelsus, and other Books; as the custom is at this time, out of an old Garment to make a new one; but what we certainly know what our eyes have seen, our hands handled, and our experience confirmed, that will we speak and write for the best instruction of those young men who will learn; not for you Galenists, for you can find more Secrets in your Books than are in Nature; not for you Paracelsians, for you have learned far more out of Paracelsus than I know: Also not for you Alchymists, for I write here only of Physick; but for you young Physicians, who are not polluted with Opinions, nor sworn to any Masters words: To you dedicate I this Treatise which is written plain and clear, without ostentation; easy enough to be understood by the Honest, but dark enough to the Despisers and Scorners, of which this World at present is very full.



It is not our meaning to write and dispute, out of what [Antimony] first cometh, as have done; for if we should declare his Original, we must make a long process, and draw in diverse things which are better concealed, because they belong not to the Physician. But thus much may we declare, that it is not a Metal as some think, either Lead Ore, or Lead adust; which perchance they therefore say, because that in his reduction Lead may be made out of it. But it is not Lead in his foundation; for out of [Mercury] also can [Saturn] be easily made, and yet it will not follow that [Mercury] comes from [Saturn], therefore is [Antimony] no Metal, yet created of God out of a Metalline matter, that is out of [Mercury] digested in the Bowels of the Earth with [Sulphur], otherwise it would be a Metal; therefore that it is not a Metal, the Form is the Cause, and not the Matter; for in matter Metals and [Antimony] are all one. Now this [Sulphur] which is in [Antimony] can be altered by digestion, and be made so clear and pure as the [Sulphur] in [Gold] can ever be made by Nature; but the [Sulphur] in other Metals can never come to such purity; and this is the difference in the [Sulphur] of Metals and [Antimony], that this can be transmuted, but theirs not; therefore is [Antimony] an imperfect Metal, and in Philosophy called [Saturn], of which Rhasis writes, that in [Saturn] [Gold] and [Silver] are contained, in potentia, not visibly. Also Pythagoras said, All Secrets are in [Saturn], and this [Saturn] is our Lead, which we Physicians must know and understand; for it is created for us, it is ours, and not anothers: So then if it be ours, we will know how to prepare and digest it, that the Medicines may be made out of it which is in it, even as out of a Golden Marchasite, by the art of Refining Gold may be melted; so also out of [Antimomy] by Art is Aurum Medicorum made, which, which also wise men even from the beginning of the world (amongst which have been many Kings and Noblemen) have sought and obtained, and left us the Art which they have found; by the which we also might be made partakers of this unspeakable Treasure: this Art have they named Alchimy, that is, the Art of Preparing, which we Physicians must also know certainly, as a Tanner his Liquor, and not spend our time in turning over Leaves, or any other Arts, which by the misunderstanding of Names after the death of the first Egyptian Wisemen sprung forth and breathed into us by Satan, by the which we spend our youth so miserably and unprofitably, and at the end know less than at the beginning; therefore shall we Physicians wait on our Callings, and prepare Medicines for the Sick to whom we are called, leaving other things to others, who have time and leisure to search Curiosities.
Now for the preparation of [Antimony], know that [Antimony] is an Earth where lies a Metal called [Mercury], this must the Physician draw from [Antimony], but the Miner shall first melt [Antimony] from his Mineral Earth wherein it grew, and purify it: When this is finished, then he hath done his work, and shall commit it to the farther work of the Physician: Now as the Miner separates [Antimony] from the earth wherein it grew, that is, from the superfluous Mineral moisture of [Antimony], and much earthy [Sulphur], this separation must be made that the Metalline Splendor that appears in [Antimony] may not be burned, but drawn forth higher and better, which so soon as the Slack comes from it, shines forth; it is then no more [Antimony], but [Mercury] Philosophor, and may be cast as another Metal, and flows as pure [Mercury]; by these signs shall one know that it is no more [Antimony] but [Mercury]; which differ as much from one another as [Gold] and Gold earth, for [Gold] Marchasite or Earth is not [Gold], but has [Gold] in it, which the Refiner separates; so is [Antimony] not [Mercury], but has [Mercury] in it, which the Physician shall separate. Thus is [Mercury] made out of [Antimony], out of [Saturn] Argent-vive, which belongs to the Physician, out of which he shall farther make [Silver], and out of [Silver] [Gold], so has his work an end.



Though we have said of [Mercury] that it is drawn out of [Antimony] by the Art of Separation; yet let no man think that by this work the Medicine is perfected; for this [Mercury] is an immature Plant full of poison, by no means to be used by the sick; but this poison is only the crudity of [Mercury], for it is even so raw as common Argent-vive, although it be coagulated by Nature, yet the [Sulphur] is only external in it, and not rooted in it, therefore it is even as crude as common Argent-vive; and Argent-vive my very easily be drawn out of it, which is as crude and volatile as the other. Experience also proves this; for if [Gold] be amalgamated with this Argent-vive, it flies far sooner from it by Fire, than the common Argent-vive: by the which we may gather that the common Argent-vive is better digested than this, so is there also a greater heat in it; for if you set this amalgamated with [Gold] in a Glass to coagulate, the Amalgam will be, the longer it is digested, the more moist, and never be coagulated, as it has happened to us; but the Amalgam with common [Mercury] is presently hard with heat, and black, and will be a red Powder, which cannot be done by this Argent-vive; for the heat in it is so great, that the cold of [Gold] cannot have any action thereon. So then is [Mercury] nothing else but argent-vive, to the which Mineral [Sulphur] cleaves, and it is a pure clear [Sulphur], yet rare and imperfect; but when it is digested, and brought to his perfection;, then it is that Arcanum which tinges his argent-vive, and transmutes it from its poisonous nature into the noblest Medicine which has not its like in the world. You shall also know that this [Sulphur] when it is brought to his perfection, is no Body, but a Chaos, that is, a Spirit; for in the first separation of [Antimony], cometh all the Earth therefrom wherein this Spirit lies, as the impure from the pure: but it is (as we have mentioned before) not as yet a Medicine, much less when it is not separated, but is mixed with his Slack or Faeces; for the Accidents which hang on this [Mercury], viz. the Arsenical Moisture and Earthy [Sulphur] are dangerous poisons, which strengthen and increase the malignity of [Mercury], from the which let every Physician keep himself, not following the use of [Antimony] Vitrificate; for though vitrificate [Antimony] has done much good (as has been found by experience, against which none can speak) and performed such cures as could never have been done by the Apothecaries Drugs and Compositions; yet it is not as yet the right Medicine, for the Humid and Terrestrial Mineral Venemosity is not separated from his [Mercury], as they think, by Calcination, but the Mineral is the more strongly mixed with the [Mercury], that only flies away from it, in which the Metalline form lies, which ought not to be separated from [Mercury], but from the Centre to the Superficies it is wholly drawn from it, so that the Terrestrial Faeces fall from it; for they cannot mix themselves with the Form, but when the Form is driven forth by the Fire, and the Compound is destroyed. So remain the Faeces mixed with the good [Sulphur], and the Physick arising from such Calcination is poison; therefore must the Metallick form be preserved; for it is a living Fire, which performs all that is done in this work, even to the end of the complete Digestion; wherefore the Ancients write thus: As the ablution of the Elements is made by virtue of Fire, so the conjunction of them afterwards is done without it: The Fire in this Mineral is its Life, through which it is purified; not with any artificial Fires, as some think by Calcinations, others by Sublimations, the third by Evacuations; this man has the Medicine in a Diaphanous Glass; another in a White or Red Powder; the third in Oil, Rose-water, Aqua-vitae, &c.

Oh! You Physicians, what will our posterity say, when they shall read our Books, and find such folly therein? You cause by your writings nothing more than that you make the young Physicians to erre, and also those that are not Physicians. As Paracelsus by his noble Art which he (while he lived, preserved in honour with Princes and Nobles, some of which are yet living) has proved and given them cause better to weigh your Grounds; and lastly to mark from your practice that what you use for your Patients is erroneous Phantasy: So now if you would go about [Antimony], learn first to know what it is, what it hides in it, how the same may be brought out of darkness into light; and farther, to what end God has ordained it, and then you your selves will be ashamed of your Rosewater and other Slops, I say, and teach you that out of [Antimony] shall [Mercury] be made, and not a Glass, nor Sublimate, nor Oil, nor Water, but our Metal [Mercury], which yet is not a Medicine, and because of his immature and Marchasite nature cannot be digested in the Stomach, much less come to the end and place where the sickness lies, and therefore it works only on the Stomach, and causes cruel vomitings; not only from his own Nature, but also by the Poisons above mentioned, which as yet cleave to the Glass, and troubles very much our Archeus in the Stomach, that it endures not Sickness with these poisons mingled with it, but must cast them forth upward. Now this Archeus is the Intelligence and power of God, which well knows what hurt this Poison does, if it remain with us; therefore for the rectifying of the Body and Life, it permits not the poison to stay long, but chases his Enemy out, and with it the Disease which is settled in that place. Of this Archeus of Paracelsus wa will clearly write in the Treatise of the Administration of this Mystery. Now to proceed, and diligently to treat of the digestion of [Mercury], how the Physician shall make Silver out of him, so much as will be convenient for us to mention; and we will not through Envy conceal what is to be spoken.



Thus is [Mercury] born of a pure Virgin [Sulphur], the noblest Creature that God has created after the Soul of Man; but it is as a little Child, naked and poor, by reason of the poverty of the Artists, who seeking nothing but Riches, neglect all other things, and cast them under the Board; but God is this Child’s Patron and protector. Through him it grows, and is born again, and then as a strong Champion and Hercules, it tames all evil things; the scorn which now lies upon him hurts him not, but falls on the Scorner, and must at last cost him dear, this is, his Life. [Mercury] remains always [Mercury]; yes, to the end of the world must it remain; yes, though all the Physicians past, and now living, with all their Books should so pass away that their Names should be no more; yes, they will remain whom [Mercury] has made Physicians. I have many Reasons for to declare diverse Mysteries concerning this Magical [Mercury], and would questionless do the greatest service I can for the lovers of truth who as yet have not drunk out of the Babilonish cup: but because I see that the world is blinded and seduced by the Sophistical Names and Titles, that they hold their Sayings and Writings for Oracles of Apollo, by which means the Sophisters cause that other men to whom God has imparted somewhat of his Truth, are despised, reproached and scorned; so that the Magistrate cannot take notice of the Fools and Asses who sit behind his Ears, otherwise might his Roast-meat burn on the Spit. For these Causes will I a while be silent, but it troubles me that the Lovers of the Truth must value Sophisters, who are upheld by many, and may boldly write Lies for Medicines; yet by their operations cannot warrant the least Letter of their Writings; but seeing the obstinate will not abstain from their Errors (which notwithstanding in their hearts they perceive, and not the least amongst them have lamented to me) they are not worthy that we should open our Mysteries of Physick to them; wherefore let it remain hid, that God would have it so for our sins, who will open the Eyes of his, whom I will help as much as I can. And say farther of Mercury, that it is an immature Medicine, as a sour green Apple, and harsh Grapes, not to be eaten; it is then to be digested and matured from Heaven: so also understand concerning this Mercury, it must be matured from Heaven, not by our Fantastic Heats of the first, second, third and fourth Degree: our Artificial Fires bring no profit here, therefore it shall not be digested in B. M. Sand, Ashes, or Horse-dung, but from Heaven only. As for example, if you see a ripe Pear on the tree, you can easily eat it, but if it be hard and stony, let it remain on the Tree till it by time be made sweet, so it is lovely to be eaten; but if you break it off, and will digest it yourself in an Oven, or with any other heat, what do you make? What difference is there between the Pears which you and time have matured? Verily a very great one. So also it happens to the Alchymists, who make rare Furnaces, and find out subtle Digestions, yet therewith at length perform nothing. The reason will I tell you, that you may perform the right Digestions of Mercury; the Alchymists persuade themselves (Oh! How many years lay I also sick in this Spittle) that one may make a fire so ingeniously and artificially, that one thing may be brought into another; but it is a great error in them, that they consider not that their fire is not that by which God works mediately. Seeing now their Fire is not the Instrument of God the Creator, how then would they make that which belongs to this Divine Instrument alone, and to no other God uses not our fire: for the makes and matures nothing therewith; but he can well burn up by his fiery Instrument, and what he has made bring to nothing thereby. What ripens the corn in the Field, the fruit in the Garden, the Grapes on the Vine? Does not God by the Heavens which are his Instruments? Could we perform these things by our Fires, were we greater than we are? But it has not pleased God to have it so; therefore can we not do it.

Now then we must mature our Mercury, but our Fire cannot mature it; it follows then that we must have the right Fire; but where shall we take it? Where would we seek it? In Plato, Galen, Aristotle, Avicen? These have had nothing certain concerning this great Light; moreover, Galen was a wicked Reprover of Christ: Where find we it then? In Paracelsus? Indeed he has written many things of it, but with that subtlety, after the Cabalistic manner, that you can taste nothing therein. Shall we fly up to Heaven and pull it out of the hand of God? No, he must truly be a simple man, who knows not that a great Mystery lies in this: What! Think you that it fell from Heaven upon the old Wise men? No, they have taken unspeakable pains, by which they have obtained it: Afterwards, through Parables, Allegories, Metaphors, they have set it forth and described it in their Books. Shall we now lay it forth so plainly to thee, who are a Galenist or Paracelsian, that you may take it away when you please? It comes truly to none in this fashion; we must pray to God for grace, and do what others have done: It is called Donum Dei; it is of God, therefor not of man, or of any Creature: we must give no man that which is not our own; but we will show where it is to be sought & found: So have the Wise –men written many Books thereof; and every one treats thereof according to his heart’s desire; we have of Books many, and they shall be common so long till Helias comes, and lays forth these things for us; but this I will say, that the Alchymists (I understand not here those Sots who will make others rich, yet are Beggars themselves) have called this Mystery the Philosophers Stone, the Blessed Holy Stone, for this cause that God has placed it in an Earthy, stony and contemptible Matter: the Arabians have called it Alchymy, because Alchymy is an Instrument which divides the good from the bad; and what is not mature it matures. The Astronomers say it is Sol that brings all Fruits to their maturity: So is this Mystery according to the Similitude called the Sun also; Paracelsus also in many places calls it Gold, as in that place where he says, Let Gold be the Seed be you the growing Plant, &c. It has yet many other names in other Faculties and Sciences, which I pass by.
Now all these names are given it from Man, but God perhaps has given it another name, which as yet is hid amongst Men; in Archidoxis it is called Quintessence, and thus defined by Paracelsus; Quintessence is a corporeal matter, drawn out of all Vegetables, and all things which have Life, separated from all impurities and corruptions, subtilized up to the highest purity, divided from all Elements. In this description he teaches, that this Mystery is the Life of Creatures, yet a corporeal Life; for in all things is life, but not corporeal in all.

No Spirit is in our power, therefore is this life made a body, and by God given to whom he pleases. What may be written plainer? Then, as it is said, that this Fire is life, and, that no Man be seduced, it’s not the life of everything, but a corporeal life; What make we then with our Fire, which is not a life, but the death of all things? Therefore he that will prepare this Physical Matter, that is the above mentioned Mercury, he must study Books, for therein this preparation is taught, that is, in Chymical Books, of which we have very many good and bad, true and false. If you object against me, That not only the common people, but also great Nobles, have laboured a long time in Alchymy with great expense, amongst the which there have been very learned Men, yet of them none have found anything I answer, That this Noble Art requires a sound man, all these have been sick; for they have had the Gold Sickness, which has darkened their senses, so that they cannot understand the terms which the Wise-men use in the description of this Art; only seeking with hot desire, that which they shall never find: But what is to be found, that seek they not; therefore they work in vain. Who is to be blames, the Art, or these Artists that they understand nothing? Alchymy is a pure and uncorrupted Virgin, she casts off the rational Man and will have an intellectual one; of whom, at this present, I see but few: Let no Mans Reason deceive him, we cannot be without errors, for very much of the Idol hangs on it; in the Mind, is the true Intellect which we must follow, not Reason; so shall we get in, and thereby understand the Wise-men, who write rare things, and easily know what it is; & that the Physician above all other learned Men, must take notice how God has placed him in his stead for to help the sick, and therefore given him his Instrument, which he has given to none other than to the Physician alone. Therefore have I made this Chapter, to show you what belongs to digestion, namely, that it is not Natural, but altogether Divine. The first Operation of the Refiner, is Natural; the second of the Physician, is Natural also; but the third, is Divine; for God works here alone, and the Physician setts in his stead, he has that Divine Instrument in his hand, and makes what is commanded him: Now the Operation is thus done; God who created the World spoke the word, and it was made: So here also; so soon as Mercury perceives the power of God Sol, it is no longer Mercury, but Luna; because of this sudden and wonderful operation will this work be called a Magistery, of which also Paracelsus writes in his Archidoxes. That is called a Magistery, which is drawn out of a thing without separation and Elemental preparation, and is by addition drawn into such a matter, and preserved. These are the words of Paracelsus, and they are true, that this Mercury is wholly changed and turned about, so that what was inward, viz. the Signate Star, is drawn outward, but no part separated from another.

The addition of the Instrument, that is Quintessence goes through the Mercury, and remains with it; and seeing the Quintessence belongs to Life, it changes the Mercury, so that now Mercury is nothing else but Life itself also, and this operation is done very quickly, without any Elemental working; for as every Workman adorns his work, and gives it his Mark, by the which his Masterpiece is known; so also God makes this his Creation, and gives it the noblest Sign that is in Heaven: Paracelsus calls it the signate star, and says they are Treasures which neither the Pope nor the Emperor can buy. This Art Paracelsus extolls very high, and justly, for it is a perfect gift, descending from the Father of Light, and it is not of man; for this sign God gives, therefore must he be called on.

He is then wholly a fool, who cannot see this rare and wonderful thing, by this sign shall you know their perfect Digestion, which is the root is nothing else than the manifestation of that which is hid. Mercury is outwardly a poison, inwardly a medicine; you shall by no means think that any poison ought to be separated from him, as many understand, through rare preparations; all that’s in it must remain together, and only be regenerated; for through this regeneration will the bad be made good and the poison a medicine: therefore it is necessary that every Physician know fundamentally what Regeneration is, not according to any opinion, but with his Eyes he must see it, with his hands handle it, and in his understanding find out his possibility: What Physician has not this Knowledge, let him not meddle with Mercury; it is not for him: But who earnestly thirsts after the knowledge of Nature, and is well experienced in Chymistry, may take Mercury in hand. What I mention, seek therein, all is in it, and if you rightly go about it, you shall experimentally find that which I have met with; then shall you see that I have written not out of hate and envy, but from a true heart, for all Lovers of Truth, this Treatise, not according to my thoughts and speculations, but from perfect experience, which Time according to Gods Will have manifested to me. According to my experience will I at last show also the manual operation in this Work, and what Mercury is then; and further impart to you honest Physicians wholly and truly what his Physical power is.



Now come we to the Harvest; the Summer has perfected his work, and matured the Fruits, the Corn must be mown, the Apples gathered, and the Grapes pressed; for these things manual operation is required, as in the beginning the Husbandman must work, till his Land, sow his Land; afterwards let God work; at last his work begins again, to cut down his Corn, to separate the Corn and Chaff from one another: So must also the Physician do; first wash the Medicinal matter with his hands, then sow the Gold therein, and lit it grow by the blessing of God, and in harvest separate and preserve the Medicine from his Body, for which end manual operation is also required; for God makes not for us Bread out of Corn, or Wine out of Grapes, the Baker and Vineroone must do these things: God lets Silver grow out of [Mercury] for us, and gives it into our hands, that we may further make Sol out of it with our hands, for in this Luna is our Sol, as the Corn in the Ear and Stalk, as in the other Chapter it was shown that the metalline Form which appears in the [Antimony] ought not to be forced out through Fire, but as gently as may be; be drawn out, and the longer the more; so know that this form must remain, even to the whiteness of [Silver], for then it is in his highest degree; you have also heard that the Form is a Fire, which purifies the matter wherein it is from all impurities, this same form is also the Life of the Matter; and of all Metals when the Form comes away so live they not; now the [Mercury] has had this Life as the [Silver] has it now; there is a life in both which changes it not self; as the Child first born has a life even as perfect as a man, but the strength of a man he has not: So our [Mercury] is as a weak Child, but the [Silver] as a strong man, and there is as much in the one as in the other; the strength and power which time and the nourishment give the matter only excepted: the matter grows thereby, not the form, in Vegetables according to the quantity; but of [Mercury] not of one Ounce is made ten. The sickness only grows in the health, and if the form is pure, the matter is also pure; although they are together, yet is there no perfect mixture, but one can be separated from another, which in Phyisck the Physician must do: But will you make Metals thereout, so must no separation be made, but an universal mixture, the form and matter may be made one Individiuum. Who has this [Silver] and knows it, he has that which from the beginning of the world was sought of all men; it is matter of health and riches, and both flow from one Fountain called Wisdom, the Physician takes his Gold thereout, the Refiner also that which is his. What belongs to the Physician I meddle with, and will leave the other for the Refiner; the Physical part have I taught, the other can I not. Therefore let the form stand, and say only that it is a living Body, the subject of all wonders, and the secret of the secrets of God; this Body is not profitable to the Physician, therefore shall he part it from the form, it divides itself easily. It is Aurum Potabile of the Physicians, and coagulates Oil. When it is liquid, it is as red as the soundest Blood; when it is coagulated, it is of a Golden colour, his right name is [Sulphur] Philosophorum; when the Physician obtains this [Sulphur], then has his Alchymical work an end. Now will I show you what this Pearl is, which adorns the Physician over all Medicines, and wherefore in this Mineral the highest Medicine is hid which is not to be found in any other thing that grows out of the earth; not but that there are Medicines also in Plants, though some fantastic Alchymists deny it: But as in metals there is that which is not in plants; so also in plants has God created that which metals have not, as I will sufficiently declare in my Books of the use and application of this [Sulphur]. Now know that man has two Lives in him, one of the Soul, the other of the palpable Body; the soul has an immortal Life, the Body a short and mortal Life, that is dissolvable, because Life is separated from the Body, not the Life dies; but it is called mortal, because by dissolution the Compound perishes: this short Life by Physicians is called Balsam, because it is the Medicine which preserves the Body from putrefaction, that it fall not into pieces, that is, be sick; and if it be sick, it is also the Medicine that heals it, not Sage, Balm or Endive, but the Balsam must do it; for plants nourish only the palpable Body, but not the Life that is the Balsam; now if the Balsam be impure (be it from the celestial influence from whence the greatest sickness come, or from other Accidents) and therefore cannot help the sick, then it is by Aliments strengthened; but its nourishment is out of that we eat for of the same things we are made, we are also fed and nourished.

But now is our palpable Body, together with its Life, made of God, and taken out of the world; what is in the great world is also in the less, therefore is man called a Microcosm: From whom shall the Son who is in want receive but from the Father? For the Father is most loving to his Child; if his Son hungers, he feeds him; if he be naked, he clothes him; our Body has need of both: Is the Body sick by heat or cold, so must it be clothed; the palpable must have corporeal things, the spiritual part spiritual. Is the sickness in the Body? It is to be cured by the substance of plants: Is it in the Balsam, that is, in the Life? It shall in like manner be cured by the Balsam of plants; thus are both cured. But here is a great point to be observed, and the secret of all Medicines. If in the Epilepsy, our Balsam is nourished by Peony, Mistletoe, in the Palsy with Lavender, yet the Balsam of these Plants cannot help our Balsam, for the Disease will not away from the sick: Here lies the Stone whereon Galen & Avicen, &c. have fallen together; and it is true, and will be always true that Paracelsus writes; and hither Hypocrates referred all his Extracts, and decreed to take that Body which is before you, and to preserve it, being mortal, with a mortal Remedy. At this present day there is no other Art amongst the Physicians, than to heal and purify our impure Balsam with the Balsam of Plants, which is impossible, as we see in the Gout, Leprosy, Palsy, that they can perform nothing by their Purgations, yet they would over-persuade us, and make us blind: Think not that the work of the Physician is in sweating; but in the Cure of his Patient: We grant and know that if the Disease be in the corporeal Mass, that they have Medicines enough: But if in the Balsam, wherein most lies, neither Avicen nor Galen knew any Medicine experimentally; the reason is, that Galen was an Heathen & an Idolater; but his knowledge (Reader understand me right) comes from Theology: Had Galen understood the least letter thereof, he had written better of the foundation of Phyick, that Paracelsus after him needed not to have done; but seeing that he blames the Prophets & the Don of God, what was his knowledge in the Mysteries of Nature? Or what know you, their Disciples, in that secret of Physick wherein God works truly: Your Father was a wicked man, what are you his children? You are not in this guiltless, that you say if Galen had been born in Christendom, and known Christ, he had written other things. Tell me one thing; when was Trismegistus born? Now has he not known more of Christ than perhaps any of your who have given him the knowledge of Christ? The Creatures of God which were laid before Galens eyes, as well as Trismegistus, wherefore has he not known God thereby, if he were so learned and profound as you make him? I could very well tell you the Reason, but the shortness of this Treatise permits not; it shall be done in another place. But some perhaps think that the Medicine for the gross body of man was first found by Galen and Avicen; but it is not so: But it was amongst the old Fathers of Families, which Galen in his time scraped up together from the common people, and with his Philosophical Reasons, as a Painter draws forth a Form, at length made into a Method, and who follows them not must not be accounted a Physician: it were very excellent good to receive true Precepts; but seeing that ancient Histories do testify that Portius Cato chases all the Physicians from Rome, not because of their Profession & Art of Physick; but because he well understood the Cozenages which they carried about; how comes it to pass that we Christians receive their Writing as irreproveable or natural Gospels? What has been found by the first Physicians serviceable for the diseases of the body, we thank God and them for it; but what others have polluted by their vain Dreams, we are not bound to maintain; and no man can justly reprove us if we pray and seek for the Secrets of God in Nature, and search the Causes in other good Books: Wherefore in the Balsam of plants this power is not to purify our Balsam; yet we ought not therefore to be hated because we show the Causes to young men, as I now do in this Treatise of [Antimony]; therefore you young Physicians mark diligently; for the Balsam of the Microcosm can be purified by no other thing than through the Balsam of the Microcosm, which is hid in all Creatures; but it has so pleased God that the spiritual Balsam shall not do it, but the corporal; wherefore the life of the world must be made a Body in the creatures, not in all, but in them which are created in the Centre of the Elements; in them is the Balsam corporal, and is called Quintessence, which is in Metals, but yet only as a seed which shall grow into his fruit; which fruit is that Gold of which this Chapter treats, and this Gold is nothing else than the Life of the Microcosm, yet with this difference, the Balsam of our Life is a Spirit, but this Gold is a corporeal Balsam, and because that it is corporeal, therefore it has power and might to purify and clarify our Balsam, which thing the spiritual Balsam in other things can never do: Understand not that this gold drives forth the Diseases; but that it purges the Balsams, through which purgations they are strengthened, and chase forth diseases, and separate them from the Body.

The first Inventers of Astronomy have written that [Gold] purges the Bodies by the Sun, they have understood this gold, and by the Body the Balsam of the Microcosm. And our gold is nothing else than a specific purgation of our Balsam: All Laxatives which are found & written by you Physicians, touch not the Balsam, and therefore not only the Gout, Epilepsy, Cancer, &c. remain incurable, but also even petty Tooth-aches, and common Fevers; and although this Mystery lies as yet in so contemptible a matter, yet shall we cast it away and reject, and not thank God for so great a gift by the which we are freed from the Diseases of our Bodies: You may quarrel with God because he has created it in Cassia, Manna, &c. let us take it thankfully as it is, and use it for our Necessities; your foolish and spiteful hearts shall not make us err, but rather merry; the Truth will pull off your Vizors and make you appear to the world as you are.

Now know that this [Gold] or [Sulphur] Philosophor when it comes into the Body, and is received by our Balsam, it clarifies the Balsam of the Blood from the fume of malignant Stars; if the Disease be sound principal Members, this [Sulphur] must be fermented with a specific form, otherwise it has no power to work in the Members. The Specifics transmute this gold from one nature into another; for the Balsam of the Blood has a disposition differing from that of the Brain, Heart, Spleen, &c. All these things must a Physician diligently observe, that he may oppose the heavenly influences; for, for their sake are these Mysteries found out: It is also very necessary to mention here, that if the Balsam have a sickness which is above the Heavens, that is, that the cause comes not from the Heavens, but from God, this sickness is not subject to our Medicine, therefore some men are sick even till the Lord have mercy on them, or till they die. So also if one or more of the seven Members have conceived corruption by a venomous Medicine, so that it is received into the substance of its body, there is no hopes of recovery, therefore this Medicine shall not have more said of it than it can do. From the Balsam clarified follows health afterwards, but not in an hour; but the sickness is diminished daily: This [Sulphur] must also be given inward, according to the greatness of the sickness; but in the Administration of it, is a secret Manual Operation; which none knows but the Physician, to whom the Microcosm is known; of the which I will speak in this Fifth and Last Chapter.



I acknowledge that in the former Chapters I have said too little of the [Gold], but the form of [Silver] stood in the way, that I dare not make further mention thereof; for if I should speak what were to be spoken of it, I must also plainly describe the form, which ought not to be done. Now have I handled nothing in this Treatise by Similitudes; but as the thing is in itself, so have I described it: But the Form belongs not to the Physician, but to the Mineralist, who may find enough written thereof in Peter Bonus Ferariensis. Thereof is [Antimony] sufficiently declared, and as you see after the simplest manner, that none can exclaim against me, and say that I write so obscurely, that I cannot be understood. To conclude, I warn every man that understands me not, that he go not about to make what I teach; for this is not for him; but a Secret of God above his understanding: But he that understands me, will without doubt put his hope in God, and accomplish what I write. The same shall even know that he has not therefore found the Medicine wholly, but only begun to learn it; for what is it I have a good Sword in one’s hand, if one know not how to draw it forth against our enemy; we must therefore first know how to use it; so the Physician also though he has [Sulphur] Philosophor in his hand, and knows not the use, what profit is it? The knowledge of administering it requires a very expert Physician; not from the reading of Galen; but from the knowledge of the Micrososm; therefore it is necessary to write diligently of the use of this Secret, which I shall (if God give life and opportunity) speedily do, and not keep it from you; yet thus much will I here manifest to you, that that [Sulphur] cannot be digested in our stomach; but if it be not digested, it’s not the Physick it should be; for after digestion virtue goes out of him, and not before. Mankind has a gift that is from God, Paracelsus calls it Archeus; the office of this Archeus is to make man’s flesh out of Bread, and blood out of Wine; and what man wants, that it makes out of the Aliment: Now we find that man is not the Medicine, therefore cannot the Archeus out of [Sulphur] or [Gold] make the Medicine; so it follows from hence that there must be used another Archeus, that this digestion may be accomplished, Paracelsus in his Book De [Tartar], mentions this Digestion, how our Stomach is comforted, and says this Arcanum is [Gold], which is true, but it is a Speech too subtle and short for your young Physicians: Let no Man be so senseless, as to persuade himself, that this Medicine is to be obtained by the bare letters of Paracelsus. This say I, that he has a great secret who knows to perfect this digestion in Man; so ordinary Physicians shall know it, for very much belongs to it; therefore let everyone, who by diligent Labour and Operations have obtained this [Sulphur], nor abuse this gift of God, lest he get more shame and scorn than honour amongst the sick. I could if it were convenient, in few words declare this digestion, and annex it to this Treatise; but it is not convenient, by reason of many secrets which depend thereon; wherefore this Treatise shall be only of the Preparation of [Antimony] concerning the Use, I will write another Treatise; by the which you shall understand what Paracelsus has written De Arcanis & Elixiribus, in his Archidoxes. That I write no Receipts in this Book is, because I will not seduce you for Receipts are Deceits to the young Physicians. Further, there is no Receipts in Paracelsus concerning Secrets in Physick, which has not an occult sense, and has either too much or too little; and this is done, not without great reason.

So has this Treatise of [Antimony] an end; in which we have spoken, What [Antimony] is, in the first Chapter; in the second, How Mercury is made out of it; in the third, How it must be regenerated by Heaven; in the fourth, How out of Luna Physical Sol must be made; in the fifth, What is further necessary for a Physician to know ever he use this Gold? So much have I undertaken to write of [Antimony] for young Physicians sake, who know not what [Antimony] is, that they may not be seduced by the Galenists, who are not ashamed to write they never experimented; what I write, I know that it is true, and this Work has not once only gone through my hands, and I know it much better than the Shoe-maker his Last: Wherefore then may I write what is true?

Although the Devil be never so black and base, yet in this he cannot bite me: Physick concerns the Body and the Life, he that writes anything thereof, which he cannot prove by his practice, is a Murtherer: For then shall the Galenists escape, whether will they go? Therefore, Reader, if you will take pains, apply yourself to this way as to a firm Rock which is unmovable; yet I pray you that you attempt not this Work Illotis manibus, that is, if you understand it not, it belongs not to you: You young Paracelsians, I will also admonish you, Do not as the contrary part does, dispute not much of Physick in your Prefaces, and defend your Masters not only with words, but also by your practice; by your words, you will as soon win the Galenists, as the Apostles did the Heathen by Preaching. Work do all; you must therefore work; so much as you perform your Works, so much you are to be called Paracelsians: Be diligent and careful, for not every one that glories that he is of Paracelsus, can do Paracelsus Works; keep yourselves from undigested Writings; the Rose has time for its growth; when your time is come, help the Truth by Words and Works; so shall you triumph over your Enemies, as Theophrastus did in his life time. Thud I conclude this Treatise. Expect a better.

This have I written in Dutch, that Artificers, Mechanics, Yeoman, who buy [Antimony] and work on it, may know, that they do ill to meddle with that which they understand not.

The End of the first Treatise.