HAVING collected the most interesting and curious accounts of the lives of those great men, so famous for their speculations in philosophic learning, we draw to a conclusion; having only to add, that we have sufficiently discovered in this biographical sketch whatsoever was necessary to prove the authenticity of Our Art, which we have delivered faithfully and impartially, noting, at the same time, the various opinions of different men at different ages; likewise, we have taken sufficient trouble to explain what is meant by the word Magic, and to clear up the term from the imputation of any diabolical association with evil spirits, &c. Also, how nearly it is allied to our religious duties, we refer the reader to the annotations under the, article Zoroaster, where we have spoke of the Magi, or wise men, proving the first who adored Christ were actually magicians. It is enough that we have spoke of the principal characters renowned in past ages for their laborious inquisition into the labyrinth of occult and natural philosophy; there are many other philosophers standing upon ancient and modern record. A copious and general biography falls not within the limits of our work. We have introduced some characters (applicable to the subject before us) most distinguished for occult learning; of which kind of science, whether by a particular influence of planetary configuration, which may have directed and impelled my mind and intellects to the observation and study of nature, and her simple operations, as well as to the more occult, I leave to the judgment of the astrologers, to whose inspection I submit a figure
of my nativity, which I shall annex to a sketch of my own history, which I mean to make the subject of a future publication, including a vast number of curious experiments in occult and chymical operations, which have fell either under my own observation, or have been transmitted to me from others. In respect of the astrologic art, (as we have already observed) it has such an affinity with talismanic experiments, &c. that no one can bring any work to a complete effect without a due knowledge and observation of the qualities and effects of the constellations (which occasioned us to give it the title of the Constellatory Art;) likewise, a man must be well acquainted with the nature, qualities, and effects, of the four elements, and of the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms; which knowledge cannot better be obtained than by chymical experience, for it does, as I may say, unlock the secret chambers of nature, and introduces the student into a world of knowledge, which could not be attained but by chymical analyzation, whereby we decompound mixt bodies, and reduce them to their simple natures, and come to a thorough acquaintance with those powerful and active principles, causing the wonderful transmutations of one compound body into another of a different species, as is to be seen in the course of our operations upon salts and metals, giving us clear and comprehensive ideas of the principles of life or generation, and putrefaction or death.
Finally, to conclude, we are chiefly to consider one thing to be attained as the ground of perfection in the rest: i. e. The great First Cause, the Eternal Wisdom, to know the Creator by the contemplation of the creature. This is the grand secret of the philosophers, and the master-key to all sciences both human and divine, for without this we are still wandering in a labyrinth of perplexity and errors, of darkness and obscurity: for this is the sum and perfection of all learning, to live in the fear of God, and in love and charity with all men.