been handed down by our predecessors unto their successors as a hereditary treasure. In like manner as I myself at present, so even should ye think, before entering into this matter, 1 and before taking possession of so great a treasure, how much this Gift is sublime and precious, and how vile and base are ye yourselves who be about to receive it. This is wherefore I say unto ye that the beginning of this Wisdom is the Fear of God and of justice. These be the Tables of the Law, the Qabalah, and the Magic; they should serve unto ye for a rule. It is necessary that ye should begin to attach yourselves unto the very beginning, if ye truly do wish to have the Veritable Wisdom; and thus shall ye walk in the right Path, and be able to work; all the which is contained in this Book, and all the which is therein prescribed. For to undertake this Operation with the simple intention of using it unto dishonest, impious, and wicked ends, is neither just nor reasonable; for it is absolutely necessary to perform this Operation unto the praise, honour, and glory of God; unto the use, health, and well-being of your neighbour, whether friend or enemy; and generally for that of the whole earth. Furthermore, it is also necessary to take into consideration other matters, which though less important be still necessary; namely, whether ye be capable, not only of commencing, but also of carrying through the Operation unto its end; this being a necessary point to consider before coming unto a final determination upon the matter; because n this case we are not negotiating with men, but with God, by the intermediation of His Holy Angels, and with all Spirits, both good and evil.
I am not here intending to play the Saint and Hypocrite, but it is necessary to have a true and loyal heart. Ye have here to do with the Lord, Who not only beholdeth
the outer man, but Who also penetrateth the inmost recesses of the heart. But having taken a true, firm, and determined resolution, relying upon the Will of the Lord, ye shall arrive at your desired end, and shall encounter no difficulty. Often also man is changeable, and while beginning a thing well, finisheth it badly, being in no way firm and stable in resolution. Ponder the matter then well before commencing, and only begin this Operation with the firm intention of carrying it out unto the end, for no man can make a mock of the Lord with impunity.
Furthermore it is likewise necessary to think and consider whether your goods and revenue be sufficient for this matter; and, further, whether if your quality or estate be subject unto others, ye may have time and convenience to undertake it; also whether wife or children may hinder you herein; these being all matters worthy of observation, so as not to commence the matter blindly.
The chief thing that ye should consider is whether ye be in good health, because the body being feeble and unhealthy, it is subject to divers infirmities, whence at length result impatience and want of power to operate and pursue the Operation; and a sick man can neither be clean and pure, nor enjoy solitude; and in such a case it is better to cease.
Consider then the safety of your person, commencing this Operation in a place of safety, whence neither enemies nor any disgrace can drive you out before the end because ye must finish where ye begin.
But the first part of this chapter is the most important, and see that ye keep well in mind the necessity of observing the same, because as regardeth the other disadvantages, they may perhaps be remedied. And be ye sure that God doth aid all those who put their confidence in Him and in His Wisdom, and such as wish to live rightly, making use with honour of the deceitful world,
which ye shall hold in abomination, and see that ye make no account of ts opinion when ye shall be arrived at the perfection of the work, and that ye shall be possessors of this Sacred Magic.
52:3 In the original MS.: "Nous avons deja dit quelle est la science que je dois vous enseigner cest adire quelle nest point humaine," etc.
53:1 In the original: "Comme je suis apresent vous devez donc penser avant que d'entrer dans ce bal." etc.