IN this Work, which we have written chiefly for the information of those who are curious and indefatigable in their enquiries into occult knowledge, we have, at a vast labour and expence, both of time and charges, collected whatsoever can be deemed curious and rare, in regard to the subject of our speculations in Natural Magic--the Cabala--Celestial and Ceremonial Magic--Alchymy--and Magnetism; and have divided it into two Books, sub-divided into Parts: to which we have added a third Book, containing a biographical account of the lives of those great men who were famous and renowned for their knowledge; shewing upon whose authority this Science of Magic is founded, and upon what principles. To which we have annexed a great variety of notes, wherein we have impartially examined the probability of the existence of Magic, both of the good and bad species, in the earliest, as well as in the latter, ages of the world. We have exhibited a vast number of rare experiments in the course of this Treatise, many of which, delivered in the beginning, are founded upon the simple application of actives to passives; the others are of a higher speculation.
In our history of the lives of Philosophers, &c. we have omitted nothing that can be called interesting or satisfactory. We have taken our historical characters from those authors most deserving of credit; we have given an outline of the various reports tradition gives of them; to which are annexed notes, drawn from the most probable appearance of truth, impartially describing their characters and actions; leaning neither to the side of those who doubt every thing, nor to them whose credulity takes in every report to be circumstantially true.
At this time, the abstruse sciences of Nature begin to be more investigated than for a century past, during which space they have been almost totally neglected; but men becoming more enlightened, they begin to consider the extraordinary effects that were wrought by ancient philosophers, in ages that were called dark. Many, therefore, have thought that time, nature, causes, and effects, being the same, with the additional improvements of mechanical and liberal arts, we may, with their knowledge of Nature, surpass them in the producing of wonderful effects; for which cause many men are naturally impelled, without education or other advantage, to dive into the contemplation of Nature; but the study thereof being at first difficult, they have recourse to lay out a great deal of money in collecting various books: to remedy which inconvenience and expence, the Author undertook to compose THE MAGUS, presuming that his labours herein will meet with the general approbation of either the novitiate or adept: for whose use and instruction it is now published.
But to return to the subject of our Book: we have, in the First Part, fully explained what Natural Magic is; and have shewn that, by the application of actives to passives, many wonderful effects are produced that are merely natural, and done by manual operations. We have procured every thing that was valuable and scarce respecting this department of our work, which we have introduced under the title of Natural Magic; and a variety of our own experiments likewise. In the possession of this work, the laborious and diligent student will find a complete and delectable companion; so that he who has been searching for years, for this author and the other, will in this book find the marrow of them all.
But I would advise, that we do not depend too much upon our own wisdom in the understanding of these mysteries; for all earthly wisdom is foolishness in the esteem of God--I mean all the wisdom of man, which he pretends to draw from any other source than God alone.
We come next to the Second Part of our First Book, treating of the art called the Constellatory Practice, or Talismanic Magic; in which we fully demonstrate the power and efficacy of Talismans, so much talked of, and so little
understood, by most men: we therefore explain, in the clearest and most intelligible, manner, how Talismans may be made, for the execution of various purposes, and by what means, and from what source they become vivified, and are visible instruments of great and wonderful effects. We likewise shew the proper and convenient times; under what constellations and aspects of the planets they are to be formed, and the times when they are most powerful to act; and, in the next place, we have taught that our own spirit is the vehicle of celestial attraction, transferring celestial and spiritual virtue into Seals, Images, Amulets, Rings, Papers, Glasses, &c. Also, we have not forgot to give the most clear and rational illustration of sympathy and antipathy--attraction and repulsion. We have likewise proved how cures are performed by virtue of sympathetic powers and medicines--by seals, rings, and amulets, even at unlimited distances, which we have been witnesses of and are daily confirmed in the true and certain belief of. We know how to communicate with any person, and to give him intimation of our purpose, at a hundred or a thousand miles distance; but then a preparation is necessary, and the parties should have their appointed seasons and hours for that purpose; likewise, both should be of the same firm constancy of mind, and a disciple or brother in art. And we have given methods whereby a man may receive true and certain intimation of future things (by dreams), of whatsoever his mind has before meditated upon, himself being properly disposed. Likewise, we have recited the various methods used by the antients for the invocation of astral spirits, by circles, crystals, &c.; their forms of exorcism, incantations, orations, bonds, conjurations; and have given a general display of the instruments of their art; all of which we have collected out of the works of the most famous magicians, such as Zoroaster, Hermes, Apollonius, Simon of the Temple, Trithemius, Agrippa, Porta (the Neapolitan), Dee, Paracelsus, Roger Bacon, and a great many others; to which we have subjoined our own notes, endeavouring to point out the difference of these arts, so as to free the name of Magic from any scandalous imputation; seeing it is a word originally significative not of any evil, but of every good and laudable science, such as a man might profit by, and become both wise and happy; and the practice so far from
being offensive to God or man, that the very root or ground of all magic takes its rise from the Holy Scriptures, viz.--"The fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom;"--and charity is the end: which fear of God is the beginning of Magic; for Magic is wisdom, and on this account the wise men were called Magi. The magicians were the first Christians; for, by their high and excellent knowledge, they knew that that Saviour which was promised, was now born man--that Christ was our Redeemer, Advocate, and Mediator; they were the first to acknowledge his glory and majesty; therefore let no one be offended at the venerable and sacred title of Magician--a title which every wise man merits while he pursues that path which Christ himself trod, viz. humility, charity, mercy, fasting, praying, &c.; for the true magician is the truest Christian, and nearest disciple of our blessed Lord, who set the example we ought to follow; for he says--"If ye have faith, &c.;" and "This kind comes not by fasting and prayer, &c.;" and "Ye shall tread upon scorpions, &c.;" and again, "Be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."--Such instructions as these are frequently named, and given in many places of the Holy Scriptures. Likewise, all the Apostles confess the power of working miracles through faith in the name of Christ Jesus, and that all wisdom is to be attained through him; for he says, "I am the light of the world!"
We have thought it adviseable, likewise, to investigate the power of numbers, their sympathy with the divine names of God; and, seemly the whole universe was created by number, weight, and measure, there is no small efficacy in numbers, because nothing more clearly represents the Divine Essence to human understanding than numbers; seeing that in all the Divine holy names there is still a conformity of numbers, so that the conclusion of this our First Book forms a complete system of mathematical magic; in which I have collected a vast number of curious seals from that famous magician Agrippa, and likewise from Paracelsus, noting them particularly, as I have found them correspondent with true science on experiment.
The Second Book forms a complete treatise on the mysteries of the Cabala and Ceremonial Magic; by the study of which, a man (who can separate himself from material objects, by the mortification of the sensual appetite--
abstinence from drunkenness, gluttony, and other bestial passions, and who lives pure and temperate, free from those actions which degenerate a man to a brute) may become a recipient of Divine light and knowledge; by which they may foresee things to come, whether to private families, or kingdoms, or states, empires, battles, victories, &c.; and likewise be capable of doing much good to their fellow-creatures: such as the healing of all disorders, and assisting with the comforts of life the unfortunate and distressed.
We have spoken largely of prophetic dreams and visions in our Cabalistic Magic, and have given the tables of the Cabala, fully set down for the information of the wise; some few most secret things being reserved by the Author for his pupils only, not to be taught by publication.
The Third Book forms a complete Magical Biography, being collected from most antient authors, and some scarce and valuable manuscripts; and which has been. the result of much labour in acquiring. Therefore, those who wish to benefit in those studies, must shake off the drowsiness of worldly vanity, all idle levity, sloth, intemperance, and lust; so that they may be quiet, clean, pure, and free from every distraction and perturbation of mind, and worthily use the knowledge he obtains from his labours.
Therefore, my good friend, whosoever thou art, that desirest to accomplish these things, be but persuaded first to apply thyself to the ETERNAL WISDOM, entreating him to grant thee understanding, then seeking knowledge with diligence, and thou shalt never repent thy having taken so laudable a resolution, but thou shalt enjoy a secret happiness and serenity of mind, which the world can never rob thee of.
Wishing thee every success imaginable in thy studies and experiments, hoping that thou wilt use the benefits that thou mayest receive to the honour of our Creator and for the profit of thy neighbour, in which exercise thou shalt ever experience the satisfaction of doing thy duty; remember our instructions--to be silent: talk only with those worthy of thy communication--do not give pearls to swine; be friendly to all, but not familiar with all; for many are, as the Scriptures mention--wolves in sheep clothing.