SOME Kindling Sparks In Matters of PHYSICK, TO Satisfie some Physicians, who are of opi­nion, That Spirits (which they call hot things) do burn and inflame the Body.

Written formerly to a Friend, BY Albertus Otto Faber.

London, Printed in the Year, 1668.

To the Reader.

THou shalt not read here any great matter, for there are but toucht two or three strings of a well tuned Instrument, that gives more Sound then Harmony, yet enough, to judge, whether the sound be good. We expect a fundamental reformation in this matter, as well as in other things: For when the season is at its birth, it will come, notwithstanding the weak contrivances and oppositions of men. Nature her self is weary with furnishing her matter to such as are ignorant of its use, according to her intentions: For though she cries, Trace me, trace me, yet men are deaf (and self-endedness cannot see the Sun it self) although she gives here and there light evident enough. Therefore at last she will arise and dash gainsaiers to confusion.

Some kindling Sparks in matters of PHYSICK.

A Physitian is to be considered in his place, as a Minister to the life of Man, as to the health of his Body.

There are therefore four things to be observed here, 1. Life, 2. Health, 3. Body, 4. Man.

1. What Life is. Note, that a Body without Life is cold, hard and stiff, that is, dead: but when it is alive, it is warm, soft and nimble. As for instance, The Earth, which is the great World, in Winter is cold, hard and frozen, that is, dead: But when, in the Spring, the Sun enli­vens it, then it revives, becoming warm, and yeelding a living motion of vegitation. So also Man, who is accounted the little World, or Mi­crocosm, when dead, his Corps is cold, hard and stiff, because it is de­prived of life: But when Life springs up therein, then he quickens and grows warm, giving in all actions and doings evidence of life.

Therefore, like as the Sun that revives the Macracosm (or the Earth) and warms it, is a heavenly Fire, known by his effects: So the life of Man is a Microcosmical Sun, viz. a Subcoelestial Fire, reviving, warm­ing and moving his body, to the end he may be enlightned.

2. Health, is a cumulative influence of well-being, proceeding from life, throughout the Body. By the word Cumulative is to be understood a mutual concurrence of life and health in part of the Body, in so much that life and health can never subsist separately, no more than the Sun­shine can subsist without the Sun it self; and the Sun cannot be without his shining or light: As for Example, When a Man is wounded in his foot, then health being disordered, life is also weakned.

3. The Body is the vessel of life and health, so exactly fitted and pro­portioned (as a Watch) that the least Atome crossing its Structure, is able to bring both life and health into a confusion, yea to total ruine.

4. Man is (as to his material form) a compound of life and body, which being well or ill influenced, is healthful or sickly.

So having declared, that a Physician is a Minister to the Life of Man (as to the health of his body) it appears plainly, whether unto the Life, Health or Body, he ought to make his applications, when Man is at a loss.

[Page 4] As to the Body; If we consider it either as it was in the beginning, be­fore it received life by divine inspiration, or as it is after the life has left it: and the applications of a Physician thereon were attempted, they would be as ridiculous as fruitless; no less than if they were applyed to an Image of Wood, Brass or Iron.

As to the Health (the thing in question) which is lost and absent, there can be made no application; As for instance, When a Husbandman has intrusted a Shepherd with a flock of Sheep, and one of them is gone a­stray, He for the recovering the lost Sheep doth not apply himself to the Sheep lost and absent, which to the flock is as in a state of privation, but to the Shepherd, to demand it at his hands.

To the Life therefore, as to the Shepherd of health, a true Physitian, makes his applications for its recovery, which is in statu privationis.

Now the Life being a fiery principle of Man (as before is demonstra­ted) which enlighteneth the Body, and makes it active, we must know, when such a principle becomes defective, weak and helpless, with what kind of things to supply the same, which supplies are called Medicines, wherein lies the skill of a Physician.

But that being of a large consideration, for want of the Adeptive Sci­ence, which might shorten all those many particular preparations; I shall at present speak only something in general. And first of all, to con­form my expressions to the mean apprehensions of the unlearned, note this instance; That when thou intendest to kindle a Fire, thou dost not pour Water upon it, but something of its nature, viz. some Sparks of its kind; that is, Fire must be kindled with Fire, and not with Water. And likewise, if a Fire be kindled and grows weak, thou usest the same means to encrease it, as thou didst to kindle it, or something homogene­ous to it, viz. by putting Fewel, as Wood, Coals, Oyl, &c. to it, to strengthen, feed, and relieve it: But if thou puts thereto Water, Stones and such like, thou wouldst sooner quench, then restore thy Fire. Hence the Maxime is to be understood: We are nourished with that, of which we are made.

The Heaven, the World (or Earth) and Man correspond mutually to­gether. The Sun (taken as) the life of the Heaven, shining into the Water, reflects its own Image, as in a Looking-glass, it doth the like on the Earth, which being not diaphanous, makes it not appear, as the Wa­ter doth. Yet the Earth, being the Mother of Corporification, the influ­ences from above, keeps the said Image closer, and makes it substantial, appearing in a body, as being the earthly Sun, and it is called Gold. In like manner the Body of Man, being so far prepared in the womb, that it [Page 5] is capable of life, then by the all-overpowring Sun (in a moment, as Brim­stone or Spirit of Wine) it conceives Fire, viz the Image of the said Sun, and makes it substantial to its nature, which then is called Life, he thus being Lampas vitae. Hence this Maxime, Sol & homo generent hominem.

Thus even as the Heaven, the Earth and Man: So the Sun, Gold and Life are knit together by influence, which may be sensibly perceived, when there happens, either almost, or a total Eclipse of the Sun, and ma­ny find themselves breathless, through the obstruction of the Sun's in­fluence. The Life of Man therefore being either weak or otherwise de­fective, its proper Remedy would be Gold, as to relieve Fire with Fire: But as is abovesaid, it cannot easily be dealt withall, and must be laid aside for the Adepti.

So there remains nothing, but Wood, Coals, or the like combustible matter, which however they are in some measure homogeneal to Life, yet without a preparation, in the best manner, are hardly fit to kindle or nourish Life, in order to consume or expel diseases from the Body. But when they are duly prepared, their effects will be the better and more evident: As for instance; When it happens that any body is taken with a sudden fright, his Life becomes weak, which may cause him to swoon away; then if the Life be furnished with something of its nature, that is, with a fiery Medicine, well prepared (as may be a good Aqua vitae, or the like) he will recover instantly, and what quan­tity then he doth drink, it will not intoxicate him, but it repaireth pre­sently into the chief residence of life, to assist and go along with it. The same may be seen in any man, tyred out, for when he drinks a good draught of Aqua vitae, he gathereth strength again presently; and there­fore it is ignorantly spoken, that it would burn a man, because Fire can­not burn Fire; but Fire is refreshed by Fire, and they increase one another, rejoycing mutually, as being of one nature. But Water and cold things will quench it, because they have no unity with Fire, nay they are death to the Fire.

Therefore the more any Medicine partakes of fiery qualities, the more it is of the nature of Life, and can strengthen it the better, to expel the Disease, and settle it again in its own seat.

The Scripture saith, that the Life of the Body is in its Blood; and who­ever will try this, must anotomize it with Fire, which will manifest a most fiery Spirit, or volatile Salt. This Spirit doubtless is (in the Blood) the re­sidence of the Life, or at least its food; as Wood for Fire. Now observe, the better every norishment is prepared, the fitter it is for digestion; as, raw flesh would not agree with the Stomack of a Man, but when it is [Page 6] rosted or boyled tender, it is of an easie digestion: So vulgar Medicines rawly and roughly wrought and compounded, would hardly be so ac­ceptable or welcome, as when they are brought to a more spiritual sub­stance, by the Spagirical Anotomy of the Fire, coming nearer to the nature of Life: For the panting Life (in reference to its weakness) greedily sucks such a Medicine, even as the Load-stone attracts Iron to its self: And being thereby relieved and refreshed, drives the Disease out of the Body, and repaireth to its place.

And such a Medicine may justly be called a Cordial, as refreshing the Spirit of Life, which is no such Pottage, as being well sweetened with Su­gar, is termed a Cordial, yet void of admittance into the society of Life, to corroborate the swouning Spirits, as being most commonly heterogeneal to them.

What kind of Medicines then are the best next to that, that could be wished for out of Gold? Note, that I have said, 1. That the Blood is the seat of Life. 2. That the application ought to be made to the Life. 3. That the Blood contains a most fiery Spirit and a volatile Salt: and 4. That the food of Life is that most fiery Spirit and volatile Salt.

According to these Principles, experience hath taught, that whatsoever has been done worthy of note, has been effected either by Fiery Spirits or Volatile Salts, as being ready to joyn presently with the food of Life, against the Distempers; and to get Victory, if the Patient be not past cure.

All created sublunary things, are divided into Animals, Vegetables and Minerals. And we find that the first yeelds a Fiery Spirit and Volatile. Salt, as well in the Urine, as in the Flesh and Blood, both of an excellent fiery quality and eminently medicinal.

In the Vegetables we find nothing more effectual than their Spirits, as well their essential and volatile Salts; And especially when their Alcaliis may be disclosed or extracted, and brought unto that prerogative of vola­tility.

In the Minerals we find the Sulphurs of Minerals and Mettals, after they are separated (by Fire) from the crude malignant Mercuriality, who being then harmless, are called Tinctures.

Now these sulphurous Tinctures, Spirits and Salts do all partake of the fiery quality, and are apt therefore to joyn with the Life, which is Fire, against the Distemper, and root it out of the Body.

Therefore let no body henceforth be so ignorant as to say, that a Phisi­tian, making use of those excellent Medicines, doth burn the Patient: when in the mean time others go about, to feed the Fire of Life with Water, or rather to quench it totally.

[Page 7] Object. But what shall we do, when a Patient lies in a great burning heat, shall we then put fire to fire?

Answ. This is indeed the only thing that has hitherto deceived many Physitians, to avoid hot things (as they call them) to be administred to such as lie in a hot burning fit. Therefore remember what I have said of the Life, as being Caelestial Fire and Light, most natural to the Body, without which the Body is cold, dark and dead.

To this take notice of this instance, viz. That when Iron, or the like, is put into Aquafortis, though it feeleth coldish, yet presently it grows hot and boyls without Fire, in so much, that a man with his bare hand can­not hold the Vessel that contains it.

This burning heat, seems unto Man to arise from the violent action of the Aquafortish Spirit upon the Iron, which the eye may easily disern. Suppose thou wouldst quench this hot burning Fire, by pouring much cold Water upon it, as a thing contrary to the Fire; though that boyling may seem to cease, and be as it were quenched, yet in effect it will prove the same, because it will consume the Iron one way as well as the other way, however more slowly and insensibly, when Water is poured upon it.

Therefore to put cold things to this fire, is not the way to quench it: But wilt thou do right, then give to the Spirit to eat or devour Salt; thus he shall lose his strength, be broken and leave boyling with consuming. Here appears, that the Salt is not a cold thing, yet able, to make peace be­twixt hot things, viz. the Aquafortis and the Iron. In like manner, when such a burning heat rises in a sick body, it rises from a parallel action be­twixt two things, working upon one another. And therefore make thy ap­plications not with cold things immediately to the hot burning, which is no­thing material, but only an accidental quality or symptome flowing from the action of these two fighting things aforesaid upon the Body: But make thy applications to either of them two, and break its strength, then present­ly the heat will cease; and this may be done with hot things (so called) as well as any other may think to do it with cold ones, which the Salia be­fore declared of (although being in their center a meer Fire) will experi­ence and make true, in so much, that by the application of them, the said burning will not only be quenched, but the Spirit of Life mightily strengthened also, and thereby enabled to overpower its enemies, who endeavour to quarter in its strong-hold.

The Body of Man is filled every where with Volatile Salt, nay it is but little else than a Volatile Salt throughout, save the contents of the Stomach and its government, whose fermental moisture is acid, parallel to Vinegar, Spirit of Sulphur, or the like acid Liquors.

[Page 8] But acid Liquors, and volatile Salts are enemies, fighting together, to over-power one another. Hence, when perhaps something acid falls be­yond the said government of the Stomach, then presently rises a fight between the said acid and volatile Salt, in the region of the Blood, where the said acid is a stranger, falling as a Pirate into the Native Countrey of the volatile Salt, whose dominion is in the Blood: of which fight, flows (as it were) an hot invisible vapour (like unto the radiant shining of the Sun) throughout the Body, and makes the Physician believe that it is the Distemper it self, when in the mean while the very root of the Distemper is hidden from his eyes. Therefore he goes on to quench that burning heat with cold things (so called) by which only he weakeneth the natural Fire of Life, and for the expectation of having quenched the said burning heat, he has given to that strange Pirate a large compass to waste insensibly the Garrison of the Blood, viz. the volatile Salt in it; and so being deceived himself, he deceiveth his Patient also, not of set-purpose, but being not perswaded otherwise, and therefore worthy of compassion. When one takes Cochinele (which is like meerly coagu­lated Blood) and dissolveth it in Water, then poureth Aquafortis there­upon, there will presently appear an action betwixt the said Cochinele and the Aquafortis: which may serve for an Instance, whereby the eye of man may discern, as it were demonstratively, what it effects when such an acid Guest draweth into the Blood.

Thus I have somewhat answered to that vulgar Objection, which might have been move enlarged if my intention had been bent to that purpose; yet it may suffice to such as can kindle a Fire, although having nothing else but this Tinder Spark.

Alb. O. Faber.

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