The Fame and Confession of the Fraternity of R. C./Confessio Fraternitatis
The Confeſſion of the laudable Fraternity of the moſt honorable Order of the Roſie Croſs, written to the Learned of Europe.
Whatſoever there is publiſhed, and made known to every one, concerning our Fraternity, by the foreſaid Fama, let no man eſteem lightly of it, nor hold it as an idle or invented thing, and much leſs receive the ſame, as though it were onely a meer conceit of ours. It is the Lord Jehovah (who ſeeing the Lords Sabbath is almoſt at hand, and haſtened again, his period or courſe being finiſhed to his firſt beginning) doth turn about the courſe of Nature; and what heretofore hath been ſought with great pains and dayly labor, is now manifeſted unto thoſe who make ſmall account, or ſcarcely once think upon it; but theſe which deſire it, it is in a manner forced and thruſted upon them, that thereby the life of the godly may be eaſed of all their toyl and labor, and be no more ſubject to the ſtorms of unconſtant Fortune; but the wickedneſs of the ungodly thereby, with their due and deſerved puniſhment, be augmented and multiplied.
Although we cannot be by any ſuſpected of the leaſt Hereſie, or of any wicked beginning, or purpoſe againſt the worldly Government; we do condemn the Eaſt and the Weſt, (meaning the Pope and Mahomet) blaſphemers againſt our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, and offer and preſent with a good will to the chief head of the Romiſh Empire, our prayers, ſecrets, and great treaſures of Gold.
Yet we have thought good, and fit for the Learned fakes, to add ſomewhat more to this, and make a better explanation, if there be any thing too deep, hidden, and ſet down over dark in the Fama, or for certain reaſons were altogether omitted, and left out; hoping herewith the Learned will be more addicted unto us, and be made far more fitter and willing for our purpoſe.
Concerning the alteration and amendment of Philoſophy, we have (as much as at this preſent is needful) ſufficiently declared, to wit, that the ſame is altogether weak and faulty; yet we doubt not, although the moſt part falſly do alledge that ſhe (I know not how) is ſound and ſtrong, yet notwithſtanding ſhe fetches her laſt breath and is departing.
But as commonly, even in the ſame place or Country where there breaketh forth a new unaccuſtomed diſeaſe, Nature alſo there diſcovereth a medicine againſt the ſame; ſo there doth appear for ſo manifold infirmities of Philoſophy, the right means, and unto our Patna ſufficiently offered, whereby ſhe may become ſound again, which is now to be renewed and altogether new.
No other Philoſophy we have, then that which is the head & fum,the foundation and contents of all faculties, ſciences, and arts, the which (if we will behold our age) containeth much of Theology and medicine, but little of the wiſdom of Lawyers, and doth diligently ſearch both heaven and earth: or to ſpeak briefly thereof, which doth manifeſt and declare ſufficiently Man; whereof then all Learned who will make themſelves known unto us, and come into our brotherhood, ſhall finde more wonderful ſecrets by us then heretofore they did attain unto, and did know, or are able to believe or utter.
Wherefore, to declare briefly our meaning hereof, we ought to labor carefully that there be not onely a wondering at our meeting and adhortation, but that likewiſe every one may know, that although we do highly eſteem and regard ſuch myſteries and ſecrets, we nevertheleſs hold it fit, that the knowledge thereof be manifeſted and revealed to many.
For it is to be taught and believed, that this our unhoped willing offer wil raiſe many and divers thoughts in men, unto whom (as yet) be unknown Miranda ſextæ ætatis, or thoſe which by reaſon of the courſe of the world, eſteem the things to come like unto the preſent, and are hindred through all manner of importunities of this their time, ſo that they live no otherwiſe in the world, then blinde fools, who can, in the clear Sun-ſhine day, diſcern and know nothing, then onely by feeling.
Now concerning the firſt part, we hold this, that the Meditations, knowledge and inventions of our loving Chriſtian Father (of all that, which from the beginning of the world, Mans Wiſdom, either through Gods Revelation, or through the ſervice of the Angels and ſpirits, or through the ſharpneſs and deepneſs of underſtanding, or through long obſervation, uſe and experience, hath found out, invented, brought forth, corrected, and till now hath been propagated & tranſplanted) are ſo excellent worthy and great, that if all books ſhould periſh, and by Gods almighty ſuffrance, all writings, & all learning ſhould be loſt, yet the poſterity will be able onely thereby to lay a new foundation, and bring truth to light again; the which perhaps would not be ſo hard to do as if one ſhould begin to pull down and deſtroy the old ruinous building, and then begin to enlarge the fore Court, afterwards bring the lights in the Lodgings, and then change the doors, ſtaples and other things according to our intention.
But to whom would not this be acceptable, for to be manifeſted to every one rather then to have it kept and ſpared, as an eſpecial ornament for the appointed time to come?
Wherefore ſhould we not with all our hearts reſt and remain in the onely truth (which men through ſo many erroneous and crooked ways do ſeek) if it had onely pleaſed God to lighten unto us the ſixth Candelabrum? were it not good that we needed not to care, not to fear hunger, poverty, ſickneſs, and age?
Were it not a precious thing, that you could always live ſo, as if you had liv’d from the beginning of the world, and moreover, as you ſhould ſtil live to the end thereof? Were it not excellent, you dwel in one place, that neither the people which dwel beyond the River Ganges in the Indies could hide any thing, nor thoſe which live in Peru might be able to keep ſecret their counſels from thee?
Were it not a precious things that you could ſo read in one onely book, and withal by reading underſtand, and remember all that, which in all other books (which heretofore have been, and are now, and hereafter ſhal come out) hath been, is, and ſhal be learned, and found out of them?
How pleaſant were it, that you could ſo ſing, that in ſtead of ſtony rocks you could draw to the pearls and precious ſtones, in ſtead of wilde beaſts, ſpirits, and in ſtead of helliſh Pluto, move the mighty Princes of the world?
O ye people, Gods counſel is far otherwiſe, who hath concluded now to encreaſe and enlarge the number of our Fraternity, the which we with ſuch joy have undertaken, as we have heretofore obtained this great treaſure without our merits, yea without any our hopes, and thoughts; and purpoſe with the like fidelity to put the ſame in practice, that neither the compaſſion nor pity of our own children (which ſome of us in the Fraternity have) ſhal draw us from it, becauſe we know that theſe unhoped for goods cannot be inherited, nor by chance be obtained.
If there be ſome body now, which on the other ſide wil complain of our diſcretion, that we offer our Treaſures ſo freely, and without any difference to all men, and do not rather regard and reſpect more the godly, learned, wiſe, or princely perſons, then the common people; thoſe we do not contradict, ſeeing it is not a ſlight and eaſie matter; but withall we ſignifie ſo much, that our Arcana or Secrets will no ways be common, and generally made known: Although the Fama be ſet forth in five languages, and is manifeſted to every one, yet we do partly very well know, that the unlearned and groſs wits will not receive, nor regard the ſame; as alſo the worthineſs of thoſe who ſhall be accepted into our Fraternity are not eſteemed and known of us by Mans Carefulneſs, but by the Rule of our Revelation and Manifeſtation. Wherefore if the unworthy cry and call a thouſand times, or if they ſhall offer and preſent themſelves to us a thouſand times, yet God hath commanded our ears, that they ſhould hear none of them: yea, God hath ſo compaſſed us about with his Clouds, that unto us his ſervants no violence or force can be done or committed; wherefore we neither can be ſeen or known by any body, except he had the eyes of an Eagle. It hath been neceſſary that the Fama ſhould be ſet forth in every ones Mother Tongue, becauſe thoſe ſhould not be defrauded of the knowledg thereof, whom (although they be unlearned) God hath not excluded from the happineſs of this Fraternity; the which ſhall be divided and parted into certain degrees; as thoſe which dwell in the City Damear in Arabia, who have a far different politick order from the other Arabians. For there do govern only wiſe and underſtanding men, who by the Kings permiſſion make particular Laws; according unto which example alſo the Government ſhall be inſtituted in Europe (whereof we have a defcription ſet down by our Chriſtianly Father) when firſt is done and come to paſs that which is to precede. And thenceforth our Trumpet ſhall publiquely ſound with a loud ſound, and great noiſe, when namely the ſame (which at this preſent is ſhewed by few, and is ſecretly, as a thing to come, declared in Figures and Pictures) ſhall be free, and publiquely proclaimed, and the whole World be filled withall. Even in ſuch manner as heretofore, many godly people have ſecretly and altogether deſperately puſht at the Popes Tyranny, which afterwards, with great earneſt, and eſpecial zeal in Germany, was thrown from his ſeat, and trodden under-foot, whoſe final fall is delayed, and kept for our times, when he alſo ſhall be ſcratched in pieces with nails, and an end be made of his Aſſes cry, by a new voyce: The which we know is already reaſonably manifeſt and known to many learned men in Germany, as their Writings and ſecret Congratulations do ſufficiently witneſs the ſame.
We could here relate and declare what all the time, from the year of our Lord 1378. (in which year our Chriſtian Father was born) till now, hath happened, where we might rehearſe what alterations he hath ſeen in the World theſe one hundred ſix years of his life, which he hath left to our Brethren and us after his deceaſe to peruſe: But brevity, which we do obſerve, will not permit at this preſent to make rehearſal of it, till a more fit time: At this time it is enough for theſe which do not deſpiſe our Declaration, having therefore briefly touched it, thereby to prepare the way for their acquaintance and friendſhip with us.
Yea, to whom it is permitted, that he may ſee, and for his inſtruction uſe thoſe great Letters and Characters which the Lord God hath written and imprinted in Heaven and Earths Edifice, through the alteration of Government, which hath been from time to time altered and renewed; the ſame is already (although as yet unknown to himſelf) ours: And as we know he will not deſpiſe our inviting and calling, ſo none ſhall fear any deceit; for we promiſe, and openly ſay, That no mans uprightneſs and hopes ſhall deceive him, whoſoever ſhall make himſelf known unto us under the Seal of Secrecy, and deſire our Fraternity.
But to the falſe Hypocrites, and to thoſe that ſeek other things then Wiſdom, we ſay and witneſs by theſe preſents publikely, we cannot be made known, and be betrayed unto them; and much leſs they ſhall be able to hurt us any manner of way without the Will of God; but they ſhall certainly be partakers of all the puniſhment ſpoken of in our Fama; ſo their wicked Counſels ſhall light upon themſelves, and our Treaſures ſhall remain untouched and unſtirred, until the Lion doth come, who will ask them for his uſe, and imploy them for the confirmation and eſtabliſhment of his Kingdom. We ought therefore here to obſerve well, and make it known unto every one, that God hath certainly and moſt aſſuredly concluded to ſend and grant to the World before her end, which preſently thereupon ſhall enſue, ſuch a Truth, Light, Life, and Glory, as the firſt man Adam had, which he loſt in Paradiſe, after the which his ſucceſors were put, and driven with him to miſery: Wherefore there ſhall ceaſe all ſervitude, falſhood, lyes, and darkneſs, which by little and little, with the great Worlds Revolution, was crept into all Arts, Works, and Governments of Men, and have darkened the moſt part of them. For from thence are proceeded an innumerable ſort of all manner of falſe Opinions and Hereſies, that ſcarce the wiſeſt of all was able to know whoſe Doctrine and Opinion he ſhould follow and embrace and could not well and eaſily be diſcerned; ſeeing on the one part they were detained, hindered, and brought into Errors through the reſpect of the Philoſophers and learned men, and on the other part through true experience. All the which, when it ſhall once be aboliſhed and removed, and in ſtead thereof a right and true Rule inſtituted, then there will remain thanks unto them which have taken pains therein; but the Work it ſelf ſhall be attributed to the Bleſſedneſs of our Age.
As we now willingly confefs, that many principal men by their Writings will be a great furtherance unto this Reformation which is to come; ſo we deſire not to have this honour aſcribed to us, as if ſuch Work were only commanded and impoſed upon us; but we confeſs, and witneſs openly with the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, that it ſhall firſt happen that the ſtones ſhall ariſe, and offer their ſervice, before there ſhall be any want of Executors and Accompliſhers Gods Counſel: yea, the Lord God hath already ſent before certain Meſſengers, which ſhould teſtifie his Will, to wit, ſome new Stars, which do appear and are ſeen in the Firmament in Serpentario and Cygno, which ſignifie and give themſelves known to every one, that they are powerful Signacula of great weighty matters. So then, the ſecret hid Writings and Characters are moſt neceſſary for all ſuch things which are found out by Men: Although that great Book of Nature ſtand open to all Men, yet there are but few that can read and underſtand the ſame. For as there is given to Man two inſtruments to hear, likewiſe two to ſee, and two to ſmell, but only one to ſpeak, and it were but vain to expect ſpeech from the ears, or hearing from the eyes: So there hath been Ages or Times which have ſeen, there have alſo been Ages that have heard, ſmelt, and taſted: now there remains yet that which in ſhort time, honour ſhall be likewiſe given to the Tongue, and by the ſame; what before times hath been ſeen, heard, and ſmelt, now finally ſhall be ſpoken and uttered forth, viz. when the World ſhall awake out of her heavy and drowſie ſleep, and with an open heart, bare-head and bare-foot, ſhall merrily and joyfully meet the now ariſing Sun.
Theſe Characters and Letters, as God hath here and there incorporated them in the holy Scripture the Bible, ſo hath he imprinted them moſt apparently into the wonderful Creation of Heaven and Earth, yea in all Beaſts. So that like as the Mathematician or Aſtronomer can long before ſee and know the Eclipſes which are to come, ſo we may verily fore-know and fore-ſee the darkneſs of Obſcurations of the Church, and how long they ſhall laſt: From the which Characters or Letters we have borrowed our Magick writing, and have found out, and made a new Language for our ſelves, in the which withall is expreſſed and declared the Nature of all Things: So that it is no wonder that we are not ſo eloquent in other Languages, the which we know that they are altogether diſagreeing to the Languages of our forefathers, Adam and Enoch, and were through the Babylonical Confuſion wholly hidden.
But we muſt alſo let you underſtand; that there are yet ſome Eagles Feathers in our way, the which do hinder our purpoſe. Wherefore we do admoniſh every one for to read diligently and continually the holy Bible; for he that taketh all his pleaſures therein, he ſhall know that he prepared for himſelf an excellent way to come in to our Fraternity: For as this is the whole ſum and content of our Rule, That every Letter or Character which is in the World ought to be learned and regarded well; ſo thoſe are like into us, and are very near allyed unto us, who do make the holy Bible a Rule of their life, and an aim and end of all their ſtudies; yea to let it be a Compendium and Content of the whole World: And not only to have it continually in the mouth, but to know how to apply and direct the true underſtanding of it to all times and Ages of the World. Alſo, it is not our Cuſtom to proſtitute and make ſo common the holy Scriptures; for here are innumerable Expounders of the ſame; ſome alledging and wreſting it to ſerve for their Opinion, ſome to ſcandal it, and moſt wickedly do liken it to a Noſe of Wax, which alike ſhould ſerve the Divines, Philoſophers, Phyſicians, and Mathematicians, againſt all the which we do openly witneſs and acknowledg, That from the beginning of the World there hath not been given unto Men a more Worthy, a more excellent, and more admirable and wholeſom Book then the holy Bible; Bleſſed is he that hath the ſame, yea more bleſed is he who reads it diligently, but moſt bleſſed of all is he that truly underſtandeth the ſame, for he is moſt like to God, and doth come moſt near to him. But whatſoever hath been ſaid in the Fama concerning the Deceivers againſt the Tranſmutation of Mettals, and the higheſt Medicine in the World, the ſame is thus to be underſtood, that this ſo great gift of God do in no manner ſet at naught, or deſpiſe it. But becauſe ſhe bringeth not with her always the knowledg of Nature, but this bringeth forth not only Medicine, but alſo maketh manifeſt and open unto us innumerable Secrets and Wonders; Therefore it is requiſite, that we be earneſt to attain to the underſtanding and knowledg of Philoſophy. And moreover, excellent Wits ought not to be drawn to the Tincture of Mettals, before they be exerciſed well in the knowledg of Nature. He muſt needs be an unſatiable Creature, who is come ſo far, that neither Poverty nor Sickneſs can hurt him; yea, who is exalted above all other men, and hath Rule over that, the which doth anguiſh, trouble, and pain others, yet will give himſelf again to idle things, as to build houſes, make Wars, and uſe all manner of Pride, becauſe he hath of Gold and Silver infinite ſtore.
God is far otherwiſe pleaſed, for he exalteth lowly, and pulleth down the proud with diſdain; to thoſe which are of few words he ſendeth his holy Angel to ſpeak with them, but the unclean Bablers he driveth in the Wilderneſs and ſolitary places: The which is the right Reward of the Romiſh Seducers, who have vomited forth their Blaſphemies againſt Christ, and as yet do not abſtain from their Lyes in the clear ſhining Light: In Germany all their Abominations and deteſtable Tricks have been diſcloſed, that thereby he may fully fulfill the meaſure of ſin, and draw near to go the end of his puniſhment. Therefore one day it will come to paſs, that the Mouth of thofe Vipers will be ſtopped, and the three double Horn will be brought to nought, as thereof at our Meeting ſhall more plain and at large be diſcourſed.
For Concluſiono of our Confeßion, we muſt earneſtly admoniſh you, that you put away, if not all, yet the moſt Books written by falſe Alchimiſts, who do think it but a Jeſt, or a Paſtime, when they either miſuſe the holy Trinity, when they do apply it to vain things, or deceive the people with moſt ſtrange Figures, and dark Sentences and Speeches, and cozen the ſimple of their money; as there are now a-days too many ſuch Books ſet forth, which the Enemy of Mans Welfare doth dayly, and will to the end, mingle among the good Seed, thereby to make the Truth more difficult to be beleeved, which in her ſelf is ſimple, eaſie, and naked; but contrarily Falſhood is proud, haughty, and coloured with a kind of Luftre of ſeeming godly and of humane Wiſdom. Ye that are wiſe eſchew ſuch Books, and turn unto us, who ſeek not your moneys, but offer unto you moſt willingly our great Treaſures: We hunt not after your Goods with invented lying Tinctures, but deſire to make you Partakers of our Goods: We ſpeak unto you by Parables, but would willingly bring you to the right, ſimple, eaſie, and ingenuous expoſition, Underſtanding, Declaration and Knowledg of all Secrets. We deſire not to be received of you, but invite you unto our more then Kingly Houſes and Palaces, and that verily not own proper motion, but (that you likewiſe may know it) as forced unto it, by the Inſtigation of the Spirit of God, by his Admonition,and by the Occaſion of this preſent time.
What think you, loving people, and now ſeem you affected, ſeeing that you now underſtand and know, That we acknowledg our ſelves truly and ſincerely Chriſt, condemn the Pope, addict our ſelves to the true Philoſophy, lead a Chriſtian life, and dayly call, intreat, and invite many more unto our Fraternity, unto whom the ſame Light of God likewiſe appeareth? Conſider you not at length how you might begin with us, not only by pondering the Gifts which are in you, and by experience which you have in the Word of God, beſide the careful Conſideration of the Imperfection of all Arts, and many other unfitting things, to ſeek for an amendment therein; to appeaſe God, and to accommodate you for the time wherein you live. Certainly if you will perform the ſame, this profit will follow. That all thoſe Goods which Nature hath in all parts of the World wonderfully difperfed, ſhall at one time altogether be given unto you, and ſhall eaſily disburden you of all that which obfcureth the Underſtanding of Man, and hindereth the working thereof, like unto the vain Epicides, and Excentrick Aſtronomical Circles.
But thoſe Pragmatical and buſie-headed men, who either are blinded with the gliſtering of Gold, or (to ſay more truly) who are now honeſt, but by thinking ſuch great Riches ſhould never fail, might eaſily be corrupted, and brought to Idleneſs, and to proud living: Thoſe we do deſire that they would not trouble us with their idle and vain crying. But let them think, that although there be a Medicine to be had which might fully cure all Diſeaſes, nevertheleſs thoſe whom God hath deſtinated to plague with Diſeaſes, and to keep them under the Rod of Correction, ſuch ſhall never obtain any ſuch Medicine.
Even in ſuch manner, although we might inrich the whole World, and endue them with Learning, and might releaſe it from Innumerable Miſeries, yet ſhall we never be manifeſted and made known unto any man, without the eſpecial pleaſure of God; yea, it ſhall be ſo far from him whoſoever thinks to get the benefit, and be Partaker of our Riches and Knowledg, without and againſt the Will of God, that he ſhall ſooner loſe his life in ſeeking and ſearching for us, then to find us, and attain to come to the wiſhed Happineſs of the Fraternity of the Roſie Croß.