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"It behoves thee to give thanks to God, Who has bestowed liberally of his bounty to the Wise, Who delivers us from misery and poverty. I am tempted and proven with the fulness of His substance and His probable wonders, and humbly pray God that whilst we live we may come to Him.

"Remove thence, O Sons of Science, the unguents which we extract from fats, hair, verdigrease, tragacanth and bones, which are written in the books of our fathers. But concerning the ointments which contain the tincture, coagulate the fugitive, and adorn the sulphurs, it behoves us to explain their disposition more at large, and to unveil the Form, which is buried and hidden from other unguents, which is seen in disposition, but dwells in his own body, as fire in trees and stones, which by the most subtle art and ingenuity it behoves to extract without burning.

"And know that the heaven is to be joined mediately with the earth, but the Form is in a middle nature between the heaven and the earth, which is our water. But the water holds of all the first place

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which goes forth from this stone. But the second is gold, and the third is gold, only in a mean which is more noble than the water and the faeces.

"But in these are the smoke, the blackness and the death. It behoves us, therefore, to dry away the vapour from the water, to expel the blackness from the unguent, and death from the faeces and this by dissolution. By which means we attain to the highest philosophy and secret of all hidden things."

Next: Section VII