Science Mysteries Science History New Pearl of Great Price, The

New Pearl of Great Price, The

New Pearl of Great Price, The
Catalog # SKU3725
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Petrus Bonus, Arnoldus, Raymondus, Rhasis, Albertus, Michael Scotus, Janus Lacinius
ISBN 10: 0000000000
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The New Pearl
of Great Price

A Treatise Concerning the Treasure
and Most Precious Stone of the
Philosopher On the Method and
Procedure of this Divine Art

Petrus Bonus
Arnoldus, Raymondus, Rhasis,
Albertus, Michael Scotus,
Janus Lacinius

Great Price," as written by Bonus of Ferrara, and edited by Janus Lacinius. In the first place, it is one of the earliest works printed on alchemy, and the original is a very beautiful specimen of typography. Concerning the latter point, it is only necessary to say that it was issued from the press of Aldus, appearing in 1546.

Large Print, 14 point font; lllustrated



Both among ancients and moderns the question whether Alchemy be a real Art or a mere imposture has exercised many heads and pens; nor is it possible for us entirely to ignore the existence of such a dispute. A multiplicity of arguments has been advanced against the truth of our Art; but men like Geber and Morienus, who were best fitted to come forward in its defense, have disdained to answer the caviling attacks of the vulgar.

They have not, as a matter of fact, furnished us with anything beyond the bare assertion that the truth of Alchemy is exalted beyond the reach of doubt, We will not follow their example, but, in order to get at the foundation of the matter, we will pass in review the arguments which have been, or may be, set forth on both sides of the question.

In the case of a science which is familiarly known to a great body of learned men, the mere fact that they all believe in it supersedes the necessity of proof. But this rule does not apply to the Art of Alchemy, whose pretensions, therefore, need to be carefully and jealously sifted. The arguments which make against the justice of those claims must be fairly stated, and it will be for the professors of the Art to turn back the edge of all adverse reasoning.

Every ordinary art (as we learn in the second book of the Physics) is either dispositive of substance, or productive of form, or it teaches the use of something. Our Art, however, does not belong to any one of these categories; it may be described indeed as both dispositive and productive, but it does not teach the use of anything. It truly instructs us how to know the one substance exclusively designed by Nature for a certain purpose and it also acquaints us with the natural method of treating and manipulating this substance, a knowledge which may be either practically or speculatively present in the mind of the master.

There are other crafts which are not artificial, but natural, such as the arts of medicine, of horticulture, and glass-blowing. They are arts insofar as they require an operator; but they are natural insofar as they are based upon facts of Nature. Such is the Art of Alchemy. Some arts systematize the creations of the human mind, as, for instance, those of grammar, logic, and rhetoric; but Alchemy does not belong to this class. Yet Alchemy resembles other arts in the following respect, that its practice must be preceded by theory and investigation; for before we can know how to do a thing, we must understand all the conditions and circumstances under which it is produced.

If we rightly apprehend the cause or causes of a thing (for there often is a multiplicity or complication of causes), we also know how to produce that thing. But it must further be considered that no one can claim to be heard in regard to the truth or falsity of this Art who does not clearly understand the matter at issue; and we may lay it down as a rule that those who set up as judges of this question without a clear insight into the conditions of the controversy should be regarded as persons who are talking wildly and at random.

Now We Will Proceed to Prove
The Truth of the Art of Alchemy.

We may prove the truth of our Art ---
(1) By the testimony of the Sages.
(2) By the most forcible arguments.
(3) By analogy, and manifest examples.

Aristotle, in the Dialectics, says that every master has a right to speak authoritatively with reference to his own art. According to this rule, it is the Sages, and the Sages only, that ought to be consulted with reference to the truth of Alchemy. Now, we find that ancient philosophers, who have written with remarkable clearness and force on other arts and sciences, have given their testimony to the truth and authenticity of this Art in books which they have devoted thereto. They have described it as an art which regulates natural action, working upon a proper matter, towards the attainment of a design of Nature's own conceiving, to which also Nature cannot attain without the aid of the intelligent artist, the same being further performed, as it is said, after one only method.

Hence Hermes: It is true without falsehood, certain, and most true; that which is above is even as that which is below, and that which is below is like unto that which is above, for the accomplishment of the wonders of one thing. And Morienus: If, therefore, thou shalt rightly consider those things which I shall say unto thee, as also the testimonies of the ancients, well and fully shalt thou know that we agree in all things, and so all of us reveal the same truths. This was the deliberate conviction of Hermes, in his Secreta, who is styled the father and prophet of the Sages, of Pythagorus, Anaxagoras, Socrates, Plato, Democritus, Aristotle, Zeno, Heraclitus, Diogenes, Lucas, Hippocrates, Hamec, Thebit, Geber, Rhasis, Haly, Morienus, Theophilus, Parmenides, Mellisus, Empedocles, Abohaly, Abinceni, Homer, Ptolomeus, Virgil, Ovid, and many other philosophers and lovers of truth, whose names would be too tedious to record. Of most of these we have seen and studied the works, and can testify that they were, without a single exception, adepts, and brothers of this most glorious order, and that they knew what they were speaking about. Hermes, in his second book, says: My son, reflect on all that you hear, for I do not suppose that you are deprived of reason, etc. Rhasis (in his book on the Perfect Magistery), exhorting us unto a like earnestness, bids us read incessantly the writings of philosophy that we may be her sons, and get understanding in this arcane magistery. For he who does not read books cannot apprehend the details of our Art; he who knows nothing about the theory of our Art, will find its practice very difficult.

Geber, in the Prologue of his Sum of Perfection, exhorts the student to pore over his volumes by day and by night, and to resolve them diligently in his mind, that so he may perceive the drift of our directions. Galen declares that theory and practice mutually correct and supplement each other, True theory is borne out by practice; false theory is shamed and disgraced by it. Moreover, when the science is obscure, and has been handed down after the manner of a dark tradition, there is all the more reason for reference to the adepts of the past therein. For which reason, says the philosopher in his second book of Ethics: In things which are obscure it is necessary to have recourse to open testimonies. So also Morienus: While every thing is distinguished according to its effects, the facts confirmed by the testimony of many. Rhasis (c. 70) bids us pin our faith to the ancient sages. Abohaly, that is to say, Avicenna, in his book on Medicine, and the chapter in which he discuses the confinement of fevers to certain places, says that where they do not occur, the people would not therefore be justified in supposing that they do not exist. In the same way, no man in his senses would deny the truth of Alchemy for the very insufficient reason that he himself is ignorant of it: such a person would be content with the authority of weighty names like Hermes, Hippocrates, and numerous others. There are many reasons why the master conceal this art.

But if any one denies its existence on the ground that he is ignorant of it, he is like someone who has been shut up all his life in a certain house, and therefore denies that the world extends beyond the four walls of his habitation. There is not really any need to advance any arguments to establish the actuality of our art, for the art itself is the best proof of its own existence; and being securely lodged in the stronghold of knowledge, we might safely despise the contradiction of the ignorant. Nevertheless, we will adduce a few arguments to prove the strength of our position. At the same time, we ask the reader to remember that our best and strongest arguments are based on facts which we are not at liberty to use.

308 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover

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