Page images


423 tal, he may refer to the work quoted Hungary, and Muscovy, and probably

He in the margin. * Gilles was condemn- several parts of Asia, and Africa. ed to be burned. He died--say the not only visited literary and learned cotemporary writers in a very chris. men, but frequented the workshops of tian-like manner. Before he was con- mechanics, descended into mines, and ducted to the place of execution, he thought no place mean or hazardous, said to his infamous associate Prelati, if it afforded hiin an opportunity of who suffered with him—“ Adieu, increasing his knowledge of nature. friend Francis, we shall never see each Hc consulted all persons who pretendother more in this world. I pray God ed to be poffefied of any secret art, to give you patience; and be aliured particularly such as were skiiled in that if you place your hopes in God, metallurgy. Being in this manner we shall meet in the delights of para a self-taught philosopher and physidise.” It is affirmed that the Maref- cian, he despised the medical writings chal, previous to his death, confessed of the ancients, and boasted that the crimes still more enormous than those whole contents of his library would which we have noticed; though what not amount to fix folios. those crimes could be, it is impofiible

Rejecting the tedious method of the for the human imagination to con. Galenic school, Paracelsus had recourse ceive. He was executed at Nantes; to new and secret medicines procured and his punishment was to far mitiga- from metallic subliances by the chemited that he was strangled before the cal art. And his bold practice was pile was lighted. When his body in many cases attended with such was half consumed by the flames, it wonderful success, that he rose to the was delivered to his family for inter- summit of popular fame, and even ob. ment. It is pretended that the Duke tained the medical chair in the city of Brittany, who was then at Nantes, of Bafil. attended the execution.

Among others, he administered a medicine, to which he gave

the name of Azoth, which, he boasted, was the philosopher's stone, the medical pana.

cea, and which his disciples extol as From Enfield's History of Philosophy. the Tincture of Life, given through

the divine favour to man in these last AMONG modern pretenders to days. His irregular practice, and the divine illumination, the firit name virulence with which he censured the which appears with distinction is Phi- ignorance and indolence of other phy, lippus Aureolus Theophrastus Paracel- ficians, created him many enemies.

He was born at Einsidlen, near The rewards, which he received for Zurich, in the year 1493: His fami: the cures he performed, were by no ly name, which was Bombastus, he afterwards changed, after the custom of After meeting with many disappoint

means adequate to his expectations. the age, into Paracelsus. He was in- ments and mortifications, an incident structed by his father, who was a

occurred, which determined him to physician, in languages and medicine. leave Bafil. So earnestly desirous was he of pene

A wealthy canon of Lichfield, who trating into the mysteries of nature, happened to fall fick at Basil, offered that, neglecting, books, he undertook Paracelsus a hundred florins to cure long and hazardous journies through his disease. This Paracelsus easily Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, effected with three pills of his Lauda * Nouvelle Histoire de Bretagne, par D.

num, one of his most powerful mediLobineau, tomi. p.706.

cines. The canon, restored to health VOL. I.






Charges against Paracelsus. so foon, and, as appeared to him, by that he dared not speak a word of L: such flight means, refused to stand to tin in the presence of learned men. his engagement.

It is even afferted, that he was so imParacelsus brought the matter be- perfect a master of his vernacular fore the magilirate, who decreed him tongue, that he was obliged to have only the usual fee. Inflamed with his German writings corrected by anoviolent indignation at the contempt ther hand. which was, by this decision, thrown His adversaries also charge him upon his art, after inveighing bitterly with the most contemptible arrogance, against the canon, the magistrate, and the most vulgar fcurrility, the groffest the whole city, he left Basil, and with- intemperance, and the most detestable drew into Aliace, whither his medical impiety. The truth seems to be, that fame and success followed him. Paracelsus's merit chiefly consisted in

After two years, during which improving the art of chemistry, and time he practised medicine in the prin- in inventing, or bringing to light, fecipal families of the country, about veral chemical medicines, which to the year 1530, he removed to Swit- this day hold their place in the Phar. zerland, where he conversed with macopæia. Without either learning, Bullenger and other divines. From or urbanity, or even decency this time, he seems for many years to ners, by the mere help of phyfical have roved through various parts of knowledge and the chemical arts, he Germany and Bohemia. At lait, in obtained an uncommon share of medi. the year 1541, he finished his days in cal fame; and, to support his credit, the holpital of St. Sebastian, in Saltd. he pretended to an intercourse with burgh.

invisible fpirits, and to divine illumiDifferent and even contradictory nation. judgments have been formed by the Paracelsus wrote, or rather dictated learned concerning Paracelsus. His to his amanuenfis, many treatises; but admirers and followers have celebrated they are so entirely void of elegance, him as a perfect mailer of all philofo. so immethodical and obscure, that one phical and medical myiteries. Some, may almost credit the assertion of his on account of the reformation which chemical assistant, Oponinus, that he he produced in medicine, have called dictated most of his books in the night, him the medical Luther. Many have when he was intoxicated. They treat maintained, as indeed he himself of an immense variety of subjects, meboasted, that he was poslessed of the dical, magical, and philosophical. grand secret of converting inferior His ; hilofophia fagax, “ Subtle phimetals into gold. On the contrary, lofophy,” is a most obscure and conothers have charged his whole medical fused treatise on astrology, necromanpractice with ignorance, impofture, and cy, chiromancy, phyhognomy, and impudence.

other divining arts, calculated for no J. Crato, in an epistle to Zwinger, other purpose than to promote vulgar attelts, that in Bohemia his medicines, superstition.

Several of his pieces even when they performed an appa- treat of philosophical subjects, such as rent cure, left his patients in such a “ The production and Fruit of the state, that they foon after died of pal- Four Elements ;” “ The Secrets of fies or epileplies. Erastus, who was Nature, their origin, caufes, character, for two years one of his pupils, wrote and properties, and the like. an entire book to detect his impos The chemical, or Paracelfic, school

He is said to have been not produced many eminent men, whose only unacquainted with the Greek lan. memoirs rather belong to the history guage, but so bad a Latin scholar, of medicine than of philosophy. Ma.



Yacob Boihmen.

425 ny of these took great pains to digest writing, and produced his first treatise, the incoherent dogmas of their master entitled Aurora ; of which, however, into a methodical system. A summary the principles, the ideas, and the lanof his doctrine may be seen in the pre- guage, are so new and mysterious, that face to the Bafilica Chymica of Crole we find it wholly impracticable to atJius.

tempt an abridgment. Indeed, the author himself declares these mysteries

incomprehensible to flesh and blood; JACOB BOEHMEN.

and says, that though the words be

read, their meaning will lie concealed, From the faine Work.

till the reader has by prayer obtained

illumination from that Heavenly Spirit, One of the most dazzling luminaries which is in God, and in all nature, and in the constellation of Theosophists was

from which all things proceed. Jacob Boehmen, a famous German phi The Aurora falling into the hands of losopher, born near Gorlitz, in Upper the Minister of Gorlitz, he severely reLusatia, in the year 157;. He was primanded the author from the pulpit, brought up a shoe-maker, and at twenty and procured an order from the senaté

years of age married a butcher's daugh of the city for represling the work, in ter, with whom he lived happy thirty which Boehmen was required to disyears. Though he never entirely for continue his attempts to enlighten the fook his occupation, his singular genius worid by his writings. Boehmen paved foon carried him ultra crepidam, be. so much regard to this order, which yond his last.' The theological con must be confessed to have been as injutroversies which were at this time dicious as it was oppressive, as to respreading through Germany, made their frain from writing for seven years. His way among the lowest classes of the projected work, however, found its way people; and Boehmen, much disturbed to the press at Amsterdam in the

year in his mind upon many articles of faith, 1619; and the author was encouraged prayed earnestly for divine illumination. by this circumstance to resume his pen, The consequence, according to his own

and from that time sent forth frequent account, was, that, rapt beyond himself publications. It is said, but upon unfor seven days together, he experienced certain authority, that he was fummoned a sacred sabbatic filence, and was ad to the supreme Ecclesiastical Court at mitted to the intuitive vision of God. Dresden, and there underwent an exaSoon afterwards, he had a second exta

mination before a body of Theologians, cy, in which, as he relates, whilst he in which he pleaded his cause so fucwas observing the rays which were ve- cessfully, that he was dismisled with. flected from a bright pewter vessel, he

out censure. Boehmen died in the found himself on a sudden surrounded communion of the Lutheran Church, with celestial irradiations ; his spirit 1624. was carried to the inmost world of na. As he frequently uses the same terms ture, and enabled from the external with Paracelsus, it is probable that he forms, lineaments, and colours of bodies, was conversant with his writings; but to penetrate into the recess of their ef. he certainly followed no other guide fences. In a third vision of the same than his own eccentric genius and enkind, other still more fublime mysteries thusiastic imagination. were revealed to him, concerning the

We honestly confefs it to be wholly origin of nature, and the formation of beyond our power to give any summary all things, and even concerning divine of the Boehmian system. This mystic principles and intelligent natures.- makes God the essence of effences, and

These wonderful communications, in supposes a long series of spiritual nathe year 1612, Boehmen committed to tures, and even matter itself, to have



[blocks in formation]

flowed from the fountain of the divine niature.' If any one name the hea: nature. His language, upon these sub- vens, the earth, or the stars, the ele. jecis, nearly resembles that of the Jewish ments, and whatever is beneath or Cabala. The whole divine Trinity, above the heavens, he herein names the 1ays he, sending forth bodily forms, pro- whole Deity, who, by a power produces an image of itself, velut deum ceeding from himself, thus makes his quendam parvum, as a God in mi. own essence corporeal.


dered he should trouble himself with APPARITION OF SIR JOHN OWEN.

that which she was sure was none of his

business : in hort, the girl huffed him, (Concluded from No. VII. page 233.)

and asked him what it was to him, who

was quite a Itranger, how her lady WHEN the maid came in, the gen- lived ? tleman rose up, and looking about the However, he turns to the maid, and room, he found fault with every thing fitting down again, calmly entered into there, even the furniture, and the dilsome discourse with her about her lady, position of it; nothing pleased him; and her way of living, and told so many but this was not because they were not of the secrets of the family to her, that good enough for him, but that all was she began to be more mild with him, too good, and too rich, far above her and perceived that he knew more of the quality that owned it; and said, that family than she thought he had, or inthe lady did not know what ihe did, deed than she did herself; at last the that it was an expence she could not girl began to be very uneasy, and to carry on, and her estate would not sup- question with herself, whether it was port it; and that such a way of living not her master, come over incognito, would bring her and all the fainily to and that he had not yet discovered hinnruin and beggary, and the like. felf.

By and by she carried him into ano She tried several times to learn who ther parlour, and there he found fault he was, his quality, his country, his in the same manner: he told her, he name, and how she might send to him; was surprised at what her lady meani, but he always put it off, and only told and that she lived at fo extravagant a her he would go to Hamptiead, where rate as Sir John's estate could never her lady lodged, and wait upon her maintain, but would run him into debt lady himself; and so treating the serand ruin him; and so he would be un vant very civilly, and thanking her for done by her extravagance.

showing him the house, he went away Upon this the maid began to take in form, with his servant following him short a little, and told him, that him, so that he did not vanish as an ap. this was all out of the way to what he parition. came about; if the lodgings were too Yet all this time the poor girl was very good for him, that was his business in- uneasy; she began to think it could not deed, but else he had nothing to do be an ordinary creature, because he with her lady's conduct, and how she gave such ftrange and particular acpleased to furnish her house; that her counts of things done in the family ; master was a gentleman of a great estate, such as, where several things were de. and had large plantations in Jamaica ; posited that belonged to the family, that he constantly supplied her lady with several circumitances belonging to with money suficient for her support, her mistress, to her little fon, and to his and for all her expences; and the son. father in the Welt-Indies : and, in


[blocks in formation]

Thort, faid some things, which, as she lady an account of what had happened; imagined, none but the devil could and she was the more eager to go, betell of; which by the way, was talk- cause she understood him, to talk about ing as ignorant people talk of such the lodgings, and so she would prepare things; namely, that if any thing be her lady to receive him, and to consider said, or done, out of the ordinary way, what kind of a man it must be, that she and more than is common for men to might not be frighted at him; but he talk or to do, they will immediately say, had been too quick for the maid. it must be the devil.

When she came to Hampitead, she The poor girl was very much sur- found her mistress lying upon the bed, prised at this gentleman's appearance, and so very ill, that they at first told her and more so after he was gone than be- she could not be spoke with. Don't fore; for he did not give her time to tell me, says Mary (the London maid), reflect upon the particulars he men I must speak with her, and will speak tioned to her; but relating one thing with her. What extraordinary busineis after another, she had enough to do to can you have? says the lady's woman, take in the heads of things in general. in a taunting manner; if your business

But when he was gone, and she came was from the devil, you can't speak with to reflect and compare things together, my lady just now, for she is very ill, fhe began to consider who could this and laid down upon the bed. posibly be? how could he know such From the devil, says Mary, I don't and such things ? how could he tell know but it may, and I believe it is inwhose picture that was ? where my deed; fo I must speak with my lady mistress had such a suit of curtains, and immediately. such a cabinet ? who must he be, to Nay, says the woman, here has been tell me how long my master has been one messenger too many from the devil at Jamaica; how much his estate is already, I think : sure you don't come there, and how much money he has of his errand too, do sent my lady over, at such and such I don't know whole errand I come times? This must be the devil in my of, but I am frighted out of my wits; master's clothes ; something must be in let me speak with my lady presently, or it ; I'll go to my lady, and let her know I shall die before I deliver my message. it all; and with this the maid gets a

Die! says the woman; I wish my woman, that used to be trusted in such lady don't die before she can hear it'; cases, to look after the house, and away pr’ythee, Mary, if it be any thing to she goes to Hampstead to her mistress. frighten her, don't tell it her just now,

I think it is a part of the story that for she is almost frightened to death althe gentleman desired she would ac- ready, quaint her mistress with it; that such a Why, fays Mary, has my lady seen person had been there, and gave her any thing? some particular tokens, by which he said Ay, ay: seen! says the woman, she her mistress would understand who he has seen and heard too; here has been was; and that she should tell what he a man who has brought her some said, that her income would not support dreadful tidings, I don't know what the expences. The lived at, but that it it is. would bring her to ruin, and she would They talked this so loud, or were so be undone ; but this part I do not po- near, that the lady hearing something of fitively remember ; but am certain it, immediately rang the bell for her that he told the maid it would be so.

However, the poor girl, the more When the woman went in, Who is the ruminated upon the thing, the more that below, says the lady, talking fo The was alarmed at it: at length, away earnestly is any body come from Lon. The went, as I have said, to give her don ?




« PreviousContinue »