A Discourse on Fire and Salt

Discovering Many Secret Mysteries, Philosophical, Theological, Alchemical

Blaise de Vigenere

Edward Stephens, trs., (London: Printed for Richard Cotes, 1649)


To his worthy

friend Captain



Sir I been informed of your zeal and, and forwardnesse in advancing Learning and Truth, two commendable virtues for a man of your merit and profession. And meeting with a subject composed by a French Authour, I present the Translation to your favourable acceptance: It is of forraign birth, though swadled up in an English habit: It hath done much good abroad, and I am confident it will do the like here, if supported with your approbation: It had not seen the Presse here, had I not been assured of the candor and integrity of the Authour. I repose confidence of acceptation, because the translator hath been of your long acquaintance, and was lately sensible of your propensity and assistance, when he came in your way: If this may find grace with you, you will engage him to make further inquisition into this most sacred and secret mystery and to rest,


Your most affectionate friend


PYTHAGORAS who of all Pagans was undoubtedly, by common consent and approbation, held to have made more profound search, and with less incertainty penetrated into the secrets as well of Divinity, as of Nature, having quaffed full draughts from the living source of Mosaicall Traditions, amidíst his dark sentences, where, according to the Letter, he touched one thing, and mystically understood and comprised another; (wherein he imitates the Egyptians and Chaldeans, or rather, the Hebrewes, from whence all theirs proceeded) he here sets downe these two: Not to speak of God without Light; and to apply Salt in all his Sacrifices and Offerings; which he borrowed word for word from Moses, as we shall hereafter declare. For our intention is here to Treat of Fire and of Salt.

And that upon the 9. of Saint Marke, verse 49. Every man shall be salted with Fire, and every Sacrifice shall he salted with Salt. Wherein foure things come to be specified, Man, and Sacrifice, Fire, and Salt; which yet are reduced to two, comprehending under them, the other two; Man and Sacrifice, Fire and Salt; in respect of the conformitie they beare each to other.

In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth; this said Moses on the entrance upon Genesis. Whereupon the Jew Aristobalus, and some Ethniques willing to show that Pythagoras and Plato had read Moses bookes, and from thence drawn the greatest part of their most secret Philosophy, alleged that which Moses should have said, that the heaven and the earth were first created; Plato in his Timaeus, after, Timaeus Locrien said that God first assembled Fire and Earth, to build an universe thereof; (we will shew it more sensibly of Zohar in the Week of a Candle lit, for all consists of light, being the first of all Creatures). These Philosophers presupposing that the World consisted (as indeed it doth) of the foure Elements, which are as well in heaven, and yet higher; as in the earth, and lower, but in a diverse manner.

The two highest, Aire and Fire, being comprised under the name of Heaven and of the Aethereall Region: for the word **** comes from the verbe **** to shine, and to enflame, the two proprieties of these Elements. And under the word Earth, the two lower, Earth and Water, incorporated into one Globe.

Moreover the foure Elements (whereof all is made) consists of four qualities, Hot and Drie, Cold and Moist; two of them are bound up in each of them: Earth, that is to say, Cold and Drie, the Water, Cold and Moist; the Aire, Moist and Hot; the Fire, Hot and Drie: whence it comes to joine with the earth; for the Elements are circular, as Hermes would have it; each being engirded with two others, with whom it agreeth in one of their qualities; which is "hereunto appropriate: as Earth betwixt Fire and Water, participates with the Fire in dryness, and with Water in coldness; and so of the rest.

Man then which is the Image of the great World, and therefrom is called the Microcosme, or little World, as the World which is made after the resemblance of his Archetype, is called the great man; being composed of four Elements, shall have also its heaven and its earth: The soule, and understanding, are its heaven, the body and sensuality, its earth: So that to know the heaven and earth of man, is to have true and entire knowledge of all the Universe, and of the Nature of things.

From knowledge of the sensible World, we come to that of the Creator, and the Intelligible world; by the Creature, the Creator is understood, said Saint Augustine. Fire then gives motion to the body, Aire feeling, Water nourishment, and Earth subsistence. Moreover heaven designes the intelligible world, the earth the sensible: Each of them is subdivided into two, (in every case I speak not but after Zohar and the ancient Rabbins.) The intelligible into Paradise and Hell; and the sensible, to the Celestiall and Elementary world.

And the Heaven, which is spirituall, is our soule, and the inner man; the Firmament is the externall, that neither seeth, nor knoweth God but sensibly. So that man is double, an animall, and spirituall body, the one Internall, Spirituall, Invisible; that which Saint Marke in this place designeth for man; the other Externall, Corporall, Animal, which he denotes by the Sacrifice which comprehendeth not the things that are of the Spirit of God, but the Spirituall discerneth all; So that the exterior man is an animal compared to brute beasts, whereout they tooke offerings for Sacrifices: He is compared to foolish Beasts, and is made like them; for a man hath no more then a Beast:we must understand the Carnall, and Animall, that consists of this visible body, that dyeth as well as Beasts, are corrupt and return to Earth: Whence Plato said very well, that which is seene of man, is not man properly.

All that is, is either Invisible, or Visible; Intellectuall, or Sensible; Agent, and Patient; Forme, and Matter; Spirit, and Body; the Interiour and the Exteriour man; Fire, and Water; that which seeth, and that which is seen.

But that which seeth is much more excellent and more worthy then that which is seen, and there is nothing that seeth, but the invisible, where that which is seen, is as a blind thing; therefore Water is a proper and serviceable subject, over whom the Fire or Spirit may outstretch his action.

What is man, the soule of him, or the flesh, or the Assembly of those two? For the clothing is one thing, and the thing clothed another. Indeed there are two men ( I leave the Messiahe apart) Adam was made and formed of God; in respect of the body, of ashes, and of earth, but afterwards inspired in him the Spirit of Life; if he had kept himself from misprision, he was like unto Angels made, participant of eternall beatitude, but his transgression dispossessed him. The other man is he, which comes successively to be borne of man and woman, who by his originall offence is made subject to death, to paines, travails, and diseases, therefore must hee return from whence he came. But touching the soule that came from God, it remains in its free will: if it will adhere to God, it is capable to bee admitted into the ranke of his children, who are borne not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Such was Adam before his first transgression.

There is a double fire, the one stronger, that devours the other. He that will know it, let him contemplate the flame that parteth and mounteth from a kindled Fire, or from a Lampe or Torch; for it mounteth not, except it be incorporated to some visible substance, and united with the aire, whereupon it feedeth. But in the flame that mounteth there are two lights, one white, which Shineth and illightneth, having its root somewhat blew; the other red, fastened to wood, or to the weik that it burneth. That which is white, mounteth directly upwards, and underneath the red remaineth firme, and departs not from the matter, administering wherewith to flame and shine to the other; but they come upon the point to join and unite together, the one burning, the other burned, till they bee converted into that which predominates and plays the master, namely the white, always the same without variation and change,

as the other doth; which now growes black, after becomes red, yellow, peach colour, sky colour, azure reinforced above and below, above with a white flame, below with the blackness of the matter, which furnisheth it wherewithall to burne, and at the last is therewith consumed. For this azure, red, and yellow flame, the more grosse and materiall it is, endeavors alwayes to exterminate and destroy that which nourished and maintained it: as sins do the conscience which harbours them, to the end to make them the perdition and ruine of all that which adheres to it here below, so long, till at the last it remaines extinct; there where the light annexed "hereunto, is not eternally extinguished but goes freely upward, and returnes to its proper place of abode, or residence; having accomplished its action below, without changing its brightnesse into any other colour then white. In the like case is it of a tree, whose roots are fastned within the earth, from whence it takes it nourishment, as the weik takes his from the tallow, waxe or oyle which makes it burn.

The Phaenician Theologie, admitted but of one Element, Fire; which is the principall and chief of all, the productor, and destroyer of all things: which doth not much disagree from that in the 118. Psal. is the fiery word by which times were formed. Heraclitus also puts fire, for the first substance that informed all, and from whence they drew all things from power into action, as well superiour, as inferiour, celestiall and terrestriall: For hot and cold, moist and dry, are not substances, but qualities and accidents; from whence naturall Philosophers forged four Elements, whereas according to verity there is but one; which according to the vestments it receives from the accidentall qualitie, takes divers appellations. If from the heat, it is from the Aire; from moisture, Water; from drynesse, Earth; which three are but one fire, but reclothed with divers and different habits. Even as Fire extending it selfe in all, and through all; so all things come to render unto it, as to the center. So that it may be rightly called an infinite and indetermined vigour of nature, or rather the vivification thereof, for without it nothing could be comprehended, seen, or obtained, above or below; that which illightens is celestiall, that which concocts and digests Aereall, and that which burnes is terrestriall; which cannot subsist without some grosse matter coming from the Earth, which he reduceth in the end to it selfe; as wee may see in things burned, converted to ashes, from whence after the extraction of Salt, rests nothing but pure earth, Salt being a potentiall fire, and waterish, that is to say

terrestriall water, impregned with fire; from whence all sorts of mineralls, come to production, for they are of the nature of Water. The experiment may bee scene in strong Waters, all composed of minerall Salts, Alums, Saltpeters, which burne as Fire: which produceth hot and dry exhalations agitated with winds, easie to take flame, also of flints, of Iron, and of Wood, and of seraped bones, especially those of a Lion, as saith Pliny: whence we may gather that there is potentiall fire in all.

Will it bee lawfull for us here to bring one entire passage of Rhases in a book of the Secret Triplicity? for it is not common to all, and wee will strongly insist on this number by reason of the three Fires and three Salts, whereof wee pretend to Treat. So that there is a Mystery in this number of 3 that must not bee forgotten, for that it represents the operation, whereof Fire is the Operator; for 1, 2, 3, makes 6. the six dayes wherein God in the Creation of the world perfected all his workes, and rested the seventh day. There are (saith Rhases) three natures, the first whereof cannot bee knowne nor apprehended, but by a deepe elevated Meditation: This is, that all-good God Almighty, Author and the first Cause of all things; The other is neither visible, nor tangible, although men should bee all contrary; that is to say, heaven in its rarity. The third is the Elementary World, comprehending all that which is under the Ethereall Region, is perceived and known by our senses. Moreover God which was from all eternity, and with whom before the Creation of the world, there was nothing but his proper name knowne to himselfe, and his Sapience, that which hee created on the first day, was the water wherein hee mingled earth, then came tree to procreate after, that which had a beeing here below. And in these two Elements, thicke and grosse, perceptible to our senses, are comprehended the two other, more subtill and rare, Aire, and Fire. These four bodies being, (if we must call them bodies) bound together with such a minglement, that they could not perfectly separate. Two of them are fixed, namely, Earth and Fire, as being dry and solid; the other two volatil, Water, and Aire, which are moist and liquid: so that each Element is agreeable to the other, two wherewith is bounded and enclosed, and by the same meanes, containes two in itselfe, the one corruptible, the other not, the which participates of the Divine nature: and therefore there are two sorts of Waters, the one pure, simple, and elementary; and the other common, which we use in Lakes, Wels, Springs, and Rivers, raines and other impressions of the Aire. There is likewise a grosse Earth,

filthy and infected; and a Virgin Earth, crystalline, cleare, and shining, contained and shut up in the Center of all the composed Elementaries; where it remaines revested, and covered with many foldings one upon another. So that it is not easie to arrive there, but by a cautelous and well graduated preparation by fire. There is also a fire which is maintained almost of it selfe, and as it were of nothing, so small is the nourishment that it needeth; whence it comes to bee more cleare and lucent, and another obscure, darke, and burning, and consuming all that to which it is fixed, and it selfe at last. And Aire on the other side pure and cleane, with another corruptible full of legerity, for of all the Elements, there is none more easie to be corrupted then the air; all which substances so contrary and repugnant, mingled with elementary bodies are the cause of their destruction: wherefore of necessity that which is pure and incorruptible, must be separated from its contrary, the corruptible and impure, which cannot be done but by fire, the separator and purificator. But the three liquid Elements, Water, Aire and Fire, are as inseparable one from the other, for if the Aire were distracted from the fire, the fire which hath therefrom one of its principall maintainments and food, would suddenly extinguish, and if the water were separated from the Aire, all would bee in a flame. That if the Aire should be quite drawne from the water, for as much as by its legerity, it holds it somewhat suspended, all would be drowned. Likewise if Fire should be separated from the Water, all would bee reduced into a deluge. For three Elements neverthelesse may well bee disjoined from the Earth, but not wholly, there must remaine some part to give consistence to the Body: and render it tangible, by the meanes of a most subtill and thinne portion thereof, which they will elevate with them, out of this gross thickness that remaines below, as wee may sensibly see in glass, which by an industrious Artifice of fire, is depured of the darknesse that was in the ashes, to passe from thence to a transparent clearnesse, which is of the nature of Fire and indissoluble Salt, accompanied with a firme and solid thicknesse, having neither transpiration nor pores.

And Hermes in that of his 7 chapters, Understand yee sonnes of the wise, the Science of the four Elements, whose secret apparition is no where signified, except they bee divided and compounded, because out of the Elements nothing is made profitable without such a Regiment; for where Nature ends her operations, there Art begins. Take such a composed Elementary, what you will, herbe,

wood, or other the like, upon which, fire may exercise its action, and put it in an Alembic or Cornue; first let them separate the water, and afterwards the oyle, if the fire bee moderate, if more pressed and reinforced, both together: but the oyle will swimme above the water, which may easily be separated by a fonnel of Glasse. This water is called Mercury, which of it selfe is pure and cleane; and oyle, the sulphur, adustible and infect, that corrupts every compounded thing: In the bottome of the vessel will rest the Ashes, of which by a forme of lee,with water the Salt will bee extracted, and after you have withdrawn the water with Balneum Marie, as men call it: for the oily unctuosities do not mount by this degree of fire, no more doth the Salt, but much lesse; and the indissoluble Earths stript of all their humidities proper to vitrifie: for saith Geber, every private thing by its owne humidity doth performe none but a vitrificatory fusion. So there are two volatill Elements, namely the liquid, Water and Air, which is Oyle, for all liquid substances naturally shunne the fire, which elevates the one, and burnes the other. But not those two which are dry and solid; which are Salt, wherein is contained Fire, and pure Earth, which is Glasse: over whom the fire hath no power but to melt and refine them. See there the four Elements redoubled, as Hermes calls them, and Raymund Lullius the great Elements; for as every Element consists of two qualities, these great Elements redoubled, Mercury, Sulphur, Salt, and Glasse, participate of the two simple Elements, (to say better) of all four; according to the more, or the lesse, of the one, or of the other; Mercury holding more of the Aire, to which it is attributed; Oyle or Sulphur of the Air; Salt of Fire; and Glasse of the Earth, who findes it selfe pure and cleane in the Center of all the composed Elementaries, and is the last to reveale it selfe exempt from others. Of this sort by the Artifice and operation of Fire, and of its effects, we depure all infections and filth, even to reduce them to a purity of incorruptible substance from this time forward; by the separation of their inflamable, and terrestriall impurities; for (saith Geber) the whole intention of the Operator, is

versed in this, that the grosser parts being cast away, the worke may bee perfected with the lighter; which is to mount from the corruptions here below, to a purity of the celestial world, where the Elements are more pure and essential, fire there predominating which is the chief of all others. Hitherto touching Alchymie, and wherein shee is versed.

Magick for the celestial world, was in times past, a holy and

venerable Science, which Plato in his Charmis calls the true Medicine of the soule; and in the first, Alcibiades puts it, that it was wont to show the Elders of the great Kings of Persia, to teach them to reverence God, to their temporall domination according to the patterne of the order and policy of the Universe. But it is nothing else properly (as Orpheus saith) but a forme of marriage of the starry heaven with the earth, whither hee darts his influences, by which shee impregnes comming from the Intelligences who assist therein, and an application of agent vertues upon the passive, and that without the cooperation of Daemons the most part, evill, false, and deceptive, yet some more than others; with which it is thought that the three wise kings, Magi, that came to so farre to adore Jesus Christ, were willing to have some acquaintance and commerce.

These two Deities aforesaid, Pallas and Vesta, one and the other, chaste Virgins, as is also Fire; represent unto us the two fires of the Sensible world; that is to say, Pallas, the Celestiall; and Vesta, the Elementary here below, the which notwithstanding it bee more grosse and materiall, then that above, tends nevertheless alwayes upward as if it endeavoured to unmingle it selfe from a corruptible substance, where it remaineth fixed, to return free and exempt from all these hinderances to its first Original from whence it came, as an imprisoned soule,

There is in them fiery vigor and celestial Origin,

In seeds as much as our harmelesse bodies stay them,

And our terrene joints dull them, and our dying members.

The other on the contrary, though more subtill and essential rusheth out here below toward the earth, as if these two aspired incessantly to encounter each other, and to face each other, in the fashion of two Pyramides; whereof that above should have its basis planted in the Zodiack, where the Sunne perfects his annuall course through the 12 Signs: from the point of which Pyramis, comes to cast here below all that which is here procreated, and hath being, according to the Astrologers of Egypt; that there is nothing produced in the earth, and in the water, which was not first sowed in heaven, which is there, as a labourer to cultivate it, and by his heate, impregned here below, with the efficacy of his influences, conducts the whole to its compleat perfection and maturity, which Aristotle also confirmes in his bookes of

Beginning and Ending. But the fire here below on the contrary at the basis of his Pyramis, fastned to the earth, making one of six faces of the Cube, whereof the Pythagoreans give him the form and figure, because of its form, and invariable stability; and from the point of this Pyramis the subtill vapours mount upwards, which serve as nourishment to the Sun, and to all the rest of the Celestiall bodies, according as Phurnutus writeth after others. Men attribute (saith hee) inextinguished fire unto Vesta, peradventure for that the power of fire that is in the world, takes it nourishment from thence, and that from thence the Sunne is maintained and consisteth. This is that also, that Hermes would inferre in his Table of Emerandes: That which is below, is as that which is above, and contrarywise, to perpetrate miracles of one thing. And Rabbi Joseph the son of Carnitol in his ports of Justice, the foundation of all the inferior aedifices is placed above, and their head or top here below as a Tree inverted. So that a man is but as a spirituall tree planted in the Paradise of delights, which is the earth of the living, by the roots of his haires; following that which is written in the Canticles 7. The haire of thy head like purple, the King is bound in the Galleries.

To conclude then, that which was heretofore said of fire, and of the four worlds; that of the Intelligible is all luminous; of the Celestiall, shining, and hot, by reason of its motion; of the Elementary here below, shining, hot, and burning; and of Hell, nothing but burning. So these three proprieties of fire, to light, to warm, and to burn, though the effects be divers and strange, and the operations almost infinite, only of the elementary to begin with that which is nearest to our senses. Rabbi Elchana greatly honoured amongst the Hebrewes, sets forth, that out of the 10 fingers of the hand, being addressed and conducted, by the understanding, may proceed more different sorts of works then there are stars in Heaven; the most part whereof come from the action of fire, on which almost all labouring instruments do depend. Fire principally served the first men, who had nothing but it for all working instruments. In regard of its motion, we may sufficiently see, that there is nothing more glistring and moving then the fire, which is the very cause of all motion. Take away heat, there will be no motion, saith the Chymicall Philosopher Alphidius, and this motion is accompanied with depuration, for fire will have none but pure things, according to Raymund Lullius. For it is not only the pure substance of all others, but it purgeth, mundifieth, and cleaneth all that, upon which it can have Action, of

that which therein may be corruptible. The Lord will wash away the filth of the children of Israel, by the spirit of burning, Esay. 4.4. wherefore the Greeks call it *******:, Purging. So that the ****** or ****** purifying, was not made but by fire, as the solemn annuall feast of Candlemasse witnesseth. And in all the Eastern Churches, when they would say the Evangel they burn great Tapers, as we do upon the day of Purification, and that for token of joy and rejoicing, whereof fire is a symbole; and according to that, we make two fires upon the feast of Saint John Baptist, conformable to that, in the first of Luk. 14 Many shall rejoice at his birth and fires of joy, in some happy successes of victories, at the birth of Kings children, and the like occasions of alacrity.

There are (saith Hermes) seven Metallick bodies, of which the most worthy and principall is gold, attributed unto the Sun: from whence it hath its name, for the same that the Sun is to the stars, gold is toward the elementary bodies, what thing soever burning it can bee, cannot burne it, the earth cannot corrupt it, nor the water destroy nor alter, because its complexion is tempered in heat, moisture, coldnesse and drinesse, and there is nothing in it superfluous or deficient. By reason whereof, I finde that those are farre wide of their accompt, which to keep themselves from poysoning, would serve themselves with vessells of gold to eat and drink in; for gold respects no more poisons nor venomes, then it would doe of capon broth: So do silver, pewter, copper, lead & iron, which would therewith change immediately. Even as a fearful man, and of small resolution, who at the encounter of a Serpent or other venemous beast, would grow suddainly pale, and come to change colour: The care, curiosity, and assiduous travell of infinite, rare, and meditating spirits, by the space of 4 or 5000 years, have found in metals secrets without number, and yet knew not to do so well, but that they have left much more to enquire into, and to search after: although there be but seven in all, comprehending therein running quick-silver.

Wherein it is wonderfull, that Nature so copious and abundant in all her procreations, which are divers, is pleased in this respect with so small a number. Metals then, being such whose regiment depends on fire; which is one of the proper visible symboles to represent the most hidden secrets, and mysteries of Divinity;

invisible, and imperceptible to our senses.

Gold, silver, and all metals, yea generally, all things whatsoever, although they may bee said to bee of God; as St. Jerome said very well, forasmuch as he created them, and gave them being, subsistence, and maintenance. The earth is the Lord and the fulnesse thereof: notwithstanding this gold and silver, which God alledgeth here more particularly to bee his, must bee understood mystically. By silver, interpret the law of the mouth, The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purifed seven times. And by Gold (saith Zohar) the written Law, where there are many brave meditations to be considered; for there is not a form of a letter, point nor accent, but importeth some mystery, as it is particularly specified in Ghinab Egoz, in the garden of drowning of Rabbi Joseph Castiglian. On the other side silver is applyed to the old Testament, gold to the New. Origen confronts Faith to Gold, and the confession and preaching thereof to silver. That there, to the conceptions of the thought, and this here, to the word and enuntiation made by mouth which expresseth it, and puts it out. The tongue of the just is chosen silver. Of which two metals, namely of right Faith and purity of conscience, and of verball confession, the Temple, and Church of God in Christianism and the glory of him was greater then the Jewish Law, which was but a dark shadow thereof. So that gold, designs the heart, that corresponds to the Sun, and to fire: and silver words, with Salt wherewith they must be seasoned: The word is near unto thee even in thy mouth, and in thy heart that thou maist doe it: which the Apostle appropriating, If thou confesse the Lord Jesus with thy mouth, and dost believe in thy heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for wee beleeve with the heart to Justif cation, and confesse with the mouth to have Salvation. It is gold and silver which hee would that wee should build on his foundation: the gold of Havilah, that groweth within the terrestriall Paradise, with the Carbuncle and the Emrauld which the Psalmist in the 67. Psalm calleth the Greens of Gold.

The Sun also, which is a visible Image of the invisible Divinity, as for light, so for its vivifying heat, wherewith all sensible things are maintained, as the intelligible by the supercelestial Sun, works the same effect in case of purlfication, as fire, As we may see by experience, as the places where the Sun-beams come not, are ever musty and mouldy, and to purlfie them wee open windowes to

admit light into them: and there make great fires, which is very proper in the time of the Plague, for it chaseth away ill air, as light doth darknesse. Also evil spirits, who have more reputation in the dark, from plague walking in darknesse, the Hebrews call this Divell ravaging by night Deber, and from his violence and Meridian Divell, that of the day Keteb; the Greeks *******. There is in the fire, saith Pliny, a certain faculty and medicinall vertue against the Plague. Who for the absence and hiding of the Sun, comes to form itself: wherein wee find by lightning it here and there may bring great comfort and succour in many kinds. As Empedocles and Hippocrates doe elsewhere sufficiently demonstrate. There was also a Physitian at Athens that got much reputation, by causing them to kindle many fires during the Plague time. So that, the true Plague of the soul being iniquities and offences, which poison it, its theriac or counter-poyson, can not bee better found then in the fire of contrition that the Holy Spirit kindles therein: My heart was hot within mee, while I was musing, the fire burned, Psal. 39. 3. There is also a fire of Tribulation which was spoken of before, that consumes our vanities, and unruly concupisences; and makes us return to God, whereupon one of the ancient Fathers said, it was a happy tribulation that forceth to repentance.

But some will demand, What is that fire, from whence comes it, that so purlfies our souls, and warms them in the Love of God, and illightens them with his knowledge? for wee love nothing but what wee know: and wee cannot know God, nor see his light, but by his light (In thy light we shall see light:) that is to say, by his word and parol who hath vouchsafed to revest us with our flesh.

Thy word is a fiery word, and thy servant loveth it. It this fire then which our Saviour saith, hee was come to send into the earth: and what will I, if it be already kindled? For as Prometheus brought fire here below, which hee had lighted, in one of the wheels of the Sun's Chariot: The word hath rendred, lightened in the Mercavah Chariot or throne of God, which is all of fire; as also in the 17. of Dan. vers. 9. Origen in his 13. Homil. upon the 25. of Exodus. Jacinth, Purple, double Scarlet, and Silk: sets down that these four represented the four Elements, Silk or Linnen, the Earth from whence it came; Purple, Water, because extracted from bloud with the shell or cockle of the sea; Jacinth in Hebrew Techeleh, the Air, for it is without heavenly blew; and Scarlet, fire, by reason of its red enflamed colour. But wherefore is it there said, that Moses

redoubled the fire; and not one of the rest? Because that fire hath a double propriety, the one to shine, and to bee bright, and the other to burn: we must understand corruptible things, for upon the incorruptible, wee must look upon for this regard, to refine them and amend more and more.

That there is one fire which devoures another being the stronger, as wee may see in some burning firebrand, or torch, that which proceeds therefrom is of two sorts: the one blew, attached to a black match, which retaineth it self there nourishing it self from corruption. The other flame proceeding from the red inflamed Match is white, and the blew is white in the highest, as to return to the first originall: this Homer was not ignorant of, when in the 6. of his Odysses hee attributed to the Olympus a pure and bright splendor.

Nothing should better represent unto us the four worlds namely the white which is supercelestial, the blew celestiall, the match fired, the Elementary, and the burning darknesse, Hell: which abundantly shews us the body. Rednes, the vitall spirits, resident in the bloud; the blew, the soul; the white, the intellect and the divine character imprinted in the soul: and as the blew light cloth quickly change into yellow, quickly into white, the soul also can doe the same according as it shall incline it self to good or to evill: or whether shee follows the provocations of the flesh or the invitations and exhortations of the intellect, following that which is written in the 4. Gen. 7. If thou doe well, shalt thou not bee accepted? and if thou dost not well, sin lieth at the dore. And unto thee shall bee his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. The white flame is always the same, without variation or change, as doth the blew: So the fire in this respect is fourfold. Black in the lower part of its weik, where the flame that is fastened to it, is blew. Red in the top of the weik, and the flame white. This which relates also, to the four Elements, black, materiall, to the Earth: Blew more spirituall to the air, Red to fire and white to water. For heaven is composed of fire and water, which is above the heavens. Let the waters that are above the heavens praise the Lord. Yet neverthelesse all this is but fire, as Moses the son of Maynon declares in the second Book of his Mor. chap.3 1.where he saith that under the name of the Earth are comprised the four Elements, and by darknesse was understood the first fire: for it is said in Deut. You have heard his words out of the midst of fire, and then he adds of a sodain, You have heard his

voice out of the darknesse: This fire moreover, was called the first fire because that is not it which is shining and clear but it is only so transparent to the sight as is the Air: and could not comprehend itself therewith, for if it were shining wee should in the night see all the air shine as fire. And for that the darknesse, which was first named, denoted fire, namely that whereof it is said, that darknesse was upon the face of the Abysse: because the fire was under the three Elements; comprised under this word Abyssus

This knowledge of the Elements, and of their colours, doth not insist only in composed bodies, here below, but thereby wee may mount as by Jacobs Ladder, the height of this celestiall world, where the Elements are also, yet of another sort, more simple and depured: and from thence to passe beyond into the intelligible world, where they are in their true essence; for all consists in the four Elements. Sons of wisdome understand (saith Hermes in his Tract of 7. chapters) not only corporally, but also spiritually, the science of the four Elements, whose secret apparition is in no wise signified, except they bee first compounded, because of the Elements; there is nothing made without their composition and Regiment. Will we dive more deeply into the secrets of this Caball? This Composition and Regiment of the Elements, is no other thing then the Sacrosanct, four-lettered ineffable Jehovah: which comprehends all that which is, was, and shall bee: where the little and finall * notes the body and matter, or other the like, where the Fire cleaveth or fasteneth unto: the * vau or cloud copulative which assembles the two * the intelligible and the sensible, are the spirits that join the Soul with the Body: the red inflammation of the coal or weik, with the azure flame, doe signifie the soul: and the Jod is the white unchangeable and permanent flame of the intellect, where all at length comes to terminate, which whitenesse is the seat of the true spirituall hidden light, which is not seen nor known, but by it self: for indeed our nature to take it in it self, is but a dark substance; right resembling the Moon, which hath no light but what it receives from the Sun, which she is apt to receive, as our soul is that of the intellectual light: And there is not a creature whatsoever, which is of it self a substantiall light; but only a participation of the only true light, which Shineth in all, and through all, plainly and sensibly.

Wee must then not speak of God without light, because he is the true light because, O Lord, thou art my Lantern which cloth

enlighten us, by thy word, Thy word is a Lantern to my feet, the splendor of the Father, and the living fountain of life: as holy St Augustine after St John. In him was life, and the life was the light of men, and light shined in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. So that from this light, wee have double commodity: the one, that life by which we live, the other the light by which we see, that which enlightens us. The spiritual man, the true man, enjoyes the one and the other: the Carnall man, life only: for touching the rest, he is in darknesse, because they have been rebells to light, saith Job, because they have not her ways. Even as if one should inclose a torch within a Lantern of cut-stone, or the like obscure and dark matter, where its light would remain as quenched and buried, without ability to extend it self abroad for the obstacle that hinders it. And if we want light (says St Ambrose) there would bee no more comelinesse, beauty, or pleasure in our house: for it is it which makes all seem agreeable: which he borrowed from Homer according to what was attributed in Suidas, who through an unseasonable time of cold, and rain having been received into an Inne, where they made him a fire, tree sodainly made verses containing in substance, that children were the ornament and Crown of the Father; Towers, of walls, horses, of the fields; ships, of the sea; Magistrates, of the places of the Assembly, where they administered justice to the people; and a fair burning and lighted fire, the comelinesse and rejoicing of an house, which renders it so much the more honorable. To see a burning fire in an old house. Some attribute them to Hesied: Trismegistus among the rest cals light the father of all, who hath procreated man like unto it, participant of light, and of life depending thereon: and life was the light of men. The Father is as the Sun in his Essence; from whence comes splendor and heat, which three are not separated one from another, but remain united together, although they are distinct; in this fire then our souls are warmed in the Love and fear of God, and lightened in his knowledge. Whereupon, Pope Innocent the 3. in a Sermon upon the Holy Spirit sets down, that hee was sent to the Disciples in shape of fire, to make them shine by wisdome, and to warm them by charity, that which regulates and forms life, and wisdom forms doctrine, and as this fire hath life, and heat by which it purlfieth and cleaneth: so the Holy Ghost by its light illuminates the spirit of man by wisdome, and repurgeth it by its ardent charity. This is the fire with which the inner man, should be salted, for to salt, bake, and burn, doe communicate their appellations and significations, by their conseinblable proprieties

and effects: because that Salt boils in the tastes by reason of its acrimony, and fire the sense when it burnes, and a thing salted is half boiled, as before said; as well to make it of more easie digestion, as to conserve it longer, which are the proprieties and effects of fire.

So the Heaven, Sunne, Fire, and Air, march together, and the earth under, which are comprised in the Elements below, water and dry land, on their side. It is Moses Heaven and Earth, and Hermes his high and low, which relate one to the other; that which is above, is as that which is below; and on the contrary, to perpetuate the miracles of one thing, as he saith in his Table of Esmeraulds. Zohar the intelligible and sensible World, by the contemplation whereof, we come to the contemplation of spirituall things, which the Apostle before him touched in the first to the Romanes. The invisible things of him from the creation of the World are made knowne by those things which are scene; for all that is here below in the earth is of the same manner as in heaven above; for God the Creator made all things annexed one to another, which Honzer was not ignorant of, by his golden chaine to bind together this inferiour and superiour world, and that they adhere one to the other, that his glory may stretch through all above and below. And in imitation thereof, man the image of the great world, and the measure of every thing was thereof made and formed of things low and high. And God took dust and thereof formed Adam and breathed into him the breath of life; the very light that shineth in the sensible world, depends upon this superiour light that is hid from us; from whence proceed all faculties and and vertues, which from thence are expressed to our knowledge, for there is nothing here below that doth not depend from that above, by a particular power, committed unto it, to govern and excite it to all its appetites, and motions, so that all is bound together.

We hold well for the remainder, that all we have from light in the sensible world, comes from the Sun, for that of the Moon, and of the Stars although innumerable, is a very small thing; yet it proceeds from the Sun; and that of fire, is but artificiall to give us light for default of the Sunne. But how shall it square with that to be willing to attribute the primitive source of light, and chiefly that of the producing and vivifying to the sunne, for that we see in the beginning of Genesis, that the first thing that was made, was the light on the first day, and the Sunne not till the fourth, vegetables being produc't from the former? This was (say the Rabbins

thereto) most wisely advised by Moses, as all his other writings proceeding from divine inspiration, to take away from men all occasion to Idolize this luminary, when we see that light was procreated before it. But in this respect there presents a very rare mystery, worthy of observation, that the compleat perfection of things fals out always on the fourth day, as of the light. The Sunne and Moone were made the fourth day, waters on the second day, produced nought but fishes; the fifth, which is the fourth after, and al animals; the sixth with man, for whom the fruits of the earth were made the third. Which sheweth us that the 4 number so much celebrated by Pythagoras, denoteth the perfection that resides in ten, resulting from the four first numbers, 1, 2, 3, 4, make ten.

And the Fire of the Altar, the celestiall fire of charity, faith, hope, it is that which we must desire of God to kindle in our hearts, and to season our thoughts and our desires, that no corruption be begotten there; as it doth here below in things corruptible and corporall; the prompt Minister, and executor of that, which the divine goodnesse will please to give of comforts and commodities in this temporall life. What obligations then do wee owe thee, thou excellent portion of Nature, without which we should live in so great misery? thou doest lighten in darknesse, thou cost make us rejoyce in obscurity, bringing us another day. Thou doest chase away from about us, hurtfull powers, feares, and nocturnall illusions; thou doest warm us being cold, thou doest redry us being wet; thou bakest our viands; thou art the soveraigne Artizan of all arts and manufactures which have been revealed unto us, to serve as a rampard against our naturall Imbecillities, that make us in regard of our bodies the feeble and infirm animall of all others. All this by reason of thy Divine baneficence, thou doest communicate to all mortals. And thou, O cleare luminous Sunne, the visible image of the invisible God, the light whereof, cloth rebate itself in thee, as within a fair manifold multiplying glasse, rendring thy selfe overflowing with all sorts of happinesses, which afterwards thou communicatest to all thy sensible Creatures, being so fair and so desireable a liberall benefactor, thou arisest most resplendent, with luminous beams which thou doest spread abroad into all parts of the world, and by the vertue of thy spirit, and breath, by thy vivifying vigour, thou governess and maintainest this little All.

Every man shall be salted with Fire and every Sacrifice shall be salted with Salt, Mark. 9. 49. Wee have already spoken of Fire, Salt


But it is strange that the Ceremonies of Paganisme, should be found in this respect, and many other in Mosaicall Traditions; Fire shall alwayes burne on the Altar; Lev. 6. T 2, I 3, The Priest shall burne wood thereon every morning, etc. And in the 2 I 3: Thou shalt season with salt all the Oblations of thy Sacrifices; and thou shalt not forget to put the salt of Gods Covenant under them; with all thy Offerings thou shalt offer Salt, which Salt Numb. 18. 19. is called the everlasting Covenant before God to Aaron and his sonnes. And Pythagoras in his Symboles, ordainee not to speak of God without light, and to apply Salt in all Sacrifices and Oblations. And not onely Pythagoras, but also Numa, which most part of men, hold to have been 100 years before Pythagoras, instituted the same according to the Doctrine of the Hetrurians. It is not beleeveable that Moses so deare and welbeloved of God, and so illustrated with his inspirations, whence proceeded all the documents that he left, and so hot a persecutor of Idolatries and Ethnique superstitions, that hee would borrow any thing from them. But more likely that the Devils instigations who makes himselfe alwayes as his Creators ape, to make himselfe to idolize, was willing to divert the sacred mysteries to their abusive impieties, according to which Josephus against Appion, and Saint Jerome against Vigilantius, doe very well sute: so that as in the Judaicall Law they used no Sacrifices and oblations in Paganisme, but they used Salt as Pliny witnesseth in 3I. Book 7. Chap. Especially in holy things the authoritie of Salt is understood, when none were made without a Salt Mill.