For, in three months circulation, says he, by digestion, the powder becomes black, the opposition of attraction and repulsion ceases (in the vital spirit), and the attraction of the fixed which produced the repulsion of the volatile, is slain by the circulation which also dies itself, and all three enter into rest. Then there is no more compression or expansion, ascent or descent, but the action and reaction have, by the equilibriate radiation of forces and the subtlety of the spirit, formed a circulation which has consumed all discordant opposites, and sunk down black and motionless. And thus the head of Hermes’ crow is said to be in the beginning of this work; that which at first was fixed, viz., the sentient medium, is dissolved, and by the same process more profoundly operating, the original evil is made manifest in the matter to be renewed, and hence the principle of amendment and rectification also will appear, and on either side it is a signal of Art. The same Three Principles gradually assume a new life, continues Boehme, infinitely more powerful in virtue, but without any violent contest, and in three months farther, mild action of the principles in harmony have produced a brilliant whiteness in the matter, which in three months more become a brilliant yellow, red, or purpling tincture: --- Approach, ye sons of Wisdom, and rejoice; let us now rejoice together, for the reign of sin is finished, and the king doth rule, and now he is invested wit the red garment, and now the scarlet color is put on (20). That was the process of working with the Vital Spirit, so often reiterated by Hermes, Democritus, and the rest before cited, which also is many times passed through for the practical accomplishment. But every other matter labors for this perfection in vain; it can only attain to combustion, heat, and temporary light, and the consumption of the common elements in their analysis is a separation into gas and ashes; but this mystical nature revives, fortified from every successive dissolution, renewing its Whole resolutely from either extreme by union. This Spirit is so full of life, says the adept, that if the process fails in any stage, an addition of the same will renew it. The white or red powder is increased tenfold in strength and quantity by each digestion of it with fresh i, wet with gas water, or oil of this antimony, and each digestion is made in tenfold shorter time than the preceding from a week to a few hours. For this gold is endued with a magnetical virtue, which by the inspissate fulgor of its tincture, draws the divine increase after it; in which nature expends all her forces, but leaves the victory to Art, which by graduation to the full height, adds to the natural effulgence a supernatural light; for what else but light should multiply? Whence it has been called likewise the terrestrial or Microcosmic Sun, the triumphal Chariot of Antimony turned swift upon the current wheel of life; and this is the Stone of Fire seen in bright lines, of equal attraction and repulsion, when made manifest, as it were, an armed magnet included and circulating in a perpetual heaven (21). Know, therefore, and consider, says Basil Valentine, that this true tincture of Antimony, which is the medicine of men and metals, is not made of crude melted antimony, such as the apothecaries and merchants sell, but is extracted from the true mineral, as it is taken from the mountains; and how that extraction should be made, is a principal secret in which the whole art of Alchemy consists. Health, riches, and honor attend him who rightly attains it. --- Lapis noster inter duos monticulos nascitur; in te et in me at in nostri similibus latet (22). And when the mechanical part of the Three Principles passes into the hands of its proper manufacturers equally and generally in all countries, concludes Boehme, then will the school of adepts come out from this captivity, and will find their proper level as true physicians for the body and soul, dispensing the leaves of life for the healing of the nations. But now the Seal of God lieth before it, to conceal the true ground, unless a man knew for certain that it would not be misused; for there is no power to obtain, no art or skill availeth, unless one intrust another with somewhat (as Hermes and Arnold bear witness); yet the Work is easy and simple, but the wisdom therein is great and the greatest mystery (23). The greatest mystery of all is in Existence, and the only mystery; and as fire and light are one and everywhere perceived after the same manner, so is life in every particular the same inscrutable Identity through all. Or does a vast and filled creation hang before our eyes, and we think it to be without a foundation? Do we ourselves exist and consciously breathe, denying a mystery; or rather, admitting this, does anyone doubt that it is discoverable? Does not everything imply a necessary cause, and is not each sustained still living in the same? And is it not absurd to suppose that we are entirely depending on externals, or that being in part self-dependent, we are so far depending on nothing? If,

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