First matter of all things; secondly, that in this matter all the essential principles or ingredients of the Elixir are already shut up by Nature, and that we must not presume to add anything to this matter but what we have formerly drawn out of it; for the Stone excludes all extractions but what is distilled immediately from its own crystalline, universal minera; thirdly and lastly, that the philosophers have their peculiar secret metals, quite different from the metals of the vulgar, for where they name Mercury they mind not quicksilver, where Saturn not lead, where Venus and Mars not copper and iron, and where Sol or Luna not gold or silver. This Stone verily is not made of common gold and silver, but it is made, as one delivers it, "of gold and silver that are reputed base, that stink and withal smell sweetly; of green, living gold and silver to be found everywhere but known to very few." Away then with those mountebanks who tell you of antimony, salts, vitriols, marcasites, or any mineral whatsoever. Away also with such authors as prescribe or practice upon any of these bodies. You may be sure they were mere cheats and wrote only to gain a reputation of knowledge. There are indeed some uncharitable but knowing Christians who stick not to lead the blind out of his way. These are full of elaborate, studied deceits, and one of them who pretends to the Spirit of God has at the same mouth vented a slippery spirit, namely, that the Stone cannot be opened through all the grounds — as he calls them — under seven years.


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