From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Postface to the Reader

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Source: Tractatus varii, de vera praeparatione et usu medicamentorum chymicorum, ed. Bernard Gilles Penot, Frankfurt am Main: Johann Feyerabend for Peter Fischer, 1594, sig. Q7r–Q8v = pag. 253–256 [BP.Penot.1594-01]

Summary: The text is a conclusion to a treatise on the various types of salts, highlighting their origins, properties, and distinctions. It categorizes salts into mineral, vegetable, and animal types, with a focus on the fixed (stable) salts among these categories. The document mentions specific examples like the salt of bread extracted from sea or well waters, and gem salt, which is prized for its clarity and superior quality, found notably in Spain (Cardona) and Hungary. The text emphasizes the significance of alkali salt, considered the most noble among salts, particularly for its medicinal virtues.
Following the discourse on salts, the text transitions to a reflection on the practice of medicine, lamenting the lack of divine acknowledgment in the medical texts and practices of the era. It argues that piety and spiritual wellness are integral to effective medical treatment, especially when physical ailments may stem from spiritual or moral failings. The author praises three doctors—Arnaldus de Villanova, Gordonius, and Raimundus Lullus—for integrating spiritual counsel and divine invocation into their healing practices. Raimundus Lullus's prayer before administering medicine is presented as an exemplar for medical practitioners, emphasizing the necessity of divine blessing for the efficacy of medicinal treatments. (generated by ChatGPT)


[p. 253] Conclvsio totivs operis.

Salia sunt multiplicia quorum quædam sunt mineralia & fixa, & quædam sunt vegetabilia fixa, quædam sunt animalia fixa, sed ipsorum specierum salium tam vegetabilium & mineralium inueniuntur fixa (vt inferius patebit.) Fixa mineralia sunt sal panis, quod extrahitur à mari vel aquis puteorum. Inde sal Gemmæ, quod est clarius omnibus & transparens vt crystallus, & est melior supredictis, & sunt duæ species, quarum vna est crystallina, altera vero rubea diaphana: nascitur in mineris & locis sulphureis, habens [p. 254] substantiam diuersam per lapides magnos & paruos: & inuenitur præsertim in Hispania loco dicto Cardons: etiam in Vngaria: vegetabilia etiam sunt fixa & non fixa, quæ es cineribus arborum & herbarum fiunt ex capitellis fortißimis, & aqua ab eis euaporata, remanet sal in fundo vasis, & secundum cineris complexionem remanet sal fixum, vel non fixum: experientia te docebit. Vnum tibi dici, quod sal alcali est omnibus salibus dignior, præsertim vegetabilibus, & est oleum fixum, quod siccitas ignis congelauit. Sunt aliqui, qui sal alcali de soda faciunt & dicunt fixum esse, & fixat. Ideo cor tuum in sale alcali pone, etenim est secretum præstantißimum. Quandoquidem omne fixum in fixo, vertitur in naturam fixi. Deus in æternum ex creaturis in creaturis per creaturas benedictus sit, Amen.

Finis de Salibvs.

B. G. P. à Portu.

Ad fideles et pios Medicos.

Memini (viri doctissimi) me plures medicorum eruditorum libros euoluisse, in quibus quod sæpe miratus sum, nullam summi rerum opificis mentionem inueni, multo minus auxilij diuini inuocationem antequam ægrotis suis medicamenta exhiberent. Cum tamen certò certius [p. 255] sit Medici pietatem interdum plura præstare quàm admirandam multorum scientiam, propterea cum corporalis infirmitas nonnunquam ex peccato proueniat, Medicorum officium erat vt cum ad informos vocarentur, ipsos ante omnia monere, & inducere vt animarum medicos adhiberent, vt postquam fuisset informo de spirituali salute prouisum ad corporale medicinæ remedium salubrius procederetur. Hanc viam laudabilem tres saltem quod sciam præstantissimi Medici ingressi, summa cum laude artem suam exerceuerunt, Arnaldum puto, Gordonium & Raymundum Lullius in arte operatuia. Hi sæpius ægrotos suos visitando eos ad resipiscentiam hortabantur & implorato prius diuini numinis auxilio summam Dei benedictionem in medendo experti sunt.

Raymundo sequens formula precandi fuit familiaris, quam huc asscribere placuit, & quæ omnes veros Medicos sui officij admonere debet.

Precatio Raymvndi Lvlli ante medicinarum exhibitionem.

Domine Iesu Christe qui es omnium vera salus, Domine tu es qui omnia in bonitate & sapientia tua valde bona creasti, sine te nihil scio boni in seculo: Quare Domine Iesu Christe maiestatem tuam suppliciter adoro, quia scio & firmiter credo, nihil boni esse absque tua bonitate. Nihil magni absque tua magnitudine, neque durans absque tua duratione, neque potens sine tua potestate. Neque sapiens sine tua sapientia, neque diligens sine tuo amore, [p. 256] neque virtuosum, sine tua virtute, neque verum sine tua veritate, neque gloriosum sine tua gloria, neque iustum sine tua iustitia: scio etiam quod tu hominem mirabiliter creasti, mirabilius reformasti, qui medicinam ad reparandam sanitatem humanorum corporem dedisti: da benedictionem isti medicinæ, vt omnes virtutes quas in principio posuisti in ea ad finem perducatur: vt in corpore quod introierit sanitatem mentis & corporis inducere mereatur, per Dominum Iesum Christum filium tuum, Amen.

Crescit agitata virtvs.

Modern English Raw Translation

Generated by ChatGPT on 27 February 2024. Attention: This translation is a machine translation by artificial intelligence. The translation has not been checked and should not be cited without additional human verification.
Conclusion of the entire work.

Salts are of various types, among which some are mineral and fixed, some are vegetable and fixed, and some are animal and fixed. Yet, within these categories of salts, both vegetable and mineral, fixed types are found (as will be explained below). The fixed minerals include salt of bread, extracted from the sea or well waters. Then there is gem salt, clearer than all and transparent as crystal, superior to the aforementioned, with two varieties: one crystalline and the other a transparent red, found in mines and sulphurous places, varying in substance through large and small stones, and primarily found in Spain, particularly in Cardona, and also in Hungary. Vegetables too are fixed and not fixed, produced from the ashes of trees and herbs made from very strong caps, and with the water evaporated from them, salt remains at the bottom of the vessel. Depending on the ash's complexion, the salt remains fixed or not fixed; experience will teach you. It should be noted that alkali salt is the most dignified of all salts, especially vegetable ones, and is a fixed oil that the dryness of fire has solidified. Some make alkali salt from soda and declare it fixed and stabilizing. Therefore, place your heart in alkali salt, for it is a most excellent secret. Since everything fixed is turned into the nature of the fixed. May God be forever blessed in creatures, through creatures, by creatures, Amen.

End of Salts.

B. G. P. from Port.

To faithful and pious Doctors.

I remember, most learned men, having read through many books of erudite doctors, in which I often wondered, no mention of the supreme creator of things, much less the invocation of divine help before they administered medicines to their patients. Yet it is certainly more certain that a doctor's piety sometimes accomplishes more than the wondrous knowledge of many. Therefore, since physical infirmity sometimes stems from sin, it was the duty of doctors, when called to the sick, to first advise and induce them to seek spiritual healers, so that once provision for spiritual salvation had been made, they could proceed more healthily to the remedy of medicine. At least three most excellent Doctors have followed this commendable path, practicing their art with great praise, I believe, Arnaldus, Gordonius, and Raimundus Lullus in operative art. They often visited their patients, encouraging them to repentance and having first sought the help of the divine will, experienced the utmost blessing of God in healing.

The following prayer formula was familiar to Raimundus Lullus, which I have decided to include here, and which should remind all true Doctors of their duty.

Prayer of Raimundus Lullus before administering medicine.

Lord Jesus Christ, who art the true salvation of all, Lord, you are the one who created all things very good in your goodness and wisdom, without you I know nothing good in this world: Therefore, Lord Jesus Christ, I humbly adore your majesty, because I know and firmly believe there is nothing good without your goodness. Nothing great without your greatness, nor enduring without your endurance, nor powerful without your power. Nor wise without your wisdom, nor loving without your love, nor virtuous without your virtue, nor true without your truth, nor glorious without your glory, nor just without your justice: I also know that you created man wonderfully, and even more wonderfully reformed him, who gave medicine to repair the health of human bodies: give your blessing to this medicine, so that all the virtues you initially placed in it may be brought to their end: that it may merit inducing health of mind and body in the body it enters, through Lord Jesus Christ your son, Amen.

Virtue grows when challenged.