Three Books of Occult Philosophy/To Robert Childe
To my most honorable, and no less learned Friend, Robert Childe, Doctor of Physick.
IR! Great men decline, mighty men may fall, but an honest Philosopher keeps his Station for ever. To your self therefore I crave leave to present, what I know you are able to protect; not with sword, but by reason; & not that only, but what by your acceptance you are able to give a lustre to. I see it is not in vain that you have compassed Sea and Land, for thereby you have made a Proselyte, not of another, but of your self, by being converted from vulgar, and irrational incredulities to the rational embracing of the sublime, Hermeticall, and Theomagicall truths. You are skilled in the one as if Hermes had been your Tutor; have insight in the other, as if Agrippa your Master. Many transmarine Philosophers, which we only read, you have conversed with: many Countries, rarities, and antiquities, which we have only heard of, and admire, you have seen. Nay you have not only heard of, but seen, not in Maps, but in Rome it self the manners of Rome. There you have seen much Ceremony, and little Religion; and in the wilderness of New England, you have seen amongst some, much Religion, and little Ceremony; and amongst others, I mean the Natives thereof, neither Ceremony, nor Religion, but what nature dictates to them. In this there is no small variety, and your observation not little. In your passage thither by Sea, you have seen the wonders of God in the Deep; and by Land, you have seen the astonishing works of God in the unaccessible Mountains. You have left no stone unturned, that the turning thereof might conduce to the discovery of what was Occult, and worthy to be known. It is part of my ambition to let the world know that I honor such as your self, & my learned friend, & your experienced fellow-traveller, Doctor Charlet, who have, like true Philosophers neglected your worldly advantages to become masters of that which hath now rendred you both truly honorable. If I had as many languages as your selves, the rhetoricall and patheticall expressions thereof would fail to signifie my estimation of, and affections towards you both. Now Sir! as in reference to this my translation, if your judgement shall finde a deficiency therein, let your candor make a supply thereof. Let this Treatise of Occult Philosophy coming as a stranger amongst the English, be patronized by you, remembring that you your self was once a stranger in the Country of its Nativity. This stranger I have dressed in an English garb; but if it be not according to the fashion, and therefore ungrateful to any, let your approbation make it the mode; you know strangers most commonly induce a fashion, especially if any once begin to approve of their habit. Your approbation is that which will stand in need of, and which will render me,
Most obligedly yours,