The Fame and Confession of the Fraternity of R. C./Fama Fraternitatis
Fraternity of the moſt laudable Order of the
Although the rude World herewith will be but little pleaſed, but rather ſmile and ſcoff thereat; alſo the Pride and Covetouſneſs of the Learned is ſo great, it will not ſuffer them to agree together; but were they united, they might out of all thoſe things which in this our Age God doth ſo richly bestow upon us, collect Librum Naturæ, or a perfect Method of all Arts: but ſuch is their oppoſition, that they ſtill keep, and are loth to leave the old course, eſteeming Porphiry, Ariſtotle, and Galen, yea and that which hath but a meer ſhew of learning, more then the clear and manifeſted Light and Truth; who if they were now living, with much joy would leave their erroneous Doctrines. But here is too great weakneſs for ſuch a great Work: And although in Theologie, Phyſic, and the Mathematic, the Truth doth oppoſe it ſelf; nevertheleſs the old Enemy by his ſubtilty and craft doth ſhew himſelf in hindering every good purpoſe by his Inſtruments and contentious wavering people. To ſuch an intent of a general Reformation, the moſt godly and highly illuminated Father, our Brother, C. R. a German, the chief and original of our Fraternity, hath much and long time laboured, who by reaſon of his poverty (although deſcended of Noble Parents) in the fifth year of age was placed in a Cloyſter, where had learned indifferently the Greek and Latin Tongues, who (upon his earneſt deſire and requeſt) being yet in his growing years, was aſſociated to a Brother, P. A. L. who had determined to go to the Holy Land.
Although this Brother dyed in Ciprus, and ſo never came to Jeruſalem, yet our Brother C. R. did not return, hut ſhipped himſelf over, and went to Damaſco, minding from thence to go to Jeruſalem; but by reaſon of the feebleneſs of his body he remained ſtill there, and by his skill in Phyſick he obtained much favour with the Turks: In the mean time he became by chance acquainted with the Wiſe men of Damaſco in Arabia, and beheld what great Wonders they wrought, and how Nature was diſcovered unto them; hereby was that high and noble Spirit of Brother C. R. ſo ſtired up, that Jeruſalem was not ſo much now in his mind as Damaſco; alſo he could not bridle his deſires any longer, but made a bargain with the Arabians, that they ſhould carry him for a certain ſum of money to Damaſco; he was but of the age of ſixteen years when he came thither, yet of a ſtrong Dutch conſtitution; there the Wiſe received him (as he himſelf witneſſeth) not as a ſtranger, but as one whom they had long expected, they called him by his name, and ſhewed him other ſecrets out of his Cloyſter, whereat he could not but mightily wonder: He learned there better the Arabian Tongue; ſo that the year following he tranſlated the Book M. into good Latin, which he afterwards brought with him. This is the place where he did learn his Phyſick, and his Mathematicks, whereof the World hath juſt cauſe to rejoyce, if there were more Love, and leſs Envy. After three years he returned again with good conſent, ſhipped himſelf over Sinus Arabicus into Egypt, where he remained not long, but only took better notice there of the Plants and Creatures; he ſailed over the whole Mediterranean Sea for to come unto Fez, where the Arabians had directed him. And it is a great ſhame unto us, that wiſe men, ſo far remote th’ one from th’ other , ſhould not only be of one opinion, hating all contentious Writings, but alſo be ſo willing and ready under the ſeal of ſecrecy to impart their ſecrets to others.
Every year the Arabians and Africans do ſend one to another, inquiring one of another out of their Arts, if happily they had found out ſome better things, or if Experience had weakened their Perſons. Yearly there came ſomething to light, whereby the Mathematica, Phyſic, and Magic (for in thoſe are they of Fez moſt skilful) were amended; as there is now adays in Germany no want of learned Men, Magicians, Cabaliſts, Phyſicians, and Philoſophers, were there but more love and kindneſs among them, or that the moſt part of them would not keep their ſecrets cloſe only to themſelves. At Fez he did get acquaintance with thoſe which are commonly called the Elementary Inhabitants, who revealed unto him many of their ſecrets: As we Germans likewiſe might gather together many things, if there were the like unity, and deſire of ſearching out of ſecrets amongſt us.
Of theſe of Fez he often did confeſs, that their Magia was not altogether pure, and alſo that their Cabala was defiled with their Religion; but notwithſtanding he knew how to make good uſe of the ſame, and found ſtill more better grounds of his Faith, altogether agreeable with the Harmony of the whole World, and wonderfully impreſſed in all Periods of times, and thence proceedeth that fair Concord, that as in every ſeveral kernel is contained a whole good tree or fruit, ſo likewiſe is included in the little body of Man the whole great World, whoſe Religion, policy, health, members, nature, language, words, and works, are agreeing, ſympathizing, and in equal tune and melody with God, Heaven, and Earth; and that which is diſ-agreeing with them, is error, falſhood, and of the Devil, who alone is the firſt, middle, and laſt cauſe of ſtrife, blindneſs, and darkneſs in the World: Alſo, might one examine all and ſeveral perſons upon the Earth, he ſhould find that which is good and right, is always agreeing with it ſelf; but all the reſt is ſpotted with a thouſand erroneous conceits.
After two years Brother C. R. departed the City Fez, and failed with many coſtly things into Spain, hoping well, he himſelf had ſo well and ſo profitably ſpent his time in his travel, that the learned in Europe would highly rejoyce with him, and begin to rule, and order all their Studies, according to thoſe ſound and ſure Foundations. He therefore conferred with the Learned in Spain, ſhewing unto them the Errors of our Arts, and how they might be corrected, and front whence they ſhould gather the true Inditia of the Times to come, and wherein they ought to agree with thoſe things that are paſt; alſo how the faults of the Church and the whole Philoſopia Moralis was to be amended: He ſhewed them new Growths, new Fruits, and Beaſts, which did concord with old Philoſophy, and preſcribed them new Axiomata, whereby all things might fully be reſtored: But it was to them a laughing matter; and being a new thing unto them, they feared that their great Name ſhould be leſſened, if they ſhould now again begin to learn and acknowledg their many years Errors, to which they were accuſtomed, and wherewith they had gained them enough: Who ſo loveth unquietneſs, let him be reformed.
The ſame Song was alſo ſang to him by other Nations, the which moved him the more (becauſe it happened to him contrary to his expectation,) being then ready bountifully to impart all his Arts and Secrets to the Learned, if they would have but undertaken to write the true and infallible Axiomata, out of all Faculties, Sciences, and Arts, and whole Nature, as that which he knew would direct them, like a Globe, or Circle, to the onely middle Point, and Centrum, and (as it is uſual among the Arabians) it ſhould onely ſerve to the wiſe and learned, for a Rule, that alſo there might be a Society in Europe, which might have Gold, Silver, and precious Stones, ſufficient for to beſtow them on Kings, for their neceſſary uſes, and lawful purpoſes: with which ſuch as be Governors might be brought up, for to learn all that which God hath ſuffered Man to know, and hereby to be enabled in all times of need to give their counſel unto thoſe that ſeek it, like the Heathen Oracles: Verily we muſt confeſs that the world, in thoſe days was already big with thoſe great Commotions, laboring to be delivered of them; and did bring forth painful, worthy men, who brake with all force through Darkneſs and Barbariſm, and left us who ſucceeded to follow them: and aſſuredly they have been the uppermoſt point in Trygonoigneo, whoſe flame now ſhould be more and more brighter, and ſhall undoubtedly give to the World the laſt Light.
Such a one likewiſe hath Theophrastus been in Vocation and Callings, although he was none of our Fraternity, yet nevertheleſs hath he diligently read over the Book M: whereby his ſharp ingenium was exalted; but this man was alſo hindered in his courſe by the multitude of the learned and wiſe-ſeeming men, that he was never able peaceably to confer with others of his Knowledg and Underſtanding he had of Nature. And therefore in his writing he rather mocked theſe buſie bodies, and doth not ſhew them altogether what he was: yet nevertheleſs there is found with him well grounded the aforenamed Harmonia, which without doubt he had imparted to the Learned, if he had not found them rather worthy of ſubtil vexation, then to be inſtructed in greater Arts and Sciences; he then with a free and careleſs life loſt his time, and left unto the World their fooliſh pleaſures.
But that we do not forget our loving father, Brother C. R., he after many painful Travels, and his fruitleſs true Inſtructions, returned again into Germany, the which he (by reaſon of the alterations which were ſhortly to come, and of the ſtrange and dangerous contentions) heartily loved: There, although he could have bragged with his Art, but ſpecially of the tranſmutations of Metals; yet did he eſteem more Heaven, and the Citizens thereof, Man, then all vain glory and pomp.
Nevertheleſs he builded a fitting and neat habitation, in the which he ruminated his Voyage, and Philoſophy, and reduced them together in a true Memorial. In this houſe he ſpent a great time in the Mathematicks, and made many fine inſtruments, ex omnibus hujus artis partibus, whereof there is but little remaining to us, as hereafter you ſhall underſtand. After five years came again into his mind the wiſhed for Reformation; and in regard he doubted of the ayd wind help of others, although he himſelf was painful, luſty, and unweariſom, he undertook, with ſome few adjoyned with him, to attempt the ſame: wherefore he deſired to that end, to have out of his firſt Cloyſter (to the which he bare a great affection) three of his Brethren, Brother G. V., Brother J. A., and Brother J. O., who beſides that, they had ſome more knowledg in the Arts, then at that time many others had, he did binde thoſe three unto himſelf, to be faithful, diligent, and ſecret; as alſo to commit carefully to writing, all that which he ſhould direct and inſtruct them in, to the end that thoſe which were to come, and through eſpecial Revelation ſhould be received into this Fraternity, might not be deceived of the leaſt ſillable and word.
After this manner began the Fraternity of the Roſie Croß; firſt, by four perſons onely, and by them was made the Magical Language and writing, with a large Dictionary, which we yet dayly uſe to Gods praiſe and glory, and do finde great wiſdom therein; they made alſo the firſt part of the Book M.: but in reſpect that that labor was too heavy, and the unſpeakable concourſe of the ſick hindred them, and alſo whilſt his new building (called Sancti ſpiritus) was now finiſhed, they concluded to draw and receive yet others more into their Fraternity; to this end was choſen brother R. C., his deceaſed fathers brothers ſon, Brother B., a skilful Rainter, G. and P. D., their Secretary, all Germans except J. A., ſo in all they were eight in number, all batchelors and of vowed virginity, by whoſe was collected a book or volumn of all that which man can deſire, wiſh, or hope for.
Although we do now freely Confeſs, that the World is much amended within an hundred years, yet we are aſſured, that our Axiomata ſhall unmovably remain unto the Worlds End, and alſo the world in her higheſt & laſt Age ſhall not attain to ſee any thing elſe; for our Rota takes her beginning from that day when God ſpake Fiat, and ſhall end when he ſhall ſpeak Pereat; yet Gods Clock ſtriketh every minute, where ours ſcarce ſtriketh perfect hours. We alſo ſtedfaſtly beleeve, that if our Brethren and Fathers had lived in this our preſent and clear light, they would more roughly have handled the Pope, Mahomet, Scribes, Artiſts, and Sophiſters, and had ſhewed themſelves more helpful, not ſimply with ſighs, and wiſhing of their end and conſummation.
When now theſe eight Brethren had diſpoſed and ordered all things in ſuch manner, as there was not now need of any great labour, and alſo that every one was ſufficiently inſtructed, and able perfectly to diſcourſe of ſecret and manifeſt Philoſophy, they would not remain any longer together, but as in the beginning they had agreed, they ſeparated themſelves into ſeveral Countries, becauſe that not only their Axiomata might in ſecret be more profoundly examined by the learned, but that they themſelves, if in ſome Country or other they obſerved anything, or perceived ſome Error, they might inform one another of it.
Their Agreement was this; Firſt, That none of them ſhould profeſs any other thing, then to cure the ſick, and that gratis. 2. None of the Poſterity ſhould be conſtrained to wear one certain kind of habit, but therein to follow the cuſtom of the Country. 3. That every year upon the day C. they ſhould meet together at the houſe S. Spiritus, or write the cauſe of his abſence. 4. Every Brother ſhould look about for a worthy perſon, who after his diſceaſe might ſucceed him. 5. The word C. R. ſhould be their Seal, Mark, and Character. 6. The Fraternity ſhould remain ſecret one hundred years. Theſe ſix Articles they bound themſelves one to another to keep; and five of the Brethren departed, only the Brethren B. and D. remained with the Father Fra. R. C. a whole year; when theſe likewiſe departed, then remained by him his Couſen and Brother C. O. ſo that he hath all the days of his life with him two of his Brethren. And although that as yet the Church was not cleanſed, nevertheleſs we know that they did think of her, and what with longing deſire they looked for: Every year they aſſembled together with joy, and made a full reſolution of that which they had done; there muſt certainly have been great pleaſure, to hear truly and without invention related and rehearſed all the Wonders which God hath poured out here and there through the World. Every one may hold it out for certain, that ſuch perſons as were ſent, and joyned together by God, and the Heavens, and choſen out of the wiſeſt of men, as have lived in many Ages, did live together above all others in higheſt Unity, greateſt Secrecy, and moſt kindneſs one towards another.
After ſuch a moſt laudable ſort they did ſpend their lives; and although they were free from all diſeaſes and pain, yet notwithſtanding they could not live and paſs their time appointed of God. The firſt of this Fraternity which dyed, and that in England, was J. O., as Brother C. long before had foretold him; he was very expert, and well learned in Cabala, as his Book called H. witneſſeth: In England he is much ſpoken of, and chiefly becauſe he cured a young Earl of Norfolk of the Leproſie. They had concluded, that as much as poſſibly could be their burial place ſhould be kept ſecret, as at this day it is not known unto us what is become of ſome of them, yet every ones place was ſupplyed with a fit ſucceſſor; but this we wil confeſſe publickly by theſe preſents to the honour of God, That what ſecret ſoever we have learned out of the book M. (although before our eyes we behold the image and pattern of all the world) yet are there not ſhewn unto us our misfortunes, nor hour of death, the which only is known to God himſelf, who thereby would have us keep in a continual readineſs; but hereof more in our Confeſſion, where we do ſet down 37 Reaſons wherefore we now do make known our Fraternity, and proffer ſuch high Myſteries freely, and without conſtraint and reward: alſo we do promiſe more gold then both the Indies bring to the King of Spain; for Europe is with child and wil bring forth a ſtrong child, who ſhall ſtand in need of a great godfathers gift.
After the death of I. O. Brother R. C. reſted not, but as ſoon as he could, called the reſt together, (and as we ſuppoſe) then his grave was made; although hitherto we (who were the lateſt) did not know when our loving father R. C. died and had no more but the bare names of the beginners, and all their ſucceſſors to us; yet there came into our memory, a ſecret, which through dark and hidden words, and ſpeeches of the 100 years, Brother A. the ſucceſſor of D. (who was of the laſt and ſecond row and ſucceſſion and had lived amongſt many of us,) did impart unto us of the third row and ſucceſſion; otherwiſe we muſt confeſs, that after the death of the ſaid A. none of us had in any manner known any thing of Brother R. C. and of his firſt fellow-brethren, then that which was extant of them in our Philoſophical Bibliotheca, amongſt which our Axiomata was held for the chiefeſt Rota Mundi, for the moſt artificial, and Protheus the moſt profitable. Likewiſe we do not certainly know if theſe of the ſecond row have been of the like wiſdom as the firſt, and if they were admitted to all things. It ſhall be declared hereafter to the gentle Reader not onely what we have heard of the burial of R. C. but alſo made manifeſt publickly by the foreſight, ſufferance, and commandant of God, whom we moſt faithfully obey, that if we ſhall be anſwered diſcreetly and Chriſtian-like, we will not be afraid to ſet forth publickly in Print, our names, and ſirnames, our meetings, or any thing elſe that may be required at our hands.
Now the true and fundamental relation of the finding out of the high illuminated man of God, Fra. C. R. C. is this; After that A. in Gallia Narbonenſi was deceaſed, then ſucceeded in his place, our loving Brother N. N. this man after he had repaired unto us to take the ſolemn oath of fidelity and ſecrecy, he informed us bona fide, That A. had comforted him in telling him, that this Fraternity ſhould ere long not remain ſo hidden, but ſhould be to all the whole German Nation helpful, needful, and commendable; of the which he was not in any wiſe in his eſtate aſhamed of. The year following after he had performed his School right, and was minded now to travel, being for that purpoſe ſufficiently provided with Fortunatus purſe, he thought (he being a good Architect) to alter ſomething of his building, and to mace it more fit: in ſuch renewing he lighted upon the memorial Table which was caſt of braſſe, and containeth all the names of the brethren, with ſome few other things; this he would transfer in another more fitting vault: for where or when Fra. R. C. died, or in what country he was buried, was by our predeceſſors concealed and unknown untous. In this Table ſtuck a great naile ſomewhat ſtrong; ſo that when he was with force drawn out, he took with him an indifferent big ſtone out of the thin wall, or plaiſtering of the hidden door, and ſo unlooked for uncovered the door; wherefore we did with joy and longing throw down the reſt of the wall, and cleared the door, upon which that was written in great letters, Poſt 120 annos patebo, with the year of the Lord under it: therefore we gave God thanks and let it reſt that ſame night, becauſe firſt we would overlook our Rotam; but we refer our ſelves again to the confeſſion, for what we here publiſh is done for the help of thoſe that are worthy, but to the unworthy (God willing) it will be ſmall profit: For like as our door was after ſo many years wonderfully diſcovered, alſo there ſhall be opened a door to Europe (when the wall is removed) which already doth begin to appear, and with great deſire is expected of many.
In the morning following we opened the door, and there appeared to our ſight a Vault of ſeven ſides and corners, every ſide five foot broad, and the height of eight foot; Although the Sun never ſhined in this Vault, nevertheleſs it was enlightned with another ſun, which had learned this from the Sun, and was ſcituated in the upper part in the Center of the ſieling; in the midſt, in ſtead of a Tomb-ſtone, was a round Altar covered over with a plate of braſs, and thereon this engraven:
A. C. R. C. Hoc univerſi compendium unius mihi ſepulchrum feci.
Round about the firſt Circle or Brim ſtood,
Jeſus mihi omnia.
In the middle were four figures, incloſed in circles, whoſe circumſcription was,
- Nequaquam vacuum.
- Legis Fugum.
- Libertas Evangelij.
- Dei gloria intacta.
This is all clear and bright, as alſo the ſeventh ſide and the two Heptagoni: ſo we kneeled altogether down, and gave thanks to the ſole wiſe, ſole mighty, and ſole eternal God, who hath taught us more them all mens wit could have found out, praiſed be his holy name. This Vault we parted in three parts. the upper part or ſieling, the wall or ſide, the ground or floor.
Of the upper part you ſhall underſtand no more of it at this time, but that it was divided according to the ſeven ſides in the triangle, which was in the bright center; but what therein is contained, you ſhall God willing (that are deſirous of our ſociety) behold the ſame with your own eys; but every ſide or wall is parted into ten ſquares, every one with their ſeveral figures and ſentences, as they are truly ſhewed, and ſet forth Concentratum here in our book.
The bottom again is parted in the triangle, but becauſe therein is diſcribed the power and rule of the inferior Governors, we leave to manifeſt the ſame, for fear of the abuſe by the evil and ungodly world. But thoſe that are provided and ſtored with the heavenly Antidote, they do without fear or hurt, tread on, and bruiſe the head of the old and evil ſerpent, which this our age is well fitted for: every ſide or wall had a door for a cheſt, wherein there ſay divers things, eſpecially all our books, which otherwiſe we had, beſides the Vocabular of Theoph. Far. Ho. and theſe which daily unfalſifieth we do participate. Herein alſo we found his Itinerarium, and vitam, whence this relation for the moſt part is taken. In another cheſt were looking-glaſſes of divers virtues, as alſo in other places were little bells, burning lamps, & chiefly wonderful artificial Songs; generally al done to that end,that if it ſhould happen after many hundred years, the Order or Fraternity ſhould come to nothing, they might by this onely Vault be reſtored again.
Now as yet we had not ſeen the dead body of our careful and wiſe father, we therfore removed the Altar aſide, there we lifted up a ſtrong plate of braſs, and found a fair and worthy body, whole and unconſumed, as the ſame is here lively counterfeited, with all the Ornaments and Attires;, in his hand he held a parchment book, Called I., the which next unto the Bible, is our greateſt treaſure, which ought to be delivered to the cenſure of the world. At the end of this book ſtandeth this following Elogium:
Granum pectori Jeſu inſitum.
C. Roſ. C. ex nobili atq́ ſplendida Germaniæ R. C. familia oriundus, vir ſui ſeculi divinis revelationibus ſubtilißimis imaginationibus, indefeßis laboribus ad cœleſtia, atq́ humana myſeria; arcanavè admiſſus poſtquam ſuam (quam Arabico, & Africano itineribus Collegerat) pluſquam regiam, atq́ imperatoriam Gazam ſuo ſeculo nondum convenientem, poſteritati eruendam cuſto diviſſet & jam ſuarum Atrium, ut & nominis, fides acconjunctißimos herides inſtituiſſet, mundum minutum omnibus motibus magno illi reſpondentem fabricaſſet hocq́ tandem preteritarum, præſentium, & futurarum, rerum compendio extracto, centenario major non morbo (quem ipſe nunquam corpore expertus erat, nunquam alios infeſtare ſinebat) ullo pellente ſed ſpiritu Dei evocante, illuminatam animam (inter Fratrum amplexus & ultima oſcula) fidelißimo creatori Deo reddidißet, Pater dilectißimus, Fra. ſuavißimus, præceptor fidelißimus amicus integerimus, a ſuis ad 120 annos hic abſconditus eſt.
Underneath they had ſubſcribed,
- Fra. I. A.Fra. C. H. electione Fraternitatis caput.
- Fr. G. V.M. P. C.
- Fra. R. C.Iunior hæres S. ſpiritus.
- Fra. B. M.P. A. Pictor & Architectus.
- Fr. G. G.M. P. I. Cabaliſta.
- Fra. P. A.Succeſſor, Fr. I. O. Mathematicus.
- Fra. A.Succeſſor, Fra. P. D.
- Fra. R.Succeſſor patris C. R. C. cum Chriſto triumphant.
At the end was written,
Ex Deo naſcimur, in Jeſu morimur, per ſpiritum ſanctum reviviſcimus.
At that time was already dead Brother I. O. and Fra. D. but their burial place, where is it to be found? we doubt not but our Fra. Senior hath the ſame, and ſome eſpecial thing layd in Earth, and perhaps likewiſe hidden: we alſo hope that this our Example will ſtir up others more deligently to enquire after their names (whom we have therefore publiſhed) and to ſearch for the place of their burial; for the moſt part of them, by reaſon of their practice and phyſick, are yet known, and praiſed among very old folks; ſo might perhaps our Gaza be enlarged, or at leaſt be better cleared.
Concerning Minutum Mundum, we found it kept in another little Altar, truly more finer then can be imagined by any underſtanding man, but we will leave him undeſcribed, untill we ſhal truly be anſwered upon this our true hearted Famam; and ſo we have covered it again with the plates, and ſet the altar thereon, ſhut the door, and made it ſure, with all our ſeals; beſides by inſtruction and command of our Rota, there are come to ſight ſome books, among which is contained H. (which were made in ſtead of houſhold care by the praiſe-worthy M. P.). Finally we departed the one from the other, and left the natural heirs in poſſeſſion of our Jewels. And ſo we do expect the anſwer and judgment of the learned, or unlearned.
Howbeit we know after a time there wil now be a general reformation, both of divine and humane things, according to our deſire, and the expectation of others: for it’s fitting, that before the riſing of the Sun, there ſhould appear and break forth Aurora, or ſome clearneſs, or divine light in the sky; and ſo in the mean time ſome few, which ſhall give their names, may joyn together, thereby to increaſe the number and reſpect of our Fraternity, and make a happy and wiſhed for beginning of our Philoſophical Canons, preſcribed to us by our brother R. C. and be partakers with us of our treaſures (which never can fail or be waſted) in all humility, and love to be eaſed of this worlds labor, and not walk ſo blindly in the knowledge of the wonderful works of God.
But that alſo every Chriſtian may know of what Religion and belief we are, we confeſs to have the knowledge of Jeſus Chriſt (as the ſame now in theſe laſt days, and chiefly in Germany, moſt clear and pure is profeſſed, and is now a-days cleanſed and voyd of all ſwerving people, Hereticks, and falſe Prophets,) in certain and noted Countries maintained, defended, and propagated: Alſo we uſe two Sacraments, as they are inſtituted with all Formes and Ceremonies of the firſt renewed Church. In Politia we acknowledge the Roman Empire and Quartam Monarchiam for our Chriſtian head; albeit we know what alterations be at hand, and would fain impart the ſame with all our hearts, to other godly learned men, notwithſtanding our hand-writing which is in our hands, no man (except God alone) can make it common, nor any unworthy perſon is able to bereave us of it. But we ſhall help with ſecret aid this ſo good a cauſe, as God ſhal permit or hinder us: For our God is not blinde, as the Heathens Fortuna, but is the Churches Ornament, and the honor of the Temple. Our Philoſophy alſo is not a new Invention, but as Adam after his fall hath received it, and as Moſes and Solomon uſed it: alſo ſhe ought not much to be doubted of, or contradicted by other opinions, or meanings; but ſeeing the truth is peaceable, brief, and always like her ſelf in all things, and eſpecially accorded by with Jeſus in omni parte and all members. And as he is the true Image of the Father, ſo is ſhe his Image; It ſhal not be ſaid, this is true according to Philoſophy, but true according to Theologie; And wherein Plato, Ariſtotle, Pythagoras, and others did hit the mark, and wherein Enoch, Abraham, Moſes, and Solomon did excel; but eſpecially wherewith that wonderful book the Bible agreeth. All that ſame concurreth together, and make a Sphere or Globe, whoſe total parts are equidiſtant from the Center, as hereof more at large and more plain ſhal be ſpoken of in Chriſtianly Conference.
But now concerning (and chiefly in this our age) the ungodly and accurſed Gold-makings which hath gotten ſo much the upper hand, whereby under colour of it, many runagates and roguiſh people do uſe great villanies, and cozen and abuſe the credit which is given them: yea, now a-days men of diſcretion do hold the tranſmutation of Mettals to be the higheſt point, and faſtigium in Philoſophy, this is all their intent, and deſire, and that God would be moſt eſteemed by them, and honored, which could make great ſtore of Gold, and in abundance, the which with unpremeditate prayers, they hope to attain of the alknowing God, and ſearcher of all hearts: we therefore do by theſe preſents publickly teſtifie. That the true Philoſophers are far of another minde, eſteeming little the making of Gold, which is but a parergon; for beſides that they have a thouſand better things.
And we ſay with our loving Father R. C. C. Phy. aurum niſi quantum aurum, for unto them the whole nature is detected: he doth not rejoyce, that he can make Gold. and that, as ſaith Chriſt, the devils are obedient unto him, but is glad that he ſeeth the Heavens open, and the Angels of God aſcending and deſcending, and his name written in the book of life. Alſo we de teſtifie that under the name of Chymia many books and pictures are ſet forth in Contumeliam gloriæ Dei, as we wil name them in their due ſeaſon, and wil give to the pure-hearted a Catalogue, or Regiſter of them: And we pray all learned men to take heed of theſe kinde of Books; for the enemy never reſteth, but ſoweth his weeds, til a ſtronger one doth root it out. So according to the wil and meaning of Fra. C. R. C. we his brethren requeſt again all the learned in Europe, who ſhal read (ſent forth in five Languages) this our Famam and Confeßionem, that it would pleaſe them with good deliberation to ponder this our offer, and to examine moſt nearly and moſt ſharply their Arts, and behold the preſent time with all diligence, and to declare their minde, either Communicato conſilio, or ſingulatim by Print.
And although at this time we make no mention either of our names, or meetings, yet nevertheleſs every ones opinion ſhal aſſuredly come to our hands, in what language ſo ever it be; nor any body ſhal fail, whoſo gives but his name to ſpeak with ſome of us, either by word of mouth, or elſe if there be ſome lett in writing. And this we ſay for a truth, That whoſoever ſhal earneſtly, and from his heart, bear affection unto us, it ſhal be beneficial to him in goods, body, and ſoul; but he that is falſe-hearted, or onely greedy of riches, the ſame firſt of all ſhal not be able in any manner of wiſe to hurt us, but bring himſelf to utter ruine and deſtruction. Alſo our building (although one hundred thouſand people had very near ſeen and beheld the ſame) ſhal for ever remain untouched, undeſtroyed, and hidden to the wicked world, ſub umbra alarum tuarum Jehova.
A Preface of the Confeßion to the
Reader who is deſirous of
Here Gentle Reader, you ſhal finde incorporated in our Confeſſion thirty ſeven Reaſons of our purpoſe, and intention, the which according to thy pleaſure thou mayſt ſeek out and compare them together: thou mayſt alſo conſider with thy ſelf, if they be weighty, and ſufficient enough to bring and perſwade thee for to take our parts.
Verily it requires no ſmal pains to confirm that which men have not yet ſeen, but when it ſhal once com to light we doubt not, but they will then juſtly be aſhamed of ſuch doubts, and conjectures. And as we do now altogether ſecurely, freely, and without any hurt call the Pope of Rome Antichriſt, the which heretofore was held for deadly ſin, and ſuch in all Countries were put to death for it. So we know certainly, that the time ſhal likewiſe come, what that which we yet keep in ſecret, we ſlal openly, freely, and with a loud voice publiſh and confeſs it before al the world; the which Gentle Reader wiſh with us with all thy heart, that it may happen with ſpeed.